Tryin’ But Ain’t Firin’

Hey, y’all. I’ve been trying to come up with something to write. I’m sorry. I just don’t have it in me. I’m tired. I just don’t have anything to say.

I woke this morning, mouth bleeding, because I had bitten my tongue in three places. I’m in extraordinary pain in hips, knees and back.

My son had a rough, emotional day, and when you have two Bipolars living together, that can be tricky. By his biological father and bullies/staff at school, for so long he was like a puppet with someone else pulling his strings. I’m so glad he finally cut those ties.

“What Happens When Someone With Bipolar Is A Caretaker For Two?” Coming soon to a screen near you.

Anyway, I’m tired. I know things will turn around. But damn. Hurry up. 😜✌

 

It Is Easy, The End

4.28.19 blog entry ~

What I’m about to say is a basic truth, even if it’s not always easy. I almost began this entry saying it can be difficult to write regarding certain issues if those issues include your family, because I want to honor their privacy as well. But here’s the bottom line.

Do you.

blog self care

You do you.

Take care of you. Prioritize yourself. Tell others when you need help. It is not selfish. It’s not a cliché; it’s the truth. If you are not taking care of yourself, you cannot help others.

The End.

Image Credit: Google Images

A Lot of Lemonade

3.19.19 – A Lot of Lemonade

I’ve been sitting here for a while now with my thoughts, and I’ve not quite figured out how to say what I want…what I *need* to say. So, I’m thinking I’m just gonna say it, and if anyone reading knows my mom, so be it.

I feel as though I’ve never been enough for my mom, and certainly feel she’s never really been proud of me. She did not attend my sporting events. She did not help me with Senior Year expenses or go shopping with me to find my prom dress. I’m 42 years old, by the way, so there is plenty of missed opportunities. (Wait, 42..when did that happen? Different blog post.)

Anyway, my mother has never been overly affectionate with me, and she’s not one to give compliments, say any ‘atta girls, give praise, and she doesn’t seem to recognize when someone goes above and beyond in order to help her.

Now, I’m using the correct terminology by saying things like, “I feel…” but it’s not just me that notices this. I will say that this only exists in our relationship, not in her relationship with my son. That’s important to mention because she lives with us and has to be taken care of after her last back surgery, and she gets along with my son beautifully, constantly thanking him, heaping on the praise and love. She hugs him. She tells him she loves him. The two of them have had a close bond since he was born.

So, one thing led to another, and I sat down to have a conversation with my mom today. Now, I’ve touched on this before with her…several times actually, but I’ve never just put all the cards on the table and asked her to please do the same. I told her I feel like…no, that’s not an accurate description…I told her I *know* I’ve never been good enough, done well enough, and that I feel unloved. I asked her if she has *ever* been proud of me. Again, 42 years worth of material there.

She stared at me and chewed her food – the dinner I had just cooked even though I’m disabled just like her. She said that there are things she’s proud of but couldn’t think of any at the time. Guessing she could make what she thought was a valid point, she asked if I could list things that I loved about my son, things that made me proud. I spoke for at least 10 minutes about him until I realized we had gotten off course.

Now listen to me. Don’t throw at me that she was taken off guard, blah, blah. As I said, some things led to this conversation, and she could tell it was coming today, and also recall that I explained we’ve had similar discussions in the past.

Look, even my son sees how she treats him better than me. Treats my husband better than me. Treats the caretaker who helps us get her showered better than me. She actually talks and laughs with this lady for half an hour or so, which is a big deal for Mom. The caretaker that we’ve known three months. She’s here maybe an hour, twice a week.

I’ll share something terrible with you. Sometimes, in what I guess is a dark corner of my heart, I think to myself that Dad died when I was 15, and he and I did everything together. He would often praise me and was affectionate. Even though they divorced when I was two years old and only seeing Dad every other weekend and six weeks in summer, my relationship with Dad was filled with such love, joy, comfort and a sense of well-being. Mom is not affectionate. She doesn’t even say good night, just disappears. Well, let me amend that. She says good night to my son.

Anyway, sometimes I wonder if I had to lose a parent, ‘why my dad who loved me?’ I feel terrible even thinking it. I told you it was bad.

It’s not me wishing my mom passed away instead of my dad. It’s me missing Dad, and it’s me wishing Mom could be proud of me. It’s really a little girl wanting her momma’s love, I guess.

What the heck does any of this have to do with Bipolar? Mostly, that I want to share that though it hurts, I put the pain to good use. I am certain to shower my son in even more love. I am sure to constantly tell him he’s done a good job, and we always joke and laugh with one another. We hug good night and pray for each other. He too has Bipolar and we help lift the other when we’re down low.

Plus, it’s my blog. I can write what I want…LOL! No, seriously, sometimes it’s good for us, healthy even, to vent.

So, am I squeezing lemons into lemonade, here? Am I endeavoring to be a better mom because I feel I don’t have a mother that communicates with me? A mom that doesn’t love me? Yes, perhaps I am doing just that.

lemon lemonade

And you know what, I like lemonade. A lot.

 

(Image credit: cartoondealer)

Fade

Here’s a thing about my Bipolar. Sometimes “difficult” times are beyond difficult, beyond dark. They are black. Though it’s not popular to say in most crowds, sometimes I would like to disappear in that blackness, that dark secret release, wash away in the current of a beautifully obscure river.

Just fade to black.

So instead, I’ve gotta cry. Find a different release for the time being.

Cries because of stress-induced migraines, sick with a virus for almost two weeks, not knowing where I’m going to be living, sleeping for a while and then nothing at all for days, chronic-physical pain that often makes me think I cannot go an inch further…not one step further…not one moment further.

The river. The black. The peace. The quiet, save the gentle sloshing of the water. All on hold.

I am not yet going home. I cry. I sob. I wail. I scream into the pillow. I beat that pillow when I see every single thing wrong splattered across that fluff.

Eventually, I feel better. I know it will come, even during the bad times, which is why I float, but do not allow myself to drown.

Stress/Pain Cycle

Last night, I had an extremely heightened, loud, dramatic and exhaustive argument with my mother. My mother lives with us, so there was no home to which I could retreat and decompress. No respite. For a while after, like a 2-3 hours kind of while, I sat stunned. Staring. A lot was brought up and said during that argument, mostly by me, but my mother has never been one to talk much, whether she has negative or positive things to say. Mostly negative, though. Count on that. She feels I have been wasting her money, as I have been taking care of all accounts, bills, insurance and doctor payments, etc while she was away with surgery and rehab. She also does not (or won’t?) recognize the physical and emotional toll that her return from the hospital has had on me (and lack of following through with her physical therapy program and gaining strength and independence). She actually asked me, “Well, what do you do for me?” I heard an audible gasp from my son, who was unfortunately in the kitchen, while this loud disagreement was going on in the living room. I told her I’d write her a list. (Currently, it’s two pages long.) I explained to her the system I had in place for using her money, and the why behind it. The reasons for the financial plan in place. It is simply taking care of her future should she need to go back to a rehab or nursing home. It’s long and sorted and not really the point. Just kind of setting the stage for you.

The other part of that is that I lost control and yelled. I mean, I yelled loud and hard about things from the past, and some current day. To me, they still have much to do with one another. I yelled about feeling I’ve never truly been valued by her, that she always told me how to do it better (if I was lucky) or, more likely, how and why I was just plain wrong. I brought up a step-father who was quite abusive and liked to show off his guns, often pointed in the face. So many things burst through some sort of compartmentalized type box.

Blog pain cycle

That explosion has ravaged my mind and body today. Anxiety is through the roof.
Depression, right along side it. I’ve had a fibromyalgia flare-up. Arthritis is more symptomatic today. My feet hurt (braces for each are due in about a month – feet and leg – due to tendinitis and other issues that came about from pushing my mother in the wheelchair). They ache, and it is proving difficult to walk. My lower lumbar fused back is on fire and stabbing. My head is about to take me down, with its clustered migraine.

This is what angers me the most. Stress leading to chronic pain becoming so severe I can hardly breathe when trying to move. I’m going to set up a time to speak with my therapist soon. This cannot continue, or I will not make it to 50 without several more visits to mental hospitals and ending up in a wheelchair myself. I’m 40 years old now. I’m so tired.

So tired.

Next entry, I’m going to discuss and ask for ideas on how to prevent this cycle, or at least effectively treat it and not be down and out so long.

Three Faces of Jen

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.

~Jen