Crispity, Crunchety, French-Fried Edges

I had been doing so well on blogging regularly, but the last week or so has really taken a toll.  I have been completely without two very important medications for four days one week, and then totally without any sleeping or nightmare medication for three days the following week.  Add that to a very busy schedule, and I find myself feeling a bit worse for wear as days go by.

Of course, I’m gonna come through it, and things are already looking up, but I am fried around the edges.  Social contact has become difficult — heck, I don’t even want to be around LarBear half of the time.  I just want my music and my sunlamp and for everyone to leave me the Hell alone.  I haven’t been doing much Facebook, haven’t been returning messages or emails.

This time of year is classically difficult for me.  I haven’t had a “good” winter in over fifteen years, and for the last few years have ended up in the hospital or the crisis residence shortly after the holidays.  Heck, this Spring, I even had to do ECT.  I still grasp at straws as to things that make me feel better, but sometimes it is grasping into thin air.

I have jewelry pieces I have been wanting to make for Christmas, and I have all of the supplies — I am severely lacking in the follow-through department, however.  They aren’t hard pieces, but I just look at the supplies, then out the window at the grey nastiness, then back in at the supplies, and ughhhhhh.  I cannot get any motivation going, and as Christmas approaches, the stress of not having these things done or even being worked on grows greater.

So, I’ve been doing a lot of flailing, sitting still, kicking and screaming against doing anything the last week.  I have been trying my very hardest to stay positive, to stay in wise mind, but I find myself full of negative feelings and emotion.  As much as I can, I am turning my mind away from those thoughts and feelings, but gosh durn, it’s hard sometimes!

Thanks to DBT (and almost 20 years of dealing with bipolar disorder), I have discovered a few things that work to bring me back to Earth.  I have been relying heavily on music, breathing exercises, building structure, building mastery, and routines.  Yes, I must have my routines — they may seem to be silly and frivolous to other people, but my routines are sometimes the only things that keep me going.

In addition to the medication issues over the last two weeks, I have been dealing with a LarBear who is struggling to deal with the realities of his (negative) family situation while embracing a “new” family that has traditions and celebrations out-the-wazoo.  It is overwhelming for him, and he has said as much, and has certainly acted as such.  I don’t know much to do except to just ease him through the season, but it definitely adds to the stress level.

Through the course of blogging today, I am feeling a weight lift off my shoulders, and realizing that this dang thing is more therapeutic to keep up than I had realized it still had the power to be.  If you are my dear friend, and I have mentioned a piece of jewelry for you for Christmas, know that it may be more of a New Year’s gift, and remember that I am human, and it might even turn out to be a “Happy February” gift.  Doing the best I can here, and there’s always manana, manana!


Over the last year, blogging and Internet activity in general have slowed to a near standstill for me.  I realized this not too long ago, when I was without a decent computer to use for about two weeks.  I barely checked my email, posted on Facebook maybe twice, didn’t even look at a blog post, and hardly noticed.  What I did notice, however, was that I have started to do quite a bit of sit-and-stare.  You know, the whole three-hours-pass-as-three-minutes sit-and-stare kind of thing.

And I thought…oh, that can’t be good.  So, most of the amped-up anxiety is gone, most of the days.  Instead, there is a very active LACK OF INTEREST in once-pleasurable activities.  I don’t necessarily feel  too depressed, but I am certainly hitting all the DSM markers of it.  I am taking boatloads of Seroquel, and also Topamax now, as a mood stabilizer and to counter the ridiculous hunger pains that Seroquel brings.

I can certainly say that Topomax has almost completely abolished hunger.  This would be a good thing, right?  Well, yes and no.  Its good, because I’m losing weight.  Its bad, because putting ANYTHING in my mouth, whether it be liquid or solid, nutritious or not, just sounds nasty.  That includes water, so I find myself quite dehydrated at the end of the day.  I have been sick on a few occasions since starting it, and I find I really have to be on top of things.

Immense stress and pressure here in the last week, with LarBear having serious physical health issues and a very ill grandfather, and me dealing with everyday randomness garbage and seasonal change to boot.  I feel like I am somewhat on top of things, but mostly because of the great support I am getting from my dad and QoB.  I am used to LarBear picking up a lot of slack, but he has really not been himself lately, and I am eager for us to put this little stretch behind us.

Of course there are always hopes that I will keep up better with blogging, and maybe I might, who knows.  I’m going to try, and am at least better set up for it now that I have a new monitor for my desktop.  Winter will be here soon and I won’t want to get out much (even less than the nonexistent now…ha!), so I am looking for some new routines.

So, yep, that’s my story…looking for new routines, looking to put this stretch behind me, looking, looking, looking…

Linger in Safety

Daily Prompt:  Linger

When I was alone, I feared the night.  I feared the dark, but mostly I feared my bed for the haunting nightmares it brought me.  My pup, Kizzie, was a small consolation, but she is not much of a snuggler and preferred to lie resting against my legs or on my feet.  With none other than my dog for protection (a fierce and happy 20 pound fireball, who might only lick you to death, at that), I would lie down, close my eyes, and wait for the demons in my subconscious to break through in REM sleep.

I spent years being alone literally in bed and alone with someone in bed, fearing the night.  Being alone with someone was almost worse, because they never understood.  It came to a point where my mental health would start disintegrating around nightfall.  My depression would increase, I was hyper-vigilant, my mind wound over itself over and over.  Nightfall would often find me crying, loudly, for no apparent reason, other than it was night.  I could not seem to console myself, or tell myself tonight might be better.  Because it never was.

When I met DSB, that all, very slowly, began to change.  I began to be less preoccupied with night, and learned to watch funny movies and eat popcorn as the sky fell dark beyond the curtained window.  I learned to never watch horror movies, or sad movies before bed.  I learned that there were two someones in my house that would fight to the death for me if something bad were to happen, in the night.

I had DSB and I had his dog, Rascal, and I felt safe for the first time in a long while.  Not only did I start feeling safer during the day, I started to feel safe at 5:00pm and beyond.  DSB, Rascal, Kizzie, and I would all spend 5:00pm and after doing things that I imagine couples and their child-dogs do around the country.  Cook dinner.  Reminisce about the day.  Talk about our failures, our triumphs, our dreams.  There were biscuits for the pups, Kool-Aid for me, and coffee (always coffee) for DSB.

I began to treasure the time between 5:00pm and 10:00pm.  Good things happened in that space.  There were a lot of hugs and kisses and dog licks, but there was also a warm and sweet and full feeling in my chest.  DSB made me feel like I could do anything, go anywhere, be anyone in those first few months.  He saved me from myself, from depression and anger and disappointment.

We had the longest talks, about anything, about nothing, about everything.  I learned to calm myself in the hours leading up to bedtime, and DSB taught me how to do that.  With his words, his gestures,  his smiles, his stories of life.  I began to relax.

Even now, the time between 5:00pm and 10:00pm is probably my favorite.  It has been two years since DSB kick-started the hard work it would take for me to make my peace with bedtime.  We developed a routine and stuck by it and life was predictable.  I learned that I needed a nighttime routine and we found one and stuck with it.

Those golden hours between coming home and making supper to slipping into bed and turning on my Kindle seem too short, sometimes.  I want to make them last, I want to linger in them and take in every small detail to store in my memory.  I never want to lose this time, and I will never forget how it feels to not feel safe, because I treasure so much the safety that I feel now.

Why Coffee is Essential to My Plan

I know I am supposed to take baby steps.  I advocate taking baby steps to other people for crying out loud.  Why is it that I am unable to take my own advice?  I don’t really care to examine that right now.  What I do what to examine is what I have pinpointed to be key “baby steps” to work on.  Of course I want to lose all of this weight and quit smoking and exercise every day.  Of course I do.  All I do by trying that though is set myself up for failure.

I have had a hard time getting up in the morning over the last two weeks and have even been late a few days.  My sleep has been total crap and I am having nightmares.  Really bad ones.

My morning routine is all out of whack because I have been depriving myself of coffee.  I was trying to be healthy and drink it without my no-fat, non-sugar creamer that I always use.  I was being a total control freak about it.  So I stopped drinking coffee because I don’t enjoy it without the creamer.

Drinking coffee and slowly waking up in front of my sunlamp is something that makes me happy.  I derive great pleasure out of it and it brings me peace.  I have been doing it for a long time, and not doing it has really broken me out of my good routines and thrown me into a bad one.

I decided today that I am going to start drinking my coffee with creamer again in the mornings.  That was not a necessary or smart thing to try and change.

Drinking my coffee and enjoying my morning “me” time will bring me back around to doing the things that get me to work on time and preserve my mental health.  Like sitting in front of my sunlamp every morning and taking my Cymbalta.  I can get off course with that in a hurry.

Now, when I can get my good “me” time in, with my coffee and creamer, Cymbalta and sunlamp, I am more likely to pack my lunch.  Don’t ask why, but it’s true.  If I pack a lunch, then I don’t eat crap.  Eating crap makes me feel fat and guilty and I don’t like it.  I am SO over it.

Obviously, my morning can affect my whole day.  Not doing my morning routine throws off all kinds of things, and even makes me stay up later.  When I am in my routine, I email, blog, and work on my SparkPage in the morning.  When I am off, I stare into space and try to convince myself to find enough heart to go to work.  If I don’t get my Internet taking care of in the morning, I tend to obsess over it at night.  And end up not getting dinner together at a decent hour, because I’m sitting over my laptop, blogging and working on my SparkPage.  Things I didn’t get to do this morning.

So, I stay up until 10:00 or 11:00 on the computer, and then it is hard to complete my evening routine.  You know, the one where I eat, shower, watch a little TV, and read a little bit while I am in bed.

As you can see (and as I so CLEARLY see now), getting off my routine just a little bit can screw up my whole day.

My baby step:

1) Drink coffee in the morning

This will naturally lead to having my me time, thereby giving me time for my sunlamp and the sunlamp reminds me to take Cymbalta.  While I’m up, it will be natural to pack my lunch.  Then at the end of the day, I won’t feel like crap from eating crap, and I might even start doing something like showering daily and going to bed at a decent time.

Breakthroughs are priceless.

Jewel has routines, too.  Her song about them made her famous!!

Jewel, You Were Meant for Me