Art vs. Mania

I feel like I am stealing, but really I am not! I had just come up with my topic for the day and thought, “I’ll write as soon as I go through all my notifications. One of the first posts I read was this one about coping with anxiety through travel. I wanted to comment so much because she wrote my thoughts. Anyway, here it is in case you want to read.

My Day

So today didn’t start out so well. I wasn’t feeling well and I had hoped to get a few things done. So settling for just one or two things I started my day. But a little bit turned into a shopping binge that did not help my purse, my stomach, my headache or my eventual anxiety.

So what did I do?

  • Breakfast
  • Trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond for a new coffee maker
  • Which led to a trip to Michael’s, it was right next door
  • Grocery store for creamer
  • Home to use my new coffee maker
  • A lot of reading and video watching to try and make my coffee maker work
  • A call to the manufacturer to find out it was broken
  • Back to BB&B for a new coffee maker
  • Have coffee, finally.
  • Arrange flowers I got at Michael’s in pots on my patio
  • Sweat a lot!!!
  • Trip to almost forgotten acupuncture session

Needless to say I feel no better and maybe even worse.

What I Wish I Had Known 12 Hours Ago

All of the above is a great sign I am manic. Well, not the not feeling well, but all the doing and buying, that is mania for sure. After all that I did I learned a lesson. There is more than one way to skin a cat!

Mania is one of my most miserable places that feels so good you just can’t help it. And I should know if I want to buy anything over 50 bucks I might just be heading to that spot on the map. And it is such an out of control place. BUT!!! I learned something when I got home. I sat down to do my watercolor for the day and lo and behold I felt calmer. And what was really nice was what I did turned out really well because I was more energetic about it. It wasn’t a “I’ll just kick this out and not worry about if it is too good and be done with it.” Instead it was, “how can I make something really beautiful” and stick to it until I succeed. I am new to watercolor so I let myself off the hook when something doesn’t look as good as it could. But today I didn’t.

So my theory, art battles mania! I knew it could work on my anxiety, but I never thought about mania. The next time I feel like spending over 50 dollars I am going to come up with an art project. If after that I still feel like that money is going to be well spent then okay, but first I need to give myself a chance to see if I am manic. If I am then I need to keep on doing the art. If what I want to buy is in fact necessary then spend away. But I do think I need to keep to online buying, having that store right next door was too much of a temptation. If I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have even thought to look at those things.

So here is my leaf. It’s not situated on the page all that well, but I can trim it down later. Right now I am worn out!

My Maple Leaf! I’m Kind of Proud.

The Lesson of Pharoah’s Dream; Fat and Skinny Cows

So I was looking at my memories on facebook and 4 years ago I was reading about Pharoah’s dream of the fat cows and the skinny cows. This can be found at Genesis 41. I appreciated it as much today as I did then. Here is what I got out of it.

First the interpretation of the dreams (there was a dream about grain too but it had the same interpretation). The dream meant that for seven years there would be an abundance of food, thus the fat cows. Then for the seven years after that there would be famine, the skinny cows. In the dream the skinny cows ate up the fat cows.

Next, how I took this personally and want to apply it. I have three emotional disorders, PTSD, bipolar, and an anxiety disorder. So to me the fat cows are the good times. The times everything is running smoothly. The skinny cows represent the bad times. Times when I can’t get my act together.

Now, upon interpreting the dream for Pharoah, Joseph advised him to get someone wise and discerning to save up food from the good years to prepare for the bad. (the skinny cows eating the fat cows) I find that with my mental health, as well as my physical health I can do the same thing. When you have a good day, make a note of it. Do it in a journal, facebook, just find a way to make note of it so that you can go back and see it again during the not so great (or flat out horrible) days. This will lead you to reminiscing times that were good and changing your attitude to a more pleasant one.

Some people say the Bible is outdated and not useful for today. I disagree. Right here I took a Bible story, one that would seem to not have much relevance, and applied it to my life. I found quite a bit of value in it. So secondary point of this post is don’t disregard the Bible. It is useful for today’s world and today’s society.

Visit jw.org for more information on applying the Bible in your life.

Anxiety: My Nightmare

I have several, we’ll call them ailments, one of which is an anxiety disorder. Of everything that is wrong with me this one is the worse. I cope so well with everything else. I keep a smile on my face and I mean it. But this is the one that just stops me dead in my tracks.

Anxiety is like a baby elephant sitting on your chest and stomach. The pressure is awful. Add to that a swimming head and negative “I can’t do it” or “I’m not worth it” or “no one cares” thoughts. Your heart races like you have actually been in a race, and you can’t catch your breath. And all of this for no logical reason.

My current trigger is the Zoom! meetings for my spiritual gatherings. I hear all those voices at once and my heart begins to race. Even if it is one voice at a time, the fact that I can tell it is many people just makes me sick.

There are things I can do to help this, but somehow I just don’t manage it. Mostly because you can’t think straight to manage it. I went through a wonderful course called WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and it had you make a whole notebook of stuff for when things go wrong. The problem is it is too overwhelming for me to look at so I ended up stashing it and don’t use it. So maybe letting it out here will help me get my act together some. So here is what I have come up with:

  1. Don’t get on until the last minute.
  2. Turn the volume down as far as it will go.
  3. Take my medicine just before meetings, they’re actually due at night. But once a week in the morning won’t kill me.
  4. Pray BEFORE I get on.
  5. Set an alarm so I am not on early.
  6. Put these reminders on my bulletin board to keep them fresh in my head.

These seem reasonable. Maybe Thursday evening will be better. Today is shot. But I will do things to make me feel better. I wish we weren’t on lock-down, I would be at my best friends house trying to make the day better. But much better to be safe than sorry, so I will keep on trucking. Maybe I should pull that action plan out and see what my thoughts were on all of this a couple of years ago. Maybe it will help.

I want to add one last thing. If there is someone in your life who suffers from an anxiety disorder, be patient. I know it makes no sense to you, and it might never make sense to you. But it is real and sometimes horrifying to the person who has it. I am not overstating this, I promise. So be patient, listen, hold their hand, or if they need space, then give it to them, but not too much. We need to know someone cares and is there for us even when we are a flat mess.

Okay, one more last thing. For those suffering I want to give out the crisis line. A lot of people think of the crisis line as for suicides only, it is NOT! Anytime you feel out of control or even if you just need to talk out a problem they are there for you. It took me a while to realize that was really true, but I have found that it is. They are happy to help you get through whatever it is that is pulling you down.

Veterans Crisis Line: www.veteranscrisisline.net Phone number: 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1

For those who are not veterans you use the same number, just don’t press the one. The website is www.suicidepreventionhotline.org

Please, don’t be afraid to use these, you DESERVE the help.