In Bipolar Fashion Corner Boutique!

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Pictured above is a Tosha Maaks original designed T-Shirt Available only at the In Bipolar Fashion Corner Boutique!

The In Bipolar Fashion Corner Boutique is your one stop shop for all your mental health recovery care needs. Whether it be a witty T-shirt or a favorite flavor of tea while doing your self-care you will be able to find it at the In Bipolar Fashion Corner Boutique. So come on in and have a look around you never know what you may find that you just can’t live with out!

Pictured below is a bracelet featured at the In Bipolar Fashion Corner Boutique!

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“Positive Vibes”

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“Smile and the world smiles with you if you frown you frown alone” a simple saying that I was told my whole life. I had no clue what this saying truly meant when I was a freshman writing it on the board for the quote of the day because the teacher had forgotten to write a quote yet I felt the board needed her daily quote and since I wasn’t particularly smart that was the only thing I could come up with. It was a saying my mom would say to me when I would walk around the house saying, “I’m bored” and whine and cry because I wanted something to do. Not so different than I do now, meaning I still have ADHD and bipolar disorder and I still get really bored and whine and cry about it, only I am a grown up now. Today someone told me the same quote as I laughed about the fact that my smile is authentic, and I often keep a smile on my face these days even when facing depression.

It was about two years ago that I realized the need to cut people out of my social circle when they had a negative influence on my positive vibe due to the fact that the effect my moods because of me having bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day to day activities. I had made a good friend within a group of friends my husband and I had begun hanging around. She and I had started to go shopping on weekdays and go to lunch, sometimes her boyfriend would join us and it was fun at first.

I then started to notice she would get lost in thoughts about her relationship with him and that she would often time be lost wondering if he loved her or often times if he even liked her. On one occasion her and her boyfriend and my husband and I went to dinner and somehow I was very upset by the end of the dinner about another person within our social circle because of her boyfriend as we say “stirring the shit pot” purposely to cause trouble. On another couple occasions I started to notice how he complained about the service everywhere we went to eat or where he stayed if it was a hotel in order to get something for free or at a discount, nothing was ever done right or good enough for him and I finally separated myself from their friendship due to the negativity that came out of their mouths and the influence they had on my moods.

Everyone has a bad day. Everyone is entitled to a bad day. I am more than willing to give everyone the benefit of a bad day or a bad week. However, this was obviously his personality and she was a part of him and she was wanting to be with him and I knew I couldn’t handle him and his negative personality without it affecting me and my moods. I had a choice to make. My choice was clear.

I had to choose to not have that negative influence in my life. I can only have him in my life in small doses. I was sad to have to cut out my friend but I knew that it was better for my state of mind not to have the negativity in my life. Even having someone who is mostly depressed all the time as she was is difficult for me. If they have more good days then bad I can handle it but otherwise, I will find myself struggling to be their friend because it begins to bring my mood into a downside as well.

Last year I was given the opportunity to become a Certified Recovery Support Specialist which is something I thought I wanted more than anything. I have always wanted to teach others how to find their way into recovery. I still do. However, what I learned is there is a lot of times I would be given a client who was still not ready to be in recovery. They were still in the depression phase of the illness and they weren’t willing to do the work to get better. I struggled every day as I listened to them tell their stories and poured out their hearts and I would many times cry with them. I would leave my position every day feeling drained and overwhelmed. I quickly decided that wasn’t a job I could do. I could not handle that job. I wanted something that left me feeling good every day not leaving me feeling sad. Crisis intervention was not for me.

Again I learned that I needed to be around positivity in order to keep my self in a good mood. I have to keep my environment happy. Otherwise, I have a mess on my hands. What about you do you make sure to cut toxic people out of your life when you meet them? Do you protect your mind from the negative things that threaten it? How do you make sure to keep your mind safe from negative influences in this world?

Feeding the Homeless

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I saw a post on facebook about how the pizza chain Little Ceasers put a sign in the window of their store for a homeless person to stop going through their trash. It starts off where you think you are going to get mad but as you finish reading the sign, you are overcome with joy as you realize the sign is telling them that they are a human being and to please come inside and they will offer them a couple of slices of hot pizza and a glass of water no questions asked. That no person should have to go through the trash for food. As I read the sign I was so moved that I found myself placing my hand over my heart and letting out a large sigh.

I then proceeded to read the comments

I then proceeded to read the comments. I didn’t, however, read them for very long, because I was so upset by the ignorance that I was blindsided by. I cannot believe that in this day in age that so many people are so ignorant to the fact that there is so much more to the issue of just homelessness than just “get a job”.

To look at me you would think I am very capable of holding down a job. It seems like a very reasonable thing. I am high functioning and very smart, coherent most of the time. I am a good worker when I do work. I have many skills and when I go to work I am on time and I do what I am told to do. I am normally placed in management positions shortly after I become an employee. I excel fast and I move at a fast pace and can multi-task and I do wonderful normally for about a year to a year and a half at most jobs. Then the delusions set in.

My workplace delusions will be of other co-workers or my boss being out to get me. They all want me fired. I just know it. That will lead to me keeping a scorecard and to a lot of undue stress. Eventually, I start being careless and missing steps in my position. The write-ups begin and before I know it my work life as well as my personal life starts to unravel.

This isn’t just a scenario that has played out once

This isn’t just a scenario that has played out once, but a scenario that has played out several times over many years over and over and over again and I am a high functioning person with a severe type of mental illness. Take a person who has a severe type of mental illness and may not be high functioning. Maybe they hear voices all day long when my delusions are raging like they have been recently there is no way I could try to work as well. I can not imagine it.

For someone to claim “maybe they should just get a job” is the most heartless thing a person can say. They have obviously never sat with someone while they were experiencing delusional thoughts or experienced delusions themselves. Mental illness is so much more than just feeling sad. Bipolar Disorder is so much more than just mood swings or being moody. There is so much more to it than “just get a job”.  This country needs to wake up and help those of us in need. People are homeless because they don’t have the support system at home that is needed to survive so they only have the streets and if as a fellow human being they can’t turn to you who can they turn too!

It’s a choice

This Little Ceaser’s made a choice to do something good for a fellow human being. A good thing for someone in need. If every fast food chain, the ones that were in the green and making a good profit did the same and tried to give even two meals away because we know you throw at least that many away a day. If they could just give two meals away a day. It could end hunger in this country among the homeless. Instead, we have greed.

Doing What I Know

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I am having a very difficult time forgiving myself lately for having bipolar disorder. Even though I know it isn’t something I can help having. I feel like when the delusions are raging and the disease is out of control it is at my own doing that things are falling apart. As if it is all in my control and there is a magic button that will make all the bad parts of this disorder disappear if I just do everything I am supposed to.

Fortunately, that is how it works a majority of the time. If I take care of myself and do the things I lay out for myself in what I call my bipolar care plan I normally don’t have any slip-ups and if I do they are very minor slip-ups and they don’t take but a little tweak and I am back on routine without question.

 I have experienced a major relapse episode of mania

Recently though, I have experienced a major relapse episode of mania. That episode has now put me into a questionable position of being in a mixed state. A mixed state in bipolar is where you are still experiencing symptoms of your mania like some of your inability to sleep, your agitation, irritability, some of your focus, and many other of manias characteristics but you are clearly in a deep depression and not euphoric at all.

 Mixed states are the most dangerous times for those of us living with bipolar disorder. When someone with bipolar disorder is in a mixed state that is most often when they will take action on their threats of suicide and turn the threats into an actual attempt on their life. Most of the time when someone is in a mixed state they are also feeling like they have no will to live at the same time. If they do feel like they have a will to live it will be a last minute decision to take their life and act on the feeling and because it is something they have thought long and hard on in the past they already knew how they would go about taking their life if they even thought they would do so.

 It has been since 2008 since I wanted to take my life

Let me be clear. It has been since 2008 since I wanted to take my life. It has only been in the last 3 months that the thought of suicide has even returned to my thoughts. I had not thought about suicide in so long I thought I was free from ever having thoughts like that again. This disease is a nasty beast. It sucks the will to live out of you because you just want the pain and delusions to stop. You just want to stop hurting everyone else. You just don’t want everyone to hurt because of you anymore. I know that my stopping my hurt in that matter would actually do more harm than good. I would never take my own life. I can’t lie though and say I am not thinking about it again and that once again I am not suicidal. I am. I very much am. I, however, promise you even though I am thinking about it. I do not have a plan in place and I am not going to act on it.

I need to get myself back to a place of recovery and wellness. Bipolar Care plan 101: Step 1: Self-Care; today I went to get a pedicure and to get my nails done at 2:30 I will walk to the gym and jog. I have set a goal to get back to running again, I would like to actually find a 5K and run it with my husband. That seems pretty lofty but manageable. I don’t know how he feels about that, but I like the idea of us doing it together. Once I get through Step 1: Self-Care. I never stopped Step 2: Medication, I kept that up the entire time.

I am one of the lucky ones

I am one of the lucky ones I have said this a million times. I have support. The support of my husband who loves me unconditionally and the support of the rest of my family and friends. I am blessed. Bipolar sucks. If I have to have it, at least I am lucky enough to have it with people around me that love me. Thank you to each of you that take the time to love me, check on me, and send me messages, it doesn’t go unnoticed, I love each of you and you mean so much to me. I am more of a person because of each of you.

Remaining Mindful

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When I am going through a deep depression for some reason, I have a hard time practicing what I preach to others. I constantly talk about how important self-care is, but now that I am myself, going through a deep depression and I am to get myself out of it I am realizing the fact that what I have let go is my self-care. I have spent the last 4 years taking care of myself. It is the reason I didn’t work. So that I can tan, go to the gym, get my nails done, do my hair, clean my house, do my meditation, clear my mind, write, and do the things that I need to do to take care of me. Over the last five months I have lost sight of all those things and here I am thinking I want to go back to work or school when I can’t even get through the day without letting the delusional thoughts taking over my mind.

Delusional thoughts for me right now are my biggest struggle. I hate them. They consume me when my thoughts are bad. If I start off in a good state of mind during the day, it’s not a problem but if I start off in a bad mood or if I get triggered by something the delusional thoughts will begin and they snowball into a huge issue that wasn’t needed. I am working on being mindful again when those are starting.

Being mindful of them means knowing the thought is not real

Being mindful of them means knowing the thought is not real and recognizing that the thought is something that I am making up. No matter how real it may feel. An example is my husband not loving me correctly. My husband loves me very much and he expresses his love for me in his own ways. He always has. Through his support. By our bond, by our cuddling and the time he wishes to spend with me. I have never not felt loved by him. However, one of my love languages is when someone puts thought into something and buys something with me in mind or plans something for me. I am totally touched by those efforts and I love those things. It makes me feel special and totally adored and loved. He however isn’t that sort of person, does it mean he isn’t loving me correctly, well know he just loves me differently. I however feel a need isn’t being met with in me. I wish he could bend a bit with this, but it isn’t something I think he will ever be able to do. He does when things are good buy me a rose from time to time. Its been hardly ever now days. However, he does do it. I miss him doing it more often. It meant a lot more to me when he did it.

Just writing this blog is triggering to me because I feel myself getting triggered. I feel myself going into the delusional thought that he doesn’t do enough for me. When the man loves me in other ways. The man makes sure my medications are picked up every day and every time for me. He makes sure that they are put out every day and, in the right amounts, every day for me, to keep me safe. If I need anything he is there. He will hold me as I cry during a delusional break down because they just won’t stop. Not truly understanding what is happening but knowing I am hurting and that is all he needs to know to hold me and let me cry on his shoulder. Many men would walk away at a time like that.

I am a lucky girl; I am a blessed girl

I am a lucky girl; I am a blessed girl and sometimes I forget how good I have it. For 21 and a half years I have had a partner who has stood by me and fought with me against this disease and let me stay at home while he goes to work to provide for us at a job with good insurance so that I can have good medical care to fight against this. I have it so good and I am so thankful for my husband.

I need to start treating him like I am thankful for him again. I need to remind him that I am blessed to have him and that he is my world. I would be nothing without him. He is my world. I am so glad to have him in my life and I think I should stop thinking about how he doesn’t love me and remember about all the ways he does love me. It is really about perspective. Our lives are different than many other people’s lives, because of bipolar disorder. Not that it’s all bad because of bipolar disorder but our lives are just never going to be like everyone else’s lives. That’s just going to have to be OKAY!