Tag Archives: Life

Looking for definitions 

Standard

“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.

Advertisements

Kryptonite and Inevitable Triggers

Standard
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.

Memorial Day

Standard

236720630-angel-gravestone-cemetery-statue

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die. ~ Mary Elizabeth Frye

Visit a memorial and pay your respects for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice this holiday. Don’t cry, but be proud and thankful. It’s hard to hold back tears, but remembering where, what we are, what we have because they gave the ultimate sacrifice. Remember the honor and bravery of each soul. Take your kid and teach them, tell them a story. Remember a friend or family member. Cry if you must, it’s not about those serving now but those who gave all.

008967567_prevstill

Parenting through the blur

Standard

“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! 

 

Life beyond bipolar disorder, great article to read.

Standard

image

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.

http://www.bphope.com/ten-things-you-dont-want-to-know/

Hello May, Birthday month, musing on aging gracefully

Standard

image

“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

fullsizerender-6.jpg

 

“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

How to enjoy being introverted…with some mad women steps….

Standard
How to enjoy being introverted…with some mad women steps….

image

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.

Falling in love with the Moon

Standard

image

“Love is a serious mental disease.”

— Plato

Some times, I do like to write a bit about those little things off the wall. Tonight, it’s really obsession, falling in love and also of the idea of the unreachable goal. I have fallen in love with the moon. I’ve fallen in love with things that burn me.

image

I speak of unreachable goals, because some may argue all goals are achievable. It certainly not true, but worth ever second to try to reach the moon. Love for some may seem unreachable, but it’s achievable. Some things are worth the chase, worth the wait, and certainly worth the risk.

I read blog and books now everyday, now obsessively. I set aside a few hours and really get to be inside others peoples minds for that time. A few, I’ve really fallen in love with as they write and post on blogs, others in books, I’ve started. I love writers and poets. I have fallen in love with dead authors and have this fantasy of them writing about me, because as to quote Mik Everett, “If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.” Maybe I never died and live as a character in my classics. Maybe a muse, an inspiration for a character in a classic. I love the writers and the poets. I’ve formed an obsession with the simple and the complex.

“You don’t love because: you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults.” William Faulkner

And no matter what, I shall end with a classic story and movie quote.

“Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.”
— The Princess Bride

I am certain, I’ve touch the moon. It was once unreachable.

image

Chasing butterflies at night

Standard

image

I was a very internal kid regarding emotions. My love of the hunt, survival, and outdoors encompassed my childhood. Appalachia is a special place full of magic. Nature is my therapy.

Sometimes it’s easy for me to forget the past but brief moments flash back. Those moments flood back, I’m catching lighting bugs as a child in a mason jar. Catching June bugs in summer. The humidity is in the air and a storm is brewing. Storms in the mountains shake the earth. Suddenly a lighting bolt strikes, I cried.  It knew something bad had happened and my salvation hurt. My oak tree was struck by lighting in my front yard and I felt it’s pain. I think I can remember feeling it dying that night. It lived, but suffered, struggled, and eventually it was cut down. The strike was the death sentence, but the final euthanizing came by chainsaw. I watched it come down with tears. It was the end of something I’d known my whole life. Like watching an animal euthanized.

Solitude today is torture and pleasure, my mind never stops. Solitude is necessary for my survival. A storm brings me peace and closure because of that single memory. I crave summer storms, because of the energy I feel for all living thing.  I wanted 10 kids, I’m sure my oak wanted a forest. I’d like to think that my oak has bloomed and reborn many times.

I still have a leaf from the tree, but wish I had a kept a seed, an acorn.

The oak and I have both ended our lineage with different stories. I just wasn’t struck by lighting, but touch by fire and fate.

Facebook and and schools of a** fish

Standard

image

Disconnecting from Facebook tops the list of things you should give up or at least set a timer and only allow yourself an alloted time. It’s been liberating and I was once an addict.

So let’s talk a bit about Facebook. I had been on Facebook from the very beginning when you had to have a email address from a college email system before it became the creature it is today.

At first, it was really great because no one really had a cellphone and smartphones didn’t exist. The only picture was my student ID pic which for some reason was the best picture I had ever taken for an ID card. Everyone  would use it to rate and hook up with each other, much like tender today. It was also great for networking. As the years passed it grew in popularity and literally crushed MySpace. It opened up to everyone.

Now It gets interesting, you know those people who would never give you the time of day, the handsome jocks, old boyfriends, old girlfriends, the popular people, well they all loved me now and wanted to be my friend. At first, I became the ultimate stalker. The whores have now found Jesus, the jocks were now bald and fat, and surprisingly the average and geeky guys were sexy as hell. Honestly, I never dated a single person in High School. No one ever asked me out and I never went to dances or even prom. I was a tomboy, I enjoyed guns, hunting, outdoors. I played on the golf team, track team, softball, peddle briefly with volleyball, JROTC and all the academic or social clubs. I just wanted to stay busy because I was certain no one liked me. So back on track, I was popular on Facebook. I had thousands of friends.

It hit me about a year ago watching certain behaviors and analyzing what I noticed on other people’s accounts. ASS FISH, yes ass fish, the ones who circle around and eat the shit of other fish. Those who are repeatedly commenting on narcissistic people’s post. It was at first entertainment, but soon it became sad. The increase of the selfie or I love me post and again ass fish circled.

The sad thing is reality is not what you make of it, reality just is…. I spent so much time trying to compete with people who are competing with themselves developing lies to overcome their own sad existence. Throughout life they become so caught up in their destinations they forget to enjoy their day to day experiences. I am reminded of the story of the Yankee tourist who complained to the old hillbilly about how the tourist attraction was not worth the time. The hillbilly looked at him and told him the attraction was the drive not the destination.

I’m sure I’ll rejoin facebook one day, but right now I’m enjoying the drive.

Update: I recently return to Facebook to create a blogger page. I wanted to have a place I could communicate with my readers. I still strongly advise the breaks. It was wonderful. So with that said if you are on Fakebook please like and share my page. http://www.facebook.com/itsnotcrazytoday

I just want to f*cking color

Standard

  

 “I just want to fucking color”

At age 3 the world is an amazing place. Full of the unexpected, every minute is filled with hundreds of new sights, sounds, and smells. Imagine if you could turn it off for a few minutes. Peter did just that on this day. I learned probably one of the applicable statement for living from a disobedient child who genuinely just wanted to finish a task.

It’s a short story, at the height of one of my manic episodes so he spent the day in daycare so I could get that amazing tattoo I needed (story for later). My husband arrived to pick up our 3 year old and was pulled aside by his teacher. She questioned him a bit about whom he spends time around because of his vocabulary. She preceded to explain he had used the “F” word. Of course, embarrassed my husband took responsibility and assured her it would never happen again. See, my husband and I are Marines and honestly fuck is second nature. But it was honestly my inability to censor myself. She proceeded to tell the story. It was nap time and all the kids were instructed to clean up their stations. Everyone followed the routine, except Peter. Peter continued to color in complete silence and zen. Nothing in the world was better than just coloring at that moment. When told he had to nap Peter responded, “I just want to fucking color”. He was calm, but stern. All he wanted was to finish his task, do what he enjoyed.

I think about that on many occasions. I just want to fucking color. I think we all just want to color. We strive to find that on thing we love and without someone telling us how to do it or that we should stop. We all are really trying to achieve that peace and balance.

We all just want to fucking color.