A Chapter From The Bipolar Writer

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“It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things.”
Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

My Strange Obsession With Water

I have this strange obsession. One that the only one way to explain it is like this. A need to always not only have water on hand but to drink water excessively throughout my day. I guess its an obsession or a part of me that will stay in my life? I will explain.

Over the past ten years, a lot of strange things have become a part of my daily ritual. It takes me on average two hours to get to sleep from the time I take my Seroquel to the time I get to sleep. What one of these strange things revolves around my many medicines is drinking water. It sounds weird, but it all started when I began to take lithium at the beginning of my diagnosis, my dosage was the highest it could be because of the dangerous place I was in during my first suicide attempt. Those who have taken lithium know that it dries you out like there is no tomorrow.

From the beginning, I would drink copious amounts of drinking water every day. When I would wake after finally sleeping my mouth would be so dry that I started keeping water next to my bed. It didn’t matter as much when I wassteve-johnson-625117-unsplash.jpgn’t leaving my house, which I didn’t do for many years. When things in my life improved and I got to place where, at least for a few hours, I could leave my house, things changed. About two years ago I had one of the worst panic attacks in my life. I thought it was a heart attack.

The ambulance came, and it was a big thing. I couldn’t breathe, and I was hyperventilating so bad I almost passed out. I spent the night in the hospital. When my social anxiety had hit its peak for the first in years, it became clear what things worked. I still don’t know precisely why my social anxiety began to spiral. What I do know is that certain things since this event contribute to my social anxiety today. What was strange about this event was that water became what helped me through this panic attack. The Ativan helped in the end, but drinking water helps to keep me centered.

My story only gets stranger. After that incident, I had to have water with me at all times. When my social anxiety gets out of control or when the feeling of a panic attack overcomes me, I drink water. It is strange, but it helps. I can’t explain it. Part of the routine I go through every time I leave my house is making sure I have several bottles of water with me. My mind knows, and it won’t let me mentally prepare to leave the house until I have packed liquids into my backpack.

In my mind, every time that I leave my safe place (my house), there is a possibility of my social anxiety leading to a panic attack. When you look at my experiences with panic attacks, it makes sense, because it has happened so many times since late 2016. I have even left my house and gone a mile down the road, before having to turn around fearing that my anxiety would lead to a panic attack. Even when I am at my favorite coffee shop where I have spent so many hours writing, I always order large water with my coffee so that it is there in case I have a panic attack.erik-odiin-444889-unsplash.jpg

I make sure always to have cases of water in my room. I never allow the water cases go in one case. I even have a small refrigerator in my room so that I always have cold water on hand. It has become my weird obsession that has also become a big part of my life. I will still feel dehydrated because of the medications. But when I am in full panic attack mode, my mouth gets dry. When this happens, I start to hyperventilate, and water is what helps.

It is one of the worst feelings if I forget or run out of the water. I even take a water bottle with me in the store because it has to be with me to make me feel better.

Water. Who knew?

I would have never thought that water would be such a big part of my life. It is now essential to get through my daily life. It’s another thing that I have picked up over the last ten years.

It’s an obsession that will never go away.

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James Edgar Skye

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Erik Odiin

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12 Replies to “A Chapter From The Bipolar Writer”

  1. I always have to have water on hand too! I either have several bottles of water with me, or my tin bottle I carry when I know I’ll be within reach of a drinking fountain. I have panic disorder also and I never know when an attack will strike either. It is the worst experience. So glad I’m not alone with this. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like your mind has made water a healthy (both literally and figuratively) detraction for you. Often our minds create these things with no intention on our part.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s so interesting to me what the brain does to try and help us. For you, it’s water. For me, it’s having a hair tie to mess with. Our brains try to rewire and help us in the most fascinating ways. May you continue to find healing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can strongly relate to this- I also take lithium and seroquel and since I started taking them, I began to drink a lot of water. Like a lot. I calculated it for a week and I drink between 90-120 ounces of water per day. And I need to have it with me, wherever I go. If I don’t, I panic. I always carry enough water with me and I always have a plan to refill my water. It also helps with my anxiety. I bought a water pack for hiking that holds 2 liters so I never run out. I never thought anybody could relate to this as most people make fun of me!

    Liked by 1 person

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