Daily Archives: October 25, 2016

Another Good Day

Today went fairly well considering how tired I’ve been. I got all my laundry cleaned up yesterday and will work on Bob’s tomorrow.  I  worked up dinner, nothing very complicated tonight after doing something fairly complex last night.  BUt I’m trying.

That is the most frustrating thing–I keep trying and trying and feel like I am getting nowhere in  my life.  I just asked God flat out this afternoon what was I supposed to be doing RIGHT NOW.   And I got the scripture from Ecclesiastes 3 1-8.  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.  A time to be born and a time to die.  A time to plant and a time to uproot.  A time to kill and a time to heal.  A time to tear down and a time to build.  A time to weep and a time to laugh.  A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to scatter stone and a time to gather them.  A time to embrace and a time to refrain.  A time to search and a time to give up.  a time to keep and a time to throw away.  A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

So okay. I know that. l get that.  But what is it you want me to do now?  What season am I in?  I still don’t know the answer.  All I know is how to put one foot in front of the other and  do the best I can.

 


The Face of Mental Illness: Mine. 

I am putting a face on mental illness, mine. It doesn’t just happen to someone else, it happens to you, to me, to out friends and family members. It doesn’t just happen to abnormal people, most of us are totally normal most of the time! As am I. And you, all my lovely friends have accepted me and are supporting me through the ups and downs of it. I am so fortunate and so grateful for your love and support! I’m sending all of you my love and hugs in return.


Overwhelmed

Last week I was overwhelmed. Despite how good things have been going, I couldn’t escape my old friend anxiety. Like some of the other symptoms of bipolar, I’ve had to learn to adapt and tolerate it the best I can. Why was the week overwhelming? Well, that’s easy to answer. I was overwhelmed because I had so much to do.…

The post Overwhelmed appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

CHAT ROOM BETA IS OPEN!!!!!

I have set up and tested on Chatzy…FRESHLY DEPRESSED (in honor of Blahpolar/Ulla) is now up and running.

It is by email invite only so I need to know who wants to be invited. If you do not want to post your email publicly, drop me a line at [email protected] and I will send the invite link.

Come one, come all. Invite others, I will send them the link.

Look forward to seeing you guys there!!!!!

The Sick Room

kleenex

Wed:

Well, I am on Day 5 or something of this cold. It’s pretty crappy. My throat is still killing me and I ache all over. It’s really one of those deals where you feel too sick to go to the doctor.

I thought I’d feel a lot better by now. Thank goodness I am not still working a regular job.

Today (if I can get to it), I plan on sitting down with my husband and going through all of our finances. I barely know how to get into our checking account. Now I doubt my husband would suddenly drop dead, but stranger things have happened. I don’t want to be an idiot and have no understanding of my money. I know my son would help me, but still…

I am still a little depressed over the fact that I realized yesterday I was hospitalized only 1 1/2 years ago. I thought it was a lot longer. No wonder I am still struggling to get better. Eighteen months is not much for me to come back from a break.

Today is just a day filled with frustration.

Fri:

Was feeling so bad yesterday, I literally did nothing. Didn’t even write on here, which I pretty much do every day.

Today I am better than yesterday, but still not feeling good. I’d go to my doctor but am not sure exactly what she’d be able to do for me. It just seems like your normal, average really bad cold.

I’ve had to cancel some stuff and of course, that makes me feel guilty. However, I have tickets to a concert tomorrow night and I am definitely going. My husband said to just load up on the DayQuil and once I get there I will forget I am sick. That sounds like a good plan to me.

Got weighed yesterday and have lost 3 1/2 more pounds. I am making progress! I am hoping to lose about 2 1/2 every week until the end of the year. That puts me at a fantastic result! Even if I don’t make my goal of April, I hope to get it done by June, which is my birthday. But every pound that comes off is a victory.

Things are going a lot better with Danny. He has only had one “outburst” and it was very short. He also sent me a text apologizing right away. It’s like a miracle. He got two shifts at the theater again this week so we are happy with that.

Our little dog Sophie is doing well recovering from her foot surgery. She has not been chewing on the bandage at all. Which is a good thing…as we have a “cone of shame” to put on her head if she starts up. She is taking antibiotics and pain meds in pieces of hot dog. The other dogs are sort of wondering where their hot dog is.

Sat:

Still not feeling well. Sent my husband to my appointment with my psychiatrist to get my refills on my meds. Only second time I have done that in like 26 years.

I am resting for a while and then getting a shower. I plan on going to that concert tonight.

I am pretty angry and tired of missing things because I am either depressed or physically sick. It’s just so frustrating. I seem to get angry at myself a lot lately. It’s like I feel better mentally and see all these things I want to do. Then I schedule some of them and get too tired or sick. It’s a very frustrating cycle. I talked to my therapist about it and she said “one day at a time”….you do what you can that day and keep moving forward. Which, of course, is decent advice.

But it’s hard when you need to get up and get a shower and get dressed and go enthusiastically to a concert and you feel like crap and just want to stay home and rest.

Sun:

Well, I made it to the concert. It was an amazing night!

First, this totally drunk girl and her mother sat down next to us. She was about 26. So she looks at me and says “you are REALLY beautiful!” Now I realize this gal was drunk off her butt, but it was still nice to hear. She asked me if people told me that often and I said “uh. no.” LOL.

More interesting: We had floor seats in the very back couple of rows. So we were back quite a ways from the main stage. Another person told us to get up during a certain song and move over a bit to a small stage in the darkness. We felt dumb but we did it. So we waited a bit and suddenly here comes the headliner walking to the back to do some songs on the smaller stage. We were right up front while he was playing. Suddenly (this is the unbelievable part) he reaches down and hands me a guitar pick! This sounds corny but my legs felt sort of weak and I couldn’t remember the words to the song we were all singing. My friend got a picture of it so I know it happened.

What a night! And I felt totally normal….just like any person going to a concert. It was a victory for sure.

Mon:

Still feeling a little worn out from the cold but am definitely getting better. I am intentionally taking some time this week off “normal” activities as I have stuff I have to get to this week. Tomorrow I am taking a friend out for the day. Then tomorrow night I am going to another concert (Stevie Nicks). Wednesday and Thursday are rest days and then I am spending the day going on a short train trip to see the fall foliage. On Saturday night I have a birthday party. Then on Sunday I should definitely go to church. So I am saving my energy to make the special things happening this week.

Danny did a really positive thing. He put off going camping with his friends so he could work on college work. I think that is a big step toward maturity.

My daughter met a really nice guy on Match. They had coffee. We are hoping he will ask her out again. But there are a million others if he doesn’t work out.

There are lots of changes happening to my psychiatric providers. My psychiatrist of 26 years is moving to the other side of town. He then will work a year and possibly retire. He may work out of his home. My great psychologist is moving to another building close by. I don’t like all of these changes. I just am not ready to let my psychiatrist go. I think I will stay with him to the bitter end.

Tues:

Up at 6:30 to get ready for the day. Have a friend coming over to hang out, then tonight am going to the concert. Two concerts in one week must be a record for me. It sounds like a really fun time…I hope I can keep up and not get too tired.

talk to you all next week-

lily

 

Bipolar and Triggers

What Julie Fast is talking about in this video (I couldn’t upload it her, so if anyone wants to watch it, they will have to go to the link below) is exactly what I am living through right now. A series of triggers and here I am in mixed phase/ hypomania land. All the triggers but one have basically resolved themselves or don’t mean much to me anymore, but this last one is big and its resolution is not up to me. So this is the difficulty I am living with, anxiety, huge amounts of it, and then getting sicker as a result. I was supposed to go to Hawaii tomorrow, but I canceled the trip today. Unfortunately, I’m in no shape to travel thousands of miles away.

I just wanted to say thank you to my blogger friends and so many of my FB friends who wrote loving and encouraging messages to me. It truly means a lot to me to know that I have such wonderful friends in my corner. I’m here for ALL of you as well.

Hoping to get better soon. Hoping things outside of my control also get better. This is so difficult, to see a loved one struggle yet be unable to fix all their problems.

And so… we go on, and hope for the best and work towards the best.

http://www.bphope.com/bipolar-stories-video-blog/video-bipolar-disorder-triggers/#comment-235511

With honest reflection of what sets off your bipolar disorder, you too can curb your triggers and cut your symptoms in half.

This is Julie Fast for bp Magazine.

As you can see, I’m doing my video from my car today. Normally, I like to set up a location, make it beautiful, plan everything perfectly, beautiful sunshine, etcetera. It didn’t work out that way this week. You’ll also notice that I’m going to trip over my words a little bit in this video. You might also notice that my eyes are a little bit puffy. What could be happening? Well, I’ve had a lot of triggers in the last month that have led to a lot of bipolar disorder mood swings.

So my topic today – Triggers and Bipolar Disorder – is very applicable into my own life. Of course I managed to do this video just as trucks are going behind me and it seems to be rush hour on my street. But you know what…with bipolar disorder, sometimes you just have to do your best and it’s not going to be as great as you’d like it to be. I need to get this video out, so I’m going to do it.

Triggers are anything that cause bipolar disorder mood swings – not much more simple than that. A trigger can be positive. A trigger can be negative. For example, my trigger was that I was living in France where I was doing quite well and enjoying myself and I decided to come back to the United States in order to work on two books. My bipolar disorder did not like this!

I didn’t have enough time to prepare for the travel back and forth and I’ve had a month of mood swings. I had three weeks of down, suicidal depression and then I had…(you can see how disjointed I am compared to my other videos…I’m just going to let you see this).

I then had a week of dysphoric interchanging with euphoric mania. That’s what ‘big travel’ can do to us. I tend to be relatively stable unless a trigger hits me. So it makes sense that trigger management is my number one tool to manage bipolar disorder.

Two main triggers that you always have to look out for are substance abuse and sleep changes.Substance abuse is something I deal with. I have to learn to live with it. We all have to watch what we put in our bodies in order to feel better because often that substance can make your bipolar worse.

But sleep changes are something that we really can work on and it’s free. I have learned that I have to go to sleep at a similar time every night and wake up at a similar time every morning. That’s not easy to do! That’s what circadian rhythm management is about and it makes all the difference in the world with your bipolar disorder.

So, look into your life and think: what am I doing right now that increases my bipolar disorder symptoms? Write it down. The next thing you can do is you can say, “What do people in my life tell me I’m doing that increases my bipolar disorder symptoms? Write it down. You have to be rigidly honest with yourself to manage this illness.

You’ve now got a trigger list. My book, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder has a big chapter on triggers and you can learn to manage them. Also, of course, the bpHope website has wonderful articles, blogs and video blogs on managing bipolar disorder.

So look over your life. What are you doing? Or, what is being done around you that triggers your bipolar disorder? Make a list and then change those triggers. Is it easy? No! But do you want to cut your symptoms in half? Trigger management is the way.

Thank you so much for your patience with my lovely location, with my stumbling over my words and with my bipolar disorder mood swings. I have to be patient with myself as well.

Thanks to everyone who follows me, everyone who comes to bpHope.com, and I’ll talk with you soon.


The simple truth is simply scary

There was a discussion on Sky News this morning, which can be summed up in this subtitled image:

bp-sky-tiltshift

 


No Rest For The Wicked is Not Just An Ozzy Osbourne Album

Again last night. Sleepy and exhausted by 6:30 p.m. Get the spawn to bed. Curl up under warm covers. Purring kitty on my chest. And…BAM. Thoughts start spinning. How does that even work, to go from super sleepy to wide awake in ten flipping minutes? So I took .25 Xanax just to calm down my spinning brain. And as I began to nod off…Nope, bladder beckoned. Back to bed…Half hour. No sleep. Then the phone rings. More Hillary-is-the-devil-Trumo-is-God ranting from R, who damn well knew I had no voice at all yesterday other than a  rasp then wonders why I don’t have much to say to his call/rant.

More tossing turning, only now I am truly irked because I’d already gotten my fill of the political crap when my kid came home and informed me that her friends from 24 (who are black) say that Trump hates black people and wants to turn them all into slaves again. Hmmm…Personally, I think Trump and Clinton hate everyone who isn’t green, as in rich like them.

More groaning and sitting up in frustration, cos sleep wasn’t happening. Then my sister called. Then my mom called from her brother’s hospital bedside. He’s in agony, the morphine isn;t helping, and he went into surgery at 7 this morning for the aneurysm causing all the agony (ya know, cos the bone cancer and all is pretty minor.) Five days they’ve had him on hold knowing the surgery could alleviate the pain but because of his age and the chemo compromising everything, they didn’t want to risk it. Understandable but damn…mom’s not been home in 5 nights, she’s got my sister running clothes up to her which is a 75 mile round trip, and the man is getting worse instead of better and in agony.

Nothing good ever comes from phone calls or doctors.

It was ten thirty by the time I broke. Took a melatonin, even though we are down to four pills between two people the rest of the week. (I could take Trazadone or Restoril but I’d be comatose or hungover with that shit.) Just as I was starting to settle in…My kid trudged in whining to sleep in my bed. Her room is way warmer than mine and yet…she wants in my bed with the springs poking through the mattress. She jabbered. She complained. She kept me awake longer by making me more anxious.

It was after midnight before I slept. Then I woke up six times during the night, checking the clock, seeing how much longer before I had to face another day. Because now that it is colder and the clock’s are setting back thus getting dark way earlier…My body thinks darkness means sleepy time so if I look out and see it’s dark, I assume it’s time for sleep. Imagine my anger when the alarm goes off announcing it’s 7 a.m. I am NOT diurnal.

I still don’t have much of a voice today. I don’t know if it’s from last week’s hacking and drowning in sinus drainage or spending all weekend refereeing kids’ bickering but I sound like a raspy frog. The more I try to rest my voice, the more those around me seem to want to make me talk. Assholes.

The other night, R came by to watch a movie. Invited himself, cos I coulda told him I was in cramp misery and not conducive. Instead of watching the movie, he played on his goddamn phone. Then went into more election bullshit and when I said, “I hate them both so let’s agree to disagree…” He called me stupid and refused to speak to me for fifteen minutes. In my own home. Yep. That’s what this election has done. Turned otherwise mature intelligent people into petulant little kids just like Trump.

Trump, Hillary, it’s all gun, knife, noose. Choose the least painful way to die and your tormentors will just go with the most painful way, fuck you.

Let it be over with before it destroys my friendship with R. I’d like my car exhaust repaired before I have to tell him to fuck off.

I am shallow that way, but damn it, what do you do with someone who absolutely refuses to let you have your own opinion contrary to theirs? And it’s not like I am even saying “this is better than that”. I am saying I DON’T LIKE EITHER OF THEM BECAUSE POLITICIANS ARE ALL SOCIOPATHS.

Except for Trey Gowdy, I’m pretty sure he’s just a straight shooter who’d make an absolutely wondermous president.

Yeah, yeah, for someone who hates politics, I reference it alot these days. It’s like puking up what’s been forcefed to me.

That being said…I am gonna go back to watching Flashpoint and wait to hear how my uncle’s surgery went. And lucky me, I have a three cat concerto going on here of Lemmy, Sylvester, and Cleopatra noisily grooming themselves. Or cannibalizing their own flesh.

Weird ass cats.

 


Mindfulness, Samhain, and Loss

Twilight angel: Hyde Park Cemetery, 2015

Twilight angel: Hyde Park Cemetery, 2015

Samhain is the Pagan name for Hallow’een. Like most holidays, it’s a bit of a mix: feasting, remembrance of the dead, and the turning of the year. I love a good midnight feast, as well as having two New Years. As for loss, well, it’s been a rough Celtic year, featuring the death of two friends, as well as other losses.

So much for grief, but where does Mindfulness fit in? It comes down, at least in part, to my often shaky mental health. I had what I now call an “emotional Adriana” last weekend. The phrase comes from a scene in the Sopranos, in which one of the characters becomes so distressed that, well … whatever you do, don’t watch this whilst eating, or if you have a weak stomach.

Things can build up, and overwhelm me, resulting in a loss of confidence, motivation, and faith. Faith in myself, belief in possibilities, and, inevitably, loss. Overwhelmed with distress, everything I love can feel both pointless, and threatened. Last weekend, this resulted in a mercifully brief – though it didn’t feel like it at the time – “emotional Adriana”.

"Stay with me": lovely Al

“Stay with me”: lovely Al

You name it, I was crying about it: work, guilt, the fear of being ill over Samhain, even this chap (see photo, right), who is in fine, rat catching fettle. At times like this, assuming I’m not hiding in bed, or sobbing on the sofa, I flee to Youtube, and weep over clips like this, or this, or, of course, this.

Inevitably, those choices reflect the fact that I’m getting older, and my awareness of mortality – even worse, that of those I love – is increasing with the passing years.

"Hello from the other side"

“Hello from the other side”

Is it strange to seek out a cemetery where no one you know is buried, at times like this? If I wanted to, I could go into the myth about real life witches visiting cemeteries for goulish reasons. Suffice it to say it is a myth, and one full of bullshit.

My visits to Hyde Park Cemetery do have a connection to my own, rather ecclectic Paganism. That connection is nature.

Recently, I’ve been spending even more time than usual indoors, and away from the fresh air, bird song, and greenery which my body and soul crave. The local cemetery is only a short walk away, and is a quiet space in which to collect my thoughts, take photos, and appreciate the life which is all around me in this land dedicated to the dead.

Shelter: Hyde Park Cemetery,October 2016

Oriental Plane Tree: Hyde Park Cemetery,October 2016

There, I can practice Mindfulness at its most basic: being in the present moment. Observing the trees, and the headstones, and listening to the birds.

The cemetery has also been a source of inspiration for my writing. The first, unpublished novel I ever wrote provided me with a name for one of my characters. More recently, it’s the setting for one of my favourite stories in “Koi Carpe Diem“, titled “The Unseemly Disappearance of Bunty Jennings, Tree Whisperer”. It was a pleasure bringing Bunty back in “The Peculiar Profession of Bill Morris: Tree Whisperer”, one of the stories in my upcoming collection, “A Yorkshireman in Ohio”.

As you can tell from the titles above, Bunty has moved on since his first story. Some things, however, haven’t changed. His best friend is still a tree:

Oriental Plane: Hyde Park Cemetery, 2016

Oriental Plane: Hyde Park Cemetery, 2016

I wish you and yours a happy Halloween, and a blessed Samhain.

Headstone, Hyde Park Cemetery, 2016

Headstone, Hyde Park Cemetery, 2016

Tagged: A Yorkshireman in Ohio, Adele, bereavement, bipolar, Bunty Jennings, Doctor Who, emotional Adriana, grief, Hallowe’en, Hyde Park Cemetery, Koi Carpe Diem, loss, mental health, Mindfulness, photography, Samhain, Shakespears Sister, Sting, The Sopranos, trees

Anti anxiety potion

Solemn breath
Fills my lonely lungs
Long sigh
Tempers the air
Count to four
And then
Count to four
Eyes closed
On a good day
The body fills
W anti anxiety potion
Racing thoughts disseminate
Find their proper place
Reality shares space
With perspective and grace
Sweet soundscape of redemption 
Allows vulnerability to fill the page
Hesitation no more
My sails set toward imagination