Letting In the Jungle

Where are you and where are you going?
Mowgli
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:28 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by Mowgli » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:47 pm

Jason wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:30 pm
There was a recent semi-high profile murder case in Manhattan where this blue blood, librarian type was murdered by a vagrant in a hostel. It turned out he had a mental illness that forced him to spend money. I guess its could be true although it pretty much describes your typical American husband's feelings about his wife.

I'm unsure what you're saying here

Jason
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by Jason » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:14 pm

If I read your thread correctly, you are drawing a connection between your mental issues and your spending. In the New York area, there is an on-going story about a murder that was committed in a homeless shelter. The interest in the story is unusually high because of the disparate nature of the perpetrator (perpetually unemployed, homeless, drug addicted, history of psychotic and criminal episodes) and the victim (educated, accomplished) and corollary, why was the victim in a hostel to begin with. Obviously, there is also racial element, and I think lurking beneath it, a sexual one as well.

It turns out the victim suffered from a unique mental disorder that caused him to spend all his money. That's the explanation now given to explain why he was in a homeless shelter, despite his pedigree.

My predictable, stereotypical, sarcastic comment about women spending their husband's money was to point out the possibility that such a psychological profile may be attributable to the hegemonic role psychoanalysis has come to play in our society and the potential absurdity of the diagnosis.

I honestly don't know if its a valid condition or not, but I thought it might be of interest to you, based upon your story arc.

halfmoon
Posts: 537
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by halfmoon » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:05 pm

Mowgli wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:48 am
However, I have some goals that I've really begun to think about--In the next year I want enough for a downpayment on a house--40k in cash. My birthday is tomorrow, a sad affair, so I'm starting the clock then. By 27, I would like 40k in cash. I have 17k right now so that would be about 23k I need to save. That will be close to half of my take home pay including bonuses.
Happy Birthday!! I think of birthdays as a celebration of your very existence, so congratulations on continuing to be part of this imperfect humanity. :D

Your goal is ambitious and worthy, but maybe you need to focus on understanding/healing your mental condition first? To be sort of fanciful: mental health is the root. Other dreams are the blossoms, and they rely on healthy roots. You may discover that your healthy self doesn't want to stay in Dallas, or that the local real estate is currently overpriced (I have no idea about this). One step at a time. Please keep letting us know your thoughts and progress.

Mowgli
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:28 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by Mowgli » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:42 am

halfmoon wrote:
Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:05 pm
To be sort of fanciful: mental health is the root. Other dreams are the blossoms, and they rely on healthy roots. You may discover that your healthy self doesn't want to stay in Dallas, or that the local real estate is currently overpriced (I have no idea about this). One step at a time. Please keep letting us know your thoughts and progress.
Halfmoon, that is such a good point. However, I know that I will be staying here for another year, regardless, as that is how long it will take my retirement to vest and I'm unwilling to leave without it. Perhaps I won't buy a house here, I was thinking even of my hometown where my parents live as it's growing and prices remain low--but that remains to be seen. I do feel it necessary to have a goal to shoot for, otherwise what is the point of this journal? And I am hoping it will keep on track during mania. Instead of spending money, I have been known to religiously go over my own spending down to the penny and begin to sell my things on craigslist--yes even this has become an obsession, but it is far better than the spending!

That does bring up another point. One i hesitate to talk about as i feel I'll be pinned as 'cruel' and that may be right.

I am currently living with my boyfriend of 5 years. Being as unstable as I've been, I have decided it was over and decided that we would get married over and over again. He doesn't know this, after about the second time I told myself to sleep on it for several weeks, and wouldn't you know it, it always switched.

He has been extremely patient, kind, etc...but I wanted to move out. And I told him as much. After my diagnosis my parents told me that I shouldn't, that it would be too much, that I need someone taking care of me. So after my excitement to finally be on my own, I went back and explained exactly what they said. He said he agreed and now we're living together again. But I DON'T WANT TO. I haven't wanted to for some time. I feel codependent on him and I feel like my parents encourage this. I want to live alone--but I see the truth in what they're saying as well.

He knows that I want to live alone as well. I don't know if the relationship is good or not, but I figured as I get stable and build my own life, I can reassess and see how he fits into it. I've been honest with him about this. He seems to want to do anything to make it work. But here I am, living with him again, sometimes for what I feel are monetary and very selfish reasons, and it makes me sick.

I could decide to live alone. It would be last minute, and a lease would be broken. My concerns are that I'm not sure if I can keep my job number one, and if I'm sane enough to be able to ground myself in times of mania, I don't necessarily think he helped there either. My rent would go up not down, anywhere from 750-1000. But I can't keep depending on someone else, and it seems so WRONG to me for that even to be a consideration. It makes me feel sick, but here I am going through with it, again.

halfmoon
Posts: 537
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by halfmoon » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:55 am

Mowgli, I don't have all (or any) of the answers, but I never seem to let that stop me from giving advice. ;)

You're being very hard on yourself. Everyone gets something from a voluntary relationship, even if it isn't necessarily a healthy "benefit". You've been honest with your boyfriend about your conflict and doubts, and he's choosing to try anyway. Maybe he likes being a caretaker/savior, or maybe you give him more upside than you realize.

This isn't advice to stay or leave. I would discuss it with your therapist and try to analyze why your boyfriend is holding on. Does he like you to be dependent? Is he actively encouraging you to improve your mental health, or does he undermine it in subtle ways?

Despising yourself isn't a path to health. If you need to be there for now in order to keep your job and retain stability while you heal, then try to see that it's an imperfect but non-evil solution. If living there is actually holding you in old patterns of behavior, that's another matter.

I feel that 7wb5 would have some good insight on this...*powers up the Bat-Signal.

7Wannabe5
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:49 pm

I agree with all that halfmoon wrote.

Bi-polar disease is a very real physiological condition which is fairly easily and strictly diagnosed. For instance, my level of flux, although more than usual, and clearly inherited from my mother, does not meet the standard of diagnosis. OTOH, many terms such as co-dependent, narcissistic or passive-aggressive are, IMO, either not as reality based and/or subject to great over-use.

I hope this doesn't gross anybody out ;), but I remember reading about one relationship involving a woman who suffered from severe anxiety and eating disorders. She refused to get off of the toilet, and her BF kept bringing her food. Eventually, paramedics had to be summoned because her butt had grown and become encapsulated by the toilet lid. That is co-dependence. It involves a level of secrecy and/or covert contract (we don't talk with others and/or each other about what is going on) and a definite downward cycle of functionality.

Inter-dependence is representative of healthy relationships and open contracts with other people (or even your relationship with something like the soil in your garden.) Engaging in an open contract with somebody where you are providing Quality A and Stuff B and Service C and he is providing some other part of the mix, inclusive of some amount of care-taking behavior and financial support, is pretty much the definition of the benefit of trade. Proof positive that you are not unhealthy level dependent on your BF is the fact that you are considering the possibility of altering or ending the relationship. However, that is not to say that his desire, perhaps even great desire, to maintain the relationship is indicative of dependence on you. It might just be that he thinks he is getting a hell of a good deal.

Should I stay or should I go? is normal discussion to be having with yourself. What may be giving you difficulty in evaluating this relationship is the flux in your own functioning over the course of the relationship. It's hard to know whether a relationship is generally upward or downward cycling, healthy or unhealthy, if you own functioning has been all over the board during its course. However, this is not a relationship evaluation problem that is only experienced by people with bi-polar disease. Shit, good or bad, that has not much to do with your current relationship happens to people all the time, and it gives everybody trouble with evaluating the relationship. For instance, the fact that I suffered a major blow to my business this winter has left me in worse shape than when I first started dating my current BF, so that makes it more difficult to judge whether I would be in even worse shape or better shape without him in my life, or if our contract was altered.

Main take-away here being that I totally agree with halfmoon that you are being way too hard on yourself. Maybe just try relaxing and noticing whether or not you enjoy being with your BF in the moment.

Mowgli
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:28 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by Mowgli » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:39 am

Well, I've spent the last 4 days at my childhood home.

Good things:
I've returned about 300 dollars worth of crap and will return about 300 more.
I got a 60 dollar check recently from a bank for some kind of reimbursement.

Expenses:
I spent 10 dollars on chic-fil-a on the 10 hour drive down. What I could have done--brought down snacks, fruits, etc.

I'll be filling up my bfs car for 15. That is cheap and I don't mind paying it.

I spent 40 on a haircut. I haven't had my hair cut in 3 years professionally, but this was still stupid. It was with a childhood hairdresser and I was convinced by my mom to do it. My mom had told me it would only be 25. oh well. In the future I'll continue cutting my hair myself. She is getting old and did a pretty awful job anyways.

Spent 7 dollars on 5 hour energies. This is ultimately an awful choice as I don't need to be drinking that much caffeine, and I had no idea they were that expensive. This was to combat hangovers--which I'll get into in a bit.

The bad:
I drank every night I was there and have thrown myself into what is called a mixed episode. I almost bought a house down here to rent it out. Not a terrible idea, but it was impulsive and a definite sign of mania being I'd use my entire savings. Was thinking I'd quit my job as well. I got a showing and am pre approved for a loan but thankfully the mania switched to pure anxiety which has limited me from doing anything.

Also drank a ton of caffeine to overcome the hangovers and be able to spend time with niece and nephew.

Had an interview for a position down here that would initially pay 1/3 of what my current job does, no benefits, 100x more stress. Going to pass on that even though very real potential for 6 figures within a year. It is in my dad's industry and I would be taking on a lot of his customers in a different avenue, only reason I had the interview in the first place. Don't need extra stress. Don't need to pay for medical out of pocket. Don't need to live under my father's thumb for the rest of my life.

Overall it's been a bad 4 days. Nice to see my family but it always ends up this way. Bonding is through alcohol.

I will be checking myself into intensive outpatient when I get back to Dallas. Thats 5 hours a day 5 days a week of therapy and access to a psychiatrist every day. I need it to get my meds right. I've been in a state of hypomania for almost 2 months with mini spirals into depression, rage, and anxiety and I can't take it too much longer. I was much more stable without medication, before I was diagnosed. I was told this would be the case, but it doesn't make it much easier.

Disability will pay me 100% and I'll have a bit more structure in my days. I think that Halfmoon was right in that before I even get started with ER I need to focus on getting well. So that will be my focus for the time being. I am proud that I've been able to put off life-changing decisions even as the impulse was overwhelming. Might take a bit of a break from this journal until I can truly focus on ER, although it helps to check in with my spending every once and a while.

Mowgli
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:28 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by Mowgli » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:42 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:49 pm

Main take-away here being that I totally agree with halfmoon that you are being way too hard on yourself. Maybe just try relaxing and noticing whether or not you enjoy being with your BF in the moment.
You don't know how much I appreciate your input. I don't have a lot to reply but know that I'm reading your words and finding real comfort and inisght from them. I've decided to focus on getting better before anything else, including putting the pressure on myself to make decisions--even if it's selfish for me to delay.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 2659
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:03 am

I agree that taking care of yourself should be priority one. I hope you are feeling more stable soon. No judgment, but observation from my own family history would be that mixing new meds with alcohol is not always a good plan. Just last year my 50 year old sister, who is otherwise currently a straight-A student in law school and daily disciplined hard-core yoga devotee, went off one course of meds, messed up her post-cancer bio-identical hormone medication, and indulged in some summertime drinking, and ended up covering herself with make-up 3 shades too dark because she thought it looked like a tan, playing really sad contemporary Irish folk music so loud that the neighbors called the police, and dancing on the porch for hours in full view of our crowded urban neighborhood so that she could keep an eye on her junky car she was convinced somebody wanted to vandalize. Luckily, our youngest sister is a crack criminal defense attorney, so she flew in, and the judge just gave Miss Cuckoo-Bananas a slap on the wrist for being "sassy." So, don't feel bad if you are getting some support for your mental health due to the fact that you are a cute girl. Everybody has to play the hand that they are dealt in life.

Mowgli
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:28 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by Mowgli » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:43 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:03 am
I agree that taking care of yourself should be priority one. I hope you are feeling more stable soon. No judgment, but observation from my own family history would be that mixing new meds with alcohol is not always a good plan.
I didn't know whether to ask this on your journal, which has just popped up on my feed or my own. I've just begun to read through yours and am astounded at the courage you have and so in love with the life you hold--gardening, foraging, the projects you have.

I do see myself having those same projects during high energy times and when not medicated and I think that is great. My medication seems to throw me over those projects though, and into pure impulse.

I know you mentioned you have 'low-levels' of bipolar. My medication has seemed to make everything worse. Do you feel like you've been able to manage without medication. Would you ever reason that someone with more intense bipolar can manage without it? It is kind of a no-no to say in bipolar communities. I've only been on it 2 months but have exhibited signs of mania that seem worse and more intense than ever before. Love to hear more about your experiences.

7Wannabe5
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:20 pm

Unfortunately, I can't and won't in any way recommend not taking medication if you suffer from any level of bi-polar disease that interferes with your daily functioning. I once nearly had my head chewed off by my mother's psychiatrist for not showing as much concern as he felt was warranted when she lapsed off her medications in old age. You definitely should check back in with your psychiatrist if whatever meds he prescribed are seriously increasing your symptoms of mania. Not everybody responds to the same drugs or the same dosage as predicted.

Mental illness is tough because from one perspective your brain is just an organ in your body like any other, but...

It's good that you are seeking and getting treatment, and I hope you achieve a reasonably happy reasonable balance very soon.

halfmoon
Posts: 537
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by halfmoon » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:16 pm

Mowgli wrote:
Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:39 am
Might take a bit of a break from this journal until I can truly focus on ER, although it helps to check in with my spending every once and a while.
Mowgli, I wish you the best possible forward progress and hope to hear how it's going -- either way. Agreed with 7wb5 that you need to consult with your doctor (or team?) about the medication concerns you have. You have a unique knowledge of your symptoms and doctors generally have the wider perspective. If your doctor doesn't focus on your specific medication reactions (even if only to assure you that they're expected and will abate), you might need to talk with someone else.

Mowgli
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:28 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by Mowgli » Sat May 13, 2017 7:49 am

A lot has happened both good and bad. I am not in a position right now to even fathom ERE.

I made the brave decision, and this is one I am really proud of, to live on my own. It was down to the last minute, we had already signed a lease on a two bedroom apartment--but i couldn't take it anymore. So the good is that I finally had the courage to pull the trigger and made serious steps towards ending a relationship that has been dead for several years. The bad is that I now have a bill of 1600 a month. I will barely be able to save. This will be for 6 months, and then I can move into a smaller apartment in the same complex--will still be around 900 a month.

I know this will cause most people in this forum to feel nauseous at the stupidity, but I am beyond thrilled I was able to make this step. It will set me back, potentially years, but I think it is so necessary in my recovery.

My spending has also gone up in the social category. I came back to work after (I had finally committed myself inpatient to get my meds figured out) to find a group of really caring, sweet individuals. My illness had made me see them as selfish and almost evil. I am going out more. I've cut out drinking completely, but there are still expenses with food, entrance fees etc. Again, I know this is against the rules of ERE, but I think it is necessary right now.

All in all, I feel stable for the time being. For the first time, I'm not afraid of important decisions. My relationship fed off of me being ill. The only time we got along was when I had to be taken care of. Not good. I had also isolated myself from all friends as he was severely anti-social. Also not good.

I haven't officially broken up with him. He's going through a lot--about to lose his job, and i just can't do that to him. But I'm getting him used to some distance and will rip the bandaid of soon.

Sorry, I know this is not a relationship or mental illness journal--but this is an update just to say that ERE is a long way off at this point, and I'm okay with that. Next 6 months I'll be on a severe budget, with most going towards rent, and I'll detail that out here--but be warned that although I still long for ERE, I will temporarily be having a very un-ERE budget. It will be all about cutting expenses from elsewhere.

halfmoon
Posts: 537
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by halfmoon » Sat May 13, 2017 9:06 am

Mowgli wrote:
Sat May 13, 2017 7:49 am
My relationship fed off of me being ill. The only time we got along was when I had to be taken care of. Not good.
I have to agree; that's unhealthy.

You don't need to apologize for any direction your journal takes; it's your journal, about your unique journey. As far as ERE progress: you've rationally decided that the added expenses you have now are necessary to your mental health. Reaching a place of mental health and stability is necessary to eventual ERE. As long as you keep making rational choices, you're making progress to ERE. Financial health doesn't exist in a vacuum.

I look forward to hearing more. :)

RealPerson
Posts: 628
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:33 pm

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by RealPerson » Sat May 13, 2017 9:34 am

If you want to learn more about real estate and landlording, this book is well respected. It is very thorough and easy to understand: https://www.amazon.com/Landlording-Hand ... andlording

By the way, the book made me decide not to be a landlord. It is not passive if you want to do it well.

Mowgli
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:28 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by Mowgli » Sun May 14, 2017 7:31 am

A big part of why I want to start the ERE lifestyle is not necessarily because I want to retire early. I think that's been my big focus and the wrong focus, as it's led to burnout and obsession with quantitative numbers and spreadsheets/time frames.I need to bring the focus back to myself, my own beliefs and thoughts, my ethics, what I want from life.

I have always, since I was a little girl reading Laura Ingalls Wilders, wanted a life of self sufficiency. A life where fulfillment is from what comes from your hands, a simple orange colors your world in exotic luxury. I do love beautiful things, but I think that things are all the more beautiful in their simplicity. Too many beautiful things all jumbled together is chaos, reminds me even of mania, and doesn't allow respect. Aesthetically, I am obsessed with the Shakers. Necessity and function color their homes.

There have been studies that show that those with bipolar do well from living without the tv and internet. Why is that? I believe we are far more sensitive to inputs. I feel almost like we cannot regulate what comes in and colors us from the inside out, there is no barrier. Without making the disease sound cliche, I do feel emotions at a much higher level than others, but I believe this is true for everyone to some extent. Within 2 hours you can feel the joy of first love, the grief of a death, the wonder of a child being born. That's just in one movie! And while I think it is okay every once and a while, we now watch movies or television for four hours a day! I can't help but think it impacts even the 'normal' in a negative manner. Perhaps for others it makes the regulation of emotions too easy.

I feel the same way with Things. Even things can be too colorful. In mania, I buy the most ridiculous crap. I have very vibrant, colorful pictures, bed spreads, etc. Those are inputs too. Everything is an input and can affect the powerhouse of emotions and insight. The vibrant, indian bedspread I bought and several prints of monet combined with the colorful pillows my mother knitted me are all beautiful in their own right, but together they are chaos. They clash and they bring me anxiety. They are absolutely representative of mania. Too much energy, too much emotion, everything too much.

So what do I want from my life ultimately? Simplicity, function. But I want it to move beyond the aesthetic meanderings of pinterest boards and interior decorator magazines. I want my whole life to sing of fulfillment. I am no longer going to live off of numbers. I am, unfortunately, not that kind of a person. I graduated with a degree in literature, after all. Instead, in order for this to work for me, I need to focus on the lifestyle I want now, live it to the best of my abilities, and the rest will come. This will mean that I spend money on things others don't in this community> However, I'm sick of adopting others paths and am finally readu to forge my own.

Mowgli
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:28 am

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by Mowgli » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:59 pm

Here I am however long later...
I have quit taking my medicine. My medicine was making me far more 'crazy' than I've ever been. My mania lasted months and they moved my diagnosis from bipolar 2 to 1

Before medicine, the disease manifested itself almost always in depression. Medicine was a slingshot that threw me straight into mania. I am probably one of the few, but I prefer the depression. Because there is a much more concrete depression when the mania wears down and you realize all of that fun was just misfiring in your brain. That you're not going to be a doctor, a botanist... that your bank account being empty brought no joy. That giving away all of your worldly goods can only be met with regret.

That and the risks associated with lithium (the medicine I was on) were extremely high. Renal failure and hyperthyroidism both at 25%--not to mention kidney failure and the need for monthly blood tests. My other meds were expensive, costing me over 100 a month. I don't want to be dependent on something like that for the rest of my life.

I think I'll be able to get myself back on track now. I'm also making a concerted effort to be healthy in every way I can to combat the illness. I find myself interested in financial stability again. And one can only hope for early retirement. But now that the mania is gone and I am back, I'm looking forward to having actual plans put in place. What those are, right now just to pick myself up. I didn't ruin myself financially, but I spent half of my emergency savings and saved zero for the past four months. It is physically exhausting to think about the things I bought.

But I feel better now. I recognize it will be a bumpy ride, but I am hopeful it will be nothing like the roller coaster that medication threw me on. And depression... I know how to handle that. But mania... I think a good metaphor would be the parasites that get into the brains of ants, controlling their movements before eating their way out of its skull.

halfmoon
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: Letting In the Jungle

Post by halfmoon » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:49 pm

I'm sorry to hear that the initial medication didn't work out. Are you still in therapy and/or group support? Is there another medication you could try? Often, the things that don't work and why they don't (e.g. Lithium increasing the mania) can provide guidance toward a better option for your specific brain chemistry.

As I know from experience, it's tempting to slide back into an "I can heal myself" mentality. This is true in some cases and not in others, and it has nothing to do with personal strength or weakness.

Let us know how it goes. The people here are a caring lot and want to hear about the struggles as much as the triumphs.

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