The winding road of bipolar

My journey cover the past to present, the ups and the downs along the way (which feels like a rollercoaster ride at time) and hopefully some of you out there may gain some inspiration and come to the realisation….that it can be a positive and rewarding experience once you have learnt the tools of the trade…and enable you, or someone special in your life, to have a fruitful and rewarding life.

When Your on a High….Life feels oh so…. Good

I have definitely had some fun along the way. You will get to hear about some mischievous things that arise from time to time when your mind and body swings to what is called a “high”. It all seems exciting at the time till you rebalance and look back at the stupidity of some of your decisions.

I suppose the main thing is excessive spending of your hard earned cash. But at least you end up with a lovely wardrobe of clothing, most of which you will never get to wear…… because there is not enough days in the year to wear everything lol.

I tend to be a night owl, stay up late and sleep till midday….

This suits my lifestyle and my working commitments. I work from mid afternoon till 11pm so enjoy watching the night sky, moon and stars… I love to read which relaxes me after a day at work. Its important to be able to slow the thought processes in a busy mind and unwind before bedtime.

Medical Intervention

Act immediately if you feel yourself sliding out of control. Seek medical help from your local GP or psychiatrist, they are there to assist you. Sometimes you just need to be led in the right direction to alleviate any anxiety you may be having, or not sure what medications to adjust. It is definitely a constant learning curve and I am still learning 26 years later from my onset of this disorder.

Sleep is Crucial

A cool dark room is a must to getting a good nights rest. Most medications that are taken at night also assist in knocking you down, relaxing the mind to ensure a restful sleep. Just ONE night with a disturbed sleep can have you spiralling out of control. You may need to increase meds to alleviate this issue. I find either reading or watching television in a lounge room with dimmed lights or even candles assist to wind down an overactive mind and prepare myself for a night of blissful slumber.

Spring…..the danger zone

This particular seasonal shift can be catastrophic for those who are not proficient in managing there medication. As the days draw longer, more sunlight…can all play havoc for those with this disorder. Be aware, be informed, be proactive…and you can enjoy the new season with warmer weather, gorgeous changes to the natural environment and breeze through what can be a difficult period.

The Moon and the Mind…

They both have a lot in common actually. As the moon the stars the ever changing ocean…the moon phases has a lot of input to the bipolar mind. During a full moon it affects bipolar disorder quite dramatically. More light in the sky might make you have trouble sleeping, and that can spiral your mind out of control if your not careful and push you towards a dangerous high. It can come on ever so quickly and medication adjustments will be required to maintain a healthy and balanced mind.

Medications….for life

As stated before it is imperative to continue on your prescribed course of medications each and everyday for the rest of your life. Those medications may comprise of mood stabilisers, antipsychotic medications and for me also antidepressants. I have Bipolar 1 disorder and my medications are as follows:

Epilum, Seroquel, Zoloft and my emergency medication…. Zyprexa (which is a antipsychotic medication and THE most powerful mood stabiliser). If I feel like I am on a sliding scale to being depressed, or perhaps being over stimulated and heading towards a high…..I hit my Zyprexa heavily for several days to a week – which balances back to normal.

If you don’t take your medication, then you will spiral out of control and feel as if you have a broken mind….no one wants that

It’s all about BALANCE

Bipolar is a balancing act requiring certain medications to alleviate those dramatic swings in mood. I cannot stress how important it is to remain on those medications that have been prescribed for you. I hear so often, that people stop taking there medication, then life turns itself upside down and it can take a long time to balance back out to any form of normality.

A healthy lifestyle which includes eating well, sleeping well is required to remain balanced and have a clear mind. Alcohol can play havoc and is a bad idea mixed with all the different forms of medication that is taken.

Eat well, sleep well… well!!

What is Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is associated with extreme episodes of mood swings ranging from deep periods of debilitating depression to swing the other way to massive or manic highs.

In the most basic of layman terms, bipolar disorder is described as a chemical imbalance of the brain. Certain chemicals which control the brain appear to be lacking in those with the disorder. A couple are serotonin and dopamine, which are the feel good chemicals.

If not controlled by medication, ongoing therapy and a health lifestyle, it can run rampent to the everyday life of the individual affecting themselves, family members, friends and colleagues.

You need to have a positive mindframe and the will to lead a normal life as much as possible. Yes, you will have episodes that can be severe and heartwrenching, but by acknowledging that you have this illness – this is the most important thing.

A little bit of information about myself

I am in my early 50’s and am originally from Sydney, Australia but now reside on the stunning southern end of the Gold Coast, Queensland.

I work in a Resort in a customer service focused roll and love every minute of my job. YES I am able to maintain work whilst managing my Bipolar disorder.

I work 4 days a week and lucky enough to have 3 consecutive days off so I have a wonderful work life Balance.

I live on the beachfront near Coolangatta and have stunning water views all the way to Surfers Paradise. I am indeed a very lucky lady.

The laid back cultural lifestyle of the Gold Coast is amazing. Surrounded by surf, sun, sand, the gorgeous Gold Coast hinterland with its numerous walks and waterfalls makes life feel like a permanent holiday.

I am single, live alone….and love it.

I enjoy going for day trips with my mum in toe, exploring the Scenic Rim west of the hinterland and also the Tweed Coast.

This is my first step into the world of blogging….I rather call this “My Life’s Journal”. No matter who reads this, even if none at all, it is a therapeutic experience for myself.

My Journey with Bipolar

“the moon affects the mind as the mind affects the body and it all needs to remain in balance”

Bipolar is an important topic to me as I have travelled the highs and lows of this particular form of mental illness for 26 years.

This blog is intended as a light hearted journal documenting my journey from the past to the present and hopefully some of you out there may gain some inspiration and come to the realisation that it can be a positive and rewarding experience, once you have acquired the necessary skills to manage the illness.

You may also have the illness or perhaps a family member, close friend or colleague that you can assist them in leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

I hope you enjoy my story.

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