This Is What I Was Afraid Of…..

Somebody PLEASE remind me that if I ever miss a dose of meds, to make sure it’s not the nighttime ones.

This morning I woke up after a very fitful few hours’ sleep (if you can even call it that) feeling like something the dog found under the house. I’m still hyper, but I feel like I’m floating around in some parallel universe, and it’s unsettling to say the least. It’s like being hung over without the headache or the puking;  my hands shake visibly and I’m having trouble striking the keys accurately, plus I feel vaguely disconnected from my surroundings as if I’m merely a guest in my own life.

It’s kind of a harsh price to pay for one night’s laziness. And this is exactly what I was afraid of when I first started on bipolar medications 16 months ago: I’ve become totally dependent on these things. My system is so sensitive that I literally cannot miss a single dose without repercussions of a most unpleasant sort….especially the nighttime pills, which include both my antianxiety and antipsychotic meds, and are apparently as essential to life as breathing.

I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I mean, I went fifty-three years without any of this. Now I apparently can’t sneak through one lousy night without incurring the wrath of whatever gods are in charge of this beast. What the hell is up with THAT??! I remember the one other time when I missed my PM meds; it was during a time when a lot of break-ins were happening in our neighborhood, and my husband and I slept with our matching swords next to the bed. An odd choice of weapons to be sure, but it’s what we had at the time and I know I felt safer.

My psychiatrist had a different take on it, however, when I was recounting this tale to him a few days after the burglar had been caught, two houses down the hill from ours: “YOU—unmedicated, and with a sword?? Holy God!!” He was  half-kidding, but ONLY half, and  in retrospect I can understand his alarm because he knows I have a temper, and that there have been instances in my life when I’ve escaped assault charges only through God’s good graces.

Today I’m once again on some pretty shaky ground: I’m hyper-alert and startle really easily. My emotions are labile, and I’ve already burst into tears once because of a sad story I read on Facebook.  I’m jittery and can’t stop fidgeting (again/still). The only reason I’m not reporting this to my doctor is because I know this is self-limiting, and that I’ll be back to normal—whatever that is—by tomorrow. That, and because I’m embarrassed at my own foolishness. I keep thinking I can push my limits, and then have the nerve to be surprised when they push right back and I land on my ass in the dirt. Bazinga!!

(That’s my family’s code word for “STFU”, which is only directed at me, and only when I’m escalating and the filters between my brain and my mouth stop functioning.)

My tongue is asleep. And my teeth itch.

Think I’ll go see if I can sleep it off, like I used to do way back in my drinking days.

Later, peeps.

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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