Daily Archives: August 10, 2014

Four Questions To Ask Yourself To Make Good Decisions In General

Everyday, each one of us is presented with a myriad of choices from what to wear that day to what to have for dinner. These are inconsequential choices; they really won’t make a huge difference in the grand scheme of … Continue reading

The Good, The Bad, and The Surprising

The bad: Bex missed her flight. Courtesy of Greyhound running ninety minutes late thus making her train trek to O’Hare run late and lead to confusion and panic. (Read about it here, in her words)

She had no phone, little cash, in a huge airport filled with people who wouldn’t help and few that would or could. She managed to occasionally contact by net and collect call. For my part, I worked from my end trying to figure something out. Since no one from the airline was available to talk to her, the best I could come up with was to get her back here. Her Visa is good til the 16th, this gives us time to regroup. Got her back by train. (FUCK YOU GREYHOUND AND YOUR INEPT SERVICE!!!!) To my credit, I found the train station fine and got back home fine, not once did I get confused or lost. I’ve always been like that. Freak out over a ringing phone or knock on the door, but when the chips are down and it’s an emergency…For some reason my lizard brain takes over.
So she’s back here with us and she zonked facedown into bed within three minutes. She has earned the rest, she went through such an ordeal. And I feel shitty because I waited and waited to hear from her but at some point after three a.m., I fell asleep with the lights on. And I can’t sleep with lights on so I had to have been ninja’d with sleep. She’s going thru hell, and I got to sleep for three solid hours. I’m an asshole.
We can’t do anything today since no one with any knowledge is in at the airline counter. So today is recovery, tomorrow is recon.

I fear I may have overstepped my bounds by writing an email to Bex’s mom. I just tried to explain the ups and downs of bipolar and how amazing Becca truly is, she doesn’t make bad choices and act impulsively as a norm, nor is she lazy or unwilling to try to fight the mental stuff. Her family seems to think it’s character weakness and I just felt…compelled to try to explain it’s not, at least not entirely. Really hope I didn’t make the situation worse. Oh, well, won’t be the first time I colored outside the lines and got told to mind my own business.

So…The good…is at least she’s out of that cesspool that is Chicago, safely ensconced in the safe zone here. Not a clue where to go from here, but she’s safe and resting. That is good.

The surprising…I reached out to both R and my dad for help getting her back since she and I didn’t really tuck money back for this contingency. We booked the bus so she arrived FIVE HOURS before her flight. That was ample time. We calculated what American currency she’d need since the plan was straight from bus, to train, to flight. So she’s stranded up there and panicking and I’m back here and panicking.

And I called R, since he’s the only one with a credit card, and he actually bought her train ticket back, not a single hesitation. Then I called my dad and explained the situation…And he drove into town today to put gas into the car (since I burned it all out yesterday getting lost).
I was surprised. It turns out, I do have real friends and half decent family who are there for me in a pinch. I need to remember this when prattling on about their shortcomings. They came through when they could have easily said, “You and Becca are grown women, you should have planned for this, you’re on your own.” But they didn’t. And I’m still a little stunned.

Life is full of surprises, good and bad.

For now…all is calm, we are all safe, and the rest..will get sorted out somehow. Just not today.

BTW…GREYHOUND SERVICE IS ATROCIOUS AND I WANT MY MONEY BACK FOR THE TICKET FOR BEX’S TRAUMA AND MISSED FLIGHT!!!!! Last time I took Greyhound (my wallet was stolen) the bus had mechanical issues so they dispatched another bus to ensure the schedule wasn’t thrown off by more than a half hour. I don’t know why they fucked up so badly this time. Like they knew this was crucial. Like the fates knew it was critical and wanted to troll us.

Becca made constant jokes about missing her bus and flight and now she thinks I believe she did it on purpose. I damn well know better. I heard the panic in her voice when she kept calling, I felt it in my bones. I know this wasn’t her doing.

I blame Greyhound. Shit happens, but this was beyond the pale of poor service. I hope they get rabies and have to be put down.

Another Thing That People Do/Say To The Mentally Interesting

This is going to be a short one. I should say another pet peeve is when somebody tells me it’s all in my head. Ummmm…..no shit. That’s why I take toxic chemicals that are probably killing me faster than cigarettes … Continue reading

The High Cost of Mental Illness

I was just visiting my favorite nursing website this evening where a fellow member posted about the possibility of losing her license for using narcotics at work. She’s apparently had addiction issues for years but had never been caught, and when she finally was, it was reported to her state board of nursing. Now she was facing at minimum a license suspension, and it got me to thinking about the price mental illness exacts from its victims in terms of lost quality of life.

I know what it’s cost me thus far.

Mental illness has cost me my livelihood. For years before I got really sick, I was a successful nurse who moved swiftly up the so-called corporate ladder, even with only an associate’s degree. Inevitably, however, I would get to where I couldn’t handle the day-to-day bullshit anymore, become restless, and move on after a couple of years or so. I also became over-stressed and anxious and prone to freaking out, and if I didn’t quit the job first, sooner or later I’d be shown the door. I had no idea that I had a medical condition that was contributing to my problems at work. But by the time I understood that I was ill, not just quixotic, it was too late to salvage my career, though I bumped along for another miserable year after that.

Mental illness has cost me dearly financially, and not just for my treatment. It’s ridiculous that a 55-year-old woman cannot get an auto loan or a credit card, take her grandkids to Disneyland, visit her daughter in Kentucky. But I can’t, and that’s because I spent the family into bankruptcy twice and racked up so much debt that it will never be paid off in my natural lifetime. (That yellow toucan shirt ring a bell?) My credit score must be in the negative 500s. The irony is, I’m a lousy money manager until I don’t have any to manage, which is why we’re still in our house and the lights are on. Why couldn’t I have figured this out while we still had something to work with?

Mental illness has cost me friendships. Although I’ve actually gained some supporters and kindred spirits during my battle, others have quietly slipped away and out of my life, and I feel their absence acutely. How I wish I could let them know that I’m so much better now that I know what was wrong with me all those years and have accepted help!

Mental illness has also cost me in terms of dignity, which as far as I’m concerned is my most precious possession. There’s nothing like walking into a medical facility where they don’t know me and getting “the look” when they bring up my medical history on the computer screen. Diabetes does not inspire that expression, nor does high blood pressure or asthma or any of the other 11 conditions I’ve been diagnosed with over the years. But throw the words bipolar affective disorder into the mix, and suddenly it’s like I’ve sprouted three heads.

There are those who scoff at the idea of stigma. A few of them—none of whom carries a mental health diagnosis of their own—have told me “Oh, you’re just imagining it” or that it’s just a coincidence. Yeah, well, it’s happened too many times for it to be a coincidence, and when I enter a new healthcare center and they treat me like a normal person—even though they’ve got my med list and can see it takes five medications to make me that way—I’m grateful beyond words.

Yes, mental illness carries a high price. What have you had to give up because of it?

Mini Hiatus and Back Again

I didn’t mean to be gone so long.

My computer was basically destroyed, and so I had to rebuild it. I did mention that about a month ago.

But then, right when I was going to begin blogging again, I had a bit more come up.

See, then I had things come up with living with my mom and in trying to figure out how to move further north to satisfy both our work commute needs. See, we had to give notice right after my computer failed. And then we spent the next 2 weeks trying to find a place to live. And once we finally found one, we were packing, and then moving, and now I’ve been unpacking. So I’ve just been so busy, I haven’t been able to blog.

I also went back to my doctor for the first time in months, which was fun. She was not so thrilled that I went off my meds cold back when my insurance was gone, but she understood why I had to do that. She was glad to see that I’m doing better again now though. That’s good. Of course, I’m super stressed due to the move and unpacking, which I despise with a passion. And it’s flaring my OCD, because nothing is where it should be…but it should all settle down slowly once we have time to put things back in their new places.

I just wanted to let you all know that I am still here, and I’m going to try and blog a bit more frequently, once I’ve got time (days off, or in the evening after I get off work most likely).