The Intriguing Life of Jennifer Lisette Thomas

This is the life of a little lost bipolar girl looking for her place in the world. My life is a constant battle for adequate health care and sanity. Things rarely get too boring around here.

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28 February 2010

Very Much Alive

Posted by JennyT

I should probably make a note about medications first, since I had a brief moment where I was damn determined to quit all of them. Maybe a day or two after that post, I decided to remain on the lithium, but anything else was game for elimination. My pdoc agreed that I'd probably be best off of the other meds. Before we even got a chance to start tapering down, well..."shit happened," basically. I spent 17 days in a psychiatric hospital, where they decided that the other meds were probably causing my problems, so I got off of those.


I'm just on the lithium now, and I feel remarkably stable. I have a new therapist, since I walked out on the last one. Every time I brought something up, she basically said, "You'll get over it." Very helpful. Thanks. You get paid for this? Needless to say, we weren't clicking anymore.

So, I've got a new therapist and the same great pdoc. I'm pretty fond of the pdoc.

My brother, who has been diagnosed with PTSD and bipolar disorder tried to overdose before the holidays, so he spent a bit of time in the hospital as well. He's doing much better. I ran into him at Winn-Dixie when I went home for my dad's birthday last weekend.

On a positive note, I haven't hallucinated in months! I had a conversation with one of my friends, and we decided that in August 2010 (if I haven't had any hallucinations), "I should get Kroger to make me a cake. 'Happy One Year of Not Seeing or Hearing Shit That Ain't There.'"

26 September 2009

I Quit. Period.

Posted by JennyT

I'm quitting my medications. No, no. Don't try to argue with me. This is something I simply must do. I'm sure I'll be here more often in the coming weeks. I'll have plenty to tell.


Step one: Eliminate lithium. From 1200 mg to 900 mg to start.

15 August 2009

Taking a Break

Posted by JennyT

I'm taking a break from myself. My therapist has said, on occasion, that my life seems to revolve about bipolar disorder. My thoughts, my words, and my actions all seem finely tuned to this devasting illness. "Well," I say, "no more."

I'm taking time off from my support group. I'm making no guarantees about regularly updating this blog, though I promise to come back to it as often as possible. I refuse to give bipolar disorder so much credit that it rules my life. No more. I'm sick, not plagued.

Welcome to the rest of my life.

15 July 2009

More Meds

Posted by JennyT

I've been experiencing symptoms of anxiety and mania simultaneously. Needless to say, it's been most unpleasant. I feel unhinged. I can't seem to articulate vocally, but I still seem to be able to write. I certainly scribbled all over my mirror in dry erase marker. On the plus side, I have lots of potential poetry written on a reflective surface.

I saw my pdoc today, and he's putting me on risperdal to head off a possible manic episode. It should also help with the hallucinations, according to my pdoc. I'm terrified of the possibility of becoming fully manic. If I benefit from the risperdal, he's going to take me off of the Abilify. I admit that I'm painfully unaware of risperdal. I know that some members of my support group are on it, but my knowledge of the drug is basically nonexistent. I suppose I'll ask about it in my support group and do some research tonight.

My professor is talking, but I can't seem to focus. I'll download the powerpoint from his website. He just went off on another tangent anyway, and that doesn't help my frazzled mind to focus. Writing seems to make it a bit easier to slow things down in my brain, to fix on just a few ideas and put them to paper. I just want this class and this sickness to end.

13 July 2009

Oh, Brother

Posted by JennyT

It takes lot of energy to write some things about myself, but it's good therapy. I have spent years of my life coping with (fighting) bipolar disorder, even before I was formally diagnosed. Now, I find out that my oldest brother (no blood relation) has been diagnosed. Something that I wouldn't wish on anyone, and my own brother is diagnosed. Of course, I witnessed him deteriorating before my own eyes, but it's something different to know.

It all leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, like my uncle's words at a family gathering: "Bipolar basically means 'I'm crazy as fuck and can't function in society.'" He said plenty of other things, of course, but those particular words latched onto my fragile mind like a life-draining leech. It's hard to function when your own family might hate you if they only knew. Of course, I sent an email to my uncle, expressing my hurt, so he'll know as soon as he checks that.

I wonder how my brother feels. Does he feel the way I once did? Does he feel relief at finally having a name for this illness? Does he feel anger towards life, his genetics, his upbringing, God, the healthier world? I simply must wonder, and I feel for my brother in all of the confusion and rage that comes with a diagnosis. But perhaps he is feeling relief in knowing, and that would make me somewhat glad. I hope he's not overtaken by the hopelessness and suicidal depression that once defined my life. A life defined by death.

Would I choose not to be bipolar if I could. Yes, in a heartbeat. Knowing that my entire life, from childhood on, would be affected, I would. Good things have happened as a result of bipolar. I view things differently than the average person, and I count that as a positive. I've met dozens of lovely people through my support group. I view life through bipolar-tinted glasses because my brain is wired differently. I view that difference as a good thing because the current system is flawed.

But would I give it back? Yes. But I'd take it on for my brother, too.

27 June 2009

I Woke Up Today...

Posted by JennyT

...And I was depressed. My appetite is off. I feel blue. I have no motivation. Laughing hurts, if I can even manage it. I haven't even showered yet today, and I'm usually so stuck on showering once every 24 hours.

I hope this is just one of those days that I have once in awhile now that I'm on meds. Let it be gone tomorrow.

21 June 2009

Problems

Posted by JennyT

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been quite busy with my new classes and such.

My support group's site is experiencing massive difficulties. We're not absolutely sure what happened yet, but posts are disappearing, reappearing, and everything in between. Hopefully this will get resolved quickly.

05 June 2009

New Book!

Posted by JennyT

I've released another book. For information on the book and buying details, please visit: http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=4037969

04 June 2009

Rituals

Posted by JennyT

I've made a great deal of progress with eliminating many of my rituals, but there are a few that I'm havings trouble stopping. I've been doing them for so long, so I don't know why I expect them to be easy.

My book is in the editing process right now. Thank goodness.

28 May 2009

Randomness

Posted by JennyT

I feel like my blog actually reached someone, and that was all I have been looking for all this time. Thank you.

I'm working on a tell-all article about my experiences with bipolar disorder. It'll be out soon.

My hallucinations are giving me a bit of a break right now. I appreciate that.

22 May 2009

They're Back

Posted by JennyT

I wish I could update this saying something about how I've gone seven days without hallucinations, but I only made it to six. Indeed, Alex the Amazing Apparition popped up last night. He didn't stick around for long, but it was enough.

One of my friends came out to me today. I wasn't even remotely surprised, and I don't think I even managed to fake surprise adequately. At least he can be more open now.

I'm hoping that I won't be homeless for two weeks in July. The move out date in July 10, but the last day for my classes is July 24. I have to writing a letter to the director of housing to ask for an extension. Wish me luck!

21 May 2009

Day Six

Posted by JennyT

This is day six of my hallucination-free roll. No sign of Alex or Amy or anyone! I admit, it's a little lonely in my head, but it's totally worth it.

I came to a major realization while writing my memoirs. It was painful, but it was worth it. It's all about the healing process, right?

20 May 2009

Day Five

Posted by JennyT

So far, this is day five without any hallucinations. If they're there, I haven't noticed them. That must mean something significant, as far as my treatment goes.

I'm focusing on my memoirs right now. It means a lot to me that people actually seem to want to read them.

I got to spend some time with my friends last night. We meant to go bowling, but the bowling alley was packed, so we went to Steak n Shake instead. We still had fun, and that's all that matters.

18 May 2009

Day Three

Posted by JennyT

This has been day three without any hallucinations. Not a peep, nor a peek, nor a touch. I'm unbelievably happy, even though I actually feel a little lonelier without the strange folks wandering around my space. I need to get used to life without them.

17 May 2009

Meds

Posted by JennyT

My current med combination (1200mg lithium, 75mg Effexor XR, and 5mg Abilify) seems to be working. I feel pretty stable, and I haven't hallucinated for two days! That's my new record, and I'm happy with it.

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