Daily Archives: April 16, 2017

Big Pharma’s War on Marijuana

While I’m working on the next post, have a look at this.

My next post will give you a second serving of food for thought on this topic!

Patients for Medical Cannabis

On this episode of America’s Lawyer, Mike Papantonio discusses the reasons why the marijuana legalization effort failed in Arizona and speaks with Justin Strekal, Political Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, about what pharmaceutical companies have to gain from keeping marijuana illegal.

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It’s A Happy Easter And More!

Easter Sunday has two very special meanings for me. First and foremost, of course, it represents Christ’s resurrection. For me, this is the third most important day on the calendar as a Christian following His birth and death. I haven’t … Continue reading

Happy Easter, Fuckers!

Yeah!  Easter!  Sorry to be so reverent, but, I’m not.  Sorry, not sorry.  It IS a beautiful day out there, and it’s SPRING (ahhhhhh Angels singing), so what’s not to like about Easter Sunday?  Ah hell I’m probably gonna lose all my followers for that title.  Not to worry.  I’ll do me.  You do you.

Speaking of the resurrection, my studies have been resurrected!  I’m back in class, (Certified Ethical Hacker) four hours per day, cramming in labs in between time, and a little bit of work for Dr. Flaky, as well as being my parent’s maid two days a week.  I’m busy!  Where are the spoons!  Can anyone send me some?  I am running on pure caffeine and a low dose of Adderall that is just not cutting it.  How I say how in the HELL do people do full-time jobs and LIFE?!  I will soon be attempting this feat again, as soon as I pass this certification.  I’m SCARED!!!

In other news, one of my good friends has gone to inpatient treatment.  He got a wild hair at the age of 45 and decided to try micro-dosing acid.  What led him to believe this was a good idea, I don’t know.  From there, he went a little wild and bought mushrooms, ketamine and METH (all off the Dark Web).  Which he proceeded to do from his desk at work.  Well, micro-doses led to mega-doses, and he quickly developed a meth habit that took over (despite the fact that he insisted it wasn’t “making him high”) and he blew up his life!  Which is all to say, don’t do drugs, people.  And stay away from the Dark Web!  It doesn’t offer anything good!  I have spent many an hour worrying about this good friend.  We have a psychiatrist in common, and he came clean and the psychiatrist calmly took it all in stride.  Oh, these psychiatrists and their poker faces!  How he didn’t call in the National Guard on him, I’ll never know.   Dr. Drugs just took away his Adderall and sent him on his way.  Cruel Dr. Drugs, cruel.

Today we have yet another family gathering.  I am plagued by family gatherings.  We have them just about every few damn weeks.  It’s either someone’s birthday, or it’s a damn holiday like Easter, and we have to have a big meal, and everybody has to bring shit, and we all gather at someone’s house, and hopefully my cantankerous old curmudgeon of a Dad behaves … lately Mom hasn’t been doing too well.  She is exhausted from taking care of Dad who is like a baby and Mom already had a heart attack and a stroke in December…a mild one of each but she’s working her way up to another.  So one sister and I are going to take Mom on a walk today and my oldest sister is going to lay the verbal smackdown on Dad.  Should make for fun times and a tension-filled meal.  Oh, how I love family dynamics!  It’s never as fun as tv shows.  More like slow torture.

Finally, guess what?  I joined Weight Watchers!  Woo!  There’s nothing like not being able to fit into your clothes to motivate a person.  On my first day, I had yogurt and granola for breakfast, a fruit smoothie for lunch, and then I crashed and burned on dinner and had pizza.  So, that’s how Weight Watchers is going.  Fabulous!  I guess the mere act of joining doesn’t get you much.  Oh dear…I may have to change some behaviors here…

Well I have to go bake a pie for this damn Easter celebration.  Hope you’re feeling as festive as I am!  Glory to God in the Highest and all that shit!  Peace out!


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar Fat, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Blogging, Hope, Humor, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

Don’t Tell Me Not to Feel the Way I Feel

“Don’t be sad/angry/upset.”

“Calm down.”

“Smile. It’ll make you feel better.”

“Stop getting all revved up.”

Never in the history of ever has any communication of this sort had the desired effect on a person – especially one with bipolar disorder.

When you offer this sort of “advice,” what you are basically doing is telling the person not to feel the way they feel. Not only is this useless, it’s insulting.

It’s useless because ordering someone to feel a certain way simply won’t work. Saying, “Be cheerful” will not make it so. Emotions aren’t like flipping a switch on command. Even for neurotypical people, emotions are complex interactions of chemicals in the brain. While some people claim – or may perhaps be able to – shift their emotional state at will (from angry to merely annoyed or to neutral), it isn’t easy or natural. There’s a reason that you feel the way you do.

For the person with bipolar disorder, it’s even more difficult – if not impossible – to shift moods at a whim, especially someone else’s. Bipolar is a mood disorder. It affects moods and emotions in a nonstandard, often unpredictable way. Telling someone to alter their own brain chemistry merely by thinking about it is ludicrous.

Even if the bipolar person’s moods or feelings seem exaggerated or uncalled-for to you, that person is having an experience no different than when you feel elated or despairing or fearful. The emotions may even be more profound, less susceptible to alteration by force of will.

But telling bipolar people not to feel the way they feel is not just pointless, it is insulting. You are denying their perception of reality, invalidating their experience, dismissing their concerns, minimizing their problems, discounting their feelings. In effect, you are saying, “I don’t feel the same way, so your feelings are wrong. Change them to match mine.”

Imagine that you have written something – a report, a poem, whatever – and feel good about it. You’ve made your point and done it well. You’ve captured reality as you see it and communicated it in a way you think is clear and effective. Then someone comes along and reads it and says, “This is crap.” They have denied what you feel and believe. And even if they’re right, even if it is crap, they have profoundly insulted you. And, of course, they may be wrong.

Diagnosed bipolar people already know that their emotions do not run the same as other people’s. There’s no need to remind them of that. And bipolar people are generally doing what they can to alleviate their symptoms, be it through therapy, medication, mindfulness, meditation, or whatever works best for them. When you discount their feelings you are discounting them as persons. That can be anywhere from annoying to soul-damaging.

Adam Savage, of Mythbusters fame, sometimes wears a t-shirt that says, “I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own.” He is (I hope) talking about substituting a provable, scientific reality for a mythical, uninformed one.

But to go around substituting your own emotional reality for other people’s – and trying to make them agree with you – does a disservice to the people you think you are trying to help.

So, what would be better than saying, “Don’t feel ________”?

How about, “I know you feel _________ and I can see why.”

Or “I can tell you’re feeling _______. How can I help you?”

In other words, start by acknowledging that the other person’s feelings are real. Then ask what the person needs. This lets the person know that you understand his or her feelings and that you would like to help in the way that the person thinks best.

If you know other things that have worked in the past, you could suggest them (after validating the feelings, of course). Would you like me to run a hot bath? Do you need a hug? Do you just need time alone? Do you want to talk about it? Maybe later?

It occurs to me that this is not really news to a bipolar person. The ones who need to read it are the ones who are doing the invalidating, not the ones who feel invalidated.

So, if you know someone like that – a friend or loved one, feel free to copy this post and give or send it to them, if you think it will help. I know it helped me when I figured out what was going on and what my husband and I could do about it.


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar disorder, communication, depression, emotions, feelings, mental health, mental illness, my experiences, psychological pain

Appraising my suicidal ideation and assumed methods.

1. Plough car into a suitable concrete wall somewhere on the M4:

Well, I’ve only just washed it, not to mention having T-Cut that scratch.

2. Take a shower after dark, drink copious amounts of alcohol, lie naked on lawn on a chilly night.

It’s a bit cold out there, and cosy indoors – what with the thick jumper and the central heating. And ‘Homeland’ is on in a minute.

3. Cut wrists.

That’s going to hurt, isn’t it? And there’ll be blood everywhere, I’ve only just started Spring cleaning.

4. Drink copious amounts of alcohol, swallow a few sleeping tablets. Jump off high building.

I don’t like heights and high buildings. They make me want to jump off. Oh…

5. Shoot myself.

Don’t have a suitable weapon. Nerf gun with foam ‘bullets’ borrowed from son probably not going to do the job to be honest, even at point-blank range.

6. Overdose of meds.

Couldn’t understand the document about quetiapine o.d. I found on Google – it was far too technical. Does it or doesn’t it?? Also, fluoxetine o.d. seems unlikely.

 

As Samuel Beckett put it: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.


Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday

 

 

 

Today, again, I’m not me. Today,

again, I see reflections of elsewhere;

else-one. Some other to be. Buzzing

with a particle pulse of happening,

sampling on another level, distant.

 

Withdrawn and imagining how the

smooth cut of a wet stem makes

the flower undone. I’m not here

today; something is, but not me.

I am that close to the atom, see?

 

 


Like Wheat that Springeth Green: Easter

Rabbit in the green: April 2017

Most adults accept that, even after great loss, in some form at least, love will come again. After bereavement, though grief never truly leaves us, there is always love enough out there for new friendships, perhaps a new partner, or a new birth.

“There is no loss without love; there is no love without loss.”

Always, there are ways of honouring our beloved dead. When I feed the wild birds in our garden, I honour my father, who fed them; my mother, who watched them; and my father in law, who did both. This Easter morning, I put out a mix of seed, sunflower seeds, and mealworms on the old bird table his eldest son, my Beloved, rescued from my in laws’ garden, shortly before their house was sold:

An Easter feast, April 2017

One of my tasks for this spring into summer is to repair Dad’s bird table, by doing some small repairs, painting both parts a jolly colour with some protective paint, then re-attaching the “house” section to the table.

Bird table shelter + favourite watering can

Holidays often bring a keener sense of loss, as we go over memories of what we used to do, and with who. Such a sense of nostalgia does not necessarily represent literal death, but more the death of relationships, and / or the cruelties of distance.

For example, it crossed my mind earlier this weekend to take a bottle of white vinegar from the cupboard, and smell it. Weird? Yes, and no. The smell of vinegar can bring back memories of dying hard boiled eggs with my brother, and my father, back when I was a kid. Both of them are still alive. However, it’s nearly a decade since I’ve seen my brother, and around five years since I’ve seen Dad.

When I’m not in a bipolar depression, I’m a fairly sociable person. So in that five years, more so in that 10, I’ve made a number of friends, and warm acquaintances. Some of those friends are quite dear to me. More recently, I’ve become friendly with at least two people who I can see a real possibility of good friendships.

A dear friend of nearly two years: April 2017

Likewise, children have been born, including one who I owe an “Easter book”. The Easter book was a big, looked forward to part of my childhood: one which sometimes included two Easters, thanks to the Romanian Orthodox side of the family. One of the staples of my childhood was the holiday bread, “colac”, which Mama Buna, my Romanian grandmother, baked for Easter, and Christmas.

We’re lucky to live a short distance from a shop run by a lovely Kurdish fellow, which stocks a lot of Romanian food. I didn’t find any colac, but I did get a beautiful cake called “cozonac”: beautiful because I just had two tasty pieces of it, for my breakfast.

I recognise the words “cozonac” and “si” (and). Sadly, that’s about it.

Whether you celebrate Easter in a religious or secular way; or whether, like me, you’re a Pagan for whom it’s another day to observe how “the green blade[s] riseth”, I wish you joy.

Rabbit with wild violets, and a Dutch tulip: Spring

Tagged: America, bereavement, bipolar, birds, colac, cozonac, Easter, Gardening, gardens, grief, love, paganism, Romania, Romanian Orthodox