Living with Bipolar 1 & Anorexia

Remember a blog or two back when I talked about getting some Ambien from the doctor for sleep? I found out that if you have bipolar 1 there’s a high probability the that Ambien will cause psychosis among other things. What happened to me was I got 4 1/2 hours of sleep and woke up feeling super refreshed. This happened several nights in a row until it finally dawned on me that I’m not refreshed I’m freaking manic!!!! By the way, there’s probably a direct correlation between levels of mania and number of explanation points. ūüėõ
I was also given other medication for other things and after seeing my psychiatrist Wednesday morning I discovered that all of them cause mania so needless to say I’ve been manic. Now, many people hear stories about how great it is to be manic or rather hypomanic but I have bipolar 1 with mixed episodes which means that the type of mood swings I have are either dysphoric mania or agitated depression. Basically, it’s the worst of everything. During this latest episode I ended up spending money I certainly did not have and did lots of things I definitely would never do and basically messed up my life as usual happens when I’m manic. I stopped all the medication but of course that cause other issues which then triggers my depression. The thing is I should’ve known that I was going to get depressed, I mean really depressed, because of the length of time the mania was. ¬†However high I get I get equally low. There is always a price to pay.

This morning I woke up without much thought of all this and went to the farm where I volunteer to do weeding. I barely managed an hour because I felt myself plummeting into depression and knew that I needed to get home and take additional medication or it was going to be a long stretch. I managed to excuse myself without crying because, annoyingly, when I get depressed all I ever want to do is cry but then again I also have lots of energy because it’s aggravated depression. See, when I’m experiencing a mixed episode with the mania, pretty much all I want to do is rip everybody’s head off. It’s from what is called bipolar rage. I’m not a ragefull person at all actually but I do get that boiling bipolar rage and it’s awful. I have to often remind myself that it’s not me per se, it’s my broken brain.

So anyway, I made it home and I took some additional medication but it didn’t seem to do anything. I knew I had to just stay indoors and avoid everybody because when I’m depressed I appear to have a complete personality change and don’t want to deal with peoples questions or concerns. And it gets too tiring to constantly put on a happy face for people.¬†I ended up having to take another additional medication because I kept sinking; this is unusual because normally¬†one additional pill does the trick but then, once again, I forgot how long the mania had lasted and to what extent it had affected my life.

I decided to¬†just stay on the couch, crochet, and watch YouTube videos about anorexia. I know, really, really stupid. I do know better but when I’m depressed I just don’t care. Plus, because it’s agitated depression I have to do or watch stuff that activates my brain to a greater extent in order¬†to work out all the agitated energy in me. I did try to go for a walk to help. But despite it being a sunny day it did nothing for my mood. Well, at this point in the evening I do feel better so I think tomorrow will be a first day, thank goodness!

So how does anorexia play into all this? Well, the thing is, when I’m manic not eating seems perfectly plausible, not in an anorexic way but just, oh, I don’t know. I¬†don’t have any appetite which, by the way, I don’t anyway but that’s beside the point. I’m very active and tend to exercise more than I should; it aggravates the symptoms of anorexia because my mind is working extra fast to think of ways to burn calories which of course affects my recovery and the relationship¬†to my nutritionist. She probably is baffled how on some days I seem to be just all over the place with my symptoms and other days I’m not. I mean she knows I have bipolar and she’s not stupid, she is in fact one of the best in her field but I’m not sure how much she knows specifically about mixed episode type bipolars. Well, it’s irrelevant now because I’ve had to cut my appointments to half an hour and that’s not much time to talk about anything other than my meal plans so whatever. When I’m depressed like today I find it very difficult to care one way or the other on following my meal plan. Actually I don’t follow a specific meal plan because I have such limited foods that my body can handle due to G.I. issues. She gives me the amount of calories I should be eating so I just figure it out as I go along. I have to admit that when I’m depressed I do tend to have less behavior but then that plays against me too because I feel guilty not doing everything that my eating disorder is telling me to do.

I just get so freaking exhausted of having to juggle so many things. Besides all this I still have to deal with all my pain and depression creates more pain obviously but honestly if my pain is high enough it’s actually a relief because it requires all of my attention meaning none of my attention goes toward eating disorder stuff.

On top of all this, my fingers are all cracking which is annoying. I have them all wrapped up in Band-Aids and I am currently dictating this entire post. So if there are inconsistencies with punctuation that is why. Although, I have to admit that dictating on the iPhone has vastly improved over the years. When my fingers are so dry like this it’s the only way I can text.

During my last session my therapist talked about helping me develop habitual behavior to cut down on the manic impulsivity. I really hope it works because when I come out of being manic it’s like torture having to fix everything I screwed up. Unfortunately I forgot what she told me to do so will have to review it on Monday. The thing is after my therapy appointment I had my urology appointment where I talked with the surgeon. She’s agreed to do the surgery to move the InterStim device higher up closer to my hip so that when I wear a belt taken hold it in place. Needless to say that conversation trumped everything and I didn’t even remember my therapy session discussion until today.

This is the first time I’m posting from my phone so I am a wee bit nervous on how it’s going to upload. Well, the upload process is easy but I mean how it’s going to turn out on the page. I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to punctuation and what not. You’d never know since I majored in science when I was in college not English. However, I grew up with the technical editor for a mother who constantly criticized my punctuation and corrected every incorrect statement that came out of my mouth. She wasn’t the only one, my older brothers did that too. No wonder I grew up feeling super stupid. It wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that I finally realized that maybe I’m not stupid. It’s very intimidating to live in a family of geniuses especially not being a genius myself. The one thing I took away from that, was that you couldn’t pay me any money in the world to be a genius. My family are also extraordinarily talented people and yet, I have no talent at all. So yeah, I ended up being the black sheep of the family just because I simply didn’t fit in. After many years I eventually realized that it’s fine to not be talented because everything I have, everything I am, and everything I’ve done, I did. In my opinion if a person relies on talent they have no way to develop self-esteem or confidence in their ability because they’re naturally talented. But people like me, the average person, we have to work at everything and because of that we can take pride in everything we do.

Here’s a fun fact. My mom had bipolar disorder and she had genius level intelligence. That translated into her thinking that she could just think her way out of bipolar. The only way to live with bipolar is with medications, not with intelligence or thinking your way through it or exercising enough or anything‚Ķ Just medication and structured living. She also had cancer and did you do any chemo or any treatment for that matter. She told me that the universe was teaching her how to have compassion for people who got sick and that one she learned a lesson she would get better and go on with her life. Seriously mom?! Um yeah, she died. What a waste.

That’s what genius level intelligence will do for you. You might be brilliant in one area but it takes away, or seems to take away, all common sense. I would rather have common sense than genius any day.

Wow, I certainly got off topic, haha ha. Clearly it’s time to get to bed so I guess I’ll post this and hope the best.

4 thoughts on “Living with Bipolar 1 & Anorexia

  1. Actually I don’t think you got off topic at all. It’s what my T calls “working it through in the end”. She says that’s usually what I do when I write. I think you just did the same. Started out all in your head and super informative about ambien and bipolar. I think that might be what happened for my hubby years ago. I don’t know. Super interesting. You did a great job explaining how bipolar fuels anorexia. It just all makes such sense to me. I have watched all those YouTube videos…more than once. I watch them a lot. Not sure what that says about me or us, guessing it validates that yup, we have an eating disorder. Go figure.
    But in the end you went deeper. And it’s about your mom. That’s just so sad. Not getting chemo and feeling compassion for others with cancer but not her family. Not for you who got to watch her mom basically kill herself. You also lived with a bipolar mom. Interesting. So did I. My mom didn’t go to the doctor for over 30 years. The doctors told me they think she had uterine cancer. Undiagnosed because my mom refused to be examined. Crazy stuff. ūüíú

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    1. Oh my god, are we sisters? My therapist actually suggested I get back into writing. I love writing so much. I had a blog here a long time ago but someone from an ED support group I went to way back then hacked in to it and read everything behind my back. It was very tough to get back online but I do love writing and am happy to be back.

      That support group was very toxic so I should have never mentioned I had a blog. Fortunately I left after that. Thank you so much for your support too. I wonder if watching the YouTube videos are a little like a way to say, “okay, I’m not the only one who thinks and acts like this so maybe I’m not completely crazy or different.” For me they are sort of comforting in a weird way, if that can even make sense.

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      1. Yes, comforting! makes perfect sense but in an unexplainable way. Sometimes I watch and smile to myself that those young girls don’t have a clue. Or the doctors are overreacting. Why are they hospitalized when they’re not really that sick. At least they haven’t been sick long enough. Others are just SO unwell and I was never that unwell and therefore not sick enough. It’s complicated. But I get it.

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  2. You seem like you are pretty hard on yourself. You really should cut yourself some slack, I know it’s not easy since you’ve habitually done it your whole life but please try. I too have two older brothers one is a genius and the other excelled at sport and then there was me, not particularly academic or sporty so I also felt inferior to them, but I have since discovered my strengths, and things that I have and they don’t. Look for those things…

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