Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

Where I’m Supposed to Be

field-meadow-flower-pink.jpgToday I was driving into work and there was a very bad four car pile up.  I selfishly was thinking, “wow, I am happy that I am safe.  Good thing I decided to change up my hair for the fourth time this am causing me to leave the house late as that saved me from being in that accident.”…  In the same light, when I am stuck in a line at the grocery store, it crosses through my mind that I am being protected from a horrible accident due to being held up in line.  The reality is that the person in front of me has bought 25 cans of cat food for her 8 cats, but none the less, that cat lady kept me safe from something horrible.  So, I think, everything happens for a reason.

I was on the phone with one of my friends after yet another trying day.  It had been a while since we spoke and we were catching up.  She too is a step mom and has a blossoming career, and between that and the fact we live on opposite sides of the country means we don’t chat as much as we have in the past.  At the end of the call, we settled on talking about our families, like we always do.  We both shared the same acknowledgement that we are where we are supposed to be.

See, neither one of us has ever conceived a child.  Just was not in the cards for us, I suppose.  But, we both have teenage step children who we consider to be our kids.  We were sharing about how we both have made decisions in our lives and it brought us to where we are now.  That we have been through some shit and we were brought to exactly where we need to be.  We love being step moms, the kids and their fathers.

After a horrid divorce, following an abusive marriage, I packed up my belongings, my cat, and I drove across the country.  I did not do this on a total whim, I was given an opportunity to transfer to our Southwest office and keep the job that I loved.  It all made sense.  But, I did leave all that I knew, my family and my friends, to go on an adventure.

Within a few months, I was in a committed relationship with the man that I now consider to be my soulmate and I met the children that would, in time, be one of the main reasons I make it through every day of my life.  This was all unexpected and not part of the plan I put together.  I ended up being where I was supposed to be exactly when I was supposed to be there.

Life was nothing close to candy coated living in my new landscape.  Numerous health conditions weaseled their way into my life and wrecked havoc.  I went through the worst of what life had to offer for me.  I was forced to be stronger than I had ever been because that’s what life was requiring from me at the time.

All of the trials and tribulations, from all the years ago, up until today, have brought me to who I am and where I am today.  I am not living the life that I thought I would be living.  I thought that I would have a corner office with a view, and travel on business every week, own nothing but pencil skirts and stiletto heels, but that is not what was intended for me.

I have a family.  I am a mom (something I was certain would never happen for me).  I am loved for me, the all over the place, chronically ill, mentally unstable, filled with anxiety, caring, loving, sensitive, me.

We are all on journeys.  Every day brings us closer to where we are supposed to be.  Each time something happens, it happens for a reason.  In the end, we are living exactly what we are supposed to and it’s up to us to take a moment and look at what our journey has taught us, how it has made us a stronger person and how if we just keep taking one small step at a time, we do get to where we are supposed to be, even if it is not exactly what we thought it would be or where we thought we would end up.

Press on.  Embrace what you have.  Love yourself.  Accept the past.  Live in the present.  Look forward to the future.




Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

Living in the Rearview Mirror

rear-view-mirrorI commute for my job.  It’s usually between a half hour to an hour, depending on time of day and the amount of traffic.  Not a big deal, right?  Well, it really isn’t a big deal, but when you have a history of panic attacks while driving, every minute you are in the car can be agonizing.

I have this incredible fear that I am going to be in a car accident.  That someone is going to come over in my lane and force me into another car.  Or that a car will rear end me and propel me into the car that is in front of me.  I fear that I will be hurt in the imaginary accident and suffer pain, both mentally and physically.  I always have a hawk’s eye on all traffic.  Evaluating if there is a car next to me and how close they are, if there is a car behind me and their following distance.  Plus, how close I am to the car in front of me and if I feel that I could stop in time before I would hit them, say that they quickly apply their breaks.  I try and anticipate the actions of all the cars around me and have all these proposed situations mapped out in my head, just in case.  The whole art of driving to and fro is a hell filled agony,

Today I was a bit mentally distracted and was zoning out.  I was still playing the “what if” game in my head, but everything was in a fog.  Numerous times I caught and forced myself to refocus my attention.  I kept checking my rearview mirror to make sure that there were not cars in my proximity.  I was focusing a bit of attention on what was behind me and in some ways neglecting what was in front of me.  And it hit me, is this how I view life?  Am I focusing too much attention on what’s behind me that I am not paying attention to what is in front of me?

How often do we allow the events in our past to crowd our vision and keep us from clearly seeing what is in our future?  With a history of abuse, I have many fears that affect me nearly every day.  But this morning, I felt empowered to let those things go.  I thought that if I stop accessing those memories perhaps they will shrivel up and die due to lack of attention.  This seemed probable.  If I allowed the old narratives to fizzle out, my mind would be more free and able to look at what is in front of me.  If I stop hiding and avoiding the things and people that I am afraid of, it is more likely that I will be able to move forward, move into the future, hell, just be in the present.

By focusing so much on my past, it is impossible to clearly see what is ahead of me.  Spending too much time in the past, takes my eyes off the road and increases my risk that I am going to run into something and cause an injury inducing accident.  Drawing a line in the sand, so to speak, and stating that today is the first day of living in the present and no longer dwelling in the past, will free me in ways nothing in the past every has.

Are you living in your rear view mirror? Is it time that you refocus your attention on the road in front of you?


#abuse #past #panicattacks #anxiety #depression #bipolardisorder #fear #lettinggo #driving #caraccident

Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

When the pieces come together

puzzleIn life, things happen and we wonder why.  Why do I have endometriosis?  Why do I have Bipolar Disorder? Why do I suffer with chronic pain?  Why does anxiety plague my brain with relentless questions and worries?  What did I do to deserve all of this?

As time passes, most questions will never be answered.  There’s that saying “everything happens for a reason” but we are never left with the actual reason why.  Is this where the concept of luck falls into place?  Where some people are just luckier than others?  Or on the flip side of the thought process, that some people are stronger than others and therefore more capable of handling the more difficult situations and conditions?

So, is it a blessing to not know the reason why?  The whole ignorance is bliss mindset?  At times, not knowing something is a protective barrier.  You have no choice but to accept what you have been given and figure out the best way to deal with it.

However, there are times when we start to see the reasons why things happened as they did.  I never was able to conceive a pregnancy, even after trying for three years.  I was in a bad marriage that failed two years after we said “I do”.  My husband had a drinking and drug problem.  He was unpredictable and showed signs of Bipolar Disorder.  So, not having a child was a good thing.  When two parents with Bipolar have a child there is a very high chance that the disorder will be passed to the child.  If I had a child while married, I probably would not have left the marriage, would not have taken the opportunity of a job relocation across the country and never would have met my current partner and been blessed with the blended family that we have.  Ok, so I can see how that worked out for the best.

Circling back to the Bipolar part.  When I was trying to have a child, I did not know that I was Bipolar.  I only knew that I suffered from anxiety, but for the most part I could manage the condition with little to no medication.  Now that I know that I am Bipolar, and that I could have passed the disorder to my child, this freightens me.  I would not want my child to suffer through the mental, emotional and physical hell that I have gone through, while trying to obtain balance and stability.  It would have destroyed my heart to know that I gave the disorder to my child and that there was little I could do to help them.  Not having children, prevented one more person who suffers from mental illness.

I recently started participating in an online study for Depression and Bipolar by the organization 23 and me (  Part of the study included a DNA, Health + Ancestry test (retails for $200).  By providing a salvia sample, in a few weeks I would get back a detailed report of all things Michelle.  The results were not what I expected.  Unbeknownst to me, that test was incredibly thorough and identified that I carry the variant that causes Cystic Fibrosis.  I am a carrier for the disease and it was made clear that I could pass this onto a child.  No one in my family has Cystic Fibrosis so this came as quite a shock.  I could have unknowingly passed Cystic Fibrosis onto my child, an incurable disease that causes impaired lung and digestive function.  A disease that shortens the lifespan of the people who are afflicted and have a life in and out of the hospital as doctors try and manage symptoms.  Yet another reason that it was best for me and for an innocent child, that I never conceived a child.

More times than naught, we don’t know why things happen the way that they do.  But, when we are given a glimpse into why events happened as they had, it is overwhelming and can be emotional.  All things do happen for a reason.  And sometimes, we find out why and it all starts to make sense.

Life is a journey, there are ups and downs, good and bad.  It is all bundled together for us to experience, and out of the blue sometimes we are given the opportunity to know why.

#fate #bipolardisorder #anxiety #depression #infertility #domesticviolence #cysticfibrosis #why #puzzle #piecestogether #makingsense #reasonswhy #lifeisajourney #itallhappensforareason #makingsense #divineintervention #23andme #mentalhealth #chronicpain #divorce #marriage #hereditary #disease