stress

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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Turn it around

Since my dismal annual increase my thoughts have been in a fear-based loop. So I decided to change my current direction of thought. Its one of my coping skills – turn it around. It brings a shift in perspective. So I made a decision to…

… stop being driven by fear and bemoaning what I don’t have, and celebrate what I DO have. To turn it around. And I’m so grateful for the things I do have. I may not eat out at fancy restaurants. I may not fly to Mauritius on holiday, I may not have a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes and a fridge full of fancy foods. But hat I do have are luxuries a large population of South Africans don’t have…..

While most live in real poverty, I have a home with a beautiful view….

….I have running water

….and I have a flushing toilet

I have a washing machine and don’t have to do washing by hand…..

…..I have electricity which gives me lights, a TV to watch, a laptop to write and blog, a fridge with basic, healthy foods like vegetables…..

….. and I have a job and I earn a salary and, because I have a salary, I have a cell phone that can take these photos. Perspective – I am so grateful for all I have. Its more than most.

 

WordPress doesn’t want me anymore

I’m having big problems with WordPress at the moment. Most times I can’t access my site or any of your sites and it give me this message. The IT guys at work have given my computer the once over but still its giving me grief. I contacted the wordpress support and this is what they sent me:

everythings-wrong-and-offline everythings-wrong-and-offline-2

So I tried their link and it worked perfectly. For a while. Now again I’m have trouble getting in to my bog. I end up trying a variation of log in https what-you-ma-call-its. One works for that particular log in, but when I want to log in later, it DOESN’T WORK! And I am given this screen:

everythings-wrong-and-offline-2

WTF! I’m extremely frustrated and feel like looking for an alternative. If anyone can give me suggestions I’d be most grateful. This is really stressing me out. Loading your sites to read your posts is a nightmare. I thought this hospital stay would give me the time to catch up. But I keep getting kicked out or it takes FORRRR-EVERRRRR to load! I’m trying and will keep trying to catch up with all your posts.

 

Settling in, sciatica and suicide

I’m struggling to settle into my new home. I feel like a visitor in a self-catering unit. Everything feels foreign and I don’t remember where I’ve packed stuff away and haven’t the slightest clue as to where to start looking. The result…. a grown adult spending countless hours wandering aimlessly about the flat in total bewilderment, mumbling to herself.

I still don’t have internet in my new home. So I have very little contact with anyone and am becoming lonelier and lonelier. I expected the upheaval to result in depression, which it has. But I didn’t expect such high anxiety or panic attacks. And its all the more difficult experiencing it alone. Learning so much about codependency and boundaries, I cut off the only two friends (I use that term loosely) I had. Details for another day. It’s a time of great upheaval, mourning of what’s passed and a heart-clutching-fear-induced anticipation of what’s to come.

And then Life threw something else at me. My back went wonky (slipped disc/sciatica) hanging the new kitchen curtains. So for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been clawing through each day in incredible pain wondering how the hell my friends with chronic pain manage. But a bit of morphine, a bit of codeine, a drug induced daze and the sweet escape of sleep. All is okay for that brief period.

I have been entertaining thoughts of suicide. Everything I am, compounded by the physical pain, has made it an appealing option.

It’s time to begin

sitting in an empty room
trying to forget the past
this was never meant to last
I wish it wasn’t so
– Linkin Park Waiting For The End

my landlord is a dick
there is no other word to pick
he creates a lot of stress
and with bipolar I’m a mess
so again last night I cried
cleansing all from my insides
Lover’s betrayal and his portrayal
of someone who was nothing more
than a sociopath plotting to score
I cried and then I cried some more
I let the heartache from me pour
curled up on the cold kitchen floor
I cried until my eyes were sore
I felt a weight lift
my heartache shift
its time to let go
and continue to grow
Linkin Park is a constant friend
and have penned the process to mend
they simply proclaim
‘the hardest part of ending is starting over again’

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……..

 

Sweet Defeat

I am bipolar and a recovering anorexic made fat by both side effects of bipolar medication, and a damaged thyroid caused by Lithium. Living single and alone, its not only a challenge to cook for one, but it’s a daily battle to eat a nutritious, balanced diet. Or even just to eat at all. I transition between starvation, comfort and binge eating. Everything to extreme, and nothing balanced.  This is my weekly journal of some of my meals. An attempt to keep account of my successes and failures with food. I’ve thrown in some recipes and tips and tricks as I journey towards balanced, healthy eating.

The stress of house hunting and the financials involved have ruined my eating habits. Snacking, grazing and binge eating have been the order of the day. Why I have to binge eat on peanuts and marshmallow, and not carrots or cucumbers is beyond me!  I’m also on a small dosage of olanxapine at night to try to break the cycle of insomnia/disturbed sleep I’ve been struggling with since April. Olanxapine gives me severe water retension. So I have what I call a ‘Buddha Belly’. This is not dysmorphia talking – I really, truly do look like I’m significantly pregnant. Oh joy!  S since I haven’t cooked, boiled, chopped, stirred or mixed anything worthwhile. I have no tasty pictures to present. So this weeks substitution is a limerick. And here we go –

Defeat
there once was a woman who couldn’t eat
her disorder was not very sweet
by hook or by crook
she would try to cook
but soon just admitted defeat

 

 

 

Nourish body and mind – stress ate my appetite

I am bipolar and a recovering anorexic made fat by both side effects of bipolar medication, and a damaged thyroid courtesy of Lithium. Living single and alone, its not only a challenge to cook for one, but it’s a daily battle to eat a nutritious, balanced diet. Or even just to eat at all. I transition between starvation, comfort and binge eating. Everything to extreme and nothing balanced.

This is my weekly journal of some of my meals. An attempt to keep account of my successes and failures with food. I’ve thrown in some recipes and tips and tricks as I journey towards balanced, healthy eating.

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It’s been a stressful week trying to buy my own home, and my nutrition has suffered. Two days of zero consumption except for coffee, coke (the soda not the snorting kind) and cigarettes. As always, since my withrawal from venlaxaine, I have developed a compulsive craving for salty peanuts. This has been my predominant binge food and a substitute for cooking a proper meal. Oh well, new week, let’s try again.

Home Sweet Home (the sequel)

this week’s been crazy
and maybe just maybe
i’ve got my sweet home
now just need to take a loan
the offer’s been signed and sent
and I await his consent

I’ve hardly slept
had days when I’ve wept
or snapped and yelled
‘cos I’ve been overwhelmed
despondent then excited
then just downright frightened

I must keep the end in sight
because in the end it’ll all be alright
now if only I could sleep
that would sure be a treat