Daily Archives: July 10, 2012

should i be worried?

i just signed up to teach a human sexuality class this fall, which starts at the end of August.  i’ve never taught human sexuality before so i will have to start from scratch, and i don’t even get to choose the book.

but i was looking for a second job, right?  i mean, i need the money…

what kind of life is it to second guess every decision i make??

cognitive dissonance takes a twist

it’s interesting.  the way the mind justifies things.

only a few weeks ago, i was in a massive state of dispair at the loss of my dreams of having a family as a result of being diagnosed bipolar.  for personal reasons i have explained elsewhere, i’m not comfortable with the chances of my kids having it or with them dealing with a parent(s) with bipolar.  not to mention having kids would surely set off episodes.  stress?  hello!

now i’m in a very different place.

i don’t even want kids.  the idea repulses me.  i think it makes waaaaaaaay more sense to just have DOGS instead of KIDS because they’re easier to manage and don’t talk back and more fun to train and love you no matter what, even during their teenage years, and don’t costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise.

Dogs = Fun

Kids = I need a nap

Besides, I keep hearing this 90% divorce rate among bipolars statistic thrown around, so why bother?

By the way, can I just note that EVERY source I’ve found links back to a *Psychology Today* article as the “source” for that statistic?  Psychology Today is NOT a reputable source for data!  So I did some hunting…

A PsycINFO search of “bipolar disorder” and “divorce rates” turned up all of FOUR articles.  I changed the search terms to “bipolar” and “divorce” and 27 articles came back.  Hmm.

I’ve had to request a few articles that weren’t available, in particular the ones that were published before 2007 (when the Psychology Today article came out).  I’ll let you know what I find when they come back.

Meanwhile I did find a recent article called “Which Neuropsychiatric Disorder is More Associated with Divorce?” (Walid & Zaytseva, 2011).  Reading through the introduction, it appeared that these authors had come across the same statistic.  I was excited to see a citation after that sentence, thinking finally!  a peer-reviewed source.


good fucking grief!  now i’m feeling slightly intrigued and a little disgusted, so i’ve got some motivation to look up this broad who has convinced so many people that bipolars experience a 90% divorce rate.  Ms. Marano is “an author, journalist and editor who, although not a trained psychologist herself has been Editor-at-Large of Psychology Today for the past 15 years…”

so, she sure as shit hasn’t been trained in research.  clearly not in citing properly.

i’m not finished yet.  the second source they cited was a Patient Health International article that states, “Divorce rates are around two to three times higher for bipolar individuals than in the general population”.  At least there was a reference list…so I checked the article that appeared most relevant (because there was no specific reference to the correct article), “Impact of bipolar affective disorder on family and partners” which admitted that “The sampling does not capture caregivers who have abandoned their role, such as spouses who have divorced the bipolar sufferer.”

Still, it seemed that we might be on to something.  The authors, Dore and Romans, wrote:

The literature indicates that the marriages of bipolar patients often lead to separation and divorce ( [Brodie and Leff, 1971], [Carlson et al., 1974], [Weeke et al., 1975], [Dinicola, 1989], [McPherson et al., 1992] and [Kessler et al., 1998]).

This is clearly not going to be an easy task.

The entire subject of this post has decidedly ALSO taken a twist.  I am going to take a break to retrieve and review these articles and see if I can’t get at the bottom of this.

Stay tuned!


i feel like i was going to do something before i started this post, but for the life of me i can’t remember what it was.  the past hour has been jam-packed with distractions and i can’t keep focus.

i woke up to 2 phone calls, and 2 text messages from one person.  another text from a friend asking me to lunch.  several emails which required my attention, including a few hits to my craigslist ads, and a request from my mom to help her understand some terminology in the outcomes evaluation research literature.  the dogs were hungry.  another email from a friend requesting a skype call.  another friend texting me to call her back.

against my better judgment i made not one, but TWO different sets of plans with two different people.  and that’s not including the skype call.

please let me follow through.

please let me follow through.

please let me follow through.

it’s pretty discouraging.  these are just basic tasks that would have been simple for me in a previous life.  now it’s like climbing mt. fucking everest.

i even added a couple of potential tasks.  including a visit to my therapist, who i have not seen in almost a month.


because i forgot when we scheduled appointments.  and then i forgot to call and ask.

then when i called, it turns out that THIS is the week she is on vacation.  not last week.  not only that, but her voicemail message was sure to note that she does not have any more availability for patients.

does that include me?

i really have no idea what’s going on.

Maybe I’m the Afterglow…

I did a listen through of Tori Amos’ Boys for Pele over the weekend, and that’s about the only thing rattling around in my head. It’s a pretty fantastic album, if any of you haven’t heard it before. Wiki states that, much like many of her albums, it’s organized just so and themed (in this case, throwing boys into a volcano to clear oneself of bad relationships). I never really thought about it growing up, but I guess it works for me because it’s one of those few ways of letting go, of singing out emotion and releasing it into the wild.

Anyways, check it out if you’re so inclined:

And if not, ignore it and come back tomorrow for something different. ;)


life as an introvert

i’ve started to accept my new life as an introvert.  it’s kinda nice, actually.  simpler.  not leaving my house has become less out of dread and more out of preference.  i spend most of my time among furry things with four legs.  i’m starting to like animals more than people.

there are other factors.  being broke is one of them.  i can’t go get coffee or lunch with friends.  can’t afford to drink, and not sure i should yet.  i’m finding it’s pretty difficult to be social when you’ve got zero dollars to spend.

the other part of it is that i can’t make future plans to save my life, for two reasons.  one: my memory limitations are at an all-time high.  i’m starting to get really concerned about it and plan to make [another] doctor’s appointment soon.  in any case, i seem to be extremely limited in what i am able to remember in the short-term and what i am able to keep active in working memory.  if i get distracted, the thought can disappear forever.  i seem to constantly be operating in the present.  on the one hand, that’s pretty cool. on the other hand, it’s not going to get me a fucking doctorate.

the second reason i can’t (and don’t) make plans is that i can’t seem to follow through with almost ANYthing.  even the simplest tasks.  accomplishing anything must be done on impulse and i take the opportunity when it arises.  otherwise, i just can’t get myself to do it.  my grandma asked, “have you ever heard of discipline?” and i used to agree with her.  it’s at such a level now, though, that i simply don’t make plans or promises because i honestly can’t say if i will be able to do it or not.  i don’t know how long this will last.  i can only seem to focus on a few things at a time, and right now, all slots are taken with planning my online class this fall, my one tutoring student, and trying to get a part-time job.

this is quite an alarming turn of events, and i have no idea whether to attribute these problems to stress/trauma, lithium, bipolar, or something else.  it’s certainly not doing me any favors academically and i don’t know how long i can hold out before explaining to my advisor that i am cognitively impaired for an indefinite amount of time.

i’m also not comfortable with the fact that i’ve pretty much disappeared from most of my friendship circles.  i realize i am being an asshole because i’m not offering my support and friendship to them but i can’t seem to do anything about it.  an occasional text here and there.  a quick phone call.

but the idea of anything more makes me feel the panic i started to feel when i signed back on to my old Facebook account, when all of 5 minutes passed before i disabled it again.

too many people.  too many updates.  can’t keep up.

hunting for wabbits…i mean, work

last Monday morning, I got myself up and showered and headed out in the 105 degree heat to apply for a server position at a restaurant within walking distance from my house.  although they weren’t hiring, the manager told me that the owner is opening a  new restaurant downtown and that she’d give her my information.

unfortunately, my phone decided to break the night before.  i was mid-phone conversation when the person at the other end of the line suddenly went very quiet.  the speaker had gone out.  ringing and text alerts were pretty much down for the count too.  i periodically check my phone and then make return calls, but the turnaround time can be anywhere from minutes to days.  not very effective.

fine time to need a job.  how is anyone supposed to get a hold of me?  friends and family already have the text-to-call-back-using-gmail method down, so i really just have a fancy pager right now.  i can’t really ask a hiring manager to do that though.

oh well.  i wrote my number down anyway and figured i could just call back unfamiliar numbers.  i needed to find work.  at last check, i had all of about $50 to my name.  i couldn’t even get my jeep out of the shop.

i’ve already put most everything i can up on craigslist.  the 60″ tv i shouldn’t even own.  my nikon dSLR and all accessories.  an old cell phone and ipod.  anything that i barely or never used.  i remind myself that i can always get these things later, when my financial situation is more secure.

besides, i find myself wanting to scrap almost everything anyway.  stuff makes life too complicated.

fortunately my aunt took pity on my [indeed, pitiful] situation and convinced my grandma to deposit $300 bucks into my account to cover the cost of my jeep and my electric bill, which was due to shut off any day now due to non-payment.  and trust me, in this heat, you don’t want to get fucking stuck without electricity.

i think that money came in around Tuesday or so, but i didn’t have a ride to the tire place until Friday.  XBF had a bunch of school related activities to do for summer classes, so i opted to wait until he was done to request a ride.  Even still he complained about driving me there on Friday.  I get that 25 minutes is a long drive for this place, but really?

i walked into the shop feeling half triumphant and half humiliated.  it had been a week and a half since i brought Delilah in.  and this wasn’t the end of the road yet.  a mechanic there had put one of his spares on her in the meantime.  i’d still have to bring in my own spare to get them switched out, and it didn’t fit in XBFs car.

[side note: the mechanic who worked on my jeep thinks someone was trying to STEAL my wheels.  i later reasoned with my mom that it probably happened up on the mountain the week before the ill-fated trip.  be careful out there.]


holy balls again.  i went over to the bank and saw that my car payment went through early.  nearly $200 bucks gone.  and i thought i would have extra money after these two bills, so i had bought a new game for my Playstation Vita, making it impossible to pay for the work on my jeep.  i really hate myself sometimes.

all my credit cards are maxed.  no money.  i had to ask the bank to give me a fucking $40 “loan” to cover the balance.

but finally i got the keys to my jeep.  as i drove home, i felt an overwhelming urge to cry, but the tears couldn’t come.  stupid mood stabilizers and anti-depressants.

on the way home, i started to feel desperate.  panicked.  i stopped by the bike shop and talked to the owner.  he had sold me a road bike when my live-in boyfriend got the urge to get one for himself.  he agreed to help me sell it.  i was supposed to bring it by today, but i forgot (much like everything else).  i hope to get several hundred for that, which will take the edge off.

then i went home and scoured craigslist for jobs.  i submitted 3 or 4 applications at various restaurants and contacted a couple more people about positions.  i can’t remember exactly, but i think i’ve contacted 7 or 8 jobs by now.

i’ve also got an ad out for tutoring, and i’ve already gotten a student for that.

some jobs are probably more well suited for me than others.  but i’ll take what i can get.

some places have these online questionnaires that seem to assess your personality and work ethic.  i was filling out one application that seemed to ask an inordinate number of questions about my MOOD and my disposition toward MOODINESS.  just for shits, i’m opening a new application and will copy and paste the questions here.

bipolar discrimination?

  • When I am in a bad mood, it affects my work.
  • Coworkers would describe me as being very even-tempered.
  • I have been known to lose my temper when I am upset.
  • I always know whether I am in a good mood or bad mood.
  • I strive to keep my emotions from interfering with my judgment.
  • In critical situations, I usually stay pretty calm and collected.
  • When faced with high-demand jobs, I am rarely stressed.
  • Sometimes there is so much stress I wonder how I am going to make it through the day.
  • Even after coworkers seem to be worn out I usually still have a reserve of energy.
  • Working at a standard even pace is my preferred approach to work.
  • When I get upset, I yell at other people.
  • Even when there are pressing issues in my personal life, I am able to remain focused at work.
  • I rarely lose my temper.
  • Over the course of the day, I can experience many mood changes.
  • Being in a bad mood has no effect on my work.

some other favorites:

  • Coworkers would describe me as someone who follows the rules.
  • I think everyone should obey those in positions of authority.
  • When I make a promise, you can count on it.
  • I have never been late for work.
  • I find that I have a hard time keeping my promises.

well, that pretty much rules out THAT job.