Daily Archives: February 5, 2015

Day 3 In Dallas

I got to see my BFF again and it was absolutely wonderful to be able to hug her and tell her I love her. I can’t wait to see her again, it’s the only thing that made this trip worth it to be perfectly honest.

I’m highly stressed right now about travelling home. I can’t wait to leave in the morning but the traffic here is frightening. Plus there may be snow and ice when we hit Nebraska again. That makes my tummy hurt big time.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be writing this saying I got home safe and sound. For now I am going to try and relax and mentally prepare for the trip home and being able to sleep tonight.

I did go out to dinner tonight so I did accomplish something at least…


earth’s youngest apes

There’s potentially poetry in everything, if you look with a suitably piercing gaze.

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(I’ve got nothing.)

Oddly enough, the following quote comes from the introduction of a book I am reading, about ancient Britain.

As far as we know, we human beings of planet Earth are the first and only animals to have felt the unbearable weight of infinity, the first to remember and to mourn. At the moment of our awakening as a species Earth – even the universe itself – awoke too. The clock started ticking and someone, somewhere, counted one day more . . . one day less.

Memory . . . remembering . . . history . . . these are uniquely human. We are Earth’s youngest apes – feeble, without claws or fangs, with neither speed nor strength, naked of feather or fur – and yet beneath thin caps of bone we are possessed of minds that reach backwards and forwards in time. It is a predicament. In all the universe we alone are troubled by when.

Neil Oliver

It can also be expressed thus …

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Gotta love Calvin and Hobbes.

I find being insignificant immensely comfortable. I used to hate it and feel uncomfortable near the sea, because it made me feel small. Then one day 20ish years ago, I sort of shocked myself into an epiphany. After that, I loved the sea with all my heart – and the vastness of the sky too. I like the context of it now, it’s reassuring.

And now, a poem.

PSYCHOTHERAPY
by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Pain gnaws into man,
lacerating with its claws.
It’s deposited like salt
somewhere between the vertebrae.

Shout something to the crowd?
That’s a lot of respect for cattle.
Confess to a priest?
Man doesn’t believe in God.

Confess to the wife?
A pain inscrutable for her.
Confess to the country?
That’s so immense it terrifies.

And the psychiatrist arrives
with a musketeer beard,
warmly phlegmatic,
faintly smelling of vodka.

And though you tear your hair-
he will listen for two hours
to your woes and vexations,
and all for two bills.

Afterward he goes on foot
through grimy lanes,
and under his tongue lays
a tranquilizer.

There’s a trick to attentiveness:
not the least merit in it,
and he himself longs for a fellow
psychiatrist-a friend for hire.

1978
Translated by Albert C. Todd

Odds & Ends

It seems as though several blog posts are swimming around in my head at the same time, so I can’t guarantee how this one will turn out. Maybe I should try combining a couple of them. Here goes:

I’ve noticed a growing restlessness lately that makes me wonder if I should try working again, if only for a little variety (not to mention the dough). There really isn’t much to do here except clean the kitchen and bathroom, and you can only do that so many times in a given week.

Of course, the fact that my online life has been somewhat curtailed doesn’t help, although I manage to stay in touch via phone and tablet. But I do need something to do, and I’m half-tempted to say “aw the hell with it” as far as Social Security is concerned…..

…..at least until I remember that I get the heebie-jeebies just THINKING about working in a fast-paced environment. And aren’t they all fast-paced nowadays? Why do employers seem to be so proud of that—don’t they know that this sort of thing wears most people down? I’ve been there and done that, and I have the doctor bills to prove it. If only there were something I could do that would provide structure without overstimulation!

It’s fun to watch the dogs interact, though. My Zinnie and the landlady’s dog, Rufus, have become good friends—TOO good, actually, as Rufus has been doing his best to make her preggers. The fact that he’s three times her size (and neutered to boot) hasn’t stopped him, or her either for that matter. But she’s just like a pesky little kid who keeps pestering her older sibling to play long after he’s had enough, and last night he got in her face and let out a loud warning bark that scared the bejeebus out of her.

Well, Zin got the message and stayed away from Rufus for the rest of the evening. In fact, she was more subdued than I’ve ever seen her…..he really put her in her place! I hope they kiss and make up sometime soon, though, because it’s hilarious to watch them run around the house, my little dog acting lije a circus monkey trying to ride a bucking bronco. Sometimes she even manages to stay on the whole eight seconds. :-)


Don’t Say This!

Here are some things not to say to a bipolar person: http://www.healthyplace.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-support/worst-things-to-say-to-a-person-with-bipolar-disorder/

I’m still working on links!

Probiotics may hold key to improving mental health

http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/health-headlines/probiotics-may-hold-key-to-improving-mental-health-1.2212893

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Probiotics, the healthy bacteria that live in our guts may be the key to treating mental illness!! In one study, when mice were stripped of their good, healthy bacteria, they developed anxiety and depression. When they were again given probiotics back, their mood became normal, as chemicals that reduce depression and anxiety flooded their brain. These findings show that is possible to simply feed a bacterium to mice and actually change the chemistry in their brain.
“In the first study of its kind, Canadian researchers are investigating whether probiotics, the good stomach bacteria that aid digestion, regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, may in fact be a treatment for those with bipolar disorder.”
Dr. Valerie Taylor at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto is doing a study in which she is giving probiotics to people with mental illness. She hopes to find out whether probiotics can have a similar effect in people. And if they do, then taking an over the counter pill is good bacteria will be able to help millions of people with mood disorders and other mental illnesses.


End the Silence

Yesterday morning I attended a NAMI Ending the Silence presentation at an Orange County high school. I hope to soon train to become an Ending the Silence presenter for my local NAMI Orange County chapter. Since I’m running on empty, here I simply…

The Most DANGEROUS Support Group In Town!!!

  After I published my blog post last Friday, I received a phone call from a beloved friend who reads my blog.  By the icy tone of her voice I prepared myself for criticism about my topic. “I must tell … Continue reading

Mental Health Ministry

Back in Fall 2005, when I first attended Fuller Theological Seminary – a multi-denominational Christian seminary – I wrote a Mental Health Ministry training manual. I just changed the language to make it more inclusive of all faiths. Feel free to use it as…

What’s going on

I haven’t self injured in a while. I had a bad tdoc session where all I did was cry or sit in silence. It sucked.

I’m seeing a dietitian and she gave me a bunch of recipes, a book on high calorie smoothies, and a grocery shopping list. She was very nice. I weigh 95lbs. Too low. People are concerned. I am not engaging in eating disordered behaviour, meaning I’m not doing it on purpose. Smoothies seem to be the best idea. I love smoothies. Just need to pick up my blender which is at my moms.

I’ve been knitting a lot. Getting a lot of projects done. I love to knit. Did you know that it’s like meditating? (Well, unless you screw up!) It’s good for the brain AND I get something cool from it. Here are a few projects I’ve done lately.

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The Afternoon Shawl. This took 6 day and the sides and back are about waist-length.

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A hooded cowl that’s too big for me, but fits my roommate, and keeps her warm. I’m so glad she loves it!

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An afghan square. There are a few mistakes, and it needs to be blocked, but I’m happy with it.

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The Leafy Sea Dragon scarf, it ruffles really neat and is very warm.

My Wellbutrin was increased to 450mg, and I take 300mg Seroquel now. Everything else is the same. I switched pharmacies, to the one my pdoc has in the building he works in, and they’re great so far.

Mood-wise I’ve been a bit blah. Restless. It’s been too cold or snowy (or both) to go riding. I went 2 weeks ago and spent 15 min riding, it was so cold in the indoor arena, my face just froze immediately. I don’t handle the heat and cold very well. It’s a med thing.

Been working on some websites. Being a bit productive, but staying home a lot. No hallucinations or delusions, but mild akathasia from the Piportil depot injection. So I take more Artane, and it helps, and keeps the psychosis away.

Questioning my rotator cuff surgery. My roommate gave me a reality check in that I need to do it ASAP and that it will help, she’ll take care of me. I need the surgery, but I don’t want it. 9 months rehab! I do have a phenomenal ortho doc though. He could do this surgery with his eyes closed and one hand tied behind his back.

So I guess I’m doing the surgery. Still waiting on a date. I do need to do it. One month immbilization is going to suck. Narcotics can make me angry, and I’m sensitive to them (when I did the original damage: fractured humerus, shattered shoulder, torn rotator cuff) I had to take Percocet 5mg in quarters if I wanted to stay awake. It knocked me out, but it controlled the pain. I was very irritable though.

I’m scared of being immobilized for a month. It’s my right arm and I’m right handed. I have the support of my roommate and parents to take me to all appointments, cook, clean, etc, which is fantastic. I was immobilized for 6 weeks when I broke it, so I know what to expect. I’m not scared of the surgery, my surgeon is literally the best in Canada, but I’m scared of the rehab and pain after.

But I have to do it. If I don’t, my shoulder will get worse and worse. I can’t lift above my head. It hurts all the time. One month where everything sucks is much better than living with it, or it getting worse (which it will). I’ve lost a lot of range of motion, strength, etc. I’m young and heal fast, so this summer is a good time.

Enough of my rambling.

Adventures In Anxiety

Three days of having my bubble invaded by repairmen. And three days of having no heat. Finally the furnace is working. Only my water pipes are frozen which means more invasions to get that fixed. Which never would have happened if they’d fixed the furnace in the first fucking place.
I am beyond frustrated.
I feel psychologically raped.
This is my safe space.
Letting others in where they can judge me, my decor (cobwebs are goth,ffs!) and my housekeeping skills(those sabertooth dust bunnies are PETS!)…NOT fun. It’s such a common thing, having repairmen in your home when something is broken…And yet for my psychological make up, it’s the equivalent of stripping down naked in front of a stadium. I just feel exposed. Is it all in my head? I used to entertain that notion until I had a landlord with such fussy housekeeping standards he evicted me in spite of my independent living advisor just having submitted a report to him that she found the place tidy and acceptable.
People can be assholes.

I think the last three days have shown me the best and worst. The landlord contracts with a local heating company for that type work and the guy that came to fix it was a younger guy I’ve dealt with before. I like him, he is pleasant, understands how hard it is to get the landlord to spring for repairs here, and he has a kid, so he understood why I was so pissed off and freaked out about the heat. He did repair it yesterday. But an hour later, another part failed. Not his fault, not my fault. It’s a thirty year old furnace, ffs. And he told me the landlord hemmed and hawed over having to spring for a new control board for it. THIRTY years old and you think it needing fixed once is unreasonable? While you drive forty thousand dollar vehicles, live in a three hundred thousand dollar house, and have collected sixteen grand in rent from me for the last six years???? REALLY?

When I found out the furnace was down again yesterday I called the landlord at 2:30 pm. He said he’d send Jason right back over.
It didn’t happen. I called right before the office closed, no answer.
Another night freezing our asses off. We did have space heaters but my primary concern was the pipes bursting once frozen.
I waited. And I waited.
I seethed and stewed. They have no “after hours” emergency number for tenants to call so you’re just fucked until office hours.
This morning I called, furious and in a panic. The snotty office girl asks why I didn’t call sooner. I told her I did, she said well we close at 5. Then who the fuck was I supposed to call? The landlord called me personally after I spoke with her, explained with some song and dance that he’d talked to the heating guy who said he didn’t feel it required a second call so he was acting on their info.
Yeah, I have ice crystals on my spleen but because it worked for an hour, I am totally being histrionic and it was a nuisance call.
GRRRR.
To their credit, Jason returned promptly, but his boss was with him this time and I was like, of fuck, I got him in trouble with his the boss. The furnace was working when he left yesterday, it just quit again.
Turns out this time the motor was shot.
And his boss informed me they didn’t get the call to fix it until 4:30. at which point the landlord decided it was working earlier so didn’t warrant immediate concern. I called him at 2:30.
He blamed the heating guys for dropping the ball.
They say he never called them.
I am inclined to believe them ‘cos I know how things work here. I was once told, “You never complain or ask for repairs, you’re our favorite tenant.” Which sent the message that if I did demand repairs, I would be on the tenant shit list.
Classy.
I like my home here when things work right. And heat, when it hit one degree overnight, is not a frivolous concern. To have it so summarily dismissed and ignored still infuriates me. I have a child. I’ve never once paid rent late. I cause no problems. I deserve better than dismissal and excuses.

Needless to say, the furnace is working and it will take awhile but I can tell it is heating up slowly.
Now I just have to wait til the godly maintenance men decide my not having water is important enough to deal with. You’d think this being the landlord’s property not having those pipes burst requiring an entire overhaul in the plumbing would be in his best interest.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
I am at the mercy of others.
This does not bring out the best in me.
In fact, my anxiety has gone batshit crazy. It’s like my life has been on hold for three days because I am cold, I am on hold waiting for the repair guys, I am…In hellish anxiety limbo.
I wish I weren’t this way. But I am, and was, even when living with others and their landlords invading my space for repairs. I am a solitary private person. I don’t welcome intrusion into my safe bubble. It is my one place in the world I feel safe, that is crucial for me.
One more grrrrr of frustration.

Otherwise…My moods seem to be holding ok even though I forgot to take my meds for three days. That is not my norm, that is me on anxiety and stress overload. Plus my kid has been channeling Satan with blatant defiance and putting me more on edge. That child scares the hell out of me. She will get so mad she sits there and hits herself in the head and face. I fear being blamed for her outbursts. And yes, I have had talk after talk,as have others, with her about healthier ways to show anger and frustration.
Last week, she took a swing at me.
It’s bizarre how I have zero issues with her at school or with other adults and yet with me, she becomes this little tasmanian devil.
My mom says, “You can’t even get along with your own kid.”
The common denominator in every disagreement with my child is me using the word “no.” Kids need limits. They don’t want them or like them but they need them. I am being an adult, being the parent.
My mom wouldn’t get that because she was “yes” mom. She wanted to be our friend and not have us mad at her so she was permissible and we walked on her like a doormat. I don’t want to be that kind of mother.
So I get to deal with a kid who lashes out violently, against me and herself, when I draw boundaries.
It’s bizarre simply because as long as I say ok, she is a really good kid.
And so smart. She is reading nightly (short simplistic things but still, she wants to read and she tries hard.) I have even been teaching her cursive writing, not because I think a 5 year old needs it but because she saw my writing that way and asked me to teach her.
She’s truly the Jeckyll/Hyde child.
I’m not backing down though. No is a word she is going to hear a lot even as a grown up, she needs to learn to accept it.

Now I wait for the next intrusion and it will probably be by “pro cat killer” handyman. That is a stress I don’t want or need. But gotta have water.

The last three days have been shit.
And my own neurotic behaviors are as much to blame as shitty luck of stuff breaking down. I am aware of this and I am trying to suck it up and deal. Mental issues don’t dissipate just because you’re sucking it up, though. There is always going to be fall out.

So those are my adventures in anxiety and I am glad I got my fingers thawed out enough to type and vent it all cos it was eating me alive. When anxiety and frustration turn to primal scream anger….
Purge is needed.

If you made it through this whole rant…Hats off to you.
If not…I don’t blame you.
This is my life, my mind.
I just can’t click the window closed and say “Ugh, not again.”
How I wish I could.