On Day 17 I got a shot of Fluanxol (Flupentixol). This colored every day after that right up until day 26. According to Wikipedia, it’s a drug used for schizophrenia but in my case, it was being used to counter the hypomania/mania of bipolar 1. The drug is STRONG. The day after the shot I immediately feel depressed and this depression last for about a week and a half. The plan was to give me this shot every three weeks for 3 to 4 months based on the manic episode I just had. Three weeks is a strange range of time for me because I start feeling good halfway through the three weeks and then I get slammed down into depression again at the end of the third week.
I decided that this wasn’t OK so I won’t be getting the shot anymore after this last one so I can test myself and see if it’s REALLY necessary. Something I’ve learned over the years of being bipolar is that doctors are quick to overmedicate just to “be sure”.
The Spluenky 2 and Depression
This is just something anecdotal I noticed from playing this video game while depressed from the medicine. This is a pretty difficult game. You only have one life and you start the game with a very minimal set of equipment. As you play you get more life and equipment… if you’re lucky/skilled enough to do it! The game can be brutal. Most things in the game will hit you and take away one heart of health (you start with 4 hearts), but there are lots of things in the game that will kill you instantly no matter how many hearts you have.
Anyhow, while playing this game depressed, I struggled to get out of the first area (it has 4 sections). I couldn’t tell if I was sucking because I hadn’t played the game in a while or if it was because of the medication. Well, the night of Day 26, the first day I started feeling better, I ended up having a clean run to the end of the game. I had a clean run the night of Day 27 as well (I’m writing this on Day 28). It’s clear to me that the depression, the drug, or both seriously impacted my ability to play, and enjoy playing, video games. I had the same problem with a couple of other games I tried during the depression. This reminded me of my historical recovery cycle when I get out of the mental hospital after a full-blown manic episode.
In the beginning, I can’t even watch TV. When I’m able to watch TV, I can’t play video games. Once I’m able to start playing video games, I can’t read. Once I’m able to read I’m usually on the path to recovery.
Working and Refining My System
This 108-day cycle system that I call “Way of the 108” has constantly been refined through each cycle. I keep making updates to the website. I recently overhauled the categories, you can see those on the right-hand side. Starting the last cycle I wanted to do recaps every 12 days. I only did one of those recaps during the last cycle. I’ve already broken that record this cycle with two! 🙂
The most important element of this system, for me, has been working towards mastering my biologically changing energy and mood. The more I track myself, the more data I have, and the more I learn. I definitely had manic episodes these past two years (2020 and 2021). It wasn’t great, but I avoided the hospital in 2020. Even though I probably should have gone, it felt like an accomplishment for me because I proved to myself that I could survive outside of the hospital and come back down to a more “normal” mode. This manic episode in 2021 was even more controlled. While it could have been argued that I should have gone to the hospital, it was also very easy to argue that it wasn’t necessary (this wasn’t true for 2020).
The amount of growth that has happened between Cycle A and now (Cycle 10) is tremendous. This is a 108 cycle (36 years) experiment for me. At the end of the experiment, I will have created a system and community that is helping thousands, if not millions, of people. There is truly something missing from all of the mental health systems I’ve been a part of (several from multiple countries). You go to the hospital, you get out, they have you over-medicated, and they’re like “OK… go ahead and figure out life!” The problem with this is the “life” out there is exactly what landed you in the hospital. The drugs help, but not as much as they should… I just started writing what should be a blog post of its own. I’ll leave it here for now. All I’m trying to say is that this system is working for me in places drugs have not and I believe it will work for other people, whether using the vanilla version I’m creating or taking ideas from my system to create their own.