Daily Archives: February 13, 2017

Valentine’s Day: The Struggle Is Real

I’ve never really liked Valentine’s Day.

I’ve long suspected that it’s a fake holiday invented to fatten the wallets of the CEOs of the chocolate and florist industries, so I didn’t make a big deal out of it. Will, on the other hand, always bought me a card and roses, and in good years we went out for dinner and a movie. Now that he’s gone and my first Valentine’s Day without him is tomorrow, I find myself feeling nostalgic for it even though there’s no one to bring me flowers anymore. Why didn’t I appreciate it when I had it?

I miss romance. There wasn’t a whole lot of it towards the end of Will’s life—we were too busy battling the cancer juggernaut—but for the vast majority of our marriage there were thousands of little moments, like when he’d brush by me in the kitchen and kiss me on the back of the neck for no reason. Or bring me a candy bar just because he thought I needed one. Or walk through the shopping mall holding my hand.

It’s been seven months today since he passed. In some ways it’s like it happened yesterday, but in other ways it’s as if I’ve lived the longer part of my life since then. Naturally, the subject of relationships comes up between me and Clark’s mother Shelley every now and again, and we are both in agreement that we don’t want to look for another one. We both had the greatest husbands on earth—how do you top that?? Besides, I’ve got several strikes against me: who would want someone as old and fat as I am? What’s more, who would want to be with a bipolar person? That would be a deal-breaker for me if I were a guy. And even if I did want a relationship someday, I don’t think I could go through losing another one.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here; I have no intention whatsoever of getting into the dating scene. I don’t even know what the dating scene really is. So I will probably spend all future Valentine’s Days alone, and as bad as it hurts right now, I know I’ll eventually make peace with it. Ethan and Clark are taking us out to the casino buffet tomorrow night, which is a sweet gesture as they are giving up their private V-Day (and one of Ethan’s rare nights off) to get us out of the house. Tomorrow is also Shelley’s wedding anniversary, so this means a lot to both of us. There’s nothing better than family!



The Nights Are Getting Long

I’ve only really had a couple dozen nights of good sleep since early March. A lot of that has been simply the cessation of my sleeping pill. Insomnia always was, and probably always will be a problem for me. I tend to have a reputation for knowing a lot of trivia, and whenever someone asks […]

Happy Family Day?

As far as I know, today is a holiday only in a couple of provinces in Canada including mine. Some other provinces celebrate next weekend and others don’t have a February holiday at all. It just seems like someone in … Continue reading

So Proud of Myself

I am so proud of  myself navigating this weekend and today.  We did a Vlaentine’s Day dinner out with the girls Saturday night and had my youngest one’s birthday party yesterday.  Then today my mom had her other cataract done this morning and that all went well.

I thought it might be problematic doing so much and really wondered how I would  I do after witnessing a terrible wreck Friday afternoon.  I was pulling up to an intersection when I heard brakes screeching, a crash, and saw a black SUV roll over on its top on the asphalt.  SO SCARY.  My hands shook a good bit and it took a bit for the traffic to clear up around it.  I was very shaky driving home.  But I got over it, didn’t nightmare about it, etc.  I prayed for the people and pretty much put it out of my mind, didn’t dwell on it.  So I am proud of the progress I’ve made.

MY dad was funny this morning.  He asked how I took out from my busy schedule to come up to sit with them all morning.  I said I wasn’t the busy one, it was my kids who were busy; once I get them out of the house, I do whatever I want to.  He thought that was funny.

I am waiting on Bob to feel better; he has some sort of stomach bug that has upset his stomach terribly.  We can’t figure out where it came from. The kids were okay this morning and we haven’t heard anything from his parents about being sick, and my parents were fine. So hopefully it’s not catching and it will work its way out of his system.

I need to run to get my ABilify and go to the grocery store.  Hope everyone’s week gets off to a good start.

How do I know who I am?

delimI was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 17 and had struggled with depression since I was 13.  I can look back on the days where I was very outgoing, was the presidents of a bunch of groups at school, got great grades,  had a wonderful home life, was proud of who I was and the way I looked.  I went on to graduate from college, was a manager of a movie theater, a trainer at Walt Disney World and even was Teacher of the Year in 2003.  This was all during the time I was struggling with bipolar disorder.

Was that the normal me? When was the normal me showing through? I am not sure what is normal and what is mania and what is depressed.  When I have been depressed for a long time, sometimes months at a time where I completely isolate myself, and I come out of that depression, am I hypomanic, manic, or just being myself.

I definitely know when I am manic or have been as when I come out I can see what havoc I have caused and often will have been in the psychiatric ward.

However, there is almost a happy medium that I just can’t find.   What is the normal me?  Will I ever know?  I hope so and soon as I am nearing my 50s and hope that not only the struggles of the ups and downs can end, but I will know who I was and am before I die. I want others who know me to know who I am  and what to put in my obituary. If I were to write my own obituary right now ( I am not suicidal, just making a point), I would have to just say Michelle had bipolar disorder and at a young age when she knew who she was accomplished a lot, but no one knew who she really was before she died, including herself.

I am curious and would like to write another blog about how others have figured out who their real me is.    Please email me at Mickey3333NC@gmail.com (in subject line write the real me) or comment on this post or send me a message to my Facebook page:   Bipolar Bandit  EVERYTHING WILL BE CONFIDENTIAL


What to Remember When Waking

sculpture1In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.


What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.




To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.



You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?

—David Whyte

Life is Decent


Well, I hope you all like flowers! I thought these were nice.

So it is Tuesday morning and I have been up since four. My sleep is suffering with all this stress with the kids. I’ve been doing some stuff on my phone and resting on and off so I am doing okay. In about half an hour, I’ll talk to my support friend on the phone. She is sort of a prayer partner.

I did some good stuff yesterday. I got a pot roast in the slow cooker, went out and had breakfast with a friend, went to yoga and then drove on to my women’s group. I am still VERY nervous even driving short distances, which frustrates me. The therapist says it will get better as I go…I just need to practice. Well, I am trying.

My daughter is making noises like she may want to go back to work in a week or so. She doesn’t WANT to go back, but this leave she is on does not include insurance or pay, so she has no money and is actually dependent on us for it. I do think she can make it back and finish out the year. She needs to see her therapist frequently, even when she feels good. She needs all the coping skills she can get.


Nothing planned for today except a shower which is good as I was up from 1-4 am. My sleep is really getting thrown off with all this stress.

I’ve been having stomach trouble with some pain so I missed my bipolar group yesterday. I was sad about that. They understand.

Daughter is off with husband to see her psychiatrist. My daughter usually lets him go in with her. I think it’s good as she has a second “ear” and also an advocate.

Danny has been doing okay for the last few days. I am going to give him a few more days and then talk to him again about taking the Lexapro.

There was a mix up with my insurance and they won’t let me have my Klonopin for this month. It is a long story but they say they gave me two months last month. This is really dumb, because they never do that. It’s ONE month at a time. Plus, if they had given me two months worth, I’d have quite a few left. Nope, somehow something got mixed up. So I will be limping along with the Klonopin I have left. I guess it’s a good way to wean off.

I feel tired and depressed. There was a show  in town I actually wanted to go see, but the tickets were all sold out. Sort of a bummer. I’d like to go to a couple more plays and concerts.

Tomorrow I have my CBT therapist, followed by lunch with my best high school friend, plus yoga. I hope my stomach pain stops and I can get to this stuff. It will be good for me to get out and get around.


Woke up too early but am doing okay. Have to get ready in a while to go see the therapist.

Sometimes I feel like I am just getting overwhelmed with anxiety. I am so afraid to drive very far and I just “fret” over everything. I don’t have an official diagnosis relating to anxiety, but I swear something is going on. This is relatively new for me….I think I have had depression/ bipolar almost all of my life, but this anxiety just came on gradually in the last three years or so. Not to whine, but it’s not as though I don’t have enough to cope with.

I am supposed to meet a friend for lunch and I have been sitting here thinking about canceling. No big reason, I just feel mildly depressed. She’s always perfectly turned out and looks great. Her personal life isn’t perfect…she’s my age and married to a guy who is 84. I’m all for an age difference, but it’s a lot. Plus, her kids have problems just like mine. I’m sure overall things aren’t wonderful every day for her but she sure looks good.

Then there’s yoga this afternoon. I like yoga and feel better after I go, but I just have this low level “I don’t feel like going thing.” I get exhausted.

On the good news front, I did take a walk last night. This is a big one for me.

My husband just sent me a text (he is upstairs) about the new Fifty Shades of Gray movie. He says we should be upset because it stinks as only 13% of critics liked it. Ha! I did read the books. I want to keep up with the movies, even though the premise is fairly ridiculous. The whole thing is funny.


Did cancel lunch with friend and did not go to yoga. Too depressed and I cried at CBT therapist.

Today I see my old psychiatrist. He has moved WAY to the other side of town. I am seeing his friend, Dr. R who lives over here also. I would totally switch to Dr. R as I like her but I am on two disabilities. I have SSDI and also private disability insurance. Both of these require occasional updates and I just don’t know Dr. R that well. I don’t have a history with her. So we are limping along to have my old psychiatrist fill out this kind of paperwork.

Plan on going to garage sales and hanging some pictures tomorrow. May go to nursery to see about some new plants for pots out front. Not much else going on today.

Danny has been in a good mood and so has daughter. However, she is still not interested in going back to work. She is making it to yoga, stretch class, and out to movies and coffee. She must be feeling better. I don’t want her to quit working and wind up like me. Not good.


Got up and went to some garage sales with husband and stable middle son. We had a great time…I am feeling pretty good. I found some little things, but nothing too big. My husband is upstairs as I write this hanging pictures in our bedroom. I am downstairs sitting with the dogs so they don’t bark at the pounding.

I had an epiphany of sorts last night. I am trying to be realistic but I realized that I am really disabled. There’s just no way around it. I can barely handle day to day life and don’t think I could without my husband or some other helper. I certainly can’t hold down a job. Just doing the stuff I try to do like walking, yoga, and my various groups is beyond me. I miss a few things every week. It’s sort of sad but I don’t think I will ever be “normal”.

I have my days planned out and there is time for fun and other activities, but I miss a lot because I just don’t feel well. It’s either depression, tiredness from medication, or anxiety.

I keep trying though. I don’t give up. I don’t have tons of time left in my life and I want to live a little. Not a lot…but maybe a medium amount.

I will say, however, I am living a fuller life in some ways. When you are working (or when I was), I was so exhausted I’d come home and collapse on the couch. Now I have time to do things like see friends, go to bipolar group, and meditate. There is a lot more time for self care.


I feel pretty good today. I am up and dressed for church. After church, we’ll stop to see my uncle in a nursing home, then later go to see a movie.

I had to get a size smaller in yoga pants. This is a good thing.

Got up at 4 and ate a bagel. Was absolutely starving.

Will see how today goes.


Yesterday went well. Made it to church.

Some drama with daughter as my husband asked her when she was planning on going back to work. She didn’t want to hear that she had to pay her own bills.

I feel decent this morning…..sort of baseline. I need to get a weigh in at the diet doctor’s. Then I have yoga and women’s group. I am planning on making sort of a corn/chicken soup in the slow cooker.

I got a few very little Valentine surprises for my husband and kids. I was proud of myself for thinking ahead and being prepared.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


The Day From Hell

Hello! My name is Ilse Watson and I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. I’m a new editor on the website of Our Lived Experienced. I’m a freelance journalist with a […]