Saturday, May 25, 2013

Do They Have Overnight Camp for 3 Day Weekends?!?

"Happy Memorial 3 Day Weekend, Y'all!!" I say with a forced smile on my face. Inwardly, it's more of a high pitched scream with a major sense of panic mixed in. 

Why, you ask?

My 3 children.  My 3 beautiful, sweet, caring, screaming, fighting, overly sensitive, ready-to-throw-down-over-the-remote, "Mom, he's touching me!", "No! Bugga, that's MINE!", "MINE! MINE! MINE!"... children. Don't get me wrong. I love them. Truly, I do. I just can not stand the close to constant bickering and fighting. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I love my children. l love my children. I love my children. Things you chant to keep yourself sane in the midde of the night.

Been awhile.  I know.  Been busy being... *sigh* Bipolar. Well, that and 40, falling apart, and a mom.

Isn't he cute?  This is so me right now.
Can I just adopt him as my mascot?
I am currently in month 3 of the Megace for the precancerous mass thing.  Fun times.  It has put my body and my moods through the ringer. I am not a fan of it.  It has maxed my stressful limits.  And, I am sorry... Bipolars don't do STRESS!!  *breath* If this was for anything other than a "potentially life saving effort" I would have been dead set against taking it anymore.  

In case you are wondering... yes, this blog entry is going to be predominately me complaining.  Sorry.

Well, ok.  I guess I can add something not so "me bitching about me," and more worrying about my kiddos. Caitlin the Bipolar w/ ADHD and Liam, my sweet ADHD boy.  I do have one other, but besides her wild child fits and Diva like demeanor, she hasn't warranted trips to the doctors and doesn't currently take any medication except for the occasional pain med or cough syrup.  Yet.

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Development. Trichotillomania.

Every school day, I do Cait's hair.  It's long and it frustrates her to brush. However, she doesn't want to cut it just yet, because she looks good with long hair.  I get it.

Lately, I have been thinking "Wow. We need to cut this poor girl's hair for summer." Yesterday, that thought extended some. "Wow. We need to cut this poor girl's hair for summer.  Look at all the split ends.  Especially up here on the top.  Wait.... huh?"

So, after talking to her about it, she breaks down and says she has been snapping hairs during math. Surprising. I thought she was good in math. 

"Not here lately. I learn it and then the next day, I forget it all! Then the tests, I get confused! And I pull my hair..."

So many things happen in my head at this point. Concern being the main thing of course. Luckily, she has an appointment already made at the end of the week. I calmly comb her hair back in a top pony, suggest snapping at a bracelet instead, and remind her that she will be seeing the doctor soon.  She cries.  I cry.  Dad comes in and I find myself in a defense posture mode, like... "don't get on her, it is a bad moment" and he just hugs her. 

This isn't the first time she has shown signs of this.  Before meds, she would suck on her hair, rub it on her lip, and eat it.  She would also chew on her shirt.  At the time, we didn't realize "IT" had a name: Trichotillomania. Luckily, it isn't her main issue.  In some, it can be really bad... like, stomach issues, bowel blockage, etc.  Bad.

Looking into it, made me further understand one of my own weird stress relievers: Dermatillomania. Didn't even know there was a name of it! (I am learning lots of crazy stuff today! ooh. "Crazy." Bad pun.) Dermatillomania is the picking of the skin. Popping of zits, scraping of scabs, picking of dead skin.... sorry if I grossed you out. I only do it when I am beyond stressed and/or in the need of a serious med change. Seems my daughter does hers for the same reasons.  Warning signs are always handy to know.

This appointment can not come soon enough.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pre-Cancerous... Situational? or Med Adjustment Worthy?

Bad day... again.

Realizing that I am NOT handling the whole "pre-cancerous" thing as well as I thought.  Don't get me wrong, I am elated we caught it this early. I am thrilled we caught this all when we did, but... I still have huge moments of "WHY ME?!?!?"  And I feel guilty that I have them. Stupid?  Eh.  I don't know what or how to feel anymore.  My anxiety is at an all time high right now. I never wanted to make a big deal out of it.  Not like it's gonna kill me.  I mean, it is capable... but medicine is sooo advanced now, and the plan is practically fail safe.  Worst case scenario, I have a small procedure done and *poof* gone!  And yet, I am still a hot mess. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Happy Bipolar Mess

Hey there my silent readers.  I'm back.  I'm still here and I'm feeling much better now.  I know in my last post I was a bit.... stressed.  Still am... a bit.   However, I am happy and making the best of it.  All is well. 

Ok, I still have a few more previously published posts from my other blog I would like to share with you.  Here are a couple about my (now 10 year old) daughter and fellow Bipolar happy mess.  She is currently going through preteen changes and may need a bit of a med adjustment. Why do I say that?  Oh, maybe because she came to me today and said, "When do we seeing (my doctor) next? I am having problems controlling my anger.  And my giggling."  That is my girl, y'all!!!  *sigh* That's what I aimed for!!  Self  Recognition and Realization!!  I didn't get good at that until... well... I'm STILL not good at that!  *beams with pride*  Love it!

"I have two pants on!": The other night, my eldest daughter came in to us because she had a nightmare. As usual, she couldn't remember what it was about, but she was visually shaken. And shirtless.... The next morning, we were in the kitchen making breakfast when she looked down and exclaimed "I have two pants on!" When I asked her why, she responded "I don't know."

Portrait of a Beautiful Bipolar Child: My daughter gets her diagnosis.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

And Then I Snapped.

I started this blog to document my ups and downs so that others may see that they weren't alone. Also, so that those who deal with the mentally ill do not feel like their loved ones are the only ones afflicted. But then I have a bad day... and I hide instead of blogging... afraid of what you might think. It's been a bad day. I know I need to share.
I was recently diagnosed with a pre-cancerous mass in my endometrium which is the lining of my uterus. It sounds very serious when in reality is very easily treated. That been said, I'm scared out of my wits! It's been a lot to take in. I have hope... lots of hope. I am extremely confident that this will be taking care of, but it still scares the heck out of me.  What if something goes wrong? What if the medication doesn't work? What if I have to have a hysterectomy? What if it goes wrong? I know that's my anxieties talking. But they are legit questions. Right? I wish I could say that was the only thing bugging me.
On top of this already stressful event in my life, I have the rest of my regular stressful life. My Children have taken it upon themselves to fight with each other non stop for the last week or so. Nothing stops the bickering. There are several consignment sales coming up that I must prep for. The piles for which, have been staring me down every day from various corners of the house. My friends are struggling with mental health issues and keeping their marriage together. I have tried to mediate. It's not going so well. Then, I found out my Great Aunt passed away. While we weren't really close, it came as quite a blow. Her sister, my Grandmother, just passed in September. She and the 2 remaining uncles were there for the funeral. Then, to top it all off, my beloved S.O. has been out of work for 5 months now. While having him around has been nice, the tight budget has not. So, I guess it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise today, when my 2 year old decided to throw a hissy because she didn't get to go to school with Bubba and Sissy, I threw an even bigger one that required some friendly intervention, an Ativan, and "quiet time."
Most of these things I could probably handle on a regular day. Scratch that. Most of these things I could probably handle separately on a regular day. Grouped all together and top off with a steaming pile of  reality check of my own mortality, makes for a disaster waiting to happen. Especially when stress is a major component to them all. I pushed past my limit today, no realizing that my limit had changed. And then I snapped.
I guess what I want you to take for this is, just because you were capable of doing something before, doesn't mean you will always be able to do so. With mental illness there are many factors that are always changing. Whether it's stress levels, medication levels,  hormone levels, or even personal comfort levels... Things change. You have to be willing to adapt. Adapt or die. Seems a bit overly dramatic but... it is true. Suicides, heart attacks (brought on by stressful situations), and overdoses tend to happen when the stress levels are exremely high and people can not conceive any way out.
Although we may sometimes feel like we are super human, sadly we are not immortal. Be aware of your limits.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Xanax mom. Feuling the stigma!

Sorry to interrupt you previously scheduled regurgitation . However  I felt this Xanax Mom article  needed to be addressed.
Articles like these (and the stories with in it) do nothing but add fuel to the fire that is the stigma attached to mental illness as a whole. These are the times that we need to be the most vocal and persistent. These are the times when others are most likely to hear us. While many will already have chosen there negative opinions on the matter, there will also be those sitting on fence, looking for evidence of another point of view. These are the times when we need to speak out and speak up about our illnesses, our treatments, our histories.... and not just of the positive, but of the negative as well. They need to see it for all its guts and glory, it's good and bad, and hear of our victories and tales of defeat. Then, and only then, will others get a sense of where we have been, what we have gone through, and what we perceive our futures to be like. While it is true many might be "abusing the system", misdiagnosed and/or are overly prescribed medication, that is not true in every case. Those cases, my friends, are the tales that need to be told.
Mental illness isn't an epidemic, nor is it the newest cop out. It has always been around. 50, even 20 years ago, many of us where hidden away from the rest of society. We were stuck in mental institutions for months, if not years at a time, simply because no one knew what else to do with us.  However, with current technologies and further understanding of the mind, there have been great strides in mental health care: better treatments, better therapies, better medication, and shorter hospitalizations (if any at all). Many of us who would've been drugged beyond belief and locked away in hideous conditions for the rest of our lives, are now (thanks to these new discoveries) capable of being productive members of society, just like everyone else.
If you met me in a coffee shop, you would not know looking at me that I suffer from a crippling mental disorder. I've often been told I look "normal." How could I possibly need medication when I seem so capable? My answer is this, "I am not capable, therefore I don't need medication. I am capable, because I take medication." That being said, I do not believe swallowing a pill is always the answer. In fact, I struggled with taking medication for many years. I did not want to be a slave to daily dosing. Moreover, I did not want to admit there was an actual problem. It took me 10 years to accept that my symptoms weren't just situational, and even longer to acknowledge they weren't going to just go away. And while being medicated was going to help me, it wasn't going to be a cure. Nor was it going to be the only tool I would use to maintain control of my life.
Getting back to this article, I think the things that angered me the most, were the responses below it. Many said they had tried medication before... it didn't work for them... when they got off them they felt much better... and therefore, that should be the case for everyone.  Not so.  Just because you tried something (literally ANYTHING) once and it didn't work for you, doesn't mean it won't work for anyone else. There will never be one treatment that will work for everyone. There will never be one medication that will produce the same results in every person who tries it. There will never be one illness that treats each person the same way.  We will never be exactly alike.  For that reason, one can not possibly judge someone else based on their experiences alone.

For many, medication is the answer. For most it is not. However there is a grey area where having to use them might be needed for a short period of time (like pain or cold medication). It is this grey area that our already fiery stigma gets its fuel. Everyone has emotions. Everyone has stress. Some have bouts of elevated stress due to situational issues (i.e. death of a loved one, divorce, becoming a new parent) Not everyone has it affect them in away that disrupts their lives or brings it to a screeching halt all together. Now, maybe this most recent argument is based on how stressful parenting can be and how we shouldn't rely on medication to be better parent, but just like I've stated before, not everything effects everyone the same way... even parenting. Parent or not, mother or not, no one should have to struggle with whether or not to stay alive, just because some person on then "net" fared motherhood just fine with out help. No one should have to choose between their children or living. I choose my life for my children and therefore I chose medication.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Suicide. True Taboo.

It is a taboo word to most. More so to others who have known someone (or of someone) who pass by their own hand. Many think it's the desperate act of chicken.  Others, a desperate cry for help that came too late. Some say it is an abomination of one's soul and God doesn't allow you to enter the gates of heaven. Those who attempt it, see as the only alternative, a silence to the madness, a sweet sleep that will finally take all the pain and struggle away. I see it as another brother or sister, losing the battle against an illness that even the strongest man alive would have troubles winning... with out the proper help.
I opened my homepage to a news bit of yet another sister who lost the fight.  RIP  Country singer, Mindy McCready.  I didn't know you, but I felt your pain before.  The only difference between you and me, is I made it through.  This time.
It seems befitting that today I would be sharing this previous post.
I Was a Chicken:  The Bloggess said in her post "Your friends and family want you…broken or not." I agree wholeheartedly. Damaged is far better than dead.
Marinate on that thought for a moment.  

"Your friends and family want you... broken or not."  Thank you Bloggess!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Original Coming Out.

Today, I have decided to share with you my original coming out post. This  blog entry was in response to a mental awareness Coming Out movement started by fellow mental health advocate, Michael Kimber. His attempts were embraced by many internet wide, including by Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess. Her coming out post made her vast audience sit up and take notice. Many, like myself, joined the movement and posted our own. Little did I know where it would take me.
I'm Coming Out!:  You read that right. I'm coming out. I am joining the movement. I have been out for the most part, but now it is time to jump out and slam the door shut behind me!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy to hear. Hard to bare.

Hi again!  It's me. 

I figured I would start things off by posting a few things I posted in the past regaurding Bipolar disorder on my personal blog, KidLit's Korner.

Today's post...

Happy to Hear. Hard to Bare: I never thought I would be so happy to have any of my children official diagnosed with anything. However, when it seemed my first born was following in the long tradition of suffering from the "family curse," I felt the need to get it documented as soon as possible.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I Came Out. You Can To.

Hello.  My name is Tracey and I am Bipolar. 

I know that sounds like the introduction to a 12 step program and I guess, in a way, it is. The first step: Coming Out! Announcing who I am. Stigma breeds in the darkness of the unknown. The only way to attack it head on is to step out into the light.

I came out of the comfort of darkness, and announced to the world I was Bipolar, a little over 2 years ago.  Seems like it couldn't possibly be that long ago, but now, two years later, I have decided to share even more of my illness with the world in hopes of further breaking down the stigmatic walls of mental illness.

Since my coming out, I have found strength in sharing my struggles, victories and discoveries with others. Knowing that you aren't alone, and connecting with others who get you and accept you for who you are, is a very powerful thing. This blog was created in the hopes of spreading that same strength, camaraderie, and acceptance to others. Whether you are Bipolar or know someone who is, I encourage you to check back often as I attempt to keep track of the ups and downs of my illness, those of my daughter, and some of a few shared by my family and friends. I also hope to someday, include your stories so that we might become an even bigger, louder voice of support and unity.

There are others out there.

Welcome to my blog.

You are not alone.