Taking Bipolar Breaks

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Today was the day I woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head.  

(Just kidding…any Beatles fans out there?)

No, today was the day I woke up and I realized I was feeling bipolared out.

usually find the world of bipolar disorder to be fascinating, and as you can fathom, it’s relevant to my life as well.  When I read bipolar-related articles, studies, etc. I could very well come across a significant lead for my own recovery or to help a friend’s mental health issue. In any case, I want to be kept in the loop of this field, and I make a concerted effort to stay in the know almost every day.

But sometimes I would just love to spend a big chunk of time where the word “bipolar” doesn’t enter my mind once.

That’s impossible.  I take my MAOI (Parnate/tranylcypromine) meds three times a day. Just the simple act of taking these pills reminds me of the “b” word.

It’s possible I am also feeling burned out because even though it has been eight years since I was diagnosed, I still haven’t totally reconciled myself to the fact that I have this mental illness. Obviously, there is no way I don’t have bipolar disorder, but on a subconscious level I believe I think, “No way!  I don’t have those cooties!

I consider my burnout to be closely connected with overwhelm.  My psychiatrist advises that when I’m at my wit’s end about something (i.e. a phone conversation gone wrong, a traffic jam, a mild panic attack) to simply pray.  He’s Christian and while he never proselytizes to me about his religion, he advises me based on his own experience.  I don’t have to be a card- carrying member of any religion to pray, and I do believe in the power of prayer – both individual prayer and remote prayer.

While I can’t ignore living with a chronic illness, it’s in remission for now, thank God.  I’m stable, I’m functioning, and a side of me wants to distance myself from my “sick” side, if that makes any sense.  Those feelings may explain my wanting to detach from bipolar disorder in general.  My problem could actually be interpreted as a blessing in disguise!  I’m feeling better, therefore I don’t want to think about bipolar disorder 24/7.  That’s not such a bad problem to have. 

Being burned out on having bipolar and obsessing about bipolar are not insurmountable problems by any means.  I need more reflection and therapy to deal with my identity in regard to having a mental illness that is “hardwired” into my brain.  (I can’t believe I just quoted from that atrocious T.V. show Black Box, but I did!) That may be a simple-sounding strategy, but it very well may work.  Whatever I decide to do, I’m determined to take lots of breaks from contemplating bipolar disorder.

I’m going to pay more attention to things that having nothing to do with mental illness.  We are readying our house for a puppy’s arrival to take place very soon.  The prospect of watching a sweet, joyful little pup interact with my two little girls, who are beyond over the moon about having a puppy, will be fantastic.  

With summer fast approaching, there will be days at the beach and hours at the park where I’ll unplug from social media and bipolar obsession.  I don’t have a smart phone, so I won’t have access to the internet at either of those places, and that’s a good thing.  

For indoor activities, I can turn to my nine-year-old, who already knows more than her mom does as far as making crafts.  She has her own Hello Kitty sewing machine and how to use it; I don’t even know how to sew.  She makes beautiful rings and bracelets at the drop of the hat; I’m clueless about jewelry making.  She loves to teach others how to make things.  My other daughter is thrilled when I play hide and seek with her, pull out the Twister set, or play outside with her and our three chickens.  All of these activities and more can serve to pull me out of my head and into the moment.  I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that.


 

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11 thoughts on “Taking Bipolar Breaks

    1. Hello beautiful writer! Please cut yourself a lot of slack! I feel that you have every right, as being someone newly diagnosed, to think about the diagnosis a lot. I believe the preoccupation will lessen over time as long as you get the right support that you ned. I actually think it’s *healthy* to dwell on it a lot at first….but eight years later? Not so much! :0

      Thanks for reading my blog – it’s a honor to have you here.

  1. Bravo! Sign of good health. You are not your illness. “Hardwired” is bullsh*t! (I changed “a misnomer” to “bullsh*t” to better illustrate my feelings on the matter, in spite of the fact that I, too, write about living with this illness.) We all exist and have an identity, a self, a soul, independent of our illnesses. Enjoy the beach. Enjoy uninterrupted time with your daughters.

    1. Thank you Kitt! Of course I choose to time this decision on the first day of Mental Health Month, but I can still achieve my goal – it’s just going to be a little more challenging for me! I love what you wrote about the “hardwired” matter! Come to think of it, don’t all the big neuroscientists believe in neuroplasticity and that brains can actually change a great deal on a minute level??? Anything is possible!!! 😉

      1. Better to be hopeful for advances in neuroscience and psychiatry than to believe in the inevitability of worsening symptoms. We are reprogramming our brains. Yes to neuroplasticity. No to poor prognosis. The key is taking an active role in treatment, in cultivating our mental health.

  2. I think not thinking about Bipolar every day is a good sign! I didn’t write a single blog over our summer holiday…. I was happy just to chill out and spend time with the kids. After all, they grow up so quickly!! Looking forward to seeing your puppy pics!

    1. HI there Mariska – thank you for your comment and for reading! It heartens me to know you took a blog break & you were able to spend very well-deserved chill time with your family. They do grow up way too quickly. It’s bittersweet, but mostly sweet. Oh yes – I’ll keep you posted on the puppy pics. Any day now!! Can’t wait!!

    1. Oh, I shall still be blogging, although not as much, which totally bums me out but I need to allocate more blog time to book writing time. When summer hits, I won’t have my two little, strong-minded girls in school for a big part of the week, so my schedule is totally going to change. I’m scared to have my schedule change so much. I brought it up in therapy yesterday and I’ll keep therapizing about that one until summer hits!

      Keep on sending me good vibes & hugs, w.k. and I’ll send them right back atcha. xo

    1. Stay tuned, sweet Doreen! I will be posting spectacularly adorable puppy pics in the weeks to come!! It’s be my own little Animal Planet “Too Cute” show! 🙂 p.s. thanks for reading and for commenting – I love it!

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