When Change is the Trigger

The secret to change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. ~ Socrates

Picturephoto ~ pixabay.com

It’s difficult to see. My eyes are full of tears. My vision is blurry. The tears eventually escape and roll down my cheeks. My fingers slip on the keyboard. They’re wet from wiping the tears away. The more I wipe, the more they stream. It’s a challenge to speak. It’s difficult to form words without forming more tears. The tears continue to pour out of me. I feel the pressure behind my eyes and in my temples. That soon creates a migraine. I feel the tightness in my heart. That makes me sad. Things are changing. Change is hard.

Change is difficult for many people—bipolar or not. But for those of us with bipolar disorder, change can bring about an episode—either of mania or depression. Key areas for controlling bipolar disorder and ensuring stability include managing stress and living with a strict daily routine. Change causes problems in both these areas which is why it can lead to a bipolar episode. In this situation, change is the trigger.

My son is in Europe—that’s half way around the world. That’s a big deal. He has finished working in Switzerland and has been joined by his girlfriend. They are now travelling together around Europe for a while. I know he’s having the time of his life. And I’m thrilled for him and so proud of the man he has become, but this has been a huge change in my life.

When he was home, he worked mostly evenings, leaving us alone together to fill the day. He’s a sports nut and mostly watched T.V., but my laptop and desk are just feet away. He was there to chat with, share T.V. shows with and sometimes sit together. But most importantly he was just there. I could count on him if I needed him. For example, to answer the door for me—a seemingly simple task, but one I don’t do easily. I desperately miss his company, and fear that I am no longer needed.

I guess this is what they call “empty-nest syndrome.” What to do with the time and companionship that we used to share. I know it’s important not to dwell on the negative. My bipolar education has taught me that. But when your first-born has stretched his wings so far, it’s difficult to choke back the tears.

Recognizing that I’m going through a big change is important. The knowledge of that will help me deal with my rising emotions. I will be diligent in maintaining my daily routine, practising self-care, and trying to focus on the good that is in this situation. Positive thinking is paramount in keeping away my bipolar demons. I have come so far. It is crucial that I don’t let this event spiral me into depression. I will do my best to embrace this change.

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