Daily Archives: April 7, 2015

Self Service Analysis

It’s that time again. The time where I have conversations with myself. I guess one would call it self awareness or conscience. I dunno. I do know that I don’t need to shell out seventy bucks for forty minutes to hear some therapist give me new disorders due to her own bias. Gotta admit, one counselor declares unequivocally, “You are NOT borderline. This is textbook bipolar.” I saw her for two years.
Then she left and I got transferred (same therapist my brother sees) and after two sessions the newbie declared me borderline. I told her what I’d discussed with the former counselor just weeks before (because I am not blind to my own issues) and she steadfastly clung to her diagnosis of me. After less than ninety minutes spent with me.
Then when she broke my confidentiality by telling my stepmonster,”Niki missed an appointment, have her call me.”
Um…So not cool for someone with trust issues to begin with. Sure, it was common knowledge my brother and I saw the same counselor, it’s a rural area, we all go to the same places and docs and all. But telling a family member I missed an appointment and to call her rather than contacting me personally in a professional manner…HORRIFIC. I have tried very hard to keep my mental issues out of my family life because they are all such assholes about it. Having a family member dragged in that way was the ultimate violation of trust.
I can say it was that sole experience that has made me terrified of counseling. It’s like I come to terms with what six therapists have stuck with for twenty years, I go in and some newbie counselor six months out of school pegs me with issues I never had before.
So yeah, I probably do need therapy but…That scar runs deep.

So here we go. I will analyze myself.

Flaw #1: I grew up in a household with parents who did little but argue. They despised each other. 28 years of it. And to some extent, I think that left me with this “love/hate” complex. It’s not a borderline issue. It’s what I saw my whole life. I don’t have a healthy relationship example so my notions were formed based on what I knew.
In relationships, friend or otherwise, I must always have a nemesis. The person I spend the most time with will drive me insane with their “quirks” all the while critiquing my “flaws”. This leads to me being hurt which I turn into anger because that’s more acceptable than tears.
Instant psycho hose beast. “I love you when you’re nice to me.”
“I fucking hate you when you upset me.”
It doesn’t seem like a disorder, it seems logical.
And I am the first to admit…I have a lot of trouble being at the mercy of another’s schedule and balancing out their personality and their issues while dealing with my own. I suck at it.
But I am aware of it. That’s a start.
I just wish I could impress on people it’s really not personal. Okay, well, maybe getting my feelings hurt frequently is personal and I want to lash out and draw blood…But if people would just let it run its course rather than turning it into war…That sounds selfish.
I don’t think telling someone, “You did this and it upset me, I just need time to seethe.” is wrong.
And if they pick a fight, show disdain, or blow me off…War it will be.
Path of least resistance really isn’t in my skillset.

Flaw #2: Because of all the bullying I was subjected to in school (being spit on seemed more like assault than bullying) I view teenagers as vile hateful creatures. I am willing to judge on an individual basis but on a whole…They are cruel pack animals and will do anything, no matter how evil, to impress their pack. And sadly, some of them never leave high school behind. They just become adults who bully others. So begin my issues with people on a whole.
So okay, it’s my issue and it’s something I should work on. But hey, I didn’t revisit my old school with grenades so I coped okay.

Flaw #3: I come off as hypercritical. Again, it’s all I’ve ever known and try hard as I did, I became that which I hate at times. Rarely do I ever plot out how to be critical and rude and unaccepting of others. It just seeps out, like alcohol escaping through one’s pores.
I try to do better but that petty vindictive part of me gets critiqued with both barrels daily so…venom will emerge from my fangs.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually gotten better at being this way.
Which probably gives an idea of just how wretched I was at one time.
I’m TRYING.

ATM, those are the three flaws I’d like to work on the most.
What proves to hinder more than anything are the misfiring brain chemicals. They muck up everything. They distort everything. It’d not an excuse, it’s just factual.
It’s hard to make improvements when you’re never sure what mental state you’ll be in from day to day.
I’m putting forth the effort.

But on a whole…I don’t think having a nemesis is such a bad thing, provided I don’t write them off entirely out of pettiness. And love/hate…Can’t have that great make up sex if you don’t have a little hate and anger going on.
Okay, I’m fucked up.
It’s part of my charm.

I think my primary purpose in writing this is…Yes, I am aware of my rants and how unfair I may seem to others. But I am aware of it and I am trying to work on it. I am not ignorant of my faults. I am not oblivious to my own propensity to be difficult, critical, or unfair. I need to learn not to take everything to heart.
Unfortunately, my Teflon coating wore off long ago and everything sticks.
I need a really heavy duty scouring pad.


Right Brain (haiku)

If you want to laugh, / take three artists to lunch, and / watch them split the bill.

Sonoma County – Wild Open Spaces #Writing101

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image. – Joan Didion Sonoma County holds a…

Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor

Today, my first published short story goes on the market. The anthology, Support Mental Illness Through Humor is now available. I could give a description, but I wouldn’t do it justice compared to the one on Amazon. Here it is: If you’re living with a mental illness, you’re in good company. Disease doesn’t discriminate; One […]

The post Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Quieter

Three doses in with the Focalin…And already the tornado is dying down in my mind. The anxiety is, as well, because I am not so stressed processing everything at once. If this is the start, well, I have high hopes for when I get a steady level of this stuff in my system.

I don’t really have anything to say. I just wanted to report the quiet mind phenomena. I haven’t had this quiet a mind since ’07 when I was prescribed Focalin in the first place. I think all these doctors who wouldn’t even entertain the notion should be sued. They may well be why I never seemed to improve for long. Blaming everything on anxiety when the condition most causing the anxiety needed treated.
Or I could snorted Comet, who knows.

One thing that’s not changing is the depression. I can’t explain why but that dark cloud remains. Like it’s seeped into my bone marrow. Of course, the prozac was decreased after just being increased (none of these doctors can agree on anything) so it will be awhile until those levels get back on track.
Depression with no cause sucks.
Oh, today it’s logical, foggy gloomy morning, my kitten with encephaly is dying and the mother is rejecting it. It’s so sad. It lived for nearly four weeks. What kind of deity promotes being born only to suffer? That goes so far beyond “gotta have bad to have the good.”

I don’t want to do shit at the moment. I’d rather stay home with Yoda (the encephalic kitty) and comfort him until it’s over.
But I sold my soul to the devil and I have to go babysit a fifty some odd year old man because he can’t stand to be alone. I know my venom is irrational, but there is nothing rational about my existence anyway. NONE of it makes sense.

Anyway…What might have been a four page diatribe is simply…This brief post about nothing but questioning the futility of life and yet holding out hope things are changing.

Hope never works out well for me, I don’t know why I even bother.
Maybe that’s the mental illness, daring to hope for things to get better.
Back to snorting Comet. (Inside joke, I don’t even use the stuff to clean, too lazy.)


Find Your Niche

This phrase should be familiar to you in terms of blogging, but I’m using it in a slightly different way.  As a freelancer, I had to find out what wasn’t being done and find a way to do it.  For example, I wanted to do book reviews.  However, one writer in town did do book reviews for two of the most popular papers.  So if I had just asked if I could review books, I would  have been turned down.  So I found a new wrinkle.

This particular book reviewer’s tastes ran to fiction, local writers, and mysteries and thrillers.  So those were the books he reviewed.  I found nonfiction books that authors were having local signings for and started reviewing them for a local alternative weekly.  I got the books for free and got paid to read and write about them.  In the words of the 80’s band Dire Straits, that was money for nothing!  But the principle was sound–I found a need and filled it.

The same alternative weekly also had people who covered the bar scene, but no one that was writing about the fine arts–orchestras, little theatre, professional theatre, choral groups, etc.  So I volunteered for that as well.  It wasn’t that they didn’t want to cover those events–they just didn’t have anyone to do it.

The business newspaper I wrote for was slanted to the conservative direction politically, so I became one of two writers who covered more liberal topics.  The other writer covered liberal politics and environmental issues, while I did articles on women’s issues, art, nonprofit issues, and occasionally business books.

I started out covering events out of town for the big newspaper I was writing for, researching them on  the Web and calling for more information when it was needed.  When my editor was given more responsibility and got the local news beats as well, I could cover more local material such as suburban events, which no one was doing at that time.

I also continually looked for new outlets to write for.  They seemed to land in my lap–I would have a free newspaper thrown in my lawn and see that they were looking for writers.  I wrote mostly for free publications for minimal pay, but that minimal pay added up when I was doing three or four articles an issue weekly or monthly.

Next time I’ll talk about taking risks with your writing–and my mixed record doing so.


Blogging Survey: What is My Impact?

I've been blogging since June 2014, that's about 10 months. I had lofty goals for my blogging.

First, here are the not-so-lofty goals:
  1. I wanted to write again. Before June 2014, I had not written since my days as a poet in high school some 13 to 14 years prior.
  2. I find blogging to be very cathartic. I discuss stuff here, on Manic Monique, that I haven't even fully processed in 8 years with my therapist. And I love my therapist. But in session I tend to be guarded. On Manic Monique I have let down my walls.
  3. I wanted to demystify bipolar disorder for the average reader. Granted, my blog just represents one story, my story, but I wanted to show what bipolar is and is not or what it can or cannot be.
  4. And I wanted to write this blog to show that black people, and by extension, other people of color, of various races and ethnicities, too struggle with mental illness. It is not a wealthy white person's luxury problem.
  5. And now, for my lofty goal: the blog would serve as fodder for the memoir I want to write. In 10 months that I have been writing this blog and through the two memoir writing classes I have taken, this goal has shifted some. I no longer want to write a memoir. Instead, I'll be writing a collection of personal essays. Still very much memoir-inspired. But they'll draw from my non-fiction writing strength. (Memoir while non-fiction, draws heavily from fiction in terms of style. And I am no fiction writer.).
I recently got discharged from the hospital for a 13-day stay. I'll be writing about it soon. Just doing some recovery and IOP. But the hospital stay made me question the effect of my blogging. Was I adding detrimentally to the face of mental health? If I present as highly-functioning and so-called "normal," was I not showing the true impact of mental illness on consumers?

Well, I wanted to know what my readers thought. So I created a brief Google Form survey to find out. I've shared it to Facebook and Twitter, and now I share it here. Please take 5 minutes to anonymously tell me what you think of my two blogs, Manic Monique and the Huffington Post. I really do value your feedback.

And I need to know that I am having a positive impact. If the impact is not what I want, I am considering stopping blogging and instead devoting that time to my collection of personal essays.

Please take the 5 minutes and share your thoughts with me. I will be eternally grateful.

You can access the survey through this link here.

Blogging Survey: What is My Impact?

I've been blogging since June 2014, that's about 10 months. I had lofty goals for my blogging.

First, here are the not-so-lofty goals:
  1. I wanted to write again. Before June 2014, I had not written since my days as a poet in high school some 13 to 14 years prior.
  2. I find blogging to be very cathartic. I discuss stuff here, on Manic Monique, that I haven't even fully processed in 8 years with my therapist. And I love my therapist. But in session I tend to be guarded. On Manic Monique I have let down my walls.
  3. I wanted to demystify bipolar disorder for the average reader. Granted, my blog just represents one story, my story, but I wanted to show what bipolar is and is not or what it can or cannot be.
  4. And I wanted to write this blog to show that black people, and by extension, other people of color, of various races and ethnicities, too struggle with mental illness. It is not a wealthy white person's luxury problem.
  5. And now, for my lofty goal: the blog would serve as fodder for the memoir I want to write. In 10 months that I have been writing this blog and through the two memoir writing classes I have taken, this goal has shifted some. I no longer want to write a memoir. Instead, I'll be writing a collection of personal essays. Still very much memoir-inspired. But they'll draw from my non-fiction writing strength. (Memoir while non-fiction, draws heavily from fiction in terms of style. And I am no fiction writer.).
I recently got discharged from the hospital for a 13-day stay. I'll be writing about it soon. Just doing some recovery and IOP. But the hospital stay made me question the effect of my blogging. Was I adding detrimentally to the face of mental health? If I present as highly-functioning and so-called "normal," was I not showing the true impact of mental illness on consumers?

Well, I wanted to know what my readers thought. So I created a brief Google Form survey to find out. I've shared it to Facebook and Twitter, and now I share it here. Please take 5 minutes to anonymously tell me what you think of my two blogs, Manic Monique and the Huffington Post. I really do value your feedback.

And I need to know that I am having a positive impact. If the impact is not what I want, I am considering stopping blogging and instead devoting that time to my collection of personal essays.

Please take the 5 minutes and share your thoughts with me. I will be eternally grateful.

You can access the survey through this link here.

Blogging Survey: What is My Impact?

I've been blogging since June 2014, that's about 10 months. I had lofty goals for my blogging.

First, here are the not-so-lofty goals:
  1. I wanted to write again. Before June 2014, I had not written since my days as a poet in high school some 13 to 14 years prior.
  2. I find blogging to be very cathartic. I discuss stuff here, on Manic Monique, that I haven't even fully processed in 8 years with my therapist. And I love my therapist. But in session I tend to be guarded. On Manic Monique I have let down my walls.
  3. I wanted to demystify bipolar disorder for the average reader. Granted, my blog just represents one story, my story, but I wanted to show what bipolar is and is not or what it can or cannot be.
  4. And I wanted to write this blog to show that black people, and by extension, other people of color, of various races and ethnicities, too struggle with mental illness. It is not a wealthy white person's luxury problem.
  5. And now, for my lofty goal: the blog would serve as fodder for the memoir I want to write. In 10 months that I have been writing this blog and through the two memoir writing classes I have taken, this goal has shifted some. I no longer want to write a memoir. Instead, I'll be writing a collection of personal essays. Still very much memoir-inspired. But they'll draw from my non-fiction writing strength. (Memoir while non-fiction, draws heavily from fiction in terms of style. And I am no fiction writer.).
I recently got discharged from the hospital for a 13-day stay. I'll be writing about it soon. Just doing some recovery and IOP. But the hospital stay made me question the effect of my blogging. Was I adding detrimentally to the face of mental health? If I present as highly-functioning and so-called "normal," was I not showing the true impact of mental illness on consumers?

Well, I wanted to know what my readers thought. So I created a brief Google Form survey to find out. I've shared it to Facebook and Twitter, and now I share it here. Please take 5 minutes to anonymously tell me what you think of my two blogs, Manic Monique and the Huffington Post. I really do value your feedback.

And I need to know that I am having a positive impact. If the impact is not what I want, I am considering stopping blogging and instead devoting that time to my collection of personal essays.

Please take the 5 minutes and share your thoughts with me. I will be eternally grateful.

You can access the survey through this link here.

Livin After Ten P.M.

Yeah, ok, I know the Judas Priest song is “Livin After Midnight…”
But it’s 10:10 p.m. and I am still awake, not buried in my bedroom crypt.
THIS is progress.
Tiny step, yes. But a step nonetheless.
I can celebrate the small victories.
Hell, I even had company over to watch a movie and I don’t even feel traumatized. Mainly because I chose the movie and they left when it was over. Yayyy. I’m not anti social, I’m just introverted. I like my own company. Well, sorta.

Do I need to post again?
Nope.
But wordpress keeps showing me stats and numbers and telling me “this post got the most views, you should write more like this.”
Which makes me never want to write about that topic again.
I will rebel until my dying death.

Point is…I am awake instead of buried alive in my depressive crypt. And R has requested my presence tomorrow to “keep him on track” which means I will take in the list he had me write and he will make excuses on why none of it can be accomplished for six hours but is relevant only ten mins before I have to pick up my kid.
If he weren’t so useful….
I am so pragmatic (bitchy, some would say) I can suffer fools for my own benefit. I just don’t do it silently.
Maybe it’s personality. But the erratic mood swings kind of make the personality inconsistent so I am not convinced it’s who I am.
And dealing with the moods and issues of others…That’s just powderkeg material. Not that the mundanes will ever be help accountable. It’s always the “crazy” people taking the brunt of it.

Am I whining?
I’m never sure because the world has confused therapeutic venting with being a whiner. That irks me to no end. I vent my dryer, why can’t I vent my thoughts so they don’t explode?

I think the oddest thing of today’s experience started Focalin again is…I’ve only had a single 0.5 mg Xanax since last night at this time…And I am still steady and not spazzing out. Maybe a fluke, maybe a sign that things are going to improve.
I don’t know.
It’s just nice to not be cowering in bed under blankets thinking every bad thought known to man.
Though I do have my stressers still. Nightshade moved her kittens and now I have to force her to care for them. I think she knows about the encephaly kitty who’s not likely to make it so she’s saving the milk for the stronger kittens.
I appreciate logic and maternal instinct but it still breaks me heart into a thousand shards.That kitten is soooo sweet and he’s made it three weeks and is just as active and loud as his siblings…How she could reject him is beyond me.
When I was preggo, I flat out told the donor no matter what the amnio showed, I was having my baby. Period.
I’ve got no use for shallow people who can’t hang tough when things get hard and are ugly, I don’t care if survival of the fittest is naturally ingrained.
Love means you don’t just throw in the towel to save the many over the few. Perhaps the biggest bone of contention I ever had with R. He was all Star Trek, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
Yet when it came to his perfect kids…Different story.
I’m all for saving as many people as you can…But dude, if it comes down to a dozen strangers over my daughter…She wins, hands down, even if it makes me a bad person. Love means everything.
You don’t reject your own just to look good by saving a plethora.

I’m probably not even making sense now. I don’t care.
My mind is fairly slowed down but it’s still got ten songs playing on one frequency.
Perfection…is not me.
I am a hot mess.
I just need my fellow hot messes to appreciate it.