Friday, April 25, 2014

An experiment

Getting heart palpitations when I drink coffee, I now have to try to find out if I have to stop drinking it completely, or if I can have a cup a few times a day. I already tried to switch to tea, but I have to tell you that I turned into a very grouchy woman who you would not want to be around. I was obviously going through caffeine withdrawal. I ended up making a cup and a half in the coffeemaker and I very quickly became the nicest person you could imagine and so far my heart is behaving normally.
Maybe a cup and a half is my limit and I just can't drink it in the amounts that I was used to. Of course, I did that as a way to medicate myself into a better mood. I very much used the caffeine as an upper and needed it many times a day and lots of it. Now that the extra antidepressant is working so well, caffeine doesn't have to serve that purpose anymore. But I am glad that I seem to be able to drink a little coffee sometimes, because I really don't like tea nearly as much. A cup every once in a while is more than enough.
I must have been real set on buying new sneakers the other day because now, when I look at that bright green pair of them, I can't believe I bought those. When I walk down the street with Tyke, people look at my feet first before they look at my face. Maybe that is a good thing and I am a real trendsetter for women my age. I do have to be comfortable enough with myself to be able to wear them and really not give a hoot. I did tone down the rest of my outfit a bit. I didn't want to quite look like I was going to the carnival. But the sneakers are the most comfortable shoes I've got to wear and there is a lot to be said for that.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

How things turn out sometimes

My appointment yesterday with my therapist went surprisingly well and it goes to show you that you should not go into things with too many preconceived ideas. I have to say that, since we are trying to cement our patient-therapist relationship for the third time, she continues to exceed my expectations and it may just be possible that this time we will make a success of it. I do have to say that I am doing my best too and am trying to leave past attitudes behind me. I approach her as if we are making a new start and I think she is doing the same thing. I don't know if she likes me, but I don't think that is necessary for the relationship to work.
I've got a bit of hay fever because we have very nice weather, and as a result I keep being hoarse during the day. That's supposed to sound sexy, but mostly it's a pain in the neck because you can't make yourself heard well. I also have a very dry mouth as a result of the extra antidepressant and constantly have to have something to drink handy or I can't talk properly. My tongue gets stuck to the roof of my mouth because of lack of lubrication.
I bought some bright green sneakers on the way to see my therapist because I discovered that the pair that I hade been wearing constantly had developed a hole in them. I found out online that the store close to me had all sorts of them on sale in all sorts of colors, but of course when I got there, there were none left in my size except for these bright green ones. I don't really mind because I like to wear colorful clothes and these will go with a lot of them.
My nose hurts where my glasses rest on them on one side and I tried to do without wearing them yesterday, but it was a total fiasco. I need them so often that I constantly had to put them on and off and looking into the distance wasn't all that much fun either. I constantly felt like I had to wipe something out of my right eye because of the astigmatism. Besides that, my face had that naked look that someone gets when they ought to be wearing their glasses. I just didn't look right. So now I just take a paracetamol when my nose bothers me too much.
I have an enormously calm day ahead of me after three rather busy days, and I am looking forward to it very much. Silence and serenity are good for me to recharge with at regular times. I need large doses of it. I am becoming an expert on myself now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Proving myself

This is day thirteen of me being on my extra antidepressant and little by little, every day, I feel myself turning into a more contented woman and at times I even come close to being happy. Sometimes I even am. I have to get used to these new feelings and do not take them for granted yet, but I am learning to trust their presence inside of me and that they will not suddenly disappear.
This afternoon I have an appointment with my therapist and I keep thinking that I have to prove to her that I am indeed doing much better. What do I say to her? "Sorry, it wasn't your therapeutic talk that made me feel better, but the medicine?" She and I are still in our trial period to see if we can make our patient-therapist relationship work at all, and this is the third time that we are doing this at the insistence of my psychiatrist. And god knows I am trying.
I am not at all feeling normal because I don't think there is such a thing, and wouldn't that be boring? But I am feeling more and more at ease with myself and more comfortable with who I am.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Honesty is the best policy

Whenever I start feeling rushed and as a result, anxious, I tell myself that there is no need for it and that I can take all the time in the world and that there is no real deadline by which something needs to get done. Now, this sounds good in theory, but of course there are some things that I have to see to that I really can not postpone and I already have a list of phone calls that I have to make in the morning.
It is a normal part of life that I get this done, but I would not have been able to as recent as a few days ago, which goes to show you that little by little there is improvement in my situation every day. I do have to say that, while this is happening, I am becoming more and more patient about the time needed for the process to take place and am in no rush to say, "Hallelujah, I am cured now," some morning when I wake up feeling good.
I know life has its regular ups and downs and that everybody's mood fluctuates and that I can not expect to always find myself in a state of happiness. But I do expect the pain of living to disappear when there is no reason for it to exist and to no longer always in the back of my mind think of a way out of life if things don't work out.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Keeping my wits about me

After every chore that I do, I sit in my armchair and rest for a while with something to drink, but at least I am doing my chores now. For some of them, I do have to have a talk with myself beforehand or otherwise I can't quite get myself to do them. But sometimes it is just a matter of timing and what I can't achieve in the morning, I more easily do a few hours later in the afternoon. Even in one single day, my mood is unpredictable, so I very much live in the moment and try not to plan the whole day ahead of time.
Yesterday, I realized that I was suffering from a shortage of sleep and went back to bed at the end of the morning and slept another two hours. This did wonders for my mood and energy level, and it changed my whole outlook on the rest of the day. In this stage I am in now, I need more sleep than I usually get and I am not used to that yet and still get up too soon. I find it hard to stay in bed once I am awake, but should probably linger there a while longer in the off chance that I will sleep some more.
When you have a bipolar disorder, you always have to be extra vigilant and sensible. There is much that you can't take for granted and you have to be suspicious of any out of the ordinary behavior of yourself. That doesn't leave much room for spontaneity. Maybe it is because of my present mood that I am extra alert for that and things will not look that bad by next week.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

In the interest of science

The nicest thing about lying low, is that the telephone rarely rings and I had not even realized up until very recently how much the ringing of the phone used to bother me. I know now that I was always afraid that a needy person would be at the other end of the line and want some of my precious emotional energy and time. Now I feel as though I have acquired a new sense of freedom in my own apartment and I no longer have such a feeling of entrapment. That's what makes it so much easier to sit and relax in my armchair and take a decent nap in the afternoon if I want. I don't have to worry that the phone will ring.
I also very much limit the time I spend behind the computer. Yesterday, I was doing some very interesting research online about the bipolar disorder and I could have gone on for hours, but I realized that I could get very obsessively involved and after one hour shut off the computer. I then proceeded to have a quiet time out while seated in my armchair with a cup of coffee. One thing I am learning is, that bipolar people are very sensitive to stress, and triggers, and can't have too much of it. It can send them into either kind of extreme state. Personally, I have to be careful not to become hypomanic now because I am a rapid cycler and quickly go from one state to the other.
I also did more research about the extra antidepressant I am taking and know more about it now I think than the average psychiatrist. I am not nearly as worried about taking it as I was to begin with, because compared to the one I am already taking, it is pretty benign. I researched that one also and visited sites that are meant for professionals or people who are otherwise interested in how the medicines work. The new antidepressant works after you have taken it for two weeks, so any benefits I am feeling from it now are strictly in my imagination. I am sure that they are the result of the changes in my life style. I have been on the new one for eight days.
Most likely, it will be a gradual change and not an abrupt one. I just have to be patient.