Daily Archives: May 13, 2018

Happy Mother’s Day

Me And My Goddaughters

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers, godmothers, pet mothers, women who wanted to be mothers but it never happened (that would include me), and any others I may have missed.  I included this picture of me with my goddaughters from today because it’s so exciting to me to see a picture of myself that I don’t absolutely loathe!  Progress!  Yay!

I spent a lovely Mother’s Day with my family.  It was a happy day with no high drama, fortunately.  Sometimes we just luck out like that.

It’s been an eventful weekend with shopping for Mother’s Day, clothes shopping, laundry, shopping for groceries, preparing food for the week, and getting my head ready for a new job starting tomorrow.  Yessssss I finally finished the job with the hellaciously horrible commute, and am starting a job that’s about four miles from my house.  Of course, I’m nervous.

The terrible stomachaches that plagued me through my period of unemployment, then mysteriously disappeared, reappeared on Friday during the day at work, which was torture, and again in the middle of the night last night.  I guess it’s safe to say that they are stress-induced, and hopefully my stomach will settle down as I settle into the new job.

I’m still working on my weight loss, having lost 23 pounds so far, which feels GREAT and I am so much less self-conscious about my body now.  My cheap knockoff FitBit imitator has really been pleasing, in that I have recorded 3-4 miles per day just in walking from the bus to work, and then walking around work.  This new job is in a HUGE building and I was told I’d get my 10,000 steps in by 10am.  I hope to be moving around like a madwoman so that I can keep up the weight loss :).

I gave my landlord notice that I’m moving out of this shitbox on June 30.  If this new job extends my contract, I’ll be moving to a nicer apartment.  If I end up jobless on June 30, I’ll be moving in with Mom and Dad.  I hope to GOD it’s the former.  Of course, I will continue to look for a Security position.  I should have a lot more time and energy to do that now that I’m not spending 3-4 hours per day commuting.

All in all I’m feeling very positive about life and grateful for how things are going.  Even though I thought it would be holy hell working in Desktop Support again, it is only minor hell and some of it is even stimulating.  Crawling under desks pushing cables around is still hell though.  But all in all I am ok, my mood is good and I am grateful for life!

Hope you are all doing well and fighting the good fight!  Keep in touch and peach out!  BPOF ❤

Song Lyric Sunday – “Heart of Glass”

The theme for this weeks’ Song Lyric Sunday is “Heart”. Check it out at This Thing Called Life One Word At A Time. It didn’t take too long to pick Blondie’s song “Heart of Glass” and there are several reasons. This song was a huge hit during a time when I surrounded myself with music. Every …

Drug Therapy: The Short Form

From what I’ve read in Facebook support groups – and noticed from my own experience – the effects of antidepressants don’t always last as long as we might want.

My first psychotropic medication was, as nearly as I can remember, imipramine (Tofranil). At the time I was only diagnosed with unipolar depression, so it seemed like a good choice. Imipramine is what is called a “tricyclic” antidepressant because of its chemical structure. Many people complained of the side effects.

Tricyclics were about all the medical community had to offer until 1987, when Prozac hit the market, followed by its cousins Zoloft and Paxil. All of these were classified as SSRI drugs, ones that selectively acted on the neurochemical serotonin in the brain, rather than a wide variety of brain chemicals as the tricyclics had.

Since then we have listened to Prozac, talked back to Prozac, and been referred to as a Prozac Nation. Prozac has been hailed as a miracle drug, damned as a gateway to violence or suicide, and prescribed in phenomenal amounts.

And Prozac has helped me. After about six weeks on it, when the drug started to kick in, I was on a sailing trip. One of the crew said I was the passenger most at peace with myself that he knew. It was a revelation to me and a new way of thinking of myself.

Prozac changed my life – possibly saved it. And then, not so much. I moved on to other medications.

“Major Study Finds Antidepressants Work, But May Have Limitations,” by Brigit Katz, published on The Smithsonian.com, validates my perception.

Her article states, “A meta-analysis [or study of studies] of existing trials suggests that the drugs are mostly effective on a short-term basis for patients suffering from acute depression.” Katz’s article also cites articles in the New York Times and The Lancet that report similar findings.

The Lancet study “analyzed 522 double-blind studies that included 116,477 patients and 21 commonly prescribed antidepressants. The results of the study showed that all 21 of the antidepressants were more effective than placebos in reducing depressive symptoms during the first eight weeks of treatment.”

“The new analysis suggests, however, that the efficacy of the drugs may be limited,” Katz reports. “For one thing, the benefits applied in the short term, and only to patients who are suffering from acute major depression.” [emphasis added]

The Smithsonian.com article and the studies conclude that “while the new study suggests that antidepressants are more effective than a placebo, at least in some cases, media reports claiming [as an article in Newsweek did] that the research shows ‘antidepressants do work, and many more people should take them’ are not entirely accurate.”

(This hearkens back to a pet peeve of mine: that headline writers (who are almost never the authors of the articles) do a poor job of summarizing articles in favor of more definitive or appealing descriptions of the text. https://wp.me/p4e9Hv-Br)

At any rate, the meta-analysis bears out my experience. Although I was bipolar 2, my disorder first manifested as major depression. I got relief from Prozac, results that later diminished. Since my proper diagnosis I have found more relief from a combination of an SSRI, an anticonvulsant medication often used for bipolar disorder, and an atypical antipsychotic also useful for bipolar as well as schizophrenia. Even though I do not have seizures or schizophrenia, these medications work for me and have not worn off for several years now.

So, what’s the takeaway from all this? I think it is that, if your medication for bipolar or depression seems to be “wearing off,” your perception may indeed be valid. But that’s no reason to give up on psychotropics altogether. People and their disorders differ in ways we just don’t know. You can ask your doctor to try a different medication or combination of medications that may work better for you.

The benefits of medication for psychiatric disorders do not simply go away just because the effect of one does.

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/major-study-finds-antidepressants-work-may-have-limitations-180968452/#vjLKOqe2JdKEWOe3.99

Playing The Slots

Update to our story.

When we moved, I had to leave behind a previous Mother’s Day Gift dad and stepmonster got me from Spook. All I wanted for our new home was another rose bush-yellow. And yesterday they bought it and planted it for me. I named it Persophone, daughter of the goddess of Harvest, in hopes she will grow as tall as my old rose bush. It reached 7 feet tall and 5 feet wide and I called it Monster. Seems silly to wave gardening pompoms but I killed a cactus once, so Monster was one of my pride and joys. Persephone is my new hope.

Slots. Mother’s Day. I have sinus drainage drowning me, cramps, and pre-splat is heading downward fast. I am cooking chicken noodles as a gift for my mom (someone else bought the stuff for it cos I chose to pay bills but everyone wanted my noodles so they bought the stuff). My kid is at church for another 30 minutes so I have a moment of peace. If you discount the fact the cats are going bonkers and keep jumping up and clawing me cos they’re running round like ferals. Best I can guess is all the changes in the weather has them acting like squirrels on meth and coke.

Mood disorders are like playing slots. Only my wonky chemicals are the house and odds are always in favor of the house. I keep pulling up losers. Two weeks ago when I proposed a mother’s day dinner for our mom, I just wanted to do something nice. Then all the other stuff happened (losing income is a huge thing when expenses have tripled, so yes, it affects mental state negatively) and now…fuck nice. What about me? I’m a mom, and today, crampy drain-y moody mom just wants Fort Blankie, minus blankets, cos well, it’s warmed up. I will keep my word, though, cos in spite of our dysfunctional family dynamic, I love my mom and my daughter loves her grandma and aunt. I will ignore the fact that my sister’s interloping non family friends will be there. I try to be civilized and even like them, but the fact they invite themselves to EVERY family event we have annoys the hell out of me. If I wanted to hang out with a bunch of stoners, I’d become one and surround myself with the same kind.

But that could be hormones and mood talking. IDK.

I just know I pulled the arm on the slot machine and today’s a bust. Faking it gets so old. And the game of slots makes it impossible to make plans because as I said, two weeks ago I was okay with this thing. Then I found out the interlopers invited themselves, I lost income, PMDD hit, hypomania crashed downward…I do everything I can in an effort to keep my spirits up and splat still happens.

I’ve had a preview of my summer since the weather warmed up the last couple of weeks. Every day with a kid who is bored within five minutes of every activity, whiney, mouthy, and on the rare occasion I feel generous and offer to watch her little friend while his parents run errands ‘for an hour’…it’s gonna be two, three, four hours, and after hour one, they start bickering and my nerves are going to fray and split and break. But I guess it’s better than three months of six trailer park kids in my yard, eating our food, and causing trouble and destruction. Maybe my coping mechanisms will improve as time passes. It’s been a tough year, makes sense I am frazzled easily.

I do not want to go today.

I will go and I will pretend I want to be there and I will fake nice and cheerful.

Or I will try. When dad showed up yesterday with the rose bush, he growled, “What the hell are you scowling at us for?” And honestly, I had NO idea I was scowling. Anxiety shows on your face whether you intend it to or not, and I guess I wear mine unconsciously and very visibly. I wasn’t pissed off. And I don’t spend time in front of the mirror gauging my expressions then consciously trying to make them more pleasant for others.

I guess this inadvertent scowling may be why people find me unapproachable or unpleasant. I try to be friendly and most of the time, even when faking it, I pull it off. But if I stop trying to fake it at all times..well, scowl happens and I get my case jumped. Mood slots is exhausting to play 365 days a year. I hate gambling. The house is always gonna win, even if I manage to cash in on a few coins occasionally.

Anyway…Happy Mother’s Day to all it applies to, even petmoms. As well as single dads who are doing the job of both parents. It ain’t an easy gig being mom and dad both.

Read our story.

Part of the Village

This week I went to my grandnephew’s kindergarten graduation. There’s just all kinds of weird in that sentence alone. Children. Family. Social Event. Inclusion.

The school is K-12, laid out in a campus of what reminded me of Morton buildings—low-slung, metal barns. Here’s the south side of my sister as we make our way to the auditorium building

While I’m not one to follow the endless flow of depressing national news, I am invested in Oklahoma’s educational woes.  A January report in Education Weekly ranked Oklahoma schools 47th in the nation with teachers’ salaries ranked 49th.  Teachers went on strike in April, and while the state passed a bill to raise salaries slightly, it neglected to fund the bill.  It never addressed other issues like the lack of program funding and huge class sizes

Teachers are leaving the state like psychiatrists left Iowa, fed up with a system that cares very little about the end-user or those who provide for them.

Oktah, my grandnephews’ school, is considered better than average and receives a federal grant due to its number of low-income students. The superintendent, who spoke at Zane’s graduation ceremony, asked parents and friends to stay involved. More than ever, it seems, it takes a village.

So, I was verklempt, watching my one out of forty-eight kindergarteners dance, sing and use sign language to proclaim his new status.  So was my sister, the retired teacher.

I don’t know if I can help him or his older brother.  Volunteering has always ended up a bipolar casualty.  But I’m staying open to ways I might be part of that Village, even if it’s just being another grown-up (in closer proximity now) who will listen and answer their questions.

You never know the effect of just showing up. That’s something I can do.