Daily Archives: December 4, 2013

Keep in MIND

Keep in MIND

I am learning Mindfulness right now, and I have to keep this in mind.

Wednesday’s Quote: Mayra Hornbacher

“When you are mad, mad like this, you don’t know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else’s reality, it’s still reality to you.”

-Mayra Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life


Brilliant Comic

I actually took a storytelling class in graduate school, and comics were a big part of the curriculum. This comic was shown to me, and I find it to be quite impactful. Physical illness is the same as mental illness. Period.

Here is the original link:

No, I Don’t!

“No, I don’t.”
“Yes, you do.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Yes, you do.”
“No! I don’t!”
“Yes! You do!”

This was my exchange with the therapist who first diagnosed me with having bipolar disorder.  You know Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials?  That’s who she reminded me of even down to her appearance. Except she didn’t dress in white.  I’m talking about physical appearance.  In fact, I’ll call her “Flo”, as I really don’t want to mention anyone by name without his/her consent.

So, anyway, there we were in Flo’s office (the “yellow room” she called it) with me completely denying I have bipolar disorder.  I don’t jump up and down on chairs a la Tom Cruise!  I don’t demolish walls in my home in the middle of the night to remodel.  I don’t stay awake for days on end and do wild and crazy things!  Shoot, 10:00pm is a late night for me, so obviously I couldn’t have bipolar disorder.  I just needed help with the hellish depression I’d been in for months.  Since leaving my home state of California, in fact, and a job and friends I loved.

Au contraire.  Flo went down a checklist and I sat there across from her, nodding my head most of the time, shaking it once in a while, but it soon became apparent she knew what I was about.  Relief?  Fear?  I wasn’t sure what I felt, but I did realize I would be getting an answer to a question I’d long held: Why did I have these “energy swings” and what do they mean?  

Turns out there is not just one type of bipolar disorder, but two.  Lesson one for me.  In fact, since then I’ve learned there are many who believe there’s a bipolar spectrum.  Bipolar I is what we typically think of as bipolar disorder.  The wild and crazy highs intermixed with periods of depression.  Bipolar II is more subtle in some ways.  The “highs” are termed “hypomanic” and oftentimes it’s a feeling of euphoria.  It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, though, but that’s something I’ll address in a whole ‘nother post.  (BTW—I’ve been told ‘nother isn’t a word.  Humor me.)  For me, though, it represented the good phase of my energy swings.  Plenty of energy to work, do the laundry, clean, and even have energy left at the end of the day to play board games with the kids.  Life was good in this state.  A feeling of “Ahhhh…”  But I didn’t recognize some of the down sides of hypomania, like making unnecessary purchases or making plans I couldn’t fulfill.

The flip side of bp II is a deeper depression than that experienced by bp I, and generally longer lasting. I read a report a few years back that the fatality rate of people with bp II is greater than that of all cancer patients combined due to the high suicide rate of those with bp II.  Hmmm…now THAT’s cheerful, isn’t it?  Until I crashed all those many years ago, this was just my low energy cycle.  Couldn’t stay awake and felt as if I had the flu or a bad sinus infection.  Occasionally I’d enter a deep depression, but always came out of it after a few weeks. Not suicidal but deeply depressed.

So after all those years of asking various docs about my energy swings I discovered I was having mood swings.  Lovely.  I was one of “those people”.   But all I needed was a pill to fix it, right?  Right?!

Oh, how naïve I was!  

DIY Holiday Centerpiece!!

I love having versatile decorating pieces and being able to reconfigure things for a new purpose. Today’s DIY was easy and can be used year round.

I had an outdoor lantern, made of wood and glass. I wasn’t thrilled with the color, but did love the weathered finish.


The color was a sort of aqua, which looked nice, but I wanted a color that would transition between seasons and work with more than just blues or greens. I used a sanding block to remove most of the paint. I brushed off the dust and mixed up some white paint with a few drops of black to make a light grey. I applied one quick coat of the paint as I wanted to keep a weathered, antique look.  I let the paint dry about 90 minutes. I placed a wax flickering “candle”, then added in some faux pine branches adorned with pine cones, berries and glistening snow.

The lantern turned out nicely, I may sand a bit more to really give it the rustic look I love. Painting the lantern grey allows me to change the look for all seasons, simply by changing the flowers/decorations inside. This was a great way to repurpose a “summer” outdoor decoration into an all season decorating piece.
This is a great time to try this project as most stores have outdoor patio accessories on clearance, so you can get a great piece at a great price! Please share your version of this DIY in the comments!

Filed under: Crafty Tagged: craft, DIY, repurposed, rustic