Recently someone challenged me to
Try looking at other things moods do that are related to thought, but aren’t thought. How they change things like memory, attention, and perception.
Like whether you are motivated to work on having a life in spite of the bipolar disorder? Whether you take a small failure and read it to mean that you can *never* succeed?
I think the answer is this:
We have moods. *Everyone* has moods, ours just swing out farther. Accept it and get on with your life.
I’ve been having some problems the last couple of days, not sleeping and feeling the “raccoon eyes” again. In the middle of that I made the bad decision to stay at work late since I was having luck with a problem there. Symptoms – racing thoughts, “body armor” meaning all-over tension. A building up of toxins. I was too hyper to use my biofeedback program, couldn’t even do the first task. Bah.
Last night I took an antipsychotic. Today I’m stumbling around and every few minutes I have to lie down wherever I’m at until the dizziness passes. How the *fuck* do you people who take that crap every day manage? HA! I bet you think that’s a symptom of bipolar disorder, not a med side effect!
I have things to do. So I point myself in the right direction, gathering supplies a bit at a time. My next task – after a very strong cup of coffee, which is brewing now, will be to varnish the picnic table. It’ll take longer than it would otherwise but it will get done. Yesterday I did some body work on my ’88 Toyota pickup so that it will pass inspection.
This is where the less motivated bipolars jump up and tell me I’m not disabled. I could have gone on SSDI in late 1999 or early 2000. It would have been easy to stay on high doses of meds and get money for nothing. It just wouldn’t be me. I took the summer off and spent a big chunk of my savings going back to school to get my engineering degree instead. And learned reiki to give myself another tool for managing the illness.
The point? Yeah, hard to stay on topic when you’re stoned out of your gourd on psych meds. The point is that you have the moods. Yippee. There have always been bipolars and many of them accomplished great things in spite of it – or more likely *because of it*.
If you are a failure, it’s not because of the disorder itself. It is because of the choices you’ve made in your life. You can’t change the mood swings, but you *can* change everything else. Change is scary, even for non-bipolars, so don’t blame that on the disorder either. You deserve success – however you define “success” – so make the changes.
So quit focusing all of your energy on having bipolar disorder and start focusing it on having a life.
Or don’t. Your choice.
Coffee’s ready. Excuse me, I have to get some things done today. It would be easier if my head didn’t feel like a bag of rocks.