anorexia, Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

Self-care Sundays

sleepy sundaySunday morning was spent baking up a storm, gluten free cakes, of course.  In previous years I have been known to make castle of cakes and have even completed wedding cakes for a few brides.  But, when the mental break down of 2016 stormed through, the creativity that used to swell within me, dried up faster than droplets of water during the summer in the desert.  The lack of creativity forced me to abandon cake making.  I sold more than half of my supplies and said that there would be no more cake making for Michelle.

Often in my life, I excel at something, but when hardship comes along, I drop it like a hot potato.  In school, I was a flutist, entered into competitions and achieved awards for my perofrmance.  But when the eating disorder blew through, I lost my edge and turned my back on playing.  Following the music, I started working with the high school newspaper and achieved the status of Editor in Chief.  As editor in chief, I won the opportunity to meet Colin Powell as part of a county wide writing competition.  But when college came around and I got involved in a relationship, there went writing and the dreams of being a journalist.  Next was teaching.  It was something that I wanted to do for years, but when He said it didn’t make enough money, I turned my back on that as well and went the business route.  I thrived in the business world and really came into my own, but when 2016 marched in like a lion, my ambitions of having a corner office with a view and an upper management position, leapt away like a little lamb.

Over the last year, I have maintained longer stretches of stability, or the sweet spot as we like to call it.  When I have finally been able to get on the right medication regime, things started to come back.  My fashion sense finally returned, and oh boy did I miss it.  Crafting returned and although it hurts the good ole bank account, I get such enjoyment out of creating and adorning our home with handmade embellishments.  As gifts started to return, I started to feel more courageous and wanted to try my hand at baking.  I figured I would start slow and just do cupcakes, but then if all goes well, I would venture out and take on more challenging assignments and maybe even some cakes.

Today was a day of baking and decorating.  As the cakes were just for practice I dove right into the decorating and worked on my piping as well as experimenting with colors and adornments for the cakes.  With an order for next weekend (gender reveal cake) I wanted to practice piping rosettes, so I have increased confidence in my ability and when I deliver the cake, I can be proud of what I am selling.

After all the baking, I was exhausted, which was nice, because yesterday I was experiencing manic symptoms and was incapable of sitting still.  So today, when I snuck in an almost two-hour nap, I knew that I was back in a better place.  Listening to a book on tape (Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica) I snuggled under my favorite throw and stared at my companion, the twenty-pound feline, Hunter Mahoney, until I fell asleep.

Today was a day full of self-care.  Spending time creating, getting lost in a book, snoozing for a few hours and finishing up some household chores.  I feel well rested and ready to take on the new week.  I feel like I have balance, although a little on the high side, I am not too far from a nice even keel.  Oh, how I love sleepy Sundays.

Bipolar Disorder

When ok, isn’t really ok


I am in a good place.

I wake up nearly every day and I feel refreshed.  Focusing on positives makes me happy.  In regards to some aspects of my life that are not ideal, I press forward, knowing that the situation is temporary and “this too shall pass”.

With the start of the new year, I have resurrected goals that I had the beginning of last year.  I have powered through anxiety attacks to get back in the gym and yoga studio.  Rising an hour earlier in the mornings to hike and walk with friends has been possible due to the very mild weather that we are experiencing in our region.

I am aspiring to step up my normal attire.  Working in a more laid-back environment means that jeans and a flannel are completely acceptable.  Wearing a dress, a nice pair of boots and taking the time to do my hair and makeup, make me feel simply, better.  It helps me stay in that positive mindset, makes me feel good in my skin.  I can tell myself, “you look pretty” and that makes me smile.

The weekends are now filled with time spent with family and friends, crafting, baking and socializing.  The days of isolation, darkness and existing in a bleak place are something from the past.  I am now living for the weekends, longing for that time to be carefree and have fun.

This all sounds amazing, right?

Why would I write a post about this?  Am I just bragging? Sadly, no, I am not bragging at all.


Being a person that has been diagnosed with Bipolar 1, one needs to be very cognizant of changes in one’s mood.  A slight variance could be nothing, but also could be a sign that trouble is on the horizon.

Per the Bipolar Caregivers website (, signs of mania or hypomania may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Sleeps less
  • Is more active or pursues more goals (has lots of energy)
  • Is more sociable
  • Is irritable and impatient
  • Talks much more than usual or speaks very fast
  • Can’t concentrate well or is easily distracted
  • Has increased self-confidence, self-importance or optimism
  • Has an elevated mood
  • Is agitated or restlessness
  • Thinks much more quickly or has racing thoughts
  • Has lots more ideas and plans
  • Starts doing more risky activities
  • Has an increased sex drive
  • Drinks lots more alcohol
  • Has heightened senses (e.g. everything looks more colorful or scents are more intense)


As I look over this list, I have identified that I have eleven (11) out of the fifteen (15) of the signs.  Wow, just wow…

Over the last ten years, my mood around my birthday has been mostly more manic, but there have been a few years that I was wavering between stability and depression.  The whole “it’s my party, I’ll cry if I want to” was definitely part of my life.  With my birthday fast approaching, it is appearing that this year will be a mania year.

So, what’s a girl to do?

How do you moderate your life when you are already in a spiral?

Although I see my psychiatrist at the end of the month, it may be beneficial to get in to see her within the next week or so.  Catching a change in mood before it is fully in place means that it will be easier to balance the mind and get to a place of stability in a more expedited fashion.  Handing over my credit card and disabling the “one click payment” options on several of my online shopping accounts would be in my best interest.  I did share with my family, that my therapist was worried about my mental state and suggests that we keep a close eye on the mania symptoms.  Obtaining support from a good support system is critical.  Finally, ensuring I stick to a sleep regime that will grant me the amount of sleep that I know I need to best enable me to function is imperative.


Managing a mental illness is not always easy.  Identifying that there is trouble on the horizon is very important.  Asking for help is a critical action, although hard to do, that can make the situation so much more manageable.


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