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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hating Goodbyes.

Today my heart is breaking, my tears they now flow for the loss of someone special, someone gone way too soon. To some my loss may seem simple, for others a waste of tears they say. It is only an animal, nothing special in any way.

Today the choice was made. To ease a life in pain. He can now beyond the bridge run, frolic, and play. No more coughing, no more choking, no more eyes filled with pain. We chose to send him with the hard decision that had to be made.

Today I look at where once he lay, my eyes fill and flow. He was a simple creature, but for me so much more. He gave me gentle persuasion, with each look and with each sigh. He inspired me to continue to work on the book, in which he is a character who is gracious, and who is wise.

Each day as I continue this path we started. Each time I feel I can’t continue. I will gaze towards your pillow and know there you still lie. You will guide from the other side. From the land across the bridge, the one up in the sky.


As you can tell, this day has been a sad one. Today we had to say goodbye, to our beloved Donny Brasco. May he rest in peace with the angels. Until we see him once again.

In Memoriam to Donny Brasco
Born: April,2013 Died: March 28, 2017










Monday, March 27, 2017

Splashes of Crimson



I have recently been writing posts describing how I feel in the different cycles of my mental illness. The funny thing is, it isn't the same for everyone; but most with the same diagnosis will recognize what I am writing about.

I never intended for this to become a series of posts in the same vernacular, I was just scribbling down what was happening in my head, as I skipped through the hoops Bipolar. Yet I also have Panic/ Anxiety disorder. Sometimes I feel this assault upon my body affects my life more than either side of the bipolar equation. This is the one that controls my life no matter what is happening with my depressive or manic moments.

You see I live in fear. Fear of the world outside my room, my door, my home. You know what the worst part is? It is that I remember when I partook of life and reveled in it. It seems ages ago. Well I guess it has been; seeing how the last time I lived without fear I was roughly around the age of five. At that age, I had a major fright that has caused in me a major phobia. I found out when I was older, that there was an incident that happened even earlier. This incident played a part in the latter one.

The event that took place at the age of five was that I was sitting on a small porch off the side of my childhood home. We had a dog at the time, who was rather protective of those in my family. He was chasing after my Dad as he mowed the lawn. Unbeknownst to me a black snake had coiled up behind me on the warm concrete, I suppose to sun itself. In a blur the dog started barking and growling at me. I was frozen in place as the fear instilled when I was involved in a dog attack at the age of two, took over my body. Now that I think about it, that may have saved my life. Because the snake had coiled up, and was prepared to strike. (I found out later that it was a Water Moccasin.) The dog charged towards me, and grabbed the snake and killed it.

You can imagine what must have been going through my Dad's mind viewing this tableau happening before him. He didn't know exactly what was happening until after the snake was dead. He thought the dog attacked me for doing something to it. All I had been doing was playing with my doll on the porch. From that day forward, I live in fear of snakes. This fear is so strong, that I cannot look at a picture of a snake or watch a movie with snakes in it. Just seeing them gets my heart pounding, my palms sweaty, and my need to escape ramped to one hundred percent. I have cleared a retail counter to get away from little green ribbon snakes. Yes, it is that bad.

You may wonder why I told you this story. Good question. For most people, they are cool with the reptile, and don't understand my fear. Well having panic and anxiety disorder is much the same way. The funny thing is it can be the most innocent thing that can trigger panic or anxiety. For someone who doesn't live with this. Those feelings are a rare occurrence. Not for me, and I am sure, not for my fellow sufferers. Those people lucky enough to go through a day without a panic/anxiety attack don't understand what it is like for us.

That moment when you are triggered. When your heart pounds so hard you feel as though it will rip through your chest. When you feel like all the oxygen has been pulled out of the room, even if you are standing outside.  Your vision tunnels to one place, when in fact your eyes are darting in every direction trying to find a way out. You feel the roiling of your stomach, it feels like something is inside trying to rip its way out. In these moments, my vision goes red. A wash of crimson creeps in from the corner of my sight until the world is coated in it. My nails have dug into my palms from gripping my hands in such a tight fist.

The worst part is you brain is racing with so many thoughts, but none are coherent. You know you should take a deep breath, to try to calm yourself, but the ability is temporarily malfunctioning. There just seems like there is nothing to be done. Usually for me I must get away from the trigger if possible. When it isn't, I hope someone I know is near to talk me through it. Just another day for most but someone with this disorder, you live in constant state of readiness. Prepared for something to set you off. The days you get through without an attack, feel like you have dodged a bullet. You take a deep breath, enjoying the fact that you can.

This disorder costs people their families, their friends, and even their livelihood. I have had to walk away from jobs; some I even liked because one day on the way to work an attack triggers. The closer I get to work the more intense the symptoms become. Until you must stop, turn around, and go in the opposite direction. Simply because the thought of going to work is impossible. You start to feel better, think it was caused by something else. You turn around, and as soon as you head back to work the feelings return. Well, there goes another job. It isn't that we want to stop working, no it is just beyond our limits.

I knew when this happened to me the last time, there would not be any more jobs. My fear had become so intense that just the thought of working caused me anxiety. The thought of failing to do my job sends me into panic mode. The splashes of crimson streak across my vision. There is nowhere to hide.

I have shown in this post, the final color of my emotions based on my mental diagnosis. If you have similar feelings, please feel free to reach out. Leave me a comment below. Share this with your friends and family, letting them know how much this is perhaps close to what you feel. I hope by letting people have a glimpse into my world, that it helps someone. As always if you feel lost there are helpful places to find understanding and empathy. One such place is The Mighty.com

Until next week I hope the color of your emotions stay in the yellow. Who can’t be happy when playing in the sun?


Monday, March 20, 2017

The Manic Flame.


In a post, I wrote a few weeks ago, I mentioned the colors I associate with each of my mental diagnosis’. I said that I saw Depression wrapped in the cover of blackness. Those days where I walk around in a fugue state of melancholia; those are tinted blue. When Anxiety and Panic grab a hold of me the world becomes bathed in the color of blood. I spoke very briefly on the color of the flip side of Depression for a Bipolar person. That of the Mania; the color for this is burnt orange. I think of flames whenever this side comes in control. Why? Simply put because I feel as if I am burning as I move closer to the sun, just within reaching distance like Icarus before the inevitable fall.

When I enter a manic phase, I feel invincible. I feel like I can do nothing wrong. I am for once in control of my world. I am like a slow burning comet blazing high over the Earth. Never realizing that I am about to crash and disintegrate. In this phase, I must fight down the urge to overspend on my budget. I become a shopping goddess. Since I live on a disability budget, I of course don’t have money to “burn”. I am very talkative. Just ask my niece, it drives her crazy when I start up the weirdest conversations with perfect strangers; most of the time when I am in a store trying to break my piggy bank.

I never knew that I do the same thing as my Dad. It used to make my Mom so mad when he would start talking to every person wherever they went. His being schizophrenic, even when controlled by medicine caused him to a very complicated guy. I now know he was probably cycling through a Manic period. I preferred him in this stage, because it beat the hell out of the alternative. The sullen, and quiet man who distanced himself away from everyone.

The weird thing is you are totally aware that it is happening, but helpless to stop it. I see myself opening the online shopping sites. In my mind, I hear this voice saying “you can control it. You will somehow make the money stretch to pay for just this one thing.” The crux of the matter though is that that one thing becomes several things. My mind begins to buzz as my inner accountant start the process of justifying the spending. The hard part is by the time the stuff arrives I have switched back to the blue or black side. I feel even worse standing in front of all the open boxes, angry at myself because now I will go through the process of returning it all. My sense of failure multiplies by the number of boxes sitting before me. The worst part is there is still a small voice whispering in my ear, “but you know you want it, just keep it.”

I realized last night as I thought about what I wanted to write in this post, that those cartoons with an angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other was just what it feels like being Bipolar. On one shoulder is the somber figure of Depression, and on the other the happy go lucky, dancing a fiery Salsa; Mania. They each continually whisper in my ear what they want me to do. Sometimes Depression has its day, while other days Mania becomes the life of the party. Drinks are on her. They have buddy’s, their names are Melancholia, Panic, and Anxiety. Sometimes the whole gang takes turns in just one day. It is a never-ending struggle to try to find a balance where their voices are silent.

This constant struggle is why people with Bipolar Disorder always seem to be fighting one illness or another. The stress and strain of being torn apart wears us down. I fight a constant battle with reflux disease because my stomach is in a constant state of agitation. The headaches, the aches and pains from muscles tensing and relaxing constantly. I sometimes feel as if I have run a marathon all from the comfort of my office chair. My mind is not even silent while I try to grab what little sleep I get. My mind is in a whirl with should’ve, could’ve, and would haves. They even follow me into my dreams. I wake up from dreaming with tears streaming from my eyes, or I wake myself up laughing at some stupid situation that I have dreamt for myself.


I have been cycling through the different layers of my Depression, but the color is starting to change at the edges to the lovely burnt orange color that signals it’s time to hide the credit cards, checkbook, and all things monetary. Time to step outside into the daylight and go window shopping, and socialize with strangers in the store. Sorry niece of mine, do you want to go to the mall today? I’m in an excellent mood. 

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BipolarDisorderDepressionAnxiety

Monday, March 13, 2017

Chains


Tables turning, new thoughts rush through my mind. Where will my journey take me? Questions chase me; trying to distract me. Hide and seek; we play, my demons and I. Turn a corner and there they are.

When the dust settles where will I be? What will I find when I gaze in the mirror. Will it even be me? Jagged memories of nightmares found while awake. They tease me with insanity. I try to make myself small, thinking if they can't see me, that they may not find me. They pass by, and I rise. Too late I don't see they tricked me. They were waiting just on the other side.

They hold me, restrain me. The chains bound tight. I scream, but no one hears. I am drowning in my own tears. Exhaustion sways me, I lose track to whether it is night or day. Day by day, week by week I lay bound; worn out from trying to escape. Do I even have any fight left?  My spirit gone. A wisp is all you will find of who I used to be. Beaten down, and worthless. A raggedy doll am I.

My eyes follow the progress of a shadow across the floor. Do I look up to see who the owner be? Do I care, lost in despair? No rescue for me. No one is looking, nobody cares. I am wasted, used, and abused. Nothing worth saving left.

A gentle hand, a kind word at this point would wreck me. My heart would shatter, I would feel as if I died. A hug would be my downfall. All left, but a single tear. Everything left of the woman who once stood here. The woman who only asked for someone to hear. Who sought some tenderness, some joy? In this cold, cold world.

I feel a touch, it is warm. I can feel the concern. Good to know, I still have empathy. I can still can feel. I glance up, but all I see is an outline with the bright light behind. I hear a click as the chains fall free. I am scared to move, scared it is all a dream. My tears fall once again. I thought I had cried them all away. I was so wrong. My hair is pushed out of my face. A wet cloth touches my brow. I hear words spoken, what do they say? That it will be okay. That healing is on its way.

I feel the touch of something I haven't felt for so long. I think I must be mistaken. I think that I am not right. Do I believe it, do I dare? The seedling being planted. To grow within me day by day.  Do I feel the beginnings of hope, do I believe in it once more?

I stand on the threshold of a new tomorrow. A new view. I am able now to stand on my own two feet. To look up, and focus on what my future holds. Strong in my thoughts and actions. My demons corralled once more.  The end of my bleak night. A new joy I have found. New horizons spread out before me. My chains broken in pieces, litter the floor. I have come out on the other side, and I am glad to be alive.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Losing Me.


I started today thinking that I would be writing about the cathartic feeling of finally telling someone how much they drive me crazy. To tell them how they make me feel. How when I go to therapy; they are the subject matter on which I rant about the most.

I was feeling good after finally getting that off my chest. I was feeling good at not holding it all in anymore, but then as usual life happened. All that feeling of well-being vanished as if it had never happened.

Today my world shattered into a million jagged-edged pieces. I am no longer all together, but a million shards held together with some very iffy glue. Today I lost my grip on the world. I realized that I am trapped in a black mire. A pitch so deep that I fear I may never have color again. Yet I do see one color clearly, that of flowing blood as it runs from the cuts, I have made in my skin to let out all the anguish.  The red of losing my temper so completely that all I want to see is another bleed. That is my world now. There is nothing else. I am nothing else, but those scattered pieces trying to desperately cling together. I can’t let anyone see that there is no more me.

There is no I. There is only the outline of the woman that once stood, where this shell now stands. In the back of my mind, I wonder if I will ever be me again. If I can pull all the pieces back together to form me again. The one who is missing, the real woman, not the imitation standing before you.
I try to find some link back to me, but the tether has broken. I am afloat in my sea of insanity.  No help to be found. My anchor jettisoned, I am adrift.

I feel much the same way as I felt when I lost my dad. That the world was off kilter, not spinning in the right direction anymore. I feel like I will never be happy again. I feel like there aren’t enough tears in the world to be cried over my loss. That the sun has been extinguished. I am on automatic pilot, just going through the motions of living, while my mind is fractured. Instead of a world filled with a kaleidoscope of colors, only two remain; red and black.

My voice is silenced, except for the words on this page. My screams have torn my throat to shreds. They are just pantomimed now. I am that mime trapped in a box of my own despair. Will I ever break free to be just me.