Daily Archives: July 22, 2015

forget the sunblock

(scheduled post)

Thankies to Addy for the om nom nomination and the cool questions.

The rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award are simple:
Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post
Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you
Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award, and write them 11 new questions

My answers

1. If you could have a pet dragon, what would you name him/her? Glaurung, who is the father of all dragons (Tolkien’s Silmarillion).
2. What is you favourite book of all time? Still Lord of the Rings, all the way, forever, for life.
3. If a movie was made about your life, who would play your love interest? Can’t think of one.
4. What country would you most like to visit? And why? Marlboro country. Because it fulfils the requirements of a smartassed answer.
5. What are three things that fill you with happiness? My dog, my house, my friends.
6. What is something that no-one else knows about you? I’m far too repressed to answer that.
7. How do you think mental health services could be improved in your country? They’re so so so inadequate here. We have a ludicrously low number of psychiatrists, public healthcare is in shambles and they run out of meds all.the.time. It’s thoroughly third world stuff and govt budgets for it all are too low, and often the allocated funds don’t even get used. So better admin would probably make a very good start in improving the rest of it. I had to research local govt funding etc and I was horrified. As you can see, this is a bone I gnaw at often.
8. Chocolate or Ice-cream? Tough one. I could smartass it and say chocolate ice cream, but I think if there was an AK47 pointed at me, I’d scream chocolate.
9. What is one of your favourite quotes? All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. (Gandalf)
10. What is your happiest memory? Yoh. Another tough one. Even if I wasn’t brainfucked about the difference between mania and happiness, which is not something I can leave out of the equation, thanks to the many and varied consequences of mania… I’d still be hard pressed to think of one. So I’ll tell you my earliest and simplest one. All it was, was sunshine, warm concrete outside the back door of a house called Underhill, on Underwood Lane. A red metal tricycle with a yellow plastic seat.
11. Why do you blog? Personal infodump, therapy, clarity, connection.


So now I need to nominate eleven bloggers to get some sunshine. First and foremost, I’m nominating Kitt, I promised her I’d nominate her for every single one I get. You’re welcome Kitt! I’ll link them all to the no awards page so that you can reject them all in one place. On a more sincere and less irritating level, there are another ten to suntan:  Tessa, Hazel, Neuro, kbailey, La Sabrosona, Journey, gdill, Sass, Annie, Lily.

My questions

1. Introvert or extrovert?
2. Tea or coffee?
3. Religious or secular?
4. Unicorn or dragon?
5. Grilled or fried?
6. UK or USA English?
7. Pirates or ninjas?
8. Chocolate or cigarette?
9. Cupcake or muffin?
10. Conservative or liberal?
11. Who are you?

Have fun.


Unexplored CreviceThe word is out—sitting all the time will kill you.  Well, everything eventually kills you, but sitting is the new smoking in terms of health. It all makes sense to me.  I was a nurse once.  I know about circulation and oxygen flow.  But it was lamination that really sold me.

Lamination is what happens to the fat, fascia and muscles of your butt under the heat and pressure of sitting (think glued together and steam pressed).  I wish I could find the You Tube piece that explained it so well, but all I could find was this joker talking about Gibbon-Butt.  He makes a point, though.  Our backsides are not meant to be weight-baring.

I started researching standing desks.  With a desktop computer and a teeny apartment, I needed one adjustable desk, and those suckers cost big bucks.  Units that sit on the desk are cheaper, but I have a teeny desk, so all that scaffolding leaves no work space.  I was stumped. So Get Adjustable Desk became part of my IPR wish list for making my living space better and healthier.

This spring when I visited my nurse practitioner, I noticed her work space.  She had a big, simple adjustable desk with a chair on one end and a treadmill on the other.  She didn’t just stand at her desk, she walked or jogged, which seemed a bit excessive, but good on her, right?  I was more interested in the desk anyway.

Clean lines, simple, moderately priced and from IKEA (I’m partial to Swedish furniture—I used to be married to a Swede.  Some things stick, though are not necessarily laminated in place).  Minneapolis has a big IKEA store.  I often go to Minneapolis to visit friends.  I felt a plan forming.

Desk LowLast week I traveled to said Minneapolis to visit said friends.  I also brought home a desk in three boxes.  Yesterday I put it together (ridiculously simple) and started rearranging the jigsaw puzzle that is my apartment.  I’m shocked that I only have to get rid of two pieces of furniture:  my desk—a sweet little thing that was my first craft work table, and a night stand from an old bedroom set—repainted and pretty, but not very functional.  Everything else got redistributed and refiled (or will be).

I have to be careful with this kind of project.  I tend to purge while manic, and I’m hovering at hypomanic right now.  It would be so easy to get rid of all my crappy, second-hand furniture and just start over.  But, that’s crazy talk, so I will sit (or stand) with this one, new purchase until the fever passes.

Desk HighAlso, my cats are traumatized.  Henry won’t leave my side, and Emmett stays hidden under the bed.  First came the bathroom remodel, then I was gone for five days, and when I came home I brought in Big Things that Made Noise.  We all need a nice run of quiet days to let our nerves settle.

I’m standing at my desk now.  Henry’s taking in the afternoon sun.  Emmett’s still under the bed.  We’ll get de-laminated eventually.

Epic Rant Battles Of History

Nah, not really a battle, I just like the Epic Rap Battles Of History thing on youtube and the opening always gets stuck in my head. I don’t rap, but I rant like a boss. BEGIN.

Yesterday’s petri dish outing was…Ugh. It’s not my attitude being negative. It’s not some self fulfilling prophecy where I dread it so it turns out bad. It just is. Because everything is amplified during a depression and your attitude counts for fuck all. If positive attitude alone made a dent in mental illness, all the so called professionals would be out of jobs. Point being, I fulfilled my obligation to have lunch with my friend. That I consider it an obligation should indicate just how far down the depressive rabbit hole I’ve gone. Instead, the doctor seems to think it’s some affectation. Were he worth a damn as a doctor, he’d recognize the symptoms of anhedonia, which is a hallmark of serious clinical depression.

While there at the shop for lunch, I had a couple of episodes that disturbed me. The first was when Kenny popped in during his lunch hour, one of R’s friends stopped by, and just that much seemed like too much stimulation and exposure. I started to feel the fight or flight response of panic kick in and retired to a deserted room away from any living creatures. I did all the STOP sign and breathing exercises from therapy. I did the self pep talk, reminding myself it was just an anxiety attack, I was in no danger, there was no logic, I could control it. Zero fucks were given by the anxiety. It passed, but had I been in a job working with the public and needed the flee to get my bearings..I’d be screwed. That’s one of the biggest parts of anxiety that no one seems to get. No, the panic attack won’t kill me. But when it happens in front of people in a situation where you cannot hit the escape hatch without major repercussions…It’s a problem.

The second episode was a complete wash of dizziness and nausea combined with an intense urge to sleep. I get that from time to time, it’s not frequent, and usually I just drink some orange juice and feel better. Some sort of blood sugar issue, I assume. I had  no OJ, nothing sweet, and all I could do was ride it out even though it was a challenge to remain upright and conscious. Unnerving, to say the least.

I think the thoughts I wrote down before leaving kind of spell it out.

Anxiously lethargic?

Seems oxymorons are a given with bipolar. Happily depressed? Depressively manic?

I get anxiously lethargic. Mainly because of my disrupted sleep patterns I spend a lot of time in a sleepy haze, functioning yet feeling things through a layer of gauze. I’d loove to just curl up and sleep. Some moments, I actually could just nod off…
EXCEPT the anxiety receptors are firing simultaneously resulting in the rapid heartbeat and that tense “can’t let my guard down” sensation. Which feeds my anxious stomach and it starts to churn.
So I’m sleepy and lethargic.
Yet I am anxious and jumpy.
I take a Xanax to soothe the anxiety, and lethargic becomes “need toothpicks to keep eyelids open.”
Mental illness, and its treatments, are a catch 22 from hell.
Yet I am still expected to go face the day, be clear and focused, and not a shambling zombie in spite of the overwhelming sleepiness. I am supposed to make calm rational choices and have calm reactions when my nerve endings are in flames.

Mental illness. The gift that keeps on taking and can never be returned.

I am told that getting up and moving around, going out in the sunlight and fresh air, being around others, will help me. Instead I think it drains me. It’s like a checking account. You have so much money you can make checks out for. Go over that amount and your checks bounce. Overdrawn. And when I am feeling all wonky and wiped in the first place, rather than feed me anything positive, trips in the dish result in an overdraft.

In an effort to be fair…There are times when doing the social dish helps. During an overwhelming depressive/anxiety bout simply isn’t one of those times. Goes back to the sporks. When stable or manic, I may start out with 24 or 36 sporks to use during the day. When I am in bad shape, I start out with 6 to 12 sporks and most of them are gone before noon.

Add to it that by hour four outside my bubble yesterday, my skin started to crawl with anxiety. I needed to go. Had to go. For my own well being. Yet R guilted me into staying by playing the “I enjoy having you around” thing. Translation: “I don’t want to be alone and have to fetch my own drinks and lunch.” Sad but true. Maybe he does enjoy my company. But he also enjoys Lisa, Bonnie, Kenny, Mark, and every other Tom, Dick, and Harry. Anything to not be alone. I don’t want to be a bad friend, he helps me out a lot. (Car parts and repairs alone, I’m still indebted to him for life.) But once I hit my “breakout” stage of the day where I need my bubble and my mind is spinning out of control with anxiety…I need to GO. Thankfully I now have an excuse so he can’t milk the guilt card too long. Gotta go get my spawn…

The outing got me smokes for a couple of days. Yes, I will stoop that low for nicotine. But also, I am trying to be a good girl and follow the professional advice (loosely) by forcing myself outside my bubble in the hopes it might improve my mood. It hasn’t happened yet. I live in a state of perpetual cautious optimism. If you don’t push yourself, don’t take the meds, don’t make the effort, the doctors get even more dismissive and treat you like a pill seeker. Cos psych med side effects are so non existent and they get you all high and joyous so of course we’d be in there lying to score Prozac or whatever. Idgets. So I TRY even though time after time it depletes me.

Once back to the safety of my bubble…I started to regain equilibrium. I needed to zone out, even though I desperately wanted to blog. The words and thoughts were all such a jumble, I couldn’t even make sense of it so I gave up. Instead, I numbed my mind with Criminal Minds as background noise and played mindless Word Poker on Neopets. (Spelling puzzles are an addiction for me, and my favorite just happens to be on a kid’s site, sue me.) All the time, my mind wavered on doing that which I have been dreading and putting off for days. The heinous trip to the grocery store. Aldi, no less, the one always so busy with long lines that sets off my panic receptors. No, I am tapped out, I can do it tomorrow. But if I get it over with, I’ll feel relieved. I don’t think I have the energy right now. Who says you will have it tomorrow, either, you’ll just wake up to realize you’re out of everything and still need food. Back and forth my mind went, all the while dealing with MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY. Then her friends came over and were mean to her again and I had to run them off. Two sporks left at 5 p.m.

Those sporks bit the dust when I finally located my missing kitten Brimstone. He died. I’d hoped he’d just gotten loose and was exploring and would come back all the while knowing in my gut if he were alive, he’d have been back. Another cat I had to bury. That was the third and final one from Nightshade’s litter. None of them lived. I was immensely sad. Yet…I couldn’t manage a single tear. That’s a side effect from the meds that’s always pissed me off. Sure, crying constantly due to depression isn’t optimal. But not being able to cry at all, to feel the cathartic release of expressing grief…That sucks more. It makes me look cold and uncaring, like some sociopath. It’s the same when my kid gets hurt. I patch her up, make the appropriate noises, and I’ve always made a hella effort not to be an overreactive dramatic “every booboo is a mortal wound” mom like mine was…But I know my affect is all wrong. It comes off to others like I don’t care when my kid is in pain and it’s not like that at all. I just can’t work up appropriate emotional responses. For all purposes…I’m dead inside. Emotional novacaine to the bone marrow.

Eventually…I forced myself out the door. Plan was to check the Aldi parking lot, determine how busy it was at 7 p.m. Thankfully it wasn’t busy at all and Spook and I loaded up on food. She wasn’t impressed by all the healthy stuff I got for her as opposed to bags of marshmallows like my mom feeds her. I’m trying to do the right thing. My job is to be her parent and do what’s best for her, not be her friend by shoving sweets down her gullet. I’m not an anti cookie nazi, just trying to promote healthier eating habits than what my mom is promoting. Seriously, it gets to three in the afternoon and the kid hasn’t had breakfast or lunch but mom says, “She’s had three cupcakes, some jumbo marshmallows, and a brownie.” Great, she’s not gonna starve, now she’s just gonna have rotten teeth and be hyper as hell. Thanks, Mom.

It was good to get the outing done and over with. It’s good to look in the freezer and fridge and see all the food, I probably won’t have to buy anything for two weeks aside from a couple of necessities I forgot. (Shopping with a 5 year old will cause black out memory issues.)  Getting it done meant I could look forward to a vegetative day and that’s pretty liberating. Spent the evening enjoying some music on youtube with my kid. Eventually hit my wall, though. I took a Xanax. Mind kept spinning. I took a 3mg of Melatonin. I slept.

Unfortunately, I was half comatose this morning. I lolled in bed til noon. I haven’t done that in ages. I was awake, just unmotivated and overly sedated. My kid is old enough to get own cereal and she was right there in my room so I didn’t even bother feeling guilty. The lethargy is the price for a good night’s sleep.

Today I am feeling…Less high strung but still sucky. I barely had a chance to put on pants before Spook was dragging her little friends inside. And that comes with its own set of suckage. I don’t like people invading my safe space. My housekeeping is shit, my vacuum is broken. I have no screens on my windows but have to open them to cool the place so the flies are everywhere. Not to mention all the cats. And my insane paranoia that the kids are “casing the place” to report to their parents if I have anything worth stealing. I just don’t like people in my safe space, especially when I am in such a depression the housework is subpar even by my low standards. Ugh.

But I survived and I am still ticking. Yay.

In an effort to recognize that there is goodness in the world…I found  a show called Nightwatch which basically follows around paramedics and firefighters on the night shift. The firefighters responded to a house fire and they found no people inside but they found  a kitty cat and it was suffering from smoke inhalation. So they put him on an oxygen mask, because yes, they carry special masks just for animals. Now that is chicken soup for the soul, to an extent.

If you made it to the end of this insipid long ass rant…You win…


Bad Night

Had a bad night last night.  Bob stayed up later than usual on the computer, and then he couldn’t  seem to settle down to sleep.  I woke up early this morning with reflux that did not want to go away.  I finally got up and took some medicine and ate crackers to try to settle it down until the medicine kicked in.

Still no appreciable pain from my hysterectomy–I’m so blessed to be able to recover so well.  I just need to get another week without driving or doing housework then if I feel like it I can start back up where I left off.  And I think there’s going to be a whale to do. My house is a mess.  My laundry is a mess.  I’ve so overwhelmed just looking at it.  But I have a few days to myself next week while my youngest goes to church camp next week.  So we will see.

The big girl is off work because of a stomach bug, and we are all trying to avoid it.  She’s back able to eat real food today, but she still has not hear the results of a test telling her whether she can go back to work Thursday. I think I will suggest she call this afternoon and check on it.  But it is making llife interesting with her back underfoot in the house sick like me.

So hopefully today will become a better day as it goes along.  Hope everyone has a good rest of the week.

Surviving Mental Illness At a Discount

As you may know, earlier this year I contributed a short story to this excellent anthology “Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor.”  This book is excellent for anyone living with a mental illness or has a loved one who does. If you’ve considered buying one, but haven’t done so, yet, Amazon has discounted the Kindle version to […]

The post Surviving Mental Illness At a Discount appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Calling All Blogs!


It’s that time again…time to advertise your blog! In the comments, leave the name of your blog, what it’s all about and your link.

If you go visiting from this post, try to leave a little comment, so they know you were there.

Challenge yourself! If you want to grow your blog, give it a try. “I will visit three blogs a day for one week.” You’d be amazed what visiting others and making relationships can do.


manic depressive inkdump

(scheduled post)

Every time I see a depiction of the duality of bipolar, I’m disappointed. I don’t even like the word bipolar, that binary description is so wrong – and I know that many of you agree. I wondered what I’d choose to represent it if I wanted to. Now, in terms of those dualities, two of my tattoos fit pretty well, on a number of levels. I love my tattoos, but those two, with their subtle symmetry, possess equilibrium that I’ve never had, do not have and never will have. The bipolar misnomer, well it’s a spectrum isn’t it, maybe even a circle.



The two faced nature of the beast

13-05-24 mental health bipolar 3

Stigma busters


Dopamine and Serotonin


Entropy and equilibrium



Bipolar Girl

Between the words


Everything else

Manic Depression Leech
From Marbles, Ellen Forney

I can’t see myself inking a disease into my skin – any disease – but if I were to add even more bipolar to my body, I’d make my feelings clear…



A little light linking…

My Bipolar Mania – Got Me a New Tattoo [5.8.2015]

Katrina Yellow’s bipolarcoaster
29 tattoos inspired by depression (it’s not often you see the words depression and inspired cuddling up.
Megan Fox explains tattoo removal; Marilyn Monroe ‘was a negative person’ (of course, Marilyn was bipolar. Way to be a bitch, Megan.)

I do not love the following song, but it does contain the words manic depression and tattoo, so it’s happening here anyway.

I am manic depressive
Flipping coins for my fate
Now ain’t that impressive?
Tails you never fail to feel hollow now hush and let the dark swallow
Move a little closer, what are you afraid of
Set the night on fire, baby burn it up
Tattooed on your chest, I.S.S.U.E.S

One Thing Down

I’m fratigued, and I’ve got a checklist.

The Mirena insertion went well. Like, really well, less noticeable than a smear test sort of well. So that’s good. It’s going to be a bit before I get over my terror that it’s going to randomly fall out, but oh well. I’m feeling slightly brighter now that it’s done? Relief, or slight lift of depression — I have no idea. I’m trying to not get too optimistic in case it doesn’t end up working out, but like… this is the best thing I can do for my health as far as my research goes, and I guess a part of me is just hanging on the cliff edge in the hope that something can lift the chronic fatigue. My quality of life is so freaking low with that factored in, and while I do make the most of my limited circumstances, I am occasionally bitter by how limited I am. I try not to be because I know that’s one helluva dose of self-poisoning, but. It’s also human too. I think that we’re all occasionally bitter about something. I guess it’s still hard for me to accept the validity of my negative emotions. I won’t beat myself up about that though; I have a lifetime of conditioning to break before I can fully embrace them.

But that’s the thing — that list continues to sit there, static. I can’t remember the last time I checked my blog email. Kids are getting fed one by one in shifts for lunch, because I cannot fathom trying to do it at the same time right now. And like… I’m so tired that I can’t really even care about it? Fatigued, that is. I get proper sleep and it helps my mood, though that’s been blighted with insomnia the past week or so. Hormonal, probably. Ditto for the headaches that seem to be lingering about. So yeah, I’m trying really hard to not pin my hopes on the Mirena coil magically reversing years of my body being destroyed from inside, but like… it would be nice if something would shift. :/

I see my psych next week, and I really need to lean on her about ADHD. It makes me increasingly irate that this country continues to operate on the flawed presumption that ADHD goes away in adulthood. That is based on the hyperactive male model; women’s ADHD tends to get increasingly worse into and through adulthood. I’ve always had it bad, but I’m starting to get seriously derpy. I’ve started a list to show her, and well. Like, I know it’s not her fault that the NHS operates on this model, and it definitely makes me cross that they aren’t down with giving meds for it to adults — one of my dear friends was diagnosed as a kid in the States, and the NHS won’t give her meds for it (!!!). I’ve tried to get into the system for diagnosis before but got rebuffed, so I don’t have a lot of faith that I’ll have any luck this time. But I have to try, and at least I can point out that it’s starting to have a ‘significant’ detriment on my life.

Heh, that took two days to write. Spoons whut?

Hope everyone is well.


What If I knew I was beautiful…..

Words to live by: Filed under: bipolar disorder

What If I knew I was beautiful…..

Words to live by: Filed under: bipolar disorder