Bipolar – Stoned Siblings

Standard

I just got off the phone with my youngest child and I’m heartbroken.

He says he tells people all the time what a badass I am. He’s a psych major and he now understands a tiny bit of what it must have taken for me to raise three kids with my illness. He tells people how I raised them sick and even had a knee replacement, twice. It’s a good story to tell people to get them to buck-up. He tells them to get over themselves. Look what my mom did.

He was telling how great it has been lately for him when he spends time with his brother. They’ve been bonding, getting stoned, hanging out. (We’re in WA and it’s legal here.)

I was crushed.

I’m a mom. A parent. I’m weird… but I’m a parent. I’ve always pushed myself to be the best parent I could be. Suddenly, again, I feel like I failed. It doesn’t make any sense I suppose. It doesn’t really have to because I know how I feel and I FEEL like I failed them.

I know I’m being emotional. I am emotion. Always emotion.

I feel like I failed my babies. Why? Things have been going pretty well. They’ve been bonding when they’re high. Okay. Okay. I feel, like I failed them because they have to be high to bond. To relax around each other they’ve got to be stoned. So what. So what?

I was just having a great conversation with him on the phone. The longer we talked the more I realized that he was being the most relaxed talking with me that he’s been in a long time. Awesome! Right? Right.

I’m a good parent. I know I am. But –

Why do my kids have to be stoned to be loving?

It isn’t a big deal. It’s legal.

But why do they have to be stoned? Why stoned? Why?

I’m going to bed. I’m too tired to handle this. I can’t do effective damage control in my brain trying not to blame myself when I’m tired. I am blaming myself. I don’t feel like I did a good job raising them if they have to be stoned to be good people to each other, to me.

Again, I feel like I failed.

Should I get stoned too?

No…. not more drugs. Not stoned. Not me. I just can’t do that.

Bipolar – You’re Freaking Insane!

Standard

Today, I’m not insane. I trust that since you’re reading this that you aren’t either.

There are people though – I just- I just have to reconsider what insanity is. I FEEL it in my ever so raw emotions, the there are way more nuts 🥜 around us than we realize.

I think, that when someone loses touch with reality they’re psychotic. Good nuff? That’s not being insane.

My phone ☎️ just told me that insanity is the state of being seriously mentally ill. And Madness, is the state of being mentally ill, especially severely.

What was that?

Let’s break it down to today, and to one moment during this day. This might be a reach, but bear with me.

I believe, with my blessed bipolar and somewhat of an authority on mental illness brain, that there are a more ways one can be “insane” than by those ways we’ve been taught and told.

Example. Full disclosure-this Professor 🤓 in no way has my respect and I would love it if he hadn’t just made tenure.

Now, the example. I’ve never approved of his teaching methods. He lets the class of people who can’t write, critique each other’s stories. He sits there and says stuff that … blah blah blah. Okay. He read everyone’s first short story this term. Then he selected a book of short stories based on what he saw when he read those stories. So each student was assigned a collection to read, then do a presentation on, of the book he specially selected for us. He waited, until well after he read them to assign them. We were led to believe that our particular book was just for us and it would actually fill a void in our training,

Right. Nothing crazy, right?

I bought my book and have been trying to read it. . . . I don’t have any clue what is going on and frankly, I don’t care to know. It’s bonkers. I wrote him an email asking for guidance.

No reply. So today after we workshopped and he sat there reading email for the entire class, I asked him about my book. Does he know anything helpful about the book? Never heard of it. (Excuse me?) Do you know anything about the author? Nope. (Beg pardon?)

I have just spent three long, very difficult, mentally, and emotionally and stressfully and often painful years PAYING for this tenured Professor 👩‍🏫 to assign me something for my final senior project, something my dog could have done a better job picking.

Insanity? Robin, where’s the insanity? That’s just the way things are.

Yep. That’s right. I owe thousands upon thousands of dollars, to be unprepared to be employed.

That’s the way things just are. Forget about it. There isn’t anything you can do. You can’t change anything.

And that’s…… what’s insane.

Anyone expecting me to accept the illogical as what is normal I will tell tell them to their foolish face that they are insane – not me. Not you.

I believe, that expecting others to accept lies and the illogical as as truth are insane… damn bonkers.

I’m a lot of things and sometimes I’m not always kind or think before I speak, but I never tell people that things will never change, that they will never change, or that they will never change things.

This is possibly unfair of me, but I’m mad so I ask you to judge me kindly, I am calling this professor out. I believe he has behaved in an irrational and insane manner. I do not believes he has earned the job based on the three years I’ve had classes with him.

We can’t accept it when people tell us things like student loans are going to get us a job. We can’t accept it when professional teachers take our money then don’t train us.

Ok, so I’m mad. I’m even admittedly pissy. But I believe things can Change. I believe professors can really train us, teach us to be great at something.

I’m not insane today. Nor was I yesterday. Next week? Dunno. But by all the stars in the heavens above don’t ever, don’t never, tell me things can’t change. Or that I can’t change.

That’s insane. Just plain insane.

How do you feel about it? Is sanity something more than how our brain is behaving in a moment? Is it possibly claiming not to have a mental illness and yet purposely living one’s whole life in an illusion?

In any case, things can change, they always do. And we can change, and we always will.

Be well my friends

Robin

Bipolar – The Truth About Emotions

Standard

I have Mixed-State Bipolar Type 1. Last December I finally admitted I was having random urges to seriously hurt myself. Over the years I’ve felt that way a lot. I did finally tell my counselor about it. Now, of course, it is in my records. But I was that scared.

My stress and anxieties have been getting hotter and higher over the last few days. Yesterday my son Kyle had his roommate help him move the rest of his sister (my daughter Jessica) move the rest of her things into my tiny house. I think we’ll be fine together.

The truth about Bipolar Type 1 emotions is their severity and extreme mania. I’m not going to list the details for you right now. I’m just so MAD that a second kid, 22 years, has told me he’s got Bipolar 2 and he has to take drugs for it every day or it would be bad for him and that (and I’m not lying about this part) he was incredibly brilliant and could think of things that no one else could. His Bipolar was a gift and he was embracing it because it does so much for making him creative. He would die if he didn’t take his pills. I swear the boy was telling me he has bipolar and he might have been high.

I, being offended as I was, asked him some more about it. He said that if he didn’t take his two pills a day something bad would happen because you know he gets manic, really revved up, and psychotic too.

With my teeth clenched I instructed him that that didn’t sound like Bipolar Type 1. Oh, did I mention he changed to that after I challenged him on some of his symptoms? Yeah, apparently you can change what type you have depending on who you’re trying to impress.

I’m not having it anymore.

The day before that another 22 something told me she wouldn’t have kids because she wouldn’t want anyone else to come into this world because of her and “have this shit.”  – She knows I have three kids.

Then yesterday those damn little micro “I wanna hurt myself” crappy thoughts started up. I was angry.

Tonight I’m angry again. I’ve been angry all week it seems. I’m angry because of a seemingly small thing. That’s the way it is with Bipolar people… we experience overly intense emotions. Have you ever noticed that?

Well, when the boys moved Jessica’s stuff in someone moved the giant flashlight I take the dog out to do her business at night with. I couldn’t find it. I was immediate, pardon me, pissed. My dog thinks small flashlights are lasers and need to be chased. So, I had to do a small one. Then I found a poo from earlier. Jess marks them for me in various interesting ways. I was picking that up with my whimmpey flashlight, hiding it from Bailey. And then….. I missed where she just went.

I am always the one who steps in it. I have no idea where it is.

Silly reason to be angry? Normally. When I’m acting and feeling what I consider is normal for myself. Tonight. I’m just angry. I did think of hurting myself. Then it was gone, suddenly hiding back into the neurons of my mind.

Exhausting. Extreme emotions are so exhausting.

So that’s the truth, according to Robin, about Bipolar Emotions. They exist. They are mysterious. They don’t always act in ways one would want them to.

Yeah. That’s the troublesome side of the coin. But you know what? There is another side. Maybe another time.

Even Someone With Bipolar Can Rest

Standard

This music has relaxed me while I answered all my correspondence. It has put Bailey (my wonder dog) fast to sleep. She’s snoring softly.

I’m ready to sleep and so I will now. I hope the link works for you. Please let me know if it doesn’t.

Good night my friends. Sweet dreams.

Robin

Her Safe Place

Standard

Bipolar – Weird Parenting

Standard

Greetings and Felicitations!

Welcome to you! (I’d say “Welcome to you all.” but I’m assuming only one of you is reading this post at a time.)

{I’ve started posting to my Weird Parenting blog. It’s for parents of 20 somethings and anyone interested in what in the world is going on. After you read this post, which is from the Weird Parenting blog, maybe you can think of someone you’d recommend it to. Or, if you have things to share with me to add to my content I’d love to hear from you.”}

I’m still a parent. I still have 3 kids… nope. I actually have 4 now. My daughter married her girlfriend just over a year ago. So that means I’ve gone from 2 daughters and 1 son, to 3 daughters and 1 son. Wait a second…

I almost forgot. Now I have 2 daughters and 2 sons.

And, I go to the same University as the new daughter and the new son go to too. 1 daughter is moving in with me next week. That will bring the animal count to 2 beta fish, 3 cats, my cattle dog Bailey (she’s a Kelpie), a bearded dragon and a bunch more fish. Oh, and the occasional live crickets to feed the dragon fella. Got all that?

And what about me? I’m about to graduate from UWT with a bachelors in creative writing (though I’m not certain I was entirely paying attention). Just to keep the kids on their toes I have Bipolar Disorder and PTSD. I admit this does make parenting a little weirder than it’s already weird self.

Have I mentioned I’m a parent? Yes, that’s what you’re here for, am I right? Yeah?

I won’t waste your time unless I find a rabbit hole. Parenting 20 somethings today is rough. Hell, it’s confusing and guilt-inducing and the dynamics are so strange that we’re glorying in Will and Grace and Roseanne coming back to TV. They’re like an old blanket that we cuddle with and don’t want anyone to know about (mine does NOT have flowers. It’s Captain America’s!).

I’m determined to make it through their 20’s with everyone intact (so I say as one her becoming him). Life is so very complicated. You know what else it is? It’s funny as hell. I mean my future was all blurry and stopped at their high school graduations.

It not once occurred to me that I would still be a parent after they all turned 18.

Wow. There’s so much for us to talk about.

And I really want to hear from all of you. Think of me as that strange lady next door who always gives you sugar when you run out and never asks for it back.

I’m gonna buckle up. I’ve no idea where this ride is going to take us.

There is one really important thing you should know about… I’m going to fight like hell to make this our best decade ever!

Later my friends. It’s past my bedtime.

Bipolar – Little Bit Nuts

Standard

Last night, all I can remember is being super tired and watching a video on my iPad holding it above my face while in bed. Ok, weird. This I know. Here’s the really weird part. I got up at about 5:45 and texted Jessica wanting to know why she was late coming to pick up her uniform. She saw the text and ignored it as she should have done. I’m the one who, only hours before, had reminded her she had today off. OMG

Losing my mind.

Watch this video and check out the pics. Bailey is looking for the cat laser that no one is using. She does it all the time. Poor kid. Well, look who she lives with. Hehehe

Oh, stink. I’ll have to upload this from my iPad then add the images. Np sorry, the video is so huge. Bailey is actually looking for a laser.

 

Bipolar – Invisible Lasers and Behavior

Standard

neuroplasticityJessica moves her hand and Bailey looks for a laser on the floor like a missile on a target, like when an officer arrives and she snaps to attention… she’s completely conditioned like Pavlov’s dog. Bailey follows her around the house waiting for her to use the laser. Jessica hasn’t used the laser on her for so long that she doesn’t even remember doing it. AND IT’S A CAT TOY!! The cat doesn’t chase it, the dog does.

See, here’s the thing, I want to apply it to Bipolar Disorder and maybe other illnesses, but I just can’t think of a similar situation. I mean, I want to say something like, “I can retrain my brain and rid myself of my illness by using Neuroplasticity and remapping my neuro pathways… change me on a physical level… BE CURED OF THIS CRAP!

All I can think of is can I train myself to react in better ways than I do. Can I be trained to respond to situations, to people, to everything and improve my thinking and my behavior so I seem like I’m getting better? Like I’m cured?

I know as well as anyone else who has Bipolar does, that this thing cannot be cured. It can be masked. It can have help in controlling it’s symptoms. But it won’t go away.

It would be so incredibly awesome if my brain could be remapped, conditioned like Bailey’s is.

Bailey is so amazing. She remembers tricks I taught her years ago. She just prefers not to do them for me. She’ll do them for my kids, not for me. Little shit. Well, that’s how it goes.

Maybe my brain has learned some tricks and it will only perform for other people. I wonder. Wait! I wonder who it could be trained for. Nah, I’m not going there.

I understand that my brain really can be changed using neuroplasticity. I’ve done studied it off and on over the years and I honestly believe it can change my brain. Can it cure me of the monster that runs my brain? I don’t think so. I guess it could. Maybe. But I don’t think so. (This is a great topic for a different post!)

Bailey is terribly funny when she tries to chase lasers that aren’t there. Jessica is a turd for teasing her. (I’m going to try to get a video of it so you can see just how strange it is.)Maybe, part of the difficulties that are a part of Bipolar, namely my behavior, can be modified in the same way that I’d like to retrain Bailey to stop looking for lasers. Isn’t that why I see counselors year after endless year? To retrain my behavior? The counselor can’t cure me. That’s not why I see them. I see them so I can be told how to stop acting like I have Bipolar. Um, okay, I’d better stop there.

“Point” is… dog looking for invisible laser… way funny.

Bipolar – Holding Out My Hands

Standard

I’ve been trying to reach a young woman that I am in the same major in at UWT regarding her mental health. To me, it is obvious that she has Bipolar Disorder or something similar. I’ve been in classes with her for three years now. Wow, that’s the entire time that I’ve been going to school there.

I care about this woman and I want to be able to help her understand what’s happening to her. Very often she feels out of control. Outwardly, she’s very loud and emotional. Her emotions are so strong that she disturbs people around her. I really want to get through to her. Our mutual friend knows both our stories and she knows that I’ve been trying to reach her.

We have a friend in common and the three of us have a sort of writers group. We meet one or two times a week after class. I’ve been listening to her and feeling empathic towards her. It hurts me to see her in so much pain, and so confused.

I’ve told her I have Bipolar 1 since last year. It has seemed like she doesn’t understand what I’m telling her when I try to communicate Bipolar to Bipolar… until today. Today I felt that I finally made some headway with her. Our mutual friend agrees.

There were two important things I really wanted to communicate to her and I think I might have gotten through.

  1. You have to work hard to understand this illness and learn how to deal with it. She’s been freaking out about how much we have to do at school. She wants to know how I control it so I can do my school work. Understand, information and planning help me get through.
  2. You have Bipolar Disorder and it will be with you until you die. This is not an illness that you will be healed from. It’s not like the flu in that it runs its course and then it goes away. It isn’t a cold or even cancer which can go into remission. We have ups and downs. Sometimes we do better than other times. Sometimes we’re paralyzed and unable to even breathe. Understand this, you will never be rid of this illness. It will be with you always. You must learn to live with it, understand it and try to use it. Be prepared. Have a safety net. See what I’m doing? You must learn about this illness. It is a beast and you must be brave and face it down.

She asked how I deal with the school work. She and I have a class together and we are both doing an independent study program one on one with the same professor. This professor is amazing. She has high standards and demands a lot of us.

How do I get it done? She’s been feeling so depressed and having such anxiety that she’s struggling to get anything done at all.

There are no simple answers, no quick fixes. Remember what I said.

  1. Learn to understand the beast. Ignorance only makes it worse.
  2. You will have this until you die. Be prepared to deal with it every day. Don’t try to ignore it. Fight it. Then I added a third thing she could do.
  3. Work to master your mind in every way you can. Try mindfulness. I’m trying it. We need every advantage that we can find.

I’ve been dealing with Bipolar Disorder for a long time. I’ve worked a little and a lot and failed and succeeded. I understand the beast and I know what it wants from me. I’m doing okay. I’m able to reach out and teach a fellow sufferer. She is so young. This is so new to her. I think, I hope, that today I was finally able to reach her. I think she is starting to understand that I’ve walked this path for a long time and I might have ideas on how to not crash, on how not to burn.

So today that’s what I want to say. Reach out to others who you identify with. If you can, try to share your experiences and help another person. If you don’t know anyone you in person that you can reach out to try to find someone online to support. If you read someone’s blog and you know they have Bipolar Disorder too, leave them a comment. Say something nice. Encourage them. Let them know they are not alone.

I will continue to reach out to my young friend. I will continue to hope that I can reach her. I will be vulnerable with her so she can see that I understand and that I can stand with her.

Okay. I’m manic. Is it obvious? Feel the pressured speech? See me going on and on? Yeah. Manic.

Be well.

When It Gets Real – Bipolar

Standard

Two days ago, I was notified on my phone that a comment had been made on a post I had originally made on this blog (REDUX) over a year ago. I try to always reply to any comment left on my blogs no matter how long ago the original post was, and to do so as quickly as I can. I believe that when a Reader goes to the trouble of commenting, that we have entered into a conversation and that to be polite, I should reply. It’s the polite thing to do in conversation, right? And, I’m honestly interested in what Readers have to say.

The person implied that they had read the post. Cool…um, not cool. This is what the person said: “This gives me no hope and makes me want to die even more.”

I immediately stopped what I was doing and read the original post. It was heavy. I’ve never hidden the dark days from you. I’ve also never hidden when the dark days change to grey, and then to blue and sunny.

I want you to know that I struggle. Sometimes I struggle every day. Sometimes my heart is full of light and I feel peaceful.

I am linking that original post Original post. I’ve gone back and put some things in bold/italics. I’ve not changed anything else. I did try to reply to the person as quickly as I could in an effort to reach them. I don’t know if they read my reply.

Please feel free to read it. You’re welcome to comment on it here. I stand by what I wrote. It is all a part of who I am and what I struggle with. Bipolar Disorder is not like some diseases that go into remission or go completely away. I will always have it. I will always search for ways to live better with it and to faithfully and consistently practice the things that help me.

Am I better than I was when I wrote that post? I don’t really know. I’m different. My life is different. My world is different.

I just bit the tip of my tongue. That’s different.

Everything is relevant and always in flux. It is what we do in the darkest of times, in the best of times, in every single moment of time that is what makes the difference in whether I live, or I die.

Today, just like yesterday, I choose to continue the fight. I choose to live.

That’s all I can do. For myself. But I can ask that of you too.

Choose this day… to live.