Being Bipolar isn't EASY

and the Art of Slowing it Down

Learning to pace Myself

9:39am  01.06.2011
If I ever get around to digging up my diaries and writing about my past episodes, which is part of this Master Project, you’ll believe that I have learned to pace myself during Manic moments. If you knew me way back when; you could see how well I have coped these last few weeks that I have been over stimulated (both hypo manic and on the edge of hypo mania). I think that you’d agree that: I can pace myself. (My yoga practice has taught me, and continues to teach me, a great deal about balancing on the edge.)

In short, I got up last night and wrote the intro to my blog, a publication that will help me finally start to release my demons + today my husband asked me to make an appointment w/ the DOCtor.  …I just bypassed an episode over the Holidays and started new but old (had them before) drugs last weekend.

Am not “Mapping” or “Tracking” but as of this morning I am DREAMING BIG about a business adventure and “Multitasking’*. Trouble is (I am medicated) I feel great, I feel Sound and Clear, but those that love me are “concerned”.

Can’t help but record these thoughts. And, in my defense, my dream this time, and during last episode in August of 2009, are perfectly normal… I am dreaming because I have a good idea and want the extra cash to hire a nanny, work from home, support my husband’s endeavors and start a non-profit, someday – far far away. That’s a lot of cash but my husband knows how to reign me in. He’s not yet convinced that my latest idea can be very big!

But, back to the topic: On this matter, you shouldn’t listen to me, you should listen to my husband. He keeps ever so gently reminding me that he’s also got a heart and a brain in our relationship. See for yourself; see what he wrote while I was at the dentist.

———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 9:11 AM
Subject: things that matter…

There is a thin line between passion and condition.. and i have to pick a side. Just so you know that I will pick the side of caution and always err on the side that any exuberance of passion is borderline condition. Therefore while I don’t want to be non-supportive of your ideas of any kind I would like you to dissuade you and try to make you go slow every time…

The difference between hard work, diligence and pursuing… and obsession is that of state of mind. If one is doing the tasks in a cold, calculated, uninvolved fashion.. can take a break from it, finish the work and can relax, focus on other important things in life like child, eating or sleeping.. .that is hard work… if you cannot take a break from it and is all you can think of .. it wakes you up.. can not relax.. then it is obsession..

I don’t know that an onset of an episode can be prevented by mental focus and wishing away… but I think you should be very cautious with these projects and my advice would be to spend more time away from them. The world will not end if you don’t get it all figured out today.. if there are three things that you think of doing.. do them over 3 days to slow your mind. On the other hand i think it is time to see the doctor again to revisit your dosage… remember that we moving from one dose to another and it may not be giving you enough relief that need.

just remember that i love you and our son loves you and in the big scheme of things you are already a super famous and super star in our eyes.. and no other validation is that important to miss time away from us.

love
-<me>

I tried to find the following song online so you could listen to it yourself, but I couldn’t… perhaps one of you reading has the album? http://www.justsomelyrics.com/644505/Aerosmith-Jeanie’s-Got-A-Gun-Lyrics

It’s a stretch but I think one you can deduce from my husband’s message that perhaps some of the “Mentally Ill”, the ones that hurt themselves are the ones that simply move too fast! Perhaps they just make abrupt and impulsive decisions, like leasing a new car (when they can’t afford the payments) or worse: sometimes taking their lives… gratefully I failed poorly as a teenager at trying to take my life. My ‘steps’ in CT were somewhat accidental and in retrospect pretty pathetic (I just wanted to be a. “COOL” and b. “Thin”) and since I just haven’t had any room for that.

01.19.2011 4:34pm
So yes, dearest husband:

I am listening and admit that I need your help to see the iceberg before I run into it. Thanks for the email. This one’s a keeper.

After taking a sober look at how my brain works during moments like these; moments that I veer towards Mania… moments when I get caught up in the present and the excitement of it ALL – I know that I am not the best judge. Hypo mania is too much fun for me to see it as a “potential problem”. I am terribly fortunate to have you as one of my judges.

You must know; it’s certainly not my intention to rush around and miss out on our lives. In fact when I am hypo-manic it feels just the opposite. And although I have maintained our son and our home as my primary concern; I have been distracted with a project or two. So I promise to s-l-o-w down as best I can, especially when you alert me to unusual behavior. (The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental helped. Thanks for that.)

I promise to approach my illness w/ the 3 D’s. The same D’s that got me into architecture school: Desire, Discipline + Dedication**. I learned them well at home; school reinforced them and my yoga sealed those early lessons before I met you. They are part of the reason that I am as highly functional as I am today. They are part of the reason you were/ are attracted to ME.

That said, please keep in mind that although we increased my medication; I may very well be exuberant in the weeks to come as I am just trying to get back to a professionally passionate filled life. Think of it like I vowed: “with all that I am and all that I am to become”… I simply want you to be proud of ME and my successes!

I very well may have far to go in the art of “Learning to Pace Myself” but must concede that I am not too far off. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your devoted partner

(A readers note: I’ll always use brackets like these < > to protect your privacy.)

*Not ashamed, still on maternity leave, and am fully aware that I have a baby to take care of! He sleeps as I write. Maybe ‘this’ is a mix of the last episode that started Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 9:29 PM (note to self see “Changes are Coming -Non Political” email) and PPD (Post Partum Depression)? My hormones should be going crazy although I am rather flat; I weaned our son of the breast just before the Thurs, Dec 30, 2010.

**Desire – to not allow my mania to escalate to psychotic thoughts. Discipline – getting enough exercise to mediate the serotonin levels in my brain naturally and Dedication – to pick up from where I started when I fail. We all fail.

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