Daily Archives: December 16, 2014

Work and Erections

When I’m talking about work, I’m talking about my husbands employment and when I am talking about erections I’m talking about my husbands erection.

I don’t get in the mood very often thanks to a hysterectomy and being myself etc etc. When I am in the mood every few weeks I expect hubby to be standing at attention and ready.

When we first got together and I was hypersexual he would have this same issue. He gets worried about work and can’t function. I don’t hold it against him anymore but I used to be a real bitch about it.

Still it is very hard on my tiny ego, I worry that he isn’t attracted to this or that. I have a very fragile tiny ego and it doesn’t take much to hurt my feelings. Yet this has been going on for 14 years and I can handle it much better than I used to.

I’m not saying my feelings are not hurt, just that I know it’s completely unintentional and he already feels bad enough about it. Yet I had to post on the blog to try and get rid of the hurt and not take it out on him. We’ve talked it through.

I know he is stressed about the house and looking after me, that’s a lot of pressure for one person. I’m glad we never had a child to make it worse.. anyhow that’s how I’m feeling today.. hurt but just a little below the surface.

Is it just me or … ?

Someone says something thoughtlessly offensive and

… you stop, like you just took an arrow to the knee. Dry ice races through your veins, time slows and you think …

Was that really intended to hurt, was it even offensive, or am I just being bloody oversensitive again? Should I say something? Better not.

Something aches; your ribs, your gut – things feel hollow, precarious. You wish you didn’t feel it so hard, you wish you could shrug better.

You fear hearing that you took it too personally, that it was just a joke.

You do your best to bury it and sometimes you can forget. And sometimes it returns like a mantra and sometimes it spiders ink under your skin till the whole world can see the words you made your own.

Crackling Like a Live Wire

You may or may not have noticed, but I dropped out of Reverb.  The prompts were good, the prompts were fine, but there is just so much daily bull shit going on right now that I feel I can barely keep my head above water.

The divorce seems to get more painful and exhausting for my mom as time wears on.  I am doing my best not to get in the middle and they are doing a. good job of not putting me there, but its hard to see her so defeated.  She won’t let me around her, in fact, when she is upset, so I spend a lot of time getting avoided.  I get it, really do.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.

My anxiety has been sky high the last several weeks.  It decreased for awhile, but is now back in full force.  I am still not smoking or using lozenges or the patch, and have decided to try and address my problems with binge eating.  I had thought of doing weight loss surgery, but with the habits I have, it would just be dangerous.  My thought is, work on the problem behavior with the thought that maybe someday I can do the surgery.  What I really want, though, is to lose weight in any way possible so that I can stop being that fat girl and move on with my life.

I have a friend I am trying to get back in touch with.  I have been thinking about it a lot lately and went ahead and tried to make contact today.  It was a bit of an awkward situation on my end when we stopped (inadvertently almost) atlking to each other last, and I am hoping that he can look past that and we can be friends again.

Promises that this blog will move onto bigger and better things in the near future — it only seems like there is a lot of bellyaching going on about petty little stuff.  Yep, I know…. I’m sick of it, too.

Filed under: Family, Relationships Tagged: anxiety, binge eating, Bipolar, blog, blogging, change in routine, chatting, depression, divorce, friend, NRT, quit smoking, work

Effective Online Advocacy

WEGO Health slide show prepared by Amanda: A Health Activist’s Guide to Effective Online Advocacy

Text transcript for those who cannot see the slides:

A Health Activist’s Guide to… Effective Online Advocacy! Tips for being an awesome online health leader>>

Be Yourself: It may go without saying but – you are unique. Your perspective, personality, and insight is yours alone and – once you tap into it – is yours to utilize, present, and empower others with. Be you – it will keep you consistent and give you a presence your community can recognize and rely on.

Try New Things: The online space – especially the online health space – is constantly evolving. This is good news – because it lets us evolve too! Right now blogging or tweeting may be your favorite venues – but be ready to try new ways to connect. If there is an in-person event – go! If there is a media opportunity – take it! The more willing you are to try, the more you – and awareness for your condition – will grow.

Get Real, Keep it Real: Like life with a health condition – advocacy is not all sunshine. There will be dark days, tough moments, and challenges. Prepare yourself by being as real with your community as you can right from the start. This will open you up to receiving the support and interaction you need (through the good news and the bad). If you’re not feeling well – it’s ok to say so. By being honest and open, you’ll set the stage for a strong community.

Sharing = Caring: We all want our work to be recognized; a great way to get yourself out there is by sharing the work of others. By sharing, you’ll open up communication with your peers and make new connections. Think: nurtured networking. Also, by sharing what inspires, irks, or even puzzles you – your community will get to know you better.

Collaborate, Elaborate: You already know who the best orgs, leaders, and voices in your condition or health interest are – work with them. Once you’ve found people who share your mission – borrow tips from them and work with them. Look beyond your condition and outside of the health space for ideas that have proven successful. Join forces when possible and get creative to differentiate.

Learn 1st, Educate 2nd: Before you can be an effective leader, especially online – you’ve got to learn the language and get to know your audience. What’s out there already? What’s missing? Do your research and get your own story down – then you’ll be ready to empower others. Keep up-to-date on news, trends, and opportunities.

Follow Your Instincts:  Let your experiences as a patient, caregiver, or consumer guide you – your perspective as someone who’s been there is your biggest asset. All the knowledge you’ve gathered (from life and from research) makes your insight so important and influential.

Be Open: When you’re open-minded, it shows. Community members want to know that their thoughts, experiences, and questions are valid. If you’re open, you’ll encourage conversation and be receptive to whatever’s “next” for you.

Stick to Your Guns: Be consistent. It’s always a good idea to reaffirm your mission through your words and your actions. Remember what inspires you and stay true to your goals and your community. As a leader, your conviction and dedication are essential.

Go There: Speak out about tough stuff. Chances are – you’ll shine a light on something others in your community are experiencing too. By “going there” – especially when it’s difficult – you’ll help people. Correct misconceptions, speak out about your fears, even offer up embarrassing moments – your community will appreciate it. Taking risks will also enhance your self-empowerment.

Be Brave, Be BoldBeing a Health Advocate means going against the grain, saying something that’s true even if it’s unpopular, and fighting stigma. Be prepared to face some skeptics and trolls. Watch your community with a close eye – know when to moderate. Pick your battles wisely. Pause when your emotions kick in. Remember positive moments with your community to keep you going.

Ask for Help, Offer Help: None of us is as strong as all of us. Find people that support your mission and reach out to them when you need. Arrange for guest posts, brainstorm for ideas, and ask ask ask. Like with your health, never be afraid to ask for a second opinion. In turn – be there to help others. When you have time, energy, and ideas to spare – offer them up!

Keep Binoculars Nearby: Always be on the look-out for new opportunities! Keep your eyes open for ways to make your advocacy bigger and better. This could be by collaborating or by jumping into a new project. Watch and study other communities, presentations, events, and mediums for ideas on what to try and what to avoid.

Connect! …and Disconnect: Put the “social” in social media and be genuine in your presentation. Seek relationship-building and opportunities to connect with others across conditions. And… when you’ve been caught up in online-activism-world, know when to step back and disconnect. Finding the balance will be a challenge but an invaluable skill going forward in your advocacy.

Lead …and Follow: The world of online Health Activism is still in its infancy that means you have the power to shape it any way you want. There is no right or wrong when you’re leading the way. Remember you’re already living-proof of the famous Emerson quote: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” But it’s ok to “follow” too – after all that’s how we connect online!

Talk About it! Don’t be shy – share the great work you’re doing! It’s ok to self-promote – you’re doing awesome stuff. And, we want to help! If you’re excited, we’re excited! In fact, your accomplishment is an accomplishment for Health Activism overall. We hope you’ll come by WEGO Health Community or reach out with projects your working on! We want to feature you, highlight your work, and share in your successes!

Got other ideas on what makes an effective online leader? We want to hear them! Join this discussion.

Let’s connect:


Filed under: Health, Mental Health, Mental Health Advocacy Tagged: Advocacy, community, Health Activism, Health Advocacy, Online Advocacy, WEGO Health

Life is not a box of checklists

The other day, two friends in different countries and at opposite ends of the age spectrum, told me I read far too much about bipolar. I think you should be banned from Google,  said one; I stifled my screams. I guess I do, but I think it helps. And it’s not like I spend all day every day researching bipolar, I only did that for the first month (heehee). I too, said the other, wish life was a checklist. I love that!


Remission rates remained modest regardless of treatment choice for this challenging clinical condition. Source

Thing is, I can read something like that quote and it doesn’t bum me out. Partly, no doubt, it’s because bipolar people tend to respond as positively to negative stuff as positive stuff (I linked to the research somewhere in the last 200 posts on my blog, fucknose where though) and partly because ‘knowledge is power’. Lowered expectations never let you down either.

So emo.

But seriously … ‘praemonitus, praemunitus’ (pretentious!) i.e. forewarned is forearmed. As forearmed as Popeye.

*googles* um, ‘ipsa scientia potestas est’ for the previous cliché. Pretentious? Moi?!

Googlio ergo sum, innit.

In a perverted sort of a way, I am rather proud of having severe bipolar. I’m beginning to imagine a bipolar bingo card for things that worsen the prognosis. History of abuse – check, suicide attempt/s, over 15 episodes, rapid cycling, continuous cycling, psychoses, mixed episodes, family history … check check check checkitty check. In a healthier way, it all just means I know what I’m dealing with and also that I need to take it seriously. I am totally meds compliant, I go for a walk most days, I have dogs, I make sure I socialise, I try to stick to a routine and eat right. Best of all, I spend less time loathing myself.


I get a lot of support out here in the blogosphere too (thank you), which is extra cool, because I only know one bipolar person in this province and though we chat fine in passing, that’s the extent of it. She’s a pharmacist, we bonded over the hell of venlafaxine (effexor, venlor) withdrawal a few years ago.

Five months after diagnosis and I read way more novels than anything bipolar related. I’m glad my friends said that though, because I will make sure I don’t end up totally obsessive. Heh.

Horrormones, Heartbreak, Hatred, Honesty

YES. HORRORMONES. Not hormones. It happened again yesterday, that vile PMS monster. I was out in public and tears just burst out. There was no trigger, NOTHING. And suddenly the woman most people have nicknamed the ice queen over the years because my only overt emotion tends to be sarcasm…is reduced to a tear streaked faucet of tears that might as well be made of acid because my cheeks and eyes scorched just the same.
One more thing people can use against me to invalidate how real my feelings are.

December has proven to be that kind of month. Where the people you trusted most finally showed their true colors, broke my heart, made me feel betrayed, disrespected, and then had the nerve to dismiss my feelings as me simply being angry with them without just cause.
(How was that for a run on sentence?)

It’s kept me awake at night for days now. Round and round it goes. I am certainly not on solid ground mentally or hormonally but I had ONE fucking trigger I asked to never have violated. And the only two people in the world I trusted broke that trust. Then act as if everything is peachy.

So, basically, if you tell me not to whack you in the skull with a hammer, and I swear I won’t…Then I do it anyway and you start gushing blood and screaming in agony…It’s cool, ‘cos it made me happy, right?
Hell, no! I violate your trust and hurt you, you have every right to be pissed and injured!

I am not surrounded by people emotionally intelligent enough to figure that factoid right. “Oh, I didn’t mean it that way, I’m sorry.” Bam, it’s all better and if I don’t agree, well, I am just being unreasonable and mean.

What is truly humorous is that no matter how many people see their behavior and confirm how I feel…They will never see themselves for who they are. It will always be someone else’s fault. No room in the spotlight for born victims.

Lies. Secrets. Betrayals. Broken trust.
This is what I’ve gotten for Christmas.
And while imperfect, best I can tell, my only crime was putting faith in the wrong people.

I have no refuge anymore. I don’t want to be at home where the anger can brew. I can’t be at the shop where the anger will boil. I can’t even find refuge in own mind because it’s very busy berating me for violating my own rule of never trusting anyone. I learned it from the X Files, then first hand. Trust no one.But time and again, like a fool, I do, so now my own mind has turned against me. It takes every opportunity to remind me I brought this on myself. Not just by choosing to open up and trust…
But failing to be what these people wanted and needed me to be to make them happy.I didn’t care enough. I wasn’t smart enough.
Of course, on that latter part, my brain can go fuck itself.
That’s just pure manipulation from those around me. I do care enough and I am smart enough. What I am not, however, is an enabler or yes man.
I call it like I see it.
Honesty as a fatal flaw. We, as a society, are pathetic.

Even as I write this, my pain on full display, my words raw and true and my pain almost tangible through the keyboard…I hesitate to post it. My goal has never been to hurt others. Just because they hurt me first doesn’t mean I have to lash back and be like them. I could never be like them, anyway. I feel bad when I accidentally cut someone off in traffic or clip a squirrel in the road.
I could never cause this kind of hurt to someone I allegedly care for and respect and still have the nerve to face them as if nothing is wrong. In fact, when I have hurt people and made them feel betrayed, it has been my primary goal to remove myself so they don’t have to look at me and be reminded of my betrayal at a regular interval.

Because I know what it’s like when someone hurts you, intentionally or not, and being around them makes your skin crawl. You don’t trust them. You want them out of your sight, out of your vicinity. You don’t want them included in your daily doings because the trust is gone and traveling with a ticking time bomb that could have a brand new lie or betrayal brewing all the while smiling and looking you in the eye…is terrifying.

At the same time…You want peace. You don’t want tension and animosity. Especially in your work place or own home. So you fake it, every grueling agonizing smile and kind word, all the while fighting back bile.
When in fact, you want to scream and throw things and MAKE them hurt the way they have hurt you.
Which isn’t feasible with people who lack emotional morality, empathy, or concern for anything but their own happiness.
What can you say to someone so self deluded they’ll risk their very life based on words on a page because it makes them happy.
How can you reach someone whose self absorption is such that they call you annoying and you tell them they annoy you as well..and they look at you and say, “I’m not annoying at all.”
Functional delusion. Lies we tell ourselves.
Call it what you will.

I just know in order for me to recover, I really need to take several steps back from those who have hurt me. I owe them nothing. This is MY home, MY life, and this is ME, hurt feelings, anger, and the kitchen fucking sink.
I will not be invalidated and I will not be further used.
And if others can give you what makes you happy…
Then get the hell away from me, NOW.
I’ve got nothing left to give.

Tonight I will gussy up my kid, make myself look less haggish, I will triple the Xanax, and I will go to her school Christmas program and clap and beam like any other proud mom.
Because unlike some, hiding away in a room with a computer or a beer isn’t going to make reality go away.
Being an adult means dealing with the reality first, THEN you get to take a stab at what makes you happy.
Unfair? Perhaps.
But it’s real and I have had all of the fakeness I can take.
2014 can’t be over fast enough for me.
Maybe 2015 will bring me the peace and calm I need to rebuild all that has been demolished this year.

Now, you may ask, what this tirade has to do with mental health.
I think it makes an eloquent point. That for those of us who are truly ill, it’s not just the illness keeping us off balance. It’s being at the mercy of those around us, as well. Events we can’t control, can’t predict, can’t really manage to bounce back from because it just keeps coming at us.
There is no way to heal a mind if the bullets never stop flying long enough to allow triage and treatment of the wounds.

Forgiveness. Not entirely difficult.
It never happens.

I still wish the best for everyone for Christmas. Because no matter how hurt I get, I will not allow anyone to take away who I truly am.
I am someone who really does care.
Even if it is rarely reciprocal.
This is me.
And much as I irritate me and piss me off…I accept me.
Hot mess that I am.
And anyone who doesn’t like that…needs to get the fuck out of my orbit.


(International readers–this post discusses the American government system of aiding those with disabilities.  I can’t comment on any others)

By 2007, it was becoming increasingly obvious that my condition was not improving to the point that I could return to work.  It had been about nine months since I had turned in my last assignment for my freelance work. We were not in any kind of financial straits, but I was used to having my own money and paying my own expenses.  Since I had worked for the Social Security Disability Insurance program for seven years, I was intimately familiar with the process, and I decided to file for benefits.

I had a few reasons for doing this.  One was simply to have my own money to spend on my share of the household bills. Another was that if I stayed off work too long and didn’t pay into the system, I wouldn’t be able to get benefits later on.  I also wanted to be able to take advantage of Medicare in case my husband’s work ever dropped their insurance benefits.  His insurance had been very good to pay for my bills thus far, but it had a lifetime limit to benefits, and I wanted to have a backup insurance in case I maxed it out.  I was also thinking about protecting myself—I knew that in case anything ever happened to Bob, I needed to have a steady income outside of his salary.

The first step was to call the local Social Security office and file my claim.  I believe all my information was taken over the telephone at that point.  You can also go to the office personally and be interviewed or you can request forms be sent to you by mail.  Two sets of information are collected—information about your financial state and information about your condition.  The financial information is to see if you also qualify for benefits under Supplemental Security Income, the disability program for the poor and people who are not covered by the Social Security Disability Insurance.  The medical information, including the doctors and hospitals you have seen, is used to collect your medical records to aid in determining if you are medically eligible for benefits.

An important element in the financial determination is your earnings.  I was not working at all at the time I filed for benefits.  Some part-time workers are eligible for benefits as long as the pay does not exceed a certain threshold.  This threshold is called “substantial gainful activity”.  The idea is that if you cannot work enough to earn a certain amount of money due to your condition, you may be eligible for benefits.  If you had to cut back to part-time because of your condition, you may be found eligible at the point that you had to reduce your hours or pay.  This finding can increase your back payment benefit and can make you immediately eligible for benefits without having to fully quit work and without having to go through the five-month waiting period for benefits to start.  In my case, I was found eligible as soon as my earnings ended in July 2006.

Blah blah black sheep

In some households you only have to turn up three times before you’re expected to make your own tea, draw up a chair in front of the telly and call the cat a bastard. (Ben Aaronovitch)

The above applies to my blog. (If you can get hold of Aaronivitch’s PC Grant series, it’s a delight, as long as you don’t mind magic policemen.) I found the next quote on a blog and have forgotten the username (sorry).

“People need something visceral to live for; something primal, a regeneration of their DNA or a reaffirmation of their value systems; a crucible, a crusade, a child to raise, a partner to love, a family to support, a war to fight–something greater than them that compels self-realization.”

Sigh. Yes. Exactly. Fuckit. You can’t simply summon faith/hope/dreams or whatever you’d like to call it. Either I’ve transcended desire and attachment and am now the most enlightened being you’ve ever met, or I’m hopeless and dreamless. No prizes. A good while ago I googled something like how to find meaning in life and actually got some quite helpful looking stuff. I promptly closed the browser.

Life … I’m just not that interested in you.


Perhaps it’s odd for such a glass-half-empty sort of a person, but I count my blessings most days and have done so for many, many years. Certainly in my environment, it’d be churlish not to. It doesn’t cure depression btw.

Existentialists are such spoiled fuckers.

I try not to spend 24/7 in my head. These days, the dogs and I are on the beach by 6am and I’m doing more cooking and housework. Energy is definitely the prettier side of mixed episodes. I read a lot. A serious lot. Still, you can only distract yourself for so long and then *chk chk BOOM* you’re face to face with yourself again.

(Next quote was voiced by an American character in the book, I think the word America in it can be read as developed western countries.)


(They’re in Tibet, the book is Skull Mantra, by Eliot Pattison. It’s a whodunnit.)

I’m on day 8 of a mixed episode. I saw them described as anxious depression the other day. Feels accurate for me right now. I wonder if people who think rapid cycling means moods changing from minute to minute, are confusing it with mixed states. Maybe not … Rapid cycling = more than 4 episodes a year. I think irritable/bad tempered posts like yesterday’s are an indicator that I’m in a mixed state. Although I am known for being an asshole agitated sort of a creature in general anyway. Mixed states, by the way, are also known to be suicide zones, because people are depressed and have the energy to do something about it. I’m not suicidal, I’m just passing on the info.

Do you facebook? I’m taking a facebreak to avoid the holiday season (or as I like to call it, grinchtime!). Last time I took a break I was off it for 3 months and I barely noticed. I actually don’t care whether you facebook or not, I just didn’t want to start yet another paragraph with ‘I’.

Oh thank fuck, I’ve run out of steam for a bit.


Flight From Darkness


The guy who blogged this is the guy who’s in it (Percy Paul). Yes I know I’ve blogged it before. You should watch it, and follow Percy’s blog too. He is definitely his own man, no platitudes and no filters on his truths.

Originally posted on The Depression Suite and being Hip.:

View original

Taking Up Knitting and Other Things I’m Not Gonna Do

Sometimes I have to laugh at the stuff Dr. Awesomesauce comes up with during our sessions. Today’s theme was Let’s Get BPNurse Involved—in other words, once I get through this moving business, he thinks I should do a bunch of volunteer stuff, like attempting to restart the parish nurse program at my church and/or maybe giving some time to the prayer shawl ministry.

One small problem with the latter: I don’t knit. I’ve never felt even the slightest desire to learn how. I have neither the patience nor the eyesight for it. And, well…..I just don’t want to. Naturally, Dr. A seized on this and ran with it throughout our session, mentioning it several times just to watch my reaction, which was invariably “No”. I don’t mind the idea of doing volunteer work once my life gets settled down, but that hasn’t happened yet and I don’t think it’s going to for awhile. Besides, as I told him, I’m something of a commitment-phobe.

He snorted. “And how many years have you been married?”


Basically, what he wants me to do is keep myself busy. He has this idea that I’ll get into trouble if I have too much time on my hands—who, me??—and this, of course, must be prevented at all costs. It reminds me of the Peanuts cartoon character Lucy, who charges five cents for “psychiatric help” and tells Charlie Brown “We need a director for our Christmas play. You need involvement.”

But I must’ve been in a rebellious mood today because I shot down almost every one of his suggestions. I know why he wants me to get out and do things, and ordinarily I’d go along with it because his advice is almost always good. But I don’t want to be involved, I want to stay at home and grieve for my old life. I want to stay at home because I’m still a little depressed and I’m jonesing for just a wee bit of hypomania to give me some energy during these dark and gloomy days.

“I haven’t had a good old-fashioned manic episode since last year,” I reminded him.

Please don’t,” he replied, straight-faced but with eyes twinkling. So much for reducing the Zyprexa now that I’m out of the woods, which was something I’d planned to bring up. Instead, he ordered three more months’ worth of the higher dose. Good grief, am I ever going to be able to cut down on any of this?! If I could just remain stable for longer than a few months…..Like me, he wasn’t particularly worried about this minor depression, but he did want to know if I’ve ever felt like I needed a little more time “downstairs”. To which I said something along the lines of “absolutely not”, and that I hoped I’d never have to repeat the experience (even though it was a positive one).

“Hey, if you do, you do,” he said casually. “We’ll deal with it if and when we need to.” Well, even I have to admit the possibility can’t be ruled out, knowing the cyclical nature of bipolar as well as I do now. And what the hell, at least I’m not afraid of the place anymore. But I haven’t got time to fall into another major depression…..there are still things to be packed, moved, and unpacked someplace else.

Yes, there are lots of things I do that I don’t want to do, and I’m trying hard not to make too big a deal out of it. But I’m still not gonna take up knitting.