Moody Blues

One of the things I like to do occasionally is pull out the mood charts I’ve kept over the past two years and compare them. This makes me appreciate how far I’ve come since I started keeping records, and is a great reminder of why I take all these medications that make me slow and stupid. I get down about that sometimes; I miss my brain, even though it was FUBAR before I started on this journey toward wellness. I miss passion and intensity, and as I’ve said before, I miss my hypomania. But then I look at my charts and see the progress I’ve made, especially in recent months, and I realize that the results are well worth the sacrifice.

I also can’t help noticing that the flattening of the line graph and the lower scores on irritability and anxiety correspond with my state of unemployment. Before I left my last job, those scores were off the charts; since I’ve been out of work, they’ve dropped to near normal levels despite the ever-present worries over finances. I never realized how badly job stress affected me until I no longer had any. Even with impending homelessness looming over Will and me, I’m not as freaked-out as I would’ve been if my moods were still largely uncontrolled.

It’s even more impressive when I line up my charts side-by-side. I don’t even have to look at my notes to see the improvement over the six months I’ve been on Zyprexa; it’s obvious that the drug has pulled everything else together for me. And when I compare the line graphs from 2012 and 2013 with those from this year, the difference is amazing. No more wild swings from mania to depression and back again, no more frequent cycling. And there are a lot of flat lines between the blips, indicating longer and longer periods of wellness.

This is the evidence I needed to convince myself that my medication regimen should indeed not be messed with. It’s my nature to question everything, especially authority, and as much as I trust Dr. Awesomesauce I wasn’t sure he was right to leave things alone. But here it is in black-and-white, and I can’t deny that my quality of life has improved since my moods settled down…..even if I do feel dumber than a box of rocks at times.

Some times are worse than others. Since getting up this morning I’ve forgotten my meds (but took them as soon as I remembered), the letter I was supposed to mail out days ago, the day of the week (I keep thinking it’s Friday), and the phone number to my internist’s office. I’ve also lost my place in this post several times and had to go back over it to make sure I’m not repeating myself. As the saying goes, “Some days it’s just not worth chewing through the restraints.” Today is one of them. Good thing I’m in a decent mood, yes?


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.

6 thoughts on “Moody Blues

  1. I do a pencil and paper one, as well as the Mood Tracker at Psych Central. Optimism Online is also good, and it has a smartphone app. There’s a zillion mood charts out there, and I just about drove myself crazy (haha) trying to keep up with them all so I quit every one but the three I mentioned. They all have something a little different to offer.


  2. I’ve kept an ongoing chart for several years after diagnosed. It is kept in my journal. I like the designs if Dr. Burns “Feel Good”. I’m not very good at following through as others who’ve posted. My husband is my best barometer and my journaling.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not to scare you, but APs can negativelly affect the brain. If this is getting worse, don’t write it off, please.

    Also, I am bit concerned by how you repeat the “I am stable”. For me stable just is, no need to write it down, tell myself… I don’t need to assure myself. Imho, you seem to be pulled between apathy and restlessness. At least I get the vibe.

    Don’t take this as attack, but… something sounds bit forced, off and… not right in the last two pages of entries or so.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No, I don’t feel attacked at all. That’s good feedback, Venus—I often do rely on my readers to tell me when they think something’s not right. You make a good point, I have been going back and forth between apathy and restlessness and just didn’t realize it. And now that you mention it, my dog has been really clingy with me again lately……maybe she knows something I don’t. Thank you for your input—I think I repeat the “I’m stable” mantra to convince myself that I really am. 🙂


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