Sunday, February 28, 2010

Starting Over

Today is a new day. I've changed my site header from "thoughts on being diagnosed as Bipolar at age fifty" to "thoughts on beginning life at age 50". Who cares what my diagnosis might be? I'm excited about the future. Finally the page is turning and a new story is about to begin.

Last night was a night filled with internet wandering through pictures from the Depression Era. Mostly works by Dorthea Lange (as you can see by those posted on my home page). How could I have the audicity to even begin to feel sorry for myself? Blessings have been bestowed on me beyond even the wildest imagination. There have certainly been times when the next meal was meager but there was always a next meal for me and my children. The mere thought of my children or my grandchildren going hungry is enough to make me hang my head in guilt as well as shame for ever thinking that I had been dealt an undesireable hand.

My change of heart was also influenced by my pastor's words today. Something to the effect that: if we are believers in the power of our most awesome God, then why do we not spend as much time in prayer when asking for the solution to a problem as we spend trying to find the solution? (hope that made sense).

So in celebration of my newfound lack of self pity, I once again have been reenergized. So I began to peruse my collection of unread garden magazines. A spark ignited within me! Realization dawned on me that this year I would have the energy to actually spend time doing one of the things I love best: gardening...flower gardening.

I absolutely love flowers, most especially roses. Every year there has been some project that I would begin...some area of the yard to transform. But each and every year there has always been a draining of my desire to bring those ideas to completion.

Not this year!!! Thus, when I saw the picture of a Chaste Tree in Organic Gardener this month, my mouth began to salivate. You see, I have a beautiful Chaste Tree in the corner of my back yard. This flower bed happened to be small enough to complete without a vast amount of energy. Last year I just sowed some wildflower seeds and as you can see from the picture posted, it turned out beautifully!

So the gauntlet is being thrown down. I am in competition with myself to create a beautiful canvas in my own backyard. Let's see what a little challenge can motivate me to do in this small patch of heaven God has chosen to bless me with! God forgive me for my selfishness and hang on for the loam and compost ride of the century!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What a beautiul morning it is today. Cup of coffee, quiet house, sunshine through the windows and surrounded by of the most peaceful things I know.

Poetry...I love poetry. It brings me so much joy!

"God made no act without a cause,
Nor heart without an aim,
Our inference is premature,
Our premises to blame." E. Dickson

Blame---why blame? And I have been so guilty of this sin. God forgive me, please?

To live life in anticipation;
and expectation that each
new breath is fresh, alive, anew and exciting;

To be thankful and
in constant mindfulness
that I live under grace;

To know that peace is a state of mind
I choose to hold next to my heart;

That is my desire
for every God given moment.

Inspired this morning by William Henry Channing:

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony."

Friday, February 26, 2010

The word that stood out from last night's post is "evolution". So, I looked it up and here is what I discovered....

1. the process of growth, development--(okay, I like that)

2. a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development--(I like that better)

3. a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with coordinated motions to produce a single action--(I like that one pretty well too)


Today was another very hard day at work---BUT---I functioned well. The problem is (not that there always has to be a problem)---I feel I couldn't express myself poetically if I tried.

Which bothers me more?????

Certainly the latter!

So in spite of myself and with God's grace:




aged forever

wisdom released


Not bad for one new day now gone. Goodnight God....oh and THANKS!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Tonight my brain feels like it's sinking in mud... pure sludge... I made mistakes at work. Actually, I made two mistakes at work-serious mistakes. I'm an ED nurse. That is not a good thing.

I'm having trouble driving home because I feel dizzy. You see, my medication that calms the aggressive side of me and evens out my moods at times makes me feel like I can't even force my brain to think. It is usually when I have a difficult, stressful day and exercise my brain (today it had a hard workout). So in order to offset this side effect, I take another medication. This one keeps me awake. Then I take another one........

Is there no end?

While working tonight, I almost cried. The thought crossed my mind that I would be better off if I stopped taking my medications. You see, I have always been a very good ED nurse. My therapist says that is because my illness allowed me to focus during a very stressful situation. I became like a machine. I rarely made mistakes... I never cried...

But the down side of not taking my medication is that my husband and family love the new me. I love the new least when I'm not at work. But that has been my identity for so what is my identity?

Okay....let me think this through....

First, I am a child of God.
Second, I am a wife.
Third, I am a mother
a grandmother, a friend

I have so much to be thankful for! So why do I feel so sad?

I suppose I just need to allow myself to grieve the loss of my professional identity. The problem is that has been my whole identity.

And if I have to change jobs---I know the Lord will provide.

Well, at least it should be exciting watching the new me evolve.

Dear Lord, please help me to accept where I am. May I use this time to learn acceptance of nonperfection. Forgive me for the impossible standards I have set in the past--those I live with and those I work with. Humility comes difficult for me, but I feel that is the moral of this story:


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the battlefield

I read Bugs, Knights... blog from 3 days ago. The frustration she is feeling-my heart hurts so much for her and for her little knight. Never would I be so presumptuous as to think that I understand her torment but I do understand the feeling from the joy of being healed only to drop once again into the chasm of relapse. Then off to the doctor for an increase in medication. And the cycle repeats itself.

Where does it stop? Will the point be reached that no further help will be available and the joy once known is gone forever?

I console myself with the fact that I have finally learned to try to live in the moment. More and more I attempt to practice mindfulness. The sun is brighter, the child's smile is sweeter, my insight into my patients is deeper, even the sun on my face while sitting in traffic (my children will laugh considering my history of road rage).

Right now I am watching my grandson (my autistic grandson) set up a battlefield of Star Wars characters. His dialogue is intense and wonderful. For me, the battlefield is coping with the both of us being "abnormal". But watching his intensity and joy in simple plastic objects...his mindfulness...the way he cherishes the moment----then the thought occurs to me regarding little knight and my j bob...who is really abnormal? Maybe all children have a direct line to God and know when something is wrong in the spiritual realm. Maybe some have a more acute awareness!
I actually think all children have the gift of spiritual awareness. Only to mean that I had the same gift and somewhere, somehow--lost it. You know, while I was striving to be normal.
Just a thought.

There is always a dawn after the battle-just ask little knight and jb!


The glimpse once seen,
The song once sung,
Is it now forever gone?

My God I cry
To you above.
For only You do hold---

The key that bids my
Heart come forth
And kneel among the stars.

Then greet the day
And shun the dark,
Forever to be sure…

That life will ever
Once again
My love of light to sing!

Until the day
of constant sun
And Thee forever dawn.

Monday, February 22, 2010

i think
therefore i blog......

am i so cliche? what is the appeal?

do we all really need confirmation from the world that we have worth? that we are original? that something we say is profound?

or is it that we just won't be interrupted?

now there's a thought...

i know that is definitely appealing to me.
(sorry dear!)



i've been reading e.e. cummings lately. not sure about the final judgement but definitely some awesome work in the mix.

this i love:

"the mind is its own beautiful prisoner.
Mine looked long at the sticky moon
opening in dusk her new wings"

the rest is a bit morose and since i have had my fill of morose, that doesn't appeal to me.


(REMEMBER I'M BIPOLAR)---having fun w/that line

so in e.e. cummings style........................................

mind stuck i
found life
at times so
ng, bu t


the laug
er from th
eir heart makes
my he
t sing!

That was cathartic..................therefore i blog!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

thought for the day

chemicals coursing through my veins
keeping me afloat

but at least my head is above water

Thursday, February 18, 2010

made Whole

The smile
that Glows
within my being,
One alone
can give.

Providence and Hope
Truth belongs
to You.

Leaning on
Your Love,
I feel
the dawning of
Your smile.

You alone
are Constant
Your Purity is true.

The Word inspired...
held ever
inscribed upon
my heart.

The prayer:
these Eyes would
exhale Grace
freely given.

Heavenly spirit
dwells within...
my Wounded soul.

Heavenly spirit
Dwells within...
my Wounds
made Whole.


Poems just keep coming to me.
I've never written a poem before in my life.

I'm worried it's a manic episode.
My therapist says I've finally learned how to express myself.

I hope she's right!

Seeds of Grace

My heart goes out to those who are suffering today either from physical or mental illness. I almost feel guilty for having been....well is "healed" the word??? I still have to take a lot of medication. I can see why getting off medication tends to be a trend with my diagnosis. Not to mention the financial cost of everything.

I am an emergency room RN and see so many every day who are suffering from some terminal or chronic illness. At least now that I have been diagnosed and medicated I am capable of empathy, whereas before I was often just aggitated or impersonal.

But I want to end this comment on what I feel is a positive note. My God has always been so good and faithful!

Seeds of grace
His mercy
Bring Hope
Within the
Candle flickers...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Waves of Mind

Waves of Mind...
Left to Right
Follow suit dear!
You know I know best what's for you.

Waves of Mind...
Left to Right
I'll protect you... mirror's not clear.

Waves of Mind...
Left to Right
I'll Impeach you.
The crowd's beginning to sneer.

Waves of Mind...
Right to Left
Something's missing
I can't even swallow my fear!

Waves of Mind
Right to Left
Clouds are clearing.
I AM what's happening here.

Waves of Mind
Right to Left
I will sing now.
My voice is much purer I'm sure!


Just came from my therapist's office. The topic of discussion was: telling my parents about my diagnosis. The first question out of her mouth was-"Why do you want to?"

So...why do I want to?????.........because I want to be able to share everything with my parents. Because I'm in a new and joyful world where forgiveness comes easy. Because I've never had a close relationship with my parents and I want one. Because this is the kind of thing that members of a family share with one another (at least in my storybook mind).

Initially I thought maybe I could subconsciously be wanting to lash out or use this opportunity to feel vindicated. But, I truly do not feel that is my motive. My parents are who they are and I accept them for it. But what they are or were happened NOT to include being affectionate or accepting. (it occurs to me that the mere fact I want to publish that to the world may indicate that I haven't forgiven).

It would just be nice if they would only acknowledge their shortcomings....or maybe even say they were sorry. I suppose I AM living in a storybook world. And what of all the people out there who were in a much more dysfunctional family than mine and have learned to cope and forgive.

So after having placed my thoughts in writing, I will say that my therapist was right (as usual). We ended the session with her suggesting that I think about and possibly list or dialogue about what my expectations were. Initially I thought that wouldn't take long. But it might..........especially since it appears I haven't even worked through the first question.....WHY?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ever Changing Perspective

I have a grandson who is autistic. At least, he is on the spectrum. I sometimes hesitate to say "autistic" because he is so high functioning and I wonder what the families of those who are....what is the word?....more severe.....anyway, what those families may feel-- knowing my grandson is so high functioning when their child/children aren't. There are so many emotions involved with any kind of disease process, but in my case, most especially those that are classified as a mental/behavioral illness.

Anyway, two of my grandchildren had their first visit to the dentist today and one is autistic. It was a morning packed with unrest and prayer. My daughter was beside herself with anxiety. BUT, prayer reigned supreme and the entire event unfolded beautifully. GOD IS GOOD!

Afterwards, my thoughts crept toward calling on God to heal my grandson. I initially longed for my daughter to be able to make an appointment for her children and not have to plan for days how to pull it off without some kind of emotional breakdown....either on her part or his!

Then the thought occurred to me..."what am I asking God for"...." a normal child".....and "just what is a normal child".

For you J Bob

Please someone turn the light on!
There’s darkness over here.
My precious one is suffering
And cannot understand.

Please someone turn the light on!
There is no way to see,
Or hear or taste or feel,
What God’s creation be.

Why wont the light come on now?
Does any really care?
That some are not all they can be
And life is full of chains.

But then I ponder what would come
Of laughter I hold dear…
And arms that gently touch me
And genuinely care.

The brightness of that laughter,
The tenderness of love,
His trusting soul in God’s great plan
Is truly from the heart.

So wait…. just light a candle,
The light from God will show
The Way of truth that is contained
Within this special soul.

So thank you Lord for who You made;
My special little one.
The light that comes from his sweet smile
Is all I really need.

So if I were given the option of making him normal and loosing those traits I cherish...would I proceed???? ........Most emphatically not! Please forgive me my daughter... but most emphatically not! I love them ALL just the way they are.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Morning Healing

I'v come to love the morning. This alone is evidence of healing.

Last night I had a phone conversation w/my arch nemesis. I asked forgiveness for some of the harsh things I've said in the past. My apology was accepted but none came forth from her. After hanging up, I cried. My pride was so injured. But then, with the morning, I came upon this in my devotional:

"Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit" Jn 15:2


God made no act without a cause,
Nor heart without an aim,
Our inference is premature,
Our premise is to blame.

E. Dickinson

Today will be a day of sunshine....if not joy.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The ladder
Of emotions...

Slippery.....Wet with tears

Tears that refresh...renew

Rain from within
Watering the courage deep within me.

Watering the Seeds of Emotions
Planted deep...long ago

I need the light...NOW
or so I think.

The reign of tears.....


Rest while the outer shell is softened and then


Initial Goals

As I stated in my profile, I have recently been diagnosed as bipolar. Actually, cyclothymic disorder which is bipolar only without the euphoria. My "up swings" are/were manifested by aggression. I know that anyone who knows me would say "duh".

Actually, I was raised in a devout Christian home and one of the core principles of my upbringing was that all psychiatry/psychology was self-centered and straight from hell. I was taught that to delve into the inner person was the utmost height of selfishness and fed the "fleshly nature" that had placed Christ on the cross.

About a year ago, due to some personal family issues, I began seeing a psychologist. I should say a Christian psychologist (that made it easier to rationalize). I made it very clear from the beginning that I did not want to be treated with any medication. I felt that the whole world was using medication as a quick fix and that was one of the main reasons our society has plummeted to the depths it has reached.

Then one day while I was describing how I had almost headbutted the parking attendant at my work, the light bulb went on over my psychologist's (jh) head and she said...."Amy, wait a minute...wait a are cyclothymic". At the moment that meant nothing to me. Then she used the "b" word....bipolar. She was recommending medication. NOOOOOO NOT ME!

I was at an all time low in my life. I knew that my aggression was getting out of hand. I had been that way my entire life---either rebellious or aggressive. Many times I had prayed to God that He would help me to become a more peace loving person. You know "blessed are the peacemakers". I cherished that thought but just could never attain that person. And at the age of 50, I had to admit that all those times that I "went Amy" on someone----well, it may not have been their fault. It might just have something to do w/me. I was the common denominator. Okay....I would succumb to the recommended treatment but only at the lowest dose necessary/recommended.

Then it all began......within days I had the energy to do even those day-to-day activities that had been so difficult to endure. For years I had attributed my fatigue and the anger/resentment to age or being overworked. I had even angrily blamed it on those around me who just demanded too much.

It began....a new found passion for my husband, the desire to be with my grandchildren, acceptance of my coworkers differences and the ability to empathize with those who were mentally ill. I saw the sunlight in a new light, songs w/new appreciation instead of a desire to turn that noise down....I was able to joke w/my coworkers, and even make them laugh. But most of all, I began to write my poetry.

Over the last few weeks I have written more than a dozen poems. At first I was afraid my manic phase was worse than even jh had diagnosed. Then her (jh) words came forth..."no Amy, you are not manic, you have just figured out a way to express yourself for the first time in your life".

So, this is my first attempt at making myself transparent. This is a poem I wrote. I'm sure someone...maybe even everyone will think me absolutely stupid for sharing this but you know....for the first time in my life....I'm going to do it anyway!