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Most people, after being with someone long enough, consider what it would be like to marry the person they are with. I am no different, of course. And I am married, so obviously it is something I considered at least once.

The problem with me is that I considered it a lot throughout my dating life. I would say there were no less than seven girls I seriously considered marrying, if nothing more than an obsessive dream. These aren’t even all girls that I dated seriously, or at all. But there was something special about all of them, something that made me want to marry them.

To this day I still think I would probably have turned out with a happy life if I married four of them.

I was always that type of guy, easy to commit, easy to fall in love. I was always the first to say ‘I love you’ in all of my relationships, and I probably felt like saying it within the first couple weeks every single time.

I always thought of myself as a relationship type of guy, never good at being single. I felt most comfortable with myself when someone else wanted to be with me.

The time between my last girlfriend and my wife was the longest I had gone being single since 9th grade, and it was basically 9 months. And when I asked my wife to marry me, a large part of my happiness that day was knowing that I would never have to be single again.

I don’t do single.

I suppose it is a function of not being comfortable enough with me to be alone with myself. It is also partly due to low confidence when it comes to women. Despite the success I had in the past, I never felt good about the future. I never saw myself as bringing a lot to the table. And that is more true today than ever before.

I like to follow these past women on Facebook and see if I could’ve followed them down the path that they chose. If I could do the things they are doing, if I could have made them happy in life. And then I think about my own path and if they could have followed me down mine. Most often I think no, in the end we all made the best decision. I’m just thankful that I won’t ever have to venture out into the dating world again.

 

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I have an almost 15 month old daughter at home. And when she doesn’t get exactly what she wants when she wants it, anytime someone says “no” to her, or any iteration like it she will most likely throw a tantrum. Scream and cry and throw stuff and fall on the floor, all part of the game to her. She has been pretty consistent in this since she was very little, and no I know these aren’t yet as bad as toddler tantrums will get. However, it is always sort of amusing to watch. My wife is stern with her, but my daughter isn’t at all afraid of her. She is terrified of me, and when I raise my voice it elicits a quick response. She is usually fine after a minute or two, unless she is tired and cranky, then it can go on for quite some time.

According to my wife, she isn’t the only one in the house who is prone to the occasional fit throwing.

It happened twice during the same chore last weekend that something wasn’t the way I expected it to be so I stopped doing what I was doing and went and laid down. The first time I wasn’t feeling well and took a little nap. The second time I just laid on the couch and my wife came over and told me what I just stated, that I was throwing a tantrum just like our daughter.

I found it kind of odd, I wasn’t angry or being boisterous or yelling at her in any way. But it wasn’t out of left field, obviously I stopped what I was doing because something wasn’t going my way and I quit.

But the reality is that I was removing myself from a frustrating situation before I said or did something I was going to regret. It is a move I learned a long time ago, just walk away. It was something I picked up in therapy when I was a kid and was never really able to implement until well into adulthood.

It probably seems odd for my wife to read this because she has countless stories of when I didn’t walk away and when angry words were said and feelings were hurt.

An unfortunate part of my personality is that I am easily agitated, sometimes more than others, not unlike everyone else. I find myself agitated more often when I am manic than any other time, and it is often the best sign that I am manic, something that is difficult to realize at times.

But there I was lying on the couch being told that I was throwing a tantrum not unlike my daughter. I couldn’t argue, but deep down I wanted to show her what a tantrum could be like, prove my point, and win the argument we weren’t even having. That is something I probably would’ve done ten years ago, maybe even five, who is to say.

Instead I just listened to her words and thought long and hard about what she was saying to me. Maybe my coping mechanism wasn’t working for her even if it was working for me. In the past I used to leave the house altogether and go see a movie or grab dinner alone. She convinced me I didn’t need that much time to come down to Earth and I didn’t need to be so dramatic. Maybe she was right about this one too.

I still haven’t decided what to do on the matter, but for the moment I will leave it up to the situation: if it is my only recourse I’ll take it, if there is a more mature way to handle it, I’ll give it a try.

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Bipolar Thoughts

One of the chores of daily life with Bipolar Disorder is that your therapist and doctors want you to track your mood and sleep to see what kinds of patterns emerge. Thankfully a lot of tools are out there now that make it different from my mood journal when I was a kid.

Today there is moodjournal.com, which is the best, but not the easiest to use. It compares your sleep and mood and agitation patterns, as well as giving you space to journal and mark days as big occasions. It is very comprehensive and the best. However, there is no mobile app, so it is not convenient (you can explore the website on your phone but the experience is just that, a real website on a mobile phone). Another tracker that is very in depth is put out by the DBSA called the Wellness Tracker. This is a mobile app and it sucks. It takes five years to enter your mood.

Personally I like iMoodJournal for iPhone. It is a simple 1-10 scale system for mood, three entries a day and it graphs out your mood since you started, the last week, and your average day.

From this I have found that I always have a major catastrophic dip after I reach an average mood above 6. The drop from 6 to 2 takes less than two days while me being at a 6 is generally short lived, around 4 days. I’ve also found that Thursday and Monday are my worst days. And that the worst time of day is 3pm.

I have been riding a gradual upswing for over a month now, maybe partially to do with this blog, and I am up above an average of 6 and heading towards 7. I am expecting a crash any day but I am not worried about it right now. Before this blog I was up and down and up and down in very short intervals for a couple of months, so something happened to smooth me out and lift me up. It might be the spring time, who knows. I’m just happy it is here.

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Bipolar Thoughts

My daughter has seven teeth now, and soon it will be eight, all of her front teeth.

We never had any real issues with her teething. She seemed to deal with it really well, for all seven. The story might change when the big boys in the back come in, but for now she is good. But there are still some strange things that happen when a baby is teething. They become sick, they might get diarrhea or vomit, they want to be held a lot, they get a bad diaper rash, and obviously their gums swell up, change color and eventually bleed while a tooth pops through.

The whole process is amazing to me. Why would an entire body need to react so harshly to a tooth cutting through some gums? It doesn’t happen when adult teeth come in, not that I remember anyway. I have yet to find something that thoroughly explains why all this occurs, but it does, so if you have a child that has not yet teethed, watch out.

It makes me think about how the body reacts in seemingly inexplicable ways to other forms of stress.

It makes me wonder specifically about the physical struggles I sometimes go through. I know that depression can bring on physical illness. I have experienced headaches and migraines, gastronomical distress, insomnia, lack of appetite, and even full body aches like the flu.

I wonder what the connection is that links the mind to the body, how a state of one can change the well-being of the other.

It makes me feel like maybe I’ve popped out quite a few teeth in my life, seeing how much time I’ve spent in bed over the years. I wonder how they have altered my life. Is it possible that my body has done something good with all the pain it has churned out? If it has, where do I find it?

We are taught in counseling that thoughts can take us anywhere, good or bad. And I think that if I’m going to turn all of this pain into a tooth I might have to think of the good it is serving me. Is it making me more creative? More compassionate? More me?

It is easy to have thoughts follow pain down a dark hole. We have all done it. Maybe success is really just avoiding those holes or finding quick passage out once you’ve found yourself inside one. Maybe that is the tooth, your passage from darkness into light.

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