Bipolar – Pain – Mental Illness

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Whenever I want to try to help someone understand what I call my “mental pain,” I search other kinds of pain that I’ve experienced that others might identify with. Then I explain how that translates to my mental pain. Of course, it’s different for each of us, and sometimes, it’s even different for me from time to time.

This morning I’m experiencing severe pain in my eyes. I don’t normally feel pain and then think, “Oh, I should use this to explain my mental pain!” But right now, the pain is clawing from the front of my eyeballs through my temples. It’s at an 8 on the pain scale.

I woke up Friday morning and couldn’t see. I closed my eyes, I thought that’s what I was doing, and the pain was, well, blinding. I tried to open them and there was no change. Were they open? Or closed?

I’d started using Restasis almost two months ago and was enjoying moister eyes. I hadn’t realized they had become so uncomfortable. In my panic, I thought that my might eyelids could be stuck to my eyeballs. Was I blind!?

I couldn’t be blind! I couldn’t stand it.

A small flash of reason reached through and I reached for my eyedrops. I’m supposed to use them every few hours throughout the day. I couldn’t find them. I couldn’t see them, and my hand couldn’t find them. Eventually, though I did reach them and squeezed the vial empty into my eyes. It was working! I could see now so I got another vial and did it again. It was getting better. I could see and the pain was lessening.

I can only describe the pain like having sandpaper on the inside of my eyelids. They scraped up and down, again and again. I called my eye doctor six minutes after they opened and was soon being seen. My dry eyes had gone from a .7 (like the California deserts) to a .2 in dryness (like the Atacama Desert, located in Chile, is the driest sandy desert in the world) in dryness.

It occurs to me, as I sit on my couch right now, and wait for the pain in my eyes to subside (this is also new), that this is very much like some of the mental pain I sometimes feel.

How can I explain to someone without a mental illness what the infusion of depression, anxiety, confusion, and panic cause as a sort of mental pain? It hurts. My heavens it hurts so hard. Sometimes I just want it all to stop. It has to stop.

Having this pain in my eyes has made me think about pain and making it stop. Would I be willing to give up my eyes in order to stop this pain if it was to be permanent and get worse and worse? My first response is “no.” But then I realize what I’ve just said. This feeling, this feeling of wanting it to stop no matter what, it’s an illusion that my brain creates when my emotions are desperate for relief.

An illusion? Not an illusion, but subjective. We feel our pain in diverse ways and respond differently too. Can you imagine the pain I’m feeling in my eyes? My pride says you cannot. My suffering is worse than what you can understand. Is this true? Of course it is. Only I understand my personal pain.

Then why should I bother trying to explain what my mental pain is like? Because even if I can’t help someone to fully realize what I’m going through, at the very least it’s a healthy thing for me to do… reach out. And, the person who’s willing to listen is being given the chance to be compassionate. They may not understand what I’m feeling, but maybe they will grow in their ability to be compassionate in the future to others… to me.

My eyes have course sandpaper lining the inside of my eyelids. Every blink feels as though it is ripping more and more of my eye away. I want it to stop.

Do you feel mental and emotional pain? What about physical pain that makes you feel suffering mentally? Do you keep your pain to yourself? Or do you reach out and try to connect with someone who may learn to be compassionate?

Bipolar Parent

Greetings friends, how are you doing in these wee hours of Friday morning?

Me? I’ve been both better and worse. Thursday had hours I enjoyed… then it crashed and burned as only the day of a parent can do.

When my three kids were young I had impressed even my ex-mother-in-law (let’s call her Kathy) with how well behaved and just good all around people my children were. Now, we are being stalked by rough and naked emotions that have always existed (that would be me, Bipolar parent) but are now beyond my own mind and have grabbed hold of my youngest.

I thought I was a good person growing up. I felt as though I were a likable person, yet I didn’t have many friends. I was lonely much of the time and kept my own company out on our small ranch with my horse, dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, cows and the occasional ducks.

I was a shit.

Seriously. I was a short, freckled shit. Today my mother and I can look years back and point to much of my careening and completely out of control behavior and emotions and say, “That, that right there!” And recognize it as full on Bipolar Disorder presenting before I even had my drivers license.

In short – I was angry all the time and blamed everyone one else for everything. My depression and anger were crushing me and the only name I could give it was – sin. I was a practicing Christian and all those “evil” emotions were clearly not of God… but that’s a topic for another time.

My youngest and his regular doctor decided that he does not have the highly genetic Bipolar brain that I’m still learning to embrace. Anxiety. Depression. Mania. Mood swings. Irrational behavior. That’s Scott, my “I’m a psych major. I already know how to deal with anger and anxiety.”

Scott is transitioning from my second daughter, Sydney, to my second son, Scott. (Incidentally my father’s name was Scott.) Scott is undergoing hormone treatment. He wasn’t always easy to talk to about things that he felt “attacked” him. Now he’s so much more difficult.

I despair.

He turns 21 this Saturday. He’s angry and bitter and is working so hard to make people not like him that I just want to sit down and breathe like I’m having a baby all the time. He and his wife are both psychology majors who it seems aren’t studying behavior.

Odd.

Scott sounds just like I did. If transitioning changes him into the sex his mind believes him to be, then I will continue to try to learn and gain deeper understanding. However, he’s a grown man (he says) and I expect him to at least respect me.

§ On Father’s Day Scott thanked me for being both his mom and his dad growing up. §

What I will not do is accept from him the same behavior at 21 that I had at 14. He has tools around him to teach him about what’s running loose in his little grey cells. Me – religion, animals, and hypnosis.

The weight of his relentless ill-will and violent anger crushed me at dinner. It was like fighting with my dad, but I was the reasoning one (yeah, no. My dad wasn’t good at being rational when angry either.)

Top the whole bloody mess off with a leaking red cherry on it and you have a self-entitled disrespecting second son.

I’m not having it anymore.

Being a parent with Bipolar is terrifying literally every second of that child’s life for me. With Scott acting like the individual (did I mention pressured speech?) that he clearly isn’t I have no clue how to even begin to help him to stop yelling into my face that I should shut up because I’m not listening.

Huh?

Parenting the twenty-something kid today is a massive challenge for this Bipolar mom. I have been charged with the crime of trying to build good family memories. I have felt despair and anger towards Scott. These are not the memories I want to build. We’re going to work this out, but I realize that I will very possibly react like I have Bipolar Disorder while we do it.

I can do this. I can figure out my part in healing our relationship. Be loving and kind… and forgiving.

However, Scott is a grown man and if he does not have Bipolar Disorder or some other explanation for his behavior, then he’d better watch out. I corralled the three of them through their teens by myself and while not properly medicated for my illness.

Respect me as your mom.

Respect my illness.

Respect yourself and get help if we just can’t talk it out.

I really wanted to go old school, like back to when I was a kid, and wash his mouth out with some nasty bar of soap like Dial or Lava and spank him with a wooden spoon. Two if the first one breaks.

Sigh….. parenting never ends, not really. My mom is still my mom. Who else would she be?

Scott, baby? YOU! It’s time for YOU to shut up and listen.

Bipolar Disorder-Announcing a New, Really Helpful Book on Living Successfully With Our Super Powers

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I’m graduating from the University of Washington at Tacoma on the 11th. I can’t wait. This entire year the pressure has been building within me. It feels tangible, like a physical thing pulling at me, never letting me alone.

I broke. I threw the mouse for my laptop. I threw it really hard right in front of my daughter who has just moved in with me. I scared her. It’s been years since I’ve acted like that, so violent and scary. She didn’t know what to do. My dog, who is supposed to be my emotional support dog, ran for Jessica’s room and hid there until it was safe to come back out. I had to get her to forgive me and we calmed each other down. She doesn’t like me yelling, raiding my voice or swearing.

The pressure to get a job frightens me and cracks begin to tear in the fragile being that is me.

My grandfather had a window washing company and a carpet cleaning company. When he retired my father and mother took it over. Now, my brother and his partner run the company, I have had two publishing companies that I started myself. Then my brain went kaboom! And it all went away.

I’ve gone back to college hoping to gain the skills necessary to better start and run another new business. I’m planning on having another publishing company that focuses on non-fiction, especially regarding mental health. Here, in this blog, I share with you my honest experiences and troubles. What I don’t do, is preach to you about what I think are answers to my problems. If you scan my posts, you may see different ways I deal with my illnesses.

Announcing a New, Really Helpful Book on
Living Successfully With Our Super Powers

I believe that the dozens and dozens of books on mental illness and especially on Bipolar Disorder miss the mark in dealing with the real issues I face every day. Let me give you an example. I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of trouble focusing on one thing long enough finish it. Also, anxiety has been beating me over the head and for the first time, I felt it was necessary to tell my family and my counselor that I’d been having brief moments of wanting to hurt myself. I’ve felt it so strongly that I was frightened that I might actually do something.

Am I qualified to give advice regarding Bipolar Disorder? I don’t have a degree in psychology, but I have raised three kids on my own. I’ve been dealing with my illness for as long as I can recall. My mother always thought it was her fault that I behaved the way I did. I finally learned that I had been presenting symptoms since I was very young. She thought I was possessed I think. My parents sent me to stay for the summer with her very religious sister and her family. I think she was hoping it might change me. It never did. Oh, I want to mention that I have a degree in Religious Education (or something like that). I no longer actively practice my faith.

Why am I qualified to undertake this project? I care about each of you. I want to present different ideas on how to survive and even thrive despite having a life long illness. I’ll be getting my degree in Writing Studies in a few days. Hopefully that has taught me how to communicate my thoughts better. I don’t aim for perfection in my blogs. I just want to express my real life situations and feelings to you.

Most of the books that I have are primarily loaded with worksheets. Worksheets! I can barely sit still long enough to focus and understand a short chapter there’s no way I’m doing worksheets. How do you feel about them?

Well, that’s enough of that. Maybe you’ll be interested in it, maybe you won’t. To each is his own.

I am a survivor. I might fall and be all scuffed up, but I’ll heal and I’ll get back to work. I believe that I know what my passion is and I’ve committed myself to give myself over to it.

Have you ever considered doing that?

I hope that you’ll stick around and maybe recommend my blog to others who might resonate with it.

We are a group of people who are not understood by the general public. We’ve gone from being stuck in special hospitals for the instant and given inhumane treatments to today when we are blamed for mass shootings. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time that we rally around ourselves and learn about ourselves first. Then, I would like to see us enter into our communities and make a difference. We are real people who want to live real lives.

I’m not going to try to get you to come to seminars where I will convince you to purchase expensive kits that include DVDs, workbooks, cards to memorize and other “useful” things.

No, that’s not how it should be done.

There are more of us who suffer from illnesses like Bipolar Disorder than “normal” people could possibly imagine. We are everywhere. I think it’s time to take our special superpowers and use them to change our lives, and maybe our world.

Do we have superpowers? Of course, we do. Can you recall the last time someone you know was suffering and you understood how they felt and knew just what to do for them? No? Well, don’t be discouraged. Our superpowers are often there and doing their things. We just don’t recognize them for what they are.

So school’s almost over and I’ll have time to work exclusively on my new business. There is so much for me to learn. And I have so much to share with you.

If you’re curious or have a suggestion for me to consider please email me right away. I’ll take every message seriously. After all, who knows better what will help us other than ourselves.

I think it’s time to rock! How about you? Are you ready to get the messy monster off your back even a little bit? I can’t cure you. No one can. If they tell you they can they are liars. What I can do is walk alongside you, understand your pain, and search for ways to live fulfilling lives.

Please tell me what you think about this project. I honestly want to hear your thoughts on it.

Oh one more thing, I find a lot of things funny. I had one of my class in stitches Thursday. I was supposed to be giving a presentation and I turned it into a standup routine. I can’t help myself. I love to make people laugh. I didn’t talk about my illness, but I have many times before. There is so much that I have to take with a dose of laughter.

Well, be well my friends

Robin

Bipolar – The Truth About Emotions

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.

Relaxing Music

I just found this. I’ve not listened to the whole thing, but so far I really like it. Tell me what you think.

I’ve been so very stressed and angry lately. I have got to calm down. I’m suffering in my classes and in my mind.

This is my last quarter before I graduate. I’m going to try to make it my best one. First, get my emotions under control.

I have to keep reminding myself…

I’m UNSTOPPABLE!

Watch “Relaxing Piano Music: Beautiful Music, Romantic Music, Relaxing Music, Sleep Music ★136” on YouTube