Hypomanic: Something Had to Break

Something Had to Break

Hypomanic

Irritable

On verge of tears

Over-stimulated

Over-scheduled

Too many demands

Too many changes

Too soon

Must scale back

Spoke to psychologist

Contacted psychiatrist

In bed

Resting

Now

 

Walking the Line

Living with Bipolar Living with bipolar is like walking on a tightrope, trying to maintain my balance, fearful of each step I take. KittOMalley.com

Living with bipolar is like walking on a tightrope, trying to maintain my balance, fearful of each step I take.

As a young adult, I didn’t understand what triggered my highs and lows. I saw depression as a problem, but I didn’t fully understand the role of workaholism, overachievement, and perfectionism, even as I crashed over and over.

After my training as a clinician, when I finally turned to medication for help, I understood and described myself as cyclothymic (experiencing highs and lows less extreme than bipolar) even as I was diagnosed and treated for dysthymia (persistent depression).

At almost 54, I’m still learning about myself. I used to consider myself extroverted. I threw parties, loved to be on stage and the center of attention. When I look back, though, I performed at parties. I did not really feel comfortable. I danced and laughed loudly, or I shrank back into a corner, wanting to leave.

Now social stimulation overwhelms me. Sounds bombard me.

This summer, first the long days challenged me with too much sunshine. My thoughts raced at bedtime. I found it hard to sleep, had to take benzodiazepine to turn off my thoughts and allow slumber. I started to ramp, to take on more and more tasks.

Recently, I signed a three-month private trainer contract at a Pilates studio. The training itself overstimulates me. Too much social interaction. The exercise has aggravated forgotten knee and hip injuries. I know that Pilates should help, but for now, I’m in pain.

Responding to the pain, I’ve scheduled appointments with an orthopedist and a physical therapist.

Picture of sun shining through evergreen forest of coastal redwoods (I believe).

Escape is what I yearn. I want so badly to be in a less stimulating place, quieter, slower, surrounded by trees on one side to shelter me and an open vista on the other so I can look at the horizon and feel free. It’s a place I’ve had in my imagination a long time. My husband and I have been talking, but it’s not yet time to retire. Our life is here for now.

I Miss My Old Blogging Friends

I Miss My Old Blogging Friends

I wrote the following post last year. Still applies. Now I’m busy with caregiving. My responsibilities have grown. My focus has changed. Now I blog less about living with bipolar and more about caregiving. Still, I do not have enough time to read and comment on all the wonderful blogs out there. On top of caregiving, I’m preparing for BlogHer16. After BlogHer, I’m attending NAMI’s California conference in late August and a writers’ conference in September.


Have I Lost My Blogging Friends?

Published August 12, 2015

So I’ve been busy, much busier than usual, in my real life, interacting with people in the flesh, which overstimulates me, so I haven’t been reading and commenting on other blog posts like I usually do, like I used to do.

The posts I published Wednesday received few comments. I wonder, is it because I have let down my online community of mutually supportive readers by not reading and commenting on their posts? Or, is it because my posts were not personal or particularly original in nature — just a rehash of a conference I attended Friday and Saturday and a repost of a TIME, Inc. infographic about why we still need Women’s Equality Day ? Perhaps my last post was simply too long (and boring, I now realize in going back and reading it).

I’ve been feeling guilty for not reading and commenting as much on other blogs, but I can only do so much, and taking care of myself comes first. I respond to comments on my blog. But, there are simply too many other blogs to read them all. I’m not even reading those with whom I’ve developed close online friendships.

Writing helps me. Consuming seemingly endless numbers of mental health posts, commenting on them and sharing them, unfortunately, does not. Perhaps doing so helps others, just not me. Not when I’m too overwhelmed. Not when I’m doing my best to slow down.

By the way, did some more in person volunteering. Once again trying to figure this one out. How much in-person social interaction and volunteering I can take on without spinning like a hypomanic top.

I Give Up (Again)

I Give Up (Again). I Admit Defeat. I Surrender. I Let Go.

Here is where I must admit defeat or acknowledge my limitations and sensitivity to social stimulation. I’ve been hypomanic since I began coming into the NAMI Orange County office to volunteer, and since I offered to help with social media. Apparently, both overstimulate me. I love everyone at the NAMI office and so want to help, but I must acknowledge my own limitations and slow down.

I still very much look forward to participating in my local NAMI Walks (please consider walking with or sponsoring me) & raising as much money as possible. I still very much look forward to being an Ending the Silence presenter in local high schools and a Provider Education panelist.

Of course, I will continue to shout out for NAMI and good mental health as myself and as a NAMI volunteer.

Sorry to my friends at the NAMI Orange County office. I always do this – take something on that I cannot handle & then back off.

In one of the coloring books my sister gave me for my birthday to help me with my ramping hypomania, I found this apt quote:

Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress. — Melody Beattie

My problem is that I want to help everyone, rescue all, offer of myself what I really cannot spare.