Recovering

i_hope_you_find_this_interesting_by_yesterdays_paper-dbn1e9b

My brain chemistry still isn’t 100% sorted out since this last “breakdown”. I guess I would call it a break down. I went through some really dicey times just recently, even dropping a bunch of weight. I was in crisis. I am not anymore. I am, however, on higher doses of medication.

Because I’m not fully “recovered”, things have been bothering me way more and for way longer than they should. For about a week I have been spinning on the fact that I took my kids to a neighborhood birthday party where all the adults knew one another and, for the hour we were there, spoke to no one. Except my kids. In my anxiety-inflated sense of self, I have this fear that people were observing me and that they thought I was snooty or a weirdo. In actuality, they were all joking around and talking with one another and paying absolutely zero attention to me. And there’s no way in hell they’re thinking literally anything about me at all anymore. But my anxiety says I am now the neighborhood weirdo and/or snob because I didn’t go out of my way to introduce myself at a child’s birthday party.

I’ve been reaching out for help a lot and receiving it. I am very blessed to have this help. My help says, and multiple other resources say, that other people’s thoughts of me are none of my business and also make 0% difference in my life. And this is true. I am fighting against my whole existence of feeling that what other people think of me is what my worth is. I need to find a way for my sense of worth to come from within. I don’t know how to do that yet.

I feel like I should have made more progress by now. But I am in a better place than I was before this latest setback, in many ways. I did some hard internal work during all of this and though I am still somewhat fragile, I have taken a step forward. This is what I am trying to reassure myself. It feels like I just swing back and forth endlessly. But I look back at a few years ago and I have made such strides since then, there’s no way it’s always one step forward and two back like it feels. Things are getting better.

I got a haircut the other day and it is so, so short. I can’t wait for it to grow out. This is my third questionable haircut in a row. I wish I could just feel good about the way I look. I’ve gained a little of the weight I lost during my crisis back, but I also have not been good about exercising, and I have been eating way too much sodium. I’m also pre menstrual so I know I’m carrying waterweight. I feel boyish and inflated right now. Just the opposite of likeable and sexy. But this poor self esteem, too, is one of my pre menstrual symptoms. I’m actually supposed to take a medication for ten days before my flow starts, due to my depression getting much worse during this time, but I haven’t been doing it. Maybe I should, it would probably help me. I’m still resistant to being on meds, I suppose. My most important ones I comply with, even though I don’t want to. I hate being on medication. But I know what I’m like without it. It’s just my reality that I have to take it…

 

Image Credit: https://yesterdays-paper.deviantart.com/

 

Advertisements

Hello Again

strikes_and_spares_by_yesterdays_paper-dbj4cwk

 

Well, it’s been a long time since I posted a blog. I guess you get to a point in your life sometimes where things are so overwhelming that you can’t write them out. That’s usually the time you should actually write things out, but sometimes when I’m overwhelmed I do the exact opposite of the things that are going to make me feel better.

The rift in my family has grown to such that I don’t think it will ever be repaired. I’m having major abandonment issues as well as flashbacks to being younger and being forced to choose family allegiances. It’s all been extremely triggering.

I think my medications are doing a decent job. I’ve had a lot of paranoia lately but I can’t say whether that is chemical or deep psychological issues. As I’ve expressed before, my coping mechanism seems to be to ignore what is really troubling me and direct all of my energy into baseless terrors.

My kids are back in school, they’re about to start week two. I haven’t done anything with my free time yet. I want to work on streaming my gaming on Twitch.tv. I actually have steamed a few times, only once with my webcam on. If I really get into it I can monetize.

I’ve been losing a lot of weight, I’m down to almost where I want to be. I’ve been working out some but mostly it’s been IBS caused by my high anxiety levels. So I need to step up my workouts in case the IBS stops because I do NOT want to gain all of the weight back. I’ve also been eating healthier except for the last few days. I just cannot gain this weight back; I feel terrible when I’m fat. I need to get a tummy tuck really badly, between having my two kids and letting myself get so big I have more loose skin than I care for.

I don’t know what else to write about or comment on. I have all these internal struggles but there’s so much shit going on in the world around me. I don’t have any unique thoughts to add to the cacophony.

 

Image Credit: https://yesterdays-paper.deviantart.com

I Don’t Get High Anymore

love_s_proposal_by_yesterdays_paper-dbcn6a5

So I’m just finally going to come out and say it.

I have Bipolar Disorder.

I was diagnosed about three years ago. The details and circumstances leading to that diagnosis are not something I’m going to go into right now. But it was hard, and it was dark.

Leading up to it, I was high a lot. If not on the odd euphoria my brain was pumping out in rapid cycles, then it was the prescription medications I was using improperly. Or the hard liquor I was kicking back every day after work, in large amounts.

I felt good a lot.

All “good” things come to an end, and certain circumstances are unsustainable. I did the bravest and smartest thing I’ve ever done in my life and got help.

With one stumble right after my initial decision, I have been sober since.

And FUCK do I hate it sometimes.

Because I don’t think my body produces certain chemicals like it used to.

I’ve never had a “normal” brain so I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure the medications I was put on permanently altered my brain in a way that I CAN’T feel euphoria, ever. Not the kind of highs a “normal” brain pumps out from time to time.

I have not always been compliant with my medications. I mentioned in an earlier blog post about one of the reasons people go off of medications, and I’m speaking specifically regarding my experience as a person with Bipolar Disorder, is that you miss the euphoria. You get to a point where everything is so gray all the time that you just think, if I go off of my medications, now that I know I have this disorder, I’ll be able to handle it! I’ll have the good feelings and the energy and motivation and artistic drive I did before but THIS TIME I won’t spiral out of control.

Well, it didn’t matter for me, anyway, because all going off my medications did was bring back my crippling anxiety and depression and this time, no fun stuff.

I want to pause at this juncture and make it very clear that I am extremely grateful for my medications. They have improved my quality of life immensely. Maybe I don’t feel “good” how I used to, but I am so much more clear headed and on an even keel. This is in part because I went through many medications to find out what worked for me without turning me into a zombie.

Because I’m not a zombie. But I’m also not as colorful as I once was. I don’t experience the bursts of inspiration and motivation I once did. Two of the medications do make me sleepy, so I have to take them at night. The cocktail of medications together throws off my balance and sometimes clouds my memory. I used to have a perfect memory. I can’t consume certain over the counter medications and supplements, there are even some foods that I love that I can’t eat.

But I’m grateful, so grateful for the help that I have. I’m grateful I can be the person I now am for my family and friends.

There are still struggles.

I still get depression cycles! That’s part of what sucks. I still get depression and anxiety but I don’t get any of the “fun stuff”.

I don’t know if this blog is irresponsible. I’m considering not publishing it. Because God forbid someone reads it and decides not to get the help they need. I feel that I have made it extremely clear that getting help was the right thing. If not, let me do so:

I would literally be DEAD without the help that I got. Dead.

My blog post is not about how much it sucks to be on psychiatric medications. Except for the parts where it is, I guess.

I miss drinking. Some people on the meds I’m on do drink, even though you’re really not supposed to. And damn do I get tempted. But I know in my bones I wouldn’t drink to get a little buzz, or because I like the taste (which I do and I also miss). I would drink to get wasted. And I wouldn’t just do it on the weekends.

I know how to get medications. I can get pain meds, I can get anti anxiety meds. I know how to play the system. That’s one reason I got the help I did- I know the path that those things lead people down. They lead to heroin. I’m not exaggerating; that is the trajectory many people have gone down, and that is where I was headed, too.

I’m not a recreational drug and alcohol user. I am an addict. I am also sober, for maybe three years now? I think it was three years in April. I haven’t kept close track.

Anyway, all of this has been to say that sobriety kind of sucks sometimes. That was all I really came here to say. Sobriety can suck.

But it’s better than the alternative.

 

Here are a couple links that someone may find helpful:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

 

 

Image Credit: http://yesterdays-paper.deviantart.com/

 

Midday Motivation and Other Things

So I forgot Morning Motivation! I left the house shortly after waking this morning and it slipped my mind.

As soon as I opened Pinterest I found this and loved it because 1) It’s the beautiful blue I am obsessed with right now and 2) It’s incredibly apt for where I am in my life and the choices I am currently making:

a8eee5c7bd98f0f1c6244ace8d8de0f8

Image credits: http://mash-elle.com/

Nothing changes if nothing changes!

It’s true but it’s hard. Many times it’s something inside of you that has to change so that your mind can realize you need to make changes! Meaning, eventually you get tired enough of the status quo and you either break or you rise. I’ve done both.

I still feel stuck in many ways. I feel like my hole is deep enough that sometimes I’m not sure how I’m going to get out. But I do my best every day by: Getting out of bed. Taking my medicine. It’s the minimum I can do. Since I have kids I HAVE to get out of bed, care for them, etc, obviously. But I suppose I always have the choice not to. But I do it anyway. And then I take my meds.

I’m saying this not to brag about how great or responsible I am, because to most people these accomplishments might barely seem like accomplishments. But I do feel some pride in adhering to my regimen. Not everyone does, for one reason or another. A lot of times it’s because you start feeling good and you start feeling like maybe you don’t need the meds after all. Or you read something online that says vitamins can fix you. Or, if you have an illness that cycles, you start thinking maybe you’d feel better when you can start feeling those manic highs again (if you get those).

None of this is to assign blame to those who go off their meds, because I have done it! More than once. And that’s why I do allow myself to feel accomplishment for complying with my treatment- because I know it improves my life and, in doing so, the lives of those around me.

I fear I’ve gotten off-topic. The topic at hand is change.

Eventually the bare minimum isn’t enough, at least not for me. Now that I AM on a good track, I also feel that I’ve fallen behind. And that got me down for a really, really long time. I’m learning to accept what has been and accept that nothing is going to change if nothing changes! So I can’t just keep doing what I’m doing and feeling low and expect things to get better. The change has to come from within me before anything “external” improves.

I have no words of wisdom or point I was making other than that this picture is very pertinent to me because I am trying to figure out what changes I can make to make the changes I need to make!

In an abrupt change of topic, I found Razzleberry Peace Tea today!

FullSizeRender

I was super excited LOL because this hasn’t been available in my area in a long time! It’s just as good as I remember. 😉 Peep my “granite” countertops? And the white specks in the back of this pic aren’t crumbs, it’s stains or scratches or something. But in this pic you can also see my cookbook. Basically the only cookbook you’ll ever need, unless you’re vegan or veggie (I’m kinda pescetarian but I’ll cover my diet some other blog post).

My cookbook:

61W83XAWJAL._AC_UL320_SR280,320_

Product on Amazon.

My copy is somewhat old, I don’t remember if I bought it new. It’s a version of an ancient version my family had when I was growing up. Mine is unfortunately water damaged from an exciting kitchen flood we had about six months ago.

The other thing I have worked on today is my hair. I don’t know if I’ll post any pictures of it. I’ll definitely post them on my Instagram eventually. I got it cut pretty short last night (shorter than it was supposed to be, to be honest) and I bleached it, as much of the hair was my natural color (dark brown). The rest of it was blue. I’m doing it blue again. I don’t know why but I’m very into blue hair right now. Blue anything, really. I’ll have to read some color theory. I know that blue ties into the throat chakra.

ACTUALLY, that makes a lot of sense! Lately it’s all about self expression and speaking my truth. Also, indigo which is pretty much a dark purplish blue is related to the Third Eye- very spiritual, and the changes I am going through are very spiritual, and a lot about trusting my intuition. That trust has been harmed and undermined for a LONG time, but I need to relearn it because I actually have very, very good intuition if only I would trust it!

Okay, well, my Chromebook battery is dying so I will end this blog post now. I bought Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Dr. Richard Carlson yesterday at Goodwill, I’ve never read it but have heard great things. I’m sure I’ll be blogging along as I read along. For now I will peruse the book while my Rockabilly Blue Manic Panic sets!

PS- I’ve been including Amazon links to some product I use, just to be helpful to people who might find them interesting. I don’t know if that cheapens the blog, I hope not. I’m not getting paid to promote anything, I just like to mention things I enjoy in case others would enjoy them as well!