Tag Archives: bipolar

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

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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.

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Hospitalization ~ Down the rabbit hole

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“It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once made the remark) that whatever you say to them, they always purr.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, #2)
I’ll spare you all the details of the manic episodes that led to this post because of my young readers, including my own pre-teen. I hope she and others read this post and understands why her mother was gone for nearly two weeks and all the Thanksgiving food went uncooked this year in my unexpected absence. Please respect my blog and direct any questions privately. 

Like the quote above, I have an inconvenient habit of purring, always smiling, and always living life to the fullest. The details are unimportant to this particular post except I did the one thing you never do, stopped my medication. I was convinced I was wrongly medicated and each time another pill would be added sending me into a rabbit hole. I reached out entirely too subtle and told one or two people I stopped all my meds then followed with the “I’m fine”. I WAS NOT FINE.
“Manic depression — or bipolar disorder — is like racing up to a clifftop before diving headfirst into a cavity. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the psychic equivalent of an extreme sport. The manic highs — that exhilarating rush to the top of the cliff — make you feel bionic in your hyper-energized capacity for generosity, sexiness and soulfulness. You feel like you have ingested stars and are now glowing from within. It’s unearned confidence-in-extremis — with an emphasis on the con, because you feel cheated once you inevitably crash into that cavity. I sometimes joke that mania is the worst kind of pyramid scheme, one that the bipolar individual doesn’t even know they’re building, only to find out, too late, that they’re also its biggest casualty.” ~ Diriye Osman
So head first I landed in the mental health hospital. It was extremely important to stabilize and get me on proper medication as fast as possible. I was numb, dead to the world and nonexistent. The details are blurry, the EMT talked the entire time on the ride to the hospital to comfort me. Entry was like a jail, but an overwhelming smell of crayons. All my things were taken, watch, phone, shoes, and anything with strings. I didn’t care, I was escorted to my little room I would share. During my time there I watched the ward turn over patients 2 or 3 times, I stayed.
I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who got to eat in the cafeteria, I wasn’t allowed to leave my ward. My breakfast, lunch, dinner came in styrofoam containers at the same time everyday, in the same place. The same area I sat all day to color and look out the window. Thanksgiving day, dinner came in the styrofoam container, it was surreal. I had grown attached to a small group of people and we ate together and then went on with our day like any other. I watched people come and go, I wondered to myself, “how sick am I?” I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t go home and in my tiny room I’d already had three roommates. Looking out my window everyday I just felt trapped, trapped like an animal. 
I was eventually released just before the weekend, After nearly two weeks I felt defeated and broken. It was amazing to surround myself with friends who insisted I spend the weekend outside doing a sport I love, but now looking at windows from the outside, not trapped inside. Feeling defeated went away and feeling broken slowly went away so I could heal and forget the memories of the ward. I need that inconvenient habit of purring.

Kryptonite and Inevitable Triggers

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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.

Hello May, Birthday month, musing on aging gracefully

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“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.” – Roman Payne

I love growing older. As I age, each year I notice subtle changes in my body and appearance. I’ve grown to love myself even at my darkest. I complain about my weight, wrinkles, and body like any other woman. Unlike most women I feel more complete each year. My crows feet draw attention to my eyes and adds character. The weathered experienced look, as if I’ve lived too much; In reality, I lived too much, laughed too much, lost too much, and cried too much. I wish they were caused solely by laughter. People tell me I’m beautiful now and it very flattering. But, let me tell you about about my beauty.

I grew up being the ugly duckling. It’s hard growing up with boys, I had two brothers and my neighbor, all boys that I also considered my brothers. As you might imagine at critical times in the developmental years they weren’t as free with compliments. It’s possibly another reason I love Roman Payne’s, The Wanderess, “She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs.” That was me, but I was always alone. My brothers did the usual, you’re ugly, you’re fat, or my favorite was “Bertha butt” since I have always had a nice round butt and thighs. Looking back at pictures, I had a beautiful body. I’ve always had the pinup body, but as a kid in my head I  was ugly and fat. I don’t hold it against them now, but in my youth it hurt me deeply and it changed the way I dressed and covered body.
I would quickly get very dark skin from my mother’s American Indian heritage and straight black hair. It would reflect blue like a raven in the light. I found myself lightening, getting perms to curl, and doing various things to make it look like the other kids. I never told anyone, I just begged for a perm, curls, or some sort of chemical treatment to change it so I wouldn’t be teased. I wanted to look trendy, like other girls. Those things lightened my hair to a dark brown all because the straight black was just unnatural and I was teased. I was teased about my skin, my hair, my curves. I worked hard to change my appearance.  I wanted to be pretty, but made myself uglier in the process of fitting in with the girls.
So I always stayed active, involved, but withdrawn. So it  may be surprising to some to learn how incredibly ugly I felt thought my childhood years, even in my various uniforms which made me like the others. I never appreciated myself.

It wasn’t until I turned 20, I lived in Japan for several years. It was the different culture, that changed my view on aging. Aging is beautiful, I regret not being myself as a kid, it was learning I was beautiful not only on the outside, but the inside in a foreign country. It was at the end of my time in Japan bipolar slammed into me like a freight train. It possibly aged me ten more year in a single moment. But I did not fight it, I embraced it. I because free, happier, I was pretty and back in the United States. I had found myself, but I also found my superpower and did not know one thing about controlling my mind.
Aging for me, has been like being reborn each year. I feel unrecompensed with each passing year. Closer to something, closer to completely understanding myself and I welcome my birthday’s. With age, I’ve learned I’m attractive, intelligent, funny, intellectual, sexual, compassionate, complex, and introspective. Because of the experiences of my past, I honestly appreciate each and every compliment and even the negative compliments. It’s made me able to be modest and a more compassionate person. Modesty is rare in today’s society. It’s also recently made me brutally honest. That is what this birthday is going to celebrate. Being honest, telling my stories, and sharing my experiences.

It may appear, it’s been a beautiful ride, but my history and mileage learning to control the speed of my superpower, called Bipolar, with a bit of all the other crap included many training wreaks. Mental illness isn’t something you shouldn’t be ashamed of and I hope if you’re reading this, no matter your age don’t be ashamed for a second.

“’Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.” – Roman Payne

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“Mental labels don’t define who I am, time and aging only gets me closer to those I love, will love, and have loved” ~ S.L. Cato

The perfect lover and demon. Hypersexuality and a bit about whiskey

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The perfect lover and demon. Hypersexuality and a bit about whiskey

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“My dear,

Find what you love and let it kill you.Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness.
Let it kill you and let it devour your remains.
For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.”
~ Falsely yours
Charles Bukowski

Dirty bipolar symptom #1

This quote has been on my mind all day, actually for about a month. I think talking about darker indulgences in life is harder than the sad, happy, or lonely. But I know this will relate somehow to some to better understand symptoms or understand a friend or loved one.

We all have our vices, I love whiskey neat. It’s flavors can be dignified, youthful, soft, firm, dry, sweet, big, subtle, and rich. I just described the perfect lover. Let’s explore that a bit.

Some have a smokey, woody, nutty, oaky taste that reminds me of nights under the stars, a fire and my night sky. Some can be almost salty with herbal overtones, instant memories of a night on a beach. Some are creamy, hot, and mouth-coating. A big whiskey dominates my mouth.Those instantly remind me of more intimate things. A sweet whiskey can leave you with a very wet feeling, literally a wet mouth. It like loving a woman. I like viscous thicker whiskeys that leave legs on the glass when swirled, how it reacts when swirled and lingers on the glass. I like a whiskey that’s body floods my mouth with flavor. That can provide the perfect finish.

Whiskey is like the perfect lover. I only see him briefly. Overindulgence can led my destruction. So I control my impulse to drink. When I do see these lovers, I have the inability to stop. I overindulge in all the sensations and crave all the different flavors.

I have my demons, my vices caused by Bipolar. Like whiskey, a symptom rarely talked about is hypersexuality. This is probably the most feared in a monogamous relationship. Sadly, sex is a constant thing I have to control. I control it with medication, but it’s the one thing I can never satisfy, I want sex constantly. Even minutes, after sex. Most would read that and offer a high five to my husband. I need intimacy, but honestly sex. When bipolar hypersexuality knocks on the door, I get help and that not sex. I’ve found many forms of therapy over the years and great support. It’s a dirty little secret, but it’s honestly very sad and hurts.

Think about it, even writing about whiskey can become sensual and sexy. I’m a hard woman to control, but knowing someone like me who is Bipolar 1 doesn’t mean we are all the same and my symptoms are different from type 2. There is actually a whole spectrum.

I love being complex. I love how I feel more than most humans. I feel sadness like now other, love like no other, and sex is a spiritual experience. It took me years to realize how bipolar is my superpower. Like all superpowers, we also have our Kryptonite. This is #1, stay turned for #2

I didn’t even get into describing the depth of cigars, another post 😉

Today my cat and I argued, Then we shared a glass of Jameson.

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She ended up being a horrible drinking partner. Whiskey just isn’t for everyone. She has this horrible black cat stigma of being bad luck. She tends to hold back and never opens up. Sobbing the narcissistic cat broke down. She removed her mask. We bonded and she ran upstairs to bed with the kids. I think it’s because we watched Cat’s eye the movie based on the Steven King’s novel. Now the cats thinks she is our gaurdian. The black cat stigma is one reason she was adopted. It’s horrible how poorly black cats are treated. They are killed, abandoned, mistreated, and judged because they are simply born black cats.

So a bit of musing, Tonight I realized, I’m a little like the black cat. It’s possibly the reason my cat and I don’t get along but love each other. We compete for attention, but wear very different mask.

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Oh the horror!

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Screams radiated from one bedroom, while a maniacal laugher rang out from another room.

It was the beginning of the perfect conclusion to awesome spring break day. Both my kids were playing quietly upstairs in their rooms. They had played all day, either with me or friends. I listen as my daughter asked my son, “Come on bud, let’s go play Minecraft.” Peter, “Really?” And off they went to play together. I say to myself, “You have parented well, now go reward yourself. You are winning!” It is spring break so Cork popped the cork on a meaty red wine! “Breathe beautiful wine, breathe”



They silence was beautiful. I was rather proud of my kids. They rarely need to be disciplined and are both amazingly intelligent. They were playing together in this virtual Minecraft world. Apparently, my daughter invited Peter to play in her world. They separated, he in his room and she in hers on separate devices. Suddenly screams of terror, cries from my daughter’s room. Sobbing hiccups crying, a barely audible, “He Godzilla’ed my world, he put lava everywhere!” Obviously, I’m not too informed on the Minecraft lingo or the complexity. I had read it was good for three dimensional thinking and brain development so I became a fan. In the other room, we hear laughter, maniacal laughter. Peter is obviously pleased with himself, he had finally won something against his older wiser sister. Peter saw himself as Peter the Minecraft dominator, Peter the destructor. 

My daughter’s sadness quickly grew into anger and then acceptance. Rowan would surely rise like a Phoenix from the Minecraft world ashes. My son, well… we all learned why he’s blocked so much on Minecraft. He was apparently known to Godzilla worlds with lava, he was indeed Peter the destructor. My husband and I often talk, she is a genius with the morality of a saint. Peter has a bit more creative genius with flexible morality. He’ll either go to prison or find the cure for cancer. Both are incredibly smart. I think about the possibility of one or both inheriting my genetics. Tonight I saw myself in them both, I laughed silently with Peter and cried internally for my daughter. Her forgiveness was humbling and his apology priceless, “It’s just a game, I’d never hurt you in real life row.” 
My hope is my children see my struggles and learn from my mistakes. They recognize the symptoms, they watch out for each other as adults. They learn from my openness of my own mental illnesses. They adapt and overcome, they are kind, they grow up knowing how to handle their superpower. Something I only learned as an adult.
I parented tonight and the wine was wonderful.

The mysterious case of the blood spots

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  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.