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No Bipolar in a bipolar’s life

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I don’t know coming back right before the World Bipolar Day is a good idea or not but coming back to the blog on the first day of spring certainly is. Something about the sun shining and the green grass reminds me of writing a blog and getting in touch with this wonderful world where everyone supports each other and word hard to fight stigma.

I myself struggled a lot to write. I wanted to stay away from bipolar. Far far away from it. So far I have been successful at it. I am enjoying a bipolar free life. I don’t talk bipolar, I don’t write bipolar and I don’t worry bipolar. I just take my medicines on time and that is it. Oh yeah I do get maniac, but I pass that off as my thing. That is just me. I do get depressed, I blame it on someone else. Is that healthy. I don’t think my therapist would agree. “S” is great and I am glad I found her. In fact I am writing this as a part of my homework from my therapy session.

Being away from bipolar world has been good for me. It has made me see myself more than a crazy old patient. I can myself as a mom. I can see myself as a wife and I can see myself as myself. I can focus on my weight loss, my makeup, my jewelry and finally what the hell I want to do with my life.

I never did a job in my life. I hate doing the house work and so me and my husband decided that it is time that I can go ahead and look for a job. I can may be start by writing a good Resume and then applying for job here and there. I have no experience of working what so ever so it can be hard finding a job. However I think it is worth the try. I do not wanna die knowing that all I did in my life was load the dishwasher.

I am not too sure if I will be writing more or not but writing today was nice and fun. Let me see how things go on and how a bipolar woman strives to live a bipolar free life. Some might think its a life of denial, I on the other hand am loving it…

Why I Stopped Writing

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Bipolar and dealing with it is not a walk in the park. I always thought I am pretty good at it and to some extent I am. The stages of accepting a bipolar diagnosis are different for people. For me it was the opposite of usual. Usually people go from denial to acceptance. I went from acceptance to denial.

When I was diagnosed I was happy. In fact it was answer to all the things that have been going on wrong in my life. It was like a blessing. I took bipolar as an enemy and fought gallantly with it. I started a blog and worked hard to make it a success (I don’t know if it is one) I started writing for the International Bipolar Foundation. On this journey I made some wonderful friends like Dyane and Kitt.

In my personal life I was much too dependent on my husband. As soon as I got my drivers license, after failing 3 times, I felt so independent I thought I could deal with it all. It seemed like I did not need any one or anything. I could do whatever I want; go to whatever place I wanted. I was running away from home and most of all I was running away from bipolar.

I have indulged myself into so many activities that I do not have time to think about bipolar or any aspect of it. Now, blogging is a big part of bipolar. So whenever I thought about writing it felt like I was being taken back to the bipolar world. I wanted to escape it using my independent self. I was not bipolar. I was an independent woman. I did not need blogging or anything to cope with life. I can deal with anything on my own.

But bipolar is a bitch. It kept coming back. Every day for 5 minutes and then to 1 hour. And one day it came back for the whole day and I realized that it is not leaving me. There is no escaping it. No matter how hard I try or what I do it comes back.

I had a talk with my therapist who said that I have to accept that fact that I “have” bipolar. I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a writer, a painter and a good human being who deals with bipolar on a daily basis. Dealing with bipolar should now be as casual as drinking tea every day or having dinner every day. Watching out for your symptoms and managing them is what my life should be now.

However, there are all the “shoulds” these are not the “wants”. I want a bipolar free life. An independent life where I can breathe freely, roam around without the fear of being attacked by bipolar. It is like being in a constant state of war. An attack will happen and you will have to deal with it. I guess I don’t have a choice- I wish I had!

Long time, No see…

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It has been long since I wrote. Too long. I was fairly regular. I was going through so much mentally that I needed to take a break. It must sound selfish but I was kind of overwhelmed with the bipolar world. Yes. I was tired of hearing about suicides, sleepless nights and the anxiety. What it was doing for me was giving me anxiety and disturbing me.

I subscribed to a ton of blogs. Actually any blog I could find and read whatever was on there. Now I realize this actually is not that healthy thing. If you are not strong like me, you should stay away from blog with disturbing posts like I want to die and the day was like grave or something. Reading posts that are full of life yet touch bases with the bipolar side are always the ones that should be read.

It doesn’t mean that I am saying something to those who write that sort of stuff since I can be one of them and writing is my catharsis. Just that, if you are vulnerable choose what you have to read.

On the better side of things I finally passed my driver’s test after failing for the fourth time. OMG am I bad at handling failure. I cried every single time I failed. It was so frustrating to fail and fail again. My hubby kept telling me that failing is a learning process which I now realize is so true. If I hadn’t failed I wouldn’t have been a careful driver that I am.

The reason failure scares me so much is that when I do something I wanna do it either perfectly or not do it at all. This is an extreme approach. I recently learnt that this approach is flawed. No one can be perfect at everything they do. This not only is unrealistic, it gives you less opportunity to try new things. You fear failing and you don’t attempt. You don’t attempt and you will never succeed.

Anyways, things are better now. I am reading things other than bipolar blogs. I found a wonderful gem. The book I am reading is by the legend Maya Angelou called “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”. It takes to a new world when I can live where Maya has been. If you are up for reading a masterpiece here is one.

On bipolar front I am wining. My doc switched my Depakote with Topamax because of the weight gain and I am liking it so far. My appointments with therapist are going very fruitful and I am handling things so much better.

I hope I get back to writing. It has been long. In the meantime thanks to those who still visited the blog and followed. Wish you all an amazing week ahead.

Eight Years Together

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We have planned a weekend getaway tomorrow. This is one of the most precious times of my life. This is the eight year anniversary of our engagement. This is not just about a ring that I got. This is about an amazing man who was with me when I was not even with myself. He took care of me when I was falling apart.

He was there for me when I lost it all. He believed in me when I did not believe in myself. For eight years he was there to share all the joys and all the sorrows. Everyone can stay by your side in the easy times, but it takes a real man to stay there when the going gets tough.

F stayed with me through my postpartum depression and Bipolar. He would wake up and do the baby’s night duty and go to the lab in the morning while hunting for a faculty position, which itself is the hardest thing to do. He would take care of me and the baby. In doing so he neglected himself because honestly there was no time left for him.

He tolerated my psychotic episodes. He took care of the baby and saved him from me when I got crazy. He taught me how to be a good mom. He was a mom for my baby when I was taken away from the baby by the monster of PPD.

This post, though short, is dedicated to my husband. There is no one like you baby. You make me feel like a princess. You are an example of a man in a marriage. You make this relationship the best experience. I would have been nothing without you. I love you with all my heart and soul. Thank you for the amazing eight years.

All Because of Stigma…

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It was his second day in this world and her second day as a mother. His cries penetrated her ears and cut through her brain like a knife.

She was physically in pain. Mentally she was done. It was as if there was not a birth but a death. The sadness of being a mom engulfed her.

Her whole life was pointless. She was failing at a task which is supposed to verify her motherhood- breastfeeding.

She was failing as a mother because she couldn’t feel the love she was supposed to. She felt like a monster.

A monster that wanted the cries to stop.

A monster who wanted escape. A prisoner who wanted to break free…

Even after two weeks she was feeling the same. Someone whispered in her ear that she had postpartum depression

“No I don’t I am a good mom” was always her response.

Moms don’t have depression. Moms are supposed to love and be happy. I will be a failure if I accept. What will people say? She couldn’t handle a child. A baby who is just a few pounds and a few inches of flesh !

Her doctor told her there was no need for anti-depressants because that will make things worse. She trusted her doctor.

She is not supposed to be like this. She is a mom. She is supposed to love. Why on earth would she be unhappy?

What a cruel person she is!

She looks fine to everyone else. She must be fine. It is all inside her head.

She feel like dying. Sometimes she thinks of killing her son. But that’s okay. It’s just in her head. She has the work hard to get over it.

May be she is not trying hard enough. She needs to try hard because how can it be that a person who just gave birth to a beautiful baby be sad?

She has the baby for crying out loud. Why sad?

What will people say? What will they think… was all she could think.

She never went to the doctor in time. For 9 months of hers and her son’s life, she was unable to go to a doctor.

All because of stigma…

She missed her son’s beautiful year.

All because of stigma…

It took a year to love her son

All because of stigma…

She wasn’t getting treated

All because of stigma…

She could have killed herself and her son

And on her suicide no one would have said that it was all because of stigma…
Everyone would say
It was all because of her
All because of stigma…

Furious…

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Okay m furious, disappointed and sad all at the same time. Today I had my Driver’s Skill Test which I had been preparing for like 3 months now. The day was supposed to bring an end to that waiting and get rid of being dependent but guess what? I FAILED…big time! I dont handle failure very well but m more furious at the instructor.

I did the first exercise fine and parked on the line. Hit a stupid cone while three point turn, totally my fault I turned too late. The instructor came up to me and told me that I will NOT be penalized for re-positioning for the parallel parking. So I did a parallel parking and just to make that fucking perfect I re positioned 5 freaking time. The examiner actually counted each as a point. Later he told me that he said that he will not penalized BEFORE entering the cones. Now I dunno my brain didn’t comprehend right or he was just being an ass and abusing his power.

I cried all the way back home. I know it sounds foolish to many people but I cried like a little baby. My hubby was all going there is no reason to cry everyone fails. I don’t know how my brain is working, I can not stop re playing the whole driving test again and again in my mind and all I can do is get angry.

I have another test this SAT morning. I can not afford to fail that one. My brain is going nuts any ways after failing this one. Hope there is a way I can stop my brain. It is a small thing but it is big for me. Passing the test is the key to my independence and the certificate that when I work hard I should get rewarded.

Training My Brain for Positivity

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This weekend was one of the most positive experiences of my life. I would certainly like to give the credit to my therapist and my husband. Especially my husband, who has become an amazing caregiver living with me. On Friday, we went to one of my favorite local coffee joints called “Water Street Coffee Joint” here in Michigan. I love their coffee and the coffee house. The ambience is totally arty which I love.

I and F (my hubby) got into a discussion about my therapists visit. I and my therapist were able to conclude that my brain still assesses all the things by the tough standards set by my parents. These standards dictate me to please people and care for their opinions. So I have this stupid need to please people all around and care what they are thinking about me. Trust me it is not that easy.

As usual, during the discussion with F I started talking about how hard my life has been in the past year with the baby and postpartum bipolar. He is always compassionate and caring whenever I complain about my life, which I do very often. F however made an amazing point which just clicked. He is of the opinion that everyone around the world has all the bad and good in their life. For examples, his own life is really hard with all the work and taking care of me and a baby. But he has been able to deal with all of it with a little hard work.

The hard work he does requires you to force yourself to find out the positive in daily situations in life. That way the brain starts to focus on the positive. He is also of the opinion that brain is a very amazing tool with can be molded in the way we want it to. If we start picking out positives in life, the brain gets trained to look at the positives automatically than negatives.

So for the weekend I made this my resolution. The whole weekend I tried to pick out a positive aspects of the situations for which my brain had a negative feedback. I must say it really worked. I was able to be so happy and so contended with all the activities I performed on the weekend. I was able to overcome the social anxiety. I went to farmer’s market to get some fresh vegetables, then I went to the Fair happening in our area. It was so much fun and a good practice. Any time my brain tried to pick out negative about an event, I would pick a positive out and neutralize it. That way I was so focused and relaxed. I was just in the moment and enjoying.

On Sunday we went to a gathering at one of the lady’s home I know. I met her at TJMaxx and then a few times here and there. She was so kind and polite. She invited us over for dinner. Not only was I able to overcome my social anxiety I was able to not care about what will people think about me. I dressed in the most care free yet elegant manner with a royal blue long shirt with trousers. My brain kept thinking about what others might be wearing, whether they will think I am fat or not? What will they say about my sense of style? What if I am unable to make conversation?

And I kept telling my brain to shut the hell up. I kept telling it that it would be an amazing experience and I would have fun meeting new people. I kept reminding myself that I am very beautiful and elegant. I look very nice and frankly nobody will even care about how I look.

People are more obsessed with themselves and not us. I think that no one has time to spend on thinking about how I look or dress or talk. It is just my brain going nuts because during my childhood my parents always, consciously or unconsciously, taught me that people’s approval is needed.

I still keep thinking about the negatives. It is my brain’s first response to any situation. From morning weather to fighting with a disease, it has forgotten how to focus on the positive. Thanks to my discussions with F, I now try to tell myself to find the better aspects. That way my mind is at ease.

It is not easy to train your brain, especially, when it has a habit. But it is not impossible and for me and my fight with bipolar, as long as it is possible I am going to work hard for it!