Writing to Release My Pain

brain_on_fire As long as I can remember my mom has been telling me to write down my troubles (like people I hate [my interpretation], my frustrations, the things that are bothering me, and so on). I imagine that people actually do this… but I don’t. It’s probably because my mom tells me to try it and I rarely listen to my mom. Isn’t that horrible?

I do things that have my spin on them and they basically do the same thing. I write in a journal. This has turned into a massively time-consuming endeavor. I feel better when I finish, but I’d better go to bed an hour earlier if I plan on doing it before bed.

I started out buying those books that are used in school. They’re cheap and I can get loads of them with different colors and characters. Then I discovered the leather bound, very expensive ones at the bookstore. Oh, my word! They are so cool! I began looking for my next one before I even finished the one I was filling. This made journaling feel like I was writing for my kids and grandkids. I still wrote the truth about myself and what I was thinking, but I started thinking they’d be more likely to read the ones that were the coolest.

Fiction.

I’ve been writing fiction for a long time. I’ve never published any. But, I did go to school to learn how to do it. I still don’t feel like I’ve learned how to do it. Weird, right?

When I got divorced I needed someplace to put my anger. I was furious. Lies were told about me and assumptions that were just not true were made. It was terrible.

So, I killed my ex-husband.

Okay, I didn’t actually kill him. I was writing a novel for practice and I decided to model the bad guy after my ex-husband. Things had begun to get worse before we divorced. I think most marriages that are falling apart experience the same thing. But me, I was writing a book and I wanted the bad guy to be killed horribly during a chase scene. I needed a little information about how it might happen from an expert. My ex-husband was going to be my bad guy!

The scene takes place on Puget Sound and involves a cigarette boat running headlong into the propeller of a super ferry. I wanted to know if it would kill him and if the boat was going to be blown to bits. He was very nice and answered all my questions.

Oh yeah. He would be very dead and there would be many bits and pieces.

<Jumping for joy!>

Alright, here’s what I think. Getting the junk out of our brains is really important. Holding onto stuff: the pineapples and bananas in our brains is a super bad thing to do and helps to ruin our mental health. Writing in any form: fiction, non-fiction, fan fiction, journaling, pad to scribble on, post-it pads, computer paper – then burning it, etc.)

Oh, blogging is a great thing to do too. You can use any of the kind of writing in a blog as well. Have fun doing your brain dump!

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

Success_Key_400x400

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

When Sickness Meets Bipolar

Well, Barf Me Down!! Ho, Ho, Ho… omg…

barfingemojiI have embraced the not making any goals policy so far this year. However, I’m seriously considering thinking about thinking about it. Should I. Or shouldn’t I?

Right now, I’m focusing on the moment. I’ve been very, very sick since Christmas Day. I mean like they wanted me to go the ER if I didn’t pee within 2-3 hours of speaking with the nurse-on-call. Fortunately, I did and I’m SO GLAD that I did.

I then puked all the Gatorade (64 oz. over 8 hours) and a few Graham Crackers I’d had. Let me tell you, do not, do not! Puke Graham Crackers. It is very nasty.

I’ve had a few hours in a few days that I’ve felt well enough to get out and do stuff like go to the Pediatrist, classes and a movie or two. Other than that I’ve been completely housebound.

As I said, I did get out to see the Pediatrist. I have officially torn my fascia on my right foot. I use that foot to drive. So, I drive to class in my slipper, then put on my boot, then bobble across campus to my first class. Then I hobble back up campus to hang out during my lunch. Then I hobble up to the top of campus to my last class. Friday, it was a nightmare. I couldn’t in any way go to class. Nope. My body wasn’t having any of it.

I was beyond feeling desperate and it just kept going on and on.

For a few days… I was so frustrated and tired and sore that I forgot that I had this thing that mickey’s with my brain. You know what I mean. I have Bipolar Disorder of the highest order. Oh… I might sing- nope. It has passed.

I’m struggling to find something good that came of having been (still am) sick for so long and not doing any of the things I wanted to do over Winter Break. I didn’t want much. I just wanted to do some writing and get ahead on some assignments for school mostly. I don’t usually handle the stress well. Okay honestly, I never handle stress well. Anxiety spoons my  Bipolar. Makes me sick.

Anyway. I was thinking about when I had my first baby, back in 1992. She’s beautiful, and she’s alive, and she’s my best buddy, and she lives really close. Yes, there is a “butt” coming. When she was born she tore me from stem to stern. My friends wouldn’t let me tell other women about Jessica’s birth. It has traumatized every woman I have ever told the tale to. Why mention that now? Well, although the pain hasn’t been as bad, it has been sick along those lines. It has been horrible. It has been embarrassing. But, it’s a part of life. We all bear our personal burdens, you know what I mean? Sometimes they feel unrighteous or ill-mannered. Sometimes they feel like the world has a personal vendetta against me. Sometimes I just feel the need to scream and cry and do the stereotypical shaking-of-the-fist-at-the-air and shouting, “It isn’t fair, damn you!”

And then I snap back to reality, having just puked into the Kool-Aid container. Again. Shit. Again.

So here’s the thing. I’ve finally settled on a company name to cluster all my endeavors under in one happy little shinning thingie. I’m planning (Sounds like I’ve set a goal. Don’t get your hopes up just yet.) on building my projects around it, under it, over it, and so on.

Right now, I’m taking the Bailey out to do her bedtime stuff outside. A doggie has to do what a doggie has to do. She’s been so loyal and loving (but not too loving) and staying with me even when I holler. I’ve had to apologize over the last weeks though. She’s not partial to the raising of voices.

I’ve noticed I don’t have my email address anyplace on the blog. I want to invite you to leave comments in the “Comments” spot. Or, if you’d rather, you can email me directly. Send me a note at theBoss.bpdcomm@gmail.com. Like that name? “theBoss.” I’ve got to get some ego boosting someplace when I’m locked inside. I might as well manufacture my own. Gives me a giggle. ;0)

Be well my friends,

Robin

Bipolar – Hidden Emotions

After months of not really feeling anything accept sever anxiety, my emotions are waking up again. I’m hoping that all the months of counseling have prepared me for my feelings, my moods.

I took a poetry class this last quarter. I had a difficult time writing the poetry because my emotions were packed away in a closet inside my brain. I wrote very clinically, very much cerebral and didn’t feel inspired or moved at all.

I’m enrolled in the disability program at the college and one of the things I get is time and a half for exams. Of course there aren’t exams in poetry, but the first quarter that I had this professor with I’d gone in and went over my disability papers with her and explained about how this was my first year back to college and I that was having a hard time. I took a chance and told her about my having Bipolar. I haven’t really thought it was necessary to tell my other professors what my disability is, but I felt like I was connecting with this professor and I also felt like I would be able to come and her and talk if I needed to.

I talked to her about how my BP was affecting my writing and she suggested I read “Touched with Fire” by Kay Redfield Jamison to see how many artistic people have mental illness (especially Bipolar Disorder). Funny thing was, I have read it. I’ve spent so much time in it that the pages have come off the spine of the book and nearly every page has notes and things underlined in it. It is in such bad shape that I purchased another copy so I could read it again. This is one of those books I bought in paper back and not as an eBook. If I have a book I want to markup I always get it in print. It’s just easier for me to make notes and find things in.

The first thing I encountered in Jamison’s book was a through recounting of all the symptoms having to do with Bipolar Disorder. Having been only anxious and not having mood swings for a few months per se, I was shocked as I remembered all the emotions that are currently hiding behind my medications.

I’m glad that I read what the symptoms are again because of the fact that we’ve lowered my Latuda and I need to be on the watch for symptoms to return. I have to admit, I’m worried now. I forgot how bad it has been for me. I rate on the top of the Bipolar Disorder Type 1, but I’m also high functioning so I’ve been able to hide it from most people. At least I think I have. Who really knows what others think of us when we’re in the midst of an active outburst of violent emotions.

So here I go, with an intentionally lowered mood stabilizer, and me waiting to see if any of my old enemies come sauntering out of the closet. I must remember not to hold my breath.

Bipolar – Anxiety Rules Still

It is a sad fact, to me, that my anxiety is still causing me difficulties with my schoolwork. I have a big exam I’ve been studying for since Friday on Wednesday and as of right now I’m about half ready. That worries me. My brain understands what I’m learning, I’m just not retaining most of the facts I need.

I’ve come a long way writing for school and writing papers of different types this quarter. It doesn’t seem to be as difficult as it was last year thankfully. Now I’m struggling with memorizing facts like what makes up a cell and what each part does or the difference between bones and cartilage and what their (especially bones) structure is made of. You know, all the bloody bits.

I’ve tried going on long walks, playing with my dog, having my one of daughters over for dinner (she cooked this time), and so on. This time I had Jessica (daughter just mentioned) go over my flash cards I meticulously made for the whole exam. I did good on about half of them. The hard half, not so much. She’s gone now and I’m trying to reset my brain. I have a few more hours before bedtime and I’m going to be studying.

Besides struggling with memory work, I’m struggling with writing poems for my poetry class. I tend to write poems based on thoughts and what I think are deep feelings and leave imagery mostly out of it. Of course, imagery is what my professor is looking for. Imagery is an important part of a poem. And yet, as so many others have said, as my Bipolar symptoms have come under control I feel I’ve lost the burning engine that stoked my creative fires so it almost feels like imagery is the least of my worries. And yet, maybe the concrete image is what I need right now.

What is an osteon? In the Haversian system it consists of concentric layers or lamellae.

Something to think about.

Bipolar – Trying to Write

nanowrimoI’m attempting to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year (NaNoWriMo). My eldest daughter went to one of the kick off meetings and she learned about a woman who she told me about The woman used her homework (she too was going to college) as her novel (her word count) so she could get the minimum word count every day. My goal is 2,000 words a day. I hope that between homework, this blog, and other random stuff I end up writing, I’ll be able to do it. So far so good. I only need to write a poem today. Well, not exactly a poem, more a sonnet form I write while wondering around campus. I go to the University of Washington at Tacoma. I’m a junior and I’m studying communications.

This (writing) is a huge stress for me. I first started trying to do NaNoWriMo five years ago. I’ve never made it out of the first week. I consider myself a writer so that’s always stuck in my craw. When it comes to making up a story, I just get stuck. I’ve written a few short stories, you know, like fan fiction, but I’ve never written anything longer. Oh I take that back. When I was about 18 or 19 I wrote an entire Star Trek fan fiction novel. That was way back in the days before fan fiction was really a thing.

Do you know what fan fiction is? Fan fiction or fanfiction is about characters or settings from works of original fiction by the creators of say, a TV show, created by fans of that work. An example might be the television show Buffy the Vampire. Fans of Buffy love the show and characters so much that they write original fiction set in the Buffy universe with the characters from the Buffy universe to add to the Buffy universe stories they’d like to see take place. Perhaps they want two characters to fall in love or maybe to fight. Maybe they want to kill a character off or want a different story line to happen. Or maybe they’d like to introduce a new original character of their own to the universe.

It’s easy to see that people who write fan fiction love what they’re doing. I found that writing it gave me an emotional release that I would not have otherwise have had.

Emotional release – Maybe that’s a good reason for me to start writing it again. I’m not sure I’m in love with a television show enough right now to do that. It requires an intimate knowledge of the show (it can also be novel or other form of story) so I’d have to familiarize myself with shows much more than I currently am.

I’m already super busy with school so while I’ve thought about writing one, I just don’t think I have time to write a full blown story. Although, they do have what is called a “one off” where the fan fiction author only writes a short story that can be just a few hundred words and is self-contained… it is just a few paragraphs and usually is something that occurred to the author that they wanted to share but that wasn’t going to be a long story. A “one off”.

If you’re looking for a place to channel your emotional overflow, perhaps you might consider writing some fan fiction. You remember the book/movie “50 Shades of Grey”? Fan fiction. Yeah.

Fan fiction can be for any age or in any genre. It can be happy or filled with angst. If you join a website like fanfiction.net you can classify your story by age group, genre, and type of story. So if you write a story that is G rated, you can rate it G. If you have lots of sex and violence you rate it M for just mature audiences.

Fanfiction.net has these categories: anime/manga, books, categories, cartoons, games, movies, plays/musicals, TV shows, and other misc. things you might think of. Check it out.

When I was married, depressed, at home with a baby and very lonely, I found fan fiction and subsequently spent many hours reading it while my husband, who was a tub boat captain and rarely home, was gone. It got to the point where I was so unhappy with I couldn’t wait to get back into the world of my current favorite fan fiction. It was an easy and free escape. Sometimes I read it on line, but back then (1993 or so) I printed a lot with my dot matrix printer so I could take care of Jessica and still read my stories. It may have saved my sanity for a while.

I highly recommend you check it out. Some is written very well, some not so much. You can even review the stories.

As a momentary escape from your daily stress, depression or whatever I recommend you try it out. You might it helpful. You might actually find yourself wanting to write some.