Christmas in July

Perfect!  Sunshine...warmth...a picnic!   It is January.  It is one of the hardest months of the year for many people.  All major celebrations have come to an end and now we are just waiting for spring.  Why not celebrate Christmas in July? I mean  I know it will never happen but it makes such more sense.  See during winter months are bodies are meant to hibernate and rest.  Instead we gear up for and participate in one of the most busy times of the year.  Bring on the sun....

 I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.  It means that as the seasons change I have a hard time adjusting.  I am often depressed.  The winter months are the hardest.  I'm not getting sunshine like I do in Spring and Summer.  The days are short, dark and cold.  Simply said SAD is awful down right awful.  

There are a few things I have found that have helped me tremendously during these difficult days and times of transition. 

1.  Healing Touch:  It is a gentle and complementary therapy.  In essence. a healer moves the energy around your body so that it flows properly.  The healer also may set your energy to prepare for the transition, put it at ease.  For me, the first session had effects for about a week.  The last session my energy has stayed set for almost two months.  Whenever I start to feel really really bad I just make an appointment and then my outlook becomes sunny.  

2.  Sun lamps:  When I was in treatment they had a giant sun lamp.  Several of the girls and I would snuggle up and "sun" ourselves with the lamp.  We would gradually start feeling better.  It was amazing!  It was so good that even one of our therapists used it.  He came from a long line of people who suffered terrible suicidal depression.  He would sit with it in his office for hours.  When I got home I got one for myself.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a big sun lamp nor the one that they had so I bought a small one on amazon.  I use it at work.  I don't use it as often as I should so maybe if I did I would feel better.  It's a work in process...

3.  Tanning:  I went to the tanning bed to buy a small package so I could get some color for the cruise.  Well, it ended up that it was cheaper to buy membership through December than to buy five tans.  So I have been tanning every few days.  Now I know there are high risks with tanning beds.  Hello skin cancer?!  I just can't get over how I feel after.  Is it my skin taking in the light and that production of whatever is making me feel good?  I did a little research online and found no support for this or even any kind of studies.  Does it work?  I think so, but I have not renewed for January so we will see how it goes.  I may need a little Christmas in July...

Start with a Symptom...

In western culture patients are treated based on their symptoms.  The root of what is causing the problem isn't even assessed.  You can't blame doctors for this.  After all, this is what they were taught in medical school.  However, the root cause is where we need to look. 

I was arguing with my husband about my daily struggle; anxiety, depression, mania, hypomania etc.  one night.  He kept insisting that I step away from the labels.  Labels like anorexia, bulimia, depression, seasonal affect disorder, anxiety, OCD, PMDD...I could see where the labels could be self fulfilling, but I just needed them.  How do I separate myself from them?

My husband started asking me questions again.  I wanted to see through this, but I was struggling.  Finally, he said "name a symptom".  I said I feel like I am overwhelmed all the time.  

Back pedal a few times, as we look back anxiety shows its face.  What if we made the anxiety less by increasing the dosage of the med?  Sure enough I have had three almost four weeks of happiness.  I haven't been happy like this nor felt this consistent in years.  So am I happy now because I am not overwhelmed?  It's something to consider isn't?

 

Probiotics: The New Flu Shot?

The flu shot...a hot topic.  It did not exist when I was a child.  I do recall having the flu a few times growing up but nothing extreme. Then in college the flu shot was introduced.  Colleges recommended them.  I got one.  I don't think it mattered whether I had or not.  Then as an adult the push for the flu shot became stronger and soon anyone in the health care industry was required to get one to keep their job.  Say what?! Yikes!?

Now the latest push is to benefit charity.  Get a flu shot and we will provide a meal to someone less fortunate.  Now I support charity and helping others, but tying it with a flu shot as an incentive.  What has our country come to?  It is almost scary.  Why is it being pushed so much?  Where is the data on how effective it truly is?

Introduce the probiotic:  A probiotic is a capsule full of good bacteria.  I take one every day, but if I start to feel sick I usually double it.  I am always blown away how much of an impact it has on me. There have been several times now when I felt flu like symptoms coming on and they passed quickly once I took the probiotic.  Probiotic...the new flu shot?  Comment below.

 

A Kiss & A Wave

The time has come.  Summer days are numbered.  What a summer it has been.  

Snapshots of sunshine and happiness.

A perfect breeze.  

The lullaby of waves breaking against the boat.  

Light filtering through the leaves.

The hills of seemingly endless forest.

White caps.

Fresh air poisoning.

I could go on.  

For me summer is mesmerizing.  My family has a home on the lake and every weekend from the end of May to the first few weeks in September is spent there.  To me it is a little slice of heaven on earth.  It is here that I feel most close to God.  Perhaps it is the connection I experience there in communion with his creation.  For me there is nothing better than standing with my feet in the dirt and feeling the sun shining down on me.  It is instantly grounding.  My soul spills with happiness.  The days are spent on the water whether it be water sports, a drive or sitting in a cove.  The beads of water on our bodies dry in the warm sunshine.  The evenings are spent gathered around a table or on a back porch with family and friends.  We trade off houses.  We walk everywhere.  We are in constant contact with nature.  The air is filled with laughter and good food.  Drinks are poured.  Dishes are served.  Our bellies become full and our eyes heavy.  It is then that we finally retire into cool feather filled beds.  We drift to sleep.  Dreams swirling in our minds. Then we rinse and repeat.  

My heart is heavy as these days are few, but I blow a kiss and give a wave hoping next summer comes round soon.  

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What We Don't Talk About

There are some things those with bipolar and other various mental diagnoses.  We don't talk about it.  While there are many bipolar topics not appropriate for the dinner table.  There are some that are difficult to even discuss with your psychiatrist.  This topic would be hyper sexuality.  The reason I have decided to attack this topic today is because I have been tortured with it all week.  This is going to be one part confession and one part story.  My husband's sexual activity of choice is sex, not oral.  Now it has improved over the years, but very gradually,   I decided to ask for it more because I have only ever orgasmed from sex like three times.  That is another topic altogether,  Anyway porn has been living in my bedroom this week.  I know why it surfaces.  It surfaces because my needs aren't being met and because of the hyper sexuality.  Now you may think well that is normal, but let me go into hyper sexuality.  Hypersexuality is a time during the month or several times of the month  (I have yet to track it perfectly).  My goal with tracking is to head it off, but this has proven impossible.  It is like trying to hit the bulls eye with your eyes closed.  Hypersexuality is intense.  It completely consumes your mind no matter the pray you cry.  It does't matter where you are.  All I know is that I am going to need about 20 orgasms to get through this.  This was my position this week.  I made a trip to Cirilla's.  Then I dove into the world of porn allowing me to peruse through anything my mind wanted to entertain (WHICH WAS A LOT).  I completely indulged myself and not just one days MULTIPLE days in fact this is the most I've ever experienced besides prior to medication.  I need help.  I need a plan.  I am manic.  I need to see my therapist.  Any other comments below are welcome.  I know it feels like that big dark secret, but please share.  I don't want to go through this alone.  

Part II

Before I was diagnosed with BP and PMDD my sex drive was so high, it was literally through the roof.  I was also super promiscuous.  This included wearing lingerie with a sweater to my first therapist appointment.  It also included lots and lots of lustful and adulterous fantasies.  The worst it point for me was when I intended a conference in Chicago by myself.  There were three different men that were flirting with me and I was so tempted to get banged by all three.  Luckily, God somehow got me safely to my room and I woke up the next day by myself.  I am forever thankful to God for that.  I love my marriage and I don't want it to end because of BP or PMDD.  The increase in such risky sex was also in response to my husband not being willing to wear a condom while having sex.  At this time our sex life pretty much didn't exist.   To him, sex was sex.  Oral sex was some side thing.  For me that side thing was everything.  

Update to today, I discovered Daysy.  It is a little devicee that takes your temperature every morning before getting out of bed.  You get a green light (infertile day), yellow (uncertain day) or red day (fertile day).  The more you use it, the more green days you will get.  I absolutely love it.  It is easy to use.  It matches the FAM method (Fertility Awareness Method).  It make the FAM method so much easier (no charting).  I have been pregnancy free for nine months.  It's accuracy is 99.3%.  This is amazing!  It saved my sex life.  My orgasm is still elusive, but at least we can have sex without worrying about pregnancy.  

This ends my sales pitch of Daysy.  I will return to it in another post.  

Back to hyper sexuality...I'm trying to make an accountability plan that will help me get through this period safely and with little damage.  Please comment below on any ideas or methods you use to help with this.  Here's to hoping...

Those days

I debated about the title of this blog post.  I debated because it is a very important post that I don't want overlooked or skimmed over because the topic is one of the darkest.  Does  the post justify the title?  Here is goes...

There are those days that scare you to your very core.  Those days are the days when you literally can't get out of bed.  On a side note, I actually hate the phrase "Can't get out of bed" because is doesn't correctly identify the pain nor does it hold the meaning it desperately needs to convey.  Those days are days that you literally cannot move from bed.  By not getting out of bed I mean you are literally paralyzed with depression to the point that you can't get up.  It is literally suffocating your very soul.  It is so scary.  My stomach aches because of hunger...that doesn't matter.  The dog is not fed and that doesn't matter.  If the house caught on fire I wouldn't move.  The deep depression seems bottomless.  The fear permeates me because I can't escape.  It is so painful .  My soul is so sad.  I am literally afraid that I will never feel happiness or joy again.  It is the sum of these things that makes it so terrifying.  It changes my thinking.  It makes me think about the fact that being in this kind of state would mean I couldn't be a parent.  I couldn't leave a baby crying or hungry.  I couldn't abandon my kids at school.  I couldn't miss responsibilities.  The list goes on...

Those days...

Those days are the ones you want to forget because they break your soul a little more each time. You never know if you will feel happy again and if so when?  

Those days...

Those days are the ones that death comes near.  

Those days....

Those days are the ones when you cry endlessly and beg and plea to be freed.

Those days....

Darkness

My soul feels like it is in the pit of my stomach.  I feel like the clouds are closing in.  Darkness surrounds me.  Inside I feel dead.  I feel panicked.  My post-it of the things to do today is overwhelming.  I look through my papers and many to-do lists.  Will I ever get these things done? It's been 3 years since I was in treatment at Selah House.  I look around me and am overwhelmed. There are so many things I want to do and yet they remain unaccomplished.  It is during these times that I feel hopeless.  Will I ever get these things done?  I just want to be free.  I want to live each day within itself.  I don't want a long list unfurling behind me everyday.  I want to catch up.  I want to get these things done.  I hate that a hallmark of bipolar patients is many unfinished projects.  I try so hard to escape it, but so many things loom in my mind.  

I am not alone though.  On days like today when I feel like I am experiencing such sadness that it literally is physical pain I cry out to God.  I pray over and over for Him to help me.  Nothing is impossible with Him.  I repeat this over and over in my mind.  I feel like I'm choking barely able to speak these words.  Why am I panicking?  Why do I feel this way?  I pray again for God to help me.  I understand that there are days like this.  Sometimes on these days light will shine through and on other days only darkness will prevail.  I believe that these days are important.  If I do anything today it must be to write.  I must pull myself off the floor maybe not for me but maybe for someone else.  Maybe I can give someone else hope.  Maybe I can give someone else strength.    Maybe we can meet in this shared vulnerability.  I write because I know someone feels like I do at this very moment.  I know that God wants to reach others through me no matter how much pain I'm in.  It is this reason that I write because I know others can be helped when I write.  I know that God can be glorified when I write.  All I have to do is trust in Him.  All I have to do is ask for the strength for that first keystroke.  It is that first keystroke that makes a tiny pinhole in the darkness that surrounds and it is that tiny pinhole that lets in the light.  

30 Years

It's been 30 years since I came into being, on this very exact day.  Words have been whispering to me.  Mental images click through my mind.  My heart beats in my ears.  A sense of urgency fills my very being.  It is time.  A decade has passed.  It is time.  Today will begin a journey.  This is a journey for us, you and me.  It will examine the soul.  It will feel much like diving into a rabbit hole.  Your jaw may drop.  Your eyes may close.  You may tell me to stop.  I might cry.  You might too.  We are connected now.  I will navigate us through.  You will stand by my side and I will get us through.  I choose this journey.  I promise to never turn back.