Breaking Down Bipolar I For Me

I thought I would break down what I experience for a couple of decades, suffering from Bipolar I. I’m giving this magazine the credit for this here… bphobe.com

1. With anxious distress

During the most recent or current mood episode (depressive, hypomanic or manic), at least two of the following symptoms are present: feeling keyed up or tense, feeling unusually restless, difficulty concentrating because of worry, fearful something bad will happen, or feeling on the edge of self-control. Anxious symptoms improve as the underlying mood episode resolves.

I always worry about my family and fear that something bad will happen. My irrational brain seems to believe someone will break into my house and hurt the people I love. I do have anxiety working at night. I don’t like being left alone at any point. I do suffer from Anxiety all the time. I worry about completing my series. I worry about people hating me for taking so damn long. I worry that my book will fail miserably.  If I could stop the anxiety, I’d be a happy camper. 

 

 

2. With mixed features

Denotes the presence of depressive symptoms during a manic or hypomanic episode, or hypo/manic symptoms during a depressive episode. This replaces the separate category for “mixed state” episodes, which required meeting full criteria for both poles at the same time.

A mix of being manic and depressed at the same time. Before Depakote, I experienced these on a regular basis. I wanted to claw my skin off because I couldn’t stop being angry and depressed at the same time. Anger counts as mania. It doesn’t mean “you’re happy” all the time. This is the worst place for me. I hate these when they come. You never know how long it will last or who would be in your path of destruction. 

3. With rapid cycling

Technically, this simply means four or more mood episodes of any kind within a 12-month period—although people whose moods fluctuate quickly, sometimes within the course of a single day, often use “rapid cycling” to describe those mood gyrations. (The correct term for many ups and downs in a day is “ultradian cycling.”)

I am a “rapid cycler.” I can and had several mood changes in one day. It is the worst feeling in the world. One minute I’ll be happy and the next I’ll be angry and sad. You can’t do anything when you’re up one minute and down the next. You don’t want to go outside because you know you’ll have a meltdown. I couldn’t tell you how I was fine at home, but the moment I stepped outside, I became a tyrant. Shopping became a nightmare for me. I remember yelling at my husband numerous times for no reason at all. And this made him frustrated with me at times. You cannot force someone with Bipolar out of the house when their moods are scattered all over the place. Not unless you want to be embarrassed in public. If they say they don’t feel well, please be compassionate and understanding. 

 

4. With catatonic features

Used when certain extremes of physical activity and speech occur during a mood episode, including lack of response to stimuli, not moving or speaking, repeating words or movements of another person, or frantic movement with no purpose.

I used to get stuck in my own mind. I would sit out on the porch, just staring off in a distance. Kids and the husband would wave their hands in front of me, but I would be trapped in my own brain. Just looking at the leaves or trees. Sometimes the sky. I never acknowledged them or responded. We thought they were seizures, but it’s a part of Bipolar. 

 

5. With psychotic features

Noted when paranoia, delusions, or hallucinations—auditory (hearing voices), visual (seeing things) or sensory (feeling something that isn’t there)—occur at any point during a mood episode. Religious delusions are common, such as believing you’ve been given a special mission or special message from God.

Loud speakers! They’re everywhere! I didn’t understand that these were auditory hallucinations. I really was doing a job for God! He picked me! Not really. Now that I’ve had more time to think about this, I remember my first auditory hallucination happening at age 4. I thought my dad called me into another room, but he wasn’t there. He was at work at the time. This is another funny story. Sad, but funny. I wanted to quit a warehouse job for a famous online retailer. All the sudden a voice appeared. “You need to stay here. The man of your dreams is coming.” All on a loudspeaker. Except the warehouse didn’t own any loudspeakers. I asked others if they heard that voice. Nope! I was the only one who heard it. It must come from God. So, I stayed at that job. Good thing I did because that’s where I met my second husband. I am God’s warrior. I don’t need to go to church because I’m exempted. He doesn’t like the way his followers are behaving anyway. That wasn’t what he meant to say in the bible! That’s what my irrational brain thought. And the paranoia. I’m still convinced aliens come and kidnap me at night. And there are angels and demons. I also see auras. Wait… That’s all delusions from an irrational brain. Meaning, my brain is full of faults and short circuits from time to time. Not since I’ve been on Depakote. I hate it when it’s right by my ear. That shit creeps me out. 

 

6. With melancholy features

Describes a depressive episode characterized by an almost complete lack of ability to feel pleasure even when something good happens. Typically, there is also insomnia and significant slowing of speech and activity.

Have you ever had sex and it was good, but you can’t voice an opinion about it being good? I suffer from this. Like with important events that should matter, I feel nothing. My kids win awards, and I feel no excitement or happiness. I am happy, but you can’t see it. It’s just a blank expression. When people are extremely happy, I’m like… Whatever. It is what it is. I couldn’t get excited from when my children were born. It was always blank. Insomnia was quite common with me. I would go three days in a row without sleep. And if that happens, I noticed Bipolar would become worse without it. 

7. With atypical features

Applies to a depressive episode in which the person sleeps and eats more than usual, often gaining weight. Other traits: Feeling sluggish and “leaden,” and being abnormally affected by rejection. If there is low mood, spirits may lift in reaction to a positive experience.

I don’t like being rejected. I don’t handle negative criticisms well; especially, when it comes to my books. That’s why they’re off the shelf for now. We need to get me well before that happens. It doesn’t make you motivated to write another book when you’re depressed. So, I used to spend my days eating “bad” food and watching YouTube videos from other people suffering from mental disorders. Ironic, isn’t it? I didn’t want to go anywhere or be with anyone. Off to my bat cave, I went! 

8. With seasonal pattern

This is also used for depressions that recur during certain seasons—typically in fall or winter—that can’t be attributed to events like school starting or seasonal unemployment. More rarely, people experience a pattern of summertime depressions.

I hate the winter! I can’t stand it! It’s all gray and nasty! I don’t like the snow or ice. It’s too depressing. There is rarely any sun during the months of November to March. I love watching the leaves and flowers bloom in the spring. I am not a huge fan of driving in the snow. I often like to hide in my room. Hibernate until spring. Some people are the opposite of me, but I love looking at the roses. I love watching new life come out of hiding. There’s nothing sweeter than seeing ducks with their ducklings. Birds with their chicks. Pollen is a bitch, but I love feeling the waves and sandy beaches. I am not meant for skiing. I am a summer baby. My depressive episodes hit more in the winter than the spring or summer. 

#9) With peripartum onset

Indicates mood episodes that begin during pregnancy or in in the months after giving birth. This replaces “postpartum onset,” the term used in previous DSM editions, to reflect the fact that many women have mood symptoms that pre-date delivery.

I didn’t have a good time after my third son was born. I suffered from severe postpartum depression. I was extremely happy when I was pregnant with him. After he was born, it was like a part of me died. I couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t want to do anything. When our daughter was born, I knew what to look out for. With my older two sons, I was always jumping from one mood swing to another. I hated myself when I was pregnant with them. I would be happy and the next, sob for no reason. If there was a time for my husband to walk out on me, it would have been when I was pregnant with our two oldest sons. Thankfully, he stayed. He shouldn’t have, but he did. 

As for Depakote, I’m still waiting on my lab results. They left a message, but I didn’t answer it on Friday. So, my anxiety level is way up this weekend until I get a hold of them. My biggest fear is that my body can’t handle the medication. This is the first medication that works, and I don’t want to change medications. They make sure your liver and kidneys can handle it. If not, it’s back to the drawing board. I’m going to keep my mind focused on my books. I need to keep it busy or the anxiety will win.

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Sore

The problem with bills is that they multiply. Just like laundry and dishes, they never stop coming. I wish I could live off-grid, but I can’t for now. It would be nice for the environment. Damn, electric company! Why must you act like such an asshole? And you’re fucked if you’re single. What if you have a mental breakdown and the lights are due? The electric company still holds out their hand, demanding money. The give 0 fucks to your mental health. And when you call them, you never get a happy person on the phone. They always give you someone you can either barely understand or the grumpiest person on earth. We’re still working on my exposure therapy. There! Exposed! You have to learn at some point how to cope with the outside world.

“Join our movement!” Which one? The one where you don’t accept all women’s voices? If you’re married you’re under some wicked “mind control!” *Gasps* Any form of politics does trigger me. I hate talking about them. I don’t want to be part of the “negative” society. Sure. The world isn’t made of gum drops and unicorn farts. I’m well aware of how bad people do evil things, just because they can. After dealing with so much negativity, I have to disappear. Go into my fictional world where more unjust unfolds.

“What are you working on?” The first group of Enforcers who are women. In my fantasy world, men dominate the society in the beginning. At some point, shit hits the fan. I tried really hard to portray men as moderately as I could. But there a few spoiled apples in the bunch. One actually uses his position as an abuse of power. Make that two of them. I can’t say who. And I had this planned for years before the latest Hollywood scandal came out of the wood works. I also knew that I wanted to create strong women.

In the beginning, I wanted my main characters to reflect everything I wasn’t. I wanted them to be the opposite of me. And then… I realized they weren’t so different from me. My husband pointed out everything I’ve been through in life. “You were really writing about yourself.” He was able to link the main characters back to me. I didn’t see it at first. And slowly the truth unfolded. My anger and rage were all in black letters, blinking at me. The past lovers, the rape, alcohol, miscarriages, drugs, the abuse… all there. To be honest, I didn’t realize I wrote it in there.

Writing gives you a sense of freedom. Nobody can silence you. You can tell your story and don’t have to worry (I rhymed). With everything I write, it frees me from the bondage I put myself into. I don’t want my series to be labeled as a feminist series. I’m not trying to tout that it is. After reading so much SFF, I was tired of weak women. It pissed me off. Time and time again, certain authors depicted women as weak sexual objects that their main character gets his rocks off at. I wanted them to fight back. To have a voice. I wanted them to do it while suffering from mental illnesses. That even people who are deemed insane can surprise those hateful people. I’m always going to be called a “crazy” bitch. I’ve lived with that for many years now. It doesn’t hurt like it used to. What is the new stat now? 1/3 women will experience rape in her lifetime. So, from my nieces and my daughter, one of them will be raped. God help anyone who fucks with my daughter. My one and only daughter. If you want to see me go full Borderline, that will trigger it. I’m extremely protective over her. I’m protective over my sons, too. God help anyone who fucks with them, too. That’s probably why I don’t let them spend the night at people’s houses. I don’t know them. I don’t know who they would let stay over there. I don’t favor one sex over the other. So, I chose to make the same rules for both sexes. The same curfew, the same rules, and the same everything. Just as we need to teach our daughters to be safe, we also need to teach our sons to be safe. Don’t go to parties. Don’t let yourself get so far wasted that you could potentially hurt yourself or others. Being in a group of people who you don’t know, isn’t safe. I know. I was a victim of rape. I don’t mind people going out and having a good time. But, you need someone from your group who is sober to watch your back; men or women.

Let my tale of woe persuade you to be careful, no matter which gender or no gender, you align with. I wish we did live in a tolerant, happy, and joyful world. But we don’t. It’s full of bitterness, darkness, and emptiness. Nobody is happy. I’m happy. A part of me just stopped giving a fuck about the negative things and focus on the positive things. Opposing forces attract each other. Positives can’t live without the negatives, and the negatives can’t live without the positives. Protons and neutrons. I chose to be an electron, because I’m electric! Okay, maybe that’s a corny attempt at a joke.

As for Depakote, that bitch is still working. I’m making more jokes now. I have a smile on my face. I dropped weight. Soon, I’ll be able to crunch pecans with my thighs! Thigh cracker 3000! My sons are constantly giving me hugs. I’ll take those hugs for as long as they’re willing to give them to me. We all know, teenagers are tempestuous little things! Girls can put away food just as much as the boys can. Boys can be just as dramatic as the girls can. Don’t let a child’s sex fool you. We’re all not that different. Just a different sex organ.

Depakote Update

How am I doing on Depakote? Well, I lost a total of 9 lbs. YAY! No hair falling out. No changes in the medication. It’s staying at 500 mg. I feel normal for a change. They have to draw blood after 6 weeks then 6 months. Which, they’re taking my blood every six months for my missing thyroid anyway to make sure my inflammation levels are normal. Those are in the normal range as well.

I’ve been working on my book. It’s hard balancing between a full-time job and writing full-time. I love my outside job, but I love writing more. I’m making money with my outside job that I’m not doing with writing at this time. I feel more confident than I’ve had in a long time. I told the neurologist… Thank you, for giving me my life back. She asked, “How is it working for your migraines and bipolar?” The migraines are gone. I told her that this medicine has leveled me. I’m no longer fighting mania or depression. I’m strictly in the middle. This medication will wind up being a long-term medication for me. Just as long as my kidneys and liver are doing okay, I can stay on it.

No weird things like hair falling out. No weight gain for me. I know others gained weight on it, but I lost weight on it. Even the nurse was shocked that I lost that much weight in less than six weeks. I am to keep doing what I’m doing. A steady weight loss is what they want and not a dramatic weight loss. I’ve ate proteins and green veggies. More water anyone? I have cheated. I’m not perfect. I need caffeine when I wake up. I have cut it down.

It’s nice that my thoughts are now in a linear path and not jagged loops anymore. I feel human for a change. I’m not wanting to claw out of my skin. And plus, it’s nice when you can use old shirts for nightgowns. I’m getting there. I hope by April, I would lose maybe about 50 pounds. That would be nice. My legs are stiff. My joints are really stiff. That isn’t anything new with psoriatic arthritis. Let’s see how much weight I drop in April. I’m ready!

Helping Self Before Others

I see so many people who are younger than me, suffering from similar mental health disorders or almost the same mental health disorders. I often say to myself, “That was me 20 or 10 years ago.” I see that same lost expression. That fear to say what you want to say, but you can’t. You want to be alone, but you don’t really want to be alone.

“They’re just ‘attention-seeking’.” No, they’re not. With chemicals added to the water and food, maybe a lot of it has impacted our health and the future generation’s health. Either that or we have labeled things that weren’t labeled before. With the evolution of science, more illnesses are coming out of the woodwork. I applaud the science community. We’re learning more about how the brain works. We’re learning more about the “chinks” in our DNA strands. One little mutation in our DNA can lead to a domino effect of problems. Take for instance, strep. Strep can create havoc on the immune system and perpetuate psoriatic arthritis. Stress can lead to a breakdown of the body. Maybe it’s time to turn the news off for good. Whatever that stresses out, maybe we need to eliminate it.

I have so many theories. Part of me wants cures, but the other part of me wants to make everything tolerable. Anyway, I’ve watched a “beauty” YouTube channel for a long time. I see the younger generation struggle and it makes my heart hurt. I wished they didn’t have to live through what I went through. So many refuse help. So many can’t afford psychiatrists, psychologists, or the medication even. And when you’re single, it’s much harder to work. That keeps you from getting the help you need. And with the GOP ruling both houses and the presidency, it’s going to make healthcare overall suffer. My mother and mother-in-law had to move in with us, or they would starve to death. It’s either they pay the lights, or their medication. I know my medication alone would cost a lot of money for Depakote. I thank my lucky stars, I have a husband who put us on his health insurance at work. He has probably one of the best health insurances in our state. We pay $5.00 for Depakote and $5.00 for Levothyroxin. I don’t have to worry about birth control because I had a tubal ligation since 2012. The OB made sure that shit was sealed tight. We know what it’s like not to have decent insurance. My thyroid surgery alone, costed us $30,000. That doesn’t include all the other surgeries I had over the years. It’s easy to file bankruptcy when you have medical debt. There’s no way around it. My mom owed $100,000 from the time she had a stroke. Psychiatric hospital visits can lead up to $10,000 easily. That’s why a lot of people refuse medical treatment these days. Those medical bills follow you around. A craptastic job isn’t going to pay a $10,000 stay at their local mental health treatment center. The GOP is about to fuck all of us with their “pre-existing” clause. They promised to keep it in there, and all of them lied for votes. It doesn’t surprise me. The Republicans have always looked out for themselves. Damned if you suffer from mental health or a physical illness.

The most heartbreaking thing is to read cancer patients. Especially, those without a family. They’re doing it all on their own. Battling cancer alone is scary. They have no choice but to work. Stage four cancer, and they’re working the worst jobs possible just to be able to make the doctor visits and chemotherapy. Which it doesn’t help with those bills. Now the GOP wants to double down and make it optional for workplaces to cover pre-existing conditions. This shit is scary. It means my thyroid condition would be considered a pre-existing condition. No, if I or my husband busts our asses off for you, you should help us. Insurance isn’t cheap. Every six months, I need to have my blood taken to make sure my levels are stable. Blood tests aren’t cheap. Doctor visits aren’t cheap. It’s even worse when you don’t have great insurance or no insurance at all. Prescriptions are a joke here. They are more expensive here than in any other country.

There are options when you don’t have appropriate insurance. You can see psychologists or therapists who operate on a sliding scale based on income. It’s either $0 to $100 per visit. But sliding scales are far and a few in between. It depends on your area. For physical health, it depends on what you have. Hospitals have a charity account for those who need help with their medical bills. You have to ask your local hospital to make sure they have one. That’s how my mom got help to pay her expensive medical bills. Cancer donations and MS charity donations help, too. But there are so many new autoimmune diseases that aren’t getting the attention either. They have no funding yet. They don’t receive the attention like Lupus or MS does. ALS gets the attention. But the lesser known autoimmune diseases… Radio silence. It’s even harder to find information about them if you have them. It would be nice that we form a huge database of autoimmune diseases. There is multiple sclerosis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis, etc… We need to give a huge spotlight on the ones you never hear about. Like Hemolytic Anemia. I’m so thankful that Crohn’s is finally getting some of the spotlight, but there are so many others out there.

Just like mental health disorders. There are so many that people haven’t heard of before. You hear about bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, autism. Now that we have Trump in office, we’re seeing more about NPD (narcissistic personality disorder). Like Trichotillomania. It’s where you pull out body hair and the hair from your scalp. Dermotillomania… It’s where you pick at your skin and sores. You bite the extra skin off around your fingernails (I’ve done that one). Borderline is finally getting a lot of attention. We all can pick up a book of the Diagnostic Criteria for Mental Health Disorders… BUT! I would like to see a complete site. I would like to see updated information on mental health disorders. It would be nice that they link support groups on Facebook and on the web from around the world. What new treatments would work. The criteria for each mental health disorder. We need an overhaul. And not just for mental health but for all diseases. Chat groups and Twitter groups. Anything that can help. Medication streamlined for each diagnosis. AND! If you wanted to go the organic route, that should be listed as well. Other therapies listed would be helpful. New age treatments for everything. Put those scientists in the spotlight who are working to help all of us. What are their goals? That would be a relief and give a lot of us hope. Could you imagine a million of us showing up at Congress to make sure they know that we are NOT a preexisting condition.

I know many women are worried about birth control. I understand and empathize with them. BUT! I empathize more with the entire mental health community, autoimmune diseases, cancer patients, AIDS patients, and rare disease patients. These are the people, I’m the most worried about. These are the people who are in the most danger of losing their healthcare and benefits. Birth control is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the expensive treatments for a variety of illnesses. It would be nice if we all woke up tomorrow and had a cure for everything. Maybe the pollutants are a cause of everything. Maybe our genetic codes mutated. I don’t know. I wish I did. I just want to stay alive for as long as I can. I want others to stay alive for as long as they can. I don’t see how the GOP sleeps at night. I know I couldn’t. To be that fucking heartless is mind-blowing to me. “Only the strong survive.” So, over millions of us continue to suffer because of your narrow-minded thought process? Karma is a bitch. What comes around, goes around. You might be healthy now, but shit happens all the time. You can wake up tomorrow feeling strange. I was one of those judgmental broads. Guess what? Karma came, and she did her damage to me. You might be 120 pounds now, but one little thing goes wrong with your thyroid, you’re blowing up to 300 pounds. Laugh now. It happens time and time again. And will your friends be there to help you? The same friends that laughed with you when you saw an overweight person on a scooter with a bag on their hip. Life happens.

Several things happen that are guarantees in life: Everyone will die at some point. And you still have to pay your taxes. Those are your guarantees. It’s easy to be on that pedestal now. Enjoy it while it lasts. You can have all the plastic surgeries in the world, but your heart can give out. You can be mentally strong for the longest time and believe that the mentally ill is just a farce… Until you lose someone close to you or tragedy happens that causes a mental illness. Being evil isn’t in my vocabulary. I was knocked off my pedestal, and I’m so glad I’m down here with the “dregs.” We are NOT “dregs.” We are people who want to live and love. I have more empathy now than I’ve ever had before. It isn’t in my nature to be mean to someone.

As far as mukbangs on YouTube go, I struggle with food addictions myself. I can’t watch those videos. I believe people walk a thin line when they create those videos. It’s asking for trouble that you don’t need. Of course, those videos will receive negative feedback. It’s hard not to judge, but I skip over them. For my sanity, I can’t watch them. I don’t like to eat food in public, let alone video myself eating food. I’m overweight, so I’m not about to show myself like that. It’s asking for trouble that I don’t need in my life. I will continue to fill my life with positive people and energy. My goal is to stay away from negative things. I mentally can’t handle it at this time. It’s a constant struggle. I want to say something negative, but I refuse to stoop to that level. I don’t want to be “them.”

But it does sadden me, when people are given help, but they refuse to take that free help. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. I adore Cassie on Thrift Thick, but I do worry about her. She suffers from dermotillomania, anxiety, and OCD. I can see the pain in her eyes when she makes a new video. I had the same look a while ago. She does have a calm and bubbly personality. I wish she was more transparent with her mental health. She made only one video about her mental health condition. I feel like she needs to get off of YouTube for a while and invest in herself. Investing in yourself is the best way to help yourself improve. I can give her all the advice in the world, but she doesn’t have to take it. I wish she would. I wish she would create 2 channels. I wish she would listen to her critics a little bit. Not the downright cruel critics. Her videos are a cry for help. Many don’t realize that. I realize it. It’s just like my eldest sister. She needs help, but she refuses to obtain it. People with NPD are far less likely to receive mental health treatment. Why? They have an over-inflated view of themselves. A grandiose delusion that the world stops for them. NPD makes you think you’re higher than anyone else. It’s the opposite of BPD. NPD, you love yourself a little too much. BPD, you hate yourself a little too much. Both in the same behavioral cluster. Both are confused for the other. I’m not Cassie’s therapist. But I know that look. I know what it’s like to be afraid. “Money hungry” is the biggest complaint she gets. Isn’t everyone on YouTube “money hungry?” Some are better at concealing their greed than others. The negative critique about her weight isn’t nice. Some comments she’s received are blown out of proportion. At the end of the day, it’s her channel. Would I do mukbangs on it? Absolutely not. But, I’m not her. I still need to improve my life.

Resolutions and improvements to a full database on everything is what we need. Include medical trials as well. That needs to be listed under the ultimate database.

Staying Alive…

It’s a good song. Anyone love the Bee Gee’s? Most of them are gone now. But I still love their songs. I really want to reevaluate my life. From finances, to health, to mental health, to work, kids. Not in a bad way, just reorganize my life. Being a night-shift supervisor has its ups and downs. Last night was crazy or early this morning. I finished my Saturday shift. My hours are from 12 am to 8 am. I normally have the rest of Saturday through Sunday off. I do have Monday off, but I have to go back in on Tuesday from 12 am to 8 am. The pay isn’t the greatest, but it gets me out of the house. Some money is better than no money.

I have doctors working together which is nice. They recommended the rude psychiatrist at first. I said I’d rather get hit by a bus before I visit him again. The guy didn’t look me in the eyes, he cut me off, and he wanted to commit me. Needless to say, Borderline showed her head and thought of ways to escape. She fought back. I can be equally as sarcastic and a bitch when I need to be. I’ve learned when to let her loose. The temper does come in handy. I’m just very vocal and colorful with my word selection at this point. I’ve learned when to let her loose and when to work it off. For the most part, the rage stays hidden. Someone with Borderline feels everything a million times more than a “normal” person. You pissed one of us off, you better duck. And when you’re in that moment of raging, you feel 10 foot tall and bulletproof. You’re ready to fight anyone even if they’re bigger than you. In my teenage years, people were afraid of me. A tiny little 5’4 and 120 lbs, me. I think from the ages of 13-24, I was filled with rage. I operated on rage 24/7. My crazy ass would chest bump men bigger than me. Funny, but really stupid at the time. I took on six guys with a baseball bat and beer cans. We’ll just say, they ran like cowards. I was 118 lbs and 18 at the time. Stupid! “I’m going to kill that bitch!” And you know what my dumb ass said? “Bring it. You first, motherfucker.” I didn’t know I had Borderline at the time. I just wanted to fight. I wasn’t officially diagnosed until I was 20. I joined the USAF on October 11, 2000. I was caught with a razor, trying to injure myself. Needless to say, I was discharged on November 11, 2000. All the scars on my legs and arms were all products of Borderline. It was so new back then. Everyone was afraid of me. “Does this mean she’s going to have multiple personalities?” Hell, I didn’t even fully understand what it was at the time. It wasn’t until 2004, when a psychologist sat me down to explain it all to me. For those 4 years, I stayed in denial. For the most part, I remained in denial. I fought anything with two legs, standing upright. It’s bad when people fear you. I remember being in group therapy in 2000. I was the only one with Borderline at the time. Bipolar and Anxiety were present, but Borderline really showed her ass that year. The room was full of other trainees with Bipolar 2 and even schizophrenia. They all moved away from me as soon as I spoke up and said what I have, “I have Borderline Personality Disorder.” I’ve never seen so many people shift to opposite sides of the room. At the time it was scary, now it’s funny. I have a wicked sense of humor.

“I see it now!” I look back on my life. The tempers, the fights, the obsessiveness, the self-loathing, the self-hatred. All of that junk that makes Borderline. I should have seen it sooner. But was it my responsibility? No. It should have been my parents’ responsibility. Some of it, I could hide. The self-injury, I could hide. The possessiveness, I can hide. I remember at age 11, hating it when my best friends would hang out with other friends. I wanted their attention only on me. I dated a guy from the age 11 to 16. We didn’t kiss or have sex. I guess you can call it “puppy love.” But I remember being over possessive of him. It’s cute in the beginning. “Aww… This person really wants to be with me!” Until that person cuts you off from your friends. That isn’t normal. I should have seen it coming. I remember being so angry with him. I didn’t trust him as far as I could throw him either. When we broke up on my 16th birthday, it felt like someone died. I wasn’t the same person after that. I invested so much time and energy into that relationship that I feel as though, I wasted those years with him. He did wind up cheating on me with his future ex-wife #1. I just wanted to hold on tightly, and I held on too tight.

“How is your marriage now?” I still have trust issues. BUT! I don’t check his emails or anything that’s supposed to be his anymore. I encourage him to go out, but he wants to stay home. “I’m too old and tired for that bullshit anymore.” I’m trying to reassure him that I’m going to be okay. He worries too much about me. But he notices the differences in me. “You’re not having anymore outbursts. You’re not accusing me anymore.” The problem with Borderlines, we accuse our partners of doing something wrong when they haven’t. We’ve been left in the cold before and that shit hurts to feel it again. It isn’t normal behavior. I looked at him. “I was really sick, wasn’t I?” And he looks at me. “Yes, you were. But, we’re fixing you.” And of course, Borderlines have gained attention for being good mates in the sack. Do you want to know why? Because we’re willing to do anything to keep them with us. We enjoy sexually pleasing our partners. We don’t want to be a “dead fuck” in bed. At least, I can speak for myself. And recently, I learned that masturbation is a form of self-harm. WTF? Yep… Too much “flicking” the bean is a form of self-harm. I never knew that until this year. The shit you learn about Borderline.

It takes a lot of patience to be with someone who has Borderline. Would I date me? Hell no! But because we have Borderline, it still doesn’t excuse our behavior. It isn’t normal to want to lock your partner up in the bedroom all day and have sex with them. Even though, that would or might make the partner slightly happy; especially, if he’s a male. But no! That idea isn’t normal. Keeping your partner away from their friends isn’t normal either. My husband has friends that he plays Pokemon Go with. I had to learn to let go of him. And that’s something Borderlines don’t like to do. When they love someone so fiercely, they don’t want to do anything but be around them all day. A lot of men who suffer from Borderline wind up in prison. That is a fact. I believe women do get away with things a lot more than men do. The explosive temper that does come with Borderline is scary to witness from either sex or non-sex. There are people who are inter-gendered or non-binary who suffer from Borderline.

Let me make it clear, it isn’t cute. If you feel that your life is in danger from someone who is suffering from Borderline, GET OUT! Don’t stay. It doesn’t mean you were weak. It doesn’t mean you were afraid. This isn’t an easy mental health illness to live with. I told my husband from the get go. “If you need to go, I understand. I won’t hate you for leaving. If you feel scared of me, GO. Don’t stay with me.” And he chose to stay. That is his personal choice. “You are not a threat to me. You never were a threat to me. Actually, from the time I met you to now, it’s like night and day. You are NOT the same person you were when I met you.” Even my family isn’t scared of me anymore. People have stopped walking around on eggshells around me.

Even if my husband did leave, I’ll be okay. I told him that he has to take custody of all the kids. I wouldn’t fight him on it. Just let me see them. “I’m not going anywhere. I love you.” That’s what he says. We don’t fight like we did in the beginning. We don’t yell or scream at each other at all. Other people tick me off, but not him. We communicate and I’ll let him know my mood swings in advance. Now that I can distinguish them, I can warn him in advance. “Today isn’t going to be a good day for me.” 99.9% of the time, he will talk me out of that bad mood. He makes an excellent therapist. “Lay down and start over tomorrow. It will always be better tomorrow.” I love his messages of hope.

As for my temper, she’s gone. The self-loathing and self-doubt, I’m still working on them. The self-injury is gone. I haven’t hurt myself in a long time. I feel complete, if that makes any sense. The wild girl in black has turned into a little pink princess again. She’s smiling now that’s she’s coming back to her old self.

Psst… The Depakote is still working. But where I’m losing weight, it’s making me more sleepy. Goodnight!

Unwell…

I was unwell. I’m getting better with medication. These things take time. What I wanted to write about was what I experienced when I had delusions. Some are funny, and some are downright scary. I am a person who needs to stay on medication for Bipolar I. When you mix Bipolar I with Borderline, a lot of terrible things could or can happen.

For many years, I heard voices. Sometimes the voices were inside my head and other times it was either right by my ear, or on a loudspeaker. For the longest time, I had Elvis singing to me. I’m not a huge fan of Elvis, but I do enjoy some of his songs. The song that played the most on an invisible loudspeaker was “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.” It’s a great song. But the song would play without actually playing. Sometimes I’d see Elvis in the room. He’s dead (obviously). But he would look actually like a real person. Like I’ve said, I’m not a huge fan of Elvis.

Other times, my head would play a Nicki Minaj song like a broken record without actually playing. The song that played in my head on repeat a thousand times a day would be “Moment 4 Life” on constant repeat. The title of the song kept repeating in my head non-stop. Sometimes as often as 48 hours in a row. I couldn’t sleep. 4 Life kept repeating in my head. I didn’t play the song at all.

The scariest moment was when I thought God and his angels chose me to fight demons. I was the “chosen” one. I had to kill all the demons before they hurt people. Yep, something was wrong with me. I would see sometimes small or sometimes huge dark figures, just staring at me with huge red eyes. I’ve seen them range in different heights. All the way from 3 foot to 7 foot. I would see hideous beasts with horns and red eyes. I was scared for my children, so I never slept decently. I was worried that the monsters would take my children away from me. I would stay up late at night, scared.

Other times I would see white figures. These would be your angels. “You’re going to be okay. You’re just sick. Everything will be fine. Go to sleep.” I saw angels of different colors, nationalities, religions, and they were the cool ones. I was convinced that Gabriel sent me my daughter. “Can you handle her? She’s always on the go.” I was just so excited to have a girl. “Sure!” The most visited angels were ones who dressed up in rags or black angels. “And this too shall pass.” I’ve seen Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Latino, African-American angels. And I had a talk with my dead great-grandmother. Something about the Native Americans are still here, but they are on a different plain. They never left their lands. Great Grandma said something about the “white spirit.” I don’t know what she meant, but I could see that I was related to her. I was really sick at this point, and I didn’t realize it.

I continued to write because it kept the monsters and angels at bay. The problem came when I cried on my husband. The voices kept getting louder and louder. I would often turn off the “noises” in my head by blaring music in my ears. I had to drown out the voices in my head or by my ear. It was like someone lifted my hair and spoke directly in my ear. “You’re worthless! You’re a piece of shit! You’ll never amount to much! You should go kill yourself!” Those scary voices. I just cried on my husband’s shoulder. “Make them stop!” Images of a noose often played in my head. Images of laying down on a busy road played in my head on repeat. “Do it, you pussy! End it all! I’ll make the pain go away. I’ll shut up if you do it!” Those horrible thoughts played in my head. “Your kids don’t need a nutcase for a mother. You’ll do them a favor.” I often cried. My husband would come home and find me balled up on the bed, hiding under the covers. With the negative thoughts, I heard positive thoughts. “You’re just tired. Everything will be okay in the morning. Go to sleep. You’ll be okay. And this too shall pass. You’re stronger than what you realize. You’re just sick, really sick.”

The more tired I was, the more the delusions and negative thoughts flared up. The fun times were when I was in full-blown manic. “You sexy. Grrrr… sexy bitch!” I would switch from not wearing makeup at all, to wearing makeup. Push the girls out, and let the inner bitch come out to play. The sex would be outrageous with my husband. There were many times I wore him out. “I can’t keep up!” He really couldn’t. That was when the doctors made the mistake of putting me on antidepressants. Good for depression, but really bad for Bipolar. I had more manic episodes and delusions while on antidepressants. They put me on Zoloft. They put me on Citalopram (Celexa). I remember begging the doctors to take me off of it. They refused. So, I fired the doctors and tapered myself off of them. I told them countless times, I have Bipolar. You can’t stick me on Citalopram and expect it to work. It’s great for Anxiety and depression, but really bad for Bipolar. It kept me in mania all the time. The mania was so bad, I was doing some really crazy shit. Like self-harming. I did that more on anti-depressants than any other medication. I was bleaching the walls. I was cleaning, really cleaning the corners of each bedroom. I would not sit down and clean non-stop. Every little thing bugged me. I really wish doctors, therapists, psychologists would stop putting people with Bipolar I on anti-depressants. It makes us much worse! Well, in my case it did.

I’m on Depakote now. I’m a lot better than what I was. I can at least function in society now. Before, I couldn’t get out of the house at all. The monsters were outside. They were coming to kill me. I had a million overpasses in my head, and I couldn’t find which direction to go. I had a lot of “mixed states.” Those are the worst to have! I could deal with the rapid cycling. I couldn’t deal with the “mixed states.” That often lead to self-harm a lot. When your husband comes home and finds his wife slicing herself with a knife, that’s scary. I did that while on the antidepressants. Since being off of them, I haven’t done it since. I have scars on my arms and legs. You can’t see them now because I heal pretty well. If I had pale skin, you would be able to see my carvings. I can see the lines. It makes me sad that those lines are there. I cry when I look at them. But I was really unwell.

As for the memory loss. That’s actually a part of Bipolar and not an autoimmune disease. Since being on Depakote, my memory is back. It’s sharper than ever before. That’s part of mania. I’d ask the same questions over and over again. Luckily, I have a patient husband. He would answer the same question over and over again.

At no time, were my kids left alone with me. We have various adults who live with us to keep an eye on them. Not because I’m a danger. It was more to shield them from the mania. They only seen a couple of my episodes. My husband would keep me in the bedroom when I was going through my “mixed states.” “Mommy isn’t feeling well today.” My mother-in-law is here with us at all times. From what I was told, I would go on severe cleaning sprees. “We like it when you had your manic episodes because the house would be spotless.” I go into cleaning sprees when I’m in mania. When you mix Borderline with Bipolar that’s where the problem comes in. You cue in the depression with Borderline behavior. Oh! It was the worst!

They are getting ready to up my dose of Depakote. As soon as that’s settled, I’ll be on an anti-psychotic of some sort. My husband looked at me a few days when I started Depakote. “There you are. I knew you were in there all this time.” I cried. “There’s my beautiful wife. I have you back.” I’m going back outside again. I have a full-time job again. I can talk to people again. I’m not hiding in a room away from the world. I will gladly accept all the cons of being on medication just for my mind to be at peace. Hair falling out? I can deal with that. And my sister also noticed. “It’s the first time I’ve seen you smile in years.” That’s when we went to an amusement park.

I asked my husband this morning. “What am I like now on Depakote.” He looked me dead in the eyes. “I have my wife back. Before, everything would make you upset. You wouldn’t go out anywhere. You’re calmer than you’ve ever been in a long time, probably before we even got together. You can think rationally again. You’re back. I knew you were in there, we just had to find the right medication. The anger is gone. You don’t stew about your dad anymore.”

I don’t think about my dad much anymore. The dad I wished would return is gone. He died a long time ago. The new dad who replaced him, I don’t know him anymore. You can’t make people turn back into what they aren’t. I believe my dad has mental health issues that he refuses to get help for. He was a sick man. If God truly healed him, good for him. But my God tells me to stay on the medication. I wished people would understand what it’s like to wake up with voices or delusions for one day. Maybe people would be more understanding instead of hateful. We didn’t ask to be this way. With the right medication, treatment, and therapy; we can live like “normal” people. I’m upset that the GOP doesn’t want to help the mentally ill. What if I was your sister or child? Would you lock me up in the attic or basement? Would I become your “dirty” little family secret? Being mentally ill, made me aware of others and their problems. It made me more empathetic. I know what it’s like to be different. I know what it’s like to be called “crazy bitch” and other useless names. It speaks volumes about those people who called me names, not me. I remember being so disheartened by medication after medication that wouldn’t work. I remember an ex-co-worker of mine who also has Bipolar. “You just need to find the right combination. You’ll be fine when you find the right medication.” It took me years to find the right combination. It shouldn’t take us years. We lose out on so much history with our families. More family members aren’t afraid of me anymore. There is still that stigma of being considered “dangerous” that even our own family members won’t have anything to do with us. Do you know how that feels? It’s the loneliest place in the world. “She’s just crazy! We can’t invite her because she’s crazy! What if she has another episode?”

It took a non-family member to help me. My husband stayed by my side through it all. He cried with me on the floor multiple times. He held me every step of the way. He didn’t discard me like common trash. My own family couldn’t do what he did. They were scared of me. I did have monumental rages. Now that my family notices, they’re coming around again. “You’re not the same person!” Of course not! I’m medicated now.

I went through Hell to get to this point. I was really unwell. This is the best I’ve felt in a very long time. I’ve battled this shit for 27 years. So many people don’t make it to that point. I’m so lucky to be alive. I’m thankful that my husband stayed by my side through everything. Jen is learning to be independent. That hasn’t happened in a long time. I just wished we found the right combination sooner. No more voices and no more delusions. I can live with that.

Explaining Trichotillomania

First off, my heart goes out to the victims of the Las Vegas tragedy. I refuse to say his name. It isn’t worth acknowledment. The murderer had 0, NONE, NO prior mental health illnesses. And people are twisting things and attacking the mental health community. “The mentally ill shouldn’t own a gun!” I actually do agree with that, but the guy had no prior history of mental illnesses. There are probably a lot of people with mental illnesses who do own guns, but I’m not one of them. I don’t like guns, and I don’t want them around me or my children. But I won’t infringe on another’s rights either. “He should be diagnosed with a mental illness!” That’s probably true as well, but he wasn’t. People do evil things because they’re just evil with no explanations.

They did say that people with schizophrenia, bipolar, depression or a certain class of mental illnesses shouldn’t own a gun. I can see why they feel that way. But, do I feel that I’m a dangerous person? No. I can’t even kill a fly without feeling guilty. Not even in my most manic state or depressed state, have I ever thought of killing someone. I was too busy talking to Elvis or God in my manic state, and I am too lazy to get out of bed in my depressed state. Labeling me a “dangerous” person without knowing me, ticks me off. But like all people with different skin tones, we can’t say for sure that all people with bipolar are like me. What one experiences with mental illnesses is way different from person to person. Not one person suffering from mental illnesses will be the same as another. And owning a gun is a like a temptation, I don’t need in my life. Not because I would hurt anyone but because it would be more dangerous to myself. I’m my own worst enemy. The only person who would be in danger, would be myself. But luckily, I found the saving grace in medication. So, all those dark thoughts don’t happen much anymore. I’m neither manic or depressed. I’m still in the middle. I like being in the middle. Medication isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. I suffer from Bipolar I. Meaning I have a shit load of highs than depression. I also suffer from GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), SAD (social anxiety disorder), PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder from child abuse, domestic assault, and rape), BPD (borderline personality disorder), and Trichotillomania. Oh, and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). I’m working on Agoraphobia. I’m not a fan of large crowds. I finally went out into a crowd a couple of weeks ago. YAY! It wasn’t as scary as my head said it was. It’s more like exposure therapy. DBT works for me!

I thought of this last night, Trichotillomania. What the fuck is it? It’s where you pull out hair from the roots. It could be the hair from your scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, body hair, and pubic hair. I had to cut my hair a few months ago (before I went on medication). I know it’s a long word. I had bald patches in the back of my head and on the top of my scalp. Half of the time, I didn’t realize I was pulling my hair out. I do have bald patches in my eyebrows. I’m missing hair there a little bit. It was painful at first, and I got to a point to where I didn’t realize how much I was pulling out my hair. My therapist says it’s part of borderline and my Psychologist says it’s a part of anxiety. Borderline because it’s “self-injury.” I think it’s just one big stress disorder. I noticed that when I’m stressed out, I pull more. I’ve lost clumps of hair from pulling. Well, I don’t pull as much as I did since being on Depakote. It isn’t by far the “cure-all” medication. But my stress level has decreased. Trichotillomania can be severe enough that you shave your head. I’ve only had to do that once. Most of the time, I keep my hair short, so I don’t pull it out. It would be nice to have long hair again. The bald patches have hair now. So, the back of my hair is slowly growing out. This is the most hair, I had in a long time. It looks healthy and shiny again. The problem with pulling is that your hair grows back looking ragged. Instead of pulling out clumps of hair, my hair is normally losing the hair that naturally falls out on its own when I brush it. I used a ton of conditioners to soften it. For me, Dove works the best on my hair. It was cut very short a few months ago, but now it’s down to my shoulders.

Borderline has been quiet. She’s still sitting in the corner but with a smile on her face. She turned from this evil force in my life back into the happy little girl with blonde curls. I love it when she’s silent. There are several characteristics for borderline personality disorder. Self-injury, self-loathing, self-hatred is one of those characteristics. Constantly being suspicious of others is another. I have trust issues caused by my childhood. It’s like at a certain point my brain didn’t keep developing past a certain age. I’m always stuck at age 10. That’s when I watched my dad take a gun to the back of my mom’s head (that’s why I hate guns). He was abusive. My sister went to school with black eyes from my dad. He wasn’t always like that. It was like someone flipped a switch in his head. From the age of 8 to 11, I received a demonic father. He doesn’t remember any of it, of course. He did suffer from PTSD as a veteran. He doesn’t remember crawling on the floor with guns in his hands (scary to witness as a small child). I remember it. The violence in my home in the 80’s was scary. It was traumatic enough for me to shut down. My grades in school took a nosedive. I was always scared to come home.

When I had my kids later on in life, I didn’t want them to have the life I lived. I want our home to be filled with love, compassion, and empathy for others. Actually, I just wanted to be a part of a family. I never had that. I always wished for a normal mother and father. I never had that as a child. I grew up in a turbulent home. There was either food or no food. Even today, I can’t handle screaming. I will revert back 1988 or 1990 and suffer from PTSD. I’m literally ducking and hiding in a room. You’ll find me balled up in that room, hiding and sobbing. I can’t handle screaming or bright lights in a window. That’s probably why I leave the curtains down all the time. My dad’s lover (now wife) used to take the high beams to the windows while we slept. She would flash them on and off for his attention. I still can’t handle bright lights at night. She is equally as sadistic as him.

Now that I look back on my life, I realize that none of it was my fault. I did nothing wrong. I always thought I did something bad. I was the bad person. It led to many years of drug and alcohol abuse to escape the pain from my childhood. Now that I’m sober for many years, I’m going to be okay. It’s nice to have a family, I’ve always dreamed of having. We have dinners together. We laugh and joke with each other. That was my main wish in life. To be a part of a family. My kids are for the most part well-adjusted. They are hyper little kids at times. We’re a boring family, but I like it. They know Mommy had a rough life. They know Mommy still suffers from mental illnesses. But they also know, Mommy loves them and will try to do things within reason for them. We have rules, and they listen. We don’t use fists, curse, or hit each other. We take away things they like when they were bad (rarely are they ever bad). We love, respect, and help each other.  I’ll always worry about my kids. That will never change.

My third eldest brother stopped by yesterday, and we had a long talk about our father. We both have our own children, and we both agreed that our kids aren’t missing anything from our father. We don’t want our kids around him for the fact of the way he treated us as children. It’s okay. I haven’t seen our father since my daughter’s birth, five years ago. His lover turned into his wife. She made him forget about us. That’s okay. She, and her kids can have him. Our eldest brother worries about being in his will. The rest of us don’t care about his will. We don’t want anything from him. And my kids are the type that will call you out in a heartbeat. “Why are you visiting us now and not years ago?” From the mouths of babes. To protect my kids, I will continue to take what he says with a grain of salt. “I’ll take your kids fishing.” He has yet to show up. Our father is a Deacon at a church. He says he found God. Well… That’s good an all, but we remember the Hell we lived through as children. How are you supposed to forget that? I know we can forgive him, but we can’t forget what he did. Oh, and as a Deacon of his church, he refuses to lay claim to the original five children he had with our mother. So, we’re not on anything. He doesn’t mention us, and he will remove tags, if we tag him on Facebook. There isn’t any point with keeping that door open for him. He put us in the middle of our parents’ fights. We had to pick sides. All of us picked our mother. We chose for our safety, she was the lesser of two evils. She wasn’t the best mother, but she did try. I just wished she wasn’t so consumed with him. She did some shady shit herself, and she conveniently doesn’t remember either. “I don’t understand why you have all those issues!” Huh? You had one job to do as a mother and you failed all of us. The moment he was getting aggressive, you should have pulled us out of there. I will never understand why a mother picks a man over her children. But we’re not supposed to judge, right? It’s hard not to. I understood she loved him and still does, but she should have protected us.

I wish we taped it all. This generation is lucky because they can tape it on their phones. We didn’t have that because it was so expensive at the time. I can forgive, but I can’t forget. And I’m not about to let my dad take any of my children for the weekend. That ain’t happening. The proof was from my childhood. I’m sure he’s changed. I wish him luck with his step-grandchildren. He won’t be taking mine anywhere, and my third eldest brother feels the same way as I do. And my children don’t know or miss him at all. From the time that my eldest son was born to now, he’s maybe seen my kids a total of three times. My eldest son is almost 12. That should tell you something. And I’m not a vain person. I don’t expect gifts or presents. Just acknowledgement that we and they exist. Nope! None at all! It isn’t like they’re hurting. They never think about him. To be honest, they don’t care. They’re more worried about the latest science and technological advances. Samara is more worried about receiving her costume in time for Halloween, but she changes her mind often. One minute she wants to be Belle and the next she wants to be Elsa.

As for his will… No amount of money can repair the damage he did. He broke a little girl’s heart at that time. She trusted a man, who turned from a worthy king into a diabolical demon. Her heart eventually repaired itself with the help of a wonderful man, proving that all men aren’t evil. The gaping hole was plugged with her own children. If I could hold that little girl, I would in a heartbeat. I picture that little girl crying, and I want to hold her and tell her it’s going to be okay. You’re going to make it. It doesn’t seem like it now, but you’ll make it. You’re stronger than what you realize.

I marvel at how strong our daughter is. I’ve learned more about myself from all the children. My children are constantly teaching me how to live. Right now, my daughter is poking me in the back and ducking behind a chair, giggling. Kids are awesome little human beings. They probably can solve the world’s problems in a day, if we let them rule the world.

Being Overweight…

I’ve been there. I’m still there now but it isn’t as bad as it was. I started out at 300 lbs. That’s a lot of weight. This is part of depression they don’t tell you about. When you’re stuck in your house for years, you put on the weight. It isn’t an attractive amount of weight either. I’m 5’6 and that’s morbidly obese for me. Medication after medication doesn’t help matters any either.

When you suffer from Bipolar, you have to prepare yourself for the lows. The low is where you stay inside and eat a ton of yucky food. I used to eat a huge bag of potato chips with endless supply of Coca Cola. Mac & Cheese was one of my staples around the house. You’d see me stay up late at night with a huge bowl of mac & cheese and Coca Cola. Well, those bowls of mac & cheese adds up. I love Velveeta. That’s my shit. Then you add to the depression because you’re overweight. At least in my case, I did.

For the last month, I went back on the gluten-free diet. I’m down to 275 pounds. I still have a long road ahead of me. Now that I’m on the right medication, I can focus on what I need to accomplish. I don’t have a loud-speaker in my ear anymore. I’m not talking to Elvis or God anymore. Got to love mania, right? The audible and visual delusions have stopped. I feel like I’m a normal person for a change. Depakote has helped me silence the noise in my head. I don’t have that built-in aggression from Borderline. I don’t feel angry or suffer from mixed states anymore. Mixed states are where you can’t decide whether to cry or become angry. You just want to step out of your skin. Mixed states are a bitch, and I had those quite frequently. And I used to rapid cycle. Not so much anymore if at all. A month going in, I feel normal or what a normal person would feel like.

How did I get down to 275 pounds? I stopped eating fast food. I won’t eat it unless I can fix it myself. I still have a long road ahead of me, but I’m on the right track. I won’t eat any gluten at all. No pasta, no breads, no nothing that’s white. I do love sushi and it’s hard to say no to sushi. No more Coca Cola. It’s straight up water. No juices of any kind. No processed foods. So that bag of potato chips… Gone! Fruit has to be organic and very little. It cannot be processed at all. I’m a sucker for cheese, but I switched to skim fat cheese. Not much milk at all if any. Water is my friend. If I want to spike it with a lemon, I’ll do it. I don’t eat potatoes at all. Those had to go. I switched to green veggies only for now. I eat avocado, leafy greens, salads, protein, very little tomato. Not many tomatoes at all. If I’m going to drink juice it has to be 100% juice. It can’t be mixed with sugar at all. That’s hard to find at times. I eat steak, turkey, chicken, and fish. Really eat a lot of fish with extra virgin olive oil and avocado sauce. It’s good. I don’t eat cereal at all. I never was a fan of cereal anyway. I eat eggs and bacon. No toast or gravy of any kind. I don’t eat a lot of pork. I don’t like the taste of pork, but I love bacon. I will normally cook bacon and fish together. I’ll use the bacon grease to cook my fish in. When you live in a land-locked state, you take your chances with fish. I’ll cook whatever is on sale for the wild fish, not farm fish. I’ll drink green tea every now and then, but it’s mostly water.

How do I feel now? Way better. The migraines are not as bad as they were. I cook in normal organic seasons like garlic, turmeric (it helps with flares and joints), and various other seasonings. Rosemary, Thyme, etc. It’s so much fresher and better when you can pick it and cut it up. Anything that’s in a package like Oreo, Reese cups, or goldfish crackers, I don’t eat it at all. I don’t eat any deserts. No pies, no Twinkies, no ho-ho’s. It now grosses me out when I see those on the shelf. I have an aversion to it now.

Look, I know what it feels like when the bed breaks or a chair breaks on you. It’s embarrassing. And most people give up when they see they gained weight within the first month. That’s okay because you’re gaining muscles, not fat. As soon as your muscles stop, the weight will drop in buckets. People want the “now now” results. It took a long time to gain the weight, it’s going to take a long time to lose the weight. Unless you choose to have a lap band or your stomach stapled. I chose to lose it gradually. I received the sideeye that people give you. The laughs and jeers people give you when you’re overweight. It sucks and it hurts. That makes you want to hide in your hole even more. Don’t do that. Not everyone is like that. Look, I go to the gym and two muscular guys came up to me and applauded me to keep it up. There are good people out there. Not everyone wants to attack you for being overweight. Doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Fuck the haters, keep doing you. It does take time. You have to retrain your brain on what’s healthy and what isn’t healthy. As with all diets, go see your doctor. I’m just saying this is what’s working for me.

For the first time, I can see my vagina. I know it’s the strangest thing to say, but I can see my vagina. Hey, she’s still there! My hips are sticking out more, my arms don’t have the granny flab. You know, when you lift your arms up and the flab is waving back and forth. That’s gone. What they don’t tell you about is the runner’s Hershey squirts. Lawd… you can’t run to the bathroom fast enough. I do my squats at work. I’m constantly on the move at work. There’s no sitting behind a desk. I lift heavy shit all day long or in my case, all night long. Instead of my ass praying to stay inside my pants, my ass is saying, “You go, girl!” My pants have dropped sizes already. They’re not holding onto the material for dear life anymore. I don’t feel like my t-shirts are suffocating me anymore. Instead of taking up the entire bed, I’m on my side of the bed with room to spare. With each pound I lose, I find that my stamina has gone up. I’m ready to run a marathon. I’m excited that I can see my vagina. I haven’t seen it since I was pregnant with my eldest son. My breasts are still huge. Those fuckers aren’t going to deflate anytime soon. I notice that I don’t have anymore side flab from my breasts hanging out anymore. They’re completely in the cups! And because I’m losing weight, my self-esteem has improved greatly. I might become a MILF one of these days. Actually, I will become a MILF. Those are life goals there. I’m smiling more, and I feel confident. My levels have drastically improved. They are stable for the first time in years. The inflammation levels are gone. I can still see some small specks of psoriasis but it isn’t as noticeable as it once was. It’s disappearing off my hands. There are still patches of plaque psoriasis on my knees. “We know what you’ve been doing!” No. Those are actually plaque psoriasis. I went from 98% covered to less than 2% covered. I can deal with that. I suffer from scalp, inverse, plaque, and I did have guttate psoriasis. Inverse in the crotch area and under my breasts. It used to burn like battery acid. I remember trying to find a comfortable spot to sleep, and I couldn’t find any. This is worse than poison ivy or poison oak. It really felt like my skin was on fire. Not even Aloe Vera or any of the lotions they prescribed me helped. Mine was apparently triggered by a bad case of strep. But I still have joint pain. That won’t go away. With Psoriatic Arthritis, you have to fight to stay active. If not, you’ll land in a wheelchair. I was supposed to be in a wheelchair by now. With my stubborn pride, I refuse. My joints will eventually deteriorate in time. But I can do things to keep me mobile for now. There’s always that hope it goes into remission. There’s never a cure, only remission for autoimmune diseases. As long as my infection or RA (I think that’s what it’s called, don’t quote me) levels stay in the normal zone, I’m fine for now. They draw my blood every six months to make sure my levels are great. My blood pressure is still in the normal range 120/80. It was low for a while there.

The brain zaps are gone. The numbness and tingles are gone. The migraines are mostly gone. The anxiety is still there, but she’s being nice this week. My hair is actually looking much better. I switched to Dove shampoo and conditioner, and my hair is the silkiest it’s ever been in years. No noticeable bald patches or hair falling out yet. I will lose some hair from summer to fall anyway. My hair always does that. It looks nice for a change. It isn’t dry and brittle like it was for many years. I’ve stopped tugging on it as much. With trichotillomania, you want to pull hair out by its roots. I’m not as stressed out as I was.

As for my cold, it’s gone. It didn’t last long this time. My libido went up. I want sex all the time. I’m asked how much does my husband weigh? He’s right at 175 lbs. He’s always been skinny. When we met, I was 136 lbs. I want to get that low again. It’s hard because I had five pregnancies with a total of 13 surgeries. My face is slim again. I like it. I’m on the right path. I want to continue losing weight. I’ll update with my weight changes in six months. I’m not paying attention to the scale except if I have to go to the doctor’s office. That’s the only time, I weigh myself. I don’t own a scale and I prefer to keep it that way. Scales are hideous beasts that laugh at you when you don’t lose the weight you’re hoping you lost. I’d like to lose 100 lbs by next year. I can do it. If I can survive Bipolar I, Anxiety, and Borderline, I can survive weight loss. Just be careful with the evil cycling coach. We’re going up that mountain and that seat is an asshole killer.

Mini Vacation

Depakote is interesting when you’re on vacation. Part of you wants to sleep and the other is fighting to stay awake. On Saturday, we took the kids to an amusement park. We left at 6:00 am and didn’t return home until 11:30 pm. It was a long day. Not to mention all the medication I had to take with us. Inhalers, antibiotics, pain medication, thyroid medication, and Depakote. Out of all of that, I managed to use Depakote and made sure my third son, Jasper had his inhaler. He had a minor asthma attack. He was fine during the day, but he doesn’t like spooky stuff. He’s used to being home before night falls. It triggered a little anxiety in him and that triggered an asthma attack. I was able to get him to calm down. We left immediately and his nerves got the better of him. He threw up several times from the adrenaline crashing. He’s better now. This was one of those times you don’t know how your kid is going to react unless you take them out into the world. I stayed with him the entire time, trying to soothe him. Me, a complete wreck at times, soothing my third son. This is the moment you forget about your issues and focus on their issues because they’re more important.

Overall, our daughter who is the youngest child did great. I watched her turn into this powerful child. I admire her courage. She rode the rides like she’s done it all of her life. While I’m sitting here thinking of what could happen. The anxiety playing in my head of all the bad things that could happen to the children. Don’t watch the movie “Final Destination.” That isn’t a good movie to watch when you’re battling anxiety. That movie only escalated my absurd fears. I don’t like being on an interstate. I will hyperventilate, feel sick, and freak out. This is where I could use an anxiety med. And I hate being on the interstate at night. I did it while holding onto the door. My husband drove both ways. I don’t drive the interstate at all. Highways, I’m cool with. Back roads, I’m cool with. That’s probably why I could never be a truck driver. My hats off to them. There are so many idiot drivers out there that literally cut in front of three lanes of traffic. Or someone pegs it down to 100 mph down the interstate, and you don’t see them coming. I have to get over it, but I hate it. I’m slightly better on a bus, train, subway, and a boat. Not much but a little better. I don’t like crowds, so subways can be a problem for me. It sucks worse because I’m traveling while sober.

After six years from going anywhere, we went to an amusement park. Normally, I avoid crowds. I don’t enjoy crowds due to agoraphobia, but for my kids, I dealt with it. All while remaining sober. It wasn’t too bad of a crowd. Not until the end of the night. Even that was pushing my limits. I could feel the sickness curdling in my stomach and the heat. We would have stayed longer, but even I couldn’t handle it after a while. My kids enjoyed the rides. I love this part about raising older children. Their true personalities come out of hiding. My eldest son rode almost all the roller coaster rides. After the first one he said this, “The adrenaline rush is amazing! I want to do it again!” He was talking about G-forces, inertia, and all these other scientific terms that would bore an average person to death. I understood him and giggled at how much he enjoyed the rides. The second eldest son, Daniel, didn’t do well with the first kid roller coaster ride, but enjoyed the adult roller coaster. He enjoyed the Scrambler and the water rides.

Jasper, the youngest son, didn’t ride any roller coaster ride. He didn’t enjoy hardly anything but the bumper cars. That’s okay. Some people enjoy the roller coaster and others enjoy bumper cars. He refused to get on the carousel which is okay with us. We let him do what he wanted. We did something special for him which was visit the dinosaurs. He loved the dinosaurs.

Then… Our youngest and only daughter. Our girl has literally NO fear whatsoever. She was able to ride the kid roller coaster rides and all the kiddie rides, but not many adult rides. Nothing bothered her, except when the attendant told her she was too short for the bumper cars. She threw a fit. “Stupid rules!” And she stomped on the map because she was mad about being too short. I sat her down and explained why they had rules in place. She still wasn’t happy but she cooled off. She impressed me with her courage. And she proved to me that life is worth taking chances. I learned a lot from her in one day. Proof that my kids teach me more than I teach them.

As for me, I only rode a couple of rides. I got on a roller coaster ride for the first time in about ten years. I feel really old for them now. I was okay until I started to panic a little bit. It took forever for it to end. The sparkles before my eyes told me I needed to sit it out. I’d rather watch my kids from the sidelines. Seeing them happy is worth a thousand pictures. We bonded as a family. And we took mental notes of their strengths and weaknesses for future reference.

It was hard for me to keep up with my medication during the day. At some point, I lost my husband for a couple of hours, and he had my medication. I managed to take Depakote but not the rest of the pills until later on. I missed my thyroid medication, so I was dragging ass the entire day. Today, I’m back on track. I slept most of the day to make up for the lack of sleep.

Now that I have Borderline and Bipolar I in check, it’s time to get Anxiety in check. That bitch was annoying last night. She really revealed herself and resurfaced at night. I don’t like driving at night as it is. She was out-of-control. I grabbed the side of the door, had tears streaming down my face, and hyperventilated with that sick feeling of throwing up in the pit of my stomach. I tried meditation, music, and none of it worked. She came out of hiding and showed herself. The kids were asleep on the drive home while I was under a full anxiety attack. I was involved in two serious head-on collisions. That’s why I hate driving. One, I lost complete track of time and still carry a scar on my head. I hate being in a car as it is.

Depakote is good for the Bipolar, but it doesn’t help with anxiety. Not at all. I have lost three pounds. I do feel thirsty. No adverse reactions yet. We’re about a month into Depakote. I’m due for another doc appointment to up my medication on October 11th. I feel it needs to be upped once. The migraines have eased up, but I still have headaches. My blood pressure is normal. My hair hasn’t fallen out. I love the mellow feeling. The racing thoughts dropped from a million to five lanes. I can deal with five lanes in my head.

Tired

Nothing is happening with Depakote. My moods are still level. But I do appreciate life more. I watched the sun slowly rise as the crescent moon and single star remained out. It was the most beautiful thing, I’ve seen in a long time besides my kids’ births. Maybe certain souls are more immune to negativity than others? I’m not trying to go “all religious” or anything. Maybe people like me can’t handle constant darkness and so much negativity?

“How can you not speak out about politics?” Honestly, I can’t handle politics. It drives me insane. It’s one of my triggers, so I avoid politics at all costs. You have stronger people who can handle it all. That person isn’t me. Trump has always been a douche nozzle or the captain of the douche squad. That has NEVER changed. Not since I’ve been alive. Did you know you can’t sit on the floor inside Trump tower? Did you know they don’t give tours for school children in that place? Nothing has changed since 1994. But, as much as a prick he is, he’s still our POTUS. I didn’t care for Bill Clinton either. I used to be a Democrat until he fucked Monica. The whole cigar incident did it for me. I left the Democrat party after that went down. Ah! How people forget or weren’t alive! That was the biggest scandal in the 90’s! I stayed Independent for a while. Then, I switched to the MAP… Moderate American Party. I don’t care for the Republicans nor Democrats. Both parties have pretty embarrassing past presidents. Trump isn’t our new low. All we do is elect puppets on a string who are controlled by our congress and house of representatives. Trump used to be a lifelong Democrat until Obama became president. Then he switched sides. But, Americans forgot about that, too.

“We don’t understand the electoral college! Hillary should have won!” I understand. But you can’t have big cities like Los Angeles, New York City, or Chicago speak for the rest of the country. You’re telling us that the rest of the United States doesn’t matter. The people in Montana, don’t matter. The people in Wyoming, don’t matter. The people in Idaho, don’t matter. The entire map of the United States turned from blue to red for Donald Trump. The only areas that were blue were the bigger cities. So, if you have over 2 million people living in Los Angeles, of course, Hillary will get the votes there. She lost all the smaller towns and cities. During her campaign, she focused on those big cities, and she couldn’t make time to visit the smaller cities. Don’t blame it on Bernie! Bernie had shit to do with it. Hillary couldn’t be bothered with the tiny cities. That is why she lost. If you don’t want it to happen again, I suggest 2 million plus voters need to move to these smaller states and make a change. Don’t live in an area that is over saturated with Democrats. And nobody remembers the Republicans crying when Obama won twice over the electoral college. It did the same thing for Obama. They only want it abolished when their favorite candidate fails to win. That system was put in place for a reason. We don’t need bigger cities dictating what the smaller cities can do with their lives. Meh… I don’t understand people these days. And I remember Hillary failing to answer a young black teenager’s question. She actually became snotty with her. You can find that video on YouTube if you’re interested. Hillary is a closet racist. And she treated the secret service like shit when she was first lady.

I still don’t care for either party. Bernie is now a sell-out in my eyes. I warned people. If Bernie didn’t become the nominee, watch people switch their votes to Trump. Sure enough, I was right. If the liberals continue to bash Trump, we’ll see a repeat in 2020. We do this every 8 years. We switch to Democrat for a while and back to Republican for awhile. I don’t believe the Democrats have anyone who can take on Trump at this point. They need to get this candidate out now to take on Trump. This person needs to be charismatic. Because frankly, you don’t need experience now. Avoid calling Trump names. It won’t work. Over 53% of Democrats voted for Trump. Nobody could stand Clinton. And nobody wanted Bill back in the white house either. The oval office incident from the 90’s anyone? We became the laughing-stock of the world when that shit went down. We didn’t forget. It’s the silent Americans, you need to worry about. They’re ready to re-elect Trump in 2020. These are your coal miners, your police, fire & rescue, people who work in the oil fields, factory workers, and farmers. Those who don’t pop off with stupid shit all the time. They are tired of being accused of shit they didn’t do. They are tired of being told how to live. Fuck it. You reap what you sow. None of them care about Hollywood or their obnoxious awards. They turned the television off because it became a Trump bash session. Hollywood seems to believe they have influence. No, you don’t. And while these people are getting richer by making a ONE movie, the rest of us are dying out here. Parents working two jobs to provide for their family. They don’t give a shit about what actor or actress in Hollywood thinks anymore. We know they can write it off on taxes. The hardworking middle class Americans can’t write it off on our taxes. While these people don’t pay for shit, neither do the lower class. We can understand the lower class but not the upper class. That’s why Americans are so pissed. A lot of Americans are boycotting movies, shows, and etc… You want us to pay $15.00 per movie ticket? Well, fuck you! We’ll wait until it’s on Netflix or Red Box. And these are the same people who bitch about the wall, but they live behind tight security and walls around their properties.

Why do Americans own guns? If you live in the middle of nowhere, it takes the cops about 20-45 mins to get to where some of us live. By the time they get out there, tragedy would have already struck. That is why we own guns. Not only is it in the Constitution, but it does take cops a long time to get to some of us. We have mountains, roads that are in poor shape, and flooding does happen. I prefer swords over guns and a dog over guns. I grew up around guns all my life. I know how to use one, but I choose not to own one. I live next to the police station. We’re good. And my dog is pretty good about letting me know something is up. I have swords nobody thinks is a sword. Some are out in plain sight. Even my kids don’t realize it’s a sword. I have tomahawks. Those were passed on to me since I’m part Native American. I find it more insulting to call me part indigenous. A part of my family has been here for a long time. The other part of me comes from Europe. My dad carries the Native American traits, he’s part Scottish, English, Irish, and French. My mom is half German and half Bohemian (Czech Republic). While doing research on the family, I stumbled upon mental illnesses from both sides. Anxiety and Bipolar from my mom’s side. Schizophrenia and Bipolar from my dad’s side. There was one story from my dad’s great uncle. His great great-grandfather fought for the Union side and his brother fought for the Confederate side. When the Confederate great-uncle returned, he went insane. So, the grandfather locked his brother up in a woodshed, leaving him there. That is where the term, “I’ll take you out to the woodshed” comes from. Or they locked family members in the attic or basement if they were deemed “mentally unstable.” The family wouldn’t talk about it. Part of me feels bad. I live in a time period that could use some improvement still, but I have medications to keep me from a lunatic asylum.

Do I believe the mentally ill should own a gun? No. I don’t. Not even while on medication. That temptation will always be there. What if you have a depressed moment? All it takes is for one bad day, and you do something terrible. I won’t own or buy a gun. Even though I have security clearance to own a gun. I won’t take that risk. But you own swords! Yes, but I have never done anything with them. No more dangerous than a kitchen knife. And even in my most depressed state, I never thought of using a sword. I used pills instead.

Maybe more souls are sensitive than others? I’m at my happiest moment when it’s summertime and I’m next to the ocean with sand so white that looks like pearls. I’m a summer baby. I can’t handle the gray skies or snow. I don’t like snow. I can stay out in the sun all day long and be perfectly content.