Being Bipolar isn't EASY

and the Art of Slowing it Down

Tag Archives: Circles

Will I be mine?

It seems that I am alone. Well not really, I have solid friends & a great family (Mr. Remarkable), but hypothetically speaking and in so far that we all are. It seems that no one can do this: thrive vs. survive thing but me.

My quagmire might be moderate but it’s a quagmire nonetheless and it’s STUBBORN. But I am drawing a line in the sand and allowing, operative word allow, this to be my rock bottom. Treading water is only attractive in so far that it is easy. And easy, I remind you – oh once ambitious one – isn’t where the glory is at.

I have been feeling a certain desperation lately and I don’t know, I don’t have the answer, but I think it’s a call to commit. Commit to answer the Universe’s call to love myself.

And so this Valentines Day (2018), I proclaim that: I love myself.

I am going to accept the responsibility to take care of myself and stop my self sabotataging ways. I am going to try my best, against the odds. To honor love and respect me. All me. The good, the bad & the ugly.

But I ask: How do I commit? How do I put action behind these words? Can I really draw a line in the sand? How is today any different from two weeks ago? Two months ago? Two years ago? Or five for that matter??

I dunno. I just have to believe. Believe in the power of love.

I yield to God

Warning: The following is highly personal & daily LOVE from one of many fearless leaders blogging today

I yield to God or at least I think I can. How well or not well one knows one another has little bearing in SM (Social Media) IMO. Matters little where care/concern, voices/truths are expressed/considered. But alas there in lies my problem with the crickets (I LOVE your hearts): so much is wasted largely on part of keeping up with the Jone’s and FOMO (fear of missing out).

It’s a much more powerful tool than we allow. Try as I might to make it a better tool. A tool that I both need and want. A complete luxury, I am aware WordPress. You have my permission to go ahead & crown ME.

But ppl, you ppl, are so much better than Google in a land with few Western or English resources. I post here to work things out and am most grateful that you listen but I’d really like to chat more with you; listen to your advice.

Maybe look at my naivety this way? ATM moment for all intents and purposes I am nobody & have done little. I might have 1000 friends/followers between FB, IG & WP – some are duplicates – and that’s GREAT. Really great!

But Leo, The Nerdy Lion, here is most right!

All my blogging, posts, replies & personal and intimate emails (writing) with friends etc.. have been enough. I have found my Voice. I need not look ANY further.

I have most everything that I need besides your chirping lol and so I declined a suggestion to learn how to speak from the Heart (which I am to do in my writing) by taking a class. I’m just gonna write the fcuking book.

There I said it.

Now I have to do it! <inject utter & daunting fear> MVMB, now I have fear… If you follow me here – you know: vulnerability is my path.

I need not be normal nor popular. And I do not have the desire for approval nor recognition. Certainly nobody needs to give me permission. 🙂

But I do desperately desire to know if what concerns me resonates or makes one think or is supportive. It effects the keeping up with the Jone’s and the FOMO’s – a well known human behavior. But it took me so many years to understand that I do have it, because many of you that I follow here or elsewhere or have read etc. (you get the point) have it! So #thankyou.

I deeply thank you for your existence because, and I quote Dani Shapiro, it’s our job, our responsibility (good word responsibility), perhaps even our sacred calling to take whatever life has handed us.

Everything is NOT enough

So, get this? 

After ten (10) plus years I was hospitalized, again!? And all because Mr. Remarkable was in China. By no fault of our own, we’ve been involuntarily separated since mid July?! So as you can see, my husband wasn’t around to see me slip, in person. I don’t intend to offend anyone, but make light like a feather, as in the looney bin for 5 (five) days!?!?!?!?!?!? <insert a BIG frown> 

And so, here – with this photo (he was so v nice to comply), I take/took back my power! I did not “unite”/bond really with any of the other mentally ill patients. Was afraid to talk to them, really. Gather I shouldn’t say that! But most were hearing voices & secluded themselves to their, shared, rooms. It was really REALLY sad.

You can trust however that I did try to reach many. But they were fairly unreachable!?!? Did I mention that it was sad? Entirely depressing…

I did however meet a REALLY stand up guy! David. (Note to reader: I think it okay to use his real name here – in case he ever reads this, although it’s against my blogwide policy.) Trust, I’ll never see him again!! Which is really hard b/c like I said: he was a really stand up guy. Caught in a similar, but not, situation at the same time in Seven Hills (Las Vegas) to detox. It was serendipitous. 

Mental Health institutions (is a Psychiatric Hospital an institution?) are tricky and although I’d like to help him along his recovery, I cannot. It would have been selfish of me to leave a call back number when I called to say “it was nice meeting you”. Even though I do need friends, that I can touch, while here on an extended holiday in Las Vegas. 

God help me make friends in Las Vegas!? It’d be good to get out of the house more often…

But, I digress. David, if your listening, I respect & admire you! Your (bipolar) mom should be proud. I pray that giving up the sauce will unite you more intimately with others. Alcoholism is an albeit common but more importantly lonely disease. Hence the problem, I gather. I pray that your estranged twenty (20) something year old daughter let’s you in. Try to get in? I imagine that part of your rehabilitation is for your relationship w/ her?? Operative word, your! You gotta do this for yourself! 

Finally, I’ll close by saying: (Chopra is often right.)  I trust if you look for God in other, healthier/wealthier, places you’ll find him or her. Good luck! Xx

It’s so Easy!

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It’s so easy! I repeat: it’s SO easy for our loved ones to shift the focus to us; to avoid their own problem child!! I for one, as a blogger know this first hand!!! IMO because I try to honestly and diplomatically share some of my inner most feelings publicly here I get condemned for it at home!?

 

Everyone thinks that my husband is so gentle and tolerant but I no longer see those qualities as often as others do! :| In the beginning those were the qualities that attracted me to him but to my point I have to work hard to find other things attractive today. I trust that you can read between the lines. If my husband mistreats anyone, it’s ME!

 

Today, and I mean this morning; I got blamed for his disappointment with our much-needed conversation about a financial matter. One thing led to another and it was a snowball, after minute seven (7) we no longer knew what we were talking about… much to my surprise we were talking about my recent post “it’s excruciating being me” but today was the first mention of it!

 

Problem IMO is that my “remarkable” husband is not in touch with his inner child. Hell he is not even in touch with his brother! (Not because they are estranged but because hey do not make time for one another.) He is not in touch with the higher Spirit that brought us here today, let alone together… God bless him, he hardly has a chance to take a break to notice the finer things in life and as far as this post is concerned that includes ME! But to his credit for a few weeks last December he turned to meditation; Yoga Nidra in fact. I was hoping for the best but as life goes, those good times often fade away like ships passing in the night.

 

I don’t want to drown you in complaints about my husband, he’s not all bad, and all us folks in relationships can relate – we all have complaints about our better half BUT I also don’t want to bury my head in the sand… and I feel at this moment that I have no other outlet but this blog!

 

And so I continue because I know my husband will read this post. Honey if you’re listening: EVERYTHING is not my fault! YOUR opinion about me is so very inflexible, set in concrete in fact, and that is so very damaging to our relationship! IMO you are holding onto grudges for your own inability to achieve perfection; let alone mine! It’s high time to forgive yourself, & me, and move on!

 

More over it occurs to me that you are incapable of reaching into the depths of your soul and sharing yourself the way I do here. You’re a man. Most men can’t! And I will try not to blame you for that any longer but in return I ask that you give me some credit where credit is due. It may come easier to ME but it’s hard work to be this open. I dare say that it’s terribly unfair of you to use it against ME!

Lessons from Mahatma Gandhi

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I saw some version of this on a t-shirt yesterday & I believe it to be true!

“Life has shown me that people are courteous if I am courteous; people are sad if I am sad; people love me if I love them; people are mean if I hate them; people smile if I smile; people scowl if I am scowling; that the world is happy if I am happy; that people get mad if I am mad; that people are grateful if I show gratitude. Life is like a mirror; if I smile, the mirror returns the smile. The same attitude I have towards life is what life will have towards me.”

Note to reader: This post started over two (2) years ago!?

Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes I have problems owning up to that pain. Often I act cowardly and turn the other way. <Insert sigh>

I can just hear myself, “No it couldn’t be MY attitude that needs a tune-up, it’s just that I was dealt a shitty hand…” Problem is I am wrong! I have failed to listen to this advice for the last two (2) years?! I could have saved myself a great deal of heartache if I internalized the message long ago.

And so as I embark on therapy but you can trust that I’ll be sucking facebook dry for what inspirations it has to offer!

Break on Through

 

If your familiar with my older posts – you’ll take note that it’s been a while since I opened with a song. Hope your glad to have it back! This one touched me deep inside recently as I am working on breaking on through to the other side… Gratefully I have been coping for a long while but think I am in the final stages of gaining life long stability through introducing a daily routine and continuing with my gratitude practice. Not unlike how recovering alcoholics prey for their sobriety morning & night.

 

With that I will share that it was only after reading this I realized that I am just TOO HARD on myself!? http://www.mysticalraven.com/inspirational/19-signs-youre-doing-better-than-you-think/

 

And so I will try to take a deep breath, now and again, when life presents me with another challenge and continue! Our breath is and always has been our gift in this life!!

 

  1. I am alive; and for a Bipolar that is significant. I have contemplated suicide more than once.
  2. I am able to see the sunrise, alone in the comfort of my home with a cuppa joe. But a glass of wine, usually cooking at sunset?!
  3. I am able to hear birds sing if I pay very close attention and waves crash if I go to a beach of any significance. I have never really been a beach bum!
  4. I can walk outside and feel the breeze through my hair… sometimes I notice it when I don’t have my nose in my phone?! I will try to not the sun’s warmth on my skin more often!
  5. I have tasted the sweetness of a chocolate cake & living in macao, I miss a good chocolate cake!? Thanks for reminding me. :|
  6. I never go to sleep hungry, unless I am dieting, and for that I am so very sploit.
  7. I did awake this morning in my family bed with the roof still over our heads. My son & I try to remember to thank the Universe for this daily.
  8. I always have a choice re: how to express myself and for this too, I am so very sploit.
  9. No, I haven’t feared for my life today.
  10. I have overcome some considerable obstacles, however innocuous they have been and I have survived. Am still evaluating the learning curve. ;p
  11. I have ambition, passion, drive and thte freedom to make my own choices!
  12. I don’t live in China… Macau isn’t China!
  13. I am strong & healthy! Although you may be hearing from me more soon, I have to get foot surgery & will be strapped close to my apartment in a cast for a month!
  14. I have a family of nine (9) whom misses ME and is looking forward to spending some time together around the holidays.
  15. …uh, no. Maybe not, at 42 I don’t reminisce much yet.
  16. …uh, again no. The drinking water in Macau is the shit of the litter. We get everything that China doesn’t want. BUT I know what you mean, it’s clear.
  17. I have high quality medical care and insurance that covers most of it! This is a blessing!
  18. Geeze! Sadly this is a BIGGIE!! I don’t know what I do without the internet.
  19. I can read and I am very proud that I taught my son to read at four (4) by simply tracing sentences with my fingers.

 

Note to reader: I encourage you to elaborate on your own answers as I did. And I encourage you to write them down!

 

One (1) day sober

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The title however catching is deceiving; my goal is not sobriety. Gratefully I never hit rock bottom but I hit my bottom. If you can appreciate that, you understand that most things are relative!

My relationship with alcohol started at a young age. It started innocuously; I was just ‘experimenting’ but I grew to abuse it over the years – I used it to self medicate. As of late I have a drink everyday; sometimes as little as 1 (one) but occasionally as many as 4 (four). I’ve been in denial, for much too long that my drinking is in fact is a problem and the denial has made matters worse; not unlike the big belly Pooh got from his honey pot!

Whether your aware of it or not, alcohol is everywhere you go. It’s so very accessible that I don’t know how people entirely abstain from it! The temptations are harder than I can possibly imagine. That said however I can appreciate coming to the conclusion: “it’ s just not serving me any longer”! That was the conclusion I had until I had long discussions with my best friend, husband & psychiatrist!

In short, they don’t think that I fit the alcoholic profile. I trust that they all have my best interest at heart and we are all very well aware of the bipolar/alcohol relationship but they all have drawn the same conclusion and suggested that I start by giving myself a quota. i.e. seven (7) glasses a week. If I drink all seven (7) in one night at dinner with friends, so be it. Or if I choose, I could enjoy one (1) glass a day. Once I learn to moderate it, I can taper off. The point is not to punish myself nor go overboard and abstain forever.

There’s a famous quote that Albert Einstein said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I may very well want different results, as I now appreciate that my self-medicating has gone on far too long. What I want now is to be restored to sanity!

And so my theory goes: Discipline can restore me to sanity, writing can restore me to sanity, more meditation & yoga can restore me to sanity! I am not going to find sanity in another glass of wine!

And so I have taken the first step and set a quota. I pray that God helps me find new & improved ways to cope with the daily grind. I trust that she will as I have opened myself to her. With that I am considering the possibility of a life coach to ensure my short term success!

Life is a dance

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After reading this post, you may add “snob” to my growing list of nicknames – it wouldn’t be the first time. In college I wouldn’t eat a bagel outside of NYC – forget the frozen ones… & when I lived in PHX, second retirement capitol in the USA to LV, I imported my coffee from Portland on a small Architectural salary while my ex boyfriend, Scum Lazy-Ass Moron, covered my rent!?

So you can only imagine that the story now continues. Sadly I have to accept that in some ways I have changed very little. After all that I have seen in my short forty-one (41) years, I have a really hard time saying that developing countries are “beautiful”! It’s somewhat technical and most certainly reflective of my quest for the perfect words in life but in my narrow world view, I think there should be another word for them… Ever since my first trip to India, in 2009, I have been searching for a new term!

I’d like to say that the people and the experiences they afford are beautiful; and IMO they have been and continue to be – unforgettably so, but I am beginning to wonder if I only appreciate them because I grew up in America, in an arguably privileged household.

It’s not just mainstream Design/Architecture that is missing in third world countries but on average much of the landscapes are barren and dry, the infrastructure is sometimes poorly designed but most often tattered & many of the people, it fascinates me to note through their endless smiles, look tired and their street clothes are often dingy – forever spoiled by the inordinate amount of hand washing.

If that last paragraph makes you feel disdain for me, please consider forgiving me, I am only now finally beginning to understand that I am one of those “Sploit American’s” that so much of the world snickers about.

Short of taking away from that acknowledgment; I’d like to come full circle and back to what place this post has in a bipolar blog…

As I lay in bed and reflect on the theme of my accepted Screenplay and autobiography let me remember what Arianna Hufgington said: ‘Life is a Dance Between Making It Happen & Letting It Happen’… Although I have just begun to tap into my hero’s message, my understanding is that it has something to do with answering the questions: “What is really important?”

Many of you might think that I should have arrived at the answer by now but I am still on this road hoping to learn to pass with less judgement and deeply accept that although we share so many commonalities, our countries, our families, our afflictions are so very different! And short of rejecting myself and diving off the deep end into a pity party, that’s what I think that we all need to embrace. Like them or not, our differences make the world go around!

And with the recognition of that at 3am, I am going to close my eyes and pray. I am going thank our dearest Universe for my teachers – my lessons then & my lessons now. I want to thank the Creator of all things for the extraordinary gift of travel, I feel light years ahead of where I could have been if I were held captive in my homeland. I want to ask that the Spirit Guides and Deities help me to keep it real & to share the finer things that are within my control; appreciation, compassion and love for one another – may it come to me freely and easily. But most importantly I need to remember to thank God for bringing me here to the tip of this iceberg; hopefully I’ll figure out what life is all about, act accordingly & grow deeply and profoundly beyond my wildest dreams!

Note to reader: The picture above was taken on my first elephant trek! Imagine your own possibilities as you realise that little girl from Akron Ohio road an elephant in Thailand!

Perseverance

I don’t know that this is the right forum to discuss this but I want to talk about recognition. So here’s my spin on recognition with relationship to this blog, my blog.

Since September, when I came out, my blog has received approximately 137 views a month. That’s huge in comparison to the 216 views that I averaged per year since I started writing in January of 2011. And those are just the ones that get recorded! I cannot explain the increase in visitors but assume that http://www.beingbipolarisnteasy.com is showing up more often in searches now that I have gotten some traffic with the help of my friends.

Obviously, Mental Health is a popular topic in American, so I have plenty of fellow American viewers but what amazes me is that peeps from Brazil, Italy, the UK, France, Portugal, Canada and South Africa regularly visit my blog. Hell I have even had viewers from Egypt & Montenegro?!

The thing about being able to view the stats is that the public acknowledgment, acceptance, admission… approval, validation feels good. It makes my efforts official. Note to reader: The key word is “public”. Most of my viewers keep their visits “private”. Nonetheless, I find it empowering even if you readers don’t acknowledge my writing by commenting or liking my post. I know that I am being watched… I know because I watch you. It’s a little narcissistic. No?

I may only have 60 WordPress.com followers & 242 Facebook followers and that’s …something. I should say “and that’s enough”… but if truth be told, I cannot because I salivate so much that I have to wipe my drool with my shirt sleeve when I see the hundreds of likes and commentary on other popular bipolar blogs. It’s not the attention but the conversations that are being had elsewhere that I envy!

You see I aim to be an open book, honest about my experiences in hopes of helping bust the stigma of what it’s like to be creative & mentally handicapped but as far as I can judge the thing of it is, is that my stories are not average and I cannot acculturate.

I do not suffer nor cope apparently the way the typical bipolar does, I blame a large part of it on my spiritual practice – yoga, & therefore I can only assume that people, that do not practice yoga, cannot identify with ME. And that’s where the recognition or lack there of rubs. It would be easier if people accepted ME into the social process of blogging but because I do not fit into the socially accepted bipolar identity I am reduced to an outcast.

And yet I try to stay positive. So if you are reading this, accept my appreciation to all of you that read my blog. Writing isn’t easy and so I will persevere. I am just trying to take action, face the stigma & increase public awareness – possibly change THE WORLD (views). ;)

And so as I often do; I leave you with this: http://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/May-2015/7-Things-To-Remember-about-Mental-Health?utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=blog

In My Opinion

IMO had I not told my now husband, a few short weeks after we met, when I was thirty four (34) that I moved back into my parents house to get medicated for & stable with my “BIPOLAR” condition, we might not be together today! You see, I had a vision & a belief that my future could have a different story than the one that I had been living/ struggling with on my own…

Kindly read this article now so that you can appreciate where I am coming from! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/11/mental-illness-shame_n_7204676.html?utm_hp_ref=stronger-together&utm_content=bufferf56f9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Further I might not have been blessed with a child, because I had fertility issues in my late twenties (Note to reader: We were preggers a short six (6) months after marriage.), and I might not live in Macau… Ha! Not that Macau is any great shakes, IMO, but it does afford me the privilege to travel internationally & appreciate the limits of our greater world, first hand.

And that got me reflecting – had I been honest with my employers I a) may have been paid better, Bipolar’s are known for their creativity, or b) I potentially may not have so easily quit & or been fired from many a good job prior to meeting my hub.

All that said, I know how tough it can be! It still took me a good five (5) years later to “come out” to my larger network of family and friends and I still haven’t come out here, behind this blog?!

After Robin Williams suicide, a light bulb went off in my head and it occurred to me that IMO: “honesty IS the best policy” and amazingly I have found in less than a year that I am more comfortable not hiding behind a secret/lie… whichever way you choose to look at it! (Note to reader: Now I believe that not being true to myself and fair to those around me by being an open book was both; a secret & a lie!)

Additionally I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to enjoy the joys of advocacy. I wouldn’t be able to help friends old and new. Some times it is not so obvious but years and years of therapy has taught me how to dissect what’s behind our words and actions. Mind you it’s only my opinion, at the end of the day, but it helps me analytically juggle my interactions and those of others IMO. Lol; are you tiring of all the IMO’s?

Even more importantly perhaps it has made me hypersensitive to my alcohol fetish. I cannot say “alcohol addiction” because I often choose to pair my drink with my food in a very rudimentary non-sommelier way. (Note to reader: If you haven’t read some of my other recent posts, you may want to stop now and read another breaking ground study: http://www.thelocal.no/20150427/norway-study-substance-abuse-related-to-mental-health.)

The saddest thing about this reality: “that people living with a mental illness choose not to seek treatment for their disorder due to fear of judgment is the loss” is that it cuts both ways. Loving a person that is mentally unstable may not be the easiest thing to do. IMO they can be less rational, practical, logical, hold grudges longer, literally imagine that the sky is falling when the shit hits the fan but the breakups and the havoc that they wreck on both parties is so very not worth it. Sand bagging relationships is not worth it. Sticking to your guns to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is!

And to think that this very common occurrence could easily be remedied with three (3) simple words: “I am _______.” Here, I challenge you, all of you – clinically unstable or not to fill in the blank. If you can’t I encourage you to write to Encyclopedia Britannica because the world needs to record that there is one “PERFECT” person in this crazy world.

The point here is this: never be ashamed of your _______. It might not be pretty but admitting that you have a _______ might be the first step towards making it work for you. Dig up the courage to look past your limits & listen to Caroline Casey, “being absolutely true to yourself is freedom”. Here I have chosen to share her TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/caroline_casey_looking_past_limits

…I know it may be hard to admit our weaknesses, shortcomings and failures but it’s so very exhausting trying to being perfect. When reality not a single one of us is. IMO we all need therapy. We are all some shade of fucked up. Some of us are just more open and honest about it than others.

It is my hope that you find this post supportive and that its helps give you the ability to believe that you can get past your _______. I hope that ME and my stories encourage you to be yourself! Trust that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

At the end of the day, my message is this, I am glad that I told some random guy that I had barely even kissed in a town that I had no intention of staying in why I was very nervous to be HIS date to his birthday party. What I learned through my sharing is what Caroline Casey learned: “When you make a decision at the right time, in the right place – the Universe makes it happen for you!”