Daily Archives: May 3, 2013

Life is what you make of it…and other blatant lies

“Life is what you make it.”


The Donor and I had many arguments over this very mentality. He liked to spew sunshine and piss rainbows.

Sometimes, no matter how much you try to convince yourself it smells like newborn baby and looks like a beautiful flower…a pile of  poo is still a pile of poo.

Having the guts to say so doesn’t make you a pessimist. It makes you a realist.

My old counselor told me-and  this THE most useful thing I have learned in 20 years of therapy– “Some days you just have to accept you feel depressed and go with it, because fighting it is setting yourself up to fail.”

He was a wondermous counselor and excellent human being who just “got it”. He understood what it’s like when your brain sends the wrong signals and “snapping out of it” simply isn’t a viable option.

That being said…

Other than feeling a little down due to the cold rain and gloom today…I am in a neutral mo0d.

Yesterday, however, was just an epic bucket of fail on the mental health front. It is what it is. You take bipolar, throw in the hormonal fluctuations of the monthly female curse, and you end up in a dark place.  Throw massive anxiety attacks and paranoia into the mix and well…Again, it’s still a pile of stinky poo no matter how positive you try to be.

But it did pass. For now. I sometimes fear it’s just the calm before yet another storm…But for this moment, I am ok. But then, R had to leave for the weekend and I am the shop having told Kenny point blank NOT to come today because I don’t need the company. I am listening to music and enjoying the calm of no ringing phone or door opening. The only irritation is this computer is so old every time I try to use another tab it makes the internet radio cut out. Pretty sure dinosaurs roamed the Earth when this puter was manufactured.

I do so well in a calm solitary situation.

The other day, I went to pick up lunch at Subway and the place was packed and the manager was yelling at one of them employees right in front of the customers…And I had a panic attack! I hate managers who do shit like that. Call someone out for not doing their job in private. And when it’s busy and you need all hands on deck is not a good time. I used to be an assistant manager, professionalism is not optional. Even in fast food work.

But then again, as much as I loved that retail job as an assistant manager, I only lasted two years before the pressure sent me into a tail spin and I quit before they could fire me. (It turns out running to the back room daily for crying jags and constant dyslexic cash errors are frowned upon, who knew?) I still remember my manager telling me, “If you’re not stable enough to do the job and handle the pressure, you don’t need to be in this line of work.”

Except pressure and stress are every job, so where does that leave me? Right. Where I am now. Screwed.

I read a story the other day about a woman with a T-Mobile call center job and she was pregnant and under doctor’s orders to drink a lot of water…which of course made her pee a lot…And she had to clock out every time she went pee and had to take vacation time pay to make up for lost time. Then after the fact, she made a 16 cent error and they fired her.

Wow. Can’t pee, and can’t be fallible even in a call center job. Which I had thought would be a good job for me. But if you can’t take two minutes to go pee because you have to make their quota…How the fuck will my fucked up brain ever manage?

I am a slow learner, and sometimes, a slow worker. Plus, if someone is hovering over me and it’s a fast paced environment…I come apart.

I want to work.

But it seems no job out there can accept my limitations.

And it freaks me out. Because in spite of my disorders, I still feel like I have value. The world just doesn’t seem to agree.

But hey I came close to being let go by a friend from an unpaid internship…due to my moods…Last week, in fact.

I’m sorry, but I can work with being broke, with living in the trailer hood, with all of my pants having holes in them…This bipolar and panic thing…

Is just a pile of poo.

And it’s gross and stinky and no amount of spewing sunshine and pissing rainbows will ever change that.

Now…Something I found on line awhile back that I have made multiple copies of and plastered everywhere, even here at the shop. It is exactly how I feel.

I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes. I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best


Fun Friday: Carolyn Scott & Rookie

Socialization Overload

I declare it a toss-up as to whether or not I’m going to survive the month of May… and with the month only just started.

My husband and I are cheerfully introverted. Our socialization needs are very low, so of course, all the things in the world tend to come up at the same time. This month sees family visiting, Eurovision, and a friend’s wedding atop my usual commitment to Stitch ‘n Bitch. There’s at least one medical appointment (my psychiatrist next week), and knowing my luck, other things will pop up. Because that’s exactly what I need on the back of a month where I left the house twice.

Mind you, I’m not complaining. I look forward to seeing my ‘brother’ and his family. I look forward to seeing friends. But as I am sure many of you can empathise with, it’s just a daunting prospect at this vantage. And even if I can convince the psychiatrist to give me something for the anxiety side of the house, it’s my understanding that meds for anxiety tend to take a couple of weeks to work. I don’t have a couple of weeks — once the couple of weeks have past, we’ll be clear through summer and planning for our anniversary!

Still, maybe it will be alright. I actually felt sort of calm and collected yesterday. I might not be today (anxiety is spiking again), but a little optimism never hurt anything. We’ll see — I’ll keep taking this one day at a time, and hopefully it will see me out to the other side in one piece (and in peace, har har).

I hope everyone out there is having a pleasant day.


The post Socialization Overload appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Where I Live

I live on the other side of the North Toe River, facing the Penland Post Office.  The Post Office, built in 1900, is on the National Historic Register.  If something isn’t done about it soon, it will continue its slow yet determined process of decomposition, just like all of us, I suppose.  I was pleased when Bucky the Carpenter put some new boards over the hole in the row of planks that constitutes a front porch. Now you can just walk straight into the post office, without having to be sure not to fall in the hole.

Claude (who was slow to larnin’ but hell on critters) blew that hole in the boards about twenty-five years ago, after Carlene, the previous postmistress, started hearing strange sounds emanating from under the boards; and the source of the sounds was revealed when she came out from behind the counter to close up the post office one evening and there was a great-granddaddy of a rattlesnake grinning at her from the doorway.  After she got done shrieking, which could be heard all the way to Bailey’s Holler, she got on the phone and called for Claude to quick come down with his shotgun, which he was happy to oblige, and blew that hole in the post office porch.  Once he had it opened up, he saw that there was a whole nest of rattlers living underneath there, so he fired off the other barrel, which pretty much took care of that problem.

Inside the post office isn’t much more sophisticated.  The fifty mail boxes, vintage 1879, are beautifully cast in brass, having been moved from another post office. All the original scales and equipment are still there, although since the computer has invaded the scene, it is some crowded. The post office inside has plank walls and a puncheon floor.  A puncheon floor is made by smoothing out some dirt and laying some boards over it.  That’s it.  That way you don’t have to go to the trouble of making a foundation.  It is a matter of speculation what the postmistress and her clerk do about bathroom needs, as we know for sure there isn’t any over there, not even a port-a-potty like I have.

The best part is the postmistress, Becky, who is Carlene’s niece.  She started out as Carlene’s clerk when she was about fifteen, and then took over as postmistress after Carlene got too sick to work.  She smoked herself to death.  Carlene, not Becky.  Becky is as charming a mountain lady as you will ever meet.  She likes to tell me about Mr. De Bell, who is the ghost who lives in the Old House, which sits on the same rock as the one I live on.  In fact the two buildings are attached.  Anyway, Mr. De Bell, who died of a heart attack some fifty years ago, likes to come sit in the rocking chair next to the wood stove in the post office and smoke his pipe.  Becky says he smokes that cherry pipe tobacco.  She loves the smell of it.  She maintains that Mr. De Bell is good company, and it always makes her feel safe when he’s there with her.


But you didn’t really come here to hear all this gossip about the speculative inner workings of the post office.  What you’re after is the view.

2013-05-02 19.03.56

The white building on the other side of the river is the post office.

This shot is taken from the River Road, which is the road I live on.   What you see here is a spray of wild Dogwood blossoms hanging out over the North Toe River.  The river’s real name is North Estatoe, after a Cherokee princess named Estatoe who jumped off a rock because her parents wouldn’t let her marry a boy from another tribe.  But I think the name of the river has been officially changed to the North Toe, because there is also a South Toe River.

On the other side of the river is the railroad grade.  It was once a narrow-gauge railroad, called the Clinchfield Railway, and there was once a thriving town where you see a few little buildings.  The Clinchfield had a passenger line, and Penland was a regular stop, not a whistle-stop.  A gigantic flood in 1916 wiped out the village, leaving only the post office, the general store, and a couple of houses that were fortunate enough to be above the flood line.

The flood also wiped out the narrow gauge railroad, and a standard gauge track was built to replace it.  It used to be a Conrail track but now CSX has taken over, and to tell you the truth even though I hate CSX for personal reasons, they take a lot better care of the track.  When Conrail had it there were derailments every five minutes, practically.  Now, for the two and a half years I’ve been living with Mr. De Bell, there hasn’t been one.


Penland Post Office1

The Penland Post Office

There is a railroad crossing right next to the post office,  so the trains have to blow four times every time they approach it.  The standard pattern is BWAAAAAA, BWAAAAAA, BWA BWAAAAAAAA, but they like to mix it up so it could be anything as long as they get their four infernal blasts in.  I hate them.  I have visitors (VERY rarely–I hate visitors too) who simper, “Oh, a train, I LOVE trains!  Don’t you just LOVE living near a train?”  No, I don’t.  They  come BWAAAA-ing down here day and night, and some of them have OK voices and some of them sound like a cow in labor.

I don’t have to tell you that I don’t have indoor plumbing.  Plus, if I told you, the building inspector would shut me down and I would have to move; which might be a good thing, but at least here I don’t pay rent.

But I do have to put up with Mr. De Bell, who makes an infernal racket walking around in the attic at all hours of the night.  I can always tell when Becky goes home from the post office, because he starts up tromping away in the rafters.  If he thinks I’m going to invite him down here, he can think again: not only do I hate visitors, but I’m asthmatic and I’m not about to put up with his damn pipe.  And by the way:  whoever told you that ghosts don’t cross water was WRONG.  Mr. De Bell lives over here, but he crosses the  North Toe River and visits Becky the Postmistress whenever he wants to, so that completely debunks that old myth. I never believed it anyway.


Really sick of the fresh hell

Every day I wake up…and wonder….what fresh hell will rein down upon me today? Because between the hard knocks of life and my own whacked out brain chemistry, it seems I have very few moments where I am not in some sort of turmoil in spite of my best efforts to go with the flow.

Yesterday was…It was like panic attack palooza. Four in one day. Traffic, overly loud talking people, ringing phones, fussy kid…

And today it was even worse, because I spent three hours in anxiety attack mode, having to cup my hand over my mouth and breathe in and out slowly and try all the little tricks to calm myself down. Because we all know panic attacks won’t kill you but enough of them makes you kind of wish they would.

Of course, my freak out delayed my ability to jump through hoops for R, he was not amused. Nor did he care enough to ask what I was doing, he seemed to think I was just lazy today.


Got slammed with pms and the whole cramps from hell thing early in the day. Mood started going down, down, down, then switched into anger which I took out on R and Kenny both. Not in a screaming Mimi way, but in a sarcastic barb way. Except I was not being sarcastic, I was telling them how they were pissing me off at that moment. I am a direct person. Surrounded by passive aggressive people who bottle shit up rather than speak up. So I can see why I am a bitter pill at times. But today, the abyss was looking into me in major ways and rather than go weepy or bat shit crazy, I opted for quiet self contemplation.

Contemplating why the days I am in utter misery in every way the clock ticks like a turtle crossing a road. Contemplating why I am surrounded by people and not one of them could tell I was in physical pain in spite of me holding my sides and doubling over every so often when one of the ovarian cyst pains hit. No, it’s just Niki being a moody bitch, nothing new. Love being surrounded by people who don’t care about my well being, just my use to them and the entertainment value when my mood is amenable.

Now…all I can think about it crawling into bed and forgetting this day ever happened.

More fresh hell to come tomorrow, no doubt. At least then I will have a dollar to buy some fucking anti cramp pills.

Or at least I am hoping to have a dollar left after paying bills.

Eh, fuck it. This abysmal mindset is kicking my ass. bedtime it is.

See what the mood lottery brings me tomorrow.