Sunday, January 24, 2016

holding the wolves at bay

I've slashed and burnt this post a few times, but I have a senseless compulsion to share, it helps me, and I hope it helps you. If you wish you can stop reading here…

I was feeling rather smug about how great I was doing and that maybe I had this bipolar thing conquered. Never feel smug, because that is exactly when trouble comes to roost. I feel fine today but for a few days did not.

It started first thing Thursday morning - it was writing group day and I had to get the frost off the truck. I'm too short to use the long scraper and too short to use the short one. I hacked away at the windshield getting more and more frustrated and cold. I eventually I gave up and went inside fully intending to just go back to bed. Luckily Carm came out to help me and I got to the library. Still cranky. And then in the middle of the meeting, whomp, my mood plummeted and didn't bounce back.

Later in the day I lay in bed watching the orange band highlighting the horizon get narrower while the blue sky turned to indigo, and wondered: is this just a bad mood? One like anyone might have? Or is it the start of something worse. I didn't know. Either way I made myself get up and wander into the light: the living room (whose name seemed particularly appro).

Friday was not better. I slouched around doing nothing other than snap at Carm, not even reading (I'm reading Angela's Ashes which is not exactly PollyAnna), just wallowing in misery with strange thoughts forming in my head. My mind doesn't usually conjure up these horrible images for a simple 'bad mood' - I thought the signs weren't good.

Saturday morning started out the same, but I could no longer indulge my gloom - we were having company for supper and there was a full day of prep ahead of us. I wasn't sure if it would work but took an emergency med, and got to work, paying special attention to being mindful and keeping control of my thoughts. I imagined a knight vanquishing all negativity. As the day passed my mood improved - meds and mindful activity saved me!

So for anyone that struggles like I do or has a loved one that does, know that blips happen and don't give in if you can help it. Maybe a day or two of indulgence is okay but take care! That day or two can slip into something much worse and may be harder to save yourself from. Have an action plan in place. And know that you are not alone.

On a more normal note, we had a lovely time celebrating Trudie's birthday. Marie and Vashek, as well as Leo and their daughter Eleanor toasted a glass to her. Carm (who helped all day) and I made a turkey dinner which turned out great. I got the idea from my mom to do the stuffing in the crockpot - it was excellent. We had sweet potato, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, mushroom gravy, and of course turkey. Darn - I forgot to put out the cranberry sauce. Bella reveled in all the petting that Eleanor lavished upon her. Spike sat close to her hoping for his share. Kabira, as usual, stayed nearby but not in the line of pet.  It was a late night so I'm a bit bleary today…

You are stronger than you seem, Braver than you believe, and smarter than you think you are.”  ~A.A. Milne