Not a lot

A long period of silence here. Things go on, nothing really changes though the summer break has finished and I’ve now returned to work.

The first few days left me exhausted despite them involving very little work. Maybe it’s the getting up early added to the usual insomnia and other sleep issues?

Mood is relatively stable, though last week I got stuck in a prolonged bout of suicidal ideation. I judge these thoughts by imagining I have a button next to me I could push for instant death; how often I would do this tells me how my low- or mixed mood is.

Aiming at – as usual – trying to keep a 100% work record, no sickness leave. I do well, and Management knows it; my line manager says he doesn’t know how I manage to come into work at all, let alone be there and do my (teaching) job satisfactorily and even do it to a high standard. I surprise myself at how I manage to hold down a professional post, albeit part time (60%) now.

I also seem to have (touch wood) levelled out with how much weight I’ve gained since starting meds 3 years ago – Fluoxetine, Valproate, Quetiapine. I’m not losing weight, just gaining it more slowly.

Life isn’t easy. It isn’t easy if one doesn’t have a mental illness. As Samuel Beckett put it:

“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

 

Sunflower soft

 

 

 

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Visual hallucination.

 

A strange night, warm and humid. I slept badly, as always. The difference with last night (in the early hours) is that I had a visual hallucination.

It was a figure, in the darkest part of the room, a yard from my head. The figure was an exaggerated one; marching on the spot, monochrome, side-on to me.

(“All colours will agree in the dark.” – Francis Bacon)

It didn’t appear human. Without lifting my head from the pillow I reached out my hand to touch it, a couple of times. Nothing solid, and no reaction. As unusual as this was, I wasn’t afraid and was too sleepy to react further. I turned over, facing the opposite direction, and fell asleep again. Next time I woke in the night there was no figure there.

 

The Ghost of a Flea c.1819-20 by William Blake 1757-1827

William Blake, ‘The Ghost of a Flea’.

 

Spooky Action, not much of a distance

I am fastidious about my pre-bedtime routine. This is dictated by my (bipolar) anxiety and OCD. In the living room, I make sure the TV is off, the lights are off and the door is shut. This is how it always is, how it always has been.

This morning I came downstairs and stopped when I saw the door open and lights on. My first thought was that I’d  been burgled (unlikely as the house is as tight as a drum). But no, the lamp I always use was on and another lamp I seldom use was also on. The TV had switched itself off on the power-saving mode.

There was no sign of a break-in; windows were intact as were front and back doors.

This hasleft me feeling ill and uneasy all day. Thinking about it, I can guess only at two posible explanations:

Memory lapse (wouldn’t be the first) probably linked to the dissociation I have with my bipolar. Brief psychotic episode (again, wouldn’t be the first). Had I come downstairs in the night and watched TV or done something else? I have no history of sleep-walking.

It’s all very strange. Spooky action indeed.

 

 

Quetiapine 300mg XL – 5 weeks today.

It’s so difficult to get up in the morning, almost impossible in fact. I don’t think ‘sleep paralysis’ is involved, just that I’m so woozy and sedated that I keep dozing off again. I’m setting the alarm clock for 10am but this is proving futile; 11 is the best I can hope for, it seems.

But today, I’m incredibly woozy. I discussed, often, with my therapist my delusion that nothing is real. Or rather, nothing is real outside myself and that I am probably in hospital, medicated or comatose after a traffic accident or some extreme psychological trauma. There are signs of this I recognise in whatever state of being I’m currently in.

The main one revolves around coincidences. I won’t go into this too much, but I have believed that things are unreal through a ‘logical’ progression of thoughts based around how frequent coincidences make themselves apparent. Frequent and commonplace to the extent that they cannot be appearing naturally. Externally, objectively.

I had a shock ten minutes ago when I realized that I might in fact, at this moment, be dreaming and not awake at all. When I have this delusion I can to some extent control it consciously; I can ‘predict’ or ‘make happen’ some things that happen or more usually words that are said.

So just now I had the idea that the random word butterfly would make itself apparent very shortly – either spoken on TV (there’s no-one here with me) or read online. The occurrence of this word would, I know, almost certainly prove that this current existence is not real but exists only in my own mind. I have had several instances of such [solipsistic?] states in the recent past.

So far, the word hasn’t been spoken, so I am a little more content that I am awake. A look at my Twitter feed had a name including the word butterfly, and while I’m prepared to put this down to coincidence, I’m not 100% certain this is the case.

This is my problem at the moment. I looked online for mentions of sleep/wakefulness blurring in bipolar II but there’s very little at all. It might be part of my dissociative disorder linked to, or existing independently of, my bipolar.

I do realize this piece of writing is muddled and possibly incoherent. I don’t want to ‘tidy it up’. I don’t think I’m hypomanic at the moment, or particularly low. I generally know when these moods are happening. What I don’t know however is when I am in a mixed state, cycling rapidly. That’s why it’s a dangerous mood for me. I worry this delusion is indicative of a current psychotic episode. Hopefully it will settle or run its (usually brief) course. I do feel so very out of sorts today.