Daily Archives: September 8, 2016

Caption This Reminder

Wanted to drop a reminder that entries to the Caption This contest is due by midnight tonight.  Here’s the picture to caption:   In case you haven’t played before, here are the rules: Put in the comments section what you think this weeks caption should be. If you post more than one caption, it is considered cheating, and that is…

The post Caption This Reminder appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.


I got another more personal rejection, asking me to submit to the journal again.  I’m trying to figure out what to send.  I wrote a new bit for the journal I mentioned yesterday but don’t have anything else immediately ready.   I could send something old but I feel led to try new things only from now on.  So pray I get inspired again and do a new piece.

Had a good day today.  I went and worked at the food pantry and then went to lunch with my mother-in-law.  It was to celebrate my birthday early since she will be out of town when it actually comes around.  WE ate at a new restaurant for me called the Half Shell Oyster House   I had seafood pot pie, turnip greens, and cinnamon bun bread pudding.  So good.

I haven’t had to take a Xanax now for a week. Hopefully the upped Abilify is having something to do with that.  I feel so much better than I have been being.  I’m excited that I might be turning the corner on this thing and be headed to a better place.  Going to therapy was good–writing new stories was good.  I just feel in a really good place now.  Hopefully I can stay here.


Her Name was Ulla

I found out yesterday that we had lost another member of our tribe, pseudonym blahpolar. I also found out yesterday that her offline name was Ulla, and I am certainly in agreement with the rest of the Bipolaratti that said name should be remembered. You should join us in remembering her and her name on the 10th.

Heh, off to a disjointed start. That’s pretty much what I expect this to be on the whole. I feel like I should be full of words and meaning and memory-sharing, but like… I guess I’m just in shock. I knew she wasn’t doing that great, even if I wasn’t the best blog poster or commenter. I’d actually been debating emailing her for some time to check in, since she’d gone unnaturally quiet. That was the opposite of my concern when I brought her into The Bipolar Blogger Network — I told her she posted. A lot. And that it wasn’t a bad thing per se, because it wasn’t. It was just a bit overwhelming to pick through to vet her blog properly. And it was a good blog, headed by a talented writer and artist with her own slant on life. They say that on the internet, only about 1% of its denizens are net contributors, and she certainly was.

Aaand that sounds stilted and formal. Good job, brain. ¬¬

But really, what do you say in these circumstances? If Ulla had been my BFFFFF, would stand up and say, ‘What a magnificent bastard’. I’ve told bat that — he isn’t allowed to die unless he can pay for me to come to his funeral to say that. I think that Ulla might have liked that as well. I didn’t know her as well as some other folks (read Dyane’s amazing tribute here), but I certainly liked her. But I feel really really awkward when people tell me that they are sorry for my loss. Much like Wendy before her, I cared in the way I care about all my fellow Bipolaratti… but it’s not like they were my BFFs. I mourn their losses because they were people. I mourn their losses because people I know and like, and people I don’t know and/or don’t like are suffering. Sometimes mourning seems all that I can contribute. Is there an afterlife? Are our lost comrades looking down, knowing that they are missed? I’m somewhere in the agnostic-apathetic range and not really sure that I believe in gods and God and an afterlife. I guess I hope so, if only so people can go to a place where they don’t hurt anymore.

Anyways. Ulla. You magnificent bastard. You were pre-missed, and now post-missed, but never forgotten. In your honour (dubious as that might be), I’ve started an In Memoriam link section on The Bipolar Blogger Network, right under the main bloggers category. I’m half-tempted to add Wendy’s url, even if she deleted her blog before her death. Because you’re still part of the family to me, and well… just want to do my bit.

Depression, Bipolar and Guilt – Throwback

Today’s Throwback is from January 2014: I feel guilty. Very guilty. What do I feel guilty for? That’s easy…damn near everything. In the June 6, 2012 edition of Forbes magazine, contributor Alice G. Walton states: Anybody who’s been depressed can tell you that feelings of guilt and self-blame can be overwhelming. In fact, the tendency to blame oneself excessively (and…

The post Depression, Bipolar and Guilt – Throwback appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Blogging break

I may not be blogging much at all. Something has come up to which I must devote all my time. Wish me success in this endeavor, this labor of love! Hopefully I’ll be back soon. Happy blogging. 

An Invitation: JOIN ME on SEPT 10th to Honour ULLA’s Death — Our Lived Experience

I’m struggling to write this, so please bear with me. Two days ago I found out that one of my closest friends and the co-founder of OLE took her own life. Ulla, or Blahpolar as she was known to most, was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I don’t want to … Continue reading An Invitation: JOIN ME on SEPT 10th to Honour ULLA’s Death — Our Lived Experience

An Invitation: JOIN ME on SEPT 10th to Honour ULLA’s Death

Originally posted on My Spanglish Familia:
Dear WordPress Community I am overcome with grief upon learning of Blahpolar’s death. I assume, many of you are too. Please join me and…

The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

Originally posted on A Tony Of All Trades:
I was watching Star Wars – Return of the Jedi and it hit me. Love and faith are the answer to life the universe and everything. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy fans…

Beauty Is In The Eye…

  I saw this video on my FaceBook feed this morning, and it touched me deep inside. All my life I have been painfully aware of my looks. I am too heavy, my bust is too big, my hair is … Continue reading

Feeling It

Today was rough.

Two days ago, my going-on-90, going-on-13 year-old mother texted me that the homestead was no longer for sale.  “Tell you why next time we talk,” she wrote, fishing for a phone call that she didn’t get.  I am sick of her manipulations.  I have run out of patience.  I really and truly do not give a fuck if she loses the house and ends up in a nursing home.  She and my late father a”h fought off my efforts to help them prepare for their old age.  Now it’s too late: old age took him away nearly two years ago.  Having no resources, my mother will have to get along as best she can.  A fine pickle, but I can’t do a thing about it.

Yesterday, my Chinese Martial Arts master (Sifu) called me.  I had dropped in to visit her and her sweet husband for a few days last week.  For some reason she decided that it was her responsibility, as my Chinese mother, to recount to me all of my failings and weaknesses of character:

“Lawla, why you always go one thing another?  Never stick anything.  That your really problem.  That cause all your health problem.  I tell you what, you perfectly healthy, excepting that.  You don’t love anything, only dog…” etc.  “I tell you these things only because, love you.  I.  Am.  Your.  Mother.”

Well, fuck a duck, what I need is more “mother” bullshit.  I reminded my Sifu that I was her “inside student” for eight years.  For eight years I spent a part of every day studying with, and helping, her and her ancient father, a Martial Arts Grand Master.  I lived under their roof, and under their orders, seven days a week, leaving only to go to work and to take care of my child, who was raised largely in their home.

Breaking the laws of protocol, I objected:  “Sifu, I disagree with you.”  I reminded her of a few things, like those eight years, my long education and years of medical practice, etc.  She had to concede that this was true.  Still, her rebuke stung.  I felt betrayed.  I still feel betrayed.  This woman, with whom I have shared so much, who has been the single greatest influence on my life, trashed me with one slice of her tongue.  And I slid right into her game by going into defensive stance.

Speaking of slices, this morning I was getting out of my RV and my hand slipped, causing my arm to slide across a piece of plastic on the door.  For most people this would be nothing.  But my skin has become very thin (my mother always said I should grow a thicker skin), and it ripped a big flap all the way to the fascia.  It was shocking to look down and see the white covering of my arm muscles.  Then the blood came, but not very much because my blood vessels have also atrophied.

Now the wound is covered with a burn dressing.  That’s what works best on these flap lacerations.  My arms are covered with the scars of tens of wounds that occur just in the course of daily life, doing things that never hurt or wounded me before.

Even my dog has learned to be very gentle with me, ever since she slashed my throat with her claws while attempting to engage me in play.  I screamed so piteously, partly from pain and shock, and partly just from being over-the-top, that poor Atina got the idea that I am very fragile, and likely to break.  Now she treats me like her puppy.  That’s fine with me.

Then I got the news about Blah’s passing.  She did what she needed to do, and I support her decision completely.  It still tears me up that I will never see her little dragons next to her wise and kind and thoughtful comments again.

I stopped in at a gas station for diesel and iced tea, and heard the guttural sounds of Arabic with a Judean accent, like I heard in Israel.  My blood froze.  Then I saw the crosses on the necks of the owner and her son.  I breathed out.

“Salam aleikum,” I said (that being about 1/3 of my Arabic lexicon). 

“Salam aleikum!” She shouted delightedly, and followed with a string of greetings that I didn’t entirely catch.  I understand quite a bit of Arabic, but unfortunately most of it is angry epithets and genocidal threats.  It was good to hear some kind and welcoming words.

This lady hails from Jordan, like so many Arab residents of Israel, and made her home in Bethlehem until the Muslims drove her family out (Bethlehem’s Christian population has shrunk from many thousands to only a handful of families who practice their religion in secret).  Now most of them live in Jerusalem.  She and her family chose to emigrate to the States.  She bought this gas station and convenience store, and now drives two hours each way to work.  She beams with pride.

In true Arab style, she asks me about myself, questioning me closely…very closely.  It’s uncomfortable to me, but having many Arab friends in Israel, I know it’s a sign of hospitality, so I go along with her and soon we’re intimate friends, holding each other’s hands, letting go only to give her the chance to serve other customers, most of whom she knows by name.

Although it’s not an Arab thing to question someone about their mode of dress unless they are blood family, I know she’s curious about my long skirt and long sleeved blouse on a hot summer day, so I dip my toes in the water and say it’s because of my religion.

“Oh, you’re Jewish?  I love Jewish!  Jesus was Jewish, you know,” she whispers confidentially.  Then follows an angry tirade about the Muslims and persecution of Christians and Jews, and a whole primer on the Arab Christian perspective. 

I was very glad to have met her.  It really made my day to hear her voicing thoughts that have been drifting into my head lately, about Israel, and about the wonderful fruits that are coming into the Shuk now: fresh dates, green olives in brine, pomegranates the size of three of the measly California kind, fresh figs falling off the trees going splat on the sidewalks (dangerous), melafafonim (cucumbers), dense and crunchy and sweet, apples that actually have flavor, grapes sweet as candy…I miss the sound of Middle Eastern music, the bustle of Jerusalem, the peaceful holiness of the many shrines I like to visit…the Old City, thronging with people in every kind of religious garb imaginable…

I don’t miss being spat on, or pissed on, called evil names, rocked, my clothes grabbed with the intention of pulling them off me (thank you, Sifu, they didn’t expect me to fight back).  Or shoved out of line at the bank or the Iriyah (municipal offices where you pay taxes and other municipal stuff) by women in burkas.  Thus my trepidation at hearing Arabic spoken in the store. 

The Jordanian Christian lady was mystified when, after we finally let go of each other’s hands, I kissed my hand that had been holding hers.

It’s a custom in my particular tiny niche of Israeli Orthodox Judaism.  It shows what a precious blessing it is to hold hands in a sacred way with someone you treasure.

Salam aleikum.  Shalom aleichem.  Peace on earth, good will to women and men.