Life

I feel like I’m filled with love. My heart feels huge. And full of love and peace and happiness.

I was so productive today, which was super unexpected. I finally went to the island sexual health clinic to get tested for STI’s and to get my IUD consultation out of the way. I was really really nervous. I’ve realized, that I have this irrational fear of being taken advantage of by doctors, I think because they are in such a position of power over me – I’m always scared that they’ll abuse said power. So being in that vulnerable mindset already, being put in that position is almost unbearable. But (of course) the doctor was very understanding and was really great, and made the process easy and way less scary than I was expecting it to be. I’m actually starting to get excited for my IUD now because it went so smoothly.

I also cleaned my hamsters cage, cleaned my room, did the dishes, organized my purse and a few other generally good and positive things.

It made for a great day. I’m feeling incredibly balanced right now. Thank the lords.

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Bipolar disorder · Feelings · Life

Hello mania, my old friend

Ah yes, indeed it has struck again.

Talking fast.

Racing thoughts.

Fidgety and restless.

Unable to complete tasks due to focus issues.

Scattered thinking.

Elevated mood.

Decreased need for sleep.

Increase in energy.

Increase in goal directed behaviors.

Impulsivity to the maximum.

I’m a textbook case. Especially when it comes to my impulses. I have literally got a grand total of 0.55$ left in my bank account, and a impulsively cut up credit card, with no available balance left on it anyways. I’ve been drugged up mostly on whatever I can find, wine, weed, even including other peoples prescription medication, taken without their knowledge or consent. In short, I’m an impulsive mess. However, I must pride myself on two points: I have not purged due to impulsivity, and I have not self harmed due to impulsivity – both of which are concerns in the back of my mind when I become more impulsive, a.k.a manic.

Anyways, the past two days have been absolutely, fabulously, lit. I’ve smoked every day, not slept for two days now (without the help of coffee, miraculously I am not even tired after my second night in a row awake), I’ve done chores around the house like a banshee, cleaning this and that, and vaccumming and doing laundry and dishes. I call my parents and chatter at them for half an hour, at perhaps three times my normal speaking speed. It’s just that I have so many thoughts to convey, I can’t possibly get it all out in the normal fashion. So I go overdrive. I get excited about everything, going on rants and tangents left, right and center. I chatter away to my hamster, who is sleeping in her little igloo, and can’t even understand English anyways, but I talk nonetheless, running my ideas past her for approval.

I call my doctor, and chatter away at him too for awhile, and he gets mildly concerned. He tells me to come and meet him the very next day at 9am, and to take some loxapine to try and get me calmed down and sleeping at night. I do not comply with this suggestion, instead, I warm up my old coffee and drink that. Stupid Jenna. I smoke, which helps to slow me down a little.

I go to my morning appointment with my doctor. When he asks what has been going on for me lately, I freeze. I do not know what to say, or why I am even here. I stumble my way through a sentence of unconvincing examples of my mania, conveniently leaving out the really bad parts, or else minimizing them completely. Thus, I am unsurprised, if not very dismissed and invalidated, at his verdict: I am pretty much fine. I simply am in an “up-swing”. I’m not manic.

I know better. I know what I feel, and I will tell you right now, that I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite as manic as I do now. Not to an excessive point, but I am noticeably more manic than I’ve been in the past. While I don’t think I need to go to the hospital, I do think some sleeping medication would be very useful in this scenario. Without sleep, I am, (pardon my French), fucked. I NEED my sleep. And in this state, I just cannot even lie in bed and TRY to sleep, I’m too race-y for something as peaceful and serene as sleeping, or lying still even.

So that brings us to the present moment. My boyfriend is sleeping in my teeny tiny bed, snoring away contentedly, and I am clacking away on my laptop, writing and writing, the room dimly lit with candles, my music on repeat matchbox 20. I am very happy. Don’t get me wrong. But the happiness is also dangerous. It never lasts, and never does it come on it’s own. It always brings its friends anxiety and stress-induced paranoia and psychotic thinking. This is the part of mania that I hate. Luckily I haven’t reached that threshold yet, of turning from good mania to bad mania, so I’m still in the clear – for now. I dread the day when my mood drops though, or my mania turns sour. I’m trying to enjoy my elevated mood for as long as it lasts, but I am also trying my best to quell my mania and stop it from becoming a full-blown episode. It’s quite a balancing act, of wanting verus shoulds. I SHOULD try and sleep for at least a little bit tonight. I WANT to stay manic, and harness my excess energy for good – meaning no sleep. I can’t sleep either way, so my decision on this point is moot anyways.

I hope that my boyfriend is at least having a good sleep. I am certainly having an excellent night, despite my lack of sleeping.

Life

Are my antidepressants actually working?!?!?!?!?!?

It has occurred to me: I have had good day after good day. It’s true, and undeniable. This whole week has been….good? It’s puzzling, because usually when I have a good day, it is followed by an equally bad day – my mood fluctuates so significantly that I never have “a good week”. Yet, this is what has happened.

How do I know this? Well, it suddenly hit me when I found myself dancing to a playlist of songs called “best happy/motivational songs” at 7:30 in the morning, already dressed and ready to take on the day. I used my SAD light the past two days in a row. I have made lots of tea. I even managed to go to the library and read a little bit.

Despite my rising mood, I am still not free completely of the pit that was my depression. But I’m getting there….

Maybe this means that my long awaited prozac is actually starting to WORK????!!!! Crazy!

BPD · Feelings · Life

A gentle time is needed

I think I have had sufficient self-reflection to this point to be able to recognize what my problem is. I am well-versed enough in my own emotions to see what has been happening. There are two levels to this.

Level one: Why am I not feeling better yet? Having recently been released from hospital gives the impression of being “cured”, which, I am learning, is TOTALLY UNTRUE. You can’t see the damage done to my brain, but I can feel it. Right now, I can’t concentrate enough to sit and read like I normally can. Knitting patterns are too hard for me to comprehend. Work is just too overwhelming. So I must make accommodations for my healing brain. Read something short and incredibly engaging (inspirational poetry). Knit something simple, like a sock with no bells for whistles – nothing fancy right now. DON’T go to work until your glass can handle the sheer volume of living that is required of a functional human being. Be gentle with yourself Jenna. You deserve all the kindness in the world.

Besides my over-eagerness to be a “normal” person, my medication may have been playing a role in my failing neurotransmitters. You know how doctors ALWAYS warn you that in the first few weeks of starting or increasing antidepressants, you may feel actually more depressed and suicidal than before? Well, this is what has been happening to me. After my doubling of my prozac, I expected to feel way better, right away. And when this didn’t happen, I lost hope: thinking that nothing was ever going to change, that I would always be this much of a fuckup.

Not true, not in the slightest. The way I know this is through the eyes of my boyfriend. He sees someone valuable, someone unique and full of life. I feel deserving when I’m with him. I feel like I’m enough.

On this note, I must change some of my habits surrounding my boyfriend: this brings us to level two of my current depression.

Ever since moving to Victoria, I have been floundering. At first it was fine, I was enjoying the splashing around in the waters. But I began to get tired. With my particular case of borderline personality disorder, I find myself questioning my identity A LOT. I will often feel like I don’t exist on my own, that without another person to validate my existence, I’m not even a real person. So instead of rebelling against this identity disturbance, I fell into its clutches. I faded into my boyfriends life and became an extension of him. My definition was that I was his girlfriend. I ceased to be an actual person. My own life had disappeared. I already felt lost on my own, and this situation just aggravated my sense of non-existence. When he was at work, I would simply stop everything. I lost touch with myself in those moments.

What I need now is to remember who Jenna is. I need to read, and write, and knit and dream and live and remember that living is amazing and that sometimes, so am I.

So that is what I shall do for the next little while. I will be the most Jenna that i can imagine. I will start a new notebook, and fill it with all the minutia that makes me happy, so I don’t forget it all. I will watch all of the harry potter movies again, just so that I can recite all of the lines to myself. I will knit a sock. I will read Kurt Vonnegut letters. I will ride the bus and look out the windows as we move. I will keep my room tidy. I will do my makeup in the mornings.

I will remember myself again. I still exist, I know I do. I feel more like myself already. Today is a good day. Tomorrow will be better.

BPD · Feelings · Life

That is a blog post that I nearly posted yesterday afternoon.

I think I’ve figured out why I don’t just DO IT already.

I’m, ultimately, not hopeless. Not without hope. I’ll be sitting there with a literal bottle of advil – 28,800 mg of ibuprofen in my grasp – note already ready, it’s been ready for weeks – and I won’t do it. I tell myself that I’m completely ready.

I just keep putting it off, like an addict trying to quit smoking: “I’ll do it after the laundry is done”, “I’ll do it after I’ve eaten this orange”, “After my nap”. Those are, quite literally, my thoughts.

But then a glimpse of hope will somehow creep into my brain. Some little glimmer. I’ll remember a time when I laughed, I’ll take a sip of perfectly steeped tea, I’ll watch a great singer on the voice get a four chair turn. And I’ll realize, once again, that my life is precious.

There seem to always be a crushing amount of reasons to give up, to give in, to let go – a world full of pain and despair. A box doesn’t fit on the shelves at work, I may as well be dead. My dress has a tear. Three people are dead. I finished drinking an iced latte. These all seem to be perfectly sane reasons to die.

But I’m still here. I still have that one little flame of hope to live for: the joy of living itself. I might just make it through until tomorrow, to see the sun again. And I will cling to that hope with the skin of my teeth because that is literally all that I have. And in the end, that will have been enough. That I have tried with all my might, to live a good and happy life.

(Don’t worry about me, right now I’m completely safe, safer than I’ve been in weeks).

BPD · Life

Hobbies and their role in my identity/the art of storytelling

I feel like my life is a delayed flight finally taking off. I’ve been in a state of limbo for the past month, with me couch-surfing and staying with friends. It’s been so unstable, which is generally a bad thing for my mental health.

Luckily, my brain seems to be on the down-low for the moment. My adjustment disorder reared its head for a couple of days right after I started my new job at Walmart, but has since subsided and my ravenous drive for sanity has returned to the surface.

It’s possible that I am hypomanic, although it is also equally as likely that I am simply a motivated and high functioning individual. I’ve been incredibly driven – driven to work, to create, to accomplish. I have started a knitting business, where I sell knitted socks under the “Jenna brand” (Girl with a story). I’ve been knitting like crazy, developing knitting patterns, writing about knitting. This type of focus happens to me regularly. When I get an idea in my mind, I don’t shake it until I have gotten completely submerged in the subject. A tad obsessive maybe ;)? And I believe this is a symptom of my borderline personality disorder. For as long as I can remember, I have fluctuated, and bounced from obsession to obsession, but never quite landing on one that “fit”. It is a part of my personality to try new things I suppose – but it’s more than just that. Without knowing who I am, I attempt to grasp onto things that can aid in a definition of “Jenna”.

Knitting and reading are my two most consistent hobbies. I’ve been reading for my whole life, and I learned to knit when I was ten. I think I’m starting to, slowly, very slowly, understand the essence of Jenna. I am a peaceful being. I appreciate the small things in life. I value creativity and intelligence and kindness. I love to share, share everything. I respect the individual, and believe that everyone has a story to tell. I think that there is no such thing as evil, just different perspectives. Through my external world, I have constructed a picture of my internal landscape. Knitting = creativity, reading = intelligence, business = sharing my talent and ideas. My hobbies are my definition at this point. That is why I dive into them with such vigor. I don’t know any other way. Who am I if not a knitter? A reader? A creator? A storyteller?

I think that’s the label I would choose above all others. I am a storyteller at heart. My life is based around stories, ones that I tell myself about the world around me, ones that I read, ones that I perceive. Everything follows a story arc; plot devices are integrated into my bones. I’m simply a “Girl with a story”, trying to share her unique perspectives with the world.

My life is simply that: a story. But there’s a catch… It is a story still being written – and I am the author. I choose the paths, I choose the atmosphere, the mood, the tone. I can choose whether to write a tragedy, or a success story. My story isn’t over. Me being alive, that is my art. Telling my own personal story to the world by simply existing. That is me. That is the essence of my life.

Life

A job or a career?

Surprisingly, Walmart Langford has an amazing work environment.

Why this is surprising, I can’t quite pinpoint – but Walmart has a certain social stigma associated with it.

In reality, the fulfillment team is just that, a team. We all take our breaks together, we all unpack boxes alongside each other. We have a great relationship between all of us. It’s only my first week there but I already count my co-workers among my friends. This is an incredibly amazing feat. In past experiences, I’ve found it difficult to make friends through work, as people generally have previously established friend groups outside of work. However, in this case, everyone is around the same age as me, and with Walmart being such a non-discriminatory employer, you find all sorts of people working there. I guess that means that I fit in quite well here.

My life is taking turns and shaping up to be something entirely different than I thought it would be. Here I am, a week into my new job, already considering future careers (management opportunities?) with the company. Why Walmart you wonder? Isn’t it completely counter-intuitive to my values? Actually no. Walmart is committed to serving the individual, to respect, to excellent customer service. Personally, I adore customer service. I am “customer-centric”, with my priority always being that of attempting to brighten someone’s day and make a lasting impression on them. I would love to be a bigger part of the company, simply for the effect I could have. Introducing sustainable practices, environmentally sound policies, socially just ventures – all of this is something I could accomplish from the inside.

I do thinkĀ I am management material. I am very organized and am good at prioritizing and juggling – all skills which are required in a higher role. Of course, it would take awhile to get to the point where I could even apply for a management role – however, the environment of Walmart, as it stands now, is something that I’d love to be a bigger part of.

I’ve also been active in my knitting life: I’ve started my own business venture. It’s called “girl with a story knitting” and we sell knitted socks! Eventually, my dream is to open a combined cafe/knitting store/kids bookstore. It would be the absolute peak of my career. You know, I think this is what makes me happy. While I love school, and will definitely continue my degree – I think opening a knitting shop and working with people and being creative and working in a task-based environment is ultimately what will fulfill my soul. These are my future dreams, hopes, ambitions. Become a manager at Walmart. Transition into owning a full-time knitting/bookstore/cafe. Live life happily. Be creative. Be joyful. Have meaningful interactions. That is all I hope out of life.

And I’m so excited to be taking steps towards my dreams.