bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘triggers’

Zzzzzz? Not So Much.

The bipolar down curve has kicked in.  But, this time, I think I know why.

Sleep.  Pretty much my #1 trigger.  I go to sleep just fine, but then wake up around 12.  Then 1:30.  Then 2:15.  Until about 4, when I finally sleep until 6 when the alarm goes off.  And, I don’t just wake up for a few seconds, I’m tossing and turning for what seems like forever.

I’ve been using my CPAP machine religiously.  There are times, though, when I feel as though it just stops working.  But, not necessarily every time I wake up.

Of course, a visit to the sleep doctor is in order.  And, of course, I have to change doctors since we changed insurance companies.  Fortunately, there is one not too far from here, and when I called for an appointment on Friday, I was on the verge of tears.  That, apparently, tends to get a person a quick appointment. So, tomorrow, I go to the new doctor.  There are 17 pages of forms to fill out.  (Literally.  No exaggeration required on that one.)  We’ll see what happens.

I do feel good about one thing.  I am pretty much in tune with my body.  I can recognize that something just isn’t right before it becomes full-blown.  Not that I can do anything about it right away, but at least I’m not going around thinking, “What is wrong with me?  Why do I feel so crummy?  There’s no hope.”  That last one is a biggie.  Even when I was at my folks’ on Friday, and weeping a lot, I knew what was wrong. 

Thank goodness they were there.  Nobody makes me feel more secure than Mom and Dad.  I don’t have to put up a front for them.  (If Tom weren’t at work, he’d provide the same environment. Again, I am so thankful that I didn’t have to bother him at work.)

So, this post is for those who often ask, “How are you doing?”  Well, friends, right now, not so hot.  (Friday was the worst day.  Making an appointment with the doctor put that light at the end of the tunnel.) But, I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes with the new guy. I’m very optimistic.  And, right now, that’s saying something.

Kent the Great Spouts More Wisdom

I went into Kent’s office yesterday a complete mess.  All he had to do was ask, “So, what’s up?” and I was in tears.  The first words he could understand were “I’m trying to please everybody,” and then more sobbing.

He talked to me for a long time and I explained that I had be anxious all week.  Not agitated, but anxious.  I didn’t want my son to go to Boy Scout camp.  I didn’t want my husband to join him later in the week, I didn’t want to drive my friends down to Family Night at Scout camp.  I didn’t want my daughter to have a sleepover that night.  And by “didn’t want to” I meant I was freaking out about all those things.  Working myself up.  Even though I could tell myself there was no logical reason for doing so.

I told Kent that I think one of the problems is that even though I’m technically getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night, that I think my CPAP machine needed to have the pressure increased because I was always really drowsy in the afternoons.  I mean, dropping off to sleep while on the computer without realizing it, drowsy.  And, since sleep is my trigger, I was not able to fight things off like I usually do.

Kent was quick to tell me how far I had come.  He said, “In the past, you would have done anything to avoid doing those things that made you anxious.  But this time you pushed yourself and did them anyway.  That’s a big step.  You recognized that your fears were not really justified, so you tried to not listen to those voices telling you “You shouldn’t do that.”  “Yes, you should”  “No, you shouldn’t.”  Let me be quick to point out that I didn’t REALLY hear voices this time.  It is more like the cartoon with the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other.

I had also said I thought I might be doing too much, and that other people might tell me so.  And, since I’m trying to please people, I didn’t know what to say to make everyone happy.  He gave this great piece of advice.  This is the nugget of information that I want you all to think about when you are trying to decide whether or not to take something on.






This is to help you with decisions about desires you may have.  For example, the driving the friends down to Family Night could be broken down like this:

Strengths – I like the women I am driving, I have a van and no one else had a car available, I usually don’t mind driving.  I wanted to go see Mark.

Weaknesses – I don’t like to drive at night.  I didn’t know where I was going, really. 

Opportunity  – This is a one-time deal.  I can’t go another evening.  This was it.

Threat – I could get in a car accident.

So, after considering all those factors, it made sense to go ahead and go. 

Here’s another example.  I desire to play major league baseball (hypothetically, of course!).

Strengths – I like to play baseball.  I have a good arm.

Weaknesses – I cannot throw a 90 mile an hour fastball.  I’m a woman.

Opportunity – Virtually none.

Threat – None, really.

After review my SWOT, this would not be a good desire to pursue.  It would be better to go play catch with my son in the backyard.

I left Kent’s office feeling better than I had all week.  I had told him that I didn’t want to back out on the sleepover for my daughter.  I didn’t want her to always think of her mom trying to sleep off the “bad moods” or moping around.  Or drugged up.  I mentioned that I had thought about inviting a friend over to scrapbook while the girls were here.  He thought that was a great idea.  He also mentioned having the girls go swimming to release that energy early in the night so they would more likely go to sleep quickly.

Last night worked out just great.  My neighbor across the street came over and she is SO low-maintance, that we just talked (and talked, and talked) and scrapbooked until the girls went to bed.  It was perfect, really.  Of course, I SWOTed the idea before inviting her.  It was obvious that I really should give it a go, and it worked out perfectly.

We are headed to Dallas next week, and I’m not anxious about that one iota.  Kent said that was because in my mind I knew that it was ABSOLUTELY the right thing to do.  Amen to that! 

It’s weird to me how quickly he can calm me down and help me analyze what is going on and why.  And, how to deal with it.

So, tune in for our next VISIT WITH KENT the second week of August!  Same Bat Time.  Same Bat Channel.

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