when the stigma works for you

The marines want me to play trombone for them, which is quite flattering.

But I don’t want to do Paris Island boot camp and training and not really having a home anymore and leaving my lover and my three babies Buddy, Bushka, and Bear.

So I work the stigma to stop the recruitment officer.

“I’m bipolar, and the USMC is poisoned by stigma.”

done and done, one line zinger that instantly makes me undesirable!

I’m so sassy and bipolar and really quite stable these days.

But if you feel the stigma and you don’t want to be in that organization, FLAUNT YOUR ILLNESS.

bend and snap, ladies.





it’s 1am and I don’t feel so bipolar anymore

My meds are stable. There are a lot of them.

morning: 75mg effexor, 20mg latuda, 25mg topamax, 100mg doxycycline

night: 37.5mg effexor, 40mg latuda, 25mg topamax, 50mg trazodone, melatonin, probiotic

I feel level. I can get out of bed in the morning. I can go to sleep before 4am. I can eat (most of the time). I can get things done without being hypomanic. I can leave my house. I can choose to stay in my house without being depressed, not because I am depressed. I get sad at sad things and happy at happy things. I feel the full spectrum of emotions. I get excited. I get horny. I get mad. I get exhilarated.

My doctor asks me to identify triggers for mania/hypomania. I feel scared to go back there. I don’t want to identify triggers. So I ramble in my therapy sessions. I try to think of triggers but my brain halts and reads the red sign: “do you really want to do this again?” So I keep sailing on my calm seas.

I suppose this is called being in remission. I am very afraid of whenever remission will collide into an episode. This is why doctor says “Think of triggers.” So that when it happens, I am less devastated. Less overwhelmed.

But I don’t want this not-quite-bliss to end. I feel normal. Other than the handfuls of pills at 22 years old, I feel normal. “Normal.”

I’m not so delirious to think that I don’t need my meds, my green juice, my sobriety, and my yoga. They all are key to my health and sanity. And my rock, my significant other, who is there for me whether I am curled into the smallest, saddest ball I can be or the craziest, most manic girlfriend you can imagine. And of course my fuzzy pets. And my family. And my library.

But I will try to identify at least a few triggers.

This is hard.

lack of sleep
lack of food
overflow of creative ideas/inspiration
significant blows to my self-esteem

small mania cures that I am capable of–
yoga/breathing exercises
paint nails
take bath
walk Buddy

too much sleep
letting the house get messy
never leaving the house
alcohol/tobacco cravings
dwelling on past horrors that have happened to me

small depression cures I am capable of–
tidy up the house a bit (manageable tasks)
leave the house (something small like going for a walk or going to bookstore)
doing my makeup
taking a shower (this is very hard when I get depressed)
remind myself how awesome I am for not drinking and not smoking
talk to my lover or another friend
yoga that is energizing

What are some of your triggers? I feel I have only skimmed the surface of mine, but it’s a start. For now, I will be thankful for the level feeling I have been maintaining for the past week.

Here are a few photos from the past few days, totally unrelated.