Daily Archives: March 5, 2015

Checking In

I find sometimes they simple can’t understand. Just like we will never understand what a completely “normal” brain feels like. Sometimes I get these really clear glimpses and I wonder how anyone can take a working brain for granted. But you can never really understand what you don’t know. 

I have friends who have been very open with me and asked questions and I have others that won’t talk about it at all. I try to use everyday conversations for an opening and then I try not to be judgmental about their reactions. People don’t understand, so I like to throw some jokes in or make comments about what kind of day I am having. Being able to laugh often leads to better understanding. 

The other thing I do is try to speak to people opposite of the way it is in my head. That probably sounds impossible and I still get frustrated. I recently told someone that for someone who is depressed or has some other mental illness that it’s literally like there isn’t any juice getting to the battery. The battery works and is in good condition and functions the way it’s supposed to but the part is supposed to use the juice to send the power doesn’t work right. It’s hard for people to understand why people can’t just “get over it” or “if you had more faith or self control”. We KNOW in our minds what we need to do but we can’t seem to make our mouths and emotions react in a healthy way to seemingly simple situations. As hard as it is I like to share these things with the people I am close to wether they ask or not. When a conversation comes up I take a deep breath try to explain and then move on and hope that maybe they will think about what I have said. 

I hope you are able to keep sharing and keep trying to teach people. Stay positive and be blessed!!!!!

Positive Thinking before the weekend!

For you, my friends! Enjoy!

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Looking up songs that can relate to mental illness I decided on this one because..well.. Freddy Mercury just killed a man and different voices are arguing with him about it. In such a beautifully, unique way. Just like us. I think that Queen was on the our side too! Enjoy and rock out!

Manic to splat in a few hours flat

Flood posting?
Just tracking the mood shifts.

And after I fetched my kid from school…
No trigger, no warning.
I suppose that’s the hallmark of cyclothymia shifts, rapid.
But the depressions pretty much secure me at bipolar two.

My kid is throwing a fit because I am going to make her eat pasta with me for supper. Kicking, whining, screeching, telling me how mean I am.

Enter anxiety.

And she just mauled the cat, because she is mad at me and taking it out on what she knows I love.
I sent her to her room.
All this because she doesn’t want to eat differently shaped pasta.

Life is hard enough.
Toss in the mood crap…

Calgon, take me away.
So 1970’s.
I am soo old.
Or as I prefer to say, retro.

Yes, please.

A Devastating Defeat

I have spent the better part of the last 4 months driving my husband crazy, making sure he checked the mail every single day, without fail.  I was expecting something that I thought was going to change my life.  I hoped it would change a lot of lives.  Perhaps, it would make ours better.  I would have finally achieved a goal that I had been trying to obtain since I was in third grade.  On November 1, 2014 a publishing company told me that they had every intention of publishing my book.  They welcomed me to the family and told me that my contract would be on the way.
At first, I checked in with my contact frequently.  Eventually, I would email him at the first of every month because I still hadn’t received my contract.  I was promised every time, that despite some difficulties they were having, they had not forgotten about me.  I was still going to be published. 
I held onto that.  Probably for much longer than I should have.  Finally, after reaching out once again on March 2nd, five months after first being notified of the deal, I received an email from someone I’ve never spoken to before.  She indicated that despite what I had been told, there was no contract and there never would be.  Even if they wanted to publish my book, they couldn’t because they don’t publish those types of books anymore.  Good luck. 
It was gone.  My dream was smashed into a million pieces, and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.  I had absolutely no hope.  I cried off and on for 3 days.  I still cry at the drop of a hat.  The few people that responded when I posted the news online, really didn’t comprehend the magnitude of the situation.  They don’t understand that telling me not to give up, or to publish it myself isn’t helping.  It isn’t as if I sought out one publishing company and when it fell through, I gave up.  Initially, I did try to publish it myself.  This costs money that we don’t have.  I was able to secure a few donations, but I never made a profit on the book, and honestly it was a joke.  It wasn’t professional, and my work needed more editing. 
After that, I had someone who was a publisher that I was working with.  This proved to be a frustrating and insulting experience.  I finally told her that we had to part ways.  For nearly a year after that, I contacted other publishing companies and was either turned down, or discovered that they would charge me thousands of dollars to publish my book.  This company was my last hope in every way. 
Every single day, I wonder what my husband’s life would have been like had he not married me.  Someone with a disease that they have no control over.  Someone who is often looked down upon and someone who is often forced to question the validity of the condition they suffer from.  This dream I had would have made it possible for me to never have to question myself again.  I know I could have helped people, and I know I could have helped me. 
I sit in my room every day and think.  I look back on all of the people that were once in my life, but aren’t anymore.  I think about all of the people that I once counted on.  People that I would have done anything for, and I often did.  Yes, there were times when I wasn’t the perfect friend, but I was loyal to them, and I was there for them.  I don’t know those people anymore. I have no family to reach out to.  For a short time, I thought I might be able to rally some people together to help me, and when I tried I was met with only a deafening silence. 
My heart breaks for all the time I have lost in this life trying to be a better friend, the better sister, better aunt…better wife.  I can’t burden my dad with all of this, he has far too much to deal with already.  I have my husband, and by God I am so grateful for that, but it’s times like this that I would give anything to have a real, honest, I’ll be right over friend.  Even a text message would help.  Someone that could be broken-hearted and outraged, even if they were pretending just for me. 
In a few weeks, I’m going to be 42.  I never thought I would be so alone.  I purposely sat down and tried to look into the future.  What do I have on the horizon?  What can I look forward to?  What can I plan for?  Hope for?  Nothing.  I have no idea where I’m going, or what will happen next.  At a time when I can barely get out of bed or stop crying for an hour at a time, I am once again questioning myself.  I was a fool for believing that I was good enough to make this happen.  I won’t even put writer on my profiles anymore.  Being able to form a sentence, or tell a story doesn’t a writer make. 
It’s been a long time since I have been this low.  In my future, all I see is more loss and heartache.  One day, my dad.  One day, my babies.  None of them will be here forever.  I’m alone except for my husband that I wish I hadn’t dragged into this screwed up mess of a life.

It hurts.  I am physically in as much pain as I am emotionally.  The sad truth is, all I can imagine is people reading this, thinking “Oh boo hoo…get over it”.  Believe me, if it were an option I would get over it immediately, but it’s not.  Am I feeling sorry for myself?  Yes, probably.  Do I deserve to?  Of course I do…and I really don’t give a shit if you don’t agree. 
If you can’t be here for me during this time, then I don’t need you in my life.  I’m hurt, I’m angry, I’m heartbroken and devastated.  I would expect that anyone that really cared could respect that.  I wrote this blog for me and only for me.  To help get some of this off my chest so I don’t have to carry it around with me.  I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but sometimes the truth hurts.  

I have yet to determine whether I will keep writing after this.  With each post, I always had my eye on the prize.  This would be a book one day, and I would live my dream.  Now I wonder if I was simply experiencing delusions of grandeur.  I have put myself out there.  Told my life story, and it was rejected.  Do you have any idea what that feels like?  I opened wounds that needed to stay closed in hopes that my story would make a difference.  Perhaps, on a small scale it made some sort of difference, but on a larger scale?  Quite simply, I failed.  Now I have to live with that. 

Stupid hypomanic episodes

I did something today I haven’t done in awhile.
I called my mom. By choice.
And we talked for almost three hours.
I was, of course, hypomanic after that lump 40mg Prozac.

My mom, while less venomous than her norm. thought I was drunk or high.

I fucking wish.

My brain just catches fire, my mouth won’t stop spewing every thought in my head as fast as it can.
I see why that could be misconstrued as being under the influence.
In a sense, that’s precisely what manic episodes are like.
You become something else, someone else. Your energy skyrockets, you want to talk, talk, talk, you talk so fast, you slur a few a words here and there, and you show emotion you’ve repressed.

Thing is…It was nice. I used to live in a different town than my mom and it cost a fortune for the phone bill because I’d call her and talk forever.
Then her and dad divorced and I got cold shouldered because I just kind of took the middle road where I talked to them both and Mom took it personally.
Since then, we’ve lived in the same time and my mom rarely ever calls me. When she does, it’s about sixty seconds asking about Spook.
So…Talking to my mommy for so long (and she didn’t criticize me even once)….was a blast from the past.

Yet my mother (well, everyone around me) can’t be arsed to do a little research so every time I go manic, I get accused of being drunk or high. It gets old and it is infuriating. I try to tell them, explain, educate.
It doesn’t do a bit of good.

I hate bipolar.
I hate that people are so ignorant about mental illness.
I just…

hate pretty much everything sometimes.

But at the height of a manic episode..
I love everything and everyone.

Aside from the rapid shifting cyclothymia…It’s textbook bipolar.

Why can’t the world LEARN about mental illness before they pass judgment?

Let’s Face It

At this time of year, in this part of the world, we are emerging from the winter. While it may not mean such severe weather as in some parts of the world, every year, in some part of these islands, roads become impassable. Public transport stops, and schools are closed. I get to ‘work from home’ for a day or two.

What does this mean for cyclists? Well, we don’t put chains on our tyres like they do in places like Canada and Scandinavia. Some people walk, some take the bus, and others get back in their cars.

And some of us, making our own weather, stay home.

I pride myself in being an all – weather cyclist, wearing base layers, seal skin gloves, a neck warmer and even – in extremis – a lycra balaclava. Yes, it sounds as bad as it looks.

I am writing this on Purim – a minor post – biblical festival. The connection? It is traditional to dress up, wear masks, a bit of cross – dressing is not unusual.

Image result for people wearing purim masks

Masks. Dressing up to appear as someone we are not. Having fun on this day whatever the mental weather. Sound familiar? This ability, this ‘putting on a brave face’, is fundamental to some forms of mental illness. Expressions of shock and sorrow at the suicide of someone you know. ‘S/he seemed so cheerful’. ‘S/he was so engaging and kind.’ Or ‘s/he didn’t seem the type.’

‘The type.’ Perhaps I’m being unfair. I often have conversations with people I am supporting in their recovery from enduring mental health problems that go something like this: ‘I can’t understand why my friends won’t support me.’ Or ‘my girlfriend knows I suffer from [dear reader insert name of a mental illness here] but she doesn’t notice when I am struggling.’ In a clumsy attempt to lighten the mood (a high – risk strategy, believe me) I will say something along the lines of – ‘well, none of us are mind readers’.

There is no ‘type’. I have known people with mental health problems who are 6ft 4″ (1m 93cm), 5ft 1″ (1m 55cm) have straight blonde hair, curly brown hair, halitosis, teeth whitening, have lived for years on a locked ward of a psychiatric hospital plus several doctors. And a surprisingly high number of civil servants. But we have one thing in common – we all put on an act. There some days I turn up to work and I hesitate at the door, my hand gripping the handle just ever so slightly too hard, and hyperventilating for good measure. I am about to let go of the handle and run – hurtle - back down the corridor and away when someone appears at the edge of my vision walking towards me, so I arrange my face, turn the handle and lean forward into the day.

While I am able to trick my colleagues most of the time, this practice of carrying on regardless is dangerous indeed. Not only are we not actively seeking help and support, we are preventing those around us who would offer help if only they knew. we are getting closer to becoming the subject of one of those conversations of disbelief I mentioned earlier.

I was about to unclench my fist and get my finger wagging kit on just then. There’s a reason for turning so readily to the dressing up box. Stigma. What people say about us – and what they don’t. Better break out the face mask, the blusher, eye liner, lipstick and lean forward into the night.


Morning Exercises

I wake up and say: I’m through.

It’s my first thought at dawn.

What a nice way to start the day

with such a murderous thought.


God take pity on me

– is the second thought, and then

I get out of bed

and live as if

nothing had been said.

Nina Cassian  (1924 – 2014)

A Little Snow

Well, we went from a high of 80 degrees yesterday to icy dusting of snow this morning.  A friend of mine calls Mississippi weather bipolar, which I think is an insult to bipolar people–Mississippi weather is much crazier than I’ve ever been.  :)  SO the kids are out of school again and we are just trying to stay warm and occupied.  My parents are fine with a little heavier snow than what we have, and my oldest is still at school even though classes have been cancelled through until after spring break. She’s waiting for the road to clear up.  Hopefully they will be clear by tomorrow and she can get on home and start her vacation.

I had a breakfast date with a friend this morning that we had to cancel, so I’m feeling a little stir crazy stuck in the house.  I’m pacing some and just feel trapped inside.  We will see what tomorrow brings and if I can get out some and see what I can get accomplished.  I have papers to grade, but I’m dreading that, so that doesn’t help.  I should get to them to night depending on what the kids have to do to get ready for school.

May He Rest in Peace

My brother-in-law passed yesterday. May he rest in peace.Filed under: About God, Family Tagged: anonymous quote, dawn, death, Grief, inspiration, light, love

Social Security ~ What A Nightmare!!

This is about where I am at when it comes to this nightmare known as disability benefits. How can they take away something that I paid taxes for while I worked for about 20 years? Physically, I have no problems working. Mentally, I have huge problems working. How am I supposed to hold down a […]