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Showing posts from January, 2014

Celebrate! [Blogathon Conclusion]

Okay, I failed to finish Blogathon on time because I was working on school work this week. Yes, I'm back in school! Hooray for being in school! However, there's plenty of work to do. So let's wrap this Blogathon up now that it's the weekend.

I intended to write letters to many of the people who have helped me through the past year, but I'll have to do that later. It IS going to happen though! For now, I'll just say a few concluding words.

First of all, Tuesday was the anniversary of the day I got out of the hospital. Wow, what a difference a year can make! I think back to that time and I'm practically a different person. I was so fragile and shaken. Now I am strong and confident. Although my struggle will never truly end, I have come such a long way. I am truly happy with my life now. My medicine is working. I rarely need to see my doctor, and I've gone over a month (more like 6 weeks) without counseling and I feel great! Progress is a beautiful thing.

Life Goes On. [Blogathon Day 15]

Well, to be honest, I was working on something today and didn't have time to write much on the ol' blog. I will do a little wrap up to the story and a precursor to tomorrow's post:

After all the hard times early in 2013, things quieted down. As 2013 year went by, things got to be more "normal." Once I got involved in Grace Church I got into a regular weekly schedule of church, community groups, lunch dates with girls from community group, and therapy twice a week. I tried volunteering and babysitting a few times, but not often. I was responsible and everything, but my heart was not in it yet. I also got into a good gym schedule and worked out about 3-4 times a week. I was getting stronger and able to run a 5K, which I eventually did!

By summer, I was able to do fun things like go to Six Flags and the beach, go swimming with friends, etc. After everything I'd been through, I had a fun, relaxing, NORMAL summer. Yay! Praise God for that.

There's a funny thin…

Back To "Normal." [Blogathon Day 14]

On January 14, 2013, I was released from the hospital. I went back to "normal" life, but things were far from normal.

Coming out of the hospital was harder than I thought it would be. I reactivated my Facebook which turned out to be a bad decision so close to getting home. There was something about being in the hospital that was so simple. There were no cell phones, no computers, no social media, nothing to distract us from focusing on getting better and building relationships. If we were bored, we had a TV, games, books, and journals to write in. Other than that, we talked. I had a limited number of belongs--a few clothes, a few toiletries, a few books and pictures, my pillow, and my stuffed panda bear. That was it. Life might have been complicated, but it was also much simpler.

When I got out of the hospital, I struggled with panic attacks and anxiety. I've written about it before, and I cannot stress to you how horrible it was. Everything stressed me out--driving, clut…

Such Sweet Sorrow. [Blogathon Day 13]

After what felt like a month in Intensive Care, the doctor and nurses finally decided I was ready to move back to the Adult Unit. I'm not entirely sure how long I was in the Intensive Care Unit, but it must have been less than two weeks, maybe around 9 days. If that's correct, then I had been in the hospital for about 11 days total, with about a week left to go.

The next week was one of the most profound weeks of my life to date. I ended up meeting some wonderful people and making friends. We actually became like a family for a time. There were nine of us that really got close, give or take a few. Everyone came and left at different times, so it's hard to say how many of us there were in that core group that became like a crazy little family.

I wish I could tell you all of the amazing stories that these people had to offer, but I feel that would be an invasion of their privacy. They aren't my stories to tell. I actually did get their permission to write about them for …

What I Need From You. [Blogathon Day 12]

When I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I had two thoughts first:
1. What am I going to do?
2. What will people think?

I've pretty much figured out #1- I'm going to deal with it. I'm going to take medicine, go to therapy, keep a journal, exercise, eat regularly, get plenty of sleep, never pull an all-nighter, that kind of thing. Oh, and I'm obviously I'm blogging about it, something most people wouldn't do but something I feel called to do.

Number 2 was a little more tricky. What will people think? What do they think now? If people think less of me because of this, they obviously aren't telling me which I suppose is a blessing. I can't change this, so I might as well make the best of it and take the positive comments that I have received. Thank you for all of you who have sent me positive messages, and to all of you who haven't sent me mean messages haha. I already know what's bad about this disorder; I don't need to be told.

To be honest…

Do's and Don'ts. [Blogathon Day 11]

There are absolutely things you can do or say to help someone with Bipolar Disorder. There are also definitely things that will not be a good idea as they will be hurtful rather than helpful. Today I'd like to take a moment to give some examples of what is good to say and do and what is not-so-good to say and do.

What not to say

"You sound a little down today."
Since I live with bipolar disorder, of course I don’t always feel 100 percent up to par. I just don’t need my symptoms constantly gauged or continually evaluated. It’s like having a never-ending physical. Most people with a mental illness know how they feel. Being told you are not sounding well is not constructive, nor is it a substitute for true compassion.

"I thought you were taking your medication."
Dealing successfully with bipolar disorder cannot be reduced to whether or not someone has taken a pill. There are no quick fixes. Confronting a chronic, serious illness is an ongoing process, and there are b…

All About Bipolar. [Blogathon Day 10]

We all have our ups and downs, but, with bipolar disorder, these peaks and valleys are more severe. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can hurt your job and school performance, damage your relationships, and disrupt your daily life. And although it’s treatable, many people don’t recognize the warning signs and get the help they need. Since bipolar disorder tends to worsen without treatment, it’s important to learn what the symptoms look like. Recognizing the problem is the first step to getting better. Bipolar disorder is not as uncommon as you may think. Millions of American adults are affected by bipolar disorder.

What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition that can affect both how you feel and how you act. It is a mood disorder thought to be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain that can result in extreme swings in mood—from manic highs to depressive lows. To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you must have experienced a high period (mania). Bipolar mania …

A Letter To My Younger Self. [Blogathon Day 9]

If I could write a letter to my 18-year-old self, pre-college and pre-mental health issues, here is what I would say. 
Dear Eighteen-Year-Old Haley, 
The years ahead are going to be hard, I won't lie to you. You're about to go through some of the hardest times of your life, so far anyway. Don't worry though, you'll find amazing friends to walk with you through it, and your family will always be there for you. And remember what Mom always says: "As long as you have the Lord in your heart, everything else will be okay." It will, I promise. The dark tunnel you're about to enter into has another side and you're going to find it. You'll make it to the other side. By the time you're 22, things will be looking up and your future will be bright. Of course, I don't know what happens after 22, but I trust that God will always be there. I know you know that. You've always been so optimistic despite everything. I encourage you to continue to be op…

Slow Progress. [Blogathon Day 8]

I don't know how many days I was in Intensive Care. Those were the worst days, because when I think about it, I was at least slightly delusional the whole time I was in Intensive Care...well, I suppose they knew that and that's why I had to stay. One good thing was that I didn't have a roommate. (Later I would have two different roommates and wish for a room by myself.)
As I became more coherent I also began to interact with the nurses. I bonded with a few of them, but one in particular. I'll call her Cheryl. She was married with three or four kids, and she loved animals and loved her job. I found out I went to school with one of her kids and we kind of knew each other. Talking to her was like talking to an older version of myself; we had so much in common. Many of the things I learned about her life were what I envisioned for my life. Talking to her gave me hope, I think. It kept me going for a little while longer, got me to think about the future rather than where I …

Mr. Frye. [Blogathon Day 7]

Blogathon is definitely proving to be a challenge. I still have so much to say, but it's emotionally draining, and I'm not even halfway yet. I'll have to keep the posts short so that I don't run out of things to talk about, and I'll have to continue to push myself.

Tonight I want to continue the story a little bit. After I started to come back to reality and the delusions started to fade, they deemed that I was healthy enough to interact with other patients. At first, that was a scary thing. For one thing, I was the youngest on the ward. I had turned twenty-one just months earlier and there was only one other person in their twenties, and he was at least three years older than me. For another thing, we were all there for different kinds of problems. One woman had mental issues and didn't speak any English which proved very difficult for any of us--including the nurses--to communicate with her.

Slowly but surely, I started to get to know these people. My favorit…

Pacing. [Blogathon Day 6]

This is meant to be a spoken poem, but I felt that it was time to share it on here after some prayer. Written from the perspective of being inside the psych ward locked in my little hallway, it includes lies I used to believe about myself, parts of an old poem, and some parts new. I wrote it for Seekers and performed it on monologue night. Without further ado, I give you, "Pacing." 

Pacing.
Pacing, pacing, pacing, pacing.
How did I get here?
Day after day...
Pacing, pacing, pacing, pacing.
No, don't look at me like that.
I'M not crazy.
I'm NOT crazy.
I'm not crazy...am I?

I've always been the good girl my parents hoped that I would be.
No cussing, drinking, smoking, or reckless driving for me.
I followed rules, went to church, and dressed modestly.
Yet somehow that wasn't enough because Satan still got hold of me.

So how did I get here in this hospital?
I guess you could say it started 12 years ago, in another hospital.
Picture this: a little girl, in…

Fourteen for '14. [Blogathon Day 5]

Yesterday I took a look back over last year; today I'm looking forward to this coming year.
Here are fourteen of my hopes/dreams/goals for 2014:

1. ALWAYS take medications at the same time everyday.
2. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it as regularly as possible.
3. Work out almost everyday: running M/W/F and walking Nugget T/TH/Sat.
4. Eat three meals a day at fairly regular times. Don't overeat.
5. Drink one soda or less every week. Sometimes have a soda as a reward for a good grade :)
6. Utilize my wardrobe more by picking out my outfit every night and dressing nice at least once a week.
7. Invest in one-on-one relationships by setting lunch and coffee dates, especially with girls from club.
8. Have a regular quiet time daily. Spend time praying and memorizing bible verses.
9. Find a job for the summer; save up some money.
10. Fast from social media next summer & from buying clothes.
11. Volunteer at least a couple times a month if not weekly.
12. Clean my room for at …