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My morning Mojo

There are lots of different definitions for Mojo. I prefer to define it as “my personal ability and capacity to take on the world!” So this was my December Mojo tracker. I’ve shared other months in the past and I’m really only sharing it for those of you who love sparkly gel-pens and are crafty, or need a creative way to track your mood. I hope this helps someone. #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #BPD #creativetherapy #Mindfulness #CPTSD #CreativeOutlets #tracking #Anxiety #Leisure #WRAP

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WRAP Daily Maintenance

This is just a continuation of a posts I’ve shared before. I enjoy my bullet journals and am always trying to find inventive ways of tracking.

Last year I went through a mental health class on a system of self care that is called the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, (aka WRAP) designed by Mary Ellen Copeland. She suffered with Bi-Polar and wanted to develop a way of checking in with herself on a regulate basis and also being able to effectively communicate her needs to her loved ones or caregivers, when she was crashing or in crisis. This is TOTALLY personalized and when you go through the class, you basically investigate your own needs. So your daily needs will differ greatly from what I have listed as my basic daily maintenance needs.

This chart is a fun and colorful way that I have designed to keep my daily maintenance upkeep in accordance with Mary Ellen Copeland’s WRAP project and it has been a tool, of significant benefit, to me.

I’m sharing this because I’ve often wondered if there are creative outlets to manage my daily functions. So I can’t possibly be the only curious mind out there. ☺️

#mdd #bpd #tracking #moodtracking #creativeoutlets #bulletjournals #WRAP

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Charting Again!

I’ve posted a couple of my charts in the past. This one is to help keep record of the medication and supplements that I take. This is for the purpose of my loved ones to be able to properly care for me in times of crisis or lockdown (depression crashes). This will ease the task of filling up my medication container and also help in episodes of brain fog.

I learned about having these important tools around for someone to better assist me when I went through a class called Wellness Recovery Action Program (WRAP) which was developed by Mary Ellen Copeland. It has, by far, been the most applicable and effective tool in managing my mental health.

I made this chart to identify what I regularly take and left blank columns for when there are changes or updates. Luckily I won’t be updating this every day and hopefully it will stay consistent from month to month. But again, if I crash into a deep slump again, I won’t need to explain anything. I can just hand my caregiver this page of my journal. ☺️

Note: I’ve blotted our the names of doctor prescribed Rx’s. The “a/n” in the bottom medication is used “As Needed.”

#BPD #MDD #BulletJournals #WRAP #SupportTools #medicationmanagement #CreativeOutlets #tracking #OnedayAtaTime

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Plushie power

I’m a big fan of collecting plushies.
They helped me a lot to recover from my trauma’s. I’m a 26 year old woman, paying rent every month, going to study Social Work soon, seen and experienced a lot of shit and yet, I still cuddle and sometimes sleep with stuffed animals. It is their softness and innocent look that attracts me and they are growing in numbers as I’m writing this. I hope to move out to a bigger place and that I can afford it to adopt a dog, a rescue or even a servicedog. Untill then, I have plushies.
Does anyone recognize something similar? #Trauma #traumasurvivor #RecoveryBox #WRAP #Autism #stuffedanimals #plushies #softness #BeKind21

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A Problem shared is a problem halved

With a diagnosis of bipolar and a recent episode of mania unfortunately if it’s anything like my previous 8 episodes depression is to be expected.

Over the weekend I felt a low take a grip. I had zero motivation so I did not do any exercise no walk or cycle. Minimum housework. This of course made it only worse as I know how important exercise is to my wellbeing. This spilled into midweek and despite playing tennis with the kids on Monday which definitely did help a little but the low unfortunately persisted.

One thing I started doing again was journalling. It was good to express my emotions on paper. This eased the pain a little. Another thing I do midweek is Joe Wicks a YouTube fitness guru who became famous during Covid 19 lockdown. A maximum 30 minute workout. A good start to the day once I eventually got out of that bed.

I found it impossible to get out of the bed every morning. On Wednesday my psychiatrist happened to ring. During the lockdown all my appointments were cancelled. She asked me how I was and I told her I was depressed. How low my motivation was, how I could NOT get up in the morning, how critical I was of myself, how things were a little strained at home. Eventually the obvious conversation about medication arose, a drug I had tried before but unfortunately interfered with my sleep. She said I was the only person she knew who was effected like this by this particular drug. I was not convinced it helped my depression before as it took two months to take effect. The question is would the depression have naturally lifted by then anyway? She said she would check in on me again in a couple of weeks.

It was good to touch base with my doctor. The best thing about it was I told my husband she had rung and how I had told her how I was low. He said what, since when and why what triggered it. Of course I had not shared with him at all about the low I had been feeling. It felt good to share even though initially he was a little bit irritated. That evening there were little acts of kindness which lifted my spirit.

The next morning I woke at and spoke to my husband. He asked me how I had slept. I was relieved to share I had slept well a good start to the day. I felt cared for. It’s amazing how a simple display of empathy can warm my heart. I told him my aim was to get out of bed before 9 to put a wash on and then do Joe Wicks live. I successfully got out of the bed. After Joe I had my shower and curled my hair, put on some makeup something I didn’t do much recently. It felt good.

Yesterday it was like a cloud had lifted. Was it sharing my thoughts with both my doctor and husband? Not bottling emotions up like a pressure cooker. Don’t be afraid to share with a friend or a helpline. A problem shared is a problem halved.

# mania #Depression #mentalhealth #BipolarDisorder #WRAP

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Too Little too Late

Too Little too Late

A few months ago my sister was concerned about my mental health. She simply observed me sending numerous pictures on the family WhatsApp and began to worry. I met my doctor a couple of days later and shared that a sibling was concerned. I was not at all worried and my psychiatrist fobbed it off as my passionate personality.

By the end of the week I had trouble going to sleep so I immediately increased my antipsychotic medication. Monday morning first thing I rang my psychiatrist to keep her up to date. She made no further changes including when I spoke to her on the following Friday. In fact it took another whole week before she increased the dose ever so slightly.

Things started to go from bad to worse over the weekend so Monday my meds were eventually doubled. By the end of this week I was referred to a day hospital which lasted over two weeks.

With a diagnosis of bipolar it is so important to recognise *early warning signs and to take the proper action. For me this would include to contact my psychiatrist and not leave it to **when things are breaking down. Recently I reflected on the month leading up to the episode and emailed my doctor to find out what doses of antipsychotic was prescribed during this time.

I was surprised to see nearly two weeks were lost. I realised I didn’t have my head in the sand. I was not in denial as I alerted my doctor about my sleep issues. It took nearly two weeks before proper action took place. Too little too late. As my grandfather said you need to be your own doctor!

WRAP - Wellness Recovery Action Plan:

*Early Warning Signs
In spite of our best efforts in staying well, we may begin to experience early warning signs, the subtle signs of change that indicate we may need to take some action in order to maintain our wellness.

**When things are breaking down
In spite of your best efforts, you may begin to feel worse and worse, but you are still able to take some action on your own behalf. This is a very important time. It is necessary to take immediate action to prevent a crisis.

#MentalHealth #BipolarDisorder #Mania #Depression #WRAP

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FORGIVENESS and Wellbeing

A few months ago a wise friend gave me one month to forgive. Not easy to do sometimes especially having had decades of mental health challenges. Unfortunately it can leave awful damage behind including incredible hurt and anger.

After numerous bipolar episodes my family have not learnt how to cope. This frustrated me so much over the years. I was not well I needed support not judgements and reactions. I became very angry and this of course was very destructive to my mental health. I believe it fuelled both mania and depression.

So back to the challenge of forgiving. I knew it was too difficult to do it without support. Every morning and night I prayed. My first decade of my Rosary was dedicated to asking God to help me with forgiveness. I did this for a whole month and as days went by I felt a release.

Here I am now months later and I feel like a different person. I used to be so sensitive, I got hurt and then angry. I felt like the black sheep. I still have my boundaries in place and do not talk to family members every day. When I do talk to them I can be pleasant and keep it light.

It is what it is, they are what they are. I just need to manage the situation. I spent years wanting my family to change. I know now that will not happen. With forgiveness in my heart going forward it will definitely enhance my mental health. This gives me great HOPE.

#MentalHealth #Mania #Depression #Bipolar1Disorder #WRAP #BipolarDisorder

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Anybody else want to write a book?

Everytime I am manic I am so confident that I am going to write a book some day. Like most of us with mental health challenges we have had interesting journeys which make good stories. We have survived so much and want to pass on coping strategies to others. I have read so many peoples fascinating biographies who have been challenged. It is good to know we are not alone.

The question is will I ever get to write my story? Or is it just a grandiose idea?

#BipolarDisorder #Mania #Depression #MentalHealth #WRAP

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Has lockdown prevented a bipolar episode of depression after the mania?

I had a manic episode in February. I was in a day hospital for two and a half weeks. My antipsychotic was obviously increased and I was on Phenergen for sleep. The interesting thing is my previous 8 episodes were followed by dark depression including suicidal thoughts EVERY single time. Thankfully I have not suffered depression since February. I am so grateful. Does lockdown suit me? An escape from the rat race? #Depression #Mania #BipolarDisorder #WRAP #MentalHealth

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Read Me

Hello there,

How are you? I’m here to help. Just a little reminder fresh off an episode.

April 2020 in quarantine and I am reflecting on my recent episode in February. Have had bouts of lows recently but nothing like before. Tried running one week and cycling last weekend which helped. Maybe being in lockdown is helping? Less pressure?

I really want to stay well going forward I need years not months so here we go a few questions

1. Are you on minimum 2mg haloperidol? If you are feeling at all hypomanic/manic you need to go as high as 6. Also don’t forget Phenergen for sleep 25/50mg

2. Are you over sharing your articles?

3. Are you feeling ambitious about writing your book

4. Are you more open about your mental health than usual?

5. Are you talking about Religion more?

6. Are you going to or thinking about going to the Latin church?

7. Is anybody concerned about you? Sister/Husband? Husband may not be YET!

8. Is your sleep gone? If it’s not YET you still could be on a slippery slope.

9. Are you giving out medals or blessed candles?

10. Are you spending more time with friends from the hospital?

11. Are you spending more money?

12. Are you drinking more alcohol?

13. Are you smoking?

Action Plan:

1. Call Psychiatrist ask for phenergen 25/50 Mg and more haloperidol 6mg ASAP

2. You may need a referral to the day hospital for a couple of weeks

3. Avoid school drop offs if possible. It is NOT a good time to bump into other mums right now or get talking to the Principal. Just accept mums/sisters offers of lifts and let my husband bring my son to school.

4. Remember nip this and it will reduce the depression on the other end.

I care about you. I want this to be sorted ASAP. You may not listen to my sister or husband or Mum. They might be annoying. Try not to let them get to you. Remember forgiveness. Try NOT to get angry. Just remember the important thing is that you get well and the sooner the better.

PLEASE listen,

From me

#BipolarDisorder #Depression #Mania #Hypomania #MentalHealth #WRAP