Daily Archives: March 13, 2015

The Icarus of Bipolar Disorder Meltdown

I decided to brave the dish of petri.
Big mistake. In light of this week’s manic highlights, I have crash landed into splat land.
I look like death. The scowl lines are etched in my face and my eyes look like unfeeling black coals of hardness.
I want to burst into tears but I don’t know why.
I want everyone to just die in a fire.
And it came from out of nowhere. WTF?

I feel like Icarus, always flying too close to the sun then melting down. Except it never ends, it just keeps going on repeat until I wind up here, wishing I could just die and never ever have to think about mental illness again.

Someone posted a pic on Reddit the other day. It said “It’s just a bad day, not a bad life.”
On that day, I totally bought it because I was half manic.
Today I am fairly certain it is a bad life because I can’t escape my own mind and it never fucking shuts up and this bloody well sucks!!!!!
Meanwhile those around me are scratching their heads wondering how someone could be sad without any trigger.
For fucks sake, I swear I am surrounded by people with their heads so far up their asses a proctologist couldn’t remove them.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get worse…
The mood darkens. The anxiety heightens. The paranoia soars.
I can honestly say for the last hour I’ve been having “fuck it, I wanna off myself” thoughts.
That’s really not my style. Crash and burn maybe, but never deliberately offing myself. I had a kid in high school who told me it’d be doing the world a favor if I killed myself. In the ultimate rebel yell “fuck you” quest, I have vowed to never ever ever do the world, or that prick, the favor.
So where is it coming from?
It was like a damned ninja. (Ever notice I swear a lot when I am emotional?) Just crept out of nowhere and attacked me. I was low, but man, this is beyond rock bottom. The activity and going out is supposed to ward this off,that was the whole reason I forced myself to put on a bra and go out. (Sad that putting on a bra constitutes functionality for me.)
Instead of having a positive impact…it seemed to have triggered a worsened episode.
Or maybe it would be this bad whether I went out or not.
I just know by the time I went to get my kid school, I had the smile pasted on but the tear ducts were flinching. Hate those things.
Hate all this me me me talk. I feel fucking possessed. Like if I don’t spew the verbal pea soup vomit I will implode.
And my kid is having fits because I won’t let her play outside, I won’t let her play with the tape dispenser (she’d manage to slice her throat with the cutting blade, I mean, this is a kid who gets hurt by rubber toys.)
Grrr.

The easiest answers to this whole episode or “feature” is of course, sleep or heavy drinking.
I can’t do either.
So I wait for it to pass.
And I ponder canceling tonight’s playdate for Spook because me around others in this mind frame…BAD IDEA. There are times when I can sense it will help. This is not one of those times. This is the danger zone. Right between a hostile tirade or histrionic tears. I am not going there with an audience.
I keep hearing the counselor telling me to “regulate” my emotions.
If I don’t understand what’s causing them when they weren’t like this two days ago, how am I supposed to regulate fuck all?
Demonic possession.

Earlier when the dark “die die die” thoughts crept in…I pondered dropping my kid off at my mom’s and taking myself to the ER. :Let them commit me, maybe some electro shock woul solve the whole fucking problem.It was a fleeting thought but I take my kid’s safety seriously and if I am circling the drain and it could be to her detriment…But it passed. Back to “why can’t I just not wake up ever again” space, like that’s any better.
I’m getting desperate.
The other day I was so manic and grandiose thinking, “I’m strong, I’m a badass, I can do this.”
Today, right now, I just want to be a little girl and curl up in someone’s lap and cry my eyes out while they stroke my hair and tell me lies about how it will be okay.

I’ve never had anyone do that for me. Ever.
Guess it’s the things you’ve never known you want the most.
Except the shame of allowing myself to lose control and be needy that way would doom what little self esteem I’ve procured over the last few years and I would be filled with self loathing forever.
So…
Fuck me and fuck bipolar.

(die die die)
Okay, wow, yeah, this is…Not good. Not really me. Well, okay I do get this way on occasion, it’s part of the cycles, but…wow, this is bad juju.
Anyone know an exorcist?
Or a surgeon who’d remove my tear ducts because cathartic as crying can be, I can’t do it at will anymore lest my kid see it so I spend so much time repressing tears every muscle behind my eyes knots up and my head throbs and…

I may not be clinically insane but I am seriously fucked up.
And I can’t even claim it’s booze or drug induced.
I am all naturally fucked up.

I think the xanax is kicking in. Thoughts are swirling still but slowing down to highway speed instead of freeway. I loathe being reduced to taking a pill because I am cracking my lids. It’s just so cliche. So “oh, you can’t cope, you have to pop a pill.”
Happiest time of my life (well, only on this front) was when I was preggo and could take nothing more than prenatal vitamins. My cabinet was no longer this clusterfuck of pill bottles with take two of these, take one of these, take three of these, do the macarena while standing on your head and letting this one dissolve on your tongue…
Pills.
God, I want to say fuck it.
But sadly, I have tried that so many times it’s disgusting. I end up right back where I started, only way way way worse. So who am I trying to impress by forgoing what obviously helps with the problems? Why should I feel guilty for needing meds to make my brain less ill? Are diabetics made to feel guilty for needing injections?
Such a crock of shit.
Reminds me of a line from a Sick Puppies song. “Here’s a pill…why don’t we take it…cos i hear it makes it…all okay.”
LIES.
Much like a Tylenol helps with a headache, psych meds do the same. They don’t cure recurrence.
Or a chronic inflamation of the psyche.
Fuck. I hate when I go all rambling like this. It makes me hate myself but it’s like…I can’t stop.
Pea soup.Stupid psychiatric pea soup spewage.

FUCK!
I am so far gone it took my kid to remind me what today is.
Yet Monday I was all too aware and had it all planned out and was jazzed.
It’s Friday the 13th.
My norm on this day is to wear one of my Jason Vorhees shirts.
Damn, damn, damn. I forgot yet my 5 year old remembered.
This mental shit fucks EVERYTHING up, even things I adore.

She asked me why I am so jumpy and frowning. How do you explain to a 5 year old the concept of being insane for no apparent reason?
I gently told her mommy’s brain is moving too fast and I just need time to sort it all out.

Um yeah…
The tornado has calmed but it is still wreaking havoc across the landscape of my mind.
I am remembering the manic phases of the last week and realizing…Um…Yeah.
Not good.
I make idiotic choices when I am manic. Then I get to suffer the consequences. Joy, joy.
Maybe this is the cosmo’s way of telling me I need to try harder to rein it in.
Ha ha ha ha.
Because if bipolar were mere mind over matter I’d have cured myself instantly years ago instead of letting this path of destruction called my existence continue.
I can’t believe I haven’t heard from the doctor. It would make sense to call, I suppose, but hey I did that last month when there was the confusion with the meds…and no one ever got back to me. The pharmacy contacted me. Obviously, this psych practice is a band aid shop and I need a trauma center.
I don’t know what to fucking do.
Keep writing these long ass rants and run off the few readers I have?
Oh, yes, I am aware just because I have X amount of followers does not mean anyone is reading my spewage. I’m bipolar, not delusional. Unless you count that whole period of having hope that some people aren’t entirely shitty, cos yeah, that was pure delusion.
Just saying…The couple of people who do care enough to read my inane rants count with me and I don’t want to alienate by going on too much. It’s redundant after awhile. Yet this is the only real way I know to keep track of the cycles and it’s the only clear way for me to remind myself of just how bad depressions or manic episodes can get.
Like the manic episodes. Where your judgment is as impaired as if someone slipped you drugs. And when you’re no longer manic, you go, WHAT THE FUCK DID I DO THAT FOR, AM I INSANE?
It’s like, you get choices A, B, C. You know A and B are just going to cause you problems while option c may be dull but it is safe.
You want to go with the safe choice.
Instead, you pounce on A and B, wanting to feel alive even at the cost of your own sanity.
Only to “sober” up, so to speak, and realize…You didn’t add a thing to your life, you just detracted from it by making yet more sucky choices.

But you know you’ll do it again if you’re manic.
Which is why I’ve spent years of my life removing myself from any situation where a manic episode could put me in the position of making bad choices.
Yet…Oops. I’ve done it again.
Fuck fuck fuckity fuck.
But guess what? By the time I go manic again, I won’t remember this cautionary tale. Even if I read it I will be cocky and self deluded enough to believe I know what I am doing.
That electro shock is sounding better and better. Not like my short term memory could be any worse.

And…the cats are trying to climb me. Normally I love cat therapy. Right now…I just want to scream GET OFF OF ME. But one of them is preggo and I think she may be going into premature labor which is just one more thing I don’t need right now. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she is just super vocal and needy.
I don’t know anything right now.
Sometimes I miss the days when I could just take a trazadone or two and sleep it off.
Yeah, bipolar is a lot like drinking booze. You get the same hangovers and have to sleep it off. Only more vicious because you can’t puke up your brain.

Oh yay. My kid has video of my manic singing over the last few days. Somewhere a dog’s ears are bleeding. I couldn’t carry a tune if I put it in the palm of my hand. But damn, when manic…I don’t care, I just wanna get high on the music.
Being reminded via video, though…Humiliating.
Just had to get her a leap pad, didn’t I.
Bloody hell.

Oh I’ve flip flopped again. Earlier I was worried about alienating people. Now…I’m in “fuck ‘em and feed ‘em to the fish” space.
Yeah, probably should call off the playdate for Spook, it is not likely to end well with my current state of being, well, fucked up.
The professionals would say, now, now, it will help you.
Of course, the professionals have never been manic and let loose with a tirade of anger, manic impulsivity, or parade of tears that destroyed friendships and such.
I am in the danger zone and there are landmines everywhere. I have to step lightly and carefully.
I’d likely be best to stay in. But then again, this is about my kid, not me. I could retreat to a corner and nod and smile politely and I doubt the adults would notice or care. Of course, the slightest comment could set me off and R’s daughters have been known to fly off about people with bipolar, people who live in trailer parks, people on disability…
Oh, can you say fucking powder keg?
I feel…dangerous.
I’m not sure if that’s ominous or just that I feel like I could burn some bridges.

More fuck fuck fuckity fuck.
I just remembered we missed R’s granddaughter’s bday party last weekend. Spook and I had the runny nose cold cough thing going on and there were gonna be fifty people there so I decided it would be wise not to go. I’d meant to go get a little gift we could give her tonight (but nothing I can afford will ever be good enough for those upper crusties) and ya know…My give a damn is busted. And that makes me feel even bitchier. I’m just at my maximum capacity right now.
I am trying to convince myself if I take my bedtime xanax dose before we go, it will be ok. I can do this, this isn’t about me, it’s about her. I already caused her to miss a birthday party. Though being sick with a cold wasn’t exactly my doing or to my liking. But…God, this illness costs me enough, I get sooo pissed at myself when it costs her, too.
How do I draw the line between compromising for her well being and yet taking care of myself when I am in precarious shape.
Little lost here. Ok, a lot lost.

My gums hurt. It’s that perpetual teeth gnashing thing that I don’t even realize I have been doing until it’s gotten to the sore gum point.
My daughter keeps telling me I need to wear my Jason shirt for the 13th. And I want to feel it but I just don’t. Normally the whole cheesy horror genre cheers me up to the point of giddiness.
My giddy is broken today.
And now…I am going to shut up.
I think. Maybe.
Much like the flu, mental spewage can stop or recur at random moments.
Put on a rain poncho and wait for the pea soup spewage to rain down.


headpurge time again

As the day is long and the world is old, many people can stand in the same place, one after the other. (Marie in Woyzeck, by Georg Büchner)

I am a total sucker for poignant, wistful and melancholy words. Also, very good at taking myself too seriously or not seriously enough, in completely the wrong circumstances.

Here’s an illustrated guide to my navel tonight.

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And I am, as I frequently am, sick to the gills of the inanity of distraction. I’m sick of distraction being necessary and I’m sick of my brain getting too fried to at least find some challenging distractions. I’m sick of hearing myself bitch whine moan gripe complain. I’m too lonely to shut up. I want people/I don’t want people. I’m tired of waking with a drenched head and a tshirt neck soaked in sickly sweet and medicated sweat. I’m tired of the way my teeth default to the clenched position. I can almost always write or talk my distracted way into some sort of defocused and ok state – and then it all slides off and hurts a little more than before.

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I’m tired of not having anyone to act out at.

(I didn’t want to confess to that.)

I can’t even whine I want my muuuum ironically anymore. (Grow the fuck up, Blah.)

I’m tired. I shouldn’t be tired, but I am so very fucking tired.

I think I am mostly tired of myself. (Get over yourself.)

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There are very good things in and about my life. Even more importantly, amazing people too. And my dog. Blablablaaahhh I’m not gonna write my spewtastic gratitude list here. I love it, but it doesn’t need airing right now. I feel so churlish, so ungrateful – I really am so very fortunate. I tell that to my depression daily and every day it gives me a look as though I just yanked its jaw open to pour castor oil down its gullet. Not this again, it moans, I don’t care, I’m in pain, I don’t care, just fuckingwell sedate me for a year. Wah wah wahhh. Frankly, a lot of the time I don’t care either, but I go through the motions like I’m in bipolar fucking bootcamp out of respect for the corners that still care.

I can vent it … go scream at the sea or a road … feel my throat hurt … feel stupid. Catharsis my arsis.

I’m just emptying my head again. I generate a lot of words and they’d fester if I didn’t.

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The horror, the horror :/ the internet is far crazier than any of us will ever be.

My moods don’t yo yo the way muggles think that bipolar moods do, but sometimes, some days, my outlook vacillates between determination and despair far too frequently for comfort. I don’t like it. I think I handle at least a full day of one or the other better than one of those days. Sucker punched by your own attitudes … all that feckin effort to adjust them and adjust to them. Meeeeeeh!

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I realised sometime within the last year or so, that all the losses I have mourned, all those I still mourn, all ganged up and then I lost every single fucking dream I had. I am more used to it now, but I can still remember *melodrama alert* the icy razor realisation of it, and just how much it hurt. Some hurts knock the air right out of your lungs.

Sometimes I think that my only saving grace is the fact that my funnybone’s connected to my sighbone.

Wait there’s one more … I can still love.

Where the flagellated fuck is my wishbone anyway? You lose dreams and watch hope pack its bags too. There’s nothing left to wish for and it doesn’t feel the way the Dalai Lama said it would.

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LOL. So fecking mawkish.

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It is cool like Kerouac, shrugging off the shackles and making friends with tumbleweed. And it’s amazing just how far you can go before you know you’re lonely, and you’ve worn right through your soul and the soles of your shoes. How long does a ripped and faded denim, beat up boots swagger last anyway? Here I am riffing on misery and mystery again.

If I took myself even more seriously, I’d chuck some jagged line breaks at that paragraph and call it a poem.

Alright, I’ve finished barfing on my blog now. I’m ready to go and sing to wildflowers and gambol with lambs and so forth. It’ll be epic.

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They never include the next line in the wistful memes …

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Chk chk boom, baby.

Kthxbye.

Sorrow

Picture

It was Saturday morning when I got the call. My husband handed me the phone. I knew what was wrong even before I took the phone. My Gramma—almost 96 years old—was hemorrhaging. Her frail body wouldn’t be able to withstand the blood loss. She was dying.

My Mom and I each quickly packed a bag and headed on the highway up north to Barrie—about two hours from home. It’s so hard to remember what happened when. I know that my Gramma was not in her room. She had been moved to palliative care. That in itself was stunning. The week and a half or so that followed seems a blur. People came and people went. Gramma was blessed with a large family and extended family.

My sister travelled from Ottawa and met us in Barrie. There, with my Mom and two Aunts, the five of us kept vigil by her bedside. We made sure Gramma was never alone. Every time she opened her eyes—no matter how brief—she was met with a smiling face and a happy greeting. There were times when she was able to communicate. She strained to recognize us but we each had moments of “I love you.” They were special. Soon it became evident that she was agitated and uncomfortable. That’s when the morphine started. That’s when the decline really began. Eventually she became unresponsive and the decline increased.

I am grateful to have had all those special moments and days with my Gramma before she died. It was an experience like none other. I was also so fortunate to have had my Gramma for 50 years—not everyone is so lucky.

Before Gramma died I had to leave her bedside. My son was preparing to leave the country, cross the ocean and begin working as a volunteer at the International Scout Centre in Switzerland. I had to be there for him. It was a truly difficult situation which had me meltdown more than once. The act of leaving my Gramma was horrendous. But I had no choice. My son needed me.

My Dad drove me home. There I could focus on Nicolas and helping him prepare for his grand adventure. He was excited and I was excited for him. More so, though, I was anxious. My anxiety had steadily increased with my visit at Gramma’s, then leaving her, and now preparing to lose my son as well—albeit just for four months. It was becoming more than I could bear.

The scene at the airport was sad. Everyone cried. I was missing Nic already. Where had the time gone? He is 21 now and very much his own person. But still my first born, and still my little boy. The separation anxiety is painful. I have pictures and notes to look forward to. He has already texted a few times and posted beautiful pictures of the Alps. It’s almost been a week. I miss him so much.

The next morning my Dad picked me up to head back up north. I was hoping my Gramma had the strength to hold on until we got there. The truth is she didn’t. We arrived a few hours too late. She was peaceful in her bed, just as I had left her. Again I cried so hard. My poor cheeks were dry from wiping tears away. The next couple of days were full of funeral plans and passing time. It was so somber.

Then came the funeral—a celebration of life—Gramma’s wonderful life. She looked beautiful and at peace as she rested in her final bed of satin. She wore a gorgeous royal blue blouse that I picked out. That made me feel good. And then, in the end, I was fortunate enough to be one of the pall bearers—an incredible experience itself. Putting Gramma in the hearse was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.

So here I am now, almost two weeks later, numb. Numb from pain, sorrow, and physical and emotional exhaustion. Life will carry on, but it will never be the same.


bp bd bpd bad bar bar bar bar barbara ann

The featured image is the only fun you’ll have with this post.

I was put right off an article with a title I really liked, by the use of the acronym BPD for Bipolar Disorder. As always, my factchecking hackles leapt up and hauled me over to google. I found it listed as BP, BD, BAD and … BPD. So much for my pissy little assumptions. (More about the various uses further down.)

Bipolar Disorder: Managing a Complex Condition Michael R. Page, PharmD, RPh

It’s a good article and I like the pharmaceutical angle a whole lot. Tis enlightening.

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Naturally I then vanished down the rabbit hole and learned a whole load more cool stuff along the way. I say ‘cool’ in the full knowledge that I’m a nerd. Also, acronyms are a major part of editing PhD theses, working papers etc* and so I have involuntarily developed an interest anyway.

About.com said this:
Definition: BPD is an acronym widely used in health and mental health literature to reference borderline personality disorder.
BPD also frequently denotes bipolar disorder, which is more frequently seen as BP, and now sometimes as BD.
Another mental illness abbreviated as BPD is Brief Psychotic Disorder.
As you can see, using abbreviations can be tricky in the psychiatric setting. On this site, “BP” means bipolar disorder, and “BPD” means borderline personality disorder.

More bonus lessons learned:
14 medical uses of the acronym BPD, including Bipolar Disorder.
BP appears to be a commonly used one for Bipolar. This PDF lists BD as the acronym of use in the DSM 5.
DSM 5: Bipolar Disorder: No longer included in Mood Disorders but is now a new category called Bipolar and Related Disorders. Mixed Episodes is removed and replaced with a new specifier, “With Mixed Features.”
Wikipedia says that BD means twice a day (from Latin bis in die). It lists BAD (Bipolar Affective Disorder) too. Btw I always double check the collective unconscious of Wikipedia.
One I’d never seen before, BPAD Bipolar Affective Disorder. When I looked further, the most recent respectable source had listed it way back in 2001.

A rapid screening diagnostic mnemonic for Bopolar:
D: Distractibility (low concentration, easily distractible)
I: Insomnia
G: Grandiosity (feelings of greatness, superiority, uniqueness)
F: Flight of ideas (multiple ideas expressed together in his speech, making it barely understandable)
A: increase in goal-directed Activities (continuous search for pleasurable activities: spending money, hypersexuality,
    smoking, drinking alcohol, taking drugs,…)
S: pressured Speech (rapid speech, talking too much, almost unstoppably)
T: Thoughtlessness (high risk activities: sex, projects, drugs,…)

Manic Depression(Bipolar Disorder) Symptoms in an Acronym

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This one went all audio on my ass and startled me somewhat. It’s from some ‘nursing quizlet flashcards’.
FIND is an acronym that stands for frequency, intensity, number, and duration, and is used to assess behaviors in children.

And then I got bored and stopped.

Zomg you made it all the way down here! *amazed face*

I guess this post is a fairly accurate representation of the way my mind works, although I left out the part where I went to make a sandwich and suddenly thought is lettuce a vegetable? And it is indeed. More specifically, it is a leaf vegetable. You’re welcome.

*I totally said that to let you know that I wasn’t always an unemployed sick asshole.

Earthquakes & Tsunamis of the Soul & How to Move On

 This sign is located less than seven miles from where I reside. Ever since I was a little girl, I had a great fear of tsunamis.  I grew up less than half a mile from the Pacific Ocean.  I frequently discussed my … Continue reading

Tornado Brain

Another night of waking up pretty much every two hours on the dot. No idea what that is about. I do know when the alarm went off I hit snooze six times and was going for a seventh until I realized my kid wasn’t going to permit it. So I dragged my cobwebbed brain out of bed and went through the motions. Lately I’ve just been blasting music first thing to wake myself up.
What it doesn’t do is make me feel ready to face the day.
I don’t want to deal with people.
I already regret agreeing to the playdate for Spook tonight. God, I don’t want to be around anyone.
And that stupid flat tire has cost me three weekends of dog sitting for my dad since they paid for the repair. Seven plus hours outside my bubble in the boondocks with some chick making trouble all because she couldn’t even dogsit properly.
I want out.
Out of this rat race. It’s moving too fast for me and I just want out.
I can’t do this social thing, I swear to god it’s killing me. It’s like forcing yourself to put on the smile mask 24-7 and after awhile, the pain is just unbearable. Smiling becomes a synonym for pain and exertion.

I really hate the manic crashes. I had a good streak, four days of morning mania. The evening crashes suck, of course. But I had some consistency for a few hours for a few days. It’s something, right?
There’s celebrating little victories and then there’s just pathetic desperation for grabbing at straws.
I feel like I am grabbing at straws.
I don’t want to go back to bed. I don’t want to be awake. I definitely do not want to deal with people.
My brain is swirling like a funnel cloud.
My misanthropy is in high gear. I mean, I put myself out there and well…One more person reminds me of why I fucking hate people and prefer cats and computers for company. Seriously? This is what life is for m? Mood swings and people proving me right for being a misanthrope?

About the only time I feel even a flicker of hope for humanity is watching television shows and hell, why not. It’s FICTION. Good people are fiction.

I keep reminding myself I’m just bored and if I were back in my writing bubble, all would be less sucky.
But without that escape I am lost and shambling about like a zombie but I can’t even work up the energy to demand brains to eat.
I can’t even work up the motivation to feed myself even though my stomach is rumbling.
I keep thinking, well, I can breathe the next day. Except my kid has Sunday school the next day. And while she’s the one who goes and technically, I get an hour break…I spend that hour watching the clock, worrying if she’s okay, scared if she’s even five minutes late being returned.
I swear the experience of life itself is making me crazy because I am ill equipped to keep up with the fast pace. Things weren’t always like this. Least I don’t remember them being like this. Of course, I had a whole life prior to being diagnosed bipolar, then there was the brain damage from the drug interaction so..I have blank patches in my memory. Maybe life was always this fast paced and my swiss cheese brain simply doesn’t recall.

I prattle a lot. I can’t seem to stop. I’ve got so much swirling in my brain it’s almost like having the flu and needing to throw up. Except I do the written purge. And I end up saying nothing profound or even remotely interesting but it’s a compulsion.

My stomach is knotted. My hands are sweaty. I’m back to the “when did I shower last” thing. My brain is on obsessive compulsive duty. Taking little things that shouldn’t even be in my peripheral mind let alone consuming the largest space. It’s like a mental flogging that never lets up. And it’s part of the cyclothymia, I know. There are times during the depressions when I will do something that maybe warrants some ocd pondering and yet…it just floats away like a balloon going up into the sky.
No, this is definitely part of the mood cycle.

I want off this roller coaster, out of this tornado.
I want out.
But there is no out of your own mind.
I feel like a part of me is about to shut down. Not because I want it to but because I’ve overloaded the circuits and that breaker switch is going to flip at any moment.
Me, me, me. I feel, me, me…
God, mental illness is a self absorbed illness.
But you are supposed to write what you know. Sadly, this is what I know.

My gut is begging me not to go out into the dish.
My sweaty palms are reminding me I really need a shower.
My give a damn is busted.
Not sure it ever really worked anyway.
I’ve spent so much of my life on auto pilot and circuit protection shut down…
I don’t know anything else.

Bipolar really is like being under the influence. One minute I am ten feet tall, bulletproof, and I love who I am. The next, I am full of self loathing, no hope, and fairly certain my only purpose on earth has been as a welcome mat for shitty people to step on.

Of course, that sounds self pitying and I don’t pity myself. Lots of people have it much worse. I am strong, I have managed. I may have dents in my psyche but I keep fighting. I’ve got moxie. No reason to pity someone who keeps trying their hardest.

Empathy from those around me would be nice, but again…That’s me making demands on people who simply don’t have that skillset.

Is it possible to be allergic to yourself?
Because I am breaking out in hives and my scalp is tingling and…
Crazy is knocking again.


so trivial, why did she blog it?!

This post contains no misery or mental illness.

At 44 years of age, only in the past month or two have I noticed/enjoyed the pleasure of stretching. Naturally, I googled it. I google everything.

S t r e t c h

“When a person stretches the circulation is measurably increased. The contracting muscles squeeze more blood back to the heart and replenishes oxygen to the lungs. The chest expands drawing in more air. Sometimes as a person stretches they also yawn sometimes. This also enriches the bloodstream with more oxygen and feels good to the body.
Why does this feel good? For a number of reasons. First, the brain is cleared and receives more oxygen. This is especially helpful when waking from a night’s sleep, after a nap, or even after sitting for a sustained period of time. When the body is at rest it uses less oxygen, breathing becomes shallower and the blood circulates more slowly. Stretching galvanizes the body’s metabolism and kicks it up a few notches—almost like turning up a rheostat.
All this activity releases endorphins to the brain. In some cases the endorphins gently stimulate the same region of the brain that is stimulated during an orgasm, but at a much lower level. This gives the body a mild feeling of euphoria accompanied by a sense of refreshment.
Psychology then comes into play and emotions. A long, satisfying stretch buoys the emotions and also elicits a mild feeling of well-being.
All of this from simply stretching? Yes, that is why it feels so good and at the right moment of the day little else is as satisfying as a good, long stretch.”
::source::

No wonder it feels good. My attempts at googling why on earth it’s taken me so long to get there, were useless. Despite my need (and greed) to know things, I love the fact that some things are ungooglable. It prolongs the hunt, reroutes it to pre-internet resources and even then, it might be unanswerable. When I first noticed (or experienced, idk) it, I wasn’t sure what it was and I didn’t immediately identify it as a good feeling. Now I like it lots, of course. I wonder if it’s due to a history of my mind being very far removed from my body (thanks for that, childhood). I wonder these things idly and if I’m feeling blank enough, I have the space to write down trivial shit.

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Mindful cookie monster is mindful! Or at least, full.

Mind-blind

All of my life until late last year, I’d have confidently told you that I rarely see images in my mind and that if I try to force it to, quite often I see the word or words themselves. In black, American Typewriter font, on an oldish, very slightly yellowing paperback page. And of course, that is an image of a sort too. I was astonished and really pleased when, while reading one day, the some of the characters’ faces popped brightly into my head. They were mostly celebrity head and shoulders photos. No idea when it stopped happening, but I’m gently regretful about it.

This one is plentifully googlable, it’s a very common thing.

“All the exams the scientists gave MX confirmed his claim that he was missing his mind’s eye. And yet he could do lots of things that would seem impossible without one. Without any effort he could give the scientists detailed descriptions of landmarks around Edinburgh, for example. He could remember visual details, but he couldn’t see them. Della Sala and Zeman asked MX to say whether each letter of the alphabet had a low-hanging tail (like g and j). He got every one right. They asked him about specific details of the faces of famous people (Does Tony Blair have light-colored eyes?). He did just as well as the architects.”
::source::

Not uncommon and certainly not a handicap. In fact, it may not even be an anomaly. Here is one interesting cause from the same article, but it doesn’t apply to yours truly.

“A study I was part of found that people with congenital prosopagnosia, a genetic inability to recognise faces, had virtually absent visual imagery despite having no signs of brain damage or neurological abnormalities.
Patients who acquire prosopagnosia after brain damage often report that they can no longer imagine what faces look like, but in MX’s case, he seems to have lost his ability to mentally ‘see’ faces but has no problem recognising people.”

::link to original paper the article was based on::

The only times I don’t recognise faces are because I habitually avoid eye contact, I miss lots of other visual detail that way. Naturally some funding hunters academics do see a problem and there’s a little flock of charlatans life coaches developing spin solutions in their wake.

“When people have lesions in Area 39, they have great difficulty with abstr act imagery, memory, attention and self-awareness,” writes Dr. Khalsa.

Einstein had an enlarged Area 39.

But! Research into the brain fascinates me wildly and so I approve of those grants and the projects they finance. We know so little about the brain etc etc.

Anyroad up, I am deeply fond of these little detours down the proverbial rabbit hole. There’s no discomfort behind any of it, I learn a lot (frequently about totally unrelated things) and intelligent distraction is very good for me, I think.

That’s it.

Kthxbye.

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URGENT: Help us protect mental health medications in Medicare Part D! And SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!

VOTE mental health

Go to this address and ask your senators to keep medications for mental health protected under Medicare Part D. http://cqrcengage.com/nami/app/lookup?3&m=15777

Below is the information and is from this link on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/InternationalBipolarFoundation?fref=nf)

Help us protect mental health medications in Medicare Part D!

Senators Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced the bipartisan Medicare Formulary Improvement Act (S. 648) last week to protect mental health medications in Medicare Part D. These medications are crucial in the treatment of illnesses like schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder.

Currently these medications are in a “protected class” ensuring that when a doctor prescribes them they will not be subject to a denial based on things like cost.

So why do we need this bill?

You may remember last year that there was an attack on the “protected class” designation by the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In order to make sure that these life-saving medications remain in a “protected class” free from repeal you must raise your voice in support of this bill.

Contact your Senators TODAY asking them to co-sponsor this critical legislation. http://cqrcengage.com/nami/app/lookup?3&m=15777


DEATH and Sir Terry Pratchett

What can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the reaper man?

3rd and last post about this. (Manfully avoids obvious last post pun.) Quotes all by Sir Terry.

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“And what would humans be, without love?”
“RARE,” said Death.

I knew this death would make me cry, and it did. I think that maybe I feel this the way some of you guys felt Robin Williams’ suicide. It wasn’t so much his books (though I adore them and they’ve been making me laugh for a long time), but his utterly tragic, stupendously graceful and gracious reactions and actions once he’d been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers.

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I was stunned by the news, because like all deaths by terminal disease, it was anticipated – but not now, not so soon. Any time at all is too soon. His daughter’s announcement (written by her father) in three tweets are what released the tears. I posted them before, but they belong here too.

Rhianna Pratchett @rhipratchett
5:06 PM – 12 Mar 2015
AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.
Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.
The End.

It won’t make sense unless you’ve read at least some of his (freaking awesome satirical / why on earth haven’t you read them already / oh boy have you ever got a treat coming) books. If you have, you’ll know the startlingly likeable character of Death, the way his caps lock dialogue works to convey gravity and finality, and the quiet and shining world he inhabits, parallel to bawdy and down to earth Ankh Morpork. If you have, you don’t need me to tell you how Sir Terry Pratchett was so much more than a fantasy author, and just what a fine and beautiful mind we have lost.

Becoming dead after being alive is a fairly major change in reality, I would think.

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Brief sidenote anecdote: He did a book signing in an indie bookshop in Derbyshire back when I was living there (2005 or 6) and I got two signed as gifts for two of my best mates. He wore the fedora and the beard! (lol) Idgaf about autographs myself.

“DON’T THINK OF  IT AS DYING,” said Death, “THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.”

He was well known as an advocate for the right to die movement, and made a documentary about death as a choice.

The ideal death, I think is what was the ideal Victorian death. You know,  with your grandchildren around you, a bit of sobbing. And you say goodbye to your loved ones, making certain there’s someone left behind to look after the shop.

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Despite rumour, Death isn’t cruel – merely terribly, terribly good at his job.

The friends I got those signed copies for (Thud and Where’s My Cow?), have wandered along the read every book as soon as it’s in paperback path with me, as long as I’ve known them. It’s been good to talk and be sad and share quotes and images.

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Night died in the west. Night and tears took the Nation. The star of Water drifted among the clouds like a murderer softly leaving the scene of the crime.

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No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.

Terry Pratchett: Discworld author who poked fun at Death – and won (The Independent)
Without Terry Pratchett, the world is less magical (The Guardian)

A conversation with Terry Pratchett – from backintheday 2000, he talks about writing ‘draft zero’ of a book.

death and what comes next

(A Discworld short story by Terry Pratchett)
Copyright © Terry Pratchett 2002

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When Death met the philosopher, the philosopher said, rather excitedly: “At this point, you realise, I’m both dead and not dead.”
There was a sigh from Death. Oh dear, one of those, he thought. This is going to be about quantum again. He hated dealing with philosophers. They always tried to wriggle out of it.
“You see,” said the philosopher, while Death, motionless, watched the sands of his life drain through the hourglass, “everything is made of tiny particles, which have the strange property of being in many places at one time. But things made of tiny particles tend to stay in one place at one time, which does not seem right according to quantum theory. May I continue?”
YES, BUT NOT INDEFINITELY, said Death, EVERYTHING IS TRANSIENT. He did not take his gaze away from the tumbling sand.
“Well, then, if we agreed that there are an infinite number of universes, then the problem is solved! If there are an unlimited number of universes, this bed can be in millions of them, all at the same time!”
DOES IT MOVE?
“What?
Death nodded at the bed. CAN YOU FEEL IT MOVING? he said.
“No, because there are a million versions of me, too, And…here is the good bit …in some of them I am not about to pass away! Anything is possible!”
Death tapped the handle of his scythe as he considered this.
AND YOUR POINT IS…?
“Well, I’m not exactly dying, correct? You are no longer such a certainty.”
There was a sigh from Death. Space he thought. That was the trouble. It was never like this on worlds with everlastingly cloudy skies. But once humans saw all that space, their brains expanded to try and fill it up.
“No answer, eh?” said the dying philosopher. “Feel a bit old-fashioned, do we?”
THIS IS A CONUNDRUM CERTAINLY, said Death. Once they prayed, he thought. Mind you, he’d never been sure that prayer worked, either. He thought for a while. AND I SHALL ANSWER IT IN THIS MANNER, he added. YOU LOVE YOUR WIFE?
“What?”
Yes. Of course.”
CAN YOU THINK OF ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE, WITHOUT YOUR PERSONAL HISTORY CHANGING IN ANY WAY YOU WOULD AT THIS MOMENT PICK UP A KNIFE AND STAB HER? said Death. FOR EXAMPLE?
“Certainly not!”
BUT YOUR THEORY SAYS THAT YOU MUST. IT IS EASILY POSSIBLE WITHIN THE PHYSICAL LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE, AND THEREFORE MUST HAPPEN, AND HAPPEN MANY TIMES. EVERY MOMENT IS A BILLION, BILLION MOMENTS, AND IN THOSE MOMENTS ALL THINGS THAT ARE POSSIBLE ARE INEVITABLE. ALL TIME SOONER OR LATER, BOILS DOWN TO A MOMENT.
“But of course we can make choices between-”
ARE THERE CHOICES? EVERYTHING THAT CAN HAPPEN, MUST HAPPEN. YOUR THEORY SAYS THAT FOR EVERY UNIVERSE THAT’S FORMED TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR ‘NO’, THERE MUST BE ONE TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR ‘YES’. BUT YOU SAID YOU WOULD NEVER COMMIT MURDER. THE FABRIC OF THE COSMOS TREMBLES BEFORE YOUR TERRIBLE CERTAINTY. YOUR MORALITY BECOMES A FORCE AS STRONG AS GRAVITY. And, thought Death, space certainly has a lot to answer for.
“Was that sarcasm?”
ACTUALLY, NO. I AM IMPRESSED AND INTRIGUED, said Death. THE CONCEPT YOU PUT BEFORE ME PROVES THE EXISTENCE OF TWO HITHERTO MYTHICAL PLACES. SOMEWHERE, THERE IS A WORLD WHERE EVERYONE MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE, THE MORAL CHOICE, THE CHOICE THAT MAXIMISED THE HAPPINESS OF THEIR FELLOW CREATURES, OF COURSE, THAT ALSO MEANS THAT SOMEWHERE ELSE IS THE SMOKING REMNANT OF THE WORLD WHERE THEY DID NOT …
“Oh, come on! I know what you’re implying, and I’ve never believed in any of that Heaven and Hell nonsense!”
The room was growing darker. The blue gleam along the edge of the reaper’s scythe was becoming more obvious.
ASTONISHING, said Death. REALLY ASTONISHING. LET ME PUT FORWARD ANOTHER SUGGESTION: THAT YOU ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A LUCKY SPECIES OF APE THAT IS TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE COMPLEXITIES OF CREATION VIA A LANGUAGE THAT EVOLVED IN ORDER TO TELL ONE ANOTHER WHERE THE RIPE FRUIT WAS?
Fighting for breath, the philosopher managed to say: “Don’t be silly.”
THE REMARK WAS NOT INTENDED AS DEROGATORY, said Death. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU HAVE ACHIEVED A GREAT DEAL.
“We’ve certainly escaped from outmoded superstitions!”
WELL DONE, said Death. THAT’S THE SPIRIT. I JUST WANTED TO CHECK.
He leaned forward.
AND ARE YOU AWARE OF THE THEORY THAT THE STATE OF SOME TINY PARTICLES IS INDETERMINATE UNTIL THE MOMENT THEY ARE OBSERVED? A CAT IN A BOX IS OFTEN MENTIONED.
“Oh, yes,” said the philosopher.
GOOD, said Death. He got to his feet as the last of the light died, and smiled.
I SEE YOU…

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“Death and What Comes Next” was originally written for, and appeared on Timehunt (http://www.timehunt.com/timehunt.html), a game website with a progressive series of puzzles.

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