bipolar, Mental Health, mental illness, suicide, Uncategorized

13 Reasons Why

***Trigger Warning***

What do you do when you have a bad night? Like laying in bed thinking about suicide, considering how your husband would react when you found you when you got home from, and worrying about if your baby girl wakes up before he gets home.

I’m having one of those nights. I haven’t watched 13 Reasons Why but my husband just finished it last night and told me that the suicide scene was really bad. I asked him how she killed herself (big mistake) and he told me about the scene. I thought about it all last night. It took me forever to go back to sleep. I just kept replaying over and over again what I imagined it would be like. I can’t get it out of my head.

That is the problem with shows like this. I don’t care if it is getting people to talk about mental illness more. How is that helpful when it is alienating and triggering people who actually have mental illness. I have so many people tell me how intriguing the show is, but I still chose not to watch it because I know myself and I know the dark place I’m in right now. And I know there are others like me. People who want to talk about mental illness but want to do it without dramatic rape scenes and a traumatizing suicide scene.

I don’t know if anyone heard about this but earlier this year a young girl live streamed her suicide. The camera stayed on until her parents found her and turned it off. As soon as the website/police realized it was online it was removed but it had already been shared. Did you get what I just said? A video of a live suicide had been shared on the internet.

It is my belief that situations like this and 13 Reasons Why aren’t helping us talk about mental illness, it’s desensitizing us to suicide. NO ONE should be able to sit through a suicide scene. My husband told me he had to turn away and was almost crying. This is from a guy who saw active duty in Iraq. Yet I already have friends who are starting the show over because it was so good the first time. That sickens my stomach. I don’t care how well written it is (and I know because I have read the book), suicide is real. Life isn’t like 13 Reasons Why. You don’t get to watch a dramatic scene unfold and then fast forward through the suicide so you can sleep at night. People need to start talking about mental illness, not suicide.

I know lots of people may disagree with me on this and that’s fine. What I want people to understand is that you can’t just put trigger warning at the beginning of an episode and pat yourself on the back for acknowledging mental illness. I chose not to watch the show but it is constantly being thrown in my face on social media and in my own life.

Anyone can watch a show about mental illness and suicide but how many of those people would have held me last night while I cried and hallucinated (my husband did). Mental illness isn’t a fiction story, this is so many people’s real life.

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Therapy and New Medication

Therapy is so important! I did not realize how much I depended on my weekly sessions with my therapist until I missed one. I need that outlet to talk and vent and put things in perspective. I don’t care if your bipolar, depressed, or totally “normal” seeing a therapist is a good thing.

I get to go to therapy this morning and I’m pretty excited about it. My therapist must see how dependent I am because she isn’t even in the office this week but said she would come in to see me.

So I also had a visit to my psychiatrist last week. The nightmares have gotten really bad. I was having them at least 3 times a week. My doctor put me in a new medication that is used to treat PTSD nightmares and increased my anxiety medication.

The first night I took the new medication I woke up suddenly and hallucinated to the point that I was screaming. The next night was better and I’ve been on it for 7 nights and had no nightmares so that’s great. My cholesterol is still high and my doctor is concerned about my weight gain. I gained almost 6 pounds in 4 weeks. One medication I’m on has really bad side effects like that so he is doing blood work at the next appointment to check my levels again.

I hate that there isn’t another option I have to be on bipolar medication and (hopefully) be stable but live with terrible side effects. I wish I didn’t need medication.

Oh well. I’m kind of having a pity party this morning. My weight gain has really brought me down.

On a completely different note, my husband has decided he’s ready to have another baby. Yeah right.

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bipolar, healthy, medication, Uncategorized

Healthy Lifestyle

So I have accepted my diagnosis of Bipolar disorder. I don’t argue with it, I don’t deny it. But lately I have been researching what I can do, besides medication, that can help me feel better and stabilize my mood. I know the first thing I need to do is eliminate enriched breads. I have a gene mutation that makes it so my body does not process folic acid, in fact it actually hurts my body when I have folic acid. So I am purposefully removing any enriched grains and pasta that have folic acid in them. I am trying to eat more vegetables but that is not going well.

My psychiatrist has encouraged me to lose 15 pounds to help with lowering my cholesterol (Yes I’m 22 and have high cholesterol). So the removal of bread helps me cut out some carbs and hopefully lose some weight. I have been walking at least 3 miles every day and trying to get in some core workouts. I am also just adding in things that make me feel better about myself in general.

So here is a breakdown of my plan:

  1. Cut out 80% of my carbs and all enriched foods
  2. Walk or do a cardio workout every day
  3. Stop biting my nails
  4. Take care of my skin
  5. Clean my house!! I have realized that the clutter in my house really contributes to my anxiety
  6. Lastly, I have started “gardening” I have a couple of plants on my front porch to take care of and even bought a strawberry plant

This is my intentions to live a healthier lifestyle that contributes to the work my medication is doing. I am not considering going off of medication because I know right now I need it to be stable, but my husband and I have been talking about when we want to try for another baby. The reality is that none of my medications are safe for pregnancy. So my goal is to learn how to be as stable as possible with or without medication.

bipolar

I add in those quote from Carrie Fisher because I can relate to how she feels. I take medication three times a day as well and it is a constant reminder that I cannot function normally without medication. If I miss a dose, I feel the effects and to be completely honest, that makes me feel like shit.

So here is to living a healthy life, using medication, diet, attitude, or whatever. We can all strive to be as healthy as possible.

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bipolar, parenting, Uncategorized

Momming is hard

Since I left my job a few months ago I have been a stay at home mom. Let me tell you being a mom is hard. Spending 24 hours a day with a little person that is full of attitude takes a lot of patience. Unfortunately patience is not my strong suit, especially when I am depressed or manic, which to be honest is 90% of the time. Momming is so hard.

I have a 20 month old daughter and two very annoying dogs. I snapped at all 3 of them this morning. I yelled and I hate that because I don’t want my daughter to remember me like that. I want her to remember that her mother always loved her and never feel unsafe or scared of me.

So what do I do? I’m taking my medication, exercising, eating relatively healthy. I don’t know what else I can do to stabilize my moods better so that I don’t lose it with my daughter.

I know moms are allowed to have bad days. I get that. I just feel like when I have a bad day I feel so guilty and that guilt makes me feel depressed and then I can’t be a good mom. It is a vicious cycle. This is the time to give myself a little grace, to realize that the frustration doesn’t just come from my bipolar moods, “normal” people have bad days with their kids too. This is something everyone struggles with. Parenting is hard. Parenting means lots of tears and laughs and snuggles. If every day with my daughter was perfect I wouldn’t really appreciate the good days but that moment when my daughter has been whiny and clingy all day and reaches to me to give me “Ugs” (hugs) and tells me “Love you” it is so worth it. That whole bad day is erased from my memory and I just want to be there in the moment with her.

I am never going to be a perfect mom. I’m never going to stop struggling with mood swings but I have plans in place for the days that I can’t function. And the rest of the days? A lot of coffee and prayer.

Moms, please tell me I’m not alone.

keepmomming

 

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Positive Thinking

Since a lot of my recent posts have been kind of negative lately I’m going to try to change things up. I know there are good things happening in my life but sometimes I get so consumed with my disorder I don’t recognize them. So I am going to try to think of 10 good things:

  1. We rented out a room in our house last week for the Masters Tournament so extra $$$
  2. My lawsuit settlement finally came in from my knee injury so more extra $$$
  3. It’s tax refund time so even more extra $$$ (Yes I’m obsessed with money because that is a big source of stress in my life)
  4. My husband started school a few weeks ago and he is doing so good!
  5. The weather has been absolutely perfect here which means open windows and dinner on the front porch every night
  6. My physical symptoms (dizziness, headaches, nausea) have finally let up a little bit and most days I feel better
  7. I have done a work out three days in a row and I’m about to go on a long walk with a friend
  8. I lost 3 pounds (My doctor said I need to lose 15, I have high cholesterol (I’m 22 and not overweight, I just eat really unhealthy and it runs in the family)
  9. I have really great friends in the neighborhood who include me in fun activities
  10. I am drinking a wonderful cup of coffee right now to start my day off right

There are 10 positive things. It was harder then I thought and you might think some of them are dumb but to each their own. I recently wrote that blog post about thoughts ( Mental Illness ) and I still don’t do a very good job of controlling mine. It is not just enough to push the suicidal thoughts out but I need to bring in good thoughts to replace them.

attitude

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bipolar, Mental Health, mental illness, Uncategorized

Blame it on Bipolar

Over dramatic. That is what I get called on a regular basis. I’m over dramatic when I get more emotional than other people.

Guess what?

That is what Bipolar is. I have stronger emotions than people without Bipolar disorder. In fact, check out the National Institute of Mental Health and it says, “People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion”.

Sometimes having crazy strong emotions is so cool, being able to feel so much can be like a high. The ability to live in this state of black and white horror is something other people don’t get, it sets us apart from others.

But on the other hand, people who don’t feel those emotions, don’t understand those emotions. Which is how we get back to the over dramatic. I hate being called over dramatic or emotional or sensitive. Unfortunately, my emotions are usually so scattered when someone calls me one of those words that I end up crying or getting angry, thus proving their point.

So what do I do? Do I hide my emotions or try to act like I’m not “crazy”. Or do I let myself be me regardless of what people think.

Bipolar is such a big part of my life. I am who I am because of bipolar disorder. But people don’t know that. Most people don’t know that I have bipolar disorder. I contribute to the stigma of mental illness because I keep my disorder a secret. I am too ashamed of my mental illness to be open about it. The thing is, people treat you differently. They might try not to but it still happens. All of the sudden you can’t babysit their kids or volunteer at that school event. There is a fear that you will snap at any time.

I am such a high functioning bipolar that I’m not going to let it destroy my life yet. But here we are again encouraging this stigma that people with a mental disorder are treated differently.

Oh well. For now I will continue to allow people to think I am over dramatic and too sensitive instead of just blaming it on bipolar.

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Still Surviving

I am still surviving. Barely. This is not what life is supposed to be like. I feel like every single day is a fight. A fight to suppress the suicidal thoughts. A fight to try to be a good wife and mother. A fight to even get out of bed.

I have been taking my medication regularly. The new psychiatrist changed it again and added in an anti anxiety medicine that is supposed to help with my sleep and lessen the nightmares. I have been seeing a new counselor and I feel like we are making a lot of good progress. In the past my counselors just let me talk for an hour but this woman actually does worksheets and exercises and stuff. Yesterday we went through the progression of the suicidal thoughts (what triggers them, how I respond, and what I do) then we went through the same progression with healthy ways to react at each step. I now have this sheet of paper that tells me how to respond to triggers, thoughts, and pain.

The problem is I don’t feel well. Physically I just don’t feel well.  I am dizzy, my vision is getting worse, and I have daily headaches. I saw my family practice doctor Wednesday who treats my anemia. He tests my iron every month to catch it before it gets really bad again. He said that the symptoms are probably side effects from increasing/adding medications. He did say my heart rate has been lower every time he sees me and he was actually concerned with how low it has gotten but that he doesn’t want to do anything until they think my body has adjusted to the new medication.

 

I know this post is pretty negative and as I was reading some posts by blogs I follow this morning, they were positive and talked about healing and recovery. The problem is I’m not there yet. I haven’t recovered, I am still struggling. Hell I’m not even stable.

But I will be one day. That’s the only reason I am still alive today. I believe that one day I will be okay. One day I will wake up and not loathe my self, or my diagnosis.

I am still holding on for that one day.

one-day-i-ll-be-there-quote

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