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Venting Session: June 29, 2017 (2:15 am)
It had been brought up to be today that I am really not bipolar because apparently everyone is bipolar. Someone who has known me since I was a teenager, that I thought knew me pretty well, basically told me that I was making excuses and that there is unquestionably nothing wrong with me. Continue reading
This is just the introduction to an article I wrote Titled “Families Who Survived The Odds” and I don’t know why, but I just love this intro and I wanted to share it on here. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
The Constant Cycles Of My Bipolar Mind
By the time someone has told me how much they really like or dislike something, there is a good chance that I have already had 50 different emotions plays out within my head. My thoughts race beyond my control, making it is nearly impossible for my hands and mouth to keep up. It can make writing and speaking feel like something that I am unable to conquer at times, and to know this gets really difficult for my me, with because writing is a piece of who I am. It is what I love more than life itself. I find it difficult to find the words I am looking for because my mind and my hands are at constant odds with one another. Continue reading
My Panic Attack: June 26, 2017
With my emotions running ramped, it is not surprising that I am having panic attacks. It’s also not surprising that they are back to back. What is surprising, is that the fact that looking into my kitchen, and seeing that it was a mess and realizing that I need to get the dishes done and clean up while still getting my articles done sent me into a horrible, full-blown panic attack. It was the tiniest thing sent me into the deep end. Continue reading
I am in an emotional overload and I don’t know why. I am all over the place and every little thing has been making me cry. I know I have had a medication increase, but I really don’t think it is that. When I was talking to my dad, he suggested that it had to do with sobriety, and he had a point. I heard that before, that you can randomly start to feel emotions that you have never felt before because you are sober. Continue reading
How To Counter A Negative Automatic Thought
Automatic thoughts are the first things, or thoughts, that come to our mind when something happens. Sometimes, these thoughts happen so quickly we don’t even realize they are happening until the negative thought is stuck in our head, and then we don’t know how to get rid of that negative thought once it’s there. Continue reading
Journaling & Mental Illness
Journaling can be an important and beneficial factor in mental illness. It can help improve your overall mental well-being because it can create a healthy outlet to express your emotions. A lot of people that struggle with any type of mental illness, or addiction, tend to stuff their emotions deep down inside of themselves, or they try to release them or cope with them, in unhealthy manners.
I’ve been there, and every now and then I still resort to unhealthy means to release my emotions, but journaling is what has been one of the best coping mechanisms that have ever been suggested to me. Everyone is different, and different things work for different people, but journaling is something that has worked for so many people that I have come into contact with, and I highly recommend it to people that struggle with getting their feelings and emotions out and suggest that it should be tried at least once. What could it hurt, right? It’s literally just putting a pen to a piece of paper, or even your hands to your keyboard.
When a person journals, they can let out their innermost thoughts that they wouldn’t dare share with another soul. You can be your true genuine self, and never feel judged by anyone because you are not writing for anyone else’s enjoyment. You are solely writing to be able to get out whatever it is that you are holding inside. Whatever you are writing doesn’t even have to make sense. It could be incomplete thoughts or just random words. It’s whatever you are feeling at that particular moment in time.
I have heard people say that they don’t want to journal because they are worried that someone else in their household may find their journal and read their private thoughts. I get that. When you write something that is meant for your eyes only, you want to keep it that way. There are a few different forms or means of journaling that can be done if you are worried about the traditional diary style due to lack of privacy.
Here are some options to try instead:
If you fear that prying eyes might see a traditional journal you can always sign up for an online account somewhere. This is one I have used in the past, and they even have an app you can download on your smartphone.PrivateDiary.net and with this one, it is username and password protected so no one but you can access it. You can even sync the app and the online site so you can create entries either way and never lose track of anything. It also allows you to upload pictures to your entries as well. If you decide you really don’t like the way this journal is set up, just type in “online diary” into a search engine and tons of results will pop up. Just keep searching until something catches your eye.
If your computer is password protected, and you never have to worry about anyone going through your files, you can always create your own journal using something like Google Docs, MS Word, etc… and just saving the files right to your computer. Maybe create a specific folder like, “My Journal” or “My Thoughts” and saving your entries in there.
Create & Trash:
If you are severely worried about someone seeing what your private thoughts are, then you can always physically write out all your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Then after you are done just rip up the paper and throw it away, burn it, shred it, or discard it however you see fit.
If you have a smartphone then you automatically have a journal or diary at your fingertips. If you have an Android device, all you have to do is go to the Google Play Store and search for “Diary Apps” and hundreds of them will come up. Just look for one you will like. Another option is just to create journal entries using your memo or notepad within your phone.
You could always create a folder and label it “My Journal” or something of the sorts, and create journal entries in your personal email account, send them to yourself and then save them in your designated saved folder.
There are obviously lots of creative ways to create and manage a journal without having to keep a physical copy in today’s day and age. Almost everything is digital now. As for myself, I still love to have a physical copy because I enjoy putting a pen to a piece of paper.
Every means of mental health and addictions treatment that I have ever come across, since 2001, has suggested that I journal, and I have been doing it ever since. I go through phases where I will journal rigorously every day for chunks of time, then I will go periods of time where I won’t journal at all, then I will journal in moderation. And what I have come to the realization of, is that during the periods of time when I am the most routinely active in my journaling, is when my emotions are the most manageable. I seem to have less frequent crying spells because I am not bottling up as much inside of me.
Now, what I mean by routinely active, is that I am not obsessively writing, but I am also not infrequently writing either. When I am not at either extreme is when I am at my best, which at times that gets hard to come by since I am bipolar, and what is bipolar other than polar opposites.
So, if you have never tried journaling as a way to get your emotions out, give it a try. Just one time. Learning a new coping skill mechanism is always a thing of great value because you never know when life may throw something new your way that your current coping skill may not be suitable for. What works for you one day, may not work for you the next. That’s the thing about mental illness, it’s not always predictable and neither is life.
Hope This Helps 😀 -Samantha ♥
Preparing For Your Psych Appointment
Most people don’t bother preparing for their appointments because either they don’t see the point in it, they think it’s a waste of time, or they think they already know everything they want to mention. But how many times have you left an appointment and thought, “Oh man, I completely forgot to mention that!” or “Oh, yeah I need a refill on that!” I know I have done it plenty of times before I actually started jotting down notes on things I want or need to mention. My mom had been trying to get me do this for years and then one day after forgetting to mention a really important side effect it finally clicked. So thank you for that mom!
Now that almost everyone has smartphones glued to their faces, all you have to do is create a list of things you should mention or bring up during your next appointment right in your phone’s memo or notepad. Lists and memos are not just for our parents and grandparents anymore. If you want to take change or your own health then this is something that you should really start getting in the habit of doing.
Just because I am labeling this is “Preparing For A Psych Appointment” does not mean that you cannot apply this to any other appointment you may have as well.
Creating a list of notes for your upcoming appointment is probably the best thing you could do to avoid leaving anything out. There’s no harm in being too thorough.
Here’s an example of what my list would look like:
- Medication Issues
- Side Effects
- Decreased Effectiveness
- Noticing No Changes (especially with new meds)
- Have I started/stopped any meds?
- What Over-the-counter meds am I taking?
- Has a different provider (Family Doctor, Neurologist, Etc..) started me on a new med?
- Mood Changes
- New/Worsening Symptoms
- If I am having “episodes” and for how long?
- Such as an actual Manic or Depressive episode.
- Self-Injurious Behaviors +/-
- How many hours am I sleeping on average?
- Any notable appetite changes?
- Any psychosis/hallucinations?
- Any dissociative episodes?
- Any Insurance/Income Changes?
- Any Major Life Events?
- Major Life Events should be noted because these could affect mood and overall well-being. (This includes, but is not limited too; Divorce, Marriage, Job Change/Loss, Move, Death in the family, Pregnancy, etc…)
- Noticeable weight change?
- Are there any bothersome physical issues?
- Dizziness, Headaches, etc…
This may seem like an extensive list, but too much information for a doctor to have is never a bad thing. It is always best to cover your bases when it comes to your health, especially your mental health. Not only does your mental health affect your mind, but it can affect your body as well.
Now, my list won’t necessarily look like your list. Everyone is different and has their own unique bases to cover. I just happen to have a lot of issues to generally discuss during my appointments. After dealing with my mental health for over 15 years, I try to get the most out of every appointment because my main goal is recovery and getting better. I try to utilize my time and make sure I keep my doctors informed so they can also keep track if they think I am making progress or regressing.
I hope someone can get some use out this. It’s definitely worth it. I wish I would have started making checklists for my appointments sooner. It would have saved me so much time, and so many unnecessary phone calls.
Sea Isle City 2017: Day 6 (Thursday)
For the first time since I have been on vacation, I did not isolate… at least fully. I spent some time working on my one article, even though my focus was horrific for some reason today. I just could not focus. My boyfriend and I talked about leaving and coming home today, but we ended up staying. Even though I am pretty homesick, I am glad we decided to stay in a way. I actually had a decent time today. Continue reading
Sea Isle City 2017: Day 5 (Wednesday)
I am absolutely mentally exhausted. On top of my normal 6 articles a week, I had to do an extra 2 more due to another writer having an emergency. These articles should have been so simple, but they were in a new format and style for me, so I had to learn something brand new and from scratch which took up a lot of time. Continue reading
Today was a pretty bland day for me. I don’t think I really left the beach house we were staying at, except for stopping and picking up pizza. I really isolated today. In my defense though, the weather was pretty crappy. It was windy and cloudy. I was also assigned 6 new articles today which are all due within the next 6 days. I don’t know how I am supposed to be on “vacation” while still attempting to get all 6 articles done. Continue reading
Creating a Self-Esteem Log
Self-esteem is a big issue for many people. I know it is for me, always has been, and probably always will be. Baby steps are necessary, and the little things really do help. Creating a weekly self-esteem log can help build it up a little piece at a time. You can either create it in a notebook or in a word document. You can follow this format, or create your own. Continue reading
Since I am using writing as my main coping mechanism for my mental health and addiction issues, I have come to the conclusion that it is probably in my best interest to try to add at least one blog post daily. Blogging, and writing in general, are very therapeutic for me. I honestly don’t know where I would be without it. Probably still using alcohol and drugs is my guess, along with being a total emotional wreck instead of a partial one. Continue reading
Joy through the bottle,
did never I find.
I was locked in a prison within my own mind,
Darkness and fear
encircled my head,
better I thought that I should be dead.
But a light came upon me,
as I kneeled down to pray.
Now happy and sober,
I’ve been to this day.
Thank you Father.
This is a Poem created by a follower Gary B. Click Here to see it at poetry.com
I guess it’s safe to say I made it to my destination without much of an issue. I wish I could say I have been having the time of my life since I’ve gotten here, but that would be an outright lie. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed myself at times. But at other times, I’ve felt like I was crawling out of my skin. Continue reading
Sleeplessness. What causes it? Image via Flickr.
By definition, insomnia is ‘habitual sleeplessness or an inability to sleep.’ The words seem harmless, but the condition definitely isn’t. Imagine nights of staring at the clock, exhausted but unable to get any sleep. It can strike anybody, at any time and lead to major health issues, including depression. Yet, few of us know enough about the condition to protect ourselves. For many of us, insomnia is one of those distant things that happens to other people. Is it any wonder, then, that it can floor us completely?
Like with any health-related issue, the best way to avoid the problem is to know more about it. For one; what causes insomnia? You can’t take steps towards prevention without knowing. The bad news is, this is a tricky issue. Many factors could cause problems, and there are different forms of insomnia…
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I feel kind of ridiculous now for posting about how going on vacation is going to be hard for me because of much I am going to want to drink. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it still rings true. However, I found out this afternoon that my Aunt Laura passed away and that it was alcohol related. Continue reading
I should be excited right now since I leave for vacation Saturday morning, but the closer it gets the more anxious I start to feel. This is going to my first vacation sober. I don’t know how well I am going to be able to handle that, especially without a sponsor now. And what does every normal person do on vacation? They get wasted, right? I mean, that’s what I always did on vacation? That’s what everyone on my Facebook does on vacation? The same with my friend, my family, and most of the people that I am going to be with for the next week. I just want to feel like a normal human being again. Continue reading
I am reblogging this from a site I found from Barb Knowles. This is a very well-written piece, and I am happy that she allowed me to share it on my site.