Daily Archives: January 30, 2016

in brief

So now I’m three days into the olanzapine and fluoxetine meds regime. I prefer the word regime to cocktail, because meds generally seem to arrive in jackboots and take over my life. Also, there are no parasols or  disgusting maraschino cherries in sight. I’ve gone from spending about two thirds of my life asleep, to … Continue reading in brief

First Dance Competition

So today was the first local dance competition.  We started getting ready for it at 7: 30 a.m. and barely got there by 9 a.m, when it started.  My anxiety has been communicated to my youngest child–she had to wear a hat for her first dance (the first one on the program), and when we took it off, of course her hair was ruined and had to be restyled in the gym bathroom of the venue.  She started crying.  Even though I wasn’t anxious due to my Xanax, there was no calming my child down until I just said we would get it done and there was no use crying as that would mess up her makeup and we’d have to redo it, too.  So she calmed down.  I hate this business.  So we are going to have to revise how we do hair from now on so we can leave on time and not have to redo it so often.  Very frustrating.

I have an assignment up for comments and haven’t received any.  I want to hear some feedback before I turn it in, but I may not get any.  We will have to see.  THe assignments due tomorrow; if I don’t get any by bedtime tonight, I’m just going to turn it in early and see how it does.

I have been so sleepy due to the Xanax.  But I guess I’m just going to have to get used to it.  I can’t take the anxiety and certainly don’t want to communicate it to my children.  We’ll see if I get habituated to it soon enough so that it keeps working but doesn’t sedate me so badly.

HOpe everyone has a good weekend!

 


Welcome to Texas!

image

Do not feed the wildlife, and watch for snakes?

This is the view when you pull into the Texas Welcome Center.

As if the previous night in Louisiana wasn’t enough.

That campground was a simple piece of swamp.  When I got out of my rig to plug into the electric, I sank into mud up to the ankle.  There were signs warning not to leave garbage out, because it attracts alligators.  Bears, I’m used to.  Alligators, no.

So the next morning I balled the jack all the way to Livingston, Texas, which is a couple of hundred miles on barely-paved 75 mph two-lane roads north of Houston.  Got into my campground at 5:32 p.m.

500 miles in 8 hours.  How did I do that?

Drugs.  All legal.

1)  Starbucks Double Shot in a can;
2) I took my Adderal, which I normally hate taking, but it really does help me pay attention)
3) Nicotine tablets
4) There was a fourth one, but I forget now.  I’m having a major crash day.

So I’m watching for snakes.  I never feed the wildlife anymore, so that’s not an issue.  But snakes are important to watch for.

I don’t have a huge desire to hang around in Texas for longer than I have to.  The only reasons I have to are to pick up some mail that is waiting for me here, and to see if I can get my abscessed tooth taken care of.  There’s a place here that advertises crowns made in one day, so I’m going to look into that.

Good thing I’m a traveling pharmacy, otherwise this tooth would have hung me up before now.  As soon as it dawned on me that this pain, swelling, and fever was localized to a tooth that broke in half recently, and was half-heartedly repaired by a dentist who really wanted to do the, “Oh, what you need is a four-tooth bridge, maybe a couple of implants and a time-share on Key Largo” thing, so was put out when I explained that I was short on both time and money…so the shite filling she did ($270) started leaking almost immediately, with the result that the tooth became infected, during the blizzard, of course.

Where was I?

Oh, yes.  As soon as I realized that it was my tooth, I rummaged through my box of random medicines and found exactly the right antibiotic.  After three days the tooth quieted down, but I’ve continued to take the antibiotics, because the tooth is now essentially a foreign body, and until it’s fixed the bacteria will be hiding out in there, waiting for a window of opportunity.  Which I hope not to give them.

Now, there is a dentist in this town who advertises not only same-day crowns, but also sedation!  And takes emergencies!  Does it get any better? 

Yes, not needing a dentist in the first place. 


Score!

Every year around this time, our library gives away its old magazines.  For me, it’s like winning the lottery… or getting free cheese from the government.  I’m still honing my skills, but I’ve learned a few things.

Mag Giveaway2

Get there Early.  While most folk come to browse and pick up a few Highlights for the kiddies, poplar magazines go quickly.  Today I was first in line—except for the two schizophrenics who hang out at the library every day.  People behind me started muttering about “budging in line,” so I quietly explained that these guys weren’t after the magazines.  The library is a second home to a lot of us.

aldi bagBring Sturdy Bags.  My canvas Aldi bags work great.  I generally load about fifty pounds per bag, so I don’t want any spillage while I’m huffing my way back to the car.

• Snatch the High Priority Magazines First.  I have a few favorites—magazines that offer the best photos and weirdest copy.  National Geographic is my number one pick.  Aside from the gorgeous and often bizarre photographs, the copy is so delightful taken out of context.  Where else would I be able to find “People swallow eight spiders a year in their sleep” or “Poop throwing”?  The Oprah Magazine carries a columnist that is always hysterical.  And Entertainment Weekly gives me both celebrity fun and consistently outrageous copy.  I like to read The Humanist, but tend to find choice quotes there as well.

Mag Giveaway1

• Take a Second, Slow Turn to Try New Titles.  It always surprises me which magazines are complete duds as far as my needs go.  AARP, Psychology Today, Popular Photography, The New Yorker, and Natural Life were all disasters.  Boring text, boring pictures (Popular Photography is all about cameras and lighting. Zzzzzz), or self-important and snooty with no humor—even out of context.  Writer and Writer’s Digest are iffy.  A good interview can make the search worthwhile, but most articles are overwritten and so serious.

This year I’m trying American History, Harper’s, Vanity Fair (mostly for the gorgeous Hollywood portraits), and The Iowa Review (a poetry/literary collection).

Mag Haul 2016

Instead of this slap-dash method, I’m considering a more systematic approach next year.  I think I’ll start visiting the magazine section and get more acquainted with what’s stocked.  There might be a rag out there, rich in hilarity and quirkiness, hidden under an innocuous title.  Maybe Men’s Health is the Holy Grail.

Oh, it so could be…


The Curse Of Loving Things

Ever since I moved out of my own place in September of 2014, I have had a storage unit. Shortly after that move, I went to Florida for the Winter of 2014/15.  Upon my return, I moved in with my sister and her two kids, and then in August of 2015 she moved to a new house, which has a finished  basement with a living room, bedroom and bathroom for me.  I moved a lot of my belongings out of storage into this area, but I still have a lot in storage, furniture that wouldn’t fit, books, camping supplies, and all of my kitchen stuff.  With my financial future so uncertain, I’d really like to stop paying the hefty monthly fees for storage.  It comes to about $1,500 per year, which is a lot when you think about it.  My problem is that I am so attached to my possessions.  Moreover, if I get rid of my kitchen supplies, it’s like giving up on ever having a place of my own again.  I have so many mixed feelings, because I do have a small nest egg that I hope to use on building a tiny house someday, in which case I would need to pare down my possessions to the bare minimum.  What is the solution to this attachment to possessions?  I’m so afraid of feeling empty without them, or regretting getting rid of them.  But my only chance at independence is likely having a tiny house, that I could pay cash for, and then support myself on very little monthly money.

My independence is very important for me. Right now, the living situation I’m in is one of interdependence.  I help my sister with her mortgage payment, and I help her with the upkeep of the house and with the kids.  But there’s NO WAY I will do another winter in Colorado, due to the wicked Seasonal Affective Disorder I suffer from.  I absolutely must come up with a solution that allows me to go to Florida for the winters.  I feel like my life literally depends on it.  I feel like I see the solution clearly, but I have all these messy feelings that are getting in the way of executing it.  I don’t want to get stuck, or stay stuck, and end up here for another winter.  I need to start taking actions now to guarantee a different outcome next winter.

I guess ultimately my journey begins with a single step. Start going through storage.  Start parting with some of the stuff.  Sell what I can.  Get creative with selling stuff.  Try not to get killed by a craigslist killer.  Maybe hold up some people from Craigslist for their cash, I don’t know.  I’m just throwing ideas out there.  This week, I’m going to try.  I’m just saying I’m going to try some stuff, rather than just thinking about it.  For me, that’s actually monumental.  I get so stuck in my thoughts, swirling round and round and round, that to step out of the swirl and do something is kind of novel.  So here, I will begin.  I’ll be back to cry, I’m sure.  I’ll let you know :).

 

 


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar and Stuck, Bipolar Procrastination, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Hope, Humor, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

If You can Banter or Laugh, then you cannot be mentally ill

Or…so I am told.

Which means every one of us in the mental health blogosphere are “faking” our illness.

Bull

Shit!!!!

There are times our banter and sarcastic humor are the ONLY things that help keep us afloat. Humor is sort of the “lifesaver” of depression. Maybe we don’t feel mirthful or laugh out loud, literally, but I think every one of us all appreciates and celebrates the therapeutic benefits of “humor” and “banter”. Dark as we may be…The banter, that connection to others who know why we are so dark, is as good as any pill.

Am I saying quit your meds and just try to swap sarcastic snarks with others?

Hell to the no!

I am, however, saying…We may be mood swing-y, we may be depressed, but the ability to use humor does NOT make us “cured”. It is simply one more tool in the arsenal against the bipolar and anxiety that oppresses us.

Such a shame the professionals and mundanes cannot grasp this fact.

I often ponder how the mundanes would feel if they had ONE good stable mental day a month. I doubt they’d be so quick to judge. I bet they would feel as frustrated as we do. I bet they’d even treasure the inane banter that amounts to nothing in the big picture and yet means so very much to us in our dark place alone.

It took everything I had to venture into the dish today. Even things I know how to do and usually find simplistic became insurmountable tasks. The noise, people, sunlight- it all ignited my anxiety like throwing a match on a gasoline soaked sofa…Even the simple act of sitting in a busy drive thru to  get lunch had me recording my panic on my phone. I tried to tell R that I could function faster at home where my mind was clear,to no avail.If your friends won’t listen and take you seriously…praying an employer will is lunacy. To say I felt anxious and deflated is an understatement.

Then Mrs R called him and asked to talk to me. She invited me and Spook over tonight for pizza. After a month of declining invites, I said ok.

Then I spent nearly four hours clock watching. Not because I was looking forward to the outing. Noo. I was looking forward to just getting it over.

Not because it was so awful, we had a good time.

It’s just the anxiety with which I respond to all impending outings,  be it court, helping R, going to someone’s for a meal…I battle it. It makes no difference.

I mean, if it were simple anxiety, it wouldn’t be deemed an “anxiety disorder”.

We went, we enjoyed pizza, I had a glass of wine, then we left,  before 8 p.m. I begged off saying I don’t like driving after dark.

It’s true.

Mostly I wanted my bubble.

Pathetic yet the raw truth.

So…if you like/love/care/laugh at me…Banter with me.

It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy and a hell of a lot more useful.