Sorry…

…about not posting much lately. Work has been crazy. I’m trying to train people, do all the orders, write things off so the store gets credit for them, I’m spending hours at home trying to do the schedule then find out the day I’m supposed to submit the schedule that they’re giving me a manager to help me out so I have to completely redo the schedule, and so on. Basically, life has been busy and crazy, I even had a mental breakdown the other night while in an argument with my fiancee.

Due to all of these things I haven’t had much time to post anything. As I’m pretty sure I mentioned in another post, if you have a mental illness then management probably isn’t for you.

Tigger, Eeyore, and Bipolar Disorder

I love this because it’s so true.

I have type 2 bipolar disorder with rapid cycling and mixed features. Due to the rapid cycling and, when I was first diagnosed, the raging teenage hormones that already make a teen moody, I could spend an hour in a manic state then go into a depressive one. It’s kind of really scary. When I went to bed (when I slept) I really did wonder, in my eyes at the time, “who” I was going to be when I woke up the next day.

It’s a horrible feeling that no one should have deal with. But not knowing if it’s going to be Tigger or Eeyore making the decisions for you on any given day is just one of the many realities of living with bipolar disorder.

Epiphanies

I’d just like to start this off by saying this post talks about my religious beliefs and I apologize if that makes you uncomfortable. I would also like to make sure you’re aware that I won’t judge anyone for their beliefs, whether you’re Buddhist, Muslim, any form of atheism, and so on, because no matter what you’re still a person and entitled to your own belief system. But that’s not the reason for this post, so here it goes.

Have you ever had an “Ah-ha” moment, where something just seems to click and certain things start making sense? Last Sunday I had one of those moments.

I was at church and something my preacher said made me recognize it was when I was at my worst, when I thought the God I was raised to believe in me had abandoned me, that He was carrying me through the hell I was living in. I used to write every night (all night) and for a while, when things began to get really bad, I even wrote down my prayers. I would beg God to help me, to help me get better, to take away all of the pain and suffering I was going through and save me from my mind, or save me from me. When things seemed to continually get worse I started losing my faith because why would this great and powerful God allow one of the children He’s supposed to love go through so much pain? Despite this I still held onto Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Eventually, when I thought I couldn’t go on any longer, when I was ready to end it all, my psychiatrist determined that I had bipolar disorder, called me on my bullshit, and found a combination of medications that kept me mostly stable. He also found an amazing therapist who I clicked with immediately. With their helped I defied all odds. I somehow managed to graduate high school, hold down a job, and, even though I have to go part time to be successful, I’m going to college and for the most part I’m doing well at it despite working full time and dealing with my mental illnesses.

When I was at church that Sunday it hit me that even though my prayers weren’t answered the way I expected or wanted, they were still answered. He is the reason I found the perfect people to help me, He is the reason I was able to survive, He carried me through and gave me strength when I was at my weakest. All that time that I thought He wasn’t there or that He didn’t care it was Him who kept me alive.

I love the Footprints poem and feel as though it really relates to what I went through.

“The Lord replied, ‘My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.'”

Recovery

Whether you’re a recovering drug addict or alcoholic. Whether you’re recovering from self-harm or an eating disorder. There are countless things that someone could be recovering from but no matter what it is it is still something that at one point controlled our lives. Despite what some might think, this even includes those who have a serious mental illness because that too controlled that individuals life at one point and they still fight it everyday.

For me, it was whatever I could find to either calm the anxiety make me feel happy. My biggest struggles came from self-harm and food issues, for many reasons. But then I’m also dealing with “recovery” from bipolar disorder. I have to keep an eye on my moods every day, take meds to keep them as regulated as possible, there is no day off from this. The more my moods fluctuate the greater my desire to turn to self-harm gets. As I said, it’s a daily battle.

No matter your addiction, mental health condition, or you struggles, you don’t get a day off. It takes a lot of work, recovering and avoiding relapse, but it’s so worth it. Being able to truly live and enjoy life makes the daily battles worth it.

Carrie Fisher: An Inspiration

Carrie Fisher was, and is, a huge inspiration to me. She taught me many things while I was struggling to come to terms with my illness and realizing what it meant for my life. She added a bit of humor to the seriousness of having bipolar disorder. She never sugarcoated it.

In my life I want to be at least half the person that she was. I learned that it’s okay to talk about it, that it’s not something you should be ashamed of. Society tells us that if you have bipolar disorder then you’re crazy, violent, just moody, and so on. We let their words shame us into silence but the ironic thing is, the only way to change what they say and how we’re viewed is if we do talk about it.

I took a speech class about two years ago, public speaking is probably one of the scariest things in the world. In this class we had to give an “informative speech.” So I did something that both shocked and terrified me, I made the speech about bipolar disorder. At one point I told them some of my story because it’s one thing to hear all the facts and it’s another to listen to someone who actually experienced it. To my surprise, there were very few dry eyes in that classroom by the time I was done.

Then I ended up doing my persuasive speech on mental health stigma. After this both my professor and our office for student’s with disabilities coordinator both suggested I tweak it a little bit and give the speech to more students at the school. About a year ago I did just that and now this semester I’m going to do it again but to more students than we did last time. Things that Carrie Fisher said have stuck with me through this, and I’ve even mentioned some of them in my speeches.

It’s not easy to live with bipolar disorder, to take medications multiple times a day, get bloodwork done every six months, and constantly pay attention to your moods and try to determine if you’re having a “normal mood” or a “bipolar mood.” It’s exhausting but despite all that there’s a lot of good that comes out of, making all of the upkeep worth it.

At the end of it all you need to proud of yourself if you’re living with this illness and functioning, like she said we deserve a damn medal for it. Speak up and talk about it like Carrie Fisher did, don’t sugarcoat it, help people understand what life is like for us. We’re survivors and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

Even in her death Carrie Fisher continues to make an impact within the mental health community.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to speak up. ❤

Having Anxiety and Trying to Be a Manager

So my manager is currently off work due to a severe burn going down the back of her entire right leg. Being the assistant manager I now have to jump in and act as the manager. The past two weeks we had what they call a “roving manager” helping out at our store Monday-Friday. This made creating our schedules the main managerial duty I had to do. While I know I can run the store, it definitely helped because it allowed me to fill in on different shifts.

However, I lucked out and the week she is going on vacation is also the week one of the employees I use the most has to have off 4 days. Needless to say, as this would give a “normal” person anxiety, having an actual anxiety disorder is making this 1,000 times more difficult. To make things even better, I was the idiot who scheduled myself this week to work when I was supposed to have an appointment with my therapist so I can’t even talk to her about how to deal with this.

I’m freaking out and having an panic attack as we speak. I don’t know what to do or how handle this. Basically, taking the role of a manager is not the smartest thing to do when you have anxiety disorders…

Violence and Mental Illness

Whenever there are mass shootings, or anything related to violence that makes its way into the media they automatically start saying that person must have a mental illness. They always love to blame those who they can’t understand. If you have a mental illness you must be “crazy” or “violent.”

The thing is only 3-5% of all violent acts are commited by someone with a serious mental. Those of us with a mental illness are actually 12 times more likely to be the victims of violence than the general public (AMHCA, Gun Violence and Mental Illness, https://www.amhca.org/blogs/joel-miller/2017/10/03/).

Just something to think about when you want to accuse us of being violent individuals…