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.

 

 

A great challenge

Everyday I wake up and thank God for waking me up and giving me another day.

I think the greatest challenge I have faced so far, is the challenge of controlling the rage I feel when I am manic.  I explain to people I will never be on the same anger level at the same time, feeling the same way.

When they are at annoyance, I am already at anger.  When they reach anger, I am already at rage much like going from mild David Banner to the incredible Hawk. The difference is that I will go after anyone in my path just because.

Everything I do when manic seems to be, “Just because”.  No reason(reasons) for my irritability, anger and rage.

Peace and serenity would be great to have when coming down from mania.  They do not seem to appear.  Rage like the incredible Hawk is what I get instead.

Once a person told me that there was nothing wrong with me.  They stated I did not need a psychiatrist.  I was at a low point and became confused.  What if this person was right and all this was just in my mind.

The next challenge is to block out what people say about me living with a mental illness is that they do not understand the changes they see in me are not my fault.  I cannot control the part of my brain that tells me the logical thing to do.  The challenge is to let the pain and anger go, that they don’t even try to understand..  There answer is that I am “in a mood” or tired.  When do I get to have my breakdown?  Yes, I am in a mood but you do not try to understand why, what is different about this mood.  They do not see the sadness that I try to hide the internal sadness or the pain that is on my face.

Of  course, the greatest challenge is living with this condition alone.  There is nothing anyone can do including me, to help prevent these episodes without leaning on medication.  Staying on a schedule to maintain the levels in my body is another challenge.

I have to know that something is wrong with my brain and it cannot be cured but it can be treated.

Forget the negative things people say and move on. You know who you are, don’t let anyone or another thing tell you you are different.

You are an amazing person>

You live with bipolar and survive everyday.

 

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

 

Feeling Alive Again

I am so happy to be at a place called COVA.  It is a place that help people with mental, emotional and other illnesses to get prepared to go back to work or to stay at work.

I used to think going back to work just meant doing a resume the way I used to, looking online for a job, sending out my resume to whatever seemed like a job I could do and wait for a call for an interview (like the old days when I used to work.).  This worked years ago and I never had trouble getting a job, keeping it was the problem due to my illness (that I did not know I had at the time).

Attending groups at COVA has helped me understand that there is more to going back to work after a long absence due to mental illness than the above process I used to follow.

I need to do things differently now.  There is a right way to do a resume that will get you a call for an interview and a wrong way that gets your resume in the trash can file immediately.

With a mental illness I also need to learn my triggers to mania, depression and PTSD and how to handle them before they happen.   I need to develop a plan that will help me get over the hump of these things and allow me to keep working.  I have to know when and how to set boundaries when working so that I continue to take care of myself.  This plan will also include ways to keep me from responding to things that happen around me that may trigger a PTSD episode.

The groups at COVA teach me how to make a plan to maintain wellness not just for working but for every aspect of my life.  This allows me to have control of my illness instead of it having control of me.

Learning my personality will allow me to select a job that I will be successful at keeping.

Leaning to do a resume the right way, gives me confidence that I have the ability to work and be even more productive than I was before my illness became full blown and took center stage. 

Everyday I talk to someone here who encourages me without even realizing that that is what they are doing.  I feel good about myself again.  I am doing something productive by working toward my goal of finding work and keeping work.  I am going to have a career that I like, not a job that I hate.  Eventually I will even go back to school and get my degree in Social Work.  Baby steps, but at least I’m moving forward.  

I am going to use all the tools available to me and be successful at whatever I do.

Yes, there will be times that symptoms come to surface but I will handle them with support from everyone who has been an encouragement to me.

I feel alive.  I am alive.  I am living and it is wonderful.  Whatever comes, I now that I will have the tools and the strength to make it through.  So do you.  Go after your goals.  Don’t just dream a dream, live your dream.

Love to all

pb aka peanut butter

About me now

I am living with the ups and downs, highs and lows, mania and depression of bipolar 1 also known as manic-depression.

It makes life very interesting because no two days or parts of a day, are ever alike.  Most people say the same thing.  No two days are ever alike.

It’s like a Ferris Wheel: (up and down, round and round to the same cycle of mania and depression) and Roller Coaster ride (the speed: fast and slow, fast to the top of mania and drop to depression from different heights and speeds).

the Ferris wheel of Expoland
the Ferris wheel of Expoland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But with a mental illness, trust me, you are guaranteed that sometimes you mood is never the same on the same day.  It can go from one extreme to the other, seemingly without any reason.  How many people can say that?

Someone I used to live with once said “I never know what I am going to get when I come home” In other words, they never knew what kind of mood they were walking into.  Hostile or loving and caring.  Even to this day, I say to myself sometimes, I never know what kind of mood I am going to be in from one part of the day to the next. Sometimes it may be from one moment to the next.  I might find myself charming one moment and irritable the next (for no apparent reason), leaving me always on guard.  Never settled in with myself.

Living with a mental illness (bipolar 1 in my case) is challenging, sometimes rewarding (when manic creativity pays off) and sometimes scary (when depression envelopes me).

The challenge is to stay under the radar of the hole of depression and not to elevate too high above a manic episode.  To me, one position is just as dangerous as the other.

I guess you can say, the challenge is to find the balance.

I like some of the mania because it enables me to be creative and pursue my dreams.  One by one, my goals, my dreams are becoming a reality.  As small a goal as it may seem, writing this blog was a goal.  Maintaining it is a goal.

Writing an e-book is a goal that will soon be completed.  This is my creative side.  My keyboard is my painting tool and the words are my ink.  This is my canvas.  I try to paint my words for all to see and hopefully they will find words of inspiration and encouragement.  After all, isn’t that what art are does?  Inspire?

The reason I sign off, love to all, is because we all need to hear that we are loved.

Reason for peanut butter name:  my initials really are PB.  Someone once called me peanut butter and jelly.  Peanut butter stuck.  It makes me more memorable to the people I actually meet and makes me smile if no one else.

Purpose to have an awesome day: if we don’t have a purpose for getting up, laying in bed becomes so easy.  It becomes a norm.  Purposing to have an awesome day gets us thinking before we pull the covers off.

Love to all and purpose to have an awesome day.

Drop me a line and let me know how awesome your day is: mybipolarworld52@gmail.com.  I would love to hear from you.

pb aka peanut butter

The beginning of what I purpose

It is a new day.  Thanks to someone in my support circle and God (she prayed with me before I went to bed last night) I was able to get a full night sleep and wake up rested.  It has many a while since I slept practically all night and in a deep relaxed state of sleep.

Sleeping
Sleeping (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Going to sleep at night was an option I had not relished in the past few nights or maybe a couple of weeks.  Most of the nights I would drift in and out of sleep because I was afraid of the disturbing dreams that had happened and that I thought would continue.  They made me not want to go back to sleep.  One night I purposely did not take one of my night medications (helps me sleep, helps with paranoia and anxiety) because it makes it difficult to stay awake after a dream.  I have to lay back down or I get a headache.

Last night I knew it had to stop and that I had to get a full night rest that could only happen with relaxed sleep which could only happen if I did not have the fear.  That support person prayed for me and I took all my night time medications and went to sleep.  Next thing, I was waking up this am.  Feeling refreshed and with a good mental attitude.

Waking up this way is the beginning of what I purpose: To have an awesome day and not let mental illness symptoms kick my butt.  It is part of a mental illness wellness plan.  I am working the plan.

You do the same.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

By the way, if you meet me in person and call me peanut butter I will answer.  lol

Different day, different feeling

Yesterday I was bummed out but feeling good mental health wise.

Today I feel worse physically (this head cold is trying to get the best of me.  Hah, I will not go down quietly).

 

Venezia, Acqua alta
Venezia, Acqua alta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good mental health day yesterday and today.  Actually feeling charged mentally.  I met this lady who has bipolar 1 like me and I feel really encouraged for a more productive life everyday.  Getting back to me before the meltdown that lead to my bipolar diagnosis in 2007.  Then I was working and feeling good although not in a good place with what I was doing with my life.  Not knowing a lot of the behavior was tied to the bipolar if you get my drift.

Then I ended up in the hospital and rehab for 3 weeks and my life changed. It did a 180 and I have been trying to find my place in life since then. Right now I am more determined than I was last year to be productive for myself and find a balance in happiness.

Anyway, the woman with bipolar 1 is doing great and is working in the mental health field, something I would like to do.  It took her years before they found the right cocktail of medications and then another year for stabilization and she is doing great.  Now I see how others are able to live out their potential even with living with a mental illness.  She told me not to give up.  That maybe a medicine has not even been invented yet that will help stabilize me.  I feel really encouraged to keep my dreams and hopes and goals of accomplishment alive.

Today, I physically feel like crap is crap could feel, but mentally I am on cloud nine.  I am loving life.  I miss my grand terribly but once I am stabilized I will be able to work part-time which will give me the finances to be able to travel and see them and spoil them and then come back home.  I’m loving the possibilities and feeling that nothing is ever impossible for any of us.

Keep dreaming and pushing past the barriers that mental illness tries to put up and find your balance.  Find your passion and live.  Don’t let mental illness dictate who you are or what you do or how far in life you go.  You be the driver and determine your destination.  Use all the resources available to you to get there.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Worth repeating because it means so much

Attitude of Gratitude

Thanks to all of you who have sent me comments and e-mails about the blog.  I love hearing from you and it keeps me encouraged.

We are all in this together even though we cannot be together in the same place at the same time physically, but the challenge of living day to day and sometimes moment is our common thread.

pb: peanut butter

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