THINGS and SITUATIONS: How to Have Healthy Relationships

This has been a difficult post to write, since most of my post are spastic and spur-of-the-moment, but this topic is very important to me.

What is your relationship with exercise? With food? With alcohol? With TV? With shopping? I doubt most people have willingly reflected on these questions.

What do you mean “what is my relationship”? I mean what are your emotional associations and habits that go with this activity or thing?

For example, I will share about my relationship with exercise. Exercise has never been a constant in my life until recently. I ran cross country and played softball in high school, but just barely tolerated the vigorous running schedule and the sprinting drills. I got to college and I did not work out. Ever. Luckily I have a fast metabolism and danced (a LOT) every time I went out. The rest of college pretty much went the same way. I felt a lot of pressure to be fit, but I could never commit to a lifestyle change or even a steady schedule. This was due to my relationship with exercise.

My relationship before August: I felt a lot of guilt whenever I thought I should be more fit or exercising. I though it was something that people forced themselves to do. I thought it would be a huge adjustment to make my life more active. Every time I went I thought I was not doing enough, or that people in the gym who were regulars were judging me. Therefore I had a terrible abusive relationship with exercise.

My progression towards a healthy relationship with exercise started when I  moved to Washington in August and was surrounded by my housemates who were all active people. We would go to the gym together, and there was no pressure from them. I also did not know anyone in my gym (it is really important for me to remain anonymous in that place because it’s a vulnerable place for me), so did not feel judged. Hell, for all they knew I was already a marathon runner :P. I adopted a new attitude. Simply showing up at the gym for me was enough. The act of going to the gym was where I derived my satisfaction, not based on how much I accomplished. BUT surprisingly, whenever I would go to they gym I really would try hard and accomplish more than I expected. This is because the only expectations I had was that I would go there and do something. I did not expect to run 20 miles a week or go to the gym everyday.

My relationship now: Tada! My relationship has evolved. I have accepted that being active is something my body needs (just like your dog needs to be taken on walks…my legs need to be taken to run/bike!). I hold myself to low standards, and my only expectation is that my life continues to be an active one. I love going to the gym….it’s a place where my mind has no place and my body takes over (which is a very welcome relief). I feel like I belong there.

Now that I have moved the relationship to a positive one; Where do I think my relationship can take me next? I think that the longer my life is an active one, the more I can elevate my standards. I can start to train for a half-marathon and be confident I will not let myself down. Even if I miss a day of training, I will be kind to myself, and be more ready to get back at it the next day.

I just HAVE to ask……

What is your experience with Mary Jane and Bipolar disorder? My housemates and I watched The Union: The Business Behind Getting High a few nights ago. It’s a documentary about the history of Marijuana in the United States and the political and cultural atmosphere surrounding the issue of legalization.

I have been trying to live my recent life in the most natural and healthy way. I am a vegetarian, being active is a consistent part of my life, and I’m always thinking about how to simplify my actions and habits.

The documentary brought up an interesting point: Marijuana has been used as medicine for centuries, and has proven (in unpublicized studies….guess the govt didn’t like what they were saying) that the effects on health are minimal (especially compared to alcohol).

(DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a stoner. My usage and experience is limited.)

I started thinking about Seroquel and other medication used to treat bipolar disorder, and all of the effects they have on your body. It scares me. Another thing I know is that marijuana calms people down (possible help to hypomania/mania),  and it gives you a sense of calm or numbness. Waking up in the morning after smoking I feel refreshed, happy, and ready to go.

Would using marijuana, strictly for medical purposes at night and during hypomania, help treat bipolar disorder with minimal to no side effects? I really would like to know what your experiences have been and how it affects you.

If you’re interested you can watch the full documentary HERE.

Oversleeping: Simple Accident or Depression?!?

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I HATE oversleeping. But in the moment I’m lost in a dreamland that is tucked away too far from reality to care. I’d say I’m about 70% productive right now. I’m going to work, but a lot of the time it’s late and sometimes I don’t come in until 1 or 2 if I oversleep. It’s hard because I’ll have a day where I’m 90% of my normal productivity and then the next day WHAM!, the train of exhaustion and oversleeping comes out of nowhere.

What has been happening to me sporadically has been an “accident” of sorts. I wake up in the morning (feeling like P. Diddy) to my alarm and I’m still zonked out from the Seroquel. So I’m sorta like a zombie and don’t have any normal brain function yet and get back in my bed. I am a very heavy sleeper and I have really deep dreams. So soon enough I’m sucked back into a really intense, far-away dream. This cycle continues until my zombie hand turns off the alarm on accident instead of snoozing. Then I come out of a really deep sleep to my clock that says 1:00pm. Fuck.

Then the guilt hits. I’m so irresponsible. How could I let this happen again??? I try to defend myself by claiming depression, but I’m not sad. There’s just a complete lack of motivation. Last night I even got myself psyched up for work (I’ve been busy and loving it), but the motivation does not carry through in the morning. It’s like there’s a plastic bubble around my head, keeping me from thinking rationally and it takes several times of the alarm clock going off/housemates waking me up to burst. Then I can think clearly enough to be motivated. Otherwise, I’m lost.

Is it just an accident or laziness??? I can’t tell! I want to accept it as depression because I can be really hard on myself otherwise and because I really can’t just try harder. I’m like a zombie that can’t be reasoned with. I don’t know what to do.

Let me know what you think!

Dear Brain: Shut the F*ck Up

Oh how I wish I could have a few couple of grey goose screwdrivers right about now!!! This photo is interesting and probably explains why a lot of bipolar people end up abusing alcohol. It makes your brain shut up and gives you peace from the constant bombardment or pointless/obsessive thoughts.

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I am in a very interesting but torturous place. It is definitely a mixed state that will not go away. I am sitting at work right now completely ignoring my Outlook To do list and the reminders window that keeps popping up every 10 min. I am completely obsessed with thoughts of thrifting and fashion. I desperately need a black trench coat. Like right this fucking minute and I can’t stop thinking about it. ARGH.

On top of it, I’m sedated from the Seroquel. It’s not doing anything but sedating me! This makes hypomania even worse because the thoughts are the same, but I have no energy to do anything productive, so it ends up just being thoughts without action good or bad.

Also….I have started doing a very very bad thing…I have started to bid on ebay items. I cut up my credit card last week, but my pay pal still has it stored……..goddamnit I thought my spending was put on hold.

WHY CAN’T I STOP?!? I know what I should do in about 40 minutes when work ends…I SHOULD go to the gym and deal with this energy in a healthy way. But what I really WANT to do is drive to my favorite thrift store. I keep telling myself that I’ll go straight to the coats and if they don’t have it then leave and go to the gym, but I KNOW this will not happen. I’ll keep looking until I spend another $75….did I mention I’ve done this twice in the last two months? These have not been my only trips, butseriously how do you spend $75?

FUCK. And I also try to convince myself once I give in, I will be satisfied and wont want anymore. That’s a lie, a very big lie.

Hospitalization has been suggested……Sorta kinda freaking out about how real this is

My psychiatrist just called  me back after I left him a confused voice mail on Friday morning. In my appointment last week I completely minimalized my mood swings and made it seem like the 50mg of Seroquel was really helping. It’s not.

Anyways, he just suggested that I go into inpatient care to jump up my dose of Seroquel to 300mg for a few days and get over the drowsiness because the low dose is not helping, just making me sleepy, which is enabling  my melancholic depression in the mornings. He did give me another option….stay at home under the supervision of my housemates and watch movies (surely a more wallet friendly approach).

BUT he still said “hospitalization.” This shit is getting real. I have to make the decision of whether I want to take this medication thing seriously. I mean I have been taking it fucking seriously, but it’s going to another level if I take a few days off of life to seriously DO this thing. Yikes.

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Invisible readers

Soooo I know that some people are reading this blog based on my stats page, but alas no comments or likes. Well I will keep post post posting for the invisible readers, the ones who read but remain anonymous. 🙂

I’ve fallen down and I don’t give enough of a shit to get back up at the moment thank you very much

Goddamnit it’s one of those days. One of the days that hits you square in the forehead because it’s so shocking. You thought you were doing so well and that depression crap was in your past. Then WHAM you come to at 2pm realizing you could not get out of bed all day because of exhaustion and complete lack if give-a-shit.

Awesome. And yesterday I told my psychiatrist the seroquel was helping me (in a bout of hypomanic overconfidence) even though I know it’s not helping enough.

I couldn’t pull myself out of it until I found these inspiring quotes/pictures.

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Oh! And then I remembered how awesome Katie perry is!

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Now I’m moving on to taking care of ME, which at the moment, means washing my face, starting laundry, and having some vanilla honey chamomile tea. 🙂

What I do

So funny and true! Great way to bring humor to the topic!

A St. Patty’s Day Intervention

ImageWhat a lucky day for an intervention. We had a lot of people over on Saturday night. To give you an idea, 27 people (not including me and my housemates) crashed at our house afterwards.My housemate Kara and I had been fighting about where to put the speakers. I had spent a lot of time that day making the basement festive with black lights and themed decorations, but Kara thought the speakers should be upstairs where everyone was (naturally). So when I think it’s time for a dance party I move the speakers downstairs and she get’s mad and makes a sarcastic comment about how she wished the speakers were still upstairs since “there’s so many people in the basement.” I, of course, counteract that by telling her her music sucks and that’s why I moved the speakers. Immediately after this, I know I shouldn’t have done it and that I didn’t even really mean it.

So then I go outside to cool down and sit on the porch drinking a Rolling Rock (green cans….duh). I start to realize that I am trying to force the party to go the way I imagined it to be, instead of just letting people figure it out. I had been hypo manic all day in my party preparation, and the controlling side of it was coming out. I didn’t know what to do at this point, so I keep drinking. (Oh…by the way…not doing so great avoiding said “crutch“)

Kara finally finds me and we have a heart-to-heart and I apologize for trying to control the party and tell her that her music doesn’t really suck, I was just being bitchy. During the conversation, it comes out that she and my other 3 housemates have been meaning to have a meeting about what has been going on with me. I used to tell them everything, but I started to get the sense it was too much and I was freaking them out, so I stopped. Apparently they actually really do want to know what’s going on (which is awesome!). Anyways, I’ll leave out the specifics of the conversation, but the result is that Kara and Jenn (my other housemate)  are coming with me to my counseling appointment tonight. And all of us are going to have a long conversation tomorrow night about everything. Hopefully this will help them understand and help me in a positive way! I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.

POW! Fighting Back Against Morning Drowsiness

I’m tired of being tired. My most tangible “symptom” from the outside has been oversleeping and missing work in the mornings (I have mentioned this before, but my supervisor is very supportive about this as long as I keep her updated). On top of this long-standing problem, I have been on Seroquel for about a week now. One of the symptoms is drowsiness….great just what I needed! I’m not okay with not participating in the world like I should be anymore (not that I was okay with it before, but now I’ve had it).

SO HERE COME THE BIG GUNS!

1. A New Alarm Clock: One of those super obnoxious ones that starts pretty quiet then gets REALLY loud, and is plugged in across the room from my bed.  If I time it right with my cell phone alarm, they alternate which means I have to get out of bed twice if I snooze. Also…it has radio. So if I turn that on instead of snoozing then I’m awake.

2. A SAD Lamp: I don’t think I get enough sunlight in the mornings to wake me up and then I sit in an office all day.  I ordered it last week so it should arrive pretty soon. I’ll let you know how that goes.

3. Getting Rid of the Eye Mask: Yes….I am one of those people who sleep with an eye mask (and earplugs). This usually helps me get a good nights sleep without waking up when a car alarm goes off in our neighbor’s driveway. BUT since my problem is not insomnia/inability to sleep I need to lose it.

This morning my master plan worked. But we also have people in town visiting, so that makes it more exciting/worthwhile to get up in the first place.

We shall see.