It’s Not Really About Me

I find myself in an all too familiar battle. With me.

I’m at a point in my life where I’m unsure of my purpose. Like I said, it’s familiar, but (whiny voice) I hate it!

Most people can be satisfied by simply conforming to society and cultural norms. The outline is get married, raise a family, work hard, go on vacations, try not to get divorced (although about 50% will) birthdays, graduations, retirement, and then the sweet bliss of death.

Most people find their purpose in there somewhere. They might have their purpose instilled in them through religion or what they have been taught.

We live in a culture that puts children’s needs above everything, so it makes sense that most mothers feel their purpose is their children. Not to mention the human instinct to provide, care, and nurture our babies.

Some might feel their purpose lies in helping others and spend their lives doing acts of service. Some folks live their entire lives only indulging their every want.

My purpose has always seemed relatively clear to me, with the exception of this particular phase of my life.

As a kid my purpose was clear. Be a kid, go to school, get good grades, hang out with friends, make out behind the bleachers.

At 19 I became a wife, and at 21 a mother. At that moment I knew my life was no longer my own. I lived and breathed for my son. Then along came my daughter 2 years later. I thought I had it figured out.

I was wrong…

Through a series of unfortunate events, mental illness and a nervous breakdown, my now ex-husband was awarded custody of my babies. I was so lost. What was my purpose now?

I met Keith.

It was love at first sight. We were inseperable all but 3 days a week when I stayed with my Mama to give him a break from me. I’m not even kidding. Apparently I’m exhausting.

His struggle with mental illness was conspicuous from day one. We had that in common, but we ended up balancing each other out. It worked.

I could never remember to take my meds, but he reminded me. If I was having a particularly hard time, he set them in my hand.

Keith needed a lot of care and I could always seem to take care of him, even when I couldn’t really take care of myself.

Both of us couldn’t remember our own appointments with our psychiatrists, but I always knew his and he knew mine.

He pulled me back down to earth and I intermittently pulled the stick out of his ass. You get the idea.

When Keith and I began seeing each other he told me he was drinking himself to death like Ernest Hemmingway. I just said, “Well, if that’s what you want. Who am I to interfere with your death plan?”

Eventually, he saw his purpose was to be a good husband to me and mine was to be a good wife. We got sober. We had the kids every other weekend and for the most part, life was pretty peachy.

Mental illness won its battle over my poor sweet husband and he took an early exit. Since his death I have had 2 prevalent phases of “what now”?

The first phase was my “Blue Period”. I was sad. I was so lost that I literally couldn’t breathe. It was like I had to learn a new way to inhale and exhale to remain conscious. Just, lost.

The 2nd phase is my “Pissed Period”. One day I was sad, and then I started thinking about Keith making the choice to check out early, and it filled me with rage. How dare he? He made a promise to me and he broke it. He didn’t simply leave me, he left the fucking planet. He left me to fend for myself and I was suddenly so alone.

I’m coming out of that phase now but still struggling with my purpose. I can’t accept that my life is to be an endless array of fucked up occurrences sprinkled with slivers of joy. Sure, the joyous moments although few and far between, keep me from checking out early, but I need to believe it gets better. I need a reason to want a late checkout with a continental breakfast.

I love my children more than anything, but they are with their Dad and awesome step-mom and although they love me, they don’t need me. That’s a fun fact I had to learn to accept.

So, my purpose? YOU.

I think I need to tell my story and to a lot of people. I want the stigma surrounding mental health to disappear. I’m gonna talk about it. I’m going to talk about the real deal.

No sugar, no bullshit.

If I talk to 5,000 people struggling in silence, and 50 of those people begin to feel someone understands and then 25 of those people ask for help, I have succeeded.

I will never stop. I found it, my purpose.

If you are one of the many suffering with depression, mood swings, mania, OCD, schizophrenia, or have no diagnosis but don’t feel right, please reach out. If you don’t want treatment, there are alternatives. You don’t have to live like this, and suicide causes pain you can not imagine to everyone stuck here. The world is not better off without you. That is a lie your mind has made up. If you truly feel you have no one, or that no one gets it, e-mail me.

sarah.jones@bipolarlivingtoday.com or
inside.my.manic.mind@bipolarlivingtoday.com

The End

Well it’s official. My boyfriend and I have broken up. He thinks I should be happy because I won’t have his controlling ass looming over me constantly but he just doesn’t get it.

In fact, men in general, just don’t get it. Why can’t men realize that all we wanted was you?

All we wanted was to come first to you, be proud to have us, stick up for us no matter what, stop gaslighting us, think that we are the most beautiful women on the planet, etc.

For some reason when men get broken up with, the scared boy in them rears its ugly head, replacing their usual giant egos.

It’s very sad to see a man fall apart at the seams but a part of me thinks they do this on purpose as a last-ditch effort to hold on to us. Oh, so now you appreciate me and can’t live without me? Well, you should have thought about that sooner, buddy.

Where was this sensitive man with feelings when I waited around for the hundredth time, while you were out doing God knows what, and in my car, leaving me stranded for days?

Where was this caring person when you hurt me over and over again by continuing to engage other women on dating websites?

Why didn’t your heart break seeing mine broken by you, over and over after you cheated or lied?

I stayed far too long and taught this man it was ok to treat me like shit because I would still be here. Oh ya? Watch this!

When I first meet people, we inevitably have the same conversation because I must have it. Its the one where I let them know ahead of time that I get taken advantage of and treated badly quite often. I confess I will even put up with it for a while, in hopes that the good of the person will triumph over the evil.

Until I get my fill…

When I reach my filling point, that’s it. I’m done. No backsies. I’m so over it at that point that changing my mind is almost impossible. It would take the grandest of gestures and most men aren’t up for it. Plus, I don’t want to spend my life with someone not willing to make a fool of themselves to show their love.

So I be movin’ on.

The reason I tell everyone this is because once they have used and abused me, my love, my devotion and I get my fill of it, they always seem to think I “flipped the script”.

Asshole, I told you from day 1.

So now I’m being berated by simply doing exactly as I said I would from the very beginning. Go figure.

There were multiple straws breaking this camels back which contributed to the ultimate demise of this relationship. I won’t get too into detail, but it turned out he acted one way to my face and completely disloyal behind my back. Even going so far as to try to convince people that I am not who I appear to be. This is a joke.

Deflection is a good word here. Get the heat off him and point it at the loyal girlfriend. The sucky part is that his stunt worked. I get zero respect from his friends and family because he doesn’t respect me, and I stuck around. When letting people disrespect you, you are telling them it’s ok to treat you like shit. Fuck that.

It’s time for me to love me again. Respect myself.

When my confidence has taken a big blow, it affects everything in my life. It also makes me look incredibly foolish and like a person who doesn’t value myself. Again, I say FUCK THAT.

I know my worth, and I will not accept anything less than what I deserve ever again. Love isn’t enough. The Beatles had it wrong, I’m sorry to say. Love is not all you need.

You need respect, honesty, trust, and damn good listening skills. If my relationship doesn’t have that, then I am wasting precious time. This face could fall any minute leaving me with the need to staple my eyebrows to my ears to resemble my younger self.

This rant needed to happen. Those of you that stuck it out til’ the end, bless you.

My focus is going to be away from men for a long time. I am pointing all focus to my mental health, and my children. It’s way past time…

My Crazy History and Tulsa Mental Health Resources

I have been treated for mental health for most of my life, since I was four years old.It began with
OCD and excessive hand-washing. I was an odd kid.

Anxiety began at an early age as well.There were countless times, I couldn’t show up to birthday parties, having made myself sick with anxiety. I had to be careful about what I watched on TV as not to bring on anxiety attacks. I’m not even talking about anything scary or inappropriate for children. My memory specifically recalls it being almost unbearable to watch Lassie reruns.

As I approached my teens, depression began. I started seeing a therapist when I was 12 following my step-fathers traumatizing and violent death. I have first prescribed an antidepressant at 14, Zoloft.

My mom was a bartender, so we didn’t have health insurance, therefore, I am very experienced with utilizing local resources; especially concerning people with little to no income. You could say I’m a resource at this point. So, I have compiled some very useful information for this post. I’m focusing on local resources right now but I will post some national information soon. ( Exception: Nami and hotlines ) Read on…

Mental Health Association Oklahoma

I don’t have a lot of experience with this one, but I started going to a “Survivors of Suicide” support group following my husband’s suicide. They are wonderful. They have many groups you can join and it’s free. They also can provide you with information on pretty much everything mental health related.

Family & Children’s Services

Family & Children’s Services is the first place I ever received treatment and it’s where I am treated now. I am in a program called PACT. It’s specifically for those suffering from severe mental illness. I was accepted into the program after my husband’s death in 2017. Here’s a link for info on PACT.

Counseling-Recovery Services of OK

I went to Counseling & Recovery for many years. They are also a great resource for information and treatment. They accept insurance and Medicaid but there is no charge if you qualify. They have an in-house pharmacy like Family & Children’s and do not charge you a copay for medication if you can’t afford it although they are slightly pushier about asking for copays than Family & Children’s. It annoyed me because I don’t like confrontation. I regularly sent my husband to pick up my medication because he had no issues with saying “no, I can’t pay you”.

NAMI (International website) NAMI-Oklahoma

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Oklahoma was founded in 1985 by a small group of family members of people with mental illness. 


Today, NAMI OK has eight affiliates throughout the state that facilitate support groups, conduct education programs, and send speakers out into the community to increase understanding and bring awareness of mental illness and to share the message that treatment can be effective. 

Our mission: NAMI Oklahoma, in partnership with its Affiliates improves the quality of life for individuals and families affected by mental illness through support, education and advocacy.

Tulsa Area Crisis Contacts

Copes (Emergency outreach team) 918-744-4800

Tulsa Police Department 911 (emergency) or 918-596-9222 (non-emergency)

Reach Out Helpline-Heartline (Toll- Free) 800-522-9054

Suicide Prevention Line (Toll-Free) 800-273-8255

Emergency Adult Inpatient Action: These crisis care centers provide short-term inpatient assessment and treatment.

Brookhaven Hospital 888-298-HOPE (4673)

Carl Albert Mental Health Services 918-426-7800

Crisis Care Center 918-921-3200

This comes up as COPES but click on Crisis Care Center and it will give you information on their actual hospital where they do assessments etc.

Fort Supply Acute Care Unit 580-766-2311

Red Rock Behavioral Health Services Inc. 405-424-7711 Main Location 405-425-0333 Children’s Crisis Unit 580-323-9765 Clinton Crisis Unit 405-307-4800 Norman Crisis Unit

Talliaferro Community Mental Health Center                                    580-248-5780

Tulsa Center For Behavioral Health (T.C.B.H.)                                 918-293-2140                                      Crisis Line                            918-293-2100

Green Country Behavioral Health Services Inc                           918-682-8407

Hillcrest Medical Center   918-579-1000

Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital 918-481-4000

Parkside Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital 918-588-8888

Oklahoma County Crisis Intervention Center (O.C.C.I.C.) 800-522-9054

Oklahoma Crisis Recovery Unit 405-522-8168

Emergency Child Inpatient Action: These crisis care centers provide short term, inpatient assessment and treatment.

Calm Center 918-394-CALM (2256) ages 10-17

Red Rock 405-425-0333 ages 10-17

Children’s Recovery Center 405-364-9004 ( ages 13-17 )

Last but not least, look into QPR training. I took this class after my husband’s death and it is so important. It teaches you how to prevent suicide and how to talk to someone who is suicidal.

Write Out Loud

The Choice by Brooks Schwartz

The decision was made long before the line etched in dirt was reached. A journey of dissolution and compromise had turned black and white to grey. It was not a matter of the two choices and their consequences. It was war between guilt and selfishness. Justification of sin. Fingers pointed in every direction ward off the ghosts of common sense and goodness as they restlessly try to,reenter the soul that they were exorcised from. Two steps are taken with wicked confidence

Thank you Brooks for sharing your talent with us. Keep them coming!

Inside My Manic Mind

Write Out Loud

I was laying down in my room, playing on my phone when I received a message from a new Facebook friend. It was a poem.

I love poetry and lyrics because not only does it bare the soul of the writer, it has the ability to give the reader a voice to how they feel as well.

I love the poem so much that I decided to ask the writers permission to feature it on my blog, and he said yes. I think it needs to shared.


Poem by Brooks

Small town grew into a big hell
Feel like Jonah in the belly of his big whale
I do wish it’d vomit me out like it did him
But there’s no way out when you get in

Can’t stop the swamp is full of dope dreamers
Can’t Stop on the leper with the most fingers

So much pain in the this world of mine
God giving us earth was like pearls to swine
Tne Two-tone wolves are out for blood
They got a poor bastard cornered and he’s out of luck

Can’t stop take the trail to the train tracks
Can’t stop keep my eyes on the stained glass

Saw an old friend standing on a corner
Since I seen him last he looks like a decade older
Talking like a crystal meth machine gun
City had salvation in a spoon if I needed some

Can’t stop all I got are well-wishes
Can’t stop going to fix up these burnt Bridges

Made a wrong turn on a wrong Street Demons dressed as Saints with Halos made of concrete
In the Lions Den every turn is a dead end
Filled with the Flesh and Bones of dead Friends

My Sweet, Sweet Husband

Yesterday marked two years since my husband left this realm of reality that is our planet, Earth. He is out there now on the ultimate adventure and a part of me is a little jealous.

I’m not suicidal or anything, I just am so curious about what is beyond our limited knowledge and understanding of the afterlife and what happens to us. It’s fascinating.

One thing I know for certain is that we don’t really die. The part of us that is “us”, or the soul is made up of energy. The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another.

I know Keith is still around because I feel him all the time. Sometimes I can even hear him if I’m quiet and still long enough to pay attention. Then there are the dreams.

He hasn’t come to me more than a handful of times in my dreams that I can recall. When he does though, it always seems like a real visit. It’s different from a normal dream. It feels as if we are in a different dimension and we are the only two entities that exist there.

Yesterday, I pretty much stayed in bed. I slept off and on and during one of my naps, Keith came. He picked me up from someplace and said, “Are you ready, dear?”

I ran up to him and threw my arms around him immediately in tears and exclaimed, “Where have you been?? You were gone forever, I thought you were dead!”

He replied, “Now, you know I’m not dead, right?”

I looked up at him incredulously and said, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure I know that, but why can’t I see you anytime I want?”

He said something poignant to me and I remembered the gist of it when I woke up so I looked it up. It was a quote by the poet Emily Dickinson.

Keith smiled at me and said, “Forever is composed of moments.”

Frustrated I asked what he meant and he basically said that I have many things to accomplish while I’m here. Be patient and take nothing for granted. He said he will always be close by, keeping watch, and loving me. He said after my series of moments on this plane of existence, he will come for me and we can be together. Until then I must be satisfied with the lovely invasion into my sleep.

We ended our visit with something we said to each other every day we were together.

I said, “You are my sweet, sweet husband.”

He returned with, “And you are my lovely wife.”

Me & my sweet, sweet husband Keith. Photo taken two days prior to his suicide.

Cheaters and Liars

If I am going to be honest, I have been a cheater and a liar before. In fact, I had an affair during my first marriage which ultimately ended the relationship. Once trust is broken, it’s incredibly difficult to get that back.

Of course, no one cares about how the cheater feels, they cheated. They deserve pain, guilt and whatever else happens as a result of their bad karma. Until I was the cheater, I assumed they didn’t really feel guilty about their actions anyway.

I can’t speak for all cheaters or former cheaters, but not only did it not feel good to cheat, the remorse I felt once I was found out and seeing the pain I caused was truly awful.

Karma working the way it does, it would make sense for me to pay for my decision to cheat at some point. The mere feelings I had were not sufficient. I paid in spades. Everyone knows the saying, ” once a cheater, always a cheater”. That rule doesn’t apply to everyone.

I became obsessed with cheating, only on the opposite side of the spectrum. Honesty, fidelity, and trust became the most important things in the world to me. I became super monogamous. There is now no room in my world for infidelity.

Lying and cheating tend to go hand in hand. Lies become necessary in order to carry out the cheating and to keep an affair going. Once the habit of lying has begun, it’s like a contagious illness, it spreads. It spreads into your daily life in other areas and after a while you may even begin to believe the lies yourself.

With my monogamy comes honesty. I am honest to a fault at this time of my life. I have never liked to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I will if I have to. If anyone would like me to tell you about yourself, just ask. I will begrudgingly oblige.

Keith’s death also has contributed to my lack of filter. My mother-in-law refers to a condition very similar as “grief-stripping”. Seems appropriate.

My whole point of this rant is to let it be known that I understand what it feels like from both sides, and they both suck.

Being the one cheated on feels horrible because of the betrayal. Your body and soul should belong to your partner and is sacred. When betrayal occurs, it’s a violation of this sacred bond and ultimately a violation of trust.

Now, being the cheater sucks on a whole different level. You know you’re screwing up, and you know you could lose everything you have that truly means everything to you, but the lure of infidelity can be exciting and intoxicating.

Once the deed has been done, there’s no going back. You can’t take it away, no matter how much you may want to. If your partner finds out or you tell them, their pain becomes your pain and it should. I had to keep in mind that the pain I felt merely witnessing my partner’s pain, was well deserved.

The cheater and the partner (or former partner), now have to deal with the aftermath. If you stay together be prepared for a lot of work. Relationships are hard work anyway without betrayal, so throwing that in there makes it extra tough. It can be done.

My best advice is this, cheaters, accept responsibility. Do not blame your partner for your bad choices. It’s your fault and yours alone. If there is a problem at home, go home and fix it. All of that energy used to lie and sneak around can be transferred to your relationship and fixing what’s broken. No excuses.

Ok, now the victims, because that’s what you are. The betrayal feels awful when it’s done to you. If your partner comes clean and wants to work things out with you, you have a decision to make. Stay, or go. If you stay to be prepared for a tough road. If you leave then do your best to move along. In both cases, forgiveness is in order. Always remember forgiving isn’t for them. It’s for you. Respect yourself, love yourself. Make your stance on what your needs are and stick to your guns. If your partner loves you and truly wants to make it work, they will work to keep you and should.

That’s it, that is all I have to say about this subject. Goodbye, goodnight, good morning, whatever…