Different month, same tune

Still in that possibly-hypo-manic-but-not-so-much-“up”-other-than-can’t-sleep-so-that’s-a-thing state. Ugg.

Also the anxiety is still back. Its effect has wavered a bit over the month of January, but it hasn’t fully subsided at any point. And the OCD is there along with it. I’m beginning to see the obsessive behaviors as related to my anxiety. While I have some obsessive tendencies at all times, when my anxiety is worse, my OCD is worse. And I think that I use my OCD is a mechanism to try to assuage my anxiety.

A simple example is being anxious or stressed about travel, I’ll fuss with my shoes and socks more[1].

I also heard something recently that equated someone else’s anxiety with an increase in their obsessive tendencies – which probably helped me make this connection.

The last few days have definitely had full bore “rush mental” state, so definitely a hypo-manic state – compared to previous, when I wasn’t quite ready to call it that.

 


 

Information Diet: Mostly good – that is “low” information. However had some external events that encroached and … ahh screw the abstractness. Craziness in the world[2] broke through my wall and I got sucked into watching more than was helpful or necessary. I’ve begun to see how social media[3] can exacerbate this for me and I now have a hard rule that I have to get off all social media when I’m not doing well – because I don’t want to stop, so I have a rule and have to follow it. I invoked that rule earlier this month.

Caffeine: Same old, same old. I think I had two days where I used a bit more later in the day to help grease the social wheels, but then also had several days where I just didn’t have any just as it happened (no particular plan). So, while I still miss having coffee, this new order of very small controlled amounts, works fairly well.

I still think taking longer breaks off caffeine is a good idea and I am due for that. But I don’t expect it will change anything. Always worth checking since caffeine can sneak up on me.

 

Diet: Doing really well in 2017 so far. I’ve allowed myself a few scheduled breaks, but I’ve executed according to food plan.[4]

I’ve previously worried that eating well could be problematic for me, maybe pushing me down. Well, that hasn’t been the case this month, so it seems clear that isn’t an issue.

 

Interaction: My interactions have mostly been limited. Mostly as an effect of being busy with work, but I just haven’t had time to add in other interactions. The few long draining interactions that I have had, I’ve planned well for self-care after them. And I have canceled other interactions – or said “no” – when I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle them.

More recently, I’ve been expanding interaction more. Thought I feel that is an effect of the hypo-mania pushing me to do more things and “expand my sphere to take over the world.” I’ll have to be guarded on this – expecting a potential future down -, but so far it has been a controlled and acceptable amount.

Exercise: This has been good or great. That is, regular, near daily light to moderate exercise[5]. Part of me worries that the mood boosting effects of exercise exacerbate hypo-mania. While I do think that could be a problem, I don’t know but – and haven’t even bothered to check research since – it is way too early, that seems unlikely, and I’m not about to stop unless I get desperate. And I’d read up on whether that is a potential problem. Again, I doubt it, since almost everything I’ve read is that exercise helps with nearly every aspect of mental health.

Regardless, this is a big change from probably the entire history of this blog to this point.

 

Stress: Mixed: medium-high. Only a two or three acute, high stress points this month. And the month ended with a medium-high level of stress that will contain for the short-term. So stress is going to be a bit higher for the next while.

I’ve been doing so great with various elements of life, I worry that this stress and the hypo-mania, and the crash that will follow it, may derail the great, solid, steady progress I’ve been making.[6]

I hate feeling that fragile.

I feel like a mechanical engineer working on some large steampunk Rube Goldberg machine – my health is this precarious contraption. I’m building an elaborate complex of gears and pulleys – it fills a large greenhouse up to the seventy foot ceilings… and all it will take is for some small rock thrown by the wind to shatter a window and destroy the machine I’m working on.

 

Induction: Yup. More recently. I’m in a season of life right now where there are concrete talks that involve positive futures, so it isn’t some daydreaming or general discussion. These are plans and schedules. So they are extra “inductive”[7] compared to other general discussions that are inductive.

Also lots of new learning recently. Which always has an inductive effect on my mental state.

All this isn’t bad or good – but definitely contributes to my hypo-manic, up, state.

 


[1] Socks and shoes and getting them on “right” is one of my compulsions – but just an example to illustrate: it could be any obsession compulsion.

[2] Reader from the future go read up on events in January 2017 – particularly geo-political and particularly in what was known at the time as “the United States of America.”

[3] I’ll say “social media” here but for me, it’s Twitter. And it would be Reddit, but I don’t reddit, just that I see the homepage and recognize it as: “Wow, that would suck me in and spit me out so fast” so I avoid it. Like, I imagine, a recovering prescription opioid addict might look at heroine and react: “Yup, that clearly would hook me – better not even taste that.”

[4] I’ve also been taking a multi-vitamin for a a few months straight. I’m not sure if this has any effect, I’ve tried the multi-vitamin on and off. But since I haven’t recorded my use very well against my mental health, I don’t have any reason to suspect that it helps or hinders. Hence this footnote. Currently, just finished a course of multi-vitamins and also a period of doing very well mental-health-wise followed by trending into a long hypo-manic period.

[5] Hello, New Year’s resolution.

[6] Not just the New Year’s resolutions, but I ended 2016 with a long, sustained period of slow progress at being better. Healthier mentally, physically, and that naturally also flowed into being healthier emotionally.

[7] Many “Henrys”.

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Different month, same tune

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