Daily Archives: July 7, 2015

Armor not shackles!

ARMOR

Just saw this graphic, and I absolutely love it! It resonated with me so much. I wanted to share it with all my blog readers and friends. As a person with bipolar disorder, with a family history of bipolar disorder, tragedy has certainly touched my life. My grandmother lost her brother at a young age, most likely to bipolar disorder, and I lost my precious, beloved brother Farooq, he was only 26 years old. So, to see this graphic put into clear words something that I was always (subconsciously) trying to do, it is helpful and inspiring, and emotional all at the same time. Imagine, all your tragedies are now your armor, they strengthen you by having gone through them, they do not shackle you to weakness.

This is so empowering for me that I really wanted to share it, hopefully all who see it will get the same empowering message as I did. Love and peace.


Shame-less

IMG_6731 IMG_6869 - Version 2

I posted these pictures in a status on FB entitled “Covered up or not, My Choice!”

A response from a religious muslim person was that this is shameful.

Shame! In this context, shame is just a construct made to control women. To keep them covered up and at home, bearing children and listening to men.

Well I have been an atheist since my early twenties, so this shame thing slides off me like water off a duck’s back :-)

What is shameful about the human body anyway? NOTHING! The Greeks idealized and mythologized it, the Romans alternately debauched and disciplined it, The Hindus worshipped it, and the Buddhists asceticized it. There is no shame in any of these philosophies. I personally think the human body is a glorious creation of evolution, almost perfect in its form and function of homeostasis, growth, repair and even decline through entropy to make room for others. The human brain, which is part of the human body, is an absolutely genius computer produced by millions of years of evolution. This brain can gather information through our sensory organs and produce an output in milliseconds. Self awareness comes to us via the human brain. And it is also with this brain we decide to make the decision to view the human body, nature’s “miraculous” creation as shameful or glorious. I choose the latter!


Let Eccentricity Ring!

Alice and the Red Queen

Alice and the Red Queen: Steampunk Doncaster, held on the 150th anniversary of “Alice in Wonderland”‘s publication

” … they didn’t think there was anything very odd in anyone being a little odd.” James Hilton, Random Harvest

I feel at peace amongst the odd: whether it be a gallifrey of Doctor Who fans (1), a geek of sci fi enthusiasts (2), or the steampunks who gathered last Saturday at Steampunk Doncaster.

Saturday was also the 4th of July. Back in Detroit, the weekend around 1 July – “Canada Day” – and the 4th has long been the occasion for a huge, joint fireworks festival, between Detroit on one side of the river, and Windsor, Ontario, on the other.

The White Rose of Yorkshire nudges the national flag of Britain: Steampunk Doncaster, 2015

The White Rose of Yorkshire nudges the national flag of Britain: Steampunk Doncaster, 2015

Whilst not a big fan of fireworks, I love seeing people come together like this. As for celebrating the 4th, the closest I’ve come since moving to the UK was an approximately 15 year stint of taking homemade cookies (3) to work. Because, according to my boss, “that’s what Americans do”.

Right, Anne. At least it gave me a brief, annual window of popularity.

I am not a steampunk. However, as previously said, I feel at home amongst people who, as Hilton said, don’t find “anything very odd about being a little odd”. Steampunk gatherings have a similar vibe to the Doctor Who and other sci fi conventions I attended in the US and, on one occasion, Canada, during my 20s.

A "lemester": a hamster / lemming cross. Steampunk Doncaster, 2015

A “lemester”: a hamster / lemming cross. Steampunk Doncaster, 2015

Away from such gatherings, we eccentrics can find that our surroundings are less than friendly. It’s a bit of a cookie cutter world out there: one where bland, shortbread men and women sometime look askance at the ginger nuts, and the jammy dodgers.

Mmmm, cake: Steampunk Doncaster, 2015

Mmmm, cake: Steampunk Doncaster, 2015

But what if freeing one’s inner eccentric actually make for a more creative, more mentally healthy individual? Life, after all, is tricky: the odds are against any of us making our way out of it alive.

I wrote last year of what I call “the Richard Tauber Effect“: about how our admiration for talented individuals may stifle our own creativity. Sometimes, too, our desire to conform, to be accepted – perhaps, not to be bullied – will make us throw a monkey wrench into our creative works. To put vanilla in the biscuits, when we’d really rather reach for the ginger, or the chili and the chocolate.

More than another Alice: Steampunk Doncaster, 2015

More than another Alice: Steampunk Doncaster, 2015

Read about the lives of the inventive, and creative, and odds are they will be “a bit odd”. The sort of people whose drummer is so different, it’s playing the ukelele, the harpsichord, or the piccolo. Sometimes, all three at one go.

I started this morning in my back garden: where, in the space of a few minutes, I cautioned a starling against drinking from the gutter (4), and praised two calendulas, and a geranium, for their new flowerheads.

So my inner eccentric – indeed, my outer one – is just dandy. I hope this finds yours in fine fettle, too.

A fox in a pith helmet: Steampunk Doncaster, 2015

A fox in a pith helmet: Steampunk Doncaster, 2015

(1) My suggestion for a collective noun describing DW fans
(2) I love collective nouns, don’t you?
(3) “Cookies” as I was exercising my inner American. When I’m British, they’re “biscuits”
(4) The starling’s mother was not available to chastise him/her

 

 

 

 

 

O.K., Wild One!

Okay, so maybe “wild” isn’t the right word.  Hypomania?  Mania, even?  What started out as just some “really great” feelings has evolved into something more.  I’m not sleeping but three or four hours a night, and those hours aren’t all at one time.  Nightmares have come on with an even greater vengeance.  I find my thoughts to be confused and jumbled and quite speedy, my speech is pressured, and one day seems to capture ten different mood shifts.

No bueno, my friends.  I did go to see the amazing psychiatrist last week and he increased my Lithium and added Seroquel as a PRN show-stopper of sorts, but I have had little relief.  Especially in the sleep department.  My tolerance for other humans has begun to shrink, and even my feelings of empathy for the puppies in my life who struggle with fireworks and thunder and every other loud noise have been diminished.

I miss blogging every day, but most days I find that I just don’t have much to say.  Or much to say that I think bears repeating from my tired old brain.  Sometimes I think I should just throw it out there anyway, but I don’t.  I admire bloggers who do it day-in-and-out, and maybe I’ll get back there some day.  I think I would have a hard time throwing RosieSmrtiePants away altogether, and don’t think that day is coming anytime soon.  Maybe I could embrace a weekly blogging schedule.  You know, a SCHEDULE.  Gah!

So many things in life are better these days, so it is really aggravating to me that I must still be on the bipolar circus ride of up-down-all-around.  I have resigned myself to think that perhaps it will ALWAYS be that way.  I mean, if the past 33 years is any indication anyway.  I comfort myself by reminding Rosa that at least the current state of affairs does not 100% revolve around depression and anxiety.  Yay for mania (except, ick, really) for keeping things interesting and here’s to a goal of no hysterical crying for 24 hours.

We all have goals, am I right?  ;). Sure do love y’all!


Filed under: And Sometimes It Just Spins Tagged: anxiety, Bipolar, blogging, crying spells, depression, mania, mental illness, mental-health, mixed episode, nightmares, PTSD, sleep

O.K., Wild One!

Okay, so maybe “wild” isn’t the right word.  Hypomania?  Mania, even?  What started out as just some “really great” feelings has evolved into something more.  I’m not sleeping but three or four hours a night, and those hours aren’t all at one time.  Nightmares have come on with an even greater vengeance.  I find my thoughts to be confused and jumbled and quite speedy, my speech is pressured, and one day seems to capture ten different mood shifts.

No bueno, my friends.  I did go to see the amazing psychiatrist last week and he increased my Lithium and added Seroquel as a PRN show-stopper of sorts, but I have had little relief.  Especially in the sleep department.  My tolerance for other humans has begun to shrink, and even my feelings of empathy for the puppies in my life who struggle with fireworks and thunder and every other loud noise have been diminished.

I miss blogging every day, but most days I find that I just don’t have much to say.  Or much to say that I think bears repeating from my tired old brain.  Sometimes I think I should just throw it out there anyway, but I don’t.  I admire bloggers who do it day-in-and-out, and maybe I’ll get back there some day.  I think I would have a hard time throwing RosieSmrtiePants away altogether, and don’t think that day is coming anytime soon.  Maybe I could embrace a weekly blogging schedule.  You know, a SCHEDULE.  Gah!

So many things in life are better these days, so it is really aggravating to me that I must still be on the bipolar circus ride of up-down-all-around.  I have resigned myself to think that perhaps it will ALWAYS be that way.  I mean, if the past 33 years is any indication anyway.  I comfort myself by reminding Rosa that at least the current state of affairs does not 100% revolve around depression and anxiety.  Yay for mania (except, ick, really) for keeping things interesting and here’s to a goal of no hysterical crying for 24 hours.

We all have goals, am I right?  ;). Sure do love y’all!


Filed under: And Sometimes It Just Spins Tagged: anxiety, Bipolar, blogging, crying spells, depression, mania, mental illness, mental-health, mixed episode, nightmares, PTSD, sleep

More Things I Wish People Knew About Bipolar Disorder

laurabedlam:

SO MUCH YES! Thanks for this, bpnurse!

Originally posted on bpnurse:

1.Not everything has to do with bipolar. We have bad days just like everyone else. We get mad, sad, frustrated, upset, but it doesn’t have to be due to our illness. In fact, it’s kind of patronizing to accuse us of having a mood swing when we’re really just having a crappy time of it. We are allowed normal feelings!

2. We don’t appreciate being asked if we’ve taken our meds. Again, we experience hardships just like everyone else on the planet, and sometimes we react poorly. Who doesn’t? We also have times when we’re happy, even overjoyed, and it doesn’t mean we’re manic or off our meds.  But it seems like some smartass always has to say it: “You’re not acting like yourself. Did you take your meds today?” Seriously, would you ask a diabetic if she took her insulin? A cancer patient if he went to chemo? No? Then why is it OK to say these things to…

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Please Help Me This Thursday! (My Video Blog)

    I know the freeze frame makes me look scary & under the influence of something, but it’s just endorphins! Please give this vlog a listen – I’d be extremely grateful to each of you. I value your readership … Continue reading

Settle In

Why do I feel like this? 

‘Cause you forgot that you’re actually depressed right now.

Right now?

Yeah. Right now.

So, I should go play guitar.

Nope. You’ll just hate yourself for not playing better.

Then I should write a poem or a story or something.

You’re gonna delete most of it and feel worse for having tried at all.

What if I write in my blog. Like, I should express myself, right?

You hate this post. You’re embarrassed by it.

Damnit, I do. And I am.

Yeah. And your hair looks like shit today.

Dude. Who’s fucking side are you on?

Yours. That’s the problem.

Well, my hair will look better when it grows out a little more. It’s an unflattering length.

You’re still gonna hate it.

Whatever, it’s just hair.

No it’s not. It’s everything. You hate all your clothes too. And that’s just the outside shit.

I do hate all my clothes. 

Right. But, like I said, outside shit.

Yeah, but if I’m not pretty, life will be harder.

Yup.

And it’s already hard.

Yup.

But it could be worse.

So could anything. You’re missing the point.

So, what then? More pills?

I mean, that’s what you usually do.

And drugs?

You have nothing to do today. Get as high as you want.

I have nothing to do today. Goddamnit.

Right?

I should call my sister.

Gambit. If she’s busy, you’ll feel more alone.

She’s almost always busy.

Yeah. She does shit with her free time. Like, outside of the house.

Now you’re just taunting me.

You’re taunting yourself, idiot.

Remember that night I gave up one of my longest held ambitions?

Yeah. You were OK with it. That’s the part that freaked you out.

I don’t have any remaining ambitions. They got all eroded and shit.

‘Cause you’re depressed.

am depressed. 

Not even a little either.

This is gonna suck so bad.

Really bad. You’re gonna hate yourself. For a while.

I kinda already do.

Settle in.

You gonna stick around?

Yeah, I got nothing to do either. Hey, don’t forget to eat or your tits’ll shrink.

Outside shit, man.

Yeah. Outside shit.

-LB

Tagged: anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, drugs, hair, internal monologue, meds, mental health, mental illness, music, self-doubt, tits, vanity