Help, I feel…normal?

At first, I wasn’t sure what it is.  There is no crushing feeling on my chest.  Tears aren’t just below the surface.  My stomach isn’t in knots or burning at the solar plexus for some unidentified reason. I can see colors, smell flowers and appreciate humor. I’m in the groove, being productive.

Huh?  Oh, yeah.  I almost forgot.  This is what it’s like to be in recovery.

Whether it’s the meds or the move, this is such a welcome change.  It’s been over a year since I’ve felt anything akin to normal, I almost didn’t recognize it when the recovery began ~2.5 weeks ago.  Now, the trick is to sit back and enjoy it.  I admit there is some anxiety over how good I feel.  Sound ridiculous?  Anyone with BP will understand what I mean.  Riding the roller coaster again is inevitable.  According to NAMI, “Over a 10-year period, the average person living with bipolar disorder will have about four mood episodes.”  OK, I can live with that.  Betting with the odds, I really am in a remission.

So, I think I will go and appreciate the sunshine, enjoy the outing that’s planned for today and just take life as it comes…and not forget to take my med.

It’s hard to appreciate the “normal” times because you know that the easy ride will end. And it feels even more horrible when you’ve been striving for it for so long. I try to get as much in as I can when those times happen, even as few and far in between as they have been lately. I give my son and husband some extra love. I rekindle friendships I’ve been neglecting. I work on projects that I’ve been too busy, or down, or distracted to want to do. Because I know that the day will come when I wake up and not want to get out of bed. Again.

This should give you a laugh. I just moved and I’m desperately trying to unpack and put things in their place before the pendulum swings again, because I tend to forget where I put things – or throw really important things away – when I’m being moody. Don’t want the butter dish to wind up the the microwave…again. Hope you’re on an upswing now and getting a lot done.

It’s all been part of my learning curve to take the good days as they come without clinging or anticipating their departure. I try to imagine my head with two open windows—the breeze blows in, the breeze blows out—and I just sit calmly in the middle.

But, really? Four episodes in Ten Years? I have 2-3 a month. Oh, well. It’s much better than the 3-4 *per day* I experienced while on medication. It’s all relative!

Hey there! Three to four per day? That has to be totally exhausting! Did you find that some meds made you cycle / cycle faster? I’ve been wondering about that for a while. I swear there are two meds that did it to me.

Every medication I tried made me worse (ie. rapid cycling plus the regular drug-induced brain fog and poor memory). I weaned off everything this past December, and the mood swings have slowed way down. I haven’t developed the skills yet for getting through the longer depressions without panicking, but I’m working on it. It’s still so much better than bouncing like I did.

Good to hear you aren’t cycling as much anymore. It’s been 7 months since you went off the meds and it definitely sounds as if you’re doing well. Yeah, the depression side is definitely the worst part of this whole bipolar deal. If you find any skills or tools that help I’d love if you would share. I’m still at a loss for coping myself.

Hi. I’m kinda new to this commenting on blogs. I am enjoying your musings. Keep them up. It helps to know that I can relate to others. People I know just don’t get it. I sort of felt normal for a little while and thought finally I am coming out of this drug induced craziness or whatever. I’m going to be normal again. Was sleeping a good night, not bemoaning being awake. Not waking up in such a panic that all I could think was Oh God, please put me back to sleep. It was soooo nice. Then my husband’s dogs woke me out of a sleepy fog sending me into an instant state of intense rage. Come o hither fight or flight I gotta get out of here mode. Started to make plans to leave and get my own place which highly increased anxiety of which I’ve not had like this in quite some time. And I can relate to the rapid cycling. 3-4 distinct shifts every day extended periods. It was pure for the most part. Pure low with silent retreat, shortly followed by pure rage, then real giddiness laughing and singing skipping etc, and at some point a feeling of I think I feel okay. Every day would be different. The killer is the mixed states that last too long. No wonder I landed in the local psych ward forced on meds. And they still don’t know what to think about me. I saw something worthy of comment on another posting, but I forgot what it was now so maybe another day. Hope you have settled in quite well in your new home. Hanging on for the ride.

Hi, Laurie! Thanks so much for de-lurking. I love to hear from readers! No, you are not at all alone, and it sounds like you’ve had it a bit rough lately. I hope they can straighten out your meds so the rapid cycling can be controlled. Are your Dr’s trying any adjustments? Being jarred out of a nice sleep ruins my day, too – and several thereafter. Hope you can get back on a good sleep schedule soon…nothing is worse for us BPs than to have a wonky sleep cycle. Welcome to the blog and of course post a comment any time you like. Take care!

Well actually, I’m not on anything right now, looooong story. I’ve been thinking again I will cause right now I’m wired and other stuff, can’t relax, feel brain spinning. cant go fast enough nothing is fluid,. Think more anxiety/stress started all this again. Afraid of drugs, good bad ugly. But sometimes not having a good functional brain is okay. Ugh can’t believe I said that. Absolutely cant stand drug induced fatigue. No doctor adjustments refuse to go back. just want driver license back. she kept saying. need to see you stable for 6 months, but I think drugs are what caused it all. Anyway I did call her to make appt. She’s on holidays till next week. It’s been a long road since I was born. Never right. Now 45. Been reading on anxiety and depression. It all looks like it, but much looks like bipolar too. Never thought about the spending sprees. Anyway. Guess I’ve been fighting all of this crazy stuff, never accepting always this is just the way I am. To acknowledge. I can do it without and was okay so long as I could fight no one around. Can’t think, gotta go.

I hope you’re feeling better today. Stress is a supreme enemy and always throws me into an episode, too. Good news that you called the Dr., just hang on until she gets back – tell her everything and if you suspect you’re bipolar, let her know. Thanks for writing even though you felt horrible. Let me know how you’re doing!

Hey, Laurie,
Just wondered if you’re getting any support from a therapist. On or off medications, a good counselor is a godsend. There’s an approach called Dialectic Behavior Therapy that’s used specifically for borderline personality and bipolar. It teaches us how to monitor our own thoughts and behavior–essential stuff.
Take care of that sore brain, girlfriend.

Have a CMHA worker. It’s has taken a year to build a relationship and for her to understand where I needed support as I did not know half the time what I needed. She’s been good. Helped me to stay connected or feel more real or something. Not a counselor. Someone to whine or vent or or or. Made some appointments last September with psychotherapist had been going to at our out patient hospital services. but could not go at last minute. Panick and stress over getting into a vehicle and going. Terribly frustrated with the therapist so quit 1 1/2 ago. My Expectations too high I guess. Expected fingers to snap and I’d miraculously be back in happier days. Then I think about it and well….. Was feeling quite distressed with energy and bad lowness but felt nice sort of bad ideation stuff (go figure). Felt I’d be better just staying low key. but I really needed to talk to her. Have heard of DBT. Doing Cognitive stuff now or trying to on my own with a program. Read some stuff on BPD and that sounds really nasty. I’m feeling okay sort of calmer at times too much so. but last week for a most or better than a week was getting increasingly snap happy with my digital camera. Took almost 1,200 snaps mostly of the farmer’s wheat field behind our house in every angle, lighting you name it looking for the illusive perfect National Geographic picture. Happy Happy. Visions of becoming a world renown photographer. Creative plans.etc. I then slipped climbing the fence in my zeal and got a 1st degree tear in some shoulder joint part. But I kept going. The excitement has simmered. Now I’m just trying not to obsess about the shoulder as I have also been given a label of somatoform disorder. Apparently a fancy name for oh god no Hypochondria. Oh well. I should return to bed. Have been lying in bed for several hours with ipod music blasting. can’t sleep but am tired sort of. And oh went shopping managed to curtail not buying the longer camera lens 55-250. It’s on sale till Aug 4. $60 off. yippee. Have to go into town Tues. Get it then. The camera guy at the store was full of insightful information….lots of ideas. so I’m hoping I can calmly do some real stuff with all the pics. My bed is calling, I shall doddle (is that a word) off. Oh, I have a question, describe a bipolar’s spending habits. Hope all of you are doing well. Is this post too long, I just feel like rambling sort of. Thanks for your replies. I don’t get out too much. Been addicted to FB apparently not too hard, Pdoc took my license three years ago and has been reluctant to give it back and I lost my vroom vroom Hyundia Santa Fe. I loved that thing. I loved to drive. Could not buy out the lease as we have sooo much debt. No creditor would touch us. NOT a nice feeling. Thanks for listening. Try and shorten them up for next time. Keep thinking of posting on that other question but afraid to think about it cause I get upset thinking about what recovery looks like to me. that’s it, I’m going to bed now.


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