Daily Archives: May 30, 2013

I’m too negative

You hear something often enough, it must be true, right?

I asked R what about me other than the bipolar bothers him. He said he gets sick of my negativity.

And I said, “You mean the way I get sick of your naive optimism where you stick your head in the sand even though everything is not going well?”

And I could have suggested monkeys were flying out of his butt because he looked absolutely shocked at the notion that he could be annoying.


No concept outside his own wants and needs and disturbances.

I KNOW I am negative and pessimistic. I KNOW I am moody. I KNOW I can be a right bitch sometimes.

It’s why I go through the usually pointless exercise of counseling with the sunshine spewer, trying to confront the harsh truths about myself and figure out how to improve myself.

I pointed out he’s the same wreck he was 13 years ago and he dead seriously said, “I don’t see what’s so wrong with me.”

Hmm. He can tell me all about my faults, but he sees nothing really wrong with himself?

THERE is my problem with the human race. That’s the whole deal that makes me so negative.

Oh, and those pesky mood swings everyone seems to think are an affectation I choose to adopt.

Maybe if people didn’t treat me so shitty, I might have something positive to say. But that never occurs to most people.

“You’re moody.”

“You’re negative.”

“You’re opinionated.”

“You’re too dark.”

“You’re sarcastic.”


Pick me apart and I will give what I get.

It seems like something I should change but since others aren’t going to change, I can’t be arsed.

In the space of 7 hours, the man managed to undo 5 days worth of my calm stable mood and once again, I am feeling like a criminal needing to flee the scene.

But I can’t. Because that would be weak. The best way to get over something that bothers you is to do it until it no longer bothers you, right? So I am told. I also think unicorns are real and pigs have wings.

I just can’t back down. I’ve never pursued a physical fight in my life. But when it comes to verbal warfare and defending myself and making a point….I’ve never walked away from a fight.

THAT is personality.

And maybe that’s something I can work on.

And okay, maybe I put too much focus on the negative and while the “expect the worst, be surprised if the best happens” approach works for me, perhaps I should stop spreading my healthy toxicity to others. Okay, I can accept that.

But when someone looks at me dead serious and acts clueless as to the fact that they might piss me off as much as I piss them off…

Not really motivating me to change, since obviously they think they have nothing to change. Equal annoyance it is.

THAT is personality.

But mid afternoon when I went from an uppish mood and slid into a low mood…

Pure bipolar.

No trigger, no segue, just bang. Up, then smash down.

As much as it sucks for the people around me when I am down, it sucks more for me, because that’s when all the negative stuff really seeps into my brain and starts telling me I am beyond repair and no one will ever accept and love me, and I should just kill myself. If you live with such thoughts in your mind on a daily basis, it’s almost ludicrous for someone to tell you to find something positive about it and get over it. It’s not positive. It is very negative and it sucks and it is reality.

And I can’t bury my head in the sand like the masses. Can’t and won’t.

I call a spade a spade and considering how content I actually being by myself, I don’t see much reason to alter this facet of my personality. Because part of loving someone is being able to accept shit like being bipolar and pessimistic. And if I can’t find someone with that much character, then yeah, I’d rather be alone.

The only thing I have learned over the years that has never changed despite depressions and mood swings is, when you are with someone you don’t connect with, even with them, you feel lonely and alone.

And that’s worse than being by yourself.

So ok, I am a downer. I have too many cats, too little money, it’s hot, my car runs like shit, my clothes all have holes in them, my carpet is stained beyond redemption with 4 years of stampeding feet, the place smells musty, my stomach hurts when I get stressed out…

There is a LOT of shit in life and painting it to look like a rainbow doesn’t make it not smell like shit.

At the same time…

I love my many cats. I have a beautiful vivacious kid. I enjoy reading and writing and watching favorite TV shows. Every once in awhile I look in the mirror and my brain isn’t telling me I am more hideous than Chewbacca’s butthole. Once in a blue moon I managed to not only shave my legs without missing spots, but also without drawing blood. I may not have much money but the little I have, I manage well. The car at least has a decent stereo. Around midnight the place cools down and all is quiet and peaceful.

Life is a mixed bag. Things are not all good or all bad.

But excuse me if I am too busy enjoying the good to talk about it and save only the sucky stuff to rant about.

That being said, I will make a conscious effort to at least keep my pessimism to myself more.

But if I start making gagging noises when you spew sunshine and blow rainbows up my skirt…

Maybe you need to tone that optimism down.

Wait, that would be fair. No, we can’t have that.

Fuck it. I’m just gonna be and live with the fall out. It’s too easy to go with the grain.

Nothing easy is worth having.


Grateful to be Bipolar?

Yesterday I looked at one of my posts from last week, in which I wrote about some of my regrets. I turned some of those regrets around and wrote yesterday’s post about gratitude. I realized that so many things in my life that hurt, or I regret, could easily be turned around and seen as a blessing. But what about bipolar? Is there a way to turn it from being a negative in my life to a positive? After deep thought I think I can give it a resounding yes.

WTF? You may ask. Am I actually grateful that I have bipolar disorder? Well, I’m grateful for who I am, and bipolar is part of me. In addition much of the crazy behavior in my past can easily be explained as part of being bipolar. At least that’s what my doctors tell me. I am who I am. I’m the guy who would walk around his neighborhood naked at 2am. I’m the guy who can’t have a credit card without maxing it out within a couple of days. I’m the guy who can’t concentrate for more than 30 seconds. I’m the guy who was homeless and slept in buses at night. I’m the guy who’s done some wonderful things, some hurtful things and some wildly crazy things. That’s me.

Most of the day, yesterday, was difficult. I was dealing with depression. Once again, the blinds were shut, I didn’t shower and I had to force myself not to eat everything in the house. It was a struggle. But…or should I say…BUT, I used a technique that works when I force myself to, and that would be staying in the here and now. When I would catch myself stewing in the dark place I stop myself for at least a moment and think about that second only. For that brief second, life was good. There were no dark cloud over me, and I didn’t hate myself. In fact, I would think a moment and realize that I like me. It’s not easy, and it does take some practice, but for me staying in the moment works.

Yes, I have regrets in my life, but does that always mean they’re bad? Had I done things differently, my life would be completely different today. I wouldn’t have my beautiful daughter, I wouldn’t have married Maurice, I wouldn’t have moved to Southern California (which I love). To say I wish I hadn’t done some things would negate the wonderful things in my life right now and I feel too blessed to do that. So yes, as crazy as it must sound, I am grateful for being bipolar. Without it I wouldn’t be who I am today and there’s too many wonderful things in my life to fill it full of regrets.

Searching For the Missing Me

I am sitting in the kitchen of my beloved friend R_, who was on the same flight with me when we made Aliyah (emigrated) to Israel in 2007.  We didn’t meet on the plane because he was in such ecstasy at moving to our real home country that he didn’t notice anything around him.  He was in a haze of love and joy.  I met him about four months after our arrival.  He was hanging out laundry on his mirpesset (balcony), and I recognized him from the flight.  His place turned out to be exactly one block from mine, and my seat-mate on that flight happened to live exactly one block from him!  The three of us became the best of friends.  R_ has become my support system and champion in my struggle to free myself from the toxic, strangulating tentacles that have torn me from my real home country and dragged me back to America, which otherwise holds no attraction to me.


R_’s living room

I had to take a break from my parents and America, because I found myself consumed with rage, which is a very unhealthy emotion.  I developed high blood pressure and heart palpitations, and was having terrible heart pains that woke me out of sleep.  They were so intense that I could not even move to call an ambulance, even had I wanted to, which I didn’t.  I would have been just as happy if a heart attack carried me off, out of the misery of my life there.

So I suddenly announced that I was going to Israel for three weeks, for a break, causing immense consternation on the maternal side of things, and resignation from the Dad side.  I needed a breathing spell, and specifically to breathe the air of the Holy Land, just to be here, even if all I did was to hang out with my friend R_ and walk around the shuk, inhaling and imbibing the sights, sounds, smells, and spirit of the place.

Bride and groom playing in the shuk

Bride and groom playing in the shuk

Practically as soon as I got off the plane my Israeli cell phone started ringing:  ”We’re so glad you’re back: now everything feels normal again.”  I have a place, and my place is here.    My family of choice lives here.  I feel surrounded by love here.

R_ and I went yesterday to visit the tomb of the Baba Sali, a holy man who was said to have brought about many miracles in his time.  Here it is customary to visit the tombs of great and wise people (like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Samuel, etc.) to bathe in their energy and pray for whatever needs prayed for.  We don’t pray to the person, for that is idol worship, but instead we pray for the spirit of that holy person to intercede for us in Heaven so that our prayers will be heard.  I had, and still have, a lot to pray for, so we went to the Baba Sali, because I have a special connection with him.

Baba Sali lived in our times, and came from Damascus to Morocco to Israel, where he settled in a tiny village called Netivot, which is located in the Negev desert right on the border with Gaza, just south of Sderot, which is a town that has been rained on with so many thousands of missiles from Gaza that every bus stop has its own bomb shelter.

Why do I feel safe here?  Right now, at this very moment, Russia is funneling terrible weapons into Syria, which in turn is passing them on to Hezbollah (the terrorist arm in Lebanon), Iran is arming Hamas in Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon, and all of them are fighting among themselves.  It’s a virtual certainty that they will attack Israel at some point.  On Monday and Tuesday this week the air raid sirens went off in every town in the Land, and everyone was supposed to drill taking shelter.  Nobody did, because Israelis are used to being the objects of the aggression of our neighbors, and we realize that only G-d can save us, since we are a country the size of Delaware, so we go on with our lives and our prayers, and of course we hope that rockets won’t fall on our houses or our children, but we rely on G-d to be our shelter.  No Westerner can understand that.

But that’s not what this blog entry is about.

It’s about the terrible conflict that tears me apart, and keeps me from living the life I love, the life the holds out the possibility of real spiritual redemption.  It’s about the conflict between kibud av v’aim, respect for father and mother, which is one of the Ten Commandments.  The letter of  halacha, Jewish Law, interprets this to mean that one is obligated at minimum to provide shelter, food, and clothing sufficient for one’s parents’ needs, but I have a hard time with leaving it at that.

Although my mother severely abused me emotionally, psychologically, verbally, and at times physically, and my father was a codependent facilitator, I still have difficulty separating from them completely, because I continually hope that they will magically become the parents I have always desperately wanted and needed:  loving, caring, nurturing, and deserving of my love and respect.

In fact, in my adolescent confrontational phase, before I picked up and left home at age 16, my mother would scream at me, “You have to love and respect me because I am your parent.”  And I would scream back, “If you want me to love and respect you, you have to earn it,” to which the dear mother would generally reply with a stream of obscenities and a smack across the face, if she could reach me.

So why, after four years of blissful content in Israel, did I rush to their side when their time of need arrived in their old age?  And what has kept me there, in total isolation and spiritual desolation, for two and a half years?  Unconditional love,  blind even to ongoing abuse?  Kibud av v’aim?   Or that desperate primal hope that one day I would awaken to find them magically transformed into my real parents, the ones who dropped me off here on this alien planet 59 years ago?

I just don’t know.

alien woman head

Meds Grump (Opinions Welcome!)

Okay, so — this is sort of a grump, sort of a request for opinions!

I went to pick up my prescriptions yesterday, and found out something displeasing — my Seroquel prescription was suddenly for normal rather than extended release. My pharmacist made very sure I was aware of this, and just in case she was wrong, I checked my online prescriptions and the letter from my psychiatrist to my doctor. She wasn’t wrong — the XL/XR (extended release) got left off. Or did it? The orders on the updated prescription say take one twice daily, which would indicate that (perhaps) it was an intentional switch rather than an oversight.

I guess I could try to call the hospital, but it would probably take me until my next appointment to find the spoons to handle the phone. Seriously, me and the phone are absolutely not friends anymore; we divorced after high school and have preferred to keep our distance. It’s worse here ’cause I speak British (words and intonation) with an American accent — people get confused and make me repeat myself. As I was in speech therapy when I was a kid due to a (probable but not confirmed) soft palette defect I reputedly inherited from my maternal grandmother, and have worked really hard all my life to speak well and understandably, this is incredibly stressful.

So at this point I’m wondering if I could still get away with taking it all at night. I’m not adverse to non-extended release, mind — the normal is fantastic for putting a gal to sleep. But I don’t want to run out of sanity-maintaining drugs partway through the day. But I don’t want to spend part of the day as a zombie either. My husband says that we’ve gotten my general practicioner (GP) to change it from normal to XL/XR in the past, but I can’t remember. My brain balks at asking him anyways, ’cause that requires either making a phone call or booking an appointment, and I’m still smarting from being treated dismissively over my endometriosis-related concerns a couple of months back.

What I’m thinking of doing for now is when I run out of XRs, I’ll take one 200mg around the normal time I dose myself, and try to see if I can handle the next the following morning. That’s the recommended dosing anyways, so it’s worth trying. Having said that, I already suspect it’ll punch me in the face and keep me asleep, so I’ll probably end up taking them both at night and hoping for the best.

Anyways, pennies left for my thoughts are welcome, as are your two cents (har har har). I mean, I guess I sort of know what I’m going to do, but maybe I’m missing something in my analysis. :)


The post Meds Grump (Opinions Welcome!) appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Review – Silver Linings Playbook

Netflix finally delivered the disc, and we got to watch Silver Linings Playbook. I really didn’t know how to react …

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Hands that are not helpful

Just got my call from R, pretending to care how I am. Kenny won’t be there tomorrow, and thus, I am needed. There was much flattery about how not even his uber perfect daughter can work the magic I do finding parts and information( oh but the she has the shop super clean and super organized now, things I could never manage to accomplish because, yeah, I’m not perfect like her)…blah blah blah. I talked. Just by the sound of his voice I could tell I was pissing him off.


By being honest. About liking my mommy time and not being so stressed out and moody and wanting to cut back on being there.

He took that “oh,fine” sighing tone and agreed, but he was totally pouting while pretending to understand and pretending to care.

Which was probably really difficult for him, considering he spent fifteen minutes babbling about busted stuff and nasty customers.

But I took the assertive hard line approach, making it clear I could take it or leave it. Not being desperate was my main goal, cos manipulative people feed on weakness. And it worked.


was when I mentioned how he’s always bringing up my moods, and he said, “Well, you are moody but I will just have to live with it.”

For someone so smart, he is soooo stupid.

MOOD DISORDER. And what is a disorder, kids? God.


He acts like he’s so flawless and easy to tolerate but I’m the difficult one and he has to endure the hardship of living with it because I am useful to him.

Then he started in on that A-plus certification shit. “I was hoping you’d get that done by now…I want you to do it…I think you’d be good at it….” Him. All about him.

And he wonders why I am even moodier.

I have had five wonderful low stress days, even with “mommy” and “Niki” being repeated 500m times a day  by children. Returning to his lion den fills me with dread.

But I think I have to do it. Not for him.

For me. To prove I can. And maybe, well, to torture him with my mood swings, since he is too shallow and self absorbed to grasp the concept of a disorder.

Funny thing is, he thinks he is being helpful by “living with” my moods. Like mentioning it is helpful because I have no clue I am moody, I don’;t live the fucking hurricane of moods every single day.

Telling me I am moody is akin to informing someone with a hammer wedged in their skull that they have a hammer wedged in their skull.

I am sure he would learn to live with that, too, as long as he got what he wanted.

My counselor says to give it up and accept this is not a friendship, he is not capable of anything beyond superficial relationships because he doesn’t have the guts to face his own feelings, let alone empathize with how another feels.

I want to let it go. But I’m not the letting go type. I am relentless, especially when it comes to people who have insisted that I make changes but won’t reciprocate. It’s really not a gray area for me. If you’re a friend and you care, then you listen and you try to accept and work with someone. I doubt I’d be so focused on all his damn flaws if he weren’t so hyperfocused on the one thing that is not within my control. All part of my “tit for tat” mentality that has been criticized sooo many times. Yet, I used to be a total welcome mat and gave until I bled without getting anything in return.

The welcome mat died.

This is who I am now, and I am fine with it. If I weren’t surrounded by users, I wouldn’t need to be this way. But if the only way to avoid emotional bankruptcy is “tit for tat”, then so be it. It’s one personality flaw I can own and live with as opposed to feeling like the whiny simp everyone used to walk all over.

God, I am still cringing, thinking of that stupid call.

The whole time he was in resigned, “Okay, if you need time off, I understand” mode…The judgment was in his voice. I am paranoid but this I am not making up. He and that eldest daughter have the whole doctor-lawyer-indian chief thing going on. They thrive on keeping busy, they thrive on stress and overachievment. So the notion someone else might now move at their pace galls them. And neither of them have been shy about letting me know it.

I am so bloody sick of talking to him and ending up feeling like a child who has disappointed a parent. I’m not his fucking daughter. But then again, when we were together, he used to fix my dinner plate for me like I was one of his kids. He saw it as a gesture of kindness. After about the thirtieth time, I saw it as being viewed as a child.

And I think that’s still how he views me.

Fortunately for me, I don’t view myself that way .

I will give it a try, see if cutting back and compartmentalizing helps.

But I am not kissing his ass and I am not letting him vilify me for something that is a legitimate disorder.

at this point, I am willing to walk away without flinching. If my car blows up, I will ride my broomstick around town.