Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Year and a Few Tears Later

I stopped writing this blog because I felt that perhaps writing about one's illness might be counterproductive and overly self-involved.

But I was wrong. It is, in fact, productive, and while somewhat self-involved, can put out into the light something that can help other people who suffer from bipolar disorder.

So here we go again.

Rather than dump bipolar stuff on my knitting blog, this is a far better venue. I dislike mixing the two, actually. Manic depression and knitting don't necessarily go together, although I find my color choices often hooked into my mood. Not exactly a revolutionary theory but rather one of a series of epiphanies that I've had about being bipolar.

You know how it is. You read something, it doesn't connect with your state of mind, and then three months later, you go, "Oh, right. That's me."

Now coming out of a nasty bout of dysphoria, I started to think that perhaps keeping this blog alive would add to my need for advocacy.

Let's ride. Not over the edge but backing away from it.

14 comments:

Crazy Colorado Knitter said...

After what i read on your knitblog the other day, I was hoping you'd start back. That was a horrible example of the state of our mental health system. :(

DHJ Design Studio said...

Wow, I followed the link from your knitblog over here, read your previous posts and I feel like you were telling my story! I haven't been diagnosed bipolar but instead, with depression and anxiety. When I was younger I would have what I would now call manic episodes. Makes a person wonder. My current medication is doing the job but I dread the day when it doesn't.

Ann said...

Thank you for the reminder that the disease is hereditary. I just sat down and made full disclosure to Martin's family. It's a disease that most people talk about behind closed doors because of the stigma. But it really is not fair to keep it from family so that they can deal with it early, should the symptoms arise.

Thanks again for the reminder

Suzy said...

I've been reading your knitting blog for a while and just followed your link over here. Thank you for telling your story. My husband is bipolar and I worry so much about him. (Doesn't help things that I have panic attacks myself.) Reading about your experiences gives me hope. Things get crappy sometimes, but I'm learning that this isn't a death sentence.

Krista said...

Great quote from the Gonzo journalist himself over on the knit blog. I am clinically depressed with anxiety disorder and find myself quoting him often. Just last week I used him for one of my blog titles! Funny how we have things in common and never realize it until one of us is brave enough to say IT OUT LOUD.

lizzy said...

Seroquel works wonderfully for me (I take massive amounts of it). I (and dear friends) find that the time of day you take it makes a really big difference.

Also, my therapist has told me to take it on an empty stomach. You might want to check with yours.

Yvette said...

Great idea! I commented on the knit blog about DBSA...is there a chapter that meets near you? I took Lamictal and Seroquel together for about 2 years. I took 1200mgs of Seroquel and 300mgs of Lamictal by the time it stopped working. Then I switched ot Lithium at 1800 mg...now that's not working anymore so I'm off to a new med change appointment this morning. Wish me luck. Glad to hear you're feeling better. Now get your ass to DBSA! :)

Molly Bloom said...

It isn't just the US mental health system. Someone else mentioned that the UK is just as bad- it is. I'm currently going through the process of diagnosis in the UK and find a lot of my concerns being swept under the carpet.

My father, his sister and their grandmother had all been institutionalized at some point with bipolar disorder. But they're treating me like I am manifesting all these symptoms as a reaction to knowing their diagnoses.

I have been told to call them if I feel suicidal (why would I? they'd only stop me), I have been given sleeping pills that give migraines that make me want to kill myself, and have been told that 'everyone wants to kill themselves sometimes, especially young adults like yourself'/

It's a miserable situation and I can't get them to do anything without getting sectioned- a procedure which removes all your civil rights.

voncookie said...

Thanks for keeping both blogs... I'm a newcomer, fellow knitter/crocheter, and also bipolar. It's nice to know you're out there in the blogosphere. I haven't been blogging about being bipolar lately, but you just gave me the courage to do so. It's encouraging to see someone be "out" about it. I wish I had a similar courage, but in my field, honesty is not exactly rewarded... More about this on my blog, as you've inspired me to put my 2 cents in. Oh, and isn't Lamictal a miracle?!?
Best wishes--
vonCookie

Sarah said...

Thanks for starting up again. My husband is bipolar and I'm OCD. Great combo. Right now Aetna is putting me through the ringer because they don't have any OCD docs...only 200 anorexia docs. They say they'll cover whichever one I decide on, but how do I decide if I can't pay them?!

Danielle Blogging for Balance said...

Every now and then I think that about my blog but the person who redesigned it for me made me promise not to delete it when I got in one of my moods ;) And actually it has turned into a great support network for me and others that suffer from a mood disorder.

Matthew said...

Thanks so much for bringing back this blog! Both this and the knitblog reflect my current situation quite well. I'm doing knitting, weaving and crochet these days, with a big helping of Bipolar 2 (used to be depression/anxiety).

I've found that writing about ones mental state is *so* important. It's great to have a record of how you've been feeling; my memory is always colored by my mood at that moment in the shrink's office. I've never been much of a writer, so I can't keep up with a journal or blog, but I have a mood checklist that I fill in every day (available on the DBSA website). This has really helped my doc and I figure out which meds I should be on in the long term. Anyway, thanks for making your experiences public on this blog: I love the way your write, and it's great to hear that my experiences aren't unique.

Matthew said...

One more thing: for now, crazymeds.org is now crazymeds.us -- CrazyMeds was taken over by cyber-squatters a little while ago, but all the info is there on the new site. Please check it out if you're on any kind of psych meds, it's such a great site! (no affiliation, just a big fan).

Audrey said...

I didn't realize you had "issues" until I read it on your knitting blog and sister am I ever glad you posted about it there and resumed this blog that I never knew about. I am dealing with my own "issues". No psychiatrist, yet. Family doc is treating me with meds and we are starting with a diagnosis of anxiety/depression. She doesn't want to apply the bi-polar label as yet. After nearly a lifetime (I'm 50) of some ups and downs - the manic episodes are less dramatic but I talk nonstop, spend too much and have some real grandiose ideas - inappropriate anger, agitation and deep dark suckholes of depression have been overwhelming since my "tweens" to use the current terminology. Thank you for sharing your world with us. It helps.