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Category Archives: Bipolar

Being Happy…


 

 

Sunshine through the blind

 

Today is a good day. It is a bright day outside and the sun shines into my bedroom and on my pillow. I wake slowly and blink a few times, seeing it is time to get up. I know my goals for today are only one.

 

Be Happy

Be Happy.

 

I am coming out of a down time, and it is good news. It is good news because I am starting to notice my downs and ups by myself. I am starting to know what triggers downs and ups. And this time, I was right. I didn’t need to panic, or change what I was doing. I just got to trust that I would come out of it, and I did. That’s the good news.

 

I get showered and dressed, get breakfast and get my daughter up. I realize that I did all of that, and in doing it at all, I am winning. Just another sign that I’m on the up and up. Later in the day, I am up and around my kitchen, puttering and sweeping. Then off to the store and back again. Yep, I’m winning. I’m happy to be living life again.

 

It’s funny that sometimes doing the mundane can bring a smile to my face as easy as watching a comedy, or something else that is made to be funny. Sometimes just being in life is fun, and Happy.

 

English: T-shirt in process of being tie-dyed ...

 

Hmmm. So some other happy things that happened today are that my son and his fiance came over. They came to visit when they could be off doing other things. They are still visiting, and it’s been 4 hours. In that time, the women-folk tie-dyed t-shirts, made some nacho’s for all of us, and watched TV. The men-folk worked in the wood shop, fixing a table and raising up my sofa’s. (They were just too low. I hated it.)

 

It’s been a busy-ish, social, and mundane day.  And I loved it all. As it is winding down I realize that I achieved my goal: Be Happy. Thank goodness that I could be happy today. Thank goodness I had the strength and attitude to get up out of bed. It’s how I know I am done with my down-ness.

 

Woot.

 

 

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The Good News About Some Crappy Stuff…


So here is another New Years Post. I’m not reading the ones that are out there because they seem very … fluffy. Fluff has a place. I write a lot of Fluff. Just not today. Today is a day that is me letting out a breath that I’ve held on to for the entire year. Lots of chaos happened this year. Lots of hard times, and “Holy Crap! How Did That Happen???”-ness. We struggled with medical bills this year. We always stayed on top, but we juggled A LOT. Why medical bills? Well, I was told that I have Bipolar, as I have said. I got to deal with medication. And a ton of Dr. Appointments. Thus the bills for medication and appointments. BLECH. But, I also learned that I wasn’t broken. I have huge up’s and down’s, still, but I’m not broken. ( I sure feel like it sometimes.) My husband got to recognize and aid me in the triggers that cause the up’s and down’s, and my grey-ness that happens in between.  That’s a lot of chaos for him too.  Our neighborhood struggled with the kidnapping and death of a child, and it took its toll.   And then there was the regular chaos that happens because that’s life.

What’s the point?

The point is that I was holding my breath, kind of, throughout the year, waiting for another thing to happen. I was waiting for more and more things to pile up, and I became a bit numb through the year. So I’m asking myself, “Do I have another year like this to look forward to? What else can possibly happen?”

As I write, I realize that, yes, more can happen.  More can happen because LIFE happens. This is life. This is what happens when I’m not on vacation, or asleep, or watching TV. It’s what happens in between appointments, and phone calls, and things to look forward to.  Sometimes life has terrible things go on. Things that just don’t seem to have a silver lining. And yet, bad things happen to good people. And bad people, for that matter. But as long as I am looking to dodge the bad things, I am looking to dodge life. And I simply can’t do it. In fact, I don’t, when I think about it, want to dodge life. Because life is full of the good stuff, too.

This year was full of good things. The good things came, sometimes, from the lessons learned when bad stuff happened. For instance, all the Dr. bills. A TON OF THEM!!!!!! The good news is that somehow, we paid them every month. And that took us learning, or exercising self-discipline with our money.  Something we really didn’t need or want to do before. We are breaking the habit of spending it all because we can. We now know how to budget and save. It’s only taken us 21 years, 🙂 But I don’t know that we would have learned this lesson any other way. So it’s good news.

Another thing is, believe it or not, with the lessons that have come from me living with Bipolar. I am learning to rely on other people’s ideas and advice. If you know me, you will know that I happen to have a hard time with anyone else but me being right. 🙂  Again, I don’t know that I could learn this kind of humility any other way. So I am thankful for this good news.

Lastly, I am noticing that bad things that happen, things that make me not want to even go outside my front door anymore… those things don’t last. The horrible things that I think will never go away…. they do diminish, a bit, with time. With a community, or a family, pulling together, trust can be built again. The real pain of crying and crying as I’m sick over worrying about that little girl and her family, and the heartache of knowing she won’t be with them anymore…… it’s painful.

And…

And, eventually, my body served me by stopping the tears. Letting me breathe and move and live life in all the minute details that it takes to run a household. I guess what I’m saying is that even with the pain, life let me move forward. Painfully, sometimes, but move forward, nonetheless.  I still grieve for a family and their loss. I still grieve for my change in life, for heaven’s sake, but life is letting me move forward. And that is the good news that goes with this year.

There are fireworks tonight. They will celebrate the end of my hard year, and the end of my blessed year. Ok, and the beginning of the New Year. I guess if next year turns out to be like this year, what I hope is to recognize the blessings that come from the lessons learned.  🙂  Happy New Year!

 

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Where The Hell Did I Put My Passion?


I have been in a Grey Spot in life lately. No ups, but no downs. And you know what?  That has been kind of crappy. I am used to battling ups that are too up, and downs that are too down. It’s what I’ve been used to, so life would revolve around that.  and everyone has ups and downs.  So I was busy doing life in what I thought everyone’s norm was. On my up days, I would write, and exercise, and eat what I wanted, and feel fantastic about myself. I could do no wrong! I was lucky and fortunate and amazing. Granted, I would not think of any consequences, either, and there were ALWAYS consequences. Now on my downs, it was a complete opposite. all in my head, i could do nothing right. I was too big, too short, too….everything. And yet, not enough. So I wanted to get off that roller coaster. And I have, for the most part.  It is better.

Except for The Grey-ness.

I miss the ups. Terribly.  The Amazing-ness. That was… Amazing. It is what made writing easy for me. And I miss the easy part of writing. Right now I am writing because I told myself to write just 15 minutes a day. And even this part is hard.  All of a sudden nothing I am writing about is important enough to put down.  But, I’m writing about it anyway. So I hate the grey of the in between ups and downs. Even though it is a safe zone. PSHAW. A safe zone. For others, as well as myself.  It makes me angry every time I think about it!  I don’t want to be out of control, at all, but I MISS MY PASSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  my caring deeply for things. I just don’t have it like I used to, and yet I hear that I’m doing great. from a therapist. from a doctor, from my husband.  And they also say they don’t want me to feel grey. but here I am. grey and safe. and passionless.  HELP! how the hell do I find my passion without going over the line?

Is there a way to stay away from the extremes and find my passion, or is it something I just have to sacrifice to be acceptable to live with. If it was just me, I would almost want to go back to the way I was, but I have to think about my family and my friends, and what they have to put up with for me to live like that. They had to deal with the consequences. Not worth it.

What’s not worth it to me is being just meh.  I am mostly ok. really.  I am not out of control. And that has its own satisfaction.  I really only notice that I am passionless when I go to write. I think of opening the computer and, “Meh. What do I have to say that is important enough to write about? Will I care about it? Will others?”  That’s what I say.  And then I distract myself with other things. I am pretty sad about this. And I have been pretty stuck in this space.

As I write, I find the stirrings of …. something …. again. 🙂

Well, I guess that now I will write anyway. Not for anyone else, but for me. And maybe that is the start of finding my passion again. Maybe I get to build a passion. That may bring me peace in this area. Who knows?  I guess I will, here in a bit.

 

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The Cheese Puffs Are The Schnizz…


 

 

Cheese puffs

 

 

I love cheese puffs.

 

 

 

I use them as rewards for me, because although they are not healthy, they taste like heaven in a puffy cocoon. I suck on them and can feel them just crush down into my mouth, the air going out of them. All that is left is the flavor that I savor as I finish it up and swallow. Ew? Well, to each her own. That is my reward that lets me do things like …. mop a floor, or write a story, or even perk up when I have made a mistake.

 

 

 

Because mistakes are horrible for me. I happen to believe that I am not allowed to make mistakes. 

 

 

 

I know, no one is perfect, but apparently, this only applies to other people. I am not supposed to make mistakes. I am supposed to do things correctly the first time, and be amazing all the time. I honestly have believed that. So I am very hard on myself when I have a human moment. Sometimes I wallow in it for a time.

 

 

 

So my cheese puffs are there to say, “Dur, it’s just a mistake. Get over it. Other people have moved on, and don’t give a crap about your mistake anymore. No one is thinking about you but you. Have a puff and move on. Sheesh.”  That’s what cheese puffs are about.  Which is why they are so vital to me when I make a mistake with the Bipolar part of my life.

 

 

 

I am not perfect while living with Bipolar. I have to admit it in order for me to move forward with it. It is my human moment part in my life, and it comes up at the most unexpected times.  Like when I stay up too late. Or when I don’t eat correctly, or when I forget to take my medicine with me on a trip. Or when I take my medicine late.  Silly things that have always been part of my life, and have been just part of me being a nerd are now things that trigger Bipolar Nerd.

It’s like my Nerd is magnified 100 times when Bipolar is in charge for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

English: Typical Dollar Store, San Francisco

English: Typical Dollar Store, San Francisco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like… Not caring if I wear matching shoes. (Erp.)  Or, spending a large amount of money on things that are just silly, from the Variety Store (it seems very important to buy them at the time.)  Or, talking on the phone, texting on the same phone, biting my nails, and forgetting to care if I stop at a Stop sign.  (Cause yeah, I decide to drive while doing all that earlier stuff as well. I DO stop at the sign, but I just don’t care about it.)  Scary? Yes.  Especially because it all seems perfectly normal when I am having an especially …human… bipolar day.  Mistakes could be made when I don’t stay within certain Bipolar rules. So you can see why making a mistake is something I just can’t afford.

 

 

 

 

And that is hard for me to admit, ergo the Puffs.

 

 

 

I just figured out that I cannot do this alone. You know, living with Bipolar, and living life. So I take medicine and the Bipolar days become Sharon Days. Woot. But I also know that I cannot live life without ……. living life.  I don’t do well with doom and gloom. In fact, my journey is currently consisting of finding the humor in the quirks that happen because of this new development. You know, being in the roller coaster of the ups and downs that are part of living with Bipolar.

 

 

 

So here are some funny things about me when I have an up. I mean a really…up…up.  I happen to get a bit narcissistic. It looks like me looking in the mirror a lot, fixing my hair a lot, and taking five pics of me to get just the right pic so I can post it in Facebook, and make it look like it was a casual look in the camera.  On a normal day, I’d look 3 time in the mirror and take the pic as is.   But on an … UP… day, I will look at myself in the mirror 3 times as many times in a day, but I can’t seem to concentrate on what  I’m looking at, so I will look at my nose for 1 time, and my ear for another, and maybe my mouth. But I cannot look at my entire face or body because, WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?

 

 

 

Quarters

Quarters (Photo credit: Jennuine Captures)

 

 

 

 

In fact that is my entire life on that day.  I am moving so fast that I don’t have time to think because WHO HAS TIME TO PONDER?  I will see a quarter on the ground and stoop to pick it up, but because i am going fast, I don’t have time to stop and pick it up with my fingers, so I miss it.  I stop, turn around and go for it again, and miss it again. This time, surprised that it isn’t in my hand, i squat down so i can get a good grip, and again, I miss it.  Now i’m a bit frustrated, and I think I will simply scoop it up with my hand. Nope. I get a bit of grime from the ground, but no quarter. I finally move on because i am sure that somehow the quarter has been glued to the ground and i am on candid camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My daughter is watching the thing perplexedly, comes by behind me, and picks up the quarter for me to see. She is 5 then.  I have been shown up by a five-year old. 🙂 that’s funny.

 

 

 

I need Cheese Puffs in my life to let me know that I have a reward for when my shoes do match, as well. Or for when I recognize that I am getting a bit too …UP…, and I just skip driving altogether. Or when I fold socks and stay put instead of spending money on dollar store toys.

 

 

 

Or for when I get the quarter on the first try. 🙂

 

 

 

I could get disturbed by what the …ups… could do in my life, and I have been. But I am at a place now where I am in control of it, and 99.9 percent of the time you will never know that I do battle with the Bipolar part of my life. I am safe to drive, to shop, and to dress myself. And, I guess, to write a bit. That is a win.

 

 

 

Now where did I put my bag of Cheese Puffs?

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Talk About The Untalkable…


TABOO: Excluded or forbidden from use, approach, or mention. IE: A Taboo Subject. A Taboo Culture.

Long_ear_hair.jpg

Many things are Taboo in life to me. Cannibalism, Long Ear Hair, and Walking Around Naked…Those are some taboo’s that I grew up just knowing about, long before I knew there was a word for me avoiding them.  It is simply a fact in life that I would not think to ….think…. of trying it. You see what I’m sayin? Now I own something taboo.  It’s called A Condition.

For me, Conditions are things that sometimes others have to deal with. Other people, got it? Not me. I don’t get conditions. I didn’t grow up in a family that had Conditions. My mom did not ever seem to get sick, my dad didn’t miss any work, and us kids had to go to school rain, shine, or tidal wave. Vitamins were just admitting weakness, so fresh air and an aspirin periodically was the remedy for everything from a sore tooth to a bellyache. I don’t think Conditions were “allowed”. Period. (My family only die of old age, in the 95-year-old range, for crying out loud!)  Conditions were just not a thing that I thought to think about.

So obviously, to me, A Condition now would ruin the “Healthy” badge of honor, and THAT doesn’t make me very happy. In fact, I have just spent the last 6 months of my life with my fingers in my ears, my eyes closed, singing a song that goes, “LA LA LA. LA LA LAAH.” (This was my way of letting it know that I was not interested.  Not a’tall.)  I don’t appreciate it. I don’t want to think about it, and I have assumed that if I ignore it, it will be mis-labeled and fall into a hole somewhere.

That’s not working. None of it is working. It’s time to admit that I should talk about the untalkable. My taboo.

So it’s called Bipolar 2.

What Is Bipolar II Disorder? (Boring medical definition to follow…)

Bipolar II disorder (pronounced “bipolar two”) is a form of mental illness. Bipolar II is similar to bipolar I disorder, with moods cycling between high and low over time.

However, in bipolar II disorder, the “up” moods never reach full-on mania. The less-intense elevated moods in bipolar II disorder are called hypomanic episodes, or hypomania.

A person affected by bipolar II disorder has had at least one hypomanic episode in life. Most people with bipolar II disorder also suffer from episodes of depression. This is where the term “manic depression” comes from.

In between episodes of hypomania and depression, many people with bipolar II disorder live normal lives.

 -Web MD (My go-to for boring medical definitions)

I got really ticked when I was diagnosed with this because what it meant to me is that my “Life Of The Party” personality was not based on my charm and charisma. That it was based on my condition being out of whack. And, when I had so much sadness going on, it wasn’t due to life being so, so, so overwhelming, it was simply that my condition was doing it’s best to let me know it was in charge.

Bummer.

Even worse to me was that I would need to get some medicine to help regulate my moods.  That was a kick in the shin.  How dare I be sick? How dare there be anything wrong with me? I mean, I thought to myself one night as I was feeling particularly sorry for myself, I don’t smoke or drink, I have been to church, and I look out for my neighbors. And this is how I am rewarded???

Waah.

So I figured I would “kick this thing” with vitamins and fresh air. (Around month 2 after being told I had this pesky … thing…)  I would smile when I wanted to cry, and be still when I wanted to be the life of the party.  That would do it, right? Nope. At month 3 I noticed that I didn’t need sleep at all, and it was perfectly normal for my skin to be all prickly.  At month 4, I noticed that things like Church, Family, and Appointments were not really important to me. And after 6 months of me having ups and downs, I finally realized for myself what was going on in my life.  It kind of sucked for my kids and husband. And myself.  So here I am, writing about it because… it’s real.  It’s not going away, and it’s time to take care of it.

I’m looking for input about this thing.  I spent 6 months being a non-believer and assuming it was a diagnosis for others.  Now I’m sure this is what is going on in my life, and has been a part of my life since I was a teen, at least. And… I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that I interact with, that has it too.

So how to talk about the untalkable, the taboo, the condition?  I guess I just started. Now it’s up to me to find humor in my life, just like before, but without the editing. Life Is Not Tidy, but it can be amusing.  That’s what I’ll look for.

 

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