Daily Archives: December 2, 2015

You Can’t Go Home Again

Maybe it’s the holidays that are making me a little wistful, but lately I’ve been missing the “good old days” when my family and I lived in the big house on the hill. I miss the summer grass, the big above-ground pool in the backyard, the delicious meals that came from our barbecue. I miss seeing the leaves turn yellow in the fall and watching the woods fill up with snow in the winter. I miss the Easter egg hunts with the grandsons in the spring. And I especially miss the holidays and birthdays with the family gathered in our huge living room, with lights draped over everything that would stand still and good smells coming from the kitchen.

Let’s face it: I miss that life.

So when the opportunity to drive by the old home place presented itself the other day, I gave in to the temptation. I don’t know exactly what I wanted to see, other than a house that was being taken care of and loved by the new occupants the same way I loved it.  Instead, what I saw was almost unbearably sad: a broken-down truck alongside the house…wood slats stacked on the front porch…and worst of all, every single one of my flowering plants had been ripped out. Even my beautiful hydrangeas and the Hot Chocolate tree roses. Gone. As if I had never planted them or spent countless hours nurturing them.

It was all I could do not to burst into tears. There wasn’t a single trace of our family’s existence or the fact that we had lived there for almost 12 years. I can understand why a new family would want to do things their own way, but…ALL of my flowers?

Will was upset as well. He’d put in plenty of time around that house too, and it made him angry to see the beat-up old pickup and the wood out front. We didn’t waste any time driving away from there either. It was just too sad. I almost wish we hadn’t gone there; at least we wouldn’t have had to see our onetime Shangri-La desecrated, as it were. But unfortunately, what has been seen can’t be UNseen, and now I’m left with those disappointing images in my head. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Whoever said “you can’t go home again” was spot on!

So, once again I’m mourning the loss of my old life, the one in which I was productive and able to enjoy the fruits of my labors just by looking around the house and the 2 3/4 acres we lived on. I wish with all my heart I could still work and keep up the lifestyle we had then. But I have to accept the fact that that part of my life is over and it’s not coming back.

Besides, I have a perfectly decent life now. It’s different from the old, and my outlook and expectations have required considerable adjustments, but it’s good in its own way and I’m grateful beyond words for the people who have made it possible. A year ago Will and I faced a cold, joyless Christmas; now we have a pleasure cruise planned (we leave in 2 1/2 days!!) and there are multicolored lights everywhere. My son is an over-the-top decorator like me, and he’s turned the house into a Christmas fantasy land.

This is my reality. I know the “Shangri-La” is not my home anymore and never will be again. But the shock and disappointment are fading, and I think maybe seeing it the way I did may be the key to moving forward.

In the meantime, I’m getting ready for the trip and the next two days are going to be insanely busy, so I’ll say good-bye temporarily until I get back on the 14th. If you’re new to bpnurse, I hope you’ll peruse my old posts, and if you’re an old friend please feel free to re-read them. Gotta keep my stats up!


Sticker Shock

Got started Christmas shopping and literally quit in shock at what I spent in two stops. Unbelievable.  SO I came home and am about to start addressing Christmas cards.  We will see how that goes.

FOund out I need another shot for school.  THis whole ordeal is getting a little ridiculous.  They said they needed the second mumps shot documented as well. They had told me first that it was only a  second measles  and rubella shot that I needed. SO I got the MMR, and now they want the second mumps shot, too.  All for an online program. Ridiculous.

Listening to Elvis Presley’s Christmas music.  Just the right mix of holiday cheer and melancholy for my mood.  Trying to stay awake and do laundry, too.  SO it’s a busy day.  Church tonight and all that goes with that.  The younger one sings in church next Sunday for Christmas, so we are looking forward to that.



Please Let This Be A Mistake!

I got a notification yesterday that I’d been dropped from my health insurance.  Any Bipolar knows that you’re basically fucked without health insurance – I have a million and one doctor appointments per month, and even more prescriptions!  And I had just hit that sweet spot where I’d met the $3500 coinsurance (!!!) and everything was covered 100% for the rest of the year.  Right now, I am occupying my time with freaking out.  If you have any positive ju-ju, please send it my way.  I’m hoping that this is somehow a mistake, since I got zero notification that this was coming.

In more positive news, the weather has warmed up enough for me to go take a hike!  So I will do that before therapy today.  Boy, Dr. BigHeart does NOT know what she is in for.  Oh well, that’s why I pay her the big bucks.

Hope you are faring better than me, my friends.  WE NEED SOCIALIZED MEDICAL CARE IN THIS COUNTRY!!!  IT’S A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVELEGE!!

Ok, off my soapbox.  Peach out.

Filed under: Bipolar, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Health Insurance Crisis, Mental Health, Psychology, Reader

Sounding Off

Well, the maintenance one trailer down continues. Slamming doors, loud voices, trucks parking outside my bloody window. It’s got me crawling in my skin with anxiety even though I took a Xanax. And as insane as this will sound…I don’t think these yellow ones work right. Oh, sure, it’s alprazolam, different manufacturer, all in my head. I wish my pharmacy would just get the peach ones back in. In my head or not, I like what works best. Or maybe there’s just no relief to be had when I am so super sensitive to sound. Used to, it was just excessively loud noise- stereos too loud, jackhammers, lawn mowers, etc. Now every tiny normal ambient sound drives me to the brink. I thought with age I might become less neurotic, calm down. Ha. Anxiety disorder laughs in my face.

So this morning I needed to break a ten so I could give my kid a buck fifty to get a Smencil and xmas lollipop at school.  Figured, hey I want sweet tea, Mickey D’s will work. And wouldn’t you know it…Some kind soul in front of me went ahead and paid for my tea. That’s twice in the last month a perfect stranger has one that. It’s gotta be the rusted bashed up car, they must feel sorry for me. (I’ll put my car’s engine up against anything in these newer cars any day. Fuck beauty, give me power and performance.) So that act of random kindness left me still holding a ten. I ran to the shop, figuring he’d have change in the drawer so I could break it. Nope, he did deposit yesterday, no cash. Kenny had no cash. FUCK. I promised my kid a Smencil (can only get them on Mon and Wed) but by then there was no time to run anywhere else. I scrounged up fifty cents in dimes so she could at least get a sucker. Then as she’s getting out of the car…I realize she forgot to put her glasses on. And stupid mommy didn’t catch it. I should take the glasses to her but damn…Let her experience being half blind all day, maybe she will come to appreciate the glasses and how they do their job.

Meh, mom of the year people won’t be calling me any time soon. Odd cos back in the day “tough love” was THE thing to do. Now, it’s like you don’t bow down before the snowflakes so they don’t step in a mud puddle and you’re neglectful. (I read a story yesterday about a woman who let her 4 year old play outside, in her sight through the front door, and  neighbor decided to turn her in for neglect so she got arrested and is on charges and has a DCFS case against her now. For letting her kid play outside. In a posh gated community. FFS.)

Tis cold and gloomy again today. Makes me miss yesterday’s sunshine immensely. All this gloom is depressing. Hate the sun, hate the gloom, but damn it, being warm makes me functional. This damn cold settled into my bones makes me….Not functional. That and I have a stomach ache, IDK why, but I am just all around icky today. To top it all off…The ductwork is undone AGAIN and the cats are escaping through a heat vent that doesn’t screw down and going through the open ducts to get outside, then coming back in the same way. Apparently rusty duct work falls apart when fixed with duct tape and it rains a monsoon for six days straight. I wasn’t about to go an extra four hundred to replace it all, though. I don’t own the place so I just want functional, not fancy. If it would ever warm up the tiniest bit (hint hint, sunshine) I’d just fucking slither under there and fix it my damned self. Damned cats. Seriously, how was I supposed to know the furry bitches had the intelligence to bat the vent open then go rogue and wrestle their way out the damp taped duct.

It would be real lovely if anything ever went right for me.

And please don’t suggest I contact maintenance since they’re practically next door. That one guy is the prick who threatened to bring his rotweiller over to kill all the stray cats. I’ll be damned if I give him more than the middle finger, I’ll fix it my fucking self. Ya know, when my motivation is located.

So far today I’ve watched izombie and The Flash. OMG, Flash blew my mind. And as it’s a crossover ep with Arrow, it continues tonight and I’m a tiny bit giddy. After last week’s holiday drought with no new shows…I am lapping up every bit of fiction soup for my soul. Pegacorn knows I’ve got five weeks of hellish holiday programming and nothing new coming my way. Gasp- I will have to go back to watching all seasons of Scrubs, comedy, ewwwww.


People take my sarcastic humor way too seriously. I am a dark person but I also mock that aspect of my personality. Yesterday when I fetched Spook she was like, “I drew a family portrait but you’re gonna be mad at me…” And I was like, why, and she said, “I drew you smiling.”

See. I joke about, no I can’t smile, my face will crack and it will hurt…Mainly cos I get fucking sick of being told to “smile, it’s not that bad.” Fuck off. But yeah, my kid thinks my humor is serious. Is there an age where they start grasping sarcasm or did I get the misfortune of my kid, like my mother, having little humor and no appreciation for sarcasm?

Kinda like when I call her a budding sociopath. I’m JOKING, ffs. Twenty years of therapy, I think I’ve earned the right to mock all their precious terminologies and groupings of personality traits that make one “disordered”. Besides, I have a valid point. Without socialization and being taught “right from wrong” we’re born sociopaths. Her behavior is pretty basic for a kid who’s had limited socialization. It’s still funny to “analyze” everyone in the spirit of mocking all that damned therapy that never did cure my biggest problem. Being bipolar depressive. Seriously, what can a counselor say that changes a chemical imbalance? They deserve my mockery.

I’m against burning books but I think I would make an exception for the Douchebaggery Simpleton Manual, aka, their bible. Burn, bitch, burn. I was a much happier person before therapy not only put my own flaws in the spotlight but made me highly attuned to everyone else’s, as well. I wanna go back the days where I wasn’t “personality disorder otherwise not specified.” Back when I was “eccentric” or “quirky.” Those are not personality disorders. That douchebaggery manual wants to make everything a disorder. Hell, they’d have my cats on pills and in therapy if they had their way. Cat lays around all day and sleeps? Must need kitty Prozac. Willow hisses at everyone? She must have anti social personality disorder.

Really…It’s all comical at this point.

Spook asked me over the weekend, “If we don’t have any money, how do you get all these computers and a smart phone and a tablet…”

For a split second, I almost felt shitty for having “too much”.

But let’s see…The desktop slave computer was bought used for a hundred bucks five years ago. This laptop was a freebie R frankensteied for me out of spare parts  left at the shop. (I’ve sprung for an external sound card, a power adapter cord and two keyboards, so oh.,..I have about fifty bucks in it.) The Toshiba laptop in the living room was given to me by a guy who didn’t want to spring for a replacement screen, so I just hooked up an external monitor (which my dad got at an auction and gave me for free.) The desktop pc in my bedroom was $75 and R paid for all but $30 of that one. The tablet…$39.99 no name. The smart phone? Ten bucks, and it’s a wifi device because I can’t afford forty bucks a month for the actual phone service.

So ok, I have a lot of electronic stuff but it’s accumulated over time and nothing cost big bucks. Because I can live with a pc that still runs on XP.  Because I don’t need an idouche product. Because I am not that picky. Still, she gave me the brief moment of feeling bad for having “too much.” Yet we have a 24 inch CRT (chunky old analog) model in the living room. It cost $27 bucks at Salvation Army six years ago. I have “too much stuff” because I am cheap, not picky, and not too proud to take hand me downs. I’d like to instill this appreciation for what you can get rather than live miserably always wanting unrealistic things. It will either be that or she will grow up resenting used stuff and being broke and get herself a rich husband or the education so she can afford to spend willy nilly.

On a final note…I spent a buck to get a new lighter, I’ve got sore calloused fingers from the roller Bics so I went push button. Well, good news…it’s child proofed. Bad news…I can’t even figure it out half the damn time. When the dollar store sells shit smarter than me…It’s a sad fucking day.




Family tree

Black square - bipolar
Striped square - depression and/or anxiety

Bipolar Disorder and Self-Control

self control picI am not sure if it is characteristic of other people with bipolar disorder, but I tend have  OCD tendencies.  I am not using that word loosely because I know that it bothers people (including myself)  when words like adhd, ocd, bipolar, schizo are tossed around as adjectives.

For example, when it comes to exercising, I will exercise every day for three months, but I miss one day and then I am done and basically quit.  I have to have everything just right or I am not happy. I have been labeled a perfectionist and although I have gotten better, I still struggle. I can’t stand messes, things on my walls and shelves need to be balanced, and I will write and rewrite things until it almost gets ridiculous.

As I struggle through mainly the mania part of my bipolar disorder, I get very discouraged if everything is not the way I want it.  I will get very down on myself when I slip up and do things I have decided not to do ahead of time.  I expect myself to be perfect and appear “normal”   I try to convince others so much, that I think it makes me sicker. Note: the people who know me know anyway as I tell them when I sense myself getting manic.  It has been observed by others and I tend to agree that many times I work myself into a manic episode.

It was today when I was struggling with hypomania that I realized that I was being way too hard on myself.  Everyone has bad days and I just happened to be having one.  I have been very irritable, my mind  has been racing, and I just talked my husband’s ear off.    Thank goodness he understands that this is just part of my illness and knows he can tell me when he has had enough.

Getting to the self-control part-  While hypomanic, I need to do certain things. I might find it hard to control certain behaviors and get down on myself when I do a bad job, but these are things I do have control over.  Here are some things that I can control and having bipolar disorder should work as hard as I can to do so.  I apologize for using the word control so many times, but it is the best way to express what I can do for myself to get through the hard time of being “manicky”.

  •  I need to do them in moderation. Spending time online, writing furiously, sending long emails, calling people I would normally not call are okay. However, I do need to slow down. Things can be done tomorrow and if I want others to think that I am just someone with a mental illness rather than a crazy person, I can’t do so many things.
  • I need to take time to relax.  All the energy and motivation I have been lacking while depressed, comes to the forefront and I would stay up all night working on all the things I have wanted to do.  However, this is not smart. I need to take breaks and relax.  I can go for a walk, force myself to watch a television show or read.  It can be really hard to concentrate  on a show, but I can try my hardest to control this and need to.  Playing the piano or violin or listening to music are other things that help.
  • I need to pace myself- Set goals and only work on those things that day. The other things can and should wait.  If I try and tackle too much, I know from experience, I will get sicker.  I know that I can convince others that I am okay and have proven that over and over again. I have worked at jobs when I was totally manic or severely depressed and no one knew. They would be shocked when I did tell some of them.  I also have convinced psychiatrists, first responders, and ER doctors and nurses. Even though my family knows I am full blown manic, I have a way to just appear normal.  Hiding this from others is exhausting and in the long run, I have learned is not helping me.  I always let my family and a few close friends know when I first see the red flags.
  • I need to eat right.  I can control this and should.  It is easy to forget to eat when I get so goal oriented and have no appetite.   Making sure I set times to fix something healthy and eat is important.  This can go with the relaxation part. I should stop what I am doing and cook.  I can even multi-task and eat while watching television.
  • Exercise is essential.  Again, I get so busy doing all these things with all this energy I have, it is easy to forget or just avoid exercising. Exercising really is one of the best things to do to get myself grounded, help with the racing, and mostly get rid of some of that part of energy.  I can control this by going for a walk or run first thing in the morning before doing anything else. I also should have my husband or friends tell me to go run around the block when I am talking a mile a minute to give them a rest.
  • Taking time to sit in silence and just breathe is something I can do too.  A lot of times, noise and a lot of things going on makes it harder to concentrate and makes me more irritable. I need to be smart enough to withdraw myself from the commotion and just go sit by myself for awhile until I what I call grounded. I can usually get myself to a place where I am not racing too.
  • Being smart about taking medications that help with the anxiety and racing thoughts is something I can control too.  I hate taking meds because of the side effects I have endured over the years and my fear I will get addicted.   I do take my regular medications all the time. I have others I take only when I need them. When I am hypomanic, I do need them, and need to use them.
  • Praying for me is another important thing. It is through my faith that I can get through these hard times.  He has pulled me out of my depression which is something I have been praying for and He will get me through the mania too.  I just forget sometimes to have faith that He will be watching over me.
  • Relying on others is something that is hard to do. I have always been independent. However, I have some true friends and family members who would do anything for me and love me unconditionally have told me to lean on them.  I oftentimes don’t.  Again, I can control this.

If I think back about the times I have been manic, I don’t think I have done my best to control my surroundings .  I have not used all the tactics I have at my disposal to prevent me from escalating.  That is why today I decided that I need to work harder at controlling those things.

Self-control is important when you are not only manic, but depressed. I am not going into the depression part of it in this blog article, but have written about things you can do when depressed in the past.  I just need to do those things. I need to practice what I preach and force myself to do those things.

Self-control is defined as “restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires” by Merriam Webster.  I need to exercise those restraints. It is harder to control my impulses, desires and emotions when I am manic and hypomanic, but with about 30 years of having bipolar disorder, I have learned that this is important and what techniques to use.  I just need to implement them better.

Picture Credit: mattzavadil.com

Just sitting here, thinking.

Source: Just sitting here, thinking.