Being Bipolar isn't EASY

and the Art of Slowing it Down

Tag Archives: Stress

Time to talk

It’s still “Time to Talk” somewhere…

And so I further share many people are most comfortable talking to me personally and I find that extremely worthy/valuable. But isn’t it really most curious about societies comfort level. I find it FASCINATING in fact???

That shared, although most fortunate & grateful for my connections, I am often saddened that people – the majority, in fact – feel that they need to hide their trials & tribulations and I struggle with how “private”, a.k.a. kept on the DL (down-low) undercover, our intimate conversations are.

It motivates me frankly to be all the more open (which mind you is both alienating & I reiterate sadly alienates) to show that there is no shame in very vunerable. IMO it is often most meaningful!

In large part even though this (new & improved) feed of mine is still in the beginning stages, it has been ruminated over for years, I make an important mention today. You may read/ deliberate/ remember on your own and not respond w/ a comment or a like AND that is o-kay BUT I ask you to pls consider this: mental health to quote my cousin about a recent teenage suicide in her community “is clearly a multi-layered issue with no clear path to help….except communication”.

So I encourage you to help me, help us bust the Stigma. Reduce the isolation & shame and challenge you to communicate even if you feel uncomfortable.

*Note to reader: This was originally posted on Instagram with the (UK) hashtag #timetotalk. You can find me @jessicakaushik for smaller FUN stuff.

Easier is NOT Recovery

I don’t need to tell you – but I’m going to, it’s a hard knock life!

Like I made mention Tuesday was it? I am allowing the housework to still get to ME. Yes “allow”. Yes poor “me”. (Lol. Pity me not. I’m really spoiled rotten <White, American, comfortably unemployed… this list goes on> and just having a moment. In large part due the stress, the work that I create for myself, that will pass when I get this off my chest.)

I’m just not used to it & I had other plans for January. A little thing called 2018… Damn expectations! Looks like many a thing will be put ON HOLD until Spring.

And I don’t know about you but, as a consequence, it’s so much more ?enjoyable, is that the right word – that can’t be the right word, to do what is …easier! Ah the right word is that dirty little word “easier”. So let’s just be clear shall we? (For my sake, not yours.) Easier is not recovery. Easier is NOT mindfulness. But my point, about enjoyable, is that sometimes easier bring a levity/joy that we all need.

Nonetheless it reminds me of a quote that I just stumbled on & is now irking me – like the word irks? (I do) – ATM; …winners do daily what losers refuse to do. Or a better one, on my son’s school tee in fact (gotta love a good school) …Winners train & Losers complain.

What I don’t understand is why am I such a Loser? I love life. In fact I LOVE MY LIFE! Have v little to complain about, but in some ways I am complaining here. Read on & in a sec you’ll see why!

I clearly see that I still at 44 have a lot to work out. That is not a problem – the problem is with that I must put away the #negative selftalk (‘cuz I drank three glasses of wine last night, at this fragile time, I know better so this morning I’m a little fuzzy and I feel like a Loser – I’m smarter than that, not stronger) but like the adage – old habits die hard – it’s easy to beat myself up!

It was so v unrealistic of me to think one would cut the edge. ONE never cuts the edge!

It tastes and feels so good, most – if your like me – go for two. Or, shame on me, three last night. Yeah, okay – okay it’s not the end of the world, it was only three, but it was the wrong “break” to take. It was not in my best interest nor self care – which I need the more time for right now to be a G.O.L.F., Goddess of Light & Fun.

After all these years – I really know better <insert sigh> but to my point; I did what was easier.

And now, after another restless night, my activity online has been excessive this week and I am as impulsive as, well, always. Just feel like I am back to ground zero – because I tossed and turned beating myself up – up down, up down, up down… and now I feel like I am back to ground zero – because I tossed and turned beating myself up, which is mania really. Up down, up down, up down… that’s making me SAD. And I’m so v afraid of sad!

Ironically I am starting a cleanse today that I forgot Rahul & I had planned (that’s also not v mindful but damn if I don’t use this gift of a cleanse to think) and I cleaned the house yesterday so we’d have little to do today – so we could just enjoy a mindless family day on the PS4 and slow down this mania.

Wish me & my small nucleus luck? Mr. Remarkable has been working so v hard for him, his team, me/us, work lately – he needs a good funday & we all know remarkable boy wonder deserves it! And I/we really can’t afford a slip/setback at the moment.

Am I an addict?

AuthenticME

Am I an addict? I like to drink. I would drink everyday if my husband would let me… and as a family, my (non blood related) husband included, we imbibe a lot!

On vacation this fall, I drank every day! Every night and every afternoon… I would start, at lunch, by skimming a drink off the left over bottle from the night before and wait until we started to make dinner to have a second and then a third and then usually another before bed… after three weeks I was disgusted. I could no longer get through the day without one drink!

So I decided to cut back. I decided that a) I wouldn’t drink alone, b) I wouldn’t drink before five and c) unless it was a special occasion – I would limit my drinks to two. It’s been a mere month and I have broken every rule! I repeat: I like to drink!!

So I ask… Am I an addict?

I started drinking juice and barley tea to ward of the craving for something different, water gets boring, and it works when I do it deliberately but if I am lazy and don’t consciously curb my appetite I can slip and have a drink or two… that even after I’ve already consumed the other empty calories?!

My vacation this fall scared me, but is that enough? The thought of losing my family to a disease like alcoholism seems so absurd, but it happens all the time! It would royally suck to lose my boys!!!

In truth, I don’t want to end up in AA and never drink again. I’ve said this before: I can’t imagine social events or holiday dinners without a glass of wine… and I admit sometimes, at social events, I drink to curb the nervousness – sometimes I wonder “Will anyone like me?” – “Do I have anything interesting to talk about?” but other times when it’s just me and my two (2) year old son, after a long day, I want a drink?!

I trust that I am not alone. I know many people, albeit many other mothers, all over the world of many shapes and sizes, drink for a myriad of reasons – I just wish that I knew my reason. Maybe I just like the high. Maybe I just like checking out after a few? …so I ask again with all sincerity: Am I an addict?? …How serious is my problem??? Do I have a problem???? Am I hiding from something, running from something?????

Note to reader: I am just rummaging through some old drafts on another sleepless night… I wrote this one two (2) years ago, my son is now four and a half (4.5). Nothing’s changed I still like to drink… and so I am inspired & have I’ve decided to cut back. I decided that a) I am going to attempt to not drink alone! That’s it. I have one (1) rule.

uncle google & guinea pig’s

today

& with that reminder made, I turn to the internet…

I know that it’s easier said than done but maybe, just maybe, my good friend in Okinawa has a good point? Maybe the bipolar should set intentions & goals to help us cope; daily, repetitively, regularly in order to be our personal best?? http://blogs.yogajournal.com/activeyogi/2013/10/setting-intentions-and-goals-for-your-practice.html

& so once again I vow to start my mornings with INTENTIONS like these:

“May I be confident & strong.” I need not to allow change to get the better of me. http://lifehacker.com/how-to-build-your-confidence-and-why-it-matters-1442414831

“May I be tolerant & flexible.” I need not have everything MY way. http://life.gaiam.com/article/5-brain-exercises-foster-flexible-thinking

“May I be disciplined & mature.” I need not reach for that glass of wine to handle my stress. http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/06/self-discipline/

I now vow to post these GOALS in my calendar (everyone needs gentle reminders). I hope that they result in affirmations like these:

“I’ll stay centered.” It will most certainly help me manage, dare I say control, my mood if I remain present. http://tinybuddha.com/blog/4-ways-to-remain-centered-amid-all-of-the-chaos/

“I’ll turn that frown upside down.” Surely, I am not the first to tell you that scientists are finding that smiling has good effects on the brain; to begin with it activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress… http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile

Time will tell if it works, I must be patient, until then I won’t stop taking my meds… am thankful for uncle google & happy to be a guinea pig! Practice makes perfect.

I couldn’t Tango let alone Salsa & other challenges from B.A.

After I left Arizona, I rented a one bedroom apartment in Washington, DC, on a pretty tree-lined street not far from Dupont Circle. I was desperate for love but couldn’t stay with a partner that treated me so brutally so I found an employer, a hopeless latin to replace him, a man, with two daughters of his own, that couldn’t believe someone had let pretty naïve little ‘ol ME go!

I was going through a lot of changes then; dealing with my loss of my pseudo lover… we shared a bed but not intercourse and menopause prematurely induced by depakote to recover my fertility from the removal of chocolate cysts. But most significantly I was in over my head in terms of the Politics required to get my job done in this very small town. I am not an Architect but have worked for them since I was sixteen… never had I seen a job so complicated.

For weeks I had been STRESSED OUT at work but can’t remember if I had been having trouble sleeping. That said, I do vividly recall the first of many sleepless nights the night a half a pack of cigarettes and two beers shockingly consumed me with random and deafening thoughts that flooded my head. A deep paranoia overcame me. I was convinced that someone was photographing my sister and I in our alley apartment. Truth be told, we left our blinds open, all of the time, before and after showers and as we slept… so I really couldn’t blame them for noticing what was going on.

I wonder if I would have thought such a thing had I not seen that sign posted in our neighborhood re: a recent killing. To me it was a (literal) message to ME to protect my sister – to ME it was a sign that the half a dozen men that had rented the apartment before 09/11 were coming back to get something. Wrought with fear of having no place to go I paced our tiny 400sf apartment waiting for my sister to rise.

After downloading many of my thoughts to her in the morning, she insisted I try to get some sleep and begged me to call my doctor to prescribe something to help as she had never seen me act this way before. My doctor was unavailable but the doctor-on-call promised to call the Pharmacy. By this point I trusted no one; after all I was in one of the most dangerous places in the United States, the nation’s capitol. Nonetheless, much to my sister’s encouragement, I pushed forward and went to the local CVS.

The Pharmacist had clearly been out partying all night long, his makeup was running on his face ans I sensed he didn’t have time to remove it all on his rush to get to work… his unkempt hair suggested he hadn’t slept at all. I scrutinized the label looking for the name of the doctor that had ordered the drugs, something smelled fishy, and then I saw it. My name was spelled incorrectly and my address was wrong?!

There was no way that I was going to take these drugs! Who knows what they were, I had considered that they quite possibly could be pills that would put an end to my nightmare, pills that would end my life.

On our walk home I stopped at a sidewalk sale and saw messages in everything. A man, carrying a “Hold Everything” bag left his apartment just as we were walking up to his gate. He intentionally interrupted us on the street with a serious but consoling smile, he knew my troubles, shook his bag to ensure that the message stuck… I was to keep quiet. Suddenly the world was revolving around us and men and women that were either out to get me or out to protect me. They all had one thing in common – they knew what trouble my sister and I were in.

It was becoming clearer to me that I was caught up in many triangles after I read a bit of an article, in a Spanish rag, about town politics and… local construction. I was the architect that was “muy simpatico” but was strapped by my allegiance to the firm.

Collected but anxious for me to get better, my sister didn’t want to leave my side. Although she could not read my thoughts she knew that something was terribly wrong. She encouraged me to consider going to the hospital because I wouldn’t take the drugs that were prescribed for me and I conceded.

Just then my episode got worse. Our car wasn’t where I had left it and I was convinced that it was stolen. And that’s when we stumbled on another sign adjacent to my where my car should have been. Pennies, a pile of pennies, were left on the stump where we sat?! Frantically I dialed 911 to report the stolen car. My bar name was Penny and there was no coincidence that a block from our house, where our car had been stolen, I find another message; a message I could decipher. The pennies were for ME. A hundred or more good luck wishes…

Zealous to protect my younger sister; I cancelled my 911 call mid sentence and decided to walk to the hospital. It would have been great if the story ended there but it didn’t.

In this small town on a crisp September afternoon, I, an otherwise average 30-year-old woman, made a freak-sih scene running across Connecticut Avenue flagging an oncoming ambulance to stop. I clearly needed help. I couldn’t make up my mind or whom to trust nor what to do next… The paramedics, who could not hear my words through their windows, stopped their vehicle and got out to see what was wrong. And as they tried to approach me I thought I recognised one of them from the job site!? Stunned w/ fear for both myself and my sister I ran the opposite direction screaming “Help me, help me”.

Where the policemen came from I will never know but two policemen and two paramedics later I was on the sidewalk, face down and handcuffed! Close by, my sister was crying into her cell phone, “The police and paramedics have her on the ground, what should I do?”. Though I could not hear the words, I knew the response was to let them take me – maybe they could help.

Had I screamed “I have a gun” or “I have a bomb” this story would have ended here. Fortunately, I did have a story, but not the kind you’re thinking of right now! When the paramedics tried to put me into the ambulance I refused to go “unless there were police cars following the ambulance to be sure they would take me and my sister to the hospital”. Within a few minutes the ambulance trailed by the requested squad cars made a little parade down Connecticut Avenue towards the Psych Ward. I got a lot of good medical attention as the doctor’s were curious to record what was in my pockets and to hear what conspiracies I knew.