Writing among other things

I haven’t written in so long that I feel like I’ve forgotten how.  I know that isn’t true for I’ve been writing a lot of fan fiction lately.  It seems like my time goes into writing that instead of more productive things.  I used to post a separate blog on one of my fanfic stories, but it’s being moved to fanfiction.net.  {Pen name MirandaBasilisk if you are curious.}  I’ve actually got three stories on there, one is being moved from my alternate blog, another is a new story, and the last is called a one-shot, where it’s only one scene.

Other than that, it’s just the usual.  Still some saga about my Dad’s estate, namely his car, and I don’t know what to do about it.  He still hasn’t gotten his glasses replaced so he can’t read and he’s really bored.  His hearing aids are missing too.  Some things just never end.

The job situation is still a joke.  My bestie implied I wasn’t trying to find a job, which really hurt.  That was yesterday.  Yesterday, my coffee maker broke and the dog killed a bird.  Not a good day. 😦

On the positive side of things, I am signed up to take my certification exams in order to teach high school.  I have a lot of studying to do and about a month to do it in.  I’ve already started, but I didn’t do any yesterday – I just felt so rotten.  I was seriously contemplating drinking – yes, drinking with my Klonopin.  I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to not feel for a while.  All our alcohol is on top of the kitchen cabinets and my husband wouldn’t get it for me.  I don’t know where the step stool went either.  In retrospect, maybe that’s a good thing.

I switched therapists.  That was a nightmare.  I never wrote it out and I should have.  I should have followed through by talking to my old therapist’s (intern) mentor.  She deserved to know why I left.  Now I pay for therapy, but this lady is so much better.  She is older (maybe early sixties) and she understands bipolar because she IS bipolar!  My pdoc recommended her – in fact, she used to be a patient of my pdoc.

OK, I’m sitting here listening to Nickelback and getting distracted.  I’m looking for a song I heard on the radio yesterday (ok, 2 good songs on the radio – yesterday’s high points).  I’m pretty sure it’s a Nickelback song, but apparently not on the album I own.  See how I old I am?  I used the word album.  GROAN!

Mental Health – Legal Issues

Disclaimer: I am not a legal or medical professional.  Do not take this blog post in lieu of legal or medical advice.

I urge each and every one of you to designate someone for durable power of attorney and have a health care proxy.  These are cheap to do – I bought software for under $100 and made my own, had it witnessed and notarized at the bank for free.  Attorney fees will vary but can be found for ~$100-150.  You never know when it will come in handy. 

Don’t take any chances – do this for your loved ones – get a POA, health care proxy, living will/DNR, and a will.  I don’t care if you don’t have anything to will away, your personal effects have to go to someone.  Most importantly, talk over your wishes with who ever will be your POA and health care proxy.  Don’t think this doesn’t apply to you.  I know an 18 year old who had a heart attack.  If you are old enough to vote, you are old enough to write out your legal wishes.

You need someone you trust to take over your finances and/or health decisions if you are incapacitated (i.e., recovering in a mental or physical health facility).  We all need this – it’s not just mental health or just a physical health issue.  And it’s not for you.  It’s for your loved ones.

 

Mental Hospitals

OK, I have to keep posting or I’ll never get through this.  I went to see my Dad at the mental hospital.  It was kind of scary but not as bad as I expected.  The front desk was all plexiglass with a speaker to talk through and a small slit for passing paper.  I was able to pass his medication bottles through to them and they were supposed to get them to the nurse’s station.  I got a phone call this morning that he has been moved to another facility.  They want to put him on psychotropic drugs, which they needed my permission for.  (Why?)  And why does it take so long for him to see a doctor in a mental health facility?

Argh.  If only I could have gotten him to sign off on power of attorney and a health care proxy before this happened.  I tried but he was too stubborn.  There’s time, there’s time, he would say.  Doctor says I have to live to be a 100.  While he might just do that, what kind of shape will he be in at 100?

I think they told him he had a mental breakdown so that’s what he believes.  I think he had another mini-stroke (maybe not so mini) or a seizure.  He’s lost about the last 10 years of his life.  He doesn’t know where he is (what state) and he doesn’t know how old he is, but he remembers me and his other children.  He remembers the past well, he is just confused about the present.

If he is competent enough to sign a HIPPA release, is he competent enough to sign a power of attorney?  Sometimes I wish I was a lawyer, even though I know I would hate the job.

I guess I need to go now because all I am doing is stopping to pace while I write this.  Stupid me forgot to pack extra Klonopin and it’s catching up to me.  So many things to do and I don’t know where to begin.  Wish me luck.

Dad needs help

My father has suffered some kind of stroke or a break with reality.  They took him into a mental hospital on Saturday.  I flew 1500 miles (OK, I don’t really know how many it was, it’s just a guess but you get the point) and thanks to HIPPA I can’t get any information on him.  I don’t know where he is or what I can do to help. (Sometimes HIPPA sucks.)  I am waiting now for a call back from the hospital.

Worst of all, I tried for years to get Dad to fill out health care proxy forms and durable power of attorney.  Now that I need them, I don’t have them.  I am on his HIPPA release for the VA but that doesn’t give me any rights at any other hospital.  After his 72 hours are up, I don’t know what they will do with him.  For that matter, I don’t know what I will do with him.

I’m a bit nervous about going to a psych hospital.  I’ve never been to one.  DH says it’s just like a regular hospital (his mom used to work at one) but I’ve always been afraid they will lock me up in one.  Fortunately, I’ve only ever been that bad once in my life and I was able to talk my way out of it.

Anyway, just a short note to update you all on my suddenly chaotic life.  Please send good thoughts and/or prayers my way (and Dad’s way).  I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks.

Boston Marathon Bombing

My husband is a runner. He wasn’t at the Boston Marathon, but he is training for a marathon. He would like to run the Boston Marathon someday, as all marathon runners would. He is still determined to run the marathon, but he is concerned about me, as a spectator standing on those side lines in watching for him to cross the finish line.

I admit, I’m a little scared too. The thought that a bomb could go off right next to me, while I’m standing there unobservant, camera in hand, tracking DH’s progress on my cell phone. If we were in Boston, it could have been me.

I’ve been watching the news coverage all day, crying. As of this writing, there are two confirmed deaths, one an 8 year old boy, and well over a hundred injured. It’s horrible.

And the big question is WHY? Runners are generally a friendly group, they help each other out by encouraging one another, helping with injuries, and offering a banana to help recoup. Boston is a high profile race, but the bombs didn’t go off when the first winners passed, they went off at the four hour mark, when your average runner would be passing the finish line.

DH and I are talking about contingency plans. For every major race he runs, we should have a rendezvous point. He should always carry some cash and ID. Near the end of the run, when they started blocking off the street, those runners are running low on calories and water. After his 20 mile run last weekend, had trouble recovering in order to come home because he was weak from energy loss and became slightly disoriented (I imagine it’s like having low blood sugar). After a few snacks at the car and some water, he was recovering and when he made it home, I handed him glass after glass of water, while he munched on anything with carbohydrates. At least with some cash you might be able to find a restaurant to purchase a little food and water to keep your body from going into shock. Imagine how all those runners, so close to the finish line where food and water was waiting for them, were coping with being cut off and no news save the two booms they heard? Knowing there were loved ones waiting for them – somewhere beyond the gate – their bodies giving in to fatigue… this was a hard day for them all.

And likewise, I have to make sure I carry ID and cash. In case something happens, EM personnel need to know that I have medication allergies and a long list of medications I take. I’m lazy about this and I shouldn’t be. I could have a heart attack someday, and be given aspirin just to have my throat close up. I don’t have a med-alert bracelet either because I find them ugly and expensive. (I know, this isn’t an excuse.) I don’t always remember to carry my Epipen either. Really, someone needs to get on my ass about these things.

I’ve digressed from the original topic – the horrible incidents of the day. I don’t live in Boston, I don’t have friends in Boston, but my husband is part of the runner’s world and all I can think of is what if this happens at one of his marathons? It feels like it’s not safe to leave the house anymore.

If this turns out to be another individual with mental illness – real or imagined – I don’t even want to think about what this means to the mental health community.

To leave you on an optimistic note: some of the runners that had already crossed the finish line continued to run to the nearest hospital to donate blood.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The 5 minute interview

I swear it wasn’t any longer than 5-10min.  They asked me a few questions… why I left where and what the most recent jobs I’ve done have been and why I wanted to work for them.  I think I did OK answering the questions, but I don’t think they liked me very much.  We’ll see.  They intend to make a decision within a week.  I decided that if I get the job I would just have to deal with the standing.  It’s at a branch that is 5 min from my house.  I could walk to work if I was ambitious.

Tellers work alternate Saturday mornings (no problem) and shifts that rotate either 8:45 to 5:15 or 9:45 to 6:15.  Pretty straight forward.  There’s an “upselling” catch though.  Each month the teller has a quota to get customers interested in the bank’s other products and services.  The quota increases the longer you work there.  Really?  A bank?  Oh well, a job is a job, isn’t it?

I’ve been thinking about the teaching thing.  I think I might go ahead and get my certification.  It’s going to cost some money once you include all the tests but I think it might be worth it.  If we end up moving to another state my certification may not transfer but I think it would look better than not having one at all.  It might transfer to some states too.  Who knows?  At least I would be doing something towards my future.

I don’t know what to do.  I feel lost.  I don’t think I’m going to get this bank teller position and don’t know what to do next.  Keep applying, I guess.  I’ve not heard back from many of the universities I applied to and I expected that I would have heard something by now.  I think my research plan sucks and that is what is holding me back.  I don’t know what else it could be. 

Will I ever be employable again?  I go through jobs every 3-4 years but I know others go through jobs every 3-4 months and they still get new ones.  I just want a job where I can stay.  Go to work, go home, go on vacation.  Done.  I wish I hadn’t screwed up this last job.  Oh well. Done deal.  We must carry on.

Anyone know how to get a freakin job??!!!!?!?!?

New Project!

I’ve had plenty of mental health stuff go down over the past week, but I want to put that on hold and tell you about my new project.

It has to do with writing… specifically, it’s a new blog. But not a normal blog, no, this is fan fiction written in a journal (blog) format. What fan fiction, you might ask? Well, uhm, it’s a video game I’ve been playing called Dragon Age Origins. I’m hooked. I have a character that’s hooked on another character, and since the whole thing is a role playing game anyway… well, I just had to write it. I started one for my Skyrim (another video game) character but I went up in level too quickly (I played too much) to capture the character as she progressed. But with Dragon Age, I’ve captured it. Mostly. I’ve had to replay a few things with different characters to get the storyline correct. But my writing is best when I write off page – that is, when it has nothing to do with the basic storyline itself.

Since I’ve got five or so posts done so far and several more in the queue, I think I might actually follow through with this project. It also involves video games, so I think that may help too. 😉 However, I don’t want the fact that it involves video games to scare you off. At its core, it is a love story. It just happens to be set in a fantasy setting and follow the general plot line of a video game. If I was more creative, I could write the entire thing from scratch and avoid the video game aspect altogether. But alas, I know my limitations.

Anyway, as a personal favor, would you go and read a couple of posts? If you like it, feel free to subscribe. 😉 I think I’ve only got one reader and that might be a bot. 😦 I’d also be very curious to see if anyone finds the story to be readable if they haven’t played the game. I’m not trying to fish for compliments, I have just enough self-esteem to know that I’m a pretty good fiction writer. 🙂

If you would like to read it, start with He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. It’s the first post, although it takes place in the middle of the story. We go into flashback from there to catch you up on the romance and story.

I hope you enjoy!

I’m going to write today

OK, it’s decided I’m going to write today. See that? I just did. Aren’t you proud of me?

Yeah…

I suppose I could end there and be done with it because technically I did write. But I don’t have anything to write about. My holidays were pretty uneventful. Weather kept us from visiting friends for Christmas, and DH came down with a stomach bug. Some of his Christmas presents didn’t come in until this week – so thank goodness there are 12 days of Christmas! 😉

I refused to write on New Year’s this year. It’s been 25 years since my accident and that was still in the forefront of my mind this year. Maybe because that seems like a monumental number. I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it.

I have started a new project lately, and I am hesitant to tell you about it, lest I abandon it as well. As soon as I say something about a project it becomes a ‘must-do’ and since I don’t do must-dos half-assed, they become no-dos. I know that makes no sense, does it?

Let me get a little further into this new project and then I will let you in on the secret, ok? I don’t want any more no-dos in my life.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sandy Hook

This is difficult to write.  I can’t even come up with an appropriate title because this is such a horrible event.  Twenty six dead.  Twenty of them small children, too young to know even to hide, as if it were possible.  Six adults who tried to help and lost their lives in the effort.

How can a person do this?  What sort of mental state rationalizes such violence?  As many mental states as I have been in, I have never felt homicidal.  (Suicidal yes, homicidal no.) I can’t imagine what makes a person do such a horrible thing.

He was crazy, they’ll say and eventually this will go down in the history books as another tragedy caused by a crazy person.  If one crazy person can do this, then all crazy people must be capable of doing this.  Put another check mark down for stigma.

Only 50% of people with mental health problems seek help.  That means that half of those who need help could be a danger to themselves or others. Making mental health more available, affordable and less stigmatized could make a difference in the future.  But it’s too late for the children and adults who have already been lost.

Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook. Schools should be safe havens for our children.  This is no longer the case.

The shooting in Connecticut seemed so unreal to me over the weekend.  Distant, foreign, just like the Twin Towers had felt.  But I substitute taught today and I talked with some of the students.  None of them said they were scared, but you could hear it in their voice and see it in their eyes, there was concern.  Could this happen here?

Of course it could.  It could happen anywhere.

I was talking with one of the teachers about it today.  He said Sandy Hook had all the same precautions that we take here (locked doors, little video cameras) but until society is ready to make the investment into serious deterrents, like metal detectors and armed, trained policemen in our schools, we are all at risk.

And it’s not just Connecticut.  A similar plot in Oklahoma was foiled. A disgruntled teen planned to lure students into the gym, chain the doors and start shooting.  He even planned to plant pipe bombs on the doors rigged to blow when the police arrived.  At least he was caught and arrested before any of this could come to pass.  Allegedly he was trying to recruit assistants in the lunchroom to help with his plans. Students turned him in to the authorities.

It’s a sad time for Newtown Connecticut and the world mourns with the victim’s families.  While gun control is one issue on the table, mental health is a complex problem that needs to be addressed.  I am glad to see that some attention is being paid to the problem, and hopefully this will open up new doors to understanding mental illness and new paths to treatment.