I had a request to see this post again. I wrote this post at the beginning of February 2012……………
Everyone has been asking me how I’m doing, which I appreciate more than you know. I appreciate all the words of encouragement and I appreciate everyone checking in on me. I really do. Its nice to have those encouraging thoughts and to know that others out there are pulling for you to feel better too.
But, what is not helping is the belief or assumption that I can just snap out of this. That the reason I am like this is because I am choosing to be this way and that if I just thought positive thoughts everything would be ok. ITS NOT THAT SIMPLE! GOD I WISH IT WAS!!!!! I have a chemical imbalance in my brain and even though I think as many happy thoughts as I can, and go out and visit as many people as I can and watch comedy movies, my brain is still saying
“Christi, you are hurting and dying inside and basically have nothing left in you. Nothing you used to love makes you happy or gives you any sense of comfort or relief and the fact that you can’t pull yourself together, being a perfectionist and overachiever, is killing you more. You might as well just die because this can’t get better”
No matter what I do or what I say, those are the thoughts ringing through my brain. There are some things that I can not fix or change. Its not my attitude. Its not that I’m not trying, its that my brain is not allowing all of the things I’m doing to impact it and help it. That’s why I have the plethora of medication. Right now though, even that isn’t helping.
But I’m TRYING. I am waking up every morning and trying to find something, ANYTHING that will give me my sparkle back. Nothing helps. Nothing works. I can’t even watch 5 minutes of a tv show. I can’t flip through a fashion magazine and just look at all the advertisements. 5 pages in, I’m bored and staring at the ceiling. I stare at my computer screen trying to write, but I can’t write anything. My lowest times are the times that I do my best work. I can’t even come up with one line!!!!!!
YES, I do have so many things to be happy about. I live in a gorgeous house, I have a family that loves me, etc., and its not that I don’t appreciate them. I DO! But, inside, I’m still dying. I’m still being ripped to shreds and feeling as if I’m never going to feel happy again in my life. For a few moments this morning, I looked out the window and the sun was shining and I thought it was going to be a good day. I put on one of my favorite songs and danced around my room, and it felt good. Until I realized that I was hungry, but had no desire to cook breakfast, or eat toaster pastries for the 15th day in a row. When I thought about what to do today, I looked at the list my doctor had me make and realized that not one of those things were even remotely appealing and my brain basically had no idea how to start any of those things.
People say I’m isolating. I’m not isolating. I talk to people on the phone, I talk to people in different states and countries via skype, and I try to go out and make plans with people. But, there is also a part of me that just doesn’t want to hear the same old “oh, we’ve all got problems, suck it up and deal” speech when this is so much more than that. If all I had to do was just suck it up and deal with it, I would have done that years and years ago and I wouldn’t write or advocate like I do for those with bipolar disorder.
As you can see below, the brain activity is much different in someone with bipolar disorder.
Lori Altshuler, director of the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program, found that the amygdala seems to be significantly enlarged in patients with bipolar illness, along with enlarged ventricles. (Image © UCLA.)
From left: view of a normal brain; patient with bipolar disorder has enlarged ventricles; bright white spots of hyper-intensity associated with bipolar illness. (http://www.bipolar-lives.com/bipolar-brain-imaging.html )
“Studies show that bipolar people have different functioning in certain areas of the brain when compared to the population at large. In particular the limbic system shows consistent differences. The limbic system includes:
– the amygdala
– the hippocampus
It is the limbic system that controls emotion, motivation, memory and fear – the classic maladaptions of manic depressives. It may be that a major contributor to the disease is a failure in the way these areas of the brain communicate. In fact, over 25 studies show neurological abnormalities! These abnormalities often include things like loss of volume or loss of plasticity in the major pathways.- the cingulate gyrus.
“Mental illnesses are brain diseases. Based on biomedical research, there is absolutely no justification for separating out mental disorders from other serious brain disorders. They are brain diseases just as a stroke or a brain tumor is a brain disease.” (Steven Hyman, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.) “
SEEEE…. I’M NOT MAKING THIS SHIT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am trying, but trying can only do so much when biology and chemistry are working against you. And I didn’t even get to all the stuff about the seratonin etc……. Believe me…… I wish I could be running around my sparkly, happy, giggly self again. I really do!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m doing the best I can. I appreciate all the well wishes and all the words of encouragement. I know that no one wants to be around me because I seem to be all doom and gloom, but I try hard not to be when I’m around other people. I don’t want to isolate, but like I said, who wants to be around someone who can’t stop crying?? Yes I’m lonely and that adds to it, but I understand. I just hope that everyone else understands that I can’t just pick myself up by the bootstraps and walk on. I’m trying. Its just not that simple. But I do thank everyone for all of their thoughts, wishes, and for those of you who have been brave enough to hang out with me and get me to smile, I love you guys!!!!!! It is during this time that I am finding out true friends and those that care and I am appreciative for everyone of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I’m sorry I’m such a drag. Hopefully someone or something can ignite that spark and get that sparkle going in me very very very soon!!!!!!
I miss the old Christi. More than anyone else knows……more than anyone else knows……..