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Posts Tagged ‘the spoon theory’

When I first started the long and irritating journey of medication I didn’t think that they would be able to help me. I thought that nothing would be able to balance out my moods. Part of me felt that how I saw that world and myself was just a part of me, not the symptoms of bipolar. I didn’t want to live with the highs and lows anymore, but I didn’t believe that these magic pills would make me okay.

Once I was prescribed a medication cocktail that alleviated some of my worst symptoms, the pendulum of my opinion on bipolar disorder changed. I was under the impression that it was only a matter of time before I found the right mix of meds to make the remnant symptoms go away.

I now know that there will never be a magic fix for bipolar disorder. Even though I’m on a great mix of medications that let me be myself without the feeling over-medicated, some of my actions and responses to outside stimuli are still (and probably will be for a long time) irrational reactions based in my bipolar brain. Doing errands is enough to make me fume and stew for some reason that I haven’t deduced. If my fiance is a bit short with me, my reactions can be enough to turn it into a full-on argument if he doesn’t help me calm down. Driving to nowhere with my music turned up makes me almost manic and much more reckless with my decision-making processes. I know that these aren’t normal reactions and they make it painfully obvious that I’m not living a “normal” life with reasonable reactions.

This is where the Spoon Theory comes in. For those who don’t know (or don’t have the time to click the link), the Spoon Theory is a great view of how people with chronic health conditions have to function in their daily lives. People who are sick have a certain number of “spoons” each day, and every action that you make takes away “spoons”. Those with chronic illnesses always have to remember that they are sick because of the limitations of the illness. Even though I have a chronic mental illness, I see a lot of truth in the Spoon Theory in my life.

If I stay up too late and throw off my sleep schedule, I have less spoons to do chores and errands because it saps my motivation and follow-through. If work is crazy and I have a lot of intense or demanding customers, I’m not up to interact with my fiance or friends as I normally would. If I wake up early and take some time for myself in the morning, I’m better able to juggle the interpersonal demands of my life. The list could go on and on, but you get the gist.  Even though bipolar doesn’t limit me physically, no matter how stable my life and medications are there are still things that I have to worry about and plan around.  I always have to plan things out according to where I am in my ability to just live my life, lest I open myself up for a mental snap which derails my whole week.

Anyway, I wish someone had told me these things when I was first diagnosed. But then again, I probably wouldn’t have listened. I’ve always had to figure things out on my own.

-Ashes

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