I just published the last post and was thinking about it a little, and realized once again that expectations are just a waste of time and thought.
I remember years ago, after I was diagnosed and was in the clinical trial, they did a lot of education as part of the program. I remember being taught that I would learn to recognize depression and mania (and when my diagnosis was changed to bipolar I mixed type, the combination thereof). So I expected it would be like the checklists I filled out each visit there. If I had too many answers indicating one thing then I was depressed, or the opposite. Granted, mixed episodes are harder and resulted in some of their testing being impossible, and I gave up on mood charting because I couldn't figure out what to put since I had 18 moods daily.
But what I didn't know is that it is my own behaviors that tell me my mood. It is the behaviors of my cats. It is how often I change my sheets, how and what I eat, whether I have folded laundry or not, how much anxiety medication I need, whether I want to blog a lot or hide totally away from people. It is my patience, whether my temper flares at bad drivers, how much I can tolerate noise or excessive movements/lights/etc. It is a feeling in my chest that is not ashtma. It is in the hours I sleep and how easily I get there. It's got to do with when I shower when I arrive home feeling gross. It's my ability to remember stupid things that are important.
Those and others are the things I look at every day and assess in myself. Not so much like the little checkboxes I thought it would be.