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Courtney

Let's Talk About Meds

DISCLAIMOR: The very nature of medication is controversial. I am not a doctor. I do not have MD after my name. I am merely a woman living with Bipolar 1 Disorder. This is my experience with medication. These are my truths. In no way, shape or form will I ever give medical advice to anyone. Puh-lease.

That Stinkin' Barrel

Barrel: OK, who's next?
Me: Me, me, me!
Barrel: OK, get on in.
Me: Oh goodie. Lucky me, I thought I'd have to wait awhile to take another ride.
Barrel: Oh no. You've got an e-ticket. You can keep going and going and going...

February started with a wrist surgery that ended up being a much bigger deal than I anticipated, like a couldn't-hold-my-son-for-five-days-and-spiraled-into-depression-from-the-anesthesia kind of a big deal.

Bootstraps

I’m writing from deep inside the rabbit hole. It’s truly a miracle that I’m even writing this, but I have something I really need to say.

Here goes.

I had a humongous Ganglion Cyst (I know, right? ewww) removed from my wrist a week ago. No biggie, right? I went under general anesthesia, which I’ve done a few times and besides some nausea, I’m usually fine.
This time, not so much. Ends up, general anesthesia interferes with bipolar medication.

Yay.

Postpartum OCD – Yes, OCD

To be clear, I don’t agree with the victim mentality and it’s not my standard default. When I blame others for my troubles, I’m not taking responsibility for my life and my choices. I always look for my part in any negative, or what I perceive as a negative, experience. I'm very rarely a victim. Unless I'm blindsided or assaulted in my adult life, I'm a volunteer.

Better Than a Dead Cat

Mania is the key defining characteristic of Bipolar Disorder that makes it so very special and unique from all the other disorders out there, so it’s not shocking that I get asked to describe what it feels like quite often. 

Just the other day a well-meaning girlfriend – I say that without smarm – asked me about my most recent bout of mania as we were happily strolling down Ventura Boulevard. 

“It’s like being really hyper, right?”

“Ummm, not quite.”

DUELING DUAL DIAGNOSIS

On March 5, 2005, I was diagnosed with Bipolar and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by a staff psychiatrist in my first, and what I hope will be my last, mental hospital. This diagnosis was the beginning of my real life, a life of freedom I never knew existed. Of course, it didn’t feel like it at the time.

The question is how did I end up on a seventy-two hour hold with seven years of sobriety and a seemingly perfect life? Stigma, ignorance, and my overwhelming need for acceptance.