Daily Archives: June 4, 2012

Comment on Trench Foot by Laura P. Schulman, M.D., M.A., FAAP

Wow. Your writing knocks me out. Stay safe, take care of yourself, keep on cycling.


i have been more productive today than i have in a long time.  i woke up terrified and anxious due to nightmares, but in the interest of what my psychiatrist calls “self-soothing” i tried distracting myself with other activities.  it wasn’t hard, especially after i got an email from my landlord saying she’ll be by around 6.  6 when?  6 today?  6 Wednesday like she said?  i wrote back but received no response, so i canceled my appointments and put myself to work cleaning my house.  i barely scratched the surface but at least its manageable now.

i’m about to head over to the bank to get grilled by the employees because my confounded debit card did NOT come in the mail yet, and with my landlord breathing down my neck i’m going to see if i can withdraw funds anyway.  i’m feeling especially ambitious at the moment because i’m thinking a stop by the grocery store might be in the cards if i can keep this motivation up.

in any case, no time to blog about unfortunate events yet, so i thought i’d post some reflections i wrote in march.  they’re letters to myself and to XBF, and i’ll split them up into different posts.  you can see my paint is beginning to chip.

**NOTE: WordPress didn’t publish this for some reason so the reflections letters are out of order.  I included the date they were written in each post though.

March 13, 2012

Tuesday 1:23 am

I am tired of feeling like a piece of shit.  I feel like a piece of shit often these days, in response to your overwhelming hurt over something I’ve done.  But when I take a step back and evaluate myself, I do not actually think I am a piece of shit at all.  I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come.  I do not mean to say that I am done growing or that I have not made mistakes; for sure I have plenty of growth left to accomplish.  But honestly, I am not the bad person that I feel you are making me out to be.

I appreciate that you have brought to my attention some of the negative consequences of my risk-taking behaviors.  In many cases, I had not recognized the consequences at all, and they were only apparent to me when you expressed concern about them.

At the same time, I am extremely uncomfortable with how much pressure you put on me to not do certain things.  I do not like the fact that if something I do stressed you out too much that you end up in the hospital.  I do not like that said behavior is shared with doctors and nurses at the hospital – where colleagues in my department intern.  I do not like that you are amused when I get stressed about your parents knowing certain things about me, and that you describe me in unfavorable ways.  I do not like that some of your friends hate my guts because you only talk to them when we’re fighting, and I especially don’t like that they would like to threaten me if they had the chance.

I am also finding myself increasingly angry that you pressure me about smoking/drinking/drugs when I see you wanting to get high, or taking a bunch of vicodin (even if you have TBI and a prescription), or tripping on Delsym.  It is starting to feel like you are a total hypocrite, accepting behaviors that are okay for you, and shitting on behaviors that aren’t.  Ultimately, how I choose to live is my choice and I am starting to hate that you judge me so much for my choices.  Do I judge and criticize you for being so self-absorbed that your risky behavior led to traumatic brain injury? Or that your obsession with working out brought about your heart problems?  Or that your risky driving behavior could have easily killed someone?  And that is just the stuff that I know about.

All day I felt shitty and depressed because you got upset about an event that happened last November.  Moreover, while I agree that it is never fun to hear that someone kissed the person you are dating, it should mean something that I got out of the situation.  Your narrow worldview and lack of experience leads you to think that this is completely unacceptable and a deal breaker.  Let’s pause for a second.  I got into two situations where someone tried to kiss me.  They may have landed a smooch but I got out of it, either by expressing my disinterest or letting the person know that I was seeing someone.  I would just like to say that LIFE FUCKING HAPPENS SOMETIMES.  Sometimes people don’t give you warning or you get yourself into a pickle that you find you need to get out of, immediately.  It happens.  Let’s also not forget that these events happened smack dab in the middle of my major depression experience, and that in both cases, I was extremely intoxicated.  Perhaps most importantly, I did not consider our “relationship” to be serious until January.  We agreed to be exclusive, and I accept that letting someone else kiss me betrays that agreement.  But given the brevity of the situation, and that I got out of it quickly, it didn’t even register on the radar when you asked me about cheating or kissing someone else in the past 6 months.  I have to say, if you decide that this is a “deal breaker” I am pretty sure I will conclude with “good riddance”.  Not because I don’t love you or because I don’t want to be with you.  I do on both counts.  But for fuck’s sake, just shortly over a month before the event in question you used my vagina for show and tell with your cousin.  My. Vagina.  VAGINA!!!  And you are concerned that someone tried to lay a smooch on me?  And I got out of it?  You just basically just treated my VAJAYJAY like public property, and now you’re all huffy because someone smooched me?  Are ya fucking kidding?

I don’t like that you are not talking to me, and ignoring me for something SO TRIVIAL AND LAME.  You get upset with me for leaving conflicts for FIVE MINUTES so I can take a breather and regroup.  You basically fall off for a day or more, holing up and telling anyone who will listen how badly I hurt you and implying how victimized you are.  You exaggerate situations and make them out to be worse than they are.  Some of your friends hate me, and you have led others to think I am a drug addict.

I am so tired that you focus so much on the negative aspects of things.  It does NOT bode well for our relationship.  Rather than acknowledging that the frequency of reckless behavior has decreased considerably, or that I have QUIT SMOKING, or that I have adjusted my lifestyle to be more stable and mellow, instead you are preoccupied with having done drugs a couple times, that I am completely reckless when I drink, that I am going to break up with you, etc.  I can’t tell if you are just completely terrified or if you really are complaining all the time.

I am reading a book right now on addiction and I feel like you fail to remember: “keep in mind, however, that severing a dependency on a substance will not happen alone or overnight. It can be a long process, especially if it has been a long-term habit. In fact, it is often the most painful, harrowing, and frightening transformative experience a person will ever go through in his or her entire life. Stopping can also be the most significant emotional decision you will ever make.  You do not acknowledge this.  You do not recognize my efforts.  You do not show support for what has been a tremendously difficult experience for me.  You don’t ask how I’m doing with it or cheer me on.  You have no idea how uncomfortable I am and the degree of excruciating pain I am in ALL THE TIME.  Or how bad the withdrawal symptoms have been.  I am doing this alone, without your support.  That is unacceptable.  And that I constantly feel like I’m failing you or our relationship, I am constantly putting the exact same kind of stress I try to escape when I drink or smoke.

I realize now that we have reached a precipice that must be addressed IMMEDIATELY.  We must come up with a solution that works for both of us, and establish a plan to build trust in our relationship as soon as possible.  We can not start a long distance relationship if our current relationship is fraught with mistrust and misgivings about each other.

a rock and a hard place

March 26, 2012

In hindsight, I feel like a crazy person.  I am ashamed and worried.  Ashamed because I was not clear about my concerns last week and because I expected you to read my mind (one of my pet peeves is when people expect you to read minds).  I thought that my timid questions were enough to let you know that something was wrong, when in fact I should have been more straight to the point.  I was too afraid to be straight to the point, because if I had been, I would have been confessing a deep vulnerability.  Given that I was concerned about your behavior, I did not feel safe enough to do this.  The root issue, then, is mistrust.  This is why I am concerned.  I am afraid that my fundamental mistrust will undermine our relationship.  I have recently realized that you are my “100″ and that I would do anything for you, which unfortunately also means I am scared out of my wits.  I am afraid of how this fear will manifest, especially once we transition to long distance.  I am also afraid of telling you about what I perceive to be at the root of this fear because it involves a) describing myself relative to a mental disorder, which in and of itself is hardly appealing due to stigma (the last thing I want is for you to think I am a crazy freak), and b) explaining *why* I believe this disorder describes my issues well, which means describing a lot of very personal information that I’ve never shared with anyone before.  It will help you make sense of me and some of my behavior, but I’m terrified because I feel like I’ve already called in all of my favors, I’ve already reached my quota of fucked up behavior for the first year of our relationship, and one more problem is going to be a deal breaker.  This possibility seems unavoidable, since I don’t think I can get into trauma therapy until after I move to California and have a job, mostly because I am broke as a joke and can barely afford to pay my bills.  So I’m caught in a sort of bittersweet place: I’m completely in love, and absolutely terrified.


I took a break to do some google searching for managing fear in relationships.  I came across a few articles on jealousy and eventually found myself signing up for a bogus chemistry.com account to take a personality quiz.  Here are the results:


You are made up of:

  • Builder 20%
  • Director 24%
  • Explorer 29%
  • Negotiator 27%

(this is your dominant personality type)


(you also show elements of this type)


about your personality

You are a highly spontaneous, inquisitive and energetic person who always likes to try new things. You find novel and unpredictable situations challenging and exciting. You particularly like discussing big ideas and having conversations about complex social, political or intellectual puzzles. And you are able to juggle a lot of projects at the same time; as a result you are sometimes a whirlwind of activity.

You have a firm grip on reality and enjoy living in the present tense. But you have a keen imagination that enables you to lift off from reality to be remarkably creative.

You are humorous. You are able to laugh at yourself. And you are agreeable, adaptable and changeable. You impose few limits on others and have little tolerance for fixed rules, schedules or traditions.

You have a deep sense of compassion. You can show genuine insight into the needs of others; you are good at listening, talking and compromising; and you express a genuine desire to be helpful to others and to the world at large.

relating to others

You are charismatic, agreeable and adaptable and you can adapt to just about any social situation, convincing others you are just like them. And with your flexibility, liberal attitude and lack of prejudice, you can find something interesting in just about anyone. But when your interest wanes, you depart; you cannot tolerate boredom.

love and relationships

As an Explorer you like knowledge, adventure and the pleasures of the senses, and you are drawn to those who are enthusiastic, curious, creative and energetic-people like yourself. Sex is important to you, too. As a Negotiator, you have a big heart; you are flexible and sensitive to the feelings of others and you are driven to seek harmony in your social life. So you avoid conflict, as well as people who compete with you. You also avoid those who structure your time and block things from happening spontaneously. And you can feel pressured by other’s needs. So you are attracted to individuals who share your “live and let live” attitude. Money is secondary to you, so you also respect individuals who can part with theirs, particularly when spending leads to adventure or improves the world. And you are drawn to people who are direct, decisive and tough minded to balance out your flexible, spontaneous, intuitive style.

with explorer as your primary type, you can be:
• Novelty Seeking • Flexible
• Impulsive and spontaneous • Open-Minded
• Curious • Energetic
• Creative  


with negotiator as your secondary type, you can be:
• Good at seeing the big picture • Empathetic
• Imaginative • Trusting
• Intuative • Introspective
• Skilled verbally  

Things explorers need to be aware of:

  1. You are so mentally flexible and spontaneous that you can appear indecisive and unpredictable.
  2. Don’t be impatient with cautious people or those with more rigid views of morality.
  3. Focus on one thing at a time.


More information on the 4 love types:


The Negotiator
Negotiators have specific personality traits that have been linked with estrogen. Although estrogen is known as a female sex hormone, men have it, too, and there are plenty of male Negotiators. As the name suggests, this type is superb at handling people. Negotiators instinctively know what others are thinking and feeling. They artfully read facial expressions, postures, gestures, and tone of voice. Their interest in identity extends not only to others but to themselves. So they are introspective and self-analytical—men and women who take pleasure in journeying into their thoughts and motives. As a result, when they form a partnership, they like to delve deeply into the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship.

Not only do Negotiators connect psychologically, they also have the ability to remain mentally flexible. When they make decisions, they weigh many variables and consider various ways to proceed; they see things contextually, rather than linearly—I call it web thinking. As a result, they tend to be comfortable with ambiguity. Negotiators can be highly intuitive and creative. And they like to theorize. Perhaps their most distinctive characteristic is verbal fluency, the facility for finding the right words rapidly. With this skill—alongside an agreeable and accommodating nature, compassion, social savvy, and patience—the Negotiator can be very friendly, diplomatic, and authentic.

But as with all qualities, these traits can warp. Negotiators sometimes become such placators they appear wishy-washy to the point of spinelessness. Because they’re not willing to confront, they can turn to backstabbing. With their need to examine all the possibilities, they can get bogged down in rumination as opposed to action. And in a relationship, their desire to connect and dissect all the subtle meanings between the two of you can become cloying and invasive.



You know the type: Negotiators are imaginative, intuitive, empathetic, and emotionally expressive, and have good verbal and social skills. Most strikingly, these people see the big picture with all the options.

Famous examples: Bill Clinton, Gandhi, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw.

Under the influence: Estrogen (the so-called female sex hormone, though, again, it’s found in both genders) plays an important role in the Negotiator’s character.

Longs for: A soul mate.

Bonds well with: Directors (no wonder Hillary and Bill are still together).

If you are a Negotiator: Watch out for your inclination to be so diplomatic that you appear spineless. And avoid drowning your date in a verbal deluge. If you have met someone you like, don’t overthink the situation, endlessly going over the pros and cons. Ultimately it’s important for you not to settle for anything but a deeply meaningful, authentic relationship.

If you’re dating one: Keep in mind that Negotiators aren’t always direct, so read between the lines. Avoid being competitive with them. And don’t hesitate to talk about yourself: These people love hearing about what you’re thinking and feeling. Above all, they will fall for you if you stimulate their imagination.
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Finding-Your-Soul-Mate-Helen-Fishers-Formula-for-Romance/5#ixzz1qIMA0BRr


The Director
Specific activities in the testosterone system are what distinguishes this type. Again, although we think of the hormone as male, it is shared by both sexes, and there are many full-blooded women Directors. Whatever the gender, people of this type are competitive. They strive to be top dog and have many skills to get there. They are pragmatic, tough-minded, and most notably decisive, able to make up their minds rapidly, even when faced with difficult choices. Rational analysis, logical reasoning, and objectivity are their core strengths. They also pay attention to details and can focus their attention to the exclusion of everything around them—an ability that enables them to weed out extraneous data and progress on a straightforward path toward a specific goal: the solution. Many Directors are also ingenious, theoretical, and bold in their ideas. Moreover, they are willing to take unpopular, even dangerous paths, to get to the truth. So they persist and often win.

Directors are particularly skilled at understanding machines and other rule-based systems, from computers and math problems to the details of biology, world finance, or architecture. They excel at sports, and often have an acute ear for all kinds of music. Their interests can be narrow; but they pursue them deeply and thoroughly. And they can captivate those who share their hobbies.

Placating leaves the Director cold. He or she often chooses to do a good job rather than please others. In fact, Directors are the least socially skilled of the four types. When preoccupied with work or personal goals, they can appear aloof, distant, even cold, and are generally not interested in making social connections, with the exception of those that are useful or exciting to them.

As with the other types, the traits that make Directors so successful may become grating: For example, their confidence can veer into bragging, their exactitude turn uncompromising, and their forthrightness simply seem rude. And because they often see issues in black and white, they miss the nuances of social, business, and personal situations. But thanks to their dedication, loyalty, and interest in sharing ideas, Directors make close friends. And they can be fiercely protective of those they love.
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Find-Your-Love-Type/2#ixzz1qIKbxctC


The Builder
Calm, affable, and people oriented, the Builder’s personality is influenced by the serotonin system. Social situations are often fun and relaxing for Builders; they like to network. Because duty and loyalty are their strong suits, they often acquire a devoted pack of peers and pals. And they’re true guardians when it comes to family and friends.

Builders are cautious—but not fearful. They think concretely. They have a clear memory of yesterday’s mistakes, so they prepare. These people are not impulsive with their money, their actions, or their feelings. Security is important to them. Structure and order are, too. Taking particular pride in upholding social norms, many are traditional, and they often have a strong moral streak. Builders don’t get bored easily, which enables them to be methodical, hardworking, and dependable. Thanks to all these solid qualities, they tend to be regarded as pillars of the community.

But Builders can go overboard. In their quest to do things the “proper way,” they can be intolerant of other ways. Indeed, they can be stubborn. And with their need for order, rules, and schedules, they can stifle spontaneity. Their stoicism can turn into pessimism, their conformity into rigidity, and their concrete thinking sometimes makes them too literal. Normally, however, Builders are community minded, industrious, and popular with colleagues and companions.

The Explorer
Explorers have a very active dopamine system, a brain chemical associated with the tendency to seek novelty, among other qualities. An Explorer might look up from the newspaper on Sunday and say, “Want to go to Warsaw?”—and by Wednesday you’re in Poland. Champions of “never a dull moment,” these adventurers live to discover new people, places, things, or ideas, often on the spur of the moment. Friends, family, and colleagues frequently regard them as highly independent and autonomous.

Explorers have more energy than most people; they tend to be restless, sometimes fast-paced. And they are highly curious—”For always roaming with a hungry heart,” as Tennyson put it. Constantly generating new ideas or creative insights, they easily shift their attention from one thing to another. Although the classic Explorer is a race-car driver, South Pole trekker, or bad-boy rocker who lives hard, taking drugs and having risky sex, I know many who exercise their passion for adventure by reading several hours a day; collecting stamps, coins, or antiques; or walking through the byways of a city.

People quickly like most Explorers. Generous and sunny, they tend to be playful, sensual, sometimes hedonistic, often unpredictable, and regularly amusing. But they can be difficult to take—especially in a marriage. They do not tolerate boredom well. So they are generally not interested in routine social or business events. In fact, Explorers try to avoid routine of almost any kind, and can trample on another person’s cherished beliefs and habits—not to mention be impatient.
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Find-Your-Love-Type/3#ixzz1qIL82DwE


Photo: Michael Edwards; illustration: Joe McKendry
You know the type: Explorers crave adventure and are willing to take risks. Highly curious, creative, energetic, spontaneous, they have many interests—from hiking and spelunking to theater and reading.

Famous examples: John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, Angelina Jolie.

Under the influence: The Explorer’s behavior is largely affected by the brain chemical dopamine, which is a key player in our experience of pleasure and novelty. Longs for: A playmate.

Bonds well with: Other Explorers.

If you are an Explorer: My advice is to go slowly. Because you’re so impulsive, you can get romantically involved too fast. And because you hate confrontation, you risk bolting from a relationship that could prove fantastic. If you find someone you are genuinely interested in, check your inclination to go out with others, and focus your energy on him or her.

If you’re dating one: Be prepared to live this romance one day at a time. Remain flexible, and know that for your partner, “dullness is a misdemeanor,” as novelist Ethel Wilson astutely put it.
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Finding-Your-Soul-Mate-Helen-Fishers-Formula-for-Romance/2#ixzz1qIMPxxlx



I suspect that Hercules is a Director:


You know the type: “One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head, too.” So wrote Nietzsche, and if you are a Director, you will relate. Directors are analytical and logical, straightforward, decisive, tough minded, focused, and good at rule-based and spatial skills like mechanics, math, and music. They also tend to be ambitious and competitive, as well as emotionally contained, even aloof. Yet these are the men and women who rush into a burning building to save a stranger.

Famous examples: Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher.

Under the influence: Testosterone (we think of it as the male sex hormone, but women have it too) is especially active in shaping the Director’s personality.

Longs for: A mind mate.

Bonds well with: Negotiators.

If you are a Director: You like to be in control and tend to date with determination, but if you can be patient and let things unfold naturally, it will help you avoid scaring off possible romance. And while you may regard expressing your emotions as a weakness, the other person is likely to take your restraint as a sign that you are cold, secretive, or uninterested. So share your feelings.

If you are dating one: Remember that he or she will respond best if you are logical, accurate, and clear. Don’t criticize yourself (many Directors regard this as pathetic), and if you want to intrigue your partner, pursue topics of substance rather than small talk.
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Finding-Your-Soul-Mate-Helen-Fishers-Formula-for-Romance/4#ixzz1qILrKaLL

virtual love doctor

March 21, 2012

The anxiety subsided today.  I made a point to avoid drinking coffee, and it seemed to work.  Still, I’m uneasy.  The reason today?  I am starting to feel uncomfortable that you haven’t really talked to me this week.  Who am I kidding.  I’ve been uncomfortable for days.  And it’s only Wednesday!  I swear, I’m neurotic.  With you, I’m vulnerable.  I was thinking about it this week, and it would really, really tear me to pieces if we break up.  I am completely in love with you and day by day I increasingly think I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

When it’s good, it’s really good.  When it’s bad, it’s hell.  I realize some of my actions have been shit: I hurt you by doing drugs, twice.  And I hurt you when I let you know that there were a couple times I was drunk and someone kissed me (although I stopped it).  I have betrayed trust also, by looking through your phone (although my inclination was correct: you did send the pictures to your cousin).  I don’t even want to begin on last semester… I tried to break up with you, several times.  I was emotionally unstable and a mess when I drank.  It’s horrifying.  How did you stay with me?  Why?  Could you have even known me well enough at the time to know I’m worth it?  Was I just another one of your projects to fix?  Maybe the novelty is wearing off…

I did a google search, because I get love advice from the internet these days… (sigh).  Usually I find a bunch of shit, but one girl gave this response that I want to keep in mind:

“Here’s how the issue breaks down. First, what’s on the surface – he’s upset with something you said. His way of dealing with it is to completely shut you out for a week. You do your due dilligence by contacting him a couple of times and he tells you he’ll contact you. So he knows that you would like to hear from him. There is no need for you to contact him again.

The second issue is how he deals with his feelings of frustration towards you. In a relationship, you have to make a deal about how you are going to deal with conflict. That means that you must negotiate appropriate boundaries in your relationship. Although you would prefer to hash out issues that day, maybe he really needs time to think about his emotions. So you agree to two days of no contact and then it’s his responsibility to call you and iniate conversation. This is the ideal situation.

Instead, he simply takes all the time he wants while you are left in limbo, feeling heartbroken, confused, and frustrated yourself. You don’t deserve to feel this way. You deserve to know what is going on. BUT, the time to take action is not while he is ignoring you. It is either before this happens again or after, when he finally contacts you. If you continue to contact him, you will start to seem desperate and he will take advantage of this – stringing you along further. If you wait, you will show him and yourself that you do have some self control in this and this will be very important for this next issue.

The final issue is that you need to evaluate this relationship. While I noted that you do not need to take action while he’s ignoring you, I simply meant that you don’t need to take action to CONTACT him. I DO think you need to take action in your own mind to really think about what you want and need in this relationship. You need to brace yourself. For a man to do this, you can’t help but wonder if he’s really invested in you or using this as an excuse to do some dirt on the side or simply pulling away from you emotionally. As such I would recommend:

1. Making a list of the pros/cons of this relationship
2. Making a list of the things you will need for this relationship to continue (especially concerning how long he goes without contacting you)
3. Examining the reasons why you contact him so much (journal about it if you need to)
4. Writing out some of the qualities an ideal relationship has for you
5. Comparing your list from #1 to #4
6. Talking to trusted friends and get their perspective on his actions
7. Writing out, right now, how you would feel if he broke up with you. This is hard, but I want you to prepare for this possibility.

This will not only help you keep busy but also help you create a plan of action. You need to be strong and ask for what you want in this relationship – once you start talking again. If he can’t give it, you need to be able to walk away.”

I am pretty impressed with that response.  It’s empowering and gets me out of my own head.  Or, it stops me from letting my emotions be so extreme and fluctuating.


March 20, 2012

My inner critic won’t shut up today.  I have been flogging myself for little things since XBF’s parents came into town.  I find myself tensing up, avoiding painful thoughts, experiencing anxiety and general discomfort.  I am pretty sure its exacerbated by the fact that I had caffeine this morning, and I also haven’t gotten serious exercise in a while.  It occurred to me that drinking temporarily silences that inner critic, and that’s why it might be especially appealing.  I am able to fully let go and enjoy the moment.  Unfortunately, it also has the unfortunate byproduct of behaviors that I later regret, and then I’m back to square one again.  So now, I’m wallowing in it, with negative comments zinging back and forth, striking me.  A thought will take hold and I will freeze.  I catch my breath, my whole body is tense, I squeeze my eyes shut and try to shove out the thought and the extremely uncomfortable shame that accompanies it.  I have thought that it might be valuable to try to stay in the shameful moment, to experience it and process it.  But, I can’t seem to do it.  It’s too horrifying.  The fear and discomfort is too great to handle.

Even when my inner critic is quiet, I feel a general tension.  Waiting for the next negative thought to terrorize my mind, my body.  There is no escape.  I look forward to therapy, to help me through these moments, and hopefully to reduce their impact on my life.


reflections, continued.  :)


March 14, 2012

Wednesday 12:59 am

Another whole day passed.  You said you would talk to me… Monday.  It’s now Wednesday and I haven’t heard a peep.  Luckily I slept through most of the day, and tried to not wallow in too much sorrow while I walked the dogs and read.  For the most part, I was virtually motionless.  My neuroses of course are starting to rear their ugly heads and I spent an hour or so searching for information on the silent treatment.  I don’t know if you are just punishing me or if you are really considering the end of our relationship.  I’m not okay with either option.

I am so so tired of dealing with consequences.  I have faithfully stood up and dealt with those, both self-inflicted and not, since last summer.  I really just want some peace.  I don’t want stress anymore and this kind of conflict is extremely damaging given my depression.  I don’t like to say it but maybe right now is not the time for us.  I feel like you are expecting too much in too short of a time.  You want confidence of ownership.  You want no irresponsible behavior or decisions.  You want complete commitment.  I feel like you haven’t been listening to me if those are the demands you are making.  I love you and I want to be with you, but I don’t want to make promises of forever right now.  There is still too much to learn.  Clearly.

I’ve spent the last two days in bed, pretty much.  I think tomorrow I will be done wasting my spring break fretting over this.  I can’t control the outcome here.  The best thing I can do for myself is to experience, deal with, and process my emotions and to decide what is best for me.

I’m not perfect, I never wanted to be, and I don’t want that to be the expectation.

I lost….

I have been fighting so hard to keep motivated today. I’ve done dishes, put dinner in the crock pot for tonight, cleaned the living room, vaccumed, and played referee with the kids. My day started off crappy because my oldest daughter called me to see if my husband had a polo that her b/f could wear to work because he couldn’t find his. FM! That was at 7:30 this morning… And of course all of that brought on some chaos, because you don’t wake up a person with BP in the a.m. when they can’t sleep, to ask a stupid question like that…. But I digress….

I fought the whole idea that I was going to be in a pissy mood today. I let it go and carried on… But I hit the “I don’t give a fuck” wall… and I just want to go to bed, hide under the covers, and pray that my kids will behave for the rest of the day.

Me – 0, BP – 1 

yep… I lost today.

Flop and Streeetch

I acquired the notepad of my desire yesterday, but I’ve still not gotten around to using it. I should probably put it on the desk where it can taunt and torment me; that would likely stand the best chance of forcing my hand. Motivation continues to be lacking, but I find I don’t really care. As long as I’m getting food and drink in me, and vaguely bathing… I can’t complain really, can I? Annoyance continues to nibble at the edges of my psyche, but it’s still weak, ineffective. I’m grateful, though wary. They feel like they’re sneaking up on me, and that’s when they have the best shot of dragging me downwards. But lo, I shall breathe slowly, deeply… and continue to fight for serenity. Hopefully motivation will sneak up behind that, but I won’t count on it.


On your mark, get set, GO!

Here we fucking go again….

Have I mentioned yet how much I hate having Bipolar? Have I yet mentioned living with someone who is not very supportive, likes to sweep things under the rug, and how much it pisses me off? No? Well….

I love my husband… I really really do. But damn! Thank God he does not suffer from any type of ailments mental or physical. And apparently never has according to his father.  He doesn’t understand being sick at all. Especially if you can’t see it.

I’m having a difficult time right now. I’ve been watching myself slowly go out of control. Nothing horrible, yet… But still, I’m noticing changes in the manic direction. I’m still “here” and everything is ok, but I don’t know how to handle things. This is year one on no meds… my first summer with no meds. Last summer I stopped a few months in the summer, so I still had some medication in my system, but now I have NOTHING! So, this is a whole new experience for me.

My mind has been fucked. Example: I had a 5 minute conversation with my mother the other day, I got off the phone, and I had no idea what the hell we talked about. My husband had to tell me what he thought we talked about, going by my end of the conversation that he overheard… I was cooking dinner yesterday, and had the timer on the oven on. Oven was not yet on. The timer went off, I sat and thought about it for a few moments, and then yelled at my husband to get out of the way because there will still pans in the oven and they were getting ruined! Yeah… remember, I said oven was NOT on…. :/

Those are just a couple of examples of my memory issues as of late. I have moments of being so damn tired. but not mentally, just my body, aching, and sticking in place. My temper is easy to light. I have been extreemley sensitive to light lately as well. Not my skin, just my eyes.

Some of this stuff I don’t know if it is the BP or if it is something else that is wrong with me (thyroid, lupus, arthritis, Fibromyalgia, take your pick!) I need to go back to the doc and get my labs done to check on my liver, Vit. D, Lupus, and thyroid so I can figure out what the hell I am dealing with right now and tackle it.

It’s crazy week on Discovery Health and Fitness channel. I watched a show called Bipolar Mysteries last night, it was about kids with Bipolar, and it was like watching a movie about my youngest. :/ Then I watched a show after that, about a little girl who has Schizophrenia…. That was like watching my little girl too. :( I am anxiously awaiting her to start school so I can see how she acts. She might act differently in around other people that us. Or she may not. I don’t fucking know. 

All I do know, is that I’m slowly losing control, but I’m trying to hang on to the shreds of reality around me to keep in the here and now. I have even started popping the Melatonin again at night, cut this girl ain’t sleeping! :( No bueno!


Elite cyclists are liars.

Well, not all of them, but it is not unusual for winners of Grand Tours to be disqualified for doping after having stood on the podium milking the applause of cycling fans having raced for weeks with the support of team mates,  some of whom may also have been doping. At the end of the second Tour de France in 1904, Maurice Garin the winner of the inaugural Tour de France the year before was disqualified.  He was banned for two years.  Two other riders, Chevalier and Pothier were banned for life.  Cheating was so rife in that year’s Tour that the father of the Tour, Henri Desgrange despaired that ‘the Tour de France is over and its second edition, I fear, will be its last’.

Not all cheats were liars, however.  The Italian rider Fausto Coppi won the Tour de France in 1949 and 1952. He won The Giro d’Italia five times in the 1940s and 50s. Asked if he taken drugs he replied ‘only when necessary’  When he was asked how often that was he admitted that this ‘nearly always.’

In the modern era Floyd Landis was stripped of the Yellow Jersey in 2006 after an astonishing (later revealed as a drug – fuelled) comeback.  He protested his innocence for four years while appealing against his disqualification.  Alberto Contador is about to finish a  ban after having been stripped of the titles of the 2010 Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia 2011.

So, cyclists cheat and lie.  And so do I.

Well, cheating?  Not really. In case you hadn’t noticed I’m not an elite cyclist.  But a liar I most certainly am.  I tell myself all sorts of things about myself, and the world around me, about what other people think and feel about me that are simply not true.

Where do I start?  That the world would be better off without me; that I am a burden to those around me.  That the compliments people pay me are lies, and that if they really know what I was like they would never say those things, much less actually believe them.

But in order to maintain these enormous, sturdy structures inside my head I have to engage with these thoughts, feelings and perceptions.  And in doing so I strengthen and nurture them.  ‘Nurture them?’ I hear you ask.  That sounds as though I actually want to be depressed.  We- ell now that you mention it…. depression does mean that my rational mind, my view of the world, is in sync with my feelings.  Life really does have no meaning.  As Anatole France once put it: ”He was born.  He suffered.  He died.’  But don’t take his word for it. Long before the author of the children’s classic ‘The Little Prince’ shared his view of life, the Rabbis of the Talmud stated; ‘Against your will you are born, against your will you live, and against your will you die’.

If these are truths, how is it that I am lying to myself?  Is it because I strive to find evidence to fit a theory, a theory about how hard life is, how full of misery and suffering?  I have spoken about the impact of diagnosis in earlier editions of this blog, and I want to return to this theme again now.

Diagnosis is a useful tool in gaining access to psychiatric services, getting the right treatments.  To that extent it is worthwhile.  But there is a cost to it also, which I believe gets in the way of recovery, and undermines to a great extent the usefulness of the diagnosis in the first place.  Having a diagnosis means that – over time – we come to over – identify with it, it becomes part of  us, our identity and how we choose to see and interpret the world around us.  We fuse with our diagnosis; it’s as though it was magnetic.

In his book ‘The Happiness Trap’, Russ Harris explains his theory of ‘fusion’.  ‘In a state of fusion, it seems as if:

  • Thoughts are reality – what we’re thinking is actually happening here and now.
  • Thoughts are the truth – we completely believe them.
  • Thoughts are important – we take them seriously and give them our full attention.
  • Thoughts are orders – we automatically obey them.
  • Thoughts are wise – we assume they know best , and we follow their advice.
  • Thoughts can be threats – some thoughts can be deeply disturbing or frightening,and we feel the need to get rid of them.’

He goes on to give the reader a couple of thought exercises to do.  Then he reminds us that ‘… you can’t learn to ride a bike just by reading about it; you actually have to get on the bike and pedal.’  And so it is with changing the way we think and feel about the world around us and the formative experiences that have shaped and formed the way we think and feel, anticipate how we will think and feel about things that haven’t even happened yet- and might never happen.  The American author William Faulkner wrote: ‘the past is not dead, it’s not even over.’  I used to think that this meant that the past was fixed and that it would just continue to shadow me through life.  Events that happened long before I was born would continue to dictate what I think and feel about my life, and the world around me forever.  But if the past ‘s ‘not even over’ I can change how I understand it, manage it, and what’s more I can re – evaluate it, and my reactions to it.

Easier said than done, I know.

Mr. Housman’s Message

O woe, woe,

People are born and die,

We also shall be dead pretty soon

Therefore let us act as if we were dead already.

The bird sits on the hawthorn tree

But he dies also, presently.

Some lads get hung, and some get shot.

Woeful is this human lot.

Woe! woe, etcetera. . . .
London is a woeful place,

Shropshire is much pleasanter.

Then let us smile a little space

Upon fond nature’s morbid grace.

Oh, Woe, woe, woe, etcetera. . . .

Ezra Pound (1885 – 1972)