Daily Archives: March 23, 2018

Penny Positive #79

From An Optimist’s Calendar

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The Springtime Crazies

…have definitely struck. I’m not off the spool, but I’m restless and have all this energy I’m having a hard time channeling, and having just a great time not doing anything! The weather sucks hugely—it’s only 39 degrees and there’s snow mixed in with the rain, but it doesn’t matter, as far as I’m concerned it might as well be 80 degrees and sunny out. Music sounds especially good these days; I just wish I could sing! The other day when it WAS sunny, I was rocking out in the car with the stereo cranked way up and playing air guitar at stoplights. Shelley was with me and actually got caught up in Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, tapping her feet and lip-synching right along with me. I love days like these, when everything, even the clouds are so bright and the world holds limitless possibilities.

I’m sure ready to take that cruise though. Seven days under the Caribbean sun sound really good right now. And oh yeah, I got some really exciting news the other day: we’re all going to Europe next year! Ten-day Mediterranean cruise to Greek isles Mykonos and Crete, then to Athens; better yet, we get to go to Rome! As a good Catholic girl, I’ve always wanted to go there. We’re also going to Florence while we’re at it. Places with centuries of art and music and food to be savored. The trip is booked for August of 2019, so that gives us plenty of time to plan ahead (and pay!). I want to get back on the wagon and lose some more weight; I haven’t really lost anything in six months, but then I haven’t really been trying either. I may not be able to climb the stairs to the Acropolis, but I’d like to at least be able to wander around Rome and visit the Vatican, pray at St. Peter’s Basilica, see the Sistine Chapel. How fabulous are my dreams?

Thing is, they only used to just BE dreams. I never thought for a minute that I’d ever actually see Europe. Then again, I never thought I’d get to visit the Caribbean, and I’ve been all over the place there and am going again. I remember thinking of that first cruise as the Trip of a Lifetime…well, it was, and it was certainly Will’s. But there have been and will be more. Dreams come true after all.

It’s My Life…And I’d Like To Make A Return

Today started out in a lovely way. And by lovely,I mean, shitty.

I went to do dishes for the first time since Sunday (as I said,the gabapentin has me lethargic and constantly feeling exhausted) and water came flooding out from under the sink. The fitting keeping the plastic pipes connected had come loose and not being a plumber…my instant reaction,following the shouted obscenities, was to panic at the mere thought of having to call the landlord for repairs.

After mopping up the flood, I inspected the pipes,put them back together,and tightened the connecter piece. Yay! It worked,no need to make a loathsome call and hope the elderly landlord remembers he even rents to me. Relief.

I next washed a load of laundry in our new used (oxymoron?) washer and had to rewash it as my scent crystals didn’t dissolve. Not a huge trauma,but definitely one more thing to heighten anxiety if my monthly water bill is $65 before we use a drop of water. (If only my brain could be ocd about cleaning the way it is with panicking over every tiny thing.)

I worsened this anxiety by bothering to bathe,how many gallons of the precious gold Armpit,USA calls water service does a bath use? But grungy hair ain’t working for me these days. Guess that’s a first nod to seasonal depression sloooowly starting to lift,no longer able to go through 5,6 days without bathing.

Following this,I cooked myself eggs and bacon and won the lottery. For once,eating breakfast didn’t upset my stomach.

I went to hang dry the laundry washed and the rolling rack collapsed for the tenth time,shattering a vase so I had to stop that chore to clean up glass and put the rack back together.

9/10 of that done,the rack collapsed again,this time with all the wet laundry on it,into a shelf full of glass chotchkeys…more cursing echoed off the walls but I put Humpty Dumpty back together again and finished hanging wet clothes.

It was only 11:30.

It’s very hard not to get discouraged, pessimistic,and downright tired when day after day your life is filled with a never ending chain of mishaps that hinder accomplishments. I think isolated incidents would be a little less destructive to my mental state but since 2018 began,it’s just been catastrophe after catastrophe.

On top of the depression and anxiety,it makes it difficult to be a shiny happy person.

The fact I am still upright and functioning,even on limited capacity days,should be indicative of my tenacity. I’m not one to simply shatter after a series of trying events. I may regroup but I do not quit.

That being said…my kid is staying the night with the paternal faction so I am gonna take the blessed million-question-free golden time to regroup.

And try not to have panic attacks knowing my brother will be driving her to some hick activity tonight after dark.

Why panic attacks when your brother is 22 years old?

He has…how to put this politely…a learning disability not to mention he’s pretty much half blind during the day and night blind,plus such an iffy driver,dad and stepmom wouldn’t let him drive to and from town last year when he was a tax service costume greeter. These days he does 2 hours Mon-Fri putting a 4 year old on the bus and taking him off the bus. Said 4 year old pulled the fire alarm at school last week and my brother called stepmonster to ask if he could go pick the kid up per his mok’s request cos that is part of babysitting…and he was forbidden from doing so,in broad daylight,cos she didn’t trust him driving the 4 year old. Wtf?

I broached the topic with both of them expressing concern about him driving MY kid after dark and they got all pissy like I was being rude. I am terrified for my kid,not cos I think my brother will purposely hurt her but because he is so blind,such an iffy driver, and has less attention span than a gnat.

Still my concerns were swatted away and as I owe them so much money cos of the move,it’s been made clear I no longer have a voice or true say over my kid.

Hell is owing family.

This is my life and it no longer feels comfy like a well worn pair of houseslippers. It doesn’t fit me. I have been sucked into living their life and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. Until I repay them every cent which could take years…

I am stuck wearing toe pinching foot torturing shoes.

This is my life. It no longer fits and I want a return.

Stranded By Dollar Signs

You know how to tell when the fates have a twisted sense of humor? When a mathematically,short term memory impaired person like me ends up with a car with a broken gas gauge.

Since it was bought used at auction there is no way to know how much fuel I started out with. It said half a tank but after driving 60 miles and watching the gauge go UP toward full…Is the car backwards so full means empty? Is the gauge simply giving random readings that have no true meaning? I put gas in,the gauge sometimes goes up towards full but then it settles on half no matter how many miles I drive. Color me confused! Not that I didn’t have a car before with a broken gas gauge, difference was,I’d been driving it awhile and knew how much was in the tank when it quit working. This ‘new’ car (sad that an ’01 is not just new to me,it is the newest car I’ve ever owned),well,I am playing Russian Roulette with the gas gauge. This is not a fun game now that we are 15 mile minimum from town. Not the place to run out of fuel.

So why am I prattling about gas gauges,math,and dollar signs?

It’s very relevant to our current situation. My only real guide to how much gas the car has in it is,argh!,using the mile counter thingie (can’t come up with technical term,can’t be arsed to Google it) then tracking the money I spend on gas, how many gallons,and basing it all on the city/ highway mileage the car was originally supposed to get. Guessing game from hell! I’m not awful at basic math but when forced to do it on the fly and rely on my non existent short term memory to track and divide…

My brain hurts writing about it.

How is this relevant to a mental health blog?

Anxiety,paranoia,and terror.

I’ve never once run a car out of gas. Now it’s a distinct possibility every time we hit the highway. It’s paralyzing me.

Now I know what many are thinking,using that icky thing called logic…why not fill the tank then err on the side of caution at 3/4 of your estimated mileage???

Ha ha ha. Another of this used car’s quirks is that it fuels slowly,something inside is broken and even if the car has driven 100 miles,the gas pump shuts off every $1 you put in,or worse,splashes out. So just putting $5 in takes ten minutes and cramps the hand.

Guessing game. I hate guessing games.

The fact that the car has these issues,on top of our geographical isolation and cash flow issues means…

I feel trapped here after a trip to town and 28 miles on the car even if in theory my math calculations mean I ‘should’ be safe for at least another 12 miles.

Unfortunately,panic and anxiety don’t much care for logic or theoretical things. Scumbag brain locks onto my shitty memory and how I get numbers all mixed up (psych med side effects,anyone?) and becomes convinced that even if the math is right..,an old car might not make the mileage it did when new and I could run out of fuel on the interstate. Worse,not even have a dime to my name to put more in.

So I don’t risk it til next check thus my own mental issues cripple me as much as dollar signs. Anxiety is a cruel disorder I’m not sure I’d wish on an enemy.

You can sometimes reason with yourself on bipolar or depression.

Anxiety just stampedes your logic, spits on your intelligence,and keeps stabbing you in the back.

At least I do like driving the car,whatever its issues.

Gotta love the wackiness of a woman who wears nothing but black driving a white car.

Workshop 2

So I had my second workshop this week with a video conference last night.  It went well–turns out that I’m being tripped up by the same things as usual–too much dialogue and not enough description.  So I am also conferencing with my professor this morning and seeing what can be done and interacting more with someone about it. So we will see how it goes.  I don’t know as I will rewrite it for my final project–I still have another exercise to do for class that may spark my interest.  We will see.

We go to Mobile this afternoon to get ready for another dance competition,.  This is the last travel one until this summer, I believe. So it will be nice to have my weekends back again.

I prayed last night that I would be able to get up and do this morning–have the energy to do what all needed to be done, etc.  So far I have gone and changed the oil in my car and will soon go and finish packing for the trip and finish up laundry.  So today has been much better than yesterday, which is also doing wonders for my self-esteem.  Makes me feel like a productive member of society again instead of a slug.

Hope everyone has a good weekend and a blessed Holy Week next week.  Thanks for continued prayers as I start Psychamore next week.

 

The Frustrations of Being a Mental Health Advocate

megaphone2I recently posted on my FB page this and I truly believe it. It feels like an uphill battle. I have so many good things to offer if I could just get ONE person with influence to hear me.   I feel defeated oftentimes and will take months off at a time thinking there is no way I am going to make a difference and then one day I have another idea that might just go “viral” only to be knocked down again.

Excerpt from my FB post:

I have called, written emails, filled out forms, tweeted, and sent FB messages about a topic dealing with mental illness and Parkland Shooting to everyone i can think of. (media, parkland survivors, politicians, local media, etc.) and have not heard from anyone.

I keep saying that this is going to be the last time I am going to try and fight stigma and do something about the mental illness problem and then for “stupid” reason, I start back up again and get frustrated again.

I guess I have to hold onto the good things I have gotten accomplished like letter from President Clinton after he was in office, several governors declaring Mental Illness Awareness Week, starting Mental Health Advocates United and the group Advocates for people with Mental Illnesses and blogging under Bipolar Bandit.

I just want to accomplish more. When will I ever get there? Sorry…having a pity party! I just think if it was something else I was writing about, I would have gotten hundreds of replies.”

The article that I want people to read the most is:  If you want more that pertain to what I Feel needs to be done, let me know by emailing me at [email protected]

Dear Future President,

If anyone knows anyone who can help me get someone to listen, I plead with you to have them email me at [email protected] or phone me at 336.201.2390.