Feeling Threatened

I used to feel on top of the world. I had an attitude about me when I’d walk thru the world that basically said something like “Don’t Mess With Me”. Not in a hard core punky sort of way, but just in that way of being strong in myself, of having a good self image and self esteem. I didn’t take guff from people and I stood up for myself as well as I could given that I’m not a big guy or a tough or trained in Martial Arts or anything like that. In fact I’ve never even been in a fight in my life except as kids. So when I had a breakdown and found that I was disabled I also found that my self image had shifted somewhat.

Speaking in part here as a gay man but more as one who is disabled, I feel like I’m now a target of people who would do me harm. I can’t run away anymore, my favorite tactic when I couldn’t stand and fight, with words I mean, not physically. I can still hold my own with words pretty much but then again not when I’m in a depression. I can’t do it then. I’ve tried and failed miserably. I’ve had people trash me when I was depressed and haven’t been able to fight back and defend myself and know that I didn’t deserve it. In fact often I’ve felt that I Must have deserved in the nature of my illness.

I also grew up as a kid with severe asthma and was the subject of some bullying when I was a child. Nothing major but enough to let me know even then that I had to develop my wits to survive. And I did. As I said I had an attitude and it carried me thru. But that attitude isn’t around a lot of the time now. I can still call it up when I’m feeling particularly good and not in too much psychic or physical pain. But I Always know that in fact I’m Not OK anymore when it comes to protecting myself. I know attitudes about being gay have changed over the years but we’re still vulnerable to hate crimes everyday and people who are homeless or look like they’re not on top of it are considered easy prey by muggers and those who would do us harm.

So what do you do with this? I’m asking because I haven’t figured this one out yet. I try to stay calm and think positive thoughts and believe in myself as I used to but I find it doesn’t always work. Sometimes it’s my mind that betrays me as I’ve said. But mostly it’s my body that’s the culprit and I hate to think of it as a culprit of anything. But the fact remains that I’m now prey and it’s a disturbing feeling. How do You cope with it? Do you take classes in how to defend yourself? I’ve done that but I don’t think I can even do the moves I learned anymore. It takes too much Umph!.  I have to rely on staying out of dangerous places as much as I can and try my best to stay as strong as I’m able to do. I’d really like some feedback on this if you feel the same way I do. It’d help me and maybe others here as well.

Thanks.

Steve

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Types of Bipolar Disorder

I think most people don’t know much about Bipolar Disorder, let alone that there may be variant themes and different sorts of the disease. The usual concept, I believe, is of a person who loses control of themselves and commits acts that are in stark contrast to what society thinks is acceptable or “normal” behaviour and often must be hospitalized in order to help them and keep them segregated from society. This is what is typically called Bipolar I the one most people think of when they do it at all. It’s the lurid story in the headlines that gets the attention of the media and usually involves something illegal or immoral and truly frightening. This is far from the truth. Most people with Bipolar of any sort are regular people who have a severe illness but may be your friends and neighbors. So give us a chance.

There are many ways in which to have a Bipolar Disorder and there are many people who are now considering the concept of a Spectrum of Illnesses that make up Bipolar and they’re not all so shocking, but are all devastating. In the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V I believe that some attention will be paid to this spectrum  and things will shake out a bit differently than the usual. As it stands you can usually be diagnosed with either Bipolar I or Bipolar  II and there are some possibilities of Bipolar NOS, or Not Otherwise Specified or perhaps Cyclothymia, a sort of the illness that is more focused on depression than manias, as I understand it. But the new thinkers also allow for blends of these disorders and find that not all of us fit neatly into a single category of one or the other.

I myself was first diagnosed with Bipolar II with Rapid Cycling and Mixed States. Now this is somewhat odd because in order to have Mixed States you have to have a situation where you are both Manic and depressed at the same time, something with which I am most familiar. However the DSM says that this means I must be Bipolar I, a designation that some psychiatrists have also given me. I was also diagnosed with Bipolar NOS at a hospital that didn’t know what to do with me. But I think I fit best with Bipolar II. Some people refer to us as the “less serious ” form of Bipolar or as “Soft Bipolar “, a position I take strong issue with. Any illness that totally turns lives upside down is anything but Soft or Lesser than another one that is so similar.

The difference seems to be in the matter of Manias. I have indeed had periods where if I had been “caught out” in my manias, I would have been hospitalized and given a diagnosis of Bipolar I. But I’ve never been caught, so I’ve been given the one of Bipolar II instead, because that could be seen by the attending Psychiatrist who saw me.  When I tried to kill myself in 1980 they just called it depression and didn’t even keep me in the hospital for the requisite 3 days. Sheesh! I’ve been lucky I guess, or have I? If it’s so iffy why the big differences?

Because what I do have is what’s called Hypomania, where you are flying just below the radar of Mania. That’s why I feel accepting of the Bipolar II as my diagnosis. I haven’t flown too high to get caught. Though I’ve crashed often and hard at times. Before the Mixed State Episode where I finally crashed for good in 1995 I would find that I was frequently intensely creative and sometimes brilliant, and I’m not trying to blow my horn, just facing facts that others have told me about. I’d have tons of energy and still am highly sexual and feel like I can move the world and accomplish anything I set out to do and often I have. I’ve created a number of businesses and venues that have been very successful, tho I’ve never done well at making money because I’ve worked for community service organizations mostly and they don’t pay well I’m afraid. But that’s been my choice and I don’t regret it. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve had these opportunities and in many ways am a  typical entrepreneur. All this could be true of someone with Bipolar I as well tho and I’m trying to show some differences. I guess it’s that I’ve chosen to be hospitalized and never forced into it by lack of control. I’ve had just the right luck and situations to stay below that radar I talked about.

But there are other factors in Bipolar II that we suffer from differently than Bipolar I. Mostly we have much more severe and frequent depressions than Bipolar I and that’s where I really  find my niche. I slide down into suicidal ideation and depression at the drop of a hat. The rapid cycling I was talking about earlier means that I cycle from hypo/mania to depression in the blink of an eye at times and can do nothing to stop it. So I suffer the degradations of severe depression and have come close to dying and have been hospitalized because of it. I have lost many of my friends too because of it and it’s ruined my life in many ways and I am lucky to be alive now and writing this blog to you.

I think Bipolar II is also sneakier than Bipolar I. It’s not as obvious and we have symptoms that are more elusive and that are hard to pin down, like anxiety and nervousness and panic attacks and agoraphobia and feelings of impending doom and the like. Subtle stuff sometimes. Lots of very subtle stuff. It’s a hard disease to live with and harder still to survive with. Not everyone even believes it’s real, including a lot of doctors. They fob us off as simply depressive, and deny our symptoms whereas a full blown mania is pretty hard to ignore. So we get the short end of the stick.

I should also mention that many many people with Bipolar of all types Don’t have the intense creativity that has marked so much of my time with it. Many of us suffer with lives that are mostly filled with distress and never have the bright shining times of hypomanic intensity that allows us to rise beyond the suffering and I don’t mean to forget them or how they live. I’ve heard people in support groups who suffer like this and they dislike people like me to characterize the illness as so wonderful at times. It’s simply Not true for them and I’m not meaning to imply otherwise.  Sorry if this was too top heavy with lightness. It’s not meant to be.

But there’s a lot we can do to deal with it and I’ve covered that in an earlier post on Surviving Bipolar Disorder. I originally combined the two but decided it was too long and unwieldly  so I split it apart. I hope this makes more sense to you now. Please realize that I am simply a person who suffers from this difficult disease and not a medical professional. I write about what I’ve learned in my time with this illness. And it’s valid I think for what I know. But others may have different stories and I’d love to hear them if you will share. Please feel free to contact me with what you have to say about this and let me know if I’ve educated you about this awful disease or gone astray. It needs more attention and we need to come out of the closet about it and that’s what I’m trying to do. I hope it helps someone somewhere.

In a Mixed State at present,

Steve

Surviving Bipolar Disorder

Some of this may seem obvious to you but this is what I’ve learned over the last 17 years  of my diagnosis and 62 years of living with Bipolar Disorder in total. In order to survive with this disorder it is necessary to first of all simply accept it and to admit to yourself that you are not in control of yourself. This is a hard thing for most of us to do. It’s been very challenging to me but I’ve had to do it. You also have to ask for help and that’s another hard one. And I’ve done all that. Some say that I have to take medications and tho I don’t know if that’s always true I won’t be the one to say stop taking your meds if you’re taking them and I do take mine and they help.

I was scared I’d lose my creativity by taking an anti-psychotic and anti-depressants (tho I  really Can’t take them because they make me so sick it’s awful and a sign of Bipolar that most people don’t know – we can’t handle anti-depressants. It’s a hallmark of the disorder that they often stimulate us into mania. It’s true..) but that hasn’t been true and I’m as creative today as I’ve ever been. Just take a look at my Gardening Website on here and see what I’m doing with that creativity these days. And these blogs too I think. I haven’t lost it at all and I’m not scared of my meds anymore, well not much anyway… they Do have side effects but I won’t go there now.  So I say take the meds and don’t freak out…. They can really help you survive.

But mostly you survive by being Real and true to yourself and who you really are I think. You take  good care of yourself and look at your life and you realize your limitations and your strengths and you focus on both of them. You don’t have to do some things that are out of synch with your true character that will cause you distress. You may still take chances and risks, risk taking is another hallmark of the disorder. But you take the risks you can handle. You fight the battles you have a chance of winning not the ones you will surely lose just because you think you can still do anything. You can’t, dear. You just can’t.

You  give it time and don’t push the proverbial river. Things happen at the rate they do and it’s silly to try to make them happen out of their own nature. That includes dealing with people and socially difficult people especially. Let them be who they are and you’ll find that you can handle them a lot better. The only want to be themselves just like you do and not allowing them the opportunity can cost you a great deal. I don’t mean that you allow yourself to be trod upon. You must stand up for yourself, with doctors in particular or others who have power over your life, like social security workers for instance.

You have to be strong and not let them get you down. Ask for help – it’s out there and can be found if you try. But it’s up to you first of all to be strong. You Must not allow them above all else to intimidate you.They can make or break your life if they choose and it hurts in letting them, so be true to yourself here as well. Sometimes this means walking away from the situation when it’s obvious you’re not going to win. But don’t back down anyway. Just walk away. There’s no shame in recognizing reality when it hits you upside the head.

So I’ve tried to give you some ideas on how to survive with Bipolar Disorder, because so many people don’t know about it. So where do you go from here? I think you just live your life, but try to do it Very Consciously.  You Must pay attention to Everything in your environment, in your relationships, in the food you eat, in the air you breathe. When somebody tries to suck your energy you have to walk away from them. And be careful who you  hang out with and who you don’t especially. Be with positive people and they’ll help you stay positive. This is all self help 101 I know, but it never hurts to hear it again and for some it may be the first time I dunno. So stay true to who you are and what you need to survive and don’t let others sway you if you know in your heart that you have to be a certain way or do or not do certain things. It’s up to you now so don’t lose it. Stay cool and you’ll make it fine and even thrive beyond surviving with Bipolar Disorder.

Be yourself. Who else can you ever really Be?

Steve

Chaos Theory and Chronic Illness

 

First off let me make it clear that I’m neither a mathematician nor a physicist, so what I say about Chaos Theory comes from a lay person’s perspective and what I learned in a college course I took some 20 years ago when I went back to school for a year. I learned a lot that year and was voted the Strange Attractor (a Chaos Theory term) of my study group for my insight into the subject so I have some validation for what I say. Simply put I see Chaos Theory as having 4 major components to it. It posits that things described by it are 1) Random and 2) Unpredictable, but also 3) Repeatable and 4) Boundaried. I see these elements of it all around me and in particular in my Invisible Illnesses and I’ll try to give some ideas of why I think this to be so, and how it can help you in your life.

I find it helps me to think of things using Chaos Theory a lot because it gives me a context for some things that are so out of my ability to cope with that they truly challenge my reality structure. Illness is certainly the major one of these in my life. Relationships can be another one for some people I think. And work can be, even gardening which I talk about in my other blog tho I haven’t added Chaos Theory to it, yet… If I think in terms of the way Chaos Theory puts things in context for me it helps me feel more in control of this and less like I’m in a small rowboat floating on the sea without the proverbial paddle. I have a context for my struggles and can feel a sense of being able to monitor things at least if not control them.

First  off I’ll start at the end of my list and say that illness is clearly boundaried,  by our bodies and our minds,  and then by our societies and relationships. We live in a context in other words. Pretty simple I guess but significant. Using any of these parameters is useful at times, depending on what you’re experiencing. If you can see, for instance, that your depression is in your Mind, and not in the society or reality of Fact around you then maybe you can come to terms with it as a mood disorder rather than your true Reality as I so often struggle with myself. It’s so hard to get out of my head and know that it isn’t really Real but just the latest mood I’m in at the time. So this boundary is helpful to me and keeps me from going over the edge sometimes. It helps me stay sane.

Secondly it’s Unpredictable. I frequently don’t have a clue when I’m about to experience one of my Invisible Illnesses. They come over me and take me away and I’m lost. But knowing that this is true helps me when it happens as I realize that it’s Repeatable. It’s happened before and will happen again (Unless it’s a new symptom of course and that can happen at any time unfortunately). It’s the repeatability that helps me here in the unpredictability of it all. Since I know what it’s like to have an episode of chronic back pain I know what to expect and since I know that I can take counter measures to alleviate my conditions. I can take meds first of all. And I can stop what I’m doing that may be causing me harm. I can take a break and rest for a bit. If I know these things always helped when I suffer the back pain then I can do something about it and that’s the key to some sense of control even tho it’s illusory it’s also real.

And finally they’re random. And that’s the hardest part of it all for me. I’m a control freak and I’ll admit it. I’ve noticed that many of us who suffer from chronic illness have control “issues”,  because we’re so out of control with our illness that we seek it out in other areas of our lives, whether it be in our relationships or simply in insisting on what foods we want to eat and where to spend our time and how. We have to have some areas where we feel in control because we don’t have it with our illness. So when an illness is so random it throws us off kilter. It makes things so out of control it really  can be scary and frightening. But again, knowing that is the case is the key to self mastery. If you want to gain some measure of autonomy at any time and know that you always have to be prepared for it, you can again take counter measures to protect yourself. Whether it’s carrying a few pills for breakthru pain or for migraines as I do, or learning some meditation exercises you can count on it to help you when you have a panic attack, there are things you can do to help yourself. Knowing it can happen randomly then becomes less of an issue and you can learn techniques to protect yourself and be safer.

So all together now –  You can know that things happen in repeatable ways within certain boundaries and that they are random and unpredictable so you can plan ahead and learn the terrain of your illness. Study and educate yourself on what you’re dealing with and learn how others have dealt with it and you’ll have the tools to deal with things when they happen to you. Of course it’s not so simple as I make it sound. It’s really hard in fact. But you can do it. Being awake when you deal with your illnesses is the strongest way to cope with them. And awakening to the tools and techniques and concepts of how I’m looking at Chaos Theory can be a valuable way to interact with your life in general and your illness in specific. Think about some of the things and please give me some  feedback if you find it helps you or if you think this just shows I really am crazy. I don’t mind… I just want to help people to feel better and have more tools with which to address their illnesses. The more you know the better off you are in my opinion. So try this on for size and see if it helps you. Life is inherently Chaotic but knowing that makes it easier to cope with it, and that makes all the difference.

Chaotically yours,

Steve

How Gardening Heals Me

Well I suppose it was only a matter of time before my 2 blogs conjoined but I didn’t think it would happen in the same week I started them both. I’m writing here about my health and in the other about gardening and here they come together in a post about how my gardening is good for my health. It makes sense I suppose since it’s so much of my life. Perhaps the two most crucial factors in my existence except for my partner and our relationship. My relations with Gardening go back to my childhood tho so do my illnesses, some of the most significant ones that is. I’ve had Asthma since I was born. Literally. They put me in an incubator at birth so I could breathe and gave me medicine from the get go. And I can look back and see how the Bipolar Disorder has affected my whole life, from the time I was a small child even. So here they come together in a post that will tell you a bit about how it’s worked for me to garden so long and so faithfully, and not so faithfully and how that’s impacted me.

In many meditation classes they teach you that a very important part of learning to meditate is learning to “ground” as they call it. It means being able to connect with the earth and put your energy in synch with that of the planet we live on. Out of which our bodies are made. It’s not just a metaphorical expression. It’s a literal one for me. Grounding for me is literally putting my hands in the soil and getting dirt all over them. It’s diving into the realm of earthworms and compost and the decay of organisms and the regeneration that comes out of that mix. It’s a primal instinct to stick our hands in the dirt and mothers are always fighting their children to keep them from getting dirty. But I’d say that there have been enough studies to show that we’re depriving our children of something instinctive when we keep them out of the dirt. It’s been focused on bacteria that may help us keep our bodies free of disease but I think it’s more than that. It’s the primal connection we’re missing out on and keeping our children from experiencing.

I’ve put my hands in the dirt for as long as I can remember. Before I was actually gardening I was building in the dirt and making waterways where I could play with the runoff of the water as it flowed over the soil in patterns I loved. At some point I started to work with my mom and dad in the garden and help maintain it. I learned to plant and prune and to weed and hoe and all those other things we hate when we’re kids but I didn’t hate them. Well maybe the weeding I did some. But I loved the gardening and started  landscaping at an early age, something I’d develop into a profession as I grew older and went to college and studied Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design. I worked in Nurseries and had my own businesses for well over 20 years making gardens for other people, including my parents where I could experiment and play with my ideas. I did this in  my work too of course but I got paid for that and had to accede to the wishes of my clients. I wanted to do my own thing of course and I often was able to even in business.

My story takes a different turn in my late 20s when I started having migraines and was in agony too much of the time and couldn’t work as I had before. I’d gotten a job building logging roads in the high sierra to survive and that was bad for me who had always valued planting trees, not cutting them down. It went against my souls’ journey and it messed me up. I was involved in a serious auto accident that crunched my spine and began a period of disability that continues to this day. I kept landscaping tho I had to hire workers to do things I couldn’t do myself. But I still did it. I even moved back to the mountains in Washington where I was living and tried to homestead in the hills. I tried to create a garden with not enough water and too hard a soil to work and eventually I had a breakdown and my back gave out on me for good. I never again was able to work commercial landscaping. That was in 1988.  Since then I’ve had to work jobs that were indoors and kept me away from the gardens I loved. I couldn’t have access to green ever in the apt. I lived in in the city and I began to get more ill. In 1995 I had a severe breakdown and was diagnosed with the Bipolar Disorder that has plagued me my whole life. Finally I had an answer but it was a curse as well.

Over the next few years I lived alone and in an apt. with no way to garden. I was too disabled even to work a small community garden that was only a 10 x 10 plot of land in the neighborhood. I was sick and failing badly. I couldn’t touch the soil and even tho I went for walks in the neighborhood it wasn’t the same as gardening. This went on for several years until I met my current partner and in time moved into a home with him and had a chance to garden again. Here I’ve created my garden again. Here I have my Botanical Garden that allows me to collect the plants I love and to put my hands into the soil whenever I feel the need and to ground myself and get back to the earth in a real way and live fully and completely again.

I’m not cured or anything, I probably never will be,  don’t think that. I still suffer a lot and I’m in pain all the time, Especially when I garden. But it’s so good for me that I do it anyway and it keeps me alive and strong and as healthy as I can be. I have to ask for help when I need it but I do and I find it with my partner and friends. You can read about this aspect of my life in my other blog: Gardening in Greenwood, and I’ll continue this story there. But this will give you a sketch of my life as a gardener and why it’s so important for me to dig in the dirt and heal myself with the planet we live on. It’s a real thing and getting dirty is essential to us all if we want to live good lives and be healthy. So do it. Get dirty and feel the soil in your hands and let it heal you. That’s all I can say for now.

Health and good growing to you,

Steve

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

Note – I borrowed this page from the Invisible Illness Awareness Week blog. I give them full credit for developing this idea and think it’s a great way to share some ideas and information. You can visit them at: invisibleillnessweek.com, linked below. Thanks to them.

1. The illnesses I live with are: Chronic Intractable Pain, Bipolar Disorder Type II with Ultra Rapid Cycling and Mixed States, Depression, Migraines, Asthma, Fibromyalgia, SAD, Sleep Apnea, Prostate Cancer (in remission), ED.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: Asthma – at birth (1950), Migraines – 1976, Back Pain – 1977/1988/1995, Depression – 1980, 1988, Bipolar Disorder Type II – 1995, SAD – 1998, Fibromyalgia – 2000, Sleep Apnea – 2012.
3. But I had symptoms since: I was born in some cases like the asthma obviously, but the bipolar disorder and depression too. I also have had overall pain for a long long time. The Sleep Apnea is new but I think I’ve had it a long time too.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Giving up Control.
5. Most people assume: I’m fine. After all, “I Look Good”….
6. The hardest part about mornings are: getting out of bed and trying to move. I hurt….
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House of course. He’s so brutally honest it hurts to watch sometimes but it’s worth it. And I’ve loved Hugh Laurie since his English comedy days…Like Black Adder and A Bit of Fry and Laurie.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My Computer. It keeps me connected with the world, and lets me write my journals.
9. The hardest part about nights are: Sleeping and waking up in pain too often. Needing to pee and not being able to, again and again.
10. Each day I take _49_ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: I’ve found that whatever works is worth trying. I’ve had success with Naturopathy, Acupuncture and other alternative methods. But some are bunk so be careful.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Invisible. Sometimes I Want to hide it…. Pity is awful.
13. Regarding working and career: I can’t do “Jobs” anymore, since a bad breakdown in ’95. But I miss working terribly. I used to always identify with my Work. Now I have to identify with Me. It’s a challenge but it’s worth it.
14. People would be surprised to know: That I am as ill as I am. It scares me sometimes. I”m sure I’m going to die young (I’m only 62 now…)
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: Asking for Help and Receiving it.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Going outside alone when I was severely Agoraphobic
17. The commercials about my illness: Are annoying or don’t exist, but a few capture some aspects of what I feel like I’ll admit.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Having spontaneous sex.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: Hiking in the mountains and going backpacking.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: I’ve started gardening again since I moved in with my partner in his house. It’s grand.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Go for a looooong hike in the mountains with my partner.
22. My illness has taught me: To be more compassionate towards others and towards myself. And Patience. And learning to simply BE and not DO. But I have a lot to learn still.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: “But you’re Energy Feels so Good and Peaceful….” ( especially when I have a Migraine…)
24. But I love it when people: Help me out without my asking them to. It happens a lot with my friends and those who know me and I love them for it.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Give It Time…
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Take a deep breath. Life goes on…
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How cruel people can be with judgements about my illnesses and why I can’t do the things they think I Should.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Take me out of the house when I was too scared to do it alone.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I’m just starting with it so I can only say I think it looks like a good idea and I support it wholeheartedly. Check out their link in this question.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Like maybe you care. Do you? ( Can you tell I’ve been burned too many times…? 😉

Thanks for taking the time to read this long list,

Steve

I Forgot My Pills Last Night

It seems incredible to me that just because I forgot to take my pills last night that I should suffer so much for it. But that’s what it’s like when you live with Chronic Intractable Pain coupled with Bipolar disorder with recurrent depression. Last night I got some nice feedback on my other blog site, a gardening website  and blog. I should have been elated. But my fickle depressive mind turned that into a dejected feeling and I was in a haze of misplaced rejection when I went to bed and I simply forgot my pills. I Never forget my pills you must realize. I Know it’s hell to pay if I do but still I forgot. Now I’m paying.

I’ve done what I can to ameliorate this situation. I took  my breakthru meds early today and I’ll take extra if I Have to. I have my doc’s permission to do that on occasion when I’m really hurting, and I’m really hurting today. Too much for just one silly mistake it would seem. It’s just not fair. But then Chronic Illness is never fair and I know that from years and years of living with the Invisible Illnesses of pain , depression, mania and migraines as well as arthritis and fibromyalgia. I’m kind of a mess. But usually I’m a happy guy and have a great life with a wonderful partner who loves me more than I deserve and is the light of my life. I don’t know what I’d do without him. He kindly told me I looked a little the worse for wear this morning and I almost laughed it was so gentle and kindly meant. But he was right I’m sure if how if feel is any judge.

Bu I’ve been working on my computer for awhile now to try to get my head at least into a different place, even if my body won’t cooperate yet. It’s sunny out right now in the midst of our Seattle rainy season and I should go for a walk soon and I will. I”ll have to force myself but that’s what you have to do sometimes. It takes courage to live with these conditions and I don’t lack for it but sometimes it fails me and I just want to hide somewhere in a hole and throw the covers over my head and make the world go away for awhile. I did that the first thing this morning after I’d eaten something and Taken my morning pills. I rested awhile to let myself catch up to where I was at. You have to allow yourself to rest somtimes when you have these situations and these conditions. It’s essential, rest is. I often will take naps in the afternoon to help make it thru the day and it doesn’t seem to hamper my sleep.

But I was restless last night and had a groggy morning and when I saw my nightstand and the pills I should have taken last night I had this sinking feeling in my heart and a flash of anger at myself ans then a resigned feeling and an awareness of what was wrong with me and why I felt the way i did. It’s worse when it’s your own bloody fault ya know. Oh well, no sense beating myself up is there? I do try to stay positive and had some nice Likes on my gardening post today that actually made me happy. This is good progress and I give myself credit for it. I can overcome this if i give myself the space to learn and remember that I may need some help from my partner in the future to remember to take the silly pills. I shouldn’t call them silly. They’re actually pretty heavy. Morphine is the strongest one, tho the abilfy , an antipsychotic that helps me stay somewhat stable is also missing from my system today and some other thing I really should have in my blood aren’t there in the way they should be. It’s a big deal.

But enough of this. I’ve given you a small glimpse into my life of Invisible Illness and I hope you’ll read more as I learn and post and share some things on how I stay as well as I do with these totally debilitating diseases. I do have support as I’ve said and that helps. But it’s up to to me in the end and I’m up for it.

Thanks for reading,

Steve