Daily Archives: June 5, 2018

Here’s the thing

When you live the majority of your life with an illness you didn’t know you had it’s hard to find a place to put all the “bad” things.

Just when you think you are maybe starting to get a handle on things and have more control over your emotions some life event happens and it feels like going backwards.

Not to mention that when you have been medicated for a long time parts of you start to change, or maybe I should say adjust. But other people can’t see that. If you don’t see me daily for an extended period of time then you wouldn’t know there is a thing wrong with me.

I have actually had people tell me it’s not true. And my response is always “you aren’t around me enough”.

When you tell someone you have a mental illness they either say “I have that too”(which isn’t true most of the time, to date I’ve only had one person say it and I believe it). Or they just keep doing whatever they are doing. They don’t k ow what to say. And I can only imagine what they think about exactly what that means.

But I’m tired. I’m tired of having exactly 2 people that are there for me no matter what. I know that I have hurt them and if I could change one thing it would be to treat them better. I’m tired of knowing things other people don’t know, I’m tired of looking at things differently than 90%+ of people. I wish that I didn’t see all the things that I see.

I used to think everyone can do what I can do and some just choose not to. But the truth is very few people can do what I do. My daughter always says “you think like me I need to ask someone else”lol And it’s true! But it’s nice to have at least one resin that knows and understands what I am feeling.

We had a discussion about my illness and different things about how it works and what I’m aware of. And the truth is I’m aware of just about everything. I miss very very little of what goes on around me. I asked a girl at work the other day if she was talking to a man. And she grinned but clammed up. I just told her I know everything. Seriously, it’s really hard to have that sometimes. I’m not only aware of what is going on around me but I’m also highly aware of what is going on inside me. So I get to have other people’s thoughts and issues as well as my own. Can you imagine how tiring that is??

I am tired of feeling like an outcast in life. And I’ve pretty much felt that way my whole life. I will never have a ton of friends because I am to blunt and honest for most people. And they seem to think that when I say things I am telling them what to do. But I work very hard not to do that and some of the people I know need to take a long look at themselves.

Last in this mess of a post. When we ignore things going on in our kids lives in order to “protect them” or “raise them right”, we are creating an atmosphere where they never learn to deal with certain situations. I understand you don’t want your child to date until they are 16. But telling them they can’t even have a “boyfriend” (by boyfriend I mean in name only, they only see each other at school). creates an environment where many kids just hide it. When our kids don’t feel safe talking to us they go to someone else. Usually friends and they usually have bad information on pretty much everything. It may not seem like I big deal to ask questions and make your kids answer. I have one that is NOT a talker but I talk to him and ask him questions about the things that are important to him. In the hopes that if he ever needs anything he knows he can come to me. If your kid isn’t talking to you I promise it’s not because they have nothing to say. I have heard parents say “they stay in their rooms, how can I talk to them” or “they don’t say anything”. That might be true. But YOU are the parent isn’t your job to Seek them out and ask questions until you find something they are excited about. It’s not hard but it does require being diligent and conscious of what you are saying and doing. It’s your job to teach the and when you don’t talk to them because you don’t know what to say or you find it hard to talk about say sex. Well it’s not exactly comfortable for them either. But I can tell you this my 13 year old daughter would easily come to me if she needed something. We have talked her whole life and now I know that if she really needs someone she will come to me. I have another daughter that while it took a while she is at least comfortable enough to ask questions if she has them.

It’s hard to feel like you are alone. Even when your doing well and surrounded by people. I am tired of being treated like I’m a failure and have no idea what I am talking about. Not only am I right a lot but I genuinely care about the people in my life.

Sorry this wasn’t too great!!

Drying up

(In which I whine about my lack of writing)

So it's May.  And I haven't blogged since early December.  And I had a total of five posts last year. I contacted the administrator of Bipolar Blogger Network letting them know of my total inactivity and that I would understand if my blog was removed from the list.  I got no response and mercifully my blog remains on the list.  At one point I was trying to track how many readers I got (maybe 5) but I'm just so not caring about that any longer.


I'm just not writing.  Yet things are happening that seem noteworthy in my life... or at least beyond the monotony.  For example:

  • I started smoking marijuana heavily from October to February.  It was seriously affecting my marriage and being a good father.  My cognition and memory started to suffer (and thus my job suffered).  I threw it away in February and haven't smoked since then.
  • While smoking, I started drinking heavily too.  Once I stopped smoking the drinking continued.  I saw my psychiatrist three weeks ago and he blatantly said, "You can't drink".  I haven't had a drink since Mother's Day.  That has been tough which obviously means the drinking had gotten out of hand.
  • I have experienced more work stress in the past 4 months than ever.  A 3 month project is a month behind and still not done (although nearly).  I've worked a few 50+ hour weeks which may not sound like much but has been really tough for my mental health
And there you have it... the last four or five months reduced to three bullet points.  I wish I was more eloquent or rigorous with the blog.  Looking back, this blog has been an exciting and meaningful part of my life at several different times.  I think that's important and I don't want to minimize that.  And here I am again for some reason writing even though it's been almost six months.  So perhaps it's coming to be another time.

So thus the title "Drying up".  I'm concerned that I will stop altogether.  That's not the only reason I'm writing today.  I think I needed to start somewhere again.  I can't go back and really give a good synopsis of all that time I was high.  A lot of it was a sad blur.  Getting high for me starts out and I like to try to record the experience in some way (pictures or writing) as if it will be interesting later or as if it's a creative act.  Then getting high just becomes a daily thing and even the recording "dries up".  I'm not drying up as a dad and husband.  I think I'm doing better than I have in a while.  But recovery doesn't have to be boring.  There's something worthwhile to reflect on even while I'm well.  

And if you're bored there's always the very surface blog that I have fun with on Tumblr.

Here's to not drying up and to writing more the rest of 2018.

Good wishes to anyone reading this.  Hang in there if it's a shitty time.  Sometimes my bipolar depression flips so fast it makes my head spin.  It's disorienting but after years and years it has given me the patience and foresight to totally say 'Fuck you' to suicidal thoughts.  If you're having them I hope you can see them as symptoms and not listen to them.  I know that's extremely difficult.  Keep moving. 



Kate Spade, American Designer, Is Dead at 55

Mental illness wins this one. Kate Spade, a super successful designer, billionaires, with a husband and young daughter. Oh god, how bad things must have been for her to take this action?

Mental illness, insidious, heinous, deadly, masked, terrifying.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2018/06/05/fashion/kate-spade-dead.amp.html

The American designer Kate Spade was found dead on Tuesday, according to police officials.

The police said that Ms. Spade, 55, was discovered unresponsive at a Park Avenue apartment, where she had hanged herself. She had left a note, but the official did not comment on what it said. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:26 a.m.

A housekeeper found Ms. Spade in her bedroom hanging from a red scarf tied to a doorknob, the police said. She was unconscious and the housekeeper called 911.

Ms. Spade’s husband was at the scene. A police spokesman did not know the whereabouts of Ms. Spade’s daughter.

Born Kate Brosnahan in Kansas City, Mo., in December 1962, Ms. Spade was one of the first of a powerful wave of female American contemporary designers in the 1990s.

She built a brand on the appeal of clothes and accessories that made women smile, her cheerful lack of restraint and bright prints striking a chord with consumers. She herself was the embodiment of her aesthetic, with her proto-1960s bouffant, nerd glasses and kooky grin, which masked a business mind that saw the opportunities in becoming a lifestyle brand, almost before the term officially existed.

Ms. Spade, who had been the accessories editor of Mademoiselle magazine, founded Kate Spade with her husband-to-be, Andy and a friend, Elyce Arons, in 1993. Frustrated with the handbags of the era, which she found to be over-accessorized, she had wanted “a functional bag that was sophisticated and had some style,” she told The New York Times in 1999.

She did not know what to call the company at first and decided to make it a combination of the names of the co-founders. After the first show, she realized that the bags needed a little something extra to catch people’s eyes. She took the label, which originally had been on the inside of the bag, and sewed it to the outside. With that gesture, she created a brand identity and her empire.

Within a few years, she had opened a SoHo shop and was collecting industry awards, her name a shorthand for the cute, clever bags that were an instant hit with career women and, later, young girls, status symbols of a more attainable, all-American sort than a Fendi clutch or Chanel bag. Ms. Spade became the very visible face of her brand.

In 1999, the Spades sold the business to Neiman Marcus Group, and the company changed hands several times after that — in 2006, Neiman Marcus Group sold it to Liz Claiborne, Inc., which eventually shed its other holdings to become the publicly-traded Kate Spade & Company, itself acquired in 2017 by Coach, Inc. (After the Kate Spade acquisition, Coach, Inc. became the holding company Tapestry, which also owns Coach and Stuart Weitzman.)

By then, the Spades had been gone a decade, having left in 2007 to devote themselves to other projects. Ms. Spade dedicated herself to her family and to philanthropy, and in 2016, together with her husband, Ms. Arons, and Paola Venturi, a Kate Spade alum, launched a new venture, an accessories label called Frances Valentine. Ms. Spade was so committed to the project that she told interviews she had changed her surname from Spade to Valentine.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.

Bathtubs And Ice Cube Trays, The Stifling Artifact of Depression

I finally forced myself to face down the exhausting task of bathing last night after 4 days without one. I must admit, after battling this depression for 7 months, I am frustrated to the nth with how difficult it is just to bathe. I used to enjoy bathing, ffs. The move and getting stuck with a bathtub instead of a shower hasn’t helped. I hate baths. I got an external sprayer but because the landlord used a sink faucet on the tub, even the suction cup type attachment won’t keep the hose attached with water pressure. As if life isn’t frustrating enough, even the small things are getting me down. Like refilling ice cube trays. How ridiculous is that? Like it takes effort to turn on a tap, put water in ice cube trays, and shove ’em in the freezer. But…it feels like scaling a mountain. Oh, depressive artifact. Even when meds are helping and things are improving, the stifling artifact remains.

I had trouble getting to sleep last night, as usual, and staying asleep but I slept hard for the second night in a row. Getting up was a task itself and shaking off the grog seemed impossible. I realized quickly, though, why suddenly I am sleeping and so sluggish. PMDD has begun for the month. First came the sluggishness and unusual sleep, today it’s cramps and irritibility. Normally I love being loved on by the cats. Today I want to scream because Godsmack won’t leave me alone and her fur is clinging to my skin and getting up my nose, making me itchy. The thought that I have 7-9 more days of this mental state, outside the depression, makes me want to get a hammer and hit things. Oh, that anger, that’s PMDD artifact. People don’t much buy into PMS or PMDD but I am here to say, it’s real, it’s miserable, and it’s not an excuse to be a bitch. It’s an altered mental and physical state that negatively impacts functionality. This on top of lingering depression makes for a very imbalanced life.

My kid has started seeing silver cars everywhere and thinking it’s the landlord. Fair assumption, he has like 15 properties in town and his son lives here so he is a constant presence. But every single silver car, c’mon, Spook, don’t be a neurotic twonk like your mom…OOPS. Kid was right, it is the landlord. No doubt coming to ask where the rest of the deposit is. That is nerve racking. I’ve even tentatively broached the topic of dad paying it and me paying them back but of course, I am still $300 in the hole with them for breaking their SAV windshield during the move so my credit isn’t good. Thing is, it takes every cent to keep up with the bills here. At the trailer, monthly expenses were only 60 percent of monthly income. Here, it’s 90% and it’s killing me. We’ve adapted to living in Armpit, but I will never adapt to how much more it costs. Which is why, yes, you guessed it…Still doing the fundraiser thing. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why a transparent campaign that provides receipts for every cent isn’t just as worthy as some $60 million jet seeking minister or a political campaign. But, hey, I don’t do social media so it’s my own fault, I guess. Still not worth the loss of self respect and irritation of net trolls to participate in anti-social media. (If you’re hanging out with actual people but spend the entire time on your phone updating your status, you’re not being social,duh.)

But hey, everyone is doing it, must.follow.sheeple. I guess this attitude probably doesn’t help my fundraising cause. I just can’t bring myself to be something other than who I am, with my strong opinions and rejection of all things sheeple-related.

I am trying to determine if my sudden crash in mood is just hormones, or if I am having some sort of ‘tantrum’, mentally, because the shrink wouldn’t increase my meds like I wanted. I am disappointed she wouldn’t go for it, but I see her reasoning and I don’t necessarily agree, but I understand. I don’t think it’s tantrum related, I am very accustomed to nothing going my way (no boo hoo, just fact).

I will chalk it up to hormones and depressive artifact because 40 mg of anti depressant isn’t really life changing. I am doing better, but I still think bathing 2,3 times a week isn’t necessarily cause for celebration and a declaration of, “I’m good.”

And of course, anxiety is a constant chihuahua, gnawing on my leg, always appearing like a band of feisty ninjas with their weapons out of the ether. Even when it is triggered with good cause, ie, landlord coming around for money I don’t have, I am still left feeling under attack. Which just leads to feelings of weakness and ‘get over it, you wuss’.

For today, I’m tasked with whether or not to go to town. With the greedy I want yap monster in tow…Ugh. Not even two weeks in, I am getting breaks, and she’s still driving me nuts. It’s gotta be me. No kid can be that exhausting, right? Ha. You gotta meet mine and see how she treats me versus how she treats everyone else. And I am sick of hearing, “I wouldn’t let her get away with it.” Hell, I’ve grounded her, taken away electronic devices, denied her sweets and friends…She’s a bulldozer and I fight her tooth and nail but alas…

I fail more than I succeed.

Curse of parenthood. The joy comes in dollhouse zombie virus outbreaks. I’m definitely a good influence on her imagination.

Blessed Assurance

These are the things that keep me going:

1.  An Etsy customer sent me this photo.

She said, “As you can see, I’ve discovered a way to set up your artwork in my apartment; I couldn’t have your cards just sitting in a shoebox in the closet. When I’ve sent out cards to friends and family, I simply replace them with something else fabulous from your shop. It’s a wonderful system; It helps me foster relationships through writing. And you should know, they always love them.”

Another customer said, “You are a warrior woman who is in Amazon training. I join you in your training and I fight the good fight as a secondary teacher who has seen enough of school shootings and is ready for both kids and teachers to feel and to be safe again at schools. Love your positive cards that pack a pint-sized punch. Going to keep some and share some with those in need of a pick me up.”

2.  Choosing to be Grateful

3. Subsonic Purrs. 

4. The moments, however fleeting, when a crack opens in my anger, or paranoia, or hopelessness, or wanting and something wise creeps in—something gentle, something breathable—that reminds me of who I am.

5.  Daily Confirmation of the Power of Art to Heal.  I trust the process completely now.  I sit with no ideas and in a few hours something remarkable creates itself.  No mistakes, no judgment, no hesitation, no Time.  It is Magic.  It is Grace.