Bipolar Stress – Focus on the Normal

Many people with Bipolar Disorder, myself included, sometimes experience feelings of failure, doom and gloom. But not right now, no, not now.

Today I was playing with Bailey, who has saved me from myself many times when I had the super wonderful idea of playing a trick on her. She’s always been good at “don’t touch,” “leave it,” and “stay,” but I wanted to challenge her and see if she could resist picking up her new training “toy” and obey my commands. This is where “focusing on the normal” comes in…..

A dog like Bailey should be worked with and trained often. I admit that I don’t do it as often as I should. Today I focused on Bailey and… um… teasing her. Okay, sometimes she looks at me a little crazy and I’m inspired to tease her. This is a very normal activity for us.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about things that I normally take for granted. I’m not talking about the whole toilet paper “problems” or similar things. I’m talking about my never judgmental and always present companion – Bailey, my six-year-old Kelpie.

My focusing on my normal today was to work with Bailey. The picture following shows the results. The commands were, “don’t move” and “don’t touch.”

Bailey following commands:
Don’t Move & Don’t Touch

Today, think of something in your day, something normal, and focus on it for a bit. If possible, try to focus your normal on something you enjoy.

What delights you? What do you think is fun? Do you have trouble thinking about things like this today? That’s okay. Relax. What were you just doing? What are you going to do when you get offline? Have you eaten something yummy today? Have your guppies had babies? Let your mind wander. It doesn’t matter if anyone else in the entire world thinks that what you focus on is “normal” to them.

Ask yourself… what “normal” in my can I focus on in my day today? Don’t try to find something amazing. Think “normal.” Think your normal.

One last thing, consider this, you are Un-niche-able. What’s that all about? It is very simple. You are unique. Whatever your normal is will be uniquely yours because you’re – Un-niche-able.

Bipolar and ADHD Brains Working from Home

I love this video! The ideas on how to work from home can give us direction on how to create a healthy environment for ourselves during this very interesting time.

The video is different from many other resources on coping with being home because it is specifically targeted towards the ADHD brain. And… so what! It’s excellent and Jessica’s ideas are on target for brains of any flavor.

We did a bit of finger-pointing this morning while watching it. I really tried hard not to point with multiple fingers at the same person. (Okay, I didn’t try even a little bit!)
My ADHD brain seems very similar to brains right now.

What do you think? Do you know any brains that seem to be sharing any of these traits? Ha! I bet you do!

Bipolar Disorder and Stress During Crisis

I can’t give you advice that will save you from your personal struggle with Bipolar Disorder and the novel Covid-19 virus… I can’t. That’s just a fact. I can tell you all the things I’ve been doing to keep my brain turned round the right way, but I doubt that would help you either. Why won’t I? I can’t.

My struggles are uniquely mine just as yours are to you. My mind would be blown if you too had had oral surgery on March 17th only days before elective dental procedures were cancelled. (I’m in WA) Now that the work has begun we can’t put a, “hold until further notice,” sign on my mouth… despite what my kids might want to do.

Through it all, we’re in this together.

A similar situation happened to me after a December 17th – so bizarre on the timing – when over Christmas we couldn’t get a pain killer to kill the pain of my thumb joint replacement. I cried, I tried to sleep, I used every ice pack in the house… I cried some more. (December-January)

I can’t tell you how to save yourself from this particular stress. Saturday I cried because my jaw hurt so badly; they say sometimes crying helps us feel better. Not this time. My pouting face served to scrunch all my muscles and whatsits about my mouth and provoked my pain to send me headlong into a panic.

This week (March), I misplaced my chill pills (Clonazepam)… during this stressful time… when I can’t manage to control the pain in my face… and my stress… where are the chill pills?! (Ever done that?)

This panic was different than the last one. February’s panic was from having the CPAP strapped to my face and turned on. I didn’t much like having it on my face, but I swear that turning it on deflated both my lungs and shunted them down into my legs. I’m sure that’s why my thighs are so larg…big…. healthy. Heh.

Here’s the plain truth.

Ready?

Do what you can. Hold on. Duck your head when you need to. Stop thinking about the now, about how you feel right now, and think about the fact that you ARE thinking. Then stop thinking so much and go for a walk. Yes, a walk. Go!

We have a mood disorder. We’re not crazy people. We’re the worlds’ officially licensed Moody Group.

Emotions are moods. You are not losing your mind, nor am I. This is stress.

What’s happening then? I think it’s time I stopped ruminating on my current emotions and started thinking about how resilient I am. Yep. Me. I’m resilient.

I think that you might be resilient as well. Of course I don’t know you, but I don’t think that really matters. What matters is that you’re reading this. The very fact that you’re reading this demonstrates that you are resilient. You’re a survivor.

So survive.

Dig deep.

Be resilient.

You, are resilient.

Everything seems better after a nap.

Be resilient.

Bipolar – Pain in Pictures with Friends

Sometimes the only way we can show how we feel is through pictures. Yesterday My two girls went to the doctor and got their shots. It was the end of their world. Well… day. I’ll let them tell their story.

[Savvy is the kitten. She’s a…. rescue, something, cute ball of silliness. Bailey is my Kelpie (cattle dog). She always knows what’s best for me.]

The unknown brings us fear.
Sometimes we can’t deal with it.
Sometimes we need time to be alone.
Even though we might not feel right just yet,
having our besties near can be the most important thing in the world.

Bipolar –March is Off and Running

Make 2020 YOURS!

The third month of the new year is officially here, and I’m finding that the year seems to have found a rhythm it feels stable and ready to stroll through the coming months all on its own. We’ll need to talk that over a bit, do some discussing and have some disagreements, I think. I mean, when I talk about the year having a rhythm of its own, I’m really talking about the crazy-busy schedule that I’ve got. Bonkers. That’s what it is. Bonkers! I’m already in Occupational Therapy (OT) for my new thumb joint as a result of Osteoporosis (OA). Tomorrow (Monday) I start Physical Therapy (PT) for my chronic back and knee pain. While I’m excited and hopeful that this time I may actually find relief from the pain and become stronger and able to do things that I’ve never been able to do before, I’m also afraid. Pain is not my friend. I’ve had Pain physical pain for so long… the thought of more simply and easily releases my pent up tears and I can’t stop them. Once they’ve shown my fears I can usually face that fear and move forward. That’s what happens with PT. When I’m at home and I have the pain at night when I’m alone… I feel so desperate.

It throws me back to my struggles inside the arms of depression. You know the feeling? When it holds you tight and it feels like you just can’t get it to let you go? My fear of pain is sort of like that. (I have other physical pain issues but they are not necessary to go into for this post.)

I know that meditation can help me deal with the pain. I have a lot of knowledge about the mechanics of how to deal with pain. But, can I sit still long enough and focus long enough to put my experience to work? The answer is a big, fat, honest, NO. And that’s all on me.

My wish for you today is simple, seize the day with both hands, both arms, wrap your legs around it and bite it if you have to, but don’t let it get away from you before you give it a good wack and try to make the ball go in the direction you want it to go in. It might not go right off, maybe not even today, but wack it anyway.

These years get out ahead of us getting away and we end up just tag along like we have nothing to say about it. Well, we do. You do. Seize your day, seize every single day. Start today.

To help get you started to check out this video from my Every Day Playlist. The lyrics are below this post if you’d like to check them out.

Stand strong. Madness is unbecoming on you.

A Million Dreams

By Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

I close my eyes and I can see
The world that’s waiting up for me
That I call my own
Through the dark, through the door
Through where no one’s been before
But it feels like home

They can say, they can say it all sounds crazy
They can say, they can say I’ve lost my mind
I don’t care, I don’t care, so call me crazy
We can live in a world that we design

‘Cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take
A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make

There’s a house we can build
Every room inside is filled
With things from far away
The special things I compile
Each one there to make you smile
On a rainy day

They can…

Source: LyricFind