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.

 

 

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Like a see-saw

Highgate Park - Playground - See-saw
Highgate Park – Playground – See-saw (Photo credit: ell brown)

Up and down I go.

Sometimes day by day and sometimes moment by moment

Nevertheless, I go up and down

Like a see-saw

That is what mental illness has been like for me.  The high side is the mania and the low side is the depression.  Hard to balance alone.  That is where my support, resources and coping skills come in.  Still, I am never quite even, but it’s okay as long as I don’t fall off (that would be a tragic end).

I keep the faith that one day I will be able to return to work or start my own business;  one that will allow me flexibility for the down times of bipolar.

I cannot control the when, but I can most of the time control how I respond in a storm. Controlling my response by using my tools and my support system, keeps me from falling off the edge.

Still, some down time may be required to get back on track before I hit the ground.

So, I keep hope and faith alive.  One day things will fall into place.  Without hope and faith of this, there is no fight in me and I have to keep fighting in order to keep living with the mental illness so it does not take me out.  I am more than bipolar.

So are you, so be good to you

love to all,

pb aka peanut butter

Today, I purpose to have an awesome day

If I don’t purpose it, I won’t try.              Image

If I don’t try it, won’t happen.

This is what I need to do daily

Sometimes I meet my goal of an awesome day and sometimes I don’t

But if I don’t make the attempt by making plans to,

I definitely won’t succeed if I leave it up to bipolar.

Why?

Because when I am down, I stay down

When I stay down, I just keep sinking further into the whole of depression

When I am mainstream, I still have to purpose to have an awesome day or stinking thinking will creep in

and before I know it my days don’t seem to have any sunshine in my heart or my mind

and I begin to get sad and sadness turns into depression once stinking thinking is allowed to come through my lips.

I must remain conscious of this goal throughout the day and daily because I cannot leave it up to bipolar.

My mood can shift at anytime without any warning.  So this goal must stay in the forefront of my mind.

Today, I purpose to have an awesome day.  My job is to have an awesome day.  An awesome according to me.

Purpose to have an awesome day and be good to you

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Hope to see you at the support group meeting this week.  Southeast branch of the library on Hamilton Rd. 6:45-8:45pm

Living moment by moment

Waves breaking at Porto Covo, west coast of Po...
Waves breaking at Porto Covo, west coast of Portugal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I find that living with bipolar 1, also known as manic-depression.  I must live moment by moment and not always day by day.

In addition to bipolar disorder, I also struggle with anxiety and panic disorder.  They seem to go hand in hand for me right now.  But I am working it as well.

Anxiety and panic can turn my life upside down at the drop of a hat.  One minute I am fine, the next minute I can be experiencing feelings totally out of my control and for what seems to be no apparent reason.

When this happens, whatever I may have planned to do may have to wait.  Whatever I was doing, may have to stop.  There is no warning and so it is not something I can prepare for.   I can be in normal rhythm, manic or depressed.  It has no set time.

I am struggling with bipolar and am striving to be mentally healthy all while trying not to sweat the small stuff.  Easier said than done some days.

But,  I will do what I need to do and take my medications, go to therapy, attend groups, attend support groups and read and educate myself to new coping skills and ways to combat all that I struggle with.  Sometimes daily and sometimes, multiple times during the day.

After all is said and done, is is still marvelous to be among the living.  As long as I am among the living, there is hope for a brighter day.  I am not waiting for a brighter tomorrow.   I have to do all that is within my grasp to make today a brighter day whether it starts out that way or not.

Sometimes, I fail, but I try again tomorrow.

 

 

Happy to be me again

06022012 Rear Flank Storm Structure
06022012 Rear Flank Storm Structure (Photo credit: StormLoverSwin93)

I feel good. Stronger mentally and emotionally.  I feel more relaxed and a better me.  Worked on some issues that contributed to my depression that I did not know existed.

 

At first I was fighting being hospitalized because I was sure I knew what I was depressed about, but I was kidding myself and doing a good job of it.  When I stopped fighting myself for being there, the real work began.  I discovered underlying issues that needed to be worked on.

 

Rainbow lorikeet in Victoria, Australia.
Rainbow lorikeet in Victoria, Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The experience was bitter sweet because I wish it could have been avoided but when we need help and run out of answers we need to take it to the next level of care.  Now I know what else to work on.

 

I am also going to research where I should go if I get into this situation again.  Where you are can help you accept hospitalization more quickly and get on the road to recovery sooner.  You may not need total hospitalization.  You may only need partial, but you need to know your options and where to go ahead of time.  Get something in place and let someone know.

 

With bipolar disorder, you might not know the cause of the depression or what triggers it, but when it becomes overwhelming you should not be afraid to seek out help.  You may need to reach out to someone in your support group or to your therapist, psychiatrist or even go to a hospital.  Just get the help you need.  It is vital.  Remember, mental illness does not go away.  There is no cure, but it is treatable.

 

love to all.  be good to you and purpose to have an awesome day.

 

pb aka peanut butter

 

Next Mood Disorder Meeting

The next meeting date for the Mood Disorder support group is Thursday November 7th at the Southeast branch of the Public Library on Hamilton Rd.

Rethink Mental Illness
Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This support group is peer led and open to anyone with mental illness who wants support and informative information from people who care and know what you are going through.  Family members and others who know people with mental illness are encouraged to attend.  Sharing is optional.  It is totally up to you.  We learn from each other.

For more information e-mail pb at mybipolarworld52@gmail.com

Meeting time is 7-8:30 pm in the conference room to the right as you walk in.

Hope to see you there and hear you share if you want to.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Knowing when to get help

2011-06 Hawaii
2011-06 Hawaii (Photo credit: whsaito)
2011-06 Hawaii
2011-06 Hawaii (Photo credit: whsaito)

Long time no posts.  That is because I was in the hospital.  I knew when to get help.  The depression overtook me and it was too much to bear so I went to see my therapist and we both agreed it was time to go to the hospital for more help.

If I could have chosen a different facility, I would have and would not have spent the first few days fighting being there.  I have heard repeatedly that OSU and Dublin Springs are good places to go if you have to seek out help at a hospital.  That being said, I am glad I was hospitalized.

It was good to be around people and not to myself.  The group sessions were all about something I needed.  They were thought provoking and let me know that there were hidden issues I needed to deal with and that was a starting point.  Even Art Therapy was helpful.  It gave me food for thought and direction where I want to go in life from here.

Being around others with similar problems was a big help.  We understood each other and we did not judge each other.  We talked and learned from each other.

I came out  with new insight, uncovered issues to work on with my therapist and feeling totally new again.  Ready for life.

I know challenges are going to come again with the depression and mania, but I am confident, that I will be able to handle them knowing that I have a stronger support system now and being willing to reach out to them.

It is good to come up with a game plan for extra help before you need it and to use your support system when you need it.  My problem is that the support was there but I did not want to be a burden.  I used have used every lifeline I had but the flip side is that perhaps I would not have realized other underlying issues that contribute to my depression and not have started working on resolving them.

be good to you and purpose to have an awesome day.

pb aka peanut butter

Mood Disorder Support Group Meeting

Meet Here
Meet Here (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)
English: "Wilshire Room," company in...
English: “Wilshire Room,” company in Playa Vista May 26, 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether you or a loved one has bipolar disorder, panic-anxiety disorder or any other disorder, this support group is for you.  Join me for the first meeting at the Southeast branch of the Columbus library on Thursday Oct. 24 from 6:45 pm. -8:45 pm.

The library is located at 3980 S. Hamilton Rd. (between Big Boy and Wendy’s), Columbus, Oh 43125.  Since this is the first meeting it will be in the conference room to the left as you enter the library.

I am very excited that we are finally getting a support group going.  Right now this group is for all mood disorders.

We will be meeting on the first and third Thursday of every month at the same time and location with the following exceptions for November.

Thurs. Nov 7th is the same time, in the same room

Wed. Nov. 20th is 7 pm. – 9pm in the large meeting room

Thurs. Nov 21st is a daytime meeting: 12:45 pm to 2:45 pm in the conference room.  This will be the only day meeting unless more people would like to meet during the day, then I will add day meeting alternating weeks as well.

December 5 th and 19th go back to the regular time of 6;45 – 8:45 pm in the large meeting room.

January dates have already been set for Jan. 2nd, 16th and 30th.

Right now the meetings focus on all mood disorders.  If there is a large enough group to warrant a second support group for bipolar disorder, I will start one on alternating weeks as well.

I would love to see you there if you can attend.

love to all and be good to you

pb aka peanut butter.

Sharing shows you care: pass it on

What I mean by the title is that by sharing our experiences of the highs and lows of bipolar and how we survive the storm or keep it from getting out of control shows that we care enough to pass on the information to help someone else.

Yes, I agree.  I just wrote a mouthful, but now I am going to share somethings in my bipolar toolkit”

I use a small spiral bound index card book or a small photo album with something encouraging written on the outside like the word “Journey” is on one.

Every section is color coded so I know where to go when in “crisis mode“: emergency contact numbers like therapist, psychiatrist, names and numbers of people in my support that I can call and talk to.  911 if I feel like I am out of control and need help NOW and cannot reach anyone.  If I feel a danger to myself or rage causing me to be a danger to someone else.

Another color and section is “maintenance“.  These are things I must do everyday whether I feel like it or not, if I want to stay on the path of wellness.  I have one thing listed on each index card.  Ex: one card says keep appts whether you want to go out or not.  Another reminds me to take my medication same time each day.  It has a time frame when to take each med and remind me to eat breakfast so I can take my a.m. ,meds.  Yes, I have to make a note to eat because I get up and get started on my projects or my work and forget to eat, therefore forgetting to take medication.  Put whatever you can make a routine for wellness and put each item on an index card or whatever works for you.  Most importantly, I sit outside on the patio and play a game.  It frees my mind so it can have time to relax and I can reflect on what makes me tick and how to tick better with the battery (bipolar) I have.

Depression” We know that being bipolar means there are times we will be depressed.  When I started getting depressed I look in my toolkit because I don’t think logically or focus or want to do anything.  But if I do one thing, I look in my toolkit under the depression section (remember, each section is color coded so I know exactly where to go).  I do something written on one of the cards, like watch a funny movie, I even write the name of the movie so I don’t have to figure it out.  I sit outside on the patio.  If I am going to just sit, might as well sit outside and get some vitamin D from the sun and take in some air.  It helps clear my head.  Looking around me outside, reminds me I have so much to live for and so much to do, so get up and do something.  The things I put in the toolkit tells me what to do, like call a friend who makes me laugh, do art therapy, look at myself in the mirror and make funny faces.  All of this may sound illogical or nonsense but it works.  Do what works before you sink into the black hole of deep depression.  Remember, the medicine doesn’t cure us, it gives us a window of time to think and respond.

Now, the big one for me is “Manic“.  I want to do everything, stay up all night, do every errand in one day.  Stay out all day, trust me, I do find things to do.  Talk excessively and on and on.  When I get hypomanic, (the calm before the storm that lets you know a manic storm is coming).  Toolkit time.  Run to it.  One card says in big letters: “When manic, do not drive”, another says “Do not Shop”  another says Do Yoga.

These are some things in my bipolar wellness toolkit.  I carry them with me so that when that light switch is turned on, I can get a jump on what is coming.  No, it doesn’t always work, nothing does.  But, it does help and I don’t go to the extreme end of the either pole, when I use it.

When it doesn’t work, that is what speed dial is for on the cell phone.  Therapist, Psychiatrist and mom.  Speed dial.

Purpose today, to have an awesome day, by doing at least one thing for yourself and to look in the mirror and smile.  Smiling gives you less wrinkles.  Depressed or manic, who wants more wrinkles.

Love to all of you,

Just call me peanut butter because my initials are PB

Facebook community page for mood disorders

Please checkout this Facebook community page for mood disorders.  It still shares information about bipolar and depression, but it is also for people with PTSD, panic and anxiety and any other mood disorder they would like to share their thoughts, stories and resources.

https://www.facebook.com/mooddisorder.support

I will continue to post resources as I come across them.

I am also planning a mental health seminar in the near future.  There is still to much stigma about mental illness and we will not be able to educate everyone at once.  But if we educate one person at a time, maybe more people will get the support system that we all need.