Ten Things of “Keepin’ It Sane” Thankful

10thankful-bannerWe all have our little tricks that keep us going in the worst of times.  I choose to use this Ten Things of Thankful to highlight the ten things that keep me sane which I am most thankful for.  Don’t forget to go check out Lizzi at Considerings, the originator of this little blog hop, and to link your own at the end of her page.

Sometimes a little gratitude list (even if its for the really, really small stuff) can bring about a big positive change in your attitude.  I try to do this blog hop once a week, (which is also perfect because then I don’t have to think too hard about what to write about), but the reason I do it over and over, is simple…it WORKS for me.

  1. Unlikely, but included nonetheless, super-heavy-duty ponytail holders save my sanity every time.  There is nothing worse than having whispies or big chunks of hair touching your face all day.  (and yes, when I said touching, I put my fingers up in the air and wiggled)  I know I am not alone in having hair that can drive one straight up the wall, although I admit that it’s a bit strange to be my number one item on this list, but I have taken down and put my hair up about nine times today.  The long hair struggle…it is real, y’all!
  2. indigo-wild-zum-body-0091_8(1)Anything lavender-scented.  My current favorite is a lavender-lilac candle my dad bought me,and I would swear to you that using the lavender lotion by Zum can sometimes be about the only thing that will calm my raging anxiety.  Or at least that was the case yesterday.  Heaven knows it will be something else tomorrow.
  3. Kizzie.  Kizzie belly rubs and Kizzie kisses and Kizzie barking happily at me and feeding Kizzie treats and Kizzie, Kizzie, Kizzie.  If she wasn’t so wild, she could be a certified therapy dog, but she is my therapy dog, so that is what matters.  She knows when I am sad and when I am anxious and plants herself in my lap.  She licks my tears away, and will lay calmly at my feet through almost anything.  I really don’t know what I would do without her at times.Kizzie4.  And Kizzie leads straight into Lucy, the standard poodle that I have opened Lucyour home to, who used to live with my mom.  She is so darn happy here, it’s amazing — she and Kizzie play and leap around like puppies half the time.  With the addition of a little carprofen (which I am also grateful for), her arthritis is kept at a minimum and she can focus on being the Princess that she truly is.

5.  That I have managed to actually blog a few times this week.  It has been cathartic and freeing and enjoyable and lovely to interact again.  I hope I can keep that stuck in my head and repeat over and over.

6.  5-Things-New-Bloggers-Can-ReTeach-You-www.lovethehereandnow.com_-800x533Fairly related, I have found several new bloggers that I am excited to follow.  I hadn’t added a new blogger to follow in a really long time, but some super awesome people have stopped by this ol’ place and I am excited to put time and effort into it, like I used to.



7.  The fact that LarBear and I both believe in buying the actual CD of an artist’s music.  We buy ours mostly from Amazon, and have found some real winners lately with Chris Stapleton, Old Dominion, Cam, Keb Mo, Jana Kramer, and Kacey Musgraves.  Just Google, you will find…they are all spectactular!  And seeing as music is one of the main things that calms me down, I just consider that we are buying cheap therapy.

8.  It’s that time for the Interpersonal Effectiveness Tool, “FAST”, to rear it’s head and I am READY.  I have several situations where I do not want to over-apologize, where it is important for me to get across my point of view without losing my self-respect.  I have already tried it out a few times, but I am building up to a really big FAST that will be unveiled soon.

9.  I am thankful that I have reasonable insurance and that medications are filled as they should be and I can get in to see my treaters when need be.

10.  I am thankful for friends who are only an email away, who never give up on me even when I have been gone for a really long time, and who I can start BS’ing with just like old times the moment I am back in the picture.  Thank you.




Choosing My Battles

I came home today from a five-night stay at the (actually quite) cozy local mental health residential crisis center.  I went in at the insistence of my med provider and stayed through the weekend after conferring with LarBear and family, and realizing that my behavior and thoughts really had become quite erratic and, most unfortunately, somewhat dangerous.

Let me first say that I am feeling much better.  At this moment, I am having no suicidal thoughts and my depression is not strangling me.  As tends to happen, I am quite literally bouncing out of this funk, and maybe soaring up a little too high.

I am trying very hard to make this a controlled leap through the air, rather like an artful trapeze artist instead of a chunky 34-year-old bouncing around on a backyard trampoline.  I have pinpointed the stressors that led to the necessitation of the crisis center, and quite a bit of it revolves around putting too much into my daily routine, all at once, after having done nothing but sit on my (ever-expanding) arse for months.  I went from 10% active each week to maybe 75%, and not having my downtime ramped up my symptoms.

I have figured out my schedule, and have been working at getting others on the same page with me.  I am struggling with this peer specialist I have been assigned to, and was quite befuddled as to why she did not call back to check on me after I had left her a message last Thursday letting her know what had happened, and then also leaving her a message this morning to let her know I had been released and again asking for a return phone call.  Radio silence.  So, I will be going into a meeting with her tomorrow where I will be asking for several things, and then also telling her my opinion of some matters, which she is sure not to like.

At this point, I just want things to be straightened out and I am not going to let myself falter and fail, just to fit into another person’s schedule perfectly.  We all have to make sacrifices, and it is actually her job to be flexible enough to “support” me.  Excuse me while I tear my hair out and spit nails for a few minutes, I’ll BRB!

So yes, the irritability is still there, but not the same degree, and my baseline anxiety level is far too high, but hey, I have come a long way down the road in the last five days, and so I am going to give myself credit for that, and just keep my eyes on the prize.  The prize being, I am going to take care of this conflict without conflict.  Because it is possible and because I can (and, Oh! I will).

The following is my new pump-it-up song.  DO take a moment and enjoy (unless you are trying to get into a chill zen state at this moment, in which case I wouldn’t recommend it).


Ten Things of Thankful, Psych Ward Edition


Its been awhile since I have done a thankfulness post, but because of all the human suffering I have seen during my last four days on the psychiatric ward (for
lack of a better phrase, I mean really, folks!), I just feel an extra amount of gratitude for life in general and feel like there is no better exercise for the heart and mind at 4:00am on a Sunday. With no further anxious rambling, I give you this week’s list, THE list to end all lists:

1) The staples of any hospitalization, I am grateful for a steady stream of coffee, cigarettes, and no-cal sweetener.


2) I am exceptionally grateful that after I leave from getting my little brain tuneup that I have a good, stable home with supportive people in it to return to. So many don’t.

3) I am very thankful for not being addicted to alcohol or other substances. Talk about complicating and compounding your mental health issues. Whew!

4) I am thankful to LarBear for visiting each and every day, without fail, and for having the good humor to spend his 35th birthday with me here during visiting hours with absolutely no complaint.

5) Regular contact with that big family that loves beyond measure, even if giving me more space is what it takes.

6) Music. Headphones on at all times.

7) The ability to easily get into this psychiatric facility, to have my insurance pay for it, to not be put out on my ear.

8) Adult coloring books, colored pencils, and a sturdy sharpener.

9) Some of the most awesome support staff I have ever encountered.

10) Anytime I can get a smile on my face.

The Payback of “Too Much Happy”

TRIGGER WARNING: talk of suicide

Just when I thought I had things figured out, or close to it, my fragile balance erupted and the lack of good sleep I had been experiencing turned into a total lack of sleep, overall.

Irritability, flights of fancy and grandeur, and 2:00 am drives around town, as I debated just what I could run my car into that would kill me and not just hurt me enough to make me a vegetable, a further burden to my family. These thoughts, they concerned me very little.

What was really weighing on my mind were the really sharp knives in the kitchen. That would be easier somehow, maybe less messy, with a smaller chance of collateral damage. I was plotting my demise rather thoughtful of others, or so it seemed.

After trying to see my med provider yesterday, she sent me directly to the crisis house, where I am sitting now, anxious and not sleeping but at least there are no sharp objects and I don’t have access to a vehicle.

Puddle Jumping

A chest full of easy freedom
I eyed the narrow road, seeking
Needing bodies of water
A place to rest and be still
Too many puddles on the dirt path
Treacherous, this journey has been
Never knowing if a particular puddle
Hides a tiny trampoline to hurl me skyward
Or if I might be swallowed whole and crumble to nothingness
I suppose it is in the not knowing, wherein the greatest fear lies
Or the dawning realization that the continuous puddle jumping will go on and on

Fear of Judgment

There is a large stack of clothes, folded, but piled haphazardly on a table in my laundry room.  My mom is due over in about an hour with her boyfriend and her business partner, to deliver a clothes dryer, as mine went out about a month ago.  I am tied in knots about it.

Her coming over, knowing my house and yard and et cetera are not up-to-par.  Its bothering me.  I have been busy today, including making a trip the gym.  I have not thought about my pile of clean clothes, the bathroom that could use picking up, or the stack of therapy-related paperwork scattered across my desk lately because… well, I’ve been busy living my life.

Now I dread what she is going to say about it.  My priorities, in the past, have been on keeping the boyfriend-of-the-moment happy and surviving bipolar disorder and making sure Kizzie has food and water.

Now, in the present day, I am focused on making sure I exercise and take my meds and stay positive and attend appointments and do, I dunno, all kinds of other stuff, it seems.  I feel busy, even though I am not currently working.

My house is less messy than usual, than in the past, I suppose.  I still feel, in this moment, like a failure.  I feel like a failure, and like I am going to get lectured about the clothes that are not put away and the tub that could be scrubbed and so on and so forth.  I am worried, I am anxious.

I refuse to take a PRN Ativan for this ridiculousness.  Some day, I am going to have to get over concerns that my family is judging me and get over people telling me what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and so on.  Having a house that is not perfect, is not indicative of my mental stability.

Did you hear me, Rosa?  You are not crazy, just because your laundry is not put away.  Yeah, your mom might say something.  So what if she does?  Does that end the world?

No, it doesn’t.  For the past few days, I have been ALMOST happy.  When I think about interacting with ANYONE in my family, I fear judgment.  I keep people away, because I do not really think my clean laundry, tucked away inside the laundry room is harming anyone.

I really get tired of the judgmental voices in my head that tell me I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not a good enough housekeeper.  I hate that those voices get reinforced, it seems to me, by whispers of my past and the condemnations of the present.

I hate that I have “been there, done that” a kazillion times with bipolar episodes and recovery periods.  That I have a strong sense of déjà vu, right in the here-and-now.  That I am starting all effing over again.

Bright and Shiny

That’s me, in the moment.  I just came home from a two-plus hour workout (arms and cardio) and am feeling on top of the world.  My relationship with LarBear is going great, I finally have some non-itch-producing laundry detergent and one load down, I am blogging for the first time in five million eons, and Kizzie is possibly done unearthing moles out of the backyard for today.  Sometimes, its the little things.

Yesterday, the day before, the day before, so on and so on, lots of anxiety.  Actually, lots of anxiety since my last ECT one week before this past Wednesday.  ‘Tis a serious death anniversary week for me, one of my hardest, and it has been just as brutal this year as in years past.  I did get to see QoB last night though and do a little crying on my Momma’s shoulder, which helped immensely, even if she doesn’t realize it.

A lot of the anxiety I am having is also because I am having a really hard time remembering things and am also, at times, extremely confused and almost disoriented.  The beauty of ECT, though, is that I have forgotten a lot of the bad stuff, or, at least the details are not so crisp.  Very few nasty and scary memories still play in my mind as if on a movie screen.  Things are either blurry and hazy or not present at all.  I am hoping some of that stuff never comes back!

I think LarBear and I are going to try going to church this weekend.  Maybe.  No commitments but possibly.  We found one that seems promising, just have to give it a shot.  I have been trying to find things to do to build structure, and that would be one of those things.  I am also going to add DBT groups back in, as well as the good possibility of a water-walking class to go along with the water aerobics I am going to start doing at the YMCA.

Lots of good stuff here.  I hope to be back soon, friends!

Chasing Down the Night–Amazon E-Book Release

Just downloaded and getting ready to head to the couch. The first two in the series were truly GREAT books. Would highly recommend checking out this series!


CDN (book antiqua) Front Cover 6x9 JPEG Final Proof

Chasing Down the Night – 3rd book in the Crater Lake Series went live on Amazon yesterday Smile

As many of you know, early sales can give an indie author quite a boost. Please take a moment to follow the links and check out my newest creation.

US readers can click here:

UK readers – here’s your link:

Canadian readers pop over here:

As always – many thanks.

View original post

Instead of Dying

I choose today to not go back and read blog entries, although some sort of cues as to where I have been for the past several months likely would have been helpful.

I am waking up from my first four ECT treatments, and a ten-day inpatient hospital stay.  I am unsure when I went in, or how long I have been out, but I know it wasn’t long ago, and that I haven’t been out of the hospital much longer than a week.

The one thing that does stick in my head with certainty is that I did two of the ECT treatments inpatient, and two outpatient.  I don’t know why this might matter, but it must.

So here I am, I’m out and about and well, not really depressed — more anxious, bordering on terrified and lost.  Definitely not suicidal.  Grossly different than months past, I do know that, although I am unclear on specifics.  The past months are cloudy at best, completely scrambled at worst, and really, might be totally forgettable.

I will have at least one more go — next Wednesday, we have a date.  Beyond that, I don’t know.  My psychiatrist does not seem to think it would be prudent beyond this point, cuing memory loss and the turn-around that the depression has taken.  What no one wants to mention is that I am barely on a mood stabilizer, and mania is breathing down my neck.

This is what it feels like to me, of course, only, and, you know, I am only the patient in this case.  I am being the good dog and going to talk therapy and art therapy and coloring at my dining room table and trying to remember my life.  Remember the details.  Remember the conversations and the books and the how-it-happened’s.

LarBear has been great help with all of this, and, although I did doubt and push away from him at a point, I also had a breakthrough and I do remember and feel our love.  And that breakthrough didn’t happen in a vacuum and it didn’t happen in a happy moment, but it did happen and I am grateful to remember and to have had someone so close to me lately that I CAN be filled in a little bit.

What hits me hard is how different life seems to be now than what I th9ought it was.  The people around me are all different, different, different.  There is nothing familiar about, especially family life compared to say, a year ago.

And the memories, well the floodgates have opened and I am being bombarded with scenes from all over my lifetime.  Some good, some bad, scary, indifferent, neutral, random, just-there-like-a-movie.  I can’t say its easy.

It really is like someone unscrewed the top of my head and whipped egg beater around in my brain.  My memories, my mind, scrambled for lack of a better term.  I won’t even go into how beat up my body feels.

So friends, if you’re reading, I’ll come around and see you soon.  Normalcy must reign and I am sure I will be blogging and reading again regularly.  This is a lot harder than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be really hard.

Two Inch Square Reminder

I would like to think that every day I am swimming a little bit closer to the surface of reality and contentment and “ok-ness.”

It seems today was very very dark and only on a few occasions could I see a greyish blue light around the exteriors of objects and words and people.  Otherwise it was pitch as night.  At this very moment, just the slightest grayish blue.  And then it all disappears and I am without any senses to guide me.

I am making such an effort to come up with things to please myself, to give myself a moment’s respite from hell, to wrack my brain for what might be the thing I have missed.  I ate a soft-serve vanilla cone today. It reminded me of my sister and McDonald’s and having fewer cares. It made me feel happy for a moment, as I was looking at a faraway memory.

Often the grey light will come from within a memory of my sister or Oscar.  I have the picture booklet she made of their first year as a family sitting on my table where I spend many hours.  I usually go so far as to only look at the cover, but lately I have allowed myself to look inside and it is almost amusing to laugh out loud at Oscar’s silly face and my sister’s beautiful and loving smile, all the while with snot and tears rolling down my face.  And I flip back and through it over and over, laughing, smiling, and feeling like there are things worth living for.

And I tell myself, well, Rosa, at least you can be grateful for one thing if none other.  In the here in now, you have remembered there are things worth living for.

This happens to be my very first indication that, while things could go bad again and likely will, for now I have a glimmer of hope that I find in a two square inch photo book.  Love you guys.