Daily Archives: February 25, 2018

Video Conference

My niece, Teresa Nichols, interviewed me on my online vision Saturday. She has an MBA and her own Cincinnatti based marketing business. http://reveal.marketing/ LinkedIn.com/in/teresalnichols Facebook.com/webmarketingtrainer Twitter.com/bizfunctional Tried editing the automatic closed captioning, but found it overwhelming. Sorry to my deaf…

23 Days Until SPRING!

crocuses in snow

The weather has not been a joy around here.  It’s been cold and snowy, with no way to get out and walk, which is my preferred way of exercising.  I push myself to go to the gym, but I haven’t gone every day like I’d like to.  So I was SO EXCITED to see a Facebook Memory post I had made that said that it’s only 23 days until Spring!  Granted, a certain date won’t mean that we won’t have any more snow, but we will see signs of Spring, such as these beautiful crocuses, trees budding, and warmer days.  And I will be able to get out more and walk.  The days will get longer, the clocks will spring forward, and my mood will slowly rise.  I will wake up to birdsong in the morning.  These are simple joys that I truly miss in the Winter.

For this Bipolar gal, my optimal seasons are Spring and Summer, so I am looking forward to days where everything isn’t such a damn struggle, where I spring out of bed, where I can go outside on my porch in my pj’s with my coffee and experience the morning in all its glory.  I can’t wait!

Books About Bipolar and Other Fun Topics

I love reading. Always have – except for the period when a major depressive episode stole it from me –https://wp.me/p4e9Hv-qp. I’m never more than two feet away from a book or, at this point in my life, an ereader. Reading is how I explore the world.

So naturally, in trying to better understand my disorder, I read about it. And because I’m interested in psychology in general, in addition to books about bipolar disorder, I read about other mental illnesses as well.

Let me share some of my reading with you.

For sheer delight as well as profound insights, try Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things. Amid the hilarious stories of life in her other-than-typical family are insights into depression and social anxiety, along with a manifesto of defiance – the will to be, well, furiously happy.

The other easily approachable book is Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened. What started as a humorous blog grew into a book (with quirky illustrations) featuring two chapters in particular, “Adventures in Depression” and “Depression Part Two,” which are about as good as writing about depression gets. A second book, Solutions and Other Problems, was scheduled but has been postponed indefinitely.

And while we’re on the subject of funny books about mental illness, there’s Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor, an anthology edited by Jessica Azar and Alyson Herzig.

Perhaps the best-known book in the field of bipolar disorder is An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, by Kay Redfield Jamison. In it, Jamison deals openly and honestly with bipolar disorder, particularly with mania and psychosis, along the road to becoming a doctor herself. She has also written Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character, about the famous modern poet, but I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t comment.

Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, by Dyane Harwood, is another recent book that I haven’t read yet, either. But I know Harwood’s writing and expect it to be a stand-out, as well as the only book I know of on that particular topic.

Other books on bipolar disorder include Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar by Natasha Tracy.

For books about depression, the definitive work is The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, by Andrew Solomon. A thorough examination of depression, including the author’s own, it is practically a reference book on the topic, though much less dry than that makes it sound.

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, by William Styron, is another classic on depression that I really ought to read, but haven’t yet because I’m not that fond of Styron’s writing. (Sophie’s Choice is his best-known work.)

For mania, I recommend Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, by Mark Vonnegut, M.D. The son of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., the author deals less with his celebrity father, instead focusing on his saving-the-world-style mania during his pursuit of an M.D. degree.

Other books that I can recommend include:

  • My Lobotomy, by Howard Dully, a memoir of a boy who was lobotomized for no particular reason other than the fact that his stepmother hated him, and the difficulties he encountered in and out of institutions.
  • Ten Days in a Mad-House, by Nellie Bly, early undercover journalism at its finest. (I wrote about her experiences in one of my earlier posts: https://wp.me/p4e9Hv-hG.)
  •  Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry, by Jeffrey A. Lieberman, a history of the development of the field from the buried memories days to the biological understanding of today.
  • The Man With the Electrified Brain: Adventures in Madness, by Simon Winchester (who also wrote The Professor and the Madman, about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary). Despite the title, this is not about electroshock treatment, but rather dissociative states.
  • Rebooting My Brain: How a Freak Aneurysm Reframed My Life, by Maria Ross; and My Life Deleted: A Memoir, by Scott Bolzan. These books, about a cerebral accident and amnesia, respectively, don’t speak directly to bipolar disorder, but I found them interesting as accounts of rebuilding one’s life after a significant mental condition.

And for an opposing point of view, if you must, there’s Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, by Robert Whitaker. Once you’ve read the title, you pretty much know how the book’s going to go; I don’t recommend this anti-psychiatry screed.

What books do you recommend? Which have helped you?

I’m Tired Of Being Kicked In The Face, Life, You Can Stop Now

I AM GONNA KEEP POSTING THIS DAMNED LINK UNTIL SOMEONE DONATES FIVE MEASLY DOLLARS TO AT LEAST BUY FOOD FOR MY CATS SINCE ALL ANYONE CARES ABOUT ARE ANIMALS AND NOT THE HUMANS GETTING FUCKED OVER BY LIFE

YEAH. The stress of it all finally hit and I am cracking up into pissy little bitch mode because over the years, I’ve had a few campaigns to raise money. For vet care for the cats, bug treatment of the house, and once, for my family who had a house fire, not a cent of which was for me. And ya know what? PEOPLE DONATED. But now that my daughter and I have been basically tossed out of our home through no fault of our own thus thrusting us into $1100 debt right out of the gate (first month and deposit rent new place, transfer of utilities, old utility bills, new utilities with deposits that were formerly rent inclusive, gas for living 18 miles out of civilizaion in Armpit, Midwest, basic household necessities, new registratioN for the car by March 31rst, car insurance-ALL AT ONCE)…Two weeks and not even a five dollar donation or seemingly even a share on social media or a reblog. Not once single act of kindness, and hell, only a couple of basic human decency ‘sorry you’re facing all this shit’. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE HUMAN RACE?

I know things are tough all over, my kid and I are not special, everyone is getting kicked by life. But seriously? Not even five bucks in two weeks? And everyone thinks it’s a mystery why I am a misanthrope. Here I am, reaching out because I HAVE to, not cos it makes me feel good, and I am saying, “Hey, humanity, I’ve pretty much given up on your decency but I am open to being surprised if you want to prove me wrong”…NOTHING.

Do you think it’s easy to do a fundraiser and ask strangers for money? Because it’s not. It is humiliating, it makes you hate yourself no matter how worthy you are and how righteous you are in asking for help. So for anyone who thinks I am trying to raise money cos it’s fun and I want to buy a big plasma TV or some shit…I am trying to keep a roof over my kid’s head so they can’t find reason to take her from me and that requires money. Had I seen any of this coming it wouldn’t be this desperate but then, I was lied to at every turn by a corrupt former landlord and a backstabbing new management company so this isn’t something I brought on myself.

Reblog, share on social media, give a fiver, leave a nice comment. DO SOMETHING TO RESTORE MY FAITH IN HUMANITY, PLEASE.

And now that I have ranted like a spoiled child having a tantrum thus confirming what a horrible person I am thus not deserving of a single donation…let’s move onto what this blog is actually about. The slippery slope of mental health issues.

I was hanging in there for awhile. Auto pilot kicked in. I was trying to be strong for Spook, trying not to lose my shit cos hey, this shit happens all the time to everyone, not exclusive to us…Life goes on, we will figure it out.

Thing is when you are bombarded with a plethora of disorders that make your brain process and react very very differently than mundane brains (not insulting, just sounds more catchy than ‘non chemically deficient brains’)…you can only exist on auto pilot for so long and then comes SPLAT. I was running on pure stress and anxiety, too worried about having my kid taken away cos I wasn’t being proactive about finding us a new home, and then…the depression waved at me, winked, and announced it would no longer be quashed just because the anxiety had a front row seat, it wants its fifteen minutes. Or has been the case with this current depressive bout, 7 months.

And then came the dark thoughts and I swear were it not for my kid…I’d pull a Marilyn Monroe and just say goodbye, cruel world, in a blaze of pill gorged lack of glory.

I am never gonna get out of this financial hole. I am never gonna get my brain to cooperate or find a doctor competent enough to help with that. I am gonna be stuck in the damned sticks forever with my dad and stepmonster in total control of my existence because I will be using their vehicle as mine won’t run over 35 mph, it’s so broken.

Maybe the dark depression is making it seem more dire than it really is, I don’t know anymore. Seems pretty bleak to me. And everyone keeps telling me to calm down, which really makes me want to hit them in the head with a shovel cos hey, if I could skip the anxiety and panic disorders, I totally would. I find it so hypocritical narcissistic of everyone around me to be entitled to their anger and their anxiety and ranting…but because I have mental disorders, somehow I am NEVER entitled to vent my feelings because they are never legitimate. CALM DOWN is one of the worst things you could ever say to me, it’s complete invalidation. You could call me a scum sucking whore who licks windows and has sex with goats and it still wouldn’t be as insulting as telling me to calm down when I have every right to not be calm. Or telling me to cheer up when I have every right to be down, or hey, because I am in a deep clinical depression thus cheer is not something I am acquainted with.

One more nail in the ‘humanity sucks’ coffin came when I called the property manager-former lying scumlord to tell him we’d be out by March 5th and he actually had the nerve to say, after NINE years never paying late and only having a week’s notice of their new ‘buy or get it’ policy…”It’d be better if you were out by the 28th.”

Are you fucking kidding me, you cocksucker motherfucker cockweasel piece of shit????? I cannot believe how shitty he is treating me whereas before he sold out and became uppity manager guy, he was all nice to my face and on how I am the ideal tenant, he wishes all were like me, and how much he’d hate it if I ever moved….How am I supposed to have any faith in humans when people are such duplicitous liars? And before anyone plays the ‘not everyone is like that card’…if it happens to you often enough…it seems like it is everyone.

I am running on fumes. Today we are gonna start moving stuff and attempt to get my car over to Armpit, which should be terrifyingly entertaining on an interstate in a car that won’t go over 35. And has a lying gas gauge cos Thursday it was just over a 1/4th and now it’s on the orange mark and I’ve gone maybe 3 miles. I don’t know if that’s enough fuel to even get to Armpit.

Now that I have purged all the poison from my mind like a teapot reaching the boil point and letting out the steam and whistle…

I apologize for my harsh words and lack of coherent thought and well, basically being me. Though if you knew me even a little, you’d know I also have a lot of great qualities. I am not just my anger and misanthropy and moods and nerves and money needy…Right now, though, those emotions are pretty much sitting in the front row waving not lighters but flame throwers and I am ducking fire here.

One last time for now…

Please, even $5 is a gallon and a half of gas toward getting around. And the thought really does count, at least with me and Spook. Or a reblog or share or kind word.

We’re just a family doing the best we can.