Tag Archives: Mood

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.

Just Another Quack Doctor….

So yesterday I had the privilege of meeting and speaking to a doctor practicing in the medical field as an OB/GYN, who literally told me that she did NOT believe in Psychiatrists, nor in mental disorders like Bipolar Disorder… or in severe mental illness like uncontrolled paranoid schizophrenia.

When she told this to me, my eyes burned into her… they locked onto hers and just intensely stared into her, looking for some inclination that she was just teasing. Well friends, she was dead serious. She has absolutely no belief in it and thinks we “all have problems”, some of us just handle them better. She told me if I just accept things, heal and learn to love myself, and take it one minute at a time, I would be able to come off all the medication that has kept me stable (or as close as I could get to stable), and I would never have to take them again. WTF??

This is a doctor who works with pregnant women and delivers their children into this world. How does this doctor help a woman suffering from postpartum depression? Isn’t it negligent on this doctors part to not help these women??

I was honestly speechless. I was sitting before a person who obviously thought I was a liar about my mental state… what else could this doctor believe? She made a point of saying that these Psychiatrists want to give everyone a “blanket” diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, no matter what the “real” cause of their symptoms may be.

I am disgusted that this person, someone that we all would look to for guidance and direction, is sharing this poison with others.

I may be able to agree that the diagnosis is thrown around quite a bit… but that it doesn’t exist at all?? No, I am sorry. I have personally seen what this disorder has done to me and my life. I have felt, first hand, the chaos that becomes my brain when I accidentally skip doses of my bipolar medications. I live this disorder.

I will make certain I never refer a friend, or anyone for that matter, to this Doctor. EVER.

Ways To Cope

Having Bipolar Disorder and co-morbid piggy backers are not easy to live with. Some days, of course, are much better than others, but overall, dealing with mental disorders becomes easier as I learn more skills to combat the negative affect they can have. I have had some form of depression and bipolar disorder for as far back as I can remember. I think I really noticed it when I was about 11 years of age… and it has never let up since. Sometimes I have gone for a short time with no symptoms, but it is short lived. Some form of the disorder shows itself at all times whether it is mania, anxiety, depression, irritability… you name it.

So how do I cope?

One thing I have found SUPER important for me… and it helps others as well… is to have a very regular schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night, wake up at the same time every day, workout, spend time with friends and family, eat properly and don’t skip meals. All of these little things are very important. Now, I cannot control every single moment of the day… but these things mentioned are within my control so I make sure to use that to my benefit.

Sleep is so very important as well. Just two sleepless nights and I can be thrown into mania… and what is inevitable after mania?? Depression. Dreaded depression.

I do my best to keep my ‘action’ plan updated… this is a plan on what to do if I hit a manic moment or a depressive moment that seems larger than life… this plan is in place to protect me. Simple things on it… talk to a loved one, take walks outdoors, word in my DBT and Bipolar workbooks, distract myself with movies… etc. I am sure you get my point.

There are many ways that we can combat this disorder, and though we will always have it, we don’t always have to be at war with it.

How do you cope??

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.

Bipolar Is Awesome!

funnybipolar

Picture courtesy of Pinterest

LOL, I found this and found it funny and a tad bit true. I hate being bipolar at times and at other times, it absolutely rocks. Am I crazy for saying so? Nah… we all have mood swings we go through, mental disorders or not. We all share the same fluctuations in moods, attitudes, behaviors, and well… you get my drift.

I guess we ALL can be bipolar to a degree. The difference? Well, the difference is when these symptoms completely become out of control and interfere with your life. When being depressed causes you to stay in bed day in and day out, that is a problem. When you become so manic you start five different tasks, personal or at work, and cannot complete a single task… that is a problem. This is when some interference is needed to help control these crazy fluctuations in moods.

I can remember sitting in my therapists office… indian style on the couch, clutching a pillow, and rocking back and forth because I could not sit still to save my life. My teeth even chattered. It was like being on a drug. Interference was needed. Then came the massive dose of depekote. I went from speed walking and chattering teeth… reading five books at once… and planning to take over the world to drooling on myself and unable to hardly get off my chair at work. Literally… I drooled on myself, down the side of my mouth, to my shirt, on to my pants….

yeah… I hate being bipolar, it is AWESOME.

The Bipolar Patient and Medicine Compliance

Medication compliance and those with Bipolar disorder happens to be a difficult subject. Why is it that we are not willing to continue taking out meds? I think if we were force-fed the pills, we would still manage to throw them up to get them out of our system.

So why are we this way?

Why doesn’t being compliant have anything to do with whether or not the medication is working or not?

Why do we fight so hard to be med free?

I do not have the answers, only my own personal reasons which I will share later, for now, I have found some interesting information that I will share here.

*Medication noncompliance or medication nonadherence is the failure to take prescribed medications.*

What I found to be interesting is that many individuals with Bipolar disorder do not take their medication as prescribed because they are in denial about their illness. This is referred to as anosognosia: Real or feigned ignorance of the presence of disease)… and this is the first reason why those with bipolar and Schizophrenia stop taking their medications! While researching this, I found this to be VERY interesting as I found it to be true for myself, and treatment of my disorder. I spent many years seeing different Doctors, being prescribed different medications, and eventually removing myself off of the medication because in my mind, “The doctors had is all wrong” and nothing was wrong with me. I spent a little over NINE (yes, you read that correctly, 9 years) in complete denial. In the beginning, it was easy to have myself fooled because everyone around me was on the same band wagon… “nothing’s wrong with you”, “doctors just diagnose anything to make a buck”,  “you don’t have anything wrong, you just make bad decisions”… etc. Everyone around me supported my idea that the Doc was a quack job and that I was perfectly healthy. So I certainly related to this reason for noncompliance. This reason beats out medication side affects which is next.

Another reason we don’t take our medications as prescribed is because of medication side affects. Are they annoying? YES. Do our bodies adjust? MOST OF THE TIME. Personally I loathe dry mouth, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, racing mind, sensory sensitivity, and the worst… sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction is a very large reason, especially for men. It causes some to have the inability to achieve orgasm and in men, sometimes it also causes them to be unable to get an erection. Horrible for someone who is finally coming out of a depressive episode and WANTS to engage in some sexy time with their partner… yet they can’t. In fact, one man told me he would “rather be a raging lunatic with a hard-on than a normal person with a limp noodle”. Can you blame him? Even for myself personally, the sexual component was difficult to get over. However, after a few months, my body became use to the  medications and my bodies ability to achieve orgasm returned…. which was perfect timing because I was finally to the point where sex of any kind was welcomed.

Of course there are many other reasons why we tend to go off of the meds that are intended to help us to feel better. Maybe they are not making us feel better (in which case it is important to get into the Psychiatrist pronto), or suicidal tendencies (again, GET INTO THE DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY, OR TO A HOSPITAL), *maybe you cannot afford the medicine*… lets talk about this one for a moment.

If you are unable to afford the medicine there’s a couple things that can be done to help you. For one, ask your doc for samples. Most can do this if the medications are new (and still horribly expensive). Another option, which I opted for, was to “tinker” with my medication cocktail and try to replace the newer expensive medications with the older (just as effective) options. I remember one med (literally only one, I was taking four at that time), for a month supply, was almost $1000.00…  Guess what happened? I stopped taking my meds.

Then I went to AZ who had a nice program for those with mental health problems (they have since changed some of the rules and NOW can only get assistance financially/medically  if you have a dependent)…. there, I received therapy and saw a Psychiatrist on a regular basis. This PDoc assisted me in getting assistance for my primary bipolar med (Lamictal) [and have not had to pay for that medicine over a year now] and switched out my anti-psychotic med. First we tried Resperidone, which worked “ok”… definitely nothing to write home about. Then we gave that up for Haldol, a very old anti-psychotic. We started out with a very low, low, dose and then increased it to what is still a very low dose. Klonopin was also prescribed and I used the generic Clonazepam. This “drug” cocktail as they like to call it was perfect for the affordable options I had. These three medications currently cost me approx. 55.00$ a month… That is a huge difference.

Currently, starting this next week, I am going to apply for adult mental health service… and hopefully they can get my medications for me.

Even after acceptance of this disorder, I battle staying on the meds. One day… it will come naturally.

 

Emotional Intelligence… Practice It!

emotionalIntelligence

I love emotional intelligence! When we practice this, we remove all power that we allow others to have over us. I know it is difficult to learn and practice, trust me… this one is hard for me too… but once we are accountable for all of our emotions, we can have better control over them. Nobody “makes” us feel anything… our emotions belong to each and every one of us, they are not in the hands of others. Take back control and choose how you will feel…