Hope/Inspiration

Soul-Luminous Radio Interview of Sloan Rawlins

Sloan Rawlins

Author Sloan Rawlins.

I have introduced you all to Sloan Rawlins before with her Book Taming The Invisible Dragon and some of her posts at TamingTheInvisibleDragon.com. She is a talented writer and inspirational speaker, soon to be coaching. I have gotten to know Sloan personally and she really is an amazing woman.

Her book is full of inspiration, wisdom and practical ways to help further your spiritual journey. I am sure you would all love her book and now she has been interviewed by Michelle Rober and John Masiulionis of Soul-Luminous Radio! 

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Working on Changing your Life, Thoughts, Amount of Happiness? #MustRead

I have written before about the work I have done to change my thought processes from negative to positive and the positive affect it has had on my life, the people in my life and my family. This journey for me has been in the area of 5 yrs, its slow going and it has to be for it to be real. This past year I have been on the look out for a guide or guides to help me further my spiritual growth. I have met so many wonderful people, sadly a few I thought were true friends ended up not staying in my life.  On the whole there have only been a few relationships that have been a disappointment or learning experience which is a small percentage of those I have met. I trust very easily and that isn’t always a good thing.

One of the many contacts I have made over the past few years is Sloan Rawlins. She writes a blog called “Taming the Invisible Dragon“, I learn so much from the wisdom she shares about her life experiences and her journey in healing, happiness and self-realization. Every time I read her posts I gather wisdom, about how to carry on, change my life for the better and live fully.

Sloan Rawlins has now published her first book, and it is titled “Taming the Invisible Dragon” same as her blog. I immediately acquired this book and read it cover to cover in two sittings. Only because I got interrupted by life and kids or I would have read it through in one sitting. I found this book to be the guide I have been looking for, simple, clear, and Sloan is sharing what she has learned on her path to Healing, Happiness and Self-Realization. She writes this book as a helpful tool, not a victim of the hard times in her life, but as a guide to help others in their path to happiness.

We are all responsible for our own life, the way we manage it, our healing, and happiness.  I have always felt that some part of me knew I could be happier but it took a lot of years to realize how to go about changing. I have come a long way from a very unhappy, reactive, drama filled life to one of happiness. There is still something missing and when reading Sloan’s book I see this is the tool I have been looking for to help open up my spiritual side, learn and grow into the person I truly am.

I believe each and every one of us are on this type of journey, sometimes we know it and other times we do not. When we do not know we can be happy by choice and we can change the negativity, that negativity  in our lives it will take over. Now I know a lot of my readers have illness’s that affect your level of happiness but coming from one diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I can tell you we can take control of a certain amount of our happiness and can grow within. It takes serious work, as you all know if you are diagnosed with a mental illness, every day is work but believe me you can improve your life with a better understanding of yourself and what you want in this life beyond physical things.

I believe in every person out there! You must start with loving, accepting and believing in yourself no matter what you have been programmed to think. You can change your life and Sloan’s book for me has been a great source of wisdom and a guide that will help me make some serious changes. I want to suggest this book to you if you at all are wanting to change your life for the better.

Taming the Invisible Dragon book cover

Here is Sloan’s Book

Below is further information on Sloan’s book and her social media contacts:

The blog, Taming the Invisible Dragon

Purchase the book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Author Sloan Rawlins on Facebook  

Author Sloan Rawlins on Twitter

Sloan Rawlins

This is Author Sloan Rawlins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May you all find the happiness you deserve in this life!  Much love to you all..

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Have you ever needed help?

Holding a heart

I have a friend that is also a blogger and she is in quite a pickle. I won’t share details other than, her and her son need to move and do not have the funds to do so. They must be out by July and they have no money to move with.. Their landlord is tossing them out.

I am asking that if at all possible, please donate a bit to her and her son.

please go to – GoGetFunding – Help get a home and donate any amount as low as $1.00.

Here is her statement on the fund raising:

We are struggling to find a new place to live. Due to our landlords choice to make us move, me and my autistic son will soon be out on the streets. We both receive disability each month…me for Multiple Sclerosis and him for Autism. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We have until July 3rd, 2013 before we are completely living on the streets.

Help me to make a difference in their lives! Donate.. 

Image courtesy of Master isolated / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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An Amazing Girl and Her Song

This video was posted on a group I am part of on Facebook for parents of teens.

The subject is Bullying, which you all know has touched my life and my oldest daughters causing much self esteem problems.  We need to show love for everyone!  Accept everyone but we also MUST stand up for ourselves and we need to stand up for our kids!

Please listen to this beautiful song by Megan Landry and SHARE IT!!

 

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Good News for Me!!

I have some good news… Finally some good news!

I got a call from my old boss and he tells me he talked to another Agent (State Farm insurance agent) and he is needing a part time person to fill in one day a week or two days a week and would I be interested? Of course my answer is yes!!  So he says OK I talked to him about you a bit and will email him and give him your number.

Well yesterday he called me and he was really nice. I was completely honest with him about why I haven’t worked and that I have to keep my stress down so I cant work a full time job but a part time job would be perfect especially one day a week.  I tried to explain as much as possible about my illness and how controlled it is and he asked what medicine I take and I told him. He asked if I take Lithium and I explained that I have never taken anything that strong.  I am Bipolar II so my symptoms to this date have never required Lithium.  He says his wife was a counselor so she will probably know more about my illness.

So Monday at 11am I have an interview with him and his wife and it seemed promising. Its perfect for me as I can do what I am trained to do and do it part time enough that I should be good to go.  Then I would be able to lighten up on the monetizing the blog a bit.

I’m so excited please wish me luck!!

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Reaching Out, Taking Chances…

I want to share a recent experience I have had, with a new neighbor! First, I must explain that I have had some problems with people here and really haven’t been friendly with anyone since moving in almost 2 years ago! The apartments are set up to where you see each other all the time but still no real interaction until now. :)

Over this past weekend a new person moved into the apartment directly next door to me. Our doors actually open up into each other so you can’t come and go at the same time. Sometimes its comical, especially when your neighbors aren’t friendly.  I went to leave the other day and bumped into my new neighbor.  He is a single dad with two girls and a very friendly person.  I immediately got the feeling he was having a hard time emotionally. I didn’t say anything at that time just introduced Carl and ran out! Image of a hand shake on a new day

The next day he came by and said Hi and we were talking a bit and it came out that he was having a hard time. I asked him if he wanted to come in and chat but he didn.t want to at that time and said he would explain another time why.  We talked a bit more at the door but something really made me want to reach out to him, but I didn’t want to push. I made it clear to him that I was around if he needed anything. 

The next day he pops up again and we got to chatting and he kinda spilled some stuff about having concerns that he might be bipolar.  Of course before he said that I had told him I didn’t work and he asked why and being me I told him the truth.  He said he was really interested in talking more about it but I had to leave so I talked with him for a bit and then I had to run off.  I really get the feeling he needs some support, just friendly support.  

I really took a chance telling a brand new neighbor about my illness but I dont keep it quiet. If I did I would be making the stigma that surrounds mental illness worse so I take these chances and times like these it pays off.  I really do want to help people understand mental illness and help them be brave enough to get real help. This man is worried about his mental status and has lost many jobs over his mood swings etc.  He needs someone to talk to about this to help him sort things out and I think that fate put him next door to me so I could help him out.  

We talked a bit again tonight and he wants to talk more another time so I just told him anytime he wants to chat to knock on the door or if its open to call in to me.  He said you might be the best person for me right now! I’m not sure I agree but I can listen and tell him what I have been through.

It is sometimes frightening to take that type of chance but if we continue to hide our illness and allow people to shame us the stigma will never change.  We must be brave and confident in the decisions to reach out to people!! 

Now go reach out to someone, even if it is just a friendly hello it might change their entire day! 

 

Image: tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Happy New Year ♥

Happy New Year Everyone!!  I hope your New Years eve was fun and that everyone is safe. 

This is the first day of the New Year and its going to be a fantastic  year!! 2012 Here we come!  I have received some exceptional  support from perfect strangers this year and I just want to say now  to all those strangers who have become friends Thank You for  being you!! 

As you all know I became Partner on a Website called  LeanOnUs.co in August. Since that date we have worked tirelessly  to get it off the ground and we have received support that is  immeasurable! We have made many new friends on many new sites  and learned a ton from you all and trial and error.. :)  We have  added over 100 pages to our site and in September I began this  blog and personally received support I am sincerely Thankful for. 

My goal in life at this time is to be happy and to aid others in any way I can, this is what brings me happiness!  Helping others in whatever little way I can, brings me peace and purpose! I hope that I can repay the support I have received in 2011 with the same support given out in 2012!

May your Year bring you fulfillment and happiness beyond any expectations! 

Wishing you Love and Happiness!  Hugs xxx 

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Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net - jscreationzs‘s portfolio is:

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Christmas Day and Family Visits Done…

Merry Christmas to those  of you who celebrate it!  Hope everyone had a great Happy Holidays to all!!day filled with Love and Joy!! 

Today was a busy day… Got up early my mom stayed the night and my dad got here at 7am. The Kids opened presents we made breakfast and hung out with Carl, My mom, my dad and the kids. 

9:30 am in the shower and by 11am out the door to Carl’s family’s house, about 2 hours up the freeway.  It was nice to meet a bit more of his family and hang out a few hours with his parents, his niece and her children.  Opened gifts and ate enchiladas and spicy bean soup. It was great!!  His family is so different from mine they are quiet and laid back, where my family is stressed and loud. LOL  

Unfortunately, I got sick a couple of days ago so Christmas Eve day and Christmas Eve I was not feeling well but we had a nice time at my brothers then came home to visit with my mom and Carl. Then some cold medicine and some much-needed sleep. Woke this Morning in a panic realizing I forgot to put the kids stockings together.. ugh  So 5:30am I was up and making stockings. haha

This year was great because Carl was staying with us as his parents are staying at his house in his room.  It was special to have him here in the Morning for Christmas, really made it nice! 

No real Family Drama??  I know that’s what I was thinking, NO WAY!!  haha  Nope there was no drama that I noticed we had a great holiday!  It really helped that I had thought about the Family drama stuff the other day and decided I wasn’t on the look out for it!  If there was drama I simply didn’t notice because I wasn’t paying attention to it! 

I must say I’m exhausted, as usual after Christmas, I’m so happy with how the holiday went… felt a bit more like a normal family!  

Can’t wait for the New Year and of course my oldest daughters 16th birthday on the 30th of December!!  Limo and dinner for her and her friends I’m so excited!!!

♥Merry Christmas and May the season bring  Love and Joy to your hearts! ♥

Image: duron123 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Portfolio at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=3506

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Am I Recovering From my Bipolar Episode??

If you have a mental illness you may understand this, if not you may not but I will try to be clear.  

For me an “episode” is up and down moods, inner anxiety and tenseness, a swirling of anger and emotions, highs (hypo-mania), over spending, not able to concentrate, busy and loud mind, under cleaning and well complete disorganization in all aspects of my life.   I do this rapid cycling thing so this all happens quickly over and over. My stress level gets super high and my blood pressure rises which causes me to be really tense.  This can last days, weeks, months and even years it varies every time.  The good news is this happens to me less than it used to due to my meds. 

This past “episode” lasted about 7 months from May 2011 to December 2011. Well that is if it’s actually subsiding. It’s hard to know as you feel good one day but then can either wake up totally depressed and pissed off the next or the good feeling can keep rising into a further episode of hypo-mania. I’m hoping for a recovery.  

For the last couple days I have felt almost like myself again. A calm happiness is how I describe it.  Being able to almost relax, I say almost cause I NEVER relax. I don’t know if its related to the Bipolar but I NEVER relax fully. Carl has really helped me with that tho as he is a calm easy-going guy and there is never drama of any kind with him. He is so comfortable I almost forget my issues. 

I even asked Carl today if he has noticed a difference in me the last few days and he said he did.  It might be a false recovery but I’m hoping not.  I dislike being unsure all the time about how I am going to wake up, but I hope for the best every day. :) 

When all this started it took me months  to realize I was having an “episode”.  I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t realize it got further than it should have so I didn’t adjust my meds till I was fully gone into the “episode”.  I have adjusted my meds but it takes weeks to months for it to take hold and I have to hope I have adjusted the right ones.  Looks like I may have made the right changes.  Cross your fingers! :)

I am hoping for a nice calm relaxing holiday but I know with my family that’s not likely. LOL 

I wish you all Happy Holidays!

May you find Peace, Joy and Happiness in the coming year!  

May all your dreams come true!

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Thanksgiving Week…

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  ~Epictetus

Finally, I am feeling better…Mood leveled out and I am really enjoying spending the week with my kids. Normally they only have off Thursday and Friday on the week of Thanksgiving but this year they are both out of school for the entire week! 

Honestly, I  about this week with my moods being so weird, but so far so good. Yesterday we slept in (well the kids did) and then my youngest and I took off to the shoe store and looked at boots for them for Christmas. No way this year I am buying anything without them approving it, too many shoes and clothes purchased they won’t wear.  Today we sat around all morning kids slept till 11am and I got some work done, then we went to my dad’s house to visit and do a load of laundry.  It’s a 30 min drive to his house and we were just being silly and having a fun time.

*Gratitude is the best attitude.  ~Author Unknown*

Whole Foods Union Square turkey cupcake

Image by Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake via Flickr

I am Thankful for so many things in my life! There are so many good people around me this year and they boost me up. My kids for one are really good girls. I am proud of them, they are working hard in school and it really shows. They are kind to their friends and other adults. Then there is Carl, who has really lit up my life this past year. He is super sweet and treats us all with love and respect.  He is giving and open and we really enjoy time together.  My parents are still living and its nice the kids can spend time with them.  Grandparents are an important part of life and I am glad my kids still have my parents as their dad’s parents have passed. :(  Then there is all the wonderful people online that are so supportive and sweet and a joy to know.  I love getting to know everyone.  I really hope that our site, LeanOnUs.co, helps people in some way. Even if we just reach one person and help them in some way, our goal is really to be there for others.  

I really love the idea that my blog or the site could help  someone!  When I was learning that I had Bipolar2 Disorder it helped me so much to know I wasn’t alone and to hear others struggles and the answers to some of the problems we shared.  We can learn so much from others experiences if we open our minds. 

I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you all enjoy your time with your friends and family and remember what your thankful for! 

*Gratitude is the memory of the heart.  ~Jean Baptiste* 

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What Happiness is to me…

Have you ever wondered what people feel when they say they are happy?  I know I have wondered in the past, so I’m going to try to explain what happiness means to me. 

Happiness came to me a few years ago, while I was trying to heal from my marriage failing and my husband cheating on me.  Honestly I was one of those people going through life trying to find that ‘thing’ that would make me a happy person.  My husband was found on the phone with a woman telling her he loved her, by my oldest daughter and she had woken me,  I then went out to listen to him playing the I love you more game on the phone.  I can’t describe what happened that night but something inside me imploded! There really aren’t words to describe it! Heavy depression set in! I tried to do counseling with him but he wasn’t interested so after 8 sessions he refused to go back, so a couple of months later I moved out.  Ok anyway back on task here… 

I tried to take in what had happened to my life and really wasn’t ready to let go but a year later I think I must have been.  I was driving to pick up my kids at my ex-home and I remember specifically I was at a stop light.  I heard this voice say to me, “happiness is a choice, just choose to be happy.” It was like a higher power was telling me, just be happy.  I remember saying to my self, I’m going to be happy!  I asked myself. “do I have everything I want in life?, no, but I am happy!  Deep inside there was happiness that I wasn’t letting out!

Until I heard that voice I had no clue that I was making myself unhappy, it was a choice to focus on the negative but this is a chance for a fresh start and I haven’t taken it.  I set forth in that moment to be happy.  To focus on the happy and to stop myself from focusing on the negative aspects of life.  If you have read my other posts you know I have suffered my entire life with severe depression and I was finally to where that depression wasn’t controlling me but I had learned to be negative.  

I had to change the way I thought.  I decided I must listen to how I talk to myself.  That inner voice was really hard on me and my anxiety liked to torture me.  I would catch that voice talking down to me and I would say out loud NO, and change that thought to a positive statement.  Sounds stupid doesn’t it?  I even spoke out loud to that voice! I had to take control of it! I focused on smiling and relaxing even if it was just for a moment. 

 So now my happiness is: Enjoying every moment of my   children, good and bad times.  Watching them grow into  women and great people.  Spending time with Carl (my  boyfriend) enjoying his quirks and his personality.  I am  super comfortable with him and we have fun together even  doing nothing. I see the rain as a cleansing of the world and  enjoy every moment of it.  The sunshine brings brightness and warmth to me and the world around me, I breathe it in and bask in its glory! I accept myself for who I am. I have now defined who I am as; a kind, caring mother of two who wants to reach out and help others.  I have major mood swings here and there and will occasionally embarrass myself but I can apologize and improve on it immediately. I am Imperfect, as my daughter would say ‘Perfectly Imperfect’! I see the world and each person I meet as they are, I trust my gut instinct because there are bad people in the world and I don’t deserve to be mistreated any longer. 

Bottom line for me Happiness is simply accepting things as they are and not making excuses or wondering how it would be if I could have done something differently in the past.  It is also a choice to be free from negativity.  I tell my self all the time I’m happy! There are days I have to refocus and stop my old habits but I have a quality life and good people in it! That makes me happy! :)

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New Relationship and Bipolar…

Do you wonder how a new relationship survives the mood issues I have had lately? Me too!!  

Today I’m sharing more on my relationship with Carl.  When I met Carl I was a mess he was my neighbor at the first apartment I moved into after my husband and I separated. We said Hi to each other and general niceties but never really spent any time together.  I thought he was a nice man the moment I saw him but I didn’t feel good about myself and wasnt looking for a relationship.  We lived there 3 yrs as neighbors until he moved out to move in with his girl friend.  I wished him the best and went on my way.  A year after he moved, I ran into him at a local park and we chatted for a while.  No big deal really.  I was pretty stable at the time and was happy open to a relationship.  Well as it turned out he had just moved out of his girlfriends house, I told him how sorry I was it didn’t work out etc.

 Then a few weeks later two days before I went to court for my divorce, he tracked me down at a local store and asked me out.  He proceeded to tell me that he always regretted not asking me out and he has looked for me to ask me out for a week or so.  He said he was frequenting the areas my kids went to school in hoping to run into me. He assured me he wasn’t a stalker.. haha   I was shocked had no idea he wanted to date, I accepted his invite to dinner without hesitation and we have dated more than a year now.

We see each other daily with a few exceptions.  He has experienced some of my weird moods and he is still here.  So I guess he hasn’t been scared off as of yet.  I have never actually told him what my diagnosis is because he hasn’t asked.  I have told him about my experience with moods and depression he knows I have had some bad years with it and this last 6 months he has experienced those moods, not the worst ones but some not so good ones.  He gives me the space I need and is not offended by my moods.

I have told him that I have depression and mood issues and have talked about a lot of those and listened to him about some of my different moods that he has noticed.  He knows the doctor took me out of work and that I take several medications daily for the depression.  I really don’t know how he feels about all that as we haven’t discussed it yet, but he is still around and we still have a great time together, even doing nothing. 

This man is amazing, he is easy to be with, easy to talk to about everything, he isn’t perfect mind you but he is funny, friendly, outgoing and loving.  He respects me and all women, he is a bit opinionated on politics so that’s not a good topic. haha  He is the kind of guy that opens doors for you and offers to help with anything and everything, although he doesn’t like me helping him with stuff.  It’s a man thing I think.. :)  I help anyway, sometimes. :) He worries about me being under too much stress but he doesn’t push his opinion on me, he respects my choices.  He has supported me in helping my friend who was having marital issues even though he felt I was being taken advantage of, he voiced that but not disrespectfully.  He then let me realize it all on my time.  He never puts me down in any way!   To me he is nearly the perfect man.  He is good to my kids too and they both like him. He doesn’t overstep boundaries with them though, he respects them. 

So as time goes on and we get to talk more about feelings etc I’m sure I will be posting more about this wonderful man.  Wish us luck!! :)

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Diagnosing my Daughter’s Symptoms…

Have you ever looked at your child and thought something is not right?  Well I had to do just that with my first child when she was around age 5… 

Like I said when my first child was about 5 yrs old, I realized that her moods and reactions toMy beautiful girl, My first born! things were not normal.  I would see her run inside from playing with friends and she would go to her bed and be pulling her hair out while saying she didn’t know why she was so mad.. Well at this point I knew something was wrong with me (although not what was wrong) so it wasn’t far off to think she would have issues as well.  I tried to work with her on it and nothing worked. :( It was so hard to see her be miserable she was losing all her friends and about to start Kindergarten and I knew this wasn’t getting better.  

So I focused on her and getting help for her…. All the while wondering what is going on in her brain.  She hated doctors she had been ill as a 3 yr old and stayed in the hospital a week and it wasn’t a decent experience for her.  She had also been diagnosed with a kidney reflux issue so she had to have tests done annually that were pretty traumatic for her.  

We went to many psychiatrists and some therapists looking for answers.  Why was my beautiful happy child so moody now and unhappy.  Why was she having fits of frustration over nothing and why was she having Night Terrors.  She has them for years she would be crying and screaming and running about the house but completely in her sleep and terrified!  It was impossible to wake her.  We would take her into the bathroom and turn on the light and talk to her and hold her till we could wake her.  That was terrible to see, but then it seemed to be happening to her in the day as well with these fits of frustration.  

Our experience with these so-called Doctors was not good.  They would label her just about anything to make us come back the next week… It was disappointing to say the least.  They would tell me she was afflicted with some disorder and order me to buy a book on it and I would and read it and know it was not what was wrong with her.  I couldn’t believe it not only are we putting out money for these doctors but we are buying books on an illness that she didn’t have ONE symptom from… grr its was frustrating. 

When she was 7 yrs old we went to see the doctor we have now, Dr S. is what we will call him.  Since I was in treatment as well I gave him my history and my family history and what was going on with my daughter.  He knew right away what it was, Bipolar2 disorder.  Heavily depressed and Hypo-manic highs, high levels of anger and anxiety etc.  Ok so now we know what it is, how do we treat it?  We started with meds right away.  I like him because even tho he is giving me medication for my child he tries small doses first as to not over medicate.  He does not want her overly medicated.  It took a year or more really to get her stabilizing but she was better able to deal with her feelings once we had some information on what it was.  She went to him once a week for some time till we had her leveled out.  We have then seen him once a month or on an as needed basis since then.  I am also now seeing him and so is her sister. (a whole other story in itself) 

This daughter of mine is now 15 yrs old.  She is brilliant, beautiful and capable of most things in life.  We have had our ups and down with Anxiety.  There were times that I couldn’t even take her to the store with out her freezing at the door and turning ghost white, she would then go on and on that she wanted to go home. Latched to my hand, tightly I might add, and quietly she would chant I want to go home, I want to go home over and over I would just keep her close and talk to her and once it got too bad we would leave.. then she would regain color in her face and be exhausted.   At this point those anxiety attacks are minimal most of the time she can handle it and function fine but when she can’t we try, then leave if needed.  She is learning more and more about her illness and how to cope and control some of it.  Obviously 15 yrs old means terrible attitude but we love her anyway.. LOL  

Her story is also one of Hope. She went from a disturbed child, who couldn’t concentrate in school to a beautiful teenager that has all A’s and B’s in Honor classes.  She works hard and is also learning to drive.  She excels at almost everything she does!  She is only missing the confidence she needs to exceed her own expectations.  We are working on it and she is improving.  

Well that’s my story in a nutshell there are obviously more incidences but generally this is how it all transpired..  

Remember:  When the World says Give Up,  Hope Whispers Try One More Time!! 

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Complain, Complain Complain… Thankful!

Do you ever feel like you get in a rut and negativity starts to poke its ugly head out and influence your life?  I know I do and I’m here to say it’s not staying for long!  A positive thought process has taken me a long way over the last few years so I’m not letting ugly negativity visit my life for an extended period! 

Sun Breaking thru the clouds  I have thought lately and I feel like I have just been  complaining.  I am having a hard time now but Life is  good at  the same time.   

 I have had so many people support me that I have just met on  twitter, Facebook, Our Mom Spot, A Band of Wives, other  bloggers and so many more, too many to mention… I am  thankful for the much-needed kind words and encouragement from you all.  I certainly have many things to be happy about and I want you all to know that I appreciate your support and kind words and funny interactions! 

The comments that have been left for me on my posts have meant a lot to me.  You are all encouraging, thoughtful and can really boost someone up.  Simply knowing I’m not alone or semi understood brings a bit of peace to my sometimes crazy whirlwind mind.   

The blogs and websites that I have been shown by you all have been very inspiring and I might say eye-opening.  I have family that is there for me , my girls are the light of my life and lets not forget that special guy in my life Carl but this online world means a lot to me too.   

I have a blog roll running of the sites I enjoy, you should go take a look at them.  I do have some to add just have to get organized.. ha ha ha Good luck with that right.. LOL 

I am kept very busy at the site im partnering with Sonya on, it’s called LeanOnUs.co and I don’t get to spend as much time on a lot of these sites I enjoy so much.  It’s nice to know that you are all there and just a click away if I’m  looking for inspiration or advice.  I have really enjoyed the new friends I have made on twitter. 

Our site LeanOnUs.co is a friendship, support, informational site/forum meant to be a safe haven to share your views/opinions  and for those of us that need help with the difficult days life can bring.  We do not pretend to be doctors, just caring people there to lend a hand.  I would love you to visit and register to be part of our Dream. 

I don’t mean to be corny but I love you all… There is a special spot in my heart for you! 

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Mood Swings are Exhausting…

A depressed man sitting on a bench

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever been really depressed?  I mean truly depressed where everything is an effort, just breathing feels like too much to bother with and you are fighting to keep a positive outlook on life? 

 

That’s been me the last couple  Few months! Up and down moods and energy levels, its exhausting, but I know it’s just my illness so I have to remember this isn’t my life or my attitude it’s just A part of life.  It’s a part I would like to leave behind but it will always be with me.  I get to feeling better than I wake up feeling that churning inside and a heavy head of racing thoughts… 

Then I have to think about every thought so I can stop the negative self hating ones.  I have to remind myself that isn’t reality, I don’t deserve to be treated that way by anyone especially myself.  When I do this it can really affect my relationships with people and my overall attitude about life.  I have to repeat to myself, I AM CHOOSING HAPPINESS!!  

Now I know a lot of you are thinking she is fooling herself and you are either happy or you’re not, well I know I can choose to be happy.  Do I have everything I want in my life? No… Do I have what is necessary in life?  Yes I do.  Am I a good person who cares about others and wants to help people out with their troubles?  Yes I am.. Do I live a good and moral life? Yes I do  and I have to repeat that to myself a lot and I have to tell myself to stop those thoughts.   Those thoughts are my illness not me and I can’t let it take over… 

The days of bipolar depression having control are over, it will affect me and the people in my life at times but I won’t let it rule me!!  I will be the better person I know I am!!  Do you have to tell yourself what your thankful for in your life? Does it help you? 

OK we all know I will have bipolar days and weeks and even months but I can’t define myself by it and that’s why I find it helpful to counter those negative thoughts and the self hate that comes from the depression. 

Do you struggle with these thoughts as well?  How do you handle them? Do you even notice when you’re doing it?  Do you tell yourself to stop?  How does it affect you?  

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Who was that Person????

Have you ever reflected back on your experiences, and your actions and thought, Who was that person? 

Bipolar made me think that way every day, mainly as I hit my late teens.  I am just going to pop out some of how I reacted to stuff and how I felt about it at the time and looking back now. 

As a child, I withdrew so I was super sad and had panic attacks all the time although we had no idea what it was, but as I got older things changed… 

In High school I would do things like smack my friend when she laughed too loud. Not on purpose but I would be shocked that it happened.   So the reaction was Shock, Fear, sadness, confusion, regret, hate for myself, and to withdraw from life further. 

This was the aftermath  every time something like that happened… every time I uncontrollably yelled at someone who upset me, every time I walked through the hall ignoring my friend calling to me, every time someone walked into me in the hallway and I hit them hard with my shoulder, every time someone looked at me cross-eyed and I reacted, every time I threw a desk across the room in a class because the person behind me was banging my chair with the empty desk.  Every day I withdrew more and more..

There was always a cloud of Shock, Fear, sadness, confusion, regret, hate for myself, deeper depression and to withdraw from life further.  

Imagine living in a world where everything is gray, and you feel sad, rage, hate, negativity, fear, anxiety, stress and then going into a high that was so annoying your rage became uncontrollable.  You had so much extra energy you couldn’t stop moving but you are exhausted at the same time.  You took nothing serious and made jokes of everything, laughed constantly and knew Always That You Were Not Like Every One Else, wondering how you will go on… Wondering will this ever get better for me? Wondering what is the purpose of life?  What is wrong with me?  Who is this person controlling me it can’t be who I am???  Am I a Bitch like everyone says?  I don’t feel like that person but I am??  I fought with everyone in my life over little things, sometimes things I just perceived the wrong way but could see it no other way. 

Every day, each year, every incident the Gray got darker, the anxiety deeper, the mood swings faster, the Rage grew, and the hate for who I was growing rapidly.  Regret. Regret. Regret, it surrounded me day after day, moment to moment, the pressure I felt around me was heavier and heavier, the effort to breathe harder and harder, the thoughts swirling in my head so quickly that I couldn’t even pinpoint what the thoughts were, swirling swirling swirling, the noise in my head got louder and louder and my level of confusion worse and worse!  All I could do was withdraw and over react!   I was known as the crazy bitch!

As far back as I can remember my mother called me a bitch… and as I got older everyone called me a bitch.  This confused me because I really didn’t think I was inside, but I knew on the outside I was a bitch, confusion on this topic was unbearable.  I decided for years to be the bitch I was accused of being all the while that other person inside me wanting out.   I couldn’t imagine being who I am today, yet I yearned to be that happy person, loving, helpful, real, genuine!

I know there are people out there that feel the same way, don’t let go of  HOPE!  Be strong and keep your eye on that person inside not the illness on the outside.  Develop that person in any way you can!!

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Big Changes… A Hard Road to Navigate…

Have you ever been faced with difficult choices? Necessary drastic changes to  improve or survive life? 

I stopped talking to my mother, banned her from my life because we couldn’t take the manipulation and the negativity she brought to our lives.  You must know that my mother is not treated for her mental illness.  6 years I didn’t speak to her but that enabled me to change thought processes and begin getting to know who I was and how I wanted to live my life. 

I have had similar experiences with my father.  Years of not interacting as he too is mentally ill and in denial.  I got to where I couldn’t handle them and their stress and negativity, I didn’t want to live my life that way.   We are all closer now than we have been ever, but there are limitations!  I had to do what was right for my family.  

It was a very difficult 10 years, I didn’t have the support of my husband, my mother, my father and I had only 1 friend who moved away.  Depression in itself makes you feel lonely but I had no support and a husband that had no interest in helping me but a lot of interest in making fun of me.  He would mock me when I would try to talk to him about things that I needed to change. I was deeply depressed and exhausted all the time! Loneliness set in and I began to just exist. 

In the end, my husband cheated on me and  I attempted to work things out with him for 4 months, he kept telling me he didn’t want to lose me blah blah blah.  Finally I couldn’t live a lie any longer, he wouldn’t commit to making things work and only went to 8 therapy appointments. I decided to move out to an apartment not far from the house.  We continued work through things, so I thought. Then one of his neighbors came to me and told me his girlfriend was staying the night when I wasn’t there. :(  Devastating really.  It took me 3 years to get through the devastation I felt.  It was like someone had ripped my heart out! I lived in a fog of depression, just going through the motions of life. 

One day I was driving to pick up the kids from school and it hit me.  Happiness is a choice, it was like a voice said to me Happiness is a choice, choose happiness!  At that moment the fog lifted and I began to pull out of my feelings of being lost.  There was life to live and life to enjoy, I was now determined to live that life!

I had to be strong for the girls… We have now finally divorced and are struggling to parent our kids.  Unfortunately, he married his maniac girlfriend and our kids are heart-broken.  The oldest doesn’t even go to see him anymore and it breaks my heart.   It has now been 5 years since we moved out and I am happy!  Something I have never been in my entire life.  I have a doctor that is keeping my illness in check and am dating a man who is very nice to me, easy to be around and I can talk to him about anything.  He has his issues just like me but we have fit together well for the past year.  My girls even like him so that’s a plus!  

I just want to say, sometimes when it feels like life is over, it’s just beginning.  I am now able to be happy inside as long as my illness is kept at bay and my girls are happier for it.  It’s a lot of work to control some of the symptoms and If you read my post A Bad Day…A More Current post, you know the bipolar days are still around but they don’t run my entire life. If you want to make changes in yourself, don’t let anyone hold you back! You can do it with  work and support from doctors and therapists.  There is help out there but you will have to go find it!! 

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My Search For Help..

When my first child was born, Samantha, I was in love with her from the moment she was conceived.  I wanted children so badly, really I wanted to be loved, but as she began to grow older I realized something was seriously wrong with me.  I have always been called a Bitch and assumed that label belonged as I was very hot-tempered and never happy.  Well I started having Rages… these Rages were like out-of-body experiences, I was seeing it happen but I was NOT in control.  I decided I would not treat my children the way I was treated as a child and went for help..  

First I went to my family physician, who gave me Prozac and sent me on my way.  Wow when I started this medication it was like a huge weight was lifted off my chest.  I told everyone how great it was I was so happy.   Well that was short-lived as my moods still swung wildly and it stopped working all together after a couple of months.

So back to the doctor I went and he gave me another medication and stopped the Prozac.  Well I can’t remember what medication it was because there have been so many since then.. :)  That didn’t work at all so I decided to change doctors, went to another family practitioner and he gave me yet another anti-depressant.  NO luck so back to him I went only to hear from him “I cannot help you, I need to refer you to a psychiatrist.”  Ugh so not what you want to hear but I said “fine who would you suggest.”   I was determined!!

So the first psychiatrist I saw seemed to know his stuff and discussed the medications available chose a couple he thought I should try then sent me on my way.  I went back for months till I got a little relief but he kept telling me I needed Electric Shock Therapy. I kept saying to him, we have so many medications to try I’m not doing Shock Therapy. he tells me its my last hope and I realized he didn’t have my file out and it  occurred  to me he had no idea who I was and wasn’t going to seriously help me.   He just kept saying it every appointment, keep in mind my depression was severe and he felt that I needed it.  No way, so here I go again in search of another doctor.. I went to several more doctors and several therapist.  This went on for years!

Ok back up a bit in the middle of all this I had my second child… What do you think happened at that point??…..  Yep my depression got even worse and my moods were horrific. From one moment to the next you had no idea what was gonna set me off but you knew something would.  I also stopped all medications when we decided we wanted another child so it was like starting over again. 

One of the Psychiatrists I saw actually threatened to take my kids away.  I had not physically abused them and was working so hard to get help.  I left his office very upset, called the therapist that worked under him and explained what happened.  All I could say to her was how can I trust you? How do I get help from you if I can’t be open and honest.  She assured me she didn’t feel I was going to hurt my children and she would talk to the doctor.  Obviously my safety net was gone and I couldn’t return to them as I couldn’t be treated that way again and I couldn’t be honest.  Honesty is the most important part of Therapy, if you aren’t open and honest you aren’t helping yourself. 

So off I went again looking for a new doctor….

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