Moods

I wish I understood moods. I’ve been really down for about 4 or 5 days, and today I’m fine. I feel quite good. It’s not elation. It’s a bit better than simple contentment.

Perhaps I processed the grief around childhood trauma. I’m not sure. I’m not going to complain. I like this.

It wasn’t pouring rain this morning, so I was able to walk. I slept well, which is always nice. My meditation was short, but it was just as long as it needed to be.

The day is humming along.

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Grieving the Past

A lot happened in my life that was unpleasant. Some of it was traumatic and caused me lasting harm. I don’t know why it’s happening now, but the emotions surrounding some core issues are surfacing for me.

I was able to get an extra session with my therapist, and he helped enormously. He reminded me the pain is in the past. I’m OK right now. I repeat I’m OK right now. Writing that helped me just now, too.

I’m grieving the pain from the past. It hurts now, but the grief will end. I know it will end.

The immediate manifestation of all this emotion is a strong desire to call my ex. He’s my ex for a reason, and calling him would only lead to heartache, but that doesn’t change the desire. It’s really strong.

Meditation helps. Therapy helped. I’ve been using medication as prescribed. It was pouring rain this morning, so no walk. I didn’t sleep enough last night, and that’s a problem. My diet is normal. I’m doing the things I need to to stay well.

I’m OK right now. And that’s all I’ve got.

A Hurdle

Yesterday was bleak. I awoke with anxiety, and it stayed with me all day.

Maybe it’s because I’ve come so far in the years I’ve been recovering from bipolar disorder, but I really feel my dysfunctional habits. I live with a lot of anxiety and fear. I fixate on the future instead of living in the present, which means I worry. I concentrate on ideas of how to fix my life instead of enjoying the wonderful stuff I have going on.

There’s a lot of good in my life. After years on disability, I have a good job. I live in a nice townhouse that has good furniture. I eat food that’s really good for me. I’m 99% vegetarian only eating fish when there are no other choices. I eat very little refined sugar. I exercise 4 or 5 mornings every week by speed walking 3 miles. I lost 55 pounds in the last 17 months.

I have friends. I have sexual liaisons. I get along well with the people I work with.

But there are times the anxiety is overpowering. It just comes.

A lot of memories are surfacing these days. I was raised in an authoritarian religion that traumatized me. From my earliest memories, I heard preachers say I was evil and going to hell simply for being alive. When I got older and began to feel different but didn’t know why, I remember hearing that gay men were irredeemable. There was no salvation for them, and I suspected they were talking about me. Soon enough I knew they were talking about me.

All this is coming up now for whatever reason, and it hurts. Yesterday it was a storm in my head. I tried to meditate once, but it was furtive. In the evening, I did my whole meditative ritual which helped. It at least gave me a chance to name what it was that was happening. I was grieving my childhood traumas.

I think grief is important. It’s a recognition that bad stuff happened. It’s necessary to mark it and spend some time in it. The grief will end. I will choose to come out of it, but I get to decide when that happens.

At bedtime, I took an anti-anxiety pill that also puts me to sleep, so this morning, I feel better. I’ve also contacted my therapist asking about an extra session. I walked this morning, too. My meditation was fairly good.

I’m using my tools. I’ll get over this hurdle.

Still Dreaming

In my last post, I mentioned I like to dream. I’m still dreaming, and it’s delicious. I’m eating it up. When I meditate, I spend extra time doing a grounding technique, because my mind is flying. Must keep my feet on the ground.

I told my therapist I was angry at him, and he immediately replied that he wasn’t surprised. My previous session had been a difficult one. I said what I wanted to say, and then we moved on to other topics.

I told him I wanted him to grade me. I have no way of telling how I’m doing. He’s thinking about an answer. I told him I want to hear what I’m doing well at and what needs improvement.

He immediately told me something helpful. He said I could improve the way I talk to myself by not using language that induces anxiety, and we came up with a good mantra to use with myself. At times of stress, I say, “I handle this with equanimity.” It’s a way to tell myself that I’m capable of handling a difficult situation and not freaking out about it.

I had a difficult situation last week, and it made my anxiety skyrocket. Anxiety is my most debilitating symptom these days. I’ve talked to him about it at every session. Every suggestion helps, and I’m grateful to learn this new one.

So far today, my dreams are delightful. No reason – yet – to use my new mantra.

Staying Grounded

I like to dream. I like it a lot. I have dreams about what I want in my life, and sometimes I get carried away with it.

I’m dreaming about something right now, and I’m letting the dreams soar. It’s harmless fun, but I can feel the edge of the dream. It feels a bit much. It borders on mania, which is not where I want to be.

So, I’m concentrating on work. I had a good speed walk this morning. I’m thinking about what I’m going to say to my therapist tomorrow. I was dissatisfied with my last session, and I’m going to tell him. I’ve been in therapy for 30 years, so I have no anxiety about confronting a therapist. He’s very good. We’ll talk and get through it.

I’m using grounding techniques, too. I’m concentrating on exactly what’s going on around me. The sights and sounds keep me in the present and out of my head.

My head. It does me a lot of good. It works well except when it doesn’t. It’s been working pretty well for quite a few years now, but I have to keep it in check. It’s dangerous for me to let it get too low or too high. It’s no fun having to be diligent and on guard.

A Rough Week

I’ve had a rough week. I got some unexpected bad news at work that really threw me for a loop, and it caused my anxiety to skyrocket. I’m extremely lucky that I work at a place with generous understanding of mental health issues, so I took off a day and half to recuperate. I really needed it.

I used the tools I have to get through the difficulty. I took the medicine the doctors gave me to help exactly at times like this. It really worked. It didn’t solve the problem, but it helped.

I also called and got an extra appointment with my psychologist. He had an opening, so I was able to get in. He was not mild with me, and I plan to tell him that I think some of his responses were inappropriate when I see him next week. I feel like I should be allowed to grieve for the problem at work, and he’s not giving me space to do that. He wants an immediate shift into the solution, and I want to grieve first. I know that sounds like I want to wallow in the problem, but dammit, if I want to wallow, it’s my wallowing. I get to own that wallowing. I get to feel it the whole way through. No one gets to tell me to “get over it.” I get to decide that for myself.

I meditated, and that helped. Again, it didn’t solve the problem, but I felt better doing it.

Walking helped, too. It got me out of my house and into the fresh air.

Now, I need a dog. It’s a dream.

Another Point of Gratitude

Today, I am grateful for a quiet place to meditate. I woke up late this morning, so my routine was curtailed a great deal. I only had time for a very short meditation. I could really feel it at work. I was distracted, and I could feel irritation starting to build.

I finished a task at work, and I walked down the street to the cathedral during my break. I sat in the back row and meditated. I sat there and breathed. The New Moon was last night, so I made some wishes, too. I felt so good when I finished. I’m calmer, and I don’t feel any irritation building.