Apparently, I’m Bipolar

I got diagnosed in 2018. Jesus, can’t believe it’s been a year and a half. I honestly don’t know if I actually have it because I was previously diagnosed with PTSD which this Dr. is ignoring. Now, when I was first diagnosed I went on this huge rampage about everyone being diagnosed with bipolar. When I was in the hospital I met someone from the military with PTSD, a marathon runner, and a sex worker with an eating disorder who all were getting diagnosed that weekend. I was full of a lot of rage.

I got diagnosed for two reasons. One was “excessive anger” and the second was because that is what my mom is diagnosed with. Also, my age I think was a factor. I will say this though, irritability is a PTSD symptom. I asked over and over again for a proper PTSD evaluation and I never received one. The Dr. who diagnosed me with PTSD when I was 18 was very good and I spent 6 weeks with him Monday to Friday in an outpatient program. Needless to say, I feel like he got to know me a lot better than the Dr. who diagnosed me with bipolar.

I admit that when I was diagnosed I really wasn’t acting like myself. I had snapped a little. The beast had taken over. You ever feel so repressed and then you just let it all out? That was me. I was separated and I felt super bullied. Honestly, I have felt bullied my whole life. I went for a walk to calm down and I ended up walking for 24 hours, with the exception of a couple breaks.

I’m on medication still, for the bipolar. I looked it up and it said it could be used to treat PTSD also, so I feel like maybe it doesn’t matter what the Dr. calls it. I know I have some serious repressed rage. Like serious. I know that when I snap everyone thinks I’m a psycho. I know that because I have children I can’t ever let that happen again, not that it ever came out around my children. It’s just that me being able to have my children depends on me being stable and civil towards the other adults. I know that being a mother with a mental illness, whatever it is, means that I need to take extra good care of myself including sleeping and eating on a regular schedule. I am on the defence. People are watching me. No, that is not a paranoia talking. Seriously, people keep fucking asking me about my meds like it is any of their business. I may never be left alone for my entire life. I’m not really okay with that, however, I don’t know what to do about it.

Single Motherhood

It’s possible that I am a better mother now that I’m separated. I definitely do more cleaning than I have ever in my life. Well, maybe I am not a better mother, just a better housekeeper lol. I feel on top of things. I also feel a little tired.

I’m more frustrated than ever with my son’s speech issues. Not because I am particularly worried about it, but because all of a sudden a family member is pushing me to put him back in speech. In reality, I feel a little interrogated by her all around. This was a huge problem last year and was one of the things that really pushed me to lose my temper. For a long while she was complaining that my kids’ room was messy. I feel that, it’s not my room or my toys to clean up. After Christmas though, I did cave and cleaned their room. I put away all their new toys and reorganized it. They don’t usually play in there so it has thankfully stayed clean. I made a TikTok so I got something out of it. My daughter thought it was hilarious that I cleaned up her mess.

I was asked where I had time to date. Not in a ‘oh shucks, you are busy’ way. It was the snarliest way. Well Carol, I don’t have the kids all weekend and I’m done work at 4. Jesus Christ. How dare I date after separating from my husband? There’s nothing much to say about it besides that I have been on dates. When there is something to report I’ll let you know. Still, it is nice to be getting out of the house, and have some grown up conversation.

I’m not going to say my husband was awkward, because I can’t say with any certainty that he actually had a problem with this, however, now we have playdates. There was just something about having people over when he got home from work that I wasn’t comfortable with. Maybe it was me. Now we have a standing playdate every week with my daughter’s friends. They come over and I make dinner for everyone. I am loving more of that grown up conversation.

I mentioned that my son had speech issues; well, he actually is going for a hearing test next month. I just hope we get a conclusive answer either way. I know that he can hear pretty well because he does follow directions. It’s just that he was a sick baby and ended up being so congested all the time that he needed ear tubes. He talks minimally and a little funny at times (it is very cute though!). Look, I’m not against speech therapy. It’s just that we did it for over a year and it is very frustrating. I still try to implement lots of the strategies and he does seem to be speaking a few new words a week.

Not to be paranoid, but being single is making me a little edgy. I feel judged. I feel judged and watched by my family. I feel like I HAVE to keep the apartment extra clean. I feel like certain people are trying to control the situation by deciding what gifts go to whose house and visiting the kids at both our places in the same week. It makes me really uncomfortable. I am trying very hard to not show the edginess to my children. We spend extra time cuddling, playing and reading. I’m still trying to limit the amount of TV they watch, although my daughter is a little con artist lol. We do a ton of art together. That’s all I got for now. Any single parents reading this?

Art Costs Money

I was on the lovely TikTok today and there was a video talking about people wanting art for free and ‘exposure’ as payment. It made me think about what I have invested in the past year and it was quite a bit. Not only do the art supplies cost money, but things like Photoshop and Adobe are quite expensive. Even this blog and Microsoft Word are expenses I incurred this year. Maybe if I had known more about TikTok I wouldn’t have gotten stuff to make YouTube videos.

Honestly, I just wish I had done more with it so far. Halfway through my subscription and I have only made a handful of videos.  Same with this blog. Before I deleted all my posts and started fresh, I actually had quite a bit written on here. However, some of it was manic lunacy for which my ex and his family were greatly offended. I honestly have a bad tendency of throwing everything away and starting over. It is a habit developed from childhood when I was in school. If I wrote messy, no problem I could rewrite it. It didn’t matter if you kept last years’ homework.

Overwhelmed isn’t quite the word. I don’t FEEL overwhelmed. I feel clustered. I feel busy. I feel like I’ve slightly overextended and given up. I am trying to get in shape and been going to the gym. I have a huge list of books I want to read. I have multiple social media platforms I have been posting on. I have my son home with me all week and my homework to do with my daughter every night. I don’t have my kids on the weekend but I do work then. I want to blog and I want to make YouTube videos. I haven’t been doing those two things. I had a grand vision of doing that, of doing everything. Maybe I need a schedule. Maybe I need some inspiration. In September, my son will be starting school but that means I will be working more.

I’m so stressed. All of this is stressing me out. Why do it then? Well it is definitely not for fame because I doubt that I will ever be famous. I am building a brand though. Recovering a brand? I had a little bit of mom culty fame when my son was sick and a nursed him back to health. Unfortunately, when my husband and I got separated the first time I went a little dramatic and deleted all my social media. Like a phoenix, I shall rise I suppose. The main reason I am doing all this though? I LIKE IT! I like it a lot. I like making videos and crafting. I like blogging, even if it makes me look crazy. I like reading and working out. I like eating a little too much to be skinny, but I like working out. There is an element of ‘is this realistic? Is this worth it?’

At the end of the day, art, and all my projects, do in fact, cost money. Money I do not necessarily have because I am trying to pay off debt, if I am being honest. Every time I think of that though, I think YOLO. You only live once. My debt may take an extra month or two to pay off because I decided to YouTube. Is it worth it? Right now? No. However, if I do the videos I want by the end of the year, then yes, yes it is worth it to me.

What is your passion? What are you trying to achieve? What are you working on? Are you struggling like me?

I’m Separated

My husband and I broke up, again. This time was way less dramatic. I didn’t have a complete nervous breakdown. I didn’t even cry. This weekend I felt like crying though. I really missed my kids. I didn’t do anything besides work and clean my house all weekend. The quiet I can deal with. It’s not the quiet. It is all their cute, messy, little things all over my house. It’s the tiny little laundry of theirs I have to fold and put away. I even almost miss the constant interruptions.

Part of me misses my husband. We were together for seven years. If I’m honest, maybe I just miss how he took care of us. I miss his help cleaning up the toys. I miss the days where we would go out to dinner together. Him picking me up from work and getting groceries together. How he used to rub my head when we would watch tv together. I miss him as a friend too. We would watch shows and play video games together. I would show him all the cards I made.

I’m not going to get into all the reasons why we broke up. I will say that I honestly believe we both made mistakes. I feel like I had unresolved resentments towards him from the last breakup. I have a hard time letting go of being hurt it seems. I’m sad that things are over but I have to believe it is for the best. I don’t think we were entirely suited for each other. Even when we tried it was a struggle, although we were getting better.

I hope we can remain friends. I hope we can continue to communicate and share the kids well. The past three months, I feel like we have done a much better job at being civil and cooperating. He stayed in the apartment until he could move into his own apartment. We go to the kids’ activities together on the weekend. I’m very lucky that my work is accommodating and is scheduling me around their sports.

How am I doing now? I’m scared. I’m sad at times. I’m also very happy. I feel like I appreciate things more. I appreciate time with the kids more. Even my job. I’m scared because of the financial burden. I know it will be harder to get out of debt. I know that I have to work a certain amount to pay for our groceries. I wonder how much money I am going to waste on my Etsy shop before I give up. I worry that if I give up too soon I’ll be kicking myself for not having a second income stream. Money is the biggest fear. I think I’m doing a good job taking care and feeding the monkeys, though. I’m trying to acknowledge that it is an adjustment and that it will take time.

I Was Told To Let My Son Die, Fuck That

Not naming names but when my son was six months old he was in the hospital for FPIES. We had switched to formula due to doctor recommendations. They were worried about my health while breastfeeding on such a restricted diet.

Within a week we had tried three different formulas and he was allergic to them all. It was a long weekend and he couldn’t keep down any of the prescription formula. We brought him to the hospital who said he needed to be breastfed. We went back to it immediately.

The person, who was close to our family, had been against breastfeeding Gavin from the start. They knew that most sick babies take formula and they were very concerned about my diet. I called them to let them know that Gavin was in the hospital and the conversation got heated. They told me I can’t go back to breastfeeding him and I need to let him die. They were convinced that Gavin wouldn’t make it no matter what and I was just going to die too if I kept going.

There’s a lot of choice words I have to say if I was still talking to this person. I fucking saved his life. I’d do anything for my baby boy. I couldn’t live with myself if I had just given up and let him starve to death.

One thing time has given me is this: I get it. I don’t agree with it, but I understand where they were coming from. I understand that they were scared and they thought they were helping. I understand that they just love me and my husband and were tired of watching us struggle.

I don’t know if I can ever forget it though. Not just that comment, but the months of fighting over breastfeeding. I don’t know if we ever want to see each other again.

I hope that if you have a baby out there, it’s healthy. I hope that no one harasses you over your choice to breastfeed or formula feed your little girl/guy. I hope that the people around you can support you past their own fears.

I Left Facebook, But Now I’m Back

Walking threw Walmart the other day, wearing my BFF Sea Punk JuJuBe backpack, I got stopped by a lady. She loved my backpack, wanted to know what other JuJuBe bags I had and told me about a Facebook group for them. She seemed really nice so I joined. Turns out she wrote a post about it and everyone was excited I was there.

That’s why I love Facebook, the groups. The groups and birthday reminders are the only things I really love about Facebook. I’m an Instagram girl.

Last year I deleted all my social media, which now, I regret it. At the time though I wanted a fresh start. I wanted SPACE badly. I wasn’t thinking about my beloved groups and friends when I had my impulsive movement of deletion. My Facebook friends freaked out and a lot of them tracked me down. It apparently created a lot of drama. This week I was welcomed back to my baby group and a lot of ladies were relieved to see me. I had no idea how much of an impact deleting my app would have. In hindsight, it kind of makes sense, I was on there a lot.

On Facebook in my former life, I grew a makeup business and I had my own makeup group. Now I am trying to rebuild on Instagram. It isn’t quite the same. My friends can’t post their makeup looks and chat with each other. There are things I like about it better though. Maybe one day I’ll go back to having a makeup group again. Lately though, I have been focusing on cardmaking. I doubt I would have a cardmaking group on Facebook though now that you can go live on YouTube. We’ll see. I seem to want to try everything lol.

I’m still in awe about how much people reacted to me leaving Facebook and how much of a welcome home I got coming back. These social media connections can be very real. If it wasn’t for social media we may have never found out that our son had FPIES. A wonderful mother suggested it and recommended we ask for a referral to a paediatric allergist. Him getting diagnosed helped me and my daughter get diagnosed. For that I will forever be grateful to that mother, Facebook and its many groups.

 

On Starting Over

I call it my phoenix rising; those times in my life when I burn everything to the ground and build a new. There are always consequences to this drama but sometimes I just snap. Most people around me hear at least one pent up grievance . It feels like I can’t hold anything in any longer. Sometimes I’m extra dramatic. Last year I snapped. I let people get to me. I felt bullied. I felt like it was time to stand up for myself. I hear the song Way Too Far by Korn on repeat. I took things too far. I got too angry.

In this blog I want to be real. Yes, I want to talk about the joys of parenting, however, I want to relate the human side of me. Instagram just shows cute cards, colourful lipstick, and adorable little humans. It’s real but it’s not everything. Sometimes I wish there wasn’t more to say. Sometimes I’m embarrassed by my hot headedness. It has definitely gotten me in trouble from time to time. My father once described someone as “great with children, bad with adults”. This was me. My kids could destroy the place without me blinking but I was extra prickly with the rest of my family.

As much as I wish things could have been different and that I didn’t look so insane, I think of those times as growing pains. In fact, what came of it was great growth. My husband and I are in a place that is better than ever. I hear myself saying “I wish last year never happened but I don’t know how we could have gotten where we are otherwise”. There are people who were in my life who are no longer. I went through a grieving period but now I see the good in it.

The people I lost had issues with me for years. I’ve known since high school that people either really love me or really hate me. I have one of those big personalities that are sometimes grating. I can get over hyper at times, or you could say, I am creative, imaginative and inspired. Love me or hate me, it is what it is. I will probably blow up every few years. I may even act crazy. If you love me you will accept it.

So now I have been starting over from scratch. I redid all my social media. That was kind of depressing, but it is coming along now. As much as I regret giving up social media during the shit storm last year, I think I am doing a better job now. I’m learning and growing. I’m only in the beginning phases of where I want to be, but that’s okay, because I see it coming along. If it doesn’t workout, well, I’ll start over.

Although I will always have many regrets, I wouldn’t be where I am without it. Where am I that is so glamourous that I can accept all my missteps? I have an amazing husband who just keeps getting better somehow. I have two super great kids who used to be sick with FPIES but who are healthy now. I have a good part time job that I could actually see myself doing for a long time. I have a beautiful apartment I may never want to move out of. I get to do crafts and art with my kids for hours a day in a beautiful corner of said apartment. Life is good.

I know that at some point things will change. I may have another phoenix moment. I may lose my temper and go way too far again, but I’m working on it. I’m working on just being happy and grateful. I am learning to accept the past and move on. I am becoming a better human every year.

Have you started over? What did you learn from it?