Every morning I wake up, the first thing I do is check outside to see what the weather is like. For as long as I can remember I've done this, it's almost a little OCD. And I'm actually pretty good at predicting what the day will bring, it's a gift ;-)
Since my diagnosis six years ago, I've learnt that research has proven that the weather can have a huge impact on people with Bipolar Disorder, especially seasonal changes which explains my recent bouts of headaches and more recently my emotional instability the last few days.
The weather hasn't been particularly great of late, it's starting to get colder with bouts of rain.
Full moons are another interesting time for me, they can bring on hypomania or mixed episodes (it's a full moon tonight).
So combining seasonal changes, weather changes and a Full Moon and it's crazy times at my place at the moment.
Even though I know these things, on top of the medication, doctor's appointments and all the other things I need to manage and be aware of, I don't necessarily keep track of Full Moon dates etc... it's a handful as it is to keep track of everything to stay sane lol.
On Saturday, the weather was particularly gloomy and from waking up I knew it was going to rain.
I was given some complimentary tickets to attend the fabulous new show at Jupiters Casino on Saturday night and I was so excited as I hadn't been out in a while. Even though my moods have been stable for a while of late, apart from my headaches I was unusually agitated on Saturday.
Everything was bugging me, from small things about the house to big things about my life and my future (typical Bipolar symptoms - which at the time I didn't pick up). Driving to the Casino, I snapped and started crying, about nothing in particular but then escalated to about everything. My partner suggested we not go to the show and just take a walk on the beach, knowing that would calm me down. But I really wanted to go to the Show.
Wiping away the tears, and pushing past the agitation we went to the Show, which was great, entertaining and fun. Heading home, I was still agitated and could feel the storm brewing. Full of confusion, frustration, anger - just a ball of emotion that comes from nowhere and means nothing and everything.
|Earrings - Hunter's Moon, Clutch - Typo Shop, Heels - Kmart|
Sunday, I woke up and peeked out the window and saw again another gloomy day. We spent some time on our home together which was great and I managed to get through the day without any major incidents.
Monday I headed off the my fabulous Psychiatrist Dr. B who is amazing and very well respected in his field. I've been seeing him for over 3 years now (I see him weekly). The great thing about Dr. B is he is able to help me work through what is my illness and what is ME. He helps me manage my condition, teaches me coping strategies, monitors my medications and of course general mental health checks.
When you have a disorder that affects your emotions and moods that obviously impacts on your behaviour and personality, you naturally go through phases where you start to question who you are. What is you, and what is your disorder. It's a very scary thing.
So to have a professional who can decipher all the crap you deal with on daily/weekly basis and let you know you're not actually crazy, is a wonderful thing!
People spend thousands and thousands of dollars on trainers to look after their bodies and get them in shape, but the most important organ in your body is the brain. Without it, nothing works. I'm choosing to focus on getting that sorted knowing it's a bit askew.
So...I told him everything that I've been feeling and experiencing over the past 2 weeks and he said very simply. Weather, season change Missy. No need to stress, lets check your meds, make sure you take your time out. Keep it simple and don't be so hard on yourself.
Obviously it wasn't that simple lol. I was there for an hour, but that was the general gist. The sun (Vitamin D) plays a huge part in keeping my moods stable, and with the temperature drop and atmospheric change, the full moon - all these things. That's why all of a sudden, these small problems that seem so HUGE to me made me freak out and lose myself. Looking back over past seasons, the same thing happened.
I walked out feeling great, it wasn't me, it was the Bipolar. Knowing you're not crazy is a great thing. When you don't have control over your mind it's horrible. You have no idea. Today, i'm not crazy. I'ts time to celebrate!
So for those of you that think all "we" have to do is take a pill and we'll be fine - HA - think again.
My new blog is in the process of being designed, with a new style, name and concept. It will come with fresh new posts and a fresh new look. I'm very excited about it and everything that is coming my way. I hope that you will all follow me on my new journey of educating about life with a mental illness and reducing the stigma.