Daily Archives: April 23, 2015

Accomplishment: Pegacornutopia

I did not master a new craft. I did not accidentally discover a cure for mad cow disease. I did not win the Nobel Prize.

What I did do today is as auspicious as those things, for me.

I did a mountain of dishes. I swept. I vacuumed. I did all three litter boxes. AND I am officially caught up on the washing, drying, folding, and putting away of Mt. Laundry Vesuvius. (Eight baskets, ffs, how do poor people have so many clothes???)

Pegacornutopia, top notch award for functionality in my world.

I also earned a pack of smokes by going to babysit the manchild at the shop for four hours because he’s depressed and panicked, blah blah blah. It’s all I can do not to smack him with a rabid mackeral. He has a few bad weeks, it’s all falling apart. I’m bonafide mentally ill and he dismisses it.
I hate people who don’t play fair.

It’s been a weird day, mentally. I think my earlier post, snarking about the magic 8 ball not being needed to know I’d ignore the housework AGAIN…Took the pressure off of me to do it.
So I did it. Everything comes easier when I don’t feel there’s a gun to my head and a clock ticking.
I do things at my own pace. Needless to say, snails bypass me. But it’s the way I get things done.

The psychological shrapnel didn’t start flying full force til after I fetched my kid. For three hours it’s been nothing but complaints, demands, tattling on a kid she was playing with (he said fuck and told her his brother was going to come over with a gun and shoot her, wtf???). So I made her come in after her tenth trip inside to demand food and tattle. Which means she glued herself to me, and not in a good way.
More demands. More complaints. Argumentative. Manipulative.
“Boy cows don’t make hamburgers!” She screams at me when I make a comment on her homework about beef.
Then I try to finish housework and she is yapping, bellowing, and just being a jackass the whole time.
So I start getting irritated. Then my voice raises after the third time I’ve told her the exact same thing only to be ignored or argued with.
And she just keeps going, then crying because I am “mean”.
All because I want to use what little energy I have left to get all this monotonous work done and won’t bow down to her demands or agree that cows do not make milk.
Needless to say, I just enacted the “two foot” rule.Meaning she has to stay at least two feet away from me until she is ready to be civilized.
It may sound harsh but it’s the only way I can cope with her when she’s in this mode. If she’s not near me, I can breathe. Then I can forget how mad she makes me, which really hurts considering how hard I try for her, and I can calm down into some semblance of having all my pieces glued together.
And it worked because she is now quietly playing on her Leappad on the couch but she is not crumbling under my “meanness.”
Boundaries, I just want her to remain within the boundaries, even if only loosely. When mommy says,”I need space” it means…Back off. Just five minutes, that’s all I ask. Let me regroup, let the silence replace the throbbing eardrums…

It all goes back to my inability to cope with excessive stimuli. And when I say that I don’t mean I’ve failed to control my reactions. I mean, circuit overload does not respond to self pep talks, bullying, or any other positive thinking psychobabble bullshit.
Space, quiet, and a few minutes. That’s what sensory overload calls for.

Now…I can rest on my accomplishments for the day while embracing my Pegacornutopia trophy and look forward to a rare “me” night while my kid spends time at my mom’s tomorrow night. As for tonight…I think I just may socialize since R offered to bring me Mangoritas “for being there for me’ the last few weeks.
He so does not deserve me.
But I am who I am.
Sweet venom.

Another brick in the wall, another day battled to the best of my ability.

in which I reply to spammers …

Spam spam spam spam spamly spam … that oughta ensure that Google blacklists me.

Negative stereotypes about bipolar and variations on that theme, are still daily search terms, but thankfully, I’m still getting amusing and deranged ones too.

Saint leia
Yup. Princess Leia, patron saint of manic depression

wpid-3368706Become a nun with bipolar disorder
The short answer is, if you’re a christian, you can’t. Either they don’t want moody nuns with extra empathy and the ability to polish the entire nunnery with a handkerchief at least once a year, or they have mistaken the word bipolar for the word batshit. Catholicism … so in tune with postmodern times. Go and become a penguin instead; the uniform is the same and the seafood buffet has to be seen to be believed. Bipolar Nuns || Sister Mary Euthymia

And from sacred to profane in a single bound …

Black painted girls fucking
I’m not sure whether they want white girls painted black (which would be offensive on a coupla levels), or black girls painted other colours (which is still an odd request). You’d probably do better to include lesbians in your search string. And your g-string. I know I would.

Gus van sant cloud motif
I’m guessing that my awed and worshipful collection of Gus van Sant’s tweets disappointed you sorely. Oops. The Tweets of Gus van Sant

c429526c6367bb7913fc258da78d3816f40f4f683bf23d4550148c817473b23cwhere to buy fitflop in singapore
Don’t fucking know, don’t fucking care. Shitflops. Oh, you only wanted one. Shitflop.

I love living my life alone
We’re Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely hearts club band,aren’t we?

Shut the fuck up I got this
And what’s more son, you can fucking keep it.


… and on to the comments incarcerated by Akismet.


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That must be some good acid. And Diablo 3 sucked haemorrhoids.



A Trip to the Hospital

hospital bed

I thought you might like to know what led up to my trip to the hospital. I’ll try to tell it the best I can, although a little of it is foggy. Some of this history some of you may know, so bear with me.

I have been hospitalized five or six times in my life. The first time was when I was about thirty. And I seem to go in on fairly regular intervals.  The last time I was in was five years ago. It was at this same hospital.

My diagnosis is bipolar 2 with psychotic features. I’m sure even my non mental health readers know that bipolar illness causes your moods to go up and down. But as I’ve gotten older, my depressions have been longer and the manias have been fairly short.

So three years ago, I feel into a deep depression. It went on for a solid two years. We tried a lot of drugs to get me out of it, but nothing seemed to work. This wasn’t a suicidal depression….more like just a really down mood. A year or so ago, I came out of it and felt better mentally. But I still couldn’t get going. I spent a lot of time resting and laying on the couch. I worked and worked and tried and tried to get going, but it was pretty hopeless. I was missing out on life.

Now my faithful readers will recall how hard I have been working on my recovery. I tried just writing out what I needed to get down each day, week, and month and see what I could accomplish. But I still would cancel social events constantly, and I really never felt good. However, I made some progress on my goals, and many of you readers will remember some positive posts about this. Even though I was limping along and got a successful blog going, it just wasn’t happening for me.

I have a guy friend from high school. He works at a news station in town. And he and I go out on occasion for lunch. The last few times he has called, I have told him I just couldn’t as I was too depressed. Well, he wasn’t very excited to hear that this time. He told me in no uncertain terms that this depression situation was ridiculous and had gone on long enough. He reminded me that I was only 56, not 96, and that I had a lot of living to do. I think Mark was a big reason that I started downhill toward the hospital. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. He was trying to help and I think he woke me up.

I had gone on Fetzima, which was supposed to get me moving. It didn’t seem to help a lot. I went off Lexapro, which simply gave me a bad headache.

I think my brain was fried and I was exhausted. I started crying a bit and seeing things. The hallucinations got worse and worse. I got pretty desperate and panicked.

I pulled out my safety plan. I didn’t have any immediate plans to harm myself, but it all felt downhill. And I’ve always worried about hurting myself while psychotic. So my safety plan was pulled out. And something was off. The people I had selected to call in an emergency were not the people I wanted to call. I wound up texting with a girl from my bipolar support group. She asked if I needed a crisis team. Fortunately, my husband was only about 20 minutes away.

So Amber kept me texting until he got home. He took one look and called my psychiatrist. Everyone agreed it was hospital time.

Now my husband and I have been around this block. We knew not to go to an ER. We called the psych hospital directly and they said to come down.

My next post will deal with entering the hospital. I thought some of you might want to hear about that, especially if you’ve never gone. And if you’ve been there, this will be a good comparison.

So I learned a little. I need to re-do my safety plan and put realistic people on there. Just because people are close friends does not mean they are going to “get it” in an emergency. I remember wanting to talk to someone who had been there. I did not want to talk to any of my kids or my best friends who do not have mental illness. When I called my psychologist and had to have her paged, I didn’t want to do that. I wanted someone to contact NOW. There wasn’t time to wait till someone could get back to me. I am lucky enough to have some friends with MI. They are going at the top of my safety plan.

I wanted to also say thank you to all who have wished me well. It is especially gratifying to hear that a few of you missed my postings. That makes me feel like I am on the right track with the blog.

For anyone who is interested or keeps track, I am on the following medications now: Perphenazine, Abilify, Welbutrin, and Lamictal. This is down from six meds prior.

Thanks for reading this post. I feel like it is bit scattered. I feel better emotionally, but am not sleeping well from the Abilify.

Talk to you soon,


I’m Wary as Fuck of Mindfulness

Warning: a bit cursier than usual <3

In the last couple of days, mindfulness CBT hit the news headlines. Apparently, it’s a grand idea for people with depression, and maybe even with bipolar! Um… except fucking not.

Personally, I’m sick unto death of mindfulness, and I am sick unto death of CBT. I am sick unto death of ‘well-meaning’ neurotypical/alltistic friends asking me if I’ve heard of one or the other. Nobody has been stupid enough to suggest that I come off of my meds in lieu of one or the other, which is good — I would probably punch them in the face.

You see, I probably developed bipolar in my mid-teens… but I didn’t get it diagnosed until I was in my 30s. That’s a long fucking time to get by without medical support (seriously, not a lick). Well, I got bullied into talking to a therapist when I was in the Air Force with the implication that my security clearance would be pulled if I didn’t, but I ended up the therapist’s therapist because there was seriously nothing that talking was going to fix at that point.

Nor was beating my depression over the head with logic and mindfulness; I would’ve put Spock to shame with my ability to logic. My brain and chemicals would be freaking out or depressed or whatever, and I would be sitting there bemused, chain smoking, berating myself because I knew there was nothing wrong, there was no reason to be feeling so terrible, what the fuck brain, stop this shit now.

You know what DOES work, and work well for me? Pharmaceutical drugs. It might have been a bit of a rough month while waiting for my antidepressant to do its most recent set of rewiring, but it’s starting to feel like things are back where they should be. Pills work. Pills give me a quality of life.

Oh but the article says only for some people and to not give up on meds yet!

Yeah, but you know what? CBT is very popular with organizations because it’s a measurable rubric’d sort of thing. And while I have not yer more than had a passing brush with it personally (a very insulting one that presumed I had no idea how to do anything), I’ve heard from friends that not meeting what the psychiatrist thought they should be had them written off as non-compliant. Yanno, rather than it not magically working for everything.  I know, it works for some, and that is great. Maybe their situation is less severe than mine. Or just different — I get that what works for some doesn’t work for others. I’m just wary of things being pushed as the end all have-all against medicated therapy, as if needing drugs to get by is somehow bad. Nobody would tell a diabetic to quit taking their insulin, and I resent even the merest whiff of insinuation that my life would be better without my meds. I know first-hand that it wouldn’t be, because I was there for a very long time.

What do you guys think? Hope everyone is well.


Zoe the Hamster with Bipolar Foils Death Yet Again!

Okay, well Zoe doesn’t have a bona fide DSM-5 bipolar diagnosis, but I had to rope you in somehow!  (She does seem to have rather mercurial states of mind.)    To tell you the truth, I find it interesting that … Continue reading

Thankful Thursday, My Version

Thank you, Tessa, for reminding me of all I have to be thankful for. It makes me want to share this gold framed picture I put up on my wall. It’s to remind myself that while the only thing I want (mental stability) eludes me…There’s still plenty to be thankful for. This sign put things into perspective for me when I woke up one day, a single mom, and thought my life was over all because a man couldn’t handle the responsibility of a child.

Turns out, I didn’t lose much and neither did my kid. In fact, as much as I had wanted her father to be in her life, he has opted not to. It helps to look at this on the wall everyday and know not all was lost…If anything…I’m pretty damned lucky.


It’s so easy to forget these things, especially when your brain is a nasty vindictive swirl of depressive thoughts. I put this on my wall four years ago and there it remains.

So I never forget to be thankful for all I do have when others have so much less.

(Still wouldn’t turn down mental stability if I could get it.)

:) What are you thankful for?

New Day

“This is the day that the Lord hath made–I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

So today is a new day, and I am determined to enjoy it.  I get to see my friend Jo for breakfast this morning and may do a little shopping with my tax return ‘mad money’ afterwards—see if I can find a new dress for church or a new outfit for the summer.  Then back here to finish up laundry and other sundry tasks for the day.  Yesterday was a downer, but today doesn’t have to be also.  That is the wonderful side of a stable mood state–you are allowed to have a bad day without it becoming a lost weekend, week, month, or year.  Thanks be to God for good medication and good therapy that has gotten me this far.  Hope everyone else has a great day, too!

The Warp Speed of Life

I’ve been awake less than two hours after a night of being up six or seven times for no good reason.
Thus far I have had four panic attacks and a near meltdown.
Because my five year old is a backseat driver and even if another car is a half mile off, she starts shrieking MOMMY WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING THEY’RE GOING TO HIT US!
This is not good for panic disorder.
In fact, in the eight minutes it took me to drive her to school, she did something similar six times. And I had to say, “Enough, you’re going to cause me to wreck!”
And she kept yapping.
Once she was out of the car I promptly headed back home. Except the sun is blinding and road construction thickened traffic on my usual route and people are morons and…I had another two panic episodes in the right minutes it took to get home.
It’s just like, the world moves at warp speed and my brain only functions in slo mo.
I can never catch up. I am perpetually overwhelmed. The overload of stimuli is terrifying. And no amount of self pep talks, self bullying, or any other cognitive bullshit therapy (that’s what CBT stands for, ya know) fixes it.
Day in, day out. This is my life when I leave my bubble.

So even though I have the next five hours to myself, beholden to nothing but housework (which magic 8 ball says will probably be ignored again)…I already feel like life’s kicked my ass right out of the gate.
Positive attitude means fuck all when days start out like this.
It’s like running a race but everyone’s got two miles on you and you know you will never catch up.

Ugh. Fucking chirping birds. “This is my branch. It is not your branch.”
Blinding sunshine.
Cool spring air.
All of it mocking my depressive cloud like a school yard full of feral children with their snarkly little sing song taunts.
“I’m happy and normal, you’re not.”
“Life is beautiful, you suck.”
“Get over yourself, you loser.”
Makes me want to take a baseball bat to some branches and my own brain.

I am getting overwhelmed again. Not that I’m ever not overwhelmed but it’s getting worse. The Focalin was wondermous for two weeks now…Maybe a dose increase? I’m right back to being scattered and rambling.
Though I wonder if the anti depressant were actually working if it would be this bad.
I know one lie about all these anti depressants, at least as it applies to me: NONE have ever lessened my anxiety, social, general, or panic. None of them have given me more confidence or made me truly giddy.
Which leads me to believe those it helps with those things aren’t really suffering a catastrophic mental illness.
I’ve been on so many SSRI’s I should be the fucking posterchild for self confidence and calmness, if they truly worked as they claim they do, for serious illness.

I’ve been watching United States Of Tara, about a married mom of two with DID (formerly known as multiple personality disorder.) And I won’t go so far as to say it’s funny because being traumatized to the point of splitting into multiple protective identities is just tragic…But the writers handle the scrips pretty even handedly. And the family dynamic, even though her illness affects the kids, there’s still a lot of *dysfunctional* love there. Watching Tara try to cop sans meds because the side effects made her feel dead inside…Then seeing her fall apart, go back on meds, then the alters keep appearing after a stable period…
It’s very realistically written and portrayed. I am no expert on DID as its about one of the only mental illnesses I don’t have but I think this show got it right. I think the actors got it right, too. The anguish Tara feels is palpable, even as new alters emerge to help her cope with what her mind is protecting her from.
And I love the way she’s willing to look for answers, to figure out what happened to bring about the DID.
It’s just the rare example of Hollywood actually portraying mental illness with some factuality and compassion.
Yes, I know it’s fiction.
But it’s based on an actual illness and one I didn’t even particularly understand. So I watch this, I seek out knowledge, and I learn more about the topic.
And they say TV rots your brain. I’ve learned more from TV than I ever learned at school.

God, I am so frustrated. I was, for awhile, writing shorter more coherent posts and now I am right back to clusterfuck city. And the more life moves at warp speed around me with no chance for me to catch up…The worse it gets.
And I don’t get the one size fits all mentality of adulthood.
In school, if you learned more slowly than others or had some sort of learning disability, they would take it into consideration, give you more help, lighter class loads, easier work. They recognized individuality.
As an adult, you either keep up or you’re a fuck up, never mind what hindrances you are facing.
I was never coddled but I can admit I was never truly prepared for just how much of a rat race life is.
I’ve run that fucking maze for 42 years now and have yet to find that elusive cheese. Probably because I managed to wander off into a totally different maze where there never was any cheese. It’s an apt metaphor for my life. I am always on the outside, looking in, never quite able to catch up with everyone else.
No self pity, just the realization that no matter how much life brainwashes you into thinking you’re a failure if you can’t keep up with the status quo..Sometimes, you just can’t. Nothing to do with intelligence, laziness, weakness…

So I yearn to keep up yet accept that it’s not likely to happen. I still run the race every time I get up, face my responsibilities, go out the door.
And it’s not like I am even bothered half the time that I don’t keep up with the rest as long as I am in my bubble.
Stepping outside the bubble, seeing how everyone else’s life has changed for the better, how fast paced they live…And being reminded you’re a “slacker” for not keeping up…
That’s when it’s the worst.
It takes a lot of time and work to learn to accept your limitations, keep pushing ahead, and not to give up when reminded you don’t measure up.
Having the added pressure of others’ high expectations just crushes me, not because I define myself based on their opinion…
But because this semi functional dysfunctional depressive high strung misery ball is never what I wanted to be.
I failed myself by not becoming the person I envisioned and wanted to be.

But must like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle missing pieces…I can’t manufacture what isn’t there. I’m not exactly like others. I was born with some missing pieces and lost more of them along the way. My puzzle will never be complete.
My goal is to do as much of it as I can and use my imagination to fill in the picture that should be there.

Something tells me it’s going to be a pegacorn.
Or a spork.
A pegacorn with a spork.
Meh, sometimes, non sensical pseudo humor is all I’ve got.

a-z challenge: t

T is for tree,  but trees don’t drink tea, not even tea trees drink tea and none of them wear tree shirts.

The first tree I ever planted, was a red bottlebrush, the first tree I climbed was an uncomfortable coral tree (lucky beans!). Both of those trees are dear to my heart, but neither is my favourite.


fever-tree (1)I have young trees in my garden – frangipani, guava, milkwood, fever tree. The fever tree is the important one, I planted it for my mother. Acacia xanthophloea, Fever tree (English), Koorsboom (Afrikaans), mooka-kwena (Northern Sotho), umHlosinga (Zulu), nkelenga (Tsonga), munzhelenga (Venda) … it has a ton more names too, because it occurs from the southern bit of SA, right up to Kenya, in East Africa. Boran (Hwacho dima); Kamba (Kimweya, Musewa, Mwea, Mweya); Kikuyu (Murera); Kipsigis (Ochmnyaliliet); Luo (Kuth ataro); Maasai (Olerai); Marakwet (Reno); Meru (Murera); Taveta (Mwelela). It occurs in South America and Australia too.

My particular corner of the coast is not kind to them; they like sandy soil (check), but they’re also fond of a high water table, which we certainly don’t have (deep boreholes instead). The wind here batters them into small and stunted shapes too. So my mother’s is in the most sheltered possible bit of my garden, tied to a post to keep it upright, with a striped sock. It is very lovingly tended indeed, because of course it is a very important tree. Sapling. I’m always shocked when I go further inland and see tall and flourishing trees, trees here are so … wizened. Brave though.

Legend has it that the bark of the fever tree was first used by the Spanish in the early 1630s when it was given to the Countess of Chinchon, who had contracted malaria (known colloquially as the ‘fever’) whilst living in Peru. The Countess recovered and the healing properties of the tree were discovered. |source|


Nyala Game Reserve, KZN

All important things have stories and fever trees are no exception. *Jeremy Clarkson voice* Some say that the bark cured malaria, but that the first whites in SA, not knowing the connection between mosquitoes and water, blamed fever trees for malaria. The indigenous people were right (naturally) and the extract from the bark is called … quinine. Not only did it provide the first prophylactic for malaria, it also provided generations of Brits with that archetypal tipple, the G&T.

However, the healing power of this remarkable tree only became world renowned in the 1820’s when officers of the British Army in India, in an attempt to ward off malaria, mixed quinine (the extract from the bark of the fever-tree) with sugar and water, creating the first Indian Tonic Water.
It was made more palatable when they added a little expedient of gin to the mixture. The original gin and tonic was thus born, and soon became the archetypal drink of the British Empire, the origins of which were firmly planted in the fever tree.



I was told (but i can’t find any evidence that it really exists) that Swazi myth says that if you sit with your back against a fever tree, it will take all of your grief away. Fever trees are an odd colour, for trees (the bark is a sort of yellow-green subdued acid colour; rubbing it reveals a brighter green – is there such a thing as pale lime green?), and the bark makes a kind of dust. I’ve leaned against a fever tree or two in my time, or I content myself with putting my hand flat on its trunk for a little while.

He went from Graham’s Town to Kimberley, and from Kimberley to Khama’s Country, and from Khama’s Country he went east by north, eating melons all the time, till at last he came to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, precisely as Kolokolo Bird had said. (Rudyard Kipling – The Elephant’s Child, Just So Stories)

Nyamithi Pan, Ndumo

Nyamithi Pan, Ndumo

My trees were nowhere near the Limpopo River, their beat was the Pongola. I’d seen lots before, but I really came to know and love fever trees at Nyamithi Pan, in a game reserve called Ndumo. You don’t walk close to it, because crocodiles and other potentially gruesome deaths. There are fever trees everywhere, in sunlight, in shade, near water and not – it’s a sort of resort for them, methinks. So I fell in love, hard, and they became a sort of totem for me. I had plenty of grief for them to suck and these days, even more. I’ll probably never return to Nyamithi Pan, for various reasons, it’d just hurt way, way too much.

A thorny matter.

A thorny matter.

My family tree is almost bare, which doesn’t matter in the great scheme of things, but it does make things lonesome. And so the fever tree has become a different sort of family tree, my own slender sapling. My thumb and forefinger can circle it’s trunk easily, but it’s tenacious and it’s leaves and thorns are beautiful. It’s all come full circle, I suppose. I’ve been loving, photographing and leaning against fever trees for years and now, when the grief is at its biggest and most intense, there is one growing carefully in my garden, to look after me and my ghosts.

Treehugger? Moi? Guess so. Emotions and sentiment aside, they’re pretty useful to have on our planet.

Here is some fever tree wallpaper, if you fancy it.

1057 x 755

1057 x 755



In case you thought I’d forgotten the tree saturated JRR Tolkien …




tumblr_n125q0e2Ra1trlmdvo1_500-01Tolkien About Trees

I am at home among trees, by root or bough. (Legolas)

Essay – Tolkien’s Trees
Tolkien’s Tree – a giant falls
The Two Trees of Valinor – Telperion and Laurelin, the Silver Tree and the Gold that brought light to the Land of the Valar in ancient times.
White Tree of Gondor – stood as a symbol of Gondor in the Court of the Fountain in Minas Tirith. The White Tree also appears as a motif upon Gondor’s flag.
Leaf by Niggle (short story by JRR Tolkien) download epubpdf
LoTR Family Tree Project – visualising Tolkien’s works on the web.

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Shall We Dance?

Cha cha cha Cha cha cha

I love this! It speaks to me in volumes and volumes. How many times have we done something that went really and how happy were we? Then, the next time we did it, we hit a few snags. Like in our work, we have a project that is going really well, until it’s not going so well anymore… Like our hobbies, we are loving reading a book and then we hit a really boring few chapters… Like in a relationship, a friendship, an acquaintanceship, in one instance we get along so well, we think we are making huge strides, our relationship is improving. But, in the next instant, we have a disagreement, or a misunderstanding and we are totally crestfallen. But it’s ok, really, one step forward and one step back IS the cha-cha! We are dancing, maybe with words, or thoughts, or ideas, we are dancing with our minds, with our bodies, with each other. I love this, The Cha-cha, nothing to be crestfallen about at all. Maybe that’s the rhythm of life and we are all the dancers, taking steps, forward, backwards, sideways, but always together, always in conjunction, when one steps forward, the other steps back, then the other way around. It is a wonderful, social, human thing to do and we are always doing it. So, shall we dance?