Monthly Archives: February 2016

Houston, We Have A Problem

I don’t know why I gave this post that title. I really don’t have a problem. It just sounded good. Haha!

WARNING: Political rant ahead. Read at your own risk.

Actually, I’m a wee bit hypomanic. It’s been coming on for a couple of weeks and I have enough insight to know the signs. I’ve been arguing politics on Facebook, although I haven’t really antagonized anybody (yet) and am doing my best not to piss the;m off. It’s just that I can’t find any redeeming social qualities in the frontrunners and I may have to sit out the vote this year, which distresses me to no end because I take pride in my voting record over the past 39 years. It’s my little way of protesting the utter lack of good candidates…I mean, who knew that this is the best we can do out of a country of 300+ million citizens? It boggles the mind.

For the record, I’m a registered Republican who votes for the person, not the party, although I stick mainly to politicians who have the same values as I and most Democrats don’t. But I wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump if my life depended on it. He is a gold-plated douchebag who plays to the lowest common denominator and I despise him. He is a narcissist of the worst order, a profiteer, and a bully to boot. In fact, I can’t think of a word that best describes the son-of-a-bitch, so those will have to do. I can’t believe the voters would actually fall for him with his misogynistic and xenophobic attitudes (yeah, I know some big words)…why, he would set women and foreigners back fifty years if he were to be elected.

Of course, the media aren’t helping much. Trump only seems invincible because the media make him out to be. They have been worshipping at his feet all along because he is so outrageous. Shame on them.

(time out—I’ve got four puppies playing within six feet of me. Too cute!)

OK, so on the Dems’ side there’s Bernie Sanders, who I don’t think even belongs on the ballot. He’s a socialist (‘scuse me, a democratic socialist) and if he were to win he’d raise taxes when he runs out of other peoples’ money. No way, nohow.

Then we have Hillary Clinton, who in my opinion has the ethics of an alley cat. Some say she gets disrepscted because she’s a woman. I say she gets disrespected because she’s callous about Benghazi and appears cold-hearted. to say nothing of shady regarding her questionable financial dealings. She’s also pro-abortion and pro-gun control, which damn her forever in my eyes.

So how the [email protected]@k am I supposed to vote for any of these people? The Republicans have nothing to offer but Trump and a weak and desperate group of also-rans who will be out of the race long before my state ever holds its primary (I think it’s in May). I’ve seen some pretty bad races in my life, but this is by far the worst.

Anyway, this post wasn’t really supposed to be about politics, but since I’ve written so much already I’ll just leav e it as it is. I went back and posted a warning notice after I re-read it so if you’ve made it this far, it’s on you if you don’t like it. While I hope I haven’t offended anyone, these ARE my honest opinions and this IS my blog, so I’m throwing it out there for discussion and analysis. And it’s OK if you disagree with me, just don’t tell me I’m a stupid/ill-informed/prejudced/right-wing nut job/knuckle-dragging trogolodyte. Them’s fightin’ words! Unfortuantely, they are often aimed at conservatives like me…but I suppose liberals catch crap too. And unlike a certain candidate, I refuse to engage in name-calling.

Peace out…


Life With Depression Is Performance Art

It‘s true. We with mental imbalances are great thespians in this production called life. We fake our way through the customary interactions, sleepwalk through the grind of daily chores, we jump through flaming hoops trying to keep up with those around us when inside…We are drowning, dying, on the verge of going under and being okay with it. Game over, finally some peace.

Rather than view us as lesser or weak, I think we should be viewed as having the strength and courage of greek Gods for what we deal with daily is but a smidgeon of what others deal with their entire lives. Make no mistake…it is EXHAUSTING to have to constantly perform just to meet the status quo of what others require of us. To fall below said expectations is as toxic to our mental health as the imbalances themselves and so we try harder than others, we push ourselves further, we dance on broken glass barefoot while juggling flaming sticks with bare hands and a beach ball on our nose.

Having said all of that, I will now return to regularly scheduled programming where my depression and my oppressive surroundings try to convince me I am a waste of space.

So I mentioned Friday I served all those hours in the dish at R’s beck and call over this stupid car thing. Of course, that had to be the day people kept coming into the shop. I’m not talking dozens, but six people in one day and four of them all at once…My performance skills waned. I tried to paste on the smile, do the shallow interaction, but…I fled to the back for a smoke because yes, even three people in a room is a crowd to me and I panic. I don’t mean “Oops, I am uncomfortable.” I am talking the anxiety that makes you feel like you’re painted with a target and everyone is armed with an Uzi. Now if I can’t hang out with a friend and have lunch and such without an episode of such magnitude…My hope for future ventures is pretty iffy.

Yesterday wasn’t much better on the anxiety front. The depressive undertow is always there, but I can occasionally drown it out with binge watching TV shows. Anxiety on the other hand…I fetched my kid from my mom’s, her having a fit cos I picked her up “too soon” and ruined her life. Then we got home and bam instant recovery for she spotted two of her little school friends outside. These are the “devil girls” who for whatever rumor, er reason, have not been allowed to play with Spook for two years. When they came over and the three of them were all making happy noises…

Much as my noise sensitive ears cringed…I was happy that my kid had her friends back and they were having fun. Pissy that they insisted on playing inside even though it was 70 degrees out.

Then in an instant I was reminded why I dubbed them the devil girls. They weren’t here five minutes before they started asking for food and snacks and drinks. I’m not selfish but I can’t afford it. Besides, my mom taught me aside from water, you don’t ask for food at other people’s houses, you go home for food. They were here four hours. Aside from the noise and chaos, and of course, it causing me to break out in hives…it was ok. But they asked for food seven times, then invited themselves for supper. This was what started my issue with them in the first place. (And yes, I talked to the parents, it did no good.)  I hate being stingy. I hate being so stressed and depressed my kid tells me I am mean to her friends. (Of course, if I do my performance art and try to be funny and her friends like me, that is wrong too cos I am trying to steal them.)

It was a mixed thing. Glad Spook and her friends had fun. Irked with the asking for food. Always unnerved by the chaos and noise and of course, my stupid anxiety causing me to erupt with hives.  I am putting on a show here, earning a fucking Oscar, and…I am tired.

Tired of faking it. Tired of feeling like I am gonna break down on a daily basis. Tired of being told “You’re still doing it so obviously you aren’t gonna break down.”

Those famous words uttered to every person right before they had a breakdown and went into the hospital because damn it…we have limits. We are strong. We are not invincible. And when depression and anxiety and life itself just keep taking without ever giving in return….

Psychological bankruptcy becomes a very real possibility.

But I keep trying. I don’t know why. Dad stopped by last night and started in on me about when R was gonna have that damned red car towed. Then I had to call R and he got bitchy and it’s like….Calgon, take me away! (Too young to remember that one, embryos?)

Today I was gonna do house work. Instead of that…I am doing fuck all. As I said…I am tired. I’ve been on stage performing for weeks and I need a break.

This beach ball is really hard to balance now that it’s deflated.


Beware the Mental Health Meme

This post was specially written for BlogHer’s Social Media and Blogging section, but I thought it worth sharing here too. (Credit for the photo goes to my husband, Dan Reily.)

 

Slide1

Most Internet memes are harmless, or even amusing. They proclaim that someone has a wonderful granddaughter or that kittens are cute.

But some memes that travel the world sow unhelpful or even hurtful ideas as they go. The one above appears mild and even inspiring, but to a person with mental illness, it says a lot more than appears on the surface.

The meme that started me on this train of thought was one that invited people to embrace the crazy or enjoy the madness or some such. As a person with mental illness – bipolar disorder – I found the message troubling. The comments were even more so. One said that manic-depressives could at least enjoy the mania.

Admittedly, mania comes with feelings of soaring confidence and a whirlwind of creativity. Mania can also prompt risky behaviors – reckless driving, shoplifting, unsafe or extramarital sex – that can lead to a lifetime of problems, including failed relationships, arrest records, serious debt, and worse. Those are surely the opposite of enjoyable.

But I didn’t know if I was alone in these feelings, so I asked other bipolar bloggers how they react to popular memes. Here’s what they had to say.

Nondescript inspirational memes (of the sort that proclaim daylight follows darkness) seem relatively harmless. Reactions went from “meh” to “a waste of time.” Bipolar blogger Brad Shreve (insightsbipolarbear.com) likens them to affirmations. His research showed that evidence from reputable studies confirms that affirmations mitigate stress. Nevertheless, “I find most of them trite and condescending,” he says. “They just aren’t my thing. I choose meditation.”

Amy Balot, who blogs at madwomanacrossthewater.net, dislikes the sort of memes that tout positivity. “I do have a big problem with the way a lot of ‘motivational’ images seem to imply that all you need to do is think positive thoughts and your life will be hunky-dory,” she says. “It seems to be blaming people for things like depression or anxiety.”

Supposedly positive memes raise the hackles on a number of the bloggers. Dyane Leshin-Harwood, blogger at proudlybipolar.wordpress.com and author of the upcoming memoir Birth of a New Brain, says they range from “cool and empowering” to “[make] me feel guilty that my life isn’t as good as it could

be! It seems like it would bring anyone with bipolar depression down even
further.”

It does that to me as well.

Many such memes also promote a “bootstrap” approach to mental illness – which Jim Buchanan, who blogs at mythoughts62.wordpress.com, finds “irritating”: “I feel that this sort of thinking is harmful and it essentially blames the person reading it for their problems by implying that they ‘don’t want to allow themselves’ what is needed for a good life.”

Shreve adds, “Usually these entail [the idea that] the individual can change by doing one thing – [changing] our attitude. As if we could just snap out of depression, mania and more, if we would just put [our] mind to it. I find these guilty of mental health shaming.”

And as for the “find-your-sanity-in nature” meme that began this article? Amy Balot doesn’t care for that type. “I don’t dispute that spending time with animals or outdoors can be great and even therapeutic; but I do dispute the implication that these things are a replacement for therapy or better than therapy,” she says. “It minimizes the struggles of the mentally ill and says they’d be ok if they just took their dogs for more walks in the woods. Not all problems are solved by a little sunshine and fresh air.”

Memes intended to be humorous are a gray area, since humor is so subjective. Personally, I don’t mind being called “crazy,” but many bipolar people do. Using “crazy,” “insane,” or any of the many synonyms – “weird,” “eccentric,” “not normal” – can make people with mental disorders feel as if the meme speaks directly to them, even if that wasn’t intended.

But some people with mental disorders enjoy a gentle poke of fun at themselves. Shreve agrees: “These can be touchy because they could hurt or offend someone who is going through a difficult time, but they help me.” (Here’s one of his favorites: http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/326b0799dbae216dbe3bf6069e297ea48d).

I must admit that I can sometimes see humor in our situations. I’ve written pieces called “The Lighter Side of Insomnia” and “Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady.” It’s not a matter of malice being intended; I don’t think people who pass along memes that we consider hurtful are “out to get” those with mental disorders. But that’s the problem: They don’t think before they click “Share.”

So I’m asking: Please think first. One of four Americans will have a mental or mood disorder at some time during their lives. You wouldn’t make fun of someone with a physical illness. Ask yourself: Would this meme still be amusing or inspiring or helpful if you substituted fibromyalgia or diabetes or paraplegia for “mental illness”?

If not, think again.


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar disorder, blogging, Internet, media and mental illness, memes, my experiences, positive thinking, public perception

I need my antidepressant

In my last post, I talked about being admitted into the hospital. For all of you out there wondering if I’m home, I am and I couldn’t be happier being in the comfort of my stuff. But you may also be wondering what brought me to the desperate point of admitting myself in the first […]

Really Now

icecreamprozacMy current level of depression can only be described as such — if I could punch myself in the face repeatedly to make it go away, I would do it in a heartbeat. I am soooo not impressed with my broken-ass brain and its wonky chemicals, let me tell you. That I can sit here cracking jokes with and smiling at my kids while the main part of me wants to hide from the world and cry… ugh. I’m not a crier, I should emphasise, so this is super freaking annoying. -__-

Mind, I knew that I wasn’t likely to see any significant change in a week or two. I had hoped something would shift, but… well. Maybe by Thursday when I see Dr. K next? Probably not. I wonder what she’s going to want to do. Add a second antidepressant? Up the Zoloft? Switch one for another? She understands well that this isn’t safe territory for me (even if I somehow survived with it for years and years), so hopefully she’ll be able to sit with me with properly close together appointments to try and get this shit sorted out. Hopefully.

For now, the days drag molasses slow, as days washed in depression do so well. Even though I’m still finding joy in doing my things and all that, it’s definitely a bit washed out by it. Rude. But I’m stubborn; I’ll keep dragging through until things are back in order. I just wish that it was sooner rather than later. ¬¬

Hope all of y’all out there are doing a fair sight better!

<3

Really Now

icecreamprozacMy current level of depression can only be described as such — if I could punch myself in the face repeatedly to make it go away, I would do it in a heartbeat. I am soooo not impressed with my broken-ass brain and its wonky chemicals, let me tell you. That I can sit here cracking jokes with and smiling at my kids while the main part of me wants to hide from the world and cry… ugh. I’m not a crier, I should emphasise, so this is super freaking annoying. -__-

Mind, I knew that I wasn’t likely to see any significant change in a week or two. I had hoped something would shift, but… well. Maybe by Thursday when I see Dr. K next? Probably not. I wonder what she’s going to want to do. Add a second antidepressant? Up the Zoloft? Switch one for another? She understands well that this isn’t safe territory for me (even if I somehow survived with it for years and years), so hopefully she’ll be able to sit with me with properly close together appointments to try and get this shit sorted out. Hopefully.

For now, the days drag molasses slow, as days washed in depression do so well. Even though I’m still finding joy in doing my things and all that, it’s definitely a bit washed out by it. Rude. But I’m stubborn; I’ll keep dragging through until things are back in order. I just wish that it was sooner rather than later. ¬¬

Hope all of y’all out there are doing a fair sight better!

<3

Really Now

icecreamprozacMy current level of depression can only be described as such — if I could punch myself in the face repeatedly to make it go away, I would do it in a heartbeat. I am soooo not impressed with my broken-ass brain and its wonky chemicals, let me tell you. That I can sit here cracking jokes with and smiling at my kids while the main part of me wants to hide from the world and cry… ugh. I’m not a crier, I should emphasise, so this is super freaking annoying. -__-

Mind, I knew that I wasn’t likely to see any significant change in a week or two. I had hoped something would shift, but… well. Maybe by Thursday when I see Dr. K next? Probably not. I wonder what she’s going to want to do. Add a second antidepressant? Up the Zoloft? Switch one for another? She understands well that this isn’t safe territory for me (even if I somehow survived with it for years and years), so hopefully she’ll be able to sit with me with properly close together appointments to try and get this shit sorted out. Hopefully.

For now, the days drag molasses slow, as days washed in depression do so well. Even though I’m still finding joy in doing my things and all that, it’s definitely a bit washed out by it. Rude. But I’m stubborn; I’ll keep dragging through until things are back in order. I just wish that it was sooner rather than later. ¬¬

Hope all of y’all out there are doing a fair sight better!

<3

Square Spork Kind Of Week

sporkFuck you, KFC. I want the round sporks back, demmit. This square thing is functional and the black is stylish but…really, wtf. I can’t stand deviation, it makes my panic riddled brain start spinning like a zombie hamster is on a wheel seeking brains….

Yeah. THAT kind of week. It was nice someone bought me lunch, but to get a square spork…So traumatizing. Actually it was just an eye roll as I was square spork deep into my mashed potatoes. Ugh. I am such a disloyal sell out.

I am also trying to use humor because things really haven’t improved and I am scared my never ending depression is causing me to be shunned in the blogosphere. It has to be my fucked up perception, but no self respecting mental health blogger would ever mistake a black depression for someone simply being negative, right? Oh, that’s fantasy land, this is reality. Ya know, the place where even my own parents tell me to grow up because depression is totally maturity related. I am sick of it myself, but wtf am I supposed to do? I see the doc Wednesday and I fear I am not just gonna be condescended to but also reprimanded. I never did get the blood work done for the lithium (if they wanna provide transportation for the ten mile trip, it’d have been done, broke doesn’t mean non cooperative). I’ve already started tapering off the Cymbalta (30mg every other day) because if I don’t get off this shit, I am gonna take a fucking cheese grater to my damned brain. Which means another med and more disappointed expression doctor and….

Oh, well. This is my normal, lather, rinse, repeat.

What is NOT my norm and was all done without my damned consent and has me infuriated even though I am supposed to be rolling in gratitude…My dad went and bought a Grand Am for two hundred bucks. It doesn’t run. He made a deal with R to do the diagnostic and see if it can be revived. AND GUESS WHO IS GONNA BE ON THE HOOK REPAYING ALL THIS MONEY? Yeah, me. No one fucking asked me. I was gonna transfer the Chevy and drive it til it fell in the road.  Instead, I am now in debt. To two of my least favorite people to owe. I had to serve six dish hours yesterday as “Payment” for R to have this piece of shit car towed to where it can be worked on.

“But you can get us paid back now that you’re going to get child support.”

NO, YOU COCKWEASELS! I wanted a chance to get my feet under me, get our budget figured out, maybe be able to take my kid to Six Flags since she wins a ticket for her reading every year and I can never get her there…I thought maybe I could get some lamps as the place is like a crypt and you can not see to read. Or a hey,a toaster cos I haven’t had one in six months. The cats are gonna need that flea stuff which is a hundred dollars,I am not losing them all like I had to endure last year…

It’s just like, NONE of them talked to me and yet now I am on the hook for the money, for being eternally grateful, and all the stuff I had to try to balance out has to take a backseat. Not to mention, R will never consider us square cos he can’t hang out alone so if he spends a dollar on this piece of shit car, that’s six hours of my life I am gonna be expected to hang out at the shop to “repay him.”

I don’t think I’d be this furious if I had been included. Instead I was left out of the loop and all this was done “for me” by two men who seem to think I am below average intelligence. I admit I know fuck all about cars. I’d have gladly accepted a repayment agreement and advice and all this HAD I been consulted at all. But one day my dad mentions seeing a car, two days later I’m informed by R that I now own a red Grand Am that does not run. (I fucking hate red cars, too conspicuous, too “look at me!”)

It’s not ingratitude, I swear. It’s not the bipolar. It’s being excluded. I am 43 years old and their well meaning actions have reduced me to feeling like nothing but a special needs teenager. I tried to express this, calmly, and got hit with the lack of gratitude thing yet again.

It’s like I am screaming at the top of my lungs and no sound is coming out. And when I am not giving free will and a choice, I want to climb on a ten foot tall stack of Marshall amps and start screaming like a fucking banshee.

Ugh. It almost feels like financial rape. Before I can even get a single support payment these asshats are out spending the money. May as well just sign it over to them because no doubt like the last Not so Grand Am R said was a solid car and died within 18 months…this one will be a money pit. Every time I think I can see light at the end of the tunnel…

Every time I think, look, I didn’t think I could do this, but I am doing it…(Trip to Aldi, during which I had a massive panic attack and my legs started wobbling uncontrollably, had to bend over and grab for leverage.)

I’m doing it.But I am one step closer to not doing it every single day. I haven’t showered in like six days. I barely remember to scrape the flesh out from between my fangs. I try to muster up my give a fuck and it’s missing in action. Meanwhile I am doing the best I can with my kid and she reminds me daily it’s not good enough. I give her a dollar for a Smencil. “You should have given me two dollars!” I let her watch youtube for two hours. “But mommy, that’s not fair, I wasn’t done with the neverending elsa audio ipecac playlist!”

I remind myself she’s just a child. I used to be the same way. I am taking it harder because my disorders are kicking my ass.

Doesn’t make it any easier. She stayed at mom’s last night and I was still in bed by 9 p.m., too wiped out by the week to have any will to do anything else. It goes way beyond being an exhausted single parent in a depression. I think depression was surpassed some time ago. THis is “end of the road” territory. I am practically an inmate ready to give up, be beat up daily, and just trudge through with acceptance and not even the energy to be bitter about it.

Ok,I am done being ranty and stuff.

Until the next time…if you can’t beat ’em….arrange to have ’em beaten.

 


Could It Be…Rapid Cycling?

I’ve read a lot of other people’s blogs about rapid cycling and I’ve wondered how or if it applies to me. After much thought, I’ve come to the conclusion, “Are you fucking kidding me?  You’re the QUEEN of rapid cycling!”  Which may be good to know.  Or…it could just be something that overwhelms me and makes me feel like shit.  <—-That’s it!  Rapid Cycling!  Here are some examples of what I *think* might be rapid cycling:

  • Decide that I need to get rid of my storage unit. In true black and white fashion, decide that I have to get rid of EVERYTHING, which makes me unbearably sad, leading to desolation, leading to beating up on myself and saying I’ll never have a home again, leading to suicidal feelings.
  • Decide that I can’t bear to part with my kitchen stuff, and that I can’t bear to let go of the hope of one day having my own home again. Make the decision to store the kitchen stuff where I live, which is a colossal ass-pain, but do-able. *Ching!* Suicidal ideation lifts.
  • Go to therapy and talk about what I’ve put myself through with storage issues. Therapist tries to talk me into going into the hospital. Suicidal thoughts return at the idea of being in the hospital.
  • Come home, call insurance company, find out what my coverage is for inpatient hospitalization. Feel relieved knowing that it’s an option but decide to go work out instead of being hospitalized. *Ching!* Suicidal ideation lifts.
  • Go to Mom and Dad’s to visit and feel like a 100% normal person, including but not limited to, excited at the prospect of joining their rec center and taking some new exercise classes for variety. *Ching* I feel normal today. WHAT THE FUCKIN’ FUCK???

So that is my argument for rapid cycling. Maybe it’s situational.  Maybe it’s me?  Maybe I’m just very, very Bipolar.  I don’t know.  Tell me what you think?  Oh and by the way…IT’S THE WEEKEND, FUCKIN’ A YEAH!!!!!


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar-Rapid Cycling Tagged: Bipolar, Bipolar-Rapid Cycling, Hope, Humor, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

Back To Life Again

I really feel raised from the dead. I feel so much better now than I did a week ago. Had to get up super early to help get my youngest ready for her field trip to Birmingham, AL.  So I went back to bed after my husband and she left for the bus stop they were meeting at and got caught up on my sleep again. I ran some errands, getting my full scrip of Abilify and picking up some things i had forgotten at the grocery store. I read my Bible reading for today and have been doing some work for school.

TOmorrow is the real test;;we have another local dance competition and need to be there by nine a.m.  So we will see how this goes.  I think I will go ahead and take a Xanax early tomorrow and hope that keeps me stable through it.

Next week will be hectic with all my appointments and trying to get ready for the spring break competition. My middle one will be packing for her Europe trip; she leaves Sunday afternoon while we’re at the competition. I am very angry about this. I want to be there to see her off. I feel like the youngest is getting all the attention to the detriment of the middle one.  I have tried to say this non-confrontationally and hopefully have gotten my message across. I don’t know what difference it will make, but I’ve said my piece about it.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!