Tag Archive | mom

…And They’re Off!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, no one I’m close to understands the way my mind works. On one hand, I find this fact comforting. If they knew what went on between my ears, they’d probably head for the hills. Hell, I want to head for the hills sometimes.

On the other hand, this leaves me feeling impossibly lonely most days. How do you explain to someone who’s not bipolar what it’s like to deal with it? And if you figure out how to do that, will they still want to be around you?

I’m at the point where I don’t care who knows what it’s like to be in my head. I’m going to break it down for you now.

Disclaimer: Mom, if you happen to read this, yes I know I’m “over-sharing” on the internet. Yes, I know potential employers can read this. Hopefully I will find a profession where my candid nature and creativity will be celebrated, not stifled. I love you and appreciate your concern, but it’s more important to me that the people I love understand me.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to it. Have you ever had several people talk to you all at once? If you have children, you probably know what I mean. It makes your head spin, right? Now, imagine that this happens all the time, but it’s in your head. Sometimes it’s normal conversation, sometimes it’s intelligible, sometimes it’s negative and makes you want to cry, but it’s there. No one else can hear these things but you. Sometimes it’s not voices you hear, but sounds like a doorbell or an animal.

Now, I can usually discern “the voices” from real people, but the sounds are more difficult. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked someone, “Did you hear that?” only to find out that whatever I heard was in my head.

I also see things that aren’t there. This doesn’t happen nearly as often as my auditory hallucinations, but it can be alarming. Sometimes it’s something simple, like a figure moving in my peripheral vision. Other times, it’s a complete person right in my center of vision. My mind likes to put my dad in front of me a lot. My dad passed away almost 5 years ago. You can imagine that might be a little upsetting. Not quite as upsetting as the time I “saw” my leg split open and bugs pour out, though. *shivers* I still get the heebie jeebies thinking about that.

How many of you like horror movies? The feeling of adrenaline pumping through your veins can be pretty exhilarating. It’s not so much fun though when the horror movie’s inside your head. When I’m going through some of my worst states, I have horrific images that randomly pop into my mind, causing me to feel ill. I also get scared sometimes for no reason at all. My heart will leap into my throat, my heart will start pounding, and the fright or flight response will kick in. It’s more than just a little uncomfortable.

My impulses are pretty well under control, but I still get them quite often. When I’m feeling “off”, I tend to have more issues controlling them. My impulses can be financial; wanting to spend money I really shouldn’t. I can also get the urge to hurt myself or others. The urge to run away is a strong one. I usually fight these all off pretty well, but sometimes I slip when it comes to the money.

I isolate. I hide because I’m afraid people will see my crazy. Some days, I glue myself to my bed. Yes, I can be lazy and I do have the tendency to procrastinate, but when I stay in bed like that, it’s usually because I’m not feeling like I can control my impulses. I’m afraid that people will see me for how I really am and they won’t like me anymore. I’m afraid I went be able to control my anger and I’ll hurt someone. I’m afraid I won’t be able to pay rent next month because I have the urge to blow every dime in my bank account.

The medication my doctor has me on makes things a little more bearable, but all of my “symptoms” are still there. I’ve been on several different medications. They all had pretty icky side effects. Extreme bitchiness, exhaustion, facial tics, and being totally out of it are all side effects I’ve experienced. I have to go back to see the doctor in a couple weeks. He’s made mention of possibly trying me on something new. This thought terrifies me. We tried several different medicines over the course of a year before we found that lithium seems to work well for me. I really don’t want to play that game again. What must be done will be, even if it doesn’t thrill me. I guess it can’t be worse than what I’m already going through, right?

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Happy Crappy Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. Yay, right? Meh, not so much.

Sunday, my mom went into the hospital with a suspected heart attack. Terrified doesn’t even cover it. To make matters worse, she went to the same hospital where my dad died… of a heart attack. Thankfully, mom is home now and on the mend, but the emotions that were stirred up are still very present. I’m glad she didn’t leave us because that would have made my birthday that much crappier.

Being that I was so worried about my mom, focusing on homework proved pretty much impossible. Anxiety began to kick in ever time I picked up a book. I did manage to get a few things done, but with the load of work I had, it barely made a dent.

Don’t get me wrong, my birthday wasn’t all bad. My wonderful kiddos made me birthday cards and helped around the house and my boyfriend brought home a turtle ice cream cake. The boyfriend and I also had some time to snuggle and talk, which is always great. The day was difficult because my eldest was really sick. She got hit with the worst stomach flu I’ve ever seen. We were worried that maybe she may have severe food poisoning, so I called the answering service. They recommended that we take her, guess where. That’s right. The ER.

Everything checked out okay, so we were able to go home. She’s still really ill and I feel horrible for being at school while she’s home sick like this. I know she’s a “big girl” and can take care of herself, but I still feel bad.

I have the flu now as well. Not the stomach bug, bug the good, old fashioned flu. To top off my misery, I fell on ice when leaving for school today. Hurray for crappy days.

Crazier than Nutter Butters

I really need to start taking notes when I get an idea for a blog. I had a great idea the other day when my craziness was at an all time high and now that some semblance of sanity has set in again, it’s gone. Poof. Like a fart in the wind. Oh well. Maybe inspiration will strike again soon.

Yes, I went crazy. I’m actually still kind of there, but just to a lesser degree. I managed to keep myself out of the hospital, but it took a fair amount of Xanax and a lot of patience on the parts of those around me. I’m not sure what caused this most recent decent into the darkness, but I know a few things that probably didn’t help. I find self reflection is one of the best ways to keep myself sane (or at least maintain the illusion of sanity). By acknowledging where I slipped up, I can do my best to avoid it in the future. So, here’s where I went wrong this time.

I stopped seeing my counselor. I see my shrinky dink (as I have so affectionately coined her) on campus. She’s great. She’s also ON CAMPUS. I’m a mom of five, a college student, and busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. That convenience factor is HUGE for me. It’s been winter break for the last six weeks and in that time, I’ve managed to only see her once. During the semester, we had weekly visits. It made sense. I was there practically every day anyways. Might as well. At the end of the semester, we decided it might be easier to meet every other week. That’s where I went wrong.

Any break from routine screws me up in the worst kind of way. This isn’t to say that I have every second of my like scheduled out. Oh HELL no! I would die if I had to live by a strict schedule. I do better with patterns though. A certain level of predictability. I usually try to schedule any appointments on the same days of the week and around the same times because then I can think, “Oh, it’s Thursday, appointment day. Do I have any today?”  That’s the kind of routine I strive for.

So, being used to a weekly schedule and switching to every other week may not have been disastrous had my whole entire routine not changed as well. I’m yammering on here though. I think you get the point. Lots of changes in routine all at once, bad. Little changes so things don’t fall through the cracks in my cerebral cortex causing me to loose my nutter butters, good. Mmmm. Nutter Butter. Aauuuhhhhh.. (Drools like Homer Simpson)

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Peanut buttery deliciousness, oh how I covet thee

I was also denying myself my car therapy time. For those of you newbies -Yes you in the back, it’s nice to see a new face! Welcome to my blog. Like it says, buckle up and savor the crazy- my car time is what I like to refer to as “self therapy”. I sing, I dance, I cry, scream, talk to myself in different foreign accents, whatever I need to do to let the crazy out in one of my most sacred spaces; my car. Yes, sometimes those who drive along side me get one hell of a show, but I don’t really care. Sometimes I’ll even interact with them, doing things that I know will make them look at me like I’m batty. I suppose it’s a bit like throwing a temper tantrum when I do that. I’m getting attention for all the wrong reasons at that point, but it’s attention so… you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.

As you can see, my car time is whatever I need it to be. It’s very cathartic to have that release to let the nonsense out. Trust me, there’s a lot of it to be let out too. Since I haven’t been doing so, it’s been bubbling under the surface waiting to explode. That’s what it did too. All over my family. In some ways, I’m glad it was them because they love me and will forgive me. In other way, I feel beyond shitty for doing that, yet again.

As far as the bipolar scale goes, things could probably be worse. On the manic side of bipolar disorder, there often comes an impulse control issue. Many bipolar people have issues with drugs, alcohol, gambling, infidelity, spending unwisely, binge eating, disappearing and other behaviors that involve poor judgement. Then, there’s the depression side of things to add on to that. I’ve been lucky enough to only experience a few of those and keep the majority of issues I’ve had to a level of minimal disruption compared to some of what I’ve seen others go through. It hasn’t been easy, I assure you, but I’ve done it.

There’s more to my story of this past week, but I don’t really know that it’s relevant right now. I want to give you the link to a website where people with bipolar and other mental illness can reach out to find help and connect with others who are in the same boat. I hear they have some great support groups. I’m going to look into one in my area.

I hope that helps anyone who needs it. I hope it helps me.

Advice from the Alphabet

I came across a writing prompt that encourages people to use each letter of the alphabet to write a piece of advice. Always up for a challenge, I decided I’d give it a shot. Here’s what I came up with. I hope you all enjoy. (Please forgive X, Y, and Z. They were harder than I thought.)

Ask questions

Bask in the sun

Connect with those who uplift you

Dance like no one’s watching

Expect the unexpected

Find beauty in all things

Giggle often

Hold your head high always

Ignite the passions within

Jump for joy

Kill ’em with kindness

Love like you won’t be hurt

Make time for those you love

Never give up on your dreams

Open you mind and heart

Practice patience

Quitting is not an option

Reach out and help someone

Slow down and enjoy the little things

Think before you speak

Understand a different point of view

Vocalize your needs to others

Welcome change

eXpand your horizions

Yolo

Zen

Put Your Tray Tables Up and…

I have never been on an airplane. Ever. In my 29 years on this earth, my feet have remained on terra firma. With the exception of riding my beloved roller coasters-and not the emotional type, thank you-I have sadly remained earth bound. Le sigh…

I have, however, watched enough movies to be familiar with the little monologue that the stewardess has to give before take off. Fasten your seat belts, yadda yadda, emergency exits are located, blah blah blah, oxygen masks will fall from the sky, so on and so forth. (Maybe I should get a job as a stewardess. I did a damn fine job with that if I do say so myself)

Where I stopped in the speech is pivotal to today’s ramblings. The oxygen masks. More importantly how they are to be used. When they address this on a plane, there is always a disclaimer. Put your own mask on before you help someone who is with you and unable to. Namely children. I realized only a year or two ago that this can apply to more than just airplanes and oxygen masks.

Now, I’m about to get deep and philosophical, so if that’s not your thing, the emergency exits are located here, here, and here. Have a nice day and thank you for flying BipolarAir.

For those of you who remain, lets continue. As I was saying.. there’s a reason why this is part of their speech. If you don’t put the mask on yourself first, you’re no good to the people who depend on you. This applies to my life in another way.

The best way for me to recharge my battery is to have some time away from my kids. I struggled with that idea for a long time. What kind of mother wants to have time away from her beautiful, precious, wonderful children? (That’s only half sarcasm. They are all of those things.. most of the time) This notion was enforced by my ex husband every time I would talk to him about a night or weekend away. The kids need us. We should do something with them instead. Blah blah blah. Only, his idea of doing something with the kids was doing nothing with them. I felt guilty that I needed time away and our twice a year dinner and a movie bit got old really fast.

For a very long time, I remained in that mindset. Anything I desired was trumped by the kids needs and eventually his needs. I wound up at the bottom, both metaphorically and emotionally. I was miserable and everyone knew it. Well, everyone in my house anyways. They knew I was miserable because I was making them feel the same.

Then… he left. *whoosah* Things fell apart. A lot. Then they got better. I was getting time away when they were with him. At first, I would do nothing more than cry when they were gone. My best friend realized how down I was and started dragging me out with her. She saved me from one of my darkest times. This simple push set into motion a series of changes in me.

I had the chance to be me a little more. I found myself again. I decided to go for my goals and dreams that I had put off for so long. I became me instead of just being mom and  housewife. It’s been wonderful.

I am a better mom now in many respects. I’m better in many areas, actually. This weekend, my kiddos are gone. The boyfriend and I are enjoying some one on one time. It’s wonderful. As much as I miss my munchkins, I know that when they come back, I’ll be a better momma to them because of the time apart.