September 21, 2011

Mildly Manic

Since the move, I've been mildly manic. I've lost sleep while packing and at hotels- getting the kids to bed and then when we got here- unpacking and shopping to get the house set up and organized. It's been a little hectic.

There are 5 things that I need to do to manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

1. Get enough sleep. That is hard to do when you move across the country!

2. Get regular exercise. That is also hard to do when you are packing, then traveling and then setting up house. I got a 3 week free pass to a gym 4 minutes away from here and just today I signed up for the year. It always feels fantastic after I run (or walk if my back is injured). Someone once said that 30 minutes of exercise is like one prozac. I don't know who said it, but I'm pretty sure it's true!

3. Eat healthy. The weeks we were packing and then traveling across the country I didn't do so well. I got really tired of the fast food on the road and couldn't take it anymore. I unpacked the kitchen as soon as I was ready and tried to have a good meal as soon as possible. I've been doing well since then- whole fruit smoothies (when I have frozen bananas), sandwiches stacked with lettuce and tomato, meat and cheese and fresh fruit. It's amazing how my body just craves juicy things like grapes and apples when we live in the Sonoran Desert- or any desert for that matter! I also have to drink a lot of water because lithium effects the way your kidney's salt intake.

4. Take time to talk to someone. I need to express myself- my thoughts and worries to others- be it a counselor, a friend or family member. Josh has been been home more lately so it's been wonderful to have him around (amazingly great for our relationship actually) but I need to talk to people more. Mom, call me! Or, wait- I'll call you! :) Feel free to call me anytime. You won't be interrupting anything. Really. Unless it's between the hours of 2:30 pm and 8 pm. The shift when 4 kids need snacks, attention, help with homework, love, help with chores, books, dinner and getting ready for bedtime. Phew. Makes me tired just thinking of it all!

5. My medicine. Currently I take 900 mg of lithium. 300 mg in the morning and 600 at night. I split it up because if I take all 3 300 mg pills at night then I don't dream. At all. Freaky huh? I actually like to dream, so awhile ago I spoke to my Dr. and we switched it up a bit. I love lithium. It helps me feel better. It doesn't take all of the symptoms away. I still get slightly manic and slightly depressed, but not a lot. Not unmanageable. Recently I tried tapering off my medicine. This left me mildly manic. That's not so good. Every time I do go off my medicine I just get manic though and not depressed, which is good. It starts off mild and then gets worse and worse until I am only sleeping 4 hours a night and I interrupt people often and my thoughts are going 100 miles an hour. And for those of you who have read my blog for a while- you have seen what happens to it. Spelling errors fill the lines and thoughts are random and scrambled. Like someone had taken a blender, put in my thoughts and pushed the mix button!

I need to remember that I do have bipolar disorder and that I do need to treat it with respect and not treat it lightly. Two and a half years ago I was at the hospital for 6 hrs a day for outpatient care for 2 weeks and then 3 hours for 1 week. I am grateful that I am not that manic and don't want to get to that point again. I came away taking a medicine that turned me into a potato head for a while. And I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the point in my recovery that I am at now. And for my family and friends that understand me. And support me.

This is my blog. My name is Megan Abbott.

3 comments: said...

Hey! I am glad you wrote this. I woke up this morning thinking that I should call you, but I didn't because it got to be too late your time. Sorry! Are you still tapering off lithium or not? Are you eating whole wheat bread for the mood-boosting B vitamins? I'm glad you have a gym close by. I will try and call you soon!
Love ya!

Aaron & Lauren said...

I really appreciate this open and honest post. I think we need to be more like this. I fought accepting that I struggled with depression for many years. I didn't want to admit weakness. Turns out I am not weak just human. Anyway thanks so much for sharing!

Pink Panda said...

Amy, I am not tapering off lithium anymore but am looking into doubling/tripling my fish oil intake first. I am eating just whole wheat but know I could be doing even better- like oatmeal for breakfast. Lauren, thanks! People would tell me- you don't seem depressed. It's easy to cover up! We are definitely all human! When I found out it may be bipolar, I told Josh "I don't want to be bipolar!" He replied "But if you are, would you want help?" Yes, yes I would!