Daily Archives: September 20, 2017

It’s All On the Inside

I’m ramping up.

Fortunately, the only person who can tell is me. I still sit at the computer throughout much of the day, I don’t talk any faster than usual, and I haven’t been spending large amounts of money (well, I’ve been spending a little too much, but it’s for fun things like items for the trip and eating out). My room needs to be cleaned and there’s laundry to be done. But inside my head, there is boundless energy and my thoughts race constantly, making it difficult to go to sleep at night or concentrate on writing during the day. I feel like I could jog all the way to Texas and back…it’s my body that says “Nope”.

This is what a friend of mine calls “medicated mania”, and it’s totally normal for me at this time of the year. (Which is why I’m not worried about it—it almost always resolves on its own.) Early fall is optimistic; the leaves are turning to red and orange and yellow; there are Halloween decorations in the stores; days are still golden with sun and blue skies but there’s a nip in the morning air that wasn’t there a week ago. I notice the sharp decrease in the angle of the light, but it only makes me want to nest instead of causing me to feel depressed. I haven’t even started light therapy yet, even though it’s been cloudy and rainy for the past couple of days and this usually plunges me into a funk immediately.

Not that I’ll be shocked if/when my SAD does kick in, of course. That’s almost inevitable in the late fall and winter months. Thank God my family and I have a wonderful trip coming up in the middle of December. We have been waiting for it since August of last year, and now it’s only 84 days till the start of our vacation. Time is passing very quickly; it seems to me that the last four months of a given year go by as if it were four weeks. We can hardly wait!

Then there’s the fact that my second wedding anniversary without Will is coming up in a week. I am NOT looking forward to it, for obvious reasons. But this year, I’m remembering the good things…how exciting it was to be his bride, anticipating our wedding and being so in love it almost hurt. We were married in a public park, but I wore the traditional white dress and veil, and he wore a blue tuxedo (well, it was the beginning of the ’80s, what can I say?). Our minister was a good friend of ours who had a mail-order divinity degree and whom we paid in marijuana for performing the ceremony. The cake was homemade and looked it, we had people visiting the park who crashed the wedding, and even the tape recording our vows got tangled up in the middle of it and we lost the whole thing.

And it was the best. wedding. ever.

These are the good times I’m remembering now, instead of the sadness of the last few months of Will’s life and the brutality of his final hours. I’ve come to terms with the fact that he is gone and I’ve stopped looking for him around every corner. I still hate it that he isn’t here to celebrate our 37th anniversary. But I’ve come to accept it, and for my own peace of mind it’s better that way.

So here I am, with my mind saying GO while the body says NO. It’s OK though. What the heck, I’m enjoying life, and I know he would want that.



The Best Laid Plans…

The word tentative is very important in the world of Chronic Illness. All our plans need to be tentative or penciled in. Even when we plan specifically for something and do everything in our power to make it work, there can be something that stops us in our tracks. This past weekend my Hubby and …

In the abyss

In the abyss

Dark thoughts swirling by

Nausea and life intersect

Sharp fears, sharper aches, dull hopes

Life? Mind? Please? Why?

Ah yes, the beginning of autumn, my fall

Logic whispers I’ll be fine with an increase in doses

Emotions scream: help me, I’m drowning, I’m dying, I’m done

Hang on Samina, remember the countless years, every year, this happens.

You will get through this. The emotions will quiet down and you will have your life back

In the meantime, Lithium, exercise, psychiatrist, therapist, cooking, reading, scrabble

Hang on. Use your strong arms and legs to wade through the muck

Hang on!


I sign a lot of petitions on line. And a significant number of them, especially anything involving politics, always asks for a donation of at least $5. And honestly, it seems like such a paltry sum that any person should have on hand at any time.

Except, I don’t. My debit card is in the negative (service fees). I gave my last 40 cents to my kid so she could get milk with her sack lunch. I literally don’t have ANY cash. So that five dollars starts seeming like a lot Especially as the car nears the E mark.I realize I have no baggies to put my kid’s school lunch in, my bowls are missing their lids, the foil is running out. Five bucks. And at 44 with a small child, I don’t even have that much. By most city laws and probably the horrid Patriot act, having no cash on hand makes me a vagrant.

It’s disheartening. Especially since the donor gets to walk away, again, and not contribute to his daughter’s well being in any way and I still can’t even get a call back from public aid to get an explanation why a near three hundred dollar loss in income doesn’t warrant a raise in food benefits…It’s frustrating, maddening, stressful.

It’s also utterly isignificant in the big picture.

My sister texted me last night to tell me that her friend Randa’s boyfriend and small child hit a 17 year old head on in the fog…and the 17 year old was fine but, the man was killed instantly and the little girl was air lifted to a hospital and there was no word on if she was even going to make it.

Kind of puts that five dollar thing in perspective, don’t you think?

Society values money. Wealth, possessions, position. I will never be anything in the eyes of people with mentality like that.

What I am thinking of is the value to that little girl of losing her father that way. If she does make it, she has to live without a dad. Has to live knowing how she lost him, that she survived when he didn’t. Not even Trump’s money piles could equate with what was lost here.

Not that society gives a damn. They make the right sympathetic noises then go buy the latest thousand dollar iphone and a ten dollar coffee hybrid sludge drink and they don’t think about it again. My curse is that along with all the mood swingy anxiety financial crap that leads to sheer panic that I won’t be able to care for my child…

At least I am here to care for her. At least she is healthy and safe. Big picture, does it matter if I can’t toss down hundreds for a fancy phone (my $29.99 phone works just fine, thank you very much) or dress her to the nines in brand names or feed her pricey organic foods so I look like uber mom…

It doesn’t fucking matter. Yeah, you gotta provice certain things for children that require you spend money…End of the day…

The biggest gift is that we have each other and love may not conquer an empty fridge, but it goes a long way in making you fight to make sure it doesn’t stay empty.

That being said…a few days from now when I go splay again and start thinking of drinking the ‘special J-town Kool-Aid….remind me of this post. Perspective tends to get lost when your brain is rioting through mood swings.

Back to Work

Bob went back to work today; praise the Lord he felt better.  I’m about to call him and see how it is going.  I have two students who want to conference with me about their grades, which is good.  SO I will be doing that this morning.  Good discussion this morning in class and I had them do a short writing assignment before they left to get them in the habit of writing quickly.

Got everything done for my W class and am getting stuff sent to me for the upcoming conference in my class.  I hope my teacher is okay to do this conference–she lives in Mexico. City that had the earthquake and none of us have heard from her.  I think I will write my department head and see what I can find out.



Reblog – Suicidal prevention awareness month thoughts and review of 13 Reasons Why

Originally posted on NOT MY SECRET…overcoming the shame of sexual abuse:
Obvious trigger warnings* I was awake all night due to ongoing symptoms of the grand mal seizure and its after affects. I watched all 13 episodes of 13 Reasons Why. My daughter told me it was not anything like the book. I have…

Making A Home

This summer I spent some time considering a move to Des Moines, but after talking to a realtor (what was I thinking?) and finding out how impenetrable the subsidized housing process is there, I changed my mind.  Instead I opted to work at making Marshalltown my Home.

I grew up here and have been back for ten years, but I never really thought of it as home.  Growing up on a farm, “town” was a place to get groceries, a place the school bus dropped me off and picked me up.  After going through electroshock, losing my job, my home, and my husband coming back to Marshalltown mentally ill was a personal failure and a punishment.

I left Minneapolis with its liberal politics, diversity of culture and a townhouse I loved for a conservative rural backwater where I lived in my friends’ spare room with a curtain for a door.  I didn’t want to be here.

My life became richer over the last ten years.  I learned how to manage my illness better.  I moved into an apartment I loved.  Our eco-conscious public library and busy YMCA became part of my daily routine.  I embraced our Aquatic Center by water walking in the silky summer evenings.

But I still despised the town.  I hated the trains blasting at 5:00 AM along with the barking dogs and screeching kids next door.  I hated the yahoos who barreled along my street with their woofers blowing out my eardrums and their muffler-less pickups rattling my windows.  I hated the decrepit meth-lab houses and the soul-sucking poverty evident on most every street.  I still didn’t want to be here.

The work of Making a Home, I’ve discovered, is much like the work of Gratitude.  Instead of focusing on what I’m grateful for, I purposely seek out what I love about Marshalltown.  I quiz others about where they like to eat and hang-out, what they like to do here.  I’ve started reading the newspaper to look for events to attend and to get a better sense of the community.  I plan to take a class at the art center or with the continuing education program at our junior college.

Another part of making a home is practicing forgiveness, not just accepting people, places and circumstances for what they are.  The first target of forgiveness must be myself—for all the ways I let myself down, abandoned my dreams or my safety, and let the negative voices of my illness tell me how horrible I was.  Acceptance of my whole self took decades, but I feel like forgiveness can’t be that far away.  Whenever old resentments or regrets surface, I open to the possibility of forgiveness.  Whenever I turn my attention to the negative aspects of Marshalltown, I open to forgiveness and pull up my list of “Marshalltown Love” on my phone.  It’s startling how many times a day this happens.  It’s equally startling how long it’s taken me to be willing to forgive myself and others.

Forgiveness, like gratitude, requires a change of perspective, a change of heart. Sometimes those changes are a long time coming, so I’ve adopted an “act as if” attitude until it makes a home in my bones.  But, I’m determined to forgive.  I’m determined to find all the hidden spots of beauty and compassion in Marshalltown.  I’m determined to be my authentic self and thrive here.

Because, I’m still on an Adventure.