Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sometimes You Have It, Sometimes It Has You

The point of treatment of my bipolar disorder, my therapist told me, is take me from being a whipping and drastic motion of a roller coaster, to that of gently rolling hills. Because the reality is, everyone has ups and downs, but there are some of us who require medication and talk therapy to maintain that balance.

Since my last entry I'd be lying if I said I haven't been struggling. Around Christmas the bottom dropped out, so to speak. Meaning, as I like to say things got to be a tad bit overwhelming. I had been doing so much that everything was too much.

So, like a responsible person I called my therapist and made an emergency appointment. And here is where the reality of an overburdened and understaffed system comes in. I made that call the first week of January. My 'emergency appointment' is for for the 28th.

Since then I have faced issues which only exacerbate my condition. In other words, I've been alternately, hypomanic, depressed, and freaked out levels of paranoid in the short span of a month. In fact, now, as dad watches a special on the rise of the third reich I'm so freaked out I can hardly stand being in my own skin. And one of the worst things possible is to be freaked out like this.

But I will say more often than not as the six weeks have gone by I have been able to put together more good days than bad days. But the ride has been more like a roller coaster. In a day's time I can go from tears to joy to hope to late at night heart stopping fear.

But let's take a look at what I've accomplished in the face of this. Close to 54K on the second book in my Bella Morte series. Arranging a good chunk of the rollout on this special series with the first book. An outrageous amount of marketing and networking done on Hekate Press. And have had avenues open up to a possible television series based on the Bella Morte books.

So how does one cope when your emotions are ripping you apart like that? Well, here is what I do.

If you're going to eat to it try to be responsible. Eat fruit. Eat a mega mondo salad with every vegetable imaginable. Or if you have the cash? Cracker Barrel's chef salad or Zaxby's cobb salad.

Whatever you do, don't exacerbate it with drugs or alcohol, they actually make it worse. Don't ask me how I know this, but suffice it to say I've seen it in action.

Music is cathartic. Exercise is cathartic. My tether to stability is my writing and my appointments with my doctors and others who share this similar journey. That and I have friends are, at times, my pillars of strength.

So when things start to seem dark don't be afraid to lean on those around you who are there to help you. There is no shame in treatment or needing a little more help than just the ignorance of a well meaning loved one saying 'you'll grow out of it'.

Staying balanced on the see-saw of life--



  1. Hi Amy,

    Yes, the strategies you mention are some of the things that help me during bouts of severe depression. What amazes me is your level of productivity. I can barely manage to function during my worst periods, let alone write thousands of words. How do you do it?

  2. When I was in the thick of it, the worst of it, during my initial diagnosis in 1999 I couldn't function at all let alone produce any work. And it wasn't until this Christmas that I made a choice to try and get back into reading novels again. I write because if I don't I feel unwell. It's like, something's missing here. I write because I have to. But I'll admit, when I am depressed, little if any gets done.