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I have found the world's best mac & cheese!
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Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Sixth Diagnosis

So I guess this is where I say "Happy New Year..."

My father has a real talent for making his wrongs against someone that person's fault. Like tonight. He was talking over me, not giving a rat's tush about what I was saying. Besides being irritated, I had to shout just to make sure he knew I was talking. He says to me, "You don't need to shout at me. Not a good idea." All this in possibly the most condescending, demeaning tone you've ever heard. So I said, "You weren't listening, so yes, good idea." He refused to listen to me yet again and still believes I was in the wrong. 

I've known for years that my father in an undiagnosed narcissist, but the ironic part is, he's an insecure narcissist. He'll take any slight against him as though he doesn't understsand why. Like now. I'm angry with him and he has exactly zero idea why.

I've gotten several books on how to deal with narcissists, but I suppose I actually have to read them for them to do any good. So that's my new goal. I'm going to finish at least two of my narcissist books this year. I'd say all of them, but I'm also trying to finish Harry Potter and a series by Janet Evanovich/Lee Goldberg (Fox and O'Hare. Great books!).

So basically, my extremely limited ego gets shot down by a man who supposedly cares for me. The ting is, when I'm stroking his ego, like listening to him tell me the same boring story for the millionth time, he's fine, but as soon as I try to get him to acknowledge me and my issues, he's got no idea what to do. 

Fun example: a few nights ago,  I asked him to stay up with me because I didn't want to be alone. He proceeded to tell me every aspect of his flashlight (it's tactical. Ooh...). Then he downloaded a flashlight app on his phone. He then proceeded to play with it. All the while, I'm sitting there, patiently listening. When I finally get too overwhelmed to take it anymore and bring up that I feel like crap, he has exactly zero idea what to say. If it's not about him, he's lost.

So I'm dealing with basically six diagnoses. Five of my own and his. I can't keep doing this much longer. I'm going to lose it with him one day.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Breathing

Have you ever felt all warm and comfy, yet completely empty inside? This is how I feel.

So , winter sucks. The nights are long, the sky is cloudy, and this whole snow thing I could definitely do without.  But alas, I live in Utah, and we're kind of known for having "the greatest snow on earth." Personally, I could do winter in Arizona.

Back to my point. With the cold, never ending nights, it's kind of like I've lost myself. I mean, last summer, I became pretty comfortable with who I am and how I think, but that part if me is missing right now. I feel empty, hollow. I'm not entirely sure how to explain it, but I think y'all know where I'm coming from.

I never like being alone, but winter makes it particularly difficult. My parents go to bed earlier than I do, so that leaves me to my own devices for an hour or two every night. Lately, I've been taking NyQuil just to knock me out so I don't have to be alone. At least alone and awake...

So I've rediscovered one of my favourite bands and they have a song that really works for me. If you're so inclined, find it on YouTube. It's called "Just Keep Breathing" by We The Kings.  So I just got to remember to just keep breathing when I feel like this. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Thanks Amber

I'm going to catch flack for this post, but it has to be said.

I have played clarinet since I was eleven years old. My elementary band teacher kind of sucked, so I didn't learn to play very well. I was last chair from sixth grade all the way to my sophomore year of high school. I got lessons that summer and jumped to second chair, not only in the school, but in the district. I was actually good! I absolutely loved to play! Well... until my senior year. That's the year my band teacher taught me to hate music.

My high school band teacher has always played favourites. It's a well known fact. Another well known fact is that I was never one of her little pets. In fact, she disliked me. I have no idea why or what I did to make her feel that way toward me, but the fact remained. There are several accounts which prove my point. Allow me to explain...

Junior year I was second chair. Second in charge. Our section leader was going to be out for one of our pep band events (a football game). Teacher left third chair in charge. I don't know why, so don't ask.

Junior year during the musical... She sees Brad and Kathryn bullying me. She sees me in near tears. She ignores me. I felt like I couldn't go to her because I knew her distain for me. I couldn't tell her that two of her pets were bullying me because she wouldn't have believed me anyway.

Senior year I was supposed to be first chair, but once again, she doesn't like me. She takes, get this, fourth chair and puts him as first because "he's been taking lessons." I started lessons long before he had, and during the semester, I still had to teach him things. I was better than he was, and she knew it.

The worst offense, however, came near the end of the first semester. We were having a sectional out in the hall (that's where all the clarinets get together to practice our parts). I was goofing off with one of the sophomores. This one guy (we'll call him Princess although his name was Matt) thought we were laughing at him. Wait... he thought I  was laughing at him. Me. Specifically. So he goes and tells teacher, who then proceeds to berate me and demean me right in front of everyone. Me. Not the sophomore who was also laughing with me. I try to defend myself, but she wouldn't let me. I quit after that.

Amber Tuckness is nothing more than a bully.

Borderline or no?

Ok then.

So I went to therapy Friday and learnt something about myself that was quite a relief. See, I've always had this fear hat I had Borderline Personality Disorder as well, but what I learnt made it quite clear that I don't. My therapist said that if she could rename Borderline, she'd call it "invalidated childhood." While I did, indeed, have an invalidated childhood, I developed a skill that Borderlines do not. I learnt how to validate myself.

This definitely explains why I'm not one to fish for compliments or scramble for attention. Yes, I feel ignored a lot, but I'm not constantly seeking attention or validation. 

The biggest reason I was relieved to find out that I don't have Borderline is because I don't need to add anything to my list of diagnoses. I've already got five. That's plenty for one person. Nobody needs to hog all the diagnoses. Let others feel special too, right?

This has been weighing on me for a few years, so Friday was like lifting the world off my shoulders. I guess this will teach me to not read the DSM-5 and self-diagnose. Nobody should. Let the professionals do that. Lessons learned.

In other news: Christmas Eve is also the first day of Hanukkah. So whichever you celebrate, hope it's a happy one!  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Texts, Class, & Church

Day from Hell.

Today started off with me getting awakened by a group text. First off, I hate group texts. Loathe them with every fiber of my being. But this one was particularly obnoxious. It was my team wanting to meet an hour and a half before class started. Fan-freaking-tastic. So I get up, get ready, and I get there only to find one member of my team waiting. We were then joined by the other two guys in the group. I was stuck in a room of boys who would rather talk about the new gaming system than the presentation we had to give today.

Then there was class... We did our presentation. I not only made the powerpoint, but I was the clicker, changing the slides during the presentation. I participated. I cleared this participation with my pain in the butt teacher, who, after class decided that all the work I had put in wasn't enough and he wanted a video of me doing the entire presentation that my group had just done. So basically I did twice as much work as the rest of my team because Herr Hitler decided I didn't do enough.

And to top off my day, I had a church activity tonight. I've told y'all before about how I hate Utah Mormons and church activities... Tonight was no different. Well... I brought my friend from another church with me, so that was different. But the behavior of the rest of the people remained the same. My friend and I sat at a table with three guys to cut and tie fleece blankets (we're doing them for the children's hospital in town), and it was basically them and us. The three guys were talking among themselves and left us out almost entirely. My friend, being the person that she is (bless her!), interjected a few times into the guys' conversation, and one of the guys looked genuinely annoyed that she had said anything. The other two talked to me for maybe two minutes. All in all, there were about twenty people there, and I can really only say that my friend talked to me. No, I'm not the most outgoing person, but I'm DAMN funny when you actually take the time to get to know me! But that's the problem, isn't it? Nobody takes the time to talk to the quiet girl-- to get to know her.

I've said it before and I'll say it again... I am never more suicidal than when I'm at church or a church activity. Whichever religion you choose is supposed to make you feel whole, right? Make you feel like you're a part of something bigger. The only thing I feel is ignored, dejected, and suicidal. One of these days, I'm not going to stop for the idiot left turner and I'll just hit them dead on. Maybe that will do it. I can think of over a hundred ways to do it all without the chance of survival. All I need is the right push, and church gets me to that point every... freaking... week. If just one person would talk to me like I'm a human being, maybe I'd feel like I mattered once in a while.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Crazy

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!

So today was supposed to be a happy day, full of family and fun, right? Well... Mine was ruined by two sentences tonight. All day, my sister behaved herself. A couple of weeks ago, she even went so far as to say she accepted me, "skinny jeans and all." (She hates skinny jeans, btw.) But the two of us went out to get coffee and cocoa, and she blasted all the respect I had for her right out the window.

What could possibly be so offensive, you ask? Allow me to explain...

"You cray cray, Ducky, but you haven't been cray cray for awhile." A) Yes, she calls me Ducky. B) No she wasn't kidding. As you may now have guessed (or not, who knows), she was, in fact, referring to my mental illness. She called me crazy. She told me about a friend at work who "is Bipolar," and when I questioned whether he is or has, she insisted that he is. I tried to explain that Bipolar is something you have, not something you are, but she was having none of it. "He identifies with it." Well you just answered my question there, didn't ya, poopsie? But no, she doesn't get it.

If you've been following me regularly, you may remember about a year and a half ago, she backed me into a corner, towered over me while berating me, and my leg (mind of its own, I swear!) shot out and kicked her, almost knocking her down. To her ignorant mind, this is crazy. To her ignorant mind, I am not mentally ill... I am crazy.

It's difficult enough to tell people I have this burden without them making assumptions and straight up being rude to me (like in the psych ward), but to have my big sister, the one I've always looked up to no matter how much I hated her at whatever moment, to have her be so cruel and ignorant toward the biggest piece of me... I'm broken. Not even Brooke has said anything quite this cruel to me.

I now want nothing to do with her. I'll be polite, but I'll never tell her anything ever again. And when our parents are gone (morbid, I know), she'll have no place in my home or my life. I'm through bending over backwards for someone who thinks I'm nothing more than crazy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Into The Darkness

Time is a friend to no man.

This whole time change thing really blows. Winter blows. Apparently I like the word "blows" now. Why do these things blow? Because with the time change, it's suddenly dark at 5:30. Winter blows because it's dark at 5:30. I'm sensing a correlation... You'd be right, side-thought! These two things definitely correlate.

I'm going to stop that now before this gets awkward...

With the longer nights and days growing shorter, my depression is all wonky. Like, I'll be fine-ish during the day, but as soon as the sun goes down, I'm sunk into a pit as low as Dante's Hell. I feel it physically, too. Like this pressure sitting on my chest that makes it hard to breathe, and on my shoulders that makes it hard to be upright.

The absolute worst part about all this darkness is my irrational fear of being alone. As I've mentioned before, I still live at home with my parents. I'll often hang around until the last second before they go to bed. But when they do, everything explodes and I'm suddenly depressed and anxious beyond words. Lately, I've been drugging myself with Nyquil just so I go to sleep earlier. The earlier I go to sleep, the less time I spend alone in the dark.

Darkness has represented aloneness to me since I was about ten years old (I think...) when my sister moved out of my room and back into her own. I've always hated the dark because of, again, my irrational fear of being alone. I HATE being alone. I'm slightly codependent that way.

The other night as I was lying in my bed in the dreaded dark, I was overcome by the thought of my grandma who passed away a year and three months ago. It was like I had just heard the news of her death all over again. The pure pain of it. I couldn't stop crying.

In closing...

I
HATE
THE
DARK!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Knowledge Is Power

Me.

I know I'm not the easiest person to get along with. My Facebook rants have stirred up things that ought not have been. When I'm crabby I say exactly what I mean and feelings have been hurt. When I'm manic, my almost maxed-out credit card (which my lovely parents are paying in my unemployment) gets a workout. But there's one thing I actually like about myself, and that is that I know myself. Inside and out, head to toe.

I was watching The Crown on Netflix tonight, and in it, there was a painter who was doing a portrait of Winston Churchill. I don't remember it word for word, but the painter was telling Churchill that nobody ever truly knows themselves- that you had to take a step back and look in from the outside. I've done this for years. I am an observer by nature- people are my favourite subject- and I have mastered observing myself. I notice my behaviours, my words, my tones... Before I was properly medicated, I became a master at knowing exactly when my mood would shift simply by noticing the way I spoke. With no instruction, I managed to figure out how to take a step back and observe myself. Because of this, I know everything about myself.

I can't tell you how to do it exactly, but when I do it, I picture myself separating. Like my body stays where it is, but my soul steps back. I've heard of others picturing themselves in front of a mirror. Whatever way works for you, do it. You may never be your own best friend, but knowing yourself can help you in ways you never imagined.

In other news...

I got my bangs cut today. I can see again! I'm getting the rest of my hair chopped in about a week and a half. I'm excited! OH! and we're finally celebrating my birthday at a comedy playhouse tomorrow! I still can't believe how old I am... I kind of feel like a giant failure. I'm thirty years old, I live with my parents who pay all my bills because I have no job, I'm working my butt off in school but seem to be failing anyway, and I'm still overweight. I eat like nothing, I'm fairly active, and I can't lose this infernal weight! Any tips would be appreciated.

I'll stop there... Self-deprecating comments aren't going to help me out of this depression.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Shadow In The Wind

I am no one.

I often get annoyed when I post something on Facebook that goes ignored because, well, I took the time to share something with my friends and they don't even acknowledge it. Like my posts. I've got friends who say they read every post, yet never bother to hit that "like" button. I beg you, let me know you've read this and every other post. I need that validation and confirmation that I'm not doing this alone. I can't handle thinking that I'm all alone.

I can get twenty random strangers to like my pictures on Instagram, but the same picture gets maybe five (if I'm lucky) likes by my one-hundred and forty-two friends on Facebook. Things like this make me feel unimportant, unwanted, and like I have no place in this world. Tonight, I'm feeling very suicidal because I specifically tagged someone in one of my posts and she didn't even acknowledge it. Thanks, Amy. I know I'm not your favourite person in the world, but please, at least have the dignity to tell me you don't want to be friends instead of just ignoring me.

Right now, I'm hiding in my room, muffling my sobs with my pillow and wanting more than anything to simply disappear. This girl who ignored me today had a brother commit suicide, so she of all people should understand the way I'm feeling, but she doesn't seem to care. We used to be good friends- sorority sisters, even! It seems like when my friends get married, I'm no longer needed or wanted around. I try to keep in contact with so many of them, but it's always a one-sided relationship. I text, invite them to do things, and give them gifts, but I never get any of these in return.

My problem is that I'm too good a friend. I'm the loyal one who will be there for you no matter what, but I get treated like the bloody doormat. I care about others far more than I care about myself and nobody seems to care. I just feel like so few people care about me that it wouldn't matter if I disappeared. I've thought it over a hundred times, but there would be a maximum of twenty people at my funeral because I simply don't matter that much to anyone.

Who knows... maybe tonight is the night.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Midterms, Keychains, and Thanks

It's over!

So I had to do my midterm presentation today. I was supposed to do it last week, but things happen and I did it today. Thankfully, this teacher understands social phobia and let me do it with just him in his office. Now I just have to hope that I got a good grade on it. I'm not really an eloquent person unless I have time to type it out. Side note: my backspace button gets quite a workout whenever I write. But... I did my best and I think my teacher knows that.

Even though I did it with just my teacher, my anxiety spiked. My heart was pounding and my palms got all sweaty. Funny thing about that: I take Xanax every day before I leave the house. I guess I need a higher dose now. Oh well.

Bad segue in 3... 2... 1...

My mom took today off work to hang out with my aunt. I get home and they're both in the front room, talking. My aunt says, "Guess what I brought you." You want to know what she brought me? Two keychains! One from The Netherlands and one from Switzerland! Not sure if I've ever mentioned this before, but I collect keychains from places I go and love, love, LOVE when people send me one from where they are or have been. I've got them from every state I've been in, as well as places my friends and family have been. If y'all ever feel like sending me one, I wouldn't complain... haha!

Bad segue number two...

I want to thank every single one of you for cracking two major milestones for me. First off, this blog hit one hundred thousand all-time views last month! And secondly, you blew up my month record. My last record was seventeen thousand. In October, y'all got me to thirty-six thousand!!! I know I'm obnoxious with all my retweets, but I guess there's just that many people who are looking for what I have to say.

Monday, October 24, 2016

I'm Cranky

Blah.

I don't know what it is lately, but every time the weather changes, my moods go all wonky. Today is dark. It's cloudy and raining on and off. I most definitely didn't want to come to school today, but I sucked it up, got ready, and now I'm here. I've got some down time between classes so I can share with my lovelies all my drama.

Something I failed to mention last post was that, since I've been taking the steroid, which is a downer, I've been taking a little extra boost of Prozac. It's been helping quite a bit, which is weird for me. Prozac hasn't done anything for me in the past, but maybe it's bouncing off my other antidepressant and actually doing something. Today, however, it's like it's not even there. I'm tired and cranky. It's a very good thing that the class loud-mouth wasn't there today, because I don't think I could have kept my mouth shut. As it was, I was arguing one key point of my religion that I don't exactly agree with. I'm sure I came off like a bad member of my church, but honestly, at this point, I frankly don't care. I follow it because I have to, not because I believe in it.

Anyhow... As you can tell, I'm not exactly in the mood to be talking to people at the moment. Typing is my way of getting it out without screaming. It's cathartic, to say the least. I've decided that, even though y'all have gotten me to record numbers this month (over 26,000 so far!), this blog is for me. Since starting this blog, I've come to understand myself in ways that I never had before. I understand why I do the things I do, and I have much better control over my illness. I'd seriously recommend blogging to all you writers out there. It helps. I promise.

Welp... one more class and then I get to go home. I'm going to take a nap induced purely by Nyquil because, yes, I'm still sick. Twelve days and counting. After that, I've got a test to do online. I'm actually pretty confident on this one because in class today, my teacher gave us all the answers. Woot! But then I've got to study for another written test in class on Wednesday. Not excited.

I should stop now because this has nothing to do with mental health anymore...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Manic Rise, Depressive Cries

"Bipolar"

Have I ever mentioned exactly how much I hate that word? That label? It's not natural, and it's sure not descriptive. Well, it is... when the weather changes or if you change your mind. Someone deemed this "politically correct" and suddenly it's not as scary or something? Do you know what the disorder used to be called? "Manic-Depressive." Now, I don't know about you, but I have exactly zero tolerance for political correctness. In fact, I make fun of those who insist on using politically correct terms in common language. So from now on, I have Manic-Depressive Disorder.

Sure it's not as neat and tidy, but exactly what part if the illness is? Best part: It can't be used as a verb by uneducated and just plain ignorant butt holes. "You changed your mind? You're bipolar." Not going to happen with Manic-Depressive. Sure, if mom or dad is angry one minute and happy the next, the ignorant butt holes of the world will still use it, but at least it's a known disorder instead of a legitimate word to describe the weather, the world, or a magnet.

I seriously wish I'd named this blog "Manic Rise, Depressive Cries." But alas, I'm stuck with it the way it is.

Bad segue in 3... 2... 1...

On a different note, I'm still sick. I've been on the steroid for six days now (I think), and the worst it's done has made me depressed. I'm not biting at every little annoyance like I thought I would. Though the loudmouth in class got me to say "shut up" at least fifteen times.

Last night was the absolute worst. I was both physically and emotionally drained. I couldn't see even a flicker of light at the end of this tunnel, but today is much better. Why? Because I took my new best friend, Mr. Decongestant. Remember kids, steroids are downers, and decongestants are uppers. Taken together, you'll be pretty even. Unless I'm just weird and super sensitive to medications...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Being Sick

Well this is fun...

I've been sick for six days now. I thought it was just an allergy attack, but apparently it's a virus. Yay... Best part: it got to my asthma and now I'm coughing up a lung. It started with two days of sore throat, two days of my sinuses congested, then moved on to hacking up a lung every time I coughed.

Since I thought it was just allergies, I took decongestants to keep it from going into a sinus infection. A lot of decongestants. And for those who may not know (like me...), decongestants are very powerful uppers. I was sky high! My heart rate was between 95-100, and I couldn't sleep because I was so manic.

When I finally broke down and saw the doctor, he put me on prednisone. That's a steroid. Do you know what steroids do to normal people? It makes them moody. Can you imagine what it's going to do to me?! I have school! I can't be flying off the handle at every little annoyance! I took my first dose last night, so I guess I'll just wait and see how it affects me.

Before I knew it was a virus, I was around a lot of people. I saw two friends and went to the opera. Yes, the opera. Carmen. It was really good! So now I'm just waiting to see if either of those friends get sick and I pray they don't! I'm not entirely sure exactly how contagious I was with just the sore throat... But the people at the opera were much worse off with me coughing all through the thing.

Prayers and good vibes always welcome! Here's to a quick recovery.

Friday, October 14, 2016

I Failed

Math. Enough said...

So I'm pretty sure I royally failed my math test this week. I couldn't even finish some of the problems because I simply didn't know what I was doing. Best part: I had my notes sitting right next to me. I had gone over the review with a friend of mine who is basically a math teacher the night before and I still had exactly zero ideas of how to do it.

I almost started to cry in class because I was so frustrated. I finished pretty quickly since I couldn't do some of the problems, so I had an entire hour before my next class. That hour was quite possibly the longest hour in history. My failure was on my mind and I was slipping into a deep depression. Paying attention in my next class was just not an option. All I could think about was my epic failure.

Back story: When I was in fourth grade, there were three levels of math class. I was in the highest. I aced both my homework and tests. I missed one problem on one assignment and my crap-tastic teacher dropped me to the lowest class. Not the middle... the  lowest.

This was obviously a huge blow to me and I learned a lesson that day that has stuck with me. I learnt that, if I miss one problem, I have failed. I also learnt that doing homework got me nowhere. After that, I quit doing my work, and in high school, I stopped going to class. I mean, why should I? I was just going to fail anyhow, right?

The actions of this one teacher screwed me up for life. I obviously didn't graduate high school on time, and now I get such an anxiety attack when I have to do math that I hardly understand it. I'm beyond tempted to find her and tell her exactly what she did to me. I hated that teacher anyways, so it would feel good.

Anyhow, I've got an absolutely phenomenal teacher now. He takes extra time if someone doesn't understand something, he's offered to help me one-on-one if I need it, and he's freaking adorable! He's the perfect grandpa.

Here's hoping I pass this class...

Monday, October 10, 2016

Compromise

I can do this.

So I'm ridiculously early for class today. We're talking forty-five minutes. I walk into my classroom and my teacher is sitting at his desk. He asks how I'm doing and all the other niceties, then came the ever dreaded presentation...

I was terrified of what he'd say, so I braced myself, but what he said was actually doable. He said that I could just be up front doing the slides, but to make up for me not talking, I'm to write a one to two page summary of what our presentation was about. That, I can do. I mean, come on. I'm a writer. It's what I do.

So here I am, talking to you lovelies in an empty classroom. I've got math homework that I need to do, but I have exactly zero idea how to do it. Fractions are not my friend. Especially when I'm trying to find x. If anyone is fabulous with algebra and has Skype, I'd love to connect. I feel like I can't keep bugging my friends who have been helping me all semester.

Bad segue in 3... 2... 1...

I've been looking at apartments near my parent's home for when I finally get disability, and I think I've found the perfect place. It won't take up all my income and it's a really nice apartment! I don't want to move too far from my family because I still need that support system, but I mean, come on... I'm almost thirty years old. It's time to move out of my childhood bedroom.

I've always been ridiculously independent. When I was super tiny, my mom tells me this story of when we were hiking. I fell and my mom asked if I wanted her to carry me. My response? "No! My do it!" So to be at this age and still relying on my parents for everything is not cool in my book. It's not fair to them, either. I'm just hoping disability comes through quickly. I've been waiting for over a year already.



Monday, October 3, 2016

I Feel Like Crap

Alrighty then...

So I had a dream last night that there were people staying in my house in some sort of emergency situation. One of these people was Brooke. I tried to punch, kick, grab, and claw her, but nothing I did would hurt her. I woke up feeling completely lost and defeated.

Bad segue in 3... 2... 1...

Weather sucks. Last night, after it got dark (which also bugs me), it decided to rain. When the barometric pressure drops like that, my depression spirals and it reacts in my body. It's like a total body ache that pain meds won't fix. Crying ensued, and I was up late.

We've all heard of Season Affective Disorder (SAD). I know I suffer from it as the short days and long nights make me depressed. So we can add that to my diagnoses.

I left school early today, halfway through my math class simply because I am so depressed that I can't pay attention. I have exactly zero idea what we were even doing in class. In business class, my team had to read a section and report on it. I read parts and listened to my teammates read parts, but don't ask me what we read because I simply could not pay attention.

OH! I saw my med manager last week and she added yet another diagnosis... Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Basically, in most women with the disorder, their PMS gets bad and makes them depressed. I, however, don't always get depressed. I've been manic and mixed, as well. When my med manager heard this, she was at a loss. She threatened to write a paper about me since every journal ever written about PDD has mentioned only depression. She gave me a small upper for when I get depressed, and a small downer for when I get manic. She had no idea what to do for the mixed.

Anyway, I should probably get to my homework. I suppose that's the bonus for everything being online. I can get my homework even when I'm not in class.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Diagnosed

So I found out that my teacher read my blog... Awkward...

The result of him reading my blog was different than I would have imagined though. He wasn't upset or offended at the post about him, he was concerned about me because of my post telling y'all how alone I felt.

Bad segue in 3... 2... 1...


I've been pretty open about my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder lately and it's been quite a relief. I mean, yes, there are those who still get all freaked out, but there are also those who understand best they can and are interested in what I have to say. But no matter their reaction, it's a load off my chest and I feel like I can really be open. I mean, I'm not going around just telling people, but when they find out about my blog, they'll ask and I'll answer.

This has sparked a fire in me to be more attentive to my other diagnoses as well. I'm not sure if I've ever told you lovelies about every one of them, but here they are:
  1. Bipolar Disorder 1 with rapid cycling
  2. Social Phobia
  3. Generalised Panic Disorder
  4. PTSD
I used to have social anxiety on the list, but that was taken away once the finalised social phobia thing came around.

Anyhow, the more open I am about it, the less ashamed I am by it. I'd encourage everyone to be a little more open with it. We can't end stigmas until people see the real faces of mental illness.  

Monday, September 26, 2016

I'm In Math Class

I should probably  be paying attention to class...

I'm sitting here at school and I just had the inkling to write a post. Basically I wanted to thank everyone who stood up and told me that my blog affects them. I've got friends who aren't even affected by mental illness who read every post. They never "like" it or anything, but they've told me that they like reading my posts.

I even had one stranger on Twitter tell me that my blog is important.

I guess I just feel like nobody really cares because I don't get comments. It's hard, you know, to put your heart and soul into something and get little to no feedback. I guess I'm going to just have to accept that some people are too afraid to comment or simply have nothing to say. Yes, it annoys me that other blogs get hundreds of comments and mine has less than fifty on all my posts combined, but I'll just have to deal with my lovelies who read silently.

Well, not "deal" with you lovelies. I appreciate every single view. Lately I've been getting nearly a thousand views per day. Y'all are going to crack fourteen thousand this month. That's a new record.

I know I say this a lot, but thank you. I would have quit years ago if it weren't for you.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Unaccommodating

How bout no?

So I had my therapist write a letter listing reasonable accommodations at school. It basically says that I'm not to do oral presentations. I can either do a different assignment or do an oral presentation one-on-one with the professor. Reasonable, right? Not according to one of my professors.

I handed him the sheet from the disability coordinators stating these accommodations and he said, and I quote, "you'll be fine." Excuse me?! Do you know me? Do you know what anxiety is? Do you know anything

After class, I went straight back to the disability coordinators and told them that this teacher wasn't going to accommodate me. They were less than pleased. They said they'd talk to the professor and remind him that he legally has to accommodate me.

I instantly lost all respect for this man the second he told me I'd be fine. If there's one thing you don't do, it's tell someone with a mental illness that they'll be fine. Do not assume what you do not understand.

As a person with a disability, I am protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and I have the right to accommodations at school and work which allow me to succeed. If this professor refuses to accommodate me, he's breaking a law. 

Know your rights in your country. It'll take you far.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Going, going...

This is likely my last post. I get very little feedback and it seems like nobody cares anyhow. Nobody ever shares on Facebook, rare are the retweets, and even more rare are comments. 

My goal when I started this was to both educate people on the realities of Bipolar Disorder, and possibly help people feel not so alone. It seems I have failed in at least one of these things.

I'm a simple girl. I don't require loads of attention. Once in a while, though, it would be nice to be appreciated. I made a group on Facebook where people could come ask for advice, tell stories, and ask questions. Ninety-nine percent of what is posted there is me.

I guess I was hoping to connect with people through my blog, but all I've achieved is gaining real knowledge that I am, in fact, alone.

I'm alone in my good times, alone in my bad times, and alone in my illness.

If I have affected you at all through my words,  I beg you, stand up and say something. Make me believe I'm worth something.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Wowza!

I have no words!

You lovelies have completely blown me away! I used to get up to three thousand views each month, but the last few months, that number exploded! Y'all got me up to eleven thousand in July and at least eight thousand since!

We're almost to sixty thousand all-time views! I seriously can't thank you enough!

Thank you for all the shares and recommendations! Thank you for continuing to read! This whole thing would have ended a long time ago without you!

Thank you!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

First Day

Told ya.

School started yesterday. So that's a thing now. From finding a parking spot to the end of my third and final class, I was overwhelmed. Stress isn't good on anyone, but add mental illness to the mix and you're bound for a bad day.

I found out that even though I go to the school instead of online classes, everything is still done online. All my homework, instructions, everything. I'm a techno idiot. I know how to check my email, Facebook, and blog. Other than that, you can forget it.

I dropped faster than a falling star when I got home and I'm sure I was less than pleasant to be around. I was depressed, I was tired, and I didn't want to talk much. I got online to try to figure out the stupid system I have to use for homework and just about threw my computer at a wall. Then I met up with my Thursday evening friend (it was Wednesday, I know. Deal.) but we cut it short since I could hardly keep my eyes open.

When I got home, I took my meds and went straight to bed. Ok, not straight away. I talked to my mom a bit about how stressful the day had been, then I went straight to bed. It was a quarter to nine and I didn't wake up until twelve hours later.

All I can say is that this better not be an every school day thing. I'm not particularly looking forward to tomorrow,  but I'll go anyway. "Give it the good college try" as they say. Prayers and good vibes are always welcome.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Nightly Battle

"To sleep, perchance to dream."

I've been having ridiculously vivid dreams lately and none of them have been good. I'll have screaming matches with someone or I see people dying in horrific ways. Either way, I wake up convinced that these things have happened. To give you an example of just how vivid these things are, I actually sat up in my sleep the other night.

I know vivid dreams come with the Bipolar territory, but this is just insane! Every. Freaking. Night! I'll wake up crying, hyperventilating, or incredibly angry, and you can forget about feeling rested. It's tiring to argue with someone when you're awake so just imagine doing it all night, every night. I'm about ready to give up on my downers and let myself get manic. At least then I'd be awake!

I honestly don't know what to do. I'm completely knackered, but I'm afraid to go to sleep.

I'm sure I haven't been the most pleasant person lately. I mean, who is when they're super tired? And I start school in the morning, so that's going to add to my stress levels and make me even more tired! How am I supposed to concentrate (I just spelled that wrong 3 times...) on what the professor is saying when I can hardly keep my eyes open? Worst part: I can't get caffeine on campus! Friggin Nazis!

Oh! I should tell you about a few nights ago...

I was lying in my bed, trying to get to sleep, when my head starts to spin. Not uncommon for me, but it kept going. It kept getting faster and faster, and with each spin came a horrifically loud noise that only I could hear. It sounded like a bullet bike driving right through my head. it only stopped when my brain wondered off into yet another bad dream (I don't want to call it a nightmare because they're not necessarily frightening). With the sound that came, it's needless to say I woke up with a headache.

I don't know exactly what causes these dreams, but I wish they'd return to Hell where they belong.

Quick note: I stopped doing songs because A~ I usually blog on my phone now, and B~ because nobody ever really said anything about them. If y'all want them back, just let me know.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Going Nowhere Fast

Stop and go, stop and go.

Have you ever been stuck on the freeway in rush hour traffic when you're slowed even more by construction or a wreck? Annoying, isn't it? You stop and go and get up to maybe ten miles per hour. Then there are the times where you really get going and you think it may be over, so you get your hopes up just to have them smashed when you see brake lights in front of you.

This is me right now. I'm still mixed, but there are tiny rays of normalcy that pop in every now and then. I felt good for ten whole minutes today, so I got my hopes up. Down they crashed as I started to feel every emotion known to man swimming through my head once more. 

It's draining. Wanting to cry, laugh, scream, and party all at the same time drains me both emotionally and physically. I'm tired. This is one fight that just may get the better of me if it doesn't end soon. 

I start school next Wednesday, and I'm scared that this episode won't be over before then. Worst part is that I have no idea what to do for it. My meds are stable now and I've been dorking out with Harry Potter movie marathons, but I just don't feel any better. 

If you pray or drink, make it for a better tomorrow.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Drive Me Mad

I drove six hundred miles in two days.

I went to visit my friend in St. George who I haven't seen in about four years. I was super excited so I, naturally, didn't sleep. Then, all the excitement of actually seeing her and being able to talk to her made me not sleep the next night.

Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but not sleeping like that means a spiral up for me. This wouldn't have been so bad, but it didn't go all the way up. I stopped at half way between and now I'm in a mixed episode.

But alas, this is no ordinary mixed ep. This, friends, is the worst one I've ever had. It's like my entire body is revolting against me. I feel it all down my arms and legs, in my oversized stomach, and even in my face. I'm antsy. I can't stop moving even though all I'd like to do is sit down and cry. Well... Cry and laugh at the same time. 

Anyhow, his lovely feeling made it so I had to come home to see my med manager. Imagine, if you will, driving three hundred miles while you're dealing with high energy and watering eyes that you couldn't focus even if they weren't tear-filled.

I feel really badly about leaving my friend after less than twenty-four hours, but I had no choice. This is nothing like anything I've ever dealt with and only my med manager can help. Well… I hope she can help. But for now, Harry Potter.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Public Thanks

I feel like I'm accepting an award with this speech.

I'd like to take a minute and publicly thank all my friends who, at one point or another, stood up to that foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach, Brooke.

In elementary school, I had my little band of friends, and I specifically remember  the time that Kierstin gave Brooke a piece of her mind. It was glorious. I don't remember exactly what she said, but the cockroach backed down pretty quick.

In my first year of junior high, I had a class with the cockroach and two of her newfound followers. They were on my case as usual, when a voice behind me says, "Grow up!" I didn't know her name, nor her mine, but Berkeley would grow to be one of my best and longest friends.

In my second year of junior high, I moved schools to get away from this thing, but alas, it followed me there in the second semester. One time, she had me cornered up against some lockers and was really laying in to me. Then, like the bright light in the darkest night, Michelle comes to my rescue. She even noted how the countenance of the cockroach differed between talking to me and talking to others. 

I know there have been others, but this would be the world's longest post. You know who you are and know that I've never forgotten what you've done for me. 

Thank you all.

Coping

I've got mad skills.

I've been overly stressed with work and my upcoming adventures going back to school, and I've been trying to cope with all of it in a nondestructive way. I'm not much of an eater, so snacking was out. I do exercise most mornings, but it's pretty low key. So I sat back and less than proactively searched for a coping mechanism. 

When I realised that the series of movies I was watching helped curb my stress and anxiety, I couldn't help but giggle. I mean, come on! Who in their right mind thinks, "I'm stressed and anxious. I'm going to make it better by watching Harry Potter." Harry. Freaking. Potter. It's dark, intense, and would, in any normal circumstance, be the cause of some anxiety. 

Don't ask me why it helps because I'm still puzzled myself, but it does. I resigned myself to this fact and embraced the Harry Potter culture. I got on to pottermore.com and got sorted. I'm in Slytherin. I got a Slytherin hoodie and keychain and I'm just waiting to get my scarf and hat. Nerd alert! 

Basically, my point is that you may have an unconventional coping mechanism that doesn't fit with anything your therapist suggests. Although it's always best to listen to your therapist and try things they suggest. I got a worry stone out of my previous one and I use it constantly!

Even just wearing my Slytherin hoodie keeps me calm. Fall is going to be great this year!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bed Time

As I lay me down to sleep…

We've all seen the memes that point out that our brains go into hyperdrive as soon as we go to bed, right? We all know this to be true, and tonight is no exception for me. I've got so many things running through my head right now and I'm supposed to get up early to go hiking with my dad in the morning. 

So what's keeping me up? My nasty aunt, for one. I mean, this woman is bossy,  cranky, and the most ignorant person you'll ever meet. She's one of those "mental illnesses aren't real. They're just in your head" kind of people. I know hatred is a waste of energy, but I straight up loathe this woman. I always have. I had to see her this week, so that's why she's on my mind.

Then, my sister posted this meme about watching the backs of people who have yours, and that we all need to remember this. I was less than kind when I commented that maybe she could remember that next time I call her. She never answers my calls. Never. She rarely answers my texts. She is, however, glued to her phone when her little friends are having issues. Apparently my issues don't matter.

Add those annoyances to the already stressful week I've had and you get a late night blog post. I had to take a math and English placement test for school, which was less than fun. Passed English with flying colours. Math, not so much. Work started back up yesterday. Family party Tuesday. We're Dutch. We're loud. Stressful week.

Here's hoping the hike will release some of this stress.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Utah

And this, ladies and gents, is why I don't participate in church activities.

Utah Mormons are the absolute worst sort of people. They're judgemental, they have a "holier than thou" attitude, and if you don't fit into one of their little cliques, you're out on your butt. Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

In our church, we have activities every Monday evening. I never go to these because I know exactly how it'll turn out. I'll wind up talking to someone for a whole two minutes before someone shinier than I am comes along and takes that person's attention. I got weaselled into going last night and guess what happened. Yup. Two whole minutes then poof! I no longer exist. I don't have any friends in the church and I fit in to exactly zero cliques. I'm never more suicidal than when I'm at church or church functions.

I hate Utah, I loathe Utah Mormons, and I understand why so many people leave the church. 

I had the opportunity to visit a church in San Diego a few years back with some friends and the differences were astounding! They said "hello" to us, invited us in, and even talked to us!

Now, I'm not saying this is all Utah Mormons. Just 99.9% of them. I've got one person in my church who will talk to me, but she's obligated to be more social, so she can't always be with me.


Short post, but everything else I could say would just be reiterating what I've just said, so...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Acceptance

"You can't say things like that." "Stop doing that." "You're destructive."

You name it, I've heard it. All my life people have made it very clear that who I am is not okay. The best part? I agree with them almost every time they call me something. It's a poorly crafted defence mechanism. Makes it so they don't see how badly it hurt.

From arguments on Facebook to sideways looks out in public, my friends make it clear that I'm not "how I should be." Now, I do have a couple friends who accept every part of me, but they don't live in state.

I've always been very accepting of others and never judged behaviour that the rest of the world would find abnormal, so I simply can't understand why I'm judged for being me. I try to conform, but my mouth always lands me in trouble. Half the time I don't know what's coming out until I've said it. It's not my fault. My brain simply works differently than other's. Sometimes I could swear I'm on the Autism spectrum.

I don't take criticism well. I never have. I blame Brioke and her band if bi----s. Well, and my sister. All these people do is criticise me and attack me as a person. I've never been okay enough for them and I've come to accept that my sister will never accept me. I just wish my friends and family, of all people, would accept me as a whole like I accept them.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Anxious Mind

Right...

Ever feel like everyone else does pretty much everything better than you? Like your best doesn't come close to other people's even half-try? That's where I'm at right now.

I went to church yesterday even though I didn't want to because someone was expecting me to be there. I wasn't planning on going because I hadn't been feeing well all morning, but I got dressed and headed out. From the second I closed my back door, I started having a bit of a panic attack. I thought this would go away when I got there and got settled, but it was just the opposite. My heart kept pounding, my palms were all sweaty, and I couldn't catch my breath. I wound up staying a grand total of thirty minutes. 

There's a point to that story. I'll get to that now... 

I look at other people and see them doing better at life. They get up, shower, get dressed, and do whatever they do. I, on the other hand, would rather cower in my bed all day than face even one person. My Bipolar symptoms have been significantly reduced due to my meds and therapy working together. My anxiety, however, has been on the rise. 

In my church, we do activities every Monday evening. This week is games. I hate playing games because I never know what I'm doing and I don't want to make an idiot of myself. Just the thought of going to this thing has me in a panic. 

I don't know why my anxiety has decided to cripple me as of late, but I sincerely wish it would die. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Scholastic Endeavors

The feels!

I'm twenty-nine years old and I finally feel like my life is beginning. Last week when I saw my therapist, she suggested I go to school for social media marketing since I've built up my blog and done so much on my own. Problem: there's only one school with an associate's degree in social media marketing and that school happens to be a strict LDS (Mormon) school. I have to live a certain way and get endorsements from two of my church leaders. OK, so maybe not so much a problem as it sounds, but I'm getting increasingly more nervous that I'm not going to be getting the endorsement I need from one of them. Why? I made the mistake of being honest and telling him that I currently drink coffee. Yeah, I'm a genius.

Side note: For those who may not know, the LDS people aren't really supposed to drink coffee. What can I say? I'm a rebel.

Anyway, I'm both excited and incredibly nervous about starting school again for several reasons.
  1. I'm almost thirty years old and everyone in my classes will be eighteen.
  2. I've never been good at school. I never had good study habits and most of my homework never got done.
  3. The classes at this school are super small (or so I've heard) and that means I'll be noticed and called on to answer things. Can you say "panic attack"?
  4. I'm excited because maybe, just maybe, I can finish something for once in my life.
My parents never got to see either of their children graduate high school, so I'm hoping that I can get through this so they can see me walk at graduation. They deserve it.

I need all your prayers/good vibes/whatever that I get this endorsement and then get accepted to the school. Thanks in advance! I guess y'all are psychic and read this before it posted because I just got the call that I got the endorsement!!!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Mood Swings Suck

Seriously?!

Dear mood swings,
You are unwelcome and incredibly ill-timed. Here I am having a grand old time with friends, and you have to come in and mess everything up. One tiny trigger and boom! Depression's basement.

I've been feeling good lately and you had to come in an ruin it. Why can you never mind your own freaking business?! 

In closing, mood swings, we need to break up. I'm over you and have moved on. I'm in love with stability so lose my number. We're over.


Seriously! I'd been fine for weeks, then out of nowhere I get manic. Minor, but still noticeable. Then a couple days later, I'm having coffee with two of my good friends and I dive right down to Hell's pit. I'm sure they noticed. I hate this! I'm on meds for a reason. They're supposed to keep me from these infernal swings.

I'm seriously about ready to cry I'm so frustrated. I've been enjoying my little piece of normal and it's been ripped away from me in the most obnoxious way known to man. No warning, no hints that these were coming. Just hit me like a bus.

I've always been rapid cycling. I can change moods three to five times each day when I'm not on meds, but the annoying this is that I am on meds now. I'm beyond tired of this up-down-up-down nonsense.

I just figured out why this is happening... I feel like a friggin genius.

Ladies, does this happen to you or am I just blessed? I'd like to know if any of you lovelies get this way. I've always known that my mood swings were drastic. That's why it's been such a hard road finding the right meds. Ladies, do your meds prevent PMS mood swings or do you feel like I do?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fear Not

I'm in shock.

Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of meeting my new bishop (leader of our congregation) and for the third time in my life I was floored. This was the third person in the history of me who hasn't physically backed off when I brought up the dreaded "B word." Yes folks, I said I have Bipolar Disorder and he just sat there... smiling! Not that creepy "sucks to be you" kind of thing, but smiling out of genuine interest in me and my struggles.

The other two people to do this were a lady in the congregation and a friend of mine who's mother also suffers. It's nice to have these encounters because it means that the stigmas are falling. Slowly but surely we are breaking the molds that society has placed on us. 

We all know how it is with stigmatisers- they're the ones telling us it's all in our heads, asking if we're going to shoot up the place, and telling us to just get over it- but there are those kind souls who aren't afflicted who sympathise. The real golden ticket is the one who doesn't jump back at the drop of something besides depression. I've found three.

There are millions of things I wish people understood about mental illness in general, but a few things I wish they knew about Bipolar Disorder are:
  • It's not our fault we have it
  • Most of us aren't violent
  • We struggle more internally than you'll ever see
  • Medications help, but they're not miracle workers
  • All we need is a little patience and compassion
  • We have exactly zero control over our moods
  • Rapid Cycling is exactly what it sounds like
  • You don't need to be afraid
I've learned that there really are people out there who understand this last concept. I just wish there were more. Until there are, I'll cherish these three encounters with all my heart.

To those who sympathise, empathise, and try to understand us... Thank You!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ennui

So very bored...

So I have absolutely nothing to do. I'm looking for work, but with my limited schedule, it's extremely difficult. Even volunteering takes more than two 4-hour shifts per week, typically. Plus there aren't very many appealing volunteer opportunities in my area.

Now on to my point: I'm stagnating. I'm not doing anything productive or of consequence. I drag myself out of bed around ten o'clock, I exercise at night and sometimes during the day, I watch Netflix, and I go to bed. Most days I don't even bother to shower. Today I had to because I actually got to get out of the house for a doctor appointment. After that, I went to the library to pick up some holds (Falling In Reverse. Great band.).

My poor Fitbit doesn't get above three thousand steps each day. I got the thing to motivate me to move more, but when I'm stuck in the house, it's hard to get any movement. I won't even talk about my rapidly diminishing attention span...

All this nothing is affecting me psychologically. I'm getting depressed again. I'm on a magical mix of medications that has stopped my extreme mood swings and has kept me out of my normal cycle, but this whole "nothing to do" thing is really wearing on me.

Thursdays are kind of my own personal hell, though. I have been going to a DBT group headed up by my lovely therapist. It's loud. I don't do well with loud. Not just that... I'm not the one to burden others with my issues (hey... you read this of your own free will...). In like, I'm not the one to have others lay their issues on me. Yeah, I'll be there for a friend, but these people aren't my friends. They're strangers who happen to be at the same place at the same time (sorry if y'all are reading this).

Thursday night, however, is friend night. I get together for coffee with a good friend every Thursday night. Well, evening, but you get my point. It's nice to get out of the house and talk.

Basically, my life is empty (except for Thursday evening) and I can't deal with it this way much longer.



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wellbeing

Y'all got me to over 30,000 views today!

So, I worked out some of my religious issues with my friend in Preston, England and managed to get myself to church last Sunday. Let's just say it didn't go well. I could give you my rant about Utahans, but what good would that do either of us? All I'll say is that not one single person talked to me or even acknowledged my existence. Even when three people bumped into me, I was invisible.

Needless to say, I'm not itching to go back. But I made a vow to myself to give church three good tries, so I'll try two more times, and if those bomb, I'm going the way of my friend in Texas. He never felt at home in a church, so he says his relationship with God is an internal one. Personal rather than going to church. Not going to church doesn't mean you don't have faith. Some belief systems have no organized churches. Doesn't mean there's no faith.

I've said before how faith in whatever you choose is crucial to your mental wellbeing. I choose Christianity. I frankly don't care if you worship the fly that landed on your food... just have faith in something. Practice your faith daily. Make it the most important part of your day. Make it enjoyable. I personally find solace in prayer and scripture study. It makes me feel like I'm not being judged for just a few minutes a day. Whatever you believe, act on it. Faith isn't stationary.

(I'll try to make this segue work, but no promises...)

Another thing that is crucial to your mental wellbeing is your physical wellbeing. I learned that Alcoholics Anonymous has the anagram HALT. It stands for four things you should never let yourself get too much of-- Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.
  • Food is big when it comes to controlling your moods. We've all heard of getting hangry. It's not good. Lower glucose foods can help even out moods. A good way of thinking about it is "What can a diabetic eat?" 
  • Try to control your anger. Don't indulge it because acting on anger only increases the emotion.
  • Always have a way to contact a friend. Even texting can help.
  • Sleep when you're tired. Naps aren't just for kids.
I've been exercising lately, too, and it's done wonders for my mood! I've got more energy, my depression is way down, and my bum leg is getting stronger! I may even be able to dance again eventually!

Now that you've been reading for three and a half hours... my point is take care of you. Spiritually and physically. You'll feel much better.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Jobs and dates and meds, oh my!

Ok then...

So I just got fired from a job I hadn't even really started yet. I was still training. Why? Because my therapist doesn't want me working more than two 4-hour shifts a week and the minimum to work at this place is two 8-hour shifts a week. I was told that I would be OK working those two short shifts, but the assistant manager had other ideas. 

I'm not bitter or anything. I get it. You're trying to run a business and if my availability doesn't fit your needs... I'm just upset because now who's going to hire me at that little time per week?

Needless to say I didn't have the best day. Today is turning out much better! I exercised for 40 straight minutes and made brownies. I'd call that productive! 

I've been exercising for four days now and I'm feeling pretty good! Well, exercise plus the right mix of meds. I saw my med manager today and was finally able to truthfully tell her we'd found the magic mix! Usually she makes me come back once a month, but this time I get to go back in two months! Things are finally looking up! I was even able to go on a date last night!

Bad segue in 3… 2… 1…

I should mention that my blog turned two years old a couple of days ago. There's no way I would have kept going without you lovely readers. You are the ones who keep me going. My most sincerest thanks go out to each and every one of you! I've had the pleasure of seeing visitors from countries all over the world. I seriously never would have thought that anyone would be interested in what I write, let alone all over the world!

Just, thank you!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Shh... Listen

Naturally.

So my parents have callings in their church and they talk about it all. the. time. When we sit down to dinner? They're talking about it. Trying to watch a movie? Something will pop into their heads and we have to pause the movie to talk about their callings. My favourite is when they sit there and repeat the exact same conversation they'd just had not one hour ago. 

I pointed this out to them tonight. They don't believe me. 

I get it. It's a part of their lives. I'll tell you this much, if I talked about my mental illnesses that much, they'd get real tired of it, real quick. And why shouldn't I? It's not just part of my life, it's part of me!

Best part is when either one of them starts repeating the same thing for the fourth or fifth time and I say "I know. You already told me." Suddenly I'm the bad guy and they get all huffy.

I don't talk much. Considering that I come from a very talkative family,  that's not terribly normal. But you know what? I've got more to say than people realise. I've just learned to shut up because nobody listens to me.  They're all too busy talking about their work or their callings to listen to the few words I have to say. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How To Deal With Us

Shocker.

I know this is a new concept for some, but when a person you're with suddenly and unexpectedly changes mood, there's a reason. Ask what that reason is. Now, you may get your hand bitten off, but that person will appreciate the sentiment anyway. The person having the moods doesn't mean to hurt you, but their internal pain tends to come out in caustic words or actions. Try not to hold these things against this person. This person wants to be heard but may not have the words he or she needs to explain what's going on in their head or body. Give them time and space to calm down then ask again what the matter is. When this person talks,  no matter how hard it is, LISTEN! Don't give stories about Suzy Smith who felt this way once. Don't interrupt. Don't try to finish this person's sentences when they are having a hard time finding words. Do ask questions. Do offer a shoulder to cry on. Do be sympathetic.

This isn't too hard to grasp, right? We can all tell when our happy friend or family member suddenly gets depressed for seemingly no reason. Is it really that hard to ask what's wrong? 

I know mental illnesses are scary, but I'll tell you one thing... The people living with these illnesses are a whole lot more scared than you are. If you don't deal with any mental illness, you have no idea what it's like fighting your own brain every single day. Give us a break once in a while when we're cranky and ask what's wrong.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Work In Progress

One week...

I've got one week left of work for this school year and I've got mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I'm going to miss some of those little bugs; on the other hand, my stress levels will significantly lower.

I want to work. I really do. I just can't handle it right now. Maybe if I had a two or three day a week job things would be different. Just four hours per day. Something to keep my mind busy, you know? As much as I love being with these kids, it's mind numbing. Sure I've got my music on, but I'm not actually doing anything.

I'm afraid to find something for the summer because I don't exactly have the best track record of actually going  to work, but again, maybe if it were two or three days per week, I could probably do that.

Another problem with finding something else is that, for one, it'll have to be retail. That means dealing with people. The second issue is that, I'm 29 years old. At my age, most people want forty hours a week, so managers automatically schedule that. I want a maximum of twelve hours. Sure, I have the right to tell them I'm mentally ill, but as we've all experienced, that freaks people out and they tend to not want to hire you.

So you see my dilemma...

Anyhow, if you in the Salt Lake Valley know of anything, Please let me know. All others are welcome to give me any advice on getting just a few hours without freaking anyone out.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Help. Please.

I'm my own worst enemy...

I'll be the last one to admit when I need real help. I'll say things like "I'm not feeling too great right now," but what I really mean is "I need more help than I'm getting."

My new therapist put me out nearly three weeks and I'm feeling rather neglected at the moment. See? No real admittance. I'm supposed to see her every week, but for some unknown reason, I was put out way farther.

I've been depressed for about three or four weeks now and I think I'm getting to the point of needing to go inpatient. I hate those places, but I need more care than I'm currently getting at my clinic. So here I am... I'm asking for help. I can't do this on my own anymore.

I'm sitting here crying because I don't want to go in, but I also know that it'll do some good. Ok, I'm crying because I'm in pain, but the dramatic effect was too easy to pass up.

I've got some people I can talk to; friends, twitter contacts, and whatnot. The thing is, talking isn't helping anymore. All day, every day, my thoughts are filled with these horrible images of how I could do it and thoughts of "I just want this to end." The thought of dying has become so natural that it's actually scaring me. My thoughts never scare me.

Winston Churchill suffered with depression and described it as a black dog he kept in the corner. I can't keep mine in the corner because it's all around me. It's like a black cloud swirling around me that I can't get out of and it's making it hard to breathe.

I need help.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Drum Beats

Ow.

For all you ladies (and men who live with us), you know that periods bring with them massive mood swings. It's no different, and actually may be a bit worse, for those with mental illnesses. I don't know about you, but a couple of days before, my mood cycles are every five minutes. Not so this time.

I've been saying how I don't think meds are doing anything for me, but since my med manager added an antidepressant, I'm feeling much better. I'm sitting here right now in agonizing pain, but my moods are steady as the beating drum (yes, that's a Pocahontas reference).

I'm still having severe anxiety problems, especially when it comes to working, but when it comes to the Bipolar, I'm feeling pretty okay! I didn't really notice this until today, but thinking back on my week, things have been pretty steady. I'm still on the depressed side of the scale, but I'm up enough to get myself out of bed, showered, and dressed. Now if I can just get my sorry butt to work every day...

Bad segue in 3... 2... 1...

I met with my therapist Thursday, and she pointed out something that I hadn't really thought about. She said that I've taught my body how to not tolerate happiness. I told her that every time I get truly happy (like hanging out with friends or just a really good day), I crash and go on a self-loathing bit. I put this out on Twitter, and got one response that made sense. He said that "we cling to the pain we know." It's like the pain is my constant companion and I freak out if it's not there. My therapist is going to try to teach me how to be happy without the crash.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Work

Well that explains that...

Whenever I go to my therapist or med manager, I have to fill out a checklist. You know the type: "I feel sad" and you have to mark anywhere between "never" and "always." Believe it or not, your clinic actually keeps track of those. They're not just to annoy you.

Anyhow, my therapist was showing me my track. This clinic's goal is to get the line down, not up. When I first started there, my line was really high. A few months in, it lowered significantly. A few months ago, I spiked back up. Reason? That's when I started working again.

I like my job. I really do. I'm just not convinced I'm in a space to be working at the moment. I'm going to stick it out until the end of the school year, but I'm not going to look for anything more substantial right now. 

My new therapist keeps telling me that she can work with me and get me to a good space. I now leave my delicate psyche in her capable hands.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Pot Of Gold

Here we go again…

As I said a few posts ago, I had to say goodbye to one of only two therapists I've had that have done any good. Well last week I started with a new one.

Most of us know how difficult it is to start with a new therapist. I mean, you've learnt to trust the last one, and now you've gotta tell this new person all the deepest, darkest parts of yourself. It's not exactly easy.

Building a therapy relationship with trust can take months. For me it usually takes about four or five months of consistent, weekly visits to even begin to trust. Longer if the first impression is less than stellar. Thankfully, however, my new therapist seems very confident and helpful. So maybe it'll only take four months! Then again, I haven't had the best of luck with the therapists at this clinic... Keep your fingers crossed for me.

People often ask me how I know if a therapist will work for me. Truth is, I have no words for it. I just know. I've been doing this for long enough that I just know when I've got a good one.

I wrote that while waiting for my appointment. Now that I've had two appointments with her, I can honestly say  that I like her! She's not a talk-therapist, she's an action one. 

Now, I'll be the first one to admit that I'll stay with a therapist just because I don't want any hurt feelings, but I also know that I need one who will work for me.. If you've got a therapist that doesn't work for you, find a new one before they do any real damage. Not to say that they're a bad therapist, just that they're not the right fit for you. In the mean time, if anyone in the Salt Lake valley needs a recommendation, I've found a great one!

May our tomorrows always be better than our todays.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rapid Cycles

Roller coasters are fun, right?

So,  I saw my my med manager last week and she added an antidepressant to my mix. Now, I'm not sure if the meds could already be working or if it's just the end of my normal cycle, but I'm up and down every five minutes. 

I don't know about everyone else, but when I'm coming out of a depression, I cycle ridiculously fast. Not that my cycles are ever particularly long, but this is worse. I've quite literally clocked some of the swings at five minutes each. 

Bad segue in 3... 2... 1...

I'm kind of feeling pressured lately to write these amazing posts that are eye opening and educational. I've had 3 people this week tell me they've been recently diagnosed and are asking for advice. I'm not exactly the great advice giving kind of person. I never have been. So forgive me if my posts suffer for awhile until I get this pressure off me. 

Bad segue in 3... 2... 1...

Does anyone else hate hearing stories of people who function just fine with mental illness, or is that just me? It makes me feel inadequate. Like I should be doing more when I literally can't. It makes me feel bad when I hear that Mr. Smith has Bipolar Disorder but works 60 hours a week at the business he owns and has a wife and  three kids. Especially when my family and friends tell me. Like they're comparing me to these functioning people or telling me I'm not enough. 

Anyway, I'm done for today. Hope everyone is doing great! And if you're not, just remember that there's always sunshine and popsicles after each storm.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Black Sails, White Rabbits Pt. 3

Oops...

So I got on a major reading kick and managed to finish "Black Sails, White Rabbits" in one sitting. I know I said I'd do it in phases, but I just couldn't put it down! There's nothing more captivating that the raw emotion that Kevin puts into this story of his!

If you enjoy reading about struggles overcome put in a humorous way, I highly suggest you read this! Between the Bipolar Disorder and cancer, I honestly have zero idea how this author has kept his spirits up, but he has. In fact, he messages me every day, just to keep my spirits up!

If I had to say my favorite part of this book, it still has to be how he described how fun it is to mess with the orderlies in the psych ward. I laugh every time I think about it!

Thank you, Kevin A. Hall, for giving us this gem! It was truly a pleasure reading through your journey.

You can find "Black Sails, White Rabbits: Cancer Was The Easy Part" on Amazon in paperback and Kindle edition. Again, I highly recommend it!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this song (the chorus anyway) makes me think of you, Kevin! "Hold on for one more day."

"Hold On"~ Wilson Phillips

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekend

Well poop...

This weekend has been horrible. Well... mostly.

On Friday, I had to say goodbye to my therapist as she's graduating and moving up in the world. It's ultra sad since she's one of only two who have actually been good. That night, I had a date (weird, I know). I had a good time, and he said he did as well, but I sent him a text yesterday and haven't heard back. This, of course, sent me into a spiral of "why don't people like me" and "nobody ever gives me a second chance." True though. I'll meet someone, they make their snap judgments, and I don't get a second chance at anything.

Yesterday, on the other hand, was good (well... until the spiral)! One of my best friends is in town and we went to see the new Jungle Book and then had dinner. It was super fun! Side note: If you're on the fence on whether or not to see it, do it. It doesn't disappoint! It was nice to just forget about everything for awhile.

So I guess it was 33% good, 66% bad, and 1% numb. There's always that numb for me. Usually when I'm sleeping... On the bright side, the good time I had qualifies as a whole 33%! That doesn't always happen.

Now to see what today brings. So far, so good...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Raises and Drops

Up, up, and away!

So I got my meds raised again today. My med manager says that after this raise, I'll basically be maxed out on this particular medication. I just don't see that meds help me. I still have drastic ups and downs that are difficult to handle. My depression is back which kept me from work and is going to keep me from seeing a friend tonight. 

When I was at my appointment today, my med manager noticed that I wasn't myself. I noticed the depression coming, I just didn't pay it much attention. 

According to one person I have no choice but to see (not my med manager. She rocks!), I have the power to overcome these debilitating swings with positive thinking. Key word "debilitating." This woman is nice, but she's obviously never been depressed in her life and she's sure shootin' not dealing with Bipolar Disorder! 

Ok, if I can "overcome" my mood swings by pure thought, then a diabetic can manage their glucose levels by just thinking the right number, right? That's not how this works people! You'd think that someone who works at the mental health clinic would grasp this concept.

I'm just tired of trying every drug available and it not doing a single thing. I'm tired of trying, period. I've been doing therapy on and off since I was fourteen. I've been drug jumping for years. Nothing seems to be helping. I'm about ready to simply give up.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I'm British-ish

England is depressed.

I was just thinking about how my moods are like England's weather. It's mostly grey and rainy with a few spots of sunshine. 

Why was I thinking about this? Because I was talking to one of my good friends who said that storms pass then there's sunshine and popsicles. I, of course, had to counter that with more storms come. Poof! England.

Needless to say, I'm not feeling the greatest today. I had an appointment that never makes me feel good, then I came home to find that, despite me asking repeatedly that he not, my mother's husband had moved my stuff. I've officially taken to calling him my mother's husband instead of father. When he decides to act like a father, he'll earn the title back. Until then, he's just a pain in my neck that I wish would disappear.

I texted that friend and said that I'd never wanted to put a gun to my head more than I did right now. He's got a different approach to talking me down. I like it. He never makes me feel crazy. He's kind of a "say it as it is" type person. Sometimes less than helpful, but great when you've got tunnel vision. Thanks, friend.

And thus ends my rant. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Done

Here we go again...

Lately I've been crying a lot. Mostly, this is done in the cover of night. I've been visably upset for a while, yet nobody bothers to ask if I'm alright. I know when I text some people, it's obvious. Yet I never get anyone asking.

I've got the pills I need to supposedly "fix" myself, but nothing's working. Maybe if I take all of them at the same time. Yeah... that'd fix it. I wouldn't feel anything then.

I'm so blasted tired of having to put on the "Facebook face." Smiles, happy moments, fake everything. It's gotten to a point that, when I post something real on Facebook, it gets ignored. Nobody wants to see the real me. Nobody cares that I'm dying inside. They just want to know that it's spring and isn't it lovey outside? 

Nobody's even noticed that I haven't blogged in a while. I'm not the person people care about. If others don't care about me, why should I care about me? 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Black Sails, White Rabbits Pt 2

Chapters 11-20

Dude... you just put words to every one of our feelings. "I gritted my teeth and pretended I didn't have feelings..." I don't know about the rest of you, but I've felt this way my whole life. Well, the majority of it anyway. When you're punished in some way or another for having emotions, you tend to grit your teeth and pretend you don't have any.

In some of the later chapters, we get to hear more about Kevin's adventures with cancer. How on earth he could stick to his medication regimen and stay mentally healthy while going through a hell like that is way beyond me. Kudos, man! Not being a man myself, I can't even imagine the emotional trauma of losing something like that. And wanting to get right back up to training right after surgery?! Good night, man! I can't decide if this man is a masochist or someone to be admired!

Basically, I'm in awe that, through all the physical trauma of cancer and surgery, Kevin maintained his mental health. This is something I have personally never been able to do. If I even get a cold, I get so annoyed and want to stop my meds. I guess I have nothing to complain about now.

This book and this author continue to inspire me. I may be slow at reading, but that just means I get more out of it, right?

Friday, April 1, 2016

Black Sails, White Rabbits Pt 1

Chapters 1-10

I began reading today, and all I can say is wow! Ok, it's not all I can say. In fact, I have a lot to say.

Kevin A. Hall first hits us with a true, and slightly terrifying example of what it's like inside one of his episodes. To feel like you're constantly being watched, let alone filmed is just a scary thought to me. This type of thinking/symptom has been dubbed the "Truman Show Delusion." If you've seen the movie, you know why.

From there, his account gets incredibly personal, revealing, and blunt. From what the episode looks like, to the cops, to (and I quote) how fun it is "to just stare deeply into the little cup at the pills and see how agitated you can get the orderlies before finally tossing it all back like a shot of tequila." I laughed a little too hard at that part.

Kevin is open about, not just his battle with Bipolar, but his bouts with cancer as well. He bluntly states how, "...hearing about how something must have 'really taken balls' doesn't clang the same way it clangs once you have none."


I don't fully understand everything Kevin has gone through, not having gone through it myself, but the same mania and depression exist in all those diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. His sense of humor in the dim light of his circumstances, I believe, is something we can all learn from. I look forward to reading more of this incredible (and funny) story!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Me

Faith.

I believe faith is crucial to anyone's mental health. Now, whatever you may believe is up to you, but have faith in something.

I'm from Utah, so I know quite  bit about faith. Now, I've been asked quite a few times, "You're from Utah. Are you Mormon?" This is going to take all the guts I've ever had and will ever have to explain, but the short answer is: no.

The long answer is: I was raised that way, and my mother tends to talk about those who leave "the church" like they're unintelligent for doing so or have committed some great sin, which is why, for the last several years, I have gone through the motions to make her happy. I've gone to church, pretended to be happy about it, and been absolutely miserable. I'll spare you all the details, but in the last few years, I've found myself finding it harder and harder to believe more and more of the teachings and as time has gone on, I've been getting more and more unhappy. This is the first anyone has heard of this, so, as you can imagine, this is incredibly difficult to type...

I have not lost my Christianity, however, and I believe I never will.

I know this will come as a huge disappointment to my mother and I know I'll get "the tone" from her, but I refuse to continue going to a church that doesn't teach what I believe. I'm not happy there, and that's not mentally healthy.

I shouldn't be surprised that this will be a disappointment to my family. My whole life, I've been informed in some way or another that I'm unacceptable. When I make a joke, I get my name. You know when your parents say your name and you just know you've done something wrong? Yeah... I get that a lot. This will be just one more thing about me that's not OK. According to my family, I'm not OK. Well it's time for me to step up and really be who I am.

Who I am is only good enough if I would be it openly.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Black Sails, White Rabbits

Hey all!

I've been asked to do a review on a book called "Black Sails White Rabbits; Cancer Was the Easy Part" by Keven A. Hall. I'm pretty excited because this means that my blog has reached a certain point where people are noticing it. I'm also excited because I've read up a bit on this book and the author and it, and he, seem awesome!

You can join my journey by getting this book and reading along with me! You can get it on Amazon here!

As a bit of a taste, the author's PR has sent me some stuff about him and his book to share with y'all. Hope you are all as excited to begin this journey as I am! I'll be starting it here pretty soon, so you probably have time to grab yourself a copy!
 


Award-winning Olympic and America’s Cup sailor Kevin A. Hall shares a stunningly candid chronicle of the thrilling highs and devastating lows of living and loving through the rough seas of bipolar disorder.

Young sailor and aspiring Olympic competitor Kevin A. Hall’s biggest dream was to raise a family. But within the space of three years, he was diagnosed with both testicular cancer and bipolar disorder, putting his family and Olympic dreams on hold. He soon found that surviving cancer was the easy part. Now a renowned Olympic and America’s Cup sailor with a wonderful wife and family, Hall shares a behind-the-scenes look at his struggles with mental illness in his riveting memoir.

Black Sails White Rabbits; Cancer Was the Easy Part

by Kevin A. Hall

CreateSpace (December 5, 2015)

People have some great things to say about it as well!


This is a compelling and extraordinary book about a life of extremes. Of mental pain and sporting triumph, of acute despair and a determination to achieve what others take for granted: a settled family life with a wife and children who love him. It's a jagged ride, funny, romantic and agonizing. Black Sails White Rabbits; is essential for what it says about mental illness and how crudely we still treat it. And like all the best art, its honesty is cathartic.

-- Philip Delves Broughton, New York Times bestselling author of Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School and The Art of the Sale

A devastatingly honest account of being bipolar, told with amazing insight, great feeling and unbelievable humor.

-- Kendall Hailey, author of The Day I Became an Autodidact


Kevin Hall has an extraordinary life and his book leads us through it in a bracingly honest and intimate way. Moving, sad and humorous, Black Sails White Rabbits; should be required reading for all mental health professionals but will be enjoyed by anyone interested in human struggle and perseverance; the book tackles questions of identity that confront us all.

-- Joel Gold, M.D. author of Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry NYU School of Medicine


This is simply the best book about competitive sailing I have ever read.

-- Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and Why Read Moby-Dick

And just a little about the author...


Kevin A.  Hall is an Ivy League graduate of Brown University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and French literature. Despite being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1989, he went on to become a world-champion Olympic sailor, as well as racing navigator for Emirates Team New Zealand in the 2007 America’s Cup match. A two-time testicular cancer survivor, Hall has spent a successful 25 years as a racing navigator, speed testing manager, and sailing performance and racing instruments expert.A brief version of his story was featured in Joel and Ian Gold’s book Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness, as the only non-anonymous case study of a patient with Truman Show delusion. Hall currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand with his wife and their three children. www.kevinahall.com

Facebook: /kevinahall
Twitter: @kevinhallwriter
Instagram: @kevinhallwriter