A) I really appreciated this blog post and how it helped simplify and validate my disorder while also providing some concrete tools for improving communication with others. I don't get to talk with people in this fashion about bipolar II very often but it's something that I would like to feel confident talking about if ever I got the chance.
*I was concerned about the comments she made about bipolar being highly genetic and the 50% stat she threw down, but the hubster has reassured me that it is more complex and less stark/severe than that and that I shouldn't feel like Baby Bananaface is a timebomb or that I've poisoned him... he found some other statistics that were more realistic and thankfully, reassuring. That said I am not an expert on this so I can't clarify what the "truth" is, I just don't want anybody freaking out like I did!
B) I've been having a lot of feelings about my aunt's passing and my relationship with my cousin and some of that involves feeling grief but also shameful or fearful or upset about the distance that has evolved between me and my cousin and my sorta-uncle (I don't call him "Uncle __" I just call him "__" and they weren't officially married til later in their relationship so... it's confusing but I like the guy).
Part of the reason that distance evolved was because of my postpartum depression and the fact that I was in the hospital while my aunt was in a different hospital dying. She had had cancer for months prior to that and I hadn't seen her because she was a heavy smoker and I had stopped visiting years before because it was physically uncomfortable and very emotionally painful for me to see her and "__" smoking and, in my eyes, hurting themselves. I feel like a part of me knew that a very painful end was coming and I backed away early because I just didn't know how to cope with all the feelings I was having at the time.
Since she died I've been more and more expressive about my sadness but I've felt a little odd and "on the outside" of the grief since I didn't see her during her sickness and death. It feels like my cousin and my sorta-uncle and my first family have more license to be sad than I but I think this is the mark of an invalidating family structure, a part of the ongoing battle I experience around being myself and being okay with that...
The fact is that I was too sensitive to watch my aunt slowly kill herself and I had to get distance, I had a lot going on in my own life and my mental health issues prevented me from coping with that high stress situation and prevented me from seeing her not only while she was sick but before then too. The fact is that my experience is unique and different from everyone else's and it happens to involve grieving from a greater distance and I am thankful that I protected myself from potentially very traumatic memories surrounding her disease and death. It has made things awkward, but I really don't regret my decision to run for the hills when I did-it was the best I could do for myself and that's all I can hope for. I don't know if I'll ever regain as close a relationship with my sorta-uncle or cousin but I can't blame myself for that, I can just do my best and be me and hope for the best.
*Still sorting through this, but that splat of feelings certainly helps!
C) I have a little update related to reintroducing myself to myself (I talked about feeling like a stranger in my own life the other day and the hubbo suggested reframing my loss of self as a journey to rediscover myself, to reintroduce myself)... On Monday I was up to some good ole Hannah mischief! Here's the scoop:
The hubster had a dentist appointment to get a filling. He's been complaining about it for weeks because he hates the feeling of the needle they use to numb him up and generally isn't a fan of the dentist anyway. That morning as I was driving home from the gym I had an inspiration to make him a little encouragement card and drop it off at the dentist's so they could give it to him when he checked in. I made him a little card with a scattering of shiny red foil hearts and a grumpy Garfield cartoon and a little note and dropped it off just before the dentist's office went to lunch.
That afternoon I could cheery text from the hubster about "running into Garfield at the dentist's" and he was so grateful for the card! I was so glad I could help him relax and also grateful I could feel like myself again. It was a wonderful moment and I'm hoping I can continue to build on the positive vibes.
D) Overall, my wellness is improved. The jitters are gone and I'm off my Latuda now (we are keeping a watchful eye out for any symptoms that may crop up related to this). I am still struggling with anxiety but I've been able to use my DBT skills to help me cope and there is a little piece of me that sidling up to the idea of thinking of a future, looking ahead, buying into life more-and that's a big deal.
I still very much feel like a work in progress (and/or a "hot mess") but I feel like I'm starting to push back against those dark, sticky ideas that I'm worthless and hopeless and while that bit of fight in me feels a little strange, it also feels a little good too.
E) Here are this week's "Words for Wednesday" prompts provided by River:
"the headlights were the only illumination on the single lane road"
I didn't write anything based on the prompts but wanted to share them around in case anyone needed some inspiration! :o)
F) Bonus link for anxiety disorder related boost-ya-up/perk :o)
So there is this fruit salad post, hope it doesn't hurt yer eyes too much!