Tag Archives: sanity

Madness

However much I improve, however much I remain stable, I’m still balancing on the edge of madness. So much so that I feel, even with a smile on my face, that balance could be tilted and into the mire I slip.

There’s no doubt I’m so much better now than I was all my life until the climb began a couple of years ago. While therapy did little except drag up tons of old stuff (childhood issues, physical and psychological abuse) that was then left to fester un-dealt with, the meds – currently 550mg Quetiapine, 20mg fluoxetine – have clipped the ends of my mood swings. There’s been no obvious hypomania for quite a while now, no deep low. My sleep is still almost as bad as ever and decades have passed since I slept right through the night – if indeed I ever did so.

Anxiety is always there to some degree; it’s the main symptom of my ultradian bipolar that hangs around stubbornly poking a long stick at me. The OCD, while a nuisance and often unpleasant, is mild and I can handle it.

I’ve had to live with this my whole life – I don’t just have bipolar, I am it – and as the saying goes, I’ve survived every bad day I’ve ever had. I’m still here.

But I’m still doggedly hanging onto sanity. Those claws could slip any moment making me fall into madness.

I call it (but only to myself) the other one. That other me sharing my body but lurking in the shadows rather than being out here with Me. The one in the mirror sometimes. Dissociation is something else I’ve always had; I can remember it in existence as a child. I’m uncertain whether the other one wants to choose madness. I think we always opt for survival, and bipolar suicidal ideation I believe to be little about actually wanting to die but rather, wanting to be free. To be whole, to be well. Whatever that is.

On the edge of madness, 24/7. Fighting a range of battles, physical and psychic. It’s quite the balancing act. Sanity is winning a struggle against ‘inner demons’ or the other one. Always teetering, always throwing one’s weight in the direction of self.

 


Inaccessible

I am a bit of a wreck right now.

Why? Because I had to try to use a phone. I… I really, really, really don’t get on with phones, and I haven’t since about 2002. It gets worse with each passing year, so I just don’t. I think it’s primarily an ADHD thing, ’cause like, I can’t see what they’re saying so I can’t try to connect the sounds up properly. Even being able to do that on say, Skype, is really hard for me. We generally always have captions on the television because otherwise I have a hard time following along there.

Oh but you’re in a different country from where you came from and…

Yeah, but I’ve been here for eight and a half years. I’m used to the various British accents. If anything, Americans sound kind of vulgar to me if I don’t already know them. That probably makes me sound snobby, doesn’t it. I guess it’s more that it just sounds weird when I’m used to hearing other on the daily. I don’t find it hard to listen to accents, to include on the phone. But I do find it stressful when they can’t understand me for having an American accent when my anxiety levels for phone usage are so high as to make me physically ill.

Terrible <3

Terrible <3

And that’s the thing — I felt that I had to make a phone call today. Even after five attempts to find and call the right number for my purposes, I was shaking viciously and trying to not start sobbing. And then the little one was being annoying and it was making me stress harder, and I just… ugh. In the end, my best-husband completed the phone call for me, even though it’s just about as hard for him, and he’s got a stutter to boot.

So why did I feel the need to use the phone? Because I hadn’t heard shit from my psych in ages, and haven’t had an appointment since Mid-September. Yeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, let that sink in. Mid September. When I had been put on an upgraded dose of a new medication (the first one that has given me serious side effects). Mid September, when I reported having minor hallucinations when I don’t have hallucinations as a general rule of thumb.I was also waiting to hear more on my psych’s attempt to get me the ADHD referral I want and need, so yanno… didn’t expect it to take so long.

I was terrified that I had fallen out of the system, if I’m honest. I had been dropped back in 2011 because someone recorded me as not in attendance of an appointment I was assuredly in attendance of. That ended with a ‘diagnosis’ of anxious personality and it took me a year to try again. We also moved last year, and I know that my address wasn’t correct in all places; though I watched my doctor correct it, I was still worried. While I don’t have to worry about fighting for refills and all my prescriptions are on repeat, it’s still only so far without having my doctor in the picture to make sure we’re doing the best course of treatment at the right time.

The long and the short is that my husband was able to get in touch with my psychiatrist’s secretary (ironically, the first number I tried and couldn’t get through on). She confirmed our address, and said that she was going to send an appointment card. I will believe it when I see it, but I am feeling a bit better about that much, at least. I’m still a wreck for having to try to use a phone.

‘Call me if you need anything,’ my doctor has said many times. And I’ve had to explain many times that no, using a phone is stressful for me and makes me iller. I know that to be true of many of my friends; even the ‘healthy’ ones have expressed a preference for text-based communications. I keep meaning to ask her for her email address, but I don’t know if that would be too far. I mean, surely, she has one for work issues. Hopefully I’ll remember whenever the appointment occurs… and hopefully, sooner rather than later. Appointments tend to be 2-3 months after the card comes through, which of course has added further concern and stress to my waiting. Fingers crossed, eh?

And now, I direly need a coffee or something of the like. Caffeine cures all wounds, right? Hope y’all are having a better day of it all!

<3

 

((I should add as an aside that I generally love the NHS, and blame the vast majority of its current flaws on the current government being such a nasty shitshow of rich boys sucking off their rich friends rather than strengthening the social safety net))

Always the Way

Yanno, if there was one thing I sincerely wish that my brain would quit doing before medical appointments, it would be that it quit catastrophising and insisting that everything is going to go to hell. I can sort of understand why it still does it; I didn’t have any practical experience as a patient until I moved here 8 years and change ago, and it took me a couple of false starts to get into the mental health services properly. So in that, my brain is still having to recondition itself to expect better.

So of course, we were late. My husband and I have differing ideas on what constitutes on time. I was raised on the idea that if you weren’t 15 minutes early, you were late, while he is excellent at arriving promptly. To adjust to this, I quit paying attention to time when it comes to getting to appointments, and therefore was surprised to find out we were late. It was only a few minutes though and didn’t interfere with the appointment thankfully. I was pleased that I took this all calmly and didn’t have any sort of angry or anxious reaction. It goes to show that some progress has certainly occurred in my ability to cope with things.

It also meant that I got confirmation while we were waiting that I was indeed due to see Dr. K. I generally like Dr. Z as well, but because my moods haven’t been stable, seeing him would have disrupted the work that I’ve been doing with Dr. K towards euthymia (not that I think I’m ever going to reach it, but that’s another thing). Like, if I’m doing mainly fine, I’m happy to sit with Dr. Z and his students, because I know my case and my background gives medical students a better idea of how to deal with and treat people from other countries. For example, my local area has a high American and Italian population. Both populations speak significantly faster than the native British and immigrant Asian populations, and therefore the latter pair need to be aware that our fast-speaking ways is not necessarily a sign of pressured speech and/or hypo/mania.

So yes, was back in with Dr. K. She apologised profusely because she’s been covering for so many people over the summer that she’s not gotten back to my ADHD stuff. She wants to make very sure she has it as pinned down and perfect as possible so they don’t reject it  yet again, and in that, I gave her a little bit more to build my case. I also printed out an article that a friend gave me on ADHD and bipolar that I thought would be of interest to her. I also mentioned that I did a lot of writing and advocacy stuff like running The Bipolar Blogger Network, which she was well impressed with and thought would be a useful thing to potentially mention to her other patients. So that was pretty cool, and I was once again reminded that I am happy in her care and believe that we’ve got a good thing going.

The one thing that I didn’t expect out of the appointment that I’m not overly bothered with was that she wanted to double the Depakote from 500mg a day to 500mg twice a day. I’d commented that I was aware that 750mg was considered to be the therapeutic dose, and the husband and I figured that she wanted to wait before pushing it up to that due to the chance of really nasty side effects. I’d said to her I wasn’t sure it was doing anything good, but it certainly wasn’t doing anything bad, so we’ll see what happens. She was also okay with me taking all my Seroquel at night rather than splitting it if that is working for me, so that was also good,

I also asked her about whether or not I needed to leave the Depakote in the blister pack rather than in my pillbox. She said she was pretty sure it was supposed to stay in the blister pack until it was used for proper efficacy, but to ask the pharmacist. So we’ll make sure to do that one way or the other.

So yeah, hooray for that I guess. I still retain some of the worst features of my pre-appointment day, namely shakiness and totally crippling fatigue. But I’m back in jammies and hopefully can stay still enough here in my chair to at least like, knit or something. We’ll see.

Hope everyone is alright out there.

<3

World Suicide Prevention Day

Like many (most?) amongst the Bipolaratti, I too have entertained the notion of killing myself. I’ve even had one incident since getting diagnosed with bipolar, but thankfully, only the one.

Having said that, I’ve not trended much towards suicidiality. I’ve always done my best to pull myself along by self-cheering, and reminding myself that it could always be worse. I’m not sure how I convinced myself of such at all those pits I had to climb back out of after the worst of depressive episodes, but anyways.

 

That One Time…

The longest period of depression that was leading to the contemplation of suicide was when I was 19. I had been bullied into attending community college on my own dime after being utterly burned out at the end of high school. I was working full time atop a full time school schedule (as I had been through the second half of high school), except unlike high school, I had a shitty car eating up most of my money. It was nice to have that measure of freedom, but not so nice to almost die all the time because the breaks apparently didn’t know how to work (in spite of being replaced completely at least once, if not twice).

Suffices to say, was running on the ghost of the fumes after the tank is empty, and it was killing me. I remember sitting at home on a rare night off, sobbing with exhaustion, doing my best to keep my brain from going down dark paths. I was ‘saved’ by having to rescue some alcoholic idiots, which pushed me into my Meg Murry-esque saving fault: anger. I got angry enough to realise that I desperately had to change something in my life, and opted to join the Air Force.

 

That Other Time…

In some ways, it was a great idea to join the military, but in a lot of other ways, it wasn’t. I mainly liked my job, but I worked rotation shifts, never got enough sleep, and had sleep paralysis complete with seeing my loved ones trying to kill me while I laid there unable to move. I drank enough to float the entire Navy, and in general was in horrible shape the entire time. The closest I came to suicide in all that was trying to throw myself off the balcony while drunk because my cheating boyfriend kept gaslighting the fuck out of me. He stopped me, and was rewarded with a Hello Kitty stool thrown over my shoulder straight into his face. I hadn’t felt suicidal per se at that time (outside of being incredibly depressed and isolated), but that flash point made me decide that I needed to die immediately.

 

Kk, Time to Die Now

Really, that’s the big problem with me and suicidal stuff — it comes out of nowhere. The incident that occurred in 2012 was just my brain screaming for some relief from the combination of extreme physical and mental pain that were happening within that particular framework of hours. My psychiatrist didn’t seem too concerned by that, and I guess I didn’t want to dwell on it either? I also suspect the chances of that sort of incident occurring again is lower now that I am better at candidly telling things to my spouse instead of having to push myself into rage to overcome despair.


 

Now, why am I sharing this? As it says at the top, today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Because of my own experiences, and because of the experiences of my friends, I care deeply about preventing suicide. While my personal experiences have been transient and blessedly infrequent, I have friends who have spent months or years in a suicidal fugue. It matters to me that I can be there and supportive of my friends without making them feel cornered by trite ‘truisisms’, or trying to force them to think about what anyone outside of themselves. Certainly, I want all of my friends to live long and full lives, but the best thing I can give them, and they in turn can give me, is a safe space to think out loud.

And that, really, is the main thing that I am putting out there for World Suicide Prevention Day. You are not alone. There are people out there who you can talk to if you are feeling suicidal. Yes, ‘everyone knows’ about the hotlines you can call, but what if you’re not a phone person? Most of my closest friends with mental illnesses are emphatically not phone people, so having to try to handle calling someone while being in a distressed state is just impossible to consider. And even worse, most of the ‘big’ places like the Samaritans here in the United Kingdom have little to no online support — many places I saw when Googling around had limited online hours.

To that end, I made the below. The first three have online text chat availability, while the last one is a fairly comprehensive directory of things. If you are feeling suicidal or alone, please — reach out to someone who wants to help you. Hell, feel free to contact me if you want someone to talk at, though my old lady hours mean that I’m not going to be up for more than a couple more hours today.

Really though, you guys all matter out there, and I would be sad to lose any of y’all (for what it’s worth). I hope everyone is having a good day, as I always do, and if not? I hope the bad passes swiftly.

<3

swpd

Slowly Does It

I’m starting to feel like I’m back to normal… except normal is something completely different now. I don’t know how to explain that exactly, but like. Every day is like all days, in that they’re like none of the days? Or maybe that’s my brain’s attempt to circle around the feeling of being in a rut, of being stuck, of sinking into depression…

I think part of the problem is that I’m doing too much, even if it’s not much by healthier peoples’ standards. My hair is finally re-redded, which was somehow a bigger spoon-sucker than I expected. I knew it would be a bit crap without a shower available, but anyways. This will hopefully take care of the hair issue for some time now, which is one of those semi-integral pieces of being ‘me’.

I’ve also, after yesterday, slammed face first into a wall of needing to not be around people whatsoever. It was my mother-in-law’s birthday yesterday, and it was wonderful to hang out with her… but it turned into like, a 6 hour visit and dinner and it was more than I had mentally prepared for. The littlest has been rather clingy lately too, which leads to both lovely snuggles and ‘dear god get it off of me’. The latter is where I am right now, and am grateful the husband-fellow is wrangling the kids. It’s hot and my bubble needs to regenerate, so I don’t want anyone clinging onto me more than I have to put up with. I wish I could handle it better so he could get a break too, but hopefully I will find those moments and be able to make them happen. But not right now. Right now the world needs to go away and not touch me for a little bit. *chuckles*

I’m also trying to spin my head ’round to getting ‘important’ things done, like checking the email account for The Bipolar Blogger Network. My brain has flat-out refused to deal with that lately, which means there’s probably a million emails, and repeat ‘where are you?!’ emails. Blargh. It also didn’t help that my brain was fixated on setting up another blog on a domain that I wasn’t using. The shell of that is up now at Raeyn.com, and should hopefully be a delightful exercise in snark and opinion. It’s an outlet that I think will be good for me to have, so feel free to check it out as y’all see fit.

For now though, a touch tired, a touch insomniatic. It’s also wicked hot for this country and supposed to get up to 90F over the next week, which is murderous with humidity and no air conditioning. At least we have screens over the windows, so we can get a good cross-breeze blowing through the lounge. With a bit of a breeze and the ceiling fans here in the lounge, it’s just about tolerable, though still draining and dehydrating. It’s definitely limping along, limp… limp… limp.

My mood is still mainly okay though. It’ll be better after my bubble has a bit of time to recharge. I’m glad that seems to take less time these days than it used to, since second kiddo means less time to myself. I’m about to get a few minutes now, so I am going to go enjoy that. 😀

I hope everyone is doing well out there. Hopefully I’ll start making the rounds a bit better again in the nearest future.

<3

Down the Pub

One thing that I do to mask my illness enough to look vaguely functional is to operate almost completely out of designated safe spaces. The main one is, of course, my home. I’ve got a safe nest built with lots of comfort objects, and I relate to people most naturally from here. I figure that’s probably not too unusual, and I know that comfort objects aren’t unusual amongst my friends. Having said that, most of us have serious mental illnesses, or autism, or both, so it’s not exactly a proportionally representative group against the world population, ha ha.

For a long time after moving here, I tried to find a reasonable looking social group. I increasingly didn’t like being around people drinking to excess, and I never really got on with the club scene — I broke down crying once after being dragged to one in someone elses’ car because I couldn’t leave on my own steam and therefore forced the entire group to go home. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but it had to be not too frequently (once a week being too frequent, once a month being too infrequent), and had to be enjoyable enough that my anxiety about being out of my safe space would eventually fade enough for that place to also become a (relatively) safe space.

I’d started looking into crafting groups with little luck, until finally the Stitch ‘n Bitch group became known to me by happy accident. I’ve been going there for a bit over two years now, which includes a pub change. That was hard because it occurred while I was pregnant, so my anxiety levels were a lot higher due to being off of my meds. But besides that, it’s a really good group with a lot of understanding and caring people, so everyone is on board with the fact my brain is squirrelly and that I sometimes need special consideration. Other members who have participated in similar groups have expressed that this group is especially good and kindly, so I’m glad I stumbled upon it. It’s hard to take the risk of checking out new things because it’s so spoon intensive, so I’m glad that my ‘risk’ there paid off.

I still need comfort objects, though. I always bring my netbook with me so that I can chat with my husband while I’m at the bar. This isn’t any ‘we must be in contact at all times’ sort of thing — it just makes me feel a bit better and more able to cope with being out of my best nest by being able to connect that way. If I go to an appointment, or anything out of the house, I’ll take a book, or a Game Boy, or something that I can use to tune out the world if I direly need it. I usually don’t, but just having it there helps keep the anxiety to semi-manageable levels.

Really though, it’s easier (to me) to just stay home in my nest. I like it here, and people are exhausting.

And as I started writing this a couple of days ago and haven’t come back to it, I’m going to leave it at that. Hope everyone is well out there.

<3

Brains are Stupid. Triggers are Stupid.

 

Man so, my brain was being especially stupid yesterday.

One of my dearest friends is very active on Tumblr. His account is the only one of more than 1-10 posts a day I follow… not on Tumblr itself because it would give me a nervous breakdown because he’s post-heavy, but via a reader. Like, I have friends who call their Tumblr a blog but I refuse to follow it because I’m sorry, a blog is words, not a million flashing gifs with a couple of words spattered across it. Just like, the entire structure of the site is stupid and makes me grumpy, which is why I barely use it.

Anyways, because this world of 7 billion+ people is disturbingly small, a person I knew on G+ followed him on Tumblr. The person on G+ never friended me back in spite of the fact I (felt that I) made it clear we had a mutual in someone who was part of me, and I ended up using too much spoons attempting to socialise with that imbalance. If I’m honest, it’s one of the reasons I quit using G+ on the regular — it was too spoon-nabbing to have my limited energy being poured down that drain.

To my bemusement, I’m apparently bitter about it some time later. Like, seeing pictures of the person triggers me bitter/stressed/anxious/etc. I had to ask my friend to quit reposting this person’s pictures because it was triggering me.k And the logical part of me is jumping up and down screaming what the hell brain, what the hell. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m logical enough that I spend an inordinate amount of time doing that. It’s also a part of why I just sort of grumble about people who think that CBT is a magic cure-all — I have applied the principles for years, but broken brains will do what broken brains will even if you emphatically know better.

This all went down last night, and left me feeling like the most selfish asshole in the entire world. I know it’s stupid. I should not have to ask a friend to stop doing something that is absolutely harmless and sweet because my brain is being stupid about it. But even after a few days of trying to ‘tough’ it out, I found myself getting more and more upset (which is a self-perpetuating cycle: see above ‘what the hell brain’). So I was bemused to wake up from a dream this morning wherein the person who ‘offended’ me and I had run into each other at a drive-in movie and chatted it out. I’d love for my brain to quit being stupid about it because I know this lady is a total sweetheart, and I am totally happy that she’s friends with my friend. How could I not celebrate a friend’s friendships, you know?

So yeah, sort of hoping my subconscious trying to suss it out last night means the conscious can handle it and celebrate their adorably sweet relationship… but we’ll see. For the moment, I’m going to be quietly headdesking because what else can I do with my brain being this level of Teh Dumb.

Hope everyone else out there is doing well, and that your assorted brains aren’t being tricksy assholes right now.

<3

I’m Wary as Fuck of Mindfulness

Warning: a bit cursier than usual <3

In the last couple of days, mindfulness CBT hit the news headlines. Apparently, it’s a grand idea for people with depression, and maybe even with bipolar! Um… except fucking not.

Personally, I’m sick unto death of mindfulness, and I am sick unto death of CBT. I am sick unto death of ‘well-meaning’ neurotypical/alltistic friends asking me if I’ve heard of one or the other. Nobody has been stupid enough to suggest that I come off of my meds in lieu of one or the other, which is good — I would probably punch them in the face.

You see, I probably developed bipolar in my mid-teens… but I didn’t get it diagnosed until I was in my 30s. That’s a long fucking time to get by without medical support (seriously, not a lick). Well, I got bullied into talking to a therapist when I was in the Air Force with the implication that my security clearance would be pulled if I didn’t, but I ended up the therapist’s therapist because there was seriously nothing that talking was going to fix at that point.

Nor was beating my depression over the head with logic and mindfulness; I would’ve put Spock to shame with my ability to logic. My brain and chemicals would be freaking out or depressed or whatever, and I would be sitting there bemused, chain smoking, berating myself because I knew there was nothing wrong, there was no reason to be feeling so terrible, what the fuck brain, stop this shit now.

You know what DOES work, and work well for me? Pharmaceutical drugs. It might have been a bit of a rough month while waiting for my antidepressant to do its most recent set of rewiring, but it’s starting to feel like things are back where they should be. Pills work. Pills give me a quality of life.

Oh but the article says only for some people and to not give up on meds yet!

Yeah, but you know what? CBT is very popular with organizations because it’s a measurable rubric’d sort of thing. And while I have not yer more than had a passing brush with it personally (a very insulting one that presumed I had no idea how to do anything), I’ve heard from friends that not meeting what the psychiatrist thought they should be had them written off as non-compliant. Yanno, rather than it not magically working for everything.  I know, it works for some, and that is great. Maybe their situation is less severe than mine. Or just different — I get that what works for some doesn’t work for others. I’m just wary of things being pushed as the end all have-all against medicated therapy, as if needing drugs to get by is somehow bad. Nobody would tell a diabetic to quit taking their insulin, and I resent even the merest whiff of insinuation that my life would be better without my meds. I know first-hand that it wouldn’t be, because I was there for a very long time.

What do you guys think? Hope everyone is well.

<3

Mental Health and the Mommy Wars

Dear Daughter, Here’s Why I Don’t Work

Dear Daughter, Here’s Why I Work

Gah.


spoon_spiralWhen I was pregnant with my first child, I made a conscious decision to avoid parent-to-be boards. Being mentally ill and chronically low on spoons, I had seen the fringes of the Mommy Wars, and had no desire to waste time there. Also, as someone who copy edits for fun, I would not have been happy or comfortable in places that seem chronically plagued by chat speak and constant misspellings.I’m sure that there are those who would consider me a snob for that, but hey — you have your triggers, I have mine, and since my best processing of English is the written word, it’s incredibly stressful when said word is abused by native speakers who ‘don’t have to spell because they’re not in school anymore’. Browsers come with spell-checkers these days, so there is no excuse for constant mistakes.

Anyways, I already had friends who were also parents — why did I need ‘friends’ whose only thing in common was parenthood? Maybe it’s just me, but someone having gotten knocked up around the same time of me is not criteria enough to be my friend. Once again, that’s a me and my limited energy sort of thing; making new friends takes a lot of energy. As there was already a basis of love and respect between myself and my friends, that carried over well to talking about being parents. While approaches to parenting were not too dissimilar at the core between myself and my varied and different friends, that basis of preexisting sameness meant that we could respect where other parents had different approaches to things. We could respect that individuals have individual situations, and that what worked for one of us might not work for another. Even if I couldn’t understand that fully until after I had my first child, I was able to at least remember to respect my friends because they were my friends and that I knew they were intelligent people capable of making informed choices. Even if we shouldn’t, most of us have a bad tendency to dismiss that which we don’t know more easily than we should.

But any mother who has ever been online knows how it is. You’re not a real mom if you had a c-section, or had the baby in the hospital, or gave them formula, or dared to have a career, or any number of things. There are arguments over whether or not letting a child cry it out is tantamount to child abuse. Some would even go so far to suggest that ‘people like me’ shouldn’t be breeding because how dare we risk perpetuating our mental illnesses. In response, people get defensive about their choices — they have to formula feed because their child wouldn’t latch, they’re a one-income family, they’re… doing any number of things that shouldn’t have to be defended, because different people have different situations. Just because there often portrayed a single way to be ‘right’, that is very much a Holier Than Thou™®, Cool Kids Only sort of bullshit club. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your choices, there’s nothing wrong with being well off enough to stay home and parent ‘correctly’, there is nothing with having to go out into the workforce, and, I emphasize this one above all — there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself first if it means you can be a better parent to your children.

And then I realised what’s behind the Mommy Wars — it’s just people who are desperately insecure in a highly opinionated and polarized field trying to convince themselves and others that their way is right so they don’t feel bad about their choices. Which of course, leads to a whole section of the Mommy War that’s a total time-out to remind people that hey, you’re a good parent. I sort of chuckle and sigh ruefully, because even if don’t join in the self-flagellation that is this particular experience, I have engaged in it in other areas of my life. It’s almost as if the modern adult isn’t happy unless they’re suffering… roll on, everyone being a masochist? Nor am I suggesting that anyone is ‘bad’ or less for feeling insecure — it’s my opinion that our constant immersion in media and the lives of others in this day and age serves to convince us that we’ll only ever be happy and fulfilled if we buy the right thing, or have the right body shape is damaging and insulting. Remember that Cool Kids Club I mentioned earlier? It’s just another pointless us versus them designed to stroke insecure egos by claiming something makes someone better than someone else. Unless it’s ‘murdered someone’ and ‘didn’t murder someone’, most differences are yanno, pretty okay and equally valid.

Maybe this all comes easier to me because I’ve always been an outsider. It was instilled in me from an early age that I was never going to be enough. So in defiance, I’ve opted to continue to be genuinely me, and done a pretty good job with it. Well that, and out-and-out lying tends to make me have panic attacks, ha ha. But I just cannot see the point of camaraderie that comes at a cost of making someone else the enemy. Even without my mental illnesses as a consideration, it just often seemed… mean. Oh sure, I can understand wanting to belong. I love my fellow Bipolaratti, for example. But we’re not about to go to war with people who have borderline personality disorder for being different, yanno?

Anyways, I hope this brain jumble finds everyone well. I’m still waiting for my upped antidepressant dose to do a lick of good, and my big girl has chickenpox, but we’re all mainly doing okay. :)

<3

Chug Chug Splutter

I’ve had a somewhat productive couple of days. We’ve made some progress on organizing house things, I’ve done some cleaning and baking, and that’s been satisfying. But then, today feels like I’ve gotten nothing done due to clingy baby, I’m exhausted, and I’ve had a fair amount of irritability lately. I’m hella irritated right now because I direly wanted to try to get caught up on actual work today, and that didn’t happen. Maybe I’ve gone too long without enough alone time and just haven’t noticed. I had both kids at home yesterday since it’s midterm. Lilbit went to holiday club today, but still. People in space, and right now I am feeling so filled to the top that I am half considering going upstairs and slamming the door behind. Maybe I should try taking a bath…

Ah yes, that seems to have helped. You guys know how it is — you suddenly go from okay to not okay like a switch with no real gradient. I’m grateful that we have a bit of space here so that I CAN go off and sort of be alone. It’s not great, ’cause British houses are super-tiny. I fairly recently had a friend in the States tell me I wasn’t permitted to complain about how small my house was because his condo is only 2,000 square feet… which is um… about two and a half times the size of our house, where he lived alone, and we live as four. He shut up after I pointed out the size disparity, but still. This house is about 20% bigger than our previous one, and is divided in ways that one can get a bit of space to themselves. So it was nice to be able to engage in such self-care for a bit… when I remember it’s an option!

One thing that I have noticed lately is that I’m recovering a lot faster from moments of stress. The worst of them still annoying piggyback onto when my husband is feeling wretched, but at least I’m not a total wreck all the time now. I think that gives him hope. Certainly, I feel that our communication is getting better about how we are feeling, and that we’re slowly getting better at helping each other out (which is to say, I’m getting better at helping him out; he’s always been fabulous and then some).

Past that, the chronic fatigue continues to reign supreme. I thought about going for a walk today because the weather looked nice, but the thought alone was too exhausting. Even if I’m used to it because it’s chronic, it still is stressful and upsetting. I mean, I’m still in a good mood on the whole, but as the start of this post shows, it doesn’t take a lot to upset the balance when there’s not a lot holding it to center. But at least for today, we’re on the downhill slope of the day, so all should be well.

And speaking of well, hope all of you guys out there are doing okay.

<3