Daily Archives: July 28, 2017

Another Train


So, nobody said I was particularly wise.

In my desperation to tame the Binge Eating Disorder beast, I regularly cycle around to doing stupid things—things I know in my adipose-caked heart won’t work.  Like diets.  But when an authority figure (aka my new doc) blamed all my physical woes on obesity, and my trusted nurse practitioner suggested a ketogenic diet, I jumped like water in a skillet of hot bacon grease.

I learned two things:

  1. A ketogenic diet made my gut unhappy in violent ways.
  2. I will binge on anything, so changing the type of food doesn’t change the behavior one iota.

So, now I’m back to mindfulness and paying attention to my triggers.

All this food-stress didn’t help my bipolarness.  I’ve been roiling, inside and out.  My thinking is still in desperation mode, so I need to be careful not to jump on every thought-train that pulls into my station.  Another train will come.  And another.  Sooner or later, this anxiety and agitation will shift.  The urge to hop a train out of town will ease.  Eventually, I’ll be able to leave the station and go home.

But, I’ve got this ticket in my hand…


Back On The Journey To Vibrant

In 2016 I picked the word “vibrant” as my word for the year. I realize, however, that with all the things going on I got away from its true meaning for me. My word for this year was “limitless” and … Continue reading

Why I Would Make a Bad Scientist

Based on my current life circumstances, I have concluded that I would be a bad scientist. This would be me:

Real scientist: Hmmm…I believe the gas bubbles in this beaker are because I just mixed baking soda with vinegar.

Hazel: Are you sure?

RS: Excuse me?

H: I’m just saying…it could be that, but it could be any number of things. I think I saw some dust falling from the ceiling when you put that baking soda in. Maybe it was asbestos. Does asbestos cause a reaction with vinegar?

RS: I don’t think so…

H: Ah HA! You don’t think so. So there’s a chance.

RS: No, I’m pretty sure it was because I put baking soda in with the vinegar.

H: Do you know if that beaker was clean? Maybe there was residue in there from the last guy. Was Frank working in the lab earlier? Everyone knows Frank is a slob. He probably left something in there, and it had a delayed reaction with the vinegar. Aw, Frank. At it again. Someone’s really got to talk to him.

RS: I cleaned this beaker myself.

H: Have you been hanging out with Frank? Maybe his slobby ways have rubbed off on you. You have to be careful who you hang out with – you are who your friends are, you know. And here you are, saying that the bubbles are from adding baking soda to vinegar, when really the facts that you’ve been hanging out with Frank and that this building might have asbestos could be causing the whole thing. Then you’re going to have faulty results. Such a shame.

RS: But it’s been proven-

H: *shakes head* Such a shame…

Today I’m having one of those days – an “I probably don’t have bipolar” day. I’m stable right now, you see, and probably all of my past symptoms could be explained by other things. The decisions I made while manic were because really I’m just very stupid sometimes. I could function with no sleep for days on end because, well, who doesn’t do that once in a while? Talk to college students in finals week.

Sometimes I get depressed because, umm…because life sucks sometimes.  I just handle it a little worse than other people. That doesn’t make me bipolar, it makes me…I don’t know. Something else. Bad at handling life.

As for the delusional panic attacks…uhhhh…I’m simply very creative. I think impossible things are happening because my creative mind is not constrained by the dimensions of reality. See? Now, that doesn’t sound so bad. I’m not bipolar, I’m very creative.

Or maybe it’s really the baking soda in vinegar that caused those bubbles.

No matter how much evidence I see pointing to the fact that I prooooobably have bipolar, I still have days where I think maybe I don’t. My husband, in the kindest way possible, will say, “Hazel. I’m 100% sure you have bipolar. You need to come to terms with that.”

And then I’m inevitably all, “Well, that’s awful certain. 100% seems a bit presumptuous. I don’t think we can ever be 100% certain of anything. Are you even 100% sure we exist? Maybe we’re holograms projected by an alien race to test certain sociological and cultural patterns.”

Then he’ll raise his eyebrows and say, “Uh…now I’m 101% certain.”

Haha…that part didn’t actually happen. He does say he’s 100% certain, though. I’ll accuse him of having no evidence, and he’ll give me the following:

  1. I’ve been diagnosed with it by a psychiatrist who’s been practicing for thirty years.
  2. I have experienced every symptom of it.
  3. The medications to target the symptoms have effectively eliminated the majority of the symptoms.
  4. He (my husband) has a doctorate and has taken multiple classes in neuroscience and abnormal psych. My diagnosis matches what he’s learned in school.

To which I inevitably come back with, “Okay yes but what if…” and then come up with some alternate reasoning about as logical as Frank and asbestos.

Does anyone else do this? I think I so badly want to be rid of this disease (what a gross word) that the only choice is to not have it in the first place. If I have it, it’s a lifelong battle. I can’t be “cured.” My only choice is to live with it – forever – or find another explanation for my eight years of symptoms.

Isn’t Occam’s razor the one that says, “The simplest explanation is probably the correct one”? Occam’s probably right, since he’s all philosopher-y and whatever.

BUT IN THIS CASE HE MIGHT BE WRONG.

Maybe.

Possibly?

Oh boy. Help me out, blog friends. How do you get over days like this?


Sandman, Interrupted

I woke up around 4 a.m. this morning and could not get back to sleep. Which was bizarre because two hours earlier, I got up to use the bathroom and the melatonin had me so sleep logged I nearly nodded off on my feet. My internal clock is seriously broken.

Suffice it to say, interrupted sleep is always annoying but this time, I got downright agitated which turned into anger. The kittens were climbing all over, then one of them peed on me (they became outside cats today, cute is not worth all the damned cleaning involved in trying to litter train cats that were born outdoors) so I had to clean up and change bedding. By that time I’d taken more melatonin and a half mg of Xanax but my brain was spinning. And my kid woke and got into bed with me and wanted to chat endlessly about her plans for the day with her friends so that got me more stressed. I pondered if maybe I woke because I was in bed before ten p.m. but then again, it was after ten thirty last I looked at the clock so that isn’t really going too bed too early, is it? I thought perhaps my normal calming background noise of TV shows was preventing a return to sleep so I shut out all lights and sound.

Didn’t help. I was hot, I was cold. I covered up, uncovered, tossed, turned. The sky was lightening as it neared 5:30 a.m. and I am not one who can sleep easily unless it is dark. Of course, my dollar store sleep masks have the skinny straps so I can’t find any of them and I have about ten. (My kingdom for a decent damned sleep mask with a wide strap so it will stay in place during sleep!) I took another melatonin and kept swearing and tossing and sitting up and using the e-cig in hopes a puff or two would mellow out the agitation. Come to find out, a yapping child is very much part of the agitation as are clawing climbng yowling kittens. I kicked the cats out, told her to go to sleep, and by seven a.m. I finally nodded off…only to wake a few more times for various reasons which got me agitated all over again.

I am screwed when it comes to sleep disturbance. I can’t hack the script sleeping pills, they render me a drooling corpse for 12 hours with a 6 hour hangover for the day. Melatonin takes awhile to kick in, doesn’t keep me down and sometimes also triggers drooling zombie shuffle. Guess it’s a good thing I don’t require that absurd 8 or 9 hours a night of sleep that ‘normal’ people do. I just know when I am this stressed courtesy of kids and finances and cats…sleep is my refuge and to have insomnia rob me of that small sense of peace….

pisses me the fuck off.

Least my kid slept until nine, so I wasn’t forced into functionality too soon, got another ninety minutes-ish.

She’s been friending for four hours now and driving me nuts running in and out, yelling from outdoors expecting me to come running, bickering, narcing on her friends yet being not bright enough to just come inside and avoid the monsters…This is why my days seem so damned long, it’s just rinse, lather, repeat. My kingdom for a kid who sits in front of a TV for hours and is happy about it.Well, during summer anyway, cos it’s fucking bullshit I get stuck running a free daycare and refererring while all these other lazy parents do fuck all to take care of their own kids. These parents are so bad, a ten year old was picking lice nits out of a 5 year old’s hair and the parents were just letting this kid with active lice run around free. FFS. Even my lazy depressed ass isn’t that bad.

If anything, I think I am getting better as a parent. Spook’s friend INVITED HERSELF to stay the night last night and I said no and Spook said, “Text her mom yes, it’s two to one because we want her to stay.” I don’t think so, bratty pants. This coddling of the snowflakes is what has lead to teenagers too lazy to take out trash or wash a dish yet still they want their smart phones and their video game systems and they want rides to socialize and they want whatever asinine trend that costs the most money…

I’m going full on bitch mom to keep that from happening to Spook. If I don’t cute adorable purring kittens slack, I won’t be doing it for my kid. Frankly, she’s got everyone thinking she’s too cute to be as poorly behaved as I say, I am the ONLY person telling her the truth and giving her a reality check. She may stress me out with her constant need to play but I finally have my house back, I make them stay outside and that is how it’s going to stay. Once I found out THEIR parents don’t let my kid come in for a drink of water or to even use the bathroom…My door closed real fast. Play fair or get the fuck away from me. The parents, not the kids. Though the kids could get away from me and go take a basic manners class or something. Yeah, yeah, I swear, I’m hostile, I’m impatient…I still know to say please and thank you, sir and ma’am, I don’t invite myself places, I don’t demand other people give me their food so I will be their friend, and I sure as hell don’t let my kid parade around with active lice to infest a dozen other kids. Basic. Manners.

Gotta have a license to fish but any idget can be a parent.

3.more.weeks. School starting used to be the bane of my existence and now it is my saviour. Life is funny that way.


Why are we afraid to talk psychosis?

Imagine you have been in a long deep sleep, filled with farfetched dreams-maybe even nightmares.  Did you ever wake up and say, “Wow!  That dream was so real.”  And maybe it takes a little while to regain your sense of consciousness.  To decipher between what was a dream and what was not.

Now imagine, you’re awake and your mind begins to have an altered reality.  You’re thinking and believing things that aren’t really true.  Maybe you believe the world is coming to an end or everyone is trying to kill you.  Paranoid about everyone and everything.  The mind you relied on to take you to a high level of success is now playing mean and cruel tricks on you.  But it’s all too real.  You can’t tell you’re brain is malfunctioning.

People are starting to look at you strangely.  You’re still perceptive and know they’re looking at you, questioning your sanity.  But that only adds to your paranoia.  The filters you have are gone.  Everyone is surely out to get you.

Then, to make matters worse, you hear a voice in your head.  A voice that’s not an inner voice of wisdom, but an extra voice intended to confuse you.  But only you know it’s there and no one else knows you are hearing it.  It’s as real to you as you are breathing.

Now add a sprinkle of mania to those thoughts.  Not only are the thoughts not based in reality, they’re coming faster and faster.  Only you can interpret what is going on in your own mind and now it’s off kilter.  The reality mirrors have broken.  There is no waking up from a bad dream.  It’s now a real live nightmare and those who love you are freaking out.  They can see you, but you can’t see yourself.

The real problem begins when you start acting on what you believe.  The thoughts start turning into actions.  The actions are bizarre and out of character.  Loved ones start to get scared.

It’s a medical condition to have a psychotic episode.  Yet our culture treats it like a scene in a bad horror movie.  Did you ever notice the bad guys are usually the person with mental illness who escapes from a mental institution?  The person with a mental illness is often portrayed as the deranged killer.  And here it comes…the words are finally uttered…he’s a psycho.  Psycho.  The really bad personalized word for a person having a psychotic episode.

For the most part, people who have not had any experience with a loved one who has a severe mental illness, like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or PTSD, will not have any understanding of psychosis, and even then, many loved ones really don’t understand either. The media does well to play over and over when a person with mental illness commits a crime, but they do very little to explain the most severe mental illnesses.  The most severe symptoms.

But yet, we are all still so afraid to have a real live conversation about psychosis.  Those of us who have experienced psychosis are scared to step-up and explain what happened during an episode.  We don’t want to be labeled as crazy, whacko, looney, psycho or nuts.  All disparaging words that do little to explain the malfunction of the brain.  That’s right.  The brain is responsible for how we think, feel and behave.  It’s the control center for our bodies.  But we treat it with so little respect.  And when it makes a misstep we label it with nasty words.

I contend we don’t talk about psychosis because we are afraid.  And that fear is perpetuated by our silence.  This is why we need more people to speak up about what it’s like to experience a psychotic episode.  Survivors testimonies are the key to better understanding, improved treatment and a cultural shift.

We fear what we don’t understand.  I write to help people understand.  I write to stop the silence.  I write because I care.

Disappointment

So Social Security says I can only get a year’s worth of back payments for the two younger ones and nothing for my oldest because I didn’t file at the right time.  But my youngest will continue to get benefits until she graduates high school as I understand it.  I kind of want to kick up a fuss about it, take them to court, but the attorney fees would take up so much of their back benefit that it wouldn’t be worth it.   I’m just so mad that I didn’t do this for my kids and let them get their benefits.

Anyway. My oldest one comes home from her internship next week.  She has so incredibly enjoyed it and has learned so much and done so much.  We couldn’t have asked for Colonial WIlliamsburg to have been any better to her. My middle one has to come home sometime soon to pick up her credit card so maybe I will set eyes on her this month after all.  We got to New Orleans next weekend and need to be getting ready for that.   We will see how that goes.

On the bright side, I heard from my department head–he is waiting for registration of freshmen to close then he will know better if he can offer me a class.  SO I am looking forward to hearing from him. ‘

 

 


Reblog – When you are in a good mood and in pain

Originally posted on Brainless Blogger:
Sometimes you are in pain and you are in a very good mood. And isn’t a contradiction. It is life with chronic pain. I have a migraine today and it isn’t a pleasant one but…

Should bp Magazine Publish A Postpartum Bipolar Article?

The original topic for today was going to be “Dog Poop & Rich People” and believe me, I’ll cover that subject soon! It’s a subject very close to my heart. But there’s another topic I’m passionate about & I could use your social media support I’d be so grateful for your help! Some of you … Continue reading Should bp Magazine Publish A Postpartum Bipolar Article?