Featured

Seasonal Blues

image

Even the sunflower hangs it’s head
When the light of summer comes to an end

Do not quarrel your thoughts when they turn blue
The darkness of winter is just another hue

The still, cold days and blustering nights
May come and go without end in sight

Try not to give in to the deep, deep sleeps
Get up and move, do not show your defeat

This is the season to put in some work
It is far too easy to fall into the murk

You can get past this, you do every year
Someday this pain will seem more clear

Just know when the leaves fall they will come back
After a season of quiet peace that we lack

Strength and victory is what we will gain
When the season of spring pours down the rain

We’ll awake from our slumber with new dreams to chase
The cycle of life keeps a steady pace

Be prepared for the changes, they constantly roll
Learn to adapt–it’s food for your soul

No person will live the same life twice
Make peace with yourself–that should suffice

Be grateful to have time on your side
It’s time to be free, thou shall not hide

Each day we wake up, we may start anew
Slightly changing to a better point of view

Keep reaching now and you will see
There is no other way to feel more free

 

Advertisements
Featured

New Moon

New moon, new moon
Have you a gift for me?

Please bring to me patience, change
And comfort in uncertainty

Allow me to reveal my gifts to the world
Embracing my ever gentle soul

Open my eyes to move on from the past
And grant me peace along my path

Give me courage and strength to live on
Forgiving others and righting my wrongs

Embed in me your cool, calm demeanor
Show me my spirit so I can reach her

Teach me loving, gentle kindness
Take me above so I can reach my highest

The power of love remains in my heart
Allow me the grace to find a new start

Featured

Try and Try Again

This 28th year in my life, I would have to say, I have learned the most about myself.  Most importantly I have learned how to love and accept myself, flaws and all.

It has been a rather difficult year. I had very high expectations for my new career, relationship, friendships, and life in general. Very little of what I dreamed and hoped for this year had worked out the way I expected.  What I thought was my dream job turned out to be a nightmare. My two and a half year relationship ended. Friendships were broken and I became misunderstood. Sitting back now, approaching the 9th month of the year, it is hard to say whether or not I am happy about any of this.  I do know, that through all of these struggles, I was able to find some inner peace and feel a sense of purpose in my life now.

Before, when I looked into the mirror, I could not even look myself in the eye. I did not recognise that person anymore. Where was the joy? The childlike sense of wonder and curiosity about life? It was not my physical appearance that bothered me the most, but the lost and sad look in my eyes. Not knowing who I was anymore, or what I wanted. I had made goals, and I had achieved them though hard work, studying and perseverance though physical and mental illness and their side effects. But I was not happy. I was not satisfied. I had moved to a city I had always wanted to live, but I still felt alone. It was not my partners fault, he truly tried to show his love for me. I had been very open from the start about my past and my troubles. I am a very complex person, and I didn’t know or  understand at the time that you must truly love yourself first and foremost before loving another.

When I was a child, I was very shy and withdrawn. I was very sensitive to others around me. Starting in Kindergarten, I remember being very sad. I was sad and afraid that the other children did not want to play with me. I remember sitting alone in the corner playing with puzzles no one else wanted. I was confused and jealous when the teacher gave students extra attention. It made me feel more sad, like I was invisible. Throughout the rest of grade school years, I developed self esteem issues, anxiety, depression and sleeping problems. I remember being bullied on the school bus by a younger boy, who liked to bash my head against the window every morning. I could never stand up for myself or tattle.

I had a couple of friends and that helped, but I always felt uncomfortable and sad if I spent too much time away from home. Middle school was difficult because of puberty and changing schools. I was starting to feel many more emotions. It wasn’t fun being an ugly duckling–braces, glasses, pimples, flat chested, lanky limbs. I was lucky to make some friends who were just as awkward as I was, and that made things easier and more fun.

At the age of 14, I felt increasingly lonely and reached out to someone, anyone, online. That did not end well. At the age of 15 my depression was very severe. I began drinking. I drank just about every weekend and sometimes during the week for almost all of high school. Despite this,  I maintained my 4.0 GPA, extracurricular activities, and even started college early.

It was during a college course, Abnormal Psychology, that I had realised that I fit the mold pretty well, according to the DSM-IV, of having bipolar disorder. I always thought that the mood swings and depression were a normal part of being a teenager, so I didn’t seek help at that time. I controlled my emotions by sometimes writing poetry and making artwork, and listening to music, but mostly when I was really down I would sleep and sleep, cry and not come out of my room. I had quit drinking for a while, because I had gotten in trouble with the law, and I wanted to make wiser choices after that, but also lost a friend along the way.

I made it though some college, obtaining an Associate’s Degree, but I had no idea what I would do next, so I enrolled in Cosmetology school. It had been something I had always been good at, and interested in learning. I was 19 when I started. Before the end of the 1800 hour program, I had to go on a leave of absence, because I felt like I was actually going crazy. This was the first time I had experienced such severe racing thoughts, extreme highs and lows, fluctuations of energy and temper. The thoughts in my head were racing so fast, it sounded like a million voices talking to one another, and nothing could quiet them. After my leave of absence, I had to face going back to school, when my whole class had already graduated. It was the start of the worst depressive period of my life.  I had panic attacks and crying spells driving to the school. I did not want to see or speak to any of my hair clients, who had always looked forward to by bubbly, exciting personality. It was very difficult, but I graduated. I did not even want to go to the graduation ceremony or leave my house. I had no desire to apply for salon jobs, because my self esteem, and joy for life were gone. I worked at a gas station and would not leave the bed or bathe unless absolutely necessary.  I had no appetite and cried every single day, for about 8 months, wanting so bad to die.

I went to a doctor and they put me on an antidepressant and very soon, the most severe, life threatening manic episode occurred. I will not go into details about what happened, but after that I was put on many, many combinations of drugs, and hospitalised many times. Nothing worked to calm the mania, except lithium, and I was on it for about 6 years, along with many other antidepressants, and anti-anxiety pills.

I graduated  one year ago and started a professional career, but my mental illness was back to haunt me. During my training for the new, full time job at a hospital, I began feeling dizzy, having hot flashes, terrible stomach pains and headaches. I didn’t realise at the time but this was my body’s way of telling me it was under too much stress. All of my anxiety about starting in a demanding career field, and the stress of such a schedule turned into these severe physical manifestations of anxiety. I went though a lot of medical procedures and time in doctors offices and ER visits, but nothing was solved. It lasted up until the day I could not go back to work any longer, because of such extreme panic attacks, anxiety, and feeling that my mind was slipping away again.

I was very upset and felt like a failure, to have tried so hard in my new career, and then just quit. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. A disappointment. But the truth was, that I was not receiving proper care for my illness(bipolar). I had been seeing a psychiatrist, whom thrown me into panic attack mode just walking in, only spending ten minutes with me before writing another script and sending me off, even if I was in tears. I hadn’t been to counselling in a few years because the one at that office was not to be trusted again–after not recognising or telling my doctor about upcoming manic episode that he sensed.

The day I left my job was the turning point. I knew things had to change. I started taking yoga regularly and am now I am almost an instructor.  Yoga and meditation have taught me to quiet my mind and listen to my body. I have also started seeing a new psychiatrist and counsellor, whom are much more professional. This is not the end of my journey, but a new beginning for me. Through counselling, yoga, meditation, writing, and making artwork, I have found many ways to deal with my symptoms. I have made a few new friends, and came into touch again with some old ones. I understand now, that to become happy and free, you must embrace your true self.  Interact who those who know what you are going though, or if they don’t, at least they listen. Do not give in to the pressures of society and social norms. There is no true definition of “normal”. I have learned to march to the beat of my own drum, and follow what feels right in my heart. I’m not saying I have not made any mistakes, but at least I can say that I have tried. And I will try and try again.

Peace.

 

 

Featured

My life as I know it.

This is the post excerpt.

It was suggested to me that I should start a blog. I have always  enjoyed writing; journaling, poetry, letters to others, and letters to myself. I have always felt the need to write to catch up and clearly think through my thoughts, dreams, emotions and ideas. Many times I will write and not even remember the next day what some specific elements of the writing were about. I think that is great because my audience has mostly been myself, and it has been more like a therapeutic conversation with myself on paper, rather than in my head.

For as long as I have evidence of being able to write, there has always been a journal.  Writing and composition classes in college were not always easy for me and I dropped several instructors because I couldn’t find any passion or interest on subjects we were expected to write about. Writing has gotten me though some very scary and insane times in my life. I really wish now that I could find and read all of those lost, stolen, and thrown out  journal writings.

It was especially interesting last night remembering that I had found my journal from the last severe manic episode that occurred during the summer of 2012. Writing while manic kept me focused. Not always in a good way. During this episode I had the delusion of becoming an author and creating my first autobiography. This journal became, in my head, the book that I was writing. I started it off in a hypomanic state. I had just returned home for the first time in two years. I was supposed to be recovering from my manic depression(bipolar)  but none of the 20+ drug combinations were working at all. In those past two years I had suffered from uncontrollable mania, resulting in 8 different hospitalizations.

I think some doctors may call this rapid cycling bipolar type 1 with schizoaffective disorder. That’s a lot of words.

In the middle of writing this particular journal/autobiography I was admitted to my ninth hospital here in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. The complexities of the emotions I was feeling during this time along with the mania trying to be controlled through tranquilizers, antipsychotics, lithium, anticonvulsants, and sleeping meds really made for an interesting read last night. The journal starts off in a normal but chipper mood with some brief sidetracks and lost trains of thought. I felt happy, at peace, calm but high energy. As days turned into nights and nights turned into mornings I had experienced insomnia for I think over 48 hours straight. Thoughts became incoherent and incohesive.

I described my thoughts as ” A million and one different alliterations for a million and one broken glass reflections in a fucked-up shaped tunnel”.

 

Well I must write more tomorrow as it is getting late and if I do not regulate my sleep….these thoughts might haunt me.IMG_5393 [42623]

Summer without the glimmer

Long, bright days drag on without end.

Happiness was not found but observed

as I watched couples walk hand in hand.

 

Hoping, wishing and waiting

to find a perfect match.

 

Some one to ignite my fire

Some thing to bring me glee

Some time, some place that will make me feel free.



The nights are almost lonely

with only the cat by my side

she stares intently as she guesses what i think.

 

Maybe this is what I wanted

independence and space.

A place to gather my thoughts,

to sleep and to escape.

 

But I always have this question–

isn’t there something more–

something more to live for

something to cherish and hold dear.

 

Maybe the answer lies within

somewhere in this tangled web

Brush out the dust and put together whats left.

 

Lighten up, I say, there are no problems

Get up again

If they arise you will solve them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter to My Momma

image

Momma,

I feel selfish for not thanking you enough for always being here for me. There are many times we butt heads, miscommunicate, and argue, but I want to you know I appreciate you. I know that you may never understand some of my actions, my racing thoughts, and my dreams for my life, but I thank you for supporting me. Thank you for always helping me pick up the pieces of the messes I’ve created, and truly loving me unconditionally. All of this was done for free.

Thank you for helping me reach my goals. Being here when I needed to start my life over many times. Thank you for countless hours of studying with me. Countless hours spent with me in hospitals and emergency departments. For trying your best to keep me safe and sound. Thank you for being understanding, open, and compassionate to my new ideas, and not kicking out my new furry friends.

Thank you for teaching me to be a strong woman. To be independent. To love myself and have gratitude for all that I have. Thank you for having hope, when I had none. Thank you for telling me I am beautiful when I feel rotten, and teaching me inner beauty prevails. You’ve taught me to fix things, to cook, and to always keep an open heart. To pick up my feet again, and have a fresh start.

I am sorry that I have put you though so much torture, when I am unwell and too stubborn to listen. I’m sorry for blaming you for things that were beyond you control. I thank you for protecting me from evil people in this world, and raising me the best you could.

You are a wonderful mother, so selfless and  loving. You bring comfort and grace into each heart you touch. You treat everyone you meet with kindness and care. You devote your life to serving others seven days a week.  I’m just hoping some day I can give back everything you’ve given me and much more. I want you in my life and I want for us to become  closer as we age. I hope that when I look back I can say, that we were good friends and that our love never strayed.

So I realize…

So I realize I’ve done some hurtful things. This is what humans do to each other. I am not one to hold grudges and I’ve already forgiven myself. The people who hold grudges can forgive themselves too, and me. I understand that not a lot of people dont know how to express their emotions. It is a very difficult thing to do.

If you love somebody and you know they’re struggling, Take your heart and show some love.

If you do not know how to show love simply call. If it if they do not answer they still know you were thinking about them. I realize we all have work to do.  It would’ve been really really nice to have someone help me with appointments and help me through the pain of all the physical shit I went through this year. The other person driving me to appointments was myself and my mom to ER. Also it’s going to take years of therapy to heal. There is not enough time in the day or in any appointment session to get out everything I need to get out. This becomes very expensive.

Living in Cleveland really is not glamorous. It never will be. We can try and try to make it a prettier city, but the city has a dark dark haze creeping over it every day.this particular haze depresses me every single winter since the day I was born here. I’m so sick of people saying that everybody gets seasonal depression. Not everybody gets bipolar seasonal depression there is a very big difference.

I am very very tired of people minimizing my problems. I know I’m a strong person but this affects my life every single year. I don’t even want to move or leave the house ever. I was lucky that we had good heating last year. Why the hell would we have to run away to Florida or on cruises and waste all this money.  I’m tired of wasting money I just want to live somewhere with steady sunlight year round. It is very achievable for us. People out there are way happier. Healthier. Happier. Everything is better.

Even when I lived in Vegas everything was happier. I would walk outside every single morning with my shoes off, bare toes on the earth. We would take walks. we would walk the dog. We would ride bikes and we would just have fun. I love playing with the kids in the neighborhood. And I loved playing with my nephews and taking pictures of everybody. I take a lot of pictures because I want to remember the important times in my life whether good or bad. Lithium has made my short and long-term memory very very bad. My memory long term was very bad anyway.

It really sucks when your friends bring something up from childhood, that you really have no clue about. It’s actually very sad and you want to remember. I tell my friends these things all the time…I’m sorry I don’t remember. All I remember is feeling loved and happy even when my life sucked. It really is a blessing that I’m here today. And I’m grateful for my life. I’m getting tired now so I must go…no one really reads this anyway, but for all you out there, have a good night.

I just need to be free.

 

 

I cannot keep quiet from spreading my truth and my story any longer. My illness does not define me, it is actually a great blessing. Painful and torturous blessing that had to happen to make me who i am today.

My yoga instructor shares a eerily familiar story and she once said that she was glad this hell has happened to her, because if not, someone weaker may not have made it though.

I thought this was so sad and so brave. We are true warriors of peace and strength. We know how that we are in this together. We love.

Here are some things i wrote about Yogis:

We do not seek revenge or punishment for those who do us harm.

We Surrender to the help of others- the true friends for life- and those who are not able to accept or receive help right now, We pray.

 

I just needed to get that out there. I have much more to write.

 

Listening to Bright Eyes- Sunrise, Sunset- “you’re always either manic or depressed”…..”keep putting on the play”…..”let that fever play”

bon nuit.