Guest bloggers, and an update

Just a quick update. Bipolar Whispers blog is fully back up and running. As you can see I have changed the theme/layout, all blog posts have the updated signature, some have been edited and some have been deleted.

I have added my social media information:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Email: bipolarwhispers@gmail.com

Interested in being a guest blogger on Bipolar Whispers, email me at bipolarwhispers@gmail.com

I did this a few times in the past and am interested in doing a few more guest posts again in the future. If this is something that interests you feel free to email me at bipolarwhispers@gmail.com .

In the blog post I can add an image or two, your blog address, social media or anything else that might be relevant.

Finally, is there something you would like to see me blog about? Comment below with any blog ideas and I will do my best to write about them.

Bipolar Whispers is 2

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Bipolar Whispers Blog is 2.

I cannot believe it has been 2 years since I first started the Bipolar Whispers blog.  I started this in a Manic high to let out frustrations to write to my hearts content and to express things I could not even begin to express in my ‘real’ life.

This past year was a lot slower than the first 6 months or so of the blog, but lately I have been trying to get some content out.  Thanks to everyone who has been reading for the past two years and thanks to all my new readers.

Be sure to read through my older content, you will find a lot of good information and a lot of soulful and heart felt writings there. 

Lets hope that I can get back to the basic reasons for starting this blog and make year 3 fantastic.

Bipolar Whispers is 1

I have been blogging here for a year. A whole year.

I started Bipolar Whispers in a manic phase.  A time when I was full of possibility.  Another grand idea was formed because of mania.

A time when my ability to write came back.  Back after years of dealing with horrific writers block.

There were days when I wrote several articles, days when I published more than once.  Days when I did not publish at all.

Days when what I was writing made total sense, and days when I wrote in gibberish.

There were days when I was stuck inside my head, days when the words were screaming to be written but I couldn’t form more than a few coherent sentences.

I wrote with passion.  I wrote deep truths.  I wrote about pasts.  I wrote about futures.  And I wrote about right now as the words were forming.

I wrote with questions, and I wrote looking for answers.

Sometimes I found the answers, and oftentimes I found many many more questions.

I wrote when I was manic.  I wrote when I was hypomanic.  I wrote when I was depressed.  I wrote when I was flat and I wrote when my mood was ‘normal’.

Sometimes I didn’t write at all.  Because whatever I may have been dealing with at that time was bigger.  Bigger that I was able to deal with, bigger than I was able to write about, bigger than I was okay with.

But Bipolar Whispers became so much to me.  It became a haven.  A place to go and not worry about anything to bare it all and let it all out.

I met great friends through blogging.  I have read other peoples stories, their life stories and understood.  I related to them.  I understood them and they understood me.

Even when I disappeared for a bit because the medical issues in our family was more than I was able to deal with, you were all here when I got back.  You continued to embrace me and hold me up.  You held my hand, and you gripped my heart.

Some of the most understanding people, some of the easiest people to write to, some of the easiest people to relate to have been the blogging friends I have made because of Bipolar Whispers.

And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here, for reading, for listening, and for hanging on.

I love you all,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

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I just wanted to take a moment to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays!!

I hope it is filled with love, laughter and holiday cheer.

And most of all for those of you that struggle throughout the holiday season I hope that the demons are staying calm and that you are doing well.

Much Love,

Being a Mom with Mental Illness (part 2)

Because I had mental illness I thought I would not be good enough. I would not be a good enough person, I would not be a good enough wife and I would not be a good enough mother.

I thought that I was worthless. Nothing.

I imagined that my family would be better off if I were not in their lives. That they deserved better. A better wife, a better mother.

My hospitalization and therapy helped me to realize things differently.

Talking to the doctor and nurses in mandatory therapy helped to mold my thought process into something that made a little more sense.

They explained to me that if I had a physical illness like diabetes or cancer it would not make me less of a person so why should a mental illness make me feel that way.  At first I just could not grasp it. It made no sense to me.

But, If the role was reversed and you had mental illness I would be the first person to tell you that it did not make you less of a person, that you were strong, that you deserved to live. But within myself all I could do was see the negative, feel the depression and continue to hate myself.

I hated everything that I had become. Everything that mental illness did to me. I hated my decision process, I despised.

One thing that a nurse told me was that statistically if I committed suicide my children would have a higher possibility of doing the same. This struck me fiercely.

The last thing I wanted was for my children to end up attempting suicide because of decisions I made, or because they felt inadequate because of something I did.

This was the beginning of fighting the suicidal thoughts. Really fighting them. It was not easy, but I had to start somewhere.

My kids and my husband were the reason that I wanted to live.

I did not know what I was going to do with that life, with that willingness to fight, but I knew it was a start.

And I made these decisions for my family.

Being a Mom with mental illness (Part 1)

Being a mom with mental illness was a difficult sentiment for me. I found out I was pregnant and immediately stopped going to therapy. My Psychiatrist and Psychologist were concerned, while I was adamant that I was okay and I would continue to be okay.

In my mind at that time I just did not want to let him win. I wanted to prove something, to myself and to everyone else. I needed to prove that I was stronger than any of the circumstances that lead me on the path that I was currently walking.

I was tired of letting him control my life, I was tired of mental illness creeping in and taking control of me. I was tired of not sleeping, I was tired of self-injury, I was tired of having trust issues, I was tired of…..well to be completely honest, I was tired of being me.

So I decided to try to be someone else. Someone without mental illness.

At first I tried to pretend that I was okay, but inside I was struggling and my mind was in chaos.   I hid things for a long time, or at least tried to. But sometimes it was impossible to hide, things were obvious.

I would have melt downs. Like some child having a tantrum. After it was over and I had time to think, I would be embarrassed. I hated how I felt, I hated the words that I spoke.

More than once in my life I wondered what was wrong with me. I thought I could just move on, forget the past and be a good mom. But by suppressing everything I was getting sicker and I was not being the mom or wife that I wanted to be.

Inside I knew I was messed up. But I was trying not to show it. I became the master of deception. But who was I really deceiving?

I pretended that I was “normal”. I avoided the nagging voice in my head that was telling me something was wrong, that nothing had changed, that I was still dealing with mental illness.

My conscious mind was beginning to not be so quiet. I tried to suppress it, I kept pushing it deeper and deeper inside me, telling myself that I was fine.

But I wasn’t.

And I was scared because it no longer was just me that was affected by my mental illness. I was married and I had children, and everything I did not only affected me, but my entire family was affected.

Eventually, I was unable to fight it any longer. I needed help, and I needed it now. I was hospitalized for 5 ½ weeks. Therapy was mandatory. Medication became a life line.

And I fought, fiercely fought to become a better person. I spent over a year walking on egg shells, still trying to pretend that I was not sick. But fighting a fight within myself that I never thought I could win.

But even though I thought I couldn’t win, I had to continue to fight, because I was fighting for them…for my family.

Little update, and how are you all

It’s been days since I have actually been able to sit and write. I guess you could all tell that by my lack of postings on here.

My head keeps hitting the metaphorical wall of writers block. I have started several postings and haven’t been able to wrap my mind around what it is that I am writing, so I just stop.

After all for me, forced writing is not good writing. It needs to come naturally and flow.

First a quick update on me. As you all know I didn’t sleep well for a bit and was taking another med (Clonazepam) for 7 days, that is over with now, and I continued to sleep half decent for a bit. Back to 3 hours sleep a night again now for the past 2 nights hopefully that does not last long.

I saw my psychiatrist yesterday morning. I am doing well, balanced. But I knew this already. So we decided I would also stop the med (Chlorpromazine) which I had started in March when I was manic. So I never took that last night before bed like I normally would.

Fingers crossed that I do well off of it.

I tend to go through these ‘swings’ every so often. For the most part I was balanced for just over a year. Some slight depression, and maybe some slight ‘get go’ I wouldn’t call it mania because it was nowhere near that. Then I get into a phase where it is harder to get back to the balance. But this has become my cycle, and I am used to it.

It’s funny how I have just ‘gotten used’ to something that causes so much chaos in my life. But it has been with me so long that it is just a part of who I am.

I have been more open about my mental illness since starting this blog. Before I used to hide it from most people. Family knew, and close friends of course but from everyone else I hid.

I have chosen to no longer hide. I am who I am mental illness and all. Accept that, or don’t, it really makes no difference to me anymore.

Anyway

What I would like now is for all my mental health ‘family’ to comment with how you are doing, I want to know how you all are.

Thanks,

May Is Mental Health Awarness Month

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month. 

Did you know?

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).
  • Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
  • The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.

What are you doing to break the stigma?

I am a Suicide Survivor (Possible Trigger)

I have been contemplating writing this post for a long time. With what has been going on with us lately, I have decided I will give it a try.

After all, if this helps just one person, it will have been worth the share.

I wasn’t sure how it would be received.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to write it.  Years ago I wrote it for me.  I wrote it in speech form as my 19 year old self and it was therapeutic.  I have no desire to post it in that form, so I am going to start over.

Do over.

This is my suicide survivor story.

Disclaimer:  This could be triggering.  Please take some time and be careful if you decide to read.

A yellow ribbon is a symbol that stands for suicide prevention, and I have worn a yellow ribbon as a reminder to myself that suicide is not the answer.  Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  There was a time in my life when I did not recognize this. I did not realize there were people to help and I thought that the only way to end my pain was to end my life.

I was 18 years old when I attempted suicide.  It is a very ugly word.  Suicide. But I want each and every person reading this post to remember it, and remember it well, because suicide is a reality, a truly ugly reality.

I have often had the thought that if everyone who ever had a thought about suicide actually committed it then we would almost all be dead.  I have no idea how accurate this really is.  But it is a thought that frequents my mind.

There were catalysts in my life that kept pushing at me.  Pushing me off the deep end.  Some of them were little, some were bigger and some were huge.  But all of them combined together put such a pressure on my life that I was unable to function.

Some of the more relevant ones were: My Dad died when I was 13, I was Daddy’s little girl so that was hard, my Mom ended up with cancer not long after that and had to have surgery and treatments.  But probably the biggest thing that was causing such a negative effect on my life was the fact that I was sexually abused and raped from the ages of 6 to 11, then as a teen there was an instance of date rape.   I kept my sexual abuse bottled up inside me for 12 long years.

On October 9th, 1999 I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore.  I sat on my bed and wrote a suicide note.  I finished my letter walked out into the kitchen took a bunch of pills, placed them in my pocket and walked back into the bathroom and took them all.  The first 2 I took my mind was asking “What are you doing?” I took 2 more and then 2 more and then the next thing I knew my hand was up to my mouth and half the pills were gone. I took a mouth full of water and then downed the rest of the pills.  I went back into my bedroom.

I was laying across my bed thinking about how easy it would be to just go to sleep and fade out of existence.

Suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I DID NOT WANT TO DIE!!  I was 18 years old with my entire life ahead of me.  I turned my suicide note over, wrote on the back and left the house telling my Mom I would “be back in a second”.

A friend of mine was with me (she had no idea what I had done) but she knew something was terribly wrong.  Eventually she went and got an older friend of mine who knew everything, he was like a brother to me and was the first person I had told about everything that happened to me.  I was scared, I was shaking and I knew that I wanted to live.

He got there and asked me what was wrong.  I began to cry and handed him my suicide note saying “here this explains everything”.  At this point I did not know how to control myself, I was weak, I was dizzy and I was scared.

He read the first 2 lines, looked up at me and asked “Did you do it?” I did not answer.  He looked at me again and in a more firm and demanding voice said, “Answer me, DID YOU DO IT?”.  I whispered “yes”.

Right away things began to happen fast, but yet in slow motion, an odd sensation.  He grabbed me and was helping me to walk, we got my brother and then my mom.  We all got in a car and were driving.  From what I can remember now (this being 15 years later) I was in the back seat and sorta starting to be a bit out of it.  We stopped in the next town at friends and called the ambulance (the ambulance for our community comes from that town) it was actually a lot faster that way.

I don’t have a sense of time.  I have no idea how long it took for it to arrive, it could have been hours, it could have been minutes.  I remember being put on a stretcher and into the ambulance and then we were on our way.  The attendant was taking my vitals and kept talking to me, asking questions and trying to keep me awake. I was given oxygen and was beginning to find it harder to breathe and there was a pain in my chest.

When we arrived at the hospital I was moved to a bed in the emergency room.  I remember feeling closed in because there were doctors and nurses and hospital staff all around me.  They did an EKG and put an IV into my right hand to feed me glucose and water.  They did blood tests and took my vitals.  They fed me a thick brown liquid that apparently saved my life and my liver.  It was to make me throw up and hopefully rid my body of all the drugs.  I remember not wanting to drink it but they said my choice was drink it and throw up or risk liver failure and be air lifted to another hospital for possible surgery.   At this point in my life I was terrified of surgery, so I drank it.

Once my blood test results came back they changed my IV from glucose and water to an antidote.  They then stuck another IV into my left hand with potassium going into it.

When I was finally moved out of the emergency room I was put into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Observation where I was hooked up to a heart monitor and had a nurse watching over me at all times.  I was not allowed to get out of bed because of the heart monitors and IV’s.

I felt like someone had literally beaten me with a stick, both inside and out.  I was called a “special” which meant I could not be left alone at any time for any reason.  Personally, I did not feel very special….

My first night there I spent 34 hours without sleeping.  My glucose was taken 5 times a day, blood taken 3 times in 6 and a half hours, temperature taken every little while and my blood pressure was taken every hour. To top all this off, every time I so much as coughed or moved my heart monitor would begin going off.

They then switched my IV in my right hand with another antidote that would take 16 hours to go into my system.

It was my 3rd night there before I was finally unhooked from everything.  I was moved to another room, but was still considered a “special”. I was moved around a few more times and was finally released on October 13th, 1999.

It was not a very good situation to be in.  It was an eye opener for me and I learned some very valuable lessons while I was laying in bed unable to move, listening to the beeping of a heart monitor, contemplating my life.   I learned that no matter how hard life seems, it is not so bad that you have to take your own life and end it.   Your life is valuable.  You are worth fighting for.  You deserve to live.  Do not be afraid to ask for help.

Statistics show that immediately after “attempting” suicide the person desperately wants to live…not die.   This makes it so sad and scary for the people who do succeed with their attempt.

I was really lucky.  I figured that out before too much damage was done to my body and I was lucid enough to get help.

No matter how dark the path ahead may look, no matter how bleak the future may seem, there is a light, follow the light.  Accept help, talk to doctors, open up. Its hard, but what you might already be going through is hard too, and telling someone, opening up will take some of the pressure off.

You, my dear friend, are stronger than you think.

Caught in the grasp of Anxiety

It feels like something is squeezing my heart, and while it is doing so my heart is skipping a beat or two, all the while fluttering as if a bunch of butterflies were trying to escape a single cocoon at the very same time.

A feeling of doom, dread.  Surfacing or rather almost surfacing.  Trying to drown me just under the surface of a deep and dark ocean current.  Cold water pressing down on me, threatening to cause shock.

Eyes squeezed together, waiting for it to take me, but it never does.

Instead it continues to loom over me, threatening something it will never fully complete.  Squeezing my heart – putting fear in my body.  Showing glimpses of the chaos it can bestow on my life, tightening its hold on me with its many tentacles.

This is what anxiety was doing to me at 3:40 Am this morning.