Balance- the stability of one’s mind.
This is a check in. I am so sorry that I have been MIA for a while but it seems that when you are a student in the final few months of obtaining your bachelor’s degree while working almost full time and living life on the go non stop, you can feel a little overwhelmed or tired.
Its been crazy for me frankly. Since our last little update, you know the one where I had a crazy Sunday night that I dragged my loved ones into, I have been going through so much. When it comes to life, school and work, are good stressors. They keep me grounded and I try to connive my self that they help me obtain some sort of stability. However, when one of those falter, the others go up in flames as well.
I am doing quite well in school right now. I have one class fully completed with a 90%. Though it was an online course, it involved so much work that I found my self living at the Starbucks downing coffee and writing papers. I am currently grabbing ahold in the rest of my courses as well. I have been having tons of assignments due at all different times but I have been able to crank them out.
As for work, I have been working a lot and working a lot hard. I am one of those people that believes no matter what job one has, they should always hold themselves to a standard of integrity. Because of this, I have been not only working a few more hours to catch up on making some money but whilst at work, I have been trying to really put 110% into everything I do. I like where I work and I love everyone that I work with but I tend to want to be an over worker and I also tend to want to invest a lot emotionally into work just as I do for school no matter how much I am being paid.
My personal life is awkward. That’s the perfect word to describe it. Awkward.
I have been having a lot of fun which is great… but I have nothing to show for it. When it comes to love and sex, normal Alex tends to be very chill about it. I tend to take things very slow, and I actually end up being the typical shy and kind soft spoken cancer that Cosmo says a cancer guy is supposed to be. I want a guy who’s also kind and chill and loves having a fun time. When ever manic Alex enters stage left, I tend to want a relationship hard and fast. Like Porn but if the guys love each other or something,
My personal life has been this exact way. I haven’t been having a well enough relationship with my friends as I have just been busy when they aren’t and they are buys when I am not yadda yadda, and this is something that my therapist and I have been working on.
When it comes to bipolar disorder, those suffering with it tend to have major relationship issues. Not only are there issues within romantic relationships but also within family and friends. Originally this is what I sought treatment for way back in 2015 when I first met with a therapist through school once coming down from a manic episode only I hadn’t known what mania or bipolar was to me and how I was one guy in Chicago living with the disorder that was both a curse and a blessing.
Bipolar me is a scary person at times. “Brilliant. But Scary”, to quote one Ronald Weasly, Harry Potter.
I have bene having a mix of medication issues as well as rapid cycling issues du to many factor within my life. Some of those factors are diet, sleep, stress, and medication compliance.
My diet is terrible. I tend to not eat enough during the day. Someone one of my physical stature (6’2, 230lbs, 27 years old) should be eating over two-thousand calories a day. I eat, on average, nearly eight-hundred calories a day hence my diet turning me into a constant hangry beyotch. This causes my blood sugar to plummet as my. Mood is shifted, usually, into a depressive episode or an irritable manic state.
As far as drugs and alcohol…. I’ve been sober for a few weeks now with the exception of one drink about 9 days ago.
I am a workaholic. This is a term in the 90’s that was especially used to express someone’s strong work ethic. Workaholism is standard now. Everyone has work going on all the time. With phones we’ve become a country that may leave the office but bring the office with them everywhere they go. I am one of those people. Lately my sleep has been that of non existent or too much so you can imagine how my circadian rhythm is affecting my mood.
Though I work hard, I see my school career in the same professional manner that I do looking at a job. With that being said a school project will take a long time and require a whole lot of mental and psychical work. This is when I tend to go off my meds and pull all nighters that last a few days. This causes me to not sleep and then induce a manic episode which is why my therapist and I have been trying to get my +2 and -2 to an even 0.
Lets just say it. I’m stressed. I’m stressed with good stressors and I’m stressed with bad stressors. I divide my life’s stress into two categories. Good stress is your typical worries that improve your life. For me a good stressor is school. I love school because as much as I hate my classmates and half the time find my self surrounded by pseudo-intellectual teachers, I find it a place where I can be my best professional self. Though I love school and take it seriously, that integrity has gotten me into some mental health trouble. I mean getting depressed and suicidal when school doesn’t work out for me and shooting up into a manic episode when school gives me that thrust of live.
There is also bad stressors. I am having a lot of bad stressors in my life right now due mainly to my bipolar disorder. I am in a significant amount of credit card debt because of my mental health issues and because of the symptoms of mania. I tend to be a manic spender. I buy things that tend to be useless but costly. I start collecting and in a way hoarding. Though I am not a hoarder, I currently have over a hundred bottles of fragrance at home. All of which were purchased at higher times in my life.
Medication compliance is really my “Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde” moment. As a guy with an addiction to my manic episodes, I tend to stop taking my medications. I usually do this with all good intentions but I realize after the fact that this was a mistake and I end up hating my self all because the ruin my life is left in.
When it comes to medication there is a mix of factors that I tend to inherently fall upon. The first factor is that I am tired. Because I am tired, I tend to not have the energy or will to even get up off the couch or out of bed to swallow a bunch of pills. This is bad because I want to take medication but I tend to not have the energy. Its not laziness. It is pure exhaustion. What happens next is that my mania kicks in from the lack of sleep or the energy that a normal night’s sleep has given me and I tend to not want to pop my pills because my manic self is too busy doing other things to even think about taking medication.
The next factor in my medication compliance is, again, diet. A lot of my medications have to be taken on a full stomach. Have you ever taken Lithium on an empty stomach? Yuck. Because I have a diagnosed eating disorder, I tend to not eat when I need to take medication. What this does in turn is make me not want to take my meds because I don’t want to eat. See how that works now?
Finally, when it comes to medication compliance, I am addicted to my mania. Yes I love being manic. Anyone with bipolar knows that the disease has many manifestations. Some people have a more severe and dysfunctional form of bipolar where as I like to think that I have the good stuff. Sure, I tend to mess up my life in certain ways and make really bad decisions like getting married to a stranger on Christmas eve, Get hit by taxi cabs twice, loose my virginity after a funeral right before watching someone kill themselves, and hurting/being hurt by a whole lot of guys when falling in and out of manic love with them. I have the type of bipolar that for a brief moment, I can make it work for me. My Hypo-mania, or what I call a +1, tends to be my moment of bliss, I feel great about life and everything is great. Its where I start ramping up to a +2 that I loose control and of course the drop from the sky known as depression.
I am addicted to the rush of life that I get from being manic. My mania has been acting a little different lately. Because I am on a cocktail of meds that are actually rather effective, my mood has been shifting much quicker. I have been at a +2 and -2 all in one day where as before it would take a few weeks to ramp up to a +2 or fall to a -2. My mood is all over the place right now and I have been having moments that look like mixed mood episodes involving irritability, crying spells, psycho-motor agitation and even moments of euphoria followed by plummeting anger.
My life is in an awkward place right now. School (my life for the last three years) and retail (my life for the last ten years) are coming to a transitional end and although I see my self in a much better life balance in a year from now, I do worry about the changes. While working on school, work, sobriety, mood episode, body image, and overall health, I know that that this awkward time in my life is a definite cause for the imbalance of positives and negative on my mood chart.
Hopefully this is helpful to some of you out there. I know I had some epiphanies whilst writing this.