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The Downside Of Up

I leaned my head on the cold window and stared outside.July 028 I was entranced by the way we seemingly pushed  rapidly against the way the world was spinning. Garbage that lined the curbs, the trees, the bushes, the parked cars, and early risers walking on the sidewalks all blurred into one conglomerated mess that made my stomach turn.  It was only 8:30 am and I wanted the day to be over with already. I looked at Shawn who was rhythmically tapping his hands on the steering wheel to the song on the radio.

“I feel like you normal folk. Achingly tired and boring,” I said.

“What? What does that even mean?” Shawn asked.

“The circus left town and took my happy purple puppy balloon with it.” Shawn looked quizzically at me. “The hypomania has fizzled out.”

“Well, that’s a good thing right?”

*********

Hypomania is an unmistakeable feeling. It’s your insides being spun like a busy wind chime caught by the very first gorgeous spring breeze. It entices you to start removing layers of drab, heavily weighted winter wear. You expose your skin to the sun, that had been missing for months, and you feel it caress you with its peaceful warmth. The world, that was once excruciatingly noisy and too painfully bright, had forced you to hide yourself in shadows and close your eyes. Now, when you open them, the world is full of vivid colours and crisp lines. Your mind is as clear as the blue sky above.

A happy; your effortless laughter that was buried for far too long, surfaces and you want to share it with anyone who wants it.

meirish

Your heart erupts in an excitement that intensely energizes your soul and makes you feel incredibly alive. Brilliant thoughts emerge from the crevices of your mind that you never knew you had and it allows creativity to flourish. You want to do everything that you didn’t have the drive to do nor the desire to do.  Because of this, it’s imperative that you do them; all at once.
hypomania creativity

Your mind, body, and spirit work harmoniously together giving you the highest highs that you will ever experience. That world whispers to me, “Come and play,” and every single time I do.

When you’re given this present, you embrace it, because you don’t know when the wretched side of your mind will grab your hand and pull you back into a world that is bereft of anything worth waking for.hypomania quote

With hypomania, I am reborn and rather than robotically trudging through my days, I move with purpose. Why would I deny myself that?

It’s an addiction.

“Just one more time. It won’t be as bad as the last,” I think to myself.

I will admit that I initially allow it to run its course. I do not medicate it (as in adding an extra dash of anti-psychotic medication), I do not force myself to sleep as much as I should, I heed the warnings of my overworked body and refuse to stay still.

The downside of up is the crash. It’s like driving a car with your foot pressed on the gas and then hitting a patch of black ice. The car takes command of the steering wheel and no matter how much you try to struggle against it, the car keeps spinning and spinning until it slams against a brick wall.

The crash causes confusion as to what just happened and it pisses you off beyond belief. You can feel every single muscle in your body as you get out of the car; almost feeling painfully heavy in your skin. As you look behind you, you can see the damage that the hypomania had done…all of which YOU ARE responsible for.hypomania crash

You want to cry and shout and thrash and hide and sleep and pray that you’ll be able to pull your shit together before your soul settles in a depressive episode.

*********

“I suppose,” I said in response to Shawn’s question and pressed my head back up against the cold window.

 

 

Have you ever experienced a hypomanic episode before?

What are some of the things you have done while hypomanic?

Did you crash afterwards?

Good Cop, Bad Daughter

“Is there anyone in your family who has a mental illness?” I was asked by my psychiatrist.

I had to think for a moment. Mental illness was rarely talked about in my house and when it was, it was used as pot shots during heated arguments. I would overhear conversations about a relative on one side who was admitted into the hospital for their “nerves” and another because they were depressed. On the other side, there were no diagnoses, however there should have been.

One of them who clearly had a mental illness was my parent.

I walked on eggshells at home. I never knew what “parent” I was going to encounter. Would it be angry parent, miserable, snarky, raging, content, sulking, paranoid, happy parent? It never mattered. There would always be something as little as stepping on the creaky spot on the kitchen floor that would set off an unfiltered explosion. I was terrified at times and so anxious about pissing them off or making them disappointed in me for not being perfect.

Despite all of that, I love them but I wish that they would admit to being ill and get the help that they need.

I was  asked if I wanted to read a book called Good Cop, Bad Daughter: Memoires Of An Unlikely Police Officer by Karen Lynch. She too grew up with a mentally ill mother and I knew that I could connect with her in that respect.

good cop bad daughter

 

An excerpt from Amazon.com:

 Good Cop, Bad Daughter is an often humorous, poignant adventure story of Karen’s journey from pot-smoking Cal student, to Renaissance bar serving wench, to street cop. Recounting the story of the first women cops, she reflects on life with her bi-polar mother, and comes to realize her chaotic past unwittingly provided the perfect foundation for her chosen career.   As she finds family and acceptance in a men’s club that never wanted her as a member, she fears she will one day face her mother, not as a daughter but as an arresting officer. When that day came, and it did, her private life and her career would collide dramatically.

 

In between the lines I read perseverance and felt compelled to read it. I am glad that I did.

In the first chapter, Karen grabs you by the hand and takes you on a journey as she recalls her childhood. As a child, Karen didn’t understand her mother’s mercurial moods that would often shift from happy and exuberant to angry and depressed, and the unstable behaviors associated with them. When her mother sporadically left Karen’s father and drove across the country, she took Karen with her. Giving her an alias last name and moving in with a strange man, Karen’s turbulent story of survival begins.

Often times, I wanted to jump into the book and hold Karen. I wanted to tell her that everything was going to be ok, but you could tell early on that she was one hell of a strong willed child who would overcome. From childhood to her early adult years, I felt like I was a fan on the sidelines rooting for her. I believed in her courage. Karen’s resilience is nothing short of amazing and is incredibly inspiring to those who have been raised in chaos with an unstable mentally ill parent.

Karen made a life of her own, a successful one at that. She became the first female police officer in San Francisco. That little girl who had gone through so much, achieved so much more.

Karen writes with authenticity. No account is wrapped in pretty pink bows. Everything you read is raw and you can feel the emotions that she experienced in those moments. Never, not even once, did she ever play the role of the victim. She was the hero in her own story.

I am glad that I picked up her book and took part in her journey. This is a brilliant and inspiring book for anyone who comes from troubled beginnings.

You can purchase Karen Lynch’s book Good Cop Bad Daughter: Memoires Of An Unlikely Police Officer on Amazon.com

My Story Is Not Over

Fall 2008

I was standing in front of the stove, sterilizing the glass baby bottles in a pot of boiling water when it hit me. The water splashed on my arms and parts of my thighs, scalding my flesh. Instinctively, I jumped backwards and when the sting registered in my mind, I moved in closer. For the first time in months, I felt a strange sense of relief with this physical pain. It’s as if the vice crushing my insides loosened; the emotions had somewhere to go.

Even if it is brief, I found a way escape this fiery world of pain.

Self-harm is not an “attention getter”. It’s not a badge of honour. It is not a failed suicide attempt. It does not imply that we are danger to you. It is not just exclusive to teens; I am 33 years old. It’s not like stuffing yourself into the latest fashion fad just because it’s cool.

Self-harm is a coping mechanism.

Like popping an overinflated balloon, self-harm provokes an outward explosion of unbearable emotional pain that I cannot rid myself of. It is an immediate release, albeit a temporary one.

I have an amazing support system and a psychiatrist of whom I can trust to talk about my intense emotion pain, yet I rarely tell them that it’s those feelings that trigger the self-destructive behaviour. Nonetheless, I am receiving help. I do not display my scars for all to see. They are concealed under clothes and wounds are inflicted in places that are not obvious.

I often think of the thousands of people who do the same, tugging at their sleeves, wearing pants in the summer and thick jewelry crawling up their arms, who won’t get undressed in front of their lover, and who always has an excuse for their injuries. Not only are they attempting to keep their scars a secret, they are also hiding their emotional pain.
The Semicolon Project 416

This is why I am taking part in The Semicolon Project 416. The Semicolon Project was created for those who were going through struggles with self-harm, depression and suicide. The symbol of the movement, the semicolon, represents our stories that are never ending.

On April 16th, 2014, several bloggers including myself, are banding together to show others who are fighting like mad, that there is never an end ( represented by a period) to our lives. WE keep moving forward. Along with drawing a semicolon on our wrists, we have written posts of encouragement and awareness and hope.

You do not have to blogger to participate. Anyone can and the more the better. Show those who are suffering in silence that it is safe to reach out for help. All that you have to do is draw a semicolon on your wrist.

“A semicolon represents a sentence the author could’ve ended, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life”


semicolon project 416

  If you are a blogger (and you do not have to be a mental health blogger) and would like to help spread the word, you can write a post or simply take a picture of your wrist with a semicolon written on it and link it up with other amazing bloggers who are taking part in this movement. 

The link is on Motherhood Unadorned and is open until April 19th.  

Taking Care Of Our Earth Starts With Little Minds | Earth Month #StreamTeam

“Momma, why do people throw their junk on the ground? It goes in a garbage can,” my son said as he kicked a pop can on the street.

“You’re right. Garbage goes in a garbage can. Some people don’t care though.”

“Well those people, they make earth sad. They make earth cry because it is not nice. They make everything dirty.”

And that is so true.

My son had learned so much in his seemingly quick first year of school and it blew my mind. At four years old he could teach me a thing or two about the things I had forgotten over the years. When we walk home from school, I love to listen to his stories about his day. On that particular day though, when he told me about the garbage and how he had to wear a shirt that is either brown, blue, or green to celebrate the world, I thought it was a great way to get school age children aware of ways to protect our planet.

It all starts with little minds.

It is hard to engage school age children when you’re trying to teach them very valuable lessons. As parents or guardians, we have to make it fun while educational and what better way to do that than to have them watch a movie?

In celebration of Earth Month, Netflix has selected some wonderful titles that will help you, yes you too, and your child learn more about ways to help keep our plant clean. My son adores Bubble Guppies: Boy Meets Squirrel so that is what we had watched together.

There are so many more titles to chose from such as the following:

netflix earth month Kids

Other cool things that you can do with your children is to get interactive with them. My son loves the outdoors, I mean, what kid doesn’t. We decided to take him on a nature walk and to show him why we need to protect our planet. Keep it beautiful. Engaging them in Earth Day activities is not only fun, but educational.

earth month

We are a recycling household and are conscious about the environment. We teach our son that littering is bad and that glass, paper, milk cartons, etc. go in the blue or red box. Because of this, I’ve caught him razzing family for not putting the garbage where it needs to go. Love that a kid can kick an adult in the arse.

For myself, I love learning from documentaries. They are real eye openers and I find that it is easier to connect with rather than a made up movie. Netflix has a fantastic collection of interesting documentaries and the one that my husband and I enjoyed (and was a huge jaw dropper) was the documentary called Addicted To Plastic. This one will blow your mind. Other titles that are available on Netflix include:

netflix earth month adult

It is so important that we take care of our environment and I hope that you will join in and participate in Earth Month.

netflix

Disclosure:  I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and received a one-year subscription to Netflix and a Roku media streaming device in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own.

 

 

When It Snows In Spring | Lovable Labels #YOLO Sale

April 15, 2014,

I finally got to see how pale my arms were after spending what seemed like an eternity covered with layers upon layers of clothing. They are a stark contrast to my dark Italian hair so I look like a wookie. Only prettier.

Yes, spring had finally arrived on the weekend with our temperatures soaring to 24 degrees Celsius. I opened the windows open to let the spring air bring life into our home.

Today,  we woke up to an inch of snow.

Well played Mother Nature.what the

Well played.

Yes, we have snow. Can you believe it?

Said no Canadian ever.

I knew that I shouldn’t have put our winter wear away and I’d like to apologize to all Canadians everywhere for jinxing it.

It took all but a minute to pull out my son’s mittens and toque because it was just put away so it hasn’t had the chance to migrate all the way to the back of the closet.

“Which gloves do you want to wear?” I asked my son.

“Ummmm,” my little boy diva tapped on his chin, “I will look cool in the black ones.”

Black ones it is.

Now did anyone catch that I wrote gloves, as in we have multiple gloves? For a five year old? How is that possible?

Parents of school age kids know that winter is the time of year when gloves grow legs and walk away. They end up in the lost and found, in other kids backpacks, stuck on a pole, frozen in time on the side of the road, etc. Kids are careless, mine included. The only difference between him and wearing mismatched gloves for the entire season is that we have them labeled with Lovable Labels

lovable-labels

Loveable Labels  are personalized durable labels and tags that are waterproof, dishwasher and microwave safe, washer and dryer safe, sun safe, bleach safe, sunscreen safe, and temperature safe. I’ve put them on his coats, sweaters, hockey equipment, t-ball helmet, backpack, lunch containers and so on. They are truly durable.

Lovable Labels

 

When you use Lovable Labels, you only label once…..YOLO!!!

SALE

From April 15th to April 17th, 2014 at 11:59pm PST, Lovable Labels is offering

$10 off of a purchase that is $25 or more!

    Use promo code:     YOLO2014

 

Let’s keep our kids things out of the Lost and Found bin with Lovable Labels!!! You can purchase Lovable Labels on their website: http://www.lovablelabels.ca/

 

*Disclaimer: I am part of Lovable Labels Love Bug Program. I received multipurpose labels in exchange for this sale advertisement. All opinions are my own. 

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