Daily Archives: August 11, 2015

You Tell ME

Ok, so I need you lovelies out there to share your opinion on this – if you have one:

I’m going to start seeing my therapist twice a week again. I have the hypothetical option of going 2 days in a row or spacing my appointments out a little so I don’t go as many day in a row without seeing my doctor. Few things to consider:

1. The benefit of going 2 days in a row is that I can keep the momentum going and pick up where we left off the day before when I’m dealing with something that can’t be dealt with entirely in 50 minutes. Doc says some of her patients find this route really beneficial – closer to having one really long appointment than 2 shorter ones…kinda.

2. On the other hand, sometimes something fucked up will happen the day of or the day after a session and I have to wait almost a whole week to talk about it, and in that time, I might forget important details or the incident altogether, so it might not get handled properly. So it might be better to, for example, meet on a Monday and a Thursday so therapy is, in a way, more frequent and my issues more up to date.

3. It’s about a 90 minute commute via public trans from my house to my doctor’s office, which probably sounds like a stupid choice on my part, but I started seeing this doctor 8 years ago, and 8 years ago, I lived in a neighborhood that was pretty close to her office, so it was fine. 90 minutes each way, two days in a row is a pain in the ass. It might be less exhausting if I had some spacing between doctor visits that take up like half of my goddamned day.

4. Regarding #3: I don’t mind long bus>train>another train commutes as much as most people probably do. I can read, I can listen to music, I can write, I can check out cute girls like a total pig. A lot of my fashion decisions are the result of things I’ve seen people wear on the train, and because my city’s so large, there’s a lot of variety.

5. Depending on what my doctor has available, this choice might be made for me, and, really, I’m not gonna suffer either way.

But I still wanna know what you think. Which option would you prefer? Why? Open to all opinions and experiences. Lemme know in the comments and thanks in advance! (Especially for factors I hadn’t considered here.)


Tagged: bipolar disorder, bisexuality, depression, doctor, psychotherapy, public transportation, support, therapy, you tell me

Fix the Patent Laws


Dunno about you, but this pisses me off on so many levels. Not many of those levels are about me either. You guys know the drill – South Africa may be “Africa  Lite” (I cracked up laughing when Trevor Noah said that, it’s so accurate), but we still have 30-40% unemployment and a lot of poverty and our public health care is a joke and… well, just read this quote and then you’ll know why I’m so ratty about it.

Doctors Without Borders and Treatment Action Campaign argue that South Africa grants patents almost indiscriminately on most patent applications it receives, allowing companies monopolies on medicines, and keeping prices higher in South Africa than many other countries.

Click to view slideshow.

And this too.

“Some (South African) cancer patients would rather go to other countries, like India, for treatment. The combined cost of the flight, medical services and drugs is cheaper than buying the drugs alone in South Africa,” said Bernice Lass of cancer group, CanSurvive, in an IPS interview.

Here’s the source of both of those quotes.

Here’s the part that inspires hope.

Campaign for Affordable Medicine Gains Ground in South Africa
NGOs join the fight to fix the medicine patent laws

And here’s the place to use your voice.

Fix the Patent Laws is a campaign of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). TAC is a non-profit organisation that seeks to ensure that every person living with HIV has access to quality, comprehensive prevention and treatment services to live a healthy life. Through this blog we will highlight how amending South Africa’s Patents Act 57 of 1978 will reduce the cost of medicines, improving the health and saving the lives of millions of South Africans

this bus goes to the morgue

Ride On The Epic Suck Bus: When Anxiety Causes Physical Illness

From out of nowhere I got hit with an overwhelming wave of sheer anxiety. My skin is trying to crawl off my bones. My stomach is twisted it knots, causing severe physical pain and responses. This is no longer a “my heart’s beating too fast” thing. I feel nauseous from the level of anxiety I am currently experiencing. And there truly was no trigger. It sucker punched me.

I decided to soldier on because ya know, that’s what is expected. Made a call to find out if my kid’s going to ride the bus. They set my anger off by saying she doesn’t meet the state mandatory 1.5 mile thing. Oh wow, 1.3 miles, round it up, dumbasses. Besides, if they picked up at the door instead of a general stop, she’d be exactly 1.5 miles. And they’ve bused the kids from this trailer park every year I’ve been here, to that same school. So what the fuck? I called the school secretary and I’m afraid I lost it a bit and said, “If she’s not eligible, fine, but if I see the other kids here getting picked up and going to the same school, I am gonna raise hell.”  Okay,I didn’t mean to hulk out but it’s bullshit.

So I am waiting to hear back on the matter, which feeds the anxiety monster. I doubled my Xanax because this stomach issue is really grueling. I don’t like doing that with my meds, don’t like being sleepy, but damn it, when you’re sent to the bathroom in agonizing pain…All because of stupid anxiety you can’t explain…You’ll do anything for relief. And ya know I’m already in pain because of shark week, so this is all just way too much for me to deal with.

And scumbag brain has decided this is the IDEAL time to remind me of all the stuff I am facing in the next week what with her open house night at school, her first day, still waiting to hear from disability people so I don’t even know if we’ll have a home after this month…If she can’t ride the bus, I’m gonna need gas money…It never ends. And the suckiest thing is, aside from the depression, for a couple of months things were ok. I mean, there wasn’t a chain reaction of catastrophic events happening every day. In increments, I can deal. When it all lands in a short span of time…My shrapnel flies.

“The only limitations you have are the ones you place on yourself.”

This is such bullshit. It’s very hard on the ego and psyche to admit you do have limitations so most don’t do it out of laziness. I have an anxiety/panic disorder therefore I do have limitations of how much I can cope with before I start going under. I don’t like it, I cope best I can, but it is what it is.

“No one has ever died of a panic attack.”

That is one of my all time favorites as offering proof PEOPLE ARE FUCKING STUPID. Logically, I know the panic attack itself won’t kill me and it’s usually not even a fleeting thought in my head at the time. No, my thoughts are based in reality. What if I am so rattled I brake instead of accelerating and cause a wreck?  What if in this anxiety my reflexes are off because circuits are overloaded and I crash into someone? The truth is, once the fight or flight response of panic kicks in, you’re not in your right mind no matter how many breathing exercises you do or stop signs you envision. It’s prime time for mistakes to be made, mistakes with serious repercussions. And while dismissed as asinine and weak by most, panic is not silly at all. It’s legitimate. For every “cured” person there are dozens who suffer endlessly only to be invalidated at every term.

It’s not limited to traffic. Between the bipolar issues and depressions, I’ve battled with jobs my entire life. When manic, I was super employee. When depressed, I was sleepwalking and a complete fuck up. Not big selling points.

The anxiety played a large role in the employment problems, too. Bosses do not have empathy or make concessions because one is hyperventilating or feeling exposed and terrified and need to “take a time out.” They don’t care if a nervous bladder makes you need ten bathroom breaks a day. They don’t even want to know why you’re perpetually clutching your stomach and darting at breakneck speeds for the toilet because the anxiety has metastasized into a legit physical issue. They expect you to be well groomed,freshly pressed. Which is hard to when your nerves are frazzled and cold sweat is pouring off of you even in air conditioning. You’re still expected to smile even though you are clenching your jaw to stave off nausea that could quickly turn to hurling.

None of it matters. No concessions are made. You become a liability and ten people without your limitations are there to replace you. It’s devastating to one’s self confidence, especially when doing your absolute best to soldier on.

It impacts my parenting, as well. My kid doesn’t get the outings most kids do because mommy’s stupid brain is perceiving anything outside the bubble as a potentially lethal threat. Some days I am so wired on anxiety and paranoia, I can’t even bring myself to let her play outside for something in my brain is telling me she’s in danger. It makes no sense and it wasn’t a huge problem prior to her birth. Something in my brain was altered by the pregnancy/birth experience. Instead of zapping my wiring straight, it gave me a litany of new things to be tortured by.

The Xanax has kicked in, things are slowing down. I’m still feeling like I have a target on my head and everyone “out there” has a high powered rifle to bring me down. It lacks logic but to an ill mind receiving wrong messages…It’s very real, very disturbing, very hobbling.

Out of curiosity…I’d be interested in hearing from some of you who read this blog with anxiety issues. What are your symptoms? Do they manifest physically at times? Do you feel paranoid and vulnerable? How do you cope with them, during, and after? Have any therapies helped you cope? Please, leave a comment and give me feedback. I’m truly interested in how others experience anxiety and deal with it in their day to day lives.

Side note: If you are gonna spew sunshine and puke rainbows about how licking fish oil pills helped cure your anxiety, or try to sell me some box set of dvds to “fix my anxiety forever”…Move along. You’re only going to be met with derision, and based on my mood, land in the spam trash or get lambasted with disdain. If your anxiety has been cured…You never had a metastatic anxiety problem in the first place. I’ve had mine since age 8 and not even hyponosis and chakra alignment helped. Besides…whatever you’re selling, I’m too broke to afford even if I were curious.

Okay, pretzel gut has returned, twisting and contorting, and demanding my attention.

The double decker suck bus ride begins again.

Katrina Was Here

So the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina will soon be here.  August 29. It doesn’t seem like ten years ago.  I can look at my children and see how much time has passed, but I don’t feel the time passing. I guess it’s because I’ve spent so much time in a blur since then.

I know the local media is going to do some retrospective stuff–I know most of the stories will be positive about how much the truly affected areas have recovered, but some will be depressing as well.  I just have to avoid it as much as I can so I won’t flip out.  So that is what I talked to my counselor about today.

She had me rehash all that happened that year I think to see how I reacted to remembering it in a safe environment like her office.  I got weak in the knees the longer I talked.  It was really a little unnerving to go back over it all.  So now i know how it can make me feel–I just need to watch out for that and make sure my Klonopin prescription is up to date :).

We will see how this goes.

Mentally ill in Prison: Alarming rates and lack of resources

Originally published on health-e.org.za by Ayanda Mkhwanazi  

In February, 3 755 inmates were recorded as being mentally ill out of a population of almost 150 000
“This is according to Police and Prison Civil Rights Union (Popcru)
“If [a mentally ill] a prisoner is identified, they will be taken to the hospital section where a psychiatrist will conduct an assessment then prescribe relevant treatment,” said Popcru General Secretary Nkosinathi Theledi.
In February, 3 755 inmates were recorded as being mentally ill out of a population of almost 150 000.

Twenty one inmates committed suicide in 2013/14, according to the Correctional Service Department’s 2013/14 annual report, an increase from 13 in the previous financial year.

Although the Department of Correctional Services said it is attending to the needs of inmates who have been identified with mental illnesses, it acknowledged that the mental health needs of awaiting trial prisoners – some 28% of the prison population – are unknown.

“It is not possible to know how many awaiting trial detainees are in need of mental health care unless, on admission, they report or submit any form of proof that they are receiving treatment,” said Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela.

“Awaiting trial prisoners are not that accessible so we don’t know what the need is for mental health services,” said Professor Lukas Muntingh at the Community Law Centre at the University of the Western Cape.

“If you are a shorter term or un-sentenced prisoner it is hard to access a psychologist. Only sentenced prisoners from two years and longer get a sentence plan,” said Muntingh.

He added that the suicide rate in South African prisons could be an indicator and reason for concern.

“If there is a suicide in a British prison even if it is one it is a huge deal. Prisoners are actually guarded and watched but here it is normal,” said Munting.

“The response is very relaxed from our department”.

However, the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro) said a number of inmates with mental illness could remain undetected in the system.
Nicro is a non-government organisation providing comprehensive crime prevention services across South Africa. National Advocacy and Lobbying Manager Venessa Padayachee said the organisation believed mental illness in prisons is not thoroughly addressed.
“Attention to screening procedures and the training of staff to detect mental illnesses. Is everyone being screened or do many slip through the gaps?” said Padayachee.
She said correctional centres do not have the suitable facilities such as psychiatric services to support mentally ill inmates.

Muntingh shares Padayachee’s sentiments, adding that the lack of psychiatrists not only in prisons but in the country as a whole makes the situation worse.

Wolela conceded that in the absence of resident psychiatrists the department utilises private psychiatrists or those recommended by the Department of Health.

Muntingh said the concern around mental illness in prisons is the vulnerability of these inmates and their need for protection.

“They can harm themselves or other inmates. Greater awareness needs to be created in prisons so that they are informed about mental health and what to expect,” said Muntingh. –Health-e News”

Fear and Guilt Will Keep You in an Abusive Relationship If You Let Them

Such an incredibly important article for those of us who grew up in emotionally abusive households, and especially for Adult Children of a Narcissist (ACoN).

Taking breathing time for yourself, just to feel who you actually ARE and not live in the prison of the Narcissist’s defined role they’ve assigned you, can give you a taste of the freedom you’ve lacked, perhaps all of your life.  Then you’re going to have to face the incredibly tough question, “Now what am I going to do?”


This is where your therapist comes in.  Having the right therapist is vital, because you are going to literally be reborn when you cut the cord that binds you to your abuser.  Make sure your support system is in place, and prepare yourself for the possibility that until you begin rebuilding your life, your only support might be your therapist–because the Narcissist will make sure all your family and friends think you are a lowlife creep who abandoned them.  And since a Narcissist thrives on praise and adulation, they often occupy positions of high responsibility in their communities, are always the first to jump to the aid of extended family members in need, and are generally idolized by all.  Their position of power makes it easy to demonize anyone who defies their dominance.  This is what keeps so many of us locked up in the prison of great, the fear of the consequences of being ourselves.


But in order to actualize ourselves, break away we must.  This article, and the resources it quotes, will help you get started on your journey to your genuine self.

The article comes from the incredibly helpful website, The Invisible Scar, which is directed toward adult children of emotionally abusive parents.


Fear and Guilt Will Keep You in an Abusive Relationship If You Let Them.

My Superhero Name Is…Snarkasma

I’m out of bed in the same clothes I wore yesterday and thus far I have read email, fed cats, and put trash at the curb. Sadly, I am exhausted already. This shark week thing absolutely sucks. My entire body aches like I went ten rounds with Tyson. And the bitch of it is, I can’t even look forward to menopause because I can’t take hormones due to blood clots. Yeah, yeah, always gotta find the negatives, don’t I. I’m gifted that way.

I’ve thought a lot lately about how people take my sarcastic sense of humor entirely wrong. This is what therapy got me- pathological self awareness. The counselor said I couldn’t see things in shades of gray and perhaps, during manic/hypomanic episodes, I can’t because my emotions are amped up and distorted. But right now, even with the depressive undertow, I do see shades of gray. Like how people with an upbeat, optimistic personality could take my sarcasm as negativity and bad attitude. I don’t wish to project this and I certainly take no joy in unintentionally offending…Yet if I have learned anything in my life, it is that I have to be true to myself. I can’t take responsibility for clashing personalities and alter who I am for the comfort of others.

That being said…I do feel like a little background is needed. I wasn’t always a complete smartass. I didn’t always have a whiplash tongue. This was forged after so many years of being bullied at school. Sarcasm became my shield and it was effective. A well delivered barb to a guy in front of his buddies suggesting underendowment in the genital region can be just as devastating as a punch to the face. I found power in my sarcasm shield. I wasn’t just the girl to be kicked around, I was a fierce force to be reckoned with. If you had the balls to come after me with insults, you had to be prepared for a snarky comeback that just might put a dent in the ego. Perhaps sarcasm and foul insulting language weren’t the socially acceptable way to go but I was in hell and I had to arm myself with what I could.

And that was how Snarkasma came to be. My super power is sarcasm. My costume is basic black leggings and shirts. I like my eyeliner black and thick. I wield no weapons other than a quick wit, a “burst into flames” glare, and the ability to win verbal warfare in my sleep. If this comes off as negative or Debbie Downer…Too bad. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I was properly horrified this morning when Chris landed this monstrosity in my inbox. Fuck your square spork and its “new and improved” design, creators! I appreciate the info, Chris, so I may launch a campaign against this…this…blasphemy against spork kind. Sporks: round. Spoon/fork combo. NOT square, not made with a cutting edge like a knife. If you’re gonna redesign and reinvent the wheel, you should not bastardize the sheer elegance of a spork by calling your utensil of ick by that same name.

Sue me, I like sporks. My old myspace page was riddled with spork pictures.It’s funny stuff.

I was watching a true crime thing last night and the ‘professional’ therapist they had on there kept saying, “This woman used her bipolar diagnosis as an excuse for her bad character.” Over and over she said this and every time, I wanted to put my fist through the screen into her face.Now, given, I don’t know the woman that was being discussed, maybe she just is a spoiled bitch brat. But saying that bipolar patients use their disorder as an excuse for hypersexuality and such…Um, that’s the very definition of bipolar, you moron. Perhaps some milk that so they can behave badly outside of manic episodes. Most of us do not. It’s not an excuse, it’s our reality.

Bipolar disorder is the double-decker suck-bus of a life. This thing devours any semblance of a normal life for many of us. So just because “most bipolar patients, once medicated, can live a full productive life” does not mean it works that way for all, especially those of us with multiple diagnoses. Ignorance is just a trigger for me, especially from a so called mental health professional. I guess I get too bent over asinine things but it’s my thing. If you’re not outraged by something, then you’re not alive or you’re not human. Some stuff should piss you off. Denying that is not being positive, it’s being a moron.

Now in a shocking move- put on your seatbelts and crash helmets, this is gonna give you whiplash…I had a POSITIVE moment yesterday. I was watching trailers for new tv shows starting next month. A couple looked so interesting, I got goosebumps. That kind of got me jazzed. So much is in the air in my life right now, it’s hard to think beyond the now and mere survival. Seeing something to actually look forward to..was pleasant. And for the record…If I were given a chance to take that pill in Limitless…I soo would. Because god knows I’ve shoved so many FDA approved psych meds down my gullet, what’s one more pill that could kill me? Least that has mega benefits. And having your brain sending so much information at once wouldn’t really be an adaptation for bipolar.

Now, courtesy of Diane’s wicked sense of humor, I am gonna end this post with some funnies.



(I’ve never had the Xanax bars, I always have gotten alprazolam. And oddly unicorn poop looks a lot like the frosting that was on my kid’s birthday cake. Just saying.)

bipolar linkdump

The next Marya Hornbacher book is coming and could be a game-changer: “I really don’t know what it’ll be called. The subtitle will be about healing and recovery in American mental health, something like that.” This is my pick of the week, all five pages of it. If I had a support network, this is […]


https://mattearl1964.wordpress.comThis is so incredibly sad. I just leaned that Matt Earl, the author of this blog that I followed took his own life. His last post was:

Suicide imminent

Rest in peace

Love to all followers