Daily Archives: December 9, 2013

I Want To Be A Mentor

I have been endlessly inspired by the number of young people out there video blogging about their experiences with bipolar. I just completed my thirty-fifth rotation around the sun. Thirty-five years of life has taught me much, but I’m certain there is an infinite amount to learn going forward, and much of it can be derived from those who are younger than myself.


These brave young people are taking technology and using it in a miraculous way. They are telling their stories, unashamed, and unencumbered by social pressure and stigma. The fact that they are sharing their struggles (and hopefully triumphs) with immense honesty means that others who aren’t feeling so open can benefit. It means these kids/young-adults are not alone, and they can relate, which is so important at that age. People with bipolar are not freaks of nature. We are all individual creations with unique blessings and gifts, and struggles to surmount. I’m sure some of these young bloggers don’t realize the power of their actions, but I do.


I’ve been so inspired by the progressive openness that each generation seems to offer. It made me think. Is there such an organization like the Big-Brother / Big-Sister organization that allows older people to be mentors to teenagers and young adults who have bipolar? Wouldn’t it be powerful if people like myself, who have had the great benefit of excellent care and family support, could act as guides to those who are coming to terms with not just adulthood but also a mental illness. I want to be a great example of just how positive your life can be if you take control of this diagnosis, and learn to work with it.


Maybe there is a parent out there who needs a little help with this subject. It would be an honor to participate constructively in shaping a young life into something brilliant. I offer this to my own children, but it doesn’t need to end there. There’s no reason that I can see to limit my work, and only concentrate on the adult population, of those dealing with bipolar.


Please pass my message around. I live outside of San Francisco, but there are video chats to be had, and geography shouldn’t limit anything. I hope others will join me.

Disorganized Chaos

This is the brain:  













This is the brain with bipolar disorder:









Did you see what I did there?  Remember those commercials with the skillet and the fried egg?  “This is your brain.  This is your brain on drugs?”  Yeah…?  No…?  Well, anyway, you get the picture.  Get it?  You get the picture?  ‘cause I used pictures?  HA!  Gotcha twice!!  Sigh.  Okay.  I’ll just dive into the post and quit with the poor attempt at humor.  For now, anyway. 

I thought it might be time to lighten things up a bit and maybe provide a bit of insight into the bipolar brain.  After my initial diagnosis, I was amazed at how much *“Flo” was able to tell me about myself. 
The bipolar brain is hardwired differently from “normal” (whatever that is) brains.  Do you wonder if there’s such a thing as a normal brain?  I have three sons with definite, diagnosed mental illness yet they seem quite normal.  I know what they deal with, but most people are completely unaware. I might even consider the other two to have OCD. Everything has to be in place and major purchases are researched to death.  Yet, they walk around out in society, completely undetected. 

Notice what happened there.  I drifted off into a completely different direction than the one in which I started.  Typical bipolar stuff there, peeps.  Very similar to ADD.  But a little different. 

Okay, okay!  I’ll get to the point!  Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on TV (though being an actor on TV would be fun!) but I’ve done a lot of research and spent a lot of time in the yellow room at Flo’s office and in the chair at my current therapist’s office.  Need to come up with a name for her.  She’s really pretty and very knowledgeable.  Her office recently underwent a makeover and is much more comfortable.  My psychiatrist’s office is also very comfortable.  The chairs available for patients are amazingly soft and cushy.  They envelope you with comfiness when you sit down.  I’ve never seen the stereotypical psychiatrist’s couch, more’s the pity.

AAAAACCCKKKK!!!!!  I did it again!  Once more totally off track.  I swear I’m not doing this on purpose to make a point.  This is literally a few moments inside the brain of the bipolar person.  Half-finished projects.  Disorganization.  You should see the inside of my purse!  I actually thrust it in the face of my psychiatrist to show him what it looked like and told him it was an extension of my brain.  He said that’s normal for someone with my diagnoses.  Well, thank you very much!  And my crafting area…you don’t wanna see it.  I sit down sometimes to try to make some sense of it and I’m totally overwhelmed. I find myself being sidetracked with something of no real importance just to ease the stress on my brain.  Youngest son was frustrated at one point by the disorganization of the kitchen.  I asked him to organize it for me and he did a great job.

Can you understand the feeling of inferiority this causes?  My desk is currently covered with my medications, a three hole punch (don’t know why it’s there…I didn’t do it), speakers for my computer, a Mannheim Steamroller CD and an Elton John CD, a necklace, a bracelet, a mug, oh…two more bracelets, a computer ink package, a Celtic Woman “Home for Christmas” CD (highly recommended), my favorite Bath and Body Works body spray, a bottle of perfume, an essential oil vial, and a blood pressure cuff. Also, my monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  No cat at this moment, which is unusual.  My desk is 19” wide and 41” long.  I feel like Pigpen from Peanuts…I can clean it and it almost instantly becomes cluttered again!  The same with my purse.  POOF!  And it’s a mess. Sadly, I don’t know what to do about it.

I try taking it one step at a time…as I mentioned in my first blog post, start at the beginning…but then I start doing the sidetracked thing, run out of time and need to cook dinner, or fold laundry (oftentimes it doesn’t fully get put away) and it starts all over again the next day.  That’s assuming I’m even able to do anything.  Remember, I may have bipolar disorder, but the main way it’s exhibiting itself right now is with major depression disorder.

I know it has to be very frustrating for my family but fortunately they’re extremely patient with me. In fact (Oh, left out an item on my desk. I don’t know what it’s doing there but it’s a bottle of leave in conditioner for hair) my husband gets annoyed when I apologize to him.  And I catch myself apologizing a lot.  He’s asked to me quit.  He has his own brain cooties in the form of neuropathy and we’ve promised each other to quit apologizing for the limitations our illnesses place on us, but I insist on feeling guilty and apologizing.  I’m getting better, but it’s difficult.

Sometimes I feel like taking on the world!  And sometimes I feel beat up.  Today is a take on the world day.  Think I may do some laundry.  Maybe even put it away!  Wouldn’t thatshake up my family…?
I’ll say it again, I’m so humbled by the love I’ve felt from my readers.  Thank you for having my back.  And please know I’ve got yours. 

*Not her real name

Disorganized Chaos

This is the brain:  













This is the brain with bipolar disorder:









Did you see what I did there?  Remember those commercials with the skillet and the fried egg?  “This is your brain.  This is your brain on drugs?”  Yeah…?  No…?  Well, anyway, you get the picture.  Get it?  You get the picture?  ‘cause I used pictures?  HA!  Gotcha twice!!  Sigh.  Okay.  I’ll just dive into the post and quit with the poor attempt at humor.  For now, anyway. 

I thought it might be time to lighten things up a bit and maybe provide a bit of insight into the bipolar brain.  After my initial diagnosis, I was amazed at how much *“Flo” was able to tell me about myself. 
The bipolar brain is hardwired differently from “normal” (whatever that is) brains.  Do you wonder if there’s such a thing as a normal brain?  I have three sons with definite, diagnosed mental illness yet they seem quite normal.  I know what they deal with, but most people are completely unaware. I might even consider the other two to have OCD. Everything has to be in place and major purchases are researched to death.  Yet, they walk around out in society, completely undetected. 

Notice what happened there.  I drifted off into a completely different direction than the one in which I started.  Typical bipolar stuff there, peeps.  Very similar to ADD.  But a little different. 

Okay, okay!  I’ll get to the point!  Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on TV (though being an actor on TV would be fun!) but I’ve done a lot of research and spent a lot of time in the yellow room at Flo’s office and in the chair at my current therapist’s office.  Need to come up with a name for her.  She’s really pretty and very knowledgeable.  Her office recently underwent a makeover and is much more comfortable.  My psychiatrist’s office is also very comfortable.  The chairs available for patients are amazingly soft and cushy.  They envelope you with comfiness when you sit down.  I’ve never seen the stereotypical psychiatrist’s couch, more’s the pity.

AAAAACCCKKKK!!!!!  I did it again!  Once more totally off track.  I swear I’m not doing this on purpose to make a point.  This is literally a few moments inside the brain of the bipolar person.  Half-finished projects.  Disorganization.  You should see the inside of my purse!  I actually thrust it in the face of my psychiatrist to show him what it looked like and told him it was an extension of my brain.  He said that’s normal for someone with my diagnoses.  Well, thank you very much!  And my crafting area…you don’t wanna see it.  I sit down sometimes to try to make some sense of it and I’m totally overwhelmed. I find myself being sidetracked with something of no real importance just to ease the stress on my brain.  Youngest son was frustrated at one point by the disorganization of the kitchen.  I asked him to organize it for me and he did a great job.

Can you understand the feeling of inferiority this causes?  My desk is currently covered with my medications, a three hole punch (don’t know why it’s there…I didn’t do it), speakers for my computer, a Mannheim Steamroller CD and an Elton John CD, a necklace, a bracelet, a mug, oh…two more bracelets, a computer ink package, a Celtic Woman “Home for Christmas” CD (highly recommended), my favorite Bath and Body Works body spray, a bottle of perfume, an essential oil vial, and a blood pressure cuff. Also, my monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  No cat at this moment, which is unusual.  My desk is 19” wide and 41” long.  I feel like Pigpen from Peanuts…I can clean it and it almost instantly becomes cluttered again!  The same with my purse.  POOF!  And it’s a mess. Sadly, I don’t know what to do about it.

I try taking it one step at a time…as I mentioned in my first blog post, start at the beginning…but then I start doing the sidetracked thing, run out of time and need to cook dinner, or fold laundry (oftentimes it doesn’t fully get put away) and it starts all over again the next day.  That’s assuming I’m even able to do anything.  Remember, I may have bipolar disorder, but the main way it’s exhibiting itself right now is with major depression disorder.

I know it has to be very frustrating for my family but fortunately they’re extremely patient with me. In fact (Oh, left out an item on my desk. I don’t know what it’s doing there but it’s a bottle of leave in conditioner for hair) my husband gets annoyed when I apologize to him.  And I catch myself apologizing a lot.  He’s asked to me quit.  He has his own brain cooties in the form of neuropathy and we’ve promised each other to quit apologizing for the limitations our illnesses place on us, but I insist on feeling guilty and apologizing.  I’m getting better, but it’s difficult.

Sometimes I feel like taking on the world!  And sometimes I feel beat up.  Today is a take on the world day.  Think I may do some laundry.  Maybe even put it away!  Wouldn’t thatshake up my family…?
I’ll say it again, I’m so humbled by the love I’ve felt from my readers.  Thank you for having my back.  And please know I’ve got yours. 

*Not her real name

Frozen Pipes, Coffee, and Ice, Oh My!

……and winter is still over a week-and-a-half away. Bleah.

We woke up this morning to frozen pipes, thanks to the weather service which told us the low would be 18 degrees last night. God knows how cold it really was, because when I woke up at 8 this morning with the sun brightly shining, it was zero. According the local news, it’s still zero……I think their thermometer’s busted. It doesn’t GET that kind of cold here. And I don’t care what people from harsher climes may think: this is just. too. damned. cold.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I’ve got a bad case of cabin fever. I haven’t been able to get out of my driveway and go anywhere in four days. Now, there are times when I voluntarily don’t go anywhere for four days—in fact, I usually enjoy not going anywhere for four days. But now that I CAN’T go anywhere, I’m feeling claustrophobic and crabby. Go figure.

So, having no water means we can’t take showers, do the dishes, even flush the toilets. And since we can’t get our car up the ice rink that passes for our driveway, there’s no way to go to the store and buy any. For some reason, the city folks didn’t believe the weather people either and thus didn’t prepare for the snow and ice; so the roads have been dicey, and with our lack of 4-wheel drive and traction devices we might as well be marooned on a desert island. (Which would be just fine…..at least it would be warm there.)

Necessity being the mother of invention and all, we took buckets outside and filled them with snow, which is turning out to be useful stuff after all. Will even made coffee with some melted snow this morning, filling my heart with gratitude as it warmed my poor frozen innards. I am NOT one of those hardy pioneer women who can chop a cord of wood before sunup and have a roaring fire going in the stove while fixing breakfast…..let alone do without coffee!

So now Will is dozing, being rather weary after his exertions this morning in his unsuccessful attempt to thaw the pipes, while I managed to eat some cold cereal, lug the nine boxes of Christmas decorations we decided not to use out to the garage, and light a fire log before settling in here. I have buckets of snow in two of the three bathrooms and the urge to pee. I know the old adage about “if it’s yellow, let it mellow”, but I wasn’t raised by wolves and I never had brothers so I flush each and every time. And I hate, hate, HATE not being able to wash my hands, even though I put out hand sanitizer in each bathroom—yecccch.

I know…..for someone who’s anything but prim and proper, I’m pretty fussy about hygiene. In the meantime, the sun has largely disappeared and the sky is beginning to turn that dirty-aluminum color that suggests more snow might be on the way. It’s certainly cold enough still……it’s struggled to the 21-degree mark thus far and is expected to stay below freezing today (again), but if we’re lucky we might be able to graduate to only two layers of clothing by tomorrow.

You KNOW it’s bad when I start looking forward to rain and 45-degree temps. It’s coming, though….it’s coming. And I know I ought to be careful what I wish for, because I will probably get it, and by January I’ll be sick to death of it and wishing for some “interesting” weather. There’s just no pleasing some people, you know? ;-)

 

 


Someone Turn the Light On

Forgive me for being sparse with post lately but I have been …. well compounded with two depressions. One is my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Depression while the other is me having really bad menstrual depressions. Plus i am Bipolar so it is just not fun to be in my mind right now.

I desperately need some advice. I would usually Google and read journals online myself but my energy is tapped.

See I saw my psych today and she increased my AP and suggested I get a Light Therapy Box for treatment of S.A.D.. There are two different types of lights as I understand and one is for people with skin problems while the other is used for what I need which is the winter time or seasonal depression. She said they range in price from $40-$400, come in different strengths of LUX? or LUV?, and different companies.

Does anyone out there in Blogger world have any experience with these SAD lamps or know someone who does? Does anyone know if insurance would cover it or is it tax deductible? I just have no clue.

Thank you ahead of time for commenting I really do appreciate any advice.

Survival is not Enough

Maurice and I were driving home from a funeral on Friday when the old Gloria Gaynor classic came on, “I Will Survive.” For those who don’t know, this song is considered to be a gay national anthem and one of my personal favorites. It beckons to those of us who have successfully survived deep personal … Continue reading »

An APP for a troubled mind

Can I please give a shout out to an app that has relaxed me. Its in the apple App Store, and it’s called TAKE A BREAK.

While listening to this app I’ve noticed that my stress is always in my head. It’s feels like horrible pressure. It goes down my back, into my legs and hands. While doing this app, I broke down and cried like a baby. I cried because I could feel the pressure and when it was gone I felt good.
I cried because I felt good.
I felt something I haven’t in a long time.

My mind also felt a little at ease, I mean, right now I can feel the stressed feeling entering my body, but the key thing is: I’m actually feeling it.

I have been stressed out so much, for so long, I don’t know what it feels like to be relaxed, to feel comfortable, to feel safe.

To live…


Spaced

Basically shut down today. Didn’t even send my kid to school. She’s fed and dressed, cats are fed and watered..Nothing else matters.

So I sit and stare off into space. Here but not here. Chain smoking. Wanting to be anyone but me because I am so damn sick of this shit. Haunted by the peanut gallery of others’ thoughts stampeded through my brain, reminding me I am a loser and I don’t even try and I am a lost cause blah blah blah.

Because this mood shit has enhanced my life so much. This is my idea of a good time, to never feel the same two days in a row, to never know if I hate something or if it is just a bad mood. I am tired of the paranoia, the anxiety, the uncertainty.

They say if you don’t like something about your life, get off your ass and change it.

I take bloody meds, I try to be self aware, I’ve done the counseling. None of it cures what’s wrong. It’s not possible to cure mental illness. just manage it.

And managing it is as difficult as having it because the meds quit working or you change due to side effects or…

Ass trash.

I need to do some things and yet…staring off into space seems to be the order of the day. It doesn’t happen often but sometimes, a whole day will pass with me doing little more than minimal functioning and lots of space time. Kinda like physical pain you just have to ride out and it will pass or at least not suck as much.

But mental illness doesn’t receive the legitimacy of physical illness. You don’t get allowances for bad mental days. In fact, people scoff and laugh at the notion. Because you’re supposed to be stronger than that, everyone has bad days, yada yada.

Soo sick of it all.

Bitch of it is, in a few months, I will be a completely different person in a different mental space and this dark place will seem distant.

For now though it is all encompassing and it sucks and I just wish I could give myself a home lobotomy and fix it and make myself socially palatable because this being shunned for having an illness thing blows goats.


24 Hours

Image

After a difficult weekend, I find myself looking forward to seeing The Paramour. His voice, his eagerness to make me smile, the way he remembers the little things are like a tonic for my soul. It’s a delightful kind of sleeplessness, a rush of anticipation followed by the quiet awareness of him, of us.

Filed under: Self Discovery Tagged: bipolar, crush, healing, hope, love

Crash crash puke

My day has been shit. Nothing horrendous happened. In fact, snow made me not even leave the house.

But mentally? Basketcase. Itchy and twitchy with nerves. Sinking feeling in my gut. No reason to have hope.

My meds made me nauseous and I puked for the first time in ages. Then fought narcolepsy for three hours with my kid vying for the battery bunny title.

Everything is a mess and I wanna be positive and convince myself otherwise but I am a realist. I am a trainwreck at the moment and no one is exactly lifting a finger to help, they just want to judge and tell me to suck it up. Which is driving me further underground mentally.

I haven’t showered since Friday. My laundry remains unfolded, dishes unwashed. Feed kid, feed cats, that’s my level of functionality at the moment.

I have all these people in my head, telling me to get over it, grow up, tough it out…and I just want to exorcise the fuckers like demons. Because that’s how it feels, like all these demons in my head bullying me.

Which personality disorder covers that particular emotion? Doesn’t matter because ten different therapists and doctors would just give ten different diagnoses and confuse me even more. Not sure that is possible, I am baffled right now by everything.

Let it all burn. Save my kid, save me and let it all fucking burn.

Yeah, it’s been that kind of day. Brain reboot should help. But I’m not Matlock so I am not going to be at 6pm. Still I do hope sleep will make me wake up in a better mood.

Cramps say shark week is coming so chances are…It’s only gonna get worse mentally.