Monthly Archives: June 2013

Cogency

I’m still running pretty no energy, but my mood continues to hold up pretty well. This is in spite of me needing to vent some steam and share a strong opinion in the last 24 hours over folks dissin’ my homeland-of-origin (Texas, for those who somehow missed that).

Now, I tend to bite back on opinions for a myriad of reasons. For one, every single person in the world is a hypocrite about something, including me. I always go over ways people could call me out for having a double standard, and ofttimes that precludes me putting my two cents out there. Which is sort of silly — it’s not like people can read my brain and pick out ways to point out how I’m legitimately wrong. That also presupposes that most people are willing to put together a well-researched argument, as well as being hyper-aggressive.

I also, like so many of us, used to be a lot brasher and nastier in having opinions when I was younger. Phrases like ‘If you believe X, then you’re *obviously* y’ (stupid, retarded, or some other inappropriate word here) were very normal from my face, and I am sure that made discussing things with me unpleasant. I’ve mellowed as I’ve aged, and I also had a wonderful exposure to a wonderful group of friends who believed in respect in arguments, and that helped me learn how to express my opinions without stomping all over everyone else by default.

I still have one big problem though — I make very definitive statements. I appreciate that many people feel threatened by definitive statements, as if it means that one is unbending in what they believe. This makes me sad — as said, I was lucky enough to be exposed to friends who could debate anything while respecting dissenting opinions. I generally want to discuss things and see other viewpoints to try and make my own more rounded. After all, how does one become rounded and polished if they don’t expose themselves to new materials to bring out their own shine?

Well, and I still have another problem I’m overcoming. Before I was diagnosed with bipolar and medicated, my default state was fight-or-flight. Combine being constantly irrational with ‘Fuck it, I feel terrible anyways’ and a physical need to get opinions out, and it was not a fun environment to be me, or be near me. I know that many people are probably still worried and wary that I’m going to bite their faces off, and to be fair? I can’t blame them. I know how hard I was to deal with — I had to deal with me 24/7!

But for now, I’m grateful at the progress I’m making, and how it’s getting easier to make sense and not set the world on fire the further along I come in my treatment//towards stability. I’m still very concerned about stepping on people, but I feel like I’m doing better. There’s always room for improvement, of course, but it doesn’t hurt to say ‘Hooray’ for what’s working out, right?

<3

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Dina Leah is Alive and Well

Some of you may know that I am writing a book.  It’s a memoir that chronicles a seven-month period in my life, when I ran away from home and never went back.  It’s pretty gruesome in some places, and kind of wacky in others.  The title, so far, is A Runaway Life.  And since it’s already about 315 pages, I kind of doubt the title will change; but you never know.

I have another blog, Dina Leah: Story of a Teenage Runaway, which at first I had intended to be the canvas upon which I would paint this story, in serial form; but the book got out of hand and took on a life of its own and galloped away with me, so my poor Dina Leah blog has languished.  Oh right, I didn’t tell you that Dina Leah is the pseudonym I chose.

I’ve been trying to write this book for at least 30 years.  The problem has been that there is so much trauma oozing between its covers that every time I started to write I would break out in a cold PTSD sweat, and I’d put it away.  My hard drive is bulging with drafts and attempts at chapters.

Last NaNoWriMo I got the bright idea that I would give it a whirl using Third Person instead of First Person, or maybe alternate: just play with it, and see what came out.  So far, since November 1st 2012, about 95,000 words have come out.  Yikes!  I had no idea.  And as it now stands, I’m only five months into the seven month journey.  Gonna be a whole lotta editing goin’ on!   This isn’t War and Peace.  Well, it’s MY war and peace, but that’s a different story, so to speak.

If you don’t mind, please stop by Dina Leah and tell me what you think.  I’m really looking for honest feedback, the more specific the better.  Thanks!


I Am A Drug Addict

Let’s face it: I am a drug addict.  Every night, I take five kinds of drugs to put me to sleep and to keep me from having manic attacks the next day.  In the morning I take another pile of drugs in order to make it through the day without dying of suicide or the high blood pressure that results from rage or from the pure insanity that results from hormonal imbalances.

I crave these drugs, like any addict does.  I crave my night-time meds because, well, they put me to sleep, blotto, giving me respite from the continuous crashing pain.  And the daytime drugs: I take them to keep the ogre of depression away, and to deal with my “co-morbid conditions”: arthritis, high blood pressure, menopause, low Vitamin D, low Folic Acid.

I fear what would happen to me if I did not have these drugs.  This leads me to hoard stashes of the “important” ones: the ones that would certainly result in seizures if I didn’t take them: Lamectil, lorazepam, clonazepam, maybe Lithium.  And the others…Oh, the others could “merely” result in mood changes that could put me into the suicidal ultradian cycling that has wreaked such havoc in my life before.

Yes, I crave these drugs.  Especially at night, when I look forward to the forced oblivion of quasi-sleep the drugs provide.  And in the morning, even though I need twelve hours of sleep to sleep off the night drugs, I sometimes forget to take my morning drugs.  After a day or two, though, I start getting withdrawal symptoms: a kind of hollow feeling, a feeling of unreality, and of course depression, that mostly clears when I take my doses.

Freud craved cocaine.  I do too.  I’m told that an addict never really gets over the craving: you just learn to deal with it.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with this pile of drugs I’m addicted to now.  Each one has its role and responsibility for keeping some symptom in check.  Oh, if I could just have a continuous IV drip of cocaine, or even an unending pile of coca leaves and lime, how happy my brain would be, eh?


banal, bored, bummed

Ever have one of those days where you’re *there*, doing what you should be doing (work, child care, et al) but mentally, you’re kind of *not there* ?

That was today for me.

It was R’s 50th b-day so I took him in meatloaf. (I do have the ability to be nice.) People were in off and on all day with b-day wishes for him. One of his friends, Lisa, and I decided immediately we liked each other. Just that rare occasion when two unfamiliar people get to chatting and actually click.

I had my checklist done before 1pm. Dropped hints like anvils to get him to complete a form so I could go run errands,which I told him right off I wanted to do. Of course, hints didn’t work so I went full blown bossy (DO IT NOW!!!) and that finally got it done. Right around the time I’d normally leave anyway. GRRRRR. Waste of my days when I can get my stuff done so quickly then have to sit around waiting for him to get his shit together because he swears he cannot juggle it all without me. (I call bullshit.) Frankly, Jaba The Hut could be there, as long as it saved the man from being alone and doing the banal work he hates.

But I was NICE because it was his birthday.

Although when his mom spent several minutes chatting with me, hugging me in greeting and goodbye, and his well wishing friends came in and they all really like me…All I could think was, dear god, everyone likes me but R. Why am I here again? My annoying ass wants to go home and not be reminded daily of the fact he’s so tough on me yet so tolerant of everyone.

But I was NICE because it was his birthday.

Plus, my mood wasn’t all that bad.

UNTIL around 2 pm or so…For some reason it just started to free fall towards Gutterland.

But by the time I got home, I was feeling level again.

Then in the midst of my kid acting out, my cats being underfoot, and ripping a chunk of my flesh off on a protruding nail while slamming my finger in the door…

The dam broke and the anxiety erupted and went on the attack. My kid is singing the Barney song over and over and over and over and touching my stuff she’s been told not to touch and the cats are doing meowapalooza and it all just bubbled over.

I was NICE because things go wrong, kids get hyper and annoying, cats are the same, accidents happen…But my brain was really thinking ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, THIS IS FUCKING RIDICULOUS, WHO THE FUCK’S CHEERIO’S DID I PEE IN?

(I swear a lot when angry or mid panic or well, when breathing, it’s a venting thing.)

I took a beat, put in the potty training video I my kid from the library, and after watching it a sixth time…she zonked out on me before 8 pm. And seeing her beside me, little pouty lips sticking out, eyes closed, looking so sweet…The relief was immediate. Not that she was asleep because chances are she will wake up around 11 pm. The relief was because all the things that moments before had me ready to claw my own eyeballs out…Amounted to nothing. I have this amazing kid who makes me laugh as much as she makes me mad. Any time I doubt in the goodness of the world,she is my reality check.

Sometimes it’s enough to keep my scumbag brain demons at bay, sometimes not.

Tonight it was. Now, I am going to post this, and retire to my bedroom with one of my library books and try not to think about any of these stressors. I have run the mood gamut today and it’s exhausting and frustrating and…Even scumbag brains need rest.


It is a beautiful summer

Being Bipolar 1 is not always hard (so long as you take your meds and keep stress low) and I have been in a good spot lately. I am taking Cymbalta, Abilify, Klonopin, Trazadone, and blood pressure medicine every day. I have been off Lamictal for over a month now and I am trying my best to keep a level head. After all I am an adult of 30 years. Mind you if I start to take a turn for the worse I will jump back on it or titrate up the dose as doctor’s order.

This summer has been full of sun and family. I am also sometime going on a trip to an out of state wedding and that will be fun.

Have I had a breakdown since my last post…..OF COURSE but that was because I was overwhelmed with babysitting 6 kids and that freaks me out. Never again. lol They broke me like a wild horse within 45 minutes. Thank goodness my mom came home soon and helped calm me down. Eeehhh …. not a fun memory. But I calmed down quickly with the aid of a Klonopin and within another 45 minutes I was back to myself.

I hope all of you out in this word of blogging are well. I miss you and need to start commenting again. But I just don’t spend much time on the computer anymore. I see my doctor at the end of the month and I will let y’all know how that goes.

Hugs and sloppy kisses,
In the Pink

A Valuable Resource for Writers

I just had a marvelous and incredibly useful conversation with David Henry Sterry, of The Book Doctors.

At first I was skeptical: I mean, here’s a couple (David Sperry and Arielle Eckstrut) who make their living allegedly helping writers get their books published.  So what’s to be skeptical about that?  Oh yes.  I remember now: they charge money.  Now, there seems to be a bumper crop of people and organizations purporting to help you get your book published.  I myself subscribe to Writer’s Digest, which has been mildly to moderately helpful, at a certain price, and NaNoWriMo, which has been enormously helpful, is free.  Once in a blue moon they host a valuable webinar, which is where I became acquainted with The Book Doctors.  You can tell where my allegiance lies.

David and his partner Arielle Eckstrut, who is the “other half” of The Book Doctors, offer consultations at a fee of $90 per 15 minutes, $250 per hour, and claim that they are dedicated to:

“helping writers everywhere get their books published.”

Yeah, right.  Just like all the other bozos out there that trumpet the same thing, but uniformly don’t deliver.

Exactly how they came across my radar screen, I don’t remember.  I flipped through their website and said, sheesh, how could these people possibly be for real?  And $250 per hour?  That’s what I made being a real doctor.  They gotta be kidding.

So when NaNoWriMo featured them on a webinar , I tuned in to see what they had to say. They had a lot to say, and it was all good, practical, useful stuff.  And as a “value-added” feature, they offered a 15-minute consultation (a $90 value!) to webinar participants.  I signed up.

Then I went back to their website again, and using my super-hero x-ray vision, sucked up all the information it contained.  I even purchased their excellent book, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published., which retails for $11.82 on Amazon.  Couldn’t hurt, I figured, and besides, if you buy the book you get a 15 minute consultation, FREE!  Wow, I was up to 30 minutes with them, for stuff I would have bought anyway, the webinar plus the book!  I went for it.

First of all, I gotta tell you–that book is priceless.  First I will tell you what it does NOT contain, and that is: Bullshit.  None. Of. It.  It is pure, concise, unadulterated useable information.  If you’re wondering how to really, really get your book published, this is the nuts-and-bolts go-to guide.

Now let me get to the fun part: the consultation itself.  I got to talk with David Sperry for a whole thirty minutes, because I had participated in the webinar plus bought the book.  As soon as I pitched him my novel/memoir, we discovered that we had common ground (see my Dina Leah blog), and that greatly facilitated the process of sorting out my book and answering critical questions.  The information and advice that he provided were 100% useful.  I feel that our short conversation will exponentially increase the probability of my book being published.  Like most aspiring authors, I feel that my book will change many lives.  I hope that mine will bring hope to people who are struggling with recovery from the awful traumas that haunt those of us who have been “scrabbling down in the streets” (thanks again, Joni Mitchell).

If you’re working on your book and wondering where to go next, I encourage you to first buy the book The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published and then beg, borrow, but don’t steal (that is a sin) the money for a consultation with The Book Doctors.  You won’t regret it.

Disclamer: this review of my experience with The Book Doctors is entirely mine and unsolicited.  The Book Doctors did not ask me to do it.


A Little About Hope

My monthly guest post is up over on the International Bipolar Foundation’s blog. This month is all about HOPE.  What HOPE looks like to me.  I’m curious…what does hope look like to you?  Sometimes (often-times) HOPE seems unattainable, and sometimes (often-times) STABILITY seems completely out of reach.

To read it, you can click the icon below.

ibf

Please check it out and let me know what you think and if you can relate.

Thank you to my wonderful, lovely, loyal followers.

Y’all are awesome,

Mrs Bipolarity

Bone-Tired

bone-tired

(also bone-weary)
Definition of bone-tired

adjective

extremely tired.
Yup.

I prefer tired over weary in the phrase, though I couldn’t tell you why. Perhaps because it is a more expressive word of my plight? I feel okay otherwise — even my wrists and other joints are on the mend. But I’m low/no energy, and that’s a bit annoying. Is it due to my meds, perhaps? I’m not drowsy or groggy in the slightest, ‘merely’ completely physically exhausted. As all-encompassing as it is, there’s still enough good counter-balancing it that I’ve been able to manage small chores without too much detriment.

On a tangent, a friend posted a link to this scan image on the Mayo Clinic website:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/medical/IM00356

I found it to be a comfort of sorts to see this, ’cause yes — the brain isn’t braining well when I’m depressed. I’m not making anything up, I am not being a drama queen. My brain actually isn’t working, and look, there’s a scientific-medical authority saying so. Really, just seeing that helps clear away some of the lies depression tries to tell me. I’m not sure I can describe it any better than that. Perhaps it will provide some sort of relief to others to see it? I guess I’ll find out when people look at it.

For now, back to trying to caffeine up. :)

<3

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Why Do I Get So Angry?

It’s happened again.  Someone said something that pissed me off so badly that I never want to see him again.  Not that I’ve seen so much of him over the last seven or eight years.  It was someone who I dated years ago, and broke off amiably because, well, because we weren’t right for each other.

Now he shows up in my life again, suddenly, without invitation, and wants to strike up a relationship again.  All well and good: I’m open to new relationships now.

So we Skype for a few hours–he lives far away–and that was nice.  We talk about mutual passions passionately–nice too.  And then he drops the bomb.

You see, I am Jewish, and so is he.  He is much more Orthodox-ly observant than I am.  I’m basically, well, just a Jew.  I’m skeptical about a lot of the Orthodox beliefs and customs.  I used to be very, very Orthodox, and I kind of got over that.  A lot of it has to do with the second-class citizen status of Orthodox women.  Most Orthodox people, men and women alike, would object to that statement, saying that men and women respectively have different roles, and that both of those roles are necessary to make up the whole.  I agree with that, except that the roles that are relegated to women are mainly domestic.  That’s all I will say about that.

So this new hopeful is going along giving me tons of advice about Kabbalistic ways of healing PTSD.  It all looked great to me, except that it required the unrestricted use of a mikveh, which is a Jewish ritual bath.  Religious Jewish men use one nearly every day, for Jewish religious men’s reasons.  Jewish women are restricted to using a mikveh only once a month, after their menstrual period has ended; and sometimes before Yom Kippure, the Day of Atonement, as part of the purifying process of the day.

So we entered a discussion regarding the prohibition on women’s free use of the mikveh, which has to do with the rabbinical courts’ rulings that allowing women to immerse in the mikveh at any time would lead to promiscuity, since a woman who has immersed is now in a pure state for sexual relations.  I know, it’s complicated.  So he sends me all these articles that support women’s free access to the mikveh.

That’s where the trouble started.  I pointed out that one of the articles came from a Conservative rabbi (there are three main branches of Judaism:  Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform, and none of them agree with each other), which would make it more lenient than the Orthodox opinions.

He wrote me back saying that Rabbi so-and-so says that Conservative and Reform Jews are heretics, and he doesn’t associate with them.

That pulled my chain really, really bad.  I flared up like gasoline on a campfire.  You can argue all the theory you want, but don’t call other Jews heretics.  That’s like damning them to Hell, even though we don’t believe in Hell.  It’s completely erasing them as valid human beings.

So he realizes what he’s done, begs me not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, backpeddles, and does everything he can think of to get himself out of the tight place he’s stuck his own *ss in.  I won’t have it.  What’s said is said, and I have no obligation to suck it up, because we really don’t have any kind of relationship yet.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t have such a tendency to get angry when I feel that someone has been wronged–even myself.  I think it would be nice to just coast along, unaffected by the words and actions of others.  I’ve tried, believe me I’ve tried all kinds of ways to stay unattached.  It doesn’t work.

I think it’s all the anger that I didn’t allow myself to feel when I was “scramblin’ down in the streets” (Joni Mitchell) and couldn’t afford to get angry, and during the times that my mother’s wrath kept my mouth firmly closed, lest I get it slapped.


Stuff ‘n things

Why the title? Because this is gonna be a Seinfeld episode entry. Much ado about nothing. Why? Because I can. Furthermore, since nothing cataclysmic has happened, but venting is still good for the soul, I feel the need to purge.

Spent last night at a friend’s house watching Dr. Who. Was not planned, but my kid fell asleep and it was like, why bother driving home at this hour and waking her up?

She slept. I was awake til one a.m. Because I do not sleep well outside of my comfort zone. It isn’t even that I am uncomfortable in other people’s homes, they make me feel very welcome. But for some odd reason, being outside my safe space is not conducive to me resting properly. I should have taken a Trazadone with me, I suppose, but again, it was impromtu. Dr. Who (Smother eps) was freaking AWESOME, btw. He is growing on  me. Probably just in time for a new one to take over.

Speaking of new things. The sunshine spewer has tendered her notice, she got another job, which means I will be getting a new counselor. I was surprised, but not shocked, as it happens way too often in this town. Just when you get accustomed to a doc/therapist/etc, they leave for greener pastures because this place is on life support. I took it pretty well, actually, didn’t crash my mood or anything. But I think I will miss her. I mean, the new one I am being assigned to is my brother’s counselor, and he loves her, but since “deviation is evil” is my constant mind set, I worry about the time it will take to bond with someone new.

I’m trying to keep an open mind and be positive. Change doesn’t always equal suckage.

Did not have a bad day. Mood was up, in spite of Kenny being there, making my presence redundant. But I was requested so I went in and in the process of reassembling a projo TV I stripped for parts, I put the wrong back on it. Ooooops. Definitely the brain was on sleep deprivation vacation today. Honestly, though, all the tvs look alike to me. The only difference is the type of TV-projo, DLP, DILA, lcd, led, plasma, crt. You stick me in a room with four RCA projos all disassembled, yeah, I’m gonna mix them up because THEY ALL LOOK BLEEDIN’ THE SAME TO ME.

No major mood shifts or anxieties or personality triggers. I felt good (aside from the dead brain thing) and it was a good day. I left a half hour early, only to find my kid had fallen asleep 5 minutes before.

Well, unless one has nerves of steel and death wish, you don’t wake the Spookster. So I said I’d come back and if she woke up, call me, I’d be right there. I never ever want my kid to think I forgot about her or left her. She’s already had one parent do that. Not on my watch, she’s my spawn and I love her even when I want to put a muzzle on her.

Came home and the most amazzzing thing happened when I opened the door.

The place was actually COOL.

This is the first time in 4 years I can say this place has been cool,  no bullshit. It was sooo wonderful not to step into a sauna. Most people take something like that for granted. Having sweat our asses off for 4 years, Spook and I are loving this. May not love the power bill but it will certainly make four months of summer heat feel less sucky.

The *only* downside to the day, and it was actually more frustration than anything, was helping Nancy with her computer. She doesn’t understand basic principles, like using Google. I think the only sites she ever visits are Yahoo and Facebook. Which might explain why she has a bunch of Malware hijacking shit, which makes the other stuff not work. And some of it is so bad, it refuses to be uninstalled. She already had a reformat a year ago. Now she’s gone and gotten it all fucked up again. My advice to her, since it is running Vista, is to buy a new one. Vista has its fans, I am just not one of them. But really, what this woman needs is a Fisher-Price computer with the pictures on six keys. I am not making fun, just stating she is not computer literate and has no willingness or aptitude to improve her skills. She told me three steps to check her email was too complicated. I even tried to color code it- “orange” for firefox browser, purple  Y for yahoo, Mail button. How is that so complex?

What makes it so frustrating is she calls pretty much once a month and expects me to spend my fuel and my time all for free. And when I get called over for something as stupid as her muting the computer and not knowing she muted it (OH MY GOD, THE SOUND IS OUT!) it’s just asinine. I try to be patient, because God knows I am a slow learner and far from competent at 99% of stuff. It just gets very very frustrating.

Yep, I could find something to gripe about. But I’ve met people who never complain and just bottle stuff up and paste on a smile…I’m waiting for them to appear on the evening news perched in a clocktower.

I don’t want to be that person.

Now…I am gonna go lose my mind because not having my kid home with me feels too fucking alien. Maybe I have become to wrapped up in my identity as a mom.

I don’t think it’s harmful, though. I wouldn’t have a “My zombie ate your honor student” bumper sticker if I weren’t still me ;)