Mindfulness Monday: anger

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When you are caught in the heavy rains of anger, open the umbrella of the mind, [and] take refuge under the roof of reason!”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”


As Wendy indicated in her recent post, “Out of Touch”, she is having “technical difficulties.”

I find myself often full of anger, “righteous” or otherwise, thus another self-therapeutic Mindfulness Monday.

And remember:
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

John Milton

image: (c) Lorraine (please do not use without permission)


I made him cry. Bipolar Rage

Saturday was a day that I will always remember, some very good, some very, very bad.

We started the day running fun errands.  Going to the library, and then to Michaels.  I got a lovely gift card for my birthday.  Can we say…YARN!  🙂  Then we had a fabulous lunch at a restaurant that we’ve been wanting to try.  They focus on sustainable seafood.  I had grilled fish over greens with fresh pickled vegetables.  Then we shared homemade gelato for desert.  It was a divine meal to top off a lovely morning.

Then we got home.  Stuart was doing laundry (something I can’t do) and I noticed that he hadn’t treated a shirt that I asked him to.  I saw RED!  I flew into him.  I was so angry!!  I told him exactly where I was putting 2 shirts that needed to be treated and he was just disregarding what I asked and was going to ruin my clothes…..I have no idea all of the things I said.

headache 7
self portrait – w. holcombe

After HOURS of arguing, of me closing myself in the bedroom, then getting mad that he didn’t come after me…..over and over.  It was so bad.  I look  back on it and it is a whirlwind.  However, at the time I could not see that I was out of control.  I felt completely justified in how I behaved.  When for a moment I thought I was overreacting about a silly shirt.  (Both of these shirts are shirts I only wear around the house and to bed.  They could be stained, who would care.  However, even if it had been a $200 shirt, it would not have excused the way I acted.)  I blew up about the fact that I can’t do laundry.  How if I was doing laundry and he told me to treat something I wouldn’t have forgotten (yes, I was suddenly perfect!)  He just didn’t pay attention because he didn’t want to do it…..ect, ect.

Finally, it was 10pm and Stuart was trying to go to bed, but I wasn’t finished.   I was still all upset.  It would appear I was calming down now and then throughout all of this, but then it would come back full force.  That’s what happened at bed time.  I was getting ready for bed, then I fell apart, and started yelling again.  I then left him to the bed and said I would see him the next day.  Soon he came out and wanted to talk.  Fine.  Talk.  He was so confused.  He wanted to know what had changed.  He told me that I have been very defensive for the past few weeks.  I’ll be fine one moment then snapping at him for no reason.  He said I’ve been taking much of what he says in a negative way.  I just sat there and fumed.   He then broke down.  He wanted to know if he had changed, had he caused this change in me?   I made my husband cry.  At that moment, the rage lifted, I still felt it’s presence but I took a deep breath, calmed myself and came back to center.  Suddenly I felt relief.  Then I thought: “What have I done?”

It’s been a long time, I didn’t even recognize the signs.

Bipolar Rage


All this mess with my medication, well it appears I’m not on the right mix yet.

But do I blame all of this on medication?  Why did I not realize I was being more confrontational then usual?   Normally, I’m very aware of changes in my behavior.  I know when things are off,  I’m very proactive about it.  This time, I was blind sided.  All of my coping strategies out the window.  How can you incorporate coping strategies when you don’t see anything is wrong?

I’m much more aware now.   I’m doing a lot of deep breathing exercises and trying to meditate more.  Exercise would be good, but I’m not allowed to do that until my back gets better.  (I haven’t mentioned I hurt my back yet?  I’ll try and write that up soon)  I’m trying to stay in this moment and not beat myself up over what happened on Saturday, or what has been happening over the past few weeks.   Remembering to be gentle with myself.  And I’m pampering my husband as much as I can.  He needs to know that it isn’t him.  He needs to know that no matter how bad I act, I still love him and would NEVER hurt him on purpose.


Read more about Bipolar Rage:

Bipolar & Anger: Getting Control of Irritability and Outburst

Bipolar Disorder and Anger: Stuck on the Rage Road.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms and Triggers  this gives a rundown of all the symptoms associated with Bipolar Disorder.  It’s not just mania and depression.

Where ya been?


When I’ve been away from blogging for a bit it’s really hard to get started again.

I keep thinking…where do I start?

I’ll have a good day and I will start to write, and get overwhelmed….well I don’t want to mess up a good day, now do I?

Then I’ll have a string of bad days…oh yeah…we know those….and I think, I should blog about those, but I don’t want to sound like a broken record.  After the last post I put out, I thought, Gosh…same crap, different day.  Not completely, no two days are ever completely alike, but you get my drift.  Sometimes people forget a Chronic Illness is called Chronic for a reason.  For me, I do understand that….I know my illnesses are not going away, maybe they will get better, maybe worse…. but going away…don’t think so.  I do not, however, completely understand it when they change.  And lately, they have changed, a lot.  Do I want to talk about all of that….well I have talked about some of it, and I’ll probably mention more of it…some I’ll probably mention later….oh you know me, I talk about everything.  It will all come out eventually.

Mostly my moods have been, well, in the crapper.  Hubby and I and the furry babies to have fun.  Laughter is the greatest isn’t it?  But the migraines and vertigo…..the fear….the fear…it just doesn’t go away.  I’ve had so much pain and vertigo over the last few months, I live in constant fear.  and, pardon the pun….but that scares me.


I know you all want to hear about my complete melt down where I felt like I should have been committed…I now understand what they mean when they refer to people having a “nervous breakdown”.   But really, do you really want to hear about that?  Tell me if you do, and I’ll tell you about it…just know I’m OK.  I didn’t hurt me or anyone else.  I just kinda flipped out…yelled, screamed, cried…all at the same time….and did it some more.  Then I was exhausted…slept…and cried a lot the next day too…..

I can tell you a few things that I’m pretty darn sure contributed to it….maybe you won’t worry so much after that.

  1. I was on a certain medication for my migraines, it is also an antidepressant.  It wasn’t working, so I went off of it.  I was not on high enough of a dose that I should have needed to taper off of it.  I think that was wrong.  I crashed right after I stopped taking this drug.
  2. I have a lot of crap going on.  Still having very intense migraines…A LOT.  Like almost every single day.  And vertigo, the same thing.  To the point, I hate leaving the house.  Did I mention fear??  I have been leaving more, and most of the time I have a vertigo attack when we are out.  I’m starting to get less and less freaked out by this.  Just get me in the car, and I’ll deal.  I’ll talk more about my vertigo attacks sometime in the near future, they have changed a bit, and my treatment for them has changed a bit.  I should share some of that.  However, I’m having these spins when I turn over in bed, it scares the crap out of me.  I’m asleep, I wake up a little…kinda…go to turn over and BAM..vertigo!  It doesn’t last long, but it is terrifying.  Sometimes it does last…so I never really know, but most of the time, it’s just a few seconds.  There’s other stuff too.  I’ll tell more later.  It’s kinda interesting if you’re into that kinda thing….you know, sadistic.
  3. Menopause.  Yeah, there are things about this that no one told me….why?  Why didn’t my doctor tell me more about it?  Do people just assume your mother is going to tell you everything?  What if you don’t have one?  Well this is a matter for a whole other post in itself.  Yep…I think it’s time we dish a little bit about the big M.  And I actually don’t have a lot of symptoms…golly, I sure feel for those ladies out there who have it bad!  But one thing I am having recently, every month I feel like I’m going through my period.  The mood swings…really bad, cramps…all the goodies, just no blood.  Yes I said it!  In October it will be 2 years since I’ve had a period, and this starts now?  Pfft!

So….there ya go…..those things led to a melt down.  “I’m sick of being disabled at 52!”  and much much more!!    I even hated my husband because he could take a walk and I couldn’t.  Oh yeah, I was completely irrational, and feeling sorry for myself.  No….I have been so ANGRY I have found it hard to live in my own brain.  Who wants to live with those kind of thoughts all the time?  Snarky, oh way beyond…ew.

I’m trying hard to pull myself out of it.  And you know, I do a pretty good job of it.  But outside factors have been eating away at my normal brain.  This is when I decided to try what a friend of mine used to say she did, “Fake it ’til you make it.”  She said she would fake the feeling good and put on a positive front until she really felt that way, and it often worked.  So I decided to do that.  It kinda worked.  I had some good times during it.  But I still had that …urgh…underneath.   *umph*  Still it did help a bit.

I combined that with a lot of deep breathing.  *Ahh*

11863487_10207136285306738_4886211835444465218_nAnd trying to do more mindfulness…but it’s darn hard when your head is hovering around a 7 every day, spiking to a 9 many days.  And the vertigo has decided it’s going to start doing this new funky thing where I suddenly feel like I’m falling down an elevator shaft…just free falling!!!  What the heck???   I found myself clutching to Stuart and screaming….”I’m falling!!!  I’M FALLING!!!  PLEASE DON’T LET ME FALL!”  Yes my brain knew I wasn’t really falling….or maybe it didn’t, it sure wasn’t telling me I wasn’t…..I sure felt like I was falling into an abyss.  That is one freaky thing, I tell you.  When they say people aren’t afraid of heights, they are afraid of falling…well duh!  I’ve always been afraid of heights…well guess what, that terror comes out when I get this weird vertigo.   It has happened a few more times and I’m better with it now (kinda), I can’t imagine what I will do if it happens and Stuart isn’t with me….because it is freaky….but less freaky than the first time (um…kinda).  My brain is beginning to wrap the truth around the situation that I really am not falling, no matter what my vestibular system is telling it.  *good brain, I knew you were one smart cookie*

Now that makes it kinda scary to go out in public.  Can you imagine if I were in a store and suddenly I start screaming, “I’M FALLING!”  Oh yeah….Call the cops, this chick is doing acid!

Soooo, any who, I’m completely losing my train of thought and going all over the place aren’t I?

See this is what happens when I haven’t posted in a long time.  I think of all these things I want to tell you, and things just start tumbling out.

Maybe I should just stop for the day.  If I don’t I might end up putting this down and then I’ll not get it posted and you will miss me.  You do miss me don’t you?   Yeah I know, I’m a little cheeky today.  *wink*

Wendy just write…. #HAWMC Day 12

Prompt for today Stream of Consciousness Day. Start with the sentence “_______”just write, don’t
stop, don’t edit.Post!

(written April 5th)

image courtesy of http://www.thechicagobridge.org/

“Wendy” just write, don’t stop, don’t edit. Post!

Stupid computer can’t figure out what I want to do Can’t get the dang program to close…ugh….can’t make a slideshow…I know I’ve done it before…why do I want to throw it out the window.

Heard from friend was nice, but it’s hard. Can’t do so much. Other friend told me I wasn’t a good friend because I didn’t keep in touch and didn’t make time for her when I was feeling good, she’s the busiest person I know, I looked back in my emails, the not getting together wasn’t all my fault..I apologized. A lot. But the reply I got back seemed so cold, so sterile. I just couldn’t put more of me out there…..not with everything, I just couldn’t. She wanted so much more than I could give. I want more..but when you can’t just chat on the phone, and people don’t like to email or take your written words wrong it’s so, so hard. And to see someone in their prime doing everything you will never be able to do and everything is about that, and all I can think about is my illness, what is left? I miss her…I miss them…but I have nothing….I really feel I have nothing to offer.  What can I offer.  I can’t even hear them to talk to them.  I focus on if I can get out of bed, brush my teeth, walk outside….maybe if I’m lucky a little more….what can I talk about to people who have a full life? a job, children, acitivites, friends, interests?  I’ve been so consumed with just staying alive the past 2 years. Well that’s stretching….Well no it’s not!

This past year I’ve been through so much…and I’ve persevered, and now I’m mad at me!!

I was told I was better, and would be better!!! Damn the doctors! How could they do that to me!

I had 5 months of a new life! A better life! No vertigo. I was moving on. I started to become a Foster Parent, I started to drive, I got a CAR! I was making a life….I didn’t think it would be ripped out from me.!  I was so busy….I didn’t think it would end…

After those 5 months I went through 7 more lumbar punctures SEVEN with 5 or 6 sets of patches down my spine. I spent about 6 months in bed with not only CSF problems but gut troubles too. I’ve gained nearly 60 lbs. I feel old, fat and ugly. I don’t like me any more….yet I do. I do. I’m proud of the way I’ve handled things.

I’ve had 2 in depth surgeries on my ears. Surgeries that took my ears almost completely off and drilled to my brain, and left holes in my skull the size of a 50cent piece.  But they worked…I think.
I’m now told I have high CSF pressure…Intracranial Hypertension. Serious, rare. My hearing in my “good” ear is almost gone.

Now I’m falling apart….and I’m angry at myself about it!!!?????

I’ve been so resilient, so adaptive, so….I can handle it.It may not be what I expected…so I’ll change what I expected…NOW….I’m just plain scared and mad.  I thought I was mad at everyone, I’m taking it out on everyone….But I’m so angry at me. I’m angry I’m not bouncing back, and I’m angry I’m not more tenacious, and I can’t do more and damnit….I’m angry that my body is doing this to me!  I’m angry I can’t lose weight….I’m MAD AS HELL!

I’m angry I’m sick! And I have to deal with it. I have been dealing with it. But right now…I’m not doing the best with that.  However, I know me, and I will. I’ll get it together, and get myself another lease on life.  Life is good.

I have such a good husband. It can’t be all bad. I must think of the good days.

So, What am I mad about now?

I Don't Like Me When I'm Angry!

I mentioned in my last post that I’m dealing with some anger issues.
I’m not talking about getting a bit upset here and there, I’m talking about some deep seeded resentment.  Something down in my gut that is just eating away at me.  Perhaps that is a bit strong…but I wanted to make a point.

I’ve been snippy, grouchy, teary, snappy….  Oh, let’s just say it, I’ve been a bitch lately.

Not all the time, at times, I’m a perfectly likable me.  Positive, light hearted, smiling, laughing…  Then unexpectedly, something will hit me in just the wrong way, something that normally wouldn’t mean anything, and I want to explode.

Finally, I tried to take a step back from the situation.  And ask myself, what are you REALLY mad at.  I’ve come up with a few things, some I bet you have felt at times, others may just be me.  I don’t like being like this.  I try very hard to keep a positive attitude, to believe things will work out, to understand that even if they don’t, I will survive.  No, not just survive, I will thrive!

It has been hard lately.  Spending almost every minute lying down.  Having horrific headaches, hearing things that aren’t there….well you all know what I’ve been going through.

And that my friends is what, I believe, I’m mad about!

I don’t want to sound petty, or ungrateful, or as if I don’t have hope.  This is just anger.  It may not be totally justified, and it’s not fair that I keep snapping at my husband, but it’s there, and I felt like I should discuss it.  (perhaps giving it a voice will help it to go away.)

I’m MAD…

  • that I’m not cured.  I know I kept saying that I understood that this was not a “cure”, that I know I still have Meniere’s Disease, and that I could handle it if my symptoms returned.  That this procedure gave me hope, and I would cherish every moment I had as a “normal” person.  (I’m not saying that those feelings have changed.  I still feel that way….but I’m still angry that it’s happening…and I don’t like myself very much for saying that.)
  • that I thought this was over.  I don’t feel that I was being as realistic as I should have been.  I’m not sure I was being honest with myself.  I knew the possibilities it could happen again, and I would need more treatment…but I don’t think it really sank in.  I put those thoughts aside and thought about the future…for the first time in a long time.
  • that I don’t feel I can plan for the future any more.
  • that I’m scared.
  • that I can’t do things I need and want to do.
  • that my house needs to be cleaned.
  • that Stuart has to do everything, and I keep getting angry with him when things aren’t done.  Or done the way I would do it.  How can I get angry at him for this?  Or am I really just angry because I can’t do it?
  • at my friends, who haven’t gotten in touch, who haven’t offered to help…the most I get from most is a quick note on facebook.  I know this has been going on for a long time, I know that my friends have lives and responsibilities.  I don’t blame them.  But I’m still hurt, and angry.  I don’t want them to feel bad.  I don’t know what I want, or expect.  I have 2 local friends who really keep in touch with me.  1 emails me often, 1 often chats with me on line.  (and I know he would be over to see me more often if he wasn’t having troubles of his own right now.)
  • at my family.  Who have never offered to help in any way.  (I must put in here, that I didn’t expect it.)
  • when I read about others who have so much more help.  Who have friends who bring them dinner, or family to come stay with them for a while, or someone to just sit with them.  (again, don’t get me wrong, I am so very grateful for what I do have…especially my husband)  But I am hurt, and disappointed that I don’t have more people who reach out.  And I’m mad at myself for being jealous of those who do.

Oh, I’m certain I could go on and on, but I’m sure you understand by now.

This anger isn’t deserved.  It’s not even real in some instances.  I think it’s mostly about the situation.  I don’t want to be in this situation, and it makes me mad.  I don’t want my husband to be in this situation, and it makes me mad.  I don’t want to have my life on hold, and it makes me mad.

I’m trying to write this objectively, and honestly…but I’m not sure those two things go together right now.

When I got so much better after my patches in January, I started to see my friends at gatherings and things.  At first it was very hard.  I was angry at them.  It’s hard to explain.  These people mean a lot to me, but I felt like they forgot me when I wasn’t able to do much. Most didn’t ask Stuart if he needed anything.  Even when I would reach out and say exactly what I needed, I usually didn’t get it.  (I’m not talking about big things here, I wanted contact, emails…anything)  As I said before, I understand that people are busy, they have lives, and it’s hard to deal with a friend who has been having health problems for a long time, it’s not like it’s something that just goes away after a visit to the hospital, or one time bringing a caserole…this illness lasts…well, a life time.  Finally, I was beginning to feel better about things.  We would go to parties and I felt that I could mingle, and talk with people, and not feel that under current of anger.  I don’t want to feel like that again.

I am overwhelmed by everything that is happening to me.  In just the past 2 years my hearing has gone from some hearing loss in my right ear, to severe hearing loss in both ears.  I just got hearing aids in March, and I can barely hear out of them now.  When I don’t have my hearing aids in I can barely hear myself talk.  I realized I was screaming at Stuart the other night because my throat started to hurt.
But at times, for short periods of time, I can hear better.  So I don’t know what to do about the hearing aids if my hearing is fluctuating so much again.  (I’ll see Dr. Kaylie next month, I’ll ask him then.)  Of course, I’m hoping that after seeing Dr. Gray I will have some answers and my hearing will improve again.

This hearing thing makes me so mad!  Partially because of losing my hearing…but not really…I think I’m handling that pretty well.  But because having my hearing drop has always been a sign of a Meniere’s Vertigo Attack coming on.  So now, I’m constantly on alert.  I’m so jumpy, and jittery.  Every time I move my head and get a bit off balance, I’m convinced I’ll be spinning soon.  Or, I start to get used to it, and start to ignore it, like I did the other day…and I was almost hit with a full blown attack.  (yesterday, was more of the same.  Lot’s of mini-spins.)

I am trying very hard to deal with this anger.
Dang-it!  I’ve had some crappy stuff happen lately, and I’m pissed!

I’m also trying to come to terms with it.  To feel some of it and not bury it.  Just writing this helps.  Now I hope I can deal with it, and move beyond.

But, I’m also very grateful that if this was going to happen, it did it now.  Before we brought a child in to our lives.  I’m grateful, that I have good doctors who really care, and will do all they can to help me.  (I just wish I could have gotten in to see them faster. – and yeah, I’m pissed about that too!)  I’m more than grateful for my loving husband, and all that he does.  I just wish I could help him more, or get him some help.

I also want you to know…ALL OF YOU…how very much you mean to me.  How much your encouragement, and caring words have helped me through many a rotten day.
**I saw a post on Fly With Hope today, and I thought, “Yes!, that’s what I wanted to say!”  http://flywithhope.blogspot.com/2011/08/less-bitter-more-thankful.html  Thank’s Kelly, I needed to hear this.  I’m feeling more thankful already.  I promise I will not let this anger fester and become unrelenting  bitterness.