Archive for ‘Chapter 5 The happy years… now and still counting!’

December 11, 2011

Finals and a new chapter

This next week is the last week of school. I will be completing my AA as of next week. I never thought this time would come. Soon I will be moving on to Sam Houston State University to work on the next stage of my education. I am excited and afraid. But I have come this far and that is an awesome building block to help me move forward.

Starting next week (after finals) I am going to start a new chapter in my blog. I have been thinking about this so much and I feel it is time. I will use my break to tackle this new chapter. It will be controversial, it will probably receive some criticism, but I just feel like I am doing myself and many like me a disservice not to write it.

My next chapter, debunking the bipolar myth. The myth that every doctor will tell you – you will be sick forever and that you will always have to be medicated.

See ya next week. It is time for me to study for my finals.

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November 24, 2011

Triggers – stress

So I went to Sam Houston State University today to meet with an advisor.  This was a big move for me.  Going off to college as a 40+ year old woman is a little nerve racking.   When I first arrived I could feel the tension in my shoulders.  I could feel myself literally speeding up!  As I went from office to office my speech patterns changed… I was becoming manic.

Mania is a response to stress.

Eliminating stress is the key to stability, however it is not possible to eliminate all stress unless you drop out of society.  Even then, there are still situation where stress is just unavoidable.  I should know, I tried it!

Learning to listen to your body, knowing when you are under to much stress, and knowing what to do with that energy is imperative to stability.

Once I was done and leaving SHSU I sat in my car and relaxed.  I sat in the quietness of my car and waited for my brain to calm down.  I let the stress go.

Lately, I find that I am either more in touch with my body and senses or I am encountering more stress than I have in a long time.  I will have to ponder the answer!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  I wish you all a wonderful day and I hope you get to eat lots of turkey!

 

November 11, 2011

The Trade

I have been reading blogs of people who are in the full throws of manic depression.  Some embrace it and that is their choice.  I realize there is a trade off to living without manic depression.  The trade of being stable is the loss of creativity.

I used to paint.  I used to take beautiful pictures.  I used to write fabulous poetry.  

But, after reading someones blog who does embrace being bipolar, I realized I no longer do any of those things.

I traded stability for creativity.

As I have said time and time again… mania is awesome!

Funny how the mind works.  I had forgotten.  I had forgotten how I would drive for hours and hours just to find that perfect picture.  Or how I would paint the same picture over and over again until I loved it!  I did not even care what anyone else thought.  I loved it!

I had forgotten how I would paint dark pictures when I was on the other side.

Sometimes with a glimmer of hope somewhere in the painting.

Never perfect, but it was there.  

 

 

Painting my moods was often the case.

A flower in the darkness, held in a frame, unable to grow, no longer living, alone.

 

Do I miss being creative you might ask… sometimes – yes. I actually feel sad writing this. But I will never miss the chaos.

For me, it is just not worth it!

November 8, 2011

Sleep… it is magical!

Sleep lets the brain rest.  We are inundated with information all day long.  Our brain needs a chance to recover.  This recovery period varies depending on the human.  Personally I need at least eight hours of sleep in order to function properly.

Lack of sleep affects different people in a variety of ways.  Some people just get grouchy, while others are simply sleepy.  Some become disoriented, confused, and can no longer function.  But for those that have a tendency, genetic makeup, or history of mania – lack of sleep does the opposite of what it does to most people: gives them energy, makes them feel euphoric, and as this begins a chain reaction also begins.

Every night of little or no sleep leads to more, eventually leading to mania.  As I have mentioned before, mania is awesome!  However, the other side of mania is death seeking depression.

Somewhere I will, personally, never go again.

I am sleeping again.  Over the weekend I took catnaps to help break the cycle.  I went to bed early, and although I laid in bed for several hours unable to sleep, I spent those hours relaxing, meditating, and embracing sleep.  The busier the mind, the longer it take to quiet it.

It is work, do not get me wrong, but work that is worth the effort!

Understanding the cues the body gives, such as jaw clenching, is imperative.  But there is no better indication that there is work to be done than not sleeping.

Over the last several days I have resolved issues that I was having with different people.  I held no punches, I just said here is where I am at… now tell me where you are at and lets see if we can find common ground.  Addressing an issue is the first step and probably the hardest.  Using an opening line of caring is important because people are more receptive.  In other words, “I love our friendship, which is why this is bothering me.”  I have not always had this skill, and it does not always work and sometimes you have to walk away from a relationship.  It is painful, but sometimes it is healthy!

I also came up with a study schedule so I do not feel overwhelmed.

I have basically reorganized my life, something humans might choose to do from time to time when things change to keep a balance of work, school, home, and self.

Most importantly I have slept!

Sleep… it is magical!

 

 

November 4, 2011

Nothing

I have really nothing to report other than last night was the first night I did not sleep in years.  Tonight I will sleep.  In a moment I will turn off this computer, meditate (clear my mind) and do some relaxation techniques I have learned throughout the years.  I will embrace sleep and know that when I wake up in the morning I will be refreshed and excited about the day ahead.

Sleep is magical.

If I have learned nothing through this journey called my life, sleep keeps me balanced.  To much is not good and not enough is even worse.  Balance.

This last week or so has reminded me I can never stop working.  And really, anyone who wants to move forward and live their best life never can.  Work is not a bad thing.  It has been given a bad rap but work just means “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.”  The result is having good moments which leads to good days, weeks, and even years.

Goodnight my fellow humans.  Tomorrow will come soon and today will be gone forever.  So do your best work now!

November 3, 2011

Quick update (because I have homework to do)

The bad news – I did not sleep much last night (never a good sign).  I am clenching like crazy!

The good news – I had coffee with an old friend today and it was good.  I made it through every class.  I will do homework and study for my psych test in the morning as soon as I am done blogging! Best of all car issues may be resolved!  Good choices with positive consequences!

Note to self – stay in touch with where you are at and work your butt off to get where you want to be.  Most importantly, sleep!

 

 

November 2, 2011

Clenching and grinding!

A response to stress (for me anyway) and a signal I need to be very proactive with my mental health is when I clench my jaw.  I will start grinding my teeth while I sleep as well.

 

Today, my jaw has been tight all day and I am sure I am grinding as well.

I am working on being in the moment right now, letting stuff go that I cannot control, and leaving stuff until tomorrow that does not need to be tackled today.  However, tackling what DOES need to be accomplished at this moment.

I am still struggling.  I feel it.

Reminder to self – take care of me!

I skipped the dog park today and now I am regretting it.  But I did make plans and accomplished something today! I made coffee plans with an old friend for Wednesday and I have studied for my next psych exam which I will take Thursday!

Tomorrow I get to start again – scratch that, I start again now.  I am here, writing, and that is good!

November 1, 2011

Sleep and other stuff

Well, it was an effort but I slept last night.  After laying down my mind was racing, trying to figure out how to solve the issues ahead.  What I needed was to shut my mind off, but how?  The trick I use is to imagine what I would do if I won the lottery.  Where I would live, what kind of car I would buy, how many people I could help, and how many dogs I could save.  I go into depth, building a home for foster kids and foster dogs, etc.  But my mind wants, desperately, to solve the issues it is facing, it wanders back to the trouble in my life.  It is a fight to make my mind shut off from reality and fall asleep.

I turned the clock away from my sight around midnight and a short time later I fell asleep.

SLEEP, it is magical!

Today has been a better day.  I am getting back on task with my school work, car issues are still pending, and other stuff – well some stuff takes time and effort.

A reminder to myself – Never have a bad day, just bad moments.  My world still needs to be bigger and I will help it grow!  I will take care of me first so that I may be strong enough to let others take care of themselves.  I can only control my world.  The choices I make come with consequences and if I take a moment I can determine whether the outcome of my choices will be positive or negative.

Lastly, this too shall pass.  Tomorrow is going to be an awesome day!

October 31, 2011

So I am struggling….

Yes I am! I feel overwhelmed. I have been sitting here, in front of my computer, debating on whether or not I should blog. But I believe it might be important to my readers to see I do get overwhelmed and that sometimes I am down. It does not happen often, but it DOES happen. It is also important for me to get it out! To write or type it out.

Today, stuff just went wrong. I have made some bad choices and I am now paying the price. Consequences! They can bite you in the butt!

School, car issues, and some “stuff” are just piling up.

I will try and post everyday until… until!

As for the moment, the first rule is to go to sleep! So sleep is where I shall go.

October 24, 2011

It is officially birthday week!

So my birthday is the 28th. This past weekend started birthday week. This year, following someone else idea, I have decided that every day for the next week I will do something to pay it forward to show my appreciation for my life! I hope that you will join me! Do something nice without expecting anything in return! There is something about the feeling you get when you pay a toll for the person behind you, hold open a door for a line of people, letting someone into traffic, buying a coffee for the homeless guy on the corner, smiling and telling someone to have a great day, making a total strangers day! What a great gift!

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