Acceptance

I think one of the major challenges not only for someone with bipolar disorder but anyone in life is the fact that we judge ourselves, our feelings, our thoughts and our own opinions. It’s hard to be comfortable with who you are, even in the mess of life. To accept yourself is the ultimate self-care. To love yourself unconditionally. When you do others opinions no longer hold weight. As if you loved someone very much and cherished them if another person came along and called them garbage you wouldn’t believe it for a second, at least not based on their sole opinion. So why do we believe it when others say harsh things to us or challenge us?

We aren’t secure in ourselves. This is achievable though. It takes time and energy to cultivate self-love, like with any relationship, the one with yourself takes work. How to do it? It’s different for everyone. I personally indulge myself with the things that make me happy, these things are not usually things. I enjoy strolling through the parks or shops where I live, hiking, art, movies, baths, facial care, writing, ect. The small things that give you a lift, amplify it. Another thing I practice is positive self-talk. There is a judgmental voice in all of us, for some louder than others that asks, “why did you do that, why do you think that you are “insert mean adjective here” for being this way.” But I started consciously responding to that voice and reasoning with it, telling it why reaffirming my own decisions and simply telling myself every day multiple times a day that I am enough. I am smart enough, I am strong enough, I am brave enough, I am beautiful.  It starts consciously it has to, then it becomes a habit, then it becomes real to you. You believe it. You believe the thoughts you consistently tell yourself. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to have self-love, to not have to be filled by another person because you are already full and can give the best of yourself.

I’m currently working on being able to speak my truths, my opinions, my thoughts, my feelings. It’s hard to be challenged by others to be asked why you believe what you do and feel uneasy about how to explain it. There is a fear there. I’m working to overcome this fear to live more openly. No pain no gain as they say. It is hard but it is worth it to grow as a person. Thank you for reading.

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Not an endorsement, grain of salt

So for the last few weeks, I’ve been trying out CBD Marijuana. I live in a state that it is legal. I just go to the shop and buy some. I’m lucky to have people close to me that are knowledgable on it and give me recommendations for doses and what everything means. I’ve been going through some hard things personally on top of hypo-mania. When I’m stressed I don’t eat and don’t sleep. This is a huge red flag. I have tried smoking before throughout my life but never knew there was a difference between CBD and THC. From what I’ve been told the THC affects your mind but the CBD calms your body. Mania usually starts from not taking care of your body, eg sleeping, and eating. So when I’ve tried it before it was legal and just regular THC weed I always become very paranoid, scared, and uncomfortable. I longed to have the relaxing effect others seemed to get. The last few weeks have been life changing. I can relax and eat and sleep. I smoke at night and just take lithium now when before I had to take Klonopin, an anti-anxiety medication, and Risperadol, an antipsychotic that was ruining my life. It’s nice to find a balance with no side effects that have made me unable to maintain my work and life schedule. I use it purely as medicine for now. I don’t have an addictive personality so I can’t see myself doing it socially or at any other time during the day that I don’t need hunger and relaxation. Again I’m not saying this will cure you. Different things work for everything, but I do believe marijuana has helped many people with many things. It is a drug like any other drug I’ve taken and you have to be responsible with it. I’ve met so many people who do use it for their mental health issues as well as physical issues, there are however people I’ve met that use it as a crutch to deal with everything in life. I can say my only current crutch is cigarettes which I do use to deal with stress. Usually, I smoke cigarettes in the Spring when my stress is high but due to other big changes in my life, I am extended that into Summer. I’m also lucky to have an open relationship with my Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner whom I saw just the other day and let her know. She was supportive and reassured me that whatever helps me she will support as long as it doesn’t hurt me. I am full of love today and relaxation regardless of the mess I’m currently in. Here’s to taking a moment during the battle to be free. Until next time.

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Crash

I feel it creeping in. Longer sleep and slower thoughts. Anxiety raises and overwhelms. Second guessing all my dreams. Feeling darkness calling me. No strength to fight it, I let it come and hope everything doesn’t come undone. Worry like it’s oxygen. Smiles fade then dissipate. Who you know will fade as well. Welcome to the perfect hell.

 

I’ve been feeling the crash today. Mania is fading into normalcy. The beauty in all fades into regular vision. The high is wearing off and there is a certain amount of withdrawal that comes from losing mania. It’s a sting. It’s a sadness to come to realize that the person you are in mania is a temporary version and sometimes just a downright delusion. I haven’t made any outright poor decisions if anything I’ve made a lot of good decisions that needed to be made but I didn’t have the grip to do it. It’s not that kind of crash this time. It’s feeling fake. It’s feeling like you don’t know who you really are. Am I this confident person mania makes me believe I am, or am I this anxiety ridden person depression makes me feel?

I’ve always valued honesty above anything in life. Openness and honesty. I can’t even, myself, pinpoint who I am. To be someone who values realness so much and to feel fake is torture.

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Capacity 

I feel like being bipolar has given me a higher capacity for good and bad. I can feel more than most people. I can be more excited and feel more love than most. I can also feel darkness far more than most. I know we all have varying degrees of this and there are times I wish to take it all away and it isn’t worth the pain. There are fleeting moments that I feel like I can see beauty in everything that does make it feel worth it all. I notice small things others may find insigfigant that make me so happy and peaceful. I try to enjoy it as much as I can. I know I deserve to because when I’m low I count the days to feel that way again. Today is one of those fleeting days. Life is such a mess for me right now but I find peace in the chaos and strength in my perseverance. I know those with other mental health issues would not feel the same as it is always dark or normal for them. I do feel lucky regardless that I get my highs as long as they don’t go too far. Summer is always my best time. I long for it in the dark seasons. Today I will give myself permission to feel the happiness and not over think it. Easier said than done but sometimes you have to let yourself off the hook to be free even with the waves.

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All is fair.

What a war we fight

constantly defending ourselves from our thoughts

constantly trying to remind ourselves what is real
what a war we fight

trying to explain why we cannot go 

trying to be casual and normal for everyone’s sake
What wars we fight

with ourselves

with society

with stigma
but 
what strength we have.

what compassion we have.

what endurance we have.

What bravery and spirit we have.
What an adventure we share.

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Final Introduction Part 4

The agreement was if I were to be released I would find a psychiatrist and be monitored 24/7 until they deemed me stable. I also had a therapist. The psychiatrist was cold, thin, and condescending to how I was feeling. I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar 1. I remember my grandparents having to come from hours away to stay with me while my parents worked. I remember my grandpa saying to me, and I will never forget it, like a secret between just me and him that the world would never know. “We have seen things that no one else will understand and no one else will get to see.” I believed it and I still do.

I was given so many meds I can’t even remember all of them. Changing them all within weeks to new ones. My first few days out of the hospital I tried to see my boyfriend but he was different toward me. He ended it saying that I ended it first. It hurt a lot at the time. I tried going to school but everything felt gray. Before everything was so light and easy. I felt like I had to drag a dead body everywhere I went of the person I was before and could only be the person I was now. I was depressed. The medication added to my depression making me feel dull and like a zombie. I wasn’t coherent. I’d be with friends at school and just sit not even hearing a word they were saying, not responsive. I would go to therapy and not talk at all. I couldn’t. I could cry from time to time but that faded into the drugs as well. I never left my room, I dropped out of school for my Junior year.

Kayla was my last life line. She would stay home with me, she was the only person who could make me smile or feel alive even if only for minutes of the day. We started smoking weed, I still felt nothing. I started hooking up with people, nothing. Everything was nothing anymore. We bought an ouija board and tarot cards for things to do as we stayed in my room or her house most days. I remember having the Ouija board by myself and asking it to kill me, it declined. I didn’t want to kill myself. I just wanted the rest of me to fade away as it felt like most of me already had. One night a family member who is no longer in my life came into my room and told me if I was going to keep crying to just kill myself. That was it, a sign for me at least.

That night I was alone for 30 minutes. Enough time. All of my psychiatric medication was locked in a lock box. There were other over the counter medications about I grabbed all of them and swallowed as many as I could. Tylenol PM, Mucinex, and pills I didn’t even know what they were. I took all the Tylenol we had but it wasn’t much just one pill pack, and 20 Mucinex, and 10 other pills. I was on myspace at the time as I was doing it. It was hard to swallow that many pills but I perpetuated the reason why by looking at all the life others had and how dead I had become in comparison. I motivation to push through the instinct to stay alive. I hid the evidence in the trash under other trash and laid on the living room couch.

I cried for a moment then it all it me and I became very drowsy. I remember my mother and younger brother coming home from a basketball game. She asked if I was going to sleep on the couch, I said yes, and fell asleep. I woke up but felt as if I was in a dream. I couldn’t move but some other force seemed to push me and I crawled to the bathroom it was dark and I began vomiting. My older brother came in and turned on the light, everything is so hazy to me. He called my mother and she said something about pills in the vomit. I can’t remember even seeing them just hearing them. My older brother carried me to the kitchen and asked me what I took as he started pointing at different boxes. I pointed them out to him. He carried me to the car and my mother drove me to the emergency room I could only hear the sound and feel things but I couldn’t see.

I felt like I could leave at any moment but the adrenaline was too high. I felt scared not because of death I was scared to be put back into a hospital. They took me in and took tests and made me drink charcoal. They said had I taken much more Tylenol it could have been the end. I felt disappointed in myself for not succeeding and making everyone deal with me for longer. The doctors talked about taking me to a hospital again my parents refused. I was taken home and the next day I couldn’t even tell Kayla what had just happened the night before, she was the only good thing I had left and I didn’t want her to know I tried to leave her.

Eventually, it did come out and she was hurt. I decided to stop taking medication at this point. I blamed it for making me how I was or at least worse. My psychiatrist told me she was firing me as a patient and told me I would end up killing myself. Months went by and it became summer I started to feel better, therapy began to help because I was able to talk not just sit there. I went back to school in the Spring. Everything was going great, too great. Voices began after terms into school it felt like it was a repeat. I research medication on my own and discovered lithium. It interested me for a sort of petty reasons. I’ve always loved Kurt Cobain, it said he had taken it. I found a psychiatric nurse and told her what I wanted to take and I don’t want to take multiple medications or switch. She agreed that it was my health and my choice.

 

I got better what seemed overnight on a very low dose, the voices stopped and I could eat and sleep again. It did have side effects like pain in my stomach if I didn’t eat with it, I couldn’t take ibuprofen because it made me have headaches, I gained a little weight.

Overall I was surprised. I had written medicine off but it stopped me from going in a giant circle again. I graduated on time. Nothing in my life has ever felt better than going to hell and back and still succeeding. Graduating high school may be a low-level accomplishment to most people but it’s not about that, it is about the struggle and the hardship and the precerverance.

To this day I am still on low levels of lithium, I increase as needed and add other medications as needed. I have developed hypothyroidism from it’s use but lithium saved me. Lithium gets a bad rap because a lot of times it doesn’t work with someone’s chemsitry correctly or doctors overdose their patients. I always seek out nurse practitioners now as they seem to not want to overdose you. I’ve had struggles since this introduction but this was the start and now I will bee updating as much as possible on what my life/mood/feelings are now. Thank you for reading.

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Between You and I

You put me at ease
like the sun

on a cold autumn day

You make me smile
like the wind

blowing through the trees
As the leaves fall
so do I

I laugh as my heart skips a beat
And then speeds up

A heavy sigh as I clear my mind
but the thoughts come rushing in
like a wave crashing in my heart
and running through my veins

I feel connected to your soul
And every the story we have untold

Someday I’ll find you
and
Pure
Positive
Energy
will flow through me like never before

I know because it’s all been a glimpse of everything….

Between

You

And

I

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Calm

The sun is shinning on me

I sense a slight relief

I take a drag and think

At least it’s not shinning in me

Things slow down

I feel more calm

The middle of mania

Is where I belong.

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Introduction Part 3

It was late when we had arrived. All the other patients were sleeping. The nurses took my vitals, height, weight, and checked me for any bruising and asked me about them. Even though I had no idea where the bruises on my hip and thighs were from, my whole life lead me up to being a proficient liar. I answered, “snowboarding.” They lead me to my room, I believe I had changed into a hospital top and bottoms to sleep in. The room had a window, two beds and an in room bathroom and sink. They told me to keep the door open for rounds. I am so foggy as to if I was given medicine or not and what days were what in there. I can only recall them based on being in that room and being in solitary confinement.

In the original room, I would brush my teeth and feel like they were all falling out into the sink. I remember lying awake thinking about how much I knew about the universe and could remember past lives. And talking with the voices in my head. I got up the next day with all the other kids and exclaimed, “Are we angels?!” Still believing I was dead. One boy mocked, “Maybe you are.” I would say outlandish things like this. I couldn’t contribute in group therapy or even one on one therapy. I couldn’t take showers because I thought the water was electricity. I then started getting worse I remember being in the dining hall, which was a walk through the courtyard away, and I was pouring chocolate milk when the voices told me to leave. I had to leave and go tell other people the things I was seeing. I felt as though I was a messiah and I needed to find another. I ran full speed at two double locked doors and fell to the ground. Mind you at this time I was only 98lbs when my usual weight is between 120-135.

remember seeing family members come and visit but it is hard to remember what they would talk about to me. I remember seeing my older brother and being able to see in his veins and asked him to please stop using drugs. He told me later he wasn’t even on drugs. I started having intense religious visions. I looked out my window and saw planes crashing, cars on fire, people screaming, and demons. I felt like I was seeing the future. (I am not religious but at this time I was afraid of hell) I started to believe anyone with blue eyes was a demon and anyone with brown eyes was an angel. I thought that I and the other kids were angels and we were on the other side and we had to take turns going to earth.

I started yelling again at the voices and eventually was taken to solitary. No one else was in solitary at the time. There were a large room and four smaller rooms I wouldn’t go into the smaller room so they left me in the larger room and left one room open to a bathroom.(I’ll draw a diagram below) I had a sleeping pad on the ground and there were windows to see the orderlies. There was also a skylight I would lay and stare up at. I would believe that it was my grave and I was looking up and out it. I looked in the mirror and my face would change to Egar Allen Poe’s. I yelled all night one night as I saw bodies all around my room and believed the smaller rooms were gas chambers and the orderlies were Nazis. Clearly, I was getting worse.

I started telling the nurses that my dad had tried to kill me when they asked me when or how, I would reply, “God just showed  me.” At this time my mother agreed to stay with me for the remainder of the time there. My boyfriend at the time had visited one day. In my extreme delusion, I’m not sure what I did or said. I finally was able to go home earlier than they had wanted me to but my parents signed a waiver to watch me 24/7. It had been 11 days. My best friend was there to get me. I was still delusional I just tried to hide, which was progress in its own right.

Last chapter to come..

 

rooms

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Intorduction Part 2

By this time I am full on hallucinating both visually and auditory. I see a white fog around my field of vision and everything turns black and white. I ask Kayla and my mother, “Am I dead?” I start thinking about all the ways I could have died up to that point and just didn’t know I was dead. Did I get into an accident with my boyfriend, did he murder me (he was not abusive in any way but this was where my mind went), was I drugged?

Everything began spinning I don’t remember much of that night at all but the next day my mother asked Kayla to stay home with me until I could get an appointment that day with the doctor so she could go to work. I believe both Kayla and my younger brother were there with me. She suggested a movie to calm me. I was tense and holding my knees to my chest on the couch. We put on Swing Kids since it was an extra credit assignment to watch. It seemed as though I was just watching the screen move but nothing was being stored into memory or cognitive thinking. Just images that were forgotten as soon as the next came up. My brother was making some mac and cheese for us and Kayla got up to use the bathroom. Her mother called while she was gone on the home phone. I answered and talked with her what seemed like a normal conversation. As soon as the phone hit the receiver the information was gone. Kayla comes into the room as I’m standing near the phone trying to remember. She asked me what was wrong. I cried. I said, “Your mom called.” She asked, “Okay, what did she say?” I start crying harder things start to black out as I exclaim, “I don’t know!” She tells me it’s okay and she will call her back. My brother brings the mac and cheese but I’m fading in and out.

I don’t remember anything again until my mother arrives home and she and my best friend are taking me to the doctor. We went to my Primary Care Doctor at the time. I’m not sure of my behavior at this point, I only remember feeling dead. I looked into the mirror in the exam room and began pulling at my face. It didn’t feel real. He told my mother that I needed to go to the emergency room and it was out of his expertise. On the drive from the office to the emergency room, something in me snapped. I began screaming at the top of my lungs to stop. I was talking to the auditory hallucinations. I began having a dialogue with them but I can’t remember it now. We arrived at the emergency room, as I am still screaming. They say we have to wait the room is full of people. I am still talking and screaming to myself. Kayla starts crying and tells me she has to go. I believe it was too painful for her to watch. I continued hearing things as people stared at me I could hear their thoughts but I only responded to the internal stimuli I was dealing with. We waited what felt like hours, but time gauging was not my strong suit at this particular moment.

When I was taken back I begged the doctors to drug test me. I had to have been drugged. I must have. There was no other way. They gave me every drug test. They were all negative. I was placed in a solitary room and the nurse was with me. I was waiting for a car to arrive to take myself and another patient to Roseburg where they had an under 18 ward for mentally ill inpatients. The nurse allowed me lay on her lap as she stroked my hair. I asked her, “Have you seen the movie, Sybil?” She replied, “No.” I looked off into the distance of the room and whispered, “That’s who I feel like.” My mother returned to the room and my father. They had something they were eating. The car did not arrive until it was pitch black outside. It had no way to exit from the back seats. It looked like a cop car and they restrained me and another girl into the seats. The whole ride I was thinking about jumping from the car. Still hallucinating I did not say a thing the entire ride, and neither did anyone else. Until we had  almost arrived, I turned to the girl and asked intensely, “Did you see that?” I don’t even remember what I had seen but I wanted so desperately for her to validate me but she looked at me the way everyone had been at that point. Sad and scared. We had arrived. To be continued

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