Daily Archives: June 5, 2015

nick cave

Psychological Jenga

jenga-gameLife with mental illness= Psychological Jenga. Without the party fun aspect.

Each day, we start out with a base of blocks. Every act adds a block. Some things cause a block to be wedged in unevenly, thus upsetting the entire balance. Still, we keep building. Wake up. Get self and or kids dressed and fed. Get out the door. The base is formed.

We face anxiety in  the dish of petri. That adds two levels, one precarious and wobbly.

We deal with traffic, the stress of stupid people who behave rudely. Waiting in lines. Getting cut off by someone on a cell phone. Another level of blocks.

The longer the day,the more levels of blocks built up. This is where it gets hairy. Because the blocks are going in vertically and then horizontally and as the towel comes up, the balance starts to go. By the evening, it’s time to remove the blocks to wind down your day. Of course, this takes some skill, steady hands, and a willingness to take risks.

For us, one wrong move isn’t simply game over, bummer. Nope. One wrong move for us…

6a00d83451761569e2017c34ca9bf0970b-800wiWe don’t know what will be the catastrophic block to come out and make it all tumble down around us. Car trouble? A fussy child? Plumbing leak? Burned supper? A late night phone call that leaves you feeling manipulated and angry? We’ve spent the day with each harrowing act building up this giant tower of blocks. Very little of it is solidly balanced. Which block can be safely removed? It’s a game of chance, without the game.

Our blocks all tumble down and for us, it is apocalyptic. We have spent hour upon hour, building the tower, managing to keep the dangerous wobble and balance in check. Only to watch it come crumbling down around us, not like a neat controlled implosion, but like a bomb going off. Choking clouds of dust, rubble, metal shrapnel, and all our emotions raw and bloody like body parts blasted apart. We look around at the wreckage and have no idea where to start to pick ourselves back up and rebuild.

Most of us have no support system, or real support system, to even guide us in our shellshocked state toward rebuilding. It’s just us and our pile of dust and blocks and carnage. It’s hard to think of rebuilding when you can’t even see a single block left in tact. So you retreat, you reboot, you wait until the dust clears from your mind…

Then you do it all over again the next day, only your hands are still shaking so what you manage to stack up and build…is even more shaky and unstable.

Mental illness IS psychological Jenga.

Game on, bitches.

Trailing Trees at Hyde Park Cemetery

Whoooo are you?

Whoooo are you?

Watch an artist at work in wood carving demonstrations, and see the unveiling of a striking new sculpture at Hyde Park Cemetery, Doncaster, on Sunday, 7 June from 11 to 3 pm.

“The tree trail is for everyone: whether you’re a child, or someone who loves nature, while the barn owl is a magnificent addition to Doncaster’s public art, including the wonderful variety of stone carvings found throughout this cemetery,” said Richard Bell, Chair of the Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery.

"Follow the Tree Trail"!

Follow that tree!

The Friends launch their new, free “Tree Trail” on Sunday. The trail guides you around 12 different types of trees in the beautiful setting of the 15 acre cemetery. Sunday’s events start at the main entrance at Carr Lane, Doncaster DN4 5AA, near the side of Adrian Welch Glass & Glazing.

The oriental plan is one of the 12 trees on the trail

The oriental plane is one of the 12 trees on the trail

A stunning hand carved sign about the trail is already in place near the entrance, carved by acclaimed artist Leon Clemitshaw, who also created the barn owl sculpture being unveiled at the event.

Leon will demonstrate his wood carving skills on the day. There is also an additional sculpture by Leon, which joins the barn owl by the entrance.

The cemetery, which opened in 1856, contains the graves of many of Doncaster’s famous Victorian residents. Their story is the story of the town.

For more information about the tree trail, and about Sunday’s events, see fohpc.or.uk.

An owl's eye view of Hyde Park Cemetery

An owl’s eye view of Hyde Park Cemetery


Plans for Fall

I’m starting work lining up my creative writing class for homeschoolers for this fall.  I had three names from this spring that were interested and so I called them first.  All three still sound interested, so I am hoping to get one more and have a nice little four-person class for two months.  I don’t think it should interfere with my classes since I’ll be finished before I have to go up to the W for a conference they’re holding in October.  And I want to keep working at something so I don’t feel like a total leech at home.  Talked to three interested mamas this morning, and they all still sound interested so maybe it will pan out for this semester.

I’m gong to write my advisor this morning and get my enrollment information so I can sign up for classes.  I’m just going to take the one writing for new media class and see how it goes.  If things go well both in fall and spring, I may sign up for two classes next fall.  I think the new media class will be the most challenging one because I am technologically challenged.  I was told back in 2007 that I had a nonverbal learning disorder, and I’m not sure he isn’t right.  I have a hard time learning things with my hands.  But we will see.

My mood is really up considering it’s summertime.  I’m not manic; I’m not making grandiose plans or anything like that.  BUt for the first time in a long time, I feel just garden-variety happy.  I’ve made it into the graduate program and have so much to look forward to there, and my kids are doing well, and my husband seems content with everything that is going on.  I’m hoping that maybe I’ll get a few more years of stability under my belt and I can hopefully get a real, live, full-time job after the degree.  I want to.  I don’t want to be on disability the rest of my life.  So we will see.  I’m already praying about what I need to be looking at after I finish.  So we will see.

The Great Mowing Mystery

It's a mystery no doctor yet has been able to explain. Nearly every time my husband mows the lawn, he has a SEVERE insulin reaction. He checks his blood-sugar carefully beforehand, and makes sure to eat some carbs to sustain him. He often dials down his insulin pump to try to compensate. It happens when it's cool, when it's hot, when it's humid, when it's not...

nine inch nails

The People Equal Shit Files

So, yeah, okay I practiced avoidance today on the subject of dropping everything to tend to R’s unspecified demand.

I did, in all fairness, try to reach my sister about babysitting. I did reply to his text when it finally came in at 9:30 tonight.

He called at ten p.m. copping an attitude. “They won’t answer their phone? They’ve probably got cash for the next day and are busy spending it all so they don’t want to hear from you.” (I’d argue, but as it turned out, he was right. They were out shopping and buying steak dinner. ) He went right where I knew he would when I mentioned it’s kind of inconvenient finding a sitter when he waits til ten thirty at night to make his demands. True to his snotty nature, he said, “Oh no, I texted you yesterday far ahead of that. I was trying to help you, for fuck’s sake…Well, what about tomorrow? Can you come in tomorrow?” And I told him, I don’t honestly know because I won’t leave my kid alone with my mom and helloo, my sis has a job and a fucking life. And then he got really snotty and said, “Should I just give it to (computer nerd friend)?” And by that point I was so irked I said, “Yeah, just give it to him, fine.” And he hung up on me.

I cannot believe how spoiled he is, how entitled, how full of himself. I told him, right in front of his wife last week, that I’d be hard pressed getting a sitter this summer since I can’t leave Spook alone with mom unless my sister is there. Conveniently, he forgets, calls me when he’s ten sheets to the wind and pissy, and now we have discord. For fuck’s sake, the man’s 52 and acts like a teenager. (And no, I’m not claiming any maturity high road after my avoidance behavior, but hey, if I’d avoided answering his call tonight, he’d just pissed at me for a different reason, so it works out just the same, easier to avoid.)

I’m hitting my wall. I am however going to try to have a private chat with his wife. Not to start any shit, but to make it clear that whatever is going on with him, it is not meant in way to disparage the kindness she has shown Spook and me. I’m  just sick of  being treated like some trained on command seal having to balance a red beach ball on my nose at his whims. I think he’s unfair. But he already made it clear I’m just ungrateful because he was trying to help me. Oh, well. I lost out on a laptop that may or may not work, all because I didn’t drop all and bow down. How do people get that self important in their own minds, anyway? I’d be ashamed if I ever thought of myself that way. Of course, you’d have to have an iota of self awareness to see yourself for who you are and feel shame.

I finally did get hold of mom and I made the mistake of mentioning how R keeps calling so late expecting me to drop everything…And she launched into, basically yelling at me, “I will watch Spook any time you need me to!” Hmm…She’s always sick. She never answers her phone. All she does is personally attack me. Oh, and due to her Alzheimer’s she leaves deep friers plugged in over night, burners going, and knives laying on the table. It is not comforting to leave a 5 year old there. Not that mom would ever let her be hurt on purpose, but because mom’s awareness is slipping so much, someone is going to get hurt accidentally. It’s not going to be my child. One more war started.

People sometimes do equal shit, Slipknot got that part right.

I was mellowing, reading a book, calming, getting to the point of trying to sleep…And because some asshole decides calling so late is cool, I am going to need another two or three hours mulling this, having anxiety and guilt attacks, and my stomach is churning and….

What. the. actual.fuck. I am also breaking out in hives and have a stress cramp in my neck. One.fucking.phone.call.

If I could just find a way to earn an income so I could afford car repairs and such…I’d never have to be held hostage by family or friends again, never have to be guilted or shamed. Foot fetish internet porn sounds less creepy by the day when compared to the hell I go through with the kindly people around me.

And by kindly, I mean assholes.

Chasing Teddy Bears

Bananas in pajamas…are coming down the stairs…bananas in pajamas are chasing teddy bears…

Kid’s show should be labeled as contagious. The themes get stuck in your head whether you want them or not. I need an exorcist.

Uneventful day if you discount the free floating anxiety that had no trigger other than petri dish hangover. I avoided the issue of R and he never did text me. Wouldn’t have done him any good because I tried called mom six times and got no answer or call back. He knows that’s how they are and he will still find some way to play it off as me being ungrateful, blah blah blah. I need new friends. Actually, I’m good without friends, it’s too much frigging work sometimes.

Dad and stepmonster stopped by to remove the training wheels of Spook’s bike. Added to my anxiety but I didn’t spaz, at least. I cooked supper, bathed spawn and myself. And honestly, after my brain being hammered with mommy mommy mommy for ten straight hours…I’m done. Cryptify me. I’m going to try to read and let some quiet seep in and soothe me. I’ve noticed the warmer it is, the crankier I get. Today was cool but the humidity is still so thick, it’s sapping the energy out of me.

Zero sporks left.

Will shut down and reboot in the morning.

Who knew…I CAN write a short post. Maybe pegacorns are real, too.

Food and bipolar d/o


I have been having problems with food allergies for a few years now. Actually, these are not the full fledged anaphylactic reaction (where your throat closes up and without an epinephrine shot, you have danger of dying) kind of allergies, I suppose my allergies would be better described as food sensitivities. My symptoms are not the typical gastrointestinal ones, but rather are joint pains and fatigue. A few years ago, I was tested for food allergies using an IgG test, by a rather unconventional doctor. My tests came out positive for many food, including bananas, beef, corn, wheat, rice, casein (a milk protein). I stayed off those foods for a year and then tried to add them in, unfortunately, it didn’t really help. Then when I moved to Louisville, I went to a doctor in Cincinnati, an extremely unconventional doctor, to the point of charlatanism. He offered to cure my bipolar disorder! That’s when I stopped seeing him. Now I am seeing an allergist, he has done IgE food allergy testing and found I am allergic to about 12 foods. I’ve been avoiding those foods for two months. A few days ago, I added dairy back in and started having knee pain and fatigue. Darn! I love ice cream, and whipped cream, and butter and Flan! Now I will have to go off dairy for a year.

Considering my food allergies and my having bipolar disorder (BPD), I decided to do a search about food and bipolar d/o. Below is an article I found about the five so called worst foods for bipolar d/o. In my experience, caffeine is only bad when I am not on Lithium, when my mood is controlled on Lithium, I can have 5 cups of coffee and I will not get jittery, hyper, neither will my muscles start trembling, all the case if I am not on Lithium. I once asked my doctor, a long time ago, if Caffeine can push someone with BPD into mania, because I had felt the “upness” after having coffee. He didn’t really have an answer for me. Now I believe it can, if your mood is not managed wit Lithium (for me) or another mood stabilizer.

Alcohol, definitely reacts badly with the medications used for BPD. The meds potentiate the effect of alcohol, which means a very little amount of alcohol can have quite a big effect. I drink one glass of wine and my dead starts swimming, although it does make me really happy :-) It says below that people with BPD can become addicted to alcohol easily, may well be the case, but not in my experience.

Sugar can of course. spike your blood sugar, and the ensuing elevation in Insulin can make your blood sugar levels drop. Not so good for people with mood disorders. Stability, evenness, and steadiness are the most coveted states, in sugar levels and moods for any one with BPD!

Salt can interfere with Lithium metabolism and of course, water metabolism. When one is on Lithium, one has to stay very well hydrated as Lithium is a diuretic as well as a mood stabilizer. Also salt can be dehydrating, with Lithium, that is not a good idea. I find that I crave salt when I’m on 900 mg of Lithium. I don’t eat too much salt, but neither do I restrict my salt intake. And my doctor told me to eat more salt if my side effects such as fine muscle tremors (mostly in my right hand) get to be too bothersome. I suppose the extra salt lowering Lithium levels to stop the tremors.

Fat, I don’t understand why fat is on the list below… Good fats such as nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are actually quite beneficial for the brain. The cell membranes of neurons, as well as glia are made of fat, so this one, I don’t know. I would leave fat off the list of the five worst foods for BPD.


The Five Worst Foods for Bipolar Disorder

  • Caffeine. “Stimulants can trigger mania and should be avoided,” Fiedorowicz says. “Caffeine is an under-appreciated trigger and can additionally impair sleep,” and sleep deprivation is a notorious trigger for bipolar mood swings and mania. Caffeine can also worsen anxiety, which tends to go hand in hand with bipolar disorder and, if you’re taking antipsychotic medications, might also affect how those drugs work. Fiedorowicz adds that some over-the-counter medications — such as pseudoephedrine, found in some cough and cold medications, for instance — have stimulant properties similar to caffeine and can also trigger bipolar mood swings.
  • Alcohol. Bottom line, alcohol and bipolar disorder make a bad combination. Alcohol can negatively affect bipolar mood swings and also may interact negatively with medications. People with bipolar disorder are also more likely to become addicted to alcohol and other substances.
  • Sugar. People with bipolar disorder are at risk for metabolic syndrome, a pre-diabetes condition that may make it hard to manage blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the highs and lows that come with the sugar roller coaster could just add to bipolar mood swings, particularly mania. If you really want a sweet treat, reach for fruit.
  • Salt. If you’re on lithium, moderating salt intake can be tricky because a change in salt intake, either an increase or a sudden decrease, can affect lithium levels. Talk to your doctor about how to safely manage the salt in your diet to stay within a healthy range, often between 1,500 and 2,300 milligrams a day. Equally important when taking lithium is to make sure to drink enough fluids — dehydration could cause dangerous side effects, Fiedorowicz cautions.
  • Fat. Fiedorowicz suggests following the recommendations of the American Heart Association for a healthy diet in order to limit saturated fat and trans fat in your diet. That means opting for lean protein and low-fat dairy products when choosing animal products. You might have heard that the fat in foods could alter the way your body uses medications. Generally, your medications will still be effective, but eating a lot of fried, fatty foods just isn’t good for your heart.