I will share my quilt

 

quilt
‘Contained’ Crazy Quilt at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Here, wrap yourself in my yesmetoo quilt made from words that pour out of my heart. Be comforted with the knowledge that you are not alone with whatever you feel. Burrow beneath the warmth from the surety that others have survived what you are experiencing.

Since I’ve started writing, I’ve learned that there are people all over the world that are very different from me yet we have shared experiences. The simple “Yes, me too!” comment is my favorite. After so many years of being told I’m crazy, stupid, or wrong, it’s comforting to know that there is at least one other person that knows exactly what I’m talking about.

So here, wrap yourself in my yesmetoo quilt whenever you need it.

She flew through the air with the greatest of ease

;Yesterday was not good, last night was worse, today is a new day. I’m grateful for a husband that loves me unconditionally and refuses to give up on me; as well as a psychiatrist that listens.

For the first time in about 20 years, I am detoxing off of all my pscyh meds with medical supervision (do not try this at home, kids). This time I will not be hospitalized, but I have written instructions from my doctor, and people that love and care about me. It has gotten to the point of feeling like I’ve been having a variety of meds constantly thrown at me as merely a stop-gap. Nothing works any longer, diagnoses change on a ridiculously frequent basis, and I’ve had enough. No, I am not ready to check out of life, I am ready to start from scratch…again. I have made promises in writing to people I know will hold me to them, and I have made a promise publicly through because I said I would. I’m covered, I keep my promises.

It’s a scary prospect, being without psych meds, like performing on the trapeze without a net; but the timing is as close to perfect as it can get. Life is good, there are no underlying personal problems to mask my brain problems like there have been in the past. Hopefully in January 2016 (how appropriate) my psych and I will be able to come up with a new treatment plan (I’ll be seeing him before then, to check in, but I don’t want to make any decisions until after the holidays). I’m sure it will involve more trial and error, but until mental health diagnostics becomes an exact science, that’s the way it’s going to have to be.

In addition to my husband and my psychiatrist, I am also grateful for the love and support I receive on a daily basis from friends (both IRL and out in the ether) and family. Please don’t worry…I will land on my feet, I always do, right?

…and because…Bob loves him some Ashley

No hiding

Shame and hiding under a rock have no place in the fight against stigma. I recently learned about a movement called because I said I would, “a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity.” It addresses integrity and holding oneself accountable. The timing was perfect, the desire to give up on life was strong. I wrote a note to myself “I will not commit suicide.” Pretty strong words? Wrong. My wonderful friend, Jill Zimmerman from Alpha Healing Arts, taught me that in order to set an intention, one has to think in terms of the intention already coming true. That rules out “will,” “can,” “should,” “want to,” and other limiting words (yes, they are limiting). So…

My life is worth living. I fight shame, stigma, and self-doubt.

I make my world a better place to live.

There, I said it “out loud.” But one more thing – I go public. I can’t be an example to others, if they don’t know I’m here.

I would love to hear what you plan to do to hold yourself accountable for bettering your life. If you’re like me and you live with mental illness, I understand it will be difficult. None of this means we have to do these things alone, there are so many tools available to those who want to change their lives and make the lives of others a little better. For me, this includes taking my meds, seeing my mental health team, eating right, exercising, and using my personal tools (writing, reading, drawing, etc); as well as jumping in to life both feet first. Some days will be just a toe in the water, but that’s ok, at least I’m still moving forward.

Thank you to all my readers (whom I didn’t know existed), who let me know that they either enjoy my blog or it gives them hope, or they read it for whatever reason. You are why I blog, and I appreciate your encouragement. (seems like I should check my stats more often!)

Just wanted you to know…

This, this is why I blog

inspire

Life with bipolar disorder CAN be good

With the help of two little pills, learning it’s ok to ask for help, increasing my activities, and Weight Watchers, I’ve dragged myself out of my depression.

I’m guessing the Trileptal has a lot to do with it, helping me to jump-start the other areas of my life that had died from the deep depression I’ve been in since October. The anniversary of my mother’s death is coming up, but I’m certain I can get through that just fine.

I’ve learned quite a bit about myself over the past couple weeks. Accepting that I’m not a failure if I ask for help was the most important, as well as learning that having bipolar disorder doesn’t have to control my life. It’s a disease, like diabetes or heart disease, and I can take care of myself by taking the right meds, eating right and increasing my activity in a fun way.

“Exercise” is one of the most unpleasant words in the English language (at least in my opinion). Learning to just increase my activity a little at a time, and in a fun way, is much more pleasant. I skip sideways and walk backwards around the house; and I took my iPod grocery shopping and danced up and down the aisles. I received a lot of stares, grins and giggles; but after all the horrific things I’ve been through, I’ve earned the right to be silly in public. Making people smile, whether they’re laughing at me or with me, helps me feel good. I’m also increasing my time on the elliptical by just one minute each day. After my surgery, I could barely get through five minutes (way before, I was doing an hour!). I’m up to 10-15 minutes, and I’m certain I’ll get up to that hour before long. Listening to podcasts or audiobooks helps the time fly by.

So I’ve learned if I keep my endorphins up by moving, ask for help when I need it, and take good care of my body (including taking my meds on time), this awful thing called bipolar disorder can be beat into remission (I highlighted that because I’m fully aware that there’s no such thing as “recovery” from this disease. I’ll probably still have some bad days, but I’ll get through them).