Talking About Bipolar

Sharing Bi-polar moments


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For all those who love but don’t understand

Please remember that….

Behind the forced laugh, there may be pain

Behind the jokes, may be tears

I don’t want to be this way

I don’t want to cry all the time for no reason at all

I don’t want to be flat line where I am neither up nor down in spirit

I don’t want to chase you out of my life with stinking thinking  and everything logical becomes illogical and illogical becomes logical

I don’t want to have a sick mind, but no matter how much I laugh, joke participate in life, my mind will always be sick.

No matter how many jokes I tell or laugh at

No matter how much I smile, sing, dance or celebrate life

My mind will always be sick.

Sometimes I am in remission and everything is fine

I am neither manic nor depressed

I rejoice, I say life is totally awesome

My mind is still sick for it will always be sick because there is no cure for mental illness

It is treatable but not cureable

So please remember these things when I seem to be distant, sad, depressed, manic, have stinking thinking, seem to be out of the loop of life, impulsive, living on the edge or any other thing out of character you may hear or see

Please remember, my mind is and will always be sick and please, please be patient with me

For these moments no matter how long, will past and the one you know and love will resurface again and I hope you will still be there

 


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We are Champions

So, we are still standing.

We are stronger than we thought.

We made it through manic episodes and depression.

The ride was erratic and surely not fun.

Yet, we managed to come through and still be standing.

We felt alone, isolated and had messes to clean up once we were stable again.

Sometimes we cried until we could cry no more, other times we were so manic that we tired out our selves.

At the end of an episode we did not know if we had relationships we needed to salvage and who they were with.

Despite all these ups and downs and uncertainty, we are still standing because:

We are all champions

love to all,

PB

 


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Which way is up?

The last few months have been strange but I know it is the illness.

The morning and the early afternoon I am even keel and zany.  My normal zany, just making people laugh.  Sometimes my tickle box falls over and I keep laughing.  But this is normal for me.

Toward the late afternoon and into the evening everything changes.  I am irritable and cranky which leads to anger and then rage.  I am angry about everything and nothing, everyone and no one.  I cannot explain it.  My therapist reminds me this is the manic part of the illness.

I am used to being manic all day for days and then even keel.  This is even more illogical than usual for mania.  I don’t understand it.  How can I be even keel and fine in the morning and the switch goes off later in the day.  It happens this way everyday for months.

Even more than those changes, when this happens and I am alone, I go through the dark places again.  I don’t do everything I did last time but I am still walking through some areas of darkness.  It does not matter if it is some areas or every area. It is a darkness I hate because they are things, places, activities and behavior I normally despise.  I know this is not the true me, but the mania drives me.

My brain shifts and the impulsive part comes to the front.  The part that does not think of consequences, other people or even self, seems to be front and center.  No matter how I try to make it shift back, it refuses to comply and stays.  It is the ruler.  I feel like the real me disappears when this happens because when my brain shifts again and I remember what happen I say, Who the hell was that person.She was in my body but that is the only thing that was me.

Family, friends and acquaintances that see me on a regular basis do not recognize my behavior as me. Some of them do not realize it is my mental illness because they do not know what mania does to me.  Most of the time they do not refer to it as part of my illness.  Some people just think I am going through a rebellious period. Come on now.  I am a grown woman.  Can we think of some other word to call it.  Others just wave me off and think it is normal or I have changed on purpose.

My biggest fear is that people that met me when I was even keel will leave me when I become manic. They do not understand my behavior.  Some decide they do not want to be around me either because of the behavior I am exhibiting or because they are afraid of being around with someone with a mental illness.  I live with this fear when I begin to experience mania.  I know there is very little I can do except to ride out the storm, to stay on the roller coaster until the ride ends.  It is, what it is.

I wonder if I am doomed to be alone, not be in a romantic relationship for the rest of my life.  I get up every morning and just keep it moving.  When the thought comes to mind, I give it a second, not a minute, but a second and then I move on.  I have to live and not worry about that.  I keep telling myself, if it happens, it happens, but that is a crock.  I want it to happen but of course I cannot make it happen.

Honey, where are you?  :)  Oh well, I guess he is not here yet.  He will catch up with me at some point. In the meantime, I just keep it moving.

pb: Love to all

Persistent pursing the best things life has for me that I are within my capabilities of obtaining.


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Upside down emotional day

Tuesday was a really crazy day and so was Wednesday.

Each day I got up feeling okay.  No problems.  Was not upset about anything nor was I unusually happy about anything.  I really was not feeling anything other than average.

I went through the morning feeling even keel.

Then in the afternoon without warning, everything in me changed.  The calmness turned into a raging storm.  I was angry about nothing or everything.  I really do not know.  What I do know is that it seemed like my rage was aimed at everyone and everything.

People were annoying no matter what they were doing, whether I had interaction with them or not.

It took my therapist an hour to calm me down on Tuesday only for me to get angry and enraged again on the way home.   Wednesday I entered the office very angry again.

I knew both days that this was a dangerous state of mind and I could not be around family or friends as long as it continued.  This was the type of behavior (rage) I decided in the summer that was cause for me to be alone.  I do not necessarily have to stay in the house and hibernate but I do not talk with family or friends.  I tend to leave a mess when I am in this state of mania.

Normally mania starts out with me feeling high on life and starting a lot of new projects at one time and then evolves into irritability for no reason.  Mania does not seem to be following this pattern the last couple of times and it is more frustrating than normal.

I hate being angry whether there is an apparent reason or not.  I am not usually an angry person.  Usually I try to spread joy and laughter wherever I go.  I know it sounds cliche but I really do.  Someone has to and I get a kick out of being the one that does it.  I love being silly and goofy if it makes people laugh.  I love being energetic and encouraging people.  People keep telling me my laugh and energy are infectious.

When I am going through the anger storm, people annoy me and can do nothing right.  I get on my own nerves and annoy myself.  :)

The good thing is that it does not last long.  I put myself in time out until I can treat people nice again including myself.

Today was not as bad but still going through different emotions.

I was fine until I got dressed.  I was dressed with no place to go today.  Then I realized I had no place I needed to be for the next few days.   Bummer.  Sadness peeked in along with loneliness.

I put on music and sang loud while doing chair exercises.  I was upstairs then downstairs, then upstairs, then downstairs again.  I did this a few time trying to decide what to next.  Finally I gave in and decided to go to the library.  Where else would I go?

I changed my clothes so I would feel better about my appearance (even though I was not meeting anyone- another bummer) and got out of the house as soon as I could.

So here I am.  Not as bored but making up things to do so I don’t have to face loneliness for too long when I finally go home.

I am happy to say that last night ebnded on a good note.  The therapist pointed out as usual, how I am when I am manic.  When I come to her office I am ranting and raving and being a smart a..  By now she knows this is part of my mania and does not bother her.  It never did but now she injects humor and makes me laugh.

I also subject jump.  Now we have a system worked out for that.  I have to say, subject jump before I start on another subject.  This helps to keep me in the moment and aware when I am about to change subjects.  This awareness does not stop me from doing it but it does give the other person warning so they can follow better.  It is something happens naturally when I am manic because my mind jumps all over the place from thought to thought very rapidly.

Mania continues to have its ups an downs and sometimes I step into the darkness but I don’t stay as long as I did before.  I still hate walking in those dark places even for a moment, but I realize it is the illness and not part of the real me.  Life is grand, but mental illness is a b….!

love to all,

thanks for reading

pb: Persistently trying to stay out of the dark places and trying not to make a mess with relationships when manic.  I cannot guarantee anything, I can only try to work through the madness.


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Great News

Last week I received a phone call at night from my pulmonary Dr., it was not a good call.

Because of the blood in the fluid they drew from around my lung, there was a chance I had cancer again.

When I first hung up the phone and called my mom to tell her I felt fine.  Then for some reason I broke down and started crying.

Friday, he was supposed to call me back after the full pathology report came back and when he did not I started to worry.

Saturday morning I was a wreck.  Anxiety was high and even with the anxiety medication it took a while for me to calm down just to get dressed.

My legs and hands were shaking.  For the first time, I believed that it could be cancer even though I was confident before that it was not.  I don’t know the reason for the sudden change.

A really good friend arranged to take me some place on Saturday to keep my mind off things.  it worked.  I  had a great time and did not think about it.

Yesterday and today I was not worried about it.  In my heart I just knew I did not have cancer.

The doctor finally called today and told me the good news.  It is not cancer.

What if I went through went the :”It would be so easy to ….?  What if?

I praise God for not going through with it, for the thought that immediately came “You have dreams to live out”  That thought and the inside joy got me through the weekend with the help of my friend.

love to all

pb: Persistently and passionately pursuing my dream(s) and making them become a reality one by one.


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Danger, Danger!!

This was initially handwritten to share with you on 12/17/15

As I sit here, I am attempting as clearly as possible to share what could have easily been a last moment for me.

In a split second my life could  be gone with a minuscule thought and I would have been a memory to some, a vapor to others and not even a thought to more people.

As I took up the bottle of prescribed medication, an instant thought occurred:” It would be so easy to pour the whole bottle of pills into my hand and take them as one big pill,so easy”.

Immediately the thought was replaced with “You still  have dreams to live out”

I took the pill as prescribed and put the bottle down.

I was still upset over bad news but I was glad I did not act impulsively on that thought that took one brief moment to formulate in my mind, heart and emotions.

I would not want my legacy to end with “Her life had value to others but none to herself”

Wow- what a powerful statement, my thoughts say as I read that statement to myself.

My greatest desire is to touch the lives of others whether it was because I gave a warm smile, a loving hug, a word of encouragement or just made you laugh by being silly when I could not get you to smile even for a moment.  Touching someone’s life in a positive, uplifting moment, no matter how brief the encounter, is what gives my life purpose and great pleasure.  It is what makes me, simply me.

That desire and thankfulness to God for the gift of life everyday is what gives me passion for life. It is that passion that is so powerful that it can override thoughts to quickly and forever end emotional and physical pain.  It can end the pain of knowledge of physical illness and having a mental illness, a mental illness that can at any moment cause major relationship destruction, depression or put my life in danger.

That moment of “It would be so easy to…” is a dangerous moment many if not all of us have come face to face with.

I need, you need, we all need, with and without a mental illness, to remember: not only is each day a gift, but each moment.

Live each moment that you can with gusto, with passion, with an inside joy so strong it will help you get through those “How easy it would be…” times.

I have a small plaque on my desk that reads: Don’t dream your life, live your dream.

I promise to live every moment of everyday of wellness spending time moving toward living my dream(s).

Remember, I love all of you.  You are part of me, a part that makes me feel safe when mental illness tries to make me feel worthless and that no one cares.

You make me feel safe to share my fears without judgement or ridicule.

You encourage me, lift me and give me added strength to never give up.

Thank you from my heart.

Be good to you.  Don’t dream your life, live your dream every moment of everyday of wellness.  This will get you through the “It would be so easy to…” times because you will remember you have dreams to live and do not have time to take your life.

Love to all

pb: Positively and passionately pursuing my dream.  Promising to live each wellness day with inside joy to get through those  “It would be so easy to…” moments of stinking thinking.


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Still standing and Praising God

About 3 weeks ago I pulled into my garage and Wham!!

It felt like someone punched me in my lower right side from the inside out.

The pain went away and came back that night as I was trying to lie on my right side.

In the am the pain had gone.

Later that night, the same thing happened.  The pain came back.

For two weeks it pained me intermittently during the day and at night.

Last Monday, it pained me as never before.  The pain was so intense that it was hard for me to breathe.

I left the library and went to urgent care who immediately ushered me into a treatment and pulled a dr from the another room to examine me.

The doctor thought it was probably my gallbladder and that it was probably inflamed.  He told me to go to ER so  they could verify it.

After 6 hours I was finally seen.  After several more hours and several tests I was told there was fluid around my lungs.

Long story short, there was substantial fluid which kept me in pain everyday and affected my breathing.

Monday, they almost 1/2 liter of fluid from around my lung.

Breathing was easier and after two more days, the pain was gone.

I did not feel anything.

I thank God that I did not feel anything.  I am a big chicken like many other people when it comes to feeling pain..  Although I worried for nothing, I had no shame in it.

I am still Standing and Praising God.

I am truly blessed because I was told I needed someone to drive me home and to stay with me for 24 hours.  As soon as I told one of my friends they immediately made arrangements for me.  They thought of and took care of everything.

If you feel any type of pain that lingers, go to the doctor immediately.  Do not assume it is a pulled muscle like I did.  Do not assume that you know what it is at all.

Love to all,

pb:  Still stand and Praising God because He is Good all the Time


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Why don’t they care or understand us

This morning I thought about a recent conversation I had with a stranger and I found myself very hurt and upset at the lack of compassion people have for people with a mental health diagnosis or recovering from drug/ alcohol addiction.

This is not the first time this has happened to me.

A lady was telling me about a friend of hers that almost overdosed and she did not care if they lived or died because it was their choice.

Yes, it is a choice to take drugs but when you are addicted to pills or whatever the drug is, it pulls you, your body craves it, you cannot escape it’s calling once you try it and you love the high.

People get into drugs for various reasons.  Some may have tried it because a friend encouraged them to and they loved that first high.  Now they spend years chasing that first high only never to find it and never realizing you never get it again.  You are hooked and so you keep chasing it.

Other people who abuse prescription medication may have started out taking them for a legitimate reason but became addicted to them.  Many times they do not even realize there is a problem, they just know they have to have them and sometimes make excuses to keep taking them.

Sometimes people try drugs to escape a painful existence or a painful situation they feel they cannot get out of.

When a person has a painful past they cannot escape and they relive it over and over, it becomes almost unbearable and so they turn to something to dull the pain and to temporarily forget the memories that haunt them.

Most people do not realize alcohol is a drug.  It is a natural depressant.

You start out drinking for social reasons.  They maybe you find other reasons to drink when you are alone.  Before you know it and without realizing it, you are drinking most of the time for any or no reason.  Some people like the feeling when they are intoxicated.  They drop all inhibitions and feel a freedom  to do things they otherwise would not have the courage to do.  They see alcohol as a confidence booster.

Sometimes a person feels down and thinks a drink will help or there are anxious about something and think a drink will help calm their nerves.

Again, there are many reasons why people turn to alcohol/ drugs.  Once addicted it becomes a sickness.  It is not something you can just stop without help no more than you can just snap out of depression.

Why is there little to no compassion for people with mental illness?  Is it because of how the media and Hollywood portray people with a mental illness?  Is it because of ignorance they people without a mental illness misjudge those with one?  Are people just so heartless and uncaring and scared that they just don’t care?  Why do people not realize having a mental illness is not a choice.  It is not contagious and everyone is not dangerous.  The majority of the time a person with a mental illness is dangerous is  because they are not taking medication for various reasons.

When will people understand mental illness is a disease just like cancer or any other illness.  It cannot be cured but it can be treated.  It is a disease of the brain.  There is a malfunction in a part of the brain.

Regardless of why someone has a mental illness or a drug addiction/ alcohol problem, should they be treated any less than someone who does not?

Should society turn their noses up at them and cast them away?

Perish the thought it should hit their home and then what happens to their preconceived ideas?

Would you treat a person with diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer or any other disease any differently?  No, chances are good that you would not, so why treat people with these illnesses any different?

Why can’t you reach out and help them with the same compassion?

I just don’t understand and it just makes me ill and the treatment and cavalier attitude toward those of us with this/ these illnesses.

I am always happy to engage in conversation someone who understands and has compassion and empathy and reach out to help those in need.  We all need a hand at sometime in our life with something we have to face.

Be good to you and to all others.

Love,

pb: Persistently and passionately pursuing opportunities to educate others about what it is like to live with a mental illness and be in recovery with drug/ alcohol addiction.


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Change is hard

2014 presented a lot of change for me.

There were some personnel changes in the program I attend and it was hard getting adjusted to new people.  It rocked me a little bit and took me off point of what I was there for.  I decided to stop going but now I realize that until I start working I need to go if for no other reason that to get out of the house and be with people I can connect with.

I not only connected with the other clients but with some of the staff as well.  I love going there and I have grown personally since I started attending. I am a bit more confident about a lot of things and i have found my voice.

It is okay for me to stay away from people who trigger rage in me when I am manic.  I used to think it was wrong to stay away but now I know it protects them and me.

Participating in different groups helped me learned emotion regulation for when I am manic.  I am still learning so sometimes I still blow up.  I am trying to learn to be more aware of what I am feeling when I am feeling it and using good communication skills like saying “I feel” instead of “you made me feel” when telling somehow how something they said or did made me feel.  Everything I have learned is a work in progress trying to use it, but if I keep going I will use the skills that I learned more often.

Going to the center on a regular basis and staying busy when leaving the center has helped me with fighting depression. One of my  maintenance tools for wellness is to get out of the house everyday.  Attending the center gives me a place to go making it easy to find a reason to get dressed and get out.

Things that used to set me back for months now only get to me for hours in a day.  I am learning to analyze things others say or their actions toward me, better and sooner rather than later.  Even though it may sound strange,  I have to talk myself through a lot of stinking thinking.  Stinking thinking used to win a lot of battles with my mind causing me to be sad and go into depression or turn away from people because I thought the worst of myself or that I did something wrong and that people in my life were always angry or disappointed with me.  Now I work my way through those thoughts and remind myself of the truth and move on.

The truth is, I was transferring my thoughts onto the other person and they were thinking something totally different or not thinking about me at all.

Last year in 2013 I had no direction, nothing to look forward to in life. Most of the year I was depressed and a third of the time I was manic.   This year I was stable a lot longer, more than I have been since 2007.

I used to beat myself up about my last breakup because I felt it was my fault because I can be a handful with having bipolar.  When we were together I had a lot of hospitalizations, but only one since we broke up.  Sometimes I miss him, but i remind myself that it was not a healthy relationship even without having bipolar.

Yes, a lot of emotional changes, but good changes.

thanks for reading my blog and I love all of you.

pb: Persistently pursuing my passion to be a peer support to help someone else and continue my healing journey.


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Living in the middle

Yesterday and today were rough mornings.

I felt as though I lost my purpose for wanting to live, for wanting to leave the house, for wanting anything but to sleep until the feeling was gone.

I remembered my wellness toolkit, the maintenance which says to get out of the house everyday.  They were my tools and I could choose not to use them.

The sad feeling led to me starting to cry and to doubt that I have accomplished anything lately. The feeling was becoming intense.

Finally, I listened to the maintenance voice and got dress in a hurry, grabbed my medicine in case I just kept driving and stayed over some place.

As I ran errands yesterday the feeling went away, only for me to rise this morning with the same feeling.

I am in a fight or flight mode.  I want to run, to leave Ohio and start over some place else, but I must fight the urge to pick up and leave.

Today, I had to fight my emotions and get out of the house.  I had intended to go one direction but was led to go another way.

I felt this morning as if I were living in last year’s depression and in tomorrow’s victory for escaping depression.

Living in the memory of yesterday and in the expectation of a better tomorrow.  Living in the middle, today.

Has anyone ever felt trapped between your yesterday and your tomorrow?

love to all

pb:  Persistently and Passionately Pursuing to be a Peer Support Person

Everyone, even me, needs a hand up and an ear to listen

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