Proper Body Image.

Feeling comfortable in your own skin is something that a lot of people take for granted. There are so many of us who hate our bodies and in so many different ways. Whether you have an eating disorder, mental illness or another issue, there are people around you who can help. They can be friends or relatives, doctors or random people on the internet. You should never feel alone, there are always people out there that care for you and want you to be happy with yourself.

It doesn’t matter what you look like, if you are skinny or overweight. It doesn’t matter what your clothes fit like or how much you eat. Or if you have trouble getting yourself to laugh, even at the funniest of things. Or if you now have the emotional range of a cucumber and always feel like you have done the bare minimum just to show up each day.
People love you for just being you.

Lately, I have been hating my body in just about every way. But whoa!  Didn’t I just lose 23 pounds?  I should be the happiest I have been in a long time when it comes to my weight! Yes, I did. But I am finding that I am developing some body issues and having issues with food. I am doing anything within my power to make sure that I never gain weight like that again. Things are going well with my new psychiatrist and I am slowly working towards a functioning dose of my new medication. I have extremely high hopes for the future of my mental state.

This is a pep talk for myself. I am going to start seeing a nutritionist in May and I am looking forward to having my eating evaluated. I just want to find my way back to being me, mentally and physically.

A New Path.

More often than not I feel like I am letting myself down. I start projects all the time, but never finish them. I can’t get motivated to keep things clean and moving properly around the house. I have had issues with money 3 times in the past 11 years. I can’t keep a constant weight, and I let myself binge eat my feelings. I have had issues with not eating enough food, trying to have control on at least one thing in my life. I have lost more friends than I can count due to my lack of interest in picking up the phone or meeting someone for a drink or replying to an email. I find these things as a very real struggle in my daily life.

I feel like I am getting bad news compounded on more bad news with a topping of bad news. Things are not working out for me lately, I don’t have the best course set for my future. I have been holding back my emotions and my thoughts, so the people who are near me don’t think I am losing my mind or that I’m thinking irrationally. I constantly ask myself Why am I doing this. I have given up on the things that I KNOW interest me, like running and even writing, for a long time. Two of the things that I most enjoy now have no value to me. I know that I want to run, but my body just doesn’t process it. I know that I want to write more, but my thoughts are chased away by fear and doubt.

It finally hit me today that I am depressed. I thought it was just life sucking a bunch of ass, but when I really thought about it, I am going through some awesome depression. With my inability to complete tasks, my constant irritability and inability to control my emotions, I have abused alcohol in the past and I can have erratic behavior that controls my life at times. These are all symptoms of bipolar. These are all of the things that I have a hard time getting a hold of. I thought I was on the right course with my medications with my previous doctor. I had started to question my treatment and recently went to a new doctor and I was amazed. I was on the wrong medications for my diagnosis, I was even misdiagnosed by my previous doctor with bipolar II. It took my new doctor 10 minutes in our initial meeting to properly diagnose me and realize that my treatment thus far has not done a damn thing for me and that they are hurting me more than they are helping me. Which explains a whole hell of a lot.

So I am starting on a new course with a new medication and a new doctor. Within the next 8 weeks my new medication will begin working and I hope that I will find some relief. People don’t understand how hard it is to be depressed or how hard it is to go through a manic episode or how hard it is to hold it together throughout the day and hope that people don’t notice you are crying in your office, or speaking so fast people can’t understand you. I am trying so hard to hide my bipolar in the workplace so that people won’t treat me differently, or think of me differently. But I am having a hard time keeping the work/home line separated. Things are bleeding over and I am having a hard time stopping it.

Now, I am headed down a new path. Hopefully one with some relief and the ability to do the things that I used to love again. One of the reasons I make up race schedules for myself is because I desperately want to get back to running but I feel like I need something to motivate me. I used to run to have fun and to clear my head, now I think of it as a chore.

Here’s to hoping for some relief.

 

Don’t Hold Your Breath.

I am one of those people that is either all in or not in at all. I don’t sorta like things, I either love them or hate them. My emotions are either fully functioning or not at all. This is why I am extremely passionate about the things that I love, because I feel so strongly for them.  Being fully invested makes me work smarter, play harder and love what I am doing all that much more. I also like everyone around me to understand how much I love the things that I love, and almost expect them to work with the same passion that I have. Or expect them to work at the same sense of urgency that I work with.

On the flip side of that, being so passionate about something can also bring about a certain amount of disappointment. I recently found myself daydreaming of what my life could be like. I found myself budgeting for it. I found myself speaking about it as if it was a sure thing. But fate slapped me across the face and reminded me to hold back some of my emotions until things are positive. If things are only a maybe I need to learn some self control. I need to not wear my emotions on my sleeve. Unfortunately, I am going through a good amount of disappointment right now and I am paying the price for wanting something so passionately and counting on it before it had officially happened.

Other than being bitch slapped this week I have been thinking about getting back into running.  I have been planning the hell outta thinking about getting back into running. I seem to be a fair weather runner in 2013 and I am not shy to say it. I have run in sub zero temperatures for 2 years straight, so it was nice to take this winter off and enjoy the heat while in my pajamas. I had originally planned on running the Detroit Marathon in October of this year, but I really have not run long distances since I had my 5th knee surgery and I think I should focus on a shorter, half marathon, distance before I launch straight into a full. I had to walk the second half of my marathon in 2012 because of an injury to my knee and I don’t want to make that mistake twice.

Is it at all possible that the weekdays are getting longer and longer and the weekends are slowly becoming just one half day off of work? I feel like after I grocery shop, do 5 loads of laundry and pretend to clean the bathrooms my weekend is over and I didn’t even get time to take a nap. Or plan on running, then not actually do it. No one tells you these things when you get to be an adult. I think when you hit a milestone age people should give you an instruction book, explaining your next 10 years. My 20’s book would have told me to skip the first marriage (they are just for practice anyways), don’t spend so much damn money you don’t have and that none of my life plans were going to work out. I did fall in love with my husband during my 20’s so that is the only redeeming quality I can pull from that decade of my life. My 30’s book is currently full of self exploration. I have learned things about myself in the past 1.5 years than I think I have in the last 31. My 30’s will be my discovery stage. I really hope that my 40’s are my baller stage where I have so much money that I get to take lavish vacations all the freaking time. Or maybe just pay off my mortgage. Either way, I win.

I Think the Universe Was Listening.

Ever since I put it out there that I am horrible with waiting the universe has been showing me that I need to be. I even found this article today in my Real Simple Magazine; 5 Ways to Increase Your Patience:

photo (8)It seems that I was at least on the right path with taking more time to eat, not only does it help you eat less but it can increase your patience, which I am in sore need of.  Not only am I feeling sick to my stomach from my secret, I am so nervous and anxious that I am having the worst time concentrating and even sleeping. Now if I can just get through this week I think my life may just go back to a new kind of normal.

A few months ago I acquired a tiny chip that looked like it was about to splinter across my entire windshield at any moment.  I submitted an insurance claim on Thursday and Friday around lunch my glass fix it guy showed up to repair my chip.

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Before he started I think he wanted to freak me out, because he tells me that there is a 2% chance that my windshield could crack from the pressure of the machine. Yup, that freaked me out during the entire 15 minutes he was working on my car. Because getting a new windshield involves a deductible payment, and deductible payments don’t grow on trees these days. So he suction cupped the machine to my car and it worked its magic.

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There is still a very noticeable spot where the chip is/was, but at least it is contained now and won’t crack across my windshield.
How do you keep your patience? Are you more of an anxious person or do you have patience in spades?

Confessions.

  • I own around 20 pairs of heels and I barely wear any of them. After having 5 knee surgeries my knee starts to hurt when I wear them too often now…so I just don’t wear them. My shoe of choice? Tennis shoes.
  • I go through a hate/love relationship with peanut butter. I 90% of the time hate it and really don’t want to even smell it, then that random 10% of the time, I love it and can eat an entire jar of it. I really should change the percentages to move of a 95/5 mix. I really don’t like peanut butter all that much. If I had to pick a nut butter it would be Justin’s chocolate almond butter. That stuff is what I would kill for.
  • There are days when I think that Bo is the only soul on earth who understands me.
  • I want to get a small anchor tattoo on my wrist.
  • I feel like I am not worth being around lately. My lack of emotion has made me no longer fun. I never felt like this until I started taking one of my current meds. Okay, I lied, I felt like that before, but blaming it on something makes it easier to take. I feel like people avoid me because I am not fun, I have nothing good to say. I am just ‘there’.
  • I could easily take a 3 hour nap after lunch everyday and I think life would be a little happier.
  • I like to pretend like I am going to quit Diet Coke, but I never do.
  • It is Cadbury Creme Egg season. My record so far is eating 5 in one day. It was well worth it.
  • I just discovered that our local meat store makes pre-cooked spicy chicken patties. These have been the best discovery of my month. I am going to start buying them in bulk and hoarding them for my lunch’s. They are that good.
  • Downton Abbey. One of the most fabulous shows that television has ever put out. This woman says the most brilliant things. Kudos to the writers on that show. I know he was leaving the show anyways, but that was a rough way to go out…
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Just Another Manic Saturday

It is a weird thing to have a mental illness. It consumes you at times and can also lay dormant for weeks or months. It is all I think about and it is also the last thing on my mind. Ever since I have been diagnosed as Bipolar II I have been very aware of my feelings and my actions to the people in my life.

I learned that my manic episodes were not full blown compared to most. I get edgy, picky, shaky, and my body must be moving. Here is a question for you. Would you rather go into the basement and play with the new Christmas toys with the family or clean the house? Easy answer, you would rather play in the basement with the toys. Today I chose to clean the house. I knew I was no one to be around today. I knew I was missing out on some great times with the family, but I knew I would be overly critical over nothing, I would be too edgy. I wouldn’t be fun to my family. So I opted for some alone time for me to try to talk myself off of the ledge, to gather my thoughts.  I hate that my manic week has left me feeling this way.

I am afraid that the medicine I have been on for over 6 months isn’t really working as well as I would like it to be. I am going to consult with my doctor, naturally, but I am just talking it all out here. I want a happier life for my family. I want to be better for them. It is frustrating that I can’t do anything about the way I am. I was born this way and I have to sometimes struggle to get through each day, just to wake up and do it all over again.

Not everyone who has a mental illness is a danger to themselves or to the people around them. I would certainly never have any reason or thoughts towards hurting people. Hell, I hate disciplining the little monsters because I think they’ll think I’m the mean parent . And sometimes I take my mania out on them. Telling them to constantly stop what they are doing, all because it is agitating my manic state. Sometimes I am the mean parent because my brain isn’t functioning up to its full ability.

People have called me brave for putting my emotions out there on my blog. Some have yelled at me for doing so. Some people have even stopped by to tell me that I have helped them understand their own emotions better. If I can help one person with bipolar, then I have done my job. I feel that by hiding my emotions I am not being the person who I really am. I feel like I am living a secret life with bipolar. I need to accept bipolar as my ‘dark passenger’ (thanks, Dexter), and move on each day. I will struggle. I will stumble. I will fall. But you will always see me get back up. I will always try again. I will always want to be a better person.

This has been the roughest week to date while medicated. I hope that this next week brings me some peace and maybe a little understanding of how to help myself through the rough patches. Either way, I know that I am not alone. I have a great support system and they understand how hard I am trying.

Phew!  With all of that off of my chest it is time to turn in for the night and dream of my 7-miler tomorrow. Have I mentioned how normal I feel when I run?  I feel as though everything has been lifted off of my shoulders and my dark passenger leaves me alone.
Happy Saturday.

The Mania Concludes or My Husband, My Hero

The weekend couldn’t get here quick enough this week. I didn’t have a bad week or anything, just a mentally taxing one. Life in general is going very well, work is going well, my brain just didn’t get the memo. I had my first medicated manic episode on Monday and Tuesday. I have never been aware of my manic episodes before and pretending that I felt normal enough to carry on my daily tasks was mentally and physically exhausting.

The days started out the same as any others. I said goodbye to my Jeffykins and Bo and went to work. After I got to work though I felt like my skin was crawling off of me and that my muscles wanted me to run a marathon, my thoughts were quick, unfiltered and exhausting. It took everything that I have to not give in and tear through every project I have going on at work and finishing it in my manic state. I knew the work would not be done up to my standards and may not be legible to others in the way that I was thinking. So I chose easy, busy-work type tasks to complete. I thought every word through before I spoke it and had to focus on not speed walking and speed talking my way through the day. I was physically shaking. I learned that I can’t hold a drink or a pen in front of anyone when I am manic, the shaking is highly noticeable.

I knew what I was going through right away though. I did the adult thing and called my doctor right away and told him what was happening. After some phone tag we went through my options and found one that suited me best. Luckily, my episode only lasted 2 days and didn’t continue into the week. I was so frustrated with myself because I had zero control over anything I was thinking, how I was acting or when it would end. That was the worst of it, I didn’t know when it would end. I didn’t know if it would be a day or a week.

I quickly went through my week at work and wondered if I would get through this meeting or that project in the state I was in. My saving grace? My husband. Jeff was the perfect husband of a bipolar in a manic state of mind. He talked to me, not at me. He was concerned and involved. He was thoughtful and didn’t stress me further. I know that if I have to go through these episodes in the future, I can do so with my Jeff at my side, holding my hand through it. I’m not saying that mania is easy in any way, but with someone who understands what you are going through (to the best of their abilities) it takes the load off in a big way.

Living with bipolar II has thrown me a few curve balls but I think I am finally starting to learn how to deal with my own mental illness.