I was reading an article on HuffPost today and the writer had written her 18 year old self a letter. I’d heard of doing this before, but never did it because I thought, what’s the point you can never write anything that change the way things happened. But I got to thinking about it and it felt like something that should be done. It felt like it could be therapeutic. Please consider giving it a shot yourself. It really did feel good. Let me know what you wrote.
Dear 18 year old me,
You’ve already been through so much. And I know it’s been so hard. You think the worst is over. It’s not, but all the hard times will teach you more than you ever could imagine. Please trust your really good friends. Listen to their advice, because they are usually right. They see things you sometimes miss. Don’t push away people you care about just to see if they will stay. 9 times out of 10 they won’t because you pushed them too hard. Never forget that you are bright and strong. You’ll need to know this to get through the rest of your life. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Some times you’ll fail and fall hard ,just remember to keep picking yourself back up again because you will have success. Believe that people will really truly love you for who you are. It will make relationships easier down the road. There’s tough times ahead. Don’t let your mind or the devil fool you into thinking that they will last forever, because they won’t. Cherish every happy joyful moment. They are precious and the memories will last a life time and get you through the bad times. Know that no matter what happens you’re parents will always love you. Family’s love is the one thing that is constant. Some very unexpected things will happen. Things you never dreamed possible. Try to go with the flow and accept new things as opportunities to grow. When bad things happen accept them as opportunities as well. Most importantly, love yourself. Love your self for who you are inside and out. You don’t know how beautiful and amazing you really are. Life won’t end up like you think, but the journey will make you a compassionate, loving, incredible woman. I can’t tell you that everything ends up perfect in the end, but you will be someone who is strong and confident with who she’s become. Good luck with everything and just don’t ever, ever, ever lose your faith.
30 year old Beth
I usually don’t discuss which medications I take on here, because everyone needs something different. Just because it does or doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it’s not something you should try. There are a ton of different types of psychiatric drugs out there and I could list them all by classification and use, but you don’t need that. You could google it. What I want to discuss today isn’t necessarily about a certain medicine, but how I reacted to a problem. Let me tell you what happened. I wrote previously about being at my pdoc and that he raised my medicines. What he did was increase my lithium. I’ve been on lithium for 7 years. I’ve never had any problems with it before and I believe it has really helped me a lot. However, in all this time I’ve never been able to get to the high range of the therapeutic level. So since we wanted to nip this depressed episode in the bud, he thought adding one more pill would help. The would bring me up to 2,250 mg/day. He also added some zoloft as a short term measure, which I know isn’t always recommended for people with bipolar disorder, but it’s worked in the past. The first few days were fine. No changes good or bad. I know by now it takes time to feel the effects of new medicines. But then I started to feel really horrible. I felt nauseous, dizzy, I could barely hold my head up. Then I started with things coming out of both ends. I couldn’t eat and I kept throwing up. I felt shaky and scared. The scared was the interesting feeling, because I knew as horrible as I felt that this wasn’t the stomach flu. I had been warned about lithium toxicity many times before. I knew what to look for. Yet, I still had this doubt in my head that maybe I was just sick. One other major sign of toxicity is extreme tremors. I wasn’t experiencing that so it caused doubt. But my fear wouldn’t let me believe that I was sick. My mind was clear. I kept calm. I didn’t freak out. I knew I had to listen to by body and it would tell me the right thing. On Sunday, I knew what I had to do. I knew that I must be experiencing lithium toxicity and I knew what I had to do. For many reasons I couldn’t let this go any longer. I’m an insulin dependent diabetic, so I had to keep enough carbs in my body so that I didn’t get really really sick. That night I cut the dose back and did so again this morning. I went back to where I had been previously. Today I feel a ton better, just tired and a little overwhelmed from the experience. But I learned an important lesson. Trust your body. You know yourself better than anyone else does. Doctors do that best that they can do, but in the end it’s your body. However, never stop taking or change your medications without first talking to your doctor. In my case we discussed what to do previously. Trust your mind and body to tell you when something doesn’t feel right. 9 times out of 10 if you’re really tuned in you’ll be right. This can do for all kinds of illnesses and issues and situations. Be brave enough to believe in yourself and what your intuition tells you. Push all doubt away and do what you know is best.
For a long time now I’ve been holding on so tightly to pieces of mania. I had hoped by continuing to have manic thoughts and actions that it would keep me safe from the hold of depression. It stopped working. It didn’t feel the same anymore. There was no excited thrilling feelings. I just felt empty inside. I was going through the motions of mania without having the feelings. In fact, things were getting worse and worse because of it. It feel so wrong and grimy and yucky. It was getting too confusing. One second I’d be doing inappropriate things or spending money I didn’t have, the next I’d be shaking in tears filled with anxiety and pain.I felt like I was hanging from a ledge by my finger tips refusing to fall. I fought as hard as I could, but I finally grew tired and let go. I decided to give into the depression. In a weird way it was a relief. I could stop fighting what was happening, accept it, and work to make it better. I went to the psychiatrist yesterday after having a horrible last few days filled with arguments and crying and dissociation. When I go to the pdoc, there is usually a long wait. I cant figure out why I have to wait for an hour. But anyway while I was there I made this list hoping it would help me when I talked to my doctor.
Reasons why I know I’m depressed.
- I’m still wearing half my pajamas
- I don’t remember the last time I washed the shorts I’m wearing.
- I just want to lay in bed with my stuffed animals and watch crap tv.
- The thought of food makes me nauseous.
- I wish I could sleep forever.
- I’ve forgotten that men exist.
- I hurt all the time.
- I obsess about death.
- Every little things sets me off into a downward spiral.
- After a period of normal I started rapid cycling and then crashed.
- I’m constantly dissociating to deal with the pain.
- I’m taking more anxiety meds.
- I feel hopeless and scared.
- I’m just so sad.
- I pick fights with people pushing them to leave me or get mad.
- I’m so terrified that I’ll stay in bed forever again.
- I can’t do this again. I just can’t.
I read him some of this list after convincing him that there indeed was a list in my phone. (He is technologically challenged.) And then it all started to fall together. There’s nothing wrong with me except that my brain chemicals aren’t working right. It makes me pick fights, it makes me dissociate, it makes me cry hysterically, it makes me feel like hurting myself, and it makes me think I’m losing my mind. I’m not. I’m just sick and depression is just another way my brain shows me that I’m sick. I immediately felt relief. He prescribed me another med and upped another one. Thankfully, because I’ve been through depression before, I’m catching the signs and symptoms quicker each time. I went and got help before I completely crashed and spent another year in bed. I’ll never do that again. I’ll fight with every ounce of my being to not get stuck in bed.
I just want a normal life. Nothing extreme, fancy, or intense. Just average. I want to be able to do laundry, write, help others, and have great friends. Hopefully I can work towards one day having most of my time spent in this place. But until then, I fight. And I don’t ever stop fighting. This is my life and it’s worth it.
Dear Barry White,
Up until this evening I had never had the pleasure of listening to your music at length. I’m not sure what the hell is wrong with me, because your voice made my night a thousand times better. Thanks for everything!
So Greg says to me…
Being with you is kind of like riding in the passenger seat of a Ferrari. Fast and exciting! Except there’s no steering wheel and the breaks only work on the front right and back left wheels. You have no control over the shifting at all and every once in a while out of no where it shifts into reverse.
Does this mean I can have a Ferrari now? Cause I want a white one.
To quote Tori Spelling( I know right?)
“Everybody knows there is no such thing as normal. There is no black-and-white definition of normal. Normal is subjective. There’s only a messy, inconsistent, silly, hopeful version of how we feel most at home in our lives.”
For a very long time I have been brutally battling the bipolar disorder and all her demons. It’s been one hell of a fight. Yet lately, I have been in this mental space that I haven’t been to in a long long time. I’ve been able to study for a certification, sleep enough, get exercise, I read a whole book for the first time in way over a year, I pick up the house, etc, etc. I’m doing things that need done and doing things I enjoy that are healthy for me. My mind has been very clear.
This week has truly been great. It’s been full of all the things I love best. 4 days with an amazing assortment of friends, lots of writing, reading, and sunshine.
I honestly think something’s wrong. This is too normal. Too healthy. Shouldn’t I be doing something dangerous or inappropriate? I’m scared. I don’t know who I am when I’m like this. It has been too long, I’ve forgotten.
I talked to my therapist about this of course. She encouraged me to embrace this time when things are calm and to try to continue to make safe decisions. After talking to her, I felt like maybe I have some control over my life back. That feels so good.
So I’m going to embrace this normal period in my life. Now don’t get me wrong. I agree with Tori, normal is subjective. So what’s normal for me might be insanely crazy for you or weird or abnormal. But I can’t worry about you. I plan on doing what’s best for Beth each day. I also need to stop worrying about what is wrong and focus on what feels right to me. I think it’s about damn time I start trusting myself again.
I haven’t blogged in a little while for a few reasons. I have stopped feeling funny or overly happy. I kept telling myself that no one wants to read about the depressed side of bipolar disorder. Now, let me be clear. I’m not totally depressed, but I’ve been fighting like hell not to go there again. Then I realized the reason I started and kept writing this blog. It’s not for anyone else necessarily. I love that people read what I write, but the reason I write is just for me. It’s a written account of my moods, my life, and my thoughts. For me it’s a historical record. So just to throw it out there, I have been working on a book. At the moment I’m writing about the summer of 2011 and how insane it was. It’s a little scary remembering all those people and all those feelings. Writing down things that might someday piss someone off… But what ever I’m writing the truth for me right now, and it can be edited out later if so needed. For right now, it’s all for me. I’ve also gone through my files looking at other writing I’ve done. I might just as well have a whole damn book written for all intents and purposes. It all needs rewritten though, the journals which are my prized possessions need added in, but there is stuff there I don’t even remember writing. I know I’ve always written, but I forgot how much. It’s pretty exciting. It definitely a great place to start from. It will be about my life, my trials, my joys, and how they all are connected through bipolar disorder, dissociation, and trauma. I think it will work if I can stay focused enough to write more than one page at a time before I get overwhelmed with emotion. But this brings me to my saying above. Though reading all of these past stories, I’ve realized that I might have done some seriously bad decision making in the past, but if it wasn’t for those wrong choices I’d never be where I am today. Strong, a fighter, loving, caring, and being able to laugh at myself. So I embrase all my choices both good and bad and I want to weave them into the story I want to tell.
Found this and it really hit home. I don’t really know what I want and who I want to be. Im on a journey to find out though. Its just a long road. Gotta keep walking.
Welcome back! I hope you like the new layout and design. Apple kicked me off of their iWeb server, so I decided to completely change things up and move over to WordPress. There’s lot more that I can do here. What that really means is that there’s a lot more Greg can be forced to do for me here. hehe. But I look forward to more crazy posts, self discovery, inappropriateness, and laughing at myself. A few things might be not completely functional at first like the archives aren’t filled in at the moment, but I’ll get them back up as soon as I can. Please let me know what you think of the site and leave some comments! Thanks again for going along on this journey with me.
So last night we had dinner with some friends and I realized something interesting. I don’t talk about Greg and my sex life. Ever. Period. I might make jokes saying it doesn’t happen often, but it’s really a diversion to not have to talk about the details. Now you should all know by now that not much is sacred in my life. I’ll talk about having sex with amish people, I’ll talk about my bizarre sexual exploits, I’ll talk about my unusual crazy view of sex, but I respect Greg too much to talk about his junk and the things we do in private to anyone. The reason our relationship is strong and will stand the test of time is because of good communication, a deep understanding of each other, and healthy affection, not because of sex. There are two sides to my sexuality. The unhealthy part mostly a problem because of past sexual abuse and then the tiny kernel of purity that exists between my husband and I. I’m so messed up most of the time and don’t know what’s appropriate and good and I do the wrong thing time and time again, but that has nothing to do with Greg. I hold him inside in a safe little box where all of my problems and destructive behavior can’t hurt him. So sorry if it’s boring that I don’t spill all the details of my sex life with my husband, but in this crazy messed up world something has to be sacred. And besides it’s not respectful of him to talk about his dick in public. No one wants to hear about that anyway.