A Little Appreciation ♥

 

 

I just wanted to take a moment and tell you, my followers, my friends, that I appreciate your support very much. Whether you follow me because you enjoy my poetry, my honesty when it comes to my own personal struggles, my posts about mental health, or you just thought “bipolarmuse” was a cool blog name… I appreciate every single reader. I appreciate that you come and read, even if only once in a while, because my blog…and my journey… has been affected by all of you. I have met some lovely people who have lifted me up when I was very low… and I have met others through my email who share pieces of themselves privately with me and I am lifted up by being able to offer support and a voice to those who are silent.

I can’t tell you how many times my heart leaps with happiness when I get a random email from someone who tells me that I have made a difference to them… or that my blog reaches further than I thought it ever would. (Read Here about that).
Or when someone takes the time to read my long posts and then emails me with poetic versions of my writings…. or comments with a poem that was inspired by what they just read. The comments and the input I receive is very touching and I often feel that my comments are very inadequate in comparison.

I am feeling happy… in a wonderful place… and I have my big kids here to wrap my arms around and my little babies are always in the forefront of my heart and mind. There have been ups and downs, as you have witnessed…and I have shared this journey here on wordpress since December 2011 even though I have entries as far back as April 2010. I am elated when you tell me that you have seen growth in the short time that you have followed my blog… Growth is progress.

Thank you all for being here along the way. The twists, turns, ups, and downs….all inevitable… thank you for sharing this ride with me. You put a smile on my face. ♥

Melancholy Part 2

 

Over the years I have used many “self-help” books to “cure” me from my mood disorders. I have stated before that I was in denial for quite some time that my problem was deeper than I truly let on. I am going to give you a little more in depth timeline of how my mental health changed over time.

 

When I turned 18 I was elated to be moving out of my home with my parents and in with my boyfriend who became my husband a month later. We started dating when I was 15 and for the most part, my depression seemed to subside a bit. It wasn’t always in the forefront of my mind. I had my 2 oldest children very young and very close together. I was 18 when my first was born and 19 when my second was born. They are quite literally 11 months and 11 days apart. depression seemed to stay away for a while even though I had the “blues” after each pregnancy. I am very fortunate because I absolutely loved being pregnant and had very easy deliveries. My body was made for having children. I kept reading books that said to be on the lookout for postpartum depression… which I didn’t think I had. After my second child was born, I went to the doctor for “restlessness”, “irritability”, “insomnia” (the babies slept fine, I was the one who couldn’t sleep), and feeling “down” even though everything was going great. The doctor told me to start exercising, take vitamins, and have a nightly routine to help with the insomnia. Immediately I began to exercise. It was something I needed to do for health and from what the doctor said, for mental health as well.

I began to notice a pattern…. I would become addicted to something for a short time and then switch it off for another addiction. Not drugs or alcohol… just activities or reading…hobbies… simple things like that. Exercise became my addiction. I worked out 7 days a week if I could… 6 for sure. And sometimes, after going to the gym, I would go hoe and workout there. It was wonderful in many ways… I got into amazing shape, felt my mood lift a bit, and slept quite well.

Out of the blue, I decided to chop my hair off. This wasn’t new to me though because I always grew it long and then chopped it off. Well, this new short style seemed to transform me…or I was transforming regardless. I finally grew into myself so to speak and got a-lot of attention from the opposite sex. This started to be a problem and I came up with “solutions” that were not appropriate for a marriage. Basically, I was in the throes of my first hypo-manic/manic attack. Literally a couple months into the mania, I was divorced. I didn’t have custody of my kids and I spiraled from there.

I always fluctuated from severe depression to grand hopes of going to school and becoming something great… I wanted to make great money and share custody of my children. This Grand thought prompted my 1st move to AZ where I lived with my Mom and tried to go to school. My grades were great… my attendance… not so great. I eventually got kicked out of school because of attendance. My plan failed. Again, I was back at square one… my babies were not with me… I had zero skills for a good job… all I could think of was getting into a horrific car crash with a diesel truck. It consumed my thoughts.

Then I met “B”… the bipolar lunatic with severe suicidal tendencies… and I fell in love with. MADLY. We were a toxic combo. My depression became even more severe because I was constantly in a state of worry that “B” would kill himself. I made my first Psychiatric appointment in the year 2000… after I was taking a bath in which all I could think of was drowning myself in it.
I saw the PDoc the very next day.

I sat in this Psychiatric groups office that was trendy, visually stimulating, and full of people. I was the only one unable to stop crying. I filled out a lengthy questionnaire and met with my Doc for about 15 minutes. He never “told” me a diagnosis, though he did say that based on how long depression had been a part of my life, I had “major” depression. He handed me samples of Serzone and a script and out the door I went. The Serzone caused crazy visual side affects that I called him instantly about… so my prescription was changed to Wellbutrin Sr150 twice daily. It was my miracle drug at that time. But that too changed…

Melancholy~ Part 1

Over the years I have used many “self-help” books to “cure” me from my mood disorders. I have stated before that I was in denial for quite some time that my problem was deeper than I truly let on. I am going to give you a little more in depth timeline of how my mental health changed over time.

~

As a preteen/teenager I was the type of kid who had a few friends… more acquaintances than anything else. I was average looking… meek… yet I could be the class clown at the flip of a switch. I wore mostly dark clothes though I wouldn’t say that I was “gothic” or “emo”, as they call it these days. Black was simply my favorite color and I never realized that it was a reflection of my inner thoughts until I was approached by one of my Jr. High School teachers named Mrs. King. A woman I will never forget. She pulled me aside one day and asked me if I was OK because she was concerned about me. I was wearing more black clothing than previously and I seemed sullen to her. She was the only person in my entire life that looked at me and truly could “see” me. Of course, I broke down and cried to her about my troubles at home, and she shared with me that she was married to an alcoholic and had been for more than 30yrs. She told me that she understood and that I was not alone…and she let me know I could speak to her at any time…even offering her telephone number to me. She could see in me what others couldn’t or would not acknowledge. At that time in my life, my Mom and Step-Dad drank a-lot and it was normal for intense arguments and screaming to take place on a whim. Classic rock music would be playing, often too loud for my sister and I to fall asleep but we would often pretend to be sleeping so we were not included in the arguments that always took place. They were not happy drunks to say the least. When on a happy buzz, everything was fun and great…but as the day and night wore on, the buzz became evil and toxic. And more often than not, we would be brought into the middle of the insanity where words were like daggers and apologies would often come the next day when sobriety, embarrassment, and shame came together…where eye contact didn’t take place because if you looked into my eyes or my sisters eyes, the intense pain, anger, and resentment was too much for the parental figures to bare.

Depression came to me when I realized that I was a separate entity from my parents. When I realized that my childhood was not what it should have been. When I realized that people had no right to invade my personal space, yet did (sexual abuse). When I realized that I was a teenager that had to take care of weekend alcoholic parents. When I realized that the turbulent lifestyle I was surrounded in was not healthy. When I was aware that my real Dad had no right to physically harm my Mom and our pets. When I realized that the drugs/alcohol/rock & roll childhood I lived was not normal. I could go on and on. Lets just sum it up and say my childhood was not pretty.

***Side note–-I must say though…and feel it truly in my heart… that my Mom did the absolute best she could with the skills she had at that time. She was a young Mom and gave birth to me just days after her 17th birthday. Happily, she is no longer the same person I described above. I learned so much in therapy these last 3 years, but I learned the most within the last 15 months. During DBT (Dialectical behavior therapy). I had an amazing therapist named Anne. She absolutely rocked… she was honest, to the point, and didn’t sugar coat anything. From this therapy, I learned to stop pointing fingers at the past and also learned that the majority of us don’t wake up and say, “I am going to make the worst mistake of my life today.” Decisions are made in the moment, some good…some bad… some the lesser of 2 evils, but most are made with good intentions. I also learned a great deal about self-medicating which at one point became a problem for myself and one I battle with always. I will get into that a bit more later.—***

As I grew older, into my teens, my depressive, suicidal ideation poetry was traded for writing songs. At this time in my life, I was dating the man I later married… so my “sad” poetry turned into love songs and true to life little stories…some upbeat but always a touch of the “blues”. My puppy/1st love distracted me from most of the melancholy… not all, but most. Depression already had its fangs in me and would not release me anytime soon. It was always in the background lingering…just waiting for the opportune moment to hit me like a Mac Truck. And that it did….

Positive Affirmation for July.25.2012

Would you agree that these smiles are contagious??

Positive Affirmation: Today I choose to smile and be receptive to kindness.

How many of us go about our day with our heads hung down… staring at the ground as we walk?

I know I am often guilty of doing just that. Have you ever wondered what it feels like to hold your head high and look people in the eyes as you pass them, and offer a kind gesture… something as simple as a nod, a smile, a hello?

When we keep our head down, we are guarding ourselves from the kindness that may be bestowed upon us as well.

For today, for tomorrow, hold your head high. Look people directly in the eyes, say hello, or simply smile. When someone holds the door open for you, look them in the eye and thank them.

If we release this positivity and kindness, it will be returned. Just be receptive and less guarded.

You may be surprised at the difference it makes in your mood.

Choose to smile and choose to be receptive to kindness. ♥

Just For Now

Just for now

Let us explore

the different tastes, the different textures

my lips brushing slightly

with yours.

Insatiable.

Increasingly wanting…

waiting…

yearning

for more.

Just for now

brush your thumb across my palm.

Hold ever so gently,

the back of my neck.

Pull me in closer…

feed into this energy,

share with me this heat.

  Tomorrow, I won’t be around.

It’s simply…

Just for now

© bipolarmuse 2012

Voltaire Quote

“Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.”  Voltaire 

Great advice from Voltaire. Life is indeed thick with thorns. We have so much to conquer, so many of our own choices can, at the moment, seem good but in the long run be bad. We come up against obstacles in love, relationships, careers, self, there’s obstacles in every aspect of our lives. Of course, they vary in degrees and our perception of the obstacle is truly what makes it better or worse. Many times it is our own perception of something that makes it feel impossible to get through those tough times.

Pay close attention to how your perceive things… your perception is very instrumental in life. If we perceive things in a negative light, we make it harder on ourselves. The more power they hold over us and do us harm.

Over the last year, I have put much thought into being mindful and being in the present moment. If you don’t like the way something is… you have 2 choices. Accept it, or change it. By doing either of these, you will relieve yourself of much unwanted stress and heartache.

When life gets hard, do not wallow in those hard moments or inflict unnecessary mental pain on yourself, it will only cause you more pain.

Instead, quickly get through those moments. Accept them or change them… then do not look back.

Looking back can be mentally exhausting… but do use the past as a learning tool…just don’t linger there.