the Monster of me

the Monster of me-

12/27/14

by Emily Sturgill

the Monster of me-

you cannot see

from the outside, but,

on the inside

there is a Monster of me.

deep inside a divided mind-

there is a Monster of me

It’s ugly, and messy,

It’s broken, jagged, sharpen edges

with rotted teeth

with the violet violence of despair.

Deep down inside me,

lies horrible truths, like Anger, Depression, Sadness and Fear.

it eats away at me from the inside out.

leaving nothing but

this empty shell

of a young looking pretty

40 something, crazy cat-lady,

bag lady, bag lady, i’ve been there before.

the Monster of me

is what you cannot see.

I appear normal enough

but i am raw to the touch.

and the tears just flow

like a faucet with way too much

draino.

I can appear to be

almost anything. Confident, witty or artsy-

or quiet and shy,

but deep down inside

an unraveling mind,

lies the Truth

I am mentally ill.

I am dangerous

I am to be feared

and never understood.

I am just another anonymous Statistic

I am just another runaway lunatic

I am just another victim

of my own unhinged mind.

I live with bipolar disorder

and that feels like a Crime.

the Monster of me

i keep her chained to the bed

on a dirty mattress

She’s the darkest deepest secret

the Horror in my head.

Book on Bipolar disorder, “A Brief Guide to Thriving for individual with mental illness and their loved ones.”

I reviewed this book on Good Reads last winter, I believe? But in case anyone missed it. It is worth mentioning here again on my blog. This book “A Brief Guide to Thriving for individual with mental illness and their loved ones.” is by Leesa Abbott, Psy.D I am also mentioning this work in particular because the Author has decided to release a personal memoir soon of her own personal struggles and triumphs living with a SMI-(Serious Mental illness) I am beyond excited about her new release and will let my readers know as soon as I know when that title does become available. Dr. Abbott is a University Professor, a professional poet & author, a mental health advocate who also does volunteer work for NAMI in her spare time. On top of all those things, she also leads a support group for teens struggling with depression while caring for her friends and family. Here is my Review:

“In this book, Dr. Abbott addresses several basic issues and concerns, which would be very useful to anyone diagnosed recently with mental illness, or that person’s friends and family.She presents a model of Recovery in five stages. Dr. Abbott writes that she adopted-(invented perhaps?)-this model, after studying similar models such as the well known 5 stages of Grief/ Loss or certain recovery from addiction models.However she contrasts her model by pointing out while other models are static, hers is not. She feels her model is more fluid-to me her model almost seems circular-although we both agree that a person in any process form of recovery from mental illness may repeat these stages or regress or progress at different stages.

As she points out many with mental illnesses may go in and out of these stages at any given time. Here are her five stages: 1. Psychological Changes 2. Self-Awareness of those changes 3.Receiving help.4. Acceptance of ones own mental illness. 5.Reaching out to others. She does explain not everyone will complete this entire process outlined. The last step is the hardest-to deal with stigma and to reach out to others in need-still suffering-while this is noble-not everyone is capable of this or even wishes to try this.(the author does acknowledge this fact.) Also in this book she recounts her own story of mental illness. I do wish that this section was longer and that she would have expanded. But this is a brief guidebook, I do understand why her focus is not on her personal experiences so much. She centers on the issues faced by those with mental illness and how to help.

This is an useful resource no matter what stage of recovery you are in. This book is ideal because it emphasizes two things; You are not alone and there are a multitude of ways you can help yourself.
One last thing I would like to add, is what the Author says about Hope: “The self-fulfilling
prophecy studied by psychologists, includes the idea that what we continue to believe about ourselves or our future will Eventually come to be. It’s essential to maintain a positive outlook about yourself and your future.”(2013, Abbott.L, p.26)”

 

Video and interview with the author, Dr.Leesa Abbott

“Memoirs Recalled Madness: a personal account of manic-depression.”by Emily Sturgill just $3.99

“Memoirs Recalled Madness: a personal account of manic-depression.”by Emily Sturgill  is currently a kindle-countdown deal.

Right now its priced is reduced from $9.99 to just $3.99. As a countdeal deal the price will slowly increase over the next few days. So I encourage you to buy a copy asap while its still such a low price! It’s a personal memoir dealing with growing up then being diagnosed with bipolar disorder right after high school and my life ever since. The highs and lows but also the successes of a life living with a serious mental health issue.

For more info please follow this link here:

http://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Recalled-Madness-personal-depressive-ebook/dp/B00C145EOU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415134043&sr=1-1

The price is set to increase by $1 tomorrow.

Stigma sneaks in…

Having a SMI
is not an easy life.
SMI stand for Serious Mental Illness

Sometimes people, even our
so called “friends”
do not have the strength
or reasoning to understand.

And that’s the point of
No return.
That’s where
Stigma sneaks in.

Like a thief in the night
Like darkness or blight
Like a shadow in the brightest
possible light….?

that is where
Stigma sneaks in.

Many are concerned
with mental health
especially when its
happening to others

around us, but just not US.

Sometimes people would
much rather be blind
than search for a light.
than search for some hope,
in the darkest of night.

So that is where
Stigma sneaks in.
Turning Friend against Friend.

Coloring the daily news
with reports of violent
“mentally ill” criminals
Coloring the minds

of everyone we know
making them think
at any moment,
like ticking time bombs,
we will blow.

I’ve lost a few friends
maybe someone you know?
Due to my illness, my differences,
the parts of myself
I dare not to show.

But still they are there.
The things that make me
different from you.

And that’s the point of
No return.
That’s where
Stigma sneaks in.

Like a thief in the night
Like darkness or blight
Like a shadow in the brightest
possible light….?

that’s where Stigma sneaks in.
that’s where friendships end,
due to ignorance and fear.

there’s nothing I can say
or do to change your mind
we already have been through
this all before.

you say its not my illness
but I do not believe you
anymore.

The law of attraction

The Law of Attraction,

never seems to sink in with me,

somehow.

Many family members swear by this.

And they are all financially much better off than I.

 

I want to believe, I really really do.

I just have a hard time taking

personal responsibility,

for every negative and awful

causality that has ever befallen me.

 

I have trouble believing that

I have a higher spiritual self  which

somehow decided to embrace mental illness,

welcome rape, miscarriages, and other crimes

upon myself so freely and willingly-

 

as if i have a please kick me sign,

attached to my rear end-

or a stupid “willing victim” sign

taped to my forehead.

That growing up, I always dreamt,

I would be unemployed and living below the poverty level.

 

I do believe very much in karma,

and that what you put out,

comes back three times.

 

I believe in many superstitions as well.

I avoid opening umbrellas indoors,

or walking beneath ladders.

I read Tarot cards but fear oujia boards.

I believe in ghosts, astral projection and re-incarnation.

 

Yet, still i struggle to accept the law of attraction.

Maybe, it’s quite paranoid of me.

But I cannot make sense, that each and every bad

experience i have ever had,

i invited and chose to have it.

i do not get this.

it confounds me greatly.

 

 

Still time to RSVP Artist talk & Art Therapy Workshop

Art Therapy Flyer August 1 2013  On August 1,2013 which is a Thursday evening I will be hosting an Artist Talk on Mental Health and Recovery through Art-making. I will also do a short demo of 2 different watercolor techniques. Then guests will be invited to create their own watercolor artworks. Tickets are only $20 per person and include all supplies. They ask persons to please register in advance. The deadline is tomorrow night.

You can register by going to the studio’s website here: http://www.theartexperience.org/2013_Summer_ScheduleofClasses.html

There is still plenty of room available. Please feel free to leave comments if you would like to attend and need more info. This will be in Pontiac Mi. They will also have some of my chap-books for sale. If you buy one, I will sign it for you at no charge-only if you want though! 🙂

Artist Talk Registration ends soon!!

http://pinterest.com/pin/273312271109214992/

I’m hosting an Artist Talk & Artist workshop at The Art Experience in Pontiac MI on Tuesday June 25,2013. The event will take place between 6:00pm-8:00pm. They are asking that people interested please register in advance by June 18, 2013- go to:http://www.theartexperience.org/2013_Summer_ScheduleofClasses.html   to register.

The topic will be on “Recovery in Mental Health through the use of Art-making.” I will give a presentation based on my own personal account of living with bipolar disorder/manic-depression for over two decades. And how this has impacted my Artwork and ultimately led me onto a path of becoming an Art therapist. Then there will be a short Q and A followed by an Art Demo of two different watercolor resist techniques. Lastly the participants will be invited to create their own artwork. All supplies are included in ticket cost-of $20 per person.

Please click on the two links above for more info:

You can also visit http://www.theartexperience.org

Flyer Art Talk no 4 copy Art photos 1.17.13 024 IMG_20121228_161438 IMG_20121228_161333 IMG_20121228_161319 IMG_20121228_161305 an abstract acrylic painting ,music,2012Artist Talk flyer no

Judge me Judge me not..

I hate the fact the others, who do not suffer from mental illness,

judge me so harshly for thing completely out of my conrtol or grasp…at the time.

As if, they would somehow do themselves a bit better-

if they woke up to find

that they completely and totally- all of a sudden-

had just lost their mind?

 

it is so easy to predict,

that if you were the crazy one;

you would be more considerate, you would always be kind,

even in the midst of a Madness

that made you lose your mind?

 

Judge me, judge me not…you have never been crazy.

Not even once-

so don’t you dare judge me.

 

You have troubles of your own-

yes i can see,

yet your never been found lost on the inside, walking the streets of your own insanity.

 

Until you have been,

to that dark place labelled crazy,

Do not falsely pretend

you have any empathy.

 

You have never been,

to some of the darkest, desperate spots deep

inside my ranting and rambling mind.

 

You may say, that you love me.

You may say you know how hard its been.

But you were born normal.

you have no clue the hell, upon which i been in.

 

 

 

Sleeping slowly improving…

Since I’ve been back home-

I guess since Tuesday, or Weds or Thursday,

of last week- my sleep has been slowly improving.

 

This makes my husband very happy.

Although, I have been smoking

cigarettes, much worse than ever.

That is highly upsetting to him.

 

I try to explain that, no its not forever,

that i am trying to readjust to

the beauty which is

us.

 

That I am trying to cope,

with a hypo-manic stroke of luck-

a mild mania or mixed state,

It was not great, to have yet

another episode,

even if it was a smaller one.

 

My doctor says even though I have

been having more episodes than usual the past

2 years- that they all have been mild,

She sees that as a vast improvement.

 

It’s funny-in the strangest sense-

how many new people I met,

and how many did not really realize,

that something was a bit off with me.

 

The only ones who knew for sure,

were my husband-who i became paranoid of-

and my doctor-because she’s good

at her job and some sort of pro

at deciphering the Madness.

 

My sleep is getting better.

I am feeling much more relaxed.

All of which is good.

 

I’ve been in plans for leading

an Artist Talk-Art therapy workshop,

later this month,

We have been planning it at least 3 or 4 months.

 

The open art therapy studio and I.

I was kind of frightened I may,

have some sort of episode

and make an ass, of myself.

 

Now that I have had a shorter and milder

episode, all my meds were basically increased

so that means, I do not have to fear,

another episode for a while.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being bipolar can really suck sometimes…U

The nature of the “crazy-beast” is that when you are crazy, or going crazy then you do not believe you are crazy.

I know that there is a cliche about that, but unlike most cliches, this one is definitely true.

I know first-hand, because I am “bipolar 1-with psychotic features” -although current groovy dr. just shortens it to being bipolar or having manic-depression. It is more than a label. It is an illness. But it is a treatable one.Not easy to have nor to treat, but it is possible, to live a semi-normal life while being bipolar.

I think i am one of the lucky ones. I was diagnosed roughly 21 years ago-in 1992. Since then, I have amassed a huge group of friends, family, and trusted allies. It is vital to staying well to have some sort of support-network, whether its friends, family, church, priest, rabbi, minister,siblings,spouses,employers ect. You need objective persons in your life who can look out for you when you are not objective. If your really bipolar-you will not always be 100% objective. It is the nature of the “crazy-beast.”

I just had a major break-through last night. I realized I have been having some sort of episode-hypomania or mixed-mania, with paranoia, for at least the last two weeks. I called my Dr this morning to confirm this-(my husband already did confirm though) and to just let her know- i was on the same page now. I knew I had been sick. I complimented her method of handling it. Unlike past doctors I had had at Community Mental health-she did not directly address this issue that i was “sick”. She is an excellent doctor, by the way. I first saw her back in 1998-2000. i stopped seeing her because i took advantage of her, during an episode to get her to prescribe me medications i had no attention of correctly taking. It was long ago i was only 26.

I decided to swallow 30 depakote and kill myself. It was dramatic and extreme.I really violated her trust in our relationship.But soon after i did that stupid stupid thing i began to change my mind…when my boyfriend-(now hubby)-got home from a midnights job i confessed everything and he rushed me to the nearest hospital, most likely saving my life. I was given charcoal and was in the ICU for four days straight. That was my first and last ever serious suicide attempt.

After that my doctor broke up with me- i don’t blame her at all for this. So i started going to Community Mental Health. I went on and off for years-the off parts were during episodes….

2 years ago, yesterday, i married my boyfriend of 11 years. My health insurance changed slightly. We had wrongly deduced if we were to get married i would lose my Medicare and Medicaid-so he put me on his Blue Cross Employee insurance. Now CMH refused to treat me saying they did not accept blue cross.

I called my old doctor. I was very persistent, and convincing. I explained I had grown up a lot since she last treated me. I ask if i could please be her patient again? She was hesitant, but willing to give me a second shot.That was almost 2 years ago. I am so thankful she said yes to being my doctor again. She is the best and my most favorite doctor I have ever had in the over two decades of this madness.

Fast forward to the past two weeks….I became very irritated, the day after ,the day after, my 39th birthday. So like 2 days after my birthday-may 21-i lost my shit. May 23rd was terrible, but May 24th and 25th were much worse.

I guess it was a hypo-mania-(mild mania) or a mixed state-(both depressed and manic mixed together.)

If my doctor confronted me about being paranoid or manic, I would have stopped speaking with her-probably even fired her as my doctor.

instead, she choose to just listen-after i found myself in a safe shelter house for women with domestic violence she started increasing my meds.

we did have a small mishap with that-she raised my lithium too high-while i did not go toxic-i had dangerous symptoms and had to be briefly hospital2ized over night. My lithium levels never been that high before-it was 1.25.So she lowered it back down to its normal dose. And just raised other meds.

Eventually, i decided to forgive my hubby and came home two nights ago. At first, i still thought i was in my right mind-but then my doctor wanted to raise my sereoquel XR some more. A couple hours later, i realized with her frequently raising my meds, i must be having another episode. I cried hysterically for over  2 hours while mu husband just held me and told me that he still loves me. i was devastated.I was confused but coming to my senses.

And i was safe, he was safe, we were still married-it was going to be ok. To be honest, i am even crying as i am writing this-I feel cheated somehow, but by my own mind…i do not understand how i could so quickly get sick again-without typical warning signs? It is a very scary feeling to be paranoid. Especially terrified of friends and family who love you. I thought it was all hubby’s fault. What i mistook as physical abuse was him trying to restrain me and keep me from running away-i always run away….usually nowhere safe or good. This time was a bit better- i wound up in a safe place.

All i can say is bipolar disorder is a serious illness and “crazyness is a beast.” which is difficult to contain.