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!

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.

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?


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.

A Beautiful Mind

My husband and I have been through so much in the last 9 months. He has every right to not want to touch me, not speak to me, not want to be with me. I lied. I cheated. With 2 men. I was mean to him. I emotionally detached from him.

When I think about those things now, I don’t beat myself up anymore. They were wrong. I did bad things. I hurt the person I love the most, my best friend.

But…I was sick. I was in an altered state of reality. I was in a whole other world where the rules didn’t apply, I wasn’t a housewife, I loved my body – and I wanted others to love it too.

Through all of this, last night as we laid in bed talking, he said “Your body is beautiful, but your mind is even more beautiful.”

Yes, I have one of those men. The totally awesome, they-dont-even-make-them-like-this-in-the-movies kind of guy. :):):)

I can’t believe I ever did something that could’ve caused him to leave.

So after that statement, I was so appreciative. For a couple seconds. Then I let the self-loathing step in with: “My mind is like the northern lights, a 4th grade school picture backdrop, thunder, all cloudy…”.

Hating on myself. One of my many talents. Eh. So my mind may be beautiful. And its hard letting that thought stop there. I always want to follow it with “But its caused so much hurt/angst/etc…”.

I want to be able to stop there and just say its beautiful. New goal. To see my beautiful mind.

Our crazy sex life

Next to my husband’s sudden remembrance of his childhood rape, our sex life is the next biggest problem in our household right now.

He’s well on his way to being diagnosed with sex addiction ( and PTSD, however, I’m not sure if this affects our sex life at all). If you haven’t been reading his blog, I’ll fill you in: he hasn’t been unfaithful, but his mind is dominated by the need to gratify himself in one way or another. I am thankful it has never been with another woman…but that would probably serve me right.

So this leaves him hounding me for sex. For anything sexual. Hand job, blow job, a quickie, a longie (I made that word up…). When its bad, everything that comes out of his mouth is sexual. He’s much more aware of what he’s doing now, so it doesn’t happen near as often as it used to. But it left me avoiding any sort of communicating when he was like that.

As for me, the greatest influences on my sex drive are (and were) having 3 young children (4, 3, 21 months), transporting them to preschool and ballet, working until midnight 4 nights a week after my husband gets home, trying the keep my house sanitary (I’ve given up on anything more), and then processing my own diagnosis – which greatly affects my sex drive, my energy, my attitude, my emotions, my self esteem…pretty much everything.

Given all that, in the rare event that we tumble into bed together (really, not that rare, it varies between 1-2 times a week), it is still uncomfortable for us both. He is wondering if my affair partners did what he is doing, if they did it better, if I prefer them, if I’m thinking of them.

In short, whatever they did like him, or differently, be it better or far worse, is torturing me while my husband and I are in bed. I don’t know how. I’m not thinking of them. I’m not wishing it was them. God no. But my body is responding…it feels taunting, like my body is saying “You misused me. You were disrespectful to me. You were disrespectful to him. Now I’m defiled. Quit acting like you don’t know. Quit acting like you’re over it.” It leaves me uncomfortable. If not through the whole act, then at least part time. There are some romps where I don’t feel this way, but I think they are correlated to my mood.

I know I wasn’t, but I feel like I was abused during that episode. Well, maybe I was. But I did the abusing. Which makes it even harder to grasp this feeling of not wanting to be physically intimate. Its confusing. Its not that I don’t get turned on, that my body doesn’t respond. It does. But then a part of me gets shy. Not coy or playful or flirty, but an uncomfortable, shutting down because its too difficult kind of shy.

So that’s where we’re at. Him dying for sex multiple times a day, and me forcing myself into it 75% of the time to try to help him. I know I shouldn’t…but that would create more friction between us, and more stress for him when he is already having a ridiculously hard time.

Sounds like a lot of crap to talk about in therapy. Yay.

I was a little loose.

Still being fairly new in my diagnosis, I’m still looking back in my life with a fine tooth comb. Trying to find previous episodes that went undetected. How serious had I gotten? Were my 2 previous episodes of depression and hypomania my worst? Do I think any future episodes may be worse?

So I was just casually thinking aloud to myself last night as I was crawling into bed with Mr bRaving. I was thinking of past moments that qualify as hypomanic episodes. Those were what I was oblivious to. Who would question such a good feeling anyways? Especially when they were always peppered with depression.

Any hypomanic episodes I can remember are mainly characterized by hypersexuality. Looking back on them, I wonder why I did that. It wasn’t getting me anywhere. There was no emotion behind the sex. No desire for the person, just the act. At the time, when I questioned it, I summed it up to Daddy issues. Last night, it was clear to me what all that was.

It’s been clear to me for weeks that that’s what that was. But then I let my mind take it another step and ask, “Why didn’t anyone tell me I was doing something wrong?”

Who would’ve told me? The guys I was banging? Um, no. My Mom? Yeah…like I’d tell her the way I was behaving. My boyfriend at the time? He never found out. My friends? I didn’t have any. Me? I was following an instinctual drive.

It was souless. Very much like pounding a pawn around a game board. I was just hitting the spaces, counting up the numbers.

Then it occurred to me that I had no boundaries at that point in my life. No marriage vows to break. No rules as a single girl in her late teens/early 20s, living away from home.

Fast forward to now…rules are in place, and I broke them. My pawn hit the “Got to Jail” square. And finally my illness is revealed.

I wish I had known all this before I did something that I’m having a very hard time living with.

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!

I don’t want my Golden Ticket.

This whole process is amazing.

Not in an amazing, oh my this is so beautiful, I am so glad I have a mental illness and broke my best friend’s heart kind of way. But in a big picture sense.

Knowing how I felt when I was hypomanic. Knowing that what was in my head were my truths at that time. Taking charge and deciding that whatever was making me feel so good, no matter how good, was wrong. Medicating myself because I knew it was the right thing. And slowly, although sometimes it feels pretty quick, coming out of that mind I was lost in.

I’ve been medicated for just over 2 months now, and I’ve felt “normal” (Ha) for about a month, maybe more. But it still amazes me how when I take a moment to reflect on that me 3 months ago, my feelings change every time.

Every time, I dislike what I did more. Tonight, I felt physical shock, and disgust. I mean, my stomach actually turned.

That wasn’t me. I would not have done those things.

I think the hard part for people to get around is, why didn’t I know something was wrong if I was doing so many things that I normally wouldn’t have done?

Hello? It felt good. And Im not even talking about the sex. Every minute of living felt good. And when you’ve spent most of your life in a depression, who are you to argue? That’s like Charlie giving away his goddamn Golden Ticket. I was hot stuff. I was on my game. I was fast. Faster than anyone else. I had lost 5 pants sizes, that’s how fast I was. And I looked good. For someone who has never liked their appearance, that’s like crack.

The sex just felt like the natural thing to do in that state. It just went along with the package. I know it makes no sense, but it felt like that’s what I had to do. Its what my body and my evil little mind required. I was like a cat in heat. I have friends who can attest to that statement.

I wasn’t Melissa. Im pretty sure I could give half my family a heart attack if they were to find out what I did. That’s not the person they know. That’s not the person I know. That’s not the person my amazing husband married.

But. Bipolar is mine. Its who I am, just the same as my gimpy right foot, and the wart on my middle finger. And being Bipolar has its perks. Im very passionate. I’ve always been great at anything I did. Im really creative, and I love that.

I am slowly embracing being bipolar. More every day. The final step for me is forgiving myself for what I did.

That may take quite a while.

Sex sex sex. Blah blah blah.

My husband, over at pillarsofherearth.wordpress.com, was kind enough to post about our battle over sex recently.

I take a while to process information, feelings, etc. So the fact that I’m not “into” sex like he is right now, I attributed to the lithium. I get those warm and fuzzy feelings, but they’re few and fleeting. We have sex 1 to 2 times a week right now. Let me add: we have a 4 year old, 3 year old, 1.5 yr old, and we both work. He comes home and I say bye. I get home as early as 11pmish. So, personally, I don’t think 1 to 2 times a week is bad. Yay us. Life is hectic.

However, I’ve recently discovered some thoughts creeping in the back of my mind (remember, I said I take time to process feelings). They are:

-I don’t care for sex right now. In fact, fuck it. It’s fucked my life up.
-I don’t deserve to have sex with this forgiving, loving man right now. I just don’t.
-He shouldn’t want to have sex with me.

I think these are the roots of my sex aversion. Its of course in my plans to talk to my therapist about Wednesday.