Tag Archives: Depression

Poem – ‘I am Full of Bees’

I am full of bees.

 

I am full of bees; every

cell of my being every

breath of my soul aches

 

and pains day and night

night and day ad infinitum.

Gravity is in league with

 

this illness; I’m pulled

down. Down towards the

centre, making my feet

 

heavy, dripping the atoms

that compose me, leaving

me heavy but with little

 

mass. And I’m tired; you

couldn’t even guess how

much I’m tired. I don’t

 

sleep. Never have. Mired

in that sinking sand I’ve

tried everything. Nothing

 

works. My opponent is

me; however the moods

make, take, me. I am

 

full of bees; each cell

buzzing with exhaustion,

creating a sea-swell of hell.

 

 


Tonight I Went To The Store

Tonight I went to Target with my husband and walked around the whole store.  I even asked someone for assistance.  Not a big deal for most but for me it’s a huge one!

I haven’t been out really except for a few walks with my husband so this was a pretty big deal.  I think no I know that I shocked him when I agreed to go.

My mood has been up and down and I’m still having a hard time finding things I enjoy doing but I’m going to keep trying.

I imagine that my shrink will be increasing my pristiq when I go see her and hopefully it will help.

One step at a time right?

 


Please Listen To My First Podcast!

Hi everyone and Happy Friday! Last Monday I recorded my first podcast with Dr. Katayune Kaeni.”Dr. Kat” is the host of the popular podcast Mom and Mind. She’s a psychologist & has lived experience in Perinatal Mental Health Training, Advocacy, Treatment, and Stigma Crushing!!! Dr. Kat was a wonderful and patient host. I couldn’t have asked … Continue reading Please Listen To My First Podcast!

Back In The Saddle Again

Well I am back in the groove of looking for a job.  I have contacted three people who had previously contacted me regarding jobs (I had said I had a job) and one of them so far would like to setup a phone interview for Monday.  YEAH!!  It’s not exactly what I want to do, but it’s a Security-related company, so it’s going in the right direction.

I’m still very, very down about this whole situation, and I slept like shit.  I got obsessed in the middle of the night with the idea of suing this contracting company for lost wages and pain and suffering, and I got so worked up that I had to get up for awhile.  Interrupted sleep is not good for us people with Bipolar, as you know, so I’m feeling a bit fragile today.  But I am determined to spend the day looking for another job, so I can go into the weekend feeling like I have some new irons in the fire.  UPDATE:  After a couple of hours, my willingness is flagging.  I have applied for *one* job.  Oh holy angels, help me!  I just tried to apply for a Desktop Support job, and when I got to a question about why I am uniquely qualified for the job, I just said “fuck it” and closed the window.  Should I start drinking now???

I don’t know why life is testing me like this, and why things can’t just be smooth, I guess it’s just how life goes sometimes.  But I am NOT joyful.  I need to just focus on moving on, NOT on suing the contracting company.  I don’t want to get caught up in all of that negativity and stress.  That’s just something my frustrated brain came up with in the middle of the night.  I think about Hustler, and how grateful I am that I didn’t get that job, and maybe someday I’ll be grateful that I didn’t get this job, because there’s something better out there for me.  That’s what I’m hoping for.

Hope you all had a good week.  Fall is here in Colorado, it’s supposed to get chilly and rain all weekend, bleh!  Peach out homies!  BPOF!


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar and Stress, Bipolar and Work, Bipolar Disorder, Psychology, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Blogging, Depression, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

Aggro-Morgue

Another lovely day in the dish. Construction going on, sirens, birds, traffic…All the things that ensure my aggravation and anxiety and I can’t escape. To top matters off, the midwest weather gods decided “almost fall? Hey, let’s crank it back to 97 with 60% humidity!” Even in air conditioning it’s pretty miserable. And I do live in a tin box with one window AC so going home is even worse than this shop. Plus, it’s dead so basically I just alternate watching Sons Of Anarchy with smoke breaks and talking to the stray cats that congregate next door.

Yesterday was going along fine…then enter R and it all went to shit. I asked for a few bucks to buy baggies to pack my kid’s lunch, gas, etc. He hands me this half shredded credit card and says it works. Only to find out at the store with several items it was declined repeatedly. The 97 degree heat and going home to a steaming hot trailer with a yapping child just amped up the aggravation. Spook starts acting out, then she’s so careless and hyper she dragged a basket of 2 week old kittens across the floor by a string and they came tumbling out. And rather than say “I’m so sorry, kitties, it was an accident!”…she starts crying because I called her out on being so careless and says I’m abusive (she’s thrown that abuse word out two days in a row now) and I don’t care for her.

I was furious, livid, disgusted. The other day she grabbed my hand, and I said ouch, cos I have those knuckles busted up from tearing down TV’s…I say ouch, she squeezes harder and starts laughing maniacally. I’m not a kid expert and maybe my anxiety and moods distort my perceptions sometimes but…there is something wrong with my child. Be it behavior or chemical, there is a problem. Maybe it’s in the early stages but her reactions are just…self serving or cruel. And she has enough friends around to give me a base idea on how others her age range react to things and even the devil kids pretend to be sorry when they do wrong. Mine doesn’t pretend, just goes defensive and it’s all poor her. Hours later she asked me why I was still upset and I asked, why am I upset, and she couldn’t come up with an answer except to launch into ‘you care more about cats than your kid!”.

I care about living creatures being injured, whether it’s accidental or on purpose. This does not mean I love her any less. But yeah, hurt feelings are trumped by four tiny little baby kitties who just got the equivalent of rolled in a car down a steep hill courtesy of Miss Rambunctious. But now, I even have to feel shitty for caring about animals because it apparently means I hurt my kid’s feelings.

I can’t breathe anymore with this kid. Love love love her, but she is like an ever tightening noose around my neck. And thing is, only a fraction of it is actually her. Most of it is just me burning the candle at both ends trying to survive and not let down a friend whose help we need. All this time in the dish, the noise, the stimuli, her obsession with her friends to the neglect of all else….It’s wearing me down. And the pms is making me downright snappy. To my credit, I’ve not even given her a swat on the butt. To my chagrin, I have said some harsh things or used a harsher than intended voice. I’ve apologized, of course, but my kid’s memory is good when it comes to being wronged. She still talks about a boy who hit her when she was 4. Daily guilt servings on top of everything else…

Feels like I am starting to unravel. I am trying to do mind over matter, stay upbeat, take a breather where I can, but…I’m basically a computer running on Windows 98 trying to function in a world running Win 7 or above. My hardware and software are incompatible and critical processes are incomplete, shutting down, frozen, overheating…

This was proven last night when R stopped by to give me a different card to use (this one mangled, too, but it worked) and the cashier had me prepay for fuel…My dumb ass drove off without even putting gas in the car! Worse, I went to Aldi, got some food, and was home 20 minutes before I even realized I hadn’t put gas in the car!!! Thank God for small towns so the cashier actually remembered me and helped make it right.

A mutual friend of mine and R’s just stopped in and started carrying on about how upset I made him when I was on the phone telling him about his customers’ complaints and wanting their deposits back…Then, per her norm, she backtracks and says she likes us both and nothing bad was said. Like I’d said something bad against him. All I am doing is relaying FACTS. People don’t want to wait six months for repairs, it’s basic common sense. Then she started in on Facebook this and that, Trump’s abolishing child support, Dollar Tree is closing…

Before panicking, I did a Google search. YES, these stories are out there. FACT TIME. They are all hoaxes from a site designed for people to generate their own news stories (react365,never trust anything stemming from it and if it’s on Facebook, triple check your facts!).

What I did find was an astounding number of Facebook pages with titles such as “child support is a joke”. And thousands of followers, all parents paying support and griping that they have to pay to support their kids. Are these people serious? If you’re paying too much, you had a shit lawyer. Have the state handle it and it stays at 20% of your income and stop your fucking whining. And all the “I pay but she won’t let me see my kid(s)” set…There are remedies for that too, so shut up.t

Just makes me remember the donor’s last girlfriend going around telling people how poor donor had to pay support and I haven’t let him see his daughter in 6 years, boo hoooo. Um…same address 8 years, he used to live there so he knows where it is. You want to see her, just show an interest. I am not one of those mom nazis who wants the money out of greed or spite. I have zero desire to keep her from her father. I have 100% desire to keep im away from me, but being an adult, I know realistically I will have to deal with him. I accept that. But I am NOT okay with false accusations. 6 years, not even a birthday card in the mail? Yeah, I’m the bad guy.

On the plus side, Nancy (the mutual friend) said I am falling apart worse than is and she said I should just take a break whether he likes it or not. So I’m not malingering, I am visibly a train wreck! Yay!

Ugh. This post went sideways fast. Oh, well. Welcome to living inside my head. It’s not pretty, is it?


Surviving College While Bipolar

I had two goes at college, and they were very different from each other, based on the state of my bipolar disorder at the time.

The first time I went to college, for my undergraduate degree, I was undiagnosed and unmedicated – except for self-medication. I was away from home for the first time – that was my first goal when choosing a college, being after a “geographical cure.” I ended up in the Ivy League, a scholarship student and a fish out of water. And profoundly depressed.

I did manage to hit the ground hiking, as the university sponsored backpacking trips led by juniors and seniors for entering students. We used to joke that it was meant to lose a few along the way, but really it was for orientation. Campfire chats about college life and the like.

On that hike through the Adirondacks, I met Caren, Roberta, and Cyndi, who instantly became my best friends and were my support system throughout the five years I spent there.

Yes, five, though only four of them were really at the university. After my first year, I took a year off. My depression had gotten so bad that I was given to sitting on the floor in the hallway, staring at a poster for hours at a time instead of sleeping. During my year away, I worked a dreary but educational job as an evening shift cashier at a restaurant. When I returned, I had a new major and the same old depression.

Oh, I did have fits of hypomania. I joined a sorority during one, though I deactivated later in a depressive downturn. And I went through the ups and downs exacerbated by several failed romances, including one total trainwreck.

The only help I got, aside from the support of my friends, was one brief therapy group at the campus mental health center and a brief stay at the university clinic, because of some suicidal ideation that my friends recognized.

Needless to say, I came out in no better mental shape than I went in, but I did manage to snag a B.A. degree. Now I feel that I missed a lot of opportunities along the way. It was just another occasion when I felt that my lack of mental health got in the way of what could have been a more productive time, as a well as a happier one. When I left college I was still almost as ill-prepared to function as when I went in.

By the next time I gave college a try, I was, if not mentally healthy, at least mentally healthier. And being back in the town I had been so eager to leave, I had a larger support system, now including a therapist, parents, close friends, and a husband. This time I had help.

I was still a mess, but less of one. With my depression lifting, I was able to teach introductory courses and manage my own course load. I remember my first semester teaching as a blaze of hypomania as I adored the subject and thought I was sweeping all the students along with my enthusiasm. Then one of the students gave me a bad review and I plunged again, never to recover that soaring sensation. I plodded through the next three semesters of teaching.

This time I came out with an M.A. and better job prospects. The day after I graduated I was working as a temporary editorial assistant, a job I kept for 17 years, moving up to editor along the way.

What did my experiences with college teach me (aside from modern poetry and how to swallow aspirin without water)?

  1. Making it through college is possible when you’re unmedicated and have minimal support, but I don’t recommend it.
  2.  Even with diagnosis, medication, and support, it’s still not easy. You know how hard it is to get out of bed and take a shower some days? Now think about going to a class on top of that, where your work will be critiqued. Taking a year off was one of the best things I ever did.
  3. Being bipolar isn’t your only identity, though it looms large in your life. I was also a student, a teacher, a friend, a daughter, a wife, a poet, a cashier, and so many other things. I may not have enjoyed them as I should, gotten as much from them as I could, but they were as much a part of me as bipolar was.

I can’t see myself at this point going back to college and getting a Ph.D. Which is not to say I’ve never considered it. But I like to think that, were I to try, this time I would have a better chance of getting through, sanity intact, with something more to show for it than a piece of paper to hang on the wall. This time, I tell myself, I wouldn’t let Bipolar Me take the experience away from Me.


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar type 2, college, depression, husband, hypomania, mental health, mental illness, mutual support, my experiences, poetry, support systems

It’s All On the Inside

I’m ramping up.

Fortunately, the only person who can tell is me. I still sit at the computer throughout much of the day, I don’t talk any faster than usual, and I haven’t been spending large amounts of money (well, I’ve been spending a little too much, but it’s for fun things like items for the trip and eating out). My room needs to be cleaned and there’s laundry to be done. But inside my head, there is boundless energy and my thoughts race constantly, making it difficult to go to sleep at night or concentrate on writing during the day. I feel like I could jog all the way to Texas and back…it’s my body that says “Nope”.

This is what a friend of mine calls “medicated mania”, and it’s totally normal for me at this time of the year. (Which is why I’m not worried about it—it almost always resolves on its own.) Early fall is optimistic; the leaves are turning to red and orange and yellow; there are Halloween decorations in the stores; days are still golden with sun and blue skies but there’s a nip in the morning air that wasn’t there a week ago. I notice the sharp decrease in the angle of the light, but it only makes me want to nest instead of causing me to feel depressed. I haven’t even started light therapy yet, even though it’s been cloudy and rainy for the past couple of days and this usually plunges me into a funk immediately.

Not that I’ll be shocked if/when my SAD does kick in, of course. That’s almost inevitable in the late fall and winter months. Thank God my family and I have a wonderful trip coming up in the middle of December. We have been waiting for it since August of last year, and now it’s only 84 days till the start of our vacation. Time is passing very quickly; it seems to me that the last four months of a given year go by as if it were four weeks. We can hardly wait!

Then there’s the fact that my second wedding anniversary without Will is coming up in a week. I am NOT looking forward to it, for obvious reasons. But this year, I’m remembering the good things…how exciting it was to be his bride, anticipating our wedding and being so in love it almost hurt. We were married in a public park, but I wore the traditional white dress and veil, and he wore a blue tuxedo (well, it was the beginning of the ’80s, what can I say?). Our minister was a good friend of ours who had a mail-order divinity degree and whom we paid in marijuana for performing the ceremony. The cake was homemade and looked it, we had people visiting the park who crashed the wedding, and even the tape recording our vows got tangled up in the middle of it and we lost the whole thing.

And it was the best. wedding. ever.

These are the good times I’m remembering now, instead of the sadness of the last few months of Will’s life and the brutality of his final hours. I’ve come to terms with the fact that he is gone and I’ve stopped looking for him around every corner. I still hate it that he isn’t here to celebrate our 37th anniversary. But I’ve come to accept it, and for my own peace of mind it’s better that way.

So here I am, with my mind saying GO while the body says NO. It’s OK though. What the heck, I’m enjoying life, and I know he would want that.

 

 

$5

I sign a lot of petitions on line. And a significant number of them, especially anything involving politics, always asks for a donation of at least $5. And honestly, it seems like such a paltry sum that any person should have on hand at any time.

Except, I don’t. My debit card is in the negative (service fees). I gave my last 40 cents to my kid so she could get milk with her sack lunch. I literally don’t have ANY cash. So that five dollars starts seeming like a lot Especially as the car nears the E mark.I realize I have no baggies to put my kid’s school lunch in, my bowls are missing their lids, the foil is running out. Five bucks. And at 44 with a small child, I don’t even have that much. By most city laws and probably the horrid Patriot act, having no cash on hand makes me a vagrant.

It’s disheartening. Especially since the donor gets to walk away, again, and not contribute to his daughter’s well being in any way and I still can’t even get a call back from public aid to get an explanation why a near three hundred dollar loss in income doesn’t warrant a raise in food benefits…It’s frustrating, maddening, stressful.

It’s also utterly isignificant in the big picture.

My sister texted me last night to tell me that her friend Randa’s boyfriend and small child hit a 17 year old head on in the fog…and the 17 year old was fine but, the man was killed instantly and the little girl was air lifted to a hospital and there was no word on if she was even going to make it.

Kind of puts that five dollar thing in perspective, don’t you think?

Society values money. Wealth, possessions, position. I will never be anything in the eyes of people with mentality like that.

What I am thinking of is the value to that little girl of losing her father that way. If she does make it, she has to live without a dad. Has to live knowing how she lost him, that she survived when he didn’t. Not even Trump’s money piles could equate with what was lost here.

Not that society gives a damn. They make the right sympathetic noises then go buy the latest thousand dollar iphone and a ten dollar coffee hybrid sludge drink and they don’t think about it again. My curse is that along with all the mood swingy anxiety financial crap that leads to sheer panic that I won’t be able to care for my child…

At least I am here to care for her. At least she is healthy and safe. Big picture, does it matter if I can’t toss down hundreds for a fancy phone (my $29.99 phone works just fine, thank you very much) or dress her to the nines in brand names or feed her pricey organic foods so I look like uber mom…

It doesn’t fucking matter. Yeah, you gotta provice certain things for children that require you spend money…End of the day…

The biggest gift is that we have each other and love may not conquer an empty fridge, but it goes a long way in making you fight to make sure it doesn’t stay empty.

That being said…a few days from now when I go splay again and start thinking of drinking the ‘special J-town Kool-Aid….remind me of this post. Perspective tends to get lost when your brain is rioting through mood swings.


Reblog – Suicidal prevention awareness month thoughts and review of 13 Reasons Why

Originally posted on NOT MY SECRET...overcoming the shame of sexual abuse:
Obvious trigger warnings* I was awake all night due to ongoing symptoms of the grand mal seizure and its after affects. I watched all 13 episodes of 13 Reasons Why. My daughter told me it was not anything like the book. I have…

SPLAT-terbrained

I was sailing along in neutral space (aside from the looming Reaper of Anxiety that borders on panic)…And from out of nowhere I went SPLAT. Total despair, depression, feeling hopeless. Nothing precipitated it. There was no trigger.

It’s the cycle.

Bipolar two is a special kind of evil. Insidious. Cruel. Unrelenting.

My anxiety increases with the sudden change in mental state (this is far more than a ‘low mood’, scumbag brain is sending out some pretty negative messages and I feel too weak to tune them out). A sense of foreboding lurks. Every sound seems amplified. Every tiny thing feels insurmountable.

And then I think of R working 2 jobs, and my dad rattling on about how he worked 80 hours last week and he’s 70 years old…

I feel like such a wimp. So pathetic. I know it’s the depression and anxiety filling my head with wrong messages. Maybe things are pretty rough right now, but things that didn’t register on my radar last week are suddenly running forefront this week as viable threats, potential threats, imminate threats…

I doubt the pms dysphoria is helping the situation.

You’d think as often as Splat happens, I’d be innoculated to how abruptly it comes on. Yet still, I am floored by how fast this hit me, from out of nowhere. I feel terrified and I am not sure of what. Maybe it was my kid asking if we were going to be homeless without child support. Maybe it’s because public aid still hasn’t called back about why my benefits didn’t increase when my income dropped nearly three hundred bucks due to missing child support. Perhaps it was even worsened when my sister texted me about their own dire situation, 2 weeks of nothing to eat but ramen. Dad and stepmonster refused to help them. I get when things are tough you take care of your own, and it’s asinine when my sister asks them to buy pricey cat supplies or household items. But for a father to not even offer up a package of meat to help feed his daughter and grandson…

I tossed them a four pound back of hamburger. I didn’t have it to spare, really, but family helps family. I will not become my father, stockpiling for my own sake, while my mom and sis and nephew go hungry. No matter how wigged out my brain is, I have kindness in my heart. I like to think (even naively) that karma comes around and one day when I or Spook need a hand, my sis and them will be willing to return the favor if they can. No way could I not do something, minor as it was. Not who I am.

Right now, who I am, is a woman feeling like emotional doomsday has arrived and every nerve ending is in flames and the Grim Reaper is at my door…It’s the disorders, but at the moment..

The disorders are kind of in control. It’s terrifying and yet it’s my reality. Lather, rinse, repeat.

“You’re fine.” says R.

“How are mood swings a disability?” said someone on a tv show.

“Deadbeats on food stamps and disability are taking all my money in taxes.” This, from my wonderful father.

I WANT to be fine.

But no amount of their guilt, denial, put downs- is going to change the fact that my brain is off kilter and it is disabling.

It’s scary times for those of us who have disabling disorders and need our disability income, our Medicare, our Medicaid, our prescription plans…Scary, hell, it’s horrifying. Maybe some of my anxiety and panic is warranted.

Does not explain how I went from feeling semi decent to suddenly feeling hopeless so abruptly. That’s all bipolar. The gift that keeps on taking. Like a vulture feasting on roadkill, this disorder is going to pick my bones clean one day.