Looking Up: For Today

Looking Up: For Today


I am too scared to say that my depression has lifted because I don’t want to get my hopes up. What I can say is that, for today, things are looking up. Just because I have had one good day, for the first time in weeks, does not mean that I am miraculously cured, but I guess it’s a start, right? Continue reading

Thinking About Life: July 11, 2017

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Thinking About Life: July 11, 2017


After careful consideration, I have decided to quit my ghostwriting job. It just was not worth it anymore. I sent them an email about it and their only response back was literally, “Oh, wow!” and I have not heard anything since. I was so nervous when I did it.

At first, the editor/owner or whatever she is, sent me an email asking me why an article was not done when it was due June 27th. We had a lengthy discussion about this article over a several day time span so she knew it was not done, and she even told me to hold off on it and focus on other stuff. So when I got an email asking me why it was not done, I lost my temper.

I sent a not so nice email explaining everything and told her that she may as well look for a new writer then if she is not going to work with me. I, again, told her that I could only do so many articles a week for her and she was going to have to accept that and I said a lot of other stuff.

In the end, she said to give her two weeks to find someone to pick up the slack but until then I still needed to do 6 articles a week. At least she was finally trying to work with me, but I knew this was unrealistic for me. At this point, I had been up for way over 24 hours working on an article and I was cranky and exhausted and I will admit she was becoming my target. I had to repeat myself a lot though, maybe three or four times because she just wasn’t getting it the first few time I said something which was pissing me off.

She told me that she treats her writers like family and hopes that I would change my mind before the two weeks was up.

She needed me to do another article, and I told her I needed to sleep. So when I woke up, I just didn’t have it in me anymore. I sent a resignation email, and well, I already said the rest.

hidden smileAs of right now, I am happy writing for BabyGaga. They even offered me an extra incentive if I could write an extra article or two a week, “you’ve been producing great work so far and consistently,” as quoted from my email. It made me feel good because I don’t always know my worth. As I have said before, a few times. I just hope that I can keep producing worthy articles for them.

Part of me is paranoid that now that I quit my ghostwriting job that now I have nothing to call back on, just in case. But another part of me is like, well at least now I have something with my name on it. It’s weird I guess. I don’t know if it is normal to feel like that. I never know if anything that I am feeling is considered normal.

What is normal anyway? There is no such thing as normal, I guess because everyone is unique in their own way and everyone has their own unique way of thinking. I need to stop asking myself, “Is this normal?” for that simple reason… everyone is unique. I don’t keep that in mind enough, even though I already know it.

Old Liquor Bottle

Anyhow, I know I talk about my recovery a lot but that is because it is a big part of my life and I am truly sorry if I bore anyone but I need to talk about it again. I find myself wanting to drink a lot more these days, and I don’t know why. Maybe it has something to do wth summer being here. I really don’t know. I kind of regret building such a strong support system because now no will let me drink, but I know that in all actuality it is a good thing. But damn, I could go for a few drinks. Maybe a few bottles. It makes me want to get alcohol and hid it from people, but I would feel too guilty to do that. It has been ever since I hit my three-month mark that the urges to drink have really crept in and have been hitting hardcore.

I’ve been lucky to meet some really nice women in recovery recently over FB the last few days who have been nice enough to talk to me. Now it’s 2 am, and I have their numbers, but I am struggling to utilize them right now when I need too because it’s so late because I would love a drink right now… but it’s okay because I am broke lol.

I am struggling to not use that word again… normal.

i hate my bodyOn another note, I had been doing so well losing weight and then I went to the beach and &%@ed it all up. I cannot stress how much I am hating how much weight I have put on in such a short period of time. I even stopped getting on the scale now all together. I am so, beyond, disappointed in myself. I took months, and months of hard work and just through it out the window. I could try to blame it on new meds, I could try to blame it on trying to stay sober, but I am serious the only one to blame for this one.

I know I sound like a teenage girl, and I may as well be, but I really hate myself right now for this. I must have put on twenty pounds in a month. I would know for sure if I would get on the scale again, but I am straight scared too because it would probably just depress me no matter what the number is. I see in my stomach, my face, the way my close fit, the way my boyfriend looks at me.

body dysmorphia

Between the weight issues and not being able to drink, it kind of puts me in the mindset to want to resort back to self-harming again. I was just thinking about that earlier too. It was my boyfriends birthday today, so I tried to be on my best behavior and be as pleasant as I could possibly be.

I know it’s just my body dysmorphia. But damn, I really I need do something. Starting next week, I am going to start trying to lose the excess weight that I put on. I need some major encouragement.

All I guess some of this stuff is just triggering some depressive issues. Or maybe it’s the other way around? Maybe my bipolar depression is triggering some of these issues.

Speaking of bipolar disorder, we always have to add that into the mix, I get random bouts of mania lately triggered by who knows what that does not last very long, followed by a quick bout of depression, followed by some baseline stuff. I am definitely rapid cycling by the hours sometimes. I never used to think they were possible until I asked my doctor one day, and they are. I don’t know if they are rare or anything like that because I didn’t ask but they do happen. Usually, I cycle every few days, or weeks, and at the very maximum a month.

 ♥ Gotta Love Bipolar ♥

Bipolar-Depression

-Samantha♥

 

 

Emotional Overload *Trigger Warning*

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Emotional Overload

I am in an emotional overload and I don’t know why. I am all over the place and every little thing has been making me cry. I know I have had a medication increase, but I really don’t think it is that. When I was talking to my dad, he suggested that it had to do with sobriety, and he had a point. I heard that before, that you can randomly start to feel emotions that you have never felt before because you are sober.

But, I am also different from all that because I am also bipolar, and I have PTSD. (and other things) So I am sure that all of that has to play in it as well. I hate this. I hate feeling like this like I am drowning again like I am getting pulled under the water and I can’t get out, and I can’t breathe. I feel like I can’t fight this, or these feelings either.

Since I am a self-injurer, and I am in an emotional overload, I am getting the urges to cut again. I am fighting them, and haven’t done anything as of yet, but they are there, and they are strong. I know my coping skills, and I have them, I haven’t exactly utilized them but I know they are there if I need them. Well, technically… I guess I am using a coping skill since I am writing,

I am feeling pretty overwhelmed and depressed. I hope I am not entering a depressive episode because I just came out of a manic episode not too long ago. (you can read about it HEREI hate these up and downs with bipolar disorder. I hate the fact that I have to live with this disorder for the rest of my life. I have to dive into darkness and constantly try to dig my way out, and then rocket into a manic episode and never know what kind of horror awaits me.

I don’t think there are even any words out there that I would use that would explain how depression, anxiety, and mental ill exactly feel. I don’t think I could even describe how I am feeling to another unless they have been in this situation.

It’s just like a darkness, a black cloud has consumed you, It feels like you lost something or someone that you really loved and you are standing there at their funeral You’re looking down at their casket and seeing their bloated and lifeless face. for the first time, and you just want to break down and cry…  Depression is like your worst day x10, and everything has gone wrong and you just want to give up and stop fighting because you don’t see the point anymore. The only difference is that this feeling can last a indefinite time, or even for a period of time if you are bipolar.

My emotions just tend to over run me sometimes. I know my coping my coping skills and techniques, but sometimes in the heat of the moment my brain can’t think of them or even comprehend them and it’s like there not even there, if that makes any sense.

Insomnia has also overrun my life and I am not sleeping very well at all. I mean, right now it is 4:30 am, and I am up writing this. I have an article due at 8:30 am that I have not begun and I am freaking out. I asked for an extension and have not heard back. My mind is just racing. What if they don’t grant me the extension and they fire me? There goes my writing career… I feel like I am going to have to another mini mental break down soon or something. I can’t even keep up with my housework obligations. I feel like I am failing in life right now.

Today was a decent today for awhile so I don’t know why I am feeling this way. I went to this lake, Lake Mauch Crunch, and that is set up like a beach with my mom and my boyfriend’s daughter and we had an amazing, relaxing, and sober, girls afternoon. I just want to add that my boyfriend’s daughter, who is almost 20 (he had h er when he was 15), is a very beautiful woman, but she doesn’t see herself that way. She is like me, and like a lot of women, who struggle with body dysmorphia. I hope that one day, she will be able to see how beautiful she truly is because she really is. ♥

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Lake Mauch Chunk

On the topic of body dysmorphia, I know that I am a big girl. I get that. I have always been a girl. But no matter where I go, or who I see, I am always the biggest person there. That is how I see it. I can’t help it, and I can’t stop it. I can stand next to someone who is 200lbs more than me, literally, and I will still think to myself, wow I am so much bigger than her. I have been called ugly and fat by people my whole life and that is who I see myself. I have no self -esteem all. Posting pictures of myself below my neck is a major, major step for me and something I don’t do normally at all. But I an going to be brave and tough it out on here and leave my comfort zone as a way of working on my self-esteem, and post of full picture of my body on here and prepare myself for the fat shaming comment. So below if a picture of me in my bathing suit;

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Body Dysmorphia Is A Hard Thing To Break. This Is The Me I Don’t Like To Show,

-Samantha ♥



 

Sea Isle City ’17: Day 2

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My boyfriend & I


Since I am using writing as my main coping mechanism for my mental health and addiction issues, I have come to the conclusion that it is probably in my best interest to try to add at least one blog post daily. Blogging, and writing in general, are very therapeutic for me. I honestly don’t know where I would be without it. Probably still using alcohol and drugs is my guess, along with being a total emotional wreck instead of a partial one.

Today started off kind of rocky. I was up until close to 5 am working on an article and didn’t go to bed until sometime shortly after. By the time I woke up, it was around 11 am. Not even an hour after getting up, I was told that everyone was going to a bloody mary drinking competition. Sounds innocent enough, right? All I have to do is avoid going there, right? Well, it just happens to be that bloody mary’s are (were?) one of my favorite drinks, and my mom and I used to toss them back like they were water. So right away that triggered me into wanting to drink.

The urges I was getting to drink were pretty bad, and since I knew I couldn’t drink, that then triggered the urge to self-harm. Right away, I pulled out my phone and started to utilize my S.A.F.E. alternatives app and started to fill out my impulse control log. Then, I started to text people and tried to distract myself. It’s already hard enough to fend off one bad habit/addiction, let alone two of them. In the end, my coping strategies worked this time around, and I calmed down enough and didn’t give in to temptation for either addiction.

One thing about this yearly vacation with my boyfriend’s family is that his “extended family” all meet up here. So each day during the entire week we are here, each family will host a dinner party at their home. So that is a lot of dinner parties, a lot of alcohol, and a lot of drunken people to be around. Attendance is mandatory. I can only pray for the courage to be strong enough to make it through each dinner party, each day. So, therefore, every day I know I am guaranteed to face some kind of challenge.

After I made it through tonight’s dinner party, barely, my boyfriend and I took a nice long walk on the beach. It felt pretty good. Little by little, I am seeing that I am able to enjoy doing little things while sober. I was able to take some pictures too, (which I am going to post a few on here) however they didn’t turn out the best since it was already pretty dark outside and I was only taking the pictures with my cellphone.

There are these 5 amazing people that I want to thank for being there for me these past few days, who have really been supporting me with my recovery. They have been putting up with my constant texts, calls, and rants. I know two of them don’t really visit this page but I want to thank them anyway. So Megan, Kayl, Mom, Dad, & Mike. . . Thanks for putting up with my constant crap. I know I am a difficult person right now, but I greatly appreciate your support and help.

On the mental health end of the spectrum today, I have been feeling pretty anxious, edgy, and a bit emotional at times today. There were certain parts of the day where I just thought I was going to burst into tears. Like when I found out they were having a bloody mary competition and I couldn’t partake in the festivities.

While I still have the highs and lows, I must admit, I do feel a tiny bit more stable than I was when I had my last manic episode and I think a lot of that has to do with the increase in my one medication, Vraylar. I have been on more medications that I can even name, and this is, by far, the best one I have found so far. At least that I can recall. I am NOT, in any way, trying to advertise for this medication. Everyone reacts to medications differently. What works for one person, may not work for the next. 

I feel more stable than I have in a while, but at the same time, I don’t know if I truly believe my own statement. I know that sounds odd, but what I mean is, that even though I feel stable now, I never stay stable. Ever. Everything I do happens in a cycle. I will go through a depressive phase, then a manic phase, then I will feel normal – or baseline – for a little while, and then I will get depressed again. That’s exactly how it goes for me. It is neverending. It has been like that for as long as I can remember.

  1. Depression
  2. Mania
  3. Baseline

 

I find that everything I do goes in cycles. This is the life of a person with Bipolar 1 Disorder. I would even drink in cycles. I would go periods where I would drink every day, then once in a while, then not at all, then every day again. I have met other people who are bipolar who experience the same types of patterns that I do. Usually, it’s hard to tell or distinguish those types of patterns or cycles until you have been dealing with your disorder for a while. I used to regularly track/chart my moods and I had started to see patterns while I was working with a therapist. I am not sure if I would have been able to pick up on these types of behaviors on my own. Maybe I would have eventually, but at least I know now, and I have known for a while. So when I see myself getting into a cycle I can try to look for ways to cope or break the cycle before I get in too deep. However, there are other times when I am utterly clueless until after the cycle has already ended.

Usually, it’s hard to tell or distinguish those types of patterns or cycles until you have been dealing with your disorder for a while. I used to regularly track/chart my moods and I had started to see patterns while I was working with a therapist. I am not sure if I would have been able to pick up on these types of behaviors on my own. Maybe I would have eventually, but at least I know now, and I have known for a while. So when I see myself getting into a cycle I can try to look for ways to cope or break the cycle before I get in too deep. However, there are other times when I am utterly clueless until after it is already too late, or until the cycle has already ended.

I really encourage anyone who is living with bipolar disorder to try mood charting for at least a month minimum. It is simply amazing on the patterns that can be seen and picked up. You can Click Here to go to my post about the mood chart I created on MS Word and play around with it to make it suit your personal needs.

-Samantha ♥


Below are some (badly taken) pictures from my first-time-walking-on-the-beach-at-night-sober stroll! Enjoy! ♥

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Creating an Impulse Control Log in Place of Self-Injury

You can create an Impulse Control Log notebook if your goal is to try to distract yourself from self-injury, or you want to limit it, or even try to stop it all together. You can even create one on the notepad on your smartphone or tablet if you are on the go. Do whatever is going to be best for you. Self-injury is a highly judged and misunderstood coping mechanism that many people resort to when dealing with their feelings, emotional pain and trauma for many different reasons. It was a very addictive behavior and can be just as addictive as drugs and alcohol.

The whole topic of self-injury is for another day, but here are the steps to create an Impulse Control Log. It really does help and I know from personal experiences. I have been using the Impulse Control Log of the S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally i) Alternatives App that I purchased for $0.99 on Google Play awhile back.I was skeptical at first, but I found it distracts me long enough, a good majority of the time, for the urge to pass.

All you need is one page at a time for one entry. I am going to put the question that you need to answer in bold along with the examples that the app uses (and my example answers in parentheses.).

So here it goes:

  • Time & Date: (6:18am 5/30/17)
  • ACTING OUT/SELF INJURY THOUGHT: (e.g. cutting, running away) (cutting, drinking, getting high)
  • LOCATION: (livingroom @ home)
  • SITUATION: (e.g. Got into a fight with my best friend) (got into a big fight with my boyfriend and I threw the microwave at him)
  • FEELING: (angry, scared, crazy, frustrated)
  • WHAT WOULD BE THE RESULT OF SELF-INJURY: (e.g. more scars, loss of trust of family and friends) (more scars, feeling relieved, having to explain how I got hurt again.)
  • ACTION TAKEN: How were your thoughts/feelings communicated or coped with? (I journaled, I tried deep breathing, I did my impulse control log, I called a friend)
  • OUTCOME: (I noticed my urges decreased, I still wanted to cut but didn’t. Or if you don’t know the outcome will play out you can always come back to it later and log in like this: “@6:31am I Cut / @6:31am I feel better…etc..)

 

 

**Please Note: Like I mentioned earlier. The Impulse Control Log is Technique I found through S.A.F.E. Alternatives. You can check out more information about them on their website HERE.**

What you can try to do Instead of Self-Injuring

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What you can try to do Instead of Self-Injuring

If you are a self-injurer and you are looking for alternatives to your method of harming (we’ll say cutting since that is my first choice) here is a list of alternatives to try before picking, let’s say, a razor.

  • Use the S.A.F.E. Alternatives App (or Paper version—which can be found on the S.A.F.E. Alternatives Website) for their Impulse Control Log—which can be purchased on Google Play for Android for $0.99.
  • Wear a rubber band or elastic hair tie around your wrist and snap it against your skin whenever you get the urge to cut.
  • Put an ice cube against your skin to numb it to help mimic the sensation of cutting.
  • Text the Crisis text line and you can tell them that you have the urge to self-harm and that you just need to be talked through it. The number to text is: 741741. (You DO NOT need to worry about anyone showing up to your house to “save you” they will just walk you through the urges.)
  • Name the things that you see in the room you are in with as much detail as possible to focus on something else.
  • Put lotion in your hand and focus on your senses. How does it feel? How does it smell? How does it look? (The last two are odd but—) What do you think it would sound like? Would do you think it would taste like? (PLEASE DO NOT actually eat the lotion unless it says it’s edible!)
  • Think of the ABC’s and a word that represents each letter. (Ex. A= Apple, B=Banana, etc…)
  • Instead of cutting, draw on your skin with a red marker to simulate blood and cutting.
  • Go to the “Self-Harm” forum at PsychCentral.com.
  • Go to supportgroups.com and go to the self-injury forum.
  • Comment on this blog post about your urge to self-harm. You can put anything you want from your triggers, to how your feeling. Remember this is a judgment free zone and I do not judge anyone for any reason because I know how it feels to be judged. After all, I am a cutter myself, and have been for 18 years!
  • If you would like to keep your urges to self-harm more confidential you can always email me. BipolarLove86@gmail.com

I hope this helps someone out there to not cut for at least one more moment. I know how it feels and I know the struggle is real.