I wish I had a set of goals that I could look towards. Something to build my life up to. At the moment all I can manage is just to get up in the morning and keep my ass awake for the duration. I have started taking the Zopiclone at night to get me to sleep and keep me that way. I am only doing this so I don’t have to be awake any longer than is necessary. It’s not an ideal way of living life but it’s all I can muster at the moment.

I have two groups that I attend during the week and to be honest I don’t feel much like going to either. The first on a Monday is a discussion group. There are about 10 people in the group and the idea is that a topic is chosen each week and then for the next 90 minutes we discuss said topic. Last week was quite good. We discussed Law and Order (not the TV show). I had a fair shake of saying my piece when I had an original thought that didn’t involve just the words, “I agree”.

The second group is a repeat of the relaxation group from before Christmas. Everyone missed the first week and about 6 people showed up for week 2. So a more manageable group size. I guess it doesn’t help that the building these groups are held is not the largest of buildings. For one to one meetings the room sizes are perfect. Nice and cosy and not to oppressive (unless they have all the heaters on and then it’s like a sauna). It’s great to have somewhere I can go to let off a little steam a couple of times a week, as I don’t really have anything else in my life to call my own. I escape by putting headphones on while I am on the computer and that is about the extent of my escape.

Putting myself out there is proving to be harder than I thought it would. I could probably handle a smaller group but to be honest I think it could have something to do with my being the youngest of the group (or at least I think I am). The size of the group is a little intimidating and it got quite loud last week. Not that I mind a heated debate but it seemed that it was the same two people talking and getting more and more self agitated. The mood I am in right now I would probably put my foot in it and tell them to shut the fuck up. I think I will give Tomorrows meeting a miss. As the old saying goes…”If you don’t have anything good to say…. Say Nothing!!!”

(Skip forward a few hours)

I came clean with Mum and my wife about how I am feeling. Both came up with the same idea that I should phone the MHT tomorrow morning and see what they say. Mum and I are going into town at some point tomorrow, maybe I’ll be able to get an emergency appointment with the Pdoc. I’ll deal with that in the morning. My problem still remains, how do I explain how I am feeling when I can’t explain it to myself. I KNOW how I feel but putting it into words to some one else is a totally different proposition. The closest I came to it tonight was to try and explain that “there was a fire under my skin that can’t break through”. All very Jim Morrison like but the best I could do. I just want to rip the skin off of my bones and let it out that way. I guess that’s the Self Harmer in me trying to get out. It’s a struggle not to do it, the one thing stopping me is the feeling of letting everyone down when I do it. I get such sorrowful looks that it makes me feel ten times worse.

I am going to call it a night soon and just go hide away in my dark little room alone and hope the night passes quickly. Well I can always hope…

Until Next Time…

Almost Missed That One.

There I was sitting there thinking that I was forgetting something and the phone goes. It’s thhe secretary of my Pdoc:

“Can I speak to Paul please”

“Speaking” I croak (my voice has gone for some reason I had a three day bout of death warmed up and then after I am over the worst of it my voice goes… I now sound like a cross between Barry White and a Nun who smokes 40 a day for thirty years)

“Just ringing to remind you that you have an appointment tomorrow at 3.30pm”

“Ahh There’s the problem I have an appointment with my CPN tomorrow at 3.30pm”

“OK Let me speak to your CPN and I’ll call you back”

“OK Thanks”

10 minutes later the phone rings again and I croak it …. I mean answer it

“Hi It’s your Pdocs Secretary. Your CPN is not here today so I think it’s going to be best that you come in to your outpatient appointment and I’ll let your CPN know in the morning that your coming in and that she needn’t worry about coming out to see you tomorrow”

“OK Thanks I’ll see you tomorrow… Happy New Year Pdocs secretary”

“Happy New Year”

That was not what I had forgotten allthough I had forgotten it. I still don’t know what I was supposed to rememeber. It’ll come to me eventually. But I digress. My Pdocs secretary is great like that she will call me (and I assume all of Pdocs patients) to remind them that they have appointments. I guess it helps cut down on missed appointments which is always good seeing as Pdocs don’t come cheap.

So that’s my first appointment of the new year. Today also marked the first cancelled appointment also, my CPN has the flu so she called off today… which I guess is a good thing seeing as I wouldn’t have been here to see her in the first place.

My appointment was pretty much the same as every other appointment I have had with the Pdoc lately. He reads off my medications two maybe three times and then we sort of discuss reducing at least one of the medications. Today we actually decided to reduce one of them He cut the Mirtazapine by 15mgs from 45 to 30 a day. Normally I would have railed against changing anything, but seeing as I am going to be seeing the Medication Management team starting the end of this month and the sole aim of those meetings is to reduce my medication intake, i figured we may as well start today.

I am and am not looking forward to reducing my medication. One the one hand I know that with virtually every change we undertaken up to date I have had an adverse reaction and I have ended up worse off in the end. All med changes have invariably been reversed within a month or so. On the other hand I really want off of all these meds so that I can start to feel undrugged for a change. I want to be able to be clear headed and alert. I want to be able to write during the daylight hours and not have to wait until just before bed when I am most awake.

I know I am in for a rough ride the first half of this year and I know that there are going to be dark days ahead and who knows what other colours of the rainbow my days are going to become. I just hope that we can finally find some medication  combo that will shut the voices up and make the fella in the garden go away. Maybe July onwards will be my half of the year hopefully by then things will have sorted themselves out and I will be on a stable combo that is finally working.
Stay tuned for more info…lol

Until Next Time…

An Update

I think i started writing this blog at a time when I wasn’t ready to write… but enough of that.

Since my last visit I have been pretty busy in a not very busy way. I a series of meetings with my employers and it was decided that they thought it would be a good idea if they were no longer my employers. To be honest I can see their point of view. Over the past 4 years I have had close to 400 days off work (that’s the best guess I can come up with today, I don’t remember the exact figures they quoted at the time). I had had 127 days of work this year up to the point of the final meeting when it was decided that my services would no longer be required. As I said I can see their point of view and I was expecting the push sooner or later. It still feels like shit to be unemployed again for the first time in 6 years, doubly so seeing as it was all caused by the symptoms of the Bipolar.

At my last meeting it was all very offical, the head of the contact centres HR dept and the top office manager. They were talking like company drones all very officious and not at all human. When they actually gave me thier decision the spiel went something like…:

i would like to thank you for you constructive feedback about your position within the company. With that said I have to inform you that we are going to summarily terminate your contract with immediate effect.

There was no “Unfortunately” no “Sorry but”. I think I felt like I wasn’t important to them, I guess I wasn’t really. I was just a little cog who had dull teeth that didn’t work properly, the only saving grace is that apparently it was commented that I was good on the phones and that had been said by a couple of the office line managers. At least Someone thought I was worthy of a decent comment.

Leading on from that I had to make arrangements to go and claim Incapacity Benefits as I don’t feel that working is an option for me at the moment. I had heard of dreadful stories about long waits and gruelling medicals when applying for IB and with the rules and the IB being phased out on the 27th October I was a bit worried that my case would be a long drawn out procedure, but it needed to be done. Mum found the telephone number of the claims line and I duely gave them a call After a 45 minute phone call I thought that that was the first stage completed. I was given a long list of things I needed to supply the job centre with to help get my claim sorted.

I was told that it would be quite a wait for the claim to be processed but I should get my payslips back in a few days. Well it took about two weeks for my payslips to come back to me and the next day I recieved a ltter stating that I had been granted IB. NO medical, no long detailed forms to be filled out. Just granted it just like that. We can only sumise that it was because I had the letter from work stating that they had finished me on medical grounds and they had taken that as all the proof they had needed. No complaints there. The only thing I have to do is supply sick notes every month to the benefits office and they keep paying me. The benefit isn’t a massive amount buit the monthly total will pay our loan payments, and we will just have to really tighten our belts so the rest of the bills get paid.

I had my psych appointment last Thursday and my Pdoc has increased one of the pills to help the Paranoia that I have been crippled with the past few months. It’s gotten to the stage now that I can’t leave the house unaccompanied. I can’t even go to the doctors on my own, hell I can’t even go to the corner shop to get a pint of milk (black coffee time soon folks). Linda and Mum have been great about all of this and I know I have some work to do to get myself back on track and it’s going to be a hard path to travel but I have to do it to get my life back. Whilst at my pshyc appointment, the Pdoc asked if I was interested in having a Community Care Worker again to help me out in the times between my appointments, I jumped at the chance. It’s something that we have all been thinking about ever since my latest bout of depression and paranoia kicked in. He filled out a form whilst we were in the meeting and he told us someone would get in touch to let us know either way in a few days. Anywho the next day I get a phone call from the psychs office saying that I had been allocated a CPN and would it be OK if she came around on Monday to introduce herself. I thought:

“Things are coming to easily for me at the moment.”

FAst forward to 4pm yesterday and I am sat in my front room talking witha CPN about what she can do for me and where our meetings will be going. Could she come back Wednesday to start off my Care Plan and sort out some paperwork:

“Ummm Yeah”

My head was in a bit of a whirlwind, everything seemed to be moving so fast. In fifteen minutes it was all over and I felt strangely relived that I could sit back and take a breather for an evening. Nothing was hanging over me that could or should stress me out. My CPn is going to work with me to sort out my medication and manage how I take it… I thought I was doing quite well just by opening my mouth and popping the little suckers, but apparently she can help me with it… so I will see where that takes us.

That about brings us up to date. Sorry for the length but things have been happening a pace around here and I had left it so long between posts there was a lot to catch up on.

Until next time…


Click for Bigger

It’s strange to see something you find hard to believe, but when it’s not really there in the first place it takes things to a whole new level.

Let me explain the situation… I have auditory hallucinations pretty much constantly, they are dampened down by taking Risperidone, but they are always there and I am always aware of them. The rest of my cocktail is Depakote, Mirtazapine, Ariproprazole, Lamotrigine and Lorazepam The Ariproprazole wasn’t working the way it should after nearly three months, so my psychiatrist decided to wean me off that and add in Reboxetine. That link takes you to the Wikipedia page for the drug. Now I know the wiki isn’t a professional thing but it’s pretty much accurate 9 times out of 10 when it comes to Drugs. If you read the side effects list, no where…and I mean NO WHERE does it mention seeing Spiders and men walking around in your front garden and watching you sleep. That has been my life for the past week.

I have visually hallucinated before but that was after not sleeping for close to 7 days in a row ( I saw my Mr Bump cushion dance across the floor… I thought it was funny). This time it’s getting beyond a joke. I am sure that the Reboxetine is to blame but until I can be sure I don’t want to bother the Pdoc with it.
I am not overtly bothered by the hallucinations but then again I am not happy about them either. I would rather not have to keep checking the floor to see if the Spiders are coming to get me are for real or not. I hate spiders at the best of times so why my mind is making me conjure these , I have no idea.
The man in the front grden is weird as I don’t know why he is there. He’s not doing anything except walking across the grass (my mum suggests I ask him if he’ll mow the grass while he is walking about.) The funny thing is he only walks one way I never see him walk back. I wish I was dreaming all this because I could fob it off using a dream analysis but because I am most definatly awake at the time it’s pretty pointless. The person watching me sleep is not, suprisingly, alarming to me. I don’t know why that is because to any “normal” person having someone standing in the corner while you are sleeping is gonna give you the screaming habdabs.

If anyone has any insights on where i can find more info on reboxetine other than wikipedia then hook me up with a link in the comments section… esspecially if there is a link to visual hallucinations.

Until Next Time…