On sex and body issues

Since I never address this, I will write a massive wall of text about body issues and sex and relationships problem:
[*]Currently have some physically-related self-esteem issues, and being naked around anyone for any reason is the most nightmarish thing I can imagine.

Even ~10 years ago, my eczema was so bad I covered up from head to toe so no one would see it and run away screaming or worry they were going to catch something. People who are very obviously having health problems (such as being covered in oozing sores) are not considered attractive, also. It took many years and many hospital stays to get the skin most under control, and now I have similar problems due to weight gain from the medications.

To give an idea, it’s not just sexual situations I avoid. I avoid mirrors and don’t even have a valid photo ID card right now because I hate the idea of having my picture taken. I don’t think I’ve posted a selfie online in the past 10 years.

This is a reaction to the current state of things and is not my permanent way of being. I used to take my clothes off all the time. A guy I knew in high school told me the other day he remembers the time I changed clothes right out in front of everybody while we were practicing for high school jazz band. I’ve let art students take nude photos of me. In my old apartment, I had topless photos of myself on the kitchen wall. So it’s reasonable to assume, I think, that this is a strong reaction to weight gain, Cushing’s syndrome, skin issues.

That’s not to say I had no self-esteem issues; I was made fun of a lot in school when I was very young, even my best friend would often get mad at me and decide to say things to try to hurt me, like saying I was too ugly to get a boyfriend. I probably believed it in middle school. I had a problem that if someone hit on me, I’d take it as making fun of me (that happened more than once, also) and react badly. By high school I considered myself average-looking and, as a result, had more or less normal relationships with people.

[*]Due to medications, I also had zero sex drive for about 8 years, and zero interest in relationships. I consider being single and celibate an ideal situation for this reason.

I think I also get a lot of my insecurity from my mom. When I was in high school, and I’ll tell you right now I had a fucking fantastic hourglass figure and great tits, but I’d put on a dress and get ready for school and she’d give me a disgusted look and tell me my legs were too fat to wear that and I should go change. And so on. Eventually I ended up having a very hard time taking compliments and would be very uncomfortable if complimented for anything physical. Eventually I tried to ugly myself up enough that no one would compliment me on my looks (not that I was a supermodel to begin with) and any compliments would have to be about things I could do, not how I looked.

What was it that RuPaul says on her show? “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell can you love anyone else?” I think that sums up my problem. I have gone from hating myself and wanting to die, to hating myself [physically!] and not wanting to die. I think it will take me some time to recover from all of this.

I realize that many/most people would recommend continuing to at least see the therapist, and maybe that sounds helpful in theory, but I tried and tried for years and I can’t discuss anything important to me with any therapists. I experience a sort of verbal block. It’s stupid, but I have not been able to overcome that, making therapy quite worthless for me. Toward the end I actually felt really bad about wasting my therapist’s time and/or boring him to death. I’m not anti-therapy, I am just unable to make any productive use of it.

I am abusing drugs and alcohol entirely too much this week.

bipolarFound my last therapist receipt while cleaning out my backpack. Equivalent to bipolar NOS, i suppose. Anyway, just saying the “psychosis” part isn’t really new since I’ve been diagnosed with it for 20-some years. ^_^ I think I function pretty well most of the time, regardless of where my mind is at. All of my websites were created while manic, also.

ETA: I bought TUMS for the calcium, forgetting that I am having trouble with certain tastes. I am having a terrible fucking time trying to chew/swallow two of these things. Should’ve at least gotten peppermint. Ugh.

ETA pt 2: I am abusing drugs and alcohol entirely too much this week.

I spent the past years largely in a sort of depressed brainfog wishing I could be me again; now it seems that I am but “me” isn’t necessary an easy person to be. Dealing with excess energy and lack of desire to eat and sleep. I forced myself to very nearly eat a normal amount and variety of foods yesterday but it wasn’t pleasant, and it was only after spending a couple hours wandering around town in fairly hot weather and feeling like I was going to pass out.

Currently listening to The Beatles for about 12 hours a day, but still listening to a lot of Elton John, too. I get weird like this and it’s like I am attempting to make up for all the time I was unable to listen to/enjoy music while in a depressed state. I tried listening to the Grateful Dead last night and didn’t find them as interesting as they seemed to me a month ago. Likewise, if people suggest music for me to listen to, I am unable to comply due to compulsively listening to either the Beatles or Elton John. Repetitive/obsessive/compulsive behavior is pretty normal for me while manic, but I like to document it so that I can recognize things if they recur. I now feel like I should’ve recognized something was a bit off when I started buying a bunch of Grateful Dead stuff. [shrugs]

I am trying to stay away from the liquor store because I feel like I would attempt to buy half the alcohol in the store and drink myself to death. I was in a somewhat dysphoric frame of mind last night.

It’s not that it’s terrible to not sleep due to tiredness, because I don’t really get tired, but it’s more like it would be kind of nice to just shut my brain off once in a while (drugs don’t seem to work, i know because I’ve tried). On the other hand, this is actually a whole lot better than the depressed state I was in, because I really was not seeing any reason to go on living in the state I was in for the past 7-8 years.

I am taking a short break from Facebook today because if I see one more motherfucker saying how great the pope is, I’m gonna fucking break something. I’m experiencing a massive psychotic hatred of the pope right now.

I had a granola bar today, I’m off to a good start. I have a lot of work to do today.

I got on the scale today and started swearing because I didn’t think it was possible to lose that much weight within a single month. I’ll have a few more granola bars, I think. =/ I mean, I had it to lose, but shouldn’t have been able to do so so quickly.

Then I spent 20 minutes in front of the mirror marveling at the fact I have a lot more white hairs than I seemed to last time I inspected my hair for them.

Forum discussion concerning manic episode

(This is a conversation on a forum)

Keep in mind we are not so unique as we think or wish. Specialists can help you because what you have thousands of people have too (with smooth variations).

The problem with the therapists and psychiatrists I have seen is that there is apparently nothing in the medical literature that fits me. I may have mostly focused on the bipolar here, but it is combined with the psychological symptoms of long-term corticosteroid use and a possible personality disorder. They’ve tried various meds over the years and basically told me they don’t know WTF else to do. Also, to see a new psychiatrist around here, there is a waiting list of about a year or more. I’m not willing to wait a year. Also, I decided I just can’t afford any more specialists. I have a lot of health problems, I go to a lot of specialists.

If I have to guess, I would say you need psychologists and psychiatrist as well, you probably have some “physical” problem (or real problem if you prefer)

I’m pretty sure bipolar disorder is a real physical problem, but I know what you mean. I am on a lot of very powerful drugs for my skin and my hormonal problems. These are being taken care of by appropriate specialists.

But again, I largely enjoyed the time I spent going to the therapist. I saw the same one for almost 2 years, I think. I learned many new things. And we talked about mania quite a bit, and he acknowledged and accepted the fact that many manic people do not want and will actively reject treatment. I am one such person. He knew that.

You may be reading back too far in my posts, my acute mania only lasted a few days. I am quite functional now and able to eat food. The food was my only main concern. I don’t even need to be functional around people because I am rarely around people. But if I were around people, I would be quite ok.

Thinking back, I have only have two states, and this is the state in which I am able to function better. It’s kind of a “lust for life” rather than a “lust for death” kind of thing.

May I say one thing is working form me: get out of myself more times: think about other people, trying to help and be useful.

Yeah, that’s what I do while manic: I am nice to people, I help people, people enjoy being around me (opposite is true while depressed). As far as I am concerned, especially now that I am eating again, I am ok, I am functional, I am motivated, etc. That is, I am close to “well” as I have ever been or probably ever will be.

I don’t want a solution. I feel fucking fantastic.

Nah, I’m eating now. I’m not hungry, but I do force myself to eat a few bites of things here and there.

In my opinion, the problem is not how I am now, it’s how I was for the past 8 years.

I’m extremely resistant to treatment while manic

I’m extremely resistant to treatment and/or any suggestions on ways to regulate myself while manic. I enjoy it too much to want to do anything about it. I am so resistant that I left a message on my therapist’s voicemail saying I was never coming back, lol. Nah, none of the meds have done anything for me except give me a rash and/or diarrhea, talk therapy doesn’t do anything for me because I tend to resist talking about myself while there.

I find it helpful to write about here and elsewhere though. I mean to say, I feel better if I am able to express what’s going on with me and attempt to organize my thoughts. I also feel, even though I don’t think I would benefit much from further therapy at this time, that I have benefited from therapy somewhat in the past, if only in getting diagnoses and being able to research these things further.

Well, I spoke too soon. Stomach is still a bit picky. I went to my grandparents and they gave me a “hard root beer” which is like hard lemonade, but root beer. Then their neighbor came over with chocolate chip cookies and I ate one. Rushed home, spent quite some time in the bathroom feeling like I was dying.

Before that I was in a good mood though, and bouncing around the grandparents’ house cleaning and getting stuff for them.

I did also manage to stop at the dollar store, where I got more Gatorade and Powerade. and a cute little dancing skeleton.

I have too much energy and too many thoughts going through my head

Feeling more stable in the sense of not suffering from psychosis at the moment. Still having a terrible time with [financial] impulse control. I need to stay away from ebay and amazon. I went there with the intention of selling shit, actually, but the opposite of that happened. Nothing as bad as last week though.

Still, I am really not stable when compared with other people and that is probably why I am a hermit.Still a vague feeling that the past several years of being sick and having a lot of meds going through me has ruined my life, but on the other hand, due to not being depressed any more, I have an uncharacteristic sense of optimism and hope for the future, but still no real direction in life.

I don’t get sick when I eat anymore, but apparently the mania is still causing appetite suppression. Walked all over town yesterday and all the muscles in my body have ached ever since, probably because I’ve barely eaten in 2 weeks. I had some bacon yesterday. Food just isn’t appealing though. My blood sugar has been low as fuck because of forgetting to eat all the time, which doesn’t help my life at all, either. I just keep throwing food away because it keeps going bad because I am not eating it.

I have some pickled yellow beans I canned last year, might open those. I have some more fruit punch flavor Powerade here, also.

The other problem is I have too much energy and too many thoughts going through my head, and because of that, it’s just all chaos and I’m not actually being productive unless I am working on translations. I’ve been meaning to finish paintings and things but I just get distracted and decide to go rearrange the stuff in the kitchen cupboards or something like that.

People who say suicide is cowardly

I’d like to extend a sincere “fuck you” to everyone who posts shit calling suicidal people “cowards,” saying they’re “taking the easy way out,” or that it “doesn’t end the pain, it just gives it to someone else.” [Last one is the actual meme I just saw that inspired this post.] When Robin Williams died, Henry Rollins posted an assholish rant somewhere and that pissed me off immensely also, along with all the people who commented in agreement with it.

You don’t get to judge a suicidal person’s pain and decide your imaginary right to not grieve is more important than whatever they’re going through. This type of shit just strikes me as selfish as fuck, like you’re willing to let your loved ones suffer whatever just because you don’t want them to hurt you. There is no guarantee in life that you’ll never get hurt, and I doubt any suicidal people are going around thinking “gee, I’d sure love to hurt everyone that loves me!” No, they are thinking that they can’t deal with continuing to live. I agree with promoting and sharing things like suicide hotlines, but I cannot, CANNOT deal with the idea of suicidal people just “taking the easy way out” or being “cowards.” If you think that, I imagine you’ve never had a suicidal thought in your life or that you are severely lacking in empathy or you wouldn’t say such assholish things.

“Have you lost weight?”

It also occurs to me that my energy levels have never been in any way related to the type/amount of food I eat, how much I sleep, etc. This week I went a couple days without eating at all (did drink some mango flavored kefir) and spent half the day on the exercise bike to try to get rid of the excess energy. I think I visited my cousin and his wife on Monday and decided I couldn’t sit quietly in the chair in the living room, I had to sit on the floor and visit with the dog so this would hide the fact that I was fidgeting constantly. (In the past I’d spend like 4 hours a day jogging, but I’m too fat and out of shape for that kind of shit right now.)

Anyway, again, I’m ok with losing some weight, which would have happened anyway just from stopping drinking soda, but I’m probably going to be irritated if anyone compliments me on it. Maybe that makes me sound like a dickhead, I don’t know or care. But it’s like 10 or so years ago, when I was pretty fucking thin to begin with, and lost 20 pounds because I had the flu for a week and was half-dead. And what did people say to me? “Oh you look great, did you lose weight?” And I accepted that and said thanks while thinking about punching them in the face, because I don’t think it’s appropriate to compliment someone on being sick,which is what it amounts to. It’s a fat person problem mainly though; no one makes a distinction between healthiness and weight loss.

Been reading up on things. Apparently there are some important distinctions between the symptoms of regular clinical depression and bipolar depression. I no longer doubt my bipolar diagnosis at all. Still coming to terms with the thought that what I have always considered my “personality” is really my manic episodes. But then, I suppose everyone is just a product of their neurochemistry. But many people’s neurochemicals are more stable than mine.

Another impulse buy

Latest impulse buy: 88-key digital piano. Also pictured: dogs, gigantic fucking box, and my old shitty keyboard in the garbage can outside where it belongs. The reason the box was so big is there is a stand and bench with it, but I can’t be arsed to put those together right now; busy working and trying to make up for the money I spent this week, lol.
piano

Slept for 3 hours last night.

I had to force myself to eat a piece of taffy today. I managed to sleep 3 hours. I tend to get really long periods of acute mania, generally the euphoric type but I’m also prone to anxiety in social situations, and it makes me really glad I stopped seeing my therapist (whether or not that’s actually good is debatable, of course). I worry about things like psychosis from sleep deprivation, but I am such a hermit and have cut off all ties to humanity to the extent that no one would notice, so as long as I keep working (online!) and paying my bills, nothing bad will happen.

I need to curb the excessive spending though. I spent my whole last paycheck on a fucking piano. Where the fuck am I even going to put it?

Since I don’t have a regular 9 to 5 type of job, I figure it doesn’t matter when I sleep or if I sleep at all,but I should probably count my calories to make sure I am eating enough because I keep forgetting.

I won’t lie, though, I feel like it’s the best thing that could happen to me and I’m in love with myself and life and the world (all of which is sort of out of character) and if anyone even suggested that I should get treatment I’d fantasize about punching them in the face. =) [smiley face because I am not actually feeling violent.]

On quitting therapy

I’ve been seeing this therapist for over a year now. If indeed there is anything I would benefit from discussing with him, I have trouble verbalizing those things. I have trouble talking about myself. The avoidance of talking about myself is more pleasant than any potential perceived benefits that may come from talking about myself. So I sometimes wonder if I should just stop seeing him and save the ~$100 or so in copays I pay him a month. On the other hand, I feel like one day I may have a breakthrough and be able to talk about myself in a serious way. I also rely on him somewhat to reassure me that I can more or less “pass” as a human.

[Please, no “you can talk to me”s in response to this. No, I can’t. That was my entire point.]