Up, Up and Away!

Had a really good time with my buddies, George and Sarah, yesterday in Rockville. He’s going to take me to Ocean City so we can just walk along the shoreline. We haven’t managed to work that out yet. We’ve been talking about it for a while, but now he understands it’s urgent to get me there, so we’re waiting for a good day (weather, no rain) to go there on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday (his days off). Sarah (later) bought me two sketchbooks, cause I’m running out of paper, and we had this really (earlier) palatable (I can’t seem to handle meat, anymore) meal, something with fresh spinach and cheese melted and wrapped in a crepe. It took forever for me to order. I asked the guy very detailed questions about the menu selections, while trying to select something, make a decision.

Why are decisions sometimes so difficult?
But I did it!

And then, I needed more coffee, before I drove back to Baltimore, so Sarah went home and George and I went back to Starbucks for two shots of espresso. While they were making my coffee, the barista said (not to me): “The truck’s here.” to her coworker, in a funny way, and I looked outside and saw a semi, and I asked if the truck had coffee, and she said, “Yes.” And I said, “I wanna get on that truck!” And she laughed.

So George and I sat outside, while I drank my coffee, and the trucker had unloaded lots of stacked boxes, which were on a crate, and they were just sitting there, and I said to George, “Let’s hijack the truck!” (Not seriously). And he started laughing and said, “That would be really bad for your divorce case right now. And I’ve worked so hard to get stable (George has the greatest manic stories in the world! I was laughing so hard, I ended up on the floor, when he first told them to me.) it would be really bad for me too.” But he still thought it was funny. (And, tempting.) But the boxes just sat there. Filled with coffee beans.

Luckily, I had emailed Dr K when we first sat outside, and told him, I may be Hypomanic, but I wasn’t sure. And I think we need to increase my Trileptal. But he didn’t email me back until 2:00 AM. (I’ll get to that part soon.). So George asked me if I was okay to drive back, and I told him how much I love driving at night and cranking the music up, and that I would be okay.

So it was, like 9:00 PM.
And the boxes were still there!

And then the driver (he had been doing other stuff) was there too, and I asked if there was coffee in those boxes, and he said, “Yes.” And I said, “I want some!” And he said, “Which one do you want?” And I said, “French Roast, please.” Well, I didn’t get any. And I realized, I answered his question incorrectly. The Smart was a few feet away, and I should’ve said, “I want all of them. See the Smart, there? Just stack the entire block of 60 boxes on the roof, and I’ll be on my way.” Still, we had a lot of fun. As soon as I got home, I increased my Trileptal by 150 mgs, and the oddest thing happened. Within an hour, all the tension in my shoulders had vanished, the headache I had been battling since morning sprinted away, and I felt level!

Not normal.
Never normal.

Well, Dr K wrote me back at 2:00 AM, and I told him what I had done (With the meds. Didn’t dare tell him about the events leading up to the increase of meds.). Went back to sleep, and saw he had written back to me, and told me to keep the Trileptal at 500 mgs, not above, and divide it into 2 doses, morning and night. But I have no explanation for Giddy Attacks.

Fuck!
Oh, well.
George to the Rescue!
Once again.

The Transformation of Eddie

Kat and I were talking about a guy we both know who is almost nerdy when he’s depressed.
And very brilliant.
And very very quiet.

The Transformation of Eddie –
Was thus born.
When Eddie began to change one day.
He began being more social at first. Attended gatherings of the support group but talked very little – in general. Gary tried to pump him for information, but with no luck.

And then Gary lost it when he witnessed the new Eddie.

He was in shock for weeks.

Personally, I loved the new Eddie. He was wild, colorful, and racing along his visions – he was enjoying himself.

Now that’s a real drag, isn’t it?

Being on different plateaus, simultaneously, processing thinking skills at an accelerated rate of creativity –

So why do we call that a disease?

George to the Rescue!

If there’s anybody you want around when you’re in a crisis – it’s George.

He is incredibly entertaining.
And is really stable.

Serious –

But an undeniable smirk at the corner of his mouth –
that’s where all the humor goes.
Usually very sharp.
The way I need it.
To test the borders.
Essential in understanding us.

And critical for our survival.
Recall as many positive images as you can and get in the tub with them.

And let them soak in.
Ah.

Obsessions

I don’t usually do this because it seldom occurs to me that anything is wrong with how I’m feeling. I only know that I’m feeling it. I guess having no control over the feeling would make it an obsession. But this morning I woke up and suddenly thought: It’s gone. I’m over it!. My god! That feels great! I’m back to neutral where I need to be at this time. And then –

It’s back again.
Fuck….

Best Medicine Ever: Greece

I don’t know what it is about Greece, but no pill form has been able to capture its healing qualities.  Whenever I go there, I feel better.  It’s summer, of course.  And the combination of the Sun, the dry climate and the Aegean form the best treatment for Depression or Hypomania.

The chemical composition of the water there, bath temperature warm, filled with salt and iodine, soothes the body of its aches.  I never want to get out of the water when I’m there.  The dry climate controls the fluctuation of moods and you begin to feel more stable.

Better.

It’s amazing.

A fantastic selection of vegetables and fresh fish bring vast improvements to the body and the chemicals it needs to feel better.

Now if pharmaceutical companies could put that in a pill, all our problems would be solved, wouldn’t they?

A lot of people don’t like Athens.  It’s small and filled with graffiti, and lots of cement structures— because of earthquakes — which form the bulk of the city.

Concrete City.

But then it’s also very small and walkable, almost like a complimentary of Philly.  Except you can see the Parthenon from almost anywhere in the city.  One of the main roads of Athens is Patission, where we stay.  Well, as soon as you’re on it, heading towards downtown Athens, you can see it.  It’s amazing!  And then everywhere they dig they keep discovering more and more parts of Ancient Greece below their feet.  It definitely affects you.

Athens.  Dusty and small.  A lot of people don’t like it. But if you are into the rhythm of a city that never sleeps, you’ll probably love it!  And it’s certainly better than sitting on the couch, watching lousy movies over and over.

Ha.

Mostly Cloudy

It’s a warm day in early May.  After a day of rain, we are now drying off, and under a mostly cloudy sky.  Every now and then, the sun enters through a break in the clouds, and warms us from the chill. 

THAT IMPORTANT LIGHT WE CALL THE SUN

Whereas yesterday was smeared in gray all around here, plus the incessant rain for a day —nice change — today we get to see the blue sky above the clouds.  Cumulus, I think they are.  Not sure.  And every so often, the sun comes through.  The Marvelous Healer.

I’ve tried a light box and it just isn’t the same as being in the sun.  The light box made no discernible differences, like many of my meds, and so I put it away.  But as soon as the first hint of Spring arrives, I am out there every morning on the balcony soaking sun.  The result is phenomenal…  After a week of doing this my mood has improved.  And it’s not a temporary lift.  It is gradual.  I get better everyday.  The effects of the sun are cumulative. 

… That is why I suppose when I was in college and when I became severely hypomanic and was down to 85 pounds, my father shipped me to Greece for the summer to stay with my aunt in Paralion, Astros, a resort town, 2 hours outside of Athens.  My aunt said I looked like a skeleton when she saw me.  I remember her express her horror.  She said my complexion was gray and I was skin and bones.

Of course, at that time I had yet to be diagnosed.  So you have no idea what’s really going on.  You just know you’re behaving and meandering through your moods, which seem to be in control, whilst you still think you are in control.  And that is a huge misconception we carry around for years, even after we are diagnosed correctly.  You really want to believe you are in control… yet you are not in control of your moods as they are to you.

MY COCKTAIL

… consisted of going to the beach every day, swimming and getting sun.

… eating a healthy diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and fish

… drinking Greek coffee and smoking cigarettes

I stayed there for 2 months and gained at least 20 pounds.  Healthier than I had been in years.  But emotionally I was still wrought with pain and anger towards my partner who did not want to commit to a permanent relationship.  At that point, we needed some couples counseling, but didn’t get it.

And that was only the beginning.

The nightmare that followed is not one I care to repeat again.

Even so, there was this connection there that was impenetrable.  Perhaps because we had become parents.  Had done something together.  That would unite us forever, no matter how apart we were from each other.