Because of financial reasons I will not be blogging here any longer. You can find me back at my old blog The Green Stone Woman which most of you will still have in your reader. See you there.
I'm sitting here with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. I need the caffeine to realign the functions of my mind because I just woke up from a quite spontaneous nap on the sofa. It was a long one too and I do feel a little better than I did beforehand when I felt like I was getting depressed.
When I start feeling down in the dumps, it is usually a sign that I need more sleep and I seem to need an abnormal amount of it lately. I don't know if that is because I'm harboring a virus or because of my mental state of health.
It could easily be either one of these two things. Now that I'm not rapid cycling anymore, I seem to have gotten stuck in my mood on the way down and I'm not all that cheerful. I don't have all that much to be cheerful about and seem to be getting bad news all the time. They're just little things, but still...
On the other hand, when you are having a virus, you are bound not to feel all that great and that could very well be the cause of my dip too. I do have to keep taking the paracetamol for my headache.
I know that when I drink a cup of coffee or two, I normally start feeling better. It usually cheers me up a bit. I think that for me the caffeine is a feel good substance and a little bit of it is enough to make me feel a lot better. I've been drinking coffee since I was a teenager and can't imagine life without it. A cup of tea is not the same thing.
It's important that I keep thinking optimistically and pay attention to the positive things because there are always some of these. There are always some little things to feel a little happy about, even if it is just temporarily. Those are enough to keep you going for the next little while. There's always a little bright shining light. There's never complete darkness.
Well, duty calls and I have to take the dog for a walk. The sun is shining brightly outside and it will be nice to be out there.
Have a happy day all of you.
Here I'm sat early in the morning with my cup of coffee and my cigarettes after a good night's sleep. I had that good night's sleep thanks to the 500 mg of paracetamol I took for my awful headache that I've had for two days now. I slept a lot better than I did the other night when I woke up in pain and with a very sore neck. I was pretty miserable then.
I never really believe that pain medication will work and am always pleasantly surprised when it does. It's such a relief to hardly feel discomfort anymore after you've taken it. It almost seems too good to be true. And all of that from such a cheap pill. It's amazing. Whoever invented that is a real hero in my book. The absence of pain sets you free.
I'm sure I've got a virus. Today I also feel slightly sick and I didn't have that the first two days. At first I thought I had a migraine because the headache was on one side of my head. I do have a familiarity with them stemming from my childhood.
I don't normally catch any bugs that are going around. I seem to be pretty immune to them. I'm surprised I got this one and wonder where I picked it up. I have been around and all over the place this past week so it could have been anywhere. Lots of people are sick right now and spreading their germs.
Today the new furniture for the spare bedroom arrives. I won't be able to put it in place yet because that bedroom has not been cleared out yet, but the Exfactor has assured me that it soon will be. The furniture won't be put together and the Exfactor doesn't know yet that he will help me do that. That's just the kind of thing he's real handy at. I can count on him for things like that.
My older sister should be here at Easter providing she has her gallstone operation right away and there is nothing else wrong with her. We keep our fingers crossed about that. It's for her sake that I'm getting the spare bedroom straightened out, but of course it's something that should have happened a long time ago and had been put off indefinitely. This is actually a great opportunity to get it done.
It's with some lack of enthusiasm that I start the day. I'll blame that on the fact that I don't feel well. The coffee has made me slightly sick to my stomach and I'm drinking milk now. Hopefully that will settle a little bit better.
It's tough being bipolar and on top of that being a rapid cycler. In my case that means my moods can bounce up an down like a ping pong ball in a time span of 24 hours and that everything can be very unpredictable. I am not constantly like this. I do have periods of relative calm, but there are times of the year when I am very unsettled and when I have the tendency to become hypo-manic as easily as I become depressed.
I am going through such a period now and I can only write this as calmly as I am now because I am stuck in the middle between two extremes of moods. Last night, before I went to bed, I was very distraught and upset and couldn't see the forest for the trees. Now that I've slept, I'm sensible and calm again, but it is almost certain that this mood will lead to hypo-mania and I will once again be on top of the world and think that everything is just splendid and my optimism knows no bounds.
I have a psychiatrist and a psychologist. My psychiatrist manages my medication and keeps track of me in the general sense. He is always informed by my psychologist who manages my emotional well being. Between the two of them, I am well taken care of and I have nothing to complain about. My illness, because that's what it is, is well taken care of.
I've made it my business to know as much as I can about bipolarity as I can to try and understand myself better, but during periods of relative calm even I become complacent and forget to be on guard. I'm always taken by surprise again when the time comes and the illness rears its ugly head in the form of hypo-mania or depression. Or as it now does, in the form of rapid cycling. I think I will never be prepared for it.
When an extreme of mood overtakes me, I am only that mood and forget ever being anything else. I can't feel anything else but what I feel right then and see the whole world reflected back at me through that mood. There's no sense trying to remind me of times when I might have felt differently. I won't be able to relate to it until I come down from the mood and become more sensible. When I get my common sense back and then there's nothing wrong with me. The evil has been done already. I have already felt all the feelings that have come with the mood.
I have to be very careful that I don't do anything I'm going to regret doing when I am in these extremes of moods. When I am hypo-manic, it's easy to spend too much money, or not get any sleep, or make impossible plans about my life. When I'm depressed I may contemplate suicide seriously and with an intense longing. I've made numerous attempts to end my life.
The older I get, the wiser I get, and I have learned from past mistakes and I do have a sort of scenario of what to do when I'm in the grip of these moods. The most important things is to call for help. You have to let the people who take care of you know that this is happening to you. They can immediately see you and take action . My psychiatrist can alter my medication and my psychologist can intervene by appealing to that part of my sensibility that's till intact. The appointments are increased and there is much telephone contact so I don't get the feeling that I'm doing battle on my own.
Whatever mood I'm in, I have to do the opposite of what I feel like doing. So when I'm hypo-manic and feel very actice and like not sleeping and doing many deeds, I have to make sure I get many periods of calm and rest without outside sttimuli. When I'm depressed and feel like crawling into a hole, I have to get up and become active and interested in the world around me and go walk the dog. Those are the rules that I don't always keep to, especially not when I'm hypo-manic.
I hope this gives a good picture of what it's like to be bipolar for me. Maybe I made the illness a little bit more understandable. It's what makes me tick. It influences my whole life.
My newest skinny jeans are sliding down my hips and I have to keep hitching them up. Now I either bought the wrong size or I've lost weight. Isn't that a luxury problem that you'd like to be stuck with? I could wear a belt with them, but that sort of defeats the purpose of skinny jeans. They are supposed to fit you like a glove.
I will keep hitching them up until I buy a new, better fitting pair. I really do have enough patience for that. I wish I had a clothes dryer so I could dry them on a high temperature. I'm sure that would shrink them. I speak from experience. I used to be the proud owner of a dryer when I lived in the States and I had no clothes line. All the washing was tumbled dry and got smaller. You calculated that in.
Tonight I feel like ignoring everything and concentrating only on luxury problems. No that I have that many real problems in my life. At least non that seem insurmountable. I always think there's a solution for everything. I do tend to see the glass half full. Most of the time I'm an optimist, but I'm especially so tonight. That's just the kind of mood I'm in. Tonight I am like Pollyanna.
I would always like to feel this way because , by gosh, it sure is an easier way of existing without directly putting your head in the sand. I'm not completely an ostrich yet. I just feel on top of the world and like nothing much is going to bother me. Tonight is a big time out from worrying about anything. I'm bound and determined to enjoy myself.
I'm doing this only in the company of the animals and nobody else, but that's good enough. It makes for a peaceful experience. I don't have to be sociable and think about anybody else's feelings and can be as selfishly pre-occupied as I want to be, providing I give the animals some attention every now and then. That's easy enough.
Since it's Friday night, I feel that I can make it a late night and not worry about going to bed on time. I can sleep late in the morning, or as late as the dog will let me. He will have to do his piddle out back.
I've made myself some coffee because I needed the caffeine to think straight. It does help me gather my thoughts. It's not that I wasn't alert enough all by myself, but I needed to be more fine tuned than that. I had many free floating thoughts and needed to give them some direction. I was doing a lot of day dreaming and not getting anything useful done. I was constantly off somewhere else in my head, but nowhere where my body was seated.
I'm looking forward to the weekend, although I have nothing special planned but being my own amusement in my own company. When I'm in a good mood like I am now, that is no problem. I can sit in my armchair and contemplate my navel and have a wonderful time. If the weather permits, the dog and I will go for long walks and admire the new growth in people's gardens. Springtime is happening there.
I don't always enjoy the weekends. Sometimes I'm not appreciative of them at all and can't wait for it to be Monday when real life starts. But this time it will feel like a pause after a busy week in which a lot happened. It's very possible, though, that by Sunday afternoon I will have my fill of it.
At least there are always a lot of sports to watch on the weekends and I do enjoy that. That's because I get to watch them all by myself and get to provide my own running commentary on the football games. I don't have to listen to anybody else's opinions. It's great to be your own mistress. I get to root for my own team too and don't have to explain why. It's all illogical anyway.
I hope you have a great weekend yourself.
The sausage rolls from the Hema department store are the best, I only wish they weren't so darm hot. I consume one on the spot and have a heck of a time taking bites from it without burning my mouth. They're just a little bit to warm to eat comfortably while it's really an on the go food.
I claim they are the best, but I haven't tried them anywhere else. It's possible that there are better sausage rolls out there that are not so hot to eat. I'll have to do a little bit of experimenting. The next time I'm in town, I'll go somewhere else.
I was downtown, of course, to pick up my new varifocal glasses. I had to make sure that I could see through them properly which I could, both far away and close up. As a matter of fact, they were terrific, better than my old ones which I'd always had a bit of a problem with if I didn't hold my head just so. I thought this was inherent to varifocal glasses. It turned out not to be.
Speaking of food, though, that sausage roll filled me up for the rest of the day and I didn't have to eat again until some time in the evening. It goes to show you that if you eat something substantial in the morning, it is really good for you. A sausage roll is substantial for me.
I also want to try a meat croquette. The ones here are pretty big and I know one of them would be a meal for me. I can pull one out of the wall at the Snack Automatic. Hopefully, it will be at just the right temperature. I do love eating them and it's such a Dutch concept to eat out of the wall.
The dog has the beginning of an eye infection. He had some slimy stuff in there in the morning and was blinking with his eye after that. I thought I had better take him to the vet immediately before it got worse. The vet did some tests to make sure he had no other damage to his eye and gave me some ointment to apply twice a day.
The dog is really good about me doing this. He doesn't protest and I don't even have to give him a reward. Which I'm not big on anyway. He can have all the cuddles he wants instead. I find he is happy with them. In the end, it's attention from me that he wants. It makes him feel that he exists.
I had a very busy day yesterday with a lot of different things to do. I did manage to squeeze in a nap in the afternoon which was good, otherwise I wouldn't have made it through the day. Thank goodness for naps.
Every night at midnight, the phone rings with an anonymous phone call. At first I answered it but there was never anybody there. Now I let it ring, which it does about ten times. It does wake me up when I'm asleep. I hope I get used to it and start sleeping through it.
Today is going to be a very mellow day. I have nothing planned as is usual on Thursdays, except that I'm going to see a film with my sister tonight. I'm looking forward to that. It's playing early in the evening, so it won't be a late night. I like that too. I do like some time to unwind when I get home before I have to go to bed. The film is called "Albert Nobbs" and it stars Glenn Close. I expect it to be a thought provoking film. Something for the intellect.
Have a terrific Thursday, everyone.
That's metaphorically speaking, but that's how I came back to earth when I just imagined that I was going to have my second cup of coffee and light up a cigarette. I had the scenario all planned in my head and was getting ready to carry it out when I realized it wasn't going to happen. I was not going to light up a cigarette.
The shock of that realization made me forget to even get my coffee. I very quickly had to set myself over the disappointment because I didn't want it to get too much meaning in my life. Yet at the same time I knew that I couldn't ignore the moment. I had almost tasted that cigarette and had so naturally assumed I was going to smoke it.
The longing for it had jumped up instantly in a moment of frustration when I discovered that the readership of this blog is dwindling by the day. It made me feel a moment of total dejection and I wanted to make myself feel better of course. In the past I have done that with coffee and cigarettes. They were my old stand bys. I always thought they made me feel better when I was emotionally wounded.
Of course, this is not true at all, they didnt. It was just an illusion that they did. In the long run they didn't help me at all. The nicotine didn't help and I just needed more of it as the day wore on. I had to try and artificially keep a feeling going, never achieving that what I was really after. I was momentarily sedated by one cigarette, but faced with the same problem after I was done smoking it, requiring me to smoke many more.
How's that for an analysis? Is that mind screwing or not? I would use the other word, but I won't since this is rated G.
I think I did a fair job of tackling that problem. I've talked myself out of wanting to have a cigarette anyway and I have poured myself a second cup of coffee. I can drink it safely now and my moment of panic is gone. I'm no longer breaking out in a sweat.
It's very early in the morning, of course, and I've been up for a little while answering emails and comments on facebook. I'm trying to not see that as a chore, but as something enjoyable that I also get to do. I'm trying to live in the moment, but sometimes it completely escapes me. I think I need to do some navel contemplation today.
I'll not make this a long post. I'm having a hard time finding the patience for it today.
I am slowly coming to my senses with a cup of coffee after the unplanned long nap that I've taken. It was the wrong time of day to take it and I slept longer than I had anticipated. But it was all good. I feel so much better now than I did before. My brain had been functioning on slow motion and it was as if I had taken a "fall asleep" drug.
I think this is still one of the effects of doing without nicotine completely because I'm also doing without the patches. I have now for five days so I have no nicotine left in my body. It's been a strange experience to say the least. I think my whole system is making a major adjustment and is learning to function without it. It may take a while for it to get the hang of it. I smoked for such a long time.
I do, in the meantime, have the cutest short haircut. It's easy to take care of hair and I'm so glad I got it cut. I had to promise the hairdresser never to let it grow again. He very gladly took the scissors to my hair and cut it into something more decent. What a difference that made. Probably he had thought all along that letting my hair grow was a bad idea, but he was too nice to say so.
One effect of not smoking, and the fact that the weather is nicer, is that I take the dog for longer walks. I do have to do something with my time and I may as well be something to the benefit of both the dog and me. The fact that the temperature is nice also helps a lot. It makes it easier to be out there for a longer time.
The dog appreciates it very much and every addition to our route is greeted with enthusiasm. He can't believe it when I say, "Well, come on," and turn right instead of left. He knows those words real well by now.
I enjoy these outings too and like looking for the first signs of spring, which there are some of. The bulb plants are poking out of the ground anyway. The crocuses have bloomed and so have the snowdrops. I'm waiting for the daffodils and hyacinths and for the first green buds to appear on the hedges.
I've done two loads of laundry today and changed the bed and cleaned up the kitchen. I walked the dog three times so far. I've not been lazy for a Sunday. Actually, I looked for things to do. I also watched the rugby game between England and France. Since I always root for the losing team, I was rooting for France. England won. I do like to watch rugby. It's a tough sport, but a gentleman's sport.
I do have to end this epistle. I'm sitting here yawning as if I need to go back to bed. I will at least put my pajamas and bathrobe on. That way I'll be all set when the time comes which could be any moment. I do look forward to going to sleep. Lately it's been one of my favorite things to do. I do it very well too.
Yesterday I thought my land line wasn't working when it was supposed to. I pushed on the green button of the telephone to get a dial tone, but it told me that it wasn't getting any input. Then I tried to call that telephone with my mobile phone but got a no connection message. I thought for sure that the communication company had messed up and had not connected me yet.
When the Exfactor got here, I asked him to have a look at it and he used the land line to dial his mobile phone and it worked. He then called the land line from his mobile phone and that worked too. No input when you push the green button just means that you haven't given it a number to dial, it doesn't mean that it doesn't have a connection.
It turned out that I had the number stored wrong in my mobile phone and that is why I had been getting the no connection message when I called the land line. I had exchanged an 8 for a 3 in the area code. It was all so very simple but it took the Exfactor to figure it out. I was sure relieved when that problem was solved. I was ready to do battle.
I quit smoking like I said I would. It's going well and at this particular time I'm feeling very calm and peaceful. I'm drinking coffee and have been all morning. It seems to agree with me well and helps me think straight and does not make me crave a cigarette in particular. I'm okay with that. I haven't put on a new nicotine patch this morning yet either. I'll see what happens.
I'm waiting for it to be time to call the hairdresser to make an appointment to get my hair cut, which I've decided to get done since it's at such an awkward length and I need lots of hairspray to keep it in place. I'd rather have a well cut short hairdo. Especially since I'm getting my new glasses next week and I do want to look perky when I put them on. There's nothing worse than a bad hairdo with a new pair of glasses.
I'm not going to let it grow the way I had planned because I would only want to wear it one way and that is away from my face. I would not want it to frame my face and would constantly be getting it away from there. I may as well have short hair in that case. Besides, I would miss my visits to the hairdresser too much. I do enjoy those, after all. I like to go once a month or so and get fussed over.
I don't always have the best of ideas and sometimes it turns out that what I thought I wanted is not what I really wanted in the long run at all. It's just a temporary deviation from my normal course. I do get back to my own self in the end eventually. It may take a little while, but I do.
I'm going to the hairdresser at noontime. I just called. I'm looking forward to the treat.
Today should be the day that my land line gets connected and I can't wait. It means I have to make several phone calls to let people know what my new number is going to be. I already know it by heart because it is an easy number to remember. At least to me it was. I guess if it's your own number you remember it quickly.
It does mean that dementia hasn't set in yet because lately I haven't had to remember any phone numbers, stored as they all are in the memory of my mobile phone. I only know a few numbers by heart and the emergency number is one of them. That's not a heck of a lot of numbers to know. I would have been in trouble if I had lost my mobile phone.
It's also the day on which I quit smoking again because I was able to get the nicotine patches right away at the pharmacy yesterday. There doesn't seem to be a problem with the supply of them anymore. I'm smoking the last cigarettes now and will put on a patch shortly. I'm in the process of waking up with my second cup of coffee and am still a little discombobulated.
I discussed quitting smoking again with my therapist and she said that it is difficult for people who are bipolar because we have a tendency to become hypo-manic and need the nicotine to calm us down. Very often we are not successful in quitting smoking.
I do feel that I have to succeed and that I can't afford to fail. I literally can't afford to. It's absolutely necessary that I quit smoking and I'm very motivated. I'm thinking of both my wallet and my health.
It will be good to air out the apartment in a little while. I'll open all the windows even though it's not very warm outside. I'll let a good draft blow through and get the stinky smell out.
I think I'm wide awake now and functioning. I'm in good enough shape to get dressed. Those two cups of coffee did their job and no doubt the medication did too. Off I go.