Feelings · Life

I smile. Another diagnosis. Just keep ’em coming.

I write this while in a very strange state of mind. I am on the edge between hypomanic and real fucking crazy.  This has thus led my psychiatrist to the conclusion that I, in fact, am Bipolar (of some sort).

It all started with the addition of prozac to my medication diet. It was necessary to calm the shit-storm of my eating disorder. However, this little bit of extra antidepressant took its toll and shifted my mood up. Way up.

Imagine the best day of your life. Now intensify that (because of my BPD – feeling emotions intensely). Then replay that heart-fluttery, floating feeling again and again. Then you might  be close to how I am feeling currently.

Apparently I have been hypomanic for a solid couple of weeks. Dressing up and going out, drinking amazing amounts of coffee, sleeping less and less but having tons more energy and motivation, dancing around my room alone to a soundtrack of Disney music, spending all of my money  and more.

At this moment I keep having to pause and erase what I’ve just written as my fingers are simply flying across the keyboard and paying no attention to spelling. My heart pounds, my eyes flutter, my hands have so much energy, my thoughts race. I’ve never quite felt this high before in my life. And I’m not even technically high off of anything at the moment. I’m drowning myself in sound – BLASTING Disney music in my eardrums. I’m so eager for this day to get going that I can’t even sit still. I don’t know how I’m even going to finish this blog post. Perhaps this shall be the end of it, for simplicity’s sake.

Feelings · Life

A progression of events

It all started with a handshake…

That is how I introduced myself to Brodie. He went for a hug and I countered with a formal handshake. And this would then start a chain of events, ending, I don’t have a clue where.

If you aren’t familiar with some of the psychology of BPD, often what happens is a thinking pattern called “splitting”. This means that you see thinks in black and white. This splitting leads to the perception of certain people as being “all good” or “all bad”. There is no in between. So, occasionally, I totally idealize people, or devalue them, depending on my perception of them. The idealized people then take a position in my brain called FP (favorite person), where they can do no wrong in my eyes.

So, the first thing that happened when I met Brodie, is my entire interpersonal clock got reset. He usurped the place of my top FP and is now my most favorite person in the world, despite only having met once (thank goodness, because I think my family was getting sick of my constant clinging and dependency).

This complete takeover of FP led to much more. My adjustment disorder took a say; explaining that we can’t just DEAL with changes, we have to freak the hell out about them – despite the change being very awesome. This is just how my adjustment disorder works. Even if it were the best change that could have ever happened, I still will want to stay stuck in my old habits because I can’t handle the change. But in this case, I am welcoming my adjustment disorder with open arms, meeting her halfway, listening to her tales and woes, inviting her in for a nice hot cup of tea. I needed this change. I needed to become unstuck. Brodie’s sudden introduction has gotten me unstuck for the first time in years.

This change means that I have to be totally gentle with myself in the coming week or so. I must be careful, lest my emotionality take hold and drive me off a cliff – as it so loves to do.

 

Life

Life is seriously looking upwards

I had one of the best days ever, in a long long time, yesterday. I went on a tinder date with a lovely man named Brodie, and we had an absolute blast! Swimming and games and doctor who watching! It was perfect!

I also didn’t purge once again, so that will be the third day in a row without purging! I didn’t even have any urges to purge at all yesterday!

And then, as if things couldn’t get ANY better, UBC offered me a spot in their residence AT THE EXACT RESIDENCE THAT I WANTED!!! So, I will officially be moving to Vancouver for the rest of the summer, depending on when my money will come through from my RESP and student loans.

Anyways, my life right now is a total dream come true and I feel so lucky to be able to live it.

Feelings · Life

Why is it that I cannot have a normal conversation with people about non-mental illness related topics? For what reason do I find it necessary to bring forth the subject, putting myself and the relationship in harms way to needlessly sprout my theories about my own psychology? Is this simply my ego taking control?

It’s because, dear Jenna, your mental illnesses have taken over your life. Not necessarily in a bad way, but just because your brain is scrabbling to try and make sense of the mental turmoil that’s going on inside. You are a deeply intellectual individual, and the fact that you cannot make sense of this phenomenon has you very concerned, and leads to obsessing over it. Thinking constantly about it. Writing about it always. This is fine. This is necessary even.

Bringing it up with other people, being truly open about your mental state, is also fine. You just need to be somewhat guarded with whom you share things with. But, sharing is also a totally normal thing. I crave connection and validation. These are my main motivators in life, along with my self-image. So it is unsurprising that I would bring up the subject of my mental health regularly – I am looking for CONNECTION with others. Waiting for someone to say “yes, I understand”. I will elaborate on this need in further posts. For now, just bear with me when I talk about my mental illness – it is literally all I can do to cope with it.

Eating disorder · Life

Leaps and bounds

I have come leaps and bounds over the last couple of days, with regards to my bulimia. And notice here the vocabulary used: my bulimia is getting better, but my EATING DISORDER is still hanging around. This is a distinction, as I’m starting to conceptualize, bulimia is not the eating disorder. Bulimia is a symptom of my eating disorder.

My eating disorder encompasses my narrow view of “good” eating. It is a judgement on myself and my eating, and it all ties back to my self-esteem; how worthy I feel I am of eating. And that’s all there is to it. I don’t deem myself to be worthy of eating, so I have constructed a particular viewpoint towards food that allows for bulimia to enter the scene.

So , as you may know, I have just recently started taking prozac, an antidepressant medication that is sometimes used in treating bulimia. I suspected a couple of day ago that it had started working. However, I am now totally convinced of its magical healing powers. I have no appetite! No cravings! No binges! No overeating even! I am able to look at food without being driven mad! It’s an amazing transformation. I feel so happy, so free.

Mu mother raised the point with me that perhaps the prozac was going to take me too far into the world of anorexia. To that I say, yes it may. But it’ll be infinitely easier to treat a straightforward, restrictive, anorexic type eating disorder without the bulimia getting in the way of things. Treatment now becomes a clearcut path towards “eating more” and “having a better relationship with food”. It doesn’t involve binges. It doesn’t involve the self-harming aspect that is purging.

It all feels more manageable today. I can do it.

 

Life

Housing for next year; shoutout to UBCs access and diversity

I’m in love with my school. No question about it, I love UBC (The university of British Columbia, Vancouver campus) so much. I realized this recently on a trip back to campus for the afternoon. I went briefly, chiefly to meet with an accessibility advisor to review my plans for next year.

I’ve had quite a doozy trying to figure out what my plans for next year will be. I have many options, a spectrum of choices that is a continuum of obligations and stressors. My choices vary from not going to school at all, to going back full-time and living in Vancouver, or any interpretation and combination of these that can be thought of. Things are, however, beginning to sort themselves out, but several challenges are coming to fruition while I explore my options:

  1. Pippa is my number one obstacle. She will not have her service dog certification by the fall, and therefore will not be permitted to enter classrooms, restaurants or the public transit system (uncaged). This puts a huge burden on my class schedule, if I have difficulty being away from Pippa for extended periods of time, how am I supposed to attend my classes without her? Another logistical matter of this is that Pippa likely will make finding housing more difficult, as I have to find a pro-pets housing situation. The third point that Pippa brings to the table is transportation. I cannot bring her loose on the bus, and this therefore hampers my accessibility to public transit.
  2. Courseload. Last semester, I managed only to complete 2 courses, a total of 7 credits for that semester. I don’t think that I could realistically and sanely handle a semester that demanding again. I have organized with access and diversity to be able to have a “reduced courseload”, and still be able to keep my scholarship. But since I am unsure as to what the fall holds in store for me, I have no idea which courses to register for. So, I registered for tons, in the hopes that once I had figured out which “fall option” worked the best for me, that at least two of the classes would work for me.
  3. My finances are in absolute shambles. It’s a bonefied disaster actually. And this isn’t simply a “I’m a poor student”, this is an “I may need to use the food bank or starve next fall” kind of situation. Since I am not taking a full courseload, I don’t qualify for any student loans. I have a scholarship which covers my tuition. To pay for books and rent, I have some money in my parents RESP fund. But covering my daily living expenses was supposed to be my savings from the summer, and if now I’m not working, I will have an approximated zero earnings over the summer.

However, I am a resilient (okay, occasionally resilient….) problem solver. I brought my problems to the attention of accessibility advisors at access and diversity, and pleaded, asking for advice to help me overcome my obstacles. They retaliated with a proposed solution: live on campus.

Now, this seems pretty much unrelated to all of the above mentioned problems. Pippa couldn’t stay with me, since campus housing doesn’t allow for pets. It doesn’t solve money issues, except for being slightly under budget for rent, maybe squeezing out a couple more dollars for me to spend. But, just listen, and bear with me.

Access and diversity have come to an agreement with the school regarding accommodations for emotional support animals in UBC campus residences. They are allowed to live with their owners, providing they are well-behaved etc. and are registered with access and diversity. This is an amazingly major breakthrough. With this simple little accommodation, my problems are mostly a non-issue now, and here’s why.

Pippa could stay in my room while I leave for classes. I could walk to my class and walk back (solving the Pippa housing/transportation issue) to be with Pippa outside of class times. It wouldn’t matter if I were to take only 2 classes, because I’d be so close to campus that I could walk there in a matter of minutes, very efficient I’d say (solving the issue of courseload concerns).

Of course, this doesn’t solve all my problems – notably the financial strain is still very much present. It is, however, a great deal closer to a suitable arrangement for the fall: one I can be confident in and ready to take on the world with.

One proposed solution for the money issue, is to take a 40% courseload, which would be 7 credits a semester. This is more than I had planned originally, but I also think that I could handle taking three courses if I was so inclined. And boy, the money is driving my inclination, that’s for sure.

So, I finish up this post in a wise mind state, and with much more direction in my life than I had previously.