For anyone that has been diagnosed and living with the unpredictable monster, bipolar disorder. You know how the exhaustion, the guilt from the exhaustion and the exhaustion feels. After journaling my moods and activities for a couple of years now, I’ve realized that I can have some sort of healthy hold, and maybe even control over this lifetime illness that affects every aspect of my life. I am at terms with and have accepted that I will fight this battle to the end. I am not my diagnosis, I am me.
After looking over my mood charts, I was flabbergasted at the ups and downs in one day. It looks like one wild ride that no one could survive, but I am here and I made it through some dark days. I know there will be plenty more dark days and I’m ready one day at a time, or in my case one hour at a time.
1. We all have hours of the day that we are more or less functional. I happen to be more functional early morning until lunch time and I crash. I wake up early every morning at 4:30 and begin laundry, dishes, straightening up, with LOTS OF COFFEE and Adderall. I’m focused until it’s time to get my kids up for school. The ADD kicks in, the anxiety of the rushing around to get ready and some days it’s almost a fear. Since I am highly functional early morning so I handle the situation much better during that time. So if you are highly functional in the mornings, that is the time to get up and get what you can done. Don’t let the functioning get ahead of you.
2. Making plans and committing to them is very hard for me. I always make my doctors appointments and even errands at my most functional time of day. It eases the anxiety, although it is still there it is not as bad as non-functional hours, which obviously for me are at night.
3. I can’t tell you how many people have recommended making lists FOR EVERYTHING! I’m barely organized enough to get the kids off to school and now I need to make lists, only to lose them. I take Lamictal as a mood stabilizer and it must be eating my brain, I can’t remember anything, but I’m still here. I can’t remember anything. I’m going to try lists, lists, lists and more lists. I just have to put them all in the same place and actually read through them. I see stacks of paper and immediately panic.
4. My non functional hours are early evening and through the morning. It really doesn’t make sense that I suffer from insomnia and that I’m very non functional. Be easy on yourself and rest. I have always been a girl that likes a daily nap but with 3 kids it’s not always possible. So at least lay down, relax, watch TV, or even better, take a nap. It’s ok to take a rest and get up again later to finish things up. I can’t promise that I actually get up after I have rested but I try to function the best way I know how.
I am not promising anyone that any of this information will help with your case of bipolar. I find it to be valuable information that everyone should know. I blog to journal, but also to get the word out. It is invisible, this illness but it is real. I wish I could say this information will cure us, but it won’t do that. Any stability we can have in our lives can help to regulate our reactions and emotions and I’m all about that!