Monday, October 30, 2006

Coping with mild ups and downs

I've been going through some unstable days, never knowing what the day will bring. I think it may be because I've been busy doing some exciting things over the past few weeks. Then, when things slow down, I don't know how to handle it. I have too much time to think. And if my thoughts happen on something sad, like they did on Saturday evening, it pulls me down very easily. But today I feel quite level. I hope and pray that I will remain this way.

At times of mild moodswings like this, I tend to analyze what helps me. I try to discover the techniques that help me cope. I don't want to have to run to the doctor and mess with my meds if there are things I can do for myself to pull me down from a high or lift me up out of a depression.

Yesterday, feeling depressed, miserable, restless, and unable to focus on anything, I decided to call a friend from my support group. This was someone who I had supported when she herself was going through depression a while ago. This time I was able to give her an opportunity to do the same for me. We had a good talk and we decided that I should try doing a bit of knitting on my scarf, something I've not had a chance to do. I did, while I watched tv. It helped a bit. It also felt good to know I would have someone who I could call the next day reporting how our plan had worked.

My husband and I had leftovers for dinner, so that was easy. Afterwards, we played a game of crib and baked muffins together. It's so much better doing things together with someone when I feel like this. So much easier to focus, so much less lonely.

After all this light activity and accomplishment, I was able to focus on reading until bedtime. I just started a book called Prayer, by Philip Yancey, one of my favorite authors. I'm reading it because I really need help to pray better. It's often so difficult to connect with God, though when I do, it does me a lot of good. Last night's reading proved fruitful. It inspired me to become still before God and talk to Him as I would to a friend. I was able to focus. Quite amazing, considering the way I had felt only hours before.

Then it was time for bed and I felt at peace, no longer so depressed. I slept well. This morning, I was again able to pray well, telling God everything that came into my head. And today I have felt level and happy. I really believe I have God to thank for that.

About a week ago, a lady who was obviously in emotional pain called, asking about our support group. She asked me if faith could heal her. I've been haunted by that question, knowing I had not adequately answered her. Just how much is my faith responsible for making my life as stable as it is? I'm sure it is quite a bit. I'll always have bipolar disorder, but I do receive a lot of healing because of my faith. I wish I could have told her that.


chalexa said...

Hearing about your ups and downs... it sounds like you have so many great support systems in place and you are allowing them to work effectively in your life. I love it that you play games, and see friends when you're feeling low. I tend to just hide and then i feel like my life is so boring and all i want to do is have fun in those times AND in general.

I think about how much faith has to do with managing my symptoms, and how close i am to God, and have been asking that question for the past 3-4 years. I know i have seen him working in really amazing ways. He has taught me and revealed some of the ways he works, particularly in mental health. It is so important to keep asking that question of how he can teach us and use us in the area of Mental Health. If we open ourselves up to him, he will bless us and others, displaying great things.

Your friend will experience the role of God in her life as she grows closer with him. Just like your testimony in your blog- you said that your time with God brought you peace from the mood swings. Our job is to encourage others with their faith, even if we don't understand the answers.

Marja, don't regret how you answered and encouraged your friend because you spoke through your heart, and God used you as a tool no matter what words came out.

bipolar_girl said...

You're not alone.Been feeling antsy lately after a mild high. I'm on lithium and Seroquel. The highs are not that high but I'm beginning to feel antsy and a lil down. Don't worry. It will pass. take care always

Bleeding Heart said...

I truly believe that Faith can conquer anything. Of course it cannot "Cure" bipolar or even cancer, but having Faith in itself (Be God or whatever) having faith in oneself, having faith in positive outlooks of life alone can make up for a splendid life.

I, too seek friendship and go out when feeling down. It truly helps me in more ways than one. I LOVE going to the movies at the theatre!

Give me a large popcorn, extra butter, a big screen a good movie, with a good friend and I am at peace!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marja,

I read the comment that you left on my post and loved what you wrote! I think that the creativity/bipolar connection is just fascinating.

I am going to order your book.

My photo blog is separate from the BP blog, it is at:

be well and keep dancing! :-)

Anonymous said...

Marja, can you please email me, i have a question for you re: publishing...


bipolar_girl said...

Thanks for the support, Marja. Coming down from a high, sometimes I dunno anymore how to handle the down or level feeling I'm experiencing. Thank you for helping me keep my faith strong.I just got back back from my dr for my monthly shot. If only I could stay up there forever :)

steve g said...

I thank you for your honest and down to earth blog which I have been reading and relating to.

Sarah said...

you tackle on the hardest thing of all. thanks for the encouragement, i really REALLY don't think SSRI's are for me. they make me go INSANE.

jumpinginpuddles said...

im glad you can do those things with your husband and we also like phillip yancey

Anonymous said...

Hindsight is always 20/20. I'm sure whatever answer you gave that lady was helpful to her.
I enjoy reading what a pro-active approach you take when you feel down. We're usually controlled by our moods, yet you take action.
You are dealing with this disorder as effectively as anybody I know.

Anonymous said...


I am too tired to write anything that will make much sense.

I will be praying for your mood stability. I was a little high a few weeks ago..for me, it was the season change.

Faith, I never give up on God. I always think of the woman who reached out to touch the hem of Jesus' garment (to stop her bleeding)...she had that much faith, and she was healed.

But, in the meantime, I take my lithium and i thank God that I respond to it! Maybe that is His provsion for me?

I don't think that means that I don't have Faith...If anything, I believe He created the wisdom and medical insight to make it available (and the other meds that work)...

that is my view on it.

be well...and keep dancing