bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Archive for September, 2011

Time to Check in With the Doctor

I’ve had a rough week.

After a busy and tiring weekend, this week went downhill. On Monday, I slept most of the day. Which didn’t really surprise me after the weekend I had. But then on Tuesday I had a mindset of hating almost everything. I hated my house, I hated our yard, I hated just about everything that was usually fine and dandy. Very much the opposite of the way I usually feel. I’m usually a Pollyanna. Look her up if you don’t know who she is.

Wednesday was meh. I decided to bake since that is something I enjoy and hoped it would get me out of my “funk.” Well, the pie that I made for Sunday’s church picnic (and took 3rd place, thank you very much) didn’t turn out nearly as well on Wednesday. It was undercooked. I mean soupy. I was near tears. My folks came over to taste this great pie, and it turned out like…well, you know. We talked about my mood in general lately. As we have learned over the years, my parents (particularly my mom) will notice a change in my mood before I do. Apparently, several weeks ago, she mentioned to my dad that she thought I was headed for a down-turn. I promised to re-evaluate the situation in a week and go see the doctor if I hadn’t bounced back.

Thursday came crashing down. When I got up and went to work, I was doing pretty well. Then I screwed things up at work and what should have taken me 30 minutes or so, took an hour and 30 minutes. I was so bummed. I get paid by the hour, but I felt like I shouldn’t have charged my boss for that extra hour, since my screwing it up was the reason it took so long. So, I came home from lunch, and really started to crash. Not in a sleepy way, but in a mental way. I made a pizza and sat down to watch Modern Family which is one of my favorite shows. I didn’t laugh once. Now I knew something was wrong. I picked up the phone and called the doctor’s office. His receptionist got me an appointment for the very next morning. (today) I called my boss and said I just couldn’t make it in that afternoon. (Bonus points for the job I have. Bonus points go to my boss as well)

I called my mom and went over to my folks’ house and spent the rest of the afternoon over there. My mood picked up quite a bit. I didn’t take my daily nap because, honestly, I was worried I wouldn’t want to get out of bed. Ever.

I went to Guys and Dolls rehearsal because it was devoted entirely to choreography for one of the few songs I’m in. Choreography is not my strong suit, so I knew I couldn’t miss it. I did fine. I was exhausted and went to bed as soon as I got home.

Now, I’ve brought you up to speed to today. (About time, huh?)

After explaining all this to the psychiatrist (including the daily naps), here is what was decided. Take Lamictal at night since that could make me sleepy. Increase the Prozac and the Abilify to battle the depression that I obviously was battling. (When he heard me say that I was hating myself on Wednesday, he said, “That’s depression.) So, in a few days, I expect to see a change in my mood and my sleep habits.

Here’s hoping…(prayers would be nice too, if you don’t mind.)

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Behave Yourself!

What’s on today’s list, Michelle? Well, I’m glad you asked! I’m going to add a few more than usual. Otherwise, we’ll be reading about manners through Christmas!

  • Let others know you care
  • Don’t point your finger at people
  • Keep your hands to yourself
  • Be friendly
  • Obey your parents or guardians
  • Greet people politely
  • Be kind to all creatures
  • Put trash in a bin
  • Offer your seat

That last one is a lost art as well, isn’t it? Before I offer my seat to an elderly person or a mom with little kids, I am always surprised that I am the first one to do it. On occasion, someone will beat me to it, but usually I am the first. I don’t mind. It really is just good manners.

I like today’s entries because you can tell they are meant for kids. I mean, do you know many adults that don’t keep their hands to themselves? (Other than those of you that go on dates, and then maybe you are looking for someone that doesn’t follow that rule!) There are touchy-feely people, and I guess it would be rude to just run up to a stranger and hug them. I know when women are pregnant, so many people want to touch their bellies. That bugged me. I let them though. Most people at least asked.

Don’t point your finger at people. “When you point at someone, you have 3 fingers pointing back at you!” Oooooo. That’s why I always point and say, “She is gorgeous!”  🙂

Check This out, Miss Manners!

We continue our series of posts on GOOD MANNERS today with these gems:

  • Smile
  • Knock before entering
  • Don’t lose your temper
  • Respect others’ feelings
  • Be patient
  • Say “Excuse me”
  • Speak quietly

I like these a lot! In fact, I can’t choose just one to write about. So, as a bonus for you, I’m going to touch on each one.

  • Smile – To me, this is a no brainer. I smile all the time. Even when I am feeling down. (at least in public) I was having a rough day yesterday, but when I went to the store, I used all the energy I had to smile at everyone that works there. When they asked, “How are you?” I didn’t say, “Crummy” or “You have no idea.” I, of course, said, “Good, and how are you?” I’ve never thought of smiling as a good manner, but I’m glad it’s on the list.
  • Knock before entering – This to me is just common sense. If you don’t knock before you enter, you may get a BIG SURPRISE!  YIKES! I realize that this is aimed towards children, though. And, in my opinion, this is one that you teach by example. Sure, we started telling our kids, “You have to knock!” early on, but we also knocked on their doors early on to show them how important it is.
  • Don’t lose your temper – Okay, I’m working on this one too. Just like being on time, I’m getting better at it. No one wants to be around someone who loses their temper. Take a deep breath and ask yourself, “is it worth all this?” Most of the time, it’s not.
  • Respect others’ feelings – and I’m going to add “point of view.” Note: it does not say agree. Respect is another thing entirely. I think another way of saying this is “Think before you speak.”  Many times, if we had just waited a few seconds before we made a big deal out of something, we would have handled it differently. I know people (and I’m sure you do too) that seem to be “without a filter” as I like to call it. They just say whatever comes to mind without thinking about how that will affect the other people in the conversation. I have a good friend who has been known to say, “You didn’t mean for that to come out that way, did you?” I love that as a response to those “no filter” people.
  • Be patient – Yeah. Hurry up and wait. That guy in line behind you who is sighing big sighs and making comments about the wait time really needs to get a grip and shut up. Be patient, Bucko.
  • Say “Excuse me” – This is one I feel like it is dying out, and I’m sad about that. Maybe I say it too often. We tell our kids when they are little, “Say ‘excuse me.’” But do we say it often enough? When you walk in front of someone in the grocery aisle, say “excuse me.” When you burp, for cryin’ out loud, say “excuse me.” And, no, I don’t care how often you burp. Say it every time.
  • Speak quietly – WHAT!?!? (Obviously this isn’t my strong suit.) There are times when I am out that I know to keep my voice down, though. And, there times when I’m just too loud. Okay, I need to work on this one too. BUT SO DO A LOT OF YOU!

Oops. Excuse me. That was a little rude.

More Good Manners

Yes, kids, it’s time for MORE GOOD MANNERS!

  • Wipe your feet
  • Help with chores
  • Be on time
  • Hold the door for others
  • Lend a helping hand
  • Never make fun of others
  • Let others know you care

More great ways to show good manners, don’t you think?

 

Since I already touched on “holding the door for others” in my last post, my topic of discussion is “Be on Time.” I have to admit that this is one I am continuing to work on. I never thought of it as a good manner until a friend of mine mentioned that she always tries to be on time, otherwise it is rude to the other person. It’s as if you think your time is more valuable than theirs. I had never thought of it like that. I was always just trying to squeak in one more thing to do before I met them. No more.

 

Tom is the one in our family who is all about being on time.  “If you are early, you are on time. If you show up on time, you are late.” Ugh. It’s very hard to live up to that. For one thing, I’m a very bad judge of how long it is going to take to get somewhere. I have learned to round up on places that I know how long it takes. It takes us twenty minutes to get to church, I leave thirty minutes beforehand.

 

I’ve gotten better, but I still have a long way to go.

 

Good Manners. Good Idea!

I was cleaning out my desk the other day and found a bookmark that had 100 Ways to Show Good Manners. I was reading through them, and thought, “Hey, that would make for some good blogging.” So, each entry is going to have several off the list and then my commentary. (You’re on the edge of your seats, aren’t you?)

1. Say “Please” (Say “Thank you” is on the list as well.)

2. Be generous

3. Wait your turn

4. Obey rules

5. Share

6. Be a good listener

7. Respect people in charge

Ah, that first one is so important, isn’t it? Maybe that’s why it is listed first! Today, we are going to focus on that one.

When the kids were little I remember teaching them, “There are three little words that you can say with ease. Two of them are ‘Thank you,’ the other is ‘Please.'” Truly, this is huge to me. I remember when I was leaving the teaching profession to raise my own children, my principal asked me how I got my students to do things so willingly. At the time, I couldn’t come up with an answer. Later, I realized that what worked was treating them with respect. I used “Please” and “Thank you” with them all of the time. I did it without thinking. I say those three words with anyone, regardless of age. I use it with my kids at home too. “Karen, would you please set the table?” “Mark, would you please turn off the TV?” “Will you two please shut up?” You can really fit “please” in a lot of your everyday language. ha

My neighbor makes it a high priority with her girls as well. She told me that she expects them to say “Thank you” at least three times when someone does something like take them to school. She’s taught them well. They do it. Impressive.

I expect a “Thank you” as well. If I open the door for you, you’d better say “Thank you.” If not, I’ve been known to say, “You’re welcome, Your Highness.” Yes, I’ve really said it. Once. And it felt great. Really great.

My folks tell me that my kids always thank them several times whenever my folks buy them dinner or have them over. I hope so. And, I hope that they do so with everyone. It would be really embarrassing to be writing about how important this is and raise kids who don’t have them.

Catching Some Zzzzs and Then Some

About a year or so ago, I went to the sleep clinic and the doctor said that I needed between 8-10 hours sleep. Really?!

Well, that seems about right these days. I sleep 8 hours every night, and during the day I take a 2 hour nap. Who is lucky enough to have a lifestyle that is accommodating enough to allow a 2 hour nap?  Since lack of sleep is one of my bipolar triggers, I’m lucky to have such an opportunity each day.

I could go to bed at 8 and wake up at 6. (Some nights that sounds pretty good! Especially when the weather is as cool as it is right now!)

A 2 hour nap sure cuts out a big chunk of my day, but I get so sleepy I can’t help it. The dreams I have during those naps are weird and very vivid. Too boring to share, don’t worry.

Just thought I’d drop a line before I hit the hay on my way to la la land.

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