Daily Archives: March 26, 2018

Speed Picking

Some things in life are not only counter-intuitive, but difficult to do even when you know it is how it is supposed to be done. There is a particular technique for playing guitar, called speed picking, where you, well, pick with high speed. And every single player who attempts to pick with great speed but […]

I Wish Someone Would Write ‘How To Talk To Doctors For Dummies’

I got my usual reminder call for my psych appt tomorrow and it triggered an hours long bout with anxiety,borderline panic,paranoia,and self doubt.

Which really irks me because I’ve done nothing wrong,I am taking the prescribed meds,I had my lab work done.

So why the heightened anxiety to see the doctor?

I guess part of it is my own social awkwardness and general terror of doctors.

A larger part,though,is 25 years of bad experiences with some pretty iffy if not downright incompetent doctors.

My first appointment with new Doc H was supposed to be a thirty minute first visit intake. I was kept waiting over a half hour and the entire thing felt rushed,almost adversarial,since she got a little irate when I mentioned missing my old shrink. I don’t think an anxiety riddled patient should have been subjected to her new doc’s agitation with staffing issues,at all. Kinda makes me wish I could record my appointments cos with mental health issues,no one ever believes a patient over a shrink. But I honestly feel her temperament really triggered my anxiety and paranoia.

It shouldn’t be an issue…except her tone first appointment in was a resigned,’I’m willing to work with you but you’ve tried this,this,that…’ Kind of hints that she’s fed up before even getting started. Then there was the whole not returning my calls when the gabapentin high dose kicked my ass so bad.

I just don’t feel hopeful about this doctor and she only has her own bedside manner to blame.

I will act on the ‘even doctors have bad days especially when staffing problems overwhelm them’ assumption. She’s only human.

Then again,so am I and her manner was soo the wrong approach with me. Guess that’s me being self centered and expecting to be dealt with in a respectful to my disorders way.

So…if you only intend to tell the truth- gabapentin makes me too loopy to not be depressed so I can’t say if Effexor is helping depressive symptoms- why do I feel like I am somehow failing this harried doc who obviously does not have time for a med resistant med sensitive basketcase like me?

Really. Someone needs to write that for dummies book on how to deal with doctors. Because I am clueless when even the truth seems like the wrong thing to say.

What a sad statement about local psych care that I don’t even feel entitled to tell the truth because by not instantly responding to new meds and improving…I am letting down the doctor and complicating their life.

Hey Hey Hey It’s A Beautiful Day!

Actually, it is cold, windy and pouring rain. Some areas of our province are still getting snow. But inside my heart and soul, the sun is shining bright and warm. This is the official end of my very deep and dark depression. The last couple of days I have started to feel better in the …

Penny Positive #81

From An Optimist’s Calendar



Letter to the Editor

delletterTo whom it may concern;

How do I get my ideas in your paper or other outlets? It would be in regards to how the Parkland survivors would be better to spend time on mental health reform that attacking the NRA. It would not be about my opinion about gun control. It just would be about how more time needs to be spent coming up with solutions to the mental health crisis and not just after mass shootings.


It also includes other mass shootings at the hands of the mentally ill.

I have written to politicians, media, famous people via email, social media posts, letters, and phone calls with litttle to no response.
I, along with the other mental health advocates have a lot of things to say that would be valuable to the national dialog and are almost denied a voice.
It is time that we are given a chance.  We are in the trenches just like the Parkland Survivors were in the trenches.
I founded  a FB group called Advocates for People with Mental Illnessses/with over 20,000 people worldwide.  (largest of its kind) I also run a page called Mental Health Advocates United that also helps to join people together by using quotes and educating people about the various mental illnesses.
In addition, I have several other social media sites on Twitter and PInterest.  I also blog under the pseudonym Bipolar Bandit where you will find advocacy work in addition to articles on various mental illnesses.
I am just asking for a voice. Please help me!
Michelle Lande Clark
Mental Health Advocate

Sartre Files: Hell Is Other People, Especially Ones You Are Related To

One of my favorite ever desktop wallpapers was something I found on Reddit, made by another user, and it was black with red and orange flames and the Jean Paul Sartre quote, “Hell is other people.” I have long maintained this opinion, not because I’m anti social or a true misanthrope, but because it has been my lifelong experience that a large part of my so called personality disorders and emotional damage stem from dealing with very rude, thoughtless, and sometimes, deliberately cruel people. If things are fairly tranquil (as much as can be with an array of wonky chemicals causing your brain to act like a squirrel on crack and meth) until you interact with others and it triggers negative emotions…well, I’d call that hellish.

Even more hellish is when the triggers are caused by well intentioned “we love you” family members. This weekend brought that fact home times a thousand.

Saturday was a wet, cold, miserable day and because I was so high strung and low, I took my daughter to her friend’s birthday party and made a hasty exit, figuring she’s going to turn 9 soon, she’s ready to go to a party alone. I figured with a town hall to run loose in and 15 kids plus a slew of growns up, she’d be well entertained and supervised. Within 35 minutes, her friend’s dad texted that she missed me and wanted me there. Back I went, to be subjected to vapid popular songs by the likes of Miley Virus sung by Kidzbop amidst shrieking children and a bunch of adults who didn’t even attempt to speak to me aside from the birthday boy’s parents. (Yeah, the whole small town people are soo friendly and nice thing-not so true.) Anyway, the noise and chaos had me about to melt down, but I smiled and laughed when the kids took swings at the Minion pinata and I tried to be a good sport and a not a mega downer just because I was so ill at ease and triggered. I was managing.

When birthday boy was opening gifts, my phone rang and I saw it was my dad but I didn’t want to interrupt the kids’ doing their kid birthday thing, so I let it go to voice mail. Not FIVE minutes later my brother was dispatched to crash the party to fetch me cos dad and them got us some furniture and it was in the rain. We had 15 minutes of party left!!! And as it turned out, all the stuff was in their SUV or in the pick up under a car port so there was ZERO reason to pull that shit. They KNEW Spook had that party that day, they knew about it for two damned weeks, and still…they dispatched brother to come interrupt and drag us away.

Am I really just being volatile and ungrateful or was that beyond the pale of rude and egomaniacal of them? Not to wait 15 minutes when they knew the party ended at 4????

I blew a gasket and was cursing and growling at my brother even if technically he’s just their puppet doing whatever he is told. And frankly from what I’ve witnessed, it ain’t my brother or stepmonster who are at fault in the rude ‘let’s disrupt Niki’s life at every turn’ thing. It’s my dad, it has always been my dad. I can remember 12 years ago at my old apartment being on line chatting with someone and they’d just show up out of the blue and disrupt my entire life no matter how many times I stressed CALL FIRST SO I DON’T FREAK OUT. Hell, I even had a doctor’s note instructing the landlord that I needed at least an hour notice before he showed to fix stuff because I do panic so severely.

Yet my own father shows no deference, gives zero fucks.

As I’ve said, with him, it’s all about the money and since I am in their debt, they are free to do as they please, never mind Spook and I have our own plans or life. I’ve tried talking to stepmonster and she says she understands but the ‘boss man’ won’t listen to her. Um, beg to differ. She has a daddy complex, for sure, how else do you explain and 43 year old woman with a 71 year old man? But when I accidentally busted her car’s windshield, during a week dad was really chewing me out for every tiny thing, she somehow talked to him and I never did get that particular screamathon. So what it amounts to is she’d like to respect my boundaries but as long as my dad is alive, at least on what they consider the little stuff, my wishes will be ignored, period.

That was driven home yesterday. Spook and I were having an okay day, we went to the park and played, we had frozen pizza and watched I Know What You Did Last Summer and Munsters together…then at six p.m., no call, they show up to deliver their old dresser for her to use. Which meant I had to empty her old one on the spot and move the heavy thing, and I was so pissed off and aggravated, I dropped the dresser on my bare foot. Then dad started in on me again (like the fifth time in two days,as if I am deaf or stupid) about how I don’t start the new car right and I am gonna tear it up like I did the old Chevy (that was 20 years ago). Then he started in on how the yard was a mess and the neighbors would complain so he and brother were picking it up. For fuck’s sake, we just had two solid days of rain, wind, and some snow, pardon me for not picking up fallen limbs and stuff within an hour! Oh and those evil empty cardboard boxes my kid had just put out like when they got here, unannounced, to make space in her room for their old dresser. GRRRRR.

I know this blog gets repetetive, especially with neither Spook nor I all that thrilled with living in this town, but if anyone finds my family’s behavior acceptable and not worthy of a rant and some pissed off indignation…well then you’re probably a rabid narcissist like them and should die in a fire anyway.

Towards bedtime, as the next schood day neared, Spook started complaining of not feeling good. Every. Sunday. Night. She really dislikes this new school.I know their curriculum is different than the old school, way more advanced (especially for a hick place that boasts ‘cornfield olympics’ as a school event) but every day I ask how her day was and she’ll usually say pretty well, good, or great. It breaks my heart seeing her get F’s here whereas she was basically an A plus student in town. They are already on things here that they had never even broached at her old school. I thought the new school would contact me about maybe special learning tools to get her up to date or tutoring or something. Instead, they are letting her flounder. And that’s how it was for me when I was forced to move.

I realize in my old age that my parents were between a rock and a hard place when we were forced to move to a place even more Armpi-ty than this one, but I never did forgive them. And now I think it may be the case with my kid. Difference with me, though, is- if she doesn’t adapt by the time the lease here is up, I can and WILL sell all our stuff and we’ll go live on my mom’s couch for six months if we have to and save for a place in town. I guess I should have done that instead of moving here but the pressure and anxiety were so immense, all I could think was, “screw your own small town scars, your kid has to have a home.” She always told me how much she liked coming here to stay a few days with dad and them. I guess that’s why I thought she’d be okay with this move. She may just need more time. She did finally say Saturday night that this house is starting to feel more like her home. School though, when a smart kid is thrust into a situation with unfamiliar lessons and of course the system doesn’t take that into consideration or slow things down for them to catch up (as it was for me)…it can be the beginning of the end. That’s without her being bullied. God forbid if that piles on.

So this morning when she said she still didn’t ‘feel good’ I gave the fake smile and fake pep talk, because this school has even stricter rules than the old one absences (oh, and if your kid has lice more than twice in one school year, they turn you in social services,wtf???) so now I am walking on eggshells worried about truancy problems…It’s not because I don’t understand the ‘can’t do this, don’t want to go to that place’ anxiety. I understand too well. But they are also doing these scholastic multi tests right now and that’s stressing her out,too, apparently the old school didn’t do 9 day long multi part tests, so…am I being a monster making her go to school or being a responsible parent? Fuck if I know.

I see the new doc tomorrow. To say I am dreading it is an understatement. Not to mention the terror because I have NO idea if there’s enough gas in the car to get there and back. Math and guessing games are not my strong suit. But if I cancel then the insurance gets billed anyway for less than 24 hours notice and the doc, who already seems fed up with me, will decide I am non compliant…so I guess I just have to risk running out of gas on the interstate. FUCK.

One thing I am sure of-gabapentin is a no go. I appreciate everyone’s input but after two weeks at high and low dose and I still feel like utterly stoned shit without a single positive benefit…this ain’t the one for me. Wish it was. Looking forward to telling her that about as much one is thrilled to have a root canal.

So maybe I will write a positive post one day, but this is not the day. And I do NOT believe for a moment that by throwing out negativity I am bringing negativity on myself, as someone’s post recently opined (not in personal reference to me, their own belief, I just don’t share it.) I think sometimes life is just shitty to you whether you deserve it or not and venting about it isn’t whining or inviting more bad stuff to happen to you. Sometimes things just suck.

It is what it is.

And if you don’t believe that…hell, is indeed, other people.


Went to Mobile for the dance competition.  Our girls placed 5th and 3rd overall in their division, so that was nice.  It was a long day Saturday, but I handled it okay–I only thought once about blowing my brains out because I was so bored and tired.  I jumped on that thought and ran it out of my head pretty quickly.

I start going to Psychamore this morning and am looking forward to that.  I hope to get a lot of help out of it.  Otherwise there is no use.  It’s going to cost a mint that insurance won’t pay on at all.  So I hope to get as much out of it as we can afford.

Read my reading for the week while we were gone and have some good ideas for redoing Hurricane Baby from both it and the workshopping this week.  I think It will make the last half more taut and tense.  I still think I’m going to keep it a short story for now and will try to shop it around in its  new form some later on this year.  I’m not going to send more out until I get through with treatment because I will have limited time to get things done before going to class every day.

So we will see what happens.  Pray for me as I start this journey into treatment.