May I Please Stop Being Bipolar Now?

I owe people emails, there are comments I really want to reply to, I’ve got a list of phone calls I’m supposed to make. None of this will be happening any time soon. I’ve descended to the level in mental illness where being able to “just do one thing” is a major victory. This post is that one thing.

The good news is that the withdrawal from Cymbalta is mostly over. I have little flare-ups, but the constant and severe symptoms are over. For anyone who’s read here, and who is currently going through it, trust me when I say that it will get better. I strongly recommend getting prescription medication for nausea and for cramping if you can. You’ll weather the symptoms much more effectively.

That’s the end of the good news. I’ve slipped into a severe depression. SETS PAJAMA from Hatley The withdrawal of the antidepressant, plus the stress of Cymbalta withdrawal, and the isolation that’s happened since I became disabled, were too much. Lithium (plus an antidepressant) saved my life last time this happened, and it kept me stable (NO severe depressions) for five years. I thought I was safe. You’re never really safe from depression, but lithium made me feel safe and I was grateful for that sense of peace. I’m devastated that it’s failed.

Now I’m back doing the suicide dance. Please note: I am not going to kill myself. Suicide is a complex phenomenon, and the actual killing is the the final stage. I’m still at the early stages, where thoughts of death and the futility of life, are frequent. Besides, I made the promise years ago to stay alive, so please don’t call the police on me. I’ve started a new mood stabilizer, I am in counseling, and as I said, I made that promise way back to stay alive. A new-to-me mood state drastically worsens the suicidal thoughts. I’m now experiencing mixed states, a combination of depression and (hypo)mania. You feel the symptoms of both at the same time. In my case, it’s feeling suicidal while having so much energy I feel like I’m coming out of my skin.

Ugh. The self-centeredness of depression makes the suffering even worse. Thanks to everyone for your kind thoughts, and for checking on me. Sorry for my lack of response.


44 responses to “May I Please Stop Being Bipolar Now?

  1. I’m so sorry you have to go through this. Big bloggy hugs.

  2. RenegadeEvolution

    Take care, SE, one day, then the next. We all know you are one tough lady.

  3. Hey,

    I hope you’re feeling better and atleast a lil better. I been visiting your blog for a while now after a random google search on ‘bunny butt’ ;)…as my moms new zealand white was acting up at me.

    Anyways, I can’t say anything that you probably dont know or dont wanna hear…so I just wanna say there there’s someone else across the digital vacuum that care’s and its right there with ya.

    Take care,

  4. much love to you, much respect to you, much admiration of you.


  5. Glad to see you’re back – best wishes for the future.
    (And I just wanted to say that your rabbit looks really well loved.)

  6. I hear you on all of this. Even when we know we aren’t gonna check out, it can be difficult to hold those feelings of hopelessness if we think folks are going to overreact.

    Many hugs, and take care. Just glad to hear from you again.

  7. you are not alone—do not apologize for your feelings—no matter their course we all have a right to feel—no matter that most do not understand—many of us do—take care of yourself–you are respected and admired

  8. Many hugs and much respect.

  9. Ooh! Do I know the suicidal dance. Been there, done that. As far as meds go, Lithium and Lamictal combo pretty much saved my sanity and life.

    Mixed states are extremely difficult to deal with and you are being applauded by everyone for just “sticking in there”. All the best.

  10. Hey you kicked Cymbalta’s ASS! you rock.
    I’m with ya in spirit, though who wants to hear this part–give it some more time–for a new med to kick in. I wish speedy mood balancing your way.:) Like you said, “It will get better.” I also understand that mixed state–trust me it will even out. Take care.

  11. Thank you for making this post the “just one thing” for today. I am inspired by your ability to kick major Cymbalta ass. Mixed states suck, but you’ll kick this one’s butt also. Love and hugs!

  12. You take care of yourself. I’m totally rooting for you.

  13. SE, you’re in my thoughts. Always. I’m so glad to hear that the Cymbalta withdrawal is almost gone. As I’ve said before, I had a bad experience with Cymblata too, and so I’m feeling you hard right now.

    And remember: YOU matter. The people who you owe emails, comments, etc. to understand that. If they don’t, well, they probably aren’t worth replying to anyway. You’re not being self-centered; you’re taking care of yourself and that’s a good thing.

    Much love. Many hugs.

  14. Just happened on your site due to a search I did after going to a party this evening where the question of Cindy Sheehan came up and I ventured that I wondered if she were bipolar and thought I’d come home and do a Google…so…the link there. And I saw this post on your blog.

    I have a sister who’s dx’d bipolar, BPD, mixed states, very unstable. I never know whether she’s doing meds or which ones…she talks to me about it only occasionally. She’s not really doing well. She won’t take lithium, has heard bad things from her bipolar friends. Did do well, I felt, with Lamictal–very well. Did do well with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy–I saw huge benefits, but only while she was doing it.

    What I want to say is, I appreciate your guts. It’s hard. And I’m impressed with your self-insight. So many people don’t display the level of insight you are showing here. Hang in.

    ps–Cymbalta! God. A friend–unipolar–tried that; got the *worst* GI reflux. Awful. I’m unipolar, took Effexor four years, finally realized it was causing bowel and libido problems. I quit. Cobbled together another mix of stuff for myself, am doing OK now. Hang in.

  15. I HATE mixed states. They are worse than depression for me because it’s the pain plus the restless, agitated energy to do something that I know isn’t good for me… screaming, raging, panic attacks… ugh…

    As long as you keep getting up in the morning despite this fucking disease, know I’m proud of you. I’m rooting for you. I understand. I hope good things for you. Breathe through this moment and then breathe through the next…

  16. Hang in there, SE. You’re in my thoughts.

  17. look after yourself SE x

  18. I’m bipolar too, I’ve been through it, and I’m with you. If there is anything I can do to help ease the mental chaos, let me know.

  19. I admire your strength.

  20. Hey,

    you don’t know me, but I wanted to say that I appreciate your blogging about bipolar disorder. I suffer from it too, and have been having a very difficult time with it lately as well (e.g., life falling apart). I frequently experience the mixed states (usually a dysphoric mania) and for me, they’re really scary.

    I hope you’re feeling better soon,


    p.s. oh woman i know how cymbalta withdrawal sucks.

  21. yeah, what they said.

    you’re in my thoughts.

  22. Thinking of you. And well done with the Cymbalta. This too will pass, and I hope it passes very shortly.

  23. You are a constant, despite everything, and you are a constant here in my thoughts every day, as you keep on keeping on.

  24. It’s good to hear from you. And I don’t think it’s self-centered to focus on depression, feeling that way tells me how rare it is to see others engage responsibility for their own. You’re brave, loved, totally relatable, and doing everything right.

  25. Thinking of you – hang in there. Remember we’re here for you xxx

  26. Thinking about you every day.

  27. You inspire people. Your strength lies both in kicking Cymbalta’s ass and then being able to be honest and say, hey, things aren’t so great at the moment. When people say they are thinking of you, they really are. Every day in many, many cases as the comments show. Keep taking care of yourself xx

  28. Oh honey-I know what you’re going through. Hang in there and good luck. *mwah*

  29. ((hugs)) and good wishes to you. Hang in there. This too shall pass. People are rooting for you.

  30. Sending you good vibes, SE. Know it all too well, but we survive, sister. Keep kickin’ ass.

  31. I too suffer from depression and mixed states (agitated depression), and could really relate to what you are going through. I just wanted to let you know that I greatly appreciate your sharing your experiences, as I no longer feel so alone.

    I often think of the mood shifts as temporary clouds passing over the sun (clouds = depression, sun =happiness/stability)

    May you be comforted by the reassurance that the “storm” you are now experiencing will pass, and that you will soon emerge, radiant like the sun, from the dark clouds of depression.

  32. Been there. Wishing you didn’t have to go through it, hoping it passes quickly!

  33. I just happened upon your site and reading your story reminded me of something that Parker Palmer said about depression, that he really appreciated a friend who would come by and massage his feet. So IF this would be comforting to you, imagine a cyberspace foot rub coming your direction.

  34. Newbie [obviously]
    I think ‘one thing’ is just fine.
    Best wishes and love the bunnies

  35. Glad you have the rabbit! And escaped from Cymbalta – I’m sure it’s a bad news substance!

  36. im a newbie to blogging, but a lifelong vet to bipolar disorder. ive been on a billion drugs,and i can tell ya for a fact that YOU are a strong woman.
    this blog is awesome…look at all of us whom you touch…


  37. hi, se … just … hi & thinking about you — sw

  38. As a fellow bunny owner I was so happy to find your blog. Even better – you speak honestly about mental health. Bravo!

  39. Hello there. I hope you are well. I was so surprised and happy to stumble upon your blog. I was searching for anything on rhetoric and bipolar disorder. I am getting my master’s degree in digital rhetoric and professional writing and as I was researching different kinds of rhetorics I began to wonder what was out there on the rhetorics of mental illness and then on bipolar. I am 37 and was diagnosed as bipolar at age 16. I understand the suicide dance and when I read through your blog, I thought I could be reading my own words.

    Again, hope you are well. I hope that you can find some comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone in how you feel and there are those of us who understand.


  40. will you post another pic of bumble soon? i miss his attitude, which usually comes through.

  41. I too have bipolar and live in mixed states all the time. I know, yes, I totally know what you mean by ‘suicide dance’. I don’t think I’d stick around if I didn’t have two children. It’s a horrible, disturbing disorder and no one should have it. Keep up the fight, you’re never alone, even though it seems that way!

  42. It’s been so long since your last blog, I am wondering if you made it back from the dark side yet…I am hoping you are either well, or at least well on your way to recovery…I know the despair and the utter futility of life that a mixed state can create and I realize that it can take up to a year to really recover from one.
    I know this because I spent the last year battling the rage and panic that compressed me until I thought my chest would explode, in between starting a million projects and working furiously at them, only to get sidetracked and finish none of them, followed by the crushing perception that everything I was doing served no purpose anyway and everyone I loved would be better off if I did not exist. In the last 6 months alone, I’ve moved, painted my house, hung wall paper, sewn draperies, cleaned compulsively, colored my hair, pulled it out, and colored it again, all while pursuing a degree, a job, and a pregnancy at the same time.
    I tell you this because I want you to know that you are not the only one. I have no friends because people rarely understand when you don’t call them for four months, and telling them that it takes all your willpower just to get out of bed in the morning is not really an option.
    I am glad that your last blog was that one thing you succeeded in accomplishing that day, because I really needed to read it. Writing this comment to you is my one thing right now. I hope that one of these days you will get out of bed and you will be able to breathe again, and you will find something – ONE THING – that makes life worth living. And when you do, I hope you will blog again. You are not alone…And thanks to your blog, I now know that I am not alone either.
    Get well soon.

    • hi!, Ihave recently been told that im Bi-Polar (Manic Type 1), and I got to say im actually in tears @ the moment! lol. I havent heard anyone else tell anything about the way they felt or about the feelings that they were having. But then again-I havent heard anyone else admit (to me) that they were even bi-polar! I got to admit this bi-polar crap sucks!!! Its as if No One Understands Me AnyMore! Everyone around me or that knows someone that I do and hears about me being Bi-Polar all thinks that im some kind of crazy person! I feel so Alone and Lost!!! Im not sure about what everyone is meaning by the “suicide dance” but I do know about the suicide thoughts and have even tried it not to long ago! All because of “everything in my life seemed to fall apart in one day” it was just to overwhelming for me to deal with @ the time and its still hard! To me its the worst thing in the world to have(meaning Bi-Polar) and I would Not Wish Any of the feelings or Crazy Mixed Emotions that I Feel upon Anyone! Not Even My Worst Enemy! I am just So Glad To Have Finally Found Other People That Can Understand and relate to some of the things that I am going through! I don’t feel so alone anymore! I caint tell you enough how much it sucks to not have anyone in your life to be able to talk to and not be judged for saying the things that you feel or that you are going through. It is so hard from going from your everyday mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter to being just alone with No One to Talk To! So Just reading everyones blogs-I have to say I Do Know How You Feel! And I’m That One Person In Which Each And Everyone Of You Have Helped Today! Just By Expressing Yourself. That Alone Has Helped Me To Have A Little Bit More Confidence In Myself & For Another Day!! THANK YOU! AND GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE GOING THROUGH (my words) “PURE HELL”!! =-)

  43. Hi, not sure how I got here but read your blog about your struggle with withdrawl from medications. I am bipolar/add/ocd and struggle daily. I am also suffering mixed states and damn glad that winter is almost over.
    Your bunny is so cute and looks like you give him lots of love. I have 12 kats and I would have been hospitalized by now without them.
    Really just wanted to say thanks for your blog and thanks for your sharing. I look forward to reading all the things you have written.
    Please feel free to email me if you want.
    I try to remember H.A.L.T. when I am feeling intense and suicidal. H=hungry, A=angry, L=lonely,T=tired I ask myself if I am feeling any of these and if I am I do something to ease the feeling.
    be gentle with yourself and hug your bunny lots

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