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.

finding-dory-movie

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 ย 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 thatย 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.

blog ag and me collage

 

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.

Bouncing Back

So, I figure, if Jesus actually sweat blood, asked His Father in Heaven to let what was coming pass over Him (if only His Father’s will) ended up betrayed by Judas, beaten and flogged until almost dead, spat upon, cursed (by the same people who had welcomed Him days prior) made to carry His cross, died on that cross begging The Father to forgive the perpetrators, and rose three days later…all to pay My debt…I figure I can try my best to bounce back from how awful I feel today. ย Going to pray, say thanks and use other coping efforts.

Peace. ๐Ÿ•†๐Ÿ™โœŒ

 

CRASH ~ good movie, good song…not so good for me (part 1)

So, had a few days of creativity and fun. Spent money I shouldn’t have. Luckily, I didn’t break the bank this time, and I only bought small gifts for my family. Still, that money should’ve been allocated elsewhere. Last night, I finally fell asleep. Hard. Like bottle of water still in my hand kind of hard. Slept for hours, probably 12 or so. I’m incredibly depressed and sick. I have an autoimmune disorder anyway, so anytime my system is attacked by mania or depression, I also must deal with physical illness and inflammation in chronic pain areas, such as my ankle.

I knew this was coming, during the hypomania and feelings of elation, I mean. Once it hits me, many times I have thought to myself that I forgot how bad this can, and will most assuredly, be.

I’m going to add photos of myself. I think its important to chronicle the whole shebang. I feel awful, and don’t want to minimize that in this blog. Also, I’m going to add a pic that lists quick definitions of mania, hypomania and depression that those with Bipolar face. If you’re not aware of definitions, things might be confusing. Additionally, if you ever have any question about something I’ve posted, you won’t offend me by asking. Will be glad to answer questions.

Peace. โœŒโœŒโœŒ

Yo! Read the Letter!

It’s hard for anyone to sit and wait for the opportune outcome during times of crisis.

For me, suffering with Bipolar Disorder, I have heightened and amplified feelings of anxiety, fear, paranoia, depression, hyomania and mania. When there is uncertainty, these feelings kick into overdrive.

Major overdrive.

My personal BP experience is largely affected by anxiety. Recently, something happened concerning someone in my immediate family. We were, and still are, awaiting news about a serious, possibly life-altering, decision that could change the course of our lives. We have a fair idea at this point that things are going to be okay. Difficult, but okay. Not as earth-shattering as it could have been. My sincere hope is an important lesson was learned.

So, how do I wade through the oppressive tide of worry and fear while awaiting happy endings?

First, I have to rely on God. He really is the bottom line. However, with my mind firing an array of bad ideas, possibilities and potential unwanted outcomes, my feelings tell me that I have to fix this. I must fix it!!

It is exceptionally hard, I’d argue impossible at times, to quiet the random and racing thoughts, or break away from the obsessive thinking.

So, next thing, I must try to follow logical steps that I set for myself when I am feeling well and at peace. Basically, the sane and rational Jen has left a letter for the chaotic, frightened, fracture-minded Jen. It’s a letter I must follow when things aren’t making sense, when I’m hyperventilating and when all I see is absolute worst case scenarios unfolding.

The letter mentions grounding techniques. Move to a different environment, such as a new room, or the back porch. Then, the idea is to engage all senses. Smell the air – fragrant like a candle, or freshly cut grass? See the ceiling fan whirl or various shades of green in the trees. You get the idea. Feel. Hear. Taste, but only if it’s okay to taste it. Let’s not test out the freshly painted walls or bite into a shrub recently fertilized. You get the point, though. Be present in the moment. Focus on something other than the big problem.

Distraction can be a good thing, as long as you are not flying a plane, or something important like that. I shake up my routine and instead of catching a tv show I usually watch Tuesday night at 8:00, I listen to a book and color.

Art therapy. Possibly sounds like it might require too much effort or talent? I’m not saying I paint a piece ready to instantly grace the walls of a museum. You can journal with finger paints. There are Bibles now that have images to color with favorite scripture and columns of free space so that you might draw or doodle what you feel reading a particular scripture. Paint by number with watercolors, like we did in Kindergarten. Working out feelings with sidewalk chalk.

Music. Definitely art. Music is art. Definitely distraction. Definitely release. Definitely a huge help. Listening to music. Singing. Dancing. Music can light you up, or help calm.

Light exercise and stretches. It serves as a healthy distraction, and endorphins are released, which cause a feeling of well-being, and you can begin to concentrate more on your breathing.

Guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation help as well.

These are only a few things I use, a few suggestions. Another thing you might wonder, yep, sometimes PRN (as needed) anti-anxiety meds do help.

What I mentioned earlier that might be most key is this. Will frazzled, frightened Jen listen to the wisdom of non-present, rational Jen?

I’d like to say that because I’ve fought this for…well forever, that I’ve found a good medication combo (with my doctor’s help) and have been in therapy, again, forever, and therefore I have it licked. Or at least well under control. Or hey, at least half the time, no doubt. Surely?

Nope.

Turmoil and bedlam are, more often than not, nearly impossible to overcome. There is such an energy-zapping effort to work my way through a frenzied mind with numerous demanding voices because I’m not doing something fast enough to hasten the desired outcome.

I’m going to be generous and say 15% of the time, I nail it. I beat it. I remember the letter from the experienced and wise Jen. Cue the song of angels and light of Heaven.

That said, 85% of the time, I can almost smell skin burning, scorched from the flames of what can only be described as hell.

Heaven or hell…

Bipolar Disorder battle.