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.

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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 ūüôā 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*

 

 

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.

I bet I would be SUPER in theatre.


I don’t blog that regularly anymore because I don’t feel like I have anything witty to say anymore. I’m just existing, living a normal average life. Can’t complain about that, really.

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I did A LOT of that ^ yesterday. I mean, I was a god damn mess. And today, I’m like this:

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And who knows!? Tomorrow, I could be this:

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If you haven’t guessed it by now, my meds need adjusting. When I came off the Lithium in early February, I started the Tegretol at the normal starting dose of 200mg a day (100mg twice a day). And I felt really good for about 6 weeks. Then I felt my emotional bubble continue to grow past my comfort level.

((emotional bubble = range of emotions felt: sadness, normalcy, happiness))

I didn’t say anything because I wanted to push it. Just like everyone else,¬† I want to be on as little medication as possible. So my internal dialogue did that same old shitty speech “Buck it up, you can handle it. Normal people handle it. You ARE normal. You CAN BE if you just try a little harder.” So I did. But my bubble bursted yesterday and I was a bipolar mess. Really, 200mg, I might as well be un-medicated. The tegretol is ALL I’m taking for my bipolar.

So I wake up tearing everyone a new asshole, then perfectly fine, then ready to lose it on my kids, then an anxious wreck, all panicky, crying, hopeless, then fine, you get the idea. Rinse and repeat. It was exhausting, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Pillars pretty¬† much kicked me out of the house for the day – for his sake, and for mine. I wasn’t handling existence well anywhere, but it was easier out of the house where I could control all the stimulation around me (remember…3 small children here).

I spoke with my Psychiatrist yesterday and he doubled my dosage, so today was my 2nd full day of taking 400mg a day. I had moments, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Much better than yesterday. Luckily, yesterday was also support group night. Well, or unluckily. When it was my turn to talk about my week, I bursted into tears and I’m sure the words coming out of my mouth didn’t make any sense.¬† They made me feel tons better, as being with people who are equally fucked up typically does.

The battle here for me is when I feel myself being pushed, to NOT continue to allow it. To tell myself that it’s OK to ask for help, and to stop expecting myself to function as other people do.

So here I am, being all bipolar and shit again.

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.

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 ūüôā

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.

No more late nights for me!


Tonight was my last night working a night shift. Yippee!!

I contacted the scheduling manager and she was fine with changing my schedule to only Sat and Sun, only lunch shifts. Although, she asked before approving it if its a short term change, to which I asked her to clarify what short term is. She said 2 months or less. I pondered, realized that I didn’t plan to still be working there in 2 months, and replied that yes, it IS a short term change. That’s not a lie.

I apologized to my husband for not realizing that my being home at night now would be putting a wrinkle in how he does things. But we agreed that it’ll be much better…more time together, more family time, more family meals, etc. I think its gonna be awesome. And even on Sat and Sun, Ill be off probably before the kids even go to bed.

Another plus: Ill get to attend a Bipolar Support group on Friday nights. A friend has also recently been diagnosed and told me about the group. I don’t know if I should be excited or scared. Or both. Anyone ever been to one? What can I expect?

Pillars and I also have marriage counseling tomorrow. We haven’t been in a couple months, and we are going somewhere totally new (in his therapist’s practice). Again, not sure if I should be excited or scared. I imagine we will have to explain our life stories again tomorrow…that’s always a blast. Reliving some of your worst memories, admitting to some of your worst moments (again), feeling all of those negative feelings. Oh well. We have an issue that needs resolving: our sex life. My zest for sex has plummeted (be it life, children, medication, whatever.) He still wants it regularly. I want to please him, but I don’t want to force myself. I cry when I do that lol. No one wants anyone to cry during sex. Its not sexy. And then when I DO have desire, it goes away quickly, and I get uncomfortable. Not with my body, but with the act. I don’t know why, but I want to be the best for my husband, and he deserves more than Im giving him.

So we are going to lighten the blow of marriage therapy with a date immediately following. ūüôā

Ill definitely update as to how the counseling goes!

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.