Stability

I saw my pdoc earlier this week.  I told her that I was reluctant to say this, but I think I might be stable at the moment.  Why am I reluctant?  Because I didn’t want to jinx myself.  I’m still reluctant to post this subject.  Stability is weird.  It feels foreign to me.  I can be happy and laugh, without going overboard.  I can think at a quiet pace, without my thoughts rushing ahead of me.  I can be sad without being immobilized.

My doctor is also treating me with Straterra for ADD.  This also appears to be helping with my focus.  I don’t get up and do other things four or five times in a two paragraph email message.  My thoughts are slow, compared to what I am used to. But I feel like I can finish this post without running and doing a dozen other things at the same time.  Maybe that’s just called multi-tasking, but that has always been beyond me.  And honestly, I don’t think multi-tasking is good for anyone.  You do a dozen things at once, but do they all get done right?  Doesn’t it take some focus to complete a task well?  I’m so used to hyperfocusing, that I don’t even know the correct answer for those questions.

Maybe this is the time to work on me.  Time to work on more core issues.  Things that are too hot to touch when in an extreme state.  I need to come to terms with my past, my childhood, and my mistakes.  I need to learn but not mourn.  This is the perfect time for CBT.  I need to dig deeper into my psyche while I have the opportunity to do so without it blowing up in my face.

I am afraid.  I am afraid that this plateau won’t last.  Stability has only come to me in spurts: a week or two here and there.  I don’t predict it lasting, although that would be nice. Or would it?  I once had a therapist tell me that I have so much drama in my life because I seek drama. I never thought that I seek drama, but it always seemed to me that drama finds me.  But is there a kernel of truth in there?  Maybe when I was younger but I am too old for that crap now.  But I do wonder… Do I know what to do with myself on a daily basis if I’m not fighting depression or mania?

I don’t call myself in recovery though, because I will never fully recover from bipolar disorder.  I think of bipolar as a relapsing/remitting illness.  And right now, I appear to be in remission.  I don’t know how long it will last, but hopefully long enough that I don’t feel so foreign to myself.  Some part of me worries – who am I without my bipolar?  Am I still an interesting person?  Will my friends still like me?  Will I like me?

So many philosophical questions, things that can only be answered by time.  I hope I don’t become so mellow as to be boring.  I hate boring.  But I guess it’s time to find out who I am beneath this layer of illness called bipolar.

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5 thoughts on “Stability

  1. Hey, congrats on a stable state! And I would definitely call it “the absence of a mood episode” if nothing else. Even if “stable” doesn’t seem to fit, or it just doesn’t feel right, you know? The absence of. Yay!

    I wasted the majority of my stable episode in the fall worrying about whether it was a stable episode or not. Things were good and everything was structured with a nice, even tempo. I liked doing the same thing every day. (I still do.) I’m not saying my life threw me into this. Something tripped a major trigger for me. So, I hope you don’t have to go through the same.

    You’re right, right now would be the most ideal time to do some heavy therapy. Do some DBT while you’re at it. DBT is really incredible. You know that feeling when you’ve just finished a connect the dots, and then you see the picture? That’s the same feeling I get every single time I make a discovery in DBT. It leads me in just the right way that I don’t see it coming. I can’t throw a wall at it, and somehow, it comes out easily, though not entirely painlessly. It’s not extracting something, but more discovering something. I love it.

    I want you to be able to hold onto this for as long as possible. So, here’s my advice to you. Take it at face value. Don’t jump over every strong emotion. I had to realize that even in a stable state, I’m still going to have strong emotions, because that’s part of human nature. I’d only start to think hard on it when it became too strong, or held on too long.

    It’s so easy to worry it away, and overthink the whole thing. Please, take the time to just live in it. Take a day, even if it’s just one, to say, “I’m not going to put this under a microscope,” and be a little less vigilant for mood episodes. Just a little.

    • I have to accept that I will have up days and down days, and I will still have strong emotions, but that they aren’t the same as a mood episode. I rely on my husband a lot as an outside observer for recognizing my moods. I just hope I don’t have any more of my mixed episodes. Those are frightening, when I stop to think about it. But I’m not going to think about it today. 🙂

      I guess I will have to look into DBT. Are the books/workbooks expensive? Where did you find them?

  2. I think any duration of stability is always a good thing.

    I’ve read studies that say people are slower when multitasking. I can only do one thing at a time, and I have to concentrate my attention on it solely . . . is it hyperfocus or not? I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll find out when I get evaluated soon.

      • Yes, ADD is one of the things I’ll be evaluated for. I’d never thought of it as a possibility until the pdoc told me about hyperfocus. The eval is in about a week, so we’ll see then. Thanks for the luck!

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