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Physical Health and Mental Health

Strawberrys-on-a-plate

Where am I going with this.. Well honestly this last two years my energy level and mental stability has been on the decline. :(  I have a great doctor now so when I finally went to him (I am terrible about going to the doctor) he did a large amount of blood work. He checked some vitamins and well just about everything, and found my Vitamin B and D were “pathetic” as he put it and wanted me to take those two specifically.

Now you would think since I take numerous pills every day I wouldn’t have a problem adding a few vitamins and fish oils (all of which I own) but have I taken them on a regular basis?  NO! I went back recently and he reran blood work and did some different tests and well I am still not in any better shape and my energy level has declined drastically.

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Is your depression leading to drug addiction?

Guest Post

People often wonder what causes some people to become drug addicts, while others can use recreationally and not get hooked. While the jury is still out on exactly what elements create the perfect storm for drug addiction, it has become abundantly clear that depression and drug addiction are not mutually exclusive. Depression can cause drug abuse, and the reverse is also true.

Drug Addiction

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What does that mean for you? Essentially, if you suffer from depression, you’re more likely to become a drug addict than someone who is not depressed. It’s wise to fight depression before it takes the form of drug addiction, which has a greater capacity to destroy the lives of you and your loved ones.

Linking Drug Abuse and Depression

The link between depression and drug addiction is not unlike the proverbial link between the chicken and the egg – nobody knows which one came first. Drug abuse can lead you to depression, just as depression can lead you to drug addiction. Regardless of the order, the important thing is to realize that depression isn’t a stand-alone disease.

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How does your music affect your moods?

From a young age I recognized, by watching my mother, that music has a big affect on your moods. I remember my mother being very depressed and she listened to country music. Now back then country was nothing but who left who and who cheated on who and who’s heart was broken by who. She had many many rocky relationships I think the worst one was with herself. I remember when I was just a child I said to her, “No wonder your sad all the time, the music you listen to is sad and unhappy and talking about everything that can go wrong in life.” She stopped in her tracks and I said, “Seriously mom pick a better more uplifting music, make an effort to remove those feelings from your life.” She was shocked but what I said made sense.

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Friday Update…

Wow! Happy Friday everyone!! 

This week went really fast and I didn’t get as much accomplished as I would have liked.  I started the week happy and getting things accomplished until I got news of another death in my extended family.  I don’t know about you guys but that is one thing that makes me hit rock bottom with my depression and I can’t say my mood has been pleasant either.  Sorry to my kids who take the brunt of it. I try so hard to think before I speak but there was a day this week that I really felt bad chewing my daughter out for her attitude! 

So since Tuesday evening  I have been feeling down and my mind has been very cloudy, energy level is low, I’m not sleeping well, I am napping during the day, I’m very emotional, accomplishing little, and well I am happy it’s the weekend because I usually take time on the weekend from the blogs and the website to recoup and I am hoping I can start next week on a different note.  Well lets say that is the plan, no more moping!!  It is also St. Patrick’s day so Ladies I have put in a pic of a sexy St. Patrick’s Day Man, really I thought it was a funny picture… LOL  ♣

I have had to adjust my medicine again to see if it will help me pull out of this before I get too depressed. My life is good and you all help me see that every day.  Your support has been amazing and I do my best to show that support back. 

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Psych Appointment for my Youngest…

Well believe it or not it actually happened finally, the appointment that is!! 

All in all the doctor was nice, semi thorough so I am hoping things go well.  She is a bit annoying, mainly her voice, but nothing to complain about really!!  Jessi actually talked to her some answered questions once she was comfortable.  She doesn’t like doctors and doesn’t like to talk to people she doesn’t know and really doesn’t want to admit the problems she has so there is always a bit of nudging to get her to speak.. lol :)  Got the refill for her medication and of course it is more costly than with the last insurance it was 90.00 co pay for 90 days worth the pills.  Could be worse.. :) 

I was able to set an appointment for my oldest Samantha and she will go on Monday at 9am.  Not looking forward to the cost on her medication as with the other company it was over 200.00 for 90 day supply, Yikes!  Lets hope it isn’t much more than that.. :)  I still don’t think this place is equipped to really give good psychiatric care but we will do what we can to get what the kids need.  It was interesting as I told her how Jessi has been lately and how up and down she has been and she says ok I will see you back in three months.. I thought Really?! But what can you expect.. NO real attempt to see her a few times to see how she is really doing just refill the meds and send her on her way.  LOL

I must sound hard to please, well I am, where the kids are concerned.  Oh, we are also going to see about signing up for a class that will teach her some coping skills for her anxiety..  She has had some pretty good panic attacks over the last few months so I think that might be helpful.  I have heard they have decent therapy and classes that can help with certain things so we will check it out and see what it is all about.

I am thankful they finally contacted me and we were able to see a doctor and not go through all the red tape of therapy and evaluations etc..  I want the evaluations but would prefer it be by the doctor that will be treating her.  I don’t believe a report in writing is going to tell the doctor much, she needs to evaluate them herself.

Very sorry I didn’t get this done sooner, I spent the day starting to set up a blog at a different place to switch to but there are issues there.  Just so you all know I will be moving the blog as I want more functionality so watch for that to happen.. Coming Soon a new look but same address! 

Mountain Sunset

~Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
~Louisa May Alcott~

Quote from Inspirational Quotes

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Mental Illness??? Or Another Problem??

I was talking with a friend and it made me realize that deciding if you are mentally ill or have some other issue is not easy.  I remember when I met with my psychiatrist all those years ago, the one I see now, he told me NO ONE fits into the molds of textbook Bipolar or whatever illness you may suffer from.  I think that was one of the eye-opening facts he gave me right away.  

If you look up Bipolar for instance… I never knew there are two forms and if I read the symptoms I don’t fit perfectly into that yet I am Bipolar II.  That is my diagnosis and I fully believe it.  I realized after talking to my doctor that life factors come into how your mental illness starts and progresses therefore none of us fit PERFECTLY into a diagnosis.  You maybe Bipolar but have some symptoms from other illness’ kind of related to it.  

So when you see symptoms you aren’t sure if it is actually an illness or something else, maybe a health issue or tumor etc..  Is this normal? you will ask yourself, and others, who will tell you yeah your fine..blah blah blah  There is very little understanding of Mental Illness in general society, people fear it and therefore there is a stigma.  People will deny it for years and years, maybe forever… Like my mother!   

My point here is… drum roll please…. :)  If you have any one serious symptom of any mental illness who is it going to hurt if you go see a doctor to discuss it? Also Is that symptom interfering with you living life normally? If so you need a doctor… The earlier you catch a problem the easier it is for you to learn and control it and have the doctors help you with medicines, your diet or therapy, whatever is right for YOU.  There is no Magic Pill out there that will fix you up with out some work and YOU MUST LEARN ABOUT YOUR ILLNESS.  Knowledge is power people, I know that’s cliché but it is true.   

When I learned of my illness I went online into chat rooms and listened and sites and read and read and did all the research I could. My husband hated it and complained about the time I spent on the computer.  That really should have been my first clue he wasn’t going to support me… LOL  Years of work and research and therapy and doctor appointments and medicines and all that goes into full treatment and finding the road to recovery.  The first step is to accept it and realize its not the end of the world its the beginning of your happy life.  Really it is.. at least it was for me. 

Image of dock going of over a lake

Peaceful Journey

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Bipolar Life, Good Days? or Bad Days?

Just thought I should write a bit about how things are going for me at this time. As far as how I am feeling inside. 

Today feels like another good day. I hope I don’t eat those words later in the day! :)  We are all going to Carl’s house for dinner he is cooking for us.. Can’t wait. He is so cute, my youngest said to him when are you going to cook for us again I want your mashed potatoes and salad, that was over the weekend.  So last night when I went to leave his house he said. “hey do you all want to come for dinner tomorrow? Jessi said she wanted mashed potatoes and salad, so I thought tomorrow would be a good day.”  I said, “of course!”  He is a thoughtful guy. 

I have something to look forward to next week too. I am meeting two women I met on Twitter, Miriam and Pamela, as they are coming to town.  I’m super excited can’t wait to meet them. Miriam and I have the Bipolar children in common and her son’s name is Sam and my diagnosed daughter is named Samantha. We cracked up that they were both Sams as I call Samantha, Sami! Small world I’m telling you.  Pamela is just a super woman and I really have enjoyed our interactions, she is fun!  So looking forward to that next week. 

So I guess I should get to the real reason I’m writing this post.  I am feeling pretty good now.  

a peaceful pic of the sunset over the water

Peaceful!

My mind has finally slowed down and my irritation level is lower than it has been, I’m still not organized but I think that’s just part of the illness.  I can only organize my thoughts so far then off they go. :)  I do not have the swirling tornado inside me now so that is a big relief.  My mother is moving three hours away so she won’t have any power to mess up any relationships and I can get a little distance without hurting her feelings. Big Relief! :)

I really am enjoying my time with the kids and with Carl. Next month we are going to visit his parents with him for a weekend, usually he goes alone but I am excited to be going with him and so are the kids. He is such a loving man, thoughtful and sensitive, it’s awesome. 

All in all I am doing well!! Now that might change later today or tomorrow or next week or a month I don’t know honestly but I can enjoy this time while it lasts.

I  want you all to know your support and kind words have really touched me and helped me to feel better, Thank You all! 

Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.
~Doug Firebaugh

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
~Chinese Proverb


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Relationship with my Mom… Do I have to end it??

If you all read my post Family Drama and Unnecessary BS you know that I have some issues with my mother. She tends to bring negativity into my life and cause problems between me and other family members for fun.  She wants everyone to be there for her but no one else. 

Recently it came to my attention that she was lying to my father and my brother about me and the facts surrounding her gas bill on my credit card and other things. She is living on about $930.00 a month yet claims she paid off her gas bill of $2,000.00 twice this year and I used the money for something else and she is forced to continue paying on the bill.  Well to start she has never paid the bill I have each month. My income is also limited and I can’t afford to pay her bill.  The big deal with her doing this is that my dad helps me out sometimes when I am upside down on my bills.. If she comes between us he will stop helping me, which would force me to need to live with her.  Yep that’s what she is up to…

Anyway, I have just found out that she went back to where she used to live, about 3 hours away, to help a friend and she isn’t coming back.  She is moving back there.. Phew relief came over me.

Why am I relieved?? Because this means I don’t have to have a knock down drag out fight with her and eject her from my life.  She won’t be able to make issues for me that far away. I am able now to limit contact and she won’t be right in the middle of my life causing troubles. It was so hard when I had to remove her from my life before and I was not looking forward to having to hurt her that way again.  I know she is mentally ill and that’s why she does the crap she does but that doesn’t mean I can allow it to affect my life negatively.

I was so dreading the conflict that would happen when I tried to remove her from my immediate life. I do love her, she is my mother… I just wish she would admit her problems and go get help.  I know that isn’t ever going to happen I just hope her life settles down and she doesn’t have any more bad experiences like she has in the past.  Most of those bad experiences happened where she is now living but for some reason she is drawn to that area. I can’t explain it!

Your success and happiness lies in you.image of plumeria flower
Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. 

~ Helen Keller~

 

 

 

 

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10 Famous People With Bipolar Disorder, The Price of Fame?

I have looked around the internet for information on Bipolar Disorder and People with Bipolar to share with you all.  There are a lot of Creative people who have Bipolar whether it be Bipolar I or Bipolar II.  I wanted to share an article that just lists 10 well-known people who have Bipolar.  I liked this article found it interesting and thought you may also… 

 

10 Famous People With Bipolar Disorder

The Price of Fame? Image of Vincent Van Gogh

 

This article is from EverydayHealth.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
Aristotle

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Family Drama and Unnecessary BS…

You have probably experienced some of the same Family Drama I do but today really took the cake!  I’m sorry this will be a rant!!

My brother asks me to come to lunch with him yesterday, first red flag!  I agreed as I love to spend some time with him but thought something was up. We live close by and never see each other.

Backing up a bit.. Until a couple of years ago I did not see my mother. She was banned from my life due to her ‘drama’. She makes everything a stressful situation and pits all our family members against each other. I know your thinking how is that possible, believe me it is.

Back to current day… My brother says to me, “I have a reason for wanting to have lunch today, something I need to talk to you about.” I said, “I thought there was something, whats up?”

This was me!

He tells me that my mother has told my father that I am calling her asking her to move in with me because I need her money to make my bills each month.  “What???”  I shriek

More back ground… my mother has used my gas card for 18 months and she has not been paying the bill, I have. The balance was at $1200.00 7 months ago, she had given me the $1200.00 to pay it off. I don’t remember why, but  I put $600.00 on the gas card and used the other $600.00.  She told me that she was quitting her job that required her to drive so many miles and was costing so much in gas. Well she didn’t quit the job, and has now run the bill up to $2000.00 which is the limit on the card.  She lives on Social Security so her income is VERY limited. I’m living on Disability so my income is VERY limited  and I have two teenage kids to care for, therefore my father helps us out with money when I need it.

Back to my conversation with my brother… He says, my mother is telling my father that she has paid off  this gas card twice in the last year both times at $2000.00 and that I have not paid the card and done something else with the money, she doesn’t know what and she is still paying on the card. Really and where did she get that  money to pay it off and if she had money why would she need to use the card, is my question. She was working a sales job that was commission ONLY and never sold anything so she never got paid.

My dad tells my brother and his wife this at Christmas and they were shocked. They knew that was not true. They knew she was not paying the monthly payment and that she had given me the $1200.00 and what I had done with it. They also know that she has run the bill up and is not paying it.  My dad says he isn’t sure he should help me out with money as I’m not handling my money properly! They attempted to explain to my dad, who knows my mother rarely tells the truth, that she is lying. He believes her and is upset about it.  Thankfully I am open book people close to me know me and know I would never do what she is saying..

Don’t get me wrong… my father is not obligated to help me and I appreciate every bit of help he gives me. I do not expect him to help me.  I have struggled since my divorce and rarely make my bills, partly because  I must have medicine and psychiatric treatment and so do BOTH my girls. It’s just ridiculously expensive here and I can’t find any work at home jobs to supplement my income.

I am upset that I let my mother back into my life after 6 years of not seeing her and she has done nothing but caused issues, drama and stress for me, my father and my brother. She doesn’t see my brother’s family for the same reason she didn’t see mine, but my brother still talks to her. My father is angry that I even let my mother use my gas card and I can’t believe she told him the lies she did.

I am disappointed! You wonder, Why is she doing this?? Because she wants me to live with her to help us both pay the bills.  She is attempting to alienate me and my father so he won’t help me and I won’t have a choice but to live with her. I won’t live with her as I have to keep my stress down and that is not possible with her, everything is stressful with her. She creates problems where there aren’t any and it’s because our family is full of  mental illness and people who are in denial and won’t get treatment. My mother is at the top of that list.

My dad was concerned about her coming between him and I when she first came back into my life,  she is now going through him to drive us apart. Unfortunately he can’t see it because he still loves her. They have been divorced since I was three but he never remarried only had a couple of relationships and is now alone and plans to stay that way.

I don’t want him to think I have lied to him or taken advantage of him! I want him to know I appreciate everything he does for us! He thinks I am taking advantage of everyone and taking money from her when she has none that frustrates me.

I’m so over it!!

 

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Life Values and Bipolar Limitations…

This is part of a comment from a blog called Thebipolarproject… and the reason for the topic of this post! I suggest you check out her blog! 

I think you have it quite tough because you have a lot of responsibilities, you have children and extra stresses and difficulties. That’s a lot to juggle, and I admire your ability to keep pushing on. I would love to know more about what you value in life, what is important to you and the limitations that you do have and how you work within them (or not!) – Maybe a topic for a post on your blog? 

I’m not sure how to answer that but here is my best try at it; I value high morals, always do the right thing, always think of others, always make up for what mistakes you make, own your actions don’t blame others, work as hard as you can to be the BEST person you possible, don’t accept less than your best and be the best parent you can, your forming adults and they must know your values!  Help others in whatever way you can but don’t accept abuse from them. You must respect yourself or you won’t be happy!

With my illness I find it important to surround myself with positive people. Those that don’t make drama out of nothing and those that care about others. That doesn’t mean I don’t help those that don’t appreciate my help but I will only do what I can and if it affects my life, my kids, my world in a negative fashion it has to be stopped.  I have been mistreated many times but I can’t usually help myself until it affects me in a negative way.  Then I realize I’m not helping anyone and just sacrificing my stable moods so I have to stop.  I don’t help anyone with any expectation of getting anything in return, except respect of my life and my feelings.  

I do my best to not judge people, I don’t know what their life is like and I am not in their shoes so I try not to judge. Am I always successful at that, NO we all have those moments that we later realize we were being unfair, we are human. 

I have severe mood swings and anger at times and I have lit into people unnecessarily but I always regret it, the rage that comes with my illness sometimes takes over.. like the incident with my neighbor that I wrote about in a earlier post.  I always apologize and I  feel horrible about it as that rage isn’t who I really am, it’s a symptom of my illness that I work hard to control.

The number one most important thing in my life is my Children.  My two girls mean the world to me and I have worked hard for years to control my illness and change my negative thought processes to a more positive way of thinking and I am hoping they will be better people for it just as I am. 

My limitations you ask.. there are many! Number one I cannot work! The stress of a job sends me over the edge every time, it undoes my stability and pushes me into a world of depression and anger. I get lost in the swirling of my Bipolar Mind.  It takes a lot out of me daily to control my symptoms and live normally. I have to watch my feelings , reactions and level of happiness constantly, because any change could mean a big mood change in my life.  It’s difficult to not be able to work, money is a huge issue. Here I am on the third of January with not enough money to pay rent, turning in my recycling and collecting it from others to attempt to make it one more month. It’s difficult with two teenage girls who also have depression issues that have to be treated. I also have to watch them and their lives and reactions and such to make sure they aren’t falling over the edge and get them to the doctor when they are.. I must have the money to buy their medicine which is quite expensive even with insurance.

When you are depressed, which we always are, its hard to get up each day and get two depressed teenagers out of bed, ready, off to school and deal with all their weird morning quirks etc. I love them and I do it because I do love them, they have to see that you can’t let the depression rule your life. Really depression is just a fact of our life and we have to set up our lives and limits around it. If our anxiety is high then we don’t go shop that day or where ever we would normally go but we will push our way out the next day.

I can’t go into big crowds most days and my oldest daughter can’t either as our anxiety is high, we have a difficult time going some where we have never been before or talking with someone we have never talked to before. The anxiety is crippling if we give into it.

Since this post is getting so long I think I will stop there… Maybe I can expand on things further in another post.  There are so many accepted limitations that it isn’t easy to know what mine are in comparison to others anymore. :)

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I got a blog award…

One of my fellow bloggers has nominated me for a new blog award, The Versatile Blogger!!  I am very appreciative of this award. This person has a great blog called:  Halfway Between The Gutter and The Stars . I suggest you ALL go see the blog.  Thank you so much for blessing me with this award!! 

The Rules are:

1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

7 Things about myself

1.  I take 6 pills a day to control my moods, depression and anxiety. Decreased from 8 pills recently. :)

2.  I have two teenage Girls, that I adore.  Today is my oldest daughter’s  sweet 16  birthday!! 12/30

3.  I have 2 guinea pigs as pets.. They are adorable squeaky little guys!

4.  I am an ex smoker, Smoked when I was younger prior to having kids. I quit cold turkey   smoked the last one in the pack and never bought another. I still want one when I drink.. :(

5.  My drink of choice is beer.. or margaritas :)   Two margaritas and Im under the table or sick!  Takes a lot more beer to make me sick than margaritas! lol

6.  I’m divorced, in a relationship and super happy with it!! I have never felt so free and equal in a relationship.  I have never been this comfortable with a man or anyone before!

7.  I am partner on a website (LeanOnUs.co), where we are reaching out to provide a safe haven for anyone in need of a little support or friendship. Plus we have a ton of info on there to help people out!

I nominate the following blogs for the Versatile Blogger award:

1.   Angela Dobbins

2.   Jason Bourne

3.   Kathleen Freeman

4.   Prudence Mac Leod

5.   UnderNeathMyMask

6.    LeanOnUs.co Community blog/ Simon Palmer author

7.    Bullied No More

8.    Pamela Howes

9.    What Jean Likes

10.  Michael – Have a Dream

11.   Bipolar Girl82

12.  Paul Hurwood

13.  Natasha McNeely’s Guide to The Beyond

14.  Fiona - TheAgoraPhobicBlog

15.   The Bipolar Project

I have chosen these blogs for different reasons but I appreciate their blogs and enjoy reading them!! They all have a great purpose!!  Thank you all for sharing your blogs with us!

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Thinking and Thinking… Just Thoughts?

♥ ♥ This evening I realized I have been thinking a lot lately…  What does this mean to me? 

This thinking could mean several things! I noticed that I am feeling down and thinking about different things in my life.  Is this a new episode of Depression? Is this just the time of year? Am I feeling like I am missing something in my life? Is there something more 

I can do for others? Am I letting anyone down? Am I letting myself down in some way? 

Honestly I’m not sure the answer to any of those questions! I just know I am thinking and wondering many different things. I pray that I am not falling into a Depression that will affect the people around me negatively. Don’t get me wrong I am happy in my life, things have improved so much over the past month within my mind, but it leaves me wondering whats the next mood going to be.

Did I stabilize or did I just shift moods? 

This is a question I ask myself often in my life, why? Because if I don’t who will?  I am in control and have to stay that way, its part of my daily work to live “normally”.  Part of my daily work to have life “normal” for my kids and those around me!  I’m not sure how many of you realize that we who have mental illness work hard everyday to control the part of our brains that don’t work “normally”.  It’s exhausting work sometimes.. well all the time.  It is part of our daily lives and the effort it takes to constantly study our reactions, behaviors, feelings, choices etc is immense. Are we always successful?  No of course we aren’t but we are harder on our selves when we don’t than any person with a “normal” functioning brain would ever dream of.. 

We are deeply caring and intuitive people usually.  We aren’t dumb in any way, we are typically quite intelligent.  I am more intuitive and giving than book smart but I feel deeply, deeper than anyone I know. I have this empathy for people which tunes into how people feel and it’s exhausting sometimes. My emotions are high at all times!  Yet I have to work to control every possible thing I can within myself and my Bipolar symptoms! 

Anyway you can see that I am spending a good part of my energy thinking lately! I have been so busy with the kids and the holidays and I haven’t had the time I need online. I am trying not to stress about it but stress is what I do! :) 

Really I think I just wanted to give you insight into how things are for me where my mind is and my attempt at “normal” life! 

“Success in life comes to those who simply refuse to give up; individuals with vision so strong that obstacles, failure and loss only act as teachings.” 
Silken Laumann

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato 

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” George Bernard Shaw 

 

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The Love of a Mother…

My girls mean the world to me.  I have watched them grow into these beautiful young women.  I don’t mean beautiful in just the way they look, I mean they are beautiful people inside.

Thoughtful, caring, moral and real is just a few ways to describe my girls. I am very proud of who they strive to be, how much they care for others and how they don’t always think of themselves first.  They are not perfect, they make mistakes, they are teenagers so attitude is just part of life now but they are loving people even when they are trying not to be. lol :)

I have tried to teach them to respect themselves and even tho my oldest is struggling with this due to her lack of confidence, I do believe they will respect themselves as adults and need others do the same. My oldest especially since she requires that from her father even though she doesn’t get the respect she deserves as  a person from him!

My oldest is smart, beautiful, sensitive, caring, thoughtful and very capable of anything she wishes in life. She suffers with Bipolar2 Disorder just like I do but she has been treated since she was young and I believe it will not keep her from being a very successful woman! I believe she will end up in a field that helps others. She is excited about the prospect of driving and getting a job. I believe a job would do wonders for her confidence level!  She is creative and a bit artsy!  She is full of anxiety at times but doesn’t let it cripple her!  She is still a bit shy but that has improved every year. She is amazing to me and deserves the best out of life!

My youngest is a complete opposite of my oldest, from their looks to their personalities! She is full of energy, never stops moving and talking.  She is a smart girl but things don’t come easy for her in school like my oldest. She works hard and gets great grades. She has a serious Anxiety issue developing and suffers with depression. She has been treated for a couple of years now for the depression but the anxiety, although it has always been there, has developed into a disorder lately! She is confident and outgoing and a social butterfly.  She is starting to have boyfriends and, as I have always known, will be a teenager to keep an eye on. lol She is very capable, thoughtful, caring, has tons of friends and feels bad when she does something wrong. She is a people pleaser!  She strives to be a good person and therefore she is! She loves and accepts people for who they are, although she is easily hurt by others it doesn’t keep her from moving forward. Just like my oldest she is amazing.  She is a terrific person and a beautiful girl! I couldn’t be more proud of her!

I love my girls with all my heart and have always tried to think of them as PEOPLE, they are not just kids they are small adults in the making and they deserve respect and caring.  I find so many parents treat kids as if they really aren’t people they just want to rule them and that isn’t healthy for any child! We are here to correct them and teach them but we don’t rule them, they have their own feelings and although we may not always agree with the way they feel they deserve to be respected and treated fairly.  We must as parents take their feelings into consideration when we make decisions in our lives. Every move we make affects them and it is our job to consider them as well!

We should know them well enough to know how our decisions will affect them and consider that every time we change something in our lives. I believe honesty is the most important thing in your relationship with your kids. How do we teach them to be open and honest yet lie to them about things in their lives. It doesn’t work that way! 

I love my girls and I hope that they always remember that no matter what happens in their lives! 

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 digitalart’s portfolio is:  
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2280

 

Mom and daughter hugging a heart

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Ashamed of Seeing a Shrink???

I have met a  person on twitter who suffers terribly from depression etc.  She is a great person and she recently posted about NOT being ashamed of seeing a shrink.  I am sharing the link to her post because EVERYONE needs to realize a mental ILLNESS is just that, an ILLNESS.  

It is not a choice, we are not lazy, overly sensitive or just different or looking for attention! We are ILL and should NEVER be shamed for it by anyone! If you don’t believe in mental ILLNESS you are simply IGNORANT!  Please check out her blog but know that she is real and some of what she posts is difficult to read.  If you want to understand mental illness and how it affects a life you must read her blog. 

 

Now Go and Learn about Real Suffering and the fight to live with Mental Illness… 

Rethink Mental Illness

Image via Wikipedia

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Dinner Out and Anxiety…

Have you ever seen an adult or child out in a Public place with a blank stare, staring straight forward and looking really unhappy? They have that look like they are trying to disappear into the back ground and they don’t make eye contact at all. 

That was my daughter this last Friday night when we went to dinner with some friends.  Unfortunately the restaurant choice was a noisy, crazy, fun and somewhat obnoxious place.  It is a fun place but my daughter, who is 15, has serious anxiety and is Bipolar2, couldn’t take it.

Of course all the adults in the area kept trying to talk to her and the waiter was down right picking at her because she was so blank.  Really, she was petrified and every person that insisted on talking to her and trying to make her smile made it ten times worse but how do you tell people to stop with out embarrassing her? I have never over the past 10 years had any way to tell people to stop with out it being an issue and them wanting further explanation.  If you explain its anxiety they don’t understand and want more information, which turns into a full discussion and embarrasses her. :(

So on this occasion I decided to start the fun.  I picked up a napkin, wadded it up and threw it at my other daughter.  See this restaurant you throw napkins around and do whatever make a huge mess. That started everyone at the table throwing napkins at each other and then expanded to the other people seated in the area.  Before I knew it the entire room was throwing napkins and wearing funny paper hats the waiters were making for them. The waiters and waitresses were throwing entire packages of napkins into the air and they were falling like large snow flakes. It was a ton of fun.

But there was my daughter still sitting in the same place with a blank look on her face and now she is annoyed as she has no tolerance for fun silly stuff when she feels that way.  At least not everyone was watching her and wondering what was wrong and there were no conversations on the fact that she has terrible anxiety and has since she was 5.

I just try to talk to her and keep her present and calm but she didn’t even eat dinner we took her meal home, she just couldn’t do it!  When we got home she was exhausted, that is what that type of anxiety will do to you.  She went straight to bed and slept late the next day! 

I hope that if you see anyone this uncomfortable you won’t keep at them if they don’t respond. I completely understand why people  talk to her at first because they want to help but when she doesn’t respond I wish people would let her be.  If there was something to be done to help her I would have already done it!! :)  

Information

This is a link to NIMH statistics on anxiety in children http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1ANYANX_child.shtml

Facts & Statistics From Anxiety Disorders Association of America 

 Did You Know?
  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).
  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.
  • Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country’s $148 billion total mental health bill, according to “The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders,” a study commissioned by ADAA (The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,60(7), July 1999).
    •  More than $22.84 billion of those costs are associated with the repeated use of health care services; people with anxiety disorders seek relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses.
  • People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
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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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