Acceptance. Denial. Acceptance. Help.

In conversation with a bipolar patient.

bipolar-disorder

Every time I experience a low, I wonder if it’s just me being weak. Whether the low is mild or severe, that thought visits me and maybe it’s natural to feel this way and maybe it’s not. I don’t know what ‘natural’ is sometimes.

When I’m on a (hypomanic) high, I don’t remember all the details. I know I get extremely angry and impulsive at times, but it’s the lows that get to me.

Am I just weak?

Am I just not able to deal with things like everyone else can?

Am I just not as strong as everyone else?

So this really does mean I’m bipolar. Does it?

Do I have to linger on my thoughts like this, when others would give them a passing glance?

Am I just being self absorbed?

Is there nothing really to focus on?

So many questions. Doctors far away. New doctors- not very comfortable with them. Don’t know if I can trust them yet.

On noticeboard- signs of lows. Signs of highs. Emergency contact numbers. What to do if symptoms surface.

I feel this person’s presence in the room- this unwanted, sad, heavy minded and heavy hearted person. I don’t know how to help her. I don’t know what to do with her.

Some feelings are creeping back- hands being disassociated from body. Are they hers or mine?

What can I do to make her happy?

What can I do to make her go away?

What can I do to wake up to a world I know, once again?

For now, breathe.

Just breathe.

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Is your mood affected by early sunsets?

In conversation with a bipolar patient.

 

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  1. Do you think your mood is affected by seasonal changes?

I didn’t think it would be, but my mood suddenly switched earlier today  from being average to feeling lower than I usually do. I can’t put my finger on it, but I am willing to consider seasonal changes as having some effect on my behaviour.

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2. What do you think you can do to alter your state of mind?

Exercising more is definitely one way to go. I haven’t been able to exercise as regularly as I usually would because of work constraints, but I’m getting back to normal tomorrow and I hope it’ll have an effect on how I feel. Another thing I could do is be in contact with someone I trust or someone I can confide in and make sure they know that there are or have been changes to my mood. Notifying my healthcare providers is also something I should do, except I’m not sure if writing to them about what could be a tiny, trivial mood swing is warranted. I’ll definitely have to be more aware of myself as well.

3. What else do you think you can do?

More chocolate? It is supposed to help, but I can’t rely on that. If I start relying on chocolate it will affect the way I feel about my body and that won’t help me at all. I could try it in small amounts I suppose.

4. If seasonal changes are indeed affecting you, is there anything you could do to minimise their effect on your health?

Soak up as much sunshine as I can, I suppose. That may not always be possible on weekdays, but I should get out during the day as much as I can.

Good luck, and let’s hope your little problem stays little!

Everything but skim milk scares me

You know one of those days that you can only describe as “aaaaaaaarrrgggggghhhhhhh” ?

It’s one of those days.

Without talking about why I’m feeling blah, I’m going to try and describe why I’m feeling blah.

Yes, I know. Logic has taken a serious hit today. Look at my Spock bobblehead on my desk.

“It’s only logical.” What is? That I would feel a little angry and a little frustrated at being right? Yes.

What am I right about?

Let’s talk about it in terms of milk.

I’ve always held on to skim milk. It’s comfortable, I’m used to the taste, and it always makes sense to me. Everyone says I need to try 1%, 2% or even 3%, but I’ve got my own share of problems and opinions. Whenever I’ve ventured outside of my comfort zone and tried 1% or 2% milk, it’s hit me bad. It leaves a horrible taste in my mouth, I always remember trying other kinds of milk as a horrible experience, and it makes me want to stick to skim milk.

I tried to give em a chance, but they’ve always disappointed me, so I go back to skim milk. Because it’s safe. Because I can depend on it. 1% and 2% are unreliable.

I can’t adopt a new philosophy on dairy because I don’t have the time, can’t be bothered, and don’t want to disrupt my life.

My life has to be about me, and if I change the variable of skim milk, everything can potentially change.

And I don’t want it to. I need to focus on my life right now and I don’t have room for change.

Recently, someone asked me to consider the possibility of 1% milk. Try it for a week, they said.

Once again, I was proven right. Skim milk is the way to go.

Because 1% left a horrible taste in my mouth. This was the 5th or 6th time that I’d tried it, and I knew it would leave a bad taste in my mouth, so I was prepared for it.

But I was still 1% disappointed.

Alright, just 1%. is that warranted?

No. It’s not worth it.

So does my day have to be ‘aaaarrrrgggggghhhhh’?

Is it ok to feel that way?

Even if it is 1%?

Maybe.

But you know what, I was stronger after the first time, the second , third and fourth time, and now I’m even stronger. I know what to do, I know it’ll get better with time, and as I’m typing this out, I actually feel better that I learned that once again, skim milk is the way to go. I feel better that I learned something, and more importantly, I feel stronger after today.

I actually feel excited and proud of myself because now I know exactly what to do so the 1% goes down to 0.

I actually feel happy, as I’m writing this, because this made me stronger- even if it is in a very little way. If I hadn’t been proven right all this time, I wouldn’t have been able to handle the 7th time I tried 1% milk.

Now that I did, I won’t be as affected as I have all those other times.

And the next time I do, I won’t feel even 1% horrible.

And I can always rely on skim milk.

Just this one time, just this one time, I’m going to insert a generic, cheesy picture here.

Because I feel like it.

Because I’ve got my skim milk and I feel stronger.

I’m still scared of other kinds of milk, but I won’t be as scared the next time.

Because I choose to be stronger. And happy.