Not a doctor, just my stories
Words or Pictures. These are lightning fast and for me usually negative so for me to swing back to the rational I now have to say to myself “really?” or “again?” or ignore it completely.
I have described this in earlier posts as flashes. Depending on the thought it can trigger a negative feeling, what if scenario, or it happened to someone else it can happen to me feeling.
Event: Leave the house
Picture: I have an image of falling on my face, knocking my teeth out, blood everywhere. This has basis in something that did happen to me but every wobble, stone or curb I see a picture of falling, teeth out, blood.
Feeling: Annoyed this happens all the time
Real event: I went to Alaska on a cruise for my 50th birthday. We got to Glacier Bay the one reason you take a cruise because it can only be accessed by ship. I got so excited I went running to the shield to get a better look and I caught my toe on a step and fell flat on my face. I put my hands out enough that I did not break my nose or knock my teeth out but one of my bottom teeth partially punched through my bottom lip and yes there was blood everywhere.
My poor husband has to be called over to see me covered in blood. As I am being wheeled away to medical I keep telling my husband I am OK because I know he is shaken and tears are streaming down my face because I am going to miss Glacier Bay and I can’t believe this is happening. This is the kind of thing that I would imagine happening and worry about happening and now it is happening.
I get patched up, have a nice scar on my lip a year later but we got back up on deck with me clenching a paper towel between my lips and dammit I saw the glaciers.
Before the blood everywhere picture it was a bone broken picture so at least I have some variety now.
Event: I get home from work and the lights are on in the house but the den shutters are completely closed and it is very dark. Usually they are open with my dog staring out.
Picture: I have a Murder She Wrote moment where I think my husband had been knocked unconscious by the robber or killed. I see him on the floor in my mind.
Feeling: I actually had a panic spike
Reality: It turns out he was watching this Game of Thrones episode that everyone said was too dark and he had made the room as dark as possible so he could see better
Event: I had a cataract, I had surgery.
Thought: Up until the surgery I would think about going blind in that eye.
Picture: Clockwork Orange when I was told I needed the surgery. It was. You feel NOTHING don’t panic but they cover your face leave a hole over your eye and tape your eye open. Also the one thing you do not want to hear in an operating theater is oh sh**t. I swear I heard it.
Event: One of my dogs likes to bite buckles and buttons etc. I notice a tote bag that has magnetic buttons and they are now gone with just threads.
Thought: Bernie swallowed them he will die.
Picture: They are magnets they are going to kill him because the magnets are going to be attracted to something metal and punch through some internal organs. I can see them sliding around.
Feeling: Mild hysteria. I call my husband and I say I know I am being totally irrational but I am going to be hysterical all day and just take the dog to the vet. Hubby is great he does not tell me I am being irrational. He calls the vet and about twenty people in his office regale him with things their dogs have eaten and definitely pooped out etc.
Event: Hurricane Sandy. Power is out, hurricane eye is passing over us we are in the living room on the sofas and the windows are really rattling.
Picture: The windows shatter, my husband is impaled with glass.
Action: I scream at my husband to get on the floor. He quietly does a perfect roll off the sofa and onto the floor and does not say anything.
Feeling: Scared but safer on the floor, I love my husband.
So I know I have bipolar disorder. I have a better sense of how my brain works, what is out of my control, and that my brain misfires. In my younger days this would be bewildering, frightening and paralyzing. Now I have better awareness but I still have to manage it. My job is to be conscious of a good thought per my last therapy session.
Event: Sunny Day
Thought: The stinging insects are out there
Until next time