Daily Archives: September 20, 2015

Future, tense

Recently, I saw two sleek, lycra – clad men turning the pedals of their titanium racing bikes up the hill by my house, that leads to the countryside. I was several metres behind them. Did they spot my lingering gaze as they turned their heads briefly to check on the traffic behind them? If they did, who did they see? A cyclist, sure. One who’s riding a tourer, the kind of bike that means that this is not a machine that is only used to pop out to the shops. Either way, I don’t suppose that they wouldn’t have given  me a second thought.

I’ve been thinking about them ever since.

A little background information would be useful at this point. Regular readers will be well aware that I live and ride on the south coast of England, fifty miles south of London. Some of you may also have picked up on the fact that I am a practicing Jew. While living where we do has much to recommend it, the Jewish life here is not as vibrant as it is in London, say. My Long Suffering Spouse has a Long Term (ish) Plan to move back to north London, something to which I am not opposed. But there are practicalities other than the whereabouts of synagogue at which I would feel at home to consider. Most notably, for a cyclist, how far away is the countryside? A couple of years ago we stayed in north London to go shopping for Passover (O.K. that’s a whole other topic that I am not getting into here.) We met up with friends who have bikes, and I asked them how far away the countryside was. ‘Ten miles,’ was the reply.

Image result for cyclists in traffic

My heart sank that far at the thought of it. I can ride through 9 miles of countryside from my front door to a tea shop in a village. To have to navigate 10 miles of London’s roads to see grass and trees, never mind sheep and horses! What I saw in those cyclists I mentioned at the beginning of this post was 2 people who had had to cycle some distance to get to my neighbourhood, to reach the countryside. The sight of them made feel anxious about our projected future plans. We lived in London (although we never cycled there.) I am excited at the thought of leading a more energetic Jewish life. But miles of roads where the only green on view is part of a traffic light? I find myself trying to calculate the time it wold take to get to the countryside from various points in north London. I usually stop after about 3 uphill miles at the beginning of a ride. That’s about 25 minutes pedalling in the countryside from my house.

So, I’m worried about the future.

Since that conversation I have had others. They haven’t helped, either. I mentioned the business of being 10 miles from the countryside to another friend. She was excited to show me that, really close to her house, there was a traffic – free cycle path that goes through a wood. Her enthusiasm haunts me still.

The World is Too Much with Us

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)

 


Future, tense

Recently, I saw two sleek, lycra – clad men turning the pedals of their titanium racing bikes up the hill by my house, that leads to the countryside. I was several metres behind them. Did they spot my lingering gaze as they turned their heads briefly to check on the traffic behind them? If they did, who did they see? A cyclist, sure. One who’s riding a tourer, the kind of bike that means that this is not a machine that is only used to pop out to the shops. Either way, I don’t suppose that they wouldn’t have given  me a second thought.

I’ve been thinking about them ever since.

A little background information would be useful at this point. Regular readers will be well aware that I live and ride on the south coast of England, fifty miles south of London. Some of you may also have picked up on the fact that I am a practicing Jew. While living where we do has much to recommend it, the Jewish life here is not as vibrant as it is in London, say. My Long Suffering Spouse has a Long Term (ish) Plan to move back to north London, something to which I am not opposed. But there are practicalities other than the whereabouts of synagogue at which I would feel at home to consider. Most notably, for a cyclist, how far away is the countryside? A couple of years ago we stayed in north London to go shopping for Passover (O.K. that’s a whole other topic that I am not getting into here.) We met up with friends who have bikes, and I asked them how far away the countryside was. ‘Ten miles,’ was the reply.

Image result for cyclists in traffic

My heart sank that far at the thought of it. I can ride through 9 miles of countryside from my front door to a tea shop in a village. To have to navigate 10 miles of London’s roads to see grass and trees, never mind sheep and horses! What I saw in those cyclists I mentioned at the beginning of this post was 2 people who had had to cycle some distance to get to my neighbourhood, to reach the countryside. The sight of them made feel anxious about our projected future plans. We lived in London (although we never cycled there.) I am excited at the thought of leading a more energetic Jewish life. But miles of roads where the only green on view is part of a traffic light? I find myself trying to calculate the time it wold take to get to the countryside from various points in north London. I usually stop after about 3 uphill miles at the beginning of a ride. That’s about 25 minutes pedalling in the countryside from my house.

So, I’m worried about the future.

Since that conversation I have had others. They haven’t helped, either. I mentioned the business of being 10 miles from the countryside to another friend. She was excited to show me that, really close to her house, there was a traffic – free cycle path that goes through a wood. Her enthusiasm haunts me still.

The World is Too Much with Us

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)

 


How to Get SuperBetter

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:
Jessica Gross | Longreads | September 2015 | 18 minutes (4,658 words) ? In 2009, while game designer Jane McGonigal was writing her first book, Reality Is Broken, she hit her head. The concussion didn’t heal. A month later, she was still plagued by intense physical discomfort and was told…

Maybe I’m Just a Loner

THE WORLD NEEDS LONERS, TOO

What’s so bad about being a loner? Why is “social isolation” always referred to negatively? Can’t individuals have different needs? Some of us cannot tolerate social stimulation. Some of us do better alone, with a small family, with a close partner. Some of us do not do well in groups.


Filed under: Acceptance, Triggers to Mood Cycling Tagged: alone, individual needs, introversion, introvert, loner, shy, social isolation, social stimulation

The Substances, OH The Substances!!!

Well, many of you know that I reside in the People’s Republic of Boulder, Colorado, where marijuana can be purchased on nearly any block of this small city. I have been abstaining from substance use and abuse, both marijuana and alcohol, for quite a few months now. They both make my depression worse. I usually like to use Indica (In Da Couch, or the kind of pot that just knocks your ass out) at the end of the day to wind down. I don’t have much use for Sativa, which is more energizing, because I don’t want to be stoned during the day. I want to get stoned at night and sleep like a log. But what I find happens when I use Indica is that almost immediately, 1) I start using it every day, and 2) I do NOT want to be around people! Not just when I’m stoned, but the next day too. Which is REALLY bad for my depression, because I already tend to isolate. Indica makes me want to hyper-isolate. So, for all of these reasons, it’s best that I don’t use substances.

What I’m finding now that I’m living with my sister and her two kids again, and participating more in their lives as a member of the family, not just participating but contributing, is that by the end of the day I can be pretty exhausted. A lot of days, I haven’t had time to myself, which I’m used to having (loads of it). Since I’m more introverted, I recharge my batteries with alone time. By the end of the day, I feel like I want to wind down by using substances. I guess for me using substances would be a shortcut to get chilled out. I want the buzz, man!!!! I want it bad!!! Some days I just want a drink so bad, JUST ONE, but in addition to being worried about getting back on the substance abuse roller coaster, I’m super-worried about how alcohol might impact my medication cocktail, which is substantial. I don’t take just one or two meds, no way, man I’m COMPLICATED!! I think I’m on about TEN!! Not just psychiatric, but other stuff too. So some nights when I really want a drink, I mix up a glass of Pure Raspberry Lemonade or Cherry Limeade. No this is not an advertisement, I just want you to know that brand because THE SHIT IS GOOD!!! I think it might be made with Stevia as the sweetener. Anyway, it has a kind of tang that somewhat satisfies my craving for a drink.

Long post, but I know I’m not the only Bipolar who has and does struggle with substance abuse issues. Please share how you “deal” too. I’m off for a life-affirming hike. Peach out and LOVE!


Filed under: Bipolar Pothead, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Bipolar Substance Abuse, Mental Illness, Psychology, PURE Lemonade, Reader

Me

you’re a piece of work, you’re a work of art, wtf you doing in the shadows of my heart? it’s like who the fuck mentioned that the rent is so low? why is it when you’re around, my soul is slow (tell me want you want to, but I still don’t know) and so you’re …

Much-Belated Self Portrait for BlahPolar

Originally posted on my beautiful machine / danseur ignoble:
I have been meaning to get this out here for a while.?? Here ’tis! This one is Prismacolor pencil and cheap ballpoint pen on paper. My scanner isn’t playing well with Windows 10 yet, so I just snapped a photo with my phone.

Gufundme: For My 17 year Old Nephew

First off…I am not trying to get this circulating again for my family. I am, however, deeply concerned about my 17 year old nephew. The temporary apartment my family acquired has one bedroom which my sister and her husband took, leaving my elderly mom and her elderly disabled roommate sleeping in the living room.

The true loser in all this is my nephew, C. It was his overloaded power strip that caused the fire. It was his room that caught all the fire damage, destroying most of everything he owned. He lost more than any of them.

Instead of being with his family, due to lack of space, he has been staying with his girlfriend. You can tell how depressed he is, how responsible he feels, and how absolutely hurtful it is that the adults took care of themselves first and left him to fend for himself, mostly. Of course, he could stay there even if he had to sleep on the floor. He can go there to eat. But as for living and having any stability…He is in limbo, because he has the misfortune of belonging to this sucky family where the adults pretty much threw him under the bus.

At first I figured he fled to the g.f.s to escape the family. But come to find out, he was basically flung there even when the family had motel rooms and space. It’s pretty sickening to me how parents could let their kid essentially be homeless even if he has a place to sleep while focusing on their own needs. He may be 17 but he’s still just a kid. I hate my family for doing this to him. It’s almost like they are punishing him for the fire, even if it’s unconsciously.

So I am gonna keep the original page up but from now on…donations will be used for Cory I’ve even pondered letting him stay in my spare bedroom, but I know it would start war with the family and he’d never accept. Fact is, this kid needs to be with his family again because he and his gf habitually break up every over month. Where will he be if they have another split? On the floor of an apartment with a portable toilet in the room for his disabled grandmother to use.

I felt bad for my family but I feel worse for my nephew.

So even if all you can do is keep this circulating around the net for me, guys…Please do. This is for a 17 year old boy who has nothing left, he can’t even be with his beloved dog. Let’s see if we can raise some funds to help him replace what was lost.

He didn’t choose to be part of this sucky family any more than I did.


The Quest for a Psychiatrist

I have been seeing Dr. R. for eight years. He helped me through my major meltdown and skillfully, gradually mixed the cocktail of medications that would get me and keep me functioning at an acceptable, livable level. He got me through my near-brush with ECT (although he also suggested it).

Dr. R. is moving to another state. He sent all his clients a letter listing half a dozen or so local psychiatrists he could recommend, though he didn’t know if they were accepting new patients or what insurance plans they took. This week was my last appointment with him.

I looked at the inch-thick file he was holding. “I was really messed up back then,” I said.

“Yep,” he replied.

I left with a hearty handshake, good luck wishes, a paper stating my diagnosis (bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder – I guess there was no insurance code for bipolar 2) and six months of refills on my prescriptions. That’s how long I have to find a new psychiatrist.

So where will my inch-thick file end up next? That’s a good question.

I’ve written before about finding a psychotherapist (http://wp.me/p4e9Hv-1m), but oh, I hate the process of finding and breaking in a new shrink.

At least this time I probably won’t have to go through the whole Reader’s Digest Condensed Version of my screwed-up life, since what I really need at this point is someone who will prescribe and monitor my meds, though it will also be nice to have someone standing by in case of another major meltdown, should I have one.

My first avenue of exploration is whether my primary care physician will prescribe my psychotropics, so I can continue with just a psychotherapist. Dr. R. says that most GPs would shy away from the somewhat lengthy list of meds, but every time I see Dr. S. I update him on what meds I am taking, and I always mention the psychotropics, which have mostly been the same for years.

I have an appointment to see Dr. S. next month and sent a query about the prescription issue (his office has a robust online presence), so with luck, I may have a solution before Halloween.

My next step would be to start with the list that Dr. R. provided. Only one of the offices is at all close to me and I’ll likely start there. Does the doctor accept new patients? Does the practice take my insurance? What’s the charge if they don’t?

I’ll also need to contact my insurance provider for a list of local psychiatrists who do take that insurance, but with that I’ll be flying blind. Dr. R.’s recommendations are people he knows, and knows are good.

I hope they’re as good as Dr. R.


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar type 2, coping mechanisms, finding a psychiatrist, insurance coverage for mental health, mental health, mental illness, my experiences, psychiatrists, psychotropic drugs, support systems

The Quest for a Psychiatrist

I have been seeing Dr. R. for eight years. He helped me through my major meltdown and skillfully, gradually mixed the cocktail of medications that would get me and keep me functioning at an acceptable, livable level. He got me through my near-brush with ECT (although he also suggested it).

Dr. R. is moving to another state. He sent all his clients a letter listing half a dozen or so local psychiatrists he could recommend, though he didn’t know if they were accepting new patients or what insurance plans they took. This week was my last appointment with him.

I looked at the inch-thick file he was holding. “I was really messed up back then,” I said.

“Yep,” he replied.

I left with a hearty handshake, good luck wishes, a paper stating my diagnosis (bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder – I guess there was no insurance code for bipolar 2) and six months of refills on my prescriptions. That’s how long I have to find a new psychiatrist.

So where will my inch-thick file end up next? That’s a good question.

I’ve written before about finding a psychotherapist (http://wp.me/p4e9Hv-1m), but oh, I hate the process of finding and breaking in a new shrink.

At least this time I probably won’t have to go through the whole Reader’s Digest Condensed Version of my screwed-up life, since what I really need at this point is someone who will prescribe and monitor my meds, though it will also be nice to have someone standing by in case of another major meltdown, should I have one.

My first avenue of exploration is whether my primary care physician will prescribe my psychotropics, so I can continue with just a psychotherapist. Dr. R. says that most GPs would shy away from the somewhat lengthy list of meds, but every time I see Dr. S. I update him on what meds I am taking, and I always mention the psychotropics, which have mostly been the same for years.

I have an appointment to see Dr. S. next month and sent a query about the prescription issue (his office has a robust online presence), so with luck, I may have a solution before Halloween.

My next step would be to start with the list that Dr. R. provided. Only one of the offices is at all close to me and I’ll likely start there. Does the doctor accept new patients? Does the practice take my insurance? What’s the charge if they don’t?

I’ll also need to contact my insurance provider for a list of local psychiatrists who do take that insurance, but with that I’ll be flying blind. Dr. R.’s recommendations are people he knows, and knows are good.

I hope they’re as good as Dr. R.


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar type 2, coping mechanisms, finding a psychiatrist, insurance coverage for mental health, mental health, mental illness, my experiences, psychiatrists, psychotropic drugs, support systems