Suicide is Not Freedom

Suicide is Not Freedom

hotlinesI’ve written about suicide plenty of times before; however, there is no such thing as writing too much about suicide, especially because it is a topic that constantly needs attention–along with mental illness.

Robin Williams’ death was absolutely tragic to me. Like me, he suffered with bipolar disorder, which has a 20% suicide rate. He also suffered with substance abuse and was more likely on the depressive spectrum of bipolar disorder. It was like the death of Ned Vizzini all over again. Why was it this way? Robin Williams was one of my favorite actors because of the humor and humanity he brought into all of his acting roles. He may have been an actor–a mere actor, some would say–but clearly his death has hurt thousands of people. For days after his death, my social media was flooded with people upset and shocked. I have never seen such mass sadness over the death of a celebrity before. I didn’t see it with Michael Jackson, and I have certainly never seen it with any other celebrity. I didn’t even see it with Ned Vizzini, even though I was mourning his death.

Suicide, I think, is the most tragic way to die. When people attempt or commit suicide, they’re experiencing intense feelings that they cannot help. If there is no one to intervene, to talk to the person about his/her suicidal feelings, more likely than not that person is going to attempt and/or commit suicide. And this is the thing about suicide people do not understand: Mental illness can be fatal. I’ve seen plenty of articles mention that it is not the suicide that kills you. It is the mental illness itself, and this is something I strongly believe in. Suicidal ideation is often a symptom of a mental illness. I’ve suffered with suicidal ideation. If it weren’t for the strong support group that I have, I most likely would have made an attempt. I’ve thought about attempting plenty of times, too, whenever I came across something so unbearable during a depressive episode that made me think things were never going to get better.

When you’re suicidal, you’re delusional. Imagine being on Ambien. A dangerous side effect from Ambien is that you can do stuff while asleep on this drug. For example, there have been stories of people who have driven while on this drug. I also had one man tell me he made some sandwiches while he was on this drug.

Suicide is like being on Ambien. You have no idea what you’re doing. You’re not thinking through things logically. It is IMPOSSIBLE to think logically while you are suicidal. Feeling suicidal is not a decision or a choice. Committing suicide is not a decision or a choice. You’re basically intoxicated on your own mental illness, and as we all know, people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol can’t exactly make reasonable choices. This is the same thing with suicide.

This is what suicide is not:

  • Cowardly
  • Brave
  • Selfish
  • Romantic
  • Liberation
  • Stupid

I want to touch upon the liberation part. There is a meme going around the internet as a tribute to Robin Williams. It is a picture of Genie from Aladdin. It says, ‘Genie, you’re free.’ While well-meaning, it is a dangerous message to send to people who struggle with mental illness and struggle with suicidal ideation as a symptom of that mental illness. Suicide is not freedom. Suicide is tragic. The idea that suicide is somehow liberation romanticizes suicide AND mental illness, neither of which need this. I am also tired of people saying that Robin Williams is in a better place. HERE ON EARTH needs to be that better place, and that starts with removing the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness.

Too many people are afraid to talk about their suicidal feelings because many out there think it is stupid and selfish–and this is what they often tell people who are suicidal. This, in fact, makes the suicidal feelings worse because telling suicidal people this does not make them feel any better or get rid of their suicidal feelings. People also need to stop saying that if such and such person had just gotten help the suicide would not have happened.

PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT TRYING TO FIND THE RIGHT MEDICATION FOR A MENTAL ILLNESS IS HARD.

It took me an entire year to find a medication that would give me long-term stabilization for my bipolar disorder. I was also seeing a therapist. During that year, I cut, I temporarily retreated to alcohol as a way to get rid of my feelings until it soon began to make me feel worse (this is something I have NEVER told people), and I idealized suicide…a lot. Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness with lifelong medication adjustments. Even when I found that stabilization, I’ve still had to have my medications adjusted. I had to go up a little bit on Seroquel to get me out of a hypomanic episode I was going through for two weeks. I had to start taking a second Klonopin to help with my irritability and anxiety, as my body became immune to the current dosage.

I am not naive enough to believe I will never suffer from some sort of bipolar episode ever again.

People always say it gets better. Well, when you have a lifelong mental illness, it does…then it doesn’t. Chronic mental illness doesn’t get better; it only gets treated. It’s like Hazel having to use Phalanxifor to keep her stage IV thyroid cancer from exploding out of control. Her cancer didn’t go away. It didn’t get better. It’s only being treated to prevent the tumors from growing. Granted Hazel probably has a higher probability of dying much sooner than someone with a mental illness–or maybe not–but the point is that you feel better, but your mental illness is not gone. It’s still with you, waiting to act up again if your current dosage stops working or your medication stops working period. This is when you are most vulnerable to suicidal thoughts is during that period where you have to have your dosage bumped or have to go through the merry-go-round of finding another medication that will give you long-term stability.

When I was hospitalized a second time, I met a woman who had been hospitalized eight times because her medications would stop working. During that time, she either had a severe episode (bipolar type I) that warranted hospitalization, or she attempted suicide. I met another who suffered with severe depression and had attempted suicide multiple times in spite of being on medication. Sometimes people get off their medications once they feel better, as they mistakenly believe their illnesses have been cured. And then sometimes medications make you feel worse before they make you feel better.

There are a myriad of factors surrounding suicide that don’t always involve this person not seeking help.

Mental illness is not something you can get over. Mental illness does not discriminate, no matter your lot in life. Mental illness is a cancer of the mind. Suicide does not discriminate, either. Last, suicide is no one’s fault.

New Focus

New Focus

I know I’ve written before about the various focuses of this blog, but I have finally found my niche in regards to what type of books I want to write about in the future when The Stars Trilogy is done. I’ve already written a book that concentrates on two asexual/aromantic characters, so this is a good opportunity for me to start writing articles for LGBTQA youth. I also plan to write a lot about mental illness, as I do plan to write books in the future with characters who have mental illnesses and how these mental illnesses affect their lives and what they ultimately want in my books. They will likely be asexual characters, as I do feel that the YA market is in dire need of characters who are asexual. Plus, it makes sense because I am asexual, and I will admit I struggle with writing characters who are sexual.

Any author updates I do will be on my Tumblr blog, as I have found a lot of success in developing an audience interested in what I have to say. At the end of some of my posts I write on this blog, I will link to author updates I have posted on my Tumblr.

I will be writing an article a week for now, as the classes I am currently taking are a bit heavier than previous classes I’ve taken since starting an online college. Doing this will give me time to develop the article, as well as time for me to let you know what my next article will be about.

By the end of this week, I hope to have a post on my feelings about Robin Williams’ suicide. It is a topic that can never be written about enough, but I hope it will contribute to the larger discussion about mental illness and the stigma with people who have mental illnesses currently face.

I will also be revamping the appearance of this blog to focus on these two topics I want my blog to be about.

 

Belittling the Struggle

Belittling the Struggle

Painting
‘Belittling the Struggle,’ a painting I did while hypomanic.

The title of this post may be a bit misleading, because I’m not sure if this is belittling the struggle, but this is actually a common comment you can find all over the internet: people are not as put together as you think they are.

This is annoying to me. It suggests that we’re all ticking time bombs walking around, every single day, absolutely miserable, ready to explode at any given time, and at some point during the day, we do explode, leaving casualties all over the place. It suggests that happiness does not exist, because when you’re not put together, let’s face it, you really aren’t happy, because not being put together suggests an uncomfortable, obnoxious anxiety, and who is happy when they’re negatively anxious? But, contrary to popular belief, happy people do exist! When I’m not being bipolar, I am put together. Surprise! Surprise! And I’m not afraid to use bipolar as a verb because I do have this disorder and therefore, I am allowed to use it in that way.

You still have bad days outside of episodes, but maybe it’s because I have perspective, but I’m definitely A LOT more put together when I’m not in an episode.

In my last post, I admitted to being jealous of all the writers who could do writerly things that I cannot do because they do not have bipolar disorder. And guess what? I know these writers. And they do not have bipolar disorder! It is not comforting to me when you tell me that these people are not as put together as I think they are. These people do not have bipolar disorder, so they cannot know what it is like to be frustrated knowing you have limitations bipolar disorder puts on you, knowing you have limitations that are out of your control. Bipolar disorder is one of the few mental illnesses that absolutely MUST be treated with medication to manage the disorder. So you’re only in control when your meds are working the way they are supposed to be working.

When you are in an episode with bipolar disorder, just about everything is out of your control, and you are pretty much miserable EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. until you can get out of that episode. Perhaps when you’re manic you’re not, but the crash is never worth it, and you’re going to be doubly miserable for all those non-miserable days you didn’t have when you were manic. Some people don’t become depressed after an episode of mania. But even if this is the case, mania can make you destroy things you didn’t mean to destroy: your bank account, relationships with people, your job, and so on and so forth.

Everyone’s struggle is different. We all struggle in different ways. But when I tell you I am jealous of all those writers who can do all those writerly things, I am flat out jealous. Even if they aren’t that put together, they’re still doing the things that I WISH I could do but can’t. That doesn’t wipe away my jealousy by telling me those people might not be as put together as I think they are. They are put together in the writing department, that much I know. And I wish I could be.

So let me put it this way:

You are a recent amputee who had legs most of your life. You were a ballet dancer at one point, and you could still be a ballet dancer had your legs not been taken from you. You look at all these people with legs and envy what you can’t do anymore. You’re mad that they can do what you can’t. They can walk, jump, run–and dance. Would you want to be told by someone that those people with legs aren’t as put together as you think they are? Probably not. So why would you tell that to someone with a mental illness angry about people who don’t have a mental illness?

I know a comment like that is coming from a place of comfort, but I just want to let you know that it’s not. It really is belittling.

Feelings are feelings, and what you’re feeling at the time should never be belittled.

 

These Limitations I Hate: This is Your Brain on Hypomania

These Limitations I Hate: This is Your Brain on Hypomania

I have been so frustrated these past three weeks: frustrated in general or frustrated for a reason. I am still frustrated. I’m calmer now that I’ve talked to my therapist, but I’m frustrated that I can’t just pull myself out of this hypomanic episode. Perhaps being hypomanic gives me this delusional belief that I can just stop it; I feel like I can. When I’m depressed, I don’t even bother thinking there is anything I can do about it other than taking my meds and waiting for them to work. But being hypomanic makes me feel like I can press the switch. And-it-will-stop.

Apparently not.

I just want to dig my heels into the sand and stop that spinny thing you find in parks. (Thingy has been a huge word in my vocabulary these past three weeks. Difficulty concentrating is fun, isn’t it?)

Right now I’m in rapid-speech mode, and anyone who has bipolar disorder can understand this. You read too fast, you speak too fast, your thoughts are alphabet soup. I was about to have a complete freak out because I couldn’t slow down the pacing of my reading for my American Lit homework, and because I couldn’t do this, I couldn’t concentrate on what I was even reading! So I had to remove myself from all distracting things, basically put myself in a sound-proof room, and just sit there and get my mind under control.

This hypomanic episode has made me hyperaware of my limitations–and I LOATHE them. I was pretty much convinced that I was never going to have any sort of manic episode again, and that if I did, it’d last only a day and I’d be back to an even keel. For the past few weeks, I started thinking that FINALLY I am able to write late at night. This is great. Fantastic! My brain is oddly not tired.

Nope nope nope. That’s all hypomania–

And it’s delusional that I thought I’d never have an episode again.

My therapist does believe it’s my meds, among a combination of things, but usually when my meds stop working, I go back to being depressed. Not like this. This episode would be great if I’d been depressed for a while, but it sucks when I’ve been stable, and suddenly I’m like this. I prefer it over depression, but during my blow-up moments, I really do want to kill myself to get rid of those feelings, because it’s not like my brain wants me to sleep to help me escape those feelings.

And I don’t want to be. I’m irrational, snappish, rage-filled, lack inhibitions, have no emotional stability, feel reckless, and I hate it. I seriously do. I like being rational. I hate irrationality in myself.

So what limitations do I need to accept?

I compare myself to all my author friends on Facebook. These authors are able stay up for hours and get stuff done. Drink coffee. Get stuff done. Stay up late. Get stuff done. Then go to bed late or function on little sleep. And get stuff done. And promote and all this other stuff that comes with the territory of being an author. The only good thing this episode is doing for me is allowing me to work on the promotional aspect, but it’s such crap, because it’s not like I can normally do this–because I just can’t due to my mental health!

They get books finished, get books subbed off, have more books published. Make more sales than me because they can do all this and more and I can’t. And I hate it. I’m jealous. I’m super, super jealous, because I realize I can’t do any of those things. And so I’m bitter and frustrated and full of rage, and these feelings are coming from being hypomanic. And, yeah, these feelings themselves worsen hypomania, but, hey, that’s the irony, isn’t it? Things trigger hypomanic rage, and when you realize that trigger, you get frustrated by that trigger, so you just get angrier.

Not only do I have to go to bed because I either have work or school work or ballet, but if I stay up all night, there is a chance I could go manic, even stable on meds–and I can’t risk that. I just can’t. And if I drink too much coffee, I could go manic. What people don’t understand about the coffee aspect is that coffee wakes up a normal brain, and yeah, the consumption of more coffee can make that brain wired. But the continual consumption of coffee for a brain with bipolar disorder makes that brain manic. Mania isn’t just about lots of energy, but reckless thinking, oftentimes delusional. You feel riskier, want to do things you would normally never do, your speech is rapid, you can’t shut up; you get ticked off when someone tries to slow you down; you don’t want to slow down–you want to keep going and going and going. You enjoy things TOO much. You want to spend money because it’s something to do (and believe me, I want to blow my bank account, but I’m keeping my debit card in the kitchen cabinet for a reason). Any little thing can trigger something in your manic episode. You can also be arrogant. And I’m feeling arrogant right now, mostly in regards to my job, and I’m usually a very humble person, but I just have this intense arrogance that makes me feel like I’m THE best, just because my boss has given me permission to be in charge at events where I’m working with newer people and putting me in charge of re-training the new girl because another senior co-worker of mine, yet again, is slipping through the cracks, for whatever bizarre reason. It happened to one co-worker, and he is no longer with us! And I am hyperaware of this, and I know that I am not THE best, but knowing and feeling are two completely different things. I FEEL the best, hot stuffs, the queen of my job, but I KNOW I am not.

Just today when I was working Boshears, I was watching the grand finale where there were seven planes, all in sync, and my mood suddenly skyrocketed from the ambivalence and whatever attitude I had prior to seeing it. Then suddenly I felt risky. I wanted to be risky. I didn’t know what I wanted to do to be risky. Driving fast was one thought, but I don’t want to say I was speeding down the road. I was just far less tolerable of cars not doing the speed limit, so my lack of inhibitions made it so that I wasn’t afraid to pass every slow car I came upon, even on a three-lane road. I’m just normally a very inhibited person and accept that some people can be timid drivers.

I’m so, so, so mad that I can’t do what all those authors can do, with being able to write through the night and being able to subsist on coffee without losing it and being able to function on little sleep without losing it the way a bipolar brain would and being able to be on social media throughout the night to promote the crap out of themselves and all that other…ugh, I’m just going to stop here.

Contrary to popular belief, when you’re manic and you write, your writing isn’t going to be that great, because most of what you write is going to come from being manic, not from a rational brain. A lot of manic writers will tell you they love mania because they use that energy to be more productive, but then they come down from that episode, realize their writing is crap, and realize they weren’t as productive as they thought they were. And if they were productive in their writing, they generally find its crap. Maybe there are a FEW lucky ones who can do it, but it’s generally not so, no matter how aware you are of it.

Mania is not rationality, no matter how aware you are that you are manic, no matter how much you are able to draw that energy in.

You’re. Still. Manic.

My therapist decided it was a good idea I not get back to my contemporary book until I come out of this episode. And she’s right. And I hate that she’s right. Because I love this book. But I don’t want to use my energy to write it with this awareness that the letters pouring from my brain could be coming from a place of hypomania. It would be different if it were a rough draft, because I would then let my brain off the tracks, but these are REVISIONS. I NEED my rational brain.

But I have to accept these stupid, crappy, awful limitations. Right now I just want to pick up a book, throw it against a wall, and scream, “I hate this! I hate this! I hate you. I hate everyone who can do what I can’t!”

To be honest, writing this post is making me angrier, but that’s hypomania for you. Hopefully people who find this post will find something in it that currently I’m not getting from it, other than being able to pour out my brutal honesty so that people can understand a hypomanic brain, because all of these words you’ve just read are not from ME.

 

 

 

Terrified to Write

Terrified to Write

Yes, I decided to do two posts in a single day. I was originally going to have this post with my most recent one, but I realized the post would have been too long, and the two topics were too varied. So if you haven’t read the last post, I am still having issues with hypomania. Usually you’re pretty confident when you’re in this state, but, as I’ve said, I’m just irritable/rage-filled. And now that I’m cognizant I am in this mode, I am terrified to write.

When I was severely manic in December of 2012, I wrote 15,000 words in one day, thinking it was the best stuff ever. When I came down from the episode, I realized it was completely awful. I couldn’t believe how delusional I was to write all that crap and think it was going to be worth anything. Now I didn’t care about being manic then. It was so much better than being depressed, so of course I was going to welcome it. I didn’t care how crazy it made me. I. Just. Felt. Good. When you are depressed, you will do anything to feel good, and for those with bipolar disorder, mania is one of those things.

But when I am in a stable place and I become hypomanic or manic, I don’t want to be in that place, because I felt fine before. My judgment was sound, I could concentrate, my brain was all there. I’m not depressed; therefore, I do not want this episode. It’s not that I’m worried about crashing from it, either, because I doubt I’m going to fall into depression. It’s that my concentration and judgment are shot, and I’m having a difficult time regulating my emotional responses to things I perceive as negative. Or trying not to be anxious or angry for no reason.

But I am terrified to write. I’m so afraid that everything I write is going to come from a place of instability. I know that a lot of people say mania makes them more productive, but when it comes to writing, for most manic people (from what I’ve researched) who are writers, the mania actually does skew their ability to write–and often not in a good way. I am afraid to touch my most recent novel, to even outline it, even though I REALLY want to. It’s my third revision (because I’ve changed the genre of the book). I just don’t want to touch it. I don’t want to break it. I don’t want to come down from this episode, look at what I’ve written, and hate it so much that I want to start over. I’m already on chapter four, and while I did begin this book in the midst of the episode, I don’t want to continue, not until I’m stable again. Sure, I might look at it again and not hate it, but I’m scared to take that risk right now.

I really am.

I’m having difficulties concentrating, and I’m scared these difficulties could be messing up my writing. I’ve been having issues with trying to find words I should know (so I’ve been referring to everything as thingy), and I can’t talk for long without stopping because my mind is moving faster than my mouth. When I talk, though, you wouldn’t think that because I don’t have rapid speech, but my mind is still on a fast train.

Hypomania and How I’m Trying to Deal With It

Hypomania and How I’m Trying to Deal With It

I was really worried that I was getting depressed again, because I started exhibiting some symptoms that started the week before last. At the same time, depression didn’t make sense because I wasn’t feeling the usual symptoms: hopelessness, apathy, loss of appetite, lack of desire to get out of bed, and suicidal ideation (which is an unfortunate symptom for me when I am depressed). I was/am just intensely irritable, snappish, have irrational reactions to thinks I shouldn’t get frustrated about, foul mouthed, and just overall feel guilty and depressed over my reactions–but it’s not depression.

I began exhibiting these intense reactions when I realized I wasn’t getting full commission at my job. I went out into the living room, screaming my head off and cursing, thinking someone had screwed me over. My much-loved boss brought me down from this and made me feel so much better when we figured out what it was: a hole in the week. I also had a panic attack trying to figure out Excel, crying like someone had died, and I knew the reaction was super irrational, but I couldn’t control it. I feel so ashamed, too, for my explosive reaction on Facebook over this frustration with Excel. My dad had to bring me down, and he even admitted there was something wrong with my reactions. I just didn’t know what was wrong. I thought maybe it was because the Klonopin hadn’t kicked in yet, but the moodiness kept continuing. It wouldn’t go away. I was still snappish, still irritable, but I was doing my best to keep it under control. But increasingly I wanted to stay away from people.

For example, at work lately, whenever somebody made a smart remark about the car, I started cursing them beneath my breath. That isn’t who I am. The good thing, though, is that I never lashed out. I was also extremely, extremely ticked off that someone at work had lost my paperwork, which meant I lost appointments that could have been potential commissions. I couldn’t let this go, even at work. And when I saw the numbers from Monday, I wanted to cry Tuesday because I left with zero, even though I was really putting myself out there to get something.

Then I began Access, and I stopped at number four. I wanted to ram my head through my computer and scream. I just eventually broke down crying because I couldn’t figure out number 4. Then I just had to talk myself down from the freak out, as I knew my dad would help me, no matter what. So I just stopped the Access and got back to my novel, which has been soothing for me as of late. I just keep thinking about that one publisher that follows me on Tumblr, and the fact they love my posts so much they constantly re-blog my stuff. And I know my book would be a good fit for them, so I keep that in mind whenever I go into this book.

At my Wednesday meeting, I was acting out, not in the sense that I was being disruptive, but that I was talking about all the things that were currently making me angry. I talked about how leaving with 0 appointments made me so angry that I wanted to do this and this and this. I also talked about how mad I was that, in my words, “some idiot took my appointments and left them in an office that clearly does not deal with appointments. What moron would take my appointments out of the mail box and think to not stick them on my boss’s desk? I had appointments that were supposed to go out on Tuesday, and all because of that idiot, they’ll have to be re-scheduled, and clients rarely re-schedule. And my boss was searching all day for my appointments. Freaking idiot.” I just kept going on and on about this person. As I’m writing this that anger is flushing through me again. My co-workers knew there was something up, so I had to explain to them what was going on, then had to talk myself down from it.

This was something I did on the fifth day of my stay at Summit Ridge, when I had no idea why my mood suddenly changed. I was so excited to go home, then I stopped caring about going home because I was turning into this burgeoning ball of rage. When my parents and fiance visited, all I could talk about was why I hated that place. Then on the last day, I was absolutely irritated, loudly voicing why I hated Summit Ridge to everyone in my group–when the counselor wasn’t in there. My Summit Ridge buddies knew there was something up, and they had figured I’d been misdiagnosed, but I didn’t understand at the time. I just thought depression was creeping in, but it was actually hypomania.

So Wednesday I saw my pdoc this week, told her I thought I was going into a depressive episode, then gave her the list of symptoms. She actually told me it was hypomania, which stunned me–and made a lot more sense and a little relieved, because depression is awful, and I’d rather be hypomanic because it’s much easier to treat. But Lamictal is a really good medication to stabilize you. Not to mention my Klonopin should have been tempering the anxiety and all of that that accompanies the nasty side of hypomania. She thinks it’s likely the fact that I started with 100 mg of Seroquel and brought it down to 25 mg. It could be that. Seroquel is an antipsychotic, after all, used to treat mania. But I also think something triggered it. I just can’t pinpoint what.

But I’ve e-mailed my therapist to see about setting up an appointment with her, if she gets back to me, so I can figure out what to do to not trigger an episode. Even with medications, manic episodes can still trigger. For now, these are the steps I’m taking to keep my hypomania from taking control of me:

  • Whenever I feel like I’m about to panic because I can’t do something, I step away from that thing and have an internal dialogue with myself. Even though Dad had helped me figure out number four yesterday, I still felt that intense reaction wanting to come. So I left and asked Dad for help. Then Dad would periodically check on me, which kept me calm throughout the assignment. Well, calm for the most part, even though I still felt that ball of anxiety knitting a lovely scarf for me.
  • People, people, people. They can aggravate me for no reason at all. I called my fiance yesterday to give him a status report on my ankle (which I’ll talk about in a later post, depending on the results of the MRI), and I started getting very irritated with talking to him because I felt like he just wanted to go on and on and on. I stopped the conversation right there and told him I needed to go inside and practice some things before the start of dance class, before my tone escalated to convey my irritability. When I stepped into that studio, it’s like I wasn’t even hypomanic anymore. When I’m at a ballet studio, all I can think about is ballet in that moment, and nothing else matters. It calms people with bipolar disorder down, gets rid of that energy building up inside of us, whether it’s anxious/irritable energy, or hyped-up energy that makes you think you’ve drank a bunch of Red Bulls (which I’ve never had, as I’m not fond of energy drinks). So when I came home, the irritability was pretty much gone. However, an issue with any kind of mania is that you don’t want to go to sleep. It’s not always an inability to sleep, but a lack of desire to sleep, and I didn’t want to sleep. I just kept wanting to do things that weren’t exactly productive. Even so, I knew that if I didn’t, I could have launched myself into a full-blow manic episode. It happened one day when I was released from Summit Ridge with my misdiagnosis. I was hypomanic for about the first week, I think, and then I never went to bed one night and launched myself into a full-blown manic episode. The energy was so insane that I walked out into the freezing cold, without only a jacket, a light shirt, a skirt, and a pair of stockings along with running shoes, and ran around the entire block. The energy still wasn’t gone.
  • Self-talk. As I’ve mentioned above, I’ve been having internal dialogues with myself, trying to be cognizant that my behavior, my reactions, are a result of hypomania. Once you know this, you can start taking care of the problem. It’s difficult, but it’s like ballet. Once you know what you’re doing wrong in class, even if it’s difficult to fix, you’re still on the right path. So being aware that I’m hypomanic means I can be more cognizant of what sets me off so I can talk myself down from it.

 

Year in Review: 2013 Edition

Year in Review: 2013 Edition

This is Wind.
This is Wind.

2013 started out with sort of a bang, but it’s overall been a fairly crap year for me, because I spent a lot more time being depressed than not, and have considered, on several occasions, ways to take my own life. Thankfully I didn’t, but as you all know from my last post, I’m still scared that I’m going to, once again, be caught up in those feelings, make an attempt, and have that attempt be successful. But there were moments of light and hope, and I’m going to share them with all of you.

  1. The Roar of Love. I did not expect to be casted in this recital not only because I was an adult ballet dancer and too old for the company, but because I had not done ballet for half of the semester ever since ballet started in August (but EVERYONE can be in this recital, even the alumni who have not danced there in several years). I spent my time being depressed, missing a week because of said depression, missing another week, I think, and missing an entire month because of hospitalizations. But I was casted, and I was so happy that I cried, because one of my dreams was being en pointe and then performing in a recital en pointe. I also didn’t expect to get the roles that I did, and one of those roles was Wind, which involves a lot of bourrees and being en pointe for mostly every scene. It showed me that Mr. Ron, owner of the studio, had the confidence that I would be able to handle such a role in spite of being en pointe for half a year and missing an entire month and a half of pointe class.
  2. When Stars Die. Okay, as you all know, I jumped headfirst into the querying process. It arguably makes me an amateur, but you know what? I knew the risks of going with a publisher who did not yet have a track record of publication; however, they did have authors. But I am no longer an amateur, and you can’t say that I am, not when AEC Stellar has proven to be a very smart, flexible company, with fantastic transparency. I feel like I could ask my publisher how many times he’s been toWSD2 the bathroom in his life, and he’ll tell me (okay, maybe not that, but you get the point). I was thrilled to get the contract because it meant my dream was finally coming true, after 15 years of waiting for it to come to fruition. Now my dream is to be a bestseller, so that is what I’m striving for next. Of course, I know that one trilogy being published doesn’t guarantee other works will be taken on, as ALL writers are freelance, except for maybe those who self-publish, but having credentials under your belt makes the process a little bit easier.
  3. Freelance Editing. It had been a while since I’d flexed my freelance muscles, but it was really nice to be able to edit a sample for someone who was impressed with what I did. That same someone also sent the sample off to a professional editor who works with the Big 5, and our comments roughly aligned, so it told me that I definitely had the skills necessary to be one. I was also able to edit two manuscripts this year for people. My first client wanted me to edit his again because he had a positive experience with me the first time, but I was, once again, struggling with depression and had to recommend someone else for him–but he was grateful. However, the experience with my last client was horrible, but I at least got my money, and I will write a blog post about that, mostly pointing to what clients looking for an editor should expect (and what you should and should not do when interacting with your editor). In conclusion, my last client was unable to handle my criticism, and I did apologize to him that he did not like my feedback.
  4. Ballet Summer Intensive. I was both terrified and excited to take this intensive because I was finally starting the ‘Big Girl’ level, where you really start to begin to dance instead of just doing tiny, short exercises where you worked on mastering the technique of one or two moves. With Mrs. Renee Toole, it was fun and showed me that I had improved since taking juniors the year before–I had been taking the junior class during Roar because I had to since I had rehearsal right after, but the class still intimidated me every time I took it. With Mr. Ron, the class was tougher, and I royally screwed up on the across-the-floor exercise he gave us, but I practiced it and nailed it the next time we had to do it. I was also okay with his center work, but the intensive made me realize that I was indeed ready for the junior level.
  5. Ballet Senior Class. For the longest time this semester I was terrified to take this class–the highest level–because I had no idea what to expect. But I finally decided to dive in headfirst with my junior buddies, and the class was not as bad as I thought it’d be. In fact, it was a million times easier than Mr. Viator’s junior classes, where he gives us ridiculously long exercises I have a hard time remembering. I’ve taken the senior class twice, and I am no longer scared to do so. In fact, I welcome it because I got tired of taking the Petite II class, which no longer offers anything to me any more, other than allowing me to work on technique. However, by the time you reach my level, a challenge class often improves you more than a lower class. So I will be taking it from now on and will take one senior and one junior class starting over the summer. I have no idea what the senior class will be like for Mr. Ron, as he primarily utilizes the Russian technique, something I am not used to, but I do welcome the challenge.
  6. Pointe Work. I am so happy with how much I have improved with pointe work since beginning it a year and a half ago. I can now just about do everything en pointe, including Italian Fouettes. I can’t do regular fouettes just yet, which are included in the video at the end, but hopefully I can at least do a few by the end of the ballet year. Otherwise, I can do just about everything else,even though I have to work on cleaning up some of the technique, like the Italian ones. The funniest thing, however, is it has become a practical tradition for me to fall at least once when practicing a move before ballet class actually begins. And it happens every single class. But I don’t mind these falls because it means I am giving everything I’ve got, even though it’s often too much. But you at least learn your limits by doing it that way, and I am not afraid to fall. Not afraid at all. I am also not afraid of injuries, although I will be in a lot of pain if one happens. But, hey, injuries are part of any athletic endeavor.
  7. The Stars Are Infinite. I am very, very pleased to have finally finished this novel after nine years of working on it. This novel has been such an arduous undertaking, the second most difficult novel I have ever worked on. And, no, When Stars Die was a relatively easy novel to write, to be honest. But I know some1497758_565921593490151_1533230412_n novels are going to be easier to write than others. However, TSAI was so difficult to work on because you want the second book in a series to outshine your first book, and I hope it will, because I REALLY considered the criticism of a 3 star reviewer who is looking forward to the sequel and has faith that it will be better. So I treated her as my number one fan in that moment when doing serious edits to TSAI. When Stars 1465364_666263030061307_580854722_nDie, even though it has only 33 reviews so far, has mostly received praise, and I think that by the time you receive the 30th review, you roughly know where your novel stands–at least I hope. I am waiting for the 70th review to do a signed giveaway of one of my paperback WSD copies. I do know books who have about 30 reviews and have low-average ratings. I consider average to be in the 3 star range, or the 3 point something range. But, yes, I REALLY hope the sequel outshines the first because a lot of new authors like me have a hard time trying to do that.
  8. All Shattered Ones. This book, by far, is the most difficult to write because it stems from something very personal and deep inside of me, that being of depression and suicidal ideation. The basic premise is that a young boy struggling with chronic depression takes his own life, being urged by a haunting voice to do so. After taking his life, he wakes up in another world called Silvaria, a place for people who have lived painful lives, and need another chance in a place that is meant to be a paradise for them. In Silvaria, there are beings called Lightveils who help these people overcome their tragedies. They then help these people become Lightveils themselves so they can continue the cycle of helping those just like them. However, the voice still haunts Gene, and despite being in a promising place of paradise, the voice drives Gene to self-harm, worsens his depression, and makes him wish for a death that is impossible in a world where death does not exist. It originally started out as When Heaven Was Blue, the character having the same name. But Gene was saved from a suicide attempt by a puppeteer who took him to a place called Stolentime that would allow Gene to heal from his mental illness. He was stalked by the same haunting voice, but I didn’t like the set-up, even though I was slightly satisfied with the direction of the story. However, I do draw from bits and pieces of WHWB to form ASO, so ASO is the third draft.
  9. Completing My Last Year as a Junior. I had to miss an entire year of school because of bipolar disorder so I could focus on getting better. Well, when I registered for the fall, I was feeling great; however, when the semester began, I was back to being depressed, so it was a very, very difficult struggle to get through the semester, and I had so many doubts that I would survive it because there were times where I felt like I needed to be hospitalized again. In fact, my therapist told me that if I continued to worsen, I would have to be so that I could be kept safe from myself. But that didn’t happen. I struggled through mid-terms, having several panic attacks and crying spells when studying for these, and flying through finals, when I finally found stability by the end of the semester. Now I am a senior in college, which I should have been a year ago, but I will hopefully graduate one of these days. So I survived despite the intense depression.

Well, this has been my year in review with my most memorable moments in spite of the dark times I dealt with. What are some of your most memorable moments from this year?

Merry Christmas, and let’s all make 2014 our best!

The Devastation Mental Illness Brings: Good-Bye, Ned Vizzini

The Devastation Mental Illness Brings: Good-Bye, Ned Vizzini

In case all of you haven’t heard the news, YA author, Ned Vizzini, died a few days ago. He committed suicide, but I won’t go into the details because you can simply click the link over his name.

His most notable book is It’s Kind of a Funny Story, which was made into a feature-length film, and a novel that I hold very close to my heart. I do consider Ned Vizzini somewhat of a celebrity, if authors are even allowed to be called such. But a celebrity’s death has never affected me so deeply as his. I was sad when beloved children’s book author Diana Wynne Jones died, because I loved her books, but she was also in the prime of her life, and was able to spend a good bit of her life living her dream as an author of beloved children’s books. She lived what was hopefully a fulfilling life, leaving this incredible magic behind that I hope people of all ages will enjoy.

I saw a Tweet that said ‘So sad about Ned Vizzini. His family is in my prayers.’ My heart immediately jumped to my throat because I knew exactly what happened, because it always seems to happen to artists who suffer with mental illness. Always. I frantically typed his name into Google, and there it was, my fear confirmed: Ned Vizzini died at the age of 32. I immediately burst into tears, the kind of tears where it’s hard to breathe, and I have never, ever experienced such grief from a celebrity’s death before. Ever. I only briefly talked to Ned Vizzini on Twitter before, and a Tweeter and I even made a little hastag for him called Fanzini (which, by the way, is totally spelled wrong). He was even on board with it, as you can see in the picture below.

Screenshot (16)

It wasn’t this brief chat on Twitter that did me in. Not at all.

Before I was hospitalized at Summit Ridge for self-harm and suicidal ideation, I read It’s Kind of a Funny Story in order to have a better grasp of what it was like to be a young, depressed person being admitted into a mental hospital for the first time. I was terrified, as well as severely depressed, and I finished the entire book while waiting for the ambulance that would take me to Summit Ridge, which is a few hours from where I live. There were no beds available in my area.

The story comforted me in ways that no one who has ever been hospitalized with mental illness can ever understand. The fact that it was semi-autobiographical, 85% of the book being based off Ned’s experiences, made it all the more precious to me. It was especially the last paragraph in the book that was so uplifting for me (it’s long, just warning):

“Run. Eat. Drink. Eat more. Don’t throw up. Instead, take a piss. Then take a crap. Wipe your butt. Make a phone call. Open a door. Ride your bike. Ride in a car. Ride in a subway. Talk. Talk to people. Read. Read maps. Make maps. Make art. Talk about your art. Sell your art. Take a test. Get into a school. Celebrate. Have a party. Write a thank-you note to someone. Hug your mom. Kiss your dad. Kiss your little sister. Make out with Noelle. Make out with her more. Touch her. Hold her hand. Take her out somewhere. Meet her friends. Run down a street with her. Take her on a picnic. Eat with her. See a movie with her. See a movie with Aaron. Heck, see a movie with Nia, once you’re cool with her. Get cool with more people. Drink coffee in little coffee-drinking places. Tell people your story. Volunteer. Go back to Six North. Walk in as a volunteer and say hi to everyone who waited on you as a patient. Help people. Help people like Bobby. Get people books and music that they want when they’re in there. Help people like Muqtada. Show them how to draw. Draw more. Try drawing a landscape. Try drawing a person. Try drawing a naked person. Try drawing Noelle naked. Travel. Fly. Swim. Meet. Love. Dance. Win. Smile. Laugh. Hold. Walk. Skip. Okay, it’s gay, whatever, skip. Ski. Sled. Play basketball. Jog. Run. Run. Run. Run home. Run home and enjoy. Enjoy. Take these verbs and enjoy them. They’re yours, Craig. You deserve them because you chose them. You could have left them all behind but you chose to stay here. So now live for real, Craig. Live. Live. Live. Live.”
This last paragraph was a piece of hope for me. Not only had Craig been able to accept his situation and move on from it, but it was also directly from Ned himself–Ned, who suffered from chronic depression; Ned, who wrote that book and others to inspire young people struggling with these things; Ned, who was a mental illness advocate; Ned, who was older than me and survived and seemed to be doing well and seemed like he would always do well and fight through the depressive moments and live and live and live to give hope to people like me. I even once told him on Twitter that his story helped me when I was being admitted into a mental hospital, and he told me that he was glad it did.
It would have been different if Ned had died in a car accident. I would have thought it tragic, I might have even cried a little bit, but, no, he took his own life, after all that hope and light and love he gave through his books alone. Suicide, to me, is the most tragic thing in the world, more tragic than war or famine or any other terrible non-suicide-related thing. Suicide is standing at the edge of the universe and realizing that the universe isn’t going to keep expanding for you anymore the way that it should. Suicide is saying that there is nothing left, that there is no more hope, no more light, no more love. Suicide is also saying that none of that matters. Some individuals may feel suicidal after a break-up, a divorce, or some other earth-shattering thing. But for people like me, suicide is a diagnosis, a reality we struggle with in conjunction with our mental illnesses. Suicide, AKA suicidal ideation, is a symptom of a mental illness. In my case, It’s Bipolar Type I.
I couldn’t believe how hard I was crying. I cried over my grandpa’s death, but not as hard as Ned’s. I cried over my former boss’s death, but not as hard as Ned’s. I cried over my dog’s death, but not as hard as Ned’s. And I knew why I was crying, too: because I know what it feels like to be at the edge of the universe where you can see no more stars.
I’m sensitive to suicide. I cry whenever I hear that someone ended his/her own life. I cry when I hear songs implying suicide. I cried when I wrote a scene in All Shattered Ones about my main character committing suicide (it’s not a spoiler).
Ultimately, I cried for a somewhat selfish reason. This is something I have never, ever admitted to anyone, not even my therapist, but I’m finally coming out with it because I want you all to understand what was behind those tears I was crying when I found out about Ned’s death. Bipolar disorder is forever. It’s not going away. It claims lives every year, in higher numbers than many other mental illnesses because of the devastating highs and lows. I was on Remeron first, and it gave me back who I was. But then it made me severely manic, hospitalizing me again. Then I was put on Trileptal, which did nothing for my depression, but did put a stop to the mania. It took almost half a year before I got put on Abilify, and then I thought the darkness had finally ended, that it was gone for good, so long as I kept taking this little miracle pill. But then it stopped. For good. Upping the dose did nothing, and I was back in that darkness again, suicidal ideation once again taking residence in my mind. Not every person with a mental illness struggles with suicidal feelings. For many, the thought never crosses their minds. But for others like me, who see mental illness as an intolerable thing to live with, it does…and it did every day.
Then I was put on Lamictal. It didn’t work right away. I believe it took about two months for it to finally start working, and now I am back to being stable–but now I can no longer believe that that stability will remain. Oh, certainly I hope it’ll just take a rise in dosage to help, but what’s going to happen to me in those in-between moments, those moments when I am temporarily depressed, when I am seeing the endless chasm of no return, when I see that there is no way to go up?
This is the thing I most fear more than anything else: I fear that ultimately my life will end by my own hand. Do I want it to? No. But sometimes I feel like it’s not a choice. And I have never told anyone this.
It sounds illogical, irrational, maybe even a little silly. After all, how can someone such as me who seems to have it all, who has endured depression before, who has a tight, loving support system, fall prey to such a terrible thing? That’s what everyone thinks…until it’s them. That’s what I thought about Ned Vizzini, that’s what people think about so many artists who took their own lives. One of my favorite singers, Emilie Autumn, attempted to take her own life. Thank goodness she failed. But I’m also afraid that one day she’ll try again…and succeed. I haven’t attempted yet, but I’m scared that one day I will–and one day, that attempt may succeed.
So, ultimately, that’s where the tears stemmed from. If Ned Vizzini, someone who lived his life to help others, to inspire others to fight their own battles, ends his own life, who’s to say that I won’t one day? Of course I don’t know what the future holds, but for someone like me, I HAVE to take it one day at a time. I can no longer look at the future anymore and see a world full of promise and hope that I’m going to be at this stage of life doing this thing and loving this thing and being this thing. I can’t do that, because I have to accept that bipolar disorder limits things. People with chronic mental illnesses have low stress thresholds. Even with proper medication, we can still fall prey to depression if even a little bit of stress is applied. I have to be on anti-anxiety meds for crying out loud, even though I am stable depression-wise. Otherwise, I tend to get panicky when I have a full day.  
And there is nothing I can do about that. So I sometimes irrationally await the day when my dosage of Lamictal stops helping me. And then I wonder ‘what is going to happen to me then? How am I going to feel? Just how severe will it be? Will I be tired of the constant tug-of-war battle and just think it’s better to quit on this life?’ My therapist tells me I’m so brave and strong, but Ned Vizzini seemed like he was, too.
My Lowest Point as an Author After the Book Launch

My Lowest Point as an Author After the Book Launch

Depression sucks, and this is the only way I can start this post. In fact, bipolar disorder sucks because, I don’t know, I’ve learned that bipolar depression and depression are different, in that in bipolar depression, irritability and rage seem to be more common–and believe me, I have plenty of irritability to go around. I hate the irritability because it makes it so difficult to connect with people, and I tend to get snappish. Sometimes I just want to break down crying when I’m around my fiance because he is being so attentive and loving, and I just can’t reciprocate because I am literally paralyzed by my depression and irritability. I desperately want to talk to him and cry in front of him, but I feel so paralyzed. 

In any case, Shannon Thompson wrote about one of her lows as an author, and I thought I would do the same, even though my lows have to do with depression. 

During the launch week, I didn’t feel the sting of depression at all because I was on Cloud 9 with all the exposure my book was receiving. I knew it was being bought, and even if my Amazon ranking sucks right now, I’m confident the e-book will do well–or I should be confident–because I plan to do different giveaways for the book blitzes–like Amazon gift cards instead of e-ARCs. I feel like that by the time the e-book releases, an e-ARC might discourage people from buying the e-book due to the fact that they just might wait around until the giveaway is over with.

WhenStarsDie-3-1

In spite of When Stars Die being published, I have fallen from the high I had last week. The launch week was wonderful and beautiful and gave me the confidence I needed as a writer, but now that I’m done with that, I am filled again with crippling self-doubt: What if my book doesn’t sell as well as I want it to? What if my royalty check blows, pointing to the fact that my book isn’t selling well? What if, even when the e-book comes out, all the people who can’t wait to read it never buy it because of monetary reasons or they have other books they want to read first? In fact, in spite of being on YA Interrobang, Veronica Roth’s book obviously stole the show from all the other authors’ books who were being released that day, like Mary Gray’s The Dollhouse Asylum. Even though my book is in a store, is anyone buying it? I know one person bought it, and that put me on a super huge high during launch week.

When Monday came, I could barely get out of bed, so I stayed home, stayed in bed practically all day, slept, and missed class because I just couldn’t do it. Even now I can barely do it, but I have to so I don’t get dropped from my classes with a fail. I even so desperately wanted to cut myself–mostly my thighs and wrists–but I didn’t do it, ONLY BECAUSE MY LEOTARD AND TIGHTS WOULD NEVER COVER THEM UP. If it weren’t for ballet, I may have fallen prey to the blade. 

It wasn’t the self-doubt of my book that brought upon this intense depression. It was just falling from the high I had during that week, the awesomeness ebbing away, and me just feeling the depression once more. It’s discouraging because my Lamictal is currently at 150 mg, and I don’t notice an improvement at all. Not one single improvement–not even a tiny bit. While I’m on Klonopin and it gives me patience, I feel like I need to up my dose now, because the previous week, it made my head clear and didn’t allow the depression to incapacitate me. And this terrifies me because what if I have to have electroshock therapy, like Esther in The Bell Jar? I know that’s a totally irrational thought considering there are plenty of meds for bipolar individuals out there, but Abilify worked for a time, then crapped out. Upping the dose of Abilify did not improve my mood, so Abilify stopped working period.

There are a few lucky individuals out there whose meds work for a long time and seem to work for the rest of their lives. My grandmother is on Lamictal, and while she is not blood-related, she seems to be holding strong with it.

Why can’t I be one of those lucky individuals? 

Everything has been so hard because of this stupid depression. While this semester is easier than the semester I had in the fall, it’s still so difficult to get out of bed and get things going. I still have this strong feeling that I’ll end up in a psyche ward again. I don’t know why. Sometimes I have this sense of impending doom that I’m going to do something awful to myself, even though I have yet to do so.

As soon as I get up and start my day, all I can think about is going right back to bed and napping until dinnertime–the Klonipin at least lets me nap comfortably. And even with ballet, my thoughts constantly switch between going and not going. I know going ups my mood, but it’s the going that is so difficult because all I do is want to sleep, sleep, sleep, so I don’t have to feel the depression raging in my brain.

It really sucks, because even though I have a book blitz going on this week, nothing can get me out of this. I have even been writing on The Stars Are Infinite, and I like the direction it’s going, but it’s not doing a thing for me.

Like Shannon, I am trying so hard to up my mood, to be put back on the high I was on during launch week, but I can’t do it. I simply can’t do it. It’s this stupid flaw in my chemistry that makes it all so difficult. It’s this stupid flaw in my chemistry that brings upon the self-doubt, because I’m certain if I wasn’t depressed, I would be totally blowing up my social media right now, being chatty with everyone, being personable, being proud of my freaking book. But, no, that doesn’t want to happen and isn’t going to happen, probably not until the e-book’s launch, or until my freaking meds start working. 

So I want to leave you all with a picture quote from When Heaven Was Blue (it says His Vanity in the corner, but that is no longer the current title of the book), a contemporary fantasy I hope to get back to work on in December (involving mental illness, of course), because this is exactly how I feel right now. gene

But in spite of feeling this way, I don’t want to discourage anyone else. All I can do is keep writing and keep publishing, and for now, that is what keeps me tethered to this world, even when everything else is so impossible to connect to. I want to be honest with all my Stars. I don’t want you thinking that now that I have a book published, I’m living cozy in my house, sipping moscato, while pounding out another brilliant book and not lacking in confidence what-so-ever. 

Tomorrow I am going to blog about what an anonymous user on Tumblr told me about my publication path. 

Aromatherapy for Mental Illness

Aromatherapy for Mental Illness

Hello to all!  This is Mama Bear from Mama Bear Musings ‘Guest Blogging’ for Amber.  I wanted to keep with what her blog is about and write a brief, but knowledgeable, article on mental health.

Naturally, being a Certified Aromatherapist, I wanted to inform more readers that Aromatherapy can help with Mental Illnesses.

I have fought my own battle with mental illness for twenty-plus years.  I have been a Certified Aromatherapist for fourteen years.  I have practiced Aromatherapy on myself, and clients, and have learned what works best for me.

I, currently, see a therapist and a psychiatrist.  I follow their recommendations and tell them what I’m using aromatherapeutically.  Always check with your doctor/doctors, before you begin something new.

 

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF AROMATHERAPY AND MENTAL ILLNESS

 

From prehistoric times until today, man has coped with mental illnesses.  In prehistoric times, mental illnesses were thought to come from magical beings that interfered with the mind.  Shamans would perform spells and rituals to cure a person from mental illnesses.

Ancient Egypt was the first to show signs of change in the treatment of mental illnesses.  The Egyptian’s focused on the health and well-being of the soul.

The Egyptian’s and the Greek’s were the first to incorporate aromatic medicines in their practice of natural healing.  The Greek physician, Hippocrates, is regarded as the ‘Father of Modern Medicine’.  He wrote about the healing properties of aromatic medicines.

There were many other writers who wrote books mentioning the medicinal properties of aromatic herbs and oils.  The Arabs are credited with the discovery of distillation, which produces essential oil from the herbs, fruits, and trees.

Today we have many aromatherapists, herbalists, and many other Natural Alternative Practitioners.

 

THE NERVOUS SYSTEM AND THE EMOTIONS

Most Essential Oils have stimulating and sedative effects on the Nervous System.  Some Essential Oils have a balancing effect on the Nervous System.  Stimulating Essential Oils are useful for Depression and Nervous Fatigue.  Sedative Essential Oils are useful for Anxiety, Hysteria, Insomnia, and Nervousness.

Essential Oils have the ability to affect an Emotional Response.  The Limbic System is concerned with emotion and is connected to the Olfactory Nerves in the Nose.  Aromas can evoke an immediate and powerful response in the brain.

 

ESSENTIAL OILS AND RECIPES

Stimulating Recipe – Useful for Depression and/or Nervous Fatigue

 

¼ Ounce Carrier Oil

7 drops Jasmine Essential Oil

4 drops Marjoram Essential Oil

4 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil

Blend together and Shake well before each use.

 

Treatments

Inhalation – 1 to 2 sniffs as needed

Body Perfume – Wear blend as a Body Perfume; 1 drop behind each ear and 1 drop on each wrist.

Aroma Lamp – Add 3 to 5 drops of blend into the water, already added to the dish of an Aroma Lamp.  Keep Aroma Lamp in the same room with person being treated.

Body Massage – You may wish to double the recipe for Massage Treatment.  Place 10 to 15 drops of blend into the palm of your hand and massage the whole body, adding drops of blend as needed.

Bath – Place 15 to 20 drops of blend into a warm bath and soak 15 to 20 minutes at least 3 times a week.

 

Sedative Recipe – Useful for Anxiety, Hysteria, Insomnia, and/or Nervousness

 

¼ Ounce Carrier Oil

5 drops Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

5 drops Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

5 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Blend together and Shake well before each use.

 

Treatments

Inhalation – 1 to 2 sniffs as needed

Body Perfume – Wear blend as a Body Perfume; 1 drop behind each ear and 1 drop on each wrist.

Aroma Lamp – Add 3 to 5 drops of blend into the water, already added to the dish of an Aroma Lamp.  Keep Aroma Lamp in the same room with person being treated.

Body Massage – You may wish to double the recipe for Massage Treatment.  Place 10 to 15 drops of blend into the palm of your hand and massage the areas of tension, adding drops of blend as needed.

Bath – Place 15 to 20 drops of blend into a warm bath and soak 15 to 20 minutes once a day.

 

DISCLAIMER:

 

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of physicians or mental health care practitioners.  It is also not intended to diagnose or prescribe treatment for any illness or disorder.  Anyone already undergoing physician-prescribed therapy should seek the advice of his or her doctor before using essential oils, reducing the dosage, or stopping such treatment.

 

Please visit: http://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com/category/aromatherapy/  For more information on Aromatherapy.

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Twitter: @dmauldin3