Posts tagged ‘Healing’

August 31, 2013

Quitting smoking is the easiest thing you will hate that you never did!

Yep, that’s right I said it. Quitting smoking is very easy. Oh yeah you are going to have some moments where you will be like – wow I would really like to smoke right now, or uggg I feel so uncomfortable not smoking at the moment, or I feel really anxious this second…..

Right now, at the moment, this second! It passes that fast.

I have heard for years that cigarettes are harder to quit than heroin.

Withdrawal symptoms for nicotine:
Drowsiness or trouble sleeping, as well as bad dreams and nightmares
Feeling tense, restless, or frustrated
Increased appetite and weight gain
Problems concentrating

Withdrawal symptoms for heroin:
Muscle aches
Increased tearing
Runny nose
Abdominal cramping
Dilated pupils
Goose bumps

So I am thinking where in the hell did the whole fairy tale about nicotine being harder to give up than heroin come from?

I have been smoke free One month, four days, 3 hours, 59 minutes and 41 seconds. 527 cigarettes not smoked, saving $153.76. Life saved: 1 day, 19 hours, 55 minutes.

I am rockin this shit! Love being nicotine free!

January 14, 2012

Choice and consequence journal

When you write in your journal, use the words “I chose” or “I am making a choice” or “I am going to choose” and follow it with the consequences. Then follow up and see what the consequences actually were.

The key to this exercise is not just writing about the big choices but small one as well.

For one week keep track of at least ten choices a day that you make. Start with the simple stuff like I choose to brushed my teeth – the consequence of that choice is fresh breath and no cavities! Include big choices like I chose to go 65 mph in a 45 mph zone – the consequence of that choice was that I made it to work on time which relieved stress – (or) – the consequence of that choice was a speeding ticket which will cost money and create stress. Follow that up with I choice to handle this by paying the ticket right away and I choose to let it go and move on.

Take a break after your first full week. But don’t stop making the connections and conscious choices to decrease stress. Making those choices will create control over your own life!

After a break of about a week, pick your journal back up but stick to the choices that create stress using the choices – consequences journal!

I realize for someone who is not bipolar this (choices = consequences) seems like common sense, a person with bipolar disorder does not necessarily lack common sense but some people (all that I have ever met) with bipolar disorder do lack the thinking process of choice = consequences.

PS This (in my opinion) is a good exercise for anyone who does not feel control over their own life!

January 11, 2012

Don’t pull the trigger!

So what are your triggers? This was a very hard question for me to answer. I had no idea! All I knew was my life was like a boat floating in an ocean going up and down with every wave, sinking when a storm was overhead, reaching toward the surface of the water when any sign of hope appeared, but never in control what direction to go to get to true safety – the shore!

So is every wave a trigger? Are just the storms triggers? Or is the glimpse of hope a trigger? Or are all three or none of them triggers?

The best answer I could come up with, and what I found to be true, is the trigger is lack of control. Not lack of control of my environment, because like the ocean it cannot be controlled, but lack of control of my life, the boat. For whatever reason, nature or nurture or perhaps both, I never acquired the knowledge or skill to captain my own ship – my own life!

This all goes back to choices and consequences and not seeing the connection. If I steer the boat to the left, and the storm is to my right, I will miss the storm. But if I do not see the connection between the direction of my life and the storms in my life I will never steer clear of them, sadly – most people with bipolar disorder place themselves in the middle of them!

If I have not stressed the fact that the choice and consequence disconnect has been in my observation, not only in myself, but many people with bipolar disorder the trigger, then I have failed! I truly believe and, as for myself know for certain, that learning the connection between the choices we make and the consequences of those choices is the key to bipolar no more!

Life happens, life is not the trigger, it is the choices we make along the way.

I think now is the time to take a look at doing a choices and consequences journal! Next blog, connecting the dots – the line between choices and consequences.

January 3, 2012

An answer to an important question!

Yesterday I received an email with the question, “How long did it take before you knew you could be ok without medicine? And how long did the whole process take?”

Well, from the day I decided I did not want to be dependent on medication to be balanced until I had taken the necessary steps in my life to acquire balance – I would say about a year. During that year I slowly decreased my medication while working my butt off. It was a lot of give and take. When I found that I had made progress, such as handling a trigger without becoming manic or depressed, I would decrease my medication. When I made a big step, such as volunteering with a dog rescue and kept a commitment – showing up every Saturday for a whole month, I would decrease my medication. And so on! It was a process, it still is actually! I may no longer be on meds but I work every day at staying balanced. Remember, everyones journey is different, however, that it is the best part! It is YOUR journey!

Even now I am working on a huge source of stress, being a Mom – yet letting go of my adult child. I love my son so much, he is my only child, but he is a grown-up and it is time for me to let him be one. I have a choice, I can argue with him about the choices he is making, stress over every bad choice he makes, try and control his action (which never works BTW) or I can enjoy my son’s life, embrace his mistakes as his and hope that he learns from them. But if he doesn’t, accept that there is nothing I can do but love him for who he is. I have a choice, I always have a choice, and I choose to let go and love him for the man he has become. I choose to trust myself, the way I raised him, and that whatever choices he makes are his and have nothing to do with me.

So the answer to the question, “How long does the whole process take?” – is FOREVER! But it is an incredible journey!

January 3, 2012

Taking inventory step 3 – unhealthy people

We all have had, and some still have, toxic people in our lives. So now that you have made a list of the unhealthy people in your life, if you wish to truly be healthy, you must decide what to do about those people. As I have written in the past, if a person is incredibly toxic and I find myself not being able to maintain healthy boundaries, I remove that person from my life. It may seem harsh, but my sanity, my balance are what is most important to me.

For those people who are not toxic, but display unhealthy behaviors I set boundaries. I am very clear with the people in my life. I am very straight forward about my mental health and why it is important to set boundaries with people.

An example: I have a friend who really likes to party. Not all the time but she likes to party pretty hard. I have went out with her on a couple of occasions and realized how unhealthy her behavior was. Close to toxic! However, as long as I do not go out on the town with her we can be really good friends. So I have told her that, although I enjoy her friendship, I cannot go out partying with her. It took a couple of times of her asking and me saying no, but she finally gets it and no longer asks.

Again, (and I will say this over and over again) talk to your therapist about how to approach people and how to set boundaries with them.

Your choices will get better and better every time you set a boundary with a person. You will begin to see how strong you really are. You will also begin to feel healthier with every boundary you set and keep.

I hope you are doing well in this journey! And again if you have any questions or any comments please feel free to contact me! You can leave a comment here or you can contact me via email @

Now that your human inventory is complete, and in the next several blogs, I would like to address the issue of having a job and dealing with the people you work with. I will then address triggers, how to identify them and what to do about them! And soon we will work on building a support system, building self-esteem, and making a choices – consequences journal!

Love, Veronica

January 1, 2012

Brief intermission! A quick look back at 2011! And a big thank you to all of my readers!

Here is 2011 at a glance.  Again thank you to all of my readers for letting me share my story with you!  And a huge thank you to L for sharing my blog on her blog!


Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all have a fabulous 2012 and if you so desire, find recovery, health and healing this year!

Love, Veronica



The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 20, 2011

Us vs them, choices and consequences

I know I said my next blog would be how to approach your doctor, however, I came across a comment on another blog and I felt compelled to address it here – on my blog.  When I was in the full throws of bipolar depression I viewed the world and me (my mental illness) vs the world (the normal people) but I realized after reading this I never had the thought of “them” being able to choose and “myself” not being able to choose. This reinforces the need for a good therapist that is willing to help make the connection between the choices that are made and the consequences of those choices!  It can be done, however it will be some work.  Just like training a child with autism to mirror behavior or a person who suffers an injury, either at childbirth or as an adult, to learn to walk again, a person with bipolar disorder has to learn the connection between choices and consequences and learn how to make the choices that will lead to the consequences they desire.  Including the mood they desire.  I choose to be stable and have learned how to make choices that will lead to a stable life.

This is a comment on another blog I read. It is incredible insight into the disconnect between choices and consequences that people with bipolar disorder have.  (I have permission from the author ( of this comment, thanks so much for letting me use it!)

“I think the key difference between “us” and “them” is choice. A norm can choose to drink, shoot up, smoke a joint, run a marathon or whatever to change their mood, but we don’t get that choice – our mood changes of its own accord, often in response to triggers which a norm can choose to ignore. When we’re triggered by a shift in cycle or by a mood altering event, we don’t get a choice as to whether our emotions are affected – they inevitably are. We don’t get to choose not to let it get to us, or snap out of it, or put on a happy face. Sure we can try to deal with the sudden change in emotions, we can remove ourselves to prevent snowballing reactions, or we can pop a pill to calm us down, or we can use some techniques like CBT or ACT to deal with the emotions that are suddenly coursing through us. But we don’t get to choose whether we experience the reaction or not. My psychiatrist explains this using an analogy of a nerve which responds to certain triggers (which can encompass all sorts of things from multiple stimuli like musak as well as someone talking, trying to do more than two things at once, several different objects moving simultaneously in one’s visual field) and that the “normal” nerve responds a little, but in our case the response is blown out of proportion as a result of our biological predisposition. In other words we “can’t stop feeling that way when something happens” – all we can do is try to avoid a situation in which we’re triggered, deal with the feelings once they’ve occurred as best we can, and/or take something to steady us when our mood destabilises.”

Making choices and understanding the consequences can lead to a stable life.  Perhaps we “can’t stop feeling that way when something happens” , but if we can predict the outcome with some certainty by identifying the choices we made that triggers the high or low or anxiety we can modify and/or change that behavior.

Choices and consequences – learn them, understand them, identify them… the author of the comment is right – this is the difference between “us and them”!  But where he is incorrect is we can choose – we just have to learn how!

December 15, 2011

As promised, bipolar no more!

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. – Ernest Hemingway

First, I am not a doctor, a psychiatrist, a therapist, a geneticist, or a medical expert in bipolar disorder.

I am, however, an expert in being bipolar.  I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder in my early twenties.  I was medicated for years.  The list of some of the medications I have experienced is as follows: Welbutrin, Klonopin, Tegretol, Clomipramine, Thorazine, Desipramin, Depakote, Trileptal, Effexor, Elavil, Prozac, Dalmane, Halcion, Tegretol, Haldol, Lamictal, Lexapro, Lithium, Topamax, and Trazadone.  Sadly, that is not a complete list but you get the point!  Sometimes a psych would put me on several at one time; an antidepressent, an antipsychotic, an antianxiety, a mood stabilizer and the list goes on and on.

I am also an expert on not being bipolar!  Yeah, you read it right… not being bipolar!

I have not only been med free for many years but I am NOT bipolar anymore.  How can I make such an extreme statement you ask?  Well, without extreme mood swings, extreme highs and lows, in my opinion that constitutes a bipolar no more statement!

Don’t get me wrong, I realize I have a tendency, a genetic predisposition, or a history of extreme highs and lows.  But that realization helps keep me balanced.

Finding a place to start with this chapter is difficult.  Should I start with my last hospital visit. Well I already have, Part 1 God  This is a four part series where I discuss my last hospital visit.  I encourage you to read it before moving on with this chapter.

In this chapter I will walk you through every step of being bipolar no more.  I will answer any questions you have so ask away.  I will tell you what I believe is the cause of bipolar disorder and why some (most actually) people with bipolar disorder can live without medication.

One last note before I go for the evening.  Finals are over, I still have my 4.0!  School starts in a month so I am going to try and post every couple of days!  Closure is important and I, more than some, understand that!

December 11, 2011

Finals and a new chapter

This next week is the last week of school. I will be completing my AA as of next week. I never thought this time would come. Soon I will be moving on to Sam Houston State University to work on the next stage of my education. I am excited and afraid. But I have come this far and that is an awesome building block to help me move forward.

Starting next week (after finals) I am going to start a new chapter in my blog. I have been thinking about this so much and I feel it is time. I will use my break to tackle this new chapter. It will be controversial, it will probably receive some criticism, but I just feel like I am doing myself and many like me a disservice not to write it.

My next chapter, debunking the bipolar myth. The myth that every doctor will tell you – you will be sick forever and that you will always have to be medicated.

See ya next week. It is time for me to study for my finals.

October 19, 2011

Something you might want to check out…

This writer is awesome. Her words are very powerful and I encourage you to take the time to check out her blog as well

Connecting to other people who have suffered from depression, addiction, etc., and seeing how they have healed, I believe, can help you heal!


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