Do you have predictable swings?

For me,  it’s my birthday and Christmas.   And Thanksgiving.  Living over here I try to take those days off and stay home, claiming it’s my birthright as an American.  (I do hope the humor in that statement comes through in text.)  I’ve never been a big fan of my birthday, somehow it always felt like a sign of failure that I’d managed to survive another year.  The lowest I’ve ever been was on my birthday in my 20s.  These days I just kind of accept that it’s going to happen, even though my feelings about it have changed.   I’ll be 29 (again?!) this year and honestly half the time I can’t remember exactly how old I am.  😛

Christmas… well, I’d love to blame that one on my family, they have an amazing sense of timing for dropping emotional bombs on the holiday, but the most traumatic one for me wasn’t… deserved, but I understand why it happened, and why it has stayed with me over the years.  I was a desperately unhappy bipolar girl, and I wasn’t a very good sister.  I can see that now, and that is what I think about around that time more than the things that have happened or been said.  I try to live life without regrets (only learning experiences) but I wish I could have done more to make her see how much she means to me.

Even though I know that at those two times of the year I’m going to swing down, I am still often surprised by it.  I think some part of me believes that since I know it’s coming, I should be able to ward it off or something.  Like, ‘I know there’s a pothole in this road, so I will plan to swerve around it.’  *crunch*  ‘Wait, what?!’

I do think it helps to be aware of times or triggers, even if it feels like you can’t stop them, at least you can do some preparation.  Honestly, I’m up and down so often in the course of a year that it took a while for me to recognize it was happening at the same time of year, no matter what.  And that’s the thing, isn’t it?  That you feel your mood shifting in ways that don’t match any external stimulus.

Anyway, I still need to think more on the LIFE CHART.  I can see the value it can bring, but I am just not sure how it fits into my BP journey.  I’ve been like this nearly since I can remember, but what I AM finding is that the more I accept it, the more I gain ‘bandwidth’ on how far we can go in either direction and still feel okay about it, the less afraid I am of it, the less bad it seems to get on either end.  I intend to explore this topic a lot more in the coming weeks.  It hit me like an epiphany.

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