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About Birdee

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    Florida, USA
  1. Oh geez... Sorry, but it was Phoenix who said the quote in this thread. I love love love the idea of keeping a personal warning list! I'm a list maker from way back. I'm lost without them. But it never occurred to me to keep a "Danger Will Robinson" list. Or to use my to do lists as a gauge (as in how fast I blow thru it or how odd the items are on it). I suppose everyone's list will look a little different... but I'm starting one RIGHT NOW! TY for that idea
  2. How can you say I'm manic when I feel so normal?

  3. Cheese said it so succinctly, "What gets me is that depression is so easy to recognize, whereas when I am hypomanic I don't see a thing wrong with the way I'm behaving and have to be told repeatedly by different people that I am, indeed, hypomanic." Why does mania feel so normal? And why can't we recognize mania in action early on? (Before we've overspent, or started too many projects at once or ruined relationships or are so irritable that nobody wants to be around us?) Are there early warning signs? If so, what are they? And if we see them, how do we stop it before it's too late? Why is it that other people can see our mania but we can't? I've read the textbook symptoms. But I'd really like to hear the answers from those who live it.
  4. Thanks for the encouragement and coffee cheers (clink). I don't know who else to talk to about this kind of stuff. It's comforting to know you all understand. I'm beginning to understand this disorder a little bit better. And one thing is true. We can't completely give up or give in when we swing. Holding onto balance is probably the hardest thing we'll ever do. But quitting is not an option. Lysergia put it best. "Putting one foot in front of the other and carrying on." is an attitude we have to adopt. And are pretty damned good words to live by for anyone, but especially bipolars. Because it seems like we are constantly starting over. Cheeze, if you ever figure out how to end the cycle let me know. I'm all ears. Glad you're coming out of the fog. Phoenix, "What gets me is that depression is so easy to recognize, whereas when I am hypomanic I don't see a thing wrong with the way I'm behaving and have to be told repeatedly by different people that I am, indeed, hypomanic." TRUE... sad but soooo true. I wonder what the initial warning signs are that we're heading too far up? I think I'll ask that on the forum. BP, you said a mouthful. Thanks Scatty. I'll do my best to climb out. Quitting is not an option.
  5. "I have no idea. I don't know how to answer the therapist's question because I don't know those things." While I don't have a PD Dx, I can relate to what you're saying sooooo much! 1 - "For starters, whenever I'm around others, even family, the primary thing in my mind is typically how soon I can get away safely." - check 2 - "Secondly, I don't belong in this life. I'm an interloper." - check 3 - "Thirdly, I'm not even all that involved in the daily world." - check My doc asks me things like, "Do you feel manic?". "Uhmmm, well no I don't. I feel good." For pity sake! How am I supposed to know if I'm being manic? Manic feels good to me. It convinces me that this is what "normal" must feel like. YK? "One of those questions was whether I feel I exhibit odd or eccentric behavior, or feel I'm seen as doing so." I guess the best way to find the answer to these things is to ask the people around you? Is there a person you can ask? Like maybe a family member?
  6. This morning I forced myself to get out of bed, brush my teeth, take a shower and put street clothes on. Such mundane activities become a weighted struggle when bipolar shoves me down that ugly but familiar depressive slide. Today, I'm mustering up every ounce of energy I have to fight back. How did this happen? Just the other day, I was making piles of tortillas in search of the perfect recipe. The next morning, I was on to perfecting egg and bacon muffins made from pancake batter. So yum! By late morning I moved into the brave new world of broccoli, ham and cornbread grab and go slices. I was tickled to have new recipes for my family to try. And had a few more I still wanted to test. And then it hit me. BAM! Just like that. I stopped. I was tired. Well of course I was tired. I had spent the whole morning cooking. But this was a different kind of tired. This was a heavy weight on my shoulders tired. I crawled into bed. And stayed there for the next day and a half. What was it my doctor said to me four days ago? That she thought I might be manic? Ridiculous! I was in my glorious "normal" phase this past month. I had been productive too. I described to her how good it felt to be busy again. And how much I've missed my creative side. Why, I had taken the wall paper and chair rails off my kitchen and dining room walls. I repainted the walls. I designed and hand painted an intricate decorative pattern on the kitchen backsplash area. I refinished both the hutch and the buffet. I painted a canvas art piece for my wall. I painted a design on a wall mirror. I repainted the long hallway, doors and trim. I hadn't even mentioned the numerous picture frames I refinished. Or the photo wall I put together. Or how I gave my ugly lamps new life by wrapping them in cute burlap. Surely, these were normal things to do. Ok, I did order new hallway door handles. And light fixtures for the hall and bath. But I didn't blow up my credit cards. I used the money I make by selling digital art online. But I didn't over spend. I stayed within my budget. And I finished most of my projects. Manic? Isn't mania usually destructive not productive? But the next night, my husband confirmed my doctor's concern. He was happy to see me enjoying myself with projects again, but he was worried that I was on my way to going over the top again. He was worried that I wouldn't be able to stop. And that would eventually mean over spending and spinning out of control. And now it hits me. My judgement was off. Again. It's great that I accomplished all these tasks. But, I was doing too much too fast. I had done most of this in only one month. And I had to slow down and regroup. I was out of paint and money so I stopped painting before the compulsive spending started. I thought it was a good thing to switch my focus to cooking. After all, I already had most of the ingredients I needed so it wasn't a burdensome expense. But today? I'm a spent blob. The depression is back. The tears are here. And the uncertainties taunt me from inside my head. The reality of having bipolar is in my face again. I'm almost 52 years old and have yet to master managing myself. I don't always recognize when my mood swings. I rely on people around me to point out when I'm off track. And while, I'm blessed to have people in my life who love me enough to do this, I can't help but feel a sense of personal failure every time it happens. This is bipolar. It's an insidious mood disorder that alters your very thought process to the point of not knowing if you're acting normal verses abnormal. It swings you up, flips you upside down and drops you on your head. The worst part is that you never see it coming. It's an endless battle. And a discouraging one, because I know there's another swing just around the corner or somewhere down the road. One I most likely won't recognize until it's full blown. I'm not really sure what "normal" is supposed to feel like. This journey is exhausting. I don't know if total remission is possible. But just for today I'm going to try to overcome it. Today I'm going to try to stave off a pity party, stay out of bed and move my body in spite of how I feel. How is your day going?
  7. Life is good today

  8. bpladybug... I know, right? Crazy.. crazy... C R A Z Y ! ! ! But it made sooooo much sense to me at the time. How scary is that? The more I learn about how bipolar actually effects me... the more I can see the insipidness of it. How crazy thinking can take over a mind. I have been amused by it in the past. And almost enjoyed mania or hypomania... because of how "productive" I'd become during them. But this last time? It wasn't productive... I was destructive. And well? Bipolar honestly frightens me now. What if I don't see the signs in time next time??? Does anyone else feel that way? Walmart? Really? lol... I have NO idea why that was so important at the time.
  9. Carpeting for bedrooms... wood floor everywhere else Do you prefer to sleep during the night or during the day?
  10. AA is not for everyone. And that's ok. I've been to quite a few AA meetings over the years. And while I didn't get sober in AA, I came away with some really solid things that help me stay sober now. Like "One day at a time", "Do the next right thing", "Think thru the drink", "One drink is too many and a thousand is never enough". 12 steps? Sure, why not? They're reasonable principles. Put distance between you... and former drinking buds and places. Yup. All good stuff. I'd absolutely recommend the reading materials. The Big Book, Sober Living, etc... If you don't have the funds to buy them, speak up and someone will make sure you get them. But I did not get sober in AA. I can't stomach the meetings personally, although it's helped many many people. I don't want this post to rag on AA. So, I'll just say that an AA meeting hall wasn't a place I wanted to make camp in or call home. But it was, however, a stepping stone to my sobriety. I totally agree that talking about mental illness along with addiction would be sooooo helpful in AA. They go hand in hand in so many cases. Sometimes MI symptoms will go away if a person gets sober. But sometimes, the symptoms don't go away (They actually got worse for me once I got sober). And that's when a doc can help. But any doc worth his salt will stress that it's important to get sober in order to receive an accurate diagnosis. And sometimes a medical detox is needed to do that. But no, you probably won't hear much about the dance between addiction and mental illness in AA. It's a shame really. Because talking about it openly would help a lot of people. I wonder if your current therapist could suggest a local group for you that's not an AA affiliate? Or maybe an online group? One thing that might interest you is that there are clinicians who are both therapists AND addiction counselors. Here's a link to a national data base http://therapists.ps...ts.php?spec=182
  11. Why did I stop drinking? Oh wow. How to answer that... I was a career drinker. Us professional alkies look at the rest of the world as amateurs. I'm talking about a... drinking all day... everyday... drinker. I just wanted to feel something... ANYTHING... different than what I normally felt like. I needed SOMETHING to quiet my mind. I wanted to quit for every reason listed in this thread and then some. If I kept drinking.... It was gonna kill me, my relationships and everything I loved dearly. I was sick physically, mentally and spiritually... My marriage suffered... My kids suffered... My work suffered... I was either drunk or hung over. There was no middle ground. No solace. No inner peace. I was full of disgust and self loathing over it all... so I'd drink until I couldn't feel a thing. It was like living in a liquid prison... and I just could NOT escape! It took me MANY MANY tries before I was able to quit drinking. But eventually I did I was sober for 6 years before I was diagnosed with bipolar. And I gotta tell you... It was the HARDEST 6 years of my life! I went to a few AA meetings... and I'd hear the old timers say, "My worst day sober is still better than my best day drunk ever was." BULLSHIT!!! I dunno what they're smokin' but that's not MY experience. I kept waiting for "it" to get better. I waited for the "pink cloud". I waited for the depression to lift. But it never did. Not until I got a proper Dx and meds. Now I have hope... "mental illness" or not. I have hope again. Hope of learning how to live with my disease... learning how to walk along side of the symptoms... and learning new ways to help myself thru them. That's a BIG change from hiding away in a bottle(see my signature). And that alone gives me HOPE If there was one thing I could tell every addict... it would be... Never give up trying... NEVER! No matter how many times you think you failed.... No matter how many times you slip or fall... NEVER GIVE UP! The next time you try to get clean or sober just might be the one that takes root.
  12. *Jumps on the creative crazies train* Whooo Hoooo! I've had a creative side since childhood too. Mostly artsy stuffs. Now that I'm older I can really notice how my creative juices flow wildly at times and then BAM! They stop cold. Dead. Gone. Wait a month or two and I'm off and running again. My most recent venue is digital art
  13. Birdee

    "Things I like"

    Some of my fave feel goods: - The feel of the sun on my face - Sunsets on a western facing beach - The way freshly shaved legs feel on clean sheets
  14. My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. -Erma Bombeck

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