Ten-You-Us (at best)

Lamictal makes me nauseous, Concerta makes me not want to eat. Together I am hungry, nauseated and completely repulsed by the idea of food. The not-hungry will go away in a couple of weeks if I follow the same pattern as last time. In the meantime I’m managing with meal supplement shakes (Ensure High Protein) and soups & bagels when I feel like I can handle something more substantial.

My energy levels seem to be good. although I spent most of Sunday in bed it was more due to the grey weather being conducive to huddling in with a good book and a kitty to snuggle than depressive symptoms.

My mood is fluctuating a lot. Several times over the course of day sometimes. I can’t really tell if I’m reacting to stressors at work, which is where the bulk of the swings are happening, or if it’s instability caused by the meds. When I get home, I’m mostly in a neutral mood – not sad, not happy (but still able to enjoy things.. like art & hockey!).

I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships and connections lately. I’ve had a lot of people pass through my life – people that I thought would be there forever just fading out of contact. Some of them moved away and since I really despise talking on the phone and am a whimsical correspondent at my best, we just lost touch. I went through some pretty severe depressive episodes in 2008, 2010 and 2012 and the resulting periods of isolation helped whittle away some others. Refuse enough invitations and they eventually stop coming at all.

I treasure the people who are still with me after all of that. I’m not really the best at reaching out. My default state is hermit and I am used to entertaining myself, it often doesn’t occur to me to look outside myself. It’s a relief to know that I have people who are able to shoulder that burden of initiation without getting resentful.

It’s been over a month since the last time I spoke to my best friend. I miss him, but I feel like we left the relationship at a point where the ball is in his court and if I press it will be like I’m forcing my friendship on him. That makes me melancholy and wistful. Angry too. Conflicted. I feel like he let me down at the same time that I expected too much. It’s tricky and tangled and I could see this coming as early as September. Still sucks, though.

An aunt that I stopped speaking to because I could no longer handle the various addictions (drugs & alcohol) and the lies and personality changes that went along with it recently contacted me. She apologized, the right apologies, and wants to make a stab at rekindling some sort of relationship with me. I love her, still. Of course I do. The apology that she sent was everything that I wanted before I would even consider reestablishing a relationship but… I drafted out a response to her, thanking her for the apology, explaining why things went down the way they went down, why I’m so hesitant to trust. I laid out clear ground rules for how and when she can contact me and what is completely off the table or unacceptable.

I feel like an asshole, but I couldn’t make myself send it. I was exhausted and drained from just imagining maintaining that connection, going forward. Making room in my life for yet another person. Someone with a history of being draining and toxic.

I think I made the right choice in not ignoring the squishy-sick feeling in my gut. I’ve learned a lot about boundaries in the last couple of years and I’m getting better at enforcing them.

I don’t owe her my time or an explanation, but I feel like I should respond to the overture. Even if it’s to tell her thank you but I can’t right now. I know that will hurt her. I feel like I’m not being fair, but forgiveness is such a hard thing for me. Especially with people who have continually let me down. Trying to force it will just make me feel worse.

And if even the thought of a light email based relationship with my aunt makes me cringe, then I’m obviously not ready. It’s no one’s fault.

(Now make my heart believe what my head knows is best, and I will be set.)

It’s weird that I can’t seem to hold on to the people that I want to keep and I can’t get rid of the people that I know are bad for me. The fact that so many of the undesirables are family does skew this equation, I know (Bloodstains are notoriously difficult to get rid of, even with club soda.) It’s still frustrating.

I want to be a better friend and spend more time with people. Do more things with the people I care about. I also want to spend more time alone, playing with art and writing, reading more books. I work best with impromptu meet ups – make and execute plans while my energy is high, same day, same hour if possible. If I’m given too much advance notice, I start looking for ways to get out of it. Or I forget.

I’m not sure what to do about that beyond keep trying. It makes it harder to meet new people though. Do you come right out and say that you’re super flaky, sometimes due to crippling social anxiety, sometimes due to depression and sometimes just plain old absent-mindedness? Or do you just make your plans and hope for the best?

Oh, Life. Must you be so complicated.


About braineatsbrain

Recently diagnosed with bipolar. Twice. This is where I'm going to try to make sense of that. Expect introspection, unfocused anger, and random art.
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8 Responses to Ten-You-Us (at best)

  1. I’m working on a dense like whoa email to you. : D

  2. Raeyn says:

    ‘It’s weird that I can’t seem to hold on to the people that I want to keep and I can’t get rid of the people that I know are bad for me. The fact that so many of the undesirables are family does skew this equation, I know (Bloodstains are notoriously difficult to get rid of, even with club soda.) It’s still frustrating.’

    Yup. Maybe it’s packrattism. I’ve certainly not figured out why I kept trying to cling on to some people!

    • It’s not even a matter of clinging, in some cases. I am actively trying to throw them out to sea but the bloody tide keeps kicking them back to me. Or something. Some other, less tortured metaphor for “Why won’t you bastards just leave me alone” ;)

  3. WOW do you remind me of me!!!!! I struggle struggle struggle with the isolating!! I like it and hate it so much!!!

    • Right? Introversion vs. Isolation. HOW DO YOU KNOW??

      Sometimes I look up from what I’m doing and realize it’s been 2 weeks since i interacted with humanity outside of work and I’m totally cool with that. Other times I’m a huddling ball of shame wondering how and when i got so bloody broken.

      • Oh my God you are SO telling my story!!!!!!! It is sometimes just a damn chore to spend time with other people. Other times I’m like “I’m breaking my brain with this lack of outside interaction!”

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