how I deal with bipolar brain

Anyone who deals with a chronic illness deals with certain side effects, both from medications they might take and from the illness itself. My biggest, current, medication side effect is hand tremors from the lithium. This has put an end to my beadwork and to my drawing. But the trade off is that I’m mentally more stable than ever.

I’ll take it.

Most of the rest of my issues come from my illness itself, such as my brain’s weakness in the face of chaos. I’m not talking about comic book villain type chaos, more like “there’s too much mess on my desk” chaos or “I have too many options and I feel crippled so I can’t make a decision” kind of chaos or “I can’t remember stuff, like that word I’m trying to say or where I’m supposed to be right now” kind of chaos. It probably sounds strange, but those things really can take me down for the count. So how do I deal?

First, I have a tendency to keep my living / working spaces very tidy. Chaos in my physical surroundings leads to chaos in my brain. I also use music as a form of white noise when I’m at work and an actual white noise app at night to help me sleep.

Second, I make as many decisions as possible in bulk. What do I mean by that? I spend about an hour on the weekend getting my outfits/jewelry for the next work week together. I hang everything in my bathroom so it’s ready to go. I also spend time making breakfasts, lunches, fruit salad, and coffee on the weekend. If there’s time I take what I can to the office and have my fridge ready to go for the week. If not, I carry it in on Monday. The food prep stuff also makes sure I don’t end up buying lunches.

What was that last thing? Oh yeah, my rotten memory.

I’ve been using an app called Keep. It ties in to my Google account and I can access it on my phone or on the computer. I can use it as a notebook, it will remind me of things, and I can setup regularly scheduled reminders. It’s amazing and it’s free.

Those are some of my tricks. I’m sure there are others. What do you do to deal with your issues like this?

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