I should be sleeping right now.

Its been 11 months since I’ve been “home”. While that’s not uncommon in this military community, “home” is only 5 hour west for us. It’s really not a long drive, although if the kids are in the right moods (or if god forbid you have a newborn), it might as well be cross country.

You guessed it, we’re “going home” for the weekend tomorrow. It’s bothering me a lot. I decided to finally think about what Im feeling and here’s what I found out:

>trips cause anxiety

>especially trips “home”

>seeing my mom makes me anxious

>the last time I was there I was on the verge of madness and ended up having an affair just a day or 2 after returning home.

>there are people who know about me who I haven’t seen yet.

>Pillars has a friend back “home” who suggested he take our kids and have me locked up.

If they think those things, clearly, people don’t understand me. Or Bipolar.

Plus it being near the holidays and all.

I hate the thought of kicking someone in the balls.

A month of normalcy

*Disclaimer* Sorry, as I am writing, I realize Im using some inappropriate language that some may find offensive. But if you like to curse, read the fuck on!

October 1st marked the beginning of me no longer working nights. I had been working nights for 11 months, and had been (I believe) consequently suffering from some of the worst mood swings, depression, anxiety, and mania I had ever experienced.

I think there were some life changes that took place in October that alongside my current medicinal cocktail proved to help me become more stable.

Well, mainly just 2. A set bed time of 10pm (alright, so I had a few nights that I stayed up late), and a new attitude.

I’ve wanted a new attitude for a long time, but lacked the tools and medication to come by one. I know its vulgar, and probably rude, but it’s important for me and my mind. Are you ready for it?? My new mantra??

I don’t give a fuck what you think. I’ll only do what I want, and when I want to do it. I just don’t give a fuck.

Yes folks, you too can have a new attitude – all by creating a cheeky new motto.

Naturally, its not a blanket statement:

>I do give a fuck about my family, my husband, my life, etc etc. What I don’t give a fuck about anymore is how clean my house is, getting called out by a boss because my shirt isn’t pressed enough, or my mother calling and passive aggressively attacking me. And other stupid shit like that.

>Clearly, I have responsibilities: poppy diapers need to promptly be changed, laundry and dishes need to be done so we are at least clothed and fed, I have to be at scheduled appointments, etc.

So, my new way of thinking is really another way of determining what’s important in my life. Taking away all this energy Im allowing these trivial people and things to be draining from me, and putting that energy back into myself.

I kinda feel like Donald Trump, sticking my finger out – “Your’e fired.”

To my old life – you’re fired

To my old obsessions – you’re fired

To letting my mom hurt me – you’re fired.

To the part of me that doesn’t think I deserve to be forgived – you’re fired.

To those ignorant fucks at work who call me slow and try to intimidate me – you’re fired.

So October has been my first normal month. Im skeptical. But it looks nice on paper.

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…

Forgive Me Father, For I Have Sinned.

Or maybe I haven’t.

Or maybe I have, and I’m just gonna go to hell.

Or maybe I have, and it’s forgivable. 

I mean, I broke a commandment. Thou shalt not commit adultery. There has to be some repercussion for that, right? Some penance? I need penance. It’s not a “Oh, she was manic, she has an illness, she loves her husband and didn’t mean to hurt him – it was wrong, but it’s ok, you need to forgive yourself.” That just doesn’t sound right to me. But I kinda feel like that’s what I’m getting from my therapist.

She said I need to “do whatever you need to do to feel better”. Yeah, we’re at that point. 6 months later, and I’m not forgiving myself still. It’s like she’s pulling her hair out and looking confused wondering why I just can’t get over it. I thought it would just happen over time.

I know, for someone who did what I did, that this will sound really wrong, and maybe like a flat out lie. But I have strong morals. Which is probably why it’s so hard for me to let this go. Pillars says he has forgiven me. I have made great strides in attaining a normal mood, adjusting my life so it’s more kind to me. But I’m holding on to this nasty, hurtful feeling, and I’m not sure how to let it go.

My therapist asked Tuesday, “Why did you do it?”

“Because I couldn’t not do it. It was a physical urge. It wasn’t even an option. It was an energy. It didn’t make sense.”

“And that is Bipolar. It doesn’t make sense.”

Pillars asked why I am looking for sense in something that doesn’t make sense. Why can’t I just let it be: something that happened that doesn’t make sense.

I guess because I haven’t tortured myself enough yet.

If I wanna torture myself, fine. But the reason I am trying to figure this out is because I think that it’s coming between me and Pillars, physically. I had been explaining my low sex drive (I’m only wanting it once every 10 days or so) to meds, life, everything else. But things keep becoming clear to me – I’m able to see ways I am sabotaging myself . Ways I am lying to myself, maybe little white lies to others in effort to be what they expect me to be – or what I think they expect me to be. Doing things I don’t want to do, worrying about people judging me for any little thing. I wasn’t being true to myself; I might not even know who myself really is. I didn’t notice I was doing all of this, and now I’m slowly seeing it all.

So it became clear to me last week when we were having sex that I get little flashbacks, images, etc of my affairs. And of course that floods me with negative emotions: disgust, anger, hopelessness, pity, and more. I get really uncomfortable, and Pillars can tell. Therefore, sex = negative emotions for me. Hence why I hardly ever “feel like it”. We figured all that out in marriage therapy.

Now, I want to forgive myself for my husband. So we can have that intimacy back. So I can be his and be present while we are in bed. 0

I think a confession would be a good step forward. It seems to be what my mind always comes back to when I think of forgiving myself.

On the topic of the ten commandments – people commit murder to save themselves, people work on Sundays, people say the Lord’s name in vain, people covet what their neighbor has…

So it’s common place. It happens. A lot. I probably shouldn’t be so uptight about it.

But a little bit of me worries that if I let this go, I’ll do it again. But I’d have to be manic, and I keep too close a guard on my symptoms and my moods, Pillars pays close attention, and I see my therapist(s) too often for this to happen. So I should just let it go and trust myself and all of them.

That’s where I am. Focusing on that. Or trying not to focus on that. Whichever.

Just Like Me

I found myself wondering yesterday evening, as I stepped into the shower about an hour before my first Bipolar Support Group started, “Why am I going?? I don’t like people. I have all the support I need between my blog and my family and friends who know. WHY AM I GOING?”. Surprisingly, the answer flowed from my elusive brain:

I want to see what they look like. I want to see just how sick I am compared to them.

Honest thoughts like that from me are hard to come by. Most of them are centered around pleasing someone, and as emotional as I am, I am not very in touch with MY feelings. Recognizing this has knocked me back a little. It feels like a huge realization that is going to change the way I think. It has, in this short time. I can feel myself care less about if someone is judging me. Its odd…Im still trying to figure it out…another day, another blog.

I was incredibly nervous going to this meeting. I found a parking spot quickly, and made my way to the nearest elevator. There was an older woman in a pink shirt that rode to the 2nd floor with me. She carried on to wherever while I asked the nearest nurse where room C is.

I stopped down the hall from the room. I had to decide now if I wanted to see what was in there. I kicked my ass and walked in.

And there’s the lady from the elevator. She joked and asked if I was following her. I didn’t have to spend much time scanning the room, there was only a total of 4 people there. All older (40+).

Sigh. No one in a straight jacket. No one trying to chew their ear, or screaming, or my personal manic favorite – soliciting for sex.

There ended up being 10 including me. I was the youngest. I wasn’t the craziest. Or the least crazy. Trust, I quietly surveyed everyone. My first check was for wedding bands. Aside from the two partnered gay women sitting across from me, I was the only one wearing one

In 15 years, when I’m their age, will I no longer be wearing one? Do I, do we, have the equivalent of the plauge of marriage? I gathered after hearing everyone’s introduction that they had all been diagnosed later in life. I comforted myself with thinking about how I caught it early and am dedicated to therapy and my medication.

I was fully prepared to say that I don’t want to talk. But I found myself eager to share after hearing a few intros: painful, and embarrassing. I listened and watched everything there was to listen to and watch. Clothing, eye movement, voice, sentence structure, and confusion or delay in their story, and most importantly, what their eyes were saying.

Some eyes were sad. Defeated. Hollow. Wild. Angry. Frustrated. I saw myself in every single one of them. They saw themselves in each other as well. There was an understanding. And it was the least judgmental place I have ever been. They knew when someone was feeling low, when someone hadn’t taken their Meds. They asked how the other’s surgery went, and sent a Happy Birthday to another group member’s dog.

There was a sense of protection there. It was special. It just was.

They were people Ive probably seen around town, and they are struggling just like me. They get crazy just like me. They have a temper just like me. I always thought I was a rare breed…

But I found others. Just like me.

Bipolar Support Groups

What’s your experience? I’ll be having my own experience this Friday…

It’s being held at a hospital, and is 2 hours long. When I had previously been told about the meeting, I was still working nights and was sure there was no way I’d ever be able to actually GET to one. But now that that’s changed, looks like I’ll have the pleasure. Or not?

I mentioned the meeting to my therapist at our meeting a couple days ago. A concerned look immediately crossed her face, and the warnings started spewing out:

  • “Watch out for any men attending. Lots of people go to pick up someone.”

I said “Whaaattt?? People do that??

Her response: *shrugs* “They’re bipolar.”

Palm-To-Forehead. Yep. Of course. I was that way only months earlier, why didn’t that occur to me? I have been that. ((insert a butt load of shame here))

  • “They might ask for your number, get that kind of information. Be careful…”

I assured her that I don’t like people anyways, so that’s not a problem.

  • “Being as it’s in a hospital, it’s probably safer and more legit than other support groups I’ve heard of.”

Great. Then I only have to worry about manic, predatory bipolar men asking me for my number and then following me home.

  • “You’re probably going to see people………a lot sicker than you.”

Maybe this should scare me, but my only thought is that it’s going to make me paranoid that I’ll eventually get that sick.

So all in all, she’s just made me paranoid. To top it off, I mention all this to Pillars, and he’s like, “Yeah, that’s what I read…”. Everyone knows more than me about this! Gah!

Someone? Anyone? Give me a glimmer of hope that this will be a good thing? That I’ll see more than straight jackets, alcohol, and someone trying to bite me or some crazy shit like that?

Chocolate Rivers & Gumdrop Smiles = how I DON’T feel in the morning.

Very good meeting with the new marriage therapist today. She is a good style for us. Not too quiet, not too talkative, asking the right probing questions at the right times.

I was anxious though, and made a couple wrong turns getting there. I could feel my mind slipping, wanting to escape the situation on the say there. I told myself very sternly that I WAS NOT LEAVING THE SITUATION. That I was staying present, and was going to be an active contributor.

I should probably add that I was looking horrible for this meeting. I had planned to shower before leaving, but my toddler decided to break the child proof handle off his door and skip nap time. So I couldn’t shower…and I couldn’t get my sleepy ass off the couch to finish cleaning before the sitter arrived. By the time she arrived, I was still in my PJs, needing to leave, and “couldn’t find anything to wear”. Yeah, Im a woman.

So all of that just started me on a bad foot. Pillars could see I was tense in the waiting room and he gave me a nice neck massage. That always calms me.

Our session started with the “why are we here”. Our answer: sex and intimacy problems. Then we moved on to talking about what has been going on in our life…since we were married 7 years ago.

She picked out a lot of sore areas. Im fine addressing them…they need to be addressed. Many times I got teary eyed and had to move my gaze to my lap. I considered not restraining it, but decided I had already made a poor enough impression with my outfit, greasy hair, uptight anxious attitude, and general look of confusion.

We will be visiting her every other week. I look forward to it. Kinda. I do…I know that our marriage will be stronger because of it. I know that all the work we are putting in now will pay off.

Now if only I could feel that way about my brain.
Honestly, Im still tracking my moods and symptoms right now, but I am not taking serious stock into it because I know my sleep habits have caused a great deal of stress, and that’s all changing starting tonight. I have 9 minutes until my scheduled pill taking time (which includes ambien), followed by immediate sleep 🙂

Im thinking that 8 hrs of sleep a night should be sufficient. Better than 5, at least. We will see, and make adjustments if needed.

Hurting yourself is bad, mmkay?

Bug. I have therapy tomorrow. Not normally a bad thing, but I came out to Pillars tonight that I have been having more suicide ideation, and that I held a razor to my wrist a week or two ago. We made a deal that involves me telling Iris tomorrow.

Needs to be done. Yeah. Ugh. I just don’t wanna hear her ask questions and me have to respond, making it clear to me that I am not “normal”, whateverthefuckthatis. 

Actually, I don’t think anyone is normal. I think we’re all on a spectrum of some sort. And just like in politics, some are far left, and some are far right. Some are in the center. Who decided that the center is right? And why do I want to be in the center? Can’t I just be whateverthefuck I am and (a) not hurt anyone, and (b) be happy with myself? What pill does that for you?? Why does my mind torture me? Why can’t I be some hippie that just hugs myself all the time and accepts myself and forgives myself and moves on with a big smile and baggy clothes.

Hating yourself is a waste of time. It’s harmful. It’s useless. So why can’t I listen to myself and stop it?

Little Chest of Horrors

My husband and I changed bedrooms a couple months ago. We moved most of our things to the downstairs office, and most of the office stuff to the ex-playroom. I was in the old room wrapping up some of the last few things to make it ready for our oldest to move into tonight. I picked up a earring and opened up a drawer to my jewelry box. It was full of skeletons.

I bought a lot of jewelry during my manic episode. Nothing expensive. Mostly big, gaudy, cheap costume pieces. I still wear some, and I still buy some, but not as frequently. There were a few pieces in the drawers that I had forgotten about, and seeing them made me freeze. It felt similar to what it looks like on TV when a ghost walks through someone. I felt like I do right before someone sticks a needle in me.

I threw a couple things away that specifically reminded me of one of my affair partners. I paid attention to how it made me feel…what kind of attachment I had to it. It was like throwing away a piece of trash, or something was no longer useful. It just had no purpose to me anymore.  Can’t complain about that.

Its such an odd feeling when I come across what others who have committed adultery probably consider triggers. I don’t feel a longing for the APs, but a longing for how my marriage used to be. I don’t feel any desire to contact them, or that “me”. I only want to forget this ever happened, being as there’s no way to undo it. But I can’t forget it happened, because it caused my husband so much pain and nearly ruined my family. And I can’t deny it because its my illness, and denying it will lead to my demise.

Its a nasty circle of pain. I try to forget it, but weekly therapy and nightly medication denies me that chance. I have no choice but to live with it, but I think that can only be solved with time. Accepting being bipolar – I’ve suspected that for years, that’s not the hard part. Accepting that a manic me had affairs is a whole other ball game.

Because of me

When I left work tonight, I was a little frustrated with how the night ended. And I am so upset at how upset my husband is right now – [because of me.]

Needless to say, I ended up screaming “I hate you!” at myself in the car…just before seeing a bar roll into sight. I was starving, and thought I might get something there. Mainly a drink though.[ because of me ]

Turns out I had missed the kitchen by about 5 Mins, but they were still happy to give me me rum and coke.  Some poor older woman beside me tried asking me a question, but it just came out as mumbles. I did what I normally do in situations like that and just nod. I downed that drink quick (whoops) and got out and headed to the nearest open fast food place – conveniently located yards away from my old work place – where my affair partners work.[because of me]

I saw a friend  sitting outside with a manager, and then realized that was the manager I CAN’T see[because of me], so I drove past and ordered my food. Luckily, my friend was being picked up by her ride when I was coming back and I saw they were going to the gas station across the road so I followed.

It was nice seeing her, catching up. She asked how my Meds are going, etc. She said everyone misses me and wishes I would come back. I told her it’s not possible [because of me]. We said bye, I promised to text, etc.

And I realized how DRUNK I was. And how GOOD it felt. How much of a RELEASE it was. I started shoveling fries and chicken sandwich down my face but it didn’t help.

I parked in our driveway and happily (and by that I mean that I had a huge grin on my face) threw all the water and diet coke I had out into the grass. That’s when the thought hit me that I feel so good right now :):):):)[because of me]

I stumbled up the stairs, came in, and got a glass of water. In bed now…because of me.