Daily Archives: February 15, 2015

The Plateau

plateauBefore I get started today, I hope some of you “older” readers (ha ha) have noticed some positive improvements in the mechanics of the blog. I have been trying hard, but I owe it all to the 1 1/2 rounds of Blogging 101 University (a free class put on by wordpress.) If you are new to blogging, or just want to learn about all of those things on your dashboard, this is your class. If you’ve seen fun things on other blogs and wondered how they did it, this is your class. This is NOT a class on how to write better or more fascinating blogs, although it touches on that. I can’t recommend this class highly enough. The next session starts March 1st and I will post the link to sign up very soon.

I had a decent week. I went to my women’s support group on Monday and took those rocks for the grandson of that woman. She was really appreciative and impressed. I think I made some good selections. On Tuesday I talked to my psychologist on our phone appointment. I could go see her in person, but why? It’s just another errand to do. And you know how I hate to go anywhere….I also had my bipolar support group that day. I told my leader I was ready to go and give more NAMI talks. Uh…I hope that was a good idea.

On Wednesday I had my hair colored, cut, and highlighted. Not only do I look less mousy, but the mess is easier to take care of. I just shower and let it dry, then run a brush and blow dryer through it for a minute. I HATE getting it done though. It takes two hours. I get anxious sitting in that chair so long. I took an audiobook which helped. It’s a little like going to the dentist.

Friday I cancelled on a friend. I know, I know…this SUCKS! She was driving over an hour to have lunch with me. I had not seen her since October. I texted her early and told her I was in a panic and she said it was fine….that she had a headache anyway and she could take a nap. We agreed to reschedule. So I felt guilty but not terrible. It still sucked.

I managed to text everyone on my friend list and wish them Happy Valentine’s Day. That was an easy way to make contact with everyone. Saturday we hit some garage sales. We spent $25 and got a TON of brand new looking baby toys of all kinds. We brought them home, put fresh batteries in, and boxed them up for the homeless shelter run by our church. It’s amazing how you can buy an immaculate baby/toddler toy for one dollar at some of these sales. One guy gave us a bunch of them when he heard where we were taking them. So we just had to get the batteries. Everything takes batteries!

Went to church today, am writing this blog, need to walk the dog for exercise, and need to work on math lesson plans for my daughter’s class. Tonight my middle son is coming over and we are going out for burgers.

I was reading on a blog somewhere about a woman who was making a comeback from a stroke. She talked about hitting a “plateau”. She wondered if she would break through it and come out the other side or if her current situation was the new normal for her.

This instantly reminded me of myself and my mental illness.

I had a psychologist once who told me that a severe depression is like a serious brain injury. That it takes time to heal. I believe it. My brain definitely feels injured when I try to get back into recovery. And I don’t feel like I am going to make it all the way back.

For example…at church this morning…this Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Our church is having a small service. Previously, I would have been all over this. Now, there is no way I will get there. Getting there on Sunday is lucky. I was invited this morning to attend a prayer bead workshop this week. But it goes all day from 9:15 to 2:15. I just told the lady that was too long of a day for me. (At least I was honest.) And the things I used to do for Easter! Now my goal is to get the kids and myself and husband to a service Easter morning and provide a nice ham dinner in the afternoon. (My husband will do baskets for the kids in the morning.) I won’t wear any pastel dress, or fancy make up, or matching shoes. I’ll just get there.

Have I hit a plateau? As I look at my February spreadsheet I wonder. I still am not exercising, although I am planning on taking the dog for a walk today and doing my yoga tape tomorrow. I am cancelling less. I’ve gone backwards on sleeping on the couch, but I’m better at drinking my water. I missed church more this month, but made it more often to my women’s group.

But these are the little things. Let’s look at the big ones. I’m likely never going to work again. So I not only plateaued there, I fell off the ledge.

I’m still semi attached to my couch. The couch rules my emotional life. I don’t like to leave it. I am leaving it more, but not because I really want to. I am doing it more due to others’ expectations. I wear pajamas all the time when I am home.

I still feel wobbly. I don’t feel “normal” like I used to. I never feel “strong” or assertive. I’m never the sparkling one in the room.

This has been a long time. Two years of depression followed by about a year of some level of recovery. I’m not sure today if I feel up or down. Maybe I’ll get off the couch and lay down on the plateau.

Cyclothymic Crash and Burn

I have no idea why but my mental state has tanked out today. Maybe it’s the single digit temperature and lack of sun. (Odd how I loathe sun because it makes my head hurt and yet, it seems to improve my mental state.)
I had a quiet night without my kid for Valentine’s. I spent the day watching crime documentaries. Crashed at 8:30 p.m. Woke up four times even though she wasn’t here. I even leapt up once thinking I forgot to feed her supper…But she wasn’t here for me to feed, that was on Grandma.
I was up before the alarm.
So I could go get her from Mom’s for Sunday School.
My mother, of course, has made her snarky little comments about how they have no trouble with Spook therefore the problem is with me being too strict and making her not like me. She likes me fine until I say no.
So while mom is critiquing my parenting ability, I ask, “Has she had breakfast yet?”
And mom says, “I gave her a Hershey’s Kiss.”
Um….Yeah her criticism means shit. She was the yes mom, no boundaries, constant criticism, screaming fits followed by teary I love yous…
Pardon me for wanting to do better by saying no to my kid wearing summer clothes during winter and shoveling candy rather than actual food.
I can always count on my mother for an ego boost. Or self confidence assassination.
I’ve come to a point where I consider the source and blow it off but my kid was so vile to me yesterday while she was home with me…I let my eeevil momster get inside my head and feed my self doubt. I wanted to take my kid out for lunch yesterday (gift certificate) but she did nothing but scream, bawl, and basically drive me to submission to take her to Grandma’s.
I am chopped liver all because I want to do right and be a parent instead of a best buddy.
Bloody hell.
To add to my anxiety, the woman who picked Spook up for church (who is a lovely woman and means well) said I am welcome to come along any time and she understands how winter and anxiety affect people. And it was so kind of her and I just ended up feeling like a big loser because I really cannot do the crowd thing often. It just costs too much in aftermath.

So I am low. My horrorscope said I am going to do something to get myself into trouble because people don’t like my abrasive manner. I’d blow that off except, I am abrasive at times even if I prefer to view it as blunt honesty. Good thing I have no plans to leave the house today. Or tomorrow, for that matter. Unless I have to. This cold gloom makes me wanna become a hermit.
I was doing ok.
Now I feel like I need a ladder just to peek out of the mood gutter.
Good old cyclothymia without rhyme or reason.
Though I doubt the defiant child and overly critical mom exposure helped. My Teflon coating wore off long ago, so things tend to stick to me and not even soaking and scouring can get the lingering flecks off the surface.
Ride it out. It’s all I can do.
And maybe avoid reading horrorscopes.
But then again, my ringing phone or the mail coming make me paranoid and anxious and I can’t very well avoid them.
I reiterate…bloody hell.
Low mood, high anxiety, and frustration..
Stellar.


Yes, I Am Crazy. Thanks for Asking.

I’ve been called a lot of things in my time, from schoolyard taunts (loony tunes, weirdo) to psychiatric labels (clinically depressed, bipolar 2). This used to bother me, but anymore, I don’t mind.

It’s not because of the old saying, “Sticks and sones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me. We all know that’s a damn filthy lie. I think it’s because I’ve developed a sense of humor about the “crazy” thing. If Al Yankovic can embrace “Weird,” I can embrace “squirrel-bait” or “wacko.” Even “bat-shit” or “bug-fuck” crazy don’t get me riled, though many find them offensive – and I can’t fault them for that. Everyone has a different level of tolerance and sense of what’s funny.

Take, for example, the time when my sister Kathy gave me a t-shirt that said, “Leave Me Alone. I’m Having a Crisis.” Her husband was dubious about the gift, thinking that I would be offended. I wasn’t. Kathy thought it was a hoot and so did I. (I just bought a t-short that says, “You Won’t Believe the Crazy Shit That Happens Next…” I’m going to wear it to my next psychotherapist appointment.)

I admit to being disconcerted when publicly confronted by a person who asks “Are you the one there’s something wrong with?” or “Do you have mental problems?” (In the first case, the elderly gentleman was thinking of my sister-in-law, who had MS, and in the second, the person recognized me from the psychiatrist’s waiting room.) But I’m not offended. Mostly I regret that I didn’t have snappy come-backs. (I thought of some great ones later.)

There are still some assumptions that do offend or at least irritate me. Here’s a link to an article that enumerates a few of the touchy subjects and unwelcome phrases.

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/02/bipolar-disorder-myths/

That sums it up pretty well. I’m not going to walk into a fast food outlet and start shooting up the place. Mania is not fun. I’ve decided not to reproduce, but nobody can tell me that I shouldn’t.

Oh, and there’s one other thing. In the past, when I’ve mentioned my mood disorder to acquaintances or co-workers, they feel obliged to take my emotional temperature five times a day. “Are you okay? How are you feeling?” So I would add to the list: Not all people with bipolar disorder are rapid cycling.

So, am I crazy? Yes. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Most people use the word “crazy” to describe how they feel when they’re in love. And I’m good with that.


Filed under: Mental Health, Uncategorized Tagged: bipolar disorder, bipolar type 2, depression, media and mental illness, motherhood, my experiences, myths about bipolar, public perception, rapid cycling, stigma, synonyms for "crazy"

Happy Belated VD

Oh my lovers, hope you had a great Valentines Day!  Even if you’re like me and spent it alone, on a beach, reading a book.  There’s a lot to love about that!  I did get two lovin’ phone calls, one from my oldest sister and one from my parents.  Talking with my parents was a special time, they were reliving their visit to Florida, and in particular Tarpon Springs, which my Mom referred to as Tampon Springs.  Oh, Mommy!  You are so accidentally funny.  Tarpon Springs will forever be Tampon Springs to me.  Oh the pictures my mind conjures up!!

So I started reading a new book, actually two.  One for enjoyment, which I got from this little library box across from my house.  It’s a place where you go put in a book, and take another out.  I lucked out and got a good one.  The other book I am reading, I bought probably six months ago.  It’s more of a “homework” book.  It’s called What Color Is Your Parachute and it’s both a job search guide and an aide in career-switching.  Since I absolutely HATE my old IT career, I am trying to come up with a new idea that I can really, realistically do.  There’s a lot of work involved, writing, and thinking.  I am really committed to doing this work, and coming up with a better idea for my next career move.  I think, no I KNOW, that this well help me to have more hope for the future. :)

I am going to Fort De Soto Beach with two girlfriends today.  It’s a beautiful, clear day and hopefully we’ll see some dolphins, that’s what that area is known for.  Have a delicious Sunday!


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Hope, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

the tweets of gus van sant

Please allow me to introduce you to one of my verymostfavourite corners of the internet.

With 13 tweets since 2009, Gus van Sant’s Twitter feed is not exactly difficult to keep up with. There are plenty of twitter accounts that aim at enigma, but they rapidly become blatantly slick marketing ploys, all dressed up in the emperor’s new clothes.

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Mr van Sant, on the other hand, appears to use his for the most wistful and poignant set of subtweets ever. 

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I can still remember my delight when I first saw his account – I don’t do twitter anymore, but I went to catch up on the van Sant feed this morning.

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I was reminded of my favourite of his tweets, by his films, which I’d been binge watching.

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I like the fact that’s he’s queer and revered.

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He was good friends with River Phoenix.

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Three of his films are a trilogy about death.

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These tweets make me wonder some things, and presume others.

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I really like it when average looking people show their heart, depth and talent in such lyrical ways. Neruda is another of those.

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Sighs matter.

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Love matters.

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Nothing matters more than love does.

Out of Focus

This post will probably seem somewhat disjointed because I’m having trouble concentrating today. It goes in spurts; some days my focus is laser-sharp, while others find me unable to string together a cohesive series of thoughts.

Today is one of the latter. Even this short post is taking forever to compose. My nails tap the keyboard as I search for words while ideas swirl maddeningly just out of reach. This must be what having attention-deficit disorder is like, although I don’t carry that diagnosis. Sometimes I wonder about that in spite of the fact that I only get crazy-active when I’m hypomanic. However, I can usually channel that energy into goal-directed activities unless I go into full-blown mania, in which case I bounce off the walls of the universe.

Which has nothing to do with the present situation. I’m really only writing because I need to put something out there for my readership and I’m too spacey to get into my usual groove. I forgot my AM meds the other day, but that should’ve been an issue then, not four days after the fact. I was wondering why I was so speeded-up and irritable, until I noticed my Breakfast of Champions was still in its slot in the pill minder. Of course, by that time I was due for my nighttime Fistful of Sanity. Shit.

Now Will is back on my case about taking my meds, even though I’ve been 100% perfect otherwise since I got out of the hospital in November. (Yeah, I checked my mood chart.) That’s pretty good. But then, I’m pretty motivated too, because I do NOT want to end up in there again. Besides, there’s a lot to like about being free from big mood swings.

And now the stereo is playing Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets”, which instantly takes me back to the summer of ’74, when all I had to worry about was my tan and whether my bikini would fit right. Sure wish I had those problems now!


Do YOU think bipolar disorder is a gift?

Bipolar1Blog:

No do I not, in any way, think bipolar disorder is a gift.
And thank you for mentioning bipolar1blog!

Originally posted on Birth of a New Brain:

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Sooooooo, my friends, I usually just post once a week, but I can’t help posting once more.

I’ve gotten into a relatively new habit of checking out the Word Press Freshly Pressed selections.

On Thursday I spotted this post in the line-up:

https://mybeautifulmachine.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/bipolar-as-unexpected-gift/

While I was genuinely glad that the topic of bipolar disorder attracted the attention of the WordPress editorial staff, I was also disappointed.

Why?

Because, because, because, because…(and I know some of you will disagree with me on this point, but I still love you!)

I can’t stomach calling bipolar disorder a gift.  My Dad had bipolar disorder, and he didn’t think it was a gift either!  

I guess when it comes to mental illness, my attitude of non-gratitude runs in the family!

(And I wonder why Oprah won’t return my phone calls about being interviewed on her

“Super Soul Sunday” show!!!)

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I’ve read numerous bipolar-themed memoirs…

View original 881 more words


Happy Valentines Day

Today has been a most excellent day. My mood has been up and hubby was really romantic.

I recieved a beautiful ring along with breakfast in bed this morning. Then a few hour cuddle while we watched one of my favorite animes. Later we came downstairs and watched a zombie movie and then went shopping for appliances at Best Buy and grabbed some drive thru. After eating we went back upstairs and kept cuddling while we watched yet another anime. I even got a backrub.

We had planned on not celebrating so it was all a very nice surprise.

I hope you all had great days.

I think the pristiq might actually be helping.

I did find out that my MIL had my twitter account opened on her ipad. I hope that she doesn’t read my blog because I love her and I have bitched quite a bit about her on here to save therapy money.

I’m not going to worry about it for now, I am just going to enjoy the rest of my night with my hubby.


Ten Year Anniversary of Hospitalization

Ten years ago, two weeks preceding and including Valentine’s Day, I was hospitalized. Twenty years ago, I experienced a psychotic break during the same season: this season – the season of Lent. Though I do not attend church, this season…