My Bipolar Voice

My Bipolar Voice Join me in spreading mental health awareness, hope and healing for those with Bipolar Disorder. 💜

We have a choice, when it comes to how we behave, interact and treat others, and even ourselves. Choose wisely. Let’s ch...
03/21/2024

We have a choice, when it comes to how we behave, interact and treat others, and even ourselves. Choose wisely. Let’s choose kindness! If we all chose to be a little more kind to others and ourselves, imagine the change we could impart on this world, including the perception we have of each other and our internal perceptions of ourselves.

We are all human and of course have unpleasant reactions to triggering experiences at times, but we also have the ability to recognize those behaviors and hopefully not repeat them in the future.

I want my son to have a good example of kind behavior towards others and towards himself, so I’m making a daily effort to choose kindness and I hope you’ll join me and do the same.

All of humanity has one thing in common - We are all flawed. I think that’s a good thing. Its gives us the opportunity t...
03/19/2024

All of humanity has one thing in common - We are all flawed. I think that’s a good thing. Its gives us the opportunity to change and do better for ourselves and those around us, who we come in contact with. It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. We are all perfectly imperfect and working on becoming better human beings. 💜

The past month or so of mom life has been really tough! Ryder was having a tough time sleeping through the night, which ...
03/14/2024

The past month or so of mom life has been really tough! Ryder was having a tough time sleeping through the night, which means I was running on minimal sleep as well for multiple weeks. Lack of sleep can cause me to not be the nicest person, which I’m sure many of you can relate with. Thankfully, Chuck didn’t take my not so niceness personally and I apologized for being so short at times.

I love being a mom, but mom life does come with a mixed bag of emotions, some of which are not pleasant. While they aren’t pleasant, they are present and completely normal to have. It feels like there’s this generalized societal mentality that moms should be able to do it all, without any sort of help or without getting overwhelmed or exhausted. And then when you do, at least for me, this creates a sense of guilt when I feel I need to ask for help or when I do feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Like I shouldn’t be having these “negative” feelings about motherhood.

I’m here to say that multiple emotions, including negative ones, are okay to have about a life situation that is positive, including being a mom. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. We aren’t robots after all!

I had a conversation with my friend the other day about these mixed bag of emotions and she flat out told me to not feel guilty about the negative emotions attached to being a mom. It was comforting to hear, especially from another mom. Mom guilt is a real thing and I’m just trying to normalize it a bit, along with the array of different emotions that arise out of motherhood. Hope this helps in some way. 💜

New glasses but same me! Have a beautiful weekend peeps! 🩷🥰
03/09/2024

New glasses but same me! Have a beautiful weekend peeps! 🩷🥰

Interesting fact: Facial palsy awareness week is 3/1 - 3/7 each year, which is interesting because I came down with Bell...
03/07/2024

Interesting fact: Facial palsy awareness week is 3/1 - 3/7 each year, which is interesting because I came down with Bell’s palsy on 3/7/2021, the last day of this specific awareness week. I don’t think I realized this till today, 3 years after onset. I wasn’t going to post anything about it, considering it was an extremely dark and depressing part of my life experience, but I think it’s important for myself to acknowledge how far I’ve come, mentally and physically, and for others as well who may be newly diagnosed with Bell’s palsy or other facial paralysis challenges.

For those of you who don’t know, I have permanent partial facial paralysis on the right side of my face, since onset. I absolutely hated the way I looked for the first year or so afterwards and to this day struggle with the new reality of my face. It’s been a journey of learning to love myself again after going through this challenge, but it actually helped me in some way to learn to love other parts of myself that I don’t necessarily find appealing or easy to accept. I had to rewire my negative thoughts and start to speak kindly to myself, especially when it came to my face and its new appearance. I absolutely loved my face and smile before this happened and for it to be taken away over the course of seconds, and never return, was beyond devastating. When I would catch myself about to make a negative comment about my face or smile, I eventually started to think before voicing it and usually wouldn’t. I am not perfect though, and occasionally would say unkind things about my appearance. I had to accept my new reality and start loving my new version of me. This is an ongoing process and some days are better than others.

Now that I’m a mom, I do think about how my view of myself and the things I voice about myself will impact my son. I want him to know that looks do not define who you are inside, and that your heart and character are much more important than any physical attribute.

As I continue learning to love all parts of me, I encourage you all, whether you’ve experienced facial paralysis or not, to speak kindly to yourself. Words matter, especially the ones we speak internally.

I normally don’t promote facilities on my page, but I’m definitely making an exception for my fabulous friend, Cameda Tr...
02/14/2024

I normally don’t promote facilities on my page, but I’m definitely making an exception for my fabulous friend, Cameda Trichele Dickerson, who is about to launch L & D Wellness and Counseling Center in Valencia, California. You can support by following her page - on Instagram and L and D Wellness & Counseling Center Inc on Facebook. If you are local to the area, please check out the second image for Grand Opening details, happening on 2/24/2024.

Beyond proud of you, my friend, and can’t wait to see your new wellness center in action. 💜🎉💜🎉

I’m going to share with you a part of my TTC (Trying To Conceive) journey, in hopes that all those challenged in this ar...
02/10/2024

I’m going to share with you a part of my TTC (Trying To Conceive) journey, in hopes that all those challenged in this area, find some hope and peace within my story for yourself.

My husband and I got married in June of 2011. I was 29 and he was 41. Because of our advanced ages to just be starting to try to conceive, we started to try right away. I started tracking my cycles and doing a lot of the things us women do, in order to strengthen our chances of conceiving. A few years went by and no bun in the oven.

We then decided to seek the help of a fertility specialist and found we had a male infertility factor that would make it really challenging to conceive naturally. We couldn’t afford the fertility treatments and they were not covered by our insurance, so we just kept trying naturally, hoping for our miracle. I would even cry and plead with God in the shower.

During this time, I became obsessed with taking pregnancy tests every month, for the next 5-6 years. Each time I got the negative result, was like a dagger to my heart. Time kept passing by and I definitely wasn’t getting any younger and the chances of us conceiving became less and less with each passing year.

We sought the help of a fertility specialist one last time right before I turned 40, to see if anything had changed from before. It had and it was devastating news. My eggs were very depleted and we were told we’d need an egg donor and s***m donor, in order to conceive. That conceiving naturally was impossible for us.

Well about one week after my 40th birthday and 3 days after the devastating news from the specialist, the impossible became possible and I finally got my BFP (Big fat positive)!!! It took 11 years for me to get one BFP. Ryder Hunter Barnett will be 1 years old in a couple days, and I am still in awe of my own story.

I know my journey is different from other’s, but I do hope that my journey offers some hope, especially on those days where you may not have any left. 💜

I’ve updated the AFFIRM THIS! card statements in my For Joy Co Etsy shop and they are live now to check out, purchase or...
02/09/2024

I’ve updated the AFFIRM THIS! card statements in my For Joy Co Etsy shop and they are live now to check out, purchase or even save as a favorite for future purchases.

Below is a description of the cards:

AFFIRM THIS! are affirmation cards designed for all ages. They include 25 affirmation cards and are designed to be carried in a purse, child’s backpack, lunchbox, left at your desk at work or even placed in your car’s glove compartment. They are meant to help encourage you throughout the day with various positive affirmation statements.

There’s a link in my bio to my Etsy shop, which also has the Reframe Your Thoughts cards available.

Appreciate your support! 💜🥰

Happy Friday from Ryder  and his mommy! Enjoy your weekend peeps! 💜
02/09/2024

Happy Friday from Ryder and his mommy! Enjoy your weekend peeps! 💜

As of yesterday morning, I feel the best I’ve felt physically since early January, however the aftermath of debilitating...
02/02/2024

As of yesterday morning, I feel the best I’ve felt physically since early January, however the aftermath of debilitating pain has done a number on my emotional and mental well-being. Don’t worry, I’m not losing it or anything mentally lol 😂, but I do feel like I’ve lost part of my joy, because it felt like the pain I was in, was sucking it out of me. I only had enough energy to care for Ryder, with help mostly, and work my part time job from home for my sister’s company. I was running on fumes by the end of each day.

Like I mentioned though, today and yesterday have been wonderful as far as minimal pain is concerned, so now I have the mental capacity to actually do things for myself that will help me piece myself back together, so I feel like me again…so I can feel joy again.

Here’s what I’m doing or going to do to help me:

1. Write/blog or journal about my experience.
2. Talk with at least one close friend who has time/space to listen
3. Spend 10 minutes during the day in meditation
4. Move my body in some way (My daily physical therapy exercises are my movement currently).
5. Do one thing just for me that I enjoy daily (I’m sure a lot of parents can relate to this one, especially, as it’s easy to forget that we have needs too, and sometimes that includes things we enjoy!).
6. Make one small change with my eating habits, by substituting one unhealthy food choice with a whole food healthier option. (I don’t personally do well with drastic diet changes, so this suggestion from my high school friend that’s a dietitian was a welcome one) Thanks Toni! I can slowly change what I want as I feel comfortable doing so.
7. Try to limit participating in the things I know that prompt anxiety or overwhelm.

The above are either currently helping me feel better and a couple, like the food change one, I will be implementing to help me feel physically good going forward.

When you’ve been challenged by life, what’s helped you?

Please share in the comments to help me and others see what works for you. 💜

This is your reminder and mine, that “It’s ok to feel Sh*t.” This is my current motto and a shirt I got awhile back from...
02/01/2024

This is your reminder and mine, that “It’s ok to feel Sh*t.” This is my current motto and a shirt I got awhile back from Susie , who is fighting an unimaginable health battle of her own currently. Praying for you, Susie! 💜🙏🏾

Chronic and debilitating pain can take it out of you both mentally, emotionally and physically. I’m not having as consistent severe back pain, so that’s been a relief. I’m not always feeling s**tty, but when I am, I give myself permission to feel it, without guilt or shame. It’s healthier to feel it, rather than hold it inside and pretend nothing is wrong.

I started physical therapy yesterday and I’m confident that consistently doing what they recommended there and at home will prompt additional healing. I’m learning to accept help when offered and ask for it more often. Today my neighbors called to see if I needed anything for myself or Ryder, that they could help me with. I almost said no, but I actually did need assistance and asked. My neighbors were so kind and got what I needed at the store for me, while I was at home caring for Ryder. It was so appreciated, so that way I didn’t have to carry Ryder into the car and store.

It’s ok to feel s**t at times. It won’t last forever and if I keep doing the things that help the healing process, hopefully those s**tty moments will be less frequent. 💜💪🏾😊

**t **thappens

Please read! This is really exciting. More info on Instagram. Please consider following the instagram accounts tagged in...
01/30/2024

Please read! This is really exciting. More info on Instagram. Please consider following the instagram accounts tagged in this post. 💜🧠🎶🥰

Whether it’s dreams, goals or manifestations, they do not come into fruition without some kind of effort and work on our...
01/27/2024

Whether it’s dreams, goals or manifestations, they do not come into fruition without some kind of effort and work on our part. For most people, our dreams don’t just magically come true. It takes passion, drive and a ton of effort and work on our parts in order for dreams to become reality. I do understand that sometimes, despite all this, some dreams never come true, but if we expect dreams to come to reality on their own, without some work on our part, then we are doing ourselves a disservice.

I dare you to join me and DREAM BIG!!! And I dare you to keep doing the work to make those dreams a reality!

The pain I’ve been experiencing has been so severe at times, that I’ve had some unpleasant and rude behaviors towards pe...
01/25/2024

The pain I’ve been experiencing has been so severe at times, that I’ve had some unpleasant and rude behaviors towards people who are close to me this week. Specifically my mom, who has been really helpful in her attempts to help me through this challenging time I’m having with my back issues. Her husband has similar back challenges, so she’s been offering support by telling me what he does that really helps with the pain, inflammation and numbness.

We had a conversation yesterday and I was so frustrated with the pain I’m in and feeling like I’ve tried everything, that when my mom offered support of things that may help, I practically jumped down her throat on the phone, saying “I’ve tried all that and there’s minimal relief!” I told her to stop trying to help because it doesn’t work.

I hate that I was rude to her, when all she was doing was trying to offer help. Pain, for me, has a way of pulling out unpleasant and ugly ways of behaving and reacting to people who are close to me, who are just trying to help me. It’s out of frustration, pain, anger and fear that it won’t get better. I’m sharing this though, because I want others with similar debilitating pain to know you are not alone and any “bad” behavioral reactions are not who you really are. I’m saying this for others but mostly for myself! I’m going to find ways to manage my reactivity better, while going through this painful time. I’m also going to apologize to my mom, who will most likely read this! Lol 😂 I’ll call her personally as well. Love you mom! 💜

Day 2 post epidural injection for my back challenges and I finally feel like a regular human again!!! I even put makeup ...
01/21/2024

Day 2 post epidural injection for my back challenges and I finally feel like a regular human again!!! I even put makeup on! Felt like I was going to break physically for the past 11 days or so. So glad I’m on the mend and actually leaving the house for the first time since January 10th, for a destination that is not a doctor! Yay me! Feel like I’m so much stronger and resilient than I knew. Warrior woman! 💪🏾 💜🥰

Day 1 post epidural injection. Much less pain and more mobility! Looking forward to starting physical therapy soon! Been...
01/21/2024

Day 1 post epidural injection. Much less pain and more mobility! Looking forward to starting physical therapy soon! Been looking into diet changes as well, including foods that are great for diminishing inflammation in the body.

Extremely grateful for each one of you who wished me well and a speedy recovery! Here’s to getting well and making healthier choices for my body. 💜

Added an update to my stories: I’ll include it in the comments of this post too.The image was extracted from my Instagra...
01/15/2024

Added an update to my stories: I’ll include it in the comments of this post too.

The image was extracted from my Instagram stories.

Please continue to pray for me, as the pain, numbness and cramping is so excruciating right now, that I’m not sure how much more I can physically endure. Writing about it here is a slight distraction from it all, so I write this from my bed while I squirm from the uncomfortable pain. I’m trying to remain hopeful but it’s next to impossible to remain positive and hopeful when in this amount of pain. My main concern right now in addition to my heavy pain, is that Chuck goes back to work tomorrow and there is no way I can take care of my son all day like this by myself. We cannot afford to pay for help and do not know too many people we trust out here that are available to come all day and help. We are going to have to see what transpires at the orthopedic surgeon’s office today and just take the next steps after we have more information. I wish this was a more uplifting post, but I’m being completely transparent and honest about life right now, and it’s not always going to be happy and uplifting unfortunately. It is real though and I sincerely appreciate all of your continued support, well wishes and prayers. I may not respond to comments but I will read them all, as it helps to read your encouraging words. 💜

I’m going to keep this as short as I can, because I’m in severe physical pain right now. Many of you know I’ve had prett...
01/11/2024

I’m going to keep this as short as I can, because I’m in severe physical pain right now. Many of you know I’ve had pretty bad back pain since my son was born. Yesterday, while leaving my friends house and putting Ryder into the car seat base in my vehicle, my back seized up and I have not been able to stand up straight since. My husband cannot take off work today but will be home tomorrow for his birthday, so I called my mom to come this morning to help with her grandson. I literally can barely walk around to care for myself, so I desperately needed her help. She’s coming early this morning and I’m going to step away from sharing and posting as much so I can take care of myself. Have MRI scheduled as well. It’s obvious I need to shift most of my focus to getting healthy. I’ll be back to share with you all again, once I’ve slowed things down done to focus on healing. 💜

Before my parents divorced, when I was a teenager, we attended church as a family 3 times a week ritualistically. Every ...
01/04/2024

Before my parents divorced, when I was a teenager, we attended church as a family 3 times a week ritualistically. Every Sunday morning and night and then Wednesday night was youth group for me and my siblings and my parents attended the adult service.

At one of our youth group services, I specifically remember this one analogy that some teenagers acted out as an example of the challenges and difficulties of trying to help others. One teen was standing on the seat of a chair and the other teen was standing on the ground. They both grabbed each other’s hand. The one on the ground said “pull me down” to the one on the chair. Instantly he pulled the person on the chair down. They got back in position and this time did the opposite, by having the person on the chair try to pull the person up. The person on the chair couldn’t do it at first but ultimately did with some serious effort.

This analogy always hit home for me, especially when feelings of wanting to change or even just help someone I see struggling. In my past, I befriended a lot of people, who in some minds may not have been the best life decision makers, some even getting into trouble. I feel like I wanted to help them and fix them, even though they were not asking for either. Ultimately I paid the price most times, ending up doing things, saying things and ending ip in extremely challenging and sometimes dangerous situations. All because I wanted to pull them out of their messy situation. Instead, I usually created a messy situation for myself.

My point is this - It’s not our job or place to rescue others, and if we try, let’s not let them take us down in the process. 💜

With the exception of some postpartum challenges that many women experience after having a baby, regardless of a bipolar...
01/01/2024

With the exception of some postpartum challenges that many women experience after having a baby, regardless of a bipolar disorder diagnosis, I have not had an episode since before I was pregnant with my son.

Bipolar Disorder is described as a cyclical disorder, meaning that the episodes of either mania, hypomania and/or depression happen cyclically. I’ve manifested the symptoms to bipolar cyclically for most of my life, up until a few years ago when I started to add in many holistic remedies/tools to managing my symptoms. Still I would have bouts of depression and mania but not as severe as previously.

When I found out I was pregnant in June of 2022, I sincerely believe that something in my body and mind shifted. I know for me, a lot of my depression was situational and not chemical, due to the overwhelming obsession of becoming a mom unsuccessfully for over a decade. I could argue the stress from this same situation was triggering the manic episodes as well.

Many years ago I had a coworker whose daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager. He explained to me that in her late 20’s she had a baby and fast forward some years, her episodes stopped. I was always fascinated and intrigued by the idea that pregnancy and having a child could potentially change your bodies chemistry.

It’s now been 1 year and a half and I’ve had no major episodes. For someone who had episodes twice a year, like clockwork cyclically for many years, one has to wonder if there’s some connection between having a baby and it’s effects on your body chemistry.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has expertise and experience, either clinically or first hand, in the comments. 💜💙

Definitely a daddy’s boy! Ryder was caught ringing in the new year watching Godzilla vs Kong. Happy New Year!  🎉🎊🎉Mom, D...
01/01/2024

Definitely a daddy’s boy! Ryder was caught ringing in the new year watching Godzilla vs Kong. Happy New Year! 🎉🎊🎉

Mom, Dad and Ryder all made it to 9:30pm too, being the party animals we are. Lol! 😂 💙💜🎊

While I was pregnant, my husband and I were curious about what kind of complexion our son would have. Given that I’m bla...
12/31/2023

While I was pregnant, my husband and I were curious about what kind of complexion our son would have. Given that I’m black and my husband is white, we were not sure how light or dark he would be. Honestly, I was really concerned that he would be super light skinned and I’d constantly feel like people were questioning if he was mine. Little did I know, my husband had the same fear but the opposite, meaning if he was darker than himself. Even though I had this fear already, I never expected him to be as light skinned as he is, since I have the dominant pigment genes. Apparently, I was wrong, and because I have some Caucasian in my genetic makeup, our son came out with very little melanin.

I have no issues with the way he looks at all. He’s adorable and perfect in every way. What’s quite challenging and sometimes concerning, is strangers reactions to me and our son, when just the two of us are in public. I’ve been asked countless times, by both white and black strangers, “is he yours?,” “are you the nanny?”, “is your husband white?”, and various comments referring to his light complexion. I understand people are curious and I didn’t think it was upsetting me at all, until it finally dawned on me that this happens almost every time I go somewhere with our son.

Most people who do not have mixed children, don’t have to constantly answer questions about their child being there’s, and what really kind of scares me is that if someone chooses to just assume he’s not mine and calls the authorities on me, it would be pretty psychologically damaging. Of course, I’d prefer someone to ask rather than assume he’s not mine, but just the fact that there’s a question about it is a bit disappointing and sad.

On one occasion, at a doctors appointment, I offered the information that my son looks like his dad, before the nurse could even ask if he was mine. She flat out said, “that sucks that you felt you had to say that and explain his light skin, before I even asked you about it.” It’s almost like I feel like I have to explain so there are no questions or so I can beat them to the punch.

It’s been a challenge to answer questions like these. Anyone else experience this? 💜

“New year…..new me!” “This is the year I’m going to….” “Starting January 1st, I’m starting the year off right by…..”. I ...
12/30/2023

“New year…..new me!” “This is the year I’m going to….” “Starting January 1st, I’m starting the year off right by…..”.

I get it and I’ve said all the above statements myself. And kudos to you, if you choose to do a New Year’s resolution. For me, every time I’ve made a New Year’s resolution it does not stick. This year I’m not doing it. If you think about it, we have 365 days to choose from to start working on ourselves. Why would we limit ourselves to only one day a year, that we can start making changes?

Choose to change for you, when you want, how you want and not for anyone else. And if you mess up, fall off the wagon, or fail, you can always choose to try again. It does on have to be on January 1st as a resolution. 💜

Here are some life lessons and things I’ve learned about myself in 2023. Read through and if comfortable, share what you...
12/27/2023

Here are some life lessons and things I’ve learned about myself in 2023. Read through and if comfortable, share what you’ve learned this year with me and others. Your personal experience and reflections may help another person. 💜

#2023 #2024

Merry Christmas from the Barnett’s!🎄 💚❤️🎅! The holiday’s have a whole new beautiful meaning now that Chuck .im_brewing a...
12/25/2023

Merry Christmas from the Barnett’s!🎄 💚❤️🎅! The holiday’s have a whole new beautiful meaning now that Chuck .im_brewing and I have our son, Ryder

Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season! ❤️💚🎄

Not many photos were taken at Bibi’s (grandma’s) and grandpa Michael’s house because I was present and enjoying the holi...
12/25/2023

Not many photos were taken at Bibi’s (grandma’s) and grandpa Michael’s house because I was present and enjoying the holiday with my family. Here are some pictures that I was able to obtain, including the many faces of my husband, Chuck .im_brewing 😂 Enjoy!

So glad my uncle Michael, and cousins Avery and Lauren were able to meet Ryder for the first time. Lauren even sang Ryder a personalized nice to meet you song 🎶. It was an adorable moment. My sister Nicole aka Coco and her husband Hoveg came up from Vegas too, to join in the festivities. We had a blast! 💜

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday’s! ❤️💚🎄🎅

P.S. Stayed tuned for a fun holiday surprise, which I’ll be posting sometime today, (and it’s NOT a baby number 2 announcement 😂) but it is something cute and fun! 💚❤️

One thing I’ve learned from .holistic.psychologist and .circle is that sometimes the best way to support someone is to l...
12/23/2023

One thing I’ve learned from .holistic.psychologist and .circle is that sometimes the best way to support someone is to listen. For me, when I want advice or guidance, I’ll definitely ask for it. And I’m not looking for a savior to fix all my challenges. It’s common to offer unsolicited advice, and believe me, I’ve been guilty of it too, but I’ve learned that most people just want to be heard and listened to. That’s what I want! It may even change a relationship dynamic, like it has for me.

Here’s an example from my own life:

I’ve shared this sentiment with my mom and it’s been the best thing for our relationship. She knows that I will ask her if and when I need advice or guidance and doesn’t try to offer it anymore if I’m not asking. It’s been extremely challenging as a new mom and my mom just wants to help. Occasionally it felt like I was being rescued when I didn’t need or want to be rescued. This one change of telling her that I’ll ask her for advice or guidance when needed, helped change this relationship dynamic. She wasn’t aware it was bothering me till I said something, so now she just listens when we talk and sometimes tells what worked for her as a new mom in the past. Love that we can have conversations like this, without getting offended. 😊

Let’s all try to listen more.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments. 💜🥰

Follow me @ kim_is_joy on instagram 💜

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https://forjoyco.etsy.com/

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