Anticipating Bipolar Pain is Good?
These days my functionality, and bipolar pain level, is fairly predictable. When I wake up, I feel pretty crummy. Slowly, as the coffee hits my system, I feel a little better and become more functional. That functionality, though, only lasts for a few hour before the bipolar pain comes raging in and I find myself too depressed, in too much pain, or too anxious to do much of anything.
In other words, midday, I know that bipolar pain is on its way. I know it’s coming. I am anticipating my bipolar pain.
But how do you handle it when you know that bipolar pain is on its way?
Random Bipolar Pain
Often, bipolar moods, and bipolar pain, is random. You never know when it’s going to hit you. You just wake up one morning and find yourself in a depression (or a developing depression) or in a hypo/mania. It’s a darn because you can’t really plan for it in any real way. You have big plans that day? Too bad for you; the bipolar just decided to take over.
Predictable Bipolar Pain
On the other hand, my bipolar pain happens to follow a daily schedule. Sure, sometimes it shows up early (and very rarely, late) but, in general, I know it’s coming. And, perhaps, most frustratingly, I know that there’s nothing I can do to stop it (believe me, I’ve tried).
Anticipating Bipolar Pain
Now some would argue that you should never anticipate pain because, essentially, you are creating dis-ease by anticipating that pain and the anticipation can be worse than even the pain itself. People who are ardent about mindfulness may feel this way. Live in the moment, they say. Don’t think about what’s going to happen.
I say balderdash. If all we did was live in the moment, we’d never pay a bill, put on sunscreen or set up a recording on our DVR. We do things that anticipate the future every moment of the day and if we didn’t, we’d all end up in very bad places.
Why Anticipating Bipolar Pain is Good
I do agree that anticipating bipolar pain sucks, but I also think it’s useful. Because I can see the bipolar pain coming, I can plan around it. Don’t get me wrong, I despise that it’s there and I despise that I have to take it into account – but I do. Or, at least, I do if I want to maximize my functionality.
So, obviously, for me, I work in the mornings. I don’t let a minute of my early time escape because I know that, come the afternoon, I’m going to be useless. And then, I plan on only doing tiny things, or nothing at all, in the afternoon. I know that, for me, lying on the couch with my two cats is the best thing I can do with substantial amounts of bipolar pain and so that is how I tend to spend my afternoons.
I also anticipate bipolar pain in relation to certain circumstances – such as due to jet lag or a large event. I plan on being nonfunctional during those times.
And while some people wouldn’t like that technique because it doesn’t personify mindfulness, I find it helpful because it allows me to take control of my own life. True, I hate having to do it, but just walking willy-nilly into a brick wall of bipolar pain at random is much worse.
Tracy, N. (2014, June 3). Anticipating Bipolar Pain is Good?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2014/06/anticipating-bipolar-pain-good
Author: Natasha Tracy
This shows much more strength then most people realise as you know your limitations and work with them.
Thanks for the article
For anyone that wants to read up on any literature related to bipolar disorder, i highly suggest bipolarbiopsy.com. the bipolar library has several books that are worth reading and help me pass the time in some of my depressive states (though I can't sit still long enough to read in my manic states....that's when exercise comes in handy!).