Hey everyone, how’s it going? For my snowy neighbours in Canada, did you enjoy nature’s funny sucker punch? An unseasonably warm November until a bucketload of snow in the face? Yup yup. Sure took me for a spin…almost literally.
When the snow hit two weeks ago I had to drive super carefully from Lachute to home and saw a ton of accidents. (One that even made me turn around and take the 50 instead of the 329. I got quite a road sampling in my Jetta thank you very much!) Thankfully I had my winter tires but guess what: They’re finished. It’s my fault, I had driven on them all spring, summer and autumn. So when I got to about 1 minute from our driveway I was very happy to have made it. That is until a van took a curve too quickly and swerved onto my side to avoid two parked cars. That made me have to avoid the van. The result? I had to leave the tracks from previous cars and ride on un-driven snow. I got dragged to the right and ended up sideways in the ditch which happens to be a downward slope. My car stopped about a foot away from trees that would’ve made huge dents…I’m super lucky! Most importantly, Mia was in her doggy seat and was unharmed. It annoys me that the van driver didn’t even check if we were ok. The neighbours across helped me get the doors open so I could get out and then take Mia out.
This made me miss my psychologist appointment and school though, which sucks because my exams are really close. Thankfully I have an appointment to change my tires, but that means I’ll be missing school tomorrow too. At least I made it to work though because my dad drove me.
Even though what happened sucks, I want to see the silver lining. No damage, no injury, I paid less on gas while I couldn’t drive, and not going out made me spend more time on chemistry. All’s well that ends well, right?
I now have my winter tires by the way which feels reassuring even though I definitely won’t get cocky about it. Still, I notice the difference and I’m grateful.
My Life Right Now
I’m learning to value calendars even more. I’m at a point now where – somehow – my schedule has filled up to a degree that I’m struggling to keep up. After almost 8 years, I know what happens when I stay at this threshold for too long; it’s not pretty. If I want to maintain my progress and not backslide, changes have to be made. It’s difficult to remember that adjustments are part of life, but yeah. I’m trying. I’d like to qualify that actually: Changes are normal. Changes because I’m stuck in the rut of a cycle that is my subtype of bipolar (or whatever), is frustrating as hell!!! It’s like, thanks brain. I’ve been doing my best and now poof…the ups and downs have gotten pronounced again. To be fair, I’ve been watching it coming with a mix of trepidation and denial. Still. It sucks. I probably sound whiny and I’m sorry about that but I guess I’m venting. Have you ever reached a point where you’re like “wait, maybe I’ve got this now…” and then it’s like “shit wait. What just happened?” That’s me.
The problem is that I’ve been getting too energetic (high I suppose), and so I take on more than I can normally handle. Then when I get to my baseline, it’s a struggle to maintain. Once I hit a low, well, there goes the neighbourhood!
I guess when dealing with swings of this kind it’s important to understand the triggers; even when they seem non-existent.
I did some research into the triggers of Bipolar and came up with these:
1. Attaining a major goal. I’d like to add discovering a major goal and starting to work towards it. This results in an abandonment of other goals, obligations, etc. (I wasn’t aware of this one until the writing of this blog but let me just say, it’s like a lightbulb went off. My Karting obsession just did this until I ‘dropped’.)
2. Antidepressants. Not all patients with bipolar benefit from an antidepressant in the mix. It can induce mania. I haven’t experienced this one…since I run lower rather than higher, my antidepressant helps out.
3. Sleep disruption: Not getting enough sleep can apparently trigger mania. I find that surprising; I would have thought it would trigger a depressive episode. Maybe it can do that too depending on the person.
4. If mixed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, summer can trigger mania while winter can trigger depression. Makes sense right? I don’t have SAD but I do feel the difference. (Hence my light therapy lamp. P.S. Caution is advised when using a mood lamp with Bipolar. I haven’t used mine in weeks so that’s not it right now. I almost wish it were because it would be a simpler fix.)
5. Stress. Oh my god yes! This one is perhaps most obvious and definitely applicable in my case. It’s probably the biggest factor. Work, school, relationship issues, the death of someone close, financial insecurity…all can contribute to that infamous ‘flip of the switch’.
6. Health issues such as hypothyroidism, a head injury, etc. I won’t get into those though.
It’s strange to write this blog because I keep adding a little bit at a time. Being so busy, I’ve been having a hard time fitting it in. I wanted to share my super great news. I’ve quit smoking!!! I haven’t been this proud of myself about something for quite a while. It’s a difficult thing and making it happen seems to symbolize a much larger significance: A belief that I can succeed with other things. I’d like to write a blog soon about my process and tips along the way.
I think I’ve rambled enough by now so I won’t take up more of your time. Have a prosperous week! (Seriously, life can be hard so I wish you the best.)