Daily Archives: January 31, 2014
Maybe it’s just me, but often? It feels like having bipolar (or any other sort of invisible illness) is a lot like being on trial forever. You’re on the stand, over and over again, repeating the same damned thing to different people, or maybe the same person two hundred different ways. It’s hard — you want to make your situation make sense. You want to help someone understand, so they can be a better ally and friend as they might wish to be. Or perhaps, you just want to break down a stereotype because you’ve seen a person using it to the detriment of yourself or those you care for. Whatever the case, it’s freaking exhausting. So is tilting at windmills, which let’s be fair — sometimes isn’t much less productive than trying to explain an invisible illness, mental or physical.
This is, of course, triggered by a real life happenstance! Thankfully, it’s not been too taxing a one, considering. And I am trying a new tact that might be a useful one to recommend around. You see, the person in question has had a history of gaslighting me when I bring up my personal experience because it is not one this person has not personally had the displeasure of experiencing. So while I often feel that trying to explain things not only is to an unreceptive and uncaring audience, it’s still one that I would love to get the point across to. So I drafted friends in to say their piece. I don’t know how it is for everyone else in dealing with old friends and family who predate diagnosis, but it’s been my personal experience that many of them are incredibly dismissive because they chose to ignore how poorly I was doing by default. I don’t let people do that anymore, obviously. *grins* But I figure — if they won’t listen to me, perhaps they will listen to people who aren’t me who are saying things I personally would say (and in the vast majority of cases, more cogently than I could because hey, not pulling hair out trying to find yet another way to phrase the damned thing I’ve said a million times before!). While I am not sure what the final outcome of the discussion might be, I feel that applying this ‘trick’ has moved the person of contention into a place where they are more amenable and willing to consider experiences outside of their personal realm. If that personally benefits me too? This is the face of me not complaining. Plus, I think most of us can agree that it is a thing of sheer joy when we can help someone understand something new!
Beyond that, I’m sort of feeling better physically. Had my 20 week scan yesterday, and everything is where it should be on Yon Fetal Invader. And understanding YFI’s positioning in the womb better helps me translate the assorted movement, which is always exciting; I’m not one of those ladies who can tell you precisely where the baby is and what limb is doing what second to second, hee hee. My sleep is still terrible after coming off the Seroquel; my brain wakes at the end of sleep cycles when it didn’t used to, and it’s very annoying (and keeping my poor husband on the couch so he doesn’t disturb me). The irony of feeling sort of human is counterbalanced by the fact my nose is streaming snot, but ah well. I guess I can’t have it all in the feeling good department right now, and better to count the tiny blessings… like pretty much always.
Hope everyone is doing well!
I created a page on my blog explaining what bipolar disorder is. I decided, since there are many misconceptions, about bipolar that I would go ahead and reprint it as
While I'm sitting here under the S.A.D. lamp, thinking most normal folks are all looking forward to V-Day - at least the women -I know that mine is just going to be shit. I'm dreading it like fuck. It's not something I'm bringing down upon myself with negative thoughts or interactions with the spouse, it's just that I feel that all he cares about right now is himself. He claims to be broke, yet says he could just pay the balance of his car loan off in one go. He's got plenty of money saved up in the bank. Sure he's laid off, but he knows that he's going back to work in another week, but he refuses to pay extra rent (only $100). He normally does these days, even though he brings in a shitload more money than I do with my SSDI.
On the way to my shrink, I mentioned that I sent the rent out. That's when he told me he wasn't going to pay extra, because he's not working, but he was sure proud to announce that he was going to get $500 a week on unemployment the other day. Poor guy.
I have noticed since xmas that he has bought more and more things than I can even count. Almost every day, he receives some sort of package, buying things for himself daily. Yet he claims he can't pay an extra $100 on rent, which would help me out with shrink and meds costs. He even gets upset when I casually and innocuously use the term "shit" as in "here's some more shit for you", when I bring back the mail from the mailboxes down the hall or from the door.
He also made that ridiculous claim that he's going to stop smoking. Cold turkey, of course. He smokes about a pack a day. He even smoked all the packs of smokes that he "gave" to me as a gift from his trip back from over the great pond, and never replaced them.
Yesterday, he complained about dishes in the sink, most of which he had used, as if I'm supposed to keep the kitchen clean? He was angry and said he wanted to cook, but couldn't even get in the sink. So he ended up washing a few dishes. Big deal. He's not paying more rent, so he can do dishes too, is what I was thinking to myself. I don't give a fuck if he likes it or not.
This morning after I got up at 6, when my alarm goes off, I shut the bedroom door and got dressed for the treadmill. I went about things in a normal way, as if no one was asleep, because he never makes an effort to do things quietly when he gets up and I'm still in bed. That is the reason now that I am no longer in bed when he gets up. The noise he makes has forced me to get up before him, whether he works or not, fucking with my sleep, worrying about the time, making me look at the clock several times during the night.
Every morning, he's in a pissy mood for the first half hour at least. He calls it "waking up". When the alarm goes off, I wake up, grab my clothes, get out of the bedroom, shut the door, make coffee, etc. What I'm trying to say is when you're awake, you're fucking awake. It's not license to act like a man morning bitch just because you're that way in the mornings. I never wake up in a shitty mood. I just wake up like a robot, I do what I gotta do. I don't act like a baby morning bitch. Unfortunately, most of the men I have been with have been like this, but I have to say that he might be the worst, if memory serves.
So why am I still married, you may ask? At the moment, I sure can't afford to move and live alone. I just try to look forward to my alone time when he is working, no matter how much he complains about having to work. He says he wants to get laid off. He's started to call in "sick" more often for laziness. His work ethic has never been like an american work ethic of our (probably not you) generation. He's used to getting laid off for months, even taking a year off and traveling here and there, but that's all in the past. In this country, bitch, you gotta work.
Except for those of us that can't but wish they could, like me. I'm too fucked up: bipolar, PTSD, BPD, crippling anxiety, and gawd knows what else that isn't diagnosed. It's all jumbled into one big mess.
Is it so stupid, horrible, and selfish to just want a bottle of decent champagne and some good chocolates to share? Do I just have to buy them myself? If I do, I'm going to get most of that fucking champagne, motherfucker. I always get my feelings hurt on V-Day, even if I tell myself I expect nothing. I guess I'm just fucking lying to myself. I just want to be shown a little love. Who doesn't?
And here's thee song about a broken heart:
So, every Friday I am going to have a GUEST BLOGGER that is suffuring from mental illness, just like you and me. They will be talking about their experiences. Please help me welcome guest blogger BIPOLAR ON FIRE as my first blogger. YAYYYAYYYY!
_______________________________________________________________________________So you have a mental illness.. Which one?
I have Bipolar Disorder. SO BAD!!!
When were you diagnosis & how old were you?
I was diagnosed probably about ten years ago which would have made me about thirty seven years old, after I had lost just about everything in life.
How do you cope with your mental illness?
I cope with my mental illness by taking scads of drugs. I just tried ECT for my bipolar depression, and it didn’t work. I am also in therapy, and I write my blog. The most important thing is to never give up. My mom has some friend who does the laying on of hands, you know, prayer-wise? She has offered to do this for me and I said to set it up. I’m open to literally anything. I’d go to a witch doctor.
What are 3 words that you would describe how your illness makes you feel?
Three words that describe how my illness makes me feel are Crazy, Desperate and Unstable
What are some ways you relax from your illness?
I try to exercise every day, which is good to calm the mind and rid the body of excess energy. Reading can also calm my mind. I used to relax with marijuana but I became too excessive with it. I miss it terribly.
What is some advice you would give to your fellow soldiers fighting this fight?
My advice would be to use WordPress to get support, read the blogs, write on them for support, be as honest as possible, there is a lot of support here. In the real world also do the same. The level of support is usually proportionate to your level of honesty as to what you are going through. Allow yourself to be supported and know that you deserve it.
Do you have any books, websites, writers, shows, music, etc that has helped you cope that you like to share?
I read the WordPress blogs that are tagged “Bipolar”, “Bipolar Disorder”, and “Mental Illness” and I find a tremendous amount of support there.
Tell us your blog or how we can keep in contact with you:
bipolaronfire.com YEAH BABY!!!
Yesterday I shared a post on Facebook that I thought was awesome. Here it is, so you can contemplate it too: http://momastery.com/blog/2014/01/30/share-schools/
The comments I got on it were things like “Wow! Brilliant!” and “This would have changed my life.”
A friend posted exactly the same essay, and here are some of the responses he got, interspersed with comments I made.
COMMENT: Wow, a math teacher that does not understand how game theory works. That is kind of sad.
COMMENT: It should be noted that the premiss [sic] of revenge is that 1+1=0.
ME: Why are you debating game theory? This is about the human heart.
COMMENT: If she’s optimizing to prevent a low probability event, she’s making the same mistake add the TSA.
ME: Summarize in no more than three words what this essay is about. Kids. Loneliness. Ostracism. Help the hurting. Pay attention, gang. The point is zooming by somewhere overhead. The TSA is irrelevant to this.
COMMENT: I think that people who think that by mining a lot of data and then look for correlations they can detect who’s being abusive are…naive at best, dangerous at worst.
ME: I’ll take naive over uncaring any day. A teacher that cares is way more important than the TSA, NSA, and all those TLA* people. I’m leaving now before I say something that will get me banned. [The poster blocks or bans anyone who engages in ad hominem or other abusive attacks.]
COMMENT: This is a single teacher data mining, yes. The NSA at least has some experience in doing it correctly…
Of course, there were other people who responded to what the post was really about, but I was appalled at the number who skipped right past the topic in favor of showing off their erudition instead of compassion.
Admittedly, I’m a professional nitpicker, and I have sometimes been guilty of the same thing – ignoring the content of a post to go after incorrect usage of “literally,” for example. But my God, the relentless refusal to address the topic, even when it was pointed out repeatedly, and not just by me, that they were discussing Something Else Entirely. With rants so long they were essays themselves, and links to articles on the NSA and how to avoid being arrested. (The thread included comments on profiling as well.)
I have been a victim of bullying, etc. So have many of the people who commented when I shared the essay, and when they passed it along. So have many people who tried to get my friend’s comment thread back on topic.
And so, too, I suspect, were at least some of the people who nattered on about statistical analysis and all the other extraneous matters. I cannot imagine them going through school without getting taunted, threatened, or beaten up for being a “smarty-pants,” “brainiac,” or “know-it-all,” or some words less polite. And I suspect that those people are in MASSIVE denial, still trying to build themselves a shield of words and facts and statistics and analysis and theories and showy buzzwords.
I would tell them (if they would listen, which they likely wouldn’t) that this strategy Won’t Work. I know. I’ve tried it. Again and again. And yet again.
What is that definition of mental illness? Oh yes. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
So what’s the point? The topic, as it were? I may be crazy. But by that definition, so are they. And I’m getting treatment for it, not reinforcing myself with a feedback loop. Oops. Did I just get pedantic and jargon-y? I’ll stop now and apologize.
*TLA = Three-Letter Acronym
Come find out what my everyday bipolar ups and downs are…
I hope this helps someone.
When you have a mental illness, it seems that all your Positivity is sucked up by it.
Trapped by It. Here are some ways to PRACTICE positivity, because for people like us, we are going to need plenty of practice.
Grow the roses of success
Another day without significant change in my mental status. I’ve been in a depressive fog for so long now, I’m actually getting scared. I’m going into week 3 of Viibryd and I know the stuff takes time but…I’m desperate. This depression is tainting every aspect of my existence, even the writing I so love. It has become pointless, dark, desolate, mimicking how I feel, thus it’s not fiction anymore. It’s not fun or fulfilling or interesting. It’s one more bucket of suck to make me feel even shittier.
I am told to “snap out of it.” Please, geniuses who spout this.DO FUCKING TELL. If snapping out were an option I sure as hell wouldn’t bother with all the side effect infested pills.
Something’s got to give, and for me, it’s usually the coming of spring. This has been the longest,coldest winter I remember, ever. It seems like it will never end and thus every day I am treading water because until this part of my disorder ends, nothing else can really be done. I’d settle if the med would just take the edge off, but so far, it’s not. Everything is black and pointless as ever and my feelings toward everything, including myself, are the same. I hate me. I hate everything.
The financial strain is hitting me hard for the first time since I don’t remember when. It’s not new and yet, I am coping with it like it is something different when it’s not. My mind is so altered, I barely recognize me anymore. Paranoid, anxiety ridden (when it’s so bad I take the fully prescribed dose rather than trying to tough it out…it says something.)
The last few days my kid keeps telling me she wants to go live with her dad. I mean, she’s 4 and she also wants me to buy her a tree chipper and let her sleep in a coffin but…It’s still devouring my soul, a soul that’s so sad to begin with it feels like a mortal blow. I’ve done all the work. He walked out and hasn’t sent so much as a birthday card in almost 3 years. But she wants him. Yeah, not motivating me to keep doing this. Being a mom and her needing me has been my biggest driving force. To have this shit driven into my head daily, when my head is so screwed up already…It would make me bawl except Lithium doesn’t allow me to cry.
And I know I am the adult, grow up, blah blah blah, but ya know what? I don’t care. It hurts. It fucking hurts. And I am well aware that I have years of hurt ahead of me ‘cos it’s what kids do and I did it to my parents and this is karma and.,..
It still just hurts. For once in my life, I did the right thing. I made a choice to have a kid and I have been with her, caring for her, every single day for 4 and a half years.
He walks out on and fails to support THREE kids, the courts never go after him, and of course, he gets to be the hero even with this kid.
I don’t think even Mother Theresa could delude herself into saying that’s not a thorn in the paw.
I keep telling myself it;s just my ego but it’s really not. NO ONE knows how hard it’s been for me since having her altered my brain chemistry to the point of turning “a little crazy” into “batshit crazy.” I tried to talk to my family about it but got the lecture about how I have to stop thinking about me and it’s about my kid…So what’s the fucking point. I reached out for support and help and that’s what I got. So I have done it alone for my kid…And wanting a little bit of acknowledgement isn’t a sin. Maybe it’s immature or demanding but it’;s not a sin. Parenting is tough enough. Doing it alone, with a mental illness wreaking havoc daily, is a fucking feat.
I had to work myself up into an anger cos the desire for tears was overwhelming. I can work with anger. It’s fuel for my soul. Being sad will only make me look like a welcome mat. Being pissed off will at least demonstrate I have some fight left in me.
My delusion, I guess.
I just want to feel happy, even if only for a couple of hours. This quiet desperation sucks.