7:47 PM

Ahhh fuck. I messed up at work during the onset of wave 4 last Saturday, and recieved a warning for it today. I lost $10.30. Anything over $10 you will get a warning letter which I got for literally 30 cents and I was quite unfortunate. But the supervisor didn’t scold me or anything so I am glad. In fact she seemed almost indifferant and teased me for making a mistake. 

The customers suck and there is a Cantonese/ English versus Mandarin language barrier between my co-workers and I, but the co-workers and supervisors are still incredibly kind towards me. 

wave 4 emergency

Last Tuesday (Jan. 26) was hell! (this post will be long) I could feel wave 4 coming around noontime and it was going to hit hard. During wave 3, I did some pretty terrible things that couldn’t be controlled (my mind just snapped) and I was terrified that I would attempt again. The crying was coming, thankfully, so it would relieve some of the feelings and hopefully end wave 4, but the crying was not enough and the mind was starting to wander and I was losing control. Thus I went to find a trusted friend at school (thank you, without you I wouldn’t have gotten the help I needed to get better) whom I could hopefully talk to and let out the mental pain by crying until exhaustion.

After talking to him for an hour and crying in a quiet hallway, I did not feel any better and knew I needed real help for this wave. I didn’t want to repeat the events of wave 3. He encouraged me and went with me to some peer counsellors because I wasn’t as intimidated when talking to peers. I couldn’t move myself to enter to room until my friend went first. Then they coxed me into sitting and drinking water, in which I still continued to cry when trying to talk to the peer counsellor. The peer counsellor saw that she was unable to handle this case and called the school counsellors for an emergency visit ASAP. My friend, the peer counsellor, and I then walked to the counselling centre.

After some registration at the front desk, the peer counsellor let us be and left. I had to fill out several pages of information before seeing the counsellor for background info. At this point, I was losing control to the point that it was difficult to read. My friend helped me fill the forms out; I almost lost my patience and I wanted to scream in frustration. Finally, with the forms somewhat filled and saying “fuck it” at the voluntary sections, we returned the forms and waited for the counsellor.

During the wait for the counsellor, I was aware that my friend was skipping class again for me. Nothing makes me feel worse than feeling like a burden even if they wanted to help me. In adddition, if my illness is really biological, I will have to deal with this the rest of my life with or without the help of others. In the last few months, I have had the worst bout of depression and this is the one opportunity for me to learn life skills to cope with it and get my shit together. I know that no one can help me do that except myself (with encouragement of course but I won’t always have that). Thus I told him to go to class and not to worry as I needed to learn to deal with things and face it head on. All I needed to enter to counsellor’s office was encouragement, thus now it has been done I think I could have handled it myself. My wonderful friend left and I waited to see the counsellor for a short while.

The moment I saw the counsellor, my gaydar went off. (I remebered that I proudly checked off “bisexual” on the “get to know you” information sheet. It was an optional question but it was the one question that thrilled the crying Amanda to answer). I was suprised that the counselling office team took so much care in making students feel comfortable so that the counsellor that they would be matched up with could understand their struggles. When I saw the counsellor, they shook my hand and gave a quick introduction. Then we walked and entered their office, which was impressively comforting. The lighting and couches made me feel safe.

We talked a bit and about my concerns. I updated them about my wave concerns and what I did last wave. I also said that I feared that this wave I would lose control and do the same. At this point I was crying again in front of a stranger, but I had other life-threatening concerns that I could care less. They then walked out for a bit to discuss my issue with the head counsellor. When they returned, they told me that because my life was in immediate danger, it was best to go to the emergency and the head counsellor has already notified an ambulance and it was on the way. In another other circumstance, I would be freaking out but I could care less because I was afraid of my life and however scary it would be, I needed to do it. They gave me some worksheets to fill out and describe my feelings. I remember there was a section that said “reasons to live” and ” reasons to die”. I began crying and told them I didn’t want to die (its just I can’t control my actions) and left the section blank. It was very hard to fill out because I couldn’t process words.

After a while, we heard knocking on the door. The counsellor opened it to reveal 2 policemen. I was beyond terrified. The two policemen went over some procedural questions and confirmed I was going to the hospital by my own will (I had to say “yes” because going there was for my own good even if I was afraid and really didn’t want to go). Then after the policemen asking me situational questions, the door opened again to reveal 2 ambulance people. I started crying at this point because everything was freaking me out. Also I’ve never seen so many emergency staff in such close quarters with me. Anyways then we were off! The counsellor accompanied me to the ambulance car. One of the ambulance people were really nice and carried my backpack for me.

The ambulance and police cars were parked outside and could be seen by other students passing by. It was scary to be surrounded by people carrying guns and in uniforms heading to an ambulance with other students staring at the scene. Its like I was some dangerous serial criminal being arrested, but really I was just feeling suicidal and depressed. Also I am very short and all the people were loads taller than me. It was frightening. I’ve also never ridden in an ambulance before.

At the hospital, I began to develop a sharp headache from the stress of everything. Also, it was a tramatizing visit and I felt completely alone. I didn’t know what to do, who to contact, whether or not I should stay overnight…

The nurses took my blood samples, blood pressure, saliva, changed into a gown, took my possessions… to say just a few. Also I had to repeat my story at least 5 times, which made me feel progressively worse each time until I started to be frustrated and showing signs of anger. Telling people how I feel is hard enough, and to repeat this in a stressful setting made me start to shake and talk in a dead voice. Then I was locked up in a room with walls of double sided mirrors, where there was a man that I could hear screaming in the room near me. Yeah, very terrible.

I don’t want to think about that unless I have to nor am I thrilled to recount the full details of the hospital emergency centre. Everything seemed like it was not real and I had trouble speaking and forming words at this point. It was a lot of crying and shaking due to fear and being forced to talk about painful things in front of strangers. In addition to the headache, I was feeling dizzy and had to concentrate on breathing. I was watched carefully by RCMP nearby. In the end, the psychiatrist decided that it was best for me to return home for the night, where my (second major) panic attack (that I have experianced) would hopefully subside. They would contact me for a follow up and connected me to resources. Thus I contacted my parents (whom were also scared out of their minds) and they picked me up. I was a wreck. Also hungry. We had cheeseburgers and fries at 1am in the morning for dinner.

Finally, I went to sleep at 2:30am, exhausted and feeling relieved. The visit was the worst, but needed because without it, I wouldn’t have gotten the urgent resources to stop my mind from getting worse. I am hoping that was the worst of it, and things will get better from that day on.

I was so exhausted I took the day off school the next day. My friends visited me and I felt loved and not alone like I did the day before. I am beyond words for how thankful I am for the people that support me.

reality check

The bad feelings comes in waves. With the medications, the waves are made more dramatic and are short lived. When I am up, I do not sleep and feel as if I can race a car. When it is down, I will skip all my class, sleep on the couches at school, and cry all day. I’ve had 4 waves since the meds, generally the lows last 2-3 days, then an immediate switch to a high of 3-5 days.

Usually I can get through a low wave by crying myself out ’till exhaustion or spending 10+ hours sleeping in one go, which is preferred or else my mind will automatically resort to doing things to hurt myself that cannot be controlled.

reality check

From what I am aware of and from how everything feels like right now (2 weeks after the start of the meds and the stabilization of the up and down depressive waves), there are 2 Amandas. I am going to keep track of them. When the 2 Amandas are not split but have combined together, it allows me to be here and typing and processing what is going on in my mind. The ultimate goal is to have a single unified me.

Amanda #1 has been diagnosed with depression. She has been dealing with depression for at least 2 years from what can be remembered but it has gone from “controllable and still manages to carry out day-to-day activities” to “crying for 10 hours and unable to get up from the ground and sleeping excessively” for the past 5 months. In this month (January) she is was encouraged to find a doctor for help because she felt like shit and did not want to feel that way anymore. Amanda #1 wants her normal life back because she has been robbed of life and she has had enough. She has difficulty recognizing herself in the mirror. In fact, she may walk past one and not know who it is. Amanda #1 will literally see “shadow people” when she is alone and scream because they are incredibly frightening looking human shadowy figures. The shadow people watch her in dark corners and follow her everywhere, even appearing in episodes of sleep paralysis. She deals with low self esteem, being afraid of reaching out for help and causing trouble for others, sucidal tendancies, and self-harm but she has friends that look out for her and would take her to emergency.

Because Amanda is split into what it feels like to be two different people, she does not feel like she is depressed but it is because of this that she is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Amanda #2 obsesses over hoarding and collecting, especially glass bottles and condoms. She has anxiety (anxiety is not present in Amanda #1). One other thing to note, Amanda #2 appears rarely or only for the 30 minutes- 1 hour after too much sleep or napping, and after caffeine or alcohol (if taken in combination with her anti-depressants). In the period that Amanda #2 is present, symtoms include witnessing her hands shaking, talking weird, doing questionable behaviours, being too brave or reckless, being unable to stop laughing, laughing for no reason, wide open eyes, not sleeping, doing repetitive/ OCD-like behaviours, and this strange hoarding behaviour and ability to find random things out of nowhere.

Despite Amanda #2 being really strange, she looks out for Amanda #1. Many of the things Amanda #2 hoards actually benefits Amanda #1 in unthinkable ways. She will put beverages in ever corner of her room so Amanda #1 will remember to drink fluids. She will put suicide hotline pens and emergency numbers in purses or coat pockets in case Amanda #1 needs it. She has candy everywhere in case of low blood sugar. But Amanda #2 will provide an excessive amount of pens, hotlines, candy, and beverages everywhere for Amanda #1. (Better safe than sorry at least). Amanda #2 also tends to eat foods high in sodium like cheeseburgers and lick road salt. She will vanish with a sudden snap! Or I will be walking and feel as if I’ve woken up and am not sure where I am or where I am going. After Amanda #2 vanishes, my memory of what I did will also vanish. I rely on information given by others of what curious actions they witnessed me doing, bits of left over evidence from Amanda #2, and the tiny, tiny funtioning pockets of memory left in my manic mind.

That is all that I am aware of for now. I am glad, despite the hellish few months that I am experiancing, that Depressed Amanda #1 and Manic Amanda #2 compliment each other and is almost a self-sufficient system if it weren’t for the fact that they are individually getting out of control.

9:36 PM

Some very strange things happened today. Basically, when I wake up from a nap or from a night’s sleep since this week, I become quite disorientated and do not know what I am doing. To avoid this, I am not supposed to nap during the day (in addition to no caffeine and alcohol, and a heavily controlled sleep schedule). Being the sleep-loving person that I am, I accidentally fell asleep on some couches at school for an hour or so…

Apparently some weird shit happened and I have no memory of it whatsoever. I do have 5 shiny new 1-800-SUICIDE hotline highligher+pens that god knows where the manic Amanda picked up from. Also I had ketchup cups, and packets of salt and pepper from McDonalds, and stuck them in a tiny coffee cup, then gave it to a friend while they were sitting in the middle of the class. How I walked into a full lecture hall and managed to seek them out in a crowd of 100+? No idea. What an embarrassment. Oh! And there are some candy wrappers on my pockets. That is no suprise, but considering the fact that I had no candy in my backpack this morning, I hope the candy was not taken from a stranger or picked up from the ground.

Checking my pockets and back account, I found a recipt for french fries from McDonalds. Lots. Of. Fries. And not a single fry left in my backpack or any other crevice in my belongings. Did I eat them all? Did I feed them to the seagulls or squirrels? Who knows but I will not be napping recklessly at school again during this medicine trial month.