Less Stress is Best – For Everyone

In my last post, I shared a laundry list of things I felt were related to times of extended and elevated stress. As a person who has Bipolar 1, I’m acutely sensitive to stress in my environment, my social life, my home life… Well, you get the idea… in my head. You might say, “Robin, everyone experiences stress and might have cause junk to happen to them.” Fair enough.

I can only speak to my own experiences and circumstances as I interpret them. And it isn’t just that. I have to notice them too. Sometimes I get so preoccupied with something that I just don’t see what’s right in front of me.

Let me give you a quick example. I have battled IBS-d since I was married way back in 1989. Of course, it wasn’t a “thing” then. In fact, I never mentioned it to my doctor. There wasn’t a commercial on TV alerting me to the notion that I might have this thing, this real thing, called IBS-d.

Bipolar Disorder is supposed to be a “mood disorder.” Taking that at face value, let’s assume that stress is going to make managing my symptoms (the rolly-polly moods) incredibly more difficult. Let’s also assume that the stress and resulting crushing weight of experiencing increasingly intense stress (wow, too many words!).

Listen, in my experience as a person with Bipolar 1, ADHD and PTSD I can tell you with certainty (you know, because I experienced it and that makes it true) that stress caused me to have IBS-d. How do I know that and didn’t I notice myself making fun of myself just one sentence ago? Sure, I noticed. We’re talking about subjective emotions though. Think of it like that pain chart they use in the ER at any hospital in the US. “Rate your pain. Which smiley face??”

Seriously? You’re going to treat me based upon what I think my smiley face ought to be?

How are you feeling today Robin?
“My anxiety feels like it’s crushing me. I can’t sleep or think. I’ve started waking up violently angry. I’ve started yelling again and throwing things. I just can’t get it all to stop!”
Have you been able to focus?

Excuse me?

I graduated in June of last year (2018) and within two months of that time, my “IBS-d” disappeared. Creepy right? I know! Like aliens…

Alien, nigthmare, spirit...
Creepy… I think that guy might have had some comet!

Seriously though, haven’t had a blackout or eaten Comet since then. Well, I think there was one more blackout… but my memory can be sketchy at times so yes? No? Beats me.

We’re talking about emotions.

Emotions are NOT measured by drug tests.
Emotions cannot be quantified by subjective human talk therapy.
I can’t even relate to you my emotions so that you’ll understand what I mean.
In every single college class I’ve been in when the professor asks for opinions or invites discussion, no one ever agrees with everyone (sometimes anyone) across the board. Nope. Nadda.

Does this seem like a jumble? Am I talking about IBS-d or how to describe emotions? Actually, what am I talking about? Have I lost focus?

No, I haven’t. Not this time.

I no longer have any symptoms of IBS-d.

Is everything else better? Oh hell no! But, I’ll take this victory and I’ll hold onto it because I’m not locked in my house 24/7 every day anymore.

At least… not right now.

I Ate COMET – My Response to Extended Stressed

Normally doesn’t kill.
Tastes like yuck.

During my last quarter (a year ago) at university, I had a dream, a dream… I’m sure it was a dream. I’d taken the bottle of Comet out of the bathroom and licked the bottom of it. The powder spread in my mouth and I spit and wiped my tongue on my sleeve.

It was disgusting. The taste spread in my mouth.

It wouldn’t go away.

Was I trying to kill myself?

I looked at the carpet next to my bed – a bottle of Comet sat… staring at me.

And then – I woke up.

This episode was one of a handful of incidents occurring during that last year.

The following list are symptoms that I feel are directly caused by my stress and anxiety.

  • Developing a facial tick  
  • The anxiety that ripped my face off – but NOT my tick
  • Double down depressed, then anxiety comes along and suddenly you have more energy… enough in fact… to say I’m in a mixed state
  • Waking up angry again (Okay honestly, I was heading back to becoming a full-time bitch.)
  • Not sleeping (sleeping pills didn’t help. Likewise, exercise.)
  • Crippling anxiety (I put the exact date and time into my calendar and set an alarm… to buy my parking pass for the upcoming quarter, the fall quarter, as in AFTER summer. I worried about it all summer.)
  • Mixed mood states (Mania and depression working at the same time and never cooperating with one another.)
  • Mania (It ran rampant, never slowing down, taking a breath or pausing to considering which direction to charge to next.)
  • Devastating depression
  • DEVELOPED IBS-D (IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME WITH DIARRHEA). I missed classes. Not all professors were understanding or forgiving.  
  • 2 (TWO) colonoscopes! In one week!

Sorry guys. I’m so horrible at making simple lists. Usually, I give up on trying to do it most of the time. It takes me FOREVER! And… then I don’t post at all. And so, we have long-winded bullet lists. {Doesn’t that make them paragraphs, rather than bullet lists?}

{I did seek out medical help because I think eating Comet is bizarre, and I didn’t want to die.}
It does turn out that some people become addicted to eating it, while others simply like the way it tastes. I’m going to stick to ice cream.


Bipolar – Lesson Learned

Just a quickie…

Illustration:
There is a white car just up the hill on a flat street who is totally and completely stuck. He’s in slush. He’s also been revving his engine and spinning out for the last half hour or so. It has been going on so long I finally got up to look. As I looked up the road (our house is at the beginning of a fairly good sized hill) and saw the car, a family car calmly drove straight down our hill. No problem.

Lesson to All of Us:
They say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
They should also say, “If it’s broke, FIX IT.”

Warning:
The consequences of disregarding the lesson and doing the same thing over and over(You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?) and always getting the same result is pure insanity.

Are you going to heed the warning? Or embrace insanity?

We MUST learn to change and adapt. If we don’t, if we allow our condition to deteriorate, it’s our own damn fault if we crash and burn.

@This assumes you’re stable or doing well enough to fight it.

My Perfect Bithday

robin_baby_007blk.whi

As often happens, my “This Is My Day So Snap Off” day occurs on the same exact day… hold your breath… as the Super Bowl!

Can you guess what’s wrong with this picture? Oh, no. Not THE picture just above here. That picture is amazing! It’s one of my favorites. The desk you see there was my Mom and Dad’s. I was two and a little bit years old in that hideout.

Today, on my bithday, that desk is in my office, here at my home. Every time I sit at it, open a drawer or pull out the writing board, I remember this picture….

(OMG!!!!!! Will Someone make that jerk… wherever he is, turn that blasted CAR stereo off!)

Sorry, where was I? Right, family feelings, blah, blah, title Bithday….

Yeah… Have I mentioned that it’s snowing here? No? Yep. Actually, I want to tell you something that I feel, that I believe, is essential for each of us to comprehend.

You and I, we are Un-Niche-Able. Right?

(Break it down Robin. Yes, it is your day, but for heaven’s sake settle down. Right.)

I’m finally 56. For a couple years I was 55, but it turns out I was 54 and THEN 55. My kids have been rehearsing it with me this year so all is well. This is my official 56th Bithday!

(Wait, what?? Oh alright then.)

Sorry about that. I need help getting my sweatshirt off. I got stuck in one the other night. Not pretty.

(Shh.. go away! I’m talking here to my friends…. you just shut your face! They can hear you you know! Yes, they can!)

Sorry about that. Family. What am I to do?

Silliness aside – I really am 56 now.

I’ve done something horribly painful to my shoulder and having help with certain things is amazing! Get your mind out! Dressing! I’m talking about dressing and the opposite of it.

And most importantly, because I’m Un-Niche-Able, I can choose to spell the most amazing day of my year “Bithday” if I want to.

And so can you.

Should the birthdays of my three kids be my most important day? Nope. They’d fight if that was how I picked it, so, nope.

In my brief 56 years of living with kookoo for puffs I swear to you, that if I stop believing that I was born when I was born so I could be 56 today I would relax my chokehold on… stuff. And who would want that?

Okay, I’m being weird in parts of this. But, not in all of it.

Your take away from this post (that’s completely confusing to me) could be:

Bithday – whoever you are that is reading this, I’m talking to YOU about YOUR day.

Un-Niche-Able – we are amazing! Yes, YOU! You are the only one who will ever, in the whole of time and space…

(what do you WANT now? The beta readers said what was too expansive? Oh, I see. Whatever. Yes, yes I’ll… do it. OMG… what? No, i… didn’t say “whatever.” I said… somet…. I said nothing. Bye! Gotta go!). So sorry.

As I was saying… writing…. <muttering>… reading, rereading… Yep. Got it now.

Un-Niche-Able – we are amazing! Yes, YOU! You are the only one who will ever, in the whole… on the hole… whole of the world who can be YOU!

Don’t tell me that you’ve never, ever had a day when your brain does the Anti-Niche dance. It’s impossible for you not to have had your very own version of this. I know its true.

At the risk of sounding like I’ve forgotten what I’ve previously written, may I say once again that when marketing people or super successful YouTubers tell us that we have to pick a niche and just promote and make our platform all about that specific niche… that they ARE WRONG.

I don’t know of one single person who looks like a flat piece of copier paper. No one’s like that. I mean, even paper can be folded and rolled and crumpled.

Reader, my dear, dear Reader, you’re Un-Niche-Able. Embrace the words (bits of words…) Embrace yourself.

{Get away from my keyboard!!}

I neeed sleep. Bithday sleep!

Believe in Yourself

I’ve been gone a little while Friends. I know that you know what that’s like.

I’m stepping back up to the plate. I can’t wait to carry on

When You Believe