Because I need another diagnosis.

Well. It happened.

I finally admitted to myself and my therapist that I may have/be developing an eating disorder. I mentioned to him that I was having a hard time eating, he got that concerned look on his face and started asking me questions.

What do you typically eat in a day?

Do you think you’re getting enough calories?

Would you say you are restricting?

Are there foods you avoid?

How often do you weigh yourself?

Do you have a goal?

And so on.

Over the past two weeks all I’ve thought about is food. Situations where I have to or try and make myself eat make me anxious.

I know there is a problem. But I also don’t want to fail. By fail I mean not be able control what I eat- to not lose weight. It’s twisted. I know it’s twisted. I know it’s a control thing. I don’t want it to get worse, but I don’t want to let go even more.

I need help.

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Milestone

3 months ago I started a new job that I actually like.

1 month ago I moved into a new place with an actual kitchen, a garage, a dishwasher, air conditioning, and my own laundry.

Thursday I bought my first dining set. (Real wood, seats 6)

Yesterday I got a new toilet.

Today my work provided health insurance kicks in.

I DID IT. I finally feel like a successful adult. And you know what? I’m enjoying it. I’m keeping my place clean. I’m able to wake up in the morning and get out of bed without feeling half dead, AND I’m I’m able to shower in the morning again. I’m starting to want to cook again. I don’t spend my days dreading work. In fact I like it. I laugh, I talk to people. I don’t have to force myself to participate in things, and I don’t spend 90% of my time stuck in my own head.

Quitting my last job and taking whatever job I could find out of desperation was the absolute best thing I could have done for myself (that and finding meds that work). I don’t miss my old job or my old apartment. At all.

And I’m OK. I’m really, really OK.

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You know you best

I’ve been having memory issues for at least three years. Memory issues I haven’t had before. Like there have been a few times I couldn’t figure out what day of the week it is. I can’t remember conversations or when things happen. My short term memory is crap.

For three years I’ve been telling people something isn’t right.

For three years people have been telling me I’m “just stressed.”

Finally, FINALLY, I brought it up with this therapist and he took it seriously. He told me that I need to tell my psychiatrist and that she might send me to a neurologist to rule things out.

The psychiatrist chalked it up to depression and stress (ugh) and asked me if I want to try another med. (up until now she has been awesome, so don’t go all “dr.’s just want to drug you” on me)

I told my mom again. She said she thinks it a processing problem I’ve had since I was little that I’ve never had to deal with and I should see a neuropsychiatrist.

They aren’t wrong, but they aren’t right either. It’s a bit of everything but they are still missing the mark. It’s not just one thing.

Moral of the story? I’ve chosen to not take the med I agreed to try. And I know me best. I’m not giving up on this.

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Things my therapist says…

“I think you are trying to stay. You just have to hang on until you find a reason. It might be this weekend, 3 months, 6 months, or years. But you will find it.”

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Unsent letters

Has anyone ever written a letter to someone that doesn’t get sent for closure or to let something go etc.? Does it work? When my therapist suggested it yesterday, I felt the the stress and fear bubble up in me. I’m afraid that it will bring up everything that I’m trying to forget and I’ll get trapped. Although if you think about it, I’m kinda already trapped.

Thoughts?

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New job adventures

Today is my last day in my dream job that I grew to hate. I don’t regret quitting, not even a little bit, but I still have mixed emotions about it. I’m not sure what they are at this point so I’m just trying to ride it out so I don’t spiral into a panic. So far, so good.

The new job; I’m excited and nervous about it. It’s completely different than anything I’ve ever done before, but I think I can do it. I hope I won’t hate it. I start Monday.

Wish me luck.

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Giving in, giving up, and moving on

I’ve spent a good bit of time wondering about the turn my life took.

I was miserable for years until I was diagnosed with bipolar. Then I was still miserable. As I tried to figure out what being sick meant to me, I gave in to the ugly. I embraced the symptoms, initially as an explanation for my past, but then it simply became something to hold onto. My inner snarky and sarcastic self came out to play and I gradually turned into this negative, bitter person. I let everything get to me. I couldn’t hide it.

As I leaned in to the idea of living with mental illness, I gave in to all my shortcomings, real or otherwise.

I started to give up. I gave up my dreams, my confidence, and what little self worth I had left. Most significantly, I gave up on my “now”. I was failing at life and was powerless to fix it.

I’m acknowledging it. All of it. I’m also remembering all the encouragement I’ve received over the past few months.

So I’m moving on. Attempting to anyways. I know I will never leave bipolar behind, but maybe I can have the upper hand. I can work on being a better person and doing better work.

And I’m doing this for me and no one else.

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Family and friends

This week was my birthday, and it started in one of the worst ways possible. What happened is not important to this post, but let’s just say I spent most of the week in tears and now have the self confidence of -35665 on a scale of 1 to 10.

While this…event…was a serious blow to my birthday (and my self-worth), my birthday is also what got me through. I’ve never had so many people call me and sing to me and take me to dinner.

Today, I have an interview. It’s going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I’ve got a lot riding on this, and I have to talk myself up while feeling like a horrible human being.

I can do this.

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Perks?

I discovered there has been one perk to my hypomanic/mixed episode adventure this summer.  Well I don’t know if perk is the right word, but something positive came out of it.

In the midst of my obsessive craftiness this summer (which unfortunately caused me to spend more money than I would have liked), I taught myself how to make and bind books from scratch.  I’m learning how to repair books right now. I’ve made several and sold a few. I’ve learned four or five different binding methods so far and have a few more that I’m looking into trying. The point is, I really, really, enjoy making them. Its enough of a challenge to keep my brain busy, goes fast enough so I feel a sense of completion, and the end result is satisfying.

The point is, if I can find the right market, they sell. Once I up my game and get organized enough, I may be able to open an Etsy store.  That may be a little ambitious on my end, especially if I get slammed with depression again. Regardless, I want to keep making them and really like trying new methods.

So here’s to hoping I can find my follow-through and actually reach a goal for once.

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Things I learned in partial….

  1. This was probably the most necessary thing I’ve ever done in my life.
  2. Structure
  3. Where to draw the line that tells me I should go to the hospital.
  4. Validation
  5. Put the work in and say what you need to say. It will get better.
  6. Ask for help. And keep asking until you get what you need.
  7. Safety plans are oddly comforting.
  8. Advocate for yourself.
  9. It’s ok to be nervous to go back to work.
  10. It’s not my fault.
  11. Baby steps are big steps.
  12. I still have a long way to go.
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