Of course I have to combat things like does any one really care about my day? Do I honestly think people will accept me as me? Will it make a difference?
I know this is part of that negative side of me, my bipolar mental instability that one moment tells me I can save the world and the next tells me the world would be better off without me. Its that same negative Nancy that tells me I will fail at anything I try at.
It really is hard though. So long I have kept my thoughts to myself. Suffering in silence I guess you could say. I talk now with my daughters but for many many years I kept the true pain I felt locked away deep inside.
I did this for many reasons. I didn't want to seem weak. I felt given in to telling others would seem like I was complaining. I even felt that it would be like letting my illness win. In truth it was my silence and the silence of those who suffered around me that actually -was- letting my illness win.
COMMUNICATION! Say it with me and say it loud COMMUNICATION!. That is your key to happiness. Your key to helping yourself deal with your mental disorder. Your universal key to Success in most things in life.
Now I am not just talking about communicating with others here. I also mean communicating with yourself. Sounds insane..yes well bare with me and it will all become clear.
Each day I communicate with myself. I ask myself questions about how I am feeling. If I get upset I ask myself why so I can understand if there is a outside reason for it ( I almost said real, but I don't like that, my illness is just as a real reason to be upset as say the cat breaking my favorite cup, instead I shall say outside, something other than my own inner workings) or if my mind is just working overtime and creating these feelings. I ask myself all types of questions. These questions keep me on my toes, make me think, make me realize things.
These questions are especially important when I have a episode. Once long ago I was blind, I didn't see myself, I couldn't see myself. I am not even sure I wanted to at that time. Eventually I began to see though, the outbursts, the pain I was causing, understanding that my feelings were not normal, that they were exaggerated and blown out of proportion.
When I was finally able to see what I was doing a part of me wanted to crawl back into the shadows of my mind and block it out. I didn't want to see how horrible I was to those I loved. I didn't want to see myself turn into this raging maniac who screamed and cussed over something that most likely was petty and stupid, even worse at times was over something that had nothing to even do with what I was really upset about. I turned mole hills into mountains and worse I felt justified in doing so.
I won't lie it took weeks, months, even years to improve. At first I felt like a spectator watching a show, a horror show, where I was the villain. Worse part was at first all I could do was watch. I couldn't stop myself. I would be literally in my head screaming at myself to shut up and hear myself go on and on and on. Eventually of course I would wind down and then of course would come the tears, the guilt, begging whoever was my victim to forgive me.
This happened over and over and I would swear to myself I wouldn't do it again and I would. I understand now I always will. The difference is now my episodes last minutes not hours or worse days, and they are few once a month or less, not almost daily like they once were. I also now usually see within the first 5-10 minutes that my anger or emotions are not normal, that I have entered a episode.
Think of it like this because its about as close as I can come to explaining it. There is a me standing on a ledge and another me a safe distance away and the safe me is watching the maniac on the ledge screaming at the world (usually somebody close to me). The safe me realizes I am going over the edge and begins to talk me down. I do this by noticing triggers I have set up in my head. Sort of like what people who lucid dream do, reality checks that let me know something isn't as it should be.
Here are the few key triggers/reality checks I have noticed and that clue me in to the fact that I am having a episode.
- I scream to get my point across (normally, I raise my voice but don't scream)
- I contradict myself, and often more than once.
- I cuss literally 5 times more than my normal rate, if severe up to 10 times.
- I am overly defensive, pushing the person I am screaming at away from me. Putting up this invisible wall as if I am trying to protect myself from them as if they are the enemy. I literally feel threatened.
Any time I see one of these I take notice of myself, to see what I am doing, to ask myself questions and talk myself down off that ledge. Don't get me wrong this doesn't always happen immediately, sometimes it takes several triggers for me to put it all together that I am in a episode. Remember a part of me doesn't want to see it. I had to train myself to see these. Watch myself go through episode after episode and see what they had in common and that means somebody was the victim of those episodes.
It was hard work to get to where I am but I am proud to be here. My episodes are a maximum now of about a hour give or take a few here and there and a minimum of literally 15-20 minutes. I went from a episode of almost everyday in my late teens to mid 20's to now less than once a month on a good run and only once or twice on a bad run. They are less than 10 a year now for my severe episodes and considering how just 10 years ago they were 10 or more a month that were severe and even 3-4 a month just 4 years ago I feel I have really come a long way.
Again I am not saying this was easy by no means and that includes for anyone around me. I mostly went it alone except for a short amount of counseling I got after my fourth daughter. I honestly don't recommend going it alone. I recommend a good councilor, somebody who understands how you wish to go about your treatment and is willing to work with you to reach your goals. I don't take meds and am a firm believer that not all of us need them, though if you are going it no meds, you should keep in mind it will be harder, it means a lot of self discipline and in that time of learning about yourself you are going to make mistakes and you are going to hurt those around you. Decide if that is worth it. Talk to them, educate them, take them to counseling with you. Don't assume they understand, they don't.
Not saying meds is a easy route either because it isn't but if you are severe than you should speak to a professional and find out what is in your best interest. What works for me might not work for you. Keep a open mind about your options. I think many of us just want to feel better, to be a better person. For some this means meds, and that is okay. For others you may be able to go it with a lot of self discipline as I do. But please do your homework and don't choose lightly, educate yourself and those around you.
I am going to try to blog more often. I promised this would be a honest look at myself and my bipolar and I still very much want it to be, but you will have to bare with me until I grow more comfortable talking about things I have kept to myself for so long.
Today is a good day. Took me 3 days to get this blog done because I am still coasting on a manic though I feel it slowly winding back down. Still its at the point of ..facebook, candycrush, oh so and so did this..oh that reminds me I need to look that up..Dr Who, oh I am thirsty..walks upstairs, talk to hubby, oh what is he watching..spends 20 minutes there..walks back down..wait forgot drink..back upstairs..hungry..fix something to eat..back down..oh blog..works on blog, Dr Who again..hmm..Rift...look up buildings for ideas to build in my dimension...Facebook sounds..Ooo..check Facebook... And well you get the point, my mind just shifts repeatedly sometimes so focusing can be a bit of a chore. On even a low day I multitask 1-3 things..on a manic it can be 5-10 or even more. It can be hard to get anything done like that and yet at the same time I usually accomplish more than ever. So I am not to hard on myself. I know if its important I will get it done and what can wait will.
And I will stop here before I ramble you guys to death. Gotta love the ramblings of a manic. *laughs* Take care guys! I will leave you with the following.