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.

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. 🙂

Ill definitely update as to how the counseling goes!

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.

Control through sex?


Today sucked. I woke up to see my cell laying on the bed next to me, and I know I didn’t leave it there, which means one thing. My husband looked through it. No biggie. But it signified to me that he is suspicious and uncomfortable. Just knowing that alone makes me nervous.

It makes me nervous because I know I’m not in a normal zone right now, and he knows I’m not in a normal zone, which makes him a nervous wreck – which in turn makes me a big ball of guilt.

I step into a non-depressed or non-normal state and he freaks. Understandable, for sure. I’m not complaining about that. But it still sucks. I don’t want him to feel so insecure.

Well, I guess maybe you shouldn’t have slept with 2 men who weren’t you’re husband, huh.

Sigh.

Face Palm.

Banging head against the desk.

You get the picture.

I know I’m not totally in control of myself. He does too. And he knows what “I’m” capable of, so it’s like he’s just waiting for me to “do it”. I don’t want to do it, but I am scared. That’s what I have to tell the psychiatrist tomorrow. I don’t know what he’s going to do, but I don’t want to sit around and wait for this to happen…we can’t live like this.

Yesterday during therapy, the therapist and I briefly discussed my 2 “affairs”. She asked, that if I had no personal attachment, what was it all about? Why did I do it? If I had a husband who was ready and willing to have sex whenever I wanted, why go to anyone else?

I told her that above all, I wanted to be desired.

She said that’s nothing out of the ordinary, everyone wants to be desired, that’s normal. Then why the sex?

I said it was the ultimate desire. A natural progression from the flirting, and knowing that I’m desired. Not really my first thought…just something that came after I got what I wanted.

Very similar to having a big tasty meal and then having a big nasty poop.

I had a bout of childhood abuse that I’m not really ready to get into here yet, but she know that it can contribute (or cause completely) hypersexuality problems. She asked if maybe this is about vengeance?

Certainly not my first thought when I do what I do.

Maybe it’s about control? Being able to control a man/men?

I do like that idea.It feels like a comfortable thought. There’s a chance that might be right.

Honestly, I think my husband is the only man who has ever treated me right in my entire life (THANK YOU BABY). I was ignored and forgotten by my Dad, abused by my Grandma’s husband (not my bio Grandpa), and the usual crap that goes with dating “bad boys” – a little bit of emotional abuse, cheating, being used, etc.

So, yeah, maybe I want to be in control.

But I am in control of my husband. I’m not being a bitch. I know he desires me. I know I can have him whenever I want. He tells me so. He tells me that I am worth all of this trouble, and that I am beautiful and smart. I truly have a one in a million. And when I’m “normal”, I know this. I know it deep inside, and I am at peace.

You know what’s so frustrating about all this? Is still being lucid. Having just enough control over everything to know that something isn’t right. IT MAKES YOU FEEL CRAZY.

I’m still here. I’m still inside. But I can feel myself slipping. Like sliding down a slide on your belly, trying to grab the top again to pull yourself up, but just not being strong enough yet. I can see it, I can feel it, but I can’t do anything about it. I think my mindfulness and the lithium is helping me to not fly off that slide and land face down in the mulch.

God that doctor has to help me tomorrow.

Mood charts, symptom charts, and a non-detrimental episode?


A lot of bipolar people chart their moods. I started in the first week of July. Well, I “started” in March, during whichI time I was still in my episode, but didn’t record anything worth transferring into this new chart:

Aside from this mood chart, I’m keep a sort of symptoms checklist. Every night, after I fill out my chart, I also check off what symptoms I experienced that day. These were symptoms I displayed during my last episode:

 

Ewwwwww. Nice trend, right?

Sometimes, knowing the difference between a normal feeling and a NOT NORMAL feeling is difficult, but it gets easier every time.

So some of the blocks in the symptom chart are 1/2 filled in, because a little bit of the symptom was there, but not a full case.

For example, when I get in the mood for some love – that’s not hypersexuality. When I get a fire in my temple area that runs down my back to my hips, have had much more frequent (and raunchy) sex,  and I am really aroused all day – I consider that hypersexuality.

The inflated self-esteem option is one I keep finding tricky. Last week, I didn’t want to undress in front of my husband and was regretting having traded my granny one piece in for a bikini because I felt so unattractive. Now, I’m feeling significantly more attractive and wouldn’t mind  putting on a bikini. I’m not cocky. I’m not walking around like I’m the baddest bitch. But I’m also not walking around self-loathing like I had been. And what I feel now is a significant change in what I was feeling last week. So, I don’t know, doesn’t that count? Maybe a half inflated self-esteem? If I compare how I feel now to how I felt about myself during my last episode (Dec – April), I think I’m about 3/4 of the way there. So yeah, I guess how I feel now would be considered a 1/2.

I’ve lost 4 lbs in the last couple weeks. Don’t worry, I’m not running again. Yet. I just came out of my self-loathing diet. Fast food and soda decreased. Although I am going to the gym today with full intentions on running. I am curious as to how it will feel. That will also be a good indicator for me. When I ran during my episode I got continuous hormone releases. It was a continuous high. It brought a crazy smile to my face whether I had just stepped out the door or if I was 3.5 miles in.

I totally feel like the Joker sometimes. He never seemed very in control of his face or his body.

Seeming as my symptoms are gradually building up, I mentioned it to my psychiatrist Friday. I told him what I’ve been noticing and asked what the odds are of me having another episode. He said “slim to none”. I can say that the symptoms are being contained/held in/smothered out like a fire quite nicely. But there is a trend so it’s my job to be watchful. I’m also not sure he understood me initially, because he said “What I think you’re experiencing is disappointment.”  (Ummm, I think I can recognize disappointment…) “Lots of people are disappointed once things go back to normal after a manic episode.” Yada yada yada. C’mon dude. I’ve done my reading. I know this. Disappointment is like the #1 thing you hear about when you research going onto medication and leveling out. So, I restated my question, and he brushed it off again as nothing to worry about. Okkkaaaayyyyy…Now I’ll mention this to my therapist next week, and she’ll tell me I just didn’t word something right for him – because he needs some form of speak other than plain English.

When I reminisce about my previous episode, it is of how I felt about myself. My energy. Is it possible I can have those positive sides without slipping into the same mistakes I made before? Is it? Is it possible for me to slide into this hypothetically speaking only positive side effects hypomanic episode without any fear of it turning into something much worse? I guess if I don’t worry about it, that would be the bigger problem. Maybe until it happens, and I realize it is possible for me to have a productive episode, I’ll feel scared about it. And that’s ok. Just uncomfortable and scary.

Degrees of Hypersexuality


I’m drained of energy lately. But, I’ve had slight feelings of hypersexuality. To put things in context, I consider feeling hypersexual as wanting sex a lot. I don’t. I don’t even like my body right now What I’m feeling equates to a little fire on the back of my neck and it travels down to my hips. And it’s a fuzzy feeling around my temples.

Full hypersexuality, as I have experienced it, is finding yourself attractive, and practically every man you see horribly attractive, and taking steps to act on that. I am not that right now.

It’s almost like a full onset is wanting to bubble up but maybe the lithium is keeping it down.    ?     Sounds plausible. I hate being so tired all the time. I want a little more energy. But I don’t want any of the bad symptoms to have room to wiggle out.

I was discussing this last night in bed with Pillars, and he asked if it makes me feel better, being as this supports that idea that the lithium is making a difference in holding my symptoms at bay – I am clearly bipolar – if there ever was a question about it. I considered that. Does this weird feeling of symptoms wanting to rise but being unable to make me feel better? I said no. It might have a few months ago, but I’ve subscribed to the idea that I AM BIPOLAR. I’m not really looking for any more confirmation of that. What would make me feel better is if these symptoms didn’t exist at all!

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.

Running & Bipolar Disorder


Or maybe more appropriately, Energy & Bipolar Disorder. Hm? Anyone nodding their heads yet?

At the beginning of this year, within a month, I went from not being able to run .25 miles before giving up (and hating running) to running 10-12 miles a week. I craved it. I remember one night going to the gym after work (it was around midnight) and running a few miles.

I read somewhere that hypersexuality and having a lot of sex is also linked to the energy. That we use sex as an outlet for our overabundance of energy. It’s merely an act to get rid of the energy. I can agree to that.

I remember the energy getting uncomfortable. Particularly being in situations or places when the feeling overran me, was spilling out of my finger tips, and I had no way of releasing it.

One time in particular, I was at work and felt the need to run. Obviously, I couldn’t say “Hey Boss…can I take a 10 min break to go do laps around the restaurant?”. Well, I could have , but then he would’ve thought I was weird. I talked about my energy while I was there. It was hard not to tall about it. Shit, it was hard not to talk. I found myself having a hard time not moving, being incredibly witty, full of punch lines and puns, and of course…undeniably sexy. Hey, even if I wasn’t, I thoughtI was, and that’s all that matters when you’re Bipolar.

It was almost a physical pain. Not being able to run when I felt the rush of energy hit me was torture. It was like a drug, one that got me high. Just like the sex. I literally felt a rush radiate from my body over and over again while I was running. It came from my chest and spread through my fingertips and my feet. It felt like electricity.

I. WAS. ON.

Oh that energy felt good.

I continued running through my diagnosis and starting Lithium. I went from being an awesome newbie runner to not enjoying a single step and giving up .5 miles into it, frustrated, sad, and a little angry that my drug had been taken away from me.

I didn’t run for about a month and a half. I started again last week and was so happy when it felt comfortable. Not exhilarating, not orgasmic, not like torture. But normal. I didn’t want to stop early into it. I think I did about 1.5 mi my first run “back”. I’ve done 2 more since, both equaling about 1.25 mi each (Im not sure of the distance when I run the neighborhood …I just got wherever looks good). Im so glad this new healthy habit wasn’t taken away from me permanently.

Anyone else in the BP club like to run? Or do anything similar?

My black moods


I thought maybe it was time to address the other side of my bipolar. I’ve seemed to forget it recently, as I think I may be in my longest stretch ever without it. But depression has plagued me nearly my whole adult life.

Depression has just always been with me. Like a purse. I just carry it around. Keep all my things in it. Freak out if I lose it.

I’ll recall my most recent depression. Mostly because it was my most severe, but also because Im not sure I would be able to remember the others very well. I always wrote them off. I knew what they were, I’ve felt then on and off (mostly on) for at least 10 years.

My last depression started in April of 2010. I can tell you the second it started. It was the second I read my positive pregnancy test.

I had worked my butt off and lost 50 lbs. Granted, it was during a suspected hypomanic episode, that had followed another serious depression…

I was learning to be happy with my body. We had just bought our first home. We had just made the decision to leave the marine corps. I had just figured out how to effectively manage 2 children (then ages 2.5 and 17 months). It was unplanned. Yeah, I was on birth control – but it was the mini pill that only worked when you’re nursing, and (!!!) I had stopped nursing 4 months prior. Whoops. I forgot I wasn’t taking the “regular” pill.

And Im not kidding when I say it took me at least 10 months to figure out how I got pregnant while on birth control.

I spent the next 9 months loathing life, more and more every day. Im certain that part of my depression was due to my fear of developing the same health problems I had with my first two pregnancies (pre-eclampsia). Both of my babies had ended up in the NICU and I was certain that this third one would too.

I would think:
-Im hurting this baby by having it.
-Im going to get little to no sleep. Again.
-My life is over.
-My body is going to stretch out. Again.
-This baby is going to be sick, and its my fault.
-I don’t want this baby.

I actually found myself hoping for a miscarriage. I had no emotional connection to the baby. I started becoming concerned that I wouldn’t have a connection with the baby when it came out, or that it could feel my hostility towards it and would be an angry little person.
My sex drive changed. I had less and less of one every month, and by the time the baby was born, I really didn’t want to have sex.

I had a lot of anxiety, and a lot of trouble sleeping. Even with my ambien. There were many nights when I had to take 2 to go to sleep (20mg).

At my lowest point in the pregnancy, I was laying in bed, angry that I was pregnant and couldn’t sleep. I imagined going into the baby’s room and stabbing myself im the uterus (That’s right. Not just the belly) and then coming back to our bedroom and throwing myself out of our window (2 stories up). Whoa.

I never took any steps toward this. Only daydreamed about it.

Another scary point is that for about 9 months after he was born, every time I would drive over a bridge with my kids in the car, I would daydream about driving off if it.

Eventually, my beautiful baby boy was born. I couldn’t get out of that no matter how hard I daydreamed. I fell in love the moment I saw him. I never got sick. This made me love him even more. He was the baby that proved to me that my body could function properly.

I’ve had a different kind of relationship with him than the others. I guess because he’s the baby . And he very well might be the last.

So even though I loved him when he came out (thank God), my depression continued with poor sleep, extreme loss of patience, increased irritability, disgust with sex.

Eventually my husband tired of it and insisted I start taking my zoloft again (I had gone off of it early in the pregnancy). I did, and a few short weeks later I spun into my worst hypomanic episode to date.

I didn’t take my depressions very seriously. Maybe because I’d grown so used to them. Maybe because they’d never posed a real threat to my life. I can guarantee you now that I will. I know I don’t have to live that way. That’s fixable. Its not something I just have to put up with.

And I had a valid concern when I was diagnosed: if that was my lowest low yet, and the hypomanic episode that nearly cost me my marriage was my highest high…what happens next? I was (and still am to a degree) genuinely concerned that the next depression I have would lead to self harm.

I don’t think it will anymore. I’m working really hard on being observant, seeing my therapist too much, and am medicated. Plus, I’ve got the best possible teammate working with me to keep me healthy 😉

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.