The cat’s crying at midnight

“In a cat’s eye, all things belong to cats.”

It has been some time since I’ve shared my personal struggles and accounts on my blog. Having had a relapse, it’s hard to revisit difficult times. It’s best at time I don’t write while dark. Over time you’ll understand it only hurts those you love like hurting yourself. 

For blog fans who’ve read much of my blog, my cat is my antagonist and source of humor when describing those moments without words. She’s my reminder I’m completely sane and completely insane. 

Depression isn’t something that anyone expects. 

My Side: One night Trubel, my cat was crying at midnight. My sanity will soon be called into question, but she cried. I consoled her and she snapped and latched on to my hand, hurting me. She was obviously still angry at me for a little incident that involved washing her in the washer and a small fortune in vet bills. Possibly mad about me dropping a mattress on her or falling over her. We both have been through the ringer (no pun intended). Recovery for us both has been exhausting. She wasn’t handling my divorce as well as my children. I had forgotten my absence was probably difficult. Depression was gripping her and like my many episodes, it hurts like the flu, it makes the world dark and simply hard. Each time I came in the door she’d run, getting her out of bed was difficult. Poor baby was depressed. Each scratch or bite was simply a cry for help. My ever response, “I’m going to love you no matter what, nothing will change between us.” I continued to just be there, it’s important to just be there for your loved ones even during the darkest times.

The Cat’s Side: She continues to push me each time she returns. I’m finally free of her, but she puts her hands on me. I draw blood and she hungs me more. “This lady is insane” 

Months have passed, the master gives me turkey from the cold food box. He finally mine…all mine. I’m free to sleep anywhere. It’s heaven, I’m the female of the house FINALLY! But she continues with her tactic to make others think I’ve fallen ill, I fear medication is next. I screamed at night to wake the men, “I need that turkey.” That witch has bewitched them and they treat me like a cat…a CAT! I must end this madness, stand my ground and insist I am staying in this house. 

My Side: Its been nearly 6 months and the separation must be her problem. As I move stuff and I’m gone more I worry she’ll need me more. Maybe it’s her diet….it’s got to be that Turkey slices they are giving her. She needs a routine, like the kids and stupid dog. She swats the dog, I worry she’ll become violent with the kids.  The cat needs routine and discipline. “YES!”  

The Cat’s side: I spent the night crying. She is determined to take it all away and punish us all. I’ve finally got the master and kids obeying. The stupid dog cowardly kneels as I eat and I swiftly pat him, he likes it. “She thought I was hurting him, Idiot woman!” I’m surrounded by her memory. That is it….I’ll have to become master’s cat or pick one of the little people as a favorite.

My Side: So discipline and routine is lost on her. I’m overruled since I no longer live here. I worry about her well-being. She is my baby. My little angry bundle of black fur. I love her with all her flaws. I guess it’d be horrible to uproot her. Maybe that is her fear. She’s shown such affection to the household lately. Maybe it’s best she stays. Divorce is ugly and after reading all the experts on Google the cat is hurting just as much as the kids. Everyone hurts, so maybe she need therapy.


To be continued…..


Understanding The Terror

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.” ~

David Foster Wallace

11 Signs That Someone You Know Is Hiding Depression – Learning Mind

https://www.learning-mind.com/hiding-depression-signs/

https://www.learning-mind.com/hiding-depression-signs/

Looking for definitions 

“Lennie hesitated, backed away, looked wildly at the brush line as though he contemplated running for his freedom. George said coldly, “You gonna give me that mouse or do I have to sock you?”
“Give you what, George?”

“You know God damn well what. I want that mouse.”

Lennie reluctantly reached into his pocket. His voice broke a little. “I don’t know why I can’t keep it. It ain’t nobody’s mouse. I didn’t steal it. I found it lyin’ right beside the road.”

George’s hand remained outstretched imperiously. Slowly, like a terrier who doesn’t want to bring a ball to its master, Lennie approached, drew back, approached again. George snapped his fingers sharply, and at the sound Lennie laid the mouse in his hand.”

~ John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men

Maybe I just don’t know how to say, “I’m sorry” it’s something I probably never learned and possibly why I over compensate in other areas and can’t fully explain my mental illness. When the mania is over and the depression starts to slithers its way into all the wounds where most people would receive light, it feels like your world is empty. Each wound is slowly filled with someone’s anger, someone’s hurt, someone’s disbelief. Those wounds sealed with darkness. 
My extreme mania, so lucid. An experiment with medication, euphoria, psychosis, and the ability to do anything. Now, I find myself sealing wounds with darkness. Take away all the sickness, I’ve lost my closest friends. I trusted people who betrayed me, because I inadvertently betrayed them, endless cycle of the bipolar mind. You trust and love people and learn instead of helping they run, opening wounds. Others, stay building an invisible net catching me as I fall into darkness.
Now, in depression my mind can only remember the good and can’t think of how I ever hurt a soul. I’m reminded daily, but my mind is a blender on high. I gave until i couldn’t give anymore. Understanding, any hurt isn’t even comprehensible and only brings tears. Looking at the faces of my children when I returned home from the hospital reminded me where my priorities should’ve been and suicide was not the answer. Getting proper medication was important, everything else wasn’t important. Until you have experienced the bipolar mind it’s important to remember it’s all real, it’s amazing and deadly.
Each time like Lennie, from the quote above, he would pet them too hard often killing them. I love too deeply, I love too hard. I give my soul to causes, to people, to everything and disregard the people who truly love me…breaking them in the end. If you read the Steinbeck story, I’m not only Lennie, I’m George…I’m constantly protecting (him) myself and I want my story to end with us as one person again. 
“”For the rabbits,” Lennie shouted.

“For the rabbits,” George repeated.

“And I get to tend the rabbits.”

“An’ you get to tend the rabbits.”

Lennie giggled with happiness. “An’ live on the fatta the lan’.”

“Yes.”

Lennie turned his head.

“No, Lennie. Look down there acrost the river, like you can almost see the place.”

Lennie obeyed him. George looked down at the gun.””

 ~ John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men

I am my own story, I am my beginning, my climax, and my end. I just want to write happy endings for everyone. Sadly, in this world everyone can’t have happy endings, but I can survive my story. Tonight, I listen to my little guy who is seven play football in the house. I do not stop him, I hug him. I listen to my crazy cat break ornaments on the Christmas tree, I hug her a little harder. The dog constantly scratches next to me, I stay calm and hug her a little swiftly with my foot.
I’m happy I am alive.

 “Self-Help Psychological Therapy!” 


“I am developing a new board game. It’s called “I’m Sorry.” It’s also a form of “Self-Help Psychological Therapy!”

You take turns moving around the board like Monopoly. But if you land on a Yellow or Green “I’m Sorry Space”… you have to make a Phone call. Both green and yellow cards are labeled- the same with things like: Your Ex, Parental figure, friend, co-worker, boss, children, etc. You get the point…

If you land on the yellow space, the game stops, everyone gets quiet and you have to call that person up – on speakerphone. You apologize for something you’ve done in your past. Come on you know you are not perfect and you probably screwed up, hurt or disappointed everyone in your past at one time or another. So you call and you apologize. You explain what you did to them wrong if they forgive you, you move forward 10 places and everyone cheers! No forgiveness back- you move back to the beginning.

If you land on the green space- it’s similar. But you call the person up and you try to explain to them how, in someway, they hurt you in the past. If they apologize… cheers and you move forward 10 spaces. No apology… move backward ten spaces. They curse at you- game over.

In the original packaging of the yellow and green cards, are mixed in a set of “I’m Sorry Cards.” If you are lucky enough to get to pick up an “I’m Sorry Card,” it’s like a Get Out of Jail Free Card, and you don’t have to make the call.
The only catch is that the cards come hermetically sealed. After opening up the package, and the cards are exposed to air, all of the “I’m Sorry Cards,” magically turn into “Deal With it Cards!” And so, you really never get a free ride. In reality, every time you pick up a yellow or green card, you have to- Deal with It!
Of course you can always order a new factory set of sealed of “I’m Sorry Cards.” But they only last about 30 minutes and are very expensive, so you’ll have to play fast. Cute Game? Hey, don’t steal my idea!!!” ~ José N. Harris, Mi Vida

Top 10 items when being committed *Bit of humor because you know you’re planning

So this morning I couldn’t bring myself to write in detail about this recent experience in the mental hospital, except for the very brief post. Every experience is different, every hospital is different, and even case is different. Go immediately if you need help, but I thought to myself in the two weeks what were top ten things I’d pack if given the chance. Here you go… enjoy! 

Top 10 things I wish I packed (cause we all plan our breakdowns)



1. Slippers (no laces) Honestly, the rubber threaded socks are sexy, but provide zero support or protection from the random “mystery yellow water spot” that would appear just as you put on a clean pair in the common area. It’s like passing gas, no one ever knows or claims it. 
2. Sweatpants. The good old Hanes or fruit of loom are perfect. It’s freezing and you’ll get sick of the paper suit, trust me. I played like I was Sully on Xfiles for about 2 seconds until it wasn’t funny, no paper blue suit! 

3. Sweatshirts/t-shirts . See above

4. Small Blanket and pillow. Yes, they told me 3-5 days, but apparently I needed to be dug out of the rabbit hole, never assume. This helped me more than anything.

5. Personal toiletries. Obviously, they had to approve each item but my own soap and hair products were amazing. Plus, my toothbrush was awesome. Trust me, this was a very short list but each helped me live and I learn my roommates enjoyed just as much…

6. Adult coloring books (obvious reasons)

7. Assorted fine point sharpies for coloring, they will keep these and let you use them under supervision…..completely worth feeling like a child.

8. GUM. You’ll have to ask, but I was at the point I was going to pretend to be a smoker to get the smoker’s gum.

9. Small notebook or journal with phone numbers. You’d be surprised when you get phone privileges but no memorized numbers.

10. Chapstick…because everything and everyone will chap your ass so at least be prepared to pucker up.

.

Kryptonite and Inevitable Triggers

20-things-we-have-learnt-from-superhero-films-16.jpg
My Kryptonite

“Which of my feelings are real? Which of the me’s is me? The wild, impulsive, chaotic, energetic, and crazy one? Or the shy, withdrawn, desperate, suicidal, doomed, and tired one? Probably a bit of both, hopefully much that is neither.”
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Consistently trying to mimic emotions of others everyday in itself is hard, trying to be happy when you are sad and and stop the acceleration of happiness is exhausting.  I cherish the moments when I can completely be myself, drown in the things I love with joy. I wish I could be consistent and a “trigger” is just a word for a simple release mechanism.

I have to pause before the hamster falls off the wheel and rewind a bit. Lately, I can’t figure out if I’m okay, about to be manic, or about to face the black dog (depression). It’s a typical meme you’ll find on the Internet. Basically, if you don’t like my mood now, wait a few minutes. I haven’t written as much on my blog in the last few weeks, mostly just unable to focus. I have emails I desperately need and want to reply too regarding how I handle having bipolar and mental illnesses or blog in general. Many praising how I am shifting such a horrible illnesses into a superpower. It’s hard to tell someone with bipolar, PTSD, depression or anxiety what works for me, because I am constantly trying to pinpoint the answer myself. Ithe is ever changing. I never post trigger warnings on my blog because no single person has the same triggers. Yes, we probably all share many of the same. But mine can be anything from hearing a baby cry in a bathroom echoing off the walls to someone asking me, “Do I know you?” to trigger a response.

So today, I was completely fine, enjoying a day with the family. We had chosen to go see a movie and walk around the mall prior. Today is Memorial day, for our family everyday is memorial day like many of our friends. We never forget those who gave all, so today was like no other except it reminds the rest of the world to pause for the day. It’s a trigger, I am reminded of my husband’s deployments, nearly losing him in the Pentagon on September 11th and those who did not come home on those days or those deployments. So for my family they are remembered everyday. So today a movie and the mall sounded perfect.

While shopping, I get a call from my credit card telling me of possible fraudulent charges. Instantly a trigger, “Did I do something and spend thousands online? Did I charge away to ASPCA  (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) late at night watching those emotional commercials involving animal cruelty? Or to an organization for wounded warriors that pulled at my heartstrings?” These things ran instantly through my head. I knew it was none of those things, but what if? What if it happened and I didn’t remember. The thoughts of other things ran through my head. As I listened, I learned that it was simply we hadn’t used our credit card and when my husband bought the kids a snack with the card just minutes before, it triggered the alert from the card company (Bravo to Chase Bank for diligently). This in turn triggered me.

It was obvious to everyone, the day was over. I was rigid, emotionless, angry, irritated, and every muscle remained tense. It was no one’s fault. I just hated myself, reminded of who I was like Kryptonite to Superman. I was wounded. I saw the disappointment on everyone’s face as we left the mall for the car. Everyone knew the day with Mom was over.

Once home it took hours to stop my muscles from being so tense. Release myself from the fear and tension that had occurred in my head. I sat on the couch and didn’t move. Shortly, I fell asleep from exhaustion. Once I woke, my body ached, I was tired, not sleepy but drained. Dinner was prepared for me, the kids and Dad went to a neighborhood cookout. The day was savaged for them, but I felt like I’d spent the day in the gym. In a fog, reflecting how real it all felt.

I wanted to share that regardless of how awesome and healthy I look or appear I’m not immune to triggers. I am not perfectly super bipolar all the time. What makes me great is also what makes me horrible. A trigger to me is what I imagine and compare to the weaknesses of superheroes.

As I sat down to write tonight I was reminded of, Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness. I flipped to the highlighted quote you see at the beginning of this post. It perfectly described me. It is me yesterday, today and tomorrow. The battle never ends, but like all superheroes I will survive to fight another day.

Parenting through the blur

“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.”Debra Ginsberg

I enjoy every moment, occasionally I will complain about all the mommy chores. So many friends or facebook peeps complain constantly about the juggling act for various reasons. But, I remember this past summer struggling after moving. Changing all my doctors, trying to get my medication refilled. With each doctor, they rarely agreed on treatment plans. Each thinking they knew more than the other. So that left me in a pickle and found myself running out of my old medications. New doctor prescribing medications I’ve loathed and never worked, such as lithium again. So I found myself turned upside down, in a new town and state. I left behind my network I had built and people had just started to understand me and i’m relocated to a place to begin the cycle again. But as a mother, I put my children first and planned summer camps and summer sports for both kids before my appointments.  I delayed my own health to ensure they relocated and made friends. I’d find myself going to soccer practice and crying for no reason. Emotions completely unchecked, mood stabilizers not working. Sitting watching my kids play soccer. I would  remembered the times when I played outside carefree. I remember those moments and again I’d cry. It was just uncontrollable at times and and without rhyme or reason.

Even dealing with my problems and pretty sure some of the parents thought I was antisocial, it took everything to survive summer. Watching my kids play, helping them find friends, and trying my best to hide my mood imbalance, not to mention anxiety of all these new strangers. I wasn’t sleeping at all for various reasons. Watching all the kids reminded me of the ones I have lost and even more thankful for the amazing ones playing on the soccer field, I sat and cried. I wasn’t being antisocial, I was protecting these new parents from meeting that person. Somehow the stigma of people with mental health problems can cause others who do not understand to protect themselves and children from what they don’t understand. It’s a circle of protection. I’m protecting my kids, I’m protecting myself, and I’m protecting potential friends from knowing this person.

Eventually I survived the weekly blood draws, the medication changes, and surprisingly avoided the hospital. I worried what people thought if they noticed the needle bruises, sometime it took 4 or 5 times to give blood. I survived summer and got back on the very cocktail of medications I love to hate, but work.

I try not to talk much about what meds I take because I don’t want others thinking, “I need that because she’s awesome” when behind closed doors I’m not awesome all the time. I have a condition with no cure that makes me awesome, not my medication. It’s like Ironman and batman need their suits to be superheroes. This mom needs her meds to control her superpower and be my children’s superhero. It’s what helps me be awesome. I want people to know and understand mental illness.

 

You can always reach out to me if you’d like a dialogue or have questions. I’m not a professional, nor would I give medical advice. I just share my experiences with my blog andon my Facebook page www.facebook.com/itsnotcrazytoday A valuable tool  is wonderful to have interact on my page or via messenger. Invite friends to like the page too. Keep the dialog open! 

 

My Top 6 Books about Mental Illness

Absolutely great list and post to read and books to check out

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