Daily Archives: July 26, 2016

30 Days of Sandy Sue Altered: 1

I’ve got a gazillion cards that I’ve not shown off, so I’m just going to throw them up here for a month (urp).

Even Weirder

A cry for help

Normal is out there

A dear old friend of mine is in Trouble.  Capital T.

I brought her plight here, to my wonderful followers, because she is also bipolar.

She is about to lose her home.  And, if she loses her home, she will also have to give her kids to her ex-husband, because she won’t have anywhere to live.

See, she was unemployed for almost a year.  Through no fault of her own.  And since then she has only been able to secure work at a temp job.

And even though she’s working, the mortgage company won’t work with her, because they don’t like the type of employment she has.  In my opinion, that is very wrong.

A lot of us understand what it’s like to be talked down to, or outright discriminated against, because we have bipolar.  It’s time to start helping each other.

I know that helping someone else out financially…

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Bipolar – “I Want To Know What Love Is”

With bipolar and many other mental illnesses, it is very easy to feel unloved and unable to show love to others. On one side, the illness itself makes it difficult to know what love is and is not. On the other, … Continue reading

Tough Love

college 2

Can’t remember where I left you guys off…

Anyway we met with Danny and presented him with three options. It took him a couple of days to come up with the option he wanted:

-he does not live at home

-we contribute $300 month to his rent

-he gets the car, insurance, and repairs

-no allowance

-he gets a job

-unlimited groceries


-goes to school and gets “C’s” or better

In the last few days, he has been working on finding a job. He has a place to stay till the end of September. School starts Aug 18th. And he has a safety net. He can stay at home briefly. He won’t be homeless. So enough about Danny but wanted to keep you up to date on the saga.

We left yesterday (Thursday) for the mountains. We are house and cat sitting for some friends. It’s gorgeous up here….very cool and lots of pines. I am keeping up with my little routines. I took a walk and a shower this morning.

I am feeling pretty good. Not like running all over hell and back, but enough to get out. Slightly elevated. Did not get nervous riding in the car up to the mountains (3 hours). Just a few moments passing big trucks. I hear some peaceful thunder as I write. See you tomorrow.


It’s a beautiful morning here. We are planning on going for a walk this evening. I do feel baseline or slightly elevated, but just not good enough to go anywhere. I have mixed feelings about this….obviously I felt good enough to pack up and come to the mountains, but now that I am here I just want to lay around.

My husband says he is starting to believe I will always feel this way- with a great day or two and then a tired day. I don’t know how I feel about that. I want to have the energy to be a dependable volunteer somewhere and to be useful in life.


A gorgeous day here…went out for my half hour walk. Woke up pretty early though, @ 4:30. Just flipped on the news for a while.

I have been thinking about something for a week or so. Sometimes I wonder if I am trying TOO hard to get better. I just feel like I am working every day to get a list of of healthy things done. I am worn out in a way. I just want to hang out and do nothing. But then I have to give myself a little credit for what I am doing. I actually don’t know what I am thinking but I know I am not slightly elevated when I would like to be. I have the “pills” (good meds) and the “skills” (CBT, talk therapy). I am doing what I can do. I would like to shower more regularly, drive a little farther, and get more regular about diet and exercise.

But at least I am not depressed. It could be worse.

Went out for a tiny shopping trip. then stopped for a salad. Came home for a nap and woke up to rain and a bit of hail. Very fun! My husband and I drove up higher in the mountains (after it stopped raining) to look at rock formations (a bit dull for me…). Things were weird, but I could feel my mood slipping lower and lower. Very strange. Got home and felt a little better.


Got up and drove home from the mountains. Much more nervous on the freeway, but kept my eyes open the whole way on the overpass. Just exhausted.


Woke up and felt pretty down. But as I went along I felt better. My goals today are to shower, sew a few minutes, and go to the gym for thirty minutes on the treadmill. I also want to go to my bipolar support group.


I keep reading about how bad Klonopin is for you. But I am doing decently on three .5 per day. I am thinking about trying to get the Klonopin down to as needed. I’m going to keep taking three per day this week and then maybe going to 2 and/or 3 every other day. I’m just not sure. My doctor isn’t insistent about anything but he said he was glad I went from 4 to 3 on my own. He says (as if I didn’t know), you can get dependent on benzos.

I love all of you out there reading. I wish I knew you better and could be supportive to YOU.





Gaining Freedom from a Stilted Life

via inkbeauty.wordpress.com

Wow, how things do change.  I mean really, completely, 180 degree change.  So much of me, who I am, what I do on a day-to-day basis, who I love, what I tolerate and don’t, what I strive for and what I brush to the side, what is important and what can wait…it has all changed.  None of it has changed overnight, but I would say that I am a very different person than I was in, say, 2012, when I had to give up on my last job and start the arduous process of re-inventing myself.

And again, in 2014, when a relationship had laid me out, broken in pieces on the floor, and it was necessary to re-invent.  Finally again over the course of the last two years, more re-inventing, and now, more knowing who I really am.  Finding yourself and finding recovery, finding things you never thought possible about yourself, coming to different conclusions about the same issues that had tripped you up over the years, coming to grips with various events (traumas, even) with the use of radical acceptance and direct pleas to a power above and hour upon hour of therapy and quiet introspection.

The most basic thing that has changed, with all of this reinvention and acceptance and coming-to-grips-business, is that I have destigmatized my mental illness, at least TO MYSELF.  I don’t see myself as bipolar Rosa anymore.  I see Rosa, who happens to deal with x, y, and z mental illnesses.  In my own head, over the years (many, many years), I had become my illness in my head, to myself.  I had boxed myself in, and put packing tape round and created this tiny little space that I thought I needed to live in.  It is only very recently that I realize that I can live in the world, and not just in the box, and it is even more recently that I can put words on it.

Three wise women (Thank you, Mom, Goddess of Mindfulness, and Marilyn) in my life have consistently reminded me that everything I go through is not due to a direct cause of bipolar disorder, or BPD, or PTSD, or any other label.  Much of what I go through, the hard times and the good times and most-of-the-times is just LIFE, and everyone else is also going through LIFE.  Sure, the disorders I deal with may affect my outlook on life, or may color my reactions to life, but a lot of the bad things that happen are happening, because life is happening, not because there is a certain label on my file.

I have more positive things going on, since I have accepted that I am not just a label, than ever before.  I have started my custom jewelry business, and am working hard at getting it off the ground, my symptoms are better controlled, I take better care of myself, I am a better girlfriend, and a better daughter and sister, I am exercising and I stay busy.  I am teaching myself from the ground up how to set boundaries with others, and while it can be altogether confusing, I am changing what behavior I will and won’t tolerate from other people.  I am reaching out.

There is a part of me that can’t believe that I am just now “getting this.”  There is a very small part of me that doesn’t understand why it took so long, or how I could have flailed for so long, but I try hard not to beat myself up about that part of it.  The point is that there is progress and there is moving forward.

This is all 34 years in the making, of course, and I’m fully aware that if I am not vigilant about doing the things every day that I must do in order to feel decent, that this could just derail and fly off the tracks.  Every day is a new challenge, every situation that comes about I am treating as new, teaching my mind and my heart how to do this life thing, and how to do it well.


I finally feel like I have some freedom, have some breathing room, and can be completely and totally and authentically Rosa, without feeling the need for a “yes, but…”  That is a big feeling, a huge feeling, a hard-to-describe feeling.  A punched-in-the-gut-and-can’t-breathe-feeling.  I finally see, life is strange, but it is also, so very beautiful, so very fragile, and so very worth-the-wait.


Filed under: Life Worth Living Tagged: anxiety, Bipolar, borderline personality disorder, BPD, change, DBT, depression, dialectical behavior therapy, labels, mental health, mental healthrecovery, mental illness, PTSD, radical acceptance, recovery

I Put My Hand in Yours

I kid myself. I set myself up with an art project and put on a favorite record. What could be more soothing, right? Connection. Connection with another human being. My curtains are drawn. Doors locked tight. I’m alone. And lonely. Isolation is dangerous. I can keep writing. I can wipe away the tears. I can take the razor blade to my wrist and numb out for awhile. But the fact remains my world is too small.
I went back to work yesterday after 2 weeks of outpatient treatment. I felt a flood of panic and overwhelm. I fought back tears in the restroom. At lunch I called my husband and the tears ran loose. I fear I can’t do this job anymore. I fear I have known that for some time and just keep pushing myself to the brink. What would it mean if I can’t work? I’m weak? I’m pathetic? I texted a friend who is distant but have some issues like me. He suggested I talk to a friend about it. While that’s what I thought I was doing by reaching out to him, it was yet a reminder I have no friends. My world is too small.
I’m entertaining changing jobs. It’s still in social services, which is all I know. But this would be part time. A good friend of mine left my agency and she is recruiting me. Truth is I already work with this agency as they are a vendor. So, there is some comfort in already knowing people. Plus my friend knows of my mental health issues.
Trust in myself is a big concern right now. I don’t trust I know how to make a decision. I don’t trust it’s not just the depression talking when I think I no longer can handle my current job. But, history speaks and I go out on leave about every 5 months and the trigger is often work stress. The trouble is I think it’s my own fault. I get in my own way. I care too much about my job performance. I have too high of expectations for myself. I don’t allow myself mental health days. It’s almost as if I push harder to prove I’m still good enough despite a mental illness. Funny thing though, almost no one at work knows of my diagnosis. So, who am I proving it to?
The constant chaos and chatter in my mind is overwhelming. I can’t collect my thoughts. There is “safety” in my job now in that I have been there for 16 yrs and have quite a bit of seniority. They have worked w me over the last 3 years since my bipolar diagnosis. My longest leave of absence was 3 months. It can’t be easy for an employer. But more often I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread. Would this feeling exist even if I didn’t have a job? Are the symptoms solely because of bipolar or exacerbated by work stress? How do I find the answer?
Uncertainty then fuels my anxiety. What an uncomfortable existence. Sometimes I think I want to run away. Pack a bag and drive. Sometimes I think I want to jump off a cliff into the ocean never to be found. Yet here I am trudging through the mud trying to figure out what’s best for me. If I do a face plant, my husband will help me up. He is my world. Something else I got to work on.
One step at a time with his hand in mine we are going to figure this out. He promises. If I can’t trust myself, maybe I can put my trust in him.

Getting Up Early

Soon school will be starting and I will have to actually get out of bed once the alarm goes off.  I tried and tried to get up with BOb this morning and I finally wound up getting out of bed at 7:30 a.m.  We had stayed up a little bit late and I had had a hard time going to sleep, but I don’t know what I can do about getting up early with the medication load I have to take.

I just never, ever feel like I’ve gotten enough sleep. Even if I sleep all day I still can’t wake up to next morning feeling rested.   I just wish I could sleep soundly and wake up feeling good. I never do.

I’m not quite sure that I’m not heading for something interesting.  Some of my obsessions are trying to come back and that really scares me.  I’m fighting them but feel a little hopeless right now on a lot of fronts so I am not sure how successful I’m going to be in fighting them off.  Please pray that I don’t give into them again.



You’re Worth It

At my church we’re between ministers. Our previous minister moved back east last month, and our new one won’t arrive until August. To fill in the gaps, some of our congregants have been standing in. Below is a sermon I conducted on Sunday, July 24th, 2016. It was a twenty minute sermon, so it’s longer […]

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Israel Hayom | A bizarre attack on Israel’s legitimacy


My Son Just Went to Take the Bar Exam!

Aral my newborn baby!Aral

Aral HoodARal Grad 2

My son just left to take the Bar exam! How do I describe how I am feeling right now? Like laughing, like crying, like jumping up and down, and proud, so very proud! A little amazed, is this really happening, my little boy, all grown up and taking the Bar exam? Yes indeed, it is happening. I made him lunch, they get an hour to eat, got him water bottles, 2 pencils and an eraser, snacks, everything out of its packaging, in ziplock bags, no paper allowed. He is driving to the convention center now, which is where the exam is being held, all my good wishes, pride and love go with him. It was a brutal two months of extensive studying for this exam. The amount of material is dizzying. My son has an incredible, photographic memory, so I am hoping it will serve him well.

I don’t know what to do with myself, maybe take a nap, since I got no sleep last night, Leo, his Maine Coon cat, decided to meow and run around all night, including on the mattress in the living room that was my bed… Yes a nap sounds good, then wait for my son to return and tell me how well he did!:-)

ARAL vid 6