No one get to ….

I love this expression of determining and letting others know what they do and do not get to say or do that is acceptable to me.

People without a mental illness diagnosis, do not get to judge my actions, labeling them as they see it or according to their perceptions.  Just ask me, maybe then you will not judge, but understand.

People without a mental illness do not get to ignore me, treating me as though I am not there by talking  about me as if I do not exist.  No, they do not get to ignore me.  No one does.  I am a force to be seen and heard.  I am here.  You do not get the right to ignore me in word or deed.

No one gets to say I am not perfect because I have a mental illness.  Do they not know a person’s mental health has nothing to do with being perfect.

People do not get to say, I am not smart.  Who determines smart anyway?  Just because a subject does not hold my attention does not mean I am not smart. More than likely it is so boring, I do not care to contribute.   Just because a person has much to say does mean what they are saying is correct.

Get the point?

No one gets to say just anything to me or treat me any kind of way, nor I to them.  We all deserve respect.

As people living with an uninvited guest: bipolar, depression, schizophrenia or any other mood disorder, we do not and will not let anyone say what they want or do what they want.

Remember:  No one gets to……

What do people not get to say or do, where you stand?

 

 

Sometimes I shake my heart

and scream at it, what is wrong with you.

Is there something in my looks, that tell a person, I am messed up before we even talk.

Does my careful actions say, I am trying to hard.

Am I being so careful, it shows I am hiding something and refusing to reveal this secret.

I shake my heart because it has had to many, ” I  like you but: our time to get together will come.  (what is wrong with now or tomorrow if you need more time” and “we will talk about it”, when you damn well know, there is no opportunity to see or talk to you.  Sounds like in you mind it is a delicate way to let me down.  Don’t be delicate.  Just let me down.

I would rather know the truth now than after wading through a cesspool of lies.

If you do not like my looks, if average is not good enough for you, if you know we will never talk, then why lie.

Say what you need to say and don’t worry about how I will take it, that is only to make you feel better, does it really make you feel better that  if you told  the truth?  I hope that lie haunts you.  Do I sound bitter?  Hell, yes I am.  Tired of the king of fizz instead of the cool fresh pop.

As a people with  mental illness, we are lied to, tolerated and very much misjudged.  Why should the love factor be added to all the other bull.  Tell one thing straight out.  Must we be lied to about just about everything unless,  YOU can readily admit you are the one with the problem and damn you don’t even take medication.

Halt, stop, take a break, back it up, back it up and you let it marinate.

Maybe you should be the one taking the medicine and shaking your heart because you let a damn good person get away.

And one more thing, mental illness does not define who we are no more than having cancer, kidney disease or a broken foot that will never heal.  These do not define who we are,  they are just things happening in our mortal bodies.

 

Think about what you are doing as you find yourself walking away, lying to or ignoring the person who may be the best thing that ever happened to you.

While you stood there flattering yourself thinking you are a nice pop but really you are a fizzle, thinking you are a crisp bag of chips when you are only a stale bag of chips, left over from someone who realized what you had but is now there’s.

Better take yourself off your own throne and say, maybe I need some medication, I just let the best thing every happen to me walk away.  Then it will be you,  shaking your heart and screaming,  What is wrong with you.

Subject jumper part 2

Dolphins In HawaiiLook closely enough and you will see me having a great time with my peers.  We are with each other to be supportive, to have fun and to join together as a family.

I am still ambitious.  I want to make sure I educate as many people as possible what bipolar really is.  Not what they think, not what the media feeds them and certainly not what people who stigmatized us tell them.

As people with mental illness we are sometimes shun by family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers or anyone who is a part of our life.  All this because they lack the knowledge and some even lack the desire to take the time to educate themselves about bipolar.

To try to understand mental illness is a beginning.

Learning about bipolar symptoms  and how to recognize them in me, is the beginning of showing me I matter and that I am a worthwhile person to you.

Going to support groups, at times attending therapy with me and even taking the time to go with me and share with my psychiatrist what you observe when I am on a certain medication,  truly makes me feel you really do care about me mentally as much as you do if I have an incurable and visible illness.

Finally, answering my call when I give the secret word that I need help because I am ascending to the top of the roller coaster of mania or rapidly descending from the top that I bypass sadness and drop into the depths of depression.  It lets me know, that as much as possible you will be there with and for me.

I am not a lazy thinker.  If I say I do not know how to do something, please do not frustrate me by continuing to ask me do it after I have repeatedly told you I do not know how.  Not only are you calling me lazy minded but a liar.

I am now offended and any good you have shown seem to make me wonder how much you really have been watching and listening to the real me.

I feel successful when I can make someone genuinely laugh or smile and for that moment allow them to forget that part of our brain is incurably sick.

It is a success to me when despite how much I unwillingly play  tug of war with sadness, I get out of the house and say to hell with sadness.

I am passionately pursuing to be a peer supporter to all.

We are a special breed of survivors.  We are all passionate about helping one another.

Who else knows how to help us best without saying a word.

 

 

Subject jumper part 1

 

Dolphins In Hawaii

Lately, I go to bed anywhere between 2 and 4 am.  I usually have to force myself to lay down.  My body is tired but my mind is racing.

I lay down and get up and lay down and get up.  I do not know how often I repeat this ritual before I finally doze off.  It is never for long.  I look at the clock and cannot believe it has only been 20- 30 minutes.  As many times as I try to stay asleep my mind will not have it.

Every morning I roll over for the final time since I laid down and I ask God what is wrong with me.  I know something is wrong but I cannot figure it out.

I fall and cannot move, I am alone.  I have seizures, I am alone.  My bed is cold and empty and I do not want to be there alone any more, but I am.

It seems as though I am always alone except for periods of time I spend with an amazing friend of mine.  No judgement, no holds barred on topics, laughter, crying, being silly and lots of chocolate.  Best time of the day, everyday.

Every good thing comes to an end sooner or later.  Temporarily or permanently.  I hope this is one of those good things that last for a while.  It is all I have to enjoy right now.

My relationship with some family members have always seemed foreign to me. By that I mean, I have always felt I was on the outside of the family dynamics I was born into, but never really felt like I was a part of it.  I know this is considered stinking thinking but it has been with me so long that I forever believe it.

I know I am loved in my head, but never in my heart.  I can never remember what it felt like to be embraced as a child, although I surely must have been.

According to the standard of others I am no longer motivated, ambitious or I am a lazy thinker and will quickly say, I do not know how to do something.  It has been said to me that I do not have confidence in who I am.

Why judge me according to your standards?

I am still motivated and ambitious. You just cannot see them because you have not realized I have changed.

end of part 1

Crying for no reason or because

Sometimes a thought will flicker in my mind just for a moment, but that moment seems like the thought has been there for a while.

It grips me for whatever reason I do not understand and I begin to cry.  The tears roll, my eyes are red and my nose will  not stop running.  My face is such that I cannot hide it.

Sometimes there seems there is no reason or rationality.  Maybe at that moment I was laughing about something or enjoying an activity.  Then I feel the pain in my heart.  Not a pain that medicine or the doctor can fix: it is the pain of crying welling up on the inside beginning to make its’ way out.

It only takes a moment to feel this way before I know the dam will break.

That seems to be crying for no reason and I think that is part of the bipolar, the sad leading into depression part if we are not aware of our pattern of this.

Sometimes, someone can say something to me and for no reason it has a negative effect even though it was not their intention to make me feel that way.  Nevertheless, I feel as if I have done something wrong or just feel like crying for no reason.  They never said anything cruel.

I think what is might be is that they are saying I do not ask for help with financial things because of pride or whatever the reason.  They are making assumptions and I do not feel capable of defending myself at the time. There words are coming at me so fast and my thinking of a response comes very slow.    I believe they are basing their reaction to my tears because they feel I am weak or overly sensitive.

I try to explain it is not anything that was said.  It is important for me to try to do things for myself and that I do not want to ask anyone out of the mental health family to help me. We understand or try to .  I believe we help each other sometimes by sharing and sometimes just by being there and letting them know we understand.

So my question is, when there is no apparent reason for me to cry is that the bipolar or me being sensitive to nothing.

or

Am I crying because someone has misjudged me and I  believe there is no explaining so they understand.

Why am I crying?  Does this happen to anyone else and do you feel it is part of our illness or  no.

 

Grief

I used to attend a place that not only helped people find employment but offered encouragement and a home away from home.  This is a place you can exhale when you walk through the door.  No judgement from staff or peers.

They are genuinely concerned about our well being.  You cannot fake being genuine.  If you do fake concern, it is sensed by your actions and words and you help no one.  W

I chose to blog about grief.

I believe that as people with a mental illness we are connected in some way.  We understand the pain and sorrow and extreme highs that others witness, but do not understand.  They do not know we are on a see saw trying to sit in the middle to find balance.  When they do not see the balance, some recognize that something is wrong in our mind.  Others that do not understand our illness seem to believe we are the way we are or do what we do because we want to.

To me, having a mental illness creates a family even though we do not know each other.  I have biological relatives I have never met.  Does that make them any less of a family member to me.  No, it certainly does not.

I was recently informed someone in our family had committed suicide.   Although I never met this person, it pained me greatly.    Another life that suicide took.

At the memorial, whenever I spoke to someone about this person, my eyes began to well as though  I knew them personally.

We were asked to go around the room, introduce our self and say something about how special this young person was.

Strange.  When it came to me, I was so sorrowful, I could not speak and again I became choked up and tears welled in my eyes.  It was something I did not understand. I passed and did not take my turn for fear of breaking down.

After everyone spoke, I raised my hand.  What was I going to say?  I did not personally know this person.

What I did and do know, it that we lost a member of our family.  We are a family and if we do not care about, help each other or even grieve the loss of one of us, beside that person biological family, who will help us in a time of great tragedy.

The loss of one of our family members affects us all whether we know each other not.

We are a family.  Let us love and support one another not only in time of grief but life also.

I  have a number of diagnosis both mental and physical, none are my fault, yet when I wake up in the morning, I am thankful for another day despite the highs. lows and mixed episodes we suffer.

By no means is it easy, however it is another day of hope that someone will find the right cocktail for those of us who are still riding the roller coaster of mental illness.

It is another day of possibility live will come into our life and love us enough that they believe no one else is for them.

Don’t stop being part of the family.  We need each other.

Afraid for love to find me

0519ad7f45b8bd8655979ccd7df7e3bd274216-wmThere are days I long for someone understanding of my bipolar,  to find me and love.

Most days I am sure that there is no one who is willing to  deal with or love me as a person with the ups and downs that come with the day to day uncertainly of bipolar mood swings.

I tried it once and it did not work out for many reasons.  Yet I feel that I have to a lot to offer in spite of my mental illness.  The symptoms of the illness may be stable for a while and then decide to show up. The symptoms are what happens but do not define me or what I have to offer someone.

Just because my love is there when things are  fine, will he still be there when I go from one end of the roller coaster to the next.

Will he grow tired of riding it out with me?  Will he have enough and regret his relationship with me.  Will he stay with me being unhappy and ruining any chance of happiness with someone.

I want love to be in a lover’s arm and feel secure that they will love me enough to be strong to ride the waves for me.  I think that is too much to hope.  If they stay, they may ruin their life.  If they go, it may feel like my life is ruined.  I don’t want to find love only to  have it leave in order to not ruin their life and find someone new.

The illustration says it all except more accurately my statement is:

I live with bipolar and want to someone to love and love me.  I am afraid for love to find me because I feel somewhere between the highs of mania and the lows of depression, I am afraid to give and receive love because I do not want to ruin their life.

Life is a gift and I try to treasure the present day as a such.  Yet, there are times when I long to be connected to someone who will not be afraid to stay no matter what end of the spectrum I am at because they will know we can make it together as long as we realize there is no guarantee  mania and depression will return.

Because he loves me and wants to only be with me, he will be beside during the highs and loves and be certain that no matter, I love and treasure him.

He take time to learn not only about the illness but how to help me through episodes, sometimes just being there and not saying a word.  Reassuring me of their love and not staying will not ruin their love but will make our love grow and our bond stronger.

I want to love, but will loving me cause him to one day feel like loving and being with me is ruining his life?

Time will tell, if I take the chance and accept love when it finds me

 

 

Why don’t they see my illness?

When family and friends talk to me or about me, they keep referring to the past.  They actually expect me to be the same.

You used to be ambitious.

You used to want to start a business.

How come you were able to raise a family if you had a mental illness?

You used to be able to work.  Why can’t you work now.

On and on

Many of them do not accept that you can have an undiagnosed illness, mental or physical and function as what they call  “normal”.

By the way, who defines what normal is anyway. Who says that our brain is well and everyone who does not have a mental illness is the one with the sick brain.  I am not being funny, but who determines normal is the same to me as who determines “success”.

I had a conversation with someone and they admitted they did not see me as a person with a mental illness.  They viewed me as the way,  I was before my diagnosis.

A friend of mine answered the questions with one short sentence:

” You were on automatic pilot”

Looking back I now realize the symptoms were always there, even as a teenager.  There were bouts of depression, suicidal thoughts, decreased need for sleep and RAGE

Again, who determines normal?

They do not realize I am still ambitious, but as an advocate for mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse.

I still want to start a business: a safe haven giving people the tools to minimize relapse.

If they would accept that I have a mental illness, they would realize that the sickness was always there but we never suspected anything like a mental illness.

The final example: I had cancer at age 20.  It was there long before I was diagnosed.  Just because it had not been diagnosed, does that mean it was not there?

 

 

 

I just don’t know

Sometime i think bipolar is something made up.  I believe the only mental illness is schizophrenia.

Sometimes I can’t tell my personality from the illness.  I just don’t know.

When I am this thing called “manic”I do notice my level of irritability increase s.

It is at this time I just don’t know if it is me or the illness because I say and do things that are very unkind.  Normally, it upsets me when I hurt someones’ feelings.  This  causes, chaos, broken relationships and sometime irreparable relationships.

I think if family really took the time to learn about my illness and me as the individual I am I would not feel the need to run away and hide when mania gets out of control.  Maybe it would  not escalate to the level it does.  Maybe they would realize there are things you do not say to a person with a mental illness, no matter how innocent you think the statement is.

I just don’t know why we fight to get out from under stigma and the people that surround us are the main ones who make it impossible. Sometime they are our family, friends, and even other people with mental illness.  I just don’t understand.

I am not depressed but I am sad and I begin to cry everyday and cannot seem to stop.  I have no desire or use for food.  Why was I so mean.  What the hell is wrong with me.  Am I really a nice people person always trying to bring a ray of sunshine even but for a moment.  That moment may be something that the person holds onto and helps them when  things start going to the depths of depression.  That one moment may be the thing they hold onto to stay just above the surface of depression.

I just don’t know which is the real me, my real personality at the time.  I know it is becasue I am told this thing  called bipolar changes my mood.  Is it changing my mood or me?  I just don’t know.

 

 

 

 

 

The darkness in the light

I’m siiting alone in a sunny room yet it feels terrible dark.

I messed up a relationship that had just healed and was growing.

It was not intentional. No one ever sets out to intentionally hurt someone they care about.

Lately l cry alot.  I’m beginning to feel like there is no way out except a nap for many days, hoping that the pain and self anger will be gone when l wake up

I have learned suicide is not the answer. It is permanent not only does the pain end, everything ceases including my existence

I used to say the sun was inside of us, but lately there is only the darkness of pain, loneliness and fear.

I have been trying to get the sun inside again but it is refusing to shine.lt has been blocked by a horrible darkness that comes from isolation, paranoia and shame.

Paranoia has set in again. Each time worse than the last. Sometimes it is paralyzing.

Today is the worst. I have been up since yesterday. I am afraid for the day and even more afraid of the night. Now it is dark in me even though the sun is shining.  It is worse at night because the darkness is everywhere. There is no escaping.

As l sit in this internal place of  darkness, fears grips me and l wonder, will l be able to sleep tonight or will the darkness still be there