Daily Archives: March 30, 2016

Software upgrade!

So yes, depression showed up, but you know what, the monster isn't half as intimidating as it always was.

Software upgrade!

So yes, depression showed up, but you know what, the monster isn't half as intimidating as it always was.

world bipolar disorder day linkdump

First of all, RIP Patty Duke. “While I tend to cringe at the concept of a day for everything (I’m looking at you, National Frozen Food Day), not to mention the idea of reliable posthumous psychiatric diagnosis, I understand the impulse here. People don’t like to talk about mental illness. For God’s sake, we still … Continue reading world bipolar disorder day linkdump

Hodgepodge (Or Is It Potpourri?)

Here’s another stream-of-consciousness post, if you want it. The weather is MARVELOUS and I’m having trouble stringing thoughts together, so please pardon the mess.

I read on Facebook yesterday that Patty Duke died. She was a great actress and human being who succeeded in life in spite—or maybe because—of having bipolar disorder. She will be missed by the BP community, as well as by her fans from all walks of life.

Speaking of bipolar…today, March 30, 2016, is the third annual World Bipolar Day. It’s a day to raise awareness of the condition and those who live with it. The date was chosen because it’s the birthday of the artist Vincent Van Gogh, who allegedly suffered from manic-depressive illness. (No, I don’t know how they diagnose people posthumously, but as tortured as that poor man was, he had to have had a severe mental illness.) It’s also a day to stand up and speak out against the stigma that still surrounds bipolar, and indeed all mental disorders.

And speaking of campaigns…can Donald Trump’s GET any tackier than it already is? Apparently so, because his campaign manager was just charged with battery and protesters at his rallies are getting pepper-sprayed. What’s next—a goon squad? This is not presidential. This is not a dignified political process. This is what happens when you appeal to peoples’ baser instincts and go out of your way to attract the uninformed and disaffected. The dude is a junkyard dog, and the fact that he’s gotten this far is proof that something is VERY wrong with this country.

That’s not to say I’m voting for one of the other two front-runners; as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t elect either Sanders or Clinton to a town council, let alone the highest office in the land. Where, oh where, is another Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater when you need them?

Will has been doing better of late. He’s having more good days than bad (“good” meaning he only throws up once or not at all) and is a little more active, although he spends a lot of days lounging in his pajamas. I say nothing. Why shouldn’t he be in his jammies if he’s not going anywhere? Hell, young people wear the damn things EVERYWHERE. Which I think is the ultimate laziness, but that’s only because I am old and grew up in a time when that just wasn’t done, unless you were deathly ill and on your way to the ER. The last time I went anywhere in PJs was when I was admitted to the psych hospital…I honestly didn’t give two shits about who saw me or what was going to happen to me.

So, this weekend and next week are still looking pretty wild, and it doesn’t really settle down until mid-month. I don’t think I’m as squirrelly as I was a couple of weeks ago, but being the mother of the groom and dealing with a bunch of people I don’t know is going to be only the start of the festivities. In addition, it’s going to be sunny and warm for the next several days, and who knows how high I could soar if I weren’t on a shit-ton of medication. A good friend of mine calls this sort of thing a “medicated mania”. I call it a welcome relief from the winter blahs with a teensy bit of hypomania thrown in for fun.

But I won’t complain about attending my son’s wedding…in a public park…in early April…in western Oregon. (Unless it rains, in which case I will bitch and moan because my hair will frizz.) At least I get to go to this wedding—between the four kids there have been five marriages, and I didn’t witness a single one of them because they didn’t get hitched in a location I could get to. Mandy and Mike wed in a spontaneious ceremony way up in the mountains. Mindy was married to her two (ex-)husbands by justices of the peace, in two different parts of the country, neither of which was within a thousand miles of her Dad and me. William also went the JP route in his first marriage. I didn’t even get to go to Ethan and Clark’s wedding…they got married at Disneyland. I was beginning to develop a complex about it. Guess the sixth time is the charm, eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hodgepodge (Or Is It Potpourri?)

Here’s another stream-of-consciousness post, if you want it. The weather is MARVELOUS and I’m having trouble stringing thoughts together, so please pardon the mess.

I read on Facebook yesterday that Patty Duke died. She was a great actress and human being who succeeded in life in spite—or maybe because—of having bipolar disorder. She will be missed by the BP community, as well as by her fans from all walks of life.

Speaking of bipolar…today, March 30, 2016, is the third annual World Bipolar Day. It’s a day to raise awareness of the condition and those who live with it. The date was chosen because it’s the birthday of the artist Vincent Van Gogh, who allegedly suffered from manic-depressive illness. (No, I don’t know how they diagnose people posthumously, but as tortured as that poor man was, he had to have had a severe mental illness.) It’s also a day to stand up and speak out against the stigma that still surrounds bipolar, and indeed all mental disorders.

And speaking of campaigns…can Donald Trump’s GET any tackier than it already is? Apparently so, because his campaign manager was just charged with battery and protesters at his rallies are getting pepper-sprayed. What’s next—a goon squad? This is not presidential. This is not a dignified political process. This is what happens when you appeal to peoples’ baser instincts and go out of your way to attract the uninformed and disaffected. The dude is a junkyard dog, and the fact that he’s gotten this far is proof that something is VERY wrong with this country.

That’s not to say I’m voting for one of the other two front-runners; as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t elect either Sanders or Clinton to a town council, let alone the highest office in the land. Where, oh where, is another Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater when you need them?

Will has been doing better of late. He’s having more good days than bad (“good” meaning he only throws up once or not at all) and is a little more active, although he spends a lot of days lounging in his pajamas. I say nothing. Why shouldn’t he be in his jammies if he’s not going anywhere? Hell, young people wear the damn things EVERYWHERE. Which I think is the ultimate laziness, but that’s only because I am old and grew up in a time when that just wasn’t done, unless you were deathly ill and on your way to the ER. The last time I went anywhere in PJs was when I was admitted to the psych hospital…I honestly didn’t give two shits about who saw me or what was going to happen to me.

So, this weekend and next week are still looking pretty wild, and it doesn’t really settle down until mid-month. I don’t think I’m as squirrelly as I was a couple of weeks ago, but being the mother of the groom and dealing with a bunch of people I don’t know is going to be only the start of the festivities. In addition, it’s going to be sunny and warm for the next several days, and who knows how high I could soar if I weren’t on a shit-ton of medication. A good friend of mine calls this sort of thing a “medicated mania”. I call it a welcome relief from the winter blahs with a teensy bit of hypomania thrown in for fun.

But I won’t complain about attending my son’s wedding…in a public park…in early April…in western Oregon. (Unless it rains, in which case I will bitch and moan because my hair will frizz.) At least I get to go to this wedding—between the four kids there have been five marriages, and I didn’t witness a single one of them because they didn’t get hitched in a location I could get to. Mandy and Mike wed in a spontaneious ceremony way up in the mountains. Mindy was married to her two (ex-)husbands by justices of the peace, in two different parts of the country, neither of which was within a thousand miles of her Dad and me. William also went the JP route in his first marriage. I didn’t even get to go to Ethan and Clark’s wedding…they got married at Disneyland. I was beginning to develop a complex about it. Guess the sixth time is the charm, eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Westward Ho! Day 3

Billings, MT (6:30 AM Mountain) to Spokane, WA (4:00 PM Pacific). 542 miles.
Pertinent Tunes:  Throat Culture’s Easter Island.
Audiobook: Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife

This was going to be another full day on the road, and I wanted to get to Spokane early enough to meet my bloggy friend, Linda, before I faded, so I set out before dawn.  Again.

I love that the day worked out just like that.  I love that I’ve been dancing with my bipolar disorder long enough to know what my limits might be and how to bring them into the dance.  I can’t tell you how much I love that.

So, John led me out of Billings under the cover of dark and flurries of snow.  He’s gotten me to every destination with only two hiccups.  Both times he told me to turn around and head back home.  I think I must have accidentally touched the screen, but still, mistakes such as these required proper admonishment and Python-worthy name calling.

runaway-truck-rampSo, properly chastised, he sent me up through the Continental Divide.  No more puny foothills, we were in the Big League today.  We traveled the kinds of roads that required special Runaway Truck Ramps for semis with fried brakes.  And wide places to pull off so one can attach their tire chains.  There we were, switchbacking and trundling along those straining Peterbilts, with snow and low-slung clouds obscuring the peaks.  Ooo, it was an exciting day!

And beautiful.  Majestic.  A complete Jeremiah Johnson experience.  There are no words.  Robert Redford’s “Agh” comes close.

Linda in SpokaneAnd then, it was Spokane, and bright warm sun, and Linda singing to me as she drove up the drive.  We’ve known each other through my blog (and my cards, and Facebook) for years, and finally got to hug and squee like proper girlfriends.  She took me to a little park for a nice walk and the beginning of our non-stop babbling. Three hours later, after a scrumptious Thai dinner and a tour of her home, she dropped me off, still singing.

Such an exciting day.


Fearlessly 

I have decided to stop being afraid. Afraid of what, you ask? Well, afraid of everything! I may not act afraid, but inside I have mostly always been afraid. Also many of my actions have been fueled by fear. The fear of loss. The fear of abandonment. And really, that is no way to act or live. 

Does my decision mean I am healing from the past? Yes. It does. I am healing from all that happened in the past. The surest sign is that I can say I will not live in fear anymore! Fear of people leaving me, because that fear causes me to hang on too tightly and ironically causes people to really leave me. Yes, ironic and a little sad that friends who I want to stay in my life get annoyed and leave. So if I’m not afraid, I don’t hang on too tightly, no one feels constricted and leaves. 

I will not live in fear of bad things happening. Also known as anxiety, your brain, my brain, when I wake up in the morning, hits me with a jolt of horrible anxiety. I have been meditating every day and hopefully, and by all accounts, it will help me with my anxiety. 

I am afraid of learning my lines for my play, actually of not learning my lines. But I’m putting this phone down and starting to learn them in the next few minutes. I am the female lead in this play so I have quite a few lines. But I’ve easily learnt 10 times as many lines. So no fear, just get er done. 

I will not be afraid of examining where I’m going with my life. I have many options, a PhD in the molecular biology of bipolar disorder. How amazing is it that I have the opportunity to do this! Other options are perhaps getting a real estate license, I love houses and I think I would be good at selling them. Since very fortunately, we are fine financially, I could even get a job at Macy’s and just work there. I’d done that once in Buffalo and had so much fun working there, helping little old ladies find anything they were looking for. Yet another option I have is writing my book. I really do have a book inside me just waiting to make a grand entrance into the world. 

So no fear. Not even about my soon to be 21 year old baby Fluffin cat. She’s lived a long and happy life, and I love her to pieces, but… you know at her age there’s a but, I will be sad. Ok let’s not talk about this anymore. 

No fear. Only possibilities, making some of them into reality, living fearlessly and positively. Amen. 


Lunch

Lunch with my sister-in-law went well.  We had a good talk where she said she wanted nothing but the best for me and for me to be happy, whatever it took for that to happen, she hoped I found it.   She accepted my apology and said we might never be best friends, but she hoped we could do better than we had in the past.  I said that was my goal as well.  So I’m not sure what practical difference it will have in our lives, but hopefully it will end this veiled sniping at each other we’ve been doing for years.

I felt like I got in trouble again at workshop this week.  Our professor sent out an email to the entire group that she thought our comments on submissions were too focused on personal issues that came up in the submissions and not on interests of craft.  It’s a class in nonfiction writing and has inspired some pretty confessional essays on all of our parts.  Well, I was the only one that had commented on any of the pieces up for workshop that includes one of my own.  And I had been a little gushy because the subject matter was SO personal and brave to share.  I wanted to let the writer know how the words had affected me.  I’m only human.  WEll, I felt kicked in the teeth.  I wrote the professor and said I would change the critique to remove the personal comments and would try to do better in the future and went to bed.

This morning I got an email from the professor that she realized it looked like she was singling me out and that was not her intent.  She felt badly about sending it.  She said I was not the only one making these kinds of personal remarks.  So she sends out a email to the group saying she was not singling anyone out which made me feel better. But I was totally embarrassed by the whole thing.  ANd now it looks like the whole class is, too, because I m still the only one who has commented on the workshop pieces.  I hope some comments some in soon.

So it’s been kind of an emotional day for me.  But I’ve held up pretty well.  Last time I had workshop I wound up in the hospital before the week was out.  I think that was coincidental.  Correlation does not ran causation and all that jazz.  So we will see.

 

 

 


Oscar-Winning Actress Patty Duke Dies At 69

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/03/29/472278182/oscar-winning-actress-patty-duke-dies-at-69?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160329

Actress Patty Duke in 2014 in Los Angeles.

Actress Patty Duke in 2014 in Los Angeles.

Ryan Miller/Invision/AP

Actress Patty Duke, who shot to fame as a teenager in the film The Miracle Worker,died Tuesday morning of sepsis from a ruptured intestine at age 69, her agent said.

“She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon,” the agent’s statement said. “She will be greatly missed.”

When Duke was 12, she starred as Helen Keller in the Broadway play The Miracle Worker, NPR’s Mandalit del Barco reports.

She reprised her role in the 1962 film version, winning an Academy Award for best supporting actress when she was 16 — then the youngest person to have won an Oscar.

Anne Bancroft holds Patty Duke's hand to teach her a new word in a scene from the 1962 film The Miracle Worker.

Anne Bancroft holds Patty Duke’s hand to teach her a new word in a scene from the 1962 film The Miracle Worker.

United Artists/Getty Images

In 1963, Duke took the starring roles in a popular sitcom called The Patty Duke Show,in which she played identical cousins. NPR reported that she was the youngest actress in television to have a prime-time series built around her.

The Los Angeles Times notes that “after her successful stint as Patty and Cathy Lane on television, Duke tried to transition back to film with a controversial performance as Neely O’Hara in ‘Valley of the Dolls,’ in which the actress portrayed an alcoholic, drug-addled star.”

But Duke’s outward success belied her private struggles.

“The success … masked personal misery which included depressions that led to suicide attempts and a string of failed marriages,” NPR reported in 2000.

Duke, whose real name was Anna Pearce, wrote an autobiography in 1987 titled Call Me Anna that addressed some of these struggles.

Mandalit says Duke served as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the 1980s and adds: “After she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she became an advocate for mental health issues.”

In 2011, Duke made news by applying for Social Security benefits online and encouraging other seniors to do the same. She talked to NPR’s Renee Montagne about it at the time.