Daily Archives: September 14, 2016

Euthanasia for physical diseases is NOT the same as suicide for mental illnesses.


My friend, valuable human being, intelligent blogger, hilarious wit, Ulla recently committed suicide. I know she was in an unremitting depression, I know she was in an enormous amount of pain, but every fiber of my being revolted against the idea of her suicide, against the idea of the loss of her.

When someone has terminal cancer, and has been reduced to 30 pounds in weight, have had their whole small intestine and colon resected and are living with a colostomy bag. Also the chemotherapy has caused them to become blind, and the cancer, despite repeated surgeries, has spread everywhere, causing them unbearable pain. This I whole heartedly agree is a case for euthanasia. This poor person is not going to recover after having reached this state and keeping them around to suffer is quite unconscionable. Euthanasia here, is very appropriate.

A person has a mental illness, they are in a severe depression, they are in terrible emotional pain, and physical pain. They are constantly thinking of ending it all. they are constantly thinking of committing suicide. Is this the same as euthanasia due to the above cancer case? NO! It is not. Here the body has not given out. Here even though the depressed person thinks there is no hope, there is hope! This person may commit suicide today and tomorrow, a miraculous new drug that cures depression may be put on the market. So that if this person would have waited one more day, their problems would have been solved. People with mental illness who are suicidal do not have to die. Their kidneys are in good working order, their livers are in good working order, their weight is normal, nothing is literally killing them, except their thoughts and feelings. Yes these are valid, yes these count. But they are not absolute. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Suicide really, truly is a permanent solution to a temporary problem! Even if the temporary duration might be very long.

I know some of my friends have said that Ulla deserved peace and to be reunited with her mother. Well, as an atheist, all I think she got was nothing, simply not existing anymore.

Please, suicide is not a valid treatment for a mental illness. Our feelings, our thoughts get hijacked by depression, making us feel hopeless, worthless, loveless, full of pain, and wanting to end it all. But it does not have to be this way. I would rather be put into a coma for a few months, like they do with physical illnesses and then be brought out if and when a better medication has been discovered. Who knows, just the act of putting me in a coma may rewire my brain and take me out of the depression.

Please, don’t give up! Hang on, no matter how much pain you are feeling, things can get better, if you are here. They can’t if you have taken your own life.

I so wish Ulla had not done what she did. She deserved to be happy and to live, I wish someone would have helped talk her out of it. A young, vibrant, intelligent, funny, lovely woman. Suicide robbed us of her.


September is Suicide Prevention Month. And so, here is a bit about gun violence and suicide and mental illness. If you want to make a serious impact on reducing gun violence deaths, you need to target suicide. Fun facts about gun suicides! They are over 90% (some say 95%) effective! Gun suicide is the most […]

The Silver Lining

Anyone who read my last post knows yesterday wasn’t the best one by a long shot. However, every cloud has a silver lining. Sometimes you have to look for it and sometimes it just appears! Yesterday it appeared in the … Continue reading

Mental Health Issues AKA The Albatross

To my chagrin and outrage last night, R called nearing the 11 p.m. hour. He wanted to remind me I asked him for help the other day getting some food items for Spook so of course, I owed him my soul. I was pissed. I have asked him, repeatedly, not to call after 9 p.m. Mainly because I take my sleep med at 9 so it will kick in by 11 and if I am wakened during the lull period…I will be awake and panicked for the night. Even his wife has chastised him for not respecting my wishes because she agrees, I am not being unreasonable. Does King Narcissus care? Nope. HIM HIM HIM, it’s all about him, we are but peasants in his orbit. I was half asleep and ticked off but I agreed to help him at the shop today to atone for the evil act of trying to keep a balanced diet in  my kid’s tummy(even if I agreed to pay him back in full on Friday).

I had to take another Xanax and melatonin to calm my brain down from its anxiety and anger and to get to sleep.

Then I pretty much woke up every hour on the hour because, well, I have always had that anxiety problem, be it a job, dr appointment, date, or chance to go to a concert. EVERYTHING manifests as anxiety with me. Positive thinking gets its ass kicked every fucking time.

Alarm goes off at 6:30. I hit snooze until 7:15 then mumble for my kid to get up cos ya know, she’s once again gotten into my bed. 7:25 I stumble to the kitchen to pack her lunch and she’s still in her underpants, complaining that she can’t find the “right” Shopkins ensemble. That infuriated me and I told her to just put on clothes already, fashion be damned. Once again, she made me feel inadequate for not having tentacles and being able to pack her lunch AND find her clothes at the same time. I gave her a breakfast granola bar to eat while I packed her lunch.

7:40 she is still in her undies, bar half eaten, and telling me I am an awful mother because I told her she still needed to get her hair brushed and glasses on.

7:45 we were out the door, her lecturing me all the way to school about how I make her “late” for their “habits of successful students” thing. THEN she blames me because she is never picked to go up in front of everyone and hold some banner and dance to a Katy Perry song.

My child really is a self esteem assassin.

Kind of like bipolar is an assassin of self esteem.

So I came home, knowing full well R said “first thing” in the morning…But  be it spite, rebellion, or just a need to calm my brain before dealing…I delayed my arrival until 9 a.m. Because it was dreaded. I HATE him for not respecting my schedule. Seriously, for twenty dollars worth of groceries on his credit card…I should be able to serve three hours, MAx, AND be even. Nope. I just wanted it OVER with. And since I am hormonal, it was an iffy situation because ever fiber of my being wants to snap about him calling so late even when he damn well knows not to. If I did it to him, he’d have a fit. If  I do it, I am “unreasonable”.

And there is the albatross, metaphorically speaking, of course.

I can NEVER have a legit emotion or reaction because, oh right, I am bipolar so EVERY thing I feel is an overreaction.

I seem to be the only way who staunchly believes otherwise.

I still didn’t go off on him. I clock watched. I did what was requested. (Most of which involved using gas from my own car, being exposed to petri dish interactions,and feeling vulnerable and edgy.)

Unlike McMuggles, I am humble enough, (or had enough therapy), to recognize when I might be coming from an unreliable place therefore I should delay “going off”.

At the same time,  I am FURIOUS that I have to second guess myself even on shit that would, logically, anger ANYONE. Ya know, like saying “don’t call after 9 p.m.” only for jackass to repeatedly call after 10:30 p.m.

It’s like, I am packing around this albatross called bipolar, PLUS I am packing around the insensitivities of those who simply won’t believe bipolar is real.

By hour 5 outside my safe space, I was bitch slapped with a second albatross. ANXIETY.

I heard sirens and could only think, “OMFG, my house is burning down, my kitties, my kitties!”

It doesn’t matter if it’s logical. It’s REAL. The fear, panic, terror, urge to rush home and make sure you are wrong…That is all real.

I am certain this is where EVERY job/dish activity goes haywire and melts me down.

Safe space isn’t some spoiled brat syndrome. For the mentally ill, it’s the ONLY “control” we truly have. If we have to leave our safe space and have no control…

We truly become unstable. FORCING us into that mental space is cruel.

But, I am a woman of my word, and DETERMINED to earn/pay back/show proper respect and gratitude, for all kindness shown me. So I went, I did, I suffered, I served, I agonized, counted minutes, clock watched, prayed for time to move faster because my brain was not on board with this “outside the safety net” thing.

Leaving is anything but sweet sorrow.

Coming home is akin to having life breathed back into you.

Since then, of course, my kid has mouthed off. Had company. One of the devil girls actually told me I should kill myself.

Yeah. Apparently, my kid told them I didn’t like them so they were being nasty to me.

I like ’em fine.

BUT I called my kid “the spawn” long before I ever actually had a kid and I WILL continue to call ungrateful, rude children “devils”. IF you ask for food constantly when I can’t afford it and have already given you something…YOU are being a devil child.

I’m not a coddler.

Also, I talked to Kenny at the shop today and he told me he used to spank his son so hard that it hurt to sit down then he’d MAKE the boy sit on the couch.

Yeah, I think that’s abusive more than disciplining. Not gonna do that.

R’s two cents was that he “rarely” had to discipline his girls because they knew they’d have to live with their mom who was physically abusive.

None of this helps me. I am gonna have to find my own way.

I’m not sure what that entails. I am frankly not sure of anything between cramps and hormones and barking dogs MAKING ME WANT TO STICK BBQ SKEWERS INTO MY EARS SO I DON’T HAVE TO HEAR IT.

What I do know is…

My kid has church tonight so I will at least have a ninety minute respite to ponder what I actually know. Cos with six kids in my yard, all of them yelling and bickering right outside the window as I write this…

I just want Z-Whackers to be legalized.




What’s Worse Than A Wife With Bipolar?

Ready. Set. Sail! Hi everyone. Man for someone who doesn’t have a job or kids I sure do manage to stay out of the loop, huh? I know I should write more. After Ulla’s death I felt like my problems just weren’t worth writing about. I guess I’m just so wrapped up inside my own … More What’s Worse Than A Wife With Bipolar?

I’m Trying To Comment, I Promise

For the past two days I have been unable to post comments on other blogs. A very small number have posted, but most completely vanish after I hit the “Post Comment” button. This has nothing to do with Comment Moderation. It is happening on sites that are moderated and those that are not. I am able to click the “Like…

The post I’m Trying To Comment, I Promise appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Frustration II

I do not know what to do with this frustration I am feeling.  I feel like a failure in every department of my life.  I cannot get past this. I do not know now if it is depression or mania. I don’t care which it is.  I just want it to go away.



I’ve been feeling both up and down lately. I don’t think it’s a mixed episode, though yanno, any feeling of elation is going to make me suspicious… thanks brain, you’re a douche. I mean, it makes sense though. Death is not an easy shadow to shake off, even for someone who takes it on the chin like I do. I’m both over it and still hurting… grief isn’t a straight line, and I think we all agree that those two states can co-exist. At least I’ve done my little bit to permanently remember Ulla and Wendy on the network… it’s not much, but it’s something.

I think the main thing that’s eating me is that my anxiety has been on the up and up lately. I’ve been really freaking proud that I’ve been able to operate in silence the last couple of months. I’m back to a point where I need the radio or the television on for background noise or else I start to panic. Does that make sense to anyone else, or is it just me? I don’t think it’s a bipolar thing — I’m pretty sure it’s an ADHD thing. But it’s still there and it sucks. The only thing I can think of that is feeding anxiety specifically is that the little one has a check-up next week. And there is 500% no reason to be anxious about that. It’s a developmental check. We’ve done it before with her big sister. It’s even ‘easier’ this time because Littlerbit is really on the ball with a lot of her skills. The ones she’s not so hot on, we’re not worried about. But every time I think about the appointment, my heart clenches and my breath shortens. Stupid, isn’t it. Having said that, that’s sort of my generic reply to All Appointments Medical™®.

Still, it makes me worry that my meds are starting to not work right. I’m pretty sure that they are actually fine, but how much is denial, and how much is natural feelings. I’m still not to a point where I am bone weary having to weigh up each of my emotions and feelings to try and figure out if it’s bipolar or natural, seeing how my bipolar life is only ‘officially’ four and half years old. Well. It’s actually more like 20 years old, but anyways. As the bulk of being healthy~ is a fraction of the unwell time, I’m still willing to make the effort to monitor. I’m sure it’s going to get old in a few more years. For now though, I guess I can hope that things continue to work as well as they have been and probably still are. Breathe in, breathe out.

Really though, things are fine. Honest. 🙂


[[radio edit]] This is apparently my 1,000th post on the blog. I am very pleased by this!

Blogging Time

If you’re looking for this week’s” Caption This” contest, you don’t need to worry. This week it’s being posted on Thursday. For now, kick back with some popcorn, enjoy this post and I’ll see you tomorrow for the contest. Blogging Time Not too long ago I posted my dilemma of juggling time to get things done each day. As a reminder,…

The post Blogging Time appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Red Flag Warning


Here on the shores of Lake Michigan, at a state park right on the dunes, all is peaceful after a line of thunderstorms whipped the lake into a froth of foamy breakers.


As each five-foot wave recedes, it takes with it a hiss of sand that whisperes: “Riptide, Riptide….” that terrible current that will suck the sand from under your feet, sweep you up and before you know it, you’re bobbing around beyond the surf line, wondering how you got there.

A red flag with a “No Swimming” symbol on it cracks in the wind at the top of the flagpole.  Parents watch their children playing in the undertow, arms folded, chatting.  I bite my tongue, wanting to run and shake them and point to the red flag. 

The past few weeks have been frightening.  I’ve been swimming through the cloudy seas of dissociation since….well, ever since I turned my back on the beautiful West, where I feel grounded and relaxed.  That’s been a while.  Since the end of June, I think.  I remember it was beastly hot in Northern Arizona.  I came through Colorado, a lovely cool break, and headed for Michigan, where I picked up my new rig and camped in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula before schlepping all the way to North Carolina to get it registered there.

It was on my way back, via West Virginia and Virginia, that I realized I could only drive a couple of hours a day before becoming completely exhausted and having to stop for the night before mid-afternoon.

This is crazy.  I’m one of those fanatics that likes to see if I can break my own long distance driving records (that is, if I really want to get somewhere rather than noodling along enjoying the scenery).  I wanted to get back to the West, to high altitude, to the beautiful mountains and forests of conifers with their resinous fragrance.

I’ve been having bouts of exhaustion that come and go, for years now.  But this was beyond anything I have ever experienced.  I felt as if I were struggling with all my might just to hold on in the same place, as if some force were dragging me down.  The stifling humid heat.  That has something to do with it.  Any heat, anything warmer than 80°F, totally wears me out.  Add humidity, and I’m body slammed.  Can’t move.

I’ve been having spells of extreme muscle weakness, muscle wasting despite living outdoors…hard to do.  Muscles going into spasm, cramping up, having to stop whatever I’m doing to wait for the cramp to ease up.  My life.

I decided to make a stop at the Cleveland Clinic, to check this out

Like most medical encounters, this one involved several hours in the MRI scanner, many tubes of blood, referrals on to other departments, and I think by the time I get finished it will already be winter.

Since I had a few days in between appointments, I came up to Michigan to enjoy the late summer peace and quiet of the State Parks.

I remember another day, in 1992.  A bright blue day on the island of Maui.  My Pediatric Trauma conference had happily chosen the beautiful town of Lahaina as our meeting place.  The conference venue itself turned out to be a sprawling 1960’s vintage resort with a golf course, etc., beach frontage, etc., and it cost a bloody fortune.  I booked a room in a Colonial era inn, graciously furnished, with a crystal clear swimming pool lined with handmade ceramic tiles–and at half the price of the awful resort. I was an habitual swimmer back then: I put in an hour every morning before getting my son up and off to school.  Thank God.

In those days I did not know I was bipolar.  All I knew was that I always felt restless and jittery, and was often depressed and sometimes suicidal.  I managed all of this-not very well-by exercising to the point of exhaustion every day, often swimming, running, weightlifting, and dancing in the course of 24 hours.  Sleep was an infrequent visitor.

So I swam in the beautiful pool in Lahaina, and took my spare suit to my conference meetings in my backpack, to swim in the resort pool at the lunch break.

Our Big Social Event for that meeting was to be a Real Hawaiian Luau (groan).  I was disappointed in the organizers’ cultural insensitivity (tourist attraction: Hawaiians!).  Maybe it was that I had just completed my Master’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology a few years earlier.  But it was the big networking opportunity of the year: attendance essential.

I arrived at the conference center’s private mile of beach a couple of hours before the luau was to begin.  I wanted to savor some solitary beachcombing while the other attendees were out with their golf and tennis.

Red flags whipped and snapped in the stiff breeze that churned the tall breakers into foam as they thundered onto the beach.  There was a storm in the South Pacific, but here in Hawaii the sky was a dark blue crystal dome.

I mostly grew up by the sea in New England, where the people and the waters can get downright crusty.  I took a look at the waves and decided that swimming was out of the question; so I shifted my shell collecting mission to the highest tide mark, a span of dried and decaying sea-leavings far up the beach.

The sun hung low over the western horizon, glaring straight into my eyes.  I put on my brand new $100 Bollé shades…my first expensive purchase “just for me” since landing the new job.  Ah, they fit perfectly.  Now to find the ultimate cowrie shell!

A cloud covered the sun.

A very sudden cloud!  Perhaps the storm…I looked up from my shelling.

I just had time to grab a breath and clap my hands over my brand new sunglasses when the wave, towering at least three times my height, crashed down on me.

Years of martial arts training saved my life then.  My body instinctively became liquid.  I went with the wave, flowing with it.  I knew if I fought, it would break me.  The wave had the force of the whole Pacific Ocean behind it.  I made like the seaweed that flows and floats and survives.

I tucked into a ball.  The sea bounced me across its floor.  I still hung on to those glasses.  If I was going to die, it would be with my new shades on!

At last, an eternity later, I bobbed up to the surface and gulped air.  I looked around in astonishment: I had come up behind the surf line, out where the boats were moored.

The swells were huge.  It felt as if I were floating up the sides of mountains, sliding into valleys.

Worse, so were the giant catamarans that took people on whale watching tours…hundreds of people at a time.  They bucked like gigantic steeds against their mooring ropes, their bows rising, enormous pontoons clear of the water, then crashing again as the rollers went by…

All around me, these juggernauts strained at their ropes, sending sheets of water over me with each crash so that it seemed every moment I was blinded again.

I finally drew a bead on the shore and struck out for it, body surfing whenever I could to conserve energy.  I swam up the back side of the waves and surfed down the front, over and over and over…why did the shore seem no closer than before?

The tide was going out, is why.  And it was taking me with it.

I swam harder, finally got to where I could touch bottom, and ran like hell for the beach.  But just as I reached knee high, my legs were sucked out from under me, and the sky clouded over once more…I grabbed a breath, and my glasses, and crash….I collapsed, rolled into a ball, bounced across the sea floor, and came up, an eternity later, right between the pontoons of a sea-going catamaran…about to crash right over my head!  I dived, and the shock of the boat crashing into the trough of the wave sent me rolling again, but this time to my advantage, as I was a few waves closer to the beach.  I started again, strong but pacing myself, knowing that I could get free of this rip current by swimming parallel to the beach…if only I knew how wide the current was!  It could be miles wide.  And I couldn’t afford to get caught in the shallows where the waves breaking would break me too…

I reached the beach and dragged myself through the sucking sand.  There it is!  The beach!  I was there.

Then the sun went out again…

This happened five times.  I lost hope of actually living through this thing.  The sea had a bead on my life, but I refused to go down without fighting to the last.

After the fifth wave, I caught a good one in to shore.  I rode it as far as the knee deep mark, hit the sand running and ran right up the beach to the hotel sidewalk and kept running until I hit the pool, where I floated on the calm water and washed the sand out of my hair, my boobs, my butt crack…my teeth…

I wondered that I was still alive.  Or if I was still alive.  Maybe I only thought I was alive, like those ghosts you hear of that don’t know they’re dead yet…why would I have been alive?

And I still had my expensive sunglasses.  Maybe that’s what saved me: I was damned if the sea was going to get my Bollés!

My waterproof geeky Casio calculator watch said it was time to go to the luau.  I dragged myself out of the pool and threw on shorts and Hawaiian shirt from my rental car.

By this time I was feeling it.

But if you’re a Pediatric Trauma specialist, you ain’t allowed to feel.  So you just open that gate and walk into that courtyard with the kitschy tiki lights and the very decent Hawaiian band and the luscious brown dancers with the coconut shells over their boobs….you eat the poi and the pig…doing battle with the sea is hungry work.