The Funny Things People Tell You

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Sometimes my professors at the University share things with us. This is kooky. Hope you enjoy it.

Medieval helpdesk

Reminds me of all those phone calls from my mom when 3.5 floppy disks came out. Oiy!

It’s so windy here today that my front door is whistling and scaring both Bailey and I. We’re waiting for the power to go out.

Hope you all have a safe, and if you can, a peaceful day.

Robin

Bipolar – What Gives Me the Right?

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I’m not a bad person. I do get pissed off. I don’t swear often. But sometimes I do. My closest friends laugh hysterically when I do because, as they say, it just doesn’t look like it should come out of my mouth. Gosh, thanks. I think. – Caution, there’s a little bit of swearing ahead. Just a bit.  ;0)  Honestly, I felt it was caused for.

This young guy, maybe 22 years old, was arguing me about something this week in one of my classes. Our job was to create a realistic pitch to present to the rest of the class. We were to try to convince them that had they been real potential backers, our imaginary presentation should be good enough to get them to want to be involved. and give us financial backing and so on. Easy. All we had to do at this point in our imaginary plan was (this was me) “to hand out our marketing postcards to students and that we hoped were experiencing stress.”

Doubts-question marks

The boy informed me that I couldn’t say that. Can’t say what? Can’t say they have stress. I didn’t say I’d say they’d have stress. I said I was hoping to give it to someone who had stress. You can’t say that.

Around and around we went. The other members of our group moved away from us. We got louder and louder. The professor, bless her long-suffering heart, had to come and in 4 times and intervein just during that one class period.

I’d decided I wasn’t going to be run over like I had been in my group last quarter. I was going to take a stand. I was going to stand up for myself. The boy with lint in his brain was wrong. You know why? I have two basic reasons. Well, three. One. he’s a stupid, arrogant youth who takes charge because his ego as a male gives him the automatic right to lead every group he’s in. (I know other people who observed our “discussions” who agree with me.) Two, we were using marketing to get people to come to our event. Um, you have to get people who experience stress interested in reducing their STRESS to come to our damn event! But he didn’t want me to even say the word to just our business audience. He didn’t want me to tell them that we hoped these students were stressed. What? Is he a moron? Third, if I want you to back my event financially, I need to tell you what specific audience I’m aiming to draw to my event. What student am I aiming to expose my marketing products too so that they will come to our event and reduce their stress?

A fucking STRESSED OUT STUDENT, THAT’S WHO GOD DAMN IT! You can’t say that.

Michael, why not? Because you’re implying they have stress. OMG Of course I am. That’s who my target market is. That’s what businesses do. They have target audiences and they try like hell to reach them so they can sell their products (or whatever) to them. Target audience. Do you know about them?

As it turns out, after having a discussion regarding the whole sordid thing, some college students today believe that we have no right to assume anything about anything. At all.

OMG

I wanted to speak first. I’m VERY well versed in ANXIETY and STRESS. Nope, Michael spoke first/instantly. He missed school for three weeks because he was stressed out. That story really ought to start things out well.

Michael, are you going to try to hook the audience by sharing your experience with them? Well, yeah. And you’re going to express some emotion so that they empathize with you, right. Well no. (His face went pale.) I’m not going to share anything persona. But I do know a lot about stress. Yes, I see that you do.

In the few seconds, before I was overtaken by lint boy, I had visualized myself getting up there in front of the other students, and then dramatically breaking a few pencils in half and tossing them in the air. Then I would explain how many college students feel stress and what kinds of things they feel it makes them do – like commit suicide. I’ve been there. I know. I understand. Have you ever felt that way too?

The audience would now be listening to the group. We could continue our pitch. We would tell them about our research and the target audience we found through our research that we would like to come to our event. Marketing. Audience.

I could go on. Lint man still makes me mad. He persists in expressing his superiority by taking over every meeting and every discussion.

We had a meeting today. I had a plan. I’d been listening to a couple of TED Talks in my car during my break. They were under stress. They were informational, insightful and funny. One woman talked about the “F-word.” It turned out her F-word turned out to be “fine.” The next woman talked about the “F-word too.” This one actually did mean fuck. I related the stories to the team, Michael was present. I had long advocated we should have a speaker, but when Michael asked the school counselor if he would do it and was met with an emphatic “NO” he jumped to the conclusion that putting on ANY sort of talk was stupid because he’d talked to this one guy who “knows” and that was that. I disagreed. The girls agreed with him because that’s what they did.

Back to Fuck. The more I used the word, the more they laughed. Apparently, a 55-year-old woman wasn’t supposed to say, “Fuck.” Go figure. I took advantage of their being off kilter a little bit. I suggested why we needed to give our materials out to students who we KNEW probably had a huge chance that they were stressed out, to reach our target audience.

Oh, hey, I get it. That’s a good idea. But you can’t read your slide to them that has the marketing mock-up on it. Let them read it. Sooooo you want me to stand there while they read. Basically, yes. No. I’m going to point out the highlights of my very brief POSTCARD and if that means I’m reading the whole thing, then so be it.

The professor comes to us before class ended. She calmed us down again. Then she said that I could do my own thing and that would be that and the rest of the group could do their thing and all would be good. It defused the matter. For a little bit. Then I realized she was isolating me from the others so I would rock the boat. Who does that? Also, who lies to the professor what he JUST said, what he just said to me about what I couldn’t say, right to the professor’s face.

Little lint monkey brain. Shit…. again.

There has to be a better way to communicate with kids who are being told they can’t be labeled by anyone at anytime. it is their right to be different. They are allowed to say stupid ass things and claim you can’t correct them because you can’t put your beliefs on them. They are who they are, even if they don’t know who that is.

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll stand for anything.”

I stand for myself and all others who suffer from Bipolar Disorder and other mental illnesses. I stand for their family members and friends. I stand for myself. I stand.

Don’t you dare tell me that you know more about stress than I do. You don’t know me… little boy. Why don’t you ask what I know of stress? I promise you that you will be horrified. You will leave being unable to comprehend or willing to sit and listen to terror that he does not understand.

Whose been stressed? I have. I am. I really am. And, there’s a good chance you are too.

In this case, I found that raising my voice at the boy helped some. It also helped to teach them something purposefully using the word Fuck. Boy, that felt good. Fuck.

Find ways to stand up for yourself. I stood up for myself with a whole chill pill in my system. I wanted to beat him. After talking to them about how I felt the group was functioning and using the word FUCK they seemed to respect me more. That seems like a weird thing to do to defuse a stressful situation but hell, I’ll take anything that will lower my stress.

I still want to beat the little lint monster brain over the head with the postcards to our stress lowering event that I’m not supposed to explain we hope will be given to those who are stressed out. Remember, he’s an expert.

Who gets the right to decide? Whose the expert on stress?

Let me just toot my own horn and say loudly and for the last time (at least to lint brain boy) that I’m the expert on stress. Not you.

Wait till you have children.

Fuck you lint boy.

Bipolar/Colonoscopy/My Birthday

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On the 3rd, I turned 55. On the 6th, my eldest child turned 26.20180203_183832

On the 8th I had a colonoscopy. I remembered to take my chill pill ahead of time so it was just mostly terrifying. The doctor came to talk to us after the nasty experience was over. Good news! I didn’t see anything. But, bad news, (despite all my crapping my pants) you weren’t clean enough for me too see far up and get a good look. We’ll have to… do… wait for it… AGAIN. Would you like to reschedule for tomorrow or come back another time? OMG! I just went through all that pain and mess and ruined clothes and bath mats and impromptu showers and crap! and you want me to do it AGAIN??? I just missed a whole week of classes – MIDTERMS – because everyone was so worried that the reason I was crapping all the time was that I had cancer. And now you say I wasn’t cleaned out enough? Reschedule. Oh hell no. This is happening tomorrow. I’m not taking more time away from school for this crap. (my chill pill seems to have failed me completely at this point) We rescheduled for the next day, Friday last week. They prescribed some special super duper pipe cleaner to empty things out to the max this time. I’ve had this stuff before. Makes you want to puke till you pass out. No lie. I was so sick. Did I finish it all off like they threaten you that you have to? Hell NO. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you what happened to me through this week. Thursday, when he said we had to reschedule, I crapped all over the bathroom floor before we left. I thought he said they’d do a couple enemas to try to clean things out. Huh. Wonder where the hell that all came from? Enema my ass.

So Jessica and I went back the next day after another 24 miserable hours of me needing to poop but never feeling that “urge” to go that they talked about. I just went. And went.

I was so, so stressed out. I was mad. I’d had it. I forgot to take my chill pill. When the little woman (yes, I’m still mad) finished my intake (vitals and junk) she took me to this huge room, all by myself (well, my anxiety was with me). It was freezing. How long am I going to be here? Should be 20 to 30 minutes, just depends on how things go. Excuse me?! It’s freezing in here. She brought me a single warmed blanket. A few minutes later she comes into the hall and puts another woman in the room next to mine and says it will just be a few minutes. As she was leaving the woman I said sort of loudly something like this:

“You realize they’re just putting us back here like airplanes in a waiting pattern circling an airport don’t you?”

She brought me another blanket. I’d been banging my legs on the huge exam chair I was sitting on. I thought I was going to freeze my butt to it. I can’t even imagine what that room is used for. The stupid woman had asked me if I was or could be pregnant. I had a D&C years ago. That has always been enough information for the person asking to understand that I meant – no, can’t happen, no way. This woman (and I’ve been alone since 1999) insisted that I could be pregnant in one of my tubes. I nearly bitch slapped her.

Okay, I’m still mad.

Yesterday in one of my classes we’re working in groups. Well hell, all my classes are working in groups. Anyway, this young bossy, know it all boy, who is maybe, maybe 22, informs me that I can’t say that I’m handing out postcards to people on campus and say to my potential backers that we’re hoping it will be given to a student who is stressed.

I can’t say what? You can’t say you hope they’re stressed. You can’t imply that people are stressed. Are you insane? This is basic marketing. You develop your event. You target your audience. Then you market to that audience. Most college students are stressed. Chances are if I give one of them a postcard about our event (to reduce STRESS if you can believe that) on stress… well, I could go on and on. The professor had to come to the back of the room and get us to stop “yelling” at each other 4 times.

The stupid boy would freaking lie to her. He’d tell me to my face that I couldn’t say stuff. Then I’d say exactly what he said to the prof. Then he’d lie and say he didn’t say it.

Then, the little toenail lint roll had the gall to say that he was going to be the first one up to introduce our topic and talk about how much terrible stress he’d been in and missed three weeks of school because of it. I asked him if he was going to try to get the audience to empathize with him so they would be on board with our pitch. He said no way, he wasn’t going to be personal. What the hell? I’m over this boy.

The wonderful professor reminded me that I’ve had a really rough quarter. I really, really have. My last experience last quarter with a group was a disaster too. This time I promised myself I wouldn’t let anyone walk all over me. So, every time he opens his mouth he’s telling someone to do something. I’m probably older than your mother you child. You want to talk about stress? I’ll tell you about stress and when I’m done… you’re gonna feel stress!

I dunno. I’ve got one quarter left. I need to pass this science class. I’ve not been doing the homework since my poop apocalypse.

I’m really feeling my brain coming together in a good way with what I want to do when I graduate. I’ll need a part-time job while I finish setting up the websites and get the book re-typeset and printed. So exciting! Then there’s the resource center for people with mental health difficulties – cutting the crap – people like me who have Bipolar and PTSD and chronic pain and ADHD and anxiety and a very short fuse.

Wow. It’s been a long week right? I feel like things are teetering on spinning out of control. Jessica and I are getting Blue Apron meals three times a week. We both eat like crap… okay… translation… we don’t eat anything. So now we’re eating and cooking together which is super good for both of us and then we do homework together. I tend to fall asleep. She likes to wake me up. Good match.

Well, I’ve talked and talked at you. I’m sure it’s enough. Oh, wait! Two women I’ve met at school, within a week of each other, told me they wanted to be divorced but needed an income first. Both are super stressed. Both are not handling the stress well. One laughs when she’s stressed. I sent her to a new primary care doc so she would feel freer to talk without feeling weird talking to her husband’s doctor. This doc is giving her a chill pill and sending her to counseling. Excellent. The other woman is already taking a chill pill. I recommended going in and telling them how it isn’t working. She spent most of yesterday barfing from the stress.

What is it that there is so much stress and debilitating anxiety around? It scares me. And what is it with young people today telling me I can’t say that anyone is something specific, even though they are that way and they admit that they are… I still can’t say it. What the heck?

I did get a nice letter in the mail for Valentine’s Day. It’s from the Gastro people. I don’t have cancer. Really, you couldn’t have just called? A letter? A damn letter?

People we need each other. We need to shake hands so that we can physically touch someone without being arrested. We need to say thank you to customer service people. We need to take the concerns of other people seriously. We need to respect our elders (you little lint roll). We need to find healthy ways to reduce our anxieties. If I can’t control mine better the next time I might not just argue with the boy loudly. I might yell. Wouldn’t that be awful?

A Bipolar Colonoscopy

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This eyeball is the way the Katy Perry concert last Saturday began.

I apologize in advance for this post. It’s long. It’s not written well. You might have trouble following it… but I hope you’ll think it’s funny. My life has always been strange. This is a snapshot of some of my odd life. Feel free to ask questions. It confuses me too. But, I think it’s kind of funny. Please enjoy. 

My life has been anything but normal. Seriously. My own mother has told me for over thirty years that I should write some of this weird stuff down because no one would ever believe it. Let me give you an example from right now. Yes, this is happening right now.

Okay, I have Bipolar Disorder. Yes, I do. I’m all broken up. I don’t just mean mentally, I mean all the heck over my whole body. Top to toes. The whole thing.

Let’s look at this current adventure – I’ve had the poops since Christmas Day. You heard me. I’m not going to say it again. Do you know how hard it is to get a doctor to see you over the holidays if you’re not dying? You say, “Look, I’m going in my pants! You have to HELP ME!” But no. So you call the after-hours nurse line. Take Kaopectate. I have. Take an extra dose right away. I’m on my second bottle in four hours. Oh. You should see your doctor. Bloody hell. I can’t deal with this stress. I have anxiety problems you know. I’m sorry. You could go to the Urgent Clinic. Excuse me. I can’t stop going. I can’t possibly ride in a car. Oh. I’m sorry. Shit…

Fast forward to the first week of January. Well, I can give you these pills. Later… they’re not working. Can I take more? No, they’ll bind you up. Yes, that’s good. That’s what I want. No, see the specialist. I went to the specialist. She was wonderful. On my way there, my daughter left her car keys in my house and we got locked out. No problem. I have a hidden key. Bloody key doesn’t work. She was with me when we tested it. It worked! It doesn’t work now. My mom drives 30 minutes to let us in my house. It is freezing. We miss the appointment. Shit.

I start calling the doctor. The appointment center is very sorry. I’m like, you don’t understand. I have to be seen. Thank the stars… they had an opening with a female doctor at three in the afternoon, and do you mind, it is in your city. Do you mind driving just 15 minutes? Um, no. Not at all. I love you.

Hi doctor, please help me. I’ve been… I explain the problem. Take these pills. They’re the same ones my primary doctor told me to only take one twice a day. (I looked them up online. I’ve been taking two twice a day for a week and a bottle of Kaopectate a day.) Oh, well you should have been taking two-twice a day. Gee, thanks. I love you. Well, we need to do labs. Fine. I love collecting my own brown stuff. (I puked last time.) Gave them blood. Take more, please, do more tests. Anything. Labs are NORMAL. Shit.

I had a VERY bad experience four years ago having a crappy colonoscopy. I refused to have another one just two months ago. New doctor, who I love. You have to have one. Oh, and you know how you’ve been having trouble swallowing your Bipolar and handful of other pills? Yeah. We’re gonna look down your throat and do an esophagus and see what’s up. Yep, I’m the person you see for both problems. Great. They’re going to spin me around halfway through and do it all at once. Oh hell!

Today, prep day. I’m miserable. I was up all night last night having a panic attack. This is all so good for my stress. My counselor is worried. I called the doctor doing the procedures. I asked his office people, Can I PLEASE take my Chill pill before the procedure? Oh sure. We have people take them all the time. Apparently, everyone freaks out about it. Can you imagine that?

Tomorrow morning I start the last part of the prep for the procedures. I’m not happy.

My birthday was Saturday. I’m 55 now. I qualify for the iHop 55 and older menu. You get fewer pancakes… but it comes out to the same cost per pancake as the normal menu. I was all excited for nothing. Later, Jessica, my eldest and I went to the Katy Perry concert here in Tacoma. It was a great time! We had a blast!

Jessica’s birthday was yesterday. She spent it buying the supplies… for her mother to prepare for the procedures. Yeah…

We spent most of the day together today. It felt great to be with her. She helped me stay calm. I had to take a chill pill before the concert and again yesterday. But today, with my kid here, I didn’t need one. She’s amazing.

So tomorrow is the day. 1:15 p.m. That’s when we get this thing done. Now, I’ve finally been taking enough pills and fiber to stop having to run to the bathroom all the time. Um, that’s exactly what I need to do now. Please, let me go so this thing can go right the first time. I’ve had to take time off of school for this. It’s mid-terms! Imagine explaining to my professors what’s up. OMG

That brings us to right now. I’m having anxiety. I thought maybe talking to you might help.

This is one of the really strange things going on in my life.

Oh, and what if they don’t find anything? Then what? Is my pooping my brains out all in my head?! Don’t go there girl. Focus. But what if they do find something? My dad just died of cancer three years ago. Okay brain, stop it! Time for distraction. TV. I think I’ll watch TV. Why don’t I go to bed? What if I need to, you know, while I’m in bed? What if I can’t move fast enough? OMG!

Well, this has to be resolved one way or the other. I can’t keep being afraid of leaving my house. I can’t keep this up any longer. I have to know what’s wrong.

I have Bipolar Disorder. I have massive anxiety. I have PTSD. I have FM and chronic pain. I take opioids to control the pain. Wait, isn’t that supposed to clog the pipes up? Well it isn’t working.

I would like to get in shape. I would like to sleep tonight. Forget about getting in shape. Time to focus.

I think I’ll start my “going to bed” routine. It takes me about an hour. Just before I lay down I get YouTube up on my phone and start playing a 10 hour relaxing track playing water sounds and some relaxing music. Then I lay down and watch something on Curiosity Stream. That takes 30 to 60 minutes. Or, maybe I’ll read. I’ll decide when I lay down. I pet my doggie and tell her good night. Then I wrap my Captain America blanket around my shoulders and snuggle in for the night. Shortly Maks, my loving cat, will come in and smash his big wet nose into my bare arm. Sometimes he misses and hits my face. He will then purr loudly for a long time. He lets me lay my heavy arm across his body when he finally settles in.

At 8 a.m. my alarm will go off and I’ll get up and do the last part of the prep. Yeah…. Sigh.

This is so damn weird.

You know, I’ve started talking out loud and moving my arms like I’m talking and emphasizing what I’m saying by waving them around… just as I’m falling asleep. You gotta know I wake back up again. Stress? What do you think?

I’ve had enough of this. I thought all the brain problems were a handful. This is ridiculous.

Well, good night. Wish me luck. I’m kind of feeling sad. I travel with a load of mixed state Type 1 BP. I guess I might sleep. Last night I was full of anxiety and mania. I wrote one of my mid-term papers and mapped out a presentation for another class. I worked on my novel the rest of the night. I think I’d like to feel blue for sure tonight. I can only hope it will help me snooze… till 8.

Goodnight.

Bipolar – Setting Goals – Part A

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rocket-launch-67649_640

Reach higher!

I have been thinking about how to share what I’ve learned about setting goals so that you can set those goals, and actually meet them. There’s a huge problem with that. I could never get to the point where I felt I’d learned enough to share with you how to do that. I finally realized… that was silly.

 

I was up all night at the end of January, and I was thinking about setting goals. Honestly, I was that worried about telling you the wrong thing. I have Bipolar Disorder. Setting goals, for me, is usually a disaster. Who, I asked myself over and over, was I to tell you how to set and achieve goals?

Let me take you back to January, and to what I wrote in the middle of that night when what I felt just had to communicate to you something important to you. I didn’t think anything about how much I knew about it. I just knew I struggled with it, and I knew you probably did too.

It is now the last day, of the first month of 2018. I have set no goals. I’ve written about goal-setting and Bipolar Disorder… and there it sits. Ouch. Goals + mental illness. Messy. At least so far. Bear with me, please. Achieving goals, like us, is a complicated business.

I finally and fully realize that goal setting is mind-boggling from the first moment I start thinking about it.

In addition to having a mental illness, I have this “magical thing” about me (mania) that routinely lifts me to enormous heights from which I can sometimes achieve astounding things. Unfortunately, these are the same heights from which I also sometimes fall.

The honest truth is that I might just be as amazing as I think I am when I’m manic, but because the label on my forehead says, “when manic, this person will have delusions of grandeur and is not to be trusted. It is an illusion. She is to be tolerated and endured. She’s broken.” – That’s what I usually believe.

It’s time to stop believing that. It’s time to be UNSTOPPABLE.

You see, the message that my brain needs to tell me is that I must allow myself to dream lofty dreams. Accomplishing my goals is ok. It’s okay, to be UNSTOPPABLE.

When Sickness Meets Bipolar

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Well, Barf Me Down!! Ho, Ho, Ho… omg…

barfingemojiI have embraced the not making any goals policy so far this year. However, I’m seriously considering thinking about thinking about it. Should I. Or shouldn’t I?

Right now, I’m focusing on the moment. I’ve been very, very sick since Christmas Day. I mean like they wanted me to go the ER if I didn’t pee within 2-3 hours of speaking with the nurse-on-call. Fortunately, I did and I’m SO GLAD that I did.

I then puked all the Gatorade (64 oz. over 8 hours) and a few Graham Crackers I’d had. Let me tell you, do not, do not! Puke Graham Crackers. It is very nasty.

I’ve had a few hours in a few days that I’ve felt well enough to get out and do stuff like go to the Pediatrist, classes and a movie or two. Other than that I’ve been completely housebound.

As I said, I did get out to see the Pediatrist. I have officially torn my fascia on my right foot. I use that foot to drive. So, I drive to class in my slipper, then put on my boot, then bobble across campus to my first class. Then I hobble back up campus to hang out during my lunch. Then I hobble up to the top of campus to my last class. Friday, it was a nightmare. I couldn’t in any way go to class. Nope. My body wasn’t having any of it.

I was beyond feeling desperate and it just kept going on and on.

For a few days… I was so frustrated and tired and sore that I forgot that I had this thing that mickey’s with my brain. You know what I mean. I have Bipolar Disorder of the highest order. Oh… I might sing- nope. It has passed.

I’m struggling to find something good that came of having been (still am) sick for so long and not doing any of the things I wanted to do over Winter Break. I didn’t want much. I just wanted to do some writing and get ahead on some assignments for school mostly. I don’t usually handle the stress well. Okay honestly, I never handle stress well. Anxiety spoons my  Bipolar. Makes me sick.

Anyway. I was thinking about when I had my first baby, back in 1992. She’s beautiful, and she’s alive, and she’s my best buddy, and she lives really close. Yes, there is a “butt” coming. When she was born she tore me from stem to stern. My friends wouldn’t let me tell other women about Jessica’s birth. It has traumatized every woman I have ever told the tale to. Why mention that now? Well, although the pain hasn’t been as bad, it has been sick along those lines. It has been horrible. It has been embarrassing. But, it’s a part of life. We all bear our personal burdens, you know what I mean? Sometimes they feel unrighteous or ill-mannered. Sometimes they feel like the world has a personal vendetta against me. Sometimes I just feel the need to scream and cry and do the stereotypical shaking-of-the-fist-at-the-air and shouting, “It isn’t fair, damn you!”

And then I snap back to reality, having just puked into the Kool-Aid container. Again. Shit. Again.

So here’s the thing. I’ve finally settled on a company name to cluster all my endeavors under in one happy little shinning thingie. I’m planning (Sounds like I’ve set a goal. Don’t get your hopes up just yet.) on building my projects around it, under it, over it, and so on.

Right now, I’m taking the Bailey out to do her bedtime stuff outside. A doggie has to do what a doggie has to do. She’s been so loyal and loving (but not too loving) and staying with me even when I holler. I’ve had to apologize over the last weeks though. She’s not partial to the raising of voices.

I’ve noticed I don’t have my email address anyplace on the blog. I want to invite you to leave comments in the “Comments” spot. Or, if you’d rather, you can email me directly. Send me a note at theBoss.bpdcomm@gmail.com. Like that name? “theBoss.” I’ve got to get some ego boosting someplace when I’m locked inside. I might as well manufacture my own. Gives me a giggle. ;0)

Be well my friends,

Robin

New Year’s Eve, Goals?

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Part 2 – Deep into the night

Reset, No, not yet….

It isn’t quite midnight here, not just yet. Almost.

That’s what this last year, 2017 has been a lot of for me, a lot of almost… but not yet. I say this will all honesty and not even a little bit of melodrama – I’ve done a ton of doing “almost” all year long and tonight is more of the same. I’m so consistent.

I’m not posting what I intended on posting tonight but I still have something to say, I always have something to say. But is it worth reading? For much of 2017 I have worked so hard to get ready for life after graduation in June. I have all kinds of anxiety, information, plans, excuses, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam… ad infinitum*.

I’ve been super sick today. I’ve been sick since Christmas day, but today has turned into one of the worst days. I even called the after-hours clinic. No help there. I’ve found that being sick for almost all of my Christmas break is giving me the opportunity to be grouchy. Like the Cookie Monster, only more so. Way more so. I had plans. I had a goal of what I wanted to write in this post. Goals. Yes, the New Year and setting goals! Yes!

No. Reset. Some days I have to accept and then adjust to the fact that things happen the way they happen.

My body pretty drastically made sure that I wouldn’t have the time or energy to write about what I really wanted to write about. Or did I? Think Robin, think.

It is almost midnight here at my home, December 31, 2017, what do I wish to say to you, now that I have no time left this year to say it?

2017 was better than I am remembering it right now, at this point in the day my judgment is exhausted. I can remember years where I was so sick I that took almost no part in the lives of my kids. I remember points in many years where all is horrible. They say I should focus on the positive things. I have usually said that this is something that is harder to do than most people would imagine.

Look, my cousin and his family were in a horrific car accident this morning. They were all injured badly. The five of them were spread to two hospitals. Pam’s condition is grave (my cousin’s wife). If you combine that with how sick I am you’d think I’d be all ready to pontificate forever on setting goals that are positive and motivated and … and… No.

All I want to tell you is that I’m not going to throw down any goals or resolutions that are emotionally charged and not based upon how well I know myself and what I want my future to look like. I’m out of time for that. Also, it has never worked for me. No.

Instead, tonight I am resolved (and resigned) to wave goodbye at 2017, then turn around and wave hello to 2018. That’s it.

No resolutions. No goals.

Tonight I am willing to acknowledge that there are things that I have learned from my past, and there are things that I would like to do/be/learn in the future. I’m going to commit, yes commit, to thinking about them both and do it with an open mind. And then, I will think of what to do next. I’ve always meant to think before I act. This seems like as a good time to start as any.

What do you think? Sound like a plan you could get behind?

I hope you’ll come back again soon. I’m interested in finding out where this goes next. I have an inkling of a plan. But then, yes, I had a plan for today and that didn’t work out so well. Tomorrow? I’m “planning” on thinking about what I should do before I start setting goals or making resolutions. Let’s just leave it at that and see which way the wind blows. Bonus: the longer I think about it, the better it should come out, right? ;0)

Be safe everyone.

(*Ad nauseam is a Latin term for argument or other discussion that has continued – to the point of nausea…. ad infinitum – to infinity.)

Winding Things Up

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How to set and actually reach
your goals… for once.

Part 1

sunrise 463785425“Strength and growth come only through
continuous effort and struggle.”

Napoleon Hill

Congratulations, You’re sitting here right now and maybe you’re considering the new year and are thinking of setting some goals… maybe. Or, maybe you’ve got some stuff you’d like to accomplish and think if you would just set some goals to achieve that somehow the magic New Year fairies would make them happen. Maybe.

Or, maybe you wish achieving your goals was as simple as setting them, so, every year you set them, hope they’ll magically come true, then promptly forget about them. Well, accept for all those times that you remember them and then remember how far you are from achieving them. You’ve been thinking about one or two things you’d like to accomplish this new year and you’d really like it if they came true for once. Now what? Failure? Again?

Maybe…

Part 2 will be here shortly. Please come back and learn about setting goals and seeing them come true as an honest to goodness bipolar person… Or for any person with a mental struggle (ah, mental illness) actually… Or for any person at all interested in reaching goals.

Insidious Black Box

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I apologize for the length of this post. Please consider reading the entire post. It’s very important. Your life could depend upon it. (Robin)

Emotionmasks insane faces

I take two medications that I considered to have a Black Box warning. They both depress breathing. Together they can stop my breathing altogether… There are other dangers.

I have chronic pain with Bipolar Disorder and Generalized Anxiety. I am prescribed both Oxycodone and Clonazepam by two different providers. They both know that I take both medications.

I see a pain management specialist for my pain. I have for some time now. To be treated there, I have had to sign a contract that governs my behavior with regards to taking pain medications, I have to take a pee test every time I go in and they count my pills every time as well.

My med provider handles my Clonazepam prescription for anxiety. I suffer from extreme anxiety. Sometimes I feel like my brain is going to explode. Recently, this woman, who is the 4th or 5th provider I’ve had since I started going to this clinic, told me that I’m more likely to kill myself because of anxiety rather than depression. I was always told that a depressed person was more likely to commit suicide when they started to feel better. When they started feeling better, they finally would have the energy to follow through with their suicidal inclinations. Apparently, there is more to it than that.

My counselor and every med provider I’ve had is intimately aware of my massive anxiety and my inability to get it under control. We’ve tried all the counseling type of solutions including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (talk therapy), mindfulness and other techniques. I’ve not had success with any of them.

My med provider is content for me to only take Lamotrigine, which is primarily to treat my Bipolar Disorder depression symptoms, and not to take anything other than Clonazepam for anxiety. From talking to her, it appears that this is primarily to treat the depressive symptoms that I experience. I have not been able to get any of the med providers who have treated me to give me anything for anxiety other than Clonazepam.

She, my med provider, told me at our second meeting, that people with anxiety are more likely to commit suicide than people with depression. Since I suffer primarily from anxiety, you would think someone would have warned me of this. I understand now why I feel so self-destructive while I’m exploding with anxiety.

She has told me that her goal is to get me off the Clonazepam completely. Now that I’m taking my runaway anxiety and the real chance I will kill myself because of it more seriously, I’m also taking the mix of these two medications seriously. I always have, but my frantic response to my anxiety has created a situation where I’m so afraid of what might happen if I stop taking the drug for anxiety.

I’ve always felt like I’m most insane when my anxiety is at its peak.

I understand that long-term opioid use for chronic pain is not the most effective way to treat it. I’ve wanted to find a different solution for a long time. My pain management provider doesn’t offer other alternatives than pain medications.

I normally don’t want to die. I’ve always had urges that are normally short in duration towards it, but I haven’t had times when I sit there with my bottle of Oxycodone ready to take it all. But, I could.

I’ve never told any of my mental health caregivers that I have suicidal thoughts. I know that my community does not have good facilities to treat acute mental health emergencies. I don’t want to become one of those people who is shuffled into a hospital emergency room with a guard sitting outside my little room. That’s what they do. I have first-hand knowledge of this.

So what’s the answer? Do I chance dying in my sleep? Or do I chance ending my life while I’m awake? Both are real dangers.

I’ve decided to deal with my feelings of self-destruction now. With the danger of the two medications and my new understanding the relationship between anxiety and suicide, I have promised my family that I will talk to my counselor on Wednesday when I see him. I will admit that I think about suicide. That’s a huge step for me.

I’m afraid. Admitting how I’ve been feeling for years is like admitting that I can’t control the one area of dealing with my mental health that I always felt I could say I didn’t have a problem with. I’ll finally be admitting I have no control over my depression or my anxiety in relationship to staying alive.

As I say, I don’t want to die. When my anxiety runs away I cannot always control myself. I can become violent and destructive. I break down and cannot function. I become paralyzed yet also hysterical.

Yesterday I talked to my mother and all three of my kids and admitted the truth to them. My youngest who is a psych major at the same university that I attend (so is her partner) said she had been wondering if that was a problem for me. They all agree that they would rather I call them than I call a suicide line. I’ll talk to my therapist about that.

I have tried to learn to practice mindfulness several times in the past. I never fully committed to it. Mindfulness was just part of the learning experience in one of my classes I just finished. It’s time for me to review the materials I have about it, I have lots. I need to try to learn how to harness it’s potential in earnest this time. My life depends upon it.

I have a particular fear: I’m terrified of my anxiety. I know what it does to me. I sometimes feel the insidious devil of insanity creeping through my mind trying to take over, and it literally shreds my mind.

If you have any Black Box warnings for medication yourself, please take it seriously. Now that I am self-aware of my true situation I’m ready to find a way to deal with my symptoms.

 

My main medications:

Chronic Pain – Oxycodone / Nucynta

Anxiety / PTSD – Clonazepam / Benzodiazepines

Bipolar Disorder / Depression – Lamotrigine

 

Oxycodone – Warnings

“To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, or mental illness
  • if you use a sedative like Valium (diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Tranxene, Versed, Xanax, and others)”

https://www.drugs.com/oxycodone.html

Clonazepam – Warnings

Risks from Concomitant Use with Opioids
Use of benzodiazepines, including Clonazepam, and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of benzodiazepines and opioids for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.

Observational studies have demonstrated that concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines increases the risk of drug-related mortality compared to use of opioids alone. If a decision is made to prescribe Clonazepam concomitantly with opioids, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use, and follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.
(The above Warning is taken from: https://www.drugs.com/pro/clonazepam.html)
Concomitant: (synonyms: attendant, accompanying, associated, related, connected)

Lamotrigine – Warnings

To make sure lamotrigine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • A history of depression or suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Some people have thoughts about suicide while taking this medicine. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

https://www.drugs.com/mtm/lamotrigine.html

Nucynta – Side Effects for Health Care Professionals

Psychiatric – Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia, confusion, abnormal dreams, anxiety, depression, irritability, nervousness, drug withdrawal syndrome, restlessness, sleep disorder, hallucination, depressed mood.
https://www.drugs.com/sfx/nucynta-side-effects.html

 

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines may be used in the treatment of anxiety, panic disorder, seizures, or sleep disorders.
https://www.drugs.com/drug-class/benzodiazepines.html

 

Surprised by My Swearing – Bipolar Anger

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Maya, a friend at university whuwto has been with me since I started at this school, has been shocked by the change in my… language. She’s never heard me swear. She thinks its funny. I suppose it is. I guess I don’t look like a swearer.

I was talking to her on the phone, and we decided I should call my professor and explain to him what is going on with my group in one of my classes. Things are not going well. I don’t play well in groups. I’m really trying. I am, but they’re children and act like they know everything. I’m disrespected. I’m reacting badly to that. Things have gone really wrong. I needed to do something to get things on track. I got excited that I was taking action and said, “I’ll go put my teeth in and call him right now.” She cracked up. She’d forgotten I wear dentures. Ha ha!

I guess I’m something of a surprise.

When I saw her at school the next day, she recounted our conversation. She laughed and laughed.

I’m glad.

Today I’m going to get my new dentures. My old ones have been falling out of my mouth while I’m talking. Seriously. They do. I don’t wear them often. I save wearing them for school. Still, they’ve come out. I’ve been holding my uppers up with my tongue. Maya thinks that’s hysterical too. It kind of is. It has to be funny. It would be too tragic if it weren’t.

God, I hope they fit. I don’t need more stress. It might not be so funny this time. No, it definitely wouldn’t be funny this time.