June 11, 2023

This site was broken as hell for an undetermined amount of time.

By Daniel

Sorry about that.

I’m very much writing on a consistent basis, or at least getting back into the habit. Just not here (obviously). I’ve got some anonymous blogs and projects I’m doing.

Something that I haven’t touched on publicly in this setting is that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years ago, a diagnosis I have mixed feelings on. It perfectly explains behaviors going back 20 years. The cycles, the starting of new projects and having them crash and burn when the anxiety of failure gets to be too much. It puts a name and, significantly, a plan of action, to what I thought were simply my shortcomings. It’s something that is there for the rest of your life, to be mitigated and fought daily.

We also diagnosed me with ADHD a few years back, a diagnosis that surprised me because it never occurred to me. My mental image of ADHD is simply hyperactive children. It turns out that’s a common misconception, and there are two distinctly different subtypes of ADHD; Predominantly Hyperactive, which was my mental image, and Predominantly Inattentive, which isn’t a great title for what’s going on under the hood.

It’s not so much that you can’t pay attention. It’s that you have very little control of what you’re paying attention to. I would probably call it something closer to Executive Dysfunction, an issue with the systems that execute thoughts and motivations. Any number of times that a coworker could be talking to me, and I could hear every word they were saying clearly, but the words were just bouncing off the front of my head. Sorry, Jason.

The ADHD diagnosis actually complicates the Bipolar diagnosis, as they actually resemble each other a great deal in a great many ways. My psychiatrist and I aren’t 100% nailed on that it is actually Bipolar II, but treatment plans are operating under the assumption that it is. Personally I think it fits prior history and patterns too well not to be the case.

I’ve been in a low for months. More suicidal ideation than any time since my Dad died. I arranged for counseling last month and we finally get to start on Wednesday.

And, in the same way that the car stops making the suspicious and expensive noise when you take it to the mechanic, or the computer works when the IT guy is behind you asking you to replicate the problem, I fell ass-first into a medication that seems, so far, to be helping a great deal. I’ve tried and failed at six different ADHD meds and probably another 8 or 10 for bipolar and anxiety. Can’t stomach them (GI symptoms in both direction), or I get bad headaches, or my mood becomes deeply and profoundly angry. This is day three of Vyvanse and, knock on wood, it’s been pretty much magic so far. I mean, look at how long it’s been since I’ve written here. Yesterday was the most productive Saturday as far as getting shit done around the house in recent memory, even when I felt I was doing relatively well.

As the failures have mounted with medications for ADHD, or bipolar, or anxiety, I think there’s been an increased feeling of hopelessness. No man, I can’t meditate right now. I can’t exercise. I can’t take care of myself even at the subsistence level.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, if you would. It’s rare for me to make it past five days of a medication. My doctor’s hypothesis is that I have a Cytochrome P450 problem or disorder of some sort, a diagnosis that doesn’t really do squat for me because you can’t do anything about it. I’m trying to thread the needle, and so far I’m succeeding.