Monthly Archives: October 2016


Pale Simulacra

As the Veil thins

And the Wheel Turns,

May we open to the wisdom of those who came before.

Ancestors, known and unknown,

Who shaped our blood and bone,

Point us in a Direction

That we can follow

Or cast aside.

Still, their pull is undeniable

and, ultimately,


Harry’s Place » First hand account of hatred at UCL debate

This is what it’s like to be Jewish on today’s college campuses.  While institutions like Columbia University invite convicted terrorists to speak, Israeli Jewish speakers, and those who wish to hear what they have to say, are either not permitted to speak due to the “apartheid” mythical narrative, or are confronted with violence such as Harry encountered at his university.  

This week has been ok

They have increased my prednisone and my cellcept, both of which can cause insomnia. I have gone for 3 days without sleep a few times now, but overall, remaining rather sober and productive, all things considered. It’s been a pretty slow couple of weeks for work but I have other things to do and am keeping busy, for the most part. I’ve been meaning to update more but haven’t had a lot to say.

Weekly Wrap-Up October 31, 2016

Welcome to the Halloween edition of Bradley’s Weekly Wrap Up Mood Overall a good week. The second in a row. No mania; no depression. Unfortunately, my anxiety was worse. As always it was there, but it had a stronger hold on me than usual. I mentioned the anxiety last week, but it’s more severe this time around. Like so many…

The post Weekly Wrap-Up October 31, 2016 appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

“Brain on Fire”

I did something I’ve been putting off doing–I finally bought “Brain on Fire” by Amy Cahalan and read it.  I had heard a great deal about it and had read the AMazon entry about it, so I knew it would be a “competing” title in the marketplace to anything I wrote, so I was interested.

What I read didn’t really distinguish it from other books of the same type I have read except that it was all reconstructed after the fact-she has no memory of the psychosis and had to interview doctors, nurses, her parents, her friends, etc. to  get material for the book.  So it was masterful in that sense that it reads like first-person memories when it may as well be a third-person interview situation.  But I did impress on me that I need to interview people more than I have been doing for whatever I turn out to do.  I just don’t know how to go about it.


The Woman Of Your Dreams

Ready. Set. Sail! Happy Halloween my fellow ghostie-goos!! Nothing to report other than I’m still feeling great. Here is a little something for all you spooky peeps in case you decide you don’t want to go to bed tonight. Feel free to reblog and repost (there is no explicit content in this post) Hope you … More The Woman Of Your Dreams

Trick Or Treat

I miss Halloween.

It used to mean dressing up in my pirate costume and taking the kids/grandkids trick-or-treating through dark streets, where ghosts and kittycats and superheroes gathered at houses with decorations that lit up the night. I loved the mingled aromas from chimney smoke and the leaves that crunched delightfully underfoot. I also enjoyed the occasional candy bar from people who thought Mom/Grandma deserved a treat too.

But that all changed two years ago. Life has a way of playing tricks on us, and on that Halloween night in 2014, when I should have been out with my grandsons, I was instead being driven through streets teeming with costumed toddlers on my way to the psychiatric hospital in a neighboring town. You see, I was suicidal and no longer safe to be at home, and both my psychiatrist and the one who saw me in the ER agreed that I needed to be admitted right away. I agreed too. I was so depressed I literally couldn’t stand myself anymore; and though I’d always feared the hospital, I knew that whatever awaited me there couldn’t possibly be worse than what I was going through inside my own head.

It’s weird, but I barely remember many details of the hospital now, except for the admission process and being horrified that I’d been diagnosed Bipolar 1. I’m glad I wrote about my experiences there right after I got out, or those memories would have been lost to me…memories that held some very valuable lessons for me. I had a lot going on in my life at the time, and much of that time is a merciful blur. But I met some good people on the inside, and I still correspond with two of them on Facebook. None of the three of us has had to go back; we’ve all gone on to bigger and better things. However, we also know there’s no guarantee that we’ll never have to return, because of the cyclical nature of our illnesses. One of us has major depression and PTSD, the other has Bipolar 2 and PTSD, and then of course there’s me with BP Numero Uno. But we are managing, and for the most part we are managing well.

Still, it bothers me that Halloween has changed, and there’s no unringing that bell. Last year my grandsons spent the holiday in Vermont with their parents; this year they’re older, and while they’ve returned to Oregon they’re still too far away for me to take them out. Besides, I can’t drive at night anymore…I’ve been pretty much flying by the seat of my pants for the past several years, and I really shouldn’t keep pushing my luck. I’d hate to have gone through all the shit life’s thrown at me in recent years, only to get myself killed in a traffic crash. No way…I’ve got too much to do and too many things to see before my life is over. I have no idea what they are, but I’ll figure it out someday.

However, I’m not anywhere near as downbeat as that last paragraph may have sounded. On the contrary, my HappyLight is doing its job and keeping the SAD away. Obviously, looking forward to my vacation next month is part of it, but the dreary weather that never fails to send me into a tailspin hasn’t even made a blip on my radar, except for about two days just prior to starting light therapy when I felt myself slip a little. I sit in front of it for 30 minutes each morning, and I feel noticeably better in the AM than I’ve felt in months. Now that’s a treat!



Most Nights Are Like This

I’ve taken all my herbs and pills, taken care of all the end of day tasks, now relaxing on my mountain of pillows, listening to a rowdy showdown between two owls–some kind of owl that lives in these Western Alabama woods.  Its call falls somewhere in between the Great Horned and the Barred Owl pattern, more toward Barred: “who-HOOoo-oooo….”  so much juiciness in owl appreciation.

And I do appreciate them very much.  I also appreciate crickets, and tree frogs, and katydids, and other nocturnal music makers to whom I have not been formally introduced.

Tonight in Alabama, near Tuscaloosa, in this superb Army Corps of Engineers campground upstream from the more famous Tombigbee Waterway projects, this artful wielding of human power over nature seems poignant.  If not for the extreme interference with the natural order of things to suit a human need to get coal down the river in barges to Mobile and the Gulf of Mexico, I’d be perched on the side of a ravine that was either dry or full of a raging river, I don’t know which.  As it is now, I’m floating on a sky island in a mostly placid freshwater sea, punctuated by the silence of the pontoon boats fishing around in the coves, and the boom of the barges as they blow their horn for the locks.  There is a locks here with a height differential of 500 ft.  Think of it! Some human thought it up that if you put a ship into a dry bathtub, then add water, your ship will float to the top, no matter whether the top is 2″ or 200 feet, doesn’t matter.  Thus was born the art of transporting shipping goods across dry land, using rivers instead of camels.

Papyrus Speaks Louder Than UNESCO | commentary

Thick Skinned & Battle Ready

I want to unzip this thin skinned costume, take my skeletal self and step into a thick skinned, battle ready version of me. Historically the onset of fall brings on deep depression, psychosis and hospitalization. I can’t forget in 2014 I had the most intense manic episode followed by a suicide attempt. I spent Thanksgiving in the psych ward. I woke today with a heavy body. Tears hanging on my eyelashes before I was even awake. I don’t think I slept a wink. I agonized over everything and nothing. All. Night. Long.
In May, one of my two cats (they are sisters) died suddenly. She was my pal. My darling furry friend who often laid on top of me while I cried in bed. I could just look at her and she came a running to spring in my lap. She had a love of boxes. She would sit on top of them, crawl into them, somehow jam her pudgy body into every crook of cardboard. We always seemed to have a new box for Sage. She even liked old ones. Whenever I took out the recycling, and brought back in the “clean” empty box she would make a beeline. So, when she slinked into the dirty box half full of recyclables I knew something was wrong. I knew this was it. I couldn’t get her into the vet fast enough.
I tell this story because I am seeing signs in my other, remaining kitty. She has always been a little more aloof. You have to coax her to come to you. We named her Beyoncé because she seemed to dance around you. Things are very much on her terms. But, she has become my pal. I’m hard pressed to get her to sit on my lap, much less lay with me. She is who she is. So, I’m hyper aware of bizarre behavior now. I watch the way she walks, sits, responds, eats, drinks. I’m nervous.
Last night as I tried to sleep and heard her fussing, I had visions of Sage without breath alone in her box. Sadness filled my being. I got up and tried to comfort Beyoncé, she relaxed and settled a little. Back in my bed, I laid in darkness and listened to make sure my last furry friend was breathing. Morning came and we couldn’t find her in our 1200 sq foot house. She wasn’t coming to the sound of my voice. Finally I shook her bag of food and out from behind the washing machine she appeared. Bizarre behavior noted.
I feel paralyzed. Should I take her to the vet and hear the words I am afraid to hear? Spend money I don’t really have. Should I just anticipate, given her sister’s passing, Beyoncé may soon leave us. She is resting on my lap as I write this. I’m gently petting her, reminding her I love her. I just hope she knows she’s loved!
On the cusp of November, rain is falling hard on this Sunday morning. Its dark and dreary. As is my mood. I don’t feel battle ready. I feel fragile. Vulnerable. When I have the energy I’m going to seek my thick skinned replica.