Daily Archives: January 15, 2018

The Nudge

There is a lot of advice out there that are basically small things you can do that will give your life a little nudge into being healthier. The internet is full of ‘life hacks’ and quick tip guides and shortcuts to a better life. The premise is simple: do a handful of these little things […]

Could Emotions Trigger Allergies?

This is quite fascinating! Hmmm I’m going to try and see about my allergies which I developed when I moved out of Buffalo. Interesting, very interesting!

https://www.bphope.com/blog/could-emotions-trigger-allergies/

The intense emotions associated with bipolar may cause allergies to flare up.  Pinpointing a traumatic experience and talking it out may help.

Photo: PeopleImages/Getty Images

By Lynn Rae

For this blog post, I am going to take you back in time to the 1970s.  I am going to show you that allergies are really our emotions in disguise, in my experience.

I was a teenager.  I rebelled against authority, but only in small ways.  My mother still ruled and I was afraid of her wrath if I did anything wrong.  Smoking cigarettes was the cool thing to do at that time.  It began innocently enough for me.  I was only 12 and a friend came to our cottage with me.  I tried smoking, but couldn’t inhale.  But I was hooked.  I kept trying to smoke and I was going to learn to inhale.  By the time I was 16 I was smoking regularly, perhaps 2-8 cigarettes a day.

Then I met the man, who was to become my husband. He smoked a pack a day. By the time I was 19, I was smoking that much too.  I really don’t know why I enjoyed it so much.  It is only in the last few years I have come to understand that all my emotions went up in smoke.  I smoked when I was happy, sad, mad or glad.  I smoked to celebrate the beginning and end of the day.  I smoked on my coffee break and lunch hour from work.  If I was angry with my husband or some other family member, the first thing I did was reach for a cigarette.  With every inhale and exhale, my problems seemed to disappear.

By the time my son was 3, he was fascinated with cigarettes and the ashtray.  One thing I didn’t want was for him to become a smoker.  A hypocrite was something I was not!  I quit smoking in the spring of 1988 when I was pregnant with my daughter.  For three days, I lay on the couch in the fetal position having withdrawal.  It was tough, but I was determined to quit for my kids’ sake.  Exactly six weeks after I quit smoking, I was visiting a farm and my nose started running.  It wouldn’t stop.  I went through a box of tissues in 24 hours.  I went to see my doctor.  He said I had allergies.  I shook my head in disbelief.  How could this be?  I quit smoking to get healthy and this is what I get?  I took allergy pills and/or a needle for a few years.  Every time I walked by the perfume counter in a store I would start to sneeze.

Over a 15-year period my allergies eventually subsided.  I didn’t need to take medication for them anymore.  During this time, I was diagnosed with depression, then bipolar disorder.

This is when the real work on myself began.  I read over 200 self-help/motivational books, attending workshops and support groups, left my marriage and began to rebuild my life.

Since 2005 I have had very few problems with my allergies acting up.  Also by 2005, I had resolved every issue I had with people in my life to the best of my ability.  I knew that getting out of toxic relationships and/or jobs was the key to my well-being.  As a side effect, my allergies cleared up as well.

Fast forward to the summer of 2008.  I met a man and fell in love with him very quickly.  However, he was never available.  I didn’t want to believe he was married, but the signs were all there.  But there was something about this man that captivated me.  I wanted him more than I have ever wanted a man.  But all I got was the leftovers.

A few months later he was going away on business.  I told him when he got back he had to decide; it was her or me.  Finally, I had to accept that we would never be together.  When I tried to accept this fact, my sinuses started acting up.  I hadn’t been bothered by allergies for four years.  My nose just ran and ran and ran over a 24-hour period.  I couldn’t sleep, I was so stuffed up.  I tried working, but had to come home.  I could hardly breathe.  I took some over-the-counter medication, but it didn’t help.  I told my girlfriend how I was feeling.  She let me talk and talk and talk.  When I finally was all talked out, my allergies eased up.

Now fast forward to 2015.  I was slightly hypo-manic and decided to contact him.  I hadn’t thought about him in years, but for some reason I needed him again.  Once again, we started up a relationship.  However, by this time he had left his wife a year earlier.  Of course, I was daydreaming about how we would one day live together.  When, once again, I realized he was just using me, and my allergies acted up.   It was only when I could let him go that my sinuses cleared up again.  I have seen over and over again that when I am really upset about something, my nose gets stuffed up.

You see, when we smoke, we are smoking all our emotions away.  When I quit smoking in 1988 there was nowhere for my emotions to go because I didn’t know how to talk to people about what I was feeling.  We didn’t talk about problems in our family; problems got swept under the rug hopefully to be forgotten about and go away on their own.  It was only when I learned to talk about anything and everything that was bothering me that my allergies disappeared.  They only rear up once in a while, but don’t last for more than a day or two because I can usually pinpoint what the issue is and talk in out with a trusted friend.

If you are bothered by allergies, go back to when they started.  What triggered them?  Do you agree or disagree with my opinion about why we get allergies?

Irritated, Angry and Aggressive Bipolar Disorder

https://www.bphope.com/blog/irritated-angry-and-aggressive-bipolar-disorder/

My friend and fellow blogger, Julie Fast (info below) wrote this article. And it is truer than true. The intensity behind our anger, the strength, is unbelievable! And yes medications that control mood can be very helpful but sometimes, anger will slip by. Vigilance, behavior modification and medication are all needed to put this genie back into its bottle.

Unfortunately, aggressive irritation is, quite often, a symptom of bipolar disorder.

Aggressive irritation is a unfortunate symptom of bipolar disorder. It often comes with a down swing or a mixed episode where you’re manic and depressed at the same time.

We all experience irritation- that’s a normal part of life. Getting cut off on the free way- rude people- crowds and long lines at the supermarket can make us irritated. We may mutter under our breath and give a lot of dirty looks when we get in these situations.

Bipolar aggressive irritation is different- it has a lot of strength behind it. Instead of just getting irritated when we get cut off on the free way- we yell and scream, honk the horn and if it’s particularly bad- actually chase down the person with our car. Oh yes, this happens!

If someone is rude to a person in an aggressive irritated mood swing- they had better watch out- we may say, “What the @[email protected]#$#@ are you looking at! You have a problem with me!” And we will move in on them and practically growl.

Bipolar aggressive irritation is different– it has a lot of strength behind it

Some other signs of this aggressive irritation: throwing things- such as wanting to throw my $%#%% computer across the room when the internet won’t work!  Or feeling my head and neck jerk because I’m so angry at something.

This is NOT good stuff, but it’s common.

If you love someone with bipolar, especially a man in his 20s, this may be all too familiar.

Here is some good news. Medications can work wonders with irritation.  Then behavior modification has to become a part of life.

When I get irritated, angry and aggressive, I have learned to calm myself down- and at least stop myself before I take my aggression too far!

Julie

Julie A. Fast is the author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder, Get it Done When You’re Depressed and The Health Cards Treatment System for Bipolar Disorder. She is a columnist and blogger for BP Magazine and won the Mental Health America journalism award for the best mental health column in the US. Julie was also the recipient of the Eli Lily Reintegration award for her work in bipolar disorder advocacy. Julie is a bipolar disorder expert for the Dr.Oz and Oprah created site ShareCare. Julie is CEU certified and regularly trains health care professionals including psychiatric residents, social workers, therapists and general practitioners on bipolar disorder management skills. She was the original consultant for Claire Danes for the show Homeland and is on the mental health expert registry for People Magazine. She works as a coach for parents and partners of people with bipolar disorder. Julie is currently writing a book for children called Hortensia and the Magical Brain: Poems for Kids with Bipolar, Anxiety, Psychosis and Depression. You can find more about her work at www.www.JulieFast.com and www.BipolarHappens.com

Blizzard!

blizzard

It’s snowing like gangbusters here today and I’m on Hour 3 in front of my therapy light.  I may sit in front of it all day!!  I knew it was going to snow today and I planned to go to the rec center, but there is a layer of ice under the snow and apparently the roads are like a Demolition Derby.  Since I don’t have a helmet handy I think I will refrain from getting out.

The dust bunnies in my apartment are getting so advanced, they are developing personalities and daring me to try to vanquish them.  Today is kind of a perfect day to soapsud them to death, if only the angel on my shoulder would wake up and whisper some encouragement in my ear, I might get to work.  The devil on my other shoulder is alive and well and says it is all to overwhelming.  Ohhhh I get tired of being overwhelmed and I’m sick and tired of the dust!!  Sooner or later being sick and tired of being sick and tired will take over and I’ll get my shit together and clean up this joint.

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  “If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means, keep moving.”

We’re Going to Disney World!

Specifically, my oldest won a CULINARY INTERNSHIP to Disney World!  She will work there from June 4 to December 6 as an intern with the chance at a full-time job offer at the end of it.  We are all beyond excited about this opportunity for her to move into the culinary industry after she finishes her degree May 10.  She has time to be home and organize her life for the next chapter.

Even if she doesn’t get a full-time job there–the experience with them will be a great entrée to wherever else she might want to go.  So we are excited and happy and proud and will help her move and then enjoy the park ourselves for a couple of days while she settles in.  WE know the opportunity is the results of prayer and grace from God and are working to share that good news with as many people as we can.

In other news, our middle one is settling into her new internship in Georgia and seems to have made friends with the other interns so that is good.  The youngest has started school again and so have I, so we are rocking along together on course work and what not.  Soon we start the competition dance stuff and that will be not so much fun, but it is the way it is right now.

I have hit the halfway mark in January still sending stuff out to be published everyday. I doubt I can keep this up all year, but I will go as long as I can sending everything out I can.  Trying not to spend too much money submitting as well, looking for the free places to send and trying places that look hospitable for it.  We will see how this strategy works.

SO what big news do any of you have to kick off the start of a new year?  Feel free to share in the comments.

 

Penny Positive #48

From An Optimist’s Calendar

 

Most importantly Me & I couldn’t think of a good Title

I walked a labyrinth in A local small town today. I was envisioning my negativity rising through the trees. Letting go. Starting anew. New footprints awaiting to set along a new path. A walk of forgiveness.
I was really noticing the colors of the rocks and foliage and their vibrancy. Breathing in the cool crisp morning air. I wore my husband’s scarf to feel warm and safe. To feel…connected to something comfortable. Because, I’m uncomfortable. If I told you I quit my job because it was toxic. I didn’t believe in the leadership. I couldn’t see the way forward in success. I tried, I think, the best way I knew how. The management may not have appreciated my efforts. In fact, on my last day, not much respect was afforded. A wave and half smile ushered me out the door. You might say emphatically good for you.
The labyrinth is at a church w a preschool.The children came running to and thru the labyrinth, full of innocence. Carefree, free. Enjoying each moment. They also seemed to really enjoy each other and want to share in the joy each was feeling. True unbridled connection. No judgement as they giggled pretending they were birds or airplanes. I teared up knowing this was a lesson for me..a gift…a reminder to slow down, my path is okay, but…what’s missing is to be apart of. Always questioning where I belong.
The days pass. I open the curtains. I welcome the sun. Yet, home is where I stay for the most part. I’m doctoring my resume. Beefing myself up. Telling the next person my big plans. Rehearsing my interview in my mind. Going to the library to research how best to be what they want. But, what I want most is to go to bed. Be left alone. Curtains drawn drowning in covers. Some days moving from the couch is so hard. I shuffle. I reach for that next blanket to drape over me.
Going to the gym is a chore when I think about it. Running. Dripping with sweat. Logging miles. Just putting on gym clothes and pulling my hair back in the mirror used to be my nemesis. So much work and effort. I’m always too tired. I’m no longer strong. Time got away from me. It’s just a waste of time at this point. That was my thought process.
I made my way back to the gym. Slogging some days. Just battling to get my car to that parking lot. Negotiating if I did..only 10 minutes. Turn the key. Put it in your bag. Check in. Grab a towel. No one knows how long I’m there or how hard I work. I made it. Phew.
Enter my trainer. My leap of faith back into fitness and myself. I watched her lead classes. Heap positivity into such a big space and into me. Punching and kicking our way through 60 minutes she said something magical: unleash yourself.
I have. I am. Some days are harder than others. Some days bipolar disorder leaves me in tears in my car before class. Before our session. Yet. She unknowingly helps me to dig deep on those days. Squat harder. Lift heavier. Unleash the burden of what is usually myself. I confided in her. I shared myself. She pushes me just the same.
The beauty of the labyrinth is sometimes you are walking it and you may not even realize. Each step. Each breath a new opportunity. Whether among the trees. Among the din of a gym. The opportunity to unleash is always there. The opportunity to be you. Me. Most importantly me.