Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Bipolar is a soup of emotions. One that was very prominent for me, at least in the early stages, was anger. Obsessive thinking and irritability carefully fueled my need for rage. I cant quite decipher if it was purely the illness that allowed anger to foster, but what I do know is that it caused a road block for many a relationship. One minute I would be fine, the next I felt I was battling all my demons at once. Something would be said or done and I would completely flip, recalling past memories and experiences. It was as if I was living through it once again and I would go off the rails, overwhelmed by my thoughts and emotions. In other instances I merely didn't have a strategy in place to understand, let alone manage my emotions and they bubbled over the top as they were scorched.
I am not proud of who I was when the angry demon raised its head. I am not proud of the relationships I failed or the bitter taste that lingered in my mouth afterwards. I am not proud of acting out and taking little to no responsibility for my words and actions. I am however, making a change.
I don't want to be known as the moody one any longer, the one who is constantly on the defensive.
Now I pick my battles wisely. I can manage my emotions a whole lot better than pre diagnosis Natalie. I know how to think things through and react suitably.
I have this vivid memory of my first ever trip to Australia, I was 17. Someone said something I was uncomfortable with and instead of calmly assessing my emotions and reacting in a sensible, constructive manner, I screamed out loud grabbed the nearest object (which happened to be a glass wine bottle), and smashed it off the wall. I continued to rant and rave, taking a stick of chalk and writing curse words on the black board. Like? Seriously? Is that how to deal? I highly fucking doubt it.
But that was me in a nutshell. I blasted around like a tornado any time I felt out of my depth or agitated. I never once took into account who I was hurting or the damage I was causing, all I felt was negative emotion.
I write this not as a warning to others but as an insight. I never knew why I acted that way and I was often riddled with guilt in the aftermath. Mostly however, it was too late to rebuild those relationships and looking back I was always the one at fault. With the information I have now I can see that these so called "temper tantrums" came out of very heightened hypomanic or depressive episodes. They were, so to speak, my coping mechanism.
I have also been known, in the midst of a hypomanic or manic episode, to go off on a tangent via email. Bad move. Mark Zuckerberg has received one, among many a friend, foe and landlord haha
Sometimes I honestly cant help myself. My emotions feel so extreme, I feel like I am about to burst if I don't take action. . . That was too much present tense for my liking - I used to. Now, perhaps with the help of medication, my emotions don't run quite as wild as they once did.
Now I'm not that angry.
Saturday, 6 May 2017
Since I have been in a good place for quite some time now, 5 months to be exact. I have come to realize that my future is possible and holds many opportunities. For the longest time I couldn't see past the moment. I got stuck on things too easily; a look, a comment, a fleeting sign. Post diagnosis and medication, I couldn't see past a few months, always premeditating my downturn. All of a sudden its like a light going on in my head, I DO have a future to plan for and this is where it starts. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, then again, maybe I'm right on track.
Lets set some bloody goals!
Biweekly psychotherapist appointments.
Three monthly psychiatrist appointments. (Can I just mention that this is a big time achieved goal for me, there was a time when I HAD to see my psychiatrist at least once a week, I was a walking mess.)
Develop a regular sleep/ wake routine
Encourage a healthy diet
Relaxation; yoga, , massage, a night on the sofa, hot tub. . etc
Education & Work:
Continue with Psychology & Writing degree
Continue with part time hospitality job
Embark on a part time bookkeeping certificate
Explore bookkeeping career options and potentially change paths
Read one new book per month
Write at least one new post per month
Travel to a new destination at least once per year
Socialize at every opportunity
Again, its such a nice feeling to WANT to plan for my future. In light of many a depressive episode this feels like a whole new sense of purpose.
I think these are some legit, achievable goals. I am excited and looking forward to getting to work - As they say, dreams don't work unless you do!