Dynamic life

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After my first 5150 I was placed on disability and last year I applied for permanent disability. I never thought I would get better, I never thought I would be able to stabilize, I felt hopeless, depressed, useless, stupid, like a fly on the wall…

The past two years has been the roughest periods of my life, I had a lot of shit happen, name it and it probably has happened. This is nothing to brag about, it is not something I am happy to talk about, I always told myself it would get better. I said over and over that it won’t always be a crazy, disastrous, and insane life. I never believed it, but I had to say it because without those thoughts I would have given up a long time ago.

Now I feel happy, fulfilled, complete, successful and am thriving. I was able to stabilize with meds, good sleep, taking it one day at a time, diet, exercise and love, lots of love from my husband and my own self love. How many times have I done these exact things and failed? I would tell you, but I couldn’t even count how many times it did not work, whether it was the wrong meds, me dealing with horrific side effects and stopping meds, unstable atmosphere, unfamiliar feelings triggering other things, hormones ….. I have seen hell, I have lived in hell and I tried to make my residency permanent many times.

I don’t live there now, I am alive and here in the present moment. I didn’t give up, please don’t give up yourself and don’t give in either. I know it is unbearable at times and you feel as if no one knows who YOU are, no one understands, you don’t feel loved, you feel alone, scared and experience feelings that no man or woman should ever feel. It will always get better and worse all at the same time in many dynamic ways. We have to learn to stay in the ride and smile and laugh when we can and hold on for dear life when it seems out of control. Life is a roller coaster and fortunately or unfortunately we where blessed with a wild roller coaster, one that few experience…

The bad and good you

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Not too long ago I wrote GRT. Is it Good, is it Right, is it True? Things I try to live by. After speaking to my hubby about what is the meaning of life and why people live their life so different than someone else? If I were Christian using God’s name in vein is a sin, if I were atheist it would just be another word. If I were Mormon, caffeine would be a sin (something not right), but if I were Jewish it’s be fine. If I were Buddhist I shouldn’t eat meat, but for the Christian it would be fine. To be gay is not right to a heterosexual and vice versa. How does this work? How can you be living what is Good, Right and True when someone else says it is bad, wrong and lies? You may live with your family; be doing all the right things, living a good life and feeling true to yourself. Then you move… you now live in California. Nothing has changed in you, but everyone is telling you that you are doing it wrong, that what you say is not true and you are no good. God, it is confusing…

I have found life is as good as you let it be. Surround yourself with people who support you and have some of the same viewpoints or even open to other view points and you will feel better. Go to negative, pessimistic and angry people you will start to see life that way as well… everything can change anything and anything can change everything. Find out who YOU are, don’t let others make you feel less than you are. Everyone is beautiful, everyone is ugly, everyone loves and everyone hates. Look under a flower and you’ll find dirt. look at the sky and it will turn dark. Look at a past love, you will find a void. Do what is true to you. Do good anytime you know how. Find your right, their wrong and find that their wrong can be right too.

Love is an Up and Down Emotion

Love yourself
Love yourself

Love, such a complicated thing. My experience with love is an up and down emotion. When I think about love many times I think about who loves me, who I love and who could I love. Rarely do I sit and ponder my love for myself. Ironic no? So often we hear the phrase before you can love anyone else you must love your self…. Love yourself before anyone else…

This is easy sometimes, but when I am severely depressed or so manic that I couldn’t tell you right from wrong, it is difficult. How can you love yourself when you cannot even control your own emotion? I have found that it is possible, but we have to think of it another way.

Two months of depression. You can not see a reason to live, you hope for the pain to stop and get angry when you can not stop it. You feel so alone that no one and nothing can ease your pain. Your body is weak, you cannot get up and you feel worthless. Numb, as if nothing exists but the sorrow in your soul. I have been here, I have visited hell many times. Honestly, I can not find love in this place and I think that can be a feeling that many of us experience. What is amazing is that when we pull through hell and start to see life come alive again, it renders hope. Do you realize we deal with SEVERE depression? NIMH says about 7% of people deal with severe depression and we have pulled through. Makes me think we are some of the strongest people in the world. Knowing you survived it all on your own. This is love, this is hope and a gift we give ourselves. I know the depression is nothing we want or desire and it fucking sucks, but beautiful things come for hardship. Think of the lotus that blossoms through mud.

Mania is another ballgame. Everything is wonderful, everything looks brighter, we are on top of the world, we can do “anything”. It can be a great feeling until you hit the wall and make bad decisions and begin irritability. What happens when things go south? When our heaven becomes a dream, a fallacy, a myth. Although I have not experienced hallucinations, I know how things can go bad and you become something you are not, you may not even realize it till it is too late. My God, how do we handle this? Where can there be love when we cannot control or behavior? How can we forgive ourself after so many bad choices and actions. I struggle with this, what can I learn from being manic? This mood can be a blessing or a curse, but we mustn’t judge ourself on something we cannot control. The consequences can be so damaging and “we” did not even choose the outcome. Life is funny like that, we can’t control anything even if we are not bipolar life takes charge. It may FEEL that we have control at any given moment, but all we can control is our reaction to our life at this given moment. Forgiving yourself is the greatest gift, it is hard though, many times others may blame us and we may think we don’t even deserve forgiveness, but we do. Life is meant to be lived, we have greater emotions and possibly delusions, but this is us, we cannot change who we are. Our body runs itself, we cannot control chemicals in our body…

Medication was the most difficult thing for me to accept. I thought that if I had to rely on medications I wasn’t allowing me to be me. That I was changing myself and in many aspects I am. Any disease changes everything…. diabetes-shots, diet… sleep apnea- CPAP, sleeping on side… CHF- diuretics…. Bipolar- medications, diet, exercise, therapy…. Everything we do changes who we are. If I start exercising everyday sooner or later I will be in shape, possibly an athlete.  We have to look at everything as outcomes, if I do A I’ll get B and if I do this I am going towards J. Everything is in progress, concentrate on this moment and what you desire, make action and desire will become reality maybe tomorrow, maybe ten years. The point is YOU didn’t give up on yourself, you loved yourself.

“Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
-Veronica A. Shoffstall

Changing Current

My current current
My current current

I have been dreading writing. I am so overwhelmed. Every time something good starts happening, my anxiety goes up, stress increases and my brain will not stop cycling. I enjoy being productive; I welcome new and good things. When life is on the up and up, I fret over it because I am terrified of the up and up becoming the up and down soon to lead to the down down. Perhaps I should not worry as I cannot predict the future, but I have seen my past and it always turns out scary.  I feel emotional and vulnerable.

Anxiety is supposed to be good to some extent right? It drives us to do better, try harder and be more aware. Why can it not do that for me? Instead my hands start to sweat, they get shaky and I swear to God every time I think about anxiety I have to pee. My anxiety is a diuretic! If only my stress could pass with it. My life is becoming a stream and I have been a pond for so long. Trying to breathe and let the current take me…

From Mud We Grow

Lotus be okay
Lotus be okay

3 am, I decided not to fight the restlessness tonight, after all I got a job today! Very excited and hopeful. After living in the south for 8 months, I finally got work. Ironically, it was the first position that I applied for on the 1st of  January, 2014. I feel happy and proud; this is the first job since my disability back in mid 2012. Interestingly, I am not scared, I feel confident, ready and happy to start the career journey again. My meds are doing well for me for the first time in 6 years, my anxiety is low with no anxiety meds (used to be on 4mg Klonopin a day). My happiness is at a high even though we’re are broke off our ass (not for long!), have no friends, no familiar activities and for myself no work until today. This past 1.5 years has been hell on earth – - to I am okay with every experience that comes my way.

Molestation, rape, digging out of trash cans, miscarriage, abuse, sexual harassment, car accidents, hospitalizations, death of a dear friend and two loved ones, disability, self harm, anorexia, bulimia, panic attacks, crazy stocking ex husband, bipolar, suicide attempts, bisexuality, health issues… these are a few things I have dealt with and I am young, very young. All I have to say to anything and anyone that comes my way is bring it on, been there, done that, felt that, heard that, I am okay and I will not be okay…. it happens.

Emotions are so debilitating and can be crippling especially with Bipolar. Anyone who deals with the facets of bipolar needs to know it will be okay. There WILL be some shitty days where you will not understand yourself, anyone around you and or your situation. Sometimes it won’t feel like life is worth living, you will want to give up, you will want to give in, but don’t. You can’t, you are so much bigger than anyone can ever give you credit for. You deal with your choices, feelings, circumstances, mistakes, accomplishments…. Don’t let a definition, a disease, a moment, a thought define you. After, I first was diagnosed I thought my life was over. I can still feel the horrifying, hopeless, dreaded, empty and lonely feelings that overtook me that day. I already had so many struggles before finding out I was dealing with mental illness too.

Happiness really does come from the inside and healing follows. I know my life has been good and bad. I have had opportunities and misfortunes, exciting and depressing days/years, and emotional, numb feelings, thoughts and emotions. Although my mind is stable, my life from the outside in looks worse than when I was unstable. Our belongings are still in CA, we have no furniture besides a donated bed and couch, we are broke after each paycheck with literally pennies left in the bank, we have no money for activities or extra necessities. Food, roof, bed, clothes(really worn now) and luckily a car. I do not see people outside of groceries, library and my sister who I see once a month, no friends…. Rather pathetic if you look at me and judge me for my belongings, my status, my “group”, my dress…. You really don’t need things or people to make you happy, although my husband certainly makes my life light up. I thought if i did X, Y, Z- I’d be happy and it never happened. I got stuck with J and Q and it fucking sucked. I have spent more time alone this past 18 months than I have in my entire life. At first I was bored, awkward, computer junkie, depressed, slept a lot, cried, jealous, worthless, hopeless, pathetic being….Slowly it turned into lots of reading, writing, studying my interests, playing card games, learning to cook, finding new musical interests, dancing stupidly because I could, enjoying cleaning, hiking, playing with my dogs, yoga…. without noticing my life began to blossom… It was and is okay in all the chaos….

“Like the lotus, It is first is marked by ignorance and darkness, when you lie below the dense mud – a closed chysalis – which, by nature of existence, will eventually be pulled upwards by the warmth of the Sun.Then the climb through the clouded waters of your emotional experience, yet still the flower reaches to the Sun, knowing no other destiny … no other purpose. ….The Lotus flower blossoms, baring its exquisite beauty to all those who are aware.”            -Patricia Cori

 

 

I am not Bipolar, I have bipolar

I am not Bipolar, I have Bipolar
I am not Bipolar, I have Bipolar

Snow is falling and I feel like a little girl making snow angels. I love being outside in weather, whether it be rain, snow, lightening, cloudy days… Being happy about these things sometimes makes others guess if I am manic or going into mania. Sometimes I feel trapped in this disease, damned if I do, damned if I don’t. So I like snow, it reminds me of being a little girl sledding, snow fights, snowmen… Why can I not just be excited with out someone challenging me or addressing me like something is wrong. I can’t be happy, I can’t be sad because these are the things make bipolar. Um, I think not… this is me being stable and feeling happy for once in my life.

Being in places where I thought there was never going to be hope. Wanting to die, crying for hours, sleeping for days; not living. Nothing in the world changed how I felt. I was doomed forever. Being in the hospital, suicidal, scared, crying, upset, lonely, empty, anxious, heavy, hurting, hopeless, dreading the next moment… I have been there. I have also been beyond excitement, racing thoughts, doing 20 things at once and finishing them all in record time, spending more money then what I had, being sex crazed, shaking, endless talking, sleep deprived, full of energy, being the most beautiful person knowing I could do anything and I did. This is my illness….

Please don’t confuse me with my illness, I am not Bipolar, I have bipolar….

Friendship

Through Thick and Thin
Through Thick and Thin

People that we love the most, we hurt the most. Hiding bipolar to a stranger is much easier than a friend or lover. The stranger doesn’t ask, read into things or even care. Our loved ones on the other hand do care, they may pry into our business and watch us carefully… they are there for us thick and thin. Knowing someone is there, who cares, who loves us  is a good thing and a bad thing. We have someone to lean on, to help and to trust. With these things we also trust them with our volatile moods, our depression and our hurts. Maybe there is so much trust that we take advantage with out even meaning to. Things I try to remind myself while my moods a stable…

Love everyone equally, and always treat your loved ones with respect, honesty and forgiveness.

-G.E Laine

Filth

Disturbing flim
Disturbing flim

My emotions have been tested and I feel hurt. My husband and I watched a movie last night, it was called Filth. I didn’t realize it was one of the movies I posted about bipolar. What a wonderful memory I have, sigh.

The movie was not what I was expecting at all. This is what I get for watching based off reviews, not the synopsis. While watching the main character Bruce (James McAvoy), I was disgusted, sad, and confused by his character. I was trying to understand what was going on with him. He was an obvious junkie and pig literally and figuratively (no offense intended). He was a depressive, compulsive, abusive and manipulative man… all for the promotion he wanted to win his wife back.

During the film, I realized he was mentally ill and or so drugged up it was destroying his reality. Both ended up being true. I was thinking he had Schizophrenia based off the symptoms and he was refusing to take medications by his doctor. I won’t tell you the end, but it was not pretty. Once I read the synopsis of what was going on, it turned out he had Bipolar disorder mixed with drug addiction. This saddened me, angered me and demoralized me. How can the media portray this illness so sadistically? They are supporting the stigma and bringing fear about it.

Then I realized this is not just about my illness, but others too. What if he was Schizophrenic or multiple personality disorder? Does that make it any better? NO. No one suffering from any disease deserves to have it portrayed in this manner. Why can’t he just be a evil man? Why the disease attached? My heart is breaking for all of us who suffer. We get portrayed for our worst qualities and our worst moments….

That is the media I suppose… promoting fear, stigma and getting a rise.

It worked.

 

Specimen

Psychiatrist
Psychiatrist

Another day gone, not much has happened in my life, but much has happened in my mind. I saw my PsyD (Psychiatrist) yesterday, it was very surreal. From the moment I saw him I felt as though I was being analyzed and scrutinized. While greeting me he asked, “How are you feeling?”, I responded good. I followed him back to his office. The moment we stepped in he closed the door and asked, “So what does good mean?”. I explained shortly and he asked, “How does that make you feel?”. It made me nervous. Everything felt so clinical, like I wasn’t even a person, just an object to dissect. He got my emotions of how I was feeling at the moment. “You seem very anxious and a bit overwhelmed.”…I did feel that.  He said, “How does that make you feel?” I began to get emotional because I felt vulnerable. Are my emotions really on my sleeve so loosely? He just asked over and over to every response I had, “How does that make you feel?”

I wonder if others see my emotions like he did. To be an open book to the world, especially strangers, scares me. Was he able to see my emotions based off the notes he received from my therapist? Or is it me? I have had this feeling of discomfort ever since the appointment ended. I went back to the offices today, but this time to see my therapist. My therapy feels like a dialogue, not like I am getting help or assistance to deal with my anxiety and fears. Just someone who nods their head and says, “Oh that must feel _____”; terrible, happy, scared, sad, anxious…… It got to a point where I had nothing to say and she asked if I wanted to end the session. I thought therapists were supposed to ask questions to help get to the bottom of things. Not this one.

We spoke a lot about my families history of mental illness. Talked about the symptoms associated. She gave me a list of all the mental disorders as well as books that can help people understand, relate, cope… I read the list and everything was on there except bipolar. I felt a bit disregarded and once again, confused.  I felt I was just a specimen to her, not someone who needs help and guidance through my disease…

Felt like a specimen instead of a person.

I felt like a specimen instead of a person.

Mixed… GRT

Lost in thought
Lost in thought

 

Lost in thought

Lost in thought

I have not known what to write these past few days. My mind is mixed with emotions and I have been unable to relate them. The hardest thing about my bipolar is the changing emotions. I know this is true with anyone who suffers from this disease. I suppose it hurts me so much because my thoughts change with my emotions. When I am swinging back and forth for so long and hard I get confused and lost in my thoughts. You have to know yourself in the midst of the chaos happening in your mind, thoughts, emotions, feelings, desires, and fears. How do you hang on? This is something that has baffled myself since I knew I was bipolar.

When I get pissed off and mad or anxious and sad I ask myself these things. Is it good? Is it right? Is it true? (GRT) Many times I can’t get to this point when I am in full swing, but I am starting to see it crop up. The more I tell myself this when I am stable or able to think rationally even if for one moment. It gives me some perspective, it helps me hang on somehow. It isn’t always this easy, but the more I soul search and strive for goodness the less complicated it becomes. Doing GRT doesn’t take away the symptoms, it doesn’t even take away the crazy thoughts and emotions. It does help me remember my core when nothing around me is me, when everything is in shambles as I hold on for dear life.

Mixed is what I would classify these past few weeks. I am really unable to tell you what I think may happen next. Sometimes I feel like I have 2 brains. One depressed, the other manic and if I am lucky I fit right between the two. Lately, I feel I am getting kicked from one side to another. Going back and forth so fast that I could not tell you the moon from the stars.

I have a PsyD (psychiatrist) appointment in 3 hours. It will be my first time meeting him, I am a bit scared. I am a little relieved too because maybe he can help me figure out my mess and help me get back on track…. I will keep you updated.

“Quit putting yourself in a little box by trying to live consistently with your past and explaining every little action you take. BE YOU. Fully. In this moment. Independent of what others may or may not expect from you.”

-Brian Johnson

The night would not end

Hypomania
Hypomania

It happened again. My thoughts got the best of me. Wrestling ideas, motivations, dreams, fears,  and anxiety.  I stayed up till 1 to make sure I would be exhausted enough to sleep.  My head was pounding from my incoming migraine. My stomach was nauseous, I thought I was going to lose my dinner. I took my Seroquel as I know it usually calms my mind.  I laid in bed, unable to get comfortable, I tossed and turned. Stories, songs and sonnets filled my mind. I couldn’t concentrate, it was from A to H back to W then to F. Nothing was going normally as I desire it to. I was exhausted, I pulled out my phone to check the time 230am. I tried adjusting everything like I would on a good nights sleep. My conscious would not let me go. I forced my eyes open, but they kept closing for sleep (which I wanted), but my mind was more powerful than my energy. Tears began welling up my eyes, I closed my eyes and tried meditating. I kept trying to quiet the thoughts,  no.  I looked at the clock 330am, exhausted, I held back my pain. I decided I would lay there and not move. The night was eternity. It was now 4am, I will not move a muscle until my husband gets up at 7. I drifted off sometime after 4.

I woke up this morning to my little dog whining to take him out. It was 830, my head ached, the floor was spiraling as I crawled out of bed. I felt like I was in a drunk, unable to stand straight. I passed the mirror, my eyes puffy, my bags dark. Every piece of me wants me to go back to bed, but I won’t. I know if I sleep with the way I feel, I will sleep all day and I do not want another restless, lonely, unbearable and miserable night.

The fatigue is becoming painful. Not only do I have a lingering migraine, but every muscle in my body aches. My eyes are burning as I write this, I just want to sleep. Give me rest! I need to slumber.

All I can think of now is what is going to happen when my mind stops racing and the hypomania subsides. I see the PsyD (Psychiatrist) on Monday which gives me some relief, but I do not want my meds to change. This all happened because of my sleep schedule changing during the holidays. Boy, how I will tread lightly next time my sleep changes…. I am praying I will not have a horrible crash. I feel so alone, scared and feeling lack of love for myself.

Tragic storm

It is killing me
It is killing me

I am cycling faster than a tornado with wings. I cannot sleep, I cannot sit still, I cannot do only one thing at once. My mind is racing. I see what is in front of me yet I am interpreting it differently. I am trying to slow down, but I can’t. My hands are speeding across this keyboard, I have music in the background, bills in the side bar, messaging behind that and my budget hiding somewhere in the abyss. My head is pounding, the thoughts won’t stop. I am doing everything and nothing at the same time.

I exercised today, it felt great, I just kept on going, making moves up, blaring music in the background and now that I think about it I was trying to teach my dog to dance in this whole process. My memory is not serving me, I took a course only to fail it 3 times after listening to the lecture four times. This has never happened to me, EVER, EVERRR!!!

My hands are shaking, I want to scream, but I feel I can contain myself, but am afraid of the consequences that may proceed my hope. I am excited, I want to do everything, I want to be everywhere, I want to be the best.  I can do this, but I know I can’t. Time will allow me to repeat the fate I am always doomed to .

Is it even possible for my emotions to be exhausted, but my energy, thoughts and dreams are thriving and moving forward. Yes, I suppose this is possible. I have been here before, why do I forget this until it is too late. Why do I not remember, why do I easily forget. My mind is telling me be careful, slow down, be nice, rest. I cannot, why can I not? I don’t understand myself today. One second it is this and the next second it is that.

Words are flying across this computer, my hands are still shaking, thoughts obviously racing, fear creeping and I don’t give a fuck feelings lingering. Stop, stop… why can I not stop. Hurt, yes this hurts, but I do not feel it yet. It will come it always comes… this week has been far from normal.

Rage is trapped inside of me. I cannot hear myself think, but my thoughts are being heard. Anxious, very anxious… What can I do, where can I go for protection? No medication can calm this storm, not until it passes and the damage is left. Heart is pounding, I keep trying to focus. Calm my thoughts, my anxiety, my emotions…

I don’t even know where to start or how to stop. I am a tornado with wings…. my God, help…

Save me

Stuck

I can't move
I can't move

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have noticed that with being bipolar I tend to feel trapped. When I’m depressed I have no motivation, no desire and no energy. I am stuck in the rut until my chemicals change. It is so hard when you are trying to move forward, when you have aspirations for the future… I feel so frustrated, like I cannot move, I cannot try anything because depression has taken over.

Then of course I have my manic moments and I can be really productive, but it is never something that I should be productive in. My dreams and desires get in the way. My needs fly out the window because I can do SO much more. I go and go until I run myself into the ground and realize my great ideas were nothing more than excitable chemicals.

My husband and I have planned to move back to CA. It is a slow and painful process, I wanted this months ago. I am switching my licenses back to CA, but because I haven’t been gone long enough my license won’t transfer. I have to renew instead, but I am now considered late so there is a $270 delinquent fee on top of the renewal fee. I have to have that license before I move to CA in order to get a job. Thankfully my other license I never switched. I have no way to afford this though.

I feel so overwhelmed and burdened with what needs to be done, what is the best way forward, how are we going to get money, how all this will work. I long to go home more than anything. I am so stuck here with no job, no friends, no activities that I enjoy…

As I write this I want to cry because I feel so disappointed in myself for allowing myself to think this move would work. I feel defective and broken. Life has come to a complete halt and I am starting to become afraid that it will destroy my soul. Perhaps it sounds dramatic, but I do feel this way.

My old obsessions are creeping up on me as I have time to obsess. I have time to control things and make everything better although I can do nothing about it and it makes everything worse. Laziness has crept up on me in many ways because I feel as I have no purpose, no drive, no meaning, no life…. just stuck.

 

 

 

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When everyone goes home, you’re stuck with yourself.

-Layne Staley

Moody Foody

Food for your mood
Food for your mood

The emotional part of my depression has seemed to go. I still have the aches and pains physically, but somehow I feel better. Since my last depression the only thing that has changed is me taking my prn Seroquel consistently. I feel blessed and inspired at the same time. It gave me aspiration. Surviving the one day of pain put things into perspective that you cannot know or predict the highs and lows of bipolar. I have experienced weeks and weeks of depression and now what felt like death yesterday only lasted one day. I am a rapid cycler so I may spin out of control again, but I am just thankful for this one day that gives me rest. Listening to my music, writing, lots of thinking and I cooked!

I will share the recipe with you because sometimes food can be your friend and or you enemy. I got this from Vegan recipes. My favorite homemade Indian Food, Chana Masala. I even took a picture for you

Vegan Indian Food

Vegan Indian Food

It is absolutely yummy!

My thoughts are still racing a bit today, I want to do so much but am getting overwhelmed and not doing much of anything. I am glad I cooked a healthy dish though. The importance of a good diet I think, is to avoid western foods and concentrate more on non processed foods.

Did you know that if you don’t eat on a consistent basis it causes your blood sugar to drop (hypoglycemia). The symptoms can play on your mood are ex. fatigue, moodiness, depression, irritability, crying, dizziness and headaches (these are most common for myself). To avoid these symptoms(possibly triggers) you should eat every four hours. Try to eat something that does not come out of a box and you understand the ingredients. I carry nuts in my purse.

Eating healthy carbs is a BIG help. I know we live in a day and age where everyone and thing is telling you carbs are bad and unhealthy, but did you know carbs actually give energy and creates serotonin which improves mood. Eating things like brown rice, oatmeal, yams, fruits, and beans.

It isn’t as easy as it seems, but it DOES help significantly. Sometimes thinking about food just overwhelms me… So I find a blanket, go out and find a safe place to lay on my blanket, put some music on and watch the clouds…. it gets better.

 

Ache

Depression setting in
Depression setting in

My body aches, my head hurts, I cannot stop the random crying. It was a sleepless night filled with terror. Thoughts so overwhelming occupying my head with my emotions unable to relate. The anger, rage, fear, desire, motivation, dreams accompanied with aches, migraines, dizziness, queasiness,  crying and the overall feeling of illness. My soul weighs heavy, I can not stop it. I have slept on the couch since 4am. My body is tired, but my mind is not, this is hell beginning, fear and no hope for tomorrow.

And sometimes it hits me out of nowhere. All of a sudden this overwhelming sadness rushes over me. And I get discouraged and I get upset and I feel hopeless, sad and hurt. And once again, I feel numb to the world.  ~Unknown

Alone & depression

It hurts…

Please don’t find me

Please don't find me
Please don't find me

I had a feeling that my appetite change earlier this week was a warning sign. It isn’t always, but I have had that sneaking suspicion. During the holidays my sleep schedule changed significantly. From going to bed at 9-10pm I started going to bed around 1-2am and I slept in till noon most days. My eating habits changed from being a gluten free vegan,to bread filled with gluten and dairy/ mashed potatoes with butter/ decadent assortments of sweets and chocolate. I rarely eat candy and almost never eat animal products

My family was here early December and that caused a disruption beyond what I thought possible. I have seen my therapist since and my suspicions of my parents were confirmed. The chance of one of them having a mental illness, has blown my mind, my father confirmed it. I was in the shower and all I could think about was how much mental health illness is in my family. It is not just anxiety or depression, which I know are serious, but it is the rare mental illness’ that so many stigmatize and fear immensely. I thought that perhaps something is wrong with me as a whole. Maybe I was just an accident letting my illness fester. I am surrounded by illness, drama and fear.

I couldn’t sleep last night, my mind was racing… This ran in my head over and over:

“Sometimes I want to cry, why is it I want to die?

I sit up in my bed with racing thoughts in my head.

My thoughts are so confused, sometimes I feel used.

I cannot stop, I cannot try. Everything in side me wants to say goodbye.

I close my eyes like I am not here, I always live my life in fear.

So let me go, let me be, just please please don’t find me.

I am not suicidal, I am not depressed, I am stuck between that mess.

Irritable, hyper, productive, angry, energized, anxious, confident.

Mostly I am scared. I don’t want bipolar to find me again. I don’t want to be trapped inside me.

I would hope, but that’s no use. I would try, but it just makes me cry.

I want to stay calm, but I know it won’t be long. It’s in my head, perhaps I should be dead.

I do not want to look, I do not want to see what may be lurking inside of me.”

What is hope?
What is hope?

“I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best.” 

-Benjamin Disraeli

I am scared. I have been hypomanic for a few days now. I want to hope for the best, but I know I should be preparing for the worst. I hate knowing that when I get mania, I usually fall into a dark and deep depression. Since being diagnosed with Bipolar I can’t help but think the worst. I seem to be one way or another(up or down) and even if I am stable it never lasts long. My mood, meds and myself change so often it is hard to hope for the best. How can I hope for the best when I don’t even feel better, let alone hoping for my best.

Classical music fills the air as I write. It brings inspiration yet it reminds me how dark, unpredictable and how transcending life can be. I feel anxious and it never stops. I have been reaching for goals only to find myself fail and or become disappointed when it all goes away. I don’t feel stable, I don’t feel like I will ever feel stable. This messes with my mind and thoughts.

I dream, I do have hopes, I do have plans, I do have inspiration, yet it gets crushed daily. I feel alone and isolated. Can I ever allow myself to feel accepted? I have doubts in my own mind, I creep around trying to be normal, trying to understand and hiding behind my mask. It takes years for someone to get to know me. I cannot tell someone I just met that I am mentally ill. I have had therapists turn me down because of my diagnoses. I know it isn’t right, but I don’t care anymore. I feel stigmatized daily with or without someone judging me.

All my life I have written about hope. It has confused me since I was a little girl. What is hope? The Merriam Webster Dictionary says hope is- “To cherish a desire with anticipation”. Why do so many people anticipate things? I would think that only brings disappointment. Life never works out the way you hope. Why do we torture ourselves with expectations? Wouldn’t it be better to have goals? Working for something, but not having the expectation/anticipation that it may work.

Do your best and prepare for the worst. 

-G.E Laine

This makes more sense to me. All I can do is my best, I can never do better than that. A thousands hopes will not get me anywhere, but doing my best and preparing for the worst will allow me to move forward. Either at slow or fast pace, I do not care. I just cannot have hopes being Bipolar, it discourages me and depresses me when the hope was unrealistic, far fetched or something anticipated when manic. I desire the best for everyone, but I can not hope for the best in you; that is your decision.

Depression and Gratitude

Depressed

I ran across this quote this morning:

“If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.
If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank or in your wallet, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.”

-Unknown

So often when I am depressed or feeling down on myself I wonder why me? Why do I have to deal with this curse? In the back on my head I always secretly want to know I am okay and nothing is wrong, but when I do my stomach curls and it reminds me that I am not. Although my Bipolar isn’t me, I do have Bipolar.

I was walking around the house last night 130am, my head just kept telling me you are not mentally ill. The more that it was repeated the more depressed I became. At times I just want to curl up in a ball and cry, I do not understand this world and I know I never will. After reading this quote a heavy burden came down on me. How can I be so selfish? How can I complain about my moods, my depression, my mania, my imbalance and my pain when people are dying. Many die because of starvation, cold, painful disease, abuse, the list goes on and on. I know that if any of those things were happening to me or anyone I loved I would be depressed beyond belief. I would want to give up because there is no hope.

In my mind, I feel we all suffer in our own ways. As I understand it many people feel deep emotional pain from these horrible and dire situations. I often feel as though we deal with these types of emotions even though we may not have poverty or a terminally ill disease. Is this true? Sometimes. I feel Bipolar can be just as gut wrenching as any other horrid thing. We feel the immense and uncontrollable pain, we feel the sorrow, we are paralyzed by emotions, plagued with suicidal thoughts and sometimes deal with other worlds in our mind.

When I started writing this I had no idea I would go down this path… sometimes when I am “okay” I forget how painful and destroying Bipolar truly can be. I guess it is like a woman going through birth and feeling the most pain she has ever felt in her life. She says she will never do it again, it is too hard yet not long after she wants another baby and does not remember how truly painful her last labor was.

Sometimes I am grateful for life and all it has to offer and teach me. Other days I don’t know why I exist and why anyone or thing would put me on this earth to feel pain greater than labor, death or any traumatic event that could happen. I have seen people die, I have been there on their last breath, I have had close family die, and friends. I have seen what happens to bodies after death and I have seen people who have been revived after all their vital signs were gone. Sometimes life feels pretty pointless and overall just depressing.

As I read this I feel sad. I know it can be hard, I know that we feel alone and scared a lot. One of the scariest things that happened to me while being bipolar (outside of trying to commit suicide) was being placed in a mental hospital and being locked in the same room with another patient who was hallucinating, changing personalities and would not leave me alone. It was night time and I laid in bed crying, she came up to me, “Do you want to go to church? Let’s go to church…. I have my doll, you want my doll…don’t cry, don’t cry….STOP IT YOU’RE CRYING, SHUT UP!! Let’s go to church….” As she screamed around the room speaking things I didn’t understand. I sat up in bed and looked out the barred window trying to find something that may comfort me. It was dark, there were lights everywhere, I saw hospital buildings all around me, but I could see the moon. I sat and cried as I gently rocked myself just to find comfort in something. The night was years and the pain crushing.

Now I sit here in my heated house, a fridge with food, a breakfast in front of me, a clear and sunny day, my two dogs, a blanket, a comfy couch and the ability to write. When I experienced that dark long night, I thought it would never get better, that I never would be the same and my life would end.  My life got better, I am still alive, but I am definitely changed; for the better and for the worse.

Although life can be hell literally, it always has something. Something to give, something to take, something to dream, hope and love. That dark night I saw the moon and although I did not feel okay, I somehow was comforted just by something I knew. I know it is hard, it is hard on me too, but lets not give up. Let us just try again.

I found this article and thought it to be useful when struggling with depression:

Taking Care of You When Depressed

Mood, Lithium and Food

Vegetarian Version
Vegetarian Version

I was at loss for words today, all I could think about was how hungry I was. My appetite has definitely been increased these past few days. I do not feel like it is associated with my current mood, but it can be the first warning signs for me that something is shifting. Often, when I am depressed my appetite increases and of course I am cursed with laziness as well as everything else associated with depression. I am glad that for the most part I am not ravenous like I am tonight.

Lithium sometimes helps me keep my crazy hunger at bay (sometimes it increases it as well), but because I always feel so thirsty and dehydrated when I take Lithium the liquids often fill me up. Maybe this is the reason why I use the bathroom 12+ times a day (no exaggeration). When my stomach is so full with water it kills my appetite. The Lithium bottle even comes with a little red tag saying “Drink plenty of water while on this medication”. You know it has to be serious if it’s a red label on your medication! Ha, no not really, not for me anyways… I usually get the rare and unusual side effects. Here is a little info about Lithium Carbonate.

About Lithium and Bipolar

Meanwhile, I knew I needed to cook something, something filling and preferably healthy. I decided on Lentil Stew, it is easy to make, but it cooks for about 20-30 minutes. Here is the recipe…

Lentil Stew Lentil Stew Link

From the back of the Goya brown lentil package

1/2 pound dry lentils (package of lentils, you can buy at any grocery store)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound smoked ham or sausage (I skip the meat as the lentils contain a lot of protein)
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 chicken or beef bouillon (I use liquid vegetable broth 4 cups, no water needed if using liquid broth)
4 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

(You can use carrots as well if you want more veggies, just chop thinly and put it in the pan with the celery, onions and garlic)

  1. Sort and rinse lentils.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Stir in sausage, onion, celery, and garlic until tender. (Carrots as well if wanted)
  3. Add lentils and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender and soup gets thick (approximately 15-20 minutes). Add more hot water if necessary.

Yield: 4 servings

I make mine Vegetarian/Vegan, I skip the meat and use vegetable broth instead. Be for-warned that it uses the liquid quickly, I always end up adding 1-2 cups extra liquid at the end otherwise it burns.  Take a look at the turn out.

The First Step…

Starting the recipe

You can add the carrots, eat with bread or add hot sauce, it is FABULOUS. Great thing is you can make extra for leftovers and it still tastes good. When my appetite overwhelms me either by medications, depression or the first warning signs of  my mood shifting. This really helps. I ended up having two servings tonight, but I feel satisfied not stuffed. I know eating healthy can be very difficult when dealing with a mood disorder like bipolar, but I will be posting some of my meals through out the year to help us be as healthy as we can so we can manage our bipolar to the best of our ability. If you have any questions or have any recipes that you would like to see the vegetarian, vegan or gluten free version, I will be happy to help.

Namasté

On Just Being Crazy Enough

Ted Talks Bipolar Comedian
Ted Talks Bipolar Comedian

A Bipolar comedian with his take on bipolar

Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hyde

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

“It’s like living with Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hyde.”  My husband said in a frustrated voice. I knew I was being unreasonable, but I could not stop my mouth from spouting. My mind was racing a million miles a minute and irritation ran through my veins. He fixed many problems on my computer and I was mad because I had to go through a few extra steps that I was afraid I may forget. I constantly forget my logins and passwords… I try so hard to remember but since I have been on medications consistently my brain just does not think the way it used to.

I was embarrassed when he told me the Dr. Jackal and Mr. Hyde thing, but I knew he was right in some way. I was offended, hurt emotionally and ashamed all at the same time. I long not to let bipolar run my life and affect my relationships, but sometimes it just can not be controlled.

I wonder if I will ever be the kind, meek and gentle person I perceive myself as. It hurts when my emotions roar. Not only do I hurt myself, I hurt others. It is a devastating feeling. It is like the weather starting to change, you know it is going to be different, you don’t like it, it can cause tornados and hurricanes, but you can not control the weather. You can have shelters or have evacuations for everyone to leave so they can avoid the damage. You know it’s coming, but there is nothing you can do about it, it is horrifying.

Nutrition and so much more

Nutrition

I have a meet-up group that focuses on nutrition. When I tell others that I am in this group they always say, “Why, you don’t need to do that, you are not over weight.” This makes me sad because so often people blur the lines of diet/nutrition/health. When you are on a diet it often implies that you are eating “healthy” and less. When you are being nutritious, you eat foods that are good for you, balanced, with room for the occasional treats. Healthy diets has the connotation that you have to eat healthy all the time, it is not longer about nutrition, but more about eating what the world views as healthy or to improve one’s health.

I struggled with eating disorders for a long time. I would get on the diet wagon and starve myself skinny. Then I would get on the healthy wagon where all I would eat are healthy food until I could no longer take the torture of having “good” foods like ice cream and chips. I never understood nutrition, I thought “healthy eating” was nutrition.

As time passed, I ended up in a eating disorder treatment center I was given the chance to see a nutritionist. At first I hated it, her and everything that had to do with eating nutritiously. I did not understand how eating 5-6 meals a day could help me get and maintain a healthy weight. I thought she was trying to make me fat (my eating disorder screaming!). I felt like I was ALWAYS eating. She also put in two times a week where I indulge in my favorite food (1 portion…whatever I wanted). I thought she was crazy, you don’t eat junk when you are trying to be healthy and maintain weight. She then proceeded to tell me that I should not being exercising every day (I thought she is bat shit insane). I needed exercise all the time, after all exercise is “healthy”. She explained to me that my body needs rest between workouts, to exercise 3 times a week for 45 minutes, no less, no longer. I didn’t like this…how am I going to look good? My nutritionist also told me I shouldn’t focus completely on cardio, (now this one I understood, but did not follow). It was suggested I do cardio for 30 minutes and strength training for 15. I really started to despise this woman. I didn’t understand it, it did not go with anything I believed. 

Over time, my weight stabilized though, it did not move once I got to a very healthy weight. My body was showing definition, I had energy and I felt like I had routine. Nutrition was beginning to make sense to me. It wasn’t all or nothing, black and white… it was about balance, finding one that works for you and sticking to it.

Being bipolar I found this quite difficult. I tend to think all or nothing, my brain is black and white. I have a hard time following through with things and having balance is something I never understood. When I eat balanced and nutritiously I feel good, I feel motivated to exercise which makes me motivated to continue with balance. It helps my moods because I am not getting sugar rushes, caffeine highs, calorie crashes and binge sessions. All these things make me cycle or depress me.

It isn’t easy though, it takes time, a lot of time. It took me one year to get back to my healthy weight, but it hasn’t budged (with the exception of one drug that makes me lose weight when I first start it), but it always bounces back because I am for the most part consistent. I continued to see the nutritionist for another year. I was scared not to have her in my life, I finally trusted her, enjoyed her company and looked up to her.

Now I eat nutritiously and healthy. When I eat for “healthy”, I tend to eat a lot of crappy foods because I feel like am deprived. Eating nutritiously has made me feel more confident, gives me trust in myself, makes me feel good and helps with my moods.

As time progresses I realize everything on this earth is about moderation. It is what makes things balanced. I think this is one of the reasons bipolar is so hard. When you feel good you tend to take better care of yourself. When you are depressed you want to comfort yourself (many times it is with food). When you are manic you often times have so much energy you forget somethings go overboard on others…life needs balance.

All this said I want to encourage you to not give up on what ever your goal may be. The road is steep, but if you go slowly, take breaks and never give up… you WILL get to your goal. Patience, balance and compassion will get you there…

“Bipolar can make you unstable, but you are still able. Never give up, never give in, you will find your peace again.”
-G.E Laine

I did not make any new year “resolutions” this year. I realize that with bipolar I can not put expectations in what I “should” or “should not” do. When I put expectations on myself it stresses me out and makes me feel like it is an obligation. I over obsess about it and if I don’t do EXACTLY what I planned I get sad, depressed and my self esteem plummets. 

I do have hopes that this year will be better then the last two years of my life. They have been the most difficult in regards to bipolar. I have had things I would like to do for a long time. I want to be healthier(exercise more, eat better, sleep regularly, take meds consistently, see therapist and PsyD), I want to volunteer (I have a meeting with a person at the Botanical Gardens nearby next Wed), I hope to follow through with these things… I have many hopes, but no expectations, I have goals, but no resolutions.

It is difficult living with bipolar. Although I have been able to regulate my emotions now that I have found a group of meds that work decently well. I still THINK like my emotions are off. I have been on survival mode for so long that I don’t remember how to react when things are stable. I feel as though I still have to react on crisis mode and because of that my decisions are often skewed, irregular and definitely inconsistent. 

Often times I ask others for their opinion because I want to know what they see and think. Unfortunately, I don’t take into consideration why they think like that. I often times I feel that their thoughts/beliefs are selfish or they are shutting my ideas down just because it is their opinion and they want to control me, and that they don’t necessarily their good intentions for me. I feel prideful and want to follow my own road because I think/feel I am thinking clearly and want to prove to myself and others as well. This is many times is a huge mistake, as I said before my emotions aren’t all over the board, but my thoughts are erratic and I don’t see that until I make bad decisions. Even as I write this I don’t understand why I do that. I can talk about it, understand the dysfunction, but I cannot see it when I am making decisions that will hurt me and others around me.

I guess I have to keep moving forward the best that I can and I need to be humble and trust that people who are close to me probably have good intentions, even if I don’t see or understand it.

Like Depression Isn’t Enough

If you are anything like me, you know the holidays are be torture! It starts off with us giving thanks for all that we have. Next thing you know we are trampling each other down for gifts, either for ourselves and/or others. The rush starts, the parties, the food, the family, the trips, the financial strain and ultimately the stress. 

 

Every time my family comes to visit I get irritable, anxious, my insomnia starts and I have to have everything perfect. I start fretting about how the house looks, how clean everything is, how the food in the fridge looks, what recipes I am going to make, the decorations (are they offensive because Jesus or Santa is hung up?), the sleeping arrangements and how each moment is going to play out, (if they bring this up then I am going to divert to this).

 

Then of course there was the dreaded work party where everyone is dressed up in their nice clothes and of course smiling! After all it is the most joyous time of the year! With Christmas songs blaring that this time out of every time in the year is the most WONDERFUL! The treats were everywhere; you wanted to eat healthy, stay on your diet or just cut back on the sugar for health reasons, but while the world is shoving their face with chocolate and candy canes it was hard to resist! When I am stressed I am drawn to food even more, to eat away the anxiety and suppress the perfection. 

 

Then there was the gift opening session, loved ones sit around and open gifts that we hope we are slightly interested in. You get the holiday sweater and cringe, but oh goodness, (isn’t this the best present you’ve opened to far?) you smile and thank the person for spending $20 on something you will never wear. Then you give your gift to someone, your heart racing hoping they will like it, the feeling of embarrassment was around the corner because they may not like it and they too have to smile and pretend they like it and your $30 gift may be used once, if you are lucky.

 

Then New Years comes, everyone planning/celebrating the coming of all the New Year resolutions. After all we are going to get that better job, lose weight, exercise everyday, cook more, the lists go on and on. Then new year is here and we are struggling adjusting back to work, the kids back in school (or maybe you), but now you have another pressure- your new year resolution. After all you are going to do it! You told your family, your friends, yourself that whatever you plan is it is going to work because that one day (you know the one that you are up the minute it started, exhausted, sugar crazed, bloated or perhaps drunk),that will be the day your life starts transformation.

 

What the hell are we doing to ourselves? We almost set ourselves up for failure with all demands, stress, plans, hopes, dreams… Now we are just trying to make this new year better than all the others. Sometimes I feel I am not good enough, maybe I do all this because I want to be the one who gave the best presents, the one with the coolest new gadgets, the one with the new life, the one who was diligent enough to eat healthy during the holiday season. I feel who I am right now isn’t good enough, that is why I resolute to be better. The holidays make me feel inferior and insecure, the most wonderful time of the year turned out to be the most dreaded time of the year. Now that all the “holidays” are over(until the lovers holiday, another commercialized holiday filled with chocolate), I am going to try to be accepting for who I am, not what I do or did, what I plan, who I am with, what I have or how much money I make.

Hope

My parents are still in town and I just can’t explain how much I enjoy my family. I wish I were able to express it better. I wish my emotions and anxiety didn’t get in the way. I have so much respect and love towards them. If my writing could express my deepest thoughts and subconscious emotions. I feel so blessed yet unable to feel like I can show my joy. I am an emotional woman and sometimes I let my pride get in the way of breaking down and accepting the love they give and sharing my own.The thing that makes me sad is something inside me is broken. It is like my brain and body won’t let me let others in. I feel trapped in my own mind. Sometimes I think bipolar has a greater effect than I let on; I decided not to go to my nieces concert of her playing the viola. I regret not going, but also knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I found myself caught in joy with my family yet burdened with the sorrow of this illness. I laughed with my family and then went into the bathroom alone to cry. There really was no describing my emotion of depression yet I could not accept or suppress it. Trapped, yet freed from love of family. I felt like a bird that could fly, but was placed in a cage to inhibit the flight of freedom.

I sat alone today instead of being with my family. I did and do not feel guilt, but sorrow hangs from the bottom of my heart. Waiting for my parents to come home tonight, I take them to the airport tomorrow. So little time, so many desires and hopes. I do not regret who I am or what I have become. I just pray for the strength to continue who I am and what I am becoming… what I want to give to the world. I have hope

Today is the day…

My parents come into town today, as excited as I am, I also am terrified. Every time my mother comes into town, my mood shifts. I have already been dealing with bouts of depression this week, sleeping 12 hours, crying uncontrollably, feeling hopeless, aches and pains, migraines, lethargy…the whole shebang! My parents have good intentions and hearts, but they can not stick to plans, they make things very complicated whether they mean it or not. I try so hard just to let them plan, let them dictate, because I really don’t care I just want things to go smooth. My mom always comes back at me though, “I just want things to work okay with you, I want it to work with your plans”. I tell her, I have made sure I have an open schedule, please just tell me how you would like things to go. She comes back saying, “I just want your ideas, I want things to go well with you and your sister.” We both tell her we want her to do what is best for her because even if we do plan, she will change it to what she wants/needs anyways. Needless to say we abided to her wants and needs and planned the weekend so it fits her expectations. We sent her a copy of the schedule so my sister and I can have something in paper that we all can depend on. As usual my mother already wants to change it to her desires even though she wants to do what we want. It is so frustrating. My father doesn’t get involved he just goes with it because I think he knows it gets complicated and stressful. Sometimes I wish he had more input, but this is life. Needless to say this trip is going to challenge my bipolar mood swings. As I said before I am just going to put on my happy everything is fine face and hope that neither my sister and I don’t blow up. My poor husband, even though he likes my parents and get along he also gets so irritated by them, because no matter what we say, how much we communicate, how well we plan for things to go well, it always seems to go very wrong. I am hoping it will be okay, but I am scared. As holidays approach I am sure many of us will be challenged by family, by finances, loneliness, stress, memories of the past, changes in diet, sleep and consistency. For myself I need to find a few things to keep my centered. Finding time for rest, exercise (walking, yoga, stretching, very calming things), make sure to take my medications, try to find time for writing, therapy, reading… I think we all need to remember to take care of ourselves, it will help the holidays be more manageable and not flip our moods back and forth or even crash…

“Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected.”

~Jimmy Cannon~

It happens every time my parents come to see me… I start cycling, anxiety comes rushing back. I can’t sleep, my appetite will devour everything in sight, my thoughts race, my body aches, confusion succumbs me. Despite taking medications, doing therapy, sleeping well, eating pretty good (holidays have a part in that), I am doing everything I am “supposed” to be doing, yet here I am.

I lay on the couch with my dog sitting on my legs. My legs are in pain, my head hurts, lethargy consumes me, I feel in a fog. Last night my mind would not stop… 1- I am going to write a book. 2- I am going to start a makeup line. 3- I should start a business. 4- I have all these great ideas I need a pen and paper, so I grabbed and placed under my pillow. 5- I could start cooking for other people. 6- I need to ensure that will we be moving back to CA. 7- I should become a yoga teacher, better yet I could practice yoga all day and become a natural at it. 8- I am no longer going to get any food that comes out of a box,,,,running through my head what foods I could eat. 9- I should start a new blog, one that I write on everyday. 10- I think I am cycling, yes, I must be cycling, but these are all great ideas… I could get rich of this, I would be a complete success and it all will come natural!!

Oiy ve, does this look familiar anyone? It is inspiring and humiliating all a the same time. Parts of me think I could really pull some of these off. Another part of me says I have gone overboard and the last part of me says you probably could do all these things, but once your full blown depression comes to play it will all slip through my fingers anyways.

I am taking it easy, I know if I push myself too hard I will drop into a severe depression. My parents arrive tomorrow though, the house is a mess and I am a bigger mess. Feeling anxious and nervous. I have $70 dollars to last the next 11 days and the fridge is empty. Thankfully we have rice, quinoa, beans and a few veggies to last us at least a week. I don’t mind being broke, but I feel bad because I do not have a job despite my best efforts these past 6 months. I hate feeling like the drag, the blue one, the unpredictable one… my hormones are not playing nice either.

I am becoming used to cycling despite my best efforts. I am thankful it is not full blown, but none the less it is still difficult to live with. I just need to avoid the world till this passes. This weekend I will have to put on my bipolar mask. It isn’t that my family does not understand, but they get awkward like it is their fault or I need space because I am not being “happy”, it is more difficult to deal with than just masking the truth.

I applied to volunteer at a animal wildlife center, I haven’t gotten the confirmation yet, but I look forward to starting. I do better when I help others instead of dwelling on my own circumstances. I tried going to the NAMI Bipolar meeting in AL, but it was not even running. It is depressing when you want to start relating to others, but there is nothing for us mentally ill. I have been talking about starting a group for a while, but become overwhelmed and extremely anxious when trying to plan it.

I miss CA, I miss the culture, the weirdos like me, the overflowing things to do at all hours of the day. The groups, the great doctors and therapists. My friends are there and the weather is to die for. I am still adjusting… I wonder when it will feel like home.

With all this depression around me, I feel blue, down, sick, but I am allowing myself to cry, to race, to sleep, to be….all this is still a part of me.

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.”
~Saint Francis de Sales~

Death

So often in this disease the thoughts and actions toward death are so prevalent. Depression is overwhelming, we cannot help but think of death and dying to ease the pain of our suffering. I always said, “It’s not that I want to die, but death sounds so peaceful”. Noticing that people not affected by this disease do not feel the elation and pains that we do. Many times I will listen to a song and I feel my emotions and thoughts going with the song as if it were one being. Music that reminds you of who you are, where you are going, who you want to be and what you can never be. Emotion spills out everywhere with the melodies of the music.

Do you ever lie in bed and think of your death in a way that isn’t harming or threatening you? A death in which you cannot control. A moment in time that will never be changed, it will become forgotten and you will forever be gone. Do you think of how you will die? The last breath that comes out of your lungs, the ending thought in your mind and the last image you will ever see. Even as I write about it I feel a pit in my stomach, emotions turning and my mind is trying to wander. I think about our illness and how we have no control over our emotions/thoughts/feelings at times. Does our yearning for death when we are depressed happen because it is one thing we can control? We decide when we want to call quits… Is it that we cannot imagine a pain deeper than what we feel at our lowest low. Would we rather stop the pain in a deep depression or have the possibility of insurmountable suffering completely overtake us in a moment we least expect it- death.

-Life asked death, “Why do people love me but hate you?” Death responded, “Because you are a BEAUTIFUL LIE and I am a PAINFUL TRUTH”-
~Unknown~

 

 

On my mind…

So I was reading on bipolar magazine what Bipolar is… I read “extreme changes in mood, thought, energy, and behavior” When I read this I got angry inside, now that I am stable I fear these things. What I fear the most is I don’t recognize it until it is too late. I hate that BP (bipolar) gets in my brain hardware and changes my thoughts…that is really what disturbs me the most. They should have just written it changes your thoughts because I think everyone else knows that thoughts can change mood, which can change energy levels and overall behavior. UGH. I don’t know, ever sit in a room by yourself and think, “I am going to do or be someone or something special.” Does being bipolar make me special because if it does then I won an academy award!!! When do you let go of something you can’t control. When do you just stop wondering about everything in the world and wonder about yourself and why you think the way you do. Every thought leads us to our next decision and action. Do we really have control like other people? I think not, does that change who I am, or does that change who they are? I keep thinking that we are in some Sci-fi movie and that our disease links us to other worlds and we aren’t just sick, we just are blessed to see things others can never see or feel. You know when you wake up to that dream and realize it isn’t real….when are we going to wake up from our life and realize it isn’t real. I think there is a reason EVERYONE and EVERYTHING dies….something draws us to the synergy of true meaning. Maybe we are dead now and when our body fails we become set free and truly live. Our bodies always fail us but our spirit moves on. Gosh, now I feel like a crazy person spouting out like this. I just find myself in a place where I know I cannot change others, I can only change myself, but what if myself changes itself…what then?

Stability

Finally! After leaving CA and being put on Lithium for my Bipolar, it has been under control! It has been a while since I have been stable. I am very grateful to be in this place as I have been bouncing all over the board for the past years.

I am starting to see what a strain my BP has put on my relationship with my husband. I feel guilty, almost sick for putting him through what I did. There were definitely close calls where we didn’t know how things were going to turn up, but thank God that he kept and fighting the battle with me. I enjoy every moment with him, stable or not. I enjoy him. Most of all and am beyond grateful for his patience with me.

I am still trying to figure out how to move forward in life now that things have calmed down a bit. I want to start exploring new things, but am terrified of triggering myself and being back at zero. I wish I had the answers, I know I shouldn’t be scared, but this is not just my life we are talking about…it is my husbands, my kids, my family, friends and the world that I have an impact on. I want to let go of this fear that everything is going to go to hell. I keep feeling as if I am the only person in the world that feels this way, yet I know this isn’t true. I always think nobody can relate with what I am doing and how I am feeling. The truth is thousands if not millions of people can relate now or from the past. What we do and think is nothing new…it is just the circle of life reproducing itself over and over again until we learn how to rewire our brain or our brains rewire us.

Doctors were people, okay are people, that I tend to cringe at. They always want to put me on new drugs, new side effects, new tests, new labs, so on so forth. I really don’t like how society as a whole is pushing this medication thing. I mean don’t get me wrong some people need it and I probably am one of them even though I hate to admit that. It is just that these pills have so many side effects, my Latuda makes me queasy and I will throw up without the help of Zofran. My Lithium gives me acne even though I am way past the age of dealing with that and I am an esthetician who should be able to cure it. Although I manage it well and am good with the makeup it just doesn’t go away.

In high school I had stage 4 acne, the worst you can possibly get, my face wash purple and swollen everywhere, there was not a spot that wasn’t covered. It humiliated me, I would hide behind layers of makeup, I would cover mirrors and turn off lights so I would not have to look at my unsightly self. Now I am starting to get these insecure feelings all over again. I look in the mirror now with Stage2-3 acne and either cry or get really angry. It is like one battle after another. Yes, I am stable and I am VERY grateful. Why all the side effects every time? My other meds make me shake, people always ask me what is wrong with me and if I am feeling okay. I just wish things were different. The more I talk about this the more I realize I just need to be happy with what I have. I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally, two sweet dogs who protect me, a loving family who would walk the earth for me, two sweet kids who love me and give me big bear hugs. Why can’t I just let go of the past, forget about the future and start enjoying now?

I am on my blowup mattress (still in the process of moving, it is our furniture for now), eating delicious red grapes, having my sewer line fixed, writing, feeling the cool air conditioning on my face. I am not sick, dying or dead. Although I do wonder a lot about death, I am not sure if that is natural, but I am just being honest here….
I have a blanket to keep me warm, tons of food in the cabinets. Even then I feel as though I have forgot the important things in life….and that is being grateful in all circumstances, loving all souls big or small, whether they deserve it or not and having an open heart.

That is all for now…I wish you all health, peace and gratitude…

Don’t know how to process this….

I want to learn more, go out more, have friends, make my dreams my reality…I have been getting stuck. I keep and asking myself why, but a part of me already knows it is my BP, but is it? Am I terrified of living in fear of triggering myself and ending back up in the mental hospital? A part of me agrees with that statement and another part of me knows my head lies to me. My life is constantly a fight, but when I look at other people’s life, they too struggle, but in a different way. A way we may or may not be able to understand. Seems to me life is nothing but a trial or a place to find meaning outside of the world, outside of people, outside of material things, even outside of ourselves…something bigger is there. I cannot understand it nor do I dare try because fact is nobody knows what happens after death or why we are here now. I know sometimes I cannot control my emotions and I know at times my emotions can control my thoughts, but the more I think about it, we are just a prey to our bodies and its functions, good or bad. We all die, our body WILL fail us. So I am asking myself why am I mad that my BP is in me? It is just a blip on the switchboard literally. Emotions and thinking are detours of what is really there. What happens when you close your eyes, no sounds, no light, no thought, no emotion…feel that little thing inside of you? I have…sounds crazy, but I believe it is my soul. Souls cannot be changed, altered, drugged, switched, hurt…it is just there, your true inner drive. If this is so, then why is it so hard to just listen and be okay with just having your soul? I believe it moves on, don’t ask me where or to where it may go because I don’t know. I like to believe there is a God, but then I wonder why is there SO much suffering, pain, agony, hurt, distrust, wars, famine, and just so much evil. Sometimes I think we believe and pray to God to relieve ourselves of our own responsibility. If something goes wrong or right it is God…well what if there wasn’t a god….things still go wrong and right. What is the difference? I think my brain has been stuck because I keep waiting for someone or something to save me, when reality is I can only save myself, I can only rely on myself, love myself, take care of myself and hope for the best because either way good and bad things lie ahead. It is the cycle of this life….

Well hell…

I woke up at 3 am this morning; I thought about taking my seroquel after 30 minutes of still not being able to go back to sleep, but then realized if I did that I won’t be up till noon and for some reason I rationalized that that wasn’t okay. So I tossed and turned, turned some more fading in and out of sleep. I had a dream that everyone and everything was against me. They didn’t like who I was, what I did, what I believed in, how I felt, how I looked, how I was dressed. They wouldn’t listen to a word I was saying then put me on this horse which somehow was carrying 10 people and I was furious because I was afraid all these people were either going to break the horses back or kill it from exhaustion. They were sitting so far up on his neck that he couldn’t even lift his head. Then they started warring on how could I be a Buddhist/Christian who accepts others for what they believe even if it is not a path that I follow. They made me feel, demoralized, stupid, pathetic and quit honestly worthless and useless. I couldn’t stand the dream a minute longer, I woke up to see only a few minutes have passed. Then I started to ponder about this dream, why would I be so scared from people rejecting me and not scared at all when I have dreams of people killing me. For some reason death doesn’t scare me, after working in the hospital I realized it is just part of life and the journey goes on to hopefully what you think it is supposed to be. I am rather fascinated with what happens next, if anything happens next. Anyways being rejected by someone, by anyone really scared the hell out of me. I tend to take it uber personally. I remember when I was first diagnosed I basically rejected myself for a long time before I learned you have to accept the disease before it gets better. Soon after my acceptance I realized eventually I have to let family and friends know, you know, just incase they have to put me in a straight jacket, ha! Jk, I hope! I was mortified, I didn’t want to, I kept it a secret a long time and isolated myself from everyone and everything. I stayed in the house for over 6 months. I was beyond crushed. Soon after my hospitalization I became even more accepting and told my family and it wasn’t till just recently that I “came out of the closet” and announced it on FB. Was I in mania, no, I was just tired of living a fake life, either accept me as me or just let things be. Rejection is so hard though, I think that is why many of hide behind our smiles, cry behind our laughter and put the mask on that everything is okay and it is not and it never will be. This is life baby, enjoy the ride! 

When I finally decided to get out of bed I thought, this is going to be a day from hell. Then I thought, well if you think that it is. Then I thought, my tongue is going to deceive me, then I thought, it may, but nothing has happened yet. My next thought was I may feel crappy and feel like I am swinging, but I am going to make it the best damn day I can! So here I am writing you….hell will always be there, but you can make your own heaven, even if it’s a bumpy ride there.

I have this in my quotes, but I wanted to share because each time I read it, it moves my soul…To a good day!

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Don’t be fooled by me.
               Don’t be fooled by the face I wear
               for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
               masks that I’m afraid to take off,
               and none of them is me.
 
               Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me,
               but don’t be fooled,
               for God’s sake don’t be fooled.
               I give you the impression that I’m secure,
               that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well
                    as without,
               that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
               that the water’s calm and I’m in command
               and that I need no one,
               but don’t believe me.
               My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
               ever-varying and ever-concealing.
               Beneath lies no complacence.
               Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
               But I hide this.  I don’t want anybody to know it.
               I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
               That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
               a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
               to help me pretend,
               to shield me from the glance that knows.
 
               But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,
               and I know it.
               That is, if it’s followed by acceptance,
               if it’s followed by love.
               It’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
               from my own self-built prison walls,
               from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
               It’s the only thing that will assure me
               of what I can’t assure myself,
               that I’m really worth something.
               But I don’t tell you this.  I don’t dare to, I’m afraid to.
               I’m afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
               will not be followed by love.
               I’m afraid you’ll think less of me,
               that you’ll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
               I’m afraid that deep-down I’m nothing
               and that you will see this and reject me.
 
               So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
               with a facade of assurance without
               and a trembling child within.
               So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
               and my life becomes a front.
 
               I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
               I tell you everything that’s really nothing,
               and nothing of what’s everything,
               of what’s crying within me.
               So when I’m going through my routine
               do not be fooled by what I’m saying.
               Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying,
               what I’d like to be able to say,
               what for survival I need to say,
               but what I can’t say.
 
               I don’t like hiding.
               I don’t like playing superficial phony games.
               I want to stop playing them.
               I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
               but you’ve got to help me.
               You’ve got to hold out your hand
               even when that’s the last thing I seem to want.
               Only you can wipe away from my eyes
               the blank stare of the breathing dead.
               Only you can call me into aliveness.
               Each time you’re kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
               each time you try to understand because you really care,
               my heart begins to grow wings–
               very small wings,
               very feeble wings,
               but wings!
 
               With your power to touch me into feeling
               you can breathe life into me.
               I want you to know that.
               I want you to know how important you are to me,
               how you can be a creator–an honest-to-God creator–
               of the person that is me
               if you choose to.
               You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
               you alone can remove my mask,
               you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,
               from my lonely prison,
               if you choose to.
               Please choose to.
 
               Do not pass me by.
               It will not be easy for you.
               A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
               The nearer you approach to me
               the blinder I may strike back.
               It’s irrational, but despite what the books say about man
               often I am irrational.
               I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
               But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
               and in this lies my hope.
               Please try to beat down those walls
               with firm hands but with gentle hands
               for a child is very sensitive.
 
               Who am I, you may wonder?
               I am someone you know very well.
               For I am every man you meet
               and I am every woman you meet.
 
                                                      ~Charles C. Finn
                                                      September 1966
 

 

  

Well…

I don’t really know where to start, as you know these past few days/weeks/months have been insane for me. Since the move I am trying to do more productive things like reading, exercising, researching, yard work, cooking, singing, making a true exercise program that meets my bodies needs. I didn’t realize how weak I have become, after spending many days in bed when at CA and not doing well nothing really except, cooking, laundry, dishes and trash. My muscles have weakened, I wonder if my brain cycles have slowed down too. I have been reading a little bit about lithium, one of the meds I am currently taking and I found out that 1) Lithium makes you age faster 2) lithium can cause bad acne (no wonder I am breaking out!) 3) Lithium makes you gain weight and 4) it tends to make you drowsy, sleepy and gives you a metallic taste in your mouth. Oh, the joys of bipolar and its repercussions that come with it.

Anyways I am trying to get back on a schedule, now that I am in a new state, new house, new surroundings and BUGS; I thought I too can start making changes. I am taking my medications regularly, still working taking it at the same time each day. I am allowing myself to sleep, but not like depression sleep(12-18hrs a day). I am exercising 30 minutes a day six days out of the week. I am eating healthy (with a few tortilla chip episodes, lol). I am researching more on the disease, finding out what can help me manage my BP(bipolar) better. I read that Omega 3′s really help with brain function, also support from family, friends, peers, co-workers, yourself…

I was pondering the other day about my sleep cycles and I realized when I sleep like a normal person (no sleepy drugs), I find that I am not as happy, rested, or even engaged. When I take my Seroquel I sleep wonderful, wake up rested and have gusto to start my day. I never made a connection there. I am also happy to say that I dropped my Klonopin usage from 4mg to 1mg a day. New places can make a huge difference and yes I have been going out and doing things! I have yet to make friends, but am thinking about how I am going to do it. The library is not too far down the road and I seem to see a lot of regulars esp the workers. I have also been wanting to start a group. At first I was thinking a bipolar group, but then I wondered if it would be better to start something that does not revolve around my disease and not to dog anyone, but most people I have met in BP groups have been quite unreliable and honest truth is I am too esp if it is something directly related to my disease. I would like to meet some people that aren’t mentally ill. I cannot believe I said that, it is ironic truly, but the whole truth. Well that’s all for today! To a brighter future!

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“Came out of the closet”

 

Well, I finally faced one of my worst fears and that was that my friends and family would know that I am mentally ill. For some this may be no big deal, but working in the medical field for so long and having high expectations placed on me, I was ashamed. For so long I felt like it was my fault or something was “wrong” with me. I wanted to fix it, I wanted to control it, but the more I did this the worse my disease became and the more angry I got it just sent me into more rapid cycles. During my first hospitalization I learned acceptance for myself, but still hid it from others. On my second hospitalization I learned that things needed to be in balance. I could not expect to get better while isolating myself, not having a schedule, not facing my fears and not sticking to the routine I gave myself. I do my best, by no means am I perfect. Yesterday I could only bike 7.5 miles with a half a mile walk, while normally I can do 10 miles no problem. I was depressed/mixed state and I saw that. I was able to balance my emotional mind with my rational mind and it made me a little wiser(I think/hope). I have only gotten one response to my “coming out of the closet”, I am a little nervous. I am scared people will think of me differently or poorly, see me as less or pity me. I don’t want any of those, I just needed to be able to be me. Being me includes bipolar, so when I don’t go to an event it isn’t because I am unreliable or not caring, it is because I am sick. I just feel like I need to be understood and I am so tired of having these fake relationships where “Everything is just fine”, you know the “how are you doing today?” question…GOOD, good. I don’t want to do that. I have feelings, emotions and I want myself and others to be okay with me not being good. Maybe I will have a sad day, maybe even a great one, but I am tired of pretending to be something I am not. It is okay to be irritated, angry, frustrated, hurt, crying, happy, elated, tired, moody or whatever feeling or emotion you may be having. The more you push it away the bigger the problem comes. You cannot hide from yourself and if you are you are not only doing a diservice to yourself for not being you and you are lying to the world about WHO you are, not necessarily how you feel even though both are important. 

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.Always work with it, not against it.”
~Eckhart Tolle~

Mixed

Well, day two of depression strikes although I am beginning to think that I may be in a mixed state, my appetite has gone up, I am more irritable, my mind wants to do a million things at once, yet my body is so slow and achy to move. I slept 13 hours last night…that is not normal for me. My body aches more than I care to admit and I don’t want to do anything. Thank goodness I have a schedule in which I abide to (try to, not everyone is perfect and there must always be balance), I think my exercise may have to be cut in half or booted for today, my body has no energy. It is almost as if it hurts to walk and normally I bike 10 miles plus a day. Acceptance and balance are so hard when you are in depression or in a mixed state. You want to accept the way you feel, but somehow it permits your mind  to make excuses for not following through with other things. Then balance comes into play and I know I should not push myself too hard otherwise I risk crashing for good and not being able to do much of anything or anything at all. It is a tricky game this bipolar. Sometimes I try to think of manic depression as a dance, once step forward, two steps back, one to the left and two to the right…does this have meaning? The ups and downs and back and forth? If you put meaning to it, it does, but it you just accept that this is how it is and it is okay, it makes it easier. I wish it were EASY not easier, but we have what we have and we must take the lessons and learn from them daily. Without these lessons and acceptance/balance our life would be miserable and yes, at times it will be miserable. I feel miserable now, but I know this too shall pass.

Thankfully, I see my psychiatrist today and I have a support group tonight, so I have no excuses for not getting out of the house. Parts of me want to role back in bed and sleep another 13 hours till the storm passes, but I fear if I did this I would not enjoy the rain pitter pattering on my window and I would not see the rainbow that comes after the storm. I once heard, “When you are going through hell keep going”. This is true, I/we can not stop and dwell on our suffering otherwise the suffering will get worse, but if you keep looking for that rainbow it too will come…

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Depression

Woke up this morning at 330 with a splitting headache, cramps and the heavy heart you feel when depressed. Searching for answers to make it better, to make it go away….I came across this phrase….Light needs shadows. For some reason this made things more understandable, almost better. I know I cannot run from this sadness, nor do I want to. May sound funny, but every part of the world has a season and right now I am in the cold winter. Am I scared? No, but I am aware and awake (blessed to be awake/living). I know things may not be easy. I know I will be uncomfortable, feelings may come up that I do not like, but I also know winter does not last forever. I am trying to do things that uplift my soul, like a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, listening to the birds sing and also listening to one of my favorite artists Krishna Das. When my soul feels this heavy I try to remember how lucky I am to have a roof over my head, a bed, two dogs that love me, music, coffee and most importantly my supportive and wonderful husband. Really, who needs more? I may cry, I may sleep, I may be tired, I may not have an appetite, but this too shall pass. Learning how to embrace this disease (bipolar/depression) is something I have failed to do until now. I am not saying it is easy or it will be easy, it won’t be, but one must have courage in their heart to say that it is okay to feel sorrow, it is okay to hurt, it is part of life, it is natural. Our society just tends to push happiness, wealth, and entertainment. Life is not this way and when I embraced that fact it became a bit easier. Depression is a heavy load to carry, the mountain is tall and our strength is weak, but it is courage and determination that gets us through, because once we conquer that mountain it may be stable for a while or it may get easier to walk down. As we travel life there will always be challenges, problems and difficulties, but knowing it is natural and normal makes things a little easier. May we all have courage to push forward….

“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.”
~Theodore I. Rubin~Image

Walking for a cause

I don’t normally do this, but this is important to me and seeing that my friends and family won’t support this I thought that maybe just maybe I’d get some support on here. I don’t care if it is a dollar or what….I just want to help the cause. It is for NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness)

http://namiwalks.nami.org/personalPage.aspx?registrationID=1747187

Thank you for at least reading this… :)

This is their official website…

http://www.nami.org/

Lost in Space

To be grounded is something I think most people take for granted, including myself. Gravity is a luxury most people have and do not even realize. Although, I must admit, I feel as though I just got pushed out of a space shuttle and I am spinning rapidly out of control. I reach for the ground only to realize the more I stretch to reach for safety, the further away I become. I have no gravity, no center to hold me down. When I look around I know logically there is the beauty of the bright stars, the moons and planets, but I cannot stop spinning long enough to focus. My stomach is queasy from all the motion and my heart feels as though it is going to pop out of my chest.

I look around me for help and realize a few people in the distance. What is this they are wearing? Space suits? Why don’t I have that? They seem so grounded, put together and well quite frankly, they are not spinning out of control. I try to sway my arms to move in their direction only to realize it spins me more violently out of control. I start running only to see I am in mid-air spinning in circles burning all my energy and getting no where. Can no one see me! Why do I not have their same suit?! Maybe I will yell…this will get their attention! Not before long I have people around me; they are discussing their journeys to the next galaxies. Their plans of building the next space shuttle. The beauty of the bright, brilliant stars that encompass us in every direction. Completely unaware that I do not have their suits on, they just tell me to stop spinning madly round. I myself am questioning how to stop the spinning, why my stomach is constantly hurting and why I now cannot see they stars, I just see a bright light that blinds my eyes as my body spins faster and faster out of control. They do not understand. The more I try to explain that I need help and I can not just “stop” spinning the more frustrated I become, because to the by-standers the task at hand should be simple and believe me it is. But without help and the proper medications, diet, doctors, therapy, sleep, job, money situation and friendships it is near impossible. Living is a task for someone struggling with Bipolar and constantly trying to stabilize meds, now add the tasks of “actual” living and you have created a difficult feat.  Take me back to my shuttle or give me a suit that works because Bipolar can be unbearable at times…

~This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Feb 21st thoughts

Bipolar is like having a hammer and a delicate rose in your hand…..sometimes things are crazy and you do things you swear you wouldn’t, but you just keep hammering away at it and just can’t even begin to comprehend why. Then there is the other side, the delicate rose who is beautiful, but struggling to survive. Its beauty is not felt nor seen, but rather I am feeling the thorns of life, brutal and sharp. People pass by and see a delicate withering rose and then see all the other vibrate, blossoming roses. Which would you pick?

I am not saying this is right or this is how everyone feels, but sometimes I really don’t understand who I am or why I do the things that I do. I suppose if you looked upon it through a glass window I wouldn’t seem like a sane person, but if you hopped into my place you would see things are a bit different when you are there, not peering from the outside looking in. Life is such a distortion and I think we all take it too seriously. I mean really, someone scoops trash, he is the president, I’m bipolar and she has cancer…..life is life, we are all just people, cells, organisms. Sometimes you can’t understand it, you just have to live it to the best of your judgement or lack of…

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Interesting days….year

I feel a bit blue today, no reason or rhyme to it. I am really very happy if I think about where I have been and what challenges I have overcome. I know it may be a contradiction, but for me it is possible. Bipolar has me down today…no energy, having a hard time getting out of bed, no appetite, and a foggy mind.  My spirits are keeping me up so I am able to function a bit today. On 6/6/12 I was admitted to the hospital. I lost my job and was at the inpatient ward for 3 weeks and then I was on an outpatient treatment program for 3 months! It was a hard time. Feeling like you are crazy for being in the hospital for a mental illness. Being treated unfairly at the hospital and not knowing how to move forward. Well when my insurance ran out and I could no longer go to the hospital that was a point where I knew I had to do something otherwise I would crash again into a horrible spiral. I kept my mind busy, being put in the hospital really changes your view on things, I tried figuring out what I really want to do in my life. I had been a successful Respiratory Therapist for over 6 years and I knew it wasn’t the field for me because I was constantly sick in the hospitals and constantly on call in the homecare field. I needed something new. I can remember wanting to be a Esthetician since I was 14, now 14 years later I have decided to go that route. My doctor didn’t want me to, he felt I needed to stay in the hospital, but I couldn’t bare another minute. So I started school in September, I went full time and it lasted for four and a half months. My days were over 18 hours long and there were days when I thought I would not make it, but I knew I had to finish it. I kept pushing forward trying to keep my health in check along the way. Now I have completed school and I can finally pursue my dreams…that is why I am happy. I decided to stop listening to my parents, the doctor, my family, my friends and myself. I just did what I knew what was best in my heart, sometimes fear is the only thing holding you back. Now guess what, my family, my doctor, my friends and myself now think it was a good decision. Sometimes you just have to swim against the current and you will find it’s exhausting, frustrating and at times you will want to give up; but once you get to your destination, you really don’t look back….you just smile and find that you are a stronger person than you ever imagined.

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“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”  
~Vincent Van Gogh~

Peace…

I normally don’t talk religion (now don’t run away just yet=}) , but I have been thinking this morning…many people find my religion confusing and baffling. I am a Christian Buddist, how is that possible, one may ask? I think religion is everyone wanting to find peace and have hope. So for myself I think reflecting and meditating by myself helps me figure out who I am and and what I want to do for the world. I also believe in Christ and Jesus dying on the cross for us. I believe in finding peace and really feeling it is something we all want. When you believe in something long enough it starts to become true in your mind and it changes you. The mind is a powerful thing. The conscious and the subconscious controlling us by the things we have experienced in our own life; no one is like me, no one is like you. So why is it that so many have to critical or be uncomfortable with someone who believes differently than they do. What if someone is

AladuraAmishAnglicanismAsatruBah’ai FaithBaptistBönBuddhismCao DaiCatholicismChinese ReligionChopra CenterChristianityChristian ScienceConfucianismConservative JudaismDivine ScienceEckankarEpicureanismEpiscopalianismFalun GongGermanic Heathenism Greco-Roman ReligionHare Krishna (ISKCON)Hasidic JudaismHellenic ReconstructionismHinduismIslamJainismJehovah’s WitnessesJudaismKemetic ReconstructionismLutheranismMahayana BuddhismMayan ReligionMithraismMormonism (LDS)NeopaganismNew ThoughtNichiren BuddhismThe OccultOrthodox ChristianityOrthodox JudaismPresbyterianismProtestantismPure Land Buddhism QuakersRastafariReligious ScienceSatanismScientologySeventh-day AdventistShaivismShintoSikhismStoicismTendai BuddhismTheravada BuddhismTaoismTibetan BuddhismUnification ChurchUnitarian UniversalismUnity ChurchVampirismVaishnavismWestboro Baptist ChurchWiccaWorldwide Church of GodZenZoroastrainism

who cares, even if you are none of these, talk to each other, understand, just love. Maybe that brings them peace, let one another be, that will bring peace. Why can’t we all just love one another and start seeing things and people differently. Things get broken, things get old, used and destroyed. People get broken, people get old and used, but people LIVE. We need to treat each other as gifts instead of strangers; if people were not here then we would be alone. Or should I say, I would be alone. Even though life is hard, painful, crazy and intense at least we have something and people to be with and things to believe in.

“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.”
~St. Augustine, 354 430~

Love the earth and sun and animals,ImageImage
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others…
And your very flesh shall be a great poem. 

~Walt Whitman~

Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete.
If you’re alive, it isn’t.  

~Richard Bach~

Have peace, love and hope my friends.

It’s been too long my friends…

Much has happened since I last spoke. I was hospitalized and many realizations came to me. I have discovered that when we deal with bipolar, it can play many games with you. It can play games not only with you, but also your loved ones. You don’t know if you are at a level state or if you’re just excited or maybe you’re going into mania, but only time will tell. Speaking of telling, who do you tell? Who can you trust? Do you even learn to trust after the things we go through and have experienced yet cannot express? You cannot get out of bed, but you can’t explain why. You spent too much money and you don’t understand how. I could go on forever on how this disease affects us and cripples us, but that is not what I want to focus on. What I have learned is that in order to get ANY control of bipolar you must first accept that you have it. If you do not accept it you can not learn to take care of it, to go to the doctors, to take your meds, to get adequate sleep, eat well, have good hygiene, to watch your caffeine and alcohol intake. In order to get better you must do these things and to do these things you must have acceptance. Now I am not saying that I am better or that I am cured of even that I am perfectly stable, because I am not and I may never be, but if I am okay with that then maybe I can learn to enjoy today….

“Life is a journey, not a destination.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some feelings…

I don’t know you, but I love you

I don’t understand you, but it doesn’t mean I don’t care

Understanding is just a lie disguised between my feelings and your thoughts

I wish I could help you, but I know it is beyond that

I just have to accept you for who you are and what you are becoming

I hurt for you, but I don’t know if you hurt

I cry for you, but don’t know if you cry…

It has been a while…

Life has caught me by surprise! These days my life consists of books, computers, coping and coffee  I am finding myself busier than ever, but I am doing “ok”. I have been working a part time job which seems to be full of drama and chaos. I find myself almost detached from who I am while at work. Somehow I just put on a smile and get through the long days. School has been full time as well and I must say it is taking up most of my time. I am having a hard time balancing work, school and home life. I think I am going to take the summer off from school. To be honest, I am not even sure if I want to do school anymore, it just seems like it is going to get me into trouble with my BP, work, home, family, friends…. when I start school I obsess about doing everything right and have a NEED to get A’s, if I do not achieve this I almost become disgusted with my performance and then push myself a thousand times harder. By doing this I tend to push off my real life and get caught up in the books.

My mood has been semi stable, which is a huge improvement from let’s say six months ago, but I am still having a hard time getting out and meeting new people. Moving so many times (50+) in my life has left me with very few friends and the friends that I do have are all far away. I feel very isolated, which I think is leaving me feeling very down. I have had low energy levels for the past month and if given the chance to sleep, I could sleep all day. I just hope to meet new people here soon because I think I am wearing thin on my husband. We both need people in our lives to help balance our relationship.

 

Down

It has been a while since I have been on here and I do apologize for that. Yesterday was a pretty low day for me. The depression hit me like a freight train coming out of nowhere. I slept all day yesterday, well I overate and slept. Not a good feeling especially when I am trying to stay active and fit, but lately that aspect of my life isn’t working either. Feeling a bit blue to say the least, I don’t know what triggered it. Well maybe I do…the doctor had me stop a medication, so right now I am just on Abilify 20 mg.  I am having a hard time managing everything that is going on in my life…just feeling overwhelmed with just about everything. Having a hard time seeing the bright side of things and the happiness around me. I am now waiting for this cycle to stop…

Fear

It has been an interesting week, I started a new job and got into some heated conversations with my husband. My work is going well, drama is definitely there, but I think that is every work place. Soon enough I  will land a job where I am not having to work for someone else, but until then I will enjoy the ride.

Life has been kinda crazy and yes I have been taking my meds consistently. Have you ever had a nonexistent fear yet none the less it is still a real and rationale fear? Well that has happened to me. I am going back to school in March and I am terrified. I am getting my BS in Sports Management specializing in Health and Wellness. This degree allows me to become a health coach, a certified personal trainer, a pe teacher or a coach to name a few. I love being healthy, yet I find it hard to fit into my every day life, so I am scared of going to school for it because I fear that I may not be good enough or strong enough. What if I got this degree and it turns out that it doesn’t help me at all. All the school debt would go to waste. My husband thinks I am scared to succeed and find happiness. Often times I don’t want to believe what he has to say, but it rings so true. I am scared of success. I am scared of being happy. I am scared of moving forward. But why?… Trying to write this one out to get my answers. I often times feel that if I start succeeding then people will expect more from me and if I start moving forward I will have a harder fall because God know with this disease you eventually do fall. When I hit those lows I feel so out of control and morose. So yes, I am terrified of failure, but what I should be more terrified of is not succeeding or moving forward. I wish my anxiety could agree with that statement. Does anyone else have these irrational fears?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.

We ask ourselves ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’

Actually, who are you not to be?

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

TV and my life

I was watching the show Drop Dead Diva last night and it was about Bipolar (season 2 episode 5 on Netflix) and I couldn’t help, but relate to what Jane’s mother said about being bipolar. She said, “I am so ashamed, I barely admitted being Bipolar myself….I tried the drugs, they made me feel like someone else, I would look in the mirror and I wouldn’t even recognize myself, you have no idea what that feels like….”

Wow, it is like someone took my journal and put it on the show. I am realizing more and more that I am not alone in this disease and so many people have the same feelings and thoughts. It isn’t something to be ashamed of, though I was and at times still fight those feelings. When you are first diagnosed with being bipolar it is as if someone stabbed you in the heart. You don’t believe it, you feel betrayed not necessarily from the people around you, but from yourself. How could this be? It must be a mistake, so you get a second diagnosis only to realize the diagnosis is in fact true. In that moment it feels like a life shattering event, at least for me it was. I used to think, “How can I be crazy and mentally unstable?” Something was terribly wrong…I quickly fell into a major depression ruining my relationships and eventually quitting my job because I thought/felt I could no longer handle it. From there I went on and off disability, cycling hard and fast. I didn’t like the way the medications made me feel. It was as if a stranger lived in my body. I felt numb with no direction or plan. The diagnosis of being bipolar ruined me more than the actual disease itself. I played victim to it only to watch it destroy my life even further.  Bipolar itself was a big part of the problem, but a even bigger part to my problem was me. I could not accept the diagnosis. My depression got worse to the point where I was unable to take care of myself, the medications got off track because of my severe depression and then the cycle would continue. I would have days of mania thinking I was alright and that the doctors, family members and friends were all wrong. After about a week of mania, I would fall back into the depression phases unable to think clearly, I just slept in bed for weeks on end. I have almost lost everything dear to me because of this disease and my inability to accept the disease. Now that I have gone to support groups, therapy, my PsyD and have been more open with my close friends and family; I have slowly learned to accept the disease and myself as well. It has been a bumpy ride to say the least, but somehow I keep pulling through. I attribute that mostly to God, my family and a lot of self care. One thing I have learned is you don’t have to be alone with this disease, you may FEEL alone often times, but you don’t have to be alone unless you choose to. Acceptance is such a big part of this disease. If you don’t accept it you can’t take care of yourself in the ways you should, you don’t take your medications because you don’t feel you should and you are constantly fighting an inner battle.

 

“A big part of getting better is through acceptance and acceptance alone.” ~Anonymous~

I finally came to terms with manic depression and lithium. I’ve taken lithium regularly for the past few years and have had no further bouts with manic depression. ~Charley Pride~

 

L-O-V-E

Today I know that I cannot control the ocean tides. I can only go with the flow. When I struggle and try to organize the Atlantic to my specifications, I sink. If I fail and thrash and growl and grumble, I go under. But if I let go and float, I am borne aloft.  ~Marie Stilkind~

Learning to let go and go with the flow. Life has enough problems without me trying to fight my disease. I am discovering that the more I love, myself, others and everything around me the more calm I feel. Everyone deserves to be loved and love in return. At first it may seem like an impossible feat, but as time passes it becomes easier and easier. I never in my life thought I would say this, but I love me and part of me is my disease and I must love that too in order to move on. Sounds crazy I know, who in their right mind would love their mental illness, but I have spent the last 3 years HATING, LOATHING and DESPISING my illness, but now I know there is only love. It is an amazing thing when you truly embrace yourself and discover the power of love. I am starting to dream again because of my new found love. My confidence has gone up, my irritability has gone down, my life is changing before my eyes and it isn’t because of a pill the doctor gave me! I challenge you to stop trying to fix things, stop fighting things, stop trying to change everything and just accept you and everything around you. When you do, you will realize that there is only love…

In the beginning, the price of giving great love is risking that it won’t be returned. Until you understand, of course, that great love is always returned. With interest.  ~Mike Dooley~

So it starts…

My energy has gone down noticeably and I slept way too much today. I feel as though my little ferris wheel is on its way down, slowly, but surely. It was a fun ride while it lasted, but now I am bracing for whatever is coming my way. I feel the chemicals shifting, it’s like the tides in the sea, pulling, but not seen….not yet anyway. I am still grateful that I am here and able to manage this disease however hard it may be. Thankful for today and everyday that is placed before me because I know God will not give me more than I can handle. There are times when I feel like giving up, but thank goodness it is just a FEELING, not a reality; not unless I allow it to be.

Not much for words today, so I will end it with this…

“You can feel like a mental patient, but that doesn’t mean you have to act like one.” ~ Marsha Linehan~

A little too loud…

I was talking with my husband this morning when he told me “Will you lower your voice? You always seem to yell when you are running hot.” I thought I was just carrying a normal conversation at a normal tone. Who knew! This is a reminder to me again that even though I think I know where I am at, sometimes mania slips right past me. It seems as though whenever I feel I am doing “good” it almost always is or turns out to be mania slowly ramping up. I wish it weren’t that way, I wish I could feel happy without getting the mania word attached, but for now I am okay with running a little hot. Trying to stay away from caffeine and other things that could trigger it for the worse. Trying to remember that I will probably hit a low point in the near future. For now I am just enjoying my happy little mania moments. Staying positive and upbeat is so much better than being negative and down. Although I understand its place now.

Getting ready for a morning run, which by the way I don’t run…I last about a minute before I give up from not being able to breathe (asthma will do that). BUT I heard interval training works wonders for boosting your running time and getting in shape. So this morning is the morning for breaking a sweat and getting rid of this excess energy. Looking forward to it…

 

Today’s quote:

“There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you’re high it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty. There are interests found in uninteresting people. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced irresistible. Feelings of ease, intensity, power, well-being, financial omnipotence, and euphoria pervade one’s marrow. But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends’ faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against– you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.”
Kay Redfield JamisonAn Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness~

Sometimes.

“Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
Laid bare my chest, said “Do your best, destroy me
You see, I’ve been to hell and back so many times
I must admit you kind of bore me”
There’s a lot of things that can kill a man
There’s a lot of ways to die
Listen, some already did that walked beside me
There’s a lot of things I don’t understand”
Ray LaMontagne – Empty Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Sometimes I tell myself this, because I have been to hell and back and I am sure you have too…

I’ve got to the point that when all goes wrong and chaos surrounds me, I know it, I feel it and it no longer scares me… “I admit you kind of bore me”

Great song, touches the heart.

Empty

Insatiable me…

Came home exhausted. My brain numb and worn out yet running rapid on how I “feel”. Shaky, like there is nothing inside me. I ate a lot when I got home and all I want to do is keep eating. I feel like I need the food because my body is weak and it aches all over. 

I sat in front of my boss discussing paperwork and my mind wandered and thought, “this is going to take a lot out of me”. I feel vulnerable like I could lose my stability because of the exhaustion I feel. Brain won’t shut off because of this feeling. I am insatiable and this makes me uneasy… 

Work has been good despite my feelings and over exhaustion… just so run down, it is eating me alive… embarrassed because i want energy, I want to be okay with working 6-8 hours and not feeling like I ran a thousand mile race. Discouraged. I am not seventy yet, not even half that…

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Doing all right…

Anxiety...ok
Anxiety...ok

A frustrating, blessed and anxiety ridden week and  it’s only tuesday!

My first day of work started yesterday, a bit brain numbing and anxiety provoking. The day went by quick. The anxiety came and went, the more I thought, the more anxious I felt, the less I thought, the less anxiety. Mind keeps racing around the new thought, life, challenges, finances, and responsibilities.

My husband had an endoscopy today, he was nervous I could see it in his face. He had a bad experience with surgery many years ago. I just wanted to hug him and never let him go. I know how anxiety is hell in the body. All went well though, practically all good news! I was lucky enough to get work off today so I can take care of him…

My mind feels strong, my body weak and my emotions flatlined…

Dealing with a horrible PsyD, he filled my meds wrong and I ran out of the proper dose last week and realized the mistake when I was opening the new bottle. It’s been over a week. Feel furious that that would happen and that they took over a week to deal with it even though I called day after day…. I felt stupid because they were treating me so poorly “Oh, your meds are wrong? No no, the doctor changed it otherwise you wouldn’t get that dose….” “He gave that to you, stop calling” “Mam, the Dr isn’t here today” “I already passed it to the nurse, it isn’t my problem”

SCREW THAT! I am sorry I may be sick, but I am not stupid! It should finally be filled tomorrow (high hopes). Anxious about it, nervous and sad I was treated poorly, swept under the rug and not cared for. Needless I am getting rid of that Dr/office/therapist….

Overall I guess I am doing all right…