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Adjusting to Normal


After months of stability, what have been your challenges in adjusting to euthymic life?  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Related to Mood

    • Choosing normalcy over hypo/mania
      3
    • Getting over the hypo addiction
      1
    • Realizing that some of your happy times were mild euphoria
      8
    • Accepting there will be no hypo again if stability is maintained
      8
    • Being overwhelmed by no hypo/mania realizations shortly after stabilizing
      2
    • Months later, mourning the loss of hypo/mania
      2
    • Missing the depth of feeling that comes with bearable depression
      2
    • Missing the down time that comes with bearable depression
      0
    • Feeling like mood is constricted
      4
    • Learning to spot signs of mood episode before they get going
      6
    • Missing the energy
      11
    • Missing the emotional ride
      1
    • Missing the intensity of beliefs
      2
    • Missing the grandiosity
      0
    • Finding the world more boring than you anticipated
      5
  2. 2. Related to Euthymia

    • Learning that the world is rich in ways you missed before
      3
    • Appreciating normal feeling good, that it's not all boring, but robust
      2
    • Learning that you have a full range of emotions without the pathological extremes
      9
    • Relearning what simple happiness is
      7
    • Learning that it's safe to get really upset
      4
    • Learning that being sad is okay, healthy, does not lead to depression
      9
    • Realizing that you were never a highly emotional person by nature
      2
    • Learning how to be outgoing
      6
    • Learning that you don't have a depressed personality
      3
    • Getting over self-pity about the illness
      5
    • Realizing that irritable does not mean the start of a mixed state
      4
    • None of the above
      1
    • Motivating/directing self
      6
  3. 3. In general - Stability related

    • Assuming ongoing responsibilities knowing time outs for mood are less likely
      6
    • Realizing that your flakiness was driven by mood, not personality
      3
    • Getting over the daily fear that euthymia will not last
      8
    • Imagining a future
      5
    • Feeling like long-term plans are possible and might possibly be fulfilled
      7
    • Self-reliance, growing away from dependencies
      2
    • Self-awareness beyond mood
      4
    • Inner strength, growing more than you thought possible
      4
    • Discovering that some of your flaws were MI related
      9
    • Accepting that some of your flaws are yours to improve upon w/o an MI excuse
      8
    • Redefining self
      6
    • Recognizing that your development has been affected by active MI
      8
    • Over coming development hurdles / catching up to your age group so to say
      4
    • Changing the way you interact with people
      3
    • Letting go of some relationships that were overly driven by MI
      2
    • Committing to ongoing activities
      6
    • Committing to people
      5
    • Liking yourself
      7
    • None of the above
      0
    • Feeling like long-term relationships are possible while they weren't so much before
      5
  4. 4. Meds

    • Choosing to medicate first signs instead of going for a little hypo
      4
    • Feeling that the med trade off btwn side effects and sanity is worth it
      6
    • Knowing you will take pills everyday for the rest of your life even though you feel okay
      10
    • Wanting to stop meds, but not doing so
      6
    • Rationalizing skipped med doses
      3
    • Struggling to swallow the pills
      2
    • Being grateful for medication
      6
    • No real sexual side effects
      6
    • Minor and acceptable sexual side effects
      1
    • I'm changing meds meds because of sexual side effects
      2
    • I'm changing meds because of other side effects
      3
    • My meds are good
      8
    • None of the above
      0
  5. 5. I experienced other stuff

    • I experienced more than the above. It's identified in the thread.
      1
    • I experienced more but don't care to say.
      4
    • The above pretty much covers it
      10
    • No comment
      3


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Hi.

Most of CB threads have to do with the challenges of being in an episode. Ideally, we all find meds to end the episodes. What happens then? This thread seeks input on what happens after major episodes become things of the past. Please feel to add to the above list, and to describe your experience below.

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I'm not quite sure how to answer this -- which am I supposed to check:

  • all the things I have experienced (whether they have been easy to accept or not)
  • or only those things that have been challenges (i.e. things that have been hard for me to accept / overcome / adapt to?

P.S. This is a very good list that you posted, and is making me think. I am not stable yet, and on further thought I see that I am nowhere near even accepting the idea of being stable, so maybe I should not even take this poll. I was soaring all last week, getting lots done and having so much fun, and was thinking it was just the goodness of being my real self, until my mood switched and I realized what was going on... It is a huge bummer that I have to give that up.

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i have only been stable, more or less, since october.

i've remembered how my mind worked before any mood episodes happened (read - at 16). for example, how my brain sort of wanders before going to sleep. i've remembered what it meant to have a clear thought pattern. and that my attention is not actually deficient.

i've realized that i can sit through a 3-hour presentation/lecture without any considerable problems.

i started to identify with people more. this one was a big one for me. because i could never understand what it was like to be stable all the time, i couldn't imagine how people's minds worked and stayed in one place and that made me grow very distant from them. now i feel closer to people because i feel like we're on the same wavelength.

mostly it's been a self-discovery journey. i am learning who i am without the intense and destructive mood switches. one after another, i identify things i like and things i don't like. i figure "knowing yourself" is just gathering information about how you would behave in a wide variety of situations and look for consistencies. before there were no consistencies. now there are and i'm gathering them to form a picture of myself-not-in-a-mood-episode.

i don't miss the highs, i don't miss the lows and i almost want to take more medication than is needed just so i can stay stable (not OD, but like, in the long run, you know?)

this was an excellent question

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Guest Vapourware

This is a really comprehensive poll, it really made me sit down and think about my responses, so thanks.

I have missed my hypos, they coincided with some good times in my life and times when I felt I had energy to burn. Now I'm more sedate. It used to chafe at me that I couldn't achieve as much as I did when I was hypo but I'm okay with it now, because it has meant that I don't suddenly burn out like I used to. Still, there are times when I wish I was hypo when I have had a few ideas in my head that I wanted to implement, but I would never consider getting off my meds.

What I really have appreciated with stability is the lack of lows. The lows would usually get me pretty badly and I had several episodes before my current combo kicked in.

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I really like this poll, poll queen stacia. i voted in it but then got all my responses blanked out, so got frustrated and will have to redo it. But it really made me think a lot and i enjoyed reading through it... good to think about the real positives, from time to time.

Anna

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Something I've had a hard time with that I don't think quite fit any of your euthymia options is figuring out how to motivate/direct myself, when I'm having to make actual decisions about how to spend my time and energy, rather than being dragged around by the crazy.

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Something I've had a hard time with that I don't think quite fit any of your euthymia options is figuring out how to motivate/direct myself, when I'm having to make actual decisions about how to spend my time and energy, rather than being dragged around by the crazy.

I have this problem, too. I added it to the poll. A little late, but not many have responded.

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I'm currently being treated for a relapse, so I don't feel I can participate, other than to say that this could have been much, much worse had I not gotten to the stage of being able to recognise the warning signs that something was about to happen. That was the result of much hard work during a period of stability. I also want to add my agreement that this is a really well-thought out and coherent poll.

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Didn't respond to the poll; there's a whole lot of stuff I could have checked off. Really, I still don't feel "normal." But, I'm not...what I was. I'm "functional" and I can "pass" and I feel in a good spot. I don't do the crazy shit and, if I don't take care of things, i have some sort of excuse (other things on my plate and shit, like anyone comes to my house, why should I clean? I clean if someone's gonna come over and I have three days' notice...)

People like me well enough at work, both my coworkers and customers, and that's good enough. I did good at my class reunion and I have friends from there on facebook plus others. Life is good enough. Normalcy is a state of mind imposed by society, which I personally have decided is sick in its' own way, and I have decided to live my own way and I have decided to seek happiness in my own way. If the people I know find that out of the "mainstream"...well, I think we all know how that feels.

I reject normal and jump in my sporty car, crank the stereo, and listen to music everyone (almost) I know hates, go home, and play games all night. They can spend time with kids I'll never have. That's my normal. Just not my crazy old self.

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I think I checked all but three options in the stability section. One thing I really had noted of myself a while before I went through this poll was that I am easily five years behind where I should be. At 21 I feel like I was frozen mentally in the middle teens for years. Now I think my brain could be catching up with my age and the adult world feels less daunting and esoteric to me. Other than that, imagining a future and starting long term plans are other big ones for me.

(Imaging=Imagining? If it can't be changed at this point, ignore this!)

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Great poll!

Though there's no psychotic stuff....I haven't had real issues with mood for years, so I had to think back. All my episodes lately are psychotic stuff, and there's getting over that - learning that your beliefs aren't real, I have trouble letting go off what people have done to me, when in reality they haven't done a thing, learning not to worry/take precautions about threats that I thought were real....that's the biggest challenge for me when stable.

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Something I've had a hard time with that I don't think quite fit any of your euthymia options is figuring out how to motivate/direct myself, when I'm having to make actual decisions about how to spend my time and energy, rather than being dragged around by the crazy.

You said that very well. I hadn't been able to articulate this, I will show this to my husband.

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For me, I became identified with my bipolar. Now it's under control, I'm having to find out who I am really am and what to do with my future now I have a shot at one. The possibilities should make me feel giddy they're actually very scary. It feels like rejoining the human race without an instruction manual.

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I think the hardest thing is missing the energy. I normally come out of depression in a big way, on a mission and believing I can do anything. I feel like I'm stangating... Waiting for that energy to come...

I was thinking about this one a little more. I think it's not so much that I miss the crazy energy. Especially not if I really remember that manic, vibrating, implacable, energy. But I do miss not having to take sedating meds, if that distinction makes any sense.

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For me, I became identified with my bipolar. Now it's under control, I'm having to find out who I am really am and what to do with my future now I have a shot at one. The possibilities should make me feel giddy they're actually very scary. It feels like rejoining the human race without an instruction manual.

Tatania, I think you will do wonderfully. You have a good head and are a good egg. I sort of understand what you are talking about. The idea that possibilities can actually become realities is new for me. It has been many years since I believed that to be true, that I could follow through. I'd be more excited but it is kind of intimidating. I'm not so much scared but overwhelmed.

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I think the hardest thing is missing the energy. I normally come out of depression in a big way, on a mission and believing I can do anything. I feel like I'm stangating... Waiting for that energy to come...

I was thinking about this one a little more. I think it's not so much that I miss the crazy energy. Especially not if I really remember that manic, vibrating, implacable, energy. But I do miss not having to take sedating meds, if that distinction makes any sense.

I miss not needing meds, period. /whine

I also miss regular, simple sleep. Sleep without drugs. I have lost the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep on my own. It is insomnia but I'm sure it's driven by bipolar. It is hard knowing that I'll never really sleep thru the night without medication, sleepers or meds in general. That doesn't seem like a big deal but I used to like sleeping. I liked dreaming. I hardly ever dream now. This is hardly my biggest challenge, but it is a constant, every night, just like meds. Usually it's not an issue, then one night it is.

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