The BiPolar Pendulum

When you tell people that you’re Bi Polar you get the look, followed by the questions.  “Are you sure you’re Bi Polar?  Have you been diagnosed by a doctor or self diagnosed?  Maybe you aren’t really Bi Polar, maybe you’re just really stressed out because of everything you’ve been going through and you just need a break”.   I just love those questions!  I just want to say “Yeah.. and maybe you’re just really stupid but don’t realize it yet.. maybe you should go get diagnosed by a doctor for it”.

If someone tells me that they have a mental health disorder my first response is never “Naw.. you don’t have one of those.. you’re just stressed and need a break!”  If you knew how extremely hard it is for a person to not only be diagnosed with a disorder but accept it and learn to live with it you wouldn’t say such stupid things.  No one wants to go through life knowing there is a problem with the chemistry in their brain and we damn sure don’t want to be questioned about it either!  It’s hard enough to just say we have it, and live through our daily lives trying to deal with the massive mood swings.  Don’t make us defend ourselves to it too.

I want to try to explain to my readers what it’s like to have a Bi Polar pendulum mood swing.  We all know that women can be a little moody when they are suffering from PMS.  No I’m not being sexist, I am a woman and I know what it’s like to have a period, be bloated and miserable wanting to cry one minute and scream and yell the next.  We’ve all gone through it.  A pendulum swing is not the same thing.  The best way I can think of to explain it is a visual explanation.  Did you ever see the movie “The Conjuring”?  If not you need to it’s a really good movie.. but that’s neither here nor there.. Anyways.. if you did then you remember the scene where the witch picks up Nancy by her hair and swings her around from one side of the room to the other, but at this point no one can actually see the witch so it appears as if she’s just being thrown around like a rag doll.  Well when you have that Bi Polar swing you are flying across the room, only its in your head and there’s nothing you can do about it.

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Most people stay in the “normal” range pretty much all the time, only ever swinging when something bad or good happens.  Say the death of a loved one, or maybe winning a large prize.  When we lose someone we swing to the depressed side, which is logical.  You expect to be depressed or have people depressed when a loved one passes away or because of an accident, house fire something that happened to swing them in that direction.  Just like you’d expect someone to be manic if say they won the lotto, or maybe found out they were going to have a baby or become a grandparent.  For someone like me, those mood swings happen for no reason, other than we are alive and breathing.  Sometimes the mood swings come on gradually, slowly creeping up on us a little more every day.  Sometimes we are thrown across the room into either depression or manic.  The massive quick swing is worse for me, because I have no time to process it.  This is what I am going through right now.  I felt the swing happen yesterday and it literally feels like I’ve been picked up and thrown against a wall.  I feel it happening but there’s nothing I can do to stop it.  Like I told my therapist today, I feel like I am plugged into the electrical outlet and the current is swimming through my veins and if I try to just hold those electrical impulses in I will explode but if I let them out I may end up in a hospital wearing a nice coat that makes me hug myself.  I want to lunge out at people, telling them every bad thought I’ve ever had about them.  I want to throat punch complete strangers.  I want to run a marathon.  I want to get in my car and drive off into the night leaving everyone and everything behind.  But I’m one of the lucky one’s, because I can recognize that I’ve been swung into the manic phase.  Or in my case the Hyper Manic Phase.. because ya know.. just being plain ol manic isn’t enough..nooo we gotta add hyper to it!  Because I can recognize it and put into words what and how I am feeling I can somewhat control my actions keeping the general public safe.  I can not however control my feelings, meaning I will continue to feel angry, and hyper and alone.  I will feel like the smallest problem is now the worlds biggest.  Like a mosquito bite is equivalent to a King Cobra strike.  There is no in between when you are manic and that is truly miserable.  I don’t want to hurt or stress my family, but being alone in my head will and can hurt me.  I suppose I should be thankful though, because manic is so much better than depressed.  Especially when you’ve become depressed for no reason what so ever.

All I can do is continue to take my weight gaining, diabetic causing medicine and hope for the best.  I already exercise, watch what I eat.  I don’t drink, I don’t smoke.  I see my therapist.. I do all the things people will tell you to do to help control the mood swings but they don’t last.  I just keep praying that one day my family and friends will truly understand that I loved them deeply, even when my mood kept me from showing them.

Some may wonder why I’m blogging about this today.  I am because I want to help spread awareness  Not everyone can just “get over it” or “chose to be happy”.  Some of us need a little more love and understanding in our “swing times”.

 

Generic VS Name Brand

I’ve always been the type of person who tries to save money any way I can.  I only buy things I need that are on sale or second hand, I try not to impulse buy anything and I buy generic brand groceries instead of those higher priced name brand foods, for the most part.  There are a few things however that I just cannot use the generics because they tastes just so bad!  I figured i’d give a list of a few things that in my opinion, the name brand is worth the extra money.

5) Tuna.  I just can’t deal with the cheaper brands anymore.  It has to be Bumble Bee or Starkist for me, the store brands are so discolored and just tastes so blah!  I have gotten to the point where I buy the Albacore only now.

4) Potato Chips.  I generally don’t eat potato chips, but on occasion I get a hankering for a good old salty crunch chip.  Every time I try generics I am completely let down.  They have burned ones in it, ones that are so hard you can’t hardly eat them.  Some are so salty it feels like you’re mouth is drying up and cracking or completely on the other end of the spectrum and no salt at all.  So I splurge and get me a bag of Ruffles or Lays.

3) Soda’s.  Now I haven’t had a soda in 8 years and I don’t miss them at all, but when I did drink them they had to be Coca Cola or Dr. Pepper!  No Dr. Perky, no Mt. Lion.. bleck.

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2) Peanut Butter.  Give me Jif or none at all! The store named peanut butters just seem so sugary and kinda tastes like cardboard disguised as peanut butter.  I’m finicky, what can I say!

And the number 1 thing that I just cannot do in generic brands is..

1)  Macaroni and Cheese!  About 6 months ago or so I decided to stop using boxed mac n cheese altogether and just spend the extra making it from scratch.  That powdered cheese stuff is kinda grossing me out.  I used to love Kraft mac n cheese but as I get older I’m finding more and more foods that I used to love now hate.. like Fast Food.. I’m down to Chick Fil A.. that’s it!  The rest are just gross to me.. but that’s a different blog..lol  Anyways.. have you tried the store bought mac n cheeses?  I have yet to find one that tastes even remotely close to Krafts!  None compare to my homemade but in a pinch.. it’s gonna have to be Kraft! (Velveeta is great but expensive!)

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So.. how about you?  Is there anything that’s not on my list that you just have to have the name brand only?  Let me know.

 

Through the bad comes the good

2016 was not a good year!  The USA has been so divided and fueled with anger and rage.  Riot after riot, protest, fake news and so much more.  The Celebrity world was rocked over and over again, right up to the last hours on the last day of the year with death after death.  For me personally, it was a very long year because of our financial situation.  Even though we were finally at the 12 yard line at our own goal.. it was still going to be a very long very hard year.   I’ve been out of work for almost 2 yrs now due to medical issue’s and this was the last year of our financial obligation.  The two mixed together has been impossible.  We barely made ends meet when I was working, when I had to stop those ends got further and further apart.  We have had to let every credit card go to the creditors (and those were only used to buy groceries and put gas in the cars).  We had a repossession and so many other things thrown on us that it just seemed like it was destined to be a year of heartache and failures… but it wasn’t.  Even through all the hell, heaven showed through.  So hear is my year in a nut shell.

The beginning of the year started out like the last 10, us at home ringing in the new year with lots of food and sitting at the table playing games, listening to music or whatever.  The only difference was my daughter went to her friends for the night.  They get older and suddenly sitting at home with the parents isn’t as much fun as it used to be!  So it was a quiet beginning.

Jan/Feb/March were all quiet.  Just us at home trying to survive.  The cold had me indoors most of the time.  Then in April I was given a fantastic surprise!  My sister.. my best friend in the whole wide world came to visit me… and she whisked me away to NYC.  I blogged about it so ummm.. you shoulda read it by now.  🙂  It was amazing.  I fell in love with the city and I can’t wait to go back and explore some more! I wish I could live there!  At least have a place that I could go stay whenever I wanted to!  1 thing off my bucket list!  And honestly it was something I never thought I would get to mark off.

May brought on my son’s 19th bday and my 7th wedding anniversary.  Both very low key because of that whole no money thing.  But we were alive and healthy so that was reason enough to celebrate.

June saw another thing I’d never been a part of before.. I got to witness the birth of my great nephew ( I blogged about it too).  Both of my kids were CSections so I never actually saw the births.  It was truly a miracle to see.  I stayed in tears with the biggest grin.  Such a blessing to be a part of it.

July took my babies to Texas to visit their family.  My son got to go this time, it’d been years since he went so he was very excited to go.  He really misses his poppy and grandma and Aunts and Uncles and cousins.. so he was in heaven to see them again. The rest of summer was pretty quite.  Most days at the pool trying to get slim and tan, neither was accomplished!  Got a lil red sometimes but managed to avoid the intense lobster red I’m so accustomed to turning into it.

August found us in the ER with a facial wound!  My daughter was cleaning and rearranging her room when she accidentally hit the light with her mattress and looked up just in time to see the glass falling down.. right into her face!  Luckily she got clocked in the nose, a half an inch in either side she’d have gotten her eye!  She got a couple of stitches and worried constantly about the “scar” she was going to have.  I kept telling her it’s character but she kept freaking out about it.  She’s better now, even though she still complains that it sometimes hurts.  My birthday came and went in August too… I’ve decided I don’t wanna go up in age anymore..lol.  So from now on every birthday will be my 40th!

September was back to school and back to doing nothing for me!  The pool closed so I just stayed in.  I know.. I’m exciting.

October found us back in the ER.  Yup, my daughter again.  She’s very athletic, she is on the cheer squad, track team and basket ball team.  She’s always said he knee’s hurt some but you’d have to see her to understand why I never overly worried about it.. she’s all knee’s and elbows so I just thought she’d grow into her body.  Except she came home one day and her knee was super swollen.  The doctor came in and looked at me then looked at her and said “You’re just like your mother.. see how she’s weird shaped from the hips down? Well, you’re weird shaped to”.. she was being truthful but in a funny teasing way. She said “Your mother is knock kneed and pigeon toed.. you can see it clearly just by looking at her.. and you’ve inherited those qualities”.  Poor thing.  Not to mention she’s hyper extended so she looks like a Flamingo when she’s standing.  So as soon as I was discharged from my PT because there was nothing else they could do for me, she was sent!  They only thought they were rid of me! HA!   I also dressed up this Halloween.. something I haven’t done in years!  I decided to go as Negan and I think I did a pretty good job on my costume!  I even made my bat!

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November came and found us trying to prepare for the holidays as well as our daughters birthday.  Having a baby born in December makes parties difficult.  If you wait til after Thanksgiving everyone is busy and no one show’s up so we started doing her parties before Thanksgiving even though her birthday is mid December.  And because she’s such a spoiled diva this means she has multiple parties… lol.. I indulge when I can.  So we had her bday party and everyone showed up!  Which is always good and the kids had a blast.  Then we had Thanksgiving at home, very quiet.  Which leads us to December..

December was the FINALLY moment of the year.  We had made it!  10 years of purgatory was finally over!  The court ordered garnishment was done!  Everyone keeps asking us how it feels to be rich now.. but we are so far from that!  The first, second and third paychecks with out those payments were just in time to have Christmas, Birthday and rent!  So there’s been no extra money, but I’m not complaining.  Quite the opposite actually.  For the first time in more than 10 yrs we were able to finally have a good Christmas on our own.  Everyone always says “it’s the thought that counts” or “Christmas isn’t about giving gifts” but unless you are a parent who cannot do for your kids you don’t understand the feeling of failure that comes from not being able to do those things.  We’ve been graced with great friends who have helped us out many many times.. and I’ve been so thankful for those angels.. but I’ve wanted to be able to finally be at a place where I could buy the things my kids wanted on my own.. with no help and this year we did!  They didn’t have hundreds of gifts.. or the most expensive things in the world but they were happy and that filled my heart up!  Plus… my step son came to visit.  Y’all have no idea how happy that made my husband.  I don’t think his feet have touched the ground yet!  The fact that his son bought his own tickets and chose to spend the holiday with him was the greatest gift he could have ever gotten, other than if his daughters did the same thing!  It truly was a perfect Christmas.  My baby girl had her birthday and her sleep over party and she got the boots she wanted.  Well kind of.. she wanted Uggs but ain’t nobody got money for those! So instead we got her a really good pair from Kohls (with them on sale and Kohls 20% off with $10 Kohls cash!) so she was super excited!

So through a year of hardships and tragedies this year was really pretty good for us.. the most amazing thing of all.. My sister, the one who took me to NYC was diagnosed with cancer again this year.  It is her 5th time fighting this horrible disease.. she never let it get her down.. staying positive through everything.. she got her results from her pet scan the other day.. SHE IS CANCER FREE!!!! THANK YOU JESUS.  she is my rock.. my soul mate among friends.. she deserves so much good to come her way.. and getting those results is hopefully the start of good fortune windfall for her.

 

So happy new year all.  I hope 2016 wasn’t bad for you.. and if it was.. I hope 2017 will be so much better!

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The Greatest Gift

Today is a day I will never forget… my heart is so filled with love that there aren’t adequate words in the English language to convey what I am feeling right now.  To explain just how great this gift I received today was I must first tell you a little about why this day has been plagued for more than 30 yrs of my life.

Way back in 1978 we received the news that my father had died on this day.  He left behind 4 young children with a young wife to raise us alone.  Now before you feel bad for me, know I had the greatest mother ever so I rarely ever felt like I was missing out on something.  Only on occasion, such as the father daughter dance that I was told I couldn’t attend because I didn’t have a father is really the only time I can remember feeling like something was missing.  So after that every year this day reminded me that there was something missing, even if I didn’t feel like it most of the time.

Today though, exactly 38 years later I was given a gift that has changed this day forever for me.  A gift so great that I feel so loved and feel so much love.  My best friend in the world Nekita.. well she’s my sister now.. I adopted her more than 20 yrs ago and she’s proven that she is more family to me than 95% of my blood family called me through the Facebook app so that I could be a part of and a witness to the birth of my great nephew Sebastian Dixon.  I watched with tears in my eye’s and love in my heart as my niece did an AMAZING job delivering him.  She was a real trooper, no screams, not even a moan.  She just concentrated and pushed this little new life out into the world.

Now why is this the best gift ever?  Well even though I’ve had 2 children of my own they were both C Sections so I’ve never actually witnessed someone give birth.. and to be included in this most precious most personal moment is something that just can never be topped.  The only thing that could have made it any better would be if I could have been there in person.  Thankfully we have the technology today that I could be there to witness it all.  I’m so proud of them all and feel so loved, I only hope they all know how much I just adore and love them!

So thank you Nikki and Luis and Jaquetta for including me in this event.. thank you for giving me the greatest gift I’ve ever gotten.  Thank you for calling and making me a part of the baby shower and the proposal since I couldn’t be there in person.  Thank you for making me feel so much love.  Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy.. I love you all so much… Welcome to the world baby Sebastian.  Auntie Shannon will spoil you every chance she gets to.

It’s time to say “I forgive you”

When we hold onto anger and hatred and disappointment in someone who has wronged us, we steal some of our own joy away.  We are not harming that person by staying angry at them (in most cases that is). Fact is that person probably doesn’t know or care that they’ve hurt you, even if they destroyed you to your core.  So you have to get to a point where you just say “I forgive you”.  Not so that they can come back into your life and either make it better or possibly screw you over again making the wound come back even worse than the first time… no you say so that you can let it go.  You have to get to a point where you mean it though, it’s easy to say “You’re forgiven” and not mean it.

So after many many many years… You are forgiven.  The Bible says “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”… I don’t believe that is always the truth.. sometimes you just don’t wan’t to do anything to the other and you pray they don’t want to do anything unto you again so that you can both live your lives free and clear of each other.

So I have to say it again.. You are forgiven.. I wish you well.. I wish you joy and happiness… but I wish you a life without me.  I may have forgiven you but I can and will never forget the pain you caused me, the scars will remain forever and I just can’t take the chance of you opening the wound again…so, again I say.. You are forgiven.. and farewell.

We all just want to be seen

I need to take a moment and vent a little.  You see, I am a mother of a special needs child.  Luckily my son’s disabilities aren’t “severe” and he is able to function (for the most part) in society, but it hasn’t always been that easy for him.  He’s grown up and his nerve endings have grown and reconnected in his brain just like the doctors said they would, in other words his brain rewired itself.  He was a target all through his school career and all he ever wanted really was for people to just leave him alone because he knew they’d never see him for who he really was.

If you now me you know that I LOVE the Wawa.  I love their Sugar Free Caramel Iced Latte and I treat myself to one whenever I can.  At the particular Wawa that we go to I have figured out that on Tuesdays and Thursdays there is a group home for mentally challenged persons to have an “outing” and they come to the Wawa.  For the most part every time I’ve ever seen them they’ve all be just all smiles and so happy to be on an outing.  They always say hi to everyone with the biggest smiles on their faces and when someone says hi back to them you can literally see them light up from inside their very soul.  Only once have I seen one having a “bad” day and was struggling to hold it together but that is to be expected.  If you have someone like that in your life (my son has Autism) then you know some days just don’t quite work for them.  That is the only time I’ve witnessed any of these beautiful souls not smiling.

Today my husband and I stopped in to get a coffee and as I walked by this young man he smiled so big and said “HI” to me all excitedly.   I of course smiled big right back at him and said ‘Hi to you”.  He just grinned.  It made  him happy to be seen.  About 20 seconds later a man was walking past him and side stepped to make sure he didn’t touch the sweet man as if maybe what he had was “contagious”.  The kind soul smiled and said “HI” to this asshole of a man who shrugged by him and purposely turning his head away so he wouldn’t make eye contact with him.  You could see this angels smile dull a little, but it didn’t stop him.  He turned and smiled at me then told another lady “HI” who said it back to him.  It took all I had to not chase that asshat down and throat punch him!  What would it have hurt for him to take 1 second of his pathetic life and tell this innocent loving soul “Hi”?  It wouldn’t have hurt him at all and it would have made someone else’s day.  Why do people in this day and age still treat these lovely souls like they are contagious and if they even look at them they will be cursed with the same disorders or extra chromosomes or diseases they have?  These people just want to be seen, accepted for who they are.. they just want to hear “hi” back.

Take a moment the next time you see someone like this and just admire their smile, their hope and love they have that shines brightly from them.  Take a moment and learn what true humanity is.  Don’t be a dick like the asshat today, say “hi” back if they say it to you.

Passive suicidal ideation

 

The other night I was watching a paranormal show (yes I watch them) and the lady on was discussing different things and she said “Passive Suicide” is when someone has thoughts of dying but would never do anything to hurt themselves.  I can’t explain the feelings that slammed into me when I heard this but it was like every light bulb came on at once and I wanted to scream out YES… THAT’S IT!  You see, if you follow my blog you know already that I suffer from Bipolar and all that entails.  I’m walking basket case that has learned how to somewhat keep it all together while in public but pretty much lose it when at home and especially when I’m alone.  Those hours between night and day or the worst.  I have anxiety disorder, anger displacement disorder, PTSD and Bipolar, I’m a blast at parties!  For the most part I deal with all of it with sarcasm and humor.  Even my therapist has told me more then once how hysterical I am and how she knows that the funnier I am being the worse off I am in my head.

Anyways, back to my original thought.  Sorry I shoulda added ADD in there to.  So apparently Passive Suicidal Ideation is when the thoughts of death go through the mind.  Like thinking “I wish I could just go to sleep and never wake up”.  You’re in essence wishing to die but know you could never do something drastic like pulling the trigger or swallowing that bottle of pills.  I have these thoughts often, more often then I’ll ever admit to anyone.  Sometimes when I’m driving over a bridge or high over pass I’ll have a day dream of going over the side and smiling as I knew the pain would soon be over, but I never act on it.  I know too many would be so upset if I did so I put my mask of false bravado on and go through the motions of getting through the days.

Some days are better then others.  Not every day is bad, and not every day is a time of wishing for death.  Some days are all about living and watching those around you happy and healthy and enjoying life but being Bipolar means you never know when that mood will swing the other way.   When I’m manic I am on top of the world and everything is great. I’m full of energy and ready to take on the world, I’m 10 feet tall and bullet proof.  The problem is I also cannot sleep for days which means when the crash finally comes it’s one of epic proportion.  When I fall from the hilltop down into the valley there is literally nothing that can bring me out of it.  I have to ride the wave until that wave reaches the hilltop again.  During this time I find myself shrouded in the thoughts of death.  I stare at my endless supply of pills the doctors keep throwing at me for the many different ailments I have that they can’t figure out and fix so they just throw a band-aide on it in hopes that it’ll shut me up.  I have those day dreams of my car veering off the road and hitting a tree, or just going to sleep and having some kind of a massive heart attack and never waking up.  Anything to stop the hurting and the pain.  I thought I was the only one who had these thoughts, well not the only one I realize others with mental illness have these thoughts to but when I heard the name of it I was happy to know that it’s common enough that they named it.  I mean, I’m not happy that enough people suffer from it that they named it but happy that I’m not even crazier then I already think that I am.  Does that make sense?

Right now is a valley.  Last week was an escape from reality.  I was in NYC and there was no “normality” around me.  I got to be someone else for a few days which was fantastic, but now that I’m home and my family has gone home and life is back to normal reality has set in and it fucking sucks!  I’m stuck.  Literally stuck.  I can’t go anywhere or do anything because of financial reasons, I can’t get a job because of medical reasons, I can’t work on my book because of crappy equipment reasons, I can’t paint because I can’t afford the material to do so… you see… I’m stuck.  I get to watch TV.  I had planned on getting out and start walking and enjoying the sunshine and trying to help my hip but I had to have a Biopsy last Monday and they said “don’t get sweaty until this is healed up” so there goes that… stuck.  and I hate it.  So the thoughts are back.  The logical side of my brain realizes this is the mental illness talking but the illogical side of my brain is telling that logical side to shut the hell up and the anger and hatred and self loathing is taking over.  I hate being stuck, which makes me hate this life I live.. if that’s what you call what I do is living… I hate it all…and I want the pain to stop.. I want to disappear… just poof.. be gone.

I’m not writing this for your pity, I don’t want that.  I don’t want sympathy and I don’t want a “You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself, you have it so much better then some” lectures.  I’m writing this to let people know and understand that mental illness isn’t always that person who goes on a shooting spree, or a serial killer, or even that really strange kid in high school that ended up committing suicide.  Mental Illness is me.. it’s the estimated 57.7 million people in the USA who manage to make it through every day without hurting anyone except themselves.  You may not know this or realize it but someone in your life, someone you are close to suffers from some form of mental illness.  You’ll never know until they either lose their handle on life or they ask for help before that happens because we are excellent at hiding it when we need to.

Even though there is still a debate on whether or not Passive suicidal thoughts are as dangerous as “real” suicidal thoughts I will tell you from personal experience that they are.  I know this because I have held the gun to my head and pulled the trigger (playing Russian Roulette) and I’ve taken the bottle of pills and had to have my stomach pumped.  If the thoughts are there, the thoughts on how to carry it out are there to.

“An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older or about one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people.”