Anxiety on High

Today has been rough. And it’s only noon.

I woke up somewhere around 4 or 5 times last night. My sleep was messed up.

I had plenty of caffeine. I forgot food. I wasn’t hungry but I ate a chocolate muffin for lunch.

I was in a daze driving to school. I almost cried in the middle of class this morning. I bought a book and a sweater to lift me up. I skipped tutoring because I would have cried.

I still have another class to go to. I tried to read a book. But I can’t do it. This is all I can do.

Anxiety is on high.

An update.

Six months since I’ve written. What can I say about that time?

I finished my first semester of seminary school.
I was in Death Valley for three months.
I started my second semester of seminary school.

That about sums it up. Chronologically and factually.

What about emotionally? Oh, I’d say it has been a roller-coaster. More like a kid’s roller-coaster. You know, the kinds that just slightly has it’s ups and downs, nothing major. Still a roller-coaster though. Death Valley was a dark place emotionally. I felt lonely and separate from everything. Most of the time I kept my emotions in check. It was hard work. I’m lucky that I was able to mostly keep it together.

Now I’m going into this second semester of seminary. I’m feeling mostly good. It feels amazing to be back home. After my summer experience, it really feels like a huge blessing to be where I am right now. I have the stress of school. I have the stress because of my current weight. My body doesn’t feel well. My mental health is suffering as a result. I have to put in the hard work for my body. But at the same time I have to put in the hard work of school. It’s already a month into school, and I haven’t quite gotten into the rhythm of anything. I better step up fast.

My prayers are just that I can keep myself together emotionally and do what needs to be done. And there is a lot to be done!

A Week Off

Here’s a picture of tacos for no reason at all. Except that they were absolutely delicious, and I wish I was eating one right now.

Spent a whole week doing nothing towards my goals. And I’m ok with that. I’ve had family in town and I wanted to maximize my time with them. I also had to go to work, which limited my time with them. I had to go to sleep early to keep my sleep hygiene, and then I would have to wake up early. It didn’t always work out just fine. Although I will say positively that I did go to work and I did volunteer. This week is over. On to the future.

Starting Monday I will adjust my diet. I will go back to the gym. I will write more. I will do more planning. I will prepare more for school to start. I’m especially excited about going back to the gym. A whole week off was a bit too much for me. It affects my mental health tremendously. I feel much more even tempered when I’ve been active. Inactivity creates a lot of energy stored inside without an outlet. It ends up creating more anxiety and more irritability in me, which then makes me depressed which makes me less inclined to do the things I want to do. It’s a terrible cycle. Sooo… I need to keep exercising. When I don’t know what to do, or when I don’t feel like doing anything: EXERCISE! That’s my note to self.

Also I’m not beating myself up for not having done much this week. It happens. There will be times like this. As long as I pick myself back up, and keep going, we’re good. So here’s to continuing good health!

I can do this

The thing about mental health is simply that it effects your mind. The chemicals in your brain have become unregulated making it difficult to think straight. With bipolar whether your thoughts are good or bad, it’s amplified. When your surroundings are good, you feel ecstatic beyond reason. You’re energetic, electric, and love being alive. You’re so optimistic you feel on top of the world. When something so slight makes you worry, it sends you into panic, unable to breath, heart racing, doom encircling you. And then you get sad, and the world crashes around you. You can’t get out of bed. You can’t take a shower. You can’t eat or sleep. You think and feel things that aren’t real. All the while shadows following you. Voices trying to get your attention.

I started getting better. I’ve been exercising. I’ve been getting sleep. I’ve been using my coping skills to get me through tough moments. Really, I’ve been doing well. I thought so anyway. Just when I think things are going great with my health, I forget a dose of medicines, and BAM. I’m back to being a mental mess. I really thought I was doing well, until I wasn’t. It wasn’t even just the missing dose of medicines. It’s been gradual. I’ve let my guard down to my illness.

I resolve to contain this. I won’t let myself spiral out of control. I can do this. The best thing that I can do right now is to grant myself grace.

 

Hang Squat Snatch

Different day, different problems, different successes.

This morning I got up early and refreshed. Feeling good about the morning, I went back to bed. But it was a terrible idea. I then had several back to back terrible, horrific dreams. They’re way too dark for me to write about. I don’t want to relive them. I woke up again in a sweat and quickly got out of bed to go to the gym. Arrival at the gym got my mind off of the dreams and into the present moment.

A day off of the gym felt like an eternity on my body. I was hurting through warmup. It seemed like all of my joints had become stiff. I felt quite inflexible. Just warming up with the barbell was tough. I felt like I’d never be able to lift the weight as prescribed. But, I tried. And, well, I lifted more weight than I’ve ever lifted on the Hang Squat Snatch than ever before. In fact, it was a weight that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to lift. Only weeks ago I was barely being able to lift the bar like that. Not only that, it was right in line with many of the other strong ladies in the gym. The girl behind me usually lifts about twice the weight that I lift, and today I was lifting the same weight as her! It took me a million tries but I finally PR’d my Hang Squat Snatch! Way to go me!

The gym was great. Got home, freshened up, and headed out to my counselor appointment. On my way there I realized that I had prepared nothing. I hadn’t thought about my week. In fact, I couldn’t even remember my week. I didn’t bring my notebook. I didn’t bring my workbooks. I had simply forgotten everything. Well I got there and told this to my counselor. She mentioned it being yet another symptom of my depression. We went through a whole list of other things last week. After talking to her, I became aware that today was not an isolated instance. I’m concerned to say the least, but don’t quite know what to do.

After meeting my counselor I went down to the church office to do some work for Sunday’s services. I had a great time learning some new things and chatting. We got a lot of work done, and it all felt really wonderful. The rest of the day was similarly nice.

To conclude, if you asked me how my day was today, I’d probably say it was good because it was indeed pretty good considering my big success at the gym. But I’d say it knowing that there were several things that I am actively avoiding and unwilling to confront.

 

Can’t Wake Up

Something different happened this morning. I couldn’t wake up. Not in a I-don’t-want-to-get-up kind of way. It was in a literally-I-can’t-wake-up kind of way. I got out of bed because my mom threatened to yank me out of of bed. She was pretty angry. I spent the rest of the morning in a blur. I know I ate a bagel and drank tea. But most of that is a complete blur. I drove my little bro to the gym. Came home, slept for 30 minutes, and picked him up. All a total blur. My eyes half open throughout all of it. I came home and had to get ready for work. After my shower I was slightly more awake, but still rather half awake. On the way to work, I picked up a triple latte, and finally after a few miles started to feel more awake. By the time I got to work I was nice and chipper and ready to get to business. The rest of the day has been great and productive. I learned a lot in training at work, made an important phone call, and got a lot of work done at home. And now I’m not really very tired. So this whole cycle might happen all over again.

I can’t explain what happened this morning. I took the same medicines as usual. Didn’t eat or drink anything out of the ordinary. Took awhile to fall asleep, but that’s nothing unusual either. I really don’t know. And, I don’t know what else to say.

Update Kind Of.

Tri training has been going well. I’ve hit all my goals so far. The initial goal was to stick to the schedule as planned. And I have accomplished that. It feels pretty darn good. Next week will also be about hitting the same goal of sticking to the schedule. After these two weeks I can think about bumping up my level of effort within the extra workouts. My knees are already feeling tight, so I may not want to push them too hard. I wouldn’t want to have to quit because of an injury.

My mood lately is best described as irritable. I keep snapping at people in my family. I have a harder time keeping my mental balance. My patience is thin. I get irritated and annoyed too easily. The reason for this could be a few different things. One, it could be because of the extra exercise. It could be a symptom of a bipolar hypomania, or it could be a symptom of depression. I talked some things over with my counselor earlier this week. She added up some other symptoms I’ve been having. She came to the conclusion that it sounds like a depression coming on. So I have to fight that now.

How do I fight this depression? Exercise is supposed to help. I’m doing that. I’ve been making my appointment and activity commitments even when I don’t want to. I need to start eating and sleeping regularly. I have to keep writing. I have to change my thought patterns. Which would require me to read my book and work on some exercises.

Overall though I’m feeling pretty hopeful. That’s a good feeling. I’m still excited about tri training. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and something that I’ve always wanted to try to be good at. Also though, I want to get back to climbing. So I have no idea how I’m going to have time to go climbing on top of tri training and CrossFit. I wish that I had all the time in the world to go from one activity to the other and still do all of my extra curricular activities.