In November 2006, I decided to take a major writing challenge. November is National Novel Writing Month, and at that point I thought writing a novel in 30 days would be a snap. After all, I wasn’t sleeping more than a few hours a night, and my brain was basically revved up all the time anyway. So I began on November 1st, having planned absolutely nothing in the way of plot, setting or characters. This was to be a total stream-of-consciousness activity (as was my whole life back then. Who needs thoughtful reflection? Just slows you down!)...more
I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a daughter. I am a friend. I am the person you may bump into accidentally in the grocery store. I am unassuming. There is nothing physically prominent about me that makes me stand out. To look at me is to see any plain Jane. That is who I am. BUT, what you can’t see is that I have bipolar disorder, and at any time, it rears it’s ugly head....more
We all know it's a bad idea to stuff your feelings, especially if you then pile food or alcohol on top of them.The thing is, sometimes you need to suppress a feeling, for just a little while, in order to get through a difficult situation. When that happens, I put my feelings in a box.Here's an example. My father was dying, and had only days to live. We all knew it. My mother, who didn't drive, asked me to take her shopping for something to wear at his funeral. "Do you mind if I don't wear black?" she asked. "If you don't mind that I do," I replied....more
Every article you see about self-care for bipolar disorder will tell you, Get enough rest or Get enough sleep.Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. – Thomas DekkerBut what did Thomas Dekker know? For many of us, proper, beneficial sleeping is easier said than done.Even with my prescribed Ambien and Ativan, I've done the wide-awake-at-3:00-don't-get-to-sleep-till-5:30 thing. And the unsettled-from-nightmares-afraid-to-go-to-sleep thing. (Also the just-one-more-chapter thing, but that's my own fault.)...more
On the extremely off chance that you ever see me out, just know that I am probably waiting for it to be over. If you acknowledge me, I will probably respond in a series of fragments I’m trying to pass off as small talk while I’m actually busy drowning in a sea of self-doubt. Does that sound melodramatic? Good. Because I am melodramatic. Public Domain Image via Pixabay ...more
When you’re recovering from an anorexia relapse, there are both visual and spatial components involved in the weight restoration adjustment period. Experiencing, and dealing with, a new, larger body feels difficult and distressing.Through each recovery interval, I've struggled with the discomfort of both elements. Of the two, I find visual stimulus more triggering. Even as a starving skeleton, I would not, could not accept myself....more
I don't claim to speak on behalf of everyone who suffers from depression. It's a tremendously personal illness, and over the years I've noticed that those of us in the "depression camp" cope in very different ways. How we interact with our closest friends or partners is particular to each of us.
Our reaction to those around us might be influenced by the nature of our illness (whether we also suffer from anxiety, for example) as well as the ways in which we've learned to cope (whether with the support of others or without).
I cannot overstate how alienating and distressing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be. By definition, OCD is an anxiety disorder that produces intrusive thoughts that lead to excessive feelings of uneasiness and apprehension. These feelings are so intolerable, that sufferers are compelled to act on certain behaviors or rituals to help mitigate their torturous thoughts....more
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