Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Monster

I sometimes I feel like I am completely another person inside.... what does this mean? Now this just my opinion but when you are Bipolar there is a constant battle between the ups, downs, and everything in between. In many aspects I feel like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. By no means do I think or believe that I have multiple personalities. However, when it comes to day to day battle of what face of Bipolar will show its ugly head. Will it be a good day? A bad one? Will something trigger me into an episode? These questions that I face every day...  and if one of these questions are answered what will happen... what will people think.... do they understand... do they even want to understand...

Even with medication that works, doctors, and support it is still not enough to keep the monster at bay. I like to think of myself as a normal person with a monster aka Bipolar Disorder that lives inside of me. When I look at that is makes me think I am evil at first glance but that is not what I mean at all. I have never once not taken responsibility for my actions. I am very proactive in my treatment of this disorder and I really do have more great days then Bipolar days... when I do have a day it presents itself in many ways but never with the intention to hurt anyone. When I am down episode Depression it is like how many experience it... I guess the only real difference is that sometimes the Depression comes from no where. In other words there was/were no situation/circumstance/crisis/life event that often roots people into depression. I have had events trigger it as well but the ability not to pull out of it turns into my depression. When I have a hypo-manic episode I feel agitated, frustrated, angry, racing thoughts, and so on. However, just like depression it often comes from no where. I usually have more triggers in this area but it leads into my form of mania. By no means does it make me HATE ANYONE or think about horrible things... the best way to describe is it... I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and no matter how many times I try to get up on the right side of the bed nothing is going right. Have I ever acted out? I am sure I have but nothing extreme.... for the most part I keep it all in the inside (which I know is not good). I actually just prefer to be alone when I am in episode easier for me to get out of them.

Why am I writing this? There has been concern that I am bringing a child into my Bipolar world (I will not accuse anyone or state who is thinking this- That is not my place). Well guess what I am not the only one in this world who has children in a bipolar world. There all sorts of circumstances that children get brought into this world some ideal and others far from ideal. Where do I stand... well not ideal (but not sure if anyone's circumstances are ideal) and it is not the worse. For the ones that are concern whether you have already voiced your opinion to me or not... get over it! I have great support and proactive and I really do not see any horrible problems arising from having a child. My husband and I have been on a journey to have a child. Will it be easy? Hell no- I do not know any parent that thinks raising a child is easy and if they think it is... I am waving a bullshit flag! I am not insane, I know right from wrong, responsible, and have a decent head on my shoulders. I do not hide the fact that I am BP but do not really broadcast it either. I am sure there are tons of people who do not know as I am sure I do not know things about them. It does hurt me when people stigmatize me and do not look at the whole picture. Did you know most people with Bipolar Disorder live fully functioning lives? Can you guess where I am.... Exactly!!! So if you do not want to see a BITCH come out... I really suggest for you to get a proper understanding before you ever pass judgement on me! I do not do it others and I hope you have at least some human skills to give me the same thing....

I may feel like a monster sometimes... but then again I am sure we all do!

Monday, September 5, 2011

PCOS Awareness Month- Sept.. Please Read

I know I have not written in a while but there really was not a lot that I thought to write about.

The month of September is PCOS Awareness Month. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and I was diagnosed with this over 6 years ago. I would not wish this syndrome on anyone not even my worst enemy. Just like any other disease and disorders this one needs to be talked about. PCOS in a way turned my world upside down and put on an adventure that I wish I never had to endure. This is my story....

When I got married in 2004 everything seemed perfect and the world was there for Christopher and I. Physically speaking I was relatively fit and happy with everything. However, when Christopher and I wanted to start a family I decided to get off birth control and just make sure everything was fine with me reproductive system. I was 22 and besides irregular periods that was under control with my birth control I figured there was nothing wrong... why would I? However, within months things started happening my body was changing again... kind of reminded me of puberty in a way. My face started getting acne for the first time in my life, periods became very irregular, weight gain from no where, and so many other things. It did not make any sense to me so I changed my appointment and went sooner  to the doctor. When I went to the doctor he thought it could just be the things going on in my life but he agreed that I should do some blood work and an ultrasound.... just to be safe. The following day I got a call from the doctor that I needed to come in to discuss my results (my doctor always told me that he would only call if there was something...). He told me that he thought I had PCOS and needed to do more test. I did several more test to include blood work and a ultrasound that day. I started having to go to the doctor more then I have gone in the past two years. Besides an old back injury that requires me to go to the doctor every 6 months to look at the area I was now becoming a fixture it seemed. Every test pointed to PCOS and he did not like my ultrasound results of my ovaries so I had to do a catscan so he could get a better look at my ovaries and after that catscan he confirmed that I had PCOS.

I am not going to lie... I thought it would not be that bad and that I would need just to do some extra monitoring... boy was I wrong. He started me on the medication metformin.... which was very harsh to get use to. I ended up not being able to handle one form of the medication but was able to handle to an extended release form of it. My doctor said that I could have trouble having a child... again I thought it would not be that big of a deal. However, as the months went by with no positive pregnancy my faith and hope was diminishing... there were test, specialist, traveling, and treatments with nothing working. I did chart tracking with nothing and then close to a year of clomid. I became angry and hurt... I could not understand why so many could have children so easy and did not want them where all I wanted to be was a mother and could not... it seemed unfair. People were for the most part supportive but they could not walk in my shoes and the pain at so many points I thought I could not handle. I remember several times soaking in a bath thinking "If I could just go to sleep and not wake up until this nightmare has ended" by no means have I ever thought of taking my life it just hurt so bad. Years ticked by and still nothing... not even a false positive and I was constantly battling the other physical symptoms of PCOS. Then when I thought I would see the light at the end of tunnel something seem to pull me right back in the dark. Christopher deployed several time when trying to battle this and things would just stop. I would get back on Birth control to help my symptoms then I would be left alone with my thoughts..... and most of the time they were negative and hopeless. I kept telling myself that God would not give me more then I could handle but I always asked him "when is enough" there were many screaming nights and tears at him. Years seem to drag on forever and this last time Christopher got back my faith and hope was at an all time low. With the past 5 years nothing to show for it but tears and disappointment this upcoming battle of trying to have a child seemed like a loosing one at that.

My specialist, my husband, and I decided that the "natural" methods even with just a little assistance was not going to work. I can remember crying that day with that news... with Christopher still gone I felt like I was dying inside. We decided that the next step would be an IUI or the turkey baster method... is the easiest way to describe it! The first attempt completely failed... I did not even get past the medication phase. Then the specialist said we need stronger medication. I would end up taking shots plus oral medication. I had to give my shots every night and it hurt. To be honest I thought this one would not work because of some factors that I did not go into... even with my hesitations I decided to go ahead with the IUI. For some reason I was not anxious or nervous about the results. I cannot explain why I felt this way.... however, the day I took the test I saw a very faint line... but chalked it up to my eyes playing a trick on me. Christopher said there was a line there and I called the doctor who sent me in for bloodwork. I was pg! Even though, with all my excitement I still was scared and nervous it really was not what it was. A week later I did some more blood work to see if everything was growing the way it was suppose to and two weeks after that I saw my little miracle for the first time and heard the heart beat! All I can remember is crying... for once I felt like everything was right. I had to go in for another ultrasound my specialist was a worry wort but I do not blame him because I was too. I have now gone to over to regular ob care. I am consider high risk because of the circumstances but everything has gone just fine.... I am in my second trimester now and found out we are having a boy. We should meet our Son in January.

I am thankful for my husband who has been by my side every minute even when miles apart. I am lucky that I have a wonderful marriage and how strong we are! I have known several couples something like this has torn them apart. Now does this mean my PCOS journey is over?................ sadly it is not and I still fight everyday with symptoms of this and will have many more challenges to come. I was just one of the lucky ones to beat the infertility part of this... now I cannot say if my husband and I try for a second child things will be easier and I might not be able to overcome it again. However, I do have the faith that I can make it through this disorder.

For my cysters who have been able to have children or able to control their symptoms we did it!!! For my cysters who are still facing their personal battles please do not give up! Even though, there might not be a cure for us maybe the next generation there will be.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Respect is that so hard?

I have not written in a while but that is because there really was nothing to blog about plus taking a break from technology was a good thing. However, that is neither here or there with what this blog is about. There has been something riding on my heart for a very very long time. I love people from all over the world and cherish there uniqueness. I have wonderful friends from all walks of life that make me smile because of their friendship they offer no questions ask, they love me for who I am. However, in this life things change friendships end (for whatever reasons), life events let you explore a new part of your life, and so on (the list is endless). I have learned that in life you are allowed to have friends from everywhere and some of those friends will be in different circles, may know each other, and so on (this list is also endless). With this being said I have friends from High School, family friends, friends by surprise, friends across the world, friends that I no longer talk to but have left a great impact on me, and so on (this list is also endless). Sadly though there have been some very hard and bitter lessons that I learned through my life time and for me it all comes back to respect. I am not saying there are "rules" to friendship but I am sure a lot of us know the "GOLDEN RULE" (it comes in many forms) and what it means to them. For me the rule is simple it = respect. However, I am finding respect is hard to come by these days and sadly it has changed my views on a lot of things and wanting to shield my heart from all others who dare try to enter. I am not an easy person to get a long with but in reality I think the different you are the better but that is my opinion only. I have friends from all walk of life, some know each other, others know I am friends with others, and some have never and more than likely not meet each other in this lifetime. Which this brings me to my points about this blog. I am sorry this may seem nasty but you can decide whether or not what to think about me and what to do about.... trust me there will be no judgement about this against you because this is just what I believe.

I AM ALLOWED TO HAVE FRIENDS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE! If you do not like who I am friends with then that is on you. The friends I decide to have our by my choice and I respect each and everyone for who they are. If you know each other and have problems with each other then that is on you guys. I WILL NOT CHOOSE SIDES WE ARE NOT IN HIGH SCHOOL! If we are friends that is because we have a friendship between ME and YOU and NO ONE ELSE!

I DO NOT NEED BEST FRIENDS I NEED GOOD FRIENDS! I hate the whole best friend title and frankly I do not need it because there is to much crap that goes a long with it. I have some friends that are very close to me and that is what I need. I am sorry but this is how it is.

I WILL NOT HAVE ANYONE TO TELL ME HOW TO LIVE!!! Now this goes in all different directions but this is one of the most important to me. I will not have anyone tell me what is the right way to live or the wrong way to live. Whether you think I am good "Christian" or a bad "Christian". If you are my friend you will allow me to make my own mistakes because I am going to allow you make your own. You will also not tell me who to VOTE FOR, Where to go, Who I am allowed to talk too, and What I am allowed to do (go to different establishments, shop at certain places, and so on). I am going to screw up in life I am not perfect NO ONE IS and whether you knew something all along it is still my choice to make and if I fall flat on my face that is on me! I will respect any opinions and thoughts you have but that same courtesy I give you I would hope you would do the same.

DRAMA FREE!!! This one is almost important to me. I know having friends from all walks of life has caused conflict sometimes. However, there is something I do not want to even hear and this is my name. This means I do not want to hear my name from another person mouth in a negative fashion. This means rumors, second hand, and/or gossip. You should not hear your name in a negative fashion and if you do I hope you would bring it to me so "You" and "I" can discuss whatever the issue could be. Are any of perfect at this? HELL NO  but we should all at least try. I know I am!!!

I think friendships are a great thing but with all things they are always changing and by no means am I perfect at understanding friendships and how they change my life. I do promise this to people who decide that I am "okay" to be friends with that we are friends for a reason that is a bond between you and I and no one else. This allows me to get to know the real you without any outside influences (good or bad) and allows me to make my own choices about our friendship. Now I cannot tell you how our friendship will end up, whether is was for a season, a life time, and so on. However, if you offer me respect I can tell you I will try my hardest to give it back to you no matter what even if that means ending our friendship. I know this bitter thing to talk about but these are the facts.

Now I ask you this once can you give me the respect I deserve? Is respect so hard to give people?

The choice is yours!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Love Being Alone... it is okay to enjoy the silence and your surroundings

I have had a couple of people ask me...where have I gone. I text back...what are you talking about? I have not been on Facebook or really calling anyone. I am thinking to myself is that a crime? Do I need an explanation on why I do something? Well let me FIRST say there is nothing wrong with me.... I am not in a Bi-polar up or down ( some of you have assumed) it is just Courtney.... that is right Courtney and Courtney likes to be alone and enjoy other things. I do not need to be up someones butt and I pretty dang on sure that I do not want anyone up my butt. I have decided to take a break from it all... is that wrong?

I realized that there is so much wrapped up in technology... not that is a bad thing. I got my Bachelors through an online school, I stay in contact with loved ones, shop, and even write this blog. However, it has become all to much for me right now... I love having my phone on silence, listening to music, READING, spending time with my animals and reflection.

I have started a garden this year and it has been amazing. Well first that I have not managed to kill anything and somewhere and somehow I got a tiny green thumb. I am a scientist, always have been so I know the mechanics of plants down to the cell walls but it is still also amazing to see things grow, survive, and thrive. Science cannot explain the peace and calmness I feel when I work in my little garden. Love seeing knew life from a multi-view is an amazing gift to have. Spending time with my animals.... seeing if I can out stare Charlie, get the last word in with Chloe, watching Corona play with a ball of paper and when you look at her acts like she was doing nothing, or thinking about measuring Casper's tail to provide proof to my mom that Casper's tail is not short which I am still deciding on. Waiting for my husband to get we can play a game of cards, watch a movie, and just enjoy us. No Marine Stuff... No Outside Stuff... No Anything...... Just Christopher and I.

Then there is the amazing gift of reflection. I spent Easter Sunday alone because Christopher had duty (NO I WAS NOT UPSET ABOUT IT). I got to spend the entire day thinking of all the things I am grateful for and come up with a wonderful thought. There is nothing wrong with constant praise to God but there are sometimes things better than Hallelujah... I really will not go into to much detail about that because everyone has their own views on such subjects as these. I just know personally for me I cannot be that frikin happy all that time and he knows I will not be! That is what I have been reflecting on.

I guess the thing I have loved the most is the silence...... it is not total silence but a peaceful quite that allows my thoughts to run clear. I know this will show on Facebook but I am still not coming back for a while. There is to much sun to soak up, a book to read, and a garden to tend to.....

I Love Being Alone..... It Is Okay.....  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Military is What I Love.. SO GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR!!!

No pictures, no face, just my thoughts!!!!! Believe me this is one area I thought I would never go!!!!

I am in no way a openly political person and most people who really know me, know that this is an area that I do not debate about or even post about (until recently)... it really was not politically directed at anyone. In fact I do not even tell people what I am but for this one time only... I will.... I am an Independent (I am not of any party I choose not to identify with what I feel is right) and I really do not lean anyone direction. I have my views which I mind you are all over but I strongly believe in them some are Republican Views and some are Democratic Views and some are a combination of the both and then there are just my views.... which leads me to this..... THE MILITARY

I am an Army Brat to Marine Wife so I have lived this entire lifestyle my entire LIFE! There are so many things that are wonderful about the military-the heroes, the families, the friends you meet, and everything else in between please do not get me wrong there are some negativity- deployments and so on. However, if you lived this lifestyle your entire life you will realize there was peacetime and there will be peacetime again (hopefully- I am an optimistic). Now if you have asked me years ago that I would be in the same group of wonderful and powerful military wives that had to wait for letters and/or phone call  from their loved one I would have looked at you like you were an idiot. Well fast forward here we are now and I one of the wives. I am a very proud military wife and daughter...very motivated.... I do not wear a lot of t-shirts of the ARMY of MARINES or any service but if you talk to me I am very proud of where I come from, who I have married, and where we are going!

However, the one thing I will not stand for is messing with our heroes, it is bad enough dealing with the idiots who protest at military funerals the one place/people/or things that should be messing with is our pay (and other things but that it is not my thing or really need to talk about). Now I am not going to say that I completely understand the entire thing but I know a couple of things. 1- YOU ARE SCARING THE CRAP OUT OF A LOT of young couples. The military is just not made of old foggies but young couples some not even old enough to legally enough to drink but old enough to fight wars, who have no idea what is going to happen and if it does happen what will happen to them. Then there are people like me who have lived through this once before but as a child only mere understanding of what this all meant and knows what I will have to do, and there are others who will be able to get through this with no problems. However, do they think they realize what they are doing to us? All of us? I mean really think about it.... they are playing with are lives....  I will have to bring my own personal example in.

My husband and I are doing fertility treatment that we have to pay out of pocket for and it is not cheap. If we go through the shutdown. My husband and I will have to make the hard choice of whether or not to go forward with our treatment... how fair is that? I know it sounds stupid but the saying is true.... If they cut someone's pay they cannot pay half of their bills. My husband and I do not live beyond on our means...we live on a tight budget (AND WHATEVER YOU HEARD MILITARY FAMILIES ARE NOT MADE OF MONEY!!!). I do not drive a sports car, high end fashion clothes, and we do not go on vacations everywhere (I HAVE NOT BEEN ON A REAL VACATION IN SEVERAL YEARS). My husband cannot take a day "off" because he is feeling off or take a family vacation just to get away. Anyone who lives in the military lifestyle know that timing is not perfect but for once things are in and my husband's favor of having a family and this crap happens. Now I wish I could say we were one of lucky ones that could do this all naturally BUT WE DON'T.  Now I have to have faith that things will be okay because I am leaving it in the hands in my MAKER! However, it still scares me that I still might have to face that reality and who gives anyone the right to start a family? Why do I have to choose between the money that I saved for the treatment or use that money to help meet ends if this shut down actually happens. I am sorry that is a BUNCH OF CRAP!!!!

Now I posted in Facebook my first political post...well more of a government rant.

I do not talk politics with people (my friends know this) However, Government GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR! I have a couple of options! SEND ALL OUR SERVICEMEN HOME and you go over there while "you figure" this out because our Heroes work a hell of lot harder than any of you idiots on Capital Hill! OR Learn How to Play Nice Children- We did learn that in school!

I will tell you one thing my Hero like many others protects our COUNTRY and I PROTECT MY HOME, MY HERO, MY FAMILY!

I stand by this..... My Hero has done a lot of things for this Country and gone to places where I was unsure if he would make it back and cry myself to sleep many nights because I miss him by my side. I have had friends who gave their all. Yes- it was their choice to join and take on the honor of serving the Country they love and YOU IDIOTS CANNOT GET ALONG LONG ENOUGH TO DO THE RIGHT THING. So go home kiss your wife, your children, your nine side lovers, and even your sports car. You say no smoke and mirrors well LOOK AROUND JACK ASSES SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!!! Walk in our shoes- understand what we see and feel.....

 I will never throw in the towel and let you idiots get me down... because you are not just messing with my husband or my family-who will also have the same thing happen to them. You are messing with my entire military family---- and I stated before.... I PROTECT MY HOME,  MY HERO and MY FAMILY! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bucket List- I Understand Finally and Why it is Not For Me.

I love the movie The Bucket List (But it is not for me)! I love Morgan Freeman and what can you say about Jack Nicholson! The whole story in movie to me is very moving and even though it did have a tearful ending I do not think that was the entire purpose of the movie (even though I love a good tearful movie). Now the basics of this movie is these two men have nothing in common besides they both have a terminal illness and they come from very two different backgrounds. Morgan Freeman's character Carter who was a blue collar worker has this list about the things he wanted to do before he died and Jack Nicholson character Edward comes from money but lives a lonely lifestyle decided he would fund their bucket lists. There were some great moments in the movie that would make you a smile and make you laugh until tears fall. 

The slogan of this movie is : You Only Live Once, So Why Not Die In Style?

As much as I love this movie I am not sure my slogan should be that and I really do not believe in a "bucket list". Please do not get me wrong there are many things that I would love to do but I do want to contain them to a list. I took for granted how precious time could be and I really do not want to spend it reading things about 100 places before you die, 1,000 things you should before you are gone, and so on. I do not understand why we have to focus are intentions on what we have to before we are gone. The fact of life is we will die we all knew we will one day take our last breath and if you are straight with your maker then you are good to go (sorry to be blunt about it). I have no intention on dying in style I am all for just closing my eyes! So why not focus on life?!?!

As great as this movie was I do not want be laying in a bed wishing that I would have done something different. However, at the same time I do not want to be putting stuff on a "list" because like many list they keep growing and sometimes things will never crossed off! Facing reality I am not going to walk on the moon anytime soon so I do not see the purpose of putting that on a list. Plus there are a lot of references to a list.... and to me it is actually more complicated. I rather experience things as they are! My Daddy always has told me that "you cannot hate something until you try it". I try to adopt that with everything that I do.... sometimes are better than others but I am willing to at least try and ALWAYS willing to listen to someone's views on things. 

I have gotten a tattoo, blown up a pumpkin (doing it again soon), and tried a Dirty Martini (yep-never going to happen again). There are many things that I still will like to do like go to a certain theme park during Halloween and ride their roller coasters and go on a cruise. I also know actions come with consequences so I am not going to jump of a building because I felt like it or even drive a race car... so what about having a family? Should I put that on my "bucket list" because of my challenges? It does bring up an interesting areas of discussion. That is why I do not believe in these "list".

I rather live my life, I know where my heart lies, I know where my soul lies, and I cannot stop time so instead of thinking of things I want to and putting them on a list I rather just live a life with the fewest regrets possible. 
There are really great quotes in the movie.... 

By Edward: The simplest thing is... I loved him. And I miss him. Carter and I saw the world together. Which is amazing... When you think that only three months ago, we were complete strangers! I hope that it doesn't sound selfish of me but... the last months of his life were the best months of mine. He saved my life... And he knew it before I did...

By Carter: Even now I cannot understand the measure of a life, but I can tell you this. I know that when he died, his eyes were closed and his heart was open. And I'm pretty sure he was happy with his final resting place, because he was buried on the mountain. And that was against the law. 

These are really great quotes because when you think about it, there are going to be a lot of people that come into your life that love you and will one day miss you but will have both impacted each other in a way that you may not understand now. These people may just be there for a season no more than a summer breeze and others will be there your entire lifetime and you will see the world together I think... and I am just not talking a physical places there is so much to experience if your heart is open. I have danced in another person's living room over a medication working. I cried because I had too... I watched a friend bust one heck of a move on the dance floor and bring a light no other.... I smiled because my dog Charlie looked up at me with his still puppy eyes... My heart broke because I could not explain why his Uncle would not be home for Christmas or could simply come over and play.... I played "thats not fair card" as my husband beat me in most video games.... I do not deny that I am more then a little country.... I know sometimes I get funny looks because I can be one of the guys.... It IS LIFE!!! 

The fact is a lot of us cannot understand the measure of a life and I will continue to question it to this day.... there will be times you will ask why or even scream it to the sky? However, with an open heart you can do many great things.

One of these great things is laughing!!! I think if I did actually have a list that would be on there a hundred times or more. My favorite scene in the entire movie was the conversation about the coffee that Edward loved! 

[Carter hands Edward an article about Kopi Luwak, Edward's favorite coffee]
Carter Chambers: Read it.
Edward Cole: [reading] Kopi Luwak is the world's most expensive coffee. Though for some, it falls under the category of "too good to be true." In the Sumatran village, where the beans are grown, lives a breed of wild tree cat. These cats eat the beans, digest them and then... defecate.
Edward Cole: The villagers then collect and process the stools. It is the combination of the beans and the gastric juices of the tree cat that give Kopi Luwac...
[Carter starts laughing]
Edward Cole: ...its unique flavor... and aroma. You're shitting me!
Carter Chambers: [laughing] Cats beat me to it!
[Carter and Edward both laugh hysterically

I love to laugh and when it is side splitting it is the best because you know at that time your heart is really open and you are enjoying the moment no matter what it is.... and I have been in a lot of side splitting laughter. I will not post any memories on here but even thinking about them now puts a smile on my face.

Therefore I am not going to have life dictated on a list or in a bucket for that matter! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Loving Me- Blessed with Challenges

I think one of the hardest things I have had to deal with in my life is "loving me". The concept of being your own worst enemy must have hit me twice because I am very critical of myself. One of the things that I have been dealing with for the past several months (couple of years) is my self-esteem, I am able to put on a front for the most part (that might be my only successful poker face because I think they cannot look in). However, over the years I lost who I was... like the smile was no longer real.... everyone goes through challenges and right now mine are mainly in the healthy department! Having PCOS has made me stronger and has encourage me to do great things to show support and let other people know I will not let PCOS beat me in any form. However, even with all the positive aspects I can share... there is still a toll on my body. The fact that I need "help" in the fertility department and with the symptoms of PCOS and medications out the whazoo I should be a professional yo-yo. I am not going to lie it hurts looking at my wedding pictures and seeing what I look like now... I know people people change through the years but I look at those pictures and often do not see that same woman looking back at me, which is scary because I believe all women should feel beautiful inside and out because we are! However, I feel like I a lot of us do not know this or know how to feel this to include myself. My biggest challenge is seeing the difference in pictures. In other words, I get dressed up and I feel really good because I have lost weight in a smaller sizes then I see pictures and I am like what the ?!?! Then I begin to compare myself to family and friends.... it is like I do not always match up with what I feel. However, I am not alone on this I am no different comparing myself to other women... my CHALLENGE is to get past that. I want to look at pictures,  the mirror, and so on and see the same face and body and recognize it as my own. I want women to embrace who they are not feel self critical about themselves, because we are all beautiful the key is finding that path ourselves. I figured out in small steps on how to love me and even though I have a long way to go... it helps to realize that I have faced these challenges head on!

1. I always try to look nice when I leave the house (I use to never do that... and then I would feel crappy).
2. When I think I have done really well on my Make-up and Hair do a quick self-shot (have not posted many)
3. Post a full body shot (not done it yet)
4. Write down what I see in a picture and then ask someone else what they see.... (have not gathered the nerves for that one yet).
5. Point out what I think is beautiful verses what I see as flawed.... (done a litte)
6. Embrace compliments

The list keeps growing... but hopefully it will all come together and will find that Loving Me really is not that hard.

I hope you all will find way to love yourself if you have not already found that key for yourself

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Standing In The Rain ---- It is a long one

From the start of March I have been kind of out of it or in of it for a numerous reasons (some are known and others I am keeping private). However, all these reasons I have ignored or tried too and they have come boiling to the surface and now I have to battle them all at once. I like to think I only lost a battle but not the war. The war I speak of is war as the one you fight along the path to your destination. I believe a lot people can relate to this war sometimes these battles are easy to win, sometimes we loose the battles, and there are times that we "stuck" and have to wait to see how these battles turn out but the war is never ending until well frankly you make it your final destination and I will not stop fighting until I get there. Now every war is different because no one person goes through exactly the same thing there may be similarities here and there but the war is truly unique to the individual. We all have our weaknesses and flaws but we also have are strengths and beauty that makes us.

However, I have been running away from everything that makes me. There is a song by SUPERCHIC(K) called STANDING IN THE RAIN.
"She Never Slows Down...
She doesn't know why but she knows when she's all alone, feels like it is all coming down
She wont turn around
The shadows are long and she fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down" 

Now I am not saying I do not cry because I do but I am often not an instant crier I do try hide my emotions best I can (does not work to well- I lack a poker face) but when I do this it comes all out and then I have to try make sense of things and then I have to go to battle because when that first tear falls in that battle those tears will not stop raining down. I also try not look back there is to much stuff going on now and what is done is done whether it is good or bad ( I always use to say that you cannot change the past and that part is true BUT you can learn from your past) that is why I never slow down because I feel like if I slow down then I have to turn around and face that past that often hurts. However, a good friend taught me that it is okay to stand in the rain.

"So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day, what was lost can be found
You stand in the rain"

Now she never said rain she used the term "KEYS"... I hold the keys to my life and I can do a lot of things with these keys. I can let the walls close around me (the option I usually prefer), I can face the things that are bothering me, or basically do whatever I want with these keys. She also said that I also have someone helping me and that is God ( I know all of us come from many places, beliefs, and faiths so what I am trying to say is that how you get through tough times). I am probably one of the worse prayers in the world... in fact I sometimes I do not think I really understand the term but then I also know a great man a Chaps who said I can just talk.... However, recently my talks have been hard so I have turned to writing, I think that is how I pray by writing them down because when I read them back they sound no different as if I would speak them. So right now I am holding these keys and frankly there are a lot of them (like a janitor set) and I am going through each and everyone of these keys trying to figure out what the key is for. Whether the key is actually suppose to be on the ring, needs to be place in a box until further notice, or completely thrown out because it no longer has a purpose (like you have all these keys to locks but the locks are long gone). 

I often feel lost sometimes I feel like I am going in circles or in a Halloween Corn Maze (that was one nightmare...LOL). Where there are dead ends, things that scare you, things you must face, and even a combination of them all. However, my friend has encouraged me that I will never drown their is one who will not let me fall or drown for that matter how close I feel that I feel like the grip is slipping or no longer being able to hold the water in my head. In fact when I cannot feel him not all he might be carrying me....

 " One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
             Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
                  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
                       Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
                           other times there were one set of footprints.

                                  This bothered me because I noticed
                                that during the low periods of my life,
                             when I was suffering from
                         anguish, sorrow or defeat,
                     I could see only one set of footprints.

          So I said to the Lord,
      "You promised me Lord,
         that if I followed you,
             you would walk with me always.
                   But I have noticed that during
                          the most trying periods of my life
                                 there have only been one
                                       set of footprints in the sand.
                                           Why, when I needed you most,
                                          you have not been there for me?"

                                 The Lord replied,
                          "The times when you have
                  seen only one set of footprints,
          is when I carried you."
                                                   Mary Stevenson

"She won't make a sound
Alone in this fight with herself and the fears whispering if she stands
She'll fall down
She wants to be found
The only way out is through everything she's running from wants to give up and lie down"

I often do not let people into my problems, there are a select few because I prefer things not be sugarcoated for me. I believe with all my heart that most peoples' intentions are good but sometimes can be to sweet almost diabetes sweet not that is a bad thing once in a while but if you do not know who the person really is it may not be the thing for that person. The more sweetness I often get the more likely I will push back with salt and pepper (sorry if you do not get my sense of humor but that is me). When this happens I choose not to be found... I rather.... well I do not know, I guess I am still figuring that part out. However, the select people who have fully come to understand me know.... they know how to speak to me. It is almost a science (for everyone) what works from one person does not always work for another and the "KEY" is to figure that out.   Now I am still learning the science to some people because when I feel alone and I fight with myself I do fear things if I stand but the ones who understand me know how to find me and pull me out and allow me to stand in the rain if that means I have to cry, scream, or have a Jethro Slap (NCIS) once in a while. The science is constantly changing for understand people so people must adapt (I will admit I am slightly an evolutionist meaning will not go in much detail to that but I will say that I believe must always move forward to grow). Just like the song says the only way out is through the things I am running from, so those keys pop back up. I need to find out what I am really running from... but the ones that have truly found me know MY FACES they understand that what you see is who I am The Good, The Bad, The Courtney.... 

The Good, The Bad, The Courtney is something that is truly important to me. A good friend told that not many people understand her humor. However, with her humor she does not waiver and she does not change because of other people. I was told that I have always tried to be the same Courtney... the goofy, the logic finding, the smart ass, the one who never completes her sentences, dances behind close doors, and marches to her own beat of my drum. That is why only a few people understand who I am and when certain life events  occurred  they embraced who I was and just realize it was another part of Courtney. I know one of biggest flaws is that I often live in a shell or close my heart off and I am still learning how to soften it and learn how to do things all over again, like a child (that is for another blog). I love people who are the same.... in other words they are they same with me as they would be if another person... like my friends humor! I rather have the friends that have The Good, The Bad, The *Insert Name Here* then only the part they want me to see. For the flaws that we have that is part of us also makes us beautiful inside and out..... so stand in the rain when you need to!

I know I have to stand in the rain now... it will not be overnight but things rarely happen every night but I know I lost the first battle/round with these demons, with time I will win the next battle with the things I need to face right now and when I am done I will continue on to the path to my final destination and face the next challenge on the path whether it is just a simple stone or another battle.....

My Last Thing I Want To Say: ~THANK YOU~ For the gift you have is amazing, even though I do not know what that gift is I am glad you are able to share a little of it with me.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Can Tell... New Face

Some recent events have finally told that I am on the right path for at least one part of my life and that is relating to people...odd I know? However, when I think about it is it really not that odd at all. I am an active listener, do not judge their view on things, and if they want my advice then I give it (because you can give all the advice in the world but they do not have to take it). I always tell my self that I am a science brain person but I guess there is more to my brain then I realized. I am often a sounding board for many people and I KNOW the importance of have that need but I have to laugh to myself because my mother has told me this and so has some friends but it was not until now that my eyes were open. I can hear my mom saying " I told you so" but unless you realize it for yourself you are not going to see it. 

Now I am still very much a science brain person and I love to find logic and see results. My parents said I am willing to research anything, I am a little bit of evolutionist I suppose even though I have a relationship with the Lord. Maybe the ability to be open to many things allows me to be this person that I am because it is just not people my age. I find that people of all ages and all walks of life often like to talk to me... I can even get most children to open up to me. 

Maybe this is a new face or maybe this is a face I already had and coming out my shell. There are a lot of times that I just close myself off from the world often accused of not having a back bone but I think that was never the case. I think back then I was simply observing people- My Mom and Dad made a joke from seeing the Movie Red the Character Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) when she was in the back seat when Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is talking to her about how their first meeting should be different. You see her in the rear view mirror with duck tape on her mouth but talking with her eyes! I was like what do you mean... and my mother states "You do not have to physically speak and people still know what you are thinking" well there goes my poker face. However, when I think about it she is right and explains some things I do....  hehe. So I dubbed this Mona Lisa Face.... whether this is something people already know about or is new.... but when you look at the Mona Lisa (no I am not talking about a code) cover up parts of her eyes- look at her mouth what do you see, cover her mouth what do see, cover one side of her face what do see? Her expressions change... I learned about this in an art history class. 

So what does this boil down to.... I am a firework... and I am really starting to know who I am.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Life Events-You cannot stop them but we can Process

It is amazing of all the life events that can impact one's life. In other words... you believe your are one path the all of a sudden you are thrown off that path, shaken, confused, and in order to proceed you have to take a step back and process. This was made more clear to me this past week, in fact I was slapped in the face with it. There are things I am dealing with, things that I am keeping private and only a few know just to keep the stress down, others I am trying to figure out how to get started that I am very excited about, but nothing can ever prepare you for changes thrown at you!!!

In small world, I know how it is to think that one thing is going to happen and then something you were not expecting swoops in and you are like what in the world do I do now. The problem is by the time you seem to just getting on the path with one another thing happens. Right now it seems where ever I step: I am falling, stumbling, trying to make sense of things around me. It really started back when Christopher and I were going to start up our fertility treatments, we were on a set path and I went to the doctor before he came home to just get things in order to find out the "original" plan was no longer an option and we had to enter a step that we should not have to enter yet. I took be by surprise- I cried in the parking lot called a friend and just screamed it was not fair. It is very hard to make terms with life-events.So fast forward to now- I have graduated, going through some things, and about to start things I am really excited about. However, with that being said life happens! Now I am not going into detail what is going on because a lot of it is in the "air" but this event has ripped the floor right out from underneath me and well a lot of other people. A lot of us are still "processing" the news... in fact I will process until everything is set! I cannot stop this so what am I going to do? Well what can I do? - I can sit here and do nothing- that is not an option, that will only make things worse. What I can do is face the challenges head on... and that is what I am going to do. How I am going to get there will be one thing but with time I will know the way.....

Who knows maybe there will be a cruise....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to Start Your Own Book Club

I have a great friend who wrote this to give me ideas on how to be in a book club or start a book club!!!

How to Start Your Own Book Club

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Birthday Wish... Is To Thank You

My birthday is coming up in just a few days and I always think to myself about birthday wishes. You know blow out your candles and make a wish, I really do not believe in it but it would have been nice to see a brand new car on my sweet 16 or a credit card with no limit. However, most often that is not life and those birthday wishes are just blown away. So instead of making a wish I am simply asking for a request.... a small one. I was inspired by a friend who uses her birthday to spread PCOS and I admire her for that. I was also inspired by my two grandmothers who both have birthdays in March, in fact all my grandmother's birthdays and mine are apart by one week 7, 14, 21 (How cool is that?).

I want people to be thankful for the people they have in their life. There is a song called Hero by Skillet and it has amazing lyrics... it talks about ordinary people you, me, and everyone else in between. We are surrounded by heroes and a lot of time people do not even realize it your take it for granted. There are groups that are always considered heroes like the police, firefighters, and military. Which I am thankful for and I know what my Marine has done and will continue to do. I know a lot of them tend to get shy when it comes to these thanks. I have a friend who is cop, I have known him for almost 15 years and he has done great things!!!

However, a lot of people go un-thanked. Have you ever thought about a doctor, nurse, teacher, a mother? There are some people I wish that I could go back and thank. I had this crazy chemistry teacher in high school who has set the ceiling on fire on more than one experiment. I want to thank her so much for her being just her and showing me love of science! My 6th grade science teacher for some reason hated chicken but introduced me to a science group.....

Doctors who help us in so many ways. A lot of people have health problems and we need doctors to help us. We need nurses to help us. I believe nurses are so special because they have to take a lot of crap from a lot of people and lets face it people... if we are crappy patients at home we are more then likely at the hospital as well. However, I know a caring smile from a nurse can help warm an isolated hospital room.

Now-there are people who say that is their job, that is what the signed up to do, that was there career choice.  This is very true, no one forced my husband's to sign his name on the dotted line. Yes my husband chose the military as a career and infantrymen in fact just like my Dad. He has been deployed into not favorable places, yes it is his job... BUT COULD YOU DO IT? ..... I know I could not! How about a doctor, that is what they get paid the big bucks for BUT I know I could not do open heart surgery or be an ER doctor.... or someone who specializes in an area to help you improve your quality life like being bipolar or fighting PCOS.

My Birthday Wish- is thank as many people as you want but to at least thank someone who you thinks is often unoticed!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bipolar- That is me stop the Stigma! This is a Long One

One face that I have is that I am Bipolar, that is right bipolar. The term bipolar can be defined as "as disorder marked by alternating or intermixed periods of mania and depression" (Cromer, 2011, p. 218). Now I write this to give you my take on this disorder and there will be references but most of personal thoughts. The first thing there is a stigma around this disorder and needs to go away!!! There are multiple perspectives looking in on this disorder usually the: person who has the disorder, people around them (family & friends), and then the doctors and counselor who treats them. I explain these roles in a bit in a more personal way.

When I first diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder a typed of disorder marked by mildly manic or hypo-manic episodes and major depressive disorders (Cromer, 2011). I was in shock, in fact I was in denial I remember calling my mom and telling her. However, there were a couple of episodes that stood out in my mind. About a year after I was married, I was treated for depression and I cannot tell you why I was depressed I just was. I was given medication and counseling which was going fine then I just stopped going. I felt fine, threw the pills down the toilet and stop going to counseling. Now most people just do not snap out of a depression, there is usually a cause and they finds ways to get out of it. However, I just felt fine like nothing ever happen. Thing went fine for a few years, we moved and getting settled but then I felt out of it again. I thought it might have been to PCOS because they do say depression is a symptom of it. When I went to this doctor-I went through this intense screening to the point of irritation... However, when it was all said and done I was diagnosed with Bipolar II with rapid cycling. In other words I have four or more episodes within a year. When you are able to look back at it there are things that pop up in my childhood that make sense on why I acted like that or perhaps felt the way I did. Most professionals believe that most Bipolar symptoms appear between the late teens and twenties. However, I disagree with this I do believe sometimes warning signs do present themselves earlier. For example, I was at th fair with my family and we are all having a great time but when it was time to leave. I became upset at something, irrational at the drop of them dime. My parents said it was over a game-and that my very well be true but to this day I cannot recall what made me so mad. How in the world is that normal?

That is where the parents and friends come in. A lot of times people believe it is choices that we make to act the way we do. Which in someway may be true but for the most part I believe I was a typical teenager. However, I use to do stuff that when I look back may have made my parents wonder. A lot of times I could not sleep so I would rearrange my room furniture or able to stay up all night and watch movies and still function the next day. Then there were days that I could hardly get out of bed- my parents did not know this in high school but I had to force myself to stay awake and all I could think about was getting back to sleep, like I could never get enough sleep. I know this could be passed off as typical teenager the thing is I never grew out of it. I have heard people call me moody or I just have PMS-but news flash people I cannot have PMS for an entire month! Look the term up!

Now this is what the doctor sees:  It is very well documented the bipolar disorder is clearly  a disorder of the brain (there is still debate but as research progresses the still believe it is not is getting debunked) and it is genetic and biological underpinning is recognized and is still treated as a "mental Illness". There are people who still believe it is related to our personal choices or morals but I tell these people look at this way it is no difference then other chronic illness except my medication works in the brain. There is no medication out there to change my morals. In reality it is a complex interplay of a genetic background, individual biochemistry, and life stress (Milkowitz, 2002). There is promising in research in areas such as neurotransmitters, Ion activity, Brain Structure, and Genetic Factors (No I Do not Blame My Parents or anyone else I am Genetically linked too). I got to see a brain (PET) scan done on someone to shifting from depression to mania back to depression and if you are a scientific person, like I am it was amazing to see. There is little activity while the person is going through depression but lights up like a firework when they are in mania and then nothing again.

These are the Symptoms of Mania and Depression - Now no two people with Bipolar are the same so we all experience our symptoms differently ( I have highlighted mine and will explain what I feel)

The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms:
  • Agitation or irritation: I become very agitated without any reason and the more I become agitated or feel irritable the harder it is for me to come down. Please know there is a difference, if I can tell you why I am upset then I am just upset nothing more.
  • Inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities)
  • Little need for sleep
  • Noticeably elevated mood
    • Hyperactivity: I feel like I always need to being something, getting out of the house, or something, it gets worse if I begin feeling trapped.
    • Increased energy: kind of like hyperactivity except I tend to be really productive and just do, do, do
    • Lack of self-control
    • Racing thoughts: Well this is what it is, I have ideas out the ears, I have good and bad thoughts the problem is I cannot stop them.
  • Over-involvement in activities: I have a hard time saying "NO" I am willing to help and do things to the point of exhaustion.
  • Poor temper control: I believe this relates to my agitation but sometimes I just lose it one way or the other with the end results of crying.
  • Reckless behavior
    • Binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use
    • Impaired judgment
    • Sexual promiscuity
    • Spending sprees
  • Tendency to be easily distracted: This is why I have so many un-finished projects

    The depressed phase of both types of bipolar disorder includes the following symptoms:
    • Daily low mood: I am in this all day and Usually cannot get out it.
    • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
    • Eating disturbances
      • Loss of appetite and weight loss
      • Overeating and weight gain
    • Fatigue or listlessness: It is a struggle to feel any energy even after a decent amount of sleep.
    • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and/or guilt: I tend feel like I upset people or let them down in some way when I am stressed. 
    • Loss of self-esteem
    • Persistent sadness
    • Persistent thoughts of death
    • Sleep disturbances
      • Excessive sleepiness: Never feel like I can get enough
      • Inability to sleep: May seem like a contradiction but I become uncomfortable
    • Suicidal thoughts
    • Withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed: I enjoy a lot of things like crafting and reading but I can sometime go weeks even month without doing the thing I love.
    • Withdrawal from friends: This one is harder for people to accept. I cannot explain why I do it but I do. They will either have to come to terms with this and understand it or just simply it is a choice I am making.

  -Here are some really good sources about the disorder-

Treatment honestly varies between person to person. What may work for does not work for the other. There is so much out there as treatment options, we are for the most part in good hands. The worst enemy of someone who is Bipolar, is ourselves. Each have there own tiff with the disorder to include myself and I have a couple of problems.

I have pulled myself off my medication twice. I say twice because when I was treated for depression and threw them down the toilet because I felt fine. Is a BIG sign of the disorder. The second time I pulled myself off of my medication was when my husband deployed once. I thought I was doing fine and I could handle his booze cruise (term for a MEU). However, within just a few weeks I was falling into a depression and it took a while to get out of it.

I have also been where my medication seem to longer worked (even though I kept taking it). I did not sleep for almost a week and if I was not with the counselor it could have only gotten worse. It was hard to understand why I was following the doctors orders and it was not working. It is often a trial and error process and I have come to accept that some times I need adjustments or a tune-up, it only happens.

Now what does this all mean- am I nut? Was there something in my family genes to allow this to happen? Did my husband marry an unstable woman? Do people walk on egg shells? Will I ever amount to anything? What happens next? Why did I write this?

I like to think what is normal? Can anyone define what it is to be normal? I like to think everyone has their own normal state, whatever that might be. My mom says I march to the beat of my own drum and I believe her. I will get to the same destination just my way. I really cannot answer the whole genetic thing yet but maybe that is one of my purposes of being here. I am a scientific person... and I am passionate about this subject so maybe I can help people understand.

My husband did not marry an unstable woman. Granted this diagnosis happen years after we were married. However, my husband does not love a part of me. He loves all of me, the good, the bad, the Courtney. He is very caring and passionate about this. He is still learning about this disorder and how to help me cope with it (but we all are and it is a continuing process that will never stop). He is a very strong man and he will help me get through any of ups or downs. He also has a great support system like my mom to help make sense of things that he may not understand fully.

A lot of people do walk on egg shells around me. I try not to throw them out there but some do it for me. I am fine, I do not have six heads very rarely do I react in a negative manner towards someone. If you want to know something about it just ask! I am not the only one with this disorder in fact there are a lot of famous people who have this disorder.

Actors & Actress: Patty Duke, Jim Carrey, Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Robert Downey Jr., and Rosemary Clooney

Artists: Tim Burton, Beethoven, and Vincent Van Gogh

Others: Buzz Aldrin (Astronaut), Sylvia Plath (Poet), Sting, Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Praticia Cromwell (Author), and Winston Churchill

Please Note: Some of these people died before there time, it could have been related to the disorder or something else.

Now I am not famous by any means but I have done great things. I have just graduated college with BS is psychology and will continue into a master program after a short break. I also write what is on my mind, willing to try new things. I think in a way this disorder has help me some of these symptoms like my racing thoughts have sparked wonderful ideas and things that I thought I would never do.....

These are my final words and they are to the ones who have the disorder, please do not feel like you suffer do not burden yourself with guilt and self-blame because you believe your mood disorder is caused solely by psychological factors or even a weakness of character (Miklowitz, 2002).

Find your Survival guide and get through it and accomplish your dreams. I still have a long way to go but I know with my family and a few good friends I am in the right direction.