Posts tagged ‘Bipolar Disorder I’

Claiming Victory

20170524_Pink Lily

I made the drive home from church.  Making it there to serve in itself was a miracle.  I probably shouldn’t have driven home but it was the only place I wanted to be.  So I took some medicine and took deep breaths the whole way home.  See, in the parking lot as I was leaving, I felt a panic attack coming on.  I’ve been struggling with bipolar depression lately.  The deep, daunting, paranoia-filled affliction has encompassed me, debilitated me, and encumbered me from doing the simplest things, such as taking a shower or washing dishes, to my most important job, mommying.

Anytime I start to think big, I feel like Satan rallies his demonic troops and launches a full-blown attack against me.  Some might think I’m paranoid.  But this is backed by the Bible (which is my test to see if I’m being paranoid).  And this is Biblical:  Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  I’ve got some big things coming up.  At the beginning of last month, I started actively pursuing a way to get my “Think Big and Be Big” scriptural affirmation cards off the ground.  I also got the idea to start a topical small group for writers at my church.

It’s so hard to claim victory in the midst of despair.  I know God has won the war for my soul but that doesn’t mean I don’t get wounded in battle.  But it’s the little victories that lead back to the path of stability.

The other day I was too weary to get out of bed.  I had to ask my mother to keep the kids.  After sleeping for over 19 hours straight, I woke up, and prayed my simple prayer, once again, “God, please help me.”  Then, I got up and cleaned my daughter’s disaster of a room, which took about three hours of concentrated effort.  The twins came in and climbed on everything and wanted to get into big sissy’s stuff and play (which of course, I took some time to do).  Cleaning and spending time with my little ones… It was a small victory, but a victory none-the-less.

Throughout this depressive episode, I’ve tried to get out and do things even if I didn’t feel like it.  I dragged myself to a few play-dates and tried not to isolate myself, which is what I usually do, claiming that I’m sick.  I am sick but “depressed” is a more accurate description.  I hate claiming that over myself.  I’ve been deeply depressed for nearly a month now, but I’ve got some important milestones coming up that I pray will help pull me out.

I seriously considered canceling that writer’s small group, which is set to begin this Thursday (and I’m supposed to be the “leader”).  Me, in my condition, leading a small group of any kind will be, well, another miracle.  But God wouldn’t let me let go of that idea so I know that with His help and guidance, I can do it.

So I have to claim victory, not defeat!  Regardless of how I feel, I know that God’s got me and He has His purpose and plans to build me up and NOT let me down!  I believe that.  I put all my hope in that.  I have faith that He will pull me through this storm.  I claim victory now, Lord.  I have the victory in Jesus.

Double Talk Quote: “Mommy, I’ll sing a song to you so you’ll feel better.” – Bella 5/17/17

Bible Verse: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10

Word that has Lost its Meaning:  defeated

Relatable Lyrics:  Victory In Jesus – the classic hymn

AND THEN I CRIED
“DEAR JESUS,
COME AND HEAL
MY BROKEN SPIRIT”
AND SOMEHOW JESUS
CAME AND BROUGHT
TO ME THE VICTORY!

20170526_funny big red chair - 5 earthquakers, Audrey

Bella (2), Baby “Rain” (4 months), Mica (9), Brooks (2), and “Hope” (8)

 

Bless your heart, little “Rain”, I know how you feel!

*Note:  Sorry if this was a “rambling” post.  At least right now, I’m able to think in full sentences!

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“Psst… Are You Pregnant Again?”

I just got back from a BIG family vacation to Disney World a few weeks ago.  It was a crazy, awesome time!  But more on that at a later date.

All at Disney - Majic Kingdom

Me and the Crew at Magic Kingdom, Disney World!

 

Yesterday was Sunday.  I would like to take a moment to focus on a little question that was made to me yesterday.  I was volunteering at my church, like I usually do, teaching in the 3-5-year-olds’ class.  It was near the end of the service when an associate of mine approached me and engaged me in a short conversation.  After exchanging pleasantries, we chatted briefly about our children.  As I was returning to my room to finish up, she whispered down the hall, “Psst…Are you Pregnant Again?

How should I feel?  Should I be shocked, dismayed, angry, annoyed, criticized, self-conscious, disgraced, scored and/or maybe embarrassed?  Doesn’t everyone know not to ask that question unless they are absolutely sure that the answer is “yes”?  Am I so big that I look pregnant?

“No, I’m done with all that,” was my simple reply and off I ran, back to my classroom.

Now, just before Christmas, with the approval of my doctor, I had slowly decreased a few of my medications and even cut one out altogether.  I did have some difficulties with the transition, including some moderate depression and fluctuating moods.  One pleasant side-effect (for me anyway) was that I lost a few pounds, without even trying (my dear husband likes me on the bigger side, however, so he wasn’t as thrilled with the change)!  The weight-loss wasn’t significant and my weight tends to fluctuate anyway, so it wasn’t a very big deal.  I really didn’t think anyone even noticed except for me and my husband.

A couple of weeks before we left to go on the vacation, I knew I needed to pull myself together so I’d be stable for what turned out to be a very unstable trip.  So, again, with the doc’s permission, I upped my doses of mood-stabilizers.  And with that increase, I regained some of those previously lost pounds.  “No biggie,” I punned to myself.  After all, I’ve been eating healthy foods, drinking tons of water and getting plenty of exercise.  The only change has been with my meds.  Some medications just have weight gain as a side-effect and it’s really, really hard to beat.

This past week, my sister and her two-year-old son were in town visiting and my now 9-year-old daughter had her birthday party at our house.  We had a great time, but some things were left undone.  For example, in the morning, as I was getting ready for church, I realized that I hadn’t done my laundry in over a week!  Really the only clean, decent thing I had to wear was an extra large tank top or a tiny tube top.  I decided that the tube top might be indecent for church, because for pants, of course, I was going to wear leggings. But then again, the large tank top was so loose that my cleavage would show.  So, I wore both; the tube underneath to cover my boobage and the tank over it to cover the tube’s tightness.   I wasn’t worried about how big the shirt was, it was long enough to cover my bum, plus I was going to wear an accentuating sweater to tie the ensemble together anyway.

My thought process while actually getting ready was really not that sophisticated.  I mean, who am I there to impress?  God loves me no matter what.  And three, four, and five-year-olds don’t care what you wear.  So I went to church and did my service.  While singing and dancing with the kiddies, I got hot, so hot, in fact, that I took my sweater off. The only thing I felt slightly self-conscious about was the large scar I have on my back, part of which was partially exposed because my hair was up.  It was shortly after that, that the comment was made…

Psst…Are you Pregnant Again?”

How should I feel?  Insulted.  I should feel insulted; throw that tank top away, go on a strict diet, starve myself, and quit taking my stupid medications that cause the stupid side-effect!

But the more I thought about it, the less insulted I felt.  I began to have a fresh perspective.  I decided not to accept it as an insult.  And here’s why:

  1. Someone thought I was enough of a Super Mommy to actually handle another kid, (especially another baby).
  2. I’m no spring chicken.  I’m not old but at age 35, the ob-gyn docs start considering you as a “high risk” patient.  I could take the comment as a compliment, even.  I look young enough to want to have more children!
  3. I’ve heard this same woman talk before.  I don’t think she tries to be mean or insulting.  I think she’s just insensitive.  And maybe she doesn’t even realize she’s saying something that others may find offensive.
  4. I really just don’t care that much about what other people think about me anymore.  Why should I let one comment bash my self-esteem when I know I’m trying my best?
  5. I don’t think I look pregnant.  Why should I care if one other person on this planet does?

20170308_Pretty Mommy 2

A very recent picture of my (not-pregnant) self!

 

So after this post, I’m going to “Let It Go;” like water off a duck’s back.

water off donald duck's back

 

Double Talk Quote: (And this is a coincidence…) “Mommy, can you give me some insults?” – Mica, after our first day at Disney World.  She was trying to say “insoles” for her shoes because her feet hurt from walking so much.

Bible Verse: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9

Word that has Lost its meaning: insulted

Relatable Lyrics:  “Let It Go” – Disney’s Frozen

“Let it go, let it go… I don’t care, what they’re going to say…”

Disney - Epcot - Me Mommy Belle at Epcot with the girls, Bella, Micaela, and Grace; Elsa and Anna

Me and my girls at Epcot

 

 

 

Looking back, Advice for new Bloggers, & an Award!

I haven’t posted a new blog in over a month!  Wow!  My lack of work here has a lot to do with parenting two two-year-olds and a seven and an eight-year-old.  But it probably actually has more to do with me having Bipolar Disorder I, Anxiety, ADHD, and feeling so overwhelmed and knocked-around by life in general that I just sigh and don’t put forth the effort it takes to write.  But it’s so therapeutic for me to just write.  But I haven’t lately, and that just shows that I’m letting Bipolar win and I hate when I do that!  (Anyone out there feel me?  I know someone does, someone has to, so speak up!  The comment section is below.)

I have 39 open drafts, so there’s no shortage of inspiration, it’s just finding some quiet time (usually between 4-5am works best for me), direction, energy, and motivation.

I was recently nominated for this “Blogger Recognition Award.”  Now, I know there are a lot of blogging awards out there, then there are those who are so proud NOT to have awards that they make an award for having an award-free blog!  But I do appreciate the nomination and I proudly choose to accept the award, because it means someone else – one of my peers – appreciated me enough to nominate me.  So here it is (Isn’t the artwork lovely?):

blogger-recognition-award

I’d like to thank FEARFULLY WONDERFULLY ME for giving me this.  The author, Emily Susanne, is a Christian blogger who writes about “Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion.”

As per the rules of this award, I will briefly mention how my blog got started:  I was manic with a touch of Hypergraphia.  I was just weeks postpartum from having twins and I needed, I mean really, really needed to write.  I googled various forms of “postpartum mania,” but most articles were devoted to postpartum depression or psychosis.  That’s when I came across Dyane Harwood’s blog, Birth of a New Brain. I left a very long comment on her post, “Another Great Divide,” (which you can feel free to click on and read, if you feel so led).  And she responded! Twice!  I felt like, wow, someone actually hears and understands me.  I had so much to say, I knew I had to start my own blog at that point.  That was August 20, 2014.  I published my first post (Double Teamed) on August 22, 2014, and have been writing ever since.  My hopes and prayers are that the articles I write on this blog will be (and have been) a blessing, not only to me as a writer but also a blessing to others who struggle with similar issues.

So, I basically write about Bipolar Disorder and Mommying.  But there are other categories my posts fall into.  Looking back, here are a few of my favorite archives:

Think Big and Be Big

Season of Survival

I’m Sorry…But

Ode To Mania

Time to Brush Your Teeth

ADHD, Anxiety, and Bipolardisism

Big Sissy

Why I Choose To No Longer Wear Leggings

My advice to new bloggers:

  1.  Be yourself.  Be your authentic self and don’t apologize for being who you are.  (Unless you KNOW you’re not right, in that case, apologize in advance! JK)
  2.  Respond to each comment you get.  Another writer took the time to read what you wrote, then took the time to write you a message.  Respect that by taking the time to respond in kind.
  3. Read and follow other blogs.  Get to know your readers by reading what they write.  Build your own supportive community.
  4. Use “Grammarly” or at least a Spell Checker.
  5. Proofread and Pray before you hit the “Publish” button.
  6. Don’t expect your friends, family, or relatives to create “Gravatars” and read everything you write.  You may find your biggest supporters are strangers who relate to what you’re going through or writing about.
  7. Don’t worry about your stats.  The quality of your writing may not be reflected in the number of “likes” you receive, so don’t base your self-worth on numbers.
  8. Don’t expect everyone to agree with you.  Someone may “like” what you wrote but disagree with your philosophies or certain points you make.  That’s okay.  Actually, you can expect some (usually polite) criticism.  You can agree to disagree, and not take it personally.

Ok, I was only supposed to write 2 points there, I guess I got a little excited!  Now, I’m supposed to nominate some bloggers to do a similar post and receive this award.  Whether or not you choose to participate is completely optional (again, some people want their blogs to be award-free.  To those I say, “more power to you.”)  The following are bloggers I admire greatly and I hope you feel honored that I am nominating you:

Birth of a New Brain

That’s What Anxious Mom Said

This Girl’s Faith

The Bipolar Mama

Grief Happens (So Does Joy)

The Monster in Your Closet (is quite friendly, actually)

Anything is Possible

Pieces Of Bipolar

What… Cookies Again?

Uplifting Stories

Multicolored Smartypants

Find The Lovely

All In A Dad’s Work

I also hope any people reading this will take a few minutes to check out these awesome blogs!

(For the Blogger Recognition Award, please complete the following:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select (15) other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.)

 

Finally, I’d like to give you a sneak peek into my next post…

“Looking Forward, Advice from Successful Bloggers & another Award”

For this post to be successful, I need a lot of feedback.  This is a call to all Super Bloggers who struggle with anything, from everyday parenting exhaustion, to addiction, to mental illness.  If you are a Super-writer or Super-Parent (and if you’re a parent, I bet you’re Super to someone), please comment below with your website link, and I will set up a “meet and greet” so to speak, for my next post.  Also, please give one piece of advice on blogging.  Until then, whenever that may be, goodbye and God bless!

Double Talk Quote: “And for a long, long, long while, Grandma read the bible.” – Mica, when they missed church one Sunday.

Bible Verse: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32

Term that has Lost its meaning (to me, anyway): Award-free Blog

Relatable Lyrics:  “Beautiful” by Eminem

“Yea… To my babies. Stay strong…
And to the rest of the world, God gave you the shoes
That fit you, so put ’em on and wear ’em
And be yourself, man, be proud of who you are
Even if it sounds corny,
Don’t ever let no one tell you, you ain’t beautiful”

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