31 Days of Bipolar – 19 & 20

Now, for those who paid attention, I skipped 18. I didn’t have much to say when it comes to that, so I just skipped it.  That and I have only 2 experiences with the mood stabilizers Depakote, which was hell for anxiety, and Risperidal, which I’m currently on. So, I don’t think I’m that qualified to explain my opinion on number 18. So, onwards to 19!

19. If religion and/or spirituality is a part of your mental health regime: what, how and why?

Religion and spirituality are of major health to me.  I like going to church, seeing as it distracts me from my mental health, and I like praying.  Praying does give me a place to vent and to let it go and leave it up to the Divine.  It makes me realize that I can’t be in control all the time, and it’s a good reminder at times.  I like to learn about religions as well, and it distracts me as well.

As for the spirituality portion, I sometimes meditate.  That helps calm me when I’m in an incredibly anxious spot in my life.  So, before I go to bed, I pop on a podcast of guided meditation, and I lay on my bed and focus on that.  The last time I’ve done that, I just felt the tension ooze out of my body. It left me feel really energized and excellent!

I’ve also been sick, but I’m trying to institute Yoga into my daily life.  I want to do that 5 times a week. It’s helped me feel energized as well, and it focuses on tough positions and breathing. It’s all about just being, just existing into that moment.  It’s another great reminder that I need.  Sometimes, I just need to exist.  It does help with some depression as well, at least from what I remember.  I haven’t felt up to par in a week, so… (As a side note, this is why I’m starting to believe I’m a Buddhist at heart; I connect with yoga, meditation, and the basic principals in said religion, so I might be a Buddhist.)

I also attend these church gatherings known as Youth Rallies.  That’s how I met some of my most nearest and dearest friends. It’s about worshiping and fellowship.  I really love it, and it’s just a vacation from the world for the weekend.  I find a lot of peace and patience there. So, you can see that religion and spirituality helps me quite a lot when it comes to my mental health.

20. Do you consider yourself creative? How do you express that? What piece of work (or whatever is applicable) are you most proud of?

Oh, my gosh.  I consider myself as creative as you can possibly get. I have all of these mediums that I work with.  My favorite to work with is pen and paper, and I love writing.  I got some of my poetry published, and I had an opportunity to make my own book via an author.  I’m much more interested in being an author and not a poet, seeing as though I have at least 3 series (about 10 books total) in my mind that I need to write, but that’s only when I’m mentally better.

Besides writing, I draw.  I had posted a drawing on here, so you can check it out. I draw as a way to pass time, and I find it helps my racing thoughts and helps me process things.  I’ve been seriously drawing since I was six, and I’m self-trained.  I do more of the cartoon-y aspect of things; I’ve never really grown up, so what else do you expect from someone like that?  So, there’s that.

I can crochet, and I’ve currently been learning how to make hats.  I’m just starting out, but I want to be more serious with that. I want to learn how to take knitting more seriously as well, but I need different sizes of needles, lots and looots of yarn, and a whole bunch of patience.  I’ve tried needlepoint, but it wasn’t something that tickles my fancy.  I do like sewing by hand, however, and I want to hand-sew my own clothes in the near future.

More recently, I’m learning how to do photography.  I’m taking a class on it, and so far, it’s going quite well. I’ve taken one picture that I’m proud of, and it’s of a candle that’s lit.  I love it so much.  I might post that later, but I have to make sure my name is on it; I don’t want anyone stealing it.

But yeah.  After a long-winded post, I think I’ve covered everything.  I honestly didn’t expect this to be over 800 words, but I’m in the mood to write today. So, yeah, I hope you guys have a great rest of your day and have a great night!

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31 Days of Bipolar – Days 16 & 17

I’m just going to jump right into it today.

16. If you could plan the best possible treatment strategy for your bipolar self, what would it look like?

The only thing I would change from my whole schedule is to see a therapist once a week rather than bi-weekly. The reason for that is so that I can talk about things that happened in the past. I would like to do that, but I’d have to get more comfortable with the therapist, you know? But seeing someone once a month for medication is doing it just fine. Maybe some DBT would be good as well, but once again, I wouldn’t want to push myself to do things that may be uncomfortable.

17. If bipolar was a real thing or being, what would it look, sound and behave like?

I would like to put it in this context, and I hope I’m not offending anyone like this:

I imagine it as a person with 2 personalities.  The main host is depressive, lethargic, and they would cry all the time. They’d sound whiny, though sometimes grumpy due to aggression, and that would be weird.  They’d have no friends, and they’d spend a long amount of time in their bed.

On the other side, there’d be a personality that is the life of the party. They make friends easily.  They’d love drugs and they would sound more seductive than the other personality would.  They’d spend lots of money, and people would love them regardless.  They may get impulsive at times, but that’s okay.

That’s how I picture bipolar disorder.

31 Days of Bipolar – 14 & 15

So, here’s today’s  installment. You know, the installment that is supposed to happen today. This one is all about the past and the future. I’m hoping I don’t get too emotional when it comes to this. Anywho, here’s number 14.

14. What would you say to your younger self if you could?

Oh, gosh, that would be the destroyed 15/16 year old me.  Man, I have to say, I was beyond manic and depressive at that point. I’d have a lot to say to 15/16 year old me.

I’d probably say that harming myself isn’t the answer and it could leave scars, and I’d know that when I was older.  I’d say that some friends aren’t worth the pain, to try and find someone that would love younger me for younger me.  I would tell my younger self to never let go of that scared-looking boy she’d (well at the time, she) see in the corner because that would be her best friend. I’d also say that boys are so not the answer when it comes to happiness, and that the simple things in life can be all you need. I’d say that she needs help and there’s no shame in getting some. I’d tell her to fight for herself – her views, her thoughts, her smiles and everything in between.

I’d tell my younger self that she should question herself and not to be afraid of being LGBT. It’s not as bad as she would think.  I’d tell her to explore religions and not to give in to what her family thinks.  I’d tell her that there’s a point in time where death would hit her again, and I’d tell her that it’s not her fault.  I’d tell her that she was born to be different. I’d hold her and tell her that it’s okay to be different and it’s alright if people don’t understand you because there’d be one person that would in the future.

Gosh, that was hard to type out.

15. What would you ask your future self if you could?

Oh, now here comes the interesting things.  I’m going to be assuming I ask 25/26 year-old me.  I’d ask future me if I married my boyfriend yet, seeing as though everyone is expecting me to marry him. (We’re very close, and it’s gotten to the point to where everyone statewide in a church congregation assumes we’re going to get married and have kids. Yeah, the pressure is real.) I’d also ask if they’d moved down to where he is.

I’d ask if they’d found any friends yet or if they found a job. I’d ask if they found any new coping techniques.  I’d ask if they had cut yet, and if the answer’s no, I’d give future me a fist bump. I’d like to know if future me had gotten any tattoos, and if so, what they were and where they were. I’d ask them if they got any new hobbies…

There’s a lot of things I’d love to ask future me. This post is not enough for me to type every single question I have for future me, so I’m going to end it right there.

This was entertaining, and this was something that kind of made me break out of my shell. I’m not doing this for a loooong time.

31 Days of Bipolar – Days 12 and 13

Hey, guys, so I was sick and only able to make one post. I’m feeling better, but I’m still under the weather.  I decided to try and catch up with this thing, so I might make 2 posts dedicated to 31 days of bipolar. I didn’t want a lengthy post, so I’m dividing them up like I normally would write them. So, let’s get to day 12.

12. Who was/is your favourite doctor (any kind) and why?

I had this one doctor. Actually, I can list her name on here because it’s so general, no one can be able to track her down: Doctor Jones. She was so nice to me and she thought the world of me. She was more of a friend than a doctor, and if it wasn’t for her, then I wouldn’t be on meds or in treatment for my bipolar disorder.

She was the first one to notice that I was depressed, and I remember when she diagnosed me with depression.  It was when my mom and my sibling were fighting a whole lot at home, and I had started to hurt myself, specifically at that time. She pulled me aside into a room, and she said that my sibling wasn’t the one that was depressed, but I was the one that was depressed. I didn’t believe her until I couldn’t stop crying in front of her.  She wrote it in my chart rather big and it was in blue, bubbly letters. She made sure I was alright for the most part. But yeah, I owe my current sanity to her. Otherwise, I could’ve been hospitalized right now.

13. Who was your least favourite doctor and why?

Does it count if the person was a nurse? It does? Ok.

The nurse I got rid of for psychiatry was my least favorite person. Here’s what he did:

  • Falsified records.
  • Assumed that I wasn’t taking a med when I was because he didn’t say otherwise.
  • Lied to me several times.
  • Asked yes or no questions, then assumed things about me that I didn’t say was true.
  • Didn’t listen to me.
  • Tried to make me sound more insane than I was.
  • Told me that 100 mgs of my anti-anxiety meds could knock out a person. I could have drugged someone, and it would’ve been his fault.

The list goes on and on. Like, the guy was ridiculous. And I’m glad he is.

Anyways, this should’ve been done yesterday, but like I said, the flu stinks.

31 Days of Bipolar – Days 10 & 11

So, I decided to do this while I was relaxing. Plus, I have nothing really to do to. This may cure my boredom, so without further ado, question 10.

10. Do you tell people you’re bipolar? Why/why not?

For the most part, I don’t let people know I have bipolar disorder. If my friends (which consist of about 2 people right now) bring up their bipolar disorder, I bring mine up too.  We compare notes as to how we handle things and what we deal with, and I think that’s pretty cool.

I don’t tell random strangers or my family either, and it’s because of the stigma behind the diagnosis.  People expect me to become violent or change my moods rapidly if they upset me, and they’ll think of me in a different light. They’ll treat me different, so I don’t tell them.

11. What resources do you recommend and why? (Books, documentaries, websites etc … anything at all.)

I’m trying to think of resources, and the first person who comes to mind is Autumn Asphodel. She transitioned from male to female, is a spiritual being (not to be confused with religion), and she has schizoaffective disorder. Now, many people are going to be like “that’s not the same thing as bipolar,” but I found a lot of comfort in her videos when I was on some extreme lows. Her videos have really helped me cope with the idea of possibly having schizophrenia attached onto my bipolar disorder diagnosis.  She’s really neat. I love her so much!

Another YouTuber that stands out to me is Jackie (SuperCrazyLady21).  I completely and utterly warn you, some of her videos can be triggering. But, she is completely open about her mental illnesses. She has a lot: anorexia/bulimia, schizoaffective disorder, PTSD, and currently, she announced that she may have DID (multiple personality disorder). I highly respect her for going and filming about her mental disorders and becoming an open book. She’s been around for longer than Autumn, so you can see how her disorders develop and are treated; she’s kind of that big sister figure to me. I love her as well.

Those are all of the resources I can think of. But yeah, if you have any documentaries, resources, books, and the like, please leave a comment below and let me know!

31 Days of Bipolar – Days 8 & 9

This post is going to be interesting because I haven’t thought of the pros and cons to having bipolar disorder.  They rarely cross my mind, and I just think in the moment, and it’s not affected by my thoughts in regards to bipolar disorder. Just as a general rule of thumb for this, it could be triggering, but I’m not sure if there’s anything in here that will be extremely triggering. With that in mind, let’s get to it.

8. What do you dislike most about the disorder?

  1. I dislike the fact that I get in a low place when I am depressed. It’s one of the worst places to be when you have bipolar disorder. It’s not bad when it starts out, but when it gets worse, there’s all of these dark things that come to mind and you just want to get away from that.
  2. I could absolutely live without the reckless impulse of spending. I am a college student with no job, and that means I have to save my money. Sometimes, I’ll want to buy $600 dollars worth of things, or I’ll get over-the-top excited about spending money. I’ve gotten better at it, but the impulse is still there.
  3. I don’t like the racing thoughts either, and I feel like they can get in the way of my functioning from time to time. I’ll be trying to concentrate on schoolwork, and for some reason, something inappropriate (whether it be violent or something I don’t want to imagine) will pop up. It’s been happening a little more lately, but it’s better than what it has been.
  4. I don’t care for the fact that I sometimes self-harm. This goes with #1, but I feel like that sometimes, it can be independent of #1 at times. I go and I hurt myself on an impulse, and that’s how it’s always been.

9. Are there any benefits to bipolar for you?

Yes, there are a couple that I’m grateful to have.

  1. My productivity can be a great thing. I’ll be motivated when I’m manic and I’ll do a lot of things that I needed to do. I remember that on one manic swing, I cleaned most of my room, did some chores, exercised, and completed my homework ahead of time. If that’s not productive, I don’t know what is.
  2. The experience of my ups and downs inspired a lot of my dark poetry. I wrote about 5 poems the last time I was incredibly depressed and halfway psychotic. The interesting part was that I wanted to go and I wanted to write more. I could probably write a half a book of poetry down before I stop. It’s a way to vent and express myself.

That’s all that I have to say about these. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll take pleasure in skipping a morning class.

31 Days of Bipolar – Days 5, 6 & 7

So, I think that this is going to be a tougher day for me given these questions. I’ll try not to cry or what have you (kidding), but I’ll be glad to do them. It’ll also help me learn about myself. Oh, and as a little update, I have an appointment with someone that’ll adjust my meds. It’s next Wednesday, the same day I have therapy. So, I’m going to be psychoanalyzed like hell, but it’s worth it.

Anyways, onto question 5.

5. What treatment, therapy etc do you do?

I do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It’s basically talk therapy, analyzing things about my life, occasionally talking about the past… That sort of thing. I was also recommended to do some DBT, but I haven’t found a time nor a place that works for me. It’s also a group session, and I’m very conscientious in a group of people. I don’t think it’d be the right fit for me, you know?

6. What do you wish you’d known when you were diagnosed?

Well, there’s a lot that I wished I’d known. I never did like the label “bipolar disorder,” and it’s because I assumed that all of those people were insane and highly emotional. I thought that they were violent, and that they should be locked up. I just wish someone would have told me that that stigma isn’t true.

I also wish that I would’ve known how to handle said emotions. No one told me how to cope really well. I was never taught that, and I think I’d have a better grip on my moods if I had just known. I think that if someone told me these 2 things, I would’ve done a lot better with the news.

7. What are the worst things someone can say to somebody who is bipolar?

Oh my gosh. There’s so many things. For example:

  • “You’re not bipolar because you’re not crazy.”
  • “Oh my gosh, I had a bipolar moment there.”
  • “You don’t have bipolar disorder.”
  • “You’re just depressed.”
  • “You’re just in a good mood. That’s not bipolar.”
  • “You’re lazy…”
  • “Get away from me, you freak!”

The list goes on and on. I mean, I’m not crazy, but that doesn’t mean that I’m normal, you know? And then the people who use bipolar as a descriptive word. I really just want to choke them (not really, I’m very pacifistic, if you will). Bipolar is a mental illness and you want to go and reflect it on you? No.

I was told by my mother that I didn’t have bipolar disorder because I was happy at times and that I wasn’t aggressive. That hurt.  The fact that she didn’t believe me, especially when I’m a psychology nerd, hurt even more. Then, just yesterday, she called me lazy. It’s not laziness. I’m just really depressed. I don’t have motivation and that’s why I haven’t been doing A, B, and C. And that makes someone even more depressed. You can’t just say that to someone…

But anyways, I think I’ve said enough here.