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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.