Daily Archives: March 8, 2014

Crazymaking

Ever have one of those days which makes you question whether or not you can actually rely on your own impressions?

Well, imagine EVERY day being like that, and you’ve got an idea of what millions of mentally ill people live with. It’s as if the world is full of passive-aggressiveness, which is a mind-fuck of epic proportions that can drive us to the point where we can’t trust ourselves to separate what’s real and true from what isn’t. Sometimes it gets so bad that we become suspicious of everything and everyone—especially their motives—and we take absolutely everything personally, even though on an intellectual plane we know our response to this manufactured stress is irrational.

Some call this behavior ‘paranoid’; others call it ‘delusional’. But whatever it’s called, it makes life really, really uncomfortable. No one WANTS to think the people in their lives are trying to make them crazy, but evidence seems to be everywhere: the son who remembers every birthday, anniversary, and special day in his father’s life, but doesn’t even bother with a phone call on Mother’s Day. (For three years running.) The co-worker who spends her lunch hour visiting all of the other workers in their cubicles, except you. (And speaking of which, there are two women from the other office who were surveyors at the facility where I lost my shit, and I know they remember me. I also share Dr. A’s hunch that they were told on the follow-up visit why I wasn’t there anymore.)

Even the bill collectors are conspiring to ruin my life and make sure I spend the rest of it in a cramped apartment in a bad section of town, just so they can extract their pound of flesh. A LOT of pounds, actually…….between medical bills, some back taxes, and student loans, Will and I are close to $100K in debt. There’s no way that we’ll ever make even a dent in that, and we know we’re close to having to file bankruptcy. Again.

The first two times, I spent us into bankruptcy court; this time, it’s no one’s fault, but I’m still embarrassed to approach our attorney with yet another request to file. And it doesn’t look like we’re even close to the end of the medical spending, even with good insurance, so I’m not sure how beneficial it would be to file now. So the bills continue to wash over us like a flood of garbage (which is where most of them wind up) and the phone messages are becoming more frequent and insistent, while all I want to do is tell ‘em to take a number and get in line behind everyone else who wants a piece of me…..if I could screw up enough courage to call them back, that is.

I’ve NEVER been good with the telephone, as I mentioned some time back; it’s one of those bipolar “thangs” I’ve had to fight all my life. I’d much rather text, e-mail, or even talk to someone in person. The phone is an instrument of torture for folks in bad financial straits anyway, and if I don’t recognize a number, I’ll let the sucker ring and go straight to voice mail. I’ve had too many collections people threaten, badger, and humiliate me into payment “plans” that I couldn’t afford, so I’m not gonna make it easy for those damned sharks. It’s not that I’m unwilling to pay what I owe……I just can’t see myself becoming destitute so they can earn their commission.

And by the way: just because I’m a teensy bit paranoid does NOT mean they’re not out to get me. So there.

 

 

 

 


OF TWO MINDS Official Trailer

I was snooping around my own stuff here on WordPress and I re-read a comment left on one of my pages inviting to check out their documentary. They also thanked me for blogging, which was nice :)

but I finally checked it out and it is awesome. I really want to see it. It made me feel like I was watching myself. Please check it out.

http://oc87recoverydiaries.com/of-two-minds/


Filed under: mental health awareness, Ranting, Uplifting, Videos

Throwing away my life…Caution: mentions suicide

I am throwing stuff out...lots of stuff.  I know it is risky.  One of the warning signs of suicide is giving away prized possessions.  And some of these are prized possessions.  Dozens of oil paintings.  Dozens of photographs, matted and framed.  Watercolor prints, matted and framed.  Boxes of them.  These represent stages of my life and my creative endeavors during those times.  All failed attempts to share my creativity. These pieces of artwork have languished in gift shops, craft fairs, and on restaurant walls.  I even have many of them posted on the internet. www.flickr.com/photos/kitsy_1955/

These items are doing no one any good in boxes or piles in the basement.  And, yes, I am aware that it is a cardinal sin to give away (or lower your price on) something you have previously sold.  So sue me. What is more, they remind me of my failures, my manic efforts with perhaps unrealistic expectations, and a lot of money ill spent.

So out they go to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and the dump.  A lot of that stuff represents what I ought to have been.  Getting rid of it is, in that way, liberating.  No more should's or ought's.  But it brings up the question, "What the hell am I, if not an artist?"

My mother was an artist.  She always took home first prize in the local art show because her style was so unique.  She was also a hoarder, not so much like what you see on TV but a hoarder of memorabilia, dishes, pots and pans, furniture, newspaper clippings, books, and her art.  She was also bipolar and obese.  When she died, the minister struggled to find something positive to say about her life.  He focused on her outlook, that her hoarding was an indication that she felt she would live forever, that she looked to eternity. Whatever.

I am not sure what I am doing this for...this clearing out.  I do not want to be a hoarder.  I know I have, at best, 20-25 years left to live.  I have no thoughts toward living forever.  Perhaps I did once.  Not any more. Furthermore, I no longer want to be burdened by unimportant options like knitting and sewing.  But where will it end?  How will it end?  What gets to stay?

This morning I was pulling out the camping gear.  I loved camping as a child.  Unfortunately, because of my mother's condition, camping was a chaotic affair with lots of blankets and sheets of clear plastic.  After my husband left, when my children were still young, I built a camping system of matching, hard case boxes filled with everything we would want on a camping trip: cast iron frying pans, enameled plates and mugs, table cloths, matching dish towels, candles, enamel-handled flatware, clothes lines, tarps, lanterns, a cook stove, the whole nine yards.  There are sleeping bags, mats, folding chairs, tents, and a car-top carrier to carry it all in.  It was used maybe once or twice.

Pulling it out this morning, I was overcome with incredible sadness.  I had put such hope and happiness into those hard case boxes.  Clearly, I was manic at the time and had disposable income.  But, more than that, I had a vision of happiness for my children.  By God, I was going to give them the experience that brought me such joy, with or without the help of another adult.  Sadly, it was more than I could handle.  Camping was very difficult for my daughter.  She did not like it.  My son did not like it, either, at the time.  He has since been through Boy Scouts and camps with his friends.

In fact, it was my son who saw I was so distraught this morning, and pulled me out of the dive, offering that we can go camping, once it warms up a bit.

So, I have put on the brakes a bit.  The treadmill and workout equipment stay.  The gardening tools stay, I think.  The paper making supplies, I'm not sure.  The grill/smoker, we'll see.  The darkroom equipment stay, for now.

In other words, it is not over.  There is plenty left to attach me to this earth with hopeful expectations.

I Hate Swiss Cheese


Take Me As I Am - Mary J Blige

These past few days I've been having the occasional extremely unwanted fucking flashback. Each one is different, but that car incident the other day really fucked with my head. I can't even put into words some of the horrors I've lived through. My brain is Swiss cheese, and I can't write or talk about all that shit.  I guess that makes me weaker than those that can just come out and share their horror stories. 

My horror stories are buried in some distant graves, but it's as if someone's worked their Voodoo on some of them, and they're pushing their way up through their rotten coffins, up toward the barren surface. They're dragging dirty old film loops to play over and over in my head, until I can shut them out, and push them as far back into the darkness that I can.

Depression and anxiety have pretty much reluctantly taken a little vacation, one after the other, and now PTSD has decided to creep back into my fucking head? Where can I find the right spell that can send all of that evil shit back to their distant graves?

I can't let my mind rest at all when I'm awake for fear of one of those old film loops playing its horrific shit over and over. I want to claw my eyes out, but I can't claw out my mind's eye. I want to blind it. I want to blind that fucker. Gouge it right the fuck out of my head. It shows me and makes me hear painful, evil, bloody, violent, twisted shit that no child or adult should have to experience or see. 

Like I said, there are gaps in my brain, gaps in my memory, whole chunks of memories gone, years of missing time, and blackouts. I don't know all the facts, I don't remember enough, but I remember too much. Forgotten people and places, forgotten faces. Some of it could probably be blamed on booze, drugs, unknown effects of long-term prescription drug use. 

Maybe the seroquel and clonopin will hit me hard tonight, and I won't remember any dreams when I wake up during the night. I hope. Maybe listening to classical music all through the night will help - no lyrics to think about. I'll have the window open to let some cool, comforting fresh air come in. Maybe it'll all take me away to a known, safe dream world that I'm familiar with. 

Tomorrow I'll wake up and start all over again.



Describing Depression

The weather is changing as spring nears. Higher temps, more sun. My mood is flickering. It wants to lift. It just isn’t.  I’m starting to think Viibryd isn’t my magic bullet.

Today has seemed endlessly long. I cleaned a bit. Broke my vacuum which I’ve had all of a month. My third one in three years because I apparently can’t even do that simple task without fucking it up. Went to pick my kid up from the bus and I made a comment to one of the other kids and the mom snapped at me. I am just socially awkward, and unfortunately, I spent three hours beating myself up over it because while it makes no difference to me as I don’t know the woman so I’m not burning my own bridges here…But I got freaked by the notion my social awkwardness could make this woman take an attitude toward her kid and mine being friends. And it’s not stupid, I have seen it done. Hell, my brother wasn’t allowed to play with two kids in his school because they belonged to my former sister in law and she hated me. Parents are petty just like children are. And my kid paying for my sins, no matter how inadvertent they may be, bugs me.

First warm day in months…I had 5 kids out in my yard screeching. I wonder how many there’d be if I had the swingset hauled away. Stupid kid magnet. They’ve pretty much destroyed it anyway. But I took the bullet because Spook’s been locked inside for months.

My dad and his brood came by. I made a comment about Spook keeping me up til 3am every night this week and needing a break and my brother said, “Well, you wanted her.”  Yeah, fuck you. I’ve been with my kid every day for 5 years sans a day here and there. Needing a break isn’t a complaint, its a damn white flag being waved. But that’s how it is in my family. My mom gripes that she never sees Spook but then I ask her to watch her and suddenly I’m not interested in my kid, I just want to ditch her. There are times I cannot believe there wasnt a mix up at the hospital, how can I be related to these hypercritical soul crushing idgets?

I’m ranting. Oh, well. At least this day is over. Even my gums ache because I’ve been grinding my teeth inadvertently with anxiety. I feel so out of sorts. The pressure to cheer up is crushing me. Yeah, I know, it’s been months of me bitching about being miserable. I am fucking sick of it too. I have tried and tried. Hell, I even took up walking and getting sunlight and NONE of these so called cures are helping, ffs. My brain simply isn’t processing right.

It occurred to me, people without depression cannot grasp it. BUT  if I were tasked with describing it (not that they’d get it)…It’s a line I have seen in books many times so I can’t quote a specific one. But I think it aptly describes depression.

“She smiled, but the smile never reached her eyes.”

Yeah, that’s what it’s like.

Every.Fucking.Day.

You smile but you don’t mean it because you can’t feel it. It never reaches your eyes.


Kat Von D Ladybird Palette Review

Check out my review of the Kat Von D Ladybird matte eyeshadow palette… Continue Reading →

The "B" Word

At Towson University, I have seen several posters advocating for “Spread the Word to End the Word.” There is an entire website campaign dedicated to purging the word “retarded” from casual use. At first I was skeptical. Does one word really matter? The more I thought about it, the clearer the answer became to me.
Our choice of vocabulary matters. Now, I try to make a conscious effort not to say “retarded.” I am aware that the word is not meant to be used to describe a situation I think is annoying or stupid. It  belittles and demeans those with actual intellectual disabilities, and it creates a hostile work or learning environment. It’s not good for anyone.
I want to take the movement farther. We should take a similar approach with mental health words. For example, when you use the word bipolar to describe anything but the mental illness, you are stealing my voice. You are diluting my message as a young woman who struggles daily with the disorder. When you perceive the weather to be rapidly changing, you are not witnessing a bipolar experience. I will gladly share my experience with you, but please do not make this comparison. I wish my mood swings were as simple as the weather.
It seems trivial. One word! But our choice of word shapes our attitudes. Let’s challenge ourselves to find a more respectful, intelligent substitute. The English language has a plethora of words for us to choose from. Let’s not take the easy way out and compromise our ability to empathize with our friends with mental illness.
I know this is a controversial blog post, so I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments. I’d like it if we could have a healthy conversation.

Insomnia

Lately my insomnia has been awful.

I don’t know why it’s been so bad, but I know that I can’t get to sleep. My brain is just swirling with thoughts and constantly on high alert. I’m sure that it’s stress. After all, my sister came and visited (a major stress-inducer), then my dad and his girlfriend came over a week and a half later…which is an even bigger stress-inducer for me. So I’ve just been hugely overwhelmed. Dealing with either one of them (dad/sister) is enough to throw me completely off my normal schedule. Both are terrible, with how they try to act like everything from my middle school/high school life never happened…up through college. I can’t really accept that, so it makes it difficult. I think that helped to throw off my sleep schedule. And I just haven’t been able to get it back on schedule.

Not to mention the search for a job has not been going well. Though I did have an interview on Monday, and another one this upcoming Monday. Both are temp positions…but that’s better than nothing, so I don’t mind. A job of any sort is a job after all. That’s been adding to my stress, I think. Plus, my family is acting again like I’m just majorly depressed. It’s just a matter of me being on the lower end of the spectrum, yes…but I’m also having some troubles with my OCD as well. My family’s been having a little bit of fun with some of my “habits”, because some of them (i.e. my sister on her last 2 visits) thought it would be funny to provoke reactions out of me. She deliberately triggered a few things that she knows will make me extremely anxious, because it’s funny…which have put me back a bit in general dealing.

See…I’m getting better at a certain compulsion I have. I have to have the volume of my music/TV on a multiple of 3. So…9, 12, 15, etc etc. I had gotten to where, if I was in my mom’s car, and she had the music already on…I wouldn’t need to check it, I could just deal with whatever volume she had it on. But, we were in the car, and my sister deliberately kept switching music between 11 and 13 on the volume. Which, is admittedly a minor thing. But…to me, when I knew it wasn’t on a multiple of 3, it was seriously freaking me out. Then of course, my mom just sided with my sister and her boyfriend, who were laughing at me. So I was having trouble with it. And now…I’m backslid to where I know I have to check the volume every time I’m watching/listening to anything.

I shouldn’t let my dumbass sister affect me like that, but it’s difficult not to when people who are supposed to be “supportive” turn around and just let someone else do things that are harmful to my mental health. Plus, she manages to trigger hypomanic states in me as well. Pretty sure that siblings always can bring out the worst in each other…but with my sister, it’s worse. She’s able to trigger every detrimental aspect of my mental health, to do everything that can make me worse, to set me back. So I think that her visits always seem to make me worse. Because I was doing better on the insomnia-train until she showed up.

I’m just hoping that I can fix this soon now. I need sleep and to be well-rested if I’m going to get a job and function normally.