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Alphabet Soup

I am an alphabet soup of mental disorders. Beyond my physical crap (which you will be hearing about as I’m not happy with its progression), I have the following:

Bipolar 2 (BP): A person with bipolar type II symptoms experiences depressed episodes, just as is seen in bipolar I, but also experiences hypomanic episodes

ADHD: A doctor will observe your behavior to diagnosis you. You have to show at least six of the nine symptoms of inattention to be diagnosed. Your symptoms must be severe enough that they stop you from completing everyday tasks and activities.

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD): worry is often unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):  sleep problems, depression, feeling detached or numb, or being easily startled. They may lose interest in things they used to enjoy and have trouble feeling affectionate. They may feel irritable, more aggressive than before, or even violent.

 

 

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Joy

Joy is waking up later than normal in a cold room, with a still sleepy husband. It’s the quiet time while the dog is still sleeping on the corner of the bed and you get to wrap yourself around hubby until he hugs you back and doesn’t let go until you fall back asleep, warm with your shared body heat.

Joy can be found in the quiet of solitude when you wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day. It’s in the dog’s easy flip onto his back and excited kisses before he folds in half, laying on his head with his butt in the air begging for scratches. It leads you downstairs where you can turn on music that you know all the words to, and seeps into the smell of tea and freshly cut citrus fruit.

Joy smells like fresh rain on a sunny morning, just cold enough to be comfortable in shorts and a hoodie with bare toes testing the ground. It’s found in the contentment of a book that wisps you away into a new land where you become the heroine. It’s in the seconds where you hold your breath and forget that you have rapidly cooling tea because you live in the fictional suspense and in the grief of the books ending.

Joy i shaving enough spoons to be productive, and still have energy to do something just for you. It’s surviving outings that take you into the middle of strangers and meds that work well enough that you don’t look like the mess you actually are. It’s jumping into the mud pit and holding a strangers hand while you tackle an obstacle that you’re afraid of.

Joy is standing in a crowd of strangers, family by your side, protesting injustice. It’s in the relief of having your voice heard when you stand your ground and scream your heart out. Joy is knowing that there are people in your city who will stand up to terrorists, even when it results in their own personal tragedy. It’s in the realization that you live in a sanctuary city. It’s in the growing mental health and trauma practices becoming mainstream.

Joy is watching a student finally have that “ah-ha!” moment; still not knowing the alphabet, but guessing letters instead of numbers. IT’s getting home and being able to say “that was a rough day, but I’m getting off the struggle bus, and going to happy hour to talk to people who really understand”. It’s realizing that you have, and continue to make a difference.

Baseline

Welcome to my chemically imbalanced life. Sometime’s its upbeat and fun, and other months, it’s not washing my hair for two weeks, and having no idea when I last brushed my teeth.  Currently I’m at baseline, and I don’t know what to do with it– so I’m starting all sorts of projects that I probably wont keep up with.

This is mainly for myself, to document what’s happening and to hopefully discover patterns and look back to figure out management strategies. It’s partially a journal to figure out what to work on in therapy, and a pinch of hope that someone else will find it and discover comfort in our solidarity.