Daily Archives: February 11, 2014

Reading Books

Book ReadingJust as a note, this graphic has (in it’s original context) absolutely nothing to do with mental health. However, since it resonates with me, I’m writing about this graphic. 🙂

So, I feel like for normal people, a book of this length in 1 day would be something almost impossible. Or at least, not easy to handle. But I read at a highly advanced speed and comprehension level. So I can read a 600-page book in less than half a day, given my own personal interest in the topic at hand.

But…I’ve noted. My ability to read extensively at that pace is linked into my moods. Sure, an occasional book-binge of 600-800 page in a day is nothing unusual for me. However when it comes down to extended periods where I read multiple books of that length, back-to-back without any trouble is where I realize it seems to fall into periods where I’m hypomanic.

I think this would be easier to notice for me, if I weren’t already so obsessed with reading and so much into reading as much as I can. But still, the fact remains that I have noticed that when I’m more hypomanic I tend to go through binges of reading in which I go through perhaps dozens of books in a few day span. When I’m depressed it’s not that I don’t read, or that I read at any measurably slower pace…it’s more that I choose to read heavier themed books that take longer to read. That’s a pattern that I didn’t really realize until I looked back on the cycle of literature I chose to read throughout high school.

Still, this graphic kind of made me laugh. It has absolutely nothing to do with mental illness as it is intended. It just made me realize something about myself and my own patterns. I’m a consummate bibliophile and these kinds of things that draw out a subconscious pattern to my reading choices that I really am rarely aware of…that’s an interestingly fun thing.

Hello Prozac,..I mean, Fluoxetine

So I am on Prozac now. Actually I am on a generic med called Fluoxetine.

It is making me sleepy, and hungry, but not angry, depressed, or sad. I don’t know how much I like it yet. While I was on Wellbutrin I felt energized, fit, healthy, and on track. This makes me feel on track, but about 5pm I feel so sleepy and take naps. Then I am up until 2am.

Well I have only been on it for 5 days, so we will see how this goes…

Other than that, I am waiting to hear back from jobs, but I am thinking if they haven’t called me back yet, they probably won’t.


and I was so looking forward to work with retail customers again…


oh well, on to the next one…

Filed under: Meds, Ranting

Why ask Why? Mid-Afternoon Mental Moment

Why is the sky blue? Why do the flowers bloom? Why when I’m whiny and mad, do you send me to my room? Why, oh why ask why so much ? Why […]


I’d meant to get back into the, at least, once a week posting groove. It seems that I’ve slightly failed in that lofty goal. Ah well, it doesn’t mean I can’t try try again to get the axle repaired, and the wagon rolling (presuming I don’t get dysentery and die).

Sleep continues to be a mixed bag, though I’m holding up well enough. My husband continues his sojourn to the couch; I miss his presence, but not the snoring that was waking me bolt upright! I think the couch has been helping his back pain, so the separation is not a complete write-off. While I think my sleep cycles are starting to smooth out and that I’m waking less throughout the night, I’m trying to not overthink it; staring down the clock and thinking about it too much are reputedly things that make getting back to sleep a bit harder to pull off (though I’ve also seen it said that if you wake up, bumble around a bit before trying again; I guess it’s a ‘your mileage may vary’ sort of thing). The main point is that I am sleeping, and feeling mainly rested, so that’s going to have to suffice for now.

Mood-wise, I’m doing my best to be mindful. Yes, pregnancy hormones take their toll, and I sometimes feel a bit like a bouncing ball, especially if there’s something that makes me sniffly! I’m not a sniffly sentimental sort particularly, so it’s a bit amusing and annoying. But it’s not particularly detrimental; the moment of impact passes, leaving no dents.

45880035Having said that, I’m definitely having to practice a bit of mindfulness. Scumbag brain had already demonstrated that it’s rediscovered some of its capability to catch me when my guard is down. That’s the upside of mainly giddy pregnancy hormones, and the main reason I deemed coming off of my meds an acceptable risk — yes, it sucks and it takes a little bit to shake off the anger or depression that scumbag brain’s bullshit brings with it, but it’s insulated enough that we’re talking maybe a few hours of being angry or depressed at the worst. Really, it’s been more like 20-30 minutes of ‘extreme’ mood, and then back down to something saner. So certainly, it’s not ideal… but it’s definitely better than non-medicated non-pregnant states.

I do look forward to getting back on my meds though, and will as soon as the kiddo is born — here’s a baby, husband! Now, pass me my pills now. *giggles* I just have to think about how severely my mood tanked the second Lilbit was born to remind me; I went from default bad to ‘Why am I even alive. Nobody here cares about me, only my ability to produce children’. Which is utterly unfair, as my in-laws love me very much and are a wonderful part of my life. While I am ‘lucky’ to be Bipolar II and not have to deal with mania, and did not have to deal with postpartum psychosis, it was terrible enough for me to finally bite the bullet and seek help. So in that regard, I’ve a rather snarky thaaaaaanks to that experience, but absolutely no desire to repeat it.

Past that, I’m just dealing with the physical demands of being pregnant. As everyone oh so kindly notes — yes, I’m ‘already’ huge. That’s what happens when you take a relatively small frame, abs that have been stuck in the ‘out’ position for four years, and shove a fetus behind it. At least I’m far enough along that I can feel said fetus squirming and wiggling fit for a greased pig most of the time, which is a complete comfort to my oddly fretful brain. I was totally laid back in my first pregnancy; I guess I’m a bit more stressed by it this time because I absolutely never want to do this again (so hard on a body!), and because having some time to heal my mood and responses compliments of diagnosis and treatment, I’m already a lot more emotionally invested in this particular bundle of cells. I guess it’s because I look forward to closing this chapter of my book, and opening the one where my family is ‘finally complete’, perhaps? I’ve lived enough life and had enough experiences to know I prefer when things are settled and squared away to what-ifs and potentiality.


The post Whups appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Call Me Twinkletoes

I KNEW I should’ve canceled today for lack of interest. Actually, more like lack of coordination……for in the space of twelve hours, I managed to rear-end a vehicle, fall on my butt in five inches of snow, AND sprain my big toe so severely that I had to go to the urgent care center.

The accident was unavoidable. The driver ahead of me hit some slush and slammed on his brakes, and I had nowhere else to go but right into his back bumper. Unfortunately, when I saw the collision coming, I hit my own brakes so hard that I sprained my right big toe. It hurt so bad I thought the thing was broken. But I was more worried about the immediate situation, which as it turned out, caused not so much as a scratch on either vehicle nor a twinge of pain to any of the occupants (well, except for my foot). The other driver and I exchanged insurance information and went on our merry way, each undoubtedly thinking we’d been extremely lucky.

Of course, irony is seldom if ever lost on me, and it naturally occurred to me that I’d made it through that nightmarish five-hour trip home last week without coming into contact with anything I shouldn’t have…..and now I’d just rear-ended some dude in a shitty little car with expired insurance and the girlfriend in the passenger seat. Wow.

But the festivities were far from over. When I arrived at work, it became immediately apparent that no one had plowed the parking lot, for it was essentially a sea of white with only a few cars scattered throughout. Although the snow was only four or five inches deep, it was still coated with ice courtesy of the freezing rain we’d had on top of the snowstorm, which made for slippery parking at best. I’m getting quite the education in winter driving these days!

Still, I managed to pull into what I estimated was the spot closest to the door—you couldn’t see the lines and there were no other cars in the back—and lugged all my stuff out of the car. Two briefcases and a Thermos. What could go wrong?

I found out when my outraged right foot hit a slick patch of ice and I fell—PLOP—right into the snow.  Two briefcases and a Thermos went flying, along with what was left of my dignity. I fell again when I tried balancing my too-many-hundred pounds on the injured extremity and uttered some choice invective as I flipped back into the cold white wetness. Then, when I finally made it inside the building without further incident, I found out from another surveyor that we weren’t even going out today because of the dangers on the highway. Ya THINK??!

Long story short, the toe continued to get more and more painful, and more and more swollen as the day dragged on. I wound up spending the day watching more training videos. (Maybe I should watch them on my tablet at bedtime…..I’m taking the Vitamin Z again, but still couldn’t sleep for squat last night. Hmmm.) Later in the afternoon, one of my co-workers came in to do some computer work and gave me a couple strips of the athletic tape she keeps in her drawer (along with everything else but the kitchen sink). It was a great idea, because taping the two affected toes together allowed me to ambulate without screaming until I removed it so the doctor could examine them.

Several X-rays and a wheelchair ride later—the urgent-care people insisted—the verdict was in: no visible fractures. Just a really, really bad sprain that will probably take 2-3 weeks to heal up, depending on how much standing and walking I do. In the meantime, I was given a lovely orthopedic shoe to wear, which comes in jet black with sassy Velcro straps and a square toe, and a prescription for Percocet.

And it’s only Monday. ~sigh~




Ya know the story about the little engine: “I think I can, I think I can”…

That’s how I am feeling these days about my new antidepressant. I think it’s TRYING to work.

Yes,please. Please,please,please.

Mind you I’m not talking a miracle cure here. It’s more like on occasion I can feel the edges of the depression lifting and little snippets of myself emerging. The Real Me. It’s something. Better than I was getting from the other meds. For all I know it’s not even the med, maybe it’s just time passing as it gets nearer to the season change. But I am trying sooo very hard to think positive and have faith.

Which might be the biggest proof of all that the med is doing something. Positive thinking and faith aren’t generally in my repertoire.

Today was weird. Up and down. I’d feel the flickers on occasion and it’s like, yes please, I will take “not feeling like I wanna die for six hundred Alex.” But then it would just kinda filter out and I’d be right back down. I had to do some phone calls and that sent me into the level of panic that requires a xanax. I hate phones with all that I am, they may be useful but they have long been the bane of my existence, calling or being called.Phone just mean more panic. No, thank you.

But I made a new playlist of old happy ish 80′s tunes…And for me that’s like…something different is happening. For months it’s just been 30 Seconds to Mars and Adelitas Way. Now I’m going back to my retro roots with Kiss, Ace Frehley, Alice Cooper…If I’m not too nervous and disillusioned to hear different music that’s more upbeat…this could mean something good.


Little signs here and there that the tides are turning. It’s not happening overnight but…I finally have hope and I don’t think anyone could know the magnitude of that unless having been to do Depressiveland.

I still feel salty about some stuff, but I’m a salty chick so it’s okay. I was reading Fangoria when I was 7, I don’t think there was any chance of me being anything but macabre and salty. I’ve spent so much time wanting other people to like me for me that it was lost on me…I like me for me. Not like I wanna hump my own leg or anything but I don’t see anything all that fatal about me. I’m different and I’m not the one with a problem with it. Those that have a problem are just so much flotsam and jetsam.

In all my narcissistic truth and glory…I like being a big bucket of nutsy kookoo who has Hello Kitty and Furbys alongside coffin candles and a plethora of skulls.

Later I’ll list all the stuff about myself I don’t like.

But all the stuff people seem put off by, like my home decor and me being a contradiction of evil and cutesey…I LOVE that about me.,

And since that’s the first good thing I’ve had to say about myself since oh, August…I’m soo telling the shrink Wednesday that the Viibryd seems to be helping.



Dear Self: How to Improve Your Morning

Totoro struggles on Mondays…

Did you have a rough start to your day? Monday mornings seem to rarely treat us kindly. I’ve tried going to bed earlier, picking my outfit the night before, and making sure my bag is already packed, but my mornings still don’t go smoothly.

Part of the problem is that I wake up with Sunday night’s anxiety weighing over me. I’m worried about how my week will start and whether or not everything will be checked off of my to do list. It’s terrible to wake up and immediately feel overwhelmed.

It’s important to start each day fresh and appreciate the morning for what it is: an opportunity. Yes, there are obligations to fulfill and duties to be performed, but we can address them in a way that reinforces self love and acceptance.

Over my winter break, I experimented a few times with writing letters to myself that I would read first thing in the morning – before my feet even touched the floor. The purpose was to remind me to take care of myself. Here is an example letter:

Good morning, Jenna!

I hope you had a good sleep. There are lots of important things to do today. Start by taking care of yourself – get squeaky clean! Then set up your room to look just how you want it. Make sure you take care of the pups, too! Work on your blog, take some pictures, read, write those emails. You can do it!

Don’t forget to eat something yummy. You need to be full when you work on calculus in the afternoon.

It’s okay if you have bad thoughts: try to relax, take your PRN if you need to, and remember to breathe.

Today is going to be a good day. You are going to work hard and have fun. You are wonderful. You deserve to be alive. You will have happy moments. 


P.S. It is okay to take ONE nap if you need it.

It’s not a miracle cure for morning agitation, but it is certainly helpful! Writing to myself felt awkward at first. Over time, it got easier. I allowed myself to say cheesy thing like “You deserve to be alive” because I need to hear that sometimes!

I would encourage you all to try to write a note to yourself tonight. It doesn’t have to be an epistle of Biblical proportions; a Post-It note may suffice. Be kind to yourself and see what happens!