Monday, November 30, 2015

This or That

I remember the day vividly. I was sitting in the recliner in our living room in Florida when I told my husband I couldn't relax. Even when I wasn't holding our then week old son, I couldn't get the tension out of my shoulders and let them down. They were always shrugged up to my ears. The anxiety was fierce.

I often wonder if I would never have gotten sick if I didn't get pregnant ten years after having my second child. Maybe postpartum depression wouldn't have been a part of my life so there's no way I would be bipolar today. Absolutely not.

Right?

Was I always sick? Even if I never had PPD would I eventually have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Has the invisible illness always been trapped inside of my bones and ultimately have been nudged free...no matter what?

Probably.

I know I had mood swings as a young person but wasn't that normal for a girl trying to find where she fits in? Were there signs back then that I would, one day, be so paralyzed with depression and go to the extreme to try to pull free of it?

I've read that bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed. Do life events that trigger depression worsen over time and doctors become so baffled and label people with bipolar disorder because they just don't know what else it could be? I mean, we're nothing without a label. Am I right?

One of the most common things I've discovered through my personal doctor is that the thyroid contributes to many aspects of the human body. Thyroid hormones are a major factor when it comes to depression. I personally take medication to balance my hypothyroidism. My blood is tested every six months to make sure the medication is doing its job unless I feel something is off, then I am tested sooner.

Many people don't even realize they have a thyroid issue and go on to be treated as having a mental illness. A good psychiatrist is going to get to the root of that issue, hopefully at your initial consultation.

The thing is, BD runs in my family so I was probably doomed from the beginning. Genetics can be a bitch.

I leave you with a simple message. If you're in doubt when being diagnosed with any sort of mental illness, it's important to do your research. Don't self diagnose yourself on the internet, but use it as a tool to locate your information from reputable sources. Ask questions until you're absolutely comfortable with the knowledge you've inherited.

The right doctor will plan with you, not against you.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hidden Secrets - A Poem

inconspicuous places

differing intensity

smoothed over

discolored

healed

former grey days

consistent indications

the abrupt release

an adrenaline rush

twinged torment

ever lasting

ever present

deep red

side by side

mingling

***

Many people believe self-harm is an occurrence that takes place for teens and adolescents. As with most things, a little research goes a long way.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Photo Confessional - Blurred Vision


I recently shared this on social media...Since then, there's more involved. Psychotropics are the way of my world.


Sometimes you have to drink whiskey through a straw because your lips are so chapped from the rare side-effects only you would get from your medication and you keep picking at them constantly because self-harm is your game.


I was so depressed last night and two anti-anxiety pills wasn't cutting it so I swallowed a third and didn't get enough sleep. Walking with my eyes half shut today. My vision is blurry otherwise.


Living in Denver makes you have to dress up all warm-like and remain cute at the same time. I sat in my office all alone for an hour then learned that the slut fucks didn't tell me to stay home. (the smile is a fake)


This lead to stopping at the store for warm slippers because retail therapy is also a side-effect of my "disorder".





Friday, November 27, 2015

Unfeeling

I took a shower. Washed my hair. Shaved my legs. All of this to feel squeaky clean and smooth when I put my sweatpants back on.

Beneath is a new pair of underwear, which really does make all the difference in the world when the rest of you is a ratty old piece of shit.

I'm wearing a 13 year old sports bra complete with holes, old stains from dying my hair and is too stretched to even make a difference. But it does a phenomenal job soaking up boob sweat.

I was going to take a bath today. Put on some music loud enough to hear in my bathroom. Read a book while soaking in the tangerine scented bubbles. But that would mean I'd have to clean the tub first and who the fuck wants to go to that extreme?

There's a sheet of ice outside and snow is falling. So delicate and serene. It's a good thing I'll be staying home today. Alone. With the threatening voice in my head whispering sweet nothings into my ear. So much so that I can't concentrate on the Netflix marathon of movies I added for this day.

I try to read but I'm not grasping what's happening on the pages, which sucks because I really want to read this book. It's peculiar and smart and dirty and one day I'll get through it and understand what it's about.

Maybe I should vacuum the house. Maybe I should pour a glass of wine, or better yet, a whiskey on the rocks. Maybe some Klonopin would make me not feel what I'm already not feeling. Maybe I should work on writing the half dozen stories I started and haven't touched weeks. Maybe I should try to forget that the voices are reminding me of the fresh, unopened bottles of pills that are still in my purse because I'm too afraid to place them in the cabinet. Within reach.

Depression is a motherfucker. It lies. It steals. It makes you do things you don't want to do. It makes you say things you've been holding in for far too long. It makes you silent. It grabs hold of your throat and gasp for breath. It makes you think far too strong. It makes you stare into the beyond. It makes you scratch at your skin, just to feel something-even pain-leaving fingertips warm and covered it blood.

"They" say people get depressed around the holidays. Funny thing to say to someone who is clinically depressed all the days of the year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why you can shove your Thanksgiving stuffing up your ass!

Most of you are prepping for the big meal right about now.

Some of you are giving that turkey a rub down before putting it in the oven and praying you don't burn it.

Some of you are trying a new recipe.

Some of you are drinking already because you're going to a place you don't want to be today.

I say this...why does everyone wait until this one day out of the entire year (so many fucking days to choose from) to get together with family and share a meal?

First, do you even know the meaning of Thanksgiving?

I'm guessing, no. Your meaning may be different, but that link above? Truth.

You're just sitting around the table, half lit up on wine at noon (and there's nothing wrong with that), stuffing your face because that's what you do on this day.

Why not gather around more often and break bread?

Most will say how busy they are...

What you really should say is -- I put up with your ass on the specified dates out of the year because it's required. Why would I want to get with you more often?

And that, friends, is why Thanksgiving is bullshit. At least you don't have to buy presents for people though. That's a score in your corner.

Think about it. You'll be making small talk with most of these family members...catching up on your job, how the kids are doing in school, the latest movie you've seen. And that's because you don't get together, like at all, to already know the answers to these questions. B O R I N G!

I'm not doing anything this year by choice. My kids are going to be with family and I'm happy for that. We'll be separated for most of the day and at first I was fine with the idea, then heartbroken, and I'm back to being okay again.

You know why?

I prepare a feast just about every night for my family so basically, Thanksgiving year-round.

Maybe in a few weeks I'll put together the traditional food that you're all eating today, just to be different, and to enjoy it with my kids.

One thing? Don't refer to your Thanksgiving turkey as "the bird". That shit is just whack.

Catatonia - - A (horrific) Poem

gaunt

sunken eyes

cheekbones protruding beneath taut skin

the man twisted around

taking note of the rising sun

colors intertwined above

creating hints of deep red 

submerged by usual oranges and pinks

the lake still

fully hushed

water engulfing the scene

he took a knee

listening

the waking sun whispering his next move

his eyes wandered to the ground

his once clear mind now in a haze

with the trance now broken

he stepped over the body

and grasped the shovel


© 2013 Pamela Gold



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

20 Reasons Why Depression Can Go Fuck Itself

-Breaking down in front of your family when you've been so good at hiding it.

-Having to leave the room after a breakdown to cry in the bathroom even though you know they know you're crying.

-Crying in the morning because your eyes will burn for the rest of the day reminding you that you cried.

-Not being able to tell your psychiatrist the full extent of how you're feeling at your appointment like you're self harming (again) and you're having thoughts that you don't want to live anymore (again).

-Faking for others that you're okay when you're not okay because they'll tell you how much better it's going to get and what do you have to be depressed about and WHY THE FUCK CAN'T I JUST BE OKAY?

-Not having plans for Thanksgiving because I won't have my kids and I thought I'd be okay with cleaning the house and doing laundry then taking a long hot bath and grilling up some dinner and watching Netflix in place of being with my kids but nothing can replace them. Ever.

-Knowing that just a few short weeks ago you were riding a high like no other and how did I get back here?

-Not knowing how long it will last this time.

-Will it get better because everyone keeps saying it will.

-Having your medication tweaked because...EPIC FAIL and feeling like you need to take your anti-anxiety pill because...as needed...but if you do you're giving into the shit storm.

-Paranoia. The fear that people are hiding things from you, talking about you behind your back, saying they get what you're going through BUT HOW COULD YOU?

-Knowing that because I'm suffering so are the people around me and they're probably so over this by now just as much as I am.

-Not wanting to do anything.

-Being antisocial.

-Writing when in this state of mind worries other people because of the darkness.

-Not really wanting to eat because I love food so fucking much so I eat once maybe twice a day and then my stomach ties in knots because anxiety will do that to a motherfucker.

-Everything is boring.

-Wanting to drink alcohol because at least it numbs the pressure inside of my head.

-Looking at the clock and it's only 7:00pm and all you want to do is go to bed because...if only this day would just end already and really why go to sleep when you're just going to wake up a dozen times because your mind won't stop telling you lies.

-Not being able to ask for help with the daily routine because it'll mean you've failed as a human being and couldn't do it yourself.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A dozen reasons why most of us didn't attend that well planned out 20-year high school reunion last weekend

My twenty year high school reunion was last weekend. I laughed at the people I actually stayed in touch with because they were going, and made fun of them right to them. Because...honesty.



You were all thinking this. I'm just actually saying it---

1- The reunion took place the week of Thanksgiving. How many out-of-towners are going to be able to get to the venue and still get to their destination for the holiday? $$$

2- Um, the reunion was at a bar. One that couldn't accommodate the number of people who actually showed up. Half of you that did actually make it have been complaining about it ever since on social media.

3- Back to the bar...Didn't we do that in our twenties? We're pushing forty here folks. Nobody wants to see that shit go down.

4- I couldn't stand 95% of you when I was in high school. So...how about you put alcohol in my system and have me go over the reasons why?

5- Most of you showed up to play up your fancy lifestyle and platinum blonde highlights and the fact that you walk like an ostrich in those stilettos you never quite figured out. Your life isn't all roses honey-pie. You're hiding in the bathroom like most of us, popping some Xanax to make it through dinnertime.

6- Our rivaling high schools merged. We were the first graduating class of the new school. You didn't know three quarters of the people at the bar, right?

7- Why wasn't this planned at a location we're all familiar with, like say...Holmdel Park. That placed rocked most of our worlds back in the day. We could have, I don't know, brought our families and had a pot luck. Not during the holiday season. And hey, if shit's going well...we could arrange for someone to watch the kids after and meet up for a drink.

8- Stop trying to friend me on Facebook because it's our twentieth high school reunion. See #4 above.

9- Stop "following" me on Facebook because it's our twentieth high school reunion when I denied your friend request. Stalker. See #8 above.

10- Who married a sugar daddy? Who looks like they could use a hamburger? Who looks and acts more fake than they did twenty years ago? That's why you went.

11- Reminiscing about the people who have passed on. You probably only knew he or she in passing so stop trying to act like this was your best friend forever.

12- Cliques. You were in one back then and by the looks of it, you're still in the same circle. Don't. Just...don't.

I'm sorry, do I sound bitter? I left high school for so many reasons and finished at night.

Some have the time of their lives during high school. I tip my hat to you.

I'll keep in touch with the people keeping it real to this day. The people who aren't fake. The people whose attitudes haven't changed by any measure.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Photo Confessional -- The Shirt

I was rummaging through my drawers this morning trying to find something comfortable to wear. I was on my way to do some shopping. Retail therapy actually.

Then I came across it. That shirt. That shirt I practically lived in that time I was in the hospital.

It's sort of white with blueish stripes. It feels like a bed sheet and hugs my skin with its soft fabric. It has a hood I can pull on when I want to hide from the general public further. The front pouch pocket is slightly off kilter. Whoever put the thread in the panels to create a piece of clothing didn't put a lot of love and care into it.


But I love it.

The memories though, I don't care for as much.

- checking in - not knowing I couldn't check out at my leisure - explaining why I was there - turning in my shoe laces - meeting my roommate - standing in line for medication - group therapy - meeting the staff psychiatrist - having to sleep in the main room one night for suicide watch - stalking the psychiatrist who wouldn't sign my release papers - screaming at him at the top of my voice - being calmed down by a true friend I met on the inside so I wouldn't be put in solitary - ECT - the food - getting to sleep the day away if I chose - telling everyone what they wanted to hear so I could go home - being thrown back into the real world with no preparation - craving to claw my way back to the place I wanted out of so bad because it was so much easier than real life -

I've been doing my best not to reopen old wounds on my body. I've allowed myself to do it but not nearly as much. Sometimes I just like to rub the tips of my fingers over the marks then try like hell to leave it alone.

I failed at this today. I failed at it miserably.

One look in the mirror before getting into the shower and I just lost it.

What the fuck have I done?

Again?

I'm $350 lighter and the retail therapy didn't help. Like at all.

The heaviness of the day was getting to me. It got heavier by the minute. I kept going through the motions that is Saturday but it felt like I was standing still.

I cut through it eventually. In the literal sense.

I cut right fucking through.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hypomania -- Feeling everything all at once yet not feeling at all

I've feared it.

Coming back here again.

The anger.

The boredom.

The want of things I cannot have.

Blood under fingernails because I can't stop it.

Lips torn apart because I can't just leave it alone.

No rest unless under the spell of a pill.

Cannot sit still.

Thoughts constantly wandering.

Out of focus.

I am lost.

**

Hypomania feels like...

Friday, November 20, 2015

My Cars Will Never Be Safe as Long as Other Drivers Exist

Today is the suck.

I woke up with a heavy feeling and didn't feel like going through the motions to make myself socially presentable, but I did it anyway.

I've owned a handful of cars in my lifetime. Each of them has taken a beating from other drivers. I've never been in an accident that was my fault. To this day, whenever I come to a stop, I keep my eyes on the rear-view mirror because I just know I'll be rear-ended. Again. I'm a magnet for it. I'm very cautious when it comes to all of the drivers around me. Especially when the snow begins to fall. Especially when my child(ren) are in the car.

Today's accident was quite special...

I was parked on the street outside of my son's school. I park there everyday and walk him to his line, give him hugs and smooches, and get on with the daily grind. This morning there was an SUV (don't get me started on how much I hate not being able to see around SUVs for oncoming traffic) parked rather funny. The ass-end of her car was out in the street. I parked about 20 feet away from her and put my car in park. Then her reverse lights came on and I knew it would end badly. She pressed her gas pedal to the floor and backed up...right into my fucking car. I put my car in reverse as soon as I noticed she wasn't stopping but it was too late.

I turned around to make sure my son was okay and waited for her to get out of her car. When she wasn't moving, I got my son out and shooed him on his way to his line when she finally got out. I'll admit I was not a polite person.

She didn't even look before she slammed into me. Who does that?

She came toward me saying sorry...sorry...sorry in her thick accent. I asked her if she called the police yet and she begged me not to call.

"My husband," she cried.

I didn't give a fuck about her illegal in this country husband, I wanted my car fixed. I wanted her insurance info. I wanted to get this day over with before it fucking started.

(By the way...it must be pretty fucking stressful to live in a country illegally when all you're doing is worrying that you'll get caught.)

I got what I needed, talked to the police, filed the proper reports, spoke to her insurance agency...all before 9am.

I'm mad. I'm upset. I'm tired. I want to fucking give up.

Does anything good come my way anymore?

Did it ever?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fear - A Poem

The stained floor;

it continues to bleed no matter how hard I scrub.


It lives.


It thrives.


The blood on my knuckles weaves within it.


A constant reminder


that you'll always come back to haunt me. 




***

This is an original piece from 2013. I thought it was lost forever. Once lost, now recovered and republished.


***


Write a blog post inspired by the word: stain


Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Some Need a Cigarette -- I Need Doughnuts

I never arrive more than 5 minutes early for my appointments with Jack. I always get his first of the day and he is always late. But he's Jack so that's allowed.

Would I be scolded today or high-fived? I am not one to high-five anyone but that would be a real treat, coming from him.

Today as we were walking down the long hallway to his office, I told him that I refer to him as Jack Nicholson and he laughed.

"We're from the same part of town!"

Who knew?

In his office I complimented him on the new couch. It was red and homier. The pillows were a nice touch. The same ratty blanket lay draped over one arm. I always wonder if anyone actually uses it.

He took his seat across from me, crossed  his legs, and smoothed back his hair. I took notice of the crumb on his shirt. It looked like he was eating a glazed doughnut for breakfast on his way up to the 10th floor and part of it was sticking around. It was hard to look away.

We went over logistics. It's been about 7 weeks since my last appointment.

We talked about the headaches I was getting when we reduced my medication dose a few weeks ago. The conclusion is that more than likely, the headaches have been caused by situational bullshit and let's go ahead and tap that dose back up. Take it from there.

"How's the depression?"

"Comes and goes. Depends on the day."

"More of the bullshit then probably."

"Yep."

I caught him up on the latest happenings. Happenings I haven't shared here. Happenings at home that are not happy at the moment.

"Sounds like you're doing the right thing."

And I needed that. I needed to hear it from him in his raspy toned voice. It justified everything.

A knock came to the door while we were talking, which never happens. One of the other patients was having a seizure.

That's where we ended today, and I'm okay with that.

For some reason, I was craving doughnuts afterward...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

His One & Only

Photo Credit: Carmen's Psychic Donut

The tree limbs were in that conscious divide, part of the way dying and part of the way springing back to life. It overlooked the once busy lake. At one time it housed children swimming within its shallows and fishing poles hanging where the water deepened.

Once a happy place of wonder and joy; now full of sorrow and angst. What appeared punched with blue now cropped into an abyss. Black and without feeling.  

The house backed up to the reservoir where it always smelled like Thanksgiving. Perfect meals and baked goods formerly prepared without flaw. Now it stands as an empty birdcage. The house that no longer held onto relationships anew. It withered and dwindled into nothingness. Thoughts long forgotten. Memories shaded.

His love was lost. When she vanished, out went the smells and tastes and colors. She who created what once was. His cares were abandoned.

His once smooth exterior was now wrinkled and pining for the care of a woman. He was lost and aging. 

Almost gone.

Waiting.

Just waiting.

To join her again.

Black and white.

© 2013 Pamela Gold

Monday, November 16, 2015

This is Why I Should Never Leave My House

There are a few things totally unrelated to mental health in any way that I need to get off my chest.

Keep up.

If I'm in my car in a parking lot waiting for your ass to get across the street so I can move on with my day, walk across the damn street. Focus. Do the hustle. Don't do it diagonally because it will take you twice as long. Move your ass in a straight line. It's not my fucking problem if you forgot where you parked or you're balancing your five kids, talking on the phone, looking for your car, and can't find your keys all at once. That's not multitasking asshole. It's a hot mess. And you're probably not even hot.

On to the second scenario...


I'm out shopping. Probably for groceries because I'm not your typical girl. I buy my clothes/shoes/underwear/makeup online because I can't handle the pressure in person. I'm standing in the aisle with all the crackers trying to decide if today's the day I'll branch out and try flavored Wheat Thins or go with the usual (always the latter). Then you bring your ass and stop right in front of me to pick out some strange flavored goldfish that shouldn't have been created in the first place. And I'm all...Oh, I'll just wait. Not a problem. Take your fucking time. 

This is why one day I'm going to branch out and pay a motherfucker to do my shopping for me.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Filter for My Mouth? But I'm a Constant Fucking Delight!

I grew up in a household of nine people and one bathroom. If something was happening that you didn't like, you had to speak up or forever hold your peace. So, we spoke our minds.

If someone was taking too long in the bathroom, overextending their stay, you got yourself a knife, picked the lock, and clawed your way into that bathroom because...My turn!

I grew up in the 'burbs of New Jersey. We had Sunday dinner every week. I was the youngest. We were a nice group but we didn't hold back.

"I said pass the fucking butter!" (Did you read that with a New Jersey accent?)

No seriously, sometimes it was like that.

I'm a pretty open person. I'm brutally honest. I'm always raw.

Don't come to me asking my opinion if you can't handle the shit that comes out of my mouth next. I'll kick your ass into next Wednesday. But at the end of the conversation, after I explain it to you (and occasionally lick your tears), you end up with complete understanding and thank me for my brutality.

Recently, I was told that I was fake. It stuck with me. How could that even be possible? How could anyone actually think that when I've always told it like it is? Then it occurred to me...some people just can't handle my personality and they're defensive in order to cope with it.

Then why are you my friend?

Why do you want to be in my life?

You can't want my honesty one minute then ask me to tone it down the next. It doesn't work that way.

I've come to realize that not everyone was brought up to say what their feeling. Some have even been taught not to. They had to keep it to themselves and so today, as an adult, life is pretty fucking hard for them. It's hard to unlearn what you were taught while growing up.

If you follow me on social media you know that I have a twisted sense of humor. Some of what I post may make you cringe. Then you take it in and you nod your head in agreement. You get it. It may take you some time, but you get it. Then you sit back and wish you could hit that share button but you're too concerned about what others will think of you. My own mother follows me. I do not filter.

I get emails every day. Every day. From people thanking me for putting myself out there and for being real. Some of what I say on this site needs to be said because there are so many people huddled in a corner of their house wishing they could say it themselves.

Thank you for making me feel like I'm not alone.

Thank you for putting yourself out there because it makes me feel less paranoid. 

Just...thank you.

Do me a solid, okay? If you see me promoting a post with a hashtag that makes you wonder what state of mind I'm in, click the fucking link. More often than not there's an undisclosed disclosure letting you know to put your ass back in your seat because that's not the point I'm making today. Read the fucking essay. Read because knowledge is power and sometimes when you read from someone else's perspective, you realize that's been your perspective all along. You just didn't know how to put it into a sentence.

#Suicide doesn't mean I'm lacing the noose.

It means that's the topic for today and pull up a chair because you're about to learn about it in a whole new light.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pages that Turn - The Grownup

Today was one of those days where strolling through the book section at Target was high on my list. Sometimes when you don't know what you're looking for and you enter a large chain bookstore, it can drive you into a frenzy. I like stores with smaller selections because in that moment, they carry most of the you must read this today titles.

I love Gillian Flynn. I even reviewed an advanced copy of Gone Girl before it became huge. Dark Places is good. Sharp Objects is even better.

I've been wanting to get my hands on The Grownup for a while now and even though it's a short story, I knew I wanted to hold the book in my hand when I read all its pages. I'm an avid Kindle user but some books are meant to be smelled, felt, smudged, and have real pages that turn. 

I won't say too much about the book because it's a short one. I will say this...any book that begins with talking about giving hand jobs for more than a paragraph and ends with fear of the unknown is my kind of book.

A must read.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Photo Confessional - The Journey

My son, who is a junior in high school, goes to school in another town than we live in. Every Friday, I drive the whole five miles from work to pick him up in downtown Denver. Every fucking Friday, ten more minutes gets tacked onto the drive. It basically takes me forty-five minutes to pick him up. 

Therefore, I have to self-entertain or I will go bat-shit-fucking-crazy.

When he finally got into the car today I was bored out of my fucking mind. 

I put on my playlist labeled "Awesome Shit" and off we went. Another half hour minimum.

I usually take in the scene of Denver and all of its assholery along the way. As the dark began to hang heavy in the air, I snapped a photo of these two crazies doing a dance. At least they were having fun. 


Then Adele came on and I whipped my hair up high and started to serenade the boy. He wasn't amused but the drivers in cars opposite me totally were.


We made it a few more miles, through the tunnel (for which I yell TUNNEL every fucking time we ride through) and once again, another red light. We caught every light in the city today. Finally I told my kid (who is about to take his driver's test) that we were going to play traffic light suicide because....why the fuck is this taking so long - - there's wine to be had! He was dumbfounded until I explained that it meant I wouldn't be stopping for anymore red lights. Because...life lessons.

"Pretend they're green because that's what I'm gonna do!" 

He was petrified. 

Then Journey came on and I'm all...Remember when we used to sing this together? And again, he was not amused. Sixteen year old boys are assholes. So I reminded him how fucking fun I am...He won't stop believing anytime soon, y'all. 

As we pulled into home (goddamn finally) nothing other than One Direction came on and I was all....That's what makes you beautiful! I couldn't understand why all the neighbors were staring but then, oh yeah, the windows are up and they can still hear me.

We got out of the car and the kid took all of the junk mail to the dumpster. On his way back, while some folks were walking their dogs, I yelled to him. You know, to see if he wanted me to sing further. I bet you can guess the answer was no. It's always no with him. 

This friends, is what makes parenting worth while.

You're welcome!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sometimes I'm Terrified

I'm about to get all dark on your ass. Why? Because I'll always tell you like it is. I'll never tell you what you want to hear because it's the nice thing to do. Being nice isn't always the right thing to do.

There's a lot of things about being bipolar that I despise, but do you know what I hate most? Well pull up a fucking chair my pretties...

It's the idea that my life is in my own hands at all times.

What does this mean?

It means when shit gets so low, not necessarily rock-bottom low but low nonetheless, I have the means to pull the plug.

I'm not suicidal (today) so sit your ass back down. I'm simply making a point. We all think it, invisible illness or not. Fading away is all too easy.

When you have a mental illness, in my case, bipolar disorder...there's a constant hovering thought about how I can take myself out should I decide to do so. It's a darkness I didn't choose to live with. It's just reality.

Being back on medication was fucktacular at first. I was borderline (hypo)manic and enjoying every second. Now that I've been on it for about two months things are winding down. My head is throbbing. I'm tired--So fucking tired. I'm ready for bed by 7pm most nights. I'm in a bad mood. I don't care about too much at the moment.

Yesterday, due to circumstances at home, I was ready to go back to self-harming. I still self-harm by scratching but I wanted to cut. I wanted a release like no other. I resorted to hiding in the bathroom and crying like a little bitch. I didn't reach out to my usual crew of people. I kept to myself and by the time the day was through, I was overwhelmed and filled with panic and fear.

Lately I've been having a different type of intrusive thought. One that I won't go into today. It's one I haven't dealt with before. Jack asked me about it at my initial consultation but I brushed it off. So why is it suddenly surfacing now? More on that later. Maybe.

In less than one week I'll be sitting on that couch again and doses will be adjusted, I'm sure.

I cannot fall down again because every fucking time I fall, getting back up seems impossible. These days I'm on my own because I don't want to share my thoughts with anyone close to me. I don't want to scare these innocent ears.

I don't want to hear how it will all be okay. How it'll work out in the end.

Because really...will it?


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

PTSD & Postpartum Depression -- Hand in Hand

I headed down the three flights of stairs from my apartment to the exit door in a hurry. The coffee in my travel cup was sloshing up the sides and spraying onto my coat. I pushed the heavy door open and could see my breath in an instant. I panted heavily. Snow was falling all around me. I looked toward the sky and allowed the flakes to cleanse me on the outside. After a few moments, I headed to the car to start my day.

I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of suffering from postpartum depression (PPD) in 2009.

My son is now six years old.

When he was a baby, I couldn't be without him. It stressed me to be away from him to the point of having visions of him dying in some way. Even when I was with him, I would hover so closely because the thought that someone would kidnap him was too much to think about. It was easier to just stay home.

Sometimes during bath time, I could see him drowning. Not by my own hand, but slipping beneath the water and not being able to save him.

The visions always have me running in slow motion to save my son from harm but I'm always too late. He always takes his final breath and I'm left holding his lifeless body in my arms, ready to go with him.

The worst was having to leave him to return to work when he was two months old. I cried every morning. Shoulder shaking, wretched sobs. I was put on medication immediately.

The problem I'm having today is that my son is sick. When he gets sick, my mind instantly shifts to thoughts that he isn't going to make it. He won't pull through and he will die.

It started with a fever and a sore throat, then moved into a cough. He started coughing up some chunks yesterday and we were told the virus is shifting out of his system when this happens. He's little and doesn't always know what to do so he swallows most of it. This leads to vomiting pure mucous, another way the body is ridding of the virus.

It scares me.

All of it.

He drank some water after another round of dry heaving this morning and went back to bed.

I can't be with him at home right now due to work obligations and that's okay. He's being cared for.

The visions won't stop and my mind is definitely at home. With him.

For piece of mind, I'll probably have him seen at the local Children's Hospital today.

Postpartum depression is still a huge part of my life. It will never fade away even though I have a new diagnosis due to never fully healing from PPD.

There are many symptoms of PPD and you shouldn't feel ashamed to get help. This is always easier said than done. It's important for you and your health and the health of your baby. While PPD seems to exist deep in your bones for the rest of your life due to things that may have occurred while you were suffering, knowing that you got the help you deserve in the end can help others by keeping them informed.

I know my little boy is going to be okay.

I'm going to be okay too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I'll Take Social Anxiety with a Side of Humor

Do you avoid social situations because you're not sure what's going to happen? I tend to plan ahead and unfold how the event will go in my head, step by step, to avoid a complete panic attack. This always leads to further anxiety when the plan on which I intended shifts on itself and blows up in my face.

The minute I see two people having a conversation...they're talking about me.

The minute someone smiles at me from afar...what's that bitch thinking?

The minute someone looks at me strange (to me)...I don't fit in here.

I tend to use humor or say inappropriate things to make myself feel less tense. I could be in the middle of a normal conversation, and out of nowhere, "You know, you're mom is a whore, right?"

Seriously. It's my defense mechanism. Usually it makes people go away and I get to stay in my safe little bubble until I can hightail it on out of there and get back home.

I don't want to be this person. I want to interact with people my own age. I just don't know how. I have no filter.

Now kids? They get me. I can say dumb shit to them all the day long and they look at me with blank stares and let out huge laughs. Those are my people.

At my son's last parent/teacher conference I was all, "Yo mama so dumb, she got locked in a grocery store and starved!"

That one got a laugh.

Well I laughed.

This is by no means a guide to tell you how to overcome your social anxiety. I tend to turn to alcohol and bad jokes. Or just stay home. See above.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Depression is a Lying Bastard

Depression is filled with lies and ugly underlying issues.

It hovers over you whispering sweet nothings into your ear...You stupid bitch! What are you doing with your life? You're nothing and you'll never amount to anything. 

I'd tell it to fuck off on a normal day but depression tricks you into thinking the lies are the truth.

Depression not only gets into your own head, but the heads of others. The people in your life get a little gust of wind blown at them and start saying things to you that you're already thinking and make you feel even worse about yourself.

Don't you think this is bad timing? Oh! This isn't a convenient time for YOU to turn MY LIFE upside down? The fuck was I thinking?

Someone told me this weekend that my headaches probably aren't related to my medication dose, which is minuscule. Migraine medication (even though I don't suffer from migraines) didn't touch the surface. Alcohol numbed it a little. My headache is the result of the bullshit happening in my life right now and the people who are making me feel like garbage in the process for following through with my actions.

I just want to be happy.

I want help.

I want my problems to be someone else's problems.

I want to smile and fucking mean it.

I want to tell you I'm Fine and feel it.

I want to build a fucking blanket fort in my living room and watch movies with my kids and spill popcorn all over the floor and not have it be a problem.

I want more.

I fucking deserve more.

Depression is a lying bastard.




Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Aftermath -- Are the Kids Okay?

I don't know too many people who come from a home where their birth parents are still going strong.

Choices get made, someone is unhappy (or everyone), and life moves in a different direction.

I'm asking you, if you've been is this position, how it effected you and your kids in the long run?

Last night was a glimpse into my future.

The quiet that came with it was piercingly loud, but tranquil. Necessary.

It's difficult to make the decision, even when you've known it to be the right decision for a long time.

Someone always gets hurt.

The future holds answers to so many questions. I wish I could know the answers ahead of time.



Saturday, November 7, 2015

Photo Confessional



This is how my week ended.

Jack got back to me. He decreased my dose on my medication in hopes to cure the headaches.

That is all.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Yet Another Heap of Bullshit

I've left word with Jack.

Say it ain't so, right?

Headache city and I cannot deal with the throbbing any longer.

Is it due to the leap in my medication? It was done slowly and by the book. I felt high on life for the first week or two and then this headache hit and I can't kick it.

I'm drinking a lot of water, taking ibuprofen, caffeine intake is steady...nothing out of the ordinary is going on other than situational bullshit and the possibility that my medication is causing this. FUCK!

Does it have something to do with my lady garden? Being a girl sucks. I had to whip out the heating pad last night. It's been years since I've had to do that.

I have an ear infection but not like a real infection...just extra fluid in there. I'm taking some allergy medicine, per my PCP, to clear things up.

I just got my thyroid retested and it's at a steady level.

I have a fucking cold sore. Tea tree oil to the rescue.

You visit your kid's school for one little Halloween parade and you come out with the plague. No really, I've consulted with Dr. Google and I'm dying. Again.

So you see? Situational bullshit upon another heap of bullshit.

It is what it is and all that.

To be continued...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Good Ole White Stuff

Snow.

Doesn't it seem like one minute you're frolicking around in your cute open-toe shoes and the next you're sporting boots and a scarf? Don't get me wrong...the boots and scarves are my thang.

Then the social media bitching and complaining starts. In the Summer everyone is sweating buckets. In the Winter everyone is sick of snow.

I get that cleaning off your car and facing the world on the road is a fuck fest because...other drivers, but have you ever stopped for a moment to take it all in?

Snow is peaceful. Everything that was loud once before is silenced. (It's Science.)




It's cleansing.

It's beautiful.

It's unique.

I woke up to a light dusting of the white stuff this morning. I opened up the balcony door and could instantly see my breath. It was falling around me and all was okay in my life right at that very moment. My mind was cleared and nothing seemed to matter except what was happening that very minute.

The first snowfall pauses time.

It can make you forget that your invisible illness still exists.

It can take the throbbing headache away that you've been dealing with, seemingly for weeks.

The tension you've been carrying on your shoulders lightens just enough to relax.

The break was appreciated.

Full Disclosure: Of course in Denver it'll snow in May any by then, bitching about it on social media is completely acceptable. 


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Confidence -- Something I Lack


I wanted to remain anonymous here when I first started sharing my stories again. Today I say fuck that. 

I put out a little piece of myself over Halloween weekend and decided to share it with a larger audience because I'm proud of it. Proud of myself for stepping it up and saying I do matter...





Among the obvious reasons why today is my favorite day of the year (horror, decor, horror, gore, horror), it's the one day of the year you're not ridiculed for being something you're not. While I don't have a costume, today I choose to be someone else. A confident woman. Something I definitely am not, and if you disagree, it just goes to show how well I play off my mental illness and how flawless I can be in faking it for others. It's all for you to think I'm okay, even when I am not. Being bipolar is a curse but sometimes it's awesome in that my creativity shines through. It's Halloween bitches. Celebrate it in your own way.


Monday, November 2, 2015

You're Not the Only One Who Matters

At approximately 1:30am this morning, I was woken up with sobs so strong, it shook my body down to my last nerve. I had to stay awake for some time before I could face whatever lurked behind my eyelids.

I wrote it out. 

Today I have an overwhelming sense of anger. It's not because of my father. It's about how I've lived my life.

I think I've always tried to keep everyone else tucked under the blanket; all warm and safe as much as possible while I stood by with such strong emotions just blowing in the breeze. I've always felt like I don't matter as much as those who exist around me.

I keep to myself, mostly. (I write because it's how I express myself to the best of my ability and to encourage others in knowing they're not alone.) I hold in so much anxiety and heavy thoughts to the point of explosion and that's when others feel my wrath. I don't apologize for that. They shouldn't get off so easy. They shouldn't have to be told when to come around and when to back off.

I've been walking through a giant pile of shit for about seven years. I've been told that I've been on the edge of living this life and why haven't you just done away with yourself already? I've gotten help. I've taken medication. I went medication free. I chose to support my family the best I could when I couldn't afford insurance to keep myself well. And if these were wrong choices, in your opinion, it doesn't make them the wrong choices for me.

I've done a hell of a lot to keep going. Does that part even matter? Does anyone ever point that part out? Not really. Most hold onto the negative. The times I was hospitalized. The time I may have gone psychotic brought on by the wrong medications. The time I was admitted to the hospital for shock therapy. The time I was Baker Acted. All of this? I did to recover.

When are people going to notice that instead of dwelling on the why of it all? Just because I have a mental illness doesn't mean I can't function in society. Have you ever read the actual statistics of the prevalence of mental illness in the United States?  Fuck you if you have an opinion without knowing the facts, asshole.

I feel so stuck. So fucking empty. So goddamn alone.

I've had plans for myself but have been told that I need to rearrange those plans because it effects others too greatly.

When do I get to start living the life I deserve?

When can I learn to let go?

When is time going to stop standing still for me and free me from the inside?

When is going through the motions of everyday life going to make me happy instead of feeling full of dread and remorse?

When?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

An Unforgettable Father

The nightmares have calmed some over the past 20 years, but tonight's had all the feelings come crawling back; down on its hands and knees begging me not to forget.

As if I ever could.

You're my father. You raised me. I will never let you go.

Events took place that lead up to your death and I'm sorry for that. I was a teenager who just had a baby, when I was still just a baby myself.

You grew sick.

Sicker than anyone anticipated.

I'll always regret not visiting you more than once during the time you were hospitalized.

Who would have ever thought you weren't going to walk out of there?

Somehow you always made it through. You were always you. Always kept going no matter the situation you were dealt. And man, were you ever dealt a shitty hand.

We'd been through years of tough times, our blended families that were never meant to become one.

In the end though, my memories of you will never fade. They're such positive recollections. I don't ever sit here and dwell on the shit you and my mother went through. You both had just suffered terrible losses in your lives and looked to each other for comfort in all the wrong places.

Nothing but good prevails in my memory of you...

The birthday barbecues, Sunday dinners, peaking under my bedroom door to look for the light on in the dining room that signaled you were home from (night-shift) work, learning how to bake and decorate cakes...remember how mad you would get when you couldn't get the roses to come off that damn pin the right way so they would lay properly on top of the buttercream frosting you brought home? I can still hear you cursing at it and to this day. You and your stubbornness not giving up until you perfected at least one. Man you made me laugh.

You were the world's greatest pizza maker. I remember taking the mozzarella and hiding from you so I could snack on half of it. Somehow you managed to make sure the pizza still turned out perfectly.

To this day, I can't replicate your Sunday sauce. I'm a damn good cook but some things shouldn't be replicated, I guess. Remember that time you were layering your lasagna on Christmas morning. You were burning the hell out of your hands on the hot pasta and layering away. I looked on in envy. We snacked on the ground beef and sausage when nobody was looking. You were so proud of your creation and then my smart-ass pointed to the bowl of ricotta wondering if you were supposed to use it. You were mad at first, having to take the whole thing apart and start again. I managed to make you smile anyway, by taking a handful of that freshly shredded mozz and shoving it in my mouth.

I'll never forget you.

My sons never get tired of hearing the same stories year after year.

Please stop haunting me this way though. It's so difficult to recover from as I get older. It's 1:30 in the morning and I'm having trouble letting it go this time.

I'm sorry if I failed you by not coming back to see you. I'm sorry I didn't help you get up and walk out of the hospital the night I did come, when you mouthed Help Me and I couldn't. You needed to heal. You needed to get out of there and be my dad and a grandfather to my newborn son.

My kids will never know the feeling of being woken at 4 in the morning to be dragged out for a day of fishing and crabbing. Each of us taking turns pulling that giant channel net into the water to catch as many critters as possible while the rest of us were parked up on the beach getting the shit bit out of us by horseflies.

They'll still know you though because of my memories.

I'll never stop telling your stories.