Saturday, October 30, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I read all my blog posts to date today. I am in awe. In keeping with a theme of being proud of myself, I am so proud of myself for what I have accomplished to date.
I think back on the year behind me, the struggles and all the fun I've managed to have despite the intense pain. I am so proud to be sitting here, able to read my posts with an open heart and open mind. I feel like somehow, despite how painful the times may have been, I have managed to blog with a light spirit.
Where does that come from? How am I able to get through such darkness and find light at the other end each time? Some posts I was afraid to read. I was afraid of the feelings they would elicit. But I was pleasantly surprised. I am beaming with pride.
Others may not see what I see when I read these posts. But that's okay with me for right now. This was for ME first and foremost. It has already done wonders for me if after a year of random posts, I can sit here in awe and say "Wow, have I come so far…"
So thank you, internet, for being on this continuing journey of mine. In some ways I feel like it has been many journeys strung together. But I realize now that it's just an endless stream of twists and turns, some flow like silk, some are rapids, but the journey is what it's all about.
The brain. Quite a complex entity in itself. I am ever amazed at all the brain can produce… thoughts, chemicals, nerves, reactions, emotions, and on and on and on says mine.
My brain is like a merry-go-round on high voltage. The thoughts riding the merry-go-round are spinning madly, too fast to move and too fast to come out or make any sense. I can see it. I can see the spinning of thoughts - spinning and spinning and spinning. And no, it does not make me dizzy. Funny. It makes me irritable, and antsy as hell.
Just the other day I re-discovered a classical music station on Pandora. I was in love. It was so calming for me somehow, and I could feel the brain stimulation starting up again. But today when I put it on, it sent my merry-go-round into overdrive and I could not get a thought in, out, or otherwise.
So finally now, at 5:30PM, with the help of my most mellow (perhaps one would consider depressing) station on Pandora, I am finding the calmness to talk about the very thing that kept me from talking before. I thank my friends Liz and Kim for the encouragement to write about the very thing getting in my way of writing. Sure, it took all day, but I did it. That's something to be proud of. A start is a start in my book.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Today, it is simple for me. I am proud of myself for recognizing my need for some serious rest. I slept most of the day after going to bed at 9:00PM last night. Amazing. I got up at 2:00PM today and had a bowl of cereal so at least I didn't go without food, but I was quickly back to bed to sleep until 5. I needed it, and could tell by the weight I felt each time I woke up. Finally at 5:00 I woke up feeling lighter, and rested.
Unfortunately, my night is taking a "swing" and I don't like it. I'm frustrated over my lack of finances and inability to just buy and do what I want, when I want. Combined with a tummy ache, I am struggling this late evening.
So today, my pride comes from recognition of what I needed (rest), and the confidence to listen to my body and mind and oblige.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I am pretty hard on myself. Learning to love myself for who I am, bipolar and all, has been a life-long challenge. Sure, I'm young (only 30), but I have a long way to go before being comfortable in my own skin.
Yesterday in counseling, there was a recurring theme: learning pride. I have accomplished so many things in the last two months, and I really wasn't giving myself much credit for them! I would talk about them, but was not exhibiting pride in my accomplishments. Which is pretty funny when I think about how I try to recognize all accomplishments, big and small. I need to learn to be proud of myself for my accomplishments, not just see them and recognize them.
So my new assignment to myself, which I will be using this blog to try to accomplish, is pride for every day, and every accomplishment - big or small.
Monday, July 26, 2010
I am proud that I got up and out of bed.
I am proud that even though I was groggy, I got up early to enjoy the cooler temperatures.
I am proud that I was present and able to post status updates on Facebook, and comment on other people's posts.
I am proud that I ate well.
I am proud that I showered.
I am proud that I put makeup on for the first time in months.
I am proud that I went to my counseling appointment, which included walking extra to get there instead of taking two busses. I am proud that I took the opportunity to stretch my two very capable legs despite how hot I was feeling.
I am proud that I tired myself out, because my body felt capable and used.
I am proud for the aha moments I had, not only in emailing one of my sisters about my amazing week with my mom, but also in counseling. I am proud to be writing about a day full of things to be proud of.
I am proud of making dinner for Tony and I, despite how tired I was. I am proud of stopping at the Mexican store on the corner for sodas for Tony and I.
I am proud of taking my medications as prescribed.
I am proud of calming myself down when I went to bed so that I could sleep. I am proud of a night without bad dreams, and a night of better sleep.
I am proud that I remembered my assignment to myself and jumped in head-first this morning.
I like this! I hope it sticks!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
It has been a long time since I have written anything and so much has been happening! As you can imagine, not all good, hence the not writing part. Sometimes I debate writing when I'm feeling terribly low. After all, I wanted to use this as an outlet for things happening. Not sure what my hangup is.
I spent a week in the psych ward at the hospital. It was probably one of, if not the scariest thing I've ever been through. I went to my routine appointment with my psychiatrist and she told me to go to the ER and have myself admitted the minute I left her office. I walked to the hospital alone, unable to reach anyone on the phone, and by the end of that day was in the psych ward at Pennsylvania Hospital. They made me change into hospital gowns and sit in a padded room on a gurney for hours waiting for the doctor to assess me at the psych ER. I was scared. I was alone. And I was more uncomfortable than I've ever been. I told them I was suicidal when I wasn't because I knew that's what my doctor wanted me to do to get admitted. They took this very seriously. What they took more seriously was my admission that I was hoarding medications.
Several hours and a frightening ambulance ride later I was in "6 Spruce." The nurses were so nice. I don't know if I would have made it if they weren't so amazing. I was so blessed to be where I was. We got to pick our meals out of a menu. We probably had more freedom than many other psych wards. But I was still scared out of my mind. I felt trapped. I've never felt trapped like that before. My entire body was consumed by the need to flee. But I couldn't. I was stuck there in my hospital gowns, waiting for Tony to drop off some clothes for me, just trying to make sense of everything that was going on.
You see, I was admitted with the intent to receive ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) treatments. That's right, "shock therapy." In my desperation I originally was all for it. But once I got there, I didn't want it. I didn't want to go that far. Not to mention, funding for my stay was hard to come by. I was told they would get the State to fund me, but that did not cover the ECT. Talk of getting the hospital to do it pro-bono came up and I just finally told them "no." They worked with me. They changed my medications quickly and that seemed effective. Of course my desperation to get out of there helped. I quickly changed my tune from sobbing, begging to be let out, to making the most of my time there. I finally accepted that I would be there for at least a week whether I liked it or not, so I just worked on changing my attitude. By the time I left, I was a new person compared to the somber woman they admitted.
In hindsight, it was a great thing. I'm still wrestling with mixed feelings about having been admitted. It's hard to go from feeling so trapped to feeling grateful for the experience. But I'm working on it.
The depression came back. But I'm fighting it. I'm feeling better today and am taking it one minute at a time as always. I was approved for Disability which is amazing. I am so thankful. Now I'm working on Medical Assistance. It's just one step at a time, step by step. Today I'm positive. Not so much all days. So I'm sharing my story. This is the brief, yet detailed version. I think I cover enough for now.
My Tony… was by my side and behind me one thousand percent when I was there. I don't know if he feels the same way, but I feel like our relationship jumped to a new level while I was there. Ever thankful for his support and willingness to do whatever it takes to help me get well yet get me out of there as soon as possible. His endless cuddles in the first week I was back home were like a drug in itself. I love him more today than ever. I cannot find words to express what it feels like to have someone support me like that. I never thought I was worthy of such a thing, thinking that my "illness" was sure to drive anyone away. To have him stick by me through that and all he's been through with me is the most humbling experience. That's love baby.