Archive for May, 2011

May 24, 2011

Please forgive

my absence!  I promise to start working on my blog again soon.  I am in the middle of a mini-mester (which is a full semster in 19 days).

Thanks so much for your patience!

Hugs, V

May 10, 2011

Fine tuned?

Well OK, not quite.  But my marriage and my relationship with my son just started working.  It seemed like the more I recognized what I needed to do to be OK and actually did it, the more both just seemed to work. Around the beginning of 2005 Mike asked me to start working with him.  No pressure, I could leave when I wanted to and I never had to deal with customers.

It was a win-win.  I got out of the house and he got a free part – time employee.

As most of you know I had lost a ton of weight between 2001 and 2004. And even though I had started to learn how to balance my life, I still lost more weight. It would not be until 2005 that I would really start to balance not only my life, but my weight as well. 

2005 Total weight loss – about 80 lbs.

Mike and I became not only working partners, but friends.  We started working together instead of against each other.  We learned to support each other on the rough days.  We learned to celebrate each others good days.  Our marriage just became this awesome love story.  One I had always dreamed of but never – ever thought could ever be.  Mike is my love, my hero, my friend, and my lover.  Never, did I ever believe he could be those things, not because he could not be, but because I believed for so long I could never be worth having someone so wonderful in my life.

My relationship with my son just seemed to get better as well.  No more yelling or fighting.  I was learning how to be happy, maybe for the first time and those closest to me were learning as well! I learned to be patient with my son, to understand he was a teenager, and that I was really his Mom and my job was to not be his friend or his drill Sargent but his guide.  And as a guide I could not make him follow, I could only set a path before him.  He is my pride, my joy, and my love.  He is now my guide as well as I am still his.  Being a parent is the best thing I have ever done.  And I am so glad that I figured it out before my son was grown and it was too late.

From 2005 until 2008 life seemed to just be OK.  It moved at a slower pace.  We went on vacations, to New Mexico and Canada, and life was good.  No stress! I rarely heard from my Dad.  And my Nanny was getting older and had her own health to contend with. I think she finally made peace with the lack of relationship I would ever have with my Dad.  My Dad’s cancer seemed to be in complete remission.

All was quiet!

Then in 2008 we were invited to a family reunion!

And to be honest, I was anxious – almost afraid!  I had not been on medication for several years and there had not been a true test as to how I would do without it.

What I could have never expected happened, I learned I really was going to be OK without medication.  That I really was able to control mania and depression.  And with this discovery, I made a life changing decision.

Next…. The Family Reunion!

May 6, 2011

Sleep

Sleep is by far the most important part of staying balanced.

A person who is bipolar and on their way “up” can literally break the cycle just by sleeping.

So why don’t all people who have a tendency to have highs just sleep?

1) When the brain is stressed or over tired sleep does not come easy.

2) Mania is fun, exciting, and chaotic.

3) When mania begins the brain becomes hyperactive and it is sometimes impossible to shut off the chatter in your own brain.

4) The natural response to stress is to produce adrenaline which obviously does not allow for sleep.

Once I understood how important sleep was it became my secondary goal. The first goal, however, is to reduce stress. By reducing stress, I can sleep! And by sleeping I stay balanced!

Next up….. Moving on to 2005.

Making my marriage and my relationship with my son work like a fine tuned instrument.

and

Reconnecting with my Dad.

May 3, 2011

NO!

Once a person has the ability to observe the warning signs that a manic episode is approaching they can then take action.

I am so incredibly aware of my body and my brain that, the minute I feel my jaw tighten or that I wake in the middle of the night and cannot fall back to sleep, I start relaxation techniques, I identify the source of my stress and make a note to address it after a good nights sleep, and if I cannot identify in a few minutes I make a note to attempt to identify it the next day. I literally write it down! And I follow through!

My mental health is so important to me that I will do whatever it takes to be OK. I have walked away from friendships that have become toxic, I have dropped a class that I felt uncomfortable in (as in REALLY creepy uncomfortable, I trust my gut!), I have a straight forward approach to other humans, I say what I mean, I no longer play the nice girl game (if your outfit is ugly and you ask me, I will tell you it is not flattering! If I don’t I will feel horribly guilty and be stressed!).

But the number one key to my success is learning one word. . . NO!

You can ask, but the answer is probably going to be NO!

Nothing is more important to me than me. Because if I am crazy I am good to no one, especially not to me!

Now you might be thinking, “how selfish!” Your damned right! But not near as selfish as a person who never says NO and is always overwhelmed and having a nervous breakdown on a regular basis. They give – give – give until there is nothing left. For a day, a week, a month, a year – they hold it together. Then they break. And all hell breaks loose with them!

Why do people do that? I will tell you why I did it… because I always thought something was wrong with me and I wanted people to like me! I wanted to be accepted. And I honestly believed that no one would like me for just me! I was broken and I was afraid everyone knew it. The truth was, everyone did! Not because of my past but because of my present.

Oh don’t get me wrong, people loved the fact that I was the go to person! But when I would break a little bit more they would whisper “Poor Veronica, she had a tough childhood, she can’t help it.”

Oh, yes she could and she does!

Discovering the tool – NO, has been a literal life saver!

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