Panic, mania, anxiety, Oh My!

If any phrase could sum up my day it would be this. I spent the day battling anxiety, followed by mania, and finally a sense of panic. Followed by more anxiety. Also, stress on stress on stress. Most of the things I’m stressed about I have no control over, so it’s hard to deal with. Like fighting something that isn’t there. Eventually you have to give in and try and figure out why you’re fighting so hard. Usually because the answer is something you don’t want to hear. For me, it’s being told that all the things I’m stressing about, are out of my control. There is not one thing I can do except wait on other people and in one case trust my doctors and my body.

The mania was not fun, my mind started racing and I couldn’t stop the intrusive thought cycle. I was restless, you know the usual. Finally I’m feeling a bit better. I had some herbal tea, put on a podcast and of course xanax. Part of my issue is that I feel this constant need to do something. Like, I have so many books to read and shows I want to watch, that I don’t even know where to start. So, I panic about that. Literally the thing that matters the least. I get anxious about things that most people find relaxing. Probably because I’m horrible and even avoid making choices. As if I can make a wrong choice starting a book or a show and deciding that I don’t like it. If I don’t like it, then I have permission to stop. It’s as if I need to give myself permission to do things that other people just do, without thinking. I need to basically make a pro and con list about everything, then I like throw that pro and con list in the fire and watch makeup videos on YouTube. How is that a healthy cycle?

It’s not. A lot of the things I do are not healthy, as in mentally healthy. Also, I miss gluten. That has nothing to do with any of this, but watching people eat things my body rejects makes me feel pretty bad. My anxiety is back to being overwhelming. You know what I’m going to do? Probably Youtube, because I’m not very good at changing my habits or even truly recognizing that they’ve gotten to an unhealthy point. Which I feel like my YT watching has gotten to. I have a podcast on now, because that’s part of the things I want to do more of this year. I just need to be able to identify the unhealthy habit, figure out how to change it, then slowly implement those changes. I need to push past the anxiety in these situations, because the anxiety is uncomfortable, but keeping up with the habit will just make it worse. It doesn’t help how bored I am. I also can’t focus and a whole bunch of things just weigh me down.

The anxiety is so bad. I’m at a loss for words to explain why it’s so intense. I feel like crying, my chest is tight, every movement feels like I’m moving a mountain. I’m at a loss for what to do, I can’t focus. I try counting my breaths and doing breathing exercises, but nothing is making it better. My bf asks me what’s wrong and I can’t tell him because I don’t know. My mind is a jumbled mess. I just want to rock back and forth or bounce my leg. I’ve been trying to keep that under control. I know the possible solution to all of this could be mindfulness, but it’s not easy. I have all the help I need at my finger tips, I just don’t know how to use it.

New Year, New Me?

Nah. I’m not about that. I’m not even that into new years resolutions. So, here I am on January 1st, 2021. It sounds crazy to say. Some how I made it through 2020. And all I can ask myself is, How? Like, gurl, how the hell did you do that? I should be proud of myself. It’s hard to appreciate how far I had to come to make it through 2020, when all I can think about are the mood swings that were and those that are to come. Right this second, I’m in an irritable, angry mood. For no other reason other than, I just am. It’s hard to accept that fact, that a lot of times, I just am feeling a a feeling and I need to let it be what it is. Not look too closely at it. If it’s an intrusive thought, accept it and put it on the shelf.

So, are there things I want to accomplish in 2021? Of course. I made a list of more things I want to do, and less things I want to do. Some of them are basic, like don’t eat gluten. Other ones are a lot harder, like don’t stream too much, don’t intake as much social media. I want to read more, but right now it seems that I don’t have the focus for one book. Earlier in 2020 I attempted to put a “one book” rule in place. In which I could only read one book at a time. Then once I finished that book, I could move onto the next. The thing is, my bipolar brain doesn’t work like that.

My bipolar brain needs just the right amount of stimulation. Too much, I get over whelmed and anxious. When there’s a lack of stimulation, like there has been this year, I get manic. I can never seem to find that balance though. Which, means I’m almost always symptomatic. So, i would like to control that in 2021. I know that’s kind of a doozy of a goal, because it’s impossible to control something you don’t fully understand.

I’ve been anxious all day, it’s like a new year hasn’t even started. I’ve been rocking more, I’ve been cocooning in blankets more. It’s a bit reminiscent of my hiding in the closet days. I would curl up and sleep on the floor of my mini walk in closet. So, I’m not sure if it’s the best thing to do. I don’t know. I need something, but I’m not sure what it is exactly. I just know “New Year, New Me” will not solve any of my problems. I’m just so tired all the time and my doctor thinks it’s because of all the meds I’m on. A lot of them have side effects of lethargy. I just don’t want to feel so lost this year. I want to find a way to be more grounded. So, cheers to the new year, may yours be filled with health and happiness, and here’s to hopefully more blog posts coming from me.

Summer Sundays

It is way too hot right now, 93 degrees to be exact, but it has to feel like 105, especially in the apartment. I had a very uncomfortable manic episode yesterday, which is why I didn’t post yesterday. I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t even write. I can usually write through whatever I’m feeling, but not yesterday.

I got manic because I didn’t sleep on Friday night, which will always trigger a manic episode for me, and that’s not an overstatement. Of course other things will trigger mania for me, but lack of sleep will do it no matter what. The music festival was a lot of fun, but I got so worked up, I couldn’t sleep. Which meant mania the next morning. It didn’t help that I hadn’t picked up my meds the day before, so the abilify, which usually keeps the mania in check, wasn’t in my system. So I took the other medication I’m supposed to take when I feel manic, and it stopped the mania from getting worse, but it left me with an insanely uncomfortable feeling. The type of feeling where, you’re on edge, and nothing can help you come down from it. I find it to be one of the worst feelings. Towards the end of the night I told my boyfriend that, I didn’t want to feel anymore. Which is when he told me I needed to rest, like take away all the visual stimulation, put on a book, close my eyes, and just rest. Which I did, and it kind of helped, well enough to get me through the rest of the night.

This morning was a little better, but it was hot in the living room. When I wake up first, which is pretty much always, I go in the living room to do whatever until he wakes up. The air conditioning is in the bed room though, so all I had were fans. Needless to say, I just snoozed through the morning. Then when he woke up, I came into the bedroom and couldn’t sit still, again. I thought it was going to be a continuation of yesterday, which thankfully it’s not. But that’s the thing, I feel like I’m always living in fear of the next episode, or I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I can never truly relax. When I’m not anxious, I get anxious looking for something to be anxious about. Why can’t I just bask in the moment? Or enjoy, even for a little while, feeling the lightness of my chest or the relaxation of my back. Things I never feel.

I’m a lot calmer in the summer, summer is when I thrive, emotionally anyway. Once school starts, the constant stress begins and I feel like I’m never, not anxious. The fear sets in even more then, I’m going to school, I’m so afraid I won’t do well and I’ll waste the money that was spent that semester. I’m so afraid of an episode, that I trigger an episode. It’s just a vicious cycle. I need to learn how to combat that. On the upside, I was able to work all my hours this week. I didn’t leave early or anything.

I’ve learned that a lot of things have to do with mindset. I’m usually in the opposite mindset of where I should be, because I’m always in a fearful mindset. I’m doing my best to be positive, to know my true feelings, but it’s hard. Especially when I’m not used to really feeling, feelings. Positivity is something that I have to work towards everyday, it’s something that I can’t give up on.

A Not so Manic Monday

So here I am, sitting in the waiting room or my neurologists office, chipped nails, unwashed hair, and a sweater that doesn’t match my outfit. Painting my nails and washing my hair are both things that I do on Sundays. Since I felt really bad last night, none of my usual things got done. I just wasn’t up for it. I went and sat outside for a little while yesterday, but I immediately started getting bit by bugs, so that was over real quick. Nothing made things better yesterday. I couldn’t focus, I was essentially numb, I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t want to do anything, watch anything, listen to anything. I did write though. I wrote and wrote and wrote, it helped slightly, but not much.

So, now I’m home, the neurologist went fine, he reenrolled me for the device that I use for my migraines. I went to work, my computer wasn’t working, again, I was on the phone with our IT company for who knows how long. Finally I got him to understand that this wasn’t a one time thing that happened just today, it has happened three times. So, he’s working on my computer now, well he was when I left, I just hope I don’t need a new computer. I spent most of the day listening to a book on audible, trying to keep my anxiety at bay and myself on some sort of track to get work done. I tried, but I couldn’t focus and I just was not having a good day.

Fast forward to now, I’m sitting on my couch, I just got over being extremely irritable for no reason, isolating, and just overall ruminating in how just plain my day was. Also, I had barely eaten anything all day. After work, I had to run around and do things, even though all I wanted to do was lay down and just stop for a second, but I couldn’t. By time I was done, I was so angry and anxious, angry to the point where I couldn’t even stay in the same room as my boyfriend because I didn’t want to take it out on him.

And here I am now, nails still chipped, hair still unwashed, I exchanged my work clothes for some comfy ones, and I feel a lot calmer. At some point I’ll get to the things that I need to do, but it doesn’t have to be right now. I have to learn that it’s okay to take a minute to yourself, put on some headphones and tune the world out. I need to not put so much pressure on myself or feel like others are putting pressure on me when they’re not. I have to learn to let go a little bit, I don’t have to do all the things, and the things I do, they don’t have to be as perfect as I think they have to be. I have to slow down sometimes and just breathe. So, all in all, it’s only 6:35 PM, I have some time to relax. Even though I’ve been up for 12 hours. I’m going to take some time to myself and go from there. Today may have been a bit hectic, but I wasn’t manic, and as much of a bad day I had yesterday, it didn’t trigger anything bigger. So, I’ll call that a win.