Tag Archives: Depression

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

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

A New Thought~ “Counter Dependence”

I have a strong love for self help books, and always have. I look to them to figure out “what’s wrong” with me… and for guidance in changing the things about myself that I feel need work. I am always trying to be very self aware, and I do believe I should always be learning and growing. Always pressing forward to become who “Musey” is. This is a life long adventure that will never have an end point… with my last breath, even in that moment, there will be growth.

The Flight From Intimacy

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The book is titled “The Flight FROM Intimacy” and is one of it’s kind. So much is discussed about “Co-Dependence” or “Co-Dependent Enabling”, but nothing is spoken about the flipside of Co-Dependency…  “COUNTER-DEPENDENCY”. What in the world is it?? Have you heard of if before??

In 2010, when I was in the grip of one of the worst breakdowns I have ever had, and of which happened to be the longest and most destructive breakdown I have ever experienced, one thing I had really come head to head with was my inability to have intimate relationships. Not only sexually intimate, but intimate in general… CLOSE relationships were impossible for me. I had walls. HUGE walls. They made it impossible for me to make lasting relationships of any kind, and kept me secluded, and “safe”. Is that truly what those walls accomplished?? NO. These walls did one thing… held me captive. Kept me alone. Sure, they did prevent me from being hurt by friends and loved ones, but more so, they prevented me from having any type of real, much needed healthy relationships.

As I go through this book, I am going to put blog posts here for you all to follow along as I learn, and share this new side of myself that truly isn’t “new”, but territory that is new for me to discover. Follow along with me, see how some of these traits appear to apply to you as well… and lets discover how to fix what needs to be repaired so that we may have more love in our lives! We deserve love and happiness! Sometimes we may think we deserve every second of misery we have inflicted upon ourselves, sometimes we fool ourselves into needing that so we do not forget… but I sit here today, exposing my heart and soul… and I invite you to do the same… lets figure out what we can control and change, lets discover how to be happier, to love more, to FEEL love more, and lets learn to heal our hearts, our minds, our complete selves. We have so much more life to live, love to share, and we need to begin at square one… forgiveness of self. All else will fall into place as we journey forward learning to love the one person we know deserves to be forgiven and loved, and held in a tight loving embrace… YOU.

I deserve this for myself. To forgive… to love… ME.

♥Musey

Just A Little Disclaimer**

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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…

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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?

In My Dreams

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What have you been trying to tell me?

Why have you been in my dreams…

Is it for you? Or is it for me?

Is it my brains need to see you… to feel you are ok…

Better than OK.

Is it my coping mechanism? After 11 years…

You would think I have fully coped.

Yet you play in my mind…

Hold me captive in my dreams.

Sometimes I awake and think you never died…

but reality comes back.

And that night plays in my head…

I wish I could have seen through your eyes,

felt with your heart…

Tasted your salty tears… if you cried that is.

I want to know why I was there…

Was it a final “Goodbye”… a final “I love you”?

Did you want to die with my image burned into your mind…

your soul?

Why?

You always joked you would haunt me…

I guess you truly are.

That is the only promise you kept.

I forgive you.

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…

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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.

Why?

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Why is it that the thought of you can still sting…

can instantly bring tears to my eyes…

can make me miss you like you were here just yesterday?

Why do you invade my dreams…

looking peaceful and glowing in the glory of the heavens…

That smirk on your face, I read your mind… “I am finally free baby girl.”

How can I be thrown into the past,

remember those eyes, those tears…

watching you crumble before me…a lost soul.

Why couldn’t I save you?

Why couldn’t my love protect you?

Why do I smell your cologne, hear your voice?

Why can’t I just forget and let go?

Why do I see you in “them”…

Why did I destroy the fruit of our love?

Why was “I” there that horrible night?

How do you still have this hold,

Was what your cousin said true…

that my heart was buried with you.

So many questions… so few answers…

Why?

©bipolarmuse 2012

**I wrote this well over a year ago, almost a year and a half… those who follow along with my blog will know the inspiration… I always feel that everything I write goes here in this blog, so even though I wrote this in the beginning of 2012, I feel compelled to put it up here.**

Suicide is so devastating to those left behind… yet, I understand the need to go, the horrible pain that brings one to this choice.

If you are suicidal, please ask for help.

Hold Me

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Hold my breath,

forcing the smile.

I fear that to breathe,

Will make me crumble,

Choke on bile.

~

My heart feels gone,

You took it with you.

Hold it gently… cradle me.

I gave… you took…

Hold it gently, it’s already bruised.

~

No “goodbyes” allowed here…

for I will never utter those words.

I will always look ahead to you…

Close my eyes to linger in your presence.

Hold me where you are, abolish the hurt.

© bipolarmuse

So Here I Sit

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Yesterday was July first… significant to me because it was the day that I had to fly my two little ones home to Texas for final preparations before their move to Germany with their Dad. Two hours ago, I traded them off to their Dad, and now I sit at the airport (an overnight stay on an uncomfortable bench) waiting to board my flight right back home. We reached our destination at midnight, and I board my next flight shortly after 5am.

Does this blow a big one?? Hell yes it does. Happily, the kiddo’s were so excited to see their Dad that I was able to help keep their happiness levels on nice even ground. I assured them that we will ‘skype’ and do ‘facetime’ VERY soon so we can see each other as we talk. They seemed to really like that idea which makes me ecstatic! I will NEED to see them and talk to them while they are away. It seems like they grow like weeds and I am unable to keep track and record all of their babyhood and childhood growing adventures.

Having them here with me for the month was beautiful and absolutely amazing. I literally enjoyed every moment from doing things with a couple friends to just relaxing at home with them. We watched Netflix, drank chocolate milk, ate cereal, and drank Gatorade…. ate chips, noodles, snacks… you get my drift.

I slept in their room every night, (and I certainly enjoyed that very much), and took turns cuddling them. I listened to their breathing become more rhythmic, and took delight in staring at their beautiful features under the moon light.

I loved every moment given to me.

And I look forward to more.

Right now, I focus on staying healthy… and will work ever so diligently on that.

I will always strive to be the best Mom I can be… and I will practice being more and more of what they need.

Because when it comes down to it… isn’t it all about making them happy?? Creating moments for them to remember forever?? Watching them grow in happiness, health, and always have that beam of sunlight shine upon me from the happiness in the hearts??

That is where my love is. It is not selfish… it is not spiteful… it is not hurtful.

It is holding hands, little kisses, unspoken moments, and sadness turned into happiness.

And so now, I sit in this airport… so silent. I hold onto the smiles and hugs and kisses… I hold onto the “I love you’s”… I hold onto the fact that they will experience a life I could not have given them. I hold onto the hope that they will one day understand my selflessness was born of love for them… My selfish mind and heart wants to fight tooth and nail to have them in my custody at all times, but that is not what is best for the kids…

And so I hold on.

The Damage of Mania

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One of the biggest mistakes made…  no doubt in the throes of this disorder… is to end (and at times, begin) relationships while in the grips of mania.

The devastation brought on by this is insane. You lose people you love… hurt those around you… lose friends and family that you thought you could always count on… your reputation is dragged through the mud, over and over… and the worst, you just hurt yourself and the one you love most to a degree that may never be mended.

I am no stranger to this. And have, more times than I would like to admit, ruined relationships this ugly way. The last being the straw that broke the camels back. I no longer stayed in denial about my disorders and aggressively sought to treat them… but the damage was done, the relationship could not be revived, and we parted ways promising to be good co-parents to our two youngest children.

The damage was severe. The pain I caused astronomical. The domino affect of my actions led to my son being abused physically by someone I thought I could trust… this list goes on and on.

When I was in therapy, I was all eyes and ears… I recognized the feelings, emotions, actions, controlling factors, and etc… I had experienced them all before, 11 years previous when I left my first husband and lost custody of my children. Not for being a bad mom, but, well it is a long story… Can be read here- Time to get real- 1,  about the first go around and  Time to get real- 2 about the second. The point is, it was not foreign to me. I recognized having done this before and I was seriously ready to get to the bottom of this problem… ready to fix it, and to never fall victim to it again.

It has been a very long road since. I have been out of therapy for nearly two years and look forward to starting again in September when my medicare kicks in. My bouts of mania have ceased… and depression creeps up and ducks out. I feel like I am trapped in my body, just watching and waiting for the next attack on my life. I want to be well equipped, able to fight off any actions that I have not thoroughly thought out and planned for while in a normal frame of mind. I don’t want my world to buckle again… I don’t want to have to rebuild from rubble and tears… I don’t want to have to spend years saying “I am sorry” to myself and to others… I don’t want to want to die.

I want to live… and as I am learning, I want to live well. My goal is to serve as an open book for my children, so they can learn from me and see the devastation that can come from impulsive decisions. I want them to learn what it is to rebuild and be successful when all odds are against you. I want them to learn that we can all love again… especially to learn to love ourselves. And most of all… if any of them inherit my mental health issues, I want them to learn how to live and thrive even though our minds may try to get us to do otherwise. I will always fight for them… they have always been my beacon, now it is my turn to be theirs.

This disorder no doubt tore me down while making me believe I was all powerful and fully in charge. When I get thoughts like that swirling around my head now, I take a step back and start picking things apart… and I no doubt find that I am manic, rapid cycling, or in a mixed state… all damaging in their own right.

Being Bipolar 1 certainly takes over ones life… but I can honestly say that I have been taking it back.

I will flourish. I will continually work on forgiveness… not for others necessarily, but for myself. I will not stay silent, but speak openly about my disorders. I will help anyone struggling with mental disorders, teaching them my experiences and how I kept my head above water… and I will help to educate anyone and everyone who will listen.

I will learn to be proud of myself. I will always move forward… even if I have to take a couple steps back at times. I will keep this fire inside of me.

And most important…

I WILL NEVER GIVE UP.

NEVER.