My Day Thus Far…

I spent the morning editing my previous post because when I read it this morning, it felt choppy and redundant.  Check it out again if you are interested, I think it flows better.  I am trying to write in a fluid, easy to read fashion, but sometimes my thoughts come about so rapidly that I simply type.  I do edit before I post, but I think when I do that I am too close to what I just wrote, so I don’t realize when things don’t flow as well.  I am working on this.  I want my readers to be satisfied with what I have written.

I am a little behind in my Blogging101 assignments, but a post was made that not every assignment had to be completed – only the one’s that you felt applied to your blog.  I’m trying not to sweat the small stuff.  I will revisit these assignments at a later date.

It has been rainy since yesterday.  I love the rain – it makes for good naps.  Naps are my favorite, even though it cuts into the time that I should be looking for a job.  Perhaps I am depressed.

Speaking of depression, the last time I saw my psychiatrist, he asked me if I thought I was depressed.  He said he didn’t think I was depressed, because I was joking with him and participating in conversation attentively, but it has caused me to pause and reassess.  I’m not sure I am depressed.  Part of me thinks I am and part of me thinks I am over medicated.  I would love to have a little of my mania back, simply for the energy it gave me, but I don’t want the paranoia or psychosis that accompanies the mania.

I am properly medicated.  I am able to function in my life.  It isn’t as exciting as it once was, and that is disheartening.  But, I will take feeling normal and calm over reading into everything that surrounds me.  I don’t know what it would mean to have another psychotic episode and I don’t want to know, but I still want some of that manic energy and confidence.  It feels like it would be the booster that I need to get my act together.  But, that would be playing Russian Roulette, and I don’t want to play with my brain in that fashion.  The payoff is not worth the end result of going back to the hospital.

I want to talk about something light, so I will tell you about my cat.  I know, boring, another cat story.  But, he is our fur baby, and like every pampered prince, my husband’s and my life seems to revolve around making him happy.  He meows constantly.  Always a chatter box, he voices his opinion on the slightest of details and makes it very well known when he is not pleased with a particular situation.  He likes to sit outside on our balcony and as it has been raining, he has been confined inside.  We heard a lot of complaints from him yesterday and today due to his displeasure.  He is sleeping right now, thank goodness.  The house is quiet and things are calm.  Ahhhh…no meows.  Music to my ears.

I am waiting to hear back from one of the temp agencies I am registered with about a possible job interview.  I am crossing my fingers that the interview comes through, but when I called to check in, my contact person blew me off and I heard the receptionist actively talking to her before telling me she had stepped away from her desk.  I would say that the receptionist made a mistake by not putting me on hold properly.  We shall see where this opportunity goes…

I’m looking forward to a calm weekend with my husband.  I know he is looking forward to having a couple days off where we can relax and just enjoy our time together.  I hope it stays cloudy all weekend.  The city seems to quiet down when it is rainy.

How are you all managing your Friday?  I hope you all are looking forward to the weekend and can gather together with friends, or not.  It always feels good to get the work week over.

Wishing you lots of respite and happy times.

I Made a Huge Mistake

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Guilt that Haunts Me.”

My cursor has been blinking at me for the past 30 minutes.  I’m about to jump into a completely uncharted territory for me – I’m going to talk about my bad behavior leading up to my break.  I am not proud of this.  This is something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life.  Did I mention that I am ashamed?

My husband was working the overnight shift at his job.  That meant he was gone the entire night and I only saw him when he was either sleeping or walking out the door to go to work.  I was so lonely during this time.  Here we were, living in this vibrant city and we were not able to enjoy it together.  He was always working, making sure we had a roof over our heads and paying our bills on time.  I was angry because I felt abandoned by him.

One of the symptoms of bipolar disorder is hypersexuality.  It turns you into this version of yourself where you feel your most beautiful, most sexy, and most vibrant.  You think you are this golden unicorn that everyone wants.  I had no clue of what was to come from these feelings, but I was riding a high.  I was lonely and feeling like my best self.  A recipe for disaster.

I found him on this adult meet up site.  My husband and I were talking about the possibility of having an open marriage due to him being away so much and both of us wanting something more.  We were only talking about it, not acting on it, but I took the opportunity to run with the idea behind his back.

It started with simple messages and then a meet up in a local park.  I was nervous, but wasn’t thinking clearly about the absurdity of meeting a complete stranger for a hook up.  I didn’t know this person.  He could have been a deranged killer and I was walking into a situation I had no business being a part of.  I was supposedly happily married.  But, I was chasing a high and wanting instant gratification.  This person provided that for me.

I won’t go into the illicit details, but I started having an affair with this guy I barely knew.  It was exciting and gave me the fulfillment I was looking for, factoring in my hypersexuality and loneliness.

I wasn’t in love with this person – I was there for the sex.  It became a frequent occurrence, maybe a couple of times a week.  It was easy to participate in this situation because my husband was gone all the time.  In the cover of dark, all secrets are safe, right?

This affair lasted for months.  I don’t really remember the amount of time it actually lasted, but it was enough to know that what I was doing was wrong.  I should have never started the affair, but, I continued to participate in the illicit behavior.  I was completely disregarding the respect I had for my husband and the vows we took when we got married.  I was reckless and I didn’t really think about the consequences of my actions.

As I mentioned before, I never fell in love with this person.  He was a means to an end.  I think he might have had genuine feelings for me, but I always knew I was going to stay with my husband.  I felt dangerous, though.  I was chasing this high and it was always eluding me, no matter how bad my behavior.

Little did I know, my husband started tracking my behavior.  He watched our phone records and even left work a few times to check that I was home while he was away at work.  I don’t believe I was ever home when he came to check.  He knew what I was doing, but was biding his time until I confessed or he had enough evidence to confront me.

He finally confronted me one night when he wasn’t working.  I had been pretending that I was texting one of my friends for a while, always keeping my phone close by in case he had intercepted a text between me and the other guilty party.  He asked to see my phone.  I stupidly hadn’t erased my text conversations with this illicit person.  Perhaps it was my way of wanting to be found out.

He locked himself in the bathroom to read the texts and I melted down.  At one point, I threw a glass at the door, shattering it.  I had been found out and I didn’t know what was going to happen.  I was scared, but a part of me felt justified by my actions because I was so angry at my husband for abandoning me.  Although he hadn’t actually abandoned me, it felt like that because he was never home.  It was my way of punishing him.  We have a mark on our bathroom door where I shattered that glass.  It will forever be a reminder of the deplorable act I had committed.

Needless to say, my husband was hurt.  I don’t think the word hurt can really describe what he was feeling.  He was working so hard for us, and here I was shitting on our dream.

I don’t remember how I ended the affair.  Part of me thinks it fizzled out, but I might have said something to the effect that the situation had to end.  Regardless, the affair ended.  I was relieved.  It’s hard to maintain that level of energy when you aren’t sleeping, lying to your husband, and losing your mind.  I just didn’t realize I was losing my mind.  That was still months away.

This situation has been a heavy cloud over my recovery.  I am writing this today, with his permission, to let my truth be known and to hopefully let others know they are not alone.  I live with an amazing, committed, understanding man.  We have had to work extra hard to regain trust because of my actions.  However, he has not wavered in his love for me.  He only wants the best for us, and I still don’t understand his ability to forgive me for my transgressions.

But, we are better.  It has taken a long time, but we have a mutual trust and respect for each other that appears to be life long.  I am lucky to have married such a person.  That being said, had I not been sick, I don’t know if things would have turned out the same way in the end.  But, in the same breath, I don’t believe I would have acted in such a horrible way.

Now I know what the symptoms are leading up to a full manic episode.  If you look at the guidelines of what makes a person bipolar, I am pretty much a classic case.  I will forever be shameful of the acts that I committed, but I know that there is love on the other side.  And, I will never, ever act on these impulses again.  I simply will not let it happen and my husband won’t let it happen either.  I have a good man.  I am lucky.

My Dream Reader

“I compare myself with my former self, not with others. Not only that, I tend to compare my current self with the best I have been, which is when I have been mildly manic. When I am my present “normal” self, I am far removed from when I have been my liveliest, most productive, most intense, most outgoing and effervescent. In sort, for myself, I am a hard act to follow.
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

I am currently participating in the Blogging101 course offered through WordPress.com.  We have been challenged with the assignment of writing a post to our dream reader and I must admit, I am having a bit of a difficult time.  However, I am going to try my best.

My dream reader would probably have to be Kay Redfield Jamison.  Her book, An Unquiet Mind, provided me with great solace when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  Her book spoke to me on so many different levels.  She is a true professional and has taken her diagnosis in stride, going on to serve as a professor of psychology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

I don’t aspire to be her, given that I don’t have a PhD in psychology, however, I admire her for foraging on and not letting her diagnosis hamper her ability to live, work, and find success.  That is something with which I have been struggling–finding work and maintaining a professional career.

Perhaps my break was worse than hers, but I doubt it.  Everyone has his or her own struggles with this disorder.  I just happen to have a spotty resume, having been out of work for so long, only to have worked for a few months here and there.  I will have success eventually.  I believe this to be true.

If I can’t have Dr Jamison as my dream reader, I want my dream reader to be someone who finds solace in my words–to know that they are not alone with his or her experiences.  Someone has been there before, I have been there before.  Maybe not in the same capacity, but I know what it means to have a huge, life changing diagnosis fall into her lap.  I hope to help someone who struggles with life.

They don’t have to have Bipolar Disorder.  They don’t have to have a disorder at all.  Just someone, anyone, who can identify with my written word.  Starting a new blog has been a huge undertaking for me.  It is my platform for making sense of what actually happened to me.  Perhaps that is conceited and maybe I am writing for myself, but I am trying to keep others in mind as I write my story.  It feels good to put it out there…The response I have received in just the past week since I started Slippery Alligator Dream has been huge.

I’m glad you are here.  Whoever you are and from where ever you come.  Welcome.  And, if you are Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, I am truly humbled that you have found this small blog.  You made an impact on my recovery.

All About Moi

Hi.  My name is Kel and I have bipolar disorder (This is the part of the meeting where you  answer back, “Hi, Kel”.)  Anyway, I fell down the rabbit hole about 3 1/2 years ago, having been hospitalized from an extreme manic episode that turned into psychosis.  I had no idea that I had this condition.  I just thought I was Super Kel and I was the smartest, funniest, and most attractive person to ever have existed.  I loved that feeling – I could conquer the world with my energy and my wit.  Little did I know that I didn’t really make much sense.  I think I had really great ideas during that time, it was just the mechanics of bringing those ideas to fruition that didn’t work out so well. More on that in due time.

I’m starting this blog to talk about all things bipolar and work through some of the happenings of my break and my recovery after.  I want this blog to be about the reality of what it means to exist with this chemical imbalance and hopefully provide some inspiration for those who suffer from the condition, as well as loved ones of those suffering in addition to anyone who is interested in learning more about bipolar disorder and perhaps my personal journey with it.

I want to help be a voice that isn’t afraid of talking about what it means to live with a mental disorder. I believe that you must talk about these issues in order to bring them to light and start to heal. It shouldn’t be a dirty secret, but so often it is looked upon as such. It’s probably cliche to say this to those who suffer, but if you had cancer or diabetes, you wouldn’t be told to just get over it. To lighten up, put it out of your mind. You would arm yourself with the best doctors and treatment options and fight the good fight. That has been my approach since I was diagnosed, and while it has been an uphill battle, I can say I’m in a really good place. I still have my struggles, as anyone else (even those who don’t suffer with this condition), but I am proactive. I take my meds. I check in with my doctors. I fight for my sanity because I never want to be as frightened as I was when the psychosis set in 3 1/2 years ago.

Here’s to the good fight and being proactive about your health and mental well being. I hope you will continue on this blogging journey with me.

Cheers!