Disease 1 – Job 0

I’m a school teacher. I’ve been doing it for 27 years. And I lost. At least that is the way it feels. I fought this entire year and I finally couldn’t do it anymore. I was teaching high school math in an inner-city school in the midwest. It’s not Chicago – I’ve taught there. I’d take it over where I am.

I just couldn’t do it anymore. I looked around at all the other teachers and thought that …. well, I thought a lot of really negative shit about myself. And, in the end, I’m just not strong enough to deal with the crap the kids were slingin’.

We have academies in the 9th grade  where I was. And, I had the lowest functioning group. 1st grade reading level forced by my state to teach them Algebra. It’s tough when the curriculum is a reading based curriculum. But that isn’t even the problem. The discipline issues are nuts. And in the end…. I just couldn’t deal with them. I just couldn’t handle it anymore.

The anxiety was too overpowering and I was unable to walk into my room. A room full of 14 year olds. Intellectually I was furious with myself knowing that I was letting kids dictate my future. I felt like a little kid. I still feel like one now.

My illness won. After 27 years of battling mornings of anxiety and fear… it finally took over and I have finally lost.

Everyone tells me that my health is more important. I realize that it is. But when you fight daily for so long it feels like you have lost everything. I don’t care what anyone says. And there isn’t a medicine in the world that can fix that.

I don’t know if I will go back. I don’t know if I can… the option has to be there by law. So much is wrapped up into that…. I’m sure they don’t want me back. What emotions will be there next year……. I can’t really deal with it right now. I’m just not strong enough for it.

I just don’t know…… I know that I feel like I have lost to a disease that I have been fighting my entire life.  That is all I know right now.


Looking into the mirror…

During one of many group sessions a therapist suggested to all of us that we keep a picture of ourselves with us at all times. The picture had to be of us when we were really little – 3 or 4. And, we when we were feeling self destructive or depressed or talking particularly shitty to ourselves, we had to take it out and look at it…. and then ask ourselves if we would treat that little person in the picture that way.

Mine was a picture of me in kindergarten – which of course I can’t find at the moment. It was that little person that I wouldn’t want anyone treating like shit.

The idea behind the dance in the video was that he see himself as his younger self for just a moment… long enough to pull himself up out of a dark moment and carry on.

Every now and then I can still do this.

………………………………… When I want to.

When I want to. I think those words are so powerful with this disease for me.

I stayed home from work yesterday. Because I wanted to.

So easily I slip into an excuse that I need the day off to get my head straight. I’m not “feeling” well. My medicine isn’t right. I’m just not right in my head or my skin.

But the bottom line is… I just don’t want to do it. I take the easy way out.

I am so fortunate. I mean seriously fortunate. I have struggled in my past. I have scars inside and out to prove it – not that it’s necessary to have them – or to need to prove it. By the grace of whoever or whatever (totally different post) I have come through some serious situations. I am on the upside of my disease for now. And I am grateful for sure. And, because of that there is no reason for me to slack.

So easily I can use a day like yesterday to start slipping backwards… letting my head get in the way.  Listening to the negativity… rolling over and going back to sleep instead of moving forward and taking charge.

I needed to get up and look into the mirror and see my little self saying… “Get the hell outta bed and go! You have worked to hard to slide”. 

I realize that this isn’t scary and edgy – comparatively. But it is my edgy for today. I know myself and I know that I can turn a corner in about 2 seconds if I’m not careful.

Excuses are easy for me to make – easy for me to follow through on and really most people expect them from me.

I don’t want to let my little person down.

It’s hard to see her. But, she is there. She’s… he’s… there in all of us if we want to look.

But looking into the mirror is really hard…..

The Paranoia Patrol

What if I decided to trust him 100%?

What if I decided to never talk to that person ever again? 

What if I decided to walk into that meeting like it didn’t matter if those people thought my hair was a hot mess and my chosen outfit came out of an 1980’s throwback closet – except I didn’t know I was throwin’ back? 

What if …

What if I woke up one morning and chose to accept that I could?  That I could control the Paranoia Patol? 

I have had issues all my life. Welcome to the club. But, Paranoia has been the biggest Bitch of them all. 

It has created the most anxiety. It has caused more problems with relationships – of all kinds. It has ruined multiple jobs…. It has controlled my life in so many ways. 

It just comes barreling into my life like a bulldozer and says “No, no, no! I don’t care what you think! You are wrong!” 

I don’t care how in “control” of my bipolar/borderline I think I am -obviously I’m not it takes over. In fact, the better I feel, the worse my paranoia gets. 

It’s like mental health has to be outta whack all the time…. Something has to be messed up. 

Or maybe paranoia just naturally comes out of that? After fighting it for so many years your like “no way can I be feeling good! Something has to be fucked up. Let me find it!” And, if I can’t find I’ll create the shit! Oh, I am good at that!

So lately, I have been repeating those two phrases above to myself when I start to question my boyfriend – or when I have that urge to talk to the person who is really not good for me. Is it helping? Long term? No clue. My anxiety sure seems to subside though. And, we all understand how awesome it is to NOT have to deal with that little bitch of a problem. 

It’s been a long time since I’ve been here to write. Feels good to be back and get some things down. 



Anxiety, Gravity and the Deep Freeze


I don’t wanna do that.
I don’t wanna do anything.

Think it’s safe to say this may be an anxiety issue.

In the last 10 days, I’ve worked 1 of them because of the weather. Which means, because of the weather I haven’t been out much. I’ve sat and done very little. I’ve been in my head a lot. Not ever a very good idea. You melt into your chair or couch or bed.

Which isn’t to say I couldn’t go out.

I haven’t.

Not to say Paisley hasn’t asked. I went out with her yesterday.

Ok, so now gravity is pulling me down… frozen actually. You know, the anxiety FREEZE! The Anxiety gravity that pulls at you and eats at you… makes you stupid and makes you forget the strength you had just 5 minutes ago.

Fucking freeze. Fucking gravity.

So, I look out and see the snow which is falling again. I look at my phone and see the Windchill Alert for tonight on through til tomorrow after 10 am… kids can’t walk to school in that. It’s a safe bet we won’t go tomorrow either. Ah, the sweet life of the bipolar teacher. Great job! Yes, great job!

It’s freezing everywhere. Literally everywhere.

Well, Paisley isn’t freezing. She’s moving… constantly moving. Reminding me that, “it’s not so bad, Momma… let’s go play”. I think if she could put a leash around my neck she’d drag my ass outside.

Gravity… pulling me down… holding me down.

Deep thoughts while locked in the bathroom… no really!

Warning: this may sound weird, but I am locked in my bathroom and all I have is my tablet. The closest person to me is a good hour out… so…. yeaahhh…. It’s gonna be a good minute or two.

So, I decided I’d read… I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s book, “Daring Greatly”. Currently she’s talking about self love. So, naturally I got squimmish and started to shut down. Stop reading! All done! Next! Ya see, self love pisses me off. And, that’s not a good thing because the bottle of xanax is on the kitchen counter….

For whatever reason, this has been a horrible week. I woke up Thursday morning closer to wanting to die – or not wanting to live – than I can ever remember. I wonder, at times, if we are made to forget the other times we’ve been so low, but I digress. This week sucked! I fight happiness at every turn. I refuse to accept that I’m remotely worthy of pretty much anything. I have argued with my therapist to the point that he has actually told me that he’s done giving me sympathy.

As I read Brene I just couldn’t wrap my head around how uncomfortable I was and why I hate myself so much? At this point, 48 years old, is it just a habit, maybe? I mean seriously? I really think it might be. I say I’m fighting happiness at every turn yet I don’t know why… maybe I can’t figure it out because there is nothing to fight anymore.

I wonder what it would feel like if I just stepped off my back and left myself alone for a change?!?!?  Honestly, just thinking about it is kinda exciting. And, luckily the need for xanax has subsided! Yeah… still stuck in here!

I don’t know. Just something to think about.

Um… thanks for keeping me company? Ok, how awkward is that? No seriously. I’m just sitting here typing.. and reading.. ok, I was reading and then typing. I’m going back to reading now… ok, I’m going to stop now. :/

Day 2


 there is absolutely no way to say “i hate my life – fuck off” with this staring at you at 5 in the morning.

… and so my day began and life continues (the life part was not necessarily ever in question) because of Paisley. I’m certain there was some element of God involved. Therapy Man tells me that I can’t continue to question his (God’s) existence and be angry at him at the same time. I suppose he is correct.

I suppose you can’t look at that face and question his existence either.

I just don’t know.

F**king Disease


I don’t have to tell any of you what I am about to say. You are all familiar with it. But I have to say it for myself. I’m fighting so many demons. Earlier it was the Borderline Bitch. Now, the ever magical Depression Demons. It was super amazing out today. I can’t take credit for the photo because Debbie Depression had me shackled, frozen and confined to my loveseat in the Lego House. I love October and Fall more than any other season. But, everytime I thought I’d make my way to the door, actually to my room first to change out of the sweats I’ve been in since approx. 4:30 friday afternoon,  nothing… I couldn’t do it.

What the hell is that about anyway?

I have the tools. Heck I have a two-story tool cabinet with built-in bose stereo system full “how to get your ass in gear” tools for depression but, at that last nano-second, I swear to you, aliens take over every time and I panic – a non-panic attack – and I am renedered unable to function. I just say fuck it…..

The problem is today I gave up a beautiful day and an amazing opportunity to spend time with my 79 year old father. I constantly worry about the time I have with he and my mom and what do I do? I let the fucking disease rob me… again. I can fight it. I have spent my life fighting it. But today, a perfect day… I let it win. Fucking disease.

Holy O-M-G… What is my life without all of this?

Ok… so my wires are definitely crossing and the Gods of Anxiety are laughing at me right now. I am surrounded by Ogres and Orcs and other bad things that you might find in the final battle scene of The Lord of the Rings. ADHD and all of it’s glory only allowed me to watch the movie – it wouldn’t let me through the 2nd book. Anxiety and all of it’s glory is not allowing me on Google to check whether ogres were even in the books. I’d like to add other bad guys, but Ogres and Orcs is all I got. Do we understand? Shit!

I’m going back to teaching in 14 days. I finished summer school last Thursday. I had a horrible flu and thought the anxiety I was feeling then was from all of the cold medicine messing with my meds. No-no-no (waving my finger). Ya see, the cold got better. I think the cold meds are out of my system… the anxiety has gotten worse and now I’m a hot mess on the battlefield.

I mean wires are crossin’. I can’t concentrate. I DON’T want to go back to school (I’m a teacher). But, I do. But, I’m scared. That’s it. I’m scared. I have a half dozen reasons why and NONE of them a logical, valid or even real for that matter. They just aren’t even anything. I’m not even scared. Shit. I said that. I’m breathing.

Technically, I am suppose to walk away from the battlefield. This is how ACT works. Accept that the anxiety is there. *Wave* how ya doin’? It’s there. Accept that all of this bipolar bullshit is there with me. The orcs and the ogres and the bad stuff shooting at me… fightin’ with me. It’s always been there. For 48 years it’s been there. I’m well aware of that. I’ve been good all summer – with hints and dashes of this throughout. I’ve sat back in my cozy little Adirondack chair and watched the fight pretty well up to this point. But at some point just recently, I climbed the hill and joined right the heck back in! Full Freakin Force! I’m shakin… my head is clogged up again…

Wound up… wound up and ready to go… I outta be able to whoop some ogre ass and end this thing the way I’m feeling right now. So…. STOP JAMI. STOP. I have worked on this all Spring and Summer. I talk about this all the time with people. Look around you. (yes, I’m talking to myself right now – you are welcome to follow along if you’d like. But, I warn you I can have a potty mouth.). This shit is gonna happen with or without you, girl. Deep breathe. Another deep breathe. It’s there – actually it’s here all around you right now because you are choosing to let it surround you. What can I do? Step back…. step back and let it happen. I don’t have to participate in it. (Did I mention I’m crazy?) It is ok to let it go on without me. It is going to go on without me anyway. I can keep living my life. …………….. it is going to happen. It is going to happen. I am going to be anxious. I have been anxious since I was a little kid on the floor in my house on the lake… I will be anxious and have anxiety until they put me in my grave – it will never go away. BUT… I can step out of the battle… let it go on without me and move on. I know I can…. Walk back down the hill, Jami. Say see ya later…. walk back down the hill and let it go on without you.

Whew…. if you are still with me at this point… God bless you… it’s ok if you laughed your ass off… 🙂

I wonder if sometimes it’s hard for us to imagine what is next if we do get “better”?.?.?.? Or, in my case…  if I walk away and live my life while it’s going on without me. My therapist was working on this with me and said move on, live your life and let the battle continue with you. OK, I said. What am I moving on to? This has been my life – I told him. Hospitals and doctors and hiding and cutting and crying and running…. it has all been my life…. What is my life without the battle?

That’s what I’ve been working on. And, when I can finally come down from this attack today… which started when? I’m not sure… Or, should I say… when I finally walk back down that hill. I will get back to working on the life that I DO have… It’s in there. We all have a life we’ve been living. It’s the digging through the muck and dirt and crap to get to it. I’ll get back to it. I’ll stop making stupid excuses about not wanting or thinking I can go back to work next Wednesday – Jesus, that just made me take two GIANT steps back towards the bad guys. But, I’ll get there.

Holy O-M-G…. There is a life without all of this… I know there is!

Ok, thank you for listening…. Over and Out!