One Step Forward, Two Seroqueled Steps Back

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Happy Monday, everyone!

After I wrote my last post about my setback, I received such wonderful comments from you.  Some responses praised me for keeping my rage under wraps from my precious girls.  I can’t tell you how much your support meant to me.  The affirming remarks made me feel so good, but after my excitement dissipated, I became too complacent.  While I spoke with my counselor about what happened (we planned that I’d call her if I needed to when the next setback occurred) in the back of my mind, I assumed I’d have a good, long reprieve.  I certainly didn’t think I’d be tested so soon.

Enter the phrase “pride goeth before a fall“.

Here’s the Dictionary.com definition:

Pride goeth before a fall:

“People who are overconfident or too arrogant are likely to fail.  This saying is adapted from the biblical Book of Proverbs.”

Up until a few weeks ago, I thought that I was in recovery mode.  

I had concrete signs:

I regained trust from relatives I hurt while I was manic.  

I received some heady (perhaps head-swelling is more fitting!) recognition by members of the bipolar community who I admired.  

The International Bipolar Foundation asked me to be a “Story of Hope & Recovery”.  

The bestselling author Wendy K. Williamson nominated this blog for the WEGO Health Activist “Best in Show Blog” Award.  

These were heady achievements indeed.  Even better, I was becoming enthused to once again create a free support group for women with bipolar disorder.  To top off this groovy stuff,  I was featured by Greg Archer in his Huffington Post article “Inspiring Agents of Change”.  

None of those wonderful things came to mind when I had Setback #2 last week.   

Last Thursday night I got more bad news that triggered me big-time.  I should have called my therapist according to our action plan, right?

Well, I didn’t I call her.  I think I was in shock that I got another chunk of bad news so quickly.  Moreover, I had just taken my three meds after a long day. One of those medications, quetiapine (Seroquel) is for sleep, and it was kicking in.   Take my word for it, the stuff is powerful!

As my eyelids grew heavy, I told myself that I’d handle my reaction to this bad news way better than I did during Setback #1.  Then I repressed everything and fell asleep.

The next morning I woke up groggy, since surprise, surprise, I didn’t sleep too well.  Despite my brain haze, I remembered what I had been told the previous night and, like a death or a break-up, I wanted to rewind back to ignorance.

Running late due to my sluggishness, I frantically helped my children get ready for school.  We were almost out the door into the pouring rain.  The finish line was close! There was only one final task that needed to be done, and that was for one of my girls to brush her hair.  She petulantly refused, and that silly thing was enough to set me off.

All parents lose their tempers in front of their children.  However, I passed the point of no return into a major tantrum that was not appropriate in response to a child refusing to brush her tangles.  At least I knew that I needed to sequester myself immediately and calm myself the hell down.  I went into the bathroom and locked the door.  I called out to Craig, who thank God was home, and to the girls that I was giving myself a “time-out”.  

I sobbed loudly for ten minutes.  To my own ears I sounded hysterical – I guess I should have grabbed a pillow on my way into the bathroom.  Then I stopped crying and took some deep breaths.  I felt ashamed for losing control and especially for needing to separate myself from my family.  I opened the door to find that our girls stood close by.  They asked me what was wrong and I was vague in my reply – luckily they weren’t in their typical interrogation modes and they didn’t press for details.  

I enfolded them in my arms and told them how sorry I was for getting so upset. I told them that I loved them more than anyone in the world.  To my surprise, they didn’t seem that disturbed.

In the past I would’ve asked Craig to take them to school, which I used to do frequently during my seemingly never-ending depression.  This time I didn’t want to delegate and, anyway, he needed to work.  I wanted to show our girls that despite the fact that I had to remove myself for a while, I could calm down enough to safely drive them to their classes.  I dabbed some “Serenity” doTERRA essential oil on my wrists, which is supposed to have calming properties.  (I was tempted to use half of the bottle, but I didn’t…everyone in this family hates its smell except for me!)  It helped on a subtle level.

In the bumper-to-bumper traffic, I checked in with my daughters to see how they were doing.  “I’m fine!” said my eldest.  “Yes!” echoed my younger one. They didn’t seem to be overly upset about anything, and they were chattering and laughing during the commute.  That was the high point of my day.

I returned home, and all my emotions came back to the surface.  I still didn’t call my therapist.  I was utterly exhausted, and I wanted to escape and take a nap to escape the world instead of doing my usual routine of writing, emails, laundry, dishes and other exciting housework.  

When we first met, my psychiatrist told me that if I ever had a daytime crisis, I could take 25 mg of my Seroquel.  Despite being tempted a few times, I never wanted to take it due to several reasons.  Even at the relatively low dose of 25 mg, the medication is super-powerful, and taking it would zombify me during day.  

I hemmed and hawed about taking the tiny, innocuous-looking beige orb.  At least I gave some thought to the consequences of taking the pill, whereas years before I would have popped one without any reservation. 

Even so…I took the Seroquel.  

Next I crawled into bed and got my puppy Lucy to join me for some much-wanted comfort.  

As I write about that awful day just a mere seventy-two hours later, I’m already forgetting about how terrible I felt.  I napped for a couple hours and when I got up I felt the claws of depression grip and squeeze my soul. 

“NOOOOOOOO!” I thought.  “Not again – I can’t go back to this hell!!!  Not now! Just when I thought I was finally doing better, I’m back in this hole again!”  

My sobs returned.  Lucy licked away my tears, and for the zillionith time I was so glad we had this furry beast in our family.

Lucybed

I shuffled over to the coffee machine and made a pot of French Roast.  (Note – I don’t advise mixing coffee and Seroquel…I know it can’t be healthy!) After two cups I felt more coherent and I got through the rest of the day in one piece.  I picked up the girls at school and I even worked out in the late afternoon, which was a minor miracle.  My depression had already begun to subside.  Yes, the bad news was still there to deal with, but between the Seroquel and the exercise, my anger had melted along with my depression.  

The next day I woke up more groggy than usual. I took a long, hot shower, which always makes me feel better.  That afternoon I had a serendipitous visit with one of my best friends who I hadn’t seen for far too long.  Our friendship has lasted over twenty-five years.  She’s one of the few friends who visited me in the hospital when I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  

Hanging out with her in a nice sushi restaurant last Saturday reminded me of the happy times we shared before the word “bipolar” entered my vocabulary. I was even able to talk with her about my bad news, and I put it into a healthier perspective.  While I was still daunted by my reaction on Friday, I was SO grateful that my depression had gone away.  In the past, it would have stuck around like glue to a shoe.

Now, I can’t take Seroquel every time I flip out.  Believe me, as someone with an addictive personality, I know that.  I wish I could have simply napped without taking the damn pill.

I have appointments with my counselor and psychiatrist coming up next week – they’ll be earning their fees, that’s for sure.  I wish I had wise words to share with you, but I don’t.  I almost didn’t publish this post, but I wanted to let you know where I’m at:  that not everything has been peachy-keen after my last setback, and I’m still stumbling.  

Sending you love, strength and hope this week…and see you next Monday,

Dyane

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Could you please endorse me for the WEGO Health Activist “Best In Show: Blog” Award? Visit the link below – it’s quick and easy to do.  I want to thank bestselling author Wendy K. Williamson (“I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar” and “Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival”) for nominating me.

https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/4811

 

 

 

 

 

 

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69 thoughts on “One Step Forward, Two Seroqueled Steps Back

  1. Another amazing piece of your life. I love and admire how you take us through these days that cling to us like tar, with all its darkness, terrible smell, and relentless grip. Yet you got out. You. Got. Out.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You’ve got to be the strongest woman I know.
    xxxxxx Jean

    1. This is one of the best comments I’ve ever gotten, Jean! I’m simply honored that you think I’m strong…thank you so much. Speaking of that topic, I can’t help but think of a remarkably strong, super-gifted writer in my universe. She has only shared (through her public writing) the tip of her “iceberg of strength” with her devoted readers…..do you know who she could be? 💗

  2. After keeping my disorder under wraps for so long(15 years), my jaw drops every time I read how others react almost identically to me. Its very weird. I’ve never let myself off the hook for anything; determined to be my best possible self despite the Cyclothymia and do whatever is in my power to stay well(hence my focus on diet and exercise/lifestyle). At the moment, I’m learning to cope better with stress by allowing myself to ask for a day off or excuse myself from a big occasion when I’m not coping. This has been a massive relief.
    Why the change? we had a Mental Health Week here in Oz in October and there was just so much positive stuff buzzing around and it seemed like all the comedians and actresses were coming out and I’ve always wanted to be one of the cool kids! (Ha!)
    Its nice not to be alone, and to read about other’s struggles occasionally, but not too much. I don’t like to dwell on it endlessly or use it as an excuse. There’s too much other interesting stuff out there!
    I appreciate your honesty. I’m still learning to be brave.
    Skinny Jeans Mum

    1. Dear Kamille,

      Thanks so much for the follow! I love your blog “Skinny Jeans Mom” & I look forward to reading more about it. I found out about you through my friend Cavelle’s wonderfully helpful blog “Mental Break” and spotted your gravatar.

      You have a great, positive attitude. As a former fitness professional I’m heavily interested in the power of exercise for mood disorders, which I write about in detail in more recent posts both here and for the International Bipolar Foundation:

      http://ibpf.org/blog/different-take-exercise-and-why-i-want-you-join-me

      I recently came across a a brilliant psychiatrist who has lectured and written extensively about exercise for bipolar named Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan. I provide links to his I.S.B.D. webinar and to his blog in one of my most recent blog posts. Dr. Alsuwaidan’s research, webinar, and personal experience with exercise affected me deeply. I now regard the importance of prioritizing daily or almost daily exercise in my life in a whole different way and it has been incredibly helpful.

      Good for you for coping better with stress and for asking for what you need! It’s not easy to do that, especially since you’re a nurse and you’re used to caring for others, not to mention being a mom & wife etc., but you’re doing it – hurrah!

      Out of curiosity, I wondered if you’re familiar with an Aussie friend of mine named Sally Asher. I know Oz is a BIG place 😉 and you are in totally different parts of the country, but you never know. She’s an author/weight loss coach/healthy foodie & blogger and she’s awesome. I really enjoyed Sally’s first book “Losing It in France” and she has written others as well such as “How I Got Skinny Eating Fat – French Style”.

      A few years ago on a whim I hired Sally to be my virtual weight loss coach as I wanted my very own cheerleader. I had been an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer before I was diagnosed with bipolar one, and I knew what to do to lose weight safely, but I wanted someone positive like her on my side. It wasa great decision. I lost quite a bit of “adipose tissue” that I’ve kept off successfully ever since. I have a selfie-style video testimonial on her site and this is her website in case you’re interested to learn more about her books/blog:

      http://www.sallyasher.com

      In the meantime, I wish you the absolute best and I can’t wait for your next post!!! 😉
      take care,
      Dyane :))))

      1. Thanks for all the info Dyane. I’m a big believer in exercise as part of a whole therapy for mental disorders. During the Mental Health Week I mentioned, a radio program asked listeners to ring in with their suggestions for improved quality of life. Driving at the time, I could only yell at the radio: ‘Intense exercise! Intense exercise!’ My kids, in the back seat, looked mystified!

      2. I love that, Kamille – I love that you yelled out the right answer in the car with your kids! ;))))) Ha ha ha – you’re reminding me of the time, long ago, when I was asked to do a live radio show called “Talk of the Bay” in which callers asked me questions.

        I was so freaked out about it that I lined up a few of my friends to call in, and we designed outrageous questions for them to ask. One question was, “What exercise can I do to increase the size of my breasts?” (Very mature, I tell you!) It was fun! And I did answer some legit questions from strangers too!

      3. Oh, that’s hilarious! You must have good friends and I bet you have a good laugh together.
        I think I could talk on radio, I once did an interview live which went well. I just have trouble with public speaking which has stunted some opportunities to read my writing. But I never say never!

  3. I love this post. I think you coped very well. Had really good insight and minimized the damage that could have occurred. Brava Dyane! I’m going to take 25 mg of Seroquel when I am triggered as well. It’s better than sending people 6 messages in 1/2 an hour showing them how out of control I am. Thank you so much for sharing. The chagrin and embarrassment after the episode is also awful and waking up feeling deadened… ugh… I think that is because when we are up,, anxious, minds racing, it is due to an excess of neurotransmitters, and when we crash, it is because the neurotransmitter levels have bottomed out and our brains are in withdrawal. Isn’t it marvelous? I wonder why we had to be the unlucky ones. Pretty awful. But we cope as best as we can. And Lithium and Seroquel are definitely our allies in this fight. Hugs and lots of hugs.

    1. Samina, I always feel deeply understood when I read your comments because you understand (profoundly) what it’s like to live with bipolar one both personally and professionally. I hope that 2015 is “our” year in which our neurotransmitter levels are on an even keel, and that we don’t have horror-show episodes. We have paid our dues! And don’t leave home without a tab of 25 mg of Seroquel – actually, I’d suggest cutting one in half because that thing will most likely knock you most of the whole day like it did with me. With approx. 12.5 mg the edge of the panic/anger/etc. could be taken off yet perhaps we won’t become zombified. To be honest with you, I hope I don’t need to find that out one way or the other, but it’s foolish not to be prepared. Take good care and I hope you have a wonderful holiday, beautiful friend! XOXO

    1. Thank you so much, Geneviève – merci! I’m doing a lot better now, thank God! I loved the latest photo of your adorable little one – she is absolutely gorgeous! They come that way so when they keep you up at night, you can’t get mad at them for it! (Frustrated, yes! Mad, no!) I remember how difficult it was when each of my girls were 3 mos. old. and at night I was up every couple hours. My husband would pitch in too and we were both sleep-deprived, that’s for sure. I hope you’re able to rest during the day. I’m sending you wishes for a good night’s sleep tonight! Take good care!

  4. Sounds painfully frustrating but certainly relateable. I hate “losing it” in front of my kids (and especially over hair – I’ve been there too)! But I love that you exemplified that mommies aren’t always perfect but there are acceptable ways to deal with your feelings, by giving yourself a time-out and apologizing later. Praying for you!

    1. Thanks so much, amazing supermommyoftwins! Please keep those prayers coming – I am realizing more and more that I can’t go it alone in my setback. I need to trust a Higher Power who/that I can turn to in addition to my family and friends. take good care, and I wish you the absolute best over the holidays!!!!! I know it will be an extra-special Christmas for you due to your newest little family members! 🙂

    1. Sarah, you cracked me up!! She IS totally adorable – I’m not biased at all, ha ha ha, and Lucy is never, never off-topic! Do you have a dog or cat?

      Thanks to YOU for reading and stopping by my blog! I’m excited to start reading your blog about social anxiety because I have it and it SUCKS!!!!! I am always looking for kindred spirits who understand…..

      In the meantime, keep coming back to this blog when you can as I’ll be posting more pictures of Lucy! 😉 (I post once a week, usually, on Mondays.)

      take care,
      Dyane

      1. No lie, your reply made my day. 🙂

        I actually have two cats and a dog, plus a fish and a lizard although, technically the lizard is my sister’s. And they are all absolutely adorable.

        You’re actually already reading my blog. It’s kind of embarrassing, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I made a new one but, what’s done is done. Now every time I comment it links to the wrong one. 😦 LOL

        And I know exactly what you mean by kindred spirits. It’s nice to not feel so alone. I will definitely be coming back! 😀

    1. Thank you, my sweet! I’m doing better with each day, although each day I’m reminded that sure life ain’t easy!!!! We just need to find what helps keep us going, the big and the teeny things, right? Which reminds me….you and your blog are bright lights in my world! Your readers (such as, cough, cough, ME!) would loooooooveeeeee a B.O.F. update post when you’re up for it.

      Hope you’re doing okay and sending you lots of love! xoxoxoxoxo DyDy

  5. Hello Dy,
    I just wanted to drop you a line and send you lots of love. Sounds as though you are in the midst of a really battle but just know I am willing you along. You are obviously so strong, otherwise you wouldn’t have come this far.
    Don’t beat yourself up for reacting. We are humans, its what we do. To me it sounds as though you dealt with everything remarkably well.
    Sending you the biggest hug. Keep on fighting
    Lauren xx

    1. Hi lovely Lauren! I super-loved your last blog post – it was exactly what I needed to read! You inspire me to no end. It’s so hard never knowing what each day will bring, but it helps to read others’ experiences of triumph over hardships,that’s for sure. Especially yours! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by here – I’m so glad that I came across your blog- what a gift. Sending you a huge hug back & I’ll be sure to stay in touch via your blog and Twitter!

      xoxox
      Dy

      p.s. I promise not to beat myself up – the self-anger has melted, thank God.

      1. Hello lovely. Thank you for your message 🙂 how are you feeling today? Better i hope. Must admit i’m not in a good place at all right now. I’m at a friends having dinner with another friend here too. Been feeling a bit “off” all day. Was just sat thinking how detached i’m feeling and just burst into tears in front of everyone. I feel very embarrassed. I’m sleeping here tonight and have come upstairs for a shower. I hate this so bloody much Dy. I wish my friends could see the world through my eyes for a day so they would understand how horrendous it is. I feel very low and isolated right now, like i cant really go on. Sorry to offload but i had to turn to my friend dy who truly understands. Xxxx

    2. Oh dear Lauren, I’ve been thinking of you this afternoon ever since I read your last reply. Hopefully now you are getting some rest, and I pray that you wake up feeling TONS better!

      I truly do understand the agony you’re going through.I’ve gone through some of it today….it’s so damn scary. One of my huge fears is crying in front of people (either friends or strangers) the way you described with your friends, so I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I hope they were kind and understanding! There is no need to be embarrassed as it’s clear you are a wonderful person and crying is such a human thing to do.

      Now, remember your last post that you wrote that had the fighting spirit- you WILL go on!!! No matter what, you will, and the DR crap WILL and MUST get better! You and I need to believe this even though it gets so hard and hopeless sometimes.

      I can’t believe that just a few years ago I didn’t experience this hell-on-Earth sensation. All we really can do is try to be positive and connect with other people who get it. There are books and the magazine I told you about, and other blogs we can read for advice….I admit I get overwhelmed and I don’t read what I should! Sorry to go off an a tangent.

      Remember you can email me anytime at dyane@baymoon.com or send me direct msgs via Twitter. I hope Liam can be a source of support for you during the week if you need it. Let me know how you are doing when you can, okay??????

      Thinking of you with a lot of love, sweetie. We’ll beat this you-know what! Love, Dy

  6. Dyane, I’m super proud of you for not just giving up, and for getting that exercise session in. Setbacks happen, as I’m all too aware of, and you’re handling yours well. And the fact that you even were able to compose a post says a lot, too. Hang in there and cuddle your sweet family!

    1. Hello my beautiful coffee aficionado! Your comment is like a cup of yummy Bob Marley Roast to me! (It really is!)

      A friend of mine just recommended their new Spiced Rum blend and I thought of you! While I’m not a spiced rum fan, I’m still curious to try it….

      The more I think about it, the more I realize that the exercising *really* helped me get out of the depression spiral I found myself in on Friday. I know you’ve been so sick lately with the flu, but when you’re doing better (forgive me for being a nag) I hope you can try to do a little. You do so much already with your ER job that I imagine it’s super-hard to fit in! But I thought I’d put it out there.

      Okay, end of nagging.

      Beginning of sending you a hug and major gratitude to you for your wonderful encouragement! Hope you feel 100% better today!

      xoxoxo Dyane

      1. Thanks Dyane! I feel much better today and I’ve actually been trying to fit in pilates in the evenings, I find it calms me down and my head is clearer. As for coffee, you know I am all about new blends and brands, I’ll have to check it out!
        Xoxo

  7. I ditto what mckarlie said about how all parents are subject to having meltdowns not just those of us with bipolar. The important thing is how we handle it afterwards. Apologies, amends made, asking for forgiveness, and the attempts to do better are all lessons we can offer our children by example in these situations that we would otherwise not be able to. We are teaching them how to be human, humbly make mistakes, and love ourselves in spite of our shortcomings. They need these lessons in order to learn how to deal with their own downfalls.

    Of course i dont mean to make it a cop out for us harming them in any way, that is for sure! But when it does happen, despite our greatest effort, self compassion is the best response in my opinion. Its so hard to do and I struggle so much with it since i am such a perfectionist. But i have been told by my spiritual advisor to work on it especially when i make mistakes. Only God is perfect, she says, and I’m not Him. Kind of puts things into perspective for me.

    1. Hello there WiL! It’s SO good to hear from you! Your beautifully written comment will stay with me. I’m going to do my best in terms of practicing self-compassion as you suggested. It helps to be proactive about what happened instead of doing the pity party/I’m burying my head under the sane thing, which is my tendency.

      Your spiritual advisor sounds very wise, and that’s wonderful you have someone like her in your life! I’m sure you know that already…. 😉

      I’m not a perfectionist – I will gladly leave that to God. I’m more of a minimalist, which I do NOT like. I have all sorts of other issues to work on – it’s a full-time job, but I’m going to start with the self-compassion. I’m so glad you brought that concept up. My therapist and my psychiatrist (who is the most “New Age” spiritual psychiatrist I’ve ever met with – I’ve seen way too many of them in my life!) would agree that’s the way to go.

      Again, thank you so much for writing! One of the things I love the most about blogging is reading from the “been there/done that and this is what I do now” voices of reason. I know that you don’t have all the answers, but having your perspective is a truly amazing treasure. I’m lucky.

      take care, and I’ll see you on Facebook and at your blog!
      Dyane

      p.s. I’m definitely going to check out the link you sent me via Twitter & I re-tweeted already as I know it’s good, I just know it – the topic is obviously right up my alley. It’s interesting to me that you published it in December of last year – December seems to be the fitting time to examine anger & bipolar

      http://writeintothelight.org/2013/12/03/anger-and-mental-illness/

  8. Wow! Where do I start lady? lol First of all, I totally endorsed you (and I shared you on my facebook) Congrats to you! You deserve it! 🙂 Second of all, your week feels exhausting to say the least but you duked it out! I mean honestly handling my depressed episodes with no children…that is work in itself but you pulled through with two little girls looking up to you. That makes you super woman in my books! lol It might have been an uglier fight than you wanted but you didn’t back down where at one point in your life you might have. The step you made in last weeks post was big…this step you just took even bigger! Go you! 😀

    1. Cavelle, THANK you for endorsing me and for sharing about WEGO. Yay! I so appreciate that!!!!!!

      It was an uglier fight than I wanted, but I’m coming out of it. I’m tempted to say I’m stronger for it, but I do’t want to jinx anything!!!! 🙂 I have to give my husband a lot of credit – we’ve been together 17 years (!!!) I’m still exhausted – a hot bath is in order and I’m using citrus essential oils since they help with depression. (I wish I had some fresh flowers, which I know you’d appreciate, but I don’t have any!! Maybe I’ll splurge on some this week! I love “smelly” flowers (good smelly) i.e. tuberose, freesia, gardenia, roses…you get the idea!

      Anyway, I’m no super-woman but if you think I am, I’ll still take it, ha ha ha! I need to get a cape now! Seriously, it means so much to me to read your words of acknowledgment in terms of taking these big steps. Thank you again! I’m so glad I found you & your blog – I lucked out big-time!

      take good care!!!
      Dyane

      p.s. I loved your last post about psychologists vs. psychiatrists. It was late at night when I read it, and I was sleepy & using my Kindle with its wimpy keypad, so I didn’t comment yet! LOL

      p.p.s. keep up your awesome writing!!!! (((hugs)))) Dy

      1. Likewise to that! 😀 No worries about commenting lol it can be draining on the brain, writing and reading and commenting but it can be fun and rewarding too. 🙂 Glad you’re feeling better. 🙂

        Cavelle,

        P.S I am getting you a cape for Christmas lol

  9. I find it one of the most mortifying things when my bipolar affects my girls. I too had a bit of a freak out late last week, mine happened friday night. We were having a girls night because my man was at his work Christmas party, I’d had a really really hard week and I was feeling a little abandoned by my man. I was sitting in the middle of the sofa and my girls were laying on either side of me with their feet and legs resting on me and they kept bickering about their feet touching. After a little while of this, and mounting tension due to no response from my man, i just lost it at them for the bickering and said that girls night was done. Then I went into my room and wept for about 15 minutes, after I stopped I went to put them to bed and then ended up crying in front of my 11 year old! I was just so horrified that they had been exposed to this emotional volatility from me but I sat them down and said that I was sorry for getting angry, that Mummy is just very tired and a bit sad about something and that everyone makes mistakes sometimes, even Mummy. They were completely fine, they gave me a cuddle and seemed completely fine but the guilt I have for behaving that way is immense, but then I remember that ALL parents have meltdown moments, regardless of bipolar. No parent is perfect, and just the fact that we care so much means we are doing our best. Every parent on earth can be unfair on their kids at times, it’s just a part of life. So if we continue to care and to monitor our behaviour and do our best, our kids will have the best chance 🙂

    1. You are an AWESOME, awesome mom – it’s not like your head started to rotate and you spat fire at your beautiful girls when you got upset!!!!! As you know, what you described here happens with moms who don’t have bipolar all the time.

      You were vulnerable in front of your girls. You weren’t malicious or violent. And best of all, they *were* totally fine after all was said and done. I’m happy they gave you a cuddle too, instead of the cold shoulder – the cuddle is a telling sign that they didn’t hold your emotional outburst against you!

      I’m sorry you had such a tough week & especially about your feeling a bit abandoned by your man! That would be enough to throw anyone off. I’m relieved that it all worked out and I hope-hope-hope you had a nice weekend, my sweet!

      You are SO right about all parents having meltdowns! Not just the ones with mental illnesses! I grew up on “The Brady Bunch” as my ideal family role model and boy, was that off base! 😉 Thanks for your empathy, humor and for being there! You rock! Please, keep in touch!!! See ya at your blog!! xoxoxoxo Dyane

      1. Aww thank you lovely, I do believe I’m a good Mum but I definitely have my moments. You know I respect your Mum skills and your emotional honesty, you care so much! Combined with that big heart of yours I just know that your kids have the best chance and that’s because of you girl! So next time you have a meltdown just remember that it happens to the best of us, so long as you explain things to them as honestly as you can they will be brilliant, kids are incredibly resilient and it’s better to have a parent who cares and cracks up a bit now and again than a parent who doesn’t care at all or worse.

        Keep up the good work darlin, you always put a smile on my face and that’s no easy feat! Haha (and yes, mrs brady was a bad lady! keep the birds low my sweet! 🙂

  10. I think it’s really healthy to be able to be so open about yourself. There are so many useful comments from people who understand you.
    On your picture, I was having one of those sleepless nights last night and my cat decided to lie on my side and purr right into my ear. A loudly purring whiskery wet nose in my ear made me giggle like a kid being tickled. Animals have great sensitivity towards their ‘keepers’ I’m sure!
    Back to you, I think understanding yourself and what’s going on is such a big step forwards.

    1. Thank you so much, dodgysurfer! (great name, btw – I live in surf town!) I lucked out with all these amazing comments. This is the best response I’ve ever gotten from my wonderful followers/friends – what a sweet story about your cat – it made me laugh! Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. Stay safe on those waves and beware of the surf hoggers!!! 🙂

      1. The responses are indeed amazing, however they are so because they match the sincerity of your own words, which engage, resonate with and touch your readers.

  11. You know my current sleep dose of Seroquel is 25mg. It knocks me out. I wouldn’t reommend taking that during the day even if your normal dose is larger. It’s a strong sleep drug as you know. Maybe they could give you something else less potent for day time?

    1. Hey Cristi! I took that “Snoozoquel” (as my friend Wendy K. Williamson calls it ) knowing I’d be down for the count. I could ask Dr. D. for something else, but it couldn’t be a benzo. Or….I could reduce the Seroquel dosage to approx. 10mg with my pill cutter but I hate being inaccurate as you can imagine. I’ll have to give it some thought, and I’m SOOO glad you brought this up! Thanks – I’m super-glad you stopped by!

  12. My heart goes out to you in your struggle. I’ve found it to be so frustrating to feel dopey yet not rested. I’m glad, though, you’ve had some “grace moments” on the heels of a difficult day.

    1. It’s great to see you, Tony, and thank you – you truly understand where I’m coming from, especially about that dopey-but-not-rested condition. YUCK! I loathe that! I love the phrase “grace moments” though, and I’m incredibly relieved/grateful to have experienced them. I’m wishing you well and thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to say hello! Blessings to you and yours!!!

  13. The more posts I read, the more it becomes clear to me how deserving you are of the praise and accolades you have received and for which you have been nominated. You truly inspire.

    1. Joe, I can’t tell you how much your comment made my day. It really did. After reading it my heart expanded! (figuratively, ha ha ha!)

      YOU and your brother inspire me too! We’re the Mutual Inspiration Society!

      Also, I know you and I share a passion for fitness and each day since this setback happened I’ve worked out. It really hit me that apart from taking meds religiously, my regular workouts prevented me from zooming into a major depression. Blasting music I love has helped too, which I know you can appreciate! :)))) Thanks again for your incredible comment. You make me want to stay on the path of inspiration….and perspiration!!! 😉

  14. I too LOVE the picture you included with this post – and think the simple fact that you had the courage to write about it (not deny it, try to be a ‘superstar bipolar person that none of us are!’) is a huge testament to all the work you have done and how well you are doing. So glad you felt the depression lift – it is one of the most cruel aspects of this illness that we do NOT have control over these things, especially BP1 folks like I am – and how difficult the different phases can be to treat without causing us to get worse or to flip (become manic after being depressed, vice versa). Huge kudos to you & hugs to a continued awesome life/recovery 🙂

    1. Molly, I LOVE LOVE LOVE how you brought up the concept of wanting to be a “superstar bipolar person” – vs. writing about the not-so-glamorous side – you hit the nail on the head for me!

      Being active in “bipolarworld” (a.k.a. the online bipolar advocacy community) there are some bipolar rock stars who I inevitably compare myself to and find myself wanting. I wind up feeling like total crap. Enough of that!!!! I don’t want to be a super star! I want to be a mom who can control her rages as best as she can. It sounds so simple, but it’s not.

      In any case, dear Molly, I’m glad you enjoyed the picture and thank you for stopping by the blog and for such an insightful comment.

      (((BIG hugs)))) to you!!!
      Dy

      p.s. Feel free in any future comments to link to your book & website – I didn’t see the book up yet on Amazon…(When it’s up I’ll write that review….I’m supposed to write three other friends/authors their book reviews, & I’m lagging; I may be late, but I’ll get it done!)

      1. I know – I dealt with that a ton… comparing myself to others with the diagnosis, why am I not doing that well (advanced degree, etc. etc.) but it’s all perception and we can never know what it is like to walk in another’s shoes… we are all different! We share a basic diagnosis and can help each other deal with illness issues but we are still all unique, valuable humans with individual paths to follow I think… getting a little off here, I was born in 1964, that must be it LOL.

        Will be up soon – needed to add more! And new cover… 🙂 I am soooo behind on stuff too, have had a ton of fatigue lately, money issues causing a lot of stress but all is fine. And all will be fine… my daily mantra – need to repeat often! xo

  15. Giving yourself a time out is a wise thing to do, and everyone should practice this. Stumbling isn’t anything to be ashamed of, and neither is taking a med PRN when your doctor said that’s something you could do. I have to admit, though, I’m reluctant to take a med when I need an extra something as well. Why is that, I wonder. Don’t worry about your stumbles. The main thing is that you recognize what you’re doing, you’re conscious of it, and therefore you can work on it.

    1. Thank you Lisa!!!!! You have some super-wise words to share, here. I think it’s really healthy to be hesitant about taking a PRN – maybe it’s our brains warning us against addiction! (I write this as a former benzodiazepine addict.) There are also holistic things one can do/take when flipping out. Ooooh – that could be a good blog post! I’m too tired to write though, LOL! Maybe I could get my friend Megan Barnes to write a guest post about it. She’s an anxiety expert/anxiety coach and essential oils for mental health pro. What do you think? 😉

      Here’s her website: http://www.anxietyangel.com
      Facebook private group that I belong to for Essential Oils and Mental Health
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/747292522020551/

      Take care & ***thanks*** for taking time to comment! Keep up the great work with your rockin’ blog!
      Dyane 🙂

  16. I’m so glad that you posted this, I’m not happy that you’ve had a setback, but I’m happy that you’re noticing how to take care of yourself and your family. That’s a HUGE step.

    I was thinking how amazing it is that you instinctively KNEW what was going on, even if you didn’t anticipate the setback. I know for months that I’m declining. Since I have bipolar 2, I don’t usually rapid cycle or experience much mania and depression cycles. I’m on the depressive end of the spectrum. So it takes MONTH’s of gradually falling for me. But for you it seems like you KNEW instantly what was going on. That is HUGE. Take a moment to realize the progress here. Could you have done that the first time you experienced those feelings? Could you have done that a year a go? I think this was a really good idea to post. Writing it down will help you see your patterns, which I’m sure you know already, but notice this one. Notice the things that were the same and the things that were different. Learn from them and go from there.

    It’s always nice to hear the positives and triumphs of living with a mental illness, but the reality is as of right now there is now cure. One day I have hope that we can find a way, but until then it’s our job to learn from our setbacks. Easier said than done, right?

    I’m learning a lot from reading this and from commenting. I feel like if not for you this helped me in a big way to try and recognize what I can notice the next time depression comes a knocking.

    Thanks Dyane for opening up and being vulnerable.

    1. Wow – I’m just soaking up your amazing comment, mamawithtrainingwheels, and it’s a major treat to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to write something so valuable .

      I’m doing as you advise, i.e. taking a moment to notice the progress despite my setback….there’s no way I could have reacted the same way a year ago! If I can truly learn from this time, then it’s not so much a setback as it’s a “setforward”!!! 😉 (Sorry to be so cheesy – I couldn’t resist!)

      On a sidenote, I was talking to my close friend/blogger extraordinaire Kitt O’Malley today. I told her that a significant thing I felt was instrumental in helping me recover emotionally since Friday’s depressive slump was the steady use of my elliptical trainer. A year ago, I wasn’t exercising regularly. I’m not saying that working out is a panacea to a setback like the one I had, but I doubt I would have functioned as well if not for the meds and my workouts. (I know you go to your exercise class, so I thought this might be of interest!)

      Anyway, thank *you* for your awesome insights! I’ll look forward to reading your next blog post as always! 😉
      xo
      Dyane

      1. I’m so glad that this was taken the right way. I realized later it might have been preachy, but I thought it was so interesting to see how you handled it. And since you wrote about it so soon after, what a great way to see your progress concretely.

        I had to look up what panacea means, but from the sentence I got the gist of it.

        That is an interesting observation about exercise and correlation to a speedy recovery. I would say it is ONE of the many things that you’ve been doing to help improve your life and take care of your bipolar( you mentioned you use DoTerra, so do I, we’ll have to talk about that later). But it’s a HUGE one. I personally have seen the benefits of staying active in the past year of my life with my bipolar. I used to be a sports addict growing up so physical activity was like second nature and for some reason I stopped after my last major suicidal episode. And it’s taken me years to get the motivation back. I lost a lot of functionality physically in those years. Like for instance it was hard to bend my knees sitting on the floor. I couldn’t do it for more than 5 min. So after going from sports guru to basically an inactive homebody, I see the benefits of physical activity for ANYONE, and much more for “bipolarians.” I read a book a few years ago called, “The DaVinci Method” by David Laporto. He was diagnosed with bipolar and he basically breaks down, sleep patterns (beta waves, delta waves, you name it), healthy eating, exercise and much more as to how he feels he’s recovered from bipolar. It’s an interesting read. Most helpful for me was that he found that people with bipolar need intense work outs early in the morning to help “regulate” them throughout the day. I’m not sure if it’s true, but every time I work out in the morning I feel much better throughout the day. Days when I don’t get a morning workout I’m foggy. Not always, but almost always. I find your correlation very interesting on the power of physical activity and the brain. There’s so much we can benefit from activity, whether we have bipolar or not.

        Here’s a plug for chiropractic. I get chiropractic care for free from the interns at Palmer since my husband is a student. I’m now seeing an intern who is specializing in functional neurology. It’s basically a chiropractic way into the field of neurology. They usually work with professional athletes especially football players because of all head trauma. I decided to go to him because I sweat a lot and I heard functional neurology can help “reset my brain” and fix it. Being in Florida heat, I need all the help I can get! 😉 So I basically do exercises that are similar to physical therapy along with arm movements and eye tracking movements. It’s basic things, but it’s supposed to help re-wire and stimulate brain function. I’ve been a naughty patient and don’t do my homework as much as I ought to. But I’m really interested to see what it can do for my “sweat” issue. Maybe they have something for mental illness that is still yet to be discovered. If you know of an functional neurologist specialist I would say it’s worth looking into. I mean the meds are great for stability and work miracles, but they do do other things to our body that’s not great. So I try to keep an open mind as to other ways to recover and heal. The reason why I was sharing this was because it’s a physical activity that is helping brain function.

        I personally believe that physical activity is huge in recovery for people with mental illness. I’ve seen it, I feel it, I’m livin’ it! (I’m a little hyper today too, hence all the writing).

        I’m happy for you Dyane! Much love!

    2. I wanted to let you know that I did read your second post! :)))) Finally! Please forgive for me taking so long to reply – thank you so much for writing it. The book you mentioned sounds interesting!!!!!!! I wanted to share a brief blog post with you that totally convinced me about how to approach exercise for mood/brain health – it will just take you a few minutes and this psychiatrist is truly brilliant & cutting-edge. Aside from reading his blog site I listened to his webinar with the ISBD (International Society of Bipolar Disorders) about exercise & mood. Here’s a link to the article! :))))) Take care, beautiful mamawithtraining wheels

      http://kuwaitmood.com/exercise-mood-part-iii-from-science-to-action/

      1. Awesome! No worries about response time, I recently deleted ALL my social networking apps(except for Instagram) off my phone. That way I can be more present. I only check my updates now when I have my laptop handy. So it’s no worries.

        OOOH! I’m excited to check this link out! Thanks Dyane!

    1. Thank you!!!! 🙂 It was definitely a step in the right direction to remove myself from others at the “point of no return”. Hope this finds you well – it’s good to see you here!

  17. ‘Tis the season. Everything you’ve written sounds SO familiar. I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. As I sit in my own cesspool of sadness, trying to function in a season where I’m supposed to be joyful, your post was remarkably comforting. I can’t tell you how many days I’ve lost it before taking the kids to school, held it together long enough to actually get them there only to return home and crawl in my bed for the day. Hopefully the sleep helped.

    I also get the concern with becoming addicted. I’m dealing with my own fears and forcing myself to take the meds that help me. Lots of love to you! I just have to keep reminding myself that I won’t always feel exactly as I do right this minute.

    Oh!!! And I use the Serenity Doterra oil, too, AND my family hates the smell. However, they like the way the Balance smells. I mixed the two with fractionated coconut oil in a roller ball applicator. My friend calls it Serenity NOW!!!!! My family can tolerate the mix. In fact I’m about to make some reed diffusers using the two. I’ll let you know how they work.

    1. Thank you so much – I should be glad I didn’t have more people in the house when this went down, right? (Forgive me – I read every word of your last post with RIVETED interest, and I meant to comment about the, ahem, playroom gun incident!!!! I could NOT believe that! I got distracted and didn’t get to write my thoughts on the matter….but oh, I will!)

      What did it for me in terms of deciding to quit Xanax was being in a non-injury car accident that was technically my fault. No one contested me, however; the other car that hit me was speeding and the driver admitted it, but I knew I could have avoided the whole thing had i not taken that pill. I swear an angel looked out for me that day. Some people can take benzos safely – I’m just not that kind of person. They were incredibly helpful to a point, so I shouldn’t make generalizations, oops.

      That’s too funny that your family also hates the Serenity smell! I have Balance too, which was the very first doTERRA blend I smelled and I liked it immediately, but I don’t think they’d like it. I haven’t checked to see yet, but I will. I like the idea to mix the two Serenity and Balance together – that’s awesome. And the fact that your family can tolerate the blend is very cool. You’re lucky! Yes, please let me know how the reed diffusers work.

      I also splurged on Elevation – I just love all the citrus oils, and while Elevation is REALLY intense, I like it! My family….not so much. The other oil I got for anxiety is cilantro and it is STINKY! I bought it specifically for anxiety after reading “The Essential Oil Experiment’s” short blog post – check the link out below. She also discusses using oils for bipolar for her son; I’m up for using oils as long as I take meds & there’s no contraindication between the two…..in the meantime, please take extra-good care of yourself during this hectic month. Thanks for taking time to write as I adore your comments, & I hope-hope-hope it gets MUCH better for you after all you’ve been through with the kinfolk from hell (excluding the mom! 😉 XO Dy

      http://oilexperiment.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/cilantro-essential-oil-anxiety/

      1. Thank you for all the oil info. Yesterday was crazy busy so I didn’t get a chance to respond. I’ll definitely check out the link. One more thing on the Serenity — my first experience with it was the blend I was telling you about that my friend made and gave to me. It was in a rollerball applicator and was a mix of Serenity, Balance and fractionated coconut oil, which I’m assuming meant that the scent was more diluted. THAT never bothered my family, though Gil constantly says I smell like a hippy with all of my oil blends. Whatever… BUT, when I ordered the Serenity and the Balance, both kids flipped out when I tried to use it on them. They never did that with the blend. Sorry, I’m thinking as I’m typing. I wonder if diluting the Serenity more might be the ticket. I haven’t tried the Elevation. I need to put an order in today. I haven’t tried the Cilantro yet, but lots of people can’t handle the smell/taste of that. I think I heard there’s a gene or something that determines whether you’ll love it or hate it. I love the taste of cilantro, but I don’t know that I want to smell like it. LOL!! Hope you’re feeling better. And no worries on commenting. I know this is a hectic time for everyone. And I agree 100% with what you said about the benzos. I did go in and get my other meds adjusted. I still just feel groggy at the moment, but my mood seems slightly better. And you are SO kind to always point out that the mom of the crazy relatives is nice. I’ll tell you this here. These relatives are Gil’s sister, BIL and kids. I’m already paranoid that someone will read my blog and discover that I’m busting on family members. I can’t think which writer said it, so I’ll paraphrase, but if they didn’t want to be written about, they should have behaved better. I change the names on my blog and a few details, but that’s about it. Much love to you. Deep breaths…

    2. Your last reply was *awesome* – don’t worry, your secret is totally safe here! I have to tell you that for some BIZARRE reason I stopped liking my Elevation oil’s smell which sucks as I mentioned to you that $$$ – my distributor, who I adore, told me that my sudden dislike for a smell can be hormonal. (!!!!) So she’s giving me a sample of Citrus Bliss instead! Can you get a sample of Elevation? Let me know if you do!!!!!

      I loved everything else you wrote and it all made perfect sense to me! Sending love (and deep breaths) back to you – it’s so nice to know you’re “out there”!

      xoxoxo
      Dyane

      p.s. If you lived closer to me, when those other folks come a knockin’, I’d come stay with you too…..as your “distant relative” with my big ‘ol white TURBAN, my flowing cloak, shi*loads of patchouli essential oil mixed with CILANTRO all over my body, and finger cymbals, and I’d sing something like this all day and all night long to drive them away for good:

      p. p.s. note to my devoted Hare Krishna readers, no offense! I love you all!

  18. You’re absolutely right, Vic, that recovery is a lifelong journey. Thank you for the (very) welcome reminder. The word “recovery” has a lot of different meanings/degrees for everyone – I was tempted to use another word or just swipe out the concept altogether. I was caught up with thinking that I was once again entering full-blown depression, and if that was the case, I wouldn’t be anywhere near the “golden” recovery state I valued so much…sorry if this ramble isn’t making much sense. I wonder if we’re in Mercury Retrograde or something? 😉

    Anyway, thanks a million for reading this & for your kindness. By the way, I’m thinking of you & your amazing-sounding Grandfather – I know it’s such a difficult time in the wake of his passing. There are ((((extra hugs)))) heading your way right now!
    Dy

  19. I liked reading about your set back. I think that you are in recovery mode! Set backs are part of recovering. Sometimes we think recovery is sunsets and rainbows, but that’s not true, and your post proves it. A recovery is a process too, and it’s not how many set backs we have, it’s how we learn to deal with them, meaning that recovery will never end. I think that you dealt with your set back as well as you could in that moment. It’s hard to use these planned tools that the therapists give when many incidents themselves aren’t planned and can put one into shock. 🙂

    I love the doggy pic ! You can see the love in your pups face.
    Also don’t worry about your girls, they will love you no matter what. I have the opposite because I’m the bipolar kid dealing with my parents reactions, and I have a set back about 1000x a day haha! It’s a surprise when they just hug me, or don’t pay much mind to my massive rages. It’s part of my family’s lives now too, and they learn to deal with it just like I have to! Trust me, I say sorry a lot and they always (mostly) forgive. 🙂

    Thank you very much for sharing this, and best of luck with your set back (and recovery)!

    1. YAY Kennedy! Thank you so much for writing a super-awesome comment. You and Vic have certainly cheered up my morning. Comments like yours keep me wanting to post, even if I’m hesitant to publish something like I did today, I do it anyway so that I hear from other bloggers, a.k.a. writers who TRULY get it!!!!

      One thing I love about my therapist is that she never acts “holier than thou”. She has briefly mentioned to me during our 4 years working together when she has had her own setback (if it related to our discussion) and that, along with her overall caring attitude, has really helped me.

      You know, I learn more from the “messier”/setbacky posts about people’s trials and tribulations than I learn from the shiny, squeaky ones! I love that you wrote: “sometimes we think recovery is sunsets and rainbows”, which reminds me over the weekend I read somewhere about “unicorns shitting rainbows” which I thought was hilarious, but I digress.

      I wish-wish-wish I could go into detail about what happened, because it REALLY explains why I suddenly started sinking into depression, but I know you guys can trust me that it was That Bad, and empathize with this post all the same.

      That pic of Lucy is sooooo old, sniff sniff….. ;((((((( She’s now almost nine-months-old and she’s 45 pounds. But that pic captures the essence of how we were cuddling together last Friday. My sweet beast!

      Everyone always says how resilient kids are, and while it’s a cliche, I really do think that for the most part it’s true. Of course not always. I’m glad that your parents (almost) always forgive you!!!! I’m glad they are dealing with your 1000’s of setbacks 😉 and massive rages!!

      I’m going to think of some new words for “setback” and “recovery”. Those words are so boring. Maybe you can help me brainstorm! Setback can be….hmmmmm, not sure yet, but maybe recovery can be “unicorn poo”! :)))))

      thanks VERY much for writing!
      It’s truly wonderful hearing from you!
      Dy

      1. Heehee, glad I could help! My counsellor has been awesome, I’ve had her for about four or five years now (since before the bipolar came out). You’re lucky to have found a good therapist for you. They can be surprisingly hard to come by.

        Yes, reading about a setback helps me understand and relate to how other people might deal with one. It’s refreshing to read that someone who is stable and in “unicorn poo” still has struggles. Haha I wish that people used unicorn poo for recovery!

        Aww that’s the sad part about pets. They grow up right before your eyes. Your Lucy is so cute though!

        Also you don’t need to explain what brought you down ! We understand what it’s like to have something really bad happen. It doesn’t matter what it was. 🙂

        Haha thanks, my poor parents try their hardest that’s for sure. I’m going to let them do a guest post about what it’s like having a bipolar (and whatever else I am) teen.

        Ugh when I kept typing recovery it totally lost it’s meaning. Like when you say fork a bunch of times in a row. Unicorn poo definitely works better for me haha.I don’t know what set back can be replaced with but there HAS to be another word for it.

        Thanks for sharing your writing! It’s always a pleasure to read. 🙂

  20. I noticed you said “I thought I was in recovery mode.” Aren’t we all in that mode? Isn’t it a lifelong journey? Don’t be so hard on yourself, you are self aware and do what you can to live a wonderful and positive life. Take comfort in that, be proud of your accomplishments.

    Take care!

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