Seeing, Hearing, Spending and Sleeping


I want to write about the ugly things, some truthful things, things that people with bipolar disorder/schizophrenia don’t want to talk about and things ordinary people are uncomfortable hearing.

This disease is a monster, gobbling you up, chewing you up, then spitting you out to go about life for the rest of the day. When it hits sometimes there is no warning. Other times there are plenty of signs before an “episode” happens. Either way, when it’s all over hours or days later, you are left to pick up the pieces that is your life. Items are returned, a lot of apologies are made, sleep is needed, guilt sets in and reality is back.

I have often found myself looking in the mirror in the aftermath and thinking “what just happened”. Often embarrassed, I try to explain to my loved ones the best way I can and what I remember. The problem is it’s often hard to put into words what you just went through. How DO you explain what you were thinking, feeling, hearing, seeing? Sometimes you can’t and just need a hug and to be told it’s all okay.

The word “crazy” is not allowed in my home. When people say “she’s crazy”, “he’s crazy”, “ugh, it’s been a crazy day”, they have NO idea of the gravity of those words. When I say “I feel like I’m going crazy” or more often said “I feel like I’m losing my shit”, I mean it and that means all hands on deck. Give me a pill to help me calm down, take me somewhere cool and dark, and give me my worship music to listen to.    The kids know to leave me alone and my awesomely supportive husband is at my side holding me while simultaneously holding down the fort. Yes, I have been blessed with an incredible support team and yes, I am aware most people don’t. I honestly don’t think I would be alive if these people would have given up on me. Obviously God wants me alive for a reason and so, I will live.

I have been brutally honest with my kids about what I deal with. They have seen and heard the very raw, uncensored me. They know Jesus is my foundation and I am plagued at the same time. They understand to the best of their abilities that this is life. Shit happens. There are times that I try to hide particular things though. Simply because I think it would frighten them.

After a good few months the easy life was over. If you recall, the doctors had found a wonderful cocktail of drugs and I was feeling better than I have in my entire life. I knew it wouldn’t last forever. All good things must come to an end right? And so as I started to drift away and the old demons were slowly making a comeback, I found myself often in tears. I didn’t want to go back. I loved my new, short lived life and didn’t want it to end. After several weeks of misery, I saw my doctor. Prepared with a long list of symptoms, changes were made and I left with a new game plan. Getting off of this and adding that.  I was supposed to see him again in a month and after 3 weeks, I caved and was back in his office. Things were not getting better. I wasn’t sleeping which was sending me into mania lasting days on end or severe depression also lasting days. Paranoia was slipping back in and I started seeing things again. All of my fears, insects, snakes, monsters, all only I could see but oh so real to me. I was showering one night and as I turned facing my steam covered glass shower door, I saw a very real scorpion crawling on it. I tried to stay calm, as there was a very good chance I was the only one that could see it, and exited the shower. I told my husband and he did his “monster check” and of course, found no scorpion. I used to feel stupid asking for help but realized the only way I could truly be helped was to be honest in my symptoms. After this last visit with my doctor which was last Thursday, I left again with hopefully a better plan of attack. Things have been okay and I know these kind of changes take time. There is no insta-cure. I have overall been sleeping better, but am still dealing with issues. My anger level is through the roof and so I try to just stay away from everybody. When I have to be, I stuff it all in and scream when I am alone once again. Guilt and worthlessness are trying to befriend me. And seeking God is ever so challenging. I know what His word says. I know I am worth a lot to Him and He took my guilt to the cross. I know I’m really not crazy and believe very few people actually are. We all have are plagues in one form or another, just some of us require medication……….a lot of medication. I guess sometimes it’s easier to be in misery then to hear truth. Even truth, when heard, can be a tough pill to swallow, no pun  intended. It’s hard to grasp these things and still have hope. No one can grasp it. It isn’t humanly possible. Even still when I do come to Him I can try to understand to the best of my capabilities what He is trying to tell me.

Today started out realitvly good given my night. I didn’t sleep well and had the kids home from school today. The teachers are on strike. So they will be here tomorrow also. My two older ones headed to church this morning for a “fun day”. I had my youngest, my son, who is 10 stay home with me. He is my watchdog and often sees my symptoms before anyone else does. I lucked out today that he stayed home with me. I have a plant, a hyacinth, in a pot in my kitchen. It was doing very well and bloomed beautiful fragrant flowers. After a couple of weeks it started to die off. I looked up what to do and had it written down on my to-do list every day. I never got around to it and every day it looked sadder and sadder. This afternoon I went to the kitchen to make lunch. As I went to the sink next to the plant, I looked at it and something inside of switched on. It looked like death, withering and hanging lifeless. I quickly turned from it. I felt like I was going to vomit. I tried to pull myself together and resumed making my lunch. At the center island in my kitchen mere feet away from it, I started to hear it. It was crying and calling out for help! Recognizing that it wasn’t probably really speaking to me, I still left, trying to distance myself from it. In my mind I could still hear it, begging to be saved from a slow death. That image, those sounds, I couldn’t get away from it. I went outside and tried to calm down, but I coudn’t and knew what was coming. I tried to call my husband for help before I completely flipped out and of course he didn’t answer his phone. My mama was my next call. Traveling home from Colorado, she jumped into action the best way she could from hundreds of miles away. She got my son on the phone and together they made a plan to rescue me from my own tormenting thoughts. My son removed the plant from my kitchen, placed it out of site, and gave me the medication to help me calm down. My son, so young and yet so in tune with his mother. So tender hearted and compassionate. He rubbed my back and calmly assured me that it will all be okay. Everybody’s home now and I’m feeling better. Not 100%, but better.

I know people don’t like to talk about things like this and for others it is just down right uncomfortable to hear. Maybe others don’t know what to do, how to react. I mean it’s got to be pretty hard for the average Joe to understand how a person can hear a plant screaming for help and see things that aren’t really there. Go on spending sprees and then have to go down the walk of shame the next day. To feel so depressed that things like brushing your teeth or showering are hard to think about, let alone do. I often wonder what other people do think of me, not that I care, I’m so over that, just curious. Should I keep my distance and not allow my children over to her house? I’m pretty sure that’s ran through some of the kids parents heads as it has been a steady decline of other children coming to visit. I also know my children feel worried that if they have someone over mom might have an episode. Living with this disease is hard, not for the faint of heart, and warriors only succeed. But we are not “bad” people. If anything I know personally, we try to be extra conscious of what we say and do around other people. Heaven forbid our secret gets leaked.

God’s grace and mercy is why I’m still here. Period.

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Chin Up!


So according to my husband, this time of year through after New Years is very hard for me. My wonderful meds. keep me from remembering this kinda thing.

It’s been one hell of a month! The constant change in meds. and the ups and downs of it have been terrible. I also found a lump in my breast. The joys of being a woman! So I had to get that taken care of.

I have had a pretty solid week. We were just talking about it last night.  The last time I saw my doctor, 4 weeks ago, he wanted to stop a med. that was not helping me. He added one to replace it. He also told me that he wants me to stop the Cymbalta next time he saw me. Today I went to see my doctor. I had my mind made up that  I did not want to come off of it until after Thanksgiving. I also had a few concerns that popped up this month. When I tried to explain to him that all day, but especially at night after I take my night meds., I have trouble controlling my mouth. It twitches and even goes completely numb when I try to talk. It is near impossible to speak with my mouth quivering and going numb. Needless to say he was alarmed. Guess why? Well it can act like and even cause Parkinsons Disease. What you say! And if not caught soon enough it will become permanent. Ummm….not cool right?! He said that this was being caused by too much dopamine, if I remember correctly. He said it imperative that I get off the Cymbalta. Yeah..I think I’ll go ahead and do this sooner then later. Remember that solid week I was just telling you about? It didn’t last. I not only had a bipolar episode this afternoon, but had a complete panic attack this evening. This was so bad that in the 15 years of marriage my husband said he has never seen anything like it. And trust me, that man has seen it all.

So what am I thankful for this year? I am so thankful that I have an amazing doctor. I am thankful for my super amazing husband and my Spirit filled children who walk with the Lord daily. And lastly I am ever so thankful for my Christ. For without Him I would not be alive today. He has gifted me with my Salvation and an eternity of loving Him.

Stay thankful my friends.

Empty Days, God Filled Nights


My days are empty now. My kids went back to school yesterday. I hate to be alone. Alone with my thoughts. Alone with the demons that all too often like to visit. This is how I get into trouble. The house is too quiet. I miss those kids bad. I’m trying to look at this as “me” time, but it’s hard.

God is really dealing with me with some stuff right now. I always wake up at midnight for prayer time, but the last 2 nights, when I awoke, I had this hunger for God’s living word like never before. A thirst needing to be quenched. I visited Valley Bible Fellowship’s website to hear their head pastor, Pastor Ron Vietti, speak. The address is http://www.vbf.org He did a 2 week series about reframing life. I highly recommend you watch this. So good. Anyways, I don’t know why the Lord is firing me up, but He is.

I try to only write when I feel the Lord is leading me, so hopefully someone will watch the sermons and be forever changed as I have been.

There


I feel strong today. My mind feels strong, my body feels strong, but most importantly, my soul feels strong. I have been doing well, friends. The fibromyalgia is giving me more trouble than anything. It’s been super hot here and I don’t think my body likes it. I also had to get off my original fibro/lupus med because my new insurance was being not nice and left me with over $400 to pay for it. So I started something else which is not nearly as effective….bummer.

I’m starting to really miss church again. I watch sermons online and have my own time with the Lord most Sundays while the rest of the clan is at church. I just miss being there. You know “there.” Where He meets you, I know He will meet you wherever you are, but there is something heavy, worshipers united, Holy Spirit falling, being “there” in the midst of it all. I just can’t sit through it. I try and every time I have to leave. This doesn’t just happen with church. I can’t go to movies or even watch t.v. Sometimes I can read a book, but it has to captivate me from the beginning, no slow starters. And even then I can only read a few pages at a time. And so as it goes, when I do go to church I have to take my own car so I can come home early….bummer. I think I will try tomorrow. I can always make it through praise and worship and if I have to leave after that oh well.

Oh, how I love my Jesus. I love how He works from the inside out. I am so in love with Him and how He meets my every need. I adore Him and how His love has ravished my heart. How He is transforming and renewing my mind.

Everything


I was reminded today to be thankful for Everything. As little or big as they are. Thankfulness must be pure in nature. Especially as you lift up your voice to the Lord God Almighty. My family has been through a trying few months. Everyday I thank God for giving me another day, but rarely do I take the time to thank Him for the breeze, or the birds, or the home I live in. Seeing everything with a heart of gratitude when you have no money or wonder how your going to pay the bills is a game changer. So much beauty and you realize everything will be okay. Look at how He cares for the birds. Feeding them and giving them shelter, He loves us SO much more.

I almost went deaf in my right ear last week. I had an inner and and outer infection that had eaten a hole right through my eardrum. After 2 weeks of treatment and becoming literally sick from the infection, today I can hear. The bipolar has reared it’s ugly head a hand full of times this past month. Really been battling with anger, mania, and insomnia. The fibromyalgia and lupus have been fair. I started a new pain med, which is actually taking the edge off.

I was reminded today to also live in the moment with God. Jesus, I’m thankful for the music as I listen to your worship right now. I’m thankful for the sound of my husbands cpap mask that I can hear right now. I’m thankful for the storm that’s coming in and the breeze that’s filling my bedroom right now.

He is good, He is holy, He is worthy.

Thanksgiving


I know we haven’t yet reached Thanksgiving, but I am so excited for Christmas! I just love my Jesus! I know Thanksgiving is important too. Taking time to give thanks is critical. Especially with kids. Showing them, as we go around the table to say what we are thankful for, how to express that.

I have been doing well. Started a couple new meds this month. Good and bad, but needed. And it’s finally getting a little bit chilly outside. THANK GOD! I thought it was never going to happen.

So, Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Don’t forget to thank the Lord, for He is good .

My anxiety has set sail!


Last week I accomplished something huge….huge for me.

My husband, children and I were set to go on a cruise from Long Beach to Ensenada and then back. I have been mentally preparing myself for about a month. As time drew near, I was freaking out. I hardly ever leave my house! My anxiety is so bad, I have a tough time in elevators, being out of my comfort zone too long, and many other triggers. I wasn’t going to go as we entered the week we were leaving. The anxiety was too much. Well, last Monday, the 27th, I decided I wasn’t, I couldn’t allow the enemy to steal my life and my life’s experiences. I went to therapy. Then something happened. I was set free! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus! He tenderly removed my anxieties and replaced them with a gentle  excitement. I have NEVER experienced anything like it. That was it! I WAS going. Going to see my kids have fun. Going to be with my husband. Going to be triumphant!

We set sail last Thursday and returned this last Sunday. I had a marvelous time! I did have a couple of close calls fainting, but was able to get to bed in time before anything happened. The Lupus acted up only a couple of times. And my mind was stable.

My friends, God can and will do amazing things in your life if you only allow Him.

Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19