Tag Archives: mental health

Home Sweet Home!!!

porch flowers

Glory Hallelujah I am in my new home!!!  The last time I wrote a post, I was on the verge of moving, and now, the move is complete!  The new place is better than I could have imagined!!  It is so nice, and I am SO GRATEFUL for it!!  I really feel like I “put in my time” in my little shithole for the past year and a half, making it work and even being grateful for it, because it was my own home, however humble.  I had somewhat made peace with the dirt and the noise, because I wasn’t going to let it drive me crazy.  But now here I am in a super-beautiful, super-spacious apartment (I’m in my STUDY writing this post right now!), and I’m just so blown away at how much better life can get!!!  Just a month ago, I was wondering if I was going to have to move in with my Mom and Dad, which was a dismal consideration.  Don’t get me wrong, Mom and Dad are great, but at almost 52 years old, moving in with Mom and Dad, even for the best of reasons, would be a real letdown.  Plus, I love living alone!!  My home is my refuge!!  And this new home is a REAL refuge!!

I now have a new couch (woooo!) – the old place didn’t have room for a couch, and I have a coffee table, boxspring, headboard and nightstand on the way.  Right now my mattress is on the floor because my previous bed broke when I moved out of my sister’s house a year and a half ago.  It’s exciting to buy new stuff and a little anxiety-provoking at the same time.  Any time I do some major spending, I get afraid that I’m manic.  But this has all been planned out, and I’m not leaving myself high and dry financially.  I’m still on solid ground.  And, I know I’m done spending on furniture now.  I’ve ordered what I needed to complete the place, and I’m done.  I have to admit, I wish I could buy a little more.  There is a little high that comes with getting new stuff.

Aside from hurting my back last week from irresponsibly lugging around some huge desktop computers, the job is going well.  I remain very grateful for my job, and I believe that I’m doing a good job.  The stability of having a job and a steady paycheck is doing wonders for me.  Even though I questioned whether or not I could work full-time, and I do find it exhausting, the structure and social interaction is good for me.  And financially it’s very good for me.

I feel like practicing gratitude is a very important part of my life now.  I believe it has helped me get to where I’m at, and that it will keep me going in a positive direction.  I’m going to keep focusing on being grateful for everything and everyone in my life.  Including YOU, my dear readers!!

I hope you are all well.  Please check in with me in the Comments below, will ya?  I love hearing from you!  Have a Happy Sunday!  Love, BPOF

The Futility Of A Depressive Existence

I am down the rabbit hole today and not sure why, other than monthly hormone fluctuations. I can’t blame the oppressive heat because it’s cooled off significantly. My kid isn’t channeling satan. My family has yet to darken my phone line or door step. Nothing traumatic has happened. Such are my mood cycles. The doctors always want a reason, a trigger, and sometimes…there isn’t one other than I HAVE A DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, duh.

I managed two trips to town this week. Needed to go in today for cat food but it will keep another day. I can’t seem to do two trips in a row anymore. Just too mentally taxing, all the activity, noise, people, colors. Sensory overload. July 4th, morning, anyway, I was feeling pretty good even though melting like the wicked witch. I wore a bra, I put on make up, we made a trip to town for some groceries. But then we came home and my kid had a friend over then proceeded to do nothing but yell at him and no amount of correcting her or standing her against the wall did any good. I didn’t really like dad and them sweeping my kid away for a cookout (which, FYI, I wasn’t invited to) and leaving me alone on the holiday because she’s my kid, not theirs, but I can’t punish Spook with my zero desire for social interaction. And also, I wasn’t invited. I don’t know why I keep mentioning that, I don’t know those people, met them once, but based on how they treat the little boy and the dog, I don’t much like them so it’s not like I wanted to go. I think it was just basically being excluded from being with my child, dismissed as it were, was very very rude of my dad’s faction.

But they brought her back early enough we set off some sparklers dad bought her then we were in bed before 11 pm. Party animals. The heat takes it out of me. When you’re running the window AC and five fans and the temp inside is still 89…pretty miserable, especially in 8 days stretches. Thursday we had a blissful day without any word from them, though I got hit with cramps from hell and was so tired, I could barely walk room to room. I just looked forward to bedtime. Which for someone who can’t stay asleep more than a couple of hours is just frustrating so if I am looking forward to nothing but that…my mental state is pretty bad.

I had one of *those* nights last night. Crashed by 10:30, woke in a half panic around 2:30 a.m. and my racing thoughts just wouldn’t let up. The more I thought about needing to sleep while I could cos soon my kid would be up just made me more stressed and that didn’t aid in sleep. I eventually took another melatonin and half a Xanax…only to still be awake at 5 a.m as the sky lightened and the stupid birds started in with their little “This is my branch, it is not your branch” sing songing. At some point I nodded off…and Spook woke me before 7:30. It’s going to be a long day. My body feels bruised and beaten, my mind feels tapped out and while she is behaving pretty well, Spook is wound for sound and making lots of gleeful noise. This on top of trash trucks, trains, and lawn mowers….half a Xanax time. Otherwise panxiety sets in and worse than plain old anxiety is when the paranoia piles on and you start feeling like the world is out to get you and something bad is going to happen. I try to avoid taking Xanax when I can, especially during the day lest it randomly make me sleep (99% of the time it doesn’t but a few times it has and I can’t risk it with my kid on the loose) so if I am taking a pill…I am borderline freaking out.

It just has gotten to a point where my existence feels futile because depression just never shuts up, never truly dies down or even recedes. And even worse, I ponder what ifs, as in, “Well, maybe it’s *this* existence, constantly struggling with money, overwhelmed by noise, bogged down with oppressive family members…So I let myself imagine another life, something without money worries, something a little glamorous and exciting, like being a celebrity loved by millions…And frankly, even that existence seems pretty futile to me. I don’t think I could handle the stimuli overload and I definitely could not spend my days being a bubbleheaded shopaholic and partying every night to the wee hours. Now if even someone else’s supposedly great existence feels futile to me…I’d hazard a guess that my depression is far from stabilized. And with the psych center’s staffing issues it doesn’t look positive that it will get straightened out any time soon.

So here I am in limbo, perpetually trying to find reasons to make life worthwhile other than my kid, cats and TV shows that occasionally make me happy. (REALLY into Cloak And Dagger, maybe because it taps into how powerless I feel and how I wish I had some superpower that could help me dig myself out of this depressive snakepit…Oh, wow, what an insult to snakes, they are beautiful creatures who wouldn’t stoop to hang out in a depressive pit.)

If I want to be fair, though, I did get a couple of very supportive, flattering comments on my blog this week and that did bring some measure of comfort and ‘keep spewing it’ fire in the belly. While less concerned that my grammar is not always kosher and I am typo queen…when someone says that I put into words thing they have thought but couldn’t articulate in such a dead on way…That was the entire point of starting this blog. We all struggle through this, feeling so lost, so alone, and just on occasion, we stumble on something like a random blog post that gives us hope (I envy writers who can stay on topic and not write novel length posts of rambling like I do, but this is me.) and it makes it all seem less futile and worthwhile.

For today, though…I guess it’s the rabbit hole and lurking panxiety ninjas and cramps and just feeling like drawing breath is too exhausting. The tides will shift. They always do. I just wish they’d shift to a more positive place and STAY there. I don’t want to feel this way. That anyone should have to feel this way sickens me. Living with this darkness in your own mind, no matter how hard you try and fight….It’s cruel and unusual and for so many of us, it is reality.

And reality bites.

Pseudo Functional

Been up since 7 a.m. waiting with a knotted gut and anxiety from hell because the landlord said he’d be by for his rent around 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. 2:23 p.m. and nada. Probably forgot or is waiting til the last minute which puts my plans on hold. I’d wanted to run into town for a few things today instead of waiting til tomorrow when helliday traffic will send me over the edge. I hate being beholden to other people’s idea of a ‘schedule’. It was so much easier paying the slumlord, at least he accepted debit cards and gave printed as well as book kept handwritten receipts. This new landlord tries to hit me with late fees for not paying by the first, there is gonna be hell to pay. He could’ve had his money Friday but nooo, paying early confuses him too much so he can’t keep his months and records straight. Which leaves me wasting gas trying to track him at home and calling, to no avail, only to reach him and be told he’d be by at a certain time and I put my life on hold and….GRRRR.

I know this probably doesn’t bother ‘normal’ people. But I’ve not paid my rent later than the third of the month in 10 years. It hangs over my head like an anvil. I need this done, for my peace of mind. And also, I never know when I am gonna lose the money order or the cat or kid might dump something on it. Nerve racking. Maybe my level of worry is neurotic but wanting to pay your rent on time like clockwork cannot possibly be considered a bad thing, ffs.

I was feeling decent this morning, raked the yard, picked up toys, pulled some weeds, even sat outside with my kid for bits and pieces. Which is misery due to my sinus drainage choking me to death inside and especially in the 80% humidity. Then I said screw it, the car needed gas and I needed out of the house and pacing nervously, so we went to the gas station…When we got back, I took my meds with a couple of pieces of beef jerky (it’s food!)…next thing I know, I am woozy, doubled over with stomach pains, running to the bathroom and trying not to hurl. Omg, this joy every single day in exchange for barely functioning? Yayness! Not.

I’m coming out the other side now that I’ve sat in front of the fan for awhile and let the nausea and gastro pain abate but I keep pacing, hoping to catch the landlord as he pulls up cos, yeah, that knock on the door thing freaks me out. Still salty that my plans had to be put on hold. And it’s not like we couldn’t run to town around 5 or so, stores we need are open til 9 or all night. I just need to get these lurking tasks off my plate so the anvil doesn’t remain dangling over my head.

I finally broke down and called the psych center yesterday about ya know, 5 weeks and no call telling me if I have a new doc or not. I am being shuffled to a new nurse practitioner cos the others are all booked taking on Dr. H and and Dr. B’s patient load after their departure. (Or word was I am such a pain in the ass they simply wouldn’t take me on, and I was a little relieved cos while nurse doc C was a truly sweet woman, she just missed every sign possible that my meds were what were making me act out and go stark raving mad with anxiety and panic.) Anyway, the new nurse is named Michelle but the soonest they can get me in is August 13th. Bloody hell! That’s technically only 10 weeks between appointments but I was told to come back in 4-6 weeks. It feels like I am treading water here when it could just take a 20mg increase in my Cymbalta to get me to a good place so they are robbing me of enjoying my summer with my kid with their scheduling issues.

I may look functional. That fools a lot of people. Out of bed and dressed? Feeding your kid, caring for them, paying your bills, keeping food in the fridge? Leaving the house? You’re super duper good!

Ugly truth about depression is that superficial functionality is necessary and sometimes I pull it off, sometimes I don’t. What bothers me so much is that for the doctor to consider me doing so well she didn’t change my dose…I haven’t bathed since Friday. (Yeah, disgusting, but hey, they make wet wipes and deodorant for a reason.) I have returned to my bedroom crypt, same as the trailer, because all the train noise and cars and farm machinery and lawnmowers are prevalent outside the living room windows and it was circuit overload. I need to feel safe and my dim crypt is my safe space. I’m not laying in bed all day crying, my kid is not neglected nor ignored, and I definitely laugh more now than say, 4 months ago…But this isn’t my idea of ‘fully functional.’

The misconception that depression means we’re all living in our pajamas under Fort Blankie, bawling our eyes out, 24-7, or otherwise we’re fine…Such rubbish. Depression manifests in so many different ways for all of us. For me, inability to focus on reading books or listen to music are soul killers as those are things that nourish my soul. Unfortunately, the depression demons don’t want my soul nourished, they want it underfed, puny, vulnerable, so they can keep chewing away piece by piece until I cease to exist except as a husk.

Someone noted that a lot of my posts seem very angry. And THEY TOTALLY ARE AND I TOTALLY DO NOT APOLOGIZE. If I spew all these vitriolic feelings here, then I am not at risk of going off on another person because I bottled it up til it explodes. I am bitter, I am pissed off, I am outraged about soooo many things. And by not beating down people and simply venting the venom here…I think I’ve found a healthy medium for myself to cope with all of the extreme emotions that come with bipolar disorder.

Honestly, just writing this post (and Xanax) have made me feel calmer, less knotted up inside, more lucid, and less angry. So if it works…I’m gonna stick with it.

Honestly, if I started to bottle up my venom I fear someone might try to milk me and sell it for a cure to snakebites without giving me a percentage. 😉

Swallowing Your Feelings Is Akin To Drinking Drain Cleaner

Last 2 days have been stress overload. Some triggered, some…my new life in Armpit near my overly stressful dad’s faction. But I find myself forcing down my feelings to the degree it feels like I may as well be downing shots of drain cleaner and waiting to keel over. I know that anxiety and depression often lend to irrational feelings that cause an overreaction but some things kind of warrant a reaction. In my current financial position, it’s an option I don’t often get to exercise because, geesh, I owe, I owe, family, landlord, upcoming school clothes and supplies. In another crushing blow today, I found out the local center that usually helps with summer cooling bills has no funds so they won’t be doing that this year and running the AC is gonna put us under to the point of disconnect. I’ve not gotten a disconnect notice in 7 years since the donor left us high and dry so this option simply isn’t desirable.

Yesterday one of the car windows wouldn’t roll up during a torrential downpour and my dad went off on me because I rolled the window down in the first place. It was broken when he gave me the damn car, works sometimes, sometimes doesn’t. He ordered me to use the AC instead of rolling down the windows but when the car gets hot so easily, that just seems bloody ignorant. On and on he went, lecturing me like some dumbass teenager, not hearing a word I said, and because I owe them I have to bite my tongue until there are so many tooth holes in it, you could strain spaghetti. I did thank my stepmonster for fixing the window (sort of, least it went up so I don’t have to drive around with a trash bag on the window) and not yelling at me…but then she went off on my kid for rolling the window down and said she was going to ‘beat her ass right in front of your mother.’ At that point, I DID speak up and said I got no problem grounding her, standing her in a corner, taking away TV and tablet…But NO, you are NOT gonna spank my kid, you redneck sadist.

We went to town today to try and pay rent. Landlord wasn’t home, won’t return my calls, so I sit here, nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, not knowing if he’s gonna pop in at some random point or charge me a late fee or…who knows what. My kid went into gasping “I want!” and complain mode while we were in town, sticking so close to me I tripped like 5 times and was at my breaking point. Got home only to get a call within moments that dad and crew were on their way to mow the lawn. Ya know, I’d like to think it’s because they care but he reminds me EVERY time that they’d get $50 per mow from everyone else. 6 years at the trailer they never once mowed my lawn. Then again, they hadn’t vouched with their good buddy that I’d be a good tenant. They care what this landlord thinks since they did vouch for me so they only mow it so I don’t make them look bad. Sound cynical? I wish it was.

Then my dad started in on how they are gonna be so busy the 4th cos they were invited to a hog roast, then to their neighbor lady’s soiree and Spook was, too, but…not me. I did nothing to these people! And hey, hanging out with redneck strangers may not be my cup of tea but this gloating how popular they are with the locals seems a lot like reminding me that I’m an outsider. Normally, I am fine with this. BUT they’re taking my kid from me on a holiday and they robbed me of saying no by asking in front of her and she wants to go cos other kids will be there so if I say no-and we can’t afford to do anything- then I am boring, mean mommy.

I am grateful for their help, the lawnwork, but damn, they just seem hellbent on making it clear my kid would rather be with them and I am not accepted here. And I can’t fathom what sadistic father would want to do that to his own daughter but then, some of the atrocities parents have perpetrated on their kids…guess mine is a lightweight. Still pisses me off.

But our errand into town is done, the mowing and family interacting is done, and now I just gotta wait for the landlord to ninja visit or call. (Will phones ever stop making me panic????) Oh, and of course, the wild card of dad visiting and by now I’m 1.5 mg in on Xanax so I’ll probably be perceived as too calm thus on something like booze or drugs. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh. Pre-spawn, I gave zero fucks. Now that I am in the position where she could be taken away from me even on rumor or wrong assumptions…Yeah, now I kind of care but I can control medication impact no more than I can control hypomania. It happens and compared to days of old…this is child’s play. Seroquel and TRazadone had me sleeping 14 hours a day and nursing a hangover the other ten so I was loopy as fuck. This is an improvement.

So much as I don’t like doing it…I am gonna mention our fundraiser again.

At least I have the decency to not feel good about asking strangers for help.

Half the time I wake up to 3 a.m. religious infomercials where some preacher is promising to plant seeds of hope for people who donate $15 or more. Some poor woman said she couldn’t spare it that month and he bullied her by saying, “If I offered to sell you my BMW for fifteen dollars, could you get it then?” She said probably, and he said, “See, it’s just the desire to want to do it.”

Fuck you if you’re a preacher and driving a BMW while begging your parishioners to give money that might just mean they don’t get their medication or groceries for a week. These ‘Godly’ folks are frauds, they are out for themselves, and worse, they do it in God’s name. THEY are the ones who should feel ashamed, not a single disabled mom with a small child. Unfortunately, the world is such an obscene place these days (and as far as TV preachers are concerned, always has been) so I’ll be the one called a fraud out to scam people when I drive a $450 car and wear clothes with rips and tears so I can make sure my kid doesn’t. Yep. I am the devil.

Just a share. $5. Whatever it takes to get us caught up.

You may not know us and you may think it’s a scam but you have 6 and a half years of my archives you can read and you will find only inconsistency of my stability mentally. My story has never changed because that’s how the truth is.

Realistic Self-Care

woman in white long sleeved shirt holding white ceramic mug

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

I hate articles about self-care for mental illness such as the one I saw recently that said:

…[W]ays I practice self-care include swimming and Pilates, getting regular massages, spending time with friends and family, since staying connected is an essential part of emotional health at every age, watching TV, and seeing movies. I also love going for walks, especially near Santa Monica beach, and reading or listening to books.

If I could do all those things, I wouldn’t need self-care! When I’m depressed or anxious, I cannot make myself swim or exercise, or even get out of bed and shower at times, which lets out going to the movies and spending time with friends, too. I can maybe read a book or listen to a podcast if I’m not too twitchy and if my attention span and concentration will cooperate. And I can sit on the sofa and watch TV, but that feels like uselessness, not self-care.

Plus, guess what? A lot of those activities cost money.  Massages, movies, exercise classes (for which you need exercise clothes), and swimming (for which you need a swimsuit) would all require “shopping therapy,” which I loathe IRL and can’t afford online.

I personally would love a massage, but that’s not self-care for everyone. As Emily Roberts points out in “Self-Care for Mental Health: Find Ways That Work for You”:

The myth of a massage as an essential self-care activity – or anything that makes you more anxious – isn’t helpful for your mental health. I didn’t listen to my body the first time I booked a massage and guess what? It was so triggering to my body I couldn’t even finish it….I started to cry and couldn’t compose myself 10 minutes into the appointment. I was embarrassed and confused. I thought, “This stuff works for all the people in the magazines. What is wrong with me?”

I decided that booking an extra appointment with my therapist and having a date with my best friend was more helpful as self-care for my mental health than pushing myself to practice self-care in the way the media was telling me to.

One person’s mani-pedi can be another’s nightmare. I much prefer small ideas for self-care rather than big expeditions or splurges. For me, comfort food is one form of self-care. It has to be something I can make easily, though, like frozen mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, or French bread pizzas. (The microwave is my friend.)

Of course, these comforts require a little planning when I’m not overwhelmed to the point that I need self-care to restore me. I must think ahead, during those times when I’m able to go to the store, to bring home the foods that are easy to make yet soothing.

Another self-care technique I came across is definitely more my speed. Caiti Gearsbeck, in “Make Your Own Mental Health Self Care Kit” offers a simple, DIY alternative. She recommends filling a shoebox or other box with soothing things that appeal to all five senses, plus a few activities. Here are a few of her examples:

Sight: photos, cards, and letters

Smell: essential oils or candles

Taste: chocolate or tea

Sound: meditation CD or an mp3 player with a playlist

Touch: soft cloth or stuffed animal, stress ball or fidget cube

Activities: coloring books and pencils, a journal, a favorite movie

She adds: Whatever works for you!

For me, that box would contain photos, Irish Spring soap, oolong tea, an mp3 player, a stuffed animal (I have lots to choose from), and a CD of The Mikado. I’d need a cat in the box, too. But given the nature of cats, there would probably be one in there anyway, whether I wanted it or not. All of that is stuff I have around the house, unless I’m out of Irish Spring or oolong. Add a quiet room like the bedroom or my study and I’m all set. At least until I can afford a massage.

 

References

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/millennial/2017/10/make-your-own-mental-health-self-care-kit/

https://www.jwi.org/articles/mental-health-and-self-care

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2018/5/self-care-for-mental-health-find-ways-that-work-for-you

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How Rapic Cycling Screws Up Your Life

For many, many years I had a crap shrink who saw me once every 3 months and gave zero credence to what the therapists told him about how they’d witnessed me go from depressed to manic to depressed, in a week. He labeled me as “dysthymic” and shoved anti-depressants down my gullet. Which is possibly the WORST thing you can do for someone who is bipolar. He was basically treating me to a year round cycle of even more rapid cycling because with no mood stabilizer, the antidepressants made me go full on manic or hypomanic. He was a douche. It took 16 years to find a doctor who actually nailed the diagnosis of bipolar 2 because I do have more lows than highs. Once she put me on mood stabilizers, life got a little easier.

A little.

But as is typical for me during summer months, I am rapic cycling through ups and hypo manic episodes at breakneck speed. The now-departing shrink said she wasn’t worried about it because of the mood stabilizers, but hey, guess what? Rapic cycling during these months has always been my norm. They are so gung ho on their stupid cocktails they cannot be convinced it’s not a cure-all for these symptoms and cycling.

Today has been a roller coaster. I woke before 5 a.m., could not get back to sleep, so I paid some bills on line and the phone, all the while cussing my internet provider for making it too damn confusing to pay on line thus making me use the hated phone. (I love my Droid for everything BUT making calls, go figure.) I forcded myself to bathe and put on clean clothes. I woke my kid up so we could get to town to pay the power bill on time and also, to avoid the extreme temperatures we’re now having. In town, I was okay, though traffic did miff me, people drive like maniacs.

Then we got home, carried stuff in, and I took my meds. Now, I’d had food an hour or so before, so I didn’t blink. And then I got so nauseous, my head started to hurt, I was woozy and dizzy…And that crack of dawn waking thing has me dragging ass. SPLAT. So I had corndogs for lunch and that took care of the nausea but now I have heartburn and it bloody hurts. I’d take a Pepcid but it’s so damn hot, I can’t breathe in the curtained off room. Thankfully the AC and fans are keeping the other rooms bearable.

From Splat I’ve gone to spinning mind and rabid paranoia and anxiety. We had a storm last night and it blew down an enorous tree branch (miss the glass patio table by an inch!) and I of course asked my dad if they could appear at some point this weekend to haul it off and trim the branches that are growing into the power lines, messing with our electricity, making it flicker. The landlord was supposed to take care of it weeks ago, but I figure he’s not being a total dick about the rest of his security deposit so I shouldn’t be too fussy about his lack of memory, he is 78. I digress…Dad and his woman have access to a chainsaw and they have pick ups to haul away yard debris like huge ass tree limbs so asking them is painful but necessary. I did manage to detangle it from the chairs and stuff it crashed on and drag the enormous thing to the front yard where they can easily dismantle it with their power toolsy stuff. (I’m not into chainsaws, mowers, weed whackers, that shit terrifies me and as clumsy as I am..NOPE.)

Now…downside…They never call before they show up so I am on pins and needles just waiting for them to appear out of nowhere and assault my sensitivities to sound with roaring power tools. And the house is kind of a mess which they will be uber critical about, reminding me they vouched for me with the landlord, but ya know what? Unfolded laundry, unmopped floors, and the vaccuum that spits out more than it picks up aren’t high on my priority list when the humidity is so thick even inside with air I am having trouble breathing with allergies and sinus problems. It can wait til night time when it cools down. I am not risking more med nausea by doing all this stuff in the heat and humidity, which of course you’re super sensitive to on mood stabilizers and you can dehydrate and overheat and get very ill, very quickly. Especially in my “will the meds make me sick or not today” lottery lifestyle.

I despise people who refuse to give me a heads up before they darken my doorstep. Is a 30 second “on the way” call really that inconvenient? In polite society, I think it’s looked upon with fondness. But rednecks like dad and stepmonster and my brother aren’t quite polite society, their way or fuck you. Yet they gripe when people knock on their door before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Hypocrite much? This anxiety makes me feel frozen in place, like if I even walk to the other room, they’re gonna coming barging into the door. And if my dad sees me hypo, he will be sniffing me for alcohol smell and ranting because he’s too damned ignorant to understand mania and bipolar. (Yet my brother’s on meds for the same and it’s ok, because his disorder manifested less as manic and more as aggressive anger tirades and god knows, society loves them some anger, way more appropriate than tears or depression or mania.)

I think it may be time to bite the bullet and go to therapy. Obviously the revolving door of shrinks at the psych center isn’t going to help me much to gain stability and learn how to manage the constant anxiety that these people cause me. But then comes that terror that I will end up with R’s daughter Ursula as a counselor and while my nephew’s fiance things Ursula is a great therapist and she likes her a lot….I used to babysit Ursula and I have witnessed how many of her own issues she has and won’t own and I’ve seen the lack of empathy she has for the mentally disabled (sanity challenged a better term?) They just assign you a counselor, you get no say in it, and you ask to change, they take that as non compliance because obviously, the therapist gave you a diagnosis you didn’t like and want to try someone who might see things your way. That is the place’s mentality. And it’s no longer counseling center, it’s ‘behavioral health’ and I loathe that term as much as I despise the overuse of stupid trendy terms like “Creating a narrative” and “Your brand could be bigger if you used social media”. Brand? Seriously? I’m a person, not tennis shoes or a can of corn.

I don’t need a counselor to agree with my every (fucked up) thought but I do need them to be supportive, non critical, and HELP me sort through the constant garbage in, garbage out cycle of mind. And I definitely need to learn some assertion skills (never used to be an issue when I wasn’t on mood stabilizers, I pretty much told people to bite me at every turn, including a boss or two.) Now I am 45 and live in terror of my father and his crew. Not cool, not normal, not healthy. I was never a daddy’s girl, I don’t much care what he thinks of me, but since they helped us out so much during the move and with furniture and such…I guess I feel beholden to keep the peace and not rock the boat. And that, too, sickens me, because that was always the donor’s mentality. Some old lady in a restaurant assumed I was pregnant again when Spook was two weeks old. Rather than be classy and say something like, “She dropped 20 pounds already, I think she looks great for just having a baby.” Nope. ‘Consider the source.” “Ignore it.” “Don’t rock the boat.” And that I have become that spineless and pathetic really makes me want to stab my eyes out with a metal Spork and let Spook beat me with a Z-Whacker. This is NOT me.

Can you tell from my rant and topic bouncing how hypomanic my mind is right now? And this is fully medicated.

Sadly, a hypo manic brain does not equal a productive mental state and the anxiety is paralyzing me. My ear itches from the fan blowing my hair and I think, ermygod, someone is talking about me!!! (Damn you, momby, for instilling such stupid superstitions in my head, even if I think they’re bogus, I still get panicky.)

Breathe, Morgue, breathe.

So walking on eggshells made out of busted Faberge knock offs it is.

Be a great time for a power nap but I can’t do that with the spawn loose and the sun reminding me it’s not sleepy time. But sleep has always been the best way to reboot my brain’s OS, so to speak, and I usually wake up in a better, or different, mind frame.

The sleep disturbance is gonna drive me mad. It’s not that I require a lot, I just don’t like seeing the hour 5a.m. unless I’ve been up all night. I can sleep from 8am to 11 am and run the whole day and night just fine. Anything before 7 a.m., I’m fairly useless.

6 hours of uninterrupted sleep has become my fantasy. That and owning a Dodge Challenger or Hellcat, and I am fairly sure neither is going to happen.

Damn rapic cycling to hell.

Side Effects Of Bipolar Disorder, Depression, And Anxiety

I have spent much time bemoaning horrid side effects from certain psychiatric medications, and I have also posted many times about how my disorders impact my daily functionality. What I haven’t really given voice to is side effects of the disorders themselves. Now most will call these symptoms and that is true enough, but a side effect is generally something negative that stems from a medication or illness and mental disorders aren’t excluded.

For me, I am reminded ten times a day of how these side effects limit my functionality or impact the simplest things in my life-even things I enjoy.

Watching a movie? Forget it. I can’t stay focused or sit still because my racing thoughts and anxiety distract me.And the on screen action can set me into a panic so…I focus on 20-40 minute TV shows and half the time, I don’t get through those without hitting pause two or three times and it’s not always momming duties that interrupt. Sometimes, sitting still is the enemy even I just need to go outside for a moment or refresh my water with some ice. For what most consider a ‘sedentary’ life, I am actually pretty active.

Music? Stimulates me way too much, haven’t been able to truly enjoy it a long, long time, and I’ve lamented to the shrinks ad nauseum, they don’t care. The one thing that’s always carried me through the worst depressions and anxiety is no longer something I can enjoy..and it’s nothing to them.

A meal out in public (if I could afford it)? NOPE. Too many people, too much noise. Hell, I start panicking at gas stations just waiting line and hearing the beep beep beep indicating a car needs authorization to pump gas. (Soo much respect for the people who can do that job.)

Human interaction even in small numbers? Unpleasant enough to make me desire it very little.

Housework? Goes way beyond “I hate doing it” or “I’m lazy”. Just getting out of bed can be a struggle so that mountain to scale for motivation to do what will just need done again in a day or two? Nil.

Writing? I can’t stay on topic. I ramble, I rant, I am typo queen and I feel possessed by demons to simply get it all out before I lose what little train of thought I have or get interrupted. So the ONE thing I have ever been even half decent doing is also crushed by the side effects of my disorder (and an unmedicated ADD situation, but insurance won’t pay for Focalin and I can’t, and oh, my multitude of doctors can’t agree if I need it or if it’s all artifact of my disorders.)

Dating? Ha ha ha ha. I panic when a man even smiles at me the ‘wrong’ way. I am polite but I am distant and aloof and uh, well awkward as hell because panic causes cold sweat to drench my sides and my heart pounds and I just become non functional.

Creativity? Oh,wow,before mood stabilizers, during the mega manic episodes, I was mad creative. I was practically a crafts addict with the hot glue, glitter glue, etc. The depression would wipe it out, but I knew it’d be back eventually…Without manic episodes thanks to mood stabilizers and a wandering, festering mind…I got nothing. Ideas galore but no semblance of order to bring it to fruition.

Work? Meltdowns every single place in less than a year, always had to take time off with a doctor’s note due to my mental problems plus an incident with a med and delay of treatment which damaged my brain so I won my disability claim but…man, it’s a hubcap sized, bitter pill to swallow. I try not to be too hard on myself because hey, got plenty of people who do that for me…But for someone who went to work at 16 and has fought her whole life to be independent and not reliant on others…It stings.

With all of this working against me, I still manage to raise my kid, alone, and keep her clean and clothed and fed and she’s a happy, bright girl. I just wish she had a happy mommy but my version of happy is simple contentment and with a brain in a constant cyclone…contentment and I are not well acquainted.

Mental health disorders are the gag gift that keeps on taking and rarely gives anything. Not enough a good giggle.

People-ing Is Bad For My Mental Health

So, yeah, Webster’s probably won’t be adding the term ‘people-ing’ as a verb any time soon, but I am so sick of using the word ‘socializing’, I need a new term for human interaction. Besides, my aversion to human interaction has little to do with disliking people and everything to do with how easily overwhelmed I am with motion, colors, sounds, and of course, the expectation to behave a certain way that is ‘acceptable’. Which is likely why I am so comfortable on the internet (to an extent, I still can’t seem to bring myself to do forums or chat). I can control my interaction, my intake of stimuli, and I never have to beg out and escape or hint that it’s time for someone to go lest I start panicking and screaming curse words in said panic. When everything overwhelms you, this semblance of control becomes crucial. Maybe the professionals deem it a disorder or avoidance behavior but um…I’ve learned the professionals are wrong about 80% of mental health issues because they are so focused on their books and ‘the norm’, they forget…we’re all inviduals, unique in our experiences and brain chemistry so what might be unhealthy avoidance for one person may just be what someone like me needs.

I’ve been struggling with free floating anxiety since moving to Armpit and mostly, I thought it was living in proximity to my dad’s factiion and the incessant unannounced annoying drop ins by my brother. Then there was a knock at the door today, two kids wanting to hang with Spook, and it hit me…The anxiety skyrocketed even then because…people-ing. I may have minimal interaction with these kids but then again, the minute they start bickering, I have to engage and be the bad guy and frankly, it sucks. People-ing, not my forte. I doubt it would be a big deal were I in a good mental space. But alas, I’m not *there* yet. Anxiety quickly steamrolls me to panic which is when I start feeling like I’m playing Frogger only I am the bloody frog. (In case anyone wonders, I am NOT British, but I’ve taken to using the word ‘bloody’ because honestly, my go to is ‘fuck’ and it’s probably not something to be teaching kids, they’ll learn it by 5th grade.) Being vulnerable, or feeling that way, just sends me into a tailspin.

But kids are noise and noise sets me off so it’s just something I have to deal with. To me, it makes perfect sense that I’d avoid circuit overload by limiting my own interaction with others. Besides which, so few people understand mental health issues here and it’s the ‘get over it’ sheeple thinking, so there’s little desire for me to go there. If I want bullied, I can do it myself or call my family. I know based on past experience, I will eventually be in a space, albeit briefly, where I may seek out people-ing. But then again, I base a lot of that on a safe space to live in, which Armpit, near my dad, is not, and also, so much noise overload by my kid and her friends, I just feel like I have little left to give, especially to people who don’t understand I am trying my hardest here to live with my disorders and overcome them. Not gonna give me an E for effort, I’m not gonna give you what little mental resources I have left. Simple as that.

So between the trip to town the other day, stores, traffic, my brother’s constant pop ins, and my kid’s active social life, not to mention her projectile vomiting 6 times last night all over the couch, bed, bedding, stuffed animals, and the wall resulting in great worry (tummy ache and spew could be appendix rupturing, PANIC!)…People-ing is what does me in. Internet interaction keeps me ‘connected’ to others via a wireless or corded tether and meets my needs right now as it has for many, many years. As my kid gets older and less needy (I pray to the pegacorn gods), maybe I will be less overwhelmed and more into people-ing.

Until then…my internet tether is just fine with me.

Unless this net neutrality repeal thing isn’t killed off, then I’m likely gonna be forced to pay for sites like wordpress and will be subjected to whatever political affiliations my provider believes in without access to opposite information.

The horror! I might be forced to start people-ing with the yokels. And I simply don’t subscribe to the church of denim and flannel and tractors.

And I’m also not big on the mentalithy-spearheaded by my own father- that people with mental issues on disability are just lazy leaches.

Ignorance is toxic and I avoid toxic people best I can. In his case, law should require him to be slapped with a ‘biohazard’ symbol for his views on mental health. Him and a few million others…

Bad Juju Wednesday

I’m at a loss to explain my current dark mental space but it is disconcerting to say the least. The free floating anxiety, bits of paranoia, (had to steel myself just to check the mail box, jump every time there’s a phone alert or knock on the door) and just feeling hopeless and down in general. Perhaps I just had too much interaction with others yesterday after the trip to town and melting down in traffic (I swear everything moves so fast in town, it’s like I’ve forgotten how to properly drive and my brain simply can’t keep up with all the motion thus throwing me into a panic and meltdown) and of course, I had a brief interaction with dad’s entire faction and he said a couple of things that irked me because hey, I am 45 years old, mind your own damn business, old man. It’s like, if my mood is too low, he says I am glaring and grumpy, but if my mood is ‘up’ then obviously, I must be drunk or on something. And his inability to grasp bipolar ups and downs and hypomanic bouts isn’t my problem, it’s his.

Grrr. I don’t like the ‘come downs’ after you have a good mental space or hypo bursts. I especially hate the aftermath of too much ‘people-ing’.

It’s just going to be a bad mental juju day and best I can do is get through it. I’m getting a little break for now as Spook went with her uncle, some bike riding and sharpening mower blade redneck hootenany, IDK. She spent the whole morning fussing that her belly hurt and she felt nauseous, then he shows up and miraculously she feels better. I let it be her choice though I am wondering if that was a good mom move. Being out in heat and humidity when you’re already feeling icky isn’t a wise choice. But it’s pick my battles to avoid drama so for better or worse, she made the choice so she couldn’t have been too direly ill. When I don’t feel well, the last thing I want is to be around people and be active. Maybe people-ing is her therapy, Idk.

I just want this day to be over with so I can seek solace in sleep. Getting up in the mornings is getting harder and harder and it’s usually not like that during summer *if* the meds are working properly. Winter, sure, snooze button psychosis is my norm. Summer I usually wake up feeling decent and want to get up. Laying in bed awake an hour after waking…this is an anomaly. I was just hit with so much anxiety and tight chested rising panic, I guess lolling in bed was my way of working through it without making my kid witness how wonky mom is today. And there’s always that eternal hope thing that hey maybe I can fall back to sleep and wake up in a better frame of mind.

On a final note…I am so thankful for pharmacists because with my numeric dyslexia, I’d prbably get the wrong medication and die. I was reading off the RX numbers and one of them came up under someone else’s name and it was because I got the last 4 numbers all mixed up-looking right at the damn bottle. Numbers have become my nemesis. I have little problem misreading words, but numbers get all mixed up and it’s like swiss cheese has replace the part of my brain that deals with number sequences. Not an excuse, but this is a very real daily struggle for me and it could have dire consequences. It also means pretty much all work I have a background in is not feasible should I ever reach the magical stable point. If I can’t read off a 7 digit number accurately, I’m never going to be able to work a cash register or order stock or any of the things I am trained for.

I’d like to blame my current med regime or stress but the numeric dyslexia has been a huge problem for many years now. It lead to a great deal of frustration when dealing with R and often getting number sequences wrong so the wrong part was ordered. He basically accused me of doing it on purpose, being a flake, being lazy.

I wish that was true, then I could fix the problem. Unfortunately, once your brain becomes swiss cheese, it ceases to be something you can fix and becomes something you just have to deal with and pray doesn’t result in some catastrophic event. Like getting the wrong prescription. Hats off to pharmacists for keeping me from hurting myself inadvertently with my numeric dyslexia.