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Timeliness

Life has been a rollercoaster as usual.
The scales are never balanced.
The foundation is solid…but
it is taking time.

Time I have no patience for.

But I guess that’s an essence of it…time does not care what I have going on, just the one objective it has-to keep going forward.

So like time, I just keep going forward.
Somehow.
Day by day,
minute
by
minute.

The joy will come. The secure, familial, warm future waits for me.
I just have to hold on,
Be patient.

Let time do its thing.

Image URL:
https://www.deviantart.com/ascending-storm/art/What-Only-Exists-In-The-Mind-538756249

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Up ⬆️ Then Down ⬇️

Things that are hard to do with mental illnesses:

Shower

Brush your teeth

Get out of bed

Stick to plans

Eat healthy

Clean up

Do I need to list more? It’s hard to do day to day tasks with mental illness.

People have told me to just do it.

Just do it. Duh.

But then there’s those days I can’t do anything. I want to “just do it”, I really really do. But my body is completely depleted of energy and my mind is completely full of anxiety. How could I possibly do what I know I need to when I can barely get up to go to work?

I remember the first day of medication clearly. It was such a shock to me that I could do everything I set my mind to. It felt like magic struck me.

That stain I’ve been ignoring for weeks- cleaned. Dishes in the sink- cleaned and put away. Laundry? No problem.

I guess it went away as my brain adjusted to the medication. I still have ups and downs, so Im going to talk to my psychiatrist soon.

I hope you are doing well!

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Momma Tries

Dear Child,

I want you to know that my mood swings was never your fault, it was all on me. I know I apologize every time but if you are anything like me when I was growing up, it will still affect you. I am learning just as you are, and every day is an adventure, but I wouldn’t do life with anyone else if I could.

I want you to know that I love you with all of my being. Heart, soul, and whatever is in between. You were made from stardust and you deserve the best. I will never know why a higher power granted you to me, but I will be forever thankful.

I want you to know that I am trying. Every day, I try to put my best foot forward. I try to love you and teach you the way that you deserve. I am human though, and fall short, but I will still continue to try for you and for myself.

I will always love you.

Love,

Momma

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Surface Pressure

It’s been a weird time for me lately.

I keep trying to “feel better” without much luck. One day I will give up a bad habit, and the next I am right back to it (like smoking cigarettes). My motivation levels are low, I avoid what brings joy to my life, and I cannot seem to get it together. Even writing this blog post is taking much longer than it did with previous posts.

So I am trying something different for today. Please enjoy this short story.


Her legs burned as she ran down the hall, but the fire inside of her did not allow for her to stop. Behind her was the nurse she pushed, his face beet red with anger as he shouted “Get her!”

Her mind told her to go. Surely she did not belong here. A psych ward? She was not crazy! The meltdown was not that bad, can’t a girl have a meltdown in a store and throw some things when her ex boyfriend calls her a bitch?!

Nothing made sense but this moment felt right- this freedom of running from her problems.

At the front door stood two gigantic humans, one male and one female. Arms crossed and expecting the girl. She screamed in frustration and caved to the ground, like her knees buckled and crumpled. “Was it fear?” She asked her legs.

It’s rejection.” Her inner thoughts replied.

As the two giants assisted her up and led her to the directors office, she couldn’t help but think that she’d rather be dead than deal with this son of a bitch.

“Christine, you can’t be doing this every day. We have already had this discussion. I’m adding one more week to your stay.” He coolly claimed as she sniffed back her tears.

This has happened before?” Christine wondered.

Oh, yeah…that time the nurse made a dumbass comment about her losing her way.

Why couldn’t she control herself?


Image URL: Update by DestinyBlue

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30+ Days On Medication

The weather seemed to control my moods today instead of the medication. It was bright and sunny this afternoon, but now it’s snowing and cold. I was having a great day and then I was in my head with the intrusive thoughts. They’re back, I guess. And my head swirled with negative thinking that grew louder the more I fought back. By the end of the work day I was pretty low, but once I got home I have been feeling fine and dandy.

Fuck, these aren’t “the ones”.
This medication mix is not my stability in a bottle.

I realized that I had shown all of the signs of bipolar in the last month. When manic, I made impulsive and selfish decisions. Lately I feel the depression coming around…little sneaky bastard. With the medication I felt like these two were harder to detect because they felt softened.

In summary: these ain’t it.


Please remember that everyone experiences medication differently, and react differently. This is only my personal, non professional experience.

If you are experiencing periods of mania and periods of depression, please seek a professional for proper diagnosis. Even though this medication is not the right combination for me, they showed me a glimpse in the beginning to what mental stability can be like.

It is worth seeking.


Abilify information: https://www.abilify.com/
Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255
Image via the movie Fight Club

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Psychomotor Activity In Mood Disorders

Your handwriting. the way you walk. which china pattern you choose. it’s all giving you away. everything you do shows your hand. everything is a self portrait. everything is a diary.

Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

Ask a veteran how boot camp was and you will hear “It was the funnest time I never want to have again.” And for me, a fellow veteran, this saying rang true. I hated and loved it.

My biggest issue with basic training was that I am S L O W. Like…I move at a snails pace 90% of the time. This does not translate well in fast paced environments, leading to a stressful and ostracizing experience. Your fellow battle buddies are only as fast as their slowest member, and when it’s you…a lot of frustration is thrown your way.

Alas, that’s how teams work- the slowest ones are the outsiders until the team can come together. It’s the psychology of a group, so there’s really no one to particularly blame.

I was the slow one, unfortunately. Which meant I slowed the flight down most of the time, and it made the pressure of boot camp heavy on my shoulders. However as I read about psychomotor skills in bipolar, I am starting to see that I am the way that I am due to this mental illness. Further therapy will confirm the timeline of what I have going on, but in my head I am correlating the two together. I believe my mental illness’ started in high school, personally.

Psychomotor Agitation is a common symptom of those with mood disorders. When you are feeling “up”, you move quickly. Your speech is accelerated, your energy has spiked and your feet feel light as you run around finishing projects your depression messed up.

On the flip side, when you are depressed, this can cause what is called Psychomotor Retardation. Your motor skills are slowed down. Your speech is slower, your feet drag, and your energy is spent quickly. Even time seems to move slower.

Psychomotor skills can affect those with other mental illness’…it’s not just bipolar. Schizophrenia, depression, and other mood disorders can show signs.

Do you have a slower team member, friend, or family member? Maybe instead of pointing it out that they are slow, try to understand that these individuals have very little control of their motor skills. For me personally, I do not like being slower, I damn sure didn’t choose it, so I get a little frustrated with the comments like “you are so slow” “Hurry up”, etc. Yo we are trying 😩😭

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-psychomotor-activity-380165

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Mentally Visible

The internet is a frontier of information, but just like a frontier of land- you have to have a starting point. Like your algorithm. So how do we add mental health to people’s algorithm?

I could spend money I do not have, so that is a bad idea. So how do I do this for free?
There are tons of ways we can each spread mental health awareness in our own algorithms. This will spread to others, and spread some more. So how?
Just make one. simple. post.
One that people can relate to and share.

So today I will post the following quote, and see how many people relate and share! I will also tweet “RT if you are #mentallyvisible”, feel free to use it! Let’s pick our stigma up and throw it away!

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

Kahlil Gibran

Article:
https://discoverymood.com/blog/ways-social-media-promote-mental-health/
https://7summitpathways.com/blog/mental-health-quotes/

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PTSD Inducing Part 2

“Hey, is this you?”

My heart raced. They found the pictures and saw me, exposed to the world because one boy decided to exploit me when I broke it off. Please read my post PTSD Inducing (link) to better understand this blog post. Trigger warning, and long post.

Let’s call this kid “Fuckhead”. Fuckhead was upset that I broke his stupid little ego and made it a point to hurt me more, even though he already pulled a gun out during our arguments. To Fuckhead, that was not enough to destroy me.

I had sent nudes to him during my time in Guam while he was still stationed in Japan. For two months I had built a trust with Fuckhead, and believed him to be trustworthy, but that’s how narcissists getcha.

When Fuckhead went back to his home after the ordeal at my place, he quickly got to work. Websites of my nudes popped up everywhere- tumblr, Plenty of Fish (pof), Instagram…who knows what else.

He had gained my password to my Snapchat somehow and posted my pictures to my story…which stays up for 24 hours. My friends, coworkers, and men I denied nudes to for years… saw all of me. I was heart broken, but it did not stop there.

I received threats that he was going to send my pictures to my parents. On POF he invited a bunch of men to my house for a “party” I was not throwing. He threatened suicide, said he had cancer, and had other numbers reach out to me to tell me they were watching me or that he disappeared. It was a mess.

And now, after writing this, I can see how my PTSD began and my trust was destroyed. My mind spiraled and grasped for control, so I reacted by being promiscuous. Which could explain why my trigger is angry men, and why I react with promiscuity. Bipolar affects everyone differently and unfortunately, I did not know I had it at the time.

I felt shame. Guilt. Embarrassment. People took screenshots of me without my permission, and I felt so exposed at my job that was prevalently men. It was a rollercoaster to say the least. The prosecutor I had reached out to said it was my fault for sending the pictures, so they could not help. I felt defeated. So, so defeated.

Please reflect on your own trauma, identify your triggers, and talk to a therapist. We can heal from our events with time and patience.

Thank you for reading my story, please feel free to reach out to me with your own if you ever need a person to talk to.

Also, don’t be a Fuckhead.

Image URL: https://www.deviantart.com/escume/art/The-Sirens-Last-Song-776420367

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What’s To Blame

The bipolar mind is fascinating. It literally is two: one good and one bad. Comedy and tragedy.

Crazy how I got a comedy and tragedy tattoo in my twenties but found out I was bipolar at 30.

Anyways

I read this article today, https://pronghornpsych.com/how-does-bipolar-disorder-affect-the-brain/

The interesting takeaway I caught was that less grey matter than normal levels in the brain leads to impulsive, sometimes careless or thoughtless actions. Like the person could care less.

But is it not still…me? Like…I am still the one making the decisions…right? It’s really confusing because you can’t just blame the grey matter, you still have to take responsibility for your actions. So how do you control the impulses?

I think, for 2022, my goal will be to learn Impulse control. The VA offers impulse therapy so I’m checking that out. If you have read about impulse control, let me know in the comments! I don’t want to make these crazy decisions anymore.

Image URL: http://Glimmer of light by KlarEm on DeviantArt https://www.deviantart.com/klarem/art/Glimmer-of-light-808997372

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Up In Cheyenne Mountain

I need to hike soon.


If you haven’t, and you are able, I highly recommend. It’s a nice reminder that your problems are small and suddenly you aren’t so upset anymore.

Up in Cheyenne Mountain I have hiked a lot. My birthday hike, my sunrise hike, and my sunset hike. The city below sparkles with activity but it’s oh, so quiet. Your mind can relax. You can relax.

Chessman Canyon with my dog Ronan

I need to hike soon.

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Misunderstood Mom

It was a long night.

My son could not sleep, which meant I didn’t sleep, and the morning came a little too quickly for me. It’s not that much of a bother, it’s what I’m here for as a mother, but my mind spun with anger at others from my past this morning.

Why am I judged for being late when I am the one doing this alone? Does no one realize what it means to be a single mom? Why do people assume I come from a negative space and want to be late? Why was I fired for that one time? Am I really alone? Dude I was so frustrated for no reason.

All of it was irrelevant since I got to work on time, but that’s how my head works. I hold on until I am ready to let go. I guess I feel overwhelmed to do it alone, and sad that my choices led to this for myself. I have a wonderful child but damn it’s hard to be a single mom and people do not seem to be willing to see me. I’m trying.

Life in America for single mothers is 99% harsh, and it’s a sad reality. For example, I do not qualify for state help because of what I make yet I am barely keeping my head above water, don’t even ask about my savings. 😩 I am in that salty ass middle ground where I can’t get much help. The land and homes here in this area are so expensive that it makes me feel like my homestead in the mountains is a pipe dream.

I am thankful for what I do have though, please don’t read it as I am not blessed. Even though it sucks at the moment, I know things will get better with time and patience. I guess I just feel alone sometimes and misunderstood. Perhaps the lack of sleep has me flustered.

If you know a single mom, no matter her circumstance, give that woman a bigass hug. She is doing the best she can with what she has. ♥️


Image URL:
https://www.facebook.com/chiarabautistaartwork/

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College Is Not For Me

I wish there was a relief for students with mental health. Like prove that you are diagnosed and show the school and bam all of the failures are knocked off your GPA.

You know what they say about wishes…wish in one hand and 💩 in the other see which one fills up faster.

I have tried and tried and tried with college yet I have failed repeatedly over the years. I have nothing to show from my time in the military except one deployment and some training. My plan out of high school was to get my masters in the military and then get out and grab that PhD. Becoming pregnant made me rethink the plan entirely. I really didn’t want to serve and leave my baby. And I really really didn’t want to raise my child away from its family.

So anyways here I am now with no degree and a child to feed and nourish and I ended up leaving all of my family anyways. Crazy how life works.

My choices led me to where I am though, good and bad, so I guess I can spend the next twenty years making better choices. On medication I have been able to complete my school work for my Bachelors in Psychology, so I am hoping this time I can get it done with the help of a little blue pill.


Image URL:

http://Again and Again by ShootingStarLogBook on DeviantArt https://www.deviantart.com/shootingstarlogbook/art/Again-and-Again-906220954

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PTSD Inducing

This is a trauma post so…trigger warning. Guns, domestic violence, and narcissism…

My understanding of PTSD was a slow process. I always thought it was an extreme, like can’t-go-out-in-public type of disability. Nightmares of trauma are common, so it’s what we hear about the most as a symptom, but I did not have very many nightmares about the event. For some people it truly is intense, but I never thought I would have it. I thought I was “normal”…whatever that is.

Without medication, PTSD showed up in small ways for me. For example, due to trauma my heart beats faster around guns, my mind is on high alert, and my brain did not discriminate on who was handling the gun. It could have been an expert, but my traumatized head does not recognize the difference.


Back in 2015 I met a guy. Cute, gorgeous eyes, and black hair. He made me laugh and feel special. For two months we talked- he was in Japan and I was not. I began to trust him, even thought I could love him. When he came to the states I welcomed him into my home with open arms…inviting the devil to join my space and my heart.

He took all of that and crumpled it like paper.

Pretty soon he started showing 🚩🚩🚩 with his accusations, questioning, and paranoia. He was convinced I was unfaithful and would accuse me every day of cheating until one day we got into an intense argument about it. When the fight got heated, he pulled out his pistol and placed the muzzle to the left side of his head.

“Is this what you want?!” He screeched. We were in my bedroom, I on the bed and him in front of me standing there threateningly. My mind immediately disassociated to “how hard is it to clean blood and brain matter? Do I have to say someone died here when I sell the house…if I survive?”

It was a strange moment to think I might be shot, maybe killed that day, and all I can think of is blood everywhere.

I got him to calm down somehow- I could not tell you how. I remember lowering my voice to a soothing tone but that’s it, who knows what words I used to not die that day. When I felt safe enough to, I told him he needed to go home…I was not about to work out a relationship with this boy. He told me his mom could not pick him up (she was in a different state) and he told her not to come, I found out later.

A few weeks go by as I waited for her. I kept the peace as best as I could, thinking she was going to come and take my problem away. When he asked if we were going to work the relationship out, I bluntly replied, “No, I’m just waiting for your mom to get here.”

A second time, the gun was grabbed. This time he placed it into his mouth. I did not know if there were bullets in it but my rage did not care. I called him out on his bluff, told him to do it outside if he was serious. I guess my anger caught him off guard because he took it out and headed towards my backyard. I followed, adding that he better do it across the street and away from my home. I threatened to call the cops, made my mom send her boyfriend over in order to mediate the situation. It worked.

The end result was his mom came to my rescue and took him back to her home. The story does not stop there sadly, but that is for another time.

My trauma is not as bad as other individuals unfortunately experience, but I lived through it and learned from it. The result of the incident was PTSD. According to Mayo Clinic, PTSD is described as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.” This means that no matter the event, it may affect us all in a different way.

To this day I fear him and I cannot forgive him for putting me into that situation. I tried to monitor him through social media (I guess to make sure he was not in my area), but have lost him the last few years. I felt guilty for a long time that I was dumb enough to bring this person into my life and open up to them, when in reality I could not have predicted the events that unfolded.

Everyone experiences trauma and PTSD in their own way. This is a part of my story. I believe that through sharing our experiences, we may be able to help someone in ways we do not understand.

Signs and symptoms of PTSD:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967
Image URL:
https://www.deviantart.com/carts/art/Dark-Thoughts-608840940

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What’s Real? What Is Me?

Every mood has me questioning myself these days since the diagnoses.


Is this emotion an overreaction?

Is it justified?

Is this my mental illness or is this me?


I have seen posts on bipolar groups of others questioning the same thing. It’s nice that someone can relate but there isn’t a real “fix” to this issue. No pill is going to help you differentiate between mental illness and your true Self.

I believe this is where acceptance comes into the scene. I must learn to accept my ill brain, learn how to live on medication, and learn how to navigate life with the only 🧠 I have.

We all must learn how to accept this harsh reality and know the truth. No, we did not choose this and no, it’s not temporary.

I really believe that if we truly accept our whole Self, we can be a beacon for others to see and look up to. I mean if you’re a 💩 person to the ones you love, there’s always a way we can change ourselves, but I’m talking about accepting your truth.


Image URL: http://Comedy and Tragedy by EnKeLi89 on DeviantArt https://www.deviantart.com/enkeli89/art/Comedy-and-Tragedy-492914428

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Absolutely Inappropriate

I say the darndest things…


Like: “Hey loser, you done sticking your finger up your butt and ready to work?”
I blamed the military for my potty mouth. A supervisor once told me “you are ugly when you curse” and I understood what he meant. I didn’t care, but I understood.

Becoming a parent changed me a little bit in that aspect that when my child began to understand me more, I had to clean up my mouth. I continue to have an impulse to say some weird stuff, which I thought was normal me, but it is another sign of bipolar often overlooked: Pressured Speech.

Pressure Speech happens when mania is in full swing and you may feel an impulse to tell others your thoughts, even in inappropriate timing or louder than intended.

“In all these cases, pressured speech may present with some or all of the following:

  • rapid speech that does not pause for others to speak
  • disorganized thoughts expressed through words
  • loud speech that is above a normal volume for the situation
  • speaking about numerous ideas at once
  • talking about inappropriate things at work, school, home, or in the community
  • including jokes or particular rhythms in speech
  • speaking with a sense of urgency
  • not being able to speak fast enough to keep up with thoughts” – Medical News Today

It all makes sense to me now why I could never speak like I can write. I stumble over my words, change my mind in the middle of a sentence, and can’t recall words I am seeking to complete my sentences. It’s incredibly frustrating, and embarrassing at times.

But there’s a good side of it, too.

I’m hilarious, for one.

I haven’t been fired for my mouth…yet.

People seem to accept me for the most part.


Image URL: https://www.deviantart.com/jeanfan/art/Speak-140805326

Article on Pressured Speech: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319186#symptoms

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I Can’t Handle Change

I used to make fun of the word “Triggered” and that’s probably why I have been triggered. Karma is the real Santa, she sees everything and brings it right back around with either a pleasant gift or a cruel bag of coal.

Bipolar Disorder comes with triggers like a bad buy one get one free deal. If we do not recognize the signs, it makes it difficult to function through the mood swings and ride the wave.

A trigger for me is moving and guess what my childhood was like?

I moved a lot.

My mom would joke that it takes me at least six months to get used to a new place, yet I moved every year almost. I went to four different high schools, several different middle schools and who knows what else. During my time in the military, I stayed in one spot for five years and back then I remember realizing that it was the first place I had stayed so long.

I am not saying this to talk mess about my parents, they did not know it was a trigger and I did not even know at the time. Nowadays, however, I can see that the six months of depression, confusion, starting over and all around depressive mess was too much for my Bipolar brain to handle. I am happy to be in the spot I will never leave though, that in itself is a huge blessing.

What are your triggers? Are you able to avoid them?

It is important for those with mental illness to identify their individuals triggers, even though it takes experience to do so. If we can see what is causing our spirals and if it is a controllable situation or not, we can harness a new type of control that will only improve with time- our thoughts and feelings.

We can do this, and we can lead positive lives.


Trigger Article:
https://www.everydayhealth.com/bipolar-disorder/recognizing-bipolar-triggers.aspx
Image URL:
https://www.deviantart.com/yuumei/art/Suspire-860024197

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A Stigma Worth Fighting

“He started breathing heavy like he was going to make himself hyperventilate.”

I listened to my friend explain a difficult coworker and how they have bad anxiety. All I could think about was the time I hyperventilated while I was in the service, and how they probably talked about me the same way my friend is…making it sound like it was on purpose. I was a little annoyed to be honest, and sad that this kid does not have the support from their job, then paranoid that people talked negatively about my events.

Let’s be real, in America you are considered useless unless you can work. People judge you based on your job performance more so than your personality or life situation. Even though we all go through stuff, companies can’t profit off of those that have mental illness’. I get it, money has to be made, but why do we have to be such assholes about it? What can we do to improve both situations, the job and the person?

Could we end the stigma?

An often politicized stereotype about people with mental illness is that they are violent or dangerous. However, a small minority of people living with mental illness commit violent acts. They are actually 10 times more likely to be victims of a crime, making them a vulnerable population we should be protecting instead of fearing.

So let’s start with fear by educating. Remember those guest speakers in high school and such? We could start there. Start at freshman level and continue every year.

To make change you must inspire change.

Mental illness is a serious issue and people need to know that it’s not ok and that we cannot assume someone was “trying to make himself hyperventilate”.

We are all just trying our best in an unforgiving world.


Image URL: http://Rise Above by cosmicevu on DeviantArt https://www.deviantart.com/cosmicevu/art/Rise-Above-886044928

Article on mental health stigma: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mental-health-stigma#why-is-mental-health-stigmatized

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Narcissistic Love

Have you ever dated a suspected narcissist?

I have. 💩 sucks.

Back in 2015 I had the worst break up of my life. Like PTSD inducing trauma kind of break up. I am not ready to talk about it to the blogging world, but years and years down the road it is a trauma that I have yet to process.

The things that happened shaped me into who I am today, and I hope that it was for a purpose at least. I learn new ways it shaped my brain all of the time, and now that I am diagnosed I can see how my Bipolar came into play as well. It is a dark road I know I am coming to, but I have been taking detours since the event and it has been exhausting.

Narcissism is a large factor in my tale, and I did not realize it then until I went through it. The boy I met was originally charming, funny, exciting and had the best eyes. As soon as he reeled me in, things became ugly as I fought back. I like to think I am an independent person, so someone trying to control me made for tension and lash-backs, and narcissist have a very hard time with that.

While everyone may show occasional narcissistic behavior, true narcissists frequently disregard others or their feelings.

 WebMD Editorial Contributors

You can identify Narcissist Personality Disorder (Yes, a real disorder!) by their outward behaviour such as:
– Grandiosity. Not just occasionally, but regularly.
– Sense of entitlement
– Manipulative behavior
– Lack of Empathy

NPD is a real disorder, which like mine…means that the person that terrorized me had a genuine problem with their brain, both chemically and emotionlessly. When I read the article posted below, I realized that just like me…he was undiagnosed and suffering too. It does not excuse the behavior, we knew right from wrong, but it sheds light on a problem individuals are facing today and may not even know.

Ugh. That means I need to dive into NPD and get down to his level to come to terms with the event?

Lame.


NPD Article:
https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/narcissism-symptoms-sign
Image Url:
https://www.deviantart.com/xbliss/art/Manic-and-Depression-1-of-8-45734708

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Mania

In short, for myself, I am a hard act to follow.

― Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

She’s still there.

As the abilify builds up in my system, she has appeared. The other night I stayed up until 2 a.m. even though I was tired. I could not get her down until I caved and took my anxiety med. I was irritated that she came back when I was feeling so level before but…lo and behold. I feel it.

Mania is strange. I love the energy, the productivity, and the extra dopamine. Without the racing thoughts it is a plus. So to say mania is an unwelcome guest would be wrong, but she is one of those guests you like to see every once in awhile- not be a bad roommate. The disrupted sleep, constant energy flow and task jumping is exhausting.

Mania is the main indicator of Bipolar and is often not present when an individual might seek help. Bipolar disorder is hard to pinpoint because people often get help only for their depression, like I did. She’s a good actress because manic feels so good and unbeknownst to you- it’s not normal. I lived with this for so long thinking I was just weird, but an average human being.

Nay nay. It turned out to be Bipolar.
Not to mention the poopoo platter of other disorders.

If you experience patterns of behavior such as bouts of depression, quick mood swings, and levels of energy where you seem to “clean your depression mess“, I encourage you to seek a psychiatrist and therapist to properly diagnose you.

Image URL: https://www.deviantart.com/era7/art/Goddess-of-the-Universe-II-896441132
Bipolar Signs and Symptoms:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355955

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Day 10

To a mind that is still, a whole universe surrenders.

Lao Tzu

Ten days that I have been on my medication now, and those ten days have been interesting. Once I got past the initial shock of having a clear head and sprinkled in some life experience, I have started to notice a few things…

1. Short term memory loss worsened. There was a day that I forgot to close the door after I buckled my kid into the car seat. I left the door wide open and the dogs put in their kennels all day while I worked. It didn’t even register that I forgot it all day until I saw it wide open when I got home. Boy I freaked out, my mind went rampant with paranoi. I searched every nook and cranny for someone hiding, made sure nothing was stolen, and felt anxious every time the dogs barked at the door (when my neighbors stir) or when I heard a creak. It took awhile to calm down. I was actually very lucky that nothing was stolen and no one has shown up uninvited.

2. Irritability. I’m more annoyed or at least aware of what annoys me and snappy.

3. It doesn’t fix everything. I think that’s important to know. It enable me to process and make decisions, but I still suffer from my other diagnosis’.

Everyone experiences medication differently, so please remember that this is my personal experience. Tomorrow the dosage goes up so I am interested to see how that goes as well.


Image URL: https://www.deviantart.com/qinni/art/Bird-Cage-825652661

Abilify information: Abilify

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Impulse Impulse Impulse

Uh Oh 😬

Chapstick – Coin

What is the worst thing you bought on impulse?

For me it was a king size bed, dresser, and night stand 😂 my ex husband said no to one so once I left, I got one 😬 but mannnnnnn…..

This stuff is heavy af 😩 I have had to move it so many times 😤 across Texas and across to another state!

And did I have the money for it? No. I paid a loan on it. With my tax return, I paid it off instead of collections 🙄

As a young adult my impulsive behavior started with promiscuity and spending. I was not used to the attention I received, and I may have gone a bit wild. This led to trauma, guilt, PTSD, and anxiety in the end…

As an adult woman it showed up in just spending. I still spend and don’t follow a budget until I feel like making one, like when I’m in my one of my self improvement kicks. I am blessed to be able to afford what I can and give my kid a decent life.

Bipolar and impulsivity go hand in hand. When we are young we take it as “young and dumb” behavior but in my case, I believe I was bipolar then. My mind would tell me don’t do it girl, but I would do it anyways.

That notion has followed me until this day, even on medication, but I am slowly learning how to manage it but consciously telling myself no. Push that aside.

Focus.


Article on Impulse and Bipolar: https://www.nature.com/articles/npp2013218

Image URL: .366. by polgaroid on DeviantArt https://www.deviantart.com/polgaroid/art/366-35172174

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A Bipolar Pregnancy

My pregnancy was fairly easy to be honest. I was undiagnosed, but physically my child was healthy. I think I threw up once because I brushed my teeth wrong but that was it. I was blessed to have an easy time, even if the aftermath wasn’t the best time.

I had an emergency c-section because the baby was in distress. After recovering, I was up visiting baby in the NICU. For six days I got up every three hours to saunter my way to feed my little human. Breastfeeding is a hell of a challenge, and it was not getting his glucose levels up, so I did half and half.

The postpartum depression started almost immediately. Over night my life drastically changed. Even though I knew it was coming, I didn’t fully understand what it meant.

At my moms home we switched caring for baby while the men did their own thing. It wasn’t my ideal situation, but I was happy for the help. I lasted five months before thinking a job would fix me. One job turned into another, and from my previous post you can see how I spiraled.

I was treated for depression with medication and that worked for a time. My signs of PPD were depression, guilt, anxiety, trouble doing tasks, lack of motivation and crying a lot.

During my pregnancy I feel like I was manic. I was in full mom mode, impulse buying furniture and decorations and a sewing machine. However, as soon as baby arrived, I hit my lowest low. It wasn’t my child at all. In fact, I would love to have more one day, but now that I am diagnosed I feel it will be in interesting ride.

I hope one day I can explain it effectively to my child that they understand me and my love for them.


Image URL: https://www.deviantart.com/naiwe/art/mother-44652005

Signs of PPD: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617

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A Foundation To Stand On

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.

David Brinkley
Until I Come Home – two feet, grandson

I remember sitting on the couch in a little apartment in Texas, debating on what to do. I had ran out of my antidepressant weeks ago but I thought the longer I went detoxing it out of my system, the better off I would be. I had recently left my husband so I was there alone with my walking baby, low into depression. I called the VA but it was going to take a month to get an appointment. I did not feel like I could last for that long to be honest, so I hung up the phone discouraged.

My ignorance was detrimental to this time period of my life, and it is easily the worst thing I have been through.

I could have gotten a refill with the nurse. I could have made that appointment. There’s a ton of things I could have done but did not do because I was so damn depressed and anxious, it took all of my energy just to meet my kids basic needs. He entertains himself a lot but I feel guilty that it was my depression that taught him how to play on his own.

Because of my decisions, my life spiraled out of control. I left my husband and moved into my moms, then the apartment. I was fired from the hospital I worked at for being three minutes late, so I had to use my rental income for my apartment. I had failed school so I gave up and lost my housing allowance. My home was foreclosed and I had a horribly hard time telling the tenets they had to leave. The guilt I feel for that is immense to this day. All while trying to be an okay single mom. We were evicted from the apartment so I went back to my moms. I finally found a job, but I was bullied by an employee and could not afford a place on the income.

I struggled hard for the last four years, freaking hard. It wasn’t until I saw a post on Facebook with someone I had worked with asking who would relocate and I said pick me. I got to the state I am at now, which is where I have always wanted to be, spent two months finding a place that ended up being the ghetto because credit is wack, and figured out who truly has my back in this life that I finally felt like I was on stable foundation.

Finally, I could tiptoe away from survival mode. I could figure out what it means to be Rhiannon again. There was a real change on my 30th birthday that got me wanting to accept myself and be who I am, fully and completely.

I encourage everyone to ask themselves these questions:

Who has my back? As in- Identify your support system.

Is my foundation stable?

Am I ready to process my trauma?

I truly believe that it is a blessing to be where I am and I am very thankful that I had a stable foundation to stand on, which led me to processing my trauma and identifying a problem with my mental illness. I finally saw the reality of it, which led to a psychiatrist and that led to meds. I feel pretty good on these so far. Everyone has different experiences but all I’m saying is…

We gotta deal with our 💩 if we want to be who we want to be 😩


Image URL: https://www.deviantart.com/kelogsloops/art/Breathe-620359967

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Mental Illness and Memory Loss

“Yeah I’ll have to talk to my psychiatrist about that and uhhhh…there was something else.” I explained to my friend on the phone. After a long pause my brain grasped the words I needed. “Oh yeah! Memory loss!” I giggled, trying to make light of a real problem I have faced for many years.

Memory loss- is it genetic? Depression related? Bipolar related?

The same friend had told me a couple days ago that every time we talk about the electric trucks coming out, I tell them the same sentence “Yeah the front is an extra compartment instead of an engine on the Ford Lightening!”. I was a little miffed when they let me know I’ve said the same thing to them like nine times already.

I’m just excited about the extra compartment OKAY 😭

I have struggled with short term and long term memory loss for a long time now but I did not attribute it to my depression or bipolar. Since receiving a diagnosis, the past has become clearer in the sense that this was something wrong at that time and could be the cause my whole life.

Depression is a large factor in short term memory loss. Seeing as how my depression started in high school, I can see why I have had memory loss my entire adult life and how it affected me. Even today, on medication, I suffer from it.

People will remind me that we have had the same conversation before and I wish they did not, in this regard I would choose ignorance.

Ignorance is bliss sometimes.


To read more on memory loss and mental illness, view this article:

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-and-memory-loss#causes

Image by me

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Postpartum Depression

It was getting close to midnight when the doctor showed up and brought with her a scary word: emergency c-section. Baby wasn’t coming out on their own and was stressed. I had been in labor for about 26 hours at this point so even though the words scared me, really I just wanted the baby out and okay whichever way they needed to do it.

No one tells you about the shaking your body does as it goes into shock on the surgeons table. “I’m freaking out…” I calmly tell the nurse with the drugs, but inside my world is spinning. All I could concentrate on was the tugging and calming my own anxiety down.

Once my kid was out, I asked “What is it?!?” (I waited to find out the gender.)
“Uhhh…it’s a baby…?” Said one nurse.
No 💩, even high as a kite I knew it was a baby they just pulled out 😤🙄
“It’s a boy!” Another nurse chimed in. There he was, my perfect little human.

Everyone told me I would get this flood of overwhelming love when I saw my baby for the first time…but it never came to me.

I waited.

The reality of what happened was that I was hit with a traumatic birth, an unsupportive husband, and a new baby that was a stranger. When I say stranger, I mean that we literally had to get to know each other over the first two months. I loved him, do not misunderstand. I love him still and I will forever. I am saying it was all traumatic and quite rough on my psyche. This was not what I had imagined for nine months, to be honest.

Thank God I had my mom there for me. I lived with her on and off until I got to my current job, and she picked up on my child’s care where I left off. I went to therapy and a psychiatrist, in which I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression. I was put on an antidepressant, and it kind of worked for a time. I remember feeling up so I stopped taking the pill and the next day, I could not even move to get out of bed. That was a scary day, but without question my mom took over baby duties until she snapped me out of it.

Postpartum depression is a poison that forms in your brain, and seeps down towards your limbs. It makes the baby seem to weigh a little bit heavier, or the crying make our ears just a little more sensitive, and it even feeds these women negativity upon negativity. Anxiety sprinkled on top made me miserable with thoughts like…

You suck as a mom
Who are you?
Everything you are doing is traumatizing your kid.
You are going to get this kid killed with your ignorance.

It never really went away, it just continued a pattern of depression. I believe I was bipolar all along, and going through this wrongly medicated was not only incredibly difficult, it lead to the worst six months of my life.

But that is for another time 😉


If you suspect you might have PPD, please read the article below:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617
Image URL:
https://www.deviantart.com/ukulelemoon/art/Digital-Painting-Depression-is-Not-Funny-492908948

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If You Were Healthy

The FatRat – Rise Up

What would you do?

Would you exercise? Go on an adventure? Finish your homework? Organize your self made chaos?

Oh sorry…those were my thoughts.

I have big goals that I’ve always held myself back from. If I was completely healthy I have a list of things to do. Now that I am on medication and seemingly closer to stability (still haven’t determined if this is going to be the right combination) I have been able to get some things done this weekend. Small things like take a shower…I’m used to never showering on weekends 😬😅 I didn’t have the energy or motivation. I also accomplished big tasks: chores and homework. Usually I have to wait out my depression, create this huge mess and clean it up when I was feeling great.

This weekend I was able to complete a little bit of homework, and that is big because normally I wait until the last second, panic, and either fail or barely pull it off. I have failed too many classes, have gone to three colleges, and been on academic probation twice. My anxiety goes through the roof when I open up my homework. So much so, that I avoid it until there’s no longer a way to evade it, and it was like I could not control that anxiety and I could never concentrate on the screen. I hate being that way, and I hate everything that comes with it…but maybe on this medication I can be better. So far, I have been and it feels great.

I have always wanted a PhD in Neuropsychology in order to study the subconscious. Since all of my work has been in something else though, it might just be a pipe dream. But damn I’m trying and now maybe I have a chance to at least get this Bachelors in Psychology. Mental health has always been my interest, even more so now.

As far as living situation, it is my dream to build a homestead in the mountains on some land. I want all kinds of animals! Two horses, 1 or two cows, chickens, ducks, a peacock that just chills on the property and looks pretty like they do at all of the zoos I have been to. You know what I’m talking about…they just roam around and show off their goods to strangers and no one really f**ks with them. It’s like some mutual respect. Human brain says “You are pretty, I must not hurt” or something.

First I want to build a barn home, where it’s a stable on the bottom and an apartment on top. I found the website BarnPros.com long ago on my deployment and I fell in love. I would build this first to live in while the dream home is built. And once my kid is grown they can live in it or I could even rent it out. One day I will accomplish this dream, but mental health problems has made me life crazy until now. Right now, at this moment, I feel like I can accomplish it. It’s like all of a sudden…I can do anything I set my mind to. Literally and figuratively.

So these are my goals, and now they feel obtainable with patience and work. Tell me about your goals and dreams in the comments below!

Image URL:

https://barnpros.com/structures/denali-barn-apartment/denali-barn-apartment-60#model-gallery

Shadows of the Valley

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OCD and Me

Did I lock the door? I need to check
Is that a new pimple? I need to get every pimple on my face off
I know I just washed this shirt, but I don’t know how long it’s been on this dirty floor. Just going to wash it again.

This might be a weird statement but…I love the number three. I want three kids one day, I will check the locks on my doors three times before I am comfortable enough to sleep, and if you look around my home, you might see three decorations lined in a specific way.

It is The Triad, being the number of the whole as it contains the beginning, a middle and an end. The power of three is universal and is the tripartide nature of the world as heaven, earth, and waters. It is human as body, soul and spirit.

Bookofthrees.com

I am unsure when this started for me, but I do know that in my past I have feared numbers. Sometimes bad things happen to me and my mind will find the number six attached to the negative event. On the flip-side, good things happen to me with the number seven nearby. For example, my vehicle was hit on June 6. My kid was due 05/17, but came on the 26th after an emergency C-Section due to distress. He spent six days in the NICU until we could take him home. My female dog, who had been in my life for nine years, died on Feb 6. Weird coincidences like that to name a few. I used to attribute it to angel numbers and spiritual guidance, and I do not think I was wrong, per say, but I did not see the reality of the behavior in order to attribute it to a real problem that I should get checked out.

Because of the past, I tend to do things and want things in threes sometimes. It’s a comfortable number.


OCD is a sneaky disorder that rides in on the curtails of other, more serious disorders. For me personally, it shows up in checking my doors three times before bed, picking my face for a long time before I either snap myself out of it, or a distraction comes along. It’s weird to need to do something in order to calm your brain, or else you start stressing out. It shows up in the brain like an unwelcome guest and their suitcased sob story that makes you feel bad for turning them away. But damn, life was calmer without them.

If you relate to this blog post more than you thought you would, please talk to a therapist or psychiatrist. Professionals are able to explain this disorder better, and since one of the complications of having this is suicide ideation, it is important that you receive proper help. Please reach out to me if you’d like to rant to a stranger as well, I am here for my readers.

Image URL:
https://www.deviantart.com/blacknightingale/art/OCD-hands-42540116
OCD Information:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20354432
https://askthepsych.com/atp/2007/12/03/grouping-in-three/
The Symbolism of Three:
https://www.bookofthrees.com/the-symbolism-and-spiritual-significance-of-the-number-three/

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Day 1

“We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it’s our job to invent something better.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

My medication arrived. I held the bag tightly to my chest as I got my son and I inside of the house, feeling kind of nervous and kind of excited. Maybe now I will be ok…

This morning I had anxiety about taking the medication. I stood in front of my bathroom sink, reminding myself that it will be ok and this could really help, but just stood there lost in my thoughts with my coffee in one hand and pills in the other.

This is really my life now? I can’t believe it took me so long to see that I had a genuine problem with my mental health. When you feel like you are normal, you tend to not seek help until something is really wrong- and that is a little scary. Some don’t even live to this point.

I took a deep breath and swallowed the pills in a flash, chasing it down with luke warm coffee made the same way I make it every morning to find comfort in familiarity.

As I drove to work, I could feel it kick in. My swirling thoughts seemed to cease, which was a weird feeling. I like to think I’m pretty in tune with my body but not many people really believe me. For example, I knew I was pregnant a week after conception simply from feeling a pressure in my groin. The first pregnancy test was the faintest positive I had ever seen, but I knew I saw it. I must have taken four more before I believed the results!

Anywho

At work I could feel my mood elevate, but it kept going up and I could feel a panic start to rise in my chest. Luckily, I brought the anxiety medication I was prescribed to take as needed, and it brought me to a middle ground. The running thoughts were gone, and I could organize my internal voice a little bit better. When a negative thought crept in, I could abolish it with a “No Rhiannon, that’s silly, focus.”

I still had a hard time focusing on my work and not jumping from task to task, but it was nice to feel…level?

With time, patience, and therapy I really feel like I can find mental stability now that I have a glimpse into the future. The best way I can describe it is similar to another blog post- Mania/Hypomania felt like my brain was up, depression felt like it was down, and Abilify made me feel like I am close to finding the Self in the middle of those two.

I encourage anyone with issues to seek therapy and let go of the idea that medication is A. Big pharma trying to take our money
B. Medication is scary
C. “I’m not crazy, I don’t need therapy!” kind of thinking.

It is scary and big pharma is taking our money, but that might be the necessary evil to an enjoyable life. Hearing people say “I’m not crazy, I don’t need therapy” shows a misunderstanding or lack of education in mental health as well as insensitivity to the people that cannot control what is chemically going on with their brain. I hope I continue to feel that middle ground in my mind and explore what it means to be myself with my mental illness in the background.

Image URL:
https://www.deviantart.com/cosmicevu/art/Wisps-903051701
Abilify Information:
https://www.abilifymaintena.com/bipolar-I/about/how-abilify-maintena-may-help?ceid=11099&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=abilify_effects&utm_content=gs-abilify_side_effects_ph&utm_campaign=gs-branded_abilify_tablet&gclid=Cj0KCQiAieWOBhCYARIsANcOw0x5bKrTnmPTQwM1ALnz3zKFdBp–j3Tk1fm_xL4bCVUYtZ8NFtLywwaAtK4EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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Inner Time Consciousness

Part 1

Time, the healer and the killer

Random Pinterest Post

I am notorious at being late, no lie. I have not pinpointed the exact cause as to why I suck at this but it has wreaked havoc on my life.

I have been fired, written up, scolded and slandered just like any other perpetually late person. What no one really cared to know was that I strongly dislike being late to everything. Anxiety turns to guilt, guilt turns to negative thoughts, and I cannot find a “valid” enough excuse to justify the behavior. Mental illness in a work driven society is not a good enough excuse, nor is it commonly recognized. Companies are built on production of their service…and if you get in the way, they will move you aside.

I get it, I really do. You can’t rely on folks that are constantly late or calling out. If you cannot rely on your team members, why keep them around?

My current job has been amazing to me and very understanding, especially when I am honest about my issues, but everyone has their limits and I don’t want to abuse their trust. Most people I have talked to about my problem say “Well just do it! Get your a** moving!” And I wish I had a real, understandable answer.

Well I wished until today.

Apparently there is a problem with perception of time in Bipolar patients. Who coulda thunk it 😬😩

According to the article Too Fast or Too Slow? Time and Neuronal Variability in Bipolar Disorder—A Combined Theoretical and Empirical Investigation, time is seen differently according to the mood a person with bipolar disorder might be feeling.

Manic/Hypomanic – Time moves fast.

Depression- Time moves slow.

Basically, when I am depressed, time moves slow for me. It will seem like the day is taking forever, and I just want to go home and curl into a blanket. I drag A** non stop without even realizing I am. On the other hand, when I am feeling up, I can get up at 4 am easy and I loooove it. I can take my time, read the news and weather with coffee, listen to music. I can workout and eat right. It all comes in phases and every day is a different feeling.

Time slipping away from me would be the top song name of my album. I lose time when I’m simply in the shower. I often wonder how long I’m lost in my thoughts before I snap to and continue what I was doing. I put a little clock in the shower to try to keep me aligned but more often it shocks me how long it took. Everything I have to do by myself seems so overwhelming on the down days and I have a hard time focusing on the task. On the good days, I can do everything I set out to do.

All I can do is try the best I can.
I encourage leaders to recognize general signs such as mood swings, late or slipping attendance, and an inability to focus as signs of mental health issues that can be addressed and conversed. Give a crap about your people, pull them aside, and offer your support.

Article URL

https://academic.oup.com/schizophreniabulletin/article/44/1/54/3835420#108760092

Image URL https://www.deviantart.com/onurkorkmaz/art/Time-346618553

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If I Had Known Then…

…what I know now…
That little girl would not have been put into the situations she was, or made the choices she did.

A common indication of Bipolar one and Bipolar two is hypersexuality, and now that I am diagnosed, I have been thinking a lot about past choices relating to this that caused even more grief and trauma. A reason I started this blog was to reach out to the younger generation and show them common signs of mental illness, in the hopes that they can identify their own sooner than age 30…like me.
I feel like I am behind on life because only now am I seeing that the signs were all there as early as puberty. If my family and friends had known, I truly think they would have gotten me help sooner or would have let me know that I needed to get checked out. Honestly though…I doubt any of us knew.

We were all so busy trying to survive.

I made some pretty bad choices in the name of “you only live once”, not realizing that I was seeking the wrong validations from everyone else- never my own. I was such a people pleaser all of the time because I could not be alone with myself, which resulted in me sharing my body and energy with people that did not value it, or me no less. I just wanted that positive attention no matter who it was or how I got it, and I needed to feel good constantly so that the negative did not have a chance to creep in and suck me down into depression.

I am not sure what exactly would have had to of change for me to see that my behavior was detrimental to my psych and environment. I fantasized for a long time that it was my parents fault for not speaking to me with body positivity or self love techniques. If I were honest with myself, though…I see now how they were doing the best they could with what they were given. Mental health was not the focus in my circle. Becoming a parent puts things in perspective.

I would love to educate others on mental illness life from a young age and what all entails with it, but in a safe and open setting. I feel it is important for others to see the signs in order to identify their own thought process. The two biggest contributors to my experiences:

Dark depression with suicidal ideation – Hypersexuality – Promiscuity – Debt – Alcohol Abuse – Impulsivity – Hypomania/Mania (therapy will determine)

Running thoughts – Panic Attacks – Irritability – Intrusive thoughts

This was all in my first ten years after high school! By making mental health prioritized and unstigmatized, I believe education would be beneficial to younger generations and show that hey- we are all f***ed up in our own ways. There are so many resources available out there that could really, truly help each other…it is important.


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A Bipolar, Single Mother Kind of Life

It’s a snow day!
And I am in a good mood!

Those mornings that I wake up with energy, motivation, and happy thoughts are the best. I welcome them with open arms because that means if I can balance the day right, it will be an enjoyable one. It feels nice to get things done in good spirits, especially with today beginning 2022. The snow brightens the town with a smooth blanket, the Christmas tree I have not taken down yet shines just a little bit brighter, and it all just gives me a little bit more life.

I made cinnamon rolls, we played in the snow and I haven’t been having running thoughts. It’s nice for this calm.


My child is four and, not to toot my own horn, but this kid is smart. Despite my own shortcomings, they have adjusted and seem to be an overall happy kiddo. Living alone for awhile has shown me not only my patterns, but of theirs as well. I have caught that they continuously repeat their want until I hear it. And since I jump from one task to another pretty often, my kid will refocus me on the task at hand by reminding me “Momma, I said I wanted this!”

This kid keeps me aligned.

When I am picking at my face (another post topic later 😭), I get so fixated on it that the world around me darkens. I’ll be there for a good thirty minutes until kiddo calls my name out of it.

As far as I have identified, the OCD shows up in face picking, obsessive cleaning when I have the energy, and a weird feeling where I have to complete a compulsion like thinking about something until I complete the task. The anxiety shows up by keeping me stuck in my home with running thoughts. So we don’t go to many places. The bipolar comes in small mood swings- sometimes I’ll over react on accident and apologize immediately after as well as educating the right response and how mine was wrong, as well as the ways I’ve described in previous posts. So living with me isn’t always easy, I would gather.

My baby is the one that gets me up and keeps me going. Anytime suicidal ideation comes up, I quickly remind myself of the reality of my kid missing their mother in their life. I am truly thankful for a kid that loves me regardless of my issues. It is the drive keeping me active in treating my issues in order to provide a better life for them.

I truly believe that it is a parent’s responsibility to treat their mental health seriously in order to be the parent their young ones deserve. We can’t heal society by perpetuating the trauma that caused our own illnesses.

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Intrusive Thought

Sometimes I wonder if Bipolar Disorder is a disconnect between your conscious and your subconscious.

Like….there are literally two trains of thought in that dome. One tells me the good, and the other tells me the bad. My brain is a comedy and tragedy mask, both fighting for the spotlight.

By good I mean all of the positivity that side spews forth. “You’re doing the best you can. You have a great support system. You are fine, just breathe and keep going.”
By bad, I mean all of the negative shouts trying to come forward and drown out the positive. The thoughts range from how much I suck at life, to suicide ideation, to body dysmorphia, etc. It’s like there is SO much tragedy, that my mind rarely gets looped into the comedy side. It’s so sapping of energy that I end up depressed, and everything that entails with that ominous deep, black hole.

This all mainly happens when I am home. In professional or social settings, my comedy side flourishes for the most part. I am sociable, funny, smiling, friendly, and easy to talk to. I can win awards and impress the top tier, or put my feelings aside to get the work done as efficiently as anyone else. Work is my best distraction, and I love it.

Home is when I become my true Self and lay down the front.
I can be me with no judgement from others, but I am my worst critic as well. So a fight constantly ensues between the side I enjoy, and the side that tells me this is how you really are.

I want balance between these two. I need balance if I am going to become who I ultimately want to be (a functioning adult). A book I read in High School has been coming to my mind today, The Power of your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy. I think today I will download the audio and put it on since I never finished reading it. I remember it really opening up my mind though to the understanding of our subconscious and inspiring me to pursue that with Neuropsychology. Ten plus years later, I have not completed my goal of a degree in Neuropsychology, but maybe opening that book open again can bring me out of my funk.

Link to book:
https://www.amazon.com/Power-Your-Subconscious-Mind/dp/1614270198/ref=nodl_#

Link to image:
http://mofart.free.fr/index.php/bonnet/

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The Journey Begins

Midnight City by M83

Last Wednesday was an intense day, and since Christmas was right around the corner- I had other priorities to focus on before I could let it out.

I finally saw the psychiatrist!

I waited two months for this appointment because the VA is slow with everything, so it was nice to not miss this one. I tend to have an issue with showing up for appointments (even interviews) and not appear because I am having an anxiety attack about it. My brain makes it difficult to show up where I need to be on time to anywhere.
Anywho…
The appointment went very well. The professional listened to my concerns, spoke to me about what could be going on, and diagnosed me with-

Bipolar
PTSD
Anxiety
OCD
Possible ADD

This was unfortunately their last day at work, so next time I see the Psychiatrist it will be a different person that I can go more in depth with and really pinpoint which Bipolar (I or II) and treat those symptoms before we move on to ADD. All in all I had felt heard, and proud of myself for being completely honest with a professional and actually get help.

They started me on Abilify and some anxiety medication I can take as needed. I was also also kept me on my antidepressant, Sertraline.
My first feeling was relief…like “ahhhh ok cool I wasn’t making that all up in my head.”
The second feeling was nervousness to start on medication. This begins the long journey to trying to find mental stability…

And this might take YEARS.

There’s no telling how my brain will react to new medication, but as long as I have the love and support that I have now, I think I will be ok and make it on the other side stronger and wiser.


Check out the following Links to read about Abilify and Sertraline!

https://www.abilify.com/

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a697048.html

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Perfectly Paranoid

One day, I might be murdered. I have zero reason to believe this, but my mind states it as fact. For years I have had the recurring thought that somehow, someway, I am not safe…and I thought this was “normal”, like I just had these racing paranoid thoughts and people thought I was weird 🤷🏼‍♀️

Today I started to look into it more because of how I was feeling at work. A coworker seemed to be cold towards me and I could not figure out why, but I do not like confrontation AT ALL

“Even if there’s a FIRE!”

Will Ferrell, Stepbrothers

…all day I was in my head. Around and around the same thoughts spun…

“Why are they mad at me? What did I do? I bet people talk s**t about me. I bet everyone does. They probably think I’m making excuses for why I suck at this and that. They probably think I’m crazy. Stop, get out of your head. Go back to work. But why are they mad at me?”

Yo this 💩 is exhausting.

I read a few articles on paranoia and first of all- paranoia is not what I thought it was. I guess I attributed it (naively) to people scared of being caught for whatever actions they may have done. What it really is though, is a delusion of persecution. Paranoia can hit several different ways but at its core, you can see that it is a belief in something different than reality.

To me, it feels like I don’t see what is real. Like I can’t grasp it even though it’s right in front of me {Literally}. Sometimes I feel like I can’t trust my own thoughts and emotions, and if I dwell on it too much than I start to spiral. What I go through is mild compared to some, and for those individuals I tip my hat to you. Yall aren’t recognized enough for dealing with this. Now that I know about this, I am hoping I can catch it when it starts and get myself out of it with some kind of positive distraction.


Check out the article below if you want to learn more about the signs of paranoia. Always reach out to your support system if you are having a tough time.

https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/paranoia-and-delusional-disorders

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Somewhere In-between

I am feeling myself slipping

Down

Down

Down…

…Into the depression mess I have been so thankful to avoid. I feel like I got a lot done with this last boost of energy, like cleaned the house and tied up loose ends. I even made positive decisions this time, instead of following my impulses like overspending for Christmas or touch my small savings just to get what I want.

But the past few days I have been feeling so…mixed?

I have energy to complete tasks- I did some homework (full time student), cleaned the house, etc.

But at the same time, I’m feeling down. Ugly. Hopeless. Guilty. I couldn’t make myself shower or get out of the house. I had gotten tickets for my kid and I to see Spider-Man and at the last second, I canceled. I had plans to get my child a haircut and go shopping for some presents…and I could not get myself out the door.


This in between state is a blessing and a curse, I can get some goals completed, and some I can’t. I guess it’s all about the mental battle that comes with the task, and that’s hard for me to explain. I hear a lot of “if you set your mind to it, you can do it.” Or “why can’t you? It’s simple.” And they are right, so I cannot excuse my way out of the logic. I also find it hard to explain why I just don’t do the things I need to do, even though I know I need to do them.

I can only explain that some days I can, and some days I cannot. I won’t know until I wake up.

If you would like more information on mixed states in Bipolar patients, check this article out:

https://www.verywellmind.com/bipolar-disorder-mixed-features-380387

And if you can relate, let me know what it’s like for you in the comments section below!

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First World Anxiety

Anx+I+Ety
A nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.

Oxford Languages

Today was a pretty anxious day since it was an extremely windy one. So windy, in fact, that it tore the siding from my work’s building. I am thankful that it was mainly my building, but being inside of it while hearing everything moving is a little nerve-racking. Management let us go early, and I raced home wondering excessively if a tree was in my home, or a window was broken, or worse yet- something happened to my two dogs.

My body was tense with racing thoughts. Fake scenarios ran rampant across the frontier of my consciousness, and I found it difficult to concentrate on my work while we remained there.

I just wanted to go home.

Once I made it though, the relief I felt washed over my body and I felt like I was free from the world spinning. I just sat in my car and breathed. No doubt there was something to worry about, but to the extent that I felt what I felt? It seemed like an excessive response to a small threat.


Anxiety and Bipolar are commonly together, showing up in several different ways such as PTSD, panic disorders, and social phobias to name a few. It is interesting to see that these two come together to create a tornado of dysfunction, and the end result is a mental, physical, confusing tornado.
For me, the physical response is hard to notice until it is hitting me, but I have had a hard time pinpointing the exact moment. My heart rate increases, the thoughts swirl, and I feel a rising panic in my chest. The only thing to calm the storm is completing the end goal…

Like get home and make sure the wind did not push a tree into your home or glass broke or your dogs somehow escaped. Or the building collapses while you are at work or the babysitters house is damaged with your kid in it or this or that or whatever else I can come up with.

You get the idea.

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Patterns Of Behavior

“Life is a comedy for those who think, but a tragedy for those who feel…”

Horace Walpole

Hindsight is 20/20, amiright?

A lot of our mind is focused on the here and now, but for some there is an emphasis on the past…A drive to understand how it molded ourselves into the person we are today, with our new wisdom and understanding of how the world works and how our brains react to certain events.

If I were to pinpoint when my mind chemistry shifted, I would choose puberty. For that reason I always suspected a hormonal imbalance going on with me, but never looked past the thought. To be honest, I was not sure how. High school was a tumultuous time and my foundation was always changing.
Four different schools, four different families, hormones and confusion.
I slept a lot during that time, and as I remember it – sleeping allowed me to escape my reality. I threw myself into school when it was a happy place, withdrew when a new school was not. I put my energy into what brought me joy in the moment and what I thought I wanted, but the depression during teenage years was crippling enough to cease those joys. I made impulsive decisions because life is short, ya know? But I did not understand the effects if those decisions until now.
During my time in the military, there was this unspoken stigma attached to mental health that made it look negative to seek help. No one exactly said that, but hearing stories of how some fellow service members were affected (and not understanding the whole picture of it since I was a young, naive girl)…it was confusing. I went to one supervisor asking for advice: do I get on medication for my issues, or do I wait until after I deploy? I had not gone overseas at this point, and felt that it was important that I do, but I also wanted to seek help. I was starting to fantasize about turning my wheel just slightly on a quiet missouri street at that time. It scared me but I did not want to admit my thoughts to just anyone. This person said after I explained my thoughts, “I go through that, does that make me crazy? Do I need to take medication?” very aggressively so I backed off. You’re right, mission first.
Crazy. I remember cringing at the word.
So I shut my mouth and deployed with my suicide ideation, my depression, my confusion and feelings of very little support. I was blessed to have an “easy” deployment, and when I came back I was able to go to mental health for my worries. That was when I was diagnosed with PMDD (Post Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder) due to my birth control at the time, Implanon.
Whenever the birth control was removed, I felt a sigh of relief because I was no longer intensely angry three weeks out of the month. I thought wow maybe it is a hormone imbalance. Now that I am not being influenced by a hormone driven medication, my brain seems less clouded.
The relief was short lived.


Time went by.

I went to training, went to a new base.

I became pregnant and separated from the military so that I could go back to Texas and raise my child with my family.
Of course as it often does, life completely changed with having a baby. I began therapy pretty soon after my child was born and received the diagnosis of PPD (Post Partum Depression). So again, I was treated for my depression only. I was put on the antidepressants Sertraline and Lamotrigine. It seemed to work for a time with the depressive periods, but it did not last forever.

Life kept changing (as it usually does), and I have changed with it. I finally received a job where I could shift from survival mode to “okay” mode, as in I had reached a stable foundation to put my feet on. While this has been an incredible blessing, it has also gave me time to begin processing everything I have been putting to the side. My traumas, my choices, and most of all- my Self. Once I became consistent on my medication, in a place where I could breathe, I started to notice something…

There was a pattern to my behavior.

I go through these…phases.

Phases where I am depressed for weeks, sometimes months. I have a hard time keeping up with chores or the basic necessities. On really bad days, I have a long mental battle with just getting myself out of bed. I can do it, but it may take me awhile. Showers are too much mental turmoil to begin having one, and the only tasks I am completing are the ones that will get me by.

And then I have an opposite phase. I will have loads of energy and clean my depression mess from sun up to sun down. I’ll socialize and be the best mother I can be. I will spend money I should not because “treat yo self” repeats in my brain. I will organize my life, realign my goals with my actions, and run on little sleep. Life is great.

If you are noticing a pattern in your own behavior similar to mine, please feel free to reach out to professional help, your support system, or even me.

Until next time, dear reader!


Here are a few links you might find useful:

https://iapmd.org/

https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/postpartum-depression

https://ibpf.org/

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Let Me Introduce Myself

Tash Sultana – Notion

{ Undiagnosed }

Hello, Reader!

My name is Rhiannon. I am a mother of one kiddo, two doggos, and a few plants I haven’t killed off somehow. I am a veteran and college student. I love to read, write, hike, and play games. I suffer from mental health issues daily that I do not yet fully understand, so this blog is my outlet to understand my own Self. You are welcome to join me on this journey, and please feel free to send me a message if you can relate or have questions.

I **Believe** I may be Bipolar 2, but I am not diagnosed and do not claim to be. I just find that I relate to the characteristics of it the more I look into it. However, I have been diagnosed with Post Partum Depression (PPD) and Post Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). I am in no way a licensed medical person- this is just my experiences.

I Just Need Time

Time to figure out my own bullshit.

Time to pick the pieces up.

Time to gather myself,

Time to clean this mess.

And time to become the me I am meant to be.