I have a secret.

I did it!

I got my ass out of the house and ran around the neighborhood – without crying!

Pillars suggested that I go a different route than when I went when I was manic, because it always seemed to make me cry. I thought about it, and decided that I was going to go the routes I liked and risk the tears. I haven’t ran them for a couple months, and I have changed a lot in that short time.

I found myself starting to think obsessively about my illness, and arguing stupid points in my mind over and over…like I can actually argue my way out of what has happened to me, what I’ve done, and what I am. I caught the negative thinking and told myself I was going to stop, and I did!

I got back home and had a sudden urge to continue. That was really surprising, given my inclination to sit down at every step and bench I came across. So I ran a little more. 🙂

It was made that much better to see my 2 year old staring out the window looking for me when I made it back home.

I’m feeling more comfortable with myself. I realized that I’m a fighter, and that I’ve been fighting for many years. The difference now is that I know my opponent, and common sense says that if you know what you’re fighting, you have a better chance at beating it. You can prepare yourself.

So yeah, I feel stronger…but I expect to be knocked back down again. Shit I might knock my own self down. I might stay down for a while. But I’ll never stay down forever. And I expect to cry again. Probably tomorrow. But that doesn’t make me weaker. Every time it knocks me down and I get back up, I’m stronger. I win that one.

I’m starting to realize that this didn’t beat me. That I control whether or not it does.

And I’ve got news for you…I’m a stubborn bitch!

I have a secret robot crush on Optimus Prime. Although I guess it’s not a secret anymore…

Who am I, anyways?

I always had this clear vision of who I was, who I wanted to be. I was a dreamer growing up. Not the distracted dreamer, but I had big

plans for myself and I was confident about them. I knew that if I wanted it bad enough, I would get it. Something drove me inside; I felt strong inside. I attributed some of that strength to religion. Times got rough, as they do, but something always happened to pull me out of it. I was confident in my SELF.

The indecision and confusion that has been plaguing me for a few days reached it’s worst point yesterday. Thankfully I was off of work. I seem to be in a better place today. I don’t work again until tomorrow, so it should be gone by then. Thankfully, it never seems to last more than a couple days. It’s a slow slide into it, and then I have a virtually nonfunctional mind for a day or so, and then I wake up on the upside. Maybe still a little foggy, but I can think clearer, and make a decision easier.

Lucky for me, not only did I have yesterday off, but Pillars took the day off. Not because of my incapacity. It was nice. It’s always nice to have him around of course. 🙂

My self esteem hits rock bottom when I’m trying to do something simple like make a box of mac n cheese for the kids and I have to read the instructions 5 times before I even understand the first step. I don’t like looking like I’m stupid in front of my husband. I know he knows I’m not…and he thinks my mind is beautiful. But when he talks to me about what we’re going to do, and my head is EMPTY, and his words flow in, swirl around, and flow right back out – none of them finding a place to stick – I have to say “I’m sorry, what are we doing after that?”.  Or worse yet, “Just tell me what to do.”, because my memory isn’t on. I’m a body. I’m breathing. I can smile. I can laugh. But I can’t hold any information, and can only perform small, easy tasks. And even then, it takes me forever.

It’s those days that rubs my nose into the fact that I’m not “normal”.

On to happier news, I think I’ve gained more weight. I say “think” because I’m avoiding the scale. I know it’ll only upset me more. I’m trying to avoid things that upset me. I’m in a sensitive enough place as it is, and have had despairing thoughts and more suicide ideation than I care to admit. So, no, I’m not stepping on the scale. It’s not a surprise that I have…I used to run A LOT (while manic, of course), and now I just want to sit in a ball on the couch.

I don’t need a scale to tell me that I’ve packed a little on. So I decided to go running yesterday evening. As before, it started off fine, and then I ended up angry and crying about half way through. I realized I didn’t want to be running. But that 5 months ago, it was all I could think about. I’m drained of energy. But 5 months ago, I felt like I was busting at the seams with it, and had to restrain myself from doing jumping jacks all day. I cried because I want that energy back. At least some of it. At least enough to be able to feel alive, because right now, I don’t.

I said to myself, “I want myself back!”. But then I realized that that wasn’t myself. Then, who am I? When were my “normal” periods between episodes? When? I don’t think I have any way of knowing. So does that mean I have to figure that out now? Then my inner voice started screaming that I didn’t ask for this. I don’t WANT THIS. This isn’t how I was SUPPOSED TO BE.

Bipolar isn’t want I dreamed of being 15 years ago. 

We live across from a church, that has a nice little water fountain, and benches. I took my angry bipolar self over there, thinking it would calm me down. I sat on the bench, still crying a little bit, and asked if this is what life is for me. All the flowers there are bloomed,  and beautiful, and I wondered when I would be able to find my internal passion, hope, optimism, and beauty again.

Will I only know my “normal” when there is a absence of symptoms? I’ll realize I’m “normal” when I’m not checking anything off of my nightly symptom chart?


On Being Overweight, Miserable, and Bipolar.

First off, I would like to start this blog post with a warm thanks to a fellow [woman!] blogger who stated [in a blog] that no woman should ever be over 140 lbs unless they are pregnant or 6′ tall.

On to more substantial content.

My husband was cleaning out a closet tonight and found a pile of pictures that contained some of my Dad. He asked if I’d like to take a look at the whole pile, because there may be more pictures. Of course I did! I think I’ll make a separate post of those pictures another time 🙂

As with any other old stack of photos, I found some of me with an ex.

More importantly, me, just over 200 lbs.

Here, enjoy one for yourself.

Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you!

Please note the candy canes in my center pocket. For proper snacking later on. After grimacing at the pictures for a couple minutes, I wondered, “Hey. Why am I wearing jean overalls in allllllll of these pictures??” And I instantly remembered. They best hid my figure. It was all I had that I could fit into, and a little piece of me was refusing to buy new – bigger – clothing.

Fast forward to a hot little me coming off of a hypomanic episode (3 months ago):

I mean, in this picture, even I wanna touch my boobs. And you can’t see it…but I’m wearing this tight mini-skirt that I love.

I’ve gained 10 lbs since this picture was taken. Yeah, 10 lbs isn’t anything, really. But on a 5’4″ girl, it can actually look like a lot. I blame this on just a few key reasons:

  1. I’m not nearly out of my mind.
  2. I’m on medication that has been known to make people want to eat.
  3. I don’t have the manic energy that was driving me to run 10-12 miles/week all those months. I’m lucky to get 1 mile a week now.
  4. I’m sorting through a lot of CRAP about my illness and what that means/the pain I’ve caused/how to move forward/etc, etc. That’s left me self medicating with sweet stuff. And nachos and cheese from 7-11.

Either way, that previous picture was all I needed to get my thick ass pounding the pavement this evening. 

I’m running, and as usual I end up crying. No biggie. I cry nearly every run now.

As I mentioned, I ran a lot when I was in my episode. I stayed in the neighborHOOD, but I’m certain I ran every street possible. I’ve continued to run in the same places, but every time, it brings up memories of running during my episode. Maybe it’s similar to a recovering alcoholic hanging out at the bars they used to get trashed in.

I usually come out of the tears less than a block down the street, nobody notices, and I actually feel better after having cried. But this time, when I got home I didn’t feel any better. I was uncomfortable. The memory and recollection of the feelings from months ago weren’t gone.

I know you’re expecting this to go somewhere, but it’s not. I came inside, took my shoes off, went back outside and paced in front of my house for a few minutes. I don’t know why I took my shoes off and then went back outside. That’s just how my mind operates sometimes. Fun, no?

But my lovely husband gave me a nice shoulder and face massage when I came back in to help calm me. And it did. He always gets me into such deep meditative states when he massages me (which is daily, might I add!). I even start to drool.

Once again, it’s great being me!

Jail Break Alert!

I would like to stop crying every time I am outside of my house, alone. I’m feeling a lot of grief. Grief over what I’ve done, the pain I’ve caused, having a mental illness, and the loss of the person I used to be.

My therapist brought it to my attention this week that I’m feeling grief over the loss of who I was. She said I don’t have to like who I was to feel grief. And I’m not talking about the me of the previous 6 months, but the me I’ve known my whole life. That me is no longer, because I am medicated. I am a new person and I will never be that person again.

Many emotions go with this…excitement because I get to experience life without the extremes that have made life more difficult for me. I had gotten to where I would say that I hate myself over the last few years. What I hated were my emotions, my reactions. Not reallymyself. But I didn’t understand the difference or know that I had an illness.

I hated feeling like that about myself. Now I feel excitement because now I know that I wasn’t crazy to have those heightened emotions, nor crazy for hating them.

In fact, once I considered it, I realized that the only thing I have to feel sad about with my life change are the years I have kinda missed out on, or rather, opportunities and situations that I could’ve handled differently had I not had a monkey on my back.

It’s both shocking and sad to dissect years of your life, decisions, relationships, etc under the light of a mental illness.

I could’ve handled so many things differently, better. I could’ve enjoyed experiences that were a once in a lifetime. I could’ve relaxed, breathed a little more, had a little more fun.

And that is what Im really grieving over. I was incarcerated in my mind for at least 10 years.

But baby, I just busted out!

Irony. Karma. All of the above?

After having an abnormal pap smear a few weeks ago, the doc suggested a colposcopy. This is when the doc inserts a speculum, smears vinegar on your cervix to make the abnormal cells change color, looks in you with a microscope, and then plucks them out for the pathologist to determine if:

  • God just kicked you in the head you have cancer
  • Instead, God just punched you in the head you have HPV
  • it’s just an infection

I’m hoping for an infection. Or nothing. Remember my first post? https://bravingbipolar.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/betterthancancer/

Wouldn’t that be a bitch??

I hate “procedures”. Needles, anything like that. My sweet husband of course wanted to come with me this morning. He took the morning off from work so he could. But then my babysitter decided to be a no call/no show/no text. So he had to stay home with the kids while I cried the whole way to the doc office. I was a mess when I arrived; puffy eyes, swollen lips, etc. It was scary, but not very painful. I have a high tolerance for pain anyways, but I didn’t find it any more uncomfortable than a pap. It just sounded painful.

I was certain my day was doomed after all that. But so far, so good. And my husband is grilling steaks tonight, so it should only get better.

I was calculating it up today, and we spend over $300/month in babysitting, copays, and medication. And that’s of course WITH insurance. Ridiculous!

A few more side notes:

My sex drive changed a bit…we’ve had sex twice in 2 days, which is magnificent for us. Shoot, I think that’s great for ANYONE. And I’m genuinely enjoying it. It’s feeling different. But of course, this small part of me is on alert, thinking “Oh God, are you gearing up for another episode?”.

Which kinda leads to my next comment. I am my biggest critic. Even my husband doesn’t think or speak as ill of me as I do. I had been working on that before, and had gotten to the point where I could finally admit that I work hard and am a good mother. And I meant it. But now I’ve actually done some bad stuff. It was hard enough to be nice to myself when I hadn’t done anything wrong.  Yay.

My side effects to the lithium has changed a little. I now have that weird metallic saliva. Ewwwww. And my tremors are much worse. Big shakes, only in my hands though.

I see both my therapist and my psychiatrist tomorrow, so I’ll mention them both to them.