ABOUT “THE CYCLE OF CHANGE” PROGRAM

I am participating in an 8-week “The Cycle of Change” program. It is a program for mothers, who wish to make a life change. My goal is to do at least one activity for my mental health every day. It may seem too easy, but I have a difficult period with my bipolar disorder, so my doctor said that it is not good to put too much pressure on myself right now. I can always do more. It is also hard for me because my focus is off and it is difficult to read and remember instructions which are written or in video. Sometimes I discover in the middle of watching a video that I am thinking about something else and have to start all over again. Yesterday I thought that there was one video that I hadn’t seen. Actually I had watched it, but didn’t remember most of it, so I did watch it again. I have to read the written instructions several times as well, to understand and remember them. 

There are different ways to measure success. I thought that a good way is to count all the activities I did in one day, but it wasn’t, because there are a lot of activities and it took too much time to remember and write them down. Now I just know when one thing is done – then I have achieved my daily goal and other things are just extra. I write in my weekly report to the group which things I did mostly in a week.  Best way for measuring is to observe my mental health – has it improved. It is not good for the beginning, because it takes time for a change to have an impact on my life. I hope that by the end of the program I feel better and that I have a routine of those activities. 

Our week starts on Wednesday and now it is the second week. We have weekly questions for supporting us on our way. I answered most of the first week’s questions, but it was also hard because of mood changes and then my answers changed every day. Now I will answer the questions at the end of the week (Tuesday), so I don’t have to answer several times and will have more time for achieving my goal. 

First week my main activities were walking with my dog in nature, gardening, writing a blog, chatting with people who make me feel good, posting “Daily Gratitude” on my instagram account and changing my eating habits. I also learnt that there is a line for each activity and crossing it hurts my mental health. For example walking with a dog too long or too much gardening will make me tired and then I am moody and have more conflicts with people. Trying to write one blog-post in a row made me anxious, because it takes time and I had other things that needed doing. Now I make pauses and write when I have time. I also limit the time I spend gardening and walking with my dog. 

I went to the doctor on Wednesday and she changed my medications because of my new symptoms. I thought that I would just wait for my med change to have an effect and laying in bed and eating crap-food is also good for my mental health. Yes – it may be, but not for long. I was thinking that I have a difficult disorder and I am allowed to feel bad because I had a manic episode and then came depression. Yesterday evening I felt that I had taken a victim role – it had been several days and I understood that meds won’t work if I don’t work with myself as well. My disorder can’t be an excuse for me to let myself go. It was late to do much, but I washed some dishes, so I would feel better. 

That is all for now. I try to write a new post about every week of the program, but won’t make any promises. I don’t want this blog to become a duty, I want it to be a good place for me where I can write about my life without any pressure. 

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