Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

Living for the Weekend

lazy weekendsThere is something about the weekends that cause me to fantasize about Saturday and Sunday starting as early as Monday morning.  And that makes me wonder what is it about the weekends that makes them so incredibly desirable.  Is it that, for the most part, that we can sleep in?  That we don’t have to report to our jobs?  That we are free to do what it is that we want to do?

Over the two days that comprise the weekend is when I can complete the most amount of self-care.  Sleeping in is one of my favorite things to do.  I am all nice and snuggly on my super soft bed with my warm comforter and throw blanket and usually a large 20-pound feline lying next to me.  To know that I don’t have to be somewhere at a certain time makes me feel free.

The ability to have an incredibly lengthy morning wake up process, lounging in my pajamas for hours that at times surpass the morning hours, is heavenly.  We typically have larger breakfasts on the weekends.  I’ve lost count the times I have woken up to the smell of banana pancakes and bacon on any given Saturday and Sunday morning.

The fact that on most weekends, I get to see all my family.  During the week, we all have varying schedules and different report times, and me being the sleepy head that I am, there are mornings when I am not able to see both of my children, and even my spouse in the morning.  But on the weekends, that is not the case.  I not only get to see them, but I get to be lazy with them.

Several times a month, the weekend includes a lengthy hike.  What makes the hike even more enjoyable is that we don’t have any where that we need to be.  There is no rush, no hustle and bustle, there is just being in the place that we are, doing what it is that we so desire to do.

Crafting in the form of painting, making wreaths or baking and decorating cakes have been something that has taken up several hours on a given weekend day.  Having my creativeness back alive within my body has been such a pleasant gift.  I get lost in what I am doing and can forget all that usually fills my head, there is not stress, no worries, just pure enjoyment in creating something out of nothing.

The weekends for me are blank canvases.  I can do what it is that I please, when I feel the need, for as long as I so desire.  And those are the reasons that I long for the weekend.  To be unrestrained from the stress, hustle and bustle and constant movement that’s present Monday through Friday, is such a welcome change to the pace that I have become accustomed to.

Now to get back to the cakes that are baking in the oven and the icing that is waiting to be made… Happy Sunday!

anorexia, Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

Grandma’s Table

the tableIt’s a very basic, oak, round table that comfortably seats four people, but when extended can seat up to eight.  There are panels that hold up the sides of the table where two people will always hit their knees.  And when the family sits down together for a steak dinner and starts to cut their meat, the whole table shakes.  Most times, the table adorns a hand embroidered table cloth.  While at others, the table is bare and you can see the water rings from cups that the cats knocked over and heat markings from when I left a hot casserole dish on the table without a hot mitt.  I am certain that there is some yellow and black paint on the table from an afternoon of painting shared with friends.

This table was my Grandma Julia’s dining room table.  Part of an elaborate dining room suite set that she purchased many, many years ago.  I spent many nights having dinner at this table when I was a child, and more time having yogurt and shortbread cookies while playing Chinese checkers with my cousins.

I acquired this table when I moved into my grandparent’s condo after I chose to leave an abusive marriage.  I did not have much, so the table was a real blessing.  While living back east, following church on Sunday’s, I would have my family over to my place and we would have a large brunch and circle our hands around the table listening to my brother pray the most entertaining prayers that I have ever heard in my life.

Now, the dining room table fills the center of the dining room and is used nightly for family dinner.  I cannot begin to describe what it feels like to have dinner with my family at the same table that I used to have dinner with my parents and my grandparents.  So much history, so much love and so much joy.  And did I forget to mention, so very many delicious meals!

My grandma died while I was being treated for anorexia.  I never was able to say goodbye to her and that is hard to deal with.  But, I feel like she is still alive within me because I have several of her most treasured belongings, one of those including the dining room table.

My grandmother treasured her family.  Her house was the place we all gathered nearly every weekend.  Every time I decorate the table all fancy, I stare at it and think “Grandma is looking down and she is happy to see that her table is being used in the same way it had been used in years prior.”  And the times I sit down with either my family or my friends and we paint, I know that again she is smiling as she was an artist herself.

I miss her.  I will continue to fight every day to conquer the demons that try and grasp their hold within my life.  I will live a life that I feel she would be proud of.  And I will show her everyday that I am not succumbing.  I will press on, move past, and honor her legacy.


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

You are Worthy

11392815_10100231227237599_7983052867398520666_nYou are worthy.

You are intelligent.

You are strong.

You can accomplish all that you put your mind towards.

You can do this.

This too shall pass.


Oh affirmations, those lovey little bugs that are a pain to do, but my oh my they make a difference.


I first was exposed to affirmations when I was a child, and all through my childhood.  My mother was a Rockstar.  She would tell us repeatedly how beautiful we were, that we were intelligent, that we were worthy of God’s love and so forth.  I never knew how much those words would be needed until February 2016 arrived.

I suffered from a major mental breakdown the first quarter of 2016 and it rocked my world like there was no tomorrow.  And at several points I was not sure if there was going to be a tomorrow.  Through the breakdown, I was finally diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder 1 with a mixed episode after 15 or so years of being symptomatic and improperly treated.  I suffered immensely for five (5) months before succumbed to attending treatment.  Two months later, I learned a bit and met a few amazing people and finally started back at work.

It was in treatment that the importance of affirmations resurfaced.  And to be completely honest I thought that they were the most insane things I have ever been asked to do.  “You want me to look in the mirror and say what? Yeah that does not work for me!”  It wasn’t until I was forced to say affirmations to myself in front of my whole group that it slowly began to sink it.  Through tears I recited something to the effect of, “I am worthy” and that was one of the hardest things that I have ever done.

The next day I sat down with my teenagers and we all filled out cards with affirmations.  That night we each drew a card out of the box, read it out loud and each family member spoke back the affirmation to the person who drew the card.  I had the card that stated, “I am intelligent” and my family spoke back to me, “Yes Michelle, you are intelligent”.  My children loved this exercise and it became part of our routine for an extended amount of time.

I no longer think that affirmations are a waste of time and energy.  I think that they are incredible and have helped me through many a day.  Today I was telling myself that I can do this, I can persevere, I can tackle this hurdle of what feels like the starts of a depressive episode.  I thoroughly feel that a positive mindset is a great partner to have when co-existing with a mental illness.  At times, we need to be our own cheerleaders.  We need to root ourselves on, tell ourselves that we can do it, that we are worth it, and we make a difference.

In case you were not aware, you are awesome.  You are talented and have special talents that make you immensely important.  You have purpose.  You are an incredible gift.




Note: This blog was originally uploaded to the blog site:, however, it is original work by author bellasbabbles


anorexia, Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

Side Effect: Weight Gain


It’s been a week since we made further changes to my medication.  Increased the Vraylar (mood stabilizer) and stopped the use of the Wellbutrin (anti-depressant).  I am neither manic nor depressed, so I suppose I am in the sweet spot.  I feel a bit subdued though, not as happy as I had been in the weeks prior to today, but also not as mellow as I was three weeks ago when I was dealing with the depression.  This could be a happy medium, although, I would like to have just a little bit more sunshine in me, to be honest, but beggars cannot be choosers.

Speaking of beggars, one thing that has increased is my weight.  And this is always a very touchy topic for me.  Struggling off and on with Anorexia for the past 18 years leaves the subject of weight gain to be a big taboo topic.  I know that in time, as we age, most people gain weight.  I also know that different medications affect a person’s weight in diverse ways.  I know that I am not defined by what I weigh or what I look like.  I also know that my mental health is far more important than the number on the scale and what size clothes I wear on my body.

With all that being said, I am still struggling.  Over the last month, I have gained five pounds.  Which is not THAT bad, but considering that I have been much heavier in the last year, a gain of five pounds hits my fear center and I start to fret over whether I am going to gain back all the weight I lost previously.  And this scares the crap out of me.  I was finally getting used to my body, embracing where I had some curves and accepting the number that smiled back at me from the scale.

I tell my brain that I am fine, that I am beautifully, wonderfully and fearfully made.  That an extra five pounds will not be the end of the world.  I do believe that underneath the surface, is the issue that this weight gain is not within my control.  That this weight gain happened as a result of medication that I don’t want to take for a disorder that I don’t want to have.  All things that are not within my control.  And let me tell you, I like to be in control.  I like to know what is going to happen and when and by whom.  And when I don’t, I get super agitated.  So, having a mental illness that is defined by the variance between poles, makes being a person who likes to be in control, a touchy subject.

I go back to what I have learned from years and years of therapy: control what’s within your control.  I think on what IS within my control?

  • The way I mentally handle this weight gain.
  • How much I exercise and what I put in my body.
  • Ensuring I get adequate sleep
  • Resisting the temptation to weigh myself daily

There’s several things that I CAN do in this situation.  By changing my mindset and focusing on what I do have, instead of what I don’t have, this whole situation takes a different path.

  • Focus on how my mental health has improved since making this medication change
  • I have a healthy immune system and have not fallen ill despite all the various sicknesses that have been plaguing the masses
  • I am a role model to my daughter and want her to be body confident and have a positive body image, and she can learn this by me leading by example

I have always hoped that one day I would not be so incredibly critical of what I look like and how much I weigh.  As I have gotten older, I am doing a better job, but I still have room for improvement.  However, I will give myself credit for being rational and not stopping my medication due to the weight gain, and instead of turning back to a deadly eating disorder, I am responding with a rational mind.





Photo Credit:

endometriosis, Uncategorized

It’s Back!!!!

triptank_108_obgyn_02_640x360I am sitting in the waiting room “playing” on my iPhone.  I take notice of the people who are sitting around me.  An elderly woman walks from the reception desk and drags her left leg slightly behind her.  She sits down with a thud.  Adjacent to me is a younger couple, realistically probably my age.  It is a man, husband perhaps, wife, a four-year-old little girl and probably a 15-month-old little boy.  The mom looks tired.  When she stands up to return her paperwork I notice a bulge in her abdomen.  As, I begin to look back down at my phone, the door opens, and a very happy woman walks through the doorway followed by what looks to be her very happy husband, who’s pushing a child, probably two, in a stroller.

If you have not guessed, I spent my morning at the OB/GYN.  I have spent an abundance of time here, to the point where most of the staff knows my face and greets me by my first name.  I’ve been coming to this doctor for nearly nine years now, and sadly, I have an appointment every two to three months.

Every time I am in the office, I interface with someone who is just finding out that they are pregnant, clearly pregnant or attending their postpartum appointment.  Today was no exception.  And today, just like many times before, my heart aches and breaks.  The fact that I never conceived a child and the reality that I never will ever, hurts, like a slow, hot, deep slice into my pale, freckled skin.

Today I was at the doctor to evaluate the source of the abdomen pain on my right side.  I had an ultrasound to determine if there was a mass, as just back in May I had a mass just shy of 5 CM that seemed to pop up out of no where and then before I knew it (less than two weeks from the discovery) I was having my, well, I think my seventh (?) surgeries (I’ve lost count, to be honest) to remove endometriosis from various parts of my abdominal cavity.  I was looking at the screen in the ultrasound room and wondering what it feels like to see the baby that you created on that monitor.  What emotions does a person feel?  When I look at the screen, I am looking for masses, since I have been down this road before.  Unlike with a pregnancy, I am hoping to see nothing, rather than something.  Nothing is good news.

Today, there was nothing but some movement in the bowels (yup, I am full of shit, apparently!).  But, when I consulted with my doctor it was determined that the endometriosis had returned to the area where the mass had been removed just nine months prior.  We did not discuss surgery, it is not severe enough yet.  It was speculated that because of the HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) that this was aggravating the endometriosis and causing a flare.  I have been on the hormones for two years now, following a hysterectomy that was performed in December 2014 due to endometriosis and my history of pain related to the condition.  Endometriosis thrives off estrogen, but I need the estrogen to maintain some sort of peace within my body, both physically and mentally.

I read an article from NCBI and it stated, “For women with endometriosis, hysterectomy is often viewed as a permanent solution to their chronic pelvic pain. For many women, this is the case. However, there will be a small number of women who will experience a recurrence of their symptoms after “definitive” surgery. Women who choose to keep one or both ovaries or start HRT after oophorectomy are at higher risk for recurrence, although the benefits of ovarian conservation or HRT in younger women likely outweigh the risk of disease recurrence.”

So, today I felt numb.  Another appointment where I find out that another part of me is not working as it should.  Another hurdle to overcome.  Another problem that can not be fixed.  I was thinking, “What the hell?”, “Why me?”, “Why is there always something wrong with me?”  And I focused on that for more hours that I should have.  I wasted the morning feeling sorry for myself.

The truths are this:

  1. I am strong, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  2. I have been through worse and will power through this.
  3. I know my body and know when something is off, and I have the resources available to access care for all my numerous health conditions.
  4. I have a supportive network that consist of family, friends and co-workers.
  5. Much like in the past, I will get through this and will emerge stronger than at the onset.


There are things that are not within our control.  However, we are in control of how we handle what comes about.  It is within our control what we allow ourselves to think and how long we dwell on the surprises that pop up out of the blue.  This too shall pass (my new favorite saying) and the sun will come out tomorrow, in some shape or capacity, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun!



Resources used for this post:


Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

Today is a New Day

IMG_1204Due to the mild winter that this region is having, I was able to go hiking again this morning.  Although I like to sleep in, I have been pushing myself to get up an hour earlier, so I can get out of the house and fit in some hiking before heading off to work.

Yesterday, I also went hiking, but the experience was very different from today.  Due to the mania, yesterday my brain was flooded with thoughts and my body burned with energy.  For portions of the hike, I ran, and I ran like someone was chasing me.  For those that don’t know me, I am no runner, not my thing, even if someone was chasing me, I would probably walk.  But I was brimming with so much fire, I felt like I had to do something to burn off the energy.  Although I was listening to music, I was thinking about all sorts of grandiose matters:  Shopping, painting, part time jobs, transitioning to being a full time student, increasing my hours at work, should I cut my hair, should I have bangs, what color should I dye my hair next…  It was relentless and was incredibly, incredibly distracting.

But today, well today was different.  There was not the feeling of hummingbirds welling up inside of me.  There was a calm in my body.  I was not shaking like a small dog.  I had some peace.  Mind you, I am a little hungover from an increase in the Vraylar, but it was not too terrible, just a bit tired, but not exhausted.  The morning was overcast with some amounts of rain sprinkles.  The cloud cover was ominous, a little scary and amazing.  Very few people were on the trail and I prefer this, I am not all about interacting with people while hiking.  It’s my alone time.  And today it was just that.  I was alone, on the hike, in my mind and in my body.  It was such a gift.  I thought about all the things that I was thankful for and how I was blessed.

I shared with my friend about my positives for today including that I evaluated my credits remaining and I will be able to graduate by May of 2019.  I have been in and out of college for nearing 16 years.  Starting and stopping so many times I lost count due to mental illness.  So, finally getting my Bachelors degree is kind of a huge deal to me.  After I shared, she said “that’s all?” and this made me go into thinking mode… after I got to the top of the mountain I was climbing, I had a list and I sent her a text with the following:

“I didn’t run out of gas on the way here.  I live in a place where the sun shines nearly every-day.  I have medication that can help bring me down off a manic high so I don’t have to suffer.  I have an incredible support group including family, friends, doctors and co-workers.  I am stubborn.  I have drive and perseverance.  I’m forever looking to improve myself for the better.”

When I was young, my mom shared the Bible verse Philippians 4:8 (NIV) that states: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

And this is what I do.  Everyday.  It is a new day.  A day that has provided me with clarity and peace, a little grogginess and just a tad bit of zombieness, but it’s a glorious day and I am blessed.