I guess I might just ought to do them: 31 Days of Bipolar

There is a trend going around the blog circuits of those with bipolar called “31 Days of Bipolar.” This is a good test of my mettle lol… Since I am struggling with being 100% honest about my illness, but concerned about who might be reading my posts.

Anyway I am going to start with Day 5 because I can, lol… and because I already answered it on a friend’s page lol…

however I have not really read the questions … So I am shooting in the dark a little bit here.

***

I was not diagnosed Bipolar *I (see definition at bottom of page) til 2003. I began therapy for codependency and alcoholism in 1985. I still don’t have my bipolar self-care down…. 🙂 I could, but I am lazy/stubborn/too hedonistic … and don’t have a dog lol…

I do have a therapist because my …

… shrink is only 15 min for med management. My therapist is great for helping me focus on my treatment plan, dealing with struggles (most commonly boundaries), shame, acceptance of my diagnosis (I like to reach “over my head” and then get into crisis because of denial that I have a mental illness) (can I hear an “amen”?)

Medication: seems stable, am on lamictal, trileptal, and abilify.

Love: Oh! I didn’t even notice this category when I first read! I definitely isolate, but that is due to my tendency to be an introvert. So I really have to work at this one. It is just too stressful to have too many relationships with people. I typically keep people at a distance. I have a BFF who lives right upstairs from me – have known her for almost 25 years. Church (not many that I trust with my “stuff”). Family wise, I alienated myself from most of them while I was in early recovery and there is still some angst about that, although it’s better than it was. Love from my therapist haha although yes he is good with boundaries. We both are. No hugs, Although occasionally he will get me a present. For example, this Christmas he got me a book of poetry, in which he highlighted 2 poems as specific to what we’re working on. I can’t remember what they were and I can’t find the book right away! But when I do I’ll publish them here. Lots of love from internet friends I’ve made since probably 2001 (Met on a site for people who were affected by 911). I tend to be a helper-bee. As a nurse it is a natural tendency for me (graduated in 1981; not working right now). I don’t really ask other people for help and support, which is often common of people with mental illness. My greatest love is Jesus – it has passed the point of a fad. And I’m sure you have read some that I have written about Him.

Dogs: as I said I don’t have one. I do love cats and have had them but I am not a great mommy so I don’t right now.

Calm: I do boring stuff, keeps the anxiety low. Pretty moderate social phobia/anxiety, history of anxiety disorder. I don’t deal with it very well, I have had a number of jobs and when they don’t work I don’t work.I also avoid drama and I avoid romance.

Routine: as I said I do boring stuff. I am recovering from my son living w/ me in a very small apt. (efficiency) so I am indulging in sleeping late when my body will let me. But my best sleep routine is getting up around 6 am and bed at 10 or 11 am. haha. Maybe sometimes. But what I meant was pm.

Sleep: as regular as possible, see above. I have taken to going to bed around 10 with a book until my meds including benadryl knock me out.

Diet: very bad. I do take vitamins but that is probably as good as it gets right now.

Exercise: not much

Writing: off and on although lately much more frequent, this blog, comments on other blogs, and also working on my novel (although not as much as I would theoretically like to).

Reading: Have 4 books going but try to keep to one at a time, read a lot online of a great variety of things/articles.

Light (ie “blue light,”) Never really thought about it although I recently read that computer/ phone light is not a good idea at bedtime (can trigger insomnia) I haven’t had mania since ’10 so I’m not too worried, meds seem to cover me pretty well.

****

Definitions: There are no good and concise definitions but here is a fair explanation. I was not aware of Bipolar III and IV but here ’tis. I also was not aware that these were also defined my length of episodes but whatever lol…

1. Bipolar I Disorder—defined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks.

  • 2. Bipolar II Disorder—defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
  • 3. Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS)—diagnosed when symptoms of the illness exist but do not meet diagnostic criteria for either bipolar I or II. However, the symptoms are clearly out of the person’s normal range of behavior.
  • 4. Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymia—a mild form of bipolar disorder. People with cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania as well as mild depression for at least 2 years. However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for any other type of bipolar disorder.

So anyway, that’s #5 and I may or may not do the other 30 questions lol…

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