Welcome to My Bumpy Ride.......

Before you all read on, I guess it is best to introduce myself to you and let you know a bit about myself. I am Susan, and first and foremost, I am a mother to a wonderful young man. Though he is grown, he will always be that three year old little boy, that asked all those questions and expected answers to them all. Though I will tell you much about myself in this blog there is no one or nothing that is as important to me as him, even if I don't discuss him much, because he kina likes to remain private.

For years I was actively trying to find myself, but that was a big waste of time, since by doing so I was not living. All my life I have always known that I was "different", but was unable to know why that was. I first thought that perhaps it was because I was adopted, but that was not the case. Turns out, I am bipolar and pretty much have been all my life. This was explained to me about nine years ago when I had a major melt down. I tend to be more on the depressive side, but have on occasion been quite manic. My last episode was early thru mid 2008, with full blown depression. For five months, I bearly left my house, let alone my bed. Why am I telling you this? I just want it out in the open and let you understand that I discuss my illness from time to time.

Present day, I am currently a full time student, studying social work. At the end of 2011 I was approached by a mentor of mine, who mentioned a new program that was going to launch here in Rhode Island. This new program called the Peer Wellness Coaching, was something that I had always wished would become a reality and to add even more excitement was the fact that this mentor was inviting me to train for a position as one of the Peer Wellness Coaches.

So currently (spring 2012) I am part of the three phases of training and should be employed by the fall of 2012. What is even more excellent about this program is that they are aware of my education goals and are willing to work with me on maintaining those goals.

Also you might hear me mention NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), because I am actively involved with them. I am a facilitator and state trainer for the NAMI Connection groups (peer run support group) here in Rhode Island, and I also help teach high school and college students about mental illness through NAMI RI's Inside Mental Illness program.

So with all that being said...I hope you read on to my daily activities and thoughts and such.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Me on Both the Inside and Out, Can They Work Well Together

On the outside I seem to being doing pretty good.  Wow can I really fool everyone.  I wonder if I am fooling myself just as much.  I do what I have to and it seems to be working alright and there is really not that many symptoms showing.  The thing that scares me is the fact that I find myself getting lost in my head too much.  I am losing time.  I haven’t had that out of control for so long and this is really scaring me a bit, but I am able to maintain and get things done.  That is what matters in the end, isn’t it?

I am beginning to realize that either my brother is completely clueless on the ways of the world or he is faking it so well just so he doesn’t have to deal with shit.  Ok I understand that for the most part he lives under a rock and has been there for most of his life, but shit do I really have to basically hold his hand for EVERYTHING!  He is so friggin afraid to talk to other people that he called me to ask where a pharmacy keeps something rather than asking someone right there. 

Two weeks ago, Denny and I went down there to visit and my brother did surprise me.  We planned on going to a movie after dad went to sleep and to be nice I asked my brother if he wanted to go.  Never did I think he would go, because the last movie he went to see was the Howard Stern (his hero) movie.  Well he said yes.  I could sense the high anxiety in him while we were getting tickets and popcorn so I brought him into the theater to get seats.  He picked the top seats, so this way no one was behind him.  Watching him was like watching someone who slept for the last twenty years. 

Anyways so here I am.  Not understanding this feeling.  I am usually able to see things and know what to do about them, but this is so different.  I am functioning and well I guess that is good, but for the most part I am not really there and lost within myself.  Not sure if I explained that right, but it sounds ok to me. 

Dad is worse.  I knew that was going to happen so that is not a surprise or anything.  I just can’t help but think of him running after the baseballs that I threw kina to him while I was learning how to throw.  I can remember him running behind my bike down the hill as I learned to ride a bike.  I can see him sitting on my horse on a cold snowy Christmas morning after he rode that horse a mile to make sure I received him on Christmas. His laugh is completely gone.  I think of the many times that he would look as something silly I had done and had a full belly laugh and he would say it was all good in his own way.  Then there was right after my parents’ divorce and I watched him struggle but he tried to make us think that everything was ok.  I watched as he began a relationship with another woman after the divorce and watched as his smile and laugh returned. 

I know that death is not pretty.  I guess I just wish that he would not be so miserable.  I guess I just wish there was something that I could do to help him to do all the things he did before.  I feel like a part of me is dying along with him a long with the parts that died when my sister, gram and mom died.  I also think about how after dad is gone, there will only be me and my brother and I know that I will never have support from him because he is so friggin lost with reality.  So I guess I am dying and lost and well I don’t know how I am going to snap out of it.

And even with everything going on in my personal life, I find that I am managing pretty well otherwise.  I really understand the training for the position as a Peer Wellness Coach.  I found out that NAMI is going to give me an award this month for the Peer work I am already doing.  I wonder how I would be if I didn’t have things outside to focus on.  But I also wonder how can I do so well with peer support and feel like I am losing it on the inside.

The picture above I had taken while I was in New Jersey.  That is a path that I used to walk down all the time while I was a kid.  One day I can remember the most is when Dad and I walked down there alone one day after a significant snow fall.  We had taken our dog Koko with us and we were making tracks in the snow.  Our dog got a good sniff of something and she disappeared beneath the snow and a circle began to appear from her under the snow.  I can remember dad letting out one of his biggest belly laughs at her.  One day I am going to go there when it snows and get a snow shot.  If I remember correctly, it is very beautiful in the winter.  TTFN


  1. Such a beautiful picture...I have a p;ace very similar by a small lake nearby.

    I am sorry to hear of your Dad's failing health. It is not easy to see a loved one decline like that. Anyhow I wish you well as always and appreciate your commenting to my blog.

  2. Thanks Pink for understanding. I am glad you liked my photo. Just an update, dad is maintaining but is quite weak. Not sure if I will be going back to visit him any time soon. I know it is selfish but it hurts too much to go down there and see him like that.