Today has been a struggle. I finished work at lunchtime and came home and went to bed. I started late too. I felt the black dog creeping up on me so hopefully I’ll nip it in the bud. For the last 1-2 weeks I’ve felt a bit shit almost every other day. Today was the day for feeling shit. I have had a slight knock with a couple of things but nothing too bad really it’s just with not being 100% and worn out its made me dig deep. A couple of jobs have overran slightly but that’s ok and a couple of them are yet to be finished as there’s additional work there now so I can’t bill for them yet. I’m fighting my way out of debt and the odd afternoon off is actually helping me keep pretty level and also not get too tired out. Even last year I’d of pushed myself to exhaustion.
A couple of nights ago I dared to have 2 bottles of alcoholic drink, 1 cider and 1 ginger ale. I think it didn’t help my feeling shitty. The stupid thing is I allowed myself those 2 drinks for doing so well with my mental health. I know that it can affect me this way but I thought by being level it might not hurt to try a couple. Obviously my body can take it without hangover but my mind can’t. It sucks that’s for sure.
Yesterday was the second year since my dad died. I took Fynn fishing last night but we were both too tired and he was grumpy. Everything I did he said was wrong and I got pissed off. He was pissed off too. Sometimes fishing trips can be like that. Hopefully the next one will be better. It’s strange because it wasn’t planned in advance. Often when they’re not they don’t seem to go well. Anyway I’m tired. I’ve been wondering if I’m showing the first signs of being unwell or getting unwell but I’m not sure and it’s bloody hard to work it out. It can make me feel slightly lost inside. I have ordered a new reel and rod and a new reel for Fynn too but last night it felt pointless and I started beating myself up mentally thinking I shouldn’t of spent the money. The internal chatter niggled at me and I had no energy left inside to fight it or question it. I know dates of things affect me and I guess I’m expecting, or had expected, yesterday to kind of manifest something or to trigger something. I know the internal tiredness affects how I perceive myself and what’s going on. The small things seem to add up and seem to ‘signify’ things and slight paranoia creeps in. I can’t tell if I’m misreading things and am paranoid or if I’m highly tuned in and am spot on. The lines blur. They morph into a kind of reverie but not at the same time. I think I might go back to bed for an hour and go to work slightly later and nip it in the bud. One of the jobs I’m working on is almost finished and it’s looking good so best I don’t stress myself. When I pressure myself things don’t flow naturally and I won’t force things anymore. I’ve found things have been going well lately and I’ve let them flow. Often when I push myself, telling myself I’m lazy and nasty, then I get more unwell. I need to level this off and smooth the lines out rather than push and push and set myself back again. I’ve been level for a few months and nothing will get in the way of me keeping myself level. I’ve too much to loose, my sanity mostly. The strange thing is that feeling tired, off it and edgy is something I had got used to for so many years and I thought I’d miss it. I don’t miss it but yet there’s a familiarity with it and it feels ‘homely’ as if it’s part of me when really it isn’t but is I guess. Yes. It is part of who I am when unwell BUT it’s not a defining part of me and not who I am fully. Some rest it is then. An hour extra rest can mean doing more work in less time and yet again over the last few weeks I’ve seen it to be true and seen it in action. Maybe I’ll discuss this with the psychologist on Monday.
I’ve had an amazing weekend and am feeling really good. It’s not a high type good it’s a good type of feeling good. Fynn and I fished for over 7 hours Saturday night and then about 7 hours yesterday during the day. He loved it and caught his first smoothound and it’s really given him some confidence and good feelings. It was helped by a conversation I had on Facebook messenger with one of his fishing heroes who fishes with another of his heroes. We chatted and I cheekily asked if they could maybe mention Fynn in a video. Not only did they mention him they chatted briefly about how I’d messaged them and gave some advice but then said they wanted to see a video of him fishing and showing some of what he does to catch fish. Since then they’ve shared some of the photos of him and shared a video of us fishing too. It’s really made him feel so much better about himself. He even spoke on the video I made too!
After fishing yesterday we called at the allotments and the field and he was really helpful over there. His mum and sister were at the field when we got there and he could of gone home with them but chose to stay and help me and that really touched me that he chose to stay instead because it meant he chose helping me and being with me over getting home and on the iPad watching fishing videos. When we did get home we both washed the gear etc and I’ve now bought a new rod and reel to use. Things like these are so important. They’re so important because it’s making memories for him and if or when I’m unwell again I might not be up to fishing so much over a weekend. I kind of get the feeling that I might not get so unwell again or certainly not for some time.
Tomorrow will be 2 years since my dad died and I feel ok about it now. It’s all kind of put into perspective and I guess I’m moving on from so many things which it brought up including how it tipped me over the edge mentally so quickly and have a kind of breakdown along with loosing the plot and heading into mania. It seems like so far away now and it’s good to of moved forwards. Knowing I can get unwell so quickly is fucking scary but I have even more mechanisms in place now so hopefully I can help ride things out if it starts to slip or flip.
It’s good to feel good.
I’m aware that yesterday I had to switch off my iPad and put my books down at about 11:30pm. I could of easily carried on for hours. I was wired. I was buzzing. When I turned the light off I felt agitated. I’m still a little edgy today and tonight but I’ll be ok. I’m letting it be but also watching it. I know I’ll be fine. I’m aware. I’m also aware that I’ve had to switch away from Facebook tonight as I was getting far too involved in political posts and debates. Far too involved for my own liking and my mental health. Luckily I’m at the stage of being able to do it. It’s taken years to get here and I know at times it’ll go past that again.
Yesterday’s session with the psychologist was another hardish one. So much to talk about and go through or work through yet each one ties me but I come out stronger after a few days. I know I’m the one doing the work and if I avoid anything or any subjects then I’m slowing my own progress or thwarting myself. So I’m open. It’s the only way to be and it takes a while to build that trust with a therapist. I’m glad that initially I told her of I didn’t get on with her I would say so and ask for another person. She agreed and said similar that she had to be ok with it too.
So I’m about to do something which I have avoided. I know I have subscribers and mostly I write this just for myself as a record of things but it’s not a set in stone rule. So here goes. A question for anyone reading this. Has reading any of the posts helped you at all or resonated with you? I’ve been told by some who I know that I’ve been able to put in words what they feel but can’t always say. If you feel you can answer I’d appreciate it. I do have to approve any replies as I’ve been spammed before. It’s mental health month so maybe it’s good to talk.
Last night was another night of very vivid dreams. I’ve had several lately. Mostly they’re about my parents. Last nights was no exception as it was about my dads funeral. It was a fictional dream but involved me not being allowed to organise his funeral and not being allowed to be part of it. It had been organised by local GP’s. I confronted them at the wake. I made a huge effort to find out what had gone on and why and found one of the doctors, tripped him up backwards, put a towel over his face and smashed his nose and face in with punches. I had argued with them and knew they were trying to force me to get aggressive so that they could say I was mentally unstable. They wanted me to look a fool and wanted to feel superior to me. I knew that I’m more intelligent than them but it was the usual case of when someone is less intelligent and think that they’re clever they fool themselves and create false scenarios and so on so that they have a marker or reference point to be able to say that they’re better or cleverer. Almost like a form of cognitive dissonance about their own intelligence instead of a belief about an external thing. I guess it is just that actually. Also I had some strange dreams about my children and some other children. Somehow I was trying to keep them safe and there was something one of them wanted to gland do latest night but I was so tired.
It’s extremely windy here this morning and it’s like autumn rather than late spring. It’s strange as it soften Autumn I have dreams like these. I know I’m only days away from the second anniversary of my fathers death and I know that it is and will affect me. Saturday I was hypomanic for half of the day. I’ve seen a few maters and signs too. My sleep is compressed and I have energy again after a week or two of it tailing off. Circles and cycles seem unbreakable at times. It’s endless. I need to get away.
Today has been a struggle so far. I’m knackered. I’m tired and I’m worn out. I’ve got a pain in my chest, just strain I think, and it hurts. The last few days so much of my life has cropped up and it all feels like circles within circles. I know that it’ll soon be the second anniversary of the death of my dad and I know deaths and other dates can be triggers for me so I’m also conscious of that too. Being level has made me realise how utterly shit and even horrific it is being unwell with bipolar. When I’m hypomanic I think it’s fantastic. When I’m manic I don’t know what the fuck I think and can’t remember much of it either. I want to stay level. I have so much life to live still. It’s so easy for those who don’t have bipolar to assume what it might be like but I don’t think even a good explanation is good enough. I need to keep within certain parameters of ‘wellness’ so that I can keep my focus on my business and my food growing, which I want to do even more of. I know this time last year I was seriously unwell with pneumonia and also mentally unwell. I know that often things go in loops and circles so I’m quite aware that some of, if not all, what I’m feeling is that and I know it will pass. It’s the fatigue that’s getting me. It’s fucking tiring and my focus isn’t as good as I want it to be. I’m still not fighting whatever it is although I can’t fully relax into it either. It is and that’s all it is.
Yesteday morning I woke up about an hour before normal with huge anxiety. I’d say the anxiety woke me. I napped until I did get up. I felt agitated and edgy. Doom and gloom were all I could hint about scenarios playing on my mind of countless things going wrong. Maybe in part this was because our car had the brakes fail on it a couple of days ago and I knew I’d have to get it fixed and also do the school run which meant less time at work and also needing to get money in to pay to fix the car. It got worse when my daughter refused to go to school and I ended up going to work even later. Nothing felt good. I tried hard to question my thinking and to reassure myself but my thoughts were dark. Very dark for a short while. Everything seemed dark. My wife messaged about half an hour after I got to work to say our daughter would now go to school so I came home and took her. She cried on the way and I reassured her it would be OK while feeling like my mental health affects everyone around me and upsets their own feelings. I got back to work and was going to cancel my drumming lesson as I felt I couldn’t face it. All I could think about was my earlier life and some things which had got to me and affected me back then. So many situations that were tricky at the time. They all hit me and I didn’t fight back as such but kept questions my thinking. After a while it got better. I honestly felt like I was getting unwell again. I have noticed that I’m on Facebook a bit more again, although still sticking to my rules, and I’m obsessing about my YouTube channel and views on my videos. The feelings and anxiety passed and I’m glad they did. It won’t be the last time I have things crop up and the more therapy I have the more I will have to deal with.
I did go drumming and I took my son fishing afterwards too.
I survived again.
Im still feeling level but I’m noticing tiredness creeping in. Maybe it’s a time of year thing plus there’s a possible trigger date coming up.
This time last year I had what I thought was flu but turned out to be pneumonia. I’m in a much better place mentally too this year as well as physically. The possible trigger date is the second anniversary of my dads death on 16th May, or at least I think it’s that date. I’ve noticed my energy levels fluctuate at certain points of the year and I can get physically and mentally unwell. I’m always trying to keep an eye out for these things and the initial warnings and triggers.
I’ve noticed a few slight pains in the centre of my chest so I’m taking it easy today. I’ve been on the go quite a bit lately and very productive with lots of food growing and veg bed preparation. I think my body is saying to rest more, which I’ve done the last couple of weeks. Although my resting more is still busy by most people’s standards. I’ve also noticed my concentration has slipped a bit and I’m finding it a bit harder to focus to read and I keep diving in and out of Facebook or checking my YouTube channel! I’ll maybe switch to a different book briefly even though I’m loving reading about soil building and health. The book is called ‘Building Soil’ and it’s by Elizabeth Murphy. Anyway I need to relax into it all, not push myself to read or punish myself for lack of con traction. Maybe I’ll ‘veg’ out for a bit this evening.