Daily Archives: June 19, 2015

Tipping Point

I was doing okay for a couple of days…Now I am soo not. And it’s partly because my kid is being a noisy defiant little devil spawn and she won’t listen to a word I say or get more than six inches away from me and I am all but locking myself in the closet just to escape because she won’t even leave me alone when I go to the bathroom. Throw in anxiety and dread for socializing tonight and an abrupt mood crash into the angry stressed out abyss…

THIS IS MY BREAKING POINT. I have tipped over. I keep trying to figure out a plausible scenario in which I could bow out of the social thing tonight because I am feeling hostile and flying off the handle with snappish responses…I want quiet. I want elbow room. I do NOT want to go paste on a smiley face and pretend I am happy when frankly, I am psychotically menstrual and my kid has sent me to rubber ramada territory…

Of course, I can’t make a simple decision as to what is best for me at this juncture in time. NOOOO, I’ve got all the shitty mental health professionals yapping in my head about how I have PUSH myself, FORCE myself, to do normal social things because it’s GOOD for me. You can tell none of them have spent much time around a bipolar person hopped up on hormones, anxiety, and a hostile volatile mindframe. If they had, they’d know the best thing for me would be to avoid all human contact as much as possible lest I burn some more bridges by snapping off with rude snarkasm I’ll later regret.

Perhaps that’s what I hate most about mental illness. Being told what’s best for me, not being allowed to decide for myself because it’s “avoidance” and “not trying hard enough”.  And I’m being held at gun point by people who STUDY this shit, they don’t fucking LIVE it. They don’t walk in these shoes, all they know is what they see and you can treat someone for years and years but you can never get inside their head to know how they really feel. You can’t count on patients being totally honest when they live in fear of being labeled non compliant by having their own opinion or making their own choices. My whole life has become a second guessing myself game, orchestrated by people who don’t have a fucking clue.

I just want a job I can do from home to afford my mental health care, insurance for my kid, and keep a roof over our heads. Then I would never have to worry about jumping through flaming hoops for doctors and therapists and social security disability benefit review boards. That’s the stressful thing. They think being on disability is the “gravy train”. It’s like walking a tightrope over a flaming pit. You can’t get too well, but you’re never really sick “enough” so you have to battle even more anxiety over that bullshit. Words can’t describe how much I loathe it, and yet 22 jobs pretty much say it all. I can’t handle the normal pace others do. I understand why people turn to a life of crime. Better to be a scuzzball than have a, as my dad calls it, “nitwit pension.”

I’m coming unglued. Afternoon med time. I need to slow down the scumbag brain. Before my surging pulse causes my blood vessels to burst from sheer frustration.


african time

huge.100.504987African time… Some people say it in a disparaging way. It’s too slow, the queues are too long ,the staff are unhelpful – the list goes on, and it’s bullshit. Slow isn’t a bad thing, if you make time for it. Making time for slow isn’t a bad thing, because the urban world is too damn fast and frenetic anyway. The queues are long, but the process runs smoothly regardless, even when the queue snakes through three rooms. The patient people in the queue use their phones, talk to each other; the impatient ones use their phones in an agitated fashion, pacing, muttering, glowering. They’re not pissed off because they want to go and do something fun, they just resent the time taken from their oh so vip status, money worshipping day. They’re in a hurry for hypertension and heart attacks. Most of the staff are helpful, but not if they’re getting treated like inferiors. They’re also doing hectic jobs for fuckall money and there’s just no point blaming them for everything that’s wrong with the govt.

Africans, aboriginal Africans, tend to interact in ways other population groups don’t. Businessman in suits talk to cleaners with no superiority involved. People talk, laugh, reel around drunk, joke and wait. Patiently. I’ve seen people in triage at a very fucked up state hospital, get served a simple meal for lunch. Unpretentious, but there was meat, rice, vegetables. I’ve been hugely entertained by a Cape Coloured woman who got up and regaled us all with a hysterical tale. I’ve heard the sweetest little snuffling giggle coming from a man, he was treated (by everyone) with respect. I’ve seen and been the recipient of immense kindness; people share information, pens, smokes, whatever. I’ve had fun and learned a lot, simply by kicking back and chilling right out. And I’ve been reminded, every single time, that my country is not all about status, and that no matter how broke or unhappy I am, I am actually incredibly privileged.

When my mother died, I didn’t use a fancy funeral home with hushed voices and serene surroundings. When I fetched her ashes, the waiting room was full, loud, lively. It was surreal. In a private office, a well dressed and friendly woman plonked down my mother, vacuum packed in plastic, then looked completely horrified and scuttled off – not for very long – and returned with a smart wooden box with the ashes in it. I was given a blanket, because seeing one is part of the grief and mourning rituals. (here’s a pdf about such rituals, in case you’re interested:   The poster about it explained that and suggested that if the recipient had no need of it, they might want to give it to someone needful within their community. I gave it to a woman working her ass off in the hot sun, spending the money she made on her kids’ education.

Now I know I’m looking at it all through a lens of middle class white privilege. I know that the amount of unemployment (38%) and poverty in this country is fucking horrendous. Thing is, most times in those rooms and queues, people are getting helped. Slowly. Efficiently. Those two words do not cancel each other out, we just think they do because zomg rush hurry meetings appointments hurry hurry hurry, rape the country for more money and fuck any sense of community. Everyone should have the opportunity to work and buy whatever they want and be whoever they want, bit that doesn’t mean we should all forget what a community, any community can do. Individualism, taken too far, is lonely.

Reason I’m talking about it all, is that I went to the Traffic Dept today, to renew my driver’s licence. I took some photos to show you.

Fancy switch thingy.
Empty water cooler.
Eye test.
Dunno.
Afro time.
Belligerent litter.
Enter.
Enter.
That's me in the window
That's me in the win-dow 
Losing my religion..

image

So now you’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, 5 ways to get your life on track

So you have Bipolar Disorder, here's 5 ways to get your life on track

Pant Stealing Leprechauns and Underwear Hats

I swear I am NOT insane. But being of limited financial means and my kid and I both having very moody temperaments…I have to make up crazy shit to sort of distract her from her tantrums and keep things a bit light hearted. So I started the whole “leprechaun stole my pants thing.” I suppose it’s bizarre for a 5 year old to wake up and see mom running around in a tank top and underwear but we live in a tin box and mommy has some sort of hormonal hot flash thing going on so I tend to skip pants at home. Or I overheat at night and take off my pants in my sleep. Thus…a leprechaun stole my pants. As for underwear hats…When I was her age, I went to Kindergarten with a pair of underwear on my head and insisted it was my hat. I refused to allow my fashion to be suppressed so the school had to call my mom to come get me. I went home, still wearing my underwear hat. So in the spirit of self mockery, when she’s pouty in the morning over wardrobe…I put her clean undies on my head and it makes her laugh her booty off. I’m not above idiocy to stave off a tantrum.I don’t wanna go all mommy centric in this blog and yet, I find myself searching for the little joys in life. A good laugh with my kid is a good thing.

Okay, maybe I am insane. I’m a mom, it’s apparently a side effect.

Mood thus far is subdued, but neither high nor low. Dreams galore last night, about bipolar and meds, no less. WTF. This current med regime is fucked up. And since I wasn’t dreaming prior to this combo…The doctor will not convince me the meds aren’t at least a factor. To hear this current doctor tell it, side effects are rare and a figment of my imagination. I dream of people eating alligators, ffs. That is NOT normal.Not a fan of the teeth gnashing, either, which was NOT there prior to Latarda. (Bring on the politically correct bashing of my terminology.) That toxin seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. A bad stinky gag gift from your worst enemy.

Anxiety is bubbling under the surface but it, too, is subdued. Of course, I have yet to brave the dish and dish dwellers. Dumbass that I am, I set the alarm yesterday for six thirty a.m. and forgot to shut it off. So this morning, from the living room, my phone starts going off and it just plays in repeat til you shut it off so by twentieth verse of 30stm “The Kill” it occurred to me I was gonna have to get up. Which meant braving the a.m. cat stampede. Those fuckers are permanently attached to my ankles. Especially Abby-Sin but it’s hard to be mad at her, she’s such a waddling ball of calico fluffy sweetness.

We are in day 8 of straight rain. Before long, we’re gonna have to return to primordial ooze days and develop webbed feet to get around. Hopefully it dries up by this evening. I much prefer sitting outside at R’s to being inside and fearing the white carpet and the vacuum nazi who thinks a speck of a dust is a tragedy. (There I go, being all politically incorrect again.) The granddaughter spilled juice on the carpet and left the vaguest orange stain and that was two years ago, Mrs. R still hasn’t let it go. She thinks that hint of a stain is humiliating. Meanwhile, my carpet looks like a herd of muddy footed cattle has tromped through and no amount of shampooing has fixed it. Yay. I should curl up and die of embarrassment.

And yet, only half a fuck is given. Housekeeping, not my strong suit, not something I waste a lot of time fretting about. I am far too busy bashing smart phones, the dish, and med side effects to bother with such frivolity.

I a rambling. Part and parcel after the morning dose of meds, even with the Cymbalta halved. Yet I swear the split dose is helping with the afternoon mood crash because I’ve not cryptified before 9 p.m. all week. Small victories.

I seem to be clawing my way out of the depressive hole but I’m far from cured. And I don’t know if the numbness thing is gone or if it’s just hormonal and I will return to Numbo soon. The swell of anxiety when it comes to noise and petri dish time has increased to an uncomfortable level and I am pondering asking the doctor for a temporary increase in the Xanax. He will be resistant but I think if he will look over my file, he’ll see I am the one who’s gradually requested the dose be lowered as I learn better coping skills and the ebb and flow adjusts. Right now, the one split during the day and the two at night ain’t cutting it. I’m still not falling asleep easily, not staying asleep more than a couple of hours at a time. This needs tweaking. What I don’t get is that all these anti depressants are supposed to have an anti anxiety effect, yet I have had that with NONE of them. Makes me wonder if all their results for this being an effect aren’t from people who really didn’t have much anxiety to begin with.

Another thing I am bothered by is my indecisiveness. I can’t even make up my mind for a mix cd so I’ve been playing the same one my car for four months. To say I am sick of it is an understatement. Yet again and again I open my music folder and try to make a list and…I can’t do it. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what my current mood is. It’s easier when I am writing, I will get a playlist or two and the mood is right and the songs resonate. In writer’s limbo…Nothing feels right. It all feels like wearing a shoe two sizes too small and I am in constant discomfort.

In an example of what a stellar mother I am, the cat tried to steal my kid’s pop tart and she said, “Bleep off.” Well, at least I’ve taught her to say bleed instead of fuck. I try but honestly, I’m not all that big on the watching my language around her thing. I was raised by a truck driver, “cocksucker” was one of the first words I learned. Usually on a winter morning when the car wouldn’t start and my dad would punch the dashboard and swear at it, like it’d help. I didn’t turn out so bad. Okay, my sister and I swear so much we make sailors on shore leave run back to the ship. But…we could be serial killers and wear human skin. It could be worse.

The focalin really has slowed my swirling thoughts for the most part. Sometimes, though, I revert to incoherent topic jumping ranty bitch. Part of my charm. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. It’s just that I was tired yesterday and bottled it all up and now the rant must come out.

In a moment of yet more kitty sadness, last night my kid brought in one of the stray kittens. It has a bad bad cold, eyes oozing, low body temp, weak, not eating…And I was like, no more dying or dead cats, I had five in less than two months plus my sister had to put down one of her cats she’s had for fifteen years…I just can’t handle more dead kitties…Yet Spook was so upset, I let her bring the poor thing in. I wrapped it in a towel, held it close to me, fed it warm milk with an eye dropper…He seemed to revive after awhile and started going feral so I put him outside. Hope he’s still alive. You do what you can, ya know. And I had to show my kid my normal self, the one who’d give a hungry animal my last morsel of food. Can’t let my demons stop me from being me, even when it hurts.

I should draft this. It’s all long and incoherent and no one will want to read it. I know, you get so many things you need to read then someone’s got write this enormously long post about nothing and it’s irritating so you skip it…

That’s when I have to remind myself I blog for me. Must. spew. Reading said spewage is a choice I force on no one.

Now..to polish my spork of fortitude in prep for the next two days of “socializing.” Ugh. Icky. I can’t believe this is what other people live for. It’s soul sucking. And I don’t have a bad attitude, I’m just very content on my own.

I can’t go out in public comfortably because the fashion gods frown on underwear hats and not wearing pants because a leprechaun stole them. Clown shoes.

 


[New story]: Welcome Alice in Wonderland!

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Originally posted on our lived experience:

Alice in Wonderland hails from Durban, South Africa, and she writes:

What it’s like to be bipolar

 

This isn’t going to be pretty or nice or forgiving so stop here if you can’t or don’t want to deal with it.

 

Being bipolar, at least my version of it is pretty much like having a fully functioning mind and emotions that is stuck in a body that can’t walk, talk or do anything. No that isn’t quite right, it’s like being in the body of someone horrible. Someone who does things that you don’t like, agree with or even understand and there is NOTHING you can do about it.

 

Your thoughts race 24/7 and I mean all the time. You cannot sit still, slow down or even try to rest. Concentration is impossible and work even more so.

 

You feel intensely and so when the meds kick…

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This Just In…

I’m too tired to talk about my dysfunctions. Probably because last night was deviation and I woke EVERY hour on the hour and kept searching to see if the my kid had climbed in my bed. And she was at grandma’s so she hadn’t and I just remember feeling so lonely, so sad, so…

FUCK, I’VE BECOME ONE OF *THOSE* MOMS WHO CAN’T BE ANYTHING ELSE.

Needless to say, the mood was meh, but the anxiety today was sky high. Panxiety. Any time I have to deal with the frigging dish. More monsoon rain. More cramps. Trip to the grocery store. Kid throwing tantrums and screaming she hates me. We have a cookout tomorrow night at R and Sandi’s, then my sister is doing this Father’s Day Meal for dad on Saturday and…

UGHHH. It’s bad when I can’t even muster up the energy to bitch and moan. I may as well be dead. What others call being a complainer, I call de-venomizing. Now my venom will fester and I can’t even be arsed to give a fuck. Here, have some…

face high five