What is Normal?

January 5, 2018

I've been doing a fair bit of reading, trying to find out as much as possible about living with Bipolar (BP) and how I can incorporate it into my life, so it doesn't manage to incorporate me into it, which has been happening the last couple of years.


One thing I really struggle with, is, what is normal? What does 'normal' happy look like? Feel like? How about 'normal' irritated? 'Normal' angry? 'Normal' sad? 'Normal' tired? 'Normal' anything?? What is a 'normal' relationship? A 'normal' marriage? The idea that there is no 'normal', and everyone is different, although wonderful because we're all unique, makes things slightly more tricky.


Mr P, my wonderfully patient, supportive, husband and I have had an interesting relationship to date, crossing multiple countries, and substantial time living in separate ones, talking daily and travelling to see each other as much as we could. I've also had some physical health issues, which resulted in surgery and may well have triggered this full blown mental illness aga. We were living in different countries when this all kicked off, and when I moved out here, it was like we were a married couple but had to figure out what that looked like, and what that looked like now that my mental illness had moved in (Bipolar (BP) at that stage was not a confirmed diagnosis). Anyway, I digress.


Back to this normal thing. I don't know what it is. I don't know what is reasonable to be upset about. Happy about. Sad about. When does sad become depressed? I know that BP can make me more irritable, but how much more irritable? How irritated can I be before it's no longer 'me', but my BP? I guess I want to figure out a way to discover and trust my emotions, so I can know what is me, and what is my condition.


To help me figure this out, I have decided to track my moods. Now, historically, I am someone who sees a bright shiny journal or diary, has to have it, commits to writing in it every day, and I do that, religiously.....until I stop. I have lost count of the number of books I have that have ramblings in them. A mixture of years even in some books. I get all enthused, positive that writing things down will help me process things and make my life easier, and that I will record both the good and not so good, and I do. And then I stop, either when things are going well, or when they're not. This is important.


This is important because, if I am going to truly learn to understand and incorporate my BP into my life, our life, I need to stick to this journaling thing. I need to track my moods daily. It is the 5th of January. I bought a new book on the 1st of January to track my moods. So far, there is nothing in it.


I have been talking to Mr P and letting him know about this mood tracking, and how he needs to be a part of it, because, I feel how I am, and how I think I am, but he sees how I am, and only by combining these two things, will we get a sense for how I actually am. I have lost track of the person I was before this all kicked off. Because we spent a fair bit of time apart, Mr P remembers the person he fell in love with and wanted to marry, and his view is vitally important in my becoming stable. If I am asking him to buy into this, I need to commit to doing it too. I can't figure out what's preventing me. Yes, I'm tired, irritable - somewhere on the hypo side, but coming down, (hoping that I land on the slightly positive side of 'normal', rather than the depressed side), but if I want to do this mood tracking, why am I not? Is it the depressed side of me who can't be bothered, finds it too hard? Or is it the 'normal' me, worried about what I might find once we have some data to analyse?


I don't know. But what I do know is, I'm not going to know if I don't get started. My lesson to myself for today is 'must do better', so, I'm off to write in my mood journal.

I hope. 


Wishing you the best day you can have, love Becs xxxx

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