Thankful, Happy and Loved

I saw a post today on Facebook. Someone had written a comment on a friend’s page: “Being bipolar is a full-time job.” Boy, I hope not! I have so much to do! I try to refrain from saying I AM bipolar. I’m not mad, I’m not crazy 🙂 I have a disorder, an irregularity. Sometimes severe, usually unnoticeable to others that complicates things. That’s all I’ll admit too. Unless you find me in a crisis, then I will tell you the truth about that too. During a flare up should you like to call it that…this disorder can consume you.

Right now I am much more inconvenienced by my asthma and that is calming down, thank goodness. I feel grateful to God that during the weeks of asthma when I have had to take a steroid, which can easily cause mania to surface, it has not. They had to increase it again because of the asthma flare this past weekend and still my mood is stable. I am so thankful.

Through it all my dear husband Mike has been helpful, good, caring, thoughtful and more than a few times my hero. He got me an air purifier big enough for our great room in the apartment and a new breathing machine. He gave me my breathing treatments all last weekend when I was quite ill. Many times I realize that I do so well managing with the bipolar disorder because of him. He helps so much. Cares for me so well. Loves me so.

This Friday is our 33rd Wedding anniversary and I want to thank God for blessing us with a marriage filled with love, faith and friendship. I want to thank my wonderful dad, good friend of Mike’s dad for introducing us and a great support always to us. And I want to thank Mike for being the funniest, sweetest shy guy ever! It’s hard to catch a shy guy when you’re as extroverted as me. I don’t know how I got so blessed, but I am thankful, happy and very loved.

@copyright Libby Baker Sweiger

Photography by Heather Jeanette Jensen-Siebens

Second Chances / Amended 8/31/12

How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Today is Friday, August 31st and I am amending this post.  I have forgiven the dear nephew who was the source of so much frustration first time out. I wish I could say we have reconciled or that all is well with him, but both of these events remain in limbo.

I do wish I had never written this, but the post is out and cannot be reeled back in, so I am putting my current and hopefully my usual feelings in front of it: People are more important than things. People I love are more important than my hurt feelings. When I get hurt helping someone, that is part of the experience. I was there to help, not be treated like the Grand PooBah! People in crisis and who are confused by mental illness or drugs to hurtful things, they are not doing them, or meaning to….very often it is the illness or drug talking. That is something I am trying to educate people about and I got caught with my own ignorance showing because I was hurt.

I have hurt others when in the throws of mania or depression. We are all imperfect people. Even if you don’t have an illness like mine…we all hurt each other every day…we need to be reminded to cut each other some slack and do not judge.

Most importantly, do not judge. We are all people, not the Almighty. Frail, imperfect, full of mistakes and missteps. Forgiveness is the most important gift we can give each other. Forgiveness and love.

Bless you all. Thank you for hearing me out this morning and please let what follows be a take back!

“ONE MORE CHANCE. Words that my mother heard, more than once. Words that women debate. Whether you CAN forgive and whether you SHOULD trust. I think of all the judgment from society, friends, and family, the overwhelming consensus seeming to be that you should not grant someone who betrayed (your trust) a second chance. That you should do everything you can to keep the knife out of your back, and to protect your heart and pride. Cowards give second chances. Fools give second chances. And I am no coward, no fool.” ― Emily Giffin

I am up in the middle of the night again for several reasons. One, I had asthma last week and had to be hospitalized. The good news was they put on my discharge papers: bipolar disorder – in remission. Wow! I didn’t know they used that word with a mental disorder. I was asymptomatic in the hospital though in that department. But I am taking a steroid drug, Prednisone to help me breathe, and now I have insomnia. I hope I don’t tip hypo manic. So far so good.

I am a bit sad. Heartbroken really. And I am debating second chances. What do you think? Are you a believer in the old adage… Burned once shame on them? Burned twice…shame on you? Emily Giffin (quote above) would call me a coward and a fool for trusting a younger family member — recently out of treatment for pot smoking — with my car twice.

I was trying to help him find a job. His dad had said he would buy him a car if he got one. That was the story I understood anyway. Otherwise another family member was considering taking care of the issue. I’m good at finding jobs and helped him find a good job. He got the interview. He got the job, but he needed a car for demos and appointments. Because I was newly out of the hospital during his training week, I got tired and let him drive me home from the second day of training, after I picked him up. Then I let him borrow my car to take to the next day of training. I don’t remember putting conditions on the loan. I was really tired.

When I got my car back the passenger side door handle inside was snapped off. I drive a KIA, it was a sturdy part but hard plastic nonetheless.  I asked my new  family friend what had happened and he said the door was locked and his friend could not get it open and broke it.

He borrowed his Grandpa’s car for the last day of training and called me to ask if he could use my car for the weekend to do demos to fulfill his training quota before starting the next week. I said, sorry, I can’t do that. This is the only good car we have and I have to take care of it.

Needless to say he called me back. I was rather impressed. I thought he was using natural-born sales skills on me. He said, “Libby, may I use your car if my friend pays you for the damage to the door?” I told him that would help me, but that more importantly, I didn’t want him driving my car for personal use, or allowing any friends in the car. He understood and agreed. He would only use it for demos. And no one but him would be in the car.

Well I guess you can imagine how it turned out. I did loan it to him for demos. He had one on Friday night. He didn’t return home until midnight and went straight to bed. His Dad found pot in the glove compartment in the morning and empty beer bottles in the back. My car still has residual smoke in it. He didn’t detail it for me before returning it. He didn’t apologize. My asthma cough is back from driving the stinky thing and my heart is broken. He wasn’t allowed to accept the job Monday because he can’t drive.

I wish I could tell this young man these things because I love him. And I know he has great potential. And because he has captured my heart. I can only pray that he comes to the realization sometime soon that the friends he thinks he has are not real friends and that the people who really love him are crazily disguised as his family.

@Copyright Libby Baker Sweiger