Monday, December 9, 2013

Disorganized Chaos

This is the brain:  













This is the brain with bipolar disorder:









Did you see what I did there?  Remember those commercials with the skillet and the fried egg?  “This is your brain.  This is your brain on drugs?”  Yeah…?  No…?  Well, anyway, you get the picture.  Get it?  You get the picture?  ‘cause I used pictures?  HA!  Gotcha twice!!  Sigh.  Okay.  I’ll just dive into the post and quit with the poor attempt at humor.  For now, anyway. 

I thought it might be time to lighten things up a bit and maybe provide a bit of insight into the bipolar brain.  After my initial diagnosis, I was amazed at how much *“Flo” was able to tell me about myself. 
The bipolar brain is hardwired differently from “normal” (whatever that is) brains.  Do you wonder if there’s such a thing as a normal brain?  I have three sons with definite, diagnosed mental illness yet they seem quite normal.  I know what they deal with, but most people are completely unaware. I might even consider the other two to have OCD. Everything has to be in place and major purchases are researched to death.  Yet, they walk around out in society, completely undetected. 

Notice what happened there.  I drifted off into a completely different direction than the one in which I started.  Typical bipolar stuff there, peeps.  Very similar to ADD.  But a little different. 

Okay, okay!  I’ll get to the point!  Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on TV (though being an actor on TV would be fun!) but I’ve done a lot of research and spent a lot of time in the yellow room at Flo’s office and in the chair at my current therapist’s office.  Need to come up with a name for her.  She’s really pretty and very knowledgeable.  Her office recently underwent a makeover and is much more comfortable.  My psychiatrist’s office is also very comfortable.  The chairs available for patients are amazingly soft and cushy.  They envelope you with comfiness when you sit down.  I’ve never seen the stereotypical psychiatrist’s couch, more’s the pity.

AAAAACCCKKKK!!!!!  I did it again!  Once more totally off track.  I swear I’m not doing this on purpose to make a point.  This is literally a few moments inside the brain of the bipolar person.  Half-finished projects.  Disorganization.  You should see the inside of my purse!  I actually thrust it in the face of my psychiatrist to show him what it looked like and told him it was an extension of my brain.  He said that’s normal for someone with my diagnoses.  Well, thank you very much!  And my crafting area…you don’t wanna see it.  I sit down sometimes to try to make some sense of it and I’m totally overwhelmed. I find myself being sidetracked with something of no real importance just to ease the stress on my brain.  Youngest son was frustrated at one point by the disorganization of the kitchen.  I asked him to organize it for me and he did a great job.

Can you understand the feeling of inferiority this causes?  My desk is currently covered with my medications, a three hole punch (don’t know why it’s there…I didn’t do it), speakers for my computer, a Mannheim Steamroller CD and an Elton John CD, a necklace, a bracelet, a mug, oh…two more bracelets, a computer ink package, a Celtic Woman “Home for Christmas” CD (highly recommended), my favorite Bath and Body Works body spray, a bottle of perfume, an essential oil vial, and a blood pressure cuff. Also, my monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  No cat at this moment, which is unusual.  My desk is 19” wide and 41” long.  I feel like Pigpen from Peanuts…I can clean it and it almost instantly becomes cluttered again!  The same with my purse.  POOF!  And it’s a mess. Sadly, I don’t know what to do about it.

I try taking it one step at a time…as I mentioned in my first blog post, start at the beginning…but then I start doing the sidetracked thing, run out of time and need to cook dinner, or fold laundry (oftentimes it doesn’t fully get put away) and it starts all over again the next day.  That’s assuming I’m even able to do anything.  Remember, I may have bipolar disorder, but the main way it’s exhibiting itself right now is with major depression disorder.

I know it has to be very frustrating for my family but fortunately they’re extremely patient with me. In fact (Oh, left out an item on my desk. I don’t know what it’s doing there but it’s a bottle of leave in conditioner for hair) my husband gets annoyed when I apologize to him.  And I catch myself apologizing a lot.  He’s asked to me quit.  He has his own brain cooties in the form of neuropathy and we’ve promised each other to quit apologizing for the limitations our illnesses place on us, but I insist on feeling guilty and apologizing.  I’m getting better, but it’s difficult.

Sometimes I feel like taking on the world!  And sometimes I feel beat up.  Today is a take on the world day.  Think I may do some laundry.  Maybe even put it away!  Wouldn’t that shake up my family…?
I’ll say it again, I’m so humbled by the love I’ve felt from my readers.  Thank you for having my back.  And please know I’ve got yours. 

*Not her real name