Tag Archives: Borderline Personality Disorder

Counter-Dependence Series Post 2- I never was super woman…

weak

Just so you are aware, everything I mention here, unless otherwise noted, is geared for adults and not for children.*

What I found crazy interesting is this statement in the book “The Flight From Intimacy”- “People with counter-dependent behaviors also have a sense that they are not ‘whole’ without the help of someone else… however, they try to hide this fact from others so they can appear as if they really don’t need other people.”

I am super woman, remember?? I don’t need anyone. I can drive myself to the hospital with baby bag in hand, a camera and cell phone in the other, ready to give birth to my 4th child. Yep, I can do it all alone. After giving birth, without any drugs because I am super woman and don’t need them, I happily kept my baby girl in my hospital room overnight, refusing help from the nurses, because I am superwoman, and then the next morning, I dress myself, my 1 day old baby girl, put her into her infant carrier, and (with snow and ice falling the night before) I walk us to the car parked in guest parking and I drive us home in freezing temperatures… I NEED NOBODY.

I FUCKING LIED…

And my sick brain knew it… and punished me severely for it.

Yes, I am telling you the truth. My husband at the time was deployed to the Middle East when I was 37 weeks pregnant. I was alone in a new state with no family, and hardly a friend. I had myself, and I would not let us down… and I do have to say that I did do an amazing job… my Mommy instincts took over, and even though my mind was slowly unraveling, it did not fail me where it mattered most~taking care of my babies.

I did myself a disservice though by pretending to be so strong, because the truth was, I wasn’t at all. I truly believed I didn’t need a soul, but fooling myself was no easy task and after a short time, my world fell apart. I destroyed what I wanted the most… my family.

Now I have 20/20 vision and can clearly see what I should have done at that time, yet it does me no good… I can’t have back what I lost, all I can do is observe my self and make changes in my life daily to mend the broken Muse.

©bipolarmuse 2014

Read more on this new series on Counter Dependency- Post 1 Introduction

Counter-Dependency Series~ Introduction – Post 1

Lets do this! Each week I am going to post information based on the book, “The Flight From Intimacy”… follow along and lets start the healing process.  🙂 xoxo

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EVERYONE has heard of co-dependency right?? I have seen self-help book after self-help book to cover that one single issue that we all probably have symptoms of… some more-so than others. What is the flip side of this subject?? It is Counter-Dependence… and there isn’t much out there about it. In 2009/2010, I stumbled across a self-help book called “The Flight From Intimacy” and it instantly had me captivated. I snatched it off the shelf and read a small introduction to what it entails, all the while I was walking up to the checkout counter. I was going to purchase the book from the title alone.

Why?

For quite some time, when in therapy, I had mentioned to my therapist that I felt a very real “disconnect”, and I felt that I never could let that wall down to allow intimacy into my life. Not just physical intimacy, but intimacy of every kind… friendships, family ties, even pets, and yes, lovers as well. I kept my heart and mind guarded completely, nothing at all could get past it ~ with the exception to my children.~ Aside from them, I struggled greatly to form bonds with those around me. There was never any depth to my relationships. I mentioned it so many times, and my therapist would usually brush it aside, and our sessions would take a different path. I realize now that he was indeed directing my sessions in a round about way to this subject matter, I just couldn’t see it in that moment. During one session, I mentioned it again… point blank… and his response was quick, to the point, matter-of-a-fact. He said, “That just may be the casualty of your chaotic childhood.” Period. That was it. Nothing more was said. I sat there, all sound removed from the room… I could see his mouth moving, his eyes staring intently into mine, but all I could here was muffled sounds in the distance and my own heart beat, pounding, violently pounding. Surely each beat could be felt from across the room, and it must be heard, it was ALL I could hear. So loud. My inability to “connect” on deeper level is just a casualty… that is all… a simple casualty from the young Muses life.

So, when I came across this book, it was like a light from heaven shining down in that perfect moment in Borders, with my caramel frapp in hand. I snatched it up, paid, and sat in my car looking it over with tears streaming down my face because I may have finally found what was “wrong” with me, and damnit, the book promises exercises, and coping skills to “fix” me! Hallelujah!

So let me run down the behaviors of one who is Counter-Dependent.

*Pushes others away

*Acts strong and invulnerable

*Is cut off from his/her feelings

*Is self centered

*Is addicted to activities or substances

*Is ‘armored’ against others’ attempts to get close

*Has falsely inflated self esteem

*Tries to ‘look good’

*Has manic energy

*Acts secure and strong

*Blames others

*Avoids intimacy and closeness

*Acts grandiose

*Tries to victimize others first

*Is a people controller

*Suffered abuse as a child (Compared to ‘suffered neglect as a child’ in the case of co-dependency.)

Interestingly, experts believe that the reason we develop “Co-dependence” and “Counter-dependence” behaviors, is because of subtle disconnects between parent and child during two of the most important developmental stages of bonding and separation. If we do not successfully develop these areas, we carry these into our adult lives and continue seeking completion within our relationships.

What must be done? Well, we must go back through those developmental stages and complete them. This book is going to help me do that, and I am going to post it all here for you all to follow along. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me either here, in the comment option below ↓, or contact me personally at musey_bipolarmuse(at)yahoo(dot)com (I don’t spell the address out in the correct manner because computers are smart, and spammers could easily pick up the address written out correctly and hit my inbox up with spam. I detest spam. LOL

** I wanted to mention…. I really am excited about this book. In the intro, it mentions that it does NOT take the “disease” approach that has become the norm in our world these days. For example, alcoholism is a disease, dependency is a disease, mood disorders are a disease, and on and on… you get what I mean. This book does not take that approach, saying, “Millions of Americans have accepted a lower quality of life because they have passively accepted the judgmental diseased-orientated approach as the truth about addictive relationships. This book does NOT diagnose you as being sick but instead provides a map for your journey to changing your counter-dependent behaviors.

I am thrilled to explore this for myself, and I am even more thrilled to share it with you here. I plan to really take it to heart and participate in the written exercises and other tools offered to help me heal. To heal that toddler who was some how, in some way, unable to complete those very important developmental steps of bonding and separation. To heal the child in me who sadly was witness to many things a child shouldn’t have to experience. That child who played in the backyard, alone… climbed trees and explored, alone… that child who sat in her room, headphones blasting, writing heart breaking poetry, alone. Don’t get me wrong… I had love, lots of it, and I loved back. I had my Mom, who was my everything, who I loved and still love madly… and I had my Nanny (the affectionate term of endearment for my grandmother) and Gramps, who was my shelter in the storm. I had love. However, I also had a taste of hell on earth… and that in itself, stole me, and left me… alone.

♥ Musey

© bipolarmuse 2014

Help me help you… inspire one another… xo

Just A Little Disclaimer**

fireyheart

 

When I began this blog, I was wanting to use it as a journal of sorts where I could just “bleed on paper” and write freely without censoring myself. Over time, people I know on a personal level are also aware of my blog and therefor have an insiders view to by mind. I don’t mind this at all… except… well, don’t make me feel as though I need to filter myself or censor myself. Please. Pretty please.

Understand that when I write, many of my posts began months ago, sometimes even longer… and many times, my writings are not about this very moment I am in… many times, I dive back in time to a certain memory, a certain feeling, a place in my mind… I write out my “ifs, ands, or buts”, I may dwell on something sad, or maybe on something that has you scratching your head and asking, “Haven’t you gotten over this yet”? The answer to that is… Yes, and No.

What I write about, and who I am are an accumulation of events… or moments rather… that have impacted me and have helped to shape and mold me into who I am right at this moment. All 37 years behind me have made me the Musey that I am. I write to release, I write because I enjoy writing and love to put on to paper what I cannot say with my lips, I write because I want to, and because I can.

Some things that I write about may seem like I am referring to a person when I am not at all. I often change my Bipolar disorder into a “being”, personifying it… turning it into a crushing presence resembling what can only be in human form… when of course, it’s not.

I do the same with many other aspects and battles in my life.

It may seem as though I linger too lovingly, obsessively, over a past person, a past trauma. Again, remember that my writings are often about a certain time, or time frame… where I surrender to the thoughts in my head, fitting for that time. A moment recollecting “time”, and handing myself over in that rare moment, to sink back to a realm allowing myself to feel, to close my eyes and forget for a moment, this place… and to hand myself over to the intense wave of emotions, good and bad, that rode passenger to the specific moment in “time” that I am visiting to tap into my craft… the muse’s to my heart, departing and healing with each visit… in which these very words fall perfectly from my mind in this experience, to my lips to share here with you.

So please, always keep this in mind as you read… because I truly do want to share openly what I can comfortably share, and that which at times may be uncomfortable as well, and I want to do so feverishly. I have a flame inside. I want to use it… to scorch my heart and soul, feeding the flame, so that it may purify… scorching those painful moments, purifying me… so that I may continue forward with a clean slate, as a “whole” Muse.

Times Defining Moments

The mental pain is becoming worse with each day that passes. I am back to being tearful daily and I have to work so hard to try to remain present… to chase those thoughts that crush me from my mind.

That heaviness in my chest is little by little stealing my breath… my breath that wreaks ” the stench of regret”.  For a long time there was a single defining moment in my life… B’s suicide. Life became a “before” and “after” of that traumatic experience… nothing could touch the destruction of my mind and my heart… nothing felt nearly as painful, nothing compared to the agony. His suicide stole my happiness, stole my hope, killed my spirit.

Now I have noticed that life has given me a 2nd single defining moment in time… “before” and “after” destroying my life a second time including the abuse my son suffered by a monsters hand… “before” and after my breakdown… “before” and “after” 2009. It is sad that time holds me prisoner to the heartache.

I have been struggling alot lately. My mind is going a million miles an hour… and my only relief comes in the form of sleep. I am very grateful that the medications I am on help to knock me out day in and day out. Sometimes it becomes so exhausting that I sleep all day… and then all night. My dreams can haunt me at times, but for the most part… it is relief. ~sigh~

The struggle is tough…

I was lucky that for a time there I was able to get rid of one of my psych meds, but that was short lived and I am now back on that medication. I feel like a druggie… living life under the veil of medication. But I must do it to live. I haven’t a choice in the matter and it is something I just need to get over. Just because I have to take it does not mean I am weak, or a failure. It just is what it is… and who is keeping score anyways.

It just is.

The Monster I Loathe…

solemn

I have been struggling lately and it is crushing. My chest is heavy, my eyes are tearful, all I want to feel is painless mentally and physically… I want to be numb. I totally understand how many people with mental issues have substance abuse problems as well. Sometimes it comes to the ancient  question of what came first, the chicken or the egg?

My heart hurts and my mind keeps diving into the past causing me to have “flashes” of moments that hurt me to my core, to my very soul. I want to go back in time and slap the shit out of myself… I want to yell and scream, I want to release my rage and rid myself of the monster on my back. I want to go back to a time when I did not know hate. To a time when my blood didn’t run cold. To a time that just one change, would have prevented this pain. Could it have been prevented?

My brain has me hostage. I hope with all my heart that God is real… and I hope He can remove this unhealthy brain and show me what it is to be pain free… to feel content, to show me what it is like to replace tears of pain and heartache to tears of happiness.

Life is brutally beautiful. It is happiness, and it is alot of pain as well. Those painful moments help us to recognize and appreciate the good… right? I absolutely hate to lose sight, and I feel like just that is happening.

I feel like my only reprieve is sleep. And luckily, the medications I am on help me to sleep very well. I am very appreciative for that little miracle. I know just how destructive it is to lack in sleep… it is horrible and makes life so much harder.

It is what it is, right? Life that is.

Another day down…

I will just pop another pill and hope for a numbing moment where I can sit here truly in the present and appreciate the good I do have instead of lingering in my head where there’s a constant reminder of the regret that swallows me whole.

I just want happiness to be the basis of my being.

Is that too much to ask for?

Goodbye 2013! 2014 Is Going to Rock!

grumpyCatCandyCane

Like Grumpy Cat, I am about this enthused with the holiday season that just passed… and I am ready to start this New Year with a bang! I don’t like to make any type of resolutions because they are rarely followed through (and then are always proceeded with a depressive spell), so I like to just mosey on into the new year with thoughts of how I will make it better than the previous…

Thank God Christmas and New Years is over… I am ready to get on with it!

HOPEFULLY I will be more creative this year and not as boring as a sopping wet door mat like I was in 2013… (Ok, I probably wasn’t THAT bad, but you totally get my drift.) …and I am hoping to be hit with a huge dose of creativity, a MASSIVE dose would be best, distributed over the course of the year would be even better, and if I have a few of you to join me on this roller coaster ride… then even better!

gettingInspired

So… I am always open to inspiration that is directed my way… or indirectly sent my way. I NEED inspiration. Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder usually keep me pretty stocked up in the inspiration department because misery loves to write, for me, and is my way of “bleeding on paper”. So, sadly, when I am feeling fairly well (or not crying every single day), I dry up. This well runs dry and I can’t find even a drop of the inspiration I need to write. Sad isn’t it?

I won’t give up though… by any means. But maybe I can figure out a way to turn this fountain back on. I just want to be entertaining, creative, overflowing with poems, quotes, general information about mental illness… if nothing else, to do these things just for me even if I am the only one entertained.

I want to be the “Frog in the Milk Pail”.

So I keep trekking on… keep some words flowing, enjoy visual stimulation… and most important, I will share all of this with you. Hopefully I don’t bore you to death… but I will be consistent, boring or not…

As Bipolarmuse, I deserve this.

Deepak Chopra Quote

ripple

Whenever I make a choice, I will ask myself two questions: “What are the consequences of this choice that I’m making?” and “Will this choice bring fulfillment and happiness to me and also to those who are affected by this choice?”~Deepak Chopra

One of the horrible “perks” (insert sarcasm) of Bipolar Disorder AND Borderline Personality Disorder, is impulse. Serious and horrible impulsive acts that destroy and leave a wake of destruction behind them. So this quote is something we should all take to heart. We all need to seriously learn to ‘pause’ and think before making any big decision… actually, big and small decisions, but more important, the big ones. How many of you have destroyed your life by making decisions without thinking them through?? I would bet we all have done this on some level. I know I certainly have… and these decisions hurt not only me, but the ones I love most. With a heavy heart, I have to learn from these mistakes and stop looking back at that closed door.

Please, my friends, ALWAYS take time to think long and hard instead of doing something impulsive. I learned the hard way and have so many regrets… I wish I could just push ‘rewind’ and start over with this new-found 20/20 vision.

But I can’t… so I move forward slowly with one foot in front of the other.

Safe and Sound

This song is so stuck in my head!! It has been playing in my mind for about a week now!

Safe and Sound

When I was first diagnosed with mental disorders I thought “ok, I can do this. I have been living this way as long as I can remember”…. then the stigma of it hit me like a tidal wave and I had to pretend that all was ok. I was told everything from “meds make you a zombie”, I “feel like I have lost my sister” (told to me by my younger sister because the meds dulled me down), “you don’t look sick, it is all in your mind”, “Pull out of it like the rest of us do”, “the doctors are just telling you something is wrong so you go back and they make money off of you”… etc. I am sure that those of you with mood/mental disorders have heard these lines or something similar.

It wasn’t until my last breakdown that I realized I would always…. ALWAYS…. need medication and therapy. My disorder ran rampant for so many years that it got worse and worse over time.

Now that I am in a better place emotionally, I see things differently. I finally smell fresh cut grass, rain on the hot pavement, flowers, bbq’s, and more. In the throes of depression, all of these things were muted for me. I have written about it before but I will write about it again soon.

Now, in this place I reside within my mind… though not perfect… I know that I will be safe and sound… I have taken extreme measures to get to this point.

When you are struggling and think you cannot go another day… hold on with all of your strength… and come here, or to Bipolarmuse’s facebook page  to see that someone has made it against all odds, and you can too.

Keep breathing. Practice mindfulness. Be gentle to yourself.

Rainy Day

rain

This morning, I awoke to nice cloudy skies, drizzling rain, and cool temperatures… I made coffee and had a “moment”. I closed my eyes and held my coffee to my nose… the aroma with the combination of rain and humidity, and the room dark from the cloudy skies, took me back in time. I didn’t go too far back, only about 6 years, but it dropped me at the beginning of my worst breakdown. I have mentioned it before… the last horrible “break” that lasted from 2007 through to 2012. Of course, it was something that progressed, a breakdown that came on gradually, and left just as slowly as it ‘crawled’ into my life.

And, as usual, hindsight is 20/20. It is only within the last year that I have been able to see, with clarity, what triggered it and how it escalated to become the worst break of my life.

It hurt…

it destroyed…

it took forever to go away.

Were all the memories horrible?? Of course not. The “main” moment that this morning took me back to was a good memory. One of sitting under the covered patio while the rain beat down on the metal roof, breathing in the beautiful cool humid air, staring at the amazing sky with its low grey clouds… my children with me… a comfy home, love.

Why did I “break”? I know now… I see the trigger and will forever learn from this painful lesson.

This is the most important thing about myself, recognizing the pattern… being self aware so that I can prevent these ‘breaks’ in the future. The best gift we can get ourselves… love, understanding, forgiveness, self awareness…

Today I am loving the rain. ♥

Disturbing Videos and My Stand On Physician Assisted Suicide

I was searching youtube for some suicide prevention videos and possibly some videos from the “Coming Out of The Darkness” awareness walks that take place around the country…. what I found was horrible.

The dark side of youtube.

I found instruction videos on how to make a proper noose, etc, and videos of actual suicides. Yes, some were hoaxes, others were little documentaries, but one specifically disturbed me. It was a webcam video of a man asphyxiating himself by hanging in which if he just stood up, he would have lived. He did not do that though. Sure, this video could be an elaborate hoax, but I do believe it is real for a couple reasons which I do not want to give the gory details of. It is sped up just a bit so I am not sure what the time lapse would truly have been between the time he put the rope around his neck and his body stopped moving, to the time the police got there and started CPR.

Why do I mention this? I am horrified for one that someone would upload this for someone to see, and I am horrified of the amount of views this video had.

There are others… specifically jumpers off the Golden Gate Bridge and it is just tragic that people get to that low point (which I certainly have felt but just held on waiting for things to get better) where they feel that death by suicide is their only option.

I do have a unique view on suicide, though it does not include those who have mental disorders.

I do believe that physician assisted suicide should be legal across the board in every state… but not for anybody and everybody who want to die. I believe that the person must be at the end stage of a chronic illness, in which they will die from, and I believe that family support should be there as well. Sadly that isn’t always the case though because we are selfish when we love someone and wish to have every second with them that we can have. That is not for the ill persons sake, but for “our” sake… the ones that keep on living after our loved ones passed.

I had an aunt with a crooked spine… uncomfortable, probably painful, but not life threatening. She lived like this for 20 years that I know of and know that she lived with it many more years before I knew her. Her pain continued to increase to the point that she moaned and cried out 24/7 WHILE ON PAIN MEDICATION.  After many tests, she was found to have cancer running up and down her spine, causing unimaginable pain. 

She suffered through it for at least a year. A year of screaming out, moaning, crying, unable to move, sponge baths made her cry out in horrible pain. You could literally hear her throughout the hospital corridors when you got to her floor. The pain was unreal. She stuck it out to the bitter end and it broke everyones heart to see her like this. Though she would not have willingly died, I believe that anyone with this condition, this much pain, and who will die relatively soon, should have the option to request a cocktail of medications to help them fall into eternal sleep.

Physician assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington, and Montana.

Here is a great article to read about it: Physician Assisted Suicide

It points out that it is not utilized much at all, which I find surprising. It is interesting how an unhealthy mind will think self destruction is the only way out, but a healthy mind will preserve life as long as possible.

Just a little ramble with things to think about.

One Of Those Days…

oneofthosedays

 

 

This morning started out horrible for me… I sat in the bathtub, bawling my eyes out. I sat in there for a bit and just let the tears flow. For some reason, the abuse my son suffered through has been on my mind alot, and I have been using every technique I know to take my mind off of it.

It hasn’t been working.

So, this morning, I just let it all out… cried until my head hurt.

It has been four years since my sons abuse, and though I don’t know when it started, I do know that it was ended after three months of being in the devils presence. So, he was abused no longer than three months, but this abuse has forever changed our lives. People say things happen for a reason and it makes me sick to hear. I must admit though that I found comfort in my grandfathers words that this tragic event saved my ex-husband… why?… because he was deployed at the time, to Iraq, and the incident with my son got him back to the states in three days and he has never had to return. Maybe my grandfather is right, probably not, but looking for the “positive” in it, that is all the positivity I can find.

My heart breaks for my son  and I punish myself for not realizing what was happening to him sooner than I did. Why did he get abused by someone I thought I trusted? Why was his innocence shattered and stolen from him? What affect is this going to have on him as he grows? Will he blame me? Will he be at peace with it or always struggling because this happened to him?

Will he forgive me…

for

not

seeing 

it

faster

?

It hurts me to think of the pain he endured and that he may always be at battle with what happened…

Though I hope he continues to heal, and possibly forget. He was 4 at the time… and turns 8 next month.

As for the person who hurt him? I hope he is hurting every day in prison (arrested for something unrelated)… that it’s hell for him, and that the same pain and cruelty is dished out to him. I want nothing more than for him to be given exactly what he gave my son. I usually wish worse things, but am trying to learn to let go.

An eye for an eye… that is all I want. I want justice for my son… and I want my son to flourish and thrive…

My son is happy… he is healthy… he is safe.

That is all that truly matters.

I will take all of his pain and carry it on my shoulders… that is what Mommy’s do. 

 

Does anyone know statistically how this will affect him? I know I have a couple followers who may know off hand… as therapists…

I was told by my own therapist that it sounds like my son has processed it well and only reflects on it as a “fact” and not as something completely emotional. He has gotten passed it well… and mentions it rarely. The things he does say though is horrific… enough to send any parent over the deep end, and wanting severe physical harm to come to the abuser.

He is happy. He is healthy. He is safe. ~ I say this over and over when times like this arise… and I imagine his smile and the way he wants me to cuddle him whenever we are together… I remember how loving and how gentle he is with his cousins… I remember him holding my hand… I remember him telling me he loves me… I remember how intelligent and kind he is… I remember his happiness.

He is happy. He is healthy. He is safe.

Meds, Meds, Meds!

Falling

 Once again, I went to the Doctor and discussed adding Wellbutrin to my med cocktail.

I have stated before that antidepressants throw me straight into mania, but I am hoping that adding this to my mood stabilizer will increase the effectiveness of my current med cocktail.

As you know, my smallest kiddos are moving to Germany for the next three years, which is making it difficult for me to get a hold of my emotions. I am using mindfulness, positive affirmations, and the support of my loved ones, especially my man, to cope with this change. Bipolar has the wonderful side affect (hear my sarcasm) of throwing an episode into the mix when there is a change, both good and bad.

I was very aware that the kids moving could catapult me into some serious emotions… being Bipolar, and having Borderline Personality Disorder do not help the situation one bit. Fortunately, the mood hasn’t become horrible… but it’s gradually causing me to see the melancholy creeping up. I am finding that it is harder to laugh, harder to enjoy things I use to love… being very tearful.

So, at my last Doc visit, I mentioned it so a solution could be sought right away.

We decided to keep all meds the same but to add Wellburtin XL 150 to my mix. I have not ever had an antidepressant added to a mood stabilizer that is doing fairly well… so I am watching and waiting for now. I have to say that I already have a bit of increase in energy… which is good.

I will keep you posted on how this goes… lets hope it goes well.

Riding The Wave Of Life

WaveCopyright Giovanni Allievi

 

Picture Copyright: Giovanni Allievi

We ALL have to ride the waves of life… the ups and downs of normal events and then the ups and downs that accompany a severe storm. Nobody is immune to this.

Sometimes when I am talking to somebody and I mention being bipolar, they feel the need to brush it aside like it is nothing by saying, “everyone is bipolar… we all have ups and downs”. While I want to poke them in the eye for throwing us all into the same hand basket, there is some truth to it.

Yes, we all have those ups and downs from the curve balls that life throws at us. Yes, we all get hyperactive and then we all get the blues… a little mania and depression in the lightest of forms. So what separates us from the rest of the “normal” population?? (Using the word ‘normal’ very loosely here, lol.)

When depression and mania affects our living standards, we have a problem. When you can’t work because you have been crying everyday on end for a week, and this happens every other week, we have a problem. When you are so manic that you up and decide to quit your job and become a writer… even when you have no position to do so, it just seems to be your “calling” in that moment… we have a problem. When you can’t get out of bed for days… when you are constantly thinking of ways to end it… when you decide you will be the first Bipolar president… We have a problem.

Do you see the difference?

Yes, we all have our ups and downs… normal people included. But when your ups and downs control you and affect the way you live your life in a detrimental way… then help is needed. This is not a normal mood swing.

To all my followers who have mental disorders… keep riding those stormy waves. I promise to you that one day the storm will pass and the waves become more gentle, or perhaps even welcomed.

To my followers who follow and are ‘normal’, ride your waves too… and if it ever becomes too rough, more so than what you are use to… I am here to help you get back on that board.

I am always here to help inspire and remind that things do get better. If I can… I KNOW others can too.

Mental Health Interview

I recently participated in a mental health interview for Michigan Hedgehog. Please visit this blog… you will not be disappointed. I love others who are raising their voice about mental disorders.

Thank you Michigan Hedgehog for allowing me to participate on your blog! I loved answering these questions and I love to help bring awareness while sharing bits of myself.

Welcome to Friday Feature. Each Friday I post an interview with someone new who runs a social media account of any kind (blog, twitter, Facebook, tumblr, etc) related to mental illness, addiction, or psychology. My hope is that by interviewing individuals, I can bring you perspectives on mental illness that are unique from my own, whether they just vary in opinion or whether they are for mental illnesses that I don’t have or am not familiar with. This week I interviewed the owner of the blog BipolarMuse. Want to be included in a future Friday Feature? Email me using the contact form at the top of my site!

1) Can you introduce yourself a little bit? What is your diagnosis?
I go by bipolarmuse… and my blog is www.bipolarmuse.com. I was always a loner as a child and as I grew into my preteen years, I knew that I was different from the norm. I would sit on my dresser with headphones on, staring out into the night, writing poems and songs… almost all of them had a melancholic theme. In my early 20′s, I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and treated with antidepressants (serezone, and wellbutrin) and anti-anxiety medicine (klonopin). Of course I was non-compliant with my meds until I had another breakdown in my middle 20′s, in which I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 disorder. I didn’t believe the doc and felt she was wrong. I was treated with Wellbutrin and Depakote with anti-anxiety med Klonopin as well. I went on and off my meds like it was no big deal. In my early 30′s, I had the worst breakdown of my life which became worse because of horrible things out of my control (ie, the abuse of my youngest son by someone I thought I trusted). I tried every med under the sun, still in denial of the bipolar diagnosis. I tried Celexa, Lexapro, Zoloft, and more… these meds all added to the mania I was experiencing but attributing it to “anxiety”. Finally, after nearly feeling defeated, and almost giving up… I HAD to face my diagnosis. By this time, I was diagnoses with Bipolar 1 Disorder with episodes of Psychosis, Borderline Personality Disorder, and PTSD… not to mention anxiety. I was in a severe mixed episode of mania, hypo-mania, combined with depression from 2008-2012. How I survived is beyond me. Finally the Docs stopped trying to treat me with antidepressants because all they did was add to the mania. My exploration of a mood stabilizer was just as bad. I tried Depakote which did nothing but make me gain weight, Tegretol which gave me horrible nightmares… this was taken with both Ambien and Klonopin so I would literally be stuck in the nightmare because I could not wake up from it. I tried Lithium and Depakote together which made me sleep 12-15 hours a day, gain 40lbs, and made me severely depressed… they added Resperidol (an anti-psychotic). I cried every single day from the year 2009 until 2012. I finally found relief in my medicine when I asked a cousin of mine what type of mood stabilizer he took, (Bipolar is no stranger to my family), he told me “Lamictal”. So at my next Psych visit, I mentioned this to my doc. She was excited to try it because A. we were running out of options, and B. sometimes treatment success also runs in family’s with the same medicines. So, she put me on Lamictal and took me off everything else except the klonopin for panic attacks and sleep. Slowly, I began to feel the weight on my chest lift up… I notices I was starting to see some light in the tunnel of darkness I was trapped in. I felt like the “monster on my back” was getting lighter. We were ecstatic for the results. To add to my treatment to see if we could take away a little more of that “monster”, she added Haldol, a very old school anti-psychotic. She put me on a very low dose (.5milligram) and upped my Lamictal to 200milligrams a day. This was my “miracle”. It was about this time that I started getting very heavy into my blog… and you can literally see the transformation before your eyes if you go through the archives to the present moment. Finally I can live and feel alive again. For so long, I didn’t know if I could make it…. now I know that no matter what happens, I will never stop trying. Never.
2) What types of things do you struggle with day to day as a result of your illness?
Day to day problems include feeling guilty for my past mistakes. Sometimes they play in my mind like a reel to reel and the guilt can be so consuming. On these days, I look for positive affirmations and bring out all my techniques to practice mindfulness… it has been the best solution for me to free myself from my past mistakes, guilt, and pain… and it frees me from the death grip of anxiety of the future.
3) Do you think you were born with your illness? If not, how old were you when you started experiencing symptoms of it? How old were you when you gained your diagnosis?
I do feel I was born with this but I also feel it was both nurture and nature. I knew from a young age that I was different (probably about 10 or 11) but never got any medical help until I was about 23-24 years old. At that time, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. By 26-27 I was diagnosed Bipolar 2, and by 33 I was diagnosed Bipolar 1 with psychosis, Borderline Personality Disorder. I always had anxiety as a diagnosis…
4) How did you come about seeking treatment and/or getting diagnosed?
After my first divorce, I didn’t get custody of my children (the ex played dirty, and well, he made 100,000 a year and I had a job making 8$ an hour)… this was so traumatic for me, I could not stop thinking of suicide. After meeting my next serious boyfriend, he forced me to see a psychiatrist. He himself had Bipolar Disorder. Then after he and I split up, he committed suicide and this threw me into my next breakdown. After my third breakdown, I HAD to step outside of myself and truly examine who I was and what was causing me to live such a chaotic miserable life… what was behind the driver seat… because it certainly didn’t feel like it was “me”.
5)If there was one thing you could let the world understand about your illness or how it affects you, what would it be?
That just because I can throw on some makeup, put on that smiling face, and pretend to be great… this isn’t an indicator of illness or lack of. I have spent most of my life fooling myself and everyone around me. I had a doctor recently tell me (not my doctor mind you, just one I was having conversation with), “you aren’t bipolar. I have patients who are and they don’t look like you… they can’t work… etc”. I was speechless. In fact, I wanted to punch him in the face. He has no clue the efforts I had to make to get to the point I am at today… and it is people like him who keep the stigma and misconceptions going.
6)What is the hardest or worst part about having your illness?
People without it or who have never experienced it in some way have no clue. They think it is just an excuse for poor behavior.
7)Do you think that your mental illness has helped you or benefited you in any way? If so, how?
It has helped me to be more compassionate towards others because we have no clue what a person is up against every single day… it has cultivated a love for poetry and words…
8)What was your reasoning for beginning to blog/facebook about mental illness?
Just to “bleed on paper” so to speak. It was my way of letting some of that darkness out. It helped me to release some of the negativity and helped me to document and journal my life in some way. Second to that, it turned into a way to educate others and to let others know they are not alone in their feelings, diagnosis, or thoughts. Now it is a podium for mental health… with poetry, inspiration, and personal life experiences to show that I am simply human trying to live the best way I can.
9)If you were (or are!) friends with someone with your diagnosis, what would you do to help your friend out? Is there anything that the people around you could do to help you out?
Listen. I wouldn’t judge… I wouldn’t say that suicidal thoughts are selfish… I wouldn’t belittle because I can’t “see” the illness… I wouldn’t make light of the feelings experienced or think it’s just dramatized. I would understand that some days are better than others. I would be happy and celebrate life when things are going well and ask “what can I do to help” when things weren’t so good.

10) What is your blog/fb page? What types of things do you blog about/share?
My facebook is BipolarMuse and it is where my blog posts are linked to. I am also going to try to be more proactive with this page and make it a more personal connection to those who follow. My blog is www.bipolarmuse.com. It is a little poetry, a little about my life specifically, a little education about mental health… bipolar disorder specifically… and a little bit of mindfulness, inspiration, and positive affirmations… with an occasional quote or song thrown into the mix. It is basically a “collection” of who I am. I intend to keep it that way.

11) Anything else you’d like to say or let my readers know?
I appreciate all the support that I get whether it is simply someone reading in silence, or following loudly. Our mental health system needs a serious overhaul and we need to change the way we think about mental health. If my blog opens the door to anything positive in regards to mental health or helping someone realize they are not alone, then I have reached my goal. Just opening the topic for conversation is an accomplishment. Thank you for all of your support… may we all keep learning, teaching, helping, and loving with an open mind and heart.

I Will Wait For You

 

 

babiesBlueBonnets

 

I Will Wait For You

Nothing on this earth prepared me for the love, that as a mother, I have for my children. Nothing compares to it… nothing can hold a candle to this love. They may not be with me physically, but they are always with me in in mind, heart, and soul.

I will wait. However long it takes to have them at my side without losing out on more of their lives… I will wait.

For sharing dreams and wishing on stars… I will wait.

For now, I love, watch, listen, stare, care, hurt, and cry… I learn… I give pieces of myself to make them whole.

My day will come… so I will wait.