Monthly Archives: December 2016

Pounding Out Anxiety!

Our New Year’s Eve dinner with friends is ON! Devan is not feeling the greatest but wants us to come anyway. She may go and lay down, but that’s an understanding that we have – we adjust to our challenges. … Continue reading

2016: Good-bye And Good Riddance

This has not been my favorite year. Other than my cruise vacation in November and the fact that tonight marks 25 years since I stopped drinking, it’s basically sucked and I’m glad it’s over. Not that the flip of a calendar page will make everything OK again…but it sure makes one feel like it will, at least temporarily. There’s nothing like a fresh start.

I have always thought that fresh start should be in the spring, however. It seems to me like ringing in a new year in the winter is counter-productive; after all, January has little to recommend it (except for the fact that I was born in it). The glitz of the holidays is gone, everybody’s broke, and the weather is dreadful.  Of course, I don’t like winter anyway, so I’d rather begin the year when everything is made new.

In the meantime, I get to celebrate my sobriety birthday tonight. A quarter-century since I took my last drink. To this day, I accept the fact that I am an alcoholic and not just a problem drinker. Which makes me wonder why it’s so difficult for me to believe that I really have bipolar disorder and will have it for the rest of my life, just like alcoholism. I go back and forth with it, and I wonder what it’s going to take to convince me once and for all: another hospitalization? A suicide attempt? A manic episode which destroys my life?

Lord, I hope not. It’s taken so much work to bring my illness under control. I keep forgetting that it’s the treatment that makes it possible for me to question my diagnosis. There are times when I get discouraged and tired of taking pills, but I don’t dare experiment with them because of the potential for dire consequences. Besides, I don’t want to disappoint Dr. Goodenough, just like I didn’t want to disappoint Dr. Awesomesauce. He’s a good guy and knows a lot about bipolar, and he’s already helped me a great deal. The light box is definitely working to keep me out of depression, and I’m sure the amber glasses I’m going to try this spring will help prevent the annual hypo/manic festivities.

Going back to the original topic, I am really looking forward to watching the ball drop at midnight. Any year in which you lose the love of your life is an ugly one, and between that and saying good-bye to so many bright and talented people—two of whom were amazing mental health advocates—the impact is staggering.

Good riddance to a lousy year, and welcome to 2017. May it be your best year ever!


Blogmas 2016 – New Year’s Eve Part 2

Day 31 Yesterday I told you the bad and ugly memories of New Year’s Eve and promised that today I would give you the good. It actually started when I married my Hubby and we would just watch one of … Continue reading

I Got The Blues

It’s just one of those days where I’m moody and kind of have the blues. I don’t know why. I finally have my husband  to myself after the father in law visit. Which ended weird in a good way. He told me he loved me. It was nice to hear just something I never expected to you know. Sure it’s a shitty paragraph but I don’t feel like splitting it up into bigger sentences.

The visit went well, I survived Christmas Eve and Christmas without anything bad happening. I think I also mentioned I did it stone cold sober and weedless. I’m actually kind of proud of myself for that.

Death is scaring me again. It just keeps popping in my head that we’re all gonna die and there’s not a goddamn thing we can do about it. It’s overwhelming honestly.

Today I have had two panic attacks so far. These are the panic attacks I am used to where I can’t seem to catch my breath and I have to concentrate so I don’t hyperventilate.

I’m feeling lonely even though hubby is right here and we’ve been hanging out today. We watched an entire anime together. I don’t know why I feel that way I just do.

Did I mention I got stoned to try and feel better and it’s not even helping this time. True blechness.

Feeling Better

than yesterday.  We went out and bought some necessities for my oldest and don’t plan to do much else today.  The younger ones don’t even want to change out of their pajamas so I think it’s going to be a slow day unless I can motivate them to do some work. At least leaving the house this morning I got a  Dr. Pepper and so don’t think I’ll go back to sleep like I did yesterday.  So that is improvement.

I need to write a bit on New Year’s Resolutions for my guest blog gig. I’ll probably work on that  later today. I’m just going to take the resolutions I made on my birthday and expand on them.

I do think I will start back at the health club and see if I can do water aerobics. I need something low-impact so I can lose the weight and not hurt my knees and foot further.  I’ll give them a call or go by and pick up a schedule.

I hate waiting for the new term to start.  THe W waits really really late to get going in January.  So I am chomping at the bit to get going.  And waiting for publications to get back to work and judge my submissions. It’s all going to be good, I can tell. One way or the other.


Reblog – Happy little elves have been playing again…

Originally posted on Sue Vincent's Daily Echo:
So… Between one post and the next, somebody, who shall, for the sake of discretion, remain nameless, has been playing again. Somebody has been twiddling with the settings on that nice little…

Blogmas 2016 – New Year’s Eve Part 1

Day 30 Well, down to the last two Blogmas posts! I have two different views on New Year’s Eve so I thought I would split them up. Tomorrow I will talk about the good side and today is the bad … Continue reading

Alice B. Toklas Rides Again…and again…and again…and….

Chocolate.  More chocolate!  Gluten free.  And….medicated!

Yes, I tried a piece hot out of the oven.  I need the medicine, and the chocolate doesn’t hurt. It’s medicinal, too, after all.

The wind is kicking up a ruckus outside with the kinds of cactus that blow around so they can stick in your dog’s feet the next day.  It contributes in a bad way to my current state of ultra-ultra-ultra rapid cycling, punctuated by a few episodes of the dreaded mixed state.

I used to take Seroquel for this.  I’m not sure it broke the cycle, but at least it knocked me out so I could get a break from it.  But I started getting very bad neurologic side effects from the Seroquel, and had to stop it.  Some of the nervous system damage has turned out to be permanent, so there’s no way I’m going to try any other drugs in that class (atypical antipsychotics).  So in a word, I’m fucked.

But there’s a Lone Ranger on the horizon…I hope.

I have been so remiss in writing here that I can’t remember what I’ve told you.  Here, I’ll recap:

Spine pain got bad, had lots of consults, results: spinal arthritis, many collapsed discs, moderate spinal stenosis, and…drumroll…five vertebrae are filled with a benign tumor.  It’s benign, because it doesn’t metastasize, but it’s locally destructive.  And I have it in my liver, and god knows where else.

There are other joints in this pity party.  None of them are smokeable.

Which brings us to The Point:

I began using medical cannabis over a year ago.  It takes my spine and joint pain from “all-encompassing, intrusive, consuming” all the way down to, “OK, I can definitely feel this, and I think I’ll do the laundry and walk the dog now.”

That’s the difference.  Of course, I use a special strain of cannabis (PennyWise) that is engineered to have analgesic, anti-inflammatory properties while not being overly psychoactive.  I can get things done, and I’m not constantly going, “Ouch!  Shit!  Fuck!  Damn!” and so on.  Like, right now my thorax is aching and so is my neck and shoulders, but I’m not paralyzed by it.  Nevertheless, I am going to stop writing all hunched up, and go light my Hanukkah menorah.  Sixth night.

Losing Carrie

As everyone but the proverbial three-toed sloth knows by now, actress and mental health advocate Carrie Fisher has died at the age of (only) 60. From the early reports from sources close to the dramatic events that occurred aboard her plane, I knew she was probably not going to make it; few people survive cardiac arrest outside the hospital. But of course I hoped she’d pull through, and for a couple of days I thought she might defy the odds. She was nothing if not resilient.

Alas, it was not to be. Now that she’s gone, she has left a gaping hole where a champion once stood. Carrie’s acting career was long and profitable, and her writings have been widely read. But what really made her shine was her support of the mental health community. “I am mentally ill,” she said once. “I can say that. I’m not ashamed of that. I’ve survived it, but bring it on. Better me than you.” She and Patty Duke talked about bipolar disorder long before most people were even ready to acknowledge there was such a thing. They truly were pioneers in that they faced down stigma and shame, and basically told the world to go to hell if it didn’t like what they had to say.

Carrie’s life wasn’t only about her bipolar, however. She battled alcohol and drug problems as well, giving hope to those of us who struggle with substance abuse issues. She had a wry sense of humor that kept her going through bad patches, showing people that living with serious mental illness didn’t ALWAYS have to be serious. She shared the most personal aspects of her life with us, even though being in the public eye couldn’t have been easy for her.

A few years back she had a manic episode while on vacation, and there was all kinds of speculation as to whether she had gone back to drugs and booze. I would have been mortified, but Carrie just went on with life, continuing to be a voice for the mentally ill, and especially the bipolar community.

She is a hero who will be greatly missed.

May the Force be with you, Carrie Fisher.

It’s 2016 – Why Am I Being Stuffed in a Pringle Can?

Last week I had an MRI to check on my brain tumor.  I’ve recently named my tumor “Bob the Brian Blob,” because we’ve been together for a few years now and I feel like the little dude deserves a name.  Plus, it’s easier to channel my anger when I’m mad about it.  Debilitating headache? “Damn it, Bob! Cut it out!”  More pills to take? “Let’s raise a glass to you, Bob.”  I really think Bob and I should break up because our relationship isn’t very healthy, but he’s one of those guys who’s very difficult to ghost.  We’re pretty deeply attached.

Anyway, the doctor wanted some pictures of Bob, so I went in for this MRI.  I hate MRIs.  “Wait,” I hear my mother saying. “Hate is such a strong word.”

You’re right, Mom.  *ahem* I HAAAAAAAAAAAAATE MRIs!! HATE HATE HATE HATE.”  For real.

What I would like to know is why, in the year 2016, we have not found an easier way to take pictures of my brain.  When I get an MRI, it feels like I’m being stuffed in a Pringle can.  My head is locked into a cage that feels like a strange football helmet, and then they slide me into this skinny slot in a machine that surrounds my body on all sides.  It makes me wonder if I would be able to escape if the building started burning down and the technicians ran away and forgot about me.  Probably yes, but you never really know.  Look at this thing:




I feel like Apple really should have made an app for this by now.  There are apps for almost everything.  Don’t believe me?  There’s an app called “Carrr Matey” that helps you navigate to your lost car by giving you directions in a pirate voice.  There’s an app called “Run and Pee” that tells you all of the most boring parts in movies so that you know when to take a bathroom break.  Humanity has teams developing apps for those things, but none for pictures of brains?

Okay actually, forget apps.  There should be a snapchat filter for this.  No thanks on the dog tongue or the face swap – let’s use an x-ray filter that lets me see inside my body.  Smile, Bob!  Time for a selfie!

Basically, this is my official complaint to the technological masterminds of America.  I don’t care if I miss an exciting part in a movie – maybe I shouldn’t have ordered the large slushie.  I can find my own car. I don’t need to swap faces.  Please just find a way to take pictures of Bob without forcing people to pop me in a Pringle can for an hour.  I don’t like it.