A mildly worrying pattern

2004 – unwell

2005 – mildly better, but not great

2006 – about as ok as I get

2007 – getting ill again

2008 – as ill as I’ve ever been

2009 – slowly recovering

2010 – again, basically ok

2011 – getting ill again

2012 – constant cycling, at least one incapacitating low, more than one high already.

This has been a vague idea floating around in my mind for a while now, but I only just wrote it down tonight. Upon doing so, I think the only words might just be ‘ah. shit.’.

It’s imperative I find the right medication cocktail, and soon. The only problem is that I’m at home now for the next three weeks, and may or may not be back in Cardiff after that. Then there’ll be another stretch at home, and then back in Cardiff. Coordinating appointments around that is not easy, especially not when side effects become just unbearable whilst at home (i.e. right now, with the nausea that lithium causes).

One might argue I should never have gone to a uni so far from home. I could have studied psychology almost anywhere. Should I have to give up on the course and location I actually want just because of illness though? Would that even do me any good, knowing I wasn’t where I really wanted to be?

It’s a little easier this time around. It’s amazing the sheer difference simply knowing ‘this is the bipolar, it does this’ makes. For that reason, I will never disagree with the idea of diagnosis (though, it’s hardly unflawed). I know a little better what helps, that it passes, that other people have the same thing, and simply why today getting out of bed is just not going to happen.

At the same time, this time around, it’s a better knowledge of how it can/will likely pan out. Months of cycling, getting increasingly worse. Potentially making studying impossible. If I’m up, I can make myself feel I will get through it. Obviously, when down, it’s quite the opposite.

I can only hope I am very wrong, and prepare to not to be.

 

Only a tiny bit

I said before that I had ideas for posts lined up, but now, it feels instead like the supply has dried up. I don’t suppose it’ll last forever, sooner or later I’ll have something to say for myself.

The knitting is going well, I shall have to take a picture soon for an update. I’m beginning to manage to learn to not let go of the needle each and everytime, though I’ve not yet mastered the technique, so currently it’s quite amusingly awkward.

I’m also beginning to get just a tiny tiny bit excited for moving into my new house in Cardiff. Only three months to go, should be amazing. So much healthier than living in halls. I’m already making plans in my head for my room. I can’t bear a plain, undecorated room (well, that’s my excuse for why any room I inhabit always ends up in such a mess). My room at home though is tiny, so it’s always been easy to keep it full of awesome little things. I’m very tempted to not only cover the walls in photos and post cards (those mostly from when my cousin went travelling all over the world rather than get in lots of debt at uni. I daresay she’s the smarter one out of me and her), but also to hang some form of display from the ceiling, seeing as for once I’ll have space.

So far, not so good

It seems that taking the end of term off of university to recover from this episode means taking an awful lot longer than I really need at all. This is really rather disheartening.

I’m already 3 years behind my peers. I took an extra year to get through college, and then due to needing surgery for my spine, another 2 years (thanks to MH issues, waiting lists and post-op restrictions).

I am beginning to feel I will be in education for well over 30 years of my life. I just hope I can afford it. Even more than that, I hope I can cope with it. I really want to work as a clinical psychologist, ideally with young people. To do that though, I have to do well at this degree, and then a doctorate. So far, not so good.

So.. right now I feel like

I can’t cope with studying

I’m damn near unemployable 

I can’t sustain meaningful relationships

I generally can’t cope as an adult. 

I know I have the brains for studying. It’s just the lack of stability – which is really not helped by the student lifestyle. One nasty bout of temporary illness and it can have an effect for weeks afterwards, or just add a few more missed lectures. Or take  the one week you might have been able to really put effort into work rather than just ‘getting it done’. One late night out. One night of noise in halls. One bad night with low self esteem leaving it hard to work to a deadline.

One of the most annoying things is the complete lack of option to study part time on this course. I love it here. I love Cardiff. I love the course. I want the placement year. So.. I have to study full time or not at all.

And now I’m taking one out of two breaks I can take, because of one episode, which happened because it is never useful when coughing fits, exhaustion, blocked nose and headaches co-incide with running out of meds. When you have no repeat prescription. And your GP is backlogged with appointments – and you’d have to trek to a pharmacy afterwards as well. When going to the CMHT means maybe waiting hours just for meds. This is ridiculous.. but right now, studying is not something I can do.

As for relationships, I don’t even know what I feel. All I know is I have no interest in feeling like I am being seen as the crazy one who’s opinions don’t need listening to. It’s hard to feel any relationship can work. Maybe one day.

20 and a bit questions

I found this list of questions on tumblr, and felt like answering them, so I did. There were originally 30, I’ve skipped the ones that didn’t apply.

1) When did you realize the term trans* referred to you

(Sixth form) College. I was part of a very gendered group of friends, where the males made 90%+ of the decisions and offensive jokes about everyone – except white middle class males. It made it very obvious that I do appreciate being lumped in a binary category.

2) Have you ever been outed

I  was asked ‘are you bi?’, which left me with either the option of lying and making it difficult for later, or being obvious. It would have been fine, had it not been for the outpouring of bi-phobia that followed.

4) How did your family take it when you came out/ if you are not out why aren’t you

I’m out as pan, because that had to be explained when I told them I’m dating a girl. They don’t know about my being trans* because I didn’t want to overload them all at once. The response was surprisingly positive.

5) Are you active in the trans community or LGBT community

Yes. Aside from blogging here, I’m also a part of my universities LGBT+ society. I also went to NUS national student pride this February, and intend to at least attend Mardi Gras later this year in Cardiff.

6) Who was the first person you told about being trans*

My ex, who was also trans*

7) Who do you look up to?

Right now, my girlfriend, for her continuing strength in coming out and living as a trans-woman.

8) How do you deal with being read mis-genderd in the beginning of transitioning by people?

By being very, very used to it, unfortunately. As a genderfluid person, ‘she’ doesn’t entirely bother me, it’s more that I’m neutral about it.

9) What is something positive about being trans*

Feeling more free to play with gender expression, through being more aware of them. Even if it means that ad breaks are infuriating.

10) What are some of your fears in regards to being trans*

Needing to start T.. and being unable to due to medication I have to take.

Transphobia.

11) How do you manage dysphoria

By causing all my jeans to have inappropriate holes because they’re not meant for someone using male body language.

12) Bathrooms

Female only, so far.

13) What are some of your passing tips or things you do to pass

Heh.. I wish.

14) How have you embraced your trans identity

With great difficulty, really. Being non-binary has been really hard for me to understand, and the only thing harder is feeling like no one else ever will.

15) What’s your binding choice and why

Currently non-binding. Partly money, partly I don’t wish to risk harm for very little effect.

16) How do you feel about the trans laws where you live

Upset that laws so lacking have to be some of the best in the world.

17) Do you want to be a parent why or why not

I do not want to be a mum. Ever. Not even to an adopted child.

Frustratingly, my girlfriend does- and I could handle being a non-mum parent.

18) Your views on the cis-gender community

Full of many a wonderful person. Just needs to work on it’s transphobia a little.

19) Do you feel being trans* holds you back from your career choice

No more than other issues I have might.

20) What stereotypes are put on trans* people

That we deceive cis-people. That we’ll never look normal.

21) Who is your favorite LGBT actor/musician/director/artist etc and why

Currently Sophie Ward for her comment about the Daily Mail and marriages at student pride.

22) Doctor visits

Best avoided, if possible.

So, being trans*, having a spinal deformity, and bipolar was a great set of ‘life choices’..

23) Do you feel comfortable answering questions about being trans* if say your teacher/friend/stranger asked you

About transgenderism in gender, yes. About myself, not so much.

24) What goals do you have

Becoming a clinical psychologist. Becoming a better person. Becoming better at writing. Becoming better at sleeping.