Posts tagged ‘mania’

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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Ode to Mania

 

 

Mania, dear, sweet mania, oh how I hath loved thee.  You give me passion, a spark, a zeal for life that’s lacking when you’re not around.  Together, we’ve accomplished so much.  Sure we’ve gotten into quite a bit of trouble.  Yes, we’ve angered and alienated a lot of people.  But still, I love you dearly and I hate when we’re apart.  When you’re not around, I miss the euphoric energy you emanate that allows me to do almost anything.  I miss the grandiose feeling that I have superpowers and can juggle anything that life throws my way.  I miss being me to the 100th power.  I miss having the strength it takes to go days without sleep and not missing a beat; when the concept of time is meaningless.  I miss the floods of creativity you immerse me in, that drown out all the other non-essential, mundane dryness of this world.  I hate the Abilify, Ambien, and Alprazolam that suppress you and weaken your illustrious powers.  I loathe the Lamictal, Seroquel, and Wellbutrin that drive away that aggravated ecstasy that invigorates me to feel so free.  The selfish me wants to flush them all away.  But I can’t.  Alas, dear Mania, we cannot be together, not like before.  Even flirting with you is dangerous.  I know you’ll cause me to fly.  I know I can see the world, I can see the entire universe with you.  But you have to understand, I have responsibilities now.  Responsibilities that I can’t just throw out the window whenever you come around to please me.  I have to stay grounded.  I must remain stable.  Because I know each time we fly together, regardless of how intoxicating the ride, I always, always crash and burn.  You leave me alone in desolated isolation, vulnerable for depression to come and devour my soul.  I can’t afford your thrilling heart breaks anymore.  My sanity depends on it.  So I have to bid you adieu.  Farewell, my bitter-sweet, fair-weather companion.  I did love you.  But now; now I love myself more.

(Written February 2016)

Double Talk Quote: “Mommy, I like me!”  – Bella, “I like you too, baby!” – me

Bible Verse:  “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Word that has Lost its meaning: Superpowers

Relatable Lyrics: Coldplay ft. Beyonce – Hymn For The Weekend

“…You know you make my world light up
When I was down, when I was hurt
You came to lift me up…

…Put your wings on me, wings on me
When I was so heavy…

…Then we’ll shoot across the sky…”

Midnight Medication Mixup

Morning Mommy 3

Sleep is the key to my sanity.  If I can regulate sleep, it’s easier to regulate my moods as well.

I have medication that I take at night and I have medication I take in the morning; and never the tween shall meet.  Except they did last night.  Instead of my usual regimen of Ambien, Abilify, and Lamictal, I skipped the first two, opting to take 1/2 of  a Seroquel instead (my doctor is okay with me doing this on occasion).  I had felt a bit of hypomania coming on so I wanted a good night’s rest and Seroquel usually does the trick.  I also knew I didn’t have a busy day coming up so I could rest if it made me a bit drowsy.

But…A cat pressed his way through the door, which was pulled-to but apparently not closed and the hallway light was on.   I woke up in a haze, barely able to see.  The piercing light was coming from the same direction of the clock and I could have sworn that hallway light was the break of dawn.  I could have sworn the time said 6 am, not 2 am.  So I swallowed my pills thinking I’d snooze for a few minutes before I had to wake up Mica to get ready for school.  I was at the apex of a very intricately narrated “movie” dream, when suddenly I was jolted awake.  The meds had kicked in and it was time to get on with the day.

Except…it was 2:30 am.

I’ve been working a lot on immigration case work for my husband lately, so I had plenty to do to occupy my time.  But I worried I’d run out of energy mid-day and be out-of-sorts when the twins (and older girls) needed me the most.  Fortunately, I was able to direct my hypomania into my work during those early morning hours, and even throughout the day, going to the grocery store before anyone in the household was even away, preparing breakfast, cleaning house, and playing hopscotch, painting with the twins and cooking and having a picknick supper outside.  The most trouble I had was lying still when the babes were ready to cuddle.

It’s 8:55pm now.  I’m starting to get tired.  Not sleepy, though.  Just tired.  I’ll take my night meds and rest again and maybe tomorrow will be…just as good.

(written 6/1/2016, Twins 23 months, Mica 8, Hope 7)

Double Talk Quote: “It was a surprise!” – Tia (Hope’s mom) announcing her new pregnancy.  Why am I not surprised?  Congrats to me! (jk – kinda)

Bible Verse: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  Matthew 6:34

Term that has lost its meaning: creep-o-cat

Relatable Lyrics:   “I Did My Best” by Soul Asylum

“I was waiting for a chain reaction
With a missing link…
…I was tired of being tired
I could not get no rest
So I kept sleepwalking and talking in my sleep
Yes I did my best”

 

Link

Physical Illnesses and Spiritual Ailments

twins sleeping

Physical Illnesses and Spiritual Ailments

Back in March, I started writing a post about sicknesses and ailments.  I wrote:

“Last week everyone in my immediate family (including Grandma), came down with a stomach virus.  It was quite a week, hard and hectic.  I felt like I was losing a very frustrating game of wack-a-mole.  As soon as I’d get one kid down, two more would pop up with tummy explosions and there would be more messes to clean and more comforting to do.  This week, Amor injured his back, and it is bad.  He’s not been this down or out in years…” March 18, 2015 – This is an example of how it had been in our house since last Fall.

Little did I know there was more where that came from.  The very next month, during the week before Amor and I were set to get baptized, every family member (except myself) went through yet another spell of tummy troubles and high fevers.

Then just before an important Church retreat, another family member came down with Lice.  Lice.  Twice.  Really?  I helped her comb the knits out, reminiscent of just a few months ago, when we with through the same thing with Mica and Hope.  Lice twice. (Here’s a past sample of what I’m talkin’ ’bout: https://theearthquakers.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/what-a-week-wednesday/)

Last week was Small Group Rally day at our church.  I was supposed to run one of the booths during all services except for one, during which I usually teach in the 4-5 year olds’ class. But both babies spiked high fevers the night before, so I couldn’t take them to the nursery and therefore was unable to serve.  I took them with me to the rally, wearing them, just kind of hiding out in the back while Amor took care of the human interaction.

Time out paragraph:  I have written a lot, but haven’t published much about my Spiritual vs. Physical thought processes and theories.  See, I don’t want to come across as crazy!  But I do believe there is a Spiritual realm.  That’s scriptural.  But because I have Bipolar paranoia tendencies, I have to constantly test what I’m thinking to make sure it lines up with the Word of God.  (I’m sure this will be linked to future posts dedicated specifically to how I decipher whether I’m being paranoid or whether there is something Spiritual happening.  For now, please trust that “I’m not crazy”, just a Christian with Bipolar Disorder!)  Time in again!

At first, I thought we were just unlucky.  When a sickness comes on any of my 3 kids it always seem to occur on a Saturday afternoon, right after their doctor’s office closes until Monday.  But then I realized that almost all of these ailments, even the illnesses and health problems of our extended family members happened right before a big church event.  There has to be a Spiritual component there.  This was not just physical.

So, I took stock of my own physical well-being over the past year.  I’ve experienced the following non-contagious problems:

  • Anxiety / Panic attacks – which have dissipated fairly quickly upon taking medication and praying (compared to some past experiences).
  • Mastitis (a painful and serious infection breastfeeding women sometimes get) – which came on suddenly one late Saturday night.  My doctor called in a prescription, which would be ready Sunday afternoon.  I went to serve at church anyway, despite the pain and fever.  In the preschool room, my sister, Starla, with whom I teach, laid hands on me and prayed.  I felt the lump dissipate; no need for meds.  All pain subsided by the end of the day.
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – twice, took over the counter medication & drank plenty of Cranberry juice and it went away on its own without needing medical intervention.
  • Severe back pain -at least twice – treated with heating pad, otc medication and determination.
  • Mania / Hypomania – I’ll take that over depression ANY DAY!

Then I took a good, hard look at all the illnesses that have been through my house over the past year that I have NOT contracted, despite them being highly contagious:

  • Thrush (yeast that babies sometimes get in their mouths, often very painful to breastfeeding mothers) – Bella had it twice, Brooks didn’t catch it at all, amazing!  It was only a bit of a nuisance to me, physically speaking.
  • Lice – twice x2, so four times altogether throughout the house.  I was never infected.
  • Influenza (THE FLU) – everybody had it except me.  Bella’s was bad enough to need a nebulizer.  I had mild symptoms of a cold, that’s it.
  • Several (long) bouts of the common cold.
  • Bronchitis- Grandma got this after catching a cold.
  • Several bouts of stomach viruses – I was nauseated a time or two, but never got sick!

Again back in March I wrote:  “I’ve felt spiritually attacked in a physical way over the past couple of months.  But I refused to let any physical illness get me down!  I am determined to take some ibuprofen, pray, and push through.  Praise God!”

Every time someone has gotten sick, I have settled it within my Spirit that I’m not going to catch that.  I’ve not been afraid.  I have not spoken sickness over myself.  I have not claimed it.  So far, God has protected me from getting seriously sick and I’ve been able to take care of my babies and family members.  It’s like He’s put a protective shield around me.  I won’t boast or say I’m never going to get sick again BUT I can say that, for the first year of my babies’ lives, God’s had my back and kept me going. Amen

Double Talk Quote:  “That was about as long as a Sponge Bob episode.” – Mica after I read her this article (Sorry, I know it was a longgie but a goodie)

Bible Verse: In addition to all this, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Ephesians 6:16

Word that has Lost its meaning:  sanitized

Relatable Lyrics: 4 Him “Where There is Faith” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcJ-iEnHn50&index=33&list=PLvTDChO_aBNqeGx4m-6Plh_5WXI0_JG7_  “..There is a peace like a child sleeping, Hope everlasting in He who is able to bear every burden, to heal every hurt in my heart…”

Manic Mom

SuperBella!

I’ve been pretty manic lately and it seems like the creativity just pours out of my mouth or fingertips. Ideas barely have time to form before I get a chance to respond to them. I looked up postpartum mania but I didn’t find much. Most articles are about postpartum depression and/or psychosis. Is mania really that rare? If not, why isn’t anyone talking about it?

Every morning I wake up feeling like supermommy. Every night as I’m drifting off into Ambien-induced oblivion, I feel beat down. The feeling of grandeur replaced by self proclaimed shame and inadequacy. I’m not depressed, however, just irritated; Irritated that I can’t be perfect.

Writing has been therapeutic for me. Sometimes I talk and talk. It’s obvious that people can hear me but they are not listening. Writing, even when it goes unread, has been the only way I’ve found to release that aggravated ecstasy I feel within. Mania feels so good to me. Apparently it doesn’t feel so good to those around me. Also, I’ve been manic enough in the past to know that what goes up must come down. I cannot be depressed with three kids. History has taught me that I can’t even be depressed with one kid and get away with it.

My counselor recommended (and Amor demanded) that I go see my psychiatrist. She put me on a combo of meds that have worked for me in the past. All they did this time, however, was dry up my once-ever-so-abundant milk supply. I stopped taking them. Want to see me depressed? Yeah, take away my ability to feed my children! As the wise old turtle, Ooguay, from Kung Fu Panda says, “One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.” Please Lord, destine me for joy, not depression!

Double Talk Quote: “I need to use the restroom. I’m going to the attic.” – Amor

Relatable Lyrics: “I’m no Superman” by Lazlo Bane https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQjFHxJ9IKs

Verse: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Word that has Lost its meaning
: Coincidence (God ordains everything)

August 25, 2014 (8 weeks old)
SuperKids!

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