November 4, 2009

Juggling with my medication levels

I'm currently juggling with the level of Zeldox (ziprasidone) in my system. I went from 20 mg mornings, 20 mg evenings to 40 mg mornings, 60 mg evening. I found with that increase in the level of medication I felt nervous and anxious. Couldn't sit still, couldn't concentrate on reading anything, and just felt "busy is better". It was an unsettling feeling indeed. I stuck with that program for 4 weeks hoping it would get better but it didn't. So, I've gone back to the pharmacist and with my doctor's blessing am back down at 20 mg mornings, and 40 mg evenings. Seems to have made a good difference in my life, in terms of reading concentration. But I do notice a difference in my ability to compose blog posts *laughs* It's as though the pump of thoughts really isn't there, at all. It's a conscious effort now to get myself sitting down to type out a blog post. It's not an effortless task as it was beforehand to jot down a purge of thoughts. So, please excuse the lack of posts but I am going to try my best to keep up with regular posting. I'll try for one post a week and see how that goes.

October 17, 2009

Making some sense of it all

Well, I'm back, for a moment here. Must excuse the lack of posting on this blog - but really not feeling a flow of words that wants to pour out. I could simply rant on and on about how the lack of money is a constant worry, but that'd get boring fast for you. But really, that is a vast well of worry for me. As well as the remorse for spending what I've spent on things I really didn't need. For instance, 200+ CD's that I rarely listen to. Some rap, some punk, and really not my taste at the moment at all. No, they were a brief dip into a mania state where I felt like that, at the moment. Now, with some common sense I shudder at my past tastes.

That is what is happening now in my life. This whole common sense thing - I think the right combination of drugs has afforded me finally some common sense. I feel grounded. Trying to be happy in the moment. Realizing that for each moment ticked by on the clock is another moment lost. Trying to enjoy my kids for who they are at this moment. All too soon my 2nd child will be in her pre-teens and not wanting hugs any more. It's that way with my oldest child now. She asks for hugs the occasional time but never wants a hug if she doesn't initiate it.

Live each moment as a precious gift is what I need to remember. Got tears in my eyes now as I write this. A feeling of how lucky I am to have had the fun of bringing up two beautiful daughters. And yet, I worry about the future for them. Will they learn French enough to graduate? Will they have friends when they need them?

Worry is looking too far ahead, sorry is looking back, faith is looking up. Just a little saying I repeat, at times.

September 21, 2009

Working on getting work

Well, I've been working on getting work. Not an easy task when you're a stay at home mum for the last 12 years, or so. Haven't had a whole pile of work experience before that either. So, I'm aiming for the low-class jobs at Tim Horton's and the like.

Feeling okay about myself otherwise. I'm managing okay on the Zeldox capsules with a few Zyprexa, for sleep purposes, needed for some nights.

It's a gorgeous day outside and I've been for a short walk. Nice in these late September days to feel the warmth of the sun still. All too soon the sun will be making a short arc in the sky and it will be too cool to feel the warmth.

Live life joyous and happy. We are wonderful people with kind, warm hearts. Let's not forget that among the daily trials of life when it's seeming all negative, about what we 'can't, don't, fail' to do right. I'm guilty, myself, of getting down on myself. I am a strong, beautiful, kind person who cares.

September 9, 2009

Back to the routine

Well it's back to the routine here of getting kids off to school each morning. We're in our 2nd week of school now. I still miss the girls energy, enthusiasm and joie de vivre in the house however. It seems 'empty' with them gone. Too quiet, not enough life in the house. Just me and the cat - our dog is gone, due to him running away. He wasn't turned in at the SPCA, and haven't seen him since July :( Silly Beagle, always running away. So busy following his nose he likely got hit by a car I'd guess? Not a clue where he is now, sadly.

I feel lonely - I need to get out more, see more people, enjoy life today - a beautiful sunny day with mid-September coolness. Beautiful.

August 25, 2009

A change in my sleeping habits

I've noticed in the last 7 days or so that I've had a lot more sleeplessness. Haven't been able to get to sleep for anything :( Last night, in a effort to sleep I took 2 Zyprexa - now, I can recall having that beforehand and being blotto the next morning. And yet this morning I was awake at 4 am, and not feeling tired? The Zyprexa worries me though - so much weight gain on it, and the chance of diabetes developing :( Ugh.

Let's hope my sleep gets back to a more normal pattern soon. I hate being awake at 2 am prowling the house, trying to be quiet. Feeling too wired to read a book - too hyper. It's a horrible feeling when you know you need the sleep, and can't get it.

August 19, 2009

Feeling quite overwhelmed today

Have had a lot of tears in the last 12 hours. I don't know why it's hitting me hard, but it is. Just worry about money, and lack of it, and fears that the future won't work out well for us, because of being in debt. My not working isn't helping anything. Being a stay at home mum is the stuff of my dreams, but I should be out working. Doing what, cleaning houses I guess? Feeling really teary about things anyhow. Time to sit and think isn't good about now. I need to get busy doing something. Time for putting away the clean laundry I think.

I know I should think happy thoughts, and am trying to. Hard to break through the sadness though.

August 14, 2009

Haven't gone away for good

Please excuse my lack of posting, but really just enjoying life. This feels like work sometimes, to come on and write a post. I don't want it to feel like that. I want it to be a happy purge of thoughts when I feel the need. So, don't worry if I'm not posting regularly. I'll not abandon this blog like I have others. No, this is my little purge of thoughts relating to bipolar and me.

I'm happy that I've come to a realization of sorts within myself. That which is the realization that my past is simply there in the past. Some events have shaped me into the person I am, but others make my skin crawl at the memories. I truly need a internal sea-wall in which to filter out the good, leaving the bad memories behind the wall. As I move along in life, I try to think "live in the present dear, be grateful for what you have, at this moment, don't be sad for the mistakes which are in the past." It's easy to say, but the practice of living it isn't easy.

I hope your day is wonderful, joyous and happy. I hope someone tells you they love you. That's a beautiful thing to hear, isn't it?

My daughter who said "Mummy I love you" this morning.

August 4, 2009

A picture to soothe the soul

Roasting some marshmellows by the fire

My darling little muscle girls hamming it up for the camera

These were taken on a holiday weekend that we had, away from computers, TV's and cellphones. Just good food, good company, and lots of fun. Good for the soul, in many ways.

A couple of quotes

Just thought I'd put up a couple of paragraph quotes from Tony Attwood's book "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" and then talk about why I feel they apply to me.

The first one is about the ability to communicate better via email/internet

" .... The great advantage of this form of communication to the person with AS is that he or she often has a greater eloquence in disclosing and expressing thoughts and feelings through typing rather than face-to face conversation. .... When using the computer, the person can concentrate on social exchange without being overwhelmed by so many sensory experiences and social signals that occur in social gatherings. ... "

The second quote is to do with friendships and caring.

"When a friendship does occur, one of the difficulties for people with AS is knowing how to maintain it. At this stage, the issues are those of knowing how often to make contact, appropriate topics of conversation, what might be suitable gifts, empathetic comments and expressions as well as how to be generous in the event of disagreements. With these friendships sometimes a friendly act, smile or gesture has greater implications than was intended, and this may lead to the development of an intense interest or infatuation with a person who appears kind and friendly"

To me, thats the exact nutshell of what happened with an internet friend I had. He didn't want a smothering friend. Simply "a friend" who would maintain a distance. And which I couldn't do. I was intensely interested, and yes infatuated. Simply due to the attention he gave me, and our common interests. It felt so good to have someone who wanted to be a friend. I really really enjoyed it. And why now, I have felt so intensely forgotten, discarded.

But, I must remember this fact: A thought that I'm scattered, unreliable, and basically screwed up doesn't make it a fact. Those are only negative thoughts, that's all.

I can only be at peace when I stop thinking of myself as defective, and start believing that I'm simply "me", warts and all. Taking pride in my accomplishments, and trying to minimize my shortcomings to the place they deserve: an afterthought. Sounds a lot, as I think back to my last entry that I'm simply repeating myself. But I want to make it a habit: give myself some love, and some pats on the back. Too harsh on ones self isn't good for anybody, is it? If you're feeling down on yourself, please, say with me "we are better than we think we are", and give ourselves some credit.

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. ~ Henry David Thoreau

July 20, 2009

I'm not mad, bad or bizarre

No, not mad as in crazy, or bad, or bizarre but simply different. I'm reading more of "The Complete Guide to Asperger's syndrome" and love that line. "You're not mad, bad or bizarre but simply see the world in a different manner than neuro-typical people".

I have to be proud of who I am. Not making excuses for it, nor how I view the world. But simply accepting "I am proud of who I am, like it or leave it" attitude. Yes, some won't like it, I know. But, I can't change the me in me. I'm just not a cookie cutter typical person whom social chit-chat comes to easily.

July 16, 2009

Interesting article about autism

Here's a very interesting essay on Autism Autism as Academic Paradigm

I must apologize for lack of entries

Something to do with having kids around, I think. They really truly take up a lot of time, getting snacks, food, and bandaids. Doing all the assorted tasks of a Mum does keep one busy, after all. And it's an important job, as well. They are young for such a short time, really, life-span wise, and why not invest some quality care time for them? It will hopefully pay off when they're teenagers.

So, yes Asperger's is on my mind, again. I looked at the book store I like and they had nothing in the genre. So, checked at the local library and eureka! A 2007 copy of "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" by Tony Attwood, the noted psychologist who is the de facto expert on the condition.

What a lovely book. He writes it in a very clearly understandable tone, with good factual information. So many of the signs that he writes of are within my mental map of myself. The exclusion of childhood friends. The noting of feeling "odd and different" in high school when adolescence hit. Leading to more of a complex that I was 'weird', even to myself. I recall somebody speaking up when there was a question 'who's the smartest person in this class' and somebody said my name. I was shocked that somebody else had noticed. But my marks didn't reflect that I was smart, and knew I was. I just didn't know why I couldn't get the thoughts down there, onto the paper. I knew I knew the stuff. Couldn't reproduce it. Whereas in geography where it was all facts, figures I got 90% on my report card.

Sounds. I notice in the car when Tim turns on the radio, and it's meaningless chatter, or music that I don't enjoy I just ask to have it turned off. There is no consideration for him, that he may enjoy it. It's like my need is much more important than his. I find it really bothers me to have that noise there. Whereas if it's my music, that I enjoy listening to, then it's okay. Bizarre, I know.

Food. I notice there are definite textures that I can't eat. Pureed food, like creamed squash, I can't stand that texture. I don't know why but it makes me physically gag. Bizarre, yes.

But the beginning quote in this book I refer to above is so true. "You aren't mad, bad, or defective but have a different way of thinking". It isn't a bad thing, at all. Simply a different way of looking at the world. Adapting this to society is the hard part. Living within the social fabric easily isn't easy, for me.

I wrote a long email to a friend earlier today. Simply a purge of thoughts and emotions. As I said to him, it's not as public as writing on here, for the world (and Indian drug spammers) to read, and yet, more public than a private diary that only I would read. At times, email truly is the panacea for my needs.

Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.
Thomas H. Huxley

July 7, 2009

Trying to see the big picture

Yes, I'm trying to see the big picture. I find myself falling into the same old trap of saying to self "you're stupid, silly, too emotional (or insert other adjective here)". But I'm also consciously trying to say to myself "find 5 good things right now". And it works. It does work on getting me away from the self-pity party that I seem to want to hold. And which does me no good.

So, on a dreary, dreadful, rainy, cold July morning here's 5 things I'm grateful for, right now

1.) Got a computer with internet, high speed at that

2.) a warm cup of tea to sip

3.) kids are playing well, and quietly with toys in their room

4.) I'm well fed after a nice breakfast, and don't feel hungry

5.) My husband has already called to say I love you this morning and let me know that he got stuck in a massive traffic jam in Ottawa. But he made it to work ok.

So, yes, I could pity myself for the things I don't do right, or I could say good for me for the things I do do right. (that's an awkward sentence with 2 do's).

If you're reading this, and feeling down, join with me in saying "we are better than we give ourselves credit for".

We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

July 4, 2009

22 years married

Well today, July the 4th is my wedding anniversary. 22 years this year. Thankfully I met the right guy, at the right time, and we married. I am very happy with him. Yes, we've had some hard times. But he's known, and is mature enough, thankfully, that I'm not always going to be the even tempered person he'd like me to be. I feel fortunate. So grateful. I guess I did something right to meet a lovely guy who's put up with my crap for 22 years. :)

July 1, 2009

A quote I like here

"The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity." George Bernard Shaw

June 29, 2009

Following along on the Asperger's syndrome theme

As I go about my daily business of being me, and mum, and cleaning up stuff, little pieces of what I've read about Asperger's syndrome drift into my head. Some thoughts, scattered along the road here

- the lack of desire to follow 'their' rules, as in society, or higher-ups, or bosses. No, I like to follow MY rules. I like to do it my way. But to follow them strictly. And conforming with others rules to the point of behaving properly ie. with ethics

- lack of knowledge of how much I should talk or write emails. Why, in fact, perhaps I hounded a guy with a 1,000 + emails in a year. A real lack of moderation, or thought, hence leading to the thought of she is bizarre on his part. Yes, bizarre in the sense that I don't know when to stop the flow of information. I love it, and it keeps pouring out of me. A lack of social grace in knowing when to stop the flow.

- lack of sleeping well for years. I'd never sleep in like a teenager did. Never. Always up at the crack of dawn. Never needed sleep-in's to noon like some teenagers did.

- A lack of enjoying a novel. I would read some novels but never felt a huge interest in reading them.

- an ability to feel things intensely. Feel real fear for instance. A real fear of falling off a high place to the point of paralyzing me to the ground. My palms get sweaty and I can feel the fear as a living thing inside me. I dream about falling as well, and hate it.

- after talking with a child-hood friend who is my best friend in the world still, a feeling of yes, I'm right on the money with Asperger's syndrome. How I've amazed her over the years with my capacity for knowing bits of information. How I completely amazed her in Europe with my walking, talking travel book monologue. I knew so much about each place we visited as she said. It was as though I was speaking the travel guide verbatim. How I'll remember details of our trip that she's long forgotten. How her mother said to her once, "Debbie is a very smart young lady". Somehow she knew this, and told Pam. How Pam has seen me in public situations and noticed my monologues towards others, and their obvious discomfort at my chattering on. The use of pedantic language "sounding very formal" in my talking even at a young age. Sounding like I knew a lot, (which I did, according to her).

- a feeling at times of being a walking, talking dictionary/encyclopedia of knowledge and yet feeling out of place talking about it. Knowing, at times, that what I've been saying hasn't been welcomed but not being able to know exactly why, nor what to do about it.

- an ability to easily read and program machines in my house. Have been known to do the same at others houses as well (laughs). Heck isn't the manual the thing to read to know how to work it? Why not read the manual first? I do. And then press the buttons, and presto, the clock is set, and it works! One of my pet peeves is to see the display on VCR's flashing. Why not set the clock after all? Not that hard, IMHO. See what I mean? I feel this affinity for wanting things to work the way they should work. "Rules based"

- A terrible urge to spout out information to anyone, on my Facebook or on Twitter, hoping someone will reply to it. Loving this feeling of power I get when I get a "thank you for that information Deb" reply. Just a warm feeling of "Yes, somebody noticed it, and has benefited from it". A sort of mental pat on the back that I can't be that bad, and a carrying on of finding out more information.

I could go on, and on, but won't. I'll end this entry here.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

June 28, 2009

I may well have Asperger's syndrome

So, a large piece of the puzzle as to why I act that way that I do act may have been answered by my psychiatrist. She's suggested that I look up on Asperger's syndrome. I'd heard the name of it but never read anything about it before yesterday. It's an autism spectrum disorder.

What strikes me right off the bat is the social impact on peers. How one with AS (Asperger's Syndrome) lacks the social graces, and knowledge of how to properly, and effectively communicate with others. Often characterized by a marked lack of friends (that is so me), and a feeling of 'being shunned due to oddness of behaviour' but not knowing why.

A marked feeling of knowing things and yet not being able to effectively communicate them. Written word appears to be a much better way of communication, apparently in AS people. I'd agree with that. I find it much easier to write than I do to talk.

BTW I'm getting a lot of talking points from this page Sociological and cultural aspects of Asperger's syndrome

This paragraph, in particular
Children with AS often display advanced abilities for their age in language, reading, mathematics, spatial skills, and/or music—sometimes into the "gifted" range—but this may be counterbalanced by considerable delays in other developmental areas. This combination of traits can lead to problems with teachers and other authority figures. A child with AS might be regarded by teachers as a "problem child" or a "poor performer." The child’s extremely low tolerance for what they perceive to be ordinary and mediocre tasks, such as typical homework assignments, can easily become frustrating; a teacher may well consider the child arrogant, spiteful, and insubordinate.

I was an advanced reader, seen as bright by my teachers, but definitely not applying that to my studies. I tested as very smart on my aptitude tests but didn't do well in marks. I was barely scraping by in my marks. 50 to 60% was my avg. I believe. I can recall teachers writing "poor performer" on my report card.

If you were to ask any of my friends in high school they'd say I was different. Not a cookie cutter of a girl who fit in easily with the crowd. And yes I can remember celebrating that I *WAS* different, odd, marched to my own drummer.

This line:

Two traits sometimes found in AS individuals are mind-blindness (the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others)

Yes, I'd have a hard time predicting the belief of anyone reading this blog. I don't know how to do that. I can't predict your reaction or intention of reading this. I could guess the intention is to learn, perhaps, what Asperger's is. I'd guess that, but not know it, inside myself. Whereas if you asked me a fact of something like weather, I'd be able to tell you that fact, easily. It's facts, figures, snippets of information within my brain that I feel I have the best control over.

This line:

People with AS report a feeling of being unwillingly detached from the world around them. They may have difficulty finding a life partner or getting married due to poor social skills.

Yes, I often have a feeling of other-worldiness about me when I've been focusing on learning something, and come back to earth. My mother said to me that often she'd see me with my 'head in the clouds' so to speak. I'd touch down to earth from time to time, and she'd see me there, focusing on her. Often though, I wasn't there mentally. I wasn't aware of what was going on.

This line:
The intense focus and tendency to work things out logically often grants people with AS a high level of ability in their field of interest. When these special interests coincide with a materially or socially useful task, the person with AS can lead a profitable career and a fulfilled life. The child obsessed with a specific area may succeed in employment related to that area.

I've been called gifted by some in my knowledge. "How in the world did you know that?" or "How in the world did you remember that fact Debbie?" Yes, if somehow I could find a use for the useless, but smart thoughts swirling in my head, I'd have a job, I'm sure.

Another quote, from a page I can't find but recall, was something about how AS people seem to gravitate towards each other. This leads to breeding, perhaps of AS children. An astounding 24.8% of AS people are children of engineer's in one study. My father? An engineer. I can quickly name off about 5 things I see in him that should/could be considered "Asperger's syndrome" type habits/mannerisms, btw.

Not that any of this makes any difference at all to my life. It's not treatable, and some say why treat a simply different way of looking at the world. It's not a disability, but a different ability to see our world. An object focused view instead of a social focused view of the world.

Great essay on it here. "Is Asperger's Syndrome necessarily a disability?"

Where he writes this:

Whereas the disability view might be clearly appropriate for classic autism, the article suggests that from a particular perspective, the close relative of autism, called Asperger Syndrome, can be viewed simply as a different cognitive style. This important idea can be traced to Uta Frith’s book (Frith, 1989), and has been recently discussed in relation to ‘central coherence’ theory (Happe, 1999), but deserves a fuller discussion because of the implications of this shift of emphasis.

Yes, why should a simple cognitive style difference be labeled as "a disability". It is simply different, after all.

Anyhow, enough written for this entry. Will sign off and write more tomorrow, perhaps.

June 25, 2009

Thoughts on Michael Jackson and "being odd"

I am outraged at the cruel way some people say "good that sicko Jacko is dead". He was a human being. A person. With kids who loved their daddy. With brothers and sisters who loved their brother. With parents. Yes, perhaps he was different in his choice of art, and other oddities of life. But we, as society, cannot pass judgment, and call him "sick, twisted, weird, disgusting, freak". There is a saying in Latin de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est. It is variously translated as "No one can speak ill of the dead," "Of the dead, speak no evil," or, more literally, "Let nothing be said of the dead but what is good."

Another saying I think of is "Judge not lest you be judged by the same measure." We have no right to call him these things. It troubles me greatly that a pop figure, who arguably was one of the most influential artists in the 20th century, could be treated so horribly in words.

For what it's worth, I'm sad for his death. He was a talent. He will be missed. Whatever speculation may exist about his illness(es), mental states, mood(s) or whatever he gave us entertainment.

RIP Michael

EDIT: I see a lot of the pack mentality in a lot of posts. "Oh others are bashing him, let's join in too, and give a good kick or two in words". Sort of the same thing that leads a bunch of yobos to bash a man senseless, or dead, just because he looked funny.

Look within yourself, I ask. Do you know he was sick? Or did you simply read a media report that said he was? Did you see him abuse a child? Or did you simply read a report that he had? Ever play the game of Chinese whisper? Where you start off in a circle with each person whispering the same message around, with the last one saying it? How distorted the actual message is when said out loud by the last person? That's what I believe has happened 1,000 fold in this guys case. We don't know him, through the media. We don't know this person. We don't have a right to judge him, just like we don't have a right to judge a schizophrenia patient who is going through a spell of distorted thinking.

June 24, 2009

5 Things to be thankful for and more about me

Today I sat and ate dinner out on our deck. It's a small deck, with a table and 2 benches and a deck box that the kids can sit on to eat dinner. We've got a small suburban back lawn with a garden or two or three. Could use a good weeding honestly but can't be stuffed to do it. I should be more energetic and getting weeding I know. But lethargy sets in. A lethargy that I don't like, but live with.

Anyhow the 5 things I thought of while sitting on the deck were these.

1) a good dinner that I enjoyed eating
2) a nice deck to sit on to enjoy my good meal
3) seeing my 2 girls playing in the back yard. Free to be kids and loud and noisy if they want to be. Having fun with each other.
4) Having a beautiful warm day with sunshine - not too terribly hot, but just "nice"
5) feeling loved and cared for by my children and my husband

It's the small things in the present that I realize I must grasp onto in order to stay happy when a sad spell hits. A reminder that life isn't bleak and without hope. That's only the illness speaking to me. "A thought is not a fact" is something I read on the blog Beyond Blue yesterday. Yes that is a truth worth recalling. Because I tell myself I'm a fucked up idiot who's far too emotional doesn't mean I am. The thought is not the fact that the illness sometimes makes me believe.

I did some mindful meditation today on the bed. Just 5 minutes or so (didn't watch the clock). Just enough to focus on my breathing for a while. A feeling of calmness overtaking my body. It does help.

Stay happy and smile, to anyone reading this. It is worth remembering "be happy". We can be happy in the moment if we try to work at it. It's the small stones of "happiness" that will make a patio of happiness.

June 22, 2009

My girls

Originally uploaded by ToriaURU
These are my incredibly beautiful, gorgeous daughters whom I love to Mars and back. Or, as Vic would say, "to the end of the universe Mummy!"

Who am I?

"Who am I" is a thought that I've had recently. How do you, the reader, know who I am. Through my writing I hope I explain myself well enough. My mind is a bit fuzzy still from the anti psychotic. So, will have to write more a bit later on this. Consider it a paused post.

Okay, unpause the post. Back to it with a clearer mind. After reading Identity on The Secret life of a Manic Depressive blog I feel up to finishing this post.

How come sometimes I feel just like saying "Hi I'm Deb, I'm manic depressive, and so yeah, I'm crazy, move along, you'll be better off for it". Isn't there so much more of me? But why then do some people not stick around? Is it due to my illness I'd guess? Because yes I do know that I'm ill. Not right in the mind. I'm bright, incredibly so, at times, but 'weird', as well. Why do I use the word 'weird' you ask? Well, like we (my childhood friends and I) decided "Eleanor Rigby" was the song that best suited me. We would sit in my friend Ann's living room and listen endlessly to The Beatle's albums on the turntable. They, along with me, agreed that Eleanor Rigby just seemed the right bit of "odd, bizarre, silly" that matches Deb. Yeah, I've embraced from high school that I was always different. Prided myself on it many a time, as well. Never really minded that I was a round peg in a large square hole of high school life. Never fit into any cliquey bunch, nor did I last long in any particular group. Not good enough for band - hell I got laughed at for putting my lips the wrong way on a French horn. Did some gymnastics, but that didn't last for long. Always the flighty little bird, never settling down for a long, hard, good try at something.

I see in my mental map as I look back a marked trouble of ADHD. At age 9 in grade 4, the teacher suggested to my mother I be given pills 'to help settle her down'. My mum said phooey on that! I had speech therapy for stuttering for about 5 years as well. Through most of high school, I believe. There are definite gaps of memory btw. Some items of remembered horror or enlightenment stand out, but it's a very patch-work quilt of memory.

On Facebook now, when I get high-school friends saying hello, I often have no memory of them, at all. The names are vaguely familiar but to pull up a memory of when I interacted with them is impossible. Kind of bittersweet in a way.

Who am I? I'm Deb, mother of two gorgeous girls that make every single day a joy to live. I'm wife to a lovely man who's a great dad. I'm me, a 48 year old woman who loves food and whom weighs far too much. But the weight doesn't bother me a whole lot. I'd rather be happy within the vast skin of this body God gave me than be sad that I'm not the size of Celine Dion.

I try to live happily within the confines of being manic depressive. I was diagnosed after a few dramatic episodes where I completely felt 'different'. I shall explain those if you care to ask, but would rather they aren't out in public view. Suffice it to say, it was enough information for the family doctor to refer me to a psychiatrist, whom I've been seeing since. They didn't just slap on the label of manic depressive without a long oral story by me of feelings, thoughts, events and actions/reactions to those events.

Hope this goes to explain "me" for the benefit of my readers. Did I do an okay job of it? I'll continue the thread of 'what's me' tomorrow.

June 20, 2009

Found a list I made for the psychiatrist

Here's a list of stuff that I wrote down
Just a mind purge, with selected quotes from different blog posts. I wanted to present to her a cluster of my thoughts. Allowing her to see my mental health through words. It's hard distilling this down to a small amount of words.

"Borderline personality disorder and mood disorders often appear concurrently. Some features of borderline personality disorder may overlap with those of mood disorders, complicating the differential diagnostic assessment."
Mackinnon DF, Pies R. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Studies examined here suggest a number of points of phenomenological and biological overlap between the affective lability criterion of borderline personality disorder and the extremely rapid cycling bipolar disorders.

To me, I can't truly think of deep depression. I don't see that in my mental map as I look back.I do see, however, emotional lability in my mental map. Lability meaning apt or likely to change. Dysphoria, defined as being "An emotional state marked by anxiety, depression, and restlessness." Oh yes, that is me. An anxiety that I won't be remembered, for some reason. A terrible need to reach out and talk to somebody, anybody!
A driving compulsive want for communication of any type.
A feeling of being bored, at times, when talking about the same thing, day after day.
A distinct desire to leap onto something new, and exciting.
A feeling of wanting to fix things, if I can.
I want to hear problems, solve them (or try to), and feel rage, and anger, and feeling of unhappiness when I can't fix something.
This terrible feeling of not being "normal".
Being broken, in a sense.
Trying to appear sane, but feeling really rather broken.
Scared of being rejected, and yet acting in ways that people do reject me. And then I can't fix them. Hence leading to a depression of sorts. But not a deep, dark, lasting, on-and-on-and-on one. Just a dip into feeling sorry for myself and then popping up to the level and thinking "life isn't so bad, let's try this again".
I can feel a quick flash of anger, intense, and then it's gone, with my feeling sorry that it happened.
Or intense sympathy for someone, but having to be taught to feel empathy for what that person feels about me.
Lamotrigne - It is working to a point to protect against the lows. But it isn't protecting against the highs.
The euphoria of believing I can do things I can't.
The tears of feeling sad, at times.
The inability of me to make proper, informed decisions and Actions that are measured, and thought out ahead of time.
Instead, I think => I act.
I act impulsively.
I react impulsively.
I react sometimes as suddenly as an elastic band snapping back against your finger.
I get reactions like "Whoa! Where did this come from Deb?"
Sometimes I snap like that at my kids. How does that make them feel? How does that make myself feel? Badly, in a word. Thankfully my husband is patient, to a point. But many times he's been ready to walk out.
And yet, still people just walk away from me.
Alienate me because I don't act "right".
I have a mental disease. Not a condition that I should be "able" to deal with, with some exercise.
I never need an alarm clock, ever. I'm always awake, fast. This leads to irritation as you might imagine.
I'm tired during the day.
Trying to keep my mind from racing.
For alienating friends who care, but who are hurt by my stupid, thoughtless reactions to perceived hurts that don't exist.
It's like I need a stimulus to make me laugh and feel good, or I feel lonely. Doing day-to-day stuff aka crap just gets me in the dumps.
Music helps, but then I get Tim saying it's too loud, or he doesn't like it, and turns it off. :(

It's like I need a main-stream of interesting conversation aimed at me, and then I feel alive and functioning and happy.
Without input I flounder about, get depressed and just don't feel good. I feel lonely.
My kids help a fair bit, but at times, I'd just rather not have their level of 'conversation'. "Mummy I'm hungry. I want a cheese and mayo sandwich. I want white bread. Cut it like this Mummy (crosswise, NOT sideways for squares).
I can recall losing my temper when they wouldn't sleep and going into the kitchen and wham wham wham wham on the cutting board with our big knife. It scared me as I was doing it. I couldn't stop. It totally scared Tim too. Another time, I slapped him, my dear husband across the face.
My speculation - why people in a mania state don't seek help. It's because we feel good! We feel like we're accomplishing things. Seems all is going well. It's only when a crack develops that we start to wonder if things ARE as great as they seem. For me, it was a series of events. Yelling at people who didn't deserve it. And then the really painful one. On Christmas Eve, falling asleep before filling the girls stockings. And then hearing them say "Mummy Santa forgot to come, our stockings are empty". Oh God that hurt to hear them say that. How dare I ruin their Christmas? They said, when I paused for a minute, "oh well he must have been really busy this year, and other kids need toys too, don't they?" But I knew that didn't let me off the hook. That's the day when I said to self "you are sick dear, and need help". Yes, I did. I'm glad I got it.
A great description of mania is this.
Think of a gas pedal of a car pressed to the floor. Hear that engine race? Think of that as the brain.
Now, keep that up for oh 2 to 3 months. That's the wear and tear, and the terror, and the lack of sleep that leads to really poor decision making.That's what leads to 3 hrs of sleep, then back up and let's keep going! Mind is in gear, and lets go, fast, rudderless basically, but we're going! That's mania, in a nutshell.
Something the psych. and I talked about was e-mail.
How I feel more important somehow if I get a personal email. She was asking if I thought others felt that way. Not as likely I said. Then we got into the idea if they don't send one, does that somehow mean they don't care? Of course not! If they don't write, does that mean they don't like you? No, of course not! Why the hell do I get into these negative frames of mind where the answers above are Yes.
Sometimes I just want to hide my head in the sand.But I mean just sometimes I want to forget I have moody days. I just want to feel on a even keel, all the time. Not have days when I feel like calling myself a stupid, mixed up fuck head, like I did the other day. A lot of little things made a big thing, and made me feel, as I said to a friend "a pathetic fuck up of a friend". He replied that no, he didn't see that, and that I'm not insane, rather just a thinking feeling person who is intense. Sometimes friends are God's little gifts (tm?) to us. A reminder that no matter how down we get on ourselves someone else admires us.

".. Depression shatters that capacity. When the mind's flexibility and ability to adapt are undermined by mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, or other psychiatric disorders, its defenses are put at jeopardy. Much as a compromised immune system is vulnerable to opportunistic infection, so too a diseased brain is made assailable by the eventualities of life. The quickness and flexibility of a well mind, a belief or hope that things will eventually sort themselves out - these are the resources lost to a person when the brain is ill. We know that the brain's inability to think fluently, reason clearly, or perceive the future with hope creates a defining constellation of depression. We also know that depression is at the heart of most suicides."
I truly realize with this failed 5 year friendship how ephemeral internet friends are. You can care so much, so deeply, share so many things, and yet, after one serious blow out in 2 years, it's gone. All that caring, feeling means absolutely nothing.

Quick thoughts
- moodiness
- overspending
- very high elated moods
- sometimes crushing low
- sometimes feeling manic and depressed at the same time.

"Now, why is it that most of us can talk openly about the illnesses of our bodies, but when it comes to our brain and illnesses of the mind we clam up and because we clam up, people with emotional disorders feel ashamed, stigmatized, and don’t seek the help that can make the difference."
Kirk Douglas, who's son Michael Douglas directed "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest"

A nice quote

The great mystery is in the known, not the unknown - Oscar Wilde

Just saw that one and liked it.

What about another sense we don't yet have a name for?

This is something I thought about regarding senses. What if we haven't classified all the senses we have? I notice that I've got a sensitivity to peoples feelings beyond that of normal people. For instance I looked at a friends picture and asked him a quest that literally blew him away about how I knew to ask him that. I just sensed as I looked at the photo and thought/felt it.

I've been recently reminded of Rodin. How standing there in his garden staring at the "Thinker" sculpture and thinking "why, why did he design that with the elbow on the opposite knee to what we'd normally see?" How that sculptor must have seen objects in such a way that clearly allowed him to copy them within a sculpture. Or perhaps Mozart, in how he saw the music in his head. He clearly had an entirely different way than most of us in seeing/hearing/feeling/sensing the music and its notes/sounds.

I've heard a friend say that he sees numbers really easily in his head. He can do complex multiplication in his head, for crumb's sake. I sure can't do simple subtraction :P The ones place is gone from memory while I work out the tens place. Forget the 100's place. :P

Recently been reminded that some just don't agree with me, at all. Oh well, such is life, must carry on without them. C'est la vie, and the way the cookie crumbles. Pip, pip, chin up, must carry along, as they say in England (or did way back LOL)

I have a good, happy strong life here. I am not a failure. These are the thoughts I want in my head as I lay down to go to sleep. I am strong and brave, even if sick mentally.

June 15, 2009

An analogy that I've thought of

I'm sometimes struggling with the view that I'm not accepted by some people in this world. I'm okay with it some days but others, not so much. This analogy comes to mind. I'm having a hard time of getting rid of this feeling of failure where my illness is concerned. That I shouldn't feel that I've failed. I get angry at telling myself I'm a failure as a friend. I'M NOT A FAILURE!

The analogy I'm referring to goes something like this. If I had a damaging defect in my heart, you'd not expect it to beat the same way as a completely normal heart. IE. one that hadn't been diagnosed as "damaged in some way" by a cardiologist. You, an observer, would be able to easily sympathize with hearing that I had shortness of breath, or numbness and tingling of my extremities due to bad blood flow. It's an easily understand disease. If my medication wasn't right, you'd sympathize and not say "oh arrhythmia of your heart is YOUR fault, you foolish person!". I'd not be seen as somehow causing my own trouble and making a big deal of nothing. Now apply all of that to the brain. Where a psychiatrist has said that yes she believes my brain is damaged. Why in hells name when I'm not on the right medications am I blamed for poor behaviour? It's not like I WANT to act hyper, manic, insane, swearing and otherwise bizarre behaviour. It "JUST" happens like arrhythmia does to a diseased heart.

That to me, is the greatest stumbling block. Holding in that anger that I basically feel, that I've been unfairly blamed when I was ill, and not in proper control of my feelings, thoughts and actions. See, a "normal" person, IE. one not diagnosed by a professional as being mentally ill, can control well their actions and thoughts. So, we, the mentally ill, are expected to do the same, regardless of our illness. That, in a nutshell is what is so hard about mental illness and suffering with it. People just don't get that we aren't well. We may not have a visible deformity, but there is one there, inside our brain.

Compare this sentence from Nov 2008 in an email
yeah, that'll give you an idea of my mood. White America.. mmm lots of anger, check. Lots of fucks, check. A feeling of deep frustration, check. Wanting to vent it outwards, check.

To this sentence
The reverting of the mind to that which has already occupied it is my aim. And one of the definitions of the word.

If I didn't tell you who'd written those two sentences, you'd never in your life think it was the same person would you? Does that show the level of impairment a lack of medicine can cause? I dunno, does it? I'm curious as to what you, the reader, think.

I read this paragraph from Wikipedia and just shake my head.

There are widespread problems with social stigma, stereotypes and prejudice against individuals with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.[2] People with bipolar disorder exhibiting psychotic symptoms can sometimes be misdiagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia, another serious mental illness.[3]

It is not a choice of mine to act hyper, manic and be offensive in my language. It is a disease.

June 10, 2009

keywords used to find this blog

Here are some of the keywords used by people to find this site

- bipolar stereotypes
- bipolar blogspot
- The Weather Network ( LOL! )
- describe mania
- bipolar madness
- bipolar II
- how does mania feel
- bipolar disease "blogspot"
- bipolar friendship
- manic pms
- how families with someone with bipolar 2 hypomania grieve
- difference between borderline and madness

Interesting to see how people discovered my blog, and I hope some of what I write is helpful to a few of you. The view inside my head, and thoughts, and feelings, is meant to be just that. A single voice from me sharing my view on the madness of bipolar.

I'll never be normal. Yeah normal isn't so great. But it means not having to watch your moods. "Am I reacting okay to this situation?" is something I'm always having to ask myself. If I was normal, and without bipolar, I'd not have to be asking that of myself. Oh well, I'll have to cope with it. Some days, when I feel well loved and cared for it's okay with me that I'm somewhat sick in the head. And yet other days with a lot of little things piled on, like today, it's hard to cope. Lots of tears today, for whatever reason. Not sure if it's due to a bad nights sleep or what.

I had a scary dream last night. Dreamt that for some reason Vic, my little one, was playing near a dangerous place where she could fall. I have a great fear of heights and cannot stand to be near an drop-off of any type. Woke myself up 2 or 3 times at least due to that dream. Maybe that was enough to make me a bit tired, and therefore a bit vulnerable to emotions. Not sure, obviously.

Ok, find a cheery, uplifting quote for yourself now she tells herself.

Dare to be yourself.
Andre Gide, French critic, essayist, & novelist (1869 - 1951)

June 6, 2009

Feeling weight and other issues

A friends post got me to thinking why I'm okay with my body. Yes I hear comments from my husband, and from my Dad. Tim's pretty okay with it, although he knows he can stab and wound me with words. But heck, I can't be perfect, like you know. :P

Weight is so loaded with feelings. If we weight too much then we're somehow defective, I'd guess, from portrayals? Why is that? Because I weigh more than my husband does that mean I'm "less" of a person? Um, no, wrong.

To me, food is always an emotional thing. I'm sad, I eat. I'm on the go, I don't eat, and forget to make good food. Then fill up on starch and easy to eat foods. That's not good. I need to remember, and plan for, those busy days. Have easy to eat healthy food at the ready for quick meals.

I hope to teach my children that food is simply for eating. Not a reward, nor a punishment. Not a manipulation tool. But simply that we need it, and to choose a good food that's healthy is the wisest choice. Yes to the bits of junk food but not an everyday thing.

Vic tells me I'm fat. Nothing like a daughter telling her mummy huh? But you know what she's said right after that? "I love you just the same Mummy you're the best Mummy in the world". Yeah, well I hope so.

That is what marriage really means: helping one another to reach the full status of being persons, responsible and autonomous beings who do not run away from life. Paul Tournier

June 4, 2009

A poem about kindness

I saw this poem on another blog and have copied it in here. Lovely one.

by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense and more,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

May 31, 2009

101 things Mummies should know

With the help of Victoria I'm going to write down a fun list over the next bit of time of "101 thing Mummies should know". Not the Egyptian kind but the hugs and kisses kind that gave birth to the munchkins.

1. Mummies should kiss it better. It helps.

2. My mummy should give me a kiss and a hug before bed.

3. Mummy shouldn't cry in front of the kids.

4. Mummy should make peanut butter and jam sandwiches cut just the right way (X-shape for triangles).

5. Always get a new pair of shoes when they grow out of the old ones.

6. Mummies should buy toys (lots of them!)

7. Mummies should give ice cream to the kids.

8. Should always wear your seat belt in the car.

9. Shouldn't cut your finger in the kitchen while using a knife.

10. Mummies should post kids art work on the window.

11. Bedtimes should be 9:30 pm (I said no way to that one!)

12. should give us healthy food to eat. (that's my 7 year old telling me that! wow!)

13. Mummies should look pretty

14. should buy nice clothes that I want to wear. (Ha!)


May 30, 2009

Why have I gone quiet?

Oh I dunno. Just a quiet time of it in my brain I guess. A pulling in of thoughts, and controlling them, and not feeling a terrible urge to pour out words. Lack of words wanting to be spilled translates into a quiet blog.

Really rather interested in the idea of cyber-security in light of Obama's speech saying he'll appoint a cyber security chief.

Thought of the day: does being brilliant and being messy and disorganized really go together. Am I less smart because I'm messy? That's a thought I had today.

Beauty often seduces us on the road to truth. David Shore, House M.D.

May 21, 2009

The woman's brain, and anger

How is it that we've arrived at 2009 and yet so many things aren't really known "why" women are different? Have you ever had a savage moment of anger, while suffering with PMS, and had your husband look at you like "who's the bitch in aisle 9 of the supermarket having a hissy fit?" Like he really doesn't know where this mood, this feeling, this emotion is coming from in his wife/lover. He, and most men will never feel those flash anger moments. Snapping, angrily, and then we push it away. I'll have those, and then smile, deep breath in, and I'll be okay. Any readers that feel that same flash, savage, bite-your-head-off anger?

I was given a neat book to read called "Women's Moods" by a friend Maven (thank you). A psychiatrist traces how many moods are truly based on our cycles. And yet, still so few times have I been asked "where are you in your monthly cycle?" It's like that has no meaning, yet, in a medical office. Why doesn't it?

Another great book that I ordered and have here beside me now is "The Female Brain" Finally a book written by a doctor who helps run the "Women's and Teens Mood and Hormone clinic" Link

I feel that I'm starting menopause. Extra moodiness (that I don't need :P), less flow, and a feeling of getting old. Never a happy time of life. This age (around 47 to 50) was the time my mum experienced menopause. Apparently it does happen the same time roughly in family lines. So, it's not surprising after all.

But .... to me that goes so well with the why of the savageness of some of my moods.

Excerpt now from "The Female Brain"

"That's how Sylvia felt at age forty-seven, when she called my clinic for an appointment - the first time in her life she had seen a psychiatrist. It was the year before her last child left for college, and she had constant mood symptoms - including irritability, with emotional outbursts and a lack of joy and hope - that had started to distress her. 'Peri menopause is like adolescence - without the fun,' she said on day. It's true your brain is at the mercy of changing hormones, as it was in puberty, with all the nerve-jangling psychological stress responsivity, worries about appearance, and over-the-top emotional responses. Sylvia would be fine one minute, but just the wrong comment from her husband could send her slamming doors throughout the house and seeking refuge in the garage for an hour-long sob fest. She couldn't take it anymore and wanted me to prescribe something to treat her symptoms. ...."

Hell yeah I can relate to that. Way too much. Would love to hear comments :)

You know, this book has really twigged my thought "how much is my life ruled by bipolar and how much by simple hormones or lack of hormones?" My psychiatrist has never asked, ever, about my monthly cycle. Interesting thought, that.

Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were. Cherie Carter-Scott

May 20, 2009

Quote I particularly like today

"Live to be in the present. Safety, security, knowing and being right are all synonyms for death."–Cheri Huber

When cleaning yesterday I found a note that I'd taken to the psychiatrist with this quote on it "Now why is it that most of us can talk openly about the illnesses of our bodies, but when it comes to our brain and illnesses of the mind we calm up and because we clam up, people with emotional disorders feel ashamed, stigmatized and don't seek the help that can make the difference." by Kirk Douglas in his "Stroke of luck" autobiography.

Underneath that she'd written this - There is nothing wrong with you. Make a change for the good in your life. And she wrote down Cheri Hubers name. So, I looked it up this morning.

Cheri Huber's website here

May 19, 2009

I worked really hard today

Normally my house looks like a hurricane went through it. Or basically 2 girls who don't really pick after themselves, and a mum who's basically lazy and a dad that's tired. And so, it gets cleaned up, and picked up as needed. But ... when my mum comes to visit well we'll just really get to work shall we? And work hard. I love when my Mum says "Oh your house looks nice Deb". Instead of "how can you live in a terrible mess like this?" Mind you, she didn't see the upstairs today. hee hee.
But yes, the living and dining room was cleaned and vacuumed and I get the kitchen floor spotless. Dishes all put away and cupboards closed. And even the patio door window shining clean inside and out. Clean from the winter grime and dust. Phew, a lot of work. But man it does feel good! I enjoy having it.

I felt refreshed this morning. A decent nights sleep, and my antibiotics, as well, in me. I've been dealing with Strep throat the last few days. Finally got to see a doctor, at the hospital across the river in another province (GRR!). Within the day they've started working. Of course I'll take the full course of them. I'd be stupid not to.

Today just felt good. I was mindfully busy, and it felt good. I feel accomplished and can see the fruit of my labour today.

That's what I feel like right now. A happy, content, lovely pear. Leave it a bit too long and you'll not get the crisp ripe flesh you know it should have. Just right at just the right time. Pears are one of my favourite fruits. Along with a crisp MacIntosh. Or a bowl of cherries. You can't just eat them blindly.

Be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. Muriel Spark, British author

May 18, 2009

8 years to the day

Originally uploaded by ToriaURU
It was 8 years ago that I found out I was expecting Victoria. Such a simple double line but with so much meaning. Finally I was pregnant naturally, without awful tests, and drugs and other measures to get me pregnant.

May 12, 2009

Thoughts today

Patch Tuesday on WoW, always a good day to get caught up on the web, get housework done (ha! when I get the arse working that is), and listening to music.

First, about Grant Norsworthy's note about "I have gone to Rwanda" Very moving, and very very much worth reading. As a wake up call that our pink IPods (sorry Maven) and our hot cars (sorry Caitlyn) and our water of our lawns in May (sorry neighbour) are really just so much fairy floss in our lives. We can see them but if they were gone would our lives be any different? What if our mothers and/or father were shot dead in the night? Pretty life shattering no? It is good to read that somebody cares enough to go listen to those people. And has the courage to do it. I don't know as I'd have that courage even if I could go.

Now to the acupuncture session last night. Felt good, but tired afterwards. Glad to lie down and relax. Had a lovely deep night's sleep. Thank goodness!

The Druidery Handbook now. Got this book from a book sale at my daughters school. Quite the interesting reading actually. Without a long, drawn-out description I'll just say that what the psychiatrist has said I should be doing, and what the acupunture guy has been saying I should do is echoed in this book, as well.

Briefly "at least once a week during your Candidate year, spend fifteen minutes, or more, in direct contact with the natural world. In a wild place preferably with few humans about, but an abundance of the natural world. Sit and absorb all the sounds, sights, smells and feelings of the place. Simply observe stillness while in this place. Empty your mind, and absorb all of it within you." Yes, sounds very nice! I shall do that, for sure.

And finally, on my mental list we come to "God's Mechanics" a book on how Scientists and Engineers make sense of religion. Interesting book, all around. The author is a Jesuit, and an astronomer at the Vatican as well as a professor of astronomy. How can we know the measure of the universe (we can't) and therefore how can we know the meaure of God is his theory. For every logical proof shown there is an axiom posed. If God exists is the axiom that is proposed then go forth and make a logical proof of it, is his argument essentially at the beginning of the book.

Worth a read, IMHO.

Have a great day. Smile, you have a better life than 90% of the people on this green, blue, water filled planet we call Earth.

Good accurate portrayals of mental illness on TV

Just reading a wonderful blog post on mental illness in TV shows. This line about suicide and specifically about a character who suddenly, without warning, commits that dreadful act is so very accurately true.

"Out of every ten suicides, two show no outward signs of their internal struggles, so their suicide comes as a surprise," explained Serani. "Any sudden death presses deeply on our psyche. But suicide adds layers that complicate bereavement. Making sense of loss helps us recover. If we know someone died because the road was icy and the accident was unavoidable, we can somehow move on. If a medical illness or a tangible reason can explain a death, a sense of closure will eventually occur. But suicide leaves many questions, none of which can or ever will be readily answered. So there is a legacy of a loved one's death not making sense. There is no closure."

From reading of Kay Redfield Jameson's book "Night Falls Fast" I realized just how awful this terrible tragedy can occur, in an instant. Or over a long time, gradually leading to this point.

I've taken the liberty of copying a comment on the Amazon page. From a person who lost a family member. So sad to read.

This book is a history of suicide, written by someone who has been manic-depressive and suicidal. The history is well-researched, complex, extensive, and disturbing. At times, reading this book was like wrapping my mouth around the exhaust pipe of a truck, with clouds of soul-corroding blackness filling every corner of my being. The book just contains so much sadness and grief: the sadness of the depressed people who have taken their own lives...the grief of their families...and the seemingly unreconcilable wrongness of a world where these sort of things happen all the time.
When I read it, everything I read seemed to be about my older sister, LeeAnne. The descriptions of depression all seemed to be about her, about how she behaved and talked, and in all of the accounts, the depressed people then killed themselves, or tried to. They died, and were gone forever. It terrified me, but I was relieved to have read this, and I felt like I'd read it just in time. Night fell fast, the other hikers and I made camp in a rainstorm in a dense, wet grove of trees in New Brunswick, Canada. I left my tent and gear to go find a payphone at the flooded parking lot of a nearby truckstop. I called my sister and left a message; I told her I loved her, and told I would call her back that week. In hindsight, I should have called every hour of every day until I reached her. In hindsight, I should have called every family member and had them call her too. Because, two days later, my sister was dead.
Dead from too many Ibuprofen and sleeping pills. Dead for the rest of my life.
Dead forever. This book is a warning, a thoroughly researched, scientifically and emotionally valid look at depression and suicide. Anyone who has a depressed family member or friend needs to read this. So does anyone who has been depressed themselves--though maybe not while depressed, as it might give you ideas.
Your soul will darken for a while after reading this, but you will also become more aware. My family and I use to joke about how my sister was always so gloomy, but this book will show you that depression is not something to laugh about.
It's serious. This book could save your life, or the life of someone you love...if you read it soon enough...if you act on what you've read. If you act now.

How dreadfully sad. Can you imagine the pain the writer felt as he wrote that story? That is the sad, dreadful thing as well about suicide. The pain left for the living never goes away. The closure is never truly there. Always the lingering question of why? Just "why?"

May 11, 2009


I waver, with the thought process between the feeling good that I'm able to write in a blog and the feeling of who really gives a care what I'm writing. Hence the question below this post. A particularly negative frame of mind when I wrote that.

Well, let's just muddle along, keep this thing tottering along on spindly legs, and keep writing. In other words, glad I didn't make the hasty decision to delete, but instead paused for a couple of days to mull it over, and get opinions. This is good, btw. Less rash decisions means I'm exerting some control over my thoughts and actions.

Recalls what the psychiatrist said: I am so much more than my mind, and that my mind lets me think I am.

Hard to write pithy thoughts at 6:15 am, with tired-feeling eyes. Will let the thoughts swirl and settle and write more later.

May 9, 2009

Vole for deletion of this blog

I'm considering just deleting this blog. Anybody care? If so, vote no, otherwise it's gone by Monday May 11th k? Wallowing in being sick isn't helping me.

May 6, 2009

Another blog added to my list on the right

I just found a lovely blog called the Bipolar Wellness blog. Lovely idea of a slide carousel and subbing in good pictures instead of bad.

Yes, wise idea, after all.


Our desserts for our 20th anniversary dinner at the Wakefield Inn


Our family at a recent wedding


My beautiful daughter on a boat cruise


The same waterfall of the Rideau River on a perfect summer day

Yes, beautiful pictures make a mind happy. :)

April 27, 2009

I am a lovely person

"Who am I" isn't a question that can be answered easily. As the psychiatrist said, she couldn't answer it, about herself, without a lot of words. But the essence of a person, that part of us that is easily seen by others, that's the part that she says makes me "a lovely" person. Without explaining all the reasons why she means that.

Yes, I have problems with controlling emotions. But the fact that I feel them: the hurt, the rage, the anger, the love, the caring, the tears, the joy. All of those show her that I'm really rather just normal. Not crazy, not bizarre, simply "normal". But it's in the controlling of those emotions that lies the true answer to me being content and happy, truly, in life.

She really doesn't think that I have Borderline Personality Disorder. As she said to me, if you see a daisy with petals, and most of them were white you'd call it white correct? If some had a bit of blue colour on them, you'd still call the flower white, correct? If all the petals were blue, or most of them you'd call the flower blue, correct? Same with a personality disorder. It's the "overall view" that she doesn't see as a pervasive case to call me BPD. However, she'd like me to read up on ADD - attention deficit disorder, and see if my mental map sees those criteria in it.

I see her again in 2 months. I am so incredibly happy about this. What a complete relief to see a psychiatrist, really. Not that it really matters, just makes me feel better.

Look within, find that compassion that I have for others, apply it to self, and admire yourself. Stop caring about others as much, and start caring about you. Feed yourself some love, as she put it.

Memory and Slumber is an interesting article to read here. Basically, here's the essence of the article

For many years, people believed that the brain, like the body, rested during sleep. After all, we are rendered unconscious by sleep. Perhaps, it was thought, the brain just needs to stop thinking for a few hours every day. Wrong. During sleep, our brain—the organ that directs us to sleep—is itself extraordinarily active. And much of that activity helps the brain to learn, to remember and to make connections.

Mental illness is simply something wrong with your brain; much like heart disease is simply something wrong with your heart. Nothing to be ashamed about - my pschyciatrist

April 24, 2009

What's the very best thing about today, right now?

A friend yesterday said to me in an email "Think of a positive thing any time you're going to go onto the negative train. Just, try .... It'll be really hard to do, but sometimes even just trying is enough to do it." Goes along with the making the decision to do a NYE resolution right away, instead of in the future.

So, the best thing about today, right now, is ...

- sitting in a comfortable chair at my computer
- mug of hot tea at hand
- sunshine outside, and a lovely day
- feeling safe, warm, happy, and loved

Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state of things within, as on the state of things without and around us. Charlotte Bronte

April 23, 2009

Another piece of the puzzle

Had a lovely chat with my mom this morning. She tells me that her first cousin had manic-depression when he was alive. Ah well, there you go, another family member to add to the list, to reinforce this idea => genes, family have to do with it.

I wish I'd known this beforehand, to tell to the psychologist/psychiatrist. Oh well, we'll have to add that onto the charts.

Today I've set myself the task of writing down all the key pieces of information about my thoughts, and feelings that I've written on here. Just a quick summary of thoughts that yes, for instance, I can feel a quick flash of anger, intense, and then it's gone, with my feeling sorry that it happened. Or intense sympathy for someone, but having to be taught to feel empathy for what that person feels about me.

I've heard it said that half the problem is figuring out what the problem is. Once that's done, then you can work on the solution. That's what I feel I've come to. A view of my problem and an immense desire to fix it, as best as possible.

Quote from David Lees, a friend of a friend: "But you never heard about Ernest Hemingway's legions of kindred spirits. If he had that I'm sure he'd have gotten drunker and smiled more and written nothing. To me, loneliness is the muse that keeps on giving. You can get mightily sick of her but she'll always be there for you." Well said

April 22, 2009

My brain hurts

I'm still shaking off the brain numbing effects of my medicine. And trying to come to terms with the idea that I may well have borderline personality disorder "Wiki link" on its own, or co-morbid (both occurring) with Bipolar disorder II.

From the wiki entry I see this

Borderline personality disorder and mood disorders often appear concurrently.[4] Some features of borderline personality disorder may overlap with those of mood disorders, complicating the differential diagnostic assessment.[39][40][41]

One of the citations is this site The Bipolar-Borderline Connection - a series of MedLine articles cited.

As you can see, if you click through, a lot of complex medical information! Some of which I get, from careful reading. Which, yes, I do find hard to do. A conscious effort to concentrate on the words. Hence the sore brain.

Anyhow, this is a fairly recent article, from The John Hopkins University

Objectives: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders guidelines provide only a partial solution to the nosology and treatment of bipolar disorder in that disorders with common symptoms and biological correlates may be categorized separately because of superficial differences related to behavior, life history, and temperament. The relationship is explored between extremely rapid switching forms of bipolar disorder, in which manic and depressive symptoms are either mixed or switch rapidly, and forms of borderline personality disorder in which affective lability is a prominent symptom. Methods: A MedLine search was conducted of articles that focused on rapid cycling in bipolar disorder, emphasizing recent publications (2001-2004). Results: Studies examined here suggest a number of points of phenomenological and biological overlap between the affective lability criterion of borderline personality disorder and the extremely rapid cycling bipolar disorders. We propose a model for the development of 'borderline' behaviors on the basis of unstable mood states that sheds light on how the psychological and somatic interventions may be aimed at 'breaking the cycle' of borderline personality disorder development. A review of pharmacologic studies suggests that anticonvulsants may have similar stabilizing effects in both borderline personality disorder and rapid cycling bipolar disorder. Conclusions: The same mechanism may drive both the rapid mood switching in some forms of bipolar disorder and the affective instability of borderline personality disorder and may even be rooted in the same genetic etiology. While continued clinical investigation of the use of anticonvulsants in borderline personality disorder is needed, anticonvulsants may be useful in the treatment of this condition, combined with appropriate psychotherapy.

By the way, I do totally realize that this is something a trained psychiatrist can only truly evaluate, to the best of their abilities. I'm simply trying to think of how I act, react, think, manage, and somehow perhaps relate to these medical facts/theories.

To me, I can't truly think of deep depression. I don't see that in my mental map as I look back. I do see, however, emotional lability in my mental map. Lability meaning apt or likely to change. Dysphoria, as defined in the medical dictionary as being "An emotional state marked by anxiety, depression, and restlessness." Oh yes, that is me, clearly. An anxiety that I won't be remembered, for some reason. A terrible need to reach out and talk to somebody, anybody! A driving compulsive want for communication of any type. A feeling of being bored, at times, when talking about the same thing, day after day. A distinct desire to leap onto something new, and exciting. A feeling of wanting to fix things, if I can. I want to hear problems, solve them (or try to), and feel rage, and anger, and feeling of unhappiness when I can't fix something. Like when a friend is treated badly. I'd love to fix that, and lie in bed at night thinking of ways to fix it.

I'm just brainstorming here. Basically trying to get out all the feelings, thoughts, impulses and desires that I feel, to print off and read out to the psychiatrist. I truly want to try to convey to her the hurt in my head.

This terrible feeling of not being "normal". Being broken, in a sense. Trying to appear sane, but feeling really rather broken. Scared of being rejected, and yet acting in ways that people do reject me. And then I can't fix them. Hence leading to a depression of sorts. But not a deep, dark, lasting, on-and-on-and-on one. Just a dip into feeling sorry for myself and then popping up to the level and thinking "life isn't so bad, let's try this again". Just sometimes the up and down gets a bit tiring!

Anyhow, must get on with my day. Will mull this over, and tumble it all through my filter, and spew something out, I'm sure.

April 21, 2009

The perfect mug for me

Saw this today in the bookstore I visited. Perfect mug for me, to remind myself that I am "NOT" all important. Think of others, before myself, as much as I can. Just don't be a drama queen, if I can truly help it. My previous post was to remind me of what the Bible says: put others before yourself

No, chaos in ones mind isn't fun. Life on a roller coaster really sucks when it's going down, down, down, and you can't find the bottom. Emotionally super-sized means when you go from a high to a low, it hurts, badly.

From Phillipians 2

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Further to my last post

I used the search engine to find this article


Histrionic personality disorder, often abbreviated as HPD, is a type of personality disorder in which the affected individual displays an enduring pattern of attention-seeking and excessively dramatic behaviors beginning in early adulthood and present across a broad range of situations. Individuals with HPD are highly emotional, charming, energetic, manipulative, seductive, impulsive, erratic, and demanding.

Yes, I can see myself using those labels.

Excerpt for onset/duration

Time of onset/symptom duration

Some psychoanalysts propose that the determinants of HPD date back as early as early childhood. The pattern of craving attention and displaying dramatic behavior for an individual with HPD begins by early adulthood. Symptoms can last a lifetime, but may decrease or change their form with age.

Yes, craving attention, not taking no for an answer, drama, yes drama'r'us in Deb's head.

And treatment options. Thankfully I already see a psychologist!


Cognitive therapy is a treatment directed at reducing the dysfunctional thoughts of individuals with HPD. Such thoughts include themes about not being able to take care of oneself. Cognitive therapy for HPD focuses on a shift from global, suggestible thinking to a more methodical, systematic, and structured focus on problems. Cognitive-behavioral training in relaxation for an individual with HPD emphasizes challenging automatic thoughts about inferiority and not being able to handle one's life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches individuals with HPD to identify automatic thoughts, to work on impulsive behavior, and to develop better problem-solving skills. Behavioral therapists employ assertiveness training to assist individuals with HPD to learn to cope using their own resources. Behavioral therapists use response cost to decrease the excessively dramatic behaviors of these individuals. Response cost is a behavioral technique that involves removing a stimulus from an individual's environment so that the response that directly precedes the removal is weakened. Behavioral therapy for HPD includes techniques such as modeling and behavioral rehearsal to teach patients about the effect of their theatrical behavior on others in a work setting.

Whatever I have, I want to make it better. I want to have normal, good friendships.

April 20, 2009

A few thoughts about what makes up me

I had a few thoughts today about what makes up Deb. This person that writes this blog. Just what is my problem, overall, and what do I need to 'fix it' if I can.

I had a nice read of Psychology Today Bipolar information page "link" and yes, I do see myself written in those words.

- moodiness
- overspending
- very high elated moods
- sometimes crushing low
- sometimes feeling manic and depressed at the same time.

But, I thought that's not all of me. No, there's something more nasty, more irritating to others than just bipolar.

And I came across Histrionic personality disorder. "link" Yes I do see myself written there, as well.

Cut and copied


* Constantly seeking reassurance or approval
* Excessive dramatics with exaggerated displays of emotion
* Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval
* Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior
* Overly concerned with physical appearance
* Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are
* Self-centeredness, uncomfortable when not the center of attention
* Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification
* Rapidly shifting emotional states that appear shallow to others
* Opinions are easily influenced by other people, but difficult to back up with details

Yeah, I can really see myself in most of those descriptions. The only one I'd not totally agree with is the excessive concern of physical appearance. I rarely wear make-up and don't care about clothes, at all.

Wiki entry on Histrionic personality disorder "link" is about the same.

I'll bring this up at the meeting with the psychiatrist. Let her know, and listen to what she says.

Something I feel like writing

Go into the sweet night and take time
The shadows darken and close in
All is quiet and dark
Then the first hush of light
and a new day dawns
full of hope

April 18, 2009

The promised post about friends

Yes, after spending most of the day feeling agitated about putting this down, I think I've got the main gist of it. Not a truly spontaneous post, but yet, a fresh feeling one that just needed time to form in my head.

What is all this about? Well, the idea that some friends just seem to accept me. I am who I am, flaws and all and they get me. They seem to want to put up with the troubles I sometimes cause with moodiness, and see past that to the me. The kind, wonderful person that I know I am. Yeah, I'm moody, and irritable, at times, but generally very pleasant, and thoughtful. At least, I try to be.

Others seem to like me, but then they vanish. Either by not writing emails, or not calling, or just not answering when I try to make contact. Why? If only some would get over that hesitation and just tell me why. I'm a curious person, and like to know! I mean, if you've talked to me for five years, you'd sort of know what I was like, wouldn't you? Surely the decision to ditch me as a friend should have been taken a lot sooner than it was.

I alternate between feeling angry, and feeling sad at these friends whom, yes, I hurt. But the fact is that I was ill. I have a serious brain disorder that means yes, my brain is disordered. In that it doesn't allow me to act as I should, at times. It really does take over me. I'm not whom I want to be, as I wrote at the beginning of this.

Why did God bring a friend into my life and then take them away? That is a question I continously ask and have no answer for. But, perhaps I give God too much credit. Perhaps he only created, if in fact he did. All the rest is up to us silly humans with our insane ways. I don't know. Yeah, I question my faith, at times. Yes, I pray but sometimes I think what for. Does it make any difference, at all? Perhaps. I guess that's faith for you. Supposed to give you hope, and then really just a cruel joke that faith was useless. Trust was useless.

Yeah, negative post today. Time to take my pills, pass out, hit the bed, and hope tomorrow is a better day. Let's hope that the hope for tomorrow isn't another cruel joke.

post going to come soon

I'm writing this as a reminder, a prod to put down what I'm thinking. I tend to mull over my thoughts, like you'd pour water over a pile of sediment. What ends up at the bottom is a solid set of words which I then can write down. Before that, it's muddy water with thoughts floating all about, nothing concrete. I have to get the thoughts settled and gelled. Then I can write a solid, coherent piece about what I'm feeling.

Just a preview: how some friends can understand, and how some just can't.

April 17, 2009

Yes, kept my bedtime, and guess what?

Guess what, after keeping a 9 pm bedtime? I feel good. See, it does work. So simple. Swallow the pills by 8 pm, and then drift off to sleep, and get a solid night's sleep. Wake up at 6:30 am, and feel good.

I should talk about money. How embarrassing it is to talk about. My 'champagne' tastes, my extravagant purchases. My donations, just because they'll help. Ill considered, most of them. A very impulsive shopper. Suzi Orman, the money specialist on Oprah would shake her head at me.

I can't go into the specifics. Just too upsetting for me, now, to list them. Just accept that I've wasted a lot of inheritance on things I didn't need. *sighs* When I'm in control I don't spend unwisely. I do pay attention, and yes pay bills. But in a mania state, no, the thought of paying bills isn't there. That's why I have auto-debit on most accounts that require regular payments. And I have Google Calendar to write in, to remind me when other bills must be paid.

I love the quote by Kay Redfield Jameson in her autobiography

"It is devastating to have the illness and aggravating to have to pay for medications, blood tests, and psychotherapy. They, at least, are partially deductible. But money spent while manic doesn't fit into the IRS (or Canadian Taxation) concept of medical expense or business loss. So after mania, when most depressed, you're given excellent reason to be even more so."

She apparently bought, at one time or another, a dozen snakebite kits, 3 watches in just a few hours, and 20 books about penguins (in hopes of forming a colony). And then she recounts the aftermath: ruined credit and personal mortification.

Yeah, I'd agree with that concept. All too well.

"That which doesn't kill me will make me stronger" Nietzsche - famous philosopher

April 16, 2009

See the title of the last entry?

See the title where I say "after some sleep I'm better". Yes, truly sleep is the little engine that pulls behind it all the other cars in my life. To have sleep means all of them stay on the track.

I really need to work on a set bed-time of 9 pm or so. No "oh I'll just stay up a bit longer and do another quest in WoW, or another Battleground". No, really be firm with myself that to get my sleep is being responsible, and taking good action.

Sounds so simple and yet, one has to realize it for ones own self. Get the sleep, and the rest, and do better in all the other facets of my life.

Lovely day here today. Bright sunshine that felt good on my face as I sat out on the deck and had a coffee. Sat and opened the mail and sorted it into information and action piles. Took it up to the office, filed the information papers, and paid the bills via electronic banking. I love that, btw.

It feels so good to be in control, well rested, happy and content. I like this feeling. All to do with a good night's sleep, I now see.

Be wise with speed . A fool at forty is a fool indeed.
~ Edward Young, English poet (1683 - 1765)

I get a lot of these daily quotes from this site The Quotations Page

April 15, 2009

Feeling so much better after some sleep

Well, amazing what some acupuncture, and then some pills, and then a good solid 9 hours of sleep will do. It makes me (and I'd presume others) feel great. Relaxed, happy, enjoying the early morning sunshine. Able to give my kids a big hug and look them in the eye and say "I love you" with the proper attention. Making lunches and seeing them off onto the bus with a smile. Thinking okay, get to work, after my tea and read on the internet. Haha! Yes, have to have that. FB, bloglines, and IGoogle, and then I'm set. I'm giving myself an hour, to 9 am, then to work!

Yesterday was a terrible blur, with about 3 hours of very light sleep, more dozing than anything. I'd run out of my mood stabilizer pills as of Monday night, you see. Poor planning on my part for not noticing. And then the pharmacist said, you're not due for 11 more days for a refill, you should have more pills. So, back home to search through the 13 bottles I had stored on my medication shelf. Yes, 13 bottles >>>> old prescriptions like my Divalproex, citolapram and Zyprexa. Sarah's old Ritalin that she stopped due to hair falling out in clumps. Old painkiller presciptions that I was keeping "just in case". So, took them all back to the pharmacist in a bag, and said "see what I'm dealing with and no, I don't have the missing 11 days worth." So, got a new set of 30 pills > 2 per day, so enough for 15 days. This confusion, and disorientation happens when I don't get enough sleep. I can't get sleep if I don't have pills. I really did feel old, tired, confused, unable to cope with this detail of finding missing pills.

So, really pills for mood stability, and the lamotrigne for mood lifting, and then sleep, and added to that the psychotherapy to talk it out, and finally acupuncture and the reminding of a whole body relaxing is all what I need.

My holy trinity of saneness then: drugs, psychotherapy, and acupuncture. All needed and necessary for a very happy Deb. This is a good thing. :)

Maybe it's easier to like someone Else's life, and live vicariously through it, than take some responsibility to change our lives into lives we might like.
~ Tish Grier