Daily Archives: November 29, 2016

Trapped

That’s how I feel. I’ve had this depression that I’ve been unable to shake off for weeks. I believed it was because of Trump winning the election, but now I know that was only the catalyst. The reason I feel trapped, as most of you know, I want to leave the country. Actually, that’s not necessarily true. I feel trapped…

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Slow Emotion

This edition was first published in 2014.

Regular readers will know how I am plagued by mood swings, especially sharp bursts of irritability.  Ironically, one of the most stressful activities for me, given the name of this blog, is fixing a puncture. I have written about this before, you can read what I have had to say about what punctures mean for me by reading the 2 posts below that I wrote back in the Spring

https://puncturerepairkit.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/the-what-ifs/

https://puncturerepairkit.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/would-you-believe-it/

Last  month I suffered 2 punctures. The first one was when I was in the centre of town – no repair kit to be found in my panniers  ( will return to this point shortly.) Frustrated, annoyed, mystified (the puncture occurred while my bike was locked up outside my doctor’s surgery, which is to say, stationary. I wheeled my bike to the nearest bike shop, and for a princely sum, they fixed it. Stress levels reduced thanks to my finding a solution quickly – as in the past (see blog posts above) I found someone who could fix the puncture.

 

The next puncture was what we call a slow puncture. It’s not immediately apparent. I discovered it one morning as I cycled away from my house. Right from that moment my reaction to what had happened – and what I would have to do – was different. The bike went back into the garage, and I walked. I worked out there and then that I wouldn’t have time to fix it for a couple of days. I didn’t fret, I wasn’t preoccupied by the thought of doing something I find very stressful, that I am not very good at.

That was new.

But since I wasn’t fretting about it, I didn’t give it any thought at all. I failed to notice any difference in my reaction to having a puncture to fix. Before I actually got down to fixing the puncture I made a Plan B in case I just couldn’t fix it, couldn’t get the damn tyre off, or the hole was too big to patch up. I looked up the bus schedule (I had to get to the train station the following morning  to go to work.)

That was new.

Only then did I set about preparing to fix the puncture.

I assembled everything I needed, took the wheel off … you get the picture. The hole was so small that I couldn’t find it. Still no grinding of teeth, throwing of tools. I then took the next step and put the inner tube in some water – the bubbles showed me the spot immediately. I applied the patch, slightly inflated the tube and in one go eased the wheel and tube back in place. I put the wheel back on the bike, pumped up the tyre and cycled round the block a couple of times to make sure the patch was doing the job.

Then it hit me. What had happened? I had been totally relaxed; I behaved, well, like a bike mechanic. But I couldn’t understand why. The puncture had happened at an inconvenient time. I had had a couple of days to stew over having to do something I find stressful and still I had acted as though I did this sort of thing every day.

One thing I knew – it stood as evidence. Proof that I do have the capacity to act in a calm collected manner even when in a stressful situation.

Since then I have discussed this episode with my psychiatrist. He suggested that I log my outbursts. I agreed that I would draw up a chart and note down what happened to provoke my flashes of irritability. True to form I haven’t done so yet – but I haven’t noticed any outbursts yet, either.

While it is still a mystery to me as to why I was able to fix the puncture without going red in the face and having a tantrum, I do have a theory: is it possible that all this preoccupation with wanting to control my irritable outbursts (I think about it every day) has somehow contributed to a calmer me?

A Little While, a Little While

A little while, a little while,
The weary task is put away,
And I can sing and I can smile,
Alike, while I have holiday.

Where wilt thou go, my harassed heart–
What thought, what scene invites thee now
What spot, or near or far apart,
Has rest for thee, my weary brow?

There is a spot, ‘mid barren hills,
Where winter howls, and driving rain;
But, if the dreary tempest chills,
There is a light that warms again.

The house is old, the trees are bare,
Moonless above bends twilight’s dome;
But what on earth is half so dear–
So longed for–as the hearth of home?

The mute bird sitting on the stone,
The dank moss dripping from the wall,
The thorn-trees gaunt, the walks o’ergrown,
I love them–how I love them all!

Still, as I mused, the naked room,
The alien firelight died away;
And from the midst of cheerless gloom,
I passed to bright, unclouded day.

A little and a lone green lane
That opened on a common wide;
A distant, dreamy, dim blue chain
Of mountains circling every side.

A heaven so clear, an earth so calm,
So sweet, so soft, so hushed an air;
And, deepening still the dream-like charm,
Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere.

THAT was the scene, I knew it well;
I knew the turfy pathway’s sweep,
That, winding o’er each billowy swell,
Marked out the tracks of wandering sheep.

Could I have lingered but an hour,
It well had paid a week of toil;
But Truth has banished Fancy’s power:
Restraint and heavy task recoil.

Even as I stood with raptured eye,
Absorbed in bliss so deep and dear,
My hour of rest had fleeted by,
And back came labour, bondage, care.

Emily Bronte (1818 – 1848)


Erosion Of Self Esteem

Tough past few days. Weather turned real cold, dealing with family usurping me as a parent, depression nipping at my heels…The Bad Thoughts visited. The ones telling me how worthless I am, how my best isn’t good enough, how my kid would be better off without me.

I shut them out best I could. It’s not easy.

What is most irksome is that I generally feel pretty secure in my parenting. UNTIL my ass trash family chimes in. Then they plant all these seeds of self doubt, pointing out everything I do wrong, everything I did wrong (dad brought up how annoying I was to him when I was Spook’s age, which is hysterical cos he was a long haul trucker we saw maybe two days a week)..Stepmonster chipped in, doesn’t like the way my kid’s clothes smell (I can’t afford Gain right now, sorry the dollar stuff doesn’t reek like fields of flowers.) Mom griping that I can never stick around, always have to hurry off…

And my brain, meanwhile, is screaming I AM DOING THE BEST I CAN, YOU IDGETS, CUT ME SOME FUCKING SLACK! I am the one of them who has raised a kid totally alone. What do they know? And I am doing it with little money and a plethora of mental health issues and a willful child who has no respect for me THANKS TO MY FAMILY’S CONSTANT USURPING.

It took a couple days before the “die,Morgue,die already” voice in my head quieted. The less I am around the family, the better I am. Though I get days of my kid telling me grandma M does it this way, grandma b does it that way…Oh blah blah blah. I’m your mom, kid, deal with it, this is how I do it.

Which was pointed out, I sent two pairs of capri pants with my kid and stepmonster flipped out, took her to Goodwill for different clothes… but kept them at her house. They see my kid maybe four days a year. Wouldn’t it make more sense to let her keep the “better” clothes at home for school rather than reminding me what a failure I am that I can’t keep my kid well fitted season appropriate clothes?

I want selective orphanhood. Everyone says you’re nothing without family. When all your family does is trash you…you’re nothing with them and something without them.

Slept like shit last night cos I knew I had to come to the shop today while R is at the funeral. I can’t breathe when I have something hanging over my head. I only sleep sans Melatonin on weekends when I know even if I don’t sleep well, I don’t have to hear a ticking clock to get her to school on time.

Been quiet at the shop aside from two people. One of whom was a sweet old lady whose son I went to elementary school with and R wanted me to get all snotty with her cos she’s bugged him about her tv three times in three weeks. Well, I was not rude or snotty and she did not rub me the wrong way and I mean…I hate everyone on principle so he’s just being a dick. And he’s been sick, now the family  death, ok, you have reason to be grumpy. But the woman said he was not nice to her at all and I’ve seen him be that with way, usually with elderly people. She just wanted to chat a bit and I listened and chatted with her and she was very understanding about the tv not being done and she went on her merry way.

And I wasn’t even faking it.

Found out yesterday a kid my sister used to babysit died. 32, small son, and he overdosed. That’s sad.

I want to leave already. I am outside my bubble and it just feels…like being out in public naked. I know this is not rational, it is a symptom of depression and anxiety…Logic means fuck all to a mentally diseased brain.

At least the thoughts of dying have gone away.

Anger at not even being able to get a 5 minute call with my shrink is weighing heavily. He always says if I have problems, call the office. But then his pit bull staff make it abundantly clear he has not one second free time (and since this whole town has developed depression and booked him solid for months, I buy it) and act like I am putting them out cos it I am upright and able to use a phone, I MUST be ducky.

I’m slipping. Sure, it starts out as situational “family induced” stuff. Then the cold weather kicks the seasonal affect into high gear. The anxiety erodes my nerves so I’m snapping about everything. I’ve been thru it so many times and yet I can’t get a shrink to listen when I tell them THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO LEAVE ME FOR MONTHS WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT. I don’t care how busy you are. Make 5 minutes for a call and prescribe something, don’t tell me my only option is to go to the emergency room and hope they get me a referral to my doc’s psych service. That’s a lot of expense and trouble when a 5 minute call and script could well help.

I think rather than say “my life sucks”…it’s more like “my life is frustrating.” Here I am doing battle best I can and I keep getting met with absolute resistance and constant invalidation.

And more maddening and puzzling is why I even let my idget family get to me. I moved out at 17 to escape their dysfunction and toxicity to my mind. Now, at 43, suddenly my Teflon coating has worn off to this extent I think I am better off dead cos my kids don’t smell like expensive detergent???

The erosion of self esteem stemming from  mental health disorders and an unsupportive, overly critical family is…slaughter of the soul.

My one saving grace, (though most consider this detrimental and rude) is my “fuck you” attitude.

Because as long as I draw breath, I am gonna repeat “fuck you” to these people even if only in my own head.

I know who I am. They know nothing about who I have become because they are too busy judging me from the past, judging me from a “your problems are imaginary” place…They have NO idea what I’ve become. In their world people don’t change.

I have changed. Grown up. Become self aware.

One thing that will never change…

is me saying “fuck you” to all their disparagement. It’s how I survived those people in the first place. Don’t fix what ain’t broken.

 


Becoming an Expat

Expat For those unfamiliar with the word expat, Wikipedia defines it as An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of their citizenship Maurice and I are still in discussion regarding leaving the U.S. of A. It’s not going to happen tomorrow, next month, or next year, but it…

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Up and At ‘Em

I feel good and awake this morning.  I emptied one of the big boxes of ornaments this morning and am trying to decide whether or  not to refill it with the individual boxes or go ahead and start on the next box and hang them all up.  It’s not like there’s not plenty to do around here now that I have the energy.  I just need to decide.

Listening to a mix of Christmas music.  Mostly from the pop era–Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, etc.  Cool stuff.  My middle daughter likes ot play the soundtrack to “Hamilton” when she studies  and I got one of the songs stuck in my head this morning so am trying to drive it out with the Christmas usic.

I think first thing I will see what is going on in my classes then get going on the tree again.  It feels so good to have some energy again!


Commercial Holiday Time

img_0532Wed:

Gee, the stores are opening earlier and earlier around here. I still am hanging on to my motto of doing most shopping online.

Today is the day before Thanksgiving. I have the table set with the tablecloth and little made up centerpiece I did. I plan on getting my daughter to set the china and all on that.

We are just having a big turkey breast and not a turkey for dinner. There are only the five of us and one of my girlfriends. She has bipolar and is on lithium, so she gets it. For all the side dishes, we ordered them from a nice restaurant near here. We got our pies and rolls from Costco and even some sweet rolls for the morning.

My husband wanted to use the china, so I am going to make him wash it while my girlfriend and I go for a walk.

Today is a low day. I don’t feel depressed, but am leaning on that Klonopin.

Got the mammogram back and it was fine. I can’t tell you how terrified I was over a routine test. It is out of hand. I need more help with the CBT.

So today I am not doing much but taking it easy.

So are you impressed with the gift wrap job on the above packages? My friend Arlene came and helped me with my shaky hands. They are for my husband’s Christmas work party. It’s kind of a competition to get people to pick your gifts first and I think the wrapping makes a difference. So I think we did a gorgeous job.

Thurs:

Well, it’s Thanksgiving and I’m awake pretty early. I found out that Danny has to work at the theater today so he will miss Thanksgiving dinner. It’s okay…he’s a vegetarian and likes to remind everyone of that fact, so we’ll be spared that joy. He’s working every day this weekend and I am thrilled. He’ll stay busy, get tired, and earn some money. Sounds good to me.

I am ready for dinner today, so I made a little list of things to do this morning: one load of laundry, the catbox!, some ironing, a shower, and listening to my audio book. I hope to putter around and get these little things done.

I feel better right this second than I have been feeling but that can change at any second. Ick!

Doubt I will run out to any Black Friday sales. Oops, that isn’t true. My friend who works at a department store asked me to come visit her for a few minutes. It’ll be good for me to get out. I’m more of a Cyber Monday type person.

Okay, well am going to rest a while and then start on my little chore list.

Update:

Well,  a couple of hours have passed and I am crying. Took another Klonopin and am trying to stay calm. Main pressure is to get a shower. Everything else is under control.

Stopped crying and got the shower. Husband is sure this is meds swinging around. I think it is also just the tough emotions of the holidays. Like many of you, my holidays were hellish. Lots of drunks and fighting. Even after thirty years of nice holidays, I still don’t like them. Some things you never forget.

We got everything heated up and I have to say the food was delicious. My husband washed dishes while my friend and I went for a walk. I didn’t sleep too well with my overfull stomach.

Black Fri:

Just don’t have much too much to shop for so plan on staying in. Husband is furiously organizing all the Christmas bins from the storage shed. It looks like we have two decent days, then some cold and rain. He wants to get it all set up before that starts.

If it were up to me…I might just skip the tree and do a few holiday items. But I still have three kids at home and friends coming over here and there and I need to get off my butt.

I AM TAKING THIS ALL ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!!!

Feel better today but tired. I am always tired unless I am excited about something. But that doesn’t happen too often.

Did I tell you I called a new CBT therapist? I haven’t received a call back, but it is the holiday. Anyway, I am sick of my current one. I am still terrified of driving and riding, and of health issues. My current therapist basically tells me to exercise and gives me homework (papers) to fill out. I do all this faithfully, but don’t seem to get better. My current therapist is also unhelpful and snooty about the $18 we owe her after Medicare, even though I write her a check every time. So we will see.

My regular therapist is still very good and helpful so that is something.

Sat:

I feel okay today…it’s only 6:30 so there’s plenty of time to change. I don’t feel happy or sad…more flat.

We got the tree up yesterday but not decorated. We also got the banisters decorated and some of the other stuff up. Today will be mostly the tree. I just don’t feel like doing any of this, but my husband says we have to. He is trying to limp along and keep everything going. It will all get done…I am trying not to worry. We have tomorrow to finish up and even next week if we get desperate.

Update:

Well, it’s ten till eleven and we have all of the Christmas boxes empty. My daughter decorated the den and it looks nice. We haven’t touched the tree other than it is set up. I figure maybe I can work on that today and tomorrow.

I should go to church tomorrow. I haven’t been in a while. It is the last Sunday for this guy who was very active at church. We got him a nice card and I know my husband would go alone. The way I feel right now I’m not going but maybe things will change. But who am I kidding? I need a shower in order to go.

Sun:

So it’s Sunday and I made good progress yesterday. We got everything decorated, even the tree, which is the hard part. We still need to clean up some, but it is manageable.

It really helped to stop taking the Klonopin. I sort of woke up and was able to help. I also made dinner so I was pretty proud of myself. I got a shower so I am ready for church if I decide to go.

I am at that age where I am feeling like we need to “scale back” and do very simple Christmas decorations. But my husband says “no”, we are fine. We might just need to take it a little slower and not do it all in a couple of days.

I am scheduled to go see a movie with a friend tomorrow morning. I like doing that if I feel well as it is relaxing. I also want to go to yoga and go to my women’s group. That’s a lot for one day for me.

Update: DID make it to church, even though I have a headache. Danny took the opportunity this morning to be rude. He’s been doing so well, so I hope this is a blip. Just tired again today. Did get the living room cleaned up from decorating.

Mon:

It’s only five but I am wide awake. Everyone was in a bad mood around here last night but everyone sort of made up so it worked out. Dinner was good and I did fine except for a mild headache.

Today I feel pretty decent. I’m going to  just focus right now on getting to that movie with my friend. We are going to see “Rules Don’t Apply” about Howard Hughes.

Have I told you that I use an app called “Moodtracker”? You should see mine: pink is a spike up and blue is a spike down. Mine is crazy colored with up and down. I’m not rapid cycling, but I am going up and down around baseline. I just keep praying (literally) for “no depression today”. Just baseline and slightly elevated is my goal.

Update: Made it to the movie and made it to yoga. Missed my women’s group. Too dark to drive alone and it was really cold.

many hugs-

lily