And another thing

Robot Brain

Wednesday: It finally broke! I slowed down a little and all those negative thoughts stopped racing through my mind. I no longer have myself in hospital style lock down. I can leave my place without thinking I’m going to do something stupid. I’m still not well functioning but I’m functioning well enough.

Thursday: I may have spoken a bit too soon. This morning I woke up feeling, Wow! I can’t remember the last time I slept so well. I don’t remember when I fell asleep, trying to fall asleep, falling asleep or even how the television got turned off in the middle of the night. I felt great. I did my normal daily routine which is very healthy. The unhealthiest part of my morning is coffee but half the studies say it is good for you. I’m not looking for any health benefits from coffee. I’m just feeding an addiction. I don’t drink a lot. I just can’t cut it out completely.

I felt so good I was confident this was going to be the first day in a long time that didn’t go downhill. Then it hit me. A panic attack. Anxiety has been my regular friend but I haven’t had a panic attack in at least a few years. Long enough for me to forget how long. But, what the hell was this? I knew immediately so even though it sucked, I knew how long it would last, all I had to do was lie down and wait it out, do some deep breathing and I would be fine.

Six hours later. My deep breathing wasn’t working out so well. My ribcage and abdomen were sore from holding my breath so tightly. I wouldn’t realize until I ran out of oxygen, breathe out and try to breathe deeply again. Again and again. This was making my anxiety worse than the panic attack that started the whole thing.

The great thing about my anxiety mind is It keeps saying, Oh no, this is the worst day ever! But my rational mind quickly stepped in and said, Well, actually… Saturday was much worse than this, remember?. My anxiety mind answers, Thanks. Thanks for reminding me that I could actually get worse. My regular anxiety can get pretty intense but I know it can’t last forever. It just feels like it will.

It’s getting dark now and I feel pretty calm. As soon as it started fading I knew what to do. I went into the kitchen and whipped up a big carb coma recipe. That was a couple hours ago and it is working. I don’t know why it works. Maybe because it pulls the blood down to my stomach, away from my brain and my lungs follow naturally to feed it with oxygen. Whatever it does, I wish I could do it sooner. Eating was not an option before then.

Friday: Be sure to tune in to your next manic episode after this brief anxiety! I don’t know what the fuck is going on. Up at 2, flying by 5, ruined the whole day. One piece of good news. I think I figured out why I’ve been calming down in the evening and still sleeping at night. I recently started taking my anti manic/psychotic in the daytime so I can get the calories it needs. I always took it at bedtime because that is what the dr. told me. But he was trying everything to slow me down at the time, I wasn’t sleeping at all. Now I’m realizing after a few hours I mellow out. Just in time too because my daughter is picking me up tomorrow and I was worried who I would be when I woke up. I can’t be babbling in her ear while she is learning to drive. I also can’t be bouncing off the walls at her house. N__ would be so pissed at me. I’m going to try taking it with breakfast and I will have a few hours for it to start working. Maybe it would be good idea to take my med before I start flipping out. Do you think?

In other news. When I’m calm I’ve been arguing with my voice. It’s been telling me, See, you don’t really have a mental illness. All these symptoms are just side effects of all the meds you’ve been taking all these years. I talked back. What about when this happened? What about when that happened. It had an answer for everything and I was starting to believe him. I was scared I would stop taking everything. Finally I got him. What about the first 28 years of my life I wasn’t medicated? Explain all of that! That got it. Now it’s easier to end the conversation. At first I would take meds, feel better, think I didn’t need them, stop taking them and end up in the hospital. Start taking them, feel better, etc… Explain that. As nice as it would be to not have a mental illness, I know what happens when I stop my meds. It’s never good. I’ve done it a thousand times.

Invictus

Robot Brain

Monday: I am so fucking manic! My brain is flying. I’ve been running my mouth non stop for a month. I had a revelation last night. Since I quit that medication I’ve been rehearsing talking to my doctor over and over. I’m getting myself all worked up. I want to express to him how angry I am fro prescribing that to me. Last night I realized getting all hyped up and yelling about how much better I feel since stopping the med probably wouldn’t sound very convincing. I’m still talking out loud to him but now I am catching myself whenever I get upset and starting the conversation over. I need to stick to the basics. Tell him what side effects made me quit the med. Tell him about the side effects I didn’t realize were side effects until I quit the med and they disappeared. How much better I feel now that all the side effects are gone. Done. I’ve been practicing all morning and stopping myself when I start getting faster or louder or sounding a little bit angry. I need to be as calm as possible. I guarantee he is going to say, I really wish you didn’t do that, you can’t just stop medications like that. Then he is going to try to get me to start a new medication. I will politely refuse. That’s how I hope it will go. We’ll see.

Wednesday: I got the fear yesterday. I’m afraid to tell him I stopped. He can’t force me to take it can he? I mean, if I tell him I feel a lot better since I stopped taking it will he still try to get me to take it. I don’t know what to do. I can’t just pick it up at the pharmacy and throw it in the trash. Now I have 3 hours to figure it out.


I feel much better after talking to my doctor. All month long I was thinking about how I was going to tell him everything but I stuck to the one strangest thing. Every morning I was raging out for 4 hours and couldn’t figure it out. Then I quit the med and haven’t even come close to losing my temper since. It disappeared the day after I stopped the med. I thought he was going to be against it but he said he is glad I figured it out because it was the best I’ve sounded in months. My anxiety dropped a few notches because now I can stop having the conversation out loud over and over. I’m so glad I caught myself a few days ago and didn’t yell at him. I just told him about the one thing I was surprised and happy about. I didn’t try to tell him about any other side effects. I wouldn’t have had time anyway. I only get to talk to him for 5 minutes he has so many patients.

Thursday: He said I sound much better but he didn’t know I spent the previous 3 hours preparing for a 5 minute phone call. Stopping myself every time my voice got faster or louder, every time I strayed from the main topic. By the time he called me I had it honed and ready. The call lasted about 10 minutes because he also talked. I hadn’t planned for that. Of course he was going to ask questions and have responses. The first couple times I caught myself talking over him because my pressure to speak is so intense. I’m doing it right now and I’m just sitting here alone. It goes all day. It was an exercise in restraint to just let him talk. For a couple days my paranoia was so bad I was wavering on even telling him I stopped the medication. I knew all my fears were irrational but that didn’t stop them. It came down to the moment the phone rang to decide if I was going to follow through or blow up the whole thing.

Friday: This isn’t the good kind of mania where life seems fantastic no matter how objectively shitty it may be. My life is going pretty well. I would be the main problem right now. I’m agitated, nothing moves fast enough for me. I’m trying to get everything done at the same time. It’s impossible but I’m going to try. Meanwhile I forget important things I should be doing. And my brain. Just stop with the brain already! It’s early in the day but I have to put the brakes on again. Just stop everything before I spin out of control. I’ve had myself on lockdown for the past few weeks. See my daughter if I can, get food for the week, then nothing but meds, meals and sleep. I’m still getting sleep. That’s my barometer.

Saturday: Occam’s razor

FRANKIE SAYS RELAX

Robot Brain

Tuesday: My daughter picked me up and drove me home in her car. She was so excited! In the morning her mother was in the car and they both stress each other out. I was getting nervous. Her mom would jump on her for making a mistake and it would make my daughter so nervous she couldn’t think straight and start doing the opposite of what she should do, which made her mom get more upset. It was a vicious circle. On the way home it was just her step father and I and we just let her drive and she did everything perfectly. She is going to be fine.

I lost another 5 pounds. That makes 15 since I stopped that horror show medication. That is the only change I made and I just started dropping weight. I wasn’t even exercising for 3 weeks because of the withdrawals.

Wednesday: I have 3 weeks left to lose 5 more pounds and meet my challenge. I think it will happen. I’ve been dropping weight fairly quickly since leaving that med behind.

Thursday: I completely missed a day this week. I didn’t change anything. I didn’t blackout. I remember everything I did this week. It just took me until today to realize I’ve been a day behind all week. It’s not like I would think it’s the wrong day for a second and catch myself. All week I thought I knew what day it was and I was wrong. Yesterday (Wednesday) someone told me they were picking me up tomorrow (Thursday) at noon. I went straight to my calendar to write down she was picking me up Wednesday at noon. It took until this morning to look at my calendar and wonder why she didn’t pick me up Wednesday at noon. It’s not like her to not show up and not tell me. I finally sat at my computer still trying to figure it out and Boom! It’s Thursday. I hope I don’t fuck up tomorrow, I have to pay my bills.

Best April Fool joke I know: One of the possible side effects of my anti anxiety medication is anxiety. (Not a joke)

Friday: All month long I’ve been catching myself talking angrily out loud at my doctor. I won’t actually talk to him until next week. I go through all the things I want to say because I am pissed about that medication fucking me up but I stop myself because I am only going to talk to him for 2 minutes on the phone and he isn’t going to give a shit. I have to stop wasting time and energy on this shit.

Saturday: I’ve been practicing yelling at my doctor all morning. I’m trying to give it a rest. I can’t help it. I want to ask him how many times I told him, no, I don’t want to change any of my medications. Because I know how many times. Every time I went into his fucking office. I remember because I made a point of saying it every time. It didn’t matter how messed up I was, no, I don’t want to change any of my medications. Because for the first time since they started putting me on meds I had no side effects. I wasn’t even fat anymore. I wasn’t doing great but I was doing well enough and I had no side effects. I still can’t figure out how the fuck he talked me into starting a new drug.

Live and Let Die

Monday, March 5, 2021: I am so excited! Yesterday afternoon I got my first hour of real sleep since I quit my medication 2 weeks ago. Before then I was only “sleeping” at night. I was lying in bed. My eyes were closed but my brain was doing things it had never done before and I was fully aware.
Again, it was only an hour but I felt great when I woke up! I was hoping it would continue last night but I spent about 4 hours in that indescribable state. I think it is fading though. I was afraid I would be doing that for the rest of my life.

Tuesday: I did so much yesterday! I finally wrote a new blog piece. I was reminded of it a few weeks ago but I was having a lot of trouble thinking. Yesterday I fired it off in 1 shot with just a couple edits. (It probably shows.) I scheduled it for Sunday and then I started writing this post. I also imported some pictures from my phone and started editing a video. I was having trouble doing much on the computer besides read a few blogs and scroll Twitter for jokes. I was having trouble reading some blogs. I follow a lot of people with mental illness who do journal style posts like this one. I noticed I was skipping over many that were too negative. Then I also realized I have been pretty negative for a long time. People probably do the same thing to me. My first 2 sentences usually aren’t very good click bait. That is the main reason I posted a short positive piece last Saturday.

Today I am not so enthused. I got another hour of good sleep last night. I woke up feeling good but the rest of the night was fitful. My brain felt like it was inside one of those vibrating gravel sorting machines. My cat woke me up by licking my forehead for some reason. Thanks Oliver.

Wednesday: Oh yeah. I lost 10 pounds the first week. The only thing that changed was stopping the med. My appetite went back to normal and I was eating less but you can’t tell me I was eating 10 pounds more of vegetables each week before.

Friday: I’ve been afraid to close my eyes since Tuesday night. They just roll back around in my brain. I did get another hour and a half of sleep last night but then I slipped into whatever it is I still can’t think of a word for it. I’m completely aware of my thoughts but I’m not fully conscious. Now I am afraid this is going to last forever. But Monday and Tuesday during the day I was fine. It just feels permanent while it’s happening. To help things out I had, “Can’t Get You Outta My Head” stuck in my head all night. Not the whole song, just that lyric. Thanks Kylie!

Saturday: I got something more like sleep for a few hours. This is about how well I can function. Let’s see if I can make this work.

Eugenics

Tuesday

The first thing they do when they diagnose you with any strain of psychosis is prescribe you with drugs that make you fat, bald and impotent. They are trying to wipe out your bloodline. I told my doctor I wouldn’t go for it and he tricked me into it. Now he is trying to get me to increase the dosage on the drug. It just clicked yesterday. Since last year I haven’t been able to lose a single pound. I thought of it because of the food I was eating. So I cut out this food, and that food and that food. I’m still fucking gaining weight! It’s the fucking meds! What an asshole. If I went back to a nutritionist they would not be able to explain it. I am basically strict vegan except I eat chicken once a week and I’m still gaining weight. Now my fucking doctor wants to increase the dosage? I don’t think so. That is the end of that. He got me with the teaser… “One of my patients says this really helps with sleep.” That’s great if I want to sleep my fucking life away!

I can’t believe none of them mentioned it may be the cause of my weight loss troubles. I’ve been telling them about it and nobody said a thing. They are supposed to be helping me? It took my ex wife casually asking how it is with weight gain. Then it clicked. Fuck that shit. Last time this happened I was banging my head against the wall. I was going to the gym 3 hours a day, training hard and eating like a dirt farmer. Still gaining weight. Then I stopped taking the med and boom! I lost 30 pounds the first month. I fucking hate these people!

Wednesday

Yeah, I got about an hour of some kind of sleep type thing last night. I don’t care. I’ll go without sleep if I have to for a few days. That’s how he got me. That magic pill to put me to sleep in ten minutes and stay asleep with no disturbing dreams. I didn’t realize I would wake up a year later and be fucking huge.

I’m not doing it any more. I’m so sick of these people saying they are trying to help me. I want to stop all my meds and fuck right off!

Thursday

Oh. You don’t wanna kick this shit. I can’t think. Second day with no sleep. I was in bed and semi conscious but I wouldn’t describe it as sleep. I gave up and made some coffee. I can’t thinks of the words to say how I feel right now but it’s not pleasant.

Friday

I can’t believe he gave me another fucking diabetes pill. I’m eating like I’m training for the Olympics and my belly looks like I’m pounding a case of beer every day. And stupid me, I’m thinking, maybe eating chicken twice a week is too much. Should I stop buying apples? I eat a lot of apples. Maybe that is why I’m still gaining weight. He got me because for years I refused to change any of my meds.Specifically because I had my side effects under control. Ugh… I’m so stupid. Why was he so determined to get me on another med? I told him no every time I saw him. WTF?

I’m still withdrawing. Last night I slept twice for about 2 hours each. Both times I woke up in confusion with high anxiety. It took me a few minutes to figure out how I got there. Even though I’ve been spending all my free time in bed trying to fall asleep. I wake up and don’t know where I am. I still don’t feel “right.” I don’t remember anything about it but when I opened my eyes it didn’t feel like a real sleep. I was tired this morning for the first time in forever.

Don’t worry. I’m not quitting my only anti psychotic med. I’ve been on another for years and I’m still taking it now. I never had to detox from one like this before. I knew it would be trouble because of how I felt on the nights I missed a dose. That is another reason I wanted to quit. But what would you trade for a guaranteed 4-6 hours of uninterrupted, dreamless sleep every night?

It’s Friday night and I’m coming down hard. How can they prescribe this shit to someone? What was the endgame? Stay on it for the rest of my life which would be short and horrible from the diabetes it causes? There can’t be a plan to come off or it. There are no smaller doses to taper. I was fine this morning but now I just want to die. I thought I was on the last day.

Saturday

I had the same kind of 2 hour naps again last night. I feel like it’s over but that’s what I thought yesterday morning. My voracious appetite went away on the first day. That is a good thing. I used to want to stuff my face every waking moment. Now I am wondering if all the food I bought yesterday is just going to rot in my fridge. Something unexpected happened. On the first day my jaw unclenched. I had been grinding my teeth for months and didn’t know why. It was so bad that when I did body scans I would just skip over the part where they tell you to relax your jaw. My jimmy legs went away. They were so tight I was always involuntarily bouncing them up and down. I stopped making weird faces I couldn’t control. These are all things I was so used to I didn’t notice until it suddenly stopped. Oh yeah, I stopped freaking out and screaming at shit for the first 4 hours of every morning. I thought that would be the opposite. I was so angry every day. Raging mad.

It is a powerful drug. I can feel how it changed my brain. That is what first had me wanting to quit a few weeks ago. I was addicted to the sleep. I was also addicted to the drug. It is the only medication I have ever taken where I couldn’t miss one dose. Falling asleep without it was a nightmare. I would wake up an hour later and run for the pill. I still can’t sleep.

Afternoon: For some reason I feel better in the mornings. Now my anxiety is sky high. My chest muscles are so constricted it is hard to get air into my lungs. My jaw is still relaxed though. I caught myself breathing through my mouth without trying. The emotional downturns have started. They get worse as the day goes on. I’m supposed to see my daughter tomorrow. I have a feeling I’m not going to suddenly be all better by then.

Sunday

My cat knows when I am hurting bad. He plasters himself next to me and purrs very loudly. It helps but it is very unusual for him. He doesn’t like to cuddle and he never purrs. For the longest time I thought I owned the only cat that didn’t purr. He normally stays exactly an arms length from me. He likes me to reach out and pet him with one hand but none of that picking him up and hugging him shit. He hates that. But when I am lying in bed freaking out he is stuck right to me. Only when I am at my worst though. He won’t waste it on a simple anxiety attack.

Still no sleep. I hope I don’t melt down at my daughter’s today. I am pretty good at holding it together in front of other people. As long as it is only a day or so. I knew this would be rough. That is why I started at the beginning of the week. I thought I would be back to normal in three days at the most. I had no idea I would still be a total mess today, when I am going to see my daughter.

Should I call my doctor and ask him how long the withdrawal lasts on this fucked up medication he was pushing on me? Every time I saw him for years, I made it clear I didn’t want to change my meds. I finally had a combo that helped somewhat with minimal side effects. He finally got me with the promise of sleep. At first all it did was make me sleep and I didn’t notice any other changes. No, the fucked up side effects didn’t start until months later. That’s why I never made the connection between the new med and all the new problems. He’s lucky I didn’t stop all my medications. That is what I used to do. Then it turns into a total shit show!

You Got That Right!

Monday

“Every night I fall asleep at 10 and every night they wake me up at 11 to give me a fucking sleeping pill! Ain’t that some shit?” Steve was my roommate in the mental hospital. Luckily I was in for mania so he never got bored late at night.

I have a similar problem as Steve. Everyone’s solution is for me to set an alarm to wake up and take my sleeping pill. Nobody says it with a trace of irony. (Is that the right word? It feels like the right word.) My night meds only give me about 4 hours of sleep and I take them around 5am to avoid the most boring part of the day. The problem is last night I fell partially asleep early and woke up at 5. I have to decide if it is time to take my day meds or my night meds. I took my night meds because I only got a couple hours of half sleep. Sounds simple, right? It didn’t work. Now I am sitting here in limbo. I just had 2 cups of coffee to wake up but my med kicked in for sleep. Fuck! Lucky you.

Someone has a Black Lab outside. He is running so fast. He is playing, you can’t get my stick, with his owner. Reminds me of a dog I had.

Tuesday

I haven’t slept in days. I lie in bed until the fear pushes me out. It’s time to get up, right? Make coffee. Cook some lentils. I’m fine. I can type my way through a paragraph, I must be okay. I’ve got the red, squiggly line to tell me I made a typo or forgot how to spell a word. I’ve got Grammarly in my head. Nobody knows I got up and walked around. Nobody knows I’ve been sitting here staring at the cursor blinking for 10 minutes. Texting is even easier. The phone does everything for me. Don’t know what to say? Type in an emoticon and buy myself some time. Always composing. Keeping myself composed. My therapist thinks I”m doing great because I can fake my way through a 20 minute phone call. Good thing we don’t do video and she can’t see what I’m doing on my end. Good thing she can’t see what is going on inside my head.

My Black Lab’s name was Blue Moon. He was a big dumb dog. He had so much energy. If I didn’t take him out and run him hard for an hour every day he would destroy the inside of the house. Every night after work I would take him on the beach and chuck the ball with the stick. You couldn’t say any “B” words around him. Beach, ball, bone, Blue… He would flip and start barking to go outside. He didn’t care if it was February and below zero and I was freezing my ass off. He would get hot. He would go into the ocean and cool down. He wasn’t really that dumb. He was smart enough to know if he kept the ball he didn’t have to go back inside. I was smarter though. I always kept a second ball in my back pocket. He was such a good dog. (See. You didn’t know I took a 5 minute break to cry and make some more coffee.) He lived to be 12. That’s pretty good for a Lab. It’s not just the death of a dog that makes me sad. It’s the death of everything I had back then. No more family. No wife, no baby, no stupid dogs.

Thursday

Wednesday got way too long so I turned it into today’s blog post. I guess I had a lot on my mind.

I still can’t figure out what the difference between my good days and bad days. Yesterday I was raging and hearing things and the room was flashing bright and dim and changing colors. Today I’m back to my regular not so bad anxiety. Other days my voice and anxiety are so bad I’m frozen in bed. I would like to blame it on my shift from barely any sleep to almost no sleep but all of this happens when I’m on a regular schedule.

Friday

I signed up for Uber so I can see my daughter tomorrow. I’ve never used it before. I put it off for a bit and now I am already nervous they won’t be able to find me. Everyone else finds me with GPS so I probably shouldn’t worry. Right? I just don”t want to miss my first ride.

I”ve calmed down since earlier this week but I’m still not sleeping. I was listening to a book until 6am. I would have given up on it sooner but I had nothing to replace it. The guy outlined his book in the introduction, The questions he was asking and he gave the data to back up the answers. Then he went on for 10 chapters repeating himself. He made the points clear in the intro and finished the book repeating everything he just said. He could have just made the intro and the wrap up into a smaller book and it would have been great.

One Step Over The Line

Monday

Is alcohol use disorder really a thing? Can’t I just be an alcoholic? Can it be cured? I used to have cigarette use disorder and I cured myself of that. At least I think I did. Smoking hasn’t crossed my mind since I finally quit I don’t know how many years ago. Right now I am in the throes of caffeine use disorder. I can’t stop myself. In fact, since I tried to quit a couple weeks ago I have lost all control and use more caffeine than before. Is there a disorder for every addictive or habit forming drug? I better call my doctor. I have a long list of confessions to make. Fuckers.

Tuesday

I was too depressed to kill myself last night. I just lay there in bed staring at my prescription bottles but I couldn’t move to get them. I just wanted everything to stop. Then came the guilt for thinking such a thing. My uncle’s suicide fucked up the whole family for generations. Do I want to do that to everyone I know? I woke up stupid crying. Snot running out of my nose and into my coffee. I drank it anyway. You know, caffeine use disorder. Then I felt fine.

I needed a ride to the veterinarian this morning. I can’t even take care of a stupid cat by myself. I can barely take care of myself. My ex wife showed up to give me a ride and I was all smiles and jokes. I really do feel fine now. Writing this is depressing but I will forget about it in a few minutes.

I can’t figure out what makes the difference on how I feel each day. Yesterday was normal. Nothing bad happened. I wasn’t dwelling on anything depressing. I watched football which I enjoy. Even though they got rid of the fans. (80 thousand drunk people screaming is part of the game.) Then midnight comes and I want to die?

Wednesday

I opened this up this morning to write something completely different. I thought I had some insight into what happened the other night. I can’t think of it right now. I’ve been raging again since I woke up. My head is pounding, my throat hurts from screaming and I pulled a muscle in my arm. Not from lifting something heavy. It was from tensing it up so much while I flipped out. I took some Advil for the pain but this isn’t the kind of pain designed for Advil.

My therapist would try to tell me to “stay in the moment”, “take deep breaths”, “maintain your focus”, “Just be mindful.” Yeah, step on the tracks in front of a speeding train. It’s easy when it’s easy.

Thursday

Yesterday I told my case manager I think I was cured. She asked me if I was still taking my meds. I said I think that is what cured me and she said she wasn’t sure that is how it works. I asked her if taking all these medications wasn’t supposed to cure me? I told her that because I want to see how long it takes someone else to ask if I’m taking my medications. They have conversations about me and make plans that have an effect on my life.

Saturday

My therapist said the same thing when I told her I was cured. “I don’t think that’s how it works”, in a low voice. I asked her why I was taking medication for so long if it doesn’t work? They will probably tell my doctor they are worried I will stop taking my meds. I don’t care. I only have two minutes on the phone with him each time. He will ask if I am still taking them and I will say yes and he will order from the pharmacy. Seriously. I’ve been on psycho active meds for 30 years. You would think I would be good by now.

Glad that’s over

Robot Person

I can’t tell if I’m going up or down. My major depression has lifted but it still hits me for a few days here and there. My doctor put me on another anti-psychotic/anti-manic med about a year ago so I don’t know if I will get another manic phase. I have had some impulsivity, hypersexuality and engaging in risky behaviors but I have that when I’m depressed also. What I don’t have is the high pressure drive to do those things and I’m not pressured to talk people into a corner and euphoria. I don’t know if that is good for me because that is my favorite part of my mental illness. I feel like I want to stop my meds to get there. My voice has receded to a quiet annoyance, narrating everything I do. I can ignore it by concentrating on something else. Like writing this or reading or listening to music, etc… Over the past month or so I’ve been having more good days than bad.


I didn’t notice until I was talking to someone about it but I haven’t been thinking about alcohol as much as I used to do. I also haven’t had a day where I thought I was definitely going to end up getting drunk for a long time. It’s been since before Labor Day which was always an end of summer, celebrate by drinking day for me. The fourth of July I was sure I was going to drink. All my triggers were there at the same time and I had a definitive plan. I’m still not sure how I pulled that one off. I’ve had days since when I was one quick walk away from the store from getting shitfaced. But now I’m having days where alcohol doesn’t even cross my mind. I can see someone walk out of the store with a box of beer and I don’t think about, well, I could easily do that. I’m not sure when the transition started but I know a few months ago I thought the fixation would never go away. I think that is pretty good progress. But I also know I could be one day away from a bad episode I try to cure with alcohol.

Tuesday

Can 2 regular size cups of coffee make you fly into rages? Like screaming and wanting to break my keyboard just because I made a typo? Is that normal? It’s been happening more and more the past 2 weeks. This morning I almost destroyed my entire kitchen because they shut the water off. I’m not a violent person. The poor neighbors must think I’m up here beating my wife. It probably doesn’t sound like I live alone. Now that I think about it that happened before the coffee. I couldn’t make coffee because the water was shut off. Everything is resolved now but I am still flipping out. I’ve been missing my night meds by falling asleep at strange times but I take my mornings. It can’t be that, but this happens a lot lately. It fucks up my entire day. I can’t leave the house. My head is pounding and my upper body feels like it is engulfed in flames.


The girl who met me and went straight home to break up with her boyfriend texted me last Friday night. Apparently she wanted an update on my sex life. She asked me twice if I wanted her to come over. I had a choice. I could stay home alone on Friday night or I could have sex. I chose staying home alone because the whole situation is fucked. She still lives with her boyfriend. I don’t care if she says she broke up with him. He is still her boyfriend. You can’t just call a technicality.

Wednesday

Today is tomorrow already and last night never happened. 4am is my arbitrary bedtime. That means I have to decide if I am tired enough to take my night meds. It’s a gamble because I may be too wide awake for them to put me to sleep. That was an hour ago. I rolled the dice and came up snake eyes. I am still awake. I can’t try to sleep until 4am tomorrow. What do I do? Do I take my morning meds? It’s morning.

Thursday

I am a violent person. I’m just violent on the inside. I abuse myself. You have to really be an asshole to get me to raise my voice. You have to do something purposely hurtful and particularly egregious for me to throw hands. When I am pissed at myself it only takes the smallest things to set me off. In half a second I could be raging. But if someone else does something to make me angry, it might take me days to realize I’m pissed. I have no problem letting small things go. But I have a couple things in my life I ruminate over and get fuming all over again. I just can’t reconcile them.

Friday

I wouldn’t call myself a success story. Most people don’t make it through the first year. Even AA says they only have a 5% success rate. That is there own estimate of people in the program who stay sober for one year.

Saturday

I’m not going to see my daughter today. My nose has been running since I got up this morning. I’m not worried so much as I don’t want to be gross or make anyone nervous. Especially since the whole government just came down with the virus this past week.

A Brief Stint

Saturday

I did something bad my one night back on a dating site. Something I never do. I lied about what I do for work. Not to everyone. Just 3 women in particular. Some background. I don’t send messages to just anyone. I have to pick my spots. I have to guess who might be receptive. Knowing most of the time I’m just going to be ignored. Part of that is because in no way do I indicate I’m taking the dating app seriously. When I do send a message I don’t send the same cheesy line to everyone. I usually try to think of a funny question that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.

I lied on impulse because of something that has happened to me countless times. After I took some time to to write something that would elicit a reply, 3 women answered in the exact same way. “What do you do for a living?” (How much money do you have?) Not “Hi”, Not “haha”, Not even a simple, “lol.” No niceties. Just an immediate, “What do you do for a living?” Excuse me, that is so fucking rude. At least I put in a modicum of effort. I would rather be ignored. I thought, if that is all they care about I am going to see what happens. Instead of saying I’m on disability, I said I do tech support from home. Usually telling a woman I’m on disability is a conversation killer. I can understand but they don’t have to be so fucking rude about it. A long time ago I had a woman tell me I was wasting everyone’s time. Not just her time, everyone’s time. Just for existing.

I’d like to say I was surprised, but what a reception I got after I lied and they thought I made good money. Never before had any of the “What do you do for a living?” people ever shown so much interest in me. Suddenly they wanted to know everything about me. I don’t blame them if I said I was looking for a serious relationship and wanted to wine and dine them and meet their family and all that bullshit. I’m just looking for someone I can spend a little time with, I don’t want to meet their kids and be their step-dad. And I don’t want anyone meeting my daughter.

Those 3 were the longest conversations I had that night. But then I ghosted them. What was I going to do? I wasn’t going to catfish them and meet under false pretenses. It reminded me of everything I hate about dating sites and why I spend so little time on them. The second day I didn’t even sign in. The third day I logged in only to delete my account and that was it. Done.


Sunday

I almost started a fight yesterday, which is very uncharacteristic for me. I was already in a mood as I had to force myself to leave the house to walk to the grocery store. It was a perfect day for a walk but I couldn’t stop cursing out loud to myself as I went down the street.

I was crossing the road and a car came up behind me and hit the horn because he couldn’t wait 2 seconds to get into the cigarette/beer store. I don’t know where he learned to drive but I was going straight and he was turning so I had the right of way. That was no excuse for what happened next, again, I never do this kind of thing.

I spun around and gave him the finger and shouted, “Fuck you!”. He stopped the car, rolled down the window and started to say something. I yelled back, “I will fucking destroy you!” Again he was about to shout back and I went off again, “Step out of the car if you feel like fucking dying today!” He rolled up the window and drove away.

I walked the rest of the way reliving the moment and still swearing to myself. It was a good thing I was wearing a mask at the store because nobody could see me cursing them. People walking the wrong way down clearly marked aisles; wandering in my way. Others who couldn’t figure out the correct way to wear a mask. Either their nose or their mouth was exposed or sometimes both. Idiots!

As I was almost home I was still in a rage and I had decided to drink it away; turn all that anger inward and hate myself the whole next day. Because that is something I do. I get angry and drink to punish other people.

After I got home and put my food away, I felt safer and I started laughing at myself. What was I doing? I wanted to seriously hurt someone only because they beeped their horn at me. I was ready to ruin my entire weekend by getting drunk and deathly hungover or worse spend the night in jail with charges pending.

How silly was I to snap like that? I have a wicked temper but it is usually reserved for people who try to hurt me purposefully. I was ready to kill over a minor transgression I normally would let slide without thinking about. It was just the perfect storm.

Monday

It was my therapist’s idea to lie on the dating site. She didn’t specifically say that but whenever I told her I was having trouble, she told me not to say I was on disability. But when I asked her what I should say she never had a good answer.


I’m sick of people asking me if I’m drinking when something happens. Drinking is the cure not the cause.

Tuesday

I reached out to my case manager yesterday. I told her about not sleeping, not being able to sit still for 2 seconds and threatening to kill some strangers. Her response was, “Are you taking your meds? Have you been drinking?” I told her yes on the meds and no on the drinking. The next thing she said was don’t hesitate to get in touch if I need it. I thought that was what I was doing. I don’t blame her, she’s not a medical professional. She did offer to contact my doctor to see if I needed any changes. I said no, I’m already taking 50 meds, I don’t want any more. I don’t really take 50 meds, but I do take a lot. Every time someone suggests changing my meds I say no. It has taken me years to find the right combo to help me with my symptoms without any major side effects.

Thursday

I woke myself up crying this morning. Made some coffee, it didn’t help. I forced myself to pull it together and go to the store next door. I got a 10am meatball calzone to stuff in my fat face. The carbs and the fat didn’t help. I fell into bed and sounded like the cowardly lion. Then I started hyperventilating. I had to get up and made 2 more cups of coffee. I didn’t really want food and caffeine. I want something real to take away the pain.

I think I skipped my night meds too many times in the past couple weeks. I couldn’t help it, I kept falling asleep at unexpected times. I think it’s why I’ve been doing things on impulse I don’t usually do. Going on the dating site was more embarrassing than getting in a fight. I have so many strikes on a dating site, I’ve been thrown out of the game. Especially at my age where you are expected to be completely serious. I have nothing to bring to a relationship. That is why I’m not trying to get into one.

I put on a YouTube meditation for anxiety. I didn’t really do what they told me. I couldn’t breath deeply when they said. But listening in the background is good. The first one was an hour and now I am in hour 2 of the 2nd one. This one is a 3 hour meditation. I won’t listen that long. It’s a 6 part one but the first one is for deep sleep. How are you supposed to listen to the next 5 if you just put yourself to sleep? It only took me until 1:30 to calm down.

Saturday

I’ve been going since 6am today/yesterday. I hate waking up before I can do anything. I”m trying to get my schedule back but I keep losing it. I can’t figure out why I’m tired one night and wide awake the next.

I biked to see my daughter today. She is doing fine. I get all worried about nothing.

Her mom and her friends were there this afternoon. I can’t understand how they can drink 2 glasses of wine and then just stop. If it was me the bottle would be finished and on to the next one. I wasn’t really bothered. I”m just curious what makes the difference.

I should have tired myself out with all the exercise I got but it’s 2am and I’m wide awake. My brain won’t slow down.

The Pendulum Swings

When I first started my career of mental illness, my mood swings would come in neat little packages of about 3 months each. I would do a season of hypo-mania; barely sleeping, staying out until dawn with the other delinquent kids. I would be the life of the party; always the chatterbox. I probably acted like a normal hyperactive kid. Then I would slip into a season of depression. I would get home from school, chow down as much food as possible, then sleep for about 14 hours. I would hit the snooze button on my alarm clock until the last possible minute. It seemed I could never get enough sleep. I would stop hanging out with my friends to the point of alienating everyone I knew just so I could be alone. Then the switch would be flipped and I would be on my way up again.

Back then my highs were never too high and my lows were never too low. I don’t remember ever being suicidal even though I listened to Black Sabbath which was about the most overtly depressing music around back then. I had ideation but I never had a real plan to hurt myself. I think my mood would swing the other way before I became completely mired in my depression.

As I got older I got higher and lower. After being brought to the psyche ward by the cops during a manic episode, I finally came around to the idea I might need to be medicated. They tried different medications and when I got to lithium I discovered a new seasonal mood. “Normal”, that was one I hadn’t experienced in some time.

I entered a new cycle of life. After I got out of the hospital, they would send me out into the world freshly medicated. I would feel normal for about 3 months and then I would do what many people with bipolar disorder would do. I would stop my medications because I felt fine. That would lead to a 3 month bout of either mania or depression; a hospitalization and back on the meds. It took me forever to learn to stay on my meds. I was still against living my life with them and kept stopping. So I stayed on that wheel for years. 3 months on, 3 months off. I don’t know how many stints in the “Pavilion.” That was the name of the local psyche ward. I guess they wanted it to sound upscale. (It wasn’t)

In 2012 I was put on Latuda and everything changed. Now I have 2 year stretches of hypo-mania/mania, a brief respite where I have just my psychotic symptoms in the background and then long, deep depressions. I am writing this after coming out of a 2 year depression and I feel relatively normal. The only reason I have stayed on this particular cocktail of medications is because I hope for the excitement of a long stretch of hypomania/mania. Even with the risks coming with it. I’m not sure if I will get it because I recently started another anti-psychotic/mood stabilizer.

Now I feel like a long stretch of hypo-mania would be my reward for such an extended depression. I’m waiting for the rush but who knows if it will arrive. It’s been so long.

I’m still not sure if my cycles have changed as a result of new medications or if it is just something that happened because I got older. I would be interested in hearing if other people have had similar experiences. It seems so drastic to go from periods of months to now years long episodes. The good/bad? news is my mania isn’t as pronounced but my depressions are still so deep.

At the moment my metaphorical pendulum is at the point of equilibrium. I wonder how long it will stay before it starts an upswing. With this new medication I worry they have eliminated my mania and left me with depression. That would be unfortunate because I can’t take any anti-depressants. I have tried a lot of them and they either do nothing or send me to the hospital.

Sometimes I sit around hoping for that magic pill that will just make everything normal. But I’m also afraid of missing the “magic.”