Daily Archives: December 31, 2014

Leprosy

Sitting here with my leprosy

exposed

must call “unclean, unclean”

Don’t look at me

Don’t try to see

the mold that is surrounding me

– The sin, The sin –

is all I am

That’s all you see

I stand condemned


Sitting here with my isolation

Don’t look my way

’cause I’m contagious

The disease of me

you think you see

– is hidden –

hiding

underneath


So don’t get close

Just look away

Invisibly I cleanse my stains

I hear the words

with mouths they say:

“Don’t look at her

’cause she’s condemned.”

“The silence is her punishment.”

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM NAMI OC

Kitt O'Malley:

Happy New Year!

Originally posted on :

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Filed under: Mental Health, NAMI Tagged: Happy New Year, NAMI OC, NAMI Orange County

I Could Have Been You: An Open Letter to Leelah Alcorn

leelahhh

Illustration by Jessica Krcmarik

[The image features the name “LEELAH ALCORN” in uppercase letters on a ribbon banner. Above the banner is a young girl from the shoulders up. The girl is trans teen Leelah Alcorn. She has side-swept hair framing her face, a loose t-shirt, and deep, thoughtful eyes staring straight ahead.]

Leelah,

When I was a teenager, I was convinced that I would not live to be eighteen years old. I couldn’t imagine a future that didn’t involve the depression, anger, and agony that had come to define my teenage years.

As a transgender teen with bipolar disorder, I was convinced that I did not belong in this world. And like 41% of transgender people in America, I tried to take matters into my own hands.

Miraculously, I survived.

And as it turns out, I was wrong about my future. I became the adult I never imagined I could be – happy, fulfilled, and ambitious.

Leelah, I wish your story had ended like mine.
On December 28th, 2014, you said your goodbyes and ended your life, a suicide spurred on by callous abuse at the hands of parents and so-called therapists.

The letter you left behind – your words raw, the pain seething from every syllable – has been seen around the world, an undeniable rallying cry that echoes from every corner of the globe. 

That pitch is trapped inside my eardrums, a piercing sound that hasn’t gone away since I first heard about your death.

Your story is a reminder that we need to do better. And your story is a reminder of all the ways we continue, in 2014, to fail transgender people and especially trans youth.

When I read your letter, it hurt my heart to know that you will never be able to manifest all the beauty, passion, wit, and endless gifts that you had. You will never know what kind of adult you would have been, what kind of life you could have lead, what kind of woman you were meant to become.

You will never know what it’s like to be on your own, to be a #RealLiveTransAdult, and write the triumphant end to your story that you should have written.

Instead, you died before you could know what it truly felt like to live.

You said in your letter that your death needed to count for something. And yes, so long as I’m still here, I will do everything I can to honor you.

But I’m angry that we live in a world where suicide was the only choice you had left. I’m angry that only in death did you feel like you could “count” for something. I’m angry that death was the only way to shine a light on the abuse, suffering, and agony that you felt.

I’m angry that, to this day, LGBTQIA youth need to die before they can truly be heard or seen.

I’m not angry at you, but at a society that has created a world that makes us feel like we don’t belong, that we can’t be happy, that there is no future worth holding onto.

We still live in a society that would rather extinguish the beautiful light inside of us than let us be who we are meant to be. We live in a society that cannot see the courage it takes to be unapologetically ourselves. We live in a society that cannot see the ways in which a world where transgender people are free is a better world for us all.

Leelah, even in death I still see your light. Leelah, even in death I still see your courage. And Leelah, though your life was cut short, I still believe that you have made this world a better place.

I will not stop fighting for you and for all of my transgender siblings, who deserve to live happy, healthy, and meaningful lives – lives in which they are seen, heard, respected, validated, and safe.

I only wish you could still be here to see it.

Take Action:

Sign the Petition to enact “Leelah’s Law,” and end conversion therapy for transgender people.

Sign the Petition to ensure that Leelah’s headstone will have her actual name, rather than her birth name.

Need Help?

Call the Trans Lifeline:

US: (877) 565-8860

Canada: (877) 330-6366

Or learn more about the Trans Lifeline here (and donate!): http://www.translifeline.org/

Sam Dylan Finch is a freelance writer and queer activist, currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the founder of Let’s Queer Things Up!, a queer and feminist perspective on current events and politics. His twitter can be found, unsurprisingly, at @samdylanfinch.

Visit his official website: www.samdylanfinch.com


The Evil Of Deviation

I am perpetually amazed by how easily I am set off kilter.
I went to do something on line, got an error message, and that simple deviation set me on edge. Panic rising, anxiety bubbling.
If anything, I’d have thought the trip out into the petri dish, complete with 13 stops, kid in tow, in 12 degree weather with a car that keeps dying would have done me in.
Nope.
I survived that relatively sane.
But a simple deviation with the internet…That’s cause for alarm.
The panic may be a byproduct of the outing, for all I know. I can’t figure out the anxiety stuff out. I can make sense of bipolar, because the patterns and cycles are fairly static. It’s always changing with cyclothymia, but even in that inconsistency there is a certain reason and rhyme.
The anxiety disorder…There’s rarely a common trigger. Crowds, sure. Loud noises, ok. But most of the time, it just hits me from out of nowhere over the stupidest things. Ringing phone, knock on the door, music pounding next door, barking dogs, the sound of playing kids..Stupid stuff.

So…Xanax time. I try not to take it until I have to. I think that’s a good thing. One old doctor told me I still had anxiety because I wasn’t taking it regularly. For me, it’s like Tyelonol. I don’t take that if I don’t have pain. If my anxiety is manageable, even if uncomfortable, I don’t take xanax. I TRY to deal on my own. But sometimes the panic becomes so all consuming…It’s nice to know return to sanity sits a few inches away. It’s less a crutch and more a last ditch effort. But when the anxiety reaches fever pitch and you’re trembling, jumping at every tiny sound, and the paranoia kicks in making you suspect even the cats are plotting against you…
Yeah, Xanax time.

But alas…All is done. Bills are paid, car has a sticker for another year. We have food, cats have supplies, and I have my New Year’s party favor, ie: whiskey. It’s probably the only day of the year aside from St. Patrick’s where you’re expected to have a drink so I don’t have to feel guity. Yay.

Booze is bad for me?
I did not know that, I suck.
Meh.
Gonna kiss sucky 2014 goodbye with flourish.
I’d say it can’t get worse but oh it can and usually does.
But it can also get better.
I could also find a million dollar winning lottery ticket on the ground or get hit by a bus.
Maybe that’s why the whole life thing keeps me going.
It could go either way, but you hang on for the possibility it will go well.

And say thanks to whatever pharma company created Xanax.

Happy New Year everyone.


Boy Interrupted

Triggers: suicide. And this is not so much a review as a re-telling and then my comments. I’ve included his suicide note. Please don’t read further if it’ll hurt too much.

More terminated than interrupted, this documentary was made by the parents of Evan Perry (Dana and Hart), who jumped to his death at age 15. Why? Bipolar … despair. My motive for watching this, is that the rate of suicide in bipolar people is much higher than the average population – I think it’s something people like me need to be aware of.

Part I

A nice looking family, with a history of mental illness and suicide, the Perrys seemed incredibly loving and caring. While they talked about his tantrums etc, I wondered how much more abused kids would act out if they weren’t abused (Evan wasn’t). He was challenging, creative, fussy, clever, charming, affectionate and also, according to his mother, could be “the darkest of souls”. He expressed suicidal ideations from about age five, apparently in a matter of fact manner. He started seeing a psychiatrist, who diagnosed depression and started him on Prozac.

“He was just scary,” said the shrink, describing the kid’s obsession with death and murder. “He was the scariest kid I’d ever seen in my life.” He would show his mother how he would kill himself; she photographed his demonstration of hanging, so that she’d be believed when she tried to get help.

The footage is home video, interspersed with interviews.

He loved Dylan, Neil Young, Nirvana and by age nine, was writing incredibly complex, rhyming and morbid songs. Journals, poetry, a play … all sad and all (like Evan in most respects) advanced well beyond his years.

At age 10 he attempted suicide at school. He was still seeing a psychiatrist and still on meds. And off he went to a mental institution, where he was diagnosed with bipolar ii (depressive bipolar). Depacote didn’t work, lithium seemed to help some and he was then sent for milieu therapy. His parents credited it with saving his life during that time.

Evan escaped, broke into a house and landed up in juvenile court. The theory then, was that Evan had been playing games to some extent and needed to be held accountable. He went back to the in patient facility for milieu therapy and things appeared to go well, partly because, “he needed to be a kid again”.

“Bipolar is not just a disorder of mood, it’s a disorder of judgment.”

After three months, he went home. He excelled at school, he made friends, had strong opinions and loved toys and cartoons. “The more happy I get, the more pissed off I’m gonna get later,” he said to a friend, showing good insight into his condition. At age 13, things seemed under control and positive. Because of his younger brother Scott’s suicide, Evan’s father was always fearful. “The pain was so profound,” said Scott’s fiancé, “I was mutilated when he died, half of me was completely dead.” Beatrice Perry (Evan’s grandmother) said “The words don’t exist to tell people how destroyed you have been.”

“A lot of the time he seemed really out of it to me,” said his half brother and under medical supervision, his lithium was decreased and stopped. He claimed not to be suicidal and was believed. “Maybe he got better at masking it,” said his psychologist. His mood dropped and his parents wondered if he ought to go back on lithium and made a psychiatrist’s appointment for the following week.

Before that could happen, one evening Evan acted out, told his mother he hated her and went to his room. His behaviour didn’t seem extreme for a 15 year old though. When his father looked in on him, he said he was doing fine. Shortly after that, he jumped out of his bedroom window, into an air shaft – and died.

He left his reasons for suicide on his laptop screen. His half brother said Evan’s perception of himself was no different to any other 15 year old’s list, but 20 000 times more intense.

things to die for:
1. fear of failing
2. lack of trust in friends
3, working hard for what?
4. never being able to fit in
5. knowing all the bad things are true; being lazy, looser, ugly, untalented, and stupid.
6. what’s the point?

things to live for:
1. potential of being something great
2. love of people i trust
3. the future
4. finding trusting friends
5. sadness brought to family
6. feeling better later

so, 6 things to live for and six things to die for

things i want:

york prep to never know why or how i died

to be forgotten

only family is invited to the funeral

for death to be painless

and finally for everyone to move on and know i am sorry but this is for the best

His psychiatrist said, “in psychiatry, bipolar is our cancer.” Of Evan’s suicide note he said, “it’s crazy, but it’s done so sanely,” and that the hypersanity of it was its insanity.

We have no way of knowing whether his death was painless, but the other four things Evan said he wanted, were not adhered to. When the funeral party reached the graveyard, in the pouring rain, the hole hadn’t been dug, “oh he’s laughing,” said his mom, “you better believe it.” Somebody says firmly, “We’ll do it!” but they don’t.

“When somebody is that deep and far into depression, and in such incredible pain, there’s nothing you can do,” wept Scott’s fiancé, as the camera panned over the place where Evan died.

The end of the documentary takes place 14 months later, harking back to the intro scenes, with the family building a barn at Wellspring (where Evan was for milieu therapy) as a memorial to Evan and to help future patients.

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Part II

No matter how much I felt for his family, it’s obvious I’d identify more with Evan.

I think Scott’s fiancé was right – there is nothing you can do, in more than a temporary way anyway. If you want fast and dirty insight into the suffering mind of someone with bipolar, imagine knives whirling round in your cranium, slicing your brain to ribbons. Not the physical pain, simply as a metaphor. His half brother was right too, about the sheer intensity of bipolar emotions. Clearly there are very good and very bad sides to that fact.

Behind the inexorable violence of that pain are lives shredded by this fucking disorder. And frankly if anyone tells you bipolar isn’t that bad, either they don’t have it, or they have a very mild version. (Yes I’m jealous.) Undiagnosed, we may have wrecked any number of things, diagnosed, our hearts are often incurably broken.

Why mask the suffering? Who knows. To appear normal perhaps, to avoid stigma, or to avoid worrying and burdening your loved ones. The latter is my reason for saying I’m fine, I rarely try to appear normal, but I totally get why some people do. It isn’t as simple as “I don’t want to worry you,” it’s the burden we sometimes get, from being a burden to you. Having cost our families money and time and caused pain and anguish and a whole host of other issues, we might be guilt stricken and ashamed. I doubt it’s just me after all. The person with bipolar and the people who really, really love them, must pass through grief as sharp as smashed glass. Lots of relationships – and some people – don’t make it through to the other side.

Finding the right meds and therapy can be quick, it can take years and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. The side effects of the meds can be horrendous and can really fuck with your mind and your quality of life. People frequently take negative attitudes when they find out you’re bipolar and even the kindest of souls sometimes treat you like a moron. Once we think we’ve ruined your lives and our own lives seem fucked beyond redemption, what is there to live for?

The takeaway? Even with a loving family, treatment on tap, good schooling – bipolar can still kill. Also – take your damn meds!

I have no idea whether you’ll find it harrowing or not. I didn’t; it all made horribly logical sense to me. It wasn’t remotely shocking, just realistic. I don’t have a moral standpoint on whether or not the parents should have made the film. I’m rather grateful that they did though.

“White, Other”

George, a busy guy who is patron saint of England & Romania, amongst many other places

George, a busy guy who is patron saint of England & Romania, amongst many other places

A warning in the form of a pretty fab quote:

“All hockey players are billingual. They know English and Profanity.” – Gordie Howe

Gordie played hockey with the Red Wings for many years. He is, as any Detroiter can tell you, the greatest of them all.

But it is not Gordie’s greatness that concerns me just now, but the reference to profanity. It is just possible that this blog is going to turn into a rant (1), and my wayward Yorkshire-American English into a pile of feckin’ swearing.

My temper has been short of late. I recently threw a cheese knife at our boiler. (2) This is not normal behaviour, even for me. So to fall out with some anti-UKIP-ers was not, perhaps, a surprise.

I still oppose UKIP. How could I not?

1) I am an immigrant

2) My grandparents were – shock! horror! probe! – Romanian

3) I am a woman

4) I am bipolar

5) I work in mental health

6) I have friends and relatives who are gay

Apparently, according to some small minded types on an anti-UKIP board, I must, must also tick:

7) I am a socialist, and wish to get rid of the Royal Family.

But I’m not a bloody socialist. Not, that is, unless you include the “Royalist, Green Liberal somewhat Socialist” kind.

This description, according to one s-mS (3), means I’m “confused”. Which I am, about many things (4).

Not this.

I know what I mean. If Random Internet Stranger doesn’t, so fucking what?

Facebook can be great, but it’s not a good place for extended intelligent debate. Well, sometimes, but this was obviously a horse that could not run. Not because they’re a Socialist. It was the “small-minded” bit which was tripping her up.

Or, to pound coin a turn of phrase, it was because I was dealing with someone with the imagination of a pencil. Cue photo:

Some seasonal pencils.

Some seasonal pencils.

I like pencils. Indeed, I may blog about my love of pencils sometime soon. (5) But they aren’t terribly gifted when it comes to imagination.

Whereas, I am bipolar – and a writer. Which means I have altogether too much frigging imagination at times.

The word “coalition” has left a sour taste in many British mouths. And yet, as my politically astute husband reminds me, it was a coalition government which lead the UK through the horrors of WWII to victory.

It isn’t coalitions in the governmental sense that are on my mind, however, but rather that of people with a common cause. Such as, for example, a desire to oppose the rise of the far right in their country: whether that be their country of origin, or of adoption.

Or, as is the case with myself, the country where I have now lived more than half my life, and of which I have been a citizen for more than four years.

2014-05-22 09.08.53

Where I am destined to tick the “White, Other” box for the rest of my days.

But hey, if some s-mS types want to piss off their allies because they like the look of their own nose-less faces, well, it’s their mugs that are getting ugly. Mine is ugly enough as it is.

Meanwhile, I’ll carry on opposing UKIP.  On my own, if necessary.

Have a great New Year, folks. Whoever you are, wherever you come from, or you’re going. Regardless of how right-on you are.

Or aren’t.

Happiness is ... books. writing. beasties.

Happiness is … Books. Writing. Beasties.

1) again.
2) It hasn’t been working properly for weeks, and I stupidly managed to put out the stupid pilot light.
3) small-minded Socialist
4) “Where are my specs?” “Where did I put my keys?” “Directions, from me? Are you joking?” Etc.
5) Betcha can’t wait for that one, eh?

 

 

 

 

 

Extended release vs. Immediate release

DSCN0373

Many of the medications we take for our disorders come in immediate release or extended release forms.

Immediate release, as the name implies, dissolves immediately within our stomachs and is taken up into the bloodstream. This can cause side effects, it is also taken up quickly and then degraded quickly. So the concentration of the medicine does not stay constant in our bodies, we get a quick spike and the drug is quickly degraded. It is actually better to have a constant concentration as opposed to this increase and decrease. Lithium is one drug that is known to cause major gastrointestinal side effects if taken in large doses in an immediate release form and can be quite corrosive to the stomach.

Extended release, also known as Controlled release, has a coating that allows it to dissolve slowly either in the stomach or small intestine (enteric coated). These medicines are then slowly dissolved, therefore slowly absorbed into the bloodstream. This not only cuts down on local side effects such as upset stomach, but general side effects are also reduced. The dose of the medicine stays more constant over a 12 hour period. This is much more desirable.

My preference is always for the extended release meds. Lithium comes in an extended release form and I always ask for it from my doctor. Seroquel comes in an extended release from as well, but apparently my insurance company doesn’t want to cover that as it is more costly. I am going to try my best to get the extended release Seroquel so the side effects I have been experiencing will go away. I have been having anxiety attacks which may well be the result of too much norepinephrine due to the large absorption of Seroquel into my bloodstream initially, right after I take it. My stiff muscles are probably also due to a decrease in dopamine. And both of these things can be the result of having been taken off the Zoloft. But this is all temporary.

It’s always a guessing game for me, are my symptoms because I’m on too much of the med or too little of it. Are the symptoms due to side effects of the meds, and if so which med? Are the symptoms because my mood disorder is exacerbated, so then increase the meds, which ones? Of course my doctor is helpful, but sometimes I have to tell him what’s going on and he listens. This one listens! Rare, and lucky if you find one who does. So we take two steps forward and one step back, so we are actually advancing! My doctor, my husband and even I, we have all noticed that since getting off the Zoloft, my mood swings are less severe. So instead of having huge spikes, I have sort of a little rolling hills thing going. I will be very happy when the terrain is flat. Oh no, will I be boring then? Hmmm, maybe boring is nice :-)

My doctor and I are working together and figuring out the best doses of these two medicines that I can tolerate, so that my mood will be in the stellarly normal range!

One more thing, I had genetic testing done to see which forms (long or short) of neurotransmitter receptors I have. This will allow us to predict which class of meds will be useful for me and at what dosages. More on that later.


a nod to new year

I have no way of knowing how people really feel, but the vast majority of those I meet couldn’t be nicer. Every once in a while someone barks at me. My New Year’s resolution is not to bark back. – Tucker Carlson

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And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief, and the year smiles as it draws near its death. – William C. Bryant

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I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. – Neil Gaiman

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3 can’t fail ny resolution alternatives – funny, yet sensible and realistic too.

Books I Read in 2014

  1. gracelingCashore, Kristin.  Graceling.  After doing well with The Hunger Games series (see below), I asked my friend, Joa, the kids’ librarian at our public library, for more of the same.  She recommended this fun story—a yummy mix of tyrannical lords, secret societies, and gracelings—odd-balls born with special gifts.  Gracelings might be clairvoyant, or master chefs, or good at math, but the heroine, Katsa, is a killing machine and started her life as an assassin at age 8.  Written well with interesting characters and a rolling plot, this was a good choice.  Thanks, Joa.
  2. Collins, Suzanne.  The Hunger Games.  After watching the third movie, Mockingjay, Part One, I came out of the theater bewildered.  Obviously, I’d missed something.  Maybe the books told more of the story.  So, I started in on the series.  I understand why teens love these books.  jennifer-lawrenceDystopias are great for sticking it to the authority figures (grown ups), and Katniss is a great surly teen.  I liked her and Peeta.  I thought her obsession with food was understandable, since most of the time she and her family are starving, but the same attention to fashion seemed dopey.  Fun for teens?  Anyway, it was an easy read, which was reason enough for me to finish the books.
  3. Collins, Suzanne.  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  Ditto.  I really liked the way Collins develops Katniss’ ambivalence about Peeta and Gale.  She loves them both.  How will that play out?  Now I want to know.  Whether or not the Capitol gets overthrown is secondary to me.  Of course it will, and people will die, but who will Katniss finally pick?  That’s the question on all teen-girls’ minds, I’m sure.
  4. Collins, Suzanne.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.  Now I’m ready for the final movie without so much head-scratching.  I love Jennifer Lawrence, so I’d go no matter what.
    kings
  5. Irving, John.  The Cider House Rules.  It’s weird that I’ve never read John Irving.  As a bookstore manager all through the ’80s, I midwifed three of his bestsellers during Christmas rushes and bagged his backlist regularly.  I always meant to read him.  So, when I watched the movie version of Cider House for the umpteenth time, crying over Michael Caine’s performance and loving Toby Maguire as Homer Wells, I became resolved to try.  I’m still daunted by “good” books because of my ECT-induced reading disability.  But, I think my brain is healing.  Cider House is the best story I’ve read in years, fried brain or no fried brain.  I ached for every character—they were all so clear and real—and fell completely under Wilber Larch’s spell.  I will be checking out more John Irving from the library this year.
  6. Kaàberbol, Lene.  The Shamer’s Daughter.  Dina’s mother is a Shamer—someone who can look a person in the eye and see all their shame.  It’s a cool trait for solving disputes and bringing the guilty to justice, but makes for a lonely life.  When the Shamer is called to convict a murderer, and she knows he’s innocent, things go bad for her and her daughter.  It’s a good, solid story with a spunky heroine.  I would have loved this Young Adult book when I was ten, and I liked it just fine as someone a bit older than that.
  7. King, Stephen.  Doctor Sleep.  The story catches us up with Danny Torrence, the little boy from The Shining.  A definite PTSD survivor and son of an alcoholic, the kid’s got a lot stacked against him.  Steve would know, being a recovered drug addict and alcoholic himself.  He’s told how he wrote most of The Shining stoned, and now writes of Dan’s struggles and many demons with authenticity.  In truth, Dan’s internal demons are much more interesting that the actual bad guys of the novel, but, as always, Steve provides a great yarn.Stephen-King-Dr-Sleep
  8. King, Stephen,  Joyland.  I found this paperback by accident.  I thought I needed a book to take on the plane to England with me, looked in the grocery store, and found my best friend waiting for me.  Clean liven’, baby!  Joyland is part of Titan Publishing’s Hard Case Crime series, which immediately tickled my fancy.  I thought this one might harken back to Steve’s Richard Bachman stories.  That and more.  Think Green Mile, think Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.  Poignant, nostalgic, scary in a real way.  A Thousand Stars.
  9. flight behaviorKingsolver, Barbara.  Flight Behavior.  Once upon a time, Kingsolver was one of my favorite authors.  But after electroshock, it was her book Lacuna that made me realize something was very wrong.  So I wondered whether the hex was still on her works for me, if it was the syntax, or subject matter, or even the font size that made my brain foam at the mouth.  But, the brain is more resilient that medical science first believed.  I fell in love all over again with Kingsolver’s turn of phrase, her humor, her complicated and contradictory characters.  And there’s fascinating ecological information, too, about why the monarch butterflies that winter in Mexico chose to roost in Delarobia Turnbow’s Appalachian pine forest.  Score on so many levels.
  10. Lamb, Wally.  She’s Come Undone.  My friend Michelle at The Green Study and TGS Zen Garden recommended this one.  It’s a wonderful/horrible story about a girl’s life growing up traumatized and obese with a wicked tongue and killer sense of humor.  I loved the characters, cheered the protagonist, and had no idea where the story would take me.  I love being surprised by a new (to me) author.  I’ll go back for more of Wally Lamb.
  11. wallyLamb, Wally.  We Are Water.  My second dip into Wally-World, and the water’s fine.  He’s still exploring trauma and the way it warps and lingers in family dynamics, in communities, in history.  This story is told through the voices of the characters, principly Annie Oh, the angry assemblage artist; Orion, her psychologist husband;  and their grown children.  But there are others on the fringe that connect the Ohs to an outsider artist who died on their property.  Other voices fill in the gaps that the main characters can’t or won’t.  This is a real gift of a story.
  12. Lamb, Wally.  I Know This Much Is True.  The third book I’ve read from this author.  They just keep getting better and better.  This story takes identical twin brothers—one schizophrenic and one coping with the real world—and twines in generations of anger, abuse, lies, secrets and redemption.  An amazing blend of culture, history, psychology and pain.  Cripes, I love this guy.
  13. Pratchett, Terry.  Snuff.  I love Pratchett’s Disk World series—British humor with lots of poking fun at British stereotypes and tropes.  This is one of the Night Watch stories with Commander Sam Vimes, a crusty soldier married to a Lady and at a loss in refined society.  All he needs is a good murder or some thievery to make him feel at home.  Completely satisfying.
  14. florida quoteScott-Maxwell, Florida.  The Measure of My Days.  A gift from blog-buddy David Kanigan, this lovely, little book explores the author’s thoughts on life and death from an 80-something perspective.  It’s a call to mindfulness for anyone with any perceived loss of function or status in life.  It’s one of those books you have to look up from once in a while to ponder what you just read.  Beautiful.

Mood Stabilizers

I think I spelled mood stabilizers wrong in the title so I apologize lol. Right now I realize it is the one really important thing I am missing with my treatment. My moods are swinging all over the place and so rapidly I don’t know how to react from moment to moment.

I have been on them in the past but they were not successful because the bipolar depression was so bad. Now that is getting better it is time to deal with the constant spinning of my brain.

I’d love to hear from anyone on mood stabilizers that are working successfully. I’m not really sure where to start again.

I’ve been all over the place today and when I go back to see my shrink after the new year I would love to have some suggestions. I know everyone is different but I have an open mind when it comes to my treatment.