Monthly Archives: May 2014

Getting to Each Day

You may have noticed, I post a lot about depression.  Lately, I am not just posting about it, I am also living it.

Things fell apart on my right after the evil stomach virus.  The thought was, all that cookie tossing had affected my medications and their effectiveness.

So I dug in my heels, squared my shoulders hung on to my sanity, by my finger nails.  I kept waiting to turn the corner, for hypomania, or at least, smiles to come back.

A couple weeks passed and all the sudden, my sense of humor came back.  The day before that had been excruciatingly painful, but this day, was a giggle fest.

I assumed the darkness was gone and I could relax my grip.

I.was.wrong.

The next day came and I was angry, and out of sorts.  Wednesday came and it was so dark again.  And it has been dark ever since.  I have started withdrawing, canceling obligations, pulling internal, wishing I could escape the world.

But I couldn’t.  Not that day, or any other day.

I have these three little girls.  They deserve a daddy AND a mommy.  So I cry, wonder how to hang on another day and do it all over again.

And with these three around, who wouldn’t?

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(They are surfing.  Apparently Uncle Clay taught them how…?)

I have also been leaning heavily on others who get it.  I have reached out as much as I can to those who understand mental illness, and particularly bipolar disorder, as much as I can.

Yesterday, I had to immense pleasure to go Listen to Your Mother Metro Detroit (LTYM).  It is a National show held in cities throughout the US, and yesterday it came to Detroit.  You might remember I tried out for it and was not chosen.  At yesterday’s show, I saw why–my piece was too chipper.  LTYM Metro Detroit was pretty dark.  I find it ironic given my current struggles, buy my piece was way to happy for that shindig.  But I enjoyed many of the pieces.  And my friend Kim, rocked.  She was amazing.  She did a phenomenal job of blending the hard and the humor.

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You can’t tell, but that’s her.  And she was amazing.  I nodded my head as she talked, I wiped away tears, I smiled, I might have even laughed.  She was amazing.  And then–I got something that worth every penny of the $28 the show (ticket and parking) cost me.  I got to hug Kim.  I got to look into eyes I could trust when she said I could fight some more, I could fight to be better.  I got to cry on someone’s shoulder who has sat on the edge of the pit and come back to life.

I’m not normally a hugger, but every time I see her, I just can help myself.  She is so sweet and real and GETS it.  Better than so many.  Better than the doctors or the therapists.  She gets it.  You should check out her journey on her blog.

And today, I avoided a flogging with this lovely Canadians pancake, by going to my doctor appointment and pouring it out.  I walked away with new scripts, new directions, new holes in my arms from the blood draw.

It’s a plan.  It make take a few days to kick in, but I have to hang on or I’ll waste that co-pay, right?  So, my current plan, to go with the med plan, is planning something every day that I HAVE to do.  Yesterday was LTYM Metro Detroit and AWANA Closing Ceremony, today was my doctor appointment, tomorrow is the park, the zoo Wednesday and a visit with a cousin/friend Thursday and I’m open for suggestions on Friday, Saturday is going to book signing and getting together with some co-op friends.

So, see, I have to survive.  Not for me, but for the fact that hubby doesn’t even know we have half those plans and it would be a mess.

I guess I better just knuckle under and keep on keeping on.

Whew…

(I know it’s pretty dark here on the blog, and not very happy reading.  Thanks for sticking with me as I slug out this round of depression.)

When Mommy Is Scared Of Monsters Under Her Bed

I want to introduce you to a new friend of mine, Alycia.  She is mama to 7, friend to many, storyteller, writer and fighter.

She knows what it is to struggle and uses that for many peoples, mine included, benefit.  She was the inspiration behind this scavenger hunt.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome her here to Giggles and Grimaces.

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We are finally. as a community, thanks to the anonymity that social media provides us, talking about the hard stuff. Our monsters hidden behind our mom faces that we’ve heard whispers about, but claimed it was never us.  But it was us. Me. You.We struggled with thoughts that were scary, we worried we would hurt someone in a snap moment, we held it all in, but we were so scared of these monsters.  What if someone found out?  It is just not something we discussed, even with our doctors.  Certainly never our children.  

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I mean, how could we convince our children that feelings are normal, when we have never had a normal thought?   How do we assure them that the world is not frightening, when it is to us?  So yeah, we are talking about it on blogs, chat rooms and even posting pictures of Xanax and joking about it. We are admitting that we were a crappy mom that day and then we are reassured it is normal and tomorrow will be better, or maybe next month will be better….heck….maybe years, but the sun will come out tomorrow and all that jazz.  But we still aren’t talking about it (like we should) with our children. The very start of a new generation that could be the change is where we should be starting to talk about the monsters under mommy’s bed.

What is it that we fear will happen if we tell our children we are bipolar, dealing with PTSD, severe recurrent depression, or pull something else out of a bag?  Will they shrink back in fear of the Jekyll & Hyde moments?  No. This is not what happens. When done properly.  We wait for a calm moment (and do keep to age appropriate wording), then we explain about organs in our body. Our heart is an organ, but Uncle So-So had to have surgery because it wasn’t working right. Aunt Bo-Bo had to have surgery for a clot in her leg. No biggie.

You get hurt or sick and you go get it fixed however often you have to. To stay alive. The brain is an organ too and not immune to malfunction. Because it is such a complex organ that controls so much of us, it takes complicated and multiple treatments.

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When it gets wonky, that is when Mommy is tackling a monster under the bed.  It might feel scary for you. It’s scary for Mommy too. But we use these moments, because when you have knowledge about something, then you start to realize that you can have a sense of control over your monsters. Your children will start seeing it as normal to acknowledge it and it will become a “no biggie” to seek help and to stay alive.

Your children. My children. Everyone’s children.

If we did this, do you realize that the next generation wouldn’t be scared of mental illness?  If we did this do you know about how suicides would drop, because we weren’t afraid to seek help?

Will you commit today to not be afraid of talking to someone about mental illness? Your children? The lady that looks worn at the store? The world?

Let’s let our actual words and our actual stories of struggle be where we focus our change. We can do this. No Biggie.

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Charity here again, this one is a toughie for me.  I have not talked to my children about the bipolar disorder.  They did visit me during two of my psychiatric hospitalizations, but we just told them mommy was sick and getting better.  They were all 5 and under at the time.  Now, they are growing up.  Caitlyn is 7.  A very wise 7.  She reads my moods better than anyone in the world.  She knows when I need extra help.  She knows when I can roll with the punches.  She knows when I will laugh at antics.  She knows when to get her sisters to back off and give mama a minute.  She knows all this, but not why it is all so important.  I have been afraid to tell  her, afraid to scare her.  I have been afraid to tell Sue as well, but for different reasons.  She likes to share information.  ALL the information she knows.  I’m not quite sure she’s the one I want “educating”  people about my mental health.

I like my reasons for not telling the girls.  They feel safe.  But maybe Alycia is right.  Maybe it is time to rethink my thinking.

Will you join me  in taking her challenge?  Will you join me in using your struggles and challenges to help others?

It just might be time.  And maybe, No Biggie.

I’ve Visiting Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood–Won’t You Be My Neighbor

I have been lurking around Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood reading about Michigan events and happenings, and fun posts about her growing family.

I love her blog.  I love her writing, her giveaways are great and her space on the blogosphere is really cute!

And today I am there sharing!!!  Little old me.  I am talking about my journey with postpartum mood disorders and the local Climb Out of the Darkness event I am hosting June 21 from 1-3 at Independence Oaks in Clarkston.

Won’t you come join me in Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood?

 

mrswebersneighborhood.com

Hallmark Mother’s Day Giveaway

Welcome to our Hallmark Inspirational Women Mother’s Day Giveaway~

Giggles and Grimaces is pleased to promote this giveaway hosted by Tammie’s Reviews, Giveaways and More and sponsored by Hallmark.

I have been inspired by many women in my journey from childhood to now. I remember a feisty little homeroom and history teacher I had in Junior High (hey, that’s what we called it back in the dark ages). She was smaller than almost every student, but she had their respect and love.
Because she cared.
I have an eye that wanders off to the side. It’s not a lazy eye, but similar. I got special glasses to help it look in the right direction. I hated that eye. I got teased about it all the time. One day she saw me in the hallway, grabbed me and said, “Hey Charity, I noticed that eye is tracking for you!!”
It was a little thing, but it mattered. She inspired me to point out the special, no matter how little it may seem.
Who inspires you? Hallmark wants to honor that inspiration with a great prize pack.

You can read Tammie’s Reviews, Giveaways and More’s review by clicking HERE. I cannot wait to hear about all the wonderful stories about who inspired you with their wisdom, their courage or even just an open ear.

On to the giveaway~

This giveaway will be live from 5/1 and will end on 5/8, starting and ending at 7 p.m.

This is open to US only. No P.O. boxes.

All entries will be verified

Winner will be chosen via Random.org

Winner will have 24hours to respond.

Winner must be 18 of age or older

3 readers will win a Hallmark prize pack.

Enter below using the easy Giveaway Tools widget and Good Luck to you.

Disclosure: We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to the US 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible
for product shipment/delivery nor did I receive compensation. Only 1 prize per household. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not.

Why not join our Facebook Group to find out about the latest Blogger Opps or contact me pankuch1605@hotmail.com and see how I can promote your product for you. For any questions or problems about this Giveaway, contact Tammie at pankuch1605@hotmail.com