Week 9: Ketogenic Diet Experiment for Mental Health

This week has been crap! But seriously, I have had 4 cheat meals, and none of them were really planned. Most of them were related to my church calling. I volunteer with young women ages 16-18. They are so much fun and I love the calling. However, our church culture is centered around food. So many times we have treats. It is a bonding thing that extends to our entire American culture.

I, however, have gained a couple pounds this week. I broke 120! I know that is many people’s goal to get down to or goal to lose, but I’m still going to go at least to 125 maybe even 135. It is a healthy weight for me. Also, I can tell that my tummy is more toned. This tells me that hopefully I have lost fat and gained muscle.

My hubby didn’t lose this week but basically maintained. He isn’t sleeping well. He is in a lot of pain as he has kidney stones. Hopefully, they can pass and he can start getting better sleep again. He loses a lot more when he sleeps the full amount and regular hours.

Keto is going well, but we could both do better. Him with sleep, and me with staying on plan a little better.

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On another note, I have been writing up a storm. I finished my first romance novel, and I started on my second one. I am editing the first and working with my incredible cover designer. She is also helping me with a couple other projects including getting my cover done for my first book for print.

I’m going to include a few reviews on the back cover as well as a short synopsis. Then it will be available for print. I know some people want that option as it is easier to share and give as a gift as well as reference and take notes in for the future.

I’m also considering creating a companion workbook but it’s not exciting me right now. I’m trying to ride my energy and put it in the most productive places.

Unfortunately, that is something you learn to do with the hypomania as a bipolar person.

I’m working hard though to work during the depression as well. I watched a YouTube video on just that. A family member shared it with me. I love that she was kind enough to read my book and knows what to recommend to me. I loved it.

Until next week, remember to follow me on Instagram @balancingmybipolar for recipes and to follow my keto journey daily.

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Week 8: Ketogenic Diet Experiment

We both forgot to do an official weigh in today so I will update tomorrow. I did one midday though and I think I’m seeing progress.

I finished my second book last night. I have decided to write fiction for now. Mainly clean contemporary Christian romance novels.

It is so much more fun to write to be honest. My memoir book Balancing Your Bipolar was somehow heart wrenching and raw and difficult and it’s still hard for me to market and share. This book though is the type of book that I love to read myself. I’m hoping that will make it easier to market and share.

My garden is coming along beautifully and I’m so pleased. Back to Eden gardening makes the garden look so pretty. I love it and I’m excited for summer to harvest.

I have been busy with many things some of which I will share more of once they are ready. I so enjoy writing and learning all about everything that goes with it.

My Diagnosis Age 17

The winter before I graduated high school it all came to a head. My parents left the state to take care of grandkids for three weeks, my mom for 4 weeks. I lived with my brother and did well I think but when they came back I felt overwhelmed and trapped. I spiraled into some kind of mixed depression state and became extremely paranoid and increasingly unable to function. In my opinion, the final straw is all tied to my wisdom teeth removal:

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When I was 17 we found out I needed to have all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. So we were referred to an oral surgeon or whoever it is that does that. When we met with him I had a lot of questions ready to ask him but he mentioned that if we changed the date of the operation we would save a lot on insurance. It threw me for a second and I started asking questions and my mom I think got embarrassed or concerned and overrode me and basically told me to stop and that is how it had to be. I didn’t really care so much about that change as much as I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to ask the questions that I had planned.

I didn’t get to ask anything about what medications I would be administered during or especially after the surgery. I was rushed out before I could do any of these things. I felt out of control and like I was treated like an out of control child. Needless to say, after that I changed my medical forms so that my mom could no longer make final decisions for me so I would be treated more as an adult. It didn’t always end up working that way but it made me feel better.

After the surgery, I was prescribed oxycodone which I took the first day or so. It was causing strange distortions at night that I would see almost like nightmare hallucinations. It also brought back a very real fear of drowning that was triggered by my swishing my mouth with salt water to kill bacteria. I stopped taking the medication and rinsing very quickly. Luckily I was given a syringe to swish with which helped keep off the infection that started to cause pain. My mom didn’t know or hear about the problem I was having with the medication and she tried to force me to take it to get sleep once I stopped sleeping well. I was barely sleeping at all and going into a full blown mixed state of some sort. I was somewhat depressed but also paranoid and manic. Experiencing hallucinations and OCD cleaning habits and paranoia that my parents were trying to kill me.

This time got really scary really fast. My parents had already helped me drop some classes at school and rearrange my schedule. I also had an appointment I believe in February to see a psychiatrist whom I had seen in my freshman or sophomore year who dismissed me as a normal teen in one of my up cycles. Now she diagnosed me bipolar in early 2008. I was 17 and put on the lowest dose possible half a rhysperdol. A quarter of the normal dose. I don’t remember being informed of any side effects or being told to have regular checkups for my health. I should have been. I got one of the rare side effects which are bleeding with bowel movements a problem that still flares occasionally 9 years later.

Also from what I understand this is a heavy duty mood stabilizer that can greatly affect health. I should have been monitored and it was rough on me. It basically made me sleep and eat which was good at first but then made it hard to function. I got a D in one of my classes for the first time. Mainly this was due to absences. It was my last class and I would frequently skip and go eat and then go home and sleep.

I was eventually able to graduate a trimester early in mid-March and quit my job and moved to Provo Utah with a job interview at the MTC bookstore lined up. I got the job and lived with my brother and his family until my room opened up on campus in April and I could start classes and living there. I never walked for my high school graduation although I did graduate. I was already in college.

Memoirs of a Bipolar Girl

So I want to start this post by introducing my new blog, balancing my bipolar. I have a very high drive to figure this out to mitigate the negative effects on my family and magnify the positives. Yes, I do believe there are positive aspects of having bipolar.

I am going to share my story in hopes of finding common ground with others going through similar trials either themselves or their loved ones. I hope to decrease the stigma of bipolar disorder and to reach out to those looking for support and understanding.

My schedule will tend to be one post on my story a week and one post about a topic that helps me balance my bipolar. I reserve the right to adjust this and/or take breaks as necessary. I have a mental illness myself after all. However, I will do my best to manage this and be consistent.

I don’t take any medications or go to traditional therapy. I haven’t for many years. However, I am not a doctor and I don’t recommend anyone stop or start taking any medications. This is my journey and I am pretty sure I have bipolar type 2 which doesn’t have mania only hypomania. This is milder and I have never been hospitalized. I find this works for me, but as you will see as I share my story, I do adjust my life heavily from the norm to make everything work well.

I’m excited you have chosen to join me on my journey. The next memoir post will be what I consider the beginning for now.

Blythe