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 was an extremely productive day. I got everything done on my to-do list by 3pm. I even had time to do extra tasks. I probably should have given myself a break, but I felt that I should continue my productivity since I had the energy. Today is going to be a day where I get to rest a lot. I have another ECT treatment at 9:45am. I’ll probably be home by 11am and I’ll get to take a nap. Then, my husband and I meet his father for a late lunch date. I plan on getting as much rest as possible tomorrow.
I spent a good amount of time with Achilles yesterday. We cuddled on the floor, played catch inside, and went on a nice long walk at night (as always). He really seems to be settling into his new home. He’s getting used to his new schedule, he’s taking all of his medication like a champ, he’s getting healthier, and he’s getting stronger. Having Achilles around gives me a reason to get up. I feel lucky to have him as the newest part of my family.
I have no clue why, but for some reason, I woke up at 4am this morning. It was hours earlier than I planned on waking up. And when I woke up, I was wide awake. There was no going back to sleep for me. So I decided to get some stuff done. I might as well be productive since I have such a busy day ahead of me. I started by doing some laundry, then I cleaned the kitchen, and then one of the bathrooms. I’m trying hard no to make any noise so I don’t wake my husband. He was awake at 4am when I woke up, but unlike me, he was able to go back to sleep.
I’m glad I’m getting stuff done early, it will make the rest of my day a lot easier. I’ve actually completed half of the cleaning! I’m going to bring my dog to the groomers very shortly, that way he doesn’t smell bad while my mom is here. I do admit I’m a little frustrated that while I’m trying to clean, my husband is having his brother over to play video games. Somehow, I’m just going to make it clear that they have to pick up after themselves. Hopefully it works out.
Once all that is done, I’m excited for my mom to come visit. My mom is one of my best friends, she’s the best, and I don’t have enough time to spend with her. So I get her for 8 days, which is amazing! Just so you know, I do clean this intensely on a regular basis. I generally clean the whole house once a week.
I’ve been having some problems with motivation lately. It has been a struggle to get my normal household activities done. Whether it’s cleaning the house, doing laundry, cooking, or grocery shopping; I seem to have a difficult time doing any of it. I’ve been writing everything on my to do list. Having everything written down really helps me be productive. I even ordered a new journal, called a bullet journal, that will help me be even more organized. I can’t wait until it gets here!
Not only do I struggle with completing daily tasks, I also struggle with reaching out to friends and family. I even put making a phone call to someone in particular on my to do list. If I don’t write it down, then I won’t remember to do it, no matter how much I really want to talk to that person. I tend to isolate when I’m feeling down. In fact, I tend to isolate all the time, no matter how I’m feeling. When I’m by myself, no one can tell me that I’m wrong.
I still have a lot to do while I wait for my new journal to arrive. Today has been a very productive day. I’ve done everything that is written on my list (I don’t like it when I’m not able to cross everything off). I try to motivate myself by creating to do lists. It is helpful, but only to the extent that I allow. I often leave multiple things off of my to do lists because I don’t think I’ll be able to complete them and I don’t want to have something on my list that is not crossed off. I’m hoping that this new journal will help me be a little more productive. I’ll let you know how it goes when I receive it.
Yesterday was such a busy day, I didn’t get home until around 11pm. We got a lot done. My husband and I both got haircuts; it had been over a year since I got my hair cut. I kept putting it off out of fear. I was afraid to have someone standing behind me with scissors, and I couldn’t remember anywhere I had previously cut my hair. After that, we dealt with some car insurance stuff that had to get done. My husband had his tires rotated. We went shopping for some warmer clothes to wear while we are back east. We visited with my mother-in-law for a little while. We spent a couple of hours getting new phones. And finally, we spent some time at a friend’s house. Overall, it was a busy day, and I’m exhausted.
It was nice to get so much done, but it would have been easier if we spread it out a little more. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with my therapist, then a chest x-ray. Then I get to see my granddaughter at my mother-in-law’s house. I can’t wait to see her. I will only be staying a couple of hours. I need some time for me, some time to rest.
I got a lot done today. It feels like the first day in a while that I’ve been this productive. I cleaned the whole house and ran some errands. I still want to cook dinner, but I don’t know if I have it in me to do it. It feels like for every one task I get done, there are three more to add to my list and complete. Life is way too stressful right now. Maybe it’s just because of the holidays, maybe it’s just a phase, who knows anymore. I’m doing the best I can to get through each day. I would say that I did a pretty good job today. I hope to keep it up for tomorrow.
I’ve had a hard time getting things done this past week. My regular tasks seem to be more difficult that normal. Even just keeping my house organized is hard. I can’t figure out how to clean things up or where to put them. I let things slide for one day, and then it just piles up to the point where I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
A couple of days ago I was worried that I was on a downward spiral, but today I’m pretty sure that is not true. I think I’m still stuck, emotionless. Hopefully, that will be changing soon. I took my last dose of Mirapex today. I will check in with my psychiatrist next week after being off the Mirapex completely for one week.
I’m still trying to hold on for dear life. My psychiatrist will be back from vacation next week, so I really just need to make it through this weekend. I can do that. I have a lot on my mind, maybe it will distract me from my own depression. I’m doing the best I can not to let my weight gain get the best of me. I’m still working out, I just finished a 50 minute Zumba video. I’m also doing the best I can with my food, but it can be hard when your meds cause you to be uncontrollably hungry.
I made a plan for myself so I can get through not only this next week, but this next month.
- Continue to work out at least 5 times a week.
- Stay in contact with friends and family.
- Plan and cook healthy meals.
- Find all of the shirts and skirts that fit me and put everything else away for now. (It really sucks trying to fit into clothes that are too small every day.)
- Contact my psychiatrist next week and begin with his suggestions.
I can do this. Even if I’m doing it while crying, I’m still doing it. The other day, someone asked me how do I do things when I’m so overwhelmed and depressed. The only answer I could think of, was that I just do it. I just do whatever it is that needs to get done. That’s not really a good answer, but I guess I don’t know how I do some of the things I do. I think I stuff my emotions in the moment and then let them all burst later, when I’m at home. It may not be the healthiest way to get things done, but it’s what I know how to do right now.
When I’m having an extra rough day or so, like I am right now, I try to find the positive side of things. So I started thinking what (if any) is the upside of bipolar disorder? Productivity, creativity, hypomania (before it gets too far), and personal strength are all positive aspects of bipolar disorder. These are the first things that come to my mind, but I had to think hard to find them. For every one thing that is even slightly positive, there are several things that are difficult and unpleasant.
I’m more productive when I’m manic or hypomanic, but not at all when I’m depressed. I love the few days that I become hypomanic, but I know when to stop it so it doesn’t get too far into mania. My house gets a good deep cleaning when I become hypomanic. It’s the one time I don’t mind doing those annoying tasks.
Of course, it’s always said that there’s a huge connection between individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder and individuals who are extremely creative. My bachelors’ degree is in graphic design. I love decorating and organizing things. I’ve also been told that writing is creative. It’s important to remember that creativity comes in many forms.
Personal strength is hard to see, but I know it’s there. I’ve been told that I’m courageous, knowledgeable, compliant, and willing to help others. These characteristics have taken years to grow to what they are, and I still don’t see all of them. I do try to keep growing in any way I can. I also try to do it with as little complaining as possible, but that’s probably not going so well.
Even though it’s hard to see, there are some positives to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. One other thing I know is that if I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar, I wouldn’t have some of the friends I have today. I have made several friends that I met in bipolar support groups, and I’m very grateful to them in my life.
I’ve completed a few things so far today that needed to get done. I went and got my weekly blood work, this week it included a Clozapine level. I also emailed my psychiatrist to let him know how I’m doing. I let him know that I think my weakness and exhaustion is from ECT, not from Clozapine. For every step I take, it feels like I’m taking a thousand steps. Every single task I work on, even when I don’t complete them, requires a major effort. And it seems to be never-ending. Once I finish one task, there are three new ones to finish. It keeps increasing. Can’t people tell I’m not up for this right now? I know that I normally fake being okay, but I’m not even trying to fake anything right now. To fake being okay requires energy, and that is not something that I have at this time. All I can do is be myself; tired, confused, and distraught.
My husband has decided to look for a new car. Actually, my mother-in-law wants to get my husband a new car and give his current car to his brother. His immediate family is pretty much computer illiterate. His brother once told me it was amazing how I was going back and forth between two windows. So any time they want to do something, they always ask me. “Why don’t you ask Jodi? She could easily do that for you.” My only problem with that is I struggle to say no to anyone. I especially struggle to say no when I’m asked in front of a group of people. This time, it felt as if it was assumed that I would do whatever I was told to do or whatever was “asked” of me. It’s hard enough to get something done when you have one person telling you what they want, but when the decision is between two different people who aren’t in the same room, it becomes a major challenge. It is not something I want to get myself in the middle of.
Maybe I would feel a little better if I could get a few more things done that need to be done for me. Tasks such as cleaning the house would help me feel good. I even break that task down into smaller tasks so I feel productive as I’m cleaning. I already cleaned the kitchen and the bathrooms a couple of days ago. All that’s left is to dust, vacuum, and mop. I wish I could get rid of my depression. It’s making life so difficult; every little task is a massive job. I just don’t want to do it anymore.