More to Keep Me Busy

I’m a perpetual motion machine. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I need fuel from outside the system of self to feed my frantic behavior. I think I’m trying to convey the fact that I’m forever moving. I rock in my desk chair. I rock in my easy chair while reading. I scurry to the bathroom when my tea has quickly moved through my machine. I make meals in a hurry.

It’s hard to move slowly even in my tiny cottage of a house.

It’s hard to keep my brain from racing.

It’s hard not to race down to the mailbox by the road.

It’s hard to move calmly.

Here are some of the things I do to occupy my dismally short attention span:

I surf the Internet.

I rock in my chair and read.

I walk briskly.

I shop.

I return items I’ve bought.

I write here in my blog.

I call family or friends.

I count the days to the weekend.

I count the days.

I write poetry.

I wash dishes.

I eat.

I daydream.

I dust the shelves.

I shake the feather duster outside and watch the dust fly through the sunlight.

I dream of love.

I yearn for romance.

I vacuum the rooms.

I clean the bathroom.

I make the bed.

I brush my teeth.

I mosey down to the library to smell the books and read the newspapers.

I nag my caseworker needlessly.

I try to occupy myself constructively, but I often fail. I remember that the simple things in my day are what really occupies my time. So many days, I forget the small things in the rush to find something to do.

I can’t watch television: 2

It’s funny, but this blog’s most popular entry is about not being able to watch television because of my bipolar disorder. That particular entry is short and not helpful.

Last night I decided to sit down and watch a show that many of my friends talk about, and to give it a try again. I’m on some new medication, and I thought that perhaps it would help with my ability to concentrate.

I couldn’t do it.

I’m going to try to explain what it feels like. After switching on the television, I relax on the couch. I tried watching a comedy and was enjoying it. Then after about ten minutes, some glitch went off in my brain. I could feel it creeping up the top of my spine and invading my brain. It was like an electrical impulse, and I heard a buzzing in my ears. I immediately had to stand up and start pacing and stop watching the TV.

It’s really like the TV sets off a reaction in my brain that I can’t control, and the ability to focus is forced right out of my head. This is a problem for me when I’m on my medication and exercising regularly. It’s like an allergic reaction. I simply start to watch, and then signals get crossed, and my mind begins to race.

I hate it. Watching television should be pleasant. It should be fun. It should be diverting. Instead, it’s menacing.

I can’t watch television

The Oscar awards ceremony is on TV tonight, and I can’t watch. I have it on, but it’s playing in the background.

I’m pacing. I can’t sit. I can’t listen. I can’t concentrate. It makes me want to cry.

I don’t have a proper sofa or chair to sit in. When I sit on the daybed in front of the TV, I can only stay there for a short time. It might be one or two minutes.

I’ve had my meds for today. I could take more clonazepam, but that would just make me sleepy.

I feel damaged.

What is there inside my brain that disallows me from simple pleasures? Why can’t I sit and watch TV? Because something isn’t working.

I’m sorry, but I don’t feel like I’m winning tonight.

My Medication

I woke up in the very early hours this morning and slipped into the bathroom to take a half milligram of generic Klonopin (clonazepam). It was still extremely early, and I wasn’t ready to face the day. A half milligram puts me to sleep, and I’m prescribed to take it as necessary up to 3 full milligrams per day. I haven’t taken more than 2 milligrams in a day in a very long time.

I believe that the Strattera has something to do with that. I was complaining about not being able to concentrate, pacing in my apartment, and various other–what I realize now to be ADD–symptoms for more than a year to my doctor who wasn’t hearing me. I was finally forthright enough to stop answering his usual questions and stated plainly and emphatically that I was suffering greatly by not being able to sit for even 5 minutes and read 2 full sentences of any book. He gave me some samples of Strattera, and the change was almost immediate. I feel awake. I can sit still. I can read again, which is one of my dearest passions. Most importantly, I don’t use nearly as much of the anti-anxiety clonazepam as I used to.

My main medication for my bipolar disorder is Abilify. I take 15 milligrams. It works for me by controlling my symptoms.

In another post, I will write about what it’s like for me not to be on medication. Let me just say here that I get terrifying psychotic features. I take medication, because I cannot function without it. I cannot do the normal daily things that people without bipolar do without thinking. I can’t even brush my teeth. I shut down.