Always and Forever by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger Warning: Self Harm and Suicide

Some of my best moments are still on this edge of living or dying and I've just gotten so used to this ever present balance. I guess certain things bring it out and make it super obvious. But it's there, always there.

Can't I just be happy when I'm happy. Why do I have to want to kill myself at the same time, maim myself even. Why.

I've gotten so used to this, and I don't think it's ever going to change.

How do I explain, it never leaves me.

It's what stops hospitals from admitting me. I have literally been asked, "but if you haven't killed yourself yet, what's to say you will tonight". 

Post Surgery by Charlie Francis Cassidy

I'm about a week and a half post top surgery, and wow am I having a real mix of emotions. I'm obviously super happy that it's finally done, it's been about a year and a half since I embarked on this whole journey of a process to get this to happen. I couldn't be happier about the result and just, no longer hating my body. It's amazing. But I'm also having some pretty intense swings and other emotions which isn't causing me the best time.

This surgery and recovery has just completely thrown off my routine, and it wasn't until today that I've really acknowledged just how much of a routine I've actually built up for myself and how much help that's been in having enough stability to live my life. I haven't gone to work, or even done any work and I'm actually quite excited to be back at work tomorrow, even though it's still just from home. I haven't had my hair cut, or re-dyed and bleached so I am feeling, super scruffy. 

Keeping my hair well cut, and dyed is actually something I use to help keeping me feeling alright, so having that routine thrown off is actually having quite an effect. I have also let my facial hair grow out a fair bit, which is actually quite cool, I'm getting quite a decent amount of it now, still scruffy looking and patchy as hell but wow, it's, really getting close to having a bit of a beard. Soon. Sooooon. My moustache is my pride and joy though. It's looking very good. So, that scruffy-ness is having a good impact on how I'm feeling.

I know it's also normal to be having a bit of a time of it after surgery, and it was a more intense surgery than the 3 I've had on my wrist so far. I was meant to see my psych the other day, but I rescheduled because I just, did not want to sit on a bus for an hour to get there. I probably should have gone though, it's now going to be a month till I can see him again. I'll get through though, I always do.

??? by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning: Suicidal ideation

Is living meant to be this hard?

will I ever not want to just stop, will those thoughts ever stop existing low key in my mind at all times, and then so loud it's all I can hear

Under Pressure by Charlie Francis Cassidy

I’m not okay, like, I’m really not okay. But I need to be.

I have top surgery scheduled for less than 2 months from now, which is amazing. But I still don’t have that letter of approval. I need to be seen as in a good mental state for it to go forward, there needs to be no doubt that this what I want and not some delusion my mind came up with. I know it is, but I have to constantly prove that to psych after psych after doctor after fucking everyone.

Honestly, I’m a bit over all the hoops I’ve had to jump through to prove what I want is real.

Since being diagnosed with psychosis very recently I am super worried it’s going to become another hurdle I have to get past. Prove that I am genuinely trans. Meanwhile here I am slowly drowning under all this pressure and trying to learn how to deal with my psychosis symptoms.

Interestingly, the more I think about my life growing up, the more I realise that I’ve had psychosis for a very long long time. Like, 15/16 upwards? I’ve had severe paranoia and a lot of stuff that is now very obviously not real. But also is? 

I’ve just gotta keep going.

Just One Night by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger Warning: self harm, suicidal ideation/urges

So, I skipped my meds one night earlier this week, well, it ended up being 2 nights. I’ve been having some breathing problems after I take my seroquel at night, which is either my asthma getting worse or it’s a bunch of anxiety/panic attacks over how sedated I feel. I have a few ongoing issues with being sedated.

Honestly, what I expected was to be more manic than usual and probably more trouble sleeping the next night, with probably some more severe side effects if I kept it up for say a week. What I got was a lot more immediate and dramatic.

I woke up crying, and spent the rest of the day in quite a state of emotions and felt like I was barely holding it together. By the end of the day I was a total mess, still pretending to be a functioning human, but that cover was really running thin. One night of skipping meds and I was pretty much in a state similar to what I’m like before most hospital admissions.

It didn’t help that earlier that day someone had somewhat graphically/specifically described an event involving a razor blade which is a pretty major trigger for me. I have very specific and terrifying suicidal and self harm urges, wrapped up in deeply embedded delusions that I could do stuff and still survive it. That death won’t happen to me. But also that I really can’t live anymore. It’s a bit complicated sometimes.

I really should have taken my meds that next night, but I didn’t. I was already on the self destruction train, why not a few more stops. I had at least messaged my psych but still hadn’t heard back from him.

The next day was again much worse than I had anticipated. I’m not even entirely sure how I got through it if I’m honest. I was really ready to just, give up entirely. My psych did get back to me that night though, and suggested a lower dose. At this point it seemed really obvious that I should take them again. Surpising no one, I felt a lot more stable the next day.

I didn’t even skip all my meds, just my anti-psychotics, not even my mood stablisers. I guess it goes to show how much my medication helps me function. I really couldn’t do what I do now without it.

Over the Line by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning: Suicide

I’ve always been worried that I’d cross over the line into symptoms of psychosis, to the point that I made sure I wasn’t ever near weed, and couldn’t imagine ever trying a hallucinogenic. The amount of times various psych’s would ask me if my manic episodes included paranoia is ridiculously high and each time I said and thought, no. I was so certain I had no related symptoms but at the same time so worried I would get them. I didn’t want my grasp on reality to get any worse than it could get sometimes.

As it turns out, I’ve been experiencing delusions and paranoia since I was about 14. These are both symptoms of psychosis that goes along with my mania, which I guess can be classed not just hypo-mania now.

It’s hard to work out what in my head is real and what isn’t. I guess I knew that others wouldn’t understand, so I just never mentioned any of them ever. Which is a technique I learnt when I was 15 and nearly hospitalised for how suicidal I was at the time. Instead of getting help, I learnt to hide everything.

So here I am, wondering how much of who I am isn’t even real. Who would I be without them? Will I ever know, do I want to know? I don’t know what I want.

I guess I just keep going.

Pretty Much a Year by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger Warning: Self Harm, Suicidal Thoughts

Well, as is customary of a visit to hospital, I seem to be making another post. I’ve probably very sparsely posted since my last stay in one, which was, approximately a year ago.

I’d like to say this is some sort of achievement, and I mean it is, but more and more I am less inclined to suggest the amount of time in or out of hospital is as indicative of how much a person is in fact struggling. For me, I guess it being a year means maybe I took better care of myself this year? I’d certainly like to think so, surely I’d be getting better at this sort of thing. I mostly avoided burn out last year, I even managed to do my annual Brisbane game jam without burning myself out, we finished the game and people loved it. Which is more than I had hoped. Maybe I do know how to make games after all, and maybe I do know how to take care of myself.

Theoretically I did take better care of myself, I’m starting to see my limits and know where to ease off, or try to at least. But there were also probably a few not so great decisions in there amongst many good ones. Maybe not good is the wrong way to phrase them, I don’t think there was actually a better choice for me to make. I started last year off with a trip to hospital because I didn’t want to be on lithium anymore. A decision I am still sticking to, but that shaped a lot of this year for me. Especially the news that I had in fact tried all there was to try to combat my bipolar symptoms. In the face of that, I stubbornly refused to try anything again for most of the year. I think that is something I had to do, I had to test living basically unmedicated. I had to know before I resigned myself to something less effective with side effects I didn’t enjoy.

It took moving out on my own and seeing myself struggling to get by each day to acknowledge that I needed to take some steps to get myself back on track. I decided to go back on Seroquel, despite how foggy and sleepy I feel when I wake up the next day. It was quite hard to tell for ages, but I think it was making a difference. I was managing a bit better, and I still felt like me. Granted I brought caffeine back into my life to counter the sedation.

This got me by for awhile, life was still hard but maybe that’s just how it’s gonna be. I kind of kept waiting for a bad spell to pass by, but it didn’t. Interestingly work was going fine, I had purpose and structure there and was managing that fine, I looked forward to going to work. It was outside of work that I was slipping, finding it harder and harder to do anything in my spare time. I probably should have picked up something was wrong here, but I was managing fine most of the time, how could there be a problem. I figured it would pass.

Then, I went on holiday. Which was fine when I had things to do, places to be. But when I found myself alone, I didn’t know what to do. I spiralled, things started getting out of hand again. I started hurting myself again, I couldn’t seem to pull myself back up. It turned out I was basically holding myself together to get through each work day, and without that, I fell apart. I have a need inside me, to appear okay at all points, and sometimes that’s what gets me through a day, I’m trying to break that down because it’s okay to not be okay.

I went back to work, and everything was fine while I was at work, but my life outside of that continued getting worse. I was in a constant mixed state that meant I was impulsive enough that my life was in a lot of danger. I really couldn’t guarantee my own safety. After going to my psych about it, he deemed it necessary for me to come back into hospital for a bit and try a mood stabaliser again.

So here I am on Valproate, again. I’ve been worried it might have a similar effect to lithium, but so far I seem to still be able to feel things so that’s promising. I’m also no longer suicidal and not really at much risk of anything anymore. I am, somewhat optimistic about the medication, and hoping I can maintain this moderate dose in case higher ones bring out the side effects I am avoiding.

I’m hoping to be out in a few days, and then I guess I’ll see how I start coping with life again. I’ll try and ease in with as little stress as possible and go from there.

I don’t think things will ever be particularly easy for me, no matter what medication I have been on, nothing seems to really stop the constant mood shifting, except lithium but let’s not go there. I’m somewhat resigned to that now, and I guess it’s fine. Or, it’s fine for me to not be fine with it but keep going anyway. My life itself is amazing, and I guess I can hope that one day there’ll be something that helps more but till then I’ll carry on.

Weird Times by Charlie Francis Cassidy

I am having a bit of trouble putting together a few things. I know, they don’t necessarily relate to each other in the way that would make sense, but it’s still kind of, something I’m trying to get my head around.

In one sense, right now, my life is the best it has ever been. I have a full time job, that I love, doing what I love in an industry I love, and it pays me enough to live, comfortably. Despite my looming credit card debts. I live in my own apartment, with all the essential furniture, and some not essential stuff like bar stools. I can afford to own bar stools. Also I have three monitors. Which has only been my dream for like 2 years. I have some amazing people in my life, even though I do miss a lot of close friends from Brisbane I have found really good people here too. 

I’m happier with my gender and presentation than I have been in a long time, still some steps to take but I like where everything is heading.

So I should be having a really great time right now, right? I mean, that’s what I keep thinking should be the case, but that’s not how mental health works at all. I mean sure, that stuff certainly helps, but it’s not the defining factor I guess.

While my life on paper seems to be, amazing, here I am struggling each day to just, get by. You could even say I’m doing great with that, I haven’t been in hospital since January! That’s the longest time in the past couple of years! Great! That doesn’t mean anything! I don’t have the luxury of hospital unless I really really can’t function anymore. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if I’m in hospital every week, or not at all for a year. That isn’t a milestone for getting better, or being better, or being in a good place, or healthy nor the opposite of those things. It’s a tool to help get better, yes, in the right circumstances, for people it works for. Right now, it doesn’t work for me. Take me away from my job for a week? I don’t want that, I don’t feel like I could afford that. I mean, I could if I really had to, but it’s all about weighing up what will impact your life in the least for what you’ll gain from it. That’s where I’m at right now.

I am an expert now at knowing when I should consider hospital and when I 100% need to be in there. Right now I think I’m just in a struggle that I have to ride out, and hope it ends. And try and ignore the fact that it hasn’t ended, since, I started developing the symptoms of bipolar. Just ups and downs, which, seems fitting. Look, I can make jokes!

I’ve talked about running out of medications to try, and that’s still true. Though, my psych recently came across something, but turned out I couldn’t take it because I’m on Testosterone. Ha. Still worth it. Anyway, I am back on Seroquel for the, fourth time? I haven’t even got third time lucky on my side. It is, the least worst thing I have been on. So uh, with that glowing review I am going forward with that and hoping that my moods become more manageable. Who knows!

Was there somewhere I was going with this? Right, I keep doing the whole, I have all these great things but why do I feel awful dance. I have kind of, accepted that I’ll probably forever be dealing with my mood shifts and swings. There isn’t a medication right now that’s going to stop that, just maybe make it a little more manageable. From what I’ve tried, it doesn’t reduce it much but, maybe that’s okay. Maybe it’s not okay, but that’s okay too. I can live with that.

tl;dr - some things are great, my mental health is kinda terrible, it’s probably always gonna be terrible, but I can live with that

I’m having another episode, I just need a stronger dose.. by Charlie Francis Cassidy

I’ve been trying to survive on about the smallest amount of medication I have been on since I was diagnosed. Not because I think there is anything wrong with higher doses of medication, believe me, I’ve needed it, possibly still do. More because I still don’t know what to be on anymore, so I was kind of hoping I could get by without having to make that decision.

Was I wrong. My moods are so erratic right now and I’m either really really depressed or really quite manic/hypo-manic/whatever you wanna call it. I’m still managing to keep my life together but it kinda feels like a balancing game that I could lose at any moment.

Strangely, I am not struggling with work at all. It’s possibly the time I feel the most together. Then again, maybe it’s not so surprising. I feel best when I’m productive and have something to do. Which is probably why I have managed to hold down work despite times when my bipolar is particularly bad.

It’s the weekends that I’m struggling with most. I’m too exhausted to do much and then I’m kind of at the mercy of my mood swings.

I am taking steps to change the medication situation though. I’ve decided to try Lamotrigine again. I just have to wait 6 weeks to actually get in to see the psychiatrist. Then go through the painfully slow process of getting to a dose that works.

One thing I didn’t really take into account was the Testosterone increasing my manic episodes. It definitely has though. Which is really starting to affect things. More of those and everything starts swinging more out of sync, which is why I am getting this brutal swings.

It was always a risk and I wouldn’t change my decision at all, I just should have maybe kept a better eye on it really.

This weekend has been quite bad for me but I’ve managed. In fact in this particular moment I feel optimistic. Sure things are bad now, but I’m still functioning. And I’ll continue to, while I work out away to make things better for me. Maybe the perfect medication isn’t out there for me, but that’s fine. I’ve survived this long, I’m not going to let that stop me now. Anything that helps even a little bit is worthwhile.

I’d show a smile but I’m too weak by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning for self harm and suicide related things.

I’ve been struggling quite a bit lately, with, well, a lot of things really. But the cause for all that can be traced back to my shifting mood states. Nothing new there, sure but it’s not always this bad.

Is it bad enough to put me back in hospital? Well, that’s tricky to answer. It really depends. It’s never as simple as that. But I don’t foresee myself in hospital anytime soon. I just don’t think it would help me right now. Right now I don’t think I need a timeout from my life and the world, but there are certainly times when that is exactly what I need. That being said, I do really need to look at how much I am pushing myself but I’ll get to that.

So here I am now, in a really bad depressive episode. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been quite bad actually. My mood has shifted all over the place during that time and this is one of the worst days I’ve had but each day has been its own struggle too. I’m not even sure where to start here, but I want to talk about it. Write about it, whatever.

As an unfortunate standard I usually have background thoughts of hurting myself in one way or the other but when I’m not doing too badly I can usually manage them pretty decently and they don’t affect me as much as they could. It’s kind of like, yeah I know where that thought is coming from, I’m just going to ignore it I don’t need to act on it, I know I won’t do anything. And that, that took years to get to that point, where I could deal with this regular influx of these kinds of thoughts. Suicidal ideation, self harm, all that.

But, when I start getting particularly bad, not only do these thoughts become more frequent, they start turning into urges and it starts getting a lot harder to just ignore them. I start participating in the thoughts, I find myself getting caught up in them. 

I’ve started giving in to the self harm urges. Not all of them, but enough I guess that it should be a concern. I have varying thoughts on this really. Once I start it is very very hard for me to stop again. And often once I’ve started my leading thoughts on it are kind of, so what if I need to do this to get by, I’m not hurting anyone but myself. I mean yes, but then my next thought on it is that I am in fact hurting those that care about me by hurting myself, so I then become incredibly guilty about that. Then there is the question of does this in fact help me at all? It doesn’t, it really doesn’t. It just starts a cycle that gets harder and harder to break. But that isn’t exactly clear all of the time, it’s not as simple as me knowing it won’t help in the long run, it does something for me in that moment. Even if all it does is stop me from wanting to do it. When all of my thoughts are to just do this one thing, it can get kind of difficult to reason with.

I want to make it very clear that I don’t think I am in any danger though. I have dealt with all of this long enough to know when I do need to do something about it. It’s just, exhausting really. It’s like, right now the majority of my thoughts can’t be trusted and I have to actively sort out which is a real thought from me and which is something produced from a combination of my mental illnesses. The worse I am the harder it is to tell the difference. 

That’s pretty much what I’ve been dealing with lately. It makes it significantly harder to do, anything. So right now, in a real bad depressive episode, well, it all feels a bit much. I’m also being hit with lots of thoughts questioning what I’m even doing with my life, why am I even bothering with anything. All sorts of things. I would love to just turn it off right now. I don’t exactly get a break from this either in my manic episodes. My mood being at either extreme seems to bring about this sort of thing. Though the depressive thought pattern isn’t there in a manic episode I still have the suicidal ideation and self harm urges. I’ve had a lot of confusion about this from various people (including doctors in the ER). Why would I want to hurt myself if I’m not feeling depressed? I’ve learnt that it’s just not that simple. I can be having an episode where I think I am the greatest person ever and still have these thoughts. There was a theory that it’s a combination of bipolar episodes and aspects of Borderline Personality Disorder clashing.

While I’m not exactly in control of these mood shifts, the fact that I’ve been overdoing it somewhat wouldn’t exactly be helping. I definitely need to keep working on getting a balance with all the work I do outside of my day job and taking time to, not be working. I guess a balance of work, social things and then down time. I need a better balance. I’m working on it though. I have improved a whole lot since even a year ago.

Ramblings in mania by Charlie Francis Cassidy

I don’t always notice that I’m manic, till one small detail catches my eye and then it all becomes so very obvious. 

Right now everything is moving so fast and I’m wondering how long it’s been like this without me noticing.

I can’t help but wonder how this impacts those around me. Especially when I don’t realise it’s happening. How do people see me when I’m like that? Is that just who I am to some people, actually no, I know I am. Some people, being the key phrase here, I know not all. I mean, I’d like to think those actually close to me see me as, I don’t even know. I don’t have a clear picture of who I am despite the moods. It’s hard to not just define myself by my bipolar sometimes.

I’m not even sure if I’m making any sense right now, this is all just a jumble of thoughts racing through my manic mind. I’ve taken some seroquel to calm it all down but it takes a bit to kick in. I’ll be fine, I caught myself before it got too extreme. It’s just something I need to keep a better eye on.

Where do we go from here by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Well, there’s no we in this, it’s where do I go, but I wanted to sneak in a Buffy reference.

I’m at a point where I need to make a decision about what I am going to do with my medication. There is nothing new to choose from, I have to pick something I’ve tried before and settle for that. That’s about where I’m at.

I can’t remember anything I was particularly happy on, which is the main problem. The other problem is the medication my psychiatrist thinks I need to try again. Valproate. I remember it being similar to Lithium, hell he even says it can be somewhat flattening. I don’t want that. I can’t do that again. I can’t lose months of my life again.

So I have the prescription for it but I have done nothing with it. I don’t know if I will. I’m scared. Sure, it’s easy to argue that I should just try it and I’ll know this time because I’ll be looking out for it but no, you don’t notice it, you don’t notice anything! That’s the problem.

If not that, then what will I do? I’m currently on a very low dose of Latuda that’s well, not doing a whole lot. The higher dose was starting to take away parts of me that I like and need. It was starting to become too much like Lithium. So I’m not particularly happy to still be on it but I really don’t know what to do about it.

I have never felt so direction-less with treatment. It’s making me feel like I’m lacking direction in my life. I mean I know where I am going with work, my game, my transition but what is any of that worth if I can’t function.

I mean, I am functioning but it was only meant to be temporary, I have pushed myself this far thinking eventually it would be okay, it wouldn’t be this hard forever. But I guess it will be. That’s fine, I mean it doesn’t feel fine and I am bouncing back and forth from accepting it and just being straight up mad about it. The fact is though, no matter what I’m not going to give up. I just have to adjust, I was fighting to eventually find something to keep me stable and now, now I’m fighting to function throughout the instability.

What is my conclusion here, well stuff kinda sucks but that’s fine. I’ll get by. This also isn’t a - ‘hark, lose hope ye who travel the medication seas’ kind of post either. It just happens that I’ve been trying medication for a long time and it hasn’t worked out terribly well for me. You could still find the right thing and if not, if you get to where I am well, it really does suck. I feel you. But it’s not the end.

Out of options by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Today is possibly one of the worst days I have experienced. Hell to be clear this has been the worst year so far. That is something for me to say, I’m always so sure every year is better than the last but life keeps kicking me lately. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot going for me but man, today has taken all the hope right out of me.

Today I was told by my psychiatrist that there are no more medications for me to try. I’ve tried them all, and more than once as well. Anti-depressants are completely out as they really mess with me and give me intense manic episodes. And it seems I’ve tried all the mood stabilisers and anti-psychotics. That’s what I’m told.

I’ve been holding onto the hope that one day I could live a more normal, stable life. One day I could experience life in a easier way. Today I had that hope utterly destroyed. I don’t know how to describe how I’m feeling right now.

I am mad, I am sad, I am, without hope of things getting better. I’m not going to experience what I’ve been working towards this whole time. It doesn’t seem fair, and I know, life isn’t fucking fair but COME ON!

Part of what was getting me through all the rough times was that one day it would be okay, I would be stronger for it. I am who I am because of it. But one day, it would all be okay. There is a medication out there for me. Well guess what, there isn’t.

The only thing that made me stable took away everything else about me. That wasn’t living. It’s not fucking worth it. Everything else I’ve been on either didn’t do much of anything or sedated me or took away parts of me that I can’t live without. Not to mention some of the side effects.

I know I can keep living like this, I know I’m tough but, right now, I don’t know if I want to. What am I fighting for now? My story isn’t one of hope anymore. I guess it’s survival. You know what, fuck it. Fuck life, fuck everything. I am going to live it anyway, I am going to accomplish whatever the hell I want despite this.

I am not going to be stable. I know I’m getting worse again right now. Life isn’t going to be easy, living isn’t easy, but fuck it all. Nothing can stop me.

I fell apart tonight when I found out, I didn’t know how to act, how to respond to this. I have never felt so lost in my life. I still don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t hold any hope for a better future, today is the day I lost all of that. But I will not lay down and stop going now.

The reason Latuda isn’t working for me is a) it’s making me feel too similar to lithium, loss of myself and b) I have been way too manic this past week, I am losing it. So it’s clearly not working. That was the newest drug on the market.

I am meant to start Valproate again but I am terrified. I am worried it will be the same as Lithium. And, I don’t want to go through that again. I can’t do it.

I don’t know where I am going with this post anymore, I guess it’s just a collection of feelings.

Oh and did I mention, I’ve started to hallucinate. I’m starting to see things that aren’t there. I am hyper aware of psychosis being a thing that I could develop. Why not right now, just everything at once please. Fuck it. Bring it.

Time to re-arrange by Charlie Francis Cassidy

I can tell I’m having a manic episode, I mean I can usually tell sure but this one has some very obvious signs.

I’m re-arranging my furniture again.

It’s been awhile since once of these episodes. Has not happened in Melbourne at all till now. Haven’t had too much to work with really. I want to put my desk into my room, I just work better on my own sometimes. I spend all day in an office, I need time to myself I think. Of course this means I’ll see my housemates less, since there won’t be a whole lot for me to be out of my room for I guess but it’ll be fine. Hopefully it doesn’t see me spiral, sometimes being on my own can be a bad thing. But I guess I can always grab my laptop and come out here.

So tonight I decided to re-arrange my room to fit said desk and now I am trying very hard to not finish the move tonight. It’s past 11, I have work in the morning and moving this desk is going to take awhile. I have to empty it, and go through  a bunch of stuff, move the desk then put everything back. I have Tuesday off work so I should just wait till then to do it, it’s not so far away really. Trouble is when I’m manic, I just want to do things, right away. But, waiting for some meds to hopefully kick in and bring me down a bit.

Normally I wouldn’t care about being up till 3am following the whim of a manic episode but I am trying to be more responsible.

Mad and sad by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning: Suicide

I finished work like any other day, this time at 5pm which is on time but still early for me to go home but I was feeling a bit off so I did.

On the way home I started spiraling down realising I was starting to hit some depths of depression that I had managed to avoid for awhile since my last hospital stay. By the time I got home I was approaching a wreck.

But then I started getting angry, because I had plans for tonight. I wanted to work on some programming on one game and then start laying down the story framework for my game on bipolar. I had things I wanted to get done.

I want so badly to make a difference in the world of games and the world of mental health. So I was feeling inspired to really get to it, but then I keep hitting these roadblocks, things I can’t help. I’m in pain, it feels like actual pain. It’s stopping me from focusing on anything but my shortcomings. It’s just a mix of wanting to die but not wanting to leave this world without making an impact, without doing more. 

It’s an interesting combination of some of my more manic tendencies, I think I might be in a mixed episode, because I still believe I am here to make some sort of difference in the world. In a way that’s really, why else would I exist. It’s hard to explain, but it’s the head space I get in while manic.

It’s calmed down a bit now, and my plan is to get some terrible take out since I can’t bring myself to make anything and maybe push ahead with some work anyway.

Long time no see by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Well, it’s been awhile.

I’m still in Melbourne and I did in fact find both a place to live and a job, not too long after my last post actually. A lot has been going on.

It’s been what, maybe close to 7 months since I posted? I’ll probably jump back and forth a bit here so bear with me.

One of the more obvious things that comes to me is that I managed to stay out of hospital for about 5 months! That’s the longest I’ve managed in a long time. I did end up getting hospitalised twice in the last 2 months however, which, I think they each deserve their own post on the experience and lead up.

I lost about a month to the side effects of Lithium rendering me basically zombie like. I don’t remember a lot of that month but someone close did describe it as me not really being there. So, I was really out of it. Which I hate, it’s one of the big things I worry about when going on all these different medications, this exact thing was a fear. It happened, and it took me a month to notice it. But more on that another time, it goes with one of my hospital stays, technically both of them.

It took me awhile to actually find a psychiatrist. Hell, it took me awhile to find a decent GP. Eventually I got a referral to this one guy who, after a whole session of going through my entire history says to me, and I quote “I can’t help you”.

A huge waste of time, money and not a great hit to how I was feeling at the time. This was around the time that I changed my GP as well and managed to find a really amazing one.

The next psychiatrist I am still seeing. He is, well, I have mixed feelings. He is kinda quirky in a way I like but sessions are under 15 minutes which isn’t a lot of time for me to gather my thoughts and recall everything I need to bring up. I very frequently forget all sorts of things or just don’t have enough time to respond to what a new treatment is. Plus he doesn’t seem to be keeping track of what I’m on, he completely forgot he put me on something recently and always asks me what I’m taking. But maybe he just likes to promote self awareness in medications, I mean, if anyone is going to know it should be me. I also probably should start writing important things down. He is considering putting me on Valproate again, but I can’t remember why I went off it in the first place. Really need to keep track of these things.

I started seeing a psychologist at some point too. She is lovely. I haven’t made an appointment for this year yet though. I’m not sure why exactly. I’ve had a lot going on I guess.

Now for a quick recap on medications I have tried since moving here - 

First it was - Saphris (asenapine) and Lamotrigine.
Then Seroquel XR was added.
Then that was removed again.
Next - Saphris is replaced with Olanzapine.
Now Pristiq was added.
Before it was taken away again because hello mania.
Then Lithium was added into the mix.
For a bit I was taking nothing (more on this in a later post).
Then I was back on Lithium and Seroquel.
Then Seroquel was replaced with Abilify.
Then Lithium disappeared.
So did Abilify.
Finally, I am now on Latuda.

Yep, just one thing. It’s an atypical anti-psychotic.

So much change by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning - self harm and suicide

I haven’t updated for over a month, but gee a lot has gone down. I still remain out of hospital, I managed to get through 3 exams (results pending) I start uni again in a week, oh and I moved to Melbourne.

I’d been a Brisbane girl my whole life and then about a month ago I decided to move and here I am, I’ve been here about 2 weeks and what a roller coaster it has been.

This is the longest I have gone without seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist, my medication isn’t really working, I’m rapid cycling and even skipping doses again. 

The other night I really lost it too. I was manic and I actually lost touch with reality, I was really struggling to stay in this world and not just lose myself in my head. I did at one point just stop being able to tell the difference in what was real and what wasn’t. Luckily I was with some good people, otherwise I honestly don’t know what would have happened. Nothing good.

I’ve really been struggling with the self harm and suicide thoughts. Today I was rationalising death as a perfectly acceptable solution to my not having a job or house. It’s been like that for awhile, I start thinking hurting myself is just the logical step. I’ll do that then that will help me manage this next thing, or I guess if I just go all out I don’t have to worry about managing anything.

I know this is my personality disorder coming through, it gets magnified when I’m on either extreme of the spectrum with my mood disorder, which is basically everyday currently. Today was depression, though that seems to have turned into more of a mixed episode now, but it was an extreme low before.

Tomorrow I finally go see a doctor to start sorting out seeing someone. I don’t have a lot of money at the moment but I’ll work it out. I need to start working on this stuff before I do something I'll regret. I can’t afford a hospital admission right now. Too much in the balance. Need to find a house and need to be able to work to afford a house and, well everything. The last thing I want is to start a new job and have to disappear into hospital for awhile. I’m just going to have to struggle through this, I always seem to manage. Despite all these things, things always seem to work out in some way for me.

Why Do You Hate Yourself? by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger Warning - Self Harm, Suicide

 

I was in the Emergency Room awhile ago, because I was caught before I could follow through on a plan I had. I wasn’t depressed though, I was very very manic.

So I got taken in and eventually at 3am a doctor wakes me up from the couch to speak to me about why I was there. The reoccurring question was - “why do you hate yourself”. Now, that’s all that’s going round my head.

I didn’t hate myself, that wasn't why I was there. That wasn’t why I wanted to die. I was manic, I thought I was possibly the best person alive even, I loved who I was. I just had to die. It was that simple. When I’m manic my head doesn’t exactly make trustworthy decisions.

I’m just still shocked at how much he didn't understand what I was trying to say. I guess maybe it is a bit confusing. Maybe it wasn’t because I was manic, maybe it was this personality disorder. Which I should really get sorted.

Anyway, for some reason tonight that’s all I can think of. I don’t hate myself. But why do I hate myself?

The cycle continues by Charlie Francis Cassidy

I’m really very manic again. Very. Almost bordering on dangerous. Ehh, I guess it’s always kinda dangerous. I’m not really in control of myself. I have a feeling it’s some sort of mixed thing maybe too. Cause I’m not just the classic  hypo-mania, bouncing of the walls happy kinda thing. I’m the worst kind.

But I should be okay by Charlie Francis Cassidy

Trigger warning: Self harm and Suicide

Here I am in a dark pit of depression for no apparent reason again. Not that there is ever really much of a trigger for it, it’s just today I actually did some stuff that usually helps me feel more in control of my life.

I got 3 new piercings and my haircut. It’s usually a sure fire way to pick me up, but no. Nope. I feel worse than I did this morning.

I should mention that I’ve now stopped my Lithium again. The side effects just weren’t doing it for me. So that probably isn’t helping. I see my psychiatrist tomorrow so I guess we’ll see what we can do from there. I dunno what to  say if he suggests going back on some Lithium, I was still bad while taking it just maybe not this bad. I just really don’t want to be on it anymore. But being on one medication to manage my mania, anxiety and severe depression doesn’t sound like it’s gonna work. 

I don’t know, I guess I’m just scared. After being incredibly manic for so long suddenly being thrown back to possibly being depressed for months again is just terrifying. That and if I do need an anti-depressant again that’ll probably trigger bad manic times. I just can’t win.

Amazingly I still haven’t done anything to hurt myself. And when I say amazingly, I mean it. It’s a hard thing to beat. So are all the other urges. If it got bad enough I would definitely get myself back into hospital, but I really want to avoid that. I need to keep working so I can afford to pay off things. But I’m not silly enough to risk my life, I’d let my psych know it was that bad. Then he’d suggest it, and I’d agree. It’s a system that’s been working.

I guess I’ll just see what the next step is tomorrow.