My psychiatrist wants me to start keeping an art journal of my eating disorder behavior urges. Today I’ve been wanting to restrict, so I tried to put it into a picture. On the left side is a body surrounded by spiky red and black lines. The red line is a deep self-hatred for my body that entirely encompasses me. The black like is the oppressive feeling the self-hatred gives me. The black arrows signify how the lines feel like they’re closing in on me. The dotted arrow shows that these feelings lead me to the thought of restriction and that I shouldn’t eat. I want my body to go away and the only way I know to make that happen is to stop eating.
So you may know by now that I have bipolar 2. You may also know that it’s not well controlled because I can’t get in to see a psychiatrist at the mental health clinic where I am seen for…mental health…and I need my meds adjusted.
Lately, I have been listless and apathetic. Completely devoid of any motivation and any desire to do anything. I lost all interest in everything. I couldn’t even knit anymore. I was sleeping 12 hours at night and taking naps during the day and was still tired all the time.
Then, yesterday, it happened. Like flipping a light switch. I had energy!! I had motivation! I was determined to get. shit. done. I cleaned the whole house yesterday. (Yes, before the planned binge and purge that I wrote about.) I felt so accomplished! I went to bed at my normal time last night, but didn’t sleep. NO! My mind raced around and round. My legs wouldn’t hold still. I was still a bundle of energy. After trying for 3 hours to sleep, I got up and filled out paperwork for the ENT I’m seeing today. Then I ate ice cream and purged that. Then I went back to bed. I didn’t try to sleep, though. I just lay there and used my phone and watched Netflix until sometime early in the morning.
I woke up at 6am ready to start the day! I want to do stuff! I want to pack. I want to clean. I want to bake! I want to knit 15 scarves! My body almost aches with energy!
Pictured above is me simultaneously doing an angry dance and a facepalm of frustration. Why? Well, it starts a couple months ago.
The psychiatrist I was seeing at the mental health clinic where I go for treatment of my bipolar disorder, bulimia, self-harm, suicidal ideation, etc quit a couple months ago. I was informed via a letter in the mail and told I would now be seeing a new psychiatrist and that I needed to call and set up an appointment after a certain date. I waited until said date, called, and set up an appointment, a month out (her first available appointment, apparently). I waited anxiously for the date to arrive as I could tell my meds needed to be adjusted. The day before my appointment, I got a call saying my appointment had been canceled because my new psychiatrist had quit.
So, I called intake to get an appointment with another psychiatrist, only to be told I couldn’t be seen by another one at the moment because they were shorthanded. Not good enough. I got the number to the intake manager and left her a message letting her know the situation and that I really needed to be seen by a psychiatrist. She promised to “work on it”. Today, I went in to see my therapist and we went to speak with intake together. We found a psychiatrist with a last minute cancellation so I could get in to see someone this afternoon if I was willing to come back later. I was. They scheduled me and I left, finally feeling like I was making progress.
NOPE! I got a call just before noon saying they needed to cancel my appointment! No explanation could be given. I am so fucking frustrated! I just want to see a psychiatrist and get my meds adjusted. Is that really too much to ask??
Journal entry from my fourth day on the psychiatric wing.
**Self-harm trigger warning**
Today was hard. My depression was high, my self-harm urges were high, my suicidal ideation was high, and my anxiety was high.
Having so many strangers (visitors) all over the place had me on edge, and not having a private place to go had me frantic. I wanted to cut., I wanted to hit walls and cause bruises, I wanted to bang my head against a wall, I wanted to stab myself, I wanted to cut my throat, I wanted to take the knife from dinner and use it to cut.
I was given Ativan. It helped mildly. It took the very edge off, and that’s all. Not what I was hoping from an anxiety medication.
I want to cut. So badly. I’m going to try to sleep instead.
while doing inpatient over the last 10 days in a local psychiatric ward, I made some journal entries. Here is the first of those entries.
“I need my bag!”
The quote from an episode of Psych flitted through my head in the most terrifying way possible.
Sitting in the stark, barren room in the emergency psychiatric ward, I heard the frantic screams of another patient demanding her purse.
“You threw it out the window on Santa Fe,” a paramedic responded.
The other patient wouldn’t, or couldn’t, accept that, and grew angry, insisting on the return of her bag.
This was the latest in a string of tirades.
She had yelled about not being allowed to go home, over not having feminine pads, over her shoes, the list goes on and on. At one point, she had taken to hitting and throwing things at the staff, and had to be restrained, then proceeded to shout profanities for a good hour.
Here I was, in the next room, just trying to stay alive, feeling like I was being punished for doing the responsible thing and seeking help.
That first afternoon and night were terrifying. I sat alone in the most empty room I had ever seen, just a bed, chair, table, and the security camera. A guard sat outside my door. I had to ask to get water, or use the bathroom. I couldn’t use my phone, and all they gave me to do was a stack of children’s mazes, a crayon to fill them out with. Shortly before I left, they scrounged up a word search book.
Though the bathroom door had an 8″ gap at the bottom, I purged every meal. They either didn’t notice, or didn’t care.
After more than 24 hours in the ER ward, I was admitted to the regular psychiatric ward, or Three West (third floor, west wing).
I saw my doctor this morning. She agrees that I need to stop the effexor. I’m supposed to taper off of it over the next two weeks, then go back in to talk about new fibro med options.
She also wants me to see a psychiatrist to find something for my depression and anxiety that doesn’t also make me crazy and suicidal. I have an appointment for next week.
I haven’t been sleeping much, and the large amount of laxatives I’ve been taking have me perpetually nauseous. I’m not looking forward to stopping my effexor and having my pain levels go way up again. Hopefully we can find an effective replacement quickly.