Monday, July 12, 2010

Sometimes when I'm up my life feels like fireworks

I have been hypomanic for about a month now. My Psychiatrist is working very closely with me to adjust my medicines. He saw me last Wednesday, then Friday, and on Sunday. Such care and dedication! And he knows that I take my medicines like clockwork. In fact, I was floored at the end of our last "conference". He said, "I admire you a lot, Tim". Wow, what a compliment. So even though my speech is a little slurred, and my mouth feels like Sub-Saharan desert, I keep on making the commitment to follow his plan exactly, and then reporting back the results. Total honesty is the best policy with regard to your Psychiatrist, your support person, and yourself.

4th of July Fireworks Fair St. Louis over Old Courthouse

Friday, July 09, 2010

manic management attempt - Chart

I want my friends to understand (as much as possible) what I'm going through right now.

Most of my friends at Christ Church Cathedral do no know that I have the most severe type of Bipolar disorder (Type I). I never know how long these episodes are going to last, usually they last for only 3 to 7 days. On one occasion, in 2001, I had my worst episode which lasted 3 1/2 months and pretty much ended my working career.
There are 5 levels of severity. I'm currently at a manageable place somewhere between Euthymic and Hypomanic. If this is unfamiliar to you, you can read the text of this link from a worse episode in 2004.
The chart was a sincere but somewhat desperate attempt to both manage and document my "UP" phase.
This time, though I'm very focused and don't have irrational thoughts there are still symptoms you may notice in the next few days:
- excessive talking
- inadequate listening
- seeming overly excited
- blog entries that are too long. . like this one ;-)

I'm eating regularly, but my sleep pattern has been erratic for the last 8 days. I'm in close communication with my Psychiatrist, taking my medicine regularly, and making the necessary adjustments.
Please don't worry about me. I'm becoming more experienced at handling these episodes, and it will likely be over in a few days.
I have no more reason to be ashamed of my mental chemical disorder than a diabetic has of his or her condition.
I have told only a handful of people at Christ Church, because I like to wait until I know someone well enough that they don't see me through their preconceptions about mental illness. Rather, I like people to know about mental illness through the "filter" of knowing ME.
I facilitate a group for young adults who have depression, bipolar, or any number of ills. When I'm like this, I have to turn the leadership over to someone else. At least I'm responsible and realistic to do THAT.
Please pray for me, and I ask for understanding and forbearance.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Just Part of my list of 100 things that make me happy!!

Just for kicks you can make your own list. It comes in handy when I become depressed.  The list reminds me of what is important in my life, and also what cheers me up.  This is part of my "preparedness" or "safety plan" for times when I can't find anything in the world to get out of bed for. Yesterday, I saw # 13 on my list:

6) Snuggling with my wife.
7) Talking to a good Friend.
8) Taking photos
9) Lying on the grass on a warm, breezy day
10) Having hands and feet
11) Having eyes and ears
12) wiggling my toes in mud
13) watching a sensuous sunset
14) traveling – Period
15) becoming more self-aware
16) gaining insights into how people function
17) singing and playing my guitar
18) making music with others
19) singing with a good choir
20) listening to almost any kind of music
21) the sound of a brook burbling
22) watching a Blue Morpho butterfly fly past me
23) seeing a child’s eyes light up with delight
24) seeing someone be pleasantly surprised
25) looking at my sweetheart’s face (yes, that’s my wife).