Daily Archives: December 27, 2014

ruby’s mind

I found these on giphy, but they originate from ruby etc. She drew ‘em, she deserves loads of credit.

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Here is a very cool comic about the void. You know. The void.

Feeling better

The meds are working. I’m not in an episode anymore and I’m more motivated.

I had a decent Christmas. My brother was being a dick to my mom, and I felt terrible for her. She’s given him and I the world and doesn’t deserve to be treated badly by anyone. I love my mom with all my heart and I hate to see her upset.

I got some decent Christmas loot. There’s a smartwatch in the mail coming for me, some Cindwood looms for knitting – the best knitting looms out there, a onesie with stars (they are SO damn warm and comfy) and a pair of really cool boots that I can wear with dressy clothes, and they will not see the barn. I needed non-muck boots.

My roommate got me little horse figures and chocolate. I got her a Breyer horse, the Horse of the Year (Appendix Quarterhorse). It won’t be here until Jan 5th at the latest, though. My brother and SIL got me a Chapters gift card and I bought a journal “642 Things to Write About”. We had a non-traditional Christmas dinner, my mom made homemade pizza, and damn it was good.

It’s been weird out. It’s 11C today, about 50 F. Weird weather. We were supposed to have a white Christmas, but it was windy and warm instead. Weird. Last year my dad got called in for 4am and my mom had us opening presents at 3am, before he went to work! She loooves Christmas.

I’ve been a bit nauseous lately. Ugh. I just took some gravol.

Into the abyss and back again

I’m back to functional today, albeit in a low way.
Yesterday, though…I hung tough for a long time but then…Wham. The mood didn’t just tank, it died. I was in a dark space, pounding on the walls of my own mind, screaming LET ME OUT!
Didn’t work.
I was stuck there, wanting only to sleep, do a brain reboot. I got so sleepy at 6:30 I couldn’t keep my eyes open. My daughter showed no signs of winding down so I forced myself to binge eat to stay awake. Beef jerky and sour cream and onion chips bring the child to a quiet jabber rather than rapid uzi fire.

By the time she actually went to sleep…My sleepiness was gone. I just lay in bed, tossing and turning, half watching, half listening to a Deadly Women playlist. My mind went round and round. Obsessing on every slight committed against me by people who claim to care.
Then the guilt for feeling betrayed because…
Well, because I’ve been programmed to feel guilty for having feelings that get hurt when apparently the rest of the world does not.
I don’t consider myself all that sensitive outside of shark week prelude. I’ve been called fat ass, bitch- whatever. I laugh it off or snark it away.
But betrayal…I don’t shake that off easily.
I want to.
I just can’t.
Because while others may see shaking it off as forgiving…I view it as a weakness for the people who hurt me to further exploit. “Look, I fucked her over once and she’s too nice to realize what a manipulative asshole I am…I’m gonna keep doing it and dumb bunny she is, she will let me.”
Having kindness mistaken for weakness pisses me off.
I’d rather be seen as an angry grudge holding bitchbeast than weak.

I rant, therefore I am.
Point being, biting my tongue is what probably lead to last night’s crash into the abyss. If I can’t rant it out and confront those who hurt me…I bottle it up and it eats me alive. I want to tie all the negative stuff to a balloon and watch it drift off into the sky…
But I am not there yet. I may never be.
So I continue walking on egg shells, trying to use people as they use me, but I’m the only one who wastes even a fraction of a second feeling bad for doing it.
I could be the bigger person.
Not there yet, either.

I’ve got enough dealing with my moods and anxieties, I don’t need betrayals and guilt on top of it. That’s why I’ve gotten to the point of “Fuck it, I have enough friends. The voices in my head keep me company.”
But I think the bottom line, under all the hurt feelings, is the fact that I’ve just outgrown some of the people around me. They never change, they never grow or evolve. They are like smelly stagnant water and it’s time to dump out the bucket.
(Ever have a leak under the sink and have to put a bucket there? Yeah, that stench.)

The car is running like shit again.
I had to return two of my Christmas gifts that didn’t work.
I called my dad and he screamed at me because apparently my brother is being a douche so taking it out on me makes perfect sense.
I asked to speak to stepmonster.
I feel restless. I can’t get interested in shows, books, nothing holds my interest.
I am trying to write and I have done about a hundred pages but…my attention wanders and I can’t stay on track so it’s going in a direction I don’t much like. I’m not in that “pocket” where the real world is a peripheral and the fictional world is the pocket to slip into. That’s what writing is for me, anyway.
Getting into that pocket. Life goes on around you, but there’s that other world to escape into.
Outside the pocket, it just feels like work. Like trying to hard and failing.
It’s a bummer.

Okay, mental purge complete.
Just in time for reality to binge me on more garbage I will need to purge later on.
Rinse, lather, repeat, such is life.

On the less sucky side, there are three adorable kittens outside. They are feral but I feed them same as the other strays. Kittens are like a drug for me. You could show me a disemboweled corpse but if a kitten was beside it, I would see only the kitty.
Cats are just children wearing fur coats.
Without the channeling satan tantrums.


violent premonitions of loss

Trigger warning: suicide.

I wonder if you ever think about this.

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You say you need to quit existing and commit suicide. Howls swoop and roar around me and the only words I can stutter halfway intelligibly are

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO PLEASE NO

but then I call bs on myself, because of my own ideations aspiring to be intentions.

How can I do the baby please don’t go jazz all over your doormat, when I can relate completely to the urges? Then again, how can I not? Jazz turns to blues as the howls abate and the mind grinds in search of the right response.

I’ll miss you if you do

sounds weak. Cowardly.

I totally respect that

is just … so fucking smarmy somehow, I want to slap myself stupid for even formulating the sentence.

You’re in so much pain I

what?! I know those fucking feels and nothing helps. Nothing. Maybe a dart gun and a sedative? Fuck. What to say? Have you offed yourself already, will you turn up tomorrow? My blood runs cold and I berate myself for making it all about me.

I don’t even need to know you, to identify so closely with you. You are unwittingly holding up a mirror and my own reflection shows me your face.

Despair.

You say you have to go and something wrenches and tears inside me. Forewarned is disarmed. I tell myself I cannot save you, then curse the selfish self help industry and it’s soap Oprahtic Socratic conveyor belt crap.

Shit shit shit fuck bollocks fuck shit!

But we are mostly selfish, in the end and I have turned your screams into a goddamned prose poem. A few more line breaks and it’ll stoop to free verse.

Are you still here … there? Hello.

You echo, reflect, whether you live or die.

Please be alive please be alive please be alive …

Why? Tibetans would be reciting the Rites of Bardo by now and making sure your soul caught its flight.

Fine okay die (don’t die), it’s your decision.

I call bs on those who say suicide is an act of insanity, selfishness, sin. I call bs on myself because I can’t be Tibetan about it at all

and fuckit I want to save you and I can’t and what the fuck use are we as beings, society, life?

I know the jargon,

taking four, N, catch the bus

I want four legs, N and that bus too,

no I want to be saved.

There is no solution to life, death or grief.

(Where is the grave of the unknown suicide?)

I love you.

December 7th

blahpolar:

I want to introduce you to a blog I follow.

In diagnostic limbo somewhere from BD to SZ, Elizabeth transcribes the voices she hears, without commentary. It’s a very interesting blog, more so once you’ve been following it for a while. I get voices in psychosis way, way less than she does and I find myself having all sorts of intellectual and sometimes emotional responses to her posts. Their posts.

I’d be very interested to hear from my blog friends with DID, whether there’s any similarities between the way Elizabeth’s voices interact, and the way your alters do. Any of the rest of my brethren-in-psychosis (*rolls eyes at self*) experience multiple voices?

Thank you.

Originally posted on Bipolar to Schizophrenia:

she doesn’t like us
she hates us
she made tea
it is steeping
she can’t use the spell check
it won’t work
we are watching castle
her dad is sleeping
her mom is upstairs reading
she is in the dining room
tell her what you do
this is her thought process
tell her
we pick her thoughts and then say them before she gets them
tell her
it just started working
the spell check
it is fixed
everything is right
with the world
she thinks too much
she does
i do
she does
her tea is in the kitchen
these are her subconscious thoughts
she can’t spell
i am going to say it until she admits it
this is easy
this is not hard
she doesn’t care the order she writes something down in
something
i just said something
i want to mess her up
she just missed n
she…

View original 1,379 more words

Sleeping

Need to watch myself today–I was up late supervising the slumber party last night.  We didn’t get to bed until close to 11.   I normally go to bed around 9.  But I don’t think I was awake long enough to get hypomanic or manic today.  We have a quiet day at home planned for today, and we’ll have to see how that plays out,.  I may try to nap this afternoon to catch up on the two missed hours.  Those of you with bipolar know how important sleep hygiene is.  Hopefully if I do get high energy I can channel it somewhere useful

Put together an awesome day of shopping yesterday.  Bob and the girls went and bought Hallmark ornaments at half-price in the morning, and I scored a London Fog animal print mid-length coat at Belk’s for only $50, which I had in gift cards. So it was a successful day.

Have a project due for a local magazine I used to write for–Mississippi Christian Living.  I asked if they would take an article on my bipolar experience, and they agreed.  So I will write up a piece for them and send it in soon.  I pretty much know what I’m going to do–I just have to write it out.  Another outlet to try to reach the Christian community about this disorder and what it means to people.  I’m excited for the opportunity.

I also need to redo my syllabus for my Comp II classes.  We have a new book–I’ll use many of the same readings, but I have to change the page numbers, etc. for the class schedule.  So that’s another project between now and New year’s.

So time to face another day.  Hope it’s a good one for all of us.


Battle of the Bipolar Bulge

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“Thin may be in, but fat is where it’s at.” – Anon.

Bizarely, when I came out of the manic-depressive broom cupboard to some friends, one told me about a close relative with bipolar. My other friend had gone out with someone with the problem.

Whilst surprising, that’s not the bizarre bit. What I did find odd was, despite the long-standing nature of their relative’s illness, my friend hadn’t connected her relative’s obesity to their medication.

Look at the two following photos. There then will follow a short quiz.

A picture from a few years back of myself, and Gerald. He's the one on the right.

A picture taken in Spring 2007. (I’m the one on the left).

Let’s call the photo above “Exhibit A”, and the next one, “Exhibit B”.

Fat Sheila 2013 with Mr TumnusNow the quiz. Which of the following responses is correct?

(1) You like to stand on the left in photos, don’t you?

(2) Whilst “Exhibit A” is in focus, “B” is not.

(3) Subject appears to enjoy hanging out with fictional characters.

(4) Wow, you got fat!

The answer, of course, is 1), 2), 3), and 4). Especially 4).

Whilst photo A was taken after I began taking psychiatric meds, it was also after I’d been on a ward for what, cross fingers, is my longest stretch, ever. (1) So my long-running on-again, off-again, meds-induced love affair with food in general, and carbs in particular, had already begun. However, periods of depression (2) also typically result in my hardly eating. At all.

Welcome, folks, to the “Depression Diet”. Also known as: “How I lost weight despite barely moving”.

One of the biggest downsides of this diet is that it is inevitably followed by the “Cheering Up Weight Gain”. Hence the above photo of me from December 2013, looking fat and happy. Because I was, and am. (3)

So, the very stuff which is supposed to make me feel happier gives me something to become desperately unhappy about: My Big Fat Bipolar Self.

Of course, as I previously observed in this rant – er, blog – it is better to be fat than dead. And eating because I’m depressed because I put on a load of weight because I was depressed is a bit counter-productive.

Hence the photo at the top of this blog. It could be taken – as the caption which WordPress appears to have eaten said – to depict my frequent despair over my size. In fact, it’s a photo from my walk earlier this morning in Hyde Park Cemetery, here in Snowy Donny.

Yes, we have snow. And yes, fat people walk. In my case, quite a lot, as I cannot drive, and am too impatient to wait for buses.

Walking is one of the ways I plan to address (4) my weight over the coming months. And, as I enjoy photography, I plan to take my camera with me, as well as write about it.

Speaking of writing, I was surprised to find out how much I missed writing over the Christmas and Boxing Day break. (5) Two days without writing any fiction, or blogs. Nada. Zipster. Since writing is a major part of how I deal with my particular brand of mental health fruitcake-ness, maybe that’s not so surprising.

Anyways, here’s to a slimmer, fitter me in a few months’ time. Good Lord willin’ and the meds don’t return.

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(1) It better be.

(2) I also find being on a ward quite depressing.

(3) Except when depressed, and/or angry.

(4) Initially typed “depressed” for “address”. How’d you like that slip up, Sigmund?

(5) A break during which I worked part of Christmas Day.

 

stephen fry for president

(of everything)

Not many queer, bipolar celebs put their money where their mouth is the way Stephen Fry does. This is an eloquent illustration of how absolutely fuckwitted the prejudices are.

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*behoves. Although it is pronounced the way they’ve spelled it here. Behooves is the plural noun, behoof is the singular noun (mostly used by horses) and behoves is the verb.

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… and George Takei/Mr Sulu too. Although I unfollowed him on fb because zomg too much line noise.

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Ditto bipolar. And so many other things.

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Hmmm, we’ll see. But thank you Mr Fry.

bedlam: london and its mad – catharine arnold

Huzzah! History! And in true Brit style, a disclaimer.

The term ‘mad’ is not intended to cause offence, but to reflect the generic use of the word, reserving explicit clinical terms for the appropriate context.

{Hi-vis jackets are available and there will be a telephone number afterwards, in case you have been upset by the book.}

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The history and treatment of madness across the centuries falls into three basic categories: magical, medical and psychological. In the beginning, madness was regarded as ‘magical’ in origin, a perception dating back to prehistoric times, when no real distinction existed between medicine, magic and religion.

It’s a lively book, I like it a lot. Don’t bother reading my review, just grab a copy yourself. Ms Arnold is a true storyteller, in the best enthralling, fireside sense of the word and her book is stuffed full of fascinating facts. And out of the various non fiction books I’ve reviewed on this blog, this one’s the most fluid and accessible. Be warned, it doesn’t shy away from graphic accounts of the horrors of treatment throughout Bedlam’s existence.

Soranus of Ephesus (AD 98–138) seems to have discovered lithium as a cure for manic depression by recommending that severely disturbed patients be treated with the alkaline waters of the town, which contained high levels of lithium salts. A more radical approach consisted of a pioneering form of electric shock treatment: the Greeks used the ‘electric torpedo’, or eels, as a cure for headaches, believing that ‘the touch of a living torpedo stupefied or blunted the acute sense of pain’. An oil was prepared from the dead fish for use when no live ones were available.

Almost 2 000 years later, still no cure.

Did you know that the Romans also used electric eels as a primitive form of ECT? And as for the Saxons, well …

One account tells of a poor, ‘moon-sick’ individual found wandering the Roman Ridgeway, half naked, a clovewort tied round his neck by a red thread (the plant was believed to cure madness). As if he had not suffered enough, he was seized and given a good thrashing with a whip of porpoise hide.

Bethlehem, Bethlem, Bedlam was founded in 1247 and it’s still going (though it has moved premises twice). Although it is far younger than the history of madness, Bedlam has seen centuries of it and its story is a good counterpoint to the story of madness itself.

Soon this magnificent building, reminiscent of Versailles, became a freak show and a pickup joint, with visitors crowding in to view the lunatics every holiday.

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That was the first move, to the building which is now the Imperial War Museum, the next shift was to Kent.

By the beginning of the 20th century, they’d shunted the paupers elsewhere and Bedlam was home to “the worried well and the shabby genteel, driven to madness by the pressures of middle-class life,”. (Seems legit.)

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(OT dept door, present day.)

And in the 21st century?

As hospitals go, it is a paradise. But, lest we forget, the museum–which is open to the public–recalls ‘Bedlam’ in all its infamy. Here, you may inspect the restraints, the instruments for force-feeding, and meet the ‘brainless brothers’ face-to-face, larger than life and somewhat intimidating, crouched in the confines of a little room. In the casebooks you will find the sad histories of those who have already featured in this book. But you are not left without hope of redemption. The museum has regular exhibitions of patients’ work and is a testament to art therapy.

Bipolar Nuns

Somebody landed up on my blog using the search term bipolar nun, which piqued my curiosity, so I searched it too. Sidenote: looking for bipolar monks gets you a whole bunch of Buddhists, plus Thelonius Monk.

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Forum thread: can you be a Catholic priest or nun if you have a mental illness? Turns out it’s a fairly common query; here’s a thread from a different forum, by a woman dealing with not being able to be a nun.

In Surviving Depression: a Catholic approach, Kathryn James Hermes , a Catholic nun gives the following advice for overcoming depression:

1.) Return to the Church: At least continual Mass, Confession, and Eucharist, see a priest, and proper prayer – this will strengthen your soul;
2.) Go to regular therapy
3.) Medication, if still necessary.

Another book, about spirituality and mental illness, is Wrestling with Angels by Sr Nancy Kehoe.

Then there’s this:

“I think the Catholic faith, especially with all its traditions and rituals, can give you a kind of safety,” Borchard says. “I joke that there’s a saint for every disorder, and if you run out of saints there’s always St. Jude for hopeless causes.” – See more

and here they are.

My vote goes to Saint Stephen Fry.

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Then I searched bipolar Buddhist nun and some of first results were about dealing with bipolar as a Buddhist. Given the popularity of mindfulness these days, I didn’t think it’d be particularly interesting, but it was.

A bipolar patient discusses Lamden – prisoner, psychiatrist, Buddhist nun.

… medications help fill the void and basically keep me alive because my depressive episodes easily lead to suicidal thoughts.
Meditation or medication? (Often both)

Well, om and amen.