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Posts Tagged ‘bipolar’

Re-evaluating Things a Bit…

March 29, 2014 3 comments

I think I’m going to need to manage my expectations about my illness differently.

From one perspective I’m very lucky. My lows and highs used to be very extreme and both of them made me pretty dysfunctional. That’s not remarkable, but it’s not pleasant.

Since I’ve been on decent meds the extremes have levelled out and I’ve been able to live a mostly normal life, however saying that things are completely normal is still wishful thinking. I noticed this fact this week when my brain tipped over from low to high (it is a gradual process).

I am a computer programmer and for months I have been having a lot of difficulty at work. I’ve been making all the usual excuses, telling myself I’m a procrastinator, that I’m just bored, that other people are making my work difficult, and so on. Even my psychiatrist told me what I needed was a good kick in the backside.

Then my brain switched into high mode and suddenly how to do all my jobs became so clear and I started working my way through them. I saw my excuses for what they were. It was my brain that was still impaired.

Don’t get me wrong: my meds deal with the worst of my symptoms. However they are not 100% effective, either.

I suppose I need to look at adjusting my meds, which is a scary thing because they do work very well. I certainly don’t want to become less functional again. Still the way things stand when I’m low things at work are pretty hard, so something has to change. No more wishful thinking.

I Need Less Sleep These Days…

February 22, 2014 1 comment

I got up this morning at 4:30 because I was done sleeping, had a coffee, and worked on my household budget for a few hours. I guess I am done needing a lot of sleep for a while. To me, it’s like having a super power. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts because it never does last.

Some day (too soon) I’ll be back to needing eight or more hours of sleep, plus naps.

That’s one thing about being bipolar: no condition lasts for long except for the constant cycle between high and low. Even with effective meds I find some of the symptoms always creep through.

Categories: bipolar Tags: , , , ,

I Do Know that not Everything is About Me

January 29, 2014 Leave a comment

I left a comment on “Look Straight Ahead” today. The main character, Jeremy is having a bad episode of racing malformed thoughts, and another commenter said that he/she wished that there was a cure for mental illness. I replied that my meds worked for me, but that everyone was different. Later I realized that I put things in terms of my own experience a lot when maybe I shouldn’t.

Here’s another example: I was out to lunch with a group the other day and one of the people was Vietnamese. He was telling us about one time when he was crossing the border his passport wasn’t in order and they wouldn’t let him out. I told my story about one time when a friend and I were in Poland in 1992 and his passport wasn’t in order and we had a soldier with a machine-gun screaming at us “No Visa Card!”. (They let us out after a few tense minutes). Again I felt very self-conscious after telling the story that I didn’t need to put everything in terms of my own experience.

In the first instance, I don’t feel that I have any authority to be speaking about being bipolar except through my own limited experience. Unless I’m going to refer to a book or an article, the authority is going to come from my life. I had malformed racing thoughts and my meds made them go away. It seemed like the appropriate thing to say.

In the second instance, I was just trying to hold up my end of the conversation. I don’t know much about the reality of Vietnam (as opposed to what’s in the movies). I suppose I should have thought up questions to ask instead of changing the subject (which at the time I didn’t even realize I had done). The point is, I am aware that I can be self-centred at times. It’s just that sometimes that self-awareness comes too late.

What do you readers think about this topic? What is an appropriate level of self-centredness in comments and conversation?

Status Report #8 (And a Segue into Mood Swings)

March 24, 2012 4 comments

Sorry I haven’t been posting much to the blog, but it’s been hectic the past two weeks at work. I’ve even been bringing work home. I’ve already used up my three sick days for 2012, plus a fourth day (which was unpaid). The problem is I’ll have my OCD nightmares all night, then in the morning I won’t be thinking straight and I’ll call in sick just for a few more hours of sleep. Well, not any more. I can’t afford to lose any more days’ pay.

In other news, I had a bit of a down time in the past few weeks, but it was so mild I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t even sure if it was there. Mostly it has just manifested itself in a greater need for sleep, a decreased need for self-expression, and a decreased need for sex. In the past few days I have noticed less need for sleep, an increase in self-expression, and an increased need for sex. It’s a faster cycle than I am used to. I think I had a downtime at this same time last year, but coincidentally, I had my Modecate injection three weeks ago. I am due for another one on Monday. If I have another dip in my mood, next week I’m really going to wonder about a correlation with the Modecate.

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Programming my dogs

March 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Sometimes I’m not too quick on the uptake. Most nights I get up at around 3am (or earlier) because I just can’t stand to be in bed any more. My dogs are usually cuddling with me and I always assumed that I just couldn’t stand to be touched when I was sleeping.

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Tonight my dogs weren’t cuddling with me, and my OCD kicked in and I had to write insane computer programs in my sleep. The thing is, I was figuring them out, so I was able to sleep. Then Daisy (top) came over and started to cuddle. I immediately had to incorporate her into my program and it threw everything off. I couldn’t sleep anymore. I gently pushed Daisy across the bed so she wasn’t touching me, but she worked her way back over and cuddled. What do you say to a dog who only wants to cuddle with you? So here I am, out of bed and blogging. If it wasn’t Daisy, it would be her brother Tigger (bottom).

Anyway, what I realized tonight is that it’s not that I can’t stand being touched by my dogs, but that they throw off my OCD dreams. I have to incorporate the dogs into my crazy programs, and I can’t do it. That’s why I can’t sleep.

You might as well meet my third dog, Cricket:

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Poor Cricket and Daisy are up with me right now, wondering why we’re not in bed.

Categories: bipolar, insomnia, ocd, sleep Tags: , , , ,

My Poor Dogs

February 21, 2012 2 comments

My poor dogs don’t understand that when I get up at 2:30am it doesn’t mean that the day is starting. They want to be walked and fed and I just want them to go back to sleep until 6:30am. The middle of the night is my time. From 6:30am onwards I live for everyone else. Sleep is just stealing time I can’t afford to waste but I know I can’t live without it.

The Big Spender

January 17, 2012 Leave a comment

I would go on wild spending sprees with money I didn’t have. When I was broke I would go to my grandparents for money (no they were not rich). This may not be unique to being bipolar, but it is common behaviour for bipolar people (spending money you don’t have). I have burned through hundreds of thousands of dollars and today my debts are greater than my assets.