Battling mania while achieving life goals…

CH-bipolar

May 25th 2015
I just turned 36, the nice weather and the best months of the year for me are finally here, the good times! I’m feeling so happy and alive. It’s a bummer when one questions if they are just way too happy. A normal person wouldn’t question it and would just enjoy it to the max, but a person who is Bipolar will think this very thought. Is it too much?

It’s here, the 2 weekends I have been looking forward to since Fall! I will completing my 1st Half Marathon this coming Sunday! I will then take it easy for 5 days and then walk 39 miles over 2 days for my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer! Legs don’t fail me now, I need you oh so much!

This time around the medals are really just an added bonus because even if I wasn’t getting a medal I would still be completing these 2 accomplishments for the mere fact of being able to do them and crossing that finish line because I challenged myself. I want to show myself I can do it, I’ve been training for 3 months. I have dedicated myself to running since March and fundraising like crazy since October.

I signed up for the half in September not even knowing if I would be ready and able to complete it. At that point the most I had run was a 10K, 6 miles. As soon as I hit the registration button my nerves began getting the best of me. I knew I wouldn’t be running it alone and that in itself made it less scary. I will be completing my half with my friend Nora. It isn’t her first half but she’s still a bit nervous as any typical runner. She assures me I am ready!
I am completing my breast cancer walk with my friend Hilda who has battled cancer herself. It means the world to me that I will be completing these achievements with friends. It will be her first time walking and I’m proud she took on the challenge with me. This will be my 2nd time completing the Avon walk for Breast cancer.

“High” James Blunt

Beautiful dawn – lights up the shore for me.
There is nothing else in the world,
I’d rather wake up and see (with you).
Beautiful dawn – I’m just chasing time again.
Thought I would die a lonely man, in endless night.
But now I’m high; running wild among all the stars above.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe you remember me.

Beautiful dawn – melt with the stars again.
Do you remember the day when my journey began?
Will you remember the end (of time)?
Beautiful dawn – You’re just blowing my mind again.
Thought I was born to endless night, until you shine.
High; running wild among all the stars above.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe you remember me.

Will you be my shoulder when I’m grey and older?
Promise me tomorrow starts with you,
Getting high; running wild among all the stars above.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe you remember me

I love when I hear a song in a movie, an episode of a show or on the radio, and the lyrics speak to me. So much so that I then have to look up the song to see who sings it and play it again countless times because I really like it. Yup I do that, I just did with this James Blunt song “High”, I was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I suspected it was him singing and I’m sure I had heard the song long ago but I’ve replayed it over 5 times now.

Makes me think of my journey with this Half and walk, it’s as remarkable as a beautiful dawn. I signed up for these events a number of months ago. They aren’t here just yet, but I am already experiencing the joy of them because they are so near. I will be experiencing a natural high running among the stars when I cross those finish lines.
Who will be my shoulder when I’m grey and older? I don’t know for how long I will have my parents, my sisters have their own families and I don’t know if I will be fortunate to find love in this life time. I have hope. Sometimes I think I’m on the verge of losing hope, but I refuse to go there. I just won’t admit defeat because I don’t like losing. I will not accept failure and throw in the towel. The day I lose hope, what would I be left with? My heart in my hand and a consumption of sadness, of feeling alone in the world. No I won’t go there, instead I do my best to keep the hope alive.
I thought just yesterday my 20 year old sister tells her boyfriend of a year that she loves him and I have yet to say those words at the age of 36. I find it interesting, is it somewhat sad that I haven’t or does it simply mean that I don’t utter those 3 special words to just any random guy I cross paths with. I prefer to believe the latter.

simple-complicated

Because of the manic atmosphere I”m currently in I found this helpful from Dr. Wes Burgess’ excellent book, The Bipolar Handbook.

Four Stages of Bipolar Recovery

Stage I: Accepting that there is something wrong with you that requires treatment. Affirmation: “I am not perfect.”

Stage II: Accepting that you must take medication and make sacrifices every day to maintain your health. Affirmation: “I do not always know what is best for me. I must follow rules that I did not make up.”

Stage III: Accepting that you truly have a disease called bipolar disorder that will never go away. Affirmation: “My life will not be flawless, but I will work to ensure that my life is good.

Stage IV: Making a lifetime commitment to learn all you can about bipolar and taking responsibility for the details of your health at all times. Affirmation: “I cannot rely on fate. I will take responsibility for myself and create my own destiny.”

It has taken me a long time to be able to accept that I have this lifelong illness. I really can’t pick which of these has been the easiest to accept, I don’t think any of them have. For the longest time I didn’t know what was wrong with me, no one knew, it took a long time to be diagnosed. I have never thought I was perfect and I do not like to have pity parties, but I had to realize that I do have it a bit tougher than others and because of that it is ok to be a work in progress. I have accepted that I am Bipolar, that I have a mental illness, and just recently have been able to open up about it with others.

I do not want to feel ashamed, I shouldn’t feel ashamed, because this is out of my control. It bums me out that this is lifelong and that I was dealt this card. I think about being Bipolar every day and I find it interesting that although I have a scar down my chest from open heart surgery, I think more about being Bipolar than being a Zipper Club Member. I’m so active and have been fortunate in the fact that my heart is strong, so it makes sense to think that my mental health takes up more of my thoughts.

No one else sees the signs of my mania, although I believe they can better recognize the signs when I’m depressed. So if I get fully manic, those around me will see it, but they won’t know how out of control it is or how to tend to it that doesn’t involve admitting me to a hospital. I am not only my mom’s health advocate, (she is also Bipolar), but my own. I am responsible for my health, my doctor appointments and taking my medication, no one else will take care of this and I rather be able to do it myself because I’m so independent and thankfully I’m able to do it.

Just last year I finally started reading up more on this mental illness. For the longest time I didn’t want to know anything about it, I figured what do I need to know, I live it on a daily basis, that already made me somewhat of an expert in my eyes. I finally realized it didn’t hurt to learn about it and be better prepared in fighting its demons, so I joined an online forum, I’m emailed articles, and have read a couple of books. My goal is to also join a support group where I feel comfortable sharing and understood. It is better to know what I’m dealing with, being knowledgeable is good, it will help me keep the upper hand.

My life has bumps, a lot of them, and it bugs the hell out of me at times because it will always be this way. I will have good days and really shitty awful low days with this illness. All I can do is take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Some days it’s ok to be in survival mode until I gather enough strength to say you know what “Fuck you, I’m stronger than you and you will not get the best of me today! I can kick your ass!

I am my worst critic but I’m also doing a better job these days of being one of my best cheerleaders! My half marathon and my 39 mile walk will be accomplishments I’ve achieved with sweat, hard work, and dedication so for that reason I will be so proud of myself because it shows that I can win against my mental illness. I’m much more than my illness. I am so much stronger and my life will be remarkable because I am seeing to it that it is!

happy,laugh,live,love,rainbow,smile-7c322733f4cf091439a9690f82aecb43_h

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