Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

What I’ve gained: Part Two

birth-control-implant-weight-gain

I see my psychiatrist this afternoon after a month since my last appointment.  I do not clearly remember the last time I was able to go an entire month without seeing my doctor.  For the last two years, I have seen her more than I have seen my friends and family, nearly every one to two weeks.  We have had to meet more regularly because the Bipolar was out of control and we were constantly modifying my medication to try and stop the swinging between depression and mania.

I spent the last fifteen (15) minutes writing a two-page document with updates about the last month.  I do this every time I see her, so I can provide as much information as possible to her within the short 30 minutes that we have together.

The biggest point on my document for today is that I have achieved stability, and it’s been a very stable month for me.  I have done as I have been told and taken my medication as prescribed, regardless of the weight gain that has been present since increasing a few medications about two months ago.

Anxiety

For the first time ever in my life, I have little to no anxiety.  This is an amazing transition for me.  From being in a place where I was having panic attacks daily while driving, to a place now where I am far calmer, is such an amazing blessing.

Depression

Other than suffering from a bit of lack of motivation, especially in the morning during the week, I have not noticed any signs of depression creeping in.  I do not feel like I am mentally receiving “bad data” (or as my mum calls it, stinking thinking).  I am not dreading to complete normal daily tasks like showering and making dinner.

Mania

When I am manic, I liken my state to that of a hummingbird.  Constantly moving, never sitting still, flitting around like I must get where ever I need to go quickly.  This has not been me.  I am not engaging in manic behaviors such as acting in impulsive ways, spending money on things I do not need, and I am not lacking in sleep.

Sleep

As mentioned a second ago, I am not lacking in sleep, nor am I oversleeping (except for the weekends when I thoroughly enjoy lounging in bed, being snuggled up in the blankets on my incredibly soft bed as I don’t have any place I need to be at any given time).  On average, I am getting 7-10 hours of sleep, waking refreshed, and falling asleep at night without assistance.

Weight

Dun, dun dun… so I gained between five to ten pounds over the last two months.  I am far less than thrilled with this change as I already weighed more than I had wanted to, so this is the preverbal icing on the cake.  However, a friend of mine suggested that for each pound I gained I think about a positive thing I gained with that given pound.  And I think this is a phenomenal idea.  Overall with the weight I have gained, I have achieved stability, and that is a blessing in disguise.  With one of the pounds, I gained relief from anxiety, another pound allowed me to be freed from depression, and that other one prevented me from sky rocketing into mania.  I’d say my good, balanced sleep is probably worth two pounds in itself.  I love her idea and will remind myself of these “gains” each time a crappy thought about weight gain pops into my head.

For now, my mood swings are in the rear-view mirror, and that is such an amazing accomplishment, as any person with Bipolar or any mental health condition can relate, that when you are in a good place you just want to cherish that time you are in this place, as it is not known how long it will last.  As always, I will keep pressing on, perhaps skipping along in my cowboy boots and paisley dress, embracing everything that this given day has provided to me.

Bipolar Disorder

If you are happy and know it…

happy and know it

I am going to go out on a ledge and proclaim that it is a universal goal to be happy.  Or that more often than naught, people would prefer to be happy over being sad, angry, disappointed, and many other negatively charged emotions.  I know that I prefer to be happy versus being sad.  I aspire to have contentment in my life and a general positive well being.

However, for me, when I am happy, I pull out my microscope and I dissect my happiness piece by piece.  Why am I happy?  Is it a normal level of happiness, or is it an unusually high and elevated mood?  Did I take my medication each day without missing a dose?  How is this happiness different from mania happiness?  Is there a difference?  Holy crap, am I manic?  Am I exhibiting other symptoms of mania?  Where’s that mania check list?  I need to see how many signs I am currently exhibiting!

All these thoughts zoom through my head.  Sadly, I can’t be happy that I am happy.  Oh no, we need to think that it is the start to a manic episode and we need to batten down the hatches.  Let’s make sure that I have Klonopin in my cabinet incase I skyrocket and need to come down.  Set a non-negotiable time to go to bed and wake up to ensure I am getting eight hours of sleep.  Pondering if I should take a sleeping pill to ensure that I am getting enough sleep.  Everyone knows that a decrease in sleep can push a person into mania.  Let me analyze the amount of caffeine I am ingesting, is it within reason?  Should I cut back?  Have I taken on too much due to this place of heightened positivity that has soaked into my bones?  Was it the busy month of December, and subsequent holidays that pushed me out of the “safe zone”?

It is incredibly frustrating to worry over being happy.  To wonder why I am happy.  To be afraid of what it could lead to.  To be in a place where when you start to experience feelings and emotions and that scares you.  Have I been in a place of numbness and too perfect stability that this minor change is going to rock my socks?  Have I forgotten that it is “normal” to have good days and bad days?  To have some days when you are in a good mood, happy and excitable and then it is as equally acceptable to have a day or two when you are more down, solace and perhaps negative?

I have found that since I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 nearly two years ago, I constantly dissect my mood.  I can’t accept any mood outside of one that is bland… like my world is supposed to always be beige.  If I am not surrounded by beige, I jump to the conclusion that my medication must have stopped working and instability is on the horizon.  I miss the days when I just went with the flow of things, when I was not so incredibly driven by fear and anxiety.  When a good day was just a good day, and that a dreadful day would end the moment I fell asleep.

Is this how it will always be?  Will I get past this way of thinking?  Will the day come when I can have a string of good days and not wonder if below the surface something evil is in the making?  Is this just the way that it will be for all my days to come?  Is this the way others with Bipolar feel?  Is this “normal”?

 

#bipolardisorder #mania #manic #stability #happy #fear #anxiety #depression #OCD #normal #isthisnormal? #beige #sleep #medication #moodstablizer #antidepressant #emotions