Category Archives: Read Along

Lost

My disorders, and the extreme cold thus my kid being glommed onto me due to school being cancelled, has me hanging by a thread. It takes every ounce of strength to just fix her cheese and crackers or a turkey sandwich. Vacuuming feels like futile because the thing spits out more than it sucks up and I can’t find any clogs. Dishes get washed and pile right back up. Finances took a bad bad turn so I can’t even afford to go to the laundromat, that is WHEN my car doors aren’t frozen shut.

To top it all off, after my sister’s brother in law’s suicide New Year’s Day…our uncle is in the hospital 40 miles away, with bone cancer, pneumonia, and the flu and his heart is failing, they don’t think he’s going to make it. Mom’s been living up there by his side as he is her last living sibling (of nine) and she is taking it really hard even if they barely spoke for the last 30 years.

I feel like an idget for complaining about my petty little plight, but depression gives zero fucks. I have actually taken to writing to stave off my own thought madness and finished an entire Jonathan Kellerman novel in 3 days. And now I have started a second one by him only…

All the psychology gobbledygook where the main psychologist character diagnosis everyone’s disorders…Now I am all paranoid about what my docs think of me. And what life maiming notes doc nurse put in my chart and how that will taint the new doc against me in March. Is it logical? The level of terror and paranoia (terr-anoia?) is illogical but human behavior dictates that most people, even professionals, will take the word of their colleagues in the form of session notes and possibly commit to that notion before giving a new client a chance to present.

That is my biggest fear.

The whole cognitive and mindfulness drivel is about living in the now, changing your negative thoughts and behaviors, yet if your past leads to problems in your present, it’s kind of hard not to beat yourself up.

Once I started reading about my meds and how alcohol can cause seizures with Wellbutrin…I got the message loud and clear. I fucked up by drinking. It was self medicating to dull the nerves and noise but I’d thought at worse it would make me sleepy and hells yeah, I want that. But seizures??? And the nurse didn’t even mention that even while giving me her disapproving expression. I guess what with my Google-itis before there was Google, just the desktop prescription manual, I should know every med and side effect ver batim but this one…I did not know. I’m not suicidal, I don’t want to die. I mean, I don’t much want to live these days but I have a kid and even a momentary lapse in working thru my misery and trying to off myself could mean they take her away from me….Irksome as her behavior can be, she is my heart and I don’t want to hurt her, me, or die, or lose her because they deem me unfit.

Unstable, sure. Were I stable I could handle a damned job and get out of this self esteem purgatory. Maybe even live a little better than paycheck to paycheck and getting food stamps. I TRIED, the whole thing with R and helping at the shop would get me a decent car…Once I hit my breaking point, he just swept me aside. His way or no way, as always. Not a word since I said no more. Some friend. But I did try! I was even thinking differently than I had in the past, thinking that having a routine of sorts, getting out of the house, helping out, gave me purpose and self worth. This was no small feat, me walking away from a better car. It was him and his bidding or me in a rubber room and I truly believe this even if doc nurse blew it off completely.

I am trying to be different. But with my spotty psych care and crap choices for therapy, it feels hopeless. And reading books where terms like “bipolar axis 2” and “thinking disorder” and “borderlines” are thrown around wily nily…I start going ocd with the thoughts that because I have some flaws and some quirks (I don’t want cured of my quirks, wearing black and liking skulls hurts no one) that I will always be written off as some behavioral problem who needs medicated and ushered out, tough love. Which was what doc nurse seemed to be giving.

I need to let it go but I’m not there yet. Which is another point, my therapists hated my process of holding a grudge for months and maybe years until I could let some stuff go. (I still haven’t quite let go of how the donor basically ditched his daughter, even though the counselor told me 6 years I had to let it go…I ain’t fucking Elsa.) All my insecurities and neuroses and self doubt start bubbling to the surface and maybe now is not the time to be reading a book on the topic of bipolar and personality disorders because obviously it’s been a trigger. But then isn’t the new tough love therapy about facing what triggers you?

Bloody hell! I am lost. I want to do well, be better, and yet I feel doomed. And it’s not merely circumstantial depression, this is full blown seasonal wish-I-was-a-hibernating-bear depression. I mean, really, bathing twice in a week is the best I can do? My idea of hygiene is deodorant and brushing my hair? I wear the same clothes 2 days at a time sometimes…All of this seems more of a red flag than one alcohol bender but the nurse doc..doc nurse…whatever the hell she is…

LOST.

And again…not letting it go. NOT ELSA.

Though in the midwest this year I am frozen.

Another Good Day

It was another good day, though a tiring one. I am used to sleeping until noon because my sleep is so messed up and I was up at 8:15 this morning. Gotta take care of the new puppy. I decided to call her Dani after my late best friend. She was a huge lover of dogs and even volunteered for her local shelter, so that just seem like the perfect name to call the new little one.

My mood has stayed up the whole day even though I had to miss a dose of one of my meds because the script hasn’t been filled yet, I hate that. Having to depend so much on doctors and pharmacists is a real pain in the ass. I hate missing doses, but maybe I’ll get a hypo-manic phase out of it 😉

Well that’s all for today.

 

 

The Rest of the Story

I’m back home after having surgery on my leg wound, which got infected and needed to be cleaned out, and managing the pain with oxycodone and stool softeners. The meds make me stupid and constipated, so I’m apt to be found on the sofa sound asleep at any time of the night or day, and we won’t talk about what goes on (or doesn’t) in the bathroom. ‘Nuff said.

Despite all that went sideways during Vacation 2017, there were so many wonderful experiences that it was well worth the difficulties. There was that moment I love so much, when the ship actually sails…it always feels like the launching of a new adventure. I remember how it was that first time, when Will and I went, and I couldn’t help saying “I can’t believe we’re doing this” over and over.  Even after three cruises, I still feel that way. It never gets old, and I love it that yet another one is in the works.

We got to see all new islands, for me anyway. I missed Curacao because I was at the peak of my illness and felt lousy, but we’re going again so I’ll get another chance. There is something about Caribbean islands in winter that is almost magical…you can literally forget your troubles, or at the very least they’re so far away that they may as well not exist. And speaking of magic, I felt like a little kid at Disney, like I was seeing everything for the first time. (Most of which I was—I’d been to Disneyland before, but this was my first trip to DW.) There were lifelike lightning bugs in the trees, Christmas lights everywhere, and Cinderella’s Castle was covered with “icicles” just like the castle in Frozen. (Notice how everything seems to be about lights? I’ve been fascinated with them ever since I can remember, almost to the point of obsession. I had a Lite Brite toy when I was young that gave me endless hours of creative play.)

I need to say a couple of things about scooters. Well, it’s more about people and scooters. Shelley and I rented one each because as much walking as I can tolerate now, I couldn’t possible do as much as required to get around the parks. I found out quickly that people are reckless and foolish, and they don’t seem to see folks on scooters, often to their own detriment. They will walk out in front of you and have the nerve to be surprised when you nearly run over them. Worse, they let their smalls do the same thing and expect that you’ll be able to slam on the brakes in time to avoid hitting them. Needless to say, this got old after about half a day and I became quite irritable, shaking my head at people when they deliberately got in my way and at one point I even said, “I haven’t killed anyone in this thing today. But the day ain’t over yet.”

But even with that annoyance, I loved Disney and want to go back someday. I’ll never forget the Pandora: World of Avatar ride, which for my money is the Best. Ride. Ever. It took us on a bird’s-eye flight over exotic lands, swooping along narrow passages and through trees, barely missing obstacles like mountains and diving into water. It was incredible. As was this magnificent vacation. I can’t wait for the next one!

 

 

Another Snow Day

that it didn’t start snowing on until about thirty minutes ago at our place. But it had snowed early this morning in other places so they called school off.  My little one is glad for the extra day off but is doing laundry since there’s not enough to play in yet.

Talked to my parents who live north of us and they have a good covering of snow, my dad said.  It’s supposed to snow all day and all night, according to the weatherpeople.

I think I’ll be able to continue 46Reasonswhynot after all.  I’ve talked to some more people about writing lists and hopefully they will come through in time.  I have one more list to start next week then will just have to wait and see if more come in. I’ve reminded one person to finish theirs and talked two other people hopefully into doing a list and am waiting on one guy that said he should have it done February 1.  So we will see.

Turned in my fiction exercise and my workshop piece.  I am  on pins and needles about the workshop piece–it’s the original short story version of Hurricane Baby and I hope I get some good feedback on it. We will see what happens.

Hope everyone has a good week and stays warm!

 

 

 

A Good Day

Today was a good day even though I am only going on about 3 hours sleep, if that. My mood was good though and we went out and got a third fur baby, a little 2.5 month old Havanese. We haven’t named her yet, she so cute and usually I come up with a name right away, but I think the lack of sleep is making that super difficult. I’m even having some problems typing. So this blog is going to be short.

So 1) No depression today

2) I went out!

Not too bad at all.

 

The Nudge

There is a lot of advice out there that are basically small things you can do that will give your life a little nudge into being healthier. The internet is full of ‘life hacks’ and quick tip guides and shortcuts to a better life. The premise is simple: do a handful of these little things […]

Could Emotions Trigger Allergies?

This is quite fascinating! Hmmm I’m going to try and see about my allergies which I developed when I moved out of Buffalo. Interesting, very interesting!

https://www.bphope.com/blog/could-emotions-trigger-allergies/

The intense emotions associated with bipolar may cause allergies to flare up.  Pinpointing a traumatic experience and talking it out may help.

Photo: PeopleImages/Getty Images

By Lynn Rae

For this blog post, I am going to take you back in time to the 1970s.  I am going to show you that allergies are really our emotions in disguise, in my experience.

I was a teenager.  I rebelled against authority, but only in small ways.  My mother still ruled and I was afraid of her wrath if I did anything wrong.  Smoking cigarettes was the cool thing to do at that time.  It began innocently enough for me.  I was only 12 and a friend came to our cottage with me.  I tried smoking, but couldn’t inhale.  But I was hooked.  I kept trying to smoke and I was going to learn to inhale.  By the time I was 16 I was smoking regularly, perhaps 2-8 cigarettes a day.

Then I met the man, who was to become my husband. He smoked a pack a day. By the time I was 19, I was smoking that much too.  I really don’t know why I enjoyed it so much.  It is only in the last few years I have come to understand that all my emotions went up in smoke.  I smoked when I was happy, sad, mad or glad.  I smoked to celebrate the beginning and end of the day.  I smoked on my coffee break and lunch hour from work.  If I was angry with my husband or some other family member, the first thing I did was reach for a cigarette.  With every inhale and exhale, my problems seemed to disappear.

By the time my son was 3, he was fascinated with cigarettes and the ashtray.  One thing I didn’t want was for him to become a smoker.  A hypocrite was something I was not!  I quit smoking in the spring of 1988 when I was pregnant with my daughter.  For three days, I lay on the couch in the fetal position having withdrawal.  It was tough, but I was determined to quit for my kids’ sake.  Exactly six weeks after I quit smoking, I was visiting a farm and my nose started running.  It wouldn’t stop.  I went through a box of tissues in 24 hours.  I went to see my doctor.  He said I had allergies.  I shook my head in disbelief.  How could this be?  I quit smoking to get healthy and this is what I get?  I took allergy pills and/or a needle for a few years.  Every time I walked by the perfume counter in a store I would start to sneeze.

Over a 15-year period my allergies eventually subsided.  I didn’t need to take medication for them anymore.  During this time, I was diagnosed with depression, then bipolar disorder.

This is when the real work on myself began.  I read over 200 self-help/motivational books, attending workshops and support groups, left my marriage and began to rebuild my life.

Since 2005 I have had very few problems with my allergies acting up.  Also by 2005, I had resolved every issue I had with people in my life to the best of my ability.  I knew that getting out of toxic relationships and/or jobs was the key to my well-being.  As a side effect, my allergies cleared up as well.

Fast forward to the summer of 2008.  I met a man and fell in love with him very quickly.  However, he was never available.  I didn’t want to believe he was married, but the signs were all there.  But there was something about this man that captivated me.  I wanted him more than I have ever wanted a man.  But all I got was the leftovers.

A few months later he was going away on business.  I told him when he got back he had to decide; it was her or me.  Finally, I had to accept that we would never be together.  When I tried to accept this fact, my sinuses started acting up.  I hadn’t been bothered by allergies for four years.  My nose just ran and ran and ran over a 24-hour period.  I couldn’t sleep, I was so stuffed up.  I tried working, but had to come home.  I could hardly breathe.  I took some over-the-counter medication, but it didn’t help.  I told my girlfriend how I was feeling.  She let me talk and talk and talk.  When I finally was all talked out, my allergies eased up.

Now fast forward to 2015.  I was slightly hypo-manic and decided to contact him.  I hadn’t thought about him in years, but for some reason I needed him again.  Once again, we started up a relationship.  However, by this time he had left his wife a year earlier.  Of course, I was daydreaming about how we would one day live together.  When, once again, I realized he was just using me, and my allergies acted up.   It was only when I could let him go that my sinuses cleared up again.  I have seen over and over again that when I am really upset about something, my nose gets stuffed up.

You see, when we smoke, we are smoking all our emotions away.  When I quit smoking in 1988 there was nowhere for my emotions to go because I didn’t know how to talk to people about what I was feeling.  We didn’t talk about problems in our family; problems got swept under the rug hopefully to be forgotten about and go away on their own.  It was only when I learned to talk about anything and everything that was bothering me that my allergies disappeared.  They only rear up once in a while, but don’t last for more than a day or two because I can usually pinpoint what the issue is and talk in out with a trusted friend.

If you are bothered by allergies, go back to when they started.  What triggered them?  Do you agree or disagree with my opinion about why we get allergies?

Irritated, Angry and Aggressive Bipolar Disorder

https://www.bphope.com/blog/irritated-angry-and-aggressive-bipolar-disorder/

My friend and fellow blogger, Julie Fast (info below) wrote this article. And it is truer than true. The intensity behind our anger, the strength, is unbelievable! And yes medications that control mood can be very helpful but sometimes, anger will slip by. Vigilance, behavior modification and medication are all needed to put this genie back into its bottle.

Unfortunately, aggressive irritation is, quite often, a symptom of bipolar disorder.

Aggressive irritation is a unfortunate symptom of bipolar disorder. It often comes with a down swing or a mixed episode where you’re manic and depressed at the same time.

We all experience irritation- that’s a normal part of life. Getting cut off on the free way- rude people- crowds and long lines at the supermarket can make us irritated. We may mutter under our breath and give a lot of dirty looks when we get in these situations.

Bipolar aggressive irritation is different- it has a lot of strength behind it. Instead of just getting irritated when we get cut off on the free way- we yell and scream, honk the horn and if it’s particularly bad- actually chase down the person with our car. Oh yes, this happens!

If someone is rude to a person in an aggressive irritated mood swing- they had better watch out- we may say, “What the @[email protected]#$#@ are you looking at! You have a problem with me!” And we will move in on them and practically growl.

Bipolar aggressive irritation is different– it has a lot of strength behind it

Some other signs of this aggressive irritation: throwing things- such as wanting to throw my $%#%% computer across the room when the internet won’t work!  Or feeling my head and neck jerk because I’m so angry at something.

This is NOT good stuff, but it’s common.

If you love someone with bipolar, especially a man in his 20s, this may be all too familiar.

Here is some good news. Medications can work wonders with irritation.  Then behavior modification has to become a part of life.

When I get irritated, angry and aggressive, I have learned to calm myself down- and at least stop myself before I take my aggression too far!

Julie

Julie A. Fast is the author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder, Get it Done When You’re Depressed and The Health Cards Treatment System for Bipolar Disorder. She is a columnist and blogger for BP Magazine and won the Mental Health America journalism award for the best mental health column in the US. Julie was also the recipient of the Eli Lily Reintegration award for her work in bipolar disorder advocacy. Julie is a bipolar disorder expert for the Dr.Oz and Oprah created site ShareCare. Julie is CEU certified and regularly trains health care professionals including psychiatric residents, social workers, therapists and general practitioners on bipolar disorder management skills. She was the original consultant for Claire Danes for the show Homeland and is on the mental health expert registry for People Magazine. She works as a coach for parents and partners of people with bipolar disorder. Julie is currently writing a book for children called Hortensia and the Magical Brain: Poems for Kids with Bipolar, Anxiety, Psychosis and Depression. You can find more about her work at www.www.JulieFast.com and www.BipolarHappens.com

Blizzard!

blizzard

It’s snowing like gangbusters here today and I’m on Hour 3 in front of my therapy light.  I may sit in front of it all day!!  I knew it was going to snow today and I planned to go to the rec center, but there is a layer of ice under the snow and apparently the roads are like a Demolition Derby.  Since I don’t have a helmet handy I think I will refrain from getting out.

The dust bunnies in my apartment are getting so advanced, they are developing personalities and daring me to try to vanquish them.  Today is kind of a perfect day to soapsud them to death, if only the angel on my shoulder would wake up and whisper some encouragement in my ear, I might get to work.  The devil on my other shoulder is alive and well and says it is all to overwhelming.  Ohhhh I get tired of being overwhelmed and I’m sick and tired of the dust!!  Sooner or later being sick and tired of being sick and tired will take over and I’ll get my shit together and clean up this joint.

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  “If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means, keep moving.”

We’re Going to Disney World!

Specifically, my oldest won a CULINARY INTERNSHIP to Disney World!  She will work there from June 4 to December 6 as an intern with the chance at a full-time job offer at the end of it.  We are all beyond excited about this opportunity for her to move into the culinary industry after she finishes her degree May 10.  She has time to be home and organize her life for the next chapter.

Even if she doesn’t get a full-time job there–the experience with them will be a great entrée to wherever else she might want to go.  So we are excited and happy and proud and will help her move and then enjoy the park ourselves for a couple of days while she settles in.  WE know the opportunity is the results of prayer and grace from God and are working to share that good news with as many people as we can.

In other news, our middle one is settling into her new internship in Georgia and seems to have made friends with the other interns so that is good.  The youngest has started school again and so have I, so we are rocking along together on course work and what not.  Soon we start the competition dance stuff and that will be not so much fun, but it is the way it is right now.

I have hit the halfway mark in January still sending stuff out to be published everyday. I doubt I can keep this up all year, but I will go as long as I can sending everything out I can.  Trying not to spend too much money submitting as well, looking for the free places to send and trying places that look hospitable for it.  We will see how this strategy works.

SO what big news do any of you have to kick off the start of a new year?  Feel free to share in the comments.