Daily Archives: March 1, 2017

“He Who Hesitates Is Lost”

Daily Prompt – Hesitate Hesitate is defined at Dictionary.com as “to be reluctant or wait to act because of fear, indecision, or disinclination.” This is basically a description of most of my life. I hesitated to make decisions, complete tasks, … Continue reading

‘Dear Friend ….’

There is a phrase, somewhat unkind, I can’t help feeling: middle – aged men in lycra. I guess I feel as I do since I am one of them. Over the years I have amassed a drawer full of said items. The collection includes tops in Tour de France yellow, in polka dot design and cycle team colours of yesteryear. Naturally, over the years they have come to acquire sentimental value, replete with memories. But it is not of these pieces of lycra I write today. Instead I am focusing on my pair of bicycle bib – tights.

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 ‘What weirdness is this?!’ I hear you cry.

Bear with me. On Thursday 28 October 2010 I came off my bike as I cycled through a gap in a wall meant for pedestrians, up the road from where I live. I have used this short cut countless times as I return home from rides out in the countryside since I moved to the neighbourhood in 2007. Examine the picture closely and you will see a tear at the knee. It’s from that tumble in 2010. A good enough reason to buy a new pair. If not straightaway, then certainly over the intervening years. But I don’t want to replace this pair. They remind  me of what that fall represented. I careered through that narrow gap at 10 miles an hour before taking a tumble onto the tarmac. Someone about to get into his car called out asking if I was alright. I pushed away his concern with that Orwellian phrase in Doublespeak: ‘I’m fine.’ As I sat there, staring at that small tear at my knee, aware that I was still in one piece,  I knew that there was something terribly wrong.

It was the first time that I glimpsed something that I couldn’t quite recognise, much less identify. I wrote a post about it: https://puncturerepairkit.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/tarmac/

In it I claimed that I had immediately recognised the true significance of the fall. Way back then I did realise why I had ridden through that narrow gap far too fast. What I had no idea about was what this realisation would mean for me in the long term. A couple of weeks later I saw a psychiatrist who confirmed that my problem was not uni – polar depression but Bi Polar Disorder 2 with Mixed Symptoms. And so it began (again). It took a few months coming off the medication I had been taking for years and finding an effective replacement.

In the previous post I wrote about the uphill struggle life has been for me recently. Last week I saw my psychiatrist and he decided that a change of medication was the next step after an increased dose was too much for me to tolerate. A positive move. right, to be looking at different options to restoring my mental health? Not so much, I fear. Last time we agreed that I would increase my dose. It turned out I couldn’t tolerate the side effects (drowsiness.) When I agreed to this increase in the mood stabiliser I have been taking for nearly 6 years it felt like a huge question came and stood in front of me, obscuring the view of anything else. Does this mean a steady increase of the dose with each (inevitable) relapse? Where would it stop?

Well, it has stopped – sort of. I agreed to start coming of one of the tablets I have been taking since 2011 and gradually replacing it with another. It feels like the tablets have simply stopped working, and I have to start over with something else. I can’t help but wonder – if it works at all – how long will it be until it, too, gives up on me?

I’m looking back at my former self and wondering now what I could say to him by way of encouragement.

The author Katherine Mansfield (1888 – 1923) wrote to her earlier self in her journal: ‘Dear friend from my life I write to you in your life …’What words of succour, encouragement and hope can I write to the me that fell off my bike that day? Graphic artist Ellen Forney (1968 – ) who herself suffers from Bi Polar Disorder wrote about her journey of mental health recovery in her graphic memoir ‘Marbles, Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me’. I read it every year. Each reading offers me new jewels of insight into what it means to be, well, me. In the final 3 panels she reflects on her journey, having been talking to her earlier self about how she has come to arrive at her present day self. She is looking in the mirror  brushing her teeth. The thought bubbles read: ‘But I mean, things are good? You’re ok?’ Then: ‘Well I can’t say things are always easy, but they’re good! And yeah … ‘ And the final panel: ‘I’m ok!’

Reading those final panels, I can’t see how it can ever be like that for me for very long.

 

What Happens

It has happened
and it happens now as before
and will continue to happen
if nothing is done against it.

The innocent don’t know a thing about it
because they are too innocent
and the guilty don’t know a thing about it
because they’re too guilty.

The poor don’t take notice
because they’re too poor
and the rich don’t take notice
because they’re too rich.

The stupid shrug their shoulders
because they’re too stupid
and the clever shrug their shoulders
because they’re too clever.

It doesn’t bother the young
because they’re too young
and it doesn’t both the old
because they’re too old.

That’s why nothing is done against it
and that’s why it happened
and happens now as before
and will continue to happen.

Erich Fried (1921 – 1988)

 


Andy’s Sick, but We’re Buying Dinosaurs

My husband Andy is sick. He came home from work today and said he was feeling tired, so I told him to take a nap. He said he didn’t need one. He looked pale and exhausted, so finally he said he would “go lie down in bed for a little while.” (Ahem…that’s a nap)

I walked him upstairs and asked if he wanted any tea or a cold washcloth for his head or anything. He said no. I said I would leave him to his nap, but he said he wasn’t going to sleep (yeah, okay). He asked if I would stay and talk to him.

I talked to him for a couple minutes, but I could tell he was falling asleep. I started to leave, but he asked me to keep talking. Maybe he likes the sound of my voice? I have no idea. He clearly wasn’t paying attention to what I was saying.

Then I started having fun. I said, “I’m thinking we should order the triceratops before we order the pterodactyl, because shipping on the triceratops is going to be ridiculously expensive, but the pterodactyl could probably fly here and save us a lot of money. What do you think?”

He said yes, that he totally agreed.

Then I said, “And I’ve been giving some thought to the T-Rex…I don’t think we should buy that one after all. I mean, the sheer size of it means that it is going to be way more expensive than the others, and we only have a two-bedroom house. Where would we put it? So I think we should skip that one. Is that okay with you?”

At first he didn’t answer, so I tried again. “Andy? Is that okay?”

“Yes,” he said, “I already said yes. Great idea.”

I smiled and tried not to laugh. I knew he didn’t want me to leave, so I sat on the bed for a few more minutes to make sure he was fully asleep. I looked at him a couple of times, but I think watching someone while they’re sleeping is just about the creepiest thing possible.  I mostly picked at our comforter and got disgusted by how many dog hairs I found.

Finally, when I was sure he was sleeping, I gave him a kiss on the forehead and crept out of the bedroom. Now, and hour later, he’s still sleeping.

He was right – he definitely didn’t need a nap. *eyeroll*  Now where can I buy some dinosaurs?


March Update – Sex, Religion, & Bipolar

Ready. Set. Sail! Good afternoon everyone! I just wanted to post a quick update here to kinda go over what’s been going on in my head/life. I was going to post something here in February to address the previous post but I got what seemed to be a sort of stomach flu. It lasted for … More March Update – Sex, Religion, & Bipolar

Doctor Visit

So I went to the doctor for my cholesterol check and got an antibiotic to go with it.  Hopefully I will start feeling better soon. I kind of want to go back to bed but am trying to avoid it thus far.

My moods are still holding up pretty well.  I’m not panicky like I used to get over everyone being some degree of sick so that is good.

My middle one just called-she thinks she has pinkeye.  I called the doctor and they will call in a prescription for her for it; she doesn’t  have to come in.  She does want me to check her out around 1:30 so she can miss band.

So we will see how it all goes today.  Hopefully no one else will get anything else.

 

 


It’s About Damn Time

It’s time.  IT’S TIME!  Mama, it’s time!  (Stealing a little bit from Steel Magnolias).  Yes it’s time.  It’s about DAMN TIME I update this blog.  Jesus Christ does the time fly!  Here it is MARCH already!  YAYYYY and only eleven days until we Spring Forward into Daylight Savings Time!  Mama Mia I have sailed through this winter without any of the usual Winter Blues!  THANK YOU, DR. DRUGS!!!  He added just a baby dose of Zoloft to my regimen, and it’s made all the difference!!

Well I have become a goddamn SLUG at updating this blog, and I’m sorry.  It’s a reflection of the fact that I now have a life, plain & simple.  I had a good three years of not much to do, and now I have wayyyy so much to do.  I am still working for Dr. Flaky, which is going fine, I might even have to change her name to Not-As-Flaky, but I dunno, I’ll think about it.  I go to my Mom & Dad’s two days a week and act like a maid (tired of that but they pay me and last I checked I still need the money).  AND AND AND I have taken my first class in Computer Security and I am studying like MAD for the certification test!

I have to say, at the grand old age of 50, I was damn scared that I wouldn’t be able to learn the material, and scared that it would be beyond my comprehension, and I’m happy to report that neither of these fears have been realized!  I CAN learn, and I CAN understand!!!  What a revelation!  AND, I can apply myself!  Rather diligently!  In fact, the answer to my rampant pot use (and subsequent eating everything in the apartment) it turns out was just that I needed something to occupy my time, and now I have it.  And, this is so nerdy, y’all, but I have to say, I much prefer having all this studying to do to all the free time spent getting stoned & watching tv.  There!  I said it!  I am actually ENJOYING studying my ass off and learning this shit.  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?  It’s hard for even me to grasp.  But it’s a gigantor blessing, and I’m embracing it and studying the fuck out of it.  I hope to take the certification test in about a month.  My next class is April 10.  Now if I can just keep from running out of money before I finish all this shit, I’ll be happy.

After working in IT Support for over twenty-five years, and getting colossally burnt out on it, and then spending three years in Disability-limbo, and feeling disabled by my Bipolar, this has been a very exciting and empowering process.  I thought my story was ended, basically, but here, we have a new chapter.  And to me, that’s exciting, and I’m very grateful for that.  So, there’s hope!  I guess it ain’t over until you’re in the ground!  Good for me to remember.  Because I had stuck a fork in myself and said “Done”.

Hope you’re all doing well out there in the blogosphere, I will try to catch up on you too.  I have been surreptitiously reading some of your blogs, but haven’t commented lately.  I am reading though!  Take care, friends, and holla if you want below . . .


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar and Seasonal Affective Disorder, Bipolar and Stuck, Bipolar Gratitude Tagged: Bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Blogging, Comebacks, Depression, Disability, Hope, Humor, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader, SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder

Understanding Bipolar Disorder – All The Facts

A great article to read: Understanding Bipolar Disorder by Ilse Watson, guest blogger on Our Lived Experience.  

How NOT To Use A Mandoline

First of all, just to be sure, I am talking about a mandoline, which is a manual kitchen slicer. A mandolin is an Asian stringed instrument! This was the joke of the day on Sunday. Sunday was a day to … Continue reading