Bipolar and Stress

I’m still mourning Cinnamon, my cat of 16 years. And my divorce is final in a little under 2 weeks, and I’m mourning what I wanted that 16-year relationship to be and wasn’t. And I’ve had to be the calm presence in the apartment as the new cat and old cat learn to cohabitant. (They are now, in record time.)

I started attending a writer’s critique group and got excellent feedback on the section of the book version of Suddenly Bipolar that I brought. But talking about that first year again stirred up emotions I haven’t been able to deal with this summer.

And it’s summer, and I don’t do well in the heat. My bedroom doesn’t have a/c and so I have only a fan that blows on me to help a little bit. Going outside makes me feel sick. I just don’t do well in summer.

Each of these cause stress and the bulk of them together are bringing me to the brink of breakdown. I kicked in the coping skills over the last week: reducing what I commit to and do each day. I skipped workouts for almost a week. I called in sick to my volunteer job yesterday. I contacted friends and saw several.

I am trying not to think of backing out of workouts and volunteering as failure, but to think of it as self-care. Family and friends have encouraged me to look at them as self-care. I can only do so much. Being honest about what I can actually do is the best way to make it through the stress.

One Day at a Time. I have to keep telling myself that about getting through summer. I have to keep telling myself that about getting through this stressful time. Bipolar requires attention and easy days to avoid a mood switch or episode of some kind. I hope my skills keep me stable. I don’t feel stable, yet that is the stress and bipolar talking. I have made it this far with the skills.

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