Tag Archives: mood disorders

“…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

My Extra Heart Beat

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

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

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

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

I WAS TERRIFIED.

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

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

FALSE

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

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

That was my hell.

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

Psychosomatic? Indeed. I was told so anyhow.

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

©bipolarmuse 2015

Psycho-Babble Self-Help Books Amuse the Muse

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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 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