Love is a Battlefield (Summer 1998-Winter 1989)

Life with X (we will now call him Xander as it will make it easier to follow along) was fast & wild.  We were sexually active really fast.  We became close very quickly.  We had our ups and downs, but we were both really young.  Xander was a grade ahead of me.  I remember that summer like it was yesterday.  On the last day of school for that year, four of our friends were in a very bad car accident.  The med flight had to be called in.  Unfortunately, one of them didn’t make it.  I remember that being a very traumatic time for everyone.  I think it brought Xander and I closer together, because we realized how precious life really is.  During this period I was relatively mild as far as my mood swings, a little depressed, but nothing like the year prior.  Life went on and we were pretty much inseparable. We got to know each other’s families really well and were doing pretty good.  Christmas came and Xander gifted me with a promise ring.  Mind you, I was 15 years old and he was 16 years old.  Subconsciously, I think this kinda freaked me out.  I wouldn’t have ever told him that though.

After Christmas, a group of my friends (minus Xander) that I had met within the last year at school were hanging out at my house.  We were all having a really great time.  There was one person there I did not know well.  He went to school with me and was in the grade above me.  I will refer to him as Zeke.  As he left that night, I told him to be safe going home as he was on a snowmobile.  I guess that made quite an impression on him.  Zeke and I started hanging out whenever Xander wasn’t around.  I had a big crush on Zeke – our chemistry was explosive.  Well, as you can imagine, that didn’t go so well.  When Xander found out, he was beyond pissed to say the least.  I’m certain I was hypomanic during this time, as I loved all the attention, even though it was chaotic.  I also loved feeling wanted and that I was worth fighting for.  The bad part of the hypomania is that I had no remorse for anything and I was completely selfish.  I did not care about anyone’s feelings but my own!

Over the next couple months it was a roller coaster ride.  Pretty young to be in a love triangle, but that’s where I was.  My emotions were up & down so much.  My feelings for Zeke grew really quickly and exponentially and I pretty much decided that I wanted to be with Zeke, not Xander.  Oh my – Xander was so angry his eyes turned black.  I recall that they got in a fight in front of one of our friends house as Zeke and I were hanging out.  Xander showed up and they started arguing and then punches were thrown as they were in the street.

To show me at 16 years old
Me at 16 years old

We all went to school together and Xander & Zeke were in the same grade and actually friends before all of this happened.  It got pretty intense at times.  I remember Xander punching a window at school and breaking it when he saw me & Zeke together.  My 16th birthday was in February.  Both Xander & Zeke showed up at my house (at different times) with flowers and presents for me.  What was supposed to be a wonderful day, had me in tears and so confused.  I was pretty flattered, but very emotional.  My group of friends had a party for me for my birthday.  We were drinking and having a good time, just hanging out.  I was with Zeke and completely smitten.  All of a sudden, Xander showed up uninvited and unannounced.  He literally came in the house, drug me out, threw me in his car and drove me to my house.  He yanked me out of the car when we arrived and pulled me up to the front door.  My parents came to the door and he brought me in and told them I had been out drinking with Zeke.  Within a couple of minutes, Zeke showed up at my house.  They got into a fight in my house with my parents standing there.  I was hysterical.  I told X to get out of my home and I never wanted him to come around again.  Zeke stayed around for a while to make sure I was ok after seeing Xander drag me from the house.  It all happened so fast!

From that night on, Zeke and I were together all the time.  Our relationship escalated rather quickly and we were sexually active within weeks.  Ours was a forbidden love, as his family was very prominent in our city.  I was not from a wealthy family, we were middle class, and I had a past that I could not outrun.  My parents were upset, because they really liked Xander and didn’t like how the whole thing with Zeke came about.  Regardless, Zeke and I both fell in love with each other really fast.  Stay tuned – I will tell you more about our 7 year relationship in the blog posts to come. Be blessed!  Stay divine!

Hebrews 10:32
“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.

Appetite for Destruction

Bipolar is a debilitating brain-illness.  Rapid Cycling is even worse.  After my traumatic experience, I was determined to be in control of myself and my body from there on out.  Unfortunately, that took a destructive path.  I was very promiscuous and did everything I could to get the attention of older teenage boys to seduce and have sex with.   A twisted way to be in control, but I was calling the shots and it felt good.  I was out partying all the time, drinking, smoking pot, and taking pills (no idea what they were).  I was living a reckless lifestyle to say the least.

This is me being hypomanic and trying to be seductive during a hypomanic state
 Me at 15 years old during a hypomanic state

I was depressed, but I think I was also hypomanic, which is called a mixed state.  My depressed state materialized as anger and terrible judgement.  My hypomania resulted in little need for sleep and feeling indestructible.  I felt like I could do anything and had no regard for what anyone thought.  Being in a mixed state is not a great combination, especially with alcohol and drugs in the mix.  I struggled in school exponentially and skipped a lot of school by signing my dad’s signature to the excuses (I had perfected his signature).  I worshiped metal hair bands (Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Guns n Roses, Metallica, and Poison, just to name a few) and my goal was to get the attention of any & every guy I could.  I didn’t seem to have a problem in that area considering I had built up quite a reputation.  I suddenly had an appetite for sex.  I don’t know how many people I slept with in that 6 month period, if I had to guess I would say 10?  Not something I’m proud of now, but I wore it like a badge at the time.  I was in control and that’s all that mattered.

Me at 15 years old with Motley Crue banner
 Me at 15 years old in my room

I didn’t have many close friendships with girls at this time, except for one friend that I happen to still be friends with today (love you MW).  My relationships during this time were more superficial and built on partying.  I obviously was not in a good state and it was catching up to me.  I was severely depressed at the end of this period in mid spring.  No longer was I angry, I was sad and wanting companionship.  I was suicidal and had thought of many ways to end my life.  I felt like nothing, didn’t like myself, had a great void in my soul and didn’t understand why I was even on this Earth 😦

Thankfully, I met someone, who for whatever reason understood me in a way no one else had even tried to.  My first boyfriend who I will refer to as X.  (Remember X for later on in this blog).  I was elated to be with one person.  I was still depressed, but it felt different with someone to actually talk to.  I would bounce back and forth between being hypomanic and depressed, but he seemed to be able to ride the roller-coaster.  Our relationship was fast & furious…

Some people might ask, “Where was your God while all of this was happening?” and to that end I would simply say, I didn’t know him yet.  Despite me not knowing Him, He knew me and was with me!  He carried me every step of the way through my brokenness, even if I didn’t know it at the time!!  He knew I was a survivor and a fighter and that I would eventually surrender to Him!

1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Until next time, be blessed and be divine!

Loss of Innocence (Fall 1987-14 Years Old)

Guns N’ Roses Welcome to the Jungle blaring on my Dad’s state of the art stereo system.  A fifth of Peach Schnapps and two 14 year old girls looking for a good time.  We invited two 18 year old guys to come over since my parents were out of town. We had met them previously at Star World, which was a teen dance club/hangout at the time.  We were still young and somewhat naive, but we were oblivious to the desires and intent of 18 year old men.  Our definition of having a good time was completely different than their definition.  We were all hanging out and drinking copious amount of alcohol and it didn’t take long for me to become fall-down drunk.  Bipolar, which now I’m convinced I already had at the time, and alcohol are not a good combination.  The next thing I knew, I was in my bedroom with one of the guys and kind of in and out of it from all the alcohol coursing through my veins.  He proceeded to get me on my bed.  Next thing I knew he was taking my clothes off.  I was frightened, but didn’t want to seem childlike, so I just went along with what he was doing.  I just remember being in a lot of pain, dazed and feeling really ashamed and dirty.  When he was finished, I stumbled to the bathroom and noticed I was bleeding.  I was scared, crying and did not want to leave the bathroom.  I was spinning from the alcohol and remember vomiting several times.  Once I had the courage to come out of the bathroom, I asked my friend to tell them to leave.  I couldn’t even look at him.  They left and I confided in my friend what had happened.  She tried consoling me, but there was nothing anyone could say to make me feel alright.  I kept this a secret from my parents, as I didn’t want to get in trouble and I was scared of what they would do.  This one act would change the trajectory of my life and send me spiraling down a path of destruction, hurt and pain…

Bipolar Quote
 photo credit:mostphrases.blogspot.com

Prior to this event, I was already on a path of wild abandon.  I can remember me and my best friend at the time experimenting with kissing, touching and going down on each other at 10-11 years old.  Gasp!  I know, I can hardly believe it myself!  Our maturity and capability to understand what we were actually doing and the implications were severely lacking.  I also remember being suicidal during this time frame. I again, never told my parents, because I did not want to upset them.  I struggled internally on my own for a long time.  I would run away from home for days/weeks at a time.  I was running with the wrong crowd and was exposed to alcohol and drugs.  Not a good combination for someone with a mental illness.  I remember my parents calling the cops and they came looking for me at a friends house and I was hiding in a closet not wanting to go back home.  I don’t know why I was so rebellious, I didn’t have a bad upbringing.  My parents were both loving and worked hard for us.  Nevertheless, I always felt lost and like I didn’t matter.  I think that is why I was always seeking attention – even if it was negative.

Bipolar me
 Me at 14 years of age

In future blogs I will document the course of my life and all the crazy, wild things I have been through!  I am sad I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus during my early years.  I did not grow up attending church; although, I did go to a Baptist church with my cousins every now & again.  Those encounters just made me scared of Jesus – fire, hell and damnation were preached.  From there on out I just thought I was going to die and go to hell.  I now believe that Christ took me through this journey so I could be a testament to his love, grace and forgiveness.  It was not until the age of 25 that I was saved.  The events that took place until then are quite unbelievable and I’m very lucky to be here today to tell my story!  I strongly believe in living your truth and not being ashamed of your past.  I had a brain illness that I had no idea about at the time.  I try to give myself grace and compassion for my younger self.  I did not get the treatment that I needed, as my parents thought I was just being a rebellious teenager.  A lot of damage to my soul and agony ensue on my journey to forgiveness.  If you or anyone you know is lost and searching, please reach out to me!  I have been there tenfold and I am here for you!

2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation;
The old has gone, the new has come!”

Ephesians 3:20

“God has more in store for you than you can even imagine.”

Bipolar and Weight Issues

Imagine being on a roller coaster.  You sit down and you strap in – there is no turning back at this point.  You are stuck and face the inevitable.  Now you’re heading up the first big incline and it’s steep.  You can’t stop it and you’re feeling overwhelmed and scared.  As you approach the top of the steep incline, you are apprehensive about what comes next.  All of a sudden you are plummeting down the steep hill with wild abandon.  You feel exhilarated and unstoppable.

Such is my battle with weight loss amidst my mental illness.  When I’m depressed, I am on an extreme trajectory toward weight gain and lots of it.  I usually gain 30-40 pounds in a couple of months.  I eat everything that is bad for me – sugar, carbs and processed foods.  Then as quickly as I tumbled into a depression, I change direction and I’m hypomanic.  I am super focused on my health & weight loss.  I eat healthy foods and I’m very intentional about what goes into my mouth.  I exercise every day and I’m always moving – I can’t sit still.  And just as quickly, I lose the 30-40 pounds I put on when I was depressed.

It’s a vicious cycle and according to Medical News Today, “Losing weight for a short period and then regaining it bears the name of yo-yo dieting, which some people refer to as weight cycling.  Previous research has pointed out the potentially damaging effects of these repeated cycle of weight loss and weight gain.”  So not only is it frustrating, but it isn’t good for my health either, particularly my heart health.

Below is a picture of my weight fluctuating during 2017.  This happens every year, but I happen to put these pictures side by side so thought I would share!

Bipolar Weight Fluctuation
 Example of my weight gain & loss in 2017!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11