strategies

What has The Good Guy discovered today?

My Good Guy doesn’t take bipolar lying down. He is dedicated to researching and learning as much about my illness is as diligent as my own. I gain insight from his discoveries, and together we are developing coping strategies and skills to live cohesively amidst this madness.

Stress

Stress is what always brings on an episode now and I am pretty quick to figure out what is causing the stress in my life – bphope.com

He subscribes to the above site and sent me an article which I’ve found enlightening. One of the points addressed was the effect of stress as a trigger. Getting to know me, he’s noticed stress is my number one trigger. While I already know this, and may roll my eyes behind his back, what I didn’t realise was just how soaked in stress my daily life is. It can get confusing living within the confines of highs and lows, aggitation, mixed episodes, depression and panic attacks. Sometimes I can’t see the wood for the trees. But having an outsider’s objective perspective contributes to self-awareness and brings circumstances into a rational focus.

Self Love

I don’t fit into someone else’s mold of how a person should live. This is my life and I won’t apologize to anyone for living it the way I see fit. – http://www.bphope.com

I find it difficult to love and accept myself. Living within the ever changing and cycling moods of bipolar can be an ugly existance. But The Good Guy is trying to teach me to practice ‘self-love‘.  In fact he’s insisting on it.

Breathe

To start cultivating mind awareness and switch off “autopilot mode,” which can trigger symptoms, Marchand suggests a three-minute breathing exercise.

He is always telling me “Breathe, babe. Just breathe”. In the beginning I was ungratiously annoyed by what I presumed to be a frivolity, a cliché. Something they say but don’t understand the fruitlessness of their advice. Until one day, stressed out at work, I realised I was holding my breath. And so I breathed. And breathed some more. Great big, gulping balloons of air exhaled inhaled and slowly exhaled with considered care. My heart rate went from a gallop to a trot, followed by a calmer frame of mind. And I began to cope again. I gained a lesson that day – not to presume an outcome without actually trying it first. What I consider a cliché was a fact. A truth. So breathe. It really does help in a crisis

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Slow down

The excitement of buying my home sweet home has worn off and morphed into absolute terror. I’m engulfed by fear – not only the financial side of things, but the logistics of buying a place that needs work. My head is swimming with to-do-this and to-do-that and to-execute-perfectly.

I. AM . FREAKING . OUT !!

And I swear, I am the butt of Life’s jokes. This morning, frazzled and overwhelmed, on my way to work, the first song that pops up on shuffle is Beethoven’s 5th symphony. Right now if I were a piece of music, this would be it……….

But amidst all this panic, I’ve developed a new mantra that is working well for me so far:

SLOW DOWN
slow down
slo-o-o-o-ow…….. do-o-o-o-o-own……..

And I’ve plotted a gameplan. I’ve written out a list of queries I need answers for, people I need to book, items I need to order/buy/make, and I’m systematically going down the list. I move in on Thursday, 1 September and have taken leave for the Friday too. Since I was going to have the extra day off, I have had an intense urgency to wrap up all renovations immediately on that one day. Impossible I know, but tell that to my brain.

So, new strategy…… NO renovations until I’ve been living there for a couple of months. This new plan dramatically reduces my workload building up to the move. Phew! Now I’m down to bite-sized, manageable tasks. And of course let’s not forget the mantra….

SLOW DOWN
slow down
slo-o-o-o-ow…….. do-o-o-o-o-own……..