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Self awareness

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:cussing:I wish there were a way to help myself see it when I'm so out of control (anger/agitation). It hurts to look back and realize how awful I was to my family, friends and the general public. :unsure:

I was doing so well too. I need someone to follow me around to thump me and say, "Take the Klonopin already, would ya?" I feel so much better now that NOW I realize how bad I was before.

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It's a painful stage to go through when you realize the extent of your actions. That said, it can be the first step to living a different life, insight brings change and new beginnings. The uncomfortable truth might be the start of something better.

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Imagine the converse. That is, you have lived your entire life honestly and faithfully, and in the end you are abandoned. What do you do then?

You don't have to answer that, I've got plenty of cigarettes to rock and roll.

Maybe abandoned is the wrong word and a bit strong. Maybe misread is a better word. Certainly, I should limit my dissatisfaction to the health care industry.

I do know that after living most of my life with this illness I would expect more from the health care system than seems available.

Seems I have to make it or not on my own. If that's not fair to the industry, that's certainly how it feels.

Maybe it's just where I live.

I hope things are better where you live.

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Insight is a funny thing. Some people naturally have more of it than others. The others have to work at it more.

What can you do in the future to help you keep from hurting yourself and others? Can you mood chart? Do some reality checking? Moods don't always go from zero to fifty - can you nip it in the bud before it hits self-destruction?

I'm not trying to sound accusatory - this takes a lot of practice.

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Rowen raises relevant questions. Insight is indeed a funny thing.

It's hard feeling out of step with the rest of the world.

I can be aware of that phenomenon, apply my best efforts to dealing with it,

and yet be unable to find the means by which I might mesh.

Recently, I was so angry with a friend that I deleted his voice mail to me without listening to it.

I thought he was calling to apologize so after a couple of days I zipped off an e-mail "accepting" his

apology. Turns out he was totally unaware that I was angry with him, and had called to tell me his mother had died.

wj74 you mention anger/agitation, but I wonder if the real enemy is frustration. Frustration with

losing a chunk of your life. Frustration with being in pain all during the time that time is being lost.

Frustration with too often finding myself in that place where my self interfaces badly with the external.

(Maybe I need to drop the interface concept in favor of oneness.)

I personally don't find anger very helpful, but I do a lot of anger. I think my anger stems from frustration.

So, I need to find a way to avoid some frustration, realizing that avoiding even some of it is a step in the right direction.

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I spent quite a bit of time with my therapist through a couple episodes working on recognition of first signs. I actually can recognize those. Once things get going, not so much and if I am hypo, I'm apt to get grandiose and don't really want to acknowledge the problem because I feel pretty damn good. But, those leading indicators are not so hard to spot after some work on doing so. That early, I remember how much havoc episodes wreak. I don't want them, so I act to stop them. I call my doc and adjust my meds. The bonus is that I stay pretty stable now which is a really nice thing. It took some time and effort, but it is something I think anyone can do with a knowledgeable therapist.

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I am trying to work on early signs of a problem. I can recognize a mania coming on, depression is a little harder but I can get there. That one really slipped under the radar... I guess it was so slow coming that I didn't realize it was increasing until I lost it. ?? I just wasn't myself for a week before and couldn't put my finger on why?

Frustration? Yeah, definitely. Some of it is a therapy issue, and I really need to get my butt back in there. It was also exacerbated because I've been walking around with a cast on my ankle/calf for 2 weeks and I can't get anywhere as fast as I want, nobody waits for me except my husband. At least it's something.

It's the agitation that upsets me the most. I think it's separate from anger (I think...) It just seems so over the top and unreasonable, and usually accompanies shaking and impatience (probably manic symptoms, but not always) Klonopin usually kills it but I need that external thump sometimes to realize that it's ME, not them.

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I was thinking along the same lines this morning, wj74. I've been trying to avoid the surges of

agitation that lead to panic and hospitilization.

So I figured that a "walk till you drop" strategy would work to stave off the agitation/panic.

The tradeoff was that my agitation morphed into rage. It seems you learn with each episode,

and then the illness adapts to your strategy. I've been thinking that viruses are a metaphor for this

phenomenon. The virus adapts more quickly than you can.

All is not lost however. I did avoid hospitilization (altho I made a brief, expensive trip to

the emergency room). The door to help was there, I just couldn't see it in the depths of

my struggle.

What will the depression bring? When I have the energy I remember that Churchill said

something like, "Never, ever, ever, ever quit." That's fine unless your brain is trying to sell you

the lie that quitting is winning. I'm going to see if walking will work with depression. The key

to that will be forcing myself out on the street.

(Oh, and on the recognition part of it. If I used the earliest warning signs as my cue, I

think I would be forever immobilized. I get a lot of false positives.)

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Yeah, it's too easy to fall into the habit of thinking everything is a symptom. I try to talk myself out of some of it, "don't let it suck you in, you're feeding it", etc. Then if it progresses I know it's for real. That's interesting about walking turning the agitation into rage. I could see that happening to me. If I'm already there, any kind of stimulation seems to send me over the top. Could be as simple as driving (too fast) or loud music. I've tried doing the opposite of those things but that seems to piss me off more.

Someone here has a Robert Frost poem in their signature, something about the forest being dark and deep, and miles to go before I sleep. I like that one.

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Oh, Stacia I forgot to reply to your post. I do mood chart daily and self-check sometimes. It works sometimes. Sometimes I put it on others instead, like "But they were doing x,y,z..." and that is when I don't see it coming because I'm not perceiving ME as being the problem. That is when I could use an aide to follow me around (that wasn't a joke about kids with aides at school, my son has one) Hopefully next time my husband will recognize it for what it is and try to get me to see it.

Pdoc says it's okay if I want to back off on the therapy to an as needed basis because I am stable and mostly handling things okay. Therapist isn't great with BP stuff anyway.

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