Monthly Archives: February 2014

Busted

My heart's just broken and may end up crippled forever. Or was it always crippled? It's been crippled since the early 70's. A big piece seems to be missing. Was it cut out? Did it burn out? It's definitely busted. No tears. No unkind words toward me or deeds. Could there be a void?

Oh how I wish I had a fucking drink or seven.






gun wears his alcoholism well
finger in bottle and swingin' it still
from Bed to Sink and back again
clock is crawlin' round the same
he's bustin' clock (he hates its face)
just sittin' and talkin' to Heart and ticks
talkin' back to Clock in slow and studied kicks
the fears of Gun are the fears of everyone.
fingers down the throat of love
fingers down the throat of love
fingers down the throat of love
love! love!
Gun does the waltz around the room
collecting Table and Chairs and Sofa and so on and so on
Gun wears his best blue suit, now let's take to the sky
'we'll go dancin' and eatin' it up
get a bottle and push it on down'
and let's just beat it up
transistor radio plays an overwhelmingly sad and lonely song
saying 'where she gone? where she gone?'
the fears of Gun are the fears of everyone.
fingers down the throat of love
fingers down the throat of love
fingers down the throat of love
love! love!

Making Light of Things You have Done While Manic

otw

If you have bipolar disorder and have done some really off the wall things, it does not really do you any good to dwell on it. Move on and laugh it off. By dwelling on the silly things you did and what people are going to think of you, is wasting time.  Move on.

Sometimes they can be things that you are really shameful about, but if you take the right approach to it, then it will be a healthier decision.

I have done some really crazy things while I was manic.  Often times it has taken me months if not years to put them in my past.  Why do I waste my time dwelling on them?

I have a mental illness. Sometimes, I am going to get manic and I have to accept that. I am accountable for what I do and really do not like using my illness as an excuse. However, I also know that I wouldn’t have done them if I was not in a manic episode.  It is an explanation not an excuse.

Today, I had somewhat of a revelation.  I am currently feeling like I might be on the pathway to mania.  I told my support system including my fiancee.  I told him I as flying. I had never used that term as I always had said racing. Well, in my book, flying is worse.  Anyway, he asked me if  I was flying as that I am manic.  I said no, I am flying to Las Vegas, Nevada. He was confused so I said that that is something I might do when I was manic.  I thought that made light of things.

Awhile after I have had a manic episode and done things I am not proud of, I dwell on it for a long time. Eventually, I can usually laugh at it.  However, wouldn’t be better to just deal with it right away?  Face up- I screwed up. Most people don’t even know that I did. They might think I am odd, but you don’t have to have a mental illness to do odd things.

Plus who cares what they think?  It is what I think. I have never ended up in jail or lost my job because of something I have done . I may have lost friends, but that is fine and understandable.

So, if you are currently ashamed about something you have done in the past because you were manic, think of a way it could be made into a joke and laugh it off. Move on as it is not healthy to keep thinking about it and dwelling on it.

I did a blog awhile ago entitled “How Do People with Bipolar Disorder Deal with Things They’ve Done While in a Manic Episode?” that you might want to read that pertains to this.

I would love to hear your stories of how you have made light of things. Please send them to [email protected]  I plan to do a blog in the future listing those. I will not use  names.

Go out and be odd!


Risky Business

It’s always a risk when you admit publicly to having a mental disorder. But I am thinking of doing just that.

I have not had uniform success when I have revealed to others that I have bipolar disorder (or chronic depression, either). There have been a lot of “me too’s” and “so’s my brother/sister/mother/friend/etc.” and then we compare diagnoses and symptoms and meds and war stories and have a jolly time.

Other times, well… My mother hoped my problems would go away after I got a “good, steady job.” My father said he didn’t mind if I went to a therapist “as long as he didn’t have to go too.” My mother-in-law “doesn’t believe in mental illness.” My rotten-ex-boyfriend “jokingly” suggested that if we went to couples counseling, he and the therapist could agree that I was a danger to self and others and have me put away. (I knew that wasn’t true and told him so. We went. It didn’t help.)

Recently I have started two blogs, this one for mental health issues and a more general one called Et Cetera, etc. (which you’re welcome to visit if you like). I have linked Et Cetera to my Facebook account, but so far I haven’t linked this one.

Starting these blogs feels like a risk to me, especially since I’ve set WordPress to remind me to post at least once a week. Making a commitment that I will pull myself together four times a month (eight if you count the other blog) and write is something I’m not completely sure I can do. I have good days and bad days, and sometimes those bad days pile up in a bunch.

But I have also taken a bigger risk. Creative Nonfiction magazine requested submissions to be considered for its Mental Health Anthology. So I submitted one. If it gets chosen, I will be “coming out” as bipolar and a mental patient. When (if) that happens, I will likely do the “big reveal” on Facebook. A fair number of my close friends already know, but they constitute only a small segment of my FB friends.

(Creative Nonfiction accepts only manuscripts that have not been published elsewhere. If they don’t accept mine, you can bet it’s going up on this blog the next day.)

So, having thoroughly terrified myself, I will anxiously await the results. And in the meantime, I’ll try to keep up the regular blogging.

Wish me luck.


Radio Silence

Yeah yeah yeah, I got a bit quiet again. I had my reasons; I felt that someone was trying to justify harassing me in spite of set boundaries because *gasp* I want to write about my life in my own blog. I won’t go into specifics, but suffices to say it robbed me of resources I repeatedly expressed I did not have and has made it really hard for me to get around to poking my head in here.

Things are super-busy here. Because of the aforementioned, I won’t go into details at current, but things are at full tilt and then some. I’ve realized in the past day or two that this is starting to get to my mental health. I saw my psychiatrist yesterday morning and was doing mainly okay, but by evening I started to suspect I might be having mixed episode. I mean, it if is, it’s not a severe one per se, but. I did totally have a breakdown moment at work today, which didn’t help. I found out I was further behind on my work than I thought due to an oversight, which resulted in throwing my clipboard across the office and crawling under my desk to cry.

Having said that, it’s probably just stress in general from so much going on. I don’t feel particularly depressed or golden; when I’m hypomanic, I feel like I’m on the sunny side of a cloud and it is glorious. And while I did manage to assure my psychiatrist that I was getting back on my meds as soon as this kiddo was born and that I can only cope now due to the cessation of bipolar-related mood swings pregnancy hormones bring me. Coping is certainly the applicable word. But I have realized that I have managed some mastery over Scumbag Brain™® — I managed to get my head together enough to get us out of the office and back home. I managed to be polite and vaguely chatty with my husband on the way home even though part of my brain was insisting that I should totally ice him out. Hah brain, not gonna let you get me that way this time!

((I could probably say a lot more on the above, but that would require brain power I don’t have, because))

It also doesn’t help that my chronic fatigue has gone from bad to severe. I honestly can not remember the last time I felt this run down physically. It’s probably being aggravated by the fact that I am not sleeping well due to physical pain and discomfort; my poor husband has been on the couch since my birthday to give me space and quiet in the hope that my brain would remember how to sleep through the night again. Ha… ha… ha. It’s getting there, but man oh man, I will be so happy to get Seroquel back in me and helping make sleep better!

In general though, I feel things are mainly good. I’ve gotten to a place where I’m done with people invalidating me, my existence, and my health. Fed up with being treated like my existence is less, you know? I don’t consider myself an unreasonable person — I do my best to be ‘good’. I do my best to educate and share information as I can within my resource limits (which are very low, admittedly). I try to give people chances, but it just finally really started firming up in my brain that some folks are never going to respect me or treat me as valid. I can argue my case as well as I want, but it’s never going to happen. And that’s okay — it means that I can practice some of that letting go that I’ve been so slow in developing. And that’s an awesome step, whatever the circumstances that bring it around.

So anyways, here’s hoping for a restful and refreshing weekend for me, and for all of you out there.

<3

The post Radio Silence appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Bipolar Interview

Hello everyone!
Today I’m over at Like a Bird with Kendra. She interviewed me about my experience with bipolar disorder as a part of a monthly series on mental illness. She is interviewing one woman a month with a different mental illness, and I’m so honored to have been a part of her inspiring project. To read the post, click on the picture above!
On a different note, I have been floored by the reaction my last blog post received. Wow. I’ve gotten comments, texts, emails, and Facebook messages. Some are more pleasant than others, but they have all reaffirmed my belief that it is important for us to honestly share our stories. I feared losing friends, but I have only made more. It’s been my most popular blog post ever. Thank you to everyone who read, shared, or engaged with me. Interacting with readers is the most rewarding part of my blog. I always love to hear from you! You can leave a comment, email me, or send me a tweet.

Blog for Mental Health

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

For those of you interested in this campaign, find more information at http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/

As you know, my blog is all about mental health, so I am delighted to join with other bloggers to promote our experiences and interests.


Bobbi Brown BB Cream Review

My review of the Bobbi Brown BB Cream… Continue Reading →

Patience

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Filed under: Self Discovery Tagged: faith, happiness, hope, love, patience

A Good Night’s Sleep

I’ve always been a problem sleeper.

My parents despaired of me even as an infant, for I could stay awake half the night and be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at six AM. I never fell asleep in the carriage like most babies, and I didn’t even take naps unless I was sick. I was a champion non-sleeper, and the fact that I was using all this extra awake time for learning didn’t seem to impress those around me except perhaps for my sister, who taught me how to read and tell time long before I went to kindergarten.

All of this changed when I was a teenager, however. Suddenly I went from being up with the chickens to a complete slug who was never seen out of bed voluntarily before noon on the weekends. I drank in sleep like thirsty people slurp water when they’ve been exercising in hot weather, and to some extent that’s still true. I am a firm believer in the restorative qualities of sleep, and if I had my druthers I’d sleep a full eight hours a night…..ideally from about 2-10 AM. Failing that, I love nothing better than to snuggle up with Will and the dog on a winter’s afternoon, and doze contentedly in the La-Z-Boy.

Alas, I am old and my zzzz’s are not what they used to be. In fact, a good night’s sleep is quite the elusive little devil, and its absence is felt deeply……especially when I’m on the cusp of a mood episode. There’s no middle ground: I either want to sleep 20 hours a day, or else it’s “who the hell needs sleep? I got things to do and people to annoy!” Not only that, my sleep tends to be fitful now, and I seldom get a full night in without waking up at least once…..and usually a lot more than that.

To say that this plays hell with my moods would be the understatement of the year. What I can’t seem to figure out is whether I get wacky because I’m not sleeping well, or whether I’m not sleeping well because I’m wacky. Either way, disturbed sleep is ALWAYS an indicator that the fecal material is about to collide with the oscillatory ventilation system, and I’m learning that I can’t let it go for more than a couple of nights.

Fortunately, I’ve become more self-aware in recent months, and am less resistive to taking my super-duper anti-crazy pill that doubles as a sleeper. It sure saved my bacon a couple of nights ago, when I was wound up tighter than a spring—again—and decided to quit messing around and take the full dose.

Two days later, I am still quite sane, and I didn’t even take the super-duper anti-crazy pill last night. But I have had a couple of decent nights of shut-eye, and I am one of the most reasonable people you’ll ever meet when I’ve slept well. I’m easygoing, not easily annoyed or argumentative, and I don’t even flip people the bird in traffic. I can even maintain that pleasant demeanor as long as I have a stable sleep pattern. But give me a night or two of broken, unrefreshing, and/or inadequate sleep, and my brain basically shits the bed. (No pun intended.)

Now it’s to bed, perchance to sleep…..and maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll still be a happy camper tomorrow. :-)

 

 

 


The Sounds Of Silence



Silence. Sometimes nothing speaks louder than silence.

My spouse spent most of his day in/on the bed with his computer in the bedroom after having his coffee this morning. He didn't get up until after 8am. That is the latest he has slept in that I can remember. When he took his morning coffee, once again, the unsigned tax forms sat in a neat pile on the coffee table. I asked him twice if there was something wrong, and he assured me there wasn't.

He came out of the bedroom around 4.30pm to scavenge around in the kitchen. He ate a bowl of cereal while waiting for his microwaved potato to cook. I offered him some of the fruit I was eating, but he declined. Instead, he grabbed the remote, and switched the tv over to the usual cartoons: American Dad, Family Guy, and The Simpsons. He tossed the remote on top of the unsigned tax forms when he was done with it. 

It's all too often the same. Cartoons and a laptop. Barely a word, if any, to me. Silence.

Is he playing the passive-aggressive game again? Is there something he wants to say about the taxes, but is too chickenshit or something to directly confront me? I'm all about direct confrontation. Get shit out of the way and try and move on. He likes to hold grudges for days, punish with silence and hiding out in the bedroom for days, or going out for a few drinks with someone else.

There are 3 working pens on the table, and the only person that's been using them has been me, for paying bills and rent. I'm beginning to think that he's going to "accidentally" spill tea on the forms. He cannot bring himself to confront me with whatever revelation he's had or what issue he has now about the tax forms. I knew his attitude would change once the buzz wore off, once he'd had a lot of time to himself to think, once he'd had a lot of sleep and naps.

But he remains silent. I think Frankie the cat spoke more to me today than he did.

Silence can wound. Silence can kill.