It seems like I'm always whining about something, doesn't it? I'm actually a very positive person, but when writing it's like opening the vault. All the stuff I've been holding inside comes to the surface. That's a very good thing - for me. But thinking back, a lot of my shareposts have been negative in nature. I try to give an accurate picture of how this disorder impacts my life, and for me there's a lot of negatives. I admit to being guilty of the "it's a gift" mindset at times, but that's confined to prolonged periods of hypomania. Here's a belated New Year's resolution to stay more positive in what I'm writing. But moving on (and not exactly positively...)
I've been beating myself up for an inability to write recently. Even a short SharePost has been completely outside my grasp. Believe it or not, it significantly impacts my life. I feel like I can't make any plans in case I finally find the ability to write something. I sit at work and try to write. I get up early, stay up late, but I end up doing other things beside writing. This isn't a job for me, it's what I do for enjoyment and therapy. So when I lose the ability to write even a short blog post, it's upsetting.
This is due to a period of mania. It's probably more accurate to say it's more of a significant hypomania, as there has been little psychosis. Some, but not a lot of psychosis. This is a textbook example - racing thoughts, high energy level, and many of the stereotypical behaviors that go along with the hypomania. For me, the worst part is the insomnia. I'm averaging 4 hours of sleep a night, and have been for several weeks. A lack of sleep feeds the hypomania / mania, and does some very strange things to the mind. Surprisingly, the body works just fine with a lack of sleep. I continue to work out, albeit not as often as I'd like. I have the strength and energy I have under "normal" conditions. But the mind does some very strange things. For the first time ever, I've had "auditory abnormalities". Heard sounds that weren't there, either whispering, or more often voices mixed in with other noise that didn't belong. For example, a newscaster type of voice during a TV movie. It's a little unnerving. But there are 2 thing that are major issues due to insomnia. First and foremost, my memory is significantly impacted. My memory is fading fast anyway, but this is really embarrassing when I can't remember major things I did at work just a day or two before. If this keeps up, I'll have a hard time keeping my job. I've lost jobs before (several), and while painful, things always work out. Another major side-effect of insomnia is the lack of creativity. That's obvious from the lack of posting I've done here over the last month.
But there I go again with the negativity. I actually have a SharePost in progress about the best ways to handle mania, therefore avoiding the dangerous behaviors that go along with them.
So let's get positive:
I absolutely love the interest being shown in the US presidential race, especially from younger people. No matter who they vote for, I love to see them involved in the process.
In our state (and maybe all states), NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) received a significant grant to expand their community support. This includes a huge increase in support groups. They hope to have support groups meeting at almost any time, in various parts of our area. So anyone needing face-to-face peer support can get it almost immediately. It's an aggressive undertaking, and I hope there's enough acceptance and use of the program to keep the money coming in. I've applied to be a peer facilitator, facilitating support groups. I'm excited about it, and hopeful they'll consider me worthy of the position. I'll post updates to this.
On a personal note, one of my boys has just started a job as a newspaper reporter. He's fulfilling his dream to be a career writer. How many people can say their career is their dream and passion? I'm very proud of him.
Kyle, my 24 year old son with bipolar disorder has been doing well. Ditto his girlfriend, who suffers similarly. He is working very hard at staying healthy. Keeping his pdoc, assistance, and attorney appointments, going to a day program, and so forth. He doesn't yet appreciate the benefits of the day program, as he wants to immediately learn things in the classes they offer. I hope he comes to realize the benefits are often in the environment, and the process of going through their program. One thing happened that I think really scared him. A "friend" of his provided drugs that caused an OD and killed another friend. It was a horrible thing, and the "friend" that supplied the drugs is out on bail facing murder charges. They may not get a murder conviction, but they'll get manslaughter, and that kid may be going away for a LONG time. Truth be known, I hope he does. But the event shook up my son, as it should have.
My other kids are doing great, as is grandma and the new beagle. Good days in our home.
Thanks to all who sent emails and messages, I'm OK, and when I can slow down my mind and start sleeping I'll be back to more regular posting.