When you have bipolar disorder, or any mental illness for that matter, there are things that can exacerbate your symptoms. In psychological circles, these are known as triggers.
The trigger that affects me the most is stress. It can totally derail me. It has before. And I never know where exactly it is going to fling me – sometimes it is into the black hole of depression, sometime it sends me soaring into the endless wonderland of mania.
The thing about stress is that it isn’t always bad. There is “good” stress too, like moving. It is hard to tell sometimes if I am hypomanic or simply really happy. Because there are a lot of good things going on and for me, mania starts out feeling amazing. Yesterday I finally crashed. I was lethargic for most of the day and did not feel like doing diddly. But I’ve been around this proverbial block before, quite a few times, and I knew it was part of the cycling of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. Up and down. Up and down.
Don’t get me wrong. I am quite stable. It is just that I have definitely been triggered by the stress of this company’s sale and am taking special care of myself.
If there is something that will turn my mood topsy turvy it is stress. I mean, it is the worse. I can look back over my hospitalizations and most were proceeded by a stressor. My biggest problem is that I catastrophize. For example, if A, then B, and if B, then C. My mind just jumps ahead to some place – somewhere not even in the trajectory. I do not mean that I am looking for something broken, I hope everything is going swimmingly. But when it gets stressful, I have trouble regulating my emotions.
As I mentioned in a recent blog post, Psych Central has been sold and will be taken over at the end of the fast approaching month. I have been working for Psych Central for almost seven years and I am not sure what is going to happen after that. I have put some feelers out, but this selling of the whole company to another one that I do not know at all is really stressful. I am trying my best to swallow this jagged pill and keep my head up in this deep water I have been tossed into.
The best thing I know to do is to talk it out with people I trust and who I know will help me find the silver lining in all this. They tell me not to worry, that it will not do anything good for me (and, because I am trying to avoid wrinkles) I try hard to keep my mind off of it.
I am having trouble sleeping and I know it is stress manifesting itself. Losing (not fired from) a job at a company you believe in is hard. I felt safe and secure as a blogger for Psych Central. But what can I do when the company becomes someone else’s.
The best thing I can so is search for more work and pay and try to relax in the meantime.