Thursday, October 11, 2012

From the Caterpillar's Point of View

"How exactly does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so badly that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar." Trina Paulus

I have no idea who that author is. I just came across the quote this morning and it's fueled a day's worth of ruminating. Are you here to check on how the bipolar II is going? Great. That's what I'm talking about today. Specifically all the things that have changed, or are changing, in order to accomodate a life without drugs, and also without straight-jackets.

Therapy is fun. No, really. I'm actually enjoying it. I get to talk to someone for 50 minutes and neither of us is naked. Also, I get to sit down. Totally new experience.

Awareness training is also fun. But this is more fun in the "time to get your crayons and your pencils..." sort of way. It's watching a 90 minute video every week and doing homework. You know, all the things Anna actually loves doing (see the 15 minutes I spent as a grad-student).

Also, ACT therapy is interesting... although it's the reason I feel like I'm in a grade level below kindergarten. I tried to explain this to Stephan. It went like this....

Me: This is annoying. I feel like I'm taking a class on how to be a human being.

Him: Sure.

Me: I mean, what if someone told you that you need to be potty-trained, and you're 38?

Him: But... in this scenario you're peeing on the seat.

Me: Point taken.

Then there's acupuncture. I've had one treatment, and I'm actually amazed that the last 2 days have been relatively drama-free. I'm using it in conjunction with (complementary to, if you will) the rest of the therapies, so I will never be able to judge it as a stand-alone component. But still, it makes me happy.

While I was at acupuncture, the Oriental Medicine practitioner started talking about my diet. It's not too bad really. But then she suggested I cut out ALL dairy. All. Like, ALL OF IT. And I had a little tiny brain melt-down. Because, you know, I'm not changing enough of my life right now, you gotta mess with my food. And gluten. Stop eating that. The whole family. Dairy and gluten are out. Also, a cleanse twice a year would be good. Brain. Overload. Not. Paying. Attention. Any. More. Something about running also making my condition worse, but honestly at that point I was just giving her my best, "I'm totally listening to your lecture about how microwaves work, Dad" blank stare face. Too much.

Make up your own ending where I tie this all back to wondering if I'm really interested enough in flying to give up yogurt smoothies and pizza.


Annie Crow said...


I think acupuncture is awesome, what specifically are they working on? I mean, how does your acupuncturist describe the treatment for bipolar II?

I am moving towards no dairy and less gluten as well, as much as I can in a household where the others refuse to think about such things and tolerate my "weird" eating only so far. And I don't have time to make completely different meals always for them and me.

Reading the book "Thrive" by Brendan Frazier right now - very interesting to think about the effects of stress on the body and the way the Standard American Diet is a stressor.

Tonight I'm making pizza for the family - my section will have nutritional yeast on it instead of cheese.

Good luck with all this!

... said...

The acupuncturist has noted that my heart is the main cause of the congestion in my system. It's stressing out my kidneys, which are forcing my adrenal glands to send out stress chemicals at inappropriate times. Also, my lungs "are tired." There's no standard treatment for bipolar II, actually in oriental medicine, there are no "standard treatments" at all. Each treatment is as individual as the person experiencing it.

PLEASE tell me what this "nutritional yeast" is and how it works on pizza!!!! I'm the most sad about the pizza. I really love pizza!!!

Ali said...

I love acupuncture. It completely got rid of my migraines. And I've been gluten free since I was 11...I'm no doctor, but I don't see the benefit in cutting out gluten unless you have an intolerance or allergy. But what do I know?

I'm glad your therapies and classes are fun for the most part. It's got to be scary to deal with BPII without medications, but it sounds like you're on the right track for you!

... said...

Ali, I've always noticed I was a little, ahem, sensitive to dairy, but I never even considered the gluten- it's another one of those things I won't know until I try it! You know, a year from now when things have settled down!!