My Life Isn’t Always So Heavy. Sometimes It’s Full of Near Marriages & Tear Gas Too.

Today I’m supposed to be telling you about the time I nearly died during a military exercise in the Nevada desert.

Me+5 cans of tear gas+gas mask fail=the fires of brimstone & damnation taking up residence in my body.

It’s a good story, but before I share it with you, I have to explain why I am.

I told my friend Susan about it and she almost died from laughter. Death by laughter is a much better way to go than death by tear gas, in case you were wondering.

Anyway she didn’t really almost die laughing (duh, it’s called exaggeration) but she did have tears in her eyes, and after she composed herself she reminded me of something-I don’t talk about the other parts of my life here very often, if at all.

I’ve spent the majority of this blog’s life telling you about my struggles with mental illness, motherhood, & low self-esteem. I’ve touched a little on social issues & religion too, but the only “light” thing I’ve shared here are my Napoleon Dynamite-esque dance skills. (New here? Check the “Dance” tab up top)

I realized there’s so much about myself and my life that I haven’t shared with you, especially the parts that aren’t so heavy. Example: I used to show dogs (think Westminster type dog shows) when I was 8 years old. Also? I was pretty damn good at it too. See? I haven’t divulged that kind of info and I feel like it would be nice to do so.

So moving forward, I’m going to try and be more open not just about the heaviness of in my life, but the lighter, funnier, interesting experiences I’ve had as well. The stupid mistakes I’ve made,(like dating a guy I met on a greyhound bus on its way to Jacksonville, Florida…after almost marrying this OTHER guy I had moved to Florida for…all while I was 7 months pregnant. Yea. that.) stories from my Air Force days (like the time the government thought it was ok to let me be qualified to use seven different deadly weapons) and other random stuff from my “pre mom, pre mental illness takeover” days. Maybe I’ll even throw in some high school stuff so you can see how giant of a dork I was. (And still am)

I don’t share enough about the other parts of my life or the experiences I’ve had outside of being a mom & a manic depressive, and I’d like to thank Susan for pointing this out to me. You should thank her too because some of these stories will be TMZ-worthy. I can hear your inner gossip hound licking its chops in anticipation.

First up will be the tear gas story. I’ll try to have it up by tomorrow or over the weekend at the latest. I have to talk to some of the people who were there with me to refresh my memory on some of the details. (Inhaling tear gas causes black outs & mild amnesia)

Get ready to (hopefully) laugh your ass off at my expense. There WILL be talk about loss of bodily functions & the expelling of bodily fluids. You’ve been warned.

College Mama: Mountain Climbing

Wow.

I did it.

I’m sitting here on my couch snotting and sobbing from relief, elation, and gratitude.

I did it y’all.

I MADE IT THROUGH MY 1ST SEMESTER AT PBU.

I’m in shock and awe about this because back in July, and even as recently as October when I wrote this, it just seemed like such a daunting task.

  • Bad breakup; newly single
  • New diagnosis
  • New medications & adjustments
  • New therapies & psychiatrist appointments
  • New state, new city, new apartment, new environment…far away from family & church support
  • New bills
  • My boys
  • My (hypo)mania
  • My severe depression
  • My “mixed” states
  • Excruciating anxiety
  • Struggling with wanting to live…and fighting urges to self-injure (which I didn’t always succeed in doing)
  • New school
  • Full course load
  • Surviving off of GI Bill benefits, disability, & financial aide…new financial worries
Back then and at times throughout the course of the past 4 months, this mountain just seemed impossible to climb. Too painful, too rocky, too tough to grasp, my strength and mind felt too diminished and futile to even think most days, let alone actually LIVE.
Wait… Sorry…Give me a minute…I’m crying again….*reaching for tissue*
(Pause)
But here I am, at the top of the mountain I didn’t think I’d be able to climb and when I look out at the view that surrounds me, I see
  • A therapy & medication routine that’s starting to be effective and take hold
  • A fresh perspective, one that’s no longer weighed down by unrealistic expectations & standards
  • A course load that’s manageable because of academic accommodations and open dialogue with my professors
  • Two unbelievably amazing close friends, one old, one new (I’m looking at you, Lyrical Dilettante) who hold me accountable, help me see myself in a healthy, realistic light…and just…accept me. challenge me. laugh with me. dance with me…cook with me…and sit with me when I’m in my low moments and am struggling with wanting to kill myself.
  • An INCREDIBLE group of online friends who feel more like family. From my #PPDChat Army (Lauren, Charity, Susan, Jaime, Katherine, Story, & more)…. to my new friends in the Bipolar Depression Closed support group on Facebook, who are from all over the world, and encourage me on a daily basis, help me understand my BP, and love on me in my darkest moments….
  • My other “in real life” friends who I talk to at school and on Facebook…old and new…blood related and not…
  • My boys…happy…healthy….growing…laughing…super smart and enjoying being their own people
  • Forgiveness and understanding paving the way for a healthier relationship with my ex…
  • A new dating potential who told me this morning that I don’t have to hustle for worthiness with him, out of fear he’ll leave….as he puts it, “I’m here because I want you.” (His exact words.)
  • Oh yeah….and my new hair color!
  • Manic Panic hair dye has changed my life

The view from up here is breathtaking….Even with all of it’s stress, highs, lows, and anxiety, everything I mentioned above has created a solid and healthy environment for me to live and thrive in. Catching a glimpse of the beauty that’s laid out before me fills my heart with a quiet comfort because I know when it’s time to climb the next mountain (and the next semester) I can do it.

I have everything I need to make it :) I’m so grateful for all of you it’s ridiculous!

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!