Daily Archives: September 7, 2014

Oh the Enemies We Make

I will be the first to admit that I have burnt many bridges during my roller coaster moods, risky behavior and impulsiveness.  I guess I left a lasting hatred with someone as I was alerted today of a false profile on Ashley Madison website with my face and detail.  Boy oh boy was I surprised.  For those of you that don’t know what Ashley Madison is, it is a dating website that connects people looking to have discreet affairs with other attached people.  Not my cup of tea so you can imagine my shock.  It was an old picture of me from Facebook from over 6 years ago so who knows who it could be.

I was able to contact the company and report a fraudulent profile but it brought up that horrible anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach.  All the things I have done while I was up, many stupid, stupid things had clearly made an impact on someone.  I’ve started running possibilities through my head and feeling all that dread come up.  So many things, how could I know.  At this point, I know I am not concerned in learning who made the profile but my body’s physical response is out of my control.  Hopefully this feeling will subside sooner rather than later and I can put this behind me.  It definitely gives me pause to think how long will these mistakes, these demons follow me.


Strenuous

Strenuous adj

1. characterised by or performed with much energy or force.

2.arduous, straining, strenuous taxing to the utmost; testing powers of endurance.

I recently went on a short cycling holiday in Dorset (for Icelandic and Singaporean readers that’s a county on the south coast of England.) In preperation of for the trip I bought a book of cycle rides in the area, booked a place to stay, washed my lycra, bought a couple of pairs of padded shorts and set off on the 3 hours journey that would get us there.

Yes, us. I didn’t go on my own. For reasons of national security I will call this other person Fausto Coppi.

We arrived, cast off our clothes for (in my case) merciless body – hugging lycra cycling kit, which is designed to kid ageing folk like myself that there is still hope. And off we set for the beautiful sights of the Dorset countryside.The cycle route book graded the rides as easy, moderate or strenuous. It also provided a picture of the gradients on the each ride. The ride we chose – o.k. my companion Fausto Coppi ( 2 time winner of the Tour de France (1949, 1952), and the Giro d’Italia a mere 5 times (1940, 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953 chose was a 36 mile route classified as strenuous.

Strenuous? I can do strenuous.Where I live (on the south coast of England) all points north leading to the countryside entail a modest, gradual 3 mile climb, and a steep 2 mile climb back in the opposite direction. Sussex is home to some steep climbs, including Ditchling Beacon, which featured in the Tour de France when it visited these shores in 1994. The winner of that edition of the Tour, Greg Lemond, said that he respected that climb. I can’t remember how many times I made that climb up the beacon ….. didn’t get off once.

So you get the picture. I climb hills. I don’t get off halfway and push. I enjoy the view from the top without finding myself bent double struggling for breath.

Not this time.

This time I didn’t read the signs. I could see that the climbs were recorded as having this many or that many hundreds of feet, sure. Details.

And so we set off into the countryside with full water bottles, a bike lock and a map. Fausto Coppi led the way. Before we had set off for this trip we had agreed that he would wait patiently for me at the summits we would cross. And so he did.

He had to, really. Right after stopping for a plaeasant well deserved stop at a pub in the innocuosly named village of Abbotsbury we encountered the first of 3 climbs that meant the ride was classified as strenuous.

The road sign in the picture warns cyclists and others that it is a 17% gradient on the way down. I don’t recall seeing a sign on the way up saying anything helpful.

There comes a point on this climb when this winding road finally allows the cyclist a view of the top, haughty and scornful. I could see the end. I was getting closer with every creak of my pedals as they pleaded with the chain to turn just one more time. But I knew I was never going to make it. I kept pedalling – at walking pace. And then, abruptly, I got off my bike, leaned over the frame and shivered in the heat of the late summer sunshine as I struggled to find my breath. By the time I joined Fausto at the summit I figured that I had pushed my bike up 100 steep metres.

It happened twice more that day. But it was seeing the top of that climb outside Abbotsbury, and knowing that I wasn’t going to make it, that brought it home to me.

A tourer bike weighing more than 19kgs, including bike lock, pump, water bottle, pannier rack is always going to make reaching the summits of 17% gradient climbs impossible for a 50 year old cycling enthusiast who (according to figures released by The Second Helpings Government Watchdog) weighs – apparently – 82.5kgs.

It was the realisation of my limits that burned my lungs and scorched my throat as I wobbled off my bike on that climb. I am never going to be dancing on my pedals gliding up hills like that even with a racing bike.

I heard my psychiatrist telling me that he treats a doctor who has the same affliction as me, and that she has to accept that she will not make it to become a consultant. The most recent time that  I was coming out of a period of sick leave he told me that the aim should be that my relapses should be shorter, less severe and less frequent. I felt my life receded into a cave.

But he’s right, isn’t he?

There’s a lot I am never going to be able to do. Things I thought I would be able to achieve, I am not. No amount of Hope or Recovery Behaviours is ever going to change that.

Hope is a fickle friend. But, like the fool I am, I will keep stuffing my panniers with it and continue to creak towards places I have no chance of reaching.

Into My Heart An Air That Kills

Into my heart an air that kills

 

From yon far country blows:

 

What are those blue remembered hills,

 

What spires, what farms are those?

 

That is the land of lost content,

 

I see it shining plain,

 

The happy highways where I went

 

And cannot come again.

A.E. Housman (1859 – 1936)


Return of the Ack

This week, I’ve had a couple of things I really wanted to do. One of them was to get through the email backlog for The Bipolar Blogger Network; I gave myself permission to not answer and bin several in order to get caught up. If those folks message again, then I’ll hopefully be able to muster a reply, but this year has been not great for timely ability to handle emails. Which, of course, means the network was named one of the best bipolar health blogs of the year, but never mind. At least it’s ‘done’ for the time being.

I’ve also really wanted to get out in the garden and weed. The weather has been fairly nice, and it’s a good excuse to get outside… but I keep finding excuses. I can’t go out because the baby is sleeping and I can’t hear her, or I’ve just had a bath, or any number of things. But then I also realize that I am feeling the bite of chronic fatigue and physical pain in a pretty severe way. I’ve had quite a bit of dizziness, and my aching joints make me feel like an OAP. I’m hoping that it’s just due to the leftover relaxin in the body postpartum, but eh. I try to keep moving as normally and smoothly as possible, as always worked to help me recover after PT evals when I was in the Air Force.

Om nom nom

Om nom nom, lemon cake.

Mood-wise, things continue to be pretty darn well. I’m still managing basic chores and baking. Lots of baking. In the past two weeks, I’ve made chocolate cake, carrot cake, several loaves of banana bread, a pair of loaves of normal bread, and I’ve got chocolate chip cookies in the oven right now. Oh, and lemon cake — I can’t forget about the lemon cake. Really, like knitting, baking is one of those things I like to do that helps my brain stay happy. It’s not about eating it; I prefer to bake than eat sweets. It’s just something that I enjoy doing, so I make a point to do it with some frequency. Plus, the kitchen setup means I can sit down while doing prepwork, which makes it easier to do with the ack-tastic chronic fatigue.

Of course, it could just be physical pain distracting from mood. I’ve blogged about that before. I’m pretty sure I’m holding mainly stable, though, so… *shrugs*

I think the biggest thing doing my head in right now is a spike in insomnia. I’m not sure how long I’ve been reading in bed lately, but it’s not just because it’s a good book. Ever since I was a small child, I would read until I drifted off; it’s about the only way I know how to sort of kind of relax. It doesn’t help that I continue to have very vivid dreams. Am I just getting to sleep/waking up at the wrong time? It’s one of those things that seems to be rather damned if you do, or damned if you don’t.

Ah well, whatever the case? I can be happy that my baseline functionality is decent these days. I still hope to be able to do more, but I am mainly contented with my lot.

<3

Two Shades of Blue

Yeah, the title just came to me after I mowed the yard and showered ‘cos I was overheated and I threw on a navy shirt and a darker navy pair of shorts. i started reading 50 Shades of Grey and honestly…Four chapters in I set it aside ‘cos I want the “mommy porn” already. I don’t need a dozen chapters on why the girl is shy and awkward and the guy is rich and handsome. GET ON WITH THE SMUT. I’m bored.

My day in a nutshell: hit the snooze button several times. Cleared cobwebs, went to a couple of yard sales, returned to safe haven of home. Figured I’d procrastinate the housework. Instead kicked into gear and got all but vacuuming done, including mowing the lawn.
Why do I share such mundane details? Because, for someone whose mood ebbs and flows and results in same functionality…Accomplishing even the banal and tedious really is a big deal.

Mood held steady most of the day. Nerves a quiet background thrum. Towards mid day the paranoia and panic crept up. Hate that shit. Bex batcaved most of the day. By the time she emerged, I was ready to batcave ‘cos I just love using my desktop versus the netbook and after a days’ pummeling by a chatty demanding five year old… batcaving is necessary to avoid meltdown. (We even have my kid saying shit like “brown crayon” and “time to batcave” so if she is repeating this at school,I anticipate some interesting parent teacher conferences. Not to mention my use of the internet meme “Go home, you’re drunk”, which she has used to convince my parents I am ready for Betty Ford.)

Speaking of…I am wasting away in Mangoritaville. I don’t drink to escape the mood swings. It’s mental novacaine. Slows my brain down so I can focus and think clearly. Not that anyone believes that but I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, it’s true. (Sorry, had to work a Firefly reference in there.) Point is, I get that drinking is A Bad Thing. But if the meds quieted the noise in my head, it wouldn’t be an issue.

So…wench and spawn have abandoned me for sleep so I sit here, watching/listening to 30 Seconds To Mars covers on youtube. Some are good. Some are bland. Some are…um…really not good.
I soo do not want to like 30STM. Too commercial. The early stuff, Including the sheeple pleasing but awesome “A Beautiful Lie” are amazing. This Is War, while different, was good as well. Love+Lust+Faith+Dreams, while not horrid, is just such a departure from what 30STM started out as…I’ve taken to calling it The Jared Leto project, because I just get this vibe that it’s all him and his ego and his “Scorcese wannabe” thing. (Seriously, the video for “Hurricane”, while an amazing song minus Kanye West involved, just showed Leto wants to be this director god and it really was to the detriment of a great song. And I LIKE kinky stuff!) It just saddens me when a band goes “lite rock”. The stuff off the newest album, while good enough, could easily be something you hear while on an elevator or on the hold on the phone.

So…I’ve moved on from 30STM covers to a blast from the past, in the form of old hair metal songs I loved. I love when my mind is quiet enough to focus on the stuff I used to like, before I became a misanthropic quid pro quo bitch beast. I make no apologies, because I like what I am now, I’ve ceased to be a welcome mat. At the same time, toughening up has sort of killed off a lot of my whimsical fun side. It’s nice to revisit the glory days of hair metal. Much was fluff and fillee. But pay enough attention…and under all that hair and spandex there was substance. Even if it was only fictional for the purpose of song lyrics. (And yeah, I can admit *now* some of the fashion and hair styles of 80’s hair bands was over the top…I still like it.)
In light of Halloween approaching, I am venturing into spooky territory. Like now, I am watching the Dokken video for “Dream Warriors” from The Nightmare On Elm Street movie. i loved Dokken.

Now I listen to shit like “Like A storm” “Stitched up Heart” “Gemini Syndrome” “In This Moment.”
What can I say. Life sucked the whimsy out of me and made me aggressive and angry.
I don’t think I’d go back, either. Tis better to be hated for being a misanthropic angry bitch than to be liked for being a weak welcome mat.
Though tonight I feel like a masochist, subjecting myself to Def Lep’s “Photograph” performed with Taylor Swift. Way to ruin an awesome song, thanks for nothing, motherfuckers.

OOOHHH. Now I’ve really gone off my nut. A remake of Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything” by spome of chick named Storm Large on Rockstar Supernova. Um…Not terrible but…lacking. The chick can wail, don’t get my wrong. It’s just paling in comparison to the original.
Okay, back to 30STM. It’s like an infection and there is no antibiotic.
But hey, how can you not give accolades to a band that makes a song about incest and rape sound okay.

I looooove to talk about music but feel like I can’t ‘cos this is a mental health blog so everything must be mental health related and generally, down and mellow.
BUT…
If you like 30STM or are just musically open minded…I wanna plug this cover this youtube guy did of 30STM “Hurricane” because, well, he is just that good.
Now…Mangoritaville and music beckon.
Life may not be good but when the nerves are calm and the mood is stable…
It’s two shades of gray and the dude abides. (Never watched The Big Lobowski? You really should.)


To tell or not to tell, THAT is the question

I spent the early years of my diagnosis in complete hiding.  Not even my best friends knew about my diagnosis.  As I got older, I shared my struggles with those I considered trustworthy.  Regardless of how comfortable I am with my diagnosis, it doesn’t change the fact that there are huge stigmas attached to mental illness and especially Bipolar Disorder.

Case in point……

My husband casually told my in laws that I was Bipolar.  That was followed by stunned silence.  His parents then began to run through a laundry list of problems I probably have (though I did not).  Going as far as telling my husband that our unplanned pregnancy was my fault because it was a symptom of Bipolar Disorder.  Seriously, these words came out of my father in laws mouth.  Like I was an alien looking to impregnate myself to carry on my species.  They haven’t looked at me the same since and our relationship actually became strained.

The fact is that there are a lot of uneducated people out there who feel that they know what I am going through and because they read a paragraph on WebMD, they are a reliable source of information.


Not Feeling Great

After my hair salon appointment on Thursday I wasn’t feeling great. Emotionally I was good but physically I was having some issues. Yesterday I was feeling a lot of pain and didn’t sleep very well. Today it is even worse :( I am a hey and nauseated and a little light headed. Definitely not fun.

Even though I felt bad we went out and went to a state park and walked in the woods, fed fish and geese, I took some no pictures I’ll put them up soon. We then headed over to the lot of model home and spent some time there daydreaming about decor and how nice having our home will be.

It really started to take a turn later in the afternoon, I did manage to go to lunch but now I feel horrible, HORRIBLE!

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night after barely sleeping an hour or so, I had a horrible anxiety attack about having a heart attack. My chest muscles are so as are the ones in my back from when I had my back cracked and I’ve been exercising more then usual. I know it’s not really going to happen but I really tend to worry about death, a lot.

The future looks positive, we are going to have a home! We are still madly in love. I am married to my best friend. So when I don’t worry messing things up I worry about dying and not seeing my dreams come true. My brain really pisses me off.

I’m not surprised that I got I’ll, I’ve been exposed to more people in the last couple of months then I have in the last four years. Bugs happen.