Riding The Waves Of Life

We all have to ride the waves of life… the ups and downs of normal events and then the ups and downs that accompany a severe storm. Nobody is immune to this.

Sometimes when I am talking to somebody and I mention being bipolar, they feel the need to brush it aside like it is nothing by saying, “everyone is bipolar, we all have ups and downs.” While I want to poke them in the eye for throwing us all into the same hand basket, there is some truth to it.

Yes, we all have the blues from time to time, especially when something bad is going on in our lives. Everyone does experience some form of mania and depression in their lighter forms. So what separates those diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder from the rest of the population? (Using the word ‘normal’ very loosely here.)

When depression and mania affects our living standards, we have a problem. When you can’t work because you have been crying every single day, there is a problem. When you are so manic that you decide to up and quit your job to become a writer, yet you have no writing experience, nor do you have money saved to be able to do so… there is a problem. When you can’t get out of bed for days… when you are flirting with suicidal ideation… there is a problem. I could go on and on with examples for you, but I think you get the point.

Can you see the difference between normal, and mentally ill? Yes, we all experience these things, but for most people, it doesn’t last week after week, month after month, year after year. For those of us battling Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression), life can be affected in such a detrimental way, held captive by huge mood swings.

To those riding those stormy waves, I promise you that the storm will one day pass, and the waves become more gentle, or perhaps even welcomed. For those I call “normal”, ride your waves too, and if it ever becomes too rough, I am here to inspire you to get back up on that board and ride…

I am always here to help inspire, and remind that things do get better. If I can… I KNOW others can too. 

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Finding Your Passions

Passion – noun 1. Strong and barely controllable emotion.

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT??

If I could give a single piece of advice to every single person, it would be this: Find your passions, and start doing them for a better life! I know that seems sort of broad and simple, so allow me to explain.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

What an awesome example to live by! I take it a step further… not only thriving with passion, but thriving in part because of those things I am passionate about.

Life can get brutal. We all experience the ups and downs of life throughout the years, oftentimes we take great note of the downs, and can easily forget the ups. Doing so can certainly make you feel overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, defeated, etc… the list can go on and on. If you already suffer from mental health issues, the intense swings of life can become quite unbearable. How can we all combat this little fact of life? I have found the personal answer to this question and am overjoyed to share my experience with you!

~It all boils down to passion~

Many people have families, children, friendships, work… these things alone can keep you very busy, and steal the minutes in your day. However, even though we are busy with these things that we love and enjoy, there is a huge number of people who are unhappy and completely discontent. Why do you think that is? A better question is; Can being unhappy and discontent change? The answer, as I have learned myself… ABSOLUTELY! You do not need to get stuck in that rut. -smile-

It is very easy to get caught up in the daily rituals of life… allowing them to take over every moment of free time you may have. Then, when you do actually have free time to yourself, you spend those free moments selflessly, reaching out to help others within your inner circle. While helping others is commendable, helping yourself is just as important. For some reason, many people feel as though they are being selfish when they put their needs/wants before others in their household. This is far from the truth. Taking care of yourself comes with many fantastic perks to your mental well being, and in fact, is more of a necessity than you may think. Why is that, you ask? When you put others’ needs before your own, you are telling yourself (aware of it or not) that you and your needs are not as important as others, and this dramatically affects your self esteem. I will write more about the importance of Self-Care in a follow-up blog post. For now, just know that taking time for you is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

Everyone wants to be content and happy, but unfortunately those two things don’t always just happen on their own. It is up to each of us as individuals to find the things that evoke passion within, and then to follow through, incorporating those passions into your daily life. Isn’t your happiness worth it?? When you find the things you are passionate about, share them with others, and instill this with your loved ones. Become the perfect example of living a positive life, doing what your passionate about, and help others find their own personal passions. By practicing these things, you will help those around you to be happier, healthier, and live a more content life… on top of making you more happy, healthy, and content.

You are worth it!

I Fear Not The Night~

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I fear not the night anymore, but the silence that accompanies the sun.

I would enjoy waking to the moon instead… the stars my guide…

My erratic mood lulled by the moons tide.

The stars and night like a very close friend.

Instead, I follow the masses, wake by the sun,

With only a few hours to rest my weary head.

Depression has begun.

Too much time to dwell, anxiety to swell,

To beg for peace; to forget the times,

I have truly failed.

I want to run, be free… follow my heart…

Flee…

To my loves.

I fear not the night anymore, but the silence…

that accompanies the sun.~

©thebipolarmuse2011

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Going through not having custody of my children has always been very difficult for me. I battle severe depressions over all lifes precious moments I cannot get back.

Poetry helps me to tame the monster, it is a form of therapy for me… helps me create bipolar Order.

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

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An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison is one of my favorite books about manic depressive illness, and finding this author became a ray of light at an important time of my life… my own personal breakdown. You can find a copy of this excellent read in print on Amazon, and they also have it for the Kindle. Not only is Kay Redfield Jamison the Author, she also works in the mental health industry, and lives with Manic Depressive Illness (aka Bipolar Disorder) herself. She gives a very detailed, educated, yet very personal account of the disorder and how it has shaped her life.

Reading the book sparked the following post originally posted in April 2010…

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She touches so well on the circus in my head… literally a psychosis I experienced that was one of the most intense experiences I have ever had. Knowing I was not alone in this chaos was certainly of importance for there is no way to describe to someone what it is like to feel so cold that it feels like fire, or be surrounded by lights that seem so bright everything around you appears surreal. There’s no way to describe how loud a chirping bird sounds, or how strong and fragrant fresh cut grass can create nausea. There’s no way to explain the sound and feel of the earth beneath my feet as I walk…

Nor is there a way to explain what it’s like when all of those experiences are absent… as in a state of depression.

Depression is the monster on my back. It steals everything from me and leaves me with absolutely nothing… nothing other than misery. It leaves me with pain, sickness, indifference, and my most hated phrase: “All I know is I don’t know”.

When depressed, a walk in the park is absent of everything pleasant. I can’t hear children laughing and playing, I can’t smell the BBQ cooking, I can’t hear birds chirping or dogs barking, I can’t feel the breeze or the warmth of the sun, I can’t see people smiling and enjoying themselves, and worst of all… I feel devoid of life in general.

Depression is painful and torturous. It robs me of any happiness and is absolutely brutal. I have fought these feelings since I was 11yrs old… and 31 years later I am still trying to figure it out… trying to tame this beast.

It can be done… I will do it… WATCH ME.

©thebipoolarmuse2010

Big Thanks To “13 Reasons Why”

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13 Reasons Why…

This t.v. series has started addressing the very serious issues happening to our teenagers across the world. They address sexual assault, gay bashing, bullying, cyber bullying, physical fights, sexuality, blackmail, coercion, our court system, and the way victims are turned into villian’s and worse. They also address the glorified hierarchy of the jocks occurring in schools everywhere, relationships, and of course the insecurities that all teenagers seem to possess to some degree.

These are all very worthy causes to bring to light and begin a conversation. However, for me, I not only applaud them for all the reasons I mentioned, but I applaud them for addressing these 2 things…

School shootings, and suicide.

Not only do they address suicide, but they also show what the aftermath of such a tragic choice does to all those around you. It shows the example of ruined relationships, the sadness and anger it invokes, the way many people need to “blame” someone or something. They address the need to have an open conversation about suicide, and also the need to tone it down so it does not infiltrate the minds of “at risk” youth (and adults), and create a contagion affect.

13 Reasons Why begs us to open up a dialogue with those we care about and address these very serious issues. All of these topics are what MANY teenagers deal with. Adults don’t quite grasp what all the social media can do to our children… how it opens one up to being bullied, how fake Facebook pages (or any other social media source) are set up to trick an unknowing person/victim. How taking a photo can lead to disaster… especially if it is provocative in any way, or a rumor presented along with it. Often, very detrimental consequences follow. Not to mention that many violators get away with what they do.

Many seemed to be concerned about the topics addressed during the 1st season… believing that young people cannot handle watching these issues, and didn’t think the show was good for teens to watch. This seems ridiculous to me considering all the “shooting” video games teenagers play,  not to mention the games younger kids play where they break into a neighbors house to try to discover what is in the basement… finally seeing that the neighbor is keeping people locked up against their will. WTF is that about??? Children are exposed to these types of games, and worse, but we cannot speak with them about suicide, bullying, sexual assault, and many more issues they deal with on a constant basis?? This is insanity.

This is the generation of overprotecting our kids to the point that they do not have the skills needed to take care of themselves, emotionally or otherwise. We are crippling them by doing this and it is truly sad.

So I applaud 13 Reasons Why, those in charge for creating the show, Netflix for embracing it, and the fight needed to bring about the second season and more… thank you for being the voice we all need.

©thebipolarmuse2018

 

Tingles of Mania

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Tingles up my spine, in my hands, feet, neck, and head. Sounds magnified by a billion… clanks, swooshes, drips, music from a house over, barking dogs, cars, the energy in my head. I swear I hear clown cars, elephants, people murmuring, popcorn bags crinkling, horns, tinkering bells, shoes shuffling, children laughing, a circus in my head.

Every sensation intensified 100 fold. Every ache a pain, every touch leaves a scorching path, every chill becomes a pleasantly painful shiver. Running my fingers through my hair is brutal yet somehow intoxicating.

I flee from tears to happiness… often irritable with boundless energy.

BOUNDLESS ENERGY.

Days become nights, and then nights back to days. Images fly through my head one after another. Dirt, trees, a smiling lady, retro car, beach, sand, beer, the sky, moon, stars, babies, holding hands, fire, weeds, butterflies, black and white photos, Gidget, music notes, piano, stadium lights, cars, people chattering, relay for life, school, books, money, flying, dreams, galaxies, GOD, energy.

Far above the earth, above the stars, flying in a luminous light… tingling head to toe.

This, my friend, is my mania.

Welcome to my world.

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If you have ever experienced mania… you know this well. If you have never experienced mania… this is just the tip of  the iceberg.

Without fail… after mania is the crash into the deepest pit of depression… because of this… mania has a beauty, and is often sought and a place I never want to leave.

 

©bipolarmuse2018