And So It Goes with Cats and Humans

Just watched one of my fav shows on Animal Planet, “My Cat from Hell.” One cat, who developed blindness and deafness, quit grooming herself. The cat behaviorist, Jackson Galaxy, said that was a significant sign of depression.

And so it goes so often with many of us suffering with mental illness, no?

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Interesting.

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So, I just watched a movie called “Rememory.” After finishing this grand-scoped, thought-provoking movie, I was left pondering this question while dabbing at tears.

If you could erase heartbreaking, devastating, tragic memories, would you do it?

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Why?

How would that change you as a person? How would that affect who you are now?

And a somewhat different question – are some memories, some events, best left forgotten. Best buried as a way for your mind to protect you?

Okay, so I lied. I posed more than one question. Four or five, I guess.

Another movie years back had me kicking ideas around like this. I’m quite certain it was the film’s intention, of course, and well done. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” Did you see it?

I think I need all of my memories, despite knowing I have been robbed of some. Possibly I should edit the word “despite” and instead use “especially.”

I need my memories because even the bad have a reason of existing. Bad forces me to appreciate good. Loss helps me recognize what beauty I do have.

So yeah, even if I could push the button that wipes away all bad, I would not press it. Though, I will readily, and with speed, advise you to hide that button from me because tomorrow, I could most vehementlyΒ  disagree with what I think now, and smack that sucker in efforts to rid myself of the burdens and pains of the day.

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Fortress of Solitude

Interesting article about time-out’s and how it could affect your emotions and mood.

For me, I either desperately need time alone and no noise, or I am so lonely and need interaction in person, online, etc.

I think, as with most things in life, it’s all about balance. Finding balance can be tricky, though, especially if you live in extremes. And if I only had one sentence to describe Bipolar, I would say it is all about existing in one extreme state, or its opposite.

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Enjoy and be well, guys. ✌

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/201711/pure-solitude-away-devices-is-calming-new-research?amp

Tired

Feeling like I’m slipping. I’ve not yet tanked, but I can see it coming. I’m running scared because I’ve got a long list of to-do’s and though I know rationally I can handle these things, they seem overwhelming. Overwhelming to the point I want to hide. I don’t want to wake up. This photo below is of my dad, he was only three years older than I am now, and this was a couple of weeks before he died.

We both look so tired. His birthday was Dec 3, and I have recently found out a lot of conflicting things about him. What am I supposed to do, call him up and ask why he did some crappy things he did?

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I’m tired.

Smacking Is Not Helping

I have been smacking this button all day, but nope.

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I still feel like my battery is 100% out in the next few seconds. If I could sleep, that wouldn’t be a big deal, but you know…

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Hit a truck today (nudged it, no damage), lost my wedding ring, still so much to do for Thanksgiving/Mom’s birthday, severe back and neck pain.

Just yuck. I want to cry and give in.

Sometimes, I believe that’s perfectly acceptable and healthy. For me, I’ve also found there are times when I can’t give in and sob, maybe because it would take too long to recover?? I will have to think about how to better describe that.

Love & Peace to you all. Xo

Compliance, Really? More Control Measures?

No. Absolutely not.

My opinion for myself and my welfare, as well as my son’s. I spoke to my 18 year old son, he was adamant with his opposition, as well as a friend of mine.

Compliance? I fear that equals control measures. Do I want to be tracked? Do I want to be tied to my doctor, insurance, Medicare and big pharma about my compliance? About suggested medication? No.

I welcome any thoughts, even polite debate. Polite though, please.

Aftermath – Crummy Days

So, I tried to think of something interesting to write about, but there won’t be a long entry this time. I’m too tired, and the energy I do have needs to be allocated elsewhere for now. However, hopefully this entry is still useful to understand how depleting manic episodes are and how after you move through and past them, you are not only depleted mentally and emotionally, but physically as well. So, here’s today’s photo. This is simply me making my way back toward middle ground, where I need to be…no depression, no mania. Manageable anxiety and sleep, even if it happens opposite the hours of others around me.

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Peace and love to you all, guys. xo

Photos Telling Mania Truth

Hate, hate, hate hypomania/mania. Want to sleep, but my mind won’t shut up! Body itching.

Below: 18 hours with no sleep, feeling frustrated and angry.

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Below: 24 hours without sleep, feeling full of grandiose ideas!

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Below: Have lost track…think it’s 32 hours with no sleep. Mind has tons of *fabulous* (sarcasm) ideas bouncing around in my head, but body aches and hurts, and I’m flustered and desperate feeling.

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On Med Use

This is going to be a quick entry because even though so many people are against medication for mental illness, such as mine – Bipolar Disorder – my answer/choice is astonishingly simple.

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First, if you’ve taken medication for a mental health issue and then eventually were able to stop taking that medication because of therapy and herbal supplements, let’s say as an example, congratulations. Truly. If you’ve truly got it in check and aren’t hurting yourself or anyone else, I’m sincerely happy for you.

I’m not that person, though. I could say a lot of fancy stuff and throw statistics out there, but this is how utterly simple it is for me.

Without medication, I become manic and experience psychosis. So, while off meds here are a few things I’ve done in the past – tried to kill a woman who wasn’t there (hallucination), tried to burn my hair off because I decided my husband preferred blondes, also burnt a significant amount of carpet in a brand new house, pulled a pizza cutter on my husband telling him not to come near me, and let’s end this awesome walk down memory lane with shattering a gorgeous crystal vase whilst dancing atop the island in the kitchen.

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Now, I have no memories of these things. I had to be told what I did. Would you like to know who does remember? My son, who was 4 years old when I did all of that and so much more, I’ve been told. I have no memory of it.

So, yes, these meds are not ideal. We don’t even know how/why they work, they’re expensive, they’re not good for the liver… There are many crappy side effects, such as brain fog and involuntary muscle movements in my leg.

Let me weigh that against my son seeing me pull a pizza cutter on his dad…yeah, for me, there is not even a choice to consider.

Is it the lesser of what really is two evils, yes absolutely, most certainly! But the choice is so simple, that it’s not even really a choice.

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If you are one of the people who think if I ate better and took a vitamin (which I’m doing), the Bipolar and everything that comes along with it, affecting not only me but my entire family, would poof!! be gone, I will just say that I’m glad you are ignorant (not stupid) and unaware of what I’m describing to you. Ignorant of my Bipolar experience. I can, after all, only speak for myself.

I’m glad you don’t face such a choice.

✌✌✌

Just a Day

I saw my psychiatrist yesterday, and there has been a bit of a med tweak. We’ll see if it helps with what I’m calling a bit of a cognitive fog. One thing I really appreciate about this doctor is how he listens and how he doesn’t want to pump me full of meds, doesn’t think that just meds alone are the answer, and is willing and actually aiming to have as little medication use as possible.

I also ordered my favorite essential oils, both calming and energizing, and ordered some cream that helps with nerve pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and the like. That could really impact my life, knocking pain levels down from 8 to 6 or 5, even.

Payday is this upcoming Friday, as is Thor: Ragnarok! So thrilled. IMAX 2D with recliners for seats, and free posters, tickets bought, baby! Have heard great things about this one, and I just love Loki. (Wish Magneto would make a guest appearance, but hey, can’t win them all! Loki is definitely a win!!)

I got to see my dear friend this past weekend and play with her young daughter and her dolls and all things sparkly. I’ll see her again in a few weeks to attend a function another friend is throwing. That will be nice, too, introducing everyone to each other.

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Payday, I’ll also be able to join the gym that will offer the warm pool, arthritic classes, nutritionist and physical therapy massages.

Trying to be good, as they say, do what can help me, as well as my family.

Now, this past weekend I was supposed to attend my sister’s baby shower. There’s a lot of history there. Technically, she’s my half-sister, but she and I have hardly ever had much to do with one another, and that’s due to a whole slew of reasons, some understandable and some not. Some were my wrong-doings, some hers/theirs. Anyway, we had been reconnecting and doing well, and then she and my step-family (sister, mother, etc) suffered a horrific loss of a family member, all too young and early and unnecessary. I cannot fathom their pain. I pray for them nightly. However, at that point, even though I tried, she and I fell out of touch. Well, really and truly, she just flat would not reply to me. About anything. Good stuff. Bad stuff. Questions. Attempts to check in to see how she/they were doing. Silly things. Nothing warranted a response, which I guess is indeed truly a response, even if it makes me sad.

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My Dad. Sometimes, I wish he were alive just so I could slap the shit out of him. Just messes around with the lives of those around him, and up and dies and totally bails, leaving us to wade through unimaginable amounts of crap trying to make sense of it all and come out smelling somewhat okay, even if it’s not exactly the scent of roses. Keep in mind, I know what I just typed is not rational. Emotional as hell, though. It’s how I feel. Often. I have hope I will have relationships with these ladies and their families in the future, but there is that saying about the best indicator of the future being past behavior and actions…or something close to that. I butchered it, but it fits this situation, this family, if anyone besides me even wants to call it that, or hope for that anymore.

You get the point.

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Anyway, I’m trying, which is the best I can do some days. I’m gonna have a sandwich and some Halloween candy and maybe color or watch some tv. And I mean, for Heaven’s sake, people were killed in a terrorist attack today in New York when I was there just a few weeks ago. Things could always be worse. So much worse. And there are always reasons for me to be happy and beyond thankful, which I am, but I think I’m allowed confusion and anger sometimes, too. Anyway, this entry has had no real rhyme or reason. Simply a person with Bipolar logging their last day or two, as I set out to do with this blog.

Peace.

 

Liking the Bad Guy More

*SPOILER ALERT: I’m human. I occasionally curse, and there’s a naughty word in here.*

So, is anyone like me and relate to the bad guy/gal in books and films? Heck, even some historical events? I do. Quite often, actually. I was thinking about it today and wondering why.Β 

I think it’s because the bad guy is flawed. Most of the time people aren’t all bad. They have made bad choices for a number of possible reasons and landed where they did before realizing they need to turn back, and I empathize with that, because being even more honest, I’m often a fuck-up.

Feeling like I was robbed of something – usually love. Feeling unappreciated. Feeling under valued. Feeling like I don’t fit in with the good guy group, because after all, they look happy and all pulled together, and their FaceBook pages tell me all about their glorious lives, and here I am, not any of those things.Β 

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So, sometimes I pull for the bad guy to get away, and I can with no trouble because, after all, I’m watching movies and reading, of course. Or root for the female villain to win and humbly accept her apologies and be crowned upon her throne.

Honestly, I don’t know. I’m babbling. But, I pull for Loki (Thor), Erik/Magneto (X-Men), Slade (vigilante from Netflix original The Five), Francine Hughes (Farrah Fawcett in The Burning Bed, abused woman escaping her husband). Two are misunderstood and do some misunderstanding of their own. One, a vigilante.

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The last trying to save the life of herself and kids.Β 

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Eh. Well, again, as I said, please pardon the babbling. My life is very nice now, but for decades, things were not right. That brain wiring and the automatic reactions and feelings don’t just disappear. As I said, just random stuff bouncing around in this mind of mine. Be well. ✌

10.10 Conversations

Share something you’ve personally experienecd, or a way you’ve helped, regarding mental health on Tuesday, 10.10. World Mental Health Day.

Me? I wanted to give up. To actively choose no longer having to face this agony called Bipolar Disorder, and all that comes with it. I chose to draw on my strengths and faith, and live for my son. Depression’s lies and beatings didn’t cause me to be the worst thing to happen to my son. I’m around, and not perfect, but I’m around. And I know what it is for a parent to be gone while you’re still a kid.

So, I fought, and eventually, even thrived. And it is something I actively choose to do over and over again.

All for my son.

12 Hours Later

I woke this morning with a sense of paranoia. Sense is just a plain old dumb word to use to try to relay what was going on when I woke. I was scared, horrified, felt the need to hide, every nerve on fire…..

This didn’t happen in conjunction with any psychosis. There were no hallucinations or loss of time…just an inner voice whispering, “Hide. Protect yourself.”

I’m doing better now, 12 hours later.

Now, I feel sad and heartbroken. I’ve scanned stuff in my mind (like if you have three consistent things that really bother and worry you if you don’t get them under control) and nothing clicked. Nothing revealed itself saying, “Yes, hi, it’s me. I’m the one that got you all worked up.” But then again, I have way more than three issues that I’ve got to keep under control at all times, so maybe I just haven’t met up with my current torturer.

I am so tired, which is not to say I’m sleepy. I wish I was sleepy and actually slept, versus curling into a ball under a blanket and feeling thankful I’m done with the day. A day of pretending I’m okay, done with keeping stress-inducers under control, helping my child who also works hard to manage his own anxiety and Bipolar Disorder. (disease!!) Knowing my mom is safe because she’s in bed sleeping, instead of up walking without all that great of balance and her pain killer-induced cognitive issues. (Yes, they are prescribed and she is medically compliant.)

Yeah, so anyway, paranoia gone, replaced by whatever this depression is. I’m going to speak to my psychiatrist at the end of October appointment and ask if he thinks medication should be reevaluated and/or dosages reconsidered.

I don’t have anything fabulous to say. Just checking in and saying hi, offering a brief update. As I’ve said before, when I began this blog, I promised I would try to write something when in each mood, and I decided photos are important because they can show visually what’s going on inside, as long as I take authentic photos. And for the purpose of this blog, I aim to be authentic.

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This disease – and its malicious, pestering, kicking, screaming, violent friends – this whole gang sucks.

I want one day without it, but when I have that longing, the gang seems particularly hateful and cruel and knocks me down still further.

To the point I must lie even to myself at times.

 

Noise

One thing that is rough for me…..

When I am depressed and/or anxious, I cannot enjoy quiet. I must hear something and do something.

Example: listen to an audiobook and sketch.

Why? Because the quiet that others take for granted, that peaceful time, is a hell for me.

There is nothing to silence my mind and all the demons, with their electric-shock-like intrusive thoughts and obsessive self-hate lies taunting me. Ruling me.

Give and Take Should Actually Include the Give

I am so alone, so without hope, so far down, so gone. And no one knows because they don’t care. I can sugar coat it and say folks are busy, but truth is, when something is important to you, you make the time. I’m always there. Always trying. Always keeping in touch.

I’m trying so hard for results that I fear I will not see.

How long must a person suffer before they are allowed to say, “Hey, I gave it my absolute best, and now, I let it go.”

Am I destined to reach the point of destruction? My own personal, agonizing ground zero?

What is it I have done that others have not also done in spades? Why do I long for absolution and forgiveness when it seems fairly obvious no one would hurt if I were to cease all of my efforts? Like all of the slack, understanding and forgiveness I extend?

It is difficult to tell exactly how much a depressive state in a Bipolar cycle influences how I feel about how the other issues are going in my life. Perhaps it is something different, though.

Perhaps, at least sometimes, it is the exact opposite. Perhaps, the way I’m treated (or not treated) brings about the depressive state and continues to feed it as if it were trying to satiate the “black dog,” as depression is so often termed.

I really am tired. Not a good situation. I am not in a safe place. I think God, myself and this tablet and keyboard are the only ones who know that, but not for lack of trying to share on my part.

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Today, if I had not initiated conversations, however brief they were, I only would’ve chatted with my son for a few minutes because he sought me out.

Maybe I should just reciprocate and match what I’m shown…what I’m given. Maybe I should just be done and fade to black.

Maybe it’s too late.

Losing Time

I am realizing how much time I’ve lost lately. Do those of you with Mental Illness have trouble with this?

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I cannot remember the time period or the goings-on, which can be hours or days. I seem to communicate very little during what I call my “lost time,” and I have no memory of most things during said time.

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I cannot figure out if I’m really losing time, or extremely depressed and apathetic, or lack of sleep affects me…..

Probably (maybe) the answer is:

D) all of the above?

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It’s Really Quite Simple

Everything is right. Is well. Family safe. Getting to know my sister again. Friends and I are talking. Household chores and errands are up to date. My husband’s new job pays a bit more. Mom is able to walk with her walker more often. My cat is health and full of shenanigans. My son is doing outstanding work at school. I’m going on a great trip in Oct.

So… why sad? Not just a little down or blue. Like sobbing, wailing, wanna give up sad.

Because that’s part of Bipolar, and the chemicals that seem delighted in saying, “Nope, not so fast.”

I feel so bad and want it over.

Haircut vs Personal Time

Again, I am left alone. Again!

My son just up and decides he wants a haircut and my husband just up and decides to take him. We were in the middle of watching a mystery show together. I was feeling a little better than I have been in the last few days and few weeks. I was not having any suicidal ideation and my muscles in my back and neck were feeling a little better.

And then they just decide and go. They don’t ask how I feel about it, if it’s okay, if I’m doing all right…..

I just want to go home. I have that feeling of wanting to go home. And as I’ve discussed before in this blog, feeling like I want to go home has been going on ever since I was first diagnosed with Bipolar and my psychotic breakdown in 2004.

I don’t know where that place is, the home for which I ache, because it certainly wasn’t a physical house I grew up in. I just want to go home. And I’m sad and tired and extremely angry now because I’m just ignored and disregarded.

Basically, I’m experiencing a Mixed Episode of Bipolar, and though I can hear myself and read these words that sound nonsensical, I still feel furious and hurt.

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Please, families take care of each other and love each other. Please friends extend a hand and let your friends know you’re with them and you’ll do what you can, even if it’s just listening.

Listening is a huge thing and loving gesture.

Would It Help You to Fly Solo

Do you think its easier on you and your health – both physical and emotional – to live by yourself? If you’ve experienced both, maybe you have thoughts?

I wouldn’t trade my family for anything, but sometimes, I wonder if we had something like connected houses, with me down the hallway in my own wing, would that help.

I should point out, my son who is in his late teens, is also trying to manage Bipolar Disorder just like me, and that makes for an interesting dynamic, not just for he and I, but all of us in our home.

I get lonely quite a bit, so I find it difficult to describe why I think sometimes it might be smarter to live alone.

Does anybody feel me on this? Have any clue what I’m so poorly articulating?