Wednesday, April 27, 2016

REALIZING YOUR TRUTH AND ACCEPTING IT



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Sometimes I sit and wonder if I really have Bi-Polar disorder. I think most people that have Bi-Polar disorder or other mental illness wonder this from time to time. I know I haven't talked about it much on here yet , even though its a part of my everyday life and I want to bring awareness to it. Its hard to talk about actually, because it is really hard to describe.
Being a partner and a parent with it is even harder
For years I had no idea what was going on except that I just did not feel "right". I felt off, and overly emotional. My extremes were what I called at the time "utter hysteria". One minute I felt like I could take on the world ,I was giddy. Literally a day later I would feel like my world was falling apart and I couldn't handle any of it.
It started when I was ten years old. At least that is my first memory of having a strange feeling and not being able to pin point it. It was so significant that I have never forgotten it.
I was in the bath tub.
It was a summer day and my brothers and I had been outside all day playing and I was filthy. My mom told me to go and take a bath. I was in my parents bathroom, the tub was enclosed by glass doors,the kind you cant see through cause that have that weird smokiness to them. I used to like to pretend I was in a shampoo commercial when I was in the shower, so I would lather up my hair and read the back of the shampoo bottle with as much enthusiasm as the actors in the Pert commercials.
I remember feeling like all of the air went out of the room right in the middle of my five minutes of fame. I felt dizzy almost, and I could not move, I just sat there with soap running out of my hair and down the sides of my face. I remember feeling a sense like there were a lot of voice's around me and they were all telling me to do something at the same time and i was trying to focus on each thing but i couldn't.. I couldn't make out what they were saying or if i was really hearing anything at all, but it was more of just a feeling. I felt my heart racing. I felt like I was suddenly in a hurry.
Then it was over, I took a deep breath and I started crying. I wanted so badly to tell my mom but  I couldn't tell her. I didn't know what had happened or for that matter how to explain it at 10 years old.
In all the years that followed, that happened a lot that freaky anxious feeling, being unable to focus on just one thing at a time,always being easily distracted and then feel nothing but chaos inside. Only when I felt that way I would sometimes go into a rage, about little things. I couldn't explain what I was feeling. It would just set me off and I would be deliberately just freak out about something as small as the kids spilling there juice or I would be a ball of tears crying about, how I was a bad mother, how I felt so unloved and hopeless. Then it would be over, and I would be fine, then the next day I wouldn't want to get out of bed. I always knew that the way I was acting was ridiculous and over the top, but I was helpless to stop it. It got worse with each pregnancy and my marriage falling apart due to an alcoholic husband who made bad choices and was verbally abrassive. With all that I sunk deeper and deeper into this weird depressive/manic cycle. One week on, one week off. Deep down I knew my environment and my relationship with my husband was negatively affecting my ability to help myself and he certainly wasn't helping me in anyway. In fact his verbal abuse on the matter of my" Craziness" only fueled my depression and anxiety. His cheating only made me feel more unstable and my self esteem plummeted and disappearing became appealing.
I truly believe that its a chemical imbalance that can be exacerbated by ones environment if not treated. The thing you need the most is understanding, love , support, someone there to tell you its gonna be alright and they WANT to help you.
 For 13 very long years I had ups and downs so severe I thought at one point , that I just wanted to die. That everyone was better off without me. I was crazy. I could not handle stress. Especially the kind of stress I was under. My husband was drinking, and cheating and I was alone.
My girls were what kept me going. Every time that I thought about leaving them I would straighten my shoulders and push forward no matter how horrible I felt. I could not and I would not leave them.
However all I wanted to do was stay in bed one minute or run screaming down the street the next, but I got up every single day with heavy shoulders and leaden feet and did what needed to be done.
I was a mother after all and my kids were the most important and most wonderful thing i felt had ever come from me.
Now here i am at 38 years old and i have been in the best mental shape of my life. I finally after years of being on the wrong medications am now on the correct ones for me. I have been in and out of counseling with a psychiatrist who specializes in Bi-polar disorder and i feel like a new person. I have a supportive partner who doesn't always understand but is there and ask me "What do you need" "What can i do to help ease your pain"
Bi-polar is painful. You can physically hurt and be physically sick from the overwhelming emotions that run like rushing water through your mind. You are helpless to stop it. My coping mechanism used to be crying , ranting , raving, breaking , sobbing hysteria. Now I sleep. I know what my triggers are, i know when i can not deal with certain things and instead of causing my family pain with an outburst, i sleep. I take a nap. I let it pass. I hope it passes.
I know that a I am strong.
I know that I am Rebecca, not Bi-polar Rebecca
I know that I am loved and that i can love.
So i just take a nap.
I will always be battling this, for the rest of my life, but i want so very much for others to know that it is an illness. I am not crazy. I am not making this up to get attention. I am a good mom. I am a writer. I am just Rebecca.

I want to stop the stigma that comes with this disease and i want people to start educating themselves. I want partners of those who have a mental illness to educate themselves, so that they can help there loved ones.Please visit the links i have provided in today's blog and get educated.

info@bbrfoundation.org
http://www.healthyplace.com/psychological-tests/

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

THE STRUGGLES ARE REAL

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I have always envied the mom's who can stay home with there kids.I did it for awhile, with my older girls, and when I did work I worked at night so that I could be a mommy during the day.I did this off and on for years in the hopes that i could manage both worlds. Then my marriage fell apart. When I went to MA School, I also went at night so I could still manage being a mom during the day. Since the birth of my first child its all I have ever wanted to do. Be a mom that is present!! I want to know everything there is to know about my girls. I am open and honest with them about everything , so that they are open with me, as well.
Don't get me wrong my job is rewarding. I get to help people with serious heart conditions. I have worked with the greatest Nurse Practitioner there is out there for the last three years and we are a fantastic team!!! However I find myself at work, day dreaming about the projects I would rather be working on at home. My book I'm writing. My kiddos coming home to a freshly made snack from school. Allowing them to have play dates, and maybe take a cooking class , so I can learn to make healthier meals. I find myself wondering why that is a decision I even have to make. I wonder why I can not stay home and raise my family. I mean I know why! I just don't like it.I really struggle everyday with how me working 10 hours a day effects my children. In one hand I'm holding all the strength, and independence, goal setting,and I don't need a man to make it attitude. In the other hand I'm holding all the missed hugs ,snuggles conversations,skinned knee kisses, teaching moments.
Its an internal struggle that every parent has. I don't know if the feeling is stronger for moms because we carried those little souls inside our bodies.It makes the feelings we have for them so strong that there literally is NOTHING that could break it. So ya it sucks, that living on one income just does not seem feasible.


Living on one income now a days just doesn't work!! Not only is staying home , stressful financially, but I believe putting the weight on one person in the household to work is also stressful to relationships. I believe that putting that stress on one person can cause serious health issues both mentally and physically for that one person. Literally everything rides on there shoulders to be the provider for that family and its a lot for one person. At least I think so. I wouldn't want Mark to have to carry the burden of being the only income.
http://www.moneyhabitudes.com/about/press-news/financial-behavior-and-attitudes-statistics/
If your the one staying home, you wonder constantly about whether your spouse/partner is resenting you for being the one to stay home (at least I would). I would worry about how to contribute to our retirement so that we wouldn't have to struggle or work forever. I would worry about Mark and the stress he is carrying on his own because he doesn't want me to worry about it ( you know men they think we cant handle it, cause were a little crazy sometimes..hahaha) but really, its hard no matter which way the wheel turns.
I would love to hear from everyone about this!!! I'm excited to learn from all you moms and dads out there!!
I mean what does it boil down too? Coupon clipping?Selling things we don't need? I mean my ultimate goal is to do what i love and stay home. Is it possible though? So A little encouragement from those of you who have made the sacrifice to either live on one income or cut back to part time would be wonderful. How do you guys, handle your internal struggle with the missed moments? With the feelings of regret?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Crater Lake


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Camping. For most of us that is the "Vacation" we take during holidays like spring and summer break. Some of us who are more fortunate get to go to places like Hawaii and Las Vegas, but for most of us camping is where its at. Am i right? I love camping. We started off in tents and sleeping on the ground and a few years ago upgraded to 35 foot 5th wheel trailer. Mark calls it Glamping now. Either way it has allowed us to travel with out the huge expense of airline tickets and hotel fee's.
 Last year we went to Yellow stone National park. We have been to the beach, we have been to Leavenworth, and part's of Washington State that i didn't know existed like Cape Disappointment and Fort Stevens.
Most recently over this spring break we headed south to Crater Lake. The largest , Deepest Lake in the world!!
 It  was the most magnificent thing   I really have ever seen. I would say its right up there with our trip to  Yellow Stone National Park. Its beauty is not something you take for granted. It plants you in the reality of the planet we live on and all it's wonders. It was snowing still up there which made it even more magical.I love the history that Washington and Oregon have to offer my kids. This is where they were born and are being raised.Traveling around seeing it all and learning about it all is I believe the best history lesson we as parents can give them. If later in life they want to travel to some tropical island well so be it , but at least they will know where they came from.
 I myself have no desire to travel anywhere tropical really. I would rather go to Ireland or Scotland , or Iceland. These places to me are magical. There is a mystery about them that is so very intriguing. So i would eventually like our scope of travel to proceed Washington and Oregon at some point but for now teaching the kids the history about where they live and showing them the beauty the Northwest has to offer is pretty awesome.
Camping for someone with Bipolar Disorder has its disadvantages however. Especially a long trip trapped in the car. I have a tendency to just fall asleep because i cant deal with the stress of being coped up in the car. Also being away from home for an extended period of time, is really trying for me. I don't tend to show it but usually inside I'm freaking out about all the stuff at home that isn't being done. I have learned through therapy though that i have to start letting things go that I have no control over. So the fact that i didn't finish all of the laundry before i left does not mean anything other than; I didn't get all the laundry done before i left, and it will still be sitting there for me when I return. Normally I would feel like the worst house keeper ever, and the worse partner to Mark because I didn't do it ,and I would obsess over until I was crying. Then it would escalate into how fat I feel, and what a loser of a human I am, and I would spend the entire vacation not wanting to do anything but be depressed.Never would I have posted a no makeup pic of myself. Yes I know this sounds ridiculous, but that is what this disease does to me. My negative self talk about stupid things like not getting the laundry done is a reality of mine. I am so glad that i have gone through the therapy needed,and that i take my medication everyday so that the feeling of hopelessness is less debilitating. I am able to enjoy my family on these ever important journey's and i can spend more time fishing with my girls, and taking happy selfies with my wonderful,supportive partner in crime Mark.
Where do you all travel to for vacation?
Do you camp? If so where?
Please check out the links provided on today's blog. They should lead you straight to the main pages for both Crater Lake National Park and Yellow Stone National Park.


Sometimes I wish I was someone else

Getting New computer can really suck sometimes. As I began todays blog I hit some random button and completley deleted what I was typing. ...