Daily Archives: October 18, 2014

Atomic

Husband looks on like where’s my baby gone Kids feeling conned wonder where is my mom I look like I a stranger… in a stranger’s home and I’ve set off Continue Reading →

I know!! I know!!

I know it’s been too long since I have written anything. When I said my schedule was crazy I was not exaggerating.
Anyway, just wanted to share a little of what’s going on. After my screw up with taking too much of my Prozac I realized I really felt better while taking the higher dosage. So my doc went ahead and upped my dosage and I feel great. Most of the time. I was also concerned about not having the benefit of a mood stabilizer because I didn’t want to end up manic and then have to try to combat that. So I have also started 300 mg of Lithium twice a day.

It’s still a little but of a waiting game as these things are all still very new to me. But I can tell you this in the last month I have had very few outburst and over reactions. I decided to go back to my e-cigarette and have smoked considerably less cigarettes this month. Something I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to quit doing. What a blessing to be able to start quitting and not have every moment be excruciatingly hard. I am so proud to say that hopefully by November I will only be using my e-cigarette. For those of you who may wonder. There’s about the same amount of nicotine in an ejuice bottle as is in a pack of cigarettes and the liquid stuff lasts probably ten times as long as a pack of cigarettes. There’s much debate over whether they are actually better than cigarettes. And I don’t know. I don’t really care. All I know is that I soon won’t have to worry about stinking or finding a place to smoke. And I am so excited about that.

Also, I have realized that it is true that it starts with your thoughts. I’ve always believed that but I never realized that I simply wasn’t capable of making my thoughts be what I knew they should be. Or I guess more accurately I could tell myself something all day long and it was like a never ending battle to try to make those thoughts reality. I am so please that as of now things seem to be a little easier. That when I decide to put my mind to something I can follow through easier than I have ever been able to in my life.

I have been keeping up with what you all are posting. I’m constantly seeking new ideas and thoughts sorry to be so short and for being absent. Good news cheerleading ends next Saturday so my life will get a lot less busy and hopefully I will be able to post more regular again.

Be blessed y’all!! God is good!!


I just can’t seem to remember that quote……

I heard a really good quote the other day that was so apt and so ‘this illness’ that I said to myself: ‘Yep, I’m going to rob that and blog it.’ And I can’t for the life of me remember … Continue reading

What Lindy Chamberlain taught me about bitterness

Getting out of bed at 5.30am to attend a breakfast one hour’s drive away in the City isn’t my idea of a great morning.  I’m not a morning person at the best of times.  But yesterday I did just that and was rewarded with a morning I’ll never forget.

I’ll be the first to admit that – at times – I have struggled with bitterness.  For a while there, after my diagnosis and again after I spent time in a psychiatric hospital after the birth of my first baby, I felt let down by my own body and angry at my ill-treatment at the hands of medical staff.

Which is why I found the speaker for this year’s Melbourne Prayer Breakfast, Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, so gripping.

015703-lindy-and-azaria

If anyone has a reason to be bitter, it’s Lindy Chamberlain (as she’s commonly known).  Accused and convicted of murdering her nine-week-old baby daughter Azaria (pictured above with her) while camping at Uluru – then known as Ayers Rock – in 1980, Lindy maintained that she saw a dingo leave the tent where Azaria was sleeping.

After serving three years in prison with hard labour, Lindy’s conviction was overturned after the discovery of new evidence, and she was acquitted of all charges.

Standing up on the stage, in front of 1000 people, Lindy looked more like someone’s friendly mother-in-law than someone who had been to hell and back.  She started her speech by saying that she wasn’t going to talk about Azaria – or the dingo: “What happened to me is not as important as what I learned from what happened to me,” she explained.

Sitting there, listening to this woman talk about being forced to clean toilet blocks with a toothbrush, and being hated by her fellow prisoners, I couldn’t help but feel anything but deep empathy for her.  Prison didn’t sound to dissimilar from the high-dependency unit of a public psychiatric ward.

And yet, Lindy’s message was one of hope.

She challenged me (and I’m guessing everyone else in the room) to not let tragedy, or illness, or circumstances in life prevent us from living life to our full potential.

“It’s not what happens to us that matters, it’s what we choose to do with it that matters,” she said – her voice cracking as she wiped away tears. While she could have become bitter and turned her back on her religion, Lindy said that she has learnt through this all that “God is not the author of hardship and pain but will guide us through it.”

I walked away from that breakfast feeling inspired. If Lindy Chamberlain can go through what she did and not be a bitter woman, then I’m going to try and follow in her footsteps.

Yes, I have bipolar disorder.  Yes, that makes life more difficult than if I didn’t have it.  But what I have learned through this illness is valuable – both to me and to others.  Those of us who have endured hardship and suffering can be “wounded healers” – sharing our own journey with others – to encourage them in their own struggles.

If we allow bitterness consume us, to corrode our self-confidence and steal our joy – then we lose the opportunity to turn a bad situation into something good.

Have you found that your experience of mental illness has enabled you to reach out to others in similar circumstances?  Has helping others helped you?  Would love to hear your comments below.

 

 


Okay for another day

(FYI, WORDPRESS, I LOATHE THIS NEW INTERFACE WITH THE BLAZING HEAT OF A ZILLION SUNS!!!!)

I came out of the gate running (ok, limping a wee bit) because I was not in a focused mindframe. I was however, determined to make it through the day and all that was necessity. Returned my kid to school with the nurse’s seal of approval. All the while suggesting maybe my kid could just tell people (as a joke) she was gone having an eye transplant (yeah, I am macabre, but society seems convinced head lice is an equivalent of being an unbathed homeless coke whore pimp that lives in squalor). Dark humor is just a coping mechanism I have learned, right or wrong, but my kid has no filters. Last year, she was walking up to strangers, declaring, “I had bugs in my hair.” THEN she hugs people she doesn’t even know in spite of being told a gazillion times not to.

To my credit, whereas I could have opted to be petty, I made peace with my mom and she seems to be allowing it. I found nits in her hair, and since she was exposed to my kid, it makes sense. She protested that my sister has given her the treatment and combing but she seems unaware that it’s a process, not a wham bam thing. ONE nit can spawn 40 live lice in a day. So when she exclaimed, “You’re just now getting her back to school?” I did have a petty moment of , ha, see how not easy it is. But overall, I am proud of myself for not maintaining the grudge. She hurt me, but she meant well and frankly, the only advantage I have over her is my logic and ability to cut it loose.

It’s a momentary feel good moment, because NO ONE has the ability to make me second guess and doubt myself but my mom. It stems from love and close bond. You remember how things once were and you tell yourself you’re okay that’s it’s all changed but it’s really NOT okay. I miss the status quo. I miss my mom liking me even if she was just as harsh on me then. The one weapon she can wield and do the most damage is implying, or flat out saying, I am less than a good mom. That is my Achille’s tendon.

Neither here nor there.

I made it thru the day at the shop. Barely. He wanted me to read voltages from a schematic. Well, I don’t know how to read a schematic, and no, it really isn’t as simple as you’d think if you don’t have an electronics background. He was getting very irate with me because I didn’t know how to read it, then I was getting numbers turned around or forgetting them in five seconds. He thought I was trolling him. I was NOT. My brain has become swiss cheese with all the meds. The price of sanity is apparently intelligence. I wish others could understand but they really can’t and so many won’t try.

Picked my kid up. Brought her home. Went back to the shop. Served another 90 minutes. I think the break, albeit under an hour, helped me make it through my witching hour. That’s toward 3,4 pm when my mood begins to spiral down the drain and lead me to the darkness.

Went and got a take and bake pizza. They were BUSY and phones kept ringing and there were probably ten people waiting. It made me jittery but I did not come undone.

Nor did  I fall to pieces once I got home. We had pizza, I interacted with my kid without fear of being “infested”…Bex batcaved and yet, it’s 8:38 pm and I have not retreated yet. I am watching my tv shows. Right now, it’s last week’s ep of Gracepoint. OMG. David Tenant was amazing as The Doctor, but he’s also totally rocking this new reddish longer haired emotionless cop. He does need to develop a funny bone even if the show’s plot is dire. Sarcasm would be good.

It’s nice to get thru another day okay. I wish I felt good. I wish I felt happy. I wish, I wish…

But this is my reality. I felt okay. Nothing less, nothing more.

Now I am ready to become a piece of broccoli for the weekend. A vegetable. I am turning off my brain. Well, the part that engages with life. I can’t really trump the mood swingy part.I can, however, give the middle finger to the part that dictates what I must do to be a “good person.”

I think good people can do bad things but it doesn’t define them as bad, period.

I mean, I am literally broke. Yet the other day at the store, I saw they’d set up a collection bucket for the burial expenses of a man I’d never even heard of. And I tossed in my last sixty cents, not seeking a nomination for sainthood…just feeling this twinge in my chest because I remember how hard it was back when my dad and uncle had to come up with the money to bury my grandpa. Sixty cents isn’t shit but it was what I could give. I gave it, willingly, even if it left me penniless which in many states legally declares you some sort of vagrant.

I’d rather show humanity than logic. Sue me.

Starting episode three (this week’s) episode of Gracepoint. I think Tenant’s character really needs to see a proctologist about removing the stick in his ass. The writer’s are attempting to give him some sort of a mysterious past with compelling explanations, but patience is not a virtue I have. Get on with it. Give him some humanity. Maybe in  brain surgery pure logic is called upon. A cop investigating the death of my kid? He’d better be goddamn Ghandi emotionally and pour everything into finding the killer, not just doing a job.

R says I am too emotional and lack logic. Big shock that my nickname for him was Spock.

The needs of the many will NEVER outweigh the needs of the few if it involves those I love. Maybe that makes me selfish. Or illogical.

But feeling emotion is the one thing that separates us from animals. Animals abandon their young, with no ties, after they are able to eat solids. If it weren’t for emotion driving us to care for our children, the human race would die off. It would a planet of ferals killing each other for survival. Emotion is what defines us as human beings.

I stand by that, through thick and thin.

Funny thing is, even at my worst, in the darkest depression…I still believe that. It’s not a simple philosophy that can change on a whim. It’s who I am. For better or worse. This is me. And I am okay with me, even if I fall short for others.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, event-wise or mood wise.

I just know THIS day…I’m alive, I feel okay, and when I finally fall asleep tonight…it will be with a thousand pounds less weight of stress. Whether we like it or not, stress is the anchor that weighs us all down. It’s just a heavier anchor for some of us and our functionality fluctuates. That’s really not exclusive to mental illness or mood disorders. We all rise and fall with the outside events that influence and color our psyches.

The advantage those without mental illness have over those of who do…

They don’t think a bad day is just the beginning of something more enveloping and permanent.

For me, sometimes  a bad day seems fatal.

A good day feels like I am ten feet tall and bulletproof.

And an okay day, like the last two, feels like a teaser. It is okay (now), but it may not be at any given time.

It’s like living with a guillotine blade poised over your head, grazing the back of your neck…Knowing at any time, it could come crashing down and sever everything that is.

Talk about a terror stricken tightrope act every single day of your life.