The cat’s crying at midnight

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

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

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

Depression isn’t something that anyone expects. 

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

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

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

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

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

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


To be continued…..


Looking for definitions 

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

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

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

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

~ John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men

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

“For the rabbits,” George repeated.

“And I get to tend the rabbits.”

“An’ you get to tend the rabbits.”

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

“Yes.”

Lennie turned his head.

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

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

 ~ John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men

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

 “Self-Help Psychological Therapy!” 


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

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

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

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

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

Hospitalization ~ Down the rabbit hole


“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.

“Understanding me”

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“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.

Remember, you deserve understanding.

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Parenting through the blur

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Anosognosia, hello old friend.

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“Part of having bipolar can be what is called “anosognosia,” a weird word for a simple idea: a mentally ill person who’s unable to perceive that he or she is ill. This means a huge part of bipolar is that, when your loved one most needs help, your partner will be least likely to look for it or accept it.”
Excerpt from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2016/04/27/know-what-to-expect-when-you-love-someone-with-bipolar-disorder/

Denial, fear of medications, multiple combinations of medication, side effects, the list goes on forever. I had been told many, many years ago. I really believed it was a made up or only the over dramatic people.  I tried to hide my lows and tried be extraordinary with my highs. I used my gifts and talents, which now I understand as gift. I could focus, accomplish any task you give me. Then, lose myself for weeks sometimes. Sadly, unlike the writer of the article, I’m Bipolar I, There is a huge spectrum in diagnosing bipolar, the author of the article which is wonderful article to share, is Bipolar II.

Anosognosia, struck a cord or rang a bell tonight. So I read a bit more and ran across a very easy to read explanation on National Alliance of Mental health.

https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Anosognosia.

I gave it much thought from the above post but this statistic struck me  “Anosognosia affects 50% of people with schizophrenia, and 40% of people with bipolar disorder. It can also accompany illnesses such as major depression with psychotic features. Treating these mental health conditions is much more complicated if lack of insight is one of the symptoms. People with anosognosia are placed at increased risk of homelessness or arrest. Learning to understand anosognosia and its risks can improve the odds of helping people with this difficult symptoms”

We have to be open about mental illness. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Please share your stories on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/itsnotcrazytoday , Share my page or story that touched you with friends. I hate social media, but it reaches so many people who need and may suffer from the stigma or Anosognosia.

Full moon rising, are you?

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“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.

Read for yourself here:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lunacy-and-the-full-moon/

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?

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 😉

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