.... of the day, obviously - I've no intention of giving up as it's a lifeline at the moment. Took my pills at 2130 and I'm still awake, if somewhat lightheaded. I managed to have a shower and wash my hair earlier - I forced myself to do it, and was quite chuffed that I had done it. I then went to bed with wet hair and now look like a sort of elderly hedgehog. I'm terribly tired but still sleep is elusive - I hover on the brink of falling off but can't get there, rather like a sneeze that doesn't quite happen and leaves you dizzy. I long to be able to sleep. I'm also physically exhausted - my shoulders hurt - which is surprising as all I do is sit here. It's the mind/body thing - I'm sure they are completely interlinked.
I'm supposed to have an ECG every 6 months because I'm on 2 antipsychotics - does anyone remind me? No, of course not. I must have one soon as I'm on such massive doses of them. I sometimes feel as though my heart is being beaten with an egg whisk - it jumps a few beats and then settles down. One of the (many) quetiapine side effects is breathlessness - and I notice that first thing in the morning when I wake up. It's as though I have a heavy weight on my chest and I struggle to breathe. I also get nasal congestion - aren't drugs just the dog's bollocks?
It's 2330 (7 bells unless it's a day/night ship's bell) - the pub has just chucked everyone out, so there was much talking and laughter outside my window. It was the Foxy Quiz tonight and I hope there was a good turnout - I love quizzes and get very competitive - my team has won the Plate twice in a row now, so the only way is down. Believe me, it's not the taking part, it's the winning.
It's a strange experience, writing a blog that strangers may read - I wonder how many of them have suffered in the same way as I suffering? Because it is suffering. I'm not sure how one can feel nothing and also suffer, but that's what happens. I look at the page in front of me and wonder how to fill it - but the words just come as though they've been waiting to be let out for years. They probably have - no therapist would put up with such ramblings. Or if they did, it would have cost me a fortune by now. To have therapy or not to have therapy? Is this just biochemical? I've just started therapy with an NHS psychologist, who is very good - I'm having it to deal with the nightmares and flashbacks from RAF days. However, as far as being bipolar is concerned, I think it's biochemical, so therapy wouldn't be necessary and wouldn't work, IMHO.
I've just had another ciggy, so the title was a lie.
Kate and I used FaceTime this afternoon - it's a cool piece of software that lets you make video calls for nothing on Apple devices like iPads and iPhones. It is, however, addictive and we spent a lot of time chatting and smoking. Now she's asleep, I hope, and won't wake until the morning. Unlike me. My legs are twitching again, so I've just taken a dihydocodeine, which I hope will work like Tramadol does.
I've just been outside to get some air - it's cool and damp out there and I found it refreshing. If I'm still awake later on, I'll go for a walk around the village in my pjs. It's cloudy out there - we usually have an excellent view of the night sky because there is no lighting in the village - but tonight it's all gone. Looking at the dark sky makes me feel insignificant at the best of times - at the moment, I find it's too much to contemplate. In fact, there is a lot that I don't contemplate at the moment - I'm an ostrich that doesn't open its mail, for example. Too scary. I can't think about the future - anything more than an hour away terrifies me. I have measured out my life in coffee spoons. How did I ever hold down such a stressful job? I waded through it and loved every minute, that's how, as well as using a bit of hypomania at times. Now the smallest obstacle defeats me and I hate that.
It's tomorrow, so I can start my ciggy count from scratch. Another day, another dollar - and I can't say I'm looking forward to yet more awful mornings, especially if I haven't slept well. It's no wonder 25% of bipolar patients commit suicide - having to face this ghastliness again and again is enough to push anyone over the edge. When I'm well, I can't recall what it's like to feel like this - when I'm ill, I can't remember anything good about my life. Intellectually I know that's rubbish - I did really well in the RAF - but the feeling just isn't there. People say that CBT helps with depression, but I don't think it's for me as it doesn't talk about feelings, only thoughts. I may, of course, be entirely wrong as I don't know enough about it - I just think I need something more heavyweight.
I can't have an egg banjo, because Tracy from HT ticked me off for eating them in the middle of the night - it will put on weight (see chapter on antipsychotics) and it's dangerous to be using an oven when heavily sedated. I love Tracy - she is witty and compassionate and really knows her stuff. However, I disagree about the banjo. Instead, I'm nibbling ginger biscuits and having a herbal tea. I want caffeine, but don't dare have it in case it makes it worse.
Many of the hits on this blog are at night - I imagine lots of us insomniacs hunched over laptops all round the place. To you I extend earthling greetings - leave a comment if you feel up to it. It might help and I promise to reply.
Am I ready to talk about the manner of my leaving the RAF? It's still raw, even though it was 20 years ago.
I spent 16 years in the RAF defending the Free World , then got bunged out unceremoniously for being bipolar. I and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Funny old world, isn't it?