Category Archives: Anger

Surprised by My Swearing – Bipolar Anger

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Maya, a friend at university whuwto has been with me since I started at this school, has been shocked by the change in my… language. She’s never heard me swear. She thinks its funny. I suppose it is. I guess I don’t look like a swearer.

I was talking to her on the phone, and we decided I should call my professor and explain to him what is going on with my group in one of my classes. Things are not going well. I don’t play well in groups. I’m really trying. I am, but they’re children and act like they know everything. I’m disrespected. I’m reacting badly to that. Things have gone really wrong. I needed to do something to get things on track. I got excited that I was taking action and said, “I’ll go put my teeth in and call him right now.” She cracked up. She’d forgotten I wear dentures. Ha ha!

I guess I’m something of a surprise.

When I saw her at school the next day, she recounted our conversation. She laughed and laughed.

I’m glad.

Today I’m going to get my new dentures. My old ones have been falling out of my mouth while I’m talking. Seriously. They do. I don’t wear them often. I save wearing them for school. Still, they’ve come out. I’ve been holding my uppers up with my tongue. Maya thinks that’s hysterical too. It kind of is. It has to be funny. It would be too tragic if it weren’t.

God, I hope they fit. I don’t need more stress. It might not be so funny this time. No, it definitely wouldn’t be funny this time.

Bipolar – Urges – So Hard to Repress

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I first recall having these urges when I was a teenager and I was babysitting some kids in my neighborhood. The house was beautiful. One whole wall was glass and was above an embankment leading down to the woods far below. I was sitting in a chair facing the glass. Suddenly, I had an overwhelming urge to throw myself through the windows and down the embankment. Confusion and fear overwhelmed me. To resist, I held onto the arms of the chair I was sitting in. The urge was terrifying. I continued to have similar urges through the years.

Later, when I was in Bible college, I remember clearly standing in line for lunch and having the same terrifying urge. I tried not to whimper as I struggled not to act on my urges. I felt like I had to scream and run around knocking people over and throwing their food trays. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. It was so frightening.

What made it so much more difficult to understand was that two professors at the school had been trying to cast demons out of me. I didn’t think of the urges as having anything to do with spiritual things (more about this another day) and I still don’t.

Through the years the violent urges continued to occur to me with frightening fury. They didn’t stop after college. Sometimes I gave into the dark urges. I would throw things and break them to pieces. I screamed and yelled and threw more things.

Eventually I had three children. I was divorced and raising my kids on my own. The kids were often terrified. Sometimes I did snap and the urges would overwhelm me in public. I frightened some people and made others angry. My brother’s partner wouldn’t talk to me for years because once at their business (they own the family business) I lost my temper and the urge to strike out won. I picked up the lunch room table and threw it across the room while screaming and raging.

The violent urges are still with me. Lately they’ve been growing in intensity again. Just yesterday at school I had to restrain myself from screaming at people and shoving them violently.

I was petrified. What if I couldn’t control myself again?

Last night I was thinking about what I was feeling and I realized that I’ve never told any of my counselors or psychologists about it. I’ve decided to keep track of these disturbing impulses and explain what happens to my counselor. I hope I can get across just how disturbing and powerful these urges are.

Does anyone else experience these kinds of urges? How do you deal with them?

Bipolar depression: Sad or mad?

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When you’re watching for emerging symptoms of bipolar depression, make sure “irritability” is on the list. You’re just as likely to be unusually crabby, intolerant, and easily annoyed during a depressive episode as to be apathetic or despondent.

More research has been done on irritability in major depressive disorder than in bipolar disorder, but results from both groups indicate that from 40 percent to 60 percent report depressive episodes marked by irritability.

“Irritable depression” (that’s a description, not a diagnostic term) is associated with more severe depressive episodes, more frequently recurring episodes, and co-existing anxiety.

A study published in the International Journal of Bipolar Disorders in December 2016 found that participants with irritable depression also tend to take longer to recover from an episode and had more “unfavorable illness characteristics,” such as higher rates of substance use and more suicidality.

All of which means it’s even more important to take preventive measures when your irritability meter ticks upward.

bp Magazine’s columnist and blogger, Julie Fast uses the terms “weepy depression” and “angry depression” to describe the different ways she can experience bipolar downshifts. Weepy depression comes with what you might call stereotypical symptoms: feeling sad and hopeless, crying a lot, shutting down socially, becoming physically lethargic and

having trouble concentrating.

With angry depression, she writes, you feel “pissed off at everyone and everything. Kittens and puppies make you mad.” You focus on the negative, finding “garbage in the gutter when there is a rainbow in the sky.”

[THIS WAS THE CONTENT OF bp’s NEWSLETTER DATED 2/16/17. You can find bp magazine’s presence at: http://www.bphope.com/ ]

I’ve passed this along to you because I suffer from angry depression and have since I was very young. It defined me for most of my life. Today, it is one of the leading indicators that alerts me to how I’m doing. For example, if I’ve been doing reasonably well and suddenly I’m bitchy with my mom for no reason, I’d better take a look at myself and see if I’m sliding down the sheer walls of the well of depression. For me, it might also indicate that I’m manic. I don’t think it only happens to me when I’m depressed. If I’m unreasonably angry and I’m aware of it, I can examine myself and see where things are going wrong. When I’m in the midst of an episode it can be hard to recognize that things are going badly. Sometimes the anger is a wake-up call alerting me that something is amiss. Sometimes I become aware of that anger by seeing what it does to those I love.

Bipolar – Danger Signs

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solar-flare-1Now that I’m taking 120mg of Latuda again I can consider the signs I was having that I was going into a crisis. I believe it’s important for me, for everyone, to know what happens before we reach a full-blown disaster so we can take precautions and get help early. That said, I recognize that it is often difficult if not impossible to tell when we’re slipping. It’s like standing on a beach when the tide is out. You’re talking to a friend or looking at the beautiful water or a sunset. You’re not paying any attention to your feet, which is unfortunate, because your feet have been slowly sinking into the sand. Now, when you try to move, your feet stick and you fall on your face because you didn’t realize what had been happening while you weren’t paying attention.

The biggest sign that I’m crashing is that I lose my temper violently and in an instant. Most of my life I have been consumed with anger and ill temper. It has kept me from getting to know my family. My father, who is gone now, was as bad tempered and mean with me as I was with him. We reacted to each other like lighter fluid on a bonfire. I believe that he also suffered from Bipolar Disorder.

In addition to a catastrophically hellish temper I was angry all the time. I don’t mean mad. I mean angry like I wanted to hurt someone. My adrenaline was (and is) on all the time. To this day my muscles are hard as rock, cocked as if to lunge into flight or fight. Even after a massage my musculature remains as solid as steel. I never relax.

Over the years I’ve taken medications that cause my face, my jaw in particular, to violently jerk and I can’t talk. I look like I’ve got a massive tick in my face and I sound like I’m hiccupping. Now, when I’m stressed, the tick comes back. As a matter of fact, I’ve been having it happen daily now even during Christmas vacation when I don’t have the pressures of school work. It really frustrates me. It’s so remarkable that people stop talking and stare at my face. It stops conversation dead.

So this time, when my temper soared uncontrollably and I saw my family react to my words as though they’d been slapped, I realized I was in trouble. I thought I was just feeling my temper returning. I felt like I was keeping it under control. I didn’t realize others noticed it until we were celebrating Christmas Day at my brother’s house and I was talking to my daughter and her fiancée when suddenly Sydney stopped short and looked at me as though I’d just stabbed her. I shut my mouth fast. I knew I was in trouble. I had to stop myself from talking the rest of the day unless I was paying attention to what I was saying and how I was saying it.

My med provider and I had a backup plan in place incase reducing my Latuda to 80mg didn’t work. I was to return to the 120mg dosage immediately. So that’s what I did. I couldn’t wait until I was able to get back in to see her in three more weeks. I’m feeling much less volatile now.

I know it is rarely as easy a fix as returning to a medication that I already know works for me. It’s never that easy. This time was an exception for which I am grateful.

We, you and I, impact those around us. Our behavior doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We have a responsibility to control our behavior for our own health and for our family and friends. It’s funny that I say we need to control ourselves because that’s exactly what I’ve never been able to do. Not till I got well medicated.

The take away – be vigilant for signs of crashing. Then take action swiftly.

Bipolar – Never Far Away

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I reached a stasis point, a time of going to neither depressed nor manic poles. I thought I was emotionally cramped or stunted. So, as I’ve said, my med provider and I decided to lower my Latuda to 80mg. It’s been about three weeks now and I can say without a doubt that I’m swinging again and in a bad way. I just called one of my daughters (I asked my family to watch me) and she said she’d noticed something had changed too and was wondering if that’s what was up.

Of course, I denied it. I realize now (30 minutes later) that I was protecting myself. I’ve worked for so hard for so long to be stable I didn’t want to admit that I’d have to up my medication again. I wanted to believe I could do this, be normal on my own.

I guess I feel like if I can’t be “normal” I won’t have really lived, I won’t really have given to my world or amounted to anything. I think those thoughts and feelings are always beneath the “calm” exterior of my well medicated self. It’s frustrating.

I’ve gone back to school so I can get a job. I’m 54 and I’m just going to school for a career now. It makes me so sad. See, the depression is coming like a vengeful lover, rough and dark.

If I’m already behaving “mean” towards my daughter and feeling depressed and like I’m about to have a fight I guess I’m not ready to be on a lower dose of my Latuda. So, it’s either go back up or change to something else. I’ll need to call the nurses line tomorrow and see if I can talk to my med provider as soon as I can. This isn’t the kind of thing that I should just wait until my next visit to handle.

Tomorrow I also see my counselor. We definitely have something to talk about.

Today I saw my pain management specialist. She ordered an MRI of my lower back. For some reason no one has ever had one done. I would have thought that having me on pain medications as long as I’ve been on them that someone would have had one done, but I can’t find it if they did.

Well, my new reality and I are going to read for a few minutes and then go to bed.

Be safe my friends.

Bipolar – Remembering Our Past

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I need you to understand that I in no way discount what anyone has gone through. Things may be exactly as you recall them. This post is meant merely to ask the reader to consider things.

One of the great troubles with Bipolar Disorder is that we tend to ruminate what we view as the horrors of our past. We think we remember all the times we have been depressed and felt like we wanted to die. We think we remember the charge the mania gave us and may long for the positive influence we think we remember happening. We may be paralyzed by thoughts of our past in which we hurt others and maybe tried to hurt ourselves. If any of this sounds like you, listen closely to this:

There are three things that are known about memory that I want you to know.

  1. People can recall events that never happened.
  2. All memories are inaccurate to some degree.
  3. Identifying false memories may be next to impossible
    (Psychology Today, June 2016, pg. 21)

It may not be necessary to crucify yourself on the altar of regret. It is possible that you do not remember the past as it actually happened. I have found these things to be true in my own life. I think I remember being mean to my kids and speaking unkindly to them as I wallowed in my anger and depression on a daily basis. Anger was my friend and I was angry every day and I felt I took it out on my kids.

But you know what? My kids and my family don’t remember it that way. My kids, who are now 18, 21 and 24, remember me as working hard to be a good mom and always loving them. They don’t remember me being abusive. It’s three against one. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I was a good mom. They all seem to have turned out to be good people. I need to believe them. That guilt crushes me at times. I’m choosing to believe that I wasn’t as bad as I recall. I was a good person.

Bipolar sufferers feel emotions more intensely than other people. We remember incidents where our world has crashed down around us because that’s what we remember feeling at the time and so that’s what we feel now as we think about the past.

We may think we remember the situation even being worse than it was. Another person may remember the same situation as not being quite as dire as we do. In fact, we may be remembering an incident as more intense and devastating than it was. We may even be remembering something that happened in our head, that we think happened, that never did happen. Can you imagine that? Maybe you are a better person than you think you are. These things are true for all people, but I’m talking about us and our magnificent emotions.

What I want you to understand is that you and I, we should cut ourselves some slack. Our memories are never perfect and unless you have proof that what you remember happened or felt actually did occur, relax a little. Maybe we’re not as horrible as we think we are.

I have “memories” of being a horrible mom. I “remember” saying things and not doing things that amount to neglect or even abuse as a parent. I’ve asked my kids and my family about some of the bad things that I “remember” doing and saying. Generally, they all agree I wasn’t the horrible parent I think I was.

The kids are glad they grew up with me and not their father. That means a lot to me. He’s not a bad man, but they say they would have hated me if I’d let their father have them.

Even though I truly was in a deep depression and on a manic high most of their early lives they love me and want me in their lives. I run in a mixed state so you never know how I’ll act. I recall letting especially my youngest get away with more things because I was afraid I was being too sever with her. My older two say I did let her get away with too much. At least I remember that correctly.

On the other hand, maybe you are remembering certain things correctly and you were horrible. In that case I hope we can learn from those situations and find ways to keep them from happening again.

My message: Try to cut yourself some slack. Consider the three things we know about memory and apply them to yourself. You and I are probably not at horrible as we think we are.

I hope.

Bipolar – Overload and Fury Road

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{Warning: drama ahead.}

It’s said by people who know these kind of things that we really can only handle so many major life events at one time, or say, in one years’ time. I’ve passed the recommended daily disaster/stress quota already for this twelve-month period and I’m scheduling more for the near future. I’m maxed out. Friday night, I lost control.

Last year my father passed away after a horrible 6-month sudden fight with cancer including it spreading to his brain. It changed him at the end. It was horrifying. Add a few more major stressors and we come to Friday night when I lost my shit having been provoked by my son’s first girlfriend who is 21 years old. It could have happened at any time, but she pushed my last button and my “lose my shit” gun was locked and loaded. Then the little female of the species told me in a text that I would “NOT” be seeing my son Saturday. She had the nerve to shout at me! (Never shout in a text – use all caps.)

I’ll come clean and just say that I don’t like this girl. Like all good mom’s, I think she doesn’t measure up to what I believe my son deserves. I could give you a rundown of all the things that in my mind disqualify her as suitable for him, but that’s not what I’m blogging about at the moment.

Some of the stressors recently have included looking for a house for me in a market that is pretty much closed. We’re 45 min south of Seattle. Nuff said. There is no housing available and if you find it, it isn’t cheap. We’ve had a rough time finding a place, but we finally did.

Four days ago I scheduled to have my eldest cat put to everlasting sleep on this coming Tuesday. She too has cancer. She’s terminal and after seeing the cancer in an amazing ultrasound that her vet allowed me to sit in on, I agree that it is obvious that she’s got no hope. It’s very possible she’s in pain.

They wanted to know if I want to hold her. I feel like how can I not? But, how can I? My Mom offered to go sit with me. I said yes. So I’ll hold her when she takes her last breath. I’ll be responsible for that, for putting down a cat that seems as friendly and loving as ever. Okay, maybe she’s more friendly than before. She sits as close to my butt on the sofa that she can and as long as she can. I feel bad, but it annoys me after a while. I don’t like to be crowded. So, I feel guilt. My kids have known her, Siberia, most of their lives. She’s 12 and my youngest is 18. That’s happening Tuesday.

Friday, if all goes as planned, we get the keys to the new house and begin moving my things in. We need the keys for Friday but apparently that might not happen. Stress. The kids have taken the day off specifically because I was told we’d have the keys that day. OMG. We’ll be taking the really breakable things and things like the big TV that doesn’t have a box anymore. I’d like to get a lot moved that first day. I’m going to be depending on my kids heavily.

Sydney, my youngest daughter, is going to paint my bedroom for me. I’m thrilled! I’ve chosen purples! I’m going bold.

If, things go as I’ve planned them (and in the real world they rarely do), Kyle will have my brother’s work van and we’ll start moving small stuff and what not and Syd will start painting. Kyle was here doing a run to the dump with a bunch of furniture I wanted to get rid of for a few hours. He was 4 hours late and couldn’t come back to help with the things I can’t reach… which was the plan… after he went to the dump because he had to go get his girlfriend from work.

Sydney had called me at 9:00 a.m. (Friday) and bowed out because her doggie has a hurt paw and she needs to keep her from licking it. Terrific. Friday wasn’t so smooth. I asked Kyle if he was still coming over to help Saturday, yesterday. He said he and Blank, his live-in girlfriend of 3 months wanted to do some things so he couldn’t be here. I thought we had already agreed he’d be here on all his days off at least part of the time to pack. (I am going through the stuff that has followed me through ten years of a failed marriage and 30 years of living with junk I haven’t even seen some of. In my case, my bipolar has made it hard for me to let go…. That’s for another day.)

Okay, Blank (the girlfriend), I taught my kids that family always comes first. I have deadlines that I can’t put off. My emotional wellbeing and a lot of money are tied up in what happens in the next week or so. She demanded that he be with her Saturday to do a few things. He takes her to work, picks her up after work, spends all evening with her, spends all his off work hours with her and yet she feels neglected. True he’s been helping me packing the last three weeks maybe one day a week and spending time with Siberia before she’s gone for good. He has Fridays off. He takes her to work, then comes to help me, then goes to pick her up from work and goes home. How is that taking him away from her?

Where does a 21-year-old girl, who doesn’t know me or anything about me, get off talking to me the way she did? You’ll just have to take my word for it. She was disrespectful and spoke to me like I was a child. She shouted at me in a text that “he would NOT be helping me.” Who the hell does she think she is?

Why isn’t my son standing up for me? Why isn’t he explaining things to her? It’s his first girlfriend, I know that. But she shoved her control of him in my face and that was the end of it. Oh, she’s offered to come over with him AFTER he gets off work today. Terrific. I’ve never liked her. I think she dresses like a slob and is a ditz. She gets herself so worked up over doing homework that she doesn’t do it. Then she insists on Kyle stay with her when she finally does it, when it’s late. She gets depressed all the time and leans on my son to hold her up. The longer I know her the more I see her using him.

I pride myself on the fact that I don’t gossip about and with family members. This is the first time I’ve had reason to. Last night I texted with Blank’s cousin and Kyle’s best friend about her. I was really looking for muscle to help move my TV, but we got off topic and talked about them. He’s worried about Kyle too.

I haven’t been invited to Kyle and Blank’s house once since he moved in with her. I haven’t been invited to meet them at the park to walk the dogs and get to know each other. I’ve done the inviting. I know, she’s just a child, 21. She’s a female sharing a bed with my son. She’s no child.

I had called and asked if she would like to come over yesterday with Kyle to help me. She was walking her dog and said she’d call me back. She didn’t. Later I got a text from her explaining that she has control over Kyle, not me. Oh hell no. I called her and I went off. Fury unleashed.

I haven’t been this angry since Sydney lied to me about dating her now fiancée last year. I don’t even know this girl but the fury I felt was real. I wanted to immerse her in all the pain and stress I’m feeling right now and drown her in it… let her see how it feels.

Oh and that’s not all. I start, hopefully, moving Friday, right? The movers are coming to get the majority of the stuff on Monday. I’m hoping to be fully moved out by the end of Monday. Then August 7th I fly to Tampa to drive my eldest daughter Jessica (leaving the Air Force) and her two cats across the country to here, home.

I have no small amount of stress in my head. I don’t need a clueless child getting the cogs in my rickety machine tangled up and destroying the sensitive state that I’m perched in. And I go back to school in the fall. That’s super stressful for me. This time Kyle won’t be around to ground me. It will all be on me.

So after I unleashed my ineffective fury on Blank, I called Sydney so I could try to calm down. As usual she didn’t react the way I expected her to. She told me basically that she couldn’t believe that her powerful mom, who despite all the odds being against her, kept her kids and raised them and did it really well. She said that despite my Bipolar and other issues I kept them and their dad didn’t get to raise them. She was angry with me for letting someone who should have no power over me, have power over me like that. Where was the powerful woman she knew her mom was at? I got my ass handed to me.

It took me hours to go to sleep and then I over slept.

Hopefully the fury is now in remission. I fear the overload is not. I’ll have to be more careful. Stay on top of taking my meds and going to my appointments. I should tell my new counselor about the fury I suppose. I stopped walking Bailey when it started raining again a few weeks ago. Today was one of the few days we’ve been out. It was muggy.

I don’t know how Bailey did it, but she spotted something gross on the side of the highway and rolled in it without breaking stride. So gross.

So yeah, overload and fury road. I am so mindful of the overload. I feel the fury sticking inside me like my dog eating peanut butter. I’ve got to control myself.

I have no intention of apologizing to Blank today. I have nothing to apologize for. I suppose I could apologize for yelling, but she was yelling too. Little bitch. You don’t get to mess with my family. (Obviously there is a lot more to things than I’m saying here. This is just to give you an idea of how I’m doing.)

I think it’s time for me to have a private talk with Kyle about the differences between family and a girlfriend. The major difference to me is that when everyone walks away from you in the most desperate moments of your life, your family still has your back, still believes in you, still loves you. Family is always what you have left when all the others have gone. That’s how I raised him. The four of us, we are family. Jessica, Kyle, Sydney and I. Unbreakable.

Overload and fury road. Don’t mess with me Blank. I’ve got stuff going on and you don’t want to be the one the fury road dead ends at, especially now that I’ve had time to think things over and not just react emotionally, which is what I did.

I still feel the residue of Friday night’s fury. I feel it settling into my intellectual side, ready to spring into action in a more reasonable way. I’m not going to have a shouting match with a child. She’ll be respectful to me if she comes over with him today, or she’ll be invited to leave.

I’m so angry with her that I called my Mom, whom I sometimes fight with, and explained the situation to her. Kyle has also started caring less about his appearance since he moved in with her. He needs to care because he works with the public every day at work. He’s also started using credit now that he lives with her. He never even had a credit card until he moved in with Blank. Now he’s just bought the $800 Samsung S7 active. He was using a free texting phone and was proud of it before her. Now he owes on the phone, furniture and other things. He doesn’t even have a full-time job. When he lived here he never used credit. I know he has to live his own life and make his own mistakes. I’m not fine with that, but I accept it.

My family didn’t approve of my ex-husband. No one said anything to me about it. Taking the kids out of the equation, marrying him ruined my life. Would I have listened if my family had tried to talk to me about how they felt and what they saw before I married my ex? I don’t know for sure, but there’s a chance it might have. I’m going to give Kyle that chance. He’s too new at relationships to just let him be pulled about by a user. Blank is a user of other people. Also, she too has mental health issues. That alone makes me afraid for him. He deserves to live with a healthy partner. Not that a mental illness means it wouldn’t work, but look, I’m who he’s been living with. I don’t want him to have to keep dealing with issues like I have. He deserves freedom and joy.

She may come over with Kyle today when he comes over after work to help pack. I can’t reach the areas I need him to pack. All us females are under 5’5” and we need his long arms and legs. If she does I will not apologize for our phone call. I have nothing to apologize for. I will be polite. Beyond that, we’ll have to see.

Honey, the name the kids all call my Mom, is thinking she’ll “happen” to swing by while he’s here to check out how he’s doing. I think she’s going to scope out his hygiene. Since he’s moved in with her he isn’t showering everyday like he was. He gets greasy fast so that’s bad. Sydney, who works for the same company as Kyle does, says he looks bad at work. She says his cloths are sloppy and look old and like they fit someone else. She says he’s failed his last three secret shoppers. That’s grounds to be fired. When he still lived here he got several bonuses from the secret shoppers, not fails.

Maybe I’m focusing on Blank because I’m putting Siberia down on Tuesday. Maybe it’s the move or the idea of driving across the country that is making me sensitive to her. Maybe.

I’ll tell you this for certain. No one messes with my kids whether they’re adults or not.

I’ve always been honest with my kids. I see no reason to stop being honest with them now. The truth is, Blank provokes me to anger with the way she interacts with me and keeps my son from seeing me. I’ve heard the way she talks about the aunt she was living with for two years before the aunt kicked her out. She’s vicious. She interprets things to her advantage and then gets Kyle to agree with her….

Okay, I’ve vented in extreme here. I don’t recall doing this like this before. Well, it is a blog about my life and stress is a huge part of my life right now and she’s causing some of it. It’s time for me to recognize that I don’t have to let her get me upset and I don’t have to worry that I have to protect my son from her. I have to have faith that the good job I did raising him and his own personality and intelligence are enough to take care of himself.

Why did he have to sign a year-long lease? Sigh….

Bipolar – Pleasing Personality

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As I look back over the last week I see several days where I had less than a pleasing personality. I wasn’t fun to be around. I guess getting ready to move and all the packing and coordinating is weighing heavily on me and I’m letting it change how I interact with people. I’m allowing it to change me in negative ways. I wasn’t keeping an eye on myself. I should have known that I needed to be careful.

I’ve worked so hard over the years to become someone I like. I like myself a whole lot more now than I did even a year ago, but it’s easy to slide back into the familiar crappy personality I the whole time my bipolar symptoms had free reign with me I wasn’t someone people wanted to know.

I should get a tattoo that says, “Daily, proceed with caution.” That way I’ll remember not to take myself for granted and let a mood swing, even a small one, affect my personality and turn me into a person no one wants to be around.

Twice I took the bipolar bait and let potential negative situations explode into fights with family members. I was surprised with how easily I started becoming the person I was for most of my life. I don’t want to lose the better “me”.

Let me give you an example. I didn’t just argue with my Mom, I fought with her. Neither of us was listening to the other and both were convinced the other was wrong.

My Mom and I fought over money. She supports me financially because I can’t work. I get some money from SSI because I’m officially disabled, but it doesn’t even cover my rent so I really shouldn’t fight with her. Morally, I should show her respect. Etiquette dictates that I be respectful to my mother.

I need to work especially hard to have my mood swings well away from my Mom. We lost my Dad just over a year ago and she’s still grieving. She doesn’t need me coming in and making her feel the way she does when we fight. I know it hurts her. She doesn’t explain things well so when she says something and I react to it as though that’s what she really meant to communicate to me we almost always fight.

I should really be asking her what she means. As I told my kids growing up, “ask good questions.” I will start asking her good questions to make sure I really understand what she means. I’ve been saving money since last September because I figured I’d be moving sometime in the near future. Now it’s July the next year and I’m moving. I’ve got enough money saved to buy a piece of furniture, new towels, flatware, a book case and things like that. Oh and I got a new toaster. She freaked out because although I reassure her I have enough money to buy these things she worries and expects that she’ll end up paying for them because that’s the way things have always been in the past.

I’ve always relied on her to bail me out financially. I didn’t go out and buy things I didn’t need, but she couldn’t see that. She just saw $$$ and doesn’t really trust me yet. I don’t blame her.

I’ve kept how much money I have saved private because I didn’t want her trying to make me spend it on paying for the movers or house cleaners. Maybe I should pay for them, but I’m not going to and I’ve explained why to her. I want my own things when I move into my own house. Everything I have is from her. She uses things, gets tired of them, and gives them to me. I don’t even have bath towels that I bought for myself. I’m 53 and I’m still getting hand-me-downs.

Yes, I’m thankful she’s taking care of my needs, but just this once I want to buy somethings for myself. She says she understands that, but I think she still thinks I’ll spend recklessly because that’s what I’ve always done in the past. I’m not going to do that. I’m paying for things as I go so I won’t overspend. I hope I’ll earn her trust as we go through this situation.

I’ve probably told you more than you want to know about the situation, but I have a good reason for that. As painful as it is to admit to anyone but myself that I let myself out of control and let my swinging moods overrun me, I’m admitting it now. I wasn’t careful and I let my mood change who I was.

I was acting like I used to act when we fought all the time. I really don’t want to blow all the hard work I’ve done or our relationship just because of some stress over moving. It was stupid really. I was just being stubborn and didn’t want to tell her how much money I have. To me it’s the only thing that’s really mine, I felt that she didn’t need to know how much money I’ve saved. I believed it wasn’t her business.

I finally reassured her things would be fine, but I did have to tell her how much money I’ve saved up. I told her I have enough to buy the things I’d showed her I was buying.

You know I did try to not fight about it. I sent her links to what I wanted to buy and asked her what she thought. I don’t know that she saw anything but the price. I think we’ve come to an understanding. I feel like my personality is intact again. There are so many things that affect our personalities. I think we all want people to like us. The way I was behaving wasn’t doing that.

Today I have been reflecting on losing my temper during the week. I think I’ve spotted what the triggers were. Now I’m more prepared for the next time my moods poke me and try to make me behave badly. I’m committed to having a pleasing personality. After all, I figure I’m more likely to be successful if people like me, and don’t try to avoid my bitchy ass.

My quest for reaching my goals and following my passions are back on track. Everything impacts these things. I’m not going to give up my dreams because my moods are swinging. I respect my moods and their swings, but I’m determined to live my life with positive passion.

Having a pleasing personality will move me towards my objectives. I’m committed to developing it.

Bipolar – Does It Make Me Stupid?

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Stupid chicken

Am I stupid? Or am I just depressed?

Over the years I’ve said that I feel like I’m dumber than I was when I was younger. The older I was getting, the stupider I felt. I was honestly concerned that this was a part of the natural aging process and was happening to me early or a part of Bipolar Disorder. Maybe over time Bipolar Disorder destroyed the brain and I was naturally losing my ability to think because that was something that came with the illness.

Felt.

Years later I learned that the way I felt had nothing to do with my intelligence. I have a mood disorder, not an IQ killer.

I wasn’t becoming mentally challenged. It was all about moods. Not intelligence.

Intelligence.

Mood disorder.

Not the same.

The way I thought about it was with violence. I was so angry and frustrated that I couldn’t think things through. I made bad decision after bad decision. I “felt” stupider. That’s key with our Bipolar Disorder. We can feel stupid. (If you don’t ever feel dumber, you can skip this post.) If you have, keep reading because it is important that you understand what’s going on in your brain.

We have what is known as a mood disorder. That is, we have moods that are extreme and can fluctuate wildly compared to a regular person. Instead of being sad, we become extremely depressed. Instead of being angry, we become enraged. Instead of being excited, we become manic.

These mood fluctuations and extremes impact the way we think. They don’t make us stupid, but we can feel that way. The moods interfere with the way we think.

People tell us to think positively, things will be okay. Unfortunately, the weight of depression can prevent us from feeling like we can think at all, much less think positively.

When I first heard of Tony Robbins, success coach and public speaker, I tried out one of his 30-day programs designed to teach me to be successful. All I had to do was follow the directions spelled out on the card that went with each day and listen to the 30-minute tape that went with it.

The program challenged me to change my thinking. That was the basis of the program, change your thinking to be successful. I was depressed. I didn’t feel like I could do it. So, I quit. I felt like I was too stupid to understand the lessons. That had to be what was wrong. It never occurred to me that my illness could be impacting my ability to think clearly and keeping me from focusing on the lessons and understanding what Mr. Robbins was teaching. I’ve gone back to Mr. Robbins teachings recently and discovered that I understand him just fine. I wasn’t depressed this time. I was able to understand what he taught and use some of the principles he presented.

I’m not stupid.

I have a mood disorder.

If you have a mood disorder, please understand that it does not mean you are dumb.

I don’t know how intelligent you are or are not. I do know that Bipolar Disorder does not make you less intelligent.

Bipolar Disorder does not make you dumb.

It is a mood disorder, not a brain eater.

Bipolar – Magnificent Obsession

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I believe that I, a person with Bipolar Disorder, can have a definite purpose in life. I believe although I have Bipolar Disorder I can have a main goal for my life and I believe I can reach it. I believe I have the ability to find a magnificent obsession, an overwhelming passion to dedicate my life to.

The illness ate year after year of my life, but now I understand that it doesn’t have to get a free pass to destroying me. I say this although I suffered for years of feeling like I was being ravaged from within. I can remember doing things, thinking things, and feeling emotions that were bipolar even when I was a young teen.

My poor mom. I was a devil to live with growing up. My depression often expressed itself as vicious anger. She tried to help me. She knew something was wrong. Some of the things she tried included counseling, religion, hypnotism, and sending me to live with relatives for the summer hoping that they could get through to me. Nothing helped. I once tried to kill my brother by bouncing on his chest till he turned purple. I only stopped because I knew that I would get in trouble if I actually killed him.

I knew something was terribly wrong with me. In high school I started actively searching to help myself I started going to church and there began chasing hard after God for the next 25 years. During my most devoted years I attended a Bible college and earned a bachelor’s degree.

Still, I suffered.

Many of my symptoms of bipolar disorder presented looking very much like sin. I couldn’t stop being bipolar and I couldn’t stop the “sinning”. No one knew I was sick and even if they had, I don’t believe they had the tools to help me. At one point some of the missionary staff tried to cast demons out of me.

Years later when I was a single mom and had left religion far behind me I no longer felt like a condemned sinner. Having that weight lifted off my shoulders did a lot to enable me to get out from under some of the self-created depression and condemnation. I had been obsessed with trying to stop sinning and all I succeeded in doing was make my condition worse.

I suffered and slowly died inside as I impacted my three young children with the violence of my inner turmoil. I said things, I threw things… I did a lot of things I wish they had never experienced.

I learned about success teacher Tony Robbins on an infomercial and began on my quest to be successful. I hoped that “success” would give me the strength to not give in to the urges of my illness. I thought that if I could be successful, I could be in control of myself. If people could use these principles to get rich, maybe I could use them to be successful in controlling my bipolar. I ordered the material he was selling and set to work enthusiastically doing the 30-day program.

Something amazing happened to me while I was going through the program: I learned how to think before I reacted and I learned I could preserver when I failed and I could try again. I learned to never accept defeat. I learned I could choose how I wanted to behave and I could actually behave that way. I was able to change the way I thought about myself, who I was and what my future might hold. I learned to have hope.

I’ve worked for years to follow certain success principles. I’d go for long periods of time when I forgot about them especially when I was depressed. The illness is still with me, my companion for life.

Today, I believe I’m successful. I’m doing what I love every day. I’ve taken the additional success materials of Napoleon Hill and Clement Stone and found that I could have a purpose for my life, regardless of who I am, and I found principles to help me achieve it.

These principles help me get up in the morning and do things that I know will fight my depression, my mania and all that lay between so that I can function and keep chasing my goals and be successful. I refuse to lose to my illness. I may have setbacks when the illness does overtake me and I will tell you that for many years I lost the fight against it and realistically I will probably have times when I feel I’ve lost to it in the future. Right now, I’m taking my life back. That’s why I blog. It is one way I’m taking back my life back.

I still have to take chill pills daily along with all my other meds. I’m not anywhere near perfect or even functioning at my best. But, when the hill has been climbed and I’m back among the living I still have my purpose to drive me. I’d like to say it’s a reason I get up in the mornings, but I’m not there yet. Yet.

I have a magnificent obsession I’m focused upon. I have goals and dreams that I am working on so that they will come true. I believe I can be even more successful than I can possibly understand today.

I have Bipolar Disorder and I’m amazing.