Daily Archives: July 24, 2016

I Miss My Old Blogging Friends

I Miss My Old Blogging Friends

I wrote the following post last year. Still applies. Now I’m busy with caregiving. My responsibilities have grown. My focus has changed. Now I blog less about living with bipolar and more about caregiving. Still, I do not have enough time to read and comment on all the wonderful blogs out there. On top of caregiving, I’m preparing for BlogHer16. After BlogHer, I’m attending NAMI’s California conference in late August and a writers’ conference in September.


Have I Lost My Blogging Friends?

Published August 12, 2015

So I’ve been busy, much busier than usual, in my real life, interacting with people in the flesh, which overstimulates me, so I haven’t been reading and commenting on other blog posts like I usually do, like I used to do.

The posts I published Wednesday received few comments. I wonder, is it because I have let down my online community of mutually supportive readers by not reading and commenting on their posts? Or, is it because my posts were not personal or particularly original in nature — just a rehash of a conference I attended Friday and Saturday and a repost of a TIME, Inc. infographic about why we still need Women’s Equality Day ? Perhaps my last post was simply too long (and boring, I now realize in going back and reading it).

I’ve been feeling guilty for not reading and commenting as much on other blogs, but I can only do so much, and taking care of myself comes first. I respond to comments on my blog. But, there are simply too many other blogs to read them all. I’m not even reading those with whom I’ve developed close online friendships.

Writing helps me. Consuming seemingly endless numbers of mental health posts, commenting on them and sharing them, unfortunately, does not. Perhaps doing so helps others, just not me. Not when I’m too overwhelmed. Not when I’m doing my best to slow down.

By the way, did some more in person volunteering. Once again trying to figure this one out. How much in-person social interaction and volunteering I can take on without spinning like a hypomanic top.


Filed under: Bipolar Disorder, Hypomania, Triggers to Mood Cycling, Volunteering, Writing Tagged: #BlogHer16, blogging, guilt, insecurity, obligations, online community, overstimulation, reading

Tribute – Garry Marshall

Garry Marshall’s passing has had a huge effect on everyone, whether famous or fan. I think I first became aware of Garry Marshall with his work on the TV series “The Odd Couple”. I have been a credits reader from … Continue reading

Do You Believe In Magic?

LOTUS

This is my latest purchase from the Nepalese store in Boulder.  The owner told me it would bring me good luck and sound sleep.  I didn’t need to hear anything else, I was sold!  It’s a pretty piece of glass, isn’t it?  I love to believe in magic.  And to tell you the truth, I have been sleeping better!  Don’t know about the luck thing yet.  I applied for three jobs last week, I guess I had good luck because I immediately was called for an interview for one of them.  I am on the fence as to whether or not I want the job, but it is part-time and would supplement what I do for Dr. Flaky nicely, since I can’t count on her at all.  I’m also practicing what I call Catholic Magic, which is a Novena to St. Joseph.  Catholicism is so damn magical and they have a patron saint for just about everything, and you make a novena to St. Joseph for work.  This demonstrates the level of my despair, that I would dust off my completely renounced Catholic beliefs in a desperate attempt to get some work that I don’t hate.  My sister did the novena for me before I got the job with Dr. Flaky, and I really liked the work.  So!  All I can say is, willingness is key when you want to achieve something.  If you all know of any witch doctors or voodoo practitioners I should contact, please let me know in the Comments section.

After two years of not working, and many years before that of absolutely hating the work I did, I find it so interesting that I really do want to work!  I enjoy the feeling of productivity and I enjoy being busy.  It’s the human interaction and having to “play nice” that hangs me up and makes me want to take a big dump in the middle of the room.  Me oh my, why oh why was I given such a difficult personality???  I wish there was some “higher purpose” and that it was for some “greater good” and I could go “Ohhhhh YEAHHHH THIS is why I’m such a jerkoff!!!”  It’s all beautiful now!  I’m going to pray to my beautiful glass lotus flower for that to magically happen.  ‘Cause I don’t see a future of me shutting my mouth meekly or saying “Yes, Sir, No, Sir” in my future.  Anyone with any wisdom on the subject, please DO share!

Well I’m off to do my favorite activity, pick up prescriptions!  Those suckers at Walgreens must be wondering when my liver is gonna blow up already, with all the shit I take.  It takes a mountain of pills to keep this person going, I say!  Hope you all have a wondrous Sunday full of butterflies and rainbows.  Peach out!


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

Gun,Knife,Noose

Not yet 10:30 a.m. on a Sunday and already I have fixed my kid pancakes, washed my dishes, started laundry, showered, and put on clothes I didn’t sleep in. Is it wrong to be exhausted already? Fuck a fancy bag, we’re in day 5 of 90 plus temps with 80% humidity. When you don’t have  AC….The heat just sucks the life away, as if I had much to begin with. It also makes me ten times more venomous, I’d give a king cobra a run for its money.

Two weeks without a post…One week I had flubola ’16. I thought I understood the concept of hunger. Until you’ve expelled every last nutrient and can’t even keep a saltine down so you’re weak and woozy…That’s hunger. I don’t do sick with any grace. My kid was sick at the same time so it was a lot of moping, dry toast, and fort blankie for us both. I fed the cats. That’s about all I did. One night I was so sick I laid in a cold shower trying to get my fever to break so I’d stop sweating and shivering. Not fun.

That went away. Enter shark week cramps. The kind that have me fetalized with a hot water bottle. The kind that reek of fucking labor pains.

The heat has killed off our newbie kittens. I did everything I could for them but…Feet’s first litter, first litters often don’t survive. Sick of burying cats.

R and I are having some sort of turmoil, his choice, not mine. He is all team Trump and after meeting the douchebag’s running mate, two steps removed from being a caveman, I said much as I hate Hillary and all her illegal deeds..I may register to vote for the first time in my life just to speak up and out against the republicans.

So of course R called me a moron and says I don’t understand Trump’s politics and I am abetting the Clintons in their criminal deeds…WTF.

This isn’t an election. It’s “how do you wanna die? Gun, knife, noose, you’re dead no matter what.”

I just have this thing for men who think they have the right to weigh in on women’s issues such as abortion. Especially this Pence guy, who’s so anti abortion he doesn’t even bend if the birth will kill the mother. That’s not having a platform, that’s being a fucking idiot.

R said it shouldn’t matter since I don’t plan on having more kids.

Maybe not. But I have a daughter and her right to choose is very much a matter to me. Not to mention, my maternal grandmother was 49 when she had my mom so there’s no saying I won’t find myself in an ooops situation where a doc advises termination due to birth defects from my age or taking my meds…

It matters. And I have zero use for a grown man who can’t agree to disagree. This isn’t junior high where I have to agree with the cool kids to stay relevant.

Bet I opened some cans of worms there, politics and abortion are no no topics. Which I don’t get but I think it’s because there are more R’s out there than there are mes, who is fine agreeing to disagree.

I think the Prisiq is helping. Not a big huge difference but compared to the Prozac…I think it’s got me on the rise. I want to try the 100mg bump next time I see the doc.

Spook was supposed to go stay at my dad’s this week for vacation bible school. She begged me not to make her cos she doesn’t want to be gone for a week. I informed my dad and like a little kid he said, “Fine you guys stay in X-town and I’ll stay in C-town!” Not very mature for a man pushing 70. She’s barely 7, of course she doesn’t want to be gone for seven days. So he’s pissed at me now, like I put her up to it when in fact…a week sans devil girls knocking on my door sounded pretty fucking sweet.

R is going to AA now. But still drinking. 3 24 ounce cans every single night. All the while preaching about how he hasn’t hit rock bottom like “those” people at the meeting, he doesn’t really have a problem. I wonder how those people who busted ass to get sober feel about his bullshit presence. He’s doing it to get the wife and kids off his back. But he still doesn’t think he has a problem, at all. I’ve been avoiding him when possible. I won’t feed his denial and I don’t like his arrogance. Silence is not a skill I have when calling people on their shit.

As for me…It’s too fucking hot to drink. I can’t even keep my bills paid because the post office delivers the child support whenever they feel like it so you can’t plan on anything. I am as disgruntled as ever but I maintain it’s justified.

Now…to do something different…a joke.

A middle school principal was getting complaints from her janitor about the sixth grade girls’ bathroom mirrors. The girls were trying lipstick and leaving a lip print, dozens of them, every day, and he was sick of cleaning it up. So the principal assembled the tweens in the bathroom with the janitor and said, “I want you girls to know how hard it is for him to clean off your lipstick.”

The janitor takes a squeegee, dips it in a  toilet, and wipes the mirror clean.

The girls never left a lip print again.


The Goddess Position, Radiotherapy, & Me

Silver chain amongst summer flowers

Silver chain amongst summer flowers

How is the radiotherapy going? I hear you ask. Because I have damn fine hearing for my age, which is nearly bus pass, except it isn’t, any more. Bus pass, that is, not fine hearing.

Bitter, me? No, because I’ve had better things to do for nearly three weeks now. Such as lying on a 45 degree angle couch – a clinical version of the ones the Minbari sleep on, in Babylon 5 – and assuming “the Goddess position”.

I like to think I’m the only Anglo-American bipolar blogger with breast cancer who can use both paganism, and their fan-girl love for Bab 5, to describe radiotherapy sessions. Then again, it’s not like there’s lots of competition.

It’s summertime – temporarily at least – here in S Yorks. And the living – when not at work – is often bare breasted. This is on the advice of the lovely folks at Weston Park Hospital, the regional centre of excellence for cancer treatment in Yorkshire & surrounding area.

A friend who is a few months ahead of me in her treatment told me sometime ago that I would have to heal enough to hold my arms above my head to undergo radiotherapy. If I’d done ballet like the little suburban girl I once was, I could probably compare the position to a dance one. I took piano lessons instead, and – much later, and for reasons that had nothing to do with learning how to play “Fur Elise” – I became a Pagan. Which is why I refer to that position – as demonstrated in my necklace shown above – as “the Goddess Position”.

The actual “zotting” – a technical term which I didn’t, sadly, invent – lasts no time at all, compared to riding the Firefly mini-bus to and from Weston Park. I’ve spent more time queuing afterwards for a tea from the RVS shop, than actually on the table, half naked, and with my arms extended, grasping what feels like two very short bicycle handles.

Another photo of my necklace, and some summer herbs, including woad (small yellow flowers)

Another photo of my necklace, and some summer herbs, including woad (small yellow flowers)

If you follow The Wheel of the Year which I more or less do, you’ll know the next festival is Lammas. Also known as Lughnash, for me, it’s the Pagan original of the Harvest Festival. Years ago, I used to mark the day by baking homemade bread, and reflecting on what I had harvested that year.

I’m off work on Lammas, so I may revive that pleasant – and pleasant smelling – ritual. Meanwhile, I’m off today, and thinking about my harvest.

The answer isn’t my writing, or the foxgloves, mint, and ivy which have flourished in the garden this year. It isn’t even how lucky I am to have a supportive, sympathetic partner, who still makes me smile, and laugh. I do realise how lucky I am to be with him.

My biggest crop is this: I’m still alive. Still comparatively sane.

Neither cancer, bipolar, nor other, more recent, potentially bad news, have sent me to the grave, or the ward. I’m still working part time, when not travelling to & from my metal couch. Still writing silly stories, such as the one on the previous blog. Still setting up, and taking, daft pictures of Doctor Who related stuff:

The Good Doctor was so desperate to win Robot Wars, he'd do just about anything

The Good Doctor was so desperate to win Robot Wars, he’d do just about anything

I’m also dealing with my disappointment over the fact that my cat is much less enthusiastic about his Dreamies “Treat Mouse” than I am:

Munch in the bowl is worth Dreamies in the mouse

Munch in the bowl is worth Dreamies in the mouse

Next week is – I hope – the last in which my more allegedly normal activities overlap with trips to radiotherapy sessions. The hospital unit has a bell which people can ring to let everyone else know that they’ve finished their treatment.

Am I going to ring that bell? You bet your sweet Dalek, I am. Meanwhile, I’ve got some laundry, and washing up, to do. Plus, a Treat Mouse who fancies having a roll on part – he doesn’t walk very well, being something of a Weeble – on Doctor Who.

How a mouse-shaped robot came to be on Skaro was a question the Daleks didn't take time to ask.

How a mouse-shaped robot came to be on Skaro was a question the Daleks didn’t take time to ask.

Tagged: Babylon 5, bipolar, breast cancer, bus pass, Cancer, cats, Doctor Who, Firefly, goddess, harvest, Lammas, Lughnas, paganism, photography, radiotherapy, summer, treat mouse, Weston Park, Wheel of the Year, writing

If Only…

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 7.40.10 PM

I just saw this graphic on Twitter, and it caught my attention. I actually have food allergies or sensitivities to many foods, especially corn, can’t eat it at all. I am also allergic to casein (a milk protein, so all dairy that has protein in it but not dairy fat:-) ) bananas, avocados, pork, cumin, and a few more things. So I’ve actually been on elimination diets for years, to find out definitively what I am allergic to. First you eliminate the foods that the allergy tests show you as being allergic to them. You eliminate these foods for a few months, then you add back one food at a time to see if your symptoms come back. My symptoms are not gastrointestinal, my symptoms are joint pain, so sometimes it’s difficult to say whether I am reacting to a food. Anyway, I have tried to tease out the foods that I can eat and the ones I can’t.

Also it’s very interesting to note that people with mental illness often have inflammation and immune illnesses as well. There is definitely a connection, although it is not known for certain what it is. The gut has it’s own immune system (GALT) and it own “brain” also known as the enteric nervous system, and there is extensive signaling between the gut and the nervous system. Anxiety and depression affect conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and vice versa. Also the neurons in the gut make a lot of the body’s serotonin and this is influenced by our microbiota in the gut.

All is interconnected!

About the graphic above, I really like it, if only it was easy to undertake and be successful at eliminating anger, regret, resentment, guilt, blame and worry! Life would be quite divine. I don’t know why these negative emotions are so difficult to banish, whereas the positive ones just fly away so easily.

One more I’d definitely add to this list is fear. In fact, might all of the emotions not be some derivation of fear? Fear is a survival tool, but feeling it at times when it is not warranted for our survival is so counterproductive and also leads to anxiety, a downwards spiral from which it may be difficult to recover.

Practicing fearlessness, when in the midst of anxiety and fear, it is very difficult, but in instances when I have done it, I have mostly been rewarded by a sense of accomplishment and bravery.

Anyway, I will try to go on this particular elimination diet as much as I can.