Moving into Self-Care Mode

If you’re following this blog, then you know I’m struggling with a mild to moderate rapid cycle which seems to be stuck on hypomania right now.  This is a difficult mood for me to navigate, but it’s possible to remain quite functional with hypomania.  But it requires effort and willingness.

When I get hypomanic, I don’t want to admit limitations.  I also make bad choices.  Step one for me is to admit my limitations.  This means that I can’t just do anything I want to do, and I don’t like that!  So I’ve gone for a month now without admitting any limitations whatsoever.  Out drinking and smoking with friends? Sure!  Starting a new band?  Sure!  4 cups of coffee a day?  Yes please!

So today, I admitted it.  I cancelled the band plans. Sent  a message to every member and told them it was off.  By the way, that’s what it’s like to be friends with a person with bipolar.  They have big plans and want you involved and then all of the sudden it’s off!  I stopped drinking alcohol.  I returned to my quit smoking status.  I cut my coffee consumption in half.  The other things I need to be doing, I’m already doing.  I swim every day.  I stay away from gluten.  I take all of my meds and supplements religiously.  I quit taking Klonopin for sleep because it was causing me to be depressed the next day.

I’ve gone off sleep meds before with a lot of success.  But when I do have insomnia, I get really nauseated the next day.  So I had my doctor give me Zofran.  Knowing I have that in my medicine cabinet helps me to relax and sleep well.  Because if I lose sleep, I don’t have to suffer all day.

My wife is very relieved to see me take these steps.  It’s upsetting to her to see me potentially spiral out of control for lack of self care.

Now understand, when the storm has passed I will return to some of my habits.  Moderate drinking and active lifestyle.  But I will not smoke, over-caffeinate, drug myself to sleep, drink myself to sleep. These are causing problems and are potential triggers.

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