Gone but I don't know where

You have been drifting for so long / I know you don’t want to come down / Somewhere below you, there’s people who love you / And they’re ready for you to come home / Please come home
~ Sarah McLachlan, “Drifting”

I have an appointment with my psychiatrist on Tuesday morning. I’m not quite sure what to do.

My “symptoms” are back. Now that I know what to look for as someone with bipolar disorder, I am aware of them. I’m having mania moments. I don’t want to sleep. I have no desire to. My husband sometimes MAKES me go to sleep. I’d rather be up doing the laundry, washing the dishes, blogging, reading other blogs, making to-do lists, and organizing the apartment–all at the same time–at 2 or 3 am. (This doesn’t mean all of this stuff gets finished.)

My husband and I have had physical fights in the past where he has had to restrain me because I wouldn’t go to bed and I wouldn’t sleep. It would be 4 in the morning and I refused to sleep and I’d fight him tooth and nail. I don’t know why. I have no problem wanting to sleep at 2 pm. Make it 2 am and there’s too much to do suddenly. I have the superhuman ability to get things accomplished between midnight and 5 am more than I can during the hours of 9 am to 11 pm. Right.

So now it’s almost 1 in the morning and I have nursery duty at church later in the morning. Then I have a hair appointment in the afternoon. Then I’m paranoid about what my hair stylist thinks of me.

She says she’s my friend but I wonder if she’s just pretending to like me because she feels sorry for me. I’m really lame you know. People at work acted nice to my face and then dissed me behind my back. She does the same thing to others, why wouldn’t she do the same to me? She just keeps me around and kisses up to me because I tip well.

Thinking like that scares me. It reminds me of the way my father used to think. Paranoid. (You can stop reading here. At this point on, it’s just a manic ramble that’s basically full of nothing but stream-of-consciousness just because i can.)

Then I got angry with one of my friends at church. I told her I was suicidal and she never contacted me to see if I was OK. I’m still angry with her and she doesn’t even know it.

I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster lately. I think about Gianna over at Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and Recovery and I wonder if I suffer from adrenal fatigue. I’m pretty darn tired myself. I’m a hypochondriac (somewhat) so I know I’m perfectly okay unlike her who is exhausted after being on a significant number of medications.

I signed up for Race for the Cure (5K) and AIDS Walk NY (10K) both the weekend after the other (I didn’t realize I did that until it was too late). I’m training myself and I’m winded and ready to pass out after 1.3 miles. Exercise exhausts me. A lot of people say they get energy after exercising. Exercise puts me right to sleep. It’s not good when you’re seeing stars and feeling faint at half a mile. I used to be able to run a mile in 12-15 minutes. Now I’m averaging 17-18. I’ll probably be carted away in ambulance on Mother’s Day after passing out during the race in Center City at one-tenth of a mile. Wouldn’t that kind of phone call be a nice gift for my mother?

And the poor woman. She’s been through a lot. She dealt with my father’s schizophrenia and then she dealt with me and my bipolar episodes. She’s a strong, tough woman. I think the bipolar diagnosis put a lot of things in perspective for her where the depression diagnosis didn’t. Like kicking her. Who kicks their poor 60-year-old mother? I don’t know what I was thinking.

crazyI can be riding on a high, laughing and seeming normal, then for no good reason, just crash, hit rockbottom, and get suicidal. I am up and down. I am afraid of going to church later because I fear it might happen again. I’m hoping it doesn’t happen around the children. The last thing I need is some poor child crying and then I flip out because I want to die.

I want to hide and run away. Sometimes I don’t want to be alive. A lot of these days I don’t. The desire to die is coming on strong more and more each day. 2007 was nice. It was great to get a nice reprieve from struggling with suicidal thoughts and impulses. I am in remission no longer.

Which brings me to the reason for this post. I am on 150 mg Lamictal. I tried going down to 100 mg a while back and I started having suicidal thoughts again so I bumped myself back up. The thoughts went away temporarily but are back with a vengeance. So now I don’t care. I want off of Lamictal. At whatever cost. It doesn’t matter anymore. It seems like some people do well without medication, right? Maybe after all my counseling, I can do well too. I don’t know. Who is Marissa without medication? Have I lived the past year of my life as Marissa’s twin–a lookalike but a different personality? I don’t know. Will I begin my mixed-mood episodes again off the medication? I don’t know. I’ve had one or two in the past two months. I don’t want to be on this drug forever. Especially since I feel like the beneficial effects have flat-lined.

I also am busy with my new freelance job that I don’t need to deal with withdrawal symptoms. But I don’t care about bumping down to 100 mg. Nothing will change. Maybe my suicidal thoughts and impulses will increase. Who knows? Who cares? I don’t. I’m starting to not care about a lot of things. I wonder when I’ll get to the point where I don’t care about anything at all. (Pix from Jupiter Images)

So baby beware / I’m just pretending to care / Like I’m not even there / Gone but I don’t know where
~ Aimee Mann, “Lost In Space”

Current Mood Rating: 3


  1. Prester John said,

    April 27, 2008 at 9:00 am

    I’m not there, so I can’t say for sure, but judging from your blog and the short time I’ve been reading it you’re outlook has gotten worse. Perhaps I have a strong sense of the obvious but you’re in trouble.
    Talk with your doc. If you can’t talk with and trust your doc then you need another one.
    Additionally, it looks to me like you’ve got way too much on your plate. You’re an achier and a doer and I suspect your esteem is all tied up with what you do. You need some Marissa time.
    take care.

  2. Gianna said,

    April 27, 2008 at 9:04 am

    hey Marissa,
    I wish I could do something to help you.
    Lamictal worked for me for about 4 months. Yesterday my new doctor told me that that is typical — she gave me a scientific reason for the poop out but I don’t remember it. In any case she is helping me get off the rest of the meds but she is super cautious and realizes both that the drugs are toxic AND that the withdrawals are dangerous. She does nutritional medicine and energy medicine…energy medicine in a way is a form of prayer—she will teach me how to do it myself. She gets really good results and heals people—cures them. I’ve spoken to some of her patients in my withdrawal groups. I sent you a link to her site…
    I don’t know what else to suggest. It sounds like you’re having a really hard time. If you ever want to talk more personally through email or phone or whatever let me know.
    Love and peace to you.
    oh…fighting about going to sleep is not helpful…and I don’t think it will help you fall asleep…I think it would make matters worse. You might want to point that out to your husband.
    I’m not sleeping the last few days either…but I’m not manic either…just exhausted and insomniac.

  3. Jazz said,

    April 27, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Sorry you’re feeling so rotten, Marissa. Have you ever tried yoga? I think for me it has been the single most helpful thing I do for myself since I stopped taking most of my meds. I find that it helps keep me grounded and balanced. I agree with the commenter above, too, that it sounds like you have a lot going on. Can you take a breather, make some time and space that’s just for you?
    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  4. Stephany said,

    April 27, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    hey you aren’t the first person to kick their mom (you know my knee still hurts after all of these years, and it seems to be a favored knee from my daughter)–sometimes there is no serious reason, it’s the freaking mind take-over from mental illness.So don’t be down on yourself, mom’s survive! so will you. i quit nursery duty in church when i realized (at your age) i could say NO to all of that and go to church w/out that “be a volunteer and feel better” stuff. i also know, KNOW this time of year is hardest on my oldest and my youngest. oldest is on Lamictal too. this is a ramble back, but just know i had to MAKE myself go to bed last week. I mean MAKE myself go to bed and stay there! 50mg of benadryl against my own will, but i’ve finally slept since wednesday and that had been a 10 day run!
    I don’t think you have adrenal exhaustion.
    ((HUGS)) you can do it! right?

  5. Jim said,

    April 27, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Wow. I wish I could say something or do something to help you. Please try to hang in there.

  6. April 27, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    I hope the psych will have some good answers for you. TRY to be gentle to yourself, OK? It sounds like you’re your worst critic (sounds familiar… doesn’t it?)
    HUGS for you, Michelle

  7. aurora said,

    April 27, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    i hope you’re feeling better. I think I’m in a similar situation to you, I have depression and have been having suicidal thoughts, also when you said
    “Then I got angry with one of my friends at church. I told her I was suicidal and she never contacted me to see if I was OK. I’m still angry with her and she doesn’t even know it.”
    it totally hit home because that recently happened to me with one of my closest friends,basically the only person I’ve told about depression…
    But I wanted to say I enjoy reading your blog and knowing I’m not alone in what I’m feeling, even if i always feel alone in real life. Thanks!

  8. April 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Reading between the lines, it sounds like you might need someone to say don’t mess with your meds right now. I’m all for getting off meds that are doing more harm than good, but you need to have a lot of support in place, and do it from as healthy a space as possible. Hang in there. Find the tiniest bit of steadiness and hang onto that.

  9. etta said,

    April 28, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Thank God the commenter above said what I have been screaming from in front of my computer–take the meds that help the symptoms you are currently having! Please! If you don’t trust, or don’t think your psychiatrist has your best interest at heart, get another one. Rather than being “toxic”, your meds may save your life right now. Perhaps it is no coincidence that your mood instability corresponds to taking yourself off the mood stabilizer. Talk to your doctor. Get back on some meds you feel comfortable with. Go to the hospital if you need to…please.

  10. Annie said,

    April 29, 2008 at 5:38 am

    Hye Dear,
    More than medications you need to relax a bit treat ur self well and see within ur self what is it that is making u behave like this.
    I am sure there is some reason behind it and u have to overcome that.
    Being suspicious about people not able to trust anyone are signs of Depression but you need to find what is it that is making u think so.
    I would suggest you to go to a Good Counsellor, taking anti depresants mighyt harm ur health in long run.

  11. Annie said,

    April 29, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Hye Dear,
    More than medications you need to relax a bit treat ur self well and see within ur self what is it that is making u behave like this.
    I am sure there is some reason behind it and u have to overcome that.
    Being suspicious about people not able to trust anyone are signs of Depression but you need to find what is it that is making u think so.
    I would suggest you to go to a Good Counsellor, taking anti depresants mighyt harm ur health in long run.

  12. April 29, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Just to be very clear, I am not suggesting that you stay steady on your meds now because they treat the problems you are having (that is for you to decide). Rather, I’m saying that if you are serious about truly withdrawing off of Lamictal, you need to make changes while you are at your most stable. Hang in there.

  13. Nancie said,

    April 29, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Dear Marissa,
    I am praying for you. Hope your appointment with the psychiatrist go well. It’s good to let your psy know what you are going through now.
    Please take care. Do take a break and rest if you can.

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