I’ve known I have had anxiety and depression since my son was born six years ago. I specifically remember his dad and I having a conversation where I literally drew out all my thoughts on a piece of paper to try to get him to understand. Literally like a system or chain of events that I wanted to do but couldn’t do and how I would overthink. Every possible problem, every possible solution to each problem and then an outcome with each of those. My brain was like a never ending spider web of worries.
However, this year has been the toughest of my whole life. Starting when I was raped in March of 2019 (and yes that caused some PTSD – diagnosed). I was forced to quit a job that helped me pay all my bills as a single mom with two kids. I bounced to a lesser form of essentially the same thing and was fine emotionally regarding the PTSD until I tried to continue my first job as a dancer, because financially, waitressing at a club just wasn’t cutting it. It was trigger after trigger and just shut myself off and shamed a lot of the men that came in the club. So in the beginning of 2020 I got a regular job as a regular waitress at a regular restaurant.
My Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
- Extreme irritability especially with my kids. I didn’t want to do anything that had to with being a responsible mother. When they told me they were hungry or thirsty and begged me to do anything for them, I shut off and yelled at them because I didn’t want to move. Even them just talking to me or showing me something cool would annoy me. This was followed by guilt because I knew they were just kids and wanted attention. They were literally doing nothing wrong.
- Not wanting to sleep and then not wanting to wake up in the morning. I would set multiple alarms even some when I would have to answer math questions. Some that would be like a sonic boom in my ear and I would just shut it off and then go back to sleep. Even if I slept 10 hours I still wouldn’t have energy. BUT I could also be like the energizer bunny on four hours of sleep.
- Weight loss. The new job this year caused me a lot of anxiety just from the training. The new job plus my everyday anxiety (and depression) caused me to lose weight because I was thinking of 100 other things at all times plus not having any energy.
- I was literally afraid to be alone because I was afraid of what I would do if I was and if I was alone I’d reopen doors to toxic people just out of fear. I literally thought of driving my car into the side of the road every time I drove alone. Suicidal ideation is terrifying even if I never attempted because I never knew when I would “snap” and actually try. I did think I was a burden on my family especially financially but for the most part I just wanted to escape my own head and everything I was thinking.
- Not wanting to talk to people. I hated texting or any form of communication because it would mentally exhaust me. And I would often send text that were “Hey, I am in a really bad mood and just irritated for no reason and don’t want to to talk. I’ll talk to you when I feel better.” But then never feeling better and never reaching out afterwards.
- Bipolar 2 doesn’t have the same mania as Bipolar 1. Its hypomania which is a lesser form and I’m in a active depressive episode so my hypomania could last about a week and then even coincide with my depression. So it would essentially look like me having a great idea and getting very excited about it. Making plans and moves toward an unattainable goal. Working out more often and cleaning my whole apartment in a day. Dancing for hours on my pole. Spending money recklessly and apparently to me… downloading tinder (wanting to be more social and making plans that I wouldn’t keep later – + empty promises to my kids).
- Paranoia – back to being on tinder and wanting to date but then assuming everyone was either going to rape or murder me. I even had a crazy theory – still fading – that theres was nothing special about me besides how I was going to die and that my fate was to be brutally murdered. I was especially snappy and easily agitated at the grocery store because I wanted the kids to stay in the cart and be quiet because I was scared someone would kidnap them. Literally shaking out of fear.
What I Have Noticed Change Since Starting on Medication
I was going to have a day to day changes and such but I couldn’t stick with it because I was still pretty depressed two weeks later.
But first things first is that the first day I was extremely exhausted because no one told me that these make you extremely tired. Over all the first week or so I was even more anxious and depressed despite feeling very “empty.” inside. I was having more suicidal thoughts and paranoid about how the medication could affect me. I had just gotten out of the hospital and they definitely should have not released me after one day because I was definitely a threat to myself on the antidepressants. I didn’t get my mood stabilizers until later when I got my bipolar diagnosis.
Some changes I have noticed since is that I’m actually able to wake up in the morning to take my son to school on time. I don’t yell at my kids for just being kids and actually enjoying their company versus doing it out of guilt. Overall more energy to be a mom and do what I have to do on a daily basis – more structured. When I get upset over something is just a passing thought versus consuming me for weeks at a time. I’m either very happy or feeling empty and just kind of moving and doing what I need to do (which is very strange to me).
I think for right now is just finish off my obligations that I have right now. Start going to counseling so that I may be able to be off medications in the future and deal with the PTSD. Get a new job that can may be a little more mindless and not cause as much stress as being a waitress. Hopefully I can post more often here.
Get through this year fixing myself and then restart with fresh Goals in 2021.
Pray for me – LIZ
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