Category Archives: College

Checking-In

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pargola eclipse

Under my pergola during the eclipse, 2017.

I didn’t realize today was Sunday until my dear mother texted me and reminded me that the Seahawks were playing. Sunday. How did we get from the horrors of Thursday, past the delightful day hiking on Mt. Rainier on Friday… to Sunday?

(Thursday I spent 4 hours in the Denturist’s chair. It was terrible. The worst was when he oozed goo down my throat and didn’t know it. I hurled and hurled until up came a wad of latex looking stuff. Then, another large piece… then, a third. The teaching Professor said it sounded like I was being given the heimlich. I was. Only I was giving it to myself. It was a nightmare. I haven’t been able to sleep because I keep feeling the goo going down my throat and sitting just beyond the reach of my fingers… I keep eating to try to make the feeling go away. It isn’t working.)

Now Sunday is ending. I got up early and walked my dog before the fall rains started. Literally, today was the first rain in days and days. It has ushered in the fall. The temperature has lowered in one week and the air is crisp.

I enjoy the cool clean air, but I will miss the sun. The sun helped me fight my depression. I’m hoping to spend time outside during the cloudy months under my covered pergola nestled in a warm coat.

Right now, I’m feeling sad, as though I’ve wasted my day. I spent quite a lot of time getting to know how to use Dish and Alexa. Dish doesn’t display the time like the Xfinity box did so I had no idea how long I’d been fussing around. I’ll need to get a little digital clock.

I’m feeling sad, fearful and anxious. One and a half weeks and my classes at the University of Washington will resume. I can’t control my emotions regarding it.

At this moment, Alexa is playing me some relaxing classical music. I’m thankful for that.

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.

 

Changes and Triggers

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By now I know that major changes in my life can trigger an episode. This is true for everyone who suffers from Bipolar Disorder. Last September I went to Florida to see my daughter for ten days. We spent nearly every day at one of the amusement parks. That plus the flights there and back were major stressors for me. Then just a few days after I got back, I started back to school at the University of Washington at Tacoma. That was another even bigger stressor. I admit, I didn’t do great dealing with the overload and eventually had to start on a chill pill so I could get back to where I could function.

Now I’m taking spring quarter off from school (another stressor) and am looking for a small house to buy closer to town (yet another stressor). I’m hoping that my son will move out when I move (stressor) so that I can just get it all over with at one time.

I’ve been reading one the books on my “Books” page called “The Bipolar Survival Guide” and it reminded me that these types of stressors can lead to episodes. I’ve not only got one stressor, but since my dad passed last year in January it’s been nonstop stress.

How am I doing? I’m listening to my dog and playing more and taking her to the park to walk her with my son, his girlfriend and her dog. I’m sleeping enough. I’m eating okay. I’m trying to eat better. I’m taking my meds on schedule. I’m not doing my usual occasional night of skipping my meds for a night just because I can, because that’s a stupid and risky thing to do. I have some wine in the refrigerator that I will be getting rid of. No more alcohol. I have enough stressors and triggers tapping on my “overload’ button without me purposefully adding more.

How am I doing right now? I want some of that Hersey chocolate frozen pie stuff, that’s how I’m doing.

I really wish I had some!

So now begins the time when I have enough time to realize how stressed I am and actually act stressed. I’m not looking forward to having free time. How’s that for weird?

Bipolar – Should I Go Back to College?

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So…. I’ve applied and been accepted at the UWT (University of Washington at Tacoma). If I get all the funding I need I’m considering going back to college full-time.

Now, is this a good idea? I would be pursuing a Bachelors in Creative Writing (which would probably help the quality of my writing in my blogs). Is my Bipolar so disabling that I should not go?

Could I keep my wits about me? I did when I was younger. I loved school. I love to learn. I really love to learn. I wouldn’t be going just to go, I have a specific reason for going. I want to write better and it would be nice to put that BA after my name, especially when I’m doing specific, serious writing. It might lend a little credibility to my name when I’m publishing books and such. (Sometimes I feel like I’ll never finish the book I’m working on.)

I’m wondering if I will still be sane if I try to pull off doing MORE. I do my best (or used to anyway) under pressure. Going back to college would definitely do that. I’ve got several other projects I’m working on. Will it take away too much time from them? Or would the added work press me to finish faster? I think either is possible.

My youngest daughter, Sydney, has mono right now. She’s had some serious pain with it which has been lousy. I took her to the ER the other night for pain in her spleen and totally missed my nighttime meds. Earlier in the week I had decided to be rebellious and I didn’t take my nighttime meds. That’s twice this week. And I’ve been getting up late and that’s put off my morning meds from being taken at regular times. The result… I reacted… no I OVER reacted to the kids and became very very angry about nothing. Seriously, I don’t even recall what it was.

If missing my meds twice in one week and the stress from my daughter being sick (I don’t think I’ve properly grieved my father’s passing yet either.) allowed me to flip out, what will happen if I have extra stress (mentally, emotionally and physically too. I’ll be much tireder as well with the demand on me to drive 45 minutes to school and back for classes).

Will it be too much for me?

Then there is the consideration of needing to have time to see my med provider and my pain management person when I need to. They aren’t in the same town. School is in Tacoma while both appointments are in Puyallup and there isn’t a short and easy way to get from one to the other.

Will I eat better or worse? What about Bailey? (the puppy)

There is so much to consider.

At the moment I shall go forward with attending school in the fall. I will also be prepared not to go. This way I’ll be emotionally ready for either option.

Oh, and my counselor, the fourth and I think finally the best, at the facility I go to is out indefinitely for medical reasons. Terrific. I wish her all the best and hope she will be well. I will also miss her. In the meantime they have me seeing a peer counselor each week. It’s nice to have someone to talk to, but she’s not a counselor.

Here I am. Thinking about putting myself into a stressful situation again. But you know, it might be better for me than being at home alone while the kids are gone. Stay tuned…

Be well,

Robin

Bipolar – Wow!

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You know, sometimes I don’t know what to write to you. Sometimes I just have no time. Sometimes I’m too overwhelmed to nail it down and make sense of it.

Today, I’m excited! I’m officially going back to school! I’m going to the University of Washington at Tacoma (UWT)!

You should know that my transferred credits still make me a freshman. This is important because my youngest, Sydney, is also a freshman at UWT. She doesn’t really want me to go to the same school any more than she wants herself and her brother also to be a student at UWT. So, all four of us in my little family will be going to college in the fall. So awesome! Can you believe it? three of us at the same school?!

On a sadder note my father passed away on Martin Luther King Day. He’s out of pain and my mom can begin to recover. He suffered from a lot of pain and at the end he didn’t know us. The brain tumor did that. This was the most difficult part for my mom before he passed… fighting  to give pain medication to someone who thinks you’re trying to poison him, and then soon after not able to talk at all and reflexively fighting her when it was time for her meds. I had to hold his arms down. I have been in “emergency” mode since we started being with him 24 hours a day. I may be still. I made a movie of his life on my birthday. That was a good thing for me.

I haven’t reacted with tears oh hysteria like my mom and brother have. My kids have taken it harder than I have (they were closer than I was to him).

I asked my son if he thought grandpa would be proud of me. He didn’t even hesitate, he said, “Yes, of course he would!” I need to ask my mom too. For some reason I need to know. I’ll ask her now. .. . .