Monthly Archives: May 2014

Finding the Answers

A few years back a dear friend was going through truly the most horrific thing a parent could ever go through.

I remember something she told me then, “if skittles could cure everything, I’d be doing fine!”

Her words come back to me when life hurts.  Lately, it’s like a broken record in my mind.  I’m not a skittles person, so I’ve tried chocolate, peeps and circus peanuts.  Circus peanuts have come the closest, but they fall short.

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So I look at these faces…

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And I cling to this man.

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We keep a cadence to our days with homeschooling

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I’m trying desperately to get a hold of the doctors.  This, world, is impossible on Friday.  Do yourself a favor, if you ever deal with mental illness, make sure to have trouble only Monday through Thursday before 2:30 pm.  Getting help outside of that time is impossible.

I am praying like crazy too, and trying to keep talking so people can hear the crazy and point me back to the sane.  Both are hard, but remember the pictures of those girls?  Yeah, that’s why I fight.  I know I am a broken record, but it is good for me to see and hear my put it into words.  I will fight.  I will fight today.  I will fight tomorrow.  I will fight the uselessness of the doctor I currently see.  I will fight.  Never fear, no matter how dark my posts are, I WILL FIGHT!!!!!


Something Deep

I feel like I should have something, deep, profound and encouraging to write.  But for that, you’ll have to visit these brave ladies, over and BonBon Break.  Because I’ve got nothing.

If I could cry on the computer screen and it translate the drops, then maybe we’d have something

I want to rage and scream and destroy things.  I want to scream at someone.  Remember that scene in Steel Magnolias where Shelby has died and they are at the cemetery and Malyn says, “I just want to hit something til it hurts as bad as I do.”  Clarise, grabs Wheeza and say ” here, take a wack at her…”

I need a Clarise to find me a Wheeza.  I want to hit something til it hurts as bad as I do.  Til the noise in my head goes away again, til I’m not here sitting at my computer sobbing.

Oh my God, I want something to help, something to make sense.  Dammit, I want somebody to tell me how to fix me, how to fix all of me.

My family deserves a hell of a lot better.

Happy Birthday to Me

Today was teacher inservice here which loosely translates to, I didn’t want to teach on my birthday.  I did make them do reading, but beyond that, nuttin’ honey.

So we packed ourselves up and went to the last Homeschool Skate event.  We should have gone to the others.  The girls loved it.

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Sue was the most fearless, Caitlyn was hesitant but she kept on trying, Patrice got tired after one time around the rink but is definitely up for going again.

Then we came home, had yummy, gourmet Mac and Cheese, cake and ice cream.  Yummmmmmy.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Thank you for all the lovely greetings on facebook and twitter

Please Visit

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day.  It included balloons, little girl presents and little girl crafts.  It was lovely.

I have also read and seen many beautiful things on facebook and blogs.  I would respectfully ask that you:

Visit my Climb Out of the Darkness page and donate or join us.

And head over to the many lovely pieces on Postpartum Progress Mother Day Program.

These are lovely ladies who know what it is like to be in the trenches of motherhood and postpartum mood disorders.  They know what it is to struggle.  They know what it is to triumph.  The know what it is to live.

You can too.



Noisy Up In Here

This piece may not be all that elegant or pretty, I am hoping it makes sense, but I give no promises.

The last month has been hard.  And explaining why is complicated and frustrating.  But I recently put a few thoughts together.

When the bipolar decides to get mean, I can’t think straight, I can only fixate on a thought.  I struggle to escape it because no matter what I want to think, there is that other thought, the depressive or euphoric thought that must be thought.  I literally exhaust myself trying to stop the thinking.

This exhaustion carries over and expounds as I continue to care for my family and home.  I give it all I have, but I’m not really there.  I’m too busy trying to stop thinking what demands to be thought.

Both the depressive and euphoric thoughts of bipolar make my mind very loud.  When I am depressed, it often starts with fixating on a thought.  I can have a thought come into my mind of  what I did wrong, how I did something stupid, or how someone treated me 20 years ago–and it comes in and sets up housekeeping. This is actually typical of the start of a depressive cycle.  It is always a sign that my medication needs to be changed, adjusted or supplemented.  The noise in my mind doesn’t stop there; it is constantly throwing thoughts at me of how much I hurt, how hard the battle is, how I can’t stand the pressure inside, how this time the doctor won’t be able to help, how I’ve reached the end of the line for help and hope.  I think this over and over.  And I want to escape, but there is no escape, and the fear and anguish sets in.  As that continues, the thoughts become incoherent.  I know there is something there.  I know it’s not good.  I know it is out of control, but I don’t know what it is so I don’t know how to shut it down, how to get rid of it or how to control it.  I’m at the mercy of the thoughts.

In all of this, it is very hard to be present.  It is very hard to talk to others.  It is very hard to care about others.  As much as I want to have THOSE thoughts, I can’t hear them for the thoughts I am forced by the depression to have.

Honestly, 3+ years after my initial onset of mental health issues, this is the first time I have been able to encapsulate that the depression is loud and overpowering and what it is really like inside, why it is so disruptive and destructive.

Unfortunately the noise doesn’t end there.  Hypomania is also loud.  My mind comes up with the list of things I MUST accomplish right now and keeps saying them over and over and over.  So I start one project, only to have my mind literally SCREAM at me that I have to go over there and do that.  And that it must all be done immediately and I cannot sleep until it is all accomplished.

My mind tells me, oh, do that craft, it will only take a minute, now this one, go over there, faster, oh, you should do this with the girls, oh look at that school activity, oh we need a play date, I should make this from scratch, oh we need this, we need that, oh here’s another project for the girls.

My mind keeps going faster and faster and I try desperately to keep up because then I will be in control, then people will see how well I am handling it all and that there should be no doubts of my abilities to be home with my kids.  But when I slow down, when I look around, I find a project in almost every room in the house that I have started and not completed because my mind was talking to much and too often.

Thankfully there is hope.  It takes a combination of things to get back on the right track.  Time, unfortunately is one, sleep is a big help and sometimes some medication adjustments.  Sooner or later, the brain settles down, and like yesterday and today, I get to be in my life, with my family and friends, not seeing or hearing them through the noise.


School is Canceled!!!!!!!!!!

We started our morning with homemade waffles, and a leisurely time chatting while we ate.  Then the girls scattered for a few, waiting me to call them to start their schoolwork.  Instead, I walked into the room they were in and yelled, “School’s Canceled.  We’re going to the zoo!”

Their faces were priceless, especially Caitlyn’s I wish I had thought to have my camera ready.  Then the “Yay!!!  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you” broke out.

They got dressed quick.  And headed to play outside while I figured out what we needed.  Once I got organized, Sue came in and started making sandwiches while I got myself around.

Caitlyn stayed outside with Patrice, who had climbed in the car and refused to get out.  SHE was GOING to the zoo.

As we were getting ready, I noticed my mood was better, then it was worse, then it was better.  It was changing so quickly I couldn’t keep up.  I told a friend who walks this road and she said, “yes honey, you are rapid cycling.”  We discussed a couple options to help and I chose one.

We finished getting ready and headed to the zoo.

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We had fun.  Thankfully hubby texted me to warn me there was torrential rain coming so we got into a building just in time.  Turns out we even practiced place values in numbers looking at a board of donors.  The rain cleared quickly and off we headed again.

And I realized my mind was quiet.  The thing with either the depression or the mania, my brain is loud.  My thoughts are disjointed and difficult to manage and I am never fully present.  I realized today was different, it was quiet.  I was really with my kids.  I was really at the zoo.  I was really here, for the first time in a month.

That thought was bliss.

We spent 4 1/2 hours at the zoo.  And it was great. I didn’t yell, there was minimal whining from the girls.  It was great!!!

And I learned something very valuable today.  It is important to reach out and say exactly what a symptom is.  Truly, I thought the confused, tumultuous, incoherent thoughts were just my imagination, a product of me obsessing too much.  And the rapid mood changes I was having, I thought, there is no way this is happening.  No way.  I must be going crazy, maybe I just crave attention.  But I asked, and found out it is normal, and there was an answer to help both.

You cannot even imagine how happy that knowledge, and ability to be present, makes me.

If you are living with mental illness, speak up, tell people what is really going on, including the things  you consider stupid.  You may find they are not only stupid, they are fixable!!  Fixable…how long have I suffered not knowing it was fixable.  Do yourself a favor, learn from my experience and get the help you need.

The animals were active

To Spotlight Her

I am writing this late Thursday night, even though I won’t let you read it until Friday.  Cruel yes, but I am just so thrilled with some events this evening.  I am just bubbling inside.  I am much to excited to sleep.  I am hoping by getting the words out, I will be able to find Mr. Sandman.

Last summer, my heart started to burn with the desire to homeschool our girls.  Sue had been in public school for kindergarten and Caitlyn for kindergarten and first grade.

I was nervous about a lot of things, with the biggest being, teaching Sue to read… I swallowed my fears and at at 10 pm the night before school was to start, we decided to begin the journey of home education.

We were doing it, but I still had fears about reading.  Caitlyn was a strong reader by this point, but Sue, I found out as we got started, had none of the basics down.  She was far from being able to read.

So many times I asked other homeschoolers a myriad of questions about reading.  I was so afraid I would fail her.  What if I didn’t get her reading?  What if it was so hard to learn she hated it?  What if she was so delayed in reading that it affected all other aspects of her schooling?  What if there was a learning challenge I didn’t discover and I made her life unnecessarily difficult?

Wonderful people in my life reassured me as many times as I panicked.  Then, a couple weeks ago I saw a big shift.  She was getting more of it, remembering more of the phonics rules, sounding out words well, and had a drive to learn how to read.

I began to fear, my virgin hair would, sooner rather than later, have to face the bottles of pink and purple dye to fulfill my deal with Sue that when she can read Fancy Nancy and the Extraordinary Book Report to daddy’s standards, I would stripe my hair pink and purple.

The fear is getting real.  I will be the most scared and excited client the hair stylist has ever seen.  My poor hair, but look at my baby now!!!

But today, the reading was rough.   Both of us were struggling with the lessons; I called it after three pages.


Tonight, she declared she wasn’t tired.  Her eyes said differently, but she was adamant.  Bedtime is still (loosely) bedtime, so off she was sent.  A little bit later I see her sitting in her bedroom doorway…with a book.  A very challenging chapter book.  And I hear her sounding out words.  Finally, she got bold and came out where I was, “I don’t want to wake up Caitlyn, but I want to read this book.”

This mama can’t say no to that.  As she got herself settled on the couch I asked her if she maybe wanted one of the library books instead.  At first, she plugged away at the chapter book, but then she decided, MAYBE something else would be better to read.

We found a library book, “Not Too Little to Help.” And she settled back into her spot on the couch.

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She did amazing on that book.  Then she asked for another.  I picked out one of the We Can Read books, “A Pony Named Peanut.”  These are specifically written for an experienced reader and an emergent reader to work together.  One page is written at a level for an experienced reader and the facing page is written for the emergent reader.  We cuddled up in the couch and started to read.  She did a fabulous job sounding words out and working to put them together.  I managed to work with her without losing my patience, and there were no interruptions.

It was bliss, it was divine.

I would have read with her all night, but finally the eyelids got just too heavy.  Off she went to bed.  Before she went, she leaned over and whispered, “know why I’m doing this, working hard at reading?  I kind of like it and I really want my own e-mail.”  And with a big hug and kiss, she was gone.

I stayed in the same spot.  In awe of what had just happened.  I was afraid to move, afraid to even shift in my seat.  I couldn’t bear to see the joy and sweetness of it all fade away.  Even now, I am avoiding going to bed; I want to prolong this feeling forever.

My joy is two-fold.  I am just in awe of the progress she has made and her self-motivation to learn, and I am thrilled with the flexibility homeschooling is giving us,  I am so pleased that we can have an impromptu reading lesson at 10:30 pm because we don’t have to get up excruciatingly early to catch a bus or carpool to get to school.  I know homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but right now, it has me beaming.

It has all been enough to make this mamas’ heart sing.

Fame and Fortune

I’m not looking for fame and fortune in any area of my life, but especially not in my  writing.  I am just looking to be heard.  My heart is to walk alongside others, have them hear about my journey and me to hear about theirs.  And maybe share some ice cream.

That’s one of the things I talked about in a neat storyteller interview over at LeahPeah.  I’d love it if you took a hop over there, read my piece and peruse her home on the web.

Then, come back over here and help out Postpartum Progress via my Climb Out of the Darkness.

Today, the family and I went to Independence Oaks where the climb is going to be held.  It is gorgeous.  The route we chose is completely paved, so great for strollers.  We will be walking 2.2 miles through beautiful terrain.

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Independence Oaks is very special to me.  I first visited there when the postpartum depression and anxiety were raging out of control.  I fell in love, and begged to go back as often as possible.  It was, and is, my healing place.  I know true healing comes from the Lord, but here, I can just breathe.  The tension drains from me.  I fall in love with Independence Oaks every time I am there.

Today was no different.  The ups and downs of this depressive episode are continuing and they are wearing on me.  In the depths, it literally hurts to breathe.  But today, as with every other time we have been there, I felt tension release and I could draw a deep breathe for the first time since seeing my friend on Sunday.  It’s just my place.

I would love to show you my place on June 21.  I would love to have you walk with us, I would love to show you my place.  Won’t you please head over to Crowdrise and commit to join us?

Wrapped in Today

Today, I am not dreaming big.

I am getting to tomorrow.

Today, I am not planning all the days, all the things.

I am getting to tomorrow.

Today, my plans are not grand.  They are simple, feed children, teach children.

I am getting to tomorrow.

Today, I am sitting on the edge, looking in the dark hole, gripping the edge.

I am getting to tomorrow.

Today, the thoughts are murky, but they are in order.

I am getting to tomorrow.

Today, I am choking on the bile my mind sends forth, but catching just enough breaths.

I am getting to tomorrow.

Today, I am swallowing my meds, asking them to be a little more magical than yesterday.

I am getting to tomorrow.

Today, I am doing the next right thing.

I am getting to tomorrow.

Today, I am praying for a brighter new dawn.

I am getting to tomorrow.

Never Say Never

I swore I would never let one of my kids wear the same clothes day after day or hurry to wash a certain outfit so they can put it on again.  I was not going to do that.

I made it through Caitlyn.

I made it through Sue.

Then came Patrice.

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Today is day 9.  I talked her into letting me wash it last night.  Her first question this morning–“is my sparkly tu-tu dress clean and dry?”  It was.

I don’t know if I have just been worn down, am giving in a little bit because she is the baby, or I have gotten wise and realized it’s not worth the battle, but whatever it is, I am kind of curious to see how many days she will wear it.

I made the big girls a deal today.  If they worked together, and cleaned Patrices’ room without arguing, then I would let them choose one school subject to skip for the day.  Caitlyn chose reading.  Sue chose phonics.  She seems to like handwriting.

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Sue is really starting to get reading.  I didn’t think it would come, but today she read me 11 pages of Fancy Nancy and the Extraordinary Book Report.  As you may recall, in a hypomanic moment, I made her a deal–when she reads that book to daddy’s standards, I would dye my hair pink and purple striped.  I had been thinking we were looking at next school year, but with the progress she is making, I think it might be by the end of this month.  Oh boy.  I have never colored my hair.  Not once.  I haven’t done anything to my hair since the perm craze in the late 80s.  Hubby is completely on board with this and cheering Sue on.  My grandpa (papa) is horrified at the thought.  I am nervous, but really excited to see my Sue reading.  That trumps everything for me.2014-05-06 09.43.55


Caitlyn found her first Hidden Mickey in her honey nut cheerios.  She asked me to take a picture, then looked at it and said, “sorry Mickey, but  you’re breakfast.”  And just like that, he was gone.  I guess I can appreciate her joy in the little things, paired nicely with reality.

I hope you have a great night and don’t forget to check out my Climb Out the Darkness Fundraiser!!!