Daily Archives: March 14, 2015

Sanity in Space

It’s funny how even the best of visitors can disrupt one’s routines and things. My youngest sister and her husband were here last weekend, which was fantastic. This was our first chance to spend any significant time with him, and it was also wonderful to spend some time with my sister. Because of the age gap, we weren’t particularly close as children, but we’re developing a nice little relationship as adults (I know 4 years isn’t much of a gap in most families, but there was another sister between us). They got us hooked on geocaching, we had meaningful conversations about life, the universe, and everything, and it we were sad to see them go. In short, it was about as perfect a visit as one could ask for.

Of course, having people in one’s space is always a peril. While they were fantastic guests and not in the way in the slightest, and while we had a smooth visit, there’s always the coming down in trying to get back to normalcy. Some of my routines were slightly disrupted, and I’ve been scrabbling for those to settle since we moved last year. Honestly, we both have. I’m sure we’ll get back into the swing of things in full eventually, but I guess we’re both at that ‘gah, we’re old’ point in our lives where we don’t handle disruption as well as we might have when we were younger.

The main problem I’ve been having is completely unrelated to people though, just my own chemistry being crap. I’ve had insomnia lately,which is dead annoying and anathema to the whole keeping a strict sleeping schedule. Thankfully, taking a melatonin is helping sort of coax my body into doing the sleep thing properly… but there’s a problem with that. You can’t get melatonin over the counter here, so while I have a good supply that I stocked up on last time we were in the States, that’s still a limited supply. I’m trying to not overthink it, but as we know — bipolar and over-thinking go hand and hand.

Mainly though, I’m just hella fatigued. I’m not mad or anything — it is what is. My desire to get a Mirena coil was stymied by the fact the doctor who does it at our office is out for an indeterminate amount of time. There’s a clinic at the hospital that does sexual health stuff, so we’ll be going there sometime in the future. We couldn’t get our heads around it with things like company to deal with, so. Hopefully soon, once we find some spoons for it. :) We’re at the hospital week after next to see my psychiatrist, but I don’t know if we’re going to be up to stacking that with anything else.

Hope everyone is doing well out there.

<3

Things That Work And Things That Don’t Work And Things That Might Work Or Might Not

Some roofers have been working on my neighbor’s house since like 6 a.m. today. It woke up my husband. It did not wake up Laura. WEIRD. Like, seriously weird because I’m a really light sleeper and I usually wake up a few times during the night to pee or yank back my share of the comforter or stare at the ceiling contemplating nothingness (I’m trying to stop doing that last one ’cause it’s too great a demand on my psyche at 3:30 in the morning, but too fascinating a concept to ignore entirely). But, really, it’s not that weird that the roofers didn’t wake me up because I took an Ambien last night. Or at least I think I did. Like 90% sure I took an Ambien last night.

My doctor thinks it’s prudent to have a little stockpile of Ambien because when bipolar people sleep improperly, we get even weirder. For me, not enough sleep = hypomania followed by physical exhaustion with lingering racing thoughts so I can’t sleep even though I’m really tired. When I oversleep, I tend to get depressed. I used to oversleep a lot. I almost never do anymore. So, the Ambien is really nice to have around. What would be nicer is if it did its job consistently. Sometimes, Ambien knocks me out and keeps me from waking up at night, which is what I need it to do. Other times, I don’t fall asleep and I’m just woozy on sleeping pills – which is not without its charm – but I tend to get really frustrated when I’m physically sedated but running at full speed mentally. Like, that’s just plain wasteful because I’m too sluggish to do anything useful or interesting but I’m too alert to fall asleep. So I leave all the lights on (because, like any bully might similarly escalate, my racing thoughts interpret a darkened room as an invitation to race faster and louder). It seems like an intuitive solution except it doesn’t really work.

I’ve had trouble falling asleep since I was a kid. My brain doesn’t like to pause without serious persuasion. My doctor asked me like twice in the last month to stop using weed so much (I smoke and I consume edibles, hence “using” which feels like a weird word here, but it’s the only one that makes sense). I said, “no promises,” but that I’d try. I have shitty impulse control as it is, so, when I’m lying awake resenting my slumbering husband or the drowsing cats or the relative silence in the alley outside my bedroom window, it’s kind of asking a lot of me not to avail myself of the one thing that’s basically guaranteed to get me to sleep soundly in the space of 20 minutes. (insert burbly bong noise here…then remove it because I’m not a huge fan of bongs, just their noises).

But we bipolar folk are special and, as such, special things sometimes happen to us when we do things that aren’t special for most people. There’s a good deal of evidence-ish that suggests that marijuana can trigger or worsen mania. In my experience, this is only sometimes true. If I’m already hypomanic, getting stoned might do one of two things: a) mellow me out and make me sleepy or b) exacerbate my racing thoughts by making them louder and weirder. The latter only really happens to me when I use certain strains of weed – specifically sativas which give most people a more wakeful high and which don’t help me sleep at all, so I steer clear. I’ve never had a hypomanic episode that resulted purely from marijuana use, or even largely from marijuana use. As far as I can tell, my hypomanic episodes are affected by sleep deprivation, seasons changing and modifications to my meds more than any other variables I can think of right now. I could be wrong about this. Assuming I don’t die an untimely death, I have like 5ish more decades to…observe…my moods in relation to my weed usage. I could even start right this second. For science…(go ahead and throw that bong noise back up here….and then remove it once again because I don’t own a bong, I really don’t care for them).

Again, because we’re special, most bipolar folks react differently to alcohol than other people generally do. I’ve had like 4 full drinks in the past 5 months. I used to be a really heavy drinker. Then I woke up one day and didn’t feel like drinking anymore. I don’t know what changed. I just don’t feel like it. I might feel like it again in the future, but for now I’m enjoying the reduction in migraines and mood fluctuations. Drinking makes me depressed, but not until the next day and it’s a little embarrassing how long it took me to connect those dots because of the very obvious cause and effect therein, Laura. I’m not as stupid as I stupid sometimes, but sometimes I stupid harder than necessary.

I counted my pills and I guess I did take an Ambien last night. Which accounts for my current grogginess, probably. I’m supposed to have a friend over tonight and he’s a super chill dude so it looks like I have a pretty mellow evening ahead of me. I’m a little bothered by how comforting that prospect is. It’s 61 fucking degrees out today. 61. That’s approaching let’s-see-how-far-naked-Laura-can-run-from-the-cops-before-being-arrested-for-indecency weather. I have been working out more. And I don’t want to waste a temperate, sunny day in March, because we don’t get a lot of those here. I wish I knew how to ride a bike. I mean, I know how to ride a bike, just not better than a 7 year-old can and adults aren’t allowed to ride on the sidewalk. I tend to yell at those who do. Upbraiding strangers is a skill. I’m really good at it.

It just occurred to me that, if I wanna, I can stick post-it notes to my cats – one that says “get stoned” and one that says “don’t” – and then have them race down the stairs. Except I know who’ll win. Daphne bunny hops down the stairs and, while it’s adorable, it’s not as efficient as Artie’s method, which my husband describes as a “controlled fall”. Ok, this post is clearly derailing. I think I’m gonna hang out on the deck with a guitar or something because, you guys, 61 degrees. 61.

-LB

Tagged: alcohol, bipolar disorder, cats, depression, drugs, hypomania, insomnia, marijuana, meds, nudity, racing thoughts, sleep, treatment

Lion and Lamb

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The Magic of the Alpura Cow Dancer

In my last post I declared I’d keep the next post around 500 words or less.   I think I can do it today, so I’m going for it!   A few days ago a friend shared a link to … Continue reading

Three Headed Monster

I’ve seen this done in other blogs but thought it was interesting enough to do here. If I could clone...

The post Three Headed Monster appeared first on Pretending to be What We Are.

Haven’t Written For a Couple of Days

I haven’t really had anything to write about honestly. I was doing tons of laundry, which I finally finished. Yay!

My mood has been ok and I believe the wellbutrin is keeping me motivated, however I am going to run out of housework kinds of things to do then I am not sure where I’ll stand.

I hope to get back into my computer games and I also plan to exercise every day.

I’m almost back down to 250, I want to get below that so badly. I started lowcarb/high fiber again and I hope it does the trick now that it is just hubby and I.

MIL would sabotage unintentionally all the time so now is the time to prove it was her and not me!


Fat, Fifty & Mad: A Blog for Mother’s Day

Mom, taken on VJ Day, at a carnival in Tennessee

Mom, on VJ Day (1945)

“Over the hills and far away…”

It’s an odd song to think of, yet it seems to fit. I know you used to pine for the hills of Tennessee. As a child, you travelled there every summer with your parents, to visit cousins with double-barrelled names like Betty Lou, and John D. And aunties like the one who used to talk about being “down in the piney”, which I took to mean the woods.

Aunt May died so long ago, it’s far too late to ask her.

Or you, of course.

Today, I took these to the PDSA. I like to think you’d approve:

Bless your heart, indeed.

Bless your heart, indeed

I don’t remember you wearing any of these, Mom, and couldn’t see any point in them taking up space in my knicker drawer.

If I need physical things to remember you by, there’s always this chap. Pretty sure I was there when you found him amongst your mum’s things, after Grandmother’s death:

I called him Sebastion. She called him "Teddy".

I called him Sebastian. You called him “Teddy”.

Remember that trip we took to an Ohio shopping centre, where Otto Steiff identified your bear as a “Teddy Baby”, then autographed one of its paws? I don’t know who was more delighted: Otto, at seeing Teddy, or you, at meeting Otto.

Speaking as I was a few minutes ago about my knicker drawer, I’m pleased to say that my speculative children decided to buy me some pretty-but-practical new pants from Marks & Sparks. I considered getting you some flowers – to be displayed at my house, on account of slight problems with distance, and death – but decided to buy you a chocolate chip cookie, instead.

So, Mom. Here I am, your not-so-dutiful daughter: fat, fifty(ish), and mad. You loved words, so you’ll know that “mad” can be taken at least two ways, and that I more than qualify for both.

My report card – which, if I actually still received one, you would almost certainly keep – would probably read: “Could do better”. I’d also get a A+ in swearing, though I have to say my use of scissors and paste has improved considerably since Kindergarten.

For starters, I no longer eat the paste.

So Happy Mothering Sunday, Mom. You kicked this blog off, and have been a reoccurring character ever since.

And what a character, eh?

To the woman with all the best lines,

Love,

Sheila

Ps: Okay if I eat that cookie for you?

""As for me and thee / Make ours tea"

“”As for me and thee / Make ours tea!”

 

 

 

 

Sometimes all it takes is a decision.

lilypup:

Here is someone living with chronic pain which has caused her to suffer from depression in the past. Hear her encouraging story. It made me appreciate my own problems…..

Originally posted on The never ending headache:

Shortly after the onset of my headache depression hit me hard, and I continued to suffer from severe depression for years. I couldn’t cope with the pain and the way it made me feel all the time; miserable, angry, bitter, lost, pretty much every negative feeling out there I was feeling it at full force. For a long time I coped with my pain through self-harm, it was my coping mechanism, however not a good one. After a while I just didn’t want to live anymore, I saw no future for myself but pain and misery, I didn’t think there was any other way, so I tried to kill myself and got close to succeeding.

It’s only been in the past year that  have discovered that there is another way, happiness can be found despite pain, my life can have meaning, I can achieve things and more importantly I can…

View original 380 more words

let’s unpack a meme

Here is a positive and popular meme and perhaps I am a curmudgeon for dissecting it. I like the meme, so there. What I don’t like are factual and grammatical errors and so I shall blog and bleat about it to appease my needs. Original meme in bold text. I’m only going to fix the most glaring grammatical stuff, otherwise you guys would see how painfully pernickety I am about work. I can lay claim to all but the OCD diagnosis, I’d be grateful if someone would check that out.

Actually, fuck facts, my last linkdump post overloaded my google glands. I’m simply going to give you my very own biased reactions. Feel free to chime in too.

An issue with this sort of thing, methinks, is that what it lists is all universal and I don’t think it helps us get taken seriously. They don’t write lists like people with post nasal drip have well lubricated noses. Ahem. Who cares? Nobody, that’s who.

I just got done reading something about mental disorders, I realized something. Sometimes our worst traits, in reality could be our best. Maybe its* not a demon, maybe its** like a super power. I mean dont*** get me wrong depression sucks. Anxiety sucks. But read some of these facts I learned.
*it’s, **it’s, ***don’t

People diagnosed with Depression:
-Are usually smarter than the average person.
Oh yeah – genius IQ, if that pile of irrelevant shit matters to you. EQ? No idea. Common sense? Lots and none at all, as Bilbo Baggins said. I’m fabulous at all sorts and unbelievably inept at others. Intelligent is a big and diverse planet, methods of measurement tend to be skewed and stupid. On the other hand, if I revert to the time when UK English defined smart as things like well dressed, the answer is ‘sometimes’.
-Have a better perspective of the world
Not sure what this means. Anyone? If it’s referencing observation and empathy, I agree. Perception? Got that in metric fucktonnes.
-See situations more realistically.
Depression is negative by definition, realism’s intent is impartiality. (The glass is neither half empty of half full, it is simply 125ml of fluid in a 250ml capacity glass.) As for me, it ranges (like the rest of the world) from helium happy positive, through neutral attempts at being realistic, to grimly negative.

People diagnosed with ADHD
-Thrive in disruptive situations.
No. I thrive in completely disastrous crises only. Disruptive does my head in.
-3 times more likely to form their own business
No. If freelancing counts – yes. I hate management roles and am absolutely hopeless at them. I’m a damn fine 2iC though.
-embrace adventure.
No. Okay sometimes. I’d rather be peaceful the majority of the time though. So not a full on embrace, but we cuddle from time to time. Obvs that excludes all the adventures in impulsivity that mania brings, but that’s not so much an embrace as a bolting horse.
-Adapt* at multi-tasking.
*Adept. And yes.

People diagnosed with  OCD
-Higher level of determination
-naturally good memory
-Doubly as compelled to learn new things.

People diagnosed with bipolar
– 4x as capable in art.
Capable. Capable? Everyone can do art, a very few are brilliant, more are mediocre or shit. And the only bipolar stat I’ve read lately that involves quadrupling things, is that Americans with bipolar have 4 times the suicide rate of the rest of the country. I have zero idea how art-capability is quantified and measured, but it sounds tedious. Oh yeah. Me. Good writer, no other artistic talent, but have fun doing some anyway.
-intense creativity level
Yes. Either hyper super extra turbo creative, or morose, or asleep.
-increased ability in observing
Yes – but again that’s one extreme or t’other.

People diagnosed with Anxiety
-High levels of empathy and able to understand others pain and joy easier.
Yes – and introversion means that I’m worn out by it rather rapidly and require plenty of solitude. 
-understand things on deeper level.
Sounds like the previous one.
-doubly strong levels of intuition accuracy
Also sounds like the first one. Again with the measurement of the immeasurable though …
… a yes to all of them, with intermittent cases of no.

image

Depressive Lucidity

***First off, I am “test driving” a used laptop R procured and it’s unfamiliar and I don’t do change. So I am unamused. Second off, fuck you and your “improved posting experience” wordpress. I don’t do change!!!! All this pastel blue and white is giving me a brain bleed.***

So…I’ve finally emerged from the mixed manic/rock bottom depression phase. I am still very low and hope is a comedic term to me but…My thoughts have slowed significantly and I almost feel coherent. Lucid. In fact, my mind has cleared so drastically, I am looking at this past week’s posts and going, I wrote that???

It’s like a week long booze bender and you finally sober up. Then clean up the messes you made, good, bad, or plain rude, while under the influence of bipolar.

I stayed up pretty late last night. Checking on Mama Shade and her newborns.  (How can I not even notice my indoor cat is pregnant????) She only had the three, and all three were alive and kicking as of this morning.

I also just needed to zone out, watch some tv, and lick my wounds from the social outing. I was basically told I’m not strict enough by  R and Mrs R, after the other day my mom guilt tripped me for taking my kid’s Leap Pad away from her when she screamed that she hated me.

Sometimes, I wish the peanut gallery would fuck off. If I ask for your opinion, fine. Otherwise…Just shut up.

Wow…This morning is a lot like waking up after having had the flu. I feel achy, weak, exhausted, but the worst of it is over. I am on the mend. How long that lasts depends on the cyclothymia. Odd how the features of that are rapid shifts but less severe, yet my depressions last for months while my manic episodes only last a few days. Then I get the mixed or stable periods or mood crashes in between. Not that I am special or anything, but I swear all my disorders need to be combined into an all new category in the diagnostic manual.

I am finding I am not alone in being outside the box with my symptoms thus confusing the doctors and their books.

Today is…Ugh. I hit snooze six times, lamenting in my own head how much I do not want to be here in Bumfuck babysitting a damned dog. I love animals, don’t get me wrong. But now that I am a cat grandma, my mind is kind of focused on my own animals.

In my usual reliable manner,I was told to be here before 7:30. Got here closer to 7:45. I suck at numbers. I’m always rounding up or down or saying, eh, fuck it. What’s my dad gonna do? Disown me? Orphanhood would suit me fine.

I keep thinking about last night. The whole time I was there I just felt like a fish out of water, flopping about gracelessly, wanting back in my safe fish bowl. Maybe it’s just me because R and Mrs R and their extended family have been nothing but good to me and Spook. I am just forever painfully aware I don’t quite fit in. This is not some self esteem issue, but rather…No one shares my interests so I am forever trying to share theirs in an effort to make this socialization thing work.

Though in a fit of sadistic humor, Mrs. R and I did torture R by playing country music. Yeah, odd, considering how I hate anything that isn’t at least some branch of rock and roll. But I was raised by country folk so it was bound to seep in on some level.  (In a way, I think my diverse musical tastes are probably the one good thing my parents did right parenting me.)

R was not amused. After all the Toto and lame ass 70’s shit he’s subjected me to…(Including a run of the Beatles movie the other day and their horrendous warbling)…karma, biatch.

Then came the usual awkward talk about how he ran into someone who knew us when we were together and she was asking, “Does (your wife) know you hang out with Niki???How does that work?”

Well, at first it didn’t. Mrs R kind of called me a bitch and banned me from their orbit. But then I just declared I wasn’t going anywhere and she saw how I stood up to him and we bonded as natural badass dominant women. I think she respects me for not putting up with his shit. God knows she’s got him trained like a lapdog. Albeit a bitchy pissy submissive lapdog.

I dunno. My parents still speak even though they hate each other and dad brings his woman and kid to all our family get togethers. I guess awkward and non conventional run in my family. I don’t find it all that weird to hang out with an ex. I still speak to some of my exes (most of them) because I am an awesome friend even if I am shit at relationships.

Spare The Donor. Who recently got promoted into a second managerial position at Herpes Depot. My dad told me because his neighbor just took a job there and apparently The Donor has everyone snowed, they think he’s great.

Three kids. No support on any of them in years. No attempt to be in  their lives.

Yeah, great. I’m not doing the scorned woman thing, either. These are just facts. And it’s hard because I don’t want to deal with him. If he stays away, I think it’s better for all of us. I just think it’s shit that he gets to abandon and fail to support three kids and nothing is done about it. Life may not be fair but there should be personal responsibility. God knows he harped on it enough. Hypocrisy at its finest.

I wish people would quit telling me what that…thing…is up to. I am happiest when he’s not in my consciousness. My kid deserves a better dad. Father is biological. She deserves a dad that is there for her.

He owes me shit. Never liked him anyway, I was just unmedicated and insane at the time all the while crazy with hormones. I don ‘t even like blondes with blue eyes. I like gothy guys. So what the fuck was I even thinking? Oh,right. I wasn’t. I had the manic episode when I hooked up with him then went into seasonal depression then came up preggo (if they say you can’t have kids, don’t necessarily believe them, I’m living proof) and couldn’t take meds. Then I got that eeevil depo provera that made me more insane than the pregnancy did…

Yeah that whole chapter of my life should be expunged because I was not in my right mind at any point.

It occurs to me that during all my lamentation about being ill, I am making myself out to be incompetent as a parent. Well…I’ve been there for her and I may not get it right all the time but I make the effort. E for effort and all that.

I’m rambling.Of course, I am.I had my lump dose of Prozac and it’s making me all swirly tornado brain. The quiet lucid thing was nice for the ninety minutes it lasted.

And fuck me, I just had to use the term lucidity and now I have that wretched putrid Queensryche “Silent Lucidity” song stuck in my head. I always hated that band and especially that song. I’m like a masochist to my own mind.

Okay…Spewage complete. For now.