Friday, January 29, 2010


I am finding more and more that no matter how small, an accomplishment is an accomplishment, and as such should be celebrated. In my current struggles to maintain peace and calm within myself and my emotions, the seemingly simplest things have turned into major undertakings, and when accomplished, are huge successes for me.

I am learning that I need to celebrate and embrace each and every one of those small things that get me through the day, that enhance my day, and make me feel more human, competent, and alive. Because with each celebration, a tiny bit of strength shows through, and love is felt for myself, and for my soul.

I am finding that this is a crucial part to maintaining some semblance of sanity. It is so easy to get down on myself and feel like I am a lesser person because I do not have the strength or stability to take on tasks that are commonplace for most. It's strange, because when dealing with an illness, the first reaction seems to be not wanting to think of yourself as different from anyone else, wanting to maintain a "normal" life. But in so many ways, part of dealing with and healing any kind of illness is to accept and honor your limitations and not be too hard on yourself.

It's those negative thoughts and emotions that can really hold a person back from making positive progress.

This week, I accomplished several goals, yet I sit here feeling stir-crazy with cabin fever, wanting to go out and do, do, do! It feels so good to actually desire to get out of the house and accomplish things, but is so frustrating to not only worry that it is the onset of a manic episode or manic symptoms in my mixed states, but to also have to consciously slow myself down so as not to over do it, which could bring on a depressed episode. I am always wondering which are true healthy desires and ambitions, and which are the effects of mania on the brain. So I have to go slow. And it's agonizing sometimes - tonight is one of those nights.

So I would like to rejoice in what I HAVE accomplished this week and try to savor those things and be proud of them. Such things include making two important phone calls and sending one email and getting some direction from all three; walking to the corner store to get myself out of the house for the first time in five days just to get some milk; walking on the treadmill for 15 minutes and loving every minute of it, yet also having the self restraint to stop at 15 minutes and not go too far; and in the same night talking my mom through Facebook for an hour, and then making a batch of cookies and doing the dishes while they bake. I was so proud of myself yesterday, and even more proud of myself this morning to have the courage to put a post on Facebook which not only acknowledges that I am suffering mental illness, but shows I am making progress, no matter how bad I feel these days, to be able to see that I HAVE made small strides this week. Small strides to most, but huge strides to me.

I'm not sure how to adequately describe the fear that overtakes me sometimes. When I feel like I cannot do something today, I desperately want to say I can do it tomorrow, but tomorrow is not something I can count on. For me, tomorrow remains a mystery, a darkness that I will feel my way into and hope that light appears when I get there. Because I do not know how I will wake up from day to day, and not knowing that makes today so precious, yet so frustrating at the same time.

Monday, January 25, 2010


There have been a lot of frustrations with my health since my first couple posts. I'd love to say that I'm going to start this again and really get going with it, but I know myself better than that. What I will do, is let myself post when I want to post, and not put unnecessary pressure on myself - because I have enough of that already!

I really would love to put up my first post about living with bipolar disorder. However, I am focusing more on having a lighthearted night with Tony and getting some much needed smiles, laughs, snuggles, and relaxation.

So tonight I would like to give a few shout-outs in keeping with my attempts at maintaining calm.

Recently discovered, yet still not fully explored, I love this website. I've only viewed a few videos, but each one has brought me to tears. The tears come from truly relating to what is being said, what has been felt, suffered, and overcome. The tears come from pain for those IN pain, including myself. And the tears come from the hope and possibility I see in each person as they share their story. I am so thankful that organizations are really taking the initiative to shed some light on mental illness and fight the stigma out there. It's so comforting for people like me, deep in the throws of illness itself, struggling to come out of the darkness, and see there are people out there that are not afraid of you, even when you're terrified of yourself.

I want to make a very special mention of my amazing friend Jody. I met her when I was 17, as an exchange student in Australia. I don't remember much of my exchange anymore, but I know that we became great friends, and when I returned three years later, we picked up right where we left off, and it's been the same ever since, even though I have returned to the States. She has been an amazing source of support, compassion, and unconditional love, despite being half a world away. She is one of the most beautiful, precious people I know, and I feel so lucky to be able to call her a close friend. From the time we were teenagers, she "got me," and has been reminding me to keep my heart full and open despite the struggles I encounter along life's path. I truly believe she is divine in her own way, because she has always been an angel to me. To Jody: you have always known the right things to say and the right times to say them. I thank you for being such a precious gift to me!

A new guilty pleasure of mine is exploring Molton Brown products. I started with the re-charging Black Pepper body wash and lotion. I indulged in some new face cream and eye cream and toner, and a few more scents from them. Although I have always been a diehard Aveda fan, I must admit that Molton Brown is intoxicating when I'm feeling so low and frazzled and am in desperate need of a shower and to smell good!

Glad to have had a great night reconnecting with Tony. I have missed our closeness for some time. Perhaps the two of us can work on a post together about what we've been going through. But "no seriousness" tonight. Hee!

(Jody, this post is dedicated to you… let's hope there are many more to come! Thanks babe, much love to you! xo)