Daily Archives: February 3, 2015

african sky blue

You probably know how this feels – ‘you’ in this case being both human and intelligent and sensitive. That strange space you stumble into, when you’ve been spending too long in your head.

I have always, always spent too much time in my head. However, I’ve spent less time in it over the last year or so than ever before. I’m still astonished by it and how it feels. So that’s what switching off is like, eh? Whoa … freaky. Books, games, films, photography, embroidery – whatever tunes me out. I’m not gaming now though and in fact, I’m spending less time on my laptop than ever before. I have a clear view of an interesting sky from my stoep, so I spend time at any random time of the day or night, sitting gazing at it in wonder. And of course, the sea is close too.


And tonight the moon is gibbous, the sky is a deep and soft blue with some clouds clouding around. Tis bloody hot. Sweat hot, humid hot. I’m burning citronella incense to ward off the #$¥₩ing mozzies. Whiny little bitches.

This month is a fabulous one for astronomy worldwide – Comet Lovejoy is still visible and five planets will be visible to the naked eye.


DSCN5401 DSCN5401

Insight may be the single most important factor in determining how well a person with a mental illness does. Major mental illnesses, of course, come with delusions, thought disturbances, illusions, and the seeming inability to accept the very fact or total or partial denial that “I” have a mental illness. This can lead to bad things. Then “I” will not go to see a psychiatrist, “I” will not take my medication, because “I” do not think there is anything wrong with me. In the meantime the disease is getting more severe and more difficult to treat. Also as time passes, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia will cause neuronal cell death in brains and this will be worse in unmedicated brains.

So the important thing then is to help the mentally ill patient realize that they have an illness. Make them aware of the symptoms, for example in mania the symptoms are:

  • Euphoria
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Poor judgment
  • Rapid speech
  • Racing thoughts
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Agitation or irritation
  • Increased physical activity
  • Risky behavior
  • Spending sprees or unwise financial choices
  • Increased drive to perform or achieve goals
  • Increased sex drive
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Easily distracted
  • Careless or dangerous use of drugs or alcohol
  • Frequent absences from work or school
  • Delusions or a break from reality (psychosis)
  • Poor performance at work or school

These (except for the break from reality or psychosis) may seem like normal human behaviors, but when many of them are present at the same time and with a high intensity, then it may be fair to assume that this is an illness and not just normal behavior. If untreated, people will bipolar 1 will go into a psychosis, meaning have delusions and be out of touch with reality. Which is the most dangerous part of the disease. And psychosis happens at the extreme end of mania as well as at the extreme end of depression. Both very bad places to be. In mania you may think you are super man and you can fly and literally try to do so, causing yourself harm. In depression you may think other bizarre, unreal thoughts, such as you are a “dark lord” with powers, who knows, at this point in someone’s illness, they can think anything and may do some very strange things, that can result in self injury or injury to others.

So, as I said, insight, which is the ability to judge who you really are, and when in one of these episodes, realize that that is not you, it is your illness which has taken over your brain and is now making the decisions of how you act.

I think I was “lucky” in a way because I didn’t manifest bipolar 1 till I was 25 years old. So when the illness took over me and my life, at some point I knew it wasn’t me and called the doctor. Even when I had reached the psychosis stage, in between periods of being out of touch with reality, when I would come back to myself, I realized I needed to be in the hospital and even though it was done with a lot of drama and emotion, I did have my self hospitalized. And I strongly believe that because of my insight, I have only been hospitalized twice in the last 29 years. Most of the time, I and my doctor, we have caught the disease early enough so that it was treatable by increasing the doses of the meds I was on, or temporarily adding another medicine. My champion of course if Lithium Carbonate extended release (ER.) Since last March, I have been on 900 mg of Lithium and have experienced no major mood disturbance. Most notable is the absence of the yearly foray into mania around the end of the year.

I have had minor mood fluctuations, mostly towards the depressive side, but thankfully nothing too extreme. Also these may be happening because I am totally off Zoloft, a selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI,) and I have been on it since 1991, when it first came out. So, having been on it for so long, there are changes in the brain that happen, and these changes (changes such as Serotonin receptor down regulation and Serotonin synaptic vesicle up regulation, both of these result in less Serotonin reaching the Serotonergic neurons) make Serotonin less available to the neurons. And since Serotonin is needed for normal mood, not having enough of it would cause depressive episodes. These changes take about 6 months to a year to reverse themselves. This is what makes it so difficult to come off of SSRI’s. And this is the problem specifically for SSRI’s :-( But I’ve done difficult things before and coming off Zoloft successfully is just going to get added to that list of difficult things.

But, back to insight, if we can somehow cultivate insight, or perhaps find someone whose judgement we trust and listen to them when they say “Uh oh it’s happening again,” meaning the disease is acting up again, then I seriously believe we’ll have a fair chance of beating this illness.

So lets all keep a check on our moods and actions and feelings and take action when it seems like they are running rampant upon out lives. Insight can and will help us keep our illnesses from destroying our lives.

How The Trip Goes So Far

I told you that we got here but I didn’t tell you what the drive was like. It was scary, then boring, then scary again.

Nebraska got hit by a snow storm and for some reason even though it was really the first snow of the year, they were not sanding or plowing the streets very well. It was pretty terrifying seeing all the cars that had flown off the road, even 16 wheeler’s were jackknifed in the middle separating the highways.

Kansas was not nearly as bad, there was some icky roads but you could tell from looking around they didn’t get hit as hard as Nebraska and they were taking much better care of their roads.

One we hit Oklahoma it was a lot easier.. No snow and the roads were dry. I still have yet to get used to the speed people drive though. We were really flying at around 70mph the whole time.

Once we hit Texas it was scary again as these people are nuts, bobbing and weaving their cars all over the place. I didn’t know if we would make it to our hotel without getting in an accident and luckily we made it here with no issues.

Friday we get to do it all in reverse. That should be interesting.

Not seeing the house this week will be hard but we are getting so close to being able to close, less then 4 weeks now!

My BFF is coming to visit me, I am writing this as I wait for her to come over, I’m nervous that I won’t be interesting enough. Even though we have shared everything over the years I am feeling a little shy. I am sure it will be okay, it’s Vanyla and Kitenn after all :D

Mood is good!

One Answer to Prayer

Well, my homeschool class may already have filled up!  I didn’t hear anything for a month and now I’ve gotten four requests for information.  Because of the facility I use, I can only take four students, and that’s how many requests I’ve gotten.  We will see how many follow through.

The class lasts eight weeks but it’s only for two hours a day on Friday mornings.  We cover creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and drama.  The kids do assignments and end with submitting a portfolio of work for a major grade.  IT’s a lot of fun to teach and to grade their work–the kids are usually motivated and very involved.  I had one slacker last semester who didn’t do his assignments and then failed it.  So that wasn’t thrilling  But otherwise it was a very rewarding experience and one I’d like to repeat.

Today’s my first day without any painkillers after my surgery.  I’m feeling pretty good right now and the bleeding has gotten very light.  So I’ve started lifting and doing laundry again :).  Back to work.  God is good to have let me recover so well.  Thanks you all for your prayers.

Topic Not Otherwise Specified

While I understand the need for blogs to be topic centric (who wants to go to a food blog only to find someone discussing sewer system issues) but at the same time…I am feeling boxed in by this topic centric need. It’s begun to make me feel like I have no identity outside my dysfunction. I’m mentally wonky but I am still a person, who can be funny, smart, thought provoking…
So from time to time I am going to color outside the lines and do a TNOS post. I mean, if my personality is so eclectic that my disorder is “not otherwise specified” then topic centric is out the window from the word go.

So today…
Woke up. The heat is out. Brrrr. Have I called the repair guy yet? No. Because I have shit to do and I can’t be sitting at home indefinitely waiting for them to pencil me in at their convenience.
What will i do about it?
Hmm..Maybe see if R can pop by tonight and look at it (he is a repair guy, ya know) if I can’t get the landlord to send someone by at a time that works for me. Worse comes to worse, the invitation to stay at R’s has always been extended for such emergencies even if I’d rather chew nails than stay anywhere but my own bubble.
I have paid the net bill. Put gas in the car. Replenished mooch food for the fur kids. Was going to go pay rent but they weren’t open and it hit me, damn today is trash day and I forgot to put it out. So I rushed back to do that and thankfully they hadn’t come yet.

My daughter said something yesterday that made a Red Dwarf quote pop into my head. She said she wished we could swap brains so she’d know what is inside my head. And while I laughed, I was thinking oh hell to the no, you don’t want this fucked up brain.
But still…It sparked this line from Dwarf’s Kryten in my head:
Kryten: (To Rimmer) “Has anyone ever told you that you are a disgusting, pus-filled bubo who has all the wit, charm and self-possession of an Alsatian dog after a head-swap operation?”
Meh, brain swap, head swap, it tied together in my mind. And I think Kryten was being too nice because Rimmer is a smeghead.

Religion debate with R. He is staunchly Episcopalian and likes to tout it. Well, I tossed one at him that actually made him rethink his entire belief in the “authenticity” of The Bible. He said something about incest being a sin, and I pointed out, if we are all from Adam and Eve, then everyone is incestuous because we’d have a common bloodline from some point.
And he actually had to admit, “Yeah, I think that part may be a fairytale, there’s too much genetic diversity for it to have really happened that way.”
I’m not debunking faith. I am applying logic.
Because you can have a debate on religion and talk of a god you’ve never laid eyes on and this is socially acceptable and even encouraged.
Yet if you believe in aliens, you’re a lunatic.
How is it different if you’re acting on faith? I find more proof aliens exist than one single god. That’s lunacy. Believe, don’t believe, but don’t for one minute think that the whole contest of “my god will kick your god’s ass” is any less loopy doop than tin foil hat wearers.

That’s gonna lose me some popularity points.
Might as well go full tilt.
I think all politicians are inherently corrupt therefore evil. I lean toward democrat simply because they are more open to women’s issues but given a choice…I’d dump politicians in the ocean with hungry sharks if I didn’t fear poisoning the sharks.
Same for most lawyers.
The law is a fascinating thing. Intricate, unyielding, always open to loopholes and people who can work around it with precise wording.
It started out as a noble field. I have no doubt there are still some noble lawyers out there. (Like the ones who do pro bono and help free wrongly convicted people).
For the most part though…They’re slimier than any slug that’s oozed across my shoe.
Just an opinion.

Social dysfunction.
That is one part of my entire existence I wish I could wave a magic wand over.
I want to participate and interact with others and have fun. Or at least I feel like I should want that.
Yet just seeing pictures from a shindig at R’s the other night where ten people were sitting around the table playing Uno made my panic kick in.
And not just panic. Just…Ugh. I guess I don’t play well with others.
It’s not a lack of trying. I do try. I just always end up feeling like I’m wearing the wrong shoes and I want my own comfy well fitting ones back. I don’t know when I became so socially stunted.
But turning back is an insurmountable task no matter how much I fake it. I am an introvert and my interests generally don’t require others to jump in. Unless watching me type and read and watch crime and vampire shows is your idea of having a good time. Truth be told, I can be kind of boring.
Unless you get booze in me. I can be a fun drunk.
That’s not really socializing though, it’s like numbing the gums before a tooth extraction.

Lint…How does it work?
Yeah, okay, that was totally mocking that whole INsane Clown Posse Magnets thing.
Still…How am I such a magnet for lint yet others are not?
Oh, right. I wear little else but black and have cats.
I need a giant lint roller I can walk through as I go out the door.
Like a full body turnstyle only with sticky paper.

Not otherwise specified.
Back into the dish of petri. I do so love giving all my money to the bills that are required to exist month to month.
No, wait, I don’t like it.
But for once, I am maintaining stability enough to do it every month and for that..I do feel good. Sorta. Until someone like my dad refers to disability checks as “nitwit pensions.”
Is it any wonder I have self esteem issues?

I had an epiphany earlier about why I have so much trouble in relationships.
My parents didn’t divorce til after I was 25 so I did have a two parent household.
BUT my dad was a long haul trucker who was home maybe a day or two a week. And he was always such a killjoy and all he and mom did was fight, we all looked forward to him leaving and getting “our” home back the way we liked it.
Maybe this is why I always end up feeling so smothered in relationships. I never had a steady male presence and when he was there, it was oppressive.
I just never learned to live comfortably with males, I suppose. Not that I’ve fared better with female roommates aside from Becca.
I guess I am too introverted. I just like being on my own and seeking out company when it suits me.
Which is kind of the opposite of what a relationship is.
I think I’m too fucked up for relationships. I get bored easily. I like my space. I like doing things my own way.
What I need is a guy who is home so rarely I actually welcome his brief appearances.
Or a woman.

Or maybe I’ll just move to the country, raise goats, and get my shameful kicks from the Fifty Shades of Grey books.
Ugh. I’ve been reading the second on for three months now.Geesh.
They’ve become so mainstream I may have to change to an ermine.

And now the school is sending out messages. We are supposed to get three inches of snow tomorrow. The sky is falling! Am I the only one in the midwest who’s been awake all these years and knows three inches of snow is fuck all?

I’m hungry. And I’m cold.
I’m done being random now.
You’re welcome.

Just when you thought things were getting better……….

What a strange journey is this life…. I find myself at a strange crossroads. The past year has not been an easy journey. It has been filled with doubt, fear, loathing, and such a sad sorrow. Even describing it like … Continue reading

20 Days of Valentines—Day 7

Naughty Morsel

Click this morsel to find her and more naughtiness on Etsy.

In Dallas

Took us all damn day to get here but we arrived in Dallas. I’m really nervous about being alone in the room all day but I think I can handle it ok.

Not going to write much tonight but I will say since my doctor told me to stop taking the clonidine (sp?) that I am feel emotionally better. I’m not happy happy yet, but I’ve had no negative moodlets pop into my head.

Will write more tomorrow.