Keep Loneliness at Bay During the Holidays

I often find myself feeling lonely during the holidays. It not like I miss the good old days. I don’t come from a big family. I’m an only child. My dad had bipolar disorder, which showed its face as depression and irritability most of the time. I’m lucky my mom made up for my dad’s bad moods with plenty of affection. But despite her best efforts, Christmas in my home never looked like a Norman Rockwell illustration, either.

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Do You Want to Buy My Book?

My book has not yet been published. I currently have a literary agent shopping it to publishers, but the industry has taken a big hit due to COVID-19.

It would help me immensely to show publishers how many people want to buy it.

Please let me know if you want to buy it by commenting on this post. You can comment anonymously, but if you include a valid email address (it won’t be posted publicly) I can also alert you when the book is available to purchase!

Thank you for your encouragement, support and your help!

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How Coping with Bipolar Disorder Prepared Me For This Crisis

I’ll admit it, I’ve always worried I wouldn’t be able to handle crisis. Because I have bipolar disorder, I often see myself as an emotionally delicate creature easily overwhelmed by the slightest trigger. When the pandemic began, I thought I’d be hit harder than people who don’t live with mental illness. But I’ve actually surprised myself. I’ve realized I’m specially equipped to handle crisis precisely because of my bipolar disorder. I’ve had to overcome incredible odds to make it to where I am today, and my journey to recovery is what’s made me stronger.

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Knowing This is Temporary is What’s Keeping Me Sane Right Now

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and hopeless in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. My life has changed so dramatically, it’s been hard to see a way out. Are we ever going to get back to the way things used to be? If so, when? Will things change forever? If so, what will this new world look like? Will it be better or worse than before? Sometimes, the idea that society could ever get back to normal seems like a pipe dream.

I have bipolar disorder. Even before the coronavirus, I struggled with negative, intrusive thoughts and all-or-nothing thinking. I’ve been a victim of my own black and white view of the world. The words “always” and “never” have been firmly cemented in my vocabulary for a long time.

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Mindfulness Has Taught Me it’s Okay to Have Feelings

DISCLAIMER: The information and opinions on this site are for educational purposes only. This site, and any content herein, should not be seen as a substitute for an official mental or physical diagnosis, or for professional health care.
This is just my personal opinion.

You know when you see something disturbing or upsetting in a movie or on a TV show, and you shut your eyes tight, so you don’t see it? You just wait for it to be over with? Or if you’re watching a show with someone else, and you ask them to tell you when the bad part is over? That’s what I want to do every day. But I can’t. What’s happening around me is real, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be over anytime soon.

I can’t just stick my head in the sand and wait for all this to pass. Even when I limit my news exposure, the world just *feels* different. Scratch that. It doesn’t just feel different. It feels like it will never be the same again.

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7 Ways I’m Protecting My Mental Health In Light of the Coronavirus

DISCLAIMER: The information and opinions on this site are for educational purposes only. This site, and any content herein, should not be seen as a substitute for an official mental or physical diagnosis, or for professional health care.
This is just my personal opinion.

OK, I’m not going to lie. I’ve been feeling anxious with all the recent news about the corona virus (COVID-19). I feel overwhelmed with the daily announcements about event cancellations, empty store shelves, and of course, the fatalities. Because I have bipolar disorder, I tend to be especially sensitive to routine changes, bad news, and just general external triggers. Even people who don’t have underlying mental illness or anxiety issues are experiencing extreme stress right now.

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Quieting the Imp of Impatience and Impulsivity

Zippers are my enemies. I know that may sound strange but hear me out. I have bipolar disorder, and I tend to be impatient.

Picture this: you’re heading outside on a chilly winter evening, throwing on your coat as you grab your keys. You’re meeting up with friends, but you’re running late. Your coat has a zipper running all the way up the front of it. You’re in a hurry and you don’t have time to waste. Now, try to slow down and zip up your coat slowly and carefully. Something as simple and mundane as bundling up in a warm jacket before entering the frigid air outside should be easy. It should be quick. But it’s not. Zippers—of all things—actually require some patience. The place at the bottom where the two sides connect (actually called the retainer box, if you’re interested) has to fit together just right. Perfectly, in fact. And if your coat has any folds in it, the zipper can easily get stuck. If your coat is old, it can run right off the track. If you’re not careful, slow and above all, patient, it’s actually pretty easy to break a zipper. This has happened to me more than once. And not just with outerwear. I’ve broken purse zippers trying to hurry myself out of line after buying something at a store. I’ve botched up gym bags at the end of a workout because I couldn’t wait to get home and shower. Zipping something up isn’t rocket science, but because I often rush through things, it feels like it is.

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How Online Shopping Wrecks My Stability

I wrote an article several months ago about stopping hypomania by recognizing my thoughts and actions, one of which was excessive online shopping. It’s one of my biggest weaknesses, and probably the hardest one for me to keep in check. It’s a constant battle. I’m constantly bombarded with online ads, emails (no matter how many I unsubscribe to), and coupons luring me to “Buy! Buy! Buy!”

Online shopping can be dangerous for someone with bipolar disorder like myself. Why? Because by nature, my illness causes me to constantly seek stimulation and emotional highs. Because I have bipolar disorder, my brain is more vulnerable to dopamine rushes than people who don’t live with this illness. I’m lucky in a way, lots of people who live with bipolar disorder also struggle with drug, gambling or alcohol addiction as a means to achieving a highly sought after high. I don’t have any of these addictions, but I really feel empathy for those who do. I get it. I chase highs too, but mine are mostly achieved by purchasing stuff.

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