Anxiety? “It’s All In Your Head” Naysayers

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Today is suppose to be a fun light-hearted post, courtesy of the Muse on HUMP Dizzle!! But nooooooooo. I shall try to post something more “fun” in just a bit, but I wanted to address something.

Do you get anxiety?? Ya know…. the debilitating kind that makes you pull over on the freeway because you are seeing black “spots” and feel on the verge of passing out??? Well, I do. I have for many years… and while it is better than at other times in the past, it is insanely debilitating all the same.

Now… ever meet Mr/Mrs. Sunshine, the ever optimistic do-gooder born under a lucky star… never having experienced depression “just because” that is how their brain sometimes does… and never having experienced anxiety or a panic attack…?? I have met some of those people… and mental health is a topic to be avoided with people like this. You will only go blue trying to explain it, you will become crazily frazzled, and you will walk away knowing that they are a lost cause. These people see the silver lining to their car being stolen… with their 4 kids in it.

Serious.

I really hate when these individuals pretend to be concerned… and when you tell them you simply cannot do something that would seem easy to them, and they just don’t get it, and out of there mouth, without fail, (said in a condescending voice with all authority and perfection) … “It’s mind over matter, you just have to put your mind to it and do it”…

SAY HUH??

~I wanna choke those words out of there mouth.~ Shit, I bet they may understand anxiety if that happened… but then again, I’mmmmmmmm not so sure. (Shakes head in disbelief).
I want someone to make them drink 10 espresso’s and inject them with epinephrin… and then tell them, “mind over matter… come on, its not that hard, just control your mind, meditate, do deep breathing exercises”… THEN they may learn.

Cause those like me, well we already know– THAT’S NOT EASY TO DO IS IT?!–

I do NOT have to drink caffeine and get injected with adrenaline for that to happen…. MY body and mind like to malfunction and give me hell. NO NEED for any outside source. It is insane. I sit here, and I can completely FEEL little “dumps” of adrenaline, followed by an odd fluttering sensation in my chest… for what you ask??

For NOTHING. It just does. As quickly as it comes, it vanishes…

If you are just a friend or loved one who is just trying to understand better… if someone you love experiences severe anxiety, and severe panic attacks, and it isn’t something you experience personally, please, please … do not belittle the situation. Do not tell them it is “all in their head”. Do not make it sound like all they need to do is sit and practice breathing exercises… (yes, these can help with practice, but it is not overnight, and it does not get rid of them completely).

What ever you do… Do not make it seem their emotions, their fears, are not valid. This will simply worsen the situation, possibly making YOU personally a ‘trigger’ for future anxiety episodes. Wouldn’t that suck when all you are trying to do is help??

© bipolarmuse 2015

A Transforming Musey

Last year was the worst for my blog and I am disappointed in myself for allowing it to fall to the wayside… it is my goal, my dream really, to create a blog that is like a community. A place for others to come because here, they know they are truly not alone in their struggles.

So this year I have come up with a schedule of sorts. Each day of the week will focus on something specific… that way, those who follow along, will be able to foresee which posts they are most interested in. Of course, I hope you read daily (wink wink), but totally understand that sometimes life will not allow free time for everything, and priorities may take over… maybe the cat litter box is over-flowing and ya got to break away from Musey land… lol… I totally get it.

So… my plan?

This may change as I begin implementing the structure, as this is kind of the rough draft, but you get what I am saying.

Mondays will be about Mindfulness, DBT therapy, living in the here and NOW.

Tuesday will be inspirational stories… not always mental health related, but positivity in all its awesome forms.

Wednesdays will be WOOT WOOT… Humpday Humor.

Thursdays will be either “Throwback”, or “Thankful”.

and…

Fridays will be “Freaky” LOL… ok, maybe not freaky, but “Free For All Friday”… I can choose any subject matter. Maybe I can get some followers to write me and give me little excerpts I can share here in Musey Land.

Thanks so much for your patience! I am up and running and so excited to be back… so much to share!

©bipolarmuse 2015

Grumpy Cat Cruises With Me

Hahaha… isn’t it horribly sad that I cruise around with my favorite pet personality?? Ok, well, I guess it is slightly more weird that it is a stuffed animal and I am a little too old to be carrying my little stuffed animal with me. Hahaha!!

But seriously… Grumpy Cat hates the traffic too…

GrumpyCatcruisin His lips are sealed… but if he were saying something, it’d be along the lines that sitting here in traffic is about as much fun as playing with your own poo…

hahahaha!

Stay tuned for more of Musey’s fav little grumpy cat…

What should I name him??? Hmmmmmmmmmmm

©bipolarmuse 2015

Contacting the Muse

On my “contact me” page, I had listed a new email address and I fixed the “form” on the page. So now, no doubt, the messages sent via the form do go straight into my personal inbox.

I also found a few messages sent to my old email, very old messages, so if you sent me one, I will try to write you from my new email address.

Have a great hump day, woot woot!

I LOVE Kavinace!!

Over the years, I have had issues with sleep. Insomnia was a big issue, then, when the tables get turned, I can sleep 16hours a day easily. I just never know which it is going to be.

Since getting my mania in control check (I initially used the word ‘control’ here, but the one thing I have learned from this disorder is that there is no ‘control’. All I can do is learn from my cues, and try to prevent and minimize future episodes), sleep has consistently been better than in the past with the biggest issue being that once I DO fall asleep, the issue becomes trying to STAY asleep. It is quite common for me to fall asleep easily and then in the next couple hours, I wake up and virtually stay up because I simply cannot fall back to sleep… and if I do, it tends to be hours later.

Well, there is a Podcast I love to listen to called “The Dr. Rob Show” with Dr. Robert Maki who is AMAZING! Since I started following his podcast, I have learned so much information that helps me to live a healthier, happier, balanced life. He is the type of Doctor who doesn’t just spend two minutes with you, scribble on a prescription pad, and shows you the door… he is the type of Doc who takes time with you, really listening to treat his patients, not by “masking” the unwanted symptoms we experience in life, but gets down to the root of the issue and tries to fix it there.

During one of his Podcasts, he spoke of Adrenal Fatigue. (You can read, or listen, this episode HERE.) I did not know anything about it and nearly skipped to another episode, but the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue stopped me dead in my tracks, and I wound up listening to it several times. Every single one of us probably have these symptoms and just chalk it up to “life”, and not really taking care of ourselves the way we should. I am not going to go into great detail here, so please check it out for yourself… “Dr. Rob- Do I Have Adrenal Fatigue?”

This episode introduces us to several supplements that our bodies need to run optimally. One of these supplements is called Kavinace.

Do you fall asleep, only to find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep?? Kavinace changes that. However… it is ALSO for stress, anxiousness, and sleep issues. Sounds amazing, right?!

So what is Kavinace??

Kavinace in an amino acid. It supports optimum GABA levels, acts as a “neurotransmitter, inhibiting nerve transmissions in the brain, calming nervous activity”. Considered as a natural tranquilizer. *** “Kavinase is a precursor to GABA. It will convert to GABA while you are sleeping and help keep you asleep all night. Why not take GABA instead? GABA is such a big molecule that it can be hard to absorb. Taking the Kavinase will help absorbance and converts to GABA for a full night sleep”. – Dr. Rob***

What is GABA? Gamma-aminobutyric acid. It is the most important and widespread inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain… because it is an inhibitor, it inhibits over-stimulation of the brain, resulting in possible relaxation and eases nervous tension. Sounds great doesn’t it?! Using Kavinace in conjunction with Melatonin is ideal. The Melatonin is used to help you fall asleep, and the Kavinace helps to keep you asleep.

It is not a cure-all… and it is possible that it doesn’t work for everyone. Personally, I was completely skeptical… especially because Melatonin has never helped me to sleep. After talking to my boyfriend about it, and doing some research, we decided to give it a try… in fact, we bought all of the supplements recommended for ‘Adrenal Fatigue”. Our results have been great… a noticeable positive change.

Of course, I never put much thought into the Kavinace actually working because I have tried soooooo many remedy’s that were suppose to help. I have tried both “natural” and prescribed medication, and I have not had great results, at least not great enough to mention them here in ‘Bipolarmuse-ville”.  Both myself and my boyfriend noticed that we were sleeping better than we had in a very long time… we were loving it! And oddly, we never attributed it to any one supplement, we just didn’t over analyze it… it simply was what it was. Then…

For a whole month, I took 1-2 Kavinace just before bed, along with the Melatonin. I took no other medications or supplements for sleep. I didn’t notice any drowsiness, nor did I feel like I “took” something, and I took it within 15minutes before bed… I did not take it and then wait a couple hours. My boyfriend did this as well.

My results?? I noticed that I wasn’t waking up throughout the night as I normally did. Normally, I fall asleep, and then somewhere around 2AM, I will roll over and it wakes me just enough where I will start thinking of something for the following day… next thing I know, I can’t fall back to sleep. But that stopped. I actually went to bed, fell asleep quickly, and stayed asleep! If I did wake up, I would doze back off very quickly. In fact, it got to the point where I would lay my head on the pillow, and then the next time my eyes opened, it was to the alarm going off.

SAY WHAT?! Yes, you read that correctly.

How do I know it was the Kavinace? Well, unfortunately my boyfriend and I were not on the ball and we ran out of the supplement… I didn’t really think anything of it because I wasn’t acknowledging that the reasons we were sleeping well was because of it… I have tried so many things with zero results so I was very skeptical that this would work. We went to bed as we normally do… fell asleep fast… and then somewhere around 2AM, we were both very awake and unable to go back to sleep, and once we did, the alarm went off. GRRRRRRRRrrrrr. So frustrating! What sucks even worse is that I am anxiously awaiting the package from Amazon with my new sleeping elixir. I have not had it for 4 days now and I am insanely frustrated and want sleep!

I am so amazed over how well the Kavinace worked for me, and also for my boyfriend. It is now going to be a staple in my supplements. Give it a whirl and see if it works for you!

©bipolarmuse 2015

** I am not a Doctor! Before taking ANY medication or supplement, contact a Doctor or Pharmacist to ensure that it is safe for you. Be smart. Be safe.

My Extra Heart Beat

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There was a time during 2008 and 2009 when I was under severe amounts of stress that I could not escape from, and no matter how hard I tried to “calm” myself and use “mind over matter”, I could not get it in control. This was the kind of stress that kills people, I am sure. It is a long story so let me condense it for you.

My ex, who was my husband at the time, was deployed when I was 37 weeks pregnant with our daughter. The doctors would not induce, and there was no way to delay the deployment. So, when I was to go in and give birth, I did so all alone. Once I was home, my fears over powered me completely. I developed an irrational fear that I very well may die, leaving my itty bitty baby and her older brother at home with nobody to care for them. I know that seems so crazy, but it truly was a thought I could not get out of my head… and I started going crazy. I became sick with every bite of food, losing 45lbs in 4 weeks. My blood pressure was through the roof and had to go on anti-depressants, anxiety medicine, and blood pressure medicine. I feared for my life every second of every day.

Needless to say, I could not sleep. Every time I started to doze off, I would jerk myself awake because if I allowed myself to sleep, I wouldn’t know if I were to have a pulmonary embolism, and if I did, my babies would be all alone until someone beat down the door… and how long would that take?? I know the fear was completely irrational, but mentally, I could not convince myself of how insane my brain was being.

What were the signs of this extreme stress? Aside from being unable to keep food in… I could hear, and feel, my heart beat, constantly, and I could HEAR every time it seemed irregular.

I WAS TERRIFIED.

Of course, I thought that perhaps seeing a cardiologist would put my mind at ease, and so I did just that and got an appointment instantly. The cardiologist performed several tests including a stress test and he also had me wear a halter monitor so my heartbeat could be recorded as I went along doing my normal activities in my day to day life. The results?? The Doc said, “Your heart is fine. You do have extra heartbeats, which is why you will feel that light “punch” that comes from inside, but I do believe that all of your issues will go away once you get your anxiety under control”.

You would think that a clean bill of health would put my mind at ease and the issues would go away, right?

FALSE

The pounding of my heart continued to scare me so much that my anxiety medicine didn’t even scratch the surface. I felt like it was a placebo… it did nothing. Literally nothing. I tried everything under the sun, and even used Ambien and Lunesta. Neither of them helped me sleep.

Normally, I have very vivid dreams… and at one point, I also practiced “lucid” dreaming, but because of the extreme stress and anxiety, listening to my heartbeat “swoosh” in my head 24 hours a day, sleep eluded me and it took years for me to begin dreaming again… 4 years after the fact. Let me repeat that… it took 4 YEARS for me to dream again. Imagine that. Imagine being terrified to fall asleep, imagine not getting enough sleep and going from several dreams a night to no dreams whatsoever month after month. Wishing to get over whatever crazy thing my brain was going through so I could live, and thrive, and to stop merely existing. To stop feeling so scared and like I was losing my mind. Imagine the crazy depression it caused.

That was my hell.

Then one day… it stopped. Just as quick as it came on, it went away. Not because of anything I did… it was on it’s terms, certainly not mine. The experience was unbelievable. A true testament to how I don’t have “control” over every single little thing. “Control” is an illusion. At any point and time, my brain is trying to get me.

Psychosomatic? Indeed. I was told so anyhow.

Do I still hear my heartbeat in my head?? Yes, from time to time. I have had instances where the “swoosh” came back, thudding, terrifying me and making me pray for it to go away… and luckily, it did go away fairly quick. I hope I never experience it to that terrifying level again, and I am so jealous of those who have never experienced those wicked beats… ignorance is bliss.

©bipolarmuse 2015

Skills For Recovering Your “Self”… Counter-Dependency Post 4

How do you recover your “self” and break the patterns of counter-dependence? Well, we have to really tune-in to our “self” and take certain steps.

These are listed in the book “The Flight From Intimacy”:

  • remembering what happened to you as a child
  • identifying the characteristics of counter-dependent behaviors
  • feeling your feelings
  • learning re-parenting skills
  • becoming an autonomous person
  • learning to take charge of your body
  • developing a spiritual life and
  • learning to live interdependently

Six skills to help you change your counter-dependent behaviors are:

  1. Developing empathy
  2. Setting boundaries
  3. Reclaiming projections
  4. Parenting yourself
  5. Resolving conflicts
  6. Communicating about sex

As you can see, work is involved in making changes to your “self”… it is not something that will come over night but it is possible to change! Don’t be discouraged if it does not come along as quickly as you wish. I have to remind myself that I have these patterns that I need to break, and it is a 38yr habit… that is a long ass time!

As I get further ahead in the book, exercises will be used to help in the healing process. If you are following along, feel free to follow me in working through these exercises. I will be sure to post each so you can easily do so… AND please share your thoughts and progress, if not here, feel free to email me on my “contact” page. I would love to hear about your strategies, and of course, your success.

WE CAN DO THIS!!!