Changes and Triggers

By now I know that major changes in my life can trigger an episode. This is true for everyone who suffers from Bipolar Disorder. Last September I went to Florida to see my daughter for ten days. We spent nearly every day at one of the amusement parks. That plus the flights there and back were major stressors for me. Then just a few days after I got back, I started back to school at the University of Washington at Tacoma. That was another even bigger stressor. I admit, I didn’t do great dealing with the overload and eventually had to start on a chill pill so I could get back to where I could function.

Now I’m taking spring quarter off from school (another stressor) and am looking for a small house to buy closer to town (yet another stressor). I’m hoping that my son will move out when I move (stressor) so that I can just get it all over with at one time.

I’ve been reading one the books on my “Books” page called “The Bipolar Survival Guide” and it reminded me that these types of stressors can lead to episodes. I’ve not only got one stressor, but since my dad passed last year in January it’s been nonstop stress.

How am I doing? I’m listening to my dog and playing more and taking her to the park to walk her with my son, his girlfriend and her dog. I’m sleeping enough. I’m eating okay. I’m trying to eat better. I’m taking my meds on schedule. I’m not doing my usual occasional night of skipping my meds for a night just because I can, because that’s a stupid and risky thing to do. I have some wine in the refrigerator that I will be getting rid of. No more alcohol. I have enough stressors and triggers tapping on my “overload’ button without me purposefully adding more.

How am I doing right now? I want some of that Hersey chocolate frozen pie stuff, that’s how I’m doing.

I really wish I had some!

So now begins the time when I have enough time to realize how stressed I am and actually act stressed. I’m not looking forward to having free time. How’s that for weird?

Bipolar – Should I Go Back to College?

So…. I’ve applied and been accepted at the UWT (University of Washington at Tacoma). If I get all the funding I need I’m considering going back to college full-time.

Now, is this a good idea? I would be pursuing a Bachelors in Creative Writing (which would probably help the quality of my writing in my blogs). Is my Bipolar so disabling that I should not go?

Could I keep my wits about me? I did when I was younger. I loved school. I love to learn. I really love to learn. I wouldn’t be going just to go, I have a specific reason for going. I want to write better and it would be nice to put that BA after my name, especially when I’m doing specific, serious writing. It might lend a little credibility to my name when I’m publishing books and such. (Sometimes I feel like I’ll never finish the book I’m working on.)

I’m wondering if I will still be sane if I try to pull off doing MORE. I do my best (or used to anyway) under pressure. Going back to college would definitely do that. I’ve got several other projects I’m working on. Will it take away too much time from them? Or would the added work press me to finish faster? I think either is possible.

My youngest daughter, Sydney, has mono right now. She’s had some serious pain with it which has been lousy. I took her to the ER the other night for pain in her spleen and totally missed my nighttime meds. Earlier in the week I had decided to be rebellious and I didn’t take my nighttime meds. That’s twice this week. And I’ve been getting up late and that’s put off my morning meds from being taken at regular times. The result… I reacted… no I OVER reacted to the kids and became very very angry about nothing. Seriously, I don’t even recall what it was.

If missing my meds twice in one week and the stress from my daughter being sick (I don’t think I’ve properly grieved my father’s passing yet either.) allowed me to flip out, what will happen if I have extra stress (mentally, emotionally and physically too. I’ll be much tireder as well with the demand on me to drive 45 minutes to school and back for classes).

Will it be too much for me?

Then there is the consideration of needing to have time to see my med provider and my pain management person when I need to. They aren’t in the same town. School is in Tacoma while both appointments are in Puyallup and there isn’t a short and easy way to get from one to the other.

Will I eat better or worse? What about Bailey? (the puppy)

There is so much to consider.

At the moment I shall go forward with attending school in the fall. I will also be prepared not to go. This way I’ll be emotionally ready for either option.

Oh, and my counselor, the fourth and I think finally the best, at the facility I go to is out indefinitely for medical reasons. Terrific. I wish her all the best and hope she will be well. I will also miss her. In the meantime they have me seeing a peer counselor each week. It’s nice to have someone to talk to, but she’s not a counselor.

Here I am. Thinking about putting myself into a stressful situation again. But you know, it might be better for me than being at home alone while the kids are gone. Stay tuned…

Be well,

Robin

Bipolar – Wow!

You know, sometimes I don’t know what to write to you. Sometimes I just have no time. Sometimes I’m too overwhelmed to nail it down and make sense of it.

Today, I’m excited! I’m officially going back to school! I’m going to the University of Washington at Tacoma (UWT)!

You should know that my transferred credits still make me a freshman. This is important because my youngest, Sydney, is also a freshman at UWT. She doesn’t really want me to go to the same school any more than she wants herself and her brother also to be a student at UWT. So, all four of us in my little family will be going to college in the fall. So awesome! Can you believe it? three of us at the same school?!

On a sadder note my father passed away on Martin Luther King Day. He’s out of pain and my mom can begin to recover. He suffered from a lot of pain and at the end he didn’t know us. The brain tumor did that. This was the most difficult part for my mom before he passed… fighting  to give pain medication to someone who thinks you’re trying to poison him, and then soon after not able to talk at all and reflexively fighting her when it was time for her meds. I had to hold his arms down. I have been in “emergency” mode since we started being with him 24 hours a day. I may be still. I made a movie of his life on my birthday. That was a good thing for me.

I haven’t reacted with tears oh hysteria like my mom and brother have. My kids have taken it harder than I have (they were closer than I was to him).

I asked my son if he thought grandpa would be proud of me. He didn’t even hesitate, he said, “Yes, of course he would!” I need to ask my mom too. For some reason I need to know. I’ll ask her now. .. . .