Edit: I know, I'm gross.
Edit: OH COME ON!!! IT'S ONLY BLOOD!!!
IT'S ONLY A NATURAL PART OF WOMANHOOD!!!
80 degrees on Friday. 40 and rainy today. No big deal to most people. When the weather affects your mental state, though, it is a big deal. It’s a definitive factor in my life.
Had a bitch of a time getting up this morning. Hit snooze so many times I ended up taking my kid because, uh, we were late for the bus. Driving my car is a new hell because the gas gauge is broken and I am trying to calculate mileage versus how much gas I put in last time, hoping my math is accurate, hoping the gas mileage it was getting hasn’t changed. Yeah, things go wrong, stuff breaks, but did it have to be something to heighten my anxiety?
I went to the store for some groceries. Not that I wanted to. I’m still deplete from socializing. I came home, did some housework, even wrote a little before I had to go get my kid off the bus. The whole time my brain is tugging downward and the “god, can I die yet?” mind frame is back. I despise that mind frame.
More than that, I despise those who view bipolar as a lifestyle choice or personality quirk. You can’t change stupid. I used to view it as ignorance. If someone tries to educate and inform and you still retain your ignorant views, then you are choosing to be stupid and by my estimation, you are an asshole. And damn if I didn’t win the asshole lottery because I am surrounded by these morons who refuse to see that I have a disorder and choose to say, “Niki’s just weird.” “Niki just has mood swings.” “Niki just gets herself too upset.”
Because empathy and compassion might kill them. Normally avoidance is a bad thing. I’ve had multiple therapists tell me I should limit my contact with my family as much as possible.
Considering the way my dad goes on about the donor THEN says shit like “What if your car blows up? What if your landlord dies and you’re forced to move? What’;s your plan?” Yes, by all means, give me more anxiety and panic, that’s a sweet fatherly thing to do. Idget.
I guess my personal garbage impacts my depression but I think if I were in my right mind, I don’t think it would get me down so much. I’m just so rarely in my right mind.
Even now…I keep getting told my affect is wrong, I don’t look worried when my kid gets hurt, everything I say sounds hateful…Welcome to Lithium. It makes you kinda numb. It’s why I avoided it for the longest time. I’d love to feel something. I’ve pondered quitting it because I am sick of constantly sounding irate and pissed off.
There is no win here. I need meds. I don’t take them, I act crazy and people complain. I take them, I act dead inside and people complain. The ultimate question is, what can I live with..And I am pondering asking if I can go off lithium, stay on lamictal, and jack up the dose of Paxil. Isn’t it sad that I have to plan out my own care because the doctors here are just so obsessed with what works for the masses they don’t want to think outside the box for some of us. Twenty years of this shit. I may not have a degree but I have battlefield scars that count for a hell of a lot more. You can study it but until you’ve lived it…you cannot possibly know.
Tomorrow is supposed to be even colder so I don’t hold out much hope that my mental state will improve. Maybe soon that bitch mother nature will make up her mind as to whether it’s spring or not. I really resent the impact the stupid weather has on how I feel. Oh, but wait, I just “let it get me down”. I’ve heard that one a thousand times.
I’d like to snap their kneecap and say “You just let it get you down, suck it up and snap out of it.”
But that would make me vicious. Apparently that privilege is reserved for others to use on the mentally ill.
Yesterday morning my phone rang way too early. It was a friend who probably though I get up at a normal time for a human being; but I don’t.
You see, my meds last twelve hours, and I have to sleep them off if I want to be functional the next day.
More than that.
If I don’t get the right amount of sleep, I turn manic. Pretty simple, eh? Meds>sleep>functional. Not enough sleep (even with meds)>manic.
I needed to get up earlier than usual today, because there is a lot to do in preparation for Passover, and I needed a full day in which to do it. This can usually be engineered by taking my night-time meds early.
So I did.
But nothing happened. I didn’t get sleepy. Instead I started feeling wired.
I thought, maybe I actually forgot to take my meds. I looked in my pill box: tonight’s meds gone. So I did take them, after all.
So I did what my shrink tells me to do under those circumstances: I took an extra Seroquel. That usually knocks me down.
But not last night. May as well have taken a sugar pill.
I took another, and a milligram of Ativan to keep it company.
By the way, in case you’re wondering, I left an hour between doses, sufficient to feel the effects of the drugs.
I was getting very concerned by this time.
So I took yet another Seroquel, an Ativan, and another Ambien (those are in my usual bedtime hammer cocktail).
Not one fucking bit of “sleepy” coming my way.
So I got out of bed, where I had been passing the time by watching Betty Boop flicks on Youtube, and began doing my Passover chores, since it was clear that I was going to have a short and shit day. I got everything ready for cooking, chopped mountains of veggies, did all my prep work so all I would have to do is throw the brisket in the slow-cooker, throw the veggies on top, and not worry about it.
Finally the sledge-hammer anti-mania drugs took effect (oh for a few milligrams of Haldol, for quick knock-down) and I managed to get in bed before the blessed drugged sleep overcame me.
I still had to wake up earlier than usual this morning, to call the clinic and cancel my 11 am appointment for ER follow-up with my primary care doc. I woke to my alarm, made the call, and lay back down to go back to sleep for a couple hours, since I’d already done my prep work and had the time for a longer sleep.
Not gonna happen.
So I got up, feeling cross and speedy, and made my oat matzah (gluten free), singed the meat, sauteed the veggies, made a sauce, threw it all in the slow cooker and sat down to write this.
I really want a beer, but now they’re assur, forbidden, because of being made with yeast. Anything leavened is forbidden for one week. Damn. Oh well, maybe I’ll get up and clean.
No, not Eretz Mitzra’im, which is the Land of Egypt.
Had I been there, I most likely would have been thrown out in one of the many exiles of my people who came there seeking asylum from the Spanish and Portuguese, long about 1492. All but a handful of Hebrews have been ejected from that land.
In Genesis 15:13-14, it is said:
And He said to Abram, “Know with certainty that your offspring shall be aliens in a land not their own–and they will serve them, and they will oppress them–four hundred years. But also the nation that they will serve, I shall judge, and afterwards they will leave with great wealth. (Emphasis mine)
There was, in fact, a cordial relationship between the Hebrews and the Mitzrim (Egyptians). They traded together, and the Mitzrim gladly allowed the Hebrews to come to Mitzra’im in times of famine in the land of Canaan, where the Hebrews dwelt (now called the Land of Israel), to buy food and water.
For the Nile waters the land of Mitzra’im, but the Land of Canaan is dependent upon seasonal rains for sustenance.
Years and generations passed, and Jacob, whose Godly name was Yisrael (Israel), had twelve sons and a daughter. His favorite son Yosef (Joseph) angered his brothers, who sold him to a Midianite caravan, who sold him to an Ishmaelite caravan, who sold him to Poti-Fera (Potiphar), who was the Egyptian Chief over the Pharaoh’s butchers. (Gen. 37:27, 37:36, 39:1)
Yosef did well there, and was promoted to be the supervisor of all Potiphar’s household. But bad luck for him:
After all these things, his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Yosef and she said, “Lie with me.” But he adamantly refused…” (39:7-8)
And she kept after him. One day she actually grabbed hold of his garment and tried to pull him to her, but he escaped and fled, leaving his garment in her hand. She screamed “Rape!” and Yosef, who was found outside the house with nothing on, was cast into prison.
You can see from this unfortunate turn of events that even when we are doing our best and thinking things are going well, even the greatest among us may have characteristics that unwittingly trip us up and lead to a fall.
Yosef is called Ha’Tzaddik, The Righteous One, because everything he did was in honor of G-d, and he was able to overcome the most natural of urges–the sex drive–even when freely offered by Potiphar’s Wife, who was said to be the most beautiful in the land.
But it is said that Yosef had one flaw: he was beautiful and he knew it. He would spend time putting on makeup (as was normal for Egyptian men at the time) and gazing at himself in a mirror of burnished bronze. Thus, all the women in Mitzra’im longed to be with Yosef. Indeed, why should Eshet Poti-fera (Potiphar’s Wife) not have him?
Yosef had told her that he was free to partake of anything in his master’s household, with the exception of Potiphar’s Wife! (39:9)
But woe to him, he was thrown into prison; but Yosef had G-d’s favor, and even this turned into a good thing, although not for a while.
Yosef found favor in the jailor’s eyes, and he was made supervisor over the prison (even though he was a prisoner himself) (39:21). There happened to be two other prisoners there, courtiers of the King of Egypt (for in this verse he is not named). They were the royal baker and the royal cup-bearer, and they had each displeased the King.
One morning Yosef found them distressed, for they had both had disturbing dreams. (40:6) Yosef correctly interpreted those dreams, and the outcome was that one servant was reinstated, while the other was beheaded. Yosef asked the reinstated one to put in a word for him with Pharaoh, for that was his boss, but the man forgot, and Yosef was stuck in prison for two more years.
Nothing happens in vain, and everything is G-d’s plan.
Pharaoh had a disturbing dream, and called all of his wise men, magicians, and necromancers to try to interpret it, but none could. This jogged the afore-mentioned servant’s memory, and he recalled Yosef, and told Pharaoh, who commanded that Yosef be brought before him. Yosef was given a bath and a shave and new clothes (41:14), and brought before Pharaoh.
Pharaoh told him his dream (41:17-25) and Yosef correctly interpreted it for him (go and read the dream for yourselves–it’s worth it!); and Pharaoh mad Yosef his viceroy over all the land.
Because of the content of the dream, Yaacov (Jacob, Israel), who is Yosef’s father, remember, brought his whole family, who now numbered 70 souls, down to the land of Goshen which is in the northern part of Egypt, a fertile grassy land perfect for grazing flocks, for the Hebrews have always been shepherds.
There was a time of peace, and Yisrael (Jacob) died, and then Yosef died, and the Hebrews grew to be a large and prosperous nation in Goshen. But:
A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know of Yosef. He said to his people, “Behold! the people, the Children of Israel, are more numerous and stronger than we. Come, let us outsmart it lest it become numerous and it may be that if a war will occur, it, too, may join our enemies, and wage war against us and go up from the land. (Exodus 1:8-10)
I’ve mentioned on occasion that I was homeless for a period of time. However, don’t think I’ve shared my experience. It’s time I change that. When I became homeless is a little hazy. It was during the period after I became sober, yet, hadn’t been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder. That was a six […]
Wow, it’s hard to believe that this is already my 300th post on this blog. I started it last June at the suggestion of a fellow writer and friend to enter a blogging contest, and while she bugged out within the first few days, I got hooked…..and the rest, as they say, is history.
It’s amazing to be able to reach people all over the United States and Canada. But some of my readers hail from the Czech Republic…..South Africa…..Egypt…..the United Kingdom…..Germany……even Brazil. I mean, how cool is THAT?!? Whatever the disadvantages of the Internet, it’s brought people together who would otherwise have never met—or read each other’s blogs—and it’s gratifying to know that someone, somewhere, is reading what I write and saying “Oh HELL yeah, that’s me!!”
But now a number of those readers, as well as friends and family, have brought up a subject that I think deserves some discussion, even though I have no intention of pursuing it: applying for disability benefits. I’m against it on principle, and so is Dr. Awesomesauce, who is ex-military and believes that the vast majority of mentally ill people do better when they have the structure provided by useful work. Still, I seem to come undone rather easily when I’m under pressure, and I’m positively allergic to job stress.
Does that make me disabled? Perhaps, if you listen to the growing number of friends, readers, and even family who have raised the topic in recent months. I know they have my best interests at heart, and most of them have mentioned something along the lines of “just think, you could finally focus on your writing!” But I think there’s a big difference between being disabled and having a disability; and of course, I put myself in the latter category. I don’t see myself as needing to be taken care of (except when I’m going through a bad mood episode) and as long as I CAN work, I believe I should.
Now, there’s no denying that I have a great deal of difficulty maintaining steady employment. I prefer to think it’s because I simply haven’t found my “forever” job yet. I’ve had some that I stuck with for as long as 2 1/2 years, and almost made it to three years at my last hospital job; being an older worker, I yearn for a position that I can retire from one day, but I’m beginning to think I may never find it. And maybe that’s the way it was always meant to be.
At any rate, having bipolar disorder isn’t terribly compatible with long-term job stability. However, it does not make me “disabled”…..at least, not enough for an SSDI claim. The fact that I find some ordinary tasks extraordinarily difficult—like using a multi-line telephone—doesn’t mean I can’t do them; it just means it’s harder for me than it might be for someone else. Yes, I get tired of throwing myself against a wall every day; yes, if I had my druthers I’d stay home and make my living as a writer. Seriously. I don’t particularly enjoy commuting, and if I could earn enough money at the keyboard to keep Will and me from having to live in a cardboard box behind a strip mall, I’d drop out of the rat race tomorrow.
But I won’t ask society to take care of me. Not unless I become so incapacitated that I’m of no use whatsoever, or until Dr. A says he’ll sign off on my paperwork. I’m not there yet. I pray I never will be.