Daily Archives: October 8, 2016

Most Unfortunate September

A disastrous visit.

An occurrence in Buffalo.

Some disappointing things that happened.

My brother’s birthday.

Another incident.

Yet another incident.

Taking warrior Leo to veterinarian. He fought tooth and nail and he is STRONG!

And it’s fall, usually the time for me to get hypomanic 😟

And believe me none of the things listed above were minor. I’m just not at liberty to talk about them here. However I do know that I overreact when my mood is off, so that may also have made things seem more awful than they truly were. In any case, I have been through the wringer and my mood has taken a hit. 

With all of the above happening, I feel absolutely SICK! In bed. My butt is whooped! . Calling my doctor on Monday. If I have to get myself hospitalized, I will. Wish me luck. And a quick recovery, please, yes a quick recovery, more than anything else.


Prince Harry: I will dedicate my life to helping mentally ill ex-servicemen and women

He’s a true prince, charming, kind, compassionate and he seems to have found his calling in supporting the veterans of war who grapple with mental illness. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-harry/11902473/Prince-Harry-I-will-dedicate-my-life-to-helping-mentally-ill-ex-servicemen-and-women.html
NEWS  

Prince Harry: I will dedicate my life to helping mentally ill ex-servicemen and women

Prince Harry calls for better approach to mental health as he joins injured veterans for ‘Walk of Britain’
By Lucy Clarke-Billings
5:23PM BST 30 Sep 2015

The 31-year-old Prince is patron of the Walk of Britain 2015: Walking With The Wounded and said as country ‘we need to do more’

Prince Harry says he wants to dedicate the rest of his life to working with ex-servicemen fighting mental health problems, as he reveals he feels lucky to have escaped Afghanistan alive.
As he prepared to join injured veterans on part of their 1,000 mile walk across Britain, the Prince said more needs to be done to help personnel with “hidden” injuries.
The 31-year-old is patron of the Walking With The Wounded Walk of Britain and today said as country “we need to do more” to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
Prince Harry joins Walking with the Wounded’s Walk of Britain team at Ludlow Castle in Shrophire as they trek the length of the country on their own personal roads. 
He has previously spoken of the “very difficult” transition to civilian life that former service personnel face, particularly those who carry the scars and burdens of the war.

“That military banter never goes, that dark sense of humour will always be there,”
And in an interview with ITV News he has made clear his life-long commitment to helping people battling to overcome grievous injuries, both physical and mental, suffered in the line of duty.

“Mental health is a sensitive subject but it doesn’t need to be,” he said. “We need to talk about it more, get rid of the stigma.
“What better people to bring that to the forefront than these guys? They are mentally strong and they are willing to talk about it.
“I love spending time with these guys. I like to think I know roughly what they’re going through as well. It’s hard to say that because everyone is unique but the main focus, from my point of view, for the rest of my life anyway is to make sure they get the best support possible because I know, and more people are starting to see, how valuable they are within society.
Prince Harry takes a break to play some American Football with NFL representative Dan Marino
Prince Harry takes a break to play some American Football with NFL representative Dan Marino Getty Images

“Whether it’s in this country, or the USA, they are the best people on this planet to bring people together, to improve communities. I think it’s something people need to take notice of.”
Prince Harry also said he missed parts of the army and feels a strong connection to his comrades.
“I miss parts of it,” he said. “That’s another reason why I will be involved with these guys for the rest of my life.
“Because that military banter never goes, that dark sense of humour will always be there. We’ll get into trouble together.”
And while he says an unbreakable sense of patriotism keeps you going, you always feel lucky to return home safe and well.
“If you’re lucky enough to be able to serve your country then you don’t think of anything else,” he said. “Even when these guys are getting injured, the first thought is in their mind is ‘Christ it’s happened to me’.
“You never believe it will happen to you. Of course you believe you’re lucky but let’s not forget the families who are put through that pain and stress as well.”
The prince lent his support to the six-strong team who have taken on the 1,000 mile walk across the country.
The five men and a woman, including two ex-US Marines, are all battling with different injuries, both physical and mental.
Among them are three victims of IED blasts in Afghanistan, amputees and two who suffered traumatic brain injuries. Another lost an eye.
“Of course you believe you’re lucky, but let’s not forget the families who are put through that pain and stress as well,”
Speaking ahead of today’s walk, the Prince said he was “hugely looking forward” to joining the team on their “formidable” challenge.

Today’s section has been taking the team through the picturesque English countryside near Ludlow in Shropshire.
He praised the members of the public who’ve been putting hard-earned money in the donation buckets as the marchers make their way around Britain.
“The support has been amazing,” he said. “People come out to give money and then when they hear what it’s for they put another £20 in.”
And for Prince Harry, spending time with the veterans on the march was the perfect day for him.
“You just have to chat to these guys for five minutes to appreciate what they can still contribute,” he said.
“What’s important is to recognise that the mental health support for these guys, former servicemen and women is there. They have served their country. They have put their lives on the line for their country.”
As he made his way out of a small wood near Craven Arms, jokingly complaining that his legs hurt, he talked about the number of empty homes that can be used in part for homeless veterans.
Prince Harry shows off his beard as he participates in the Walking with the Wounded hike
The prince has always supported the charity since its formation James Watkins/WENN.com

“That’s why I was so happy we did he DIYSOS building, getting together to help house veterans.”
Part of the walk took them through Onibury where Vicky Bailey, 37, who had just picked up her son Miles Bailey from school, stopped him and handed over £5.
“I think he is amazing and what he does is really good,” she said. “Seeing that landlords are giving up homes for veterans who don’t have homes and jobs to go to is great. I hope he keeps up the good work.”
Further along the road Daniel Evans, 30, put a couple of pounds in the bucket and showing off his five month old son to Harry was teased by the prince, “That’s not how you hold a baby.”
But he declined the option to hold him.
On the outskirts of Onibury Harry stopped to play some American football.
The trek started in Scotland in August and is set to take 72 days, finishing at Buckingham Palace on November 1.
Harry has supported WWTW since the charity was formed, taking part in its treks to the North Pole in 2011 and South Pole in 2013.
He was also patron of its Everest expedition in 2012.

 


Dr. Goodenough

Yesterday, I had my first visit with my new pdoc, whom I shall call Dr. Goodenough. He reminds me of Mister Rogers—he is warm and kind, and he wears a tie with a cardigan sweater. He’s an older gentleman, so I’m a little worried he’ll retire within a few years; but since he’s new to the clinic I think I might be able to keep him for awhile at least.

Dr. G took a VERY thorough history, from earliest childhood to now. He wanted to know what life was like for me before I became ill, and how I knew I needed help (I didn’t—my primary care provider forced me into it). We talked about my parents, my kids and grandkids, my alcoholism, even the time I was date-raped in my very early 20s. And I discussed my marriage to Will at length, from our whirlwind courtship up until the night he died. It’s amazing how much of a relief it was to be able to talk about it to someone besides family…and this time, I didn’t cry.

We also talked about using a light box during the fall and winter to prevent the seasonal depression I usually experience. This is a bright light that you sit in front of for 30 minutes every morning to fool your brain into thinking there’s more light than there really is. I’ve always been really sensitive to changes in the angle of light from the sun, and Dr. G thinks this light box will correct that. So I’ll be doing some shopping, probably on Amazon because they have absolutely everything and I should be able to find one for a couple hundred bucks or so. Then in the spring, we’ll change tactics to avoid mania.

I think this guy knows his bipolar stuff.

As for my diagnosis, Dr. G said it was “very clear” that I have Bipolar 1, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. That’s the fourth mental healthcare provider who’s labeled it as such, so I guess I’d better start believing it. (Ya THINK??) <<insert sarcasm here>>

I’m pleased that he’s not going to mess with my meds, not yet anyway. I think he subscribes to the philosophy that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Despite all the chaos in my life, I’ve still got a good thing going and I’d probably have pitched a fit if he’d wanted to change anything. Maybe later on down the road, but certainly not now.

In short, I’m back in business. Dr. G may not be Dr. Awesomesauce—no one else could ever be—but he’s good enough for me.

 

 


Confrontation And Child’s Play

So…I was going along, having an okay day…

Then I kept hearing the crunch of gravel and pings outside my window.

Tried to ignore. Couldn’t.

It was 2 of the kids two doors down who moved in a couple of months back. I told them not to throw rocks at my house because we don’t bother them. At which point they said it wasn’t them, it was their big sister throwing rocks at my cats.

Then this 13 yearish old girl appears and declares she hates black cats so yes, she threw rocks at them cos they scare her.

My cats were in MY yard, not causing a single problem.

I told all three, in no uncertain terms, that this is animal abuse and I will NOT tolerate it. I made it clear I would turn them in to the landlord, animal cruelty society, and that is is a crime to abuse animals,especially those in their own yard causing no threat to you.

They left and my anxiety rose, distracting me to panic. Last time I called a neighbor kid on their shit behavior, the mother accosted me at my door and told me I had no right to talk to her son *that way*. In all fairness, I told ALL the kids that day if they couldn’t get along, they needed to go home. But she played the racist card and said I only said that to her son cos he’s black.

I am the least bigoted person on the planet so hell yeah, I took offense. No white parents came barreling at me to complain for saying the same thing to their misbehaving kids.

Now three years later, I am still scarred because apparently, if the child is not white, I am a racist and bigot.

I don’t give a damn if you are a leper with stripes…Harming animals is uncool.

I even saw that same girl poking at a dead squirrel yesterday then she spit green popsicle on it and tossed it back in the weeds. I’m sorry, but that behavior would disturb me even from a fully sane white person with a college degree.

I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, fuck skin color.

On animal cruelty, I give no one any slack because it is plain wrong. Even animal corpses deserve a modicum of respect.

So…anyone want to weigh in on this matter, help me gain some perspective? Am I racist? Cowardly? Just a victim of panic and confrontation issues????

Not to be anti social or a pessimist…But MOST of my issues arise the moment I look out my window. Why can’t people just leave me, and my kid and cats, alone????

Are my standards too high?

Fuck that. 13 is old enough to know even something scares you, you don’t throw rocks at it. If that were the case, I’d be throwing boulders at the dog next door for its incessant barking. But I don’t. Not because I am an adult. Because I am a human being with regard for life in all forms.

Proof being that Nightshade brought me a grass hopper the other day to prove what an excellent feline huntress she is and I got the insect and set it free outside, sparing its life.

And now my kid says the trailer park’s killer clowns are on the loose again (third time this week) so I am gonna go Z Whack some clowns.

If you consider them human, you’re more insane than I am.😉


Not The Best

Today is not one of my best. I’m depressed but with my little green friend I kind of feel immune to it, sitting on the edge wanting it to dare poke it’s head through. That’s the best way I can think of to describe how I’m feeling right this very instant. Plus my damn back is killing me. Spending to much time slouched over I guess.

I’ve played some WoW with hubby today and last night cause I still want to do stuff even if I don’t want to do stuff. I think a lot of people could understand.

Depression sucks balls.


Puppies And Kittens And Killer Clowns

So I thought I’d post since I am still on a high from watching last night’s Z Nation.  Who knew the zombie apocalypse was a mood booster. But as I’ve always said, be it zombies or a virus or the economy tanking and turning the US into a third world country…There would be no more class wars. It would be survival of the fittest. I like an even playing field.

So I managed to smooth things over with R. After being lectured half a dozen times about how I am “slipping a cog” these days. DUH. How many times do I have to explain the depression and anxiety, ffs. I am well aware I am slipping many cogs. Fucking up the simplest things, forgetting shit ten seconds after it’s said, looking at ringing phones like they are ticking time bombs. I KNOW.

And sure, my stress level would go down significantly were I to write this friendship off. Something in me says not yet. Mainly because my car has no dash lights or heat and I can’t afford a mechanic so…Plus, I feel less shitty about being a smoker when someone else is buying and I don’t have to feel shittier for taking the money out of my kid’s budget for survival. Lame excuses? Maybe. But I don’t do conflict or confrontation well, that stresses me out just as much as the constant demands and lack of empathy. It’s a catch 22. Maybe I should stop griping about it but then, I’d have to fire the mail man or the fire department or every little thing that sets me off kilter and sends me into panic. Life is what it is. Venting is good.

So he was here pretty much every night this week. To visit? Yeah, right. He brings all this shit he wants to work on, parts to find, because ya know, he lives and breathes work and it’s always been who he is, it’s not simply making a living. It was long ago established that I am not superwoman, I cannot keep the pace he or his perfect high functioning family does. I need to shut my brain off at some point. That’s where the mistakes start happening, when I’ve pushed myself beyond my limits. You can’t reason with a workaholic, though. So I suck it up, vent about it, and lather, rinse, repeat.

On the plus side…My kid is doing well at school. I turned the doctor’s ADHD assessment papers to the teacher, told her to take a little time, see if she notices anything off kilter in Spook’s behavior. Even explained the bipolar/ADHD/ single mom angle and how she is suddenly getting aggressive towards the very friends she worships. It worries me. I’m a mom, I worry.

I took her to the book fair and guess what? Mom got a treat for a change.

tardisI lurve my Doctor Who Tardis poster!!!! Of course, R saw it and gave me the money to get him one, too.

We were invited by Mrs. R last night to come over. I didn’t want to go because socializing is exhausting but during an up moment, I agreed and decided not to flake out. I should have. I sensed the tension from the moment I got there. We weren’t there an hour and he and wifey were into it and she told us it was time leave. YES. I don’t do conflict well. It was awkward. All over his daughter’s exorbitant medical bills for her kid’s X Rays and he was ranting about that and his wife, a radiology professor, tried to calm him down and he felt she was emasculating him in front of his kid…

Save the drama for the llamas.

I must admit, I felt bad for Ursula. The eldest daughter who has the master’s in psychology. Her 4 year old has one leg growing faster than the other, so she took her to two different hospitals and the one in town charged triple for the exact same X Rays and even after insurance, she owed almost two grand. She broke down in tears because she worked 65 hours that week and said, “I have to medically neglect my child to feed her! My kids are getting X Rays for Christmas!”

Empathy is my weak spot. No matter how shitty people are to me, I can usually find empathy inside myself. Of course, I saw this coming, because she and hubby have a consistent habit of living above their means, then taking in the foster kids and having seven vehicles. Still…I felt bad for her. And I feel rage towards the healthcare system that gets away with this shit.

He did send me an apology text last night for his behavior. That’s something for him.

Today I wanted to hit the last of the yard sales for the season. It didn’t happen. No zest. I made the list of addresses and all but come morning…I couldn’t be bothered driving all over town with a purse full of coins to spend. That’s depressing but pretty much the norm for the seasonal depression.

So instead we went out for bread, eggs, and cat food. The wild extravagant life.

Now I am gonna vegetate because I am peopled the fuck out. Maybe if I just say fuck it and zone out for awhile, I will get the give a damn to do some housework. Whatevs.

At least today I am not wishing someone would mercy me.

That could change at any time so keep your weapons handy in case I need you.


Weekend Vlog Hello to My Friends – XoXo

Only 24 days to go!  Dear Friends, How are you? I hope you’re doing well. I know it’s a tough month for many of us due to the change in season. I didn’t get a chance to write my typical rambling weekly post, so I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch my vlog. I … Continue reading Weekend Vlog Hello to My Friends – XoXo

Trick or Treat

werewolf-girlOne of the earwigs of my flavor of bipolar disorder is passive suicidal ideation.  I’ve learned that thoughts of death, the desire to be dead, and fantasies about my funeral are all just symptoms of my illness, not some conclusion or solution I arrive at on my own.  I’ve come to understand them as just one Tootsie Roll in the party favor basket of worsening depression.  I can root around in my stash to see if the other treats are there—insomnia, social isolation, hypersensitivity, lack of interest in things I usually enjoy, persistent hopelessness and despair.  This is not the Halloween candy I want, but it’s the loot I’ve been given.

One of the ways I counter these distorted hobgoblins is by remembering I have the ultra-rapid cycling form of bipolar disorder.  I can count on the witch’s brew of my brain chemistry to shift in hours or days.  All I have to do is distract myself until that happens.  I’ve gotten pretty good at that.

The other thing I can count on is the complete unpredictability of my illness.  My care providers and I have tried to track patterns and triggers.  We’ve charted seasonal changes (sometimes), stress (sometimes), length and depth of mood shifts (no pattern there).  This year has been like no other, but that’s like saying snowflakes are different.  So what?

graph-down-300x2252All I can really say is that last year around this time I got pneumonia.  Since then, I’ve been depressed except for the tempering effect of my cross-country trip out West and back.  I’ve had burps of hypomania, and a few good days, but each dip downward has been lower than the last.  And the good days are rare.

That’s a long time to keep distracted.  It’s a long time to push against the negativity and the whispers of a Final Relief.

Earlier this week I found myself starting to shift from passive to active suicidal ideation.  That’s a clinical and un-scary way of saying I starting planning how to get the job done.  If it weren’t for the promise I made to my cats, that I wouldn’t abandon them, I might have followed through.  I like to think not, but it was deep and dark in my head.

Instead I called Lutheran Hospital’s out-patient psych department and got on their waiting list for an intake interview.  Since my therapist had called them two weeks ago to get information, they bumped me up the list, and I’ll get that interview next week.

togetherIt sounds so easy when I write it out like that, but it took all the skill, energy, and courage I had in the moment to make that call.  It meant stopping the forward momentum that had been pushing me for months and turning in a different direction.

Once I made the call, the relief was immediate.  I’m still severely depressed, but the suicidal Junior Mints melted—which makes a nice treat for my cats since I’m out of catnip.  They deserve a treat.  Even if it’s only a mental construct, they saved me.  My heroes.

And now, in the spirit of changeability, for something completely different.


Meet and Greet: 10/8/16

Originally posted on DREAM BIG DREAM OFTEN:
It’s the Meet and Greet weekend everyone!!     Ok so here are the rules: Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post. Reblog this post.  It…

Writer, Author Pimp, or Both?

cat-flag-tentacles-cover

Cover art for by Tom Brown for “A Yorkshireman in Ohio”

Warning for: Free book!

Not much of a warning, I know. I’m sorry if you’re disappointed that I won’t be swearing this time. Don’t worry, I’m sure it will happen soon.

Do you, oh gentle and I hope breathing (1) reader, know what an “author pimp” is? It’s my alter-ego as the volunteer presenter of the Book It! show on Sine FM. On it, I highlight the work and stories of (other) authors, and writers. I’ve been doing it for over five years now, and most of the time, it’s good fun. Great fun, in fact. If you’ve ever thought about putting in some (free) time with your local community radio station, I heartily recommend it.

Just now, I’m preparing for our 2nd Annual Live Halloween Broadcast. I say “our” because the live broadcast is a joint venture between guests, Sine – especially the amazing Jon Kelly – and myself (2). This year, I’m sharing the microphone with authors Craig Hallam, Stephanie Cage, and Angela Wren, among others.

Halloween on the radio!

Halloween on the radio!

Unlike last year, when we broadcast on the day (31st), this year Halloween on the Radio is on Saturday 29th October from 10 – 11 am, British Time. We’re also broadcasting from Sine FM’s new premises, which won’t be nearly as spooky as the old one, but I think we’ll soldier through.

I love my non-paying career as an “author pimp” almost as much as my so-far non-paying career as a writer of comic short stories, semi-serious poetry, “Time to Change” and  other mental health blogs (3), the odd music review, etc.

Note, “almost”.

It often feels like the world is giving me big, whacking hints to stick to the pimping, and pack in the writing. Well, maybe not the “shove it in the drawer” kind. More the “please read my books, please publish my stuff”.

Such is life. We get all fired up about stuff, and, meanwhile, the world and its budgie yawn like a bored cat. We then carry on regardless. For example, just now I’m trying to publish “A Yorkshireman in Ohio”, the sequel to “Koi Carpe Diem“.

This sort of carrying on is sometimes called “adulting”. Which, sometimes, sucks. And as is especially true of any venture, the only sure way to failure is to give up.

Meanwhile, back at the non existent ranch, did I mention my short story collection, “Koi Carpe Diem“, is free for download this weekend?

Say it with chocolate.

Say it with chocolate

(1) I do so hope you exist, for my sake; and breath, for yours.
(2) Pre-recorded broadcasts – a necessity when you work shifts – also require the help & cooperation of guests, & Jon Kelly. In addition, they receive massive support from my husband, David. Thanks, love.
(3) Good lord willin’ and I don’t get hit by a bus, my next blog will be about “World Mental Health Day”.

Tagged: A Yorkshireman in Ohio, Angela Wren, Book It!, Craig Hallam, Hallowe’en, Jon Kelly, Koi Carpe Diem, live radio, mental health, radio, reviews, short stories, short story collection, Sine FM, Stephanie Cage, Time to Change, Tom Brown, whinging for Britain, World Mental Health Day