It seems, a week in, that I may have found the mood tracking tool for me! It's only taken six months, but it turns out than a mobile app is the way to go for me.
In the nearly three weeks since Mr P and I met with Dr S and have been going through medication dosage changes, it's not been plain sailing. There are been some pretty distressing 'my life is over' moments. These ones have come on so suddenly and had me reduced to tears in such a way that has been relatively rare for me. I have a LOT of ups and downs but I don't tend to have massive crying episodes.
I've spent a lot of time online researching, asking questions, commenting in groups, looking for info to make sense of what I've been going through. I came across the Bipolar Toolkit on the Bipolarlives site. It is a 24 page document, written a few years ago. It was so easy to read, and seemed like a really simple three step programme to stability.
Step one is mood tracking, and I have to admit I nearly failed at this first hurdle. The first suggestions are about tracking on a paper sheet, and although they're credited and used by professionals, it just seemed like something I wouldn't do - my daily upheavals couldn't be reduced to a tick in a box morning and night. But when the document referred to doing something online, that sounded a bit more like me.
I needed something that ticked all my boxes, something that I could record more than a score, I had to be able to write (type) stuff down so whatever rating I gave myself could be backed up with situations that happened.
Well, blow me away with a feather, this thing exists! Introducing.......iMoodJournal! Yes, I had to pay for it (£2.49), but it is awesome! And I can't believe I'm saying that after only one week of using it! I could choose my own colour scheme - so of course my is a pink scale, and instead of numbers the moods are things like 'meh', 'so-so', 'bad', 'couldn't be worse', 'okay', 'good', 'okay', so basically language I would use.
I can also make up my own #hashtags, and I can then look at the number of times they've been used, link back to the day/time that they were used, and the situation.
After only a week, Mr P and I can look at a pretty little flowing graph that shows how my moods are going up and down, and what's gone on. The most used hashtags are #tired and #sleep so far. It's a bit weird because I'm not sure what #hashtags I'll want in the future, but love that it is flexible enough that it won't really matter.
I'm looking forward to going back to seeing Dr S next week and showing him that I've started really tracking my moods. For me, a mobile app is most definitely the way forward - I can set times for it to ask me how I'm feeling, or it can be set to do it randomly. I kind of like the random setting, because it then really is a reflection in that moment.
Steps two and three in the Bipolar Toolkit are about identifying triggers (which will come after I understand my mood patterns), and putting together a wellness plan - something Mr P and I can work on over the coming weeks.
I'm actually hopeful, even though there have been some sh*tty times, that this could be a giant leap for Becs-kind!
Wishing you the best day possible, love Becs xxxx