Rose-antiquesigThere are many things that happen in our life that aren’t fair – illness, or injury.  Accepting these situations means focusing your strength and energy on letting go of yourself to God, and he’ll see you through the hard times,  Or let the anger, frustration, sadness and self-pity destroy you.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths straight.

–Proverbs 3:5-6

So Busy – Didn’t Think About Bipolar!

White Azaela
Yes, I’ve been busy lately. I was in Dallas, TX for a week and when I got back – I started getting prepared for my art show coming up in two weeks!  Luckily, my guy friend helped me by getting mye frame, photo and mat put together. So I’m ready!

I rented a car this past weekend – it was my birthday “The Big 60!” I went everywhere I could. I haven’t had a car to drive for over a year.  I’ve been afraid to drive, because of an accident I had in Dallas. So I was a little scared. I faced my fear in the eye or the car.  I took my little dog out and he sure enjoyed it!  His little head was stuck out a mile long!   I was so busy driving here and there – I got lost a couple of times – I just couldn’t remember.  So I panicked, but I got myself together.  It was a sad day when I had to return the car. Time seemed so short.

My guy friend took me out for my birthday and it was really nice.  Then on Sunday, a group of us went to the gardens to take pictures.  Following, my son took me to eat, which is always great!  Then, and finally, today I sat with my grandchildren.

Boy, I’m just not use to being on the go every minute!  I really hated it deep down.  My pattern is to hibernate at home – I don’t like to be around a lot of people or a crowd.  It makes me nervous.  I don’t like people who won’t stop talking.  It makes me nervous.  I talk enough. (Boy I changed directions didn’t I?)

With that I’m ending MY talk.

Life Isn’t Easy – You Do What You Have To

During the summer time I was very active.  Active, I mean walking a lot to the bus stops and the beach.  When you don’t have a car you do what you have to do.  How come I don’t have a car?

I had a car accident before I moved to North Carolina.  I don’t know how it happened exactly except that I turned my head for a minute and when I turned back there was a car stopped in front of me and a light.  I remember putting my foot on the break as hard and I could hope not to hit him.  I thought about moving to the other lane, but was afraid there would be another car coming.  I had nowhere to go.   After I hit them I just sat there numb.

I got out of my car and the front left bumper was smashed into my tire.  I was sick.  The first thing the guy asked was where was my insurance not “Are you hurt?”  I called my insurance company and they said, “I’m sorry your insurance is terminated.”  Terminated!   I didn’t understand.  I thought I was making payments, but was told I missed the pass month.  This is a company I have been with for years!

Before the accident I had to file bankruptcy – I had lost my job.  My bipolar was getting worse and was affecting my job performance. I wasn’t on any medication at that time.  I decided to just get a simple part-time job but it wasn’t enough.  At the same time my dad suffered a major stroke that was almost caused his death.  My mom and I discussed it was time to move home so I move out of my apartment and move in with my parents. Both of my elderly parents had Alzheimer’s.  This was an open door for me to file bankruptcy then I when to Social Security and filed for disability.  Before I caused any harm to me or others I needed help with my bipolar, and to get medication.

My dad died a year later from a massive stroke leaving him in a coma.  I was there every day until his dead.  Having a hard time dealing with it I  moved to North Carolina to be near my son and get to know my grandchildren.  This was a hard decision to make as well as a big change in my life.  I moved with the clothes on my back and what I could fit in my luggage.  I rented a small cottage until I could find a place I liked and afford.

I feel it was a God thing – I live in the first place I looked at.  I knew it was for me being 10 minutes from the beach and living right on the river with lots of nature.  My landlord gave me all the furniture, appliances, pictures, lamps that I needed to start a new life.   I’ve been here since Sept. 2010.  This is my new life.

I’m trying to make a long story short, but it’s not working!

Back to why I don’t have a car – 1)  I don’t have the money, 2) I can’t afford insurance, 3) I’m afraid to take the driver’s license test.  Yes, I am.  With ADD I have paranoia taking tests.  Plus, my memory sucks so studying doesn’t do me any good.  So what do I do?  “Just Do Your Best!”  They are other ways to live without the luxury.  I do miss having a car, however, having a car is expensive and I live only on Social Security so I make do.

Having Bipolar makes life a little more difficult so I really try harder at every thing I do.   I have worked hard to get where I am now and I’m proud of myself.  If things get difficult I  take a deep breath, meditate, pray and accept it.  My doctor said I was a strong person and doing great right now.  My life has been chaotic, but it’s made me a stronger person.

Bipolar – Dreams & Surviving Life Changes

Wilmington, North Carolina

Image by Rebecca_M. via Flickr

My big change – moving to Wilmington, NC by myself to be close to my son and grand children.  It’s something that I’ve dreamed of for a long time ago – to be a grandma.  I’ve always dreamed of living near the ocean – the sound of the ocean makes me feel so peaceful.  So here I am being with my son and grand kids and living by the ocean. Can’t get any better – can we?

I 1999, I had checked into rehab when I tried to commit suicide while drinking very heavily. It was then I found out I had bipolar.  Also, I found out that drinking and bipolar don’t go together.

While in rehab I was told we should have dreams and goals.  We should write them down and work towards them.  So I wrote those dreams in a spiral notebook and dated it 1999.  My goals were to learn photography, be a grandma, live by the beach, have my own business, and meet the man of my dreams.  All have come true with exception of the man, but that’s okay. I do have more dreams, but those are just between God and I. Believing in God and Intuition has helped me  achieve my dreams.

Having bipolar is not easy to accept, and I was in denial for a long time and time is what I need.  The important part is making sure that you are taking the right medications and stay on them. Some people stop them or just forget.  This will not help.  I felt it important to get my life back for my family and myself.  I was tired of being in pain and always angry.

I’ve gone through a lot of changes since December 2010. Before, I was living and taking care of my parents who both have disabilities.  Then, I decided that at 58, I needed to start my own life. I decided to move to North Carolina and be with my son and my grandchildren.  I was afraid if I waited too long I would be too old to enjoy them.  I was afraid too.

The move was a big and drastic change in my life.  I was moving away from home where I have lived most of my life. I knew no one except my son and family. Having bipolar makes it difficult for me to make decisions, and then I’d always second guess  myself.  I always feared making the wrong decisions.  I was feeling guilty leaving mom and dad behind.  But, even they wanted me to have my own life.  They really hoped that I would find some man to marry, that’s not going to happen any time soon for me.

One of my big steps with Bipolar was taking the Greyhound Bus by myself from Texas to the east coast.   They was scary for me.  I was afraid I would miss the bus at each stop so I would always stay very close to it.   The ride was two days long with no sleep.  I did it and I’m proud of myself.

On February 27, 2011, my dad passed away.  It was traumatic for me by feeling if I had stayed he would somehow still be alive.   When I heard of his illness I immediately bought a bus ticket back to Dallas. Airline tickets were priced out of this world.  It was the longest bus ride spent only of praying and thinking.  I was praying that my dad would stay on earth long enough for me to say goodbye.

I arrived two days later and I couldn’t wait to see my dad.  When I got to the hospital I was shocked.  He looked terrible and didn’t even know who I was at first.  The doctors said he had a massive stroke and really didn’t expect for him to live much longer.  They were going to send him to the nursing home for hospice.  He was there a week before he died.  I remember the phone ringing and I knew when I heard them say, “Your father is having a hard time breathing – you should get here as soon as possible.”  We hurried as fast as we could without getting a speeding ticket. 

The elevator door opened and we were met by the head nurse “Hon, I’m sorry, but he stopped breathing just a few minutes ago.  My mother collapsed and I took off running in hopes that she was wrong.  I pulled the curtain back and there laid my dad laying so quite and peaceful.  He wasn’t going to wake up anymore. I should have driven faster.

Now, I back in North Carolina only 10 minutes from the beach.  My mom is back in Dallas and it was the hardest things I had to do, and that was to leave her behind.  Plus, leaving everything up to my brother – that’s hard.  I’m use to taking care of my mom and her matters.  I talk to mom everyday and she keeps telling me I’m where I need to be and so is she.  Mom, seems to be getting along okay,  but lonely. 

Even now I cry for my dad, and I still can’t believe he’s gone. I can see his face and his voice all the time, and I feel he is watching over us.  The last words he said as he struggled to lift his arm up and around my mom’s neck, and brushed his lifeless hand over her hair, “I’m sorry.”  Those were the last words and then he started to slip away. 

Love you daddy.

Stay strong -Dad

Best of My Life New Year 2011

My New Year started off really great.  I had my family with me – son, daughter-in-law and two grand children. This is new for me because I have been alone most of my life.  Alone on holidays, birthdays, mother’s days, alone in a single room suffering from bipolar and alcoholism.  Now, God has given me a second chance, and now I’ll get it all.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been out on New Years Eve.  I use to sit on the corner of my red stained couch, fouled smell smokey apartment and drink and usually I was passed out before midnight.  I didn’t go out only to th grocery and liquor store.  No relationships of any kind.  No one every came to see me.  I was alone and no one knew what I was going through.  I just knew I was in pain.

Now, for the time in years I went out on New Years Eve.  The evening couldn’t have been more perfect. I was with my son, daughter-in-law, and my loving  grand children. We went out to eat to a really fun place across from the beach.  Afterwards, we walked along the boardwalk, and beach.  It was absolutely beautiful!   The weather had cleared up allowing for the perfect evening. The boardwalk was lit up with Christmas lights and music transposing a very festive atmosphere.  We could hear the sound of the waves hitting the sandy banks. When you looked up the sky was a glowing dark midnight blue with the brightest stars you have ever seen.  In fact, it’s the first time I’ve seen the Big Dipper, planets and stars in a long time. There was one star that stood out from the rest.  The star was the largest and brightest and was pulsating as if it was alive.  I don’t know why – I felt a calm come all over me. I knew who it was. I just smiled and nodded and said thank you. 🙂

Bipolar: Free To Live

I'm Free!

Here I am in North Carolina in a sweet cottage only two blocks from the ocean.  I’m staying in a 700  sq. ft  dream house with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths.  I love it!  It may be small but it’s larger than the room I’ve been staying in before. 

My parents have Alzheimer’s/Dementia – I was living with them to make sure no harm could come to them.  But, the harm seem to come to me.  They just didn’t care about anything.

I was staying in a small, I mean small, bedroom room in the back of my parents house and sleeping in a small twin bed. I hardly left the room unless I went to the book store or to take my parents to the doctor or grocery store.  It got to the point where I couldn’t stay in the same room as my parents I know that’s sad, but they treated me like I owed them all the time.  I was taken advantage of and talked to terribly.  They forgot the reason I was there. I love my parents and that’s why I moved in two years ago when it was decided they needed help.  But, the longer I stayed there the worse it got.  I wasn’t treated like a daughter, but a servant.  It was so hurtful. 

My mom started drinking more and more. She told me she was 84  and she could do what she wanted and she did. I  told  her drinking and pills didn’t go together, but she said she didn’t care.  She was ready to go to her maker.  I’m a recovering alcoholic and I watched my mother  go to the refrigerator every afternoon at 3pm and pour a glass a wine after wine until she passes out in her chair.  She would forget to take her medication so I said, “Mom do you realize how hard it is to watch you drink?  It makes me want to drink with you.”  “Sure, join me,” she would say.  I couldn’t take it any more.  I had to think about my survival and well-being.  I had to leave.  Now was the time to be a mom and grandmother.

Having bipolar and living in this kind environment was not good for me.  I found myself crying and feeling unloved.  I had to ask for hugs.  Mom, told  me once that she just wasn’t like that because my dad never was nor her parents.  I need hugs.  I liked the feeling when a warm loving person can  put their arms around me and say “I Love You.”   

I desperately wanted to be needed.  I have a son, grand children, and a beautiful daughter-in-law that I want to get to know.  My son was in the army from the time he graduated from high school until he left the army 6 1/2 years later.  Then he left for a great job in Wilmington, NC.  The whole time I felt abandoned and alone.  The part of me that I treasured the most was gone.  That was 8-years ago and now my dream has come true.  I’m now getting to know my son again, as well as my grand children and daughter-in- law.

My son has become more attentive. Maybe he sees that I’m not healthy as I was 6-7 years ago.  He has always thought of me as that young good-looking mom who could do anything.  He was always proud to introduce me to his friends. When he saw me get off the plane holding a walking cane I think the moment changed.  Now, he seems to be more attentive and calls me more than he did before.  I feel loved and needed.  I now have my family that I’ve so wanted for a long time.

Today, I feel great.

My Fear Kept Me From Reaching My Dreams

In Fear We Hide Within Ourselves

I’ve lived in fear most of my life.  I was fearful in my abusive marriage, and I feared getting a divorce.  I was scared of raising my son on my own.

I raised my son until he was 9 years old.  I became ill and had a hard time taking care of him. So I made the decision of letting my son go live Dad.  I feared his dad, because he had abused me when we were married.  Not only did I feel fear, but anger as well.  It worked out being a good decision letting my son go. I felt terrible quilt and feared he may get mad at me for letting him go.

I moved on taking care of my illness to the point I almost lost my life. The doctor’s said I shouldn’t have survived.  I felt God was there and decided it wasn’t my time – he had more work for me to do.

I had so many dreams, but mostly for my son to do well with his life.  However, without him I felt so lost and lonely. I wanted to fulfill my dreams and I had a long road a  head of me.  I wanted to have my own little business, grand children, a cottage on the beach, my health to be stable, and photography.

I studied intuition and learned how to use it.  If you want to be free of fear you need to move on with your life and put trust into God’s hands.  We use fear to protect ourselves, but it’ also holding you back from your dreams.  The only way to pursue your dreams is to step beyond your limits of your fears.  Having fear is being afraid to fail.  Having fear prevented me from reaching my dreams. 

Now, I have moved on.  I still have fears, but I’m not afraid to take risks.  I have God in my corner and I listen to my intuitions.  Hint:  Intuition – the voice you hear when your trying to make a decision. Your hearing a voice say “go with door #1”, but you go with the 2nd door.  You should have listen – door #2 was the wrong choice. 

Fear has a way of controlling your thoughts not allowing you to move forward in life. Break the seal and move out of your comfort zone.  It’s the only way to fulfill your dreams and be successful.

Sonogram Testing for Hepatitis C – Experiencing Bipolar Downfall

I’m having a fall out.  If I lived on the second or third floor I would probably jump.  I just want it to go away.

I couldn’t catch my breath. I was dizzy and unbalanced, sweating, anxiety, crawling out of my skin – this is what I’m feeling at this moment.  The trigger was a lot of chatter that felt like it was drilling a hole in my brain.  I felt like I had the flu with the body aches.  I was totally depressed, irritable, angry and just wanted to be left alone.

I’ve just got back from having a sonogram at the hospital on my liver.  It was so much fun!  NOT!  In fact, it hurt.  That told me it wasn’t good news.  So I’m thrilled.

The doctor called me and said the sonograms pictures showed something was going on.  It seems my liver and my kidney are having problems.   I told the doctor that I wasn’t felling well, and was told if I got worse I should  go the emergency room.

I have Hepatitis C and they are checking for cancer, cysts, and cirrhosis.   The scene in the sonograms did not look promising.  After the tests it’s like the sonograms stirred up some trouble. The pain is severe, and I feel like I suddenly have the flu.  I don’t understand.

Having bipolar and going through this Hepatitis testing is very stressful on me.  I just had to  hibernate in my room today.  I didn’t feel like talking to any one.

If only someone could understand how I’m feeling.  Do you?

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Facts

Alzheimer’s & Dementia killed and is killing my mom and dad.  I live with it everyday as their daughter and caregiver.  I’m watching my dad trying very hard to stop the disease from taking, and my mom is letting it take her over.

As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, daily living, social life, and of course, your family.  Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and it is fatal. Today it is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.

It killed my grandmother, aunt, & uncles and now it’s trying take my family.

I to have been diagnosed with early stages of dementia.  Bipolar has already taken me and now with dementia it is harder to fact.

If you would like to be part of a cause that is very important to the to those who have this disease, the family, and caregiver you can go to  Take the pledge – thank you!

Being A Caregiver – Parents & Alzheimer’s

Being a caregiver for my parents is the hardest job I have every done.  It takes a lot of patience and love.  Having Bipolar & early stages of Dementia make it even harder.  Now, things are getting harder.

Mom’s memory is getting worse.  She’s 83 and it’s getting to point that I don’t know who she is.  She’s nice one moment and then happy the next.  Sometimes she acts like a little girl and sometimes she’s the devil himself.

Or, one minute she’s great and wants to go out to each, and then 5 minutes latter she doesn’t feel like it & goes to bed.  At times, I don’t know who I’m talking to.

One night while reading mom appeared at my doorway.  She looked very confused.  She said, “I thought I was in the hospital.”  I said, “No mom your home now.”  She responded, “No, I’m suppose to be in the hospital!”   She looked so confused.  I got up and walked her to her room and put her to bed.  It’s like she had no life at all. I’m pretty sure she has Bipolar with her different moods – up and down.  She can sit there and rock back and forth playing with her hands and just crying.  When I ask her what’s  the matter she tells me she doesn’t know.

Mom has mentioned that she wished the lord would take her. She’s tired of living – she just sits in her chair all day long.  She can’t stand to cook, because her knees hurt, and the arthritis in her hip is becoming unbearable.  At times, with my Bipolar, I have a hard time dealing with it.  I have early stages of Dementia and the two together doesn’t mesh. Sometimes the anxiety is so strong I feel like I’m trying to crawl out of my skin.

My dad as Vascular Dementia/Alzheimer’s, but he’s not as bad.  He keeps himself busy all the time.  He also has Sundowner Disease.  I mean he can be really down.  Both parents posture has changed – they hunch over and walk very slow.

I live with them and take care of them the best I can, but it’s getting harder.  I just pray whatever happens God will be there for all of us.  I constantly ask for directions and I know when the time comes he will be there.