Daily Archives: December 20, 2014

Broken, yet Beautiful.

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Decorated the tree :-)

Happy Holidays everyone!

Rudolf   tree 1

tree 2   tree 3


Jangle Bells

Trigger warnings: whining; so much whining. I must be bi-whining (please don’t tell Charlie Sheen).

I am overdue for some situational happiness (well if situational depression is a thing …) I am, as evidenced by my very presence online, speaking as one of the planet’s most privileged people. I remind myself of it often and count my blessings too. But. But but but.

Does anyone know whether I took my meds this morning? And no, that isn’t why I’m down. I got up early and took my hyaena-dog to the vet, a close friend of mine is in A&E right now … and the usual stuff I always whine about and:

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Only, unless I stay home, avoid everyone and switch my phone off, there is no way of ignoring it. I’m quite good at this xmas alone stuff, I’ve done a lot of it. I won’t freak out, I’ll just have a hollow ache till it’s over, maybe tears, maybe lots of sleep – and then there will be new sodding year to endure and then it’ll be 2015 and I will feel better.

I don’t want to grinch anyone else’s xmas, I want people to have a lovely one and to hoover up and exude as much love and laughter as they possibly can. In other circs, I would be cheery too. Well, if bipolar wasn’t kicking my ass and I suspect it has formed a festive habit.

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I seem to keep apologising and justifying and explaining this stuff, hopefully writing it out will do me some good. I need to let it the fuck go. I’m like one of those many sided thorns, once I get stuck in, I’m there for the duration. When removed, I usually leave the country.

Shitty childhood memories, grief for my dead mother and all of the distances I can’t cross – those are the things I try to hide from. I’ve had significant success with the childhood stuff (thank you CBT etc). The rest is an ache in my bones and my soul, sadness at sunset and sighs heavier than the Phoenix Cluster.

While I’m writing about sadness, I’m not feeling it.

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It’s doable, it’s finite. I’m pretty sure I took my meds.

It’s great that my next door neighbour is having a braai now, with the girlfriend he is clearly in love with and his daughters are visiting, which always makes him extra happy. Haha.

Kiss My Crass

My mind seems okay thus far this morning.
My body, on the other hand, is in pain.
Like I have a couple of Oompa Loompa’s with pliers squeezing my ovaries at random intervals.

Oh, god, gross, a woman discussing her lady bits and that nasty girl business, how crass!

Perhaps that is the thing about society that pisses me off most. We want to think of things in pretty terms and completely forget that life, humans, bodily functions- there’s nothing polite or delicate about it. Saying “passed gas” might sound better than the term “farted” but it’s still just one more icky bodily function we all are subject to.

So yeah, I am in shark week pain and it’s not appropriate subject matter, yada yada.
It’s reality.
And it’s why I’ve spent the last ten days crying at the drop of a hat, being pissed off and hurt over everything.
That on top of my mental issues, well, aren’t I the winner winner of a chicken dinner.
Of course, the chicken was left out on the counter for days and is festering with salmonella and maggots…
Oh, wow, I paint pretty pictures. I rock that way.

But as with everything, even in ugliness, there’s beauty and humor and irritation.
Like my kid waking me at 5 a.m. ready to go for her Sunday School dress rehearsal when they lady isn’t picking her up until 10:45.
Was it too much to hope for a nocturnal batchild?
She has taken to calling me her “best bro”.
Sometimes, when I am laying down with cramps, she gently rubs my tummy and sings “Soft Kitty.” (Thank you, Big Bang Theory.)

Life is such a mixed bag and because my own mind is such a roller coaster, I think I have trouble keeping up with the never ending changes and cycles outside my own mind.
It doesn’t help when your brain sends wacko messages so you’re never sure if you’re handling something logically or being nutsy kookoo.
That uncertainty bipolar provides makes you question yourself constantly.
I saw a psychologist (and I have very little use for the anti med set) because my disability review required it…I was terrified, knowing how most psychologists view psychiatry as a pseudo science. But when I explained how life is just so fragile with the cycles and such, he said, “So for everything to work out, it takes the sun, moon, and stars to align.”
And I was floored, because that’s exactly what it’s like.
Your anxiety dies down, your moods start cycling. Your moods stabilize, a depression kicks you in the face.
You win the lottery, then someone hacks your account and steals it all.
There’s no consistency but inconsistency so an alignment of, sun, moon, and stars really is what it takes for life with bipolar two to work well.
Needless to say, perfect alignment in the universe of this disorder rarely happens.

So while I loathe the term “Unstable” as it makes me sound one step from grabbing a meat cleaver and going batshit slice and dice on a bunch of nuns…
It’s my hideous reality.
I resent being judged for it.
I didn’t ask for this.

But then you get to reading comments and message boards and some people really truly do not believe psychiatric disorders are real. They think they are behavioral, all pills are evil and an excuse for being weak.
How do you combat this having an impact on you and making you doubt yourself?
Especially when you see some people who really aren’t chemically imbalanced, just too immature and laden with denial to admit their personality really is the problem.
Self awareness makes you ask the question of yourself: “Is that me? Is it all some excuse I’ve made up to avoid reality with pills and self justifications?”

The bottom line for me is, NONE of the meds I take get me “high”. Happy pills are a fallacy. It takes weeks for some of these meds to kick in and make a dent.You don’t simply pop a Prozac or Lithium and wham life is suddenly easier and happiness is instantaneous.
The fact people can be so ignorant as to view it that way is offensive to me.
While I do have a plethora of personality issues, they would not have been corrected by medication to the degree the symptoms of bipolar have.
If I were simply a person who likes to throw things and scream at others, pills wouldn’t change that aspect of my personality.
Bipolar is not who I am, no one will convince me otherwise with their “pills are evil” propaganda.

Just hit me how all over the place this post is. I should be embarrassed by my inability to stay on topic.
Fuck it.
This is me.
And it’s irritating and offensive…
Kiss my disorganized mood swinging topic jumping crass.


The Interview

I went in to talk to her about a week later.  She explained that classes had started, but enrollment was up enough that they knew they would need teachers the next semester as well.  We talked about my experience at State and how I could handle the classes, what my class policies would be, what the college would require me to do, and all other matters related to classroom management.  It wasn’t so much a job interview as it was an orientation session for what I would be doing.

Partway through the interview, I took a deep breath and explained that I’d like to start out teaching only one class because I had bipolar disorder and did not know how much work I could handle.  I told her I was experimenting to see if I could work at all.  She took the information in stride and said that she would be glad to work with me to see how much I liked the work and how much I could handle. I was shocked at how easily that went over, too.

I spent the fall semester planning my syllabus and course policies. I read the book and selected the readings I wanted to teach on.  I would be teaching Composition II, which included literary analysis and research papers. I studied my old Composition II materials from when I was at State and developed my strategies and methodologies for teaching.  I pulled out old handouts and even old final exams, which I planned to use again after modifying them somewhat.  I got as prepared as I knew how, even investing in new clothes to wear to class since I had been out of the public workforce for so long.


Reading, Roundup & Righteous Indignation

We’re not gods, we’re just people, but we have such vision and drive as to make us seem otherworldly. We have technology like fairy tales have magic.
Simon Morden(The Petrovitch Trilogy)

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Trigger warnings: suicide, snark, sibilance. And a baffling amount of my little ponies. Ffs.



Today I used both pubmed and hubmed to see which I preferred. Hubmed’s aim is to offer easier searches, which they do, but c’mon, we spend enough of our lives around psych and med stuff. We can do it. Also, it usually takes fewer clicks on pubmed to get from search results page to full text than it does on hubmed. Either way, either site is a good place to find peer reviewed info.

Remember Lil’ Kim calling K. Michelle a prozac popping bipolar bitch? This was the reply:

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Impairments of working memory in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: the effect of history of psychotic symptoms and different aspects of cognitive task demands
In summary, measuring different aspects of Working Memory allows observation of between group differences in cognitive performance among Bipolar and Schizophrenia patients. These differences may depend on the patients’ history of psychosis rather than a categorical diagnostic group defined by current diagnostic systems.

tl;dr: yes memory is impaired to varying extents.

Although psychiatric illness is known to be associated with significantly elevated rates of suicide (Tanney, 1992), remarkably little research exists describing treatments that effectively reduce risk of future suicidal behavior (Comtois & Linehan, 2006). source

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Because big bad pharma wouldn’t profit? (I hate drug companies, but I am certainly not anti psychiatry, anti meds, or anti dote.

Natasha Tracy on 3 things people with bipolar disorder want for xmas.

Because we increase understanding and decrease prejudice and discrimination one conversation at a time.

Next time I’m manic, remind me to start a Natasha Tracy fan club, I think I link to her/quote her at least once a week.

Apparently exercise is a double edged sword for us. Well, so are sunlight, food, meds, social interaction, life … why should exercise be any different?

In one of those ‘water is wet’ style bits of research, apparently a multifaceted intervention helps people with bipolar disorder lose weight. In a tragically unpaid bit of logic, I’m here to tell you that a multifaceted interventions helps everybody lose weight.

“[O]ur results do provide a modest level of optimism regarding the possibility of improving the health status of individuals with bipolar disorder.”

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Ever wondered why people like having sex with artists? It’s only rude about bipolar in the very last line.

Aaand Time Mag with why a wandering mind can be an asset. Phew.

One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back

I’ve had a bad day today. Unfortunately I’ve let it set me back a little, which just goes to prove that my recovery is still pretty fragile despite the strides I’ve made over the past few weeks. Of course, getting served with court papers for our impending eviction didn’t exactly make for happy thoughts, and the court date is set for December 26th. The day after Christmas? Really?

Then I looked around the house at the bare walls, the big picture window where the Christmas tree should be, the floor where brightly-wrapped packages used to be piled on top of each other. This year, there are no lights, no decorations, no gifts, no big holiday dinner at home, no anticipation. No traditions. And when you get right down to where the cheese binds, it’s ALL MY DAMN FAULT.

Well, it is. Or rather, it’s my failure to beat my demons into submission that’s to blame. As hard as I try to keep this thought at bay because it can be dangerous, I’m too weary and too discouraged to fight it at the moment. There’s just no denying the fact that none of this would be happening if it wasn’t for me. If only I could have stuck with that surveyor job…..if only I’d been able to keep working…..if only I hadn’t let this illness get out of control…..everything would be the way it used to be. We could have had another Christmas like last year’s, which was as close to perfection as a family Christmas can ever be. Of course, it would have been a hard act to follow, but I would’ve busted my buns to make it at least as good because that’s what I do.

Or at least, that’s what I used to do. Now that I can’t even buy gifts for the grandkids—and my soon-to-be ex-house is dark and cold—I don’t know what the hell to do. I feel like the holidays are magnifying what has become a stark reality: I am poor, I am sick, and I am to blame for this entire mess.

One step forward, two (or ten) steps back. Yes, I know I shouldn’t beat myself up; for one thing, it doesn’t solve the problem, and for another, I’ve been doing what I’m supposed to—taking meds, sticking to my sleep schedule, seeing Dr. Awesomesauce on a regular basis. I’ve also done a hell of a lot of hard work in therapy, because he knows I’m smarter than I act sometimes and he does NOT let me get away with any kind of intellectual laziness.

But it’s a whole different ballgame when I look around me and find chaos everywhere—chaos caused directly by me, or at least by my illness. But my illness is part of me, isn’t it? I can’t blame it without blaming myself, can I? Where does it end, and where do I begin?

Sorry about the pity party…..I’m just tired of losing so many battles with this thing. I’ll get over it. I always do. But for today, I’m giving myself permission to wallow because every time I look around my sad, empty house I see my hand at work, destroying everything I touch. And nothing I do will put it back together again.


Miraculous!

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A 12.5 mg increase of Seroquel and I am feeling just about 200% normal!! Miraculous, absolutely miraculous, considering the hell I’d been living on the last three days! Thank goodness for these meds. Even though I rail against them sometimes, they truly are a godsend. More when I’m not falling asleep, tomorrow. Taking deep breaths and going to sleep now. Good night all, sweet dreams.


A Temporary Farewell Video & Chocolate Nutrition Guidance

Me on “Kitt Jr.”, my NordicTrack Elliptical – this is where I read your blog posts and yeah, I need a lot of light to do that as I’m getting older… Hello my wonderful friends! I hope your week went … Continue reading