How It’s Going: No Olanzapine, 60mg Duloxintine, 100mg Lamtotrigne 2 x daily.
I’m sleeping deeply. My sleep feels more real. Not quite sure why: my dream life hasn’t altered. Maybe it’s because I didn’t conk out yesterday. I did feel tired. I wanted to sleep around 4pm. So I lay on my bed in my cool bedroom (were my TV is) and listened to my upstairs neighbour having a beer and chatting to her friend in the yard. Knitting is only interesting for so long, so in order to rest (I wasn’t sleepy), I decided to watch Virgin River on Netflix. This took me until about 10PM.
Watching TV is one of the ways I learn about relationships, I realised lately. I learnt NOTHING about intimacy growing up, and I still know virtually nothing.
I spent some time yesterday engaging in one of my feel-good activities, or addictions — scrolling through the Toast website.
Toast is a women’s clothing company that sells expensive natural fibres cloths to well off middle class women. I’m not well off, being in receipt of state benefits. I’m probably not middle class either.
I’m no longer suffering with Olanzapine related depression. This is not a side-effect that they warn you of in the little pamphlet the company provides in the box, but I was definitely suffering. That is to say I was wallowing in no small degree of self-loathing. Especially body-image targeted disquiet.
I have more energy and have interests again. One outcome of this is this blog. I want to read related literature, such as Philipa Perry’s book: The Book You Wish You Parents Had Read and Adam Kay’s Dear NHS. If you’ve read either of these publications, I would be grateful to hear you thoughts.
As I am now writing, this means I have stopped painting, which is a relief because that work was both boring and arduous: not a good combination. Even if the finished article was compelling.
One of the outcomes of this experiment that I need to keep my eye on is a potential relapse. What this means in practice is another manic episode and subsequent hospitalisation. Whilst depression could never be said to be a walk in the park, I personally have never been sectioned for straight depression. So I need to be careful.
My relapse triggers, as discussed with various health care professionals past and present, are principally: not eating and not sleeping for more than one week. Various behaviours and associated ideas tend to be repeated with pretty much uniform consistency when I am in relapse mode, which can go on for weeks. The only variation on the theme is quite how extreme the outcome of said behaviours. I’ll spare you the gory details for now, but will simply note some bullet points:
- Preoccupation with a fantasy man with whom there is some, though usually not a great deal of connection.
- An all pervading feeling of not being good enough for said fancy man.
- This poor self-image leads to a fixation with shopping that leads to spending money on clothes, haircuts and make-up that is well out of my league.
- The fantasy that I am being spied on/watched (online usually) by ‘suitor’.
- Spying on/watching my ‘suitor’ online: Twitter/YouTube/Facebook.
I think these particular symptoms arise from the fact that, as noted previously, I have little sober experience of important relationships. That’s why I watch so my tele: it’s company. I really love television. This is probably my principle activity when not ill. Some would probably call it an addiction.