Daily Archives: April 20, 2015

Three Landays, Half Empty

I'm starting to wonder if I dare take the hand you hold out to me...

Give Me a Reason

It’s been a bad day.

It’s one of those days when thoughts of death and fantasies of how seep through the cracks.  It’s one of those days that demand a reason—any reason—to keep on going.

Like the push of a kitty’s paws against my side as he settles me for a nap.

Or a job that needs to be finished.

So, I left Emmett to sleep under the covers and finished a project—cards for the people retiring this year from our school district.


This is the third year I’ve been hired to make these cards.  When I think about it, even though I ended up in partial hospitalization the last two years, I still got the cards made.  They nudge me toward life, these pieces of gratitude.  My hands remember beauty even if I can’t at the moment.  As I work the sun swings around to my westward-facing window, giving Henry his chance to bask.

Another day nearly done.  And I made it to the other side.

The Writing Stops Here

I will have to take a bit of a hiatus from the website. I am being admitted into an inpatient...

The post The Writing Stops Here appeared first on Pretending to be What We Are.

Hapiness Shrugs

I used to believe that God made me this way on purpose, for a myriad of reasons. First, I believed...

The post Hapiness Shrugs appeared first on Pretending to be What We Are.

Mental Illness Dealing With The Stress of a Second Marriage


 According to Terry Gaspard, a social worker and writer for the Huffington Post states that most second marriages fail for a variety of reasons. She states the “reason vary, including ghosts from the past, financial concerns presented by the adult step-children and the challenges that come with interacting with them, exes, and extended family.” Nancy Kalish, Ph.D. and writer for Psychology Today, concurs by stating “the most common stressors are finances and stepchildren. Throw into that messy salad an adoption of new spouse’s young child. a spouses newly diagnosed bipolar at their 5 year mark of marriage, and we have obstacles beyond most marriages.

Let me address the obstacles faced by a second or third marriages referenced  by E. Marvis Hetherington of HuffPost

-A lot more players such as, the children from  former spouse. Opportunities for rivalries, conflicts, and a breakdown in communication between the newly married couple and their extended families requires a swift motion for achieving stability right from the beginning. Extended families will vied for attention, compete against the new spouse even dislike her. They could still harbor resentment that the divorce of their parents and may even hope for the new marriage to fail. Perhaps even “shared their resentment that every penny that parent spends with new spouse (and her family) and may even convey this whenever a big purchase is made.” Psychology Today. 

Working through wedges, especially during hard times can create a stigma when the adult children only hears their parents perspective. Psychology Today article points out “that rituals, expectations, identities, and habits need to be addressed or altered. ” Still, Cindy Wright, writer of Extended families is work, confirms that “the two main problems in second marriages are money and children.” “ Work stress to money issues can cause a strain on a marriage.” Psycholology Today’s, Nancy Kalish, M.D.

From a newly exacerbated bipolar that was triggered by her tragic loss of her young baby, takes every ounce of strength to withstand the stressor issues. My final effective treatment stent took 4-5 years but it felt like a lifetime to me. I never hesitated to acknowledge that something had changed in my behavior but I was convinced that my thought processes were kept intact. And throughout most of my life, my mind remained intact. I sought help immediately and kept seeking until the right diagnosis and the right help came along. 

How can I take responsibility: Some have been incorporated with the help from WebMD Stephanie Watson, Edited by Matthew Hoffman, M.D. “Relationships with bipolar is difficult. But, its not impossible. “Like any other marriage it takes both partners to make a marriage survive. 

-Communicate. Maintain an open, honest, and assertive dialog helps ensure my marriage is a team partnership. Psychology Today affirms that “Issues may be small to the parent spouse but may be very important to his new spouse.”  Especially when it relates to loyalty, conflicts, tension, and during times of hardship.  

-Family therapist Tracy Todd, Ph.D. also suggests to Talk- Incorporate ideas, plans, and strategies doing that can minimize harmful events/conflicts. Extended families should be made aware to respect the philosophies of marriage designed by their parent and new spouse.

-Knowing Myself- knowing my triggers, my symptoms, and my emotional feelings that reacts to my trends. This is where the mood chart and journaling come into play. Don’t ignore the red flags. Expect plenty of rough patches. Particularly around holidays and special occasions. Tracy Todd, Ph.D. suggests to “identify the environmental triggers that maintain stability that soothes the marriage.

-Maintain Identity and Be Autonomous. I’m a true believer that marriage doesn’t just exist within the marriage. Too much pressure and responsibility on a relationship will easily dictate my state of mind. Putting all my time, energy, and emphasis adds more stress. When things are going poorly than I’m doing poorly and visa versa. Expanding communication and social interaction outside of my relationship to “diversify myself will strengthen my resilience and become more flexible” ( New Life Outlook Bipolar) when family stress arrives. 

Finally Success Comes From Love, Trust, and Support


Dr. Karp, writer for BP Magazine has surveyed that “successful couples say they have used periods of wellness to prepare for episodes that may lie ahead.” In my marriage we strive for that success. Remember that second marriages come with inherent stressors. Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW written in HuffPost Blog that a “strong determination to stay together, endurance and time” second marriages can adjust and thrive.

Gardening & Praying

Lightly pruned our fig tree this morning, evening out its limbs. May not have been the best time of year to prune it, but some branches grew out of control, reaching into the neighbor’s yard and into the homeowners’ association’s hillside.…

The Post My Ex-Fiancee’s Girlfriend Won’t Like

Years down the road, and I realize I still love him. I always will. When we were together, I said I’d die for him, this is still true.

I don’t know why, though. He lied, he disrespected me, he was carrying on 3 separate emotional affairs with various ex-girlfriends. I guess when you don’t value your own worth, you attract people who don’t value you, either. I think I am in love with the good memories: when we were together in school, when we traveled, when we had our most perfect, amazing first Christmas as a couple.

Yet I know, if for some bizarre reason came up that I had to give my life for him, for his happiness, I would sacrifice myself. Crazy? Yes. Noble? Debatable.

Should I move on and find happiness now? Absolutely. But I fear I will never feel love like that again. Life feels so empty these last several years and I realize it’s because he still has most of my heart. I don’t know how to get it back.

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Great News!

I have been putting this off for weeks, fearing the worst, but I finally called Dr. Awesomesauce’s office today to find out if they accept Medicaid (which is the health insurance program for the poor). At first the receptionist told me they aren’t contracted with Medicaid, but then she asked me if I was with the local managed care organization, which I am…..and miracle of miracles, they DO take my insurance! I don’t have to change psychiatrists after all!

To say this is an enormous relief is an understatement. I’d almost resigned myself to losing Dr. A—I wrote a post about it not too long ago—but now it’s all settled and I get to continue seeing him. Thank God. If I had any other kind of state insurance, I’d have had to go to the county mental health clinic for my care, which would have been a nightmare because one rarely gets to see the same psychiatrist or nurse practitioner from visit to visit. And as much as I hate to admit it, I’m pretty high-maintenance and need continuity of care.

Speaking of which, I’m doing extraordinarily well these days. I’m just a wee bit on the high side, but that’s merely a by-product of the amazing weather we’ve been having and a much lower stress lifestyle. In fact, there’s a general feeling of well-being that I haven’t felt in a looong time. I’m still waiting on Social Security, but I know it’s a long process and I’m not really sweating it. I prefer to believe they’re gathering as much information as possible so they can make a good decision.

As to whether I’ll win benefits on the first try…..I don’t really have a feeling about it one way or the other. But I do hope they’ll take ALL of my issues into consideration, because with both physical and mental problems, I’m really screwed when it comes to jobs.

Anyway, that’s my good news for the day. What’s yours? :-)

a-z challenge: q

Uninspired again – here’s some qrap for you. Beep beep boop.

Quokka - cute overload & a nonstop smile.

Quokka – cute overload & a nonstop smile.

Noise is okay, I see people so rarely, that I talk nonstop when I do. But most of the time …

shhh-librarianShhhh Q is for quiet … The older I get, the more quiet I want. I can easily spend days alone, not even listening to music. When I do play music, eardrums do not burst; this from the brat with a poster saying, ‘if it’s too loud, you’re too old’ on her wall, once upon a long ago. It’s a natural progression as far as I can tell, one minute you’re whizzing from club to gig to rave to festival; the next you’re sitting listening to birdcalls and nattering to your dog. I love quiet almost as much as I love silence.

Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA)


Some people/organisations define the Q in LGBTQ as ‘questioning’. Some saunter paste that with barely a glance, and proceed to keep it way, way sexier.

“Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or cisgender. Originally meaning strange or peculiar, queer came to be deployed pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late-19th century.” (Wiki)

Oh LOL, Suzi Quatro … “in the underpass / I wanna feel your ass” Perhaps not the most profound lyrics ever (especially as most of it consists of its title and some beeps), but it’s a sweet old fashioned chuckle and Ms Quatro was always easy on the eye. BRB looking for an underpAss.

Questions, I likes ’em. You guys know it, because I leap upon memes containing questions with all the alacrity of a shark on blood. I like answering questions and I like asking them too.

Queen – and Mister Mercury will always be missed.

Quentin Tarantino – need I say more?

Quiver Tree (Kokerboom, Aloe dichotoma)

Quiver Tree (Kokeboom, Aloe dichotoma)

My Mom’s Perspective

PictureMy Mom

The following post was written by my mom …

My daughter suffers from bipolar disorder. This illness has an impact on all family members (and some close friends) of a person with this disorder. Each family member would experience the impact differently. This is how her illness has affected me.

She was diagnosed about ten years ago at the age of 41. At first there was shock and a lack of understanding. Where did this come from? What caused it? Should I have recognized it long ago? Did I do, or not do, anything that caused it? These are just a few of the questions that went through my mind.

As a mother, I immediately felt the need to fix it. I couldn’t! I could, however, learn everything I could about the illness in general, and her case in particular. I talked to her a lot. I went with her to one of her psychiatrist’s appointments. I read books and searched the internet.

I wanted to be there for her, but what should I do to help? I supported her as best I could by encouraging her and not judging her or her behaviours. When she was overwhelmed by dirty dishes, I washed them. When she couldn’t drive places I took her. I listened to her fears and hopes.

Was I helping too much? Should I do less, or more? I tried hard not to over react to mood swings. I did not want to enable behaviours that were not helping her but it was not easy to know what was appropriate and what was counter productive.

As difficult as this experience has been for my daughter and her family, I am so proud of her. She has climbed out of a dark hole and works diligently to stay on top of her symptoms. The silver lining (I believe) is that our relationship, which was always good, has grown and developed enormously. We are more than mother and daughter, we are friends!