Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

The Sweet Spot

IMG_1611Over the weekend it dawned on me that I am in a sweet spot.  This is unrelated to my current preoccupation with cake, although that IS part of it.  The sweet spot is about where I am in my life at this moment in time.

After being on the Bipolar roller coaster filled with dips of depression and curves of anxiety for the last umpteen years, I am finally in a place where everything is falling into place.  I am not too proud to state that I am aware that I am where I am as result of the medication that I am taking and the fact that I am now taking it as prescribed.  (I have fallen prey to falling off the straight and narrow when it comes to faithfully following my prescribed medication regime now and again).  However, this does not change the fact that I am in a good place and it feels simply amazing to be here.

I was telling my spouse on Sunday that I feel like he and I are in a really good place.  We have never been in a bad place, but when one person in the relationship suffers from mental illness it can really put a strain on the relationship.  And when I was in a really bad place in 2016, I was not in a good relationship with anyone, not even myself.

Daily I can see improvements in many areas of my life.  I am no longer having panic attacks while driving.  And this is a huge relief, as I spend at least an hour, if not more, on the road every day, and the whole having panic attacks each time I was in the car was really starting to wear me out.  I also am suffering from little to no anxiety in general.  My brain is far more at ease than it has ever been (and my oh my, what an amazing gift this is).  When something comes up, I quickly process the thought and then release it, let it go and move past it.  I am not sure I have ever been able to do this successfully in the past.

Although there are days that run incredibly slow and I struggle to obtain the amount of mental stimulation that I need to stay focused, I am not depressed.  I still lack some motivation, but I set time limits and at the given time I begin working on an assignment that needs completion.

And then there is cake!  Getting back into making cakes has been exciting.  I thought that I had lost all my skill set due to going on medication for the Bi Polar.  In the past, my best work was completed while I was manic.  Now that I am stable I thought, “I’ll never be able to create cakes the way I did before!”  Well, I was wrong.  It turns out that much like riding a bike, the skill set never went away, if anything, it has improved some during my dormant time over the last two years.  Being stable, and being calm, is a MUCH better combination for creating and decorating cakes.  For one, my hand doesn’t shake and that is a total plus.  I also can keep my stress to a moderate level.  The challenge that I am running into is the thoughts that bounce into my head about being “good enough”.  This is something that I have struggled with for years and years, and each time the negative thought comes through my head, I use an affirmation to dismiss it.

I recall that in 2016 my doctors told me that there would come a time when I would be in a much better place, where there was stability and balance and my symptoms would be slim to none.  I will admit that I did not believe them at the time.  I was so under water that I could not begin to imagine a time when I would not be in a living hell.  But, as always, they were right, and here I am today, in a good place, thrilled as hell to be living a happy life, and pushing aside the little hiccups (like weight gain) that I have allowed to derail me in the past.

There WILL come a time when the good will come.  It WILL arrive, and it will be glorious.  It WILL be treasured and cherished.  It WILL be the thing that leaves an ever-lasting smile on your face…  The sweet spot.

Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

Strike!

IMG_1816Saturday night we had the pleasure of spending the afternoon and evening with just our teenage son as our daughter was at a friend’s house.  Since it was just the three of us, we were trying to decide what we wanted to do that we normally don’t do when the whole family is together.  As our daughter is not the biggest bowling fan, we chose to go bowling.

At the alley, the lanes were illuminated with black lights and modern music was playing in the background.  Music videos were streaming on the projection streams and you could smell pizza wafting through the air.  Our white, red and blue bowling shoes were glowing, as was the white parts of my t-shirt.  The ball return was filled with bright colored bowling balls, clanging together each time a ball is returned through the chute.  After spending a few minutes deciding on what names we were going to use on the display, we went with Adam, Belle and Clover, ABC.  We set up the game and started to play.  We all have varying levels of skill when it comes to bowling.  I am not nearly as good as I was in my youth when I was on a league with my step-father.  But none-the-less, you can still have an enjoyable time even if you are throwing gutter balls.  At one point I decided at the last minute not to release the ball, my footing just wasn’t right, and boy did I monkey with my elbow.  Bowling has been a challenge since I had an ulnar nerve transposition on my right elbow in 2012. (that’s a fancy word for having my “funny bone moved from one location in my elbow area to another)

My spouse was the person that brought his “A” game and was killing us with several strikes and spares.  By the second game, our son was totally on point and he was throwing strikes and spares as well while putting this incredible spin on the ball.  Although I had one strike, I was not the winner, but in a way, I was a winner.

As we were engaged in the process of the game, I was in the moment.  I was taking in the environment, the sounds, the scenery.  I was enjoying the time I was spending with the most important men in my life.  I was also recollecting on what a better place I am then I had been in the past.  Not so long ago I was in a place where to do anything greater than opening my eyes while still laying in bed was agonizing.  I was miserable every second of my days.  All I wanted to do was to stay in bed and mentally hope that the dark and dreariness would just go away.

But now is a different story.  I can engage in activities and enjoy what I am doing.  I laugh and giggle and bring my sarcastic sense of humor to the table.  I am engaging, and I am happy, some days more than others, but I am just in this wonderful place! (Amazing what happens when you take all your medication, and work against the sidetracking side effects that have been thwarting your previous progress)

It took a while to get here, but my doctors did tell me I would get to a place that life would be good, and they were apparently right and knew what they were talking about.  When I have a down day, as those come now and again, I remind myself that this is temporary, that the clouds will subside, and the sun will come out, figuratively and on some days literally (I struggle on grey and cloudy days).  I always remind myself that the tough times will pass and to embrace the good times, to soak them up and to not spend time worrying over how long the grey days will be here.

May your Monday be blessed and may you find at least one thing in the day that brings a smile to your face and lightness and happiness to your heart.