Struggling

Struggling

I have difficulty with a lot of things. I have an extremely hard time saying no to people. I struggle to stand up for myself. Even when someone asks me what I want to do, I have a hard time answering them. I would rather do something I don’t want to do and be unhappy (without saying I’m unhappy, of course) that tell someone what I really want. Life feels like a giant problem, as if it’s an obstacle I may never complete, but I’m not giving up.

My ex, from before I got sober, was very abusive. I suppose that it just became second nature to do whatever he wanted. I would never dare to say no to him; I knew what the punishment would be if I didn’t behave properly. Even though he’s gone, I still react that way. I want to stop putting others before myself, but I haven’t been able to. Reacting the way I do is a force of habit. It has nothing to do with the people I’m with today, such as my husband, family, or friends; it has everything to do with me.

I Don’t Know How I Feel

I Don’t Know How I Feel

I’m curious if others experience this same issue. When someone asks me how I’m doing, or what’s wrong, I don’t know how to answer them. I know I don’t feel right, but I have no clue what’s wrong. I’m not sure if this is a normal for others that have bipolar disorder. Maybe this is a result of the ECT.

Does anyone else have this same issue? If so, how do you deal with it?

 

 

What’s Happening Today

What’s Happening Today

Today has gone by a lot quicker than I expected. I had a lot to do today, and of course, none of it was fun. I had to pay a bunch of bills and do a whole lot of chores around the house.

Yesterday, I took Achilles to the vet for a wellness visit. Some of his vaccinations needed a second dose. However, when the vet was doing the physical exam, Achilles snapped at her. I’ve never seen him do anything like that. He must have been having an off day. However, from now on, every time he goes to the vet he will have to wear a muzzle. Achilles hasn’t snapped at anyone since that one time yesterday, and hopefully it stays that way. I had to fill out an insurance claim form for Achilles. Getting the claim together is a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it. This claim will probably have us meet our yearly deductible, but that means that we will get refunded for the next claim.

Just now, it started pouring rain heavily. Apparently it’s the first monsoon of the season. The winds are extremely strong and the rain is coming down in buckets. I’m not sure how long this storm will last, but I’m grateful that both me and my husband can stay home. We’re lucky that we don’t have to go anywhere or do anything tonight. The picture for this post is one that I took looking out a back window in our new house.

Questions and Answered About My Life with Bipolar

Questions and Answered About My Life with Bipolar

These questions are from Therapy Bits: Who asked to hear my experiences with bipolar symptoms, how I manage them, and how they effect my life.

I don’t remember most of my experiences due to the side effects of ECT. The biggest, most memorable experience was in 2009. My doctor tried taking me off my medication slowly, because he thought that it was possible that my mental health issues could have been caused by my drinking and using (I’m now sober 13 years). We found out the hard way that I really do have bipolar disorder.

I went into a major manic episode. It was so bad that I couldn’t work. I worked for home for a while, but even that got to be too much for me to handle. I was unable to handle my life due to my manic and then my depressive episodes. I moved in with my mom because I couldn’t manage my own life and I needed someone close to me to do that for me. I’m lucky that I had someone in my life that was willing to help me out.

My bipolar disorder turned my entire life upside-down. I’ve been on disability since 2009, and I can’t seem to get things back together. I continue to go through episodes and I have to deal with the side effects from the treatments I use. This biggest side effect is memory loss and confusion, which are from ECT. I have both short-term and long-term memory loss. I tried stopping the ECT treatments after I had been doing them for quite a while, however, once I stopped the treatments, my depressive episode came right back. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to stop ECT again; I’m too worried that I’ll end up going back into another manic or depressive episode.

I’ve been dealing with my bipolar disorder since I was 13 or 14 years old, and I know that it is something that I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life. Going to a psychiatrist, a therapist, and taking medications is second nature for me. I actually take 13 different psych meds, which is a lot to manage. At this point, I go to ECT once every 2 weeks. I used to go to a bipolar support group once a week, but I stopped going a while ago. I still talk to and see some of my friends from that group, which really helps. This blog has also helped me manage my bipolar symptoms.

Every Episode Is A Bit Different

Every Episode Is A Bit Different

I have been through many depressive episodes as well as several manic episodes. When I was 24, I first started going through a major manic episode, then a huge depressive episode; I had absolutely no control over either. My job was trying to help me through it. They let me work from home for a while, but my symptoms just kept getting worse. I went on short-term disability, then long-term disability, and then finally on social security disability. I ended up moving across the country to go live with my mom because I couldn’t take care of myself.

After I made it through a pretty big depressive episode when I was approximately 25, I got another tattoo to remind me of what I went through. The tattoo is on my left hip and the drawing is actually based off of me (I was skinnier then). I stayed with my mom for approximately 2½ years. I moved back to Arizona in 2011 when I started dating the guy who is now my husband. We were best friends for years before we started dating. He always said we would end up together, and I always told him he was wrong. I had to admit that I was wrong and he was right. Most of the time, my husband or my mom notices when I’m beginning to go through another episode, and when I’m beginning to make noticeable changes and come out of an episode. They recognize my symptoms and do what they can to help. Every episode and all of my symptoms appear slightly differently every time.

My depressive symptoms generally include some mixture of a lack of energy, over-sleeping, overeating, feeling worthless, and physical pain. These are only some of the most common symptoms that I can think of. There are many more symptoms that I can’t think of at this moment. My manic symptoms are often more easy to see. They include no sleeping, excessive energy, easily distracted, racing thoughts, and more. I make sure that the people close to me know what my symptoms are and what normal is like for me so they can help me catch my episodes early. We don’t have to go through our episodes alone.

Learning To Be Comfortable In My Own Skin

Learning To Be Comfortable In My Own Skin

This is me, continuing to push myself. I am trying to get more comfortable in my own body, especially with my legs. I deserve to be comfortable in my own skin and I’m working on reaching that goal. Normally, I don’t even feel secure enough in my own body, even when I’m home alone, so I almost always wear pants. However, I’m trying to become a bit more comfortable with myself. Over the past few days, I have been wearing pajama shorts around the house and while on walks. I need to become more secure with myself.

I’m posting these pictures of my legs that I took yesterday. I need to become comfortable walking around the house and the neighborhood in shorts. I also need to become comfortable knowing that these pictures are out there. And like yesterday’s post, I know that people are not focusing on me and my legs. I’m not the center of attention (thankfully).

My Legs Full 7-8-17

Pushing Myself Further: Wearing Shorts In Front Of New People

Pushing Myself Further: Wearing Shorts In Front Of New People

I wore pajama shorts again today. Actually, my husband forgot his wallet when he went to work, so I brought it back to him. I drove to his workplace in my pajama short, with our dog, Achilles. While I was on my way, my husband called and said that one of his co-workers (who is also a friend) wanted to meet Achilles. I was nervous because I was wearing pajama shorts, but I know I could do it. I could feel my heart beat increasing, my skin was dripping with sweat, and my hands/arms/legs were beginning to shake with small tremors.

Wearing shorts in front of another person was making me nervous, but I knew I could do it. I had to do it. The only way out of it would be to turn around, drive home, change, and drive back to my husband’s workplace. I decided to stick it out, and to be honest, I don’t think my husband’s friend even noticed. He was completely focused on Achilles, not on me, which was wonderful.

I pushed myself beyond my point of comfort, and it worked out wonderfully. I can keep moving forward a little bit each day or week, and maybe I’ll be comfortably wearing shorts as regular clothing in a few months.

I’m thinking about posting an actual picture of my legs. Nothing inappropriate, just a picture of my legs, (the ones I struggle with and hide all the time). I think that it will help me get over some of my issues. What do you all think? Should I post a real picture of my legs?

I’m Actually Wearing Shorts

I’m Actually Wearing Shorts

I don’t wear short. Even in the horrible heat of the Arizona summer, when it’s 115 degrees out or more, I continue to wear blue jeans. And when I’m in my pajamas hanging out at home, either by myself or with my husband, I still wear pajama pants. I’ve never been comfortable wearing shorts, whether it’s in public or private. I don’t like my legs; they have always been bigger than others my  own age. I don’t like to wear bathing suits, go swimming, or do anything else that would show my legs. I’m extremely self-conscious.

However, over the past couple of days, I have worn pajama shorts around the house by myself and when my husband was present. I even wore the pajama shorts out on a walk late at night, which was a huge step for me. I’m hoping that I can continue to move forward with this issue. I’m already wearing Capri pants. Maybe next year I’ll even allow myself to wear shorts during the summer.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

I went to lunch this afternoon with my husband, his mom, his aunt and uncle, and his brother. We went to The Cheesecake Factory to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday. I’m extremely proud of myself for eating healthy. I ordered a lunch sized Cobb salad and I ate until I was full, not completely stuffed. Also, I did not order a piece of cheesecake and I didn’t have a bite of anyone else cheesecake, no matter how many times it was offered to me.

Today has been a good day. I’ve been productive, healthy, and even in a fairly decent mood. Normally, on Independence Day, I worry about my dog and how he will handle all of the noise. For some reason, I’m not that concerned about Achilles; I know how to handle him if he does get scared. Our new neighborhood has a lot to do with how I’m feeling. It’s a secure neighborhood; it’s a place where I feel safe (very different from our last community. I’m hoping that the rest of the day continues to go well.

I will let you all know tomorrow how Achilles handled the fireworks. I hope all of your pets stay safe tonight while we all celebrate the Fourth of July. Happy Independence Day!

Preparing for the Fourth of July

Preparing for the Fourth of July

I’m trying to prepare myself with the Fourth of July coming up. I’m not a big fan of large groups of people, so I usually stay home to celebrate. I’m not sure how Achilles would handle the fireworks. This will be our first experience with him during fireworks. I don’t think he will bark because he almost never does, but I’m not sure if he will be scared or anxious.

We just moved into a new house, and it is in a great neighborhood. Throughout the previous years, we had to deal with all sorts of people setting off their own fireworks as well as listening to gunshots. I would jump all the time because the noises made me so nervous. Luckily, we live in a much better neighborhood. We won’t hear gunshots in this new neighborhood, which is such a relief. There’s still some anxiety, but celebrating the holiday will be much easier this year.