Talking About Bipolar

Sharing Bi-polar moments


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Even Keel Feels Good

My therapist told me I had to start blogging again.

Once again, I told her I had nothing to blog about and that I could only write when I was depressed.   It seemed to be the only time I had something within me to share with others.

Someone else told me, my blog seemed sad.

So this is what I have to share today:

Somehow a friend and I got on the discussion of depression as an illness.

I said what I had to say ( I don’t remember what it was, it’s not important) their answer is the key.

They said, I know what you mean.  I get depressed and then I start to encourage myself.  I look

at all that I have and what others do not have and I begin to feel better and I am not depressed anymore.

Despite the fact I told them the symptoms of  depression when diagnosed as a mental illness they still did

not see the difference.  They could not understand that when you are mentally ill and depressed

you cannot just encourage yourself out of depression or just look at what others do not have and what

you do and feel better.  It does not work that way.

Another time, I was beginning to feel depressed.  My stomach had that agonizing pain, I was crying and

starting to sink into despair.  I called my safe person to come and pick me up.  They said they would but that

I had to keep it together.

Keep it together.  I thought.  If I could keep it together I would not have made the call.

People say things like this because they truly don’t understand or they don’t take the time to think.

I felt that statement was hurtful because this was my safe go to person that I could go to instead of

the hospital.  Now I had no one.

I did not want to go to their place.  I felt it was no longer a warm safe haven where I wanted to be.

I scrolled down my contact list to find anyone I could say was coming over to keep me safe by spending

the day with me.  The first name was that of a friend I had not in touch with for months.  Would they come?

I called them and they came in the middle of their work day to check on me.  They have been a safe go to

person for me ever since and a tremendous blessing. This is when I was at a point of giving up.  Hope was already

gone and the Why bother question was creeping in.

She helped me get back on my feet and get things turned around, now I am back to even keel and it feels good.

It is great to have someone who really understands what it is all about and knows just what to say.  Having

someone to help you pull your mind together and then your physical together is a great thing.  They are my new safe go to

person.

Life changes and so do people in our support system for reasons we do not always know.  Sometimes they change

at the most inopportune time,  Now, I realize I should have had more than one go to safe person.

Don’t make the same mistake I did.  You want to get back to even keel as soon as possible.  Sometimes

having that go to safe person is the only way to get back there.

love to all,

pb aka peanut butter

persistently pursuing a way to encourage others and to let them know they are not alone in this battle of

living to be mentally healthy


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Trying to float without a life preserver

Two weeks ago I was rapid cycling everyday for 3 days in a row.  It was the worst depression I have ever felt all at once.  There was no building up to that moment of excruciating pain.  it just hit me and it was there full force.  It felt like opening a door where there was smoke and a full blown fire hit my whole body.

Now as I begin to tell what happened the feelings and emotions are coming back and I have decided I do not want to relive it.  I will say, it is something that I would not wish on anyone at all.

I miss having the internet at home.  Some say it is a luxury and it may be.  But for me it is a necessity.  Without it, I feel like I am in the water in the dark trying to float without a life preserver.

It keeps me safe from the grips of suicide when there is no one around who understands.  It keeps me safe from thinking of ways to kill myself so that by the time anyone finds me it will be too late to save me.

When a plan begins to formulate in my mind, I get on the internet and begin to post.  I post how I am feeling and I write and write until the noose of suicide is taken from my neck or rather from my thought process.

When the pain is not so great, in the beginning, and suicide tries me to see if I will bite, it is easy to say, I have a lot of living to do.  But when the depression gets loud and overshadows my thinking it takes hearing a voice outside of my own to pull me back from the edge.

Rapid cycling: up and down the see saw of bipolar on the same day.  Manic and depressed to the extreme of each on the same day.  For me, it is not only mentally and physically draining but dangerous as well.

Lately, it seems as though tears have taken the place of laughter and sadness stays longer than joy

I am persistently seeking ways to stay motivated to live life to the fullest regardless of the obstacles called waves (bipolar or other mental illness) that keep pushing me in every direction except the one I want to go in.

Yet I hold to my mantra:” Life is totally awesome”  and that’s because I am still alive.
It bears repeating:  some days the pain is unbearable and I wish I could end it.  The thought of all the pain and questions that I would leave behind as well as the whole in the lives of people I love, slowly puts things into perspective.

After days even months of bearing pain that is worse than labor pains and as much as I hate making this type of comparison, it can sometimes feel worse than the pain of losing someone very dear to you.  You know that pain will subside.  It may never go away, but may become bearable where you can begin to fill alive again and move ahead with life.

A mental illness diagnosis that includes depression does not work that way.  It comes and comes as it pleases.  It stays as long as it pleases.  It grips you as tight as it wants to.  Some times the depression medication works and keeps it at bay and sometimes it doesn’t do such a good job.

We all know how it works.

My point.  We all have more or less the same or similar experiences.  We share, I share so we all know we are  not alone.  We know that, but I myself from time to time need to be reminded that I am not alone in how I feel or what happens to me.  There is some comfort in knowing that.

We are amazing.  We live, We laugh.  We cry, We almost drown (die) while in depression or jump from a building (while manic) because we think we are invincible.  Yet, we survive.

for me, it is because there is a God and He keeps me sane.

be good to you

get a good support system to plug into and stay charged into them.

love to all pb aka peanut butter.


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Indescribable Pain

There is a pain that is indescribable to others who are not mentally ill.  At least this is what I believe.

When I am depressed and feel this pain I try to explain it to my family and friends when they see me hold my stomach and bending over.  They see that I am in pain but  do not understand when I say “It is a pain that medicine will not take away.  It is a pain that I cannot put words to” that will make them understand.  I feel that no one will understand unless they fell this same pain that never goes away when you have depression caused by a mental illness.

It is my belief there is a difference when you have depression as a result of mental illness and depression as a result of circumstances.

When your circumstances cause you depression and change, the depression goes away.

When your depression is a component of a mental illness, that is a different type of depression. It is not due to circumstances changing for the worse or the better.  It is present no matter what event is happening in life.

Currently I am trying my best to keep it together and fight this war of depression and keep it together so to speak.  It is better when I am physically around people.  I can pretend I am listening when I really am not even there mentally.

I am up and down.  Manic and depressed.  It makes me feel like I am racing against time when I am manic. I have to get everything done that I can because I know depression is coming again, but when is what I don’t know.  It is always lurking somewhere.

Some moments or days are better than others.  Depression is always accompanied by that indescribable pain, hopelessness and loss of desire to go on.  That is what I fight the most.  The will to live.  Others remind me of my dreams and assure me they are possible.  I try to hold on to that.  That helps my thoughts for a very brief moment. Nevertheless, the pain shortly takes control again and nothing can soothe it. It feels unbearable and I often wonder how do others get through it.

How do you get through it?  Somebody help me.  I am reaching out for answers before that pain takes over again.  How do you get through it.  I know the answers are not the same for everyone, but at least I can try something.


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Here we ride again

Walking along even keel and then without noticing the warning signs, I am on the roller coaster ride again.

This time it is worse, in my mind, because, I am manic and depressed in the same day.

Each room I go into is a mess because I start different major projects or tasks but never seem to stay focused if I go into another room.  Before long every room I have gone into is a train wreck.  I sit down and write out plans for projects.  All this is part of my mania.

Before long I am crying because that depressive pain grips me and I just want to escape it.  It is so great it is almost unbearable.  The tears are steaming down my face and I am afraid to reach out to anyone for fear they will send the ER squad to take me to the hospital where they will lock me up and take away my freedom.

Has anyone else gone through this or a similar experience of any all of the above.  Please let me know.

Pb


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Do they really,truly, honestly understand……

Have you ever tried to explain the rage of mania or the black hole of depression to family members or friends?

 

My personal philosophy is that if you have not lived it yourself, you don’t understand. You cannot possibly understand all the emotions I feel when the symptoms of mania and mania itself comes front and center.  No one can understand the black hole of depression if they have not been there.

One day when stinking thinking was very strong, I asked my friend some questions that indicated I was unsure if we were still friends because of an incident that did not involve me, but I was around when it happened.  Earlier that day we had a discussion about some things and he took it as a personal attack and it was not intended that way.

Stinking thinking said its all your fault.  See they did not call to let you know they were home, they are ignoring your text messages.  They do not want to be friends with you, etc.

I shared my concerns with my friend who assured me there was no problem.  I told what I had been thinking and that it was part of my illness to blame myself for everything.  Their comment was something to the effect of , “I know and I am trying to make allowances for that”

Are you serious, I wanted to ask.  You live with a mental illness as well.  What about the times I make allowances for you, when you need to talk or yell at someone or I try to help ease the pain of suffering.  What about the allowances I make when I feel like you are putting people down when they are down.  You don’t mean to but that is how it comes across and yet I am still there to be your friend.  If this person with a mental illness cannot understand the rage of mania, the irrational thinking and everything else that goes with having bipolar, how can we believe others understand.

Maybe some do, but it is my belief that most don’t.

It would not be the first time I was wrong and most definitely not the last.

This comment annoyed me because this person suffers with depression.  Isn’t that also a sick brain like people with bipolar or any other type of mental illness?

I give the people in our life credit for trying to understand, nevertheless, I think people need to take a step back and look inside their mind and they will realize they really don’t understand.  People can see what we do and hear what we say, but they do not understand how our mind is working at that moment.  I don’t even understand except I do know how it feels.  I am not mean on purpose, nor do I go to rage at the speed of 0 to 100 twice as fast as you.  It is the illness.  I don’t mean to be irritable, uncooperative and stayed in the bed, not get dressed and do not want the blinds open.  I just want to be left alone, to deal with my pain.  The pain in my mind and the pain in my body.

I compare their level of understanding to a woman who just had a baby.  She can tell her friends what it is like to carry a baby, go into labor and to deliver the baby.  Her friends will never understand what those experiences feel like until the same happens to them.

They can see the symptoms, but they cannot figure out the why.  It is too complex.  I don’t even fully understand it.  But it is enough for me to know, simply, my brain is sick.

No one can understand the indescribable pain in the pit of the stomach when depression.  It is a pain that I have never experienced before and only when major depression stays for a while.

Let me just say, when in labor there is a lot of pain.  The difference is that you know as soon as that baby comes through and enters this world, the pain soon goes away.

There is no time frame for our pain to end.  It could in days, months and I know who have been in pain for years.

I guess I took the long way to say, do they really, truly, honestly understand our illness?

 

Be good to you and remember that you are a beautiful, unique and wonderful person.  No matter how many people have bipolar, none of us are the same.

love to all

Passionately with peace, seeking to be a positive person for myself and for others.


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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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