Friday, April 25, 2014

Cheshire Kitten (We're All Mad Here) By SJ Tucker


I struggle with friendships, I always have. There are many reasons for this, I am sure. The first that comes to mind is that I grew up as a Navy Brat. We moved every two years, and this was before the internet age. Staying in touch was always difficult. Long distance phone calls cost 10 cents per minute. Postage stamps were much cheaper, but it's hard to write to old friends when you're busy trying to fit in to the new place you've found yourself dropped.

Even as an adult I moved, a lot, probably the same pattern as when I was a child, every two years. I never had to deal with the struggles of true friendship. I acted like a kid and I wrote people off when I moved. It was easier that way. I didn't have to face/deal with troublesome friendships. I never learned to stand up for myself when I was wronged, and I never learned to apologize when I had wronged another.

Now I find myself in a different way of life. I don't get the choice of running (ok, I have that choice, but I choose not to, I have found home, finally). But what that means is that when a friendship gets shaky I have to learn to "deal with it"/handle it. Possibly fix it. Possibly find a way to let bygones be bygones. Thankfully, the first guy I dated here doesn't run in the same circles as I do, so when our relationship ended, I didn't have to deal with seeing him anywhere I went. I just finally let him go and life went on.

But now, now, with my long list of emotional problems I've found that I've said things without thinking them through to ensure that my thoughts were conveyed properly. I have apologized for those wrongs when they were pointed out to me. I was pained that I had caused another pain in such a way. However, the problem keeps creeping up. The issue won't die. I do not know how to handle it anymore. My fight or flight instinct is kicking in and I find myself straddling the fence. The circles we mix in are too close. Way too close.

Now I find myself having to decide how do I handle this issue, and an issue that is bound to happen in the future in some fashion with some other person. I am not a confrontational person. Infact it makes me quite uncomfortable and I do everything I can to avoid them. (Possibly something I need to get over, but that's for later.)

How do I make an issue die that I do not believe is still a standing issue? I am torn between "bowing" to this person's request and standing by my own convictions that this "confrontation" is unwarranted, useless and unneeded.

I do not know how to handle friendships. When things go too far wrong I write them off. I have learned to not wish them any ill-will. I have learned to not speak poorly about them to others. I have found that if I suddenly find myself in the same room/at the same function, that I become very insecure and very reserved. My anxiety increases and I do my best to simply avoid the person, as that is how I protect myself.

I will not go into details about this specific situation, as this blog is not meant to be a place where I drop my trash and speak ill of anyone, much less name them or make it obvious who they are. Not on a personal level at least.

So I struggle with deciding if I accept to meet with this person in order to discuss "things". Or do I stand by what I think is the right and healthy thing for me to do and not meet as I feel there is nothing to "discuss". We both have our lives and our circles overlap and if we're true adults than we simply acknowledge each other's presence and move on.

It is wrong of me to allow one person, of all the people that populate this planet, to control me such a manner. I wish I could find the switch that turns off the anxiety and turn on the one that can simply let this be. The conflict with this is that it's not just me, it's this other person as well. As long as either one of use keeps bringing it up, it will never go away. And I personally have found that there is no reason to continue bringing it up.

At this time I am not in a position to try to rekindle this friendship. At this time I can hardly keep myself together, much less deal with someone else who is also suffering from similar emotional problems as myself. But in doing nothing, it affects my private, intimate, personal relationships, and quite frankly, that's wrong and sad.

I want to choose flight, and I would, if it didn't mean losing someone else that is very dear to me. I will not allow anyone to have that much control over my life and my choices.

So I vent here, as calmly as I can. I try to find my inner peace and that quiet spot within myself, that right now is very tiny which I'm working on growing.

I'm tired of rehashing old shit. I'm tired of the past affecting my present so much. But I also know that I am in no state to stand up for myself, at least not in person. I wish I was that person, and someday I will learn how to do so in an intelligent fashion. Today is not that day.

I don't need this drama. I care not for this drama. I care not for stirring the pot. I care not for reopening old wounds. And I hate that those I love have been caught in the middle of it all.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

One Day At A Time

I had my last visit with my psychiatrist today through the program I found her. We're keeping my meds the same. Although adding lithium to the list was discussed. We decided we'd let that option be explored when I find a permanent psychiatrist. 

The whole morning was filled with anxiety as I dealt with the drive and then the meeting. I find it difficult to determine if the medication is working or not. What's normal? What's not? My gut wants to say nothing is working. But I can't be certain of that. I've tried so many medications it's unreal. 

On the plus side of the day I managed to clean out all the litter boxes and take a shower. Most of the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher. 

I feel the urge to cut again. I think it has more to do with wanting to show the outside world that I hurt inside. As I cut the back of my hands, a place very difficult to hide.

Tonight I go to a healing meditation: Meditative Sound Healing Journey. I'm nervous. I don't meditate well. My mind is so cluttered and out of balance with myself. I'm hoping that by trying these new alternative ways of reaching my true inner core and better understanding myself that I'll find a way to better manage my depression and anxiety. 

Monday, April 21, 2014


When I left the hospital many months ago I started coloring mandalas. It brought me strength and something to focus on and keep myself from letting my mind to wander into places unwanted. 

For quite sometime I have stopped this form of meditation. 

I now find myself returning to this form of meditation. 

I find that this is a form of meditation that I practice when I find myself going deep within myself. This is a dark place, but I hope with the colors and hope of better things to come, despite my sorrow and uncertainty of where life is taking me. 

An Anxious Trip Out of the House

So I've had this Sees Candy gift card in my wallet since last May. (I know, I know.) I've been too anxious to drive one town over to get something. Well, I thought the day after Easter would be a smashing idea. Good chocolate at a discounted price.

I started to chicken out.

I went to their website, hoping to find discounted items, no such luck, and the one item I did find would have required an additional $8 shipping and handling! (No thank you!)

So after much inner struggle with myself, I managed to find myself sitting in my car and slowly driving towards the shop. Oh, and did I mention it's the same route, for most of the way, to my old job? Talk about anxiety city.

I failed to take my anti-anxiety pill before I left. (I'm still recovering from the anxiety of this trip.) But somehow I made it. And I didn't even buy anything on discount. ;)

I was almost in tears all the way home. It's tough having social anxiety. (Having anxiety period.) I should feel proud of myself, getting dressed, getting in the car, making that drive outside my comfort zone (and so close to my old employer), then to walk into a rather small store and feel very out of place walking in circles trying to determine if I buy the chocolate bunny (uncertain if it's hollow or not), or find something else. I finally picked the above, and only spent a little over a dollar for it. 

I did good. I did good. I feel anxious as hell. I feel this huge knot building in my chest. I shouldn't feel this way. I should feel at least happy that I have chocolate in the house, but I don't. I'm in tears. But, as Bilbo put it, I made it "there and back again". 

Interesting developments. What should/shouldn't a therapist tell their clients?

I still haven't heard about disability. I do know that they are still investigating my claim, as my therapist made it clear that she had spent about $12 in faxing them things and was on the phone with them about 6 times in the past week.

I believe it was her way of making me feel guilty for complaining about how it's difficult for my family to pay the $16 I give her each week to sit and gossip about my previous week. I was officially marked as unemployed as of the 11th of April. My partner and I are at a serious crossroads in our life and I started to complain about my worries and fears. I fought with her for the first time (and quite possibly the last, I am uncertain how she has managed to remain a therapist as long as she has, given that she cannot handle a foul word coming from my mouth, nor can she handle it when I get upset).

It is wrong and out of place to make one in an emotional state that I am in to feel guilty for her doing her job. I know that she normally charges $100 per visit. I don't know how many clients she has, nor do I know many pay her full price, it's not my business to know. But I found her behaviour highly inappropriate. These last two weeks have been pure hell for me, and when I go to seek help from my therapist, some form of comfort or reassurance that x may be the cause of y and this is how I can face these issues, I'm made to feel bad and she throws her hands in the air as though I'm a lost cause. (Has she never had a patient in her 20+ years of work behave has I had that day?)

I have one more visit with her through the program I'm in. I am uncertain if I'll use it. I meet with my psychiatrist this Thursday, through the same program. I'm going to find the strength to find out what I can do to find a new therapist and if there is anything they can do to help me in the mental health department, as this Thursday is supposed to be my last visit with my psychiatrist.

For now it's a hurry up and wait situation.

Friday, April 18, 2014

I Did Good. I Did Good.

It's time to refill my prescriptions, I was nervous as hell as to how much that was going to cost us. Called Walgreens, it was going to be $109! I can't afford that. I overwhelmed myself by doing a ton of research online for prescription help to keep the cost low. (It's amazing how the pharmaceutical industry, and it is an industry, tries to screw everyone over! (Cash price: $300 something; Discount price: $12. How is that even possible?) So, I bit the bullet and got in the car (huge step for me and a huge amount of anxiety as well), and drove over to Safeway (it's just down the road for me, there are cheaper places, but they are too far from my home for me to feel comfortable going to on my own). After giving all my information to have my prescriptions transferred, I was told that the cost would be closer to $50 based on their contracts with certain pharmaceuticals.

I was told it would take about 2 hours to happen. I drove home with tears in my eyes and reminded myself multiple times that I did good. I did good. I found a way to help save my family money.

And then I got to replace a circuit board all on my own and it worked! :D (I've never done something like that befores, closest I've come to it was building a PC.) So I'm proud of myself and yet I'm still filled with anxiety.

Repeat after me, "I did good. I did good."

Did I also mention that 2 load of laundry are almost done and the dishes are washed?

A Good Day?

I'm forcing myself out of bed today. Really tired of staying there all day just to stay warm. I know it hasn't helped my depression any.

The furnace is broken (part on the way) and I hate the cold. Here in Colorado Winter is still fighting with Spring. Today the high is supposed to be 70 and sunny. So I've opened the downstairs windows in hopes that the warmth will come in and rise upstairs. I'm still layered in clothes and a warm blankets is in my lap, but I'm out of bed, drinking coffee and it's lifting my spirits.

This is hard. This high I feel right now. I want to keep it. I'm trying to refocus my thoughts. I was cleaning up the kitchen, rinsing dishes, loading the dishwasher and found myself getting frustrated that a good number of dishes hadn't been rinsed (I now realize some of them were mine.) and this has always pissed me off. Then I refocused that energy. I've always wanted to be a homemaker. This is what I want to do. So I moved forward, letting the sun coming through the window over the kitchen sink fill me with warmth and joy. Organizing the dishwasher to it's max capacity and then rinsing the leftover dishes that wouldn't fit. This made me feel good. My partner comes home every evening and makes dinner. I feel good knowing that he can do so in a clean kitchen. (I also started a load of laundry.)

I have my good moments and my not so good moments. I just don't want this blog to be filled with all the negative I feel. I want people to know that even with my mental issues I do have good moments.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


I don't feel safe with myself and U have no one I can tell. They will all want to put me back into the hospital in a 72 hour hold , it would cost a fortune and if little to no good.

Mental illness is a taboo. People don't want to talk about it and people do not want to be with people who show those outward signs of mental illness. 

So what do I do? I'm hearing things. Doors opening and shutting when I know no one is I the house and all three cats are on the bed with me. 

I think I am truly losing my mind. 


My mom passed away four years ago. She would have been 59 today. I miss her dearly.

So I honor her with fire and drumming.  

Wish you were here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I am starting to hear sounds, like a door opening or closing. I've been hearing them for days now, when no one is home.

My self-harming has been getting worse. It's scrapes at the top of my hands, something for the world to see. I do not hide them on the tender parts of my arm. 

It is difficult. I know I need help. I fear being placed in the hospital, as it will do me no good here, I already know how to "play" the system. Never mind I fear the cost of the hospital bills. 

I am lost. I know I am not alone, but I certainly feel alone. As though I cannot be honest with anyone. Not my therapist, my doctor, no one. 

The sounds scare me. The constant desire to cut frightens me. 

How much longer am I to survive like this?

Monday, April 14, 2014

What if...

What if today I got out of bed and called the furnace repair man to so we'll have heat again. (As it stopped working Saturday and was really noticeable Sunday.)

What if I emptied the dishwasher and loaded it again?

What if I wiped all the counters down?

What if I walked out my front door and went to a store down the road to get a new air filter for the furnace? (Yes, that was what was wrong with it. Paid $75 to be told I just needed a new filter. Was then offered 4 filters for $90. I know I'm a little out of it, but I'm not stupid.) I bought two 90 filters for $10.

I still have issues of driving too far from my home. Thankfully there is a hardware store next to the grocery store, next the pharmacy, next to the liquor store.

What if I did just a few of the little things to help keep order in our home and maybe, just maybe I can hold onto those things so that when the dark starts to seep in I'll have those good things to gling to?

I went and had a Shamanic Healing done this past Saturday. It took everything I had to get there, and I was anxious the whole way as I was driving in areas I don't know, to a place I'd never been, to meet a woman I don't know. (Blue Deer Shamanic Healing) It was a 30 minute healing that felt like 10. It was amazing and something I walked away with was the "What if" concept.

So today, I took care of the kitchen. I called the furnace repair company to have the furnace fixed. (I HATE being cold.) I bought new filters for the furnace and our home is slowly warming up.

I missed the FedEx guy while I was out (He was pulling out of my street as I was pulling in. :( But he should be returning this afternoon. The package is for me and it's from my employer. I'm doing the best I can to keep the anxiety away as to what may be contained in said package (most like envelope).

The laundry is being done. The last load is in the washer. I've already put away two loads. The bed is made.

It's all the little steps. The baby steps towards the right direction, towards my goal of getting better, of learning to manage to depression and my anxiety. To find the courage to drive further than a mile down the road.

All the paperwork has been turned in for long-term disability, now I just wait for the phone to ring to let me know what has been decided.

What if the FedEx package contains bad news? I should turn that what if on it's head and think, what if it contains good news?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Comfortably Numb

It is difficult. I desire to be comfortably numb. To drink myself away. To cut the back of my hand multiple times. 

What I desire is to be high. To smoke my ganja and drift away into that comfort. In Colorado it is perfectly legal for me to do so; however, with my disability still pending, I cannot smoke a bit. So, I am left to drinking. I mix vodka with my coffee. 

It is funny that In the state I love in it is perfectly legal to smoke, but I cannot in fear of damned piss tests should I need to look for work. And yet I  can drink my self into a drunken stooper every night and no employer would care.  

It makes little sense to me. I long to get high, as it's much safer than getting drunk and yet here I am. Drinking hot coffee mixed with with Vodka. 

I want to be comfortably numb. 


Saturday, April 12, 2014

How young is too young to be diagnosed with mental illness?

My nephew, 5 and 1/2, is going through a lot of the same things I am, only more manic and violent at times. This next Thursday he will be moved to a long-term care facility which we hope will help more than the other things that have been tried.

Fighting for Phoenix can be found on FB at

More of his story can also be found on my sister's blog:

They are looking for donations to help pay for the mounting medical bills:

No child should feel this way, should be going through this. The medical community has labeled an age on when someone can/will be "diagnosed" with all sorts of mental illness. Here is an example where this type of practice is wrong. "We" don't want to believe that such a young and vibrant child could feel the way he does, but he does and we must treat the cause not just the symptoms.

A video my sister put together: Fighting For Phoenix

Friday, April 11, 2014

Baby steps.

It is said that I should take things in baby steps. To be proud of the small accomplishments I make everyday.

I find this difficult. These are everyday things that someone must do. And quite honestly if I don't do them, no one will. 

I have been hiding my depression for so long that I just can't anymore.
So I have to admit to myself, to my loved ones, to those that can "help" me. Can they?

Can I help myself. I get angry. I feel worthless. A drone that does what I think I should be doing. 

It's just scrapes. Tiny cuts that leave welts for a few moments and the fade to simple red marks. Am I crazy? 

I go about each day doing what I think I must. And sometimes accomplishing more, sometimes less. 

Baby steps. Two forward at least one back. 

Time to rotate the laundry and head to therapy. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thoughts in my mind.

I think I want to be alone. I think friendship is more than I can bare at this time.  Too much heartbreak. Too much trouble for a troubled mind. Being alone is hard for me, but being hurt by those I thought cared out weighs that pain. 

My mind thinks:
Fuck you for pretending everything was ok. 
Fuck you for waiting until the most inopportune time to say anything about word I spoke months prior. 
Fuck you for claiming my apologies were all that you wanted, which you got, but then suddenly that wasn't enough. 
Fuck you for making everyone's lives around your living space so fucking complicated when the need was unwarranted. 
Fuck you for standing in your holier than thou pedestal and expect everyone to do as you bid, so that you don't have to be inconvenienced. 
Fuck you for not accepting what was freely given to you and leaving it at that. 
Fuck you and your false friendship. 
Fuck you for pretending that for months everything was fine, when truly something was eating away inside you and you let it. 
Fuck you for not saying something at the time of the transgression which would have avoided this issue.  


I have secrets. I am not certain how long I should keep them, if I should say anything at all, or allow time to see if the secrets wil go away. If it will stop with time. 

Nervous phone calls. Coping skills.

I finally got a call from my employer, at least someone from the main office in regards to my short term disability ending.

It was a stressful phone call. Much more stressful than it should have been. I am a geek; therefore, after a few tears I turned on Star Trek TNG and starting working on another afghan. TNG sooths me (once TNG is over I will move on to DS9 and then Voyager) and the crocheting keeps me productive (I hope to sell them as they are completed.)


The Anxiety has subsided. I long to sleep, to rest a while after dealing with that phone call. But it's another day and another moment in time. It is a shame that such phone calls cause such reactions in me. I start to tear up on the phone and then once it is over and the phone is disconnected I cry like a baby.

I question my every movement and every thought.

I've made another loaf of bread today, this time unseasoned. I hope it turns out well and we can use this recipe on a more regular bases instead of buying manufactured bread. This too makes me feel good when providing for my family.

I meet with my therapist once again tomorrow. She has been on vacation for 2 weeks. Long-term disability is awaiting her notes in regards to my case. I am hoping that this is just part of their standard procedure and that a decision has practically decided, as I was informed yesterday how much I would be receiving each month and that it would be for a 24 month period.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Showing Mental Illness / Dealing With the Work Environment

Those with depression hide behind a smile. I was raised to say please and thank you, to be polite to those I meet. This is a facade. This makes it appear as though there is nothing wrong with me, because my struggles are within my mind and no one can see that. I don't have a broken arm. My hair isn't falling out from chemo. My eyes aren't turning yellow due to jaundice.

But my head hurts. My body aches. The voices say I'm better off not being here. I'm a damned good liar. To myself and to others when it comes to how I'm feeling. If I told the truth, would you really want to hear it?

I overslept today. I just didn't want to get out of bed. The weather is warming up and I knew I couldn't keep the chickens in their coop any longer, it just isn't fair to them. My alarm went off at 9am. I got out of bed around 9:45am.

I still carry my cell phone around, waiting for a call that I don't know when will come. And I still fear answering it. I struggle with feeding myself. I struggle still with changing my clothes.

The heat is off. It's warm outside. I don't know if I should open a window or turn the heat back on. I'm always cold.

The plant that used to sit on my desk at work. 

I'm haunted by my evil manager that wanted to "discuss" with me how I dress for work. At the time I'd been there for almost 4 years, she had only been there for 6 months. I will never know what her problem was with how I dressed. In the 4 years I was there I was never called into HR about violating the company dress code. I was never pulled aside by my once supervisor to discuss if I was out of code/standards. I called my evil managers bluff and said I'd be more than happy to take this to HR, has I had been there often in the past view days and not once was it brought up (and believe me, it would have been brought up if it was a problem). Amazingly the "meeting to discuss me" abruptly ended and she would give no explanation to any of her issues with me. I hate that confrontation still haunting me. She was laid off a few days later. Laid off, not fired for her "crimes" against her employees. I am proud to say that I stood up for myself and for my fellow co-workers. I am proud to say that not once did I cry (which is what I typically do when I start discussing things I know to be true and honest). Not crying just indicates how far gone I had gotten with her and her bullying, her picking of favorites and her desire to get rid of those she did not like nor care for. This event was the straw that eventually broke my back. That sent me over the edge. I could no longer play the game and no longer would. Companies question why they can't keep their employees, why we jump from job to job to job. It's really quite simple. We, the employee, dedicate all that we have to ensure that the company stays in the green and in the end we don't even get a simple "Thank you.". We are treated like cattle.

I will not live my life in such a way that causes me to feel that death is the only answer to escape because the world has now been set up that each household much have two working adults in order to make ends meet.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chickens and the meaning of my life at this time.

We own chickens. They are such a delight to see. They are one of my motivations to get out of bed each day. We got 6 eggs today. Spring is certainly upon us.

In my need, and knowing that I need,I went out to the back yard and racked up the leaves/sticks into little piles throughout the yard.

The chickens bring me such joy. We got 6 eggs today. I feed them not only their food, but also their chicken scratch, which full of fat. That combined with the water intake produces some amazing eggs. Eventually we will have to cull them. They will then provide us with even more food. I love them. I enjoy them roaming the back yard , when they aren't limited to their chicken run.

I love that spring as sprung. We are getting to a point where we are overflowing with eggs. Before long we will be selling/bartering with our eggs, as we will not be able to keep up with how much they produce. The plus side, fresh chicken eggs will last for quite sometime. We do not refrigerate our fresh eggs. They came into this world warm and fresh, why ruin that.

I now have tiny piles of sticks and rotting leaves throughout the backyard. It was my daily dose of sunshine.

No call from work. No call from disability.

I have found myself at a loss in my MMORPG, but I know that I will eventually find my way. It's like my brain. I am lost, but with time and rest I will find what I need to make me happy and keep my Bipolar II and Social Anxiety at bay.

My beloved partner is grateful for the work I've done today. If that had been all I had done today, it would have been enough. I also ran the dishwasher, and will unload it.

This evening I spend alone, when the demons come out and haunt my mind. When the thought of death lingers, and my mind comes up with the many ways that I could accomplish such things. The only thing that keeps me going is that I do not wish for my loving partner to find me that way.

I have 3 amazing partners, as I am polyamorous. I believe that one can love more than one person. As time passes I realize I need to be more honest with all of them. I want to be the perfect lover and the perfect partner. I want to hold that sacred ground for them. I want them to know that I love them beyond all means of measure. But to hide how I feel about myself does no good for them. My greatest fear is losing anyone of them because of my illness and my honestly about it.

My loving partner, the one I have been with for over 5 years now, is working towards things that he can do to alleviate some of my pain and boost my self worth and the true meaning of our relationship.

I am blessed for all I have. 3 lovers and a 4th that will love me to the end of the earth.

Although I wish to cut, although I wish from time to time to die. I hold to the pain that I would cause those that love me most. Friends come and go, but true love will never die. That is what I hold on to.

I fear that my illness will cause one to need to walk away.

Baby steps. I am slowly moving in the right direction. I am technically still employed. And until my employer calls and says otherwise I will use everything in my power to keep it that way. Once the call is made to me, I will not return to that hell hole. It sucked me dry. It jaded me. It brought out the worst in me. I cannot do that again. I fear returning to any kind of work at this time. I pray that my long-term disability comes through, in order to give me the time I need to find what best suites me. To find my path that makes me happy and to break through the barriers that I have placed before myself.

Medical Bills / MMORPGs

I stayed at Mountain Crest, a mental health facility from 9/30/2013-10/03/2013 as I was suicidal and had completely lost my capacity function in the "normal" world.

I have been putting off my medical bill that I have been receiving for the past few months. I finally got my last "warning" bill in the mail yesterday.

It took all the strength I had to call them today and set up payment plans, as the thought of my bill being sent to a collection agency did not appeal to me. Thankfully I found money in my HSA account and was able to use some of our tax return money to lower how much I owed. Sadly they would not take that as a paid in full amount. Although I asked for it and indicated I was on disability. The good news is that I only have to make a rather small payment of $50 for 8.5 months. I sure hope we can swing it.

I still have not heard from my employer nor from long-term disability. I am frightened beyond belief to call about my long-term disability. And I question if I should or not. Technically they have 30 some odd days to get back to me with an answer, although I was lead to believe that I should receive an answer before that time. My partner tried to lift my spirits by indicating that not hearing so soon may mean they are "dragging" their feet as to when they will start paying my long-term disability. In the mean time I worry about getting all of our bills paid on time. Especially our mortgage payment.

"All good things come to those who wait." But at the same time, if I take no action, will nothing good come from it? On top of my bipolar II I also suffer from severe anxiety. The phone call I made today was a huge thing for me. It was something I knew I could not ask my partner to do, although I severely wanted him to.

To help with my sanity, which at times I feel slipping away, I have "adjusted" my meds to take my anti-anxiety pill once in the morning and once again at noon. So now I have alarms for 9am, Noon, 3pm, and 9pm. Again, my life is subscribed of when I take my pills. But I feel that my taking my anti-anxiety pill once at 9am and again at Noon will help keep the edge off and possibly keep me from having a severe panic attack.

I cannot separate good days from bad days (although sometimes that does happen) but rather by good moments and bad moments. Getting out of bed is a huge struggle, and if not for the animals we have, it is quite possible that I wouldn't not get out of bed.

I am playing an MMORPG that is very new to me, Lord of the Rings. I am enjoying it. As I know the "trilogy" as well as The Hobbit, so I find connections with the quests I do and the things I see. Thus far I've noticed that this is the plight of the dwarfs during the same time that Frodo is seeking to destroy the ring, as in the trilogy it was hinted at the dwarfs having their own battles to fight. It keeps my mind occupied as to what will happen next. I am just now leaving the starting area, as I'm taking it a few quests at a time. One thing I have learned from previous MMORPGs is that the longer you linger in the starting area and the higher your level when you leave, the easier life will be outside of the starting area. I am also pleased to say that I do not play for hours on end, but quite possibly 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there.

I chose a race that is very new to me, and quite different from a dwarf on World of Warcraft, and a class I am not familiar with, Hunter. I still question if, as a Hunter, I get a pet, as one does in WoW, time shall tell.

Once SPARX is out of Beta testing I will also start playing that, as I believe it will also help give me coping skills to deal with my depression and anxiety. At this time once cannot create and save a character, thus each time you enter the game you start all over. This might work for some, but again, I do not want to spend too much of my time sitting in front of my computer playing a game I cannot save.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Join Me On FaceBook.

To better share with the world my ongoing dealings with my mental illness I have created a FaceBook page.

Please join I Have Bipolar II on FaceBook, where I will share not only when I post a new blog, but also little things that I run across that might help uplift us and make us think, or rather, re-think how we feel about our illnesses and how we see life.

This Is My Struggle.

I've had this horrible case of anxiety since yesterday afternoon, despite all the good I've done this past weekend and the knowledge that all I can do is wait and see.

I have no control of when the phone rings.
I have no control of who it will be on the other end.
I have done everything that I can on my end to defend my case for Long-term disability.
I do not know if/when my employer will call me, I only assume. Maybe I should stop.

Despite all these things I still get this tightness in my chest. I still get tears in my eyes. I still feel like I'm better off dead. But I'm still here. For some reason I'm still fighting. Even in my darkest moments, I'm still fighting.

I'm still struggling to function feeling the way that I do.
It's a struggle to open the curtains in the morning and let the light in.
It's a struggle to get out of bed and care for the cats, fish and chickens.
It's a struggle to take my pills. I live by my alarm clock. 9am; 3pm; 9pm everyday.
It's a struggle to feed myself.
It's a struggle to change my clothes.
It's a struggle to shower on a regular basis.
It's a struggle to keep the kitchen clean. (Even if it's just a few things that need to be taken care of.)
It's a struggle to check the mail.
It's a struggle to walk out my front door.
It's a struggle to get in my car.
It's a struggle to go somewhere.
It's a struggle to keep my appointments.
It's a struggle to keep the plants watered.
It's a struggle to keep the house clean.

I check out books from the library in hopes that they hold the answers to my struggles. My struggles. Read them and laugh. They seem so petty. These are things that people do everyday of their lives and don't think twice. But these are things that I struggle with.

This is my Bipolar II.
This is my Anxiety.
This is my mind out of balance.
This is my struggle.
This is my head fighting made up demons.
This is my soul crying out to the gods.
These are my tears that fall when I can't answer the phone, even when I know I should.
This is my heart breaking as I feel the ability to have control slip further and further from me.

I cannot control what passes my way today. I can only control how I choose to let it affect me.
I cannot/should not allow the unknown to affect me as it does.
These words are hollow.
I still fear.
But I still carry my cell phone with me everywhere I go, so I don't miss a call.
So I don't miss a call that I might not answer.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Living 10 Years Longer: How Video Games Can Boost Your Spirit

I just got done watch one of the most amazing TED talks for those with all sorts of medical problems. It was amazing. Because it's about playing games. And well, I'm a gamer. I played World of Warcraft almost from it's conception until I got to the point that I couldn't afford the latest expansion and the $15 a month to play. Plus, the guild I had grown to love and was family to me, had splintered apart and moved on. I did continue to add my brother and his family to the game and every partnership I had I managed to get them to play too. It kept us connected. It gave us something to talk about and to strategize how to conquer the next challenge in the game.

It was amazing to watch. I normally don't have the attention span to sit and watch the TED talks, but this one, this particular one, I couldn't look away from. I couldn't stop listening and feel bored. If anything I had tears in my eyes.

My amazing partner and I are looking for alternative therapy for me. And one of them is in playing games. It seemed hokey at first. How can playing an online game help me get better? Watch the TED talk. It all makes sense. Because when I look back on the days I played WoW with my partners and my online friends, as well as family, I was happier. Life was better. I had purpose and felt good about myself.

Don't want to watch the TED talk, but are curious about the game? Go here

Another game my wonderful partner found was SPARX.

This one is more focused around depression and finding ways to ground yourself, learn new coping skills and feel accomplished at completing the goals set before you.

Now, I'm not encouraging you to sit in front of your computer, or on your smart phone all day playing games. I'm simply encouraging you to get out there, find a game that you love and play it for 30 minutes, or 5 minutes. Words with Friends is great, if you're a word person, as it helps keep you in touch with people that you otherwise wouldn't connect with on a regular bases.

Fighting depression is hard. The thought of death can sometimes become all consuming. But if you give this a chance and you fight those thoughts, you might find yourself living 10 years longer and happier and have no regrets, as so many do on their deathbeds.

This is what my tea had to share with me today:

"Connect" Connect to those you love and that love you back. Reach out for community and self awareness. These aren't easy things. They are so easy for me to write and yet so difficult for me to follow. I have a partner that reminds me daily to do these little things. To find games that challenge me and help me explore new worlds and see life in a different way. 

Waiting for the phone to ring...


Waiting for the phone to ring. 

Teaching myself to accept the fact that I might not hear about my long-term disability until Monday. 

The answer will come. I hold to hope and positive thoughts. I am trying hard not to let this consume me, to not send me onto a downward spiral of anxiety and depression. 

Illness and Depression are a poor combination.

Fighting a cold. It's amazing how mean one's mind can get when I need to spend time in bed healing. I struggled with the thoughts of death and the things that it would bring. I still cling to hope and I fear telling anyone. I don't want to cause anyone fear. I cling to hope and understanding myself.

My tea offered some good advice. "Live in your strength." It has caused me to question what my strengths are and to focus on those. Being slightly ill makes this difficult. I am also waiting on my approval for long-term disability. I should hear today. Thank goodness for my anti-anxiety pill.

I am breathing. And trying to mediate and send positive thoughts into the universe.

I am feeling better. Drinking coffee to stay awake and tea will be something else I will take later.

Although I spent all day yesterday in bed. I am holding to hope that today will be better. The curtains are open, the sun is attempting to come out and stay out. I hope to go drumming tonight, assuming I'm feeling well enough.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sudden Down

It is so easy to go from feeling great to feeling exhausted. 

With the joy I found I talking with someone about my emotional/mental health problems, I practically bounced to the nearest library and checked out 3 books I hope will help me find my way. 

I went home singing. I was delighted to find 3 eggs inthe chicken coop. I felt like I was in control. But as I gathered my supplies to start my work towards self discovery I became overwhelmed. I started to feel light headed and ill. 

So, for the first time I have allowed my afternoon pill take me away to sleep and physical rest. I did eat lunch and tried to stay out of my bed, but in the end I let my depression win. 

My lovely partner is on his way home and I strongly desire to greet him with a smile and hope for better days. 

I worry I am tearing our relationship apart. The afternoons and evenings are the hardest for me and the times when he needs me most. 

A New Day: Hope

I had the wonderful joy of meeting a new friend at a coffee shop this morning. She was running late, so I had time to sit and watch the cars drive by, the people come and go, the students studying hard on their laptops. The laughter and joy, the hard work, the company meetings in such a laid back place. It made me glad she was running late.

Our meeting was beautiful and filled me with hope. It showed me that I am not alone and that there is hope. I may have Bipolar II, but I do not have to let it consume me. I have a choice to make every second of everyday of how I will or will not let it make choices for me. This is easy to say, this is easy to think, even in my darkest moment, I know I have a choice to crawl out of that hole and make my day brighter.

I must accept that some days I will win the battle and other days I will not.

My partner and I are looking into alternative therapy for me. He has been so wonderful at standing by me and helping me as I travel down this path that I feel so lost on.

I realized last night that I am lost. I have lost my spiritual path and I do not like it. It is what causes me to question what my purpose is in this life. And so now I seek to find MY path. I seek to find that path that is right for ME. Others may walk the same path, and yet others may find it wrong that I walk MY path. That is their choice and not my own.

I have checked out new books from the library. I am determined to read them this time. I am determined to find wisdom in the words that are written there.

Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change  By Pema Chodron
The Brightened Mind: A simple guide to Buddhist Meditation By Ajahn Sumano Bhikkbhu
No Time To Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva  By Pema Chodron

I shall take my journal and write down what gives meaning to me, what causes me to think, and the rest I will set to the side if it does not speak to me. I do not fear mixing "religions" on my path. There is no one perfect path to follow but the one I choose for myself. It is possible to believe in Christ and his teachings and not be a Christian in the traditional sense.

I know that this will be a life time work. I know that I will not wake up tomorrow with all the answers.

I also know that at this very moment I feel all the hope in the world and that everything will come out great in the end, and yet, in that same though I know that I will stumble, I will fall, it won't be easy. Tomorrow always brings something different. I will meet each new day with new (and old) challenges, and as long as I keep fighting to keep myself safe, to keep myself functioning, there is hope.

Although I have Bipolar II, I will not, I must not, allow it to be all consuming. If I do I will lose everything I've fought so hard for. My wonderful partner works so hard everyday at his job and then comes home and continues to work so hard on helping me become healthy and a functioning member of society. I must acknowledge to him that I see his efforts and am grateful for them and at the same time I must tell and show him that I too am trying as best as I can at this time to find my path, to find the light that I so desperately need and want.

I have the power within myself to be great and powerful, to give back to my community and family what they have given to me. I am truly grateful and thankful for all that I have and all that I continue to receive.

I am loved. I am blessed.

Baby steps.

Productive Day

Yesterday was a winner. I cleaned the kitchen, did two load of laundry, vacuumed downstairs and managed to avoid taking a nap. And by doing laundry, the clean clothes actually got put away!

Today I am venturing out into the works to meet a new friend for coffee. As I sit here in the cafe I realize just how nice it is to get out. The hardest part is taking that step out the front door. 

My partner and I are looking for alternative therapies, as traditional talk therapy just isn't cutting it for me. 

I am learning to meditate and will be giving yoga a try. 

Just because I have Bipolar II doesn't mean I have to let it consume me and control my life. I must fight for what I want and need. Keep in mind, those words are much easier said than done. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bipolar II Downs

I broke yesterday. After all the hard work I'd done in the backyard, I broke. I saw a bucket full of sidewalk chalk and I just filled in the walkway to my front door with different colors. Sounds nice, right?

To the side I wrote words on the bricks. Hate. Death. Suicide. $$. Love. Loss. Lost. No Worth. Bills. Meds. The list went on. I recorded it, as a photo just wouldn't do it justice.

I scraped my knuckles as the chalk pieces got smaller. I was frightened by the fact that I didn't care. I was frightened by the fact that it was good to feel some pain other than the pain in my mind. I felt angry. I felt unwanted. I felt like a failure. I questioned why I was here. I questioned why I bother to keep going.

Those that I shared this wish found it beautiful. A wonderful way to express myself. It was pure manic. Death felt so at hand that all I could do was keep coloring each section. Selecting a different color and writing words as they came to mind. I have lost faith in my self worth. I have lost faith in me.

I'm not a cutter. But I'm starting to understand those that are. Maybe I belong back in the hospital, I just can't afford it.

I feel like I'm a pharmacy with my medications.

I am currently on 2mg of Clonazepam twice a day for my social anxiety.

I awake in the morning and take 200mg of Lamotrigine (it's an upper), I also take 50mg of Seroquel (it makes me sleepy).

At 3pm I take another 50mg of Seroquel. The sucky part? I start to feel more awake around 2pm, which means I only get an hour before I take a pill that makes me sleepy.

12 hours before I want to wake up I take 200mg of Seroquel. It knocks me on my ass in less than an hour if I'm not active. If I'm active, I have about 2-4 hours before I find it difficult to stay awake, depending on how active I am.

When I sleep, I sleep hard and right around 12 hours after I've taken the pill I do wake up. I typically take it at 9pm and wake at 9am.

Bipolar II messes with my memory. If I don't write it down, if I don't put it in my calendar right away, I will forget. Keeping track of what meds and when I take them is a challenge. Without my organizer and alarms on my phone, I'd be lost.

I've been good. I haven't missed a day. I am told it is working. I am told that people can see a change, the few people I see in my life at this time. I'm also told that it'll take months for the sleepiness to not be so bad. Coffee has become my saving grace. I'm sure I drink more than any doctor would recommend, but if I don't drink it, I'd be in bed more than I should be. 

Speaking of bed, I struggle every day, all day, not to curl  up in it's safe blankets and pillows and just stay there for ever. 

Medication does not make Bipolar II go away. Medication just manages it to the point that I can somewhat function in the world.

I suffer from Bipolar II, a mental illness with no real cure.

I have an illness. I have a mental illness. I suffer from Bipolar II. I suffer from social anxiety. When I go out in public it is a huge ordeal. 

I am in the midst of finding the right medication for me that will help make my symptoms easier to cope with. 

I will always suffer from Bipolar II. Please don't tell me to get over myself. Please realize that I am doing the best I can at this time. With time I have I hope that it will get better, but it will always be a challenge. 

I am seeking help. I am seeking alternatives to therapy. 

I am doing the best I can and hope that with each new day I will do better. 

Some days I win, some I lose. And sometimes the winning won't be noticed by anyone other than by my partners.

I suffer from an illness that cannot be cured, it can only be managed with the right medication, coping skills and therapy. It's like cancer, only there is no cure, simply ways to manage it to make life manageable for me.

Baby steps. Forever baby steps.