A year ago this week I finally went to the Doctor for what turned out to be an infected cyst on my back. I had had a little marble sized bump there for years, then maybe the beginning of November it started to get a little bigger, then the week before Thanksgiving it started to hurt pretty bad. Finally by the beginning of December I couldn’t take it anymore so I went to a walk in Doctors office. (After being misdiagnosed by an Urgent Care!)
Anyways, apparently the cyst had gotten bothered by something and got inflamed, then infected. So I spent the entire month of December drinking hydrocodone like water (I will throw up if I take the pills…) and popping antibiotics like they were Pez. Needless to say it was kind of a blur. In addition to that my mom had left to help a friend back home do some stuff and I was doing all of this alone, with an open hole in my back. Despite being on some fairly descent drugs and spending most of my down time face down on a table getting gouged into and re-stuffed, I was manic.
Looking back I’m not even really sure when it came on, but my sex drive was so out of control that I would take breaks in my car and “take care of myself.” I would watch porn on my phone at work, and when my mom did come back home, I would masturbate on my way home from work since I couldn’t do it when I got home anymore.
This may seem like TMI, but I’m resolved to be completely open and blatantly honest about what it is like day-to-day with Bipolar. It takes an insane amount of self control to make sense of everything and all the feelings and emotions, it’s exhausting, but very necessary in order to maintain a somewhat functional life. The uncontrollable sex drive is not something to joke about and has the potential to be detrimental to people’s lives. There was a TV show, I’m sure I’ve referenced it before, called Black Box about a brilliant surgeon with Bipolar. She ended up having a baby when she was a teenager after a manic phase. Then there’s the sexual diseases that don’t really come to mind when you’re just trying desperately to have someone else get you off instead of doing it yourself. (Granted, that’s not so much of an issue if you’re in a relationship…)
Not sure if I’ve really talked much about the BDSM subculture, but I am on a website called Fetlife (which is basically Facebook for pervs!). It’s a safe place for people with certain interests to talk and explore their likes and learn more about others who are into…kink, for lack of a better word. I was introduced to the site by a friend when I was living in Savannah and didn’t know anyone down there, as a way to meet people and maybe get some fun times out of it. Of course I’m so introverted and, for good reason, don’t really trust myself with meeting people online or in random places, so I had never actually hooked up with anyone from the site.
For the sake of complete honesty, I haven’t had sex in over 4 years. It had been 2 years before that one 4th of July weekend…all with a “friend” I had in college after being celibate for 3 years before that; my boyfriend of 4 years got out of bed on our 4 year anniversary never to speak to me again right before I moved away to go to university, so I decided to take a bit of a break and be on my own when I came to ECU. (I didn’t really expect the “Candice doesn’t date right now” thing to turn into a “Candice is a nun that drinks and swears” kind of a thing.)
Anyways, last year, I get back on Fet. and check on all my messages I’ve gotten and strike up some conversations with a few guys. Mostly get-to-know-you stuff, but gradually it gets to “that” point. One guy in particular and I ended up having quite a bit in common, and he knew some people that I knew who vouched for him, and so we set up a time to meet up at the mall. We didn’t have sex, but we fooled around in the parking lot and ended up talking for a few hours. I didn’t really do anything to regret, but I know that had I not been manic, and embarrassingly desperately horny, I would have never met up with him. Over the summer when I went to an OB/GYN it occurred to me that that guy had probably made his rounds, so I went ahead and got tested for herpes and all that. Luckily that all check out clear, but I had never in my young or adult life done something like that without thinking of all of that stuff before hand. I was quite fortunate that nothing bad happened, in any way.
Shortly after that I had my first appointment with my psych Dr and told him about everything with my mood swings and the sex drive and the impulse buying and all that. He put me on a mood stabilizer that day and sent me on my way. Gradually stepping up the dosage over the next month+ did help that go away, I didn’t have the urges, I wasn’t thinking about sex every 20 seconds, but I still couldn’t sleep and I still wasn’t quite myself.
The second visit he upped my meds again and gave me some Ambien. He also ordered for me to get a DNA test done to see what sort of meds are compatible with my body. After that dose got upped a few times and me still not really feeling like I was in control all the way, he switched me over to a new one. That one I lowered the dose myself when I started to experience all of the side effects within a week. Then when they were still not going away, I took myself off of them completely. So by the next visit, I was completely off any drugs and he put me on one of the last ones on the list of mood stabilizers. After this one, which I’ve also taken myself off of now (You know, I feel like I might need to explain that one of these side effects is severe blurry vision. Now, I’m already blind and wear glasses, if I have glasses on my face I SHOULD BE ABLE TO SEE. With my job 90% of it is reading a computer screen for some fairly important information, so seeing is vital) the only option is Lithium, before we go over to the anti-psychotics.
In addition to the impulse spending, the insatiable sex drive, and the major league anxiety and anger issues I’ve got going on, when I’m really stressed I hear and see things that aren’t really there. Not so much people or voices telling me what to do; it’s more like I feel like I sense things more than usual. (Recap back to when I wrote about being an empath) I will see shadows walking around the house, or in my periphery, and the air will sound like it’s saying something. When I’m not in total control of my observational intake is when these things really kick in; like when I’m only half paying attention to something, or if I’m in the shower because I can’t completely pay attention to everything, also when I’m falling asleep or waking up. It’s nothing malevolent feeling, just something that isn’t supposed to be there. It’s more than the typical feelings I get, I don’t
normally see or hear things, I just pick up on vibes and energies in areas or around specific people. It’s quite hard to explain, but needless to say, I’m not schizophrenic, and that extra-sensory experiences are not uncommon when in a manic or hypo-manic state.
You may also remember I had that incident where I was obsessed with Mr. Right for like a month, or that time I bought Betty. There will be weeks when all I’m doing is going to work, trying to go to sleep like a
normal person, keeping up appearances; and on the inside, sometimes not even noticed by me, I’m dying. I just feel off, which isn’t anything new, but I just feel…stagnant and just plain old “not right.” Now with another surge coming on (increased sex drive, having to resist any kind of spending even thought that’s all I want to do) it’s only a matter of time before I just say “Fuck it” and just that that walk on the wild side, consequences be damned! I really do feel like I’m at my wit’s end and I’m using every ounce of control I have not to go on some sort of crazy spree; whether it be a killing spree, shopping spree, fucking spree, or just a full on unadulterated rampage.
You know that I wrote an entire blog post about Supernatural and part of that had to do with the #AlwaysKeepFighting movement, but needing something to be obsessed with, I’ve sort of clung onto the boys (J2 and Misha) and all their charity fundraisers and causes they help out with. The Always Keep Fighting campaign really speaks a lot to me because it’s exactly what I’m trying to do here. Be open an honest and help spread the word that people with mental illnesses aren’t to be shunned or people to be ashamed of themselves for. Also Jared sent his proceeds to TWLOHA (To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit organisation that helps people or gets help for people who suffer from anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts or actions.)
Anyways, I’ve been binge watching YouTube videos of them in interviews and at con panels talking about all their contributions and such over the last few days, in addition to watching the show. I am so inspired to try to do more, like both of those men, but I find myself without influence and with no thoughts or hopes of how to help people on a more massive scale. I do feel good that I’ve gotten the notes that I have gotten and that I have helped people realize that the are not alone, and that they can get help and keep fighting. It sounds exhausting, but continuously fighting is kind of like the “fake it till you make it” if you keep fighting, you’ll find that one day you don’t have to fight for one particular thing like you used to, it’s getting more manageable, and that over time you will not have to fight so hard anymore. It’s a long game, and is worth playing.
Year long story short, I’m still running on half biscuits, but I think I may have found what I really want to do with my life, and now all I need is a game plan on how to make it happen. Mania can be harnessed for good, and as long as I still take the time to take care of myself properly and get some help for my more random impulses, this is a very doable thing.
I’d love to hear what you guys think of that, and if you have any pointers on where I should go from here, that would be great! Please share this blog to friends of yours, no matter their mental standing or what-have-you. The main point is to spread awareness, as well as provide comfort, support, and understanding for those of us who do have any sort of invisible disability.
#LoveYourselfFirst friends; love you awesome nerds!