Bipolar Disorder

Boiling Pots


Psychologist. Psychiatrist. Primary Care Physician. Gynecologist. Dentist. Orthodontist…

I was updating the calendar that I share with my boss (I am an executive assistant and it’s pertinent that I keep the calendars up to date), and I was adding in all the appointments that I have scheduled so far for the month of February.

First Week of February

  • 5th – Child Doctor Appointment in the morning
  • 7th – Therapy Session with Psychologist in the afternoon
  • 9th – Nerve Blocks at PCP office in the morning

Second Week of February

  • 14th – Sleep Institute Follow Up Check In in the morning
  • 14th – Psychiatrist follow up appointment in the afternoon
  • 15th – Ultrasound with Gynecologist in the morning
  • 16th – Orthodontist appointment for child in the morning

Third Week of February

  • 21st – Therapy Session with Psychologist in the afternoon
  • 22nd – Dentist Appointment for child in the afternoon

Today I am feeling quite overwhelmed with what is scheduled as every week, at least once a week, I will be at a doctor appointment at one point during the week.  This means I will be taking time off work to accommodate the doctor appointments and will increase the amount of time I am driving as the locations for my doctor appointments and the office where I am currently working at on the opposite side of town.

Not only is it a grand investment in time and energy to have so many appointments, but it is financially draining.  I recently filed my taxes for this year and my medical costs for 2017 were 45% of my total income.  This is heart wrenching for me.  Nearly half of my salary goes to my health, whether it is co pays, office visit costs or prescriptions.  I have major debt because of medical expenses and past years spent overspending due to mania fueled shopping sprees.  I feel like I am drowning in debt with no light at the end of the tunnel.  I work part time because of my schedule and what I can handle mentally and physically, which means I make less than I have in previous years, only compounding the financial stress.

After our appointment this morning, both my son and I were discussing how we just wanted to go home, even though it was just nearing the lunch hour.  We were spent.  Attending appointments is not only time consuming and are financially a burden, but they wear you out mentally and physically.  Sitting, waiting, answering questions, receiving feedback all leads to processing what is transpiring and that can take a lot out of a person.  It also forces you to come to terms with the reality of situations and that can be hard to do.  We live each day knowing that we have obstacles to overcome, but somehow it is different when you are facing them head on and really being in the moment discussing your ailment.

I am taxed in many ways each and everyday dealing with my illnesses.  The Bipolar disorder takes center stage, but I also suffer from chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Sleep Apnea, Hormone Imbalance as result of a Hysterectomy and a few other mental illnesses.  Much like a person who has multiple pots boiling on the stove, once you get one pot simmered, another pot starts to boil uncontrollably.  This is my life.  Jumping from one boiling pot to another.  Making small progress, but still being overwhelmed by the whole picture as to what is going on.

I tell myself that I will persevere, and I will press on.  That I have never given up and don’t plan to ever.  That this sense of being overwhelmed will pass.  That I can look back over the last handful of years and see how far I have indeed progressed and am in a far better place than I have been in the past.  I am not sure if I will ever conquer this, but I will not allow it to make me feel like a failure or ever be too much for me to handle.  I’ve got this!

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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