That wonderful time of year when the stars align, the sun comes out, the cage breaks open and I am FREE!!!!
(Bipolar (hypo)mania, for those of you who are totally lost right now.)
I have been blessed with a wonderful little blip in my genes that makes the chemicals in my brain go a little wonky. MOST of the time, the effects of this cause me to be stuck on a couch, not wanting to talk to anyone, not having any energy to do anything, and basically just wanting to dig a hole and hibernate for the rest of forever.
Along with that minor problem that completely devastates much of my wintertime life, I get a small prize. It really is small. I imagine it as the best thing in world, wrapped tightly in a tiny, sparkly box with a big bow that I can fit on my hand. Light peeks out of the corners if you look close enough. Once a year, at a completely random time that my brain and the universe decide on, I get approximately 3 days of absolute bliss.
I'm not sure I will be able to do justice to the level of this happiness, but this is the first time I will try to put it into words while I am actually in that state of mind.
The world. It GLOWS. Every single color seems like it has been amplified just to make everything look pretty for ME. People seem nicer. I, myself, start many short conversations with the sole goal of making another random human smile for a bit. The energy level is so high my skin buzzes. I can do anything. ANYTHING. It feels as though I have been in a coma for eternity, and suddenly I have been told that I will get 72 hours to just DO WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY. And I do. I do every single thing that I can think of that makes me happy. I take my children on random trips to the beach, I do yoga on the back porch and watch the kids happily splash away in their plastic pool. I laugh and I joke and I am so witty they really should put me on my own TV show. I'm not kidding. I am very fun to be around when I am in this state of mind. Do you remember the part of the Harry Potter books where he drinks the liquid luck? THIS IS PROBABLY EXACTLY WHAT HE FELT LIKE. I am not exaggerating, I am not just writing to make it sound fantastic so that you will want to read this. I am living in a world where everything sparkles like it's been dipped in glitter and crystals and there is literally sunshine and sparkles and fun and peace and OH MY GOD I WANT TO SHARE THIS WORLD WITH YOU ALL.
It will eventually stop. Like a festival that lasts only a weekend, the vendors will pack up their shops and their little trinkets and balloons and hot dogs and rides, and all that will be left is a vacant field with a bunch of smashed cigarettes and random trash blowing around.
It is my very own small bit of magic.
I make sure to take it all in, roll with it, and fly (safely) once every year. It is what makes the hundreds and hundreds of dreadful days spent wanting to crawl out of my own skin, hide under a rock, scream into the void, and sleep for eternity completely and utterly worth it.
I wouldn't give it up for the world.
It is my own crazy secret (that is really not secret, but other people feel it should be.)
I will try to sprinkle some of my glitter as far and wide as I can over the next few days.
And now, I am off to ride this awesome wave for as far as it will take me.
Thank you for that little genetic blip, universe.
Scratching and scrambling and trying desperately to get a good grip and pull myself out of this dark and lonely place, but can't find seem to gain any ground.
I am....not great. I have been "not great" for a few months now. Every day seems to be a struggle to get through. Every morning I have to force myself to sit up and climb out of bed. Getting off the couch is as daunting as going for a 10 mile run. I spend literally every single ounce of energy I manage to dredge up on our three kids. They are all at completely different stages in their lives, and they all have significant demands that must be met all day, every day. I feel like I disappear a little more each day. I'm becoming transparent. I'm not even a real person anymore - I am merely here to ensure these three children grow to be happy, healthy, strong human beings. I cook, and there's always someone who is unhappy with the food and mealtime turns into a battle we've fought so many times before. I clean, and then someone walks into the room and dumps their bag or shoes or toys all over the floor so that it looks like a frat house the morning after a party. I ask for 5 minutes of alone time, and I get 30 seconds before the kids are fighting with each other and one of them is screaming while the other one is crying. I try to read a book, but my brain isn't able to focus enough to absorb any of the words. I try to watch TV, but I zone out and end up having to rewind multiple times just to keep up with the plot line. I think of a million crafting projects I want to do, but just can't muster the strength needed to get all of the supplies together. I keep opening apps on my phone only to forget why I wanted to use them in the first place. I think of posts I want to write all day long, but never seem to find a minute to type them up. I think about making a list of all of the things I want to write about so that I can look back on it later for inspiration, but taking a second to jot things down seems like an insurmountable task.
This is depression.
I just CAN'T. I can't think, I can't do, I can't feel.
No, I don't want to talk about it. Yes, my therapist is aware of all of the issues going on. No, my antidepressants don't seem to be working even though we have me on the maximum dosage. No, I don't need any suggestions as to how I can feel better.
I know that I should take some time to myself and get out of the house without any kids. I can never seem to find a good time to do it, and if I ever get any time without children I usually opt to take a nap because getting dressed and driving somewhere seems like a monumental task.
I know that I need to get better with my eating and stop the ED behaviors that have come back so viciously over this past winter. Please stop suggesting I eat snacks every few hours throughout the day. Please stop telling me that I need to get it together because the kids need me. Please stop telling me that I already went to treatment and now is not a good time for me to be sick. Please stop saying that "there is always something going on" with me.
I cannot "try harder" to feel better. It doesn't work like that. Not even close. Don't you think I would be doing that if I could?? Who on earth would choose to feel like this? Like a zombie. I'm just shuffling around trying to come off as put together and strong and fine. I'm not a very good actor, but I try anyway.
Being home with the kids all the time is harder than I ever thought it would be. I definitely knew it would be hard. It is just way more difficult than it looks when you are watching someone else do it. Sometimes it feels like there are 100 hours in a day. I often have 2 kids screaming at the same time, and have to figure out how to monitor the 3 year-old in his timeout while he is melting down but at the same time not be in the room because his shrieks are scaring his baby sister. I literally can't hear anything over the insane amount of noise.
I know this won't last forever.
I understand how life works. I am good at reminding myself that the bad times always come to an end eventually. This will stop. I will feel better. I will make it through.
For now, I am just tired.
Please be kind to strangers. You have no idea what kind of struggles they may be facing.
Hang in there.
I have found my new favorite sensory item!!
As most of you know, I strongly believe in using different sensory items as coping mechanisms for kids and adults alike. My latest favorites are the Scentsy Buddies. They are different stuffed animals that have a zipper pocket in the back where you insert different fragrance packets. There are a TON of different scents to choose from ranging from straight fruit punch to clean linen to blueberry cheesecake. You name it, they have a scent pack for it. The scent packs make the entire stuffed animal smell like that scent and it can be really soothing to people who suffer from anxiety and depression. I like to cuddle up with mine to relax after a long night at work. (Yes, I'm almost 30...but I can't resist snuggling on the couch with something that smells like my personal favorite fragrance - orange citrus.) So if you know anybody in your life who suffers from anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses who are looking for different ways to cope when things get rough....this is really great find. You just buy the one stuffed animal and then you can pick from a whole slew of scent packs that fit their personal taste. My daughter likes the fruit punch scent the best (she is 7) and there are a ton of other more "grown-up" scents for those of us older folks who enjoy sensory items as well. The direct website to these lovable creatures can be found here. Again, I STRONGLY recommend these to anybody who uses candles (there are also wickless candles with a countless amount of fragrances, fyi) or scent machines to wind down after a hard day. I know quite a few people who already own them and absolutely love them. Feel free to send me a personal message on my contact page if you have any questions or concerns. You can change the scent packs out as often as you please! To access the other fragrance products (warmers, scented wax, dryer discs, lotion, body wash, etc) you can browse them here. If you're looking for discounts, check the closeout section here, or to combine and save, click here. Again, feel free to go to the contact page and send me any questions/concerns/etc. I'm happy to help out!
Here's to ridding the world of certain mental illnesses one sensory item at a time!!!
I'm like a jigsaw puzzle that just randomly exploded back into its 7200 separate pieces.
Trying to focus. Trying to hang in there. Trying to remind myself that this isn't how it will be forever.
I am exhausted.
Can't think. Can't breathe. Can't move.
Letting my husband hold onto me as tight as he can in hopes it will keep me from falling apart even more.
It may be by a thread, but I'm hanging on.
I seriously think that surgery whooped my ass. It's taken me a lot longer to recover than I thought it would. The scar tissue still hurts and I've still got the residual nausea. I've also been exhausted lately due to this and other stressors. I am a mess.
I'm hanging in there. I'm doing it. I'm waking up every night, going to work, getting the munchkin to camp and back in the mornings, and finding time for sleep when possible. I've actually been sleeping a decent amount, so I'm not sure why I feel so exhausted. That's a lie. I have some ideas, but I'm not at the point where I would like to share them yet.
I feel a bit numb, a bit empty, and just a bit less me. It's been more difficult to get myself to sit down and read, or do the housework. Which is why I've been pushing myself harder to get these things done anyway. I want to prove I can. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I don't push myself too hard and break.
That would pretty much suck.
Keep hanging in.
Am I sinking??
Not sure what's going on here, whether it's just too much stress at once or something else is contributing. I am grossly overwhelmed and am grasping at straws trying to fix this problem that I can't even see. Well, I can see what is stressing me out - I just can't see why it's so much harder to deal with this time around. I think it's just that I've been battered by these same waves for so long that I don't have enough energy to stay standing. They're just knocking me down over and over again.
Being bipolar has its ups and downs.
I miss the really good days. I miss the days when I was waaaaaay up there...but having good days and not having those really bad days makes it all worth it, I suppose. That's what they all say, anyway.
Oh, mania, why are you so bad for me?
Picture me stomping my feet like a stubborn 2 year-old here.
It's starting again. That stupid roller coaster that I didn't want to get on the first time...let alone the 1,000th. I know what's going to happen, I know every twist and turn that's going to come along with it. Instead of making me anxious this time around, I'm just tired. I know I can do it again...I know it will end eventually. And I have no choice. Just like a diabetic who doesn't want to take insulin...or a cancer patient who doesn't want chemo. Obviously it's not really a choice, but that doesn't make it any more enjoyable! I will never feel it coming on and say, "Whee!! Here we go again!!" with any type of enthusiasm. I'll just sit here and let it wash over me and try to get to the surface for a breath of air whenever possible.
Sometimes it's like being a teenager all over again. And I was not someone who liked their teenage years.
I feel like I'm in the middle of a 20 mile hike, and the person behind me keeps sneaking more rocks into my pack the further we go.
I am being bombarded by issues these days. I mean a full-on attack from all sides. Every time I put out one fire, I turn around to find 10 more behind me. I don't know what to do. The only thing I can think of is to keep putting the fires out one by one and hopefully they'll slow down or even stop. Hopefully. I am just living on adrenaline these days. Pure adrenaline and willpower.
I want nothing more than to crawl under my covers and hide from the world for a few days. Unfortunately, this is not an option. Nor would I enjoy it as much as I'd like to think...I'd probably go stir crazy after the first hour. It's still a nice thought, though.
I'm just going to keep going. Keep moving. Don't stop. Fake it 'til you make it. Seriously, that's all you can do sometimes.
Eat, sleep, breathe. Eat, sleep, breathe.
Rinse and repeat.
Mother and wife by day, psych RN by night. So many different ways to view life. I try to take everything in and be very slow to judge.