Daily Archives: October 27, 2014

McCrampy, McBitchy, McMental

I’m having what I call one of my “Batshit crazy” days. I am in pain thanks to a particularly vicious shark week. The hormones are making me swing between anger, exhaustion, and the middle. The anxiety is high and causing major paranoia and “crawly” skin sensations. I am too tired to move around and everything aches. Now my apathetic mood is spiraling down into “why the fuck do I even bother” territory.
The good thing, if you can call anything about mental illness good, is that rapid cycling bipolar means you’re rarely in the same mood for very long so if you can just ride it out, you’ll spring back up. (Of course, that is also the bitch of it, you feel good and think, well, why can’t I feel this way all the time…)

I’ve been reading a lot about bipolar. The newer stuff has more information on rapid cycling (cyclothyic bipolar) which is a breath of fresh air. Doctors who have and still ignore rapid cycles are the bane of a cyclothymic’s existence. They are so hung up on their little DSM, aka Bible of Mental Illness, they don’t pay any attention to the patient half the time. The book doesn’t mention rapid cycles, therefore it must not exist.
I LIVE it, so it does exist. And from the comments I have received as of late on this blog, cyclothyic bipolar is finding its way out of the mental health closet. More of us are getting properly diagnosed (even if we have to research it and mention it ourselves). We are no longer ignored husks, dismissed as histrionic, moody, and mercurial in personality. I don’t think my shrink puts much stock in my rapid cycles, but she seems to see borderline personality disorder everywhere so I don’t think any amount of communication is going to help there. Once a doctor has latched onto their diagnosis de jour, they’re unlikely to relent. I’ve lived that as well, several times. A stubborn doctor more set in their books and personal beliefs is the biggest threat to one’s mental health.

The fact so many have spoken out to me through this blog (And I really hope even more speak up because it sure as hell helps me to not feel so alone in this) about their battles with bipolar, especially those who rapid cycle, tells me the tides are changing. Cyclothymia, long considered mild and benign, is finally making its way into the spotlight. It’s about damned time.

As my seasonal affect depression sets in, and I do the shuffle of cyclothymia where one day I am able to function and the next I am shut down..It does me good to vent in this blog. To hear “It’s not just you.” To hear others are experiencing something similar, validating what I go through when so many have brainwashed me into self doubt and self bullying. It’s not laziness. It’s not unwillingness to work on character flaws.
Mental illness is real.

No one would ever tell a diabetic to skip the insulin, it’s all in your head.

So why is mental illness still so bastardized?

It’s time we start speaking up, stop hiding in the shadows like we did something to deserve this, and, if we can’t educate society, at least we can form a network of support for each other.

I really should be doing this with pom poms.

Oh, well, cheesy as it might come off…Every word is truth. It’s how I feel. I am sick of feeling ashamed, of being invalidated, of being bullied. I didn’t ask for this and I won’t be forced into the position of denying it so ignorant people can have bliss.

Of course, I’ve got my McBitch on today thanks to hormones, so who knows. Tomorrow I may be in paranoid timid mousy “just let me fade into the background” mode.

I still feel the same way on those days. I’m just not solid enough to get out the pom poms and shout it from mountain tops.


Out There – Hunchback of Notre Dame

I love this song. I sing it to myself because I want to live ILLNESS-FREE! Aren’t we all like Quasimodo? Waiting to be accepted from something, someone, everyone.. Just one day… (thank you Disney for always getting it right..)

Talk About Your Medicines Month with The American Recall Center

Let’s talk about medicine. Medicine for mental illness sufferers is MUST-NEEDED, but so hard to stick with. If your anything like me you are trying everything not to be held down to medication, but unfortunately with my ailment medication will probably knock it right out the park.. So what’s my problem? Let’s back up a …

Even Depressed People Are Optimistic

Do you think there are blue sky’s ahead? If you do, you’re in good company because a recent study shows that adults typically believe that life gets better. Even depressed people believe in a brighter future. But, here’s the kicker – this optimistic attitude may not lead to better outcomes. (Sigh) The findings are published […]

The post Even Depressed People Are Optimistic appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

How friends & humor saved the day

It’s over, I realized last Friday morning with a sinking feeling in my stomach. I couldn’t blame anyone else but myself.  I hadn’t listened to my intuition which had implored me to distance myself from an unhealthy situation.   What happened … Continue reading

Ring of Fire

I fell into a burning ring of fire,
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher.
And it burns, burns, burns,
this ring of fire,
this ring of fire.

- June Carter

During my five month hospitalisation this song was perpetually stuck in my head. Perhaps it was a song that seemed appropriate. Particularly in light of my gastrointestinal distress. Did you know that “Ring of Fire”, was once the proposed advertising song for a haemorrhoid cream? Rather unsportingly, I feel,  the Carter/Cash family refused song rights for the advertisment. I can’t think why.

But on a more serious note I could relate to the song. The seemingly endless fall into an all time low that burned. God! It burned! And worst of all, it burned the ones I love.

This last hospitalisation has scarred me. The scalpels, the IV’s, and, yes, the self inflicted tearing at my skin has marked me in a way I will never be able to explain. My skin heals to shiny silveriness, but it will never be the same. A constant reminder to myself, and my loved ones.

But the scar that burns the most is the one inside my heart. The guilt I have, as a mother, for leaving my three year old child during my hospitalisation. Because it wasn’t just for a week, or a month, but for FIVE months of his little life.

He now has a acquaintance with hospitals that I never wished for him to have. If I slip, and mention that I need to see the doctor, he worries, immediately asking if I am ok, If I will go back to hospital again. I have to reassure him that I am not going anywhere and then he climbs up on my lap, ever so gently, telling me that he won’t hurt my tummy. He kisses me and tells me “No more hospital Mummy. You are doing SO well.”

I often say that he was the one who saved me, and this is the honest to God truth. If I didn’t have my son to motivate me into recovery, I don’t know where I would be. But then I think; what a responsibility for a toddler to hold! I never wanted my illness to affect my son, yet it did, from the moment he was born. Unintentionally, I have exposed my son to the ring of fire. And I burned him.

I know…I KNOW that I had no choice. I know I had to get myself better to be there for him. I know that I was “caring for my child by caring for myself”, or whatever it was that the doctors told me to try and make me feel better. But the fact was that I wasn’t there for him. For nearly half a year. I wasn’t there to watch him play. To cook him dinner. To take him to the park. To pick him up from daycare. To kiss him when he fell. To hold him when HE was sick. For nearly half a year.

And of course he takes it in his stride. Because that’s what children do. He loves me no less than he did before.

But this scar over my heart will never heal. How can I forgive myself for putting myself first, when the whole purpose of parenting is to protect your young before yourself.

I fell into a burning ring of fire.

And I took him with me.

Saying No To Myself

Sometimes it’s good to say no to yourself and talk yourself out of things. Like last night at 3am I woke up and wanted candy corn so I went half asleep stumbling down the stairs to grab a handful. I felt guilty about it all day. It was my first cheat on my diet. I know it wont be my last but I realize it will happen again. I’ve been pretty good though.

Saying no to myself because of fear or anxiety is such a bad idea though. Every time I get nervous I want to not do something. For example I got a little nervous about going to lunch yesterday and today yet I went out both days. I decided my anxiety isn’t going to control me anymore.

Tomorrow night will be the true test when I go out to one of the Halloween events that are going on around Omaha. There are several and I am going to one no matter how hard it is. Even if it is the one I am familiar with. I have to keep moving forward. Life is short and I won’t say no to myself anymore.

Well unless it is about food. No sugar, no caffeine, no high fats…

Time to say yes to being in shape and being sexy and liking myself.

Time to say yes to going out and not caring what others think.

No more no….