Tag Archives: Bipolar disorder

A Busy Muse On The Move!

Time has slipped by me, as it normally does when I am busy with that little thing called “life”. My wonderful man, S/O, Boyfriend, life-long mate… who I affectionately refer to as “Daddy Long Schlong” with a giggle… has bought us a new home! For several years, we have been living in an awesome 2 bedroom condo, but we have certainly outgrown it this last year… and I expressed the crazy-intense desire to “move”. So after much discussion, we decided to get a house and rent out our condo. EEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (that is my happy squeal)!!!

In about a weeks time, we found the house that was “home”. We looked at several properties, most were “ok”, and a couple we did like and would have settled for… then we came across our “home”. We were already in the area, as we had looked at about 4-5 houses in that housing community alone, and when we pulled up, I noticed the “tidy” front yard, and the US flag blowing in the breeze. It felt promising, and I was already forming a positive feeling for the home. Then we walked through the front door…

I knew instantly… I was “home”.

I felt as though I didn’t even need to look any further, this was the house I wanted, this was where I felt instantly that I was home. All the little things that ‘irk’ me about other houses we looked at, those little things were not seen… it all felt perfect.

Not only was the house very “cozy”, but the backyard was amazing, and very park-like. We fell in love with it instantly! It’s the type of place where you WANT to spend all of your time… the patio is also an observation deck… the stairs had been removed, but we fully intend to get new ones and take advantage of the amazing view of the night sky. We live on the outskirts of town, and it is the perfect place to sit, sip wine, and gaze out into the night… or, watch the fireworks as they are exploding into the night on the 4th of July. (I fully intend to get pictures of that this year from the observation deck, so I will post those to share with all of you.)

Be patient with me… all of this has made me very busy! This weekend we start moving in!!! But first we need to start off by cleaning it top to bottom, steaming the carpet, painting the rooms, and etc… you get what I’m sayin’… and doing tiny repairs. All the while, I have to also get the condo ready for renting it out. I am a very busy Muse…  VERY BUSY.

I can’t wait to share this adventure with you all!

I hope you all are having an awesome Spring! Thank you for riding along on this adventure with me… I will certainly keep you posted…

I am also staying keenly aware of how I am doing mentally. We all know that even those good life events can be the cause of a Bipolar “episode“… yes, I am being honest. This is certainly No joke what-so-ever. It is just the way it is. So I am staying ever observant of how I am feeling, what my thought processes are, and ever-so-important, what is my quality of sleep. To the normal peeps out there, that may sound odd, but sleep is insanely important for every single one of us… even more-so for those of us with mood disorders. Have you noticed how at every single one of your doctor appointments, they ask you how your sleep is? It is CRA IMPORTANT. Research it yourself… Knowledge is power!!

Anyhow…

Here’s a couple pictures of our new home I want to share with you…

1526917_P01_75 1526917_R01_12Both pics are of the backyard. One is looking from the back of the yard toward the house, and the other is from the house, looking toward the very back of the backyard.

ourfirsthomeAwe, our first home together! Not fond of the all brown, but that is easily fixed (insert a winking emoticon here) … add a little paint… and presto!

Thank you all for all the love and support! I could never thank you all enough for the wise words you share with me… you always remind me that sharing my world is the right path… you are my inspiration, whether you know it or not. Our relationship is important to me! Please feel free to write to me, whether it’s a simple comment, or you feel the need to reach out in an email. I am always here… always listening… ALWAYS.

“…keep ajar the door that leads into madness…”~ Christopher Morley

morleyquote

I have made posts before where I mention the connection between “madness” being hand in hand with mood disorders, and artistic talents.

Granted, not everyone who is Bipolar has talents like that… many cannot hold a tune when it comes to singing, cannot play musical instruments, cannot write music or poetry… I am sure you get my point here.

In my case, I was lucky enough to have talent when it comes to singing and writing. I do not have an amazing voice, but I can hold a tune. I also loved music… passionately!! I would spend hours upon hours memorizing songs to sing… singing into my Karaoke machine… writing new songs… I was a total homebody, often in my own fantasy world, writing music and songs hour after hour, day after day. It was my happy place.

I tend to write more when I am mentally ‘unwell’. I am not sure why that happens to be the case, but it is. I can totally see the pattern. My ‘muses’ tend to be in a love affair with my ‘madness’. Am I out of my mind, in a corner, drooling on myself?? Or in 4 day old clothes, standing on a busy corner, screaming to anyone who looks at me about Gods love, and the imminent ‘end of the world’? No. Fortunately, that is not my “type” of madness.

Mine is subtle. Mine can be mute. Mine can be woven intricately with my core beliefs, my personal reality. Taunting me. Causing me to question my most personal thoughts, tainting my positivity with some sort of doubt. My madness plays a psychological chess mind fuck with ‘me’. But I am privy to its ways. I am not always in control of it, but I am Master over it, and I will always win… no matter the war it inflicts upon me, no matter what it does to TRY and destroy me… it won’t. It cannot.

I will ALWAYS win. ♥

©bipolarmuse 2015

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

heartbeat

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!!!

 

Psycho-Babble Self-Help Books Amuse the Muse

picbooks

I crack myself up.

I love books… I ESPECIALLY love psychology books and love to buy new ones any chance that I get. I can spend hours in my local bookstores, literally sitting in the aisles with several books sprawled out in front of me like they are auditioning… I read through them, choosing random pages, and I often will buy them all. As you can imagine, that gets very expensive! At one point I had to limit myself because spending 100$ a week on books is not a good idea when you barely have money to spend. So I reasoned with myself that I could buy one book a month… and the other 5 I think I need, I borrow from the library. 🙂 The plan was a success!

So here I am at home, bored with what is on Netflix. I think of all my awesome books and I rummage through the shelves until I am satisfied with the ones in my grasp. I sit down with them and ambitiously scour through them, looking for whatever may pertain to me in this moment… big or small.

Within minutes, my desire to psycho-analyze myself has passed and I am once again participating in life… the stack of books sitting here, notes scribbled about, collecting dust. I never want to put them away, because I could certainly need them in a quick moment and should have them within reach… right?

Right.

That is how I roll.

©bipolarmuse 2015

Counter-Dependency Post 3— This Is Gonna Take Forever!!

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LOL! Yes, this is going to take forever!!

I am kind of losing my excitement for this book, “The Flight From Intimacy” about counter-dependency because it is going over the different stages we ALL go through as toddlers… yes, as itty bitty babies… and I feel weighed down with this information. It is interesting… however what interests me more is that I want to get busy working on ME. I don’t want to feel as though I am taking a refresher course in psychology… which I find interesting that I am annoyed with seeing that psychology is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE subject in the world. But I want to get to the nitty-gritty and start working on me.

So what to do??

I am just going to skim over this info and then will dive right into the more interesting “helpful” parts of this book.

I do find it very interesting though that if we do not “complete” a certain step as little ones, like proper “separation” from our parents (not in a literal way, but mentally), we will continue these patterns in our relationships as adults, attempting to complete what we missed as we developed the first few years of life. Isn’t that crazy to think of??

Up to 24 months of age, this time is critical in completing your psychological birth. During that time you made the decision to become a separate entity (emotionally) from your Mom or you stayed co-dependent.

HOWEVER…

IF you experienced abuse emotionally, physically, sexually, or experienced neglect…. you could have decided oneness and closeness was scary and not safe. In order to protect yourself you may have separated emotionally and developed more counter-dependent behaviors… Like walling off your feelings, utilizing defensive behaviors to push people away, and of course, you created a false “Self” that showed you were strong, capable, and not in need of anyone. You may have developed an inflated importance… in this way, you would not need to show anyone your vulnerability and wounds.
I think this is where I may have become stuck… what can I do to fix this???

I will need to re-parent myself. Our psychological birth is insanely important… time to be re-born.

©bipolarmuse 2014

A New Thought ~ Counter-Dependence

Counter-Dependence Post 1

Counter-Dependence Post 2