Daily Archives: April 14, 2016

It Rained

What the crap is wrong with me?!  Seriously.  I just don't even know.  I'm so lost.  I feel like I'm not connected to anything.  Just floating out in the ether somewhere.

As far as writing, I'm stumped.  I feel like I've lost a part of myself with my inability to write.  I just haven't been able to write.  I don't know how to explain it.  It's not writer's block.  It's not a lack of ideas or time or anything like that.  It's just a plug.  Like someone's put a stopper in, and my writing just won't flow.

I've barely written over the last year and a half.  (Maybe before that; I don't know.)  I don't know if anyone's even reading my blog anymore, except for people who happen here based on a search for a certain topic.

I don't know why I haven't been able to write.  There are many possible explanations.

I've been more emotionally healthy (on the whole) for the last while.  For a long time I wrote therapeutically.  I wrote to work through all the horrific emotional battles I was waging.  I don't have as many of those lately, so it hasn't served that purpose.

I've been exercising a lot more, becoming much more physically healthy over the last year.  I wonder if that outlet has supplanted this one.  Also, since my hysterectomy put me into instant menopause, I just don't have the multitasking abilities I used to have.  I have trouble focusing on more than one thing at a time.  So since I've been focusing on losing weight and feeling better, I struggle to focus on anything else.  Like, it's tough for me to make a menu and shopping list to keep my family fed.  It's tough for me to stay on top of the household money and making sure bills get paid.  Forget about cleaning the house!

Besides focus, there's also the energy component.  I just don't have the energy for much else.  Now, it's possible that's changing.  When I first started working out, just under a year ago, I was coming from a place of near inactivity.  Like, almost nothing.  And from a place of extremely low energy (which is related to not being active, but I'm not sure about which was the cause and which was the effect; I have lots of thoughts on that).  If I worked out, I was just too tired to do anything else.  Or in too much pain.  Sometimes that's not the case now.  I hope I'll be able to move past that soon.

But I'm afraid I'm also stuck in a pattern.  For almost a year my main focus of each day has been to work out.  I find I'm having to really put thought into making other things happen.  Oh, there's so much more to this than you know!  I feel like I'm just giving the tiniest bit of snippets to explain (because otherwise this post would be seventeen pages long).  But I need to get some of this out.  So even if what I've said sounds like I'm being lazy and not using my time or my life well, please know that I don't think that's the case.  Perhaps I'll be able to explain it further in the future.

For now I'll just hit on one other potential cause of my writing drought.  I wonder if it's been connected to my mood stabilizer.  I'm a mood writer.  I have to feel driven.  I have to NEED to write.  I have to need to get it out.  Almost like throwing up, it has to be forcing its way out of me to feel right.

When I met with my psychiatrist Tuesday I asked to reduce my meds by half.  That's what we chose to do.  This is the second day of that dosage.  Today I'm writing.  I can't swear those two events are connected.  Let's wait and see.

When we met, she also strongly pushed me to get back to things I love.  Writing is one of those things.  So I may feel driven because the meds are finally allowing it or because it's an assignment.  I don't know which.

But I truly don't care right now.  It just feels SO GOOD to write.  Like feeling the barometric pressure rise before the storm hits, or does it drop before the storm hits?  Either way, the air becomes uncomfortable, and my body aches for the rain.  Today it rained!

Bipolar Recovery: How To Survive a Mauling



My psychiatrist has a life-sized stuffed tiger in his waiting room. At the big cat’s feet is a plastic bin serving up a mangled heap of smaller stuffed animals — parrot, cat, whale, unicorn — and plastic babies missing a limb or an eye. Freud was the first to have a therapy dog. His red chow, Jofi, would lie on the couch next to patients, and when the dog got up to scratch at the door for a pee, Freud would say to his patient, “You see, Jofi is so excited that you’ve been able to discover the source of your anxiety!” But a therapy tiger? Before my daughter knew the crisscrossed scars on my arm were self-inflicted, she used to call them my “tiger stripes,” and she was amazed that I had survived such claws. This tiger, too, comes with a warning. Taped to the wall is this notice: For Your Safety Please Do Not Sit on the Tiger.
I think about this posted warning. Is it a test? Does my doctor really want me to sit on the tiger? What are my unconscious motivations for wanting to sit on the tiger? What neuroses keeps me from sitting on the tiger? And really, safety’s sake aside, I’m supposed to take risks. So, reverse psychology? Or does he want me to make associations? As in, “Eye of the Tiger” — “Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet, Just a man and his will to survive...”
Another patient sits across from me, beside the tiger, nervously flipping through the pages of a kids’ Highlights magazine. Maybe he’s searching for cups and candles and lamps in the Search and Find picture. His knee jiggles. Anxiety? Hypomania? Low-flying schizophrenia? He doesn’t even look at me when I walk over, inches from his bouncy leg, to take a picture of the tiger as if I’m on some psychiatric safari. I sit back down and glance down at my tiger stripes. The last time I did anything like that was five years ago, which was also the last day I drank.
What I remember from that day: arriving at my friend’s baby shower, a blue ribboned gift in hand (cheerful whale stitched onto a matching bib, socks, and onesie), desperately sad because my life had unraveled. Bipolar, anorexic, alcoholic. The perfect, decimating storm. A surge of longing when I gazed at my friend’s moon belly. Always, I had imagined my future with three children. Oldest, middle, youngest — a noisy triumvirate. And I would be the kind of mother capable of holding all that needy, exhausting love.
But after the birth of my second child, my bipolar disorder escalated and my doctors said “no” to my irrational contemplation of a third, and my husband, who bore the brunt of my breakdown, adamantly refused. Too risky, too much, too sick. Besides, I hadn’t needed a tampon for two years — starvation accompanied by over-exercise had turned off the fertility switch. But baby hunger was all I could think about while playing the chocolate-smeared-on-a-diaper game. No more crazy Momma. Just my composed self rocking a warm baby, my lips against the heart-fueled pulse at the fontanel.
What I last remember: standing alone in the kitchen, laughter pealing in from the living room, an island crowded with wine bottles. I had promised my husband I wouldn’t drink since I could no longer control how much or what would happen when I did. But that magnum of acrid cabernet promise? I could blot myself out, find my funny again, instead of sitting on the couch full of nervousness, envy, and loneliness. A glass or two of wine would shake me loose. I filled a plastic cup and drank it down in one swallow. Then another, quickly, desperately. How many could I drink before someone came into the kitchen and caught me? Six, seven, the whole bottle?

What I next remember: waking in the hospital, cuts up and down my arms, and my husband standing in the corner of the room, his lips pressed together, no longer worried and forgiving, but hard and immobile. My kids were nowhere. That is, they were stashed somewhere safe because I was unsafe.
“I’m sorry,” I said, again, adding to my long recitation of sorry’s over the years.

“Do you know why you’re here?” he asked. He hadn’t accepted my apology.
“There was the shower and I drank.” Nothing else after, just an empty, black hole that I didn’t know how to fill.
“After you guzzled wine, you ran outside into the snow and cold without your shoes or coat and wouldn’t come back. Your friends called me, so I could come get you. When I found you out by your car, you insisted you were going to drive off and kill yourself. You meant it. I got you home, but then you did that to your arms. Your doctor said you needed to be admitted.”
I can do this better, I thought. I can do this over. I can stop and be well.
My husband didn’t move toward the bed, but was rigid with fury and resolve. Couldn’t he remember that he had promised to love me, in sickness and in health? Couldn’t he give me another chance, and another chance, and a chance after that? But I knew there would be no talking myself out of this, as I had before: I promise, I promise, I won’t drink so much. I’ll count my drinks. I’ll pay attention.

“I won’t do this anymore,” he said. “If you don’t stop drinking, you lose the kids and me. It’s your choice but this is it.”
The room fell away. Lose them? They were the only reason I was alive. And my husband marooning me with self-loathing and despair? My daughter once drew a picture for me when I was in the hospital during one of my manic episodes: an enormous green and black winged creature with the words, “Momma Come Home!” It was fierce and fiery, born of courage and will. She was calling me to that again.

“Yes,” I said. There was no alternative, not anymore. I had to go home, whatever it took.

In the almost five years since that moment, I got sober and stable and ironically, divorced. The marriage couldn’t ultimately survive the turmoil of my illness or the betrayal of his affair.
For much of my life I said “No” — to love, grace, and assistance. I would go it alone, never mind if I could. Now, “yes” is reflexive. Can I love myself? Yes. Am I a good enough, at times even better, mother? Yes. Do I have the courage to live an authentic life, in truth and forgiveness? Yes. Am I afraid, legs wobbling, in this new life of mine? Yes, but the trajectory from that lonely woman, cut up and starving and hung-over, to the woman writing this without shame and with a belief that the universe is saying “Yes” back to me? I don’t sit on tigers anymore, but I am not risk averse. I risk integrity and truth now, and push my sleeves back, revealing my scars, my tiger stripes, and maybe even risk your seeing all that pain and healing.

I Forgive Me

Sometime last year I wrote a post regarding my bingeing disorder. I will find something that is unhealthy and eat until it is gone or until I just can’t possibly eat any more. Well, with the return of severe pain flares … Continue reading

Magical Thinking

Woke last night at 11.24pm then 1.24am, this triggered an episode of hypomania and associated ‘magical thinking’: 4+2+1=7, which is a magic number. This indicated [to me] that my apparent delusions (when psychotic) are in fact entirely true. ‪#‎Bipolar‬ is rather complicated, to say the least


Magical Thinking

Woke last night at 11.24pm then 1.24am, this triggered an episode of hypomania and associated ‘magical thinking’: 4+2+1=7, which is a magic number. This indicated [to me] that my apparent delusions (when psychotic) are in fact entirely true. ‪#‎Bipolar‬ is rather complicated, to say the least


Still Love That Rich Creamy Stuff

Today’s Throwback Thursday is a post I made in May, 2008 Peanut Butter Will Be The Death Of Me The past few days my diet has been great and I’ve been getting good exercise by walking. I was looking forward to getting on the scale in a couple of days knowing that I had dropped […]

The post Still Love That Rich Creamy Stuff appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Still Love That Rich Creamy Stuff

Today’s Throwback Thursday is a post I made in May, 2008 Peanut Butter Will Be The Death Of Me The past few days my diet has been great and I’ve been getting good exercise by walking. I was looking forward to getting on the scale in a couple of days knowing that I had dropped […]

The post Still Love That Rich Creamy Stuff appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Got Internet Trolls? Meet Miss Lucy, J.D.!

I’m Miss Lucy and I have a Juris Doctor degree! I’m ready to bring it on!   Internet Troll Defined: in internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, and by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into … Continue reading Got Internet Trolls? Meet Miss Lucy, J.D.!

Got Internet Trolls? Meet Miss Lucy, J.D.!

I’m Miss Lucy and I have a Juris Doctor degree! I’m ready to bring it on!   Internet Troll Defined: in internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, and by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into … Continue reading Got Internet Trolls? Meet Miss Lucy, J.D.!

Got Internet Trolls? Meet Miss Lucy, J.D.!

I’m Miss Lucy and I have a Juris Doctor degree! I’m ready to bring it on!   Internet Troll Defined: in internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, and by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into … Continue reading Got Internet Trolls? Meet Miss Lucy, J.D.!