on 2010-11-08 10:31 am (UTC)
catdraco: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] catdraco
Depends on the particular crazy that's the problem at that particular time. The thing about bipolar disorder of course is that there's up and down.

Depression is a tough one, and when it begins to interfere with life then I usually need to go with it for a while. I notify friends and family that I'm shutting down for a while, I gentle myself through the days, and I keep reminding myself that it will pass - I'm moving through depression, I'm not stuck in it. That particular thought is a very powerful one: it's like a mantra. Remembering that while the overall crazy is permanent, the episodes are transitory really, really helps.

When I'm anxious, I do much the same. I also give myself permission to feel anxious. Rather than trying to avoid or solve the anxiety, which inevitably leads to self-injury impulses or similar, focusing on the feeling itself and allowing myself to feel it helps me to remember that the feeling is not actually going to kill me.

My Nintendo DS is an excellent tool. Lego Batman is cute and fun and designed for children so it's pretty hard for me to actually fail at it. I start to play, and give myself permission to completely zone out of life until I've calmed down. Works pretty well, generally.

Knitting is another one. Knitting is like meditation, but because it involves motor skills rather than mental discipline, it's easier for me to sink into when I'm feeling scatty.

I'm allergic to housework as a rule, but getting through piles of laundry or cleaning the kitchen is a great way to burn off anxiety or hypomania, and the achievements that result help me to feel more in control.

If in doubt, I clean up my filesystem a bit. Actually tidying is a tool I use a lot when I'm anxious or overwhelmed, but only ever in fairly finite ways - my desk at work, for example, is spotless when I'm just about losing my shit. :D Reining in the mess helps create the illusion of control.

If I think of anything else, I'll come back and add to this.
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May 2011

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About Jen

A 20-something fat, queer woman of colour living in Australia.

Reading: Fond of speculative and YA fiction, social justice theory in various forms. Would love to see more rounded fat/queer/female/of colour (and multiples of the above) characters in fiction.

Writing: Sometimes blogs at Hoyden About Town, dabbles in fiction now and then, hoping to find her creativity again.

Watching: Fond of sci-fi/fantasy television, with a strange weakness for cop shows. Would love to see more rounded fat/queer/female/of colour (and multiples of the above) characters on television.