Hey Houston

Hey, Houston ~ 8.13.18

I’ve had a few steroid injections as of late, and as ever, troubles followed.

“Houston, We Have a Problem.”

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Not sleeping. Acting out of character. Not paying enough attention to finances.

At least so far it’s been a “giddy” euphoric mania, not dysphoric and rageful.

Only good thing is that I’ve been a lot more artistic, especially with writing. Those things tend to become dulled for those of us with this disease and the taking of mood stabilizers.

I can’t let it go on too much longer or become more intense. If that happens, I could easily be introduced to a behavioral hospital in San Antonio for the first time. I’d prefer not. Sigh.

At least, I recognize it. I’ve got family and friends helping me keep in check. It’s a trade-off. No steroid injections, the more intense the physical pain.

I could say the dilemma is unfair as hell, but I digress. Others are going through worse, and I knew this was a gamble. Still sucks, though.

Gamble-Responsibly

Take care of yourselves and others, guys. βœŒπŸ’›πŸ™

Dealt Myself a Good Hand

Dealt Myself a Good Hand ~ 8.10.18

Took the day for myself, save a couple of things to help out my mom and son. Mostly, I did what I wanted to do.

Know what it was? About four hours of playing Spades!

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I don’t even feel bad. Was fun. I needed to relax and hang out with just me, myself and I. Many of you know that with Bipolar, that last bit can be dangerous, but today was great.

Now, on to a new project.

Take care of yourselves and each other, guys. βœŒπŸ’›πŸ™

Not Today

NOT TODAY ~ 8.9.18

So, I have read that some people with Bipolar, Depression and other mental health issues are in practice of applying makeup, making sure hair looks nice, using lovely scents of perfume and fragrant lotions (I don’t know where guys fit into this) often times feel better throughout the day and get more done. I’ve been trying it.

Some days it works.

Not today.

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I’m in a lot of physical pain, and quite frankly, it pisses me off!

Second thing, Margot Kidder committed suicide. Another person with Bipolar has committed suicide. Damn It!

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I’ll keep trying and let you know long term. Take care of yourselves and others. πŸ’›πŸ™βœŒ

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When Enough is Enough

When Enough Is Enough ~ 8.6.18

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So, in helping my teenage son work through some issues with his friends, I’ve come to realize I need to do a little cleaning house myself.

My son is very kind to his friends and enjoys going out with them, and often times, he pays for their lunch, for example. However, later, we begin to notice that he’s the only one who has done this three weeks in a row. When he texts them, they don’t respond, and he knows they are online because he sees them clear as day on social media.

Therefore, his therapist and I are working with him to be sure he’s not taken advantage of and not used. We’re helping him recognize his true friends, and he’s feeling better because he’s not wondering why his “friends” use him, why his “friends” don’t chat with him unless “they” feel like chatting, etc type matters.

So, of course, one important key in parenting (at least for this household) is my son generally doesn’t follow our advice alone just because we verbalize it, but tends to follow it more when he sees that we are doing the same. When I give him advice about a friend who only talks with him on text when the friend wants to talk, and this friend doesn’t care if my kid is wanting to chat a bit one day, and my son says to me, “Well, you allow ______ to do the same thing to you,” that’s when I know it’s time to do some heavy lifting and dump said toxic “friend.” I’ll admit that it is extremely difficult to sever ties when you think you’re talking about potential lifelong relationships – fun, laughter, shared tears, lifting one another up when the other is down – but sometimes, enough is enough.

I’m working on my, “Goodbye, You Hurt Me But I Forgive You,” letters that my therapist recommended writing, which remain with me until I burn them and let the baggage go. Some are for people long gone. Some are for people still around physically, but not emotionally and spiritually.

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And it should be included, this kind of toxicity affects both mental and physical health, to be sure.

It’s heartbreaking, but I’ll survive. I’ve survived much worse, after all.

Hiding and Survival

HIDING ~ 7.31.18

By the age of eight years old, I had to figure out, quite abruptly and quickly I might add, how I was going to survive. Not physically; rather, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I can’t recall what I did at that young of an age, but something existed within me that said, “No, you will not be beaten by this situation.” The situation was a stepfather entering the picture.

By age the age of 12, I can say that I was very good at hiding.

I would get up on weekends and in summers and do my daily three hour cleaning and gardening, then pack a drink, sandwich, some snacks and a portable cd player, and took off to the creek and small lake not far from our home (house, actually…two different things) as well as the empty bottomed-out river beds full of limestone.

I would have lunch down there, listen to music, wade in the water, and quite often I would take a book to read that day.

I was down there by 9-10:00 a.m. and would have to return home for dinner and cleaning afterwards.

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Dinner was seasoned with nightmares – the kind that occur while you’re awake. I would get through all of that as soon as I was able and go to bed, pretending to sleep and blocking out screams with that blasted cd player. The bedroom door had no lock.

During the school year, I left for school early each day, offering the excuse I needed tutoring. I became involved in extra-curricular activities and sports so that I could go home later. As soon as I was legally allowed, I began working. And when all of that failed, when I was going to be stuck in the house alone with him (him is the stepfather) I hid in the bathroom acting as though I was sick, or taking a long time to get ready to go out somewhere, etc.

Ultimately, what I’m trying to say here is that in order to survive that time period of my life, I hid. I got to the point at which I excelled. At that point, it was a coping technique – a way in which I survived.

As an adult, is hiding the healthiest strategy? Probably not. However, you know what? It allowed me to survive. Currently, working on more healthy coping techniques.

Take care and treat each other with love, guys.πŸ™πŸ’›βœŒ

Share

Are you coming out of a period of Depression? Do you have any advice for acclimating to your surroundings and the people in your life? – The coming up for air, so to speak? What do you do then? –

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One thing I do, which may sound odd because during Depression people tend to “sleep” a lot. (It’s really just a sort of sleep. It’s not a healthy rest, and it’s often hiding away.) So ironically, when I’m significantly better, I sleep for about 12-15 hours, and sleep peacefully, absent the nightmares, and wake feeling so much better.
I also hydrate with water and juice.

You guys care to share anything?

7 27 18 blog entry

7.27.18 Blog Entry

One of the hardest things to do when I’m extremely depressed and experiencing anxiety attacks is…well…anything. So, today, when I wanted to hide under the cover (or drive to a hotel to sleep and cry) I managed to shower, put together a grocery list, made some quick, yummy pasta, and took care of a few bills. Also had a good talk with my son. This sounds like…well…not a lot, but when I’m this far down and pondering various methods of death, it is quite significant.

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Therefore, just like I tell my son (he too has Bipolar) I’m congratulating myself and calling it a win!

On Top to Crushed

On Top to Crushed ~ 7.25.18

It’s as simple as this. A month or two ago, I was on top of the world. Now, I feel crushed by it.

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My bones are becoming dust, and soon I’ll blow away with a heavy storm.

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In keeping true to what I set out to do with this blog, I occasionally add photos conveying mood. Here’s today…and the last couple of weeks.

Support Resources

Support Resources ~ 7.19.18

So, my last blog entry was titled, “Ugh.” That remains an accurate description of what’s going on with me. In fact, it kind of makes things sound better than what they are, but it will do for this entry.

I’m thinking I need to join a support group in addition to therapy. I need to interact with others and hear different perspectives, different experiences, and so on.

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I thought I would list a few websites and ideas for others to locate a support system, especially if he/she does not have a therapist.

nami.org/Find-Support

healthfinder.gov

betterhelp.com

ecounseling.com

Additionally, you can seek out support groups and connections through local churches, and you can call offices of local psychiatrists and therapists for their advice.

Let’s help one another. Support one another. Love one another.

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Any other sites or tips you can offer, please do comment. Please share this page and blog. We need to take care of each other. #helpeachother

Be good to yourselves. #selfcare

Ugh

I feel terrible, both emotionally and physically. I was supposed to receive some epidural pain injections today and could not make it to the facility and it is therefore postponed. And I’ve just hit my limit. I just feel done.

Anyway, this blog is supposed to show good, bad and ugly of bipolar, so here’s the ugly part.

Although it’s not just Bipolar – we’re throwing in physical pain as well. I’m just not digging life right now, folks.

Love & peace to you all. πŸ’›βœŒ

You Are Not Alone

YOU ARE NOT ALONE ~ 7.14.18

One thing about mental illnesses vs physical (& visible) illnesses is the response and support I receive from friends, fellow church members and even family members.

Broke my foot, my support system and community rallied to provide meals for at least two weeks, which was much appreciated.

Down and depressed though, rarely have I received offers of the same kind of help.

I have been thinking, why is that? I’ve come up with two reasons, as far as my own experience goes.

1. People are uncomfortable around someone struggling with depression and/or anxiety. It’s just the truth.

2. I have not done a good job reaching out and asking for help. So why on earth would friends and family feel anything else besides uncomfortable?

Having pondered that, I’ve decided in the future I will try my very best to ask for help, and during my okay times, I’ll continue to try to share things about Bipolar with others.

I would like for there to be encouragement and support for those with illness, as well as their family and friends, on this site.

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I want people to know they are not alone.

Comorbidity

Comorbidity ~ 7.10.18

Do you suffer from Bipolar and other chronic health issues? (Comorbidity) If so, what else plagues you and how do you manage it?

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Let’s begin a discussion with the ultimate goal of helping each other.

I have Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and lots of other mental health acronyms & fibromyalgia, which causes widespread sensitivity and pain. There are other conditions and autoimmune disorders, as well.

How do I handle it? Right now, not so well, but I am getting help from my doctors.

I suppose that’s one way of caring for myself. I must be my own advocate and have my psychiatrist and pain management doctors confer with one another in order to decide the best courses of treatment.

How about you guys?

 

Figure I Better Check In

It’s been four days since I have written. That would be due to a Fibromyalgia flare-up and depression. Which one kicked off the other? I’m reminded of the joke about the chicken or the egg.

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Anyway, just wanted to say I’m alive. I continue to do the deep breathing and prayer during acute pain spells. Stretching. Walking. Going out tomorrow to see Ant-Man & Wasp. 🐜πŸ’₯ Hopefully, the getting out part and the film itself will help a bit.

Hope you guys are doing well. Treat yourselves and others with love. πŸ’–βœŒ

Trippin

TRIPPIN – 7.2.18

Today, my son and I (both Bipolar) will travel from one area of Texas to another. You see, it’s entirely possible to drive an eight hour day, from Point A to B, and still finish the trip *inside of Texas* but I digress.

We’re headed to the Dallas area for medical issues, business appointments and visiting with family and friends. We make this particular trip often, and I think we’ve got it down. I have special playlists and/or audiobooks I listen to while driving. My son listens to his own music or watches a movie with his headphones framing his adorbs face. We find we both can quickly experience sensory overload, and can be confused and frustrated without routine. So, we have certain places we stop every trip – gas/general store for not only gas, but clean bathrooms and snacks. We also have a Walgreens we frequent and know what town we’ll stop in if we are hungry for a meal. It took us awhile to get this down, and it’s important we were able to because we make this trip every two to three months. Additionally, my son wants to travel in order to have opportunities to take beautiful photographs, as that is his passion and career plan.

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Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I thought I’d share a few things that work for us. Along with the traveling, there are certain things I must pack, such as my Kindle Fire, so I may read and play games, coloring book with a few pencils, favorite films downloaded on that Kindle I mentioned. We have rules for the hotel room about where to place toiletries and where to bag trash, then take it out each time we leave the room.

These are a few things that helps us survive each other and survive ourselves.

Do you guys find a need for something(s) like this? Would you care to share?

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WATCH OR AVOID

Watch or Avoid – Psych Suspense Dilemma ~ 6.30.18

I am curious if you guys with mental health issues (or if you have a family member or friend struggling) have to be careful watching psychological suspense?

I’m so intrigued by the trailer for the film Unsane. But I just never know if what I want to watch will be a great film for thought, processing and discussion, or just send me right over the edge.

Therefore, I usually avoid watching movies like this.

What about y’all?

WAIT TO HEAR HOPE TO HELP

Wait to Hear ~ 6.24.18

One thing I’m discovering with having joined an online support group and writing this blog is the power of friendship and knowing you’re not alone. Unfortunately, with these mental illness issues, we lose every day people and friends, not just celebrities that are featured in the news.

I lost a dear friend a year or so back. One friend has been considering suicide, and another has just cut off online presence, which is strange for her and unnerving based on the last conversations we’ve had.

I wait to hear and hope to help.

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Have any of you been through this, and how were you able to offer support?

Treat yourselves well, guys.πŸ’–πŸ’›

(photo credit: R.I.T)

Letters to Ghosts

LETTERS TO GHOSTS ~ 6.24.18

So, I’ve resumed therapy and so far, I like the counselor. However, with my dad having passed away in ’92, digging into some stuff I’ve discovered this past year is proving draining and is most certainly affecting me. I feel poorly. Emotionally, I mean.

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(Awaiting therapy appointment)

Not even poorly, really. More like sad… distracted… frustrated… apathetic at times.

Physically, I’m still feeling some better overall, and that’s huge. I can do so much more – in helping run the household, as well as having fun evenings out.

Received a check from Social Security for back pay for student benefits, and the approval and timing is a blessing. God always comes through for me. For my family.

Anyway, next assignment, write a letter to Dad.

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Yikes.

Have any of you written to ghosts of the past?

How I Feel

HOW I FEEL ~ 6.15.18

Having an extremely rough time of it. I feel quite alone. I did want to check in and share that simply because this blog is supposed to relay the ups and downs of Bipolar. I feel alone, abandoned, ignored, without any value, and as though I’ve nothing to contribute. I know the facts are this is not true, but I still *feel* these emotions just now. Take care of yourselves, folks. ✌

TWO HOURS LATER –

Trying to fight back against this depression and the intrusive, harmful thoughts. I had said earlier that I was going to take a break from talking and an online presence, but I don’t need to isolate – whether online or in day to day living. Tomorrow, the family is going to take my husband out to eat for Father’s Day. I’m going to try to get to an evening church service on Sunday night, and set up something on MeetUp. I appreciate any support. I’m trying.

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Rough day. Physically hurting and feeling very down on myself. More of things I wouldn’t say to others but am okay saying to myself, putting myself down. Depression and other mental illnesses lie and manipulate. I know that as a fact, just like reading from a textbook. Today, however, I don’t *feel* it. These days drain the energy, to be sure. Be good to yourselves.

Kate and Anthony

KATE & ANTHONY ~ 6.8.18

 

Hard, hard week. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

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According to cdc.gov, on average there are 123 suicides per day.

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So, Kate and Anthony were 2 of the 861 that died at their own hand this week. Heartbreaking.

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Suicide and Mental Health issues do not discriminate among race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, perceived celebrity, and more. It can and DOES truly strike anyone.

Living with Bipolar, and having stared down the barrel of suicide’s gun many times myself, this scares me.

How many times do those who successfully commit suicide think about doing it before hand, and even try and are not successful? If I’m being absolutely honest, which I’m trying to do because otherwise, what is the point of this blog, suicide scares me. So many days, people successfully talk themselves out of taking their lives, but all too often, a day comes when they fail, and are ultimately successful in taking their lives. I’m scared that one day I too will fail. Hopefully, this healthy fear will keep me here until The Lord calls me home. I try for myself and for my family.

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Any of you struggling right now, please contact someone for help – suicide hotline, website, text, therapist, support group, doctor, friend or family. God bless. Let’s help keep each other safe, friends.

Gifts

A quick word on gifts. I gave a gift of my time, love, attention and affection to my son and my mom today. Both of whom I live with, and both were feeling down, for separate, but significant issues. By the time we were done “hanging out” all three of us felt better. Giving of myself because I care for loved ones also blesses me.

Afterward, I watched the most recent three X-Men movies straight in a row, doing nothing, except applying the occasional ice pack on stubborn, problematic joints. I gave myself the gift of self-care. In doing that, I feel rested, stronger, yet somehow lighter and happier.

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Sometimes, we just need to treat ourselves as well as we treat others, and I know that I personally forget that. I would never dream of treating my family and friends the way I treat myself. I would never dream of speaking to my family and friends the way I speak to myself. Why is that?

I don’t know that I have an answer to that. In fact, this isn’t the way I imagined this blog entry unfolding. I was just going to talk about a nice day and how groovy that is.

I’m glad that I’ve tried to teach my son to care for himself and to try to establish healthy boundaries, without being selfish or self-centered. Hopefully, he will instill that in his children at an even younger age that I did with him, and I think part of that needs to be with actions that can be seen. We can advise others of something, but if we don’t walk the walk and talk the talk, it’s all irrelevant.

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I guess to try to wrap up this rambling I’m doing, I just want to say today was fun because I treated myself to what I needed. I hope my son learns this necessary and vital lesson and passes it along to his friends and family. That’s all we can do, I think. Live a healthy life, a happy one, and pour our love and positivity onto the people around us – help them grow into something beautiful that will be around long after us, like the bloody Coleus and Salvia I’m trying to grow in the flower beds along side the young trees in the yard who will be here long after I’m gone.

Open

OPEN ~ 6.1.18

It’s an absolute crime not to get up from my seat and walk over and open the blinds to allow sunlight in and see the birds flying about. It seems I cannot will myself to get up and do it, though. The cat seems intrigued as to what’s going on out there. Hmm.

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I’ll have to look and open the blinds, just because I don’t want to do so. It’s important for me to take steps like that and not slip into a rather deep, dark hole.

I’m feeling alone today. Have been for a few days. I feel like even though I am busy and ill, I take the time to reach out to others, but I don’t feel any reciprocation. Not from friends or family.

I just want to retreat further within myself. Trying not to, though.

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Trying…..

Anger Aggression and Violence from Bipolar

Number One is bound to push a few buttons.

My thoughts on the first item listed in the blog link attached? I think it’s a slippery slope. Yes, these behaviors and actions can occur, but we don’t want misunderstandings. We’re trying to end stigma, so we must be careful.

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https://www.bphope.com/blog/three-bipolar-disorder-symptoms-no-one-wants-to-talk-about/

How Can I Help Her

HOW CAN I HELP HER ~ 5.30.18

 

As I drove to pick up my son from school this afternoon, I noticed the lady that is known around town as being somewhat mentally ill or “off” and rides her bike. She usually looks clean and put together…enough…but clearly you can tell something is, as I said, off.

Today, I noticed she had a dog with her. This is a new development. I was thinking to myself, where did she find the dog, and the poor dog looks so scraggly.

As I drove on, I questioned myself, why was I more concerned about the dog? Why is it known and *accepted* throughout town that there’s this lady who rides her bike at all times of day and night, and doesn’t have a home that any of us can figure out, and sometimes stops and just dances on the street…clearly unsafe. Why am I not more concerned about how I can help her? I realized the answer is, it’s overwhelming. And it’s overwhelming because I don’t know how to go about helping her.

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I don’t know where she lives, better worded as *stays*. If she doesn’t have an address that makes things even more difficult, such as receiving benefits. She clearly needs ongoing mental health assistance. How do I help with those issues? I could give her some money or some food, but that will only last her a couple of days.

And I just got to thinking…why as a community do we allow people like this to roam around like feral cats that we feed and water and do *enough* to keep them alive and comfortable but not really help solve the core issue. This is the second small town I’ve lived in where there’s been such an individual. I’m not sure if this is common, but I think that it most certainly is. I’ve come to the realization that I need to do some research here in my town, and in general, to educate myself on how I can help this particular lady and others I see in this situation.

Have any of you experienced something similar?

Two MH Docs Worth Your Time

Two Educational and Inspired Documentaries ~ 5.27.18

“Being Bipolar” and “OC87” – two amazing and courageous documentaries about Bipolar, Anxiety and more that will educate and inspire. Try them. You won’t regret it. Perfect for people with the disorder(s), family, providers & patients, students and those seeking answers.

Addition: I was asked where one can see these documentaries.Β I believe I saw OC87 a year or so back on Netflix, but in searching now, I see them both on Amazon Streaming only. Being Bipolar can be rented or “watched with ads” and OC87 is available for free if you have Amazon Prime.

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Assassin’s Creed

ASSASSIN’S CREED ~ 5.24.18

There is something that needs saying. People slam the movie Assassin’s Creed with Michael Fassbender, and they’re just flat wrong.

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It’s an interesting premise, and there’s solid acting by Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. And let’s face it, folks, Michael is so good looking. What’s not to like? πŸ˜‰

Seriously though, I think I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate superhero type movies because it’s nice to see characters fight for what’s right and honorable, because frankly, that can be hard to find in this world we reside today.

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Just enjoy the view. It’s good for your mental health. πŸ™‚

Do you have a favorite movie, actor/actress or book as your go-to for relaxation? I’m loving Marvel these days. Tom Hiddleston is a great actor. I still love reaching for Shakespeare. Birding magazines are lovely. The music artist Halsey is a good chunk of my evening.

What about y’all?

Remote

REMOTE ~ 5.21.18

Guess you would have seen with last blog entry, several pills caught my eye. Feeling a bit more… tempted? Felt weaker? Wanted an ending, even if not a great one? Remembered some times that a drink could take the edge off that, or a ton could seal the deal.

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Regardless, it’s obvious I’m off. More than usual. When I am, and I reckon anyone with MH issues, do be careful what you watch.

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Patrick Melrose messed me up today… badly. I knew what I was getting into, but it catapulted me right back to younger years, and it was a doozy. I had to do some deep breathing and take a PRN. But I survived… so far.

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