Thursday, March 1, 2012

Getting Manic?

How's my mental health today?

It's becoming a concern again. Now I'm spinning - the high end of bipolar disorder is looming ever closer. I'm hardly sleeping (less than 2 hours last night), my thoughts are racing, I'm agitated (physically I can't sit or stand still), I can't write fast enough to keep up with the thoughts zipping in and out of my head. I wrote for half the night last night but thoughts continue to escalate in frequency, size and frenzy. If I don't record them, they just get bigger and bigger until they enter the realm of the delusional. If I don't record them I cannot review them and sort out the absurd, the ridiculous, and the nonsense from the acceptable, intelligible, and useful.

Before heading to work this morning Heidi told me today is not the day for making large decisions or purchases. I know even small purchases should probably be avoided - they can accumulate into a large total expenditure in a hurry.  Going anywhere near a store that also sells lottery tickets is definitely a no-no.

The plan for today - go to my "office" (The Neighbourhood Bookstore and Cafe) where I'm able to focus and hopefully organize my thoughts into coherent writing and then go for a longer walk to burn off the over-abundance of energy.

Making this declaration is not about narcissistic self-promotion; it's a public way for me to create accountability for myself in doing this thing called self-care - taking responsibility for my mental health. When my mood is escalating I have to monitor and rein in the level of physical, mental, and emotional stimulation I expose myself to. I have to trust God to manage the spiritual stimulation I get because that too can send me over the top.

My racing thoughts? They are (in some ways) the result of the prolific amount of information I have consumed in the past week - my reading, the experiential learning received at a monk's retreat I had the privilege of attending  last weekend, and an inspiring and challenging  message on discipleship by Dave Buehring at our church this past Sunday morning.  How do I assimilate all this stuff so that it is coherent, understandable, and applicable?

Just writing these few paragraphs and the thought and concentration required is exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I've got a pounding headache. Welcome to my world of bipolar disorder.

Time to adjust the plan for the day. I've got to walk home, stay off the computer for a while (the longer - the better) and avoid any and all stimulation for at least an hour or two. Going for a spin on my stationary bike later will help too.

I just realized I haven't eaten yet - I need to do that first. Not eating is not healthy, therefore not good for my mental health (or my blood sugar levels).





(thanks Gerry)

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