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"I am angry enough to die." - Jonah 4:9

“I am angry enough to die.” – Jonah 4:9

I am like a bucking horse – I mean, a horse that bucks. Almost every horse bucks, eventually, during his or her life. Some are forgiven; some are not. I’m like one of our rescue horses, given to instantaneous bucking fits, no warning, just instant bronc mode. Sometimes though, I give warning, crow-hops, but in general, these warnings are ignored.

I figure I must live in a state of forgiveness for my bucking, or I would be shot or abandoned by now. Committed to an asylum or sent to the sale barn. Yet it doesn’t feel like I’m being forgiven. It feels like I am kicked and beaten every time I’m down. That I’m still here argues for forgiveness. These repeated beatings argue for unforgiveness.

Things begin to happen, but like my stories, they go nowhere. I need to be sent to a sale barn. A sale barn for useless, problem wives, to be auctioned off, packed into a truck, and taken away on a journey that will end in slaughter. Humane or inhumane matters not, since being stuck in this life is in itself inhumane.

Today, I hate being bipolar. Today, it seems bipolar is me, so I must hate myself and my life. I have tried and tried not to let bipolar get me down, but it’s apparently hopeless. Apparently, I am supposed to be grateful for my disease because it is teaching me so much about life – that would be useful to me if I didn’t have the disease, but as it is, such knowledge is useless!

Suicidal ideation was happening! I was so mad at hubby and frustrated with my earlier behavior that I wanted to pop a bullet into my brain, the very horror I had believed would never manifest again.

I would have gone past considering it, I think, if the family wouldn’t lose everything without my disability check. Or, if I didn’t owe them all better for having lived with and tolerated me and my disease for so long already. Or, if I didn’t owe God for dying for my sins. Or, if I didn’t care about ruining my children’s lives.

I cannot believe God tolerated Jonah’s anger and simply explained to him why it was unjustified. But he did. For that, God only deserves gratitude on the part of Jonah and of me.

 

 

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It turns out that yes, indeed, I am manic, very much so, and have been for a while now.  Mania is not always a good thing, even though many of us are medicated to the point that it seems we are kept below the threshold of “normal” in terms of happiness and productivity. Thus we long for the mania to return, or even hypomania, for which I have wished repeatedly during my prolonged depressive periods.

My mania lately has taken a freaky form: Anxiety, right-brained reactivity and destructive impulsivity that has now resulted in me truly hurting someone and forever burning a bridge that was important to many people. I am filled with remorse, and many things, particularly horses, will be no longer enjoyed without that prick of sorrow and guilt that I have set myself up for with my actions taken in the throes of mania.

I have medicated myself rather heavily in order to accept the constant yelling I am getting from my hubby and myself right now. Everything I say is responded to by hubby as “you aren’t hearing a word I am saying,” and “it’s like talking to a rock!” and “Stop it” You are being ridiculous.” Ridiculous, ridiculous, ridiculous are all my concerns as I watch him doing what I believe to be further damage over the phone, and insisting that I abdicate what I feel is important responsibility without offering a different solution to take the place of my abdication. I wish he would stop it but there is nothing I can say that isn’t “ridiculous.” I also know he is trying to do helpful things that will lead to the solution of our current problems more productively than the things I did, in the hopes of keeping me out of the hospital again. God bless him!

So, thanks to my understanding doctor who has prescribed me some extra medication (extra risperidone and clonazepam) to help me react without anger or bitterness or dangerous breakdowns to these triggers, I am able to use the extra medicine she prescribed to enable me to control myself, namely, my tongue for the most part. I have little doubt that when the crisis is passed, I will be able to return to my normal tiny dosages, as I don’t like taking the refuge of extra medication. I would prefer to handle my crises with mindfulness, wise mind, essential oils, prayer and so forth. But now I need to feel as little emotion as possible or the anxiety would get out of control. Of course, it can also be argued that in this circumstance, anxiety and fear and crippling remorse are warranted and normal, too.

I am reminded of the words of Jesus, and I pray every day that he will help me guard my tongue. He said if a part of the body offends, then cut it off. Not sure if he was being literal or speaking in a parable. Sometimes I wish I could cut out my tongue. I feel it has caused me to do damage beyond forgiveness. I will never receive the forgiveness of the person I have hurt, but I know my heavenly Father will forgive me.

To be Christian about this for a moment: “I [God] live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me–the breath of man that I have created.” – Isaiah 57: 15-16

There is some spiritual help for me and for others who have done horrible things through the erroneous impulses that accompany mania. Deeds done while in the manic state should never be written off just to being manic. We should take responsibility for what we have done, for we have done these things.

There may have been one way in which my destructive impulses have worked out for good and that is what my husband reminds me of when he is being compassionate toward me, and it comforts me but only a little. How I wish for the good mania, the type that doesn’t result in craziness.

Yet I know too, that this will pass, just as I know my normal, functional times will pass, and that my depressive periods will pass. Everything passes and turns into something else with bipolar. You can count on not staying a certain way forever; there will always be a change, and sometimes for the better. Take encouragement from that. Remember to take a breath, mindfully, seeking wise mind to operate from. Hopefully wise mind will become a habit. It has not happened for me during my manic freakouts, but that does not mean I will not be able to achieve this with the help of the good Lord. Many others have succeeded at this and I know that I can too.

 

 

I have an exciting victory to share–so far as my bipolar goes.  What could easily have been an epic breakdown and precipitated unfixable problems was forestalled by a hard-won exercise of mastery and self-control.

A client of my husband’s came to our home and unfairly verbally abused him, refusing to pay what he’d agreed to despite the hard work and excellent results, leaving my husband shaken and distraught. Depressed already, I was very worried about him (and still am)–besides that money was going to pay two medical bills and car registrations. Now it’s not.

I freaked out, over-reacting with an avalanche of histrionics (letting out what my stoic husband couldn’t, no doubt, express). Overwhelmed by anger, fear, despair, righteous indignation, worry, I could scarcely refrain from running from the phone to call them and speak angry words that could never be taken back. Repeatedly I asked hubby to take the phone and put it in his pocket so I could not. I was sure I was out of control. BUT…

I remembered things that until recently I could not have remembered. I don’t know why, except maybe for my faith…and the example of others.

I counted to ten repeatedly. I recalled scripture after scripture, admonishing me to curb my tongue and not speak in anger. I knew it would only make things immeasurably worse if I did so.

So I vented by writing my feelings down on yellow legal pad, for no one to see. My husband and I drove to town and took some other useful actions to diffuse our tension.

We are still very upset…I am still very upset, and I hope to deal with these feelings further using skills, and eventually achieve closure in the safety of post-crisis reflection.

So…yay! In a blog that is often so depressing, I finally have something happy to report (even if I don’t feel that way I am grateful)!!!!!

All of your positive blogs and uplifting thoughts read late at night have surely contributed to my ability to look at my situation differently and I thank you. It is true that together we can all overcome. ❤ 🙂

 

Waiting to be made Good

despairing here abandoned

trapped in the deeps

between the firmaments

the points of life above

the speckled infinities within

drowning in the deeps

waiting maybe for the spirit of God

to move across the face of the waters

for an evening and a morning

I don’t know where my soul is

to seek, or find or knock, or open

or any redeeming thing

anything would be welcome here

an hallucination for a Comforter

a seizure for an angel

my soul is a world without form, and void

and nothing earthly can fill it

or give shape to it; it shall all be torn away

endlessly old I can scarce believe

in becoming new

Sorry to write another pissed off post.

A prisoner againI am very upset by today’s sermon. This was my SECOND time back to church in-at least-over a year, –after months of being immersed in scripture and praise– and now I have almost no inclination to return. I feel that the pastor said he condemns (or strongly implied that God condemns)  people who lack self-control (are “out of control”) because they are crazy-makers. No argument there, but it was also directly stated that “people with no self-control are trying to defy God’s relational law of physics.” (read: purposly, frowardly spitting in God’s face).

So, because at times I lack more self-control than others, being bipolar, I am therefore worse than others. There was no tolerance expressed for people like me who cannot control themselves. At so many times. What am I to do, be grateful to God that I have to work 3x as hard as other Christians to do so?

Romans 3:13 was used “Let us behave decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.” That was the scriptural basis for “OUT OF CONTROL: OUT OF BALANCE BECAUSE OF CONTROL ISSUES.” This was not a sermon to help people such as this. It was a sermon for how people can protect themselves from someone like this. I am not saying such a sermon is not important, or has no application, but I am saying that a sermon that blindsides people with problems and blames them for other Christians’ troubles is unacceptable to ME. A major example that was given was the difficulty of dealing with alcoholics, who just “CHOOSE not to deal with it” or are “in denial.”: Giving no quarter to anyone with an ADDICTIVE DISORDER. By extension, us who live with bipolar illness must only be exhibiting our symptoms because we just CHOOSE not to repress them and intend to use them to control others and/or are in denial. What about everyone else with mental/emotional challenges? Where is the compassion? Nowhere to be found here.

This is bullshit and may have just nipped my joyous returning to church in the bud.

There was also a lot of talk about setting up boundaries against people like me, even though no one seems to have the least iota of respect for MY boundaries. Galatians 6:25: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ…each one should carry their own load.” I have been told more than once that this disease is my load to carry, not a serious burden that needs to be helped and shared by others. If this is true, well I suck at carrying my own load and should be “loved without rescue.”

Proverbs 19:9: “A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again.” Well all I can say to that is extreme thanks and appreciation of those wonderful people who have rescued me in the past and will do so again, because I need rescuing; I have not chosen for God to give me this disease; I am not in denial about it; and I am doing my level best to recover and not be a burden to others. So thank you for your superpowers of rescue, good loved ones, but by all means change your behavior now because this sermon has shown you that I am just a piece of crap who needs not to be helped but to be reprimanded: Matt. 18:15 ‘ir your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault.” Otherwise, you will have to rescue me again and will be an enabler of my sociopathic behavior. Yes, please confront me and point out my faults, because I don’t know that I’m a sinner and I could give a crap that I hurt you. I just sin wantonly.

That I pray for forgiveness to God, and pray forgiveness of others, apologizing to them, confessing my sin, every time it occurs, is irrelevant, for now I find that I’m actually commiting these sins of bipolar illness on purpose, for I am a crazy-maker.

I do not want to go back and listen to this pastor’s crap anymore. this is the first time I have EVER responded to a sermon that “convicted me” without being pissed off. I did not choose this. I do not use my symptoms to control others. Every time I hurt someone inadvertently I apologize. I do EVERYTHING I can not to hurt those around me to the extent that I am able. And then at church to be treated in the sermon as one to be Boundaried against because I am a bad person is just too effing much.

So- I sin now with my bitterness, my tongue, my lack of self-control, and in coming to bed so I can “govern my tongue” against saying angry words makes me also guilty of the sin of sloth and not being a good woman who “worketh willingly with her hands” (Prov. 31:13) and “girdeth her loins with strength and strengthenist her arms.” (Prov. 31: 17)

Plus, I haven’t yet found a Word condemning this yet (but I know it’s out there), yet I have taken 2 whole clonazepam tablets, knowing full well they will NOT help me with my depression or anger, but after the desire to be knocked out so I will not be governed by my bitter tongue and cause further grief to my loved ones thereby, as I do so very often.

Now I thank God for revealing this stuff and clearing my head through his Word. I should be convicted in a constructive healing way by the sermon but I am just pissed off. I have begun, after weeks of being immersed in scripture, to harden my heart again.

Prov. 28:14 “Happy is the man thart feareth alway; but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” Yay.

That being said, I do not blame God, am not mad at God, and continue to immerse myself in his Word, both to become a better person in Him and to live gracefully with my bipolar disorder. But I’m back to “screw church” sorry.

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Losing focus . .  . it is the first sign of change for the worse. It means that I am either stepping up from hypomania into irritable disorientation and rage; or slipping down into useless depression. It doesn’t take me long to figure out which. And the feeling of losing focus, which I’ve been lost in among the ravages of paralyzing depression, is a terrible thing. So, since it is my current condition, I will try to be mindful and describe the feeling.

Losing focus is trying to grasp a tendril of smoke that wasn’t smoke before. It’s anxiety producing.

It feels like . . . hmm.

Searching among fragmented paths for a way home

Fermented clouds soaking the brain

Plucking at harpstrings of dry wool

Bird bashing head against green-glass walls, while frenetic wings continue flapping

Slinky nooses around a mind of gleaming burlap in the night

My head hacked on, off, and into. . .

So . . .

If I were focused, I could make poems of these.  I wish I were.  I am trying to get there.

The rescued cat
huddles
in the old chicken coop.
Not knowing, as I do,
that it is safe.

This foolish elf
broods
in her decaying tree.
Not knowing, as God does,
what uses there may be left
in her life.

 

the tree of the whole

10/2012

 

Depression begs Jesus to ask it the question “Do you want to be healed?”

And then depression really scratches its head over that one. Because depression is a juggernaut, and it does not want to be healed, even if you do.

Praying for days, singing praises to the Lord for days, burying myself in the Bible and in scripture and no change. All day long, singing “Awesome God,” ALL DAY LONG as I sadly went about what little business I could. There really is no such thing as the patience of Job. Read it. Job bitches the whole way through until maybe the very end. I think my praises and prayers were faithless.

I knew the doors that were opening in my mind since going off mirtazapine would eventually start slamming shut again. They always tease me, get me excited that I may be getting it all back, then they always slam shut. I feel, disconnectedly, like the characters in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Zaphod without his Thinking Cap. Running through the dirt being slapped with giant flyswatters every time I say the word, “think.” My brain is dying.

I feel like I have tried just about everything. I’ve been in this funk all month, a deep, miserable depression that keeps me completely useless. Sometimes I can just go through the motions. In between bouts of crying, and lying in bed, I will get a pit-pat of worry about the horses and run out to the barn and back 40 to check on them. Or I will clean a bathroom. Or I will do the laundry and the dishes, all the while mechanical in my misery. I will help the kids with homework, but I won’t often cook for them though I’m trying to get better about it.

I may have set myself up. I tried the other day, getting along with my husband, as we cheerfully assembled the tree and “decked the halls” and wrapped a present for each of the children, put them under the tree, because one of the kids had said a day or two prior that she was depressed about Christmas, all her friends had trees and presents and everything was ready, and we had nothing. So we went all out for them while they were at school. Like an idiot, I waited eagerly for the happy looks on their faces when they got home.

Nothing. Not even a glance as the shoes were pulled off.

Well, what did I expect?? That little peak of happiness, thinking I’d really done something to pull myself out of my depression; and I had to go and ruin it by not having done it for myself, but hingeing all the success upon the unpredictable reactions of school-age kids.

Down again. ALL the way down.

Hubby and I had a huge fight next, right in front of our daughter.

Could I really be mad at them? The poor kids? My poor husband? Am I? Of course not. I see what I did there. I don’t have to hate Christmas, that is only a choice on my part. I must deck the halls, even if I have to force myself to, because I WANT THEM DECKED for ME, so I can feel happy enough to get through Christmas come Hell or high water (or in this case, a buttload of extremely cloudy days followed by a deluge of snowfall).

I pulled on my cowboy boots and my ear warmers and ran outside. “I hope I die!!!” I cried like an idiot, because I would never want to die, not do THAT to my family, even though I was determined to ride out bareback without a helmet. Riding is pure mindfulness…something I can grasp at reflexively when I have nothing else. I grabbed a bosal hackamore because I had the presence of mind not to stick a frozen bit in Zil’s sensitive Arabian mouth. Unfortunately she is an English trained horse and had never worn a bosal before. She would not even let me get on. The bosal seemed bigger than her whole face. I climbed all over the metal feeder and could not get her to stand (I’m not Legolas, god how I wish I was and could just sling aboard) but no, I’m a clutz. I probably would’ve gotten hurt, but my daughter came out and helped me on her and then climbed on her own Arab, bareback, bridleless, and we rode around the field. Zil hated the bosal, but that was because I was out of my head and not being careful enough with it. My daughter got on and what a difference. That girl can ride. And train.

I don’t know if I felt any better afterwards, after crying and crying into that mare’s mane, rubbing her and her rubbing on me, but that was the idea anyway. My healing horse and I, maybe failed each other, I don’t know. That was all yesterday anyway. Today I’ve done almost nothing. I couldn’t think of a thing to write about.

Here I sit, with nothing to say, and it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. Whether I do it, or whether I don’t do it. I just don’t care about anything, but the shit of it is that I do. Somewhere in there, I do care. I hate being bipolar. I hate that I can’t do it. I hate this feeling that I can’t know what is coming next. Maybe I need a med change but that just sounds so facile! There has got to be more to life than meds.

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