Monthly Archives: December 2012

Oh No! (Almost)

This morning I awoke even more fuzzy in the brain than usual.  I think it’s because I actually slept all night last night, since the wind was not causing the loose piece of aluminum roofing to bang into the side of the building at unpredictable intervals, or to howl through the trees like a broomstick witches’ convention.

So when I remembered to take my morning meds (which is an unpredictable thing in itself), I picked up my med box which looks like this:

Imagewhich, as you can see, is clearly marked “morning” and “evening.”  OK, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but I use the top part for morning and the bottom part for evening, and that way I can have a two weeks’ supply of meds already prepared, and all I have to do is remember to take them.

So this morning I was quite proud of myself, as I headed for my med box, that I was remembering to take the morning ones, which always seems to be a challenge for me; perhaps it is because my brain is always still fuzzy from the evening sucker-punch dose that makes it possible for me to sleep.

Quite fortunately, I caught myself at the very last moment, about to take a dose of the evening cocktail!  What a disaster that would have been!  I would have slept all day, for certain, since the evening concoction contains a regular mickey of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines, with ten milligrams of zolpidem for good measure.  I usually augment that with a little bit of alcohol (don’t try this at home), which brings on a state of oblivion quite nicely.

The problem with this cocktail, even without the alcohol, is that it makes me ataxic (can’t walk).  If I have to get up to use the bathroom (in my present rustic hideaway, that means the pee jar), I have to hold onto things to keep from falling.  I have been known to have to crawl if nothing is available to hold onto.

So if I had accidentally gone ahead and taken my evening meds in the daytime, my day would have been for shit, and I would have had to cancel on taking care of my dad, which was the main plan for today.  And not only would I have missed out on my cherished visit with Dad, but it would have pissed off Mom, which is always a shrek.

But perhaps there is really a G-d.  I have been worrying about that lately, whether there is or is not; and it does bother me that here I have been trying my best to live a religious life, and more or less suddenly I am getting this attack of what seems to be atheism.

At the very moment that I realized my potentially disastrous mistake and drew back my hand as if the pill case had been red-hot, I considered once again whether there could be an element of divine intervention at work.  After considering this for about three milliseconds, I downed the morning dose of pills and went on preparing the stainless steel travel vessel of tea to take to drink at Dad’s, since they don’t have any decent tea there and I like my own.

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

Oh, how I hate this kind of theme. Weekly photo challenge, I am disappointed in you. But nonetheless, I’m playing …

Continue reading »

Ringing in the New Year with a manic episode hangover



That’s my mood this morning. Following yesterday’s rapid cycle through manic-freaking out panic mode-falling down the rabbit hole into depression territory.

I was invited to R’s house tonight for drinks and to play cards. I don’t play cards. Furthermore, I don’t want to go. I haven’t responded yet because I am afraid in a volatile state I might say something rude. Like, “I’d rather snake my toilet pipe than hang out with you people.” My inner child is a mean little bastard and sometimes comes out in the aftermath of a manic episode.

But as much as I had wanted to do something for New Year’s LAST WEEK…

My mood has shifted so  severely that I just want to be alone tonight with my kid and cats.

That’s the sucky thing about cyclothymia. You can’t make long term plans because you say sure, that sounds good, then by the time it comes around, you’ve cycled into a mind frame the marquis de sade would run away from. Very frustrating. It pisses me off but I’m kinda being held hostage here.

I agreed to come into the shop today on the grounds he buys me some smokes.

Trust me, you don’t want to be around me if I am out of cigarettes. Those cigarettes are often the only things keeping me from raking my nails up and down my own flesh in a panic induced freak out. Even while pregnant, the OB backed off on telling me not to smoke because he saw the end result of me not smoking. Tis not good.

It’s not so much nicotine addiction. (Yes, I know everyone says that.) It’s just the act of smoking itself that soothes the savage beast that is bipolar and panic.

And the more everyone around me caves in to pressure to quit and tries to make me do the same..the more I want to stick an entire pack of cigarettes in my mouth and light ‘em all.

Sure, lemme quit smoking cigarettes and become a meth addict. That’s much better. NOT. Fuck you.

I am prattling. Oh, I took my Cymbalta, so I should be lifting off any time now. Gotta love a med that makes you manic for about an hour every single day you take it. My old shrink wouldn’t give me anti depressants just for this reason, she used dual mood stabilizer therapy to avoid the whole instigating mania thing. I broached the topic with my current shrink last session which was when she whipped out the Cymbalta as a way to control my panic and get me off xanax.


Kinda like when they put me on Paxil for my anxiety and it made me a fucking insomniac bundle of nerves that would have made a cokehead look calm.

She’s funny.

I’d bet my internal organs next session she tries to convince me the Cymbalta doesn’t make anxiety worse. I hate when doctors do that. I hate when they tell you a med doesn’t do something but you can go right to the manufacturer site and it will list that as a side effect.

Doctors know shit.

So…Yeah, I need a shower but I am not even dressed yet. I will go make nice.

I just hope my inner child keeps its fucking mouth shut. That brat comes out at the most inopportune moments. And says things that I have to suffer for.

No, that’s not me trying to deflect my own culpability.

Altered mindstates are a lot like being drunk, though. Stuff that normally gets caught in your social filter just flies out.

When I am depressed, I get grumpy and when people try to cheer me up…

Eh, you get the picture.

I’m unpleasant.

But at least I am good at it.


A House of Sand

One of the things that many people don’t think about when it comes to bipolar is those living with those who have bipolar. Yes, I know many of y’all find me and my ilk annoying because we don’t conform neatly to societal norms, but you can ignore us and go on your way. People like my husband, however, can not.

As I’ve noted, I’ve not been doing that great this month. It has nothing to do with holidays (I love ‘em), or the short days (I love ‘em) — it’s just luck of the crappy draw. And my husband is a very sensitive and caring person who has lots of empathy for my day-to-day suffering, and it of COURSE has an effect on him, no matter how much I try to keep it in my own little bubble. And one of the joyful *snark* side effects of having no energy for anything whatsoever is that it is very hard to give my care-giving partner the recognition and support he needs. I do what I can in words and hugs and trying to complete chores as I find the ability to, but it doesn’t change the fact that he selflessly tries to hold his hurts and feels back from me so that they don’t complicate the already chaotic mess that is my default state. Then I add to it without meaning to, and it’s a bit of a mess all the way around.

That isn’t to say that we normally have problems — I think we both try really hard to take care of each other to the best of our abilities. It just means that sometimes we both run out of strength because we are both human. We had a little momentary incident this morning, but it passed and hopefully we’ll be able to gather our spoons and soldier onward. It’s just hard when we don’t know how long the not great times are going to last, yanno?

Anyways, I am completely wiped by dint of existing, so I’m going to go hunker down until I need to bake. It’s my daughter’s birthday today, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t make something sweet for her!


so, i met my soul mate

just kidding, but seriously.

i’ve been on the site all of four days.  i don’t mean to toot my own horn but it turns out i’m kinda popular on the site.  problem is, most people seem a little too…straight edge.  it also turns out that eharmony is designed to facilitate the m-word and honestly, it feels a little creepy.  plus, keeping up with all of the emails takes up a good chunk of time!

it’s not all bad though.  there are a few that manage to keep my attention beyond a blip.  such as s, for example.  he caught my eye because he has sexy features, seemed moderately unconventional, and he fosters dogs.  he was also the one who asked the multiple choice question about doing frightening things.

so i asked what “frightening” thing he enjoyed most.  hell, he could have said trying a new grocery store.  you never know.  his answer: the low gears of his motorcycle.  interestingly, this immediately made me extremely horny.  i gave him my number.

he called this evening.  we just got off the phone.  we talked for over. two. hours.

first impressions: his voice makes me wanna rip off my panties and swing them around my head.  he has his shit together.  his sense of humor might jive with mine.  he is a gamer (woohoo!).  he doesn’t think i’m completely bat shit crazy.  and that is impressive, especially since i impulsively offered to be completely blunt and honest for one hour while he could ask whatever he wanted.

haha, so you can guess how that went but let me tell you instead.  s now knows that my dad’s side of the family consists of convicted felons, my mom and i didn’t speak for two years, that i was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and that i am taking psychiatric medication.

in hindsight, i’m kind of glad to get all of that out of the way.  otherwise it’d be hanging over my head and i’d be wondering when the right time was and blah blah blah.  plus, he had the opportunity to bail when he wanted to hang up and call back due to phone call quality and he didn’t.

okay but here’s the kicker.  he was talking about finding true love and all that and i’m thinking well, this guy has a probably narrow view of what that means.  and do you know what he says?

he says: i don’t even care if it’s polyamorous as long as it’s with the right person.


i couldn’t believe it! it was music to my ears.  even if i never engaged in polyamory in my life, the key is that he is someone who is open minded about all of the different shapes that relationships take.  it’s so nice to hear, especially in comparison with my ex, who could only conceive of love and marriage as being between two people and for whom attraction to people outside of the couple was unacceptable…unimaginable, even.

so, my new polyamorous gaming friend is a win, at least for now.

Stabbed In The Gut Again

“You wanna see a video?” she simpered.  ”I don’t know, you might not want to see it.  Prietza.  She’s a prietza,” she repeated, for emphasis, directing this last to my father, who ignored it.  (“Prietza” is Yiddish for “whore,” although my mother thinks it means “princess” because that’s what her mother told her it meant, when her mother called her that.)

“I don’t know, what kind of video might I not want to see?” I was cautious, on edge.  ”Some kind of porno flick?” I joked, trying to take the edge off of whatever was in the air.  I felt like a cleaver was about to come down from somewhere.  What kind of video might I not want to see?

She got her Kindle and fiddled with it, momentarily panicked as she couldn’t find what she sought.  Then she found it, and placed it under my nose triumphant.  I waited as the slow wireless cued up, and the video came to life.

It was a documentary on the success of a contemporary of mine, a daughter of one of the elite artist crowd my parents were part of when I was growing up, before I left, and everyone went their ways.  She was the one that everyone shook their heads about, muttered about her dubious I.Q. and her preoccupation with clothes and sewing.  Now she has followed in her father’s footsteps and is a fabulously successful artist.  I’m very glad for her.  Her parents would have been very proud to see her success, had they lived.

I knew why my mother made such a big deal about my possibly not wanting to see the video, although she was wrong:  I am very happy to see my old friend’s success, her happiness, her beautiful art.  She is someone to be spoken of with pride, a fifth generation artist, carrying on the tradition.

And I? I am nothing.  I am a failure.  I am grouped with the ones that ended up doing nothing, on the dole; and that is why I might not want to see a documentary film on my old friend, the one whom everyone clucked about, who didn’t show any creative promise, while I was busy racking up degree after degree, finally a doctor in the family.

This is why I might not want to see this documentary.

In truth, had the introduction been different:  ”Oh, look what so-and-so sent me today!  Isn’t this fabulous?”  I would not be feeling suicidal right now.  In fact my present state of suicidality has absolutely nothing to do with my friend’s success.  I don’t compare myself with others.  I have been given what I have been given.  I had fantastic successes in my time, and now that time has passed; my successes must be different now: it’s just that I haven’t found them yet.

What stabs me in the gut is my mother’s blatant devaluation of my life, whatever it has been; and her assumption that I would not want to see the success of one of my contemporaries.  That is what triggers this intense desire to carry out my ultimate success.

During the darkest times, when I have had to put myself in the hospital to keep my hand from carrying it out, the ones in charge have always asked me if I have ever attempted suicide.  My response: I have not, and will never, attempt suicide.  If I decide to do it, it will not be an attempt.  I would not take the risk of failure of my exit strategy.  There will be no attempt.

After the mania…

It last about the three hours, the manic episode. Which is why it took so long for me to get a proper diagnosis. There’s this misconception that a manic episode and depressive episode have to last for days or weeks to be diagnosed as bipolar.

In the case of Cyclothymic bipolar, this is not true. Rapid cycling is the name of the game.

Now I am not happy.

Now I am jumpy and panicky and anxious and irate and irritably and I feel like the walls are closing in on me because the cats and my kid keep crawling all over me and




I just want to scream LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!

I don’t.

But I cringe when they touch me. I don’t know why. My entire state right now is like I am listening to a chorus of nails on chalkboards.

This hyperagitated state often follows a manic episode.

I just have to ride it out.

I must admit, it is much worse with the Cymbalta. Oh, the morony (it’s not ironic, it’s moronic) of prescribing a med for my panic disorder and it causes me to freak out but helps me not be depressed.


Whiskey would help.

I  have no money.

Just gotta ride it out and remember not to scream and yell and thrash around.

But every nerve ending is screaming and every time kid or cat touches me, my skeleton wants to leap out of my skin. This is not a pleasant sensation.

This is just typical of the cycles in my disorder.

Happy energetic mania.

Overly agitated state following.

Hopefully this phase passes quickly.

Not that I want to sink into a depressive mind frame.

But it would be better than feeling like I am gonna to claw my own eyeballs out of their sockets to escape all the noise and contact and my own stupid central nervous system.

Forever and ever, amen.

So, I see we all made it past the 21. I knew we would. :) I’ve been doing pretty darn good. I mean, aside from the sleep issue. I am so fucking tired of “napping” at night, instead of getting a straight night sleep.

I’ve been going to church a lot lately. And, I’m kind of keeping an eye on myself just to see if I’m getting ready to flip, just in case. But I really love going. I have even been going early! I like the quiet time. I like the time to myself for reflection. And, I don’t even feel anxious anymore. I have no more tears. I just feel so…. good and at peace. Which brought me to think, could all of those meds I was on caused me to feel that way before? So anxious and nervous and isolated? I don’t know the answer to that. And, I don’t think I ever will. So, best to just live in the moment I suppose.

I have changed a lot. I’d like to think for the better. But I have been reconsidering my Bipolar diagnosis. Could it have just been my thyroid all along? Could it have been just this fibromyalgia? I don’t know. Maybe I’m just level right now. But I’m not even looking over my shoulder right now for the edge, like I once did. I’m just living.

I know I have suffered from depression, and my initial diagnosis 20 some odd years ago was correct. And I know I have been out of my mind, and hypomanic, and depressed, and mixed, and erratic. But right now I’m good. And I’m not going to question it.

And another thing….

Following on from my last but one post – ‘The Sorrows of…’ – I want to expand a bit on the context surrounding what I was writing about.

When I wrote that piece in mid – December I had been at a pretty low ebb.  I am glad to say that I’m feeling a whole lot better now.  I still stand by what I wrote, but I want to explore the themes I touched on last time.

Rational versus emotional.  Psychosis versus what’s really happening.

These tensions are with me every time I ride my bike.  My rational side means that I am opening the garage and taking out my bike, putting my stuff in my panniers, and setting off down the hill in time to catch my train.  On the way my rational side makes me stop at the traffic lights, acknowledge motorists, and remain assertive as I make my way along the road during the morning rush hour.

But it’s my emotional side that makes my heart beat with passion and joy – the joy at being alive – the reason I ride.  Sure, the excercise is good for me.  Sure, it’s ecologically friendly.  It’s cheaper – yeah, yeah, yeah.  But that’s not why I pedal up the hill in all weathers.  I ride because cycling connects me to who I am, to who I was, and to whom I will one day become.

Goethe was writing was part of a wider literary movement called ‘Sturm und Drang’. Translated variously as ‘Storm and Drive’, ‘Storm and Urge’ or usually as ‘Storm and Stress’.  This movement – most active between the 1760s and 1780s –  was a reaction to the Rationalist Age that characterised The Enlightenment.  It emphasised subjectivity, and extremes of emotion – as seen so clearly in ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’.

The Scottish Philosopher David Hume (1711 – 1776) bridged the gap between the  rationalist school of thought and the school known as sentimentalism when he wrote that ‘Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions.’

What I’m getting at is that emotionalism, as a response to our experiences, is crucially important to our  understanding of our lives.

Cognitive behavioural Therapy – which aims to help people review how they think about things - and by so doing understand and relate differently to challenging experiences is very widely used these days in the treatment of emotional disorders. An appeal to the rational self.  I am wary of the widespread use of this approach – not because I think that it is wrong – but because it unhooks us from our emotional selves.  I am concerned that it teaches us – however inadvertently – to mistrust our emotions, and in so doing detach from our true selves.

Love Listen

Let’s love, listen, take time

when time is all we have.

Let’s be unafraid to be kind,

Learn to disregard the bad

If the good outweighs it daily.

Let’s make a gift of silence,

The day’s hushing into dark, and when we hold eachother

Let’s always be astonished

we are we want to be.

Let’s hope to age together,

but if we can’t, let’s promise now

to remember how we shone

when we were at our best,

when we were most ourselves.

Ann Gray (Contemperary – dates unknown)


I’m feeling scraggly and weak, and it makes me wonder if there might be a cold atop depression’s physical effects upon my body. I know that my husband is feeling queasy and unwell, so there’s a chance of that within me as well. Not that it matters much in the scheme of things, other than being able to class x and y into its ‘correct’ boxes; being able to do that doesn’t change the fact that I feel weak and tired and gross and leaden. It’s all over and through the body too — I’d hoped to work on my crochet, but my hands aren’t doing the right things. Lame? Totally.

I also, emphatically, do not want next week to come. It’s going to be a busy one, and while it will probably delight and distract my mind once I’m in the midst of it, I’m feeling exhausted and gibbery at this juncture. The urge to isolate and cry is a strong one, though I continue to thank whatever deity might be listening that I continue to mainly win over that impulse. I’m not sure how outside of rote and stubbornness, but if that’s still sort of working… well, thanks for sort of working.

Anyways, back to being a slug.