Bipolar Blats

handmade greeting cards, collage artMy bipolar disorder and I seem to be co-existing a bit differently these days.  Compared to the warp speed cycling I’ve come to expect, with a grab-bag of symptoms from both ends of the spectrum at once, the illness seems almost asleep.  It’s dreaming, though, and it snores.

My capacity seems to be a little bigger, my ability to flex with change a little more limber.  The illness still bleeds through—a morning of crippling hopelessness, or agitation that fractures my memory.  But these incidents don’t last long.  And they don’t require my usual Siege preparations.  I can usually continue on with the day, get work done, keep my appointments and not fall into compulsive behavior.  These mini-episodes are sudden, sharp, painful, then over—like those god-awful air horns fans use at football games.  I’ve started calling them blats.

No way of knowing if this is a new trend or just another fancy.  Sometimes I think my illness enjoys entertaining itself, playing dress-up with new frocks and wigs and prancing around in front of a mirror.  I’ve learned not to get too attached to whatever costume it happens to be wearing.

Whatever is going on in my funny little brain, I’ll take it.  I’ll take being able to chauffeur my mom to her doctor’s appointments, to hear kindness and respect in my voice when I talk to her, and to roll with her needs and changes.  I’ll take being able to prepare a big salad, enjoy it while watching an episode of Parade’s End, then not going back to raid the cupboards.  I’ll take sitting down at a café to write and looking up three hours and eight pages later.  I’ll take swimming laps for 45 minutes without stopping.  When my illness decides to change clothes, and I’m sure it will, I’ll still be grateful for these wonders.  Each time I’m able to be a little more my real self,  each time I push through the illness to the other side, I consider it a gift.  And I never take gifts for granted.

On Monday, I’ll load my truck and travel to Council Bluffs for Peer Training.   I’ll pack a cooler full of greens and veggies, wrap up my Sacred Salad Bowl and bring my prep tools.  In goes my journal, my iPod and my swimsuit.  I’ll spend a week in a new place, learning new things and living—living with or without blats, cycles and episodes.  Living.  Oh, I like the sound of that.

The gifts I’ve received to help make this trip possible have all come from the folks who read this blog.  Even now, I can hardly believe that.  Such generosity and kindness.  Thank you.  May I never take you for granted.

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. goingalongwithit
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 06:56:55

    Absolutely loved reading this. I’m a new follower of your blog but I am beyond happy to read that you’re in such a good place at the minute. I hope your bipolar gets comfortable in the current costume and lets you enjoy living life that way for a long, long time to come.



  2. goingalongwithit
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 06:58:29

    Reblogged this on The Way I See It and commented:
    Calling all those with a passion and interest for and in the mental health sector. This post brought me close to tears. I cannot express how happy it makes me to hear of those who have been blighted with mental illness who now find themselves in an amazing place and living life the way they always wanted it to be!


  3. Michelle at The Green Study
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 07:06:06

    It sounds like you are in a good place. I know, always shifting, but those good places give us anchor when things shift. I am reminded, too, of the Buddhist practice of non-attachment and how that might apply to bipolarity (I don’t even know if that is a word). Learning not to be attached to moods, just as well as not being attached to outcomes. Lovely post, Sandy.


  4. David Kanigan
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 08:42:59

    Feel the same way Sandy. Nicely put.

    “The gifts I’ve received to help make this trip possible have all come from the folks who read this blog. Even now, I can hardly believe that. Such generosity and kindness. Thank you. May I never take you for granted.”


  5. jackspratt823
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 14:05:23

    Glad things are going better for you.


  6. Littlesundog
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 09:28:51

    This is such an inspiring post… chock full of good stuff! I am so happy and excited that you will be traveling west to take in a new experience!


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 22, 2013 @ 16:36:40

      Thanks, honey. Wish I could also travel south to your neck of the woods. Maybe if I become employable… ah, but spinning into the future is pure madness.


  7. Kathryn McCullough
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 16:37:35

    This is all such excellent news. I, too, have been healthier of late. I wonder if getting older helps. Hope you have a wonderful trip.

    Sorry to be so late getting here. Our container has arrived from the US, so we’ve been buried in boxes. Yikes!

    Hugs from Ecuador,


  8. LindaNoel
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 17:38:44

    SandySue – May I post your card of The Fuddy Duddy, with credit to you and your blog, on my fb page, with the following remarks?
    “This king looked immediately to me to be The Emperor who was wearing his “new clothes” ! Ahhh, love those moments/states of clarity when I can see I am not seeing the “clothes” the other person — who is “going off on me” — is so angrily sure they are seeing. That in itself, to see the disparity in seeing and letting it be, is so freeing. — AND, although they accuse me of it, I can see I am really not the one demanding their own view. I stopped sobbing (they went on), took a good calming breath, and left them to it !
    That was a part of my vacation in Ventura, CA last week. The Best and Most Nourishing experience was the mutual kind acceptance of and delight in each other that I shared with two men friends from my long-ago past in L.A. 1967-69 . It is so wonderful that we are alive and lucid enough to be grateful for the re-connections!”
    And I am so delighted for you SandySue for your new journey ! Thank you for this blog — a centering one for me.


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 25, 2013 @ 16:46:17

      Linda, I’m sorry to be late getting back to you. I’m doing my Peer training and just hopped on the hotel computer to check email (I feel SOOO cosmopolitan!).
      Anyhoo, thank you for sharing your Ah-Ha moment. Of course you can use my card. Just stick my name on it somewhere.


      • LindaNoel
        Sep 29, 2013 @ 14:58:59

        Thanks for the “go ahead” to post your Fuddy Duddy card on my Facebook. I’m thinking, though, the next time I need to ask for your permission—if I’m elaborating, perhaps more than appropriate for Your Blog—I’ll send you an email instead. Thank you for being so generous with your space, and your “space,” and time.
        Oh, and if I needed an Urgent reply from you, I wouldn’t ask in the first place because I consider Blogs and most Emails to be in a time-frame of “whenever the recipient gets to it”. 😉

      • Sandy Sue
        Sep 29, 2013 @ 21:24:26

        Linda, you don’t need to ask my permission again. Use whatever of mine you want, just be sure to stick my name on it (and maybe a link back to the particular blog post).

  9. pegoleg
    Sep 27, 2013 @ 17:48:11

    I’ve been unplugged so much lately, Sandy, I’m sorry I missed this good news. I’m so proud of you for doing the training – hope everything is going great for you there!


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