bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Archive for the ‘bipolar’ Category

Day 3!!!!!!!!

Go figure! Day 3 of good mood swings! I see Kent in two days (Friday). Maybe he can shed some light on this roller coaster I’ve been on.

Thanks again for your prayers!

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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.)

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.

Luck Was A Lady Tonight

I’m floating on air! I was just cast in the musical Guys and Dolls!

By the way, I stole my blog title from a friend on Facebook. He’s quite clever.

I have no idea what the show is really about, nor have I heard any of the songs. (Other than Luck Be a Lady to Night, and even with that one, I only know that line. ha)

This is going to be great, I just know it. It’s a small role, so I won’t have to be at all the rehearsals, which won’t means I won’t be away from the family too often. Yet, I still get to be in another show, and that always puts me in a good mood. The bipolar monster doesn’t seem to rear its ugly head when I’m doing shows.

Tom was thrilled for me. As usual, he’s the one who “made” me audition. I prayed about going before I even mentioned it to him. When I did, his face lit up and he said, “Of course you are going to audition!” I still had reservations, but he talked me into it. Granted, it didn’t take much of a push, but he genuinely encourages me to do these shows.

So, yeah. I’m really excited. Rehearsals start in two weeks and the show runs November 3-6. Perfect timing. I’ll be done in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas!  Woo hoo!

 

 

 

The Good Ol’ Days

Looking for something to blog about, I searched the web for blog prompts. Some were just boring, others were bizarre. (Describe your first experience in a cemetery.  Really? Actually, I enjoy visiting cemeteries, but that’s just a freak part of me, not blog-worthy.) Then I ran across one that asked, “What’s your favorite historical era? Who would you want to meet? Blah blah blah.” Which got me to thinking, “If I could live in another decade, when would that be?”

I’ve always thought “my time” would have been the 50s. Love the fashion, music, and the general “good feel” of the decade. I’m not just gathering this info from Happy Days,  my parents grew up during that era as well. So, how different would my life be, anyway?

In my younger years, I would have ROCKED a poodle skirt. I think it would have looked a lot better than those monogrammed sweaters that were popular when I was in high school. Sock hops looked like fun, but I didn’t attend a dance in high school, so I’m going with the idea that that probably wouldn’t have changed, even in the 50s.

No tv. Hmmm. I could live with that, I think. If we had one, we wouldn’t have a lot of choices, but that would be fine. We don’t even have cable or dish now.

Of course, I wouldn’t have a computer or Facebook (gasp!!!). I could live without that as well.

The one thing I would the have the hardest time with would be dealing with my bipolar disorder.  Manic-depression was not diagnosed until 1958. Would I have been diagnosed with depression? Or would I just have been told that I had “nerves”? Would I have been given lithium?  Or would I have self-medicated with alcohol? Unfortunately, I think the latter is more likely. Which, in turn, would not have helped the depression at all. Ugh. Certainly, no one was up front about their mental illness.

So, maybe the 50s wouldn’t have been so great after all.

I think I’ll stick to now, thank you.

Just Where Have You Been, Young Lady?

I know. I know. I just realized that January was the last time I posted on my blog. Every time I thought, “I haven’t written on my blog,” I honestly didn’t have anything to share. Things have been going fairly well, so thank God for that.

I really don’t have anything to share tonight either, but I wanted you all to know I’m okay. I have up and down days just like every other person in the world. I can certainly live with that!

Oh, yeah! I got a job! I work for my friend who is a lawyer for bankruptcies and credit disputes. It’s pretty much just the two of us, and I do general office stuff, like filing, opening and closing cases, etc. I work very part-time, which is perfect for me. I worked quite a few hours per week over the summer, and now that school has started, I’m going to have to scale back. For my sake, mentally. I have to accept that I just can’t do it all. But I really, really enjoy my job and working with my friend.

I was also in another play (musical) this summer. Karen and I did The Wizard of Oz together! I was Aunt Em, among other roles, and Karen was an Ozian and a Jitterbug. We had a lot of fun together, and I think we’ll do it again next summer. I realized I’m at my happiest when I’m doing a show, but I also realized that I can’t do as many as I’d like. It really takes it out of me. Tom is so supportive and wants me to do more shows, but I have to listen to my body, and it’s saying, “Take it easy, Liza Minelli.” Maybe I’ll do one this winter…

So, yeah. That’s what I’ve been up to. I promise I’ll try to write more often.

Increase Your Self-Esteem!!! Not.

I admit that I want to still add “not” to the end of a remark that is so off-base. But that is so 90s. (or 80s. whichever it is, it is passe.)

When I was in the outpatient program at Edgewood after my trip to the loony bin, the counselor there suggested I read and complete the book Ten Days to Self-Esteem by  Dr. David D. Burns. In fact several of the clients were carrying one around.

It’s kind of like a workbook. And, if you did a lesson a day, then, supposedly your self-esteem skyrockets. Well, maybe not skyrocket, but increases.

Misleading premise #1. You aren’t supposed to do a lesson a day. Two a week is recommended. So now we are talking ONE MONTH to Self-Esteem. But that’s just not as catchy.

Misleading premise #2. The cover says I’ll discover the secrets of joy in daily living!  Woo hoo! Yeah, I know joy, and this ain’t it.

Misleading premise #3 (and the final one). I will learn how to defeat depression. (Wow! That’s some book!)

Now, I was truly gung-ho on doing this book. After all, who doesn’t need to boost their self-esteem? Many of you that know me personally probably think I don’t have an issue with self-esteem. Well, it’s tough to have clinical depression and feel great about yourself. (He doesn’t mention that, by the way. He really doesn’t address clinical depression. Even though, he promises to help me learn to defeat it! (see premise #3)) News flash, Dr. Burns: Defeating my depression involves a treatment program that I’m going to write a book about. Better Living through Chemicals-Lose the Embarrassment and Win Back Your Life! Lines are open 24 hours a day, and operators are standing by to take your order!

Somehow, I got off track there. I was gung-ho on doing the workbook.  I did the first chapter and actually thought it was going to be awesome! I was to fill out a survey each time about my depression, anxiety, and relationship satisfaction, and hopefully the numbers would improve.

After I was released from the outpatient program, I kind of put the book aside and did my best to start enjoying life.

Yesterday, I got the book out again, thinking, “I haven’t done anything with that book for quite awhile. I’ve got some time. Why not?”

I did the daily survey, numbers had improved, so far so good.

Then, the questions required me to “picture a time when you were sad or discouraged, blah blah blah.” Okay. I stopped for a moment. Then, I relived my past hospitalization. I started feeling worse. Next step: “List several of your bad feelings here.” (He was kind enough to provide a list for us, in case we had no idea what our feelings were.) Now, I’m sinking into a hole…But, fear not, friends! I was bound and determined to get back to feeling better! On with the next step!

The Stick Figure Technique!

(Okay, now I’m laughing at how funny that sounds. Again, Dr. Obvious came up with an idea that takes up two pages of this fascinating book!) He has a stick figure with a frown and we are supposed to make up some negative thoughts that explain why the stick figure is unhappy. Now, mind you, I took this very seriously. Then, I started to feel really crappy. Not unlike Mr. Stick Man. I pushed on. (still looking like Mr. Stick Man. But fatter.)

I turn the page to see this giant chart where I am supposed to describe a time that triggered certain emotions and what kinds of thoughts lead to that emotion. Guilt or shame, frustration, anger, anxiety, loneliness, and hopelessness and discouragement.

“I’ll take GUILT OR SHAME for 100, Alex.”

I started writing the answers for guilt or shame and could barely pick up my pen. I was feeling so down.

I slammed the book shut and said, in my best Scarlett O’Hara voice, “Tomorrow is another day!” (It was an excellent Scarlett voice, by the way.)

But, I’m not going to do the workbook another day. Who needs to relive a very painful time of their lives?

“Bye bye, self-esteem workbook! You suck.”  (Scarlett didn’t say that, but if she’d read this book, she would have.)

 

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