Flowerbeds, Weeds, and Bipolar Disorder... Oh My

I have an appointment today with my psychiatrist, for now, I go every three to four months so she can stay apprised of how I'm doing in dealing with my bipolar disorder. It's been almost a year since I was diagnosed with this crazy mental disorder and we nearly have it under control. I still have moments, days and sometimes weeks when my hypomania takes over but those moments are less and less. 

This last few weeks have been a little rough though. I've been more easily irritated lately. It's the little things like voices, phone dings for messages, music on the radio, and such that just... it's like nails on chalkboards.  Add in the fact that I'm dropping, spilling and breaking nearly everything I touch and well I'm ready to just call it quits. 


I was reminded today why I can't quit. 

I was walking around the yard taking in the fresh air and enjoying my flowers. 

As I walked around the yard I saw some flower beds on the side of the house that were in desperate need of weeding.  One thing led to another and the next thing I know within 30 minutes I'd weeded the flower beds on one side of the house and in the front yard, the other side is just to darn muddy to get to right now. 

A daffodil in need of some tender care 

As I weeded I realized I haven't done this particular yard chore in over three years. 

My bipolarism stole the pleasure of gardening away from me and I quit doing it. I've always loved flowers, the beauty and the peace that they bring but in the depths of my depression and my mania, I couldn't be bothered with doing the things that I love. That realization saddens me. I lost so much of my time, my life, moments with my family, 

That's the worst thing about dealing with bipolar disorder and the accompanying depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues that pop up. It steals away your life bit by bit and unless you're vigilant you never notice until it's too late. I came close to losing way more than I ever thought a few years ago. Mike was wonderful and supportive and championed me while I regained my senses. Thanks to him I found a doctor that is really helping me and for the first time in years, I am present.

After I came to my senses I promised myself I wouldn't check out, I wouldn't quit again. Sometimes though, when in the midst of a hypomania mood, it's hard to remember that promise. It's hard to see past all the weeds to the good. 

A now tended and happy daffodil
Over the last year, I've learned some coping techniques for my irritability and hypomania. I've learned to recognize my triggers, to speak out when feeling that way so my family understands why I'm 'checking out' for the moment, how to redirect that energy into something else that isn't destructive and more importantly, how to recognize the moments I'm crossing a line. It' s not always easy. Sometimes it's hard to tell when I'm behaving in a normal way or I'm letting my disorder get the best of me. 

Still unsure if the sprouted grass is weeds in my hedge grass or if it's a part of the hedge grass.
I'm reaching out for help on this issue today so I can clear this bed if needed.  
At times like that, when I'm unsure and confused, I have to rely on outside sources to help guide me. I have to listen and register when Mike tells me I'm being irrational and not get angry because he's pointing it out. There's strength in turning to others for help. 

A weed-free flower bed
So there's no quitting for me. Never again. There is stepping back, taking deep breaths, regaining my sense of direction, and there's leaning on those I hold dear for support. There's turning to someone who knows how to deal with my issues in a professional manner.  I know that these steps, these lifelines, will help weed out (pun so intended) the things that are threatening to take over again and that in doing so I'll be able to see the beauty in life (and in my flower beds) without hesitation. 


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