I read this post (link posted below) at random this morning. It caught my attention not only for the content, but the relatability and message. Such as this excerpt;
“Often times I deny that I’m getting bad again. I shouldn’t be at this point anymore. It’s been three years. I should be past this. I should know the lies that my mind tells me. I shouldn’t believe them. I should be rainbows and butterflies all the days of my life. I should…I should…I should.
Then I find myself crying at my desk while working on Excel spreadsheets and email templates. I excuse myself to the restroom. Because nobody wants to see that, right? I’m an adult. I shouldn’t be crying for “no reason.”
As I cry and sniffle and sit alone in the bathroom, I reach out.”
Read the rest and understand why reaching out helps. It’s a nice post, and great blog to follow, highly recommend.
“The winner has a different memory and the loser has a different memory of the same event. Where then is the question of a shared memory? What is history? Where is the notion of a We? Unless, the victory has the grace to accept the loser into his moment of glory or the loser has the grace to accede the winner his moment of glory?”
― Srividya Srinivasan
It really doesn’t take much to be on one side or the other, you win some and lose some. A couple years ago, I decided to pick up a hobby as therapy. It was also highly recommended that I find something outdoors to give my mind and body some much needed rest and exercise. I found this sport Disc Golf, some still call it Frisbee Golf. It was like traditional golf but, with a walk in the wood in many cases, and tossing a Disc. I really picked it up and played tournaments regularly the entire year of 2017. I can’t think of a weekend I wasn’t playing a tournament or leagues. Leagues also just like traditional golf brought together all skill levels and introduced me to so many new people. During the week, I found our local putting league; all these things that are part of the sport and like traditional golf, disc golf shared similar rules and even had multiple disc depending on the location to the basket. In 2017, I lost a lot. Probably the biggest loser, but overall I had the most fun and won. I don’t think I ever really cared to win, sometimes it was more about watching other players grow. It was fascinating.
It was truly exciting to play that year. It had its up’s and down’s and obviously I had mine. What happened is something I didn’t expect from this sport. A support group, a community, a sport that accepted the loser into the winning moments. I walked away victorious last year because of the sport. I wasn’t the winner on paper, but the winners were all around and shared each moment of their glory.
As a side note, I qualified and competed in the biggest tournament for amateurs in the world because of my therapy in 2017. How many people can say that about therapy?
Wait until I tell you how I won that tournament without winning….
“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.
“Understand me. I’m not like an ordinary world. I have my madness, I live in another dimension and I do not have time for things that have no soul.” ~ Charles Bukowski
I’ve done a lot of reflection, experienced great things, great people, and been part of some extraordinary projects and events even since my last post. Again, this is such a silent illness. If you know me in person you will rarely see me without a smile on my face. What is hard to admit is how many times I wanted to run or avoid any human interaction. I forced myself, not because it was for the experience, not for the social reward, but to make myself experience life. I do this because my family and my friends mean more than this thing I fight in my mind.
On social media, you only see the good and rarely the bad. I promise for every extraordinary experience, I’ve had a great fall from the over stimulation. It was never someone’s fault and I am thankful for the wonderful things I am blessed to be apart of socially and recreational. I am able to listen to everyone, hear everyone, remember, and listen. I do put together huge pictures in my head. It’s almost a curse, I pin and connect everything and have amazing epiphanies. People want to see other failures, it’s astonishing. I see it everyday, someone who volunteers and moves on to another endeavor is always criticized, success is criticize.
I connect the dots in my head and have an overwhelming sense of shame for knowing something I should not know, only because three or more people placed puzzle pieces via causal conversation. I was able to see it all completed, and it hurts me like a dagger upon completion of the puzzles in my head. I’ve found myself withdrawn from those whom I never wanted to finish the puzzles, but regrettably by forcing the smile and “living” it was inevitable.
As, Bukowski said above, “I do not have time for things that have no soul” and I shall not make my time available to be sucked dry of any hope I have to win the battles in my mind. I fight too hard everyday to erase, remember, and overcome the thoughts in my mind.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” It’s questionable to the origins of the quote, was it Plato? Most likely Ian McClaren, but it is something we should all remember. I am reminded daily by brief encounters, private messages, emails, or comments on wordpress that I am not alone and we are all very different, but….you are not alone.
One of my favorite parts of this article. I just had to share.
“It is important to keep in mind that you have more than a diagnosis. You have a destiny, and you can still realize all the dreams you ever had. Sure, it takes courage to move on with your life, but courage is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
Bipolar disorder is only as limiting as you allow it to be, so do not let it hold you back. Bipolar disorder does not define your life: You do.” ~ Stephen Propst
Read the entire article link at bottom. It’s a great one to share and read.
This morning the cat and I shared a moment. It confirmed, we both suffer various psychotic symptoms. Both of us thankful for our medications. *skip to the bottom if you’re impatient.
*I suppose this is another “don’t talk about it” dirty symptom.
So before I get to our experience. I figured I’d explain a bit about bipolar disorder delusions and hallucinations. They are very different, delusions being irrational, illogical, and just a bit of false grandeur. Hallucinations can be many things, hearing, seeing, smelling, and generally sensing things with something triggering the response. Usually experienced during manic episodes.
My grandiose delusions are usually related to when I’m suffering mania or it is fast approaching. In a recent setback, I believed that I was approached by an Angel and he told me I’m having a child. I began seeing things, but I’ll get to that a bit further. This required, some help with medication. It’s what my husband refers to my mental reset. It also causes me to sleep for 16 to 24 hours or if that doesn’t work the good old hospital visit. It’s funny to look back on the experiences, but I mean biblically it’s happened before right? In all seriousness, it was a grandiose delusion. I have visions and find connections, I feel completely in sync with the earth’s energy, which can also be perceived as a delusional or maybe I’m just extremely in tune with nature. I can sometimes spend hours which feels like minutes staring into the woods. Keep in mind this is me medicated.
There are so many other things other than grandiose and persecutory delusions there are a great list of common hallucinations. They include olfactory (smell), auditory (hearing), gustatory (taste), tactile (feeling touched, creepy crawlers), somatic (feeling in your body) and last but not least, visual (seeing things). These aren’t always all associated with Bipolar disorder, but remember, I’m the kitchen sink, PTSD, ADHD, GAD are sometime the culprit. Now put it all in a pot and stir it, actually shake it.
My primary culprits are auditory, olfactory, visual, and somatic. These are the ones I still experiences even on medication. The delusions are generally contained very well with medication. My kids and husband believe I have this superpower to smell, the ability smell anything and pinpoint precisely the source. The hallucination is when I am convinced I smell smoke most often, sometimes it’s Jasmine. Other strong smells include, rust or blood. One that almost always gets me is some old heirloom roses that were behind my grandmother’s house as a child. I remember as a kid always stopping to smell the roses, literally. I only started smelling them after my father passed away. Roses today have lost the smell, these roses had such a strong, unique, unmistakable smell. Sometimes they smell as if they are right under my nose. Some would say this is spiritual and loved ones reaching out to let me know they are present, others hallucinations.
The auditory, are usually like whispers, but only at night. I recognize it as my mind decompressing, I’m simply hearing myself. But it’s interesting to know I sometime talk to myself in a completely sane manner. Sometime the pets and like other stories we have conversations, they have their voices too. Visually, it usually shadows…also reassured it medication adjustments by doctors. The somatic is usually gut feelings. They can be very unnerving. I could go on and on to the sense of being touched sometimes to waking at night and seeing someone.
So many of you may have skipped down here to me and the black cat. This morning in bed, the cat and I heard something downstairs. We currently live in a three story townhouse. So hearing something downstairs was a bit unnerving. So the dog, the cat and I walked downstairs to the sound in the main living area. Instantly, the cat completely puffed up her fur and arched her back and the dog stood in front of me and slightly growled. This happened once before when my mom visited and she witnessed a similar event.
I am pretty sure I heard the cat say, “holy shit” and the black dog growled just trying to be brave and quickly ran to the couch. The cat and I stood for a few moments basically, she held her puffed, arched back hissing. I just closed my eyes and use my senses. Was it a smell, was it the sound, was it delusional. I kept my eyes shut and remembered the smell of the roses and suddenly it was all gone. Whatever cause the disturbance, was sent away by thinking of the most comforting thing, the smell of those heirloom roses. Some would say my guardian angels came to my side. The room smelled of roses. The cat calmed and purred on my leg. I opened my eyes to nothingness.
“I fancied my luck to be witnessing yet another full moon. True, I’d seen hundreds of full moons in my life, but they were not limitless. When one starts thinking of the full moon as a common sight that will come again to one’s eyes ad-infinitum, the value of life is diminished and life goes by uncherished. ‘This may be my last moon,’ I sighed, feeling a sudden sweep of sorrow; and went back to reading more of The Odyssey.” ~ Roman Payne
*I adore Roman Payne if you’re not familiar with his works, he writes with such sexual energy, poetic and translates his passion and character’s passion in his books. His awareness, portrayal, and understanding of mental conditions are beautifully displayed in his book “The Wanderess”.
So back on topic, his quote struck a cord and sparked this blog post. Each month I look forward to the full moon. I read many articles and today ran across this one I’m sharing, It was an excellent article regarding lunacy and effects on mental health. It contains some great theories listed throughout the article from some of our greatest philosophers and psychologist discuss the theories based on my opinion outdated research from the 1980’s. I love the historical content, great article.
I firmly believe it affects my cycles and moods. I’m one who can’t sleep and have a fascination with the full moon, honestly the moon in general. It one of my many obcessions. It affect the earth, living creatures, and even plants. Why would it not affect us as well?
I get a surge of energy, elevated mood even with medication I can feel it happening. I’ve actually charted my moods. It can be argued it psychosomatic, but over the years and experience with others it seems Lunacy is real, yet still only a theory. I’m curious to hear from others. What is your experience or feelings on the subject? Do you experience mood changes?
Let’s explore how I reset and enjoy the healthy time alone.
1. Learn to observer and watch people. It’s simple, watch children play and interact. Sit in the bar or group and listen. It’s much the same. Listen, don’t talk, unless spoken too.
2. Enjoy your time alone. It’s rare, turn off every device in the house for 20 minutes. Everything, phone, WiFi, televisions. Actually, go find the breaker box main switch and flip it off (turn the usuals off before doing this), you’ll instantly feel peace. It’s a strange sensation. Close your eyes and feel the lack of WiFi and electricity…..you will feel it if you shut it all off.
3. Learn to talk to yourself. You can always be kind to yourself. Learn to appreciate what your mind tells you in silence. Many times I’ve ignored what I knew or I should have done only to have my mind tell me, “I told you so”. So it’s worth listening and talking to yourself. No one will ever love you or listen to you like yourself.
4. Volunteer! You can do the smallest thing and change a life. But you do it on your own, you don’t do it to seek recognition. You just do something that helps others selfishly.
5. Decide you’re going to learn a skill or project. Complete it! I wanted to learn electrical repair. Several vocational classes and yours truly can fixed a toaster, wire a lamp, or do general household repairs. It was so rewarding, I continued with woodworking, plumbing, and auto repair. I’m a bit obsession so don’t use me as an example.
6. Make a list. I hate list, but make an agenda of things you want to accomplish before bed. Make sure the first this on your list is MAKE YOUR BED. Trust me, if you don’t make your bed you’ve screwed up the list. Make your bed, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and then that first thing is checked off your list.
7. This is by far my hell on earth task, working out. Yes, workout! Walk 30 minutes, yoga, run, or what ever your vice….even sex. I prefer the latter. Sex count.
8. Do something completely alone. I’ll go to the movies, bookstore, and then have a drink and dinner while writing in my journal, ALONE! It is possibly, my best advice if you’re a mom or dad with a schedule. Plan a run away monthly!
9. Approach and engage strangers and be genuinely interested. I’ve learned so much about people just by removing the stigma of societies norm. I’ve made some of the best and life long friends whom I don’t think I could live without if not for letting go of my preconceived impressions based on societies normal. I’m in a military community, so normal is pretty straight laced.
10. Set goals, writing it down and put it in an envelope. In one year, I will have….? Next one, In 5 and 10 years. It can be big, it can be as simple as I’ll stop biting my nails. But, when you open that envelope you’re rewarding yourself. Do monthly envelopes! It’s goals with the satisfaction, you put it in writing and you accomplished something for yourself, not someone else. You discover and achieved it for yourself.
That is my alone time. That is how I’m alone and not defined by anyone else.
Best day ever! It’s like finding money in the dryer or a jean pocket, but the joy keeps going and you are constantly being uplifted. Yesterday was one of those days. No anxiety or panic, no sadness, no flashbacks, no racing thoughts, no tears, nothing over the top. Just a blank canvas day, that ended up a beautiful picture.
My blank canvas didn’t involve winning the lottery or anything of grandeur. It simply involved waking up to two beautiful kids who let mom sleep, started the house chores, and my oldest made breakfast without burning the house down. When I finally woke up, a bit foggy forgetting the kids were even home on spring break. I walk downstairs and head directly for the coffee pot. From the other room two little heads pop up, “Hi Mom! Good morning!” I yawn and think to myself how awesome of them to let me sleep and go on autopilot. Then almost as if they planned the timing together they asked, “Mom, is today the day you have your friends teach us to play Disc Golf?” I responded with my normal noncommittal, “We’ll see, mommy needs her coffee first.” This is a protective response from me when I don’t want to let them down. Two reasons, I needed to make sure I wasn’t dreaming and second I knew this activity required a commitment from friends to teach them to play. I hate when I let down my kids, but to have someone else let them down physically hurts.
Bit of a backtrack, I decided months ago I needed to take back up a hobby such as golf. I was really good at one time and really remember it being fun and therapeutic. Then, I ran across Disc golf, I was immediately intrigued. Disc golf is where you throw a flying disc at a target like chained basket, the fun is scored like golf and based on precision and accuracy on a 18 basket courses. Win, win for me, no hauling balls or golf clubs, just a bag of various discs. I loved it instantly and quickly became obsessed with the concept and game. This was going to be my new sport. I shall master it and shared this with my kids. Who watched Vine and YouTube videos that a friend had sent, over and over. They wanted to learn too!
Back to best day ever, “We’ll see” I tell the kids and I sent text to my friend. He’s, a disc golf junkie and jumped at the opportunity to teach the kids and myself. We meet at the park, I knew instantly his passion and obsession with the sport made him the perfect guy. Plus, he was a bit of a kid himself so the kids loved him and the sport.
Peter couldn’t figure out if he was left or right handed thrower. This took some time since he is ambidextrous. Eventually, he threw it, just somehow backwards each time. When advised to run into it and throw, Peter literally ran 25ft forward then threw. Peter, always the one to look for the cheat.
Turns out Rowan was really good! She was a natural. Not only did she throw really well, she was noticed by some of the local disc golf players in the league who encouraged her to join the league and play in a tournament next month. They said she probably win. That was really cool and a huge encouragement for her. She sometimes needs encouragement and this came from one of the best female players locally.
As for the mad woman, well I threw, but kept getting my butt kicked by my daughter and dodging Peters crazy Ivins. Try to not scare our new friend with our multiple personalities. Not only did we learn to play. My daughter found something she loves. Peter was still frolicking tossing, then came home to tell stories to his friend about how he plays disc golf like a boss. I found my new hobby and made great friendships.
In retrospect today, I had a day without let downs, a day away from society. It was therapeutic. It was the perfect day. I was again, a new “normal” for the day.
I found myself reading blogs like novels! Yes, probably your blog too. I may possibly be stalking you. *Maniacal laugh…… I do really like to read, expecially with my new medication (new doc, hahaha she gave a stimulate to a bipolar who was rapid cycling, I’m chasing squirrels right now) I can concentrate, until it ignites mania and then it’s back to mind numb forgetfulness. But I read a lot of blogs and yes I do love your blog. I think I’m going to start showcasing mental doppelganger bloggers of the week.
I read, heard a long time ago when you read books, papers, or articles you absorb a small part of that author. It really made me a bit picky about my choices in literature. Hemingway will always have my heart. He wrote with such conviction, blood emotion, and experience. I instantly feel in love with a dead man who suffered from the same mental flaw I am fighting. I never knew Hemingway was bipolar until recent years. Once I reread his works with my new understanding of his mind it really explained my analysis and sometimes unorthodox synopsis of his stories. I read them with a bipolar mind and he wrote it with a bipolar mind. It really is beautiful to admire his beautiful mind. I don’t discount the darkness, He lived with sickness, Hemingway himself and put a shotgun in his mouth in his finest Chinese robe in his door hallway. He saw the sunrise one last time. He knew his story had ended and he was determined to write the ending, not a sequel. He knew his ending which is a very sad statistic for those who are diagnosed bipolar.
It’s a bipolar thing, we like to write our endings. My challenge is to bring back the sequels. A story doesn’t have to end with the story book, Prince meet princess and they have beautiful children and live long prosperous lives and die without regret, pain and have a long legacy. I can say with certainly those handsome narcissistic princes you meet along the way will always satisfy their needs even thought they have beautiful princesses. I’m around it everyday, it’s really sad the poor girls/guys who accepts the repeated infidelities of a narcissist, because they feel they have a trophy husband or trophy wife. I am sad for their delusion of happiness and infidelity. It’ll never stop, it’s a cycle. It makes me sick how many people live such a fake life or repeatedly try to reinvent and change their lives….until they get drunk again a cry to listening ears. Until they gey the attention from the assfish who circle them. Those people are DUMBASSES!
I am happy to admit I’m flawed, possibly worse than the abusive narcissist married to a dumbass. I love deeply and I crave a happy ending. I love to satisfy emotional and physically. I am hurt very easily when my affections aren’t returned. Sometimes all you want is to be held, hugged, touched, and cuddled. It makes me so happy that I have someone who loves me, holds me, satisfies me, touches me, and holds me and I know they aren’t that narcissistic person or playing me a fool. They know all my demons and still love me.
I HOPE and pray sometimes I relay the true depection of the emotions of my mental health in words that help someone. The comments and messages I receive give me great hope you hear and share my musings.
I hope you love me because I’m writing a tragedy, but you know it ends a love story. It’s that crazy Nicolas Sparks novel! No one dies or gets sick, those books and movies are just full of heartbreak. I’m surrounded with heartbreak everyday right here on wordpress. Except I can interact with the characters, the real people and real stories. Unless your one of my fictional writers or poets. Then I’m probably just obsessed with your way with words. I love the poets!
I think eventually in a lifetime you get it right and your soul can rest.My soul needs to rest and this is my nutty story…….I love your blog!
“When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories we get to write a brave new ending.” Brené Brown
In the most inopportune times my illness takes the wheel and steers me into the ditch. In the ditch, I’m not reliable, I’m not consistent, and I’m constantly having to reschedule or delay planned activities, because of the grip of anxiety and an overwhelming fear that is unexplainable and inexcusable. I forget birthdays of even my closest friends and family. I’m the definition of a flake, but only because I hide behind a mask everyday. What most people don’t know is that I don’t intentionally flake. If I had a choice, I’d be the outgoing, helpful, and reliable girl they love to be around everyday. The life of the party, dance on the table fun girl, the girl who volunteers as much time as she can to help others. It hits me like a sledgehammer, usually a slight trigger but many times no warning. I know I’m not getting depressed, I am intimate with depression. I’m suffering the suffocation of anxiety and PTSD. I have a sudden lost of all control of my emotions. On top of everything, I realize I have won the jackpot of mental illnesses. This one much harder to treat, memories have become the enemy.
Unlike my superpower bipolar, Post traumatic stress disorder is normally in my community associated with military members who have given their mind to our country and suffer the wounds of war internally. Their wounds aren’t always visible. It’s definitely not a superpower and has no benefits. It’s become a mainstream topic and given credibility because of the media coverage and the fact that more doctors are recognizing it as a serious condition. So being around the military, I rarely talk about my own PTSD as not to take away from the service members. I hate being asked if it was caused by my service. Earning the title Marine was and is still one of my greatest achievements. My PTSD has absolutely nothing to do with my service to my country. Many of my symptoms are the same as my Bipolar disorder, except I’m haunted at times with nightmares and sudden anxiety. Triggered by the memories of near death, trauma, and lost a precious baby boy. I’m not sure I can write anymore about the cause, the trauma is something my mind can’t fully accept. I never talk about the nightmares and sudden overwhelming fears. It hard to balance being bipolar, being stable, and uncontrollable anxiety. I hide it well and it is exhausting, sometimes I am amazed I survive day to day.
So you might ask how do you lose friends and piss people off? You don’t tell them you can’t leave the house, you just cancel plans without reason. You are embarrassed to let anyone see you cry and trust me, it isn’t something that can be controled. You just don’t show up and withdraw from society. The fear of sitting or being in a group and starting to cry terrifies me, the circling of strangers asking if I’m okay and rubbing my back trying to help me and I know I can’t explain myself or my actions. It’s the fear of unwanted attention. It’s like choking and not being able to talk. You voice is muffled, when you do talk is that of a gasping hiccup. It passes like a storm, but when the dust has settled and the rain has stopped. You find yourself alone, because you decided to protect them from yourself. You cancelled, you didn’t show up, you flaked. You couldn’t bear the embarrassment of being perceived in any other way than person you chose to show the world. Turn out this pisses people off, who knew?
In my pursuit of normalcy, I realized I segregated myself from an incredible support system. It was only once I was honest about my mental health did people understand. Many times once I opened up they opened up about their own struggles with mental health. Some of the strongest people I know had their own demons. Like myself, they hid that they relied on similar drugs. The stigma, It’s the whispers, the people who try to help, and the embarrassment of being a very professional outgoing extrovert who crashes into a barely functional introvert.
So my laundry is piled, sink is full of dishes, and I just want to be alone, the battle has begun. I will not be a flake and a prisoner to my mind. I’ll start today by going to the grocery store and I’ll cry in aisle three. I’ll let a stranger comfort me and accept the embarrassment that is only in my head. We all need to be more open about mental health.
It’s the clean up in isle three that can be just as scary.
Cats are narcissist, self gratifying creatures. My love for cats is never hampered. I still love the creature that needs me to feel loved and cared for daily. I know the cat is beautiful and can survive easily if cast aside to the wilderness. I admire the the cat.
What bothers me is if I’m cast aside would I survive? Cats have this natural instinct and narcissistic attitude. The people who I am drawn to are usually representative of a narcissist cat. They would seek self approval, if human wod post over and over again their perfect lives to a social media format. When in reality cats will kill without cause or need, breed with multiple mates, and turn on you and love you in the same moment. They will hurt you and make it your somehow your fault. I love my narcissist cat. But I’ve learned there are people who are like cats. They eat us alive. They feed on our weakness to care, to love unconditionally, and the need to be loved. They look for someone who will say, “your amazing” “your beautiful” daily to them, someone who constantly reinforces their egos. Someone who merely says thank you. Someone we imagine to be like that of friendship in Hollywood movies. These people know we will do anything for them. They know it the day they meet us and continue to accept and fluff our self-esteems until we are completely obsessed. It then they start to show their true natures. But for us, we have invested, we have loved, we just want to be loved back. We don’t want to walk away from the beautiful creatures that once told us they loved us, it rare someone could love someone like us. We certainly come with our own flaws, like the narcissist, but we never hurt to make ourselves feel better.
We invest, we love, and we grieve because we attract those who love our bipolar, anxiety, and depression. Some people are drawn to us, because in a very sad way they are using us to feel better. They don’t face there own narcissism. They are self serving and need those who will pet them, feed them, and scoop their shit.
I have all that with my cat! Why the hell would I put up with someone who emulates animal behavior (unless it’s only sex related, then maybe)? My cat metaphorically is constantly taking selfies of her amazing social life, her amazing vacations, and just her selfies of herself, she’s the Kim Kardashian of black cats. I’m scooping her shit while she’s at club med.
Dammit, I love my cat even though she doesn’t love me, I love her. She stays with me, provides me comfort with her presence. It makes me feel good she occasionally purrs on me……I know she wants something, but it’s affection. I crave affection. She meows, she talks to me….I know she wants something and I reward her. I pet her, I tell her she is the best cat in the world, she’s the perfect cat. I love narcissist cats! I recognize narcissist people because of my psychotic narcissist cat.
I guess my point is those who suffer from lows, wherever it be on the bipolar depression anxiety spectrum, remember narcissist will feed on you. You will and probably already fluff their egos daily on various social media’s such as, Facebook, instagram, or twitter to hang on to thier love and approval. Stop promoting that behavior and look at those friends who need your attention. I’m guilty of ignoring those who needed me for narcissistic people. I learned my lesson years ago, but it took my cat to put it in perspective.
You can cast a cat aside, they’ll survive to exist. Cast me aside, I’ll survive because I existed.
As I walk around trying to unravel and piece together my night with the wine flu today, I’m constantly finding little notes to myself. I know when I drink too much I don’t remember, it’s like I’m on a break and that “nut” is on the loose. So sometimes I leave myself notes so I don’t forget the epiphanies. She must have been dying to break free.
The nut certainly took over from my estimates around 10:30 pm based off emails, blog post, text, drawings, and notes all over the place this morning.
The sticky notes….
As I walk down the stairs I immediately notice yellow sticky notes everywhere. On each one it read “This doesn’t belong here” stuck on shoes, toys, books, dishes, and random object that should have been put away. Oh that’s right, passive aggressive nut must have been cracking herself up last night over the sticky notes. So I dig further, I knew I blogged last night, but hadn’t really read what I wrote, but I remember writing it so it can’t be that bad so I move on to my text messages.
The text messages….
Have you ever been up at night and get a text from a strange number and they immediately text back, “I’m sorry you must have the wrong number.”? Well I did that a couple times, but then tried to engage in conversation with, “Oh I’m sorry. How are you doing then?” Guess the nut was lonely. Those went nowhere beyond that, but I chuckled thinking what those poor people must thought. Not too bad, let’s check sent email.
I open my email and click on the sent folder. “Dammit, she emailed!” She actually was doing pretty good. Replied pleasantries and general responses to many emails that needed to be addressed. So far, not too bad, until I scrolled to the one to myself. As I read it I forgot this was actually written by me to me for me. I am completely delusional and really engaging. I wrote myself about all my memories and past lives (saving that gem for it’s own post). It was awesome and I’ve rarely write to myself with such details. It was really making me think I had tapped into the universe somehow…….until I start telling myself it was critical for me to get a pet skunk and name her Petunia. I laughed and moved on unraveling my night.
After checking everything else and breathing a sigh of relief I see I had my journal next to my seat on the couch. I open it to read and to my surprise I had drawn hobbit houses with my ink pen. Pretty cool, but rather sloppy for my work. I knew I was better than that and under the journal were some really impressive pencil drawings. I was pleased with the nut.
I was indeed very pleased with the nut, but unfortunately she needs to be locked back up. I need to learn to bring her out without alcohol and teach her to be productive. She has ruined me for the day when I desperately need to be productive. Hangovers are hell, but in combination with my medications they are even worse. I know I shouldn’t do it be we all need to howl at the moon ever so often. I just wish she would have cleaned, she does that sometimes. Always a gamble with her.
Oh I played the song lost boy by Ruth b a million times too.
Let me start by saying “Yes, I have been drinking” and “You’re no better than me” in my best drunken voice.
First item of business cats, Why do you got to be assholes? Only once did I have a cat that loved me unconditionally and he had a heart attack when he was two, it’s a hard life loving me….even for a cat. But back to the asshole black cat who has found her way into the hearts of everyone in the house. I’m sure part of her dark plan to off me with nail clippers in the middle of the night and take my place in the house. Cats are funny, we really are their pets. She doesn’t like where I sit my glass of water. Cat, “Oh I see you sat water here, let me knock that off and water the floor for you. You’re welcome human.” Or the constant meowing and purring like she wants to be loved. I reach to pet her thinking, “This is it, she finally loves me.” WRONG……Cat’s mind, “Oh no! Don’t you dare pet me like an animal. Follow me now human!!! I AM STARVING. My bowl is only half filled and I peed in my box SCOOP IT now human, NOW! NoW!” I can set items of mine on the bar and around the house at random then sit with a glass of wine or coffee and just listen to shit hit the floor all over the house. Anyways, why you got to be an asshole? I like my clutter, but Trubul likes clean surfaces. The cat need meds, like yesterday!
I just completely lost track. Second, I decided I really want a raccoon.
Third, I hate that I gained 20 pounds from the fucking medication, I only took for two months. What’s up with that shit?!? Husband typical rational response, “Well honey, it may not be the meds, diet and exercise are just as important and well you are a spring chicken anymore.” Well thank you Mr. Obvious. Thank you for reminding me, but I think it’s probably just the medication…..and maybe a little too much wine. Did I mention I quit two days ago only to drink for this night?
Third, why is the nut drinking and musing tonight? To be honest to avoid a low, I’m celebrating my misfortune. Yes, celebrating my misfortunes of the past two weeks. My bank account is nearly $5000 dollars poorer. Unexpected expenses just keep popping up, such as my two flat tire in one day on each of my vehicles, new tires all around, Hooray! If that wasn’t enough the dog joins in with her problems. This weekend, Dog, “my ear hurt human, I am itchy human, my ear hurts human” As she wagged and bugged the shit out of me. I finally pet her and scratch her ear to discover the dog has scratched so much she has a hematoma completely bulging in her ear. Also overnight, ear and eye infections, and a flare up of skin allergies. Off to vet, $700 later and a scheduled surgery this Friday estimated to be another $700 the dog is walking around happy and stoned on pain meds and allergy medication. I swear the dog thinks she is my husband mistress tonight. I actually getting jealous. I need a good scratching too……more wine.
Forth, I don’t even know what this post started out about, but pretty sure I was mad at someone and ignoring them by blogging.
Lastly, “You shouldn’t drink if you’re on medication. It defeats the purpose and effectiveness of the medication you are taking” and my response to myself, “I fucking know that and you have to howl at the moon sometimes.” Pardon my language, it’s the Marine in me and being around them for decades. OMG, decades make me feel old.
I shall toast and be embarrassed tomorrow. But being bipolar does not mean I can’t howl at the moon every once in a while.
I’ve spent the better part of my day trying to figure out a mystery just to remember i’m “nuts.” As I walked down my staircase I noticed spots on the carpet. There were a couple big ones and more tiny like a splatter or drip of a reddish brown color. Immediately, I go into “Who’s bleeding?” mode. Kids were at school so if one of them had hide an injury from me they did a great job. So then I check the dog and no sign of anything. So I went in search of the crazy cat. She probably ran into the wall and busted her nose. In my head, I was convinced the cat had hurt herself in a manic rage. Fun part was finding where she chose to hide from me. I found her safe and sound chewing up my phone charger. She wasn’t hurt but I wanted to hurt her. So now it’s a a real mystery. Who was bleeding at the foot of my staircase?
Now my mind is different than that of a normal person. Now, I’m getting paranoid, in my head I ask, “Is one of my kids having nose bleeds and hiding it from me? Oh my god, is it an undiagnosed brain tumor?” Racing thoughts continue, “Was someone in the house, got hurt and ran before being caught?” Just as I was convinced someone was hurt, or worse dying the kids come through the door. I rush them both with the third degree interrogation. No injuries, no bleeding whatsoever. Then out of my daughter’s mouth, “Mom, that’s spilled red wine! I know what blood looks like and that’s wine.”
Three thoughts on myself crossed my mind immediately. First, “you are batshit crazy” second, “did you really see spots and assume blood, death, and cancer?” Lastly, I remembered last night deciding I’d relax and escape the living room couch, lay in bed and read…..and yes with a glass of beautiful red wine. What I forgot is the stumble from the sniper attack to my feet. The the black cat of the darkness, Trubul had lunged at me and unknowingly in the dark the spill occured.
Mystery solved, touche cat. “Why the hell didn’t you remind me earlier when I asked you cat!?!??” Guess you were too busy trying to kill yourself chewing wires.
To slowly slip into depression is worst than the episodes that can be linked to a trigger. But no trigger this time, slowly feeling it is like waiting for the unknown. Panic and anxiety start to sink in for fear of the unknown. Some people notice right away, others just realize they haven’t seen you, some miss the life of the party, and surprisingly very few ask, “Are you okay?”
I become what I recognize as delusional now, because I know it’s not true. I call this the “Eeyore effect.” Eeyore is a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh books if you lived a sheltered childhood under a rock you may not know he is a gloomy, depressed, pessimistic old grey stuffed donkey. I certainly know depression is coming when Eeyore shows up. I tell myself I have no friends, no one cares and does anything really matter? Unlike Eeyore, I hurt those who do care and the angry outburst become common. I cling to those who make me happy hoping to pull myself out before it happens. Eventually being clingy and needy will take a toll on the sane and they don’t want to sink with you so the abandon ship. Then you realize I am clinically depressed.
So what is the cure for the “Eeyore effect?” I’ve found doing the one thing that is the hardest for me is key, talk to my doctor. Yes, hardest thing in the world is admitting I’m depressed to my doctor. I fear yet another medication. I fear the side effects new medications. I fear she’ll think I’m just lazy. I fear she will tell me it’s normal. But for the cure to the Eeyore effect, the key is talking about my fear to the doctor and family. Being brutally honest about yourself and your moods and behavior. Sadly having bipolar once I do slip it’s dangerous so Eeyore has to be balanced quickly.
The stigma of medication and mental illness is the only thing I wish we could cure. It’s okay to admit you’re sick. Antidepressants are OKAY! If it was your heart or maybe diabetes, you’d take the medication needed to make you feel better. I just heard my friend yell that at me in my head. It took me years for family and friends to convince me it was okay. Now I help others, talk, listen and I’m open about my illness. You’d be surprised how helpful it is for you to be yourself and they understand you can’t just snap out of it when you become Eeyore.
On the other hand, the “Tigger effect” is hard for me to talk about and deserves it’s own post for all its scandal, excitement, and embarrassment. You’d think depression would be harder to talk about but writing about something you miss because of medication is hard.
I’m not sure if many of you have read or been told the story of the scorpion and the turtle or frog in some stories. I’ve heard the story in various ways with the cast of animals swapped in and out, but generally it’s a classic for reflection on human behavior and inherent vicious natures that cannot change. We all feel the sting, and living with my condition I feel I’m constantly both characters. Nevertheless, I wanted to share and pass along the story. It’s a story that’s been heavy on my mind as i’ve read through the diversity of the blogs here on wordpress. So here you go, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on his back across a river. “Are you Scorpion mad?” exclaimed the turtle. “You’ll sting me while I’m swimming and I’ll drown.”
“My dear turtle,” laughed the scorpion, “if I were to sting you, you would drown and I would go down with you. Now where is the logic in that?”
“You’re right!” cried the turtle. “Hop on!” The scorpion climbed aboard and halfway across the river gave the turtle a mighty sting. As they both sank to the bottom, the turtle resignedly said:
“Do you mind if I ask you something? You said there’d be no logic in your stinging me. Why did you do it?”
“It has nothing to do with logic,” the drowning scorpion sadly replied. “It’s just my character.” [Braude, 1965]
The cat talked tonight and I am certain she’s schizophrenic and thinks people and inanimate objects talk to her.
She came into my life over a year ago shortly after I swore I’d never own a cat. Little did I know this black siren would play my children and enter our family on a bet. We were visiting family in Kentucky and as usual in the country you’ll encounter the barn cats and stray dogs. They honestly balance things for children in the Appalachia. Many of my best friends and confidences were animals. It taught me about unconditional love, trust, and loyalty. You’ll never find friendship like that of animals or someone who gives you and expects nothing but love in return.
So the black siren came as we visited Mam-maw (grandmother) just over a year ago. The kids had played with the cutest litter of stray barn kittens. Something I was happy they got to enjoy, something I cherished from my childhood in Kentucky.
The kids begged and begged for us to take one home. Of course, selfishly I wanted a black cat, always loved them because they shared a stigma. I said if a little black kitten comes tonight we’ll take her home tomorrow. Within minutes, we see this lone black kitten running to the door. “Dammit”, I thought, but honestly I was probably as thrilled as the kids. She was perfect! Absolutely the perfect cat. I agreed, but said we will name her Trubul like trouble, because I’m certain she’ll be nothing but trouble.
Fast forward, she is trying to kill me. Trubul has now been with the family long enough to execute plans. She’s no longer pet, but captive. I am her captor. She is living out the “Unbreakable” story (she watched the movie with me, I saw her snap). She would guard her catnip mouses, plan sniper attacks, plot her escape.
I only knew the cat was as crazy as me when I saw her talking to herself. Yes, talking to herself. She would meow something and in another tone meow back. It would continue, she would fight her alter ego for the one mouse not hidden under a couch. Everyday I accepted my cat was a schizophrenic bipolar cat.
Tonight she turned on me. In retrospect, it was when I tried to meditate, but she turned (see previous post). I was the enemy and we had a battle.
Without it being an “offense worthy of commitment” the cat has the upper hand. I’ll never have a rabbit to chase down a hole, because Trubul will kill it and probably lay it on my pillow, like a horse head from the godfather movie. She runs the house, she has the love, she controls the dog……to be continued CAT……to be continued….
So I was told meditation is amazing to slow your mind, ease your worries, and soothe your soul. So hello google and youtube, I’m now a subject matter expert. Kids are in school and I need to learn to self soothe. Let’s do this!
Step 1: Sit or lie comfortably
I sit my pretty little butt down trying to not think. Then I start thinking, “did it say how I should sit or lie?”, “Is the door locked”, “I really need to be doing laundry” “I guess I could just masturbate”
Step 2: Close your eyes
Eye are closed, success! Eyes are closed! “Why is it so hard to keep my eyeballs from straining?” Suddenly dog jumps on me, “Stupid dog, go away I am f*cking meditating”
Step 3: Make no effort to control breath; simply breathe naturally.
I’m now laying, not sitting anymore eyes closed and thinking “Is this natural breathing?” “Why am I over thinking breathing?”“Keep your eyes closed and stop thinking….why the hell is the cat now rubbing and purring on me, ugh. Did you forget you hate me cat!?!?” “Stop thinking about sex” “Focus!”
Step 4: Focus your attention, blah blah blah. Breathing more blah blah blah. Body movement and more breathing ramblings. This is basically the meditate step.
Cats gone, dog is in the floor. All is peaceful, I just might do this meditate thing. Eyes closed, I hear the sounds of regurgitation from the dog. I think, “meditate, ignore dog. Breathe naturally”. As I hear the dog move around room, obviously puking, the doorbell rings. At that moment, dog forgets about puking to run barking like a rabid dog to kill the door.
I open my eyes to see that the dog decided to walk around to puke, disgusting. Checked outside, no one is there. I clean up after the dog. Cat runs a sniper attack on my head as I clean and the phone is ringing. Yay, it’s the school nurse, I have a sick kid. I laughed as she talked and just told her I’d be there to pick him up soon.
My conclusion, meditation and the bipolar mind is nearly impossible. But you know what is soothing, involves bed, and eyes rolling back in your head. Yep, sex!
Blogging is an excellent outlet and surprisingly I enjoy writing about my lunacy. I love reading the comments it’s very therapeutic. Over the last week or so as word spread “the nut” was writing a blog, the common thread was “that’s awesome”, “Just don’t write about me”. It seemed people loved living the story with me, but somehow embarrassed for me to tell the stories. Guess what? I’m going to tell all my stories (*insert maniacal laugh).
You can’t choose to ride the roller coaster and say you only walked by the ride. People tend to really enjoy a good shit show. I’m not a mean girl, so don’t start sweating. If I blog about you, you’re probably not going to notice, unless….. you’re a narcissist then all my post are about you and you’re ugly.
So let my story telling begin. I hope to help someone out there relate, understand a friend or family member who may suffer from mental illness. I am flattered by my following and really love to hear your thoughts. Who knows, you just might end up in my stories.
1. The person your co-workers/neighbors know; you see this person day to day. Wave hello, share pleasantries, you share a common bond of existence. It’s work, business, and existence.
2. The second is the person your family and childhood friends know. They grew up with you. They know you on a deeper level. They know that girl/guy who they went to church, school, or summer camp. Lived in the same county or city. You probably went to high school together. They know the base that made you.
3. Then the person your friends knows…the person your friends open up too, professional friends, college friends, good neighbors. Those you open up too and trust. You probably hang out, drink occasionally, and feel comfortable. They are you day to day. In the now friends.
4. Then late at night when no one is around, the person that only you know.
Everyone’s forth person is a little dark, sometimes that fourth person gets out of control. That can be natural. But, if the fourth person is completely different than the other three, than that fourth person is a monster.
And if that forth person doesn’t correspond with one of the first three you’re a monster. You’re embarrassed, you’re ashamed, you’re scared the fourth person could define you, it scary.