I decided to start doing some bipolar mood charting. I’ve seen others talk about how it helped them to figure out patterns in their mood swings and behaviors, so figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. To find a bipolar mood chart, I just googled it and checked out several options that came up. I ended up going with this chart.
I’ve only been tracking myself on it for four days now, but I’ve already noticed a few small things. For one, I’m clearly more on the low side (which makes sense being Bipolar type 2), and even when I do chart on the “high mood” side, I often chart on the “low mood” side for the same day. So I am predicting that most of my “high mood” days are actually mixed days. We’ll have to see if that stays consistent the longer I chart myself.
I also noticed rather interestingly, that so far, when my anxiety is high, my irritability tends to be lower, and vice versa. Are anxiety and irritability two sides of the same coin just expressed differently? I don’t know, but thought it was interesting.
Lastly, this is something I already kind of knew, but seeing it in writing really drives the point home…I sleep A LOT. On average, about 11-12 hours a day. I sleep HALF the day away! This has pretty much been the case since I started taking Seroquel, so I wonder if that may be responsible.
Today hasn’t been the best day mental-health wise. I just woke up around an hour ago and it took me until now to drag myself out of bed because I honestly just didn’t want to move, let alone get up and face the day.
Yesterday wasn’t a good day either. I’m not sure what was going on, but I felt sick and exhausted the whole day. I did make myself go to a group meeting yesterday (a recovery from religion support group). My husband is helping to lead the group and it is fascinating to hear everyone’s personal stories about religion and how specific forms of indoctrination affected each of them differently. Some of those who come truly have experienced abuse at the hands of religious leaders and organizations, much like I have in my past (mostly due to my messed up family).
The meeting lasted almost three hours, which socially exhausted me. Maybe some of you don’t experience social exhaustion, but when you are autistic, being social takes so much focus and attention to do it “right”, that it always leaves me burned out and just wanting to go home and nap. Add to that, the social anxiety I had about going to the group in the first place, and I guess it is no wonder that I felt like crap both physically and mentally most of the day.
I think today I’m just going to try to take it easy and recover from the exhaustion as much as I can. I need to have my precious time alone and indulge in some distractions to take my mind off real life. I definitely welcome hearing from you guys though!
Lately I have been really struggling with the temptation to go “no contact” with someone who has been abusive to me throughout my life in different ways. If you follow my blog closely, you can probably guess who I might be talking about. I did manage about a year ago to get some physical distance from this person, which helped a lot, but I still have such feelings of dread, sadness, anger, hurt, and despair whenever I hear from them (or more consistently lately, when I am ignored by them).
I know my therapist would probably do a happy dance if I decided to go “no contact” with this person. They won’t say so outright, but it is clear to me that they see that the relationship is not conducive to my healing. The last time I saw my therapist, she asked me what I was getting out of hanging onto the relationship…and I couldn’t really say. Other than hurt and frustration, I’m not sure I’m getting much at all.
However, I can’t help but feel that if I totally disengage with this person, it will cause me to feel guilty and fearful. Guilty because I was groomed from a young age to feel responsible for this person and to be their caretaker. Additionally, I feel guilt about what my other family members might think. The fear would mostly be due to the fear of confrontation, whether in person or through more passive-aggressive avenues. The thought of letting go also plays on my fear of being all alone and unloved.
I saw my therapist this past weekend and it went ok, but I honestly think sometimes my therapist gets kind of annoyed or frustrated with me. I feel like she sometimes wants to see more progress than I’ve made, especially in the self-esteem/self-loathing area. To be fair, I haven’t always been the best about following up on actual practices to feel better about myself. I have done affirmations and things like that in the past, but I always end up kind of feeling ridiculous and giving up pretty soon when I don’t see immediate results…even though I know that immediate results aren’t likely.
At the end of the session, the therapist gave me the homework assignment of looking up some affirmations that I genuinely liked and related to and giving at least a few of those a try every day, so here goes. I did a google search and found some affirmations I actually kind of related to on a Huffpost article. Here are the ones I’ve actually decided to work with:
- I am courageous and I stand up for myself.
- I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.
- I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.
- My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.
- Many people look up to me and recognize my worth; I am admired.
- I am a powerhouse; I am indestructible.
- I am conquering my illness; I am defeating it steadily each day.
Most of these spoke to me because they were just simple and straightforward, or because they address issues I deal with constantly (like health issues or past trauma). #5 may seem a bit conceited at first glance, but I think it is important for those of us who feel really bad about ourselves to realize that others don’t share that negative view. If any of these affirmations speak to you like they did to me, feel free to use them for yourself!
My recent renewed passion for baby dolls and stuffed animals has me wondering as it often has, whether I have some kind of suppressed motherhood longing or something like that. Many people have asked me why I don’t have kids of my own, and that is a subject that has several dimensions.
First off, I’m not sure I CAN have kids of my own. When I was 10 years old I sustained some internal damage due to being hit and run over by a delivery truck while crossing the street. It was a scary experience, partly because when I woke up in the hospital I had no control of my legs. They were shaking and moving on their own, but I had no motor control of them. Luckily that didn’t last too long, but the doctors did mention that the internal damage done might cause me issues down the road, including having children.
Perhaps since I always thought I might not be able to have kids, I convinced myself early I didn’t want any? It is also highly suspected that I have endometriosis, which can greatly affect fertility. My husband and I haven’t always been very careful and there are plenty of times I could have potentially gotten pregnant but didn’t, so I figured it just wasn’t in the cards.
Another reason I have not sought out having my own children is my desire to not pass down some of the problems I have struggled with my whole life. Autism and bipolar run heavily in my immediate family – everyone has bipolar or a mood disorder to some extent. Many in my family also share some of my physical ailments that cause me so much agony, making me fear those might be genetic as well. I wouldn’t wish what I have had to live through on anyone, and certainly not on an innocent child.
Lastly, when it comes to the idea of giving birth, it has always terrified me. I’m not sure if I died in childbirth in a past life or what happened, but even as a little child the thought of having a baby terrified me. I always knew somehow that it would be extremely painful and dangerous, even though I never saw it firsthand and no one told me that as far as I remember. I still wonder to this day why the thought of giving birth scared me so much even back then.
I did lean heavily towards considering adoption when my husband and I were fostering, but we never found the right match. When we had to quit fostering due to my increasingly poor health, I kind of gave up on my dream of adopting. I still sometimes daydream about adopting, but with my mental and physical health the way it is, I just don’t think it would necessarily be a good idea.
I tend to be an overly sensitive person who easily feels rejected or uncared for by people who may not actually mean to make me feel that way. I know I have some self-esteem issues and take things personally too often. Right now there is a situation that is leaving me wondering if I am feeling legitimately rejected or if I am overreacting a little bit, so I figured I would share my feelings here and see what others think.
There is a person in my life, a close family member, that is sending me rather mixed messages and honestly confusing me. What is confusing to me is that when I do talk to this person, they say they really miss me and love me, but they rarely ever call me and even if I call them, they often take days to bother getting back to me, if they do at all. Is it unreasonable that this is leaving me feeling like they don’t really care?
I will say that the relationship in question already has a lot of “water under the bridge” so to say. There is a lot of hurt and a sense of betrayal from the past, which this person has often promised to make up for, but the way they actually act towards me makes me wonder if they really want to mend the relationship at all.
Today I’m looking forward to spring! Warmer weather, sunshine, flowers, bunnies…I love it all and am ready to see winter slip into the past! I find that when springtime comes it always does wonders for my mental health, probably due to seasonal affective disorder, which always seems to be an issue in the wintertime. I thought that since I’m feeling it so strongly today, I would share a spring inspired ACEO mixed media collage artwork I made a while ago: