Daily Archives: October 26, 2015

First Impressions

I first met my wife literally just weeks after a severe bipolar episode which culminated in getting legendarily drunk at a camp out and bawling my eyes out for hours while terrifying a couple of my friends with desperate talk about suicide. I’ve told the story of the last concert I went to just a […]

First Impressions

I first met my wife literally just weeks after a severe bipolar episode which culminated in getting legendarily drunk at a camp out and bawling my eyes out for hours while terrifying a couple of my friends with desperate talk about suicide. I’ve told the story of the last concert I went to just a […]

To Ink or not to Ink

Picture

​To ink or not to ink? That is the question. And if you choose to tattoo, that is a permanent answer. For years I have been tempted to decorate my body with ink. At first it was simply that – a decoration – something pretty that I thought I would like. But what would I really like? Would I like it forever? What if people judged me for having a tattoo? What if I regretted it? Could I handle the pain? Many questions plagued me and the answers weren’t sufficient enough to send me to the local tattoo parlor. Until now.
 
Now I have some of the answers. Over the years there have been a lot of bad times – very low moods, even periods of great depression. And sometimes the only thing that got me through was a mantra of mine: this too shall pass. I decided that would be a good sentiment to always remember.
 
My best-friend also loves the saying. She also has bipolar disorder so the words mean as much to her as they do to me. After many conversations around the potential for a tattoo, we took a step forward. I wanted to design it myself. She suggested a daisy be added. I agreed. I also wanted some swirls around the words – it balanced out the daisy. So I set out to design the image.
 
I played with it for days. Finally, I settled on something I really loved. I decided these words were something I could live with forever. Something more than decoration – it had meaning.
 
Recently, I took my 16-year-old daughter to get a tattoo she has been wanting for a couple of years. Her tattoo is probably twice the size that I want. After watching her deal with the pain – it was on her ribs and waist – I decided if she could handle it, I could handle it too.
 
Being over 50 now, things change. I find I don’t worry so much about what other people think. I tend to focus more on what matters to me. Not only did I want to ink the phrase “this too shall pass,” I also wanted to add the symbol for bipolar disorder, :):  It worked in well right at the end of the phrase. I think I will get this tattoo on my left forearm where I can easily see it. I envision it being something I look to on particularly bad days. I will post a picture of it when I finally take the plunge.
 
My friend wants the same design. We will get them together. She doesn’t live in the same city as I do, so it will likely take some time before we can synchronize our schedules and actually plan a date that works for both of us. That being said, it feels good to have made the decision. Something I can do for myself. Something that will get me through the tough times. Something I can stroke off my bucket list.

Online School Didn’t Work Out

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. - Thomas A. Edison

Okay, so here’s where we are now. Online k12.com high school proved an unsuccessful experiment. My son prefers a teacher directly instruct him, rather than study independently for a series of online quizzes and tests. He needs feedback. He needs to discuss what he is learning, to ask questions and get answers, to be asked questions, to develop his critical reasoning skills.

So, last Friday we went and visited a private school that offers one-on-one attention and flexible scheduling. Once my son finishes one of the courses he is currently taking online, we plan to enroll him in the private school.

I believe in trying things out. If something doesn’t work, try something else.

Failure is always an option. Failure is necessary to learning.


Filed under: Bipolar Parenting, Motherhood, Parenting Tagged: education, failure, homeschooling, k12.com, learning, online education, private education, social anxiety

you’re never too old to be emo

TW: sh, suicide, ill-tempered sadness. When I can’t speak and I don’t want to feel, when I can’t concentrate on reading and all music sounds discordant, when the slightest provocation rattles right through me and when I remember it in the first place, I slope around the Internet, head down, a smoke in my mouth…

you’re never too old to be emo

TW: sh, suicide, ill-tempered sadness. When I can’t speak and I don’t want to feel, when I can’t concentrate on reading and all music sounds discordant, when the slightest provocation rattles right through me and when I remember it in the first place, I slope around the Internet, head down, a smoke in my mouth…

Week 3 (Meds)

Day 16 of Quetiapine (150mg/day)

Update on how I’m coping with my meds: I’ve spent all of the past fortnight essentially zonked-out. Lethargic, tired, but still not sleeping at night even with a bedtime dose of 100mg. I wake up often, as I always have, but I go back to sleep quickly and it doesn’t seem to be hypomania that’s waking me – like those hellish weeks before I started on medication. I get up late, dozing and snoozing. So I’m probably getting the hours (of sleep) I need, but it would be nice to sleep right through the night. Just once a decade would suit me!

The dreams are long, vivid, story-like. But not unpleasant and not particularly anxiety-driven. Strangely, most of them involve my childhood home. [There are PTSD issues related to that part of my life.]

I’ve put on weight, but only a few lbs – but I walk 10-12 miles a week (2-4 miles at a time), I haven’t drunk any alcohol for almost 3 weeks, and I’m being careful with what I eat and when I eat it.

It’s early days, but my hypomania appears to have been clipped, though there was a sudden episode last week that came right out of nowhere, very fast. And it went almost as swiftly, leaving me low. But nothing I couldn’t handle.

My anxiety level seems to have dropped a bit (something my psychiatrist noticed immediately at this morning’s appointment) but my OCD seems untouched by the meds. Although there was no reason it should do, I had nonetheless hoped it might help.

I haven’t driven my car since starting Quetiapine; I daren’t – I’m not too confident walking in a straight line at the moment, let alone having horse power at my command.

Psychiatrist this morning pointed out that the 150mg/day dose is too low to treat bipolar and has recommended 300mg XR a day, taken in one go at bedtime. I’ll start tonight. After 20 years of not sleeping through the night even once, let’s see if this does the trick!

My next appointment is in a month; I have the option to double this new dose to 600mg/day from then.

So, chapter 2 of this medication story starts tonight. Watch this space…


Week 3 (Meds)

Day 16 of Quetiapine (150mg/day)

Update on how I’m coping with my meds: I’ve spent all of the past fortnight essentially zonked-out. Lethargic, tired, but still not sleeping at night even with a bedtime dose of 100mg. I wake up often, as I always have, but I go back to sleep quickly and it doesn’t seem to be hypomania that’s waking me – like those hellish weeks before I started on medication. I get up late, dozing and snoozing. So I’m probably getting the hours (of sleep) I need, but it would be nice to sleep right through the night. Just once a decade would suit me!

The dreams are long, vivid, story-like. But not unpleasant and not particularly anxiety-driven. Strangely, most of them involve my childhood home. [There are PTSD issues related to that part of my life.]

I’ve put on weight, but only a few lbs – but I walk 10-12 miles a week (2-4 miles at a time), I haven’t drunk any alcohol for almost 3 weeks, and I’m being careful with what I eat and when I eat it.

It’s early days, but my hypomania appears to have been clipped, though there was a sudden episode last week that came right out of nowhere, very fast. And it went almost as swiftly, leaving me low. But nothing I couldn’t handle.

My anxiety level seems to have dropped a bit (something my psychiatrist noticed immediately at this morning’s appointment) but my OCD seems untouched by the meds. Although there was no reason it should do, I had nonetheless hoped it might help.

I haven’t driven my car since starting Quetiapine; I daren’t – I’m not too confident walking in a straight line at the moment, let alone having horse power at my command.

Psychiatrist this morning pointed out that the 150mg/day dose is too low to treat bipolar and has recommended 300mg XR a day, taken in one go at bedtime. I’ll start tonight. After 20 years of not sleeping through the night even once, let’s see if this does the trick!

My next appointment is in a month; I have the option to double this new dose to 600mg/day from then.

So, chapter 2 of this medication story starts tonight. Watch this space…


Computer Woes

I wrote a very nice 500 word post Friday only to see the computer eat it.  So I gave up until I got home to my usual internet connection.  ANyway.

The end of the symposium was really great.  We had a gala dinner with PJ O’Rourke as the guest speaker on Friday night.  He was amazing to hear in person. Just as funny as always.  He talked about the 2016 presidential race, and that was funny.  I saw my oldest daughter there–she’s required to attend for her scholarship.  She breezed by me, said hello, introduced me to her roommate and other friends, and then disappeared.  Which I thought was healthy.

So now I have to write a paper for the symposium and catch up on the New Media stuff.  I have a project worked up for my first portfolio workshop.  It’s an extension of my electronic poem. I added two more stanzas for the workshop and will add music for the final project.  I need to work up my map project and work on my hypertext project.  Then I think I’ll make a book trailer for what I hope will be my second book, Rollerskating Over Forty.  I think that’s all I’ll have to do,  That’s four projects.  I’ll talk to my professor about them this morning.


Computer Woes

I wrote a very nice 500 word post Friday only to see the computer eat it.  So I gave up until I got home to my usual internet connection.  ANyway.

The end of the symposium was really great.  We had a gala dinner with PJ O’Rourke as the guest speaker on Friday night.  He was amazing to hear in person. Just as funny as always.  He talked about the 2016 presidential race, and that was funny.  I saw my oldest daughter there–she’s required to attend for her scholarship.  She breezed by me, said hello, introduced me to her roommate and other friends, and then disappeared.  Which I thought was healthy.

So now I have to write a paper for the symposium and catch up on the New Media stuff.  I have a project worked up for my first portfolio workshop.  It’s an extension of my electronic poem. I added two more stanzas for the workshop and will add music for the final project.  I need to work up my map project and work on my hypertext project.  Then I think I’ll make a book trailer for what I hope will be my second book, Rollerskating Over Forty.  I think that’s all I’ll have to do,  That’s four projects.  I’ll talk to my professor about them this morning.