Thursday, July 21, 2011

Feeling Blue?

Depression is probably the worst thing we have to experience: little self-worth, no motivation, isolation, too much sleep, feelings that life's not worth living, not contacting friends, doing absolutely nothing, sadness, lack of JOY, guilt and remorse.
Just remember if you are in a depression that you have always, always come to the end of it, and that life returns to being worthwhile, enjoyable, meaningful, fun, and joyful.
One method I have used, whether "up" or "down" is to recite a positive "mantra". A Mantra is a sound, phrase, or words that are repeated over and over and over. Positive thoughts can conquer any mood you are in, provided you work to think the positive thoughts.
Here's a mantra that I'm currently using, you can make up your own to fit who you are or want to become:
 I'm the possibility of joy, joy, joy, joy
I'm the possibility of fun, fun, fun
I'm the possibility of Creativity
I'm the possibility of Transformation
 I've turned it into a little song, and sing it whenever I'm walking, or doing something like mopping the floor. Anything that doesn't take much mental concentration gives me a chance to think or sing these positive thoughts.
What are YOU the possibility of?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

BP magazine - for Bipolar people

If you've never seen or read this magazine, it is well worth the price of the subscription, in my opinion. BP does NOT stand for British Petroleum, but rather for Bipolar disorder. For those who don't know, Bipolar disorder is a condition where chemical imbalances in the brain can create mood swings of either euphoria or depression. During the "up" phase, also know as "manic" people tend to start more projects, have more energy, spend excessively, eat less, talk too much, don't listen well, take unusual risks, don't sleep as much, and more.
During the "down" phase, bipolar people are exactly like depressed people:  They isolate, don't do much, sleep too much, have low self-esteem, don't call friends, don't answer messages, don't do email, think of killing themselves, and don't find life worth living.
I could not find ONE magazine by searching Google that is strictly for Depression.  That's probably because when you are depressed, you wouldn't subscribe to a magazine, and wouldn't read it when it was delivered.
There was one magazine I found that focused on both Anxiety and Depression, called "Esperanza" which means "hope" in Spanish.  There are articles you can read on the web from this magazine.
If you click on the title of this post, it will take you directly to the online version of BP Magazine.  You don't have to spend money or subscribe to enjoy and benefit from BP Magazine.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunset: the end of a manic period

Sunset, originally uploaded by Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton.
I've been somewhere between euthymic and hypomanic for about four weeks now. My psychiatrist has worked very hard with me to manage this episode. I think I have changed my life significantly during this period. I haven't played a computer game in five or six weeks. Instead, I've been actually accomplishing things, including:
- applying as a volunteer photographer at the Missouri Botanical garden, and I'm told I will soon be one of 10 or 11 official volunteer photographers.
- I've started managing my time better and better, using Google tasks.
- I'm spending more time in devotionals and meditation
- I've been walking between four miles and six miles per day, eating more fruits and vegetables,
- I've lost 8 or 9 pounds in five weeks.

As usual, my biggest source of conflict is with my best ally and my most beloved person: my wife.
Because of talking with a Buddhist chaplain, I've made it a point in the last two days to simply go along with my wife, Grace, instead of fighting her will. The Chaplain suggested that when she thinks I'm well, I will be well, and to trust her in that. I'm trying.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What it feels like to be depressed and out of control - real, not fiction.

Tres luces negros
Photo by Timothy K. Hamilton "Creativity+"
To give you a taste of the pain of mental disorder, here's the recent writing of a young depressed teen (published with her permissison and without editing):

I’m not getting better. I just realized that. All I’ve been doing these past few weeks is bottling it up again. All I do is cry at night.I don’t want to go back to the psych ward. I’m afraid to tell the therapist about how I really feel. I can’t triple my prozac intake as I’m already taking too much. What’s wrong with me?? Why am I like this? I TRY EVERYTHING. I TRY TO BE HAPPY BUT IT KILLS ME INSIDE I’M LITERALLY FALLING AGAIN AND THIS TIME I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN GET UP AGAIN. I’m so scared of letting the people I know reall well know what’s going on with me. They’ll think I’m acting up or they’ll get sick of me. I’M SICK OF MYSELF. I’M SICK OF CRYING SO MUCH. I’M SICK OF THROWING UP. I’M SICK OF HURTING MYSELF. I FEEL SO GUILTY AFTER I DO IT. AND NOW I’VE STOPPED AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I’M SO UGLY, I’M SO STUPID, I’M SO UNAPPRECIATIVE, I’M NOTHING. I COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER BUT BECAUSE I’M AN IDIOT I’M NOT.I know I sound like some angsty teen, but this is honestly how I feel. I feel so much hate. I feel like I just want to rip out my skin and RUN. I want my Dad, and yet I don’t because if had really loved us he wouldn’t have done what he had done. What the hell is love? There’s no such thing, just an illusion. I used to be worthy of the illusion and now all I am is a burden, a reminder of pain, a trash can. I think I seriously might be going insane and I’m not overexagerrating If you know me personally, please don’t make a big deal of this. I don’t know what I will do if it does get out about me. I just need to take this out or I’d just…I’ll just go to sleep now. I can’t handle myself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm so happy I could dance!!

Last night at our young adult DBSA (depression & bipolar support alliance) meeting, I asked everyone what they would think of having a weekly meeting, instead of just twice a month. I got an enthusiastic as well as nearly unanimous "yes, that would be great!".
Then I said that in order to do that, we would need at least two more facilitators to be trained. Almost without missing a beat, two people volunteered, and a third said she could "pinch hit" on occasion.
So, I asked them to stay after class ;-) at the end of the meeting and the four of us sat down and settled on a time and place for a group training session. I want our second facilitator, Christina, to be there also, so share of her experience. I also have another member of the group I want to ask to join us , if he can.
That would mean a grand total of SIX facilitators! Which means great coverage, and the no one will get "burned out". It also means that we can have a weekly meeting, so no more wondering "is this the 2nd or 4th Tuesday?".
I'm delighted, and I could just dance the day away.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't let ANYTHING stop you.

It is only when you want to accomplish something that obstacles appear.
When you are doing nothing there are never any obstacles.
Find ways around, over, under, or through obstacles.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

FUN - a Puzzle

Puzzle, originally uploaded by Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton.

Here is an easy way to remember my email address.
You just have to figure out the puzzle and add

Hint: It is a sentence.
You can leave guesses in the comments. . first one to get it right WINS!!!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Hospital time, Join me if you can!

Hi, friends!
I'm in the hospital voluntarily, which I guarantee is the best way.  I'm only Euthymic, which means a little below Hypomania, which itself is less severe as Mania.
So, my Dr., my lovely and concerned wife, and I are trying to head this off at the pass.  It seems to be working, and it's still fun to be in the hospital if you are a little manic.  The only problem is that I almost have no one to talk to.   Let me diagram the situation:  d=depressed, ( is conversant, and CNP = crazy, nuts and psychotic.  So yesterday most of the day our section of the hospital looked like this:

( ddddddddddddddddddddddd CNP

Not much fun.   One person with whom I could have a reasonable conversation,  CNP who was often quite entertaining, and a bunch of people wandering around in a completely, seemingly mindless, depression.
Well, late in the afternoon of, both  Ms. Conversant an Ms. CNP departed, in quite different ways.
Ms. Conversant, was released, quite sad for me, and Ms. CrazyNuts in the arms of at least four people to an area devoted to people just like her.  There are many stories I could tell you about Ms. CNP, but the last straw was when she appeared in the lunch room to make a phone call to Mr. Nobody, with her face covered in baby powder, looking like a warrior from New Guinea (except for the nose bone).  Then she scooped off the whipped cream from her brownie, while at the same time dropping the brownie to the floor, continuing her non-conversation on the phone, and wiping the whipped cream on her chin.  That's when the troops arrived, and also when the Unit became very calm, lonely, and boring.
Fortunately, today, another Bipolar person has arrived, and though she is also an Apostle, knows when the world will end, and thinks I'm part angel and part devil (she may be right on that one), at least she's interesting, and will talk. . .and talk. . . and talk.
Fun in the hospital. . . very unlike the Diabetes or Heart sections, I assume.
I'll try to keep you posted !! Don't worry, I'm fine. . . all Manic-Depressives KNOW they are fine when they are up.
Sorry, no picture this time 'till later. . .flickr, facebook, my space, etc. are all locked out.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Retired Wooden Wagon Wheel

If I could stay at this level for a few months I'd get a heck of a lot of stuff done.  I'm more active on facebook than usual (my psychiatrist has forbidden me to do any more social networking during this time) as well as on my photography sharing site, flickr. Anyway, my wife is my closest ally, and helps me to know what is and is not appropriate.  My psychiatrist is working hard with me, and taking extra time.  Last Friday, he said "this thing (meaning Bipolar) is bigger than both of us".  But I'm doing everything I can to keep it from escalating.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Growing up

Going Native
Photo by nogontrol "Going Native"  all rights reserved

Life could be a lot worse. . .what if you were turned into a tree???
We don't (and can't) always look on the bright side, but I thought this "shocker" would at least wake you up this morning!!
What you do with today is IMPORTANT.  Will is stronger than depression.  Will is the strongest tool you have besides love and hope. And keep faith that tomorrow WILL be better.  But you actually have to DO something to get there.