Daily Archives: August 24, 2017

Lately

I’ve been thinking a lot about kids the last few months. Our oldest is now officially in college and I miss him something fierce. And he doesn’t seem to understand that even a little. I know, I know, it’s his age. Blah, blah, blah. I spent 18 years being his Mom and if him treating me like I mean something to him and that he wants me in his life is wrong. Well then, in wrong and I will stay wrong. And just getting over it isn’t really something I’m interested in doing.

People often agree with me in theory but have a hard time understanding that I really try to practice what I preach. And I appreciate when others treat me that way. I keep getting talked to and having discussions where people act like I’m not who I say I am. Or that I don’t try to live by and stand by the things I say and do. Am I wrong sometimes? Sure, probably pretty regularly. But that doesn’t mean I deserve to be treated like crap.

I have found myself looking at the meme’s and reading articles about single mothers and wondering what all the hype is and why they get so much credit. Now before you freak I was a single Mom for almost 4 years. But I had a LOT of help. In reality I still do from my family and from people who care about my kids. But there are very few single mothers who don’t have the same. Actually in many ways they get MORE help than I got with my three kids when I was married and my husband was working. I had him and he was tired(rightfully so). He did his best to help in the evenings when he was home but I still spent at least 8 hours a day alone with kids. Where’s my meme or my cheering section. I get this isn’t something most people will say or even talk about for that matter. But I get tired of hearing it. In many ways what I do is so much hard than being single. My husband and I have to figure out how to be on the same page about discipline, and what our kids participate in. Not to mention the part where I am HIS wife and have things that I have to think about regarding him. I mean really being single would allow me to make decisions based on me and no one else. So ya I’m a little frustrated and irritated.

I am not nor have I ever claimed to be perfect but if all I have to look forward to is my other 2 kids moving out and not speaking to me. Well, I’m just not interested in that. Maybe I should give up now. Cause why would I want to do that? I don’t ever remember one single person telling me how hard this was going to be. Or how it will be just as hard with my other two. And they will go on living their lives seemingly without even a thought to how I might feel or that I miss them. And I’m just supposed to shove all that and pretend it’s ok because I am still their parent? That doesn’t make sense to me. If it doesn’t matter what I do my kids kids are going to be mad about it and carry it into their adult lives then why do I try so hard?? Right or wrong doesn’t seem to matter or play a part. Much less the fact that I have more experience than them and they still manage to treat me like I don’t know anything.

On another topic. I got a new job. It’s a brand new restaurant that opened yesterday. Their computers went down and messed up and they pulled us out of our positions and had the training team step in. I get, I do. I’ve worked in good a long time I know how it works. But I feel like I was set up to fail from the beginning and then spent about 15 minutes crying. Ugh!! You know how you never want people to see you at your worst or (gasp) crying. Well I’ve just decided I will never be in a position again where I can hold it together. Where I don’t have to tell people that I have an illness. Which just makes me wish 1) I didn’t have an illness, and 2) that I never found out I have an illness.

Now to be clear. I know I have an illness and I am completely med compliant because well, God made smart people who figured out how to make these amazing meds and if I didn’t take them I feel like I would be spitting in Gods face. And I make enough mistakes I don’t need to add that one. Plus, for the most part I really like who I am medicated. Even 3 years later I have these moments where I can see things with such clarity and I am blown away by them. And I mean that. I have moments where it’s like the world stops spinning and I have such clarity of thought. Something that I didn’t even know was possible pre medication. But it still gets tiring.

It is physically and mentally painful for me on days like yesterday. All these people are looking at me and trying to make sure I’m ok and they have no clue. Thankfully no one has followed up and I hope that no one says anything. Because I don’t want to tell them and I’m afraid that I will have to. But people really do start looking at you differently. Or they act like the things you say have less meaning even though you KNOW how to do your job and you’ve done it long enough you have a TON of tricks and secrets. But they don’t want to listen. Maybe that’s just because they have to learn for themselves but it sure doesn’t feel that way to me.

So I pray they don’t ask, I pray that if they ask I won’t decide to tell them because it really is so hard to do. Oh oh!! Also, I have already had 2 of my co-workers tell me they are bipolar. One isn’t on medication at all and the other one only takes an anti depressant. Who I am to say?? No one. But to be honest they aren’t the first ones to say that. And they aren’t the first ones to say it and not be on medication like I am. And I consider myself lucky because I only take 4 meds. My point is. I will likely feel very lonely for the rest of my life. Even when people say they understand most of them don’t. They can walk around not medicated and still take care of their lives and family. I don’t think they truly understand. The more I look back the more I realize that this illness has been causing problems in my life at least since I was 12 or 13. That’s a lot of years of things might have been different if. Not to mention that it’s so hard to process when you know you did something wrong and I did some of those things. But there are other things that I know I likely would not have done had I known about my illness. I don’t blame anyone or anything. It’s just hard to think about. And it’s a little bit hard to watch my kids thrive and do so well and be such good kids at the exact same age I was when things started going off the rails. I live with these things because I really have no choice and I’m sure people really don’t care. Especially my kids. They haven’t seen all the things that have happened over the last 15 years. They have no idea what I have done and been a part of with my step kids. I never would have thought I would have to fight to see and be around my own kids. I’m having a really tough time with this and it makes me so sad!

So I guess that’s probably enough. I should really update more!! Will try to do better!!


Linking Mental Health and the Gut Microbiome

Link between gut mucrobiome and depression shown in this review of the literature.

http://neurosciencenews.com/mental-health-microbiome-7356/

Summary: A new study explores the potential link between the gut microbiome and mental health. Researchers report depression may be influenced by disturbances to gut bacteria, suggesting nutrition and diet, in combination with other strategies, could help treat the disorder.

Source: Frontiers.

Researchers continue to explore the role of the gut microbiome in neurodevelopment and mental health.

Better understanding the gastrointestinal microbiome may help psychiatrists treat mental health disorders such as depression, highlights a review in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

From a psychiatric standpoint, the underlying causes of depression are still not fully understood and depression remains difficult to treat in some cases. Given increasing interest in the role of the microbiome in a range of human health issues, this has led many researchers to also investigate potential links between mental health and the microbiome — specifically the microbial flora of the gut.

“The main idea of our review is that there is strong communication between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain, and that changes to the microbiome-gut-brain axis could be associated with the etiology of different neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression,” says Juan M. Lima-Ojeda, lead author of the review and a physician and researcher at the University of Regensburg, Germany.

Lima-Ojeda and his colleagues reviewed the body of literature on the role of the gut microbiome with a particular emphasis on the connections, or axis, formed between the microbiome, the gut, and the brain. The brain and the gastrointestinal tract are bi-directionally linked through the central nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system, and perturbations to any of these systems can have repercussions across the others, in turn potentially influencing a person’s overall wellbeing.

“This review was motivated by the interest to obtain a better understanding of both the etiology and pathophysiology of the depressive syndrome,” says Lima-Ojeda. “If we want to improve the treatment strategies that we have for our patients, it is necessary to understand this heterogenic neuropsychiatric disorder.”

The MGB axis, including the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. The MGB axis is a bidirectional system that links the gastrointestinal tract with the brain. It is a complex system characterized by a neuroendocrine–immune communication. The gut microbiome influences the function of the brain by modulation of both immune and endocrine systems, HPA axis, neurotransmitter pathways, and growth factors. Alterations of this network—that includes numerous molecules and cells—may be the basis of pathological processes. NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to Lima-Ojeda et al./Frontiers in Psychology.

Their findings included evidence of the gut-microbiome’s formation and influence beginning already in the very earliest stages of life in-utero. Some of these publications propose that the interactions between the brain and gut are just as influential, if not possibly more important, during neurodevelopment, suggesting that depressive syndromes might be traced back to imbalances during neurodevelopment.

However, Lima-Ojeda additionally uncovered evidence that depression may also be attributable to disturbances to the gut microbiome at any point during a person’s life, which can be due to stress, diet, and of course medications such as antibiotics. These findings promote the idea that attention to nutrition and diet may be a practical and effective complement to existing strategies for the treatment of depression.

“Our habits — including our diet–are important factors modulating the microbiome-gut-brain axis,” says Lima-Ojeda. “So, an appropriate diet is important for adequate mental health, where an appropriate diet is one that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, and enough water.”

Funding: This research was funded by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Source: Melissa Cochrane – Frontiers

Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to Lima-Ojeda et al./Frontiers in Psychology.

Original Research: Abstract for ““I Am I and My Bacterial Circumstances”: Linking Gut Microbiome, Neurodevelopment, and Depression” by Juan M. Lima-Ojeda, Rainer Rupprecht and Thomas C. Baghaiin Frontiers in Psychiatry. Published online August 22 2017 doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00153

Frontiers “Linking Mental Health and the Gut Microbiome.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 23 August 2017.

<http://neurosciencenews.com/mental-health-microbiome-7356/&gt;.

Abstract

“I Am I and My Bacterial Circumstances”: Linking Gut Microbiome, Neurodevelopment, and Depression

Recently, there has been renewed interest in the role played by microbiome in both human health and human disease. A correct equilibrium between the human host and their microorganisms is important for an appropriate physiological function. Extensive research has shown that microbes that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract—or gut microbiota—are involved not only in both nutritive and digestive activities but also in immunological processes. Moreover, the gut microbiome influences both central nervous system and energy homeostasis. An altered gut microbiome has been associated with the pathophysiology of different diseases, including neuropsychiatric disorders. Apparently, both environmental—diet, exposition to antibiotics, and infections—and host-genetic factors have a strong influence on gut microbiome, modulating the risk for neuropsychiatric illness. Also, early life disruption of the microbiome–gut–brain (MGB) axis has been associated with an increased risk of developing depression later in life, suggesting a link between gut microbiome, neurodevelopment, and depression. This review aims to contribute to this growing area of research by exploring the role played by the gut microbiome in neurodevelopment and in the etiology of the depressive syndrome, including nutritional, immunological, and energy homeostasis approaches.

““I Am I and My Bacterial Circumstances”: Linking Gut Microbiome, Neurodevelopment, and Depression” by Juan M. Lima-Ojeda, Rainer Rupprecht and Thomas C. Baghaiin Frontiers in Psychiatry. Published online August 22 2017 doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00153


Crushed

Another bedtime showdown with the spawn last night. All because I told her to get her own cup of water instead of drinking out of my cup. I’ve been letting her get away with it because my mom always let me and my sister do it to her. But lately, Spook has even been offering up my cup to whatever 2 or 3 friends she has dragged in with her and it’s irritating, not to mention a great way to spread germs. We have cups, ice cubes, and ice cold water jugs in the fridge, plenty of tap water. There is no reason she can’t get her own. I should have timed it better to pick this particular battle. 42 minutes she ranted and bawled and raved. I didn’t back down. And she never did get up and get her own water. Speaks volumes as to how thirsty she actually was. It was never about the water, it was about doing as she pleases without regard to my admonishments. It was about using tantrums and tears to manipulate and control me.

The child psych I took her to 4 years ago told me it was all me, I should never ever view my child’s behavior as manipulative because it will cause me to resent her and she is already picking up on my anxiety which is what makes her act out. I call the bullshit card, just like I did then. That woman was so easily snowed by the “I’m a quiet, good girl” act Spook puts on for others, I wonder if her degree came from a Cracker Jack Box. I don’t dispute, at all, that Spook likely does pick up on my anxiety and it may indeed have a negative impact. I went through it with my own mom who was so high strung she’d get hives on her arms, and she said her mother had the same condition. JUNK DNA, professionals. Not everything is behavioral.

Except now Spook throws around “I’m nervous” the same OCD way she complains every malady be it hangnail or an itchy spot on her skin requires an ER visit. It’s just something she tosses out..to manipulate. Trust me, if you’re truly nervous, the last thing you do is snap out of it the second mommy says “Okay, have some ice cream and it will calm your tummy.” Nope. Like The Great Popsicle Cure for the last 3 years, my kid is an operator. I pity the man or woman she ends up with if she doesn’t outgrow this shit. She’s an emotional terrorist at times. I resent the behavior, not my child. Just like I resent that behavior from anyone, man, woman, child, clown, crab, T-Rex…Jerky behavior is jerky behavior.

By the time last night’s war ended (and I sound recorded the entire thing just to prove I never raised my voice, never made threats, never wavered, I am trying to this new behavior charting app and I even dock myself points and privileges when I screw up, fair is fair)…anyway by minute 42 0r whatever, I just kissed her, said goodnight, and told her she knows where the water is if she really needs it.

Then I climbed into bed feeling as beaten and bruised as a boxer that tangled with Tyson. Physically and mentally.

On top of that, I have dying kittens that I am trying to feed with an eyedropper every couple of hours, another kitten who is acting funny and I am wondering if the birth defect he was born with is going to turn out to be fatal rather than benign as I was told it was…I’ve got cats constantly climbing me, more scratch marks on my entire body than Imelda had pairs of shoes, the cats launch themselves at my food and knock it out of my hand, they have to be on me 24-7 and not just lap cat, I can live with that. No, these are climbing FACE cats, always have to be inches from my face and then they use their Brillo tongues trying to either show love or tell me they can’t wait to eat my tasty flesh when I least expect it. Throw in the money pressures, the fact I broke the vacuum again thus making bug corpse removal more difficult…

I feel like life is crushing me. The walls are closing in and I’m being flattened like a pancake. I can’t breathe. My only true escape is sleep (provided nightmares don’t ruin that little bit of utopia). I know it’s like this for most of us struggling to muddle through. We’re all smothering at times. My situation is ALL the time, like I can’t take a deep enough breath for it to be useful because I am being so crushed.

What’s the answer?

No idea. Keep shambling like the zombie I have become, ya know, if zombies were high strung panicking depressives too defeated to even eat brains.

I can feel the seasonal coming on, too, as it’s been warm during the day and cold during the night. One more anvil to juggle. And I don’t juggle, I lack coordination to even toss one thing in the air and catch it. So being crushed, or feeling crushed, seems to make perfect sense right now.

Onward. Just keep fighting. And lamenting that I don’t have enough middle fingers to honestly tell the world how I feel about its bullshit.


The Unclenched Brain

Marking that moment of release in my art journal.


Class Day One as a Student

So today classes opened in the W’s schedule.  I’ve already posted in the discussion threads for this week so I think I am done.  I am just waiting for the book to get here that I’m supposed to read for this opening of class.  It really makes me ill that I don’t have them all and had to order another one so late.

Found out about another inaugural class member, Allison, that is dropping out.  She says it is only for the fall and I hope she does return and finish her thesis. She is so close to finishing and I hate to see her go without doing so. One guy is coming back, Thomas, and I am glad to see that. We have just a pile of new people and we will see what will happen to all of them throughout the next few years, We have two or three that are finishing in December so we will see what happens with them winding up.

I need to turn in my disability plan for this semester, I never did do one for spring but I have a different  instructor so I need to do that and make her aware of my difficulty,  I need to get in, print that out, and send it back.  I don’t anticipate any problems so it will mostly be a formality. But an important one.

I called Social Security yesterday and reported that I was working and turned in my employer information to them.  Hopefully that is the end of that.  But we should keep receiving benefits  because I’m not earning enough for them to stop.  I just need to keep doing what I am doing.  Because it is working.

 

 


We all recover from something 


When you struggle with something (physical or mental illness), a relationship break-up, death of a family member or loved one, loss of job, and any number of other life’s challenges, they are often all consuming.  They take away from every other aspect in life.

As I have learned from my many struggles, there came a point in time when I just simply got tired of the struggle.  I wanted to focus my energy on the bouncing back part.   I wanted to lift my head up and shout, “I won’t be a victim any longer!”

But…all that is easier said than done.  For every book or article I have read, there is nothing that replaces the “doing” part.  There is a shift in the mind that has to take place, almost like manually shifting the gears in a car.  It takes a conscious effort.  A fierce determination to overcome the challenges and not stay in a self-pity mode, even when it may be justifiable.

I believe everyone is recovering from something.  And no matter what are circumstances may be, we all have things we struggle with and need to overcome.  Every battle is important if it’s your battle to fight.

There are several things I have found necessary in overcoming my many challenges.  I want to share those things with you in a series of blogs.

The most important aspect of my recovery journey has been the willingness to pick my head up and look around.  What the heck does that mean?  Searching for perspective.  Not so I could compare my journey to others, more so because I wanted to allow myself to be inspired.

Inspiration is a heart matter.  Have you ever noticed that when you’re hurt the emotions either keep spilling out or you turn them all off?  I always have a tendency to turn them off.  To numb myself of pain.  But allowing myself to seek inspiration opened my heart to feelings.  And those feelings, those wounds-could now be healed because I allowed myself to take off the bandage and look at it.

It turns out that seeking perspective takes a great deal of courage.  When all I wanted to do was focus on all the ways I was cheated by bipolar disorder, I had forgotten all the ways my talents and gifts had given me a world of opportunity.  I spent way to much time focusing on what I had lost and not enough time on what I had gained.  It all was a matter of perspective.

So, if your challenges seem too great to bear, your losses are mounding up, don’t be afraid to pick up your head, look around and find one thing that inspires you.  And then, watch what happens when you focus on it.  

But it’s not going to be a one time deal.  At least it wasn’t for me.  I would lift my head up, be inspired and then retreat back to the safety of my misery.  Because my misery had become comfortable.  Being inspired was outside of my comfort zone.  My heart didn’t want to participate any longer.

This is when determination comes into play.  Of course I wanted a quick fix for healing my mind, body and spirit.  But that didn’t exists.  Little wins added up to big victories and soon I was well on my way to gaining perspective and living an inspired life.

Whatever your challenge.  Keep fighting.  Don’t give up.  Pick your head up and find perspective.  Inspiration is within your grasp.  Perspective starts by lifting your head up.


Might be starting on new meds

I haven’t updated in a while because I have been in a bad headspace and have preferred just to never think about things. Next week they should be maybe starting me on a new med for my skin, and the corticosteroids do bad things to my moods so it’s a possibility that someday I could get off of those if another medication works. Currently I just feel like I’ve lost 10 years of my life and don’t really feel like there is much that I can do about it, or that I can do about losing more time. I feel very powerless and depressed.