Monday, August 17, 2015

Broken, again

I've got writer's block.

And I'm on a precipice.

I'm always on a precipice; it feels like.I'm constantly walking this edge between stability and falling into oblivion. I'm getting so sick of this constant battle between staying sane and letting go. You've no clue just how much I want to let go, and let the chips fall where they will sometimes.Every time I get into an argument and I feel myself getting closer to snapping, I wonder, 'Is this it? Is this going to be the final straw?'

Although I really took what Finnick Odair said to heart, 'It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.' God knows I've fallen apart and put myself back together enough times to know picking up the pieces frickin blows, but this staying strong when it feels like agony is for the birds. Endure til the end. That's what I'm taught. But this just feels like it's never going to effing end.

I'm trying so hard to feel things, and I get awful close to an emotion, and I almost feel it, but then I recoil, super fast. It's torture.

So my blog is struggling, once again. I want to write, every day. But because I'm having so many issues with my emotions, and being vulnerable, the words can't come out of my brain onto the keyboard.

In exciting news though, one of my articles is going to be published! I dared greatly, and The Mighty picked it up to feature! I can't wait! Well, I can wait, I'm terrified, but I'm so excited at the same time! And I'm continuing to step out and be seen, although Scary Mommy rejected my other article, I submitted it to HuffPo this morning, and I'm nervously waiting to see what happens there.

I think I'm going to start my book. I've got a few chapters outlined. And I've got my journals from my teens out in my garage. I kind of want to go through them. I'm not sure if I'm in a good spot emotionally yet to handle that or not, I'm going to talk to my therapist about that, but I know I'm getting closer to being ready. That's always good right? I want to get my charts from my hospital stays from the last decade, and go through them, and start writing. This is the closest I've ever been to being really serious about getting it done. It feels scary, but doable now. And that's huge for me! Wow.

Hopefully this writer's block lifts soon and I get my ideas back. I've got so many ideas I want to touch on, but the words just won't come. I'll get there though, I'll get there. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Gratitude in all things

It's been a rough couple of weeks for me. I made it through though. I had the support of some really incredible people, and I was able to avoid a potential disaster. I can't even put into words just how blessed I feel I am. I've never felt this surrounded by love and oneness by people in my life.

What made this tumultuous struggle different than any other time when I've slipped into a depressive episode? Well for one, I reached out immediately. I reached out to the right people. I didn't call on a poor unassuming friend who loves me, but has absolutely no background in mental health and is hopelessly out of her element when it comes to dealing with a friend who is suicidal. So I called my therapist. And when I couldn't reach my therapist, I called my religious leader (who happens to be a therapist) and didn't mind helping me out in a crisis.

For another, I opened up. I didn't shut down and let the voices in my head rule the day. I admitted that I was having some serious problems, and that I was scared, and I didn't know what the eff was going on. I talked even when talking was the last thing I wanted to do. Even though I wasn't great about keeping people updated, I didn't turn into a hermit completely, I forced myself to go out of my shell and talk, talk, talk.

I talked to my boss and told her I was having a bipolar episode and that I was trying to keep it under control, but it was kind of kicking my trash at the moment. That was one of the best things I could have done because she normalized it for me. She said everyone there needed time off to get their heads on straight, that I wasn't alone in this. She pretty much told me I was having a mental health week and getting myself some help and gave me a week to do whatever I needed to do to without the stress of work on my back. Have I mentioned before how much I love my job?

The hardest conversation was telling Josh that I was suicidal because well, that's never a fun conversation, now is it? He handled it so well, and that was really the turning point for me. That was when I really felt like I might make it through this without needing to off myself. If I can keep talking, I might be able to talk myself out of this.

I used the crap out of my coping skills. I took it hour by hour some days. Minute by minute some hours. Second by second some minutes. It's just so hard. Being bipolar is so hard. You feel like you're on this cliff. And you're balancing there, so precariously balancing. Waving one foot in the air, scrambling for purchase with other, not sure if you're going to be tossed into the insanity below, or if you're going to be able to grab and hold onto the cold ground of reason you're so desperately reaching for.

I want to say that I was so incredibly lucky to have such a great support system surrounding me, but well, it wasn't luck. I've worked my ass off to surround myself by loving people who care for me and have my best interests at heart. That's not luck, that's me making progress to being a healthier person. I am blessed though. So blessed to have met the incredible people who are in my life now.

And I'm grateful. I'm grateful to have gone through this past experience. It's the first time I can recall where I've been suicidal and not have made an attempt nor have landed in the hospital. I feel humbled to be sitting here sharing this experience with you because it's an amazing thing to have gone through. It really puts into sharp relief where I was a year ago and where I am now. I might not see it, but the work I'm doing in therapy is truly making a difference in my life. And for that I can only be grateful.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Gotta stay pumped for the cold lonely days ahead...

And how do we do that? That's right! With good music! And you're right, good music is totally subjective, so right now, this is my idea of good music. I told you I was trying to blog more. I'm running low on good blog ideas atm, so I'm sharing the songs that are running through my head. I don't think I can share the insecurities that are going through my head with all of you loyal readers just yet, not til I've had the chance to process them with my trusty therapist, lol, so this is what you're getting from me today :)

I'm absolutely in love with these three songs right now, I can't stop listening to them, my family is so sick of hearing them on repeat. I'm practically sick of them myself, but I'm addicted. Ah well, I suppose there are worse addictions, right? The first two pump me up, especially Elle King's 'Exes and Oh's', it reminds me of my wilder days. and brings back some fond memories, lol. I miss some of those moments. And the Offspring's 'You're Gonna Go Far Kid', encourages me, even if that's not the intent, that's what I get from it. I should probably reread the lyrics on it. And the Hush Sound's 'The Lighthouse' is a favorite of mine because I bonded over my oldest over it, and that's always a good time right? 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Stepping into the arena and being seen...

I'm daring greatly. Today I took a leap. Of faith, And I'm kind of scared. I'm almost talking myself out of it. Of what I'm sure you're asking, lol.

Today I decided that I'm going to get my writing published, or epically fail in the attempt. No more holding back just because I'm scared. And if I do fail, well I'm going to keep on trying until I get the right thing that is noticed.

I wrote two different pieces, that I thought were really good, about bipolar disorder (of course), and I'm going to submit them to a couple of bigger news publishers next week, once I've had a couple of friends critique them for me.

I was feeling really good and optimistic about my odds, but now all my negative self talk has come in and is eating at me, so I'm really wondering if I'll even follow through and be courageous enough to follow through and be willing to be seen and step into the arena and submit these articles for consideration.

I can do this! I can do hard things. I do them all the time, right? And I'm not scared to fail. Failure is a part of life. I did my best, and if I fail, it means I learned on way of what the publisher isn't looking for. I just edit and try again.

I'm kind of getting pumped again now. I've just got to keep using my positive self talk, and I'll make it through this next week while I wait to see if they accept or reject my article! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Daring Greatly

I read Daring Greatly by BrenĂ© Brown this week for therapy, and omg, I think my life has been forever changed. I can't shut up talking about it.

She explained so much about the deepest things about my life that I've never been able to put into words, ever. And to know that I'm not alone, wow. I'm inspired. She talked about vulnerability and how it's intricately tied to shame, and explained how shame is simply the fear of not being worthy of real connection (although it's so much more than that), and how we have vulnerability armor we wear to protect us from being vulnerable at all costs.

She talked about how we need to develop shame resilience and that there are two types of people in the world, those who know that they are worthy of love and belonging, and those who feel that they aren't worthy of love and belonging. The only thing that separates these two groups is that the ones who have the deep sense of connection and feelings of love and belonging feel worthy of that love and belonging. That's all. 

She also said there were 12 categories where shame could rear its ugly head, like body image, motherhood/fatherhood, money/income, sex, addiction, aging, parenting, family and others. She also talked about the scarcity effect and how people in our culture felt like we we never enough, we were never thin enough, never rich enough, never good enough, and that the opposite of this was not abundance, but instead it was simply feeling good enough. I could not put this book down.

I was spellbound from start to finish. I was starving for the knowledge I got from her words. If you need a book to read, check this one out. You will not be disappointed, I promise!

I realize that I totally made a mess out of this review, writing book reviews is not my forte. If you'd like a clearer, more concise review check out amazon readers reviews here!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Life as I know it...

I have too many deep thoughts.

I don't write much anymore because I don't feel like I can do it justice. I want to write something moving, something poignant. But I can't always do that. And so I keep my thoughts locked away. I've been thinking for months now that I should come back to the blogosphere, but fear has kept me away. Fear of what exactly, I'm not sure.

My life has gone through a massive upheaval since I practically abandoned this blog last November. Suffice it to say I'm not the same starry eyed school girl who had fond aspirations of getting noticed by someone and becoming a popular bipolar blogger one day. Now I'm much grimmer, more real, almost more grittier in a way.

I've been holding it together rather well for awhile now. The end of last year got a little rocky when I had a couple trips back to the hospital, but then I pulled myself back together, got a job even, and started trying to really live life purposefully. It seemed I was even making some positive changes. I haven't missed a day of taking my meds since I got out of the hospital last year. I'm off the Xanax totally. No more benzos for me, even though I can assure you the stress in my life is still here. I'm coping with it with the tools I've learned in therapy, and not with benzos. I guess maybe I started to get a little cocky or something.

Because then shit got really hard. While I was off in la-la land thinking life was fine, so I could just work on me, all the relationships around me were falling apart. My kids needed me, my oldest desperately needed me, and somehow, I didn't notice that my husband had totally tapped out of our marriage entirely. I woke up one day to find everything in shambles around me, and me having only pieces of my coping skills I'd learned, and that was about it.

I had to do do some major reevaluating of my life at that moment. Sure, I'd been trying to improve myself, but obviously I hadn't been doing enough.

Although if we're being completely honest here, the people around me hadn't been pulling their weight either, I mean, the husband realized he couldn't give 0% effort in the marriage and pin all the problems on me, yet expect the marriage to be healthy and thrive. There were other nastier issues he had that were destroying our marriage as well, but we won't dwell on that. The oldest realized she couldn't be angry and bitter and pin all her frustrations on everyone else but herself, and this realization has led to a massive restructuring of our relationship, completely for the better, I'm happy to say. I wish the marriage was as easy to fix as the relationship with the oldest has been. It's been months of hard work, with only moderate progress being made in that department, and it's so damn frustrating. It feels like one step forward and fifteen steps back. All the effing time. All the time.

So since I can't change anyone else, only me; back to me. What did I do when I realized my life was crashing down around me? I looked at what I could change of course! What did the husband want me to change to save our marriage? He hated who I became at night when I took my Ambien, he said I because a different person, and he couldn't handle that person, and he'd reached his limit. He'd reached his limit years ago actually, and I'd never taken him seriously when he'd told me before. So, I quit the Ambien. Done. What else could I do? I could be less sarcastic. That one's been a lot harder. I've tried to be a better listener. I've tried to be more compassionate. I've tried to not jump the gun and take offense so quickly. All of these things are things I screw up on so much. I'm really not good at it at all. I'm so scared that I'm not making progress in those areas at all, and the way we communicate is so broken. We've spent years not talking to each other, but talking at each other, and changing that is hard.

I've recently been told that change is hard, and people get comfortable in their misery, and when they do try to change, the hurt of that change is too much, so they slink back into the misery and stay there. It's only when escaping the pain of the status quo is more bearable than the anguish of living the daily torment you're currently in, that's when you'll finally stretch out of your misery and embrace the pain that comes with change. It's been said that pain is just weakness leaving the body, right? Relish the thought of it leaving you.

Why am I telling you all of these things? I don't know actually. It's been said before that we're only as sick as our secrets. And I'm so freaking tired of having secrets. I'm so worn down right now. And exhausted. And depressed. I can't keep going on like this. I know this isn't my most poignant post ever. But it's from the heart. Value those relationships you have with the people you love. Cherish those people around you. Most of all, value the relationship you have with yourself. Respect yourself. Treat yourself gently. Treat yourself kindly. With compassion. Tenderly. People treat you only one way. The way you allow them to treat you.