Friday, July 30, 2010

The Power of Music


Music has been my savior through everything in my life. Through all the abuse, through my drug addiction and all through my bipolar disorder. It was there when depression was suffocating the life of me. It was there when I didn’t want to live and knew I deserve everything that was being done to me. Music was and still is my best friend. Music gave me that ounce of life that no one would give me. Music never took anything from me. It only gave and gave and gave. No matter what happened, no matter if I played the same song 1000 times, it always gave. There was no stopping it.




When I was about 16 years old, I discovered a band called Judas Priest. Their song, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” off of their “Screaming for Vengeance” album rocked me to the core. The lyrics are just as true today about my life as they were back then. Every time I hear that song, I turn it up and scream and bang my head. There is more to this life than I was shown and I was going to find it and take it. Even in my deepest pits of despair, even when I was so sure some day I was going to end up killing myself, even when I was buried in shit so thick it would never wash off, I was charged by this song. My deepest desires awakened by one song and empowering me.  It gave me the feeling of being the baddest bitch ever and I could take on the world.  Power. Control. Love. The world. Bring it on cause I was going take it all. That song gave me faith in me and that was all it took.



That was over 24 years ago and I’m still set on fire when I hear it. Whenever I think I'm losing the fight, I hear that song and let that bad ass bitch loose.  Many have tried to stop me and have almost succeeded.  Even when I'm at a stand still, I'm still combating ninjas in my head. I have an arsenal of weapons and I'll use them. I didn’t get here just by sitting around getting pummeled by defeat.



In the words of the might Priest:



If you think I'll sit around while you chip away my brain
Listen I ain't foolin' and you'd better think again
Out there is a fortune waitin' to be had
You think I'll let it go you're mad
You got another thing comin'

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Some random thoughts...


I'm in one of those moods where I want to cut my hair.  Not a trim or new style just slash it all off!  It's long and the frizzy feeling against my face makes me want to grab the damn hedge trimmers!!  Believe me I would do it if I could have all my hair back tomorrow.  Wouldn't that be cool??  You could constantly change your style every day to fit your mood, outfit, or occasion.  Hell, I could even dig shaving my head for a day or two.

I steamed cleaned the carpets.  "Cleaned" being the operative word.  It was more like spreading the dirt around evenly.  lol  Having dog, puppies and cats...what are you going to do?

My husband's company lost most his accounts and now his hours are slashed.  Once I got over the initial shock, I was OK.  Then as the evening wore on, it is hard to see really anything out of it.  It is probably a good thing, (neither of us can stand his job) but to just have it dropped in our laps has been a shock.  It's the companies fault for losing the job, but they are putting the blame on my husband.  He plans on fighting it. 

Right now I'm not really thinking about "how we are going to get by", but more like, "this couldn't have happened at a worse time."  As if there is really ever a right time, but with so much already going on, do we really need this over our heads?  I'm finding myself living in today, which is good.  I'm not worrying about the future or even tomorrow.  All I feel is this shit bomb that's been targeted on us today.  It's been a tough day already (a lot of racket with the neighbors) and this news is the icing on the cake. 

I'm not sure what I'm really feeling or what my thoughts are.  It's just a one day at a time kind of thing and there's not much I can do about it.  Normally I would be sick to my stomach in worry and throw myself into a downward spiral of depression.  I would have thoughts that I am being punished and deserve what I'm getting and I would plummet into a dark, deep hole.  Today though, I'm here in today, which is odd in itself. Somehow I have no plaguing thoughts or feeling really one way or the other.  For me that is a lot of progress.  Just taking care of the things I need to take care of and coping the best way I can.  My husband is excited, he's been looking for a reason to get out of the mess of these accounts and starting on something new.  Maybe now here's his chance.  That would be great for both of us. 



 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Middle of my brain


I have been finding myself in the "middle of my brain."  It may not be the physical center, but more the emotional center.  It is that underdeveloped area that I only pass through on my way to a mania or depression.  Lately I've been floating around in this fluid space that is like swimming in water.  This blob like center has not been used except for being a connection between my bipolar extremes.  It seems to have no clear cut definition, but still fells contained.  Like water in a pool.  My thoughts seem to float around not caring to make any connection. It is like having something and nothing at the same time.  When I try to grab my watery thoughts, they spill through my fingers. 

Every so often I find a clearness, as if getting out of the pool to dry in the sun for a moment.  It as if the collective energies have come together.  Thoughts and actions begin to connect where before they were incoherent.  I find myself working on tasks that were lost to me before.  Some I can complete and some I can not before I find myself sliding back into the pool of lucid thinking. 

Recognizing where I am is half the battle.  It is not scary or depressing.  I've come to realize it is a healing pool for my brain.  To even stay in the middle for this long is amazing.  I still slip into short manias and depressions, but I keep coming back to the middle and staying there for longer.  It isn't easy as my functioning times are short before I find myself floating again. It isn't any different than trying to operate during a mania or depression.  Isn't it amazing how the brain can recover itself?              

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Blog Template

I've been playing around with my template for the last 12 hours, back and forth, trying to get it where I want it.  Color is so important to at depicting where I am at in my life.  Yes, it is the artist in me, but it is more than that, it is showing who I am.  What I feel, what I think, expressing myself.  Playing with this stormy picture on a grey background was quite a challenge.  I tried other background pictures but I kept coming back to this one.  It describes me in ways that words can not.  My last background was solid black.  Black meant darkness, pain, void and beauty for me.  In coming to terms with myself, I have begun to discover a grey area.  It is stormy and rocky, but with a blast of lightning cracking the ground on my new life, I have a new beginning.  I needed the change, for I am the change.

I am drawn to the cooler colors for text colors, not only enhance them against the grey background, but for the mere statement that my manias and depression have softened in strength.  In my former template I used purples and vivid greens to depicts my bipolar.  For this one the blues express my sadness and depression that are as soft as sky.  My manias are a gentle green full of growth like the grass beneath my feet.  Black today means definition.  Strong and bold, full of depth and meaning.

Like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon, I'm beginning to sense hope again.  So many days I thought I wouldn't make it through this life alive.  Now I have more than a chance to spread my wings.     

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Please try to understand

People don't understand bipolar disorder, unless you have it.  I know I have everything, a loving caring husband, a wonderful family of animals, but inside I feel nothing.  When I'm depressed every thought is an effort, every movement a chore.  The dogs become work and I watch them sink with me when I can not give them my full attention.  I miss my husband, but there are many days when I'm depressed, I want to be alone.  I tend to push him away because my pain is too unbearable to pull him down with me.  I find myself angry at everything.  Furious, in fact at every facet of my life.  I feel I have missed too much of my life from my disorder and childhood abuse to even begin to play catch up and I struggle with the point of it all.  The reasons why this life exist and the suffering that is every where.  I know I'm not the only one who struggles to get out of it. 

I have tried several avenues to rearrange my thought patterns, to find the hope and the light, it seems my brain has turned to mush.  If I could sleep, I would sleep the rest of the day away and maybe try again tomorrow.  Lack of sleep is also causing these faults in my thinking.  As much as I have given up hope, I still believe there is an answer out there, listening to my prayers.  I hate when God feels so far, far away.  Maybe it is just a growing period.  I think I'm failing the test.  Again, all I can do is try.       

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sucked In

I'm sinking in the swamp of depression.  I've become numb to everything around me.  I feel like I'm looking at everything through a window, finding no connection.  I do know how to go on and I don't know if I want to.  Every movement and thought is a chore.  I feel washed over with diluted thoughts of blah. Then suddenly, there is a burst of tears.  Five minutes of feelings.  Over what?  I don't know.  Don't know where I'm going and I'm not sure I really care.  Empty, Empty, Empty.  Why is this happening to me?  Over and over again?  Is being bipolar the only reason anyone can give me?  Do they really know what it feels like?  I mean really know what it feels like?  It has taken all my might (or lack of it) to get through the day.  I still feel like there is really no reason.  What is the point to life?  I don't think I can bear to go through it again for another day.  I've been here before.  I'll be here again.  Just when I thought I had pulled myself out of the muck, inevitably I was sucked back down again and I don't have the heart to try and free myself again.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Seeing the doc

I went to see my psychiatrist yesterday.  It was all rather comical and disgusting at the same time.  I know doctors jump from one patient to the next and rarely check their charts.  I only see her every three months, so really is it any wonder.  Last time, she had split my night med in half, to one in the morning and one at night.  I never did it.  I found I really wasn't comfortable changing anything and so I didn't change it.  When she asked me about, I told her that.  Then she was asking why we had change it in the first place, it was to relieve my crappy morning attitude.  My husband started laughing and trying to explain that mornings were my worst time of the day and she continually tried to pursue changing meds to make things better.  Which I found rather hilarious.  She thought there was a problem, so change the meds, which is what they are trained to do. 

Later in the conversation she asked if I'd ever been on any anti-depressants.  Yea, like all my life, until almost 2 years ago.  DAH!  Then she proceeded to ask what and for how long.  Still trying to solve my "morning problem."  I stopped her right there and said, I don't want any anti-depressants.  Then she went back to splitting the meds again, and I informed her, I don't want to change anything.  She assumed that since my husband had chimed in his thoughts, there was a problem and I needed more medication to fix them.  Just like that, if you say something, they take as a problem, give 'em meds.  I am so glad I'm at a place in my life where I was confident enough to speak up, and found humor in the whole thing.  Gaining control of my life and my mental health.  Things are really just starting to stabilize, why would I upset the whole balance after working so hard to get here?

That's the part that is so disgusting with this whole system.  I'm not scheduled to talk to her really about anything else, we are here to talk about medication.  How many people get shuffled through the system and get handed out drugs like candy, because they said something was bothering them.  Push another pill.  You have to wonder, do they really ever listen?  

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Circles


Today has been one of those where I feel like this is my first time walking on this planet.  As if I have been locked underground and was just handed the key.  My mind was sort of frantic, thoughts bouncing around, wanting to do everything and having a hard time concentrating on anything.  I'm so excited about my new found freedom from my childhood past that I almost don't know what to do with myself.  I have all this empty space in my head where all that crap was and I feel some days that all I do is run around in circles in it. 

I've been learning to stop myself from this circle running and today I didn't catch it until later in the day.  I found myself tired from all that running.  Here's a difference though, I was running happy circles.  There wasn't anything bad about it and it was kind of fun.  I've never run happy circles in my life.  So it's kind of cool. When the day started to come to close, I felt sad for a little while, until I decided to blog my feelings.  This is how I come to my own conclusions.  Writing.  Discovering my happy running circles, what they mean and what they are.  This brings me to this moment and how proud I am of running those happy circles.  What better circles to run!! 

and I'm running....

Come on Midnight, let's go!!
Today while walking Brut I was able to run!  I WAS ABLE TO RUN!  It was the greatest feeling in the world.  I've hardly been able to walk the dogs this past year going through the withdrawals of Prozac.  My body just couldn't handle it.  Then a couple of months ago, I was able to take two seperate walks with two different dogs.  I thought that was great, but for me, nothing compared to being able to run again.  It was like Brut was gently tugging me to go faster, so I did.  I bought new running shoes back in May and this is the first time I actually ran in them.  My body is finally coming out it's Prozac funk.  The withdrawal symptoms were so bad and went on for so long, I didn't know if I'd ever be able to run again.  Yes, it felt that dramatic.  Walking my dogs is no leisurely stroll, we are power walking.  Everything is fast, fast, fast.  So it has been quite a challenge just walking them and I have been struggling for a long time to do it.  I didn't know if I was ever going to get through all the withdrawal symptoms.  I'm coming up on 2 years in September of being off Prozac.

So I'm feeling pretty incredible right now.  Running has always been one of my passion.  Letting go of everything and getting away from it all.  I have missed that release.  I have missed that high.  I have missed many things about it.  Thanks to Brut, he set the pace and gave me that extra pull to get moving.  I couldn't ask for a better dog or support system!  

Friday, July 16, 2010

Floating dayz

Today my brain is letting me know it is alive and feeling very active, except my body doesn't want to cooperate.  I am whooped!  My brain won't let me lie down long enough for a quick recuperating nap.  I feel restless and exhausted all in the same breath.  Everything about my sleeping schedule is a mess and then after trying to muddle through the day, I get a shot of adrenaline in the evening that continues this crazy pace.  It is the endless cycle of mania. 

All day I've been pretty sure today is Wednesday.  Then when my husband called, I remember it was Friday.  I don't know if I'm 2 days behind or 5 days ahead!  lol  Figuring out the date has been quite a guessing game all week, even with a calendar, the computer and my phone, I still can't remember.  I forget the second after.  All I know nothing important is going on, so I guess it doesn't matter what fricking day it is.  lol  And forget time, last I knew it was 2pm, now I see it's almost 5:30pm.  Where did those 2 1/2 hours go?  I don't know.  Guess it not really that important for me to know!!   

I'm actually kind of enjoying the feeling.  I'm not getting anything done floating in this daze, but maybe I need the rest.  Take it easy.  I think instead of fighting it, I will enjoy it! 

Today's mania

A couple of days ago, it was my thoughts that were all over the place.  Today it has been my emotions.  I've been feeling all of them at once.  Like a pinball game bouncing from one to the next in a split second flat.  Happy, scared, excited, anxious, sad, depressed, and anger, just to highlight a few.  My sleeping schedule has been quite erratic the past few weeks and is obviously starting to affect me.  As in I haven't had much.  This alone has probably manufactured my mania. 

Today I've felt sort of lost, like I'm on a different planet.  Everything feels like it is out of place from what I know.  Probably because everything I've known has changed and this is my first summer feeling it out.  Trying to fill a void that my past created by sorting it all out.  I am beginning to come to terms with it, but it is just different.  To be able to let go and begin to move past is a very strange experience. Understanding I am more than my past and I am more than healing from it.  Having it and healing from it has become an identity and now I'm feeling out who I really am.  I'm taking it slow.  I still have a long ways to go as there are always issues pressing but is strange having all the pieces to my puzzle done.  There will be little things along the way I will find, but the bulk of it has already been asked and answered.  This is my first mania without my past attached to it.  Without a memory or sense of something more to figure out.  Manias and depression used to be lead in for another piece of my past.  Today it is just a mania.  Today I think I'm OK with that.   

Thursday, July 15, 2010

THE CHAIRS

I'm going to try and explain something that may seem silly, but still makes an impact on my life today.  Chairs.  Not just any chairs, but the ones that they had at my last hospital stay.  Chairs that actually made a difference in my care.  It wasn't just that they were comfortable, it was also the color of them.  This rich, deep blue that I'm showing above. 

I wound up in the hospital during an extreme mania.  I hadn't been on any meds for about a year and a half and I was still in denial about being bipolar.  In this heightened state, my skin felt like it was on fire, burnt, and stretched thin.  Touch was excruciatingly painful.  My eyes were bugging out and they were sensitive to light and movement.  I was pretty much bouncing off the walls, my mind was on overdrive and every move, thought or sight was an electrical charge running through me. 

Since I had become unprepared,  lol, one of the first signs of comfort was a brand new sweatshirt and sweatpants.  The soft touch was indescribable.  I melted into tears as the soft cotton touched my torched skin.  It felt like a baby's blanket as it protected me from the outside elements and myself.  Not to mention the actual care that I believed was involved with this kind gesture, considering I only had a hospital gown on!

I had to stay in my room because it was the middle of the night.  That's when I discovered THE CHAIR.  The deep blue alone, I could have stared at all night.  The color was soothing on my overwhelmed eyes, coating them with the sea.  I felt lulled by it magnificent calm, like being in the middle of the ocean.  Then when I sat in it, I melted into the soft cushion and began to sink into it's gentleness.  I'm not sure of the material, but it was like a finished vinyl/leather.  Velvety to touch and smooth like silk.  Comforting on my skin and body and my soul. 

Now it was going to take a few days for the meds to kick in and I couldn't sit still, chair or no chair, but I wasn't in as much physical pain.  I climbed all over that chair and played with it like a kid with a new puppy, until I got in "trouble" for standing on it and they took it away.  :(  I was bummed out, but I found the next day there were a whole bunch of them in the group room.  I wasn't the only one who was taken by the chairs, other patients enjoyed them with me.  They were absolutely amazing.  You just sunk into them, but they also supported you by feeling like they were wrapping themselves around you.  They were the best part about my whole stay there and I've never forgotten them. 

When it was time to leave, the hospital gave me a questionnaire to fill out, when it asked what was my favorite part, there was no question about it, THE CHAIRS.  I believe somebody put a whole lot of thought into the color schemes and the furniture.  I believe somebody designed that nut ward with thought and care and an understanding of the state of mind when you go to hospital.  I've have been to few others and there was nothing that compared to the ones with the chairs and the blue color scheme.  For those who don't know, blue has a calming effect on the brain and when I think of that even at this time, I know somebody there cared.  I still get choked up when I think about it.  It made my whole hospital experience.  I thought about today when I went to get blood work done and everything was in violet blah pastels.  What a difference color makes.     

Have you ever had an experience in the mental health world that made a difference in your care?   

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Harnessing the Energy

My brain was in a haywire today.  My thoughts and feelings were zooming around everywhere.  I wanted to do EVERYTHING all at the same time.  I wanted to be inside and outside and with both sets of dogs and do this and do that, right now!  I couldn't keep up with all of my thoughts and wants and I was pacing all over the house not doing anything.  I was distracted by everything.  Everything I looked at I wanted to take the time to do it, until I saw the next thing and the next.  I needed to go down to the basement and ended up in the garage.  I went to take the laundry out of the dryer, and opened the refrigerator.  I had made a to do list earlier and when I would walk by and look at it, I would think, "That's what I"m suppose to be doing," and would see something else and move towards it.  My head was spinning and I was practically moving in circles, like a dog chasing their tail.

I found myself getting exhausted and finally had to sit down and stop the bus!  lol  Taking a few deep breaths, I tried to gain some focus.  I narrowed in on the list.  What was my priority?  Weeding the garden.  Then it was settled.  All energy went towards that and it centered me.  Making the decision and sticking to it helped ground my thoughts and help to hone in on what I needed to accomplish. 

I have been working harnessing that mania energy before it becomes out of control.  After being in depression for so long, I get excited about feeling so great and happy that I want to do everything and it will begin to spin out of control.  This hyper state can throw me into anxiety, panic and fear if I don't get a hold of it the minute I realize what it is.  I've been practicing this for some time and I'm enjoy having a say in how I feel and what I want to do with it.  I was able to keep myself balanced for the better part of the afternoon until I hit my regular crash time.  Then I do it all over again building myself up to get out of my depression.  I can sit and wallow in depression or mania, but I have been choosing not to and it is worth it because I am worth it.  :) 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I've got a funny bone??

An unbelievable miracle has occurred, I was happy all day yesterday.  I mean really deep in gut, feeling happy.  Not mania crazy, just pure sunshine happy.  I actually smiled at people when we ran in town for errands and they were smiling back.  I'm surprised my husband didn't go off the road when I started laughing at a menu typo I was looking at.  I think he was afraid to breath.  I called him up after reading "Ask Arlee" and the crazy questions and answers.  I could barely read the question to him that had knocked me on the floor, I was giggling so much.  (If you haven't, you've got to check it out!)  Then I really shocked the hell of out him in a restaurant no less, when I laughed out loud.  If he could have fallen out of his chair, he would have, but we were in a booth.  I can't remember the last time things were funny.  I mean really funny to me.  Like bust a gut and crack a rib funny.  I didn't even know I had funny bone left, I'd figured it had been surgically removed during one of my blackouts.  "Well, that's not working anymore, we'll just get rid of it." 

I can't remember the last time I just had fun.  What the hell is that?  I don't know, but I'm having it.  It's been like waking up from a conscious coma for the last 40 years.  When my husband and I were talking and he said that my past was behind me...I could honesty 100% say I agreed.  It's like someone threw back the curtains and open the door and said, Let's go!  Life ain't over yet!  I have lived everyday like it was the end and I've realized I'm just getting started.  I'm in the throws of an opportunity that I feel I have more than a chance of grabbing, I'm already riding with it.  There are still going to bumps and bruises and obstacles along the way, nothing is ever really over, but I believe I've come full circle in my healing process and can actually enjoy life without being stomped by my past.

For once I'm not waiting for the bottom to fall out.  Anything good never last.  Never.  There has to be a catch somewhere.  Somewhere.  Who cares?  Life is too short.  I've spent 20 years of my life getting to bottom of all this, being bipolar and abused, and now I'm getting a really good handle on it.  All my hard work paid off for I day I'd never thought I'd see.  Me laughing out loud in a restaurant and not having to crawl under the table for the "shame" of being me.  How cool is that?!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Breaking the Cycle of Depression

Today's choices

I have really been trying hard to break my depression as it comes through the day.  Mornings are the pits for me.  They are my worse part of the day.  I am an avid night owl and have been for as long as I can remember.  I dread ever having to get out of bed, even during manias, that is if I've gotten any sleep going through one.  I am always drowsy from my night meds, not enough sleep or both and I tend to nod on and off for the first half hour or hour.  When I finally come to some sense of consciousness, I would rather crawl back in bed, anything not to deal with the whole empty day in front of me.  This is when depression begins to get a grip on my brain.  Feeling empty and lonely and the thought of moving is immobilizing.

Eventually, I feed the dogs, as I try to keep them on a regular schedule.  Task #1 complete.  Now what?  Thoughts and wants become heavy.  Either with things I must do or those I haven't decided yet.  My brain is thick, like stirring a pot of  wet cement soup, trying to find the magic that will lift me to function.

My key lately and in the past is music.  Where ever I am at emotionally, I find a song that fits and build from there.  Eventually I feel my mood lift or at least change to a point that I begin my day.  Sometimes it just works.  Each song laying a piece of the foundation for stable ground that can hold my heavy thoughts.  This way I have footing to pick them up and throw them into the wind.  It is really nice when it works out that way, but sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it is a push and pull fight in my head and trying to find the "right" song can be infuriating.  When I can't find what I'm looking for, like today, I turn off the stereo and started my day anyways.  This was more of a springboard action and I vault into my day.  It still helped in my depression because I was angry and it tapped into that anger instead of shoving down into depression.  It helped me find the real reason I was angry.  A long standing fight I've had with God that I'm starting to come to terms with and understand.  At least for tonight I've made peace with it. 

I have been working diligently on breaking my depressive cycle.  It is still a trial and error operation, but it is a work in progress and that's more than I could say before.                

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I want to live

Disclaimer:  This is only my personal experience and what has worked for me and is not meant to be used as medical advice.

When I saw the doctor about my severe itching that had no rash (post June 27: Itch, Itch, Itch)  and he thought it might be my liver or kidneys, I got a little scared.  I've done enough drugs and been on many medications in my life to have a problem with both.  Before my test came back that my levels were good, I'd already decided I needed to make some changes.

1. Drink one glass of veggie juice a day.
2. Walk one or two dogs a day
3.  Take meds and vitamins 2x a day

I've never eaten enough vegetables.  I grew up on meat and potatoes and the occasional salad.  Even when I was a vegetarian for 6 months, I didn't eat enough, which is pretty ironic.  I ate mostly protein and carbs.  I did try out different veggies that I probably wouldn't have, but when I was depressed I would ravishingly crave meat.  Maybe there was a reason for that.

Vitamin B-12  (only found in animal based foods)

My husband thoroughly believes in vitamins.  When we were first married,  I was nodding off a couple hours after taking my meds and he would give me a B-12 vitamin, and it would keep me awake.  I was on some pretty heavy doses at that time.

I've been taking vitamins on and off for the last 11 years. I always take a multiple, a B-complex, and Niacin. (B-3)  I started fine tuning my regiment in the last few years, centering on those vitamins that are considered most effective for bipolar.  I found a health book that stated that people with bipolar don't absorb B-vitamins well.  B-vitamins are regulate your mood and energy, both which are usually out of whack being bipolar.  There are a few other ones I take that also seem to help, D-3, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and fish oil.

I started get back on schedule taking my vitamins before I saw the doctor, but now I make sure I take them because if I start skipping those, soon I start skipping my meds, and then every thing else is a downward spiral.

I have a fantastic juicer and so now I've added juicing to the mix and I've watched myself come out of a nasty slump that I didn't think I was ever going to get through.  When I started to make my juice yesterday, I realized how much better and balanced I felt and began to wonder how much of drinking my vegetables were part of that.  My energy level has picked up, my mood has lifted, and I'm feeling more stable mentally than I have in a long time.  I have accomplished more and feel better and healthier all the way around.

To top it off, I gave up dairy.  I'd given up milk years ago because of my sinuses,  but could never think of letting go of cheese, sour cream, and all the rest.  I don't even miss it.  Bean burritos are one of my staples for lunch and I didn't know how I could ever eat one without cheese and sour cream...it was actually easy.  I actually liked it better without it.  The last three days we have had the worst heat and humidity ever and I can still breathe!  I don't feel like someone stuck a brick inside my cheeks.  It's fantastic!

These are just the results I'm seeing just over a week and I'm amazed.  There are always things I "know" I should do and I'm still bouncing around with the idea of wanting to live.  Of really believing that life can be good and worthwhile. I've lived so long in the depths of hell, that it isn't always easy to enjoy my life because it has always been full of so much pain.  Miserable, gut wrenching pain that has tried to break me so many times and I don't know how it hasn't.  How many times I wanted to give in.  How many times I said what was the point?  And there never was one.  For once I have a chance to make that point for myself.  To really believe and trust in me and my life, my family and my hopes and dreams.  I've begun to give myself value by taking care of myself and the results are making a difference in me.

I decided many years ago I wanted to live.  Today I'm making the same choice with many more reasons.            

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chow time!

My first handmade potato salad and the counter it sits on. 

I made potato salad today.  (Cheers,  applause, I take my bow.)  For the first time, ever.  (More cheers, louder applause)  I'd forgotten how much I look to cook.  Between my husband not being around for dinner (except maybe on weekends) and my depression looming over me, I've done very little in the last few years.  I had almost completely forgotten how much I love it.  My "career" since high school has been working in restaurants.  The last place was a cafe, where they made almost everything from scratch.  Every salad on the buffet was handmade, all the soups, every special, the main dishes and every dessert.  I learned a lot from that place, like how to make pudding without a box!  It was one of my favorite jobs.  I still have thoughts of having my own restaurant, a Mexican one, from scratch.  (My favorite food) 

OK, no one's going to be beating down my door for my potato salad, but all the same my husband and I are going to enjoy it.  What better summer food.  It was easy to make and I enjoyed doing it.  I just can't believe how much I"d forgotten that.  I've been depriving myself of the fun and I love to cook.  Why would I take that away from myself?  Oh, that's right, because I had a 2-ton anvil on my head making it difficult to breathe much less move.  And for some reason I didn't really care about myself or anything else.  I feel like I've woke up from a coma into a whole new world about myself. 

I discovered I had a kitchen island counter that I didn't know existed anymore.  I can't believe it didn't collapse under the weight of being a "catch-all."  I've been trying to figure out how to find the counter for 2 months, and could only find half before giving up!  lol  One thing I have been doing is trying to keep up on things around the house, despite my depression and it sure has paid off.  So much easier to clean when it's kept up and faster!  I know, like these are really new words of wisdom, lol.  I'm actually following through on my decisions of what I want.  No matter how I feel, though on my down days, I do what I can and leave the rest.  It has been really cool.  OK, what kind of thrills do you expect get from a blogging bipolar housewife!!!  I felt like I'd been living on the edge of death for the few weeks or so, dark thought, dark moods and now I feel light I've been hit with a blast of light.  (or maybe it was a 2x4 on the back of the head!!)  Either way I'll take it.      

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Taking today


Today I decided I was not going to go through depression, even if it killed me.  My thoughts tend to get stuck like a merry-go-round I can't get off.  To stop them in their place, I put on the music full blast.  Folding laundry, listening to music, when one of my favorite songs came on with a message just for me.  The main gist was "and I give it all back to you."  And I'm thinking, "YEA!"  I have been programmed from day one to accept all of my abusers shit as if it were my responsibility.  So I mentally thrust it all back in their faces.  Today, I wasn't taking it.  Today I wasn't going to believe their lies.  Today I stood my ground.  I hadn't even realized I'd taken it all on again.  It is so automatic for me to do so that I don't even know I'm doing it, but I'm getting better at recognizing it sooner than before.  For once it wasn't such a fight.  Sometimes I've let them beat me down so far there is no getting up.  Today, I made a decision as the thoughts started hovering  like vultures and I got my gun and shot them down before they could start pecking at my eyes.  Just one decision before my own day got started to stop the depression that was already beginning to barrel down on me, gave me the freedom to battle to reason for my depression, taking the responsibility for what THEY did.  And that's where it's staying for today.  All I have is today and I've decided to take it.          

The blending

I used to be able to define my bipolar symptoms, what they were like and how they were effecting me.  My childhood past used to be of the same nature separate from my bipolar issues and I was able to give you a concrete feeling or memory in how it was related.  The same goes for the present.  They were 3 separate entities within me and maybe sometimes they were overlap a little, but there was a clear definition between the three of them. 

Once I became aware that my bipolar issues stemmed from my childhood issues, they seemed to blur together and I'm still confused as to what they mean.  It is like having 3 separate elements that when blended together make water and how do you separate water?  It isn't possible, but I keep trying.  I keep trying to make sense of what I'm feeling and why and there is a part of me that would like to go back to the time when I did know. 

I do know it a large progression in healing.  It is actually monumental, but it is so confusing to understand because it is so different and I have yet to get used to it.  It is like being normal or something like it and I've NEVER  been that.  I have always been the freak who never fit in anywhere.  And now I don't know what to think.  It also leaves a lot of space in my head and time on my hands that I'm struggling to fill and occupy.  I was always dealing with either my bipolar, my childhood or the present, bouncing back and forth between the three.  I'm a worrier.  It is hard for me not to worry, even harder when there's nothing to worry about.  My life hasn't been right unless my brain is spinning on something.  I'm starting to feel like a fraud doing a bipolar blog, without having the extremes that have been my life.  Things feel like they are in neutral and I'm just coasting to where, I don't know.  I just keep holding my breath waiting for the bottom to fall out like it always does.  That's what I've known.  Could it really be different now?

All of my symptoms have calmed, though I still deal with anxiety, worry, stress and anger almost daily.  I think I'm actually angry that the core of my childhood memories have been revealed.  I don't know if I'm more angry that it's over and after 20 years of trying to heal, that's it.  Or if now that it is all over I'm angry at knowing the whole story and reeling from all that happened.  This has been like a job for me and I just got fired from it.  Now what do I do?  It was all I knew forever and ever and to have it just all fall out of my lap and be done???  What am I suppose to do now???  I'm still trying to figure it out.  I'm going to keep muddling through all this.  It just all very, very new to me and very strange.  I hope I can find the peace and learn to accept it. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Feelings, nothing more than feelings...


I felt today.  I actually felt all kinds of things today.  I felt alive again.  It was great.  My husband was home for part of the day, that was great.  I usually feel great when he is around.  As the time drew near for him to leave for work, my anxiety started to build.  Once he left, I couldn't sit still, I had to move or all the good feelings were going to leach out of my body.  So it was playtime with the dogs.  Anything to keep moving and not fall off the platform into nothing again.  I wasn't happy-go-lucky, but I was feeling something.  When it was time to walk my dog Fiona, then I really felt something.  Walking at 50 mph, on top of the neighbors dog charging us AGAIN, I finally screamed until someone came out, the dog's barking face was about one foot away from my dog's face, and then I finally said something after THREE years of this BS.  They seem to think there is no problem.  Their dog hates all my dogs and ALWAYS charges them.  Boy, was I feeling that.  Not only from the anger, frustration and ignorance of people, but that dog chargine me AGAIN had me shaking so bad, I was scared shitless.  When it is out and sees us, it literally tears straight for us and not to say "hi".  As I shook for the rest of the walk, I called my husband and laid out all my anger of this ridiculous situation and began to lay a plan for resolution.  I should not have to walk in fear down that road because a dog is charging me all the way to the road.   Fucking ridiculous.  When I got back I took my dog Zappa the same route, she kept the dog in.  I know they seem to think it's hilarious, telling me the dog won't do anything.  Bullshit!  The dog is after my dog and is trying invoke a fight.  I'm trying to keep them from fighting.  The dog was lucky today, Fiona didn't react at all, but a couple of mine dogs will.  Can you blame them?  They are being charge at and threatened.  I want to fight the dog.

So, now as it has been a few hours since the incident, I'm exhausted from my adrenaline rush of fear and anger.  I feel rather depleted, but not empty.  So I guess that is a good thing.  I'm pretty proud of myself for finally saying something to the neighbor.  It's obvious they don't plan on fixing the problem because they don't believe there is one.  I'm might have scared her a bit though, since I never said anything before.  Maybe they will think twice, but I doubt it.

So for tonight I've said my peace.  It was still a good day overall.  My body and brain were awake and functioning and feeling.  Which is more than I can say for the last few days and I enjoyed it.  Every bit of it. 

To read more about the dog neighbor issue, check out our new dog blog:  24 Paws of Love. (link at top of page)   

Nothing

I have felt nothing for the last few days.  Maybe it has been weeks.  The bulk of my day is nothing.  No glimmer of hope, no ounce of satisfaction or accomplishments.  Numb.  Everything feeling has froze into nothing.  I can not even properly display it.  It has no color, no life, there is not even a void.  No words that have meaning seem to fit either.  Depression, sadness, emptiness.  These all have a definition and meaning and purpose.  Nothing doesn't.  There are a few blips through the day, like a sharp poke that I'm still here and can feel something and then it vanishes.  Even space has property, I have nothing.  Even if all I felt were all the wrong feelings, they would still have value.  They are clear cut, decisive, and direct.  All I have is nothing.