Daily Archives: May 2, 2014

Revisiting the “Black Box”

Two episodes of the new ABC series Black Box have come and gone, and sad to say, I’m not impressed.

This show could have—and should have—broken new ground in the portrayal of mental illness as experienced by everyday people. Well, Catherine Black isn’t exactly an everyday person, being a brilliant neuroscientist and all, but she’s also not the stereotypical wild-eyed street person you see yelling at garbage cans. Unfortunately, the producers have chosen to show Dr. Black as selfish, immature, and out-of-control, a woman who can’t handle motherhood and who jumps in the sack with any available male when she’s not busy saving lives.

Personally, I can relate to a lot of the manic behavior, although I’ve never had an episode five minutes after flushing all my meds. We have yet to see how Catherine deals with the depressive side of her illness, but I suspect it won’t be much better than she does its opposite number. She is childlike in her demeanor—hardly the picture of a genius doctor, I have to say—and even when one of her patients crashes and she has to call for backup, she does so in a little-girl voice that’s hardly commanding. (I’ve been in code situations before, and believe me, when I call one I am barking out orders, not asking politely for the ambu-bag.)

But it’s the portrayal of bipolar disorder itself that I really take issue with. This show was supposed to help dispel some of the stigma surrounding the illness by featuring a multifaceted character who lives an extraordinary life and just happens to be bipolar. Instead, we have a two-dimensional character whose mood changes almost every commercial break, and whose behavior is so bizarre that she’s not allowed to see her own daughter (who’s being raised by her sister and brother-in-law). We are, of course, supposed to admire Catherine for having had the courage to give up her baby for fear of turning out like her own mother, who committed suicide when she herself was a child, but it’s really hard to do when she’s less of an adult than teen-aged Esme.

Even the boyfriend pisses me off. He ran away when Catherine revealed that she’s bipolar, then came back when he realized he liked what she gives him when she’s manic. Then in last night’s episode, he begged Catherine to be completely honest with him, but as soon as she confessed that she cheated on him at a medical conference in another city, he left her again. How is she ever supposed to learn to be truthful when the repercussions are so great?

I really, really wanted this show to be good. But it’s not even decent as a medical drama, and I LOVE medical dramas. I’ve never missed an episode of ER or Grey’s Anatomy, even though they’re both basically soap operas with a good-sized dose of actual medicine; so for this show to disappoint in this arena as well makes it hard to continue watching.

But I will. I hope the show will find its voice soon and decide that it’s going to be either a medical show with bipolar as a sideline, or a show in which bipolar is the main topic with medicine as the backdrop. Black Box just doesn’t have the depth to be both.



Cookie Theory

Many of you are probably already familiar with Spoon Theory (and if you’re not, go here and read it: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/).

In my previous post, I explained my Theory of Misery and Math. This week, inspired by something a friend posted, I will expound on Cookie Theory. Here’s the post:


As I commented then, even an RSVP is optional. This is especially good advice if your FB friends post on controversial topics, as a number of mine do.

On to Cookie Theory. Just as I didn’t invent Spoon Theory, I can’t claim Cookie Theory as my own. My husband shared it with me, on the weekend over 30 years ago when we met.

I was having a difficult time (to say the least) with my boyfriend at the time, whom we’ll call Rex. Among the difficulties was that I was stranded, several hundred miles from home, with no money. I had to borrow money from every single person I knew there, including some, like my future husband, that I had just met, in order to get bus fare. And find someone who would take me to the bus station.

Dan, the aforementioned future husband, was the one who gave me a ride, and as I was waiting for the bus, he shared with me these words of wisdom:

Just because someone hands you shit cookies doesn’t mean you have to eat them.

The more I pondered this metaphor, the more I realized how insightful it was. Rex had generously supplied me with shit cookies over the year and a half I knew him. And I ate them. I was also supposed to pretend they were chocolate chip. And say yum, yum.

And I did.

The bus wasn’t the only thing that stopped for me that day. So did my willingness to eat the cookies.

The first step is training yourself to recognize the difference between shit cookies and chocolate chip. The second is saying no. (Like refusing an invitation to an argument. Just say no and walk away. Or catch a bus.)

I’m not claiming it’s easy. But when someone hands you a put-down, a micro-aggression, a lie, ask yourself, “Is this a chocolate chip cookie?” If not, don’t take it. Don’t eat it.

Then stay on that diet. It’s amazing how much weight it will take off you.

Tapping! Can This Heal?

I just learned today about “Tapping”, or EFT. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques. I have some deep-rooted sadness that I feel has defined me for years. The sadness is about not being a mother, which I always wanted VERY MUCH, and has not happened for me for whatever reasons. Now, I am past the childbearing years and I am grieving not being a mother. The other HUGE sadness I have is over a domestic violence experience that really destroyed me, on my thirty-fifth birthday. The truth is that I haven’t had a Love relationship since then, and that is almost thirteen years ago. To say the experience devastated me is an understatement. I have tried so many different types of therapy to release the sadness of these two things, and I haven’t been able to let it go. But shit, I’ll try anything that might help! I really want to be free of this. REALLY!!! So, I am trying tapping now. If you’re interested, go to You Tube and search for tapping. Here’s one video I watched and found very helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfZBHWSbrsg. I am going to keep trying tapping on my “brokenness”, as I see it. I will report back the results. PLEASE have a great weekend! Peach out, homies :)

Filed under: Be kind to yo bipolar self, Bipolar, Bipolar and Stuck, Bipolar Disorder, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, EFT, Hope, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader, Tapping

Demi Lovato on GMA

So happy to see Demi Lovato on Good Morning America speaking about her experience with bipolar disorder AND she has a new book out called “Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year

I love to see this.  Click on the picture to check out the interview.  Blue hair and all.

demi lovatoThankful,

Mrs Bipolarity

Demi Lovato on GMA

So happy to see Demi Lovato on Good Morning America speaking about her experience with bipolar disorder AND she has a new book out called “Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year

I love to see this.  Click on the picture to check out the interview.  Blue hair and all.

demi lovatoThankful,

Mrs Bipolarity

Demi Lovato on GMA

So happy to see Demi Lovato on Good Morning America speaking about her experience with bipolar disorder AND she has a new book out called “Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year

I love to see this.  Click on the picture to check out the interview.  Blue hair and all.

demi lovatoThankful,

Mrs Bipolarity

The Cat Rules The Roost

I got up later than the spouse this morning. I don't remember hearing his alarm. Very strange. I must have had a bit of a  PTSD aftermath thing going on. I definitely had a drug hangover. I'd had a lot of seroquel, and the heat doesn't help. I guess that's why they tell you not to overdo it with the exercise and sweat yourself to death? Anyway, I took my meds, leftover vitamins, and aspirin all in one go. My spouse is always surprised to see me swallow such a big handful of pills. Dude, I've OD several times. I'm kinda used to it or some shit.

He took me to the drug store after work yesterday, calling me from his phone, in his car, while parked on the street. I wasn't ready. I was lucky that I had clothes on. I didn't even wash my face or brush my teeth that day, and my hair was filthy. I just felt like shit. So I thew on a black hoodie, put my hair up under it, sunglasses, and leather leopard print flats. I have to have leather shoes, otherwise my feet will be torn to pieces, and Converse don't go with everything, but they could have this time. Didn't have the time to look for them in my mystery closet of super secret sizes and scary stuff. 

I brought along my raised dose of Topomax (to 150mg prescription), and a coupon from my Medicare Part D insurance company for free calcium + D vitamins. Thought I'd start making the most of those freebee coupons from them since I have to pay $30.20 each month for my separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. When I used it, I felt like I was buying a truckload of Depends or something. It was embarrassing, and I don't know why, but that ended when my spouse set down a 6-pack of Stella and some cashews to pay for it all! At the pharmacy counter! We're classy.

He likes having beer on a sunny day, and I do too, and we usually limit it to no more than 3 for me and no more than about 4 for him. I just like it ice cold, with a side of cold water, to keep hydrated. My meds are well-known for the dry mouth effect, and I hate it. Hate feeling bloated but dry all the time.

It was all hunky dory until we got in the car, he opened the door for me (?WTF) strapped up, we backed out same time as someone else and hit another car. Instant tears for me, but I tried shaking it off, because I've lived in such fear of being in the front seat of a car since I can remember. I wiped up and had a smoke. I put myself back together. The spouse asked me if I was ok, I said yeah. And I was going to be in a bit. Nobody was harmed. Just shaken. So that beer went fast as soon as we got home! hahaha!

Fucking PTSD you evil cuntbag from shitsville in hell! Fuck you in the ass with no reach-around!

Today, the spouse made tea for himself instead of coffee! I guess he didn't want to risk it! Ha! I wonder why he didn't wake me up, but didn't ask. So I made it for myself and a cup for him. We did a no-no and smoked on the balcony with coffee. I tried to convince him not to work 'cause it's "general strike day". I said "you could always use your psychotic wife as an excuse if they ask". He later asked me if it was ok use that when he called in to his employer. I didn't understand why. I have had some badass trauma in the past 2 days, and I was actually glad that he called in, and that he would be here. I guess that's the weak part of me speaking? I don't know. 

He went back to bed for about an hour or so after I made coffee. Rolling my eyes here...

There was a knock on our door before 8am (extremely odd), but we were sort of expecting maintenance to come through to clean the windows/sliding glass doors. I really didn't want to answer the door and deal with people, especially if they had to come stomping through the apartment. It wasn't maintenance, instead it was a very tall suspicious looking stranger, with a dark coat on and a credit card in his hand, my spouse said. He claimed to be trying to get in touch with the landlord and thought that they lived in the building. He also said he lived in #304 and was wearing a heavy outdoor coat. So, the spouse reported the "incident" to the management, and she said that there is a man that gets into the buildings somehow and goes around knocking on doors, asking for money and things. Not cool when you're supposed to have a secure building. The spouse said he was glad that he was here to answer the door. He's 6'2" but bigger when angry. I don't like him when he's angry.

I told him "THAT's the reason why we lock the fucking doors in the states" as I have dozens of times. He forgets to lock the front door too often. I have a very large, wonderful heavy French rolling pin bought from a specialty shop downtown. It's pretty damn big and hard. Plus, since I used to like to cook, I also have some very good knives and keep them VERY sharp and in a very accessible spot, like the rolling pin. We are armed. I don't like that the doors are so shitty they could easily be kicked in.

Just yesterday morning we were having a smoke outside again and some guy down below was trying to bum a smoke, and he was turned down. Then he asked to borrow a light, and was probably smoking crack  there in the alley. He tossed the lighter back up to the spouse, and did a really crazyass drug dance down the alley. The spouse smokes out there all the time in the morning, and swears he's seen drug deals, and other people smoking god knows what. Also, that the needles just keep piling up in the garage below us. I don't feel unsafe down there. I just feel bad that these people are doing that junk.

The cat wants something from me ever since I sneezed. She came to me and meowed, as if she was trying to comfort me. She does that. She's weird. She crawled back and forth over my laptop, and sat on the arm of the couch and tapped me on the shoulder several times. She finally settled down and sat at my side, but keeps looking up at me occasionally, and digging her claws into my leg. She probably wants me to go to bed so she can sleep between my feet or beside me.

Well I did what I set out to do - treadmill and shower/hair wash. Finally. I'll go to bed with it wet and sleep better, with a nice cool fan in there. 

I feel like I'm coming out of a huge attack of anxiety, and I kinda have over the past few days. I just want to rest, and wake up in the peace of the dark morning once again, without a headache or drug hangover.

Let the seroquel come in and kick my ass... Kitty is forcing me to go to bed now.

The pigs have been set loose on the protesters. Wish I could see more of what's going on. Attacked with pepper spray for NO reason. More tomorrow...

How the Tale is Told

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: change, hurt, perspective, thought

Impatience Be Thy Name

Hypomania city today. Well, not the productive kind, so I guess it was plain mania. Rapid speed, racing thoughts, good mood for no reason. I didn’t do much aside from vacuum.

I did, however, play with my kid and let her wallow me. And I liked it. For months I have been unconsciously cringing when touched or asked to play. People may think that is awful for a mom, but anyone with depression issues knows it’s not a choice, it’s the way the illness messes with your mind. Throw in a med that adds more depression in addition to stabilizing moods to the point of numbness…You die inside. It’s nice to feel alive again. Not that I don’t feel crowded at times because she is a child that needs CONSTANT attention. But that’s my personality, I like space, hypothetical and literal. It’s not personal.

I spent the day waiting. Anxiously. My dad was supposed to come into town and haul away all my junk in the shed and yard. First, he said before 11 a.m. Then it was this evening. Then at 7 pm he finally calls and says, oh we’ll be there tomorrow. FUCK. I spent all day unable to really focus because I get anxious when something looms overhead, like appointments or company. It sucks. I am not a patient person. Personality, yes. But when something causes you so much anxiety, it makes sense that you’d be impatient and want to get it over with. That I do not believe is personality. That’s the anxiety and panic disorders screwing with me. I can take a Xanax to calm down physically, but the looming thing makes me edgy mentally. Ass trashers. I wish these people could grasp what it’s like to have these issues and show a little compassion. I’m not asking for coddling, but a little deference to what their behavior does to my mental state might be nice. I mean, how can they love me if they so callously inflict such anxiety on me?

Yes, I am whining and bitching. It’s what I do. Personality flaw, but I am pretty sure I learned it from my mom. At least I, on occasion, find nothing to gripe about. She could find fault with Mother Theresa. My mother is the type of person who could win the lottery, marry prince charming, and STILL bitch about something. It kills me to see how much of her behavior I picked up on. When The Donor told me I was just like my mom, it made me mad. It was rude, but also…Not untrue. I’ve tried so hard not to be like her but apparently, she imprinted on me. Still, I keep trying to be better.

Like effort counts for shit in this world.

So now I get to go pay bills tomorrow and hear the landlord gripe at me about the yard mess and the cats because my dad flaked out. Yay. And I have to play the waiting game again. Not enough Xanax on the planet to deal well with this shit.

On the plus side, we are going to Dad’s piss ant town Saturday because they are having city wide yard sales. I adore yard sales. Most of my stuff comes from yard sales. It’s something I’ve done since I was five years old. The cheapness is good, but it’s kind of like a lottery,too. You never know what odd item you might find that you needed, wanted, or just like. Normally, the unknown freaks me out. But yard sales make me happy. I probably shouldn’t waste the gas or spare the ten dollars I am taking, but it will be good to get out of the house and do something for a change. I’ve hermited for 8 months Enough.

And that concludes the bitch and moan portion of this post.

I reserve the right to rescind that at any time, though. I’m imprinted.