When the baseline gives out …

It’s been an interesting last few days here.

From a professional point of view, my job has been flying high (manic??) and there’s been lots of good news.

From a personal point of view, my girls (wife and daughters) and I have had a really great few days.  We’ve celebrated together, we’ve been able to have fun together, and just enjoy being a family.   Parenting with mental illness isn’t easy, and I’m sure it’s not easy for my wife to partner with someone who has one either.  That’s why the last few days have been good.  It’s felt good, you know?

But from a bipolar side … the pendulum seems to have been amped up and swung back.  I’ve felt three times in the last 72 hours like the mania was back, just below the surface.  Like it was ready to take over again.  Like get the klonipin ready to go.  The anxiety has been peeping it’s head around the corner, and I’m fighting like hell to keep both away. It’s been 28 days since I last took a klonipin, and frankly I like not feeling that in my body.   It’s been a month today since I checked into the facility and I’m fighting to keep that progress.  I believe that I’ve got the tools in my heart and mind and support group to keep me buoyant, but it’s really hard right now.

I don’t know what it means to pray hard necessarily – you hear people say that a lot.  But I think I’m becoming a believer in the concept of being mindful hard.  Does that make sense?  Part of me feels like I’ve become so sensitive to how my brain feels that I can make out the very moment when the mania “steps onto the stage” to try and play a role. The coping mechanisms I was taught when I was in the facility are all getting their fair share of mileage, and I’m really glad I have them.

My family (Megan first, then out from there) are my first line of defense and support and I sure as heck couldn’t survive this without them.  The core group that seems to have found me on here – those 6-10 of you who write about/write with/write of bipolarity and mental illness are becoming part of my support system.

It takes people I’ve found, to hold the baseline in place and keep the symptoms at bay. People and prayers. If you’re reading this, you’re one of my people and I’m glad you’re here.  Never doubt that I’ll be yours too if you need it – let’s survive together.

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