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.

 

Tomorrow

Trying to think about today. You know what, forget today (it was a good day) but let me move on to tomorrow. Tomorrow’s going to be a long one.

I start work at 6AM. It’s my first shift back to work after taking leave for my mental health. I’m both excited and nervous about it. Mostly It’s going to be good. And I enjoy working there. I’m looking forward to my coworkers. It will be fun.

I’ll have a few hours after work to get some coffee and brunch before I have my psychiatrist appointment. I’m looking forward to that as well. I need to talk to her about the medicines making me put on so much weight and making it ridiculously difficult to lose any of it. Plus some work related things. Mainly I just want to be off my meds so I can get down to a reasonable weight. Right now as it stands I’m officially obese. I’m way past the overweight category. I’m smack in the middle of certifiably obese. I do not like that word and I do not like what it means. It puts me at risk for all kinds of preventable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc. I don’t want those things. I want to lose fat and build muscle. I want to be healthy! Ok enough of that rant.

After the doctor’s appointment I’m going to workout, and straight from there I have my lecture and group session at church. I’m supposed to have written a Psalm of my own.

It’s a jam packed day. The only problem I have with it is how early I have to get up and leave the house. I wonder if I’ll have time to do part of my Bible study in the morning. I better make time for it. That’s super important and will set me up for a good day. I’ll try that.

In Summary:
Work. Study. Doctor. Read. Workout. Group.

Weight

This picture shows a 50 pound difference. 30 of those pounds are only in the last 6 months. I didn’t significantly change much about my habits. In fact I was fairly active. I ate a little more than usual, but still, not significantly. The only thing that changed was the dosage of medicine I was taking. We increased it drastically. Then all the weight just accumulated. My clothes have never been so tight. Even my baggy clothes are tight. It’s ridiculous. I hate this.

I started doing CrossFit two months ago. I’ve been going 5 days a week. And I’ve been pushing myself during the workouts. But still, nothing. You would think there would at least be some change. You would think that maybe if not on the scale at least my clothes would fit differently. Nope. Nothing. Scale’s not changing. Waistline’s not changing. I’m trying to watch what I eat. I’ve almost completely cut out all sodas. I’ve limited my alcohol consumption. I try to avoid breads and rice. Now I’m going to have to start counting calories, and I’m going to start running in addition to the CrossFit. And if still nothing changes, I have no idea what to do. Somehow I’ll have to start coming off of my medication, because this weight is not good. It’s making me more unhealthy than healthy. I’d rather be crazy than obese.

Dumb.

All day I’ve distracted myself. I drew some pictures. I colored some pictures. I watched tv. Now that it’s quiet, and I’ve spent too much time coloring and drawing, and sitting around all day I’m feeling tired. Not sleepy tired and not workout tired. Tired of life. That feeling keeps creeping up on me. I’m feeling sad and worthless. It’s so hard trying to fight these feelings. I’m constantly at war with my own brain. I distract and avoid these thoughts so that I don’t have to deal with them. I feel like no one understands. No one cares. When I write it out it sounds like attention-seeking. But I’m really not. I’m just saying what I feel. This whole thing sounds stupid and I might just delete it all. It sounds like I’m complaining. That I should just get it together and write something that actually means something. I hate this. This is so stupid. I hate everything right now. I can’t do anything. I hope no one reads this. No one will anyway. I sound like a whiny teenager. I’m tired of everything. It’s so dark and boring and dumb inside my head. I feel like I need to pull myself together, that I’m better than this. But then I can’t. I’m just rambling. Word vomit. This is the worse piece of writing ever. There’s no point to anything.

Psalm 35

Psalm 35

of David,

Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for my help!
Draw the spear and the javelin against my pursuers!
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!”

Let them be put to shame and dishonor
who seek after my life!
Let them be turned back and disappointed
who devise evil against me!
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the LORD driving them away!
Let their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the LORD pursuing them!

For without cause they hid their net for me;
without cause the dug a pit for my life.
Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it!
And let the net that he hid ensnare him,
let him fall into it–to his destruction!

Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD,
exulting in his salvation.
All my bones shall say,
“O LORD, who is like you, delivering the poor
from him who is strong for him,
the poor and needy from him who robs him?”

Malicious witnesses rise up;
they ask me of things that I do not know.
They repay me evil for good;
my soul is bereft.
But I, when they were sick–
I wore sackcloth;
I afflicted myself with fasting;
I prayed with head bowed on my chest.
I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;
as one who laments his mother,
I bowed down in the mourning.

But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;
they gathered together against me;
wretches whom I did not know
tore at me without ceasing;
like profane mockers at a feast,
they gnash at me with their teeth.

How long, O LORD, will you look on?
Rescue me from their destruction,
my precious life from the lions!
I will thank you in the great congregation;
in the mighty throng I will praise you.

Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes,
and let not those wink they eye who hate me without cause.
For they do not speak peace,
but against those who are quiet in the land
they devise words of deceit.
They open wide their mouths against me;
they say, “Aha, Aha!
Our eyes have seen it!”

You have seen, O LORD; be not silent!
O LORD, be not far from me!
Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication,
for my cause, my God and my Lord!
Vindicate me, O LORD, my God,
according to your righteousness,
and let them not rejoice over me!
Let them not say in their hearts,
“Aha, our heart’s desire!”
Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”

Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether
who rejoice at my calamity!
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
who magnify themselves against me!

Let those who delight in my righteousness
shout for joy and be glad
and say evermore,
“Great is the LORD,
who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
and of your praise all the day long.

Today’s Neurology Appointment

Just as expected, my test results were all normal. Straight up normal. Nothing wrong. But my symptoms remain. So. What do I do now? He increased the dose of one of my medicines. And he ordered another test, a 72-hour EEG. I’ll have to wear a device on my head for three days while it monitors my brain wave activity straight though several days, rather than just a 20 minute interval that was done in the office. Not exactly looking forward to that. But hopefully it records something useful.

In other news, I worked out hard today. But I feel pretty good about it. I don’t have a picture of today, but I do have one from yesterday. Also went grocery shopping with Mom for a good portion of the day. And finally in the evening I went to my City Group to catch up with friends. Several of us really didn’t want to be there today. But we all got though it. I had several staring spells. And ended up leaving 8.

Now I’m home, and I really need to sleep. My eyes aren’t staying open, and my ability to type properly is diminishing. It’s time to say goodnight. So, Goodnight!

MakeUp, Church, Work

Wow. Ok. Pleasantly surprised about today. Got up this morning. Made coffee for myself and tea for the parents. Went to get ready for the day. I tried makeup contouring. What a huge difference in the makeup game! I look like a totally different person. It’s incredible. I feel like I did quite a good job of it. Putting on makeup for me is not to impress anyone by any means. It just makes me feel good. I have more confidence. I have better self-esteem. It’s my form of self-care. It really doesn’t matter to me what other people think. It’s a very selfish thing for me. When I wear makeup it means that I respect myself. I don’t need anyone else to respect me, because I respect me.

 

I went to church. I was a tad bit late (because of the extra time it took to put on makeup). I ended up having to sit a few rows short of the back of the room. Turns out that it wasn’t good for me either. My anxiety again shot way up. Too many people were sitting behind me. During the sermon one of those people started eating crackers, and I had to get out of there. I quickly got up and went outside.

I ended up having a great conversation with a friend. We got to talk a little bit about the Porterbrook courses I’m taking. He’s gone through both years of it before so I was able to share with him some of the things that I’ve been reading. I had some concerns about some things. We were able to talk through it, and he agreed with me about my concerns. Overall it was a great conversation.

After a bit I went back inside. The sermon ended and then worship began. The people behind me were singing way too loud, and I couldn’t hear the worship band. That really frustrated me, but I really didn’t want to leave worship. It was stupid that I felt so annoyed by that. I should have been happy to hear others worshipping. But it bothered me for some reason. I was kind of stuck. Didn’t know what to do. I just bared through it and tried to accept it. After church I got to have another great conversation with a friend who I hadn’t seen in awhile. It was so good to catch up with her.

After leaving I headed straight to both of my employers. First stop was better than I expected it to be. Several of my coworkers came up to me to say they’ve missed me and find out how I’m doing and when I’m coming back. That felt pretty great. Talked to my manager about when I’m coming back and in what capacity I’ll be working. At my other employer, I went up to several of my coworkers and they all said the same things, “We miss you!! When are you coming back?” Also, everyone loves my hair. Anyway, my manager there was very supportive and is ready for me to come back. So that was great.

Ran a couple of errands. Decided with Mom that we’ll have homemade pizza tonight before I start the Whole30. It was super wonderful. Turned out to be a pretty darn good day.

At the end of the day however, I did not once think about Jesus. I was in church, I talked about the bible with people. But in my heart I did not consider Him at all. In my suffering, I should have turned to Him. But instead I tried to fight it on my own. That’s something for me to ponder.