The Apple of Our Eyes

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Lived Out Loud

Over the last 5 years, I have shared a lot.  About fun stuff.  About confusing stuff.  And about hard stuff.  Sometimes, really hard stuff.

Mental illness, first as postpartum depression, anxiety and psychosis and then as bipolar disorder II has been something I have talked a great deal about.  I often walk away from various blog posts raw, wondering what I am thinking sharing so much of myself.  Most of the time, I continue on with the post.

Sometimes, things get held in tight.

So, why do I do this?  Why do I share the hard?  Why don’t I just stop whining and move on?

Today, I was reminded why.

Someone in my day-to-day life noticed a change in me, noticed that I seem to be moving slower.  And she’s right.  I feel like I am often in a dream, stuck in slower motion.  I told her it was because of medication I was on.  She surprised me by asking what medication–so I told her, bipolar disorder.  She took it in stride and didn’t totally weird out on me.

But I walked away wondering why I had told her so bluntly.  Why did bare a part of me that many people would hold in close.  I puzzled over it awhile.  And then it hit me.

It’s the only way to get rid of stigma.  I have to be able to show that I function and live well with mental illness if I want people to some day accept it as okay, as not quite normal, but not a monster to be feared.  If I want that day to come, I have to do my part of usher it in.

I have to live it out loud.

One Foot In Front of the Other

The last week has been hard.  The dark has been dark and the noise in my head has been loud.  It has been a struggle and a few times I have been scared.

Every time I go through a downturn like this and come out the other side, my therapist asks what did I do that helped.  That question is harder to answer than you might think.

What did I do?

I exercised.

I prayed.

I reached out to key people I knew would love and support me no matter what words I said.

It isn’t just any one thing.  It is everything.

I put one foot in front of the other.

Bipolar Disorder is Stupid

Catchy title, huh?  It’s about all I have right now.

The last few days have been a blur of too many thoughts, extra medication, and too much sleep.  I am so frustrated to be back here again.  Fighting the same demons, the same evil thoughts.  I am tired and the battle has just begun.

I am already tired of platitudes.  I understand it is because people don’t know what to do or say, but telling me to be happy and it will change my thoughts, yeah no.  Bipolar doesn’t work that way.

Bipolar chips away at your thought processes until there is either only one thought in your mind, or hundreds of thoughts going much too quickly to be anything constructive.

I can’t stand all the thoughts so I take an extra Xanax (it’s okay to do that, it is prescribed for as needed) and I become so tired and move so slow.  My thoughts don’t really slow down, but I become too tired to try and sort them out.

And sometimes, that is what I need–that is enough.

This Darn Cold

I don’t even remember going to bed last night.  But when I woke up for more cold medicine it was 9:30 and my hubby was sleeping in the recliner.

Where did he come from?

Last Thursday I started to get a cold.  By Monday it was full blown yuck.  It is interrupting my exercise (which I allow very few things to do), it is affecting my prayer life (it is hard to stay concentrated when you are coughing up a lung), it has already cost us a day of schooling–in our second week.

It’s just a pain in the neck.

But maybe yesterday’s 11 or so hours of sleep will help.

I did manage to do about 20 minutes of one of my workouts this morning before the coughing got too bad and I did join, via phone, a local prayer group.

That’s progress right?

I’ll take what I can get!!!

Do We Ever Grow Up

Do we ever grow up?  Maybe in some ways.  A friend and I were wondering today how we’ve become these women who are so happy to be able to pay bills.  Whew.  And how sad.  So maybe on one hand we do grow up.

But on the other…not so much.

I have decided I do not like reading more than one book at a time.  I don’t like the uneasy feeling that I will never get them done, that I will never get to check them as read in Goodreads.  Honestly, it causes me a great deal of anxiety actually to have a bunch of books going at the same time.  And yet, I do it anyway.

I have piles of books everywhere waiting to be read some more, to the end.  I hate it.  So why do I do it?

Ready for me to admit the ridiculous?

I have a bunch of books going because ladies I really like and admire on Facebook  talk often about how many books they have in process.  They are smart ladies.  Smarter than they know.  And I wanted to be like them.  I wanted to feel smart.

So, I tried it.  And did nothing but suck joy out of reading and cause great anxiety.  I think I have to leave the smart behind and just go back to one book at a time.

That’s what makes sense to my brain.


All The Hard Work

I have been working very hard at my fitness and trying desperately to get my diet under control.  And what do I get for it?  More weight.  That’s right, I gain.

My hubby never works out, but does work many hours at a physically demanding job.  He eats like crap.  He’s down 13 pounds.

Grrr.  It makes me crazy.  So crazy, I had to hide my scale in the basement.  I do my measurements about once a month.

I  am losing inches, though not where I would like to the most, so I know I am doing something right, but my waist is still huge and the number when I do peek at the scale, makes me sick.

Recently, I had someone say something very degrading to me about my weight.  They didn’t mean it, it just happened.  And I hate it.

I work so hard, but little of it shows.  My arm muscles are growing, but there is still a ton of fat there.  My cheek bones are nice, but the chin is still padded extra.  I saw my collar bones peeking out today.  As I looked at them, something dawned on me.  I may still hate a great deal about my body, but at the same time, the measurements I take miss a lot.  They don’t consider my collar bone.  They don’t take into account my cheek bones or the calf muscles that I am very proud of.

So people, the tape measure, and the scale may try to diminish me, but they don’t tell the whole story…And I think I need to hang on to that.

Fall is Here

Fall is here.  I know it with every fiber of my being.  I know it NOT because of the pumpkin spice latte M&Ms headed to my grocery store.  I know it NOT because of the calendar–it still says summertime.  The cooler weather hints at fall, but the proof is in my brain.

My mind is racing most of the time.  I am having a hard time controlling my thoughts and my moods.  I want to run away from my life, from me.

It’s happening again.

It’s fall.

Every year at this time, since the very first fall after Patrice was born, I descend into the dark pit of depression.  It’s a little early this year, but it definitely is the fall round of mental torture.

I used to love fall.  I love the color of the leaves, the opportunity to bake and cook more.  I love the decorations.  I love the cooler temperatures.

But my mind makes it hard to enjoy all of those things.  It is too busy thinking over the years that have passed.  It is too busy telling me I am a horrible mother and I need to run away.  It is too busy torturing me.

This year, I recognized what was happening a little sooner so have kicked up my exercise a notch, reaching out to others, reading my Bible, giving myself space.

I am doing what I can to reclaim my season, to reclaim my fall.

Very Tricky

Being 9 is very tricky!!!

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Preparations Underway

True story?  I don’t know if I already wrote this post.  But I thought it was time to share our homeschooling plans for the year.  I am just about done putting together several binders for the girls to work from.

We are doing a lot of projects called lapbooks.  In lapbooks you use file folders to arrange information using booklets, wheels, glued in facts, whatever it takes to help the information to stick.

We will be doing these lapbooks for American History, Science, and Art.  It is a nice blend of facts and hands on work.

Caitlyn and Sue will continue with handwriting, hopefully cursive for both.  Patrice will start with printing.  We will also continue with Explode the Code for phonics and Fred for math with Sue and Patrice.  Caitlyn will be working with Teaching Textbooks for math.

Patrice will begin with learning the last few of her letters, Bob books, and then Life of Fred early readers.  Sue, Caitlyn, and I will chose their books based on level and interest.  Right now Caitlyn is working on the Cupcake Diaries and Sue the Critter Club.  We picked them up at Costco today.  Quietest trip ever through the store as they had their noses buried in the books.  I kept having to tell Sue to be careful or she would get clobbered by another shopper, but honestly, I was more than willing to keep my eyes open for her if it kept her reading!!!

We will also continue with our beloved co-op where I will be teaching for the first time–Heroes of the Faith.  Caitlyn will be in the 4-6 grade group, Sue the 1-3 grade and Patrice Kindergarten.

I am very excited about our coming year.

What do you look forward to with your kids?  What do you like to see them learning/excelling in?