Daily Archives: April 10, 2015

Gaslighted

I spent three point five hours in the dish. And my brain was basically functioning as if wrapped in gauze. Nancy wanted help with her netbook and four times she had to tell me her email. I just kept fucking it up. So much for that laser beam focus and calmer nerves. My nerve endings are ablaze with anxiety today. It’s feeding the paranoia and fear. Logically I realize no one is out to get me, bad things happen every day, not a catastrophe, et al. (Oh, god my ears itch, who is talking about me!!!!)
But my brain is not being convinced by logic. Frankly I think using logic on mental illness is kind of an oxymoron. Mental illness renders you illogical so how the fuck does it even work…
My kid’s school had an assembly today which meant I had to fetch her from the school proper. OMG. As if I wasn’t anxious enough, I had to go to this unfamiliar place and had no clear idea where the kindergarteners would be and all the other parents and cars and all those screeching monstrosities…I kept it together barely, but the hyperventilation, pounding heart, and feeling overwhelmed to the point of freezing up..
Ugh. Hate this shit.
Fortunately, my kid went right to grandma’s for a playdate and I came straight home to afternoon med date. Now that I am ensconced in my safe bubble, I am started to calm down. Of course, I have to go get Spook later which ensures another trip into the ditch and scumbag anxiety disorder won’t let me forget it so it’s there glaring in the back of my mind telling me I can’t relax because dish duties remain undone…
My brain is gaslighting me.
It wants to push me over the bloody edge.
Today it is doing a bang up job.
Weirder still is I’ve had no energy drinks, little pop, very little caffeine so if anything my anxiety should be lower.
Yet here I am.
Oh, the anxiety has gone right to my stomach, twisting my innards into little pretzels. I can’t make it stop, xanax isn’t taking the edge off well…
What the fuck is this? Why is it so generalized and random then amped by triggers…Why can’t I just beat it?
I endured ten hours of labor before going to the hospital. I was doing high kicks twenty minutes after spawning.I had a bruised rib and took no pain killer stronger than Tylenol. I get infections, I either use OTC stuff or ride them out.
I am not weak by any means.
Not being able to beat this mental stuff makes me feel weak and useless. Pointless even. But I swear with everything I am that I try my hardest. I fight myself, and these issues, every step of the way. I should be able to feel good about that. Yet it doesn’t cure me just to do battle and no one cares about the labor, they just want the baby.
What has me so wired today? Nothing bad happened to set it off.
I haven’t been this paranoid in some time. It all stems from anxiety, not voices or anything. I am more scared of everyday people right now than I am of a chainsaw wielding killer. Because that would be simple, flee, fight, and if you can’t, you’re dead.
This mental fear…There’s no easy solution. And sometimes indecisiveness is the cruelest part of mental illness. You don’t know which way to go so you go nowhere.
But this is part of my rapid cycling. Earlier this week I was more focused and calmer while the depression tugged away. Now the depression seems like an afterthought in light of how amplified the anxiety and paranoia are.
It’s not rational.
It’s very real to me, at this juncture in time.
I wish I could share it with mundanes. I doubt they’d be able to occupy my mindspace more than a day.

I thought with some time for the meds to kick in and solitude, the anxiety (panxiety) would die down. For some reason, it’s really not. Sometimes it goes this way. It never ceased to be both frustrating and exhausting. My god, would it really put the universe out of balance were I allowed a few days where the stars align and I don’t feel like I’m losing my mind?
I am about to do something crazy.
Leave the house. Sitting here going nuts isn’t helping.
Maybe a quick errand, even if it could be done later, might nudge the mind frame into a different space. It rarely works but what the hell, worth a shot.

And…Epic fail. I stopped at a yard sale, usually something that actually gives me this weird buzz of joy, and instead it felt like one more chore I was forcing myself through. Unfortunately with a nagging depression everything sort of feels this way. You remember a time when it made you feel really good and you want to feel that way again.
It just remains out of your reach no matter how much you stretch.
So I am doing everything the professionals say to do to combat this shit and it’s not working.
I just wanna yank out clumps of my hair at this point.
When I start breaking out in hives from the anxiety…Today’s just a wash. You win some, lose some, and some you just eek by.
Thankfully I have MMD. Multiple mood disorder. Who knows I could be shiny happy people tomorrow.
Or Lizzie Borden.
I’m hours away from bed and still have a trip into the dish to fetch my kid but…I am waving the white flag for now. I feel like I’m going insane. It is what is. I must accept that which I cannot change.

Niki Noir took an axe…gave scumbag brain forty whacks….


Shrinks and Spit Tests.

So I went to my shrinks this week and found out some interesting things from the spit test dna thing they did. Apparently I will respond well to most medications. (like not have a really diverse reaction) I am really low on folic acid and I also keep benzo’s in my system a lot longer than most people. Was it worth it? I guess I will find out.

She wants me to start taking fast absorbing folic acid but it wasn’t covered by insurance and it was 145 bucks, that is way to much for a monthly pill. So I am going to see if I can maybe take the over the counter kind that takes a little longer to get into your system.

I’ve been having a lot of fun playing Final Fantasy with my husband. I’ve been in a pretty good place except for one low peak the day after my FIL left.

I’m keeping on top of the house, keeping it clean. Making dinner almost every night and my weight loss is going really well so far. I may need to go a little lower in calories or carbs should it stall but right now it works. I am still trying to walk at least a mile every day. I have a hard time sitting still anyhow. I’m looking forward to riding our bikes!

It’s weird to be looking forward to things… really weird.


Cookie Monster Offers Private Sessions

Originally posted on PLUCKY YOU:
dyane:      Dear Cool Cats, I want to apologize to each of you for my last post, a.k.a. the negative whinefest. Between that and the Linda Blair photo, I hope I didn’t scare anyone away. Too late now, eh? … Continue reading

Friendship

Picture

I’ve lost a lot from bipolar disorder, not the least of which has been friends. I’ve lost money, a career, and my physical and mental health, but it’s been the friendships that I’ve lost that have hurt the most. I lost numerous acquaintances, and that hurts. But to me, the heartache came with the loss of true friendships. Or at least what I thought were true.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a friend as someone you like, someone you enjoy being with; a person who helps and supports someone. It’s that last part that is tricky. If my “friend” helped and supported me, I guess they’d still be my friend. Everyone needs friends. I think even self-proclaimed loners need at least one good friend. Maybe that friend is their spouse. Friendships are important in life. They give us a lot—as much as we give to them.

Maybe that’s where the inherent problem comes from. Someone with bipolar disorder is not always in a state to give. First there’s the likely self-esteem issue and, of course, the potential social anxiety—both of which can make friendships difficult. Adding fuel to the fire comes in the form of depression. When the person with bipolar is depressed they tend to push others away. They are low-energy and often times will hibernate in their homes, or even their bedrooms. They are very non-social and frequently cancel plans.

Then comes the mania. At first blush, it may appear that a manic time is when the friendship would blossom—and it can. At least at first. There is the partying, the shopping, the loud music, and the joking; but then comes the risk-taking, the irresponsibility and the dangerous side of mania. And worse yet comes the rapid-cycling. Swinging moods from one extreme to the other. How can that do anything but wreak havoc on a friendship? 

I guess for me the question is not knowing why. For me, why did I lose three extremely good friendships? One of 5 years, one of 10 and one of 17. I think it was the cycling, the irresponsibility and the unpredictability that went along with it. But it was sad. It was sad how such deep and meaningful relationships could be set a fire. How they could be thrown by the way-side without even an explanation. For me, it was so devastating that I took to my bed and didn’t rise for two years. It was like the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. It was simply more than I could handle.

Now, I have a few new friends, and two awesome best friends—the kind of friends that everyone dreams of. And surprisingly, they both have bipolar disorder. I think that kind of friendship works best. We understand each other’s ups and downs. We get each other. There are no demands and no expectations—merely friendship.

If you’re a friend to someone with bipolar disorder please don’t dismiss their friendship. There’s a lot you can do to help them fight their illness. Read my blog on How to Help Someone with Bipolar Disorder. Don’t be a statistic—another loss to bipolar disorder. Maybe your friend doesn’t know how to articulate it to you, but they need you. They need their friend.

I consider myself a good friend. I’m caring and attentive. I’m compassionate. I’m giving and accepting. I don’t judge. I just don’t know how I didn’t warrant that in return. I expected understanding and patience. It’s sad that people dump their friends—especially when they need them the most. I expected loyalty. Despite my health. Despite anything.



SnowLinger (an abecedarian)

A thick snow is falling, dammit. / Bright and downy, and this late / can you believe it? Murphy's Law...

stigma

The stigma causes some patients not to seek treatment. Many families resist sending loved ones who are ill to get care. Patients suffer. Patients with schizophrenia die at a younger age than healthy people. In too many instances, patients kill themselves. Suicide is the number one cause of premature death in schizophrenia. Lives are ruined.

I’m frustrated by this. If someone suffers a stroke or a concussion, we say, “We need to get them help right away.” If a person suffers from cognitive decline later in life, we say the same thing. If a child has a reading disability, we say, “We need to do something about that.”

But if a 20-year-old kid has a psychotic episode, society wants to ignore him. Many mentally ill people end up becoming homeless or the victims of crimes and have nowhere to turn. The largest psychiatric treatment center in the United States isn’t a hospital. It’s the Los Angeles County jail. The three largest psychiatric centers in the U.S. are jails.

source

Writing

A lot of writing depends on what you’re writing and who you’re writing it for.  A personal column may draw mainly on your own experiences and expertise, while a human interest story will be mostly composed of material from interviews.  An investigative report may consist of research gathered from government documents.  So you would go about doing research in different ways.

Your best research tool is of course the internet.  A good book for a beginning reporter interested in doing internet research for stories is “How to Find Out Anything”” by Don MacLeod.  It goes into how to use Google in a much more powerful way than most people use it, and it contains information on how to use government databases to gather the most up-to-date research possible.

Another good research tool is reliable sources–people you can count on to give you good information about any number of topics.  I had many of these as a freelancer and often knew exactly who to call when I needed a good quote on whatever topic I was writing on.  They may be people you know or distant government officials, depending on what kinds of stories you plan to write. When I was a food writer, I quickly ran out of friends to interview for stories.  I then gathered up various cookbooks compiled by churches in the area and started calling those contributors for interviews.  I kept  a list a phone numbers handy for all my contacts in the arts community. And sometimes I had to cold call people I never met because their expertise was needed for the story to be complete.  (The highest elected official I ever got a quote from was the governor of the state at a press conference I attended.  That was a scary moment. But I had to get it, and I did.)

Interviewing is the art of getting people to talk about themselves.  Some of my hardest interviews were with people who were suspicious of my motives as a reporter when I did faith stories.  They were afraid of being misquoted or misrepresented. You need to put your interviewees at ease right off the bat with nonthreatening questions so that if you get into difficult territory later on, you have established a rapport where they feel they can trust you to get their story right.  Ask for clarification often and let them know you are just as interested in getting it right as they are. Being friendly does not mean being fake.  If you only do stories you are personally interested in, then you never have to fake interest.

Next time I’ll talk about why I had to give it all up.  It’s not a total downer, but it does illustrate some of the difficulties of working with a mental disability.


Whack A Mole

Whack A Mole.
That’s what a multiple diagnosis in mental health is. Exactly.
No sooner than the bipolar stabilizes, the anxiety amps up. The focus gets fixed, anxiety comes down, oh no the depression has popped in for a visit.
No matter how many moles you whack…They just keep popping back up. Except this isn’t the fun kind of whack a mole.

One of the most frustrating things with my multitude of dysfunction is…I will agree to do something and at the time, it seems cool. But then a mood shift hits and suddenly following through on my agreement seems like so much torture.
Whack a mole.

I was feeling a little manic last night and agreed to come to the shop today, though I’m not sure why other than the man child doesn’t want to be alone and needs a wench to fetch his lunch. He’s already texted and I’m ignoring it. I’m not feeling it today. I don’t feel social. I feel…low. Nervous. Paranoid. When I get this way, being around the emotionally dead narcissist is bad juju. I’m volatile and he has zero empathy, it’s just a bad mix. I try to explain it to him but he doesn’t hear me. He doesn’t even believe mental illness is real, thinks it’s personality and weakness. Though he has no problem pointing out all my manic eps and depressions from 15 years ago and declaring I “need help.”
Ugh, I don’t need that shit right now.
I will make an appearance, but I’m gonna push the time because my dish endurance seems to max out at three hours before I start freaking out. That just makes the paranoia and panic worse. No need to feed the beast any more than it’s already devouring.

So I’m low, but my mind is fairly focused although loudly so with the thoughts. My anxiety is high.
Whack a fuckin’ mole.
No sooner than one condition is under control or management…One more emerges. None of them can be appeased simultaneously. I think that’s why I’ve proven so difficult to treat. Not to mention all the years misdiagnosed being given pills that sparked manic episodes and didn’t help the depressions. Probably built up immunity to anti depressants so now nothing works well.
I am so resentful of my disorders. I don’t want any of them. I have made so many changes in my personality, my perception of things…I’ve worked hard to learn to accept and love myself (in a not conceited way) so the fact the moles just keep popping up…It seems futile at times.
How can I get better if my brain won’t get on board? I can only make so many changes to myself personality wise.
I can’t make all the misfiring brain parts work together.
Or am I making excuses and I just am a weak shitty person?
Oh…The depression is talking again, la la la I CAN’T HEAR YOU.

Gah. So don’t want to deal with people.
I do so much better on the internet interacting. I know it’s kind of anti social (Facebook is socially acceptable anti social behavior) but with the mood swings and paranoia…Interacting with flesh and blood people is just exhausting.
But most of the people I interact with on line are readers of this blog and they’re positive so that helps.
I think I am babbling now.
I do that when I am nervous.
But I don’t know why I am nervous. It makes no sense.
Could the term nonsense be used a euphamism for being broke?
Oh, yeah, it’s gonna be one of the flaky dingbat days.

tigger


Randomizing The Thought Machine

***
This was written in a paragraph here, a paragraph there, during a 24 hour period. It is not intended to be disjointed but rather a random spewage of the day’s demons and angels. Now that I am more focused and my brain is slower I can spit out thoughts here and there instead of turning it all into one giant soup of run on sentences. Perhaps a bizarre way to write but random is me.
****

It does…

my heart (and mind) good to see others without mental illness get frustrated with my hyperactive never silent uber annoying loud kid. It means I’m not just amplifying things due to mental issues.
I swear, she’s like an Uzi to my brain at times. I love her to pieces but an introvert with an extrovert child…It’s a bit of a strain.

Princess and the pea…
I froze for months. Still do some mornings.
But today…I have sweated four buckets and it’s uncomfortable and miserable and makes me feel dirty and smelly and…
There is no happy medium for me and it’s maddening because it’s not on purpose, I just cannot get comfortable. Ever.

Psychological shrapnel…
R has had three bad days in a row where everything has gone wrong and he hasn’t fixed anything successfully. Thus he is grumpy, depressed, pissed off, and not quite there.
Three days? Really, dude?
That’s my every day. Yet you judge me for being mentally ill and frustrated?
Pot, kettle, black.
Play fair or get out of the sandbox.

Sad but true…

In the middle of a thunder/lightning storm. R sent me a text basically amounting to dollar signs. Because ugly as the truth is storms fry electronics thus needing repair thus needing his skill thus making him money.
Is it any different than feeling profitable because people have to eat?
Gray area.

Criticism…
R was saying, “Maybe if you’d do THIS instead of looking at Reddit…”
I had to remind, sternly, that I can’t keep him on track if he isn’t cooperating, nor can I read his mind as what he wants done while he’s hyperfocused on a repair.
I rarely look at Reddit at home because I am in charge and I can put together what I need or want to do.
Being at the mercy of others…Not my strong suit.
I have to remind myself a thousand times an hour “He fixes my car for free, he fixes my car for free.” (And the regular mechanic gets sixty bucks an hour, so on a limited budget, this IS a big deal.)
If that sounds shallow, let’s just keep in mind this is man who dumped me for being bipolar and upsetting the balance in his life yet not offering to help in any way. I give as much empathy as I receive.

Porn is responsible for sexual violence.
Hmmm…So every rape committed before the mass marketed porn industry was inspired by what…

I got wayyy too cocky. The Focalin seems to be settling in now and while my brain is still slower…Manic undertow is tugging. Manic episodes are fun. Until you come down and look at the wreckage around yourself. Do Not Want.

Doing my masochistic Reddit thing…I found a picture a man posted of him painting his little girl’s nails. Apparently, it’s their Sunday morning ritual.
And it just made me so super sad.
My kid deserves a dad like that.
I want to say I dropped the ball making a baby with that subhuman but…She’s our creation so I can’t.
But she deserves a hell of a lot better than him.
The only person to get hurt, truly hurt, in all of this, is our child. Shame his ego is too big to realize that.

It probably seems like I have no concept of the beauty in life. I carry on about the negatives because, well, there are a lot, and venting is the only way I have to cope.
But..I saw a couple of trees yesterday. One had white blooms, one had pink blooms. And I thought how pretty they were. No cosmetic surgery, no publicity, just natural beauty.
And this one house has a gorgeous bonsai tree in front, I drive by it to pick up my kid.
I see the beauty.
I can’t always voice it.

Same with humor.
Last week’s episode of NCIS had McGhee harping on something and Dinozo said,”Let it go, Elsa.”
I found that hysterical. I have to laugh at this Frozen thing or I will go postal. Makes me appreciate how my parents put up with me playing Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” in repeat.

Hit my wall in the dish after only three and a half hours. Panic and paranoia set in and while I’d been set to just go run errands until my kid’s dr appt at 4-ish…I just came back home. Xanax time.
Odd thing is, I swear the yellow ones they’ve been giving me don’t work as well as the old orange ones. It’s gotta be some psychological deviation thing because they wouldn’t be handing out the wrong or mixed up med for six months. Just weird. I am weird.

More dish time. I came very close to canceling the eye dr appt for the spawn. I was just so anxiety ridden and panicked. But coming home and taking the afternoon meds and just chilling out helped.
I paid the power bill. I took her to her appointment where it took for bloody ever. I did read some health magazine that had a cover story about depression and how people don’t have to feel bad about it. The author also posited that we don’t need to specify “mental illness” because “Illness is just illness.” I found that an enlightening read, mirroring some of the points I’ve made in this blog.
Then as it took even longer waiting for the doctor to see her (she insisted on going alone for all the exams, such an independent little monster) I picked up a Parenting magazine…And as it turns out, I am doing some things right. That made me feel better, because my mother has this epic way of making me feel like this bucket of fail as a mom just because I think kids need limits, discipline, and boundaries. I’m not one for the party line, but these were individual mom submissions on discipline and such so it felt less like following the masses than…Wow, I did this on my own and others use it, I don’t suck so much at this parenting gig. (Such as, not flipping out every time my kid takes a tumble or gets a boo boo. I don’t want her seeing me freak out thus equating life as this scary place…It may seem lacking in empathy but really, when she does get an ouchie, I ask, “You okay?” Because I sooo don’t want to program her to panic over every tiny thing.)
We went to two more stores after that. That’s like ten different places I went today. To say I am “dished out” is an understatement.
But…The day started out battling myself to even get dressed and when I did, it was bra and undies and clothes I didn’t sleep in, slap on some deodorant, but I still looked well…Frumpy.
Oh, well.
I did get out the door. I was faking the smiles and giggles (except for the college humor videos on youtube, those are hysterical and R was busy having his tantrum so it’s not like I had anything else to do.) It’s just depleting when someone else is in this volatile mood and you’re teetering on the edge between tears and fury…I need to learn to process it better. I’ll get right on that, just as soon as I convince scumbag brain that everyone is NOT out to get me no matter how much my fight or flight response kicks in.

Meh.


a-z challenge: i

I is for many things, I have no problem choosing one, but for the past 24hrs or so, the process has been my typing a word beginning with i followed by me staring blankly. Using my very own advice about writers block (when you can’t write, write anyway), i decided to type out a handful or so of the words that come to mind and then waffle a bit. And so, without further anything, I give you …

Things I like, but don’t have the brain to write about in depth:

(I’m gonna mix up i for first name and i for surname because cannot braaain.)

Henrik Ibsen – I aimed consciously at literary precociousness as a kid and Ibsen was one of many authors employed in the endeavour. These days I’m often defeated by the text on the reverse of cereal boxes. (Norwegian modernist poet and playwright.)
Kazuo Ishiguro – British Japanese author, nuanced and elegant and note to self: watch The Saddest Music in the World asap.
Iggy Pop – yes son, you do know him; Lust for Life in Trainspotting. Also, fabulousness …

image

Imogen Heap – think sadder less mainstream Sarah McLachlan; pretty breakup songs. Too many at once would rot your teeth though.
INXS – for a brief shining moment in the 90s, I managed to get my hair to look like Michael Hutchence’s when it was long.
Ian McKellen – blah blah Gandalf blah Magneto blah blah blah Patrick Stewart bromance and all manner of other wonderful things, but have I bugged you to play George Ezra – Listen to the Man yet (I’ve already posted it twice on this blog)?Even if itnwas a shit sing, Sir Ian would make it awesome.
Intelligence – not just of the intellectual variety.
Instinct – my overactive amygdala has saved my ass more than once.
Infinity – I find it soothing to feel small against the gloriously unexplored vastness of time and space.

image

Inspiration – not a thing I rely on or particularly believe in, but woahhhhh those manic rhymes and poems and songs that emerge unbidden … one just has to remember to put them safely away and look with a critical eye once the mania has left the building. A poem written in one take is usually a shitty poem.

image

Ideas – my very most favourite of all the ideas I’ve ever brained, is a nightclub called Club Seals. I’ve been pondering it for decades and one time back in the day on Amazon Mechanical Turk, I sold it for one of your American cents. I’m not even kidding. Have pointless, unoriginal idea, exchange for money, nothing changes in the world except that I have two things to snigger about instead of one. *airpunch!*
Ideals – I have old fashioned utopian ones, that I like very much, but have absolutely no faith in. Well they’re called ideals, not realistic possibilities.
Imagination – a safe escape from all sorts of things. Narnia with pillowcase banners, a South African courtyard that turned into a Roman ones and a myriad of daydreams in classrooms.

Here is a truly beautiful poem by a Ukrainian poet whose first name starts with the letter i.

On your back I trace the letter A (Ilya Kutik)

On your back I trace the letter A.
You must sense how my hand’s caress
travels first along your spine,
from the uppermost vertabrae
to your waist, and then inclines
back again–in languid absent-mindedness
until that moment when the lines all intersect
and I create, with one sharp motion,
a cross of the type that in pre-Christian sects
evoked a). insanity and b). commotion.

Yes, I know that the body’s a locked up safe
and I search for its armor’s alphabetical chink
in all epithelial directions– for the link of links
and the pick of picks–from O to A.
For it’s just this way, twixt A and O
that one finds myth, just as Io
escaped from the fly. He first chased her
straight and then they backtracked
until, having endured manifold tortures
She completed a circle with him …
I trace that circle with my nail on your back
til O thrObs hOt Over all yOur limbs.
Like a blind safecracker in a bank vault
in the darkness I gathered all my strength
to the very ends of my fingers and at length
like Braille, the first martyr to touch, straining
I saw that the five points, whose strings
I draw are still one less than his gestalt.1

I’m surrounded by some overmuch
silly, long and sticky spider web of touch.
I fully recognize the figures,
but fail to see how my five fingers
can direct it–since it seems its elevated ridges
comprise a tongue that needs six digits.

I do not know which of this language’s signs
will make your skin resonate down the spine,
but I’m ready to try the whole alphabet
through all its permutations until I elicit
that festive plangent aria: O-o!.. A-a!