Daily Archives: December 14, 2014

So Wiggly

I havent been able to sit still for two days. Today I was fortunate enough to get out of the house, hit some stores and visit the house. Yesterday I kept trying to find things around the house to do and was going fucking bonkers unable to find one thing to really do. I mean there was a lot to do, but nothing I could really sit down and do, I was way to antsy.

I hate when I am like this, it is the best time for me to create but as I said I am unable to paint anymore and my photoshop is on my computer in storage. I simply can’t yet get access to these things. I have all sorts of things packed. Jewellery making stuff, arts and crafts, computer stuff and more. All of which I have no access to. *sigh*

MIL is giving me even more of our stuff to put in out tiny little bedroom and it’s angering me. I feel so shoved off into the corner with no room to breathe.

Being able to breathe is important. Being able to live even more so. It doesn’t feel like I am doing either very well at the moment.

I want to find one of those spinning things that are in childrens parks and lay on my back and spin until I throw up, cause maybe then my brain will shut up and stop spinning on it’s own.


For People Who Want To Help

Kitt O'Malley:

This post is excellent. I’ve already shared it, as well as quotes from it, all over the place. Perhaps reblogging it is redundant. Oh, well, here goes…

Originally posted on blahpolar diaries:

He dwelt in an isolated house,
because he was a leper.
2 Chronicles

I don’t think it’s only me who feels that way at times, right?

So you wanna help a loved one with a mental neurobiological illness?

This is so important, I almost made the text bold. It isn’t your responsibility. You didn’t cause it. You cannot fix it. Dont invalidate us by saying it will all be ok. It might not be. You can certainly help though.

Do not let it all fuck you up and make you ill. Take good care and get help and support too.

Stick around, even when we are silent, grouchy, asleep and hell bent on isolating ourselves. Just keep reminding us that you’re there. Some of us prefer text based messages rather than visits and phone calls. Just ask. But don’t take our shit.

Educate yourself about whatever disorder it is –…

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Filed under: Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Mental Health Tagged: anxiety, caretaker, help, how to help, neurobiological illness

Pens, Knives, Water Works, and The Kitchen sink

“Pens And Knives” -Black Veil Brides

Lay your heart down, the end’s in sight.
Conscience begs for you to do what’s right.
(Everyday it’s still the same dull knife,
Stab right through and justify your pride.)

One final fight for this tonight.
Whoa-oh-oh
With knives and pens we made our plight.

Sometimes, things hurt so bad, it is like a dull knife piercing your heart. And the pen (or keyboard) is your only weapon to combat it.
As Eminem says, and Becca loves to quote in her blogs, “It’s like a steel knife in my windpipe.”
Pain can be that way, no matter how much you want to be strong and rise above it.
Hurt feelings are a bitch.

ESPECIALLY during PMS week where the waterworks just turn on at random and won’t turn off. I started bawling at the shop the other day because a commercial for disabled veterans came on, talking about how they’ve lost arms and legs and gotten hurt protecting their country…And I felt so bad because I couldn’t just write a check to contribute because I support what they are doing and feel for them and their families.
I’m pretty broke but anytime some group is a taking a donation around town, I try to toss in some change or a dollar even if technically, I don’t have it to spare. I am not selfish or heartless.
But I am also not prone to bursting into tears like that at the drop of a hat and it’s been happening way too often this past pre shark week.
No doubt the med change isn’t helping stability issues, either.

My anxiety is kicking in big time. Not to make it all about me because it isn’t, but my daughter has a school Xmas program Tuesday, then on for Sunday school next Sunday.Crowds set off the panic disorder, and it’s not a mild fast heartbeat. It’s more like raw terror, sweating, gasping, and sometimes, throwing up.
I am going to try.
And I talked to the woman from the church and she said if I want to attend the program, they will find me a “buddy” from the church to show me around and make me less uneasy. Much as I want to tackle it on my own and not be a wuss..I accepted the offer. I’d rather admit to needing some help and support than embarrassing my kid and myself when I start projectile vomiting due to anxiety. Maybe having a “buddy” will make me feel less vulnerable and exposed.

The phone hasn’t stopped ringing all morning. Family out Christmas shopping, wanting to know Spook’s sizes. Ringing phones make me nervous. I’ve never really been able to figure out why except for my not tolerating a lot of loud noise and activity well. To my credit, if you exclude the random idiotic water works, I think I am holding up well.
Better than last year anyway, and this year has dealt me some truly devastating kicks in the teeth.
I always rise back up. People can say many things about me, but I am not a quitter.

And unlike many years before, I am not allowing anything to rob me of the joy of Christmas. My kid is healthy, happy, and we will have gifts and a good meal and that is so much more than many others have. There is much to be thankful for and celebrate, even if some days are so much ass trash.
Life doesn’t guarantee happiness, just the pursuit of it.
So while my moods dip into bleakness then back into the light, it doesn’t mean I can’t keep pursuing happiness, or at least what I consider happiness.
My kid, my cats, my tv shows, the music I love, my writing, making ends meet…That is what matters most to me.

I was greeted this morning with a dead mouse under my foot. The cats apparently did their hunter thing. I haven’t seen a mouse here in 5 years. Must be their feline equivalent of a Christmas gift. “Look, Mom, we found this and killed it for you.”
I’m torn between ewwww,gross, and aww, they’re doing what cats are supposed to do.

So that’s everything including the kitchen sink.

My Christmas wish is for everyone out there to be safe and happy, or at least content. Just remember when you think you have it so bad…Others have it far worse. It puts things in perspective.
Even if a panic attack, mood swing, or hurt feelings can swoop down and make it all seem irrelevant.


The Abilify Saga Continues

It turns out, Abilify works for me. Except now I have to work for Abilify. To afford it, I mean.

I now wake up around 7:30 or 8:00 instead of 10:00. I can concentrate long enough to read whole chapters of books, and am enjoying that immensely. I am able to get showered and dressed and go out to run a few errands. I can decide what to eat and even recognize when it’s time for me to eat.

And I can work. I have taken on a mega-project, which has required my attention up to eight hours a day, researching, writing, editing, and proofreading. I don’t know how well I’m doing (there are some differences of opinion about that), but I’m doing it, goddammit.

I may be pushing myself a little too hard, despite the new energy and focus. The other day I had to force myself, one pitiful step at a time, to address a dozen Christmas cards. “You have the list, you can put the addresses on the envelopes. You’ve got enough stamps, you can surely put them on the envelopes. (Don’t call me Shirley.) Better put return addresses on. You can do that much, then stop. You can slip the cards into the envelopes. How hard can that be? You had them printed with your names, so you don’t really have to sign them if you don’t want to and won’t have to fake your husband’s signature because he’s not here. That would be too much. Now lick the envelopes. All you have to do is stick out your tongue. Might as well take them to the mailbox. You need to get cat food out of the car anyway. Okay, now you can crash. Egg sauce, Ted.”

Many’s the year when all that was Just Too Much. According to the Mystic Law of Reciprocal Cards, we get about four nowadays, and are very grateful for those.

And grateful for the Abilify. Except it’s $800 a bottle, even for the tiny dose I’m taking. I got one free month and one discounted month ($650) from the manufacturer and have spent a lot of time since worrying and seeking solutions.

There will (we hope) be a generic in April. Yay.

I know someone who was taking it and has some left over.

I know someone in Canada.

Will my doctor prescribe a higher dosage so I can break them in half and stretch them (and the cost) out?

I may have at last solved the problem. After hours on the phone and hours more on hold, we finally have new insurance. It costs about as much per month as a bottle of Abilify, but the drug benefit kicks in before we’ve paid the deductible (which is way lower than previously). So our many, many other drugs will magically shrink to $15 per – or less with mail-away – and we’ll come out ahead. A little. Probably. If I can keep up the pace on work.

Plus, now we have dental, and oh lord do I need that. But that’s another story for another time.


For People Who Want To Help

He dwelt in an isolated house,
because he was a leper.
2 Chronicles

I don’t think it’s only me who feels that way at times, right?

So you wanna help a loved one with a mental neurobiological illness?

This is so important, I almost made the text bold. It isn’t your responsibility. You didn’t cause it. You cannot fix it. Dont invalidate us by saying it will all be ok. It might not be. You can certainly help though.

Do not let it all fuck you up and make you ill. Take good care and get help and support too.

Stick around, even when we are silent, grouchy, asleep and hell bent on isolating ourselves. Just keep reminding us that you’re there. Some of us prefer text based messages rather than visits and phone calls. Just ask. But don’t take our shit.

Educate yourself about whatever disorder it is – we appreciate that a lot. Let us waffle on and on about it, because that helps a lot too. Never, never, ever try to talk us out of allopathic treatment and medication and into some sort of shoowah hippy bollocks. Really, don’t do that. Read the science and biology of these things.

We don’t hear negatives (humans, not just us) – saying you are not inadequate is pointless, because we will just hear you are inadequate. Rather say you are whatever you want to say.

This is paraphrased by Will Schwabe in The End of Life Book Club, he got it from a book called The Etiquette of Illness – I think it applies to us too:

1. Ask: “Do you want to talk about how you’re feeling?”
2. Don’t ask if there’s anything you can do. Suggest things, or if it’s not intrusive, just do them.
3. You don’t have to talk all the time. Sometimes just being there is enough.

The other bit of advice I really love is this one:

If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.
Stephen Fry

The last sentence makes me want to weep with pain and joy at the truth and kindness of it.

Helping someone who’s got their panic/anxiety on can be simple:

Give us a snack – low blood sugar = anxiety.
Offer to get us out of whatever situation we are in, or if you have that sort of relationship, just do it.
Offer to make phone calls, drive, shop – all the practical/admin stuff that seems mildly annoying to you, but can turn people like me into a gibbering, terrified wreck.
Don’t touch us without asking first.
Never ask what caused the episode, there often isn’t a tidy situational answer to that.
Just be there, quiet can be good. But not always, so ask if they we like a natter.

Here’s how medical professionals handle suicidal people, you can too:

Suicidal – listen, ask if there is a plan.
Suicidal + plan – time to see a medical professional.
Suicidal + plan + the equipment etc to do it – as above and hospitalisation will very likely be necessary.

This isn’t a comprehensive guide, it’s just thoughts and peeves and gratitude I’ve had over the last few decades and so it is, of course, very subjective. But then, everything is.

Lastly – thank you! Whether you get it right or wrong, thank you for giving a shit. And you are loved for it by people who are good at extreme emotions. (I almost added a smiling or winking emoticon there.)

Weakly Bipolar Roundup

This is why I feel privileged to be able to afford a psychiatrist every few months.

One third of all South Africans have mental illnesses – and 75% of them will not get any kind of help.
source

The earlier the onset of a major psychiatric disorder, the greater the risk of dementia. Source Long term lithium (sounds like a good name for a folk singer) reduces the risk.

Interesting – dreams as subsyndromal symptoms? Might be useful.

Bipolar patients report bizarre dreams with death and injury themes before their shift to mania (Beauchemin and Hays, 1995). Beauchemin and Hays (1996) found that dreams of bipolar depressed patients have more anxiety than those of unipolar patients. Dreams of bipolar patients, particularly those with rapid cycling, may show evidence of the subsequent shift prior to noticeable affective and behavioral changes (Frayn, 1991).
does bipolar affect dreams?

They’re researching bipolar in dogs. Thanks for that, but howzabout you research a cure for bipolar in humans first? Improved palliative treatment, even.

It’s Sunday and here is something of a secular sermon (I’m all about alliteration). Believable positivity from veteran bipolar blogger Natasha Tracy.

I don’t know how I kept trying over the years when nothing (even ECT) worked. It’s just persistence. It’s just a tiny candle flame inside your soul that says that life is not supposed to be like this. Life is not just pain. Life can and will be better. But you have to try. And try and try and try.

… and some decent strategies for picking up the pieces when it’s all gone horribly wrong (yeah I see you nodding there).

Analysis Of Happiness & Mania. Part I

blahpolar:

Double edged happiness.

Originally posted on My Wonderland.:

Analysis of Happiness & Mania

Defined:

To first understand happiness it needs to be defined. Happiness is seen as a complete, lasting and justified satisfaction with one’s life. Although if one has to justify their happiness it is no longer experienced subjectively, becoming objectively grounded. It has to be understood that there is no standardised rules to measure a person’s happiness as they are dependent on a person’s pre-dispositions.

Background:

Two philosophical schools who look at the concept of happiness, the ancient, which arose in Greece and survived until the 18th century, and the modern, which was created in the 19th century in Europe. Happiness was originally perceived as the possession of the highest goods, whether of a material or spiritual kind. Happiness later became subjectivized and relativized, based on a person’s overall satisfaction with life.

Happiness & Mental Health: The Darker Side of Happiness.

Happiness is usually conveyed…

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To the guardians and the caretakers

blahpolar:

Brilliant. (I have some vacancies btw.)

Originally posted on Tear Lines:

With all the admiration and thanks that I can muster, this is a gesture of thanks aimed at our guardian angels, our caretakers: those understanding, non-judgmental, and gentle people who stick by those of us who are mentally ill regardless of how hard things get.

20141213_195445

This for the people–whether they be family, friends, lovers, or stranger–who are willing to say, “It’s okay, I love you.  I accept you.  I will take care of you.  I will protect you.”

20141213_195859

This is for the people who are dragged through hurt and continue to say, “Do not worry, it wasn’t you.”  For those who are harmed by the things we say and do, and continue to fight the urge to judge; to instead choose to feel hurt, but to process those emotions through logical thoughts, knowing we try hard not to say or do hurtful things, but sometimes they happen no matter how…

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Brain is a Brain

Neural Pathways, Artistically by geralt on pixabay

Neural Pathways, Artistically by geralt on pixabay

When I was visiting with my father to celebrate Thanksgiving, he asked me why what he suffers – dementia, a memory disorder, a neurological disorder – is any different than what I have – bipolar disorder, a mental illness, a psychiatric disorder? Why these distinctions? Why is stigma attached to one and not another? Why do so many of us feel compassion for those with dementia and fear those with mental illness?

According to the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. (ABPN), which board certifies both psychiatrists and neurologists:

The conditions psychiatrists treat include disorders such as:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance-abuse disorders
  • Psychoses
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Adjustment reactions

Neurologists diagnose and treat disorders of the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) and muscles. These disorders include:

  • Stroke
  • Brain and spinal cord tumors
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Headache and other pain
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Epilepsy (seizures)
  • Parkinson disease
  • Alzheimer disease and other memory disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Effects of systemic diseases, like high blood pressure and diabetes, on the nervous system

Filed under: Bipolar Disorder, Dementia, Family, Health, Mental Health, Stigma Tagged: bipolar disorder, neurological disorder, neurology, psychiatry