Daily Archives: April 16, 2014

Pulling Up

I don’t know whether or not it’s completely situational, but I’m feeling less depressed. Yay less depressed!

Unfortunately, the situation is Ridiculously Sick Husband. The poor dear seems to have come down with a rather nasty case of gastroenteritis, which has left him bed/couchbound all week. Which means I’ve had to get my ass into functional gear… whups. *laughs* But outside getting my in-laws to do the school run in the morning (because it’s fucking dangerous for me to drive pre-caffeine), I’ve been up to the challenge. Laundry is clean, if not folded. Dishes have been kept on top of, meals have been made, childling has been fetched from school… and gasp, I’ve even risked a shopping trip or two. I’ve tended to avoid it since my pre-marriage shopping tendencies were like, $50 of ramune soda, a small mountain of pizza rolls, and a couple of pounds of gummi bears. Since I wasn’t accountable to anyone else, what did it matter if the food was nutritious and real, as long as I could get calories in.

So yeah, it could just be that having people to tend to is helping distract me, but as the husband has pointed out — even with my love of helping others and using it as a coping mechanism, I’m usually not pulled together enough to do it in any meaningful way. So that I’ve done it and kept my mood stable and not burned myself out terribly is probably a good sign that things have evened back out, though certainly, I look forward to zoning out a bit more and relaxing. Having said that, I think I’ve been sleeping a bit better, so that’s probably going a long way towards helping out.

Past that, continuing to quietly pick apart my psyche in useful ways. I hope to bring it here at some point in the future, but there are circumstances at current that make me hesitant to get into it. Suffices to say, there is good progress being made, and that my daily ruminations on my 750words.com account has been a most edifying and worthwhile effort.

Hope everyone is doing well out there!

<3

The post Pulling Up appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Journaling for Mental Health

I’m excited to introduce one of my favorite bloggers, WIL, of Write Into The Light, who accepted my request to be a guest blogger today. I ran into the bedroom and slammed the door behind me; falling to the bed, I screamed into my pillow. He’s being unreasonable! He doesn’t understand. I can’t take this […]

The post Journaling for Mental Health appeared first on Depression and Bipolar Disorder:.

Vascular Surgery

WARNING:  NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!

___________________________________________________

Vascular Surgery

There’s a good reason women make the best surgeons, she thought.

Quick, deft hands, single-pointed concentration, focus.

She thought of the women jet engine mechanics she had met in the Air Force.

Not that she had been in the Air Force; but in the course of her duties as a civilian surgeon under contract, she had met them. Now, reining in her reverie, she was intent on the task at hand.

Drat this light, she thought. She really needed a more direct light source, but one has to work with what one has at hand.

Slowly, painstakingly, she drew the outlines with a surgical marker: carotid triangle; carotid vein; carotid artery. This, the artery, was what she wanted.

She steadied the syringe she had readied with an oh-so-fine 27-gauge needle.

2% lidocaine with epinephrine should be enough analgesia for comfort, and enough epinephrine to ensure a relatively bloodless field. She couldn’t help chuckling: bloodless indeed.

Squinting in the insufficient light, she injected the layers: first the skin, then the loose fascia of the neck; lastly, the layer surrounding the vessels of the neck, careful to avoid direct injection into the wall of the vessel, which might cause a spasm.

Now it was time to cut. She picked up the number 11 scalpel and steadied her hand. Carefully, carefully she opened the delicate skin of the neck, noting with satisfaction that the epinephrine had done its job. There was no need for the tiny hemostats she had ready in case of superficial bleeders.

The next layer, the loose fascia, pulsated bluish, overlying the great vessels of the neck. These she would blunt dissect with the larger curved hemostats.

She injected a bit more of the anesthetic, just to be sure. No need to cause discomfort, which might result in unwanted movement.

At last the artery was exposed. She marveled at its pulsations, at the tiny arteries that nourished the big one itself, and the minuscule veins that issued from it, carrying its waste into the larger system of veins, to be cleansed by the liver and kidneys downstream.

Holding her breath, she slid the first hemostat, jaws open, under the artery. Clamp. The vessel, trapped in the jaws of the hemostat, stopped pulsing abruptly. There was no going back now.

Now the second hemostat, exactly one and a half centimeters below the first: clamp. She raised the surgical scissors, poised for the definitive cut between the clamps.

Tilting her head to see better in the mirror, she cursed the dim light in that bathroom again.

And then, the definitive cut!

In a single motion, she swiftly removed the two clamps and was instantly drenched in red liquid. A scream of agony split the night as she sat bolt upright in the bed, heart pounding, drenched in sweat, clutching the sodden bedclothes as she struggled, locked in the arms of the Angel of Death like biblical Jacob.

Frantically clutching her throat, she rushed to the bathroom, the very same bathroom, and strained toward the mirror in the same dim light.

Nothing.

Her throat, graceful and bluish white as ever, shone back at her from the reflection. Sucking in a deep gulp of air, letting it out in a sigh that brought the dog running, she splashed water on her face and neck, toweling off the sweat.

“It’s OK, buddy,” she whispered to her whining canine companion. “Just another nightmare.”

The dog smiled anxiously, wagged his tail tentatively, and licked her calf. She reached down and patted his faithful head.

“Good thing I have you, she murmured. Stripping off her sweat-soaked nightgown, she rinsed off in the shower before throwing on a fresh one. She sank into the recliner with a book: sleep would not visit again, not tonight.

 


Weather or not…

I feel fragile today. My mind is on overdrive, swirling with a funnel cloud of thoughts and emotions. None of them good. It just sweeps over me, sort of how I imagine demonic possession. One minute I am coping, the next I am walking the razor’s edge, fearful the next emotional blow is going to send me shattering into so much mental shrapnel.

It dropped down to thirty degrees last night. It is still very cold. That too impacts my mental state. Right now I just want to crawl back under the blankets. I have to fight the urge, I can’t just shut down because mother nature has thrown another curve ball. But with a disorder that is tired to the weather, it’s a bitch not to succumb.

My former counselor used to tell me I was failing to regulate my emotions. Um…How do you regulate bipolar? Because like it or not, it’s a constant factor. Proof is what sets me off on Monday is something I laugh off on Friday. My opinions don’t change. My mental state is constantly changing. How do I regulate that? I’m taking 11 pills a day, ffs. I’m a walking pharmaceutical ad.

And I do believe I regulate my emotions pretty well. Otherwise, I’d be in jail for physically attacking every asshole that pisses me off. I’m not in on this whole societal movement where you bury your feelings. I like to just let myself feel. Angry, happy, sad. I like to go with it. A former counselor taught me that fighting the emotions when you have a mental disorder is setting yourself up to fail. I liked him. He helped me. He actually got that bipolar makes everything ten times harder. It’s easy to tell someone to regulate their emotions. But when you don’;t even know what your emotions are gonna be hour to hour…

Therapy doesn’t work so well.

Back in the day I handled days like this with large amounts of whiskey or vodka. If I can’t change how I feel, then I can numb it. But I caught on that it doesn’t actually help. It’s nice from time to time though even if it’s “a bad thing”. My meds will probably kill me anyway when ten years from now it comes out that this awesome new med actually causes your internal organs to seep out of your bellybutton with long term use.

I had plans last night,errands to run, blah blah blah. Today I am in hiding mode. I can’t face it. I am too…volatile. I could blow up or break down. Is it bipolar or just me failing to regulate my emotions?

Might as well consult a magic 8 ball because I’m never sure.


Another Day In Hell


Sometimes...

Drink:   Green tea
Music:  SPN Radio/Live365  Internet radio @ the moment NIN - "Closer" [censored = no "fuck"]
Mood(s): Grateful to have the room to myself again, and earphones/music, dark room, irritable,                  restless, head full of squirming worms that are thoughts - thoughts that are all over the                  place

What a weirdass fucking day, I mean, what other way can I put it? My alarm went off at the ass crack of dawn, yet it was still nice and dark out. I got up, threw on the usual workout clothes, turned the coffee on just for the spouse, then realized there was no half-n-half, so I went out without a thought, and stopped in the middle of the street when I realized that I had no money to buy shit, so I had to go back home and run in for my ATM card. No big deal. 

Outside again, still nice and dark, almost no one around. Too bad I had to go to 7-11. I fucking HATE 7-11 except for maybe once or twice when they had diet coke flavored slushees, or whatever they're called., but that was a lifetime ago. Anyway, they're fucking expensive and I hate giving them my money. I hate the whole feeling that you're being stared at because you're a chick, or stared at because they think you're going to rip them off, or the cashier's looking way too nervous, like at any moment he's going to get robbed at gunpoint. Fuck knows where their dairy products come from, is the other question that should be answered.

After the spouse left, I made my way to starschmucks in sunglasses, medicated, and had just finished off a clonopin tab under my tongue. Well, that didn't help. I had a "live" freakout that I posted to one of the G+ crazy communities. After a while, I just couldn't take it anymore, and it was just too light out. The sun was breaking through the clouds here and there. I said fuck that, got my free re-fill, and was out of there. I had a smoke as fast as I could to try to calm me down. I pretended to myself that it was working, but when I got back inside the apartment, the big lie reared it's ugly head. Even after closing shades and turning lights out, I was still feeling like the anxiety chihuahua, but eventually I became the anxiety chihuahua with nausea and a bigass headache. 

I thought I'd distract myself from the anxiety with G+ stuff and do the saltines and water for the nausea. I had 3 aspirin that should have worked, but didn't. I made it through the anxiety until I ran into a fucking video that sucked suckers in and triggered some PTSD shit for me. I actually cried aloud. I can't remember having done that in years. It was horrible. I put my own hand over my mouth to stop it. I was not going to be weak. I couldn't control it very well. 

It was all about our family car back in the old days getting hit by a truck, and when it settled, I climbed toward the front, where my parents were. My mother. She was asleep, I thought, in her blue and white top that was mostly just red, sticky, and warm. I climbed on top of her, and hugged her, and told her to wake up. There was a lot of blood, I would later tell my older brother. She wouldn't wake up. Noise and chaos ensued all around, and I was dragged away from her, kicking and screaming, and I never saw her again. So much blood, and she disappeared. I was dragged away and remember waking up in a hospital crib in the dark, thinking where is my mama? What am I doing in this crib? Where am I? Where is my mama? Who are these people? I want my mama! Where is my sister? Where is my daddy? 

The rest is bits and pieces. A mess. Things I don't know if they are true or not, it's all a mess. My father never talked about it, it just seems like I remember one day we were with her, and then she just disappeared from our lives, and I don't actually remember saying anything about it. But I must have said something to somebody, at least when I was little. Or maybe I was too scared?

All I can think of now is trying to dig something up about her on the internet, but that's ridiculous. She died a long time ago. The best people to go to would be her sisters and brothers, but I can't ever remember all of their names. She came from a huge family like my father did. You know, have a dozen, like donuts. I  also wonder what some of my 101 cousins heard whispered behind all of our backs. I don't even know her birth date or death date, but I might have an idea. I could be way off. I don't know. 

I try not to think of mother's day when it comes around. I couldn't be the mother to my daughter that I thought I could be. I was too fucking mentally ill. It still hurts if I don't hear from her on mother's day, even though it shouldn't matter, even though I should just forget about it. I should remember how much it made me miserable to be the only kid in the class without a mother to be making little goofy projects for. Instead, I was making goofy projects for my grandmother. I didn't think about it so much then, until some time after having my daughter. 

I went to visit her when she was on her way out. She refused to speak English anymore, that it was just too tiring. So we spoke in Spanglish when we saw her. I wanted desperately to make sure that she knew how truly grateful that I was to her for taking care of me when I was little, how much I loved her, and how good to me she was. Well, I got to thank her, and about a week and a half later, she died. I couldn't go to her funeral. I didn't want to participate in it. I was angry that I wasn't allowed at my mother's, so I wasn't going to go to my grandmother's. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but to me... it does.

The only thing that makes sense now is to get away from the computer before I start trying to dig up the past again. It's just too easy to fall into, and too easy to get trapped in. Now I just want to fall into a deep, dreamless sleep, and wake up in the dark again. 

Try again and again.

Coming Out Bipolar

I came out to my instructors this morning.

I didn’t have much of a choice. I simply cannot abide being thought of as old and slow, even though my work performance thus far sure makes me look that way. I hadn’t planned on doing it, but given the grim tone of today’s meeting, it was an act of sheer desperation: I’d rather have people think I’m crazy than stupid.

Which, as I explained to the two of them, I am not. I reassured them that I’m doing all the right things to be as healthy as I can be and my illness is reasonably well-managed, but it also makes learning new things more difficult and I have to do them over and over again until I get it. Unfortunately, there are only so many do-overs built into the training program, and I’m reaching the end of the line. So if I wind up being forced to drop out, I’m going to need something I can show the Employment Division as a reason for quitting.

It was interesting to note the surprised expressions on their faces. They clearly weren’t expecting that announcement. But they both remained professional, and I give them credit for hearing me out and not reacting with horror and revulsion. I don’t want special treatment, I just wanted them to know that there’s a reason why I’m so inept at this.

I haven’t decided whether or not to share my not-so-secret secret with my managers. I asked the trainers to keep what I told them in confidence, and they promised me they would; it’s my story to tell or not tell, after all, and my co-workers certainly don’t need to know. The trainers work with me every day, though, so if anyone deserves to know, it’s them. But I’ll be meeting with the managers on Thursday, and I may or may not say anything about the bipolar; they are both very nice people, but so was my last boss, and we all know how well THAT worked out for me.

At this point, however, I don’t think I have much to lose. I’m very well-acquainted with being in a precarious position on the job, and I recognize when I’m getting close to crashing and burning. I’ve already had several people say “I told you so”, and it’s true, they did; but no matter how this all turns out, I don’t regret for a minute my decision to take the job in the first place. I knew I was taking the chance that I’d fall on my face, but I’d have kicked myself forever if I hadn’t at least tried.

It’s hard not to let the constant negative energy get to me, but I can’t get too down on myself over this one.  As disappointed as I am that things have turned out the way they have, life is way too short to be this miserable at the place where I spend a good portion of my waking hours: I dread the 40-mile commute, hate the cold, sterile building I’m in, and don’t even like the actual work. What on earth would make me think it’s going to get better even if I COULD learn it?

But like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll think about that tomorrow. After all…..tomorrow is another day. :-)

 


I should post more here

I’m working on some research articles and stuff.. and a lot of programming for my other website, Abnormal Babble. It’s exhausting.

I have a job at a greenhouse (in the cooler, though, handling cut flowers, it’s about 15-20 C in there) for the summer and on. I’m happy. I need more money to

  1. Get a better apartment when this lease is up
  2. Buy myself groceries once in a while, instead of bothering my mom (Thanks for the groceries, mom, I really appreciate it!)
  3. Ride more
  4. Etc

ayla

 

 

The pony, Ayla, I’m currently leasing. Isn’t she sweet? She IS making faces at me though!

So hopefully everything works out and I don’t break down again. I broke down in October because I was in a mixed state, gaining weight like mad, and in a bad living situation. I’m glad they sent the email.

MI

Cancelled therapy today. It’s not doing much. My tdoc is my age so we mostly just chat. I don’t want to pay to chat with someone.

Oh, here are two Photoshop drawings I did. Be nice, the second one (pill bottle) is the first time I’ve worked without an outline.

handpills

Three weeks without a cigarette. Not even a drag.

Bipolar Disorder and Social Interaction

I was fine this morning. Then I ventured out into the petri dish to do the grocery shopping thing. Bam! I get a burning stomach ache. I come home…No stomach ache. I literally am allergic to people, it would seem.

The day progressed uneventfully.

Then school got out. Next thing I know I have 11 kids in my yard. Yes, 11. I am apparently a free daycare center and nobody told me about it. I obviously can’t deny my kid social interaction. At the same time, because of my Disneyland of mental conditions, I do have to factor in what her second hand social life does to my mental state and my anxiety level.

For the most part, I don’t mind kids being here. But when you get that many kids and they run in and out and bicker and take off then come back…I can’t handle the chaos. My instinct was to either run and hide or just start yelling for everyone to go home. Instead, I stuck it out for two hours.

But then something happened that reinforced my belief that people are simply assholes. Not all, but a large preponderance. My kid gave the new neighbor girl a little stuffed puppy and she went to throw it inside and her father tossed it back into my yard and told her to keep it outside.

Excuse me, do we have cooties? It would be one thing to say, “We don’t allow her to accept gifts.” Or “She has enough toys but thanks.” Instead they act like it’s infested with cooties or ebola and it hurt my kid’s feelings because she was honestly trying to do something nice for her new friend.

How do you explain to a 4 year old that sometimes people are just mean? I still don’t quite understand why some seem to go above and beyond to be rude and thoughtless and I’m 41.

Needless to say, this prompted the cut off point for playtime. My mood crashed and okay, this time it was triggered by someone being rude, but still…I went from but level to dejected and pissed off. I may be overreacting for all I know.

That is the problem with bipolar and trying to interact with others. You’re never sure if you are overreacting or if your judgment is tainted by depression (everything sucks, i want to die even though i just won the lottery and found a unicorn) or mania (OMG, you’re Satan? Wow, the way you torture souls is so cool dude, let’s go party together!”) It’s difficult. And when you have been treated shitty your whole life by everyone including your family, trust is tough. So to trust someone enough to open the door to interaction, only to have them behave rudely…It makes you gunshy., It also makes you want to buy a gun at times.

Maybe Slipknot had it right. “People = Shit.”

I don’t want to believe that, though. I don’t need an army of decent people. I’d settle for finding a couple. I just need to have faith in mankind and keep hoping that I’ve just had really bad luck with people in this farm laden community of Duck Dynasty fans. If it’s your thing, fine,but you can’t expect me to accept you as is, while rejecting everything I am because you don’t get it. And that is how it’s been my whole life. They get to be exactly who they are and I have to change if I want them to accept me.

I haven’t changed. I may be alone and isolated but I still respect myself. Most wouldn’t understand how important that is.

And who knows, next mood swing, it might not be important to me. Bipolar is fluid. Mind frames shift. It’s not being mercurial or histrionic or contrary. It just is. Nature of the beast.

But some things have never changed for me over the years. I still love horror movies. Vampires. Reading. Writing. Wearing all black. Heavy metal. Cats. And I still think long hair and eyeliner on a man is fucking hot.

Too bad I suck so bad at socialization I’ve never been able to find one of the latter.

I need Tylenol. Tommy lee is playing a drum solo in my head.