I am my own executive.


fact: we are homeschooling now.

fact: most people think of homeschooling and cringe. (I was guilty if this lol)

fact: I am bipolar.

up for interpretation: bipolar people should avoid any unnecessary stress.

misconception: homeschooling is stressful.

So, if you haven’t read between the lines, I feel like homeschooling is something that people with bipolar disorder “shouldn’t” do.

Because, we might lose our shit.

You know, we shouldn’t have more children, take on a high stress job, knowingly put ourselves in stressful situations, or have a fucking life.

😀

I’ve only had 2 psychs, but where are the progressive ones?! The ones who don’t believe in stigma or who would advocate against it instead of creating self stigma?

My psych didn’t tell me that I shouldn’t be homeschooling, but she sure did give me the look. It really makes me want to go in there and tell her I’m pregnant and I’ve taken some really stressful job, then yell BITCH and kick her on my way out.

You know what? Being ME is a stressful job, and I think I’m a pretty awesome me, getting better at it every day. So you can eat your little prescription pad and be constipated for weeks. I’ve done my time in the “hole”, learning the illness, learning my triggers, leaning myself. I’m officially out of that hole and am capable of deciding what I can and cannot handle. I can make those decisions now.

I want to take off my fat suit


I’ve decided I’ll give blogging another try. Although, I may not be terribly entertaining because I’m quite in control of myself.

My meds are working well, I’m not a zombie, I am feeling, but not constantly feeling extremes. It’s pretty cool.

BUT. BUT. I’m big. I don’t like to name call, but the first time I typed that, I typed “fat”. I’ll break it down, and spill some embarrassing numbers:

I graduated high school in the 150s

I got married just under 200

I gave birth to my 1st child @ 214

I got down to 155 when I was manic

And now I’m 206

Oh gosh I hope my husband pretends he didn’t see this because I haven’t even admitted this to him, and he knows everything!! (But honestly, he’s seen me naked lots of times at this weight so idk what it matters)

I don’t understand what’s so hard about losing weight. I think I may have multiple issues facing me right now: slight depression, laziness (ill blame it on the depression…), and not understanding HOW to lose the weight.

I know that last one sounds silly. Watch what you eat and exercise. Bam. It’s just, losing weight is so closely tied with my manic episode that the thought of it makes me uncomfortable.

Hypersexuality has always been a huge part of my life, and losing weight and starting to think that I “look good” will bring it back. It is the hardest part of me to fight.

I don’t know how to fight it. Lock myself in a bathroom? Scratch myself until I stop? (I used to self harm when I would feel extreme emotions as a teen but it never got serious). I could do what I think I’m doing now and just make myself undesirable.

How do you handle your HS? Idk if you all feel like I do, but I’m like a cat in heat and on the prowl. It’s deplorable.

I could set out knowing it will return, and then face it head on. Call the psych and see if we could do a med change to battle it? I think that’s what I’ll do. I think I will give the hypersexuality a face, do a little bit of personification. I think that might make it easier to confront. It will be a war, but I never enter one I know I won’t win! I HAVE to make myself healthier, and a better person for my kids.

Those Dunkin Donuts in the fridge as sooooo calling my name.

I always figure out so much when I blog 🙂 Thanks for listening!! Your experience, thoughts, and advice are welcomed!

Painting the roses red.


Since the addition of Zoloft to my family of little pills, I really feel like I have been able to shake the depression off. Like I told my psych the other day, I know it well enough that I will always know what it feels like, but it doesn’t overcome me anymore. My negative thought pattern has changed – I have a negative thought/emotion, recognize it, feel it for a second, and DISMISS IT.

Is that the way “normal people” do it? I mean, I consider that shit a TALENT. My thoughts have always stirred up intense emotions and then just dragged me wherever they wanted! If you are reading this and don’t understand what I just said, count your fucking blessings. 

As a result, I no longer think about my affairs every day. That is probably the most freeing thing. I couldn’t see that day coming. I thought I was going to hate myself forever. I can now see it the way Pillars sees it, that I did a bad thing, but that it doesn’t make me a bad person. 

My psych said that my levels at 600mg of my mood stabilizer (tegretol) were “Barely therapeutic”, so when I called her complaining of a great increase in energy among other hypomanic symptoms, we increased to 800mg/day. I’m guessing the symptoms came from the addition of the zoloft, but it doesn’t really matter. On the plus side, I got a cute little garden done in the week that I was hypomanic. When I called Pillars out of the house to see what I had done, he was surprised, and then said “See? This is a positive part of being bipolar.”

Since the increase in dosage, I was having to take FOUR sets of pills a day. My alarm was going off all god damn day long. I was thoroughly pleased when I took a seat in my psychs [rather large and homey] office this week and the first thing she brought up was the fact that I needed to change the fact that I am taking pills so many times a day. She asked me how I felt about taking 400mg XR twice a day. She doesn’t use tegretol much and said that there would be an adjustment period/it might not work well/etc. I was desperate to get the alarms to stop ringing, reminding me that if I don’t take a pill I will act like a nut job. Today is my first day of taking the XR. I can’t really give an accurate description, other than the fact that it has very strong effects on me for the first couple hours (I looked stoned and had crappy balance). 

Those “strong” side effects may be due to the fact that OUR KIDS ARE SPENDING 4 DAYS WITH THE GRANDMAS!! So I have less stressors and am able to “feel” it more. I also didn’t take my 2 doses of .5mg ativan today. I certainly didn’t need it, and wasn’t about to put it on top of the new dosage with the way I was feeling. 

I slept so late today (noon!!) that by the time I took my first XR pill, I had already missed 2 of my doses I would have normally taken before the switch. So I was all high energy, switching subjects, etc. when I took it, and in less than 30 min I was feeling all of that energy drain out of me. It was so WEIRD. Like someone had opened up a drain (where would such a drain be?) in my body and the energy (I prefer to see it in a neon green form for some reason) was just flowing out. The drain was then sealed, and then the new Melissa was sitting there. 

I feel like I know myself a little bit better now. I’m not sure how to describe that. I suppose it is the amount of work on myself that I’ve done over the last 15 months. Generally, people learn themselves as they live, a little more every year. But I’ll be 30 in a couple months and only just in this last year have been able to make sense and understand my life to this point. It feels like I made a big revelation. Like someone finally explained the butt of the joke to me.

“Pssst, hey, your brain is different, take these pills and it’ll be ok.” *pat on the back*

 

 

Cresting the Loop


bi[polar] curious

It is my belief that bipolar symptoms run on something of a loop.

(My computer is broken, so please excuse the sketch I took directly from my journal.)

At the lowest point on the loop, we are at our worst (health-wise), while at the crest of the loop it can easily feel like we are normal, every-day human beings, functioning regularly.

Nearing the crest of this loop is one of the most dangerous places we can be, because, while in near perfect health, we lose sight of the bottom of that loop. Out of sight means out of mind, leaving bipolar disorder capable of doing something most illnesses can’t; convincing us over and over again we’ve miraculously healed.

I’ve been seeing a lot of instances of this phenomenon lately, and for about two weeks I’ve felt myself getting closer and closer to the crest of the loop. It is kind…

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Happy Father’s Day Dad. After spending a year


Happy Father’s Day Dad. After spending a year of being 100% bipolar, I sometimes wonder how you made it 50 years, seemingly without support of any kind. I have all the support I could ask for and I think I’ll look like an old war horse by the time I’m 50. 

You provided, but weren’t always emotionally there. I understand that, now. I forgive you and I know you forgive me for not understanding. I’m sorry I didn’t praise you for being a good father when you were alive. All I saw were your short comings. I didn’t understand your struggle. 

I wish I could say it loud enough that I know you’d hear it, 

I LOVE YOU

I’ll take “brain med” for 500, Alex.


Monday through Friday I have 4 alarms go off – 1 to remind me to wake up and get my son to school, 1 to remind me to take my brain med and anxiety pills (yeah, I have my phone call it a “brain med” as a way of making me feel better about…something or another), a 3rd to remind me to take another “brain med”, and my fourth to remind me to take my last brain med (plus all the rest I take a night) and go to bed.

When I’m tied up at the moment (changing a diaper, pulling something out of the over, etc) I will hit the snooze button, but I never turn it off until I have the pill(s) in my hand, ensuring that even if I forget to take them, I’ll eventually realize they’re sitting in my hand waiting to get tossed down my throat.

I think my husband was the first to call it my “brain medicine” as a way of taking some “blame” off of me for having Bipolar Disorder. It’s hard to get over the feeling that you’re either making everything up or that you’re defective somehow, so every little way I can squeeze in a scientific phrase to repeat to myself about my disorder, I use. I can tell what kind of a mood Im in by how I respond to myself using a phrase like “brain med”. I’m not my best self when I reply (inwardly OR outwardly) that “it’s not a ‘BRAIN MED’, it’s my pill that I HAVE to take THREE TIMES A DAY to remind me that without it, I MIGHT GO CRAZY.”

When I’m not well, I beat myself up with my self stigma better than anyone else could harass me over anything. I use words to describe myself that I would condemn anyone else for using, like “crazy”. Our self stigma is brutal. We hurt ourselves in ways other people can’t.

I can also tell when I’m not feeling well by how I feel about seeing my therapist. If I dread the thought of an upcoming appointment, I’m leaning towards depression. Of course she picks up on it before I even sit on her old ass love seat, which pisses me off even more. She has a “snarky” tone (which is pleasant to me when I’m well) that pisses me off. Her out dated un-flattering pants suits make me want to roll my eyes and automatically discredit anything she might have to say.

Ahh. My dramatic moods. Despite it all, I seem to be able to have more control over my thought processes lately. I recognize these thought patterns, I shut them down. Not always effectively, but sometimes. Improvement, most definitely. Soon, with the help of my meds and wellness team, I’ll be able to successfully masquerade as a person without any disorder(s). —note that I didn’t say “normal person” as I do not believe they exist anymore. It’s just matter of where we all fall on the spectrum.

Helping A Loved One Who Has A Mental Illness


I’m not new to reading stuff like this, but it really comforted me for some reason. It’s true – Pillars is struggling to help support me so much that he has no time for himself or to recouperate. We can’t continue like this, so we’re moving back “home” so we can have a larger support system from our family. Anyways, enjoy the post!

LMHC

womencare-support-groups_istock_000010775681The other day, a friend of mine asked me how she could help a friend of hers that was mentally ill.

She explained to me that her friend had bipolar disorder, something she had been suffering from for years and had a long history of self-injury and suicide attempts.

According to my friend, this person was currently in a deep depression and posting dark posts on Facebook including some alarming ones such as wanting to give away her pets (giving away possessions is often associated with suicidal thoughts).

She wanted to know what should she do or say to her to make her “feel better” and I told her that there was no magic word or act she could to that would just bring her out of her current mental state. It’s like trying to help a friend who has a serious medical condition. You can help alleviate the pain…

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Fuck! I lost a leg?!


I recently messaged a guy I went to school with via Facebook in hopes that he could give me some insight as to how to adjust to my new lifestyle a little better. A year ago he lost a leg in an automobile accident. When I think of my ailment, I often compare it to losing a limb. He looks like he’s so well adjusted to his new life that I thought maybe he’d have some good advice on how to cope with something that’s out of your control.

Maybe it’s because he’s a man, or maybe it’s because he didn’t understand me, but all he had to say was “I try not to let it get me down.”

Damn why didn’t I think of that?

So I realize that it is different. When you lose a limb, I suppose you are given a baseline of sorts, a place that you can build upon and know that you will never be back in that hospital bed saying “FUCK! I Lost a leg!?”.

I don’t know about you fellow bipolar sufferers, but I feel like I’m always ending up back in that hospital bed saying “FUCK! I lost my mind!?”

It is always possible for us to end up back there, back at the beginning.

From: Your Dead or Alive Mother


I feel like a human science experiment. I felt that way when I was pregnant…wasn’t hoping to feel that way again. Ever. But in my search for the perfect “cocktail” of meds, I find myself swinging (in moods, not in partners!), and exhausting my mind and body in trying to keep up with my real world responsibilities and not look like a total nut case.

Shit has to get done, and poor Pillars can’t do it all himself. I *could* just sit on the couch and look like a total wreck all day, I have before, but that’s not something I want my children remembering me for. I want them to remember me as a fighter who put them first, no matter how badly I felt. A mommy who had a lot of patience even when going through the worst moods. I fail a lot of times at this, and I always find myself caught up in wondering how they will remember me when they are older, after they find out about my illness.

I KNOW they will look back on their childhood and try to fill in the blanks. I’m always looking through  their eyes at me, viewing what I’m doing, and there are many times when I don’t feel like it’s good enough. I know I should be showing them that no one is perfect, and how to be accepting of yourself and of others, blah blah blah. Shut up, don’t say it, readers!

I really think most of this is caused by the fact that I look back on my childhood at my Dad and try to figure out who he really was and what he felt. I’m projecting that onto my children, and in turn back to me, and I’m just wasting time. I keep telling myself there is a difference. I’m going to be around to show them who I am, and I’m going to be around to tell them how it feels to suffer this. Unlike my Dad, I will be here in 20 years for them.

It all circles around to my fear of ending up like my Dad. What if I’m not here in 20 years? This morbid part of me actually bought little notebooks to write letters to them for them to read in the future and know how much I love them, because I wish I had something like that to read from my Dad. I’ve written in them a few times, but every time I pick it up, I wonder if I am admitting to myself that I don’t think I’ll be around in 20 years. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also a sweet idea. Who wouldn’t love having handwritten letters from their parent talking about what they’ve done that day as they’re growing up and how much they love them?

I got seriously depressed a couple weeks ago and I’ll tell you the only thing that made me feel like life was worth living was having my kids lay on top of me. Like a mommy-pile. Their weight, their energy, their scents, their giggles, it all gave me a little more energy and a little more hope.

Anyways, I just saw my new psych (because my other one is retiring) and we’re tweaking my meds. We added Zoloft just over a week ago and it certainly brought me out of my depression I was feeling, but it sent me into a hypomanic state. Not a big deal, as long as I’m not bothering anyone. My old psych is the one who started me on Zoloft and he wanted me to double the dosage to 100mg a day after a week, but I told my new psych that I’m just not comfortable doing that right now considering how drastically I felt the 50mg had already affected me. I’ve felt that my hypomanic state has declined a bit, into a more normal than hypomanic area.

Sorry for the morbid title. Nope, no, I’m not sorry. And BTW, don’t google an image for “morbid”. That shit is REALLY morbid.

XOXO (I love Gossip Girl)