Monday, November 29, 2010

Please wait until the ride has come to a complete stop...

I think I can officially say I am balanced.  My emotions are actually at a consistent even keel.  It has taken some getting used to because it felt like my emotions flat lined.  For a while it was extremely uncomfortable and I tried to resuscitate my feelings.  It drove me crazy not rocking back and forth on that crazy swing of bipolar.  Who wouldn't miss those wonderful feeling manias exploding with creation?  Or the deep soulful sorrow of the blues? 

The only way I have ever lived  is at the deep ends of an emotional spectrum.  Feelings soaring and plunging.  For a while it felt like death to lose all that.  It was like a constant hum.  No sharps, no flats.  As much as I tried to rock the boat, it stayed afloat.  It was like riding the tallest, fastest coaster, whipping up and down and around for years and years to have it come to a complete standstill.  My entire life spent managing all the thrills and horrors of the ride and now the ride was closed.  Once I caught my breath the relief spilled over, but I couldn't bring myself to exit the car.  How in the world was I going to be able to live my life without taking the roller coaster?  How would I be able to think or feel without that adventure and chaos?  I have even tried to get that coaster running again, if I could just go one more time around...

I fought it until I realized I didn't want to take that ride anymore, I just didn't know how to live without it.  I didn't know how to function without those extremes of mania or depression.  If my wobbly legs could carry the weight of my responsibilities being set free from my emotional prison.  Somehow, some way I have begun to come to terms with my balanced brain.  Every day may not be as exciting as that roller coaster ride, but I'm finding that I'm enjoying the serenity that comes with having a peaceful mind.  I am beginning to appreciate what this means for me as I watch my life unfold without the delusions of the grandiose thinking and feeling.  It is simple and pure, words I never really knew the meaning of.  I still have my low and high points, but the waves are softer and gentler.  My biggest culprit is anxiety.  My fears are going to take longer to work out and if I'm not flipping back and forth all over the place, I have a better chance at getting to the heart of them.  One layer at a time.  One step at a time.  Simple steps have brought me here, simple steps will take me where I want to go.   One of my favorite sayings is:  Progress, not perfection.  I'm enjoying the progress.      

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One Percent


I saw a high school girl whom I haven't seen in a few years that I know.  She was a mirror image of myself at that age.  Her entire being screamed of abuse, neglect and self-hate.  The damage that has been done covered her like black paint that dripped all over. Vulnerability shooting from every pore, spraying everyone around her.  The insane need to scratch off her crawling skin.  Eyes darting like a wounded prey pleading for an escape.  The need to be noticed while camouflaging into the walls.  Wishing for death to end the unthinkable, yet too frightened to die.   She is oblivious to it.  She knows no different.

I heard sirens.

Everywhere.

30 seconds of time with this girl and it all rushed back to me.  I am always so surprise how young I really was at that age.  How I had a life to live that hadn't begun.  How I never thought I would ever escape.  How many times I tried to take my life away from me.  How everything I did was trying to kill me.  Every direction I took was leading me to a slow suicide.  Yet, there was always this little tiny piece that wanted to live.  That fought against the other 99% of me.  That is one powerful percent.  It brought me all the way to here and nothing can take that back.               

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Poisoning Pills

A drug is a drug.  I don't care if it's legally prescribed or you score it on the street.  It doesn't make a difference if you take it in pill form or shoot up it through your veins.  A drug is a drug and they are dangerous.  All doctors are mad scientist, concocting the perfect cocktail to cure you. 

Am I angry?  You bet.  I've been on Lithium Carbonate, (I will just call it lithium for short) for nine years now and I'm just learning that in order to reach the "therapeutic levels" of Lithium, it must be at a toxic level.  In other words, in order for lithium to work effectively, it must poisoning my body and mind.  Now I know, any amount of drugs are unhealthy, especially long term, but the fact that it has to at a TOXIC level to operate, has made me very angry.  I have done everything in my power to stay on the lowest dose possible of anything I take.  I take one other medication for my bipolar, and one for a side effect of those meds that I have no control over.  I am angry that I had to find this out online looking for the reason why I've been having a metallic taste in my mouth for the last three weeks because my lithium levels are higher than normal for me.  I have always stayed at the very lowest therapeutic level of lithium up until the last six months.  Which is about the time I really started to balance out.  Which if this was a normal drug, I would be OK with that, but it's not.  The metal taste is proof of the toxicity and that the levels are too high.  Like my husband said to me, when does pot become effective?  When it is toxic in your system.  Same principle.

Yes, the answer is simple, cut back on the lithium.  It is more the principle that I'm so furious about.  No doctor has ever informed me of this toxicity level being therapeutic.  What kind of crap is that?  Do I always have to be my own doctor?  Aren't they suppose to be the experts on drugs?  Of course they aren't going to tell me all this, or the long list of side effects for each medication, or the combo of any because if they did, I wouldn't take one freaking pill.  End of story.  I was in crisis mode when I took them, I was grateful for them, they peeled me back off the wall, but I don't plan on living the rest of my life with them. 

I think the thing that really grinds my monkey is that I didn't know.  I had to find out on my own, almost by mistake.  That it isn't discussed or brought up unless I question it.  And there we are back to the beginning, I didn't know.  And for some reason that really, really bothers me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Emotional Harmony

It has taken a week of adjusting to this new "Daylight Savings" schedule to make a positive out of what seemed a GIANT negative.  When I rearranged my schedule to fit the new darkness that looms, then it actually works to my benefit. 

It doesn't take much to throw my emotional state off balance and for some reason the change of time and the instant extra hour of darkness throws my state of mind out of whack.  Usually it takes weeks to find some level playing field, this year it only took a week. 

I had a couple of other incidents that happened this week that added to my emotional challenge.  Both were quite stressful and both were a little scary.  They both happened at the height of this impending doom feeling that comes with the onset of an earlier night.  Eventually the anxiety faded, I kept myself busy, as there was nothing I could do about either incident and I talked with my husband about them.  My last post about how I was feeling about the "HORRORS OF TIME" made such a difference by acknowledging it and "getting down on paper," so to speak.  I find it cuts the battle in my mind by half and I can begin to address the problem.  Being able to get solid hours of sleep also made a big difference along with exercise and playtime with the dogs.  Things I have already been doing and was able to continue with because I wasn't manic or depressive.  I had some strong anxiety but I did the things I could and rested when needed.  Eventually everything worked out. 

I always have to be cautious of my emotions, because when they are going haywire, my thoughts and actions follow suit.  I think that's why I find so much power in the "pen."  When I am able to write my thoughts down I am able to see them for what they are.  I find insight and clues into the depths of my psyche and an understanding and acknowledgement that goes deeper than just writing down how I feel.  Even if no one ever reads this, I'm OK knowing that I have spoke my truth for that moment and if I've helped someone along the way, that is even better.  I'm just trying to carve out my little niche in this great big world to find me.  I have been lost for a very long time and it is good to home.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

the HORRORS OF TIME

The time change (day light savings) is a crock of crap.  Talking about fucking with my internal clock and the wires of my brain.  Not too mention I feel like I've been slammed into an impending doom from which there is no escape.  I have no idea why resetting of time fucks with my psyche so much, but it's got me getting ready for bed at least 7 hours before the fact.  By 8pm, I'm positive it is 10pm.  I haven't been able to sleep and I feel like I am living in a cave with this onset of darkness.  It's more than just my schedule being screwed up, it's like the world lost it's balance and the Earth's axis was jolted.  I found out that this "brilliant" idea goes as far back as Benjamin Franklin.  Who in the fuck made him God?  Talk about disrupting the natural order the universe.  What the hell was he thinking?  And why are we following this God-forsaken madness? 

Just as there becomes order in my world of thoughts, now I've got to jump back in time, because some asshole thought it would be cool to fuck with my head in the spring and supersede into the future.  I have yet to find a good reason for their findings as to why this is such an accepted tradition known all over the world.  Give them a day in my head and lets see how long it last.  I feel like I've walked into a horror movie and the slasher is right behind the door.  Or setting my hand on fire without an fire extinguisher.  Every neuron I swear is sparking off at once trying to comprehend this insanity and getting nowhere fast.  Like my entire brain is on pins and needles of what are they going to do next?  I just want to scream.  I went to bed at 6am this morning.  Five hours of sleep and I don't know if I can go through another night of this hell.  My entire psyche is screaming HELP!!  I'd do anything to ram my head against a brick wall and call it a night.  Or slam down a bottle of...hell, anything to make this stop.  As if the world wasn't perverse enough they gotta fuck with the clock too.  Well, they got me.  Cause I'm one step away from the loony bin and it ain't looking pretty.     

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Memories-Caffeine

Being bipolar means having moods swings that make my moods, energies and actions inconsistent.  It is always great to do things when you feel great, it's another story when you feel your world is caving in.  As aggravating as these changes in moods and behaviors are, I continue to try for the things I am striving for.  My health is top the list, both mental and physical.  I have struggled with many issues concerning both and the back and forth rocking of the boat that has made it difficult to stay on track. 

I believe in doing things gradually and as naturally as possible.  Timing I think is everything.  As I have found my  moods stabilizing, I find I am able to make those changes.  I could name a long list of things of changes that I have made from my last hospitalization.  Things I don't give myself very much credit for, but as I take this moment to look back, each step has had it's affect on the course of my well being. 

One example is caffeine.  Being manic depressive it is the last thing I should drink and I was living on Mountain Dew 24/7.  When the doc mention no caffeine and more water.  I didn't know what I was going to do without my addiction and I never liked water, but I wanted to get better.  So I started drinking a decaffeinated pop for a long while.  After months I switched to Gatorade, which was the closest I could come to drinking water.  After months of that, I began to incorporate water with the Gatorade.  By this point just a sip of Mt. Dew's sugary syrup made me gag.  How in the world did I ever drink this stuff?  I used to buy 3-8 packs and hope I would make it through the week.   I can not begin to imagine the impact this had on my brain and my bipolar.  The highs and the crashes, as if I needed more of those. 

It wasn't long before I came to place that I where I am today.  All I drink is water.  Once in a while I still have a Coca-Cola (my ultimate sin), but I regulate when it when I do.  Like not after 6pm and only if my mood is stable.  I hardly ever have it on hand, so it isn't a big temptation and as with the Mt. Dew, I don't care for it as much as I use to. 

This step alone of cutting caffeine and sugar has given me a foundation for where I am today.  It didn't happen overnight as I struggled back and forth with it as I do every with change I have to make.  I feel that because of that one change and the next that followed, today I am getting over the hump of my disorder and finding a balance and stability I could only dream of.  Stability that used to last maybe a day or two, has recently turned into a month or two.  Just by making simple small changes I gave myself more chances to heal and it is really starting to pay off.       

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the MUSHY MIDDLE



Being bipolar gave me a clear cut idea of where my mind was at.  I was either manic or depressed.  Rarely was there an in between, but when there was there was a strong sense of balance.  Once in a while depressed feelings would cross with mania sensations, it never lasted long and soon I was on one side of the fence or the other, until now. 

I am finding myself in this middle ground of mush.  Nothing is concise and I am bumbled with a mix of my two spectrum's.  I haven't spent much time in this compromised place and it is rather strange.  The extremes have mellowed and combined, making it very difficult to make decision on what I am feeling and thinking.  My energy levels bounce within seconds of wanting to walk all the dogs to curling up and taking a nap.  I find myself happy and sad at the same time.  It is as if my left brain and right brain have started communicating and cooperating for the first time, and are agreeing on feeling everything together all in the same moment. 

I've found it isn't a bad thing, though I find myself in a daze sometimes and I can not seem to stick with any decisions.  In fact I am finding it is a good thing and another step in the healing process.  I think my brain is beginning to rewire itself to find a compromise with my bipolar thoughts and feelings.  I find it interesting and fascinating and sometimes a bit aggravating.  The more I've begun to accept the idea of having more than one emotion at the same time, I've found I have a choice in what I want to do with that feeling and whether I want to act on it or not.  That in it's self is giving me a freedom I've never had with a mania or depression.  I could manage them, accept them, but rarely felt I had a choice in either.  Those feelings and thoughts were locked in, barred from change.  This middle ground is like clay, where I can grab those feelings and thoughts and form them into what I want.  There is forgiveness with clay and it can be continually remolded and shaped again.  Whereas with manias and depression are like hardened cement and all I could do was chip at it, never being able to change the composition of it.

As an artist, I've enjoyed playing with clay which is exactly what is it, play.  If it doesn't turn out the way you want you smash it down, knead it back it a ball, and start all over.  :)  And so the playing begins with this journey of creation where I can build sandcastle in mind and find the power to heal.