“Because I’m Happy” *Pharell Voice*

Hola everyone!!!! *waves and smiles* It has been a minute since I last wrote, and it has not been because I haven’t had anything to write about lol. With all the randomness going on in the world you all should know that I have so much to say, but I’d rather write about my theories on Ebola, our economy and the Millenial mindset, with a dash of TV commentary on my twitter feed…where no one truly listens. I’d much rather spend these precious moments with you love bugs talking about mmaZing things!

Welp guys….I am HAPPY!!! *throws confetti* No truly I am, and it has nothing to do with my moods, because Lord know’s I am still up and down. Lately I have been putting much energy into positive thinking. When I have been met with resistance in life and things have been a mess at times…I vent, refuse to let it linger and I…*drum roll* MOVE ON!!! Gone are the days that I let stuff that is out of my control run me crazy! I just cannot do it anymore. I refuse to stress about things that I cannot change. Because of this thought process I am able to feel at peace….which has turned into happiness! I realized that the more I consult God and look into myself for the strength that I have no business allowing stress to rule over me. There are times where I have noticed that my hair was falling out…I am talking bout BAD yall….(but shoutout to my stylist Dani #YoutherealMVP)!!! I still have days where I wake up and my body seems to just be tired and weary. It has been a crazy 2 years of my life and SO MUCH has happened. It seems that my life is starting to finally settle down. Even though my plate is full with my lovely muffin, getting my master’s, volunteering at hospice, and working full time, but things are kinda chill….settled. When I don’t have the energy..I allow myself to rest and enjoy the simple things. I have explored new friends and allies along with embracing my family much tighter. In fact…I don’t like to think that I have friends…I have mi familia! After all, when I think of my supports who have been there when stuff got real…you gotta be a member of my village…thus my family! :)

When I am feeling adventurous….I venture out of my little world of being mommy….get pretty and I go sit at a bar… usually alone and have a martini and think..or I go to brunch with my friends….I feel like me. In those moments of solitude, I sit and watch the people around me and just…Think.Being a parent you embrace those moments of simply thinking. You just let your mind wonder. Its in those moments that I realized that for once….I am not happy as a result of a relationship. You see, My happiness used to be determined on if I was romantically involved with someone. I was not happy if I were single because “They shoot single people Don’t They?” #blogplug. I used to despise being single because I loved being in…Love. That’s until I figured out that I didn’t truly love myself. It wasn’t until I was alone in the dark rooms, and sitting in the OB office getting sonograms alone… that I realized that I didn’t Love Me. How can you love yourself when you’re numb?

I realized that when “party girl Erie” was placed on hold, and the “friends” were gone… that I needed to do a self-check. Sometimes, I would just let the phone ring…I’d sit in the darkness and think. During those dark moments, not one positive thing about myself would come to mind. I’d sit there and think of all the failed relationships.I thought about all the bad things I had done, all the times I acted out while in a manic haze. I thought about all the times I didn’t want to be me…and those dark moments of suicide and it’s all because I didn’t love me. I hid behind my diagnosis because I didn’t love me. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you cannot love you…how can someone else? If you don’t value and cherish your self….what do your children see?

After much debate with myself, it came to me that the reason why I was so skeptical about becoming a mother is because one I DIDN’T PLAN IT ( I felt I needed to say that…AGAIN for good measure because everyone around me had PLANNED their babies LOL). Anywho the main reason I was skeptical/afraid/doubtful during my pregnancy is because I hadn’t fixed everything about me. I didn’t want to expose my children to MY unresolved issues of rejection, the ups and downs of bipolar, and personal demons. I felt that I didn’t have time to prepare for single motherhood which was something I never thought would occur. I thought that I ultimately did not have time to prepare for Erilyn financially WHILE maintaining my sanity AND deal with all my stuff. This drove me crazy!!!! I didn’t have anyone to talk to and after awhile I didn’t want to speak. What I didn’t take into account is that God used my unexpected pregnancy as a catalyst for change. He knew I would straighten myself up and DEAL for her!

Sometimes we can beat ourselves up so much that we show no mercy. For the most part, I didn’t love myself during this time because I had yet to forgive myself. I had to forgive myself for getting pregnant out of wedlock. Forgive myself for trusting people who showed no reason why they should be trusted. Forgive myself for putting so much emphasis on my control over my life when in truth…God has control. I had to be real with myself and the situation….it was then and only then that I started the journey of loving me. Once that journey began….I started getting…H-A-P-P-Y! Not happily single, because Lord knows I love that feeling of being WE, but content with where he has me, and allowing myself fall in love with me. I kinda like this “Single Erika” way better than past single Erika. That Erika jumped in and out of situations because I couldn’t stand the thought of rejection…the thought of being alone. The test came when I voluntarily took a ring OFF…ENDED the situation and did NOT CARE WHO HAD WHAT TO SAY! I didn’t care if I was in the Labor and delivery room alone…I knew I couldn’t be in a situation that was harmful on ALL Levels! It was not safe for me and MY daughter. I looked in the mirror after a very dangerous situation and I said…forget the fact that I had “just said yes” and that there would be questions….I simply did not care….I walked away and have been “alone” but not lonely since.

That’s not to say that my heart’s desire has changed at all because it hasn’t by a LONG shot! I still miss those yummy moments between someone you ACTUALLY love….the sound of someone genuinely infatuated with you and all your mess. The times were every moment consisted of thinking of that person….And I don’t have that…and I miss it. Especially now that I am mommy….I wish sometimes that when Erilyn does something silly I could witness it with my love by my side….ahhhh one day, but today doesn’t seem to be that day and it’s okay.

There are times when doing everything by myself becomes too much; I stop and pray for peace of mind before strength. I do this now because, I realized that I have the strength of a thousand men inside this little ole body. My soul has this…armor around it that cannot be penetrated, and my heart…my heart has been healed…the scars on my heart seem to fade, and that has yielded happiness mis amigos. I said all this to say….GET HAPPY! Do SOME WORK with YOU….don’t get so bogged down about what others think and try to compete with what you don’t know and understand. Do your work…get closer to God…become spiritually connected to something…anything that possesses positivity. Lemme tell you social media is a powerful tool… ya’ll better wake up and stop thinking a picture on IG tells the whole story or that a facebook status is the whole truth and nothing but the truth….but Im not gonna go there …ya’ll will figure it out on ya own….and also…. it’s none of my business

* Sips tea with Kermit the frog and hums …”because I’m happy”*

Can I get a refill?

I am crying as I type with hopes the post will be therapeutic. I stated in my last blog that I was in several transitions….. and it’s draining me. I am overwhelmed to say the last with new motherhood,  a new job,  grad school, and just managing Without meds.  After my wreck it seems as if everything is just a little harder too accomplish. The accident threw me figuratively and literally off track. I emotionally felt traumituzed and rejected when the truck driver decided to think less of me as a human and drive off. I felt empowered that I didnt take it lying down and chased him but I became angry. I was done internalizing crapolla. Even with the concussion and jacked body I didnt miss a day of work.  Dont get me wrong this was not easy to get done and to endure to ensure it’s all completed but im depleted. I have to put in more energy to do the simplest tasks.  One might say,  “well Erie you chose to start school with a newborn” and that is absolutely correct. I put off grad school for years. When Erilyn came I knew I had to do more to ensure she had a solid foundation even if its just me….in fact I seem to put more pressure on myself unconciously because its just me. Thankfully I have supports that motivate me….. im just tired….there I said it. I take full responsibility…..im human and I want to b and do everything. …but I cant and as i type the solution comes clear and while the tears still fall down my face I know the answer….I must get bk on meds….it hurts but its my truth. Im crying for relief….crying while in the shower to hide, when my dad and grace are dreaming…im crying a river that can easily become an ocean….and it might b the healthiest thing I can do for myself. Besides do what I hate to do which is call in a refill.. ..I ..may never knw why I go on and off my meds….why I still have a hard time coping. Why it feels so defeating to manage my bipolar.What I do know is that grace has motivated me to live….im the happiest I have ever been. Alone but not lonely most times. A believer whose hard headed…. a dreamer whose remembered to dream..  I gotta get on track. ..someone depends…On me, and there’s no room for an ocean of tears in the land of blessings. I talked with someone and they said something I hadnt thought about …stop praying for strength.  Clearly im a warrior and have proven this time and time again,  but pray for peace of mind and peace within my heart. So, thats my new goal in my prayers until then….lemme call the pharmacy *sighs big and wipes tears*………. …….. 

“Didn’t Cha Know”

I realized something about myself today….that I have known for some time, but do not like to admit. I despise admitting that I am hurt. When I tell my stories of being hurt I use so many ways to describe the feeling of hurt without saying the actual words,”I am hurting.” Welp, I am vocalizing now…I am hurt. I have been for some time now….Been feeling like my heart is bleeding and oozing from the stitches of a botched beginners sewing job. I have attempted to heal my heart with convincing myself that if I love unconditionally than surely….. my heart like most muscles will adapt, stretch, and eventually heal itself. I cry most times when I am able to while in the shower so that the tears are mixed in with the water and I feel the relief without feeling the pressure of being seen as weak. Sometimes I take baths and submerge my entire body…natural hair and all under the water and just sob…so no one can hear me…so they’ll be no questions from others and no mundane answers from me.

As I sit and type in frustration, I realize that I am not the person to heal my heart and that it takes time. I can’t “will it to be over” though I beg almost daily for the pain to go away….I sometimes beg God, “Please Lord heal my heart, and if it’s damaged beyond repair, Would you please grant me with a new one?” I have been praying this prayer for some time now, but to no avail it appears that I have the same raggedy “ticker.” Don’t get me wrong, becoming a mother has taught me that not only is my heart stronger than I thought it was,that my soul can handle more trauma, and that my tattered and bruised body…still exudes beauty… but that my soul is still somewhat pure. I have realized that I can love someone with every fiber of my being and expect nothing in return as a result of motherhood.If you ask me, In order to birth something a baby or a dream; one has to realize that the love stems from pure unadulterated love. Whether that’s selfish love, unconditional love, self-love, or love addiction. That love is also rooted in choice.

Hurt people….hurt people…it’s all cyclic and moves fluidly from person to person….situation to situation. When Love has the lasting remnants of pain present….there is no room for unconditional love. There will always be conditions of that love and every person you want to love. One will always think, “As long as you do…..ZXY then you have me….and I love you.” That’s a phrase we have all said I am sure at some point. It’s simply just easier to put conditions on love….to expect something back from putting in and/or investing yourself into said love. But that goes against the exact definition of unconditional love.

But I am hurt….I am hurting, and it feels horrible…The scars are beginning to scab and the wounds are being packed with dead tissue….and amazingly it still beats at an oh so amazing rhythm. It’s crazy because, Though I am the strongest I have ever been in my life emotionally at times I feel so weak that there is a feeling of a thousand sacks of sand on my shoulders and chest cavity. I feel like I can conquer nations after emerging from all that I have been through, but I also feel like I cannot take another heartache….I sometimes feel like if the wind blows just a little harder that I will topple over as I have no energy at times to plant my feet. I have also figured out that there is no need to break my heart again whether self-inflicted or not because I think its not possible….you cannot break something….that has never been repaired. So therefore, I hurt…. I am battered and I am bruised. That is my truth. And because I am intuitive and aware I don’t want to hurt others so I busy myself and hide my heart in hopes that one of these days it’ll heal completely. I smile a little harder, put a little more cheer in my voice and I quite the madness with whatever self-medicine I determine at the time. In the meantime, I pray That they’ll be no signs of forever trauma, that my heart… it will shine like a new pretty and possibly be donated to someone special for safe keepings of forever…..but that day is not today…and it pisses me off. I knew you didn’t know this, but I have to wonder….”Didnt cha Know?”

“Erilyn Full of Grace”

It has been ages since I last posted. In fact, yesterday was the first time I wrote something…for therapy and/or pleasure. I mean I complete my assignments for school,but other than that I just look at my notebooks, journals, and stare. I am still not sure of the culprit of why I have not been able to write. It’s not like I haven’t had the time or things to discuss *ponders*

Lately, I have been in the midst of transition after transition. I am settling into the world of mommy and …I love it. I was very worried that I would continue to have issues with bonding with my daughter, but I prayed the post postpartum depression (PPD) away. I almost felt like it was gone because I SAID SO, but I still have times when it just breaks my heart because I want to just “run and hide.” I know I am not supposed to admit it, but that’s how depression and PPD feels at times. I do make a conscious effort to touch my child….to hold her, breathe her scent, or just kiss her nose……and that feeling of uncertainty…the veil of depression lifts. She usually coos or talks to me in our own language and we go on in our little world.

Speaking of the transitions…and making things count…my gosh….it has been non-stop. I was still recovering from the emotionally and lonely pregnancy when I had this little living doll needing me….and me needing her. So, there was the transition of becoming more in control of my emotions despite the medication and therapy. The entire situation left me riddled with anxiety and then enter me going back to work. I finally made a decision to choose my health over…”helping the children” as if I was the only person who could “save” the mistreated and abused children of GA. I had to realize that I was just a vessel and that God is calling me to move on….and help in other ways STARTING WITH MYSELF. I walked away from my job…on faith. The transition started with my finances….just no money being there, but I like to think that I was prepped for that situation, because I never fretted for more than a second. It’s like my faith has become bigger than myself…..and much bigger than a mustard seed….more like an pear tree. I never ran out of money….never had a utility shut off. My child never wanted for essentials…and that is what kept me moving through yet another transition. It seemed that all of my enemies started giving unto my bosom….strangers felt the need to not charge me for this…. when there was a No…it became a Yes the next day.

To be honest, this is the HAPPIEST I have ever been in my life since giving birth.

This is what God was trying to show me when I was in the throws of anxiety when I was pregnant and wondering, “How will I care for Erilyn?” I know that for me, it was never a question of “keeping” my child, but I questioned HOW? One night though, when she came into my dreams as a baby girl way before she was officially Gracie….It was a glimpse of her and I, in the hospital room….alone. God spoke to me and said… I WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU. Little did I know that the moment would actually come to pass. Me in the hospital for 3 weeks before giving birth essentially alone. When Erilyn had to go into the neonatal unit to withdraw from MY medication, I didn’t sleep. I sat near her incubator with my IV pole,pain med packs administering medicines and prayed…and cried… and realized that the dream was coming into fruition. Walking up and down the halls after an emergency C-section praying and interceding for my baby…for myself….for our future. I knew that because I trusted him in that moment and followed his directive of giving Erilyn life that when that financial transition came…it would work itself out.

All, hasn’t been amazingly perfect. I have had my moments…but Grace! Even though this gorgeous being came out in true “diva like fashion” after 3 weeks in the hospital for Mental health reasons, 17 hours of labor, 2 epidurals, zero dilation…..she was just being EXTRA, but HE was not there. Her father…was NOT THERE. In that moment, I was so consumed in her being ok that I didn’t care.
Flash to now…. to a healthy and juicy baby girl at three months with the personality of a pageant queen and he still WAS NOT THERE… Not emotionally, spiritually, physically….I internalized that. I took the blame….I felt like I had to make up for it…on top of dealing with post partum.

I just kept it in. I didn’t want to be that “complaining victim” because ultimately it was my decision to have her despite him not wanting me to. I said nothing, but it showed in my face, in my posture. I would not “feel well” or was just overwhelmed with a newborn when that was far from the issue. I didn’t until recently pinpoint what the issue is/was. Before I knew it, the feelings started to seep out of my pores. I began to have clumps of hair fall out (this just started but my stylist is *BOMB*), I was running away mentally and I didn’t know how to deal. I caught myself self-medicating and I decided that I needed to reach out…get my feelings out to him to no avail.

So, I went back to Grace, I prayed…for her. Didn’t want her to be like me….still searching for who I AM at 28…..but then I realized she has only been here for a hot second. All she cares is that I cuddle with her at night, that she watches the Sprout channel uninterrupted in her magical chair (told you she was a diva smh) and that her bottle is warmed just right. This was not about her….but about ME and my continued issue with rejection. We went to take family photos and I broke down because this was not MY vision of a family, but I had to remember that it won’t always be like this….because of God and his GRACE.
I went to church as usual today and the message said to forgive even if that person won’t allow you to go through the actual motions of grief and letting go. Not everyone will say sorry, not everyone will accept their responsibilities, not everyone wants to do “the right thing,” Not everyone will give you freedom. It was reinforced that I have to forgive him for ME and forgive MYSELF for blaming me. After speaking it out verbally with my mouth today…. because he refused to answer the phone….I realized you know what…..I am free. I have everything I need….. a new job, new home, getting my masters in a budding career, my family, a handful of amazing friends, and I have the love of my life……named Erilyn Olivia-Grace….. My Erilyn Full of Grace.

So, I am going to try harder at getting back into my writing…..and work on that next book “Beautiful and Bipolar Plus One”….until then….continue to get it out…grieve the fairy tale….forgive, forgive, and forgive some more…that’s what Jesus Would Do….Right?

*yawns and scoots Mr. Bamboo out of the way to cuddle with Gracie*

Is Anybody Listening?

The past few weeks have been uber up and down to the point where I have spiraled downhill several times. You would think that I am used to the ups and downs….but I am not. Especially since I am growing a tiny human that is called several names that isn’t her first lol (Panda and Gracie)…..Poor Erilyn she will be so confused. So, back to the blog (see my mind wanders and drifts). Anyways, I was having meltdowns, panic & anxiety attacks almost on a daily basis. I was going to the ER at least once a week…..due to extremely low blood pressure and dehydration. You see, when I am manic and/or hypomanic; I do not intake anything. It’s not on purpose I just don’t have an appetite. After a severe tongue lashing from a Labor and Delivery nurse and my fiancée, I am currently forcing myself to eat and drink water. But the symptoms….. Oh my gosh they are unbearable and I fear they affect Erilyn. The yelling and screaming episodes…..to the gut-wrenching anxiety nights. I will say that God has blessed me with a good man whose willing to learn. He usually holds me to try and soothe me, or make me bathwater and tea. He has even held my hand as we sleep. So, after about 2 weeks of the rollercoaster my OB forced me to go to a psychiatrist. They immediately put me on medications. I cried and cried in the office while they were assuring me that Erilyn is already formed and should not be affected. All I could was think about her and how its my fault that we cant have a normal pregnancy. The doctors finally told me that being unmedicated was more of a risk to the baby than taking the medications. I would be more prone to suicide, severe depression that could cause pre term labor. I cried and reluctantly said yes…..and decided to focus on my faith to get me and Erilyn through this. This was a VERY hard decision. Perhaps the toughest one to date. I was very adamant that I did not want to take a mood stabilizer. Welp, at my follow up that’s exactly what they did. They put me on the dreadful lamictal because its the only safe mood stabilizer during pregnancy.See, me and Lamictal truly don’t get along though its usually my fault because in the past, I’d be so manic that I would self medicate with alcohol and the medications. ***Note: I have not consumed any alcohol during this pregnsncy outside of occasional glasses of red wine that my OB approved). So, basically they put me on the Lamictal because my mood swings were too rapid and it was exacerbated due to the additional stress of my job and regular day to day stressors. I was not sleeping and or eating or I was crying all damn day when this is supposed to be the most happiest time of my life ( I am recently engaged and having my first child). One of the most stressful/irrational thoughts is that I am so afraid and concerned for Erilyn when she GETS HERE. I don’t want her to see me this way. Don’t want her to think that I am weak. There is so much guilt that I have regarding being bipolar and becoming a mother though none of it is my fault. I had recently learned that someone felt that I was ungrateful about my pregnancy due to my off and on depression/mood swings. I became immediately upset because it seemed that others do not understand JUST how hard it is to deal with an unexpected pregnancy, abandonment by the child’s father, on TOP of uncontrolled mental health issues. I was and still am kinda hurt by this. I don’t want to be this way….I never doubted my child…never thought of an alternative, because through my depression at the time I knew that Erilyn was a blessing from God. She simply saved ME from ME (Hence her middle name Olivia Grace) I am realizing that people may want to understand….but simply cannot. Then there may be some who don’t want to truly understand and you know what…..they don’t have to. As long as I focus on being positive and taking care of me emotionally.

Fast forward to today that prompted this blog. I have since decided to fast from social media since my MD decided that food is not an option. I am fasting with my fiancée to focus on my relationship with God, our pending marriage, and to gain more strength to deal with my diagnosis, to find more stable housing with more room, and ultimately clarity when it comes to my career. Today I woke up very anxious, went to my therapy appointment kind of flat. When John got off work several triggers of instability looming prompted a crying/depressive fit that lasted for hours. I mean I cried for maybe 5 hours off and on. I cried myself to sleep….then awoke and cried more. Now it is almost 3 in the AM and Im very anxious to the point where I cannot sleep and I feel the mania returning. Sometimes, I look forward to the mania because its kinda better than all that daggum crying, that filling of hopelessness….the suicidal ideations….Yea, I endured that all today and then felt guilty because I knew I was harming Erilyn. When I think of why I am crying….I am unsure exactly of the culprit. I mean there is a lot of stuff going on in my life. Ultimately, I am trying desperately to just get through the day and pray for a better tomorrow. I also pray that God doesn’t see my despair and think that I don’t believe in him…or that my faith is questioned because that’s far from the truth.

Every night, John and I get on our knees (Well I sit on his knee because my fat butt wouldn’t be able to get up otherwise). We pray together where he starts and I end. Tonight I prayed mainly for the others plagued with mental illness. For the person who is on that brink…..and doesn’t think there is anything or anybody to live for. I asked God to just hold them tight….to comfort them in their time of need. I also thanked God for sending me someone strong enough to not only accept my situation, but who is willing to be there and hold my hand. To remind me that I have so much to live for….and that God loves me and things will get better…..and Just like that I was comforted enough to not cry anymore. Its crazy that I was more concerned for others battling this disorder on their own….but that’s just how God made me….with a servant’s heart. I didn’t realize until recently that I am still trying to understand and accept this disorder. I have supports yet I constantly ask why it seems that others don’t understand. It feels like at times I reach out, but is anybody listening?

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