Negative self-talk is not helping ‼️

Wallowing in feelings of defeat won’t accomplish anything!

Time to “change the script”

as my therapist would say

Affirmations:

  • I’m okay, I got this, I have the situation under control
  • I’m worthy and valuable regardless of my mental state
  • People love and respect me
  • I am smart and creative and I have good ideas
  • I give off good vibes, I’m fun, and people like being around me
  • I have cool hobbies and interests
  • I am resilient (boyyyyy am I!)
  • I know how to calm and ground myself
  • I’m strong as fuck
  • I have so much love inside me, and I give it freely, and that makes me happy
  • Life is in constant flux but that fact is oddly comforting
  • I am whole
  • I am unique

✨✨✨

I’ve been having a weird week. I’m mopey. My mood is low. I know it’s probably because of the lack of daylight (I love winter but ugh). Or maybe it’s just that I always get like this before Christmas. I can’t complain. I haven’t had an episode in almost ten months (since I was in the psych hospital), and that’s three times as long as I typically go. And even still, like I’m irritable as hell now but it’s manageable and that’s phenomenal. I feel guilty complaining. I definitely don’t have the “right” to (but see that’s an example of the negative thoughts I’m trying to kick away).

Who knows. I just have to keep chugging along.

“Another day” pic from last year, during a major eating disorder relapse and a major bipolar episode. “Merry and bright” pic from this week, which I took bc I felt pretty 🙂

Today I’m thankful for…

waking up early, morning routines, new beginnings, exciting continuations, therapy and the way it can always make all the yucky stuff go away and if there’s nothing bad going on how it can still really brighten my days, being known and understood, sunny days when you need them the most, having options, aesthetic mood boards and collages, doggy noses and ears and paws, old songs that shuffle onto my playlist and bring me back to old times, fancy art, science documentaries, ideas that literally feel like a light bulb shining bright above your head, fiction books, the various ways human beings have communicated over our history, and cups of coffee that taste like you’re coming to life again

Today I’m thankful for…

✓ puzzles, coloring books, finding random lines of poetry, sparks of inspiration that align with those glorious moments of motivation, peppermint tea, my new favorite sweatshirt, to do lists with most of the items crossed off, finding old to do lists and remembering that you haven’t had to think about the things that seemed to matter so much at that time, stuffed animals, the fact that fresh air exists right outside my door, digital memories, the fact that I have enough holiday-themed mugs to change them up every season, the smell from my candles, comic books, the miracle of modern medicine (not to understate the fact that I’m experiencing an unprecedented stretch of actual mental stability), collections of things that seem random but make me happy, and friendships that endure time and distance and hardship

This Morning vs Last Week …guess where I like working better!

 

I miss my little man so much. I didn’t actually write a lot while I was down there (I definitely prioritized my nephew over my writing, and I’m glad I did!), but I’m so glad I got to spend time with him, and with my sister and brother-in-law. It was amazing. In lots of ways. I was thinking a lot (while playing with my munchkin!) and it’s funny because the last time I was happy for as long as I’ve been happy now was when he was born in July. (Not that I’d call myself an unhappy person, which is weird bc my life is a constant battle against depression, and I definitely battled it from July to February). I was down there a few times back in July, and I remember working on an essay about stability. I wrote that it’s alluded me for quite some time and that mental healthiness is different than mental stability. You can be doing the self-care, mental health thing, and be doing it well, and still be unstable. Whiiiiich I was. But I think this time I’m actually stable. Stable. It’s fucking weird to even say. I use my Daylio and eMoods apps to track my symptoms and meds and moods, and it’s insanely bizarre to see straight lines and consistency. It’s almost annoying lol. That’s probably because I’m definitely a little “flat,” a little dull. I’m definitely experiencing the reason why so many bipolar people go off their meds. But I’m not gonna do that bc I’ll take this over being depressed one half of the time ANY day. Bc like…I was able to focus on my nephew/family. And unfortunately I wouldn’t have been able to do that while unstable. Idk what I wanted this post to be about, really. I think I just wanted to talk about my main little man lol. But have some bipolar wisdom too

I wrote a list a while back about “how to know it’s coming on again” and hoooo boy does it feel accurate…but maybe I’ll think about the opposite now?

To review:

How to know it’s coming on again:

  • No matter what song I put on, it doesn’t feel right
  • No matter where I go, it doesn’t feel homey or safe or okay
  • So much dread
  • The fact that I have to get through a whole day (and subsequently a whole night) feels like I have to scale a mountain
  • “Life hurts”
  • I’m overwhelmed by everything
  • I’m having trouble doing small, menial tasks
  • I want to drive really fast so the anxiety can’t catch up to me
  • I can’t decide what mood I’m in or how I feel, I just know I don’t feel right
  • Oh dear GOD the irritability

There’s so much more to that, I can add countless more things to that list. But in the spirit of being positive (because I somehow don’t have the weight of existence crushing the life out of me at this moment), here’s a list of how to know you’re coming out of it:

  • I contemplate what outfit to wear, don’t get violently angry while trying to find one I like, it sort of matches, and then I even think about putting makeup on (too much effort still? that’s okay)
  • My therapist gets me to crack a smile
  • Breathing becomes easier, and it’s so hard to explain the sensation but the air doesn’t feel like lead as much anymore
  • I can hold a conversation with my boyfriend, with my mom, my sister, my friends, the people I’ve been ignoring for weeks
  • I take a shower and go through the trouble of shaving my legs and using coconut oil on my skin because #selfcare
  • I think to turn on happy/pump-up music in the morning and it actually has the vague effect of making me happy or pumped
  • My thoughts get clearer
  • I don’t use sleep as an escape from the bleak reality of consciousness
  • Hello motivation, how I have missed you

I dunno. I’m obviously scared to say this episode is dissipating. I don’t want to jinx it. Again. Every time I think it’s getting better I get beaten down again. The higher you go, the harder you fall. That type thing. Of course, there’s the positive outlook on that. That being the harder you fall, the higher you bounce. I dunnooooo.

I’m trying. I HAVE been trying, but like, I’m STILL trying. What else can I do?

Anyway, here’s hoping the sun’s gonna come out soon (the literal sun, because it’s been rainy and gross all week which obviously doesn’t help my moods, and the metaphorical one).

Probability: how likely is it that I’ll actually feel good for the entire day today

I’ll start by saying that although I enjoyed some of my math classes back in school, it was never a particularly strong point of mine. So the info about probability might not be suuuuper accurate (despite me having a few tabs about it open on my browser). I’m thinking about it more metaphorically, and not at all in-depth. Go with me.

Because it’s just that every morning I wake up early and think to myself that I’ll be able to make the day a good one. And every day (for a long while now, and for what, a billion times before in a billion episodes before?), either the external world or the world within me doesn’t take long to pulverize that thought. So I’m currently thinking about probability as it applies to my life and my moods and my happiness.

I probably don’t need to state the obvious, but I had another earthquake of a panic attack last night. Took two of my pills that are supposed to help, because one clearly wasn’t enough, for whatever god-forsaken reason, and I was desperate to have a moment of relative calm. Desperate.

I ultimately got there, and I relished those moments before going to bed. How can I describe tasting freedom? There aren’t enough words at my disposal right now.

Right, so then I wake up today. Start going about the routine I cling to for dear life because regular routines and schedules are supposed to be good for us bipolars. I noticed a pretty sunrise outside the kitchen window while I was making my coffee and went outside to take a picture. The sky looked like cotton candy and I had that thought again: maybe today will be a good one.

(I edited some words onto the picture, because that’s how I try to appreciate positives, so enjoy) ^

But, unsurprisingly, I’m beginning to feel…not right. Could be that I’m anticipating it (how can I not, literally explain to me how I can not). Could be that I’m thinking myself into it (I don’t think that’s an actual thing, but it’s still something I worry about, which is weird). But regardless…fuck.

Sooooo what IS the probability that today won’t go to total SHIT? I have to divide the number of events by the number of possible outcomes.

How many possible outcomes are there? Is it just the two? One being that I’ll be okay and the other being that I’ll feel intense fear over nothing, cry my way through work, suffer internally in ways I’m sick of explaining, and come home to hide in my bed unable to shale the unceasing feeling of dread? There’s just the one event, being this one particular day. So is the probability that I’ll be okay just 1/2?

I think there are more factors involved, but hey, I like the odds when I think of them like that. It’s half and half.

This is some serious positive thinking, btw. Which has been immensely difficult, though not for lack of trying.

Furthermore, defining what I mean when I say “I’ll be okay” is pretty difficult because I don’t even know what I mean by that anymore. Been a while since I’ve felt whatever it is that that feels like. (Jeeeeez, all I do lately is bitch and moan, sorry!)

My posts aren’t even very essay-like anymore, which I guess might be a good thing, although I doooo love my essay-rants.

Anyway. Here’s to having an “okay day.”

Happy things to appreciate 💙 (updates!)

Random acts of kindness 💕

Cloud watching ☁️

Giving something my all💯

The tippytap of my dog’s paws as he comes to me when I call him 🐾❣️

Family!! 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

Fairytales about princesses and castles 🏰👑

Classic Disney movies °O° 📼

Waking up without an alarm ⏰ 🌅

Selfies when I’m really feeling myself 🤳🏻

Coffee ☕️ enjoying that first cup in the morning 🙂

Meeting up with friends 👭

Getting stronger 🏋🏼‍♀️ (physically or mentallyyy)❗️

Proving my resilience ⬇️🆙

Beer with friends after a long week 🗓🍻

Going on a trip ✈️

Pretty bows 🎀 (and other accessories) 💍

Smiling for no particular reason 😃

Roller coasters!🎢 the anticipation at the top!

Fruit salad 🍒🥝🍍🍎🍉🍇🍐🍌

When it all comes together like a puzzle 🧩

Old school video games 🎮

Leaving love notes (or any notes!) 💌

Gettingggg love notes (or any notes!) 📬

Good news in the paper 📰

Enjoying nature 🏔🏕

Karaoke 🎤

Flowers on a spring day 🌷🌻🌺🌿🌸

Cookies and milk 🍪🥛

The smell of rain/ thunderstorms ⛈⚡️

Balloons 🎈

Tea 🍵 with honey 🍯

Binge watching a good show on Netflix/Hulu 🖥

Tropical vacations 🏝

The smell of mom baking apple pie on a fall morning 🍎 🥧

The sun, rising every day 🌅

A fresh notebook waiting to be filled 📓

Cute puppies 🐶

Cute cats 🐱

My favorite music 🎼 🎶🎵

A stack of books waiting to be read 📚

Seeing a rainbow 🌈

Photography that captures feelings 📸

Improving myself 📈

The sun coming out 🌥⛅️🌤☀️

Fireworks 🎆🎇

Cosmic phenomena 🌙💫 -notice the miracles

Getting a good night’s sleep 💤😴

City skylines 🌇 🌃

Office supplies 📎✏️ 📋

Magic✨/ unicorns 🦄 / etc 🌟

Being alive!! 🌎 appreciate that 👈🏻

Shooting for the moon 🚀 🌕

Hot chocolate 🍫 on a cold winter day ❄️

Making someone happy 😃

Deep conversations 🗣 with close friends 👥

My perfect nephew 👶🏼

Learning something new about science 🧬

Comfy pajamas ✔️

Jeans that fit just right 👖

Frantically writing ✍🏻 getting ideas💡 on paper

Pride 🏳️‍🌈 for whatever I am

Connecting w people I love on social media 💻📱

Self-care 🕯 🧼🛁🧖🏻‍♀️

Really appreciating stars 🌟 in the night sky 🌌

Good fortune 🔮

Getting into a video game 🎮 (or watching one)

Shopping sprees! 🛍

Fall 🍁🍂🌾🌼 bonfires 🔥

Achieving something to be proud of 🎓

A big paycheck 💵

Late night car rides🚙 with Andrew🥰 singing🎶

Funny memes 😂

The incredibleee excitement the night before a Disney trip 🔜

Waking up on Christmas morning 🎄🎁

Feeling lucky 🍀

Winning something 🎰

Classical music that brings back memories 🎻

When things fit together perfectly 🔐

Making art 👩🏻‍🎨🖍🖌🖊

Appreciating all the world’s differences 🗺

Becoming the best version of me 🏆

Learning 👩🏻‍🎓

Books 📖 & how so many of them exist📚

Making wishes 🧞‍♀️🧞‍♂️✨

Things that comfort me 🧸 🐘 (my stuffed elly!)

My favorite perfume 🥰

The first snow ⛄️ of the season 🗓 [peaceful!]

Singing in the rain ☔️

Checking something off my to do list ☑️

Tattoos 🌀

Ice cream (size congruent with my mood) 🍦

Parties 🥳

Quiet mornings 🔇

Crocheting someone a hat 🧶

Ska shows 🏁

Facing fears 🕸

My infinite internal power ♾ 💥

The journey 🛤

Climbing into bed feeling accomplished after a long day 🛏

A new haircut (or color!) 🆕👱🏻‍♀️💙

Reliving memories 💭 / looking through keepsakes 🎟🎫

Being the perfect amount of energetic🔋

Finding light in the darkness 🔦

When good things fall apart but better things fall together 💔➡️❤️

Counting down on New Year’s Eve just like the entire rest of the world 🎆🎇

Making someone proud (even if it’s myself)☺️

Late night adventures 🌙

The fact that I kicked the fucking shit out of anorexia once and I can fucking do it again 🍽

It was dark.

The only light in the room was coming off the clock on the nightstand, which indicated that it was 4:02am by way of a dull blue glow. It was too fucking early. And too fucking dark. And cold. Fuck the cold.

Insomnia ravaged her. Again.

The grunting snores of her boyfriend, fast asleep next to her, sent her temper spiraling but she was comatose despite the succession of jittery shockwaves pulsing through her body. She didn’t get up. She didn’t move. No matter how hard she willed herself to, she didn’t so much as roll over.

Why bother?

She didn’t want to wait til dawn to break. She wanted it to come now. She needed it and needed it now, in this moment, because waiting is the worst and she didn’t have the patience for it. This sucked.

It was her fault, she hated to admit. She’d drugged herself to sleep (thank you sleeping pill, melatonin, and cbd oil) at 6:27 because she couldn’t stand the thought of being awake for a moment longer, staring blankly at the wall. No, her brain was too loud but it wouldn’t allow her to move and her stomach growled angrily but it couldn’t bear the heaviness of food and there were texts to answer but no words were available to her. No, fuck that. Time to fucking sleep.

At two in the morning she’d opened her eyes but forced them shut again. Forced her brain into a quasi sleep mode by having made up conversations in her head, half concentrating on them until she couldn’t any more and the fake attempt at batting away the longing for a friendly voice, a friendly presence, faded into unfulfilling sleep.

Two hour of tossing and turning and it brought her to her present wide-awake state. Fuck.

Get up and do something, she berated herself. Get to your headphones, blast some metal, or open your laptop, do some writing.

No amount of internal urging seemed to be enough to summon the motivation to move.

She was just about to attempt to get another round of restless sleep in, but the thought of doing so was more exhausting than actually doing it. So she finally got up. Cold enveloped her.

She paced. She paused. She stood motionless like a confused zombie trying to get her thoughts together but it was a messy, tangled web up in her mind. Wires were twisted. None of them were plugged into the right connections.

Gravity amazingly pulled her to her desk, where her headphones thankfully sat on a pile of books, which thankfully was next to her laptop. A sweatshirt was thrown over the back of her chair, and she used what little energy she had to pull it over herself. It was a miracle that the setting was now one that allowed for a meager amount of productivity to take place.

A miracle. That’s what’s worth calling a miracle? How stupid. How pathetically stupid. But whatever.

Headphones on. Music loud. Laptop open. Document pulled up. Aaaaand, go!

“Going” took another few minutes of zoned-out staring, but somehow her fingers were brought to the keyboard and somehow they started moving and somehow the movements formed words that appeared on the too-bright screen in front of her.

Why is this happening again? Why did I let this happen again? Why did I make this happen again and why am I continuing to push myself father into it. Again. I’m guilty as charged. I hate myself.

It went on like that for a while. Her words chased themselves in circles. Negativity. Self-hate. Anger. It went on until she began to write fervently and passionately and quickly, so quickly, her fingers barely keeping up with the pace at which her brain threw thoughts into formation.

She shrugged her sweatshirt off. Rolled up her sleeves. Was it getting hotter, or was she becoming overheated like a computer that’s been on for too long? Did it even matter?

Her eyes flicked away from the computer for a fraction of a second.

Bad move. Losing the flow was always a bad move. She lost the momentum and let her thoughts wander and…fuck, no. Why did she let her thoughts wander?

But the tattoo on her left forearm shouted loudly from its type-written font: Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise!

Fucking positivity.

Yet there was a pale light in the distance now. It fell through the window as if by accident but it stayed like it was comfortable in the bedroom. Morning had come. She shut her laptop.

She collapsed back into bed, weary from the exertion of being awake and alive.

But at least she got an hour and a half of sleep.

*

“If you have the courage to make it through a lonely night with nothing but your self destructive thoughts to keep you company, darling, you have the courage to make it through anything.”

Thoughts become things, so choose them wisely: a platitude that I’m finding particularly relevant lately

We don’t have curtains on our windows, which is probably dumb for a few reasons, but the upside is that I get to wake up in harmony with the entire stretch of world that exists on the other side of the glass. Sometimes that means there’s a gradual lightening of everything outside that is echoed on my face when I’m starting to open my eyes and sometimes that means night’s darkness simply fades into a dull gray. Sometimes it means waking up to a burgeoning sunrise that paints the sky in broad red and orange strokes. It all depends on the day.

I’ve come to think of the morning sky as a screen on which the quality of my day ahead is projected.  In layman’s terms, the weather has a pretty big effect on the already-tenuous grip I have on my moods. And this isn’t coming from a place of superstition. Weather patterns actually impact mood. The sun can pull people away from the abyss of depression, rain can send gloom through even the happiest of people, and humidity makes people edgy and irritable. It makes sense. Not to mention seasonal affect disorder, whose sufferers’ moods cycle with seasonal changes (and oh hey, as a resident bipolar, I’ve obviously noted that my episodes align with such patterns).

So when the morning sky is a vast expanse of bright blue, chances are I’ll be starting out well-rested, rejuvenated, ready for the day’s adventures to begin. When the early morning is masked with cloudy skies, I’ll likely be starting with a vague ennui that might develop into nagging anxiety if not taken care of. When red and orange clouds linger with the climbing sun, it’s usually wise for me to heed the phrase that sailors have passed down over time and “take warning,” since chaos is surely brewing. Picturesque dawn means the sun is shining from below as inclement weather approaches from the west, scattering light through the present water vapor. And as beautiful as it might be, the calming hues of purple and blue are still chased away as if frightened by the impending storm.

In reality, no known atmospheric condition has power in itself to transcend symbolism and legitimately affect the circumstances of my day. My reaction to certain circumstances is certainly influenced by them; sunshine might make me more inclined to brush aside annoyances, clouds might make that harder to do, and a storm might bring forth my desire to hide away.

But it’s necessary to remember, even if only in the back of my mind, that I have the power to control how my days go. Regardless of the weather, and mood disorder aside, I have more power than I think.