October 17, 2009

My Bipolar Checklist

This is something I wrote a long time ago after my first panic attack in months. Thought it might be something useful to share...

Okay Linea. Here we are. Here we are again. You on the bathroom floor. Your boyfriend tired and worried. Your mind numb. Now, given that this hasn’t happened in months and months we must figure out where this came from. It’s time to use the skills that you have gained in this "vast journey" of yours.
     First. Your “Am I Depressed” checklist:
     Within the last week have you been staring a lot? Been unable to read/clean/get important things done? Have you been drinking alone? Do you spend hours sitting at the computer doing nothing? Have you been unable to cry? Do you have a need to harm yourself?
     Second, “Am I manic?”
Within the last few days have you been pacing, shaking, or cleaning excessively? Do you have a lot of repetitious thoughts, words, or phrases? Have you started the mantra of “I need, I need, I need…”? Has there been excessive spending, partying, anything?
Third, in general, have you:
     Had an upset stomach?
     Been throwing up?
     Been cutting?
     Been eating excessively?
     Been drinking excessively?
No. No. No. No. No. 
Everything checks out fine. 
This is not a bipolar episode. I often find myself checking these lists daily. If it is none of the above then I know that I am simply having the same normal feelings of pain that every other person on earth experiences. If it is none of the above then I simply need to see where the pain is coming from and then just breathe it out. Just sit with it knowing that I have been through worse. I can get through this.


uhLEEsuh said...

Linea, I'm so glad that you're talking about these things, in your blog, in your book, and on the road. Very meaningful stuff. Real stuff.

erika said...

I've found your blog through your mom and I just wanted to let you know that I think your story is amazing and what you are doing is so incredibly important. Your parents and you are a wonderful team and you don't even know how many people you are helping by sharing your experiences. All the best to you!

crazybeanrider said...

Spot on. Wonderful, touching and inspiring writing. I will be back to read more of your blog.

Bethany said...

Great list.
I need something similar for my illness.
It's hard to sort it out when so much of it involves emotion, isn't it? Because LIFE is emotion.
What's ill and what's just living?
Really important stuff.
Thanks for sharing.
I hope too your answer is no no no, more and more.

crazybeanrider said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
crazybeanrider said...

It's good to see you writing about what in the middle. That everything we feel and do is not always a bipolar episode.That we feel everyday things just like everybody else. Keep up the great writing.