I’m Worried

23 Aug 2022
Bookmark

This is a request for help. Maybe it’s even a cry for help. Maybe I just want sympathy and understanding.

I’m worried that I’m in mania.

I came out of the last bout of depression on 18th July, and it’s wonderful to be back to normal. This morning, however, a thought struck me: what if this is not normal? What if this is a high? What if this is – already – one of my semi-manic periods preceding a bout of depression?

When I go through on of these periods of hyper-mania, I have boundless energy; I become focussed on projects; I become impatient with others when they don’t agree with me or tell me to slow down; I function on very little sleep.

The last time this happened, I was clearing my Father-in-Law’s house. I wrote “Effortless Perfection” – 25th May – while surrounded by cardboard boxes, bowls of soapy water, mops, cloths and brooms.

Everyone had advised me to hire a professional cleaner for the house, and I’d even gone so far as to get a quote - £750! My Father-in-Law could easily afford it, but I dismissed the idea; not because of the cost, but because I knew I could do a better job myself.

And I did. That house was spotless!

A week later, I was in the world of grey fog, swamping fatigue and a mirage-shifting uncertain reality.

When I look at what’s happening now, I feel a bit worried. I’ve engaged a business coach, because I need to make a bit more money from my work. Garry is fantastic! He’s great at keeping his own eye on the overview – which he knows scares me silly – and giving me bite-sized tasks which I tackle with enthusiasm. Every day and week I’ve achieved these little goals, and I feel tremendously accomplished; I’m buzzing with enthusiasm!

This morning I went swimming for the first time in nearly a year; how wonderful!

The niggle for me is that I became angry with the state of disrepair of the changing room. I was irritated by the lack of lane discipline shown by the other swimmers. I know that when I become energised but irritable and hostile, it’s a bad sign.

I don’t want to be in mania: I don’t want to be facing the next bout of depression so soon. I know the longer the mania, the longer and deeper the following depression.

When I confided my fears to Himself, he replied, “Actually, I was a bit worried about that.” So, now I’m worrying the people dearest to me too.

There’s one bright spark here. Normally, in mania, I cannot see it, and dismiss those who tell me I am. Maybe, because I’m worried about it, it means, ironically, I don’t need to worry?

Have any of you here had any success in controlling your manic periods? If so, what methods have you used?

Because I’m scared, and I really need some help and hope.

Mary

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

Email us at support@moodscope.com to submit your own blog post!

Comments

Audie

Aug. 24, 2022, 4:50 a.m.

Mary, sending much support and love! It's awful to be afraid you're on the precipice of something and powerless to stop the tumble; especially if (I may be on the wrong track here, apologies if so) the fear of what might come next is undermining your enjoyment and satisfaction in what would otherwise be achievements worth celebrating, like going swimming. It sounds as if you're going into things with eyes open, and self-aware, so while I hope this isn't the prelude to a downwards swing for you, I've no doubt you'll be able to see it through. Hang in there!

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 12:47 p.m.

Thank you Audie, I really appreciate your sympathy and support. Yes, it's the powerlessness. However, if I'm right in recognising the signs, there may be something I can do now which will help. Writing it down here was helpful in itself.

Sally

Aug. 24, 2022, 4:58 a.m.

Hello Mary. Oh, how I sympathise with this worry! Because I know it. You had the good sense to confide in your husband, which is positive. I’m thinking on my feet here, but these are the suggestions I came up with: Could you see a counsellor for help in managing the moods? Does getting out in nature help relax the thought processes? Are there any building blocks you can remove that would cause you less stress? Do get plenty of rest and sleep. I do think it can be managed. With yours and others’ help. I really do.

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 12:52 p.m.

Thank you Sally, for providing hope and some ideas. I hadn't thought about nature. Maybe doing a little gardening every day would get me closer to the earth. I'm not sure about counselling - not only because I feel I've had so much over my life I could write the book, but because I am really convinced that this is physical and chemical rather than thought-driven. However, you have given me the idea that I could revisit some of the most helpful counselling advice and techniques, so I will incorporate those into my daily routine. Rest and sleep is vital, I know. I am applying my "steely determination" (my business coach's description to the discipline of being in bed at 10pm, with lights out at 10.30pm.

Sally

Aug. 24, 2022, 2:05 p.m.

The ten o’clock bedtime has definitely helped me, MaryW. It wasn’t always possible ( ask a teacher!) but now retired, I make sure, unless at a do, that I abide by my rules . “ You know it makes sense “ ( as some ad used to repeat…forget which one !).Best of luck. You CAN do this. Slowly , slowly.

Brum Mum

Aug. 24, 2022, 3:55 p.m.

10pm works for me !! Then a really good book and I’m often in bed that time on holiday even if my kids laugh at me. It’s what I need!

Mortimer

Aug. 24, 2022, 5:47 a.m.

Brilliant. In my humble opinion that’s a stunning breakthrough. It’s taken 25 years of learning to understand my cycle before, very recently, in the middle of my 60’s, I am much more able to recognise the onset of both the up and down stages. Much more importantly, I’m beginning to be able to manage the mood when immersed, and share with my partner at the time. And reading is now my default timeout strategy. Struggle on, it’s worth it to get control!

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1 p.m.

Thank you Mortimer. Thank you so much for giving me hope that this can be even further managed than I feel I do already. Just this week, I was re-analysing my Moodscope figures. I was hoping to find a pattern in the gaps between the times of illness. The problem is that I don't have enough data for the time I've been on the medication, and the data I have from before than is inconsistent and unreliable. I can postulate a theory from the sparse data, and then test it against events, but it will take another year or two before I can reliably use it as a planning tool. Still, every small step taken is an achievement in itself. I know for many people living with bipolar, their reality and their health is totally confusing. It takes a lot to start to learn to know it, bend with it and ultimately to manage it.

Adam G

Aug. 24, 2022, 6:08 a.m.

I’m not sure I can offer any good advice Mary, either professionally or from personal experience; but what steps would/could you take to mitigate a manic phase if that is what this is? In other words, if you are worried - and you clearly are - then can you direct some of your current energy and focus into actions that help regulate mania; on the ‘precautionary principle’ if you like? Sending you thoughts and strength in any event.

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:01 p.m.

Thank you, Adam. I am grateful for the support. I am evaluating all the advice here and implementing anything I think will help. Certainly, the biggest thing for me is getting enough sleep.

Kirsty

Aug. 24, 2022, 6:14 a.m.

Nothing practical to offer Mary, but much love and support. Mortimer’s comment gives me hope that what you’re experiencing is a positive thing not a negative one. X

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:03 p.m.

Thank you so much Kirsty. Believe me, I am more than grateful for the love and support. None of you here is likely to say, "Oh, you're imagining it: just stop thinking about it and it won't happen." That, I would find most unhelpful! I too, am heartened by Mortimer's words.

Lea

Aug. 24, 2022, 6:53 a.m.

Sending you lots of love, Mary. You have the insight, and that's a great thing. You will ride this through and come out stronger. I would advise, from experience, that you pull back from any big commitments now, and try and savour the little, everyday things. Lots of early nights, long baths, time outside, quiet times, journaling. Congrat yourself on recognising some possible signs of hypermania. Enjoy what you can, when you can, if you can but hold onto that insight. You can manage this, Mary. Never forget how many people you have helped through your blogs. X

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:12 p.m.

Oh, Lea, thank you for your kind words, and especially your last comment. Thank you too, for the sage advice. Early nights, tick. Long baths, not so much: I'm definitely a shower girl. Time outside? Yes, Sally mentioned that, and I think it's advice worth following. Quiet times, yes. I spent 10 minutes meditating yesterday, after I had written this, and I think it really helped. Journaling - this makes me laugh, as you - dear Moodscope People - are the readers of my journal! Moodscope gets a dose of my life delivered to your mail-boxes every Wednesday! I often feel slightly guilty, as you think I am helping you, when it is the other way round. All excellent suggestions, Lea, and added to my list.

Teg

Aug. 24, 2022, 3:01 p.m.

Hi Mary Don't feel guilty. As far as I am concerned writing Posts is a two way process. A win/win situation. If you keep writing I am certain it will continue to be appreciated. Lots of sound advice for you to mull over today. Txx

Lea

Aug. 24, 2022, 6:53 a.m.

Sending you lots of love, Mary. You have the insight, and that's a great thing. You will ride this through and come out stronger. I would advise, from experience, that you pull back from any big commitments now, and try and savour the little, everyday things. Lots of early nights, long baths, time outside, quiet times, journaling. Congrat yourself on recognising some possible signs of hypermania. Enjoy what you can, when you can, if you can but hold onto that insight. You can manage this, Mary. Never forget how many people you have helped through your blogs. X

Reply

Lea

Aug. 24, 2022, 6:53 a.m.

Sending you lots of love, Mary. You have the insight, and that's a great thing. You will ride this through and come out stronger. I would advise, from experience, that you pull back from any big commitments now, and try and savour the little, everyday things. Lots of early nights, long baths, time outside, quiet times, journaling. Congrat yourself on recognising some possible signs of hypermania. Enjoy what you can, when you can, if you can but hold onto that insight. You can manage this, Mary. Never forget how many people you have helped through your blogs. X

Reply

Teg

Aug. 24, 2022, 7:07 a.m.

Good Morning Mary I am sorry you are not enjoying life as much as you should be. Even though you are enthusiastic about many things you have this nagging anxiety about the future. I have to admit I am not a BP sufferer and can only imagine the difficulties it poses to your life. It appears you have this negative thought in your mind that is persistent and of deep concern. In these circumstances I find writing about it helps. I use a "negative thought sheet". I wrote about this on 29 January. I find I can create my own "comfort blanket" and I read it several times after completion. I hope you can continue to create and achieve many things during the forthcoming weeks. Take care. Txx

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:14 p.m.

Hello Teg, and thank you. A negative thought sheet: I like it. This may be akin to journaling, but in a more structured way. In fact, it could even be put on a spreadsheet. I do like me a spreadsheet. Perhaps it's the accountant in me!

Bunnykins

Aug. 24, 2022, 7:18 a.m.

Hi Mary, I think the fact that you are aware of things is a good sign as you can mitigate the next phase. Sending big gentle hugs from the West Midlands (()) Angela xx

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:16 p.m.

Hello Angela and so many thanks for the hug. Imagine me curling into it! I love your tag-name of Bunnykins, so I am nestling into your soft fur. Honestly, one thinks a virtual hug can do nothing, but it is infinitely comforting.

Ruth

Aug. 24, 2022, 7:22 a.m.

Hi Mary unfortunately that's the part I have never recognised for myself, just worrying others as I can be reckless and spend money recklessly. I am here though and am praying for you. XX

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:19 p.m.

Bless you, Ruth. I am so fortunate in that I have never spent large amounts of money recklessly, although I am rather too good at frittering the money away. Do you have a record of when you do this? Perhaps your family might be able to help you there. I am such an advocate of data analysis, because it really gives you a place to stand so you can start to be proactive in managing things.

Catherine

Aug. 24, 2022, 7:58 a.m.

Sending you warm thoughts and courage Mary. I have no suggestions but just a thought….do you think this could be related to the anticipation of losing your beloved cat, and knowing the grief that will follow, and maybe not acknowledging that the loss has already begun so you are compensating? I haven’t expressed this very well, but if it chimes with you you’ll hopefully understand what I mean. C xx

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:22 p.m.

Thank you so much Catherine. Yes, my lovely cat is still hanging on, and - despite growing weaker every day - he is not ready to go; and I won't make him go a minute before he's ready. You are right, I will feel his loss most keenly and watching him deteriorate is hard.

Sue

Aug. 24, 2022, 8:15 a.m.

I can't add anything to what has already been said, but hoping you have spotted it soon enough to mitigate or prepare. Wishing you well.

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:22 p.m.

Thank you Sue. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. It means a lot to me.

Sharon

Aug. 24, 2022, 8:26 a.m.

Hi Mary, i have not been diagnosed as bipolar (dont know if you have) but i definitely have times when I feel well that the energy i have and the way in which i live my life could be construed as being in a manic phase. i ended up starting meds again about 2 months ago as i couldn't seem to lift out of the darkness although there were clearly things in my life impacting on my mood. i am also never sure when in my dark place whether i see things clearly, am i overreacting to situations... who knows. If when in your manic phase you are able to keep yourself safe, you make sure you get adequate rest, nutrition then maybe it should be seen as your "normal" state and you can let yourself enjoy the energy you have. Sometimes the darkness comes regardless of whether you manage the happier times. Love and support. be kind to yourself.

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:29 p.m.

Hello Sharon. Yes, "officially" bipolar here. My experience is that you are absolutely right saying the darkness comes no matter how we manage the happier times. I am really trying, however, to adopt a scientific approach to this. I am modelling different behaviours and their outcomes. Throughout this period of normality (or possibly mania - although I feel better today) - I am intending to exert firm discipline over my time and sleep management. Then, I will see how this affects my next period of depression. Is this being kind to myself? Perhaps. Perhaps it's being cruel to be kind, as when one insists one's child goes to bed when they would much rather stay up. Oooh, a blog: I am my own child! Watch out for that one!

Tutti Frutti

Aug. 24, 2022, 8:27 a.m.

Hi Mary Go to your doctor and tell them what you have told us. They may be able to make a small tweak to your meds to help head this off and/or reassure you about where this is heading. I think I have once headed off a manic episode with help from my doctors and understanding from my employer. About 5 years ago I returned from holiday with jetlag to find that the people who were supposed to work on my projects while I was away had been moved onto something else and so virtually nothing had progressed. So I came back to trouble sleeping and high stress and I was getting close to the two week limit for my sleeping tablets with no sign of the sleep pattern getting back to normal and was starting to get very tired. My doctor helped me get my sleep pattern sorted while not taking tablets every day and I took every other day off sick from work until things went back to normal. My employer got a nearly qualified member of staff to assist and take on much of the responsibility for the project and, when I was so tired that I could only write about rather than do the maths, I was allowed to do that. I think it took a couple of weeks to sort out. If I had actually gone manic I would almost certainly have been ill for a year. I think you might need to postpone your business coach. Better to keep things just ticking over for now than get a splendidly in shape business which then suffers because your mental health is preventing you from working. Love and hugs TF xoxo

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:36 p.m.

Thank you Tutti Frutti. Gosh, I hadn't thought of one moment of going to see my lovely Dr Mary. I think that's an excellent suggestion! I'm already on a bit more of the medication than I started on, but it's always worth going back. Dr Mary and my wonderful psychiatrist will, I know, want to help. My business coach is not only aware of my illness, but has seen me go through two (possibly) three episodes of depression. Working with him certainly alleviates my anxiety about my business. I feel that he has the reins of the overall picture (to mix metaphors) and so I can simply complete the tasks he sets without worrying about all the other things that scream for my attention. I think, therefore, he's a positive element in the situation. Planning for the next episode, is part of what we're working on together.

Valerie

Aug. 24, 2022, 9:03 a.m.

I certainly agree with TF Mary.You have mentioned before that you have a good relationship with the medical professionals. I am sure I am on the BP spectrum,so I really get why this worries you.I can experience those feelings before depression,and also to a lesser degree before a bad migraine episode. You wrote recently that you are concerned about needing to earn more money because both daughters are going to be at University soon. I meant to respond but forgot.I was going to say can't they do what many students do,and get work in a bar or supermarket? Or maybe a parent or in-law could contribute? Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree,but I wonder if it is this that has been the trigger? You love your work,and unless the finances are really dire, do you need to turn it into something that puts so much pressure on you? Love and hugs ***

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:50 p.m.

Oh, bless you Valerie! No, the finances are not dire, and my mother, when she sold her house, gave us some of the proceeds, which i have put aside for the girls. But, of course, if we can help them out without digging into that, then they have it to go towards a deposit on a house. They are also both pretty good at earning. Daughter no. 1 is working the Edinburgh Fringe right now, in what is grandly called "Operations," which seems to consist of setting up tables, getting out glasses and directing people to their seats. Still, she is earning. My second daughter waits tables at a local café and hopes to pick up more work as soon as she is 18. I love my work and would love to do more of it. I really feel it is my calling in life and that is one of the reasons I am trying to make it into a real business. I am certainly enjoying the sense of achievement coming from completing all the tasks and goals. Ironically, it's that very enjoyment and sense of achievement that's worrying me. But maybe that's because I am not used to achieving goals! Ha Ha!

Moodie

Aug. 24, 2022, 9:09 a.m.

Well done for recognising the signs of possible mania this time, Mary. Maybe your business coach can be a big help you on keeping you balanced - have you been open about your concerns? Perhaps they could help you incorporate slowdown periods and brainstorm possible relaxation/recouperation tasks you can include with your daily tasks, if you haven't already? Plus 'first aid procedures' for recognising/finding strategies for manic episodes in the future? All best Mary and thanks for the blogpost xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:53 p.m.

Thank you so much Moodie. Yes, I need to confide in my business coach and discuss this. There is only me in my business - I am a one woman band, so I'm in charge. I need to be my own HR officer and look after my Employee welfare!

Moodie

Aug. 24, 2022, 4:17 p.m.

you certainly do! xxxxxxxxxx

RC

Aug. 24, 2022, 10:49 a.m.

Hi Mary I can relate to your thinking and worry about going 'high'. I try to manage my moods by resting and doing little jobs- nothing major so I can keep myself balanced yet busy. I listen to my husband Mr.C as he can tell if I’m going up rather than being on an even keel. Between us we cope and hopefully avert a crisis. You have much insight to your illness; I hope you can deal with the way you feel without worrying too much. We’re all rooting for you Please take care RC xx

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:57 p.m.

Thank you, RC. Little jobs and rest: excellent advice.

Alice

Aug. 24, 2022, 11:34 a.m.

Dear Mary, my heart goes out to you. And congratulates you! In so many ways……. You help so many people with your openness and your slant on your bi-polar. Self awareness is so important but so difficult to achieve. May this awareness bring you new insights and new ways of reacting to your internal environment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could deminimise or defer any future or incoming depression. I wish you well - in all senses!

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 2 p.m.

Thank you so much Alice. Yes, I am going to adopt a lot of the advice here. Let's see what happens. You may be sure I will let you all know. I am so glad you think I help people: that's what I really want to do - although sometimes it seems as if it helps me more than anyone! Your well-wishes are so very gratefully received and valued.

Anonymous

Aug. 24, 2022, 12:06 p.m.

Dear Mary, You said it... "There’s one bright spark here. Normally, in mania, I cannot see it, and dismiss those who tell me I am. Maybe, because I’m worried about it, it means, ironically, I don’t need to worry?" - I sincerely hope that this IS the case, or that there is some other tangible reason such as the extreme heat that might account for your change in mood.... Comments above mention the importance of taking the right medication, reaching out for help, having enough sleep as well as a predictable routine, journalling and self-care....but I just want to remind you to keep tracking your mood too, however daunting it may seem, because you need personal data to help you in the future.Your wisdom has helped me so many times in the past Mary that I hope this is a minor blip and you will be in equilibrium very soon. P.S. You are also responsible for inspiring me to take up swimming and this month I am attempting a 'virtual' Channel crossing, trying to complete a mile a day. Some days it is a real battle, especially as I can only swim slow breast stroke...

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 2:03 p.m.

Wow - I inspired you to take up swimming - and now you are attempting a virtual Channel Crossing! My heart is leaping so high here! Oh, but swimming really really helps, doesn't it (shabby changing rooms and wobbling fellow swimmers notwithstanding)! Thank you so much for your supportive words. I am absolutely going to follow all the advice here. You are all wonderful people!

Tutti Frutti

Aug. 24, 2022, 8:22 p.m.

Hi Mary Gentle exercise is helpful to relax when a bit high but the best psychiatrist I have seen warned me against overdoing exercise which I am prone to when going manic . I also swim as my preferred exercise but generally only 30 to 40 lengths. When beginning to go high I am much more likely to wake up early, walk the 1.5 miles to the pool and then swim 50-60 lengths. Apparently a better bet for exercise to calm the situation down is to get the bus to the pool and swim 20 lengths. Love TF x

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 25, 2022, 1:26 p.m.

I know exactly what you mean about manic exercise. Tutti Frutti. In the past, when manic, I have swum in the morning and then gone back to the gym in the evening. Although I will be increasing the distance I swim, this is only up to the distance I was doing regularly when well, so not overdoing it at all. And definitely driving there, even though, as for your pool, mine is only 1.5 miles away.

greenjean

Aug. 24, 2022, 12:11 p.m.

Hello Mary Well done for recognising & acknowledging this phase in your illness. And you are concerned about worrying your family who in truth probably saw the mood changes before you mentioned it. They would want to know Mary as they would if you had any other illness, and hopefully can be more understanding. How I understand the fear of going down again, all I can say is acknowledge your mood and try to get as much rest as possible- even if you don’t think you need it. Listen to your family when they think you’re doing too much- you probably are. I’m not sure if we can avoid the different mood phases but hopefully we can learn to recognise the signs and take action. I did not agree when my husband told me a few months ago that I was doing too much and the following few months of depression showed me he was right. - Could I have avoided it ? I don’t know but the hypomania is pretty draining as we are supercharged, I think recognising it is really important. Thinking of you Mary & wishing you well & don’t try to reply to everyone, save your energy! Bless you Xx

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 2:06 p.m.

thank you Greenjean and, oops, too late: I have replied. Your experience mirrors mine exactly. We need to listen to our families when they tell us we're doing too much! However - I did (sorrowfully) resign from one of committees I serve on. I feel I cannot give it the time, attention and consistent attendance it needs. It hurt, but I expect applause from all who know me!

Bailey

Aug. 24, 2022, 12:40 p.m.

Hi Mary- love the quote at the end of you blog. I too am on the bp spectrum and I often playfully grumble that I get the deep lows and not as much of the highs nor are the highs that ...high. My humorous complaint is:"but why can't I smell colors yet? Or better yet, hear them?" My lows kick in religiously in the late fall...precipitated by a warm glowing feeling of a cozy hearth fire within until the big drop...and then cannot get out of bed/sleep all day. I have learned throughout the year that "hibernation season," is coming and to stay stable on the meds at least. Also to save money from the higher ground I am in, working all summer, to prepare for the emotional drought ahead. Self kindness(remembering you did not ask for this)and pacing tasks go a long way, which it sounds like you are implementing. I always enjoy your blogs and I am glad you were so candid in this one. Hugs, if only virtual and covid-free; hugs. -Bailey

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 2:14 p.m.

Thank you so much Bailey. Smelling colours? Well, I can hear them, does that count? I wonder if synaesthesia is one of the symptoms of mania in people who don't normally have it. I've always had it - I remember being utterly dumbfounded when I was told that other people didn't hear music in colour and shape, that they don't taste in sound, or smell in colour and texture. The scent of strawberries, for instance, is tiny diamonds scattered over brown velvet, and violins play in green. Many conductors have synaesthesia and, when I told one musical friend about this she exclaimed, "So, that's what the conductor meant the other day when he yelled, "I want more green from the violins. Give me more GREEN!" Pacing tasks. Yes, thank you. That one goes on the list.

Jane

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:23 p.m.

Just a little note of support here. Others have already suggested some good strategies -- I just want to add (as others have) that it is SO important that you've got this insight and awareness. That's a hard-won accomplishment. Wishing you well.

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 2:14 p.m.

Thank you Jane. Lovely words to hear.

Lexi

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:26 p.m.

Oh sweet Mary. Hugs to you. I know this is a scary time, wondering if the next bout of depression is around the corner. Here are some things that I do - not sure at all if they will help: Sit still and concentrate on my breath - breath in for a count of 5 hold for two, breath out for 8. Do that several times. I find that it does help to "slow down" the brain activity when I am manic. If I'm too energized to do this, then I do a "walking" meditation - take a walk and concentrate on my breathing, deep breaths. Next, I check in with my dr on my meds. Always a good time to check, see if something needs to be changed. Finally, I give myself an hour to just be alone, turn off the phone, just relax, garden or something that I enjoy that is comforting. I think being aware is amazing - you're already out in front of it. You can make decisions now to take care of yourself that will help yourself in the near future. Don't be afraid - we're all here for you love xo.

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 2:16 p.m.

Lexi, darling, have a HUGE squishy hug. I did exactly what you suggested yesterday; I meditated for ten minutes, concentrating on my breath. I did the 4/2/8, but it's very similar and it really does seem to help!

Oli

Aug. 24, 2022, 1:30 p.m.

Thanks for writing Mary. I don't have BP so I know I can't really understand it. I hope the thoughts and advice that's been shared here is useful, it certainly looks like it might be, and I really wish you well xx

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 24, 2022, 2:17 p.m.

Thank you, Oli. Your wise advice has helped me so many times in the past, and your well wishes help me here. You are a star!

Bailey

Aug. 24, 2022, 2:31 p.m.

Ok now I will look up synaesthesia

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 25, 2022, 1:29 p.m.

It can be a disability for some people, but I see it as a gift. The world is all joined up. The sound in 3D and colour is not good, however, when I have a migraine, as all sounds seem amplified and enormous, but usually it's nice.

Sally

Aug. 24, 2022, 3:07 p.m.

Just a thought: recently watched Brené Brown. On YouTube. The power of vulnerability. Sometimes this sort of thing helps. It helped me last week when I felt I might be on the slippery slope. (Apparently audience laughs 22 in 19 minutes, so it’s entertaining but serious too.) Give it a whirl maybe .

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 25, 2022, 1:30 p.m.

I have quite a few of her books. I will give her a whirl on YouTube. I am a great believer in the power of vulnerability. Well, of course I am, otherwise I wouldn't write the kind of blogs that I do!

Joanne

Aug. 24, 2022, 3:16 p.m.

So many helpful suggestions already so I can only echo those! The general principle which works for me is that just as I feel like speeding up, that's the moment I need to concentrate on slowing down, so - not volunteering for everything and anything; seeing one friend at a time rather than organising or going to larger gatherings; only doing the stuff which absolutely needs to be done each day (so hard!) rather than riding the energy and trying to get ahead in the 'To Do' list (can't be done, more just gets added). In addition I find a bit of mindless telly helps - whatever that looks like for you, or some light reading, if concentration permits. I can particularly recommend making risotto - only if you like it of course! It involves just standing and stirring for about 40 minutes which I find incredibly therapeutic.

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 25, 2022, 1:39 p.m.

Well, I don't eat risotto, but my family do. I think the idea of standing and stirring, and thinking nice thoughts, is lovely. As for slowing down - I remember I wrote, back in October 2016, in Bipolar Exploding Hedgehog, "I'm on the top of the world, looking down on creation..." "But this isn't a happy place, it's scary. "It's like being possessed by a pack of rabid wolves. The wolves want to break free and run wild, but I can't let them. These wolves have sharp teeth, dripping with poisoned foam; they will bite and tear and rend. I can't let them out. "Oh, I used to. I used to ride those wolves. All I felt then was the wind in my hair; all I smelt then was the sharp scent of forest pine; all I heard was the crisp crunch of snow underfoot and the glorious music of my howling wolves as they sang love songs to the moon. "For these are Russian wolves, with all the muscled power and passion of Mussorgsky. They rage and rampage through the great gates of Kiev, and fly with the witches through the night on Bald Mountain. "Yes, these wolves leave a trail of destruction and I cannot let them out." (Gosh! Nice piece of writing there: I'm rather pleased with that.) So, yes - we need to rein ourselves in, just when we want to slip the reins and run free. It's all part of taking responsibility and being mature about managing our condition.

toni

Aug. 24, 2022, 3:54 p.m.

Hi Mary, I would say, please trust your instincts, especially if backed up by your nearest and dearest. It’s a massive break through if you are able to recognise it yourself, and also means hopefully you’re catching it early and could head it off at the pass, but I would suggest don’t try and do it on your own. Maybe your GP as first port of call, or another mental health specialist that knows you. It may be that a small temporary medication tweak could be enough. I haven’t read all the other responses so apologise if I’m repeating others, but do you have a toolkit you can put in place when starting to go high? Common strategies include mindfulness / meditation, getting out into nature, stopping high energy exercise and reducing commitments. I hope this is helpful. Love Toni

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 25, 2022, 1:40 p.m.

Thank you Toni. I am starting to put a toolkit together. You lovely people are helping me to equip it.

toni

Aug. 24, 2022, 3:54 p.m.

Hi Mary, I would say, please trust your instincts, especially if backed up by your nearest and dearest. It’s a massive break through if you are able to recognise it yourself, and also means hopefully you’re catching it early and could head it off at the pass, but I would suggest don’t try and do it on your own. Maybe your GP as first port of call, or another mental health specialist that knows you. It may be that a small temporary medication tweak could be enough. I haven’t read all the other responses so apologise if I’m repeating others, but do you have a toolkit you can put in place when starting to go high? Common strategies include mindfulness / meditation, getting out into nature, stopping high energy exercise and reducing commitments. I hope this is helpful. Love Toni

Reply

Brum Mum

Aug. 24, 2022, 4:22 p.m.

Dear Mary, you are searingly honest, which is why so many people get so much from your blogs. I did wonder and slightly worry for you when you described the work you were doing to clear and clean your in-laws’ house. And knowing you, you would have made a grand job of things. Whilst not currently having a BP diagnosis, I did in the past. I wonder whether you try and squeeze so much in, like me, and then get exhausted by it? I have next week off work and the kids are already complaining I have planned too much!! So I wonder whether it would be helpful to diarise in ‘me time’? Only a suggestion. I hope you get the help you need. You are in my thoughts xx

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 25, 2022, 1:42 p.m.

You are right; diarising me time is vital. I know that when I make my cards, it's my quiet place. It's meditatively creative, which is important.

Paula

Aug. 25, 2022, 12:38 a.m.

Hi Mary thank you so much for your frank comments and questions. I hope you have the right people in your life (caring friend, knowledgeable doctor, the right therapist ) and that you feel able to call on them too. Sometimes it can be very hard knowing when to ask for help and working out the way ahead. There are many wonderful suggestions in the comments, I hope that some of them strike a chord with you and that you can adopt some of them as helpful habits to help quiet your mind and bring things back into balance. Much easier said than done, isn't it, though. I wish you well xx

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 25, 2022, 1:43 p.m.

Thank you Paula. I am going to try many of these suggestions and will report on how well they work out. Thank you so much for your good wishes. It means a lot.

Ach UK

Aug. 25, 2022, 6:55 a.m.

Hi Mary, I missed your blog yesterday. Sending supportive thoughts to you. I am sorry you are a bit out of kilter, but thankful that this time you have noticed it earlier . . . In a nutshell; to anyone who acknowledges they may be on the "Bipolar Affective Disorder Spectrum" Stop, Look, Listen! Stop:. Take time out and allow yourself a few howls and expletives, tissues and tears. Look:. With acceptance that your body is overburdened with all the tasks mental and physical that are with you at this time and must be allowed to recoup. Listen to the wise words of your support systems, medics, family and Moodscopers. I am a firm believer that if one has a body/brain which has developed the susceptibility to accelerate or decelerate its functioning, then early interventions can ameliorate the fallouts. Lots of really lovely supportive comments Mary from the Moodscopers. Some things I know have helped me:. Eat well, nuts,fruit, fresh vegetables, fish and meat if you are an omnivore. Rest, rest, gentle walks with many sits, attend to good sleep patterns . .no TV or stimulating computers after 9pm and accept that sleep may be disrupted. Resist the urges to complete all the little jobs that catch your eye. Allow time to feel frustrated, angry and fearful, don't lock emotions up or brush them aside. And, remember and know in your heart that "this will pass". Hugs Mary, "All will be well, and all will be well; and all will be well." XX Ach

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 25, 2022, 1:45 p.m.

So much love returned to you, dear Ach. What lovely and sensible words. I think I will print out this page of comments and treasure it.

Lynda

Aug. 25, 2022, 9:55 a.m.

Hello Mary, sorry I am late with my response Mary, although it's lovely to see how much care and support you have already received back. Although I have not experienced BPD myself, my mum (also called Mary) lived with it most of her life until she passed away in June. She was very open with me about some of the things she experienced during her manic phases and so it gave me a great deal of empathy around what she was going through. This empathy helped when she was feeling really energised and agitated and couldn't sleep. Early on her GP who appeared to have a thing for Freud, made things much more difficult for her (and us) as he experimented with different drugs. However when she was eventually allocated a psychiatrist who diagnosed manic depression and prescribed the correct medication, her bouts of mania became less and less frequent. They were only triggered if something caused a break in her medication or a major stressor. Over the years I was able to pick up on the indicators that suggested she was entering a manic phase and so we were able to get in touch with the CPN to get a temporary adjustment in her medication. The psychiatrist also suggested I read the Unquiet Mind, by Kay Jamison, it was helpful as it gave me a better perspective of what my mum might be experiencing. I don't know if this observation is helpful or relevant but the biggest change I witnessed in the stability of my mum's mood was when my dad was diagnosed with dementia at 62. Although it was difficult initially to get her to appreciate his behaviours, once she took on the role of his carer instead of him being hers, there was a confidence in her I hadn't witnessed before - that change in her mood and behaviour is something I often ponder over. I'm not sure if any of this is helpful Mary, advice if I have any right to offer it would be - remember your family love and care for you and this phase will pass. Allow those close to you in and share with them what you are going through and if you are feeling well enough, allow them to share the changes they observed when you were transitioning between phases. I feel understanding your condition is the key to managing it. With my sincere best wishes to you and yours x

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 25, 2022, 1:50 p.m.

Thank you so much Lynda. I will read the Unquiet Mind. I will also contact my GP. She needs an update anyway - and she is just the loveliest woman ever! I offer my condolences to you on the death of your mother. I am so glad she was able to communicate with you so you could understand what she was going through and help her manage it. And thank you for the reminder that this too will pass. I crave consistency and am very slowly learning to be like the ant, storing up for times of hardship (lack of energy), rather than like the grasshopper, gleefully spending everything he has in the moment.

Teg

Aug. 25, 2022, 6:27 p.m.

How about a busy bee collecting the nectar from each of todays helpful comments. Txx

Collette

Aug. 26, 2022, 10:34 a.m.

My impression is that you have achieved a great deal recently, congratulation. Naturally you want to continue to have the energy and enthusiam to achieve more while you can, however you recognise the early warning signs of a more dangerous mood taking hold, if you can prevent that you will consolidate your progress and probably make more perhaps at a slower safer rate. As I have been in exactly that dilema I know how scary it is. My Psychiatrist gave me a tip which has served me very well, but this is what works for me and if you like the idea please consult your own medical team before following my suggestion, to do otherwise could be detrimental. I hate the way antipsychotics make me feel, but sometimes they save me from a manic or psycotic episode. My wonderful psychiatrist told me that taking a tiny dose for one or a few nights can be sufficient to avert a manic high for some people. Providing I recogise the warnings signs I am now willing to take the small dose of antipsychotic at night until I feel the danger has passed. I do this if I am unsure whether I neec it or not, better to err on the side of caution. The pills often make me feel grotty the next day but it is a very small price to pay for avoiding the chaos and distress of a manic episode for me and my loved ones. My psychiatrist allows me a small supply of antipsychotic to have on hand for taking at my own discretion or perhaps at a loved ones suggestion if I haven't recognised the warning signs myself. I used to be offended when I felt good and others suggested I was getting unwell I became defensive and refused to take medicine I hated and thought was not needed. I am wiser now and understand the suggestion isn't an insult or put down but a caring person who wants to help me stay well. I hope this might be something you could consider and then if you want to try it get support from your medical team before you try. Best wishes and good luck.

Reply

Collette

Aug. 26, 2022, 10:34 a.m.

My impression is that you have achieved a great deal recently, congratulation. Naturally you want to continue to have the energy and enthusiam to achieve more while you can, however you recognise the early warning signs of a more dangerous mood taking hold, if you can prevent that you will consolidate your progress and probably make more perhaps at a slower safer rate. As I have been in exactly that dilema I know how scary it is. My Psychiatrist gave me a tip which has served me very well, but this is what works for me and if you like the idea please consult your own medical team before following my suggestion, to do otherwise could be detrimental. I hate the way antipsychotics make me feel, but sometimes they save me from a manic or psycotic episode. My wonderful psychiatrist told me that taking a tiny dose for one or a few nights can be sufficient to avert a manic high for some people. Providing I recogise the warnings signs I am now willing to take the small dose of antipsychotic at night until I feel the danger has passed. I do this if I am unsure whether I neec it or not, better to err on the side of caution. The pills often make me feel grotty the next day but it is a very small price to pay for avoiding the chaos and distress of a manic episode for me and my loved ones. My psychiatrist allows me a small supply of antipsychotic to have on hand for taking at my own discretion or perhaps at a loved ones suggestion if I haven't recognised the warning signs myself. I used to be offended when I felt good and others suggested I was getting unwell I became defensive and refused to take medicine I hated and thought was not needed. I am wiser now and understand the suggestion isn't an insult or put down but a caring person who wants to help me stay well. I hope this might be something you could consider and then if you want to try it get support from your medical team before you try. Best wishes and good luck.

Reply

Collette

Aug. 26, 2022, 10:34 a.m.

My impression is that you have achieved a great deal recently, congratulation. Naturally you want to continue to have the energy and enthusiam to achieve more while you can, however you recognise the early warning signs of a more dangerous mood taking hold, if you can prevent that you will consolidate your progress and probably make more perhaps at a slower safer rate. As I have been in exactly that dilema I know how scary it is. My Psychiatrist gave me a tip which has served me very well, but this is what works for me and if you like the idea please consult your own medical team before following my suggestion, to do otherwise could be detrimental. I hate the way antipsychotics make me feel, but sometimes they save me from a manic or psycotic episode. My wonderful psychiatrist told me that taking a tiny dose for one or a few nights can be sufficient to avert a manic high for some people. Providing I recogise the warnings signs I am now willing to take the small dose of antipsychotic at night until I feel the danger has passed. I do this if I am unsure whether I neec it or not, better to err on the side of caution. The pills often make me feel grotty the next day but it is a very small price to pay for avoiding the chaos and distress of a manic episode for me and my loved ones. My psychiatrist allows me a small supply of antipsychotic to have on hand for taking at my own discretion or perhaps at a loved ones suggestion if I haven't recognised the warning signs myself. I used to be offended when I felt good and others suggested I was getting unwell I became defensive and refused to take medicine I hated and thought was not needed. I am wiser now and understand the suggestion isn't an insult or put down but a caring person who wants to help me stay well. I hope this might be something you could consider and then if you want to try it get support from your medical team before you try. Best wishes and good luck.

Reply

Ian

Aug. 31, 2022, 1:26 p.m.

My heart goes out to you Mary, it must be so aggravating to be subject to these inexorable waverings in brain chemistry. I am not you of course, and I imagine it is good to keep an eye on one's own internal weather, particularly when it is capable, as yours seems to be, of generating some rather too spectacular storms, but it's not clear to me from your description that you need worry too much right now. Being perky and full of beans is great - why, it is a condition I still occasionally enjoy myself. (Not sure I would expend it in cleaning my FiL's house, but that's a different issue.) And annoyance at slovenly pool staff and people with poor lane discipline is surely rather normal! Don't beat yourself up because you are not a garden of delights at every hour of the day. You've got a right to have energy and a right to find annoying people annoying and a right to get exasperated at the all-too-many argh-inducing features of modern life.

Reply

Login or Sign Up to Comment