For those that might be like me, new to the positive thinking/meditation world I thought I would share my list. In difficult times it’s really hard to remember the good to empower you to think positive so I made a list to read. I have a list of positive affirmations. As time goes by I plan to keep adding to this list to better my thinking and life. If you need to start small and add to your list over time just take that first step. Just get something written down to get started. My goal for positive thinking is to go over my list multiple times, at the beginning and end of my day. Reading it over and over until I believe it. Here’s my list. I hope it helps.
Believe in your Internal Peace
Believe in Yourself
Believe in Your Power
Never Give Up
Be True To Yourself
There’s Always Hope
I Am Worthy
I Control My Thoughts!!!!!!
My Past Does Not Control Me!!!!!
This is just the beginning. I hope to expand on my list and continue to work hard to make this a new habit and lifestyle change. I’m hopeful this is the new me.
It’s been a rather dark couple of months and it’s wearing me down. As much as people may not understand it’s true that being depressed is exhausting. I could have a day of doing nothing but when night falls I feel like I worked all day to just keep myself alive. But I’m starting to feel strong. Strong enough to fight against the darkness and turn the tide on this cycle. I have an amazingly positive and intuitive sister-in-law and listening to how she handles herself and her thoughts has inspired me to make changes that might help me see things differently. I’m not a religious person but that doesn’t mean I’m not spiritual. I believe in kindness and whatever you put out into the world or what you put in a relationship you’ll receive in return. Obviously the negativity that comes along with mental illness is hard to fight against but I’m starting to believe that it’s possible. Our brain is so impressive. All that it is capable of if your willing to exercise that organ in a positive way. I’ve chosen to try my hardness to change my brain and it’s pattern. I’ve started to encourage myself to see the positive in everything even if it’s the tiniest thing. I also started to meditate, I’m not entirely sure that’s what I can call it because I’ve never researched it, but I’ve started to do some positive self talk in the quiet moments of my days to reaffirm the good in life and the good in Me. Yes, I’m not perfect and Yes I have a mental illness but that doesn’t lessen me as a human being with feelings, hopes and dreams. This is a very new change so I’m not sure how it’s gonna go but I’m gonna try my hardest to make it part of my daily life. Maybe one day down the road I could successfully retrained my brain allowing me to live a more peaceful life. I can’t cure my Bipolar but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna allow it to control me.
In turn this could do amazing things for the people around me. Especially around my boys. It’s important that our kids see a good example in their life when it comes to handling struggles with a positive outlook. I’m really feeling good about this change but know that it’ll take time and dedication, and if I stumble I’ll just get back up and keep moving in a positive direction. I can only control myself and I chose to do a better job at that!!!!
I had a feeling that The Darkness was going to settle in. I’ve been dealing with a lot of stressful situations which bring on the flare ups of my Bipolar. With that has come deep depression and anxiety. At first it started as a feeling of being blah and week after week it got worse and worse. Now The Darkness has settled in and I’m struggling to see clear and cope with every day life. Luckily with lots of practice I try to suffer in private and keep my boys childhood happy and loving. The last thing I would want to do is ruin my kids by letting them see the damage that is truly going on inside of me. Inside my mind. Inside my body. It’s been said that stress increases your chances of having Bipolar flare ups. Unfortunately for everyone, life is full of stress. It’s not something you can get away from. But of course there are ways to eliminate or lessen your stress level and the people around you are a big influence but that’s in their hands. I can’t force people to do what’s best for me so that I can live the best life I could unless I dismiss their presence to help my mental health. I don’t need or want additional, unnecessary drama in my life that could simply be resolved and move forward. With that being said I need to think of myself and not feel guilty about it. Because at this point with the level of stress I’m experiencing I can’t stand living a life-like this. I can’t find my happiness. The only thing that puts a smile on my face and a sparkle in my eyes are the two boys that give me a reason to live and to push myself. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be alive today, and I mean that!! The Darkness is hard right now that I’ve thought about taking my life, but let’s be clear, I’ve thought about it but don’t have a plan. I just day-dream about what it would be like to feel at peace and not feel like a tortured soul twisting about in mental distress. I woke up three times last night having a panic attacks. I woke up feeling this pressure in my chest, my heart pounding so hard I could feel it in my brain, grasping for breath, my arms and legs thrashing about and feeling disoriented. I forgot the stock up on my anti anxiety med in my night stand so I had to stumble down the stairs and locate my medicine. Putting it under my tongue tastes terrible but it’s the fastest way into my blood stream. I laid on the kitchen floor waiting for the relief to come. Sometimes I just fall sleep where ever I landed but I went straight to bed before the medicine made it too difficult to get up the stairs. Having three panic attacks in one night was terribly difficult so I’m feeling utterly drained today. On the other hand I’ve thought about cutting too. But instead I run my finger along my scars and remember the feeling, the pain, the thick red blood that came dripping out of my body. This seems to satisfy my desire for now but I’m afraid that I might not be able to stop myself if The Darkness continues.
The only reason I’m sharing all this private information in this forum is not to only help myself cope with what is happening to me and that it’s a life sentence to be Bipolar but my greatest goal is to help other that struggle with these same symptoms and feel alone. Your Not Alone. We are here. We are part of our society. We live among you and we can help each other to try to fight this torturous condition and live the best life possible. I’d also like to bring awareness to others that are in the dark about this condition. Too often I hear jokes made about people and the mentally ill. It’s not right and a lot of it is due to their ignorance on the subject. And don’t get me started on the opinion that just because someone who suffered from a mental illness and went on a violent rampage doesn’t mean that everyone with a mental illness is a ticking time bomb of violence.
It’s been way too long since I wrote and I’ve missed it. Which made me look within myself and ask, “Why haven’t you written? What are you feeling? That’s what made me realize that I need to write even though I’m struggling in so many ways, from multiple directions. I’m naturally a sensitive, caring , people pleasing, nurturer and you add that with my Bipolar disorder and it can become the perfect storm. I also believe that my history contributes to my sensitivity of what people think and how that reflects my past questioning of being lovable. I can’t say for certain that this is related to my Bipolar because I can only speak to how I feel but for some reason it seems that I feel things deeper, stronger and more painfully to fix it or believe that I’m never good enough and I can’t make people happy.
I’ve been married for 12 years and have two amazing boys. Due to my husbands physical disability the decision had to be made that I stay home with our kids. This was a hard decision because I was just out of nursing school and I had hardly dipped my toe in the profession. But sacrifices had to be made. I just didn’t realize what the effect of this decision would do to me. I gave it my all as a stay at home mom even when I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed but I knew that these little ones needed me and I had to push past my Bipolar and care for them. In many ways I felt the need to over compensate as a mother because of the abuse I experienced as a child. I COULDN’T let that happen to my boys and I certainly wasn’t going to visit my disorder on them, so it was my job to be the very best mother I could be and do my very best to struggle in private. As the years went by I lived this life, I sacrificed and I carried the load of our family all the while hold back the symptoms of my Bipolar to the best of my ability. Which brings me to the struggles I’m having as a wife, mother and individual. Unfortunately like most couples in the world my husband and I faced our ups and downs but when you put our personal struggles into the equation we’ve failed to maintain our marriage. The weight I struggled to carry for this family and my husbands neglect to contribute more created a consistent deterioration. Now we face the uphill battle of trying to repair the damage if at all possible and start over, learning who we are and what it means to be spouses to one another. To top it off this is the first school year that my boys are both in school full day. This has been crushing to my purpose in life. It’s a great thing that there healthy, happy and confident enough to be successful in school and I try to remember that I helped in that process but now there just a sense of emptiness. But little do they know that their mother struggles with the fear of them going out into the world and being victimized because that seed has been planned into my mind since my abuse. The noise is gone in the house and the busy work of keeping them entertained and feed are missing during my days. I guess for some moms this is a great opportunity to do busy work, volunteer or just enjoy the fruits of your labor during this down time, but for me, the nurturer that will care for every single person in my life but not myself is deafening and proving to be extremely difficult. I feel lost. I just don’t know what to do. I think and think, trying to find that path for me and it just doesn’t come. I just don’t know what to do and how to process this big change in my life.
I’ve also been struggling with individuals and family members in my life that leave me scratching my head. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not what they want me to be but it feels like one personal attack after another which really confuses me because I’m a people pleaser and want others to like me so why would I hurt people? I am who I am and I wish it was clear to me what I’ve done so wrong to have multiple people attack me and make claims that are unexplained. It makes me sick to my stomach really. If these individuals can express themselves so that the issue can be clear and hopefully solved then I’m left to let the hamster spin on the wheel in my head, torturing myself. But I refuse to be blamed for other people’s actions or misinterpretation. It’s hard to allow these people into my life because they have the power to spin things out of control for me. Questioning my ability to trust them enough to have a healthy relationship. I can’t handle the unknown or the inability to read peoples mind because they don’t want to address the issue.
With all that said, all these struggles trigger most often a depressive state which scares me the most. It hurts my heart when things are uncertain or I feel like people are holding things over my head. This pile of struggles seem to be impossible to climb out of. There’s so much turmoil in my life that it’s no wonder each day has been almost impossible to bare. No wonder I’ve fallen into a depressive state and haven’t written in so long. One thing I know for sure, I’m nowhere near where I want to be in my life and can only hope I can somehow pull myself out of this depression with all this crap piling up around me.
When I was diagnosed with Bipolar there were all these terms thrown at me and I could barely understand what was going on and how it applied to me. It was overwhelming and I think that’s why it was easier for me to shut down and stay in denial. I don’t know exactly when it happened but I know that I started to accept my diagnosis as being true when I was able to identify these symptoms and sometimes even predict them in my daily life. Till this day I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse that I can predict certain mood swings. It makes it hard on one hand because if a downward depressive spiral was coming then I felt this sense of doom and worry but when I noticed the highs starting I would relish in the sun like a cat sunbathing knowing that this state won’t last long and it’s far more pleasant than the lows.
To better understand Bipolar and how it relates to me specifically I thought I would share some common terms. First off I’m Bipolar II. Which means I have more depressive moods then manic. When I talk about the highs I’m referring to the Mania, which is a heightened state. At this time you can have a lot of energy, feel like you don’t need sleep or become reckless. This time is dangerous because you don’t always make the best judgement calls. It could be simple like starting a project that you’ll never finish or going on a binder of risky behavior. Now the lows I think are even more dangerous. This is known as depression but for me I have Major Depressive Disorder so I spend a lot more of my time in a depressive state. This is generally feeling down, worthless, no energy, wanting to sleep a lot, not taking care of yourself or having a purpose. These dark times are when I feel at my worst. It feels like I’m in a deep dark hole with no light in sight. I often feel like this state will last forever and despair will settle in. Unfortunately this takes me to even darker places of self-mutilation and even suicidal thoughts. As a person suffering from Bipolar I swing from one state to another, changing moods and behavior. If I’m “stable” which I use that term loosely that’s when I’m not swinging but just hanging there. Not really having strong feelings in either direction. The medications that I take are meant to stabilize my moods but it’s not a perfect solution. It can sometimes lessen the intensity of the mood but not fully prevent it.
Normally I spend a lot of this time in my head. Thinking about my life, over and over again in my hamster wheel and waiting for the next swing to come. Which one will it be? How bad will it be? Can I cushion the blow and effect on my family? This is when my favorite term comes to mind, PEACE. I never really free to let go. I’m constantly in my head. There are days I wish I could turn it all off and just feel nothing. Just hear silence. Just feel at peace!
There’s really no preparing yourself to learn what being Bipolar means. They tell you things like, people are typically diagnosed with Bipolar in their early 20’s after a traumatic event. Everyone’s experience with Bipolar is different, and treatment is tricky because you need to find the right cocktails of medicine. I was diagnosed in 2000 during my hospitalization but it wasn’t until the last 10 years that I’ve started to accept, predict and sometimes understand my Bipolar. But in that time I saw doctor after doctor, drugs after drugs, therapist after therapist, but to no avail did I feel better or understood. I had so many doctors throwing drugs at me that I could barely function as a person. I would just lay around without any care to even bathe. The numbness would spread into my happy thoughts and times, I couldn’t feel those either. I can remember this one doctor that had this messy large office with a massive wooden desk in the middle of it. I sat across from him while he made notes of how I was feeling, and it wasn’t good, and then without even looking up once he handed me a prescription and I was dismissed. I walked out of that office feeling like the lowest human being on the plant and maybe I wasn’t even worthy to be called a human being. Somehow I was led by my insurance to my current doctor. I’ve been seeing him for more than 12 years. At first I went into it with negative feelings obviously tainted from the past experiences. Here we go again, but he was different; younger, kinder, and a listener. He didn’t care about the clock. If he asked me a question and I responded, he would ask more questions because he wanted to understand. This was new! He and I worked hard as a team to put a plan together to get my medicine under control and NOT feel like a zombie. Over the years it took some adjustments but I trusted him and right now I’m comfortable with my current treatment. His office staff isn’t that great but I keep going because he’s worth it. A doctor that cared and wanted to understand what I was experiencing. But something else I learned about my Bipolar was that there’s no cure, there’s really no stopping it. I think that was the hardest part for me to understand. I thought if I took my medicine and follow doctors orders that I would be the old me again, the Bipolar would lie dormant and peace would be part of my life. But that’s not true, no amount of medicine is going to fix me. I had to listen to my mind. I had to see how it was influencing my life. I had to learn to cope. Learn to live with it. You can do all the research you want but being Bipolar is unpredictable, everyone that has Bipolar is different and for me there’s never a break from it. The only way I can explain the true feeling of living with Bipolar is the example of that squirrel you drive up on and it can’t decide what direction to go, frantically thinking about ALL the options over and over again. I’ve also referred to my Bipolar as the hamster wheel in my head. It just keeps going, around in a circle, never stopping. I often ask myself if I’ll ever really get peace of mind. Will I truly hear the quiet of my own mind so that it too can rest too. When the highs are high it’s amazing, I’m so energetic and productive, starting projects and making plans which most will fall to the side when the high leaves. When the lows are low, I barely get out of bed, the black thoughts sink in and that’s where things get scary. There’s a reason that people with Bipolar have a 50% suicide rate. It gets dark and ugly. If your lucky you’ll escape this time with little damage. In my case self-mutilation may happen. I have all the scars to prove it. For some sick twisted way in that moment you see the red blood that makes you a human being again and allows you to visually see the pain that is going on in your mind. I hate this about me. Not at the time but after, when the black curtain has been lifted and I’m left caring for my wounds and above all, hiding them. But the other times you learn to function as the hamster spins in your head, never stopping for just a moment of peace.
The years between my divorce and meeting my soon to be husband in 2005 was difficult. As you may have remembered I spent years searching for any “kind” of love, any attention, even the negative kind from men. Just to fill that hole inside my chest that my ex husband placed there. And then I spent a couple of years just focusing on me. But a time came when loneliness was apparent in my daily life so eharmony was my next step. After several matches I meet a guy that was different. Seemed more mature and connected with his emotions. He also had a struggle that he faced daily. Mine might be mental but his was physical. This helped us to connect and relate on a deeper level.
Scott and I started officially dating, as in seeing each other in person around late June 2005. Because of my past experience with my ex husband I was looking for the complete opposite. Not only did I want him to be completely opposite of my ex but I wanted our relationship to develop differently. I wasn’t looking to waste my time so I made that clear. Along with the fact that I didn’t want to hide my dirty little secret if this was going to be “The One.” So I went into this full force. As it turned out he was approaching this relationship in the same way. Wanting to find “The One,” not wasting time if it wasn’t a good match. I’m not entirely sure if that was a recipe for bliss or a disaster.
It was only weeks after we started dating that we got engaged. It was so romantic. A scavenger hunt of sorts that lasted most of the day and ended with a proposal and a ring. It was creative and romantic, everything a girl wanted. I was on cloud nine and again we didn’t want to waste time. Because I was previously married I didn’t want to do the traditional wedding because I did that with my ex. It didn’t take long for us to agree on a beach wedding in the Caribbean. At this time, I knew that Scott had a big family and didn’t realize how much a destination wedding would be received, but nothing was said and plans moved forward. We did invite our parents and siblings. We settled on Jamaica. My parents were so excited for us and jumped right on board. There was little we had to do except give the resort details of what we wanted for our special day, get passports and pick our wedding attire. It was so stress free and it allowed us to just focus on us.
I must say that it wasn’t all roses during this process.. We had differences and we had fights but they seemed to fade in the background as we pushed forward and our special day arrived. We were on our way to Montego Bay, Jamaica with high hopes for the most romantic and exciting first trip of our lives. And that’s what happened. On December 31st, 2005 we had the most amazing wedding, we were finally husband and wife. I believe the only thing we truly regretted was that we didn’t stay longer after our wedding day.
Off we were, two completely different people with their own struggles that knew each other for 6 months, starting their lives together and filled with dreams and hopes.
Would this finally be my “Happily Ever After?” Could he be the man to fill the hole my ex made and restore my trust in men? Am I lovable? Had I found, “The Ones?” Did we realize the difficulties that our individual struggles would create?