Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another Manic Day

I just stood in my kitchen rinsing off dishes and asking myself why they weren't in the dishwasher. Meanwhile the dishwasher is audibly running directly next to me. I hear this, I acknowledge this and then I proceed to try to open it to load the new dirty dishes into it. Damn it.

On the other side of the kitchen the stove is on 350 degrees, it has been on like this for over an hour because I started cooking dinner at 6:30. Dinner has been done since 7. I left the oven on again. I do this sometimes and thank God most of the time Rodney notices.

Bailey sits at the bar on the stool. I have chopsticks sitting on a dish across one another. Bailey has a habit of picking them up or messing with them. He bumped into one and it rolled off onto the counter. I had to struggle not to scream at him. He and Rodney play with these things that are set up just the way I want them and it gives me a headache to think about it. I placed it up there and asked Bailey to please not mess with them for what feels like the umpteenth time. I guess I made a weird gesture because he just looked at me and backed out of the room.

After discussing a financial transaction with my boss I tried to explain to Rodney what it was she was trying to do. I tried to work out whether or not it would be benificial for us at this time. I know I knew at one point what my standing was on it but for the life of me I could not put it into words. It was like trying to get a hold of a stream of water, it kept slipping away. Rodney could see how frustrated I was getting and said he would handle it. This is why Rodney handles our finances, I am easily confused when it comes to money or numbers of any kind really.

I feel on edge, not mad or upset just like my skin is crawling. I want to just go to work, go to school, be with my boys as much as possible and plan my wedding. Right now I don't want to worry about anything else. I hate how selfish that sounds because of course I am empathetic to my family and friends. I just can't divide my focus any more than I already have.

My boss asked me how Liam was doing and it felt like a great effort to bring him to mind. Not that I have forgotten him but right now my attention span is short, my thoughts are jumbled and hard to hold onto. It is taking me so long just to get all of this together. I felt myself getting aggravated not because she asked but just frustration at not being able to hold the thought, to put it together. It's like having a puzzle and knowing that once put together it should be a flower, but what kind? How big? What color? Where to begin? Edge pieces first?

Rodney emailed me something to look over and edit. I read it three times and had no idea what I had read. This is uncommon for me. My reading comprehension has always been above average. I scored college level when I was in the 6th grade. I had to ask him a couple of times what it was he wanted. I finally got it done but it still felt incomplete.

I am writing this to kind of keep notes of days that are different, off, manic, depressive, etc. I want to be able to print them and take them with me to my psychiatrist whenever I manage to get medicaid. I keep forgetting to go to the DFACS office. I need to talk to my school adviser about my future goals, I need to fax my petition for graduation and I still need to check with financial aid to see that all my paperwork is complete.

Hopefully this will have gone away by tomorrow, Bailey's orientation for school is tomorrow. I'd like to have my thoughts together especially for that. I apologize if I managed to offend anyone today or if I manage to offend anyone tomorrow.


  1. That is a *great* idea, to keep track of your ups and downs. I know it has helped me to track how my moods are affected by food, sleep, and lots of other stuff.

    I had a revelation this summer: my problem is words. :-) When I'm frustrated that I can't express something, when I keep rehashing something upsetting over and over, or I can't keep my brain from racing, I need to turn off the language part of the brain. It might work for you, or might not, but it's worth a try? Meditate, exercise, or even listen to music or a podcast, and give it 100% of your attention. Stop, listen to your breathing. Breathe in love, breathe out calm. Sounds dorky, I know, but it has worked for me.

    I know there are some times when you don't have time to get away and do that. But if you can, being able to give your brain a break for 20 minutes can also put a halt to your body's fight or flight response.

    If you're forgetting to do stuff, find a time when you can write a to do list every day. I used to things like that at night, but it kept me up thinking about stuff. Do it in the morning when you first get up, after dinner, before bed - whatever works. When you are having family time or relax time, you don't have to worry about the "to dos" - you're going to look at the list the next day.

    Anyway. That's your daily dose of Dr. Jen. This is stuff that has worked for me, so it may help or it may not. It may not work now and then it will in 5 years or vice versa. But the more tools you've got in your box to deal with stress, the better.

  2. Jen made some really good points.
    Life gets hectic and crazy for us all at times. I can't tell you how many times I load the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, and then walk out of the room without ever turning on the dishwasher. Shane has to double-check with me now to make sure I actually started it so we'll have clean dishes for the next meal. I also leave the oven on occasionally...and sometimes leave the burners on and scorch a pan.
    It usually happens more when I have a bunch of things going on in my life at the same time.
    Make a list of the things you'd like to get done this week and then work on things (in order of when they're due...ie Bailey's orientation) as you have time. Sometimes you'll get everything on your list completed sometimes you won't, that's how life goes. Don't stress so much about it! Mom's ORDERS!
    Also take some time for you....play a video game with Bailey, play Wow, soak in the tub with no light but candles burning and music playing. If you don't have time then MAKE time! Also Mom's ORDERS!
    If you need me call. If you just want to vent I'm here. If you just need someone to help you sort out your list of to-do's I'm here. Ask for help. I'm here, Jen's here, Julie & William are here...you have people ready and willing to help in any way we can. All you have to do is reach out.

  3. Jen thank you! Wonderful advice!

    Mom, I am going to call you sometime this week. I'm ok just want to talk you about wedding, school, etc. Thank you for your advice and mother's orders! Lol.

    I love you ladies very much!

  4. Hey Heather,

    I don't read your blog as regularly as I would like (you are such an inspiring person to me), but I thought I would chime in here. I was recently diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and my psychiatrist says I exhibit some of the symptoms of OCD... so I know exactly what you mean about just feeling "off." I have days where sometimes I just can't forget things that I want to forget, and other days where I can't even remember words I've used 1000 times before. And it is VERY frustrating, and I start feeling like I just can't handle it and sometimes I just want someone to come and give me a break.

    I'm going to agree with what Jen said about finding a few moments to just to get away and meditate or relax. I have recently had to start going to physical therapy, and I always have early morning appointments. I keep going because I have to, so it keeps me sticking to a specific routine. But anyway what I find great about it is they make me do these walking stretches, where I basically walk back and forth across a room slowly, stretching various muscles. This has been one of the BEST things for my GAD, because the only thing I end up thinking about is how good the muscles feel while they stretch. I don't even consciously try to pay attention to what my body is doing, but just the act of stretching them manages to pull my mind into this wonderful relaxed worry-free place.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is that doing something like having a nice 20-minute stretch during your lunch hour or something can be AMAZING. Do something that benefits not only your mind but your body as well, and engages muscles besides your brain.

    We all know how hard it can be to relax, and especially when we've got some sort of mental disorder (God, I HATE that phrase!!! I wouldn't use it but at the moment I can't think of a better way to refer to my problems.) It is especially hard when the people who love and care about you--or even the ones who don't but whom you have to interact with on a regular basis--just can't understand what it feels like to struggle with something that makes you feel like you're going crazy. You are a very lucky woman to have someone like Rodney who has been such a supportive person all this time, and your mom, and of course Bailey is a wonderful blessing. Hang in there! I know that sometimes it sucks, but it IS ok to feel "off." We will be there to support you along the way!