Monday, January 31, 2011

Living the Gift

I've have come to find that bipolar is more than what I thought it was.  For me it is an exasperated reaction to a trauma I was unable to process at a very young age.  I couldn't say if it is genetic, but I do believe my mother was undiagnosed.  They may be a predisposition but due to the extreme natural and duration of my abuse, it is hard to tell.

In my abuse the extremes were as violent as a rapid cycler.  Sever highs and lows as I felt like I was hanging on to a rocket for dear life, only for it to come crashing down and plummet through the center of hell.  I was also drugged during these times which intensified the extremes and the delusions as well as paranoia.  The abuse and drugs alone were enough to make me bipolar and mess with my brain's chemistry. 

I have no way to decipher the beginning of my abuse or bipolar, as to me they have always been there.  I survived my abuse through dissociation, which included my bipolar.  To me it was a separate entity happening in my brain, with it's own compartment and life.  When I realized that my abuse and bipolar were because of each other, I started down a path of merging the two. 

Being bipolar wasn't a tick that was infesting my brain nor a disease that was separate from myself.  The chemicals in my brain went haywire trying to survive what was happening to me.  This was how I learnt to cope through such a horrible trauma.

I began to see that my delusional thought patterns were in accordance with my bipolar thoughts, during manias and depressions.  It was during the infusion of these two parts coming together that I began to realize how they worked together and thus began a healing that drastically changed the way I looked at my bipolar.  I found they were connected and then learned how to use these extreme highs and lows in my healing process.  Usually, as a push and pull fight of another memory that was coming to surface that would prepare me so that I could further exploit the truth out of it.  I began to see bipolar as a gift. 

If I really sit back and look at every miracle that has happened in my life and having the opportunity to sit and write about it at this present time, I am blown away and humbled.  For as cruel as this world can be, there is still grace and hope.  There is still a chance to live and be loved.  Somehow I was given something to hold on to to make it this far in life and I believe we all have that chance. 

Thank you for being part of my world.     

Saturday, January 29, 2011

the Bipolar Circle


Ever feel like life is throwing you a sucker punch and instead of trying to block it or duck out of the way, you just let it smack you in the face over and over?  I'm so tired of being on a level of maintaining that I could scream.  I don't feel like I have any options and have been knocked down so many times, I just lay there instead of getting up.  I'm tired of just surviving.  I'm tired of just getting by, by the skin of my teeth.  I'm tired of hanging on for dear life only to have the rope cut.  I want more out of life than this, but I have no idea how to get it.  Don't know how to make a plan or follow instructions because my brain is out there.  I've never been able to function at a normal level and every attempt turns into try, try again.  I don't have the fight left in me.  I have dug so deep my insides are hollow.  I struggle to build my mental and physical strength every day. 

I don't feel hollow or empty, but it like clearing the slate clean and literally starting from scratch.  Like trying to make a cake when all you have is bowl and and I'm tired of trying to find the flour I don't have. 

I am probably expecting too much from myself.  I am very good at doing that.  I have started a few new projects and I am seeing success with them, but it doesn't take much to wipe me out afterwards.  These baby steps are painful.  It is so much easier for me to handle a crisis than the every day living.  That is hard.  I could have a ton of excuses, the weather, it's winter, my moods, but really it comes down to just living and these painful baby steps that feel more like a crawl.  Hell, I don't even know if I'm moving that quickly, it may be more like just being able to sit up.  I can't understand how I used to be able to do so much more.  Have so much more, that it is hard to see such small actions as accomplishments at this point.  I know, I know, I'm not suppose to look back or compare, but regardless it is hard not to. 

I suppose there is a reason for being in this excruciating position that at moments doesn't feel so bad.  It is a strange place to be.  Like starving and feeling full at the same time.  The extremes of my bipolar feel contained and have lessened, but they are still there within this circle and seem to be pulsing at the same time.  It tends to stay within the boundaries of this circle swirling together but staying separate, each feeling of equal value.  Maybe I should try to look at this as more of a blessing than a curse, but it is difficult.  And so I sit and wait while I try to understand and do the best I can.  Maybe someday, I will be able to start crawling again.

*Note*-just for clarification from last post, I am still on meds, but have been off anti-depressants for over two years.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mania blues

Ahhh, the brain energy I've had has been so refreshing since I danced around with death a month ago.  Meds are leveling out, taking my vitamins again and there is life in this body.  And as with being bipolar, every depression has a mania, even if it's just enough to get you over the hump of it.  That's where I am and enjoying every minute of it.

One thing I miss about being stable on meds are those glorious manias when it feels like the world is the most beautiful place in the world.  When my mind is open to the possibilities outside my door and the optimism to rush into it.  Not holding back anything.  No fear, no guilt.  Sometimes I forget what that is like.  When I feel like I have the power to take on the world.  Breaking out my shell and embracing everything that life gives.

When ideas are bouncing off your head, without restraints or consequences.  Free.  Where they expand and form and change free flowing.  Letting yourself take you anywhere you want to go.  Brain cells firing like rockets and you feel like you could soar to heaven and beyond.  And nothing is harsh or painful, everything is full of love.

Those snippets of time never last long before it all comes crashing down and the ugly side effects of reality kick in.  But I miss them, those injections of pure happiness and freedom where anything is possible.

I miss them, but I haven't forgot them, because all those possibilities are inside me and is the real beauty of who I am.   

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fuel


As I float in my sea of sadness, I feel the temperature begin the rise.  The hot molten lava begins to ooze out my gut.  ANGER.  It floods me in it's pool and begins to consume me.  Volcanic explosion fired around me.  The source of my poison.  It spews everywhere except for the one who caused it.  I flail my fist all around me, but never in that one spot.

Fuel burning.  I want to douse it.  But even more I want to fuel it more.  My anger only burns me.  Cycling around and around.  Like a hot rock sitting my stomach that is always there no matter if I am constructive or destructive.  I know how to be angry.  What I don't know is how to channel that rage into something positive.  Mainly because it is mine and want it and I own it and I have a right to it.  It is the fuel that has kept me alive.  Why would I give that up?  What would I do if I did?  How would I survive without it?

Talking and walking cured it for today.  I'm tired of sneaking around the inevitable with myself.  I had to be open and honest about how I feel.  I don't want it to get the better of me.  I learnt a valuable lesson when my depression had me by the throat.  TALK.        

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Free in my Sea of Sadness



I lay here floating on my sea of sadness.  Embraced and upheld by the bouyancy that carries the weight of my woes.  Surrounded by the peace of blue.  Where I am free to soak in my meloncholy.  Knowing it is just sadness.  Here my tears melt into the great sea.  Taking my pain and easing my soul with that that I can bear no longer.  I love this place.  This healing time.  For so many years I never thought it would ever come.  I didn't think I would ever have the chance to heal from such gashing wounds.  And I begin to believe in miracles again.  And I see the creation of life and the beauty within it.  And I realize I am part of that.  I too make for the ebb and flow of the universe.  That my place in life is just as scared as the next.  And heaven sings with me.  And I for them.  

Life is simple in this sea.  It comes down to what matters most in my life.  The big picture can drive me to death, but here in my sea I see the bigger picture of me.  Surrounded by blessings.  Surrounded by life.  Surrounded by love.  Giving me the hope I need to believe again.         

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Simplicity

I am always amazed at how the simple things in life can take care of me.  I woke up feeling a quiet sadness.  A simple sorrow.  The best part was that I was feeling it.  It wasn't that empty void sucking my soul out of my body.  It was because life is sad sometimes and I was feeling life.  What a wonderful feeling.  I was sad for a reason and it made sense.  It wasn't this lost in space feeling and not being able to connect with it. 

My energy level was low, which meant taking things easy for a while and letting myself experience my feelings.  Simple things that made a difference but didn't overwhelm me.  I cancelled the dogs walks and instead we went out and played.  By then my sadness had lifted and there was a peace. 

I'm so used to having to plow through everything on survival mode, that taking the time to listen to myself can be difficult.  The doctor called the other day, I had forgotten I'd called her.  Friday seemed like a lifetime ago.  I've decided not to take any anti-depressants at this time and continue with my regular meds.  I think she's beginning to trust my judgement, well as much as a doctor can with the patient who needs to make the decisions about her own care.  LOL  She can't seem to change my mind.  That's OK because it give me the chance to know myself and speak my own mind and I like the opportunity.   

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crisis

I crashed into a depression that was serious enough for me to consider the hospital and/or medication.  (I've been off anti-depressants for just over 2 years now)  Looking back it has been slipping in and I ignored the warning signs.  Everything snowballed from this past year and I had a breaking point with my last memory, that eventually threw me over the edge.  Most importantly, I wasn't talking about it.  I wasn't writing about it.  I was making no effort to communicate and it had me back into a corner I couldn't get out of.  My thoughts were too heavy and dark to share and I just kept reacting to them.  I had put myself in a mental position that no one was safe to share these thoughts with, including myself.  I was in a state of continuous rage.  I HATED EVERYTHING.  I knew something was wrong, but that it was so wrong I was doomed forever.  And of course I deserved it, so there was no fighting it. 

I didn't want to live any more.  I didn't want to die.  I didn't want to kill myself, but I had visions of death.  I was so boxed in and I had no fight left.  I finally had to surrender and released every disturbing thought that was bounding me to these chains.  I told my husband we had to talk.  I called my doctor, she wasn't in.  My options were to go to ER and either be hospitalized or receive medication or wait until Monday to talk to my doctor. 

I was not going to act on any thoughts.  No matter how powerful they felt, I would never kill myself.  That I know for sure.  The safest place for me to be is home, so I opted out of going to ER.  I wanted to talk to MY doctor about any decisions about medication.  My husband was home all weekend and we just took it one day at a time. 

What had trapped me was feeling there was no way out.  That I had no course of action to take, no help what so ever that would save me.  Just talking to the hospital gave me options.  There was a plan.  This made all the difference.  Laying everything out to my husband as honest as possible help to release that burden that had been pinning me down.  I couldn't see what was happening to me.  In my mind I couldn't tell anyone either and it had a lock on me.  It's been three days and I feel like a new person.  I haven't called my doctor and I'm taking it one day at a time.  It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you are burdening someone with your problems, thoughts, and feelings, and again I had to learn a heavy lesson.  That if I don't talk it out with my husband, I will end up in the hospital and worse off for it.  For me, that is a huge step back I'm not willing to take.  I knew where I was at, I knew ultimately I was no threat to myself and that I was secure in never acting on any impulses.  I know because I have been in this same place where I couldn't trust myself to even think that.  I don't want to be in such a dangerous place again. 

Maybe there was a lesson to be learnt.  What were the chances that the only time I've ever called my doctor in a crisis she wasn't there?  I may not have a ton of trust in doctors, but I didn't want some flippant one from ER making any decisions for me.  Which gave a plan.  Which gave me action.  Which gave me strength and freedom to make my own choices that I knew would work for me.  Before I talked to my husband, I felt totally out of out control and everything seem to back up all these dark thoughts.  Once I unleashed the ugly beast the burden was cut in half and then again and again as we have continued to talk all weekend.  Chopping everything into bite size pieces again instead being choked to death by it. 

It has been a trying year.  What I accomplished this past year blogging was like finishing that last quarter mile of a life long marathon.  EVERYTHING is out in the open, where it used to be stuck in my head.  It felt like a huge boulder pressing on my head ready to crush me at any minute.  I think it is time to give myself a break and recover from recovery.  Slow things down a bit as I learn to live with my new life.  Everything happened so fast like a storm racing through and now it is time to sit in the calm after the storm and take in the sunshine.          

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

WORDS SLice


I feel an overwhelming need to cry.  I feel as if I have lost something desperate and dear to my heart.  Myself.  The abused girl who somehow found the will to live through a hell that I now know the entire truth to.  It is the adult in me that seems to have no strength to live. 

For years I have shoved that girl down and denied her time of dancing in the rain.  There will be no laughing with butterflies or singing out loud in my house.  There will be no fun as long as I am here.  Life is not a game and you must do as I say.  Talking to animals is silly.  You'll get sick from running in the rain and I'm not going to care of you.  Everything you do is stupid.  Do you hear me little girl?  Do you hear my words slamming into your brain?  Hating your existence, driving you insane, because that's where bad little girls like you go.  Laughing at your feeble tries that will never win my love.  You were never suppose to live and now look what you've did, you've made me cry.

I've have become my mother to myself.  All her words and actions shoved in the deepest parts that I relive over and over again with that little girl that I hate so much.  So much hate to live with.  How did you do it little girl?  How did you ever keep going?  And why?  I have beaten you to a pulp and have never given you the credit you deserve for what you did to survive.  And yet I think that's why I hate life so much.  Knowing everything that happened, doesn't change anything.  I think it's made me disconnect more from myself, while never truly healing from the hate I lived with every day.  It doesn't stop the hurt or the shame or the self-destruct button that sits there.  I would like to obliterate my knowledge and wipe away every thought that was carved into my brain.  It is like cleaning up after a tornado.  So many pieces, every single one of them out of place, nothing is where it should be and honestly I don't know where that is.  So I sit in my brain with the walls echoing my mother's words, that are now my own, still slicing me both ways as if she was right in the room with me.  They hurt.  I hurt.  They are hurting me.  And I know the key to being free of them, is that little girl I keep shoving down, because I don't know how to look at her without hating everything about her.

There are moments that little girl shines, without me even knowing it.  Those are the moments I am free to be happy.  Hopefully someday I will be able to let her sing in the rain again.