I had a rough day yesterday. I was stressed and my anxiety level was very high. I was able to keep myself from having a panic attack, but the anxiety attack was still pretty rough. The Valium helped. I also used some breathing techniques, just simple breathing in and out, not too fast and not too slow. The breathing helps me stay calm and focusing on it also helps me forget what I’m anxious about, even if it’s just for a minute or two.
Today seems like a better day. I have a normal amount of anxiety. I’m more frustrated than anything else, and I don’t really know why. I generally don’t know why I feel the way I do. I’m going to go get a bunch of stuff done. Being productive often makes me feel better.
Yesterday’s monsoon was gigantic. The rain at my house lasted more than 30 minutes, and that’s very abnormal. This morning, I woke up to find out that yesterday’s winds took down a lot of trees in our area. Roads were closed all around us due to downed pine trees. It’s a bit nerve-wracking having all of that storm damage so close to our new house. Trees fell a few streets west of us, a few streets north of us, and just a couple blocks south. I feel extremely grateful that our property is okay and my husband made it home safe from work (I get so nervous when he has to drive during a storm).
Luckily, Achilles doesn’t really care about storms. In fact, he doesn’t react to them at all. Yesterday, the winds were banging up against the sides of the house so much that it was making a lot of noise, more noise than during a normal storm. The monsoon was scaring me, but not Achilles. I was home by myself with Achilles as my protector.
We might get another storm this evening. Right now, the sky is blue and the sun is shining, but that could change in a matter of minutes. It’s going to be like this for the next couple of months, that’s why they call it ‘Monsoon Season’.
I have difficulty with a lot of things. I have an extremely hard time saying no to people. I struggle to stand up for myself. Even when someone asks me what I want to do, I have a hard time answering them. I would rather do something I don’t want to do and be unhappy (without saying I’m unhappy, of course) that tell someone what I really want. Life feels like a giant problem, as if it’s an obstacle I may never complete, but I’m not giving up.
My ex, from before I got sober, was very abusive. I suppose that it just became second nature to do whatever he wanted. I would never dare to say no to him; I knew what the punishment would be if I didn’t behave properly. Even though he’s gone, I still react that way. I want to stop putting others before myself, but I haven’t been able to. Reacting the way I do is a force of habit. It has nothing to do with the people I’m with today, such as my husband, family, or friends; it has everything to do with me.
I’m curious if others experience this same issue. When someone asks me how I’m doing, or what’s wrong, I don’t know how to answer them. I know I don’t feel right, but I have no clue what’s wrong. I’m not sure if this is a normal for others that have bipolar disorder. Maybe this is a result of the ECT.
Does anyone else have this same issue? If so, how do you deal with it?
Monsoon season has officially begun! It normally starts one week into July and end in mid-September. This year, Monsoon season started a bit later, but it made a grand appearance. Yesterday was the first monsoon of the season. It moved fast across the valley, lasting for only about 5 minutes at our house around 6:45pm. The winds were monumental and it was pouring rain. My back yard was flooded in just a matter of minutes (it’s all soaked now). We’re lucky that none of our tree branches came down. There was no damage to any of our property.
Achilles did great during the monsoon. He barely had a reaction to the noise that came from the winds hitting the house and trees. The only thing he did was come close to us for minute to feel secure, then he went and laid down in his bed.
Today has gone by a lot quicker than I expected. I had a lot to do today, and of course, none of it was fun. I had to pay a bunch of bills and do a whole lot of chores around the house.
Yesterday, I took Achilles to the vet for a wellness visit. Some of his vaccinations needed a second dose. However, when the vet was doing the physical exam, Achilles snapped at her. I’ve never seen him do anything like that. He must have been having an off day. However, from now on, every time he goes to the vet he will have to wear a muzzle. Achilles hasn’t snapped at anyone since that one time yesterday, and hopefully it stays that way. I had to fill out an insurance claim form for Achilles. Getting the claim together is a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it. This claim will probably have us meet our yearly deductible, but that means that we will get refunded for the next claim.
Just now, it started pouring rain heavily. Apparently it’s the first monsoon of the season. The winds are extremely strong and the rain is coming down in buckets. I’m not sure how long this storm will last, but I’m grateful that both me and my husband can stay home. We’re lucky that we don’t have to go anywhere or do anything tonight. The picture for this post is one that I took looking out a back window in our new house.
These questions are from Therapy Bits: Who asked to hear my experiences with bipolar symptoms, how I manage them, and how they effect my life.
I don’t remember most of my experiences due to the side effects of ECT. The biggest, most memorable experience was in 2009. My doctor tried taking me off my medication slowly, because he thought that it was possible that my mental health issues could have been caused by my drinking and using (I’m now sober 13 years). We found out the hard way that I really do have bipolar disorder.
I went into a major manic episode. It was so bad that I couldn’t work. I worked for home for a while, but even that got to be too much for me to handle. I was unable to handle my life due to my manic and then my depressive episodes. I moved in with my mom because I couldn’t manage my own life and I needed someone close to me to do that for me. I’m lucky that I had someone in my life that was willing to help me out.
My bipolar disorder turned my entire life upside-down. I’ve been on disability since 2009, and I can’t seem to get things back together. I continue to go through episodes and I have to deal with the side effects from the treatments I use. This biggest side effect is memory loss and confusion, which are from ECT. I have both short-term and long-term memory loss. I tried stopping the ECT treatments after I had been doing them for quite a while, however, once I stopped the treatments, my depressive episode came right back. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to stop ECT again; I’m too worried that I’ll end up going back into another manic or depressive episode.
I’ve been dealing with my bipolar disorder since I was 13 or 14 years old, and I know that it is something that I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life. Going to a psychiatrist, a therapist, and taking medications is second nature for me. I actually take 13 different psych meds, which is a lot to manage. At this point, I go to ECT once every 2 weeks. I used to go to a bipolar support group once a week, but I stopped going a while ago. I still talk to and see some of my friends from that group, which really helps. This blog has also helped me manage my bipolar symptoms.
These questions are from bipolarsojourner
What are my successes and frustrations with ECT?
When I first started ECT, I did it for a while, probably about a year. I don’t remember it at all. But I decided to stop because I wasn’t sure if it was working or not. So I stopped for a while, about 6 months maybe. Then when I started back up I knew for certain that it was helping because it helped bring me out of a big depression. I now do ECT once every other week. It destroys my memory, but it helps my depression. I’m hoping that I can soon switch to doing a treatment once every four weeks. I honestly don’t remember much of anything. It even messes up my memories from before I started ECT, when I was a little kid. They said that is very unlikely, but it happened to me.
How does your husband support you? Is it effective?
My husband is very supportive. He was my best friend and knew all about my bipolar disorder before we started dating. He helps me recognize when I’m in an episode and helps me remember to take my medication. He’s very understanding when I’m not feeling up to doing something. For example, I had a hard time when our dog died this past April. He was ready to get a new dog before I was. He didn’t push me to get another dog, he let me wait until I was ready. My husband makes me feel safe and comfortable being myself, it is extremely effective.
What is your depression and mania like? Do you have benefits from your bipolar?
During my depressions, I always end up eating excessively and gaining weight. I tend to sleep a lot, I lose interest and often don’t care about things that I normally care about. I get angry easily and often feel worthless and suicidal. During my manic episodes, I generally go many days at a time without sleeping (my insomnia get really bad). I usually have racing thoughts, I get all jittery, I don’t make any sense, and I talk really fast (so much so that it sounds like I’m using drugs again, but I’m not). I also get suicidal during manic episodes. I used to self-harm during both depressive and main episodes, but it’s been many years since I’ve done that (although, to be honest, I think about it a lot). I prefer to be manic than depressed. At least when I’m manic I can get things done and I have the energy to workout. I can lose weight when I’m manic a lot easier, but when I’m depressed, I almost always gain weight.
Some days, I have a hard time coming up with topics to write about. I write about what’s going on in my mind, but some days, my mind is completely blank. That’s probably because of ECT.
I figured I would reach out to my readers. Is there anything that you would like me to write about? Do you have any questions for me? Or would you like to hear my point of view on any specific topics? I hope to hear from some of you.
I have been through many depressive episodes as well as several manic episodes. When I was 24, I first started going through a major manic episode, then a huge depressive episode; I had absolutely no control over either. My job was trying to help me through it. They let me work from home for a while, but my symptoms just kept getting worse. I went on short-term disability, then long-term disability, and then finally on social security disability. I ended up moving across the country to go live with my mom because I couldn’t take care of myself.
After I made it through a pretty big depressive episode when I was approximately 25, I got another tattoo to remind me of what I went through. The tattoo is on my left hip and the drawing is actually based off of me (I was skinnier then). I stayed with my mom for approximately 2½ years. I moved back to Arizona in 2011 when I started dating the guy who is now my husband. We were best friends for years before we started dating. He always said we would end up together, and I always told him he was wrong. I had to admit that I was wrong and he was right. Most of the time, my husband or my mom notices when I’m beginning to go through another episode, and when I’m beginning to make noticeable changes and come out of an episode. They recognize my symptoms and do what they can to help. Every episode and all of my symptoms appear slightly differently every time.
My depressive symptoms generally include some mixture of a lack of energy, over-sleeping, overeating, feeling worthless, and physical pain. These are only some of the most common symptoms that I can think of. There are many more symptoms that I can’t think of at this moment. My manic symptoms are often more easy to see. They include no sleeping, excessive energy, easily distracted, racing thoughts, and more. I make sure that the people close to me know what my symptoms are and what normal is like for me so they can help me catch my episodes early. We don’t have to go through our episodes alone.