I have bipolar disorder, but it doesn't have me

December 28, 2017

I need to get my body moving to the music

Filed under: Uncategorized — birddancer @ 5:11 pm

It is cold outside! And I don’t even live in the coldest areas of the country (USA). A few days ago my hubby and I attempted to take a walk in my favorite place (a beautiful meadow walking path) and I suggested we take the shorter path. He readily agreed.

I’ve put on some weight over the last year. I guess it’s reached it’s height this holiday season. I didn’t do myself any favors this morning by eating two large slices of pannetone. My psychiatrist is also always encouraging me to exercise, but I pretty much refuse, other than the limited exercise I get from running errands. That is actually not at all like the “old me”. I used to be a serious dancer as a teen, and then continued dancing at home on my own to music pretty much daily for almost two decades afterwards. I remember living abroad and walking miles most days without hesitation. Unfortunately, in recent years I’ve become so sedentary. I have to change that!

Changing my sedentary ways will be a “step forward” for me. It’s not exactly an easy one. Not just because of sedation from medication, or lack of endurance from years of little exercise, but because something happened to me about seven years ago that made me quit listening to music as much as I used to. I used to LOVE music, but I developed musical hallucinations, and they were disturbing. Though I do still occasionally go to classical concerts with my husband, I rarely play music on my own. Sometimes I try to play it in my car, but I turn it off soon after. I need to develop my love for it again. And then, I will dance, and hopefully dance on forever.

Almost to the top of the mountain

Filed under: Uncategorized — birddancer @ 3:53 pm

It’s been a while since I had a journal, so I’ve decided to create this blog for that purpose. As this blog title states, “I have bipolar disorder, but it doesn’t have me”…at least not anymore. Of course I have no idea what lies ahead of me, I can say that at this point I’m the furthest along in my recovery to date. It’s been a long road getting here! I’m excited about documenting this period in my life, any future steps back (I hope not), and my steps forward, to where I want to go. There are lots of changes coming up in my life.

I’m assuming there is an “About” section to this blog. If so, I’ll give a brief description of who I am (in my view), excluding my real name. Here, I’d rather like to say where I am now in my recovery. I’ll follow this post up with my first journal entry.

My bipolar journey, to date, in a couple of paragraphs:

I spent about 19 years with untreated bipolar disorder (starting at age 15). Occasionally during that period I’d go to a GP for an antidepressant for depression and/or anxiety, but not for hypomania or mania. I did have some limited therapy during that time, but like taking the antidepressants, it lasted only days or a handful of weeks max before I’d abandon it, thinking I was just fine again. In some ways I was.

In my early 30s, my bipolar disorder grew worse, and I was formally diagnosed with the disorder. In my mid 30s started a series of 10 psychiatric hospitalizations in a four year period. Those years were traumatic, and it seemed like only limited recovery occurred, and new odd symptoms sprang up. I went on disability and have been on it for a while now. Sometimes I’d seem to make progress, then I’d be knocked down a couple or even more pegs. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve felt a notable difference for a large period of time. I went from being weak, to growing a bit stronger again. I went from feeling I lost myself, to feeling I found some of my old self AND discovering a new and likeable self.

So at this point I’m feeling pretty good. A couple of major stressors happened in 2017, but I was able to recover from them quickly with the help of my mental health support team, and husband. I’m looking forward to 2018. I see myself taking some significant steps this coming year. I’m not foolish enough to rush anything. My psychiatrist, psychologist and husband warm me not to. There may very well be some stress in taking those steps, but I feel more ready now to take them, than any other time in the last 12 years.

I look forward to meeting people through the Psych Central blogs, and hope that something I write along the way in mine may interest others.

Bird Dancer