Saturday Summary, Murphy’s Law Edition

– Posted in: Commentary

Well, I’m closing out the first week here at Anxiety, Panic & Health. It’s been a busy time! A week ago this blog didn’t exist and now it does. After more than a year of planning and thought, that makes for a momentous occasion — for me, at least.


Setting up a blog was not as hard as I thought it might be, but not as easy as others have implied. There were so many steps — getting the domain names, setting up hosting services, copying the WordPress software, finding and setting up themes and widgets and plugins, getting the blog to look and act right. Each step has a learning curve all its own. Even though the blog is up and running, I am certain that I’ve only just scratched the surface of what I need to know and do to make it successful.


And Murphy was always there to make new corollaries to his law! It seems that at every step of the way he was gleefully making sure that everything that could go wrong, did. The one that sticks out in my mind the most is the 24 hours when the internet “lost” my blog and I couldn’t get to it at all. All I could do was try to be patient and reassure myself that it would come back.


Writing and rewriting the reference material has been an interesting exercise. I’ve had to revisit the properties of my own Anxieties, such as Agoraphobia. It’s made me proud of how far I’ve come, and aware of how far I have yet to go. Other reference articles, such as that on OCD, have made me stop and ponder all the people I’ve known with diagnosed and undiagnosed OCD, especially the latter. Fortunately, I’m not prone to “medical student’s syndrome” and suddenly come down with every disease I study about. I’d be a quivering lump on the floor by now!


I’ve been feeling pretty good this week, with the hypomania holding steady and not going into the stratosphere. Since my Bipolar Disorder is of the Ultra-Radian Cycling variety, I am unfamiliar with mood swings that last more than a few days at most. But my psychiatrist has prescribed a new medication that has been increasing the time between swings and reducing their depth as well, so I hope that this cycle lasts a while longer and does not become so wild that I can’t get any work done.


This week I didn’t get out much, so didn’t have much occasion to work on my Anxiety, exposure-wise. Part of this was due to the work I’ve been putting in on the blog, and part was just that I didn’t have anything much scheduled or that I cared about getting out of the house for.


Next week, though, I have a big challenge. There is a poetry reading Thursday night that I am determined to go to. It will take everything I’ve got because I’m going alone, it will be in a fairly small room, and that room will be filled with up to fifty people.


This will be the first time in years that I will be going out alone to any sort of gathering over five people, so I’ve really been working on myself to get prepared. I’ve been rehearsing the “stages” that my psychotherapist taught me: get dressed, get in the car, drive there, park in the parking lot, get out of the car, walk in, sit down close to the door. At any one of these stages I’m allowed to turn around and come back home, proud that I have made it as far as I did. I’ll be carrying my Alprazolam in my pocket, but I’m determined not to use it except as a last resort.


In the coming week I intend to finish all the rest of the reference material. I have not settled on daily posts yet, but I’ve got resource materials and actually written articles for well over 200, so it’ll just be a matter of deciding which I’ll do and writing the post. 


As always, I am ready to “junk the agenda” and write about what you want. All you have to do is to let me know in the comments or via e-mail at


Hope you have a great weekend!

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2 comments… add one
Crystal August 25, 2008, 11:15 am

Michael, you wrote of a new medication that was Rx-ed for your rapidly cyclic BiP and I was wondering which one — could you please share?

I, too, am of this nature and it can be one of the most misunderstood degrees of BiP and recently they’ve started categorizing a third type (instead of just Type I BiP or Type II BiP) that’s called SPECTRUM BiPolar that has a lot to do with the totally erratic pattern with which the cycles can manifest themselves.

For years (during the monthly or quarterly appointments) the doctors/nurses naturally ask the open-ended question “How have you been?” and the answer is a constantly non-patterned array of trips on the up-and-down Emotional Escalator — sometimes daily rapid cycling mixed with days or weeks stuck in one or the other extreme (high beams or low beams per se, ha). So now they’ve finally labeled it and acknowledged it, which is great.

Mike August 25, 2008, 7:59 pm

Thank you, Crystal, for this comment!

After Depakote, Seroquel, Thorazine, and a slew of others, my psychiatrist prescribed Abilify. That medication has done more to even out my moods than anything I have taken.

Indeed, I am in the first “normal” cycle I have had in years — I usually swing between depression and hypomania continually, as often as hourly! This cycle has lasted almost 2 months now, and I’m hoping it lasts for a long, long time.

Of course, I know that it will eventually cycle away, but now I can hope for a normal cycle instead of the radical swings I’ve had in the past.

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