Category Archives: Bipolar

Do Wha Diddy Diddy Dumb Diddy Doo …

Well there’s an eye catching little title. Nothing to do with this post.

Except for that first word, “do.”

And perhaps, the “Wha.”.

(Leave it to me to get something obscure from a song lyric).

The “do” and the “wha” refers to the “do what?” of my life.  Because so often I’m questioning what I do or don’t do. Am I doing right? And if I’m doing right, am I doing right?

Let me explain. And I’d better hurry up, before I lose you. One of my primary issues is keeping boundaries. And it’s not just the fact that people can take advantage of me. I volunteer myself and my resources. Nobody asked! It’s “What do YOU need?” versus “What do I need?” Then, when everybody’s happy, and I do mean ev.er.y.body, then  I’ll sit down and do my stuff. Complaining all the while, don’tcha know. But to do otherwise, to ignore someone’s need, to leave someone unsatisfied, feels very selfish, and just plain wrong. Sound familiar? (Cough: Martha)

This hurts me. Because after a while I’m feeling disjointed, disoriented, disorganized, and dissatisfied. It’s feeling like life is out of control. My laundry is weeks overdue, I haven’t made that phone call or done my writing, and I’m neglecting my job search and exploration. But maybe that’s the point. In seeing to someone else’s needs, I get to put off the things I need to do, or face, or feel. But that only works for so long. Soon I am in dire straits, and worse, blaming you.

So what is my business? How do I know? What is my responsibility, to you, or to me?

To know this, it starts with prayer. A common prayer of mine is the prayer Paul prayed at the time he was converted to Christianity (and isn’t that putting it mildly?). Having persecuted Jesus and His followers,, and having just condoned the stoning of Stephen, Paul (as Saul) meets Jesus on the road to Damascus.

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord,what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:6)

Simple, huh? Just ask God, and He will lead.

So why don’t I do it? Why don’t I make a habit of taking the time, first thing in the morning, to ask what He’d like me to do during my day? Why don’t I pause, before I say “yes,” or volunteer myself? It only takes a moment. Is it because I think I know better what’s best? Is it because I enjoy that adrenaline rush that says “Ooh, what have I gotten myself into?” “It sure has gotten hot in here.” Or, “Where’s the fire extinguisher?”

But there are concrete things He’s asked of me. I don’t need to pause and wait to be told; it’s in the Book. I can pray for others, one of the finest things that can be done for another human being. I can study and meditate upon God’s word. I can serve in my local church. I can spend time with other people the Lord has given me. And I can do my laundry.

Ok, perhaps that last was my mother talking. But you get the gist. There are many things I don’t make time for, and end up a mess. And if you’re like me, you’re spending time recuperating from time with others as much as you’re actually spending time with them (see: introvert). Maybe more. So you still don’t get things done.

It doesn’t mean I can’t drop everything in the event of an emergency, but it does mean that God has specific tasks for me. He has helped me, through a long history of anxiety, depression, and bipolar illness, to figure out what I need to do to take care of myself. He has helped me to know when it’s time to take steps forward in my recovery, and when I’ve taken on too much. He’s given me specific people, family and friends who know me well. They can see if I am “off,” they can give me that refreshing of the spirit that only a true friend can give, and it is mutual, I hope. If I’m neglecting all of that, or ignoring red flags, a lot of sour notes will ensue. And it’s not just me on the piano, or the Mexican food I just ate.

This is not to mention the fact that if my “good deeds” do proceed from my flesh, and not from the Spirit’s call, it’s not worth a whole lot. I am thoughtful of the following scripture in Romans 8:5-8:

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

There is a whole lot in that there little portion of scripture! Among other things, it makes me evaluate things: Is my motive selfish, even when I appear to be focused on others? Am I looking to be comfortable, to be honored, to be liked? Am I trying, in my flesh, to make others happy? Maybe God’s intent is for that person to seek their own solution, or to sit with their own discomfort. Or, more than likely, for them to turn to Him, rather than to this friend who wants to make “aw better.” Sometimes, making it easier on someone else is not making it easier. It’s not just the two-year-old who needs to know they can do it themselves. And sometimes the attempt to “mother” someone does more harm than good. After all, “mother” and “smother” are pretty close.

Of course, there is such a thing as analyzing something to death. Sometimes I am procrastinating. Sometimes I am “enabling.”

But sometimes, I’m just loving.

And isn’t that what Christ has begged for us to do all along? As it is written:

And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 2 John 5:

 

 

Ulla – Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

I hate to write this. And after many revisions, trying to articulate this clearly, I am just going to click “Publish,” and call it good. After one more read, then I will. And then one more.

Our Dear Ulla, a fellow bipolar blogger known as “Blahpolar,” who entertained us, saddened us, instructed us, inflamed us, embarrassed us, left us. She took her life, and now she’s gone.

I loved you right away, Ulla, loved reading your irreverent prose. The F bombs, the rants, the things we all want to say but can’t. The extremes of anger and sadness. I wanted to loosen my lips, but not THAT much. Being around it, I started to think it. I have no way to explain, only that it wasn’t good for me and the life I was trying to live. So I left off reading your daily blog. I tried reading you once a week, but I couldn’t. I tried to help, but my solution being God and godly things made you REALLY mad. You had your reasons, and I understood, but that was all I had to offer. So I popped in now and then, said hi, reminded you I still cared, but was it enough?

Ulla was as out there as anyone with bipolar could be. She called herself the bipolar dyke. I know some of my Christian friends would wonder, how can you love someone like that, who is out and proud and loud and bipolar and gay and “heathen,”and what if you catch it? Funny, huh? Not really. After all, there but for the grace of God my desire and passion could be for a woman. It can’t be an easy road. My response is more a tilt of the head, and then, so, what else are you about?

As everyone, I was shocked to find out you had left us, Ulla. Let’s just say it right out, you killed yourself. Why? I am so surprised at your choice. You were so strong, so determined! You had a purpose and that purpose was keeping US alive. Oh Ulla. What tipped you over the edge? But I understand, too. When you’re that depressed, you DON’T have a choice over your thoughts, your morbidity, and yes, your choices. And you, my friend, I am sure you looked at the whole thing practically, logically. I don’t believe you were one bit impulsive or emotional about it.

Where are you now? According to my faith, once you are gone you are gone, and if you’ve not chosen Jesus, you are really gone, to Hell, with no way back. But how could I tell you that? Besides, you knew, right? You’d been steeped in religion at one point in your life. I think. Am I remembering right? And shouldn’t I have said something, directly to you, sooner, more emphatically, more empathetically? I had my blogs about salvation, did you read them? But I should have said, Ulla, please, listen to ME. I should have begged, or at least, been a bother.

Then again, maybe you did know the Lord. Maybe you didn’t land in Hell. I believe that those of us who commit suicide ARE ill, and God takes that into account. Oh Lord. Oh Ulla.

And in some religions, it is GOOD to pray you into that good place. It is believed that you can take someone ordinarily destined for Hell, and pray for them, and they will go to Heaven. I know God can do anything, does do miracles. So I pray. Lord, have mercy. Lord, the ones I love, they didn’t understand. Lord, have mercy. It can’t hurt to pray, God wants us to pray, so I pray, Lord, have mercy.

Ulla, I am just so sorry I didn’t continue to be your friend. Survivor’s guilt, they call it. But not just that. I shoulda coulda woulda. You would now be telling me, F___ guilt. But there are some things I am actually guilty of. And you really were a friend to me. You did reach out to me. Or did I you? Regardless, we hit it off. And nothing I said was unacceptable, I was in a bad spot and you were my friend. And vice versa. I really should have done more. I’m so sorry Ulla. We are all asking, is there anything we could have done differently? Something that would have made you stay for one more day, a day things might have turned around for you? Oh yes I know this is totally self-centered of me, but would you please come back?

Ulla Ulla it just seems that if you had held on a little longer, you might have been okay. ECT does not work right away, you know that.  😦 What was it that tipped you over the edge? And was it the best decision? But how could it be?

That is one thing that haunts me. Whenever I find out that someone has committed suicide, I am so sad and horrified, but a part of me is envious, because I have what you have. And that thing that I have is the occasional hatred of life, so strong it can be overwhelming,  it can be all I can think of. The desire to leave, so strong.

But what you didn’t have is what I do have. The hope that no matter how bad things get, I have a future. A future in Heaven. I have Someone Who loves me, will love me forever. No matter who or what happens in my life, I have an assurance that is real enough that nothing else matters. Not my pain, not my misery, nor the endless days. And eventually those days change, and I am happy again, and can move forward. Write again, smile again, hope again. See that I matter.

I pray, as I said, that your endless days ended in Heaven. I pray that I can be a better friend.

But more than that, I wish you were here Ulla. You are so missed. I wish you were here.

 

 

 

♪♫ Here come those tears again

(5/31/15) (Completed 1/7/16)(Procrastinate much?)

Here come those tears again … Well, hopefully not too many tears.

See, I’m trying the food and fitness thing again. So far so good, 4 lb, which I suppose is better than nothing (do my clothes fit better? can I breathe better? Neh…)

And of course, being Spring, my thoughts have turned to romance …

***

OK – that is as far as I got back in May, for both this post and for the fitness thing…

And the romance, for that matter.

Now here it is January and I started the fitness thing again back in December.

Now for the waah:

  1. Do I have to do this again??
    Yes, the doctor put me on a diet. And not just a diet. A low carb diet. Dang! Doesn’t he know it doesn’t work, that you are just going to cheat and end up even fatter? Doesn’t he know it is bad for the body? and worst of all, doesn’t he know that this often swings me into hypomania? But (here’s the re-BUT-tal… now I see where that word come from!) I have been doing it for over a month, not perfectly of course, and it is going pretty well. WITH exercise!
  2. I had such a horrible craving for cake last nite!
    What prompted it? Seeing a picture of birthday cake.
    I used to buy a whole cake at the grocery store and almost flaunt it as I plopped it down at the register. I figured if I looked happy they would think I was buying it for a birthday boy or girl.
    So why don’t I just have one piece? Ah, in theory that would be great! Except for that mildly addictive (and that’s putting it mildly) personality of mine.
  3. I was going to do housework but have an overwhelming urge to nap. Which would be fine except …
  4. The maintenance people have a generator going right outside my door, the volume of which overrides the white noise of the fan I would generally have going while I sleep.
  5. I’m still not going to do housework.
    So there. Cuz you know once I start, I will keep going til it’s all done (Remember that “mildly” thing?) I just don’t want to do all that. Even though that sense of pride and accomplishment would be so good. Nope, nuh uh. Not going to.
  6. I have to pee again, dang it!
  7. I’m sure there is a seven because I felt so whiny when I started this post.
  8. But at least I did accomplish something!

♪♫I’m goin’ to Jackson(ville)♪♫

That’s right. Leg One of my journey. Actually, leg two, but who’s counting.

Leg One was exploring via the internet:
I. Apartment rental sites,

A. Apartment Subsidy Sites

B. Regular apartment sites.

C. Roommate sites.

D. Can’t make the durn format format.

II. Churches.

A. Friend ‘A”s church

B. Friend “B’s” church.

C. Other churches.

III.Geography of Jacksonville sites

A. Blogs

B. Wiki

C. Educational sites

D. TMI sites.

E. Medical care

F. That does not go under “Geography,” start over!

G. No.

IV. History of Jacksonville sites.

A. I never did like history.

V. “Meet ups” sites

A. Writers.

VI. “Warnings for those moving to Jacksonville” sites.

A. Sinkholes

B. Weather

C. Unsavory characters.

VII. Speaking of warnings:

A. Bugs

B. Snakes.

LEG II:
A. I thought you said this was Leg 1.

B. Whatever.

A. Actually going there next month (um, you don’t really get the concept of an outline do you)

  1. Friend 1
  2. Friend 2
  3. Potential roommate
  4. Apartment hunting
  5. Food and amusement.
  6. Beach(es)
  7. B. Can’t make format behave.
  8. a. Whatever.
  9. Oh, the plane, the plane
  10. Weather
  11. a. Erika

B. Leg III

  1. Packing
  2. Staying w/ a friend hereup North.
  3. You didn’t know “hereup” was a word.
  4. Whereabouts and Howabouts unknown, but sometime mid November.
  5. OH – telling friends and leaving friends. That should be a little higher up.
  6. And so should praying for God’s will.
  7. “We got married in a fever…” lyrics stuck in head. Yeah, remember title? Hopefully your head will take over the lyrics so I can get rid of them!
  8. Oh and by the way, change can bring on symptoms of bipolar.

Number twelve is the loveliest …

Twelve is such a great number isn’t it? Twelve steps of AA, twelve months on the calendar, twelve in a dozen, and then there are the twelve quotes for writers.

We’ll get to that.

So, I’m done screaming now, which is good, and I guess I’m moving on (I had a good appointment with my therapist in other words, lol).

This month was supposed to be my Nano Camp (July) but I have allowed life (including a colonoscopy) to distract me. I hardly did my DBT homework either. So there is one month almost gone, never to be seen again  😦  I’m sure the time is not wasted, but it feels like it is!

So anyway – I guess reading these writing quotes is one way to be inspired to write. Of course, inspiration is NOT THE SAME AS ACTUALLY WRITING, Kathleen! But when I do write it is like my depression doesn’t exist. My low self-esteem doesn’t exist. I feel like a worthwhile person, and like all the time I waste (read: disabled) doesn’t matter; I write, therefore I am! I am a worthwhile person! My life is not a waste! And my mental illness doesn’t matter. I don’t know how or why that is, and I don’t know why that isn’t more of a motivation to actually write … but anyway… here are the quotes, by “The Literacy Site

“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy–which many believe goes hand in hand with it–will be dead as well.”

-Margaret Atwood

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

-Gustave Flaubert

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

-E.L. Doctorow

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.”

-Truman Capote

“Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For these two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.”

-Roald Dahl

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”

-Isaac Asimov

“Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.”

-Amy Tan

“The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.”

-A.B. Yehoshua

“I believe that writing is derivative. I think good writing comes from good reading.”

-Charles Kuralt

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is that  you’re having a relationship with your mind.”

-Natalie Goldberg

“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.”

-Meg Rosoff

Read more at http://blog.theliteracysite.com/quotes-about-writing/#mjgs3ajHYUEwYjDf.99

What to say when you feel like screaming

There are many people whom I have not told I have bipolar illness  It is hard to tell someone that you know cares about you and means well. Do you trust them? Will they reject you? Judge you? Will they say “So what? Buck up!” As many of you know, I have been writing about this issue in different ways throughout my blog [shrug]. Obviously I have not entirely resolved this.

These are people who know you and they don’t. They see a person who is “normal” who says they are struggling, but they think you are fine. And I’m responsible for that; I don’t say a word about what is really going on, I present myself well. It’s an automatic response that I learned growing up, and later, as a professional. .

Here is an example of such a relationship, in which the choice was to push them away, or to try to tell them. I wanted to tell them gently, but a part of me wanted to scream Can’t they just take my word for it that I can’t work right now, without my having to tell them why?

But on the other hand, how can I expect ANYone to understand whom I have not told? They can’t read my mind. But boy do I wish they could. It is so hard to explain to people, especially people I am not and will not be all that close to.

This is between a nice older couple, who has left our church in Maine to live in Florida, and myself. I am thinking of moving down and wanted to be in touch with them somewhat. Here’s their note (after we’d written back and forth a little) and my response.

Theirs:

“I think that the end of Aug. or in Sept. Son # 3 and the grand kids may come again … So when you know more (about your move or visit), let us know, and by then we may know more what they are going to do. But if they do come it will only be for A few days. We will help you in any way we can and you are welcome to stay here. I think you could find A job with your skill. looking forward to seeing you.”

Oo, it was the “I think you could find a job…” that got me. I’d told them multiple times that I was unable to work, but not exactly why. I’d mentioned the depression and anxiety; I’d done a lot of “implying;” but that was it. I thought, “Why do I have to explain! Why can’t they just accept what I said!” Sigh… But, I decided to be a little more direct, and see what happens.

So, here is my response. Will it work?

“I have bipolar illness along with some other things. There is a link below that explains what it is. I haven’t been able to work at all since a year ago May. Nursing wise I haven’t worked since 2010 I think it was. The last time as a nurse I did not know I was manic and I was dangerous to myself and others, even driving. My last job was as a cashier at a crafts store. Even that was too stressful for me. I have been working with Pastor and Mrs.X. on all of this since I started at [our church] in 06. Sometimes I do ok and sometimes not. It is easy to hide for short periods of time so you may not know that I am having symptoms. When it is bad I just don’t go to church at that time and I watch the service on the computer. I don’t talk about it because I feel embarrassed about not being able to do things. I tell very few people. It is also kind of hard to get into a conversation about it in the middle of church  🙂

What I do for work now is volunteer at church to the best of my ability at that particular time.  Sometimes I do a lot, sometimes a little. My resume looks like Swiss cheese right now.  😦 I can’t even keep my word anymore as far as work goes. As I said, it is very embarrassing! Anyway, as I mentioned, click here for information about bipolar disorder.

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Hope you have a wonderful day today my friends! Independence Day whether far or near, freedom from lack and freedom from fear. Big hugs! I have had so much discouragement lately, and so hungry, and blowing up like a balloon! Time to take the doctor by the neck and say ok, my Friend, time to get me off this stuff and onto something that works! And preferably something that makes me LOSE weight! THAT would make me “happy,” lol…

As usual wanting to avoid holidays, partly habit, partly just so dog-gone depressed. Lord please help me! Here’s to a good rest-of-the-year, whattaya think? And no I am not toasting with alcohol. Been “independent” of that since December 1985, all glory to God!

For those who have freedom in Christ, a wonderful song today. God bless you! For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind! 2 Timothy 1:7