Daily Archives: August 18, 2015

Quilt Back On!

sewing machine 2

Good news! The sewing machine is fixed and is working like a charm! I was able to finish the quilt blocks yesterday in plenty of time for my class tonight. That was a close one.

I’m not sure what was wrong with the thing…other than it needed to be serviced. I guess you can’t pull any machine out after 20 years and expect good results.

Tonight I think we put the side panels on. The batting and backing must come next week. I can’t believe I will have made a whole quilt, even though it is tiny.

I have some new projects for when I finish. I am going to make a Halloween table runner. I am also going to take the second beginner class and learn more. And I’m making both fall and Christmas envelope pillow covers to spruce up my living room for the seasons.

Enough about quilting. The men reading this have already run away.

Did I ever tell you how things fall out of my mouth?

My friend Sarah asked me to go with her to have lunch at a new restaurant she is working at. It was “friends and family” day so we got a free meal. Sarah also invited her friend Maria whom I had not met. So we all sit down. This Maria is very nice and fun. I could see being friends with her easily.

My friend Sarah announces that she has been feeling depressed and that her doctor has put her on an anti-depressant. So guess what comes out of my mouth?

“Sarah, you will be fine. One med will not cause that many side effects. After all, I take six.” I turn and address Maria. “The reason I know so much about this is because I am bipolar and suffer all kinds of mental symptoms.  I got so sick I am now out of work on disability.”

Well, I could have slapped myself. Maria seemed to take all of this in stride. But I was so embarrassed. I mean….I don’t mind telling people about my illness, but only after I know them for a while. I NEVER tell a virtual stranger. And IF I had been friend shopping, all of this news would certainly turn people off. I mean gee!

I hope my friend Sarah was not too embarrassed by my running mouth. She drove me home and chatted all the way and didn’t mention anything about it.

So I am hanging my head today.

On the weight front I have lost 16 pounds. This Overeater’s Anonymous is really getting me to think about what and how much I am putting in my mouth. One thing I love about this group…it is free, so if it doesn’t work for you, you aren’t out any money.

We went to the mountains to our friends’ cabin for an overnight visit. I was panicked about eating too much and not having access to “diet” food. Of course, the first thing I see on the counter when we get there is a huge peach pie. I LOVE pie and cake. (My favorite two food groups.) But you know what? I didn’t have any of that pie. And I took very small portions of the food that was offered. I took a little of everything and praised it so the hostess didn’t feel bad.

I think the reason I had success was my thinking about the future. Would I rather wear smaller clothes or eat that pie? Would I rather be in the family pictures or eat that pie? Now some days the answer would be the pie but that is okay. I was able to avoid the sugar for a time. And I hope that time gets longer as I go.

I have bipolar group this afternoon. You might remember (if you have been a reader long) that we had a guy commit suicide in our group. I am now worried about another one. This guy is in the hospital and just doesn’t seem to be getting any better. He’s been in about three weeks and they usually kick you out here at about four. I worry about him going home and having to cope alone.

Another friend I made in that group is too depressed to go anywhere. I keep inviting her to coffee or back to the group, but she can’t make it out of the house. I know how she feels so I try to make her feel okay about cancelling.

Anyway, I wouldn’t give up my girlfriend, but the whole bipolar group can get depressing when you feel pretty decent. But that is super selfish. These people were there for me. They followed along with my whole boring, sad depression. The least I can do is go and be supportive. It’s not like I have a ton of other things to do anyway.

Did I tell you about my friend Gaill? I met her at a religious retreat I went to about a year ago. She lives an hour away so I don’t see her much. But we got together for lunch. I told her I was looking to fill my life and somehow be of service to others.

She said something interesting. She said God had been “speaking through her” a lot lately. She said God was telling her that something would come along and I would help an immense amount of people. She said it is likely something I know nothing about now. She was really serious. So I am sort of waiting to see what will happen.

My best friend and her husband are coming to stay with us for a few days on Thursday. Now I love my best friend and her husband. They are both on the top of my list for wonderful people. And we all get along really well.

But company is still hard. You have to clean up the house a little more than normal. You have to plan meals. (We all can’t afford to go out for every meal.) You have to some idea of things to do. After all, they are driving 6-7 hours to get here. I can’t say. “Hi guys…I am pretty tired, why don’t we all go lay down for a few hours?”

This is where I hate my meds and how tired they make me. But it beats banging my head against concrete.

Well, that is the news…hope your life is more fascinating than mine.

love, lily

Quilt Back On!

sewing machine 2

Good news! The sewing machine is fixed and is working like a charm! I was able to finish the quilt blocks yesterday in plenty of time for my class tonight. That was a close one.

I’m not sure what was wrong with the thing…other than it needed to be serviced. I guess you can’t pull any machine out after 20 years and expect good results.

Tonight I think we put the side panels on. The batting and backing must come next week. I can’t believe I will have made a whole quilt, even though it is tiny.

I have some new projects for when I finish. I am going to make a Halloween table runner. I am also going to take the second beginner class and learn more. And I’m making both fall and Christmas envelope pillow covers to spruce up my living room for the seasons.

Enough about quilting. The men reading this have already run away.

Did I ever tell you how things fall out of my mouth?

My friend Sarah asked me to go with her to have lunch at a new restaurant she is working at. It was “friends and family” day so we got a free meal. Sarah also invited her friend Maria whom I had not met. So we all sit down. This Maria is very nice and fun. I could see being friends with her easily.

My friend Sarah announces that she has been feeling depressed and that her doctor has put her on an anti-depressant. So guess what comes out of my mouth?

“Sarah, you will be fine. One med will not cause that many side effects. After all, I take six.” I turn and address Maria. “The reason I know so much about this is because I am bipolar and suffer all kinds of mental symptoms.  I got so sick I am now out of work on disability.”

Well, I could have slapped myself. Maria seemed to take all of this in stride. But I was so embarrassed. I mean….I don’t mind telling people about my illness, but only after I know them for a while. I NEVER tell a virtual stranger. And IF I had been friend shopping, all of this news would certainly turn people off. I mean gee!

I hope my friend Sarah was not too embarrassed by my running mouth. She drove me home and chatted all the way and didn’t mention anything about it.

So I am hanging my head today.

On the weight front I have lost 16 pounds. This Overeater’s Anonymous is really getting me to think about what and how much I am putting in my mouth. One thing I love about this group…it is free, so if it doesn’t work for you, you aren’t out any money.

We went to the mountains to our friends’ cabin for an overnight visit. I was panicked about eating too much and not having access to “diet” food. Of course, the first thing I see on the counter when we get there is a huge peach pie. I LOVE pie and cake. (My favorite two food groups.) But you know what? I didn’t have any of that pie. And I took very small portions of the food that was offered. I took a little of everything and praised it so the hostess didn’t feel bad.

I think the reason I had success was my thinking about the future. Would I rather wear smaller clothes or eat that pie? Would I rather be in the family pictures or eat that pie? Now some days the answer would be the pie but that is okay. I was able to avoid the sugar for a time. And I hope that time gets longer as I go.

I have bipolar group this afternoon. You might remember (if you have been a reader long) that we had a guy commit suicide in our group. I am now worried about another one. This guy is in the hospital and just doesn’t seem to be getting any better. He’s been in about three weeks and they usually kick you out here at about four. I worry about him going home and having to cope alone.

Another friend I made in that group is too depressed to go anywhere. I keep inviting her to coffee or back to the group, but she can’t make it out of the house. I know how she feels so I try to make her feel okay about cancelling.

Anyway, I wouldn’t give up my girlfriend, but the whole bipolar group can get depressing when you feel pretty decent. But that is super selfish. These people were there for me. They followed along with my whole boring, sad depression. The least I can do is go and be supportive. It’s not like I have a ton of other things to do anyway.

Did I tell you about my friend Gaill? I met her at a religious retreat I went to about a year ago. She lives an hour away so I don’t see her much. But we got together for lunch. I told her I was looking to fill my life and somehow be of service to others.

She said something interesting. She said God had been “speaking through her” a lot lately. She said God was telling her that something would come along and I would help an immense amount of people. She said it is likely something I know nothing about now. She was really serious. So I am sort of waiting to see what will happen.

My best friend and her husband are coming to stay with us for a few days on Thursday. Now I love my best friend and her husband. They are both on the top of my list for wonderful people. And we all get along really well.

But company is still hard. You have to clean up the house a little more than normal. You have to plan meals. (We all can’t afford to go out for every meal.) You have to some idea of things to do. After all, they are driving 6-7 hours to get here. I can’t say. “Hi guys…I am pretty tired, why don’t we all go lay down for a few hours?”

This is where I hate my meds and how tired they make me. But it beats banging my head against concrete.

Well, that is the news…hope your life is more fascinating than mine.

love, lily

What if…

logicOther than French (my major), Logic was my favorite class in college. Mental illness and an illogical life were the norm for me, although I wasn’t really aware of what was wrong, or why I never felt quite right. Logic made sense – if/then. It was comfortable, no gray areas. But real life isn’t like that, is it? Choices are made, most of the time without being able to be 100% certain that it will have the “correct” outcome. Should they be considered bad or good? Right or wrong? Should judgments be passed when looking back over life? Some choices are obviously bad…robbing a bank is bad, taking heroin is bad, etc. But what about the ones that are not so obvious?

little meThis poor little girl was clueless, which is a good thing for that age. Look how happy she is, she has her whole life ahead of her. At that time she probably thought the world was amazingly wonderful. That was me, I don’t remember how I felt. Actually, I don’t remember much about my childhood. Come to think of it, my memory’s pretty much shot about most of my life…except the crap. Why is it the crap stays embedded in our brains?

Sometimes what-if-I-didn’t… or what-if-I-did… creeps into my brain. It’s a hard game to play, because no matter at what point in my life I start, I keep going backwards because of “then…” and I end up with would it have been better if I hadn’t been born? Well, no because then I wouldn’t have grandchildren, then I wouldn’t have an amazing husband, then

There was a time in my life when I didn’t consider the future, or think about the past. When I was married, I assumed I’d never live long enough to see my daughters grow up. The time frame eludes me, but I distinctly remember knowing with certainty that I would die soon…either by my own hand or his. Again, there was a problem with my type of logic. My if/then was wrong. Somehow I found the strength to escape, but then what? That particular choice (to leave) was the correct one, but it had consequences and those consequences can then lead to more if/then questions, and it becomes a never ending cycle.

  • What if I never met the man to whom I am now married? Would he be happier? Living with me is no walk in the park. (He would tell you he wouldn’t give me up)
  • What if I never had kids? They had a very difficult, sometimes horrific life. They still each have their own struggles. But then I wouldn’t have them in my life, or grandchildren.
  • What if I never married their father? I am a stronger, more empathetic woman today because of that experience, but I have PTSD.
  • What if I didn’t divorce my first husband? He was the kindest man I knew at the time, I wasn’t ready for kindness. Would it have caused more pain to him if we stayed together? He certainly wanted to, but I didn’t want to put him through hell any longer.
  • What if my first suicide attempt was successful? End of story, no more struggle. But then we come full circle back to now…no beautiful grandchildren, no amazing husband.
  • What if I graduated from college? No clue, can’t imagine being able to do that as fucked up as I was.
  • What if excelling in school made a difference? What if my parents showed/told me they were proud of me? What if they showed/told me they loved me…ever? Maybe they did, I don’t remember.

What if I didn’t make so many awful choices throughout my life? What would have changed? Would things have been better? There’s no way to know. I abhor playing this what if game, there are no rules, and I never win. It really should be left on the shelf, or thrown in the trash, but I can’t help it. Late at night when I can’t sleep, I take this stupid game off the shelf and play for hours. My choices haunt me.

Tagged: abuse, childhood, choices, consequences, mental illness, PTSD

Pretzels

My day is just starting and I already have a case of rapid onset pretzel gut. No trigger, just life. I’m usually pretty unsettled when faced with a new routine and my kid being at a bigger school is definitely a new, and daunting, routine. All those people picking up their kids and all those bright colors like a rainbow regurgitated and out came Elsa and Anna on the backpack of every XX being. Noise, parental throngs, every pair of eyes feeling like laser beams piercing my very soul even though I logically know I am less than important enough to be stared at. Of course, I’ve always thought this and yet somehow some idget has found me worthy of glaring at or harassing. That’s statement of fact, not paranoia or some mommy related post traumatic stress thing.

Throw in all the other shit I am dealing with, I have pretzel gut, pretzel mind. It’s all twisted and contorting and hellish.

Sleep was as usual, disturbed. Even with Melatonin. Now that is suckage when not even medications designed to keep you asleep can get the job done. It was my mommy clock cos my kid would wake up so often. Now it’s just become the norm, even when she doesn’t wake up (rarely) or isn’t here. I’m assuming I will reset to a new norm once the seasons change. Maybe the depression comes, but also comes the calm. Cold weather keeps people inside, off their skateboards and bicycles, mutes loud voices, soothes my sensitivity to stimuli. Life is a trade off, ya know? It HAS to attest to how bad the summer makes my anxiety if I welcome winter depression just to get a break from it. (Meanwhile, I feel bad for those who are dreading the end of summer even though I find it a relief.)

9:34 a.m.

Had to take the spawn to school. Almost made her late ‘cos I had to turn around and come put trash out since I knew I’d be going directly to the shop so R could go get his glasses fixed. Then I took a wrong turn (lived here over 20 years,ffs) and had to go the long way around when I intended a shortcut. The traffic was just making my blood boil under my skin. Used to only driving in heavy traffic or large unfamiliar places set off the anxiety. Now it’s simply daily outings. Talk about metastasizing. I did my shop time, didn’t even get smokes for my trouble. Whatever. I’m out of there for the day. I need the time to myself, even if that’s selfish. My stomach is a burning twisting mess of a pretzel gone mad. Pure anxiety. And aside from life in general, no trigger. It just is. I blow sunshine up my own skirt when in the dish: “Breathe. Be calm. Think logically…Why does this make you so nervous?”

Seriously, I can’t even be anxious without psycho analyzing myself IN TRAFFIC. Thank you,mental health professionals. That’s not self awareness or trying to help myself, that’s brainwashing. Not to mention dangerous ‘cos I could crash the car while off in therapy land trying to fix myself. What’s that? Oh, right, choose a later time when out of traffic to ponder things. I WISH I COULD BUT THE BRAINWASHING IS SO THOROUGH I CAN’T SHUT IT OFF NO MATTER HOW BAD I WANT TO.

True to being my own moronic self, I checked out Reddit today. Some sage Redditor posted a link describing the difference between bipolar one and bipolar two then made the summation, “Bipolar two has ONLY hypomanic episodes which do not impair social ability or job capacity.”

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? You can research all you want, look at the statistics, and be an arrogant ass but DO NOT PRESUME to understand when mental illness is or isn’t a negative impact of functionality. And don’t even talk to me about manic versus hypomanic. I know every extreme and it all fucks with my life in every way. GRR. I should take this shit with a grain of salt but seriously. If you’re gonna play expert, gain some knowledge other than Wikimedinutsykoo.com.

I should be doing stuff. Dishes. Mow the lawn. Blah. I worked my butt off all weekend, I did deviation and dish time yesterday and this morning…I am taking a break, to hell with all the analysis that says by taking a break I am “enabling” myself to avoid taxing things.

The sad thing is, I can analyze myself better than any counselor. I can trace back pretty much every traumatic episode that created a lot of my personality dysfunction, even some of the anxiety and phobia.

It doesn’t, however, change the bipolar or the crippling impact of said anxiety. It doesn’t help cure the depression to come to the realization, “It mainly hits during fall and winter which is due to the lack of sunshine.” Couldn’t be that it’s cold and nasty and I am always shivering and uncomfortable. Nope. Gotta be lack of light, even though light gives me headaches from hell.

See, I’ve identified the big issue and explained the problem. Is it gone? Nope. Do I await the depression with open arms and have my self surgically attached to a “sun lamp”? Nope. It’s all so much bullshit and yet it’s been as ingrained in me as the bullies at school ingraining me with their repetition of, “You’re the weird girl, you’re a freak.” Which ends up being a personality disorder because the doctors believe that I think I’m special by being an outcast.

There are times I’d rather trade in the psychobabble for a drug or alcohol problem. The world is kinder to that sort of thing. You spend your entire life trying to get better only to be told no matter how much you’ve worked and progressed, you’ve still got all this other stuff wrong with you. Or you get a new counselor who decides after two sessions to change the diagnosis you’ve had for twenty years so you feel like what’s the damned point if I fixed that stuff, not she’s telling me I have all this other shit to fix. Is therapy helpful if it just confuses you and further drags you down?

Yes, I am harping on this a lot, I need to let it go. I wish I could. It’s insidious, a worm rooting its way into your brain and planted little teeth and not letting go. I get that I am damaged and broken. I am also chemically imbalanced and no amount of therapy is going to change that. It can teach me denial, aka positive thinking, but hell, prisoners of war can be brainwashed into thinking, “It was a good day ‘cos I only got my nails ripped out with by pliers on one hand instead of both.”

Some stuff just sucks. Period.

That being said…A funny Diane sent me and I literally did laugh out loud. It’s so me.

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Love My Music

I’m listening to the original cast recording of “Cats” and loving it.  I’m so glad to have so much new music to listen to.  Creating new synapses in my brain as I listen.  Right now I’m listening to “Memory” which is the only song I recognize.  I’ve never seen “Cats” so I don’t know it like I do “Phantom of the Opera”.

Need to take my middle one back to the doctor.  She hasn’t stopped coughing, she’s got chest pain from coughing, and she now has a constant sinus headache.  SO we will see how that goes.

I’ve finally converted to the new computer. I’m typing on it even as we speak.  I can’t get over how well I can see the print on it–it’s tiny but so crisp that I’m not having any trouble.  That makes me happy.  It’s such a nice machine.  We’ll see how much I can do with it once school starts.

I had some trouble yesterday and Sunday.  I think I was missing my oldest because I had a terrible time going grocery shopping.  She had been so helpful to shop and cook this summer.  I slept in until 9:45 yesterday.  But I feel much better this morning.  So I am glad of that.

Hope everyone has a good week!


Panxious

It has been the motherlode of panxiety today. Panxious to the nth, let everyone including doctors stare at me like I’ve sprouted two heads. IDGAF.

Earlier, I wanted to write, but oh, wait, I couldn’t, because the net was down for over an hour. BY the time it was back up and I’d freaked myself out ‘cos it’s my tether to the outside world (ya know, what a smart phone is to the masses) I no longer wanted to write. No, I was in “rip the bandage off” space cos we needed groceries yet a trip to Aldi was about as inviting as allowing my veins to be stripped with a veggie peeler. I bribed myself, and my kid, by saying, “Let’s get a cool down shower then we’ll go get some ice cream.” I don’t care about ice cream but it needed done and after looking like an unwashed, unshaven Yeti today ‘cos my linty black shirt and sweat made everything stick to me…I wanted to feel an accomplishment.

It wasn’t traumatic, it wasn’t pleasant. The insult to injury was my kid wouldn’t help carry in a damned thing but she wanted me to drop everything and make her s’mores “cos grandma will”. Um..No. She never did get her S’more or ice cream. I made her lazy little butt eat FRUIT. The horror and abuse!

Fetching her from school was trauma times ten. I had no idea where to park and of course, where I did park I was told I could not. It took ten minutes for them to let all the grades out and I couldn’t spot my own kid in the hundreds of neon pink Frozen backpack clad spawns. I was starting to freak out, ‘cos last year, they :lost” my kid. I only took a breath when I finally claimed my kid.  THEN I saw the devil girls who live where we do standing in line to catch the bus and I went on a warpath with the principal. She was all like, “That has nothing to do with me, you’ll have to call the bus garage.” I CALLED THEM TWICE, AND SPOKE TO YOUR ASSISTANT AS WELL AND IF THOSE KIDS FROM THE SAME ADDRESS GET TO RIDE THE BUS THEN MY KID SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO AS WELL. She said she will see what’s going. Yeah, you do that, cos tiger mom has emerged and will rip your fucking throat out. Ineligible is fine, I can grasp that. But discrimination when they have more money coming in than I do yet they get to take the bus…Uh Huh. Fix it, motherfuckers. Or Tiger mom will rip out your innards.

Prior to the traffic jam and nightmare crowd of picking her up…I was in tiger mode, anyway. I went to a store I frequent to fetch parmesan cheese for our pizza for lunch…And from nowhere, panic just kicks my ass and it was like I went blind. I didn’t merely glimpse. I spent ten minutes in that aisle looking for the stuff. I ended up at the register asking the manager if they still had it and she got a little huffy as did those behind me but she came back with it, and I’d been in the right aisle, so why the fuck didn’t I see it? Am I stupid? Have I gone panic blind? I felt both like a moron and an asshole for holding up the line and making her leave the register to help me. I use to be way more smart than this. I don’t know what my deal is.

Making it more harrowing was all these tree service trucks across town, cutting your view when making a turn, narrowing the streets so it was only one way…I had to remind myself to breathe. Then I tried to pull the cognitive crap on myself and ask,. WHAT HAS YOU SO ANXIOUS? Um…well, I’m not a fancy degree laden genius and all but the fear of having a car accident when vision is obscured and my mind is all over the place seems pretty logical to me…

All over the place. That seems an apt description of me today. I tense at phone calls, my jaw tightens at the sight of people, my heart pounds and I sweat profusely and all the while I am using the uber therapy magical tricks to be mindful and face my fear so I won’t be fearful anymore…And it does fuck all. So I end up wallowing in the sense of failure because I swear on my kid and cats I am trying as hard as I can here…

LET IT ALL BURN, FIRE FIRE, BURN BURN BURN THE MOTHERFUCKER DOWN!

Oh, and to make it all so much worse…Apparently when dad and stepmonster took my kid to that “fair’ in Bumfucktown Saturday night…the psych nurse from the office where my brother and I see the same shrink, was there…And saw my kid all happy and dancing and singing and dad told her they were keeping her while I was “working.”

GEE, THANKS A FUCKING LOT FOR THE CLARIFICATION, YOU DICKWEED, NOW THEY’RE GONNA DECIDE I AM ALL CURED BASED ON YOUR POOR WORDING! Never mind I was home, not getting paid, working to clean up the wreck i’d let my kid make of her room during my ten month depression. Nope. It all boils down to a loose statement tossed out during a social event by people who shouldn’t even know about my psych care but  because we live in bumfucktardville everyone goes to the same place. I am livid. This is all I need, their wording resulting in a mass consensus that because I cleaned my kid’s room I am all cured and “working.”

To be fair, when telemarketers ( census bureau and such) call, I will often claim to be the sitter and say “Morgue’ is working…I also told a Jehovah’s Witness I was too busy performing a satanic human sacrifice to hear their spiel…Doesn’t make it true. Just means I’m a smartass who doesn’t want to be bothered.

But it’s all in the wording.I was “working”. That does indeed make it seem like a job. And ya know, in 90 degree heat it was hard work. Except I earned nothing because I was correcting what had been allow to turn to shit while I was in the abyss.

I’d like to see them try to tax me for the smokes and Mangoritas R gives me when I help him. It’s gonna get confusing when I have to submit a statement of how I bring in my own scotch tape, post its, pens, computer peripherals, for him to use versus him buying me smokes and gas for my car to run HIS errands. All because my family wants to use the wrong word. Work implies a scheduled task for money.

I guess I get defensive on this point only because the consensus is, if you’re okay for a day or two, you’re all cured. Like the five or six days prior where I was barely keeping my head out of the gas oven don’t count. And ya know, capability on Monday to go run errands for a pack of smokes definitely means you are okay six months from now. Too bad bipolar doesn’t work that way.

I went stupid today and did a little research on therapy techniques. Ya know what? It all boils down to PROBLEMS WITH MOMMY. I kid you not, it’s their go to for everything, depression, anxiety, low self esteem. It was forged in early childhood when baby was abruptly taken out of mommy’s arms and cried and would only stop when returned to mommy’s arms. Perhaps a slight simplification but also, accurate. Then it went into all these cognitive and dynamic methods and therapists “pressuring” the patient. I got the creeps ‘cos I’ve already identified my triggers. I’m not hiding behind a damned thing.  I like being sarcastic, I think it’s funny. So what “needs” fixed according to polite society are the qualities about myself you will pry out of your cold dead hands. I don’t rebel idly anymore. I stand up for myself. When I am sarcastic, sometimes it’s a shield, and sometimes it’s an attempt at sardonic humor.

So, what’s to counsel here? I’m okay with who I am, as long as I stay aware of what I used to behave like and don’t become that monster again.

Do tell, sage mental health professionals…How can I adapt my attitude so that rapid mood swings, crippling depressions, and whiplash anxieties that turn me into a deer in the headlights just roll of my Teflon surface?

Nothing? Really?

That’s what I fucking thought.

I’ve been drained by the panxiety. I can’t even be bothered to eat even though a craving was part of what helped me gain courage to face the dish again after the earlier traffic gridlock and ensuring freak out. This mental shit even drains my appetite. Let me put a shiny spin on that…

Fuck ’em. Much as I know the meds keep me from going off the rails, I swear to the sacred pegacorn all their therapy bullshit has driven me nuttier than I’ve ever been. I used to know who I was, be sure, have self confidence and faith in me. Now…I question my every motive, doubt my every action, question my every thought…Is it any wonder no one wants to be analyzed? It’s more crippling than any chemical imbalance could ever be.

Crypt time. Because I’m just getting angrier the more I think about all that counseling shit that was supposed to fix me and yet it all boils down to the fucking meds. My attitude isn’t gonna make the Cymbalta work any better than it would impact an anti biotic curing an infection.

Think positively on that.

 

 

 


The Hot Itch

Say Hi to the PopeLast week I met my new primary care provider.  I’ve been searching for a doc for a couple of years since the Best Doctor in the Whole World retired.  I try not to hold everyone to his standard.  I got spoiled.

So, everyone who’s anyone has recommended this OB/GYN nurse practitioner.  Great, I thought.  I was a nurse.  We can relate.

And, indeed, she was vivacious, and friendly, and practical (gotta love that).  Then, we took a sharp turn into The Twilight Zone.

I would characterize this NP as an evangelical Christian, which would normally be a non-issue for me.  As a self-proclaimed mystical atheist, I’m always interested in what other people believe.  I told her that.  She laughed and said she wouldn’t try to convert me.  I laughed and said it wasn’t possible.

So, with that bit of self-disclosure out of the way, she asked if I ever had thoughts of harming myself.  I gave my standard Psych History answer—”I tried to kill myself once.  I still have suicidal thoughts, but I recognize them as symptoms and a signal to get help.”

She said, “We all have bad thoughts, and most people go through some period of depression.”

(Okay, I thought.  She’s not a psychiatric nurse practitioner.  She may not know the difference between clinical and situational depression.  Just go with it.)

“Where do those bad thoughts come from?” she asked (rhetorically).  “If you believe in God, then you have to believe in the Devil…”

I must have gotten a LOOK on my face, because she stuttered to a stop and started talking about vaginal health.  Was I imagining things, or was this educated, medical professional about to tell me mental illness was caused by the Devil?  I was so shocked, I don’t remember what else she said, just that we wrapped it up pretty quick, and I was shuffling to my car in a daze.

The daze turned to anger before I left the parking lot.  Are we in the Middle Ages, I fumed.  What was next?  Burning at the stake?  Dousing?

Rage fueled a deep hopelessness.  I missed my old doctor.  Did I have to choose between the cold, condescending woman who took over his practice or this kind-hearted religioso?  Did I have to start the search all over again?

I met with my meditation group later in the day and felt righteous satisfaction in their outrage as I told the story.  It’s a hot itch, indignation.  It gets under the skin and festers.

AbsinthineSo, as we sat together in silence, I took a step back from what I was feeling.  I called up the part of me that observes my thrashing around with gentle curiosity.  What happened?

I saw that I’m not as tolerant as I like to believe.  I don’t like people pushing their religion at me.  I don’t like the blank stares when I say I’m an atheist.  As the pastor at the First Unitarian Church in Des Moines said on Sunday, I’m more than willing to share my faith with people who are genuinely interested, curious and open-minded.  But, that happens rarely.  It’s just easier to keep my mouth shut.

What does it matter anyway?  I tried to look a little deeper.

My ego hates to be misunderstood.  It hates to be dismissed or categorized.  And it really hates to be discredited.  I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked to regain some functioning in the world.  Proud.

Ah.

I looked at my choices again.  Cold, Condescending Beeyatch or Evangelist?  I tried CCB the last time I got bronchitis, so I knew what to expect.  I had a feeling the Evangelist would be kind and thorough.  I suspected she would take very good care of my body.  And that’s what I needed her to do.  I might have to set some boundaries.  If I could nudge my ego aside, there might even be A Teaching Moment.

Coming home from meditation with my friends, I turned up the music and sang down the highway.  The ego is a stubborn little cuss.  Mine can be paranoid and hysterical if the mood is right.  Anything can offend it, and it defends itself with teeth and claws.  But, like a mediocre poker player, it has a tell—that hot itch of indignation.  When I feel that under my skin, I know it’s time to back up and look again.

I’m glad for that signal, and I’m glad I know what to do with it.

Thanks, Ego-Girl.  Keep raging.

 

 


The Catarmaran Chronicles: Killing Chickens & More!

Dyane (looking rather porcine but happy!) with her creative nonfiction teacher Frances Lefkowitz. Frances is author of the stunning memoir To Have Not about growing up poor in San Francisco Here’s the cover: one of my all-time favorite book covers!   The … Continue reading