Positive/Negative Space: Looking at it in a new Light

Sometimes it is hard for me to see what is right in front of me. Let me explain…

I was taking a scenic drive home tonight. I was stopped at the end of Clarita Street, ready to turn left onto Inkster Road, and I saw something shocking in the front yard of the house across the road: the silhouette of an evil creature surrounded by a wooden frame.

“Whoa, what?” I said to myself as I began to turn, “It’s not Halloween anymore, why would someone have that in front of their house? Maybe they just forgot…”

As soon as I said ‘forgot’, my headlights caught a sparkle underneath the dark creature. I took a second look, and there they were: Mary and Joseph with the little Baby Jesus laying between them in the manger. It was a Nativity scene.

I immediately had to pull off the road and park in the neighborhood because I started crying like a baby. How could I not see that? How could I not see the brilliance that stood before me? What in the world is wrong with me?! Am I blind?!

In the dark, negative space and the positive space can be hard to discern. I have spent many many years of my life in the dark, which has caused my eyes to strain to see the light. It is easy to let the negative rule your life, and I have found negativity to be as contagious as the flu. But I do know one thing that is MORE contagious: Laughter.

It’s wild how much energy follows us around. And negative energy can pile up on us until we feel like Atlas trying to hold the world on our shoulders. It can bring us down, it can cause us pain; and in turn, we spread this pain to others. BUT there is hope.

It is important to remember: we cannot do this alone. We cannot stay in the dark on our own. We need to share and spread our light so others can help find their way if they are lost. Humans cannot see in the dark, we need the light [well, unless you’re Batman or have night-vision goggles].

Thank you to my mother, family, friends and of course Jesus, for helping me see the light. I promise to share it as much as I am able. I love you all, and Happy Birthday Jesus!

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The Little Girl, Ru.

 

Ruby goes where water flows,

where she can sit and bask.

For you, and I and we all know,

it’s tough being a cat.

 

The naps she takes are very long,

she rests throughout the day.

And when she hears the sparrow’s song,

she goes about her way.

 

“Wake up!” cries Ruby.

A paw strikes my face.

“Human, hear my call!”

For her feline thoughts do race,

and I can’t resist at all.

 

I grunt and groan, my aching back

shoots bolts up to my neck.

But when I see my Ruby Girl,

the pain becomes a speck.

 

Sleepy baby.

Effexor: Don’t do it.

This is the worst drug I have ever been on [well, technically OFF] in my life. I thought it was Haldol, which I affectionately coined “zombie juice.” No, it’s Effexor by a long shot. I think I’ll start calling this one the “demon drug.”

I took Effexor for about 5 years it along with Lamictal (mood stabilizer) for my Bipolar 1. My psychiatrist retired so I found a new one nearby. She said anti-depressants like Effexor aren’t supposed to help people with bipolar. It never had any negative effects on me, but she wanted me to wean off of the Effexor. Why didn’t I just stay on it? Why??!?!?!?

These withdrawals are excruciating. They started about 1 week after we cut my dose of Effexor in half. It started off with mild muscle pain, no biggie. I thought maybe it was because I was getting more exercise. But it kept getting worse. And worse. And worse.

Fast forward to now: My 2nd week completely OFF Effexor. When I wake up, I can barely move. I moan in pain as I try to get out of bed. Then the sneezing starts. Have you ever felt the need to sneeze but you can’t? Think about having that ALL morning when you’re trying to get ready.

This is just like the flu. My ears and nose are filled with fluid, throat hurts, barking cough. I am so sore I hypothesized I have fibromyalgia. Hey, it would make sense. SSRI’s such as Prozac and Effexor are known to ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia. But no, my doctor has assured me that these are withdrawals.

My moods are ALL over the place, but I am mostly angry. I have read and my doctor has confirmed that agitation/aggression is the most common symptom of Effexor withdrawal. My doctor raised my mood stabilizer to offset this, but it’s not helping. My brain won’t stop; it’s almost like I’m a baby trying to absorb everything I see and smell and feel. I have insomnia, which is super odd because I love to sleep.

DON’T take Effexor unless you plan on taking it every day for the rest of your life. The discontinuation withdrawals are NOT worth it.

Somebody just kill me.

An excerpt from my personal journal

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It doesn’t matter what you write about.

It won’t matter if you sound like Sylvia Plath or F. Scott Fitzgerald.

And it will NEVER matter if you use BIG words.

What matters is how you feel with the pen in your hand, carving out characters on the lines, letting your soul spill out onto the page in a splattered mess, and allowing it to align in a way that makes sense to you.

This page, this pen, this is what makes sense to me. This is what gives me hope. I can do this.

The rain is beautiful and the thunder thumps. I never wish away the rain; I always welcome it with open arms. A smile takes over my face every time the thunder roars. So intimidating, yet so harmless. Thunder never killed anyone, but then again, anything is possible.

I really don’t like to read the news. So much killing and torture. And it is so structured. When I read it, most of the time I don’t get very far. It’s not because I don’t give a shit, it’s because it is unreadable. I understand it is important to know what is going on, but most of the time it is too difficult to absorb all of it.

Just because I don’t enjoy reading the news, it does not mean I cannot do anything with a B.A. in journalism. I can contribute something meaningful to society.

I want to help people like me. People who have been through emotional turmoil and feel that there is nowhere else to turn. I want people like to to feel there is hope even if they are struggling.

I don’t know what type of career would allow me to do that. A motivational speaker? Or maybe a speech writer? Hopefully soon I will be able to figure that out.

The sun is out now. What a perfect day it must be for a plant.

Just keep growing. You will get there. Soon enough you’ll be in full bloom.

Hypomanic with Bipolar 1

I am currently a slave to my own hypomania.

Here is an extremely accurate description of Hypomania from WebMD.com –>

“At first when I’m high, it’s tremendous … ideas are fast … like shooting stars you follow until brighter ones appear… All shyness disappears, the right words and gestures are suddenly there … uninteresting people, things, become intensely interesting. Sensuality is pervasive, the desire to seduce and be seduced is irresistible. Your marrow is infused with unbelievable feelings of ease, power, well-being, omnipotence, euphoria … you can do anything … but somewhere this changes.”

(http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/hypomania-mania-symptoms)

My house is spotless and I have three new projects started. Well, four if you count this blog.

My thoughts are aplenty and continue to race, almost like there’s an F1 track in my head.

I am happy at times, giggling at my boyfriend’s silly antics, but most of the time I am irritated about nothing in particular. My compulsions (picking up dust, wiping down the counters, making the house positively PRISTINE clean) are ruling supreme over my projects/enjoyment.

My psychiatrist prescribed three different medications for my Bipolar I. A mood-stabilizer which I have been on for 9 years (works like a dream), an anti-depressant for recurrent depressive episodes, and adderall for focus.