Tag Archives: bipolar disorder

all the parts of me

the plural inference of the title for this blog was not just because i think the word ‘elixir’ sounds cool.

i mean, that is part of the reason, but not the whole shebang.

i wanted to imply that there is more than one mind at work here, in the way that my personality is multi-faceted.

i tend to keep myself subdued in front of most people in my life, so my children and husband are the only ones who get anywhere near the full spectrum of personalities that i have going on.

storm with skin

lately, it seems like the free-spirited side of me has been the most present. she likes fleetwood mac and steve miller band. she wears lots of dresses and writes whenever and however she can. she craves to move and travel, for change to be a constant in life. gaudy rings, lace, and braids are an everyday thing.

this is the me that hits the gas when she drives down the curves of the mountain, holding to the wheel tight and refusing to brake. she holds her hand out the window, running her fingers through the wind just to feel connected. she is wild, and loving, and deep.

she is my gypsy soul.

boho

the girl who resembles a 16 year old me, pieced together with tape, chipped at the edges, and dipped in shadow- she worries me. she listens to korn, deftones, and slipknot as loud as it will go. she looks at the floor as she walks, hides from the world and hates it as a whole. she needs change as much as the gypsy, but in a desperate way that shouldn’t be indulged.

she grasps at whatever will pull her from the wreckage of her mind, but is willing to pull everyone else down on her way up.

this is the me that is gone now, at least for now. hidden deep in the recesses of my mind, she waits to come out again, to pull me back again.

black

there is another side of me. the one that tries to fit in. the one that goes to play dates with moms she has nothing in common with to try to find a clique. she wears nice, subdued, preppy clothes, she holds her head high, she flaunts her education. she is the know-it-all, a therapist for others, but she will let everyone walk all over her just to keep them happy. she wants to be trendy, she wants to be the connected parent, she wants to have the beautiful home with white picket fence.

this side of me can be so suffocating, so monotonous.

there is the book worm, the science geek, the hateful wench, the judgmental prude, the health nut, the day dreamer, the entrepreneur.

these aren’t just characteristics of my personality. they each have their own space in my mind. they appear when they see fit, they crowd the space in my head.

strangeness

for now, i’ll enjoy where the gypsy soul takes me. the winds can take me where they please, and the rains can wash me clean. the other parts can peak out, make small appearances, but the gypsy can have this life as long as she wants.

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an unspoken truth

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you don’t know this, but this cup of chai tea with honey is my reward for a productive morning.

i got up when the alarm went off this morning, without waiting for the four alarms afterward to drag me from the warmth of bed. i brushed my teeth, made my husband his bottle of tea for work, ran his work shirt through the dryer to warm it up, and started getting ready for the day. i found clothes quickly, helped my husband out the door and kissed him goodbye. got the kids up, got them breakfast, took my daily vitamins, and helped the kids find clothes.

i talked with my son about the legos he wants for christmas. i not only made the effort to do my hair, but also tamed my daughter’s wild mane as well. i took my son to school without having to yell at everyone to get in gear because we were late. i got starbucks for me and my daughter before going to walmart. i went through the store leisurely, all while playing with my daughter and smiling a lot. our smiles made others smile as well.

so? you are probably asking yourself why these things matter. these actions are not major feats. millions upon millions of people do these types of thing every day, all day.

but all of these things are a big deal, especially for someone who has battled with depression and anxiety for the last decade.

alice

with manic depression, this was me most days. my moods flipped so much, i lost track of who i was.

at the end of august, i made the call that i have needed to make for so long now. i cried after making that appointment, those loud and torturous type of sobs. i chewed my nails until they were raw in anticipation of that day. he was going to laugh at me. he was going to ask that dreadful question “what in the world do you have to be depressed about?” that doctor was going to dismiss me, just like so many people before.

but he didn’t. that 80-something man sat me in his office like i was a real person and he told me what i already knew. he said that i am manic depressive, and that he was going to help me.

he started me on a low dose of paxil for the first month, a slightly higher dose the next month once we figured that it was not working in the way that i wanted. the higher dose was still not giving the desired result, so he placed me on citalopram two weeks ago.

and now, i feel good. i feel happy. i appreciate my kids and husband in a way that i haven’t in a long time, if ever. i’m writing again, which fills me in a way that cannot be described. i don’t hate my body and everything about myself. i can accept compliments without having to bite back my harsh denial. i can sleep through the night without waking up in killer panic attacks. lastly, i cannot remember the last time that i cried in the shower.

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i even took my picture today, which is a big deal, since i have avoided taking pictures of myself for the last six months.

i am not sharing all of this out of some cry for attention, but rather, to shine some light on an issue that is so often considered taboo.

stay at home moms are supposed to be thrilled to be at home. we are supposed to love absolutely every moment with our children, and we are supposed to be overfilling with an absurd amount of patience. because, after all, we are bad mothers if we aren’t these things.

the truth? most moms i know are only homemakers because daycare is too expensive and we don’t trust strangers with our preciously wild little ones. these factors aside, we could really do without the monotony of being at home with kids. we would be out in the world, rather than running errands and driving kids back and forth. we do this because we have, not necessarily because we want to.

you will probably think to yourself a few examples of moms that are rockin’ this ‘at-home’ thing. i can too. but a part of me wonders if they are faking it on any level. do they zone out on their books or smart phones at any point, mindlessly removing themselves from the world? do they ever binge on netflix and put aside their chores until the very last moment? do they ever feel inconsolably alone, especially among the chaos that is their family?

you are not alone

it will probably take a long time before people begin to recognize, accept, and attempt to treat depression in themselves and others in a comfortable manner. depression just isn’t something that is found appropriate to discuss, and the stiff conversation surrounding the topic only continues to drive the stigma behind the illness.

it took nearly 8 years for my husband to accept the truth about my struggle with depression. i am not sure that i could have handled his denial for much longer. this last year began to hurt entirely too much.

but now… now, my soul feels so much lighter.