Construction Zone – Self Improvement in Progress

Per Brandon who writes The Daily Bipolar, I’ve been inspired by his post Too Much At Once?.  In his post, he was examining goals for himself and prioritizing.

Obviously, I seriously have a problem with that.  I’m often stuck in the here and now situation.  I tend to focus on the most pressing problem of the moment instead of continually striving for the bigger picture.  It wasn’t always like this.  I’ve really lost faith in my ability to carry a plan all the way through.  And worse, I have been neglecting responsibilities through extreme procrastination.  In order to reorganize my priorities and get back on track, I’m going to make a list of the things that are most important to me, instead of the most pressing issues.

Make Appointments and Keep Them:  I have difficulty keeping appointments.  Typically, this is because of the pressing issue at hand.  If I am deep into a depressive episode, I’m not motivated to go.  Especially if I know that it’s going to be bad news.  Even so, I’m still fearing the bad news that is coming my way and the challenges that are ahead of me.

Since when did I start living my life in fear?  I’m not sure how that happened.

Quit Smoking For Good: I made what started out to be a very successful attempt to quit smoking between last April and last June.  I was down to between five and seven cigarettes a day.  That’s quite a record drop from 12 to 14.  I was so close to being able to throw out all of my ashtrays.  (Except the Kennywood one.  My mother bought that for me.  I was going to turn it into a hard candy dish).  Smoking is literally killing me.  My doctor and I have concluded smoking is the reason the cervical dysplasia continues to return.  My asthma is getting worse.  It’s bad for my heart which is already having problems.  And more than anything, I want to be a good role model for my kid and the children I teach.  How can I possibly tell them smoking is bad when I wait until I’m in Downtown to jump off the bus and light up?

Return to Journalling: I have been severely neglecting my journal.  It’s not really on purpose.  I had a few Pendulum posts that I wanted to include in it.  However, I do not have a printer, so I’ve had to transpose them by hand.  It was taking much longer than anticipated.  I’m really behind now, although I do leave post-it’s of important thing I want to talk about within it.  I really need to spend some time catching up and make the concious effort to spend at least one hour a night working at it again.  I was doing a lot better when I was keeping a constant log to work out my emotions.

Regulating My Biological Cycles: I am having some difficulty regulating my sleeping and eating cycles due to mood changes and, of course, stress.  I have to make a real effort to sleep and eat when I know that I need to.  It’s unhealthy and obviously is a trigger for disaster.

Start Taking Time for Myself:  I don’t care if anyone around me thinks that it is selfish.  I am starting to realize that it is perfectly reasonable and absolutely necessary.  I think that a number of factors went into my most recent episode(s?).  One of those was being over-extended.  I was performing duties that I was pressured into doing in the here-and-now.  After that, there was no time for me.  Obviously, I’m burnt out, and I’m not taking it well.  I’m holding it together, but there are some serious cracks in the walls.  I don’t want to crumble.  And I don’t want to start over.  Not after I’ve worked this hard to get it all built up again.  If I have to take this time by force, I will.

Become More Focused: Obviously.  But, in order to do accomplish that, I have to continue to keep a set of goals in tangible form.

Appreciate the Pretty Things: I wrote a blog post called All the Pretty Things back in July when I faced the possibility of another surgery.  I need to refer back to the pretty things and update that list frequently.

Start Confronting My Emotions: Talk is cheap.  I could probably go on eternally about the things that are currently upsetting my emotional state.  Sometimes, I do.  What I need to do more than anything, no matter how painful it is, is start conflict resolution.  I must grow the chutzpuh in order to confront situations and people that are harming me.  Action is what gets things done.

Most of all, like it has been pointed out to me, I don’t have to take on the mountain in a day.  This didn’t begin in a day, and it’s not going to be resolved in a day.  It took God six days to create the universe.  Why should I expect to do the same?

I am not God.  I am Lulu.  That’s it.  And I will have respect for myself in knowing that I am capable of doing anything I want to do.

Antidepressants – Which Witch

“Can you turn the light off?”.

I touched the brushed metal lamp, and the dim light flickered off. There was a quick glance at the alarm clock – 12:38PM in glowing red numbers. Only a computer monitor playing Netflix illuminated the room. I was like a moth to a porch light in the summertime. It’s not the light you have to worry about. It’s just the attraction.

My eyes were fixed on the screen. I was entranced by the show, but it was just one screen in my mind’s eye. On another screen were stacks of paper and nameless faces of children. The tube next to it featured me, practicing endless monologues of the words no one will ever hear. Notebooks, pages flipping, with black cursive scrawled across each page. Blurry flashes of days, nights, people, and places past.

Yet, I was not compelled to do anything but sit idly and watch everything fly by at a speed that could’ve put a breeze through my hair.

This brain is entangled in itself while trapped in this useless body.

Another glance – 1:31. While my body was finally exhausted, my mind was still churning out the video feeds.

Finally, I let the screen go black. 2:14. And T.D.’s Developmental Therapist was scheduled for 9AM, which meant that I would have to be up at 8AM. Another less than 6 hour night. No dreams. Just darkness.

Why did I suddenly stop dreaming?

In A Mixed Bag, we determined that it was ultra-rapid cycling, probably brought on by a med change or an antidepressant.

I stumbled upon an article from psycheducation.org about controversies with antidepressant treatment with bipolar disorder. Here’s the problem. The depression and fatigue were crippling before. I couldn’t hold a job or take care of my life. Now, I am hit with rapid cycling every three months for about two weeks as opposed to four month of depression and one week of hypomania.

Which witch is the good witch and which witch is the bad witch?