So I haven’t done one of these in a fairly long while simply because I haven’t had a whole lot to say and this will probably be fairly short for that reason. But I figure it will be a nice break from my relentless discussion of women’s specific issues (as I continue to grind, reorganize and over-edit the women’s book). So here’s a quick overview of what’s been going on in the last few months.
The Bipolar Itself
I know I have mentioned in previous updates that my bipolar swings seem to be very seasonal with my hypomanic upswing happening in the spring and my typical depression being when fall starts and the weather changes again. Which means that the rest of the year it’s pretty boring and stable. And this summer certainly was. Honestly, it just sort of moved along as I was grinding along on editing and re-editing and re-editing the women’s book.
I’ve had my normal follow ups with nurse practitioner although we did move them to every 6 weeks for a while since I was intensely stable and every month seemed excessive. The agreed upon idea was that as fall approaches, we’d go back to every month just in case I started to crater.
I did have one blip of depression about two weeks ago, conveniently right before my followup with my nurse practitioner. Certainly the time of year didn’t help but there were a lot of situational issues going on. A big part of it was book related, I had ground to a halt re-editing a chapter dealing with birth control and right about the time I was trying to figure it out there was a death in the family (it’s why I didn’t update two weeks ago).
On top of the travel and everything else, I spent three days stressing about the chapter I was stuck on. I also had a bit of a social/personal issue that was weighing on me and certainly the time of year didn’t help.
But the chapter got unstuck, I dealt with the personal issue and I started to feel better almost immediately. I told my NP about it but she didn’t see any reason to change anything about my meds or treatment. I just needed to keep an eye on it and look for a downward trending mood line. At this point in my life, I certainly know what it feels like.
My training was a bit on-again off-again to be honest, just more sporadic than I’d have liked it to be but I found a fascinating number of deflection activities. When I didn’t want to train, I’d manage to get heavily into book editing and since I needed to keep up the flow, I’d end up going past the time when the gym isn’t annoyingly full and well….
Part of this was that I managed to lock up my Sacroiliac Joint (I think I twisted slightly while squatting) somehow and the low back pain was excruciating. I ignored it for a while hoping it would go away since I couldn’t tell for sure if it was muscular, discal or, as I suspected SI.
I wasn’t able to self-adjust it but it really made me not care about the gym for a while. Finally, I got off my butt, got it popped by the chiropractor, a week later I was fine and got back into training. I’m back onto a consistent (and basic so don’t ask) training program. Yes, I do actually lift (where this idea that I don’t came from is beyond me), in the gym four days per week. It’s a basic upper/lower routine, I’ve dropped out the OL’s for the time being. Just basic training. I’m old.
Cardio sucks and I’ve stopped doing it formally but I walk the dogs at least once daily so there ya’ go. In addition to every other reason my dogs complete me is the fact that they keep me to a schedule. Even if I had the urge to sleep all day (as I do when I’m depressed), my 8:30am wake up call with the dogs prevents that. That also generally gets me into bed at a reasonable hour.
I might have had a single poor night’s sleep in terms of not getting enough but in contrast to the typical hypomanic “I got four hours of sleep and now I feel great” it’s “I got four hours of sleep and I am completely and utterly exhausted.” Finally, having the dogs ensures that I get out in the sun to get some photons in my eyes. What I’m trying to say is that dogs rule.
Socially, I have gotten away from the events at Meetup.com. They were just too damn boring and they weren’t really social. Sitting around a table not talking to people just doesn’t cut it. I’ve had other social opportunities, still checking in semi-regularly with various friends who are keeping tabs on my sanity.
That included helping to load weights at an Olympic lifting meet put on by two of my closest friends (and former trainees) at Grassiron.gym. It was exhausting but awesome. While it gets a little bit boring, I have enough residual interest in the Ol’s that watching lifting and various techniques, etc. is still fascinating to me.
So far as the stuff from last year’s disaster, it’s mostly wound itself completely down. One of the last two potential issues got taken care of this week and the other thing that might become an issue is likely to just disappear. My taxes, which could have been a nightmare got worked out by an amazing CPA (who also has a son with bipolar so he knows what’s going on) and, honestly, I’ve been insanely lucky to have good people in my corner: financial, legal and otherwise. I’m not sure I would have gotten out of this as “easily” as I did without them. In fact I know I wouldn’t have.
But beyond that I’ve been very productive. The book is flowing again and after dealing with some seriously stupid website issues (a plugin installed some Malware), I’ve actually gotten started working on the site rebuild I have so desperately needed to do.
I also managed to finish formatting three of my books (The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook, A Guide to Flexible Dieting and The Stubborn Fat Solution) for Kindle and they are now available on the website; I had actually pre-formatted them last Christmas but had to get them into software that would generate an epub. I hope to get the rest of them, or at least the shorter books done within the week.
So, after a quiet summer, at least the start of fall seems non-problematic. I’ll continue to followup with my NP and am actually planning to get a face to face with both her and the therapist in Nashville I had originally seen when I’m home for the holidays and I’m looking forward to both.
I’ll continue to be vigilant and watch for signs of impending depression; certainly I’m not thrilled about the possibility of adding another med but I know what’s behind door #2 and if that has to happen it has to happen. For now, I’m optimistic. I know that I’m still not out of the woods. This is and will always be a work in progress. And I’m ok with that.
Read the Bipolar Recovery Year in Review