Skip to content

Test post

05/28/2017

Testing

The Parade of Masks

09/02/2015

Fake it till you make it–well I’ve faked it for so long I don’t know who I really am. The faking, the wearing of masks starts out so innocently–a smile when you really feel like crying because they forgot your birthday. A nod yes, everything’s ok when maybe you would rather rip someone’s head off for something they said to you–probably just in passing. Yet, it hurts just the same. We all have masks for different situations–sometimes these masks are just guidelines for certain situations, the code of conduct for where you are. The problem begins when you never lie down the mask and be the real you. When you are with close friends and family you should not have to wear a mask. Your real feelings should be acceptable and you should be comfortable in expressing those emotions without fear. Whether it be excitement, confusion, rage, depression, joy or anger. This should be a safe place to express these feelings.

As I look at the mask I wear, I realize how heavy a burden I am asking myself to shoulder. Years of wearing the mask has rendered it virtually un-removable, at this point even I do not know what lies behind the.mask. I think I am scared, no, I know I am terrified to take it off and see the scared defenseless little girl who hides behind the mask. The little girl who believes it is her job to make sure everyone else is well and happy, no matter the expense to her own well-being. It’s the little girl who feels that it does not matter how she feels or how things affect her, the only thing that matters is making others happy. Now this little girl has spent decades pleasing others and she would like someone to please her, to make her feel loved and wanted because of who she is and not what she has done. Yet, at the same time she does not  believe that she is worthy of such respect–after all, she hasn’t always done the right thing or said the right words. These feelings have built those prison walls, the long conviction of worthlessness built strong walls, walls that must be taken apart piece by piece, a slow process, especially as other things happen that build the walls at the same time they are being taken down.

It is very hard for the bearer of the masks to see the face that is so easily viewed by others. Only by listening and observing their reactions can we begin to see what they see. Sometimes a mask is put on with one purpose in mind and the outcome is totally different. This often causes a sensation of failure in the wearer.

Written in 1997

As I return and reflect upon the writings I have kept throughout the years, it saddens me to sometimes find myself back in those very places. I think I have dug out my entire arsenal of masks lately, although some have become worn and cracked. I would like to say that I just threw those away and told myself I didnt need them anymore.

I have fixed or updated a lot of these masks and the pile of bricks seems to be growing smaller, not larger right now. I am putting up more walls than I am taking down. I know I am not in a good place, but I do not care enough yet to follow through on all the help I need to get out of this place. It is too overwhelming of a task.loved

Trying to Level Out-How am I going to do this?

05/29/2015

Over the many years of ups and downs and even I have no clue where I am’s I have a difficult time seeing anything that is outside of my brain. I have all these wonderful resources available to me, yet in my deepest time of need I don’t trust them. In my recent manic phase I started digging stuff out of drawers and purging again. I came across a notebook that I apparently tried to gather together sayings, techniques, and anything else that might help. I opened it and started reading, with the thought of “why am I even bothering? it never works anyways”

Here is what I found:

a quote from Lori Deschene called Just Breathe on the cover of the binder. Obviously at some point this must have resonated with me.

To just breathe. To concentrate solely on the experience of nourishing our bodies with air and in doing so foster a deep sense of internal safety.

This reminds us that no matter how catastrophic things may seem, we’re alive. We’re okay. We’ll get through it. We are still here, still strong, still breathing.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just breathe. Forget for a minute about everything that needs to be done, and take it all one slow step and deep breath at time.

If you’re feeling worried, just breathe. Forget for a minute about everything that might go wrong and create what can go right, one slow step and deep breath at a time.

If you’re feeling scared, just breathe. Forget for a minute about everything that might hurt you and take care of yourself, one slow step and deep breath at a time.

Oftentimes the world inside our heads is far more chaotic than the world outside it. We have immense power to calm it by remembering to just breathe.

I open the notebook to find worn and ragged 3×5 cards attached to scrapbook pages. Nothing fancy, I think I was just looking for a way to get them on paper. Like so many other things in my life I don’t remember making this. My hope is that at some point having it all together gave me hope that I could get through this and come out on top.

Here are some of the things I saved. I am separating each card with the lines

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Self-Soothe Positively

1-Tighten then Loosen

2- Distract with Sight, son, smell, taste and touch.

3- Remember Grandma

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good Morning, This is God,

I will be handling all your problems today. I do not need your help. So, relax and have a great day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I HAVE CAN CHOOSE (BECAUSE CATHY SAYS NO HAVE TOO’S) TO FIND BALANCE IN MY LIFE OR IT WILL DRIVE ME BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF ALL THIS.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Write down what is going on through my head when everything starts spinning around crazy and won’t let my brain stop. Some of my examples to replace the craziness were church, walk, schedule, stop negative thought, visualize what you want, Keep track of disassociating. It is easy to write these down with Cathy’s help, but not easy to even consider doing in the middle of the storm. Sometimes what is written on the cards doesn’t make sense to me now, out and away from what was going on when it was written.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-connect emotionally and physically

-cry

-distract

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I want to be worthy and this is how I am working on it.

I have made bad choices but I can make other choices.

I am learning to trust myself. I will continue and can continue practice trusting me.

There is hope and with practice I will find it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Self-Soothe

1 Change negative self talk to positive- use mood log after calming down.

2 Visualize what I want to have happen.

3 Crawling- crossing mid-line is the best way to stop anxiety

4 tap foot or hand to try and match the rhythm of my heartbeat with the rhythm of m hand/foot

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you aware that the more the enemy finest you, the greater the indication that blessings are on the way? The enemy fights those who know who they are and know WHOSE they are.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Surf

Write

Sayings, self-soothe

What do I need?

It will pass.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anxiety -what to do

1-create-scrapbook, sew, computer, just create something

2- Physical-get up and go for a walk or clean house.

3-Turn around and see what I am afraid of-face my fears

Measured action calms mania

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am doing the best I can right now. It’s going to be ok. I can learn from my mistakes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How does the story fit this?

1 inability to trust myself

2 I sense shame and zero shame on others

3 I expect perfection from myself and zero perfection from others

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“All truth that is old is new for the person who discovers it the first time within himself(herself).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I can choose balance, it will bring peace.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“We don’t know what we know until we write it down…”

Sooo…. Write, write, write!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How to surf

1 say a prayer and ask for help

2 look at the feeling, what do I need right now?

3 look at feeling, acknowledge it, and say “it will pass”. I’ll be ok.

4 look at feeling, dissect it, analyze it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is hope, I will find it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Look at a man the way he is and he only becomes worse, but look at him as he were what he could be and then he becomes what he should be -Goethe

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Someday, I pray, when my life is sung, I’ll be in tune with the Holy One. And when he asks how my life has been, I hope I proved that I could blend in. And when the pain of remembering all missions rushes in, And I turn away from him, He’ll tell me that he paid the debt and all my sins he did forget. When he forgives, all is forgotten-It’s nice when some things are forgotten” –Michael Mclean

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I was young, I was sexually abused in a ritualized situation that included drugs and brainwashing, most likely by someone who at some time had some connections or at least knowledge about the church. Since that time there have been a lot of things in my life that I have done, that most likely would not have occurred had the abuse not occurred. I understand that I still had free agency, but it was clouded by the brainwashing, the abuse and that fact that I have BiPolar disease.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1 disclose

2 trust

3 revelation

4 loss of shame

5 healing

6 self acutalization

3 and 4 can be reversed

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Notice the triggers for Shame-what, where, when, how?

Take care of the little girl inside

~~~~~~~~~~~~

from a friend

How can you fail? and if you do…which I don’t see///what happens? Now ask the same questions with the word succeeded in place of fail. Let me know -J

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The congregation sang “Lord I would Follow Thee”, One line hit me, It said what I want to learn–“Savior, may I learn to love thee?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wish things would stop hitting me in the head so fast!!!!!! I don’t have time to process.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A friend told me that if I was sitting on the fence to just jump in with both feet and see what happens, guess I don’t have the courage to let go. Afraid of setting myself up to fail.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don’t know where to begin or where to end.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

As it is, it’s only later, after I’ve had some distance from what I’m going through that I can find it in myself to be grateful. I like the imagery of God carrying us through a storm.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I keep waiting for that “I’m proud of myself”…look to come over my face when I look in the mirror…

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Take on this mantra for me… “I know with help from he who strengthens us” and repeat it like 1 million times a day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

“and all these things shall give thee experience and be for they good. The Lord has gone below them all, art thou greater than he?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am sure that God wants me to learn a few million things on this one and I know I will find the strength to tell him “Thank you, God”…because I know you understand why I need to learn this one, thank you for this storm! And you carried me all the way in my heart thru every wave… I am sure in the next life, this will alb so simple to understand. But right now…It’s back to step by step I’ll make it///as I stand up once more for whatever is coming my way next.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Found the perfect quote for how I feel lately–“I try to take things one day at a time, but lately every days have been attacking me at once!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Consciously think about how to get from limbic to frontal love-physical action

Shame vs. Guilt

Bad vs. Good

“You should be ashamed of yourself!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Faith, whatever you need it to stand for it stands for, It doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t have to make sense, that’s why they call it faith.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lose the shame, find the acceptance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part of you is angry and wants to yell bad words

part of you is sad and wants to cry

part of you is scared and wants to run away

part of you knows you have made a mistake and it is going to be ok

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Religion is man’s way to God, Jesus is God’s way to reach men

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I will stop here, the rest is interesting, but helpful in a different way and I will save it for another post.

It is interesting to me to see the same theme repeated multiple times during multiple sessions. Definitely lessons I needed to work on then, and definitely still need to work on them.

Productive Mania vs. Destructive Mania

04/24/2015

My manic extreme of my Bipolar can be very destructive. It can be very productive. It is a place I like to be. It is a place I hate to be.

When I am manic I
• I can accomplish so much done
• I have so many more hours in my day
• I have little sense of right and wrong
• I lose touch with any spiritual feelings
• I love myself, I hate myself
• I have a tendency to rapid cycle when I get manic, a whirlwind of activity then a crash of depression
• I self-medicate or abuse prescription drugs
• I have mixed feelings about staying manic. The logical part of my brain says I will have to deal with the fallout at some point. The illogical side says who cares.
• I do things I would never do when I am not manic
• I am hypersexual
• I cope in inappropriate ways

In the last two months the majority of the time I have been in self-destruct mode. I have done things that I am not proud of. I can fully see that now, but I also don’t want to give up what some of the things that I am doing. I have a hard time understanding why my brain doesn’t want to “be normal”. I like the high I get when I do some of the things.

It is hard to explain how I can feel the same feelings when I am being destructive or productive. I told my therapist I do a lot of it because I just want to feel something. She disagrees and says what I am really doing is trying not to feel. I have a hard time being able to name my feelings. I have spent so many years numb, that if you ask me to name a happy memory, or a scary one, or frustrating one I am at a loss at coming up with something. I look back and say well, I guess when I was in the car accident I must have been scared. Or, when I had my kids I must have been happy, but I cannot attach a “feeling” to it.

I have blogged before about my destructive mania, but I would like to address my productive mania. In and around the destruction I have been causing in my life I took my garage from having only pathways to being able to put my car in there. (it is the second time in 14 years it has fit in) I was able to spend hours sorting, organizing, moving shelving around until I looked around and there was a huge open space. My house is cleaner than it has been in months. I have planted flowers, trimmed trees, picked citrus, and many more things I cannot even remember right now. These things are what make me want to stay manic or at least in a hypermanic state.

I know in the long run I must come down from my high, but right now I am trying to stay where I am, which just doesn’t make sense to anyone else.

Back to Where I Once Was

04/14/2015

It’s been a long time since I have written, thought about it a lot, but have not had the follow through to do it. This part of a previous post basically describes where I am now.

The following refers to sexual abuse, and other sexual issues. Please skip the section between asterisks of this post if it might trigger you.

***********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

My go to relief of pent-up stress and tension tends to be sexual in nature. I know that in the long run I will eventually regret my actions, but in the short-term I don’t care. I’ve said before I would rather have temporary relief than no relief at all. When I get to this point I feel that there is no going back. hate to use a catch phrase, but until it “runs its course” I don’t seem to be mentally strong enough to pull myself out of the darkness.

I have bladder issues, potentially from the abuse. I have had surgery to repair it, but it was only partially successful. Often in times of high stress I will wake up having wet the bed, or find myself unable to control my bladder. This combined with the early mental conditioning, grooming or brainwashing, whatever you want to call it, can lead to heightened sexual arousal. I was taught that it felt good, to pee in inappropriate places, and to wet my pants and to wear a diaper. These things lead to a need to relieve the sexual tension in my body. Rather than do it in healthy ways (I am married so I do have this outlet available without breaking the law of chastity) I choose to take care of it myself. I will masturbate daily, a proven self-soothing technique in my formative years. I will read erotica, read about masturbation, scour the internet for explanations for why this happens to me and end up at websites that do not answer this question, exposing myself often to pornographic pictures, further feeding this need/desire to masturbate.

Notice I said choose. I realize that there is a choice, not that I am always in a place mentally and emotionally to make a good choice. My world becomes black and white, I am either good or bad. There are no shades of grey. And to my mind, illogical as it might seem to a “normal” person, once I have stepped into this other realm of coping I might as well dive in because I have already blown my time of being good. And if I am not being good, I might as well enjoy being bad. Totally wrong my logical mind says, absolutely right that other corner of my brain says. I feel as if I have no choice. In a way I don’t. I have given control of my life over to someone/something else.

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

When I try to dig myself out of this vast canyon of despair and self-depreciation I have to admit I cannot do it alone. I realize at some point I must go back to my therapist and work through the pain. Work through the guilt and the shame. Allow myself to be a good person again. To make healthy choices. To feel spiritual. To feel worthy of the love from family and friends. I have once again put up a brick wall and walled myself in. I have to, one by one, brick by brick, dismantle this wall. Oh, it is so easy to sit here and type this. Action requires so much strength. My plan of action has to must be put in place. I sit here willing myself to use my plan. Rely on that part of my brain that says I can be forgiven, I can feel loved and worthy. Letting that part of my brain once again take over.

I must tell myself that once again I can put this behind me. That I can use self-soothe and calm myself in ways that make me feel happy and good about myself. Reminding myself that I am able to go longer and longer in between these periods of slipping up. As my therapist reminded me, this behavior was a “normal” part of my life for so, I have to override the need to hurt myself! I look forward to the day that I will be able to handle stress without going to this dark place. That healthy habits will come naturally. I must remember that I am worth it!

Freaking Out!

08/06/2013

tearing hair out picture
image credit

I just got a phone call, from some secretary or receptionist at the psychiatric clinic I go to. “We need to reschedule your appointment that was on Thursday because Dr. X is no longer at our clinic. We will get you in with a nurse practitioner….”

I didn’t hear the rest, I went into major panic mode, major anxiety. I am sitting here with my insides all torn up. I finally got it together enough to ask where she was going…

“well she was only seeing patients here on her flex days and now she is going full-time at her home clinic”

“umm, where is that?”

I don’t want to switch doctors again. I like her, she gets me. She listens to me and allows me to be a part of the choices on meds etc.

“At x (which is a clinic on the other side of a major metropolitan area) you will have to talk with your case worker and file a request to transfer clinics.”

“I have a case worker???”

“yes, let me find out who it is and I will transfer you.” I get transferred to the wrong case worker, which I find out after I try to explain what I want. She asks “are you on the “x” team??”

“Team? I didn’t know anything about a team. What are you talking about?”

“Let me find out who your case worker is. It is x. I will transfer you.”

The phone rings and an answering machine picks up with a generic message. I stumble to leave a message, “I hope this is x, I don’t want to have a new doctor, they told me I had to talk to you to fill out some kind of paperwork. My name is x, phone number xxx-xxxx” I hang up only to realize that in the process of shutting down after the first part of the initial message I didn’t even get the who and when I was supposed to go see. I will have to go, I will need refills on my current meds. I hope this guy calls me back soon, I really don’t want to have to call and say someone called me and said something about seeing someone else and I shut down and didn’t even hear the who and when.

An hour has passed, the anxiety is building. I break down and call my therapist and say that I am panicking, really freaking out. Can I see her today instead of tomorrow? I pray she gets the voicemail. I told her it wasn’t about all the crap that I was already freaking out about and not handling appropriately, this was something new, like I really needed to add something else to my pile of crap. Please call me back, even talk to me on the phone might calm me down enough to get to tomorrow.

I had it all worked out in my head. I would see the therapist on Wednesday. We would try to come up with some kind of plan. She has been trying to get me to go see the doc early and get on some kind of temporary med to help me through this. I have been resisting, knowing I had the appointment on Thursday, and knowing that I have been here before with meds, trying so many to find something that might help. I stopped everything except the Lamictal, Lorazepam (Ativan), and Ambien. I finally stopped gaining weight day by day. I have lost nearly 30 lbs. and am so scared that going back on something else will trigger that weight gaining side effect.

I don’t know what I am going to do. I want to run to the store and buy alcohol, to have a drink or two or three and numb away the anxiety. I know it will just make it worse when it wears off, it is only a temporary fix, but I will take temporary over nothing now.

Going, Going, Gone…

08/04/2013

bottom of cliff
image credit
The walk to the dangerous cliff is over, I have officially fallen off and hope to hit rock bottom soon. I keep thinking that I have, that I can stand up, brush myself off and begin the long climb back up to stability only to find that the bottom seems to have been moved on me. I have given up a few times in the last few days and allowed myself to crawl into some pretty bad places. Done things I will regret forever. Done things that can be fixed and others that can’t. At this moment, I see a small dot of light in the distance. If only I can keep my eyes on it and my body faced towards it, I may find the way out. I am tired, tired of taking one step forward and two or three steps backwards.

The Persistent Platypus

Life's journey may not always be easy, but being true to your unique self and finding laughter in the small things makes the adventure unforgettable!

Straight Talk on Managing Bipolar Disorder

A website for bestselling author and bipolar expert, Julie A. Fast

Who needs normal?!

Ramblings from a crazy, cluttered mind...

A Depressed Mormon Mommy

Being LDS, BiPolar and Living Life

Depressed (but not unhappy) Mormon Mommy

Being LDS, BiPolar and Living Life

PPD Turned Bipolar Mom

Trying to stay happy on a rollercoaster of mental illness...

Through Another Lens

A WordPress.com site looking at Christian and non Christian news, culture etc, from an independent Christian viewpoint. Don't run after reading the word 'Christian'! Give it a chance, then run if you want ;-)

Bipolar Jane

STIGMA: Randomly sinking, treading or swimming...

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.