This is a small opportunity to understand me a little better. Lately I keep things close to my chest and post just my art work. I post it prolifically and produce it prolifically. Let me explain why. Art has become a part of my therapy, a way to express myself and my emotions, and a way to feel productive. Since I stopped working I have felt so unproductive to the point where my self esteem has crashed and burned. My self worth was so very much based on my job. My illness has also given me a lot of time alone at home. Because I cannot work, and I know some of you don’t understand that, and I cannot drive due to the medications side effects and due to increasing hallucinations which we are working on, I don’t get out of the house except to go to therapy or to the doctors. I also cannot sleep for more than a few hours at night so I am left alone in those wee hours with my thoughts because of my mania. So it’s a good time to be creative and let out that energy without destroying the house. So I am channeling my energy into artwork and sharing it within a small community that I can keep track of easily on the computer. And that my husband can help me organize and send and sit with me when I need to work on something but don’t want to be alone. I know that many of you have taken my newly found love of art and my prolific posting as a sign of total rehabilitation. But it is just the opposite. I am fighting a battle with my biochemical makeup that I am not winning right now. So I need to keep occupied with things that don’t need a huge amount of concentration or memory. But things that can make me happy. Things that don’t cause stress. Stress causes major havoc in my life. Change causes stress. Lately anything causes stress. I get into these spirals of thought that I can’t get out of. Being Bipolar is a bitch. It’s not fun. It’s not easy. It’s not a way to for me to “get out of work.” If I could work right now I would. Believe me I would. Being on such a limited income is a HUGE stressor. For my entire family. I am so happy for my friends and former colleagues and former high school classmates and University classmates when I see how much they have accomplished and what they are doing with their lives and all of the adventures they are going on but at the same time I am so jealous because it’s not me. I keep looking at online schools thinking maybe I could do that and the pressure wouldn’t be so bad, and that I could work on a new degree that way, but then I realize that I can’t manage the little stuff right now so it’s not in the cards right now. And it sucks. It really does. But that doesn’t mean it will always be like this. It hasn’t always been like this and it won’t always be like this. It has to get better. It will get better. I know it will. And until then, those of you who are in my life, I love you for it. And those of you who just hang out and watch what I am doing, I love that too. Keep believing that I will get better. But be patient. Keep being patient. I know I’ve said that for years now and people must start to get tired of it. But it’s all I can ask.
Well Ladies and Gentleman, It’s December 22, 2012 and we survived. The world is still here, humans are still on it, and I am still hanging on to my lovely, chaotic existence. While it is before christmas and too early to start setting my New Years resolutions in stone for the new year, I think that waking up to a beautiful new day gives me the opportunity to focus on what I want to start working on in my life: the areas I want to start focusing on more.
My Medical Issues: I am already working on those but I think it’s time to really focus on them. I have a Gyn appt in January to work on the ovarian cyst issue and I am going to have to get an appt with a gastroenterologist now that I have found out that the surgical ooption is off of the table for my chronic diverticulitis. I also need to get back in with the dentist to work on my teeth as they are not happy and I never followed up after my last major dental procedure because it hurt so much. I need to get back to them and follow up.
My Mental Health: I need to find a way to work with my P-Doc or find someone who will work with me. I also need to find ways to minimize stress and find therapuetic outlets for the things I am going through. I also need to get back into my DBT practice and start to focus on some of those excercises. I also need to get focused with Dr. Kuna and find a way to really concentrate on issues that are bothering me and work with him on those instead of wasting time on less meaning ful things.
My Physical Health: I need to get back into eating healthy and getting regular exercise and start working on my body even though I know I am not well. A little bit will go a long way.
My Creative/Artistic side: I need to find a way to feed that part of me more and spend less time in front of the tv. I also need to organize my space and my supplies. I woudl also like to network more so I can take classes or go to concerts or go to galleries. I don’t have to isolate and do it all by myself.
My environment: My house is a mess and filthy. It causes external choas to my internal choas. I need organize and downsize and clean and make arrangement to get the house fixed.
My Financial situation: I need to spend less and utilize more. No more spending sprees when I can use what i have. I also want to set up an ebay and etsy store to sell thigns that I can’t use or don’t need anymore. I also need to start arraqnging to pay off some of my bills.
My relationships: I need to find more balance in my relationships. I neglect my huasband in favor of Katherine or Paul quite often because I do not have the energy for all three. I also do nto spend nearly enough itme with my son because I am tired. I also neglect spending face timewiht Katherine in favor of phone time because I over spend and do not save for trips to see her. I also do not spend enough time with friends or making time for friends or penpals and that is not fair to them. I need to Find Balance.
I guess the whole key to this thing is Finding Balance. I really need that most of all. KIt’s alot to tackle but if I take baby steps and make little changes in each area I will make big changes in the long run. Anyways that’s my big thoughts status post Doomsday. Love to all my friends and followers.
Well since my 30 Days of Truth is completed, I am going to keep using this blog to challenge myself and document those challenges. Challenges may include art, diet, exercise, deep thought, writing, cooking, experimenting, adventures, trying new things, goal setting etc. So I am going to start giving it a shot and keep up from there.
My second challenge starting sunday December 9, 2012 is going to be 7 days of art. For seven days I have to create something or work on creating something artistically every day and document it in my blog. This will keep my creative juices flowing and relieve stress even though I have several stressful appointments this week and will be preoccupied. It will be healthy for me. Projects don’t have to be finished each day but they have to be worked on and documented. Let the fun Begin.
Yay! I completed my 30 Days of Truth. It is my first accomplishment on my blog. It feels good and I found it to be a very cathartic experience though it was hard knowing that people were going to read my answers. But it feels good to know that I stuck with it. Now onto bigger and better things!
Something you hope to change about yourself and why:
I want to have a healthy lifestyle. Last year my weight at its highest was 323.8. I am now down to 271 due to a combination of diet and exercise. But those good habits have slowly decreased and my weight loss has plateaued. I would like to continue losing weight and getting healthy, exercising and eating healthier. Not so much for my appearance but to be able to do things again like riding horses and riding on rollercoasters and thrill rides, things that I used to love doing but now can’t do because of my weight. I want to be able to have a good time with my ten year old. I want to be the fun mom, not the mom who watches from the sidelines. I want to feel better too and not be out of breath or have sore knees or hips when walking or playing games with my family.
Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it:
When it comes to something I can’t live without it clearly has to be an income of some sort. When I was waiting on the decision regarding my disability, I was without any income whatsoever for 6 months. I had to rely on my husband’s income and the kindness of my mother, as well as government programs such as food stamps, LIHEAP, etc. It was a severe struggle. It was horrible. I felt helpless. I didn’t have money for anything. My husband’s income is fairly low and at the time was not consistent because he was an hourly wage earner and not salary. It was a very scary time.
As for someone I can’t live without, it has to be my husband. He has stood by me through so much. He helps me still on a daily basis and knows what to do and say whenever I am in a crisis. When he doesn’t know what to do, he knows who to call to get answers. He takes care of the house, is a good father, helps get me what I need and communicate my needs to healthcare providers when I can’t do so adequately. I don’t know what I would do without him. And I love him. He makes me laugh. He makes me smile. He does little things for me all of the time to make my life better and happier and easier and that means a lot to me.
I think it’s not so much about compliments that this question brings up but more about recognition or even simple acknowledgement about what I have to do daily to live with my illness/disability. It takes a lot of energy, a huge amount of energy for me to sometimes just to get up in the morning. I’m not saying I deserve “poor you’s” or “Atta boy’s”, just some acknowledgement of the fact that it takes a lot for me to keep going every day. I work really hard to get better. I go to therapy every week and work on coping skills, symptom management, and processing stressors. I also have a lot of trauma in my past that I work on each week to better improve my PTSD symptoms. In order to facilitate the process, I keep a therapy planner where I can keep track of what I want to discuss or work on because my memory isn’t very good. I have to keep in continual contact with my psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, and PA to adjust my meds as I am on 10 different medications and it is a constant balancing act. I have to keep track of the actual medications, when to take them, what to watch out for, remember to take them at all, and deal with the many different side effects and the ups and downs from the constant adjustments. I have to deal with the actual symptoms which are not easy. Constant anxiety, nightmares, agoraphobia, up and down mood swings, fatigue, racing thoughts, and just general chaos. And In order to combat and those symptoms and keep getting well I have to practice my DBT skills, work on therapeutic art projects, journal, make sure to go out every day, exercise, eat right, and try to remain social, all the while being a good wife and good mom. It’s a balancing act and it’s exhausting. And just once in awhile I’d like someone to acknowledge that I am working really hard to get better and doing all of the right things and still keeping afloat and being the best mom that I can be. It’s hard to ask for that. But sometimes that’s what I need. Or someone to acknowledge that living with a mental illness is hard but that it’s okay and it’s okay to be me and as long as I keep trying and don’t give up, it’s going to keep getting better. Some days I would give anything to hear that that. But even though I don’t, it doesn’t mean that I will stop trying or stop working at it or stop fighting.
There have been so many people who have touched my life in so many ways but I think the biggest person who has made my life worth living is my son, Liam. He has actually been my reason for living many dark days. He has kept me going and kept me trying because I would never want to do anything that would hurt him. But on a brighter side, he is also one of the smartest, funniest, kindest kids I know. He is older then his years. With my illness, he has had to do a lot of growing up ad he has taken it all in stride. He even makes sure I am okay some days which is a little sad because no kid should ever have to do that. But he always asks if I am okay. He knows about my illness and is not afraid of it. He asks questions and gets age appropriate answers (He’s 10). We have never hid anything from him because that would be scarier for him. He knows I take medicine and he knows I go to therapy and it’s normal for him to ask, “Are you going to John’s today?” He knows my therapist and is okay with him so it’s not scary for him that I go. If I am not feeling well, he asks if he can lay down with me in my bedroom and watch movies. And he tried to normalize my illness even if he doesn’t know he’s doing it in his own way. When I had to go to the emergency room for vomiting, we were in triage and the nurse was asking me questions. She was taking a health history and my son says quietly to the nurse, “my mom is a little crazy too. She doesn’t like to talk about it though “ He wasn’t being mean. He just didn’t want me to be embarrassed. The nurse smiled and said, “kid we are all a little crazy.” He said “Yes, but my mom sees the doctor for it. “ When we got into the patient room, he asked me” I did good right mom? I told her so you didn’t have to tell her because I know you don’t like to.”
When he goes to the corner shop, he always brings me home some chocolate with his own money. And if he is ever making something for himself he always asks if I want something. He always takes my dish into the kitchen with his if he is going into the kitchen. He goes on adventures with me and laughs with me when I get hopelessly lost. We go to all of the animated movies together and even some action movies. He likes to bake with me and we do crafts together. He is a creative and funny kid who, even though sometimes he drives me batty, I love with all my heart. Some of the things that come out of his me and his interpretations of what I say make me laugh my butt off. One day he asked me what an ovary was after he saw an commercial on tv about ovarian cancer. I told him it’s where Mommies make eggs. He asked” People can lay eggs?” Oops. That was a conversation I has to clarify a while bunch of things. Last week we were out to dinner and I was talking about how a team of crack elves come in before Santa to prep the house like in Prep and Landing, the TV show. He immediately got very concerned and started arguing. I finally realized what he was saying. When I said “Crack Elves” I meant a crack team of elves. He thought I meant Elves who were Crack heads or drug addicts. He watches way to much COPS on TV.