Hi, my name is Jen, and I thank you for stopping by and having a look. I’m sure I’ll get better at navigating all of this and have a more striking looking blog and site. I’m sure I’ll learn to better relay and organize my train for thought. Bear with me, please. Patience, please, and loads of thanks ahead of time!
So, allow me to tell you about the Three Faces of Jen.
We have depressed Jennifer. We have manic Jen, which mostly manifests itself as irritability and rage. (Only occasionally do I feel giddiness with my mania. Lucky me, lucky family.) The third version of myself is the ultimate goal. This person can be absent for days, weeks or months. The one who is supposed to govern these other two trouble-makers and maintain stability. That’s tricky.
Tricky because I’m dealing with chemical malfunctions in the brain, folks. Tricky because I also have several physical issues, which are really struggles, but “issues” sounds better, right? Comorbidity, they call it. (They? Who is they? I think it was some doctors and fellow Bipolar peeps who first told me about that.) Basically, mental health issues and chronic pain issues, in my case, are running buddies. (So thrilled for them.) Also tricky to govern because of possible medication interactions. Fun stuff too like hyperthyroid that, when is overly hyper, is extremely problematic and mirrors anxiety and paranoia. I got thrown in what I lovingly refer to as the prison nut hut due to a hyperthyroid foul up. (I call it prison nut hut not because I was in prison, mind you. Because the staff there treated the patients as if we were indeed in prison instead of checking in on our own for help. Later entries about that to come.) Point is, it’s a tricky son-of-a-gun to manage. For one to maintain stability, level-headedness and middle of the road…tricky.
The efforts alone are exhausting. Manage meds correctly. Grounding work. Calming music. Distraction activities when they can be helpful, but not an excuse to avoid difficult things that need to be done. Prioritizing. Small steps. Exercising…but wait, my feet and shins/calves are now in braces, my lower lumbar is fused, have fibromyalgia, and knees are experiencing arthritic pain and changes due to everything else falling apart. Like freakin dominoes. So, I do what I can. Mainly stretches and stomach crunches. (Did you know you can do stomach crunches while sitting on your couch?) I journal…sometimes. I talk to friends – those with and without Bipolar. I take care of my 17 year old son, who also has Bipolar, by the way. I try to manager all of that, plus so much more, and if I pull it off, Governing-Face-Three, that I am, can help me along to stability, without flatness, without apathy (not giving a crap about anything) but instead, walking a straight line in hopes that I’ll find one or two things along the way that bring happiness, or maybe even a smile.
Some days, I do “settle” for contentment, but let me tell you, contentment can be a saving grace. And if there are days when I just get out of bed, brush my teeth, take out the trash, and pick up my kid from school, that’s a HUGE WIN. What do I mean “if?” When. When there are those days… I’ve learned to accept that. I’ve learned to put the so-called star on the chart and go to bed.
I will hopefully sleep, and if I’m really lucky, it will be before 3am. Maybe it will even be restorative. Then, tomorrow, I start all over.
You wouldn’t even want to read all of that again, would you? (Don’t worry, I’m not offended.) I wouldn’t want to type it again, either. Imagine living it each day, never knowing which of the three I’ll first encounter when I wake.
I guess that’s it for now. Here at the beginning, my goal is to discuss when I get it right, and how to improve when I get it wrong. I hope to talk to people, and LISTEN to people, and maybe answer questions. The STIGMA must be ANNIHILATED! Suicide must be seen as a permanent solution to what is truly a temporary problem. It should never be viewed as a coping mechanism and final act to end the pain. That pain will only be doubled and passed on to those after you. I hope to post during my good days, bad days and everything in between.
Peace out, folks.
With Love, Hugs, Prayers. Hope. Always Hope. Always Dream. Just Try.