88 mph, Flux Capacitors & Sleep (or lack thereof)

Yo! Bipolar Peeps, Insomniacs, or any other Human Being on the planet Earth who has had trouble sleeping… how long do you lie there in bed in hopes of ultimately sleeping? I know that at least our bodies are having a rest. However, truth be told on my part, the longer I lie there, so I can “at least rest,” my mind becomes more and more activated. The random, racing thoughts, or even worse, the darker, obsessive thoughts, are kicked into hyperactive mode. Picture “Back to the Future” and the Flux Capacitor, hitting 88 mph, and BOOM!

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Anywho, I find it quite difficult, this juggling act. Trying to balance the scales and achieving enough “rest” even if I don’t sleep. Worse still, when the doc tells me no naps, even when I haven’t slept in 20 hours… pfffft! If I’m lucky enough to feel sleepy, (sleepy and tired are two different animals…or dwarves was it, 🤔 I can’t recall) I’m taking the nap.

Anyway, how long do you give it before you just get up and get on with things?

The “Dependence” Part

On this Independence Day, I am thankful for our freedoms and liberties that we must earn and share. I am thankful for those who have served in some way, as well as those who will. There are many ways to serve.

I’m also focusing on Dependence. I’m Depending on God to guide me along and help pull me through some struggles. I’m Depending on family and friends.

I’m recognizing independence can be found in being Dependent.

14 Reasons in the Wrong Direction

I don’t even know what to type. Struggling tonight. I went outside to water the flowers I’m growing, and it hit me I might have to leave this home, and soon. I’m just sad. Not necessarily anxious, just sad. I know that when I began this blog, I said I would try to chronicle the ups and downs, depression and mania, as well as anxiety and occasional paranoia. So, I’m here. I’m chronicling. I’m talking. I just have nothing to say. I’m sad. I’m feeling the whole…”it’s not fair” gig. I’m trying my best to follow the 14 coping techniques I mentioned in the last entry, but honestly, right now I could write a whopping 114 reasons why I should give up. 114 reasons why life’s not fair. Look, I know these are feelings, not facts. I know I’ll get better. I know there are silver linings and that God has a plan. But speaking in truth, I’m just plain old sad right now. And even more honest… I’m somewhat angry.

Just keep swimming. What can I say? Dory is a smart fish.

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14 Reasons Why I’m Not Freaking

So…yucky news. My husband is being laid-off, end of July. So, the search is on for positions here where we now live, and the company (nationwide) is searching out relocation options. So far there have been two pop up on the radar.

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I do love it here. The spacious house. The birds. The deer. The large yard. The river. The slower-paced community. However, we will have to make difficult decisions soon. Stay here and gamble, hoping he finds a new job ASAP, or accept one of the relocation offers. We just moved here last year.It would be the second move in a year’s time. Additionally, what about my mother who lives with us now. She can hardly walk after the surgeries and is about as good as she’s going to get physically speaking. A senior community or assisted living might be in her future. Her near future. Additionally, it would most likely be best that I put my two upcoming operations on hold for now.

So, how the heck am I staying calm even though I’m a very emotional and anxious creature?

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  1. Prayer and trust in Jesus – we have been here before and He took care of us.
  2. Listening to soothing music and white-noise type sounds.
  3. Going to make an appointment with my therapist.
  4. Finding silver linings, such as my son having more kids to hang out with (this is mostly a retirement community and that’s been rough on him).
  5. Not allowing myself to sleep during the days and give in to what could easily become depression.
  6. Distraction (mostly artsy type stuffs).
  7. Mindfulness, which includes prayer.
  8. Movement…just continuing to move by doing things like stretching exercises.
  9. Planning – looking at the relocation cities and what they “have to offer” such as neighborhoods, rent, cost of living…getting some answers instead of wondering about everything, which would spike that anxiety. I like having a Plan B.
  10. I have good friends who listen and sometimes offer advice.
  11. Perspective. None of us is dead, you know?
  12. Breathing exercises.
  13. Not borrowing trouble. I will have to face it when it is time anyway. No need to waste energy now.
  14. I do have PRN medication for anxiety if needed, but not so far.

I am sure I have forgotten some things, or will “employ” more as I go, but that is what is helping now. I feel pretty stable. I’m hanging in there.

 

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I have rather a good feeling about it just now. We shall see what is in store.

Mini-Vaca, Wayyyy Important

Yo! I’ve been gone several days on a mini-vacation visiting friends and family. It has been simply wonderful. I enjoyed seeing friends and families. I *needed* to see these people. A friend of 25 years, give or take, and I’ve not seen her since her four-year-old was a baby. As she said on her FB post, we picked up right where we left off, and I knew we would.

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Anyway, all in all, saw two very good friends, and had a nice get-together with my husband’s side of the family. In the past, there have been some misunderstandings there, but we seem to be moving in a forward, positive direction. I like the boundaries in place.

So, in this past week – a haircut, a movie about sharks (47 Meters Down – who voluntarily goes into a cage in deep waters to see sharks??!!) lunch with bestie, watched Food Network and laughed, and received cookbook in mail.

Bottom line. Recharged. Encouraged. Motivated.

All because I just plain had fun and decompressed. I even had some time alone, just me. How awesome and rare is that these days?

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How this relates to a Bipolar blog? Emotional well-being relates to everything, but in dealing with a disorder that messes with moods, this is vital, and I had forgotten that.

Ah, and the Morning Glories have shot up! Groovy.

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Feeling the Hit

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A friend who also “suffers” with Bipolar Disorder is tanking. Trouble with school, personal care, family, and so many opportunities for which she has worked. I know she will pull herself back up. She’s had to do it before. Most of us with this “disorder” do. But I’m infuriated and outraged. I hate Bipolar Disorder.

The hell of it is that tomorrow night, at this same time of 11:40 p.m., I could sit here and write that having had the disorder makes me a fighter, able to achieve, and offers blessings of unparalleled creativity and intelligence. Just give me time, and I’ll believe that again. I’ll “feel” it. It’s a lie. It’s all a big lie.

Bipolar is a liar. I could never articulate it better. Bipolar. Is. A Liar.

Speaking of my friend again, she’s quite successful and brilliant, but she doesn’t know that right now. I know that. I like to toss a saying around that I once found funny and have hung onto, and it’s a smart idea as well. “Surround yourself with people smarter than you.” That’s definitely the case with this friend, though she is leaps and bounds more than that. She’s warm, nurturing, caring and loving. But she falls down. We fall down. Sometimes it takes her a while to get back up, and sometimes sooner rather than later. But more often than not, the depression strike and anxiety spike, and we spiral down, we feel a tremendous hit.

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A hit on self-confidence. A hit on beliefs. A hit on our physical selves and immune system. A hit on the love and energy we can give your friends and family. A hit on how you can care for your basic needs.

There are days, when we have to count – the brushing of teeth, the journey of walking from the bedroom to the living room, the task of grabbing some small something to eat, and possibly, though often not, the basic grooming and taking of a shower – count all of that, as a win for the day. There is no way to express what it takes in our minds to achieve even that some days. I wish I could describe it, but every minute seems like an entire day. Time. Moves. So. Slowly.

So. Slow.

A brain screaming at you to move, to not move, to cry, to try, to smile, to die.

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And next week, possibly a month, the frenzied energy and lack of control of mania visits. But if you don’t like it, hold on. It will change.

A happy medium, doctors and therapists call it stability, but honestly, that’s bullshit. In my experience, we aim for that, and if we get it for a week or two, it’s amazing.

My friend will get back up. I get back up. Then it’s wash, rinse, repeat. It goes on and on. Spin cycle. Roller coasters. Whatever.

I understand why people give up and actively commit suicide or passively allow it. The fact that I know this will be my existence until the day I die is exhausting and horrifying. But I’m expected to be a good mother, wife, daughter, friend, animal lover, wanna-be volunteer, blah, blah. I understand the overwhelming point people get to when they say, I cannot take this fight another day. I cannot. It just has to stop. This ingenious, lying disease has beaten me, and I’m fine with that, just want it gone.

I want to be gone. Knowing it will never stop. I will never be free.

But, there are things that still stop me, thank goodness. The roles I mentioned above, because I do love being those things when I can do so. And friends who know this torturing bastard disorder with hands outreached to hold mine, and me hold theirs, when we are feeling overburdened and unable to move.

That’s how I know my friend will be okay, even though she is beyond any type of description of hurting that I can relay, because we’ll help each other get up, and move, and survive

…even if sometimes that’s not at all what we want.

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Even with the Pain, You Gotta Live…

So, my friend is moving back to Texas. She will still live five or six hours from where I’m living, but I’ll still be able to see her more often. This is wonderful, because this person is family. She helped me through so many good times and bad. She was a friend when I hardly had any, due to my family situation at home. She knew that my step-father was, at best, rude and crude, and at worst, violent. Yet she still came to my home. Years later she would help me move my  belongings cross-country because my hideous ex-husband threw all of my things out on the lawn and had moved on with another woman. I can tell you for certain I would NOT have survived that incident without her. There are many memories and lessons learned and even a few tough times she and I had to work our way through so as to keep our friendship. I’m so lucky she’s been in my life whatsoever, and I hope I’ve helped her just as much.

This caused me to think about several things, but mostly that I don’t have many relationships of any sort in my life right now, and that’s mostly because I’m not putting myself out there. I’m not trying.

The point of this is to say, I’m so happy she’ll be back soon. It got me to thinking about things that make Bipolar bearable. Straight away, these are the things that first come to mind. Things that can lead me, inspire me, help me remember…whatever I need to start moving. An emotional move that needs to take place. Emotional efforts. Emotional chances. Sometimes, I believe I fall into not taking on these emotional issues because I want to remain steady and not rock the boat. Not feel any new pain, any new hurts. But the not putting myself out there, the lack of trying, is actually helping the Bipolar defeat me, and I will not accept that.

So what helps me? What drives me? What is realistic? What is not? Can I set up proper time management. Do I have a Plan B. I was taught that by a therapist over and over. Always have a Plan B. (Sometimes, I have a C.)

What is important and healthy for me?

God, good friends, family, writing, listening to music, dancing around for a few minutes in a locked room with only the cat to watch me and think of me as foolish, previously mentioned cat, art, books, learning, nature, people to discuss books with and attending Bible studies. How can I incorporate some of this into my life, because I’ve figured out that without planning or meaning to, I’ve become mostly isolated. Thus, it’s time to go to work.

These are things I have planned. If I don’t manage all of them, I’m not going to call it failing. Rather, if I accomplish some of this, I’ll put a huge check mark in the win column. Joining a book club, finding a church that has an evening service (because I sleep so little it’s hard for me to make morning church services) volunteering for CASA and going back to school with hybrid/online classes. I’ve got to be around people, and I must use my mind.

Additionally, I must feel emotions. Feelings that don’t come just because of how my brain chemistry works that day, but out-in-the-world, real-life feelings. Even if there are a few bad feelings with the good. I’ve got to live a life. I must learn to navigate and build friendships, and fall on my face, and attend class on a day when I feel like hell.

I’ve got to live a life. Otherwise, even if I feel somewhat stable, it’s a stability I feel while shut away from the world. No. Just no.

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What gets you going? Is there something you need to do? Are you living a full life, according to your terms? Are you struggling with any of this? Found things that help? Advice or feedback?

Would ALWAYS love to hear from you guys.