Oct 212017
 

It’s the middle of the night as I write this. Despite falling asleep around 10ish, which is our usual weekend bedtime, I jolted awake feeling overheated and paranoid about the mosquito loose somewhere in the room even though M “locked it” in the closet. If I know there is a mosquito, I will not sleep as I could swear that I also heard buzzing in my ear. With no way to turn on the light or possibly kill it, I gave up on sleeping for now….

My fingers are crossed that the buzzing in my head will stop by the end of the weekend or early next week. It is hard to explain what it feels like, but sometimes I wonder if this is how patients feel after an electrical shock treatment. It occasionally makes me dizzy and definitely challenges any desire to walk around or move my head at all. If I really thought about it long enough, I am sure there are some yoga poses I could do to help the situation, but it is hard enough for me to focus my mind on one thing long enough to remember what it is I am doing….

I have noticed a massive mood disruption. My people tolerance has gone down – I didn’t even know that was possible…! M and I have had small quibbles and one big one of late. Old response are hard to break…. Although I am aware of these things after some thought, in the moment I am suddenly unable to pause and control what comes out of my mouth. The fuse is shorter at the moment.

Hopefully, this is just part of the stabilizing process and reconnection with my own control over my responses to others. Clearly I need to do more serious meditation and exercise to counteract whatever is currently going on with my mental faculties.

Anyway, step 1 is knowing. Step 2 is accepting. Step 3 is action….

~T πŸ˜€

Oct 182017
 

Day 4 – chemical free with the help of a break from the grey and falling spit from the sky.

Yesterday was foggy both in my mind and in the weather. It continues to get colder day-by-day, but with the sun in the sky my heart warms today. It is not clear whether it is the lifting of the fog in my head or the fall climate that is affecting me, but really it does not matter – my own mind is returning.

I can definitely feel the difference. It actually makes me happy to know that my mood is no longer being controlled by chemical aid. While I sense the ups and downs happening much more acutely than before, I am actually reveling in the ‘crazy’. πŸ˜›

Actually, it gives me a chance to reflect on myself again and to get a new handle on how to control my impulses. The good news is that the fog is lifting inside even if it only worsens outside. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

Jul 282017
 

Two days before the darkest days of my life started I began a new round of anti-depressants because as I had written, I was considering it based on my up and down moods.

Luckily, they kicked in on the day that I had to cope to distract me from the reality of our situation. It has now been just over a month and I definitely notice the change this time around.

While others around me are extremely emotional or responsive to things, I am not so affected.

In yoga philosophy, we often discuss a state of “detachment” which is described as not having emotion one way or the other as a reaction to life happening around us. Some who are not ready for such a thing imagine being a robot without emotion and despise the idea of it. Others, like me, crave it because I am a bit desensitized, which is good being a fairly sensitive person to my surroundings.

I truly sense my detachment toward results, other people’s behavior, etc. It does not mean that I am emotion-less, but just that I am not taken into extreme moods so easily. I also recognize when I need to keep my mouth shut because the emotional response I might get is not really worth it.

When I took these anti-depressants before, I did not know what to expect or what to look out for. However, this time I am definitely more aware of the effects on me.

Some side effects, though, are that I am much more tired than usual. So, now like an old lady I need an afternoon nap and I sleep a great deal more at night than usual. Of course, this might be stress as well since it is not yet over. However, I can also feel my head zapping now and then…. Thankfully, my headaches are no more.

So…although I do not plan to stay on them for too long, I am glad I decided to go back on them again especially during our crisis. No doubt I might have gone to some other extreme had I not started them. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

Jun 192017
 

When my husband makes a point of telling me that I am constantly seeming grumpy or on edge and then have these bouts of “weirdness” where I am overly silly and happy, then I take a step back to consider the validity of his comments.

Although never formally diagnosed as depressed or bipolar according to labels, my therapist some years back allowed us to call myΒ moments as ups and downs. While I appreciate the lack of labels and freedom from a box, it does also make it difficult to explain to others what happens to me in these up and down cycles.

I came across this website yesterday when I was contemplating whether or not to go back onto medication temporarily given that I have no control over our current situation and that maybe it would help to take the meds just until life is a bit more settled…. What I found was this list ofΒ red flags for the author and thought to myself…hm…this just might be me!! πŸ˜›

In fact, I think it has been me for some time and perhaps I should have seen it coming a while ago…?

Even though my husband does not quite appreciate the label and tries to minimize what I am experiencing by saying “I think we are all a bit bipolar” or “I get this way too”, I try to take it as his way of empathizing with the fact that this may be a reality.

Looking at our current or recent circumstances, it is no wonder that I have not really gone to the extremes since everything suggested on this website is how I try to live life in the best of circumstances. Factor in the chaos that has surrounded us and now I can stop wondering why I prefer to binge watchΒ The Keepers (just one episode left!) all day yesterday rather than try to go out or see anyone….

So, I have not yet made a decision about the meds. I do have them already and know what to do – just not sure I am ready to go that route again…though it wasn’t a bad thing before and sometimes just having a little extra help can make a big difference…. We shall see…I should probably seek counseling, but that would require funds that we do not have and thus continues the spiral that spins me around up and down and around and around….

~T πŸ˜€

May 292017
 

We often focus on being happy all the time. It is now considered a sort of tragedy if a bad day happens or you somehow are ‘letting it happen’ to you.

The truth is that bad days happen! It is a part of life. There is no good or bad about it, they just pass through.

Yesterday was one of those days.

There are a number of reasons why it was not the best of days. There are a number of source points from previous days, months and years that contributed to the day of more arguments than discussion.

However, knowing that it shall pass makes it bearable. Sometimes bad days happen in succession, but they too pass – just as the good days do.

Often in yoga philosophy we discuss that fact that we should strive to be neither happy nor sad. So many people respond with “What? So, are we just supposed to be robots? I’d rather not be a yogi then….” How sad this response makes me. Why are emotions so celebrated? Why do we have to aspire to being happy all the time?

If we look at social media, everyone takes a snap of themselves happy. No one ever takes a photo of themselves crying or in a rage. Therefore, we perpetuate this image of life being always happy. Why?

As someone with strong bipolar tendencies, I aim for the neutral point. I want to be neither happy nor sad. I do not feel like a robot when I get there, but instead I feel content. When I spend a dayΒ that has no drama whether positive or negative, I feel it is a great day. This is contentment.

So, sure good days are nice and bad days do happen, but I’m hoping today is neither one – just a day.

~T πŸ˜€

Apr 242017
 

So…the memory is so often unreliable. We tend to easily remember the bad things that happen to us or the moments when others have let us down in some way or another, no matter how little or a lot. However, we have the amazing ability to forget all the good things or the status quo elements of life.

I have been in some kind of a mood lately. While I could blame it on my monthly cycle or others around me or the moon or whatever else I can find to pass it on to something or someone other than myself, if I am to learn anything (eventually), I should be paying more attention to my bipolar tendencies.

Because the extremes and swings have not been so noticeable lately, I had nearly forgotten that they even exist as a reality in my life. Since I am not manic up or down, it is more difficult to take notice or to remember to take notice when these episodes might be happening.

However, when M said to me the other day that suddenly I seemed to have released some tension (this was after selling his car), I thought that perhaps it was more of a trigger that snapped me out of the downward trend. Of course, selling the car is a HUGE relief in so many ways, but is it THAT much of a trigger to push me back up into an upward spiral? Probably not…and yet, I am now suddenly full of energy, happy, playful, etc. – to a minor extreme.

Therefore, logic kicks in and memory recall pinpoints that perhaps I am having a more obvious bipolar episode and have forgotten or chosen to ignore the signs again.

A couple of changes are being made to address this.

First, I am starting to take the Vitamin B (stress tabs) again as I imagine that having been off of them now for about three months has probably affected the chemistry of my brain enough to now be noticeable again. It was an experiment to see how the Juice Plus pills would work without the other, but I think that for now I need to do both.

Second, I got myself back to the gym this morning. Stepping on the scale the other day and also having some people notice that as a regular I have been absent, motivated me to take the first step to get back to it. This should also help the chemistry of the body to give me boosts through a healthy lifestyle and regulate the moods again.

I am still working on one other change, which I discussed last week or the week before in getting myself back onto a regular meditating schedule. This has been a bit slow on the take, but I will get there as I need to step up my game in this area now that I have more clients and classes going during the week. πŸ˜€

All in all, I cannot complain as the high in my brain is pointing toward life getting better and better. For now, I shall ride the waves and do what I can to prevent a crashing downward. πŸ˜›

~T πŸ˜€

Feb 152017
 

In coming to terms with who I am as an introvert, semi-anti-social, “fragile creature” (as my husband calls me) and general recluse with ups and downs, I should have known that from my extreme up-state last week there would be a down this week. 

Although maintaining a regular work out schedule definitely helps with the moods, the extra yoga sessions that involve interacting with people have taken an energetic toll on me. Actually, when I look back at how I managed to work full-time teaching with meetings, etc. I do wonder if I am being a bit of a wimp these days. 

My answer to this is that we have a bit more stress on our shoulders these days, which makes my energy get used up faster and less efficiently as it used to. Also, I think that I would have more rest days when I had a regular schedule, whereas now I really do not have a “day off” during the week. While I try to take half days throughout the week, it really is not the same.

Therefore, I have been listening to my body (has this phrase become cliche?) and not gone to the gym this week. Part of it is Aunt Flo, when we women should basically not do too much anyway since our cycles make us out of whack anyway and so taking it easy helps to keep the body and mind stable. Part of it is also that I am borderline on the down cycle of my ups and downs, so taking some time to keep to myself definitely helps to keep me from continuing downward unnecessarily.

While a part of me could beat myself up for not going to the gym or being lazy, another part of me sticks up for myself by saying – these goals that I made are just for me anyway. Who is affected by me not going to the gym? Me. Who is affected by me taking time off? Me. Thus, despite possibly being a cliche, I am listening to what I need and am comfortable with knowing that my choices affect only me in the end. If my six-pack comes a bit later, that is okay, especially if it means I am happier in the long run.

So, I have been resting, sleeping, chilling out at home and keeping to myself whenever not in a lesson. It has been good and I feel now that it is just past mid-week I will be ready for the upcoming full weekend of yoga training and socializing. 😜

~T πŸ˜€

Dec 222016
 

Getting myself out of the house and remembering where I live is my first step to getting myself away from the threat of the dark state that wants to settle back in to my psyche disturbing my way of life. 

Yesterday morning or maybe during the day I read this article on Facebook about the 6 Secret Signs of Hidden Depression. As I read it I said to myself, this is me every day and describes me on a regular basis even on my good days! 😳😬 I think that it kind of worried M a bit when I shared this reality because it is true that I have been a bit on the downward spiral with some days better than others, but in general lately I have felt especially tired and less motivated each morning to get up. πŸ˜”

Even this morning, I wondered to myself, what will motivate me to get out of the bed let alone out of the house? πŸ€”

First, the promise of getting to the pool for a swim (if the water was warm enough) was one step as our short trip the other day reminded both of us of the benefits of getting out in the sun and enjoy what this region has to offer with the wonderful weather this time of year. β˜€οΈ

Second, the cleaner was there and we both hate to be in the house when she is there. So, after getting her started, it was a good reason for me to not be in the house. 

Ultimately, I also knew that I needed to make use of my time since M is away until afternoon for work and I have not been keeping up with my writing and planning time to get things done online. I do have quite a few things to do on the computer with some project ideas for ways to boost income online. This requires wifi, which is why I can sometimes justify staying inside all day; however, I am writing this now offline and know that I can later go in to paste into a post. Usually, I do save my online work for when M is not at home so that I can spend my time with him, but the truth is that I need to alter this thinking a bit since our time ‘together’ tends to revolve around watching TV, which is not really the best use of my time nor really quality time for us. Therefore, I am going to be re-working this since he is going to be around more the next week or so due to the holidays and people being away keeping his schedule light.

In any case, I am being a bit slow and lazy in adjusting my way of thinking about life these days. It is probably due to depression which has also affected my diet which I do know affects every other aspect of my life. Therefore, I am taking the first step needed to take action against letting it win over my life as it has done in the past. It is good to know that I am learning from the past even if I am not yet good at preventing it from happening. 

One massive realization this week is that I need to constantly stay on top of this depression issue. There is absolutely no room for complacency. Any letting of the guard down in keeping up routines, working out, etc allows room for me to stumble into the dark state. Before I had work as a way of distraction or more constant contact with friends which kept me busy, which helps to fend off the penetration of the darkness; however, I no longer have external or passive ways of distraction. Therefore, I need to actively structure my life around a healthy way no matter what our circumstances are to ensure that I keep on going towards the light!

~T πŸ˜€

Oct 052016
 

So my post the other day on working vs not working also brought up some ponderings on my regular visits on the topic of schedules, discipline and structures.

My tendencies for ups and downs are really being challenged lately as I find myself lacking consistent structure. I still keep a schedule. I still am planned day-to-day or even weeks ahead, but I am required to be a bit more flexible and am finding myself a tad busier than I would like to be. At the moment, it is okay as my busyness is in networking, which I need to do to promote the business. I am hoping that in a short time I will be able to decrease the networking activities and be busy with clients or my other aspirations.

Still, I am finding that my writing is getting pushed aside again. While I am maintaining this blog reasonably well and trying to stay up with my business blog and social media, my personal writing has greatly diminished. Although I was working on my novel quite a bit over the summer, it has been weeks if not a couple of months since I last worked on a chapter. It doesn’t help to not have Internet at home, but even when I am taking time to be on the computer I am usually focusing on other activities.

The question then is whether or not I need to return to a more structured schedule. Perhaps I do. Perhaps this will help me to keep my boundaries clear with time on activities and do what is not only productive, but also beneficial. At the moment, I have a full schedule:

Sundays – focus on work to promote new teacher training course in Abu Dhabi & afternoon tutoring

Mondays – Yas Mall walking, coffee with ladies & afternoon tutoring (sometimes networking event)

Tuesdays – morning run with ladies, pottery, afternoon tutoring, yoga client and sometimes networking

Wednesdays – morning golf and coffee, evening photography or networking

Thursdays – Yas Mall yoga, coffee with ladies and a free afternoon/evening (sometimes photography)

Fridays – morning yoga client, brunch or evenings with friends

Saturdays – morning and afternoon tutoring, evenings to relax

So, every day is quite full. I am still trying to wake up at 5am to meditate, though I am struggling with this. When I do I feel good, but then I feel quite tired. I am going to sleep later than usual these days, though not exhausted as I would feel from a full day of work at the university. We have taken the week off from the gym, but I am still doing yoga at home most days and then next week we will be back to the gym for weight training. πŸ˜›

I am not sure how the days pass so quickly and I definitely do not miss my old life by any means. Yet, I do wonder – wasn’t I supposed to be ‘retired’??? πŸ˜€

In any case, I just need to stop to take note, breathe and make sure that I do not over extend myself so as not to lose energy and get worn out. Still, I am enjoying each day fully!!!

~T πŸ˜€

 

Oct 012015
 

ms1215

My friend, T posted this on her FB page as an event she was planning on attending. I had seen it before on another friend’s post, but had only glanced at it then. So, this time I took a closer look at it.

In the past, people have suggested the idea of meditation and tried to explain what it is; however, I have generally chalked it up to a Buddhist idea or some exotic activity that those who wander into a ‘hippy-like’ spiritual journey undertake. Of course, I thought this about yoga as well – until I tried it. Calling this ‘mindfulness’ seemed to work better to pique my interest.

So, I decided to take the challenge. It’s 31 days – how can it hurt? Becoming more aware of my mind is a path I have undertaken since I first admitted to having bipolar tendencies. Since doing so, I have gotten a much better handle on how my mind works and what I need to do to ensure a stable mindset. Therefore, learning mindfulness or meditation is just another way of helping me along this path – I think. πŸ˜‰

At the end of every yoga session, we generally take a few moments to focus on our breath and to bring focus to our bodies. This isn’t a traumatizing or funky spiritual activity, but it has calmed me and brought me “zen”. Therefore, I’m really looking forward to doing 31 days of training on this for a regular part of my day. Some might consider prayer time the same – for I used to commune with God regularly each night when I was more of a church-going spiritual person. Now, I’m more of a yoga and ‘humanist’ spiritual person and looking into mindfulness for communing. πŸ˜€

Today was the first day and I gotta say…NICE!

-T πŸ˜€