Windows in My life

Showing posts with label Manic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Manic. Show all posts

Friday, April 27, 2012

Challenges and Victories the top 5 of each #hawmc

The top 5 challenges:

5) Some people do not believe that it is a continuous illness. That once one is happy again they will never get it again and forget that it can be a pattern for many more episodes.

4) There are people who have depression that don't take care of themselves by seeking help or taking medication. I feel like I am the sane one in a sea of crazy people because I am getting help and they are not and take their own lives or kill people because some thing snapped in their brains.

3) Trial and error of medication. Some times for depression you have to take 4 or 5 different medications before one or two take hold. The side effects can harm the person taking them or do nothing.

2) Some people feel that its a shameful, horrid thing that is not talked about in families and you are an outsider if you talk about it with anyone.

1) People with depression "look normal" because there is no limp, wheel chair, walking device or physical sign of depression. I think more people take other disabilities more seriously because there is a physical element to their disability. Since depression is a mental illness its hard for other people to "see" that you are not "normal".

The top 5 victories:

5) More research is being done to prove it has a genetic link for having depression. I know my mother was depressed (and came from a long line of depressive personalities) and my father and his father were Bi-polar/Manic, so when I heard that there were studies being done to see what the genetic link could be I jumped at the chance. So if and when my daughters have any type of depression, they can get medication tailored to them. They don't have to have bad side effects or harsh medication in their systems to try to see if it works.

4) It's being accepted as a disability, yes I know I stated in my number 1 challenge that its hard to see physically, however there are more medical studies, medical doctors out side the psychiatric community that can spot the early signs of depression or "blues", because some times it can cause physical illness that can be seen.

3) More Social Media Exposure. Blogs, Twitter and Facebook, just to name a few, have groups that people can connect with talk about their experiences, help guide other people just starting to find out information of the new diagnosis they recived and having community established. One such community is #ppdchat on Twitter.

2) Family acceptance. Here I go again stating a contradiction to the number 2 challenge, however if one person in the family becomes aware of the diagnosis, they can ask about other links to the past. Maybe an aunt that drank to be happy, an uncle that took illegal drugs to stop the talking in his head. By talking to my family members, I found out a wealth of information about different people I never met, but genetically linked that had some type of depression. Most of them drank alcohol as medication, more socially accepted then depression.

And the number one victory?

1) Myself. over my 32 years of life, I know how my body works. What can trigger my depression, what I can do to help me manage depression. It's not a 100% system. A new situation occurs, a bill that's not paid or my youngest screaming in the car for 20-30 minutes straight can be a very bad situation, however I have built a good support network, my husband knows and does help when its needed so I don't crawl into a hole, like the underside of the house and only come out on leap years (that would be awkward for the people that bought our home after my husband and daughters moved out?).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why Not? #hawmc

Have you read this book? Neither did I until my daughter got this for her second birthday. Its about a Naked Mole Rat that likes to wear clothes when the status quo of Mole Rats is to remain Naked.

The main character Wilbur says "Why Not?" to the argument of the three other characters stating Naked Mole Rats Don't Wear Clothes.

When people tell me to feel something other than what I am feeling I ask "Why Not?" Why not feel sad? Its a valid emotion, everyone feels it at one point in their lives. I've realized you can't force it down into the pit of an empty void in the soles of your feet, or in the small of your back, what does that get you, a ticket to see a specialist and a pill bottle full of pain killers. Never addressing the real problems of life. It does hurt to a degree but why not feel emotion? Its fully in a person's right to feel happy but not sad? I know in the Declaration of Independence that there is the pursuit of happiness, but what if some one's happiness at a point in life is to be sad? To feel the pains and hurt. Some authors actually wrote their best work while depressed. Would you have told Kurt Vonnegut, hey  I think you are too sad; take these pills and your troubles would go away. With pills I meant Lithium and other anti-depressants. I don't think the books he was famous for would have been written. Maybe they would, but wouldn't be as popular if they were happy and joyful would they? Why Not? Because when some one feels raw emotion, it comes out in their writings.

Why Not?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

NO! #hawmc

NO. Such an easy word to say? My toddler says it all the time. Maybe I did too when I was a kid. As a teenager I didn't know boundaries, I knew right from wrong, what inappropriate things were on the list of NO-NO's for myself. However my thoughts were screwed up when it came to my friends.

See I had a car, they didn't. I had to go to places, they didn't. So to keep them being friends with me I drove them to their homes almost every day. Thankfully they lived in the same area, but most lived in the Hills, and driving a manual 1963 VW bug, yeah there were some stalls. I paid for gas myself, mostly out of a summer job and occasionally though my allowance during the school year. I don't remember it being $1.36 a gallon, at some independent stores had Fridays were it was .99 Cents. By the way this was in 1997.

The massive crowd of people would gather around my car on Wednesday's would appear right after the ending bell at 2:35 pm. We got out early, however the AC Transit buses, that took majority of the students home didn't show up on school grounds until 3 pm, if the buses were early it was 2:55 pm, so if you had a car you were obviously popular with the bus crowd. 

During that same year I was going to therapy more and more on a weekly basis because of the teenage hormones, troubles with my mother, my childhood, my diagnosis of Bi-polarity Mania, also every so often they drew blood to see how my body was tolerating the harsh drugs and to see if I need more of one verses the other.

I scheduled most of the therapy sessions on Wednesday's because I could get there by 3 pm and still be home in time to do my homework. That conflicted with the other priority, driving people home. Most sessions I made it there on time, ok maybe 1-2 minutes late but nothing big. Then there were days were I was late 10 minutes and that cut into my time. The therapist told me when that happened I would only get the remaining minutes of the session, nothing more. I thought that was unfair. I was the one paying for the gas to get there, the time I could have been doing some home work or just hanging out at the park.

I gave her my reasons and she thought my "friends" were only using me for my car and that I should start saying No to them on the Wednesday's I had therapy. She also suggested that I shouldn't give lifts to people who just show up at my car, set a time they need to come to me by lunch and ask if they could get a ride after school and also if the rode in the car to pitch in a little gas money.

I was scared that once I said anything to those people I would be less popular in no time and go back having no friends. I agonized over this for a few days.

So Monday afternoon came and so did the people who wanted to go home with out taking a bus to my car. I decided I would make up something that I had to go to so they wouldn't come along. But they got into my car anyway. I told them I wasn't going to my house and that they would need to leave my car. They still sat there waiting for me to start the car. 

I said that whom ever rides in this car from that day forward must pay me 1-2 dollars a day for the extra side trips. Still they sat in my car. I also said that from that day forward they must come to me before 4th period and ask if it was ok to catch a ride with me at least a day in advance.

Most grumbled about the money bit, poor little rich kids, but some reached into their pockets and gave me a few dollars for the gas. I was surprised at the revelation. I took them off the school grounds, because I had really nothing to do besides homework at home to do.

A few days went by and most, but not all still showed up at my car with cash for gas and then I drove them home. A Tuesday morning, my friend Ant, came by and asked if he could get a ride the next day. It was the day of my therapy. I asked where he needed to be dropped off and he said some place other than where I was headed. I told him that I couldn't take him because I needed to be some place at 3 and he nodded and went away.

I felt empowered over hearing myself say No. Rejecting some one and feeling proud and happy that I actually did it. I held my breath the next day to see if he would talk to me at lunch. He did for a minute or two and then he left. The next day was Friday and I went to him and asked him if he needed a ride down to at least where the buses ran more frequently to his home and he said sure.

Most of the other people went with other friends that had cars because they could show up and not be pressed for gas money or a days notice for a ride down to their homes. Yes, I my fear was made true, I did have less friends because I didn't give them free rides anymore, but I learned to say "No" and my friend Ant is still my friend to this very day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pinning #HAWMC

Here are my Three "Pins":

I didn't pin anything dark or depressing, nor pills or pill bottles because that is what every one expects some one to pin about depression. I chose to do the positive words for a messed up mind.

The first one is the girl that says "My beauty comes from having my own style, living my own way and knowing my own mind." For a long time I had a negative self image. Most of my childhood was spent being looked down and tormented, being bullied because I was the easy mark. My clothes and my childhood home made me that way. The depression that I didn't know existed at the time, led me at seven years old telling a roommate my mother had that I wanted to kill myself. I am here so I didn't follow through. I don't think my "AH-HAH" moment came until I was looking at my eldest daughter and I had to break the cycle and say that I am different and I am beautiful. Like they say in recovery, if you can't do it for yourself, do it for the person you love first and then it will be second nature for you to do it for yourself.

The Second one I pinned states, "Nothing is impossible, the word it self says I'M POSSIBLE!" and that is by Audrey Hepburn. When you are in a cycle of depression and self flagellation, you think everything is impossible. Impossible to wake up for work, impossible to feed yourself, impossible to go forward with things that make you happy in your old life. Trust me, when you are depressed, you look back on the happy weeks as a different time span, almost like a parallel universe to where you don't understand what's going on. Almost a Ms. Jeckle, Depressed Hyde personality. I feel I border on M.P.D. Multiple Personality Disorder because I sometimes don't remember what ever happened the day before as if it was some one else's life.

The last is a picture of a bright sunny day and a few flowers reaching to that sun for energy and warmth. I feel like that when I come out of a cycle of depression or just got on to medication that I can feel lifting me out of that funk. Like smiling for no reason or knowing my head isn't weighted down by a funk, is a great clear moment.

I am a bit tired now. If you want to follow me for other reasons on Pintrest or need an Invite please Follow Me on Pinterest (I heart technology now a days!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Day. #HAWMC

my daughter Grace
Today is random day. A knot of emotions welling up making me feel like I am not a good mom. My back showing the signs of old age because I put tension, frustration, failures. The lack of sleep makes my world a bit darker like the night's sky. Though because of all the buildings, they have bits of bright spots, so I'd go with the country side night sky. The pain in my heart makes me feel like I can't love something new however I let people in. The weight of my tears makes my face heavy when I cry. I almost feel like I shouldn't be here anymore. Just get in a jet plane and leave things behind. I felt like that when I had my first daughter. And like my first daughter I didn't have any money to accomplish this, that is why I sat and looked at the airplanes flying over my head and wanted to be on them. I guess not every airplane, but the ones going to Japan or Australia. Just for the day or the week just to say I did it.

I do it one year. Just to say I did it. I'll put it in my Bucket list. The fancy way of saying need to do before I'm XX years old.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dear 16 year old Bella #HAWMC

I wrote to my sixteen year old self a month ago, however I wanted to write something for my eldest daughter Bella for this exercise.
Bella "Age 16" future

Dear Bella,

My have you grown. I am writing this in 2012 when you are just shy of your 3rd birthday, I know its too early in your life to comprehend a subject like depression and I hope you never will. When I was 16 my mental health wasn't the greatest. I had major issues with my brain that I couldn't figure out. I also wanted to talk about it with my mother, your grandmother about, but she would not listen. I hope our relationship is better and we can talk about everything you want me to know about.

When I was 15 years old, my biological father sent me a packet of information about a metal issue called Bi-Polar Manic Depression. I like the analogy of a roll-a-coaster. Some days you can be very, very happy, and the next very, very sad. Sometimes the days can last for weeks. I didn't know why this was important to me at this age and you are probably wondering why this is important to you. It is important because its something that can be controlled and with out medication, therapy and a lot of support, it can control your life without a care and feeling of failure that you are doing something wrong. And you are not. Its hard to grasp when you have hormonal changes going through your body, yet another thing to think about. At first I thought I was a hormonal mess and thought my brain was going to explode.

When the doctor talked to me about the treatment of this condition, I was very overwhelmed. I figured that I was living in a world where I created chaos, my mother (your grandmother) added to it and and I felt I never could get out of the pit of darkness.

He told me about medication, two pills, Lithium and Prozac that could make my mood a bit more stable, a clam I never knew. When I first took them I didn't realize the effect that it was happening to me. I didn't feel different. I still felt like screaming in my pillow at night and the lack of support from your grand mother was very apparent.

When I was in school one day, in Spanish class, (I was a few weeks into my new treatment and feeling a little better in my brain), another teen was chewing out the Spanish teacher for not really teaching us a proper Spanish instead of exploring our feelings. A few minutes into this he turns to me and says, 'This is the first time I have ever seen you smile'. I looked at him with astonishment. I was smiling? A few days later he told me that it was very weird to see me smile and at that point he was astonished that I was smiling with out cause.

As that day drew to a close I had a new found thing I thought I could never do. Smile just because.

While you are probably rolling your eyes and saying what does this have to do with me, I'll tell you that it may be genetic and a lot of work is being done, so there might be a pill to better suit your needs with out trial and error, horrid side effects and the feeling of failure that comes with the fact that you don't have to miss a dose of medication and not have to start a day, a week, a month later.

I love you,
Mommy (or Mother)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Depression Tsunami #HAWMC

Copyright All rights reserved by Michio Endo 
I don't know how to find a picture of depression. I didn't want to go the stereo typical black and white picture with a person's face on it. I thought that I had plenty of them in my own library of me staring at the camera blankly, no feeling while taking the picture. This picture is on or after the Japanese Tsunami that hit the country on March 11, 2011.

The picture of the tattered Violin (or Viola) represents the physical form of how one feels when they are in the mist of an episode. The tsunami of emotions shatters the mind into little fragments, making it hard to become whole again. The once beautiful gloss of the wood, the sound of pure joy it once held, now gone to another world. The feeling of isolation of the Violin is the same feeling one has towards people whom say that they are your friends and when you need them because of the depression, they aren't there. Gone to a different place, a different world even a different time. The longing of wanting to be back to the original before the perfect storm threw you into that storm is there. The feeling like you should know how to deal with it again and again as wave after wave keeps hitting you. Self doubt creeps in. Depression takes hold and a few hours, days, even months take hold and then you realize you are a tattered form of yourself washed up miles away from who you once were.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Time in a Bottle #HAWMC

The time 1:00 PM GMT, April 1, 2112, the place some where in the desert of what was known as the San Francisco Bay Area. The great archaeological find of the year has been unearthed due to construction of a major farm that promises to restore the great valleys of California due to the Cities of San Francisco and Los Angels being moved towards Hawaii in the great earthquake of 2100 dramatically shifting the ecosystem of .

One of the finds that was thought to be an inhabited area; scientists found a Time Capsule from the year 2012. As they took it back to their field lab, the box sprang open and a small note was at the top:

Dear Future,
Please do not judge.
I am a mother, a wife and a woman.
I have many problems.
Please look at this with an open mind,
people in this life look at Bi-Polar/Manic depression as the black death.
We are people just like you.

Yours Truly, Amanda

As they look onward they find sealed gallon zip-lock bags full of Medical journals, papers, finding and other documentation of the definitions and treatments of the condition. Some from the early 20th Century, which document the treatments of shock therapy for this "Bi-Polar/Manic" type of depression. In pill bottles they find little pink pills with the instructions on how to take the pills 3 times a day of a substance called Lithium, another dozen bottles of pills called Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Prozac, to name a few. a journal that documented the struggles of the woman called "Amanda". A USB device that once open, showed a website long forgotten. Reading it they found the struggles this person went through as a woman with depression. Struggling with the stigma and the necessity of keeping it quiet from the people in the "Normal World". And a few photographs of what looks to be a very healthy family of four laughing at what seems to be a park in old San Francisco.

At first the scientific community was baffled about this discovery. Depression was wiped out by the discovery of a genetic trait that could be turned off by the nano-bots given at birth in 2102. So this discovery it showed the lack of medical knowledge of the humans living 100 years ago. It validated a few ideas that the medical community had as they theorized that back then the doctors treated the symptoms and not the root cause of the genetic disorder. They marveled at the information that this capsule provided, a wealth of misinformation, once thought of as the definitive answer by giving harsh medicine to people to alter their thinking and perception of the world to now where a simple DNA test and nano bot correction can wipe out  anything and repair the broken links.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge #HAWMC

My focus will be on Bi-Polar Manic Depression and some of the Postnatal depression issues. Please don't judge this as a personal experience and I will be bearing my soul.

Hey everyone - I just wanted to tell you about a new activity I'll be doing this April. The Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. I hope you'll join me in writing every day about health. It's going to be a lot of fun and I'd love to see what you have to say about each of the topics, too. All you have to do to join is sign up here: and you'll be able to start posting once April rolls around. Looking forward to writing with you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dear sixteen year old self,

Can you believe you are now 32? Have two daughters, a husband, a house, and the VW?
Me at 16 with my friend Winston

I know it seems far fetched because you are in the mist of a melt down. You will get help and medication for what you are finding out from your biological father about a chemical imbalance in your brain called Bi-Polar Mania. The medication will make things better, but our mom will not.

When you are 18, she will call the cops and have them place you under a 5150, though its hard for the doctors to find out what is wrong with you after the first 12 hours of being there. Some of them think our mom should be in here, not you. When you get back to your home, your mother is there with a restraining order not to go near her or your childhood home. All of this at the start of your last year in high school, how rude right?

You do graduate from Skyline High School with top honors. Both the Future Teachers and Preforming Arts magnate completions and honor roll cords. I think we were the first person to do such a thing in the schools history. I doubt that few will remember, but we will!

It took us a few more years to complete college than we had hoped. 1 year in City College and 5 years in San Francisco State University. You met a few friends, laughed and tried so hard to shed the awkwardness about you by reinventing yourself a few times. However it seemed not to work and the self doubt haunts you even to this day. 

You did get a job at the PlayStation Store San Francisco in the Metreon. Yup you get into video games. You actually meet your husband there, however don't know it yet, and meet another guy that will break your heart into a million pieces and runs back to Michigan. So when you see a tall handsome, blond hair, blue eyed guy that is just as shy, RUN AWAY! 

A few years later when you're about to turn 27, our mother dies and you lose your childhood home to fore-closer. You have days from when you find out that she has died to when they take it away, to prioritize the things that you want to take with you and the things you will never see again. And those decisions still haunt you till this day.

A year latter you get married and another year after that your first daughter is born. Bella is a great little girl and brings mountains of joy. So in 2011 you try once again and you have another daughter Grace and you decide to give her our mother's middle name as hers. 

Please do not be scared as this is even over whelming to your 32 year old self. Just know that you do not become what your mother has told you, however the bit about the girls were right. 

You are not crazy, you do become loved by yourself, and you are loved by others.