Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zeal #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


Z is for zeal because without zeal I would not be beating back my disorders. Without zeal my husband wouldn't support me with such marvelous affection and care and steadfast bravery and dedication. Without zeal my care providers wouldn't continue month after month to keeping trying to conquer this slippery eel of disease that plagues me. Without zeal my family wouldn't have helped my family keep functioning as I went through all those rounds of ECT.

In case you're foggy on the definition, here's what the dictionary has to say about zeal; great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause of objective.

Now, my husband and I are low on the energy part, and I'm sure my care providers are as well, but somehow the enthusiasm for my cause seems to propel us, day after day in the fight against "Hannah's illness." That means a lot to me. It's hard for me to share my dirty parts, to share this burden with those I love most and don't want to burden, I want to be able to lift them up and cherish and spoil them. I don't want to be the sick one, but right now I am. It's a temporary thing but oh how "temporary" can last longer than you think!

Somehow instead of being a slimy mystery chunk of sludge stuck on the bottom of peoples' shoes weighing them down, I'm a cause. I'm a unifying cause for care and effort and ardor not dismissal or fear or disgust. It's a wondrous thing, a confusing thing, a life saving thing. That is what zeal is capable of.

And so I end this first A to Z Challenge with a little four letter word that packs a lot of punch. With yet another shout out to my wonderful husband and a sweet splash of tears and gratitude for my blogging community and all their support as I slog through a rather messy section in my life's story.

I might not have the same powerful zeal as the hubster everyday, but I'm trying and wonderful people like you help encourage me to keep trying. Thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for being my friends however many thousands of miles away you might be, your electronic hugs sustain me.

Seems like I should be cracking a bottle of champagne over something to commemorate the conclusion of my first A to Z Challenge, but I'll just say thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

<3

Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Yoga #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


Y is for yoga because yoga is something I can be proud of about myself (I ain't too shabby at yoga even though I be a bit flabby) and yoga does marvelous things for my physical and mental health.

Even in my darkest days when getting out of the house is a rare and tremulous occasion, going to a yoga class can soothe my nerves and clear my mind. I'm not saying my mind is quiet for the entire class or that I won't have anxiety the entire time, but it gives me a break from my symptoms and that is AWESOME when you're suffering.

Yoga also gives me tools to help me self soothe outside the studio/classroom, a way to socialize (however minimally that might be), and an opportunity to take pride in myself and my accomplishments. When I balance well and hold my tree pose while other yogis be fallin' on their asses, I feel good about myself! I hope they are alright and I know that I could fall on my ass at any moment, but for a brief moment I feel pride and that's a rare and lovely thing for me-I appreciate those moments more because they are so rare.

My physical and mental health benefit from yoga in many ways and the bonus boost to my self confidence makes yoga a part of my status quo and self identity that I appreciate and cherish. I love it when the hubs calls me his "yogi" and I love having something that I can teach him instead of always feeling like a clueless boob.

Yoga is a wonderful thing for me and I love having it in my life. I can't remember the first time I ever wandered into a yoga class, but I'm sure glad that I did!

Anybody else love yoga? Never tried it? Curious? Yoga fails you'd like to share? I've heard several about ripped pants, I tell ya what! 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for Xmas #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


X is for Xmas because A) I didn't have a ton to work with when it came to the letter X and it's the only word I found in my dictionary that actually got my brain juices flowin' (see below)


and B) Xmas (pronounced Christmas, please) is a big deal in my first family and even though it can be quite stressful being such a big to-do, it's also very distracting and having an elongated holiday season of madness can distract me from my own madness which is quite appreciated and necessary to help me get through the dreary winter sometimes.

Even more than the season itself, Christmas in my family is a yearlong affair. Whether it's scouting Christmas presents or stitching Christmas stockings (Baby Bananaface's is nearly done, BTW), Christmas is always a viable topic of discussion in my first family and, honestly, it's nice to have a go-to, back-up, easily distracting topic that is safe to discuss and easy to fall back on when it comes to my family (conversations can easily go sideways or get hurtful in my family and changing the direction with "Hey, what about Christmas...." is a very appreciated emergency tool for me and the hubs).


I love Christmas not for any religious reasons, I'll sing "Silent Night" but that's about it, but for many little reasons like seeing ornaments that have been on my parents' Christmas tree for decades and watching twinkly lights or Christmas movies that I've seen too many times to count and baking or making sweets that I only bake around Christmastime... I love the traditions. I enjoy seeing people that I don't get to see but once or twice a year, I might not like them or care what they have to say or what's going on in their lives but I like mixing things up!

As far as my mental health goes, Christmas can be a positive and a negative all at once. I get out more, I have things to do, it motivates me to be active and social but it also stresses me out and can trigger a lot of social anxiety and often makes me realize just how distant my family can be.

What about you? Do you celebrate Christmas at all? Does Christmas relax you in certain ways or totally stress you out? What are your favorite things about Christmas? Do you have certain decorations that have been in your family for years and years?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

We Interrupt This A to Z For---A Mini Vacay!

So the hubs and I took a miniature vacation this week. It involved first hauling us, Baby Bananaface, Fio, and all our stuff to my parents' on Saturday. We helped with a few projects around the house (they've put it on the market) and then on Sunday my husband, dad, and sister went fishing to celebrate my sister's birthday and opening day. They got not one nibble!

Monday, the hubs and I took off for Oregon, leaving the pup and babe in my mother's care. We cruised down to the Woodburn outlets and had a miraculously efficient shopping spree where we found exactly what we needed in a very zippy fashion; only walking a third of the outlets before declaring our visit a success, grabbing some Jamba Juice, and hitting the road again.

Midday we found ourselves at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. Wow. This place is massive, has a ton of stuff, in the middle of nowhere (pretty much there because a father and his son decided "what the hell, I'm doin' this"), has a theater and a waterpark, of course, and we only ended up there because I happened to find it on a hand painted map of the Pacific Northwest that hangs in our kitchen and said, "Hey Hun, do you think we could go see the Spruce Goose on our mini vacation? Or would that be too random?" Not too random for us. It was awesome!

Spruce Goose is HUGE!!!

Really HUGE!!!
Inside the Spruce Goose (with the vintage beach balls that tickled me so)
Fancy panoramic shot the hubs took. Yes, that's me in the blue!
Of course they had rockets too...
we just took less pictures of the space stuff!

We geeked out for a couple (or few?) hours (including a 45 minute documentary on hidden universes and giant ass telescopes) and I got a totally random clearance event shirt commemorating an event I didn't attend for $6.50 as a souvenir because, hell, I could and then we took to the road again to head for our "destination," McMenamain's Grand Lodge.

The lodge was kinda creepy including our room's story/theme about a mason that was assassinated for threatening to publish masonic secrets in 1862 but eventually we got comfy and the Japanese soaking pool was a big part of that! Love, love, loved the soaking pool.

I also had a wonderful experience at Ruby's Spa with a sweet manicurist that swapped birth stories with me and was so reassuring about my progress with my postpartum depression and getting my life back, it really didn't matter that I smudged my nails not five minutes after leaving the spa because that special talk we had meant just so much.

Once again, our destination was a bit in the middle of nowhere, but it was actually a lovely drive back to civilization off the I-5 for the most part after our delightful breakfast Tuesday morning. As we passed through Portland on our way home we got to stop at the rose garden where we had our first kiss and have a nice stroll. We didn't get to sit on the bench where we had our first kiss since it was occupied but we kissed by the bench anyways and got a different selfie over by the fountain <3

Met six years ago this August

We got my parents and my sister each a little prize as a thank you and we got to listen to quite a bit of a book on tape that has us totally hooked now (multiple great plot twists, tell ya what). The book on tape is a part of a series that we haven't read or listened to before but it's been delightful listening regardless and we can't wait to finish it!

Oh, and the damned postcard. Good grief. Our room at the lodge included a postcard and I wrote a nice thank you message to my family but the lodge didn't have stamps so we couldn't get it stamped until a headache supply stop at a local Walgreens later and they didn't have a mailbox so we were looking for one the entire way back until-guess what-that postcard gonna be postmarked my parents' hometown. D'oh. But we mailed it, gosh darnit.

It was just an overnight solo trip with a lot of special activities stuffed in but it was so delightful. I felt like myself again for the first time in a long time and despite some anxiety and other symptoms, I felt encouraged about my ability to recuperate and find a solution that works for me and my issues. It was lovely and so nice going on an adventure with my man again, just us, for the first time in such a long time!

Yay for mini vacays!

W is for The Web #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


W is for the web AKA the internet AKA a lot of other nicknames that I'm not hip enough to know, I'm sure!

I've always been a little awkward, well, maybe quirky is a better word? What I mean is that making others uncomfortable or being uncomfortable around others is a common symptom surrounding my existence and when that happens to be a part of your truth places like the web can be a ginormous blessing. Whether it's finding my tribe or an outlet to express myself without having to worry about making others uncomfortable, the web is an outlet that I'm not sure I could live without!

In addition to community the web has countless resources to help me learn more about my mental health diagnoses that helps me cope and live a healthier more productive life. Sometimes these are community offerings sometimes they're medical resources but either way I appreciate materials that I find online.

I also appreciate the community opportunities. Whether it's Facebook, Blogger, Meetup, The Mighty, BC2M, or beyond I find a variety of unique places where I find myself feeling at home and understood even more than I do "in real life."

It's not all wonderful. There are dark corners or nasty gooey parts of the web too, but for the most part I love what the interbutts has done to our world and I think I'll continue to be a fan.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Virtual Friends #atozochallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


V is for virtual friends, and I don't mean to be insulting here, but V is for virtual friends because I have more people that I feel are my friends online and in the "virtual world" than I do in real life. Or, if not more, it's a very close race.

I don't mean to say that these friends are not "real" I just mean to say they're in my lappy, in the interwebs, for me they exist in pixels. I know you all (and my friends from other locales) live real lives and actually, truly exist (at least I'm pretty dang sure) and I'm very grateful that you exist-in the real world and in the virtual world.

My virtual friends provide a source of support that I simply don't have in real life and my virtual friends are accepting of me in my most honest and genuine form (next to the me that my husband gets to know, but I think that's fair). I've felt pretty down at many points along this blog's lifespan and my virtual friends have accepted and supported me regardless. I appreciate that more than I even grasp right now. It's a big deal-sometimes too big for my addled brain to comprehend.

Thank you, my friends. I call you my "bloggin' buddies," my husband knows some of you by name (BTW Birdie, he's been asking after you and is excited about your dishtowels, he hopes you are doing well), and when something good or something bad happens in my life my blog is almost always the first stop to share the story because I feel safest here-and that's due in large part to you all.

I'm so glad to "know" you and I appreciate your place in my life very, very much. Thank you!


Monday, April 25, 2016

U is for Unsatisfied Urges #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


U is for unsatisfied urges because A) it's a double-U and I thought that was cool and B) unsatisfied urges are why I'm still here and not only do they mean "Hey, you're alive" they also provide little moments of glory like, "Hey, you really wanted to do that and you didn't, way to go YOU."

TRIGGER WARNING 
(self injury & suicidal thoughts)

I've been having more "better days" than I have in a long time but I still struggle with the occasional urge to do myself harm or even worse. Not too long ago I had a plastic bag in my hand I felt the urge to put it over my head come over me. I stared so hard at that bag I'm surprised it didn't melt. I quivered, my hand clenched and trembled, I shook my head and furrowed my brow and then the hubster walked in and said, "Uh nope. We are throwing that away, okay? Right now." He plucked the bag out of my hand and chucked it, quickly gathering up the second bag from our shopping try and putting the kibosh on that urge.

It's not always just me that's battling back urges, sometimes it's a team effort. Other times, it is just me. Like when I walked to the library the other week and wanted to walk in front of traffic, especially the big buses that I knew couldn't stop on a dime if the world depended on it. I didn't pander to those urges even as they haunted me on my way to the library and on my way back. The same with my urges to jump off (I always think fall off, 'cause really, I don't think I'd jump) the overpass by our home. I didn't do it.

I haven't cut myself. I haven't banged my wrists. I haven't burned myself. I have left those terrible urges unsatisfied, and though it's a struggle in the moment to do so, it's quite satisfying when I've gained some distance and positive perspective to know that I've won a battle (or won a thousand battles really).

What urges do you fight? Do you have urges that used to haunt you and no longer trouble you or is it an ongoing battle? How do you handle losing the battle? I'm working on being kinder to myself when I stumble :o)




Saturday, April 23, 2016

T is for Travel #atozchallenge



This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!



T is for travel because travel has been a wonderful part of my life and a part of my life that encourages me to get through the tough days and reach for those travel goals I have set and continue to set.

Travel became a "must" part of my life when I was very young. Heck, I was born in California and then we were stationed in Panama and then we went back to Washington and then were stationed in Kentucky and back to Washington and all the camping and road trips and exploring sprinkled in between until my first "solo" venture out during study abroad to Australia and New Zealand before my first true solo trip to Iceland in 2009... I've done a bit of traveling methinks. More than some, not as much as many but a good enough amount in my book to say that I enjoy it.

The hubs and I have taken to the roads since very early in our relationship for camping dates and caving excursions, checking out historical sites and museums. We've gone to Alberta and Disneyland and are planning to take a cruise in a few years and at one point check out Hawaii-there are lots of places we've been and still more we'd like to visit. All those memories and all those goals are a helpful piece of keeping going. They give me found memories to take shelter in and hopes to cling to. 

Sometimes, in my messed up brain, it doesn't really make sense to "live for family" or it's difficult to believe "my life is worth living" or that "I'm worth the struggle," but boiling things down to a simple task/reward dynamic: live through this month and ya get to go to ________ in a few weeks! can encourage me to keep going. That's just the hard truth of it sometimes. 

So where do you love to visit? What are your favorite road trips and explorations? Where do you still want to visit and get to explore someday? Does travelling help you get out of your head and back into life?

Friday, April 22, 2016

The 51%ers vs. The 75%ers

Yes, this is a rather odd title for a post but once I lay it out for ya I think you will agree that it's actually quite awesome... and ya know what, some of you might even relate or find it a useful way to look at things. ANYWAY, I'll try to focus and get to the point.

Here's the dealio. A few weeks back I was in therapy and told a story to my therapist about the hubster. He and I were driving to therapy-that day actually-having a discussion about his chronic headaches and how he suffers painful headaches and "feels like shit about 50% of the time." I said, "50%!? That's an F, ya know. Seems unacceptable to me." He replied, with a bit of sass, "Well, 51% of the time I feel fine. That's good enough for me."

My therapist enjoyed the story and asked me where I would need be, percentage-wise, to be happy. I said 75% or higher, I usually aim for 98% and higher, but 75% is a C-grade and average so that would be "acceptable" to me. She nodded and said that she related to me and then asked what I thought the 51%ers were missing out on having a lower standard for happiness.

I couldn't quite think of anything at first. I thought it might be a trick question, but I answered, "Maybe stress and more work and time spent on "getting it right?" She smirked and smiled and nodded and I started to get it. If I lower my standards I can be happier more often, I can spend more time enjoying life instead of worrying and stressing over details and putting more time and energy into things that are good enough as is!

My therapist also painted a good picture of how a 75%er's brain works by telling me to imagine two old school thermometers with a scale from 0-100. One scale is for negative events and 75%ers are sensitive to every negative event whether it reads at a 1 or 100 level intensity but on the other scale, the happy scale, we can only register a happy event if it measures 75 or higher, the less intense happy moments are lost to us and we miss out on all those extra happy moments. The 51%ers are raking in more happiness because they have a lower standard and accept more happy events in their lives.

I love this imagery and it has been very helpful so far as I "try to think more like a 'normal' person." :op

Anyway. The hubster and I are working on getting me down to say, 61% or lower instead of the 75% and higher. Don't know if I can get lower than that, but we shall see! Every once in a while he calls me out when I'm getting upset by asking, "What would a 51%er say?" and it is so helpful in not only calming me down but helping me reroute the conditioned circuits in my brain that only see negativity.

So the next time you start getting stressed out or find yourself upset, ask yourself what a 51%er would say and maybe you'll find yourself letting go of some extra stress and worry that you just don't need in your life :o)

S is for Sleep #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


S is for sleep because sleep is really important. Whether it's recovering from a major panic attack, depressive episode or preventing relapses and maintaining health, sleep is vital. 

That said, sleep is difficult for me. For many many years I've been one of those folks that lies in bed for an hour or more trying to fall asleep. It's my norm. It sucks. The hubs just drifts off, I don't know how he does it, but I can appear asleep and have my mind fully awake and zooming around like MarioKart.

After my most recent hospitalization they gave me a prescription for Lunesta but I don't use it regularly. Like all my "as needed" pills I tend to avoid taking them as much as I can. I'm not convinced, but I think that the Lunesta does help a bit. I think I shall try to use it a bit more often. 

Sleep can be blissful and fitful, it can be satisfying or disappointing. Sometimes I can sleep for hours and hours and not feel rejuvenated or energized, other times 20 minutes of hard napping gets me ready to take on the world! So confusing sometimes and unpredictable, but such is life. 

Oh. And the drool. That kinda distracts me sometimes. I'm a drooling fool but not consistently, it's hard to say when the waterworks will get turned on or off. It's a little worse with the nightguards because of my teeth grinding... 

ANYWAY. Enough about me. What are your favorite sleeping places? nap spots? Do you sleep in the car?Do you like quiet or ambient noise or music? I used to fall asleep to "The Golden Girls" every night with my cat Iroh when I lived alone. Never had to make the bed because I usually slept on the couch!

Sleep. A battle and a blessing. *shaking head* Not sure if the mystery will ever be solved for me! or if sleep will always be like spinning a roulette wheel and seeing what I get for that night!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

R is for Relinquishing Control #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


R is for relinquishing control because it's a big part of why I'm still here and I think it's going to be a big part of learning to thrive and survive long term.

When I started getting really sick postpartum I hid my symptoms, I denied how bad things were, I tried to control the picture everyone saw by burying myself in mothering. I controlled how much people knew by keeping the scary thoughts of hurting Baby Bananaface to myself and hiding my scratched up arms or not telling the hubs how frequently I imagined killing myself. 

Eventually I had to relinquish a lot of control when I was hospitalized. I was no longer primary caregiver for my child. I no longer knew everything that happened during his days. My own days were planned and catered by strangers, even the hours I could see my husband and child strictly regulated. I even relinquish control of my body by taking medications prescribed to me for my mental and thyroid disorders. In DBT class I'm learning to relinquish control over things that I cannot control to reduce my stress and improve my quality of life and hopefully improve my quantity of happiness. 

As I go forward in life I hope that I can be a calmer and happier person by relinquishing control over things that I can't possibly control and by relinquishing worry and stress that I need not retain. ;o)

How do you feel about relinquishing control? Is it difficult for you? Does it contribute to happiness or hardship? What examples can you think of? personal stories?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q is for Quiet #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


Q is for quiet because I need quiet time to stay sane. By quiet time I don't mean start silence, but a variety of helpful, peaceful states of being that not only soothe my anxiety and help calm me but energize and rejuvenate me in ways a big shot of espresso just can't!

Sometimes quiet is the rush of hot water in the shower blurring out the other sounds of my condo. Sometimes quiet is the rustle of my comforter over my ear as I snuggle into the blankets and rub my temples to drown out traffic noise as I try to take a nap. Other times quiet is the unique "silence" of an empty trail as I trudge down the paved path that runs from my nearest local park past small ponds and creeks, high end and low end condos and apartments, into the Town Center area full of restaurants and businesses that I am mostly familiar with but hardly ever frequent! 

Nothing compares to the quiet of a high mountain trail overlooking a vast valley. The voluminous white clouds boldly sweeping across the bright blue sky as you listen to your labored breathing and feel beads of sweet trickle down your back and between your breasts; that perfect pause of pleasure and pride before breaking out the water bottles and snack bars and resuming the conversation you had been having on your hike up the hill. One of my favorite types of quiet.

Another favorite type is the simple silence and calm of a quiet mind. Whether it's during yoga or doing dishes or in the midst of traffic, a moment of quiet mind is so lovely and so serene. It's like a reset button that I don't even push, it simply goes off and gets me rebooted and ready to resume whatever task or to-dos are at hand.

Without those moments of peace and satisfaction, I don't know if I would be able to sustain a life in this world or even begin to believe that it's worth sticking around. I'm still working on internalizing that belief that my life is worth living and these blissful moments of quiet sure help me in a positive way. 

What are your favorite quiet moments? Your favorite type of quiet? Do you notice quiet in your day-to-day life?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P is for Premera #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


P is for Premera, as in the Premera Blue Cross insurance company, because without insurance I'd probably be long gone. Without insurance I wouldn't have been able to afford therapy, medications, inpatient treatment, ECT, or my DBT classes-it's taking a lot of resources to piece me back together! (and by me being able to afford I mean our family that is totally dependent on my husband's income)

Speaking of the hubster, he has a few choice words about Premera as well; from his own fingers, I present the hubster's point of view:

The second hospitalization prompted Premera to take a more active role in Hannah's care. A few days into her second hospitalization, I received a call from a "case manager" at Premera-totally out of the blue. My initial reaction was to be professional, but evasive as I did not want the insurance company to deny or reject any of the claims; however, after a few minutes talking with the case manager I found myself at ease. She understood what was happening and just needed to know more in order to offer solutions. I wasn't sure what she could do, but she did help to find Hannah's DBT program and it was nice to feel like I had a partner on the inside of the game. An ace up my sleeve if needed. For almost two months the case manager would check in about once a week to see how things were going and to see how Hannah was doing. It was nice to receive such a level of care with such concern: it was surprising and refreshing. The system does work when it needs to. Hubster out.

We're even grateful for Premera specifically because they covered my out of hospital birth at the birth center that was such an amazing experience. Not every insurance would *shakes finger*

Anyway, that's sort of a boring topic for P so I scraped around my brain for some other things I'm grateful for that fall under P and came up with persistence, pets, pictures, paperbacks, public libraries, and pretending. Why pretending? Well, "faking it til you make it" never really works for me but pretending I'm okay and stable and normal when I'm out and about in public can actually give me a break from my misery when I'm feeling down and without those breaks from the pain and darkness I might not have made it through.

Flamers might say I'm being dramatic but A) They're flamers, B) They obviously haven't dealt with major depression or these other disorders. I think my fellow survivors will identify with what I've typed here and I'm glad to be a partner (see there, another P!) in the effort toward greater mental health and support by being honest about my experience.

Putting these things out there and being honest can get dramatic because battling back a disease that has convinced you that killing yourself is a viable and preferable option to life, that's a dramatic thing. Don't ever feel like you're being a "drama queen" or "playing it up." Dealing with these types of issues gets dramatic but you're not alone.

In inpatient one of the most important things I learned was that I wasn't alone and that other people experience the same dramatic symptoms as I do. I learned that it wasn't me being a whiny, attention seeker; it was me struggling with a slew of disorders that have brought many good people to their knees.

So persist, my fellow sufferers. Pursue your futures and happiness and health. Plan for foibles along the way and plow through the mess of challenges along the way. Praise yourself and celebrate the everyday victories and know that someone believes in you.



PS Here's a bonus P and (word nerd alert) a fun word:

pro·bi·ty
/ˈprōbədē/

noun formal

the quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency

Monday, April 18, 2016

O is for Obduracy #atozchallenge



This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


O is for obduracy and not obligations because I wanted to stay positive and my first choice of "obligations" wasn't headed in positive directions. For whatever reason I had a difficult time thinking up an 'O' and had to look at a Scrabble word finder list for inspiration. Obdurate stuck me like Cupid's arrow. Inspiration from this word, and for the favor I give it back fawning affection from my nerdy little brain. 

Yes. I am in English major---and I approve of this word.  <3   ;o)

I had to double check the definition but my original guess was pretty close: refusing to do what other people want or not willing to change your opinion or the way that you do something.

That may not sound very positive and upbeat but it can actually be a powerful thing to be obdurate. My husband is obdurately optimistic and my obdurate nature toward authenticity is essential to my recovery and a huge part of why I'm still around. Without insisting on being genuine and pursuing a life where I can be myself and always believing that it's possible to find people to share my life with that actually approve and care for me as I am and don't expect me to be something that I'm not... that's vital! 

There are times when obduracy can be scary... I don't begrudge folks their religions or political views but when it gets in the way of being a decent human being I get a bit pissed off. That, to me, is a perfect example of some bad obduracy. But when I think of obdurate religious or political folks that are kind and helpful and selfless and happy, that warms my heart. See how thin the line can be with this!? It's boggling. 

So I hope that I can remain to use obdurate behavior in a positive way and battle my brain's well worn negative circuits that veer to the terrible side of obduracy. Thankfully doing DBT is helping me identify those negative circuits, flush them out, and reroute them. We all have our stubborn bad habits, but when those bad habits start to kill ya they need to be confronted, methinks!

How is being obdurate a positive in your life? a negative? Are you trying to change any of your obdurate ways?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

N is for Not Caring What Others Think #atozchallenge


This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


N is for not caring what others think because not caring what others think is so amazingly helpful when it comes to working through my anxiety or having a productive day or doing just about anything! Of course, I care about what people think and appreciate certain opinions and assistance from those I know that care and love me, but dumping the rest feels so good---I got "flamed" the other day and it felt so good to write that asshole off and delete that comment! This gal just don't care! *z-snap*

Not caring what others think is something my husband is excellent at doing. He is my sensei when it comes to insouciance. I will get worked up over something someone said or a funny look or perceived judgement and somehow he gets right to the point and guides me to more peaceful territory. For example, "You're caring what others think again. Let it go." (occasionally I'm even serenaded with a horrible rendition of Disney's "Let It Go," no offense Hubby).

Someday I hope that I can "not care" without even trying, but for now I am working hard at focusing my thoughts elsewhere, doing my own thing, working on my health, and letting go of worrying about what other people are thinking. Thankfully DBT is really helpful when it comes to redirecting my conditioned thoughts!

And not that I care what you're thinking, but if I just got "Let It Go" stuck in your head, I'm really sorry :o) 

Friday, April 15, 2016

M is for Motherhood #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


M is for motherhood because I am grateful to be able to experience motherhood. I am very proud and enjoy so many moments with Baby Bananaface that are very personal and specific to being his momma. This is a complicated post for me because I'm still struggling to believe and internalize the belief that he needs me around and that he is worth living for and that I matter very much in his life (I tend to believe I'm dispensable and replaceable-one of things I'm working to change in DBT!), but I will try to stay positive.

When I think of giving birth to Baby Bananaface I am so proud and grateful. When I see him and how handsome and healthy and happy he is, I am so proud and grateful. When I experience private, joyous family moments with BB and my husband I am so proud and happy and grateful. There are so many perks to motherhood that carry such amazing glory. 

I know that after BB was born was when I really came face to face with my worst mental health problems but before he was even conceived, before I ever met the hubster, I wondered if I would ever be a mother. Not just because of my mental health but because of self worth issues and having such low self esteem that off and on throughout my life I doubted if I would ever have a family of my own. 

When you've been that low and so skeptical of ever achieving something and then you find yourself not only married to a wonderful man but experiencing motherhood, something you thought you'd never gain in your lifetime, it's an amazing feeling of deep, deep appreciation and gratitude. 

I know it sounds dramatic, but it seems to fall in the family of someone born without legs being able to walk or someone that was born blind being able to see. It's sometimes baffling, sometimes scary, sometimes overwhelming, and maybe sometimes you might not be sure you really even want it to be true but it always seems to come back to, "Wow. I am so incredibly blessed and grateful to have this opportunity and I really don't want to mess it up." At least for me. :o)

A big responsibility, a big challenge, but for grand rewards.






Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Learning #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


L is for learning, or learnin' as I sometimes say, as in book learning (knowledge gathered from books or study as opposed to experience) because not only do I truly enjoy learning I am very grateful for learning new things as a piece of my recovery. 

While I was inpatient we would have a variety of learning experiences during therapy that involved articles, workbooks, worksheets, and educational films. I am currently in a DBT class (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and seeing a DBT therapist to learn new coping mechanisms and make positive lifestyle changes, and boy, is that workbook hefty! There are also various articles that I read online and research into my diagnoses that I do mostly online that are a more freeflowing, unpredictable but essential part of my learning in recovery that I also consider book learnin'. 

I gain a lot of knowledge through experience, but I find book learnin' to be more enjoyable and rewarding. The hubster seems to be a bit different. He would gain a lot of knowledge and rewarding feelings from say, falling down the side of a mountain whereas I would just be upset! I think it shows how there are different types of people in the world. Some people prefer book learnin' to experience, some people prefer experience, and some people prefer not to learn at all (a la #Trump and his supporters). 

Learning is one of those complicated things that can be quite pleasurable or quite unpleasant. One of those big ticket items in life that can be considered what life is all about like love, family, experience; learning is unending and sometimes convoluted, other times delightfully simple:

live to learn; learn to live.

For someone like me, who has considered taking her own life on multiple occasions, learning to live is no joke. While I'll probably be working on this lesson for the rest of my life, learning to live well can be as satisfying as it is challenging. Some of it comes natural, but there are a lot of ways I've had to learn to take care of myself and I'm really glad I have books and resources to help me!

And seriously, if we didn't learn anything ever we wouldn't last very long, would we?!

Take care and be well :o)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K is for Kismet #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


K is for kismet because I am grateful for a few things that have fallen into place in seemingly perfect alignment for me (I know that seems like an odd statement when you look at the challenges I've faced lately but I'll explain in a moment). 

Before I go any further, I must specify what I mean by the word kismet, since I use it in my day-to-day language in my own particular way that may be a less common usage.

A dictionary definition might be, "a power believed to control what happens in the future; fate; your lot in life; destiny." My personal definition is quite similar but I don't really believe in fate or destiny or some type of god or force guiding everything along. I believe in things just falling into place as they happen to based on the confluence of many combined factors that are usually beyond my comprehension. When I say kismet I'm referring to dumb luck, not an orchestrated event. It sounds spiritual, feels spiritual, but when I say it it's coming from an atheist's mouth with a different kind of faith behind it than the usual type. I hope that makes sense for folks, it's kinda confusing even for me!

Moving on...

So what has fallen into place so well for me as I face a variety of scary diagnoses and fight for my life and struggle to contribute to a happy, healthy life for my family? 


First off, my husband. He's such a calm and unflappable type suited to being the partner of an emotionally unstable type like me-it's amazing how we found each other and have been so happy together despite my health challenges. 

Second, my son. Sure he cries like any kiddo does but he is generally a calm, happy child that is very happy and sociable and joyous and that is such a blessing. We didn't know that severe postpartum depression would crash down on me after three months of mothering, but it sure tore me apart and having a child like Baby Bananaface helped make the struggle a little less of a nightmare.

Third, my care providers. Being a part of the Swedish system and finding such a wonderful inpatient facility with such wonderful nurses and staff was so helpful and is reassuring as I know that if I ever find myself in that type of crisis again, I have a safe and welcoming place to go. My doctors and therapists are also wonderful finds and have been a huge part of the progress I've made towards wellness and I'm so grateful that I happen to have come into their care. Even as I think back over the years to a few specific providers (not quite all I've encountered over the past decade or so) I was quite lucky to have happened into their care and they have positively impacted my life in very specific, very wonderful ways. Did you know part of the reason I love birds so much is due to my first ever therapist? It's part of why they encourage and calm me so much!

Fourth, my blogging circle. I don't know how they all found me, but some very wonderful people have embraced me in the blogosphere and it is a delightful chance happening that I am so grateful for! I think it was Birdie who first commented on my blog and showed me that she read regularly (it blew my socks off, I hardly knew what to do!) and then more ladies showed up (mind blown). The fact that I found caring, considerate, creative bloggers that share about their own challenges in life and try to maintain positive points of views as they work through things... that's quite the lucky break, I say. I love you all. Thank you!

Kismet is a weird word to some a complicated concept, but for my English major/symbolism minded mind it sure helps me frame my world and make sense of life and find things to be grateful for. Sure, not everything "kismet" is positive (I happen to have been saddled with some shitty challenging mental health issues) but even then, recognizing that things fall into place in a way that is usually beyond our control-helps the rough stuff go down a little smoother.

Whatever your kismet is, happy trails and good luck ;o) Be well!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

We interrupt this A to Z Challenge for an update...

It's not an especially pleasant update. 
I must include a TRIGGER WARNING.

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I wrote this earlier during the car ride to pick up Baby Bananaface from daycare and snapped the pictures once I got home:


It's a rainy Tuesday here in Western Washington. I'm enjoying the sound of raindrops on the rhododendron leaves, the soft petals trembling as cold drops splash on vibrant pink blooms while the hubster and I walk to the car on our way to pick up BB from daycare. My cheeks are flushed from impromptu afternoon lovemaking, my hair wet from the steamy shower I took afterwards to wash out the goo from my ECT treatment earlier in the day.


As we drive to the daycare I feel a confusing blend of gratitude, joy, and fear. My lovely afternoon followed an emergent ECT appointment because I had tried to kill myself the previous morning. 



It was Monday. I drank my coffee, ate a donut, and then abruptly decided that next on my schedule was putting a plastic bag over my head, taping it shut around my neck, and taping my hands together in a towel so that I couldn't tear open the bag around my head when the end came. I made the bed, spritzed my pillows with a lavender oil diffusion, turned off the lights, and cranked up my heated throw to make things extra cozy. 

The only reason I'm here writing about this is because I wanted to hear the hubster's voice one last time, or at least get a text from him. Since he didn't respond to my text I called. I tried to be inconspicuous but he caught on. He raced home, talking to me over speaker phone the entire way trying to keep me from doing what I'd already done. I knew hanging up would lead to him calling the police and not only did I not want to be interrupted I didn't want anyone breaking down our door. I yelled to the hubster through the plastic bag that I was fine and lied in a vain attempt to explain away the sound of duct tape being unfurled and then focused on slowing my breathing and calming down. 

At some point the dog started barking, followed shortly thereafter by the hubster bursting into the bedroom. He lept onto the bed and tore at the bag around my face. Once he had ripped all the plastic, towel, and tape away we both broke into sobs and clung to each other.

"All I could think of was you," I sobbed, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." 

I could say that I've put my husband through a lot, but I think that it's important for me to rephrase that and say that my disorders have put us both through a lot. 

I apologized over and over but he simply focused on the next steps: getting me on the ECT schedule as soon as possible, calling my psychiatrist, and getting back on track. I said that I didn't want to go to therapy that night and he asked if I would go if he went, I agreed. That's just how he rolls. A moment to weep and then back to business. 

I can't imagine what he's been through but I'm amazed that he stays with me, that he's always focused on moving on, and that his love only seems to grow. I never knew I could love someone so much or feel so loved. It's not the same as my love for Baby Bananaface, it's a different magical thing-not the natural, biological love for my own child that yielded so easily to my suicidal impulses, but an "against all odds, nonsensical, miraculous" sort of love. 

A life-saving love.

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The docs wanted me back in the hospital, but I declined. I am going back in for more ECT Friday and am working very closely with my therapist; checking in by text or phone call multiple times a day to make sure that I'm keeping busy and staying safe. 

A chickadee BB and I saw when we all got home.
I couldn't get a pic of the squirrel we saw,
he was too squirrely!
When I met with my therapist Monday night she said she wasn't convinced the hospital was the best place for me either because in the hospital I wasn't learning to cope with life or function in the real world. She asked if I could promise not to kill myself while working with her (I did) and then described the plan to keep in contact throughout the day until I was safer, saying that keeping me busy and helping me build a sense of self worth (I said I felt useless and like I was just a burden to the hubby because I didn't do anything all day) might be more worthwhile in the long run. 

So that's the plan. Reintegrating chores, making dinner a couple times a week to help me feel like I'm contributing, working with my ECT doc to get me out of this slump, taper off more conservatively than before, and upping my medication. Therapy and DBT class are also part of the plan and I'm reaching out to FB friends and family to help improve my sense of belonging and create a security network to help keep me more accountable. 

Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, one thing at a time-I'm still going. 


J is for Jokes #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


J is for jokes because jokes help grease the gears and get me through tough, awkward conversations or simply make life a little more enjoyable for a moment. 

I grew up in a family that isn't comfortable sharing many personal feelings or details. Many times I've shared something quite serious or personal and been met with paralyzed silence, but by joking around we can usually get some sort of conversation going even if it's not quite as helpful or purposeful. 

I'm also really grateful for jokes because having depressive episodes really, really sucks and it's really tough to do much of anything or keep your mind away from horrible thoughts, but watching some comedy can take me out of my depressive mood for a little bit and jokes can sweep away my sadness for a moment. "The Golden Girls" and stand up or even goofy comedy movies all help me maintain through really tough days and I'm very grateful to have a pleasant coping tool like that!

I also enjoy and am grateful for jokes while joking around with medical staff or office staff. Going to the dentist or getting ECT done can be highly stressful but joking around a bit takes the edge off. So many times I said, "Oh! Here I go. See you guys later!" as the anesthesia swept over me for ECT or joked around with the nurse as they poked me with the big ole needles for my IV. It made things so much better. Even on those days when I felt really horrible, it helped to crack a joke.


And in honor of today's topic, I will share a favorite joke of mine (I favor the wordplay variety):

A raccoon goes to board a plane and he's carrying two pieces of roadkill. What did the flight attendant say to the raccoon?

"I'm sorry sir, each passenger is only allowed one carrion item." 

Hahahahaha & ewww!

I think I get the pun loving from my dad! Anyone else have favorite jokes they'd like to share? 






*If you didn't get it, carrion = carry-on, and carrion is a word not so commonly used to describe dead and decaying animals or flesh.

Monday, April 11, 2016

I is for Intimacy #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!



I is for intimacy because intimacy, for me, is a vital part of a life worth living and an essential part of my recovery and maintained wellness.

Intimacy is defined in a variety of ways but for my purposes I'm referring to the  definitions that include: a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group; the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar; an act of expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection or the like; an amorously familiar act; sex.

What in my life fits that bill? Well, sex is pretty obvious. It is what it is (and thankfully the hubbo and I aren't having problems in that department! we have enough challenges methinks!). Those other types of intimacy take some translating, some scouting, some sussing out on occasion to really appreciate and recognize.

Take for instance the simple act of eye contact shared with my husband during an emotional, upsetting moment this weekend when I was crying and out of sorts; his hand on my thigh as we are driving down the freeway; playing catch with my sister and listening to her birth story and sharing my insights (I'm a trained birth doula); even bringing someone a cup of water without a request having been made are all examples of intimacy. 

Playing cards can be an intimate act that is validating and distracting and soothing. Hiking or going for a walk and sweating my ass butt off and getting all grody with someone is intimate (to me) as is sharing how I'm really feeling or shedding tears in front of someone and having them acknowledge my feelings or tears. 

Of course, many of my favorite intimate moments are shared with my husband (that's a big part of why he's the hubster, after all) and many of those are private and not meant to be shared BUT I will share this story with you...


It was late, say 10:30 or 11:00 at night, Baby Bananaface had been asleep for a couple hours and the hubs and I had watched our couple episodes of "Burn Notice" and hopped into bed only to realize that I hadn't taken my evening medication (big no-no for someone with BPD). With my particular medicine I need to eat about 300 calories when I take it to make sure that it absorbs properly. Well, I haven't been particularly interested in food so getting me to eat is a bit of challenge; especially after I've brushed my teeth and already been snuggled into bed ready to sleep!

As I'm consuming random bits of food after taking my pill I see the hubbo suddenly lurching around kicking as high as he can into the air followed by stifled groaning and "shaking it off" and rubbing and flexing his inner thigh/hip. I asked what he was doing and he said he was trying to do a "kick like Michael does in the show."

Next thing you know, I'm attempting a roundhouse kick and nearly launching my hubby into the pantry as I make *surprising* contact with his chest as I whirl around. He lost his balance, I wobbled around like a rhino on two legs and we ended up clonking heads, tickling each other, giggling and squealing as quietly as we could as we regained our composure. 

I had teased him just before my stunt about "obviously didn't learn how to do a roundhouse kick when you were younger" and he asked, after his attack, "Where did you learn to do a roundhouse kick?! Were you a Girl Scout?" 

I laughed heartily and replied, "A) No. I was not a Girl Scout. B) Do they even teach roundhouse kicks in Girl Scouts?" 

Guess we have a conversation starter next time we go in for some Thin Mints....

Anybody have a favorite "intimacy" story they'd like to share? A moment with a total stranger or a moment with a close loved one?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sometimes, I just don't know...

This weekend has been confusing.

Sweet, wonderful family moments and time with the hubster interrupted every so often by my urges to self harm or thoughts of ending it all entirely. I've been popping more anti-anxiety pills than I have in the entire last week and feeling pretty miserable, tense, and worthless.

The hubster brought me an anti-anxiety pill with a glass of water and I asked him to get the glass away from me and he asked me to take the pill and I asked him again to get it away from me and he told me take the pill and I started sobbing and sob-saying "get it away from me!" until he did and gave me my plastic Nalgene and asked what was up with the glass (after I took the pill). I told him how I've been envisioning breaking the glasses around the house and using the shards to cut my wrists.

You know that point where you cross over from, "I'm having a rough time" to "Man, am I fucked up?" That's me right now.

What a weekend.

What a frickin' weekend.

Another day or two of this and I'm back to the ECT. Yipee-freakin'-yee


Did I post a link to this article yet? I can't remember. Oh well. Here it is again.... "When You're in the Gray Area of Being Suicidal."

Saturday, April 9, 2016

H is for Hubster (no surprise!) #atozchallenge

This post is part of my first year doing the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be writing under the theme Gratitude: The Things That Keep Me Alive. This is a relevant theme for me as I am struggling with postpartum depression, and also have diagnosed anxiety and bipolar II (just to let you know what's going on with me-it might be pertinent as you read the post below). Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!


As if this comes as a surprise to ANYONE who knows me. Seriously. As much hell as I put him through, I'm super, duper, yes ma'am, holy cow, very much aware of how spectacular my husband is, how good to me my husband is, and how much I love him (thinking he's hot stuff goes along with "love him" in my book-hey, "hot stuff" is "H" too!).

So how is Hubster so fabulous? What's the big deal? For my regular readers it's not news, but for new visitors I'll lay it out for ya, no problem. 

I happen to have Bipolar II Disorder (and anxiety and borderline personality disorders). It's not as terrible as some other diseases or conditions but it can sure make life harder (read: make life hell) and the hubs is just about the only person on the planet that experiences my disease anywhere near as fully as I do. By that I mean that I am the most honest and expressive with my husband, I hold far less back and even though I do withhold some things and some thoughts or resist some impulses (who doesn't censor a bit) he sure experiences most of the worst of me, the scariest of me, the funniest of me, the sweetest of me, the meanest of me, the everything. 

And he hangs around.

More than that, he's nice to me. He's understanding, he's comforting, he's supportive, he's proactive. He's like my team captain, team coach, and top player all rolled into one when it comes to fighting my disease. DBT therapy? His idea. Inpatient? All him. Changing therapists? Him again. ECT? He helped me confront my stigma and fear. Meds? You have no clue how resistant I am to taking my medicine and how much he encourages me to keep at it. 

Not only is he like a movie star (read: make believe superhero) when it comes to helping me out (and totally supporting me and our family on top of all the extracurriculars) he makes my heart flutter and my cheeks blush like a high school crush! 

He's tall, has broad shoulders and doesn't have chicken legs (that's a thing with me) and he's got this magnetic smile but also pops a quirky smirk when appropriate. I love his captivating green eyes and his goofy curly hair and the fact that we're both uber pale and love sunscreen.We share a certain sense of humor and enjoy some similar hobbies and he knows how to make me feel sexy and get me going in that special way (which has to be some sort of Olympic achievement with my BPD and PPD right now).

We met in 2012 but it feels like we just met and have also known each other forever all at once, and I wouldn't be surprised if it always felt that way. 

I love him. So much. And I appreciate him so much. He keeps me alive in more ways than one, and that's an amazing thing. He fits the theme in the way that I appreciate him and he motivates me to stay alive and try but also in the way that he literally keeps me alive! 

*sigh* He's just so awesome. I could keep going, it makes me glow and feel so wonderful and ahhhh! He's amazing. But, we all got lives to live, right? Just take my word for it ;o)



The man, himself!