Give me a tiny violin

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When people would just complain and feel sorry for themselves or have a woe is me attitude like I have been having over the last few posts one would hand play an imaginary tiny violin.

Thank you for bearing with me while having my pity party.

Well, this is my tiny violin for whining.

I read someone that family, friends and sometimes even us, cannot tell the difference between the behavior: is it the illness or just us, in my case, a little of both.

Now that I no longer have that woe is me attitude ( some me and some the illness)  all is well again (it appears to be alright now, but who knows when it will show up again)

It does create havoc for both me and the person who gets the brunt of my irritability and paranoia.  I have to hope that the other person can tell the difference, me or the illness.

I am asking the impossible.  How can they tell, when sometimes I can’t tell.  By the time I realize I am in anger or rage mode of mania, it is too late.

So far I have been forgiven but how much more can they take of behavior they do not understand?

 

Please try to understand, it’s not the real me

I don’t know how anyone else feels living through the mania part of bipolar but it stinks for me most of the time.  I am tired of cleaning up messes I make during mania.  The messes are not just relationships but with my life in general.  i get off course, lose focus and have to regroup when it’s done.  Sometimes there is more mess than other times, but that is the way it is with bipolar.  I can only apologize but I cannot guarantee that there will not be another mess ever again.  That I know would be illogical.

I know my family and friends care about me, but they truly don’t understand and I get it now. I don’t think they can understand that i am not the true me with manic behavior.  I know I have not been able to get them to understand that it takes me to places that I normally would not go.  By that I mean I do things that are not characteristic of me.

I have outbursts over the most insignificant things because when I am manic it is as if my brain turns backward.  As I said before, what is logic becomes illogical and what is illogical becomes logical (that’s the only one I can explain it).  Because my logic is illogical it causes problems that normally would not exist.

My patience is ever so thin with people except other people with mental illness because I know they understand. No explanation is needed.

People that I spend a great deal of time with who really know me can tell when something has shifted. They may not understand what mania is or what bipolar is but they know that I am what I have told them is called “manic” when my behavior is erratic.

When manic, I am able to go all day without eating or drinking anything,  My mind and body are in a constant state of go.  I am driven to keep moving, to keep going from place to place until my mind finally gives the okay to go home.  Once I am home, sometimes there is another battle.  My body says go to bed, the mind says not yet, we have work to do.

At first mania is not so bad.  It is great being able to keep a hectic schedule when you live alone.  You appreciate having things to do to keep you going until time for bed.  After a while, I stay out later and later and I stay up later and later.

When mania finally has had it’s fun with me, I am tired and now I have to regroup and get my life back on track. Fortunately, I have been able to remain steady in doing the most important things in my life, I just have to give the body rest and take a mental health day and do nothing that requires thinking.  My mind needs a rest so the brain has time to shift back into the correct position.

One thing that has remained:  I never stopped Persistently Pursuing my Passion as a Peer.

After all, who knows the struggles of mental illness better than someone living it?  Who else can give you hope and encouragement for a better tomorrow and help you on your journey to get to where you want to be?

A Peer.  We help each other

love to all,

pb: Persistently Pursuing my Passion as a Peer

Laugh in the face of not so good news

Today I got some not so good news back to back and all I could do was laugh.

What were my choices?  I could take the news, accept that there were no options, climb inside myself and cry till there were no more tears.  The second, choice (I gladly made) to laugh and realize that life is still good and these issues were just hiccups in the greater scheme of life.

People who know I have bipolar but don’t really know me, might say, I was laughing because I was manic.  Others who do not know me, may not refer to my behavior as manic, but would think my behavior was odd.

Well, the truth is, despite life’s’ upsets of mental illness symptoms, setbacks, physical ailments, unpaid bills, job loss and everything else, life is exciting and we need to learn to laugh more than we cry.

Because I took the second road, I was able to think clearly and resolve at least one of the problems and chose not to stress over the other.  There is a solution for the other, I just have not found it in my tickle box yet.

Having bipolar disorder with mood swings does not mean we are always either depressed or manic. It does not mean our response to situations mean we are exhibiting certain behaviors ascribed to mental illness.  Sometimes we are just being us.  I am just being me.  I would much rather laugh than cry.

Sometimes the way I respond to things is just my personality and it is okay.  I like being me.  I think having bipolar adds to me being uniquely me.  After all, it puts me in a group of special elite people like the ones who read my blog and others I come in contact with from time to time.

I am not saying, I am glad I have a mental illness, but if I dwell on it being a negative, I will live a life of misery and find no reason to fight to stay mentally well.

I did not ask for mental illness no more than I asked for any other illness I have.  Just as I have accepted having other illnesses and chose to try to live healthy, I need to do the same with bipolar.  Once I know my triggers, I need to avoid them if possible and deal with them when they cannot be avoided.  It just makes life more of a challenge.

One thing we can say, there are no boring spaces in our life when living day to day with mental illness.

Give mental illness symptoms a fight and embrace all the good parts you can and make the not so good parts better when you can.  Remember, episodes are storms that we have come through in the past and will continue to go through.  Never give up.

My name is Patricia.  I am positive that I am powerfully persistent at trying to bring a smile or a voice of understanding to all I meet on my journey of life.  Bipolar is another avenue for me to go down to meet others and try to make them smile or laugh even for just a moment in time.

Make someone laugh today, even if you only make yourself laugh for a brief moment.

love to all,

Positive and Persistent to cheer you on, Patricia

Me and purpose

The more I attend groups at this place name COVA, the more I discover about my true self.  I learn about my personality, my strengths, weaknesses, what I have to give to others, etc.  The most important thing I have learned is to love me, to realize that I am someone special, even if it is just to me. I am the one person I should seek to please because I am the one person who I can never get away from.  Out of all the people in my life, I need to have my own approval in regards to decisions I make and things I do.  I need to be happy with me.

I know I live with bipolar disorder (manic-depression) everyday,how can I forget, but there is more to me than the symptoms of bipolar.  There is more to me than the unplanned behavior that comes front and center in my life when it chooses for me to be manic or depressed.  I have learned to accept that the people in my life have not yet realized that I do things differently when manic or depressed.  The way I act, feel, respond, think, etc, changes when I am manic or depressed.  What normally is logical is now illogical to me and vice- verse.  When in an episode no one can tell me different.  I challenge what they say when I am manic and ignore them when I am depressed because I do not want to talk, I also do not want to hear.  One thing I wish people would realize is that when I act in rage, it is not a fore-thought that I will respond to situations in that manner.  Rage is something that I do not call upon, it calls upon me.

Here I am continuing to gather tools to help me cope with rage and other symptoms.  I am proud of me for taking the steps to continue to live mentally well with bipolar.  I am not trying to boast or brag (about what), but I am learning to recognize the good in me and the fact that I am persistent in learning to handle my illness and not have the illness dictate how I live.

As I walk around this place, I feel good about myself.  My confidence and self-esteem has increased. Most importantly, I have found purpose for my life and it makes me realize and accept that I am even more special with the bipolar disorder.

Having bipolar disorder has brought me to this place to learn about me.  I learn about my personality and what makes me tick when manic and depression are not front and center.  I learn how to handle not only my bipolar illness but my other medical issues as well.  Being in the program, going to groups, talking to everyone here including staff people has all happened because I decided I want to go back to work and needed help preparing to do so.

When I first came to COVA, I thought I would learn skills like Microsoft Office, or some other job oriented skill.  What has been more valuable is getting coping tools so that when I get a job and symptoms or triggers come, I will have tolls in my arsenal to stop them or lessen the effects of them.  I had never had that before so when a hiccup or bump in the road came across my employment path, I would just stop. The symptoms were so bad and I had no support person to talk with and I would give up.  I felt I had no choice.  If I had support people like I have met here, things would have been different.

This shift in my life has made me believe my purpose is to help others on their journey to living mentally healthy (their journey called Recovery).  I am going to be attending a training class called Certified Peer Specialist.  The most important thing they look for in this type of job is experience, life experience.  I want to take all the good, bad and ugly that has happened in my life and I have overcome, and use it to encourage/ help someone get to their point of self sufficency, joy and pride in self and living mentally and phycially healthy.  I want someone to hear about me or see me and realize, that their life can change and they can have their hopes and dreams realized, even with a mental illness.

I think having a mental illness brings us to places in life we normally would not go. We change careers to accomodate the symptoms, we surrond ourself with people who undertand and therefore can be a support for us or a cheerleader,  “you can and you will do it”.  Do what?  Get past where you are now and get to a better place.  I will be there to help you.  That is my purpose, to share of me so that someone else will not only see themself as they are (suffering with mental illness, or drugs or alcohol) but as what they can be (conquerors and champanions of their life).

People are surprised when I tell them I did cocaine and crack and was a heavy boozer and pill popper. I am always told I do not look like it.  When we learn to manage our mental illness and our our illness of drugs and alcohol, we do not look like what we went through.  We become heroes to ourself and we look and feel marvelous.  My purpose is to help others become their hero and to feel marvelous.

I am writing this in the library with phones ringing and children crying, I hope this post makes sense to those who read it.  Comments are always delightfully welcomed.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

What an awesome day

My emotions and my anxiety are all over the globe this am.  Was up early as usual.  Tried to sleep until at least 4:30am.  but did not fare too well with that task.  No wonder I love sunrises.

Globe
Globe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At that time of morning I was already involved in a couple of projects between the two floors.  Trying to focus on on project at a time was out of the question.

Right now, I am blasting music in my ears in hopes of calming down long enough to get out of the house and drive.  It has already taken a while to get dressed.

Need to go out today.  Not just for the bipolar wellness but also because I have bills to pay if I want to keep living on my own and in control of my finances.  I have to fight to do the right things.  I do not want my privileges to have to be monitored.  I want to be trusted by my family and support group people that I can and do take care of self.

Sometimes mania or even depression may present a challenge becasue I can’t just stay in the house.  When I go out, sometimes spending money other than on bills makes me happy.  I have a trick for that meny spending.  Go to the thrift store and buy cheap books that you are interested in.  It doesn’t matter if you never read more than the cover.  You will always have it and can see where you spent the buck or two.  You spent money and feel better.  The same for childrens’ books and toys and stuffed animals.

Sometimes, medications become an issue but that is always going to be a work in progress.  And yes, I can conentrate more with the music blarring than in silence sometimes.  It helps me keep the train of thought focused becasue I have to try harder to concentrate on what it is I am trying to say.

Feel good right now, but the anxiousness is still there.  I think the thought of having to wait for the anxiousness to subside is causing more anxiety.  If I can just get out of the house, I can go to the store and walk off some of the anxiety.

Funny thing.  I know there are people out there who walk the same path as well.

Footprints in sand, Vero Beach, Florida.
Footprints in sand, Vero Beach, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll say it again.  I would not wish mental illness or anyone, even someone I don’t consider a friend.  No one deserves to be manic and depressesd, up and down.  Feel like you are losing your mind.  Full of fear of the unknown brought on by panic and anxiety.  Living in the past because of triggers that take us back mentally.

No one deserves to live like this.   To lose family and friends, becasue they don’t understand or just can’t take the irratic behavior anymore.

Right now I am okay and will venture out.  But someone is not okay.  To you I reach out and say, give yourself some time.  You will get there.  You will be able to leave the house; get out of the car, do what you need to do.  Stay encouraged.  We all go through it.

take care of you

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Theme change

There seem to be more gloomy days than bright ones filled with life moving about.

I thought a change in theme scenery would be in order.

I even changed some of the hanging pictures in my house.  I took down the traditional season change pictures and hung the summer ones with the boat and water.  Refreshing.

When I glance at it, it reminds me of summer.  An outdoor time.  Outdoor represents freedom.

Right now, I am exercising my freedom to feel alive and to work on me.

After I see the repercussions of my actions of lashing out because of rage, isolation or whatever the case may be, it makes me want or need to work on me.  To find a better way to express my self, although I don’t always know the why I did what I did or the why I said what I said.

I just know I am tired of pushing people away.  So, change of visual focus and time for change.  Time to try to change how I react/ respond and communicate with those I love before it is too late.  Before it is just me and no one around me.

Mental health does not have to make us push people away.  I think sometimes it is inevitable because they have to set boundaries to protect themselves from us.  From our outbursts, from our behavior or responses that they nor we, don’t understand.

Be good to you.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter