Daily Archives: February 3, 2016

Workout Sore

So today I am sore from yoga workout.  Nothing I have to take meds for, but I can feel it all over my  body. We worked core muscles, hips, and legs today mostly.  All to the tune of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise”.  It was so pretty and relaxing even if I couldn’t roll up from a lying down position like everybody else.

I’m going to work on my essay today and finish yesterday’s laundry.  I feel somewhat better about life today, but not much.  Little steps I guess I can call progress. I’m writing about my day from the time I get up until lunch.  It’s going to be a substantial little essay in that I’m going to talk about doing these things as a bipolar person, with emphasis on how I get along each day with my disorder.  So I think it will be interesting.  At least I hope it will be.



CloudsLeoFeeling awful. Tired to the bone. Black swirls of abandonment, rejection, hot, red knots of fear in my belly, the “I am not good enough” refrain singing in my ears, all in all a pretty bad start to my day. How’s yours going? But something amazing happened. Just looked out the window, and saw my beautiful Buffalo clouds and a smile appeared on my face. Not the great Great Lakes clouds, but still beautiful cloud formations. Beauty, it does help and my Leo, sitting in front of the window, very intensely observing everything.

My son came back from hockey this morning full of excited stories about a man there who coached him and taught him how to play better. Now he’s gone off to lift weights, young and energetic! May he always be so. I had my coffee, going to take a shower, and meet my friend Deb for lunch. I must admit that at least just in this moment, in this one little moment, life is good.

Five Years Old

A Mind Divided is five today.

5th birthday chris

5 • 5 • 5


5th birthday nathanTo celebrate, I went through every post (946) to make sure the video links still worked and to find lost pictures.  You know WordPress—stuff gets lost.  And videos that were perfectly fine suddenly become “private” (As if you can stuff that genie back in the bottle).

5th birthday benedictNothing cheeses me off quite so much as faulty technology (or bad grammar, but that’s a different post).  When I come across a link that doesn’t work, or that little blue square ? instead of a picture, I’m sure I’m missing out on something fabulous and now–sadly—lost to me forever.  The mystery of it, the tease, makes my compulsive nature sing a sweary song.

Christian Bale at the Sundance Film Festival, 2000 *** NO TABLOIDS ***

So, in order to be a polite blog host, and to spare any unnecessary Sweary Songs, I tried to fill in any blanks left by You Tube and WordPress (Because everyone will be checking that 2/24/11 Star Trek fan-vid).

And this made me a little cranky, but also amazed at the 946 posts.  In the beginning, I posted a lot.  I think most new bloggers do.  The rush of words going public and the urgency behind telling one’s story dazzles us.  When I didn’t have something personal to share, I posted poetry, my art, anything that felt meaningful or part of me.  That first year I averaged 25.5 posts per month.  This past year, my average was 7.5.

5th birthday hiddlesSome folks burn out.  Some run out of words.  The blog runs its course or loses the meaning it once held.  Some folks just get busy or move on to something that provides more meaning.

I’ve found I don’t need to say anything until I have something to say.  Being a “specialty” blog gives me the freedom to not mess about with the statistics page.  I don’t worry about losing readers or what I need to do to tart up my site to attract more.  I’ve never been Freshly Pressed (it’s called something else now…) and never will be.

5th birthday avengersI get to do what I love here—take my bipolar disorder apart and find any silver linings that hide under the gore.  I get to share my art and my fan fiction.  I get to belong to a loving, funny community that continues to blow my socks off with their comments and kindness.  I get to gush about movies, and books, and pretend boyfriends.  I get to be vulnerable, and freaky, and completely me.

5th birthday RichardI love this blog.  I love its therapeutic power.  I love the friends I’ve made through it.  And I love writing it.  I love that new readers still find their way here and that, once in a while, they stick around.

Frosting on my bloggy birthday cake.

Black History Month and Mental Illness

Please note: I, in no way have meant to disrespect anyone. It is merely to point some things out about mental illnesses. I hope that no one takes offense to this blog in any way.   If for some reason you are offended  you can contact me at Bipolar Bandit because I would love to hear from you and would be willing to change things if warranted.  

bhmThere are a lot of successful people in this world who are black.  They have done impressive things in their lives including being doctors, lawyers, artists, business men/women, ministers, soldiers, politicians, teachers, and the list goes on.

During Black History Month we are reminded that a lot of famous people from the black community deserve recognition for how much they have change the world for the better.  I am not talking about just people who are black, but all of us.  I really would like to think that they are, however history and current circumstances unfortunately tell us that this is still not true for everyone.     We learn about people who were born black in school in a positive way.  We learn that against all odds, they took on the world and did not let the color of their skin keep them from doing things that changed the world for the better.

The people from the black community, famous  or not,  are people the black community look up to and other races are amazed at.  They are not ashamed of  who they are and have not let the color of their skin keep them back from what they wanted to do with their lives. Although some people in society are judgmental and racists, no one can deny how successful they are.  Many people coming from the black  community  are idols for many and in some cases have made such a difference in the world that they are famous for what they have done.

I am sure it is still hard  in some parts of our society I will truly never understand how it is to be black.  However, I do know the feeling of being looked at differently.  I can relate to people thinking that I can’t do anything I want to do in life.  I understand  people who don’t accept me because of who I am.  I also can relate to feeling like to being an outcast at times.  It is not because of the color of my skin,however,but because I have a mental illness. Just like those people who are not white have had to face many obstacles, so have those with mental illnesses.

The history books tell us about black people who have made a difference in the civil rights movement and others who have showed others that anything can be done if one sets their minds to it.  However, how many of those people do you know have a mental illness?  It is usually hidden.  That is a shame as they should not have to hide it or be ashamed by it.  People with mental illnesses should not be isolated or looked at differently any more than people who are not white

Please read “I Have a Dream regarding Mental Illness” if you have not already.  Just like people who are black can do anything against all odds, people who have mental illnesses will hopefully be able to do the same in the near future without being judged or held back just because they have a mental illness.

I started out this blog intending to write about all the people who are not white who have mental illnesses, but it turned into a different blog entirely.  Please read this blog to see better what I intended for this blog to go.







Waiting Rooms

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
It’s the same everywhere, isn’t it? Government facilities offer unparallelled opportunities to “hurry up and wait”. And we wait. And wait. For hours – placid as cattle. There’s just no point getting twitchy, one might as well kick back and try to enjoy the passing parade – or at…

Waiting Rooms

It’s the same everywhere, isn’t it? Government facilities offer unparallelled opportunities to “hurry up and wait”. And we wait. And wait. For hours – placid as cattle. There’s just no […]

My suffering is wholly from my past.

IMG_2952 DSCN5333

I learnt a new breathing exercise for the times when it feels a literal elephant is stepping on your chest and your eyes are faucets on the full on position. This emotion has nothing to do with anything that is going on in the present. It is a gift of the past, it has been stored in my heart, in my brain, and now has unwrapped itself. The unwrapping may have been catalyzed by some events in the present, perhaps by some similarities my brain noticed in the present to the past. But the emotions belong wholly to the past, the abandoned little girl, with a broken heart, an abused little girl, with the broken body. These are the gifts my past has bestowed upon me. I have unwrapped the box and now must learn to dispose of them. That is what the therapy, breathing exercises, Heart Math, (and more yet to be discovered techniques from the internet,) with all these techniques and my will to dispose of this unwanted gift, this curse, these drama queen emotions, my will to mend this broken heart, mind, and body, I hope I will succeed.

I blame nothing and no one in the present for this suffering, I know full well, this is all from my past. For some reason, the pain came fully into my conscious mind at this moment in time.

The Breathing Exercise:

Put your tongue behind your upper teeth and exhale with a whoosh sound.

Inhale to a count of 4

Hold your breath for a count of 7

Exhale with a whoosh to a count of 8

Repeat 3 more time. Keep the tongue behind upper teeth.

Intentional Applications

Last April I submitted an Accidental Application for disability.  I was promptly denied due to not having enough work credits, without them ever getting around to looking into the medical basis for my claim.  Ten months later, I should now have enough work credits thanks to my sub-part-time job at the hospital. The social worker […]


Two months ago I was planning for my Upcoming DBT Graduation.  I needed to make it to the end of the year without any negative actions, although I actually left group a little earlier due to being scheduled to work on the last Tuesday of December.  I did make it, although as soon as I […]

Writer Down


So you’re maybe wondering what “Writer Down” means. It was just the way I chose to announce my new state of mind. Cause I am down. Pretty down.

My daughter is depressed and is staying home this week from school (she is a teacher). Her depression is almost exactly like mine…the same drugs ease it and therapy helps. She is lucky to have good doctors and good parents. She was very down the other day and I asked her about the hospital. She said “no” because she felt safe enough with us at home. She was in the hospital once in college and that was a bad experience.

The thing I love about my daughter is that she understands chemical depression. She knows it is not her work or her friends or her lack of a boyfriend that is causing all of this. She knows it is a chemical thing. She also is brave enough to tell her boss at school that she is getting her meds worked out and needed time off. When I was her age, I hid my mental illness at all costs. I was terribly embarrassed and ashamed.

My husband just went over with her to see her psychologist. My daughter has great insurance and went on Abilify for $5 a month. Pretty good deal. So now her drugs are basically what I am taking.

I’m sure there are people out there who ask “did you really think you should have kids with your mental illness?” But it didn’t really happen that way. I had the kids BEFORE I knew what was wrong with me. I had never heard the term “bipolar” or “psychotic” then. But I can’t imagine a world without my kids. My daughter has my disease, although she is much more monitored and supported. My middle son has nothing, and my youngest just has anger problems, which I think is a form of depression.

Writing my book is driving me nuts. It’s about a woman with mental illness. (ha ha!). But she is different from me in that she leads a very full life and has a lot of success. I have Part I of the book finished, although I am not in love with the ending. Part II needs serious help. I am still writing on it almost every day, but it feels like a long series of scenes from a movie. I don’t know that it will flow very well.

Did I tell you all my goal on my book? I just want to write it, get it professionally edited, and self-publish it. I want to hold it in my hand and say “I wrote a book.” I want to buy a few for family and friends. IF I sell any, I’d like the profit to go to NAMI. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of them. There are a million books out there with better stories and more fluid writers.

I’m sewing the final border on one quilt and have another I am sewing the blocks together on. Then they are off to Missouri for the big quilting machine. The second quilt I am going to use on the bottom of my bed as a decorative blanket. I am buying a new comforter and all to spruce up the room.

I am becoming more and more home bound. I just don’t want to drive or ride or go anywhere. Tomorrow I have a well check appointment at the doctor. I might actually try to drive that one. It’s in my comfort zone.

My middle son got a new job! He starts on Feb 16. He’s moving back home with a cat. I am thrilled he will be home but am ambivalent about the cat:) His work is 20 minutes from here and 90 minutes from his current locale. Plus, he would be driving into the sun both ways on the freeway. Ick.

We’re getting a storage shed put in next week. This should eliminate some stuff sitting around. My house is clean (we have a cleaning lady), but it gets cluttered. I can’t wait to see if the clutter goes down or if my husband just gets more stuff.

Church is going well. I have stopped crying during the service during the hymns. When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to sing hymns all day. When we sing those I get emotional. My grandmother was one person who loved me.

We also are meeting more people at church and greeting them by name. This is in part due to joining the missions committee. We’re going on a tour of the charities we will be helping next week.

OMG! My husband’s friend Paul is coming tomorrow from Minnesota. (No offense to you people there.) I cannot stand this guy. He can’t come to the house because he is allergic to the cat. Too bad. so sad! So my husband has to drive this guy all over the place. No wait…that’s not always true. My husband will loan Paul MY car so he can get around. This guy is a doctor and he is too tight to rent his own car.

Basically this means I am alone for Paul’s visit. I could hang with them but he is so annoying. He got divorced six years ago and all he can talk about is getting a girlfriend. You know there is something wrong with him. Shouldn’t a doctor be able to find a decent woman? Well, no. He insists that his future wife is into comics, Star Trek, movie making, and rocks. I am serious.

They and my youngest and another friend are going out of town to a rock show. I was going but decided to stay home with my daughter who is feeling sad. I know for me personally being alone while depressed is not good.

I’d like to give a shout-out to some people out there. You know who you are. Instead of running away from me when I am down you said “how can I help? I want to listen. You can count on me at anytime.” And you listened. And you cared and said “I love you.” That’s a true friend.

See you next week.