Navigating life with a teenager….who happens to have bipolar disorder

Posts tagged ‘DPchallenge’

Forget the Stinger, Give me a Glittering Horn

This is the first DP Challenge that I immediately set off to write. Most of the time, I have to think a bit before I decide if I am going to participate….but this one was fun.

You’re tasked with creating a brand new astrological sign for the people born around your birthday — based solely on yourself. What would your new sign be, and how would you describe those who share it?

I am a Scorpio.  I never quite liked the symbol of the Scorpio, with its sting. There is something I would much rather prefer.

 

Without a doubt, I would be a Unicorn.

star unicorn

 

For me, and all others that would like to share my star sign, here is a description. 

* Unicorns are fiercely independent, in both body and mind.

* They are introverted and introspective.

* They are restlessly creative, never able to focus on one type of creative outlet, instead using many forms of expression.

* They can be gentle with those they love and fierce to those who cause them or their loved ones harm.

* They like to be committed to a single partner in life.

* They like their surroundings to be warm and enveloping.

* They seek knowledge from all places.

* They hear music and see beauty and magic in everything.

* They are passionate about the things that interest them.

* They don’t like to talk, because they don’t feel heard….but if you listen, they will talk for hours.

* Few approach the unicorn because of multiple reasons.  Others are apprehensive, they misunderstand us or they are simply in awe of our abilities.

* Unicorns are loyal to those who do befriend them.

Brittney unicorn quote

Who doesn’t love Brittney??? Smartest character on Glee.

I couldn’t resist this other snippet I found…..’cause it fits my personality as well. 

unicorn code

Are there any other unicorns that would like to join me?????

Custom Zodiac

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The Worst Day Ever

Today’s Daily Post Challenge

We all seem to insist on how busy, busy, busy we constantly are. Let’s put things in perspective: tell us about the craziest, busiest, most hectic day you’ve had in the past decade.

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It was 2 years ago…..exactly, 2 years ago today.  I woke up to smiling faces and breakfast in bed.  I had just enough time to eat and get myself and the kiddo dressed and out the door.  CJ had just started at a new school the day before, it was across town, so I had to drive him.  He wrapped himself up in a blanket and said he didn’t want to go. I had asked if there had been a problem on his first day.  He said it was fine, but that would change if people got to know him.  I somehow convinced him to get into the car.  Still wrapped up in his blanket, he got into the far backseat of my van.

We made it to the school and I pulled up to the curb.  He refused to get out.  I was holding up other parents, so I moved into a parking spot.  I tried to reason with him and convince him that today would be fine. He still refused to get out.  I decided I needed back up.  I went into the school to see if a counselor was available.  Sometimes if it is an adult other than me, he listens to reason.  The principal happened to be in the front office and came out with the counselor.  At this point, CJ was standing outside the van.  As soon as he saw the counselor, he bolted.  He ran across the parking lot and into the woods surrounding the school.  Someone went inside to get the officer that was on duty.  He got into his patrol car and drove down the long drive along the woods. The principal suggested I bring my car back up to the curb so CJ would have a reason to walk toward the school. About 10 minutes later I saw CJ, walking back across the parking lot in only his socks. The officer pulled around and got out of his car to hand me CJ’s shoes…..he had run into a red ant pile and panicked, took off his shoes and continued to run through the woods until the pain in his feet made him stop.

CJ got back to the school and immediately climbed into my van and wrapped himself up in the blanket once again. Somehow, the counselor convinced him to come out and talk to us.  He sat on the curb and asked them if he could talk to me alone.  He started melting down, telling me I don’t understand and that it didn’t matter if he went to school.  The only thing he wanted to do was kill himself, that was the only thing that would make his sadness go away.

The instant he said this, the officer went into action.  He really couldn’t do anything previously, but a child stating they wanted to commit suicide while sitting on school grounds allowed him take matters into his own hands.  He told me that CJ would be taken to the hospital. He attempted to get him into his patrol car, but CJ struggled and ended up falling and hitting his head on the pavement.  Now with a large scraped, bruised forehead and handcuffs on his wrists, my 12-year-old was sitting in the back of a police car.

I followed behind on the way to the hospital.  When the officer opened the door to the back of the car we found CJ knotted up into a ball.  If it wasn’t so devastating a situation, what we saw would have been amusing.  Along the ride, CJ thought he could get the handcuffs around to the front of his body and attempted to pull his arms under his body.  This resulted in him with his arms locked around his legs between his behind and his knees and he was flopped sideways on the car seat.

By this time, the meltdown was over and he was back to being happy CJ. He cooperated with the intake nurse and was put into a room with a guarded door.  It was now about 10am and my phone started to ring. A flurry of calls were coming through and I was taking the ones from family that needed to know what was going on.  Service in the hospital wasn’t great so I kept having to walk to a different spot on the floor where I could use my phone.  It was hours of walking back and forth across the hospital, talking to doctors, and holding CJ’s hand through evaluations and blood work. Finally at 4pm, CJ and I breathed for a little bit while we watched Ellen…..one of his favorite ways to relax.

We were instructed that they wanted to admit CJ into a psychiatric hospital for extended evaluation. They instructed us to go home and pack a bag for him, then they put him in an ambulance and drove him to a hospital an hour away.

My husband and I rushed home and packed things as fast as we could and then headed toward Atlanta. CJ was in the intake office when we got there and asking to see me. He begged me to not leave him there.  He said he promised he wouldn’t kill himself.  I told him it was out of my hands, the doctors made this decision and it was where he needed to be. Leaving him there was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.  The last words from him that night were ‘I hate you’.  That week he was formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

My husband and I drove home at about 10pm.  It had been the longest, most hectic, most stressful day of my life…….and my worst birthday ever.

It is 2 years later.  I woke up this morning to smiling faces.  My husband and son were downstairs, putting my birthday present together….a gas fire pit.  CJ got dressed and into the car.  I drove him to school early because he had a make-up test.  He gave me a kiss goodbye and got out of the car. Tonight we will sit around the fire pit, roast marshmallows………. and celebrate life.

 

The Girl in the Elephant Sweater

Today’s DP Challenge

Many of us had imaginary friends as young children. If your imaginary friend grew up alongside you, what would his/her/its life be like today? (Didn’t have one? write about a non-imaginary friend you haven’t seen since childhood.)

elephant sweater

I don’t think I had an imaginary friend……or maybe I did and I didn’t realize that they were imaginary.  I thought I would write, instead, about a childhood friend that was in my life briefly, but made a huge impact on how I view people.

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It was about a month or so into the sixth grade. A brisk fall day in the Connecticut town where I lived.  As I sat in class, I heard mutterings about ‘the new girl’.  From the whispers I found out that she was in the other sixth grade classroom. Before I met her, I was informed that she was tall, with beautiful blond curls. They said she was quiet and she dressed kind of different, but that must be because she was cool…..she had to be cool, she was from another state.  Anybody was cool that wasn’t from around here.

It was time for lunch, as I left the classroom and started to walk down the hall, the blond curls caught my eye.  She was tall and pretty.  She walked in an almost haughty way down the hall, never once looking around her, like she owned it. I was a bit surprised, however, about her attire…..everyone said she must be cool…..but she was wearing a bright red sweater with a big white elephant on it. This was what everyone thought was cool???? If I wore something like that, I would be laughed out of school.

I brought my lunch, so I was the first to sit down at the table where my small group of friends usually gathered.  The new girl spotted the empty seats and asked quietly if she could join me, she brought her lunch, too.  I was confused.  Wasn’t this girl too cool to be asking to sit with me? We spent about ten minutes chatting before everyone else  made it through the lunch line.  I found out that she was pretty shy. She was self-conscious about her height was afraid that people were going to make fun of her.  She was nervous about being in an unknown place, but said that she made sure to look straight ahead when walking down the halls so the new surroundings wouldn’t bother her as much. And the sweater…..she had just moved from a warmer climate and her mother made her wear it because it was chilly out and it was the first warm thing that was unpacked.

She and I became friends for the year or so that she lived in my town.  It may seem insignificant, but that experience taught me to never feel less than anyone else. That morning, because of other people’s words, I found myself believing that I would be unworthy of this girl’s friendship…..not because she was too cool to be my friend, but because I imagined she was.  I think this was the start down my road of self-confidence. This was that moment in my life when I learned to trust in who I am and be ok with that. It also taught me to form my own opinions and not base my thoughts or feelings on other people’s judgements.

The truth was, she never even noticed all of the whispers about her.  She was too nervous about being in a new school to pay attention.  Months later, when I actually told her about her first day at school, she laughed and said “That’s funny,  I was cool for a day and all this time I just thought I was a nerd in a stupid sweater.”

 

My Film Fantasy Life

Today’s DP Challenge both excited and frustrated me.

You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

So here’s the challenge for me.  I LOVE movies. Picking just one is crazy hard for me……and to pick one that I would want to be a part of for a day, even harder. So, I decided to take this challenge by age.

5-10 :  Anything Muppets related.  I would have loved to hang out with Kermit at Pete’s Diner to be served soup by Rizzo and I know it’s not a movie exactly, but when I was little I wanted to live with Wembley and Mokey down in Fraggle Rock (clap clap).

fraggle rock

Dance Your Cares Away

10-15 : I wanted to be a Goonie so bad.  To go on an adventure to find One-eyed Willie was my dream.  If I was inside the Goon-docks for a day, the 12 year old girl in me would probably knock out that whiner, Andy, so I could kiss Mikey in the cave, because it will be our time…..our time down here.

goonies

Maybe this is the reason I prefer Samwise to Frodo

15-20 : My late teens was when I found my true love for old movie musicals. Kiss Me Kate is still one of my all time favorites.  If I could live in that movie for a day, it would bring my teen dream to life by making me a broadway star……that would get to sing and dance my way through Shakespeare (another one of loves I met when I was a teenager). I think I would make sure to be hanging out in the alley so I could sing ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’ with Slug and Lippy.

kiss me kate

Dance with Fosse? Yes, Please

20-25 : Stage Door, it is said to be one of Katherine Hepburn’s worst movies….it happens to be one of my favorites.  Oh, to spend a day at auditions with the likes of Ginger Rogers and Lucille Ball. Since I only get one day, I would definitely spend it towards the beginning of the movie…..I would not want to stick around for the devastating sadness at the end (you’ll have to watch to find out).

Stage door

 The calla lilies are in bloom again

25-30 :  Oh, to go on an adventure with Ben Gates in National Treasure.  Which day to pick, though??? As much as I hate heights, I would have to travel down the stairs beneath Parkington Lane.  To find and then roam the treasure room would be overwhelming and amazing.

national treasure
The secret lies with Charlotte

30- present : Please let me take the Hogwarts express.  I would love to spend a day with my classmates in Hogsmead or catch a Quidditch game…..but truthfully, my Harry Potter dream is to get lost in the room of requirement and inspect all of the treasures within.  It may sound boring to all of the magic loving, adventure seeking witches and wizards out there, but seriously, think about all of the magical history in that room.  The Universal theme park has done it’s best to recreate the movie….but sifting through the wonders of room of requirement is not one of them.

harry potter ror

Eat your heart out Ben Gates

Really though,  getting to spend a day inside a movie is not necessary. Anybody has the ability to lose themselves in these worlds while simply sitting on your sofa.  If you don’t, then maybe you’re not watching movies the right way.

The Benefits of Being a Snob

Today’s DP Challenge.

Upturned Noses:
Even the most laid back and
 egalitarian among us can be insufferable snobs when it comes to coffee, music, cars, beer, or any other pet obsession where things have to be just so. What are you snobbish about?

Bagel Lovin’ Southern Belle Wanna Be

 

Welcome, Stranger :

Think about town where you currently live: its local customs, traditions, and hangouts, its slang. What would be the strangest thing about this place for a first-time visitor?

I find today’s Daily Post Challenge interesting.  Not only am I still a ‘stranger’ where I currently live, but I have been a stranger in the multiple states I have bounced around in.

Since graduating high school 21 years ago, I have lived in 8 different towns, in 5 different states.  With the exception of Danbury, CT, where I grew up, I have always been the stranger.  The odd thing is now, when I go home, I feel like a stranger there as well.  Most of the places I have live were in the northeast, only recently has that changed.

About 2 years ago, we moved to a town on the outskirts of the metro Atlanta area.  You would think, being the New England girl I am, that immersing myself in the south would be a culture shock.  Not really.  I have a mom and grandmother who both grew up in the south.  I spent many a summer in Louisiana and Mississippi visiting family.  Southern culture is not an unknown for me.  I have found that it is much easier for me to slow down to the southern pace than it is to go north and have to speed up.

For me, one of the major differences between north and south is the open nature of Christian faith.  I worked in northern states for 20 years and the only people I ever worked with that openly discussed their faith were Jewish, Hindu or Muslim.  Very few people discussed their Christian faith.  After living in the south for a week, I could tell you the churches where my son’s doctors, their staff, the teller at the bank and the cashier at the grocery store all attend.  Not only are they open to discussing their faith, they will initiate the topic.  In the north, if you say you are new in town, people will offer up the best restaurant or bar in the area that you just have to try, down here, they will tell you about the best church service that you just have to attend.  It’s not that they don’t like food down here, they just tend to eat at church functions more often than restaurants.

Speaking of food, I think the food shock hit me the most.  If you are not directly in Atlanta, you don’t have much variety.  In the town where we live, if you don’t want the regular franchises, the rest is pretty much fried chicken, bbq, a few chinese restaurants, lots and lots of really bad pizza, and not one good bagel to be found.  Sorry southerners……you need to travel north to understand about the pizza and bagels.  The bagels especially…..when I travel north I say it’s to visit my friends and family, but they really know it’s to eat a really good egg bagel with cream cheese from Bagelman.

My love of bagels aside, I have been told that I was a southerner at heart that just happened to live in the north.  Maybe that is why this adjustment came so easy to me.  Regardless of the reason, I have a feeling I won’t be a stranger forever.  I am sure I will find my place……and maybe even a bit of an accent.

 

Mad as a Hatter

So, I have decided to participate in a Daily Prompt for the first time. I thought this would be a good one to start with as it is a great transition from my usually posts regarding mental illness.

Today ‘s title is ‘Howl at the Moon’
“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” — Allen Ginsberg

Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?

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I think being a bit mad is in my blood.  When it is inherent you can’t escape from it or hide from it….you better embrace it or you will lose a piece of yourself.

We all interpret being mad in different ways.  Some people think it means you are actually mentally ill…..while others might think it means that you live life to the extreme without consideration of responsibility.  I think it’s kind of like beauty, madness is in the eye (or mind) of the beholder.  To me, madness is simply living by your own rules and not letting society dictate what is right or wrong in your world.

I think it started early for me.  I never quit fit into any one clique when I was in school.  I was friends with people from any and all groups.  I was a joiner, but I didn’t join in an effort to be a part of something.  I joined because I had so many interests that it helped to keep my brain busy.  I never followed fashion trends, instead I learned to sew at a young age and made a lot of my own clothes.  What I didn’t realize was that I was an artist that didn’t take art classes, and actress that didn’t take drama and a leader that never ran for office.  It took me many years to realize I was different from the average person.  I never quite understood that most people did things to please others and not to please themselves.  Looking back, I guess it was kind of fitting that my high school mascot was The Mad Hatter.

You can start to lose yourself a little bit as the world starts to eat you up. You get older and you have responsibilities.  When you work in corporate America you have expectations set on you.  I found myself slipping away and trying to fit a mold that simply wasn’t made for me.  So I broke it. 

At the age of 30, I went to art school.  I immersed myself in creativity, making jewelry, designing cakes, building furniture…..still bucking fashion trends and making clothes.  I had to maintain a ‘day’ job to pay the bills, but I don’t let it control me or the way I live.   I learned that it’s ok not to fit into society’s mold.  As long as I am ok with me, that’s all the matters……..even if it means being a bit mad.