Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Back After All This Time ...

... that being 3 & a half months, & I cannot tell you how much it delights me to say that in those 3 & a half months, I have had nothing more severe than a minor wibble in my emotional flatline. This is big; I've been accustomed to at least a bi-monthly flip, one way or the other (or both) for years & years!

I've been trying to figure out why this is, what I'm doing right. I've kept up the eating lots of fish & nuts whenever I can; this is not a hardship for me, except for the rare occasions when I'm looking at a restaurant menu & I'd really rather have the barbeque chicken than the poached salmon. I've given up trying to cut out caffeine, instead trying to just keep my caffeine intake on the low side; I've switched to decaf tea & though I still drink Coke more often than not, it's pretty much my only caffeine provider & I try to keep my intake regular. I exercise when I can, not frequently by any means but definitely more than I otherwise would, & alcohol ... well, I never really drank much before, so I haven't worried about it unless I've suspected I'm on a slide - then I won't go near it (no matter how much I really really want to). I'm feeling almost ready for an episode now - I know it's an illness, I know it's not my right frame of mind, I know there are people around to help me.

I'm really not convinced that I'm doing anything ground-breaking or amazing here; it's just some tips from my therapists, an 'experimental' theory on diet that I heard about in a documentary, & knowing I've got love & support. I'm currently counting my blessings that I evidently have a mild case that I can deal with without turning to drugs (yet), never mind how totally not mild it is when it really hits me. I hope this gives a few people out there a bit of hope in their own situations, too ... & I'll keep up the blog, however infrequently, for as long as I can.

I've been diligently using www.bipolarcharts.com all this time, & it is very interesting to look back & see the little line bobbing up & down. I can go back & click on the biggest highs or lowest lows to see what comments I put with them at the time, & get an idea of what was going on at the time. It's a really good analytical tool, & I strongly recommend using it. I can even put in how much exercise I'm doing at the time as well, & can look back & see if that seems to have a correlation (at the moment, a little) or how anxious I'm feeling, & look back at that too (lots of spikes with the lows & a few spikes with the highs, but spikes on their own don't seem to be bringing on either as far as I can tell).It's also kind of amusing to look back on at times, for example when I clicked on an astronomical spike on my anxiety chart & saw that it was the day I went to the dentist for a filling ...

I'm still keeping busy - larp, theatre, my little business & even a bit of gardening now that the weather's nice, & all alongside a full time job! So blog posts aren't going to be regular, but I'll do my best for you. Keep an eye on this, if it interests you ... I will be back.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Status Update: January & February 2012

I'm doing these two months together, not entirely because I've been too lazy/ busy to do them separately, but also because (cue fanfare) I've had a good couple of months! Apart from a few minor wobbles that turned out to be nothing much, I've had no serious ups or downs at all since New Year. This is pretty good, & I've been revelling in my normalcy!

I'm loving that Bipolar Charts thing, by the way. It's really helpful with keeping track, especially with my memory! I'm also tracking my exercise & my anxiety levels, just to see how they tally with my general mood. When I get some more dramatic images (not that I'm hoping) I'll have a bash at posting them on here, so you can see what it's like. In the meantime, if it's something you think might benefit you, go check it out. I posted a link for it last time, I think.

But I have been somewhat busy. I'm at the very start of organising a play (adverts for which will be forthcoming), I'm raising money for my charity of choice, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation (by going blonde .... photos can be seen at www.justgiving.com/Tracey-Carvill & if you like it you can still donate), still larping (of course) & continuing my slow amble towards having my own craft business by putting stuff together to trade at a larp fair in March! So yay, go me!

The next project on the horizon is the aforemantioned larp fair at the end of March. I say fair - it's more of a cross-system tournament, really, with a few stalls on the side. It's called LARP AID, it too is raising money for S.O.P.H.I.E (this year - it picks a new charity every year), & you can find out more at www.larpaid.org.uk if you're curious. I'll be going along as my latest alter-ego, Pixie, selling my wares & taking orders for custom pieces. Also I'll be one of the judges in the bards' tournament, yay!

So that's me for now ... all go & all good. Other than that, best wishes to my dear pal Lemur Lady, who writes that there blog 'Knitting My Own Yoghurt' on here, who recently had a bit of an accident, bless her. Hope you pull through!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Status Update: December 2011

Mostly, December was fine. It's generally a good, albeit rather stressful month for me; it has both my birthday & Xmas in it, not to mention New Year, which are all good, happy party times, but as I work in retail, it can get rather crazy on the work front. Also I can't take any holiday time in December, so it's all go.

Unfortunately, my mood started to drop around the 28th, & just after New Year it really plummeted. (Yes I know that's technically not December, but it's relevant, & it's my blog, so nyeh.) I just lifted out of it in the last couple of days, so it was a long one, though thankfully not a really severe one. I am currently glaring suspiciously at the (comparatively) large amount of alcohol (depressant) I drank over the previous 3 weeks, & vowing to be more careful next year. Once in a while, getting pleasantly riddled on rum doesn't seem to do me any harm, but this was ... let me count ... five? ... times in 3 weeks. Ah, Xmas. The season of goodwill.

Well, they do say January is a depressing month ...

Friday, 16 December 2011

New Toy!!!!


So you can make a chart / graph of your moods, leave notes on the stuff that's happening to you, & start to notice & understand any patterns, triggers etc. Could be interesting ... I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Things To Do When Depressed: 1


So this might sound like the last thing you'd want to do, but I just suffered hrough a nasty week & I had both a gig & a LARP event to go to. I seriously considered bailing, but I know from previous experience that this just gives me another thing to torture myself with while I'm down - failure to commit to my plans, letting my friends down, wasting ticket money, blah blah blah. So this time, I just sucked it up & went. The gig was a bit torturous at first ... making small talk while waiting for the bands wasn't much fun - but once the gig started I threw myself into dancing & cheering & singing, & came out of it feeling briefly better. Music has always helped me through, & a bit of crazy dancing really helped too. Probably those exercise endorphins ... In fact my therapist did tell me that exercising would help, so ... there we are.

The LARP helped too. But then that's a mix of exercise & escapism ... running around pretending to be someone else? No mystery why that helped, really.

Now I don't recommend that you stick to things that are going to involve lots of socialising & talking to people, where you're going to have to keep your mask up all the time, & pretend you're fine when you're really not. That's exhausting & torturous, so probably best avoided. After all, if you give the excuse that you're ill, you're not reallt lying, are you? But things you really enjoy, things you can get lost in, things like clubbing or gigging or anyhing else you really love ... try & do it regardless. Things you enjoy that much will help you lift your mood & get out of the funk ... or at least help you stop sliding any further down.

Status Update: October & November 2011

I've been busy busy busy lately, & now that the dust is finally starting to settle I'm back to update this lil' ol' blog thingy.

Sooo ... October. Let's see ... I was deep in rehearsals for a play & had a major game in my favourite LARP game to prepare for, as well as my new year, Samhain. (Have I mentioned I'm Wiccan? Can't remember. Well, I am.) So I had a lot to do. This meant I didn't have much time for moping or dwelling, & I couldn't wuss out on any of these responsibilities, & my mind was pretty much occupied all the time. I only recall a brief (maybe a week) period of feeling ... mixed up, sometimes buzzing, sometimes drooping ... but I didn't have time to pay it much attention. This seems to work quite well, at least for the less severe moments - just keep busy, don't give your mind time to dwell, to play its tricks, just keep forging ahead until the phase passes.

November, I wasn't quite so lucky. The play went on on the 25th & 26th, so I was still rehearsing like mad up til then, & right after that I had another LARP event - this one a small thing that I had arranged with a group of friends, so I was preparing for that too. Up til these, I was fine - busy, a bit stressed, but fine. Unfortunately right after that I had a week of rather nasty depression - the kind that makes you feel physically unwell as well as just plain miserable. I thought I was catching a cold, but the lack of symptoms except for feeling ridiculously tired (but unable to sleep) & under the weather, followed with the sudden sinking spirits, clued me in. I continued with the keeping busy plan, but it persisted ... I'm only just clawing my way out of it now. Still, I found out a few good things - but I'll put them in a new post. :)

In other news ... happy belated new year to all the Wiccans & other pagans out there!