Bipolar

What caused my manic episode? 

Ok, so I’ve read a lot about what can trigger episodes in bipolar, be it manic or depression. I have tried to go over the past 11-12 years, really thinking about when I have had an episode and what may have caused it. The first one is simple, my dad died. That’s an obvious thing that seems to have triggered this whole bipolar being! Then it gets patchy. I can see that another time was when I had a very tough time at work, that’s what I can put it down to. The others, I just don’t know and most importantly, this latest one, the mother of all manic episodes which caused me to turn my life upside down. I have no idea what set it off. 

I had just moved house. I wonder if this could be it. I have moved house lots of times, then I try to think if I had episodes at those times. I just don’t know. I was stressed at work – now I know this could be one. I wasn’t that stressed though, was I? One thing I read was that smell can affect you. I started wearing a new perfume around this time – strange but true – could it be that? I try to think what it could be and really I don’t know. Did I just feel so fed up and unloved – not that that’s fair to say because that absolutely wasn’t the case but did my bipolar get the better of me and thought this but instead of dooming into depression I decided to go manic and run away from life? I so wish I knew, but I don’t. All I know is that from now on I have to speak up and say if something’s bothering me and I have to try to avoid being too stressed – easy to say! 

I say I’ve moved a few times, that’s a little trait of mine – I seem to like to move. I don’t know why. Another little trait of mine is buying new cars. When I say new cars, they’re old ones lol but I seem to get a new one every six months or so. This last one I’ve had about a yer and it’s almost a record for me! These things, I don’t know if they’re me or if they’re my bipolar. The fact that I don’t crave a new car at the minute – is that because I like my car or because I’m on tablets to stop me wanting new cars?! I also go from small engines to save petrol to big engines cause I have a need for speed. I wonder whether these times and some sort of mania or hypermania wanting the speed? I just don’t know. 

As you can see, I question a lot. Not in an anxious obsessive way, just because I never want to be that person again so I try to understand myself and my mental health in order to control that. Hopefully I will work out past episodes and the how and the why’s in time. Maybe therapy will help. I shall see…

Bipolar

Less than a week till I see the doc!

So, it’s less than a week till I next see the psycho docs. I wonder what they’ll have in store for me. It’s at this appointment that they will set into place what therapy I need and hopefully give me a firmer diagnosis of what type of bipolar I have. I presume it’s type one having done my research but hey I’m not a doctor so I shall see. I’d like for a lesser diagnosis – I don’t really know why though. Either way, I’m crazy and I need meds to keep me sane, so what does it really matter? 

I’m rather nervous about my next appointment. I feel like I have been a thousand people since my last one. I’ve been calm, I’ve been severely depressed and I’ve been kind of normal me. I still don’t know if me feeling normal is good. I secretly hope that they’ll get me back to that calm stage where I felt a little number. Life was a lot easier back in that phase. The funniest thing is I don’t normally change personality so flippantly really, but these meds seem to make me more of a flipper! I can be happy then instantly depressed – it’s crazy. I’m not so irritable really but I do still get a little anxious and I still feel more down than my normal self. I wonder what they’ll say about that??

Well, less than a week to go – hopefully it’ll be good news – not that I’m sure there is any good news that can come from this. We shall see! 

Bipolar

Forgetfulness and Bipolar

How common with bipolar is it to forget things? This is what I have been asking google lately! Less than a week ago I walked out of my house and completely forgot to pick up my keys which I needed to get into my car and also back into my house upon my return. In the whole time I’ve owned a set of keys (probably about 16-17 years), I have never ever done this. After much chaos and help from my favourite people, I managed to get back in to get them. 

The same day I was driving home knowing that I needed to get petrol. Next thing I knew, I had driven straight past the petrol station, was on a busy A road and ran out of petrol. Now this isn’t something that is completely out of the ordinary to me. There have been numerous occasions in the past where I have run out of petrol, mainly because I didn’t have the money and just crossed my fingers that I’d make it! I’m yet to know whether that’s the bipolar in me or just me! Anyway, this time was different. I had the money for the petrol, I had the intention of getting the petrol, I just simply… forgot. After the key issue that morning and now this, I was finding this was a bit strange. 

So, let’s get to three days later. I went into town to do a bit of shopping with my daughter. As I was walking back up towards the car I realised – I had no car keys. After re tracking my steps and getting hot and flustered, I retrieved my keys from the first shop I had gone into. I didn’t have a bag that day, just my keys and purse in my hand – not an unusual thing for me, bags annoy me sometimes! In all the time I’ve owned keys, I’ve again never done this, not even after a few drinks! 

So, I am genuinely quite concerned now. I feel like I’m forgetting to do the most simple of tasks. Things that people remember without thinking about. Apparently it’s quite common. I’ll talk to the psycho docs about it next week. Until then….

Bipolar

I told someone…

Today I actually told someone, other than close family and friends…. I have been diagnosed with bipolar. I didn’t think I was ready to tell anyone but yesterday I couldn’t not. I thought I’d be scared after but to be honest I felt open. I felt like I’d let out my dirty little secret and it was a weight off of my shoulders. Ok it was only one person but at least I know that person knows now. It was just a nice normal (no pun intended) conversation too. She asked a question and my mental health was the only way to answer, so instead of panicking, I just explained. Then the conversation moved onto something else as normal as any other conversation. I feel so relieved. Don’t get me wrong, she may have walked off and thought ‘oh no, she’s mental’ but I don’t think that’s the case. Another one of those – time will tell! 

I’m still not ready to blurt it out to the world but I’m glad I told one person 🙂 

Bipolar

Feeling normal (ish)

I think I’m feeling normal. I question what normal is a lot nowadays but at the moment I think I’m feeling normal. There’s definitely a depressed side of me shining through now and again but for the majority of the time I feel normal…ish. I presume this means my tablets are kind of working. I wonder whether different tablets or a different strength would take the depressed side away too – that would be good but I would also be scared to change my tablets if I was told to in case I felt worse. This is better than I have been lately. 

When I got my diagnoses, almost two months ago, I really forced myself to think of it as the chemicals in my brain not being quite right and the tablets will sort that problem. Just like taking my asthma pump helps me breathe. The thing is, recently I have started to really realise that taking tablets for mental health issues really is very very different to most illnesses. I am taking these tablets to make me more normal but there is the fear that they will then take away parts of my personality. I have always been a little crazy, a little different to most people. I like that most of the time and I worry that I will lose that in time when my medication is fully working. I wonder if I will. 

My mum told me she thought I had bipolar when I was about 19. I dismissed her, I didn’t want to believe there was anything wrong with me. Looking back, I wonder what sort of person I would be now had I got that diagnosis back then. I wonder if decisions I have made would have been the same or whether I would have ended up being a totally different person. In the same way, I wonder what I will be in a few years time. Will I still be me or will I be a dull, boring person that is zombified by tablets through fear of going off the rails. I wonder a lot of things, this I wonder a lot though. Who will I be? Will I react differently to things, will it be better or worse, who knows?

So, for now I will enjoy feeling normal ish and carry on as I am doing…

Bipolar

Meditation – does it work?

So… today I tried to meditate. No only did I try. I wasn’t sitting on my sofa thinking I’ll have a go at this. I actually went to a meeting to learn about it. When reading about about my illness, I have found a lot of things that tell you to relax, to take time to yourself each day, to try to realise what it is that makes me anxious, panicky, manic, depressed and to try to work out why and how to overcome them. A lot of what I’ve read has come back to the Buddhist way of life and to meditation.  

Please bear in mind that I am the sort of person who likes a glass of wine. I smoke like fag ash lil although I’m always trying to quit and to be quite frank, I’m not your typical meditator or Buddhist or your typical anything to be honest. After reading up on things about Buddhism a few years ago I quite liked the idea of it. All the quotes I seem to like seem to be along this theme. When I read that meditation could really help my broken mind, I decided it was time to give it a go. 

So, I went to a Buddhist night and I tried to meditate. I think I did it. It felt nice. The thought of being able to turn my brain off for a while seems amazing. It’s something I think I’m going to practice. I’ll let you know how I get on…

Bipolar

What have you been up to? 

When you meet old friends and they say ‘what have you been up to’, what do you say? I saw a picture that an old friend put on Facebook today – it was of three dogs running along and in the comments she had commented to someone about how they should take the dogs out for a walk together one day. I giggled to myself and went to comment to say ‘cor you’re getting old’! Only in a joking way! I didn’t. Not because I was worried of her reaction, she would have laughed. I was worried all that she’d ask how I’d been and what I’d been up to. I thought about it for a while. Oh, why you’ve been getting old, I’ve been going crazy! Is that right! No that’s not right because I’ve been crazy since the day I met her, it’s just I have recently been diagnosed as being officially crazy. That’s the difference. 

The picture that we see so often stating ‘I’m still the same person I was before you knew I was crazy’, most people would show to their loved ones, old friends, colleagues. Me, I say it to myself each day. I have to remind myself that I’m not just crazy. I’m still me, just with medication to take away my bad bits now. I am still the same person I have been all my adult life, I just have help to make me a little better now. When I get upset and wonder, ‘why me’? I remind myself that I’m no different to what I was a year ago, or ten years ago. I just have a diagnosis now – sort of, I still don’t know quite how mental I am, that’s still being analysed! 

Anyway, I didn’t comment through fear of not knowing how to answer a simple question. Hopefully one day I won’t be scared to comment. She knows I’m crazy anyway, I always have been! 

Bipolar

I see how people stop their tablets…

I used to wonder why people would not take their tablets. If they know that they will make them better, why would they not take them? I think I get it a little now. 

Yesterday I was having a bad day – everything went wrong to be quite frank. At about 10am I was in a complete state, blaming myself for everything and feeling completely useless. I realised at some point during the morning that I hadn’t taken my tablet. I wondered if I would feel better if I took it. I didn’t take it for about another hour. Partly because I didn’t want to believe I had to take this stupid tablet in order to feel better and partly because I didn’t want to feel better. I felt crap, I deserved to feel crap, my life is a mess and it’s all my fault. That’s how I felt. I felt like I didn’t deserve to just be able to take a tablet to make myself feel better. I had put myself in this situation so I should take responsibility and be miserable. I shouldn’t be able to take a tablet to numb the pain. I took the tablet. 

This morning I had quite the opposite feeling. Same sort of time of day, I was feeling quite ok. I didn’t want to take my tablet because I felt ok – I felt, that was the main thing. I find the tablets numb me sometimes and I liked feeling something a little more. I took the tablet. 

I took the tablet both days but I get why people wouldn’t and I realise how important it is to make sure that someone is checking that I take them because if my brain put it to me much more I may not have taken the tablets… scary head! 

Bipolar

Normal – is it scary!

So, all I want is to feel normal. I’ve been feeling almost like normal Me for a few days now. A little down, but at least I’m feeling. I forgot to do my mood chart for a few days – I tried to forgot that I have a mental illness really. So, if I have felt so normal, why do I feel so so scared. I’m scared because I don’t know if I’m meant to feel like this or if this means the tablets aren’t working and I am at risk of, well at risk of being bipolar me. Why do I have to be scared of being the me I have always known :(. 

I felt really calm and empty. Now I am sitting here with feelings, I look back, not necessarily liking that feeling. I almost lost my personality. I didn’t dislike the feeling whilst I was feeling it though, I quite liked it. Why am I so scared to feel. I don’t understand if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Part of me doesn’t want to go back to feeling calm and empty, yet it felt safe and part of me wants it back so so badly. How do I know if this is how I am meant to feel. I don’t understand it all. It goes back to the time thing I suppose, give it time…

Bipolar

What’s interesting about me?

Ok, so today I went on the first day of a two day course – Well done me! I’ve been rather anxious in the lead up to it but I made it and wasn’t too anxious during it which is always a good sign! The bit that was a bit nerve wracking or more it took my mind off what I was meant to be doing, was the introduction. For the first ten minutes I was hating it. That dreaded introduction – name, where you’re from, relevant industry experience….. and something interesting about… me. 

Now, bear in mind, it has only been about a month since I have found out that I actually really do have mental health issues. I now take mood stabilisers or antipsychotics and antidepressants each day and I actually have my own psycho doc. Just over a month ago, I would have been a totally different person sitting in that seat. Six months ago, a different person still. I have lots of interesting facts, I have done lots of things. This morning, sitting on that chair as it came to my turn, all I could think was ‘and I am officially mental, I have a psychiatrist, I’m a wreck and you all think I’m normal’! Did that come out? Luckily not, I managed a simple ‘and there’s not really anything interesting about me’. They probably thought I was so boring, little did they know!!