Category Archives: bipolar disorder

2014: A Brand New Year.

If you noticed, I did not blog throughout the entire year of 2013.

Mainly because, 2013 was a pretty horrible year for me personally, professionally and every other way, shape and form.

While there were some definite bright spots, like renewing my vows (twice!) in both Las Vegas and in Mexico,or spending my granddaughter’s 5th birthday in Disney, there were far more dark patches; times that I really didn’t think that I would make it through the remainder of the year without some serious professional intervention.

My personal health was poor throughout this year, and it made matters so much worse.  Anything you go through in your life seems far more trying when your health is not where it should be.  My stellar marriage was put through some incredibly trying times.  Relationships with family members worsened and in some cases, deteriorated altogether.  I feel like I spent most of 2013 in tears.  In short, things were hard.

And on the precipice of this brand new year, they are still…well, hard.

My best course of therapy has always been to turn to my writing.  It’s saved me through some of the most torrid times of my life.  Just to be able to achieve that sweet release of putting thoughts to “paper” has always managed to help me put things into perspective.  But, this year, the strength to even turn to my blog did not come.  A year long case of writers block caused by being in the throes of some of the deepest, darkest depression I have ever experienced.

People do not understand how seemingly happy people can be “depressed”.  If you sorted through my facebook photos from this past year, you would see dozens of “happy” photos of me, smiling brightly for the camera.  But, what you do not see are the seconds before the photo and the hours afterward.  Smiling on command is easy and that is what the camera captures.  But if we had the ability to see what takes place the second before or the seconds after the photo is taken, you would see the smile fall away just as quickly as it appeared.  Again, not saying there were not moments of genuine happiness, but in 2013, they were few and far between.

I think, if I were to be honest, I spent most of 2013 curled up in a fetal position in my bed.  Too exhausted to face the day, too tired to cry.  And when you are just too tired to even cry, that’s when depression is at its worst.  I find a good, hard cry to be cathartic.  It cleanses the soul, erases some of the negativity by releasing the pain and makes room for new, perhaps better emotions to seep into the soul.  But when you just cannot cry, when the pain of life is so overwhelming that you cannot even produce tears…when the thought of crying exhausts you, there is a problem.  Usually a problem that is much bigger than you are.

In 2013, the problem was not only bigger than I was, it hovered over me like a large, black winged bird, casting a shadow upon me.  I went many days without showering.  I would stay in bed for days straight, scarcely exiting my room.  I would stare into the television set, enthralled with nothing; just an empty vessel waiting to be filled with something, anything.  I can’t tell you much about what I did in 2013.  I rely heavily on my Facebook timeline to remind me, but there’s a problem with that.  The problem being, I fooled myself with many statuses on there in order to fool the rest of the world.  I couldn’t have the world knowing how I was struggling with my depression.  The world, my friends en masse, they expect me to be funny, charming, irreverent.  Somehow, I managed to keep up that persona, or rather, facade, on my statuses.  But with every “LMAO” I posted, I assure you, there was very little laughing being done, let alone laughter that would remove my ass from my body.  I would type statuses, replies, comments with the same blank look on my face that I reserved for the television set.  I would appear interested and engaged when in reality, I could not care less about most of what I was writing.

Trying to keep up appearances became exhausting, hurling me into a far darker place than I had previously been, until in mid August, just before my birthday, I melted down altogether.  I wanted out.  Out of my family, out of my friendships, out of my marriage, out of my house, out of my bed, out of my job, out of my life.  Ideally, I just wanted to be left alone to rot.  For anyone who has ever experienced depression, you know that loneliness is the devil at work.

But, this is not where I am heading in 2014.  I am not over the depression.  Not by a long shot.  It’s plagued me all my life and I doubt sincerely, that it will take leave any time soon.  However, I am actively involved in making sure that I don’t spend 2014 with the blankets pulled up over my head.  I am in the process of healing the pain that encompasses me.  I have rid myself of the toxic people in my life who won’t allow me to breathe normally.  For those I cannot rid myself of, I have opted to ration my time carefully, wholly in consideration of my mental health.  You can have 15 minutes of me a week, nothing more.  The pain I experience physically, I am finally putting myself under the knife to heal.

Basically, I am not giving away another year of my precious life to this monster that is seeking to consume me.  I know it will be challenging, but it’s important that I remember 2013 as the year that almost did me in.  I am not a victim.  I will never be a victim.   I don’t want pity, not even empathy.  I just want another opportunity to ensure that I won’t be a statistic. I don’t want to fall prey to my long standing depression.  I don’t want to wallow in those deep waters any longer.  I have plenty to be grateful for.  I have healthy, happy, beautiful children and grandchildren.  I have a husband who truly loves me and wants me to get better and is willing to support me on that journey.  I have friends who are compassionate and caring.  I have a talent that not only earns me a living, but heals me in the process.

There is so much for me to live for and in that instance, I am richer than most.

My excuses have worn thin.  The time for denying my reality has come to a close.  I am not going to be a living dead girl for another year.  I have to be an active participant in making sure that I do not die.  Not a physical death, but rather, an emotional one…which I find to be worse.  A physical death. It’s easy.  Anyone can do that.  Suicide is never an option.  Not for me at least.  It’s too easy to make the choice to check out.  As the great Annie Lennox once opined, “dying is easy, it’s living that scares me to death”.  Living is harder, but the rewards of doing so are far greater.  With every sunrise comes the ability to change the course of your life.

I am not saying that it will come easy, nor am I saying I will be successful at it.  I am positive I will have days where pulling myself from my bed will be a hardship for me.  I am sure that there are days I will fail miserably.  But, I am also positive that, if I push myself, I will be able to rise to the challenge.   Mistakes quickly become regrets, but I will not punish myself for those.  I have been hard enough on myself…harder than any of you could ever be on me.

So, on this, the eve of my surgery, I am making myself the promise to try a little harder.

I give so much of myself to everyone in my life.  Why am I so reticent to do for myself what I do for others?  Am I undeserving?  Am I not valuable enough?  Not worthy?  Of course not.

Here’s my fresh new perspective on the matter:

Inside all of us, there is a child.  We all have that inner child.   It’s the one who laughs at inappropriate times.  The one who looks over at a set of swings while you are in high heels and an evening gown and decides that running over to the playground would be a blast.  The child who starts a food fight in the middle of Denny’s at one o’clock in the morning over pancakes.  The same one who secretly watches old 80’s cartoons on Saturday mornings, cross legged on the floor in pajamas.  But, it’s also the same one who cries when they are hurt.  It’s the same child who desperately needs a hug when they are inconsolable.  It’s that same child who begs for forgiveness when they have done wrong.

And I am the mother of this inner child.  She is me.  I am her.  It is my duty, obligation, desire to take care of her as surely as I would take care of my own children.  I would do anything for my children.  I would die for them.  I would give my last breath for them.  So, why not that inner child?  Why not give my last breath to fight for that little girl within me who is suffering and struggling?  Why not nurture her and love her the way she deserves?  Why would I leave her alone, abandoned, needing and desperately wanting?

She needs me as surely as I need her.

So, for 2014, I promise to be a better mother.  Not only to my children I have given birth to, but to the little girl inside of me.  It is my job to heal her and in turn, heal myself.  I will hold her when she needs to be held.  I will kiss her tears away when she cries.  I will wake her with a gentle hug at the start of her day and lay her down, bundled in warmth and affection when it is time for sleep.  I will rouse her from the nightmares that plague her and remind her, I am here.  Shhhh…I am here.  Nothing is going to happen to you, sweet girl…because I am here.  I will give her daily affirmations of how beautiful she is, how smart she is.  I will feed not just her belly, but her soul.  I will set her free to play, but keep an ever watchful eye on her, keeping her safe from harm, from all the dangers lurking in this world.  I will protect her from the bullies on the playground of life.  I will not abandon her when she needs me most.  I will be the mother to her that I never had in my own life.  

She will be loved.

All I can ask is that she forgive me the first 40+ years that I did not realize I had left her alone.

She is me.  I am her.  And in this knowledge, I am comforted, for I know she is a forgiving soul and will allow me back into her life.

Only this time, I will do things the right way.  And she will flourish.  She will grow.

And someday, under my guidance and with my unrequited love, she will heal.

She deserves that.  We both do.

Day 6 – Something You Hope You Never Have to Do


(This post brought to you by the word “Middy”, who publicly outed me on Facebook for not finishing up the 30 Days of Truth. Where does it say it has to be 30 CONSECUTIVE days, bitch? LMAO)

There’s a lot of things in my life that I hope I never have to do. Some of them are things I hope to never have to do…AGAIN. Bury a child. Return to drug rehab. Go back to nursing. Re-marry. Those are the things that come to mind immediately.

However, something I really hope I never have to do again is deal with my son being bullied in school. This blog post dropped off a couple of weeks ago after an incident at my sons school brought my flow as a writer to a crashing halt. In light of all the anti-bullying campaigns going on, I found myself smack in the middle of the controversy.

Apparently, my son was approached by a young lady in his school about smoking pot with her. He told her that he didn’t do that, told her that he thinks people who do are losers and left it at that. Should he have said that? Maybe not. No sense in making people feel bad about their personal decisions, but I was nevertheless proud to know that is his take on drug users. This in turn incensed the young lady.

Sometime around noon, she tapped my son on the shoulder. He had his back to her and when he turned to see who was tapping him, she proceeded to strike him, close fisted, right across his face. She left large, red welts across his cheek. As he was always taught, he did not retaliate with violence, but rather with a “What the Fuck, Lindsay?” She stormed off. He was sent to the clinic for some Tylenol and an ice pack for his face. At approximately 4pm, I received a call from the school telling me what happened. All the administrator said was that my son was involved in an altercation. She was not forthright with the details immediately, so I was incensed. The details were not coming out as fast and furiously as I wanted them to. Is he okay? Is he hurt? Is he safe? Where is he now? And…the all important, if this happened at lunch, WHY THE FUCK AM I FIRST HEARING ABOUT IT NOW??? To say I was livid is putting it in graciously mild terms.

The admin told me that the girl will be suspended, however, my sons “involvement” in the incident was going to be investigated. My sons involvement? He never touched her. Never laid a finger on her. What the HELL are you investigating my son for?? This girl is obviously a bully. According to my son, this isn’t the first time she has hit a boy in school, simply because “she can”. She knows they won’t retaliate.

Her reply to me was “We don’t understand how we can qualify this young lady who assaulted Nick as a bully. She’s in all honors classes!” *ROFL* Really? Because if you are a piece of shit who assaults other people, you can’t possibly be smart too? Well, hell…there goes my entire High School career! LOL

The first night it happened, I was enraged. I was literally pacing the floors wondering how I can get this girls address so I can beat her father to a pulp and claim “Well, I’m a girl. I can do what I want and get away with it.” I was so angry. Someone struck MY baby. My little boy. The child who I nursed back to health after open heart surgery and a time there that we weren’t sure he was going to make it back into the safety of my arms. MY baby. Who the FUCK are you to touch MY child? To make him feel unsafe? To harm him in any way whatsoever, simply because he opted not to conform to your drug use? Seething. I was literally seething. And what would be the aftermath? I told the administration that I intended to press charges of assault against the girl. When I told my son of my intentions, he begged me not to.

“It would ruin me in school, Mom,” he said. “Please don’t do it. It will ruin me.”

So here I am, caught between needing to do what is right to protect my son and my sons comfort and safety in the days that would follow thereafter. It was a confusing time for me, especially as I watched his facebook page, posting video after video of angry songs about kids being bullied. This obviously was affecting him deeper than he was letting on. And all I can think of was how angry I was. I am so angry. And Alone. And I want to hit something. I want to hit it so damn hard over and over again until it hurts as much as I do.

What to do next? What do you do?

I go to the girls facebook page and find that she has written in her “info” that she has bipolar disorder and anger management issues and that if you “fuck with her” expect to get “fucked with right back”. But, my son never did anything to her. He was a victim of abuse. For any of you who have read my blog for any length of time, you know I was the victim of abuse at the hands of a man who beat me relentlessly for years before I finally got away. I don’t tolerate it in my life any longer and I sure as fuck will not be standing for it in my childs life. Further, since when is bipolar disorder an acceptable excuse for bad behavior? Obviously this child does not have her parents involved in her life or they would see her facebook page, as I did, and be appalled by most of what was written there. I did print out a copy of her page and send it up to the school to show them what their precious “honor student” was capable of when left to her own devices.

Eventually, Nick was completely exonerated of any wrong doing at all. Opted not to press charges against this little piece of shit, but did let her parents know that I have six months in which to change my mind about that and a police report in my pocket. So, hopefully, they will keep their little mongrel on a leash from now on.

I hope, in the rest of my lifetime, I don’t have to do this again with my son. I hope that the rest of his school career is safe and nurturing. I never want to see that look of pain in his eyes ever again, nor do I ever want my level of anger to rise so high that I do something stupid in retaliation for a wrongdoing directed at any of my children or grandchildren.

If nothing else, it has only gotten me more involved in The Trevor Project, an organization that is seeking to stop bullying. Their agenda incorporates the bullying of gay teenagers to the point of suicide, but really, any child who is being bullied and threatened in school is encouraged to seek help before opting for the final act of suicide, simply because they just can no longer take the ridicule. Being different, whether it is because you are gay, you are fat, you are tall or you refuse to do drugs with your peers should not make you a pariah. People need to learn to respect that we are all different. We are all unique and everyone has a place in this world.

Bullies are small minded cowards with big mouths. Nothing more.

If you are being bullied in school or are the parent of a child who is being bullied, I encourage you to join in me in my endeavor to get out the word about The Trevor Project so that no more teenagers succumb to suicide due to being bullied in school. If you have an urgent emergency and need help, call The Trevor Project. That number is The Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).

In the interim, I must encourage you to take 15 minutes out of your life and watch the short film “Trevor”, the movie that inspired The Trevor Project. It is 15 minutes that will change your life and make you realize that yes, it DOES get better.

You may watch the movie in full HERE Please encourage your children to watch it as well.

Nine children in the past 6 weeks have killed themselves due to bullying. Those are nine beautiful lives that were full of potential and promise being snuffed out in the springtime of their lives. So much in store for them, so much lying ahead for them and now, they will never know.

We have to do better. We have to.

Long time gone…

I haven’t written in here since May. I said I was going to take June, July and August away from writing. I’ve missed it and while I have had a lot to say, the words were escaping me. It seems my inner voice has been a bit battered as of late. I wanted to write on September 11th, the way I always do. I couldn’t. I couldn’t even bring myself to honor the people lost on that day because I have been utterly swallowed by my depression lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had reasons to laugh in the past three months. Lots of reasons. There were a lot of fantastic things that happened over the summer. There were also horrible things, like my trip to Israel. There was pain, rejection, loss of connection and the annual celebration of the day I was torn via C-section from Esther’s pristine uterus.

44 years old. Happy birthday to me. Another day closer to death. The way I figure it, I am probably halfway to dead by now. If the average woman lives until 88 years of age, I am dangling on the halfway point this year. I did a quick assessment to see if I am anywhere near where I wanted to be at this age. The answer was a resounding…perhaps.

I’m a grandmother to two beautiful babies. I am married to the most amazing man to roam the earth since Christ himself…if you believe in that shit. My children are thriving in their lives. My daughter is happily married and a fantastic mother to those to babies I mentioned. My son just started his first year of high school at a brand new school and loves it. I am on decent terms with Esther. My dad is well, not healthy, but well enough for now. So those things are amazing and incredible and perfect.

But where am I? I’m not really any where. I am clean of my drug addiction for well over a year now. I gave up my nursing license and now, in retrospect, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I realized how miserable nursing made me and how it contributed to my depression. Whoever tells you that nurses get to help and heal patients, well, they obviously never worked in long term care. You don’t get to do any of those things. You get to shove pills into their incoherent slack-jawed mouths and then onto the next. There is no comfort. There is no care. There is no time to sit at a bedside holding a hand. All that bullshit you see on soap operas…it’s a fantasy. A fairytale that surrounds the beautiful myth of the nurse. At least it is in that setting.

So, back to school I went. Off to get my degree in Social Work. I decided I want to go for my Masters in Social Work and Human Services. Why? Because I need to hold that hand. I need to bring that comfort. I need to smile into pained and troubled faces. It does them good. Selfishly, it does me good. I decided that I am going to be an interventionist and work with addicts. Does it scare me? Definitely. I am scared shit to be around those who are using actively again…but now that I have been there and by the blessing of my Higher Power, found my way back…I feel this is the path I am destined to walk.

I love being in school because it is something I am good at. I am an “A” student, a perfect 4.0 GPA. The professors love me, they always embrace the returning adult students more than the new, fresh out of high school kids. They know we care a lot more and are a bit more hard pressed for time. There is no room for us to fail. We don’t have the opportunity to fail because we don’t have the time. The money. The lack of desire. Our grown up hearts are on fire to do something, anything relevant with the time we have left, however much that might be.

The way I figure it, I will walk out with my degree in 2 more years from now. 46 years old. Still enough time to begin a life, still enough time to put in about 30 years worth of employment.

I ain’t quite dead yet.

But in the interim, I am suffering. I have stopped taking all my psych meds. I just don’t want anything to do with them any more. And, it has its good moments and bad ones. I don’t feel fucked in the head any more. I have my memory back. My sense of humor has returned and it is whip cracking sharp the way it used to be. On the flip side, I cry at the drop of a hat. I fall into depressions very easily. And, my old friend insomnia has returned to fight me nightly. And while the bottles of Cymbalta, Lamictal, Buspar, Xanax, Geodon, Ativan, Klonopin and Trazodone all look tempting…I mainly find myself having staring contests with them. They dare me to open them and to indulge. And the temptation is always there. But, I don’t. I could. Nothing wrong with taking one now and again when needed, but I feel like one will be death of me. Just one pill will open up a can of worms for me. I can’t revisit the days of bottle dependency.

I keep them all over the house. Some on my desk. A few in my purse. More on my bedroom dresser. They stare at me and say, c’mon CP, let us take the edge off. And me, I scoff and say “no, let me empower myself, dammit”. “But you have a disease,” they retort. “You need us.” And that may very well be, but I want to try to go this alone. I want to feel like myself at every possible moment I can, however fleeting it might be. For those few hours, life is so perfect.

Then, the depression comes back, wraps me up in its itchy wool blanket and says, “No, no Dear. You don’t get to make the decisions around here. We do. Me…me and all your pills. Come down the rabbit hole, CP. It’s not that long of a drop.”

But it is. I’ve taken the trip before. For the five minutes I jump into the deep end, it requires a lot of swimming to get out of the murky waters again and I simply don’t have the energy to do it over and over again.

I’ll probably be writing more frequently now, but not daily. Just when I need to…like in the beginning. And tonight, I needed this to be here, like an old friend with open arms letting me fall into them and just cry. Let it all out, rubbing my hair til I fall mercifully asleep.

I need this.

In Good Company…

I have openly written about my bipolar disorder many times before. I even had a separate blog for it once upon a time. I still utilize that blog now and then when I just feel like seeing my random, skewed thoughts in black and white but not necessarily form a blog post about them. I think the last time I was there was October of last year. (2009).

Anyway, it seems to me to separate that part of my life is to pull out a big chunk of who I am and put it somewhere else, further perpetuating the stigma of mental illness. Fact of the matter is, I find a certain beauty in being beautifully fucked up. Crazy beautiful. That’s what I like to call it.

While surfing around these interwebz, I found myself in pretty good company. Want a list of other fucked up famous people? Here’s a few of my fav’s:

Buzz Aldrin, astronaut. Yes. We put a fucked up person on the moon. Then again, how do we actually know he was there? Maybe he just pretended to be while he was off his meds and his full account of being there was just a figment of his imagination.

Jim Carrey, actor. This should really not surprise you. Jim’s has had well-documented freak outs over the course of his career. Plus, I really don’t think he’s an actor. He is just being Jim. If he weren’t bipolar, he probably wouldn’t be nearly as funny. Bipolar people, for the most part, are pretty creative and funny. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves.

T S Eliot, poet. Okay. This dude wrote an entire ode to a Cat. Or, rather, a bunch of cats. For some reason, crazy people are often associated with cats. You don’t make fun of the crazy dog lady. No. It’s always the crazy cat lady who shares the Nine Lives with Fluffy and Waldo. Dog people don’t get our special brand of crazy.

Sigmund Freud, physician. *blank stare* Yeah. This one sort of speaks for itself. Next?

Marilyn Monroe, actress. Ah, Miss Marilyn. The quintessential poster child for the manic depressive. She’s up, she’s down. She’s high. She’s low. She’s pristine. She’s promiscuous. This is one of the more tragic cases of crazy on my list, because she really did have the world by the balls once upon a time. A big trademark of someone with manic depression is an over-sized ego that basically masks low self esteem. Oh, and large breasts. And a desire to sleep with the President. Barack is kinda hot now that I think about it…

Edgar Allen Poe, author. You’re seeing a lot of poets/authors and actors on this list. That is because really talented people are generally fucked in the head. Where do you think our creativity comes from? Life experience? Certainly…OUR life experiences which are vastly different than those of you “normies”. Poe writes about sex with corpses and black birds and tolling bells and Nevermore’s. He’s a scary bastard. Not Charles Manson scary…but the gentle scary of a person with bipolar disorder. We generally are not violent people…unless provoked.

Margot Kidder, actor. Another actor with a well-documented history of losing her mind. For four days, she roamed the streets of Hollywood, disheveled, dirty, homeless, without her teeth. Then again, she kind of sounds like my grandmother. Ah, but she has bipolar as well, so it’s all good. History of drug addiction. Another problem with we manic depressives are our addictive personalities. Sex, drugs…and obviously, Superman.

Vincent van Gogh, painter/artist. Yeah. Four words for you. Ear in a box. Which, of course, should not be confused with THIS which was epically funny but not at all related to mental illness. Well, maybe just a touch of borderline personality disorder with a dab of narcissism and a side salad of histrionic.

So, as you can see, I’m feeling pretty good about the company I’m keeping. And sure, someone will flame me for making light of the disease. But, keep your blood pressure in check. This is MY disease too. This is my life. I live and struggle with the wonders and the agonies of bipolar disorder every single day. I, however, choose to make light of an illness that nearly brought me to my knees once upon a time. Sometimes, you have to laugh…lest you never stop crying.

Lastly, let me leave you with a quote from someone with bipolar disorder that I admire greatly. Princess Leia. What can I say? I’m a sucker for chicks with cinnamon rolls on the side of their head. Plus, she has a Wookie.

But, seriously?

Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It’s a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life.
– CARRIE FISHER

Truer words were never spoken and this time, I’m not laughing.