Daily Archives: January 25, 2014

Why I Am Ditching Facebook

Facebook, I am done with you!…

What Recovery Looks Like (I Think)

If you’ve been following bpnurse for the past few weeks, you know that I’ve just started a job that is already challenging me to think WAY outside the box. The learning curve is steep and I’m having to unlearn a lot of what I picked up working in long-term care for so many years. Even the simplest things can no longer be automatically assumed to be the way they seem on the surface.

For example, some guy pulls out in front of me in traffic. Ordinarily, my first instinct is to cast aspersions on his ancestry and/or make unflattering comments on his lack of intellect; now, I analyze the situation. Then my thought process goes, “BPN, how do you know that guy is a brass-plated turd? Did you actually SEE a brass-plated turd sitting behind the wheel? No? Then presume that he just forgot to look and get on with it!”

It must be said that I’m getting progressively more nervous about the job. I fear that I’ve bitten off way more than I can chew, that I’ve overreached—again—and am going to drown in my own foolishness. It’s scary and exciting all at once, and the combination of those emotions has NEVER been a good one for me even though, like hypomania, it’s both intoxicating….and somewhat addictive.

I’ve said many times that I’m not an adrenaline junkie, but dammit, every time I fall on my face, I just get back up again and ask for more. And if that’s not the definition of an adrenaline junkie, what is?

Truth is, boredom is a fate worse than death, and I know I will NEVER be bored in this position. That’s why I’m going to fight, claw, scratch, whatever it takes to prove I can do it. I’m fully aware of the potential for crashing and burning, and I’ve heard that people do wash out of the program; but this is the second time in my whole life that I’ve had the intestinal fortitude to push through my fears and doubts and just do it anyway. The first was nursing school, when I almost quit in the fourth week and only the thought “If not this, then what?” saved me from making a catastrophic mistake.

And then, like the proverbial bolt out of the blue, it occurred to me this morning that only a few months ago, I’d have crumbled under this kind of pressure. I know. I’ve seen me do it. Over and over and over again.

I’m not crumbling. There will always be cracks from the falls I’ve taken, but I’m in one piece and somebody used a stronger glue to put me back together this last time. I seem to be better able to tolerate the uncertainties in my life—and there are a lot of them!—and I’ve finally developed some of the self-discipline that allows me to be less at the mercy of my illness.

I’m not denying its existence, nor the eternal vigilance it requires to keep flare-ups to a minimum. I got too big for my britches last fall when I was in remission, and that attitude was promptly (and forever) squelched by a one-two punch of mania followed immediately by a depressive episode. I know the reason I feel well now is I’m getting enough sleep, taking my meds on schedule, seeing my doctor regularly, and tending to my spiritual life.

I also know that I am most likely NOT going to go the rest of my life without having another mood swing, no matter how good the meds are or how strict I am about taking them. It will be terribly disappointing when it happens, but I’ll survive it. My record of getting through them is 100% thus far.

Best of all, I’ve somehow found the strength to push my limits again—only a little more gently this time—and refuse to let bipolar disorder dictate how I will live my life. No matter whether I make it in this job or not, I’ll always have the satisfaction of having had the courage to try. I came SO close to giving up on myself last year……now I know what they mean when they say “If you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right”.

This is what recovery looks like, for me anyway. Long may it last!






Crazy – Gnarls Barkley

You know what this song is about…

Being Crazy? Maybe.. but I can relate to it..

Does that make me CRAZY?

Wolf Girl

(Wolf Photo: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc)
I’ve been trying to fall asleep for too many hours. My heart is racing, I’m perspiring. The house is silent. I’m fighting the twitches in muscles to spring from my bed and run outside. I don’t need a coat, gloves, boots, or a scarf. I’m only wearing my pajama shorts and a tank top; I am barefoot.
I want to run. I want to feel the cold air penetrate my skin. I want the darkness to envelop me. I want to hide in the bushes, skip through the trees, and curl up in a pile of snow.
Instead, I lie in bed, silently protesting against my body. I am battling mania. 
This is what mania is for me. At night, I get the urge to explode with energy. I’ve found exercising right before bed helps me. Thirty minutes of riding the bike (indoors!) tires me out and calms me for a night of rest. Most people can’t exercise before bed; they get too wound up. For me, it’s the perfect solution. It’s also much safer than going for a midnight jog.
My ability to forget about my safety and wellbeing are part of the perils of mania. I’m not thinking about myself or anyone else; I’m completely focused on these primal feelings. When talking to my therapist, I didn’t know how to put this nighttime obsession into words. When I was younger, I called it Wolf Girl.
I can be manic without being Wolf Girl, but Wolf Girl always means mania.
What do your manic symptoms look like?

Also, thanks to everyone who helped me think of solutions for my nausea problem! I bought a bunch of things to try, and I’m working on a vlog about the whole experience.

Check out the new Free Stuff! page for a new printable I created. More downloads will be available shortly.

All the Small Things

Well, the good news is that my mood continues to hold stable! The better (???) news is I have absolutely no idea how it’s doing it.

You see, this pregnancy has been rife with lots of stupid physical niggles. I had random migraines and super-headaches the week before Christmas break, for starters. They were probably all migraines, but as many went without auras (which is usually my first clue!), it made it harder for me to fairly judge. Fine, I can sort of suck that up; after all, I do tend to get migraines in a cluster. I didn’t feel particularly great over the Christmas holiday either, but I could sort of suck that up too.

So then, I hit the point I came off the Seroquel; that was about 2 weeks ago now. Within a day, I had the joy of insomnia (expected), a head cold (preexisting the coming off, but not realized until after), and some sort of surprise stomach bug. I’d read people claiming to have stomach problems after coming off of Seroquel, but as I’ve not been able to find any definitive coming off side effects (yes, I did check CrazyMeds! *grins*)… So that could have been bad luck of the draw, or lulzpregnancy, or who knows what. I do know it put me in bed for the better part of a week, which is noteworthy — I do not do bed rest. Being in bed for non-sleep/sex tends to stir my depression to suicidal points. So I tend to stay curled up in my chair here at my desk, ’cause it’s the best I can normally manage. But I managed to do okay; between my new haul of books and my 2DSes (though mainly the books, ’cause head issues still), I was able to entertain myself sufficiently to not sleep through the day and screw up my attempts to fight insomnia (much).

And even with crap sleep, I’ve managed to drag myself into work this week. I’ve been sub-migraine-y a lot because our office radiator is stuck to on, and I’ve found this past month that I overheat way too quickly and that it makes me feel sick pretty instantly. My husband has also banished himself to the couch because he’s had a cold and didn’t want his snoring to disturb my very disturbed sleep. Sure, I’m getting to sleep, but I’m waking up a lot right now. It’s pretty annoying, but I guess I’m getting back to sleep fairly quickly? It feels like I’m up all night, but when I come to in the morning, I remember enough dream fragments to assure me that sleep happened.

And bonus? I went to bed last night with a scratchy throat, which is definitely feeling worse now — sigh!

Usually, I’d grumble and be fine with all this. I’m doing a pretty good job of it right now. But because of my whole gravid state, I’m a hairsbreadth away from ‘HOLY CRAP EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLY A SIGN OF SOMETHING WRONG BABY ARE YOU OKAY?!’. This is why I am amazed that my mood is holding up; while most times I will joke that niggling physical pains and illnesses are a great distraction from the bipolar, they all can take on such an ominous light when carrying a kiddo-brick in one’s belly. Here at 20 weeks, at least, I have the reassurance of occasional flutters, letting me know the little one is swimming around and doing fine. I got to hear a strong, healthy heartbeat twice in the past month. I get to see him/her for the second (and probably final) ultrasound on Thursday. I can talk about any worries I have with my midwife, but I don’t want to let my brain shank me by making up worries that are over the top and probably not to worry about. I’m definitely wary of that in this post-medicine time, especially since they won’t approve me for my home birth for another 16 weeks.

So yanno, hopefully, the good mood and stability will continue to help me carry on in the face of all these stupid physical niggles. Hopefully, I will remember to make myself post here once or twice a week so I can make myself take stock of where I am. I think all of us who try to blog regularly understand how easy it is to fall off the wagon — we’re too busy, or too tired, or lacking in fancy ideas, blah blah blah. I certainly won’t say ‘no excuses’, because I hate hate hate that somewhat entitled and ablest ideology, no matter how well intended. Sure, it’s one thing if you say it to yourself, but anyways. That’s a potential discussion for another day.

I hope this finds you all well!


The post All the Small Things appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Light of Chandeliers

Sometimes I wonder if I’m not a bit like these:

Strasbourg Weihnachtsmarkt 2011

Strasbourg Weihnachtsmarkt 2011

Just one step from flickering out. See, I’m always feeling like I’m floating in between stages of hypomanic and depressed. So I’m either the lit-up bulbs in the chandeliers, or I’m a burnt out bulb.

Strasbourg Weihnachtsmarkt 2011

Strasbourg Weihnachtsmarkt 2011

I’m not sure why I feel like this at times…but I do.

Though I suppose it’s one of the most apt comparisons I can come to. After all, it’s a striking one for me. Bright flaming light, like the “candles” or burnt out, dead light. The light, attractive, bright part that draws people in…and the dead part that is exhausted and no longer of use. Not that me in a depressed state is “dead”…just that it’s a type of comparison I’ve come to.

It’s a bit like the old chandeliers we used to have in my old house. The second photo there reminded me of it, and that’s why I started taking the photos at the Weihnachtsmarkt in Strasbourg, France in 2011 when I was visiting the city. It looked like an old chandelier we had in my home I grew up in, so I took a photo, and then the other one came along, so I took another photo of that one as well. I didn’t really have any deeper idea about why I would take photos of chandeliers/lights, but it does give me some sort of parallel to use now.

I think perhaps I should have thought before that I feel a bit like a chandelier with my mental disorders. Swinging between being bright, cheerful and beautifully purposeful at times, and other times being past the useful period in life, or just being exhausted and of no further use. Like a chandelier of candles where the candles are burned out. It’s the two different poles that seem to speak to me. An apt type of metaphor.

Gone Too Soon: Celebrities Who’ve Committed Suicide

Gone Too Soon: Celebrities Who’ve Committed Suicide

So Sad.

Some of these people weren’t dealing with mental illness, but a lot of them were.

I know how it feels to feel shitty and alone. It’s not good.

PLEASE, if your thinking about suicide tonight, or any night..THINK AGAIN! Don’t let you mind play tricks on you. YOU CAN OVERCOME! Tell your illness to shut up, sit down, and BREATHE!

Justice For Kelly Thomas, Mentally Ill Man Murdered By Police

Re:  Kelly Thomas case, there is a Facebook page and petition on it. You can get there by clicking here.

Lipstick Tidbit – Can An Airbrush Be Used To Cover Grays or Add Highlights?

Check out my latest YouTube video, to find out if you can cover those pesky gray hairs using an airbrush…