Tag Archives: Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop

Six Word Memoir & passion

Mama’s Losin’ It

Today I am joining Mama Kat’s – pretty much world-famous – Writer’s Workshop.  To join, click on the button above which brings you to her blog. Go!

My Six Word Memoir:  I’m more than my mental illness !

Now onto:

What am I passionate about?

I am passionate about my health.  Since I sometimes suffer from my bipolar disorder,  I need to get my response to my moods under control.

Why?

So I can once again move abroad.

Why?

To help women who are often considered as and consider themselves trash.

Why?

Because they are involved in prostitution.

So tell me again,  why would you move abroad?

Because my heart aches for these women,  often still young girls.

Why?

Because the Maker of the universe stooped down to my level to love on me and be friends with me.  He gathered my broken heart,  piece by piece,  holding it gently in His hands while making it whole.  Yes,  you will always see the scars of where it has been broken,  but it’s in one piece.

I am nobody special.  What He does for me?

He will do for you and for them!

That is what I am passionate about.

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Battling Bipolar: a poem

Mama’s Losin’ It

 

 

My mind is racing really fast

My mouth is trying to keep up

I hear myself going on and on

Not able to get the train to stop

But it’s always coming to a crashing halt

When in the abyss it does fall

 

Bruised and broken I am down

Gathering my shattered self

Where is my strength to start

The up-hill battle once again?

To crawl out from the slimy pit

I find myself the umpteenth time

 

Sometimes it takes a moment

Sometimes it takes a year

Other times it lasts forever

Other times it lasts not long

 

Some days I am happy

Some days I am blue

Other days find me yapping

Other days find me still

 

I am swinging right along

The ups and downs of all my moods

Thrilled one day and crushed the next

Or all together mixed

This is the norm by which I live

The cocktail of my life

 

Learning the tools of my trade

To create order in my brain

Where disorder normally rules

Is what I do each day

It gives a value to my life

That no one can explain!

Fenny a.k.a. The Crazy Rambler

04/06/2011

 

 

Writing prompt: What battle are you fighting?  Write a poem overcoming.

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Coping with stress

Meaning of the word stress

According to the dictionary,  stress is:

  • a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense
  • a difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension

Suspense, according to the dictionary,  is apprehension about what is going to happen.  Synonyms for suspense:

  • apprehension;  dread
  • doubt;  uncertainty;
  • anticipation;  expectancy

Consequences of stress

Our body is designed to deal with stress like it deals with a (perceived) threat.  You are probably familiar with the three responses:

  • Fight
  • Flight
  • Freeze

Our body is pumped up with adrenaline and other hormones to prepare us to be able to either fight or flee,  whichever is needed.  When we feel overwhelmed,  we freeze.  Once the (perceived) emergency is over,  our body has to work hard to deal with the fall out and to calm things down.

The effects of stress on our overall health is well-known.  Our immune,  cardiovascular,  neuroendocrine and central nervous systems suffer.  Where it only takes a moment for our body to be ready to fight or flee,  it takes much longer to reach the equilibrium we need to be and stay healthy.

When stress becomes a chronic feature in our lives,  just imagine what damage this will do to our body.  A lot of the damage we might not notice at first,  but we are sure to notice it later.  Arteries thicken,  brain cells die,  blood pressure raises,  risk of heart attack and stroke increases and the list goes on.

Recovering from stress

Our body wants to obtain the state of homeostasis.

Homeostasis is the state of metabolic equilibrium between the stimulating and the tranquilizing chemical forces in your body.

If the stimulating chemical forces are tipping the scale,  we are in trouble.  So are we when the tranquilizing chemical forces have the upper hand.

Those of us with bipolar disorder are pretty familiar with balancing the scales of our emotions.  Adding stress to the mix can easily tip one of the scales to a position we definitely don’t like.  When that happens,  the time it takes us to ‘recover’ and obtain a measure of equilibrium is what tells us how well we are doing.

Did you hear that?  The deciding factor on how well we are doing is NOT the fact that our scales are tipping either side.  The deciding factor is the time we need to recover and obtain some measure of balance.

In order to recover faster we are learning tools to handle our bipolar and everything else that comes with it.

Stress is not all bad

Photo credit:  Rick

Both stress as well as suspense do not necessarily have purely negative connotations attached to their meaning. Stress can cause tension and strain,  but it can also cause anticipation and expectancy.

Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain OR a state of mental or emotional suspense.

What or who decides which it is going to be: strain or anticipation?

Stress is a difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension.

What or who decides what stress is going to cause?

It seems to center around what is going to happen. Meaning that the actual event is in the future.  So we don’t know yet what it is going to be.  It could be bad OR good!

One of the things it (stress) does is to release norepinephrine, one of the principal excitatory neurotransmitters. Norepinephrine is needed to create new memories. It improves mood. Problems feel more like challenges, which encourages creative thinking that stimulates your brain to grow new connections within itself. Stress management is the key, not stress elimination.

Stress management

Managing stress is finding a strategy to deal with it that works for you.  Since we are all unique,  what works for you might not work for me.  But rest assured that there is always a way we can learn to deal with stress and whatever else life decides to throw at us.

You see,  what is really important here is how we respond to stress.  Remember how stress can relate to dread (fear),  doubt and uncertainty?  But it is also related to anticipation and expectation.

What is it gonna be for you?  Being stressed or enjoying dessert?

Follow-up blog post:  To stress or not to stress

For further reading:

Understanding stress

Renew ~ Stress on the brain

Mama’s Losin’ It

If you really knew me, you would know that…

I love to pick words apart by using the dictionary!

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Living abroad – yes. Or no? No, it’s yes…

Photo credit:  Steve Parker

What would it take for you to pick up and move?

Welllll – really not much:  pack my suitcase & laptop,  preferably my guitar,  and off I go!!!

I’ve done it many times since I lived for a total of about 15 years abroad,  so I know the ins and outs of travelling light (meaning carrying my laptop,  guitar and hand luggage while losing my coat and/or scarf on the way to the plane 🙂 ).

But that changed in the last 5 years… since my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder I in 2007.

You have had it all your life,  done all this travelling,  so why can’t you just up and leave?

Welllll – yes,  I have had it all my life,  but I wasn’t a rapid cycler.

You Dutchies are always on your bike,  what’s the problem with being fast?!

Welllll – it’s got nothing to do with my bike,  that’s why!

It means that my episodes or mood swings can go up and down fast.  I can change moods during the day – although this doesn’t happen often – while in the past my moods could last for many months or even years.  *big sigh*

So,  how come you are a fast biker now?

Welllll – it usually happens after going through a crisis,  like a big one.  Which I did.  Unfortunately.

In 2005 it started to go down hill and during 2006 it got progressively worse.  I was seriously suicidal and didn’t know what to do with myself.  I was going up and down and experienced mixed moods for the first time in my life.  I had no idea about what the heck was going on in my life.  I only knew that I wanted the pain to stop.

I was diagnosed early 2007,  but still went through a manic phase after the diagnosis while taking mood stabilizers and other meds.  Not fun (huge understatement :(, do you hear the sarcasm?).

After I became more stabilised on the right med combo that worked for me,  it became very clear I had become a rapid cycler.

Officially you are a rapid cycler if you have more than 4 episodes a year.  Well,  I can have 4 different moods a week!  I am not ultra-rapid cycling – that is even worse,  changing moods all day,  every day.  Sort of.  Yikes!

Meaning fast bikers don’t get anywhere?

Welllll – heck yes!!!  Of course I can travel.  This winter I made a beautiful trip to Ukraine.  I will travel again this Summer with the youth group.

But there is a difference in travelling for a month or so and living abroad while taking care of your Bipolar.  By yourself.  No support network.  With meds,  of course.  I checked,  my current meds are available in Ukraine,  if I would end up there again.  But…

  1. I’ll need a doctor to prescribe my meds.  Or take huge amounts over the border.  Don’t know if that works,  provided I would get a half a year supply from the pharmacy here…
  2. I’ll need blood checks on my liver every three months.  I need to find a lab with lab technicians that do blood work that I can trust.  And let’s not forget:  use clean needles and such.  Don’t want to add HIV onto my plate of health challenges,  now would I?
  3. When I happen to end up in crisis – I definitely do not want to be in a psych ward in Ukraine!
  4. Even though my insurance has covered repatriation in the past,  it is not very likely they will in the future.  That is what this type of diagnosis can do for you.
  5. Building a support network will not be easy.  It’s not impossible (me thinks) – but it will take a lot of work.
  6. I’ll need to monitor myself very strictly,  since I will be most likely more or less my own doc.  That’s a bit tricky,  however good I am at recognizing my symptoms and such.
  7. Welllll –  can’t think of more, but gotta have an uneven number,  so this is the seventh.  Six is enough anyways,  don’t you think?

Okay – so you will only make short trips then?

Welllll – who said that?!  Of course not!  I want to live and work abroad,  don’t you get it?

Uhm… not sure I do.

Welllll – that’s your problem then,  ain’t it?

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Is it really too much to explain watcha doin’?!?

Those of you who read my previous post,  know that I have been prodded and poked at over the last 5 days since having been in hospital with severe abdominal pain over the weekend.

"Oh, here's the problem!"

This gets me started about a serious pet peeve I have.

Doctors who do not explain what they are doing and just rudely ‘do it’.

Especially all the prodding and poking in one’s private area.  Without much ado they just stick fingers in you.  I HATE THAT!

Is it really too difficult to explain what you are going to do and do it gently???

I am a human being,  a person,  with feelings and emotions.  You are touching my private parts,  which are called ‘private’ for a REASON.  Is it really too difficult to regard them as such?!

Out of the three times I have been prodded and poked in my private area,  TWICE I had to call out to get the doctor to pay attention that I was NOT a happy person with what he/she was doing.

With the prevalence of sexual abuse,  there is another HUGE reason to be gentle when examining someone in that area.

The examination that takes a minute for a doctor to perform,  reverberates for days in a person who survived sexual abuse.  And believe me,  I know!

This is a huge reason why I have taken a break from all examinations despite I still having pain (albeit bearable more or less) and no diagnosis.

I can’t wait to be given an opportunity for a teaching slot for the medical profession.  I can teach them a lesson or two!!

Mama’s Losin’ It

With excuses for a slight deviation of the prompt…

Clip art credit

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