growinghumans


What it’s like for her
January 29, 2015, 3:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

you-re-not-alone

My last post was about what it’s like to be a mother with bipolar disorder; and I have to be honest, I didn’t do a lot of writing about being a damn mother. That’s because when I find myself deep in the throws of an episode, my ability to be an effective mother disappears.

So, I thought today I would explore what my Tiny Human sees and hears and experiences with a mother like me.

 

She is in the bed again. She got out long enough to feed me dinner and then crawled back in. I could tell she had been crying and I asked her why she was sad. She told me she didn’t know and I don’t know what that means. How can you not know what is making you sad? When I’m sad it’s because I don’t like my dinner or I got in trouble or Octonauts turned off.

Why is she so sad?

This has been happening a lot lately.

Sometimes I hear her cry. Sometimes she gets out of the bed and tries to play with me but I can tell she is tired and doesn’t want to be around me. So I sit in her lap. I touch her face. I tell her I love her. This almost always makes her cry. Hard. I hug her tightly. We call it “Big Hug”. It’s a pretty big hug.

She yells at my daddy sometimes. Not at him, because he’s not in trouble, but because she seems scared. I don’t know what she has to be scared of. We are safe in this house. We have one another. My daddy always looks tired after those talks with mommy. Maybe sad, too.

I just wish she could tell me why she gets so sad.

She tried to tell me one time that there was something inside of her that makes her more sad than other people. She told me that if I ever feel sad that I shouldn’t be afraid of crying or telling anyone that I feel sad. I shouldn’t hide the feeling, she said. She hid hers when she was younger and now it beats her up, she says.

But I feel ok. I tell people when I am feeling sad. I am not afraid of things. I am a big girl.

I can make her better.

 

This entry has broken my heart to write; because I know it’s true.  This is the dance we do when I have an episode.

This blog has always been a form of therapy for me. It’s always been cathartic and a way to deal with my demons in a platform that I feel better armed to face them. But, this topic is something I have been running from–my Tiny Human seeing her mommy deal with a disease.

I need

to do

better.

Months ago I wrote about using her, this Tiny Human girl, as my talisman during an anxiety attack. I need to latch on to that feeling. Because if I, if we as women suffering, let these things infest our minds in a way that we are incapable of parenting, then not only is the child missing out but WE are missing out.

We are only punishing ourselves when we let our mental demons run our lives–it may seem like our loved ones are the victims but it is us, US, that miss out on the joys that active parenting bring.

Glennon, over at Momastery, talks a lot about showing up, even if you aren’t ready. That’s what the world needs for people like me. I need to show up to be her mother even if I don’t feel 100% ready to do it. I am already her mother, things will fall into place and we will, in turn, fall into a rhythm that is appropriate for our situation.

The demons can’t always win.

I get to win.

Love should always win.



On being a mother with bipolar disorder
January 21, 2015, 3:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When people hear that I am a blogger, they always ask what I write about. This is a tricky question because I don’t actually know at any given time and so I usually just give a glazed over answer of “mothering with bipolar disorder”. If this doesn’t scare them away immediately, they might ask what IS it like to be a mother with bipolar disorder.

This is actually a great question.

Because I never thought about it before I started this blog.

I feel lirussian dollke a Russian nesting doll. You know, where each doll has a smaller doll inside of it, wearing a different outfit.

My biggest doll looks like a mother. A happy mother who has a lovely child. That’s what most of the world sees. That’s why most people are shocked when they learn of the mental illnesses that I suffer from. I don’t look like a sad person. I don’t look like a person who snaps, or cries for hours until I throw up, or becomes so paranoid and anxious that I break out into hives all over my body. This doll doesn’t look anything like that, and that’s why it’s the biggest doll. The facade must cover it all, you see. Though, once the facade falls away, the ability to be an active parent also does. The dolls inside of the big doll are no longer mothers–they are women trying to stay alive.

The next doll is my anxiety; she is my anxiety because all the other dolls that she holds inside of her body are full of terrible things. She is pale, sweaty, and covered in hives that flare up her side when she can’t breath. Nothing in particular needs to set her off, it could be something that she’s made up–a look a person gives her or a stressful situation that doesn’t even exist. Paranoia.

The next doll inside of anxiety is my rage. She has an ugly face. Most bipolar sufferers deal with rage or anger in some way or form. I keep my rage hidden quite well, as you can see. It’s deep inside under a few other dolls. But when it is uncovered, it is terrible. I throw things, talk to myself, snap at my husband. When I was younger, I would hurt myself in non-life threatening ways to help deal with my rage. The pain would calm me down; would bring me back onto solid ground.

The last doll, the smallest doll, is my depression. She appears to be sleeping but really she is dreaming and hoping that the dreams will chase away the scary thoughts that invade her mind when the depression descends. She is small because she feels small. She is empty; there are no other dolls after depression. Just emptiness. She is kept as safe as can be expected, deep inside of all of the other dolls.

I do not let the individual dolls out of the bigger doll often; not if I can help it; lord knows I take enough medication to keep everyone in check.  But sometimes, they knock over, they spill out, I am left cleaning them up and trying to put them back where they belong inside of the doll that looks like a happy, well put together mother. She’s exquisite.

It is hard, you can see. It is a battle every day.

That is how it feels. This is what it’s like to be a mother with bipolar disorder.

Feelings within feelings within feelings. Dolls within dolls. And the littlest one is empty.



My skin care routine
January 17, 2015, 6:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

face items

If you follow me on Instagram or know me closely, you know that I am a bit of a skin care and beauty product addict. I follow Youtubers and blogs and buy WHAT THEY TELL ME I NEED.

It is important to take care of yourself, reader. You must maintain the machine. The center must hold. You need that face mask. All that.

Anyway, a friend mentioned that if I blogged about the products I use, she would read it so I am goingto write about the products I use.

Today: Face products.

My skin is very dry; like, painfully dry. I lived in a state where the air was so cold it hurt my face for five years and I’m sure that wreaked havoc on my skin.

I’m also 30, so things are starting to crease, if you know what I mean. If you are 30 something then yes, you know what I mean.

For face wash lately, I’ve just been using little sample pots from the best store that has ever been invented: LUSH. I’m currently using a face wash called AquaMarina and it’s pretty wonderful. It has seaweed and calamine lotion in it so I really feel like it is cleaning my skin but also coating my skin with a barrier of moisture, which is extra important during the winter.

For a toner, I have been also using a Lush product that I have loved for about two years now–the Eau Roma Water. It comes in a spray bottle so you can use it as a straight up toner, a skin refresher, or even to help in remove some light makeup. It’s made from roses and lavender and all things that smell lovely. I literally bought this bottle a year ago and there is still liquid in it so a little goes a long way and it is worth the money.

I struggled for a very long time to find the right moisturizer for my face. For some reason the Lush lotions did not sit right on my skin. So, I scavenged Youtube and my blogs and came up with what was, of course, the best product; DermaE Refining Creme. This stuff is amazing because it pulls a double duty for me. I use a small amount of it in the morning as a day cream, but at night I apply the same cream heavily and focus on where I see..creasing…like around my eyes, and it works great as a night cream. I get this at Ulta and they have it on sale quite often.

Face masks are super important for dry skin, I think. Last year I used about every face mask that Lush makes and I recommend them all the time to people. They are made with “fresh” ingredients so you have to keep them in the fridge, which makes you feel like you are putting something really good on your face.

But, Carrie, there isn’t a Lush face mask in this picture. There’s a fancy Origins one.

Yes. Yes, there is.

I just got this face mask, at the urging of one of my internet gurus and by george it’s wonderful. It isn’t a gloppy, messy mask like your standard situation; it’s more like a thick cream. I applied it last night all over my face and got into bed. When I woke up this morning, my face was literally glowing. GLOWING, GUYS. My guru also mentioned using this on airplanes to avoid that sick, fatigued look skin tends to get from the awful air quality and I think that sounds swell. The only downfall is that I had to go into Sephora to buy this and I typically hate going into Sephora because they treat me like I am a dungeon troll but WHATEVER. I bought the damn face mask. face items2

So, that is my skin care routine. I try and keep it very simple and some days when I am not wearing makeup I will usually just spray some toner on, pat it dry, and call it a day. Washing my face every day tends to make my skin angry, and it probably makes yours angry, too. You may just not realize it.

Keep it simple. Keep it gentle.

Like everything else, y’all.



An open letter to the people who talk to my Tiny Human:
January 9, 2015, 3:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

parenting-talking-to-child

I see what you are doing.

Or, rather, I hear what you are doing.

Last weekend, my Tiny Human came back home after spending a few days with her grandparents; we had taken down the Christmas tree, added a new chair, and generally cleaned up the entire house.

Here is a sample of what my 4 year old Tiny Human said to me, upon entering the house:

“Wow, this looks wonderful!”

“What a beautiful chair! Did you pick it out yourself?”

“How did you take down the tree by yourself? You must be amazing.”

“Thank you for cleaning my room. You’re a great helper.”

What adults don’t often realize when they are talking to children is that they are forming that child with their very own words.

My child is walking around and what most people see is a child, but I see a container full of love. Someone, or everyone, is talking to my child in a way that she feels loved, safe, and proud. Her self esteem is being built. Her life is being reinforced. And she is passing it on to the people around her.

Her kind words made me cry.

Often times, or all of the time, we worry about how our children will “end up”–about whether or not they will be kind and gentle to those around them. Instead of harboring that worry, I need to be more like the other adults who talk to my child.

I need to be what I want my child to be.

So, the next time you are speaking positively to a child, any child, know that you are also speaking to that child’s parents. You are telling them “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be wonderful.”

You are filling that child’s container with everything they will need to be a light in the world; the kind of person who will someday kneel down and speak kindly to another child.

And I thank you, from the very bottom of my heart–my own container, for that.



On why you don’t need a Pinterest board full of resolutions
January 4, 2015, 6:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black backgroundIt is January 4th. 

I spent an hour today, submerged in a bathtub full of bubbles and fragrance, thinking about what I would do with this year. Not a resolution, per say, but taking what I know from my last 12 months of life and applying that for an optimal continued 12 months.

It seemed the logical thing to do.

And I have decided that

I am going to

stop

saying

I’m sorry. 

Now, let me clarify. 

That is not to say that I will not admit when I am wrong and take responsibility for it.

Though, to be fair, I tend to simply say “my bad, dude” if that happens.

Because I’m a gangsta.

But, what I mean is I am going to stop apologizing for being me.

I will no longer feel the need to be sorry for having one child; for wanting two dogs; for painting my house bright colors; for dying my hair bright colors.

I refuse to be sorry for taking time for myself apart from my family.

I won’t be sorry for liking Taylor Swift or this new One Direction song.

I will no longer feel wrong for not wanting to be tan, or tall, or even thin.

I won’t be sorry for wearing leggings as pants.

I will not apologize when I am better than guys at video games.

I cannot feel sorry over my past. I do not live there anymore.

And I will no longer feel I should be sorry for some of the things I write in this blog–

I write brash and open and I know that makes some people uncomfortable, but that is me.

This is me.

All of these things are me. 

So, instead of challenging all of you fine people of the internet to be a better person this year, I instead have a different challenge for you all:

realize that you are already a good person who may not need changing.

Be kind to yourself, friends. We are all we have at the end of the day.