Today, January 5th, 2016, is one of those days I woke up feeling hopeless, and thinking I’m NOT going to make it in life. These thoughts hit me a lot harder especially when I have set high goals for myself. I’ve always wanted to be successful in life so I can give back to those who have been close to me over the years. Recently, however, I have been wanting to address other bipolar sufferers so I can help them make a change. The weird thing is, I’m normally fine because I have certain tools I use whenever I feel down or depressed, but today, it’s much tougher.
What am I feeling?
I’m going to be completely transparent because this was my unconditional promise when I first started my blog. So, let me go through a few of my feelings.
I’m feeling tired and out of energy, which is shocking because I work out almost 5-6 days per week. I feel as though I have a huge weight on my mind, and I find it hard to focus. Next, I feel like I’m not going to make it in life and achieve my desired goals. I have a list of goals I want to accomplish, many of them focusing on success so that I can help others along the way. I’m running 2 businesses, which I just feel like giving up, just because I don’t have the patience to keep pushing forward.
Every day, I have a pattern I follow, consisting of content writing, checking emails, exercising, and making food, but today, I’m having a hard time focusing on each one. I’m lazy and don’t want to commit to any of them. It’s strange because a few days ago, I was doing fine, and “boom”, today, I feel a little off. I’ll admit I know every day can’t be perfect, but I’d like to find out what threw me off especially when I have learned how to manage certain aspects of my life so I don’t fall back into a vicious circle.
For example, I always try to figure out why this is happening so I re-evaluate certain actions or things I’m doing in my life.
First, maybe it’s my sleeping pattern because over the last 4-5 days, I have been sleeping at different times, and have overslept. I’m sure you have heard that when you oversleep, you actually feel a weight on your head and even more tired. When I woke up this afternoon, I had slept roughly 10 hours, which is way past the normal 7-8 hours recommended.
This is even more important for people living with bipolar disorder because from what I know, sleep has been directly linked to mood…right? For example, any person who doesn’t sleep enough will wake up feeling groggy or out of sync, and the right amount of sleep can help elevate that feeling. When I first started treatment, I clearly remember my doctor saying the following:
“When you create a solid sleeping pattern, consisting of no more than 6-8 hours of sleep, you knock your mind settings back to default.” (default meaning natural setting)
Sleep is on my list of to-do tonight, and I’m focusing hard on getting to bed at the right time going forward. I’ll write back later this week to see if this helped stabilize my mood going forward. I’m hoping I’m NOT having an episode, but it’s just that I’ve overslept.
We all know the importance of exercise, and I’ve actually disciplined myself to work out often compared to someone else. Currently, I’m running 2 miles 4 days a week, and lifting weights anywhere between 2 to 3 days during the week. Just to make sense of my schedule, some days, I’ll run and lift weights whereas other days, I’ll just run to get my blood flowing. As a quick lesson, when you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killers. They are natural mood enhancers, which your body produces the more you exercise.
The holidays really put a damper on my exercising because I was out visiting friends who were from out of town. I also had several dinners planned, which took me off my daily eating habits consisting of veggies, fruit, brown rice, etc.
Very rarely do I eat meat on weekdays, but the holidays were a completely different story. On top of that, the alcohol was flowing and I was drinking more often than I wanted to. As a matter of fact, cutting out alcohol played a huge role in my improvement over the last few years, and I’ll like to write a post later on about alcohol and the effect it had on my bipolar.
I’m looking at my relationships with people and if something threw me off. If you’ve read my previous post, you know I always try to control the situation, especially when it hasn’t gone the way I want it. Having complete control allows me to NOT blame others, but myself for the way I’m feeling. It allows me to redefine a situation the way I want, which normally means sucking out the negativity and filling it back up with positivity. I take the emotional load out of it, and this has helped me cope with my feelings better. To be honest, redefining a situation that hasn’t gone your way is a great way to NOT let it affect you too much because you’re NOT upset with others, but yourself.
This serves as a way for you to make instant changes in yourself, which is much easier when you have complete control. This has worked great for me so I use it, and I encourage all of you to do the same.
The only thing that has been going up and down is my relationship with my girlfriend. It’s been up and down, which can have a mental toll on you. The problem with relationships is that it requires an emotional investment from two people, and you can only control your half of the investment. This means you’ll never really be happy if the other half is not happy and won’t be able to do anything about it.
You can communicate your feelings, but if your other half is NOT fully committed, then communication does have boundaries. Over the last 2 weeks, this is the situations I’ve been in and I feel today it has just taken a mental toll on me, which is why I feel hopeless. What am I going to do?
One thing I’ve learned is never make a decision when too many emotions are all over the place. You are MOST likely going to make the wrong decision or with negative energy. Another thing to keep in mind is life is very fragile and can be tricky. Today, you might have a bad day with someone you love, but tomorrow, it’s a completely different reality. So what’s the best thing to do?
Just leave it alone for now and keep being genuine so you don’t do things you’re going to regret later. Sometimes, I’d make decisions when upset, and things would just end up worse so the best thing to do is leave it alone right now.
Today’s reality is NOT necessarily tomorrow’s so I have hope things will just turn out fine. I’m not going to get too caught up or depressed because this is something I don’t have complete control over…right? I can’t control love, passion, and companionship, especially if the other person involved doesn’t feel the same way. This is one of the MOST valuable lessons I’ve learned over the years. No need getting caught up in a situation that you don’t have complete control over because you’ll trigger an episode. In other words,
Me being upset won’t make the situation better, but being patient and understanding will increase the likelihood that it does.
So, what now?
As far as relationships go, I’m going to leave it alone and hopefully, things will pan out tomorrow. Everything else that I have control over I’ve come up with the following game plan.
First, fix up my sleeping habit and create a journal to see how this has helped over the next few days. I know my pattern has been off and this has been the cause of my vicious cycles before. I’m going to try and sleep at the same time every night and wake up around the same time.
The important thing is NOT to pass the 6-8 hours of sleep because from experience, this doesn’t help me at all.
I got a solid exercise in today and I’m hoping to keep moving for the rest of the week. It’s Tuesday, so my plan is to stay active for the rest of the week. I usually would give myself a day off in between but I have a lot of cardio to catch up on, especially after the holidays.
It’s important I keep working on my business because I’ll feel like shit if I don’t. I’ll feel worse that I made no progress so I have to keep pushing forward.
My diet needs to be tweaked and I’ll have to get back to eating veggies, whole grains, and no meat on weekdays. I have a lot to say about this so will dedicate an entire post to the importance of eating right and what it’s done for me over the last 3-4 years. I’ll try and find some before and after pictures, but it’s more of a mental gain I’ve received since I started following a mostly veggie diet.
There are some recreational things I like to do in my spare time, but lately, it’s been hectic. Work has picked up, even though I feel hopeless today, and don’t feel like getting anything done. I’m actually happy I got this post done because it’s important I’m transparent about my mood so we can discuss if any of you have experienced the same.
This is actually my 3rd post I’ve written for BipolarDigest.com, and I’m still getting used to the whole concept of writing about my day-to-day challenges. However, you can make it easier on me by sharing your thoughts or even providing feedback in the comment box below.