Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy, Uncategorized

Stress and Bipolar Disorder

stress

Bipolar is defined as a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. (National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Everyday life for someone with Bipolar can be difficult to manage without any major upsets to our daily routine. The highs of mania and lows of depression can cycle through our day like a roller coaster causing havoc on our daily lives and relationships with others.

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

Adding an unexpected disruption into anyone’s daily life, whether it be good or bad, raises their stress level for sure. When that person already has the added difficulty of Bipolar disorder, or any other mental health issue, the stress level jumps to outrageous highs.

How To Cope

Of course there is the ever-present advice of taking your meds, talking to your doctors and support groups, yada yada yada. All of those are really great advice too, if you maintain these things, you can begin to get a handle on your life.

What about daily life? What to do when someone suddenly pisses in your Wheaties?

  1. Take a really deep breath – slowly. During this breath, think about why you are where you are at that moment – paycheck, satisfaction, fun, shopping for a needed item, whatever the purpose – and realize that you have a ‘mission’ to complete. Realize that the person that just did whatever they did will not stop you from attaining your goal if you do not let them.
  2. Take a minute alone if you need to. Step away if you can to a quiet place and evaluate what actions, if any, you should take regarding the new situation. Then rethink them a couple of times to be sure of your course. Follow your options through – if I do this, this will (probably) happen, and so forth for each option you have. Make your choice and, as Nike would say, Just Do It.

Other things that can help are getting a pet, regular exercise and sunshine (yeah, sunshine! it elevates moods and vitamin D levels). Using light, sound, color, touch, music, smell, any of your senses to create a mood lifting atmosphere around you (a small necklace or bracelet with an essential oil infuser in it is amazing therapy here – you can find them practically anywhere). Carrying a photo of someone or something that fills you with good feelings and thoughts to look at when your motivation lags can also help.

Years ago, I would put a large rubber band on my wrist and, every time I would find myself feeling sorry about my situation, or getting depressed, I would snap it hard enough to leave a mark. It was sort of a punishment for feeling sorry for myself. It worked for some time, until I began to enjoy the sound of it too much.

For more tips on coping with Bipolar and Stress Help Guide: Living with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Hope – 7 Ways to Manage Stress While Also Managing Bipolar

Have A Fabulous Day!

Keep Smiling! They’re Contagious!


Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy, Uncategorized

A Whole Community of Rejected Parents of Adult Children!

Apparently there is an entire network of parents that are in similar situations as mine:

Rejected Parents Network

And a couple of books like this one!

DoneWithCryingBook

Get The Book Here!

Just had to get this out there today!

Thanks for reading!

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy, Uncategorized

The Words That Get Me By

My post concerning Mother’s Day must have hit a nerve somewhere. That’s all I’m going to say other than this is my response to the abusive and horrible things that my son said to me on Monday.

(BIG SURPRISE! He actually read my blog. That actually amuses me for some reason I do not understand. He has never wanted to actually know me, but he’s reading my blog? WTF?)

The words to this song got me through my divorce from his father, and continue to spur me on to this day. I do love it so. (Yes, I’m pissed off, can you tell?)

Godsmack – Keep Away

To hear the song on Lyrics.com : Godsmack – Keep Away

Sickness spilling through your eyes
Craving everything
That you thought was alive, yeah
Stab me yeah, in my heart again, ah yeah
Drag me through your wasted life
Are you forever dead?

Do like I told you
Stay away from me
Never misunderstand me
Keep away from me

Twistin' everything around that you say, yeah
Smack me in my mouth
200 times every other day
Oh, rag me, I don't hear you anymore, not yet
Find out what it means to me
I don't know who you are

Do like I told you
Stay away from me
Never misunderstand me
Keep away from me

Do like I told you
Stay away from me
Never misunderstand me

Draggin' on so lonely
Aren't you tired baby? Yeah
Breathing life into your lungs
Are you immune to me?

Do like I told you
Stay away from me
Never misunderstand me
Keep away from me

Do like I told you
Stay away from me
Never misunderstand me

Keep away from me, oh yeah
Never misunderstand me
Never misunderstand me
Never misunderstand me
Godsmack
Godsmack is an American heavy metal band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin.

Judge me if you will, but this is my song for people that abuse and use me. It could be worse, I know some pretty violent ones – LOL.

Have A Fabulous Day! (I’m going to!)

Keep Smiling! They’re Contagious!

I-Have-Two-Moods-Dog-Meme Just thought this was cute and thought I’d add it for fun.

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy, Uncategorized

Mother’s Day Be Damned, I’m OK

Mother

Yes, I said that. Yes, I have three sons. No, we do not speak. Before you judge, that is MY decision, not theirs.

I have not mentioned my sons much in this blog for the very reason above: we no longer have a relationship. The two younger sons betrayed me. Publicly and on record. To the detriment of their Down Syndrome older brother. I tried to protect him and get him help from the awful living conditions that he was in living with his dad, and they betrayed not only me, but their brother as well.

This was not the first time that my sons have done similar type of things when it comes to me. They are apparently of the opinion that a person with Bipolar and PTSD is “unfit” and “incapable” of being there for her son with Down Syndrome. They have hidden the fact that they felt this way their entire lives. Until that day in court anyway. Fine. Whatever.

You know what? In my mind, that meant that they also find me “unfit” and “incapable” when it comes to being in their lives, or being a grandmother to my youngest son’s son. (Boy does that f*&%^*&g hurt – I was the first to hold that baby when he was born.) Again, Fine. Again, Whatever.

The entire time they were growing up I never got a gift, a card, or even so much as a freaking phone call or text. Not for Mother’s Day, my birthday, or just because. They only called when they wanted something, anything else was up to me. That was fine when they were young, they were kids. But they have been grown for years now. This year will be no different really. I’m OK with that, after all, I’ve had years of practice at being ignored, used, and abused. I’m done with it.

But when it is our own kids that betray us, we are ‘supposed’ to forgive them. (I put supposed in quotes because that is what society expects us to do.) We are judged very harshly, especially as women, if we do not communicate regularly with our offspring. WHY IS THAT???

The pain of being betrayed by anyone is bad, but what to do when your own son looks you in the eye, under oath, in front of many witnesses, and lies and then just destroys you simply because they were upset about an unrelated matter?

What do you do as a parent? What do you do as an individual being attacked in such a manner? How do you defend yourself to people that have heard nothing but bullshit from their father and his family for their entire life? People that refuse to even listen to your words, much less believe them, even though they are the God’s honest truth?

How do you cope when the mere thought of it all just makes you want to revert back to being suicidal because it is so ridiculously hopeless? You protect yourself, that’s how.

I don’t know how others handle this type of situation, but, after that day in court, I told my sons that, since I am so “unfit”, they can just forget I even exist. I mean really, if I am so “unfit” for their brother, then I must be “unfit” for them too, it is only logical. I told them not to call, or write, or text, unless it was an emergency, and then it should be by registered mail or Red Cross. That day in court proved to me that, in the future, I will need proof of any further communications with them. Yes folks, it was THAT bad.

I stood alone that day. No lawyer, no family, no friends. In a state I hadn’t lived in in 20 years fighting for the protection of my oldest son, the betrayal I felt that day almost destroyed me. I spent about 3 days in a deep depression before I came out fighting mad and determined as hell.

I basically reverted to my military training here. Adapt and overcome. YEE-fu$&ing-HAW!!

Judge me if you must, but I am a happier woman without having them in my life. I took my life back from people that abuse, use and are generally not good for me, and unfortunately at this time, that includes my own sons.

My heart aches for them every single day, never doubt that. My very soul is missing it’s center without the love of the very people I lived for all those years, but I will push through. I would literally give up everything I’ve ever had for things to be different, but they aren’t. And wishing won’t make it so.

I am in full self protection mode where they are concerned now, and I will stay there. Someday, a very long time from now, maybe things will change. But then again, I know myself all too well, I may not ever forgive. I am not God, nor am I even remotely God-like, I do not have it in me to forgive as easily as some do. I’m not sure that I even want to. Honestly, every time I have forgiven, I have gotten screwed again, so why would I?

I am doomed to forever be the Mother without Children on Mother’s Day.

Please go hug your Mom! She loves you more than you will ever know.

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy, Uncategorized

Manic High or Real Happiness?

joy

I’m not one of those people that believe you can choose to be happy and it will work for you. I have Bipolar and PTSD, happiness has been elusive to me since my dad died when I was 6 years old. It is simply something I never thought I would find.

That being said, for the last ten years, since my husband and I have been together, I have been steadily growing into a happier individual. I give most of the credit for this to my amazing husband, Shannon. But not all of it.  I’m not one to rest my entire existence on one individual. Life taught me that.

The rest of the credit goes to my taking back of my life in October of 2018.  In October, there was a major occurrence that set me back on my heels and rocked my miserable little world in a horrible way.  I am still unable to talk (or write) about it, but maybe someday.

Anyway, I decided not to let the people involved affect my life or happiness anymore. And I refuse to allow myself to feel sorry about it either. That part is tough, but I’m tougher!

I decided to be in control of my own happiness and not to let the people that have historically made me miserable do it anymore. There will be no new people that make me feel this way either, I will no longer allow it. Know why? Because I don’t have to, that why!

Guess what? It worked!!! Since then, I have been slowly letting them go and gaining in confidence and happiness. My shop is doing well this year, due to all of the extra incentive, my husband and are doing great in our relationship, and my relationship with my sisters has never been stronger.  I can actually say that happiness is wonderful!!!

No, this is NOT a manic episode. For me, those manic highs only ever lasted a few hours or a day or two at a time. This has been months now, and I am still getting better, and have mostly happier times, days, and thoughts.

My dreams still suck, I still have the intruding thoughts and occasional blow ups, and I still have issues leaving the house alone, but they are not as bad, and I can handle them better now than ever before.

For someone with mental health issues, being able to handle our issues, really is the key to happiness isn’t it?

Have a Fabulous Day!

Don’t Forget To Smile!! They’re Contagious!!

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy

Are You White? You Have a Better Chance of Being Properly Treated For Bipolar Disorder — The Bipolar Parent

Bipolar disorder, affecting up to 4% of the global population, does not discriminate. The disease manifests equally in people of all races, comprising of mood episodes involving “highs” called mania, and “lows” called depression. But your experience being treated for mental health issues, including bipolar disorder, depends on your race. Study after study shows that […]

via Are You White? You Have a Better Chance of Being Properly Treated For Bipolar Disorder — The Bipolar Parent

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy, Uncategorized

How Many People Are You?

It’s a commonly known fact that people have different sides of themselves that they show during different parts of their lives. We all have different sides to our personality that we show in different situations. Our behavior may be different in small groups as opposed to larger groups, or we are different at work than at home with family and friends. This is all perfectly ‘normal’ according to the mental health profession.

However, what if that change is so abrupt, opposite, and sudden, that you never know who you are going to be from one minute to the next? Oh, I don’t mean people like Sybill with actual diagnosed Multiple Personality Disorder, which is exceedingly rare, but I mean changes so severe that sure seems like the sides of you deserve different names.

For instance, My Bipolar Mind can be doing just fine, be-bopping along listening to tunes and, all of a sudden, one of ‘those songs’ comes on. You know the type, full of memories, pain, anger, sadness, whatever emotions you feel the strongest, and BAM! you are suddenly that angry person full of hate again. Or maybe you are having a really lousy day, and a simple thing like a meme from the internet, or a silly commercial, dumb news story, just anything changes everything for you, and the proverbial sun comes out and shines on your little world, causing it to suddenly be all rainbows and butterflies. Sound familiar?

Most doctors and therapists will still say that this type of thing perfectly ‘normal’ for any person. That is, until I tell them how often in any given day that this happens to me. Hundreds folks. Seriously. I am all over the board on any given day. Medications and mood stabilizers be damned. One minute I am all shits and grins, laughing and joking, and the next I am crying and desperate to find a reason to keep living, and after that, I simply want to go out and hurt those that hurt me. Not good. There are lots of them, my mind is too dangerous to allow this train of thought to go on for long.

Never knowing what is going to affect you in what way can be a really tough way to live, I gotta tell you! One minute, I love people and wish nothing but goodness for the World, and the next I want to be in a tower with high powered rifle, picking people off one at a time, until someone shoots me. One minute, I’m a staunch conservative, the next I am all liberal and mushy. One minute I want to go out into the world and do things and go places and interact with people, the next I want nothing more than to hide in my house away from everyone and everything, and then I’m back again. Or am I?

Which one is ‘The Real Me”? Well, all of them I guess. They are all a part of what makes me, me. It is my normal.

Coping

I have found ways to help! I have spent the last few years taking note of what things, songs, pictures, memes, stories, etc. that seem to lift my mood and keep my personality heading in the right direction, even during the darkest times. I keep these things in my phone, laptop, and even some on paper to carry with me. I use them when I need them the most. When the darkest parts of me come forward and peek their ugly, violent heads out of the pitch black of my soul. I use them like some people use good luck charms, protection amulets, or religious artifacts. I even have recorded movies (mostly old westerns) that I like to put in when this happens.

Here are a few of my favorite memes:

WARNING!! ADULT HUMOR FOLLOWING!!!

 

I have no idea how to add an actual video here yet, but here is a link to the absolute MOST HILARIOUSLY FUNNY VIDEO EVER!! If you love babies laughing (who doesn’t?) and dogs (if you don’t, don’t watch). This video will have you rolling in laughter with tears running! I kid you not. This one NEVER fails.

Best Baby and Dog Video Ever

These items are intended to keep me safely insulated from anything that might influence my emotions and/or behavior. In essence, they keep the outside world out. When I feel ‘out of sorts’, as mother would put it, I simply refer to one of these ever growing lists of items that I have come to rely on heavily for support. (I spend 99% of my time in just the company of dogs, so it became increasingly hard over time to share anything with humans, so that I rarely do now.)

Maybe this isn’t quite the way my Psychiatrist would recommend dealing with these sudden and abrupt personality changes, but it works for me. Almost every time. I am only human, sometimes I just want to wallow in my own misery for a while, and I do allow this for the purposes of self examination, but not often, it’s much too hard to crawl out of even these little pot-holes on some days.

These days, and nights, anything at all that can make one smile is a good thing no matter what the reason for it.

Have a Wonderful, and Wonder-Filled Day!

Don’t Forget To Smile! They’re Contagious!

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy, Jewelry

A Good Start to April?

20190314_115145
Taken on a back road drive with my sister, Jackie. I love when we get to do this together.

I woke up this morning on a high note! Oh boy! The beginning of a new day, a new month, new possibilities…..yup, a manic high. I have all kinds of plans for today. I made a ton of jewelry this past weekend and need to get photos, and I need to catch up on the house cleaning, (all the jewelry making and I got not housework done). Plus a million other things that I need to get done that I’ve been putting off.

I know that I won’t get to them all, that sometime this afternoon there will be ‘crash’, and I will just lose all energy and ability to do anything. So of course, I will try to get it all done as early as possible. Notice I said ‘try’. I am never completely caught up on the housework, but I do my best.

My husband, S, is very understanding of all this, and he rarely complains. He also does help take up the slack by doing the laundry, for which I am forever grateful. He washes and dries the clothes, and leaves the rest to me. That’s where the back-up is. After his shower, he got dressed for work and was so wrinkled from them being piled up, that he looked like a vagabond! I have a massive pile that I need to fold and put away and hang up. Today, I am going to get that done. (I feel like, if I put it in this blog, I’ll force myself to do it. [wink!])

When 2019 started, I made up my mind to let go of the years of miserable, deep, depression and live better. For me, and for my marriage. After last year, my marriage and my relationship with my sisters, and my best friend, is all I have left. I lost everyone else that ever meant anything to me. Some my fault, some not.

I still have the occasional bad day, but when that happens, I dive into my Etsy shop CathysCraftyDesigns on Etsy . Whether I start making jewelry, researching new trends, taking photos, or promoting on the social sites, I keep busy until it passes. It has worked every time so far!! This, plus my daily meds, and I can get through this life as a relatively ‘happy’ person I think.

Have a Wonderful, and Wonder-Filled Day!

Don’t Forget To Smile! They’re Contagious!

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy

I Still Miss My Mom

Mom
My Mother, Peggy Lucille Williams (deceased). I still Love and Miss You Mom.

I have mentioned my relationship with my mother previously. It was a kind of love/hate thing I guess you could say. We loved each other, there was no doubt about that, but I don’t think we liked each other very much. I think maybe our personalities clashed a little too much to become very close. She told me once that it was hard to look at me because I reminded her of my father who died when I was 6. That made a big impression on me because I had never thought about it that way before.

Although I made no trouble growing up and made good grades, I was being neglected and abused and the school knew it. They just could prove nothing. Several times the counselors would come to me with multiple questions, and actually look me over physically, but I would just brush them off. I had a little brother and sister at home that would take the brunt of the anger if I let on what was going on at home. I was one of those kids traumatized early (by the death of my dad and multiple molestations) that is relatively quiet and goes along to get along when in the presence of family. Outside of family, I was loud, brash and a bit of a tough character, always ready for a fight with anyone, male or female.

A brief example of my mother’s way of dealing with things:

When I was 12 years old, I had spent the night at a friend’s house and had gone to church and her grandparents’ house with her the following morning. While at her grandparents house, her grandfather, who was dying of cancer, propositioned me. He offered to pay me money (and actually handed me a condom wrapped in money as proof!), to have sex with him. Again, I was 12 years old. I didn’t know what to do. I froze and kind of just walked away. When I told my friend, we decided against telling her parents because the man was dying and we did not feel that her mother (whose father this was) would be able to handle this information. To this day, we do no discuss it, and that’s fine. I love her dearly, she is my friend.

When I told my own mother about the incident and gave her the condom and money, she laughed. That’s right, I said she laughed. Out loud. She made a big joke out of to anyone that would listen for about a month. Right in front of me, and to people I didn’t even know! Yup, you guessed it, I NEVER told my mother anything of importance ever again. Not when I was being beaten and abused, or tried to kill myself, nothing. This made for lovely relationship as a teenager, I gotta tell you!

Mom kicked me out of the house on February 13th, 1988. I was 17 and in my senior year of high school, but I had already signed the Delayed Entry contract to join the US Army after graduation, and couldn’t wait to leave. There was a big argument when my step-dad came home drunk and started running his mouth at me. My boyfriend was there, so it embarrassed me, and I stood up and yelled right back. He then accused me of “being on the rag” because I had retaliated. Oh boy did THAT set me off! But, being me, all I really did was alot of yelling FU and other such nonsense I’m sure. That’s all it took to get kicked out of my house at 17. The next morning my best friend came and got me. I didn’t know it, but they had had a room ready for me for a while. She just knew it was coming.

In the twenty-something intervening years, I came back to visit exactly 3 times. Two of those were for family funerals. I had almost completely cut my family, as toxic as they were, from my life. I missed the relationship I should have had with her terribly. I’m always envious of women that are close to there moms and daughters. I wonder what it would be like to have someone that loves you no matter what, that would support and care about you your whole life, not just when they want something from you. It must be divine.

When my mother passed several years ago, it was a very bad scene to say the least. To keep this short, I’ll just say that no one else was allowed to say good-bye to her or my step-dad before they passed (11 days apart) because of my half brother. He’s a complete waste of space that should be back in jail forever. He kicked his dying father out of his own house and the poor man never even made it to his family. He died in a hospital before he got there. Nice, huh?

My mother and I had fought before she died. As usual I guess. We were back to not really talking much again. When my older sister, A, called to tell me mom had passed, all my pissed off bipolar mind could say was, “Good riddance.” and then I hung up on her. To this day, I feel bad about that. No matter how I felt, I should have been there for her. At that moment, I couldn’t even be there for me though. I was angry, and I mean, really, really, angry.

While we had tried to discuss the past, and the things that happened, all her and my step-dad would ever say was, “…things were done wrong, it’s over now.” REALLY? Um, No, it’s not “over now”. Not for me it’s not. And it never will be, will it? I was, and still am I guess, angry that they never apologized, never went into detail, never explained themselves, nothing. This has brought me exactly ZERO closure. Again, I envy those people that actually do get some sort of closure, we aren’t all so lucky.

But, as I sit here, on what would have been her 75th birthday, I miss my mom still. Oh for sure not the relationship we had, but the one that I wanted us to have. I grieve for that.

I wish I could call her and tell her about my grandson, and that I will probably never see him again. At least I got to be there for his birth.

I wish I could talk to her about my health issues, she always managed to keep me calm and collected about that stuff.

I miss how, sometimes, we would dance and sing together to the oldies station in the kitchen.

I really miss the fishing trips when we would take her Oldsmobile LTD through fields and pastures as far as we could, and then walk the rest of the way to our favorite spot in Blood Creek.

I miss mom’s cooking. She was an amazing cook. And gardener too, she could grow anything! The BEST tomatoes ever!

I guess I just miss my mom.

Have a Wonderful, and Wonder-Filled Day!

Don’t forget to smile! They’re Contagious!

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy, Jewelry, Uncategorized

Etsy Every Day!

Shop Post SAVENOW

Some folks think that being on disability means being lazy, sleeping late every day, and watching TV all day. Not for me. No way. Not again. I did do that for a little while, all it did was lead me into a deep, dark pit of depression that took major drugs, therapy, and a long time to crawl back out of. I’m still struggling of course, but that’s ‘normal’ for my bipolar mind.

Good Morning!

My days usually start around 5am, when I get up with my husband and get our day rolling. He gets ready for work while I feed the animals and get them all settled for the morning. I then begin my computer work on this blog and my Etsy shop promotions for the morning, entering new items, preparing packages to go out, all the little details. I have no real time limit for this stage, I just keep going until I feel it’s enough.

As Daylight Approaches

Once I have enough natural light to work with, I start either making new items, or taking pictures of what I already have ready to go. (I have a bit of back up of items here, I keep several things in reserve for when I have a bad few weeks and can’t seem to make anything new – I still have items to add) Of course, making new items is my favorite part, but the rest has to be done too.

Housework Breaks

My hands are in pretty rough shape so I have to take regular breaks from detail or computer work quite often. During these moments is when I get the little things throughout the house that need to be done. Straightening and picking up, floors, dishes, laundry, whatever needs doing. I keep motivated by telling myself that I can’t go back to my ‘Etsy job’ until these things get done. Without that motivation, nothing would get done at all.

Marketing Times

I share my items and promote others about three to four times daily. I will get online and send out a few posts of my own across several social media accounts and then promote others on those same sites. I do this in the early morning, around midday, late afternoon, and again later in the early evening time. I don’t usually spend a long time doing this, just around 15-30 minutes each time. Doing this so often each day (during the week anyway), ensures that, if I do need to miss a time for whatever reason, the next time isn’t far away and I can catch up then. I also use a pre-scheduling app that sends out my post automatically if I set them up ahead of time (too easy!).

Follow me on Twitter!

Follow me on Instagram!

Follow me on Pinterest!

Follow me on Facebook!

Put That on a Resume!

Being such a small, one person shop has it’s drawbacks and it’s advantages. For one thing, I do have to do everything myself. My work history and education was in accounting and computers, thank goodness! From making the jewelry to actually listing and promoting it, shipping it, and doing the bookkeeping, I do it all. I am artist/designer, photographer, computer expert, accounting, and marketing all in one.  Put that on a resume!

To sum it up, Etsy is my way of coping I guess, my reason to keep going everyday. Sales or no sales, I love it.  I have only had 25 sales so far this year, but I don’t expect, nor really want to get rich.  I have a couple of major projects that I am working on, a collaboration with another blogger involving a custom jewelry set, and I’m also working on my first eBook, but my passion is the jewelry.

Have a Wonderful, and Wonder-Filled Day!

Don’t Forget to Smile! They’re Contagious!