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?

 

 

A little lost

At one point I felt I was on a good path to doing some good things in my life to help other people.

Lately, I feel as though I am just walking in circles.  I have no idea what I am doing.

I feel as though my head is in a fog.  I have no idea what type of work to look for and that makes me a little sad.

I want to just pick up and leave everything I have and get in my car and drive until I reach a place that feels like home.

I need to feel the sun on my face everyday.

I want to see the ocean from the window of the beach house

I see myself walking along the edge where the water just touches the sand and the sandy golden retriever is right by my side.

I see myself in a white free flowing dress and big white hat, dancing on the beach while there is no one around.

At the end of the day, I see my few friends and I sitting around a fire, laughing, listening to music and dancing with the flame of the fire.

I see nothing beyond these things and that makes me feel lost because in reality, I cannot see any of these things.  I do not know how to make them happy.

Right now I am in limbo.  I still say, Life is Totally Awesome and it is.

For me though, there is something missing.

Do you ever feel like there is something spectacular missing in your life?

I know these dreams are not because of my mental illness, but yet I do not know where they come from.  Some of them have always been there.  These dreams are so vivid, I can almost touch the sand or pet the dog.

I long to be someone other than here.  Here in the state i live.  Here, other than in the state of mind of limbo I find myself in.  I am not manic, therefore I am not creative enough to think of how to make these things happen when there are no visible resources.

I am not depressed so I am not feeling hopeless like they will never happen.

Just in limbo.  Mental limbo.  This is what I envision, this is what is real, yet these dreams seem so out of reach.

confused??? so am I. 🙂

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.

A different kind of year living with bipolar

This time last year I was suffering with major depression.  It had been going on for a few months to the point I had to be hospitalized for a week followed up by intensive outpatient therapy for a month and a half.  At the time I was discharged from the program, I had just been put on the anti-depressant EMSAM patch for major depression.

I started wearing the patch in early November and did not start to feel like my old self until late December.  The only problem was that I could feel nothing.  I had no depression but I also had no joy.   My emotions were flat.  This was better than being depressed but was not the fun me that I knew.   I was not completely out of the woods by my standards and would not be until I was laughing again.

The dosage was adjusted again and finally the real me emerged.  No mania, no depression, just me.  I was happy again.

As the spring passed and summer came, I was still feeling good.  I had one major episode of mania that was completely different than anything I had experienced before.  It was scary.  I was not me at all.  I was living as though I was two different people and I was extremely glad when it finally passed.  My doctor had to put me on additional medication for a while but it worked.   The side effects were too great and now that I am stable again, I do not need to continue taking it.  Another victory: the added medication was short term.  A victory because less medication is better if not needed.

Once the summer began to come to an end, I became fearful that the depression would return and made a plan to try to escape it.  I use the maintenance part of my toolkit to maintain a mentally healthy way of living for me.  It works.

It has been a year since I have been on the patch and I did not have to have any medication adjustments for depression since I was diagnosed in 2007.  I feel mentally healthier than I have in decades.

This was a different kind of bipolar roller coaster ride, not one I would want to repeat, nevertheless, not as bad as the other roller coaster of mania and depression several times a year.

love to all

pb: Persistently and Passionately seeking to be a Peer Support to all who want a hand up and someone there who cares and understands.

 

 

Proud of me and loving me

What I have learned about me.
I love who I am and make no apologies to anyone.
When you see me, you see the real me: the good, the bad and the not so good. So when you love me, you accept and love all of me.
When you have me as a friend, I am your friend for life and I have your back.
I am not perfect and I do not strive to be. It is am impossible task for me and I use my energy to perfect the areas that I am proficient in and learn things I currently have little or no knowledge about.
I try to love everyone with the love of God because my human love fails.
I am a Precious human being, created by the almighty God.
I am Persistently Pursuing my Passion to be a Peer to Specialist in Mental Health and AOD because everyone needs and deserves a hand up.
I am a Mental Health advocate because I am tired of stigma attached to it. My job is to educate people so they do not continue to stigmatize people who are just like everyone else without a mental illness.

Bipolar does not define who I am.  There are no two people with bipolar who are the same, just as no two people without mental illness are the same.  We are all unique individuals with a lot to give.

We all love and desire to be loved.  We need and want to be needed.  We appreciate and want to be appreciated.  We understand and want to be understood.  We hear and want to be heard.

We are just as proud of ourselves as anyone else.

Above all that I am, I AM UNIQUELY ME

love to all,

pb aka peanut butter

No not manic, but Eureka

English: sunrise on adriatic sea Italiano: alb...
English: sunrise on adriatic sea Italiano: alba sul mare adriatico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, I know.  A little overboard with this Eureka thing.  But feeling good this morning.

Wide awake and up since about 1, 1:30.  Popped up like a jack out of the box.  Singing and making melody in my heart.

A little exercise, a lot of moving around.

Got coffee, did some reading.  It’s Eureka

I feel great.  Has the depression cloud finally lifted?  Is there a tad bit of hypomania on the rise?  Is this even keel again?

The only one I know the anwer to is that yes, I do beleive the depression cloud has lifted.

Time now is 3:23 am and I thought I would have been going back to bed by now or feeling anxious.  But I feel wonderful.

It is as if the sun is already shining. As though I have watched a beautiful sunrise and now my body is ready to tackle the day.  I am energized.  Depression and energy do not go together so I know, it has lifted.

English: Sunrise over the sea in front of Alas...
English: Sunrise over the sea in front of Alassio (Italy). Deutsch: Sonnenaufgang über dem Meer vor Alassio (Italien). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in mental health recovery mode.

I have to take it a step at a time.  Still enjoy the Eureka moments, try to pace myself and not get out of control into mania.  Sometimes when I come out of depression, I climb into mania.  Hypomania is good becasue that is my creative and productive side.  Full blown mania is out of control and much less productive.

Thanks for all the support and words of encouragement.  It really helps to know that people know what you are going through and how you are feeling.  It feels good to have your feelings validated and not be told to snap out of it or expected to just get over it or worse to hear, “that happens to me too.  I must be bipolar too”.

enjoy Eureka moments

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

The sun is shining within again

Sunshine
Sunshine (Photo credit: rkramer62)
Sunshine!
Sunshine! (Photo credit: Chickens in the Trees (vns2009))
English: Sunshine and Nettles. Enjoying the ea...
English: Sunshine and Nettles. Enjoying the early morning sun on its wings by the shore of Spynie Loch, Morayshire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sunshine in Greece
Sunshine in Greece (Photo credit: Guillaume Cattiaux)

Feeling good on the inside.  Enjoying the Eureka moment this morning:

English: Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quin...
English: Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia Shining in the September sunshine by the road to Hoarwithy at Red Rail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s good to feel the sunshine on the inside again.  I expect it to last for a while.  That is my goal.

The goal is to use all the tools in the wellness toolkit to keep the sun shining and to push gloominess out of the way.  I will not speculate my success rate, just concentrate on Eureka moments inspite of today’s outcomes in every situation.

Goal: Good mental health day.  Letting Eureka rule and not manic-depression, not anxiety.  Use all tools in toolkit.  Enjoy the image of sunshine and imagine feeling it on my cheek.  Let the smile out and the joy in.  Use that image all day despite how the weather is on the outside.

No sunshine.  Let the sun shine on the snow or through the rain clouds.  Let the sun shine on the inside and the smile on the outside.

Enjoy your Eureka moments all through out the day.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

New dose of anti-depressant

I am now on day 3 of the higher dose of the anti-depressant patch.  Is it too soon to kown if it is working?

Nothing has changed yet so maybe it is too soon to tell.

Depression Cycle
Depression Cycle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still sleeping at odd hours and getting up between 12 and 1:30 am.  Try as I might, cannot go back to sleep.  But I must also say that sometimes I do go to sleep around 4 or 5 in the afternoon and sleep for hours.  Then I get ready for bed and may or may not take my night meds and go back to sleep.  All in total, I get between 5 and 7 hours off and on.  I guess I am doing good.

I wish I could stay sleep longer because soon after I am up, I want to cry.  I can’t seem to stay even keeled right now and have not been able to do so for a while.

The last time I remember being on good mental health ground was in April of this year and even then I was manic most of the time.  Once the mania left I started going downhill.  This way and that.  Up and down.  Manic and depressed and then the mania stopped.  Just depressed.

Moments of laughter, but nothing stayed.  The depression is always lurking, sucking the ilfe right out of me.

I have an appointment with the therapist today and I don’t know if I am going to keep it.

Even though I have been up for a while and it is still not daylight yet, I have no desire to get dressed or leave the house.  Hopefully, that will change once daylight hits.  I am usually able to force myself out of the house but this morning feels very different.

I have already been in and out of being on the verge of crying and am still trying to keep it together.  I do not want the floodgates of sobbing to start.

I purpose to try to have a eureka day, but it doesn’t feel like it.  It feels like I’m in a battle that isn’t going very well.  Where is the sunshine in my heart, in me?

peanut butter aka pb

Tools, tools: Use them and survive the storms

A toolbox, from Biltema)
A toolbox, from Biltema) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I mention my mental health wellness toolkit or tools quite often.

 

That is because using them really works (the majority of the time).  I have only had one hospitalization in about 3 years.  I had to change my life diet (places and things that caused triggers or were not productive for my mental well being) and start using coping skills to get through the storms brought on by manic-depression episodes, that I call storms.

Lately, I have had to use my depression tools since I have been off of anti-depressant pills.  Sunday I start the patch for depression and it has not been easy.  As I have posted, it has been like a roller coaster ride.  When I start using the patch on Sunday, the storm is not over.  It will still take time for the medication to get into my system and begin to work but the roughest part of the storm, I hope, is behind me.

Just like a toolbox is divided into sections so is my toolkit. In the depression part are tools like: watching a funny movie, calling someone and just talking about funny things going on in their life.  I also get dressed everyday and put on a light colored top.  It doesn’t have to be a bright color, just not black, blue, brown or any other dark color.  I put on lipstick.  Again, not a dark color.  I put on all the things I would put on if I were feeling great and going out with a friend, even though the opposite is true.  I don’t have to think what to do in order not to sink deeper into depression because all the information is in my toolkit and I just have to look at it.  I have recently added meditation to my toolkit and deep breathing.

These tools even help when I am manic.  Light a scented candle and sit comfortably or lie down.  Concentrate on your breathing in and out. I like to concentrate on my breathing because I actually forget to exhale when I am manic.  This slows my breathing down so I get air in and out along with the feelings of anxiousness or sadness.

The breathing helps me focus on something other than the racing thoughts.  I get the thoughts under control.  It especially helps me when I am doing it with someone because even though I want to stop and talk, I don’t want to open my eyes and see them concentrating and I disturb them.  It is not hard doing it alone because I now know the benefit of doing it.  It slows me down.  It helps calm me from doing impulsive things (which is characteristic of my mania).

I rely on my tools because I know they will get me through the storms of mania and depression.  They may not take them away but they do keep them from escalating.  For instance, since using the tools for mania, I don’t overspend.  I don’t make impulsive buying decisions.  I purposely stay out of the stores, even the stores I call the treasure hunting stores.  I do the opposite when feeling depressed.  I will go treasure hunting because I have no desire to spend money, but it gets me out of the house and around people.

Develop your tools for coping in mania and depression and use them when you see the storm coming.  Just like people prepare their homes for a hurricane, prepare yourself for mania or depression by having tools in place before the storm hits.

Purpose to have an awesome day according to your own definition of awesome.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter

On top of the world

Is it the beginning of mania?  Has mania already started and this is the sign that I recognize?  I am feeling on top of the world and loving it

Zugspitze von der Alpspitze aus gesehen. Links...
Zugspitze von der Alpspitze aus gesehen. Links der Jubiläumsgrat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I see this photo and it feels breathtaking.

It truly explains in a picture how I am feeling right now at 6:06 am.  Actually I woke up at 4 am feeling this way and it is getting stronger.

I am sitting here in pjs wondering if I should take a break and take my stuff back to the library.  I just want to get out and feel that air in my lungs as I take a deep breath.

This photo represents to me a feeling of being on top of the world.  That nothing is impossible.  The world is mine and all that has been predestined to be mine, I want it and I am going after it.

Bipolar does not have me today.  The ugliness and the battle fatigue of fighting depression and extreme mania are not with me right now.

I am enjoying the moment.

That is what life with or without a mental illness is about.  Enjoying the moment.  That is truly what we have right now.  That is what our wealth is right now.  The moment.  For this moment I am rich.  I am exhilarated.  I am a survivor.

Be good to you and purpose to have an awesome day.  Purpose, plan and work the plan.  Use your wellness tools to have an awesome mental health day and your body will get with the plan.

To help you get started, look in the mirror and smile the biggest smile you can muster.  It may not be easy because depression may be standing there, but try.  Try to push it aside just for a moment and smile. Let that smile stay in your heart.

If that doesn’t work, spin around and try to grin.  Do whatever your mind tells you to do that will make you smile.  Eat a bowl of ice cream for breakfast.  Sneak a peak at someone you love sleeping.  Do something that is the opposite of being depressed.

I don’t believe we can talk depression away (as it has been suggested I can do), but we can try to fight it.

So, plan to have an awesome day and plan to kick depression in the a.. by planning to smile for a moment or laugh or chuckle for a moment just to break through that darkness.

Remember, although we do not know each other, we are bond together by mental illness and that makes us a community who care about one another and are pulling for each other be have an awesome day.

Nothing beats a failure but a try.  Nothing beats a frown but a smile.  Nothing brings light into darkness but our try.

love to all

pb aka peanut butter