Daily Archives: April 5, 2016

“Garden Party”

This song, written and performed by Rick Nelson, was the tale of his experience playing a concert at Madison Square Garden in October 1971. He had changed, his music had changed, but the fans wanted the old “Ricky” Nelson so they … Continue reading

“Garden Party”

This song, written and performed by Rick Nelson, was the tale of his experience playing a concert at Madison Square Garden in October 1971. He had changed, his music had changed, but the fans wanted the old “Ricky” Nelson so they … Continue reading

Weather Or Not

No, I did not spell that wrong. I have come to the conclusion that temperature and weather impact my moods as much as bad things happening or bipolar depressive shifts.

Yesterday was warm and sunny and I felt decent. Especially after writing 24 pages in my vampire novel that’s been stagnating while I battle ADD and depression and the stress of life. It made me feel ebullient to the nth to be warm, to be writing…

Then today. Cloudy, grayish, and cold. Splat goes Morgue’s mood and motivation. Add to it a full on assault by my allergies, bad stomach ache, headache, and lithium induced nausea as well as a painful spot in my neck where I slept wrong…Not having a good day. Not feeling so ebullient.

Weather can make a significant difference is all I am saying. I don’t think the doctors comprehend just how sensitive some bipolar patients are to weather changes.

I was supposed to go keep R company at the shop today, he’s freaking out cos business is so slow and he’s got taxes due and can’t cover them…I had every intention of going. Unfortunately, once I got my kid to school, I came back home, shivering, took an allergy pill and the next thing I know…it’s 1 p.m. Oops. I fucked up and got the “may cause drowsy” allergy pills. My bad. Though I think it was mainly my body trying to catch up since Sunday night I only got 3 hours of sleep. I was trying so hard not to take anything to nod off, trying so hard to tough it out and let it happen naturally…By 1 a.m. it became clear that wasn’t going to happen and I knew I had to get some sleep so I didn’t oversleep and make my kid late for school.

The later you take any sleep aid, the harder it is to get up in the morning. Least it is for me, even melatonin. I don’t do mornings anyway. Fuck that shit, let me send my kid to night school.

So yeah. Yesterday was good. Even got to talk on the phone to a good friend and that also cheered me up cos, ‘yeah, my interaction with fellow grown ups is pretty limited. I occasionally delight in talking to someone who isn’t babbling about Frozen, busted shit, or ya know, assassinating my character as my family is prone to do. Of course, that’s a double edged sword, cos some days my anxiety is so bad I literally cannot answer the phone. I’m fucked up that way.

Today sucks. My stomach finally settled but the nausea from lithium lingered for hours and I don’t like it a bit. I ate first, so it shouldn’t have happened. Ass trash. I am so cold I can’t get warm today which makes me want to do fuck all. As it is, I put on a long sleeved shirt and my heavy fuzzy pajama pants. (No, no, no, I am not turning the heat back on, the kid says she is fine so whatever it is, it’s to do with my temperature sensors being fucked.)

I have been ready for bed since I woke up. Some days are like that. Some days are like yesterday where I stayed up til midnight and felt pretty damned human. Of course, my allergies weren’t so bad yesterday. When it gets this extreme that I am tied to a Kleenex box and sluggish and miserable…That does put a damper on things. And prove that whatever this drowsy shit I bought is doing fuck all to help me. Back to other stuff. Unless my med resistant system had decided to ban all anti histamines, kind of the way it decides NO anti depressant can work for more than a few months.

So I am avoiding my family. I found this lithograph at a yard sale the other day, it was like seventy five cents or something. But it depicted one of the old time drive in restaurants and had all the classic cars parked and neon sign. My immediate thought was how much my dad likes stuff like that. So I bought it.

When I gave it to him, he barely glanced at it and waved for me to give it to his gf. No thank you, no nothing.

Between that and the lice chemical fiasco mom’s faction brought on…I need a good long break from the whole lot. Even though my kid keeps asking everyday to go for a playdate at mom’s. I know I am doing the right thing because she whipped out with, “(idget not related to us) told me if I am nice to you I can have a sleepover for her birthday.”

Um…No. I am the mother, you ask me. It is not up to idget girl. Who at age fifty really needs to get a fucking life and stop acting like my kid is hers. Not territorial, just not liking the usurping or lack of respect toward me.

Maybe I am ridiculous. Half the time they get me so confused and brainwashed I feel like I should have horns and a pointy tail cos I am obviously that bad of a human.

On a belated, happier note…Yesterday was Grumpy Cat’s 4th birthday.  Grump on, kitty.

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Bipolar On Fire Blog

I've been reading a lot of bipolar related blogs at the Bipolar Blogger Network and one of my favorites is Bipolar On Fire.  There is a wonderful mix of honesty, humor, and stream of consciousness coping with bipolar that I think many blogs aspire to.  For example, in this post the author makes light that her most read post is about a celebrity's anus.  Not to say that the she isn't aware of general knowledge and trends that are out there in relation to mental health.  For example, in this post she summarizes and reflects on spoon theory and why she thinks it is suspect.  Overall I find myself interested in her struggles, her daily life, her well being, and her insights.


So how has she influenced my own "online journey"?  I guess I'd like the same combination of humor and daily life that I mentioned earlier.  I'm not striving to report the latest bipolar research or summarize psychology and psychiatry.  There are lots of blogs and resources that do that.  I do want a kind of diary but with larger reflections about what it means to be bipolar.  Nobody cares that much what you had for breakfast... unless perhaps breakfast represents a challenge related to bipolar... or you made an exotic meal because you were manic... or you had leftover pizza because you were depressed.  I take that back, breakfast could be interesting.

Image credit: drawn by me (can't you tell?) :)

Bipolar On Fire Blog


Daily prompt - Share the love - Tell us about another  blogger who has influenced your own online journey.


I've been reading a lot of bipolar related blogs at the Bipolar Blogger Network and one of my favorites is Bipolar On Fire.  There is a wonderful mix of honesty, humor, and stream of consciousness coping with bipolar that I think many blogs aspire to.  For example, in this post the author makes light that her most read post is about a celebrity's anus.  Not to say that the she isn't aware of general knowledge and trends that are out there in relation to mental health.  For example, in this post she summarizes and reflects on spoon theory and why she thinks it is suspect.  Overall I find myself interested in her struggles, her daily life, her well being, and her insights.

So how has she influenced my own "online journey"?  I guess I'd like the same combination of humor and daily life that I mentioned earlier.  I'm not striving to report the latest bipolar research or summarize psychology and psychiatry.  There are lots of blogs and resources that do that.  I do want a kind of diary but with larger reflections about what it means to be bipolar.  Nobody cares that much what you had for breakfast... unless perhaps breakfast represents a challenge related to bipolar... or you made an exotic meal because you were manic... or you had leftover pizza because you were depressed.  I take that back, breakfast could be interesting.

Image credit: drawn by me (can't you tell?) :)

What does Bipolar Depression Feel Like?

Feeling this one today, wish all the McMuggles could too. Sucking it up is not an option.

Normal is out there

Today I am enduring a heavy portion of bipolar depression.  A very heavy portion.  And I have tried in the past to explain how this feels to the people in my life.  And I have heard so many people’s stories about how they have tried to explain it to their loved ones.  And it never really quite works.  Because those three little words that we hate so much…”suck. it. up.”  come by much too frequently.

So, I’ve come up with an explanation that may help.  And by all means, let me know what you think!

First, you must stay up for 48 hours straight.  Go ahead and drink coffee, that’s not a problem.  This is just to get you ready.

The struggle begins on hour 49.

Are you exhausted? Cranky? Angry? Short-tempered?  Perfect.  You’re ready to start your day.

I know you want to go to sleep, but you can’t…

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Bills Bills Bills

Money, Money, Money and Bills, Bills, Bills An article on everyday health states, Manic episodes of compulsive spending are a problem for many people who have bipolar disorder. During these episodes, people feel richer than they really are, more powerful, and willing to take more risks. In a recent study, people with bipolar disorder were […]

The post Bills Bills Bills appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Westward Ho! Day 9.5

Roseburg, OR (9:30 AM) to Mill Valley, CA (7:00 PM). 462 miles.
Other Notables: Sting’s Brand New Day.

As I said in my previous post, yesterday started out in bipolar sludge.  But, it didn’t stay there.

IMG_0471I asked my Cat Whisperer to send photos of The Boys, and she responded lickety-split.  It helps to see that, while they miss me (evidenced by nervous spew), they look and act like themselves.  Emmett hides.  Henry dominates.  Eating and drinking and litter-boxing continue.  Nothing there for my worrisome thoughts to stick to.IMG_0468

I abandoned my Great Idea of taking most of my food with me in a borrowed cooler.  What seemed like a frugal adventure in South Dakota got boring food-wise and too high maintenance for me (like finding room in someone’s freezer every night for my ice bag).  In rebellion and shear peevishness, I stopped at KFC for lunch.  Then, at a gas station near Williams, California, I trashed my week-old Clementines and dumped the ice.  Instant relief.

knobAround 6:00, about two hours north of San Francisco, I felt a subtle shift.  Like an old TV channel knob, I felt the click–just one– to a higher frequency.

I noticed how the light, slanting in from the west, lit up the hillsides like chartreuse fire.  Those terran White Whales, furred over by tender spring greenery, breached the flat olive groves with house-sized barnacles casting long emerald shadows.  The beauty of all that blazing green did something to my brain.  Or my brain changed channels enough for me to appreciate it.  Tomato.  Tomahto.

IMG_0447I got to my nest for the next two nights; a  real nest in the middle of the redwoods.  All the houses in this neighborhood hang from the cliffs like aeries.

IMG_0451Mary met me as I parked in her carport as directed.  Thin, with a soft-spoken Scottish burr (yes!), she took me down the stairs from street level to the studio room under the carport.

IMG_0454I get my own little patio to commune with the trees and a completely private space.  More beauty.  More hospitality.  More gratitude.  I cooked up my Ramen noodles (not all foodstuffs ended in a dumpster) and felt better.IMG_0456

I don’t even mind (much) that there’s coffee and a coffee maker, but no cream or sugar. And nothing even remotely resembling breakfast.  There is, however, a tiny bottle of olive oil and a toaster over.  The second “B” in B & B, I find, is open to much interpretation. IMG_0455

I don’t care.  It’s a brand new day.

 


When You’re Sober and Your Partner’s Not



When I got sober, I didn't ask my then-husband to quit drinking.  In the foggy, shame-filled logic of early sobriety, I felt guilty.  After all, he had moved the booze from a locked cabinet (which I easily picked open with a kabob skewer) to some other super secret place in support of my recovery.  Underground bunker?  Mars?  A few months in, though, he wondered if it would be okay to bring it all back home.

"Yes," I said.  "I'm fine.  I'm the one who can't drink, not you."

The cabinet was reassembled with the delicious clutter of scotch, gin, vodka, ouzo, tsipouro, brandy, kahlua, rum, tequila, and wine.

It was mostly fine, except when it wasn't.  At night, over dinner, he would pour himself a glass or two or a third splash of wine, and sitting beside him on the couch, I could smell that dark promise, just like the little vial marked "Drink Me" in Alice in Wonderland, filled with "not-poison" liquid that smelled of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast.  I scrambled to remember that what he was drinking would indeed kill me.  Maybe not right there on the couch in front of the blazing fire and the big screen TV broadcasting The Walking Dead and its rotting, zombie bodies, but in a few drinks, a few days, a few bottles.  Alcohol flips the suicide switch in my brain.  I might be sitting on the couch eating an arugula and egg pizza, but after a bottle of cabernet, I want to cut my wrists with the crusts.

I believed that my recovery was my fault, my business, my responsibility.  It was and is.  But in a marriage or relationship, recovery is pursued together.  I believed this even as we sat on the couch pretending that our marriage was also healing.  Even as I fetched him a scotch glass at the end of the evening so he could pour himself a snoot or two.  After all, he had the difficult job of living through and with me.  It was the least I could do.  Even as I gathered up the wine glass and scotch glass and hand washed them. I hated scotch, but in the last days of my drinking, took swigs straight from the bottle, swallowing fast and hard, trying to obliterate myself.  Still, I reasoned, this was my just dysfunctional penance.

Some nights, fewer in the end of our marriage, we had sex, a sign that we were still bound to each other (though, he was already, by this time, bound to another woman).  Since sex necessitates bodies against each other, mouth against mouth, breath against cheek, I had to hold my breath when he moved close.  Not out of distaste for him, but for the booze.  I couldn't taste his scotch and wine in my mouth, couldn't breathe in the potential for damage.  Sex shifted from (fraught) pleasure to my fending off a longing for drink and drunkenness, and my turning away (staring at the wall, the dresser, the knobs on the dresser) to stay intact.

Alcohol always made sex easier for me; I was less barbed with the thorns of insecurity and disconnection.  By extension, alcohol made it easier to forget what I'd done while drinking alcohol which would then, once again, make me do shameful things which I would need to again forget.  The ouroborus.  The snake eating its tail.  At one of our very drunken Christmas parties  (think guests throwing up in the bathroom or passed out on the couch), I batted my eyelashes at my husband (who thought maybe I's had enough to drink), and wooed him into sex on the back steps.  Thrilling because we could be discovered, but it was my way to deflect his attention.  He would be agog at my daring and I could continue with vodka cranberries.  The next morning, hungover, I could only feel shame.  That wasn't me, not really.  

What was becoming clear, too, was that the "me" who had married my husband, who had spent years and years drinking at ports of call all over the world, and waking up hungover and ashamed in these places, was no longer able to sit on the couch and pretend that his drinking with me was okay.  Alcohol muddies intentions.  Did he want to have sex with me, or, like my plastered performance on the stairs, was his desire fueled by booze?  Beer-wine-scotch goggles?  Was he interested in authenticity and integrity with me, something I was trying to practice in recovery?  (Apparently not, evidenced by his secret, several-years affair).

I don't know if a future partner will have to be a sober partner.  Perhaps my now-ex-husband's drinking was troublesome because we had spent so many years ritually drinking together.  We clinked glasses on balconies and in vineyards and on beaches in Italy, France, Greece, and Turkey.  Many of our loveliest and most poisonous memories are strung together by booze and its accompanying love and anger and betrayal and regret.  How do you come out from under that weight?  How does one partner summon the hopeful promise (writ small: soft unwinding of a day) of Laphroig in a crystal Tiffany snifter while the other is trying not to guzzle the bottle (that same hope, writ large: this will finally make me okay).

Now that I live on my own, in a house without booze, I am less vigilant.  Maybe I'll binge on mandarin oranges or handfuls of Lucky Charms, but there's nothing (barring a slip on a dog squeaky toy or impalement by Legos) that can kill me.  When I need to blot myself out, I call friends and talk until empty.  When I'm feeling insecure, or unhappy or unfunny or unlovable, I write my truth, hug my kids and dog, and expend all that prickly energy at CrossFit or on the track.  And sober sex?  With its clear intent and active choice, it is dangerous and thrilling because it is full of feeling.

Feeding The Fire: Venom In My Veins

Ready. Set. Sail! (Mania trigger warning) It’s late and I can’t sleep. I’m infected with a mental toxin that I can’t seem to get rid of. I’ve been fighting for weeks now. Everyday is a little different. Some are harder than others. For the most part, I’m able to resist but the symptoms are getting… More Feeding The Fire: Venom In My Veins