Sunday, March 11, 2012

Worn Out, OR: Gotta Have Heart

I am officially sick of taking care of myself.

Why bother to limit my alcohol intake?  Why should I avoid sugar and caffeine?  Why make the effort to exercise?  I worked so hard to instill these habits four years ago because I wanted to get healthy.  And where has it gotten me?

Fuck-all nowhere.

OK, it worked for awhile.  I lost 60 lbs.  I got in shape.  I got organized.  Let me say that again: I, that is to say, Addy Bell, got organized.  If you'd seen my report cards from elementary school you'd know what a miraculous feat that is.  Anyway, as a result of working my ass off, my depression lessened, my ADHD symptoms improved, and I felt better than I had in years.  For the first time in my life, I was in control.

That is, until I wasn't.  Until I went nuts.  Until I had to spend an entire year rebuilding my brain from the ground up.  So much for control.

Lately, I haven't been moody, and I haven't felt sad.  I just feel tired and pointless.  Why put in the effort when past experience tells me that no matter how hard I work, I will fail?  And not just fail, but burn down, fall over, and sink into the swamp?

It would be easier to get off my ass and do something, anything, if I felt like I had any efficacy at all.  But I can't even remember what it feels like to feel a sense of control, to feel like what I do matters, to feel like I can effect the outcome of my own life.  Sure, I can put in the effort, I can work my ass off, but that won't make the Universe take down the "kick me" sign it's had on my back for the last two years.

Maybe if I just lie low, life won't notice me and will leave me alone.

But I can't think like that.  I know I can't.  Because I know that I have to take care of myself, or things will get even worse, and thinking so negatively is bad self care, and is practically a guarantee that things will get worse.  So I need to keep my chin up, stiff upper lip, put on my game face, and all that.  I gotta have heart, right?  Lots and lots and lots of heart!  Gotta keep singing Damn Yankees in my head.

And I guess, for me, for now, that's what success is.  Other people get to feel successful when they land a job, or a promotion, or a raise.  Or when they watch their children sharing a toy on the playground and they think to themselves, hey, I taught them that.  Me?  My success is measured in my ability to talk myself up from the depths of bitter despair, a place where I've landed because, well, my success is measured in my ability to talk myself up from the depths of bitter despair.

Only I can't think like that.  Gotta have heart.  Gotta have heart.  Gotta have heart.

P.S.: Damn Yankees.


  1. Hey I just found your blog because I just titrated up to 75 mg of Lamictal and I cannot take a crap and I have the skin of a 15 year old boy.

    I look forward to reading more as I am only recently dx with bipolar.

  2. A lot of people take lamictal because their doctors think it "has no side effects". To tell the truth, I have a friend who's on it and has had no side effects.

    But as your experience and mine show, the side effects can be like a rewiring of the entire nervous system. Skin is a common one, and digestion, but then there's sleep, muscle tone, appetite, and The Stupids.

    I can tell you that after being on 300 for several months, most of the side effects have gone away. My muscle tone is still nice and loose, which is pretty cool, but I can eat breakfast and digest my food without it taking up permanent residence in my colon.

    Good luck as you titrate up!


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