humor, perspective, positive thinking, SAHM, stay at home mom

Smile

11/12/16
It’s all about perspective.  I’m learning that my attitude is my choice and the way the world interacts with me is like a mirror.

When I walk through my day with judgment, anger and mistrust I experience the same from the people and situations I encounter.
I recently made a decision to try smiling regardless of how I feel on the inside.  I usually resist that type of thing because it feels so fake to me.  In fact, that is exactly what it is: a fake smile. But, on this particular day, I felt like a fake smile was my best option.
It started on Monday morning.  My son was mildly sick with a stomachache and a low fever, which meant he was staying home from school.  Typically I respond to my children’s illness with loving care and concern… like a normal “good” parent would.  But, this day was different, I was angry.  I’m ashamed to say that most of my anger was directed at my sick son who was still well enough to play Legos, watch TV and fight with his sister.
I realized there was a problem with my attitude when I found myself getting way too angry over little things he did.  Poor kid!!!  I knew I didn’t want the day to continue down that path, so after a few minutes of reading and meditating, I reached out to some friends for help.  I shot out a few texts confessing how angry and stressed I was about all of the things that I wanted to happen that week, but would be cancelled because of outside circumstances.  The overwhelming response I got back from my friends was change my perspective, focus on what’s positive and stop having a pity party.
Usually this type of advice would just make me more angry and would go in one ear and out the other; but this time, I had to admit they were dead on right.  Even reading back over my text, I had to laugh, or at least shake my head at myself.
Meanwhile, my two little children were still running around, destroying the house and vacillating between playing and fighting.
I pulled out my gratitude book and started writing about what I was grateful for.  I also noticed I hadn’t written in it for 6 months.  Hmm…  As I forced myself to think about what was positive in my life my attitude started to change.  I still wasn’t happy, but at least I was no longer angry at my sick son, so that was a step in the right direction.  I also decided that even if I wasn’t happy at the moment, for the sake of my children, I was going to act as if I was.  I put on my fake smile and my teacher voice and I did my best to be gracious and loving in my words and actions.
The amazing thing is that smiles and attitudes are contagious.  My kids both seemed happier and closer to me by the end of the day.  
I do have to admit that smiling didn’t stop my anger from coming out in full force that afternoon at the park towards a couple of strangers.  As my daughter excitedly ran towards the one swing, this grown woman looked at my daughter and quickly sat in the swing to save it for her own child who apparently was more interested in the dinosaur rocking horse.  Needless to say, she and her husband were the unfortunate recipients of all my suppressed anger.  I guess we never truly move far from what’s deep inside of us.  But for that day, for me, and for my children, the smile got us through.

 

Bi polar type 2, humor, Instagram, living authentically, mental illness, social media, social stigma

8 Cents

IMG_9147

10/16/16
It’s funny how the guy at my pharmacy suddenly became super nice, ever since I got my new prescription filled…. the one that costs eight cents.  He’s always been polite, but a bit checked out, the many times I’ve come to fill other prescriptions for my kids or myself.  But, ever since this new prescription came through, he makes eye contact, smiles and is very friendly.  I don’t know if it’s because he feels sorry for me, he’s scared of me, or he can relate.  Whatever the case, I must admit I do appreciate his new level of warmth, because the whole experience is humiliating from beginning to end.

First, requesting my prescription and knowing that he knows what it is and why I need it.  Then, pulling out my debit card to pay for it and remembering that it only costs eight cents.  I guess they want to make sure that someone who needs this medicine would never not get it because of money.  I should be grateful, right?  And I am.  I’m grateful to be known, even if it’s just by the pharmacy guy, and to still be liked, or at least treated like I matter.  I’m grateful that I only have to pay eight cents, and I’m grateful that the medication is helping.  I’m sleeping better, I’m waking up feeling rested, I feel more able to handle the daily tasks of life, and my paranoid and obsessive thinking is fading away and losing its hold.  I am choosing to stay in reality, and I am seeing the good things in my reality every day.

My thoughts keep drifting back to this pharmacist, and why his kindness impacts me so much.  I guess it has to do with my deep desire to live an authentic life.  To be truly known, loved and accepted.  I’m realizing that I don’t live authentically in my marriage.  I’m afraid to tell my husband the full truth of my feelings because I’m afraid of the consequences.  I’m afraid of losing the good things that I have, and that we have built together.

In some strange way, I feel like I got the experience of being authentically known when I was sharing my heart publicly on my blog and connecting it with my reality through Instagram.  I knew that the duality of my life, the irony and the conflicting messages were on display.  Yet, people stayed with me, and for some reason that made me feel loved and accepted.  I felt known.  I really miss that.  My psychiatrist told me, no more Instagram for now.  He says that the stimulation keeps me in a heightened state.  I learned the hard way that staying in that heightened state for too long can shift my thinking.  Maybe because I was not sleeping and was hardly eating… I guess it would be hard for anyone to think clearly under those circumstances.
But, I haven’t lost my desire to find a way to go back, to connect with my authentic self, to connect with others, to find my tribe.  I just have to figure out how to do it in a way that’s healthy for me.
But back to my pharmacist… I know why his behavior impacts me.  Most of my friends have no idea that I’m being evaluated and possibly diagnosed with bipolar type 2 disorder, and that I’ve been prescribed medicine for it.  The few who do know have been supportive, as would be expected.  But, I definitely don’t feel a sense of them moving closer to me because of it.  If anything, I feel an increased sense of distrust from them.  This probably has a lot more to do with my own insecurities than their true feelings.  But for some reason, this pharmacist seemed to like me more because of it.  It was unexpected and touching.