29th May, 2017

It is the last weekend of Autumn and it truly seems like yesterday I did this post.  I remember the post. I remember the weather, the mood I was in and the fact that I still never went to Jims fish and chip shop.  So, here I am, going to the psych, driving in peak hour traffic to get home and now and then I see Jims signage.

The photo of me below is from 2012.  There is a point in time where photos of myself start to feel like it is someone else looking back at me.  It is another person trapped in time, in a photo with a smile on their face.  It’s not me, it is the ‘other’ me.  I refer to that person as BM (before medication) and I am the person who is AM (after medication).

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Right now I am relatively stable and life is going on as usual.  Work, CrossFit, home and the stuff in between.  I have changed something at work and that is that I now do not go in on a Friday.  I work from home and it has made work life a bit easier.  You see, it is very hard to go to work every day when you have kind of fallen out of love with it.  Not that I was ever ‘in love’ but I wasn’t as ‘out’ of love as I am now.

So, I have the Friday off. I jump on the computer at 9.00 am and stay working until 3.00 pm.  I answer all emails, answer my mobile and just work during those hours. It is great and I get much more done.  Next week I will only work 9.00 am to 11.00 am, go out for lunch with my niece and then be back at the computer at 2.00 pm for another three hours work.  On Thursday before I leave work I always email the hours I am available the next day.

Until I decide just where I want to be in a couple of years time, I can work this way.  But in my head I am working out what I really, really want to do as I don’t want to be where I am in five years time.

All this took a while to transition to as I had to get my head around the fact that by reducing my hours I was going to be reducing my income. So doing it in bites meant I just adjusted to it.  Now that S has a part time job, I no longer had to give him a weekly stipend – around $70 – and so there were small savings along the way.

I had great news the other week.  Last year when I had my bone density test it revealed that I had osteopenia in my lower spine and left hip.  The follow up scan I had two weeks ago came back with the great news that the osteopenia in my spine had reversed.  My hip has improved as well but not enough at this point in time.   This excellent result came out as a direct result of my going to CrossFit classes.  That weight bearing exercise is the key to keeping bones strong and was the predominant reason for the reversal.  So it is great news.

Psych visits are still a weekly event.  I am sure most people wonder why I go.  Am I dependent? Am I navel gazing too much? Can’t I stand on my own two feet? Does it really matter if all of those are correct?  Or just one?  Or none?  Had it not been for those weekly visits, I would still be going to work five days a week and allowing stress to infect my life.  It took a lot of talking through things to get where I am.  So for that alone, it is worth it all.  And when I read this old post here, I just know that where I am now is where I need to be and if that means meds and psych visits, then so be it.  I recall that things just got worse and the memories of that time are not nice.

Finally my bathroom is finished and in use.  There are only a couple of things to get, one being a mirror.  I cannot find ‘the one’ and so nothing has happened as yet.  Since the bathroom was finished, I have a relaxing bath at least two times a week.  I read a book and enjoy the lovely hot water and bubbles that surround me.  It is great.  I did go over budget.  A lot. I changed a lot of things such as having subway tiles up to the top of the window, all around the walls and the same height in the laundry.  Subway tiles are laid at an hourly rate as they are very time consuming.  Big tiles are laid at a meterage cost. So there was a blow out there.  Then there was a lot of structural changes, new subfloor, walls to be straightened and other unexpected things.  Once I get organised I am going to upload photos.

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I have not been doing much drawing or writing.  CrossFit takes up a lot of time.  As a rule I go three times during the week.  That’s Monday, Tuesday and Thursday after work.  Wednesday is psych visit after work.  And if I feel up to it, I will try to do a fourth CrossFit class.  Also, I no longer have cleaners at home so now there is more cleaning and I must confess that it has taken a while to slot that in.  K and S help out but it is still extra work.   Plus there is the whole laundry, grocery shopping and blah blah blah.  I am not complaining, all these things are life things and just need to be done.

However, now and then I just make a decision to just do the basics.  The most important things are for me to have laundry done, change the bed linen, tidy my bedroom and the kitchen.  The rest I leave up to the boys.  When that happens, I can do my own thing.

If it gets too hectic I can take a few days off which I plan to do shortly.  I like having a few days off before the end of the financial year as it gets very hectic for me when that happens.

Overall, my life is quiet and my routine is solid.  I keep myself emotionally protected, stay away from things that destabilise me and ensure that I am medication compliant.  It seems to be working and hopefully it continues.  It irritates me sometimes that I just can’t be and the other day I read this article by a writer by the name of Natasha Tracy.  Her blog is very informative and helpful for those who have bipolar.

So, in this article Natasha outlines what monitoring bipolar is like and her explanation is spot on.  There is not such thing for me as getting out of bed and just ‘being’.  I wake up and check my mood.  A silly dance around the kitchen can escalate.  It may not but if I don’t check myself it would have consequences down the track.  The last thing I want is a hypomanic episode.  It isn’t nice, the high is always followed by a low.  If I am on a high I am unable to work properly, I am disruptive and have the concentration span of a pea.  I also buy things I would NEVER consider as a rule.  Bipolar is just a moving target.

So, I will finish off this post with a few random things.  A couple of weeks ago I went to see Les Miserable with K’s cousin.  I have never wanted to see it but it was great.  It was an amateur production and it was fantastic.  K’s cousin has seen Les Miserable 94 times. Yes, 94 times. Not all at the same theatre of course.  A die-hard fan.  It was so nice of her to take me.

Today K and I went for a drive to an antique warehouse.  It is kind of our ‘go to’ place when we just feel like getting out.  Sometimes we find things we want to buy but as a rule we just walk around, have lunch or something and then head home.  Today, however, we bought a 1970’s Danish dining setting.  Our old one is shitey shite and it is time for it to go. We will sell it on eBay.

My beautiful son continues to be the light of my life. He has applied to go to another University and received a conditional acceptance the other day – he was so chuffed as when he applied late last year he was not accepted.  He just has to get 50% pass for his exams and that is doable for him.  Cyber Security is the career that he is interested in so hopefully that is a job that is still around when he finishes Uni.  Jobs are changing all the time.

Not much else to add so I will finish the post and have a cup of green tea.

lc x

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