Daily Archives: April 6, 2015

the let-us-take-a linkdump

It has come to my crappy attention span, that by ay to zedding unnecessarily over the weekend, I’ve done too many letters so far. While I tread water and think of wtf to do for H, here is a non commercial and non psychotic break …

*plays catchy jingle*

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MORE LINK LINK, LESS YADDA YADDA! Kindly peruse the links I have dumped and feel free to spear one/many/none with one of those spiky things used for picking up litter. BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! My snarky comments in italics. AND THAT’S NOT ALL! Actually yeah, that is all.

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Happy
Santa is Bipolar – in Malta at least. He’s also been stable for 17 years.
Big Love – getting beyond a 100lb weight gain.
A (Manic Depressive) Man’s Best Friend – a pitbull called Pavlov.

Sad
No, psychiatry could not have prevented the Germanwings disaster – Gary Greenberg
Lessons of Grief – Amy Butcher. What happens when your friend suffers a psychotic break and kills his girlfriend?
Bob Burns (Lynrd Skynrd) dies – original drummer for the band, bipolar.

Artyculture
Living a Full Life with Bipolar – Richmondite Derek Yeung has written a book on his experiences.
Song: Bopolar Love – Pembroke Tenneson
Favourite Songs About Bipolar (PsychForums)
Film: Rocks in my pockets – drawing on depression.
Feature Doc on Trials & Triumphs of Former WNBA Player Chamique Holdsclaw Nearing Completion – Chamique Holdsclaw
Hrithik to Rani – mentally impaired characters in Bollywood.

Celebripolar
Charles Hamilton Asks HipHop to Have a Heart regarding his bipolar disorder.
Minn. native Mary Hemingway, wife of Ernest, memorialized in Bemidji

Psycheducation & the War on Stigma
Bopolar Network News April 2015. BNN!
Sleep Patterns Appear Impaired in Inter-Episode Bipolar (China)
My child has bipolar disorder but please don’t punish her for it.
The lowdown on mental health support groups
Matters of the Mind (kantipur.com) In conversation with a woman who has been living with bipolar disorder for the last four decades.
When the brain turns on itself – Stigma of mental illness still hinders help.
Suicide attempts in bipolar adolescents more common when ADHD present.

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Anger Management Punchbags

How to Cure All Mental Illness Without Medical Help
I didn’t let this condition happen. It’s not my mental or physical condition. I loved Jesus too much to assume her position. I am the queen of humility. I tortures me to tell anyone anything that exults me. It killed me to the group here that I maybe God/Jesus. I was woken up to a state of being that I seem to not even want to accept. I feel unworthy. I feel what you tried to make me feel. My psychiatrist tried to tap into it because I did write a book about Jesus. She read it. She was trying to make me write another one. I’m going through an spiritual awakening. I am not interested in being a God. I only have allow it process inside me because of my love for humanity and God. I wouldn’t turn my back on either. So before you advise people to admit themselves to hospital, make sure you rule out that they are what they thin they are. “Sometime a cigar is a cigar,” said Freud. I have concrete reasons to believe I have been woken up to something. I’ve been told I recreated myself to be with humanity. I spent 51 years doing that. Remember Jesus was called a drunk and crazy/demonic person. You don’t even know the truth about mental illness. Maybe you are closer to God than someone who calls herself/himself sane in this insane mental institution called “da world.” (By menopausalme)

Dear menopausalme,
Please feel free to indulge your psychosis – we’ve all been there, we know that feel. For the love of blog, however, please never ever say the words “da world” again. Never. Not ever.
Yours in medication,
blahbigmouthpolar

Things That Make You Go #!×£/!×£!!!!!!
Inmate attempted suicide after St. Charles sheriff cut off her meds. (Yet another asshole treats bipolar person like shit. Lawsuit ensues.)
World’s Wildest Police Chases – bipolar check forger. (Asshole shoots cheap shot sensationalist crud, let’s go shoot asshole.)

Agony Aunt
Bipolar, off meds, my wife doesn’t love me. (Blahnswer: take your damn meds!)
What are some theories about bipolar disorder and some possible intervention techniques? (Asshole crowdsources homework.)
What is rapid cycling? You just got served son, thank you for flying blahpol-air.

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Unlocking the Mind #Writing101

How to get at the good stuff? Cannot even think of a better word for stuff! Yes, I can look for a word using a thesaurus, which I probably will end up doing. But, for now, I’m very simply frustrated,…

The Healing Time

Finally on my way to yesStrange & Terrible Sights

I bump into

all the places

where I said no

to my life

all the untended wounds

the red and purple scars

those hieroglyphs of pain

carved into my skin,

my bones,

those coded messages

that send me down

the wrong street

again and again

where I find them

the old wounds

the old misdirections

and I lift them

one by one

close to my heart

and I say    holy

             holy.

© Pesha Joyce Gertler


Last Week Was Hard

As you know I had my father in law in town. He stayed with us for nine damn days! My husband had to work so I was stuck with him for each and every one of them, except weekends. It was difficult because it made my home feel weird. Plus hubby and me got little to no time alone.

This past weekend we had even more family time with a nephews birthday and Easter. It was all so over stimulating, I just want to curl up in bed today. I haven’t though, I still got up and did some housework and ate.

My mood managed to stay ok during it all, but today it is gloomy both outside and inside. I’m feeling kind of depressed and I wonder if my good cycle is coming to an end. Which would be super unfair to have it only last while I couldn’t be alone with hubby.

Fucking bipolar..


Mmm Coffee

I love coffee, in case you weren’t already aware. In my home, I have 4 different methods of brewing and I’m always looking into new brands of coffee and ways to enjoy coffee. I’ve debated getting a french press, but it just seemed a little too complicated for me. However, the fine folks at Ghergich and Company, in collaboration with eReplacement parts created this awesome infographic that shows you exactly how to make a perfect cup of coffee with a french press.

 


Source: eReplacementParts.com

I might just give a french press a shot after seeing this!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Change of Pace- Writing 101

Dear Readers,

Just to switch things up a bit, for the month of April I will be in the Writing 101 class. They’ll have us doing various writing assignments, one each weekday with nothing on the weekend. I thought it might be interesting for you to follow along and see how I do.

I’ll still intersperse some updates on the fiction, my recovery, etc. and we’ll do another thread where you can promote your blog. So a lot will be happening. If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me at [email protected]

Feel free to leave comments and feedback on these assignments.

Day #1-

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

Keep typing (or scribbling, if you prefer to handwrite for this exercise) until your twenty minutes are up. It doesn’t matter if what you write is incomplete, or nonsense, or not worthy of the “Publish” button.

And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.

Well, okay, I’ll take this challenge…I’m watching the clock and I’m ready to start.

I’m not totally excited about taking a writing “class”. Honestly, it sounds like it could be a bit dull. I only have a bad experience to compare it to and that was in college, quite a few years ago. I took some class, called something like Comp 101 where I had to write papers the whole semester. We got there the first day and the professor didn’t look so good. As in, he looked really, really sick, So the next time we came back and he was gone! Some other professor was there and he told us the old professor had died! And he introduced us to our new grad assistant who would be teaching us for the semester.

He gave us our first writing assignment which was a paper on something…can’t recall what and he gave me a D. I think that was just about the first D I had ever earned in my scholastic career! I was unhappy, to say the least. Not that I thought I was some great writer…I just didn’t think I was in the D category. So on my next paper, I took it to the tutoring center. Two people there fussed over it and fixed it all up and I turned it in. They also got a D. They were unhappy. So we all complained to the Department Head. (I was a brave soul.) My two D’s were erased and I wound up with a B in the class.

So you can see that my writing experience didn’t start out well.

Then I told some of you about the fiction I wrote endlessly while manic. A few of you are reading that today. Fortunately that was never edited or graded….it just kind of literally fell out of my fingers at the keyboard. Most days I couldn’t type fast enough. But even thought there was a glimmer of interest in that writing, nothing ever came of it. But it was fun. The best thing about writing for yourself, though, is that no one cares. You can give it any friend or family member and they will say “Wow! This is really good!” whether they have read it or not. They have no dog in the hunt, so they don’t care.

It’s sort of the same way with blog writing. You have a wide unknown audience out there. You can write whatever you want and you don’t truly, honestly know what the thought is. Sure, you may have a few faithfuls speak up and tell you it was good, but you may also have 300 read and say nothing. They may have been bored as hell or just hated it. I haven’t run into anyone on the blogs who has stated a negative opinion of my blog so far. And I seriously know those people are just staying quiet and moving along, which is really as it should be. I will confess I’ve seen a number of blogs I didn’t care for out there….and yes, I just moved along. It’s someone else’s self-expression…not really my business to judge.

So we’ll see how this writing experience goes. We’ll see if I can hold out And more importantly, if you readers can hold out. It’s a brave new world.

Writing

So many of you that read me are aspiring writers. I’ve decided to do a short series on how I got started in freelance work so that maybe some of you can be inspired by my story.

I was working for Social Security Disability when I found a help-wanted ad looking for freelance writers.  A publisher was looking to start a magazine called “Today’s Mississippi Woman”.  I responded to the ad with my resume and immediately got a call for an interview.

However, the publisher turned out to be not much more than talk.  I asked him questions about the job, and he couldn’t give me specifics on what he wanted or what kind of work I would be doing.  He wanted me to come up with ideas for articles instead of assigning me work.  So I did over the next three weeks. I developed ideas for three articles and submitted them to him.  He loved the ideas and gave me the go-ahead to work on them.

I pulled all my rusty skills together (and my courage) and started making phone calls to the people I had decided to write about.  I felt like an imposter at first–writing for a magazine that didn’t even exist outside the publisher’s imagination.  However, everyone I interviewed was excited for the publicity and very cooperative.

I wrote the articles by the deadline, sent them in, and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I got the shock of my life when the publisher called and offered me the editorship of the magazine.  It seemed he hadn’t gotten very many people to submit articles and had discovered that the project was beyond his scope of knowledge.  I turned him down because I knew I didn’t have the skills needed to do the job adequately. And I waited some more. I finally called him one more time, only to be told the phone was disconnected.

I was not quite crushed, but I was wondering whether I could get some other publications to take the articles I had written.  I went to the phone book and looked up newspapers and magazines.  My first contact was the Mississippi Business Journal–I called and asked whether or not they took freelance work.  I was patched through to the editor, who said, “Sure, we could use another writer.”

I told him about one of the articles I had done, and he asked me to send it on in by email. I worked out how to do that in my wordprocessing program, and I emailed it as soon as possible.

I also called a local parenting magazine pitching the second article I had done. They were also interested in it and asked me to email it.  They published on a quarterly basis, so it was a while before I heard that it had been accepted as well.

I took a deep breath and screwed up my courage to call my biggest target yet–the newspaper of record for Mississippi, which was published in the state capital.  I got the local news editor, who said she didn’t use freelancers, but she transferred me to the statewide edition editor, who did.

My big hurdle here was to provide clips of previously published material. I hadn’t written for a newspaper since college, and I had lost my collection of clips in one of our moves.  Luckily, a cousin of mine was attending college at the university I had, so she went to the library, looked up old copies of the college newspaper, and copied all the articles she could find that had my name on them and mailed the copies to me.  I picked the three best and sent them to the editor who had requested them, and she took my final article I had prepared for the women’s magazine.

So that was getting my start.  Next time I’ll write about what I learned over the years as a freelancer.


Today’s Post Is Brought To You By The Letters F and U

Oh, yes, another rant about how much I despise the idgets around me. But it’s affecting my mental health so it’s relevant.

I spent many, many years of my life in relationships where I did most of the giving, they did the taking, and if I expressed my discontent, then they played the “you’re demanding and crazy card.”
Out of those ashes came my current self: Quid Pro Quo Girl.
It was one of my worst traits according to The Donor. (Idget of the decade.)
It’s what’s kept me able to share my sandbox with others.
But if they’re not playing fair in the sandbox, I get like…furiously angry. Shovel wielding angry.

Yesterday was tough. My kid came back from Mom’s with a defiant attitude and it was just made worse. I put her in my bed in hopes she’d stop acting out and go to sleep. Instead she kept popping up like a maniacal Jack In The Box. I got up to go to the bathroom and got the Spanish Inquisition. I went to get water, she wanted some. I sat up because my back hurt, there she was sitting up. The nearer it got to nine p.m. the more fed up I became.
Then the phones started ringing. And I blew them off. Figured it was my dad wanting to rant about my mom’s attitude yesterday and I had nothing left to give anyone, not even a listening ear.
Who knew failing to answer one call from a person would result in such vitriol.
Oh, wait, this is a repeat from 2013 because this idget never changes his narcissistic tune.

I got a nasty text from R stating “I can only ASSUME I will see you tomorrow.”
So I sent back, “Snarky much I had a bad day, was zoning.?” Because I didn’t get the tone of that text. I hadn’t done anything wrong. And I loathe text messaging anyway.
To which he replies, “You didn’t answer your phone, as usual.”
I missed ONE call from him in one day.
Are you fucking serious? You call at nearly 9pm, waking my kid just as she was calming down, and I told you I had a bad day, and I’d honor my end of the deal, and not so much as a “sorry you had a bad day.” NOOOOOO. Just more venom for not answering my phone on command because he is so fucking important.
God, this has been going on for three years. Yet I see him dodge calls from customers all the time and it’s fine for him because he’s busy and has other things going on.
WTF?
He has one set of rules for himself and another set for everyone else.
He’s like a fucking child. Maybe that’s why he seems so disdainful toward my kid. She’s stealing his five year old thunder with her own unreasonable trantrum like demands.
Last time he pulled this shit about me never answering my phone, I didn’t speak to him for five months. Idget.
But I assumed he probably had a rough weekend and was halfway drunk by that point so rather than perpetuate it, I just let his last text stand. Because if he thought I was being acidic,he ain’t seen nothing yet.
I can handle flaws. Quirks.
But not playing fair because you think you are more important than me…
F.U.
Fuck YOU.

I don’t think I am being unreasonable. My home life is my home life. If I don’t want to answer my phone, I don’t have to and I shouldn’t be made to feel like a bad person for missing ONE call.
It’s hard enough with all my own mental crap.
Surrounded by unsupportive self absorbed people who make unreasonable demands…
It’s not “Why is she fucked up.”
It’s more, “How has she not ended up in a clocktower with a high powered rifle?”

So needless to say, that whole thing with him got my anger raging and that resulted in anxiety and I couldn’t get to sleep for shit. It was so late when I did, I hit snooze six times this morning.
Now I have to go paste on the happy face and pretend I’m not pissed as hell at him just so I can get a medicine that might give me my life back.
This is why I don’t like asking anyone for anything. Even if they are getting something in return they think by helping you out, they own you.

I feel volatile but resigned.
I don’t want to get dressed because all the laundry remains unfolded in five basket which means it will be a “where’s waldo” mission with underwear and such. I have let some housework slide because try as I might, I can’t keep up and everyone is so quick to tell me how bad a housekeeper I am, I get to the “why fucking bother” point.
And the laughable part is my mother has only been to my place maybe ten times in six years and EVERY single time she declares the place smells like cat pee.
Yet I went to sit on their sofa yesterday and not only did it smell like cat pee, it was actually stiff and caked in spots where so many of the animals had used it as a toilet. Where the fuck do they get off judging me? My cats don’t pee on the furniture.

GRRRR. So many people not playing fair in the sandbox.
I want them out of my sandbox, out of my fucking orbit.
Odd because last week when R was good about my car breaking down and fixing it, I thought we’d made some progress in him not being such a dick to me.
I was wrong.
Just like giving that other “friend” the benefit of the doubt and being proven exactly right to remain isolated and misanthropic.

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

It’s not that I think all people are bad. But every counselor I’ve ever had has made it abundantly clear that I am more of a funky city personality and I am surrounded by small town people with small minds so it’s unlikely I will ever find a meeting of the minds. Simple, move, right?
If only there wasn’t the whole issue of not having money and not being stable enough to earn some.

On top of all this, one of my three week old kittens has encephaly. However it’s spelled. He has a soft spot in his head, cross eyed, is basically blind and can’t walk right. I don’t know what to do. End his suffering? That costs money. Some cats have survived it, do I just wait? He’s just cute as a button, if a little odd looking. He’s made it three weeks and is very active.

See I have all this shit in my life and people who think I should just drop everything and tend to their unreasonable demands at unreasonable hours and it’s really making me crack my lids.

I gotta do that where’s waldo thing for clothes before the phone starts ringing again for round two of “how dare you not take my call one time because I am the greatest thing since tapioca.”

F. U.


a-z challenge: g

G for Górecki and the love here goes (unsurprisingly) to his Symphony No. 3.

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (born Dec. 6, 1933, Czernica, near Rybnik, Pol.—died Nov. 12, 2010, Katowice), Polish composer in the Western classical tradition whose sombre Symphony No. 3 (1976) enjoyed extraordinary international popularity in the late 20th century. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

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Symphony No. 3 is subtitled the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, here’s the whole thing performed by the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra – Antoni Wit, the soprano is Zofia Kilanowicz. {English translation of the words in all 3 movements}

And it is very sombre indeed; it’s an expression of pain and loss, so it’d be astonishing if it wasnt sombre.

The symphony, which Gorecki wrote in 1976, is centered on three texts — including a prayer inscribed by a teenager on a cell wall of a Gestapo headquarters — which the composer turned into haunting laments, backed by simple, slowly churning surges of beautiful music. NPR Obituary,  2010

Górecki’s Symphony #3, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, Op. 36, consists of three very slow movements, all marked a qualified Lento. Each features the lamenting voice of a solo soprano over long-held pulsing string lines, based on immense phrases in the base. The musical material itself is very simple, as is Górecki’s use of it. The work begins with a modal melody in the double-basses, the tune adopted from the folk musicians of the Tatra Highlands who had earlier so much impressed Szymanowski. It serves as the basis for an instrumental canon, each entry a fifth higher and spread over four octaves, in the Aeolian mode, on E. At the centre of the canon the soprano enters, singing a setting of a fifteenth-century Polish text known as the “Holy Cross Lament”, and at its climax the canon returns, gradually building down into the basses, to end as it had begun. The second movement sets a text by an eighteen-year-old Polish girl, Helena Wanda Blazusiak, composed in harrowing circumstances: she scratched it on the wall of a Gestapo cell in Zakopane, in the Tatras, a resort where in happier times Szymanowski had spent lengthy periods towards the end of his life. Górecki invests her simple words (“Mother, please do not cry. Queen of Heaven, virgin most pure, protect me always”) with a simple dignity that is deeply affecting and maintains this mood in the third movement, the lament of a mother over her dead son; Górecki estimates that the text dates from the First World War, and the melody is from his native Opole region. The music as a whole is suffused with a sort of abstract folk feeling, like a religious experience that achieves its intensity through the simplicity of its musical means. In this it is a direct descendant of Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater, inspired by similar material, and where the composer likewise conceals the complexity of his art to produce music that is very directly affecting. The Polish title of the work contains an archaism that neither English, French or German manages to translate, but which suggests verbally the timelessness that the music evokes. classic.net

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Taken from “HOLOCAUST – A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz” – Lento e Largo is about the loss of a son; the grief is visceral, palpable. Soprano: Isabel Bayrakdaraian, Sinfonietta Cracovia, conducted by John Axelrod.

The story behind the posthumous premiere of Górecki’s Fourth Symphony – with good info about #3

Górecki once described himself as an odludek, a recluse. Unlike Witold Lutosławski and Penderecki, he avoided the limelight that regular conducting by a composer of his own work helps to bring, yet still managed to upset the authorities in other ways from time to time. Unlike Andrzej Panufnik, he remained in Poland to find his own path, away from the limiting horizons imposed by modernist aesthetics as well as by political restraints. Obituary in the Guardian

(Sidenote: I do not like Penderecki at all, not even the tiniest bit.)

BD: Do all your ideas come from you mind, or are there times when the pencil controls your hand across the page?
HG: I don’t think there’s ever been a hand that writes or a pen that writes by itself. Even the great Bach or the great Mozart, although I’m not sure which one is the greatest, the hand doesn’t do it itself. It does what the head tells it.
BD: Well, are you creating the ideas or are you discovering the ideas?
HG: I don’t know. I write. I sit. I work hard. I work. It’s hard work. Really.
BD: Too hard?
HG: Very. Very hard. It’s very hard. It’s not an easy task at all.
Interview with Górecki

And there you have it. I haven’t written about what the symphony means to me, although there are all sorts of threads woven into it, because it feels wrong to, within the context of its subject matter. The loss of sons, imprisonment … it would feel disrespectful. I haven’t written much here at all – I am no classical music expert.

Movement 1: Lamentation of the Holy Cross Monastery from the “Lysagóra Songs” collection. Second half of the 15th century.
Movement 2: Prayer inscribed on wall 3 of cell no. 3 in the basement of “Palace,” the Gestapo’s headquarters in Zadopane; beneath is the signature of Helena Wanda Blazusiakówna, and the words “18 years old, imprisoned since 26 September 1944.”
Movement 3: Folk song in the dialect of the Opole region.

Here is a documentary about it, in 6 short videos. I checked and the uploader does have all 6 parts. He also has some stuff there that makes me want to shoot him, but whaddyagonnado? 

Wisdom, and the “Place of Understanding”

“Whence comes wisdom, and where is the place of understanding?” – The Bible

2000-10-04 18.49.02

Church, St Pancras Road: London

“Do you know where you’re going to?” – The theme from “Mahogany

A former-Protestant turned Pagan, my most profound religious moment happened in an Orthodox church.

Most of our visits to St George were family related: a service before a Mother’s Day lunch; another which was followed by a performance by a Romanian dance troop; the occasional “parastas” service for a relative, or family friend.

I relished such visits. After the Plain Jane experience that was our local church, going someplace where the sights – such sights, such colour! – sounds, and even smells were exciting, and mysterious, was a breath of incensed air.

"White Flowers" (Florele Dalbe)

“White Flowers” (Florile Dalbe)

Occasionally, I could hum along to some of the songs, though I couldn’t join in. Many years ago, my father told me: “My Romanian accent is bad, but yours is worse.”

I cannot remember exactly when I saw the splendidly dressed deacon lift up the huge, elaborately decorated Bible, and chant the single word: “Wisdom!”

Inside, something thrilled, was moved, was amazed. So many times, during my Protestant childhood, and youth, I heard about sin, and duty, and – by inference, if not directly – guilt.

Never before, outside of Bible stories of Solomon, had I heard about “wisdom”.

Years later, in school, we sang this:

“Whence comes wisdom, whence comes wisdom? And where is the place of understanding? It is hid from all eyes, and revealed by the mouth of the Lord.”

Many miles, and years, later, I became aware of Paganism. About how God can be gods. About how the connection made with them can be through the earth beneath our feet, without the need to put on tights, and a skirt, and sit in a pew.

Horsechestnut in a  Yorkshire wood

Horsechestnut in a Yorkshire wood

What did I want? a Pagan friend asked. Wisdom, I said. I’m looking for wisdom.

Have I found it? Occasionally, perhaps: glimpsed in the distance.  Dancing, like a leaf in the wind, or shining, like a reflection in the water.

A trick of the light, a brief visit by a bird to my garden feeder, a phrase on a page, a comment from my husband, a client, a friend.

The mouth of the Lord is an awesome, glorious, sometimes frightening thing. And it is everywhere, and anywhere.

I wish you wisdom. I wish you peace, asthe green blade rises.”

Old, older still: St Olaf's, York

Old, older still: a York church.