Over the past couple years the subject of meditation has become somewhat of a running joke with me and my psychiatrist Dr. D.
The backstory: Dr. D. has meditated regularly for decades. Whenever we’ve discussed meditation, he has sung its praises with such sincerity that if you were in his office, I bet you’d contemplate trying meditation.
I’ve read anecdotes about how meditation can help bipolar disorder. I bought the book The Tao of Bipolar: Using Meditation and Mindfulness to Find Balance and Peace by Dr. C. Alexander Simpkins. (I got up to Chapter Two.)
I resisted meditating no matter what – even for a minute.
I just didn’t want to do it!
I’m in my head enough as it is!
Tell me to eat better. I’ll do it.
Tell me to work out? Okay.
Tell me to clean the nasty toilet? Um, alright.
Last Thursday was my regular session with Dr. D. A last-minute childcare snafu required me to bring along my youngest daughter. Knowing that Dr. D. taught his sons to meditate when they were young, I threw caution to the wind. I asked him if he could tell my girl a bit about meditation, and he happily complied. Rilla listened attentively, making me very proud. (Fortunately she didn’t say anything like, “My mom says that she would rather vomit or clean up dog poop than meditate!”)
He suggested we do a brief meditation together.
Using a free app called Insight Timer on his phone, Dr. D. set our meditation time for two minutes. I dimmed the office light, and he started the program. After we heard a gong sound, the three of us sat quietly, letting our thoughts go where they may – mine raced back and forth as usual. Two minutes later, his phone gonged again.
We survived, 100% unscathed!
As much as I knew that doing meditation was good for me, I knew I wasn’t about to commit to a daily practice. Yet. (Never say never, right?)
Later Rilla told me her experience was “boring”, a totally understandable reaction from an eight-year-old. (Or a forty-six-year-old.) I praised her for giving it a go.
For a hilarious intro. to meditation, watch JP Sears’ video – if you like this one, check out his “How to Be Ultra Spiritual” video which is even funnier.
The Groovy Ketogenic Diet Update
Yesterday I got a BP Magazine email containing the article “Bipolar, Food & Mood: My Battle of the Binge: One Woman’s Story of Taming Cravings to Keep Her Diet And Moods In Balance”
I’ve been taking a break from reading bipolar-themed emails, but for some reason instead of deleting it, I took a peek at the piece. Lo and behold, I noticed the first comment was about a reader’s experience with ketogenic diets! In all my years of reading BP I’ve never noticed anything with the word “ketogenics”. Was it a sign? 😉
“In July 2015, I switched to a Ketogenic diet, at first to help me improve my athletic ability. A side benefit was a direct improvement of my mood, a clear stabilization. At that time I was unaware that I was dealing with Cyclothymia. Then in August 2015, I had a bad hypomanic episode but I was able to work with it and stay on track.
I got on anticonvulsants, and I have Zyprexa as a breakthrough when I have a hypomanic moment. I am now extremely stable. The dietary change has helped me stay even more on course than anything else.
The science behind a Ketogenic diet has helped me understand why it balances out my mood. Going on it and staying with it has been a challenge, but now I prefer it. I have more energy, I sleep better, my athletic performance is good (I don’t “bonk” when I run!”) and it keeps me creative in the kitchen.
A ketogenic diet isn’t for everyone, but there is some scientific evidence that it effective as an adjunct treatment for mood disorders…”
Thank you Jeffrey!
I’m still reading my Keto Clarity book. (I’m a slow reader when it comes to nutrition books!) I remain daunted by trying ketogenics, because if you want to do it correctly, it’s a lot more than simply switching to a low-carb, high-fat diet, but I’m tempted to give it a try.
I have a new friend in this area who has eaten the ketogenic way for several years. She has done a lot of research about the keto diet, and she has offered to answer any questions I have. Nice!
Lose It! Update
I’ve reached my goal of losing 30 pounds! The app that helped me achieve this weight loss is called Lose It!, a food tracking/logging device. It’s easy to use, and it woke me up as far as how I was treating myself like a human garbage can.
Want to join my Lose It! Group Wondrous Writers? I’ll send you an invite if you include your email in a comment. You can also sign up for free at www.loseit.com
That’s all the news that’s fit to blog. There’s more, there’s always more, but I’m tryingt to keep it down to a low roar.
In the meantime, sending you lots of love, & see you next week!
Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.
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