Did Daddy know he was “Crazy”

My father committed suicide in 1992, put a shot-gun in his mouth. I was 28 years old, we were estranged since I was a teen. A trigger hit me like a hurricane this week. I’m having memories, not the worst. You put the the pressure on my shoulders to arrange everything, who to call. I had to face the chore of the house, a man living out of touch for many years. Worst was going to morgue, hand me original note and his bloody shotgun. Could you not see your friends were different? They were thieves but not in the same universe. They all took advantage of you, move in move out and steal what they want. One roommate committed suicide with your gun in your house. Down on their luck, will make payments on car, he was lucky to get three payments. He would have to track down and repo the car. They would come back begging and he would do it again. His friends were people at the bar he parked cars at. All the ladies got special attention, my father walked the lot to make sure the cars were secure. They all flirted with him, fake flirting, trashy bar, easy women going to bar in the hood looking for love. One night feeling the black dog, I went to the bar where my father parked cars. We played a game of pool, sitting at the bar he […]

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Learning Doctor Talk

Repost from 2014 I started seeing my Psychopharmacologist in 1992 and he intimidated me. He’s not a chipper guy and it took years to see through his shell. I was in a very dark place and spiraling down. I didn’t think he understood how depressed I was. He only provides medication management, 15-minute appointments at most. We had a couple of frustrating meetings. I didn’t know how to reach him, I didn’t know doctor talk. He is one of the best in Texas and finding a Psychopharmacologist is difficult. I wasn’t walking away. During another frustrating meeting, he left the room to talk to a therapist he worked with. He did me the biggest favor and no doubt saved my life by asking me to talk with the therapist. I sat down with her and expressed my frustration in getting thru to him. They had worked together for 13 years, she could provide insight into his personality and how best to communicate with him. Once we were on the same page, he was able to give me the help I needed. Psychopharmacology:  is the scientific study of the effects drugs have on mood, sensation, thinking, and behavior.The field of psychopharmacology studies a wide range of substances with various types of psychoactive properties, focusing primarily on the chemical interactions with the brain.Psychoactive drugs interact with particular target sites or receptors found in the nervous system to induce widespread changes in physiological or psychological […]

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Medication Check List

How often do you update your medication checklist with all of your doctors? I make a habit of taking an updated list to every appointment. It’s up to me to keep everyone informed. That doesn’t mean side effects or mishaps don’t happen. I fired my Lyme doctor because he prescribed medicine in a class I was already taking. In this case, drugs from that class don’t mix with another in that category. It made me Psychotic for a week, walking in circles in the house 24 hours a day, I thought I learned a new language and was with my tribe of Indians. It was a horrible experience. It was half of my responsibility, doctors dispense too many medications to know all the side effects. My habit is to go to FDA.gov and read the Prescribing Instructions from the manufacturer. I can read all the side effect data and know what to look out for. In this case, I had put the medication aside for a week because I was too sick to look up the information and too stubborn to ask my husband for help. I paid the price. We have to manage our medications along with the doctor, they only have 15 minutes at best and most of the time new prescriptions aren’t written till the end of an appointment. Read the information given by the pharmacy. The information will at least include the most common side effects […]

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Special education teacher’s “mental health check in” for students inspires other educators

BY CAITLIN O’KANE APRIL 5, 2019 / 12:00 PM / CBS NEWS A special education teacher from Fremont, California, made a “mental health checklist” for her students. Now, teachers around the world are doing the same.  Erin Castillo posted a photo of her mental health poster on Instagram and it went viral. She made a version of it available to download for free, and teachers around the world are posting photos of the chart in their classrooms. The mental heath checklist asks kids if they are “great,” “okay,” “meh,” “struggling,” “having a hard time” or “in a really dark place.” Students are encouraged to write their names on the back of a post-it and stick it on the poster under the section describing how they’re feeling.  If they put their post-it in the “struggling” section, they know they should try speaking with an adult about their feelings. If they say they are “having a hard time,” or “in a really dark place,” Castillo checks in with them.  The teacher knows it’s important to take time and focus on mental health – especially for high school kids.  “My heart hurts for them,” Castillo wrote on Instagram. “High school is rough sometimes, but I was happy that a few were given a safe space to vent and work through some feelings.” Castillo teaches high school English to special education students, as well as a peer counseling class to general education students, she told CBS News. Her […]

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Overcoming the pain from disappointment — Guest Blogger Shedding Light on Mental Health

Sometimes the worst part of mental illness are the dreams left behind. The shattered and tattered remnants of a life once filled with promise and opportunity. There is no greater healing than acknowledging the pain, feeling it and then moving forward with what can be. Things can really be difficult. It’s hard to always stay […] via Overcoming the pain from disappointment — Shedding Light on Mental Health

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An Olympic training approach to managing bipolar disorder — Guest Shedding Light on Mental Health

Guest Amy Gamble from http://www.sheddinglightonmentalhealth.com I was talking with a friend at the National Council on Behavioral Health’s annual conference in Nashville. We had just watched a movie about Andy Irons a world-class surfer who had bipolar disorder and died at 37. It was an emotional documentary. I felt sad. But the emotion that got my attention was anger. […] via An Olympic training approach to managing bipolar disorder — Shedding Light on Mental Health

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Did Daddy know he was “Crazy”

My father committed suicide in 1992, put a shot-gun in his mouth. I was 28 years old, we were estranged since I was a teen. A trigger hit me like a hurricane this week. I’m having memories, not the worst. You put the the pressure on my shoulders to arrange everything, who to call. I had to face the chore of the house, a man living out of touch for many years. Worst was going to morgue, hand me original note and his bloody shotgun. Could you not see your friends were different? They were thieves but not in the same universe. They all took advantage of you, move in move out and steal what they want. One roommate committed suicide with your gun in your house. Down on their luck, will make payments on car, he was lucky to get three payments. He would have to track down and repo the car. They would come back begging and he would do it again. His friends were people at the bar he parked cars at. All the ladies got special attention, my father walked the lot to make sure the cars were secure. They all flirted with him, fake flirting, trashy bar, easy women going to bar in the hood looking for love. One night feeling the black dog, I went to the bar where my father parked cars. We played a game of pool, sitting at the bar he […]

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Darkness Overcomes Me

I stand watching the darkness settle in. The black dog comes to torture me. Emotions, negative feelings left behind are brought out like dolls in a toy box.  I fight, fight hard not to fall in the abyss. Mask are taken out of their resting place, the mask are for me, which one will I need today. Lies and hurtful […]

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I Have Bipolar And I Am Not Violent

Reblogged from our friend Amy Gamble at http://www.amygamble.wordpress.com I had an opportunity to teach a group of school teachers about mental illness. After last weeks Florida school shooting I was prepared for questions about mental illness and violence. It’s beyond sad this is an ever occurring topic. But what happens to those of us who live with a mental illness […]

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What It All Means

This video floored me, it’s real for me, he spoke works to come from my mouth, Jim was able to show the guts, inside, raw communication and how struggles are battled. I ran across this last week, I don’t know who to give credit to. I’ve watched over and over and each time I see one of my dark times, suicidal journeys and crawling back from hell. I hope you will watch and reblog on. Everyone can learn from the inside look of depression.  M

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My Father

In the 1950’s doctors diagnosed my father Hyperactive as a teen, with little knowledge doctors prescribed tranquilizers. I can only imagine how this much-loved teen prankster turned zombie like. What doctors didn’t know was my father suffered from Bipolar Disorder. After leaving home, he never sought a second opinion or took medications. He committed suicide in 1992. I can’t say […]

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Bipolar & Dementia

Reblogged from Kitt O’Malley I fear dementia. Both of my parents have dementia and live in a memory care community. They love one another and seem happy where they are now, but it took a while to make that happen. They wanted to maintain their independence. Understandable. I fear dementia. Though I hope by avoiding alcohol and taking my […] via Bipolar

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I keep Moving Forward: *Not allowing My past to Chart the Future*

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”    Maya Angelo I am a Survivor My grandparents unconditional love pulled me from the abyss. After years of Therapy, I have a clear heart, no anger or self loathing. Not forgiving….forgetting, to allow myself to move forward. Over the years, people brought sunshine into my life. You were like Angels dropping in when I needed a push or pat on back. My mother and stepfather physically and emotionally abused me until 12 years old. My stepfather beat my mother almost daily starting with hitting her head side to side down the hallway, the hallway ended at my room. Everyone in the house lived in hell, I got an extra dose. As a small girl, I dreamed my father would save me from the traumatic abuse. The dream was over, he started sexually abusing me as a child. It was innocent at first or so it seemed. At 12 years old I moved to my father’s. It’s impossible to wrap your head around sexual abuse at any age. In 1992 my father committed suicide. Estranged since my teens, we talked several times before his death. He called delusional and paranoid. Saying someone was tapping his phone. He told me about committing suicide, I told no one. The news devastated Granny her only child was dead. With a closed casket service it’s hard to reconcile death when you can’t […]

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Friday Psychotic Break

Tom Petty incapsulates everything Rock & Roll. I hadn’t seen this version, WOW.  Feel his rage, drugs, possibilities are endless.   Breakdown  Tom Petty & Heartbreakers  12/30/1978-Winterland, San Francisco.  I’m feeling front stage today.  Like version? How about suggestions. I always enjoy you’re thoughts & feedback.  😎M https://youtu.be/G1cmOq9MSo

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I Think Of You Every Second

I’m grieving a life, a life taken to the sky. Why a country song hit me so hard, I don’t know. Does she like country music? The uncontrollable tears may come from God, being there for me, when the pain doesn’t end. The tears maybe the first of many. I did not ask for promises. I shared the challenges of my mental illness, praying you would not feel alone in your pain. Being real but hoping to empower, no-one can make someone change their plan, only they can. I start praying, please God take her in your arms, show her how love feels, please make her journey beyond earth the greatest years of her life. I will miss you, I’m scared, please answer my email today. My heart is bleeding, all I need is to know you’re alive. God will always have your back and never stops loving you. This rendition was updated to celebrate 50 years of Country Music Awards (CMA). Beautiful song, it’s impossible to not appreciate the talent and their voices together. I will always love you. By the One and only Dolly Melinda

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He Named The Posts: Let’s Stop Calling It Mental Illness

 In 11 years of Blogging, I can’t recall a time going flip out, full rant on anyone. Today changed everything. We are all due our opinion, we live in the great country of America. People have the same right to voice an opposing view. It’s important my friends and followers know what I will fight for and what my true passions are. Mental Health is on top of the list, I advocate, help anyone who ask, manage my own mental health on a daily basis. I returned home late last night from D.C. and pretty tired today, I could have read the post wrong. Here are a few comments by someone who knows nothing about mental illness. Xx  M *So why then are we still calling these very physical and real illnesses “mental illness”?* *So why when someone has an illness in their brain, do we call it a mental illness?*  My thoughts on post While I agree on some points, you are way off base speaking on mental illness. No longer saying someone has a mental illness? WOW!! Mental illness is a serious illness the same as cancer, losing a limb or going blind. First Cancer has no cure, you want to just say oh, there sick? Instead of calling someone an amputee, oh they lost their leg, this person sufferers from endless pain battling their brain, the good and the worst. When someone is in a dark depression […]

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Withdraw: The Scattered Mind

Xanax is an anchor drug in my medication combo for treating Anxiety/Bipolar Disorder. I’ve taken Xanax for 15 years, it works miracles in keeping me grounded. Working quickly is an advantage with little to no side effects, EXCEPT ADDICTION. The downside side is addiction happens quickly after starting. For me withdraw starts on second day, by fourth day I look like a street addict who would sell my soul for a pill. The emotional and physical breakdown took me to hell. My deep secrets/scars laughed and taunted me.               Here are some of the delusions I experienced. Learned a new language Surviving in the desert like Jesus Discovered potential link for Postpartum Depression In touch with my families Indian blood Could feel natural body rhythm Felt small earthquake Saw Bobcat tracks on front tree Started writing Country songs Tweeting Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton and Pharrell, talked to Gwen and Blake several times, Pharrell retwetted twice. I was flooded with people wanting to follow me after seeing tweets from Gwen. I was overwhelmed. Locked all computers down, trying to keep myself from writing. These are some of the out of control thoughts running through my head non-stop The physical pain is unbearable Anger, pain, begging God to stop kicking me in stomach, wailing, screaming, throwing up, four days without food. Having  to transition back one medication a day at a time Delayed Lyme protocol by a week, […]

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Withdraw The Beast Within: Day One

I HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER MY MENTAL HEALTH IS TIED TOGETHER WITH MULTIPLE MEDICATIONS, THREE OF WHICH I’M ADDICTED TO.  MY STRUGGLE WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER IS BALANCED OUT ON A FOUNDATION BUILT ON XANAX. I AM ADDICTED TO THREE OF THE DRUGS WITH XANAX BEING THE NASTIEST TO WITHDRAW FROM. LYME DIEASE HAS TAKEN MY MEMORY AND I TOOK TO MANY XANAX BEFORE THE NEXT REFILL. IT’S A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE IN TEXAS WHICH MEANS ONLY YOUR DOCTOR CAN APPROVE EVEN ONE PILL BEFORE REFILL. MY DOCTOR WAS ON VACATION AND I WAS BATTLING THE BEAST WITHIN.  I’m  on the mend, just not well enough to write a post about my journey. Thanks to everyone who has reached out to me. I was able to battle things out at home, there was a point when the questions came up, was it time to go to hospital. Below are a few comments I’ve made while piecing myself back together. They are not entertaining, quite disgusting actually but IT’S REAL. I have Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder with Xanax as the anchor drug. I’ve lived thru what doctors or instructions may mention about withdraw. IF you were not aware of what Xanax withdraw looks like, FIRST look in the mirror. It’s the patients responsibility to participate with treatment. One critical way is being aware of every angle, good, bad, nasty, uncomfortable, make you beat yourself against the wall, wailing in pain……..I feel like my worst sins have beaten me with […]

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How to participate once diagnosed with a Mental Illness

Years after my diagnoses with Bipolar Disease. I thought it was time to participate in my medical care. To understand layman’s terms, what to expect and when to call doctor. Getting on the same page as you learn doctor speak and how they hear. A proficient Psychiatrist with a background helping Mentally Ill patients. Please save your time and money going to General Doctor. Most are not versed in how drugs work together or not. Psychiatrist understand drugs, spend more time to make diagnoses and discuss the drugs to help. A Therapist, my foundation in healing. The key to healing is understanding yourself. They can help take the weight you’re carrying around. Don’t stop taking your medication. Medications cause side effects, the drugs you buy at CVS have side effects. Every drug has side effects. It may take 6-8 weeks for the medicine to level off. If you want to change a drug in a week, please understand, there are no short cuts. Short cuts not only prolong the treatment and can be dangerous. If you’re determined to stop medicine, Call your doctor first! If you become delusional, psychotic or determined to hurt yourself go to local hospital. Keep a journal to document the changes in mood. Keeping a log helped my doctor see my mood was cycling. A medication change was needed. There are many ideas on how people were helped or not by medicine. I will admit a couple […]

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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Original post 5/2014 We do things for people we love not for those who do not deserve love. I woke today with a tug, my introspective mood. I save difficult post for days like this. It’s not depression or sadness more logical than emotional. Dissociation is a conversation my therapist and I have talked about for 15 years. When I talk about child abuse at the hands of my mother and stepfather my mood is flat. One of the ways I survived was putting each memory in a box to deal with later. After awhile some memories fade. Other’s are  yearly reminders. My mother still sends Birthday and Christmas cards. About 15 years ago she sent a Birthday card triggering the last blow. She basically said “I’m not the only person with problems get over it.” Nothing ever changes, everything is about her. I had not thought about my mother yet would send thank you notes for Christmas gifts. I didn’t think about it, just on auto pilot. This Birthday card was different, it pissed me off almost to almost losing it which I rarely do. I took the card to my next therapy appointment. I sit down and Diane knew something was very wrong. I handed her the card and the inscription written in the book. Diane was a cool therapist, she knew me well. She could tell the anger was building and ask what was my next step. I […]

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D I V O R C E

Original post 5/2014 It was a normal Sunday like any other. I’m 6 and my brother was 3 1/2 years old, my mother was taking us to the lake. We never went to the lake, I began to get excited about playing in the water. I also grew concerned, what did she have on her mind. Even at 6 years old I knew she always had an agenda.We pulled up to the picnic tables on the far side of lake, nowhere near the water. She tells my brother and me that our parents are getting a divorce. Not understanding what it meant I ask her to spell it for me. I kept repeating the spelling in my head so I could ask my friend. I would find out sooner than later. Gramps truck was overflowing my father’s belongings. They were driving off as we rounded the corner. Their relationship went from bad to hell on earth. My mother took every chance to tell us how much she hated him. She married within six months his name was R known as (Nazi & Lucifer). He was her supervisor at work and could get her the white picket fence. We moved into a new house with a big back yard, things looked so normal on the outside. If people only knew the carnage on the inside. Custody was a nightmare, daddy would bring us home and she would throw things at him. One time […]

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Do you know me at all?

Original post 3/2014 It’s been an emotional month with thoughts of my father’s suicide and writing about him for the first time. I never grieved my father, the emotions caught me by surprise. It’s been very confusing because my father was one of my abusers. I am having health issues which is stressful. The Black Dog has come to see […]

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Throw Back Thursday *Wild Child Days*

Reading a post earlier brought back memories of my drug addicted wild child days. My boyfriend was a dealer so I did everything but a needle. Many scary times living with my father. I ran away, he pointing a 357 magnum at the friends he could find. Threatening to kill them if lying. Good thing he didn’t know I was crouched in the front passenger floorboard. I never forgot the music we were getting stoned to. LET’S ROCK AND ROLL   Xx  M

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Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic

I was Kevin’s age when diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. A lack of understanding and feelings of shame, I kept a lid on my problems, until boiling over. I did not accept my mental illness until my father committed suicide in 1992. His death sent me down a path of research and learning how to take charge of my medical care. I accept Bipolar Disorder is not curable at this time yet confident in the future. TED Talk Playlist Presents Presentation #3 ted.com/playlists/296/let_s_end_the_silence_around_s

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Brave Heart Award

The Brave Heart Mission Statement To encourage all those (men & women) who have been abused (all abuse) to share their hope with others so that they will no longer be a victim but a survivor that knows they are loved.   A Victims Journal nominated me for the Brave Heart Award. There are not enough words to express how helpful, positive and inspiring she is to me. I admire her raw and honest post. The feedback she gives is no less raw. Her sixth sense of knowing when you need a boost or a little prodding helps keep me on track. I feel like she reads all of my post and always has a hug and positive affirmation.  Rules of Acceptance: Thank the person who nominated you. Answer 12 questions put before you. Nominate/award 12 bloggers. Notify nominees/awardees with a link to their blogs on yours. 12 Questions Asked 1.Tell us a bit about your blog. Who designed it The blog is an avenue to tell my story of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I believe it also serves as a resource for men & women alike. I used a Word Press template and designed myself. 2. What is the title and description of your blog? Looking for the Light is my blog which focuses on my story of abuse  and Mental Illness. 3. Who is your intended audience? Anyone who has suffered trauma. I believe we can all help […]

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NO MORE EXCUSES

No More Silence. No More Violence. Tune in for the NO MORE Excuses SVU Marathon This Sunday on USA  The link will take you to information about event and how you can help. There’s an extensive list of resources. Mariska Hargitay who plays a cop on SVU, gives a special address. Mariska started the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 with the mission to help heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. NO MORE and End the Backlog are featured programs of the Joyful Heart Foundation. KNOW THE FACTS The next time you’re in a room with 6 people, think about this: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes. 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year. 1 in 5 women are survivors of rape. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18. Warrior

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Where I Surf and Blog

This is where I start my day, you can see I’m on the organized side. My office would be perfect if I didn’t have three animals in there. They are like children either fighting or having a melt down. Life could be so much worse. Truly I know how blessed I am. I like to buy all kinds of cool things for the office, that way I don’t get bored. This is very close to the office of my dreams. I like it that way because I have to dream. Maybe someday I’ll get that expansive office with built-in wall to wall bookcases. You know a little more about me and a person’s desk says it all. Have an awesome day. Warrior  

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Stations of the Cross

This post does not preach or try to convert anyone of any religion. It’s the story of my intersection with the Catholic Church at 13 years old. In my recent post “I Almost Killed My Father” I told of spending a year at a Convent for bad girls. It is here I became familiar to the Catholic Religion. Growing up we did […]

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About Looking For The Light Blog

My mother, stepfather and father abused me until I was a teenager. All the scars hurt particularly of my father who sexually abused me. It’s hard to wrap your head around sexual abuse. My father committed suicide in 1992. It was an extremely difficult time, my grandmother never recovered he was her only child. In my father’s suicide note he wanted me to take care of all the details. Estranged for years but the heart still breaks. Because of the manner in which he killed himself we had to have a closed casket funeral. It’s very hard to reconcile death when you can’t see them. I gave the eulogy however I don’t remember. I struggle with Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder and the anxiety it brings. I was diagnosed  at 19 years old struggling for years without medication or over medicated. In 2005 I had the Vagus Nerve Stimulator implanted. The device sends electrical signals to the brain to increase Serotonin. I have taken over 40 prescriptions or cocktails. Some worked for a while then you have to try another mix. I thought the VNS device would keep me on the rails. Naïve thinking on my part. I was not as lucky as many in the FDA clinical trial. I realized the device was like any other prescription and it was another that didn’t work. I’m 50 years old now and the Black Dog drags me down deeper as I age. I’m alive with […]

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Hyper mania allowed me to travel

  I love to travel, my goal is to see the world. When your Bipolar, hyper mania  can make it possible. I was an Executive Sales person, number one in the company and making big bucks. I felt so lucky hyper mania stayed for 10 years. I went to Russia by myself, traveled with my friends to France and the Caribbean.  My doctor kept telling me the higher you go the harder you fall. I didn’t want to give up the person I was. The fall began slowly, I got fired from my job, blew though my savings and filled for bankruptcy. Did I mention a divorce and building a new house. I lost everything. What I lost was not worth the high. All the negative thoughts came back. My life is not as exciting, anxiety kept me in the house. Many days I didn’t get of bed. I’ve been suicidal several times, having 20 ECT treatments in the past 10 years. My husband understands my illness  and often goes on doctor’s appointments. The brain is a fascinating  question mark? I love this photo of Jesus because he carries me often. The photo was the motivation to get out of bed. Warrior

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Free to Fly

My emotions are raw today. It’s 4:45 pm and still in my pajamas. I’m sad and confused. When buried memories bubble up I work hard to lock them back up. I saw the ladybug on the roses, it brought the biggest smile. The excitement was enough to grab the camera. A smile is a great distraction, half a smile is better than none. All I can give is a half-smile today. Guilt took over, guilt tells me I’m lazy and my husband is going to leave me. I know it’s the illness talking but it hit me hard today because I was weak. Melinda

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