4:30 am wake up call

I woke up at 4:30 this morning, I tossed and turned all night, even with my sleeping meds. I’ll admit, things haven’t been super easy lately, mostly because of money struggles. My boyfriend was wrongfully terminated from his job, soooo it’s been a little tough. The good thing though, he’s been happier than I’ve seen him in over a year, and I’d rather have that than money. I guess that’s what love is. Struggling together, wanting to see your partner happy, when their happiness is above all else to you. That’s how I feel. I’ve never been more in love with someone, I am extremely lucky, I know that, and that’s the bottom line.

Anyway, getting up at 4:30 am, can be a bad thing, especially when I don’t sleep well while I am asleep. Being bipolar, my sleep schedule is one of the most important things that I have, that helps keep me stable. So here’s how my bedtime routine goes: 9pm; turn on the star light projector, turn down the tv brightness and volume, and I go and do my skin care and such. Then I watch some videos on YouTube, nothing too heavy. 10pm; meds, the tv brightness goes all the way down and the volume goes off and my boyfriend puts on headphones. He usually stays with me until I fall asleep. Also at 10, I put on a podcast or music, then I go to sleep.

I know, it’s simple, but it truly does keep me on track. I stick to it almost every night. I plan my nights out around my sleep schedule, if I am out, I’m home by 9:30 at the latest. That’s part of being bipolar though, sleep is so important. So today, may or may not be a good day. Usually when I don’t sleep, things go south around noon or one. I’ll get cranky and start feeling bad and anxious, and nothing will help. Not even naps. So, yeah, basically I need sleep, and lots of it. I usually get between 8 and 10 hours, usually closer to 10. The thing is though, that if I sleep for longer than 10 hours, the day is usually a wash. We’ll see how today goes. I’m hoping not too badly, I have a lot of things to do. Mostly school work, which I’m behind on, as usual.

I’m behind on school work because I had a manic episode about two weeks back. Which, unfortunately, kept me from class for a whole week. I’m not super far behind, but let’s just say, if I had a test tomorrow, I’d be done for. Hopefully this hiccup in sleep doesn’t mess me up for days, like the manic episode did.

Basically, life isn’t always easy. As long as you do the best you can though, that’s what matters. You don’t have to do great everyday. I aim for neutral or baseline everyday, because I am very rarely symptom free for more than a few hours. I do the best I can though, I’m not perfect, my life isn’t perfect, being bipolar sure isn’t perfect. I just keep it going though, all day, everyday.

Me and my favorite vet.

Just a little update

So Halloweek came and went and nothing exciting happened. Just another week. Same ups and downs, lots of, I don’t feel wells. Just trying to cope and get through, one day at a time. Daylight savings time was last night and I’m not sure how it’s going to effect me, it always messes with my sleep schedule, which I strictly adhere to. We’ll see how things go. 

I’ve decided to start a mini health journey. Mental and physical health. I hate exercising, because I always did it because I wanted to lose weight and I would get discouraged when I didn’t see results. Lately though, my mindset has been that, exercising is about overall health, it’s not about losing weight, it’s about being healthy. Once I started looking at it like that, I felt more empowered to go. The first week I started strong, but I haven’t been in two weeks. It’s not because I didn’t want to. One week I had a pretty bad manic episode and going to the gym was not an option. The other week, I don’t really have a reason, I just didn’t go. I actually missed not going. I need to stop eating junk food, that’s my next mission for the physical side. 

I got a DBT workbook at Barnes and noble today, so I’m hoping that will help on the mental side. I also want to start tracking my moods, I’m not sure how though. I’ve never tracked my mood before, I always thought that it was kind of gimmicky. At this point though, I’ve never had a day, a full day where I was symptom free. Also, my psychiatrist doesn’t want to add any more meds or increase any dosages, so it is up to me. I have to get it together, I can’t live my life having symptoms every single day. So, I’m really trying anything. 

That’s kind of where my life is right now. At this moment, I’m okay, but that could change any second. That’s just the nature of the beast I suppose. Being bipolar isn’t easy, but I don’t have to make it more difficult. If keeping up with my health in this way is what I have to do, then so be it. I’m still having intrusive thoughts. About death and dying, that’s the persistent symptom right now. The only thing I can do is recognize them as not being my thoughts and ignore them. But, intrusive thoughts are not easy to ignore, especially when they’re filled with such heavy content. It’s up to me to find a way to cope, to not let them get to me or ruin my mood. I’m just so tired of symptoms on symptoms, just a never ending string of things that pile on top of each other. And it’s up to me to sort through that pile and figure out how to deal with each individual thing. I find that if I try to handle too many things at once I just get overwhelmed. 

So, here it goes with my health journey. 

Halloweek has Commenced.

Halloween is on Thursday. I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween, I’ve never had a really amazing experience with it, so I look forward to it, but I also don’t. I always feel this pressure to do something, to have that one perfect experience, then maybe I’ll be happy and start loving Halloween. I just don’t want to do anything though. Because I’ve outgrown the bar scene and I don’t really have enough friends to have a party or anything, so this year’s plan was to sit at home, in my sloth onesie, and get high. Now, my boyfriend suggested we go to Sleepy Hollow, in New York. It does sound like fun, and it would probably be a nice night. But, I’m not sure if I want to go. I have class at 1 so we would leave at 3ish. So I would have all day to prepare and get ready and just be okay. For some reason, I just don’t feel like it.

I hate crowds and there’s no way to know big the crowd will be at Sleepy Hollow. We were in Salem, MA last Halloween, and that was INSANITY. So many people. I don’t want to go through that again. There are just so many unknown variables. I haven’t been feeling well lately though, just very anxious and uncomfortable. I had a pretty bad manic episode on Tuesday and by Thursday, I had completely crashed. Needless to say, I missed class all week. We’ll be an hour and a half away from home, so if I start feeling bad, there’s essentially no where to go.

On the flip side, I feel like I should just go. I want these amazing experiences, so if I never go anywhere and just avoid things, how will I have those experiences or make those memories? I need to step out of my comfort zone and I know that. I’m constantly having these conflicting sides to every situation. If I go X could happen, but I won’t know unless I go. “X” could be anything. Good or bad, it’s just a variable. I need to just figure it out. Also, my boyfriend really wants to go, and I don’t want to let him down. He’s so amazing and he does so much for me, why can’t I just get out of my own head and just go? For him. I don’t want to ruin his Halloween by just nixing it immediately, so I’m going to think about it.

The more I think about it though, the deeper into my head I go. I don’t want to miss out on things. I know I can’t live inside my house forever. I need to go out. Do things, experience things, just live. I cannot let my disorder get in the way of things forever, I can’t hide behind it or use it as an excuse forever. All in all, let Halloweek commence.

Another bipolar day

There seems to be a trend in my days, I wake up and feel bad, then I’ll have some medical marijuana and I’ll feel better, then a few hours later I’ll feel bad again. Then I’ll feel okay. It’s not mood swings, so it’s nothing serious it’s just very annoying. I mean it’s part of being bipolar I suppose. I just hate it. I hate being bipolar, some days I hate it more than others. Some days I hate it so much I cry. I feel so defeated from it. Like no matter what I do, how many meds I take or symptom management I do, I feel like it never changes. I was saying the other day, how I just take meds out of routine sometimes and I don’t even think about why I’m taking them. I don’t want to have to take all these meds, I also know I can’t go off them. I know people say that there are benefits to having bipolar, I’m assuming most of those people don’t have bipolar. Because I hate it. So much. It’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Why did it have to be me? I know it’s genetic, so I don’t actually have a say. 

I can accept that I have it, but I don’t have to like it. I don’t have to feel any way about it. I just have to deal with it and manage it. I didn’t have a choice in getting it, but I have a choice in how I deal with it. So, I will continue to take my meds and manage my symptoms. I’ll put my work in, because that’s the best chance I have of making my life liveable, to my personal standards. I’ve had to lower those standards though. Like, I’ve had to alter timelines of things that I want to happen. Living with bipolar isn’t easy. A lot of days I’m just sad or I just feel bad for no reason. There’s days I just need to rest and there’s days I have to push myself, then there’s days where I actually feel okay enough to choose to do things. Those days are few though, but they seem to be becoming more frequent. I’ve put alot of work in and it does show, I do see the changes, I really do, but some days my soul just hurts and I’m just tired. Tired of everything. So I just curl up in a ball and just not participate in life, and that’s no way to live, but it’s my reality. I have to pick and choose my battles, like what will I choose to do today, because I’ll have a list of things to do, but I’ll have to pick one thing because it’s too difficult to do more than that. 

Some days, I just can’t. I can’t be expected to do anything, the day is essentially just a wash. Nothing is going to get done. Then days like today, I had a wonderful time with my family, but just two hours or so, once I get home, I’m done for the day. Nothing else can be expected to be done. I’m just going to lay in my bed and try and avoid the bad feelings that are going to come. And sure enough, it happened, I came home and I felt like garbage. I hate it so much. I wish I wasn’t bipolar, but I am. I just have to deal the best that I can. 

Luck and Love

I was having a conversation with my boyfriend, literally 10 minutes ago. I said that I win every single day when I get to be with him, butttt that’s not going to stop me from entering as many giveaways as I can.

I’m sitting on the floor next to his side of the bed, with my dog next to me, why? I just had the urge it sit on the floor. He said it’s because I “wanted a change of scenery”. Which is quite possible. Anyway, I’m watching my usual YouTube beauty videos and one of my favorite YouTubers, just released an eyeshadow palette, and I didn’t think I wanted it until I saw the reviews. Now I’m like NEED. Unfortunately, by time I get the money to get it, it’ll be sold out. I entered two giveaways to try and win it, but no luck there. I haven’t won a giveaway, well, ever. I enter a lot too. That’s the main reason I got my Twitter, to enter giveaways. That probably sounds crazy. I mean, to me it makes sense. I like free things. If it’s easy to enter, then I don’t see why not. I have 7 followers on Twitter. My main Twitter. I don’t even know how many I have on my blog Twitter. Anyway, I’m clearly not the luckiest person when it comes to giveaways. That’s fine with me. As much as it would be nice to get all those things, I’m lucky in other ways.

I have a place to live, I have the best pets, and a wonderful love of my life. Along with MANY other blessings in my life in the form of people. My parents, my best friend, my whole family in general. It just shows me, that sometimes I need to take a minute and reflect. Because I really don’t think I do that enough. I feel like I don’t take things for granted, but sometimes I do. Sometimes I forget to just stop and look around and see all the love in my life, the true luck that I have.

I may not have a knack for winning giveaways, but I sure do have a knack for attracting the best people. I guess, that is luck.

How are You Doing

It’s such a loaded question. It makes you think, how am I actually doing? Or, what are you going to tell this person? What you think they want to hear or maybe you can actually tell them how you actually are. It depends on the person, but it also depends on you.

For me, I always take the safe route and just say that “I’m fine”, or if it’s my dad, I just kind of make noises like “eh. meh.” and he understands. But, when is the right time to open up and say, “No, I’m not doing okay.”? I can’t answer that for anyone else, but I’ve learned to pick and choose who I say what to. I feel like there are some people who need to know, some people I actually want to know, then there’s people who don’t need to know or maybe even don’t deserve to know. It’s something that really needs to be contemplated though, I mean, that’s what I think anyway. Like, who in your life do you feel like you can turn to and tell them that you are not okay. Who do you reach out to? Who do you feel safe with?

Answering that question can leave you very exposed, because there are so many variables that go into the answer, but you have a split second to answer. So, what do you do? How do you answer? Are you really doing “fine”? You’ll know, but depending on what other people say, you decide on what you’re going to say. I feel like this issue runs through everyone’s head when the question is asked.

If you have mental illness, it make take a lot out of you to answer the question truthfully, you may be on autopilot and say a very basic, vague answer. Like I said, there are a lot of variables. Your comfort level with the person, the setting, the situation. It’s like you have to run through the five W’s (Who, What, When, Where, and Why) before you can answer the question.

I was thinking about this the other day, how I wish I wasn’t bipolar, how I wish I was “normal”, how I wish I didn’t have anxiety. Because I hate all those things, and they’re things I want to say when people ask how I’m doing, but I would never say those things. So, it’s something I have to deal with everyday of my life, I have to fight through and deal with it. Be stronger everyday. It’s not easy though. Some days when someone asks, you just want to beak down and cry and say that you are not okay. But, you’ll put on a brave face and a smile and say that everything is just peachy.

It’s not easy and it sure as hell isn’t fair, but it’s something that we always have to deal with, mental illness or not, people have bad days. Not everyone is hiding something, but some are. Life is just what it is. So next time someone asks how you’re doing, take an extra tenth of a second to think, reflect, how am I doing? Am I sugar coating it for this person? If I don’t, will they understand?

If you need validation for telling someone that you’re okay when you’re not, it’s here. I mean, find someone you trust and feel comfortable with and tell them, but you don’t have to tell someone in passing or someone you don’t see often how you’re actually doing.

Sunday Rambles

Yesterday, I went on the hunt for a fall candle. A candle that would, to me anyway, embody what I feel fall would smell like. The thing is, candles are expensive. Especially name brand candles. I ended up at TJ Maxx, and there I found the perfect fall candle. It’s purple and called wizards magic. Now, I LOVE Harry Potter, when I say love, I mean obsessed, also, purple is my favorite color, so it was meant to be. It was also only $7, which is a steal. Because the other candles that I got, are mini’s of Yankee Candle’s Autumn scent, because they were $2 each, meanwhile, the next size up was $16. So, I said nope to that. And I ended up with the wizards magic candle.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I just went on a rant about candles. I’ve been LOVING candles lately. They seem to calm me. Which made me realize that sometimes it’s the small things that make us happy. For example, me yesterday, finding the perfect candle at a reasonable price. Yet, that happiness didn’t last, yesterday ended up being a super weird day. I’m not sure how to explain it, it’s like, everything seems odd, or everything is off. I tried explaining it to my parents and they looked at me like I was crazy. So, I’m hoping someone here will understand.

So, even while the little things make me happy, I find that just like all my good moods, it’s fleeting. I never stay feeling “good” for long. I’m usually anxiety ridden, panic stricken, and just down. Which has made me realize that I have the bask in the small moments of extreme happiness, especially when a little, random thing makes me smile. I haven’t been having as many mood swings, but I am cycling between being neutral and being down. I’ve been having breakthrough symptoms of depression, like physically, but I don’t feel depressed. So, I’ve been struggling with that.

I just want to be happy, I know, it seems like a simple thing, but  it’s something that some people won’t entirely understand. Instead of me saying I don’t feel well anymore, I’ve been saying that I’m having “mood disorder complications”, which is true. When I don’t feel well, it usually has to do with my mood, and sometimes it’s organic, and there is literally nothing I can do about it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, bask in the small things. Smell ALL the candles, and just take some time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes and you just take a few deep breaths, you have to do what’s best for you. For me, it’s going and just smelling candles or roaming around barnes and noble, or scrolling through the sephora or ulta app. Also, update, I already put instgram back on my phone. So, my social media detox will have to wait.

Find something small that makes you happy, and just go with it. Which I guess, is self care. I’m going to admit that I’m not the best at self care, I love the idea of it, I try to practice it, but I just can’t seem to stick to anything. So, for now, I’ll stick to smelling candles.