Daily Archives: May 13, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day!

A day early, I know.  I just finished making not one, not two but three quiches for tomorrow’s Mother’s Day celebration because we’re going to have FIFTEEN PEOPLE at my sister’s house!  Oh lawdy help me please!!  How am I going to people with all the people???  This is the hazard of belonging to a big family.  I know I shouldn’t bitch.  It’s a privilege, blah blah blah.  Well I’m all out of spoons from all this cooking, I deserve a cookie!  Oh wait!  Dammit I quit sugar!  Bipolar On Fire getting tooooo fat!  I’ve been eating like it’s a hobby and like sugar is good for me.  Now my clothes are not fitting and I’m very uncomfortable.  And I HATE dieting!!!  I don’t know what to tell myself…I’m not going to buy bigger clothes!!  And I’m trying not to die before my parents!  Ah well.

So I got my third and final “fuck you” from Social Security Disability yesterday…no big surprise there but it still threw me into a bit of a panic.  Somehow I thought there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but it turns out that I’m just like everybody else and I have to work for a living.  Damn it all!!  I don’t know how I’m going to do it with this cantankerous personality and labile mood.  But if Social Security says I can work, then I have to work!  Just one more test to pass, it will be a miracle if I get this Certified Ethical Hacker certification.  Then it’s off to the job hunt.  I’m giving myself until the end of the month.

Well that’s all from Bipolar On Fire Land, how are things in your world?  Peace!  And peach out!

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

The Aftermath Of Braving Anxiety

I went to the school shindig yesterday. It was awkward and as usual, poorly organized, as they tried to have students guide groups of people through the tiny building. I soldiered through it, bored out of my mind, of course, because well, I just got bored writing about being bored. The joy of ADD and how it makes you think about ten things at the same time thus whatever you are doing is boring…

The first part was dull. But the moment they took us to the second grade class where Spook was…She saw me and her face lit up and she just put her hand over her heart to tell me how much it meant that I had come…I teared up a bit. PMS. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But that one moment kind of made it worthwhile.

What was brutal was the Leadership assembly in the tiny gym (max 458 people at any time, do the math of five grades, 24 students times two classes, plus all family members, you know why they have to have tour groups to control the crowding and fire safety laws). I got a seat and was painfully aware, not for the first time, no one sat by me even though two chairs were empty. Not that it hurt my feelings, just like, the weirdest thing I have going on is wearing a black shirt with black pants and black shoes, I’m not in a spiked bikini and clown shoes stamped ‘ebola infected’. Whatever.

What got WEIRD was when I inadvertently coughed (ya know that sinus drainage tickle in your throat that makes you cough involuntarily?) and they were showing some low volume video of a teacher emoting about how the leadership meetings have made the kids better people…well these two girls from sixth grade were in front of me and they glared not just daggers, but machetes at me. Like I had coughed on purpose to be rude. I mumbled sorry and figured that was that.

NOPE. For twenty five minutes of the assembly those same two girls kept looking at me, and I wasn’t sure if I had something on my face (even checked my purse mirror) or if I was on fire or something. Because I was in a chair behind them, they were on the floor facing the action, and still, they kept looking back at me. I wasn’t coughing, I smelled nice, I was minding my own damned business…But they kept staring. And of course, 20 plus years of therapy has some cognitive behavior bullshit thing stomping my brain, telling me because I was bullied in school I am imagining things, making it up. I wanted to believe that, truly. But by the tenth time someone literally turns in their seat and cranes their neck to stare…THEY ARE INDEED STARING.

Now bipolar PMS-y me had the first instinct of, “I wanna fuck kick you, you little brats.” Except that wasn’t the B word I was thinking and yeah, I’m mean, get over it. But then because of all the therapy I have had and because I knew at 14 what I still know at 44…I got to thinking, “In this denim and flannel town, I’m probably the most exotic thing they’ve seen their entire lives…They probably admire me or at least hate me for being different and I hate them for being the same.”

I ignored them, but subconsciously, my anxiety and discomfort were already off and running. I got one of my stress stomach aches, the ones that feel like my stomach acids are burning through to my spine. And all I could think was let this be over soon, I need to go home and drink cold milk, that’s all that will make it stop.

When it was over and they sent the kids back to class to fetch their bags and stuff, I fled outdoors and sat on a bench, willing my stomach to stop boiling. It didn’t work.The doctors and counselors are ignorant. They may have book smarts and experience and their methods but for some of us…those methods simply do not apply. We are not special, we do not expect the DSM to be rewritten for our rare exceptions to the rule..We just want them to acknowledge one size does not fit all.

The price of seeing my kid smile with joy to see me? Six hours of stomach agony followed by such a disheveled mental state I couldn’t write or watch a TV show or hell, even pick something to watch. Even when my stomach and nerves settled, my mental state was upended and YES, I tried all the therapy tricks to talk myself out of it.

Fortunately a good night’s sleep put me back into a less sucky mental space, but it’s not saying much because today I have the menstrual dypshoria weepy urges and the cramps that sear right to my spine. Yay.

Ya wanna know the kicker? My kid was happy to see me but afterward she told me I embarrassed her.

So worth the agony, right?

Is it wrong for me to hope she’s chemically imbalanced and not just a lousy person like her sperm donor?

Yeah, yeah, Morgue, some things should never be spoken aloud, that is awful.

I’ll give a fuck or two when my spine isn’t being devoured by ovary oompa loompas.


Meh, bipolar.

Detox: Ripping The Parasite Off My Heart

Ready. Set. Sail! So, I want to clarify something, more so for my own benefit than anything else. I’m not in a relationship with Mark as normal people would refer to it as. Mark is a parasite. To quote the website “Fact Monster”: There are three different types of symbiotic relationships: mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. … More Detox: Ripping The Parasite Off My Heart

What needs to Change in the Mental Health System


I posed this question in honor of Mental Health Month in my Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses group and FB page Mental Health Advocates.  Here are some answers (anonymously):

  • Health care coverage, insurance! More people working the field that know what they are doing!
  • Better training or vetting for mental health case workers
  •  Access to care.  To explore new possibilities with hallucinations
  • Money, money, money into the right hands. Having mounds of money, endless pockets, would allow everything to happen that is needed.
  •  The laws most of them are made under the impression they are helping them but in the long run it hurts them and the families!!  Easier accessibility for appts
     More advocates to change laws!  Evidenced Based Practices need to be taught & implemented.
    Supported employment! We need to provide more career choices and opportunities so that those with mental illnesses can be fully self-sufficient without having to take a dead-end job that doesn’t work.
  • First, mental health is not a business. People have needs, that should be net, for the safely of not only them, but to their caregivers and community. Second, they shouldn’t be made to feel like a stereotype.
  • We need to create an actual ‘system’. It’s so hit or miss.
     Make people REALLY understand these are medical disorders, neurological disorders that need medical treatment.
     Absolutely . When understanding this disease is part of the public consciousness ,money will be appropriated for public health and insurers will be forced to include coverage .
  •  If there was a Law for them to care. Single Payer Mental Health Care.
  •  True equality in treating mental and physical health.
  • I work in the psychiatric field in NJ. Would you like a list? For example, NJ keeps requiring more education, certification, licensure, etc. All of which cost a lot of time and money to obtain. Therefore, employees expect to make more money.
  •  I am all for better providers, but running a community based program, working with non-profit funding structure, makes it near impossible to keep the good ones. My program serves between 90 and 115 every day with an average staff of less than 15. My colleagues should be nominated for saint-hood.
  • People’s attitudes about mental illness is a barrier in itself.
  • Better access to out patient care. Changes in the laws regarding involuntary commitments. It’s not against the law to be mentally ill, but at what point does it become necessary to involuntarily commit? I have been dealing with the system for at least 20 years and it’s broken!
  • Less medication and better psycho-analysis/therapy….u gotz to know what the REAL PROBLEM is, before u can treat it properly. more beds and staff that truly cares about the patients and not JUST a J-O-B…to pay the bills.

Out Of Focus

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. It’s been more springlike lately and I seem to be having some difficulty keeping my grey matter together. I guess I’ll just have to post whatever pops into my head. So here goes:

I’m getting more and more excited about the upcoming trip in December. My sons Ethan and Clark have gotten me more stuff in preparation; this time it’s a hot-pink suitcase that I’ll never have trouble finding at the baggage claim, plus more tropical-flavored T-shirts that ought to be perfect for beachcombing and long hot days at Disney World. I’ve lost enough weight now that I can actually shop at Aeropostale and American Eagle Outfitters, which may not mean much to the everyday person but is just a huge accomplishement for me.

I’m also happy that I’m able to do some walking. I have long avoided outlet malls and big stores because I couldn’t walk more than a few hundred feet without my back and feet killing me. It’s all baby steps (literally), but it’s SO much better than it was. I don’t know if I told all my readers this, but I’ve now lost over 80 pounds. I look like a melting candle. But I’ll take it as long as I can keep going. I’ve almost reached the goal weight I’d wanted to get to in time for the vacation, so anything on top of that is pure cream.

Oops, a food metaphor. I use metaphors a lot. Sometimes I’m afraid I do it too frequently. On my nursing website there’s a thread about how management types turn them into clichés, and I had to add a couple of the ones I hate the most (“we’re gonna knock this right out of the park” and “There is no ‘I’ in ‘team'”). I so don’t miss that about working. All that team-building shit. I always worked better alone. No wonder I had trouble hanging on to jobs…but then as we all know, there’s a lot more to that story.

Sometimes I tease myself (well, OK, it’s more like torturing myself) with the idea of finding a little part-time job to make a few extra bucks. Disability covers my bills but very little else. The trouble is, I still have the same problems I did when I first went on SSDI—I still can’t do much physically, even thought (as I said before) it’s better than it was, and of course there’s my lovely bipolar illness to deal with. I have decompensated because of work I don’t know how many times, even before I was diagnosed five years ago. How do you get around that?? I was out of Geodon for several days and I’ve totally felt weird and wired without it, so I’m reminded that my stability is based on a foundation of sand, not concrete. All I need is job stress to make the whole house of cards collapse again, and I’ve worked too freaking hard to build it up.

Anyway, it’s messy but it’s a blog post. Too much and too little stuff going on in my life at the same time, know what I mean?