Hell Hath Frozen Over – I Meditated with My Psychiatrist!

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Over the past couple years the subject of meditation has become somewhat of a running joke with me and my psychiatrist Dr. D. 

The backstory: Dr. D. has meditated regularly for decades. Whenever we’ve discussed meditation, he has sung its praises with such sincerity that if you were in his office, I bet you’d contemplate trying meditation.

I’ve read anecdotes about how meditation can help bipolar disorder. I bought the book The Tao of Bipolar: Using Meditation and Mindfulness to Find Balance and Peace by Dr. C. Alexander Simpkins. (I got up to Chapter Two.)

I resisted meditating no matter what – even for a minute.

Why?

I just didn’t want to do it!

Waaaaah!

I’m in my head enough as it is!

Tell me to eat better. I’ll do it.

Tell me to work out? Okay.

Tell me to clean the nasty toilet? Um, alright.

Last Thursday was my regular session with Dr. D. A last-minute childcare snafu required me to bring along my youngest daughter. Knowing that Dr. D. taught his sons to meditate when they were young, I threw caution to the wind. I asked him if he could tell my girl a bit about meditation, and he happily complied. Rilla listened attentively, making me very proud. (Fortunately she didn’t say anything like, “My mom says that she would rather vomit or clean up dog poop than meditate!”)

He suggested we do a brief meditation together.

Gulp.

Using a free app called Insight Timer on his phone, Dr. D. set our meditation time for two minutes. I dimmed the office light, and he started the program. After we heard a gong sound, the three of us sat quietly, letting our thoughts go where they may – mine raced back and forth as usual. Two minutes later, his phone gonged again. 

We survived, 100% unscathed!

As much as I knew that doing meditation was good for me, I knew I wasn’t about to commit to a daily practice. Yet. (Never say never, right?)

Later Rilla told me her experience was “boring”, a totally understandable reaction from an eight-year-old. (Or a forty-six-year-old.) I praised her for giving it a go.

For a hilarious intro. to meditation, watch JP Sears’ video – if you like this one, check out his “How to Be Ultra Spiritual” video which is even funnier. 

The Groovy Ketogenic Diet Update

Yesterday I got a BP Magazine email containing the article “Bipolar, Food & Mood: My Battle of the Binge: One Woman’s Story of Taming Cravings to Keep Her Diet And Moods In Balance”

I’ve been taking a break from reading bipolar-themed emails, but for some reason instead of deleting it, I took a peek at the piece. Lo and behold, I noticed the first comment was about a reader’s experience with ketogenic diets! In all my years of reading BP I’ve never noticed anything with the word “ketogenics”. Was it a sign? 😉

Jeffrey wrote,

“In July 2015, I switched to a Ketogenic diet, at first to help me improve my athletic ability. A side benefit was a direct improvement of my mood, a clear stabilization. At that time I was unaware that I was dealing with Cyclothymia. Then in August 2015, I had a bad hypomanic episode but I was able to work with it and stay on track. 

I got on anticonvulsants, and I have Zyprexa as a breakthrough when I have a hypomanic moment. I am now extremely stable. The dietary change has helped me stay even more on course than anything else.

The science behind a Ketogenic diet has helped me understand why it balances out my mood. Going on it and staying with it has been a challenge, but now I prefer it. I have more energy, I sleep better, my athletic performance is good (I don’t “bonk” when I run!”) and it keeps me creative in the kitchen. 

A ketogenic diet isn’t for everyone, but there is some scientific evidence that it effective as an adjunct treatment for mood disorders…”

Thank you Jeffrey!

I’m still reading my Keto Clarity book. (I’m a slow reader when it comes to nutrition books!) I remain daunted by trying ketogenics, because if you want to do it correctly, it’s a lot more than simply switching to a low-carb, high-fat diet, but I’m tempted to give it a try.

I have a new friend in this area who has eaten the ketogenic way for several years. She has done a lot of research about the keto diet, and she has offered to answer any questions I have. Nice!

Lose It! Update

I’ve reached my goal of losing 30 pounds! The app that helped me achieve this weight loss is called Lose It!, a food tracking/logging device. It’s easy to use, and it woke me up as far as how I was treating myself like a human garbage can.

Want to join my Lose It! Group Wondrous Writers? I’ll send you an invite if you include your email in a comment. You can also sign up for free at www.loseit.com

That’s all the news that’s fit to blog. There’s more, there’s always more, but I’m tryingt to keep it down to a low roar.

In the meantime, sending you lots of love, & see you next week!

Dyane

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.

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26 thoughts on “Hell Hath Frozen Over – I Meditated with My Psychiatrist!

  1. JP Sears is HILARIOUS!!! Love all of his videos, and I LOVED reading this. I know I sound all-about-meditation on my blog these days, but I am so laid back with the way I go about it. I, too, love the Insight Timer. I’ve tried a few other ones as well. Some days I do 2-3 minutes, some days I squeeze in a meditation right before I fall asleep…in my bed, and other days I breathe deeply as I walk in my neighborhood. My brain never stops, but turning into my breath has changed a lot for me and I definitely feel more focused and calmer. Anyway…I have to tell you, my kids walked in just as I pulled this post up to read and saw the dog meditating and they literally fell in the floor laughing. They thought it was the funniest thing ever, especially because when they get WILD, I turn on the insight timer and encourage them to breathe. Congrats on the weight-loss!

    1. I’m STOKED that your boys got a kick out of that meditating hound!!!!! 🐕 I’m happy you also like J.P. Sears – if he ever visits this area (which he should do because there are TONS of “ultra-spiritual” people!) I’d be there for sure!

      That’s great you like the Insight Timer – it’s simple, the gong sound is nice, what’s not to 💖?

      I’m looking forward to reading your new blog post this weekend – I can’t wait, in fact! I love reading them and your writing is amazing – fluid, expressive, honest – and ultra-spiritual! 😉 (Ha ha – I had to throw that one in!)

      By the way, I think beig laid-back when it comes to meditating is an excellent approach. There’s no need to be overly compulsive about it.

      I’m thrilled you’re feeling more focused and calmer thanks to meditating/turning into your breath – that’s reason enough to do it, and there are no adverse side effects either!

      Sending you hugs, and ginormous thanks for your lovely support on losing the gelato flab… 😜

    1. Another blogging friend just wrote that my posts didn’t show up in his Reader. Yikes! I hope that they’ll appear now…and I’ll catch up with your blog too. You know I always do! 😉 Miss you too and so happy we’re connected, my kindred spirit! 💗

    1. It’s a joy to receive encouragement from you via Lose It! It really helps me. I plugged your blog on my latest post that came out yesterday & I’ll continue to do so more, and in more depth – forgive me for the creepy spider pic! Some of my friends freaked at that. I’m still learning too about my daily diet – right now what I’m eating is too low in protein & fat, but I’m hoping to tweak it big-time soon, and maybe try the ketogenic diet. Of course I’ll keep you posted. Hope you’re less sore today!

  2. Wow, how weird that I can find the ‘comment’ replies section here but not on your blog itself. You never know. There was something else we have in common but I couldn’t sleep (rare for me) last night and am tired now.

    1. I’m glad your comment came through! Thanks for stopping by, busy bee! 😜
      I really hope that you’re less tired now.

      I’m a mess – I was up most of the night with my little girl who was in terrible pain from swimmer’s ear –
      the ibuprofen & the drops the doctor prescribed us yesterday didn’t help with her pain; it was horrible. Won’t be doing much today except going to Urgent Care again. 😦

      Please send us (and her ears) healing vibes from your sunny climes! ☀️
      Have a good one, Lady A! 💗

  3. WordPress deleted my comment! poop!

    Well now that the boys are paying attention to the computer, I’ll just quickly say that your daughter is impressive indeed for trying meditation–and kudos to you, too! Never a bad thing to give it a go, if only once. I like the idea of meditating, but on Thoreau’s scale: I love walking and sitting in the woods alone. Silent. Taking in the forest’s sounds, its breath. Not quite meditation, but it always rejuvenates me…especially since I do it without kids. 😛

    1. I’ve taken Lucy for walks in the redwood trees the past few days – it’s such a spectacular area inhabited by mountain lions (!), and I found that time to be the perfect meditation experience, pumas & all! 🙀

      Thanks so much for reading the post & for your comment, and I’m sorry that WordPress was mean & deleted your other comment! 😂

  4. Haha, as I was reading this, I imagined what it’d be like to take my 8-year-old daughter to my psychiatrist and have that happen. (I’ve had to take her before too and for some reason, she really likes my doc!) Before I’d even finished reading, I thought, she’d be bored out of her mind and my mind would be racing!

    Again, great work with the weight loss! I’m so proud of you!

    1. Hey there lovely one! 👰(It said “bride with veil” but I think of it as Queen Michelle!)

      Thanks for always being so encouraging, and thanks for your loyalty as a reader – your support ***really*** makes me feel good! 🌞

      I’ll be visiting your latest post this week; it’s great to see you blogging more because I love your posts! I never know what to expect from the SuperMommy except that I’ll learn a thing or two and be inspired.

      I’m hoping to keep the pounds away this time; I’m grateful every day I go binge-free, and while I get tempted when stress hits (especially at night) I know that the binge wouldn’t take away the problem.
      That only took me 40 years to learn, LOL!

      💗💜💙 to you and your beautiful family!
      Dyane

  5. Hi sweety, just to let u know am still sporadically around. will be back to read up closer and comment. so much stuff inhere but proud of Rilla (8) sitting politely thru what momma (46) was even sure she could politely do hahaha and oh please don’t tell me it’s poor Lucy in that foto?

    1. So good to see you here, my sweet Fairy G! 👍
      No pressure to come back & read closer – you got it! I’ll be posting again hopefully tomorrow or Friday about something slightly juicier, I hope!

      I must say that Lucy is WAAAAAAY prettier than the dog in that photo (no offense to that hound) but she *is*! 😜

      Sending you lots of love 💕and I hope things are going well over there! 💜

    1. I’m glad it’s not just me, Debra!

      My father (who had bipolar) painted in his free time (plein air) and he really enjoyed doing it & being outdoors. I love to walk in our amazingly beautiful redwoods, making sure not to get so lost in my monkey mind that I don’t appreciate my surroundngs and notice the mountain lions that might make an appearance. Yes, they inhabit this area – we have an occasional sighting, but they like to stay away from humans for the most part.

      Thanks so much for reading and taking time to comment.

      🎨 And good for you for painting! 😛 Hope you have a good day!!

  6. For some reason words aren’t coming to me now. Probably need to drink coffee. Anyway, thanks for humorous and informative post. Loved the hilarious JP Sears video. Congratulations on doing so well in taking care of yourself.

    1. Thanks, Kitt! I’m so glad you liked JP Sears – he’s an honest-to-God therapist, but you’d never know that by watching some of his videos. He obviously gets a huge kick out of poking fun at all the seriousness/pretentiousness of therapy and New Age techniques. I love his take on it – we need more intelligent and wacky humor in this world.

      At 46, I’ve actually only just begun to take care of myself, but better late than never. As my wise therapist says, healing is an ongoing process. I’m never going to claim I’m “healed”, “recovered” or that I’ve “conquered” or “beaten” bipolar.( If you ever catch me doing any of that, Kitt, then that means I’ve been brainwashed by some nefarious cult!)

      I think I might need more coffee too. 😜☕️
      Thanks again for stopping by…. XoXo 💜

  7. I sat and munched on my (fresh) pop corn anxiously waiting to find out what transpired during the meditation session!! I don’t know why but in my mind meditation suits you Dy. you just proved that I may be right and it may grow on you 🙂 please send an email for the Lose it group yvetteyadams1@gmail.com

  8. I sat and munched on my (fresh) pop corn anxiously waiting to find out what transpired during the meditation session!! I don’t know why but in my mind meditation suits you Dy. you just proved that I may be right and it may grow on you 🙂 please send an email for the Lose it group yvetteyadams1@gmail.com

    1. I know I didn’t go into what happened during the session – it was just more of the same monkey mind type thoughts that always lurk in my brain! :0 I think I need my pdoc to force me to do it, LOL!!!! We shall see if your prediction comes true if it suits me!

      Sending you the invite now – wooo hoooo! Yay!!!!!!!!!!

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