2/23/17 – Daily Thoughts

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I skipped a day of journaling, just to allow myself to relax my mind a bit and to enjoy the nice weather that was outside. Plus with work, it was hard for me to actually fit in a good schedule in to put in an entry. I will say though that everything went well yesterday. My moods were level and I had no problems at all. At work, I am in a good mood, with me working with my manager who helped me out with my haircuts – which I am grateful for – whenever I needed the help. It is something that I appreciate working for the company that I work for. Not only am I going to grow into a job that I love, but with Great Clips, I have a supportive team who is more than willing to help me out whenever I need it. With me still learning, it is nice to have others take me under their wing and show me the skills that they have learned as stylists, things that I never thought that I would have learned elsewhere. Another great thing is that they make sure that I am with something who is a stronger cutter than I that way, if I have any questions, that person would be more than willing to help me out with my haircut.

There are times in which I feel as though I am bothering them whenever I am asking questions but I also need to remember that I am also there to learn as much as they are there to work and therefore, it is a dime a piece. Plus, each of them have been so helpful with everything that I needed help on, especially when I needed it. All of us are supportive of each other and it makes for a great environment that we all can work at. Plus, it helps to lower the amount of stress that we might have to deal with in the salon because as a hairstylist, you deal with a lot of stress in general. I am just happy to be finally feeling better after last week of total chaos.

As for today, I had my psychiatry appointment, which went well. Prozac was upped for me from 40mg to 60mg, so hopefully, that will help a bit with the depressive spells that I have been feeling. Other than that, my medicines have been left alone. Along with that, I finally will be able to see a therapist on March 13th, which is a blessing to me. I have been on the waitlist, waiting to go see one and thankfully, I have been bumped up, due to recent events that occurred. It is something that I am excited for, considering that I have been waiting to see someone for the longest time. Hopefully, this therapist will work out a lot better than the last. It makes me slightly nervous but I sincerely hope that it does. I am certain that everything will end up being fine in the end but I am still nervous.

Other than that, there wasn’t much that I did today. I went to the mall and picked up some new shoes for work. I also picked up some books on bipolar disorder to help me cope with it a bit more; it was suggested to me by someone I met. I started to read one of them and I am going to look over the other ones as well to see what they entitle me to do. I have to renewal my license for cosmetology as well as work a bit more on my watercolor painting. Other than that, I really don’t think that there is anything else that I need to do. I just wanted to keep everyone updated and let you all know that I am around and I am working hard in order to improve my mental help.

I am also looking for suggestions on good books to read on bipolar disorder as well. Also, if you have any good coping skills or anything that helped you improve your live, please post in the comments and let me know. I would love to hear from you. Thank you all and have a blessed day.

Racing Thoughts

Racing thoughts.. it is seriously a time in which I wish that I could seriously collect all of my thoughts into a bottle and hold onto them tightly. For me, everything is a blur at this time and it is hard to tell what I am actually thinking. I hate these moments of my illness, the moments that I deal with these thoughts that I really cannot control. I sometimes wish that I could gather my thoughts but no, that would not be possible at all. It could not be possible. These thoughts are apart of me now and there is nothing that I can really do in order to control them, except for continuing to take my medicine. But even then, it seems as though the thoughts just wish to make everything a blur to me.

I don’t know why this has to be apart of the bipolar disorder. I seriously wish it wasn’t for those who have never had to deal with racing thoughts are lucky. They never had to deal with the fact that it felt like they were a train ready to flip off of its tracks and crash to the ground where it didn’t belong. That is what it feels like to me. There are plenty of times where I cannot even gather my thoughts, times in which I try my best to control more than anything else. It is hard though, hard to control these thoughts that some people know nothing about. These thoughts make me cry at times, make me wish that I did not have to deal with them at all. They are horrible, the one thing that I wish I didn’t have to deal with and yet, they glare at me every day, threatening me to come out. Some days are worse than others while other days, I feel like there is nothing to them at all.

The medicine I am on helps to control them, helps to manage them but it doesn’t completely get rid of them. It just minimizes the racing of the thoughts and makes them go a lot slower than what they were before. Some days the medicine works well, other days it does not. It really depends on the day. When the medicine does not seem to be doing its job, I turn my attention to journaling, which seems to help out a lot. It helps to get my thoughts out on paper, to write down everything that I possibly can write without anyone really bothering me or bugging me about the issue at hand. Sometimes, I journal twice a day depending on how my thoughts are going while, for the most part, I only journal once a day, allowing everything to be released on paper, to allow all my thoughts to be spread about and thrown together with well fitted words. Journaling is my release in life, is the one way that I am able to find myself in a word where I feel so different from the people around me. It helps me to see straight when at times, I cannot see for myself. It is a blessing when I am finally able to fit in with the word around me, especially when I already feel absent from the world that I belong to.

As for these racing thoughts that I deal with, there are a variety of different things that I have thoughts about, depending on what I think about, for they are just normal thoughts just in hyper speed. Today I had a thought about a dream I had last night where I was told by my manager that I wasn’t bipolar – wouldn’t that be swell – and that I was alright. Unfortunately, I know that it isn’t the case for me and I still have Bipolar. As I stated above these thoughts usually come on daily and are usually slowed down with the help of medicine and – for me – journaling. That is one of the reasons why you see me attempting to journal every day. That is unless I fall off the face of this earth. I do tend to do that at times, which I have proven also.

Although this is something that I must learn to deal with, it is something that I will not allow to run my life. I am determined to life a fulfilling life, no matter how short or long it might end up being.

2/20/17 – Daily Thoughts

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So on the days that I really don’t have any topic to talk about, I am just going to be posting my thoughts. It is something that I figure will help me out with managing this disorder and well as helping others to see what I actually deal with on a daily basis, especially when it comes to the racing thoughts that I deal with. I figure why not take it to express myself and let others see the way that I think. It might probably help me.

I will admit, I am completely frustrated. My mind is a complete blur at the moment, filled with so many thoughts and images that it is so hard for me to actually sort through them all. I wish I could, I wish I could really understand what goes on within my brain but it is hard at times. Half the time, I barely even get a decent night’s sleep, especially if I don’t have my medicine to calm the thoughts that are ever present in my mind. It is a horrible nightly ritual that I must deal with. Take the medicine at 6:00pm and allow it to kick in before going to bed. The medicine does not take away all of the racing thought, only some of it. There are times where I am still restless, tossing and turning so therefore, I make sure that I am beat before going to bed. I used to be able to stay up late but now I have found myself going to bed around 7:00pm to 8:00pm at night. Sometimes it is 9:00pm but it is on rare occasions when I have to actually work late, such as today. Yet even then, I find myself getting tired easily and drained from the people I work with and the customers I serve, which brings me to another topic.

People easily drain my energy. I used to be one of those who was so energetic, that nothing seemed to have been able to slow me down. Now, it seems that interacting with people is the one thing that does slow me down, especially when it is a massive amount of people. I work as a hairstylist – which I sometimes question why I do – where I constantly interact with multiple people every day. It is draining. Their energy drains me to the point that by the end of my shift, I am void of any emotions or feelings left. I am empty of everything really. I am tired and completely worn out from the different personalities that are within the chair that I often do question why I do hair. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job however I do go exhausted with the multiple personalities that I deal with on a daily basis. I become worn out. Those who do not experience this are lucky, you do not know what it is like to have your own personality and energy taken away from you due to the amount of people you serve. I wish I didn’t know. Unfortunately, I am one of the ones that do.

Now since I jumped around a bit, to go hand in hand with the frustration, I tend to get rather angry very quickly. I may not show it as much as people are assumed – actually, most people assume that I am rather a pleasant person to be around – but I do get rather angry very quickly. The smallest things do bother me to the point that I will get angry over them and will hold a grudge over it for a couple of days until someone tells me to either get over it or until that person apologizes to me. It is rather hard to experience something like that, considering that I try my best in order to be fair in all situations that are put on hand but often times, I cannot be fair at all. There are sometimes that my mind tends to take over the situation and my anger prevails over everything else. This anger is so difficult to control and yet, I want to control it more than anything else that I wish that I can control. I wish I could control it. It is something that I wish that I could do. It is difficult though, especially with the thoughts that I have going through my mind. Yet, my most recent anger – and frustrations – just happens to me around my medicine. For me, my medicine is not working the way that it should be and therefore, it is frustrating me way more than what it should be. I am becoming angry because of it, getting annoyed at the people around me for no reason because of the fact that my medicine is not doing what it should. Along with that frustration, I am often crying a lot, allowing my frustrations to show in front of my mom. It is something that I find to be embarrassing but it helps a lot, especially when I really don’t know how to express myself. I feel at times as though I have completely lost myself within translation, lost myself within this disorder that I have been given. I wish I haven’t but in all honesty, I think I have lost myself. I am trying to find myself once again but I am beginning to question if that is at all possible. It is possible, I know it is but at the moment, I seem to have lost all hope in it all.

Out of everything that I have been feeling, the worse has to be the numbing depression. For those who have not experienced depression, let me tell you that it is not fun at all. Depression is a numbing feeling, taking every emotion that you had within you and leaving you empty. You feel as though you are worthless, as though you matter to no one within the world, even though you are actually loved by countless of people. You pull yourself away from those people, from those who love you, and find comfort in being alone. Not only that but your self esteem deteriorates. It complete diminishes to the point where there is hardly anything left to it but a small glimmer of hope that maybe, one day, you would be able to get out of this, that you would be able to fight this. Depression is not the illness of the weak, for anyone can feel depressed at anytime, and it is completely foolish for anyone to think such a thing. With my bipolar, my depression episodes tend to me constant, always glaring at me in the face and wanting me to fight my inner demons, even though I want to just stay in bed and cry. Yet, these are the days where I must get up and fight my demons and deal with them. These are the days which I fight my hardest without the help of everyone else. I struggle sometimes – boy, do I struggle – but sometimes, I think I am one of the bravest souls I know. I fight a battle that most know nothing about, a battle that most would only dream about. Depression isn’t a walk in the park, depression a serious illness that a lot of people suffer from, including myself.

Dealing with Bipolar Disorder, I deal with an everyday battle of my mental illness. It is not fun  and it can be such a tiring process that one much deal with, especially when dealing with it on a daily basis. There is still some things that I am trying to deal with when it comes to my mental illness however, I am slowly learning to manage it to the best of ny ability, especially when it comes to everything that I listed above. Soon I will get ahold of it but as of right now, I am taking things one step at a time.

How I got Diagnosed with my Mental Illnesses

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Sometimes, it is important in order to share someone’s story with another, that way they can learn what to expect when it comes to their mental health diagnosis. Not every diagnosis is going to be the same, everyone is going to be different from the rest but a lot share similar stories. Many of us were afraid of what we were going to find out from the doctors who we were seeking medical help with, afraid that perhaps, we did have something wrong with our brains. There was a fear within us of what others were going to think of us, a fear of what they might say when they found out that we were ill. It is something that no one wants, to deal with the stigma that others throw at them. Perhaps that is what everyone fears. Well I am here to tell you that everyone who has been in your shoes has had that fear and it is okay to seek help. Seeking help is what you need to do in order to help yourself feel better. This is why I am sharing my story, to let others know that it is okay to seek help; that sometimes, there might be some potholes along the way but it is still okay. If you need help, then you need help.

It started in August 2014, when I was feeling severe periods of depression. I went into the doctors in order to talk to them about it. While there, I was give a high dose of prozac in order to help with my symptoms. Satisfied and believing that this would be work, I went home without complaint. Well, I lasted around three months. During those three months, I acted far more strangely compared to what I normally would. The medicine seemed to make me act as though I was on a sugar rush, making me talk really fast and get really hyper. It was a strange feeling for me, something that I really could not control at all. Along with this sudden shifts of moods came the sudden crashes that occurred with it. I would become depressed and moody, not wanting to do anything at all. I took no notice of it all all, not really thinking anything of my moods. That was until an event that happened in January 2014.

It wasn’t what I was expecting at all to be coming from me. I was checking out a client and I had another stylist who had come along. Although I was struggling with the computers a bit, I was more than determined to figure it out. Unfortunately, it didn’t help that I had her commanding me about in the background, trying to tell me what to do. I was getting angry and before I knew what I was saying, I told her to “Leave me the fuck alone.” I am certain she was completely surprised with everything that I had said, especially since I was generally a quiet figure who never said much at all. Afterwards, I was brought into the office and given a written warning and asked why I did it. And in all honesty, I told her I couldn’t even remember what I told her. I told her that everything happened so fact that it was such a blur for me. Probably one of the reasons why I was only given a written. The rest of my week was miserable and my anxiety seemed to increase dramatically. Everything bothered me, including the littlest things that the stylist said to me. I became cautious with everything that had happened around me that I began to worry about my own health, which is where the research began.

I was beginning to realize that what I was experiencing was not just depression but something else. Depression would not make you high and plummet ten times worse than what you were before. It was then in which I began to dig and do a little research, deciding to see what I could find. It was while I was searching that I came across Bipolar and interesting enough, the symptoms were similar to mine. A lot of what was described, including it acting up under antidepressants, was exactly what I was experiencing so therefore, I booked an appointment with a new doctor. It was now February, due to the fact I felt the last one never listened to me at all. Once meeting my doctor, she agreed that my symptoms were similar to that of bipolar and therefore, put me on medicine to help me manage it while setting up arrangements to see a psychiatrist.

Now, for some reason, it took me two years to get a psychiatrist but once I did, he confirmed that I had bipolar, as well as a possible personality disorder. He also concluded that I also have anxiety into the mix (oh goody!). He updated my medicine and now keeps an eye on me every month of so to make sure that everything is going well. Other than that, that is pretty much all I do for my appointments. They are pretty much an in and out basis just to make sure I am alright and that I am not emotionally distressed.

Now, everyone had a different experience whenever it comes to getting diagnosed. Some get diagnosed right away while others get multiple other diagnosis before they actually get the right one. Just don’t get discourage and everything will be alright. I promise.

The Anti-Social Disorder

Anti-social. It is something that I hear way too often from people who I am around. Often times, when I am around people, I am told to interact more with people, to get to know people who I don’t really know. If only they knew how difficult it could be for me, especially with the fact that I already have Bipolar. So what am I getting at here. Does Bipolar have a connection bring anti-social? I believe so.

I was never like this when I was a child though. I was completely the opposite. A social butterfly, I was more than willing to talk to anyone who I could possibly see. Even throughout High School and College, I had no problem talking to people. It was a gift that I had, being a charismatic person with the ability to talk to anyone. That changed when I got into my first salon however. I was beaten to death by the words of the other stylist, hurting my self esteem, which in turn ruined me. It brought up my anxiety and allowed my bipolar to rear its ugly head and prove that it was something to be feared. I pulled back away from people, including those who I considered my friends and family. I didn’t know who I really could trust anymore. There wasn’t anyone. No one I knew really understood me, I felt, no one knew what I was going through. It became a challenge for me to actually fit in with those around me, to trust anyone who I actually became close with before. Who could I actually trust with my illness? After finding being diagnosed, I didn’t know who to turn to.

When I began to tell those about my illness, I began loosing friends, those who didn’t understand the illness and did not want anything to deal with it. It scared me, considering that I was afraid what I would have left. I pulled back even further from people, to the point of where I am now, i really don’t know how to socialize with people anymore. I have forgotten how to socialize. For me, it doesn’t come naturally and it is troubling when people talk to me. I find it quite difficult at times to start conversations, always finding a way to end them quickly or to pull them away from a subject that is non confrontational. Even the simplest task of asking someone how their day is happens to be of some trouble for me. I lose myself within my words. scrambling within the jumbling mess that rests within my head. It is all too much for me to deal with at times. I cannot get my words straightened out. How I wish I can. Then comes the fact that I want to shy away from other people, that I literally want to pull myself away and hide myself in the corner. Being around a group of louder people exhausts me and while I can be loud at times, I need my space and my peace. I like my time to myself without others bothering me or getting in my way. Is that really too much to ask? I certain do not hope so.

But yet, even my emotions seem to provide me with some problems. I am not one who commonly shows my emotions out loud, as my boyfriend likes to put it and therefore, it makes it rather hard to tell what I am exactly feeling deep inside. I was never one to really share my emotions, I never thought that would be an issue but it has seemed to have gotten worse with age. Now, I hide them well, portraying the famed “bitch face” rather well. Not only that but there are plenty of times in which that I should have cried at a funeral and I never have. Why? I really do not know. Perhaps it was because in my mind, I felt that it wasn’t right for me to cry. There was something inside of me that told me that I needed to be brave and not cry like everyone else. It is something that always seems to be playing in my mind. Put on the brave face and don’t let anyone see your weakness. It is what always plays in my head, especially with my illnesses that I must deal with. I must not allow others to see them as weaknesses. It is not something that I can let them witness, especially with all of the stigma that surrounds them.

Yet, I am not apparently the only one who feels anti-social with Bipolar disorder. It is apparent that other people who have Bipolar disorder also seem to suffer from this as well. While looking on one of the support groups, I saw many topics talking about members being anti-social and concerns about it, especially with how anti-social they were. It seems that this is something that people with bipolar seem to have a common trait with? Perhaps that is due to the fact that we all have this fear that, deep down inside, someone might be out there, judging us for our illness. There is someone out there who is judging us, who doesn’t understand our illness nor doesn’t want to try to understand it. The majority of us have already witnessed what it was like to be judged by another, to deal with the stigma from the people around us about this disorder that we are born with and yet, we still hold up that caution that is around us. Even with our family and friends, there is still that caution that they are going to judge us, no matter what they think about our illness. Perhaps it is unfair of us to think of such things but maybe we do have a right mind. Maybe most of the people with the disorder are like me. Perhaps most of them sit and stare at people, watching them intently and questioning whether or not they should interfere and talk to them or not. Question whether of not they should get to know more about they personality, to get to know the traits that sets them apart compared to others. After all, they say that people with bipolar tend to be more sensitive than others.

Perhaps, people with Bipolar just need to be understood.