Difficulty often leads to Beauty

My friend and I were watching TV and eating Dove candy one night when I came across the following quote in a Dove candy wrapper.

Difficult roads often lead to Beautiful destinations.”

Jetta L from Massachusetts

It really spoke to me because I have had a not so good life for the most part.  I have gone through physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and verbal abuse as well as being homeless twice, raped three times,  had an abortion because of a rape, Bipolar II, PTSD, Schizo-affective Disorder, trying to raise my kids as best as I could while being single after my last two divorces trying to take care of my mental issues and myself all at the same time – Unfortunately, the kids were the ones to suffer more than I did, living in a park, living in the streets, trying to hold down a job while dealing with almost suicidal depression, being on drugs (been cleaned since 24January1999) – Crystal Meth and Cocaine, (Not Crack,) and also moving from family member to family member because I was such a rebellious and hard to handle child. (It was not fun.)  I would not listen to anyone, especially if you were a man.  My granddad would say that I could only learn things through the University of Hard Knocks.  At first I thought it was a real university , like Ole Miss, but then I learned the truth, meaning that I was hard headed and could only learn by doing and making the mistake myself.  No one could just tell me about how to do or not to do something.  I had to learn it on my own.

Being the red flag in the tug of war of hatred between my two families didn’t help me at all. You would think that I would be good at least on negotiation, but sadly no. I am just good at staying in the background and working behind the scenes.   Now, I’m only in touch with a 2-4 members on both sides, but for the most part, I’m the black sheep and not to be associated with them at all.  They don’t know how hard that is on me.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still love them and lift them up in prayer ever day, but I would like to talk to them and see what they’re up to every so often.  I tried with one of my cousins a couple years ago, but it ended almost as soon as it began.  I guess some of it is my part because I have not stayed in touch, but now I don’t know their numbers except one and I have tried It several times with no call back as of right now.

I am finally on good medication and in a good place. I am in therapy again, but this time I really like this person and the way that the sessions are going.  I knot that this is not an over night process, but then again it didn’t happen  all in  one night.  It took years for all the stuff to happen and affect me so I guess that it will take me a long time to get me free.  I am facing my demons head-on now, and my difficulties are turning into beauty. I finally like myself and know that God loves me.  I know that God is my Father and Jesus is my Lord and Savior.  Jesus loves me so much that if He had to die again just for me, He would. I know that I am going to heaven, and I am trying to serve Jesus in this lifetime as well.

You know Jesus and  God love you too.  Jesus would climb back on that Cross and die again for you. Just for you!  That says a lot.  You are worth that much to Him. God is the Father of all Mankind.  He is the Creator.  He spoke everything into creation, not just some things! Jesus is His Son and part of the Godhead.  His was a virgin birth. He taught for 3 years then died on the cross between two thieves.  One was saved and went to heaven with Jesus and the other one didn’t.  Jesus was raised from the dead three days later and after revealing himself to many people, He went up to Heaven and sits at the right hand of God.

Do you want to go to Heaven or do you want to be like the other thief and try to swim in the Lake of Fire?

Turn your Difficulty into Beauty with God and Jesus Christ!

Journal 2018 – Day 7 – Bipolar and Sexuality

Bipolar Disorder effects all areas of your life but one area I didn’t know it effected much was sexuality. The thing with sex and bipolar is that either you have it in spades and running over or you don’t have an active libido at all. I am of the later which is why I didn’t know it was part of the Bipolar Disorder. A friend of mine didn’t care whom she had sex with, or what kind of sex she had or with how many men she had it with at one time without any protection at all. This kind of reckless sexual activity is called hypersexual behavior is common in Bipolar disorder. Then there is the other side of the coin when another friend of mine had no interest in sex at all. She didn’t want to be touched in any way at all. Not even from her boyfriend. She was fine with cuddles and hugging and kissing, but going further than that made her run out of the door screaming as if she had been touched by a hot poker. As you can see neither one of these situations puts the person in a very good sexual position. The bad thing about the medications for Bipolar Disorder is that it can stop the hypersexual behavior of the Mania phase of the Bipolar disorder but in most cases it will  completely turn their libido off for good.

Some say that Bipolar disorder is the reason for sexual addiction. The two are often difficult to untangle. According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) article “Opening the Door on Hypersexuality,” the prevalence of in the people with bipolar disorder is on average 57%. It involves a significantly heightened sex drive resulting in things like “constantly thinking about sex, a preoccupation with pornography, an abundance of one-night stands, engaging in sex with multiple partners, having random sex, seeking out prostitutes or having multiple affairs even when in a committed relationship.”

Most of these sexual encounters don’t mean anything to the person with Bipolar.  They get momentary pleasure from the experience, but they just crave the act of sex.  They don’t really care where or how they get it.  There is no emotional element to these sex acts. When this disorder has disrupted a person’s life almost totally, that person might become a prostitute to hide their sexual appetite.  This way they  can have as much casual, meaningless sex they want.

People with Hypersexuallty are often more likely to try more risky sexual positions and experiences such as being tied up and blind folded. Masters and Servants are also games that can be played as well as the use of whips and chains.  There is one game that even I am willing to play and as stated above I’ve got no libido, and that game is Dirty Minds.  I’d check it out if you want a little fun.

I hopw that I have given you something to think about.  You can’t always judge a book by its cover.

Journal 2018 – Day 6 – Depression

Depression. Now that’s a difficult word there. Let’s start with the “official” definition and go from there. According to the National Institute of Mental Health Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Some of the symptoms are persistent sadness, anxious or “empty” mood, feelings of hopelessness or pessimism, irritability, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, decreased energy or fatigue, moving or talking more slowly, feeling restless or having trouble sitting still, difficulty concentrating remembering or making decisions, difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening or oversleeping, appetite and/or weight changes, thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts, aches or pains, headache, cramps, or digestive problems, without a clear physical cause, and/or that do not ease even with treatment. The symptoms can be severe and affect how you feel, think, and handle your daily life. To be diagnosed with it, you have to have had the symptoms for over two weeks. Not everyone has to have all the symptoms. Some people experience only a few while others experience a lot more. It is the most common mental disorder, and it’s most likely caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

There are several types of depression

Persistent Depressive Disorder (also called Dysthymia) – It last for at least two years. A person has major depressive episodes along with less severe symptoms.

Postpartum Depression Must more severe than “Baby Blues” ( a relatively mild depressive/anxiety episode that typically clears up within two weeks after giving birth). This is a full-blown Major Depression during pregnancy and/or after delivery. The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany this type of depression makes it extremely difficult for these new mothers to take care of daily tasks for themselves much less for their babies.

Psychotic Depression – This happens when a person has Major Depression along with some form of psychosis such as hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations) or have disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions). This type’s symptoms typically have a depressive “these” such as delusions of poverty, illness, or guilt.

Seasonal Affective Disorder – It is characterized by the onset of depression in the winter because of the loss of natural sunlight and coming out of it in the spring when the sun comes out again. Winter depression is normally accompanied by increased sleep, social withdrawal , weight gain, and it predictably returns every year.

Bipolar Disorder – It is different from depression because it’s got mania episodes too, but a person with bipolar does experience extreme lows which are depressions, but they also experience extreme high or euphoric or irritable moods called “mania” or less severe form called “hypomania”

Now that’s that out of the way. It’s the dry stuff. The information stuff. Now we can have some fun….Well….to tell you truth, it’s really not that much fun living with depression. Most of the time you have okay days which are spend in partial dread of bad days.  Then bad days hit and your world is torn apart you don’t know when it is going to end.  It is more than sadness and disinterest. It is like falling down a deep, bottomless, smooth, stone sided well at the speed of light. All you can do is hold on and try not to loss your mind.  The only fun is when the mood swings liven up the place. They can change as slow as the gentle wind blows or as fast as a hurricane roars.  Sometimes my changed so often that if plotted it would look like an EKG.  LOL  The key is not going too high or low.

Well, that’s a good overview of depression.  Now I hope you have a basic understand.  If you have any questions, please leave me a common.

Journal 2018 – Day 5 – Mood Swings

Mood Swings are such a pain in the butt.  Oh, how I wish things could go back to the good old days.  Back before I knew what depression, mania, hypomania, schizophrenia, and mixed states all meant.  Back when I was just an angry child who was always getting into fights because I have an Irish temper and a bad attitude.  Oh, the trouble I’d get into because of my rage.  Mom and I would get into such fights.  She had a good 8 inches to a foot in height on me and way over a 100 pounds, but I could knock her out when I wanted to because I had done it before once completely by accident.  What can I tell you?  She fell easily.

Now Back to the point…….Yes…..Yes….Mood Swings!  They can be easy like a breeze or violent like a hurricane. They can be brief or last for ages.  They can even be small like a drop in the a puddle or large as if a ripple in a lake.   They can be high as the clouds in the sky or low as Hell is from Heaven.  There is just no telling what is coming next with mood swings.  They are just so tricky way which is the big problem with them.

A time in the life with Mood Swings is as follows:

It’s 6:30 am and the sound of the alarm shatters sleep from your mind.  You don’t want to be awake, but you are.  You check around the room just to make sure of where you are and to take a mental note of yourself.  You slowly get up out of  bed, taking inventory and coming to the conclusion that your are in an okay mood today.  You have to check in with yourself every morning to make sure of how your feel because there is no telling otherwise.

You check your planner to see what is on the agenda for the day and lay out the clothes that you will wear for the day.  All of a sudden, anger falls on you as if the red fever just swift through the room and you don’t like the clothes you just picked out. You don’t want to go where you are suppose to go today.  You start yelling at the top of your lungs about everything that comes into your mind. Then a wave of laughter hits you so hard, you fall to the floor of your room rolling.  You just can’t stop laughing.  You don’t know why your laughing.  It’s as if someone as told you the best joke in the world and you just can’t stop laughing.  Then you choke!    Out of the blue you start crying as if someone stole your favorite teddy bear. Your still on the floor with tears running down your face.  You can’t get up because you are so upset.  You try to calm down and pull yourself together.  It takes time, but you finally do it.  Now your okay and finally get ready and walk out of your room.  When you look at the clock, you see that all that happened inside an hour.  Now it’s time to face the day.

Now, not all mood swings are this extreme or quick changing, but this gives you a good picture of the kind of feelings and emotions that a person deals with when they are dealing with mood swings.

Another things that I would like to address is the fact that people who do not have severe mood swings think that it is easy to deal with both yourself and the world around you because they don’t have a problem with it, but when you are fighting with yourself and dealing with the world at the same time, it is not easy in any way, shape or form.  It can be down right hard.  For example:

You have your mind telling you that your are sad, but it is more that sadness and you don’t know why and don’t know how to get out of it. You really just don’t want to do anything at all to tell the truth.  The sadness is more than just sadness.  It is something that you can’t explain, but people don’t want to hear that.  They just want you to get over it and do your job.    Then you have things that you HAVE to do in the world such as work and deal with people.  On top of that people in the workplace want you to be happy with a smile and with sadness you can’t smile.  So we try so very hard to please everyone and force that smile on our lips, but it is a false smile.

I hope you now have an idea of what mood swings are about.  Feel free to comment.

Journal 2018 – Day 4 – Bipolar II

Well, I guess it’s about time to talk about the BIG ANIMAL IN THE ROOM called  BIPOLAR II.  It is the most misunderstood mental illness in the book.  Some people think it’s about the crazy, emotional people that can’t control themselves in public and others think it’s just depressed people that  live on their own in the woods and parks in and around our cities. How about those people locked up in the mental hospital?  Some of them could be Bipolar. I”m here to tell you that all are right and wrong.

We’ve all heard the commercial from TV or radio that states, “Do you feel happy and energetic on some days, but then sad and sluggish on other days? If so, and if your symptoms persist for extended periods of time, making it difficult for you to live your life as you usually would, then you may want to speak with your healthcare provider.” (FREE TV)

There are some Key Points in  this passage:

  1. First let me clarify, you don’t have to be “happy” at all. and secondly, you don’t have to be both “happy” then “sad” then “happy” again. You can just be “depressed” or “sad”.  There is no set formula to go by.  The doctors play it by ear.
  2. Symptoms have to persist for an extended period of time which means more than two weeks to a month.
  3. This condition has to have made it difficult for you to live your life normally.
  4. Finally, You NEED to talk to your Healthcare Provider about it before IT’S TOO LATE..  When it first starts disrupting your life get help! Please!  It can get serious really fast!!!!

Back when I was first diagnosed, there was only one kind of depression and it was called Manic Depression.  It was a unipolar depression.  You only got really depressed like you were falling down a deep well with no hope of coming up or seeing daylight again. Later the “people in the know” came to discover a new type of depression called bipolar depression which is part of a larger condition of  bipolar  disorder where there were two poles of extreme emotions, both highs and lows.  The highs were not “happy” but euphoric and top of the world feelings.  You feel like you can do anything.  Your mind races at 90 mph like a car, but you can also turn irritable. The Lows were not always “sadness” but deeper than that and into hopelessness, depression, and the extreme would be thoughts of suicide.  After several years, “the powers that be” changed everything again and divided Bipolar Disorder into Bipolar I (More of Mania  or “highs” and  some Depression) and Bipolar II (Some Hypomania (Mixed states or “mid-highs” but mainly depression).  You will get mixed states in both.

According to WebMD, Bipolar is a very serious disease and can be risky behavior and even suicidal tendencies,  Bipolar disorder is a lifelong or chronic illness.  There is no cure for it.  It affects the brain in ways that cause unpredictably extreme mood swings that vary in length and duration.  There is no known cause of Bipolar disorder;, but a combination of genetics, altered brain structure, chemistry and environment may play a role.

Here are a few fun facts just for your knowledge:

  1. Bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 Million American adults in any given year and as many as 60 million people worldwide.
  2. More than half of all patients begin seeing symptoms between the ages of 15 and 25, but it can begin at any age.
  3. There is no cure, but for many people the symptoms can be controlled with medication and treatment.
  4. Some people may experience mood swings that are less extreme than a full manic episode , known as hypomania.
  5. People with bipolar disorder often also have other mental health disorders (Sources : Mayo Clinic and Others)

I’m normally not one for stats, but I do like my lists.  (LOL)  Look here.  It’s a disease, first and for most.  Yes there is no cure, but it can be managed by medication and therapy and in extreme cases, hospitals, straps and really good drugs.  (LOL)  Most of us live relatively normal lives and only those closest to us know that we are mentally ill. We don’t have pointed ears or a forked tongues.  We look pretty much alike.

 

 

 

That Frightful Night

I thought I was a normal kid.  I was a preacher’s kid to begin with so I had a mark set against me to start with, but other than that I thought I was normal until that night oh so many nights ago…..

I was ten years old and it was a cold, winter night, when all of a sudden I was awoken by a scream ripping through the air from my mom’s room’.  I didn’t know what was going on.  I was scared and on my feet before I knew it. . As I was wiping sleep from my eyes, I slowly made my way around the hallway to my mom’s room to see what was going on.  A little light came through the ajar door as  another scream ripped the night! I jump back and covered my mouth trying not to cry out myself.

I slowly open the door.  Mom in a flowing nightgown,  is kneeling in the middle of her bed, reaching out with her arms as if trying to protect herself and screaming at the top of her lungs: “Don’t let the Head and Hands get me!”: “They are going to get me!”: “Keep them from me” just to show a few.  She was so upset and not making any sense.  She was totally alone in the room.  There was no one trying to get her.  There were no floating heads or hands flying around the room.  Evening being 10, I could see that.  I was scared and I could not understand what was wrong with my mom.  It didn’t make any kind of logic.

I tried getting her to stop screaming, and of course that doesn’t happen. I finally called my grandparents and they told me to call 911 and they were on their way.  I tried not to cry and stay calm while still trying to get my mom to calm down herself until help came.  You know how on TV they used to show people going to the mental hospital as being taken by men in white coats. Well, I’m here to tell you that it was the case at least when I was a child.  My grandparents took me out of the house after I got a bag together, and the men in white coats took mom after they shot her with some kind of medication to calm her down.

Before I could see my mom, her doctor had to discuss a few things with me.  It turns out that my mom has the disease Manic Depression, but more importantly she suffers from another disease called schizophrenia that caused her to act the way that she did the other night at home.  She was seeing and hearing things that were not there called hallucinations.  He explained that my mother was fighting against demons in her head that only she could see and hear and that I was not to worry about them getting me because they were only after my mom.  This scared me because I understood demons from my dad and I didn’t want them after my mom, but the doctor said that he would fix mom.

Later I went to see her at the Meridian Mental Hospital in Mississippi.  She had undergone ECT, or Electric Shock Treatment, which is where they strap a person down, put electrodes on each temple, a plate in your mouth, and send a whole hell of a lot of electric current through a body to kill brain cells.  She didn’t even know I was her daughter.  She could barely speak to me and had no feeling in her at all.  It took everything in me not to cry or scream at her to wake her up and tell her, “I’m your daughter.”  I finally had to run from the room back to my grandparents arms.  I cried all the way home in Oxford.

After months, she came home, and after more months we went back to our house on Hillside and again we were alone together.  I  never quite felt safe anymore, but I couldn’t let her know that because it might send her into another fit and they may have to make her forget me again if that happened.

That’s the night that everything changed for me…..That’s the night that a scream ripped through the my life….

Journal 2018 – Day 3 – Mixed State

I have to apoligize for not posting these last few days. I’ve been in a mood and today is no exception.  The thing is Today I want to talk. {Now YOU know YOUR in TROUBLE   LOL} My mind is racing and body shaking and I can’t get anything done. My mind is like a humming bird darting from this flower to that flower.  Taking just a little from each one. This is normal for what is called in the Bipolar realm as a Mixed State.  I can’t keep a thought in my head.  My fingers are floating on the computer just trying to keep up with the thoughts flying out of my mind.  It is so hard to try to keep my mind on one topic so that this is understandable because my mind is so full of so many things that I want to tell you.

Mixed states are kinda funny.  I’ve been dealing with Mental Illness for more than half my life, but it wasn’t until the last five years that I’ve come to understand and better deal with this area of it.  Mixed states are defined by episodes of both mania and depression at the same time or in rapid sequence without any downtime.  Mania when in a mixed state involves irritability, high energy, racing thoughts and speech and over activity. Depression features the same symptopms as normal such as sadness, loss of interest in well everything, low energy, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide.  I know it sounds impossible that both the high energy of Mania and the worthlessness and thoughts of despair of Depression could be going on at the sameGoo time in one human being, but I am here to tell you that it happens a lot more often than you think.  What do you think about A person that is crying when she is happy and saying that she is having the best time of her life.  Is she really happy or sad?  Yes!  Both!  She is in a mixed state.

I have the added characteristic of being a rapid cycler. This mean my emotions are all over the map a lot of the time.  You know what an EKG looks like with the rapid up/down lines? Well? Imagine that is a person’s emotions where they are high for a while then they are okay then sad and do on.  But you my moods actually change as fast as an EKG looks with the almost straight lines.  I can be happy, sad, crying, mad, angry, rage, sad, then happy and  laughing my head off okay all within an hour without anyone causing the changes.  The medication I am on now helps a lot, but I still have episodes which I don’t like.

Good night for now.  I’ll write more tomorrow…..maybe….lol!