Petal Bloss

@rainbow_dasies
Spoonie Life, helping animals and people, missing family, no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing. But who does?
Lily Miller

The 5 Steps of My Bipolar Mania ‘Comedown’

Having bipolar disorder can feel like I’m “coming down” when mania filters out of my system. It wears off and I’m jittery, anxious, depressed, feeling worthless and needing that mania again, but I’m unable to obtain it. After my mania wears off, I have to go through my own personal version of a comedown, recovery and prevention of relapse. These are the five steps of my mania comedown. 1. Guilt. I feel the guilt of when I called my mother names from acting out, saying things I never would in a rational, calmer mindset. 2. Worthlessness. The worthlessness makes me feel that I, as a person, must not be deserving to live when these things are what I’m contributing to the world and to my family. It isn’t who I want to be seen as, but it’s a part of the picture my illness painted. 3. Regret. The regret might become dull with time and I might be forgiven, but I don’t think I’ll forget the way I’ve felt every time the guilt from the rushing mania reality has come slamming into my face. 4. Embarrassment. Ah yes, embarrassment. When manic, I don’t have a filter of what is “appropriate” to say and not say most of the time. I talk too personally about things no one asked about or say things that, after I’m baselined, I’m embarrassed about. I act in certain ways that I never, ever do when I’m stable. This has to be the biggest cringe-worthy part of recovery. 5. Fatigue. It’s exhaustion, my mind coming to a complete halt. My brain went from going fast-paced and on top of the world to crashing to a stop so unpredictably, it was dizzying. My Mania Recovery and Mood Relapse Prevention List 1. I can’t skip a single dose of medication. They have to be taken on time at the same times of the day repeatedly. This alone takes 2-3 days to feel my brain’s chemicals re-balance. 2. Stay on a predictable, consistent daily routine. This is just as challenging as medication. I have to get myself dressed when I feel like I should be lying in bed wasting my unhelpful life away, and eating when I think I shouldn’t. I have to remind myself I’m worth loving and I have to move forward so I can contribute in the ways I normally would want to. 3. Getting enough sleep by going to bed/waking up on time, with the aids of music, self-care and even natural sleep aids. If in the middle of mania, this is a big struggle. When entering recovery from mania, it is either really easy or just as challenging. My mind will either welcome shutting out the world and my own storm cloud of self-loathing so making myself sleep is A-OK, or my mind is so exhausted and tapped out that shutting off and sleeping, my mind almost won’t let me. It can be exactly like mania, but with less music and dancing around the house at 2 a.m. 4. Honest communication. This might be me, but I practice a “total truth” after mania because I’m prone to lying or avoiding talking about things I shouldn’t be doing to my health when I was manic, such as: “Did you get X amount of sleep? Oh yeah, totally,” or “Did you skip any meds? Who me? Psh, no.” To recover, I’ll admit the truth to things like this so I can get back to baseline. Communicating is key. Lying for me can be a bipolar trigger and send me back on the road to mania, and this recovery will start all the way back to square one. Not worth it, in my opinion. 5. Apologizing to those I felt I did wrong. This probably feels cathartic to me. Admitting the wrongdoings my manic mind wouldn’t admit feels almost like I’m undoing some of the damage. I open myself to forgiveness from others but also forgiveness towards myself and that, I think, is really important. 6. Monitor moods and triggers with a daily mood tracker. I use the app Daylio, but there are multiple great and free mood and symptom trackers for Apple/Android smartphone and computer users, along with free printable paper ones as well. This is essential for future prevention of mania or depression. Keeping track of symptoms and possible exposure to triggers can aid in tracking if the mood will elevate or drop, and helps me adjust myself if I know I’m becoming manic or depressed so I can prevent having to enter a “recovery” stage altogether. 7. Ask myself the following questions to identify mood triggers. These questions were taken from bphope.com: Are there signs I’m getting sick due to a current situation? Am I letting excitement get in the way of reality? Am I really seeing the whole picture? Are people telling me to be careful? Is the person or situation I’m attracted to causing mood swings? Am I walking into a situation that made me sick in the past? The struggle with any “addictive” feeling, such as mania, is resisting the highs it promises. Even if I can remember the consequences from when I’ve “fallen off the wagon,” there are still times I don’t keep myself on the straight and narrow and fall for the trick of how “happy” I might feel. It can feel really great for a really short amount of time. Mania isn’t just feeling really happy and confident; it can cause recklessness or impulsive behaviors, serious irritability and anger, and can warp how you view things. You might want to to try risky things that might be, at worst, life-threatening. The consequences of submitting to being manic aren’t worth the energy and inflated self-esteem trade-offs, and sometimes, I don’t even get the inflated self-esteem. I’m just anxious, moody and have my mind racing so fast I can hardly keep up. Bipolar recovery and staying “clean” is a daily requirement to staying truly healthy and happy. Some days are easier than others, but as long as I keep trying and stick with it, I’m able to enjoy a more “normal” semblance of happiness and be more content with my life. Being stable is and always will be better than the highs of my mania. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Photo by Jasper Graetsch on Unsplash

Lily Miller

The 5 Steps of My Bipolar Mania ‘Comedown’

Having bipolar disorder can feel like I’m “coming down” when mania filters out of my system. It wears off and I’m jittery, anxious, depressed, feeling worthless and needing that mania again, but I’m unable to obtain it. After my mania wears off, I have to go through my own personal version of a comedown, recovery and prevention of relapse. These are the five steps of my mania comedown. 1. Guilt. I feel the guilt of when I called my mother names from acting out, saying things I never would in a rational, calmer mindset. 2. Worthlessness. The worthlessness makes me feel that I, as a person, must not be deserving to live when these things are what I’m contributing to the world and to my family. It isn’t who I want to be seen as, but it’s a part of the picture my illness painted. 3. Regret. The regret might become dull with time and I might be forgiven, but I don’t think I’ll forget the way I’ve felt every time the guilt from the rushing mania reality has come slamming into my face. 4. Embarrassment. Ah yes, embarrassment. When manic, I don’t have a filter of what is “appropriate” to say and not say most of the time. I talk too personally about things no one asked about or say things that, after I’m baselined, I’m embarrassed about. I act in certain ways that I never, ever do when I’m stable. This has to be the biggest cringe-worthy part of recovery. 5. Fatigue. It’s exhaustion, my mind coming to a complete halt. My brain went from going fast-paced and on top of the world to crashing to a stop so unpredictably, it was dizzying. My Mania Recovery and Mood Relapse Prevention List 1. I can’t skip a single dose of medication. They have to be taken on time at the same times of the day repeatedly. This alone takes 2-3 days to feel my brain’s chemicals re-balance. 2. Stay on a predictable, consistent daily routine. This is just as challenging as medication. I have to get myself dressed when I feel like I should be lying in bed wasting my unhelpful life away, and eating when I think I shouldn’t. I have to remind myself I’m worth loving and I have to move forward so I can contribute in the ways I normally would want to. 3. Getting enough sleep by going to bed/waking up on time, with the aids of music, self-care and even natural sleep aids. If in the middle of mania, this is a big struggle. When entering recovery from mania, it is either really easy or just as challenging. My mind will either welcome shutting out the world and my own storm cloud of self-loathing so making myself sleep is A-OK, or my mind is so exhausted and tapped out that shutting off and sleeping, my mind almost won’t let me. It can be exactly like mania, but with less music and dancing around the house at 2 a.m. 4. Honest communication. This might be me, but I practice a “total truth” after mania because I’m prone to lying or avoiding talking about things I shouldn’t be doing to my health when I was manic, such as: “Did you get X amount of sleep? Oh yeah, totally,” or “Did you skip any meds? Who me? Psh, no.” To recover, I’ll admit the truth to things like this so I can get back to baseline. Communicating is key. Lying for me can be a bipolar trigger and send me back on the road to mania, and this recovery will start all the way back to square one. Not worth it, in my opinion. 5. Apologizing to those I felt I did wrong. This probably feels cathartic to me. Admitting the wrongdoings my manic mind wouldn’t admit feels almost like I’m undoing some of the damage. I open myself to forgiveness from others but also forgiveness towards myself and that, I think, is really important. 6. Monitor moods and triggers with a daily mood tracker. I use the app Daylio, but there are multiple great and free mood and symptom trackers for Apple/Android smartphone and computer users, along with free printable paper ones as well. This is essential for future prevention of mania or depression. Keeping track of symptoms and possible exposure to triggers can aid in tracking if the mood will elevate or drop, and helps me adjust myself if I know I’m becoming manic or depressed so I can prevent having to enter a “recovery” stage altogether. 7. Ask myself the following questions to identify mood triggers. These questions were taken from bphope.com: Are there signs I’m getting sick due to a current situation? Am I letting excitement get in the way of reality? Am I really seeing the whole picture? Are people telling me to be careful? Is the person or situation I’m attracted to causing mood swings? Am I walking into a situation that made me sick in the past? The struggle with any “addictive” feeling, such as mania, is resisting the highs it promises. Even if I can remember the consequences from when I’ve “fallen off the wagon,” there are still times I don’t keep myself on the straight and narrow and fall for the trick of how “happy” I might feel. It can feel really great for a really short amount of time. Mania isn’t just feeling really happy and confident; it can cause recklessness or impulsive behaviors, serious irritability and anger, and can warp how you view things. You might want to to try risky things that might be, at worst, life-threatening. The consequences of submitting to being manic aren’t worth the energy and inflated self-esteem trade-offs, and sometimes, I don’t even get the inflated self-esteem. I’m just anxious, moody and have my mind racing so fast I can hardly keep up. Bipolar recovery and staying “clean” is a daily requirement to staying truly healthy and happy. Some days are easier than others, but as long as I keep trying and stick with it, I’m able to enjoy a more “normal” semblance of happiness and be more content with my life. Being stable is and always will be better than the highs of my mania. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Photo by Jasper Graetsch on Unsplash

John

How Frida Kahlo Made Chronic Pain and Disability Visible Through Art

“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” — Frida Kahlo At the Frida Kahlo: Timeless exhibit that closed recently at College of DuPage’s McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, what gripped me as much as her artwork, the 26 paintings on display, was how profoundly her life and art were shaped by disability. I knew from the biopic with Salma Hayek that she led a life of physical pain, but had no idea she was bedbound so often and so long that she created a lot of her great art there. They even placed a replica of her bed right in the exhibit! At age 6, Kahlo contracted polio that left one leg shorter than the other. At 18, she survived a bus crash that killed several passengers. Kahlo was pierced by a metal handrail that fractured her pelvis and punctured her abdomen and uterus. Her spine was broken in three places, her right leg in 11, her collarbone was broken and her shoulder dislocated. That fateful moment dealt her a lifetime of agony, isolation, and miscarriages, but also tempered her artistic vision and strengthened her resolve to realize it no matter what. At times she saw herself and others in an almost disembodied way. She created surrealist paintings that looked like medical charts of her miscarriages, vehicular accidents, and the metal rods that propped up her back and caused chronic pain. She turned that same almost clinical eye on her portrait subjects and on the way women are treated. One of the paintings shows the brutality a woman from the headlines had suffered at the hands of a murdering man, and Kahlo pulled no punches on the details, making sure viewers got to see how many women are treated. But on the other hand, her eye could capture the lace as fine as dewdrops on the sleeve of an otherwise poor and plain young girl whom she painted, signaling the beauty she saw inside of her young friend. The exhibit highlighted the disability theme throughout the exhibit, and amplified the message by mounting a side gallery of works by Tres Fridas, a collective of artists Reveca Torres, Mariam Paré, and Tara Ahern. Tres Fridas (the name is a nod to Kahlo’s painting, Dos Fridas) stage disability-related recreations of famous paintings. The nameplates of their works show the original artworks to compare with, as well as explain issues that people with disabilities are dealing with today. Kudos to the McAninch Center for taking this opportunity to underline important issues that the general public gets little exposure to, and highlighting disabled artists. Kahlo embraced her own disability as an intrinsic part of her whole self. She wore support braces around her torso, three of which were re-created for the exhibit. One was of burnished leather that resembled a hunting vest or leather armor. Another was molded plaster, decorated with exotic painted flowers and designs. Kahlo also had a leg amputated later in life and decorated her prosthetic. Another way that disability was manifest in her art was in her subjects, especially herself. As a young woman (she died at 47), her energies and mind engaged with the wider world, yet for much of her life, her body would not let her. She and her famous and influential husband, the painter and muralist Diego Rivera, reveled in the company of artists and thinkers in Mexico and worldwide. One item in the exhibit is a short film showing her and Rivera with the historic revolutionary Leon Trotsky after he came to Mexico in exile from Russia. (Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin would send an assassin to kill him shortly afterward.) All this, and still Kahlo led much of her life in her bedroom, alone. And yet, even forced to lie on her back, she created art. To create requires willpower even for someone able-bodied. That she continued to do so through pain and depression is a testament to her power as a person and artist. As I deal with similar issues, she amazes me. Of course, Frida Kahlo is not only a disability artist. She was also a painter, provocateur, fashionista, and proud Mexicana (in the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Mexico threw off the yoke of dictatorship, and the society of Kahlo’s day embraced and celebrated its native culture and history). All of these things made up Frida Kahlo as a person and as a life, and she incorporated it all into her art and expression. Even her disability and isolation were not overlooked or kept hidden: they were turned into a source of power that made her work unique, that is, uniquely Frida Kahlo. Until recently, disability and depression were forbidden subjects. Now think about the taboos back in Kahlo’s time! Things like these seem like common sense, and yet we (me) sometimes have to learn basic truths like this, and it can take a great artist and museum to help us understand. Viva Frida Kahlo!

Community Voices

Creativity and mental illness

Does anyone else feel like, they lose their creativity, or their ability to make art (whatever shape it is, drawing, music, animation, whatever form your art takes) the further they go through recovery? The more #mentallystable #mentallywell you get, the more creativity you lose? I sometimes fear, (and based on my art journals and visual diaries) that the better I get, the more stable my mental health becomes, the less art I am able to make. It makes me feel like I have lost something. And I wonder if it’s a fair trade off. We all know that sometimes the side effects of our treatments can be worse than the illness we use them to treat. And sometimes we need to make the choice: is the ‘cure worse than the disease’? Can the treatments/therapies that help us become mentally well, that help us live and not just survive life, sometimes take too much from us? Are we more ‘authentically ourselves’, when we are sick? Is it a fair trade, to lose such a big part of ourselves and does the thing we gain, match up in size? I know we have all heard that the greatest artists and thinkers in our history, have had mental illnesses, ‘touch of madness’ in them. How can we remain on the recovery road to mental healthiness and happiness, and be ourselves? Do we actually lose anything, or does it just look different? Do we retain everything we had, are we still our authentic selves, but just with better health? If we take of the grey goggles of mental illness, is everything still there but we just don’t recognise it? #Bipolar2Disorder #PTSD #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #BipolarDisorder #Bipolartype2 #creativity #Art

14 people are talking about this
Community Voices

A whole fuck¡ng new year. #Depression

I always gets sad when we starting a new year. The thought about getting trough a whole year. I have this constantly pain, sadness, dark thoughts ect. Its hard every morning, I wake up sad bc I have to get through a day. I'm only here bc I don't wanna hurt my family- I have already put them trough so much pain and they don't deserve it.. but.. I can't keep doing this..
Is there anyone else that struggles with this? Any tips?
I have tried therapy many times and I take meds but that doesn't helps. I don't know what to do.
#Depression #Selfharm #Selfblame #Sadness #tired

And sry for my English..

15 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Just wanted to check on how much detail I can post about #EDNOS thoughts/behaviours/etc

Hi 👋 so I don’t have a diagnosed #eatingdisorder but I know that I do have one (I’ve known a long time but I’ve not had any support from professional people, long story) a diagnosis isn’t exactly necessary (but would help with things like hashtags!) and because I am literally trying to do it all on my own, I still need to ask about some things that would be ‘triggering’ to others. And I don’t want to upset anyone, ever. So what are the limits, how much detail am I able to go into, in a post here? I’m not ‘asking for tips’ on how to make my #EDNOS worse (I’m using that tag as I have no other) I am not ‘pro’ anything, but maybe if I can ask some questions (like, does anyone else think this way, is ‘x’ a form of purging, advice on how to start helping myself etc) I can gain some more clarity and maybe then go back to my doctor and readdress the issue, or at the very least, understand myself more.
Any advice would be hugely welcomed
Thank you ❤️

3 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Just wanted to check on how much detail I can post about #EDNOS thoughts/behaviours/etc

Hi 👋 so I don’t have a diagnosed #eatingdisorder but I know that I do have one (I’ve known a long time but I’ve not had any support from professional people, long story) a diagnosis isn’t exactly necessary (but would help with things like hashtags!) and because I am literally trying to do it all on my own, I still need to ask about some things that would be ‘triggering’ to others. And I don’t want to upset anyone, ever. So what are the limits, how much detail am I able to go into, in a post here? I’m not ‘asking for tips’ on how to make my #EDNOS worse (I’m using that tag as I have no other) I am not ‘pro’ anything, but maybe if I can ask some questions (like, does anyone else think this way, is ‘x’ a form of purging, advice on how to start helping myself etc) I can gain some more clarity and maybe then go back to my doctor and readdress the issue, or at the very least, understand myself more.
Any advice would be hugely welcomed
Thank you ❤️

3 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Bipolar Sleep Disruption

Ugh. I have #Bipolar2Disorder #Bipolartype2 and I’m currently having one of those super fun nights where I am having a ‘sleep disruption’ episode! I am unaware of any other terms or phrases, so I came up with ‘sleep disruption’, to use when experiencing the ‘decreased need for sleep’. A symptom of my illness that confused me for so long. I thought that it meant you weren’t tired and didn’t want to sleep. Nope. Not necessarily! You can be exhausted, desperate to sleep, and still be experiencing this part of your illness. And it’s not like insomnia, it’s something totally different that can’t be easily explained.
Anyway. That’s why I’m up tonight. 🦉🦉🦉

4 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Bipolar Sleep Disruption

Ugh. I have #Bipolar2Disorder #Bipolartype2 and I’m currently having one of those super fun nights where I am having a ‘sleep disruption’ episode! I am unaware of any other terms or phrases, so I came up with ‘sleep disruption’, to use when experiencing the ‘decreased need for sleep’. A symptom of my illness that confused me for so long. I thought that it meant you weren’t tired and didn’t want to sleep. Nope. Not necessarily! You can be exhausted, desperate to sleep, and still be experiencing this part of your illness. And it’s not like insomnia, it’s something totally different that can’t be easily explained.
Anyway. That’s why I’m up tonight. 🦉🦉🦉

4 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Bipolar Sleep Disruption

Ugh. I have #Bipolar2Disorder #Bipolartype2 and I’m currently having one of those super fun nights where I am having a ‘sleep disruption’ episode! I am unaware of any other terms or phrases, so I came up with ‘sleep disruption’, to use when experiencing the ‘decreased need for sleep’. A symptom of my illness that confused me for so long. I thought that it meant you weren’t tired and didn’t want to sleep. Nope. Not necessarily! You can be exhausted, desperate to sleep, and still be experiencing this part of your illness. And it’s not like insomnia, it’s something totally different that can’t be easily explained.
Anyway. That’s why I’m up tonight. 🦉🦉🦉

4 people are talking about this