Rhythm and Routines

Last week I went to visit our darling children: my son, his lovely wife and their adorable little daughter. To say I enjoyed it  is  the understatement of the year.  At the same time, I was reminded of the power of rhythm and routine in Bi-Polar Land.

We Bi-Polar Landers all know that our condition is all about rhythm - or eb and flow as we often put it. Our condition has a mind of its own. It takes us up, down and round again. We can do two things:

  1. Learn to live with the rhythm and let go of our natural desire to control our condition so that our mind doesn't end up broken on the shore of our mental health
  2. Take medication to reduce the amplitutde of the rhythm so that our brain and body don't end up wrecked on the shore of our physical health.

In truth, we often need to do 1 AND 2 above because separating our physical health from our mental health or vice versa is a fruitless pursuit: it doesn't work.

The biggest and most painful realisation we ALL eventully come to is this one:  we cannot STOP the rhythm. It can stop us but we cannot stop it.

Another thing we soon learn is that our condition's rhythm affects our routine. When we are up, everything from our sleeping to our eating routine is affected - sometimes very badly indeed.  When we are low, same thing.  Trying to keep to a routine when the rhythm changes is equivalent to our trying to stand on one leg when someone takes the rug from under our foot. We fall flat on our face and get  a crushing sense of failure on top of the bruises.

To make it more 'interesting' still, guess what?  Changing our routine also changes our condition's rhythm. My visit last week was a rude reminder of it. Because my routine (sleeping and eating) was altered, my condition responded by changing its rhythm.  Result: I had to tweak my medication in order to cope with the backlash.  I am just starting to recover what is a 'stable' rhythm for me.

I am furious about it because it makes me feel like I am a big fat stick in the mud! I musn't do this and I musn't do that because it will upset my illness and when my illness gets upset my life is not worth living. On the other hand, if I don't get out of my routine to see my own children then my life is not worth living either!  This is yet another Bi-Polar Land conundrum.....

What is the answer? I have no idea.  All I know is that:

  • There are as many answers out there as there are Bi-Polar Landers
  • Sharing our answers with each other is probably the most helpful we can do for ourselves.

Thank God for social media  :D

So glad i found you!

It felt really nice to read this and understand where you are coming from! 

I really dont like being Bi-Polar, in the UK it is not a widely recognised illness... they basically give you anti-depressants and say bye :)  Luckily like you said, the meds chill out the speed of the cycles.  I didnt want to take them as i didnt want to be classed as Depressed .  In my head im not.  I go up high, i go manic, i go to dark places, i feel everything a little too much :)  If they had explained what the meds were going to do (partly my fault for not asking questions.) i dont think i would of fought taking them for so long, but then i wouldnt of learnt other ways to deal with my condition, i probably would of missed quite a few life lessons.  So i wouldnt change anything, and the meds for the time being give me a break from my roller coaster ride of a life :)


Nice to meet you :) -Dink

Thank you Dink

Nice to meet you too!  You are obviously a highy experienced Bi-Polar Lander... I am glad to hear that the meds are helping making your rollercoaster ride a little more comfortable.

Here is a bucketful of love and encouragement for you my friend.

Gabrielle x

Hello Gabrielle, I was

Hello Gabrielle,

I was thinking about you yesterday after my radio interview with Linnaea Mallette, who has been hearing impaired sense she was four years old.   Like you, she works hard at accepting her condition and focusing on the positive things in her life, including doing an amazing radio show.   You are doing such a great service for your bi-polar community and your posts are always so inspiring to me.

Wishing you and your family the best,





Thank you Danny

Your encouragement means A LOT to me - thank you so much  :D xx xx

Mum to a Bi-Polar Lander

I do not have time to stop and read as much as I would like to as our daughter is not well and has just been Sectioned this week.  This has happened before and she is now 43 years of age.  She is a loving and kind Mum to her two boys whom she has raised on her own since they were tiny.  They are now 21 & 18.

She moved to London last October, to start a new chapter in her life, it seems she has had too much to cope with and on very little money.  To top it all her youngest son decided to leave home in March and has gone to live with his Dad.  That is the last thing she expected as she was subject to several years of mental and physical cruelty by this man before she decided enough was enough.

This will be the first time in all these years she is living on her own.  She was phoning me and telling me how much she missed her son.  I wish she hadn't moved as she was only about 20 miles away from us - now she is so far away and in a city where you can feel so lonely.  I think she did it so that she felt annonymous but we, her family, are not able to help her so easily.

She is not at all well, admitted to not taking her meds for a month apparantly and I wonder if her Lithium levels had been checked since she moved to London.  She does not accept she has Bi-Polar and all the blame comes onto us when she finds herself in hospital.

I feels so helpless and hate to see her so poorly.  I try my hardest to tell myself that she does not mean what she says and I keep crying because I just wish she had a partner to love and care for her.

Thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts and my very best wishes to all you special people.



Routine Routine Routine

Routine doesn't always mean doing the same thing over and over. Sometimes that routine may be being aware you are altering your routine if that makes any sense!

Thank you...

...for making a website that literally speaks to me. I hope you are managing at the moment, Gabrielle; please know that you have helped me very much.

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