Daily Archives: April 12, 2014

Bipolarly 2014-04-12 19:51:00

“There is a crack in everything.  That is how the light gets in.”  -Leonard Cohen

You’re Just Like Me: OhTemp

This week’s guest will be… me, OhTemp from Bipolar, Unemployed & Lost!I haven’t done one yet so I thought I might jump in line. I am really glad to be able to tell my story and the story of others with Mental Illness. We need to build a better system where we all can achieve maximum quality healthcare and understanding. Don’t give up on yourself and the ones you love.

Please send in your “You’re Just Like Me” Q&A! Love for you to share your story

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So you have a mental illness.. Which one?

Well I was told once Bipolar, but then I was told Depression. They both stink.

 When were you diagnosed & how old were you?

I was diagnosed at age 26. I finally went to see someone when everything in my life started to collapse. I lost my job, I was smoking too much, I was angrysadmadhappy all the time. It was a nightmare.

How do you cope with your mental illness?

I blog and take my medicine. Before medicine it was a 24hr wheel of terror, you never knew how I was going to feel or what I was going to do. It really helped me. Blogging has also become a way for me to express how I feel IN THE MOMENT, so I don’t have to hold it in.

What are 3 words that you would describe how your illness makes you feel?

Horrible, Lifeless, Alone

What are some ways you relax from your illness?

Umm.. I like to blog, haha. I like to do things with people so my mind isn’t always running. I like to eat :)

What is some advice you would give to your fellow soldiers fighting this fight?

If you’re not feeling good, don’t stay in that feeling, go and DO SOMETHING

Music has a great effect on people. Open that old CD you have and jam out. Stress reliever.

Find at least one person to talk to about uncomfortable things. This friend will help you recover faster

Don’t give up or in. Always know that somebody need you.

Tell us your blog or how e can keep in contact with you:

Bipolar, Unemployed & Lost

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From Jennifer KelleyFiled under: Bipolar Disorder

Test email

From Jennifer KelleyFiled under: Bipolar Disorder

Feeling Sappy and Reminiscent

I do promise to finish the series that led me from birth to Bipolar disorder, but allow me to engage in a bit of reminiscent sappiness. This song was recorded when I was three (3) years old in 1974, and has sustained me for the past few days where I have been depressed but not […]

Feeling Sappy and Reminiscent

I do promise to finish the series that led me from birth to Bipolar disorder, but allow me to engage in a bit of reminiscent sappiness. This song was recorded when I was three (3) years old in 1974, and has sustained me for the past few days where I have been depressed but not […]

Mentally overdrawn

That is how I feel. No funds left, overdrawn. Pay the inconvenience fee. Forcing this “be social” thing is killing me slowly. I have nothing left for me now. I need a shower. I want to write. I should tidy up.

Yet I sit here, my ass going numb, playing Word Poker on Neopets because it is honestly the only thing that quiets the noise in my head. It’s like my white noise to cover all the chaotic thoughts of reality. This is mindless because spelling to me is like breathing. I can do this in my sleep.

Grooming, housework, being creative-that all requires focus and thought. I’ve got nothing left. OVERDRAWN.

It’s weird because the day started out okay. Sunny and warm out. I ran errands after Spook went to school. R sent a text asking me to come by. So I did for about a half hour. The man makes me want to puke. I know he is basically decent but he just has some traits that make me…well, want to puke. He can’t be alone at all. Kenny wasn’t there and he didn’t want to be alone so he bugs me. Had I not needed to run food by for the shop cat anyway I wouldn’t have bothered. I am not some substitute for his adoring little shop monkey. I have better things to do. Even if it involves scrubbing mildew from the shower wall, it’s still better than being a security toy for a 51 year old man. And the fact I am only enlisted when everyone else is busy is a little insulting.

Ass trash.

My mood stayed up. Talked to a few of the other moms fetching kids off the bus. I don’t do social. It shows. I try though. I had more success talking to the 4 year old boy waiting for the bus for afternoon class than I did with his mom. She was nice but I had no clue what to say. Now the kid I could talk to because he had an Avengers backpack and I dig Iron Man. Plus Thos has really awesome hair even if the movie did suck. I am just completely inept at interacting with other adults. But I am a kid magnet. Guess they sense my arrested development.

Towards afternoon my mood began to lower. Now it has made a crash landing. I have all these ideas and intentions throughout the day. Then comes my time and…I’ve got nothing.

Tomorrow doesn;t look too good either. I am going to ATTEMPT to take my kid to see the Easter Bunny. One place,one day,two hours…It’s going to be mobbed by the entire parent-kid populace. And me with m panic disorder trying to smile through the anxiety and paranoia. I don’t know how I am supposed to look forward to any situation with that as a possible outcome. That’s not pessimism, that’s logical. Just like I don’t eat spicy food that upsets my stomach, why do I have to keep doing things that upset my brain?

I’m trying.

It’s getting a little better. Infinitesimally so but it’s something.

The petri dish, and its dwellers, make my brain hurt.

In a way, maybe I am bankrupt mentally. And people are emotional vampires tapping a vein and bleeding me dry. Leaving me overdrawn.

I’m being a drama llama.

Sleep will make it all better. Right til I have to wake up. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. Like shampoo but at least it smells good. Life kinda stinks.

 


Nobody Knows (The Trouble I’ve Seen)

Oh man, and Job thought he had troubles…….

The final day of survey was a disaster. My ego was already pretty bruised from the beating it had been taking all week, and it took almost every bit of courage I own just to push myself out the door this morning. The trainer who came with me today isn’t quite as nurturing as the other one, and he let me know in no uncertain terms that this is only going to get tougher: next time I’ll be expected to take on 3/4 of the customary workload, instead of carrying just half a load like this time.

Well, I suspected as much, and I understand that it’s necessary for me to make progress. But knowing that and being capable of translating it into action are two totally different animals, and that’s where I’ve hit a wall. I can’t DO any more than this. At least not while I’m having so much trouble getting the basics, and the performance standards are so out of reach I can’t even visualize a time when I might be able to meet them.

This is nobody’s fault……not even mine. I feel bad that my trainers have been working so hard to try to get me where I need to be without success, and I really don’t mean to be so much trouble for them. But I’m doing everything I can and I still can’t get past the inability to absorb and use massive amounts of information, let alone the utter impossibility of mastering the subtler nuances of this work. I can see the goal, but I can’t touch it, and I’m wasting people’s time (including my own) by continuing to pursue it.

That’s what my mind says……I wish someone would explain it to my pocketbook, because I can’t afford to quit. I would imagine it’ll be talked about fairly extensively at the postmortem (AKA debriefing session) on Monday at the office; then again, I’m also sure that there will be a lot of dialogue about how best to fix the problems so I can move forward. Unfortunately—for perhaps the first time in my life—I am fresh out of ideas. I’ve run headlong into a reality I can’t escape, but I can’t tell these people what it is. How do you fix THAT?!?

Answer: you don’t. Even if I could talk to my superiors about all this, they could never truly understand the place I’m coming from. No one but another bipolar really does. Hell, I don’t even understand it half the time, and I’m the one who lives with this magnificent, creative, broken brain. But I’ve learned enough about the nature of my condition to know that although it has rendered me incapable of some things, my intelligence and critical thinking skills are still intact; I just need to find a way to use them that doesn’t demand what I don’t have to give.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep limping along until I can find another job, or until they decide they’ve seen enough and let me go. As Dr. A  says, sometimes life really sucks, and this is one of those times. :-(


Sometimes I Am Disabled

Most people who know me know that I am bipolar. When it comes up in conversation, I don’t mind sharing. I’m happy to answer questions, and I am always willing to be an advocate. Not much of my private life is actually private. On my blog I admit to having bipolar, OCD, and EDNOS. I confess to self-harm. My two in-patient hospitalizations are forever recorded on the Internet.
Despite this claim of transparency, I have a very difficult time showing that I actively struggle with these issues. I would like to present myself as a successful portrait of mental illness. The major mood swings, the cutting, the starving and purging – all elements of my past. I am “stable.” Just look at me! I go to class, I have straight As, I am involved in activities. I exert a lot of effort trying to appear well-adjusted. I’ve been working towards being on the cover of Time, plastered on the front a box of cereal, and featured on 60 Minutes with the claim that I “conquered” mental illness.
Unfortunately, my type-A personality has set an impossible goal. I have a disability, and sometimes that means I am disabled. I am not stable right now. I have been struggling with my mood swings again. I have been having severe physical reactions to stress. But, I am learning, this does not detract from my message of advocacy. Part of representing the many individuals with mental illness is acknowledging the suffering, the heartbreak, and the difficulties that are a part of daily life.
Stability is not a magic status that occurs once you have logged a certain number of hours. Healing is a process. That process includes ups and downs. There was at least a solid month when I felt very good, but now I do not feel very good. In fact, I feel pretty bad. My blog is a place where I can acknowledge the good and the bad. It is not my job to always be a beacon of hope.
I am a human with unfortunate brain chemistry. I can live a meaningful life, I can be an advocate, and I can be a writer, but I will have days that will be lost to my illness. These lost days do not detract from my message; they are part of my message. Despite my struggles, aches, and losses, my net effect is positive. My failures amplify my triumphs, just as the rain makes the rainbow that much more beautiful. Bipolar has taught me that nothing is all good or all bad, but everything is temporary. Glean what you can from this moment, because you do not know what the next moment will bring.
So let’s share these moments: the manic, the hypomanic, the stable, the depressed, the devastating, and all of the shades in between. Let’s share the milestones and mistakes. We can celebrate and mourn simultaneously. It is most important that we create a community of acceptance for all states of our illness, including our wellness.
In the comments, I invite you to share one aspect of your life that is going well and one that is challenging you. For example, I am celebrating six months of being self-harm free, but I am struggling with exercising.