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!

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.

Living Life In A Straight Jacket


I actually came out of therapy today excited. I know, I’m a weirdo ūüėČ

Here’s how our convo went:

Iris: “So you had your first marriage counseling session yesterday…how was it?”

Me: “Good. Awkward. Uncomfortable. We were with a new¬†neutral person, and here he is – the victim. And here I am – the offender…”

Iris: “Victim?? Offender?? He’s NOT a victim. You are NOT an offender. Why are you using those words? You didn’t commit a CRIME!”

Me: *eyebrows raised* “I BROKE A COMMANDMENT”

Iris: *laughing* “Yes, what you did was wrong. It’s good that you know that.”¬†

At this point, I’m wondering why I feel so strongly about the commandments, and why she’s taking it so lightly. It looks like that huge ass tapestry of Jesus on my Granny’s wall and the constant play of¬†Ben-Hur¬†had more effect on me than I know.

Iris: “Who made you feel like you don’t matter?”

Me: “My parents, I guess. My Dad was always busy working, and when he wasn’t, he tried really hard not to be around. Emotionally, or physically. And my Mom was always busy cooking and cleaning and making sure everything was ‘just so’.”

Iris: “So they never really engaged you?”

Me: “No, I guess they just maintained me.”

Iris: “Did you have meals together.”

Me: “Oh yeah. Every night. Those were the worst. So tense and uncomfortable.”

Iris: “What?! That’s horrible. What were they like?”

Me: “I always had a nervous twitch going on…my leg shaking, tapping, stuff like that. And I always got fussed at by Dad for it. Anything that wasn’t -just right- got you fussed at.”

Iris: “Your whole life was like that. When someone came into your room, it was ‘Oh no, what did I do?'”

Me: “Pretty much.”

Iris: “You never got to figure out who YOU are because you were forced to maintain what they expected you to be. Normally, after leaving home, kids rebel and decide they’re not doing anything they were required to do at home. You never did that, you just carried all those expectations and requirements with you into marriage, and into motherhood. You had your little rebellion recently, I hope you enjoyed it because it’s not happening again. Now, I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to do. If you feel like eating chicken every night, eat chicken. If you want to go to bed at 9, go to bed at nine.”

So basically, my goal is to not feel like I have to do anything because of someone else. Every day I am to take 15 minutes and write down what I LIKE. Anything. The goal is to learn who I am and what I like – without anyone’s influence.

She hit the nail on the head, for sure. I have always felt that way. Like I wasn’t able to be myself.

Now, I know my core values. I know I married the right man :):):) I know I love my children. That much, I know without a doubt. I guess it’s every other detail I have to ponder.

She said that once I figure this out, I’ll be less nervous. She said she sees a lot of women that don’t know who they are. They have just been something for someone for so long that they never figured it out.

Well, at least I’ll figure this out before I’m 30. Barely. lol

Working While Bipolar, Dealing with Stigma


I work at a seafood restaurant that has a nice big lobster tank in the lobby. When I’m done for the night but can’t leave (we have to leave in groups of 3), I sit next to the tank and fiddle on WordPress my phone. That’s right, I read all your lovely blogs while I’m chillin after work.

I’ve never had anyone – much less a stranger to me – sit down pressed against me and lean over and peer onto my phone before…but a guy from the kitchen did a couple months ago. He’s nice enough. For some reason, he sticks up for me when people start to pick on me in the kitchen. I much just look like a little lost kitten. ¬†But then again, when I’m “normal” and not in any form of mania, a little lost kitten is exactly what I come across as. So, whatever. It’s a side of me.

“Whatcha twittering?”

“Oh, I don’t twitter. I’m reading blogs.”

“Oh, you blog?!”

…shit. I know where this is going…

“Yeah, I do.”

“Oh! What do you blog about?”

—pause—

—pause—

—pause—

“I’m bipolar. So I blog about that.”

“Oh really? I never would’ve guessed. That has to be really difficult. How does it affect you at work?”

“I’m still kinda new at it, and I’m not quite sure yet. But I don’t think it causes me many problems.”

 

 

It ended there. And he’s still very sweet to me. We’ll hold the occasional 1 minute conversation you’re allowed in a restaurant.

But ever since then, he’s had me considering just how this affects me at work. I’ve become more mindful of how productive I am, how confused I get, how well my memory is, etc.

I’ve come to the conclusion – and this is still a study in progress – that I am at my worst times (normal mood – luckily, I haven’t had a depression while working outside of the house), just an average worker. Forgetting stuff here and there, a memory that is about as hard to catch as a feral cat, not too social with the guests, not very fast, not very vocal.

At my best times (which would be hypomanic/manic episodes), I am amazing. Super productive, very fluid movements, very vocal, conversing with the guests, memory like a steel trap, etc. I love working like that. I make more money like that. I don’t get in trouble with my bosses for forgetting stuff, etc. Its much less stress free.

I’m on the down side of my last hypomanic episode, and worked last night. I’m losing all of those lovely qualities I just mentioned :(:(

I kept forgetting stuff. Losing stuff. Having a hard time concentrating. Damnit.

 

My therapist was insistent that I not tell anyone at work about my illness. But, I don’t think I can do that. It would feel too much like hiding, like I have something to be ashamed of, like there is something wrong with me. ¬†And that’s just not the truth. She thinks (heck, maybe she knows…she’s been doing this for over 20 years) that people will use it against me. Maybe they will. But the¬†naive side of me (which I didn’t even know existed any more) thinks that I’d like to prove to them just how awesome I am so that when they find out, it will help them understand that we can be productive.

Oh, Oh! Another funny story from work concerning mental illness…I was dropping dishes off with another server, and he said something about schizophrenia, and then “Can someone even work with a condition like that?”. My reply:

“Yeah, actually. We can. I’m bipolar.”

—silence—

“Well, I’m tri-polar.”

“I’m quadrupa-polar.”

Then we both laughed and walked off to finish working.

Since then, I’ve noticed he’s a little softer to me. He usually is very sarcastic and picks on me a lot. Maybe related, maybe not.

I guess something really bad is going to have to happen before I stop fighting the stigma. I am awesome. I am bipolar. Therefore, bipolar is awesome. Sometimes. 

 

A 3 year old’s explanation of Mental Illness


Somehow, my husband and I got into a discussion with our 4 and 3 year olds about the brain. This led to them explaining how the brain works. I saw it as an excellent¬†opportunity¬†to introduce them to the idea that not all brains work the same way. A little mental illness normalization for them. Upon hearing that some brains are “sick” and need medicine, my 3 year old daughter explained it back to me:

“And sometimes, you have throw up in your throat and it moves up here (motioning towards her mouth) and then goes UP to your brain.”

I won’t lie, I got a little teary at hearing this, and knowing that one day I’ll be able to explain mental illness on a deeper level to them.

Then my 4 year old son had to explain:

“And sometimes, your, your, your diaper gets stuck in YOUR BUTT.”

Which led to a discussion about wedgies. Which I’m sure we’ll discuss again tomorrow. I love having kids.

Turns out I’m NOT mentally ill!


Or at least, that’s what my Mom said.

Yes folks, my mother is in town. I don’t think I’ve mentioned her much before, so I’ll be a good non-mental-person and give you a quick summary of our relationship:

Up until my Dad was found dead in a field in Miami (yes, I know, that was my first thought too…”They have fields in Miami??”), Mom and I were best friends. Called each other every day kinda thing.

Then when Dad died, there was an insurance money hullabaloo. It was really more like a massacre. At least, I feel like it massacred our relationship. 

The plan paid out 100k. My Dad had my brother and I listed as the beneficiaries. So it was split and we each received a 50k check. Mom told my brother and I that 10 years prior, when I was 16 and he was 12, we had all made a deal that when Dad died she would get 50% and he and I would split the rest 25/25.

Yes, she thought it appropriate to hold a conversation like that with her 12 year old.

Either way, my brother and I basically responded with “Umm….negative.” You can imagine her reaction. She was actually trying to convince my husband at my Dad’s funeral to talk to my brother and I and help change our minds. *cringe*

My Mom paid the premium for the insurance for many years…I wrote her a check for twice the total amount she paid. I don’t know, that felt fair. I had two small children, my husband was getting out of the military, and we were planning to buy our first home.

And yes, we all knew Dad had embarked on a path that he was likely not to come back from. And we were right. I remember Mom checking the obituaries for his name constantly, and then announcing to me that he’s not dead…yet. Just waiting on the check to roll in, huh?

So, Dad’s dead, I am overcome with grief and requiring to be heavily medicated, and my Mom is sending me hate texts. I adored her. I thought she was perfection. She knew EVERYTHING. I wanted to be like her. And all of a sudden, I don’t know her. My whole life had just changed.

It’s been over three years and things are less uncomfortable now. Still awkward. My husband says he sees a lot if my symptoms appear whenever she comes around or when I know Im gonna see her.
I know it does. I get tight. I get anxious. I can’t make a decision. I detach; I become an empty shell. I don’t like to move, I tend to stare off.¬†

She’s in town with her boyfriend, and one of his children, his girlfriend, and their baby. They’re camping about 30 Mins away. They live about 5 hours away, so every year we visit them while they’re camping. Its really funny, and my kids love their Grammy. We visited tonight, and when it was time to leave, my husband and my Mom asked if I’d like to stay the night and spend some alone time with my Mom.

Ok. Easy fix.

“I didn’t bring my medication…”

Yes! Brilliant, once again!

Mom: ” I can just take you home in a bit…?”

I ended up staying for a bit. Failed miserably at bingo, but showed my greatness once again when Mom unleashed a whopper on me while chatting afterwards. Here’s how it went (Mom is in bold):

So how is therapy going?

Which one…?

Well all of them I guess.

Alright. My individual therapy has moved to every other week now.

Have you ever considered using a church counselor?

For Marriage Counseling?

No, for you.

I feel that would be negligent on my part.

Honey, you’renot mentally ill.

*insert big long pause where I weigh my options of looking like a stereotypical mentally ill person or respond with tact*

Actually, there is a normal range of emotions. And then there’s extremes in either direction. That’s bipolar. I am bipolar.

I just think you over think it. If you didn’t worry so much you’d be able to live a little better.

I probably do over think it. But I have to understand the illness in order to control it. And I HAVE to control it. I’m still early into this and need to become more comfortable with understanding myself and how I react to situations before I can just forget about it for a while.

*She nodded to that comment* Then, I strategically pointed out that the camper roof was leaking in a couple places and we got off the subject.

I just don’t think my Mom believes in mental illness. She hasn’t said it, but she’s said everything else. She doesn’t have to say it. It’s the feeling she puts off. Like it’s just an awesome excuse for being weak or for not knowing how to prioritize or think or for just being stressed out. ¬†My favorite phrase she likes to use: “Honey, WE ALL are a little bipolar.”

So that’s right folks – You Too Can Be Bipolar!

My husband had a very interesting idea: that my Mom is in denial because if I really do have a mental illness, then my Dad probably did too. That means that he wasn’t just being a douche when he had his addiction problems that she left him over. I imagine if she chooses to believe that he had something wrong with him, like me, that she would feel immense responsibility and guilt for their relationship ending the way it did.

Ugh. I get so stressed out being around her.

Colorado Shooting caused by mental illness?


Oy. I don’t pay much attention to the news, admittedly. Mostly because my sweet husband does, and I rely on him to let me know if anything interesting is going on in the world. He does a fantastic job at that.

He mentioned to me yesterday that there was talk about James Holmes, the alleged shooter in Colorado Friday (12 dead, 59 wounded last I checked), possibly being mentally ill. Oh. This is riiiiiight up my alley. News Im interested in.

While on the treadmill today at the gym, I got to see part of the hearing on TV. Of course the camera stayed mostly on the suspect. Boy, he wasn’t there. Physically, yes. Mentally and emotionally, nope. You can’t watch that video and not be left a little confused. (LINK BELOW!)

There could be many reasons for that. I was just expecting to see someone present in the moment. Maybe a smug look for having caused so much death and pain, I mean, it was well planned out. He did what he had planned. Shouldn’t he feel gratification or something…? I don’t know, I’m not a mass murderer.

Which brings me to my point. I sincerely hope this doesn’t drag people who have a mental illness through the mud. Whether or not he’s decided to have an illness, just the talk alone can be damaging to us non-mass-murdering mental people. Here I am, slowly coming out of my scared Bipolar shell, and this guy has to make me run back in. Because, you know, the whole country is looking at this. And the last thing I’m gonna volunteer is that I have anything in common with this guy.

Did you see the hearing? Really. WHAT is this guy on? Someone could suggest that maybe he’s faking it…which is always an option. He looks like he needs to be sprayed in the face with a cold hose of water. Take a look.

Thoughts on bipolar infidelity, being poor, parental death, and other cheery stuff.


I am tired.

I am tired of struggling.

I am tired of crying over my Dad’s death.

I am tired of never having enough money.

I am tired of having BIG problems always looming over my head.

I am tired of not trusting myself.

I am tired of questioning who I am.

I just want to go back to a time when my biggest problems were organizing play dates, paying bills, cleaning the house, etc.

 

Every day is filled with thoughts of my¬†infidelity. My mistakes. My loss. My burden. My Dad. My responsibilities. MY MISTAKES. My short-comings. Questions about my future. I don’t care what extra shit being bipolar gives me. It can have it back. I don’t want it. I don’t want anything I’ve done because of it.

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.