Daily Archives: February 23, 2016

Super Secret Surprise!! Breaking News!!!

Originally posted on The Bipolar Compass:
Ready. Set. Sail! So far so good. I have to say that this is the longest I’ve been Stable in God knows how long. Years. Either it’s Depression or Mania with me. NOT THIS TIME!! I have been Stable for a solid 3 weeks. Thank God! That’s seriously the…

Scientists identify molecular link between sleep and mood

Sleep and mood are so very linked. In bipolar mania, you have no need for sleep at all. In bipolar depression and all kinds of depression, you never want to wake up. These researchers have found a gene called Period 3, this is circadian rhythm gene and now has been found to be the link between mood and sleep. When Per 3 is mutated, mice get SAD or seasonal affective disorder, which is characterized by depression when sunlight is in short supply, such as in winter time. Another piece of the puzzle! Perhaps another target for drug development and delivery. 

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/scientists-identify-molecular-link-between-sleep-and-mood?utm_source=sciencemagazine&utm_medium=facebook-text&utm_campaign=sleep_mood-2538By Claire AsherFeb. 22, 2016 , 5:45 PM

A poor night’s sleep is enough to put anyone in a bad mood, and although scientists have long suspected a link between mood and sleep, the molecular basis of this connection remained a mystery. Now, new research has found several rare genetic mutations on the same gene that definitively connect the two.

Sleep goes hand-in-hand with mood. People suffering from depression and mania, for example, frequently have altered sleeping patterns, as do those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). And although no one knows exactly how these changes come about, in SAD sufferers they are influenced by changes in light exposure, the brain’s time-keeping cue. But is mood affecting sleep, is sleep affecting mood, or is there a third factor influencing both? Although a number of tantalizing leads have linked the circadian clock to mood, there is “no definitive factor that proves causality or indicates the direction of the relationship,” says Michael McCarthy, a neurobiologist at the San Diego Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center and the University of California (UC), San Diego. 
To see whether they could establish a link between the circadian clock, sleep, and mood, scientists in the new study looked at the genetics of a family that suffers from abnormal sleep patterns and mood disorders, including SAD and something called advanced sleep phase, a condition in which people wake earlier and sleep earlier than normal. The scientists screened the family for mutations in key genes involved in the circadian clock, and identified two rare variants of the PERIOD3 (PER3) gene in members suffering from SAD and advanced sleep phase. “We found a genetic change in people who have both seasonal affective disorder and the morning lark trait” says lead researcher Ying-Hui Fu, a neuroscientist at UC San Francisco. When the team tested for these mutations in DNA samples from the general population, they found that they were extremely rare, appearing in less than 1% of samples.
Fu and her team then created mice that carried the novel genetic variants. These transgenic mice showed an unusual sleep-wake cycle and struggled less when handled by the researchers, a typical sign of depression. They also had lower levels of PER2, a protein involved in circadian rhythms, than unmutated mice, providing a possible molecular explanation for the unusual sleep patterns in the family. Fu says this supports the link between the PER3 mutations and both sleep and mood. “PER3’s role in mood regulation has never been demonstrated directly before,” she says. “Our results indicate that PER3 might function in helping us adjust to seasonal changes,” by modifying the body’s internal clock.
To investigate further, the team studied mice lacking a functional PER3 gene. They found that these mice showed symptoms of SAD, exhibiting more severe depression when the duration of simulated daylight in the laboratory was reduced. Because SAD affects between 2% and 9% of people worldwide, the novel variants can’t explain it fully. But understanding the function of PER3 could yield insights into the molecular basis of a wide range of sleep and mood disorders, Fu says.
Together, these experiments show that the PERIOD3 gene likely plays a key role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, influencing mood and regulating the relationship between depression and seasonal changes in light availability, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The identification of a mutation in PER3 with such a strong effect on mood is remarkable,” McCarthy says. “It suggests an important role for the circadian clock in determining mood.”
The next step will be to investigate how well these results generalize to other people suffering from mood and sleep disorders. “It will be interesting to see if other rare variants in PER3 are found, or if SAD is consistently observed in other carriers,” McCarthy says. That could eventually lead to new drugs that selectively target the gene, which McCarthy says, “could be a strategy for treating mood or sleep disorders.” 


From A to B (again)

From the archives …..

After a break to regenerate my creative juices I am glad to announce that my blog about cycling and mental illness is back.

At this time of the year cyclists (in the northern hemisphere at least) have to brave cold conditions.  I have to admit that I have discarded my plastic hat for a wooly one.  My fingerless cycling gloves have been put away and been replaced by proper ones.

As I returned to my blog after my break I checked the site stats that WordPress supply.  There was no surprise, though a twinge of disappointment, I must admit, to see that the number of readers had plummeted.

Just like the number of miles I have been doing recently.  Regular readers will know that I am an all-weather cyclists, as unafraid to don lycra tights in the cold weather as I am to put on the padded shorts come the Spring.  But these days I have hardly been out into the Sussex countryside to enjoy the views and the fresh air in what has been, (apologies to Scottish readers), a pretty mild winter.

The only miles I seem to be doing have been the three times per week commute to the station on my way to work, and a 6 mile round trip to Brighton about once a week.  I am barely on speaking terms with my bike computer; 12 miles one week, barely 20 the next.  10 tired and wet miles back and forth to the station, back home up the hill in the dank, dark evenings.

Despite these lacklustre distances my mood has been fine.

But it has not been ever thus.

These commuting trips along the same, familiar roads, past the same landmarks, remind me of how depression can reduce me to having to settle for just getting from A to B, and little else.

In my job as a Peer Supporter, helping fellow sufferers to make their way on their personal road to recovery, I hear a lot about how things are when life is at its worst.  One person I met regularly last year who had been severly depressed for the best part of a year, before emerging slowly back into the world described her recovery as abrupt.  She couldn’t see how she had come out of this long episode so abruptly.  Neither could I.  Reflecting on my own experience of recovering from episodes of depression I saw my re-emergence as gradual, faltering – anything but abrupt.  As we got to know eachother, shared our experiences, I could see that Eve’s* recovery had been anything but abrupt.  She recounted what her psychiatrist had asked her to do when she was begining to relapse.  He had asked her to have a shower, brush her teeth and go for a walk every day, then write these things down as a kind of diary.  This she did nearly every day week after week, month after month.  Nothing dramatic, nothing deep and meaningful.  What he asked her to do was almost mechanical.  But, I reflected to her when she told me this, the tenacity it took to follow these instructions, to record these mundane actions, were what slowly, inperceptibly, brought back into the world.

Cycling feels like that sometimes.  The miles are short and functional.  They don’t include inspiring views or the satisfaction of finishing a long ride, tired but happy.  But they do get me from A to B.  And from there, I know I will one day travel much further.

from Stroke

vii

At the merest handshake I feel his blood

Move with the ebb-tide chill.  Who can revive

A body settled in its final mood?

To whom, on what tide, can we move, and live?

Later I wheel him out to see the trees:

Willows and oaks, the small plants he mistakes

For rose bushes; and there

In the front, looming, light green, cypresses.

His pulse no stronger than the pulse of air.

Dying, he grows more tender, learns to tech

Himself the mysteries I am left to trace.

As I bend to say ‘Till next time’, I search

For signs of resurrection in his face.

Vincent Buckley (1925 – 1988)

*Not her real name


From A to B (again)

From the archives …..

After a break to regenerate my creative juices I am glad to announce that my blog about cycling and mental illness is back.

At this time of the year cyclists (in the northern hemisphere at least) have to brave cold conditions.  I have to admit that I have discarded my plastic hat for a wooly one.  My fingerless cycling gloves have been put away and been replaced by proper ones.

As I returned to my blog after my break I checked the site stats that WordPress supply.  There was no surprise, though a twinge of disappointment, I must admit, to see that the number of readers had plummeted.

Just like the number of miles I have been doing recently.  Regular readers will know that I am an all-weather cyclists, as unafraid to don lycra tights in the cold weather as I am to put on the padded shorts come the Spring.  But these days I have hardly been out into the Sussex countryside to enjoy the views and the fresh air in what has been, (apologies to Scottish readers), a pretty mild winter.

The only miles I seem to be doing have been the three times per week commute to the station on my way to work, and a 6 mile round trip to Brighton about once a week.  I am barely on speaking terms with my bike computer; 12 miles one week, barely 20 the next.  10 tired and wet miles back and forth to the station, back home up the hill in the dank, dark evenings.

Despite these lacklustre distances my mood has been fine.

But it has not been ever thus.

These commuting trips along the same, familiar roads, past the same landmarks, remind me of how depression can reduce me to having to settle for just getting from A to B, and little else.

In my job as a Peer Supporter, helping fellow sufferers to make their way on their personal road to recovery, I hear a lot about how things are when life is at its worst.  One person I met regularly last year who had been severly depressed for the best part of a year, before emerging slowly back into the world described her recovery as abrupt.  She couldn’t see how she had come out of this long episode so abruptly.  Neither could I.  Reflecting on my own experience of recovering from episodes of depression I saw my re-emergence as gradual, faltering – anything but abrupt.  As we got to know eachother, shared our experiences, I could see that Eve’s* recovery had been anything but abrupt.  She recounted what her psychiatrist had asked her to do when she was begining to relapse.  He had asked her to have a shower, brush her teeth and go for a walk every day, then write these things down as a kind of diary.  This she did nearly every day week after week, month after month.  Nothing dramatic, nothing deep and meaningful.  What he asked her to do was almost mechanical.  But, I reflected to her when she told me this, the tenacity it took to follow these instructions, to record these mundane actions, were what slowly, inperceptibly, brought back into the world.

Cycling feels like that sometimes.  The miles are short and functional.  They don’t include inspiring views or the satisfaction of finishing a long ride, tired but happy.  But they do get me from A to B.  And from there, I know I will one day travel much further.

from Stroke

vii

At the merest handshake I feel his blood

Move with the ebb-tide chill.  Who can revive

A body settled in its final mood?

To whom, on what tide, can we move, and live?

Later I wheel him out to see the trees:

Willows and oaks, the small plants he mistakes

For rose bushes; and there

In the front, looming, light green, cypresses.

His pulse no stronger than the pulse of air.

Dying, he grows more tender, learns to tech

Himself the mysteries I am left to trace.

As I bend to say ‘Till next time’, I search

For signs of resurrection in his face.

Vincent Buckley (1925 – 1988)

*Not her real name


From A to B (again)

From the archives …..

After a break to regenerate my creative juices I am glad to announce that my blog about cycling and mental illness is back.

At this time of the year cyclists (in the northern hemisphere at least) have to brave cold conditions.  I have to admit that I have discarded my plastic hat for a wooly one.  My fingerless cycling gloves have been put away and been replaced by proper ones.

As I returned to my blog after my break I checked the site stats that WordPress supply.  There was no surprise, though a twinge of disappointment, I must admit, to see that the number of readers had plummeted.

Just like the number of miles I have been doing recently.  Regular readers will know that I am an all-weather cyclists, as unafraid to don lycra tights in the cold weather as I am to put on the padded shorts come the Spring.  But these days I have hardly been out into the Sussex countryside to enjoy the views and the fresh air in what has been, (apologies to Scottish readers), a pretty mild winter.

The only miles I seem to be doing have been the three times per week commute to the station on my way to work, and a 6 mile round trip to Brighton about once a week.  I am barely on speaking terms with my bike computer; 12 miles one week, barely 20 the next.  10 tired and wet miles back and forth to the station, back home up the hill in the dank, dark evenings.

Despite these lacklustre distances my mood has been fine.

But it has not been ever thus.

These commuting trips along the same, familiar roads, past the same landmarks, remind me of how depression can reduce me to having to settle for just getting from A to B, and little else.

In my job as a Peer Supporter, helping fellow sufferers to make their way on their personal road to recovery, I hear a lot about how things are when life is at its worst.  One person I met regularly last year who had been severly depressed for the best part of a year, before emerging slowly back into the world described her recovery as abrupt.  She couldn’t see how she had come out of this long episode so abruptly.  Neither could I.  Reflecting on my own experience of recovering from episodes of depression I saw my re-emergence as gradual, faltering – anything but abrupt.  As we got to know eachother, shared our experiences, I could see that Eve’s* recovery had been anything but abrupt.  She recounted what her psychiatrist had asked her to do when she was begining to relapse.  He had asked her to have a shower, brush her teeth and go for a walk every day, then write these things down as a kind of diary.  This she did nearly every day week after week, month after month.  Nothing dramatic, nothing deep and meaningful.  What he asked her to do was almost mechanical.  But, I reflected to her when she told me this, the tenacity it took to follow these instructions, to record these mundane actions, were what slowly, inperceptibly, brought back into the world.

Cycling feels like that sometimes.  The miles are short and functional.  They don’t include inspiring views or the satisfaction of finishing a long ride, tired but happy.  But they do get me from A to B.  And from there, I know I will one day travel much further.

from Stroke

vii

At the merest handshake I feel his blood

Move with the ebb-tide chill.  Who can revive

A body settled in its final mood?

To whom, on what tide, can we move, and live?

Later I wheel him out to see the trees:

Willows and oaks, the small plants he mistakes

For rose bushes; and there

In the front, looming, light green, cypresses.

His pulse no stronger than the pulse of air.

Dying, he grows more tender, learns to tech

Himself the mysteries I am left to trace.

As I bend to say ‘Till next time’, I search

For signs of resurrection in his face.

Vincent Buckley (1925 – 1988)

*Not her real name


An Open Letter To Meme Posters

PIZZAMEME

Dear Meme Posters,

I get that you like your memes. I get that they say something.  BUT A MEME IS NOT A BLOG POST!!!  I know, I know, I’m going to piss some people off.  But when I click on your post, I WANT TO READ SOMETHING FROM YOU.  Not just some damn meme!!!  If all I wanted to do was read a meme, I’d go to Facebook!  Look, I like you!  I like to hear from you and what’s going on with you.  Please, tell me something!  Don’t just post a meme!  It’s like, seeing a delicious pizza set in front of you, and all you get to do is smell it!  Not fair!  Follow up that meme with some deliciousness!

Now please don’t unfollow me.

Your friend, Bipolar On Fire


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

Thou Shalt Not Spew False Sunshine

Having been told I am too negative and can’t be made happy…I’ve taken a wee break from blogging. I mean, really, how much misery can I spew before even I find myself redundant? But I also won’t spew sunshine where there is none. My corner of the world is very dark, sue me. Maybe you’ll get the spork of doom in a settlement. After I plant it in your eyeball.

Yeah. this is where my mind has been as of late. The anxiety has me melting down. Which has my mood crashing. Throw all the outside stuff on top of the pile, I feel buried alive. Not woe-is-me. Just…cut me some fucking slack people, I didn’t get on disability for nothing,I have legitimate conditions and NO ONE WILL LISTEN.

They are automatons, I should be one, too. When I fail, I am a disappointment. But if someone says “I can’t keep your pace and trying to do so is harmful to me” you shouldn’t expect them to keep up. I really am “over” the people around me.

Let’s see…my dad went behind my back and enlisted R to look at this car for me. Of course, no one informed me cos I am apparently a child and not mature enough to be in the loop. I HATE being caught off guard. Is it asking too much to simply be kept in the fucking loop? Then R starts going on about how he could probably get this car running and he’d even loan me the $300 for the car..Which I did NOT ask for because as I have learned…Nobody does things without strings. I am not talking quid pro quo. I am talking “I loaned you fifty bucks, now you have to be at my beck and call for the next two years.”

Proof was last night. He stopped by to talk about the car and loaning me money and doing all the work and I pointedly said, I also have to have the money to license and insure it…And he snaps, “Stop being a dick, someone is trying to do something nice for you!.”

And all the years of mania untreated and him and my family calling me head in the clouds and not being mature and thinking things through…Now I am grounded and thinking ahead realistically..and I am still wrong.

I frustratedly said, “If I don’t think ahead, I’m head in the cloud, if I do think ahead, I’m negative and ungrateful.Would you people just tell me what it is you want me to be?”

I was so much more calm and content when I basically shunned them all.

THEN, from out of nowhere after watching Flash, he abruptly gets up and goes out with door without so much as bye. I went out and asked and he, calmly, started rattling off about how I never show up at the shop when he wants me to, I lie when I say I am gonna be there, I use him and have no gratitude…No trigger, he literally just went spaztic. I was so baffled I couldn’t even utter a word. He drove off, I closed the door, and spent the evening trying to figure out how we went from watching Flash (well, I was, he was on his stupid iphone playing poker) and then….THAT. The other night he said we help each, we’re square, and now….This.  A repeat from a pri0r fit he had a couple years back spewing the same shit.

I know that he and Mrs R have been very kind and generous. I have great gratitude for them. I am sorry if in all my altered mental states it gets lost in translation. But it is not fair for him to act like he owns me and every minute of my time because he has helped me. It’s not a selfless Christian act if you use it as leverage at every turn to get your way.

So prior to his meltdown he asked me to come in. I told him it’d be after I cleaned up and got all the trash set outside. Maybe that set him off. Knowing how shaky I am outside my bubble, I really don’t see how missing an hour of him drinking coffee, smoking, and playing on his damned iphone. I have tried to talk to him, explain the morning complications with the Lithium, how my depression does taint my moods and I prefer to stay away, and I half definitely explained the anxiety and how being outside my bubble freaks me out.

He doesn’t care. And that’s what brought tears to my eyes this morning. None of them care. None of them even try to understand.

I wish I were making it up as some affectation.

I’ve been trying to work my nerve up to go to Aldi for groceries for four days now. I just can’t seem to do it. My pretzel gut has been awful this morning, my allergies have choking all night and tied to a tissue box during the day. I am a trainwreck.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

You may all go pop an extra anti depressant to counteract my bummerness.


Cook County Jail Mental Health Center

In the United States, “budget cuts” have eliminated most of the community mental health services that up until the mid 1990’s served a vast number of uninsured, unemployed, homeless, drug and/or alcohol dependent, and otherwise disenfranchised people.

Where once these people in need of services were able to access a minimal level of care including evaluations for mental illness, medications, group and individual therapy, social work support for helping them get Medicaid, job training and placement, substance abuse treatment, and connection with community support services such as AA and NA, now all of these services have largely been shut down. 

Now, without access to mental health services, people who were formerly able to access care are left on their own.  What happens to them?

Homelessness, drug addiction, crime related to survival on the street with mental illness.

Who assumes their care?

Well, that depends on which prison they end up in, if they don’t die at the hands of “law enforcement,” other individuals, suicide, overdose, freezing to death, or other hazards of street life.

If they’re fortunate enough to live in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his “wisdom” shut down six of the city’s twelve community mental health centers, they go to Cook County Jail.

Please take the time to watch and **share** the video below, which documents the unique program for mentally ill inmates initiated by Cook County Jail, which now serves as Chicago’s main “Mental Health Center.”


Rexulti

chick

It’s a little bit springy around here, hence the chick.

You may recall that last week I was having hallucinations. Instead of being put back on perphenazine, I was taken off Abilify and put on a new drug called Rexulti. This is “supposed to be like Abilify only better.”

I’m only on .5 and the max dose is 3.0. But of course you work up to that. I haven’t noticed any real difference in anything except that I am down in bed more. Just depressed. But more about that later.

I tried to look up some consumer comments about Rexulti, but couldn’t find much. I think it is truly new on the market. Out of ten people, eight said it helped them, one guy said it did nothing, and one guy said it made him crawl out of his skin. I had that side effect for about a week on Abilify so I know how that feels.

The rest of this blog entry will be truly boring, so unless you are desperate move on.:)

My 21 YO son living at home is mouthy to me. If you don’t remember, he lives at home so he can go to college cheap. He likes to DJ at night and that is a lot more fun than classes. But if he doesn’t get decent grades this semester, he and his turntable are finding somewhere else to live. Does anyone else have a kid like this? You have to work extra hard to give them emotional support because they are a pain in the ass?

My middle son has settled in here (with his cat!) and is doing well. He’s a middle child and easy to get along with. He likes his job although he says it is kind of boring. His dad said “welcome to the real world.” But he is polite and clean so he’s easy.

My daughter is doing well. She had a rough patch and they now have her on a small dose of lithium. She has such a tough job. Special education…behavior problems. Don’t know how she does it.

I have a good friend who is driving me nuts. Arlene started selling Mary Kay and that seems to be her life’s focus. It’s all she talks about. I love her dearly and hope this is just a passing phase. She wanted me to sell it but I reminded her I am on disability and cannot earn any money. That ended that. But I have bought a few things from her and like them.

The weather is nice here and I almost took a walk last night. If I can shower, walk, drive, and lose weight, I will have life conquered.

We bought a storage shed! Did I tell you that last week? It’s the aluminum kind and has revolutionized the garage. So much stuff has gone into the shed that the garage looks a little bare. We are easily getting 3 cars into the 3 car garage. It’s a miracle.

The shared cooking, cleaning dishes, and doing laundry is going well. I think they actually sort of enjoy pitching in. I cook three nights a week and do my best. Nothing is super fancy though. Tonight we are having slow cooker pork chops with apricots, carrots, and applesauce. Also bread machine buttermilk bread. Hopefully, the bread will turn out. I like loading everything in the morning. I get wiped out fast.

I know I need to get out more. I am tending to stay home. The lack of driving is a bit of it, but my husband and kids will take me wherever. I just like my couch. My friend Amber feels the same way. Mental illness is hell.

I do chat with my friend Gaill every Thursday morning. We go over the week and talk about what we did spiritually. We also gab about how we are. I love this time. She is a very special person. I am lucky to have found her at a church retreat. She doesn’t care that I am mentally ill…she just likes ME. It’s nice.

I had kind of a bad thing happen. Last week we went to church and all was well. We went home, picked up the kids and went out to lunch. The waiter actually commented on how depressed I looked! That was self-fulfilling I can tell you. I felt even worse. I know I don’t smile enough, but honestly I just forget. I do well to get around and do what I am supposed to do.

I have been seeing my psychologist twice a week and that is going well. She has been teaching me how to deal with my hallucinations and what to do to keep safe. But when my mind starts to slip all bets are off. Some of you will understand that.

I still get mad at myself. I have no overt reason to be depressed. I read several blogs regularly and some of these people have huge reasons to feel bad. But I just try to be careful not to get too down on myself. When your chemicals are screwed up, life is hell. When your chemicals are good, you can face hardships and do a good job.

Sorry this was so boring. Thank you for reading if you got this far.

love to all,

lily

 

 

 

 

Rexulti

chick

It’s a little bit springy around here, hence the chick.

You may recall that last week I was having hallucinations. Instead of being put back on perphenazine, I was taken off Abilify and put on a new drug called Rexulti. This is “supposed to be like Abilify only better.”

I’m only on .5 and the max dose is 3.0. But of course you work up to that. I haven’t noticed any real difference in anything except that I am down in bed more. Just depressed. But more about that later.

I tried to look up some consumer comments about Rexulti, but couldn’t find much. I think it is truly new on the market. Out of ten people, eight said it helped them, one guy said it did nothing, and one guy said it made him crawl out of his skin. I had that side effect for about a week on Abilify so I know how that feels.

The rest of this blog entry will be truly boring, so unless you are desperate move on. 🙂

My 21 YO son living at home is mouthy to me. If you don’t remember, he lives at home so he can go to college cheap. He likes to DJ at night and that is a lot more fun than classes. But if he doesn’t get decent grades this semester, he and his turntable are finding somewhere else to live. Does anyone else have a kid like this? You have to work extra hard to give them emotional support because they are a pain in the ass?

My middle son has settled in here (with his cat!) and is doing well. He’s a middle child and easy to get along with. He likes his job although he says it is kind of boring. His dad said “welcome to the real world.” But he is polite and clean so he’s easy.

My daughter is doing well. She had a rough patch and they now have her on a small dose of lithium. She has such a tough job. Special education…behavior problems. Don’t know how she does it.

I have a good friend who is driving me nuts. Arlene started selling Mary Kay and that seems to be her life’s focus. It’s all she talks about. I love her dearly and hope this is just a passing phase. She wanted me to sell it but I reminded her I am on disability and cannot earn any money. That ended that. But I have bought a few things from her and like them.

The weather is nice here and I almost took a walk last night. If I can shower, walk, drive, and lose weight, I will have life conquered.

We bought a storage shed! Did I tell you that last week? It’s the aluminum kind and has revolutionized the garage. So much stuff has gone into the shed that the garage looks a little bare. We are easily getting 3 cars into the 3 car garage. It’s a miracle.

The shared cooking, cleaning dishes, and doing laundry is going well. I think they actually sort of enjoy pitching in. I cook three nights a week and do my best. Nothing is super fancy though. Tonight we are having slow cooker pork chops with apricots, carrots, and applesauce. Also bread machine buttermilk bread. Hopefully, the bread will turn out. I like loading everything in the morning. I get wiped out fast.

I know I need to get out more. I am tending to stay home. The lack of driving is a bit of it, but my husband and kids will take me wherever. I just like my couch. My friend Amber feels the same way. Mental illness is hell.

I do chat with my friend Gaill every Thursday morning. We go over the week and talk about what we did spiritually. We also gab about how we are. I love this time. She is a very special person. I am lucky to have found her at a church retreat. She doesn’t care that I am mentally ill…she just likes ME. It’s nice.

I had kind of a bad thing happen. Last week we went to church and all was well. We went home, picked up the kids and went out to lunch. The waiter actually commented on how depressed I looked! That was self-fulfilling I can tell you. I felt even worse. I know I don’t smile enough, but honestly I just forget. I do well to get around and do what I am supposed to do.

I have been seeing my psychologist twice a week and that is going well. She has been teaching me how to deal with my hallucinations and what to do to keep safe. But when my mind starts to slip all bets are off. Some of you will understand that.

I still get mad at myself. I have no overt reason to be depressed. I read several blogs regularly and some of these people have huge reasons to feel bad. But I just try to be careful not to get too down on myself. When your chemicals are screwed up, life is hell. When your chemicals are good, you can face hardships and do a good job.

Sorry this was so boring. Thank you for reading if you got this far.

love to all,

lily