I am back home in CO!
The trip went so much better than I had expected. I had been taking the Propranolol twice a day for the prior week to help with the crushing anxiety I was experiencing. I am so glad I spoke up at my therapy appointment, telling her how bad the anxiety was. She suggested the twice a day addition to my med cocktail to just take the edge off and it did, without any haze from a benzo.
I had to work the night before and got home in the late evening. I was so worried I wouldn't sleep and didn't want to take a full seroquel in fear of being a zombie and not being able to function, so I only took a half pill. I slept like the dead and had no problem waking up. Another win for my med cocktail.
We arrived a day early to allow for one day of relaxing before the possible difficult days. It was a well planned day by my boyfriend. We went to two tide pools to search for little creatures, we went to a beach that had sea lions soaking up the sun. The weather the entire trip was unseasonably warm and felt magical. We had breakfast at a cafe with an ocean view and watched surfers trying to catch waves.We ended the day with a sushi dinner on a roof top patio facing the ocean. My boyfriend got us to the restaurant 30 minutes before sunset, so we ate while watching a beautiful ocean sunset. The first day was relaxing and fun. Not until a wee bit later did the anxiety hit me hard about what could happen the next day.
We found my exhusband and daughter and hung out with them to catch a glimpse of our son. We spent family day together the five of us. Conversations were easy and the whole focus was on our son. The person I was expecting to ignore me or slight me arrived later in the afternoon. The first few minutes were a little tense, then they turned their focus on my son and everything became light. There was so much good laughter and so many smiles. We let my son lead the day and try to accomplish all of the last minute items he needed to do prior to graduation.
He lead us all around and we even managed to cram a musuem trip in. All while being a group of nice, relaxed adults. I couldn't have imagined a better day. With my anxiety, I couldn't imagine a good day with all of us together at all. So I was so pleased.
The whole day was about putting our kids first and foremost and giving them a good experience. There was zero conflict to stress them out. Again, it was heaven.
The next day we found two seats together in the bleachers for graduation. I assumed my ex husband and daugter had arrived early as they had the day before and were already sitting in primo seats. Then they walked by us and it became obvious that they had just arrived and couldn't find any seats at all. Out of the freakin blue, the couple in front of us left their seats. My boyfriend was able to grab them while I called my ex husband. Sure enough, he did want the seats and he and our daughter were able to sit where we would all have an excellant view of the graduation ceremony.
It has always been my hope and belief that my ex husband and I were capable to getting along enough to make life easy on our kids. We have had family meetings in my house, we have shared meals together and now we have speant a full day being a blended family.
A lot of this is able to happen because I am medicated. I am able to be in the middle and not riddled with anxiety. Not that anxiety doesn't grab hold of me often, but being honest with my therapist, I am able to take steps to change or adjust meds to help me be at my best.
As a special gift for our kids. I caught my ex husband off guard and asked for a family photo of the four of us. It is a good photo. I will get it printed for the kids. One photo, daughter, mom, son and dad, 2019.
I did see my therapist. She was very sad for me and I greatly appreciated it. What I am dealing with is sad, depressing and painful. Family can be your greatest source of support and/or your greatest source of punishment.
In the end, my therapist asked me to visualize everyone involved and surround them with a calm, peaceful light. I chose white light for each of them. I have started practicing to get the love started. This is not as easy as it sounds. I have a lot of emotions tied to these people I love. Emotions that I process and put aside, over and over again.
So my boyfriend and I fly out tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn. I am already out of sorts by all of this schedule upheaval. I also work tonight at the grocery store. Thankfully, only until 10 pm. Once in CA, we have the whole day to play and run around and enjoy the mild weather. I am so glad my boyfriend is going because he will help me relax and not freak out to much. He has a nice day planned for us and I am grateful he took the time to make it special.
Thursday we get to see my son. I cannot wait. It has been ages since I got to hug that boy. My ex husband will be there for this family day and I am seeing him surrounded by a big white light. I am hoping he plays nice and does not lead our children to pick who they get to hang out with. I am hoping we can all spend the afternoon playing nice, for me and for our son.
As for the rest of the crew, well I will see them in white light as well. I am hoping they can muster the grace to know this day is not about them. I am hoping. All I can do is put it out to the universe and see what happens.
The next day is graduation and the initial unpleasantries will be over. Things should be tolerable by Friday. It isn't a long graduation and then final hugs. My boyfriend and I will head back to the airport and fly home. My stressful whirlwind will be over, for now.
My therapist gave me propantenol to calm my nerves and manage my anxiety. I didn't think it would be enough and was prepared to ask for the big guns, but it seems to be working to keep my anxiety to a manageable roar.
I am so glad I went to see her and shared what is going on. I am not a good sharer. I become horribly embarrassed by my lack of control and being overly emotional. Anxiety is very embarrassing because it comes out of no where. It doesn't even have to have a reason to rear it's ugly head. For me, last week, I did know specifically why mine had been triggered, but it was still hard to explain. It was hard to speak. Anxiety and fear are so personal. To have to expose yourself to anyone is truly difficult, but I am glad I did. My therapist was able to help me see that I was having a "normal" reaction to some extreme emotions and situation. It is so empowering to have someone tell you they would be anxious if they were in your shoes.
Say a prayer that the next few days go well for all involved. Thank you!
I have moments of lightness in my heart. Moments when I have forgiven all of the pain and neglect. Those moments feel so good. Then my anxiety dredges the painful memories back up and I hurt. I feel the weight of the pain and Ihave to start the work again to feel and release. Today my mind is racing with old thoughts and old hurts. I am trying to sit with each pain to quiet it down. I see my therapist today and I hope she can help.
All of this pain and work is due to the message I received from someone who use to be in my life and chose to leave me. That hits on so many painful memories of neglect from my childhood. Sometimes I have to trace the pain back to the first times that I felt it to understand why I get so triggered when similar pain happens today. It is not this person's fault that people I loved and trusted when I was young failed me and left me. I can say this outloud and yet they pain is crushing.
How do I tell this person that the anger they have towards me is not really about me, but misplaced anger at their own parent. I am just an easy target. I know I don't tell them anything. It is not my place and they wouldn't hear me anyway. They are smart and will figure it out in their own time. Healing just takes time.
Next week I fly out to see my son graduate! I am so excited and proud. I have missed him so damn much. I am working my ass of to process my feelings so that I can focus on my son and his achievement and not my fear and worry and anxiety over this other person. This mystery person who I have been stressing over might be there. Probably will be there, so I have a weeks time left of this endless stressing and racing thoughts. One more fucking week. Then I put it all back, neatly in it's little box for a while longer. My hope is that each time I pull the box out to peer into it that I will have a little more distance from the pain. I hope that each time I reach in to pick up the hurt that I will have a softer heart and more understanding.
I want to be able to sit with my old hurts and see them with fresh eyes, with eyes of love. I hope to be able to heal and not hurt when I visit the past.
I bathed today. This past week it has been harder and harder to get my ass out of bed and get clean.These are not good signs for me. In the past it has meant depression was slowly sneaking into my life, again.
I could curl up in my bed covers and sleep the day away. I could cram two naps into my day if left to my own devices. In fact, some days I do have a second nap once I get my daughter home from school. Whereas so months I couldn't actually nap to save my soul. I would lay there getting frustrated with myself because I knew I was exhausted. I just couldn't find sleep. Now I not only sleep, I dream.
Today it took me until 1 pm to get clean. I only did it then because I have to go fetch my daughter and go to work at the grocery store tonight. I feel fairly certain that if I was off work from the grocery store tonight, I would still be in my pj's, not showered.
I have my next psych apptointment next week. I can make it until then. Last appointment we lowered my Abilify. I am thinking that may not have been a good choice. Don't get me wrong, I have asked for us to make some changes to see what the minimum dosages I need to take to maintain my "normal". We took my lithium down and I didn't notice a change. Then the Abilify and now I am starting down the path to zombie land.
I have had a great deal of personal stress with my daughter. She is pushing boundaries as teenagers do, but it sucks that it coincides with my med change. The worst part of her pushing boundaries is it means I have to interact with my ex husband too damn often.
That is the Mental Melissa update. I bathed today, even though I didn't want to. What did you do today that you didn't want to?
More of my Let It Go theme!
"Don't judge people for the choices they make when you don't know the options they had to choose from." This quote damn near split me in two. Every thing seems so black and white to people who are living an easy life with blinders on. For people taking a peak into someone else's life. For those of us down in the trenches and those below us, there is so much grey.
Sometimes there is very little time to weigh the options presented and a decision has to be made in a split second. Some of those decisions we come to regret. Some of those decisions we grow into slowly over time. Sometimes years pass before we see if we made the right or wrong decision.
I have made good and bad decisions. My bipolar has gotten the best of me a handfull of times and caused me to fuck up shit royally. Looking back, with eyes guided by therapy, I have forgiven myself for those mistake too. Those are the hard ones, the ones that I can't make sense with who I am and how I live. There aren't a lot of those mistakes, but the few have been life changing.
Living with bipolar means that I am not always in a mental position to make decisions or most importanly I shouldn't be making decisions because when I am manic there is no black and white, just colors and paths that all seem like good adventures.
I wish there was a way to play back memories so you could show them to other people so they could see what you saw, what you felt and what you heard. Walk a mile in my shoes seems tame to crawl in my head for a day. Okay maybe I don't wish to share my memories as they would break the heart of those concerned and judging me. It would be hard for them to relive the memories with me, surrounded by all of my emotions swirling around them. It would be hard to see the people they love behaving so badly.
This is why it is so difficult to have bipolar. My mind is often in a non stop feedback loop. Letting go is especially difficult when your brain won't let you press stop, and then let go. My mind can go from feedback loop to racing thoughts in the blink of an eye. Then I am headed to shitville, where my thoughts won't stop and I start making decisions based on flawed, dangerous logic.
"Don't judge people for the choices they make when you don't know the options they had to choose from." Weighing awful choice versus equally awful choice is a bad place to be. A lot of my life has made me stand at the fucked up fork in the road trying to figure out which is the best path to choose. I will end this post with the quote, "Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one." by Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas.
Yesterday was heavy for me. Someone I dearly sent me a message last week judging me for my actions in the past. They heard one side of the story and never asked for mine, just accepted the one side. I kinda knew that was why contact was withdrawn, but always wondered what the specifics were. Boy did I get a scathing detail of my transgressions.
During the time they were not in my life, I have missed them greatly. My heart has broken a million time from this loss. But I did finally make peace with it, that is until I received the message.
I mentally comprised a huge document stating my side to all of the half truths the other person had told them. I edited it mentally every night as I laid in bed. I edited it every morning while I sat in the quiet of my house drinking coffee.
Finally I remembered this is not who I am. I have worked too hard on my life, to go back to justifying my actions to others. I have worked too hard to forgive the person who was directly a party to the situation. That has taken me 7 years. Seven years of fighting back and arguing and trying to make them change their ways. I have known 3 years of peace. Three years of not arguing and fighting, of not being drug into the drama. Three years of forgiveness to the person who hurt me as much as I hurt them. Three years of forgiveness to myself.
Boundaries are hard for me to put into place, but my counter part in this mess gives me ample opportunity to practice, almost daily. I stay true to myself even if that causes more discord between us.
So to my heart breaker, I sent a simple message that I was sorry they still carried the weight of my decisions. I was sorry that they had to even be drawn into the fight. I reasurred them that I love them so very much and that I hope one day they can let it all go.
I am back at peace with myself. It feels good to be balanced again.
I am glad the weight of yesterday has been lifted from my shoulders.