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Donations for Tosha’s Advocacy Efforts

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PayPal Donations

Recently I have been denied my social security for the final time after already not working and not having an income for over three years and depending on my husband and my in laws solely to take care of me. Working in a traditional work environment isn't an option for me due to the fact that psychosis sets in each time I try to work in a normal work environment and my advocacy work is what I have that I am trying to make an effort to make an income at. If you could make a small donation towards my efforts it would be greatly appreciated. I work daily to provide content to continue to raise awareness on bipolar disorder and mental illness and I will not quit. If you like my work will you please donate! Even ten dollars can help me keep the lights on and food on the table!

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My Delusions and My Husband

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Even when you think you are well recovery can take a turn and bite you in the ass and remind you that bipolar disorder must be thought about first and foremost. Sometimes I forget that I must put my disorder before everything else in my life. I must make sure that I put my bipolar care plan before I do anything else, which means that sometimes I may miss out on other things in my life that I may enjoy doing. It bothers me a lot. I, just like everyone else wants to go about my life as normal as I can be. However, if I don’t pay attention to what time I take my medication, pay attention to what time I go to bed, or how much sleep I get, if I don’t make sure I get some exercise and some sun, I could end up going manic or end up in a deep depression. My care plan is in place to keep me from having an episode and it is there to keep me safe.

I have a fear of being alone. This last two months my husband and I have been fighting an awful lot. We hadn’t done much fighting in the last five years. The problem is me. I have let my delusional thoughts take back over my mind because I have been fighting them so hard in another area of my life. I either need to learn how to control these delusional thoughts all together or I need to rid myself of the situation because my marriage needs to come first.

Delusional Thoughts are Overthinking

Delusional thoughts are basically overthinking. It is where your mind makes up so many thoughts that are so far from the truth about a situation that you start believing the own lies you have made up in your mind. For me, that means that I create problems where they don’t exist in the relationships in my life.

Some of the people in my life know how to shut those thoughts down for me very well and learned how to in a short time period, to do so with ease and I am now frustrated with my husband because he doesn’t have the skill set to be able to do the same for me. Sometimes all I need is to be reminded I am over thinking and that I am thinking too much. Sometimes I need a distraction or a good thought to move me away from the bad thoughts I am currently experiencing. Regardless, I am currently struggling because the thoughts have become so overwhelming.

Delusional thoughts have taken over. Mindfulness is going to take some practice again and I am going to have to remember to not say anything for now, because everything I try to talk to my husband about seems accusatory to him. I know I can’t try to actually discuss anything with him for now about my emotions or feelings on any matter. I am just going to have to let things be for now, and let my thoughts be my thoughts. I will have to take too here and my personal blog to write about what my thoughts are.

Suicidal Thoughts Resurfaced

Sometimes, just getting my thoughts on the screen can make all the difference in the world. It can ease my mind and make it easier to digest. When I am feeling delusional I get suicidal. Which is very difficult for me to handle because I don’t feel suicidal any other time. Only when I am truly manic and going through a true psychosis. Yesterday was the first time in almost 12 years that I begged for death. It was something I haven’t experienced in a long time and a thought that hasn’t crossed my mind for many years but as the delusions got harder to fight the only way I could think to end them was to take my own life. It was the only way out. That is the scariest feeling in the world.

Today looks brighter and I feel stronger and I have more hope today. My delusions have stopped for now. I have mindfulness at the forefront and I am keeping my self-care in mind. Bipolar care recovery is what I do best and rebuilding is what I know. Here is to a fresh start once again.

What Mania Looks Like to Me

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What is a grandiose idea in bipolardisorder? Most people believe that’s something like believing you are Jesus or a superhero. I have had bipolar disorder for most of my life and never experienced such feelings. I never understood what it could feel like until recently. I was reading an article one day and started to see a much clearer picture of what it looked like from my perspective.

Like a lot of people with bipolar I disorder, I tend to gravitate toward the manic side of things. I spend a lot of time in a hypomanic state.

I have a very creative side to me. I start projects that I usually don’t finish, and sometimes I talk about household projects that never even get started. In other words, I talk a lot. So much, in fact, that my husband has learned to just let me ramble about what it is I want to do to the house. He knows it won’t come to be because I won’t actually save the money to do the project. I laugh now when I think of my most recent redecorating project. Thankfully, my husband knew once again that I wouldn’t get to do the project because of lack of funds.

I have four boys, all teenagers. I am a young mom who loves glitz and glamour. I honestly thought I was going to paint my living room silver and gray with a hot pink trim and then hang sayings on the walls such as “reach for the sky” and “live, laugh, love” in gold glitter. I thought I would do it right away because the urge was killing me.

After about two weeks, once the mania wore off, I realized that this was my way of grandiose thinking. I seriously thought that, in a house with four teenage boys, I would have hot pink trim in the living room. I was so glad I didn’t do it! How embarrassed would my kids have been to have their friends over to a house with pink trim on the walls?

After speaking with my husband, I realized that not all grandiose ideas are the same for everyone. I never thought I had experienced them, but I just experienced them differently from other people. I have a great grasp on my reality most of the time. Sometimes when my creative side comes to life, I get these grand ideas that I believe will make all the crazy thoughts disappear. With this revelation I was once again reassured that I had the right diagnosis.

Mania can strike me even when I am in recovery. A late night out, a missed dose of medication, or another trigger I don’t even know yet could all set me up for a manic episode. I often have grand ideas that cause tension in my family. One time I even went back to school for theater, of all things. I truly believed I could become an actress or do the makeup on set. I truly thought I could leave my family for six months at a time. I have never spent more than four days away from my husband, and we have been married for almost 19 years. The thought makes me cringe now, but during the mania it all made sense.

Grandiose ideas are not the same for everyone. Not everyone believes they are the Second Coming of Christ. I believe I can become someone I can’t or believe I can create something beautiful in my house that isn’t actually beautiful. It doesn’t mean that my mania isn’t as extreme; it actually means that it makes it more unrecognizable. I have to be on my toes often about my feelings, I never know when I am going to have an idea that will tell me I am already in full-blown mania.

Kindred Spirits

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kindred spirits

As a mentally ill person, I try to surround myself with others who have mental illness, particularly bipolar disorder. Since I am always talking, I find that I am normally asking “do you do this too?” questions. Recently my “do you do this too” question was “I hate to shower. Do you hate them as badly as I do?” The answer I got was a very certain “yes.”

Then I felt better that I can’t stand to shower. I do it because it would be wrong not to. However, it takes a lot out of me to do so. I truly get in the shower and cringe. It makes me uncomfortable and I try to talk myself through them.

Often I only wash my hair weekly. I have longer hair and it is very thick. Washing it takes extra effort and I don’t normally have the energy to wash it each day. Since it is so long and thick, it takes forever to dry and it never lays flat unless I blowdry it. Again, extra effort I don’t have the energy to do. I have learned that if I put my hair in a ponytail and put it in a plastic cap that it will stay dry and I won’t need to wash it.

I often find myself putting my showers off until the last moment. The weird thing about it is, I am very particular about my looks. I am always in the perfect outfit and my makeup gets mentioned by everyone I meet. I often get told I am the picture of perfection when it comes to fashion and makeup. Oftentimes, because of the way I look, others don’t know I have mental illness of any kind, let alone a severe mental illness such as bipolar 1 with ADHD, an anxiety disorder, and a binge eating disorder. I put on a good front, even though other times I am falling apart on the inside.

Showering for someone like myself seems like something that would come easy. If my looks and outward appearance mean so much to me, you would think that I would care about a shower. I don’t, though. I still hate them. It’s a task I wish I didn’t have to do.

I always ask others with bipolar disorder if they hate showers as much as I do. I feel validated when they say yes. I know being bipolar that I am often from others. Many times I feel like I can’t connect to anyone. I feel like when I ask my “do you do this too?” questions, that I am connecting with someone and I don’t feel so strange. It is never fun to feel like the odd man out. I get the chance to feel normal when I am around others with bipolar. By comparing notes and asking questions about their symptoms it gives me a sense of being like someone else. I don’t often get the chance to feel that.

I know that something as simple as a shower doesn’t seem like much to connect about. I wonder if others with bipolar feel the same thing when they are feeling as abnormal as I do most of the time. Sometimes for me talking to others with the disorder makes me feel as if I am a part of something bigger. It makes me remember that I am not so strange after all.

I am always going to be a person who asks “do you do this too?” questions. That way I am able to let others know they aren’t that weird either. Those of us with bipolar disorder often feel alone in this world. By talking to others I have learned I am not as different as I think. I hope because I am open with them they realize they are not that different, either.

My Bipolar Care Plan: A 3 Legged Stool

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how I cope with manic depression

I often find myself putting other people I meet who have bipolardisorder into two clearly different categories. Either they are like myself and they are manic, or they tend to have depression more of the time. For me, if I have depression, it is normally mixed in with feelings of regret of what has happened in the past. I try hard to not dwell on the past.

As a person with mania, there are many things that I feel are different for me than for other people. For instance, I tend to have manic rage and manic anger. I have manic disappointment as well.

The main thing to remember is when I use the word manic you could also use the word extreme or over the top. I have extreme rage and extreme anger. It would be something that would be measured on a scale of one to ten and would top off way over the ten mark. So high it would be off the chart. My anger matches no one else’s I have ever met. However, in the same respect, I love with the same passion. Mania doesn’t just go one way.

Mania also gives me happiness. Sometimes I can’t even get past the joy I feel. It can be overwhelming. I will feel on top of the world and like I can take it on. The best part is the creative juice that flows from me when I feel like that. It is like words and art flow freely from me and I can’t stop the creativity no matter how hard I try. It is the most amazing thing in the world.

Trying to find balance in the world when you are bipolar is a hard challenge. I have to have strict discipline with my bipolar care plan. My plan is like a three legged stool: if one leg falls my whole plan falls apart.

The first leg is my compliance. I have to take my medicine regularly. I have to not do drugs or drink alcohol. I have to sleep on a regular schedule. I always stay mindful of my moods. I have to take time out when I feel stress. I have to know when I need to step back. I need to know when to call the doctor. My compliance is the most important leg.

The second leg is my medical staff. I have to keep appointments with my psychiatrist and my therapist. I have to be honest with them. Keeping a great relationship with them is important.

The third leg of my stool is my family support system. Family isn’t necessarily just blood relatives. In my support groups I refer to us as family all the time, and we support each other. My husband is my lifeline. I know he is and I tell him thank you often for dealing with me and my illness. He has compassion for me and has known me at my best and at my worst. He has made this balance easier to accomplish.

This three-legged stool is how I make sure to stay balanced throughout my world. If you can put these in place in your world maybe you can find this balance I have learned to accomplish. I don’t have many times that I have that extreme manic anger or manic rage anymore. I don’t experience many manic disappointment episodes anymore. My manic highs do not go over the top very often anymore. Between my family support system, my medical staff and my own mindfulness I am able to know when to make adjustments in my bipolar care plan. I hope you can too.

My Health Above All Else!

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Life is all about balance, and as a person with bipolar disorder it is not something I am good at.

I struggle finding the balance in my life whether it be with my personal relationships or my work life. I struggle more than the normal person would but that’s because guess what? I am not normal.

Let me say that again in case I didn’t make it clear enough. I am not normal! And guess what? I am okay with that. In fact, it is something I have learned to love about myself. My individuality has come to be something I cherish.

God broke the mold the day he made me

One of my good friends of about 15 years said the other day on Facebook that God broke the mold the day he made me. While I don’t know about my belief in the whole “God” thing, I totally appreciate that what my dear friend Rhonda meant was there is no one else in the world like me. She went on to say that she was glad to call me her forever friend.

How lucky can one girl be to have friends who know you are one of a kind?

I joke and say that I am the person you have to apologize for before you introduce them, but my true friends say that is what is so fun about me. Listening for what comes out of my mouth, because you just never do know. I admit, I am very unpredictable at times. Being bipolar I normally say what is on my mind and what I am thinking.

Normally, not all of it should be said. Some of what I say should be kept to myself but I don’t have the ability to do it. I am so honest that I don’t know how not to say certain things; sometimes I wish I did. I have no filter and I just can’t help myself.

I have this obsessive need to be liked by everyone

I have often gotten myself into a lot of terrible pickles because of the things I have said. Sometimes I say things that may not be so nice in order to make someone feel better about themselves or in order to make them like me more.

I have this obsessive need to be liked by everyone and will go to great lengths to be liked by almost anyone. Normally, this doesn’t work out in my favor. I try hard not to talk badly of others but I have found that if I am around others who are bipolar and have a negative outlook – or are a gossiper – I will tend to also do the same.

I sometimes have to remember I can’t allow myself to hang around people with this type of personality. Since I know that I will go into that sort of behavior when I am around those types of people, I don’t think of myself as a person who is in the wrong when I cut these types out of my life. I consider myself smart.

I think to know yourself well enough to be mindful of the personalities that don’t blend well with your own is a wonderful thing. If others can’t respect that then it becomes their issue and not your issue.

I believe this is a form of protecting myself

I believe this is a form of protecting myself. I have a lot of friends who love me and know the great person I am. Unfortunately, every now and then there are people who come into your life and you start to have a mood swing. Then when you do and have to reevaluate the situation and do what is right for you and the others in your life they may make you feel as if you are doing something wrong. Remember you are taking care of yourself, and when you have bipolar disorder sometimes putting yourself first is a form of self-care.

We all know that self-care is highly overlooked and not done often enough. I have to remember it is in my and my family’s best interest to take care of my health above all else.