Bipolar Moods Forever Changing

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A week ago I was hypomanic.  This week I am not.  I am not depressed either so yay for me.  Last week’s hypomania ended with migraines three days in a row.  After coming down from the agony of those and the depression the medication causes, along with the anxiety of my daughter’s homecoming-week events and a family get-together on Sunday, I spent Monday and Tuesday recuperating, had a horrible day yesterday (Wednesday) because I was in super-duper pain from doing aerobics for the first time in years on Tuesday plus I had another damn migraine.  Then something strange happened last night…

My migraine went away with just ibuprofen, which never happens.  (I always have to take an Imitrex for it, but I tried the ibuprofen instead because I needed it for my sore muscles.)  That wasn’t the strange part, however.

The strange part was when I took my daughter to volleyball practice.  It only lasts an hour so I stay there rather than drop her off and go home and come back.  Last night, I didn’t feel like sitting in the cold building on a hard chair and risk having to talk to anyone, so I stayed in my car, but rather than read the book I brought or mess around on my phone I relaxed back in my seat with my sunglasses on and lazily watched and listened to everything going on around me: people going in and out of the building, cars driving up and down the parking lot aisle, country music coming out of a truck that had its window down, a horn honking in the distance, a lady freshening her make-up in the visor mirror before getting out of her car.

I was very careful not to attach a story to any of these people or judge them in any way.  I only observed the facts like I just described them to you.  I did this for thirty full minutes before I started to become bored and lose focus, but let me tell you, I felt more relaxed than I have in ages.  I was almost anxiety free!

It was the best mindfulness meditation I have ever experienced.  In observing what was happening around and in front of me (without subjective thoughts, opinions, stories, judgements, etc.) I was able to eliminate any thoughts of “me” – what was going on with me, my worries, my mood, my feelings, my past, my future, my my my.  What a relief it was to leave me behind for a while!

I never realized how much I needed a break from myself.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in and obsessed over how I’m handing things and what my mood is like – am I depressed?  am I anxious?  why am I anxious?  am I manic?  – that I think I begin to go crazy over being crazy.

It just felt really good to be free from all of that for a little bit.  It felt like the shackles were released.  The feeling has carried over some into today, thankfully.

I’ve tried this type of meditation at home and it has not worked so well, maybe because there is no activity to observe here when I am home alone, and when I am not alone I cannot passively observe because my family engages me into the activity.

So, I am thinking I will have to go somewhere to experience this again; to a park or mall or somewhere where I can sit alone and people watch.  Or maybe animal watch – a dog park might be good.  There’s even one near my home.

Regarding my migraines, my doctor doubled the dose of the preventative medicine I am on five weeks ago, but it hasn’t had any affect on the frequency of my migraines.  I have been debating on whether or not to give the higher dosage another month to work before calling my doctor and telling him it’s not working, and then I thought, “What the heck do I know?”  So, I’m calling him today to ask if I should give it another month to work or what we should do.

What to Do When Thoughts and Feelings are Jumbled

alone-513525__180My mind is all over the place this morning.  I get into the groove of wanting to write something educational for you all because I do write mental health articles for other websites, and I am just not used to writing so much about myself personally.  It really takes a lot of effort to reflect on what is going on inside of my head and how I am feeling.  When I sit to do so, I often feel nothing and then things turn panicky because I get scared of the “nothing” feeling.

When I think about my thoughts, they are either blank or seem to be hiding behind walls in my head.  What is that all about?  I surely don’t know.  I suppose meditation could help me get in touch with more of these thoughts and feelings.  I meditate sporadically, often looking up 10-20 minute sessions on YouTube.  I can’t sit through anything longer than that without getting restless and bored.  This probably means something.  I wish I had a therapist who could give me feedback on it.  Does anyone out there have any thoughts on it, or has experienced it and knows why?

I bet a therapist could give me feedback on a lot of things.  You know who gives me good feedback?  My husband and a few select friends.  I have a small faith group that meets a few times a month and we share about real stuff and give each other honest, loving feedback.  Talking and listening is truly one of the best ways for me to “unjumble” my thoughts and feelings.

Another way  I get things out is to write about them, which is why I started journalling on this blog.  So, write I will….

My daughter is doing great at her new school.  Her anxiety is under control and she has adjusted well to the new environment, which is so much better than her old school.  She feels comfortable and safe and happy.  I feel relieved and grateful, and so happy for her.  I want high school to be a positive, fun experience for her, not a nightmarish hell.  Prayers have definitely been answered.

High school was pretty much a nightmare for me because I had undiagnosed depression and probably the beginnings of bipolar disorder as well as alcoholism.  I also lived in a home with active alcoholic parents.  It was tough.  I am glad I am in recovery now, being treated for mental illness, and providing my children with a much better childhood than the one I had.

One of the things I love about being stable is that I feel like doing my hobbies – photography and writing.  I enjoy them so much and feel so fulfilled by doing them.  It is so disheartening when my mood takes a dip, as it always does with the bipolar disorder, and I don’t have the energy or motivation to do them anymore.

The writing especially goes by the wayside.  The words just don’t come….at all, which sucks because it makes keeping up a blog a bit challenging.  My hope is to make connections here that are consistent and lasting.  So, feel free to comment and I will always reply and check out your blog as well.

I am scanning my brain trying to think of any house chores that need to be done, but there are none.  It is the perfectionist in me who is acting up.  I need to learn to let things go a little.  Although, some of it may have to do with needing something to fill up my time.

I am thinking about looking for a job as a photography assistant.  Not sure if there is anything like that out there, but I won’t know if I don’t look.  Hopefully, by working on my negative judgements like my psychiatrist asked me to, I will be able to maintain a stable mood longer than I usually do and be able to possibly do something crazy like work a little part-time job.  Wouldn’t that be amazing, considering I haven’t been able to work in seven years?

Hope you’re having a nice day.  More soon…