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?

 

 

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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.

 

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

Who knows how much.. you

I have been diagnosed with conversion disorder also known as non-epileptic spells and a few other names.  They all mean the same thing: medical symptoms with no underlying medical causes.  These incidents are usually brought on by stressful events, traumatic events or having a mental illness: anxiety, panic attacks, depression,ptsd and others.

By no means am I am expert but it is a fascinating illness and it is an illness.  You cannot control what happens to your mind or body and it is not your fault or in this case, it is not my fault.  It is nothing I did except that I cannot face the trauma in my past.  I cannot think about one traumatic event without a flood of them rushing to my mind.  If I do, I feel a click on the right temple of my head and immediately I can feel my body slowing down as if my batteries were winding down.

My brain begins to disconnect where I cannot think of words or sentences.  When words or sentences do formulate in my brain, it is hard to get them from the brain to the mouth and when I do it is with great difficulty.  It is hard for a lot of people to understand me.  Added to this episode is a panic or anxiety attack because I am embarrassed even though it is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Everyone has a pet peeve and mine is when someone says to me “You can do it”.  I know when it is too much going on in my head, no one else does.   Please don’t tell me what I can do unless you are prepared to expand upon that. Just because I have the capability to do something does not mean there is enough space in my head left to handle one more thing.

My other pet peeve is when someone says, ” just forget about it and move on” “You need to learn to let things go”. That is the answer they give when you try to talk about certain things that are still haunting you.  Things that you know you should have gotten over a long time ago but because your brain hid it from you, doesn’t mean it stays away for forever.  For instance,  something very ugly and traumatic happens to you regardless of age.  You feel disgusting, frustrated, unclean or however you choose. At first if you do not deal with it and push it away or attempt to, your brain closes the door on it for a period of time.

Now the brain says, let’s start remembering, but you are still not prepared.  You know something happened and may even know what occurred but still the front part of your brain is not ready to think or talk about it which means it still affects you in some way.  So please don’t tell me to forget what I cannot fully remember because a part of my brain says you are not ready for the whole ugly truth yet.

Who knows how much….. your brain can handle at one time, it doesn’t just have to be stress or trauma, maybe to many details about things that are important and must be done immediate.  Who knows how much trauma comes back  at one time.

A final thought.  If it is so easy to put the pass trauma behind and move on, who would hold onto it.  It affects so much of who we are, what we think of ourselves, how we cope with situations and for me, a lot of memory gaps.

I and only l know how much my brain can handle and no one else.

I have to know when to say enough. I can’t do anymore.

I have to protect what is an already fragile mind because part of it is permanently damaged.

Don’t let anyone push you more than your brain can handle and stay healthy.

Love to all

 

 

 

 

I can make it on my own….

One of my favorite songs is by Patti La belle: It’s a new day”

I am going to print the lyrics and put them in my car and on my mirror and yes, even the door to the garage.

Everyday is a new day even though the bipolar is there and I don’t know how I will be that day.  Will I function well, be manic, depressed, have mixed episodes.  I don’t know and I am not silly enough to even try to think ahead and figure it out.  I just know that it is a new day and anything and everything good, bad and not so good can happen, but life is never boring.

One line of the song says,” I decided long ago, I can make it on my own.  Gonna be alright, gonna be alright, yeah”.

Today I realized how true that is.  I remembered that 10 years ago before I moved out of our marital home, I said to myself, I am going to be alright.  I can make it on my own.

Mary J Blige,” I can do bad all by myself”.  So, if I can do bad by myself, I damn sure can do good all by myself.

I have to be able to be alright and do good by myself before someone comes along.  He needs to see, damn she has what??? and has it together.  She is a fighter every day to live on her own terms despite the terms the bipolar sets for her.  I admire her spirit and tenacity and how she advocates for herself and others.  What an amazing woman.  I can love her through the ups and downs.  I may not know what to say at times, but I believe just being there for her without judgement, knowing it is her illness, will greatly help keep us together.

If no one comes along for a loving relationship, I am still gonna be alright.  Life is good whatever state of mind I am in because I was depressed, manic, suicidal,  had mixed episodes and rage.  I lost some relationships along the way, that will never be repaired.  I have had to accept that some people in my family do not understand, but it is what it is.  It is a sick part of my brain.  I am happy to know that it does not last forever.

I am reminded of a scripture in the bible says, God will put no more on us than we can bare.  Well, that has been true in the past and I have to keep holding on to that when I wonder how will I get through this because I am not only gonna be alright, even in the midst of chaos, I am alright because even though it does not feel like it at the moment, this depression or mania will pass.

 

 

Life is totally awesme in spite of

Having a mental illness sucks, at least that is my opinion and lots of others.

Out of all the diagnoses I have had over the years, mental illness  is one of the hardest not only to accept,  but fighting it gets tiresome.  It is a never ending battle.

In spite of having a mental illness, I say, life is totally awesome.

Now, just let me explain.

I used to have a friend that was depressed 24/7.  I really felt for this friend.  I could never imagine what that must feel like.  I have a hard time going through hours (mixed episode), days or months being depressed.

Last year, when people started asking me how I was doing, I would say “life is totally awesome”.  Understandably this friend said life was not totally awesome.  No answer of encouragement came to my mind.  My friend had been living like this for years.

It was a draining relationship for both of us. This friend could not deal with my bipolar roller coaster and I could no longer handle their 24/7 depression.  My friend used to laugh at times but then told me it took an effort for them to laugh when they did.

Life is awesome to me because I feel blessed and happy to wake up  in the morning.  Then it continues because I can dress and feed and clothe myself.  It is also awesome because despite having a mental illness there are many good days.

Don’t get me wrong.  When I am depressed it is the furthest thought and comment from my lips.  Thankfully since I have been wearing the Emsam Patch (for major depressive disorder) I have had more good days of peace than days of war.

I did not enlist,but was drafted kicking and screaming.  Sometimes I still kick and scream for the battle of depression to stay its’ distance.

If I can remember to look in the mirror and say, Life is totally awesome, maybe, just maybe I can escape it or at least hold it back a little so it does not have total victory.

Finally, let me jsut say, if nothing else, waking in the morning is the start of an awesome day.

love to all

pb