Monday, September 27, 2010

Unfamiliar Fear

The terror struck later in the evening about the swimming incident (last post) and has still shaken me to the core.  I have never had a fear of water, any doubts about my swimming abilities nor any reason to feel afraid and yet now I do.  All the panic and fear that I had to push to the side when swimming in the middle of the lake is haunting me.  My fear is so out of context with I know.  Water has always been a healing source.  I've been in the lakes in mid-November and April when hypothermia was a possibility doing the same type of work.  I have always adjusted to the heart stopping shock of the frigid waters without a problem, but to go over the drop off point to retrieve the lost tire, is still gripping me today.  I was literally trembling when I tried to go to sleep last night.  I never understood how people could drown so easy and quickly, unless they didn't know how to swim.  Yesterday, I understood. 

Swimming has always been a time of play.  A refreshing of the soul for me.  Yesterday it was much bigger than I could ever be.  I would like to say I gained a greater respect for the lake, sitting on land, home safe and sound without incident and yet I still feel fear.  My insides quake as I write this as I can not comprehend how great this fear is that I have never experienced.  On my ride back with the tire, I began to think of people who's boats turn over and how the shock of the chilly waters begins an instant panic and gasping for breath.  I can not imagine being stranded in the ocean.  The enormity of the circumstances I was in overwhelmed me now, as I feel the fear that I had to shove down and not think about in order to complete my mission.  I'm not more scare then than I am now, it is the same level of fear, except now I'm feeling it in it's entirety.  I have been scared to death by many things in my life and for good reason, but I can not understand fearing water and the fact that I am now. 

I never realized how trusting water for so many years could be taken for granted.  It has given me a greater appreciation for my husband's fear of water and how he trudges through every time we do this type of work.  He has come a long way since I met him, but I'm beginning to understand the current of his fear.  How it is always there, even when he looks like he doing fine.  Maybe that's what I was suppose to learn.    

Sunday, September 26, 2010

When you think you can't

The two boat hoist in far right corner was where my adventure took place. 

A tire was floating away.  A very important tire needed for rolling in the boat hoist.  A boat hoist that was out five hundred feet from shore and a tire that was drifting fifty feet past the hoist.  The tire was well past the drop off with a depth of at least thirty feet or more and  being the only able body who could swim and retrieve it, I volunteered.  Jeans, shirt and shoes on, I caught my breath as I started in the water.  The water was cold.  I kept on, I couldn't let the tire get any further away, grateful there were only slight ripples in the basically calm water.  When the frigid water hit my mid-section, the shock of the cold made me gasp for breath as panic began to set in.  I slowed a little to let my body regulate to the water's temperature.  No time to wait, deep inhale and exhales as I trudged on.

As I reached the boat hoist the chilly water now at chest level, I began to shiver and gulp for breathes staying just above the panic.  Another few feet and I would be at the drop off and completely on my own.  When the sand bed slipped from beneath me I felt my terror rise to the top of me.  I started to turn around, I wasn't ready, I started to panic and I knew if I panicked, I was going to drowned.  Trending water for a moment, I realized there was no going back, I had keep moving forward after the tire.

I am a strong swimmer, but mostly underwater.  I have never been a good front swimmer and I knew in order to conserve my energy I needed to swim on my back.  Turning over, the water cupped my ears and  blocked everything in my mind.  I stare at the brilliant blue sky and prayed for help.  Kicking my feet with my running shoes was awkward at first, but soon I fell into a rhythm.  I felt my fear retreat to a safe place. I only turned over to check my course.  A line of black and white seagulls flew above me.  They were so close I could make out their different patterned markings. That's when I knew I was being taken care of.  That's also when I realized I only had to make it to the tire and then I would have a floating device to take me back

When I finally reached the tire, I clung to it while a stream of "thank yous" escaped my lips.  This was the deepest water I'd ever swam in and even though I was a solid swimmer and my skills were being tested.  By now the water was still cold but comfortable and I needed to make the return trip with the tire to the boat hoist.  My trip back was a little slower and I made it back safely so we could begin the process of attaching the tires to the hoist to roll it in.  We came across more problems and complications that kept us in the water much longer than was expected.  Eventually both boat hoist were brought to shore and I was finally able to get into some warm dry clothes.

When I made the call to go after the tire, I knew I could do it.  When I reached the hoist and realized there was no turning back, I was terrified at being alone with no one to save me.  When I finally asked for help, I was given a comforting blue sky and a flight of God's creatures  and that's when I knew I was never alone to begin with.        

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Wrenched Brain


Being bipolar gives you a new appreciation and wonder for the brain. I have always found myself fascinated by the wild interpretations of mania and the melancholy blackness of depression. It is the playground for delusions and the reality within them. There have been many times in my bipolar episodes that I had the powerful illusion that my brain was operating separate from my body. The mystery of the brain is impressive.

A couple of years ago I watched a compelling special on the function of the brain pertaining to thought and mood process. I was enraptured by the piece. They were showing the process of how a normal brain responds to being asked a question by showing an animated diagram of the path of neurons and chemical reactions that occur during the thought process. Watching these "normal" brain wave patterns, tears were slowly sliding down my face as a single thought repeated in my head, "That's not how my brain works, that's not how my brain works." My brain had recognized the strong difference from the "normal" path and how my thoughts and moods were mapping out. I was riveted by this revelation. I began to take my bipolar disorder seriously and almost on a subconscious level began the steps to address my issues pertaining it.

The power of that documentary changed the course of my thinking. It helped me to connect with my brain and pull it back into my body. This set into motion a rewiring of how I saw my brain and the need to nurse it back to health, just I would a broken arm. The damage done by my bipolar disorder and my abusive childhood called for a time of healing. It began by accepting I had bipolar disorder and then learn how to take care of it. It has been a captivating journey that has taught me the gift of my brain and a greater appreciation for it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Copper Healing


Copper metal seems to have a unique property over me.  I'm not sure if anyone else feels this way, but it resonates with me. I am sensitive to it's qualities and the touch of it's healing powers.  It is pleasing on my eye and I am drawn to it like a magnet.

My husband and I have vacationed a few times in an old copper mine city.  We visited the closed mines and found our own copper at one of the old mine shafts.  Every tiny shop was filled with copper goodies.  I wanted to touch them all. 

When I hold copper I feel it's energy connecting with my heart.  It's vibe strums through my soul.  I know that it is used for healing pain and maybe that is how I relate with it. 

I seldom wear jewelry, but I created this necklace with a copper ring on it.  I don't wear it all the time, but when I find myself down like this morning, I suddenly discover it.  I wear it under my shirt so that the copper ring rest against my chest, right at the top of my heart.  It is more than just a comfort, for I feel the slight vibrations through my skin and my emotional pain begins to lift.  When I am more stressed or anxious, I rub the ring in between my fingers that creates reverberation of calming, positive energy.  One thing I have found about this magic metal is that is not dull or lifeless.  It is alive.  It is a force.  One that I find not only beautiful but invigorating.

Do you have a special healing source that helps you through your tough days?            

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cold Grounding

Tonight's protectors, Blaze and Chance

I have found myself tight with anxiety.  I feel like I'm wrapped like a mummy and someone is slowly pulling on the end tag, tighter and tighter until I feel that familiar panic.  The internal heat flames up and I begin to overheat.  All I can think about getting outside so I can breathe and cool down, yet there lies my fear.  The night is spooky to me.  I am afraid to step out for fear there is something out there to "get me."  Something about fall evenings that make me feel like every night is Halloween.  So I try instead to sort it out in my head.  There is just a wavier of panic now.  There is still pressure on my chest while I subconsciously hold my breath.  Thank God for windows.  The fresh air rushes in as I inhale and exhale rapidly in relief.  I begin to feel my body relax a bit, but it isn't enough.  I need to be surrounded in the wind.  I need to feel the rush through my hair to caresses my brain.  Thank God for dogs.  I am very protected as I venture out to face my fears and soothe my mind at the same time.  My need to calm is greater than my fear.  I'm going out.

There is nothing more grounding for me than being outside in the cold air.  Yes, I survived and nobody "got me."  Didn't I tell you already I had the greatest protectors in the world with me??  The air was cool, with a slight breeze, clear skies except for a few wispy clouds, the moon, the stars and the high school stadium lights were still on across the street, making it a little lighter outside. 

I could feel my feet again.  When my anxiety gets too high, my feet feel like two hot water balloons.  Nothing like the cold pavement to make me slip back inside my body again.  So wonderful to be able to breathe deep breathes and feel the constraints fall to the way side.  Ah, yes, it is good to be alive.  Better than I ever expected. 

  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

the Power of a Seed

Sometimes I'm a heavy metal Domestic Diva.  Today I was preparing tomatoes from the garden for a batch of spaghetti sauce.  Tomatoes I started from seed and are picture in this post when the next phase of my journey began.  It was at this point that I learned of the association between my bipolar symptoms and my childhood abuse.  They had been separate in my mind when the two merge together and I began a healing that infused the two of them together.

The seedlings are about two weeks old in this post and started from this tiny seed:


I am always amazed at the size of this seed and the mighty power it holds within.  Even when they are just tiny seedlings, fragile and delicate there is a great energy of life that is captivating, never really knowing what they behold.  

They continue to grow and blossom, the magic still incredible, until there is fruit and I must patiently wait for the ripening of the harvest.  

 

Inside each of these tomatoes are a large handful of seeds, ready to start the process again.  Just one small seed that changes everything.     

And reminds to loosen up and laugh.  It's all going to be OK. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

in the Still

When I am manic, I am invincible.  The world works in my favor.  Everything seems to be going my way.  When I am depressed I slump in a dark place where the world is pitted and working against me.  Manias are like being on top of a mountain and being able to skydive off with no parachute and soar with the wind.  Depression is the reality when I crash from that fall and everything is broken.  Manias are hearing the angels sing and the words of Heaven speaking to me and through me.  Symphonies are conducted in my head with never a note to land on paper.  Depression is a hollow void sucking me in.  Manias are like a million great ideas racing through my head and not being able to hold on to one.  Depression is suffocating under the weight of every wrong idea that has entered my mind.  During a mania I feel like my senses are extraordinary and heightened.  Every sensory cell electrified and magnified.  In depression my senses are deaden and are frozen numb.  When I am manic I become an extrovert.  I become perceptive and open to the other people.  When I am depressed I am withdrawn, bitter and miserable.  I avoid people.  In a mania I become anxious and highly agitated.  During depression I become sad and angry.

This constant rise and plummet wrecks havoc on my emotions, mental state and physical body.  It is like having a shot of adrenaline and running into a bus.  Over and over.  There are parts I love about it, but there are many parts I don't.  I am always grappling with one side or the other.  The constant see-sawing damages my emotional state, twisting my mind into not knowing what is real and what isn't, while tearing my body apart by the constant surges of energy that unexpectedly come to an abrupt halt.  Sometimes I never really know if I am coming or going.

Then there are those reprieves.  Those moments when I am balancing on the teeter-tauter and my mind will be amazingly still.   There is a harmony within me that resonates and my mind is poised.  I feel the equilibrium in my mind restored and centered.  It is in this precious gift when all the chattered and heaviness has lifted, that I find myself with a smile.  Laughing.  Understanding.  And believing once again.  The path I follow is as harsh as it is beautiful, but it is in these precious moments of calm that I can truly love myself for who I am and know it was all worth it.            

Monday, September 13, 2010

the Cloak of Darkness

The shorten days have affected my brain.  The darkness from the change of season wraps around me like the cloak of death.  I feel like I'm running out of time.  Pressure descends on me.  Only hours before the heaviness ladels me.  For once I am perceived as normal.  Trying to hold on to every minute of light instead of embracing the darkness.  This is polar opposite of my normal.  Contorting my brain to a level of depression I feel unfamiliar with.  I don't know what to make of it.  I don't know if I will.   

Friday, September 10, 2010

the Death of Creativity


Depression kills my creativity.  Creativity gives me life.  I am in constant need to find something new, if it doesn't exist, I need to create it.  I thrive on creativity.  I have a constant need to create.  Depression sucks the life of my creativity.  I can not create.  It was told me that an artistic person will become depressed when they can not create.  I think I am one of those people.  It is a vicious cycle.  Like many things with bipolar.  One always feeding the other.  While I sit in neutral waiting for the switch. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

the Power of the Truth

After being fed so many lies over and over all my life, when a truth comes to light and I begin to accept it, my mind becomes a blank slate.  These lies have tormented me and are like a vicious tornado in my head that I can not control.  They are like a stake that is slowly driven into my brain and are accepted as the truth.  The lies are in a bloody fight, battling for my sanity.  I was beginning to think they were going to win.  I was thinking I needed medication.  I didn't know how I was going to survive this last battle.  I even thought there was a possibility of hospitalization.  I was truly terrified.

The light bulb that went off in the last paragraph of my last post, Fear of Living, was the key that set all the lies scattering back where they came from.  They were never mine to possess.  No matter how much they took over my thoughts, they were not mine.  They were from my abusers.  After my revelation about not wanting to die and it's source, I was free.  I woke up this morning to a blank slate in my mind.  Ready to be filled with anything I wanted.  I spent most of my time with the dogs.  I was thinking clearly and felt productive.  There was some sadness and pain, as there always is in the truth, but I didn't let it rule my day.  I was able to let go of it after I recognized it.  Sometimes I think I live in a state of denial, hoping for the best in others, including my abusers.  Just when I think there can't be anything worse then what they did, that there had to be a part of them that loved me even a little, I find myself at war with myself and their lies.  The pain they inflicted on me is nothing short of monstrous and here I am still sifting through the wreckage.  Their lies made me think I was literally losing my mind and that everything they had taught me was true.  It is frightening.  Downright terrifying and it happens to others every day.

I can not begin to extent or give my gratitude to be at this place and moment in time.  To be physically free from my abusers, to have a loving and caring husband and a wonderful family of animals.  To be given the chance to really heal from my past and the freedom to do so.  To have the opportunity to learn how to take care of myself, mentally, physically and spiritually.  To really have a chance at life.  To begin to understand what it is like to live, take chances and think for myself.  To not be under the guise of someone else.  To not be controlled by another and to find out who I really am.  To know how many times I have come close to death or insanity and still being here to tell about it.  I am very humbled by the Love that has taken care of me all of these years and hasn't given up.  The wonderful Power that is greater than I and has seen me through everything.  I can not begin to tell you how blessed I really am but this is a start.      

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fear of Living


I've done a lot of searching the last few days about my fears.  I always known that I fear almost everything, but my biggest, deepest fear is living.  My entire life has been infused with wanting to escape the pain of my childhood abuse.  I have never been able to find a way out of the terror I was living.  Though no matter how much I wanted to die, I was terrified of death and dying.  I continued to make choices to live. 

When I married my husband and my abusers were brought to a halt, I was in the beginning steps of remembering my past.  As time has went on, more memories have come to light and healing began to take place, I found myself on the fence about whether I wanted to live or not.  I don't want to die, I don't have any plans, but I finding myself pushing further and further from wanting to live.  I'm pertrified of living.  Life is ugly.  People are cruel.  I want to crawl back in my hole where I was once safe from life, at least in my mind.  Being mentally out in the real world, is not the pretty picture I had always dreamed it would be.  I'm not shelter from life because of my childhood and what happened to me.  Being an adult sucks, even more so when my entire childhood was pain and misery.  I don't have that "out" of death anymore and most of the time I feel trapped by life.  The same trap I grew up in.  Being bipolar doesn't help either.  There is nothing worse than being a good mood handling everything that comes my way to only crash like a plane and feel splatter all over the runway.  Although I have used this constant cycle for my healing, it is part of the demon that keeps me in its grip.

It seems that every time I make the deicision to live, I get hurt.  Pain becomes more than I can bear and I use my only escape route, thoughts of not wanting to live.  Which only sends me into greater mental turmoil because my mind feels imprisioned fluctuating between wanting to live and not wanting to.  I keep asking for something I can never have.

That's it.  That's the answer.  I keep asking for something I can never have.   Something that doesn't exist.  I can not just vanish, I am either alive or I am not.  I've been trying to find another way out of life after losing my suicide plans so many years ago.  I don't know how to live, which is why I'm so fearful of it.  I wasn't suppose to live and I never realized how much I had come to rely on death to get me out of this life.  I could never figure out why I felt this way.  I was looking for a full proof way to escape life with dying.

Yes, sometimes I still think like a five year old, but I survived a long time thinking like one.  :)   

      

Friday, September 3, 2010

the Manic Horse



I'm sitting here trying to complete one thought.  My mind is racing with them,  but they keep falling apart before my eyes.  Fragments of time eluding me into madness like walking backwards on a merry-go-round.  The sweetness of life distorted and cherished at the same time.  My mind seems to stay on constant vibrate.  My body feels ready to fall off from exhaustion.  My mind is in it's own world, leaving my body to catch up.  Ahhh, mania, like the perfect drug without the pills, dope or booze. 

I was rigid with fear last night, every muscle frozen stiff.  Panic.  Trying to bring my mind and body back together, by talking to hubby.  I started to panic today, my blood is pumping furiously, I can't seem to relax.  Fear is creeping.  I accidentally had a Coca-Cola this afternoon.  I usually don't drink caffeine and not during a mania.  Deep breaths.  It is anxiety.  Breathe.  Fear can not control you.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Ride it out.  Feel the fear all the way through.  In through the nose.  Feel the thump of your blood rocking in your veins.  Out through the mouth.  Your life was built on this.  And now it doesn't have to.  I am scared.  But I'm not afraid. 

I've done enough drugs in my life to know how to ride out a mania.  I've been learning how to manage them so they don't shoot me to the moon.  What I have learned with depression and riding the wave of it, I'm learning to do with mania for the first time.  I do not want to be afraid of fear.  I have faced many things in my life that have paralyzed me with fear, I want to take the tiger by the tail and let it take me.  I want to find where it will take me.  I don't want to change it or try to escape it.  I want to know what my biggest and greatest fear is today and hop on that wild horse's back and see where it takes me.  I want to know.  I want to know what shakes me to the core every day of my life.  I'm really for the challenge.  And I want to take it.     

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mania tripping

The vengeful ficus

Manias are like ice cream for the brain after eating the mud of depression.  My thoughts were racing last night when I went to bed and I let them go on their rampage.  Until I found out that my house plants were angry and threatening me.  Glad they can't climb out their pots!  WHEW!!  There were two large ficus trees hanging right over my head last night.  I'm sure if they could they would climb out, grab and shake me.  They have been through many droughts over the past few years, I'm surprised they don't beat me with their branches when I walk by them.  Note to self:  Always remember to duck when passing by ficus trees.  Probably should steer clear of the vines also, they are libel to tangle and constrict me if word gets around from the ficus.

The monster cactus and his angry posse


Thank goodness that my large cactus survives with little water.  He would probably figure out how to start shooting his spines at me.  I'm pretty sure I could outrun the little ones, only problem is there are very few little ones.  Since most of them reach the ceiling or are climbing the walls, there is great need to be cautious as they outnumber me.  I can't walk anywhere without seeing green.  I think I'd better keep the music up loud, maybe this will scramble their signals with each other.  It would be a scary thing if news traveled of their plans.  Have YOU watered your plants today?????