Monday, December 28, 2009

The Pug Head Tilt



It's been awhile since we've talked Pugs or kitties on the blog. Aaand, this is in tribute to Mike Golch's Awww Mondays! My little Blossom does the Pug head tilt so well. This is a video I found on YouTube of someone else's Pugs. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Back from Christmas ~ looking forward to a New Year!:)

Oh! Well, I am back from Christmas with my inlaws and am loving life. I am so excited because I am having a New Year's party!

I am looking forward to the party and having just a few guests, and am glad that some of the uncomfortable-ness-es of Christmas are over. I enjoyed some aspects of Christmas (it was nice to see my MIL enjoy and like a sweater that I got her, which is honestly the first time I tried to give her clothes. That was very satisfying) and had fits/meltdowns occasionally too.

These were witnessed by my husband only and he seems used to them although he told me to 'take a pill' at one point. Which I did end up doing, and ended up sleeping it off for a few hours. I got upset about 'being upset' like what the h*** is wrong with me, I felt like a failure actually. But what can I do but pull myself together and go on.

I am quite comfy at home and am glad to be back. And am now looking forward to my party, which as I said will be small but I hope fun. I will get out the karaoke machine (I have an ancient one!) have some food and some sparkling cider for a toast. And some good friends and a wonderful husband.

I hope that the New Year is kind and blessed for my blogger friends and hope that we all get through the holidays as best we can. I wish love and peace for you all.
Sincerely,
'Tart

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Award!


Wanda at Wanda's Wings gave me an award! Thank you Wanda!
I give it to 5 blogger friends:
1. Tracy (I think you may Be an angel.:)
2. Mike G. (you're getting this more than once! Merry Christmas to you, Mike!)
3. Raine (thank you Raine, through the years you always come and have something honest to say and have been a good blogger friend!)
4. Marja (your positivity uplifts me and I'm sure many others.)
5. Denise (you remind me always of God's love through my troubles.)
:)

Merry Christmas early


Peace to you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I am thinking of changing the blog...

...such as taking away some of the pinups and making it more 'friendly' to readers (not that I am sure as to how to go about that!:).

I thought pinups were pretty at the time, but they might make some people uncomfortable. These thoughts just occurred to me. I also have my 'happy' blog to have to have happy, nice stuff on it, and this one to be the more serious, day-to-day bipolar things going on in my life, so maybe I don't need to do so much to it. My medicine is kicking in and making it hard to think.

It is getting too late in the evening to change the blog (aand it's usually this time of night that I think of doing such things!!) so I will have to think about it. But know that I am back on the blog!:)

Awards







My blogger friend Mike Golch at Rambling Stuff has done it again, and has been given and is giving out some beautiful and thoughtful awards. (I love the honesty and heart of the dragon awards, personally I haven't been too perky lately).
These are for you too, blogger friends.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Today is a day to fill out Christmas cards, work on a cross stitch for my MIL, and read about doll-making. It is sleet/ice raining here.

I hope all are well in blogland. Good afternoon this Sunday.:)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Want to go back to bed.

I am having a hard time with all of the hardships my friends are having in their lives. I am taking on too much. As a result I am shutting down in my personal life. I cannot take calls today.

I honestly think I am physically sick myself and was having crying jags last night, for what real reasons escape me.

So, I'll be back, the blog remains open, I'm just explaining for those who know me, I'm sorry I can't talk at this time. I'm so tired or else I'd try to do more things to make me happy, I can't even seem to find the energy for fun either.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pretty good holiday.

I did bake sweet potato pie and rich chocolate cheesecake and brought two each to my wonderful work Thanksgiving party, and two to my in-laws (lots of traveling!) and they were loved in both locations!

The work party for mental health consumers was such a success (I work as a Facilitator at the Drop-In Center) and they were Loving the food (so did I!).

And when I brought one each of my pies to the in-laws, my MIL said she Really Liked my sweet potato pie - which is such a compliment aaaaaaaaaand it made me feel good.

So I was away for Thanksgiving and had a pretty good time. I watched my MIL cook the turkey and asked questions (I have never cooked one!) and apparently the trick is using a big turkey bag to put it in when you are going to put it in the oven (annnnnd she gave me a bag so I could do my own at home!!) so that was Very Informative, and yes I'll check it out sometime.

Now is the time to get very cheap turkeys if you hit the store early enough, according to one of my friends whose brother is a meat cutter.

He says the store that his brother works at donates bread and canned food to a shelter/food bank but cannot donate meat because of 'law suits!' He says a 12 pound turkey can be had for $5 because they will just have to throw them out. People are going hungry in this country and it's just a shame that the store can't give those too.

So as far as my time with the in-laws went, mood-wise I did okay with a few blips - I admit to a few burning mood swings, I'm only being honest because after all this is my bipolar blog.

But I think most importantly, they were pretty contained (my poor husband listened to a few upset tirades because I feel safe telling him how I feel, until my mood improved and I'm pretty sure they did not do too much damage to others, bless his heart).

I would like to say for the record that I am Very Lucky to have a person in my life such as my husband who understands me so, is very even-keeled and loving. Truly Ver-wy Lucky.

I forgive myself for my bipolar moments. No one seems too upset about me being me.:)

I hope others had a pretty good holiday.:)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My bipolar so coordinates with my cycle.

It was news to me to finally have it put in my face by my fabulous book 'A Brilliant Madness' by Patty Duke that the above statement is true for many people.

In a way, it's a no-brainer. Sure you get cranky during your cycle, that does not necessarily indicate that you are bipolar of course.

But if you are bipolar, Lord help us all when some of us get our cycles. It's already a cyclical illness and it seems that now there is scientific proof that they are linked.

In my life, it seems obvious now that it is clearly played out that way. Even when I look back on my imood - oh, tired one week, feeling great the next. Oh, they are so linked. I am nearly shocked at the obviousness of it yet how much I never really thought about it, until I read about it.

(For better clarification, scientific proof and case studies see that book 'A Brilliant Madness').

So the other shoe drops.

I am stressed, irritable, cranky. All of it. Even though I have read in my Patty Duke 'A Brilliant Madness' book that your bipolar is likely to strike you during your PMS time, it doesn't help one bit - know what I am saying?

I know that being irritable with people is a sign of my bipolar (as told to me by my last therapist). Does it help to make me feel less irritable? No.

I actually feel a little relieved that I am finally experiencing the crank. Like that is the real purpose of my life, which I have steadfastly been denying all this time, but why not just give into it.

I'm so incredibly stressed about money. I could never make enough to cover all the expenses. It is SO depressing when you do all that you CAN and it is still not enough.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Good things.

Hmmm, so I am trying to think of something new to write on the blog. I think I am feeling well these days, very even, like the medicine is keeping me right and that I am at the right balance right now.

I have been able to work my part time job solid ever since coming back from my severe low a few months ago. This has been a good thing.

The new therapist seems very understanding.

I do have restlessness in my legs and I am nearly certain that this is the Abilify, but I am not overly upset about it. I have kept busy and think about things to look forward to, such as baking for Thanksgiving and a Thanksgiving party for work.

Also, I have some handiwork projects going - a cross stitch and some crocheting - hopefully to be done for Christmas, so that has been keeping me busy as well.

When I am at work, I am around people, and mind-boggling to me, I am getting paid. I feel like I am getting better all the time, maybe someday I can lead a support group - that is starting to be a goal of mine. I don't think I am there yet, but I see a time when maybe I could do that.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A little oasis.

I started seeing a new therapist this week.

I had actually seen my old therapist for 10 years and then one Friday three weeks ago I talked to her and she said the next week was her last week. Just like that. But for some reason I haven't grieved over that, although I think I might be mad (just trying to gauge what emotions I am having) at how lousy the County system is.

I'm getting out of the County system that I have been in for 15 years and going to use my private insurance that I now have after my marriage. It's taken their charging unbelievable amounts of money for services and being pushed out of the system to finally get me to do it. So maybe it was a good thing that she bailed on me.

So this new therapist experience is really amazing. I think I may have mentioned months ago how I was blown away by the waiting room alone (I saw her once then we had to get an insurance issue fixed, so seeing her this week was our second meeting). It's full of positive sayings, real chairs with pillows, a little waterfall, beautiful music playing and positivity oozing all over the place. So it's like walking into a little oasis off the street.

My new therapist seems very understanding of bipolar. She discussed that she feels that bipolar can be a difficult illness to treat and that for some mental disorders meds don't seem as important as they do for bipolar. That it's 60% importance of the meds, 40% talking/psychotherapy - which I agree with. As a person who has been doing this for twenty years (taking meds and do the talking therapy) I see that assessment and agree with it, for myself.

I seem to cry every time I see this woman. I think she is still trying to assess me, well I know she is, so she has to ask a lot of stirring up questions.

I cried this time having to do with why I relate to Patty Duke's 'A Brilliant Madness' so much when I was feeling my lowest (I couldn't do much more than breathe or surround myself with Pugs on the couch and then I picked up that book off my shelves and Could Not put it down. Read like 80 pages without thinking about it). I tried to tell the therapist that I cry thinking of the larger picture of bipolar, what a monster it is, then I stop crying as I tell her about the book, because someone understands so completely as they honestly recount their life going through it, leaving no detail unspared. I love Ms. Anna Michaels (Patty's real name) for it. Thank you, Anna.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Feeling down again. Since this is my blog about bipolar I thought I should say so.

Actually, it's more like feeling okay...Then feeling down again. Up. Down.

I know bipolars out there understand.:)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Reunion and 80's Dancing was a Blast!!

I was brave and actually went to my 20th high school reunion and had a blast. The dancing was the best part, I never get to do that and have wanted to for a while, and had an utter blast. It's so funny because so many people need a drink or two to get out there and I did the whole the thing completely sober (as I do my whole life, hee hee).

Being medicated properly for my bipolar made me see things differently about high school. Who the heck cares about the old days? I know I'm okay for the future (especially compared to how I felt then - the future could sometimes seem scary, but noone knows how it will be) and I'm so thankful.

I got to see wonderful friends and yes some of those old clicks were there, and yes there were some people that wouldn't even talk to me (!) but some that I was shocked Did actually talk to me. None of that high school stuff matters now, for Real!

All that dancing made me actually exercise on Saturday. So today I actually wanted to continue it, and I actually got on my elliptical. For 11 minutes. Then I was getting worried about my little pug being outside (one of my anxieties) and the phone rang, both giving me good reason to get off. But I might do 10 minutes more today. Let's see if I can keep up with it.

Another thing that made me think exercise might work today is seeing one particular person who had changed the most from high school. She just looked so different, and yes she had lost weight and looked gorgeous, but she was still the sweet kind girl I remember, actually nicer really. I thought hunh, I've got at least 5 more years to shock the heck out of the next class reunion, AS IF I care, but it would be fun to work on it, just for me.

It wouldn't have really mattered if I had gone to the reunion, but I'm glad for my own personal self, because I didn't let something that I was a little afraid of turn me away. I had courage in face of the monster and showed up anyway. Love thyself.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Good day.

Had a good day. My friend is here. I made a batch of Hot & Sour soup for her. She liked it okay, except for the mushrooms. It made a nice lunch.

I did our nails and we got to talk a lot. It was a nice day.

Emma's eye is healing and she gets hopefully her last vet check for a while on Wednesday. It really was nasty for a while but is doing better because of the drops we've putting in.

I wish happiness for my blogger friends.:)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Welcome Autumn.

Berries Delight, Golden Yello Mountain Ash, Webshots.

Welcome autumn.

Autumn is not usually a good time for me. I'm definitely a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) kind of gal, the deeper we get into Winter especially. But I am keeping very busy these days, and have some things to look forward to:
1: I am making a sweet potato pie and rich chocolate cheesecake for Thanksgiving.
2: I am thinking of have a 'Winter Blues' party at some point. I wish my house could handle lots of people, and do decorations and things like that. Maybe I'll convince the Drop-In to have one. Hmmmm....
3: I am working a cross-stitch for my MIL. I need to work on it more but I'd like to have it done for Christmas.

I mentioned my class reunion. I'm so looking forward to my friend coming up. I just baked a cake for her. I will cool it overnight and frost it tomorrow. It feels good to think of something and actually accomplish it.

Wishing everyone health and loving yourselves during this autumn time. It can be very beautiful.

My Life Lately.

I took Emma-dog for yet another vet visit, and thank the Lord, she is healing. We are giving her drops every 4 hours, including getting up at 2 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. every morning to continue the drops which is to say the least...tiring. But it's working.

I got my hair done today. I had not gotten it done in eight months. It feels nice to have it done. I was getting some salt and pepper gray, about 4 inches so I'm all colored up now.:)

I am going to my high school reunion!! 20 years. It does not bother me how long it is. I wouldn't have cared about it, and almost didn't go, except for Facebook. A very good friend of mine is coming up and we will all be coming to the reunion together.

I've been busy with a couple of shifts at the Drop-In Center a week and keeping up with appointments.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Emma's eye situation is very serious.

Emma, my oldest Pug (age 6), had eye surgery last Friday. Today she went into the vet to have a stitch taken out. She is back home. Emma-dog has a corneal ulcer and it is very serious. Someone very kind at the vet donated opthamalgic drops to us for use on Emma. It is really very kind of them because they are expensive drops. We have to give them to her every four hours, even getting up in the middle of the night to do so. It is an attempt to save her eye.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Antibiotics rock!

It has been a good day. I got several things done. It may be because I am on anti-biotics. Regardless, I got a lot done!:)

I woke up early and stayed up all day. I made my Hot & Sour soup, a comfort food for me and feels like accomplishing something by making a good batch of it.

I went grocery shopping and stayed almost completely on list and had a small bill. (I found yogurts for 45 cents, that helped). I had even gone on line at Peapod to find out how much stuff would be before I got there so I would know my general bill.

Then, on to the Drop-In Center to meet our Director and we went out to the Swedish furniture store, Ikea, and she shopped and I had fun being there. She got pictures and frames. I saw star lights that would look great here at the house. Then we went back to her place and put the pictures into the frames and put them on the wall. I didn't buy a thing. It was just fun to look.

After that, came home to make dinner. Tacos! I used my very small food processor for the first time (I've had the thing for four years!). I food processed lettuce into tiny slivers, and a few grape tomatos into cut up tomatos that looked like salsa. It was homemade. Husband said it was better than Taco Bell.

We were doing the bills last night, and money is tight. I went to the kitchen and looked in the fridge and pantry and came up possible dinners just with what we have, not having to buy stuff. That made me feel more in control. It is a lovely feeling (even if it is fleeting:). I am worrying less about the finances and putting it into God's hands. I feel that he gets us through somehow and He will lead us through this.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Please think good thoughts for Emma-Pug.

I have not mentioned our recent saga with Emma-Pug's eye. We are pretty sure that Blossom, our nine-month-old Pug accidentally scratched Emma's eye. It is a bad scratch. Emma is 6-years-old. I have been dutifully taking her to the vet to check on it for the last four weeks. I thought it was getting better.

This morning I took Emma for her eye check and my wonderful vet, who I know I can trust, said it was not getting better as a matter of fact, Emma needs eye surgery, NOW. Today. This was at 11 am today and I had to hand over my Baby and they are performing surgery today and we are to pick her up this afternoon/evening.

It is now 3:32 p.m. and I have not heard if Emma has woken up from anesthesia. I admit that I am worried.

I felt so bad that this happened in the first place because Emma is such a sweet girl and does not deserve this (well no dog does). It was an accident and we have been keeping Emma and Blossom apart, trying to feed them apart, let them outside apart.

Dear Blogland, please send good thoughts out that Sweet Emma will have a successful surgery, that she will heal up lickety split and that all will be well. Thank you.
JungleTart

***PS It is now 9pm and Emma is home with us with an Elizabethan collar (a little vinyl one, she looks like a morning glory:). She has one stitch that will be taken out on Wednesday. This is an important time for her healing. I keep praying for her recovery from this awful eye thing.***

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm a Polar Bear!!

Polar Bears, Webshots
I went away for the weekend to the beach! I went with the staff people at work, there were 15 of us at a beach house and we had a blast! It was fabulous! We were just two blocks away from the beach, and I did go and just get in a little. Then I decided if I could stick my feet in the water I could get in the pool. Ice cubes!!! But I did it. I swam in a pool that was freeeezing!!

The trip was entirely paid for by the Center, gas to get down there, food (of which there was lots, and what we didn't eat we gave to the Center when we got back), the house - everything. I thanked our Director and she said part of the it was so that mentally ill people could see that they were worth it - worth spending the money on.

Oh! And it was Team Building as well, which we did four hours total and had an incredible time doing it. Truth, truth, lie - where you had to tell two two truths and a lie and everybody guesses which is the lie - you learn so much about everyone!

Or one team building was breaking up into five groups of three and coming up with a Team Building exercise - someone brilliant came up with the idea of a human machine, where each person adds onto the next doing something nuts, until all 15 people are in a circle making massive amounts of noise. It should have been taped for YouTube. Well, we had a blast looking silly and that was Great!

My medicine is working well to bring me back to health, except for the massive eating that occurs at night with the Seroquel. So, I saw the p-doc today and I said (advocating for myself!:):) it should be lowered a little and we are doing that. Hope it works!

I started working another shift this week with the Drop-In Center, (for a total of two shifts which will Not P.O. S.S. (make Social Security mad:):) and the baking thing is over for me. But not the lessons learned.
We recently made sweet potato pie and I can't wait to make that for Thanksgiving or even Christmas and bring it to my in-laws. The one I made in class was from canned yams and it was dee-licious. Truth: I had not remembered trying sweet potato pie before - that stuff is good!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Amusement Park day.

I went to an amusement park today and had a very good time. Rain was expected, and a couple of our friends did not want to travel only to have it 'cancelled' so it was just three of us - myself, husband and a friend. The rain mostly held off until the afternoon, so we were able to ride rides, have a nice free lunch (this is the yearly company picnic, everything was covered), and ride more rides.

I do not like rides with heights, so that cuts down on a lot for me, but I still went on several things, and had A BLAST!! It did start to rain in the afternoon/evening and then we just went home.:)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Here it is: The video from the National Alliance on Mental Illness's program, In Our Own Voice.




Some of you have wondered what in the world I am talking about when I discuss this program. Here is the very video used in the program.

I decided I wanted to take this program when I read about it's existence in the back of a NAMI Bipolar pamphlet a month or two ago. I brought it up at a meeting at Trillium Drop-In Center and Lo! It came to be for me.:)
I hope this helps explain it much better. It's so easy to see it's worth in any community, in my estimation.

My 1st Day of Learning to Present for NAMI In Our Own Voices.

Oh my goodness, I have had a long day and am emotionally drained. I still have the energy to blog (and as a side note, feed myself), of course!:)

NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness (which is the correct meaning of that acronym) has a program called In Our Own Voices, where mental health consumers (the new accepted way to call people who have mental illnesses) learn to tell their unique story to a variety of audiences, starting with one surrounded by other mental health consumers.

The presentations are done two presenters per audience - in other words, we learn to tell our story with another person with us. I have an awesome co-presenter - just an amazing person!

The presentations are broken down into parts. So far, we have learned Introduction, Dark Days, and Acceptance. Dark Days was certainly hard for me, because I didn't want to be a 'cryer' (one who cries). I told some pretty dark stuff and held it together just fine. We actually get up in front of everybody and do this. It is pretty amazing.

Acceptance wasn't so easy either, because I don't know how much I honestly really do accept my illness, although I freely post here, and for several years!, about it. So I guess I do certainly to a point. But I don't think I am one of those people who embraces themselves or their illness, although there are actually some who expressed that and it was really beautiful. I could see that I have a ways to go.

Thank you so much for the sweet words from my blog friends.:) I certainly do need prayers to get through today (and tomorrow!). I woke up praying about this.

It really is a lot of work. The thinking of what to say, and the content and the listening to other's stories - it is frankly tiring. So I am going to rest for a while, and I'll be back at it tomorrow.

Important day.

This morning, and tomorrow, is NAMI's In Our Voice Program. Wish me luck as I learn to spill my guts.:)

Good morning to all!
:)Tart

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm getting back into my yarn arts.:)

I love yarn and thread. I have crocheted a few things, and have actually given away scarves and at least one hat to friends as gifts. I made a hat for myself, too. I fiddle with knitting, I did take a class in it a while back and made a pair of mittens, but I was following a pattern and had a teacher looking over my shoulder. She said if I could do the increasing and decreasing necessary for that mitten, I could do anything. Perhaps true, but I am very slow with my projects, and sometimes take a lot of time from them. It may be that upping and lowering of energy that bipolars get, I don't know.

I also cross-stitch, especially when a kit strikes my fancy. I have completed a few kits, most memorably a 'best friends' one for my friend Tracy, and that sweet baby girl one I finished for last Christmas for a family member's new baby. That was really satisfying because I finished it just in time!

My new thing, is that I would like to learn weaving. I would love to have a loom and use it. I would love to have the room for a loom! My office is very 'junked up' to say the least. I am a horrible pack rat, it is so hard for me to let ANYthing go. I honestly think that is an outcrop of the illness as well. I saw my Dad struggle with it his whole life. Pack-'ratness' - genetics? bipolar? or just annoying thing to keep people from visiting? I don't know.:)

I am joining NAMI!

I never would have thought to do it, but I am nearly forced to join NAMI (the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) because I want to do their program 'In Our Own Voices'. You can't do the program without being a member.

I have read the stuff about the program I want to do, and about joining NAMI. You don't necessarily have to back up their particular beliefs/politics. The 'In Your Own Voice' program is supposed to be you telling your story (in about 15 minutes!) and it's meant to be your own unique experience. One should not compare their story to another, as many of us have different journeys.

So I feel like am moving ahead in my process to be more helpful and pioneering in the effort to remove the stigma to mental illness. I may post something on my sideboard about NAMI after doing In Our Voices this weekend.

I hope things are going well in blog land.:)

I never told you about my two jobs. (Updated advice on Social Security).

Part of the reason that I think I hit a downward slope three/four weeks ago was that my schedule started being very apparent to me. Meaning, it started being very real that I had stuff that I had to be at nearly every day of the week, and it frankly got to be too much. These jobs, I have two, went by the wayside while I tried to recover.

Some people think that a person is not 'recovered' unless they hold onto a job. I don't think that is true at all. In fact, I have issues with the word 'recovery' especially when applied to mental illness, because I think what they are referring to is 'the journey' - not some supposed zenith of perfection, that the word 'recovery' seems to suggest. But I admit to using the word a little more sometimes, because more and more, it is being introduced as lingo in the mental health lexicon.

Anyhoo, my two jobs are:
1) The baking project, which I get paid a small amount for and is the project that I attribute my finally leaving my house to get out there and be employed. No minor miracle. It is actually run by a fabulous person who has mental illness herself and she is doing great things for us, one person at a time. It really is a beautiful thing.

2) Trillium Drop-in Center. I volunteered for them, mostly behind the scenes, for about a year, before being 'recruited' to a paid position. This job has proven to be difficult for me in some ways as I have direct, and unrelenting, contact with people. I think I would much prefer not to, I am not nearly as good at it as some facilitators are at dealing with people, but our wonderful Executive Director assures me that I have a place there, and that we all have gifts of some sort and do belong there. When I don't believe that for myself, I rely on her opinion, and that helps.

Both jobs were very understanding when darkness descended upon me and I needed home time to avoid the hospital. It is still a miracle and a testament to my husband's love that he kept me out. I have said that I thought it cruel sometimes, I still know that I was pushed farther than could ever be expected, but it has brought us closer together.

I never say very many nice things about my husband on the blog, and that is a shame. Because he really is a nice guy, a loving person, and he has my best interests at heart. I express my thanks right now, to him.:):)

So, I have these two jobs, very carefully crafted to Not go over the amount that the SS (Social Security) will allow. That is very important. I know people still come here, wondering if they can work while receiving disability. Remember, I have Bipolar and stress is a real issue in the illness. You can work, I have found, but you Must be VERY CAREFUL to never go over the line. The only reason I am doing this, working either/both jobs is that we are sooooo careful about not going over the line.

I have said previously, years ago, that I was burned by the system, that they were wanting a LOT of money from me and it about drove me into the hospital again. So my advice is be careful, but it can be done, especially with understanding bosses or work set-ups.

Hankering for Potato Chips.

Well, I've been on the new concoction of meds for about a week now, including an uppage of Seroquel to 200 mgs. My God, that stuff can make you crave food. I want to eat and eat it seems, and the saltier the better. I dare not weigh myself, for when I do, it is apparent that I am gaining. Wanh.:(

So far I am Not feeling the shakes from the Abilify, nor do I notice anxiety being a severe problem - at this point. I am also on .5 of Xanax, which is for anxiety, and I don't know (read:think) that it does much of anything, but who knows.

It's only week one, I think many of these meds take two weeks to really get going in your bloodstream, so I'll keep you updated especially on the Abilify, because I really do think it takes two weeks for that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Rennaisance Faire!!







The Rennaisance Faire was very fun and we all had a great time, and spent too much money. It is quite commercialized, with all kinds of food and artisans. It's a real treat to just look around, not just at the wares, but at the people that go to these things. Everyone, and I mean Everyone fits in - from those who wear costumes, to those who don't. And there's definitely a bit of a counter-culture vibe there. There has to be, when you've got everything from corsets/crinoline (gorgeous costumes in many cases) and armor-wearers to anime characters, to 21st Century clothed people out there.
My shoes literally fell apart very soon into the day. It was bizarre actually, I've never seen anything like it. I did not take a picture of them, but they were thoroughly ruined and utterly falling apart, which I did not expect as they seemed fine at home. It was clear I needed shoes, if I was going to walk around all day. We asked one of the artisans where we might find such a place and they directed us to the best place for it and I got really cute shoes.
I also had my semi-Rennaisance outfit that I mentioned in my Salvation Army post, and I Really wanted a wreath of flowers for my head to go with it. (I feel that I deserve a flower halo after the hell of the past three weeks) We found one and it's even made of silk flowers, so it will last for many years to come!:)
There was jousting which had horses. There was an elephant ride too, which I took pictures of, entertainment of all kinds, bubble wands (I wanted one but you just can't have everything), henna painting (again, I would have loved it, but it was expensive for something that will fade away anyway) and all sorts of yummy food. I got a plateful of mussels for $5, and at one point an enormous pickle for $1. If you go to one of these things, don't forget to get a cheesecake on a stick - so yummy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Looking forward to the Renaissance Festival.

My friend and I hit Salvation Army and came up roses. I found a skirt and a slip for $8, my friend found an outfit for $16! This massively beats the potential prices at the Festival, where a good costume can easily be rented for $50! We had a blast at the Salvation Army!

September 11th

I remember September 11th, 2001, well. It was, to put it mildly, very upsetting for me. I was home actually and saw it happen on T.V.

I prayed today, thinking of that important day that I hope will never be forgotten. I know I won't. I pray and talk to God about the sadness and loneliness in the world, and I believe in working toward alleviating it.

So, even on this somber day, I remember the horror, but I also know there is a time for every purpose - meaning, a time to be sad and a time to work toward happiness.
With that thought I leave you.
Tart

Update

Just a little update:

I am feeling better.:)

It's the medicine that I mostly attribute it to.

No crying jags. I was able to go to work yesterday and worked two jobs. (Both are mostly low-stress in their own way).

I am hanging out with a friend today and going to a Renaissance Faire on Saturday. We are actually going to go the Salvation Army and see if we can find costumes or something that would kind of look like a costume.:) Anyway, it's fun to look.

I am also planning to do the NAMI In Our Own Voices thing. I will be doing it next weekend for the whole weekend. That will teach me how to tell my story to groups of people. To me, the idea is to start out small and go from there. It really is a goal of mine to be a good speaker and get out there and educate - as I can safely, and still protect my mental health.

I hope my blogger friends are doing well. God bless you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Breakthrough!

I went to the pdoc today. I told him to look at me and not his computer, that it was very important to me that I be able to trust him. He obliged and had a real conversation with me.

It was a little difficult on my end at first because I knew there was so much to say and not a lot of time to say it (15 minute appointments, Hello!). I even said I was in a bit of a quandry because of the time crunch and I didn't want to sound like I had 'pressured speech' but what can I do?

First of all, he thought it very smart of me to up that certain medicine on my own. He says he is here to work with the patient and that I obviously did the right thing. (I guess because I'm better today?). He praised my intelligence, which was, well, nice.

We talked honestly about Abilify. There was some questioning as to why I got off it, why I had asked him to take me off it. I explained that my husband was worried about the shakes, and that he worried that they were permanent, especially because he would see the damn Abilify commercials and it said something about permanent issues. Before the pdoc could say anything, and he tried, I continued that I thought the commercial was talking about tarkive diskonesia (a supreme effort on my part to spell that!:). The pdoc confirmed that - he said that the shakes are a side effect of Abilify (and later I confirmed that anxiety is also a side effect of it!) - but they are not permanent, as is obvious because when I stopped the Abilify the shakes went away.

So upshot: we decided to put me on Abilify again.

I am much happier with this scenario than any other, although I might have been willing to go on Lithium again, yes I feel that bad.

For those of you not familiar, the whole drug thing and mental illness is such a crapshoot. The fact is, we are all different and different drugs work for different folks. That is why I am not fond of posting what I am on, or saying to someone this is what you should be on. Also, there are plenty of people that don't want to be on medications, although in my view there are plenty of people that need them regardless. I have been doing this - meaning taking medications and advocating for myself - for a long time. I know, without a doubt, that it is the wagon that I need to be on.

I know that I have the right diagnosis. The more time goes on, the more I read, the more textbook I realize I am. That is a good thing. Thank God, and I mean that with all my heart, that He saved me at a young age with my real diagnosis. I know many are not so lucky.

But what sucks, is that even with the right diagnosis and the knowledge that I should be on meds, even with taking the meds religiously and correctly according to how they are prescribed, even with complying with all outpatient activities, so to speak, the Monster still has the capacity to take me down. I am not immune, nor probably ever will be, to the effects of my bipolar. I am bipolar, or should I more correctly NAMI say it, I have bipolar.

Additionally, that some of you may find of interest, I realize that I must compartmentalize my life, in some fashion. This idea came to me when I was watching a recent documentary on the Kennedys (after Ted's death) on PBS of course (the channel full of documentaries!) and they were talking about Teddy's older brother JFK. Whatever you think about the Kennedys, it clear that JFK had a womanizing problem, even while married to Jackie. They were discussing it, with a cameo of one of the his secretaries saying that he admitted that he just couldn't help it. But what was interesting to me was that JFK certainly had to compartmentalize his life in order to have all the aspects of it, to keep some grip on it. He must have sectioned off, in his own mind, these different aspects of his life, in order to perform all his duties, be enormously in the public eye, be a husband, a father, an occasional runner with the 'Rat Pack,' and so forth, not to mention that he had Addison's (sp?) disease, and worked diligently to keep it from the public eye. He was actually quite sick, it was cortisone shots that made him look healthy for the Nixon debate.

In some way, I know I compartmentalize, because even though I discuss it ad nauseum here on the blog, that fact is I've got an illness with a massive stigma, and I don't wear it on my sleeve for the outside world. I'm sure most of us do it in some way, to keep our lives in order.

Blah, blah. The real point is I have some HOPE after seeing the pdoc that maybe things can be better, maybe Me will come back (which has been a serious concern for me). I will try to keep everyone updated on how that switch from no Abilify to 10 mgs of being on Abilify goes (people should know they can get shakes and anxiety with the stuff. I know I would have appreciated knowing!:).

Gonna go make dinner! Hope Things are going well for blog land!:)
And we're out,
:)'Tart

Monday, September 7, 2009

Still here. AKA: Tooth & Nail ready to break, yet somehow has not.

Cussing is involved in this post. Not a lot, but I warned you.

All right, here's the deal, the unbelievable, crazy situation.
I have not gone into the hospital.
That right there seems like a miracle to me, and I wanted you all to know.
I am not right, I am still frickin' sad, and at times utterly overwhelmed and desperate. I am still on the edge, I admit to even being angry inside. There is so much, but I have hung on tooth and nail, been pushed to the desperate end, but I did not go.
Please know that I am not 'crying wolf' that my situation is dire, and that I could still end up in the hospital. I am hanging on, in fact, for a pdoc appointment tomorrow, and have been pretty much all weekend.



How could this happen? How did I stay out?
1) My husband. He would not let me go. At times I thought it was cruel, and I sure let him know. Now, I think I am thankful. I think I am grateful. Truth: I am afraid I am setting a terrible precedent, in our lives - I am not claiming to speak for others, but for me it has been utterly excruciating and for me to say less, I would be lying and you know I don't do that - for him to see how much pain a person can take and Still not take them to the hospital, but there it is.
2) Damn it, I hate to admit it, but the medications. The pdoc upped a certain something a few weeks ago, and added a little bit of nothing as well (at an emergency appointment that I somehow got). It did not work right away. To top it off, I did not believe it would help, and I lashed out and left a nasty message on that man's machine, I know for one thing I flat out called him a quack (!), and you would have to be a robot to not hear the pain, the utter despair in my voice, I am sure. But after two days of the emergency uppage seemed to help, I was still hanging on.

I told you that I made calls last week and the pdoc did not answer. He finally called me Friday, after hours, so there was no hope of an appointment (only somehow getting through the weekend if I could make it). Bastard. Anyhoo, I grilled him on just what he would do, as compared to a hospital, could he DO something for me, (and always there is the fear that I will never be right again, and damn it, DAMN IT, I was doing so well) basically what would he do for me that could help me avoid the hospital. (But is that such a good idea? How long can a person go without the hospital, when it's so obvious that I had been doing well before all this??? Maybe it's been a mistake to not go, I DON'T KNOW.)

He put out there that he would Probably raise such and such more and add on (to me) scary stuff that I had never heard of and certainly never been on, and something I Had been on and utterly refuse to ever take again.

So I did what any sane bipolar would do. (Understand that he refused to see me until Tuesday, as though life ENDS AFTERHOURS!). I upped the something something myself.

I do not recommend this to others, but I am positive for me I did the right thing. And I will defend it, if he has the unmitigated nerve to get upset about it.

I am still not right. I am scared that Me, the Tart, will never come back. But goddamn it, I can write. I may have told you too much. I may have TMI'd you, and you don't need to hear it. But I have bared my soul to the internet (as much as I dare LOL) and there you have it.

I am Here. I have not let go. For those of you who know what it's like to be here, I am in awe of you. I cheer you. God bless you, and I mean it. Somehow, we or I am going to make it through this. Do think Vivienne Leigh in 'Gone With the Wind' when I say:
As God as my witness, I won't give up. I try to hold on Viv, 'Tomorrow is another day' at the same time, this moment is here, and so am I.

As a parting thought, Supreme Loves for all of you that left me a message on my last post. Every one of them meant something to me, I am so blessed to hear from each of you. Thank you.:)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hanging on by a thread.

I, the Tart, am not doing well. I have been holding on for three weeks now, trying so hard not to go into the hospital. I don't think it is working. My p-doc made a medicine change two weeks ago and it is not enough to stem the tide, to to stop it, to fix it. I keep calling, hoping that he will call me back. He does not. I keep seeing my therapist twice a week, I don't know how we will pay for it, but I have not missed an appointment. I have bawled. I have screamed. I don't trust that this doctor can do squat for me, and there are not many alternatives. So I may go into the hospital. I don't know if I am going, I don't know when I'll get out. Now you know why it's been so hard for me to post, and that I am truly and utterly just hanging on.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday's 'Adventure' post.

The Carters, including Maybelle, June Carter (Cash's) mom.

I was thinking very hard about what to put on the Adventure of a JungleTart's blog, after knowing so easily what to put up on 'The Good Stuff' (go check it out).

I thought about updating you on my mental state. The update: I am still a little fragile, but I get a little better every day, perhaps quite shockingly having to do with an emergency medicine change done last week. I honestly didn't think it would work. It was hell to get through, but I think I won't be going into the hospital and that is just an unbelievable blessing.

So then I looked through My Pictures, of which I have many, and after posting about Johnny & June Carter on my other blog, well this one seemed perfect.

I don't know who each person is, I just know that it is the original Carters and that Maybelle Carter (June Carter's mom) is in it. I love old-timey anything, I love bluegrass, and this picture reminds me of family members that grew up in the Deep South.

I also think that it must have been rare for women to go out wearing/playing guitars & music and how pioneering these ladies were. I think it is beautiful and powerful. Good night to all.:)

(PS - Please pray for Denise's Dad who had a heart attack earlier today. I am thinking of you Denise, and your family. Love, 'Tart)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Don't throw daggers and knives at yourself.

This is my new motto, repeated internally inside my head. I use it to 'stop-thought,' so to speak, bad thoughts sometimes if I can't be too busy to drown them out otherwise.

I have personally found that I am the one saying the meanest things to myself.

I don't think that anyone would have the canastas to say to me some of terrible things I have thought of myself.

I can sit perfectly still and tear myself apart without ever saying a word out loud. I know it's part of the illness. It says so in my informative brochure from NAMI (also titled, "Bipolar: you're crazy to visit and you definitely don't want to live there." Oh, those nutty brochures from NAMI)

This is not an MSN board, with every crackpot on earth being mean to each other for the fun of it, this is a blog by a person who has bipolar who would like to enrich the world in some way.

So I just want to leave you with that thought for the moment (don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. Endure to the end, remember?) I know I can be my own worst enemy. I invite those of us who especially need to be reminded, that for emotional safety to leave the cutlery in the woodblock.
:)

Return of the 'Tart

Oh, it has been a horrendous couple of weeks. How time flies and I have not been on the blog for over a month! I don't like to go that long but I have been busy - I am now working two jobs and who knows maybe that contributed to one of the worst, most montrous lows I have had in memorable history. Of course, my memory is short (a little short-fused, if you will) but it's been bad. Part of it is zero energy, but that doesn't even begin to describe how low the down was, or how far I went with suicidal thoughts. The Aggressor has been working me hard, but I have won that fight, for the moment. It looked to everyone, except Husband who worked hard to keep me out, that I was going to go in the hospital. But I am not. I am still here. Boo to you, Aggressor, I win.

Well sure there's more to say, lots happens in a month, but these past two weeks have been utterly unbelievable. I have been at a loss as to what to say on blog, and zero energy if I could even formulate a post. So the Tart is back. Here's to hanging in there, to Life, to living. I hope blogland is well.
Sincerely,
'Tart

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A really good article that made me feel not alone. (It's so hard to name these posts:)

My life has been very busy lately. I'll get to that in another blog post.

Right now, I have two big thoughts on my mind, one I might share, and one I am definitely sharing Right Now! I am SOOO EXCITED to have found this wonderful article, right off the bat, of all things, in the Yahoo 'Most Popular' section, which frankly means something to me because I never see a well-written mental health article on Yahoo, let alone in 'Most Popular.' My opinion and I'm entitled to it.

Please go here http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090726/ap_on_he_me/us_med_stopping_schizophrenia/print

I have printed this article for my own purposes and taken two different color highlighters to it.

I think the title is little presumptuous, as the article even admits that that they are nowhere near 'stopping schizophrenia,' as they are still talking brain scans and that it is way too early to draw conclusions on what studies they are conducting.

I am willing to get over the typical media over-blown title designed to grab your attention (and that's why this will be listed under my 'some more from the Liberal God_amn Media' label, take it as you will) but read the article, and you will find gems on what the "prodrome" is - the beginning of psychosis, where you understand those odd thoughts aren't right - and a little discussion of psychosis, where that is all out the window and you are believing your odd thoughts (my paraphrase).

Most importantly, and heart-breakingly, and to me oh-so-powerful, you read about the nurse asking the student about the thoughts he/she has been having and the UTTER RELIEF it is for that person to know they are not alone, they are not the only one who has been having these thoughts, they are not the only one the T.V. has ever talked to, for instance - that someone knows enough to ask them these questions and that there is help.

I am also very interested in the hope that researchers are finding in psychosocial treatments, which is precisely what Trillium Center is all about, and I can't wait to show this article to our Director. I still believe in the meds, but this just confirms the power of the social arena for the mentally ill.

I swear it's the nature of these illnesses for us to isolate ourselves and I know how hard it is to hold onto friends while you're in the depths of hell, and this article specifically talks about keeping social contacts as extremely important to holding onto sanity. I know firsthand that is not easy.

Actually, I know firsthand that it is true, as I have had my bouts with psychosis and God only knows (ok my family, too) how the heck I have turned out pretty well despite not knowing anything about anything and somehow surviving it and almost getting to the point where I am thriving (well sometimes. Sometimes it STILL seems touch and go).

The good news is that life goes on. You can survive a hell of a lot, you can make new friends, you can make a new life for yourself.

You are NOT alone. I am not alone. And that means a heck of a lot to me.

Thank God, we talk to each other more now, thank God for that program they're talking about in the article that taught a nurse to recognize a student's real anguish. If all we do is help each along the way, well let's just say, that's the stuff that heartens this 'Tart's heart. It heartens my heart.:)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back from Vacation

I had a wonderful week, visiting my Mom. I went fishing, caught a Spanish Mackeral (a very weird fish with teeth!), saw dolphins, boated, saw beautiful beaches, ate the best shrimp ever, swam in the pool nearly every day (and got a rooster red sunburn mostly on my back!), had long talks with my Mom, and even played pool with my Mom. It was a very special time and she looks great. She is very healthy right now and happy.

I also visited my inlaws. It is always a bit of trial for me to go there. I am not sure what it is but I feel squashed there. The moods come up and there is strong encouragement, just by weird osmosis, for me to suppress who I am and what I feel. As long as I make everything look normal, they are happy. Wanda talked about 'undamaged wealthy people' on her blog, and I am sure that these must be them. The thing is that they are damaged people too, its just about suppression of their own selves and others, in this case anyway.

But when I get on the road and start coming home and listen to some music and talk to my husband eventually I shake off those bad feelings. I am so glad to be home and have the Jungle all together again. We brought the dogs with us and pet-moteled the cat. I know Reese kitty is glad to be home too (it's too loud for Princely kitties in the pet motel!)

The sunburn is bad, but the sunburn spray is Cold and icky so I am just handling it. It's good to be back and I will visit you all as I can.:)
Good times to you,
Tart

I have some pictures of my Spanish Mackeral catch that I can put up on the 'Good Stuff' blog. Give me a couple of days to get my pics loaded on the computer.:)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The tiring virus.

It's been a hard few days. I don't take physical illness very well, I am very hard on myself (and maybe the inner circle too) and there were lots of crying jags for 'no reason.' I admit to feeling suicidal for moments, moments that I quickly try to push away and try to get over, but I did have to promise my safety to a good friend. Thank God for friends.

This virus has hung on for a week now and is tiring. I am Much better than I was. The doctor told me to take Mucinex. I tried cough syrup but that made me feel loopy and anxious and the doctor (his wonderful nurse) said that was messing with my blood pressure and don't take that stuff anymore.

I went to Crisis Training yesterday and wouldn't you know it, it was on Suicide Prevention. Wow, I know we deal with tough stuff at the Center. I actually cried, because I feel that way. (How can I help others if I'm dealing with it myself?)

I tried to get out of there as quickly as possible but my friend caught up with me and I didn't want to look at her because she is so kind I knew I couldn't hold back. But she got me out of the car and wanted me to walk with her and I spilled what was bothering me. Everything is more amplified when I am sick, the fears, the problems seem unsurmountable when your energy is sapped and you just can't fight anymore. Sometimes I try so hard but there are time when you (I) must truly crawl into bed and rest and leave it for another day.

On an entirely different note, I have lost a total of 24 pounds. I haven't been very hungry or maybe my stomach is shrinking because I don't care about food, just enough to feed myself, which is actually a very enjoyable side-effect from all this. I admit I like feeling more in control, not a ravenous beast that must 'feed' like I swear some of the psychotropic medicines make you feel.

So far, still in reality which is a great blessing. Thinking about going back to bed for a little while.

I truly wish all well in the blogosphere. Thank you to all the well-wishers and new additions to readers of the blog. You have heartened the 'Tart with your love. Thank you.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Out sick.

I am not feeling well physically. I have an eye problem which I got drops for and my throat was afire this morning which chloroseptic helped. I have been taking it easy, but I guess I need to sleep today, which I will try to do.

I am really saddened by the Michael Jackson thing, as well as Farrah Fawcett deaths and I may elaborate further on future posts.

I hope all are well and I wish blessings in the blog world. I'll be back to post when I have more energy.

My husband is taking care of me, bless him. I'm sorry I haven't visited blogs in a while, I have been busy, before I got sick. I can tell you about that later. God bless, and have a good weekend.
Sincerely,
Tart

Sunday, June 14, 2009

No Seroquel slump. (so far)


Aww sweet Kitty-kitty!
You may have seen this picture in an email (that is where I snagged it from). I just want to iterate that this is NOT me on Seroquel as could have been expected. I am having an amazingly okay time of it with a med change. I think it's because I am following Dr.'s order and weaning the Abilify as directed and starting with a low dose of the ol' Seroquel-aro. Getting those nasty neurons in a better place? Let's hope so.
Sometimes waking up in the morning is the hardest thing to do. But when the dogs start whining and you've got a little one that has to GO, and you are the one to take care of them that day, there's not much choice.
Okay, perhaps it helped that I had some caffeine this morning (in my Crystal Lite peach mango antioxidant tea stuff) and now I am definitely awake, buuuut I am plotting my day now!:)
Have a great Sunday!:)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Made the Hot & Sour soup!:)

and it was delicious!!

I was a little jangled while cooking today because we had a reporter come by and do a story on the baking thing. It was from the same local newspaper that I used to work for, and even a reporter whose name was familiar. He was congenial enough though, although I hesitate to think or am a little afraid of what he will write as I probably spilled too much beans about myself. But I know the editor and chief very well (I still have that person's email address!) so I guess I could complain if it came to that.

Anyway, the soup was yummy with lots of tofu, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, chicken broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, cornstarch, water, and a little egg white in the end. I love that soup so much I'll buy it as a comfort food in the largest container possible from the local Chinese restaurant. The last time I did that and picked it up myself it was $4.20!! Highway robbery! Now I know how to make it myself and I am sooo happy!

Tuesday.


I forget where I got these photos. The first probably from an email. The second I don't remember at all, so forgive me if I took a picture from someone's site.
Thanks to the jerk that made me paranoid about always putting where I got things from.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Busy Monday.

Today I spent the day with a friend, had lunch, did errands with her and a little shopping. It was fun.

I am going to be working at the Drop-in Center soon. I will be a Facilitator (with other people that are also Facilitators). That's a person that keeps an eye on everybody and makes sure no major rules are broken and basically hangs out with the clients and cleans twice a day and does whatever else needs doing. I start a training program on Wednesday for 4 Wednesdays and then begin the job at the end of July after my vacation. This is an actual job, I will be on payroll and no longer a volunteer!!

I will still do the baking thing until that is over for me. That's supposed to be a six-month program.

I am planning my vacation and very excited about it. I will be going to see my Mom and we are going fishing and to the beach. It will only be for a couple of days but I am sooo looking forward to it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tart sheds Abilify, goes through med change.

I went to the p-doc on Thursday and just like that, I am no longer on Abilify. Instead, Seroquel in much smaller doses than I used to take it will replace it.

In the process of getting rid of the Abilify, I must take it every other day to wean myself off of it. So I am in the process of doing that.

So far my mood has been stable and I am remaining positive. Hopefully I will shed the shake (my left-hand shaking and jaw shaking), stop the weird involuntary shifting and moving of my legs and Stop the Anxiety.

I didn't think I got anxiety so much until I started taking the Abilify. I did not realize what a debilitating thing anxiety can be until I experienced it. It makes the world a different place for the anxiety experiencer. Everything is a threat, the stress level is high, everything worries me, and I always feel that stress in my lower back. That's me though.

I hope to soon not need the sorting labels at the bottom that say Abilify anxiety.

My left hand feels like it is turning into a claw, it tightens up so much and I'm left-handed. Anyway...

I got out my guitar today. I use the beautiful Yamaha I got in high school for getting better than a B in Trigonometry in summer school sooo many years ago (plus I was just out of the hospital and still somehow managed to do well. My mom made me this deal with the guitar and I love my steel string Yamaha).

I got an Esteban guitar for myself for Christmas a couple of years ago and the guitar itself is crap because the strings go out of tune so easily. I don't know if this is because it is strung for classical and the strings are nylon and simply cannot hold tuning. I hope that I could get it re-strung and it would make it better.

The Esteban also has an amp that I honestly haven't played much with as I am just trying to learn the guitar and the Esteban is not like a 'real electric guitar' like a Fender or a Gibson, which someday I would like to have. Heck, I would like to have lessons, too.

In lieu of lessons though, I have the next best thing, which is the Esteban DVD's. This may have been the best thing about buying the Esteban guitar because the DVD's teach with Mr. Esteban himself the guitar lessons. I am still learning arpeggios and simple stuff and I do it on my steel string guitar and it is very fun.:)

Blossom, the baby Pug, will be fine.

Turns out Tart has good Mommy sense and after taking Blossom to the vet on Thursday, it turns out she has a urinary tract infection. This explains also why potty training has not been going so well, she has been going in the house whenever she feels like it. Now she is on Clavomox, an antibiotic, to treat the UTI.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

David, my brother-in-law is healing. We visited on Memorial Day weekend and he was walking with a cane. Now, his mom says, he sometimes carries the cane and doesn't use it and also forgets to use the sling for his arm. But now he has a crack in his tailbone, an x-ray says. But he is coming along.

I have been not doing so well for two days. I went out Monday to help a friend move some boxes and went with another long-time friend. The interaction between us somehow saddened me, to the point that I had to take a Klonapin that night, early the next morning and was out of it for the baking thing and could not go. I am better today. But still feel cry-ey. Maybe it's hormonal.

I found a recipe for hot and sour soup in a Weight Watchers 'Take-out Tonight!' cookbook and can't wait to show it to our baking/cooking supervisor. I love the hot and sour soup at a certain restaurant my husband and I go to and if I was dying I'd like to know how to make it. Having a recipe for it is the closest thing.

I signed up to put my Coke points or 'Coke Rewards' in the computer and get stuff for it. Actually, I've been doing it for a couple of years: I have gotten a Christmas ornament, a coupon for a drink, a subscription for 'Good Housekeeping' (good coupons in there!) and now I'm working on getting 'Everyday Food' a magazine by Martha Stewart about food and recipes.

My left hand shake and jaw shake is really there. I see the p-doc tomorrow and will discuss. My husband has apparently always thought I should get off the Abilify when I started having the shakes (hello, a year ago) but what is there? It has been working in many ways. The anxiety is difficult as well.

Blossom, the baby Pug, is acting really lethargic. It's not normal. And considering what happened with Mia, my little Pug, I Am paranoid. She is sleeping on my lap but I can tell from the way she's been acting all day that something is up. So I made an appointment for her tomorrow morning. Hopefully, it is something easily fixable.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thinking of Memorial Day.

Home of the Brave, Webshots

I think of the plunge it takes and the bravery it takes to leave your family and willingly do and go where the U.S. government tells you. To those that serve, those that leave families at home - God bless you.

Soothed.

So I sobbed to a friend and saw my County therapist today and in general (which seems like my new phrase!) I feel a little better.

Bipolar is a really sucky disease. My counselor says it seems that only recently have I been coming more to terms with it, whereas before I had some senses of denial. During my times of denial, when I refused to see how bad it was, which still happens, I am able to soar more in the world, complete college, work, that kind of thing. Now that I've had time to be alone and think about it, it is like going through stages of grief to realize what we are dealing with.

I have been upset, I think, because I wish I knew what to do with my life, like it's ever that easy for anybody to figure out. But more and more I am realizing what the illness does, that it does take away, and Honey, it hurts.

Today I will try to focus on what it does not take away. Today I will try to think of the things, the blessings, that I have. I will wipe away the tears I cry as I type that, and go on.

*****

I am thankful that my brother in law is okay. He was hit by a car on Saturday, May 16, as a pedestrian, and suffered a broken upper left arm (he is right-handed) and a crushed shoulder joint (broken in eight places).

He now has steel pins in his arm, a reconstructed shoulder and a foot-long scar. He is so lucky he was not hurt more. Thank you God, for protecting my sweet brother-in-law.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Leave it.

I thought about deleting the last post, because I thought people would take it wrong, but then I decided no, I felt it last night so leave it.

I realize there was not much triggering about it, I decided to hold back on what I was thinking about some things. Annnnd I still am. Because I never speak in real life because people always take it wrong and I don't want to over explain myself in print too.

American Idol sux. + possible triggering stuff

Oh I am really 'full of it' tonight.

First of all, I am pissed about American Idol. Adam Lambert can sing better than Kris Kringle. Period. Why didn't he win? I am wondering if it is because he is gay. What the?

I can't wait for him to make a CD. I haven't bought music in a loong time, but I will buy that. I am also considering boycotting Idol in the future. What a joke it is.

Additionally, on an entirely different topic, I am pissed and feeling very low in general. Certain things from the baking thing bother me. Long story not getting into right now.

As in I thought about (pOSSIBLE TRIGGER) offing myself. But instead I ate some chocolate, took a clonapin (not in that order) and am now typing.

I will regret all of it (the typing) except that I will breathe for another day tomarraw. For those of you not aware, I do know how to spell - I was speaking of the day after tonight known as to-mor-row.

I went to my baking thing and was all alone with the founder who I greatly admire in heneral (that's Spanish for in general). If this is creativity, shoot me.

We talked of many things. But I ended up feeling sad today as I thought of it. I felt very left out of her schizophrenic world, one in which she finds there are so many others having the same symptoms as she.

I don't feel like I know a kinship of bipolars, or get to talk with anyone hardly except my emotionally verklempt husband for 10 minutes while we snarf down dinner and then he goes comatose on the couch, never to be heard from again. Not to mention he's the only human being I see all day. It's very weird. I might as well live in a burkha.

I married someone who doesn't laugh, doesn't speak much, but is real sweet. He's not mean to me, he is kind and says that he loves me (I'm about being truthful, not skewering the guy) but except for the emergencies he's not getting involved, know what I'm sayin'? Even then I would have to be holding a weapon in my hand or worse, shake him from deep sleep telling him I believe it's Armageddon again (That's worse than having a weapon only because that would be waking him up). You get the picture.

Anyhoo, said founder of bakery thing, who is also quite sweet (and naive, really, but that is another thing) and is a go-getter, I've said so in the past, works really hard, has a husband and child, goes to school, and apparently to her chagrin, takes medicine.

Probably not realizing how much this medicine makes it possible for all of the above to occur. Just an observation.

Then founder says she would like to be off medicine someday.

What is with people being afraid to take medicine? I am getting too tired tonight to write the scathing pissed off feelings that I feel about it.

I've paid a price a large exhorbitant price to learn that I've got to be on the stuff in order to be in this reality. Period. Six months in a state hospital NOT being a criminal but merely a mortal with an illness gives me the right to state this. I've been in remission for 15 years and I am still brought to tears if I talk about what happened then. And when I say remission, I mean psychotic episodes not the rest of the illness which is blunted greatly by tons of medication but STILL raises its ugly head enough to not let me live a normal life.

The anger courses through me. I have no one to talk to about it. So I send it out on the internet winds.

Why am I angry? Because so many times I have pulled myself up by my bootstraps, come back stronger from a 'fall' or at least survived the unfathomable and have no one to talk to about it. So now I pathetically write it on my blog.

I had another dream about smoking last night. It was a choice between a long lovely menthol or a long regular cigarette. In the dream, I chose the regular because I was concerned about ripping my lungs with the menthol (I smoked mostly menthols for 10 years in real life). Amazing. Worried about my health in a dream like that.

Plenty of real nightmares lately too. Won't go into it. Doesn't make you much want to sleep does it? Well, the 'dream cigarettes' make it nicer.

I wake up at 4 a.m. after a particularly messed up dream and can't sleep. It doesn't help that the next door neighbor's dog bays, howls, barks at 5:30 a.m on. Then my Emma dog starts in and then you are no longer compatible with the nice person that everyone thinks (I) am. You just want to yell.

But husband is sleeping. And its not Armageddon yet.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Do you have anyone in your life that is bordering on being a critical individual? Someone in your inner circle that probably means well but feels like is causing you ill.

Yes, I'm saying I feel at the moment I feel like I have one of those. I think it may be a little jealousy over the fact that I refuse to take on the stress of a full-time job (hey, I can't) and their job is stressful.

Just a moment ago I ached for a cigarette. I haven't smoked in a couple of years. I feel a little better now, I guess I don't need it, but I have dreams about having one. That's kind of funny isn't it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day from the Jungle.

Ah, a fresh post. A beautiful Sunday. Again, Happy Mother's Day.

I went with a friend today to check out possible new digs for her. A very nice complex and enjoyed lunch with her and hanging out and talking.

I also spent a few hours with Auctiva figuring out profiles and how to list and problem-solving. That Auctiva is really neat, because its the free site that has a constant slideshow of everything you are listing on each listing on Ebay, plus free nice templates too.

I am proud of myself because I saw it on another site and then checked it out and downloaded it myself and figured it out. That really did make me feel good. I would not let it be a mystery.

My friend and I stopped at a flea market today, which gave me the idea - what if we were to sell some of the books at a flea market? She has so many and will be moving soon, it would be nice to reduce the inventory.

She thinks this is a great idea and somehow when things involve her, she gets me moving and I actually follow through and get stuff done. Like the fundraiser we did at a dollar store, or even getting my angel pins done so I could donate and sell them for the Center. It makes me feel good to be part of something larger and I give what I can.

The Jungle is doing well. They are all healthy and have passed their respective exams by the vet. Well, Emma Pug is next for a wellness exam, to keep up with her shots, but Reese the Siamese did just fine for the Doc.

He was so manic when I brought him in, he got into every door they had and I had to pry him out from under their sink (it had doors - oh goody, he says!) and once I blocked that off he went for the doors on the wall that hides all the vet equipment.

All this between the time the tech left (after taking his temperature, How Undignified) and the doctor walked in! He does not act like this at home because it's not a new place with neat smelling stuff everywhere. He's a very smart, vocal kitty, too.

I know some people don't understand, but the Jungle are easily like kids for me.

I hope Mom's everywhere had a good day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day (un tad early!)




Happy Mother's Day!!!!


Mothers Nurture the World.


Have a beautiful day!!:)