View Full Version : Lifestyle + Vivid Memory 2 for 1 Thread

10-08-07, 08:50 AM
*Disclaimer I don't know why, but my dyslexia is getting worse. Please excuse uncaught erros.

I am doing a thread combo today:

1) I am having a difficult time managing my condition with my lifestyle. I have wokred in a high-stress job for the past 8 years so my wife could stay home and be with the kids. As some of you know I took a new position within my company and moved from FL to NY to be closer to my wife's family. Veyr little has changed with my wife's family (big shocker isnce most people struggle to change and grow) but what has happened is that our cost of living has skyrocketed and the company put me in a job they had no idea what to do with. I don't even have official responsibilities, they keep telling me to work it out on my own and it seems like they giving others part of what I do every day. This job is like Jenga: I never know which day is the one where the tower collapses. So the bottom line is we have no support here, the cost of living is sky high, my job is a time bomb and oh yeah the teacher doesn't want to deal with my 6 year old boy who is starting to show signs of adhd (what they probably want to do is unload him in a special ed class instead of working with him). Needless to say this would be a lot on a 'normal' person but is killing me while I am trying to learn to deal with my condition. I know I have to make some serious lifestyle changes, job, how we deal with money, etc. How did some of you do it? I looked at a few BiPolar books, but most of them don't take more than a chapter on lifestyle. That is ironic since it is half the battle.

2) Lately I have been having vivid memories, like a movie, of various events that have painful emotions attached to them. It's what I will call the past pain trying to live itself out in the present. Is this something that is part of the condition?

As always, thanks for reading.

10-08-07, 01:59 PM
As long as I am asking two quesitons why not three....anyone know why my dyslexia is getting worse? Is it the meds?

Matt S.
10-08-07, 02:28 PM
Stress, my friend and by the Vivid movie part of it I would say there is probably a PTSD factor to your illness, and stress makes everything else worse. The Depression and Manic Depression Workbook and Feeling Good are two books that you could buy that you could buy or even check out at the library, that have tips to other things besides just the medication that can improve bipolar. Another thing I urge you to do is to google mindfullness and look into finding books or ways to practice it, try to set aside time to meditate and clear you head, even 15 minutes or a half hour will make the world of difference on stress, mindfulness will invite a non-judgemental approach that can help as well.

10-08-07, 04:57 PM
I will look for the book. I have been having anxiety attacks with my manic side lately. Swell.

I have read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and know the truth lies in the present moment. However, sometimes the disease is so loud that getting quiet is difficult. I used to do Tai Chi and maybe I should start again when I calm down.

Right now I am gone and really feel like jumping out of my own skin.

10-08-07, 10:04 PM
Hey Sponge.

Dealing with your condition for real this time? Yep. It's like therapy. You have known for sometime. But stuffed. Once you open up and start facing it, and getting healthy, it's like opening Pandora's box. The crap flies out a million miles an hour, and you feel overwhelmed. I only realized it a few months back myself. Well into my dx. It was made real to me, when my son was in lock up for his suicidal tendencies. I started therapy with him. We had a wonderful therapist. She was no nonsense and spotted me coming a mile away. She said Hope you are a tricky one. So very smart, too smart for your own good. Easy to fool people into believing you are fine. That is true. I went through a lot with him. I opened Pandora's box to save him. I faced a darkness about myself, that almost swallowed me alive. Much like those recovering from addiction, in recovery, we discover what monsters we are.

What this disease has done to us , our families, our lives. There is apart we have to take responsibility for, and there are parts we have to come to terms with, that it was part of our illness and let go of, or it will pull us back in.

You my friend are there. It's not uncommon. Once you open the box, the filth comes to the top and you feel as if you are choking and drowning. True enough you can shut the box again. But be warned, it's not easy to open back up. We build a stronger wall each time, knowing what hurt lurks there.

You need to face it, but you can't do it alone. The first part of your journey has started. Medications seeking. And you are very early in that stage. I can tell you, had I have opened that box too soon. I might not have made it.
Let's try to put the lid down a little further. Just for now. Until you are more stable. And you can't do this alone. Coming here is wonderful. But seeking outside help might be a good idea. I know things are tight. See if there is anything you can do.

There is nothing you can do about what is done, Sponge. Not a damn thing. But pick up the pieces you can. Leave the rest for another time, some are not repairable. Don't forget how far you have come. In just a short period of time, less the lies come back and steal you away again. We can truly be our own worst enemy and trigger our own demise. You must learn to focus that energy somewhere healthier. As suggested, meditation, a hobby...a live support group if they have one in your area....and down time. Give yourself a break.

You can't do it all at once. You have been BP your whole life. You are not going to undo all the damage at once.

Screwing up my life was what led me to get help too.
The screaming hurtful monster wiht my kids. The outbursts of anger at work, the days I called off because I couldn't get out of bed, the friends I lost by seperating myself, and the financial damage I am still trying to crawl out of.

How do you do it, my friend. Like they say in all 12 step programs. ODAT.
One day at a time. Sometimes one minute at a time. If you look at the entire swirl of mess coming out of the box, it will destroy you. One little piece at a time. And remember the little successes you have everyday. Everytime you don't go to the store and spend the bill money. Everytime you apologize to your wife for screaming like a mad banshee for no other reason than to let the awful pain out...her in it's wake.....everytime you come here and pour out your heart to complete strangers on a virtual piece of paper. Don't forget how far you have come.

I don't know what the future holds for any of us. I don't know if I can dig myself out of my messes , espcially the financial ones...I can say my disease left me with a new car and house in the same month....when things were tight before, now it's left me with judgements, foreclosure and a pending bankruptcy (~sigh~ ) that is hard to admit. But one baby step at a time.
I don't know, what is to come. But I know where I was before, I know how far I come. And I know I am NOT letting the lies of BP and the regrets make me go back. Not ever.

Thinking of you.

Hope :)

10-09-07, 07:07 AM
Thanks Hope. I really felt what you said.

10-09-07, 09:15 AM
Always happy to be "real" enough to make someone else "feel" it too. Just so you know, it's something we all go through. And if you keep doing what you are , you will be okay. :)

10-10-07, 07:08 AM
I wish I could start feeling okay. The tremendous stress of the situation is really starting to get to me. I am up to 20mg on the Lamictal, but the life situation is getting in the way of any benefits at the low dosage. Every day the job gets a bit worse. Yesterday I directly asked my boss if there will be significant changes to my job and he tap danced (with just a hint of bullspit) around the answer. They keep squeezing me out and it's only a matter of time now. So not only do I have to start wondering about a new job, but if we should move whil I still work virtual. It's very stressful and has led to incredible mixed episodes with a dash of panic attack mixed in.

10-10-07, 07:58 AM
Don't you just wish we could shoot the meds in and be all better.
Fortuantely if you stay away from that "side" should start feeling some relief in a couple weeks. Even at lower doses Lamictal starts providing relief pretty quickly. I felt a difference at 50mg.

Sponge, with all that still stands to reason,,,you would be pretty bad off on meds. I know. I have a great mix going but sometimes it's just too much.

I hope it all works itself out. Until then, as always we are here.

Hope :)

Matt S.
10-10-07, 08:57 AM
Try to breathe in those times of stress and focus on the breath, I used to get to the point of snapping and doing that for at least 30 seconds helps me a lot.

10-10-07, 10:13 AM
I know. A few conscious breaths a day is very helpful...but..when I am really gone it's like a five year old says "I DONT WANNA"

10-10-07, 10:44 AM
Crap, I don't wanna most days. That whole Ostrich thing...never a good thing.

Taking some down time....always a good thing. A good positive distraction...helpful.

But in the long run, what are you gonna do? You have come to far to just throw your hands up. You will do what most of us here, who are in the recovery process do, get stuck for a minute, and then get up and do it anyway.

You are stronger than you think you are. One stinking, difficult day at a time, Sponge. One problem at a time. Stop focusing on all of it at once. You can't do a damn thing about it all at once. You need to break it down into little pieces, to digest it. You are a writer, so write. Break it down, problem by problem. Then start writing possible solutions under each. Then start from there. We often look at the big picture so long, we get so overwhelmed we end up doing nothing. Then doing nothing not only compounds the problems, but defeats our esteem and brings up the old issues of failure. Stop the process before it traps you. One baby step at a time.

10-10-07, 10:47 AM
I know. A few conscious breaths a day is very helpful...but..when I am really gone it's like a five year old says "I DONT WANNA"
You were helpful to me. I wish I could say that in all my years of stress and anxiety, that there was an easy way to cope, but at the end of the day, I thnk of a saying someone said to me.

"It all works out in the end....If it's not working out right now, it's not the end yet"

I think I'm starting to understand our nature, or at least mine a bit. I take the current situation, and focus so much on it, that I loose sight of the future, or worse, assume the future will be worse than today. While that may be possible, it's not fact until we make it fact.

Many things we can't control, but with help, guidance, friends, and good people around us (cyber or otherwise) we can get through it all.

I hope you are feeling better soon, your child needs you, and so do we.


10-10-07, 01:12 PM
What I need right now is space. Some time away from the problems of job, etc. However with my company a short-term disability leave means they will find a way to get rid of me when I come back. If it doesn't get better by the new year I am going to speak with the PDoc about the short-term option to give me some space and a chance to focus on healing.

"I think I'm starting to understand our nature, or at least mine a bit. I take the current situation, and focus so much on it, that I loose sight of the future, or worse, assume the future will be worse than today. While that may be possible, it's not fact until we make it fact."

I think what happens is we lose sight of the now. Our minds constantly want the next moment and this creates even more anxiety. We often drift away from this moment and this moment is all that we have. I know while I am burning there is no present moment. It's all about a story in the head.

Matt S.
10-10-07, 02:25 PM
If that's what will help you the most at this point you should probably pursue it, temporarily

10-10-07, 11:47 PM
sorry I didn't get to read all the other posts but
1. I also find my dslexia and spelling to be getting horrible.

2. I know I have some buried terrible memories that are making this worse. I have one memory of my gfather touching me. I slept in his bed with him years before that. I don't remember anything worse, but the flood gates for my bipolar opened up the day he died. I just can't get the memories and don't think I can get any improvement until I do.

10-12-07, 09:36 AM
Have any of you made lifestyle changes, especially job wise, that were very helpful?

Matt S.
10-12-07, 11:34 AM
I sell knives for a living, it is scheduled when I want to work and I guess it has it's perks when it is a matter of working your own schedule, I can do the demonstrations double on one week and take one off. When your good, like me (not to brag but one perk of having been diagnosed as antisocial, is being slick and manipulative) you can essentially do that.

10-12-07, 04:04 PM
No I have actually managed to stay at the same job for almost 9 years.

Just happened to fall in my niche. However, I can tell you since I have become medicated, I am less stressed, less prone to fits, and all of my employees and coworkers are much safer....

Lifestyle change, taking more ME time. Making an effort to return phone calls when I don't want to...facing issues that I don't want to normally deal with....facing fears....and making an effort to actually leave my house and go spend time with friends, even if I wake up and my mood is contrary.
Setting schedules, including settting aside time to spend with my son's.

Finding hobbies.....and doing them. :D

Matt S.
10-13-07, 11:18 AM
justhope has that motherly likeable thing about her...