Daily Archives: February 11, 2015

A Little Better Today

I started my new med and I am in a little better mood today. I don’t think that one has to do anything with the other but I at least feel ok after taking the pills, not having too many adverse side-effects.

I’m starting to get a little antsy about being alone here. I want to be able to get out but hubby is working late today and I am not going to be able to get out today. In fact it looks like I won’t get out of here until Friday.


They apparently put the carpet in so they really only have the finishings to do in the house, 15 days until move in.

Least I get to go shopping for appliances this week, I do like shopping, it always gives me a wonderful high. It’s a trigger for hypo-mania. I don’t mind that at all.

What’s New?

Hello!  What’s new in your world?  Not much new for me, I am on terminal hold with my health insurance company, I’m sure you’ve heard me bitch about them before, but my calls are never under thirty minutes and usually forty-five to an hour.  All to get those fuckers to pay for what they’re supposed to pay for.  Oh, it’s painful.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, I’m not afraid to say publicly that YOU SUCK!!!  Just pay the damn claims already!  Ok.  Rant done.

I had therapy today, I am still seeing my therapist from Colorado via Skype.  It is just so damn comforting to see her!  And guess what?  I didn’t even cry once!  :D :D :D   That must be a record.  She is so good at helping me focus on the positive, and on the desired behavior.  I can get quite stuck in the mud, she helps me and encourages me to get moving.

Today I did something different at the start of my day.  I usually have this very rigid morning routine involving drinking coffee, catching up on email, Facebook, trashy celebrity gossip sites, and then of course WordPress, and if I don’t get to do all of that I get VERY grouchy!  Well, knowing how good the morning light is for a depressed person, I got up, got dressed and went for a walk across the street in the nature park.  I put on my headphones and turned on a Deepak Chopra meditation.  It’s a pretty snazzy app, there are a bunch of different soundtracks you can choose, as well as a bunch of different guided meditations.  Then you set the timer for how long you want.  I set it for twenty five minutes and off I went.  Well!!  All was going well until I encountered a part of the path that was under water, so I’m like, hey!  I’ll just walk around the water on the grass.  Well, the grass turned out to be a muddy bog that sucked my shoes off and I stepped right into the shit with my socks!  Delight!  So fuck it I retrieved my shoes and kept walking with a squish in my step.  I ran into several more watery areas of the path, and I just held up the bottom of my sweatpants and walked right through them.  Wet, wet, wet!  What the fuck!  I just kept repeating the mantra of the meditation, and the beautiful nature all around was a worthy consolation.

So while I was on with my therapist I made a list of things I’d like to try to do every day (I know I’m all over the place here, please roll with it).  Here’s the list:

1) Meditate

2) Read “What Color Is Your Parachute” (to try to figure out what the fuck I want to do as my next career)

3) Exercise (the magic formula that makes life better)

4) See something new

I will try doing all this shit for the next week and let you know how it goes.  Please feel free to join me in my new regimen!  Toodles, BPOF!

Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar and Stuck, Bipolar Depressed, Bipolar Disorder, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Sucks, Hope, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

the black dog of fill in the blank

Originally posted on blahpolar diaries:
We are gathered here today to deconstruct the black dog of depression. I figured that the black dog of deep dark misery might need more complex personification, allowing itself to be made into a sort…

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Allie Burke

Allie Burke is the author of Paper Souls, The Enchanters Series, and her autobiography The Sandman, Executive Board Director of Stigma Fighters, and survivor of paranoid schizophrenia. I consider her a good friend and fellow mental health advocate and Stigma Fighter. Thank you Colleen Chesebro…

NIMH – Winter 2015

So, my email inbox is a pretty busy place. What I find most informative, I share. I’m NOT an expert; I’m NOT a medical doctor or scientist or affiliated in any way with the NIMH; I’m simply on a few…

the bipolar is not the only fruit linkdump

Numerous links and one single poem.

United Kingdom:

Southwark, in London, has a rather amazing thing. It’s a weekly popup café called the Dragon Café, aims at being the antithesis of shitty mental health care and you can read about it here. And in case you miss the link in that article, Mental Fight Club is the brains behind it.

He isn’t saying anything new at all, but it’s well said and even rather poetic at times:
The last time I thought about taking heroin was yesterday. I had received “an inconvenient truth” from a beautiful woman. It wasn’t about climate change – I’m not that ecologically switched on – she told me she was pregnant and it wasn’t mine.
Russell Brand – 10 years drug free

Take the UK Bipolar Services Survey here.

A piece about cyclothymia on the marvellously named Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) website. Idk why they insist on using the tag ‘Bi-Polar’.

Me, Bipolar and Nick Clegg. (Durham)

United States of America:

For a tedious little knobhead, Tom ‘bipolar isn’t real’ Sullivan has stirred up an interesting conversation, particularly around his “apology”.

Was Bobbi Kristina bipolar?
The third (and open access) International Journal of Bipolar Disorders came out last month.

Drug companies are “like high school boyfriends,” Oliver quipped (via Salon). “They’re more interested in getting inside you than in being effective once they are there.”
John Oliver Mauls Big Pharma


Victoria Maxwell is a charismatic keynoter and performer whose honest, often hilariously irreverent approach to her own experiences disarms the prejudices often associated with mental illness, even as she provides crucial information on how to deal with it openly and effectively – in the workplace and elsewhere.


And now, a poem.

Louis MacNeice – Snow

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands –
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.


groupI was sitting in group yesterday and sort of wondering if everyone on my blog knew about “group”. I suppose most of you who have been in treatment for mental illness do, but I’d imagine some of you do not. So I thought I’d take a journey down the path that makes up what we call a “group”.

My group is not a therapy session. It’s a support group. We don’t tell anyone what to do, but we do share our own experiences with life. Since some of us are young (maybe 22?) and some of us are old (over 70), there’s lots of experience to share.

I found my support group through NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). I live in a very large city and yet there are only a handful of bipolar support groups that meet around town. Luckily enough, this one is just a few minutes away. It meets in a mental health center for people on state sponsored insurance.

When I first attended group, we met in a small conference room. There were only about eight of us. Now we routinely have 20. They moved us to a much bigger room. I miss the smaller room. It didn’t feel so impersonal.

I thought I’d tell you a bit about the people in group. We’ve got all kinds.

We’ve got a “kid”. He’s going to college but is depressed. His parents are making him go to school. He wants to just quit and go to work. He puts off his assignments and then tries to do them right before they are due. He has some success with this. He’s very nice looking…the kind of person I think would sail through life getting jobs, etc. But he’s definitely struggling. Someone suggested he see the disabilities office at school to see what they could do. Others reported success with this. He is afraid to disclose.

We’ve got our leader. He’s been at this a while. He and his wife are very active in NAMI and he runs two support groups. His wife runs one for families. He was struggling yesterday. You’ll remember he was the one who found our group member who had died by suicide. It’s been hard on him. I love our leader, but he can talk too much and tell the same stories over and over. When I lead I try not to talk about myself. I don’t know if that’s better or not.

We have a new guy with a gorgeous southern accent. He just keeps saying how much he likes the group. I’m not sure what his problem is. But he seems nice enough. He befriends the college kid.

One of our senior guys has trouble with his teeth. He’s had no dental insurance and a ton of painful problems. He’s has to get most all of them pulled one by one. It’s been a long process. He just got his new dentures. This guy knows everything about psych meds. He knows the generic name, whether your dose is high or low, and what the drug is used for. We lean on him a lot.

“Santa” was gone yesterday. This guy looks exactly like Santa. He has depression and can hardly get out of bed some days. He’s been gone three weeks and our leader is trying to get in touch with him.

We had another person missing yesterday. It was the girl friend of the guy who died by suicide. She is not returning anyone’s calls. I know where she works and may cruise by there to ask about her.

We had a new woman yesterday. She had blonde hair and told us her name. That was all she said.

This one you’ll love. She sits the whole meeting with her eyes closed. She always says “FINE!” when you ask her how she is. She runs out every so often to smoke. That’s it. She’s been there as long as I have and I know nothing about her.

I have a favorite. This girl is quiet but always has a smile. I only saw her cry once when her father died unexpectedly. She says almost nothing but just looks so cheerful.

We have another older guy. He’s homeless and likes it that way. But he’s always clean and makes it to the meetings. He’s a little shy, but will speak up if prompted. Nice guy.

We have “the complainer”. There is always something wrong somewhere for this woman. Right now, she is on a kick about the cabs at the mental health center. Apparently they are not showing up on time or at all and she is missing things. I believe that she has valid complaints…it’s just that there is new serious drama every week. The staff around the place avoid her as she yells a lot.

One young girl does self-injury. She just had a baby and thinks she is fat, even though she is rail thin. She was berating herself yesterday for wanting a Snickers bar. She was afraid someone else in the grocery store would judge her.

Someone else was missing yesterday. This guy is really overweight. He lives with his mom but wanders the streets during the day. He likes to take the bus to the the airport and watch the planes. He talks a lot about the “pilot” that helps him…Jesus. He has a lot of trouble with his feet and always needs a different pair of shoes. He’s definitely off mentally. He has an odd affect and strange boundaries. But his favorite line is  “Never give up hope!” We all love that.

So there you have it. Our swinging group. It might not be much but it is home.


Learning To Exhale

I am a bundle of nerves. Most people experience this with stress or triggers. It’s my identity, all I have ever known. Relaxing is not my thing. I can’t even stand a massage because it requires letting go.
I don’t know how to exhale.
I go through life holding my breath.

Last night, though..I was exhausted from shark week, in pain, and just…tapped out. And so I took the first step in learning to exhale.
I went to bed as soon as my kid fell asleep. I was up every couple of hours, of course, but for once, without aid of xanax or alcohol…I just let go, and let myself feel shitty without feeling self pitying and guilty.
And ya know what?
It was wondermous.
I woke at six a.m. and didn’t glare daggers at the alarm.
I got up and watched The Flash.
I’m still in pain and the anxiety is still bubbling under the surface but…
I think I am LEARNING to exhale.
Now consistency is not my strong suit, and the cyclothymia makes sure it stays that way. You can’t be stable when your mind is in an ever shifting state of ebbs and flows.
So all I can do is try.
Try to exhale.
LEARN how to let go and just breathe.

People mock how uptight I can be, how jumpy I am.
It’s not funny. They do not help.
So learning to relax is not going to be easy or painless. I will fail more than I succeed.
But…I am, for the first time, willing to give it a whirl and see where it goes. Tied up in nervous knots is no way to go through life.
So every now and again…I am going to grant myself permission to exhale.

That being said, exhalation time has passed and I am back in frayed rope land. Daytime does that to me. I relish the night when phones stop ringing, no mail comes, people go inside, traffic slows down. Daytime can be hellish for my nerves.

I guess I will go super retro and quote Gloria Gaynor: “I will survive.”

For now…I have had a brush with exhalation and I liked it. I must try it again sometime.
And the anxiety disorder laughs its ass off.

I give it a two finger salute.
I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers.

Grading Papers

Graded my first set of papers last night.  It wasn’t as depressing as I was scared it would be at first–I had to fail some people for not citing their sources properly right off the bat and I wondered if they were all going to be like that.  But they weren’t, so that was a nice surprise by the time I finished.  I actually gave a few B’s and one A as well.  So it was a mixed bag altogether.

I’m always scared to grade the writing because it is so subjective, and I don’t want my moods to influence the grades I give.  I don’t want to inflate grades in a manic state nor grade too harshly if I’m depressed.  Right now I’m in a good place so it wasn’t as nervewracking as it could have been.  I hope they understand my comments and why they made the grades they made.

Also went to my follow-up appointment for my surgery and was medically cleared–she said everything looked fine and for me to let her know if I had any more problems!  I don’t think I will since this week is time for my cycle and I’m not having one :)  SO I believe the surgery was a success, glory to God.

Continue to pray as I search for direction on what to do this next year. I’m trying to build up the blog, do more press on it, and decide if I’m going to continue teaching or not.  I’m just in a waiting game right now, looking for God’s direction and not seeing it very clearly.

20 Days of Valentines—Day 15

Normal Instincts

Click the image to sniff out more instinctuals.