Leaving It In The Past and Peaking Around The Corner

 

live

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be such a debilitating disorder.  It can be one traumatic event that causes fear for the rest of one’s life; or it can be years of repeated attacks to the soul that sparks episodes of recall, fear, depression, or anxiety.  The depths of the attack to one’s spirit is intense and forever relevant with hair-raising episodes of fear, elevating periods of a pounding pulse and startling fast paced breathing.  It is not a disorder that is easily overcome or forgotten, if ever.

For me, I realized that just reading in my journal the full recollection of a traumatic event caused me to become depressed.  I was not so much depressed that I could not function, but my mind was saying  “put the brakes on, I don’t want this to impact me again”.  I could either be on alert or put the brakes on.  The recent recollection slowed me down and unconsciously I said “NO”.  I don’t want to feel this again.

Due to my PTSD I realized that I have to take a break from reading my journals from years past.  I will go back to it eventually, but now it is time to be present and in the moment.  I, of course, don’t live back in those days.  My life now is fulfilling and ever-changing.  Each day is a new adventure.  I’m looking forward to what’s around the corner.

Healing With Ink On The Page

 

ernest-hemingway

My writing and thoughts were disconnected.  One thought ran into another, or worse yet – the thoughts that came out one after another had no reasoning to be with each other at all.  The writing was scribbles and yelling on the page.  I couldn’t get my perspective back into order.  Then all of a sudden, I began to write the depths of my fears on the page.  I began to blurt out the whole memory from the beginning.  My writing evened out and became more legible with each thought of the horrible memory that I began putting down in ink.  Somehow my writing of these memories were cathartic.  Somehow I found my voice!

I Wish That I Was As Strong As I Look

peace

A familiar theme in my past journals is that I wish I was as strong as I look.  It seems unimaginable that I could keep my emotions of fear (or anything for that matter) hid so deep inside.  I can still do that at some times, but I work on being healthier and letting those feelings out – and to talk about them.  I have had the ability to have a pounding heart and be filled with anxiety, yet still appear relaxed to the point that others around me feel more relaxed due to my calm presence.  But the healthier part of me now says release those emotions.  Talk to someone.  Pray!

Prayer helps so much and releases a lot of my burden.  I put my feelings and all of the future actions into God’s hands.  It’s a beautiful thing.  And to remember that I’m never alone is so peaceful to my spirit.  There have been times that I’ve said, “Who can I call?  Who can I talk to?”  Then I realize God is always available.  And I pray.  And peace overcomes me.

Carefully Watching Eyes

children

Way back in 1995 (I was twenty-five at the time), I questioned myself with the goal of going back to school.  I thought that perhaps I was being selfish because I was taking time away from the family.  The children have always been my main priority in life, and knowing now that going back to college and becoming an RN was in fact one of the best things that I could have done for me, (and yes) for the children.

The children saw first hand what hard work can do for someone.  I became a nurse, and enjoyed working in my field.  I was meant to be a helper.  I found out that I am capable and responsible, and truly filled with compassion.  The role model that I was able to be encouraged the children in later years to know that they could do it too.  My children were the first ones in our family to maintain excellent grades in college, work hard, and all of them to receive their baccalaureate degrees (I received my Registered Nurse Diploma).  And for that I’m immensely proud and know that these goals are going to prosper throughout the generations.  Anything they set their minds on can be within reach.

Taking care of oneself shows others how to also work hard to care for oneself and pursue personal goals.  It is not being selfish to be a good role-model.  It is good to spend the quality time when able though.  I recall two years in a row studying for exams while my ex-husband and the children went apple picking.  I missed those experiences, but thankfully my ex-husband jumped in to make memories.  We were both thinking about the future, just in different roles and ways.

My Strength

isaiah

 

Understanding that perfection is not a possibility is step one to happiness.  Yes doing one’s best is great, but perfection and striving for perfection leads to needless self-criticism.  I have learned that settling for great can be accomplished.  Even if it’s not great, that’s OK.  But to say that’s “good enough” doesn’t work for me.  With God’s guidance I can do better than good enough.  My strive is to accomplish my personal best with each endeavor.  Thank you God for opening my mind and letting me know that through your Holy Spirit, I am capable.  You are my guide!

Finding A Better Way

 

treat-with-dignity

 

I have gained more acceptance of my fate in life with the understanding that I need to be diligent in my medical/psychological care.  I have to make a conscious effort and be proactive in being mindfully healthy.  Yet, I still rely on the help of others.  Even to be outwardly open about my struggle with mental health and my Bipolar is a positive step for others to see and understand that there is no need to have UNWARRANTED shame, related to a difficult illness that is hard to control.

To have delusions, delirium, and to be locked up against your will, and be forced to take medications.  Or worse yet, to be held down (against your will) and be shot up with these mind altering meds is a loss of total control over one’s own body, mind, and will.  You are once again a child that is being pushed around (an abused child) and being assaulted.  I do know in my heart that the goal is good, but the way it is completed is NOT!  Your spirit and will are taken away.  There must be a better way.

So therefore I’m going to think about the alternative.  If perhaps I was not held down and given these meds to control my delusions, word salad, hallucinations, and other (I believe) stress related induction of symptoms, I would be lost in my own world, or worse yet, I would be dead from where my mind could have taken me.  So yes, the treatment is unfair, though it is not unkind.  In my state of chaos, my mind and eyes are seeing evil, but in the reality of the situation control is trying to be established so that a solution or treatment can be instilled.

Therefore I have to remind myself that although the methods of care have not yet been perfected to make the one with mental illness feel soothed or under careful attention and comfort, the goal is to be healed.  An empathy to understand one going through this treatment is a must.  It is a painful experience to endure.  Please remember that these individuals feel a loss of control and dignity.  A therapist and advocate needs to be put into the situation immediately.

Be Who You Are – BEAUTIFUL!

 

mountains

How can one parenting skill be compared to another parenting skill, when the children’s best interests are at heart?  To live the majority of my young children’s existence (years ago) being judged and compared to a friends obvious need for validation of her PERFECT care and compassion of her children was a dysfunctional friendship that should have been dissolved years ago.  Thankfully with God’s guidance I feel that I have a sense of freedom from the grips of someone else’s sense of warped perception and reasoning.  A beautiful sense of freedom.  When I felt the need to live up to her sense of perfection, that should have told me to move on.  Yes, hindsight is twenty-twenty!

Physical and Psychological Pain

 

uglier-ways

 

Delirium at its worst is believing that something is going to take over your spirit of good.  Evil will win.  How can that battle even be fought?  Well that was my experience during my last psychotic episode.  The difference that caused so much of the physical symptoms, I believe, was that I did not have the resources at that time to convey all of my thoughts to, so those thoughts got bigger, heavier, and lost in my mind.  They went through extreme turbulence and medication was the only thing to help get them back into a reality perspective.  My physical body was taking control and trying to release the burden that my mind could not figure out.  The extreme anxiety, causing chest pains, then loss of speech or word salad came into focus.  My blood pressure responded.  Loss of physical functioning of my limbs at times.  It is truly amazing the intermingling of physical symptoms to psychological pain, and the black and white medical response for such a cohesive existence with the mind/body has to be brought into focus.  It truly is one entity and should be treated as such.

God Knows My Needs and Provides

 

Sunshine

 

Each day during the times of turmoil keeping a positive attitude is trying, though essential.  Yesterday was a beautiful evening with my daughter and granddaughter.  It was nice to stray from the homestead and see another perspective.  It was nice to take some time helping to care for my granddaughter and with helping my daughter.  I felt useful.  That’s a beautiful thing.  Thank you God for knowing what I need and providing the way.

 

The Hell of Mania

inside-your-head

 

I recently went to a depression group in which someone said to me that she wishes that she had the mania part in Bipolar because depression alone is so difficult.  This was in fact a medical professional.  Well further education is desperately needed.  I speak as a person who has Bipolar and am saying to the world that mania is not a fun symptom that makes me have a good time.  Mania is chaotic.  And for me the elevation and depression are both terrible and disturbing symptoms to a psychiatric illness.

Mania for me causes discord among family and friends.  There is irritability.  There are moments (if psychosis beams its ugly head) where questioning my own mind is disturbing and I need to reality check with loved ones.  Praying to God for help and assistance when needed helps me to say, “God I can’t handle this anymore, please carry me through this”.  The thoughts of suspicion and questioning if it is my mind or is in fact reality is terrifying.  What is it that I should do to have trust and faith?

So NO mania is NOT fun!  The havoc that can devour a family is not something that I wish for.  Though THANKFULLY I have friends and family who can see the turmoil that my mind is questioning and going through.  Living with needing someone to assist in both my depressive or manic times is essential.

Depression is encountered and makes me feel so isolated and alone.  Yet in contrast, mania involves others and can be seen as a disturbing whirlwind.  And for me the anxiety and frantic need for help and having more peace is all-consuming.  Examples of this is the chaos seen with some high-profile actors.  The ability to outwardly have my illness seen by others can be devastating and so misunderstood because of the stigma.  Again I say, IT IS NOT FUN.