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.

Treats in Yellow Bags

I’m irritated. Badly irritated. Why does this matter, and what is there to discuss about it in a blog? Why is this irritability I’m feeling classified as a symptom of Bipolar VS a “normal” person who feels irritated.

Well, sadly the answer is because my irritability, can quickly change to extreme agitation, and then to even more extreme destructive acts that lead to dangerous places.

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Why is this happening? Well, in June, my husband was told he was out of a job at the end of July. Just today, 8/2/17, did he receive an offer from a new job somewhere in the area. So, that’s settled, and really, thanks to God, but it’s been hard not worrying that the worst could happen, because believe me, it has happened. And it will happen again. Second, I have been physically ill. I had to take a Medrol Dospak, which made things all the more intolerable because steroids really mess up most of us with Bipolar. Like have a Manic Episode and buy a car you can’t afford because for a couple of hours it truly does sound like the most logical and necessary choice in the world. Or you might find *some* with Bipolar Manic Episodes having indiscriminate sex and/or extramarital affairs. Hypersexuality is part of mania…(again, for most). Then there was last night, my son, who also has Bipolar Disorder, pushed and hit me.  There were also a couple of hours of verbal/emotional abuse and threats.

Do you understand how a person who does NOT suffer with this disorder is irritated and could just slam the drinking glass onto the kitchen top VS Bipolar Irritability, turned agitation, turned stimulation, turned overstimulation, turned outrage ~ all in less than a minute ~ do you understand how the Bipolar’s Irritability can be dangerous? Can you see how it fits in the grand scheme of enhanced, amplified, exaggerated (and by the way, often times lying) emotions of Bipolar? If you can’t, it’s okay, I get it. Sometimes, I don’t even understand it, and I LIVE it. I also live with someone else who has Bipolar.

I chose to write about this because so many people think Bipolar is feeling up and happy for a few hours, then sad the next few hours.

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I get so tired of hearing that someone’s dog is Bipolar, because after all, one day he likes that treat in the yellow bag, and one day he does not. It insults those with Bipolar Disorder, and it insults the dog! (As far as the poor hound, give the poor thing a treat from whatever color bag he wants that day. They, like us, only live once!)

I’ve just gotta keep my head down and stay quiet until this passes. That is a discipline you must learn in Bipolar ~ when to retreat, when to hide, when to stay quiet, when to speak up, when to take a stand, and when to take a seat.

At least, that is My Bipolar.

Learn. Love. Peace.

Feeling the Hit

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A friend who also “suffers” with Bipolar Disorder is tanking. Trouble with school, personal care, family, and so many opportunities for which she has worked. I know she will pull herself back up. She’s had to do it before. Most of us with this “disorder” do. But I’m infuriated and outraged. I hate Bipolar Disorder.

The hell of it is that tomorrow night, at this same time of 11:40 p.m., I could sit here and write that having had the disorder makes me a fighter, able to achieve, and offers blessings of unparalleled creativity and intelligence. Just give me time, and I’ll believe that again. I’ll “feel” it. It’s a lie. It’s all a big lie.

Bipolar is a liar. I could never articulate it better. Bipolar. Is. A Liar.

Speaking of my friend again, she’s quite successful and brilliant, but she doesn’t know that right now. I know that. I like to toss a saying around that I once found funny and have hung onto, and it’s a smart idea as well. “Surround yourself with people smarter than you.” That’s definitely the case with this friend, though she is leaps and bounds more than that. She’s warm, nurturing, caring and loving. But she falls down. We fall down. Sometimes it takes her a while to get back up, and sometimes sooner rather than later. But more often than not, the depression strike and anxiety spike, and we spiral down, we feel a tremendous hit.

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A hit on self-confidence. A hit on beliefs. A hit on our physical selves and immune system. A hit on the love and energy we can give your friends and family. A hit on how you can care for your basic needs.

There are days, when we have to count – the brushing of teeth, the journey of walking from the bedroom to the living room, the task of grabbing some small something to eat, and possibly, though often not, the basic grooming and taking of a shower – count all of that, as a win for the day. There is no way to express what it takes in our minds to achieve even that some days. I wish I could describe it, but every minute seems like an entire day. Time. Moves. So. Slowly.

So. Slow.

A brain screaming at you to move, to not move, to cry, to try, to smile, to die.

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And next week, possibly a month, the frenzied energy and lack of control of mania visits. But if you don’t like it, hold on. It will change.

A happy medium, doctors and therapists call it stability, but honestly, that’s bullshit. In my experience, we aim for that, and if we get it for a week or two, it’s amazing.

My friend will get back up. I get back up. Then it’s wash, rinse, repeat. It goes on and on. Spin cycle. Roller coasters. Whatever.

I understand why people give up and actively commit suicide or passively allow it. The fact that I know this will be my existence until the day I die is exhausting and horrifying. But I’m expected to be a good mother, wife, daughter, friend, animal lover, wanna-be volunteer, blah, blah. I understand the overwhelming point people get to when they say, I cannot take this fight another day. I cannot. It just has to stop. This ingenious, lying disease has beaten me, and I’m fine with that, just want it gone.

I want to be gone. Knowing it will never stop. I will never be free.

But, there are things that still stop me, thank goodness. The roles I mentioned above, because I do love being those things when I can do so. And friends who know this torturing bastard disorder with hands outreached to hold mine, and me hold theirs, when we are feeling overburdened and unable to move.

That’s how I know my friend will be okay, even though she is beyond any type of description of hurting that I can relay, because we’ll help each other get up, and move, and survive

…even if sometimes that’s not at all what we want.

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Crash ~ Tired but Not Sleepy (part 3)

Pics at 5:16 a.m. Part of the crash. Still taste that hot bile from that adrenaline that pumped for those few days. I’m tired. Physically tired. Mind is racing, though… won’t switch off. All of this, and even as I’m tired, I am not sleepy.

Hope the Sandman visits soon. Maybe I pissed him off when I was a kid??