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.

Went to far

So it seems as though my last post “Can We Talk” went a little too far.  It appears that I am probably the only one with this problem.

I apologize for those of you who may have found this topic offensive.

On another note.  I am struggling to figure out what actions are bipolar and what actions are just my personality.  Sometimes the lines get blurred.

One of my children says I am outspoken and I am.  I know that is my personality. Being outspoken can be a good thing when you an advocate for yourself or others.  Your voice is the one that fights not only for your rights but the rights of others who have not yet found their voice.  Some are too shy and never will.  That is when being outspoken is a good thing.

On the other hand, it can produce negative results or cause one to be offended, such as the last post.  It can also destroy relationships whether we mean to or not.

I have learned that every thought we have is not for us to say out loud.  This takes great discipline because it causes us to pause and think for a moment the possible consequences that thought might cause.

Even though the lines become blurred at times, there are some signs when I know it is me such as laughing.  When I am me or not heading for or in mania, I laugh at normal things that are funny.  When manic, things are just plain funny, whether others think so or not.  At times I just sit and start laughing.  I have heard people say, “She is in her own world” and I am.  No one knows what I am laughing about and everything is funny to me.

Being outspoken takes a little more thought.  When in a group, I tend to say what I am thinking whether I agree or not.  I say it with an example so everyone understands and most everyone agrees.  It is just that some people are shy but when someone else expresses what they are thinking it brings out what they want to say.  That I know is my personality.  When I just start saying random things and do not care about others feelings on the subject, I know it is not me.  Being insensitive and hard on people is not me.  People do not complain about this.  They just think I am having a normal bad day, but I know the difference and those who know my illness know it is not me.  I am generally a happy person and life is as the character Forest Gump says,” life is like a box of chocolates. you never know what you’re gonna get”

The last part is when I am irritable.  If I can figure out why, then most of the time it is me.  However there are times when I cannot tell if it is me or the bipolar because I may not be able to figure out the cause.  It can be something or someone triggered me.  It can lead to self harm.  Am I self harming as a result of being irritable or am I self harming because I feel misunderstood.  I know it is two in one, being irritable and self harming.

Finally, I truly believe out of all my diagnosis that are current and the ones I am waiting for a report, mental illness is truly a BITCH.  It does what it wants, when it wants.  It is a daily fight.  So is having cancer ( I am a two time cancer survivor. These statements apply to what I have experienced and how I feel). However, if cancer is caught early enough, most times, something can be done to treat it whether surgical or some other form of treatment.

Mental illness cannot be cured. Time and different techniques have been tried and failed.  Hopefully many of us are getting treatment and following our wellness plan.  The sick part of our brain cannot be operated on to make it better.  There is no treatment to make it go away.

The only treatment that works for me is compliance with going to psychotherapy and taking my medications as instructed.  Honestly, sometimes I fail at both.  Yet, because I know it is a matter of giving up and losing my life or fighting and living,  I choose to get back on my regimen and live as long as I can.

I do hope this is a better post that more people can relate to.  I do realize that many of the issues I have are are not experienced by everyone or even a majority of people with  mental illness.  Those who do experience it, may not be willing to share.  It is a personal thing.

I share, my experiences, good, bad and not so good in hopes it will help someone to understand they are not alone and it is nothing wrong that they did, it is the illness.

One thing I hope we all agree on:  at times, our mental illness has a way of ruling what we think, our actions based on what we think, what we perceive as real, even though it may not be real.  It is not our fault.  It is one of many characteristics or symptoms of mental illness.

love to all,

hope this helps someone whether they comment or not.

100_0492
Peace within

 

A different kind of year

I am totally loving my life this year.  I don’t just mean from January 2014, I mean this year as in from 09/2013 to present.

First of all, I must thank God that I have not been depressed.  Last calendar year,  I was depressed starting late September and did not start to feel better until Dec. 2013

I thank God that my medication(s) have been the same for the last year.  The Dr. did add another medication {Latuda}.  It is for mania but sometimes it also helps me sleep.  It is a bonus when it does.

Overall, I have been doing and feeling very well.  I have been awesome.  Life is awesome.   When you purpose, plan and pursue awesomeness within yourself, you can have an awesome day.  That’s all we can ask for on a daily basis.

 

Love to all,

pb

PERSISTENTLY PURSUING MY PASSION AS A PEER SUPPORT

Everyone needs a hand up

A lonely disease

I see over and over again how lonely it is having a mental illness.

My family does not seem to see or know the difference when something I do is out of my character and is part of the mental illness.  Most of them seem to think I do illogical, irrational and selfish things just to do them, which is not the case.

There are things I do and behavior I display when manic that I would otherwise not display.  It leaves me feeling that I am a mean person rather than the nice person others seem to think I am.

I feel like an outsider with some of my family members but then I feel silly for having those feelings when called out on them.  What do I do with these conflicted feelings?   I accept that my feelings are my feelings and that I should keep them to myself and move on with life.  It is only a hiccup.

I am trying to accept that some will never understand my illness.  They believe that if certain things would happen in my life,  I would not be dependent upon medication or that my depression would leave for good or at least impose a visit less often.

I have bipolar 1 and I will always be on medication until the psychiatrist tells me I don’t have to be.  I don’t see that happening unless the medical field finds a way to cure our sick brains of the chemical imbalance that causes the bipolar besides, I know what I am like and how I struggle when I am off medication.  I don’t think they would like what they would have to deal with to be around me.

Sometimes I think I will be alone the rest of my life without a companion.  I need someone who can see and know the difference when I am manic and when I am not.  He has to be strong for the both of us when I am depressed.  He has to not give up on me or us and know that I will come through the storm.  I already know I will.  When I am with my family while manic or after mania, I don’t feel this will come to fruition but when I am well or alone, I have hope and I will keep hope alive.

I am alone most of the because I don’t want to have to explain my behavior every time I get manic or have been manic.  I feel like I am hurting important people in my life with my manic behavior but they don’t understand, “It is what it is” and what it is, is manic-depression.  Some things I catch in a thought before it happens, other things are not a thought just an action that surprises me just as much as it does them.  I have to live with the consequences, they don’t so please cut me some slack.  It is not easy to clean up manic messes.

Despite having to be alone most of the time, I am doing okay with me.  I am enjoying the sane parts of my life and dealing with the not so sane parts.  What else can I do; go inside a cocoon and stop living just to protect the feelings of others.  If they really knew me, they would know it is not really me.                                                                                                                                                                                        I wish I never acted out on impulse, felt alone, had to clean up messes and all those good things that come with being bipolar, but it is here to stay so all I can do is learn how to roll with the punches, stay focused, positive, embrace all the good in life I can by going after my dreams and making them come to fruition.

At the end of the day, I am who I am and I have to love me.

stay positive, focused and live your life to the fullest

Love to all

pb: Positively Pursuing my Passion as a Peer Supporter

Everyone needs a helping hand and an understanding ear

Fight

We have come a long way in treatment methods for people with mental illness.

Even though we have made great strides in treatment, stigma still surfaces and rears it ugly head.

How can it not?  Everything in society supports it: tv shows, movies and even the news makes sure we know when an incident involved someone with a mental illness.  How can we fight stigma when it stares us in the face almost everyday and why would we fight it?

First, I must fight it because I am SOMEBODY.  My name is Patricia and I am POSITIVELY POWERFUL AND PRECIOUS.  My name is not mental illness, nor is my name bipolar.  Bipolar is a medical condition of the brain called mental illness.  It is not something I control, although I can control responses to my symptoms (in my case, it is with medication, psychotherapy and taking care of me).  If I do not fight stigma, it becomes acceptable and it should NEVER be acceptable.  Once it becomes acceptable I am saying it is okay to call me out of my name, to treat me less than you and to devalue my life.  This will never be acceptable.  I am equal to all I come in contact with regardless of who they think they are.  We are all human beings.

Fighting stigma requires persistence.  It is not a one day battle and go home. It is ongoing.  People need to be educated to what mental illness really is and that it has no boundaries. Mental illness can and does happen in every family, whether it is in the immediate line or not.  Everyone needs to know stigma hurts, it degrades, it takes away hope of a better life from people struggling just to make it through the day one moment at a time.  We need to be vigilant in educating people, standing up for ourselves when called out of our name or treated as less than.  We can go to the rallies and stand with our peers as a united force for change.  Our politicians need to know we deserve better health care and more services to support us.  We are just as productive as everyone else.  We must advocate for ourselves and for those cannot.  We must band together.

Mental illness can be isolating but we don’t have to be alone.  We need to help each, support each other, encourage each other and advocate for each other.  We are brothers and sisters.  We are an connected: we just have not met yet.

There is so much we can do, but everyone with a mental illness has to get involved.  It is up to us because it is our life.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Getting it together

Wow.  It has been some year.  I don’t mean a calendar from January 2014 but a year from last September until today.

I have been feeling really good without a visit from depression and with only a couple of small episodes of mania.

When things happened this year that normally would have set me way back in the past,  happened, I bounced back quicker than I have in the past. Using the tools from my bipolar toolkit with additional skills learned from IOP last Oct and Nov and from COVA groups, I have been getting it together.

Understanding my illness better and knowing the difference between what is my personality and what is the illness has helped me grow as a person and has caused me to appreciate myself.  I really care about and love me, all of me: the good, the bad and the not so pretty parts that are a result of the bipolar.

I am learning to control my anxiety better by recognizing when something does not feel right and addressing it sooner rather than later.  To address an episode of anxiety, I try breathing exercises: if that does not work, I take my medication before it gets worse and continue to breathe and talk my way through it.  I have to set boundaries with people that cause anxiety in me whether we are face to face or speaking over the phone.  Communication with these people have to be kept to a minimal for my health.

I know that if I am in a situation (say a job) and start feeling anxious and breathing exercises are not working and I cannot calm down by talking with one of my support people, then I know it is time to remove myself from that situation.  If I stay in it and have to take anxiety medication on a regular basis, it is time to remove myself.

Case in point:  Over the summer I had a part-time job.  From the first day, I got an anxious knot in my stomach but I thought it would go away.  At the time I started the job, I had stopped taking anxiety medication.  Soon after starting the job, I had to start back taking it on a regular basis.  I started feeling heaviness on my chest the night before work and on the morning of. When taking 1 to 2  pills a day as prescribed did not help, I knew it was time to leave.  I got it together quit and have never looked back,

Getting out of the house everyday (one of my goals for mental maintenance)  and having a place to go that feels like home has help make a difference in my life.  I am surrounded by peers who understand me without explanation and it feels great.

I have and continue to learn who I am, what is me and what is my illness.  Learning helps me make better choices and when I can’t quite figure something out, I have people I can run things by and their suggestions give me food for thought.  Making decisions are not based on circumstances alone or what may seem logical in general,  but also on how they will affect my mental health.

I am getting it together.  I am finally on a journey to living my dreams instead of just dreaming.

Depression and Mania, you are no longer in control.  Though you might rear your ugly head, you will not win.  I have weapons (tools and people) to fight you and fight I will.

You do the same.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Mainstream is boring

I am truly thankful that I have not been depressed but it seems as thought I have not been completely myself either.

Anxiety still gives me problems in the morning and that I can do without.

I remember when things seemed to make me laugh so easily, now it takes effort to laugh.  Sure, I laugh sometimes but not nearly as much as before.

That laughter was energy and now even though I have the energy to function and do the things I need to do, I don’t experience the high energy of fun.  I don’t seem to make people laugh anymore and that is the part of me I miss and so do my friends.

I wonder if this is the mainstream just above depression and maybe the medication needs to be increased.

I miss the silly, high energy me, filled with new projects.  I haven’t thought of any new ones in a long time.  Even my home office doesn’t motivate me right now.

I wonder if it is bipolar or just the weather but I miss all of me being present everyday at 100 percent plus some.

Love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Sleep

I am starting to get up at 3 a.m. again.

I don’t know why I cannot sleep but it is frustrating.

There was a time when I thought it was okay to be up that early.

My mind and body said, get up and I would get up rested and ready to go.

Now, I want to sleep later but sleep eludes me.

I know the importance of sleep when you are bipolar.

Lack of sleep can lead to mania so I am trying to get the proper amount.

The medication that used to help me sleep does not work at all now.

I feel lost all day, although not depressed (thank God).

I rise early and one day seems to drift into another.

When I do fall asleep it is not for long and one sleepless night turns into another.  It is quite frustrating.

I spend most of the night tossing and turning trying to stay asleep until finally I cannot take it anymore and have to get up.

Then what do I do?

Not much

I journal whatever comes to mind and wait for 5 am to start taking medication.

After 5 am what do I do?

I might work on my book and journal whatever comes to mind.

I do whatever I can think of to pass the time until daylight peeks through.

Once daylight peeks through you would think I would be okay.

I have been up for hours and have done everything I can think of just to get to this point.

Now I am lost as to what to do so my day is the same as yesterday, doing nothing and waiting for sleep that will come but not last.

I want to work but my therapist wants me to wait a little longer.

I have been on the anti-depressant patch since mid November and have had 2 dosage increases.  It seems to be working now, but I guess I should give myself some more time to stabilize.

In the meantime, I remain sleepless as part of my bipolar.

pb

Back into the swing of socializing

I have been having really good days and sleeping better.

I think I can safely say the anti-depressant patch is working along with my mood stabilizer.

I am feeling better than I have for longer than I have in a really long time.  For months.

My thinking is back on track, my confidence is back and my anxiety is down.

I am not depressed, sad or manic.  Even though I am even keel, I still feel creative and able to tackle my projects.

I am enjoying life again.

English: A sunny August day at the beach at Jo...
English: A sunny August day at the beach at Joss Bay, a rural beach not far from Broadstairs in Kent, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Usually when I am feeling better, I tell myself, I don’t have bipolar.  But this time around it is different.

I know I have bipolar and I have to keep maintaining.  I can’t go off the medicaiton or miss dosages.  I have to keep going to psychotherapy at least once a week.  It is just as important as taking the medications.

I have to get involved in activities with a group of people, make a social connection.  Make sure I get involved in things that take me and keep me out of the house and engage my mind as well as my body for overall health.

If I do these things know, it will help me recognize the signs of a possible relaspse more easily.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

Hope

I cannot put the last few days into words.  I have been down and even keel.

Pocket beach at The Cape of Good Hope
Pocket beach at The Cape of Good Hope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even keel, up early and earlier during the day.

Sleep: earlier and earlier.

Wake up, take night medication, then sleep again

and up earlier and earlier and the cycle starts over again.

Even keel just existing.  Trying to make some sense of my life and where to go from here.

Hope

Hope that during one of these even keel moments I will find peace and answers of what to do with my life.

I am tired of just existing.  Up early and earlier.  Sleep earlier and earlier and more and more.

I work on who I could be while I am awake and drift off to sleep hoping I find the answer when I wake up.

The depression seems to be lifting, although slowly, it is lifting.  Now what?

I am not up. Not hypomanic, not manic, just here.

Don’t get me wrong, at least wherever here is, I can think until I fall asleep with hope.

Here is better than depression, hopelessness and giving in to the emotional pain that is unbearable.

Hope is where I am at now.

pb aka peanut butter