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.

Tears, tears, go away today

I know tears are a way of relieving pain or can be an expression of joy.

For me, many times, it is just the bipolar having it’s way at the moment.

Lately, my moments seem to be very often and I am not feeling any relief.

Sometimes I am sitting in the library and I just want to cry.  Sometimes, the tears start filling my eyes and I have to stop and breathe in and out for a minute or two.  When this doesn’t work, I have to get off the computer and leave the library.  I know the floodgate is about to open.

Some days and nights I am okay with being alone and then I begin to cry because I believe this is the way it will always be.

I tell myself I have accepted being alone, but when storms hit my life, as it does everyone, it would be great to have someone to talk with, to reassure me they are there to listen, to encourage or to just be there without either of us saying a word.  Just hold me close and let me feel your heart beating.

Recently, some things happened in my life that I did not deal with.  I did not even realize it caused me to be under stress.  When I realized how critical the incidents were, I began to cry and cry for the last few days, including today.

Some say, rain, rain, go away, come again another day.

I say tears, tears of sadness, lonesomeness, deep yearning for love: tears, tears, go away today.

Who am I kidding?  Certainly not me.  The tears may leave for a moment.  Sometimes they may be a reaction to something sad or happy.

But I know that they are mainly because of the bipolar.  I can be in a room full of people or alone watching a comedy and I just start crying.  I go into the bathroom and cry when I am out in public.

Damn this f***ing disease.  I have a number of health issues, but I think this one is the b**ch of them all.

I have cried so much this month this far, that I have already gone through a month supply of anxiety pills.  It takes twice as much to bring me back to a functioning state of mind.

What the hell.  Am I not already suffering knowing my brain is sick and will always be.  Sometimes it seems sicker than at other times, but the truth is, the sickness is always there.   And as long as it is sick there will always be tears for no reason or out of no where.

I only wish, more than no tears, is that family and friends would not consider me overly sensitive and realize it is part of the mental illness disease I have to live with everyday.

Tears of bipolar, go away and take the agonizing pain with you.  O if it were that simple.

Holiday: smile or tears

The start of the holidays are upon us.

Thanksgiving

Christmas

The New Year’s Eve Parties

These are really rough times for me:  crying for unexplained reasons.  Sadness creeping in to the point that I have to be aware on a daily basis all throughout the day that it could easily turn into depression.

These are the main times my thoughts are mixed.  On the one hand I desperately want and feel I need a special man in my life to remind me of how much he loves me and that we will get through this together.  We will find a way to make things stay stable so I don’t sink into that nasty depression.   His arms around me with my head on his shoulder will be comforting and reassuring.

On the flip side of the hand, I might be okay with not having anyone there. I don’t have to worry  if what I am going through will drive him away.  One more deep cutting hurt that only time will take away.  In the meantime, the pain in either case, is excruciating.  I cannot even begin to explain the how this pain feels.  I do not have anything to compare it to.

The difference is that with someone, I am not alone in the storm.  I have someone to hold onto tightly.

The second, not only am I in the storm alone, but I believe all the negative things the storm speaks to my mind.  The strongest thought: I will never have anyone in my life.  The first scenario will never materialize.  Any man seeing me in this situation will run.

So, what do I do????

I have to keep moving.  Stay on the move mentally that is.  When I drive, not only do I listen to music, I have to blast it.  Ironically, sometimes it chases away the sadness, even though it is but for a moment.

I have to be someone there are people.  We don’t have to socialize with each other, just knowing someone is there in the same building lets me know help (conversation, if I need it, is right around the corner).

Times like these (holiday season) I would almost rather be manic.  (Stable is preferable of course, enjoying the holidays would be great)  At least I would find projects to work on, even if I have to create them.  I would find things  comical and be able to socialize better.

But holiday season is never near the feeling of mania.  So, I take it day by day, trying to find things to help me get through the before 5pm part of the day and then the after 5pm part of the day.  Then there is the weekend.  No solution there just yet.

All in all.  I am constantly working on trying to find a solution.  I may never be happy holiday time (not even visiting with all my family) but I would like to be able to smile when around others.  A genuine smile.

I may not have expressed myself clearly.  The bottom line, I would much rather skips the holidays which is the depression season and go to the Spring (my manic season).  at least for a little while.  mania has its own problems.

I guess the real bottom line is that living with bipolar sucks.

 

 

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.

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.

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.

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

To be alone on Christmas day or not

I am not manic so I have no reason to stay away from my family on Christmas yet I know it is going to be stressful and that is making me think twice about spending time with them.

I know I cannot stay away because I am sure they want to see me and will not understand that I am concerned about triggers.

Maybe what I can do is to go late in the day when perhaps some of the stress has died down and have a short visit.  I know I must check in with myself throughout the visit so I will know when things are starting to get away from me.

Does anyone else get stressful when they are spending time with family on a holiday?  Are there things that trigger you?

Please share with us.

Be as happy on the holiday as you can.  It’s another day, that we are blessed to be alive.

love to all,

pb aka peanut butter

Persistently Pursuing my Passion to be a Peer Specialist because everyone needs a hand up

Felt less than

Has anyone ever felt less than by someone else who has mental illness?

It never ceases to amaze me how some people with mental illness behave as though they are above someone else with a mental illness because they may be a therapist, counselor or in some other position in mental health.  Sometimes it may just be someone who works and looks down on someone who does may not be able to work because they are not yet stable with their illness.

We are all in the same boat regardless of what we do or do not do in life.

When you have a mental illness, you can be in the same position as the one you look down upon.

Everyone is in a different place on their recovery journey toward being mentally healthy and we all need to be remember that we have the right to be treated with the same respect and dignity as someone who is stable and can work and do all the things they want to do.

One day those who are struggling daily with their illness will reach a point of stability and be able to live above where they are now.  They will be able to work, to travel, to be left alone with grandchildren, to live alone, to do whatever the illness has put on hold for them now.

Be patient, not condescending.  Be encouraging and lift us up instead of putting us down with words or actions of ignoring us when we speak.  We are here.  We deserve to be heard just as you do..

Remember when you were not stable.  Remember when you were so depressed you did not know if you would ever have a “normal” life again.  Remember when you were manic and did things you knew were not normal for you to do but mania took over.

Remember, just remember and change how you treat us.

Mental illness has no boundaries how it treats us.  You can be depressed again and lose hope.  You can be manic again and cause destruction.  This is a lifetime thing with no guarantees of forever being well.

Remember and encourage, lift up and give a hand up.  Listen, respect and be there for those who are striving to be well.

love to all,

pb: Persistent Pursuing my Passion to help others on their journey to better mental health and a life they only dreamed of because of mental illness.