Woman wanting to strengthen relationships with other women

female friends2I am a woman in her 40s, happily married to a wonderful man for almost 20 years, but beyond that fact I also need to connect more fully with others, especially women.  It’s been quite a long time since I had a close relationship with a woman outside of my immediate family. It’s a fact I want to further examine, and a goal I want to pursue. Continue reading

Pluck me from this horrid place

key in door

Pluck me from this horrid place that I have lived in for so long. No, not from my literal home with you, my love, but from the jail of its inner rooms.

You know the jail itself is solely in my brain. Outside with you are miles of beauty. And yet you only ever look through my jail window at me, saturated by grey and black. Though I do see a glimpse of the outside beauty past your face, it seems surreal and distant. Your face looks sad and frustrated. I kiss it through the jail window, but we both want more. Continue reading

Sensory overload

curtains drawn

So today’s WordPress blog daily word prompt is “sunny”. I’m afraid, folks, that I am feeling far from sunny today. Grief fills my heart, mind and soul and everything around me looks grey and decaying. Even with my bedroom light turned on I feel overwhelmed. I shut my curtains for relief. It’s almost as if I have a migraine, but there is no headache, per se. No, my head doesn’t ache, but a great weight is bearing down on it, causing dullness in thinking, strain, and utter fatigue. Continue reading

When I was on the bottle self-medicating

alcoholic-beverages-1845295__340

I remember liking alcohol as far back as a kid, when I would steal sips of beer from my father’s bottle. My parents didn’t even mind if I had a taste of wine at dinner as a young teen. I know this is generally unaccepted in the United States, and yet not uncommon in some other countries around the world. My parents were pretty lax, so found no harm in letting me have a taste. Continue reading

The importance of tapering off certain medications

Geodon ziprasidone

In the past, I have suffered consequences from not tapering off certain medications according to my doctor’s instructions. Perhaps I finally threw in the towel on a medication because of unbearable side effects and wishing to go off the medication as soon as possible, I took the matter into my own hands.  Hey! It’s my body and brain. I can do whatever I want to do! Yeh, but boy was I in for a big surprise. My illness either came back with a vengeance, and I ended up in the hospital multiple times as a result, or Continue reading

My 1st through 10th painful psychiatric incarcerations (Part 4 of 4)

depression falling down

Please consider reading Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four part post series before continuing with this post.

***Some content in this post may be disturbing or triggering. This post primarily focuses on a major depressive episode of Bipolar disorder type 1***

At the end of Part 3 of this post series, I had attended my eighth out of 10 hospitalizations for mania and/or mania with mixed features, and was again in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). The remaining major depressive episode eased briefly. I had improved sufficiently enough to return back to work part-time and resume care under my private psychiatrist, Dr. Ripley.

Only two months later, the depressive episode worsened to severe, but there were no hints of mania involved. Continue reading

My 1st through 10th painful psychiatric incarcerations (Part 3 of 4)

insanity Van Gogh

Please consider reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this post series before continuing with this post.

***This post may be triggering. It details my personal experience with Bipolar type 1 full blown manias and mixed manias. Not all people with bipolar disorder behave as severely as I detail, or even severely at all. Experiences with bipolar disorder vary.***

At the end of Part 2 of this series, I mentioned that it was after my sixth Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that I likely quit my medications cold turkey. Because of that, my transition from quasi “wellness” back to complete mood instability was quite rapid. The scariest part was that I had recently returned to work part-time. Continue reading

My 1st through 10th painful psychiatric incarcerations (Part 2 of 4)

outburst

***Some content in this post series may be very triggering***

In Part 1 of this post series, I mentioned that I do not remember at least half of my 10 psychiatric hospitalizations, mostly the second half. In order to write this part of the series I’ve had to refer to the past hospital records I collected to figure out what likely happened when. I may still mix some things up. The hospital records do not contain the full story of my experiences. I remember mentioning that to my current psychiatrist of 12 years, and he said he wasn’t surprised. Continue reading

My 1st through 10th painful psychiatric incarcerations (Part 1 of 4)

psychiatrist

***Some content in this post may be very triggering***
Before I start this post series, please note that I do not remember all of my 10 psychiatric hospitalizations. Many are mostly lost from my memory, so I will use hospital records to assist me in writing about them. This first installment is actually a part of this story series that I do remember in some detail. My bipolar disorder was not at its very worst at this point. My episodes worsened over the four years that followed. In this post I was 33 & 34 years old.
This series is being written in preparation for a chapter in my working memoir.

Continue reading