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Silence

I shutter at the silent draft that creeps inside my room as it flows through the curtains leaving a tinge of frost in its wake. It’s a hint of days to come. I have felt it in my sleep, in my day-to-day life and within the very core of my being. I have stood at bay for all the cards to fall where they may.

Fall as they may, I have simply sat in anticipation, fully aware of what could come. Not entirely sure of how anything would pan out, I simply closed my eyes and hoped for the best. I begged for angels to keep on fighting for me, for reason to hold me up in a time when I needed it most. There were so many dreams, dreams of battles that begged and fought with resistance. A battle that can only by seen by me.

There’s an uncanny silence just before the dawn breaks. It’s like the eerie silence the moment right after the lights go out. Or the unimaginable silence right after you receive bad news. It stretches and yawns and pulls at your emotions and tugs at your heart. That’s the silence I have been in lately. In the Bible, that place is called Lo-Debar – The Place Of No Communication. Can you even imagine what thats like?

Sometimes in Lo-Debar, the silence is so loud it screams. Sometimes in Lo-Debar, the loneliness is so pungent it knocks the breath out of you. And sometimes in Lo-Debar the uncertainty and confusion can make you lose focus of the assignment, turn your back on the journey and run back into the comfort of the familiar, the mundane, the yesterday essentially.

I don’t tell them that I see demons. I don’t tell them that they appear in my dreams begging for control. I run always towards the light, I am determined to remain sane and whole.  They have no idea that through this pain and these tears , I remain vigilant. I remain calm and in those nightly adventures I seek faith. The random thoughts of ending it all and the struggle for purpose have never been so real.  I wont let this define me. Though I know no one could understand, it does not compel me into silence.

Today as I sit here in the pin-drop silence, I attempt to make peace. It simply means that I am seeing where I must go while not dwelling on where I have come from. This, I believe, is what is sometimes referred to as the point of perfect equilibrium or the pivotal point, some would would say.

Today I am in Lo-Debar.

You see Type 1 Bipolar Disorder doesn’t define the woman I am. It’s simply a symptom that I shall forever forego. I feel deeply, I hurt easily and I love intensely; flaws and gifts all in the same spectrum. The battle and  struggles I’ve endured against the devil on my shoulder (Mania)  have encompassed my reason.

I don’t want to swim these deep waters alone but I am doomed to eternal darkness. Now I can only imagine how dark this must sound to you, should you lack the understanding of a mentally ill mind. I never anticipated that my emotions and thoughts would run so deep.

I start my days with hope, ambition and optimism but when the mania hits, my day’s end out of breathe exhaustion and a never-ending to do list. I crave for a lower amount of energy but then I’m hit with disappointment , lack of energy and dissipating  joy. There is never a middle ground, I never feel normalcy only extreme amount of emotion. I truly believe that you must play to your abilities and so I have. I have played to my strengths and managed my weaknesses.

Mania has made me capable of accomplishments I could not have seen myself doing out of normalcy. Depression has brought the humbleness that I need to respect all that’s around me. I have received gifts out of my disabilities that I would have never known.

So the next time someone says ” Damn Tasha, Your crazy”. I shall smile and simply agree, for I m in Lo-Debar.

 

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Psychosis: The Aftermath

“It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality.”

You know they never tell you how hard life can actually be. They explain bits and pieces as you grow up but they never elaborate on the details of what you may or may not encounter. Everyone is told that they can be anything they want to be, you are pushed to do your best and you walk through life with this ringing in your ears that life is your oyster. Until that fateful night when you feel pain, witness injustice and embrace tragedy.  All that I could be, stopped for me. I was diagnosed with Rapid Cycling Type 1 Bipolar Disorder (the worst kind) and with that came limits. Limits to what I could do, who I could be and the loss of control that I so desperately seeked. I’ve seen despair and all the triumphs that life enfolds but I have also seen the most beautiful moments that this world has to offer. I am compelled to dive into my depression or rise instantaneously into mania but there are moments that remain a memory. Moments that exist before the mania fully takes hold.  In that moment, I sense the uplifting joy, I recognize the enfolding happiness and suck in the wonders that this world offers.

I know that I’m happy, I know that the smells and sounds are intensified and that life is embracing me back. The music is liberating, the breathe of fresh air is intoxicating and the laughter around me is contagious.  I am conditioned to ask myself, what is the cause of my happiness? I am programmed to sense the beginning symptoms of mania but at this very moment I don’t care. This is the only moment that I am grateful to be like the average person. This is the moment that I can see clearly and enjoy my surroundings despite the realization of whats in-store. Theres a sense of peace and genuine happiness that not even I knew was possible. A weight that has been lifted as the stress of life’s struggles have been forgotten. Suddenly nothing seems impossible.

What a relief.

I drive with the windows down and the AC on, music blasting with all genres thats manifest strength and joy. I take in deep breathes that have never been sweeter. I take a passing glance at myself in the rear view mirror and see the beautiful, smart and ambitious woman I have become. I allow myself to suffocate in this moment; as this moment is always brief. This moment will evolve into full fledge mania. I am only hours, minutes or seconds away from losing full control of my emotions and in essence my mind. Eventually everything will intensify and become an overload of sounds, feelings and thoughts. Soon I will blast the music at an ear bruising rate, I will inhale cigarette after cigarette with no resistance and down red bulls as if they were water as I feel every emotion with an intensity thats unexplainable. The rapid thoughts that list the to do’s for today, tomorrow and next month. The feelings of happiness, insecurity and uncertainty mix itself within and I am simply a bucket of confusion.

In this moment though I try to slow down, I try to embrace the feelings that reinforce my present joy. I do not prepare for the storm; I simply bask in the ambience of simple pleasantries. Even the loneliness can be replaced with endurance, the insecurities can be replaced with self esteem and the anger can be replaced with pure humility. In this moment, I try to save myself. I wish I could always feel this way. I dream for a life where this feeling is the norm. I grasp at the feeling and watch it slowly slip away. I have lost control…..

The darkness protects you in a sense so that you are completely unaware. Some where inside of you, there are previews.Seconds really, where you can see from the passenger side. I’m frightened and I have no control but thats not what scares me. Its the way I feel, its the voices I hear and the delusional thoughts that I have accepted as fact. A day of severe grandiose behavior, unconventional spending and unlimited drinking mixed with a week of no medication have taken its toll.  I cant remember and what I do remember stops me in my tracks. The feeling of being untouchable, the words I scream out of unwarranted hatred. Somehow I’m barricaded in my room, theres bread, theres laughter and there are voices that say I am not safe. Yeah Bread, no clue why. Maybe that was my meal until help arrived. I couldn’t tell ya.

I awaken the next morning exhausted and confused. Where is everyone? Bruises and cuts on my face. Tons of calls that I have no recollection of. The last thing I remember was sitting with my husband and having a drink. I wasn’t drunk. I was sure of it. The next morning I am faced with the damage that I’ve caused, damage that I don’t remember and seems unreal. As I drive straight to my psychiatrist for help, I cry. My face is swollen from the tears. The shame and guilt have over taken me. I’m afraid. Can you believe it. I’m afraid of myself.

Im catatonic, there are no words or expressions. There is only silence. I faintly hear words such as psychosis, nervous breakdown and delusions/hallucinations. Its my first episode and its common with my diagnosis. Im prescribed stronger meds, spoken to about the next steps, reassured, followed by her warm embrace. I opt out of psychiatric care, I have to work. I call my mother and she tells me all the things I said the night before. She tells me she understands. She tippy toes her words in fear of causing me more distress. I get it because I’m doing the same. I try not to think, I try not to stress and I let go. I don’t want to fall again. I don’t remember but some how I survived. In that darkness, you are no longer you. I’ve read about it and it was something that happened to other people. Until it happened to me.

They never told me that my grandmother had many psychotic breakdowns, they never warned me that my mother had extreme OCD and mania. They never truly explained the seriousness of my fathers alcohol and drug addiction. No one ever assumed that I would inherit it all. So I sit here, wanting to embrace life but afraid of myself and whats to come. Holding on to my sanity for dear life. I pray that I never lose it again because I have lost a piece of myself. A piece that I don’t think I can ever regain. I can never be certain of my actions. I will never be confident in my emotions. I will forever questions my thoughts in fear that I should break. There is no cure. So how many more pieces do I have to lose before the Natasha I have come to know and love is no longer me?

Cause in this world, anything can hurt you and it can push you and then desert you. I cant let this steal my history. I still look the same as I stare at my reflection. I look the same but I’m not. I just cant stop living, afraid of what I will see and who I will be.

I just need to remember me.

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Maybe Tomorrow

The sun has risen and the children are laughing in the distance. I can feel my husband rise and within moments I can smell the brewing of coffee, that means it’s time for my day to start.

I can’t move.

It’s seems to be the simplest thing; right? It isn’t though, it’s crippling. There is a fear to jump out into the world, a resistance from my bodies lack of energy and my mind’s refusal to acknowledge all that needs to be done.

I know that I will be a disappointment and the looks of dissatisfaction will only confirm my need to hide further within myself. If I could be a turtle, I would hide in my shell until all have disappeared. I can hear the clink of the dishes that need washing, the silent whispers of socks that haven’t been cleaned and feel the disapproval of the time that I have managed to squander. I have spent the past few days saying the same exact thing.

“Maybe tomorrow”

There is no real reason or explanation that I can muster. I simply hide further in the sheets, knowing that they provide a blanket of comfort. My bed allows for me to sleep and not feel, see or hear. The soft feel of my comforter holding me down and allowing me to stay. I know that I can’t or won’t manage a thing today. Sweet words and loving kisses will not change me. I have locked up and lost myself within the shadows of mind as depression consumes me.

What happened? I was so energized and optimistic just the other day. I was proactive and almost perfect. That woman seems far away from where I lay now. I know the world means well but I wish they understood. I wish they didn’t take it personal when I reject their calls. That they accepted my unwillingness to answer the door. I wish they all could see that it isn’t me.  That I truly want to be all that they expect of me.

But “Maybe tomorrow”

I can’t though. I am drowning in myself and the only one that can save me is unfortunately me. I will though, as I have time and time again. I will eventually rise, with my knotted hair, my 3 day worn pajamas and a frazzled look on my face. I will force myself to move. With every step, as a million pounds of bricks weigh me down. I will still trudge through and try. I will try to do all that I need to.

Today though I’m perfectly delighted to hide and that is where I will remain for today. So I whisper softly to myself.

“Maybe tomorrow”.

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Where did I go?

When did the push and pull of life become the center of your being. The overwhelming exhaustion of life’s many trials.  Where did I go?

Where is the vibrance! The optimistic girl that once resided in me?

When did life become so predictable and dead stares of silence fill a room?

Knowing all and realizing you still know nothing can be the ultimate paradox.

The simplest of things aren’t so simple when you really consider it.

The need to be seen for the first time. To be valued and not pitied. The resistance that is put forth in order to protect yourself. The loneliness you feel when in a room filled with those you love. We all want to be loved, we all want to be acknowledged. Its what makes us human. The looks that turned from passion and hope; to resentment and hopelessness? When your feelings are deemed irritional and so you reserve them and shell up. There is a sense of jealousy towards all those who remain carefree. There is a sense of disappointment when all you had wished for became a joke.

Distant stares and secret cries carry its toll. The arguments that resolve nothing. The words that aren’t heard but hurt.

As a mother, wife and friend I had hoped for so much more. Am I wrong? The love is blocked by the 9 to 5, the children’s every need, the families every quarrel and the bills that appear with every coming day. The bulbs need to be changed, dinner needs to be made, wash the dishes and pay the bills before they shut it off. Think and think and solve and solve. Hoping for 100% and settling for keeping the peace.

Get over it, except it so you don’t end up with nothing and no-one. Is the presence all worth it. Craving for a different ending, knowing that it will never change. The difference is ever-changing and undeniable. The broken hearts that carry weight. Resolved in what life has provided. I don’t know, forget about it, Keep the peace. Is this ok? Those that are lonely pray for love and those that aren’t pray for happiness.

Sinking in a hole that no one sees but you. Praying to simply give up and knowing this isn’t even an option that should ever be entertained. The misunderstanding that all know how you feel or can even relate is bitter sweet. Pulling me back or pushing me forward is simply a form of control and sometimes the need to not care is enticing. Where are the invisible restraints that bound me and hold me without even being touched.

When did it disappear? When and where was the moment that changed it all? When did life ultimately diminish the faith and love that was once dear. When is your decision ever the right one? I know that the answer will never truly be clear and only time will tell. Never takes too long to be pulled back into the same spectrum that you have become accustomed to. Broken vows and innocent lies carry through and weigh you down with time. The pain that never left, the deceit that has never been forgiven. I don’t know if I like what I have become. The voices that whisper in the back of your mind and confirm  the scary questions that lie hidden. Who am I without you? The love that you provide never allows me to even ask. The loneliness you create also holds me in the dark.

The fight has diminished. I don’t know me any longer. I know that I should. Holding impossible dreams that cannot be controlled is not fair to anyone. The letting go is the simplest solution and at times the hardest. Knowing that you will never be heard will always remain a fallacy that can never be identified. Why can’t we simply cherish who and what we have? Why can’t we accept who we are not?  I know perfection doesn’t exist but perfection was never demanded. I cant say that I don’t dwell on whats been done. The ripples that still remain hold a a sadness that had never diminished.

We have been here before and I have no want to say everything and nothing all at the same time. Let go of what has been done and continue with faith that all will resolve itself.

There is no right or wrong. There is only the understanding and realization that change is needed. Change that can make or break you and those that you love.

Choose wisely and hope for the best as life never holds a gaurentee and doesn’t that scare you? I know It scares me…

 

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Am I a prisoner of Impulse

Impulses are strong and the lack of control can override logic. Should we let go for just a moment, will that moment shape our eternity. I see it like this; you should live for the here and now as tomorrow is not a guarantee and though that is a well known cliche; it still holds weight. But when does living in the moment override all logic and the line placed before you in order to keep you safe, becomes a joke. When is living in the moment the reason that your life has faltered and the faces that once loved you, now look back in disdain.

In my life there is no grey spectrum it is all or nothing; black or white. There are no boundaries to refer to and no limits to stop my endless escapades.

Should we move?

Answer: Of Course!

Should we start a new business and leave our stable jobs?

Answer: Why not?!

Should we leave and drink until we are no longer in control of what’s happening?

Answer: Fuck it!

Once I have given in I know that I have created an unpredictable situation and I  am simply delighted to not care.  The sudden elevation in mood and the hyperactive thoughts overwhelm you and suddenly Bipolar is the one in control and you are sitting in the passenger seat praying for it to end. The results can be devastating but at that very moment you’re in pure ecstasy living at a whim. At any moment the circumstances can change and I am rapidly excited about the prospect. Giving in to your urges, your cravings and saying Fuck it is the most exhilarating feeling that only further justifies you when you clearly crave freedom.

The wind in your hair as you drive above the speed limit.  The sounds of the music playing ever so loudly in your car. The darkness  removing clarity and the open container of alcohol that feeds the flame. Not regretting the silly sudden dances, the exhilarating sexual kisses (what was her name again)? That moment provides life that a nine to five life cannot fulfil. The attention of all those around, the meaningless yet deep conversations, the eyes searching around; seeking a connection. The music rumbling and moving the body of those surrounding you. A spectacular atmosphere to only reconfirm your inhibitions.

The mind is a dangerous tool that can make you or break you. I have feared not only for my safety but for the integrity and beauty of my life. The awareness that I am slowly tipping the iceberg. The insistent warning from deep within that this cannot last forever. Holding on to the thinnest thread, reading the smallest of signals and praying for the courage to overcome the next impulse. To regard your finances, to limit your sexual urges and to hold on to a family that has taken a lifetime to create.

Are we our impulses?  Or are we simply prisoners of our illness? Do we hold ourselves accountable as the world does? I hold my impulses as lessons and of course I have regrets but should I give in to all that pain I have caused for myself and others. I could never get better. Not until I have realized the destruction that mania inflicts. Not until I resist my imprisonment and take back control what is rightfully mine.

My life…

 

 

 

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I am a Pancreas!

 

Diabetes…Type 1 none the less has been the most trying experience and exhausting disease that you can possibly fathom; not to say that there aren’t other’s but I speak from my own experience. I have this constant impending doom that swims over me like a fog, that should I slip for one moment, should I allow my guard to falter for even a second; I could potentially lose my son.

I am his Pancreas, I am his nurse, I am his provider and I am his army and to be quite frank, I am also exhausted! I endure restless nights, I withstand patiently as every little judgement and every little number is questioned. I find Pinterest recipes when eating is no longer fun and more of a requirement and is limited to him. I search for results and solutions to the questions that he has in regards to his own life. I manage his meals, his medications, his appointments, his school nurse and teacher. Should he be away from me at any point in time, I manage those in charge. I carry with me disappointment, regret, sadness and dare I say it again? Exhaustion!

The nights in ICU are brutal and the sounds of the monitors beeping, allow for no sleep. Any beep and every beep can be a potential issue I need to be aware of. Even though he is amongst professionals, I have held on so tightly for so long, I can’t seem to let go. It wasn’t always this way though.

As a woman, there is a point in your life where you truly take on the full embodiment of a mother. For some it’s the feeling of life growing inside you, for others its the nestling of a small baby in your arms and knowing that you are all they have. For me that moment took years to come. I carried a sort of resentment towards those cookie cutter moms who carried their children with such pride. The mothers that created Halloween costumes from scratch and looked forward to school events and PTA meetings. Where was my embodiment? Had I missed my moment?

There was emptiness in that department and I never truly embraced those moments that were passing by me. Some women were made for motherhood, it was apparent that I was not. So my husband and mother-in-law assumed the role that I was unable to fulfill and I searched for meaning elsewhere. I dived into a career that would be the baby I never truly embraced. It was everything for a time and in some regards it still is.

Then something happened, that I can only describe as a strange, unexplainable, unfortunate and devastating event. My youngest son was falling asleep in daycare and was pale. I never had the intuition of a mother but all flags were going off and I was not to be refused. I took him to the closest hospital and as the doctors simply dismissed it as a cold and asked that he see his family physician in the morning, I remained stubborn and insistent. I may not have always been the mother they wanted but I certainly was the mother that they needed. I would not allow my children despite my lack of emotion to suffer. I would not allow him to be ignored as he was too weak and little to fight for himself. I asked for every test possible and when his blood sugar came back at over 1000, I was shocked. I imagined something but not this. No one had Diabetes in my family, I had no idea what that even meant.

As the sudden rush of an emergency became present, all the nurses and doctors carted my son away to stabilize him as best as they could. As the plastic bags of liquid were injected and the insulin was administered at a slow drip. I watched as he cried, when they couldn’t find a vein due to his lack of hydration. I stood in silence as a nurse briefed me on my son’s condition. I was breaking inside and had to hold it inside to not scare him. I waited for my husband to arrive and once he did. I left that room as fast as I could! Something came over me and I couldn’t contain it. I had my moment, I embraced and embodied the very meaning of motherhood in that instant. My heart was broken and for the first time in my life I was terrified for my children.

I cried and fell to the ground in defeat, unsure of how to move forward with all of these feelings as they clouded my judgement. I knew that this was not about me and I needed to be by his side and silently I knew that tonight as he slept safely in the care of professionals; I would cry. As AJ was rushed to pediatric ICU, I remained calm and hopeful. I watched as they managed his hyperglycemia and prayed for his discomfort to stop. That night as he slept, with the sounds that I would soon become accustomed to; I watched intently. I watched him and saw every moment of his childhood. I absorbed all the issues he’s endured at such a young age and processed all the challenges to come. I watched my fragile, 9-year-old… 50 lb. child lie there. I watched as the wires were coming from all ends. I listened to the sounds of parents questioning concerns and their children’s faint cries through the night. I held on to the chair for dear life as the tears ran rampant down my face. I faced the decision and understanding that I was his only hope and things needed to change. That was not only the scariest moment of my life but the best decision of my life.

As the years past, I have seen more Endocrinologist then I care for, I have become a Diabetes expert, a mother with OCD in regards to his health. I have consumed my life with work but also with my family. He is the happiest child I have ever known and yet the bravest I may ever know. He has taught so much and yet till this day I still learn. Through him, I have learned forgiveness, endurance, laughter and hope. I have gained a closeness that I never knew. I have become the mother I never thought I would be and even though I’m still not a cookie cutting mom; its ok. I am a loving, fearless and determined mother. So yes, Diabetes has been the worst thing to happen to my family but dare I say it has been a gift in its own respects. I gained something that is priceless. I gained motherhood….

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The woman in the mirror

Holding an old red brush that pulls my hair when I begin to brush the naps that do not easily entangle. Basting the foundation around my deep, exhausted eyes that illustrate a story untold. I stare at the woman in the mirror, its early and the sun is just awakening through the skylight of my bathroom. The birds are happily chirping in the distance alarming me of the new day that is before me. I know this woman; faintly. She is a person that used to be someone I once knew but lately she has become unrecognizable.

The soft sounds of those I love around me, silently sleeping. The light snores and faint breathing allows me peace for the time being. The hustle and bustle of the day will start soon but for now, I envelope myself in the silence. There’s an eerie feeling when the woman in the mirror stares back at me with these deep sunken eyes. The small creases that begin to enfold wrinkles, that are slowly making their way through her withered face. Time has not been kind and the struggle of it all has impacted her image. The scar’s and bruises are deep within; festering within her soul and heart. Her mind is altered and filled with joy and despair.

I look at her and she presents a small and frail smile that appears fake in some respect. Her roots are coming in as her hair drapes heavily over her face. Ponytails have never suited her but they suit me just fine. She cannot afford to allow all of her flaws to shine, so she hides behind the thick multi colored hair, that resembles her life. She sacrifices comfort for beauty in order to manage her insecurities.

Her body has fallen and sagged into its own shape and though most see her beauty, she only see’s the inconsistencies. The nose that grows larger with every pound, the gap between her two front teeth that widen with ever coming year. The hair that brittles with every treatment and the mind that deteriorates with every coming day.

I have seen her before but this woman has taken a form unknown to me. She has wrapped herself in exhaustion and has lost the fire that once bestowed her. She is the strength that once was and is no longer.  I fear for her safety and pray for her to return to us all. This woman that once carried joy, positivity and optimism.

This woman has endured great amounts of pain, she has shouldered the cosmos on her bare back. She has held back the tears and strived on through life’s constant struggles and road blocks. She has persevered when all have fallen behind, she has loved when she wasn’t loved back. She has given and expected nothing in return. She has faced love and deceit. She has remarkably survived but to say that she made it through unscathed is a lie. She is broken and she has fallen to her knees.

Though the pieces are hard to find and glue back, she takes a deep breath and glues them as she stares back at me through my bathroom window. She cries as she puts it all back together and then she stuffs it away from all those that can see. She wipes her tears and continues on her early morning ritual and before she leaves to begin the day, she looks back at the mirror, knowing that she just has to get through one more day. She stares intently at me and I know that I am her strength. I am the person she strives and wishes to be. She holds on and stares at the stranger in the mirror and I know that she is me. She knows that I am her. Though we are not the same, we once were and all the glue in world could never combine us.

There is a moment as a woman where you see the person you used to be, the woman you have become and the woman you strive to be. This moment is staring me in the face and asking me what is the outcome. What will it be? I stare and hope that she will surpass her struggles and navigate through her indifferences. I plead for her to see past her indiscretions, past her pain and disappointments. I beg for mercy, understanding and the possibility of acceptance and forgiveness. This woman who has become tattered by life’s unpredictable paths has become numb and it shows. It resonates within her face, her body, her mind and dare I say her very existence.

She holds a steady gaze and says goodbye to all she once was. This woman that I barely recognize is now me and as she walks away with not even a second glance, I know that she will never be the same.

 

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A little Introduction

I grew up with a mother that loved reading and a father who valued education above all else.  These traits most definitely stuck with me and growing up I read so many books, that when I ran out of children’s books; I read my mother’s books. By the age of 10, I was well versed in the signs and symptoms of menopause and could recite a good majority of Edgar Allan poetry. Reading was an escape for me, it provided a gateway to other worlds that my imagination could take hold of. You see even though my parents were intellectuals and instilled education as the forefront to my life, they had flaws that overshadowed all the words they spoke. Their actions determined the truth behind it all and I was fully aware of it. I chose reading and writing to escape the reality of it all.

My mother was determined, smart and loving but with age I came to realize she wasn’t like most mothers. It would take many years and many adversities until I found the truth, my mother had untreated Bipolar Disorder. Learning that softened my heart and allowed for forgiveness. My father on the other hand was a functioning alcoholic and drug addict. There were more disappointments than a girl should ever have to endure from her father but the love that I had for him was immense and no amount of pain he caused, could ever deter me from loving him.

 Writing became my peace that can only be described as serene. I’ve always been compelled to tell a story, always had a talent in seeing beyond just words. I felt the meaning behind the smallest of things. As a writer or artistic person, there is an understanding and a connection of the world around you.  I can feel and hear the whispers of life because I simply sit back and soak it in. I can embrace the elements that fearlessly embrace back.

True writing cannot be taught or learned for that matter. It can be enhanced, nothing more. The creativity that compels someone to express themselves fully through art, words, photography and more is a gift. A gift that requires a vision.

 I have always had a knack for writing and poetry. I felt deeply, hurt intensely and loved courageously.

 When I saw the sun, I not only felt its warmth surrounding my arms and face as I enfolded in the new dawn.

 When I was by the sea, I envisioned the sand between my toes and the sound of the waves clashing in the distance. It created a melancholy symphony of music that intertwined with the winds various movements.

The stories in my mind were not only easy to write, they were widely vivid and enticing. My mind took reality and captivated it; in doing so there was only manifested beauty. Many people can write on specific genres and subjects, mine has always been humor and sadness. I know… what an odd combination but hear me out if you will. I could always encapture sadness and in that sadness, I cultivated humor. Its my defense, my shield and my only tactic for handling the issues that I have had to endure. I always felt that if you couldn’t laugh at yourself, you could easily cry for an eternity and where’s the fun in that! In my life I have felt so much sadness that I felt it only fitting to claim it as my own, it seemed appropriate to say the least.
In this bullshit world of social media, selfies and primitive behavior; I choose books, writing and education. I have always dreamed of a life unscathed by the 9 to 5 work flow. You need the experience of life, pain and beauty in order to be inspired and triggered to create something into existence.

Writing has gotten me through the hardest moments of my bipolar disorder and its not easy to present it to the world but I know that many are alone in their struggle. I know I was and when I began writing and opening up about my disorder the outpour of relief from others that felt the same was up lifting and presented an opportunity.

Writing can be a beautiful and mysterious experience as I always envisioned long nights of words and wine; as I reach an oasis of elevation.
Not everyone feels they have a story to tell and for me my life was enough to fill multiple books. Though for now we shall concentrate on the subject at hand; Bipolar Disorder. My life contains so many anomalies that it begged to be told.

A girl raised in a small and stuffy apartment in the Bronx slums of New York City. The smell of urine intoxicating the elevators and the litter that filled the streets of my neighborhood. It was all I knew and to me it was simply home. In a home that consisted of domestic violence and an untreated Bipolar mother whom did the best she could with the tools she had.  My mother was a fierce woman and she was capable of more than she gave herself credit for but as a single mother with 3 kids she was limited in her time and patience. That frustration eventually caved in and spilled over onto me. With no possible understanding as to why my mother acted the way she did, I rebelled. In that rebellion it only made matters worse and I was homeless by the age of 16.

 

My father was a fun and adventurous dad that most kids wished they had. He had no fear and did as he pleased. As a young girl I idolized him and he could do no wrong in my eyes. He was the center of my love and though he was what you would consider self-centered, a drug addict and an alcoholic, my feelings and outlook of him remained the same. I never understood why he failed to show on many occasions; when it was his turn to spend time with me. I was young but I wasn’t too young to see the pity in my families eyes. I wasn’t too young to know, that there was a routine of either showing up extremely late or not showing up at all. It didn’t deter me though from grabbing my grandmothers rotary phone and calling him repeatedly. I knew he would never answer but I always kept the faith that one day he would.

 

As the years past I needed him more and more and as the relationship between my mother and I worsened, I frequently wished and dreamed for his insight. I carried pain in my heart, pain because I felt he didn’t love me, pain because my mother had disposed of me, pain because I was alone and pain because I had a grim outlook on my life.  Though there were moments of sadness there were also moments of joy in the little things and I remained hopeful that one day I would be the woman that I dreamed of being. I would be successful and then, only then would my family accept and love me again.

 

With education, hard headedness, determination and my boyfriend -who’s now my spouse – I managed to become a writer, mother, wife, accountant and somehow trudged along; even as I was eventually diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder tearing at the very seams that I worked so hard to pull together.

The only way this works is by allowing the words that I have held in for so long and have waited so very patiently to express. To use the gifts given in order to fight the demons that stand at bay. Isn’t it funny, that for a good majority of my life I resented my mother for her mistakes, to only then commit the same ones she endured. Isn’t that the paradox though, its assumed to be the cycle of life, all that your mother endures at some point you will endure the same and the level of understanding awakens within you. Though I do not agree with all her choices, I know that Bipolar Disorder controls every part of you and logic is non exsistant. As she did it all alone with no family or spouse to bring her back down to earth, she managed somehow to gets us all through this alive. I may not have been around much but the moments I needed her and came for help she assisted despite her doubts. My mother is the reason I am who I am today and dispite the everything she has also provided, loved me and guided me; even when I fought to not listen. The good and the bad molded me and allowed the same sort of fierceness and independence to flow inside of me.

My weapon is my truth along with my mind which carries racing thoughts that have flown through as an uncontrollable tornado. Pounding down the shed door as the latches give way, these words need to be portrayed.

 

As I sit here I hope you see the deeper meaning behind my words, read as if your the writer. Analyze and maybe you can even feel what I failed to acknowledge for so long.                  

                                                                                                                                                            My life is not dictated carelessly and its hard to share such intimate details of my life and the struggles I have endured with alcohol, drugs, family and bipolar disorder. This memoir is a reflection of all I have overcome and still overcome on a daily basis with the inconsistencies of life, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse. Coming from my own family, my upbringing and my adulthood. Though I carry no certainty and pride in the drug and alcohol addictions that I have carried, I feel like it has played a role in shaping the woman I am today.

 

Drugs…Alcohol…They were my solitude and they were my poison. Its crazy to know that the one thing that kept me sane,  played a major part in my illness. The drugs and alcohol only magnified the mania and the depression which in turn amplified the realization that there was a problem. A problem that I was never truly ready to face or even admit.

If I could ever give something back; let it be my words, stories and visions. Let it touch those that know my struggle but lack the direction, the approach and the ability to elevate and share with those around them. For those that have a story they cannot tell, may my saga speak for you. May it embrace and comfort you when you are at your loneliest and most misunderstood.

“You are not your illness, you have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history and a personality.

Staying yourself is part of the battle!”

 

Julien Seifter