Category Archives: Meditation

Brain Scan

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brain This morning I’m going to the hospital for a brain scan. It’s for the facial tic I’ve been having forever and because I’ve been falling asleep suddenly and for no apparent reason. I did a sleep study last year and it came out normal so it isn’t sleep apnea. Between this stuff and my Bipolar, ADHD, PTSD, FM, anxiety, RA, OA, chronic pain and all that malarkey I can tell you with all honesty… I’m a bit MORE anxious than normal. I’ve been trying to get all the mental stuff undercontrol by staying on my meds, going to counseling, learning mindfullness and trying to learn to meditate, but it’s been slow going. Oh, and I’m too heavy for my knees. One has been replaced twice and the other one collapses without warning. I’m pretty sure that’s because of the weight and lack of muscle. I’ve been walking my dog Bailey all summer for 1-2 miles all summer 3-4 times a week and I’ve gained weight. Maybe it’s muscle, maybe not, but it’s more weight.

So I’m having my brain scanned. They have me coming in sleep deprived. That’s fun.

Well, I guess I should get ready to go. Wish me luck. May the force be with us all. ;0)

Bipolar Stress and a Tick

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Some days I feel like I’m walking aroud with panties on my head too.

I’ve stated ticking again. Last year I had a facial tick so bad that often I couldn’t be understood. When my kids were around they would sometimes have to interpret for me. It was horrible. We thought at first that it was one of my medications (I take a lot), but we ruled them out.

Eventually I discovered that it was stress causing it. I don’t know what changed, but after reaching a super intense point, it started to go away. One day I realized it was gone.

I decided to take this quarter off from school so we could look for house and because of family matters so I expected my stress level to be lower, so I was surprised when I started ticking again.

I’m afraid that it will worsen. The thought of it terrifies me.

I’ve spent hours upon hours learning about myself and my various illnesses so it frustrating me to have this happen. I thought I was doing better than this.

What to do? I need to stop this before it gets out of control. Besides the changes I’ve just mentioned I have a new counselor too and that causes me stress.

I am often feeling on the edge of anger and depression.

I asked myself what I can do to stop my stress from getting out of control. Here’s my plan.

Ask myself what’s bothering me and why it’s bothering me.

Talk to my counselor for guidance.

Keep taking my chill pills.

Try to do mindfulness and/or meditation.

This last one is key I think.

Perhaps confessing my struggle here will turn out to be cathartic.

I’m going to go back to the basics and evaluate the different areas of my life to see if I can determine if something I’m ignoring is what’s bothering me.

I suspect that adding all the stressors in my life up will show that they are all the problem together and I need to fight back. On my own I’m going to exercise and work my dog more and give mindfulness another try… or maybe meditation a try.

For some reason the thought of mindfulness stresses me. This proves how logical mental illness is. I don’t know much about PTSD but both counsellors think I have it. Perhaps I should look into it too.

I just realized that my son decided to move out about 2 months ago and moved out about three weeks ago. The stress of him moving out is probably impacting me more than I realizing. I have only lived on my own for six months once in the 80s.

Maybe I’m scared of being alone.

Late breaking news – another destabilization – my chronic pain management doctor is moving and handing me off to an associate. There are a lot of deep emotions that go along with chronic pain. The idea that my treatment might change terrifies me.

New counselor, new pain management specialist, living alone. Great.

I can do this.

As always any input or ideas are welcome. I love getting email from you. This would be an especially good time to hear from you my friends.

Bipolar Struggling

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I’m struggling. I want to be successful, but I have this illness that makes it harder to succeed for me to do so than if I didn’t have it. I just get going, and then I get depressed and circle downwards further away from my goals. I feel sad and unfulfilled. Tired. And then I blame my lack of success on the fact that I have Bipolar Disorder. The blame game. But there is truth to it.

I know intellectually what I need to do to be successful, but I feel like haven’t the strength right now.

Have you ever felt like this? Sounds like a broken record to me I’ve said it so many times. I know the feelings so well it’s like embracing a lover comfortable, warm, and familiar.

I tried to walk Bailey (the dog) around 5 this evening. My right knee felt like a vice grip was clamped on to it so I did one lap up and down the road and had to stop. I’ve had this knee replaced twice. (I had it done at a much younger age than most. Thought I’d do it a second time just to see if we could get my foot to point the right direction.)

It is 9:41 p.m. and I just realized why I feel like I should have gone to bed an hour ago. I forgot my afternoon meds. My son was over mowing my lawn around lunch time and I guess I got off schedule.

You know what? I have goals that I’m passionate about and I want to succeed in achieving them. However, I’m somewhat depressed right now and I’m not believing in myself the way I need to if I’m going to be successful. And I’m being scattered. Forgot the Ritalin. I’m blaming the illness. Now that I’ve figured out why I got more depressed today I can fix it tomorrow by taking all my meds.

It would have helped if I’d taken my meds. I’ve taken my p.m. meds already. I talk about how important it is to take your meds. This is why. My just missing one afternoon’s meds cost me my afternoon and evening and I feel more depressed.

Tomorrow is a new day. I’ll stick to my morning routine. I’ve got a morning routine. If I deviate from my routine, the rituals, I usually forget something. The rituals make me feel comfortable and steady.

I forgot to feed the cats this morning so Maks, the younger of the two, went into the kitchen and opened the cabinet doors and let them slam shut. I’m sure he knows I hate it when he does that. My dog Bailey chased him downstairs. That’s what happens when you have a cattle dog without cattle. She reverts to herding the cats.

I’ll take all my meds tomorrow. I’ll have to take my afternoon ones just before I leave to go to our family BBQ for Mother’s Day at my brother’s mid-century (I watch HGTV) home overlooking Puget Sound. It has a beautiful view. We’ll eat and play cards. I’m sick of playing cards but at least we have something to do. It can be fun. Depends on my attitude.

Time to take Bailey out. Then I think I’m going to journal for a little while.

My youngest daughter got hired Thursday to work at a car wash that her brother works at ($15 an hour plus tips!) and she worked today. That was fast. I’m so proud of her. I’m so proud of all my kids.

Yep, time to put this to bed.

Bipolar – Stress

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Mindfulness Week 2

Here I am, about to enter the second week of my meditation/mindfulness experiment.

How is it going?

After the first three days I’d say my tick was reduced by 60-70%. It was amazing. The meditation seemed to reduce the amount of stress I was feeling and promoted feelings of peace (compared to the previous week). I believe (and the fact that I “believe” helps too) it’s helping me. There is another way to measure whether it’s helping or not.

On the fourth day life encouraged me not to have time to sit my butt down and meditate. This repeated on Friday. By Saturday morning the tick was back in full. It was just horrible. My son asked me if I’d had meditated. The answer of course was no.

I asked both kids (17 and 20 years old) to stay in their rooms for the next 30 minutes so I could meditate. By this time it was evening and I meditated until my back pain started up and I had to take something for it. Still, this morning I feel better and the tick is some 90% gone… Depending on what’s going on or who I’m talking to and what we’re talking about.

After my somewhat successful meditation I played a video game on an easy setting and shot lumbering bad guys.

The muscle cramp in my right butt muscles is actually mellowing out some. Just some. We’ll see if that comes next.

I believe the stress inherent in being Bipolar is the source of my tick. Well, that’s not entirely true. All my stress is causing it. Being Bipolar is sort of like a mental tick. Sometimes it’s controlled and sometimes it isn’t.

I’ve done all my homework for the coming week and am pretty ready to begin again. (Saturday will normally be my day to rest from relaxing…

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a good week my friend.

Robin

Bipolar – Meditation Day 1

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My first day of my meditation workbook was frustrating. I was fine watching the videos and reading the materials they posted for us to read and I was fine. I did this common meditation thing where you start at your toes and feel what each body part is experiencing. Wait, what I mean is… I’m not sure yet. I understand on paper… now I just have to keep pushing along.

ADD to that my Bipolar mind screaming that it is time to get rid of this tick I can’t bite my tongue anymore! So I’ve pulled out another workbook my med provider gave me that I promptly put on the kitchen table. Later the spine remained unbent and it moved to a bookcase. Now I’ve got it out again and I’m ready to learn.

Talk about being thick headed. oy veh

The workbook is called The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook. Its big. 481 pages and none of them are part of an index. I’m skipping ahead for a bit and doing the chapter on Relaxing. That’s me. Yep.

And I’m publishing a book, and writing another one, and reading 4 books, and training Bailey (my beautiful and very smart dog), and, and, and, going back to school (if I can manage to get the funds to do so), and, and, trying to stop ticking (a full time job that one is). You get the idea. Never one thing at a time. Never stopping. Always moving.

I’ve been sleeping well. Surprise!

Oh my god! this dog is insane. My cats like to take the dog’s things like going in her kennel and laying on her spot on the sofa and eating her food and drinking her water. You get the idea. They’re sassy. Bailey just went flying past me and into her kennel carrying a wash cloth. Yes, a wash cloth. Then she came back out and did that thing they do when they’re getting ready to sleep to her bed and moved it away from her kennel. She then plopped down on the bed. Oops! She’s up again and sees one of her toys. She retrieves it and drops it by her bed which she promptly plopped down in. Up! Again. Back on the sofa in her spot with her head on the arm of it. Now she’s finally stopped. She’s curled up in a little ball. Her ears are still twitching hearing a noisy dishwasher in the kitchen, Ah, she’s still now. But you know what? When I stand up she’s going to wake up again. She’s only 1 year old so she’s still a puppy. She’ll sleep with me tonight. Seems like we’re made for each other.

Good night my friends. I have some more reading to do.

Be well

Robin

Bipolar Parent – Are they what they seem?

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Now bare with me I’m going to talk about two sets of parents and kids. Let’s begin briefly with my parents and then dive on into what’s happening with my Bipolar family as a direct result.

I was at my parent’s house waiting for my father to re-emerge from the bathroom. There was some discussion of sitting or standing but that’s neither here nor there. See, he falls asleep on the pot. . . .

Later we’re discussing who the woman in the pink coat is in the kitchen. “It’s mom, dad.” “Oh, okay,” he says, “it must be that pink hat.”

Sometimes so lucid. Sometimes not so much so.

I’m ok. I’m as confused by his confusion as I am by my own confusion.

I’m exhausted. I’m starting to sound stupid and I’m repeating myself all the time to my kids. It’s getting mentally and emotionally painful for me to be me because of the stress. I mean, the feeling stupid, the missing my counseling appt. because I overslept (I really need her now), the not knowing what I’ve said to which kid… I’m the Bipolar parent. And I’m so tired. I can sense that the next thing could be to make bad decisions… like when talking with my dad or other family things get confusing and I don’t remember important things. Simple and complex things.

In the past I’ve been on Ritalin when I can’t hold my attention like this. When I’m off trying to do something different in my head than catch my father from sneaking down the hallway without his walker. My brain is trying to process too much. Focus on dad or whatever it is I’m trying to do… stop trying to do both. Woe that I could.

I could pay for the Ritalin myself. I may. I’ll give it one more day and I’ll go get it. I need to be focused for my kid’s sake. I have to help them through this terrible and difficult time. I need to be a strong Bipolar daughter because my brother and mother probably won’t be. I’ll cry. I’ll grieve. I’m not saying that I won’t. But hard things have to be discussed and decided among the adults. Then I come home and explain it to my kids at different times of the day (because of high school verses UWT) what’s going on.

I take it in and am still keeping my head mostly above water because I’m taking my meds. Let me say it again. I’m taking my meds. I think that’s the first thing to go. We forget or we choose to be “bad” just “one” time. Right. Don’t forget. Figure a way out. My way works for me for now. It’s kind of complicated, but it works and I’m in control. No one (especially my kids) ask me if I’ve had my meds today. Though, I may volunteer that I haven’t just for the sake of confession my indiscretion. And I only tell one of my kids.

If I’ve left you confused you know how I am right now. Know what? It’s alright. I’m heading to bed and this can just be confusing as hell and I’ll probably forget by tomorrow.

Good night my Friends

Bipolar – Handling an Insane Schedule and Still Having Fun

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I tend to forget a very important fact when I’m busy and especially when I’m going to be driving… I have chronic pain in my back and I tend to forget to take my Oxycodone. Or, if I’m going to be driving, I don’t take it. Late this afternoon I remembered I was in pain (I also take Lyrica for FM and have OA so go figure with all the pain right?), I remembered and I took my pain killer. Quickly I was able to do house work and things I had stopped doing again, like moving around like I’m not a super old and very cranky woman.

I’m not high. Just experiencing less pain. It’s makes such a difference with the Lyrica and Oxy and the anti-inflammatory they have me on for my OA.

Back to the really important stuff: The Magical How to Be Too Busy and Still Have Fun.

Since my last post things have gotten more complicated and because I neglected to take some of my meds as prescribed I started being angry for no good reason and wanting to lash out. Took my meds…. I’m ok now. I can’t stress enough that we have to take our meds. You don’t think you need them? Especially during this next 30 days or so then you are nuts and a dope. Take your meds.

Starting last
Saturday  – Afternoon at my parents just to visit (my dad has stage four cancer and they “say” he has 6 – 12 months left) My brother and I are trying to spend time with them as much as possible.

Sunday (today) – Early family dinner at my parents with Tony and Mat too (my brother and his partner)

Monday – Take Kyle to the bus at 7:50 (the transit bus line stops exactly 8 minutes before our house)
– Take Syd to friend’s house so friend can get Syd to work on time (Kyle and I will be heading to Seattle)
– Pick up kyle at UWT at 11:00
– Arrive at UW medical center to get my new dentures (only Kyle and Syd know I’m getting them now)
– Drive through Seattle/Tacoma traffic through rush hour home. Usually takes 2 to 2.5 hours. Crazy drive. Seatac is almost that far.
– Pick up Sydney at end of bus route at 6:00 or find her a ride home

Tuesday – Sydney Braces for teeth…. orthodontist appt. at 7:50 a.m.
– 3:00 Sydney works till 5
– Kyle school then works till 5
– My brother’s birthday – at Bob’s Burgers (Where everyone will see my new teeth and that I cannot work them very well yet. So funny!)

Wednesday – Pick up “Carol”, my friend for lunch at Seatac during her layover. Actually, I’m picking up Jessica (my other daughter) from the airport and sneaking her home to surprise her sibs. 1:15 p.m.
– 3:00 Sydney works till 5

Thursday – Thanksgiving where I will again try to eat and talk with my new face. I anticipate talking funny for a bit and eating… carefully. lol
– Dinner at my brother and Mat’s at 4:30. It will be a banquet for kings and queens. They always throw amazing parties. The food is amazing. But then, they have lots of money.

Sat – Sun Syd is supposed to work on a project with a girl from school…. only she doesn’t know her sister will be leaving Monday. OMG!

I think those are the highlights. All the while I will be thinking of my dad and how he’s doing. And that the stress of all these secrets is making my brain burn like a torch lighting the way to a wondrous gift: family… and taking my meds as prescribed every day. Even the stupid ones that want to be taken 3 times a day. Uh. Don’t you hate those? Makes me bonkers.

My friend Carol and Jessica are the only ones that know what’s going on. No, Jessica doesn’t know I’m coming to the airport with my face in (dentures, it really changes your face).

Now more how to survive Thanksgiving tips that I use myself:
Play games – I don’t care if they’re card games with others or computer games by yourself. Play something!
Breath – from deep down in the belly when you feel the stress monster coming for you.
Ask for a hug – you don’t even need to say why. Just ask for one… or give one, maybe more than one!
Eat properly, and drink lots of water. No booze. NO BOOZE. Seriously. Don’t drink it.
Get enough sleep.
Smile. Smile for others if you can’t for yourself. Don’t bring your world down to your mood if you’re cranky.
Meditate, pray, be still… recharge yourself. Go to your happy place.
Oh, and do not over eat.

And then the next day will come and what you did the day before will still be with you so make wise choices.

Lastly, if you have a service dog avail them of their services. It’s what you have them for! Mine is sleeping soundly in her place at the foot and her side of my bed. Even with her cone on she knows when I need her. (She had her girl bits removed and wants to lick it too much) So that damn cone  is another stressor for us all. It makes it very difficult to train her with it on.

I’ve taken on a lot this week. I’ve decided I can make it work if I take my time and keep things separated. I believe I can do this. I even have a separate schedule in my desk in my room for Jessica coming. If I mess that up the game will be blown. Normally, I wouldn’t do this much, but Jess and I decided she should come home for a quick visit now and a longer one in December in case something happens with my dad; her grandpa.

She just became a Senior Airman in the USAF. I’m so proud of her! Her new stripes and all that are so cool. I can’t wait to see the picture of her in her blues besides her selfie. lol

And now the test. Can I follow my own plans to succeed? Have I set myself up for a huge fall? I don’t think so. I’m having to focus on others;  always a good thing. Focus. That’s important. I’ve got to stay focused and balanced and ask for help when I need it. Sometimes that’s hard to do.

Let me know how you fair this week my friend. I’ll tell you how I do when I’m through next Monday.

May you escape the nibble of a turkey on the end of your nose. May you eat said turkey instead. May you stuff your bird with stuffing . And may you spend time with loved ones, even if it’s only by phone or Hangout or… thinking of them. A little bit of love goes a long way. May you succeed in all your goals

Ciao,

Robin

Bipolar – The Friend That Never Leaves

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Well, she does rather enjoy chasing and eating leaves. There are no leaves on my back porch.

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This is my Bailey. Those are her chair and leaf.  Think… phoenix.

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