Another hard time

I was depressed. I notified employer 1 hour later than I should have. I asked for adjustments. I tried to work from home. I got no sympathy, the pay was late, I got even more depressed. The same day I sent my resignation letter. After that I was sent a termination of employment notice which was immediately effective. They still owe me my pay.

I had to call in sick because of bipolar. I thought I could manage working full time, but the work environment, lack of training, and lack of meaning made it all worse. I was supposed to learn something, but what I learned was disappointment. It happened once again to me to be treated unfairly and I wish this would not affect me so much, but it does. Since Wednesday I’ve been feeling like I am sinking. I have horrible spells of anxiety which are coupled with irritability and tears. On Wednesday I felt again like it would be better to disappear. I am trying my best to keep it together.

I know that the way they treated me is unfair and I know my rights, but I can’t promise anybody, not even myself, that I will be able to actually fight for my rights…I am depressed. I just want to be okay…I am tired…

The problem with art

Long time, no post. I guess I’ve been caught in a web of life events, changes, and of course, bipolar swinging moods.

Today I want to reply to a question: why is my blog name ‘theproblemwithart’? Well, I am a creative person, but at the same time I am very practical and love research. To give you an idea about this, before I decided to follow the creative path, I prepared myself for medical school. I think that I would have done a good job in the field because I am blessed with a great capacity of retaining information and a hunger for research and finding solutions. I am now studying a challenging discipline and I love it,even if I had to take a semester off so I can concentrate on my mental health. I guess I kind of got sidetracked from the conversation, please excuse me, this is how my mind works these days.

So, the problem with being a creative person, or at least how I experience it, is that the capacity to create, the ideas, the productivity, they all fluctuate. When I am down I have brain fog and holding a pencil or a paintbrush is almost impossible. Some people thingk that depression can fuel your art, but it’s not the case with me. Holding a pencil or a paintbrush is almost impossible in the conditions when moving one’s body is almost impossible. When I am experiencing my highs, I have so many ideas and my creative energy is at its highest, but I can’t finish any of my projects because the thoughts and ideas are so fast and make me jump from an idead to the next and so on…So, usually, I end up with drawings, renders, and sketches that somehow contain the essence of what I wanted to express, but not being able to complete one piece of work is frustrating and sometimes makes me angry to the point I want to destroy everything I created.

So…this is the problem with art. At least with my art.

PS: I uploaded my first selection of sketches online today. I am excited, yet anxious.

PPS: I am really thinking to put a name on this blog and my story. I am thinking to disclose my identity and help advocating for the people struggling. I am afraid that I am going to be a victim of the stigma, though. Is this going to affect me in getting a job? Are people going to stalk me? I am maybe too worried, but I have to ask these questions before making the decision. What do you think? What is your experience?

 

Decisions part 2 

It’s decided. I am taking time off so I can get the treatment I need and the peace of mind I deserve. It’s hard…it was a hard decision, but I need to give myself credit for being brave and going through this process without having panic attacks. 

I am currently feeling tired. The medication induced exhaustion. Headaches, feeling faint, lightheaded. I am still waiting for my body to adjust to the increased dose of antidepressant and mood stabiliser. 

I managed to reduce the amount of sleep medication. Reading before bed helps me a lot. It feels great to have time to read again. I need this. I also made the sketch for a painting I am going to complete tomorrow, and I also want to improve my digital drawing skills. 

The job situation is still not okay, and I don’t know feel like I am able to tackle job applications and CV’s right now. I need some time…The way I lost my job made me get a lot of anxiety about jobs and employers in general. It also made me doubt myself and my skills. What am I supposed to say in the “I consider myself having a disability” box? Yes? No? Revealing my Bipolar diagnostic made me vulnerable. It got me fired. I need to work on this for a while, to get over it. 

Maybe I am over-sensitive, but this experience was traumatic for me. It triggered a serious depressive episode from which I am still recovering. It made me give up on travelling to a beautiful city beacuse of complete exhaustion to the point of getting catatonic…

I am still here, I am still breathing, I am alive, I will recover.

Decisions

Let’s imagine the following scenario: you are a twenty something years old student, in your final year, 3 months away from graduation. The field of study is challenging, but you love it. It seems that you have it all going on, that your world is perfect. You are involved, you are the advocate, you stand up for yourself and others. You are a problem solver. On top of this, there’s almost one year since you got your diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. You managed. You relapsed, you were close to being hospitalised, you kept going.

And now, you are going through hell again. Medication stopped doing much and you lost your balance. You are pushing yourself every single day, you put the smiley face badge on your coat, and you carry your materials and books to campus. People tell you “you look tired”, and you tell them that you pulled an all nighter. It’s not too much of a lie, you did, only it wasn’t because you studied, but because you couldn’t stop the thoughts from spinning inside your head.

You are feeling like you are not capable of completing your academic work. You are sleep walking through your day and spend your nights awake, tormented by negative thoughts.

“You have it all, there’s so little left, why can’t you do it? loser, you are a loser, a coward. How can other people do it? You are going to disappoint everybody. Your dad doesn’t want to talk to you anyway…he knows how much of a disappointment you are. ”

And you have to decide, do you keep pushing even if you are feeling so faint, or do you take time to rest? Why is this so difficult, you ask? Well, after a life of doing what is best for others, it’s hard to see what it’s better for yourself. In fact, you see it, but you choose to do what’s best for others…why?

Dark days

Everything is a blur. I am struggling…I have words playing on and on in my head “medication increase will be needed…you can’t drive…we still consider epilepsy as a cause…MRI…PNES…”

I am barely functioning these days. I am crying a lot. Depression hit me full force after the mania I had 1 or 2 weeks ago. I am not good with time. Time is relative, especially so for those who have bipolar disorder. I just harness all the force I have and keep dragging myself around no matter what…I can’t fall to bed. I need to stand vertical. I will stand vertical!!!

Stop romanticising being busy

My state is not improving I’m afraid. Horrible nightmares haunting me, not being able to sleep without sleeping medication, feeling worthless and borderline suicidal. All in one night…

I hate cancelling plans. I hate not going to work, university, not getting involved. I hate that I have to take days off in order to recover. I can’t accept it when I am not high functioning. It makes me feel weak. It lets my illness come to the surface. That strong persona, the curious, energetic one, is not there anymore. I am home, drained of all my energy…still working. I’m in pain, physically and mentally in pain.

Mania…the bad type

My mind is restless. My blood pressure is high. It feels like electricity is running through my veins. My hear beats faster than ever. My head is burning. I want to work, learn, chat, dance…and even so, I am so tired. Such a contrast, two different forces in contradiction, coexisting. Ying and Yang…

How am I managing? I have no clue. I am worried about the crash. My therapist said something that quite eye-opening: “how bad do your symptoms have to get in order for you to seek help?”

The truth is, I am high functioning and I like it. 2 jobs, full time education, and bipolar. My plate is full. I don’t know when to stop and ask for help. I am trying my best to make sense of all that’s happening around me. I am tired…and manic.

Emotional

I am and I will always be a person who feels so deeply. Tough cookie with a melting core. Because every day is a different journey, a wild roller-coaster ride, I often experience a huge range of emotions. And guess what? I can’t control it. I would like to reduce the intensity of the emotions. I feel emotions in a physical way. It’s like I wouldn’t have a skin, no way of filtering the different emotions…they are all important, they all come at the same intensity.

I will never be anything but intense…that’s it.

Patience?

I am worried, disappointed, busy. I am agitated and tired. I am living in a continuous mixed state…

I’ve been told by my GP that it might take more than 6 months to be seen by a specialist. I don’t know what to do. I am thinking about private insurance, but I don’t know if they cover for my condition and these types of appointments.

I am drowning in school work and I can still stay afloat somehow. I just need a bit of rest, a bit of rest I can’t afford…