Monday, November 29, 2010

Hope and Race Cars

It's an exciting time of year at the moment.  There are shiny, twinkling things everywhere, it is making me a little high.  It's not too bad, I have to be conscious to control it though, like a race car.  It's ok to accelerate up the straights but I've got to rein it in 'round the corners or risk spinning out of control. 
I allow myself to enjoy it to a limit, I was driving into town yesterday, "All I want is you" by U2 was playing on the radio, a sensation of pressure built in my chest, beautiful emotion. It was grey, heavily overcast but way off in the distance in front of me was a gap, revealing the palest blue of the sky.  "Hope!" I thought.  I've always had hope and usually it is the natural world that reminds me time and time again that Hope lives and I am secure.  Unfortunately the medication that I take for my Bipolar, although it slows my mind enough to function, it can make me feel that my hope has been amputated.  It is a very odd feeling, perhaps I've been confusing the extreme positivity of hypomania with hope all along.
I'm in the midst of breakthrough hypomania at the moment, it's slight compared to how I was before and I'm quite thankful that I have broken through because only weeks ago I had a period of depression that featured the before mentioned amputated hope.  I've had depressions before but for the last 10 years or so, they have been so mild I've hardly noticed, and I never lost my hope for the future.  Doc Wolf thinks my meds might not be quite right for me and we will probably change them after the holidays
In the meantime, I have been buying beautiful gifts and not overspending too much.  I have a dinner to go to in a couple of days with my two best friends and I'm just so excited!  So excited that I feel I need to take measures against letting that race car swing too far out on the corners.  I need to drink less coffee, read quietly during the day and be mindful.  Perhaps I should also hand out this card-

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Bipolar 101

I decided a couple of months ago that I would share the fact that I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder here on my blog.  It has taken me all this time to write about it, partly because it's been quite a process of getting treatment and coming to terms with my new 'label'.  I guess I felt confused and uncomfortable.  It's still such early stages for me, although I've lived with the symptoms for as long as I can remember, I've never dealt with management of the 'condition'.  (I no longer refer to Bipolar as an illness.  It makes me sound like an invalid, and I certainly don't feel like one. More on that at a later stage.)
I'm guessing I will slowly reveal the whole picture here as it evolves, it's difficult to sit and write a chronological history of how this all began.  I'm on meds at the moment, it took months to achieve stability and it didn't last long, I've been riding the bipolar coaster for the last couple of months and as a result, it seems my life has had many automatic restarts.  It affects me that way, I forget the depressions, I forget the stable times, I only remember hypomania because it is the state that makes me feel alive.  So at the moment I feel well - I'm positive, I'm perky and my nearest and dearest are looking at me sideways.
When you have Bipolar Disorder, it is an extremely dirty word to say you want to be in a hypomanic state.  There is good reason for this, mania is the state that can remain at a manageable level before spiralling out of control, landing someone in hospital, or it can crash into a crippling depression. I've never experienced any of those things.  My experience so far, has been relatively mild.  I'm naturally low energy. As my husband says, when I'm hypomanic, I have the energy of a normal person.  When I first went on medication, it knocked the hypomania right out of me and I was left with a level of depression I hadn't experienced before.  Even when I was stable, it was nice to have a bit of a holiday from the seesawing emotions, but who wants to be on holiday forever?  This kind of thinking really upsets my Doc.  I can't help picturing him as 'The Big Bad Wolf' in an immaculate suit in my mind now because he referred to himself as 'The Big Bad Doctor' when I was describing how I felt. I think he gets kinda grumpy because every Bipolar patient pleads to have the depressions taken away and to let the manias remain.  I don't think of him like that, I appreciate having a doc who calls things how they are. He's my sounding board because he has great  knowledge of Bipolar but only I have knowledge of myself.
Anyhoo, I'm trying to say in a very long winded fashion that finding out you have a mental disorder is not a simple process of diagnosis, treatment and wellness.  My loved ones probably don't want to hear that sometimes I like my BP, I have intense spiritual, aesthetic, creative moments while hypomanic, I always have. It is part of who I am.  I certainly don't advocate not treating Bipolar but we must never forget there is a person behind the label.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Rags

Ho hum, that time of the month again.