Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hey, I'm Back -- And Large and in Charge (Sorta)

Finally, an update.

I've had a rough few weeks, and couple that with the fact that even if I'm in a good mood, using my computer usually makes me want to break something, I've just kind of avoided any serious computer stuff altogether.  Which isn't an excuse, but it is a reason.

So, like I said, I've been having some rough times the last few weeks.  What am I doing about it?  Well, I'm glad you asked.

I've been trying -- albeit somewhat half-heartedly -- to take some control of my life.  A while ago I wrote about a blog post on that discussed how many people may be able to get off antidepressants and help their moods themselves through exercise, eating, and the like.  When I wrote about it, I kind of scoffed at the idea, and pointed out that sometimes, medication can be empowering, rather than disempowering. 

The thing is, ever since I wrote about that blog post, I haven't been able to forget it.  It kind of lodged in my brain and won't leave.  I still don't know if I buy all of what she's selling, but I know I'm sure tired of feeling like crap.  I'd also like to avoid further ECT treatments, and further hospitalizations (both options that have  been discussed the last week or so).

I've taken a few steps to try to help myself out.  I said before that it was "half-heartedly," because I don't really have the energy to do much of anything full-throttle, and of course, if I fail, I can say that I only half-assed it, so that's why I failed (nothing like setting yourself up for failure, eh?).  So this is what I've done:
  • Stopped drinking Diet Coke, and all soda.  I've read so much about how bad diet pop is for your body, and how it makes you fatter, plus I know there are bad chemicals in there
  • Thought about going all vegan/organic, and stopped eating meat.  I am approaching this in stages; first, the meat, then all the animal or not-cruelty-free products.  I'd like to move my family over to this kind of eating as well, and I found an interesting food blog called that has an associated cookbook.  All the food is family-friendly and vegan.  Again, I'm doing this because I'm tired of thinking about the chemicals, hormones, and other icky stuff that is in our food -- and, even more so, in my kid's food
  • Started journalling again
  • Got a new therapist, and have actually kept my appointments with her
  • Tried to do more yoga, on a more regular basis.  I had to give up the treadmill because of my wonderful hernia (which I'll have fixed in about three weeks), but yoga doesn't bother me
  • Have been getting out of the house more.  Rather than sleeping whenever I have a babysitter, I've been trying, at least for a little while, to go run some errands or even just drive around in order to get out of the house.  There are days when I really, truly, detest my house -- I want to bash the walls with a baseball bat.  I think that's a sign that I need to get out
That's about it.  Remember, as I said, I haven't been doing any of these things  super consistently or anything, and I still feel like crap (though I do feel better than I did).  I'll keep you posted on my life-improvement quest.


  1. Hello,

    I am a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California, and I am beginning my research for my master's thesis, which is an evaluation of successful marriages/domestic partnerships (defined as those that have lasted at least 10 years) of people both with and without Bipolar Disorder and Levels of Expressed Emotion. The point of the study is to take a first step in discovering what qualities long-lasting relationships of those with bipolar disorder have, so that eventually those qualities and skills might be communicated to couples who are newly facing this diagnosis.

    In order to recruit sufficient participants for a meaningful study, I am looking for bipolar-related blogs and websites and marriage/partnership-related blogs and websites upon which I could post a link to a survey that is designed to measure both Expressed Emotion and marital satisfaction. My research design is complete and has been passed by the Institutional Review Board and I would be happy to submit my entire design and survey to you for your approval. Here is a link to the survey, itself:

    Is this something that would likely be acceptable for your website/blog? Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

    Thank you for your time,
    Valerie Barrack

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