Stuck Points

The five of us met with Monica tonight. We had to each present a ten minute (or s0) oral presentation. I arrived first to the room we meet in. In fact, I was so early I questioned if I was in the right place. Sometimes, and I don’t know why, I get this flash idea through my head that I am on the wrong floor… but, I wasn’t. Monica confirmed that as she came down the hallway.

For tonight’s presentation we had to answer a few questions. She always writes 5-7 days before, which I really appreciate. It give me time to consider the best/worst to go over, and gives me a chance to work through them with Anne. Our mini-presentation addressed a couple important questions:

1~ List any points that you are “stuck” with. What do you need help with, that perhaps others could help us work through.

2~ List a couple “break through” points.

3~ Give an overall how you are doing, what you might be learning in your process, and has your direction shifted during the course of your research.

I’m happy to admit that I found all the questions fairly easy to answer, although, talking them through with Anne helped a lot. For me, one of the stuck points was very obvious. I am still at a very low point within my bipolar cycle. I know I should do things, I know that things are due, and that due dates can’t really be moved. I also know that if I don’t get myself out of this funk I am in, I won’t graduate in May. And, the thought of not graduating in May makes me very sad, and anxious. I’m on the new meds, unfortunately I’ve only been on them a few days, and none of the mental health medications I have ever been on were an “instant fix” as much as I, and anyone who has ever been treated for mental illness would have liked. Meds are one of those trial by error types of things. If this one doesn’t work (and we won’t know for 4-6 weeks) then, we try another. And, if that one doesn’t, we try yet another. This one I am on is called depakote. It is used typically in people who have seizure disorders, but also works for those who are bipolar. So, medically we are in a wait and see – with a follow up in a few weeks.

I think a lot of people would think that the depressive down cycle would be the hardest to deal with. I personally think it’s almost a toss up between the low and the high. On one hand we have the deep lows, the sadness, the crying, the sleeping, the loss of interest in anything beyond just lying there looking at a blank wall and being content. And, on the other hand we have the racing ideas, the creativity flowing so fast it’s unstoppable, the sleepless nights, the feeling of being almost superman-like thinking I can do anything and everything. Don’t get me wrong, I love my highs. I really do. I love the creativity, the vivid dreams, the ideas, the concepts, the work that I can produce in a short amount of time. The highs have their downfall. The lack of sleep for days on end is killer on your body. Your eating is out of whack, you’re awake when everyone else is asleep, you literally cannot turn your mind off, and the concept of staying in one place is a foreign concept that cannot be explained.

I told class that when I was in my emotion regulation therapy group earlier in the day that if I could just lie down, and take a good solid nap, and wake up to having working medications, I would do so in a heartbeat. I don’t want to wait to come out of the lows. I want the highs, now… not in four weeks or six weeks… Anyhow, most of the girls in the group agreed with me.

Although I openly admit that I hate the depressive side of my bipolar, it actually helped me. I had this epiphany the week before. In producing my 3D tree, layering on the paper mache, and the ripped strips of old newspapers I was thinking of family trees, and how we came to be using this whole tree concept to describe our families. It’s quite fascinating if you think about it. As my brain fumbled through other ways you could describe families, the tree idea does seem like the best approach. Trees or grapevines. Or maybe rose bushes. Or those vines you can grow that do baby off-shoots that you then clip to start a whole new plant from it… And after that idea naturally took its course through both sides of my own tree. I thought about each person, which ones I knew really well, and those I hardly knew at all, but at least had seen them a few times.

And this is when it hit me. There are a few that I never got to know. In fact, I’ll never ever in this lifetime know them. And, in fact, before I feel I can really write about them here, I need to talk this over with my mom. I shared a tiny bit of it with my thesis-mates, but they too felt it was wise I talk it over with a family member before putting it out here on the internet. It is going to be a hard conversation, but honestly one I think that needs to be done. There has been this void, an unspeakable void at that. I’ll follow up on this at a later point.

For the third portion of my mini-presentation, I showed this blog, and what I was doing. What the sections were for, and which tab they would likely most be interested in (Posts) for keeping updated.  And, of course, each one wrote down my blog address. It was a lot of fun to share this, because I’ve worked so hard on it, and I’m pretty proud of myself for doing something I’ve never done before. Oh, and this brings me to the other stuck point I had: if you look at my bar of pages you can go, there are two home pages. I can’t seem to get rid of one without deleting the other, which then gives me one of those nasty “404 lost page” messages…

I have learned quite a few things so far in this venture. Some were through stories my grandmother shared with me about her growing up, and marrying my grandfather during the war. Those memories will be added in, so be on the look out as well.

My last thought for ending this post… I am on track, and on time with my personal timeline, which is awesome!


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February 2013
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