The Path Home, In Spite of the Pain

I will fight, and then I will go Home.

I know now more than ever that Bipolar Disorder is a disease. Having caught a glimpse today of what I used to be, I know Bipolar has indeed waged war upon me, and I have taken a lot of bloody blows. If it were an actual boxing match, it would have been different in two ways.

1. The towel would’ve been thrown in years ago, for my protection and safety.

2. There would have been a definitive moment when the fight was to end. 

As it stands, I am not throwing in the towel, and I know I will fight this battle until the day I die.

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I find a certain comfort in that, however. At least I know what I’m up against, and at least I know when it will end.

(Even if it’s not an ideal plan, I like having me a plan, folks!)

I’m just reminded of things Paul experienced and shared. Thorn in his side. Endurance. Running towards that finish line, and spending eternity in such an unfathomable beautiful miracle of a home with Jesus.

I’m going to beat this thing and win, despite daily struggles. I will not allow anything here (a temporary home) to keep me from joining my God, my Christian family, and loved ones in Heaven.

I know this world can be uncomfortable, unpleasant, with longings for something more. Do you know when I’m down and out with mental health issues or chronic pain, I say to myself (and most always out loud) “I want to go home.”

I will do my part as God directs me here, and then have an eternity without pain, only incomprehensible love, warmth, peace and joy.

I will fight, and then I will go Home. Thank You and Praise You, Jesus.

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Drugs and Bipolar, Carrie Fisher

“It only takes one bad day in a lifetime of trying to make it through each day, one at a time.”Jen Curry

Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, quoted below as saying this about her mother, who struggled with alcohol and drugs since age 13, and was later diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

“My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life,” Lourd said in a statement to People magazine. “She ultimately died of it.  She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases.

How many times will we hear this exact scenario (minus being in Star Wars, donning fabulous bikinis)?

I am so angry about these illnesses, and still heartbroken.

This could be me.

This could be my son.

After all, if it takes Princess Leia down, seems it can strangle anyone…only takes one bad day in a lifetime of trying to make it through each day, one at a time.

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Vulnerability to Certain Drama?

As a person dealing with Bipolar, Anxiety, Depression…anything along those mental health lines…do you find you must be careful what you watch?

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I do. (I do this with music sometimes, too.) Anyway, I recently learned this when watching Showtime’s Homeland, and The Handmaid’s Tale – the Hulu original series adaptation.

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I couldn’t help it. Both shows just sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. (A heck of a lot of other people too, I might add.)

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I think I’m drawn to characters who are trapped, or at least very much restricted, in what they can do in their personal lives – following their own moral compass, their own decision making rights, and loving those they choose.

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I can obsess about these types of things for hours, sometimes days. So, I’m careful, but sometimes these shows, with the feelings they bring to the forefront, well, they kick my ass.

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Father’s Day…No Snazzy Title

So today… Yeah, today was Father’s Day. Emotional.

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I don’t necessarily think that the heightened, amplified emotions that come with Bipolar make this day any better, or any worse. Whatever your relationship with your father is indeed your unique relationship, or lack thereof.

So with a confused mind and fickle heart, I wish my father, passed away some 25 years or so, a remembrance on this Father’s Day.

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Dad, stepmom, sisters

 

 

 

Forgive, Live and Love

I’ve been thinking and praying.

To start with, I feel like I am a funny, intelligent, loyal, decent human being. I feel like I’m a good mom and wife, though I know that like most of us, I could improve. I’m a good friend. I think I’m a good daughter, even though that’s been a long, rocky relationship.

That word I just used, though. “Rocky.” I was thinking tonight and wondering why I have a few of those rocky relationships that don’t seem to get resolved over time. Problems begin that are not necessarily huge, outlandish arguments that completely sever ties, but are powerful enough to cause a lot of mixed emotions that just compound over time. We go along weary of saying something wrong to each other and causing hurt feelings, but then because we’re not talking, our feelings are hurt in that way.

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I think what I’ve figured out is this. I don’t kindly, yet firmly, insist that when the initial problem arises, that is fully and completely settled then and there. Now of course, not 100% of a misunderstandings will be settled and put to bed at the immediate onset. Time is needed to think and settle, and both parties have to be willing to sit down and speak to one another from the heart. Instead of years worth of misunderstandings, avoiding the other, blaming the other, and/or blaming myself, it is my hope in the future to settle things early on, instead of trying to just get out of dodge when it first comes up, with mixed emotions flying all around me, and nothing truly being put to bed with peace and forgiveness found.

In the beginning, when I try to duck and hide, I say some stuff I want to say, though probably not in the best manner, and honestly afterward, I more often than not run away. There is no closure.

Now, I am a big believer in how receptive the person on the other end of the line is, depending on what I choose to say and how I choose to say it. However, if things aren’t settled sooner rather than later, bad memories/thoughts come to the surface any old time they want to, and I experience the same sadness I did when it all first took place.

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I need to put my heart on the line in the beginning, ask how I can better our relationship, and share what I need as well. I need to discuss and sort, with respect to what each person can handle at that time, and feel forgiven and that I’ve forgiven them, and that we’re still loving family and friends and are moving forward.

Happily.

Peacefully.

Lovingly.

Because I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel uneasy and sad. I want things to be better. I want to do better, and I want others to treat me in the same way. However, over time, if I try to chip away at it with gestures that are not reciprocated or misread, it causes even more pain, and honestly, things get all jumbled up like a ball of yarn you’re trying to roll back into place after the cat destroyed it. Sometimes you give up on that yarn and trash it.

I need to settle up at the beginning, so to speak, and put it to an end. I need to respect my boundaries and those of others, but I cannot go on dragging things out over long periods of time, all the while feeling angry, unloved, undervalued, insignificant, and somehow making the other party feel hurt, followed by a brief time of peace, and then boom!!! we are back where we started.

I need to say and do what I need to say and do in the beginning, because after all, I believe that most people want to get along with others and love them. I believe most people have good hearts and that they do the best they can with what they know at the time. I believe people can misread each other, that folks have bad days, and that as I misunderstand them, they misunderstand me. When I mentioned above that at times I feel anger…come on folks, really and truly, what is anger at its core?

Pain.

Hurt.

 

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I believe if all involved would try to remember these things and just speak from their heart with honesty and without pointing out blame on the other side (the other person) that there could be such peace and love instead of confusion and heartbreak. Most importantly, even if the other person doesn’t do, think, and feel as I just mentioned, as long as I act and love in that way, at least I can know I tried. Maybe later down imaginary roads, forgiveness and peace can be found. Time runs out so fast, though. So fast.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day, and I lost my dad about 25 years ago. So yeah I know, my sisters know, my stepmom knows, that time runs out so fast. And when that time runs out, I don’t want anything left unsaid, and I don’t want someone wondering if I loved them, or not. I do. I really do care for the people in my life. I just hurt, and that blasted pain gets in the way. Happens to most of us, I assume.

I hope to forgive and be forgiven. In the end, it is truly that simple. Maybe I’ll get my courage up to make a phone call or two tomorrow.

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Take the Win!!

An actual productive day. (Not even manic. 😲😲😲) Straightened things, went through bills, cleaning, put out a few decorations, watered the lawn and planted morning glory seeds. Also gave a quick shower to the rosemary and sage. Freshly watered grass and birdseed makes for lots of pretty birds in the yard. Had a nice dinner out, just off the river. My mom loved that. I had some good catfish. Just a productive, pleasant day. Delightful time with my son, too.

Later, I did learn about some things in my past (some blocked, others forgotten) and they shook me to the core. I’ll go into this later if I feel it’s appropriate, as it’s not just about me. I will say, it is absolutely true you never know what another person goes through. Never. Additionally, I still say that people do the best they can with what they have available and know at the time. I believe most people fall into that category. I hope so.

I pray so.

I believe I will ask for a session with my therapist just to sort some of it.

All in all, good day, and I’ll take the win!

I’m a Mutant, X-Men Style

Maybe I’ve gotten into X-Men comics and especially the movies too much lately.

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But I’m fairly certain I’m a Mutant. Pretty cool considering, Jean is gorgeous. Storm is kick-butt! And Mystique, her name says it all.

 

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Anyway, it’s quite clear to me that I am a mutant. A really, really screwed up one. I mean, my brain constantly misfiring and perceiving – fibromyalgia, Bipolar, blah, blah, and other acronyms. But heck! I can’t even fire lava-like flames out of my eyeballs and scorch people like doctors who cannot help, and people who say stupid things about what they *think* is going on with me.

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I mean, at least Scott/Cyclops has groovy shades. Lol!

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Circles at 3am

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Something I’ve been thinking long and hard about took shape tonight into something both profound yet simple. I could finally see it somewhere other than in the jumbled up mess that is my head. It’s a circle, dude. A Circle.

Yes, you heard me correctly. A good old geometric circle, like “comes around full circle” 360° sort of a circle.

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Simple and easy are not always walking along hand in hand, though, are they?

What we do to people, and what they do to us. Simple, right? Simply heartbreaking.

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So, I’m gonna aim for my circle description in steps.

Step 1. Someone harms you, like deep in your soul agony. Like parts you didn’t know you had were set ablaze, and then you begin wishing you didn’t still know you had those parts. ♨

Step 2. You hate the person, or snub them, or gossip about them, or take revenge, or cry a ton because they hurt you… I mean, they burned you, right? Now, it builds, festers, and allowing oxygen to reach those embers… till BAM! Fire!!! 🔥🔥🔥

(ADVICE: Step two is not a fun step. Totally not cool. I highly recommend opting out of step two before you get burned!)

Step 3. You realize you’ve hurt people. 😧Damn, really?

“But I didn’t mean to… they took it wrong… I was having a rough day and just sounded rude…well they did this and that to me…” Gosh, listen to myself spew excuses. 😝😳

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Step 4. Think for a sec. 🤔 Are you always a crummy ass sort of person? Or do you just do crummy things sometimes? Most of the time, it is the latter, and most of the time without planning or malevolence. Do you set out to deeply hurt and wound someone? Of course not. So, now you see where I’m going, don’t you? Most of the jerks in step two that hurt you DID NOT INTEND TO DO SO. And for others, *you are* the crummy turd in step two!

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Step 5. Blast it! 😡😠 Now, I can’t hate them. Now, I have to acknowledge that I see a bit of them in myself, and worse, myself in them. We all make mistakes, and then strive to – learn to hush and listen (not just hear), take ownership, practice asking forgiveness and extending forgiveness (even if not requested, acknowledged, or accepted), strive for patience and live, pray to see and feel their hearts…

This blogger here thinks the biggest (and hardest) step is to learn to love the offenders, faults and all, and extend that same forgiving love to ourselves.

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Step 6. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Love this person with whom there is pain. Learn to forgive them.

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Round and round, cyclical.

Loving & Making Circles.

Photo Telling the Truth

So, follow up to previous entry, “Can’t Move.”

I didn’t include a photo because who wants to post a crap photo.

However, it’s important because face and body always tell the truth. And it’s nice to know we are not alone.

So here.

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Can’t Move

I’m sick. Maybe really quite ill. Waiting on more procedures and test results.

All I want to do is sleep, but haven’t been able to do so. Still, I’m awake yet paralyzed.

This is not a fun or interesting entry. This is just the truth about how my Bipolar and being highly emotional affects me. I set out to tell all truths and experiences with this blog.

So.

I can’t move.

Eggshells Be Gone!!!

My previous blog entry talked about how people with Bipolar, as well as others with mental health issues, are still misunderstood and are still receiving tips and advice that don’t help.

In discussing this with a fellow MI (mental illness) sufferer, I mentioned that I believe many people mean no harm. In fact, I believe they want quite the opposite, to help, but don’t know what to do or say. I wonder, especially the closer they are to us, do they feel like they’re walking on eggshells around us? Broken glass? If so, that deeply saddens me.

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So, if it’s okay, I would like to ask folks on both sides a few questions:

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1. Are you curious about Bipolar or other MI’s?

2. Would you like to ask questions about the illnesses, or perhaps inquire about a friend, but instead are too hesitant?

3. Would you like to know how to offer kindness and encouragement, while being sure your needs are also met? You are a unique person with needs and vulnerabilities as well.

4. Do you avoid someone you know with a Mental Illness because it’s just easier? And why is it too hard sometimes?

This is not a challenge, nor a confrontation. I think exchanging ideas and sharing feelings can help us all.

I just want people who care for and love people in their lives, with one or both of them having Bipolar (or any mental illness), to feel empowered to give and share motivation, care, love, friendship, and so much more.

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I think we have chances to love each day, and a responsibility to act on it. 💖💛💖💛

 

Seven

On Netflix, currently watching “The Woman with 7 Personalities.” Extremely interesting.

Oppression and heinous acts causing split personalities in order to survive? Or, therapist and patient, with all best intentions and genuine belief, creating false memories?

Interesting.

Make Sure You’re Not Spewing Crap…

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Advice.

Please, refrain from saying the following to those in your life fighting mental illness:

1. Get a Grip.

2. Cheer Up. (Wouldn’t I have already done if I could have?)

3. You Don’t Look Depressed. (Whatever…)

4. You Will Get Better When You Set Your Mind to It (Yeah, it’s that easy, but I elect to discard that and suffer.)

5. You’re Just Seeking Attention (Okay, you caught me. It’s why I have sooo many people in my life.)

6. Smile More. 😁😁😁

7. If You Pray Enough, God Will Take Away Your Anxiety. (That’s not exactly how it works.)

8. Why Do You Always Feel Sorry for Yourself? (No idea. You win.)

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9. If You Want to Get Better, You Will. (For realzzz!? Maybe I can find a golden ticket!)

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Spray

Relaxing night of Scrabble, reading, BBQ & Potato Salad, snuggles with the cat, and now off to bed. These kinds of evenings are good for those plagued by bugs – you know, the stuff that bugs you and nags away. Self-doubt – am I good enough? Can I do this? Do I really help anyone, or deserve to be here? THOSE. Those bugs.

Not a cure-all, forever-gone type of deal; rather a coping technique that helps make it through an evening.

Just spray bug repellant all over yourself and send those bad boys on their way, by doing something that brings you smiles and delight.

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Sleep, Pills & Money

3:57 a.m. I’m awake. Clearly. Not sleepy, just tired. Two different things for me. Two different meanings. I’m getting more and more pissed off about it, too. Here’s why.

Racing thoughts ~

“I can’t remember where I first saw that actor. Where did I see him?”

“I can’t remember who sings this song that is going through my mind!”

“I should have done so many things differently. Maybe my son wouldn’t have suffered as much.”

“I gotta get the car to a shop. The brakes sound bad.”

Obsessive Thoughts ~

“Damn, I really want my haircut now. Do I have money for it? I need to get the phone and look at my checking account. Do I have the money on a credit card? I will look at my credit card balances and available credit now. God, I want my hair trimmed. It’s bothering me. Maybe I have cash tucked away! It’s so hot when my hair is longer. I really, really want my hair cut. Now.”

~ So, why am I awake? Because the medication I couldn’t take tonight… you know the one – helps anxiety, paranoia, racing thoughts, obsessive thoughts, insomnia – that one. Well, it costs  $10 for one pill. I take two every night. See my expensive problem? So, I didn’t have even one of the pills at bedtime.

I have social security disability for three different medical issues. And right now I’m in the donut hole, which is the equivalent of a really high deductible with other insurance companies. So, Medicare doesn’t pay for my medication right now. It is so very wrong.

“Man! I wonder how much it will cost to get the brakes repaired!”

Anyway, what was I talking about?

Oh, missing medication…

Without it, I can also become manic, and act horribly towards my family by yelling at them. I might hallucinate. I might have such rage, it’s dangerous, worthy of calling the cops. Yep, that’s really fair, huh?

“Crap, who sang that blasted song?”

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“God, I really want my hair cut…”

This.

This. Just this.

~~~~~

So, revisiting this entry approximately three hours later.

I’m just going to add that I feel so low and alone. That’s why I’ve not written much lately. However, I’m trying to log something because this is one of the worst things about Bipolar. Thinking you’re as low and alone as possible, but no, there is still somehow a way to dive lower.

You know, it’s not a dive, as just said above. It’s drowning. With heavy stones in your pockets. Drowning.

I’m not even sure how to describe it. The best I can do now is just write what I can when I can.

Sitting in Quiet, Thinking of Carrie Fisher

I am sitting here in my bedroom in absolute quiet and stillness. It’s lovely.

Usually, I have a problem with silence, because it quickly becomes a cluster of anxiety, worries and fears. This, tonight, has been nice.

I would also like to share that I saw Carrie Fisher’s last magazine cover for Star Wars: Last Jedi, coming to theaters Christmas of 2017, I believe.

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I wanted to give her a shout-out and yell thank you for her books and efforts towards breaking through mental health stigma.

Then, I would flip her off, because she loved giving people the bird, too.

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Then, I would wish her well, wherever she is, in peace… no more meds, no more ECT treatments, no more Bipolar. A place where she is her funny, brilliant, beautiful soul.

Thank you, Carrie.

 

 

Flying and Hiding

In the eternal and internal struggle of Fight vs Flight…today, I went the way of the birds and flew.

I drove to My Hiding Place, stayed there awhile, and now home at 6:30 under blankets. Have also become physically ill, as I tend to do when having gone through a difficult situation. Fibromyalgia flare-ups and much more.

So. Tired.

A beautiful place to hide, though, even when it’s about to rain.

Prayer for UK & Love

So…I was gonna write about feeling somewhat down.

Then, I saw and read of the tragedy in Manchester, and instead I hugged my son and prayed. Prayers for victims, family of victims and lost members being searched for, prayers for the singing artist, prayers for first responders and medical staff, prayers for Manchester, UK.

Gonna mention some blessings in my life for which I’m thankful. A husband who is a chaplain for a hospice, a son who makes me laugh, a mom who can make me giggle, an orange tabby who loves snuggling & playing fetch, the trees outside, three cardinal families this year, unexpected cards in the mail from friends, and books.

Again, just thank you, Lord, and please be with Manchester, and help our world know more love, more You.

 

Days Lost

So yeah, I lost a couple of days. Little to no memories.

I remember last week starting to feel anxious and paranoid Wednesday or Thursday. I know Friday my family and I went to dinner and a movie. There was one thing that triggered me apparently, and it was just a simple joking around and playing around kind of thing with my son accidentally hitting the car window with his arm. I jolted. Like lightning struck my brain and every nerve ending was ablaze. I don’t know what happened exactly but I went somewhere. In my mind kind of somewhere. I can’t tell you where, but I have some guesses. There are periods of time in my past that involve abuse. Anyway, during the one hour drive home, I had totally changed.

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When I got home I was ranting and raving and at one point started throwing things. I remember starting to yell a little bit and from there I do not know. Apparently I cleaned up my mess, and apologized, and went to bed, rather I tried to go to bed. I didn’t get any sleep that was restful, helpful or beneficial. In fact, I woke up incredibly anxious and paranoid after five or ten minute sleep bouts. I cried. I was convinced someone was trying to kill my cat.

Finally after several PRN meds, I fell asleep for a few hours.

I felt certain we were on a trip to the nearest mental health hospital on Saturday. However, I managed to make it through, while staying home. I took medicine and slept as best I could. I was just trying to rest and survive. It was just that drowsy, medicated, exhausting & trying to calm down kind of day.  Horrible. I don’t remember anything that I did, or my family did. Don’t recall eating. Think I missed my nightly meds. God only knows, truly, as well as people who are subject to these kinds of situations and issues. If you’re not one of them, there’s no way for you to understand how lucky you are.

This is now 10 o’clock-ish on Sunday night and just now starting to feel back to my healthy and better self. We will see what tomorrow brings. That is always a fear, because I don’t know if tomorrow will find joy and productivity, or if for some reason I experience what I’ve had the last couple days. I never know.

Never. Know.

I pray tomorrow finds me even better.

That’s always the prayer. Always the hope.

STIGMA & HYPOCRISY…just wanted to help kids

I’m quite down tonight. Have been since yesterday when CASA wouldn’t have me as a volunteer…”because my life mirrors the kiddos who need help, and I might be triggered.” My Bipolar Disorder wasn’t looked upon with favor, either. Again… “You might be triggered.”

Let me say, it’s a consistent thing I’ve dealt with for…for forever basically, just like others with Bipolar Disorder.

I know how to handle myself, and when to ask for help from my support team.

My background and current “disorder” would actually enable me to connect well with children.

Instead, I miss out. Someone I could’ve helped misses out. Stigma and hypocrisy still breed and thrive, even in the last places you’d expect to find them.

Cycle That Continues to Make Me Ill

How do emotions manifest in the body? I’m going to add a link that includes a well-written article.

I absolutely 100% without fail know that when I’m struggling with Bipolar episodes, my body, including fibromyalgia and chronic back and foot pain, definitely feels worse. I ache more, at times the pain is so bad that it’s difficult for me to catch my breath.

Now, this is just what I think happens to me. No idea about others with MI. As I said,  for me, I think when my emotions are too much to handle (without lots of pharmaceuticals) 😉 my body begins hurting and acting out, like a toddler would.

All of that to say, my mind and total being can’t cope sometimes, so what happens? Well, my ovarian cyst makes its presence and pain known. Then, my focus shifts back to the cyst.

And it takes no rocket scientist to conclude  that is just going to feed the beasts. Emotional ailments feed the physical self, and then once the body has had enough, it feeds the emotional beast. And so on. And so on. If you draw what I’ve described, what do we see? A circle. An endless, yet infinite cycle. Round and round. That’s my experience.

Link to fabulous article right there.⬇⬇⬇

 

://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/282713/#ampshare=https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/12/mapping-how-emotions-manifest-in-the-body/282713/

 

Alone Time? Pffffft!

Let me say this.

When I think of a doctor’s appointment, and the drive is 1-hr each way…and I’m excited to have that time alone (again, I am talking about driving to see a doctor) …I’m guessing I need to get out on my own a little more often.

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Sensory overload can be a real problem. I just need everyone and everything near me to hush. Like immediately. Even myself!

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Yeah. I’ll pencil that into my oh-so-empty calendar. 

 

Mind of a Rampage Killer

Here’s my promise to you. Each of you. Directly. Even if you don’t know of someone with a Mental Health issue, a bullying issue, teens with severe anxiety, depression, and so much more not listed here, you will still be affected by it in some way during your lifetime.

~ Nova: Mind of a Rampage Killer (2013) currently playing on Netflix.

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Nature vs Nurture, a topic.

A tough watch about a teen who was bullied and eventually shot fellow students at school, but full of interesting studies and findings, that will one day hopefully help find a solution. We cannot as a society ignore these issues. They suck, but we’ve got to do what we can.

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Don’t feel you can watch? Google the subject. There are also juvenile justice issues and mental illness involved.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/04/24/475461959/how-talking-openly-against-stigma-helped-a-mother-and-son-cope-with-bipolar-diso

 

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Who’s the Bully? Nature vs Nurture

Nature vs Nurture?
Who is the culprit?
What do you think?
Of course there are books, articles, and those who study mental illness telling you what they believe, and why they’re correct. There have been studies. Psychiatrists and Psychologists will give you their opinions of what causes all the mental health crappy-crap-crappiness. And then there are those of us who have, and are, living with it.
I’m one of those super-lucky souls! So, I’m gonna share my thoughts, random as they might be, and disjointed. Perhaps some babbling. And you know what, I guess that describes me as a whole.
Nurture at Dad’s House –
This is how I remember it in addition to things told to me, but a lot of this, I confess, could be wrong. Bipolar episodes kill grey matter, and jmedication can cause you to lose tons of memories. Sometimes, I speak of the “Lost Years,” and I mean it. I haven’t one clue of what went on, good or bad, and not knowing anything of my son in those important years
My mom and dad divorced when I was two-years-old, and my dad immediately began his new life with my stepmother, twice over, and my stepsister, who was one year younger than me. I say twice over, because my dad and stepmother divorced, but then later decided to remarry. That had to be a nice punch to my mother’s stomach, now that I think of it. I’ve never even considered that. Not only left for another woman once, but then again later my dad choosing the same woman again  over her and his original family. What a slap in the face!
Now, let me explain something. People tell me that my dad didn’t really leave me. They’re usually comparing my dad seeing me every other weekend and several weeks in the summer to a dad that leaves and never visits their child again.
Psssst, let me tell you the truth, or at least my truth. My dad left my mother and myself. Period.
Now, yeah, I saw him often, but every single time my stepmother and stepsister always pounded down my throat: “We are family. I am your sister.” Blah, blah. I sometimes wonder if they would have just let me sort it myself, instead of making me despise the situation just because the real truth being, my stepmother didn’t want to feel guilty. *She didn’t in any way help break up my home.* Standard line she used. No interference or pain caused. Nah.
Whatever.
I did have a good relationship with my dad despite all of that. In a way, I felt we were “made” the same way. Don’t know if that makes sense. There was definitely a strong bond, which in turn, made the whole thing even more complicated and confusing.
He died when I was 15 years old, my little sister having just turned 4. That’s when I last saw him, at her birthday party, with him sad that I was going home to my mom’s house and life and friends, only 1 1/2 hours away. I gave him a half hug and said I’d be back next weekend, probably. He died on a Tuesday, playing baseball. Heart attack. I’m glad he was playing ball, though. I know he loved it. He and I were always playing catch or football. He also taught me how to play Spades and helped build self-confidence and self-esteem. We sat on porch benches and swings. Once, my little sister was out there, toddling along but not totally steady. We just watched her. My step-people were in the house, and my dad looked at me and said, “I’m not gonna screw this one up,” motioning to the unsteady little toddler she was. I smiled and was genuinely happy for her. Little did he know a countdown had begun losing days, hours, and minutes. About a year after he spoke those words, he was dead. And I think she has very few memories left of him. She and I have drifted apart over the years and are just now trying to reconnect me, age 40, and she at 28.
Nuture at Mom’s House –
This story is easier to tell, though much more horrendous. 
Step 1. My father leaves us, and my mother shuts down. You can see in my baby book, the first two years were filled with photos of me playing, notes about first tooth coming in, all that nice stuff. Then, everything shut down.
Silence.
Step 2. Married badly two more times. First husband was okay towards me, but again, that is as I remember it. However, he cheated on my mom, and the whole town knew it. Tiny town back then. So, what happens? What is the most logical move? She accepts a job from my then (ex) stepmother, and we all four live together! As in (ex) stepmother, stepsister, my mother and myself. I know. It defies any and every thing logical. What fun! It was ever-so thrilling when my dad came round knocking, there to pick up my stepsister and myself for our regularly scheduled visits. Years later he would tell me that was awkward for him. Yeah, and it was a cake walk for my step sister and me. Really? I mean, seriously. Really?
Anyway, later down the road about a year, according to my mother, my stepmother betrayed her at work…I honestly haven’t a clue. So, that new friendship tanked once again. Oh, did I forget to say she and my mom were friends when Dad decided to take a different route in life. (Does that in any way make it sound better?) Then, somehow…swoosh we moved from the Dallas, TX area to the Austin, TX area, four or so hours from my dad. I wanted to live with my dad, keeping in mind he was currently still divorced from the stepmother. My dad wanted me to live with him. My mother said to him, and I know this for a fact because I heard it, “I couldn’t imagine moving and me not having her with me,” said the mother who would disappear to her room, while I took the abuse. Really? Not everything is about… oh well, never mind.
I could’ve had some time with my dad I’ll never be able to reclaim.
And the most infuriating part is that by this point, she had married stepfather #3.
So…
Step 3. Marry another abusive man. In secret. Don’t tell me because I had told my mom, at the age of eight years old, that there was something bad about the man and that I didn’t want to be near him. Later, she told me they married in secret, waiting to tell me until he and I became closer. FFS.
Joe began with verbal abuse, leaked over to emotional abuse, and occasionally dipped in the physical abuse pool, complete with guns and Vodka. Lithium, here and there, to help level out his moods, help *him* feel better, help *him* heal.
You cannot medicate and eradicate evil, ladies and gentlemen. You just can’t.
Now, I’m allowed to use his name because he is dead. Bottom line here is my stepfather wouldn’t allow my mother and I to interact with one another. I’m dead serious. Once, I needed to go shopping for beginning of the year school supplies, and next thing I know, drinking glasses are being thrown, and he states he will take me. She was not allowed to take me shopping. I also remember once when I was grounded for something, and shutting my bedroom door, that a draft caught the door and made it sound like I slammed it. I remember Joe coming at me, fury in his eyes, unbuckling his belt to let it fly. I was grabbed up by the arm and whipped. I remember looking toward the living room area and seeing my mom, her eyes reflecting what mine must have looked like.
Terror.
Except, she watched for a moment and turned and walked away, as he slammed the door shut. I don’t even remember the “spanking” after that. I just remember her eyes, and her utter and complete betrayal.
That sums up until age 17, when I had my own job and car, and I got the hell out of there. Oh, there are plenty more yucky stories that I’ll get into another time, including the abusive and toxic relationship with my ex-husband and father of my son. I’ve already run way too long in this entry, and I already have to edit a lot of stuff.
Nature – Simple enough.
Mother’s side, no blood-related mental health issues. Just a bunch of poorly made choices. Bad decisions.
Dad’s side, well, he’s deceased and I can’t very well ask him, “Hey, do you think you have a mental mess-up of any sort? Now, his sister tells me she believes that my dad and their mother were Bipolar. With my limited memory, I can see that. It wouldn’t shock me. But again, there are few memories. That same aunt, by the way, is Bipolar, and she’s had medical training, so maybe she could have been right about my dad and grandmother. Same aunt has frequented many behavioral health clinics, which I lovingly refer to as “nut-huts.” I can say that, you see, because I’ve been to a few myself.
So, you tell me. You think I’m a product of Nature? A product of Nurture? Or a Combo?
You wanna know what I think? I think dormant Bipolar genes and the “nurture” that was my ridiculous and abusive existence, conspired to kick my ass. And kick my ass, they did.
So, here I am, Bipolar. And now that I’m deep down in it, I find it doesn’t matter so much anymore.
I am what I am.

Caturday! Lil Late, Tho…

Somewhere out there in social media world, probably IG and Twitter, I see posts on Saturdays about beloved cats. Thus, #Caturday.

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I’m a couple hours late, but I totally got down with the whole cat deal, while celebrating Mother’s Day, even. Actually, that kicked it off, kinda. I was given a Willow Tree figurine. I adore those. I mean, for years I have collected them. This one resembled me, though. Dark hair girl holding a loving orange cat looking up affectionately at his guardian/mom. (Aka Richard Parker in my home). The inserted card with the figurine names the pretty trinket “Kindness, Above All, Kindness.”

Later, I colored in my kitten pictures coloring book. I wore my awesome cat headphones my in-laws gave me and jammed out, all next to my awesome cat night-light. Of course, sweet orange tabby was in my lap or snuggled in the blanket at my feet.

How is this relevant to a Bipolar Blog? It’s not a long entry, but the things I’ve mentioned convey and gift love and delight. These type of things and love go a long way in helping me be thankful and smile.

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Smiles, laughter, craft or art of some kind, music, and pets who love you and help beat the blues…these are fantastic meds!

So blessed.🐯

 

Death at a Crap Time

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One aspect of Bipolar ~ Depression about an event I cannot control or revisit.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my dad. Actually, I’ve been seeing him some, which is strange in a way, as he has passed away. One of those things Bipolars (or at least I) struggle with often.

“I saw him out of the corner of my eye. Something or someone who looked similar to him? Or maybe I’m just plain nuts and at the beginnings of a manic/psychotic episode?” 🤔😧

I’m paying close attention, and I have one or two people who can tell me if I spiral out of control and I end up think I’m floating among the stars.

Besides all of that, and probably because of it, I’ve been thinking about him a lot. Losing him at 15 years old, he only 44, I knew him as a father, with the potential of adult-to-adult talks I would’ve had later suddenly rendered impossible . I would like to have asked him about Bipolar Disorder and what I think I remember of him having times of deep sadness, then flashes of rage and anger at times, though limited. I remember him doing crazy and off the wall stuff and laughing about it. ‘Course I think he was BP, but no diagnosis.

Did BP genetics possibly play a role in my life? Nature vs Nurture. Believe me, my home with mother and stepfather was no home, was a house. A house with lots of terror. So, it appears nature and nurture conspired to get me.

Thanks for that.

Additionally, after 25 years, I still am not certain how to grieve and let go of my questions, which sometimes lead to depression on my part…and possibly hallucinations.

Maybe this is one of those…it is what it is.

I guess I need to work through some of this with my therapist.

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