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

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

Who can you call upon? — michellesandersonptsd

This Blogger, Michelle Anderson, has hit the nail on the head when it comes to feelings of being alone in the world at our darkest times, along with excellent advice and links to charities that can help.

Definitely worth a Follow!

 

Having just learnt of the passing of Ellie Souter, and finding out yesterday that not only did the love island star Sophie tragically take her own life, but so did her boyfriend and 2 of his friends, I felt compelled to write this. Sometimes in life you just feel stuck, wondering where you fit into […]

via Who can you call upon? — michellesandersonptsd

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy, Uncategorized

My Body Has Me Trapped Again

I can’t remember if I ate dinner last night. Most people know these things don’t they? I mean, I can’t remember much of anything at the moment, actually, except for sharing a midnight PB&J sandwich with the dog. I can’t seem to focus my mind on anything real or solid, either. I can’t get my body to obey orders right (typing this is taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r). In essence, My Body Has Me Trapped Again.

The reason that this is so concerning to me at this moment, is because I am very dizzy and light headed. Again. First, the flush, where I start to feel too warm, but also cold at the same time. Then the short of breath feeling sets in, followed by this dizziness.

The first few times this happened to me, I lost consciousness completely – I truly thank Heaven for my husband being there at those times to bring me back around with a bathtub of ice cold water. Yes, I have been to doctors, lots of test done, lots more coming, they are still searching for an answer.

Want to hear (read) something kind of scary? I just drove myself 20 miles into town, and back, feeling like this. Not good, but bills had to be paid, errands had to be run, today. I put them off too long already. I drove as carefully as I could muster, with no radio to distract me, and I muted my cell. I also stuck to the lesser traveled roads and streets to avoid as many other motorists as possible. My doctor warned me. As usual I didn’t listen.

I will not be driving myself anywhere again until this is solved though. Not after this morning. Side road, no one else on it, and when the dizziness stage started, it hit pretty good. I had to pull over and stop for a few minutes. I got out of the car, not caring one bit that it was raining, in an effort to cool down. After a few minutes in the cold March rain, I was better although wet, so I continued on home.

Not at all finished with it when I got home, I sit here now, trapped in a way. I know that there are dishes to be done, and the floor vacuumed, and a million other things. I also know that, as soon as I stand up and start moving, the dizziness will be back. I am still flushing hot and cold, still having trouble breathing, hard to focus my eyes, much less my mind…..My Body Has Me Trapped Again….

PLEASE!

Does this ever happen to you? Anyone you know? Any suggestions? It doesn’t seem to matter how much or little I eat, or drink, and it doesn’t seem to be affected by medications at all either. Not listed in any of the possible side effects or cross interactions of any of them either. I will say that I have COPD and sort of odd blood pressure (plus the Bipolar 3 and PTSD and multiple Anxiety Disorders). While most people will have a higher standing blood pressure rate than sitting, I am opposite (big surprise). Also, my ‘normal’ blood pressure is about 98/60, which is considered low/normal and weird for my family – again I’m opposite the rest. Waiting for the Veterans Administration to schedule all these tests………might be a while.

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy, Music

My Graveyard of Broken Dreams

GraveyardofDream

Attempting to stay positive in all of these blog posts can be difficult on bad days. For instance, today, all I want to do is drown in my favorite songs.

Songs like “Graveyard” by The Devil Makes Three

I wanna tell you a story,

Ain’t got no characters in it but me.

I wanna sing you a sad song,

Most of it I don’t expect you to believe.

It starts off just whisky and wine,

On some miles of travel and some real good times.

But it ends in a dark corridor,

Where there ain’t no windows and there ain’t no doors.

 

Well that’s me.

Just a drinkin’ off this bottle and a driftin’ out to see.

Oh that’s me.

Just a sittin’ here starin’ and a shakin’ like a leaf,

Well that’s me.

Just a leanin’ on my shovel in this graveyard of dreams.

Oh that’s me.

Just a leanin’ on my shovel in this graveyard of dreams.

 

I wanna take you to a shipwreck,

A thousand miles underneath the black sea.

It looks like everybody’s sleepin’,

But look close, they are dead indeed.

 

I wanna lead you to an armchair,

Deep back in the files of my mind.

I wanna sit you in a candles light,

Where I’ve been spendin’ all of my time.

 

Well that’s me.

Just a drinkin’ off this bottle, is it drinkin’ off of me?

Now that’s me.

Just a sittin’ here starin’ and a shakin’ like a leaf,

Well that’s me.

Just a leanin’ on my shovel in this graveyard of dreams.

Oh that’s me.

Just a leanin’ on my shovel in this graveyard of dreams.

“Graveyard” by The Devil Makes Three – 2011

Music has always been a big part of my way of dealing with my emotions, identifying with others, and just a really good general coping aid for life’s ups and downs. There is always a song that fits, right? To identify with the emotions behind a song is not rare for me. There are many songs that I listen to to lift my mood, or get me moving on a tough day.

However, this song resonates in my very soul. The music behind the lyrics is soft, serene and almost hypnotic, while the lyrics are heart-wrenchingly real and palpable. I feel this song in a way that I rarely feel others. It is a perfect description of my average daily life. Dark corridors, no windows or doors, staring and shaking…..yup, that’s me.

Do you have a song or band that really resonates with you? I love to hear it! Let’s share some tunes!!

Have a Wonderful, and Wonder-Filled Day!

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

Bipolar, PTSD, and Daily Life with Etsy

High Functioning? Really?

Confusion

So, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) “…[Bipolar] affects men and women equally, with about 2.6% of the U.S. population diagnosed with bipolar disorder and nearly 83% of cases classified as severe.”

Also according to NAMI, there are 4 types of Bipolar Disorder.

Four Types Of Bipolar Disorder

    1. Bipolar I Disorder is an illness in which people have experienced one or more episodes of mania. Most people diagnosed with bipolar I will have episodes of both mania and depression, though an episode of depression is not necessary for a diagnosis. To be diagnosed with bipolar I, a person’s manic episodes must last at least seven days or be so severe that hospitalization is required.
    2. Bipolar II Disorder is a subset of bipolar disorder in which people experience depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes, but never a “full” manic episode.
    3. Cyclothymic Disorder or Cyclothymia is a chronically unstable mood state in which people experience hypomania and mild depression for at least two years. People with cyclothymia may have brief periods of normal mood, but these periods last less than eight weeks.
    4. Bipolar Disorder, “other specified” and “unspecified” is when a person does not meet the criteria for bipolar I, II or cyclothymia but has still experienced periods of clinically significant abnormal mood elevation.

My doctors informed me several years ago that I am a “high functioning Bipolar 3 patient”. When I questioned him about what this meant, he said that, because I had never been arrested, in jail, in rehab, been institutionalized for more than 24 hours, or had my children taken away from me in court, I was considered “high functioning”. Really?

Thinking about all of the other people that have struggled just as long and hard as I have to fight their inner demons, I thought this was a terribly unfair way to describe anyone with any type of issue whatsoever. What he thought would make me proud of my own accomplishments, only made me sad for the lack of recognition for the struggles we all face.

We function as best we can. Every single one of us. We have some bigger hurdles to get over, deeper rivers to swim, and shakier bridges to cross than other people do. We may deal with life differently than so called “normal” people, but we do deal with it. Our way. Just like you deal with it in yours.

As far as I am concerned, if we wake up in the morning we are all ‘high functioning’ because we got through yesterday.

If you are struggling with any kind of mental health issue, please contact NAMI at:

CALL THE NAMI HELPLINE

800-950-NAMIinfo@nami.org

M-F, 10 AM – 6 PM ET

FIND HELP IN A CRISIS OR TEXT “NAMI” TO 741741

You can also message me if you just want someone to talk to that has been there. I was diagnosed over 20 years ago and have seen and done most all of it. I just never got caught I guess. I’m certain my life would be different if I had been.

Have a Wonderful, and Wonder-Filled Day!

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