Stinkin’ Thinkin’

No, no, no, don’t worry, I haven’t done—nor am I about to do—anything crazy. But I’ve got to admit that I have an interesting thought process going on that’s quite seductive…..even though I know it’s 99% bullshit. Hence I call it “stinkin’ thinkin'”.

I continue to be amazed by the way a sleep schedule and some motivation seem to have cleared up a lot of my mental health issues. I’m not as forgetful as I was, and I feel like a lot of that brain-fog I had going for so long has dissipated. Even my last few med passes at the nursing home went much smoother than usual because I could remember stuff, like which patient needed her pills crushed in applesauce and which one liked to take his with a strawberry health shake instead of water.

Of course, I also remember feeling this way just a few short months ago, and we all know how well that worked out for me. That’s why I’ll mention it to Dr. A at my appointment tomorrow—that last rodeo made me a convert to preventive care, and now I’m leery of even the merest HINT of hypomania. At this point, I don’t need the highs to do what I want and need to do……I don’t need  any “help” from my bipolar, thank you very much.

I keep telling myself it’s just excitement about starting my new job, along with a teensy pinch of anxiety that falls well within the normal range for someone making such a radical change in her life. But for some reason I am being sorely tempted to believe that being strict with myself as to sleep and meds will somehow make me immune to flare-ups, and the idea both frightens and thrills me at the same time. Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!

Which makes me wonder for the 900th time: why does my brain lie to me like this? Logically, I know that it’s not a matter of IF another manic or depressive episode will occur, but WHEN—even with all the meds, doctor visits, and clean living in the world, I’m going to have mood swings. (At least I’ve finally gotten that through my thick skull.)

And medically, I know that as treatable as this illness is, it is definitely not curable and I’ll have to deal with it, in one way or another, for the rest of my days. I’m finally convinced of  that (I wasn’t the last time) and there have been no further illusions—or are they delusions?—of an erroneous diagnosis. I have only to look at my computerized mood chart to see a year’s worth of episodes; the damn thing looks like a screwed-up EKG tracing and confirms the accuracy of Dr. A’s comment about my “classic bipolar pattern”. In short: there is no way I’m NOT bipolar. That’s settled. Over. Done.


Something inside still wants desperately to believe that I can be totally normal—on meds of course, but normal—for long periods of time, despite all the difficulties I’ve had in controlling my symptoms. The entire month of December was the steadiest I’ve seen since I started keeping track of my moods, and I’m experiencing full remission between episodes now instead of always being on the edge of one. That’s a HUGE deal for me. But in the long term, what feels to me like stability is really only a break in the action, and I have quite a ways to go before I can say that I’m truly stable.

That bothers me, but I suspect I’m just over-thinking things again. Bad habit of mine. But who knows, maybe Dr. A is right—working full-time will keep me too darned busy to do all this stinkin’ thinkin’. I can only hope! 🙂

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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