Daily Archives: May 11, 2018

It Can Be Done!

pansy

It Can Be Done!

What’s done is done.
What’s past is past.
Nothing to be done about it but learn from it.
And let it go.
Banish fear.
Live confidently, fearlessly, positively.
Be sure of your success in everything you do.
Live with positive thoughts and gratitude.
With confidence, make the present the best it can be.
Enjoy the moment and savor and relish it
Have confidence that you can do it.
Look to the future with hope.
With confidence that you will make it good.
And know you will handle what comes your way with love and grace.

With love and grace for my friends and family,

Samina.

Tears Quietly Roll

Now that I’ve taken care of the business of death, I no longer need to numb myself from the pain of loss. Now I cry. Softly. Quietly. The tears roll down my cheeks. I miss my dad. I really miss…

Mother’s Day, Fundraising, Hypomania, And Soft Kitty,Warm Kitty

Share if you care, it costs you nothing but a click on social media

YEP. Another fundraiser. But before you exit the page, would you let me explain how I have the gall to ask perfect strangers for help?

EVERYTHING I DO IS FOR HER.

Spook is the only thing I’ve truly gotten right in my life. Maybe my domestic fairytale didn’t work out as planned, and it’s been a financial clusterfuck courtesy of my own limitations and her donor’s…dumbfuckery…But I don’t regret her for an instant. She is the best of me and the worst of me and loved so very much. Sure, I vent because she’s difficult and stressful but…yeah, that’s my karma cos I got a mini-me. (R.I.P Original Mini-Me, Vern Troyer, hope you found peace, dude.)

So learning that the donor is apparently switching jobs and leaving us in a child support lurch indefinitely…I started another fundraiser, with a modest goal, and we got our first donation this morning! We are so very grateful to the kind soul whose simple act of generosity means we can afford household necessities for a week or two. You are amazing.

And I get it if you’re in a similar boat and can’t donate. But many of you are very active on social media and you could share our story with a click, costing you nothing. It’s still a big ask, but I’ve got a little girl counting on me since I am the only parent she has that gives a damn. I may have given birth, but I had to EARN this.

Sorry I didn’t do a neat presentation but I gotta roll with my current half ass hypomanic state before it pulls a David Copperfield and vanishes. Point is…that little girl may give me hell, but she adores me and counts on me. And I am doing my very best. I even tried to get a summer babysitting job, but alas, the woman went with someone else. I’m not unwilling to make the effort but you can’t point guns at people and demand they allow you to work for money. And I’m not on board with pointing guns at people just demanding they give me money, that’s a felony, I think. Besides…if I could afford a gun, I’d go pawn the damn thing.

Please.

Just a share means the world to us.

$500 is the goal I set for these impending, necessary expenses: $325 security deposit (to avoid eviction, which he would be within his rights to do.) $48 car insurance (it will be canceled before my next check comes in if not paid by the 28th.) $100 for gas, household supplies, pet supplies, and a little wiggle room because the move meant losing my library privileges in town. It costs $60 for non residents and since I can’t afford to buy books or well, even go out, reading library books is my one luxury. And yeah, it’s sad that reading and libraries are considered a luxury, living in this town feels more like a punishment than anything because of lack of access to everything cerebral and civilized. I wish flannel and farm machinery popped my rocks but, alas, I want books to read.

I would love to raise a little more than our goal so I could buy a used desktop computer. Both of mine died during the move but they were so old, they still had 3.5 inch floppy disk drives, so I think they served their time well. It’s just difficult to commit to my serious writing on a laptop because I live in terror of overheating them. My last tower cost $55 on ebay so it’s not like I am a spoiled brat. The current laptop I am writing this on was a freebie someone abandoned at the shop and my nephew reformatted it. My other laptop is XP and the fan is broken. There’s no pampered princess thing going on here, just function.

Survival is the goal. Not letting down my kid until I can work something out. There can’t just be one person in this armpit who needs a sitter or housekeeper, but as I am still considered an outsider…finding a way to earn some extra may could take time. And pegacorn knows when I’ll be able to pin the donor down again, he has no problem working, he just as an allergy to that paycheck covering part of his child’s upbringing. (Seriously, Canada, if this is the best you have to offer, take him back.) If he keeps changing jobs, he knows by the time I catch up to him he’s done created enough chaos, time to do it again. Oh, well, he helped make a beautiful spawn.

In case you missed it, I’ve gone hypo. I was up til almost 3 a.m. Didn’t take melatonin. Did more housework, packed my kid’s lunch, wrote another post…Did not want to go to sleep because ya know, use it or lose it. But I slept 3 and a half hours and now I am still in hypo mode so I am doing the rambling rapid speech (rapid typing?) shuffle. Apologies, but no apologies. OMG, it’s been so long since I’ve felt this good mentally. It’s not that anything great happened but in spite of it all, my mind is…not in the abyss. I LOVE feeling this good.

So soft kitty, warm kitty. Yeah, who doesn’t love good cat pictures? I am fighting for these three, too, they’re our family.

My crappy camera does not do justice for Godsmack’s gorgeous blue eyes.

Hex is outgrowing her box.

Vex looks heavenward and pleads for it to rain tunafish.

And me, the cat sofa, bed, snuggle post, but fortunately, not the litter box.

Remember…SHARE to show you care. Because as shameful as it is for me to ask for help…I am more afraid that not asking for help is a bigger failure of character. I still believe in the good of people.

And the flying spaghetti monster, totally believe in that, too.

So Now What?

I talked yesterday with my therapist at Psycamore about my conversation with Bob.  I told how upset I was about it and we talked about that.  I have been going over strategies in my mind on how exactly to convey to Bob exactly how upset I was and haven’t found a good one yet. I cried myself to sleep last night with him holding me–I was praying to God to take the hurt away and to make me well and Bob asked what was wrong and I just told him I was praying.  SO he didn’t press.

I just don’t know what to do with my anger and hurt right now. I am trying to do CBT and remind myself of what he actually said and not think about what I took away from it, which is an old shame message back from my childhood.  So that is helping.

At least I am awake this morning. I haven’t let it drive me back to bed.  So that is good.  I am waiting on the bug man to show up and then I will go out to brunch with Jo.  We will have a good time I think.

Hope everyone has a good Mother’s Day!

 

Chronic Compromises 2 – Online Shopping

Chronic illness can lead to a whole world of compromise. That is why I have started this series – to show compromises I have had to make and hope they can be helpful for others. A few weeks ago Hubby and I were in the mood for some junk food and couldn’t decide what we …

Illness Identity?

As usual, a simple plot line in a TV show sent me on a Google quest that further lead me down a rabbit hole that ranks right up there with mindfulness and cognitive behavior therapy, for me. Which is…nada. Anyway, I went to search for “why would a doctor prescribe only amitriptyline for bipolar disorder?” Because ya know, this was common in the 90’s but these days, it’s just shoddy medicine asking for a manic episode to be triggered and negligence suit to be filed. Been down the antidepressant-only road too many years, it isn’t pretty and the fact it’s referenced-even on a fictional Australian TV show- irks me.

Anyway, while Googling this, I came across an article about how bipolar disorder is wrongly treated so frequently. In the course of reading that article, I encountered an unfamiliar term. “illness identity”. Though not popular theory (yet) in the mental health field, it essentially means that people with a mental health diagnosis often develop their illness(es) as part of their identity thus it impacts their self esteem and ability to be in relationships, hold a job, be a parent.

So in my new quest for self awareness I spent the entire day Googling some more and soul searching. Is that me? I mean, I sure do talk a lot about my disorders. But then this is a mental health blog meant to share my experiences, to educate, and often, just for me to vent the poison in my mind so it doesn’t boil over. Does this mean I have come to identify myself solely as my depression/bipolar/anxiety diagnosis symptoms? Am I self sabotaging by being on disability because I let fear and stigma convince me I’m unemployable?

I suppose anything is possible. The moon just may be made of blue cheese. And I’ve met some people who do seem to base their lives and choices around whatever diagnosis they have, though in their case, it’s generally physical ailment.

I just don’t see it with me. I NEVER wanted to go on disability. I worked from the time I was 16 and when I was stable or manic,I was a powerhouse. Then splat or nervous breakdown would come and I was no longer the employee they needed me to be and yeah, my disorders created many problems and made me an unstable candidate for employment. I kept trying, for years, and years, and years. It was the therapists who watched me fly so high than crash so low, who saw how great I was when functional, how brutal it was when non functional. They told me it was admirable to want to work but I was doing myself more harm burning through jobs and getting bad references and never knowing if I could pay rent so I needed to protect myself and seek disability.

So did I let them get in my head and instead of continuing to fight, I just gave up?

I think how long I tried to hold on and help R at the shop through multiple breakdowns indicates I have never given up, do want to work and be productive and feel good about myself, and I do not define myself by my disorders. My illness is a factor in my daily life, much like a diabetes, blood sugar testing, insulin, and pills are part of a diabetic’s life. Are they guilty of illness identity if they talk about their numbers or diet or medication side effects? Or if they know a certain activity overtaxes them so they limit their participation? No. But we all know the putrid double standard when it comes to physical illness verses mental disorders.

Aside from not being stable enough to hold a job and blogging about my experiences with these disorders…

My life goes on pretty normally. I have never given up on being a parent or maintaining a home of our own. I recently applied for summer babysitting but for some reason, was rejected by the lady who was looking for a caregiver for her son. I cook, clean, take care of the cats, go grocery shopping, occasionally go to a yard sale or two or take my kid to the park or for a bike ride. All the while I AM riding out mood swings, depressive lows, and crippling anxiety. It is difficult and many days, I do have meltdowns. The difference is, my kid and cats can’t fire me for my instability. If I need a break, I can get a sitter at my family’s and I can close my bedroom door to keep the cats at bay. In job situations when you ‘snap’ or ‘splat’ there is no corner to go stand in until you work through it. And other than failing to show up one day or failing to give proper notice or missing too much work- I doubt my former employers would have much critical to say about my work except for the depressive periods or panic meltdowns.

But that’s their job, to hire not just partly functional people. They need stability and I can’t offer that consistently. So while I do want to be well and stable and work…If I am deemed unfit and it’s not simply stigma from my mental illness but the fact that such situations, combined with my disorders, lead to meltdowns…I can’t fault employers and I don’t think I should be faulted, either. It’s not like I don’t try my hardest and keep trying.

I suppose it all sounds like justification, like I am trying to convince myself, but I am honestly viewing it as objectively as possible. Even though I am far from stable and a summer with my own kid nearly drives me to the bring, I was willing to babysit for extra money. I was polite, I gave references, a reasonable rate, the kid likes me, I am close by…but I was still rejected. Instead of blaming it on my disorders or being defeatist, I just view it as being an outsider in this town and people may know my dad and his faction but they don’t know me and I can respect not wanting to leave your child with someone you don’t know, or who, for whatever reason, gives you a bad vibe. (I’ve heard of people not being hired because of their eye color making someone uneasy, never work in management, you find out the law is a joke, it’s largely based on personal bias and quirk.)

It just bothers me that I try so hard yet am constantly filled with so much self doubt. This is normally where I’d say, “Hey, counseling might help.” Except the new ‘behavioral health’ concept has me so rattled on top of my prior bad experience at that center, the idea of seeking ‘help’ there when they caused me so much damage is met with as much horror as a lobotomy. Unreasonable? Maybe. But until I ‘get there’ to that mental stability spot where I don’t feel they will do more harm…I am just going to have to be my own cheerleader.

Yes, I am a manic depressive. I have anxiety disorder.

It’s not who I am.

I am a woman. I am a single mom. I am a cat owner. I love Halloween. I love heavy metal, crime shows, horror movies, black eyeliner, yard sales, and I say ‘fuck’ a lot.

That all has nothing to do with my disorders. That is my identity.

And the fact that six weeks ago I could have never thought that, let alone felt it, meant it, and write it- tells me we may be onto something with the Cymbalta and my pursuit of an even deeper self awareness.

Counseling could happen.

But right now..I am going to focus on healing from all the upheaval in my life, continue treating my depression and anxiety, and venting my feelings here. Healing is a process and this is my way of going about that process. Everyone has their own method, their own path, this is mine.

Yes, I am a bit of a dark gothy ghoul but that has NOTHING to do with my disorders.

I’m also the 45 year old woman with a pet net hanging from the ceiling filled with furry cats, bears, iguanas, and Furbies.

I am light. I am dark. I am me.

My illness isn’t my identity.

But it’s the monster under my bed that I have to live with popping out way too often so good thing I kind of dig the whole monster thing. 😉