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

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/

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

Weight of The World

The other day I was up, and yesterday I could feel myself spiral down. It was a weird feeling to notice it now that I am getting increasingly better at identifying the shifts. The more I learn, the more I am recognizing signals and triggers. It’s kind of scary, kind of intriguing, but overall it’s shit.

People don’t always understand my choices and that’s ok (I don’t either 🙄). We all walk our path differently of course. Sometimes comments like “Why don’t you do this? Or this? Or this?” will wear me down because I don’t have an excuse that will satisfy the question effectively, and they do not understand that I want to do those things but my 🧠 has other plans.

I will often think, “No 💩, you think I choose this?” It feels like everyone assumes I want this lifestyle, or I’m doing it on purpose, or that solutions to my problems are black and white. It’s aggravating to think people are judging me for things I don’t even want. But I am the one that has to sit here and spiral down from the comment as well as feel like I am disappointing the commenter.

I cannot assume people will research the disorders or that they even care to understand it. That’s ok, too. No one is required to get it and walk on egg shells around me.

It is what it is, I guess.

Writing helps though, once I release my thoughts, they start to unravel and lose the feeling attached to it. I have also received support from friends and family following my diagnosis, and I sincerely appreciate them reaching out.

My personal responsibilities, feelings, and confusion feel like a huge weight of garbage on my shoulders…but my support system is right there beside me, grabbing the trash and slowly but surely throwing it aside to lighten my load.

I just hope that they see that I am trying.


Image URL:
https://www.deviantart.com/karimfakhoury/art/Atlas-holding-our-world-133069353

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

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.


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.

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/

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

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