It will be two days until the Day my brother died. Some people may not believe it but he visited me. I was sleeping and I could smell his cologne and I felt like somebody was there and I was comforted in my grief. Kind a like when your dog comes back after he dies and you can feel him curling up next to you in the bed and you smell their scent and you swear that they’re there but of course they’re not. This is this is the same thing that happened to me two nights ago. I told him I loved him and went to sleep. I guess this was doing the twilight before you fall asleep. I miss him. I’m going to keep on missing him and I guess I’m going to keep on crying, but my heart aches less and my mind is not all there right now. I’m very anxious and I know this is the reason why, I miss him.
Certain things are important to people for different reasons. We place value on things or events or people because we hold memories or feelings or hope towards these events etc.
I got to thinking why I really want to go to this conference. And my therapist reminded me what it was all about. That I write and it brings me joy. Very few things in this life bring me joy.
I’ve got a lot of problems. We all do. Some can be cured, some are temporary, some imaginary and some are brought about by our own actions. Whatever the cause, these are the conditions of our lives.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time you are aware that I am Bipolar, have a connective tissue syndrome and a growth on my pituitary gland. These are my main conditions. These are things which will NOT go away. So I live with them, but they are not who I am as a person. I just live with these conditions and do what is necessary to function within my life.
I could give up. I’ve thought about it and I’ve cried over it and come very close to just quitting. I’m talking about killing myself in case you’re wondering.
But instead, I move forwards. Everyday. I find something to do or something to make me feel good about myself or just enjoy someone’s company. I don’t obsess about my conditions. Why think about things no one on this planet has the power to change?
To me, writing is my way out. It is my respite from my conditions. And according to others, I’m pretty good at writing. Damn, I am good. I have to learn affirmations daily, so I’ll start here.
Low self-esteem has plagued me all my life and it’s a battle in the brain and the mirror. People tell me I’m pretty. My first thought is, ‘your just being nice.’ I don’t look at mirrors, even when I brush my teeth. I just realized that a few weeks ago. I use to physically duck the hall mirror every time I passed it, just in case I might see my reflection.
When I write, all is fine with me and the world around me. This writers conference is and event where I can learn and flex my ability and meet others whose passion for writing is the same. I might even make a friend.
I’ve been indoors for about a week. Because I freaked out at a social event. Anxiety, self-doubt, self-hatred a whole lot of things. Felt I didn’t belong there and all everyone was doing was playing board games.
How am I gonna handle a conference? I’ve thought of that too. The thought of going brings me as much joy as my writing. I will be learning about something that I have been doing since I first learned to string a sentence together. A donation to me is not just the money, it shows me that people believe in my ability. That they believe in ME. Something I have difficulty doing daily.
I’ve thought of pulling the gofundme, but my therapist reminded me that this conference is as important as my writing. I need things to look forwards to in my life. Events I can have happy memories of and feel like I belong.
Someone tried to break me down about my gofundme. Tried to tear down my dream of one day being published. I didn’t curse them out, just gave them some information and told them “I don’t need to justify myself to you.”
I also told them we all have our journies. Mine has taken me from healthy and working and moving towards a career. They were all smashed. I’m just trying to get a little piece of that dream back. And there is nothing wrong with that.
I want to publish a series of stories about mental illness and offer hope and understanding to those of us who suffer. That’s the ultimate dream, am I having grandiose thoughts? I know I can’t change the world, but I already have a few stories under my belt, so I want to go to the conference to help make this a reality.
This is more than I wanted to say, but if you’ve gotten this far. You must have dreams too.
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The number one fear is that I’ll fall into an abusive relationship with some predator type male who likes to “rule” over their mate. Someone who will put me down and try to make me feel like no one else will want me because of my illness.
I’ve seen and had a taste of this type of relationship. It makes me wary and paranoid of all who approach me out of interest. I wonder if I’m giving off some type of “victim” signal.
Some believe that only others who have mental illness can understand what the other is going through, so I should seek out others with similar if not the same diagnoses. I think this is fucked up. There have to be some people who can relate with what it means to be BiPolar without living with the illness.
When I am going through the ups and downs of being BiPolar. I can not imagine having to deal with another BiPolar going through the same thing. I’d lose it. I’m sorry but I tried living with my brother who was undiagnosed and it was hell. Only room enough for one nut per household. That’s what I told him and he understood because it’s hard enough dealing with your own shit and keeping it together. Then having to try and help, understand and relate with someone else who is going up and down and slideways at the same time.
I comply with my meds and my therapy. Even with compliance, there are times that are difficult. But not to the degree they would be IF I didn’t comply.
So, why don’t I date? I have purposely turned men away by divulging my illness on the first date. Just to see if they would stick around. None of them did. Part of me was glad. I wasn’t ready. I knew this deep down inside. There was still work to do and I view a relationship as a serious step in one’s life. I don’t see sex as a sport. Although I dabble when the need arises. And it’s a mutual using of each other’s bodies. And then I’m gone.
I am getting older. Hell, we all are getting older each day. I missed out on the child-bearing years. Personally, I think I spared a child some couch time in their future. But it’s still a missed opportunity I regret.
I wonder if my future will be a lonely one or if someone will ‘catch this drift’.
Sometimes the fear of dying alone is overwhelming. My friend never understood it when I told him, “I have never lived.”
He fell in love, had children, traveled, worked a fulfilling job and enjoyed LIFE. I spent my years just trying to stay out of the hospital and chasing sanity. Now, I have physical limitations which make it hard to get around. But, it doesn’t mean I won’t try if given the chance.
So, if you’re out there. This 50-year-old goddess is looking and may finally be ready to let someone close enough for a glimmer.
No serial killers or abusers need to apply.
I’ve often wondered why some people take so long to get on with their lives after someone dies. Why they create these “mini” shrines to the person in their houses and visit the person’s grave year after year on the day of their death like it’s a national holiday or something.
I don’t want to remember the day you died! I want to remember your life. I want to talk about you and have the memories of our conversations and love for each other stay with me every day.
In the beginning, my mom wouldn’t mention my brother because she was afraid it would upset me. While I was doing the same thing for her; afraid I would upset her. Thanks to my therapist, I was able to see this and we started talking. It feels good to talk about my brother.
He was a caring and charismatic man. He loved life, a little too much. He was no saint, but he tried. My father did a serious number on him mentally and physically and it wasn’t until maybe 5 years ago that he felt comfortable enough to tell me about it.
That’s a long fucking time! My father was a complete dick. And I don’t believe in that, don’t speak ill of the dead crap. If you were a dick in life, death doesn’t absolve you of all the crap you did and left behind.
My brother never hurt anyone but himself. He was ADHD before they had a name for it, so it was hard. He was in denial about his mental illness, so he self-medicated. Which is something my family has done on both my mother’s and father’s side of my family. Which leads me to believe there was a lot of undiagnosed mental illness. Plus being black back in the 40’s and 50’s wasn’t a blast in the USA.
It’s hard to look at his picture at times. And sometimes I stare at it and caress it and move on from there. My mom says sometimes she hits it. I guess that’s the anger portion. He should have taken better care of himself. And everything was falling into place, he just needed a little more patience. Hard for someone who was in chronic pain, depressed, afraid of therapy and facing their first operation. He was very sick.
In a way, I’m glad he doesn’t have to live through my mother’s passing. Whenever that takes place. He simply wasn’t strong enough, he took my father’s and my sister’s death hard. He would still cry over my sister’s death. I know he would have offed himself after my mother died. He told me so.
I like the way they express ‘condolences’ in Finland. “I take part in your grief”. Makes you feel like the person truly understands what you’re going thru and is there for you. But as my friend said, after awhile they are all platitudes.
Not to put them down, but what do you REALLY say to someone who has lost someone? Secretly, you feel sorry for them, but you can’t go up and say, “I feel sorry for you man, just glad it wasn’t my mom.” So you say, “sorry for your loss” etc. etc. and run home and hug your family and call your relatives.
Understandable. Grief is a personal thing. It takes time and patience and no obsessing. Or else you’re just as dead as the person you’re grieving for in the first place. Feel the pain is what I say. But reliving it every year by visiting the grave, my god how depressing. Dredging up those feelings again.
I am living and working with my issues and diverting my attention away from my health issues with writing and hopefully reading the graphic novel series SANDMAN. While finishing my short story.
Day by day and moment by moment. I can’t look further than that, I’d become overwhelmed.
Thank God for my Meds.
It’s hard sometimes when you remember that someone is gone. But it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of things it’s just an adjustment period.
Before life turns into something you can handle.
He passed in April and now it’s July. The year is almost over and it’ll be his birthday in November. He would’ve been 55, that’s too young.
What helped me survive was writing. I wrote a short story. I’m still struggling with description but once I have that down I hope to get it published. It’s about someone who’s bipolar and some of the difficulties she has gone through. I hope to get it published one day but I’m not rushing myself because then I will become overwhelmed. The Sjogren’s has seemed to have settled which is great. That means my meds are working. Fewer flareups. Knock on wood.
Life is full of ups and downs. I’ve been through my fair share and I imagine there are more up ahead.
But I made the decision to get on living, so this is part of the package. I hope to come back and add some more but right now I’m waiting on a ride and I figured I’d let you know that I’m OK.
The Cake Walk
I’ve always been amazed at those commercials about medications on tv that tell you about how wonderful a medication is and then go thru the list of all possible side effects.
May cause shaking, dropsy, walking or eating in your sleep, drowsiness, scurvy and death.
They always say death the last. Just the possibility of one of the side effects is enough to turn people away from the benefit. And I understand that fear. I’ve seen some pretty scary side effects from psych meds over the past 20+ years. I’ve had a few, not too serious ones.
Like the death mask. It was a dark rash, only on my face, that highlighter my skull. Like a skeleton mask. Not very attractive and not the normal side effect. Of course I stopped taking the med and it went away.
I’ve always made sure that when I was about to have a medication overhaul, I was in the hospital. That way, if the side effect was severe, I was in a safe place.
I’ve been on A LOT of meds since my diagnoses. One doctor joked, ‘do you rattle when you walk’. Meaning, with all the pills rattle around inside me so loud, that you can hear them. Not very funny, and there were times I was ‘over’ medicated. So I had to go back in the hospital for my own safety and they took me off all my meds and started from the beginning.
I’ve been thru all the SSRI’s, only been prescribed one MAOI and had a reaction to that one.
I’m not going to talk about all the side effects I’ve been thru, if you want a greater understanding of meds, here’s a good start.
Mental Health Medications it on the NAMI sight.
I understand that the choice to medicate or not to medicate ones self for a mental health illness is personal. There are people who have told me that I’m pouring poisons down my throat and that they’ve gotten over their problems without meds.
I was like, ‘problems?’. Well you know what, good for you. God bless you. Buddha bless you and have a great day.
But for what ails me, I need meds. For my own mental health, safety and peace of mind. I want to be here. I don’t want to hurt others in any way. Not to say I’m gonna get dangerous, but words can hurt you too; and when I’m angry, I can be pretty hurtful.
I give a pill 2 weeks worth of side effects and if they haven’t gone away, I know it’s not for me. I’ve done the thorazine shuffle and have sat there, like a zombie disconnected from the world. But it’s gone away in time or rather I adjusted.
I’ve never had Tardive dyskinesia, which is rare; because most of those meds which cause it, aren’t used any more. But I’ve seen it and yes, it is scary to have and too watch. But I’ve also seen the person recover, pick up the pieces and move forwards with a medication that worked and got their life back. Working, driving and pursuing love, which was very important to him.
You can’t give up on the pursuit for the right medication. It took me 20 years to finally find one that kept me stable. Looking back, it didn’t exist when I first got ill. But it’s here now and I’m here now, because I just didn’t give up.
It’s no cake walk. And you will be surprised at the amount of strength you have in yourself to just keep moving forwards and trying different meds. Different combinations, or cocktails as I call them.
What works for you, may not work for someone else. We are all individual beings, so why should one med work for all people.
For those of us who choose to medicate, keep this in mind. It may not happen overnight, or it might, but eventually it will happen. You will feel better. And if you do, be conscious enough to realize, it isn’t because it went away, but rather; it’s because you’re medicated and the meds are working. SO KEEP TAKING THEM !!!
Mental Illness isn’t a cold or the flu. The meds aren’t designed to be taken for 7 days and then quit because you’re cured. No.
Its like having diabetes. You have to take them every day too keep the symptoms from reoccurring. So yeah, it’s a life thing for the majority of us.
So yeah, I’m married to my meds. And I know, I am only able to write this, because of the meds. I am stable in this moment. And that’s all that counts.
Not the number of meds or the side effects I’ve been thru or how long it took to get here. But the fact that I am here, and I have many friends who are not. Who didn’t survive the battle and it is an internal battle, fought daily and won by me and my meds.
And my fucking medal is LIFE.
(She drops the mike.)
I let it slip in therapy that I was considering writing a book. Hell, who isn’t. Mine would be a story concerning mental illness and hope.
Although there is much more to it, I’m not gonna give it all away here, in case I’m unable to follow thru. It’s hard sometimes just to remember to post to the blog or call a friend or return an email from someone important.
It’s not that I get busy, but the moods sometimes distract from the task at hand.
I hope I can give at least an hour towards character development etc. and then dive into the story, which I have started already. I just want to make sure I have enough structure.
I can’t promise anything, but I hope I can do it. It would mean so much to me and reflect what its like to be BiPolar without the ‘snake pit’ image portrayed so often in the past.
For those who don’t know the ‘snake pit’ reference. Click here – SNAKE PIT
Not to say it wasn’t a good movie. But the treatment of the mentally ill is different now and still lacking.
I just want to open some eyes and get this story out of my head somehow. I just hope I can do it.
acceptance, anxiety, bipolar, bipolar depression, depression, Long term Therapy, medication, mental illness, mental-health, recovery, remission, schitzoaffective, schitzophrenia, stability, stigma, support, thoughts
I believe in destiny. And fate, which makes me wonder about my present situations in life. Life may not be the greatest, but I tell myself and I know “IT COULD ALWAYS BE WORSE”.
I look at people in other countries; whom, if they were in my present state of life, would be dead. I don’t wonder about “WHY” anymore.
Sometimes, there aren’t any answers. It is what it is. No why’s, it just is.
If you obsess on answers to why you are physically and mentally ill, it will send you out of your mind. And the whole point is to be stable.
I don’t believe in the term ‘recovery’ when applied to mental health. Because you never recover from some illnesses, they can go into states of remission. But you have always be diligent about triggers and over doing things.
So it’s just a quest for stability. In my eyes.
There are people who have gone thru stages of depression and have reached recovery.
But for the BiPolar and Schizophrenic and Schizoaffective etc.; these things never go away. And that is the reason why I believe in taking meds diligently and keeping up with therapy to help support the medication. Like a one, two punch.
There are millions of people who suffer daily. And they suffer in silence, due to fear and stigma and family influences. And that saddens me. Because you are not alone, not by any means. And that’s something to remember.
It’s strange how you can have a down time. When the depression isn’t there and the mania is at bay. You know that somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I’m waiting for another flare up. Which will trigger some anxiety and that’s always fun.
The ‘growth’ on my pituitary gland caused a depression wave from hell.
I wish I could just enjoy what I have now. Live ‘in’ the moment as they tell you. But is that lying to yourself?
I have to always be on my toes for triggers and symptom and all the other stuff. Leaves you on pins and needles at times.
But I’m trying to forget all that and just enjoy the peace. It’s not as easy as it sounds, I think it kinda leaves you blind sighted to things and you can’t see them coming until it’s too late.
But I don’t want to live on a tightrope.
So, for today; I will eat what’s left of my birthday cake. Read Locke & Key, the graphic novel. And try to get some rest. It’s finally getting cold around here.
I guess that’s living in the moment. Tomorrow can take care of tomorrow.
But I won’t be blind to my environment and what may effect me negatively.
Today is a simple blessing and I accept it without reserve.
I have no way of knowing how it came to be. But it bothers me. To know that there is something, in or near my brain. Just sitting there, doing nothing but secreting ‘crap’ into my head.
One doctor a long time ago, told me that our bodies ‘grow things’ for no reason. Is this the case here?
I had a cancer scare with the thyroid. I’ve got the mental illness and it makes me wonder if this could be the cause for the mood shifts. If by taking this hormone, Cabergoline, will improve my BiPolar status or get rid of it.
There is a scariness to this, cause I can hardly remember life before BiPolar, it’s been over 20 years and I don’t think I would know what to do, maybe I could just ‘Live again’.
But, I doubt this dream.
I found some info from the Mayo Clinic and I have had many of the symptoms, including infertility and eye sight problems. Going to see the eye doctor real soon. More tests.
I’m just glad that surgery is not part of it, I’m done with surgery. Having gone thru so many operations.
There is a possibility that if it shrinks and my prolactin levels stay low for over 2 years, I can taper off the pill.
I kinda thought I was stuck with it for life. The nausea, anxiety and tiredness that is causes. At least it’s only once a week.
Otherwise, it’s another dodge for me. But I’m still scared. I don’t like this feeling at all, a sort of waiting for the next shoe to drop, type thing.
For the curious, here’s the link;