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permission

I give myself permission to be happy even when there are reasons to be sad.

I give myself permission to write badly even though it may well come back to haunt me.

I give myself permission to make mistakes even when others condemn me for them.

I give myself permission to trust people even though it is sometimes misplaced.

I give myself permission to say what I think and feel even when some will be offended.

I give myself permission to love with my whole heart even though it is rarely returned.

I give myself permission to dream even when the dream may never become reality

 . . . because every once in a while one comes true.

 

bipolar pic

 

Hy-po-ma-ni-a: Noun
A mild form of mania, marked by elation and hyperactivity

I love it! I always have. I believe it is me at my best regardless of what the professionals proclaim. When I’m hypomanic I’m unstoppable. I have endless energy and creativity. I can do anything. I feel happy . . . better than happy. I’m delighted with life. I never want it to end.

As with all things in life, there is a price to pay. If not recognized and managed, hypomania can slip into full-on mania. Mania can – and often does – result in financial, physical, mental and general life-wide devastation. I’ve been there often enough to know and that’s on the “up” side. The “down” side sucks more . . . depression. It seems the higher the high, the lower the low.

It doesn’t seem fair that the lows often outnumber the highs. That’s just the way it is. Obviously, I do NOT like the down side. I’m really not even all that thrilled with what is considered the optimal stable middle ground. I most certainly do NOT like the mood stabilizing drugs. I call them “the fog.” For me, “the fog” is worse than depression.

There are a small number of advocates for the natural management of symptoms. I’m one of those. It doesn’t always work, but then again . . . the meds don’t always work either. I’ve tried any number of them, any number of times and they have even made things worse for me more than once. Exercise, eating right and SLEEP! Sleep is critical . . . for me anyway.

I’ve always had a hard time differentiating between hungry, tired and sick. They all feel the same to me, so I have to pay better attention than most to what my body is telling me. It can make it harder to manage but it can be done. I guess everyone has to figure it out for themselves. What’s right for me may be a recipe for disaster for someone else.

The people in my life have a big impact on me. Drama is anathema. I cannot allow drama in any of its forms into my life. It doesn’t even have to be my own. Drama queens are plain-old dangerous to be around or have in my life in any way. They suck me into their script every time. Can’t be helped. I’m not judging. Some folks NEED all that “crazy” to survive, even thrive. We all have our crosses. I just can’t be around those people. “It’s me, not you.”

Living here at the beach has been a godsend. Maybe it’s the negative ions. Maybe it’s the reduction in stress. Maybe it’s the general tranquility. I’m not sure. I just know it makes me better. Hell, even depression is better at the beach. It’s just super hard for depression to get a good grip on me here.

The most important thing for me is recognizing the pattern. If I see it coming I can fight it. I can slow down the mania or push against the depression. I really haven’t always done the best job of it, but hey, I’m still here. Twenty-five percent of those like me aren’t.

I appreciate I’m on a hypomanic swing at the moment. I’m working hard to “stay in the zone.” I’m doing all the things that keep me from slipping up or down. It’s been a couple of months and I don’t suffer from “rapid cycle,” so I’m probably good for a while even without doing much. Still I’m cautious.

So, for those not familiar with mental health issues . . . I’m bipolar . . . Bipolar 1 to be exact. No one knows what causes one to be afflicted. As far as I know, I’m the only one in my family with this particular brand of crazy. I didn’t understand it for a very long time. The medical community tends to focus on “normalizing” and not near enough on educating sufferers. I’ve had to self-teach to get a true handle on it.

If you look through this blog (especially the first year), it’s pretty obvious even though most of it is written in code. I never just came out and said it. I thought it was time to speak plainly. Far too many people see mental illness as some horror. Almost 3% of the population suffers from bipolar disorder. 61,500,000 is the approximate number of Americans who experience a mental health disorder in a given year. That’s one in four adults. That’s also not counting those that fly under the radar.

Consider . . . 62,979,879 voted for Trump. IMHO. I think that’s the real horror. Racism, misogyny, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, religious bigotry, climate denial, mendacity and out-of-control privilege are the mental defects we should genuinely be afraid of. Those suffering these failings are the lunatics that have taken over the asylum.

 

Note: I probably should have left the last paragraph unpublished, but this post is about speaking out and the nightmare gripping this country is making my personal struggle harder. I want to cry most every time I turn on the news. I’m ashamed, furious, troubled, outraged, distressed and so terribly mournful. None good for my mental health.

I’m not sure I’m equipped to deal with it and may have to simply cut myself off from it. It is drama immeasurable . . . the only way I’ve been able to handle drama is to distance myself from it. The posts here will probably be simple, irrelevant and mundane. I’m really just writing for myself . . . I want to be able to look back . . . to remember the good in my life at this time.

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