Barriers to getting the help you and I need

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I just saw another article about why the crazies don’t get help. I mean we know we have to get help sometimes. We know when are illness is starting to push our life in the crapper. We know the first time we think, maybe I should just call in today. Instead, we wait. Why in the world would we do this? I hear how we are afraid and that we haven’t accepted or how we aren’t in the best place for making decisions. The dealio can also be so much more practical. So I will tell you a few of my barriers. Maybe they are yours as well.

1. I want to keep my job.

While I know in my mind this is counter intuitive. I have kids and bills and the job pays. Ever since I have been in the temp world, I have been reminded of the if you don’t work you don’t get paid type of jobs. So me missing days for treatment are days unpaid and greater reason to not need my services. Since a large percentage of us crazies have a hard time keeping a job and are more likely a lower paying jobs with no leave getting the help we need can come with a triple hit. Look to No.2 for more.

2. Bills Bills Bills

So why I am not getting paid for the day, if I get help, I am creating yet another bill. While a mini-vaca at the looney bin sounds like fun. My real vaca isn’t gonna come at all. I mean I still owe on my last mini-vaca and Lucky’s last mini-vaca. So while it is fun to have such a good time with others of my kind, I do hope to have a real vacation again at some point. What all you Norms may not know, Mental Healthcare is not covered like physical health. Apparently, even under the new Obamacare, some of our care is just plain optional. So being mentally ill is the gift that keeps on giving.

3. I don’t even like what I am thinking.

Part of getting care is having to talk about what your mind has created. So we don’t really want to tell people out loud what we don’t even what thought in our heads. Who wants to say,”I need help today cause I feel like smothering my child that won’t stop crying.” Or maybe, “I got an email today and I am certain that the government is spying on me thanks to an old friend.” Or getting an email for an exit interview and being certain that the government can read your thoughts and is coming to get your kids. Or you know how you want to staple you coworkers tongue to the roof of her mouth if she sings again. Then there are all the ways we have dreamed off ourselves. Jumping of a ferry boat with weights, stepping in front of a bus or train, taking all the meds in your house and hoping you don’t wake up. True what we think is scary to us, but the look on your face not something we want to see. So scary yes but often it is the judgement we are wary of.

4. Oh the judgement

We know you love us and we know you care but you don’t get it and you can’t hide the fact that you judge us. We keep it all in. So you guys don’t even know the train is coming till it hits. We love you and we care but feeling crazy is one thing, having you confirm it hurts. We aren’t afraid of what you think so much as we are sad and hurt. It just hurts that you don’t get it and don’t understand it and look at us in away that is both sorry for us and a little afraid of us. So getting help, means I have to deal with all your reactions. Also this means that everyone starts acting like my thoughts were put into action. So if I thought about hurting my kids, the friends and family start watching you like you have. 

Really, being on the cray cray side isn’t a whole lot of fun in the midst of it all. Truly people always forget the money aspect of it. We make a lot of choices based on that. I have seen people not go to the physical doctor because of cost. Why wouldn’t we make choices due to money. It is a huge driving force. So why act like we don’t have those worries. Anyway, I hope we can move past these at some time.

Monkey and stigma 

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My Monkey is a super energetic handful. When she is frustrated, she hits and kicks. My child has SEVERE ADHD. She is hard to deal with at home. I have been working with counselors, teachers and doctors to find what we need to get her to the best possible Monkey she can. The Psychologist said that hers is the most severe case he has seen. So you can imagine just how frustrating she can be on a daily basis.I say all this because I know how easy it is to be frustrated and treat her poorly because of her behaviors. I know how hard it is for me an adult to battle by bipolar. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to battle a mental illness at the age of six. If I thought I didn’t have compassion shown towards me, having the Monkey, has shown me just how quickly my stigma starts in life. Just how much it must grow over time.

I am all about taking on some of the stigmas and calling people or types to the carpet. Today, I am going to talk about child care. This year we went to the local Boys and Girls club for my before school child care needs. I actually went for them because I have heard such great things about the organization. I started of the year being told that my child made silly noises and the other kids made fun of her and that she needed to grow up a little to fit in. That is right….you read it correctly! She was being stigmatized for making silly sounds just like an ADHD child who doesn’t have the ability to stop her impulse to make funny sounds was being blamed for the bullying she was receiving. While I explained her likely condition and that we were working with a doctor for a diagnosis, I also made sure they understood that the bullying that the other children were doing was the real problem. 

This has continued for the year up until now. Monkey has continued to have worse behaviors such as hitting and kicking because she is frustrated. The boys continue to make fun of and chase her. So after her teacher at school reached out, as Monkey has cried and told her about daycare, I again talked to this organization has a mission that is “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” Once again informed me that my child was indeed the issue. They went over all of the transgressions she has had all year long. Forget the fact that for the last three weeks since she has started taking medicine, she has been not at all a problem, I was informed that if she wasn’t so out of control this wouldn’t be happening.  

I pointed out that no matter what my daughter has done in the past it does not mean that she should be allowed to be mistreated. That one has nothing to do with the other. The reason why this bullying is let to slide is because my Monkey has a mental illness that is uncomfortable for people. She is hard to deal with. So since she is harder to “like,” it is easier to let things go. I am not impressed if this is how you are helping to create productive, caring, responsible citizens.” What happened to the ones who need you most? Guess what? That is those who are easy to pick on. This just shows me that I might have to make it my full time job just to ensure that my funny and silly Monkey isn’t picked on because it is easy to get away with because stigma makes it easy to label her a bad kid.
 

Forgetful loser.

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The sound of U2 startled me awake again. I grab my phone and it comes off the charger and a push the snooze. I look around and listen to the silence of 5am. I rub my eyes and dislodge the sleep. The thinking has begun. Am I ready for another day of this? I grab my blanket and role over starting my morning ritual. Nine minutes later and I hear the music again. I lay awake a few moments and think I need to get moving so I can get Monkey moving. Then I role back over and am back to sleep. Damn that blasted music!!! Finally I role out of bed. 

The Friday dance comes upon me as I happily put on a pair of Jean and a knit top. I put my hair in a sloppy bun. Now today, a new trick, I pick out leopard print leggings and a gold dress for the Monkey. I start to dress her before I wake her. She awakens as I get her ready. Ha sucker….no fight about clothes today. Maybe I thought too soon. Just then Monkey cries out I hate this dress. Well too bad. I get her meds and something to wash them down. She gets her shoes on and we are out the door two minutes later than I wanted. I think, not bad. I think this is gonna be a good day. 

I dropped her off at daycare and rush to the park and ride. There it is the 550 going east bound, this only means one thing. I haven’t missed my bus of choice. If I hurry, I will make the early bus. I pull in and take the first open parking spot. I grab my bag and my coat, I take the keys out and I am rushing to make the bus. I get in the line and put on my coat. Oh wait….do I have my keycard and badge. The bus is pulling up and stops. I pull out my bus card and follow the line onto the bus and pray that my keycard is in my bag. I take a seat. I praise the Friday lull in bus passengers as I situate myself. I look down and I ruffle through my bag. Gloves, headphones, keycard….YAY. I WIN. 

Let me just contact HeavyD and remind him of an appointment today. So charger, wallet, keycard, umbrella, where is my phone? Noooooooooo this day officially sucks. I look around and I see everyone is engaged in there little smart device and I want to cry. Then my thoughts begin to race, what if there is an emergency with either of the kids? What if my mom dies or my dad is in need of surgery? What if after what if come and I just feel wrong and naked with out it. How will I spend my breaks? I am too far into this ride to turn around go back get it and make it to work on time.

I make the hard choice. I will have to do with out this this for the day. So I get up to the 7th floor and I get to my desk. I check my personal email for two emails, one my Monkey’s teacher and one for HeavyD. I will have all emergencies flow through him. I get my jittery self calmed and get to the work of spreadsheets. I dive right into capitalization and getting the back up needed for journal entries. I am trying to get my work done as quickly as I can but……oh that nagging feeling. What if I missed an important call? What if a friend of mine that is mentally well and is reaching out now thinks I am blowing them off. What if that is the last straw. What if a quick hey will settle there mind. So I look up the bus schedule and determine, I can go get at lunch. If I time it right I can get on the 11:14 550 east and come back on the 11:36 550 west, I will make it right on time.  

Now the clock began to torture me. Oh is it ever going to come??? Finally, the time is now. I decide to grab my car keys, my bus pass, my debit card, my license, and ensure my keycard and badge are attached to me. Off I go. Down the seven floors quick walk to the intersection and the walk sign is there. Woo yep maybe this is my day. Then I walk quickly to the tunnel stairs and down I go. The train is leaving and I get to the bus stop and look there is the 550. I get on and two stops later I have made it to my stop. 

 I quickly run across the street checking for traffic first, get to the park and ride open my car door and there it is. Was that a dove and a choir singing? I grab run up the stairs and what do see, the 554 west bound. What??? Oh this is fate. So I board and back to the office I go. Two stops and there I am back at the office with 8 minutes to spare. So I stop at the mini mart and grab something quick to eat, cross the street and wait for the elevator. The door opens, everyone gets on. I need my keycard….oh crimany where is it??? Lucky the number 7 has been pushed. So I ride up and follow a fellow worker in. 

Back at my deck, I work on spreadsheets and double check my bag and body. Nope….I lost it. So I talk to my boss and put in a request. Then I went to the security office. They told me to go talk to Angela….um no key card. They say she is downstairs….um no keycard. So they finally give me her number and I get to talk to a very pleasant Angela. She emails a person or two and I am back to the security office getting a new keycard and badge.  I think can this day be over yet? Almost. So I do some more capitalization, discuss how some items will be treated. Wow…time to go. Let’s hope I don’t have another day like this again.

Love-Grace-God

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One of the things I love about my faith is that it evolves. It is a journey. A journey on which I learn about God and myself. I learn about how relationships work. Sometimes it takes a scene to make me question how I view relationships, decipleship and how God shows his love. Also just how would he would have us share with others.  

Everyday, there are these people that stand outside even when it is freezing out in the international district where I work. They are always nicely dressed and have pamphlets and Bibles that they give out. They say hello to those who would make eye contact. They are always nice. They have these mats to stand on and they share the gospel with anyone who will listen. Mostly, I see them talking amongst themselves. I am totally not judging they are in fact out there for what they believe in. It is clear that they have love for people.

  

 

At the same time, there are people in need all around them.  I see people begging all around. They are dirty and cold. They are homeless and hungry. They need more than love. They need more than a book. They need to see love in action. More and more that looks like grace. I use to think that love was the most important aspect of my faith. Love is at most times for people easy. I love the messiness of people and don’t have a problem love them in the mess. 

Grace might have just come up and said hello in a hard way. To me grace is love in action. It is taking that love and acceptance and making it into some thing that is tangible. Grace is tangible. The thing about grace is that it can’t be done from afar. Grace is personal. It is needed. It says to that man with the sagging pants and broken eyes that God’s love didn’t miss him too. Grace says that no matter what some once loved him enough to give him what he didn’t deserve. So whether it is the prayer he didn’t think her deserved or the coat or the meal God sent his people to act out his grace. 

So maybe grace shows more about God than love. He could have loved us but how would we have known, but for his grace. He showed us his sacrifice. So maybe love isn’t the point. Maybe this whole time it has been grace. Grace is love in motion.

No Cure for Mental Illness

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When we are sick, we go to the doctor, we want a cute. The facts are we want a cure for anything that ails us. We want a cure for the common cold, the flu and cancer. Diabetics want a cure. We all want to have a healthy mind and body. I want a cure for bipolar and ADHD. 

The sad fact is that we have far too few cures. The truth is that we are frail beings. We are all gonna die. There is nothing that is gonna stop that. There are many diseases that there is a lot of work being done for a cure. They are really working hard on a cure for cancer.  

Mental illness is a different story, they don’t even know how it works let alone start searching for a cure. There is so much happenstance in treating mental illness. They have found by accident that anticonvulsants work as a mood stabilizer. The facts are the mental healthcare is a guessing game and they don’t fully understand why things work on one person and not another. How can you treat something you are only scratching the surface of? 

Let me just say that it is disappointing and frustrating as a patient of this guessing game. We are called compliant and non compliant guinea pigs. We are treated like we don’t know that you are throwing Velcro balls at a wall hoping something sticks. We know things before you and have to wait for you to catch up. We should have a partnership instead we are treated as incompetent to understand our own treatment. 

Another thing, when you treat other diseases, it seems like the idea is to remove symptoms or cure. In mental illness, it seems like the goal is merely to be able to function. What if just functioning isn’t enough for us?  What if we want to thrive? What if we want to be our best? What if we want to go beyond than struggling to make it normal? Why should we struggle still with all our special side effects? It seems like my treatment sometimes is more about making society more comfortable with how I behave. 

Don’t get me wrong, I will take my medicated self over my non medicated self. I am just saying that it seems like the point of my being medicated isn’t always about me. Sometimes it is about meeting societal norms of acceptable behavior. It doesn’t seem like they care to cure us because they have figured out how to hide us.  

Yes one will hurt.

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Hating the Bipolar

There are days I hate my bipolar. I hate when it puts me at odds with people. I hate it when even your friends seem like enemies. I hate when bipolar is the cause of fights and struggles. I hate when people say bipolar doesn’t have to rule your life. Tell a cancer patient or a person with diabetes that as well.

Decisions, Decisions

While it is true, every decision I make can’t be about bipolar. I do have to center my life about treating an illness that has the power to do a complete takeover of my life. The truth is my life is about mine and kids care. I have to be stable so I make my choices with staying stable in mind. I don’t want to say no to book club that ends too late but I have to. I need to. This is what people just don’t get.

Can’t I just be reckless?

I would love to be reckless and stay up till 2 am for just one night. Guess what??? I can’t. One two am night will have me off for a week or two. A night out drinking will do the same and the next day I am likely to be in a horrible depressive mood. I would love to have a cup of coffee with you but the punishment there is a lovely manic episode. So my being a little overzealous about my care keeps the bipolar beast from coming out in full force and making my life hell.

Y’all making me laugh.

What I find most humorous about all these norms giving me advice is that they judge me for having bipolar in the first place. So they think I am being overly radical with my care and a little too rigid. Then if I have an episode they will judge me for not being able to prevent it. Seriously there is no winning with these people. So people in my life, don’t try to get me to bend or break my rules. I need them. Be thankful that your life doesn’t require this daily upkeep.

 

Seahawk Knowledge

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Seahawk Fan

If you didn’t know, this CrazyMomma is a hardcore Seahawks fan.  If I was well off I would think that a good use of my time would be getting season tickets.  I love the game. I love the team.  I love the noise.  Also, I just love the team members.  Russell Wilson our little underdog too short to succeed QB.  Then the even better looking without the hair Luke Willson. (Call me Luke….no really call me.  I know I am much older but I am sure I can teach you some things) I love it when Richard Sherman talks crap.   (Oh how having a baby has quieted him.) I love the beast….Marshawn, stay quiet off the field and continue to put the finger up at all those reporters.  We will eat skittles on your behalf and pray for a seriously fast recovery.  Just do you.  I also love Coach Pete.  To be fair, it didn’t start that way.  I didn’t like some of his recruiting tactics in college and didn’t feel like he was the most trustworthy person ever.  I mean he left right when consequences hit for his staff’s behavior.  That is like breaking a toy and giving it back. However, he is really good at working with the players.  He lets them be who they are.  We have had some drama because of it but we also have a great opportunity to see our players for who they are.

So just yesterday on the bus, I ran into a Bronco’s fan. I love the Bronc’s for a special reason.  It was my brother’s team when he was alive.  So I try not to dis on them.  Plus my favorite color is orange.  My car is Denver Bronco orange. I can’t hate a team that has a horse and orange.  Mostly my brother loved them. I totally digress.  Anyway, this fan started talking crap on the bus….dude you are in Seahawks country.  You should be happy that anyone is nice to you with a Broncs hat. I was just being friendly and I can talk to anyone.  Totally annoys my Lucky. So this guy decides to start ripping my loveable QB. He starts where all arguments start his height.  What it is on…..So I went all rabid Seahawks fan on him. Yes, I did.  My belief is you can’t win an argument tearing people down.  So I didn’t go right for the jugular and talk about how Manning has failed.

 

Looking at the Stats

I chose the route that I think stands on its own. I stood on the accomplishments of my favorite QB. Here are some of the records I chose to use:

Most NFL regular season wins in the first three years of his career.  (Not a bad stat) Everyone points to the big assist he got from possibly the best defense ever. It isn’t like he is the only one that has a defense helping out.  Hello, every other team.

He is one of 5 players with at least 20 touchdown passes in their first 3 seasons. All I hear is   how he has no passing game.

He has the record for the most passing yard in a playoff game by a rookie.  Yeah, he came out swinging.

His INT% of 2.1% in his first three years is the lowest of any QB in NFL history. So not only does he throw the ball.

He won 36 games in his first 3 seasons more than any other QB in history.

A tie with Manning for most passing touchdowns in a season by a rookie of 26. Seriously where does this he can’t throw thing come from.

Recently, He is the only QB to throw 3 or more touchdowns in five consecutive games.

This woman knows her Seahawks

We all know he uses his legs so didn’t even bring it up.  The answers were he is short. Seriously??? Doesn’t seem to be holding him back.  Then there is the if he played for another team you wouldn’t see these results.  Okay, I don’t have a crystal ball but no other team would have taken the risk.  If he moved to another team, I bet they would build around him.  You know….he goal is to win.  So the argument is a moot point. Then you went to talking about how awesome Manning is.  How does that have anything to do with Wilson?  Oh, that is right you got nothing.  You can’t talk about how bad he is you just talk about how he has a supporting cast and is short.  Why is that all you people can say?  You need to have more than that to win with this lady.  You might have thought I was an easy mark.  I knew I wasn’t when the guy behind me said, “Damn! This girl knows her Seahawks.”  Cause in Seattle, women follow football too.  We make it a family affair. Football isn’t a man’s game.  The Lucky guy behind, though….cause any other day he may have heard about how I am a woman and not a girl.  I shall leave my feminist battle for another day.

I certainly can’t wait till next season and see what my Hawks have in store for us.

In or out

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A comfy bed, good company and laughter filled the home this weekend. What was to be a solo new year turned into a family new year. We played cards, talked about reconciliation and went to church. I had a turkey dinner prepared for me. We even got out the white board and started making a plan for family reintegration. We talked about communication. Yeah we need more of that. If we were at a restaurant we would need to order communication with another side of communication and have a little communication for desert. We would definitely need to make sure we added that to the list every day. 

While even my counselor isn’t sure of what I should do, I think I am finally getting a little more sure of myself. So for really reals….I over think with the best of them. If there was a competition I might just need to go to the Olympic Games. The one thing I got out of hanging out with my counselor was that no matter what my choice is, I will give it plenty of thought. He also said, that I am finally at a stable point in which to make the choice. While I don’t have the Richard Sherman swag going, I feel a little more certain. It definitely makes for a little more confidence when your counselor says, you can do this!! 

My counselor reminded me, that when you are going though a heated separation or divorce, how you talk about the party is much more negative. You so I only saw the crapoy stuff. Probably true. Truly, the relationship as it was is not a sustainable model. I would say that anyone who knew anything about the marriage would agree. It is a little hard to even argue otherwise. 

Some of my friends have rightly asked. So what has changed? What is going to be different? There are a few major things that I am just not going to overlook. I was not diagnosed properly before our separation. So I am pretty sure that those of you who suffer or live with a bipolar sufferer might know, we can be total asses and not even know we are doing it. Also if you don’t know that you are dealing with a mentally ill person in the midst of an episode (I am not a fan of the term.), you are gonna act like a total ass. We all do that. While that doesn’t mean that he gets a pass on his bad behavior, it does mean I will take into account when looking at the situation and deciding how to proceed. We spent 7 years not knowing. I have to wonder what would have been our choices if we had known. He is seeking me out to make changes. He has been willing to appologize. These are big changes for him. He never apologized. So to hear him say it was big. Finally, he wants to actually make a plan and decide things together. We have even had a conversation about things we need to do.

So since, he reached out and said hey you CrazyMomma, I don’t want this to be the end. I want my family back. That man has texted and called me daily. Something I am not sure he has ever done. You know what I found out. I kinda miss having him around. I miss having that person who knows you and can just hear in your voice if something isn’t right. I missed laughing cause while he can use his humor for the forces of evil, he is a very funny person. Also, it just feels good to share the load. Our little Monkey has had some big appointments and I have scratch that we have had to make some decisions for her care. It has been great to have her dad there to help make the choices. It has been great to have someone to share the stress of it. 

In the end, I really think that I have to choose all in or all out. Truly, I am asking myself, do I have the faith to believe in this? Do I believe that it is time to reconcile or not? Am I going to be able to do it from afar? Is 2hours too much of a hurdle? So am I in? Am I all in? 

Bipolar Wins

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 I wish I didn’t know I was bipolar was a thought I had today. I mean before I knew I was leaving a spouse, losing a job and in a full on spiral out of control. I did however, know what I wanted.  I made decisions and big ones with lots of thought and certainty. Now I sway back and forth. I go to and fro, trying to choose. Even when I have limited options, I can’t make up my mind. When I think I do have an answer, I think, what if my mind is playing tricking on me? Then they cycle starts again.

  
The diagnosis has killed any confidence I have! No really!!!! Even at work, I can’t make up my mind and even when I know the answer, I go and look it up. I used to have a swagger. I mean I wasn’t like old school Richard Sherman swagger but I had it. I knew who I was. I was smart and funny. I could talk for hours intelligently about capitalization, depreciation and recognition of a loss or gain. I could tell you all about some variety of accounting principles and talk in detail about practical application. I could tell you all about inventory valuation, weighted average, FIFO, LIFO not once looking at a book. I could talk prepaids, till the amortization was complete. I had skills. I didn’t shy away from anything. That was me in all my accounting glory. 

Today, I just feel like a shell of that amazing person I once was. I feel a bipolar hang over. I blame the name. I hate having it. It makes me feel weak. I hate knowing that my bravado may have just been a symptom of my brand of straight crazy. It may have been delusions of grandeur. Screw you for taking my powers away. No one wants to looke behind the curtain of the magician. You made me look. You made me see. You showed me how the brain works. Now I can’t decide most things.

  
My ignorance was bliss!!!!!! It was for me amazing. When I was manic, I could do it all and I moved forward. I always moved forward on things and made them happen. Some I regretted and others I didn’t. I always had this will about me. This will to do better, this will to move forward this move to beat everything that came across my path. The thing is I can’t beat bipolar. It isn’t going away. It stays with me. The best I can hope is to keep it at bay. 

The bitch bipolar is mean and cruel it keeps taking. So far she has totally kicked my ass so far. She has stolen relationships. She has stolen my sanity. She has put me so close to taking my life. Then she takes more. The meds I take to help keep her at bay had me gaining 40lbs. Then my crap now comes almost solely in liquid form. I go to the bathroom to fart you know, just in case I am wrong. She has taken coffee, cause it is sure fire to send me into a manic. Want to put me straight into a depression, just give me some alcohol.  So she has taken wine and margarita nights and thrown them out.

  
 Today, I hate her. I hate for messing with my life and my mind. I hate her from taking away any hope of normal and I hate her for being the thing I can only tie and can never beat. To be beat hear would mean I didn’t have to make so much compromise. She wins every time I go to the toilet. She wins, when I don’t go to happy hour afterwork. She wins when I feel hallow. This seems to be the thing that I just can’t beat. I hate thinking I will never fully win. I wish I didn’t know. I wish I didn’t have to be responsible for it. I wish I didn’t feel like there is a monster chomping at the bit just waiting to come out. 

Decision overwhelme me and staying in limbo stresses me out

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Pretty sure I am in a can’t win place. I am stressing no matter what. I am so tired of being in limbo but I am so stressed I will make the wrong choice. Honestly, the last few years have been nothing but bad choice after bad choice. When I needed help people helped me make the bad choice. 

I wish I was the mask. The person who seems like I have it all together. The person who no matter what will make it. The person who can s strong. The person who God is refining through this everlasting fire. I am about as refined as I can stand right now. My life is easily more like a song of fire and ice. I did go all scifi and GOT at ya. 

I just feel me