Thursday, May 29, 2008

Trying to Stop Hating Myself or 'Being Selfish and liking it'

There will be a big flap amongst people who read this because we don’t want to imagine that perfectly sane beings can hate themselves. Or at least it’s disconcerting and would you just not talk about that?

I consider myself mostly a ‘right’ person, a together person that has an illness. And I get mad at the illness. And that getting mad at the illness could be considered hating myself, since the illness cannot be divided from me.

I get angry for all the things I can’t do, the things that have slipped through my fingers, the things I seemingly can’t have. I get angry, I get frustrated, I get sad. Is that depression? No wonder I personally can’t pinpoint a mood. There ARE so many.

What I think of myself is the most important thing.

I am left to myself most days, here in the house. And the illness, the thinking of oneself could be called ‘selfish’ (but I try to be mostly self-deprecating: the adverb of disparaging or belittling onself, the basis of all good blogging as far as I'm concerned!)

It’s all about me and trying to figure out me, how to live with it, sometimes it is that huge and overwhelming - and wants Years of Me time.

I’m not hurt by the word ‘selfish’ at the moment. Which should come as a shock since in woman-world to be called ‘selfish’ is one of the most degrading, mean things that you can do.

Is it selfish to take care of oneself only (because that's mostly all you can do), to have no children (except pugs) to speak of, to be babied to a point where it’s okay to write and blog all day and never clean the house (perjorative question) Oh I do get some things done and that’s a huge issue. Oh some people are seething saying yes, yes, yes!

But I doooooo count! You can discount me, you can bad mouth me, you can be jealous and make me uncomfortable. But I have just as much worth as the next gal. That cannot be taken away.

I do some things. I do what I can do. And if that’s my life at the moment, then selfish must be okay. Yes, I can imagine some people’s shock at that statement and I am standing behind it. I’ve got to pick a side and for me that side has GOT to be me.

I’ve worked my whole life, and I had to stop. I know what stressors are out there, yet I think about wanting to do it again despite being on disability and having a serious chronic illness. I’ve gone to college, enjoyed it, completed it, which is a feat. I’ve actually married my main love, which is a feat.

I have to stop being angry at myself at my life and have some semblance of acceptance and be okay with whatever I can accomplish. For newbies, I’ve already accomplished much, I just hit an enormous years-long bump in the road recently, so very frustrating for me.

I think I have been holding myself back trying to be and imagine a life like what I imagine everybody else’s is like (and therefore what my life should be like as well). Which probably isn’t like they portray it to be anyway!

If I post this, it will be one of the most honest posts I’ve had in a while because I’ve started an exploration. And I’ve picked a side. Me! My side!

I have to be right against, what, what may be only my perceived notions of the pressures that women want to put on me.

Be a mommy, join our club, our sorority, and if you’re not, we’ll taunt and be mean to you, pity you, or be jealous of you forever.

It makes you want to get fat and old so they’ll stop pointing the finger at you. It’s a thorn in my side for a continuous basis, for only so many years.

Not so, actually. If I get slim and sexy they’ll hate me for that. They’ll hate me like they hate the celebrities who make a priority of getting skinny and have nannies, chefs, trainers and the like.

So, celebrities are often considered selfish because they had to pick “Me” over whatever from everyone else who wants to pull them down. Not all the time. Not all people, but always enough to hear it bitched on the tabloids and to sell the tabloids.

Am I a celebrity? Nope. But I’ve got enough time to do what I want and pretend to be one in the sense that I am ‘selfish,' I just need to have dinner on the table by 7, and Baby, I cook it myself.
Well I'm happy with the new blog colors.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day celebrated with Movies & other activities

Please see my sister blog here for today's Memorial Day post.:)

I hope all have a safe and happy, and thoughtful Memorial Day.

Coming soon: a 'green' blog - he he, in color only perhaps. I've decided I liked it too, and I'll customize again, when I have more time.:)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Celebrating Memorial Day early

Today I have a friend over, one of the very few that comes over (we invite) during our time of cluttered duress. He is a non-blogger friend who suffers from a mental illness too. We grilled out today for lunch and he's taking a nap right now on my couch.

While we were eating lunch, some Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door. I was just reading their pamphlet 'Awake' and was getting ready to throw it out when I came across a section about teen suicide. Most importantly it stresses that 'things will change,' no matter what you are feeling and that you could learn new coping strategies that you were not aware of before or things could just plain get better.

The idea that 'things will change' is nothing new to this bipolar. We, as human beings are so closely tied to our emotions, and emotions are what's moving around in bipolars, things are always changing. But for me, good close friends and family stay the same and that's something to have a foundation on.

I have enjoyed my Memorial Day weekend so far and I am thankful for the good things that keep me going and frankly that I don't have the stress that many people, and teens, have on them, at the moment.

May we remember to be thankful for the good stuff and if necessary, remind those that need reminding to hold on for the 'change for the better.' It's definitely worth holding on to.:)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

One week off Lithium

Tell me how you really feel!
Please note: I am off of Lithium, which I have taken at a pdoc's direction for 20 years. He has been reducing my amount for several months, since I had the toxicity and had to be hospitalized for it. It had reached a non-therapeutic range after all his lowering of it after the toxicity and he recently asked me to stop taking it. I started to cry, and didn't want to at that time. I see him again in June, when he will find out that I went ahead and followed his original orders. I went ahead and stopped taking that drug this past Saturday, May 17, 2008.

The pdoc also put me on Atenonol, 25 mg, when I saw him on May 12, 2008. This was to stop the tarkinesia I've been experiencing in my hands and jaw. Well, whether its the Atenonol or lack of Lithium the shake is GREATLY reduced and come to think of it my jaw is not moving nearly as much, but it does move. My mouth keeps trying to line up my teeth again. I think my original orthodontist would be a little pissed at all this messed up jaw stuff. They worked so hard to get everything lined up (years of braces).

So, I am more controlled in the hands (the shaking) but my legs are nearly always moving and antsy. I guess I suffer from restless legs. I can't still seem to get anything done. No crocheting, or cleaning of my house, no Ebay, no thinking about anything fun except reading my People magazine (it requires so little effort). I don't know if I'm manic, Husband thinks so, or just montrously lazy or getting ready to get sick from something again.

Sleeping is sometimes difficult, so I make sure I take my Lunesta to sleep, but sometimes I twist and turn waiting for that to happen. Unh. I am so bored and yet want to RUN. Yeah, right, I never exercise. And Both ears feel plugged, A-gain!

I did mow the lawn yesterday so that husband wouldn't have to do it. He's got enough to do.

And so is today's post: a litany of near ills and malaise.

I do hope everyone enjoys this Memorial Day weekend.

With all my whining, I forgot to thank the men and women who make my whining and every freedom possible. There are no words to thank those folks.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Did you like the Green better?

Playing with color here on the blog, probably a reflection of my 'colorful soul.'

Seriously, is there a color combo that people prefer to bring up on their screens? I'm willing to listen.

Stepping into the Unknown: I'm off Lithium!

Acomo Pueblo, Sky City, New Mexico, Webshots

I'm reaching a turning point with meds. I stopped my Lithium as of last night. That is through the pdoc telling me to stop, so don't think I did it on my own, after 20 years of taking it. I was sad about 'losing' the drug, believe it or not, but I see that now that he very sneakily took me out of therapeutic range, made sure my other mood stabilizers were working, and has been 'prepping' me for this since Lithium toxicity - I might as well shed the last vestiges of the The Salt.

Wow! It's gone! I do feel a lightness of person! Not to say for all the bipolars that still have to take it. I'm sure it will be back and with a vengeance. But maybe for a short time I can be free, and swell a little less, and that is such a blessing in my life. Imagine being free of something that salted you for 20 years, from before the age that I could vote - I'm pickled. And enjoying a little freedom from it.

So far, I could actually wake up early this morning and take care of the dogs so my husband could sleep in. I don't know what tomorrow brings. (I did go back to sleep for hours, with typically weird dreams). I don't know what is 'supposed' to happen behaviorally, just physically that MAYBE my fingers will stop being little Vienna sausages and I could slip my rings on and off more easily. Honestly, that is probably the best way I will know there is a difference, because I no longer believe I'm capable of actually losing weight. Well, we'll see.:)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Shining through the medication, the illness

Two personal doctor's visits gave interesting results, for me this week.

First, the pdoc, and the quest to stop the tarkinesia in my jaw and shaking of the hands continues. He wanted to take me off of Lithium, altogether. I started to cry. I am attached to my Lithium, we've been friends for twenty years, I wasn't ready to sever our ties so soon.

Turns out, my doctor had been weaning me away from my friend, putting me in a dose that he said was now out of therapeutic range. The rascal never told me what he was up to. It's like your dad not letting you see your main friend and then informing you they are moving away entirely.

But crying works with cops and pdocs, and he's letting me stay on that 'untherapeutic' dose for a little longer. I keep thinking if they want to up it, it will be in my system and easier to get to a good dose. (Silly me.) Meanwhile, he ADDED a NEW DRUG:

Called Atenenol. This is a beta-blocker, supposedly good for my high blood pressure, and in the mentally ill world, my anxiety.

It's day 4 on that drug and I still have every bit of my tarkinesia. I don't know about my blood pressure. So, keep on truckin', Girlfriend, that's what I tell myself.

Then, yesterday I saw the optometrist. Their main concern were tests taken right in the midst of my toxicity and they were bad. So bad, that the letter that they finally sent to me asking me to come back for tests, said I could go blind if I suffered from a lot of hypertension. So that worked, I made an appointment the day letter received.

So, I did the vision fields again, the glaucoma tests, the dilation of the eyes. The conclusion: my vision fields was normal COMPARED to the CRAZY and very unreliable outcome during toxicity. I saw the charts. It was nearly unbelievable. Also, my retinas are fine (looking for signs of hypertension) BUT the natural pressure on my eye was high, which can someday push on the optical nerve, causing glaucoma. Oh, happy day.

I don't worry, because we're not there yet. And I'm told there is nothing I can do, no exercise, no vitamin will help. And I can see now, albeit with glasses or contacts. But I'm still 'crying' dilation drops from yesterday. Whatever.

I believe that God has been giving me a Hand up even through my trials. It's hard to drive and drive loved ones around with anxiety, but I do it. I'm lucky because I have been given a chance to slow down life for myself, analyze my life a little and as usual, try to do something about it. I have been physically beaten down of late, with actual hospital stays being an obvious one, to colds that won't go away, to a jaw that won't stop shaking constantly, to worry that is probably bordering on the ridiculous but doesn't get all that much better. My back has been bothering me again, too.

Through it all, where is there to go? What do you do? I have been reminded deeply through reading the Bible (specifically we're at The Gospel According to John, Chapter 8), conversations with my friend,
Mysti and portions of her actual blog, that He is telling me to rise up and tackle it all again. This is a message that we can all use. He hasn't forgotten little ol' me, and in fact, thinks of each of us. It was unreal how a message came out to me, and I feel very blessed that that can happen.

I have been afraid to reach out, myself, to go to other blogs. I have been sick, yes, and that's one reason why. I'm trying to limit my time blogging (hah! ineffectually, I assure you!). But I live a life of near aloness now, for my personal sanity - as I mostly seem to like it and now seem pretty accustomed to. Sure I've got a husband, pets, a Mom that's Really nearby, a friend or two on the phone. These are all people that my senses are blunted to, that are okay, that don't get me going. In real life, I swear I get all manicy with small encounters with people. I can't imagine how I did my last job, dealing with funeral homes was often the worst, or the people around me. I have closed in, since that time for sure.

This is not something that the average normal person can imagine. But I hear it's from my illness, so that is not normal. I may try to reach out, slowly. But understand that it hurts, that it is scary and I cry now even as I think about it. Oh, those those yellow dilation drop tears. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Tea with Mom  - Happy Mother's Day Mom

I got to spend the night camping, and waking up to wish my Mom Happy Mother's Day in person. We spent special time drinking tea and coffee.

And I spent much of the day with her, and made her dinner, doing the dishes myself, as well. (my motto is: 'I feeds the people'). I rather like doing it. I know she appreciated that.

I am very thankful that my very sweet mother is still around and in fact, dedicates her life to me. She deserves much more than a day dedicated to her, and I try to remember that every day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Acknowledgement - You make a difference...

...just by being you.:)

Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I say I don't like YouTubes, I got a stunning, must see one in my email. It made me cry, including the words afterward. It comes from
this site.

This comes with a spoiler note: suicide is discussed. But it is a lesson on why each of us is too worthy of life, and as human beings, to never to do that.

I can tell you from experience when you are thinking that way, you aren't thinking right; the thinking is literally faulty and I ask that you ask someone for help, please don't keep it to yourself, and please don't think you don't matter.

It breaks my heart to think we lose wonderful, fine people everyday, and you don't have to be one of them. Talk to someone, and if you are bipolar and are familiar with this fight, please continue fighting that good fight against it. This world needs every heart that struggles with this beastly illness. Continue to try.

Each of us does matter, and can make a difference, and don't forget to tell the people around you that they do, as well.

I hope you enjoy this YouTube. I only care about the message of the video, not any propaganda from the site or materials that can be bought. That is up to you. But I have watched this several times and it is Jungletart approved, which might be saying something!
Love, Tart.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

That didn't get past Me.

I know that there has been a lot of brouhaha of late about Oprah and her spirituality and whatnot.

I’m not going to address that, except to say that I haven’t been feeling like watching Oprah of late and I’m not in the slightest interested in her ‘New Age’ fascination with eckard toll or whatever.

I did however catch today’s interview with Barbara Walter’s as sitting duck, I mean interviewee. And I noticed the joy that Oprah had at making Baba nearly cry talking about her retarded sister and her death.

AND I caught, at the end of the interview, Baba’s very telling remark that she was “too old to interview anymore, because she had become too kind.” And she didn’t blink or apologize for it.

Ouch. Take that, you Strong Woman. Make Baba cry, but she’ll put your fat ass in your place.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

I figured out one reason I like People magazine so much...

Eva Longoria Parker without makeup, probably printed in People magazine at one point, and probably something I snagged as an MSN pic (I'm guessing).

...I like still pictures and still words. I like words on a page or even a (computer) screen. But I'm not fond of video, YouTube even, or rolling pictures off MSN. I avoid the videos off of MSN!

TV I can stand, for short spurts, usually at night when I'm going to sleep. I like movies for some reason. Maybe because it's a set plot or it has parameters or boundaries and I usually have some idea what it's about, I guess. But I don't always know what's going to happen in video, and it puts me on edge.

Say it with me, "I'm not a baby, I'm NOT!" It's one of those weird things that I'm willing to let out at this time.

One of the most popular posts that people come to on my blog is the Connie Talbert YouTubes when she sings!

I don't recall what caused me to post that.

Anyway, are there any bipolars out there that like to slowly digest their news, and much of their entertainment?
Especially to the point where it's noticeable and they notice themselves avoiding video's in emails or online? I can stare at a People magazine page, flip the page, and be totally engrossed in it from cover to cover. I invite other bipolar's to delve into the reasons why, because I surely don't know!

Maybe because it stays still and I can be engrossed in what I want to see (and flip past what I don't?).

MAYbe its the control factor, as my therapist suggested today.
I am not bombarded with stuff instead I choose what to be bombarded by, just like when I lay still on my bed in my room, shunning all life on this planet, except for a little HGTV (Home something TV), after eating a Cloapin or two (bad, don't do that!). In other words, control the world - keep that bitch a-WAY.

Maybe because it reminds me of years of having a hard copy, a written page to hold, or even computer screen that stayed still for me to look, think, and edit?

That and E! news on television makes me just stare. Or 'ridiculously' wholesome shows like 'Clean House' or stuff on the Home Network (they are predictable!) What is the fascination?

I don't care what the answer is because there's no other answer for me.

Just to blog, to prove I'm here...

I'm definitely manic a lot these days, with tarkenisia setting in, especially in my jaw. My jaw moves constantly and if I try to stop it, my teeth grind. This after reducing my Lithium even more. So does this not prove that Abilify is causing this? This did not occur with the same mixture of meds that I've been on the whole time.

I focus on other things, like typing, eating, being, but that jiggling of the mouth is always there.

On a nicer note, my husband fixed up my bicycle very nicely for me. I'm not an avid bicycle rider but he enjoys mountain bike riding himself, and it made him happy to put it all together so well for me. He is so kind to me, and thinks of me by doing things, like many men. I feel very lucky that way.

The mania is shown with me doing stuff on the computer, 24 - 7. I feel weird if I don't check my email a LOT. I need to get off this thing. Like many manics, I can't focus on just one hobby, I can't do anything it seems.

At least with the computer, or emails, or whatever on it, you don't feel the need to explain in a face-to-face why Your Face is jiggling. I want to cry. How is this going to get better? How will it ever end?

I don't know what to say. I've never met anyone with ANY of these problems. Granted, I stay inside a lot, or go to public places like stores to buy what I need and get out. I don't socialize except to close friends and they are people that understand me very well. I'm not complaining per se about lack of socialization, but I wonder if I should attempt to join a NAMI group of mentally ill or something like that. Maybe I would scare them?