Forming attachments and bonds

From the moment we are born, we are comforted by our mothers warm touch, safe in her arms and feeling love for the first time.
If only… if only I had been held as a newborn would I have all the relationship issues I have today? That was the question that was burning in my brain as I woke up this morning. So much for entering the new day in a calm state of mind. Now I am hyper focused on my birth and the lack of emotional and physical attention I had in my first few months of life most likely the cause of my trust and bonding issues I live with.
I was abandoned at birth in a Russian hospital where I spent my first four months of life fighting to survive as a 3lbs 4oz premie. I was moved to an orphanage that had one hundred children under the age of five years old with only five caretakers. About 20 of those children were infants.  Needless to say I missed the attention and physical touch that calms the brain and develops the necessary human bond of trust. These are basic things I missed – knowing I   would be picked up when crying and fed when hungry and held with love . Apparently, and according to my therapist, it has impacted me through my whole life causing havoc.
Developing bonds with friends, partners, and even my parents was challenging. I tend to keep everybody at a distance,  and only share bits of important information, that one would need to know to understand me. I do not attach myself, and always prepare for the worst. I am always ready for my new friend to hurt me, but as a pattern, I would usually do something to cause the friendship to end before I got hurt. I have ruined and lost a few good people, because of this.  When I do make a friend, I question why do they want to be my friend, what do they see in me?  Can I trust them?  Would they have my back and cherish the information I share with them? I also don’t want to be a burden to them. I know I can be a lot to handle and do talk a lot, and have energy when I shouldn’t, and most of all I love deep conversations. I am overly caring, but also super mean and distant somedays. I know it can be worked on to an extent. I’ve been made more aware of that.  Making friends is easy, but keeping them is the hard part. Getting the anxiety to clam down enough to realize I am worth their friendship and I am not a burden. To have them understand that if I am up at 3 or 4am, walking back and fourth in the house, it is anxiety and to just let me be, or hold me if I allow. That brings me to my control anxiety. I have to always be in control…. that will be for another day…
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Irma and New York City

Bright lights, tons of people, all different unfirimilar loud sounds, with no idea where you are heading next. A person with Bi-Polar, or Anexity worst nightmare, The feeling of being trapped.  Nothing was going to scare me or trigger a PTSD flashback. As I sit on the train into the city, looking out the window, remembering the last time I was here, NYC is like a playground for adults. As we approach the city, I collect my things and make my way to the exit. From the moment I stepped off the train, it was complete craziness. I had forgotten, how safe, and secure the city really is. As I make my way through Penn Station I seem military men and women placed all around the station, with guns on their backs. In between each military hero, there are at least 3 police officers grouped together, and one of them has an explosive-detecting dog. I absorb everything, My excitement to see my best friend is all I am thinking about. I find my train, and take it all the way downtown, is so populated  there is nowhere to sit, I hold my bag close to me, and my phone is my other hand. My stop approaches, and I quickly exit the subway, look around fast and find my way out of the station. If there is one thing I started to remember is that, be careful who you ask for directions, it is easy to get turned around in this city. I found myself only asking police for directions. One officer, downtown who I asked for directions offered to escort me to where I had to go, I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not, i just smiled and gave a little laugh and said thank you. Having lived in New York City, just shy of four years ago now, I was not completely clueless, I knew what ave and streets were, and what went up town, and what went down, iPhones can only help so far in a city this packed. I also learned real quickly how expensive the city really was, and it made me realize how blessed I was to of had lived there for two years, not had to hold a solid job, besides modeling, and working in nightlife. Anyways in this city, anything can happen, I had to stay sober, strong and alert. Which was not a problem because I was so nervous about really getting lost. The evening starts to approach, and I finally get to my second friend’s apartment, where I end up staying the night, unplanned. I was super excited to be shown nightlife again, but on a much smaller level, I got to wear jeans and flats!!! We found the only pool hall on the east side, only known to locals. It was packed, I closed my eyes took a deep breath, grabbed my friends hand and push our way to the back, where to pool table was. I felt safe, not crowded, and I wouldn’t get bumped into and pushed around. I laughed, danced, and drank one too many red bulls. Wired, we made our way to the next bar around 2am. This bar was my favorite, it was very laid back and hipster. As 4am approached, either of us was ready to go home, so we headed out to Brooklyn, to this underground club, it was super tiny and quietly packed. I felt in my old element, house music playing, and all the most beautiful girls around me. Yep! not going home anytime soon! I have never been more happy to be dancing in flats! Although I was making the best out of the worst situation possible, having to evacuate the state of Florida, where Irma was about to destroy. I was not ready to think about all the damage, and maybe not having a home to go back to. As my time in the city came to an end, I met up with one last friend, and attended my first hot yoga class. I loved it instantly. and can not wait to attend one back home. That is if the studio is still standing after Irma. Coming back to my aunts house, was the only anxiety I had felt since I left the island. I finally had time to think, maybe to much time. My Aunt’s house is so beautiful, set on acres of land, with chickens and alpaca’s, and children playing soccer at the school next door, it is pure serenity. I only have a few more days in New York, excitement and nervousness is all I feel, excited to get my life going again, and to see all my close friends from my hometown, who stayed through the hurricane.
Going back home is going to be unlike any return trip home I have ever had, there is so much uncertainty, but I keep telling myself, and others have told me, these are just things. During this whole time away I have been closely checking in with all my friends back home, and I am glad to know they are all safe. I think they are just as excited as I am for me to be home.

The Creativity Process

 

Taking time to be creative is so important to embrace when you are learning how to manage daily life with mental health issues.  Whether you have a Masters Degree in writing or Art or you just like to sit down and let the thoughts flow out, finding your inner voice and expressing it creatively is cathartic.   I love to paint and I love to write. The direction I go in depends on the mood of the moment (I am a rapid cycle Bipolar 1). That being said, as a result of many therapy sessions, I am getting better at being able to know where I am in the mood pyramid and plan my activities accordingly.  I also have an app on my phone that I use to take notice of my feelings and the little things that happen to me throughout the day. During the course of one day in Mania, I can experience a wide range of moods from so anxious that I am sick to my stomach too so productive I cannot keep up with my thoughts. Usually, long hours of sleep from twenty-four to forty-eight are required to reset the mood cycle. I use the emotions and feelings I have just experienced for insight into how I will express myself.  It all starts with a feeling that directs me toward writing or painting for a release.  Today I will express myself through writing and gather my thoughts and piece back information I am feeling or have felt. When I put the words on paper, they are mine and agree or disagree they are still mine. I find it empowering.

24 Hours with anxiety​

The unexplained fear, racy heart and sweaty palms, the three daily symptoms of my anxiety and panic disorder.

The room was filled with silence my mind so stressed out I feel like my heart is going to come right out of my body, my breathing becomes labored and shallow. An anxiety attack, the best way to ruin a good day. Some days they are so bad I can’t function, the littlest things set me off, unanswered texts, a friend who is late to my house, food taking too long to cook, and the most simple of all showering. Self-care is one of the hardest, my curly hair tied up in a messy bun, unbrushed for a few days, put up to dry from my shower the day before.
I grab myself a cup of coffee, take my medication, and let Bailey play outside. As I sit there, enjoying my medical joint of the morning, I think Not today Anxiety, Not Today! As it comes to the end, I call for Bailey, and we go about and start the day. My first house task, cleaning the kitchen, I look around and imminently feel over whelmed, and disorganized. Disorganization is one of my biggest triggers for a panic attack, so I try and make sense of the situation as fast as I can. As the kitchen gets under control, I am able to think of the next, daunting task, the worst of them all, the process is so stressful, and timing has to be just right. This task is laundry, which can take me up to a week or 10 days, to go through the whole process. I usually just found it easier to buy new clothes. That is another story. As the day goes on I am very aware of my daily limit on what I can do, this did not happen over night, but with great help from therapy, and self-help little progress is possible.
It is not 1 pm and I am exhausted and ready for a nap, I try to fight the sleepiness, sitting outside watching my little girl play outside, while the sun shines on my pale skin. I have had a very strong change of thought and heart about being in the sun since I was a teenager, Bronzer can do wonders! As time passes I just become more and more anxious, about what. who knows. Due to my illness, I have not be permitted to work, so I started Bipolarbree, it is more than just a blog, but a way to interact with others suffering.  I started a twitter account and Facebook accounts for all of you.

 

FaceBook: Bipolarbree1
Twitter- @Bipolarbree1

Business Inquires Email- Bipolarbree1@gmail.com

Mental Health Day’s

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I apologize for the lack of posts some weeks, it is not that I am not thinking or care about you all. It is my mental health calling and messing up my days when it was going all so great. One of the most frustrating traits of having bi-polar1. Some days I am so manic, I can not even try to put words together, let alone a thoughtful and educational post. Other days, I can’t get my mind to wake up enough to write, sleep is all my body craves and that is what I give it, along with my daily yoga. So in between these days I write, express myself and do my best to help myself and others.

The days I do post when manic, I apologize if my posts aren’t up to my own standard or aren’t always clear. My mind and raw emotions are at their finest.As I learn to handle my anxiety and bi-polar, I hope to be on a bi- weekly posting schedule. On these days I am reachable on Twitter at @bipolarbree1.

As I learn to handle my anxiety and bipolar, I hope to be on a bi- weekly posting schedule. All days I am reachable on Twitter at @bipolarbree1. Thank you for your understanding in advance.

 

 

The New Therapist​

Hi, I’m Bree, and traditional talk therapy is not my thing. I placed my bag down, and made myself comfortable, as my therapist said, “this isn’t therapy we are just going to talk.” If this isn’t therapy than what is it? I said nervously. I know you have been seeing our trauma therapist, and he has gotten you to release some of your pain and show any emotion. I am here for you, to talk, to help you make daily choices, and to improve your quality of life with Bi-polar. This therapy session was so different than any one I have been to. It was different in that she did not have to pray to get information out of me, I did not hold back, even the darkest, and most painful events. I just kind of trusted in her, and really opened up to accept help. We talked, laughed, and started to form a plan for me to start working on. As the session went on I really felt that I was the most open and honest I have ever been. Starting to form this new medical-professional relationship, was scary, but exciting. I even received her personal E-mail, If I never needed to talk, vent or just scream. I have never had any therapist, be that willing, and to go that extreme for me. I felt much more like a person, than just another appointment in their day. As the session came to an end, we invited my mom back, my mom is my best friend and biggest supporter through all of this. We told her our plan and just chatted. Leaving the office I felt relaxed, and a lot less anxious. I look forward to our next appointment. It has taken me about 5 years to find the right therapist, I always had to have some form of therapy weekly, but noting really worked, or clicked like I felt this appointment went today. So if you are struggling to find the right therapist do not stop looking, ask your primary doctors if there is somebody they could recommend, this is how I came across my therapist, and it is awesome that both doctors work in the same office, so there will be no mis information or delayed flies between them, which is a huge plus for me. Therapy does not have to be expensive, but make sure your doctor has had the right training in your area of help. For example, when I first came out to my family and moved back from NYC. I looked for a one who specializes in LBGT, Anxieties, PTSD and Addiction.

The Mental Health Tag.. About me Q&A

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This is a little fun Q&A to allow you to get to know me better,
Q) When were you diagnosed, and what lead up to it 

A) I was first diagnosed with General Anxiety disorder back in 2007, then things go more serious, in 2012-20-14. I started to self-medicate with alcohol and prescription drugs.  In 2016 I was hospitalized and put in rehab for alcoholism and or alcohol abuse. From rehab, I saw a trauma therapist and Board Certified Medical Psychologist Psychopharmacologist who diagnosed me with PTSD, and Bipolar1 disorder, along with   Anxiety, and OCD.

Q)  What Therapy and medications have you tried, and have any of them worked?
  A)  I have tried, and still attend many forms of therapy, including group, trauma, weekly therapy sessions. I am on an anti- psychotic antidepressant, both are working great, but only in conjunction with therapy, CBT, Trauma, and Rapid Resolution Therapy. RRT has worked the best for me, and I have seen the most progress with myself going for RRT.
Q)  Do my Family and Friends know about my mental illness and addictions.
 A) Of course, my family knows, mental illness cannot be fought alone, or talked about enough. My parents and longtime partner are both heavily involved with my well-being, I could not survive each day without them.
Q) Does it affect your daily life and work?
 A) My bipolar and anxiety disorder affect my life in ways I not have imagined but turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I now focus my energy on my blog and my wellness.
Q) What makes me feel calm? 
 A) To feel calm I have always had this very soft object in my hand to play with, and take my attention away from the stressor.  I will be speaking about this in a post, and have it being offered to you all.
Q) What makes me smile?
 A)  There are so many things that make me smile, but one thing for sure to make me smile is my puppy Bailey and Dog Quincy.
Q) What advice could I give others suffering?
  A)  I would say speak up, this is not something we can be silent about, we already suffer enough because we have a disorder of our minds, that is not apparent on the outside, most of the time.
 Please Share, and Answer these questions yourself, then tag yourself. xoxo