Bipolar- My Everyday Playlist

I love these songs. They make me feel good. When I feel good my day gets better, I feel better, I treat others better, I treat myself better, the world seems like a place I can live in and not only survive in but thrive in.

I chose this particular video of Just Like Fire because it doesn’t have her being carted away to a mental institution. What it does have is her emphasizing the amazing fact that no one is like her. Amazing!! That’s what I want us to come away from that song remembering. We’re just like fire… and no one can be just like we are. Remember that.

You may wonder why Celtic Woman – Tír na nÓg ft. Oonagh is included in this playlist… Okay. You’ve wondered. LOL The answer is – Why not?! They make me happy! There’s no big mystery. They just make me smile. Take this playlist and use it to create one of your own. Make it realistic. Can you actually listen to the whole thing before the end of the year? I regularly listen to about 1-9 and then all of it when I’m driving. Or, I go to the songs I need to hear the most.

Enjoy!

Bipolar Carnage – The Aftermath

Since I posted on the third, my brain has imploded. You know how it is. Imagine being on the top bunk of a three-bed bunk bed, in a tree fort, playing on the ladder against the house, running up the giant stack of bales of hay, climbing on the dirt dad just had delivered for the front lawn, you know, fun stuff, and then falling off straight away and landing on your face, the top of your head and your feet all at the same moment. Then, when you get around to it, you open your eyes only to discover that someone is standing on your face while they’re attempting to ascertain if you’re alright because you’re so dirty that they can’t tell which way your face should go. That is what my brain has been doing with all its time.

Fun.

I won’t give you a messy laundry list of my troubles because I don’t think that’s necessary. I do believe it is essential to share a couple of really critical truths that we must all remember even when the you-know-what goes sideways when it hits the fan.

  1. Life rolls along for everyone like the surface of the ocean with ups and downs all the time. Sometimes, those peaks and valleys thrash about much higher and lower for some of us. That is OKAY. We don’t need to punish ourselves for that. We’re not bad people when we become angry or depressed or talk a lot. We are not mean, we are not evil, we are not trying to hurt anyone.
  2. We often are not able to (or equipt to) deal with our emotions and situations that cause them to intensify so when they grow and grow, they eventually reach critical mass and we implode. (Which was my case this time.) What have I learned? Stop punishing myself and blaming others for not rescuing me. It happens. Stuff happens. Reset. Get rest. Recreate. Hit go and begin again. Oh, and maybe cry and scream and barfing might help too. And throw something. But only break things that are yours and don’t cost anything. Seriously.
  3. I realized some time ago that at the top end of mania is anger and then rage. Deep below that dwells depression and anger and then the rage. Why always the rage? That’s how it is for me. I’ve asked several counselors and they seem to see that as well. Have you found that too? When you’re very depressed to you rage at the world because it has abandoned you? Has your world collapsed and left you to die? Tell me. Do you feel the rage too? It’s okay to feel the rage. Would you know it if you’re feeling it? Words. Do you know the words to express it?

I realize that’s only a couple things to think about, but this isn’t a book and a couple things to think about is plenty when your brain is Bipolar. Just considering the idea that I’ve been blaming myself for the way my illness makes me feel has been a bizarre thing to think about. I mean… what the heck am I supposed to do with that? If I were a public speaker, I’d wave at the screen behind me and say something wise like, “Now let’s unpack that…” Sure. I’ll have to think about it longer. That’s the best I can do. I’m still picking my face up.

Wait! I had two very specific moments that set me off into Never Never Land and I was trying to do the same thing both times. It was that CPAP thing. I don’t like things covering my face, blah, blah, so on and so forth…. I just couldn’t do it. I literally ripped it off my face and became hysterical. The first time (I practiced watching TV trying to get used to it) I managed a panicked 20 minutes. The second time I made my kids try it first (they didn’t mind it) and I lasted something like 0 minutes before I ripped it off with the same hysterical glee as the first time. Nope. Not gonna happen. “And I am unanimous in my decision.” (See Are You Being Served, A British comedy show that I think is sooooo funny. You can find it on Amazon Prime via BritBox)

I’m up because my kidneys are suffering a bit from the medication I take for my RA. I can’t take Advil or anything like that because it makes it worse. So, in my infinite wisdom, to get rid of the headache I was giving myself because I was getting myself all wound up, again, I took some Excedrine Migraine (has caffeine) because I really didn’t want to throw up. That’s what that particular sort of headache does to me. The headache goes away, but I’d like to bang my head until I’m asleep before that happens. I mean, we have five or so ice packs and I’ll have them all up and down my back, neck, and head and the headache will still be there. Then heat, gentle stretching, gentle exercise, moving around, walking, etc. Uhhhh. Anyway… (Thinking Carol Burnett at the end of her show… wow, brain, slllooooowww down!!!) (See Taylor Swift’s new song, “You Need To Calm Down.”) Holy cow Batman!!! Someone, take my laptop away!!!

Remember me? Manic … uh …. Mommy??? Lol That’s a Hard Stop. Hard NO. Full Stop. (Did I get any of those right?)

Good morning people. I’ll be sharing the playlist I made to help myself stay afloat during my “time” (honestly, what DO you call it?) with you tomorrow. I think I finally have it the way I want to share it. I’m picky you know. Sometimes. Here, I’m talking with you. Conversation. Not so pucky… picky. ;0) Anyway, I’ll put the link up here tomorrow. It’s already publish under my name on YouTube. (shhh… so is a bunch of junk playlists…) I bet you can’t figure out which one it is.

I promise, it will be here later today… I really should learn not to say things like that.

A Happy Bipolar Birthday

Today is the day for champions… and so is tomorrow.

I’ve been thinking a lot for a long time. Too long. Too much. That’s okay.

Today really is my birthday. My dinner of choice was made for me and it was yummy.

It snowed. It SNOWED!! It hardly ever snows here, but it did today! On my birthday. (Feb. 3rd) Three hours later it was all gone. Not a big surprise. It was beautiful.

My beautiful dog Bailey (she’s a Kelpie). She did NOT want to sit in it.
The front of the house.

I’ll catch you folks tomorrow. The topic on deck… what happens in my brain when my already overloaded circuits are confronted with Sleep Apnea and the demonic CPAP.

Bipolar – A Wee Comment On Oxycodone and Other Such Things

Over the last several years doctors have willingly given, even insisted that I let them prescribe Oxycodone for chronic pain. (20mg 3x daily)

It is a completely and commonly known fact that this narcotic is ineffective against chronic pain.

I’m home from my joint replacement surgery. I dislike pain. I have a post-prescription for 5mg of Oxycodone. Surgery was at 12:15 this afternoon. I have just taken two.

I’m a question asker. I ask questions all day and all night. I drive even my lizard, fish, cats and Bailey bonkers with them. Yes, and my family too. So what’s my big question?

QUESTION: If you have fire burning behind your eyes causing the mania and the rage to merge and melt into the endless void of despair… why haven’t you just stopped the pain? Surely with all the meds you take you could have done this so easily. Only 5mg? What’s going on? I thought you were suffering like me.

ANSWER: I didn’t plan the question and I haven’t planned the reply. My answer is simple: I believe there is great purpose for my life. I’m not afraid to be seen, accept when I am, because I’m human. I’m not afraid to teach or lead by example even when it is painful, accept when I am, because I’m human. I’m not afraid to shout down wrong and stand for good and the righteous, accept when I am, because I’m human.

Do you see? My life is and will always be what I make of it. This is the way of things whether Bipolar or not. We are human. We make choices.

Knowing that benzodiazepines and narcotics are black-box meds (THE WILL LIKELY KILL YOU IF TAKEN TOGETHER) I have always chosen not to take them together.

My answer is simple, if a bit wobbly. I’m going to keep going and learning and growing and I’d love it if you came along too. I’d love to get to know you and hear your story.

No, I’m not a doctor or counselor and I have no medical training nor do I claim to be able to heal anyone. But, we all have our unique stories. They’re OUR stories and our stories can’t do quite a lot of things for us.

Time for me to say goodnight friend. If you have a few minutes and would like to say hello you can reach me at: robin.paterson.redux@gmail.com

Be well, Robin

Bipolar – There’s Manic, Then, Then There’s Really Manic!

I started seeing a new counselor this last Friday. So far so good. Straight away, I told her I felt I was a handful because I am. Then I explained what my med provider had as my diagnoses and what my counselor had. The previous counselor only had Bipolar 1 listed. That’s it. The med provider had much more. The most significant of which, and what I want to mention today, are Bipolar 1 with a PhD in mania, mixed states, and rapid cycling, and ADHD. We’ll leave the rest out for now.

We started forming a treatment plan, and one of the things I wanted to do was figure out how to stop.

I just want to stop sometimes.

Last week I told people on my mental health team that I feel like my brain is on fire. I couldn’t explain it. It just feels like that. I’m on, I’m manic, I’m thinking, my brain is doing ALL THE TIME. It never ever stops.

My counselor reminded me that the typical pattern for Bipolar is most of the time, the person struggles with depression and the mania only comes around ever so often. It took me 37 minutes to lay out what I thought were the important things she needed to know to get started that she might ask questions about or whatever. I’m sure I missed a ton. But still, 37 minutes. That’s some fast talking, even for me.

In the past, I used to ask my doctors if it was possible to have my adrenilen stuck on all the time. They always said that it wasn’t. I think they were closer to being wrong than right. I am manic 96% of the time. I’m manic right now.

I also have some chronic pain in my sciatic nerve. When it’s hurting, which is every day, and my brain is toying with me, things go to pot pretty fast. Then I get mad. I might become enraged. Then depression pops in for a jig and the pain is magnified, and I can’t stand it. I kick and cry and rock back and forth. I ice and heat and wish I could take something for the pain. I do all my PT, am active and go for walks. Nothing works. It’s a nightmare.

And yet, I’m allowing another potential nightmare to happen on the 17th. I’ve already had my right knee replaced twice (long story). Now, my left thumb joint has to be replaced. JOY!!! Not. I’m scared. Joint replacement isn’t my favorite sport. Nope. Not. Scared. Maybe terrified..

Now, add to that acute mania, and what do you think my brain and my amped-up emotions are doing?

The reason I’m mentioning that I’m nearly all manic is that each one of us is totally unique. The ubiquitous norm is a cycle of depression with less mania. I don’t hold to that norm. I don’t know, maybe you don’t either. Maybe you only become manic once a year or once every two years. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that whether you experience your moods frequently or more slowly, you still need to be prepared for them. Be ready for the good and the bad.

Be ready for the depressed days, the good normal days, and… the manic days. There is so much to learn from each of them.

I get this dog.