Daily Archives: November 26, 2015
Exactly one year ago I was released from my 4th and final inpatient stay of 2014. I haven’t been back since. There have been several times in the past year where I thought I was headed there, but (whether wisely or not) the people who make those decisions have opted not to send me and […]
Filed under: Family Tagged: community, family, gratitude, love, online support, support, Thanksgiving
It begins with a tree: enormous even when I was a small – in every sense – child. It was huge still when I was an only slightly taller adolescent, and we lived in a much bigger house.
Mom was always sad when we took it down on 12th night, and not because of the dry needles which covered the floor like a second carpet, despite us faithfully watering it with an old, long-nosed, brass-plated watering can.
She really did cry, the day they chopped down the big birch in the front yard. But that’s another story.
The last time I saw our first house, a bungalow, someone had added a second story, what Mom called a “dormer”. It was big, uneasy, and out of place, like Donald Trump’s hair. The house was built in the 60s, not for old folks, but young families. It was a new build when Mom and Dad moved in, along with the bump that was soon to be my sister. The unborn baby made Mom slowly faint into her breakfast one morning: oatmeal, as it happened, so it was a warm, if messy, face bath. Most of the younger women were pregnant, or had small children who stared out the big picture windows.
Each December, my Dad would paint our picture window, using basic, primary colours, and leaving an circle for the cat to look outside, plus an outline around the tree, so it could be seen from the sidewalk in all its eclectic splendour: the white and red candy striped cloth babbles, the glittery ones which shed sparkles each year, the big glass one which said “Sarbatori Fericite”, and which they brought back specially from Bronners.
The huge, Jewish-owned business sold everything from Christmas decorations to thousands of Michigan families, to the huge, nodding reindeer, Santas, and elves which fascinated me, and were destined for grottoes at Hudsons, Crowleys, and other big department stores.
We made regular trips to Frankenmuth, home of Bronner’s, where signs boasted it was “Christmas 364 days a year”. They closed on the actual day.
Ignoring Zehnder’s boasts about their chicken dinners, Dad would order a glass of Liebfraumilch, and a steak, whilst Mom had sauerbraten. For me, the highlight was the little clear plastic animals which sat on kids’ sundaes. I built up a collection: the blue monkey with its curly tail, several orange giraffes, including one I kept despite its loss of a limb. They sat – in the giraffe’s case, leaned – on my bedroom windowsill, fading gradually in the sun.
In my memory, we visited nearby Detroit – hometown of Hudsons, Crowleys, and my parents – neither more nor less after the 1967 riots, than before.
My father’s parents had moved to Redford, and whilst we didn’t visit on Christmas day, Mama Buna’s colac was an integral part of childhood Christmases and Easters alike. It was described to me as “holiday bread”. Now, with greater knowledge of the larger Romania, I realise that colac was or is probably more Transylvanian, than Romanian. Transylvania was still part of the Austro-Hungarian empire when first Mosu – aged 17, and curious – then Mama Buna, 15 and just as curious – left their home village, near Brasov,
“Cozonac” is both sweeter, and more common, than colac. A yeast bread filled with poppy seeds, Uncle Bob – “the man who came to dinner” as Tusa Becky called him – complained that the seeds stuck in his teeth. My grandmother swopped them for walnuts. That is proper colac: sliced, toasted under what we called “the broiler”, then spread with margarine.
I live in walking distance now of at least three shops selling the Polish, and Czech, versions of colac. Put on the grill, left almost to burning point, then spread with butter, it’s a welcome taste of childhood Christmas mornings, perfect with a cuppa. In a few weeks’ time, I will unpack two large, glass baubles from Bronners: the white one, with the map of Michigan, and the blue one, wishing everyone “Sarbatori Fericite”.
If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you and yours a peaceful, happy holiday.
Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
It was a ward 13 Wednesday yesterday, for therapy and to get meds. Starting and titrating Clozapine, tapering off lamotrigine and sertraline and chlorpromazine. Weekly white cell counts for a bit, and ect next year. Therapy doesn’t generally happen well there, because it’s an understaffed department of a big…
Originally posted on Take a Ride on My Mood Swing:
The donor used to say, like, alll the time, “You just can’t stand for anyone to be happy.” I could argue with that, not that it would do any good. Because even in bipolar land, there are those doing well on their meds and in…
It was a ward 13 Wednesday yesterday, for therapy and to get meds. Starting and titrating Clozapine, tapering off lamotrigine and sertraline and chlorpromazine. Weekly white cell counts for a […]
I left the house today. In pajama pants. Which according to my favorite stand up comic, Christ Titus, means I should voluntarily climb into a wood chipper. I guess wearing pajama pants in public is frowned upon? Physical discomfort dictated I wear nothing more snug than baggy jammy pants and frankly, to skip the family shindig tomorrow…bring on the wood chipper. I just know with that little space and all those people packed in there, me all hopped on on hormonal mood surges and cramps…It’s gonna blow herds of goats.
I would really love to view Thanksgiving in a positive light, but ya know, it’s just always been my least favorite holiday, even as a kid. Stupid parades. Too much food. Too many people. Idiotic ball games. BOOOOORING. As an adult forced to participate same as I was forced as a child “for the family” “because it’s normal” I find my resentment has grown immensely. Then I feel bitchy cos at least I have a family who cares enough to cook and gather round and blah fucking blah. My mom and sis make it such a big deal, always with too much food, spending so much they’ll starve for the next week, then griping about the exhaustion of cooking and…Ugh, new tradition, please, for fuck’s sake. How about um…I do love my mom’s homemade dressing but beyond that..I think I’d be just as happy with a salisbury steak tv dinner. I prefer calm and lame to noisy, upsetting and tasty. Since age 10, Thanksgiving, for me, has always been about how to suffer as long as socially required to count as polite, then escape with my sanity in tact and my brain not in a comatose state.
Sorry if it’s your holiday, that’s cool and all. Just not for me. Aside from Halloween I find all holidays pretty dissatisfying. I’d love to say that’s the depression but really…once my family broke apart at Thanksgiving that one year…No more. Fuck it all. I have two factions of family, always at odds, and I am sick of being in the middle at age 42 on holidays. Sick of mom bashing dad, dad bashing mom, them bashing me. I just wanna yell WE ARE ALL ASSHOLES AND WE SUCK, CAN WE JUST GET OUR DOGGY BAGS AND LEAVE NOW THAT WE’VE FULFILLED THE DUTY OF APPEARING?
I have tried so very hard not to view it that way. But even when it was with my first husband’s family rather than mine…it still sucked. It’s that “outside the bubble” thing. If I excelled at small talk and being socially comfortable, I’d be a barfly.
Yes, I have my grump on this week, I am a bad bad woman all full of venom and darkness and why, it’s probably even my own fault I have depression cos I just deserve it for being so undamnedgrateful for Thanksgiving and having a family.
DRAMATIC EYE ROLL.
My mood hid pitch black earlier. No trigger. It just went there. And I’ve spent hours trying to climb out of that abyss, determined to plaster on that fake face for my kid cos I don’t want to taint the holidays for her even if no one gave a fuck about tainting them for me. Of course, it won’t matter how hard I try to be a good mom. My mother will inevitably find a way to criticize my parenting. Oh and now dad and his crew say they may not come til the evening, which means I will get to hear about how there’s all that food and how dare they be so rude as to have other plans and…
I think I am within my rights to feel some dread here. My family is a damned broken record.
And I guess I am, too, but I don’t utter a word I don’t feel deep down in my bones. I am genuine. Genuinely fucked up. Busted, bent, broken.
Repair is possible. Failure is inevitable. I accept this fact. Don’t like it. Fight it tooth and nail. It is what it is.
So I am gonna skip the shower and curl up in fort blankie and kick my own ass for being in too much pain to stop and buy more painkiller today. Huh? Yeah, right?
I would be so much more thankful if my family were the kind that served wine and such with meals. It makes everyone so much more tolerable, including me.
Happy Fangsgiving from Venom-Miss.
The donor used to say, like, alll the time, “You just can’t stand for anyone to be happy.”
I could argue with that, not that it would do any good. Because even in bipolar land, there are those doing well on their meds and in happy places and while I don’t begrudge them this stability…
HAVING IT FLUNG IN MY FACE MAKES ME STABBY.
Yeah, if it took you less than ten years and five doctors to get your diagnosis and right meds and they’ve stuck…Good for you. But you’re just gonna have to reach deep down inside your happy fun ball soul and realize…Many many many of us haven’t gotten there and every time we are forcefed a joyful story about how “it’s out there if we accept that we are ill”…
Epic fail on that hellish road called good intentions.
I can be happy FOR those doing well. I can be supportive OF those doing well.
But because I AM IN A CLINICAL DEPRESSION, forgive me if I can’t put on my gold lame Hammer pants and dance like it’s 1999 or whatever. I am miserable, pessimistic, I have other issues going on, the holidays always test me, and goddamn it…I am sick of feeling like I HAVE to paste on the happy fucking face to be supportive of a tribe member just because they’ve hit a good patch.
(And frankly, tar and feather me for this, if your meds have lasted consistently for more than six months of non depressive non manic stability, you may be cyclothymic rather than hardcore bipolar because…US. The ones who aren’t so easily cured yet have suffered four times as long.)
I guess I am being an enormous bitch but often that is the case. One person has to speak up and risk being hated to speak the truth others feel but fear being castigated for putting out there.
So…If you are doing well, that is awesome. Ten sporks up and a pegcorn trophy of awesomeness for you.
If you’re like me and circling the fucking drain and every “happy” thought feels like you’re being sprayed with Uzi fire because you can’t feel it no matter how hard you try…
It’s not just you. It’s not just me.
This post is for those who are battling, struggling, glaring at their meds as if they consist of Tic-Tacs and loathing Thanksgiving holiday even if you have much to be grateful for because, ya know, clinical depression gives zero fucks.
Fuck giving thanks for anything but still being here to draw breath and tell that bitch bipolar to fuck off.
That’s MY happy thankful thought.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and this is my final post of the year. Things are busy both at work and at home, for all of us I am sure, and I think it might do me some good to schedule in this little holiday break every year. I want to be able to spend my nights […]