Category Archives: bipolar

Retirement

I am, for all intents and purposes, finished working. The VA retired me in 2016 at the tender age of 45.

Now a lot of you out there might think that sounds awesome and think it is the goal that everyone is working towards. But being retired is not something you should be if you can’t structure your time properly. It can be as cruel a hell as working at a job you can’t stand. Filling up a day with activity can be very hard, it turns out. You can avoid forward motion quite easily.

I’m in a rut right now. I got into a fender bender a few weeks ago and it shook me up a little. I’m doing more “hiding”, something I have done before. When I was deployed to Korea in 2005, the stress of that tour made me into a pathetic recluse and I would keep the lights off so no one would know I was in my room. I would turn up the heat so high you could probably feel it wafting from under the door. I don’t know what I was really doing, maybe recreating the feeling of the womb or something. Now the urge to hide is back again. I can’t get out of bed in the morning and when everyone has left to do their day at school or work, I beeline for the couch and hunker under a blanket and nap for three hours or more. I got off Clozapine so I could wake up so this behavior is unacceptable bullshit. There’s a difference now- I can get up easily, I just won’t. Back in the Clozapine days there was no won’t…just can’t. So basically I have no excuses for what I am doing.

I have plenty of things I can do but I can’t seem to motivate myself. I’m writing this, so it augurs something positive. You may have noticed the posts are few and far between, occasional reader. I damn near quit writing a few weeks ago. It may take some time to tell stories and share news again, but I’ll get back there and damn it all to hell if I don’t. I’m gonna pick up the freaking guitar and work on my scales until my fingers just know where to go without me thinking about it. I have a house to keep up too.

Dying takes on many forms and indeed, people die more than one death in a figurative sense. We are often changed forever by the things that happen to us or the things we do or don’t do. Sometimes you die a little from that, but the same mechanism allows us to be reborn anew. And that’s what I’m banking on.

More Drug Follies

Not the fun ones.

I’m talking crazymeds again.

Last night I began my withdrawal from Clozapine and began transitioning to a milder, somewhat analogous anti-psychotic, Zyprexa.

It was a hard night, marked by chest pressure and dreadful squirming anxiety. I have nine more nights of that to go. I am hoping it works itself out along the way. However, the good news is that I did wake up as myself this morning (I left open the possibility I would be delusional and hospitalized) and almost felt good about it. I put my Olly Stress Gummies, a Klonopin and my Koi CBD tincture on board, which if you are looking for an efficacious way to deal with stress the product works like a motherfucking charm. Lots of folks don’t seem to get anything from CBD, but I believe in the compound 100%. Caveat emptor though-you get what you pay for when looking for effective CBD. But anyway, today feels normal-not completely so as I will not be free of Clozapine for another sixteen days, but as I said, better than expected.

I’ve been on Zyprexa before, and if I recall I didn’t have the side effects that were common at all. That’s a stark contrast to my experience with Clozapine, where I suffered from several of the known side effects. Zyprexa has a lighter touch overall, which is weird because its side effect sheet is a mile long. It doesn’t carry a black box warning for me, and that’s a bit of a relief. It’s formulated to control bipolar with mania, and that’s exactly what turned my life upside down in that grim summer of 2008. Since then I’ve been on a lot of shit trying to figure what works best. If I recall right, Zyprexa didn’t do a whole lot to calm my ass so we’re going to have to work on that once I am truly free from Clozapine. That is the main thing I need to concentrate on. I am not going to tell my provider at this point that I regard Zyprexa as a bridge drug.

What I don’t like about this switch is that it’s going to do nothing to help some emergent liver issues I’m having. As antipsychotics go, Clozapine is the reigning king for necrotizing the liver, and Zyprexa follows close behind. So I’m gonna keep pestering my providers to find something that doesn’t put so much of a hurt on it. There’s things like Abilify that control bipolar with mania and is not metabolized at all by the liver.

One thing at a time, though. Eventually I will find a balance for mind and body, being mindful that in the end no drug regimen will be perfect.

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