Bipolar, bipolar disorder, blogging, journaling, mental health

The Death of Creativity

Painting and writing, drawing and building. The creativity flows thoughtlessly throughout my body. My fingertips create lovely scenes on canvas. My mind chooses all the right words to dictate into paper. My pencil guides me as I draw Disney characters like my life depends on it. My eyes envision and create stunning websites and marketing flyers. I can do anything with my creativity.

Until it’s killed. Murdered in cold blood. Left lifeless thrown in an alley, getting ate up by stray cats. Yes, that’s exactly what happens. My medicine kicks in and suddenly all the bad habits are gone, like spending money and racing thoughts and hallucinations, but with the disappearance of them, they steal my creativity.

I’m struggling now to find the words to describe such a loss. A week ago, the words would have came with ease. They would have spilled onto the page without my brain even registering it.

I struggle at work now, designing drab marketing flyers, that I hate. I have no new ideas.

So do I continue with these meds or do I get my creative juices back. For some it’s a simple decision. But for me, with a husband and kids, it’s not so cut and dry. People are depending on me. Leaning on me and looking up to me.

Bipolar is a very selfish illness and I have been fighting the urge to make myself happy this past week. Having my creativeness back would make me happy, for the moment. Although I know it would spiral and soon it wouldn’t be enough. It’s hard to let go of something that makes you feel so good. But ultimately, I have to look at the big picture.

My creativity has died.

mental health

Recovery, Giving yourself credit

With Bipolar Disorder, or any mental illness for that matter, there comes a point where you reach the recovery stage. The mania has settled or the pills are finally starting to work and you can feel the depression lifting. These are very crucial periods in our lives as people afflicted with a mental illness.

Right now, this time has come for me. My mania is finally settling down, I’ve went from 4 hours of sleep a night to a full eight hours in the last 2 days. I just recently had my medication switched and the dosage upped, so I’m sure that has had it’s impact. I can feel the awkward feeling of not being able to conquer the world that I just so recently had. I can feel my insane amount of energy draining to a more “normal” level. Almost to the point of feeling lethargic. I am starting to be able to process my thoughts and the voices and shadow men that so often came to visit me, are no longer making appearances.

It’s a strange feeling, recovery. I’ve worked so hard to get to this point the last month or so and now that it is here, I almost feel like I have not done enough. That I should be doing more to help myself. I should be doing more for my family, for my friends. I should be doing something.

I talked with my therapist about this and she gave me some great words of wisdom that I would like to pass onto anyone else who may be feeling this way.

You are doing great, give yourself a break and stop being so hard on yourself. You just struggled for weeks, or months, you are finding your way back. You are on the right track. You are doing what you need to do and you are doing great. There comes a point in recovery when you will be able to look yourself in the mirror and you will be proud. You will love the person that you have become, or the person you are becoming. This takes time for most of us, but as long as you celebrate the small steps and stay on course, you will get to that point.

So hang in there fellow Bipolars. Things can and do get better. If you are struggling now, or need help, please reach out. Life is too short to spend it in a constant state of instability.

Good luck!

mental health

The breaking point.

My eyes are swollen. I can’t breath. I can’t speak. I try to form sentences, but my throat won’t let the words escape.

The truth was told. My demons were released and now I’m going to pay for that. The men told me not to tell, they told me that I would die if I did. I’m not afraid of death. At this rate between the men, the voices, the fits of raging and uncontrollable sobbing, death would be a much needed vacation. Death would end it all. Death would take away my pain. It would end the burden that is me, from my family. My children would be better off. Who needs a blubbering, hysterical mother? I know I wouldn’t want one.

Don’t try to tell me I’m a good mom, don’t try to tell me that my family loves me. Don’t tell me that living this life is better than it all just ending. Because you are wrong. The men tell me over and over how happier everyone would be. They tell me over and over what a shitty mom I am. They attack me, at my weakest points. And those walls have finally broke.

I’m sobbing. I told my husband everything. I told him about the men, about the voices. About the instant wave of relief that rushes over me when I think I may get into a car accident and just never wake up to live this awful life again. I told. I wasn’t supposed to.

So now I wait for the men to come and make good on their threats. I know the torment is coming and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. I can’t turn this off. I can’t stop obsessing about it because it’s the only thing that goes on in my head. I try to read, the voices drown out the words, I try to write, I keep deleting the voices’ words. It’s never ending.

Hold on for a few more days. I go to the dr. Soon. Saturday soon, but that’s not soon enough.

mental health

Creating a Movement

When I have that discussion of Bipolar Disorder with anyone, I’m always left feeling like I did not properly explain it. Like I either brushed it off to be not a big deal or made it seem like it’s a shock I’m not locked up somewhere in a padded room. But isn’t that just the rub with Bipolar?

Is there really an explanation for it? One that can completely and totally explain it to where a non sick person can understand and grasp the amount of pain and struggle we go through on sometimes a daily basis?

As I’m writing this I’m sitting here obsessing over getting another dog…a very cute dog. But I already have a dog that I know doesn’t get enough time. I’m saying they can be playmates, which they can. It would be good for them both. Burn some energy. But as I’m trying to convince my husband of his, he’s knocking holes in my reasoning. We can’t afford a dog. But we can. The van needs new tires, but I can push that off until next pay day. We need to save for our vacation getaway, but I’ll be getting a check from school soon, so we will have money then. I’m torturing myself. I know my husband is probably right. But that physically hurts to say. And there’s no way I can convince myself to accept that.

A simple want. A simple conversation. And I’m reeling in pain. My mind is spinning out of control. I’m obsessing. I can’t stop closing out of this browser to go look at the browser with the puppies picture in it. It’s torture. It’s maddening. And this is the easy stuff.

So how do I describe the hard stuff to people? Like the mania and the depression?

When I attempt to explain the mania, the euphoria is what first comes to mind and my god, if there was a heaven, that is it. Seeing the world in such a beautiful, clear way. Having energy and feeling limitless. The self confidence is something to die for. Sounds good right? Yeah until you crash. Which every train does. The crash is hard and you realize all the dumb decisions you’ve made. You know, like quitting your job to be a stay at home mom or picking up your entire life and just moving to a new state because you want a change of scenery. When you emerge from that wonderful, amazing place, you realize that you might’ve felt great, but in the process you probably spent a lot of money you didn’t have or hurt a lot of people you love…

Then there’s the deuphoria. The grumpy old man, as I like to call it. You’re just in pain. You’re irritated and frustrated. You get mad at everyone. This is not pleasant. It’s more negative. Very negative. This is usually a form of mania no one wants to experience.

Those of you who have experienced these may be understanding this completely, but to those who haven’t they may just wonder what’s so wrong with being happy? And everyone gets a little grumpy, BUT it’s more extreme than that.

And the depression….getting out of bed is almost impossible. The thoughts of how worthless you are, are nagging. Sure, tons of people have depression. But depression in Bipolar is different. Different in a sense that it’s harder to manage. You can’t just take an antidepressant or you’ll go flying off the handle into a manic episode. It’s so hard and painful and all you want to do is die.

But, everyone has bad days right?

That’s just the beginning though, how do you go on to tell people that there’s more? Like OCD, rapid cycling, unipolar, symptoms of ADD, Dual Diagnosis’.

It almost feels as if the list is never ending.

I want everyone who reads this to do one think, think of a sweet simple way to describe what Bipolar is. We all know it’s a genetic chemical imbalance in the brain, so be creative. How can we get the point across and make people understand?

What description would you use?

mental health

Today was a good day

Today was a good day. I didn’t cry, I didn’t have thoughts of ending it all. I saw some friends and played with my kids. I played with my dog and shampooed my carpet. Today was a good day.

I ignored the buzzing in my ears as we took a walk. I shoved aside the shadows that tried forcing themselves on me. I took a walk and got out of the house. Today was a good day.

Having a mental illness, a good day is hard to find at least when you’re in the midst of a raging episode. It’s not everyday you can ignore the demons. It’s not everyday you can tame your urges.

I’ve been saying the meds aren’t helping, but maybe, just maybe they are. It’s been 9 months since I’ve had a day like today. Productive and social. I wasn’t self destructive. I was smiling and laughing. It’s one for the books.

Cherish these days. And give dues where they are needed. We all like to think we are broken to no repair. And to a certain point that may be true. But days like today give me hope and give me a reason to keep pushing on. So don’t give up and never stop trying. Because in 9 months, I’ve had one good day. But it’s made the last 9 months worth it.

Today was a good day.