TV

I’ve been watching Castle reruns for nearly five hours now. I saw all the episodes when they came out but apparently I’ve forgotten who done it because most of them I am surprised at the end. The real question is: why have I been watching television all day?

Well, it’s been a crappy day. Not super crappy, just crappy. And tonight is the night my husband works so I am alone. I don’t feel like reading and I can’t sit still at the computer. So I am watching TV.

A lot has happened over the past couple of weeks, from dropping my bitchy therapist to a job interview, the latter of which isn’t looking so good. I have a long to-do list and not much I am doing on it. The car didn’t want to start this morning, so I didn’t feel safe taking it on a grocery run. Yeah, lots of little crap happened today.

I know I’ve been pretty quiet on my blog lately, both this one and my fanfic one. I’ve been feeling lonely on the bipolar front. Would someone email me? Not that it matters, I don’t have anything to say. I am so lucky to have a wonderful husband, but he can’t be my only support. I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. Wasting time and wasting money.

I guess I’m just feeling a little down tonight. Thanks for reading.

Bored & Eaten

I’ll address the eaten part first. WordPress ate this post. Probably because I didn’t finish writing it yesterday when I started it. I think WP gets the munchies if it has to stare at a half-written post for too long. (Maybe that’s why it eats them upon the Save Draft command.) In any case, I have defeated the WP blog monster this time by copying and pasting the draft into a text program. While this has preserved said post, it has not added anything to it in terms of quality. Regardless, let me rewind to yesterday…

I’ve been bored and down lately. We were supposed to go visit a friend of mine for Christmas, but they got ice and snow down there so it wasn’t safe to drive. This left us at home with no Christmas dinner only what we could scrounge around the house. And cookies. I was giving them cookies for Christmas so we got to eat those. (I know, bad for the diabetes.) DH was also sick the day after Christmas so it’s been quiet here. I haven’t felt like leaving the house although I have mustered up the energy to do a couple of quick errands. But grocery shopping? That takes way too much energy – more than I have. We’ve just been playing video games for the past three days.

Bah Humbug! I’ve felt no holiday spirit this year. 😦 Last year was great because my niece visited, even though my arm was still healing and DH and I were separated for the holiday. (He went home to visit his family.) It would have been a wonderful Christmas if he had stayed, but it was good even without him. I’ll never be able to afford to have my niece visit again, but she has a family now so wouldn’t happen anyway.

I hate New Year’s Eve. It will be 25 years ago this year that I survived a near fatal car crash but when I hear sirens it feels like yesterday. I wrote about it last year in New Year’s Eve and some of the medical I went through in my gallbladder post.

Back to today… I know that last thought was sort of left hanging there, but I didn’t want to go back to that frame of mind again. Yes, I’m still bored and slightly down, but my car accident is not something I want to revisit again. I just don’t. I’ve gone down that road so many times… and it’s still not paved. Probably each time it’s traveled I level it a little bit more, but I really need a break from it. Let’s just not turn down the path this time. (I may change my mind by Monday, but that’s how I feel right now.)

Going out with friends last night really helped me, even if it was a long battle to get ready. I spent all day yesterday procrastinating on taking a shower until the last minute. Then I just threw some clothes on and we went. Saw Les Miserables, the movie. It’s quite good. Very sad, but then the story is very sad. I recommend the book (find the abbreviated version if you aren’t a European history fan) and the musical. I keep wondering if I will find myself out on the street in a few months time as well… more depressing thoughts I don’t wish to indulge. Sigh.

We had dinner, saw friends and went to a movie. If we leave it at that, then this post ends on a happy note. Remember friends, the difference between comedy and tragedy is where the scene ends.

 

© 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.

Fight Stigma!

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as National Mental Illness Awareness Week.  Here we are 22 years later and it’s still not acceptable to call into work as a sick day due to depression or other mental illness.  What happens if you tell your employer that you suffer from mental illness?  If you’re like me, you will lose your job.  Wait, that’s illegal!  Not if you work for a small company.  Check the fine print before you accept a job offer.

Some statistics for you to chew on…

Anxiety: 18% of the adult U.S. population, 23% of these cases are considered severe.  Women are 60% more likely to suffer from anxiety than men during their lifetime. (This includes Agoraphobia, GAD, OCD, Panic Disorder, PTSD, Social and other phobias)

Bipolar:  2.6% of the adult U.S. population, nearly 83% of them are considered severe cases.

Major Depressive Disorder: At any given time, this affects about 7% of the population, but when looking at lifetime prevalence, this increases to 16.5%.  Women are 70% more likely to suffer depression than men, and when looking at age groups, young and middle aged adults are most likely to be sufferers as compared to those over the age of 60.

Borderline Personality Disorder: 1.6% of the U.S. adult population.

Schizophrenia: 1.1% of the U.S. adult population.

I have selected to give you statistics for only a few of the major mental health issues.  Many more statistics can be found on the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml

While these numbers may seem small, these illnesses affect millions of people.  Millions of individuals with families, jobs, and responsibilities that can be difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with while suffering from an illness.  For some people, illnesses are comorbid (occurring together) but this doesn’t make the numbers less formidable.  For example, anxiety and depression often go together, which makes coping extremely difficult.

Although Mental Illness Awareness week is at a close, I hope you will keep in mind some of these statistics.  For those of you who are sufferers, you are not alone.  For those of you who are friends or family of someone with a mental health disorder, we appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.  For those of you who are neither… please join us in the battle against stigma.  Together we can make the world a kinder place.

 

© 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.

A couple of down days

OK, I’m having a couple of down days here. Tuesday was great as I spent it with my BFF and we had loads of fun! But yesterday and today it was back to the job hunt, and that has me down a bit. There just aren’t jobs out there for me.  I’m going to a conference in August, and hopefully something there will work, but mostly I’m SOL.  I am still holding on to hope for a few of the teaching positions I’ve applied for but I’m getting nervous as August, and the school year, is fast approaching.  I realize that it’s just a numbers game and it only takes 1 success.  But what if that one success doesn’t come until after unemployment runs out?  I am half-way through unemployment, and since unemployment in my state is dropping, the tier 2 and tier 3 federal government unemployment won’t be available.  So I will be on my own.

OK, so I figured I would lower my standards and apply for any kind (within reason) of job after unemployment runs out.  I don’t need a PhD to type letters or file forms, but I have done it before.  It’s depressing work and last time led me to a suicidal ledge, but hopefully this time I can keep it together.  Hopefully, it won’t get that far.  Hopefully, I will have a job soon.  I am so over sitting at home.

I wish I could have written a novel or done something more productive during all this time off, but it was time well spent working on me.  Getting myself stable is no easy feat, and I think I should give myself some credit for it.  Even though I’m having a couple of down days, I don’t think this is going to turn into a mood episode.  I hope not.  I need to keep myself upbeat in case something good comes up.  There’s nothing worse than blowing a job interview because you are depressed.  (And believe me, I’ve done this several times before.)

Another thing that has me a bit down is my schizoaffective niece – Persephone.

She called me in a panic yesterday and asked me to co-sign on an apartment so she would have someplace to live.  I told her I had to discuss it with DH first.  She said she would call me back.  That was 12:30 yesterday afternoon.  I’ve not heard from her since.  When she does call back, I will have to tell her that I just can’t be a co-signer.  First, I don’t have a job, so I wouldn’t qualify because I have no income.  I think she would understand that.  But on a more personal level, even if I could qualify, this just isn’t something I could do right now.  I can’t make that kind of financial commitment to someone else when I am struggling to keep my own head above water.  Co-signing on a lease makes you liable for everything that other person does – if they trash the place, you are responsible, if they default or get evicted, it shows up on your credit score.  No, I can’t take that kind of risk.  She is un-medicated, unstable, and I know nothing about her boyfriend other than he appears to be irresponsible.  If I was working and making a $120k a year, I would probably do it.  But not now, not in this situation.

So I am upset with her – she only calls me when she wants something.  She isn’t going to see a doctor for either her mental or physical health.  She is acting irresponsible (not surprising since she is a manic state), and spending money on geckos that they don’t know if they can take care of.  They had one month of free rent, but instead of using that month to find their next place to live, they spent it having fun.  There’s nothing wrong with fun, but you have to take care of the real world too.  (I’m one to talk, but we aren’t talking about me right now.)  So instead, they paid for a week in a hotel while they look for a place to live.  Then I get a panicked phone call and now nothing.  She’s 24, in love, in a manic state with schizophrenic hallucinations.

It is so frustrating when you watch someone you love throw their life away on partying and bad relationships.  She had such a promising future when she graduated community college, but then she took a year off, and now she is in a mess.  She had been stable on medications for nearly 10 years, but she got sick and tired of the side effects and the fact that she couldn’t go out drinking while taking them.  So she stopped taking her meds.  First the Lithium, then the Seroquel.  She is allergic to Lamictal and Trileptal, but doesn’t keep very good medical records so she doesn’t know what she has tried and what she hasn’t, or what makes her sick and what doesn’t.  “I’ve tried everything,” she said.  I know that feeling, but it’s probably not true.  I don’t know.  There’s nothing I can do to help her.  I don’t like feeling helpless.

And I think that is the reason for my melancholy.  I feel helpless.  I feel helpless to help my niece.  I feel helpless in the job hunt.  Now that I’ve identified the problem, I can work on it.

 
© 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.

Wham!

Some days you are just going through life, doing things that need to be done, thinking you are getting somewhere, ready to congratulate yourself on your progress when suddenly… Wham! You are hit up side the head with an irrational (or as in my case, rational but way out of proportion) thought generating panic and anxiety where you were calm and efficient only moments before.

Today was a double hit. I started today off great, with a (reasonably) early rise and a two-mile walk. Wimbledon was on, so I watched that intermittently while I had breakfast and waited for my turn at the shower. After DH left for work, I chatted with a friend about a photo shoot we are devising, then I set to work looking for a job. I couldn’t concentrate. All I could see was how filthy my carpet was and I wasn’t much better since I hadn’t showered yet. Wham! A whirlwind side swipe of anxiety sent me running for the Klonopin, and then the vacuum cleaner, to use up some of the spontaneous extra energy. After a nice shower and some lunch, I sat down to prepare for the job hunt again. I needed to check out some information on a conference I need to go to and went about preparing for that. I sent out some contact emails, working my network. I decided to check on my bank accounts to see how my finances were holding up, and I think that’s what triggered the next attack. But it didn’t come quickly, nay, it hid in the shade until my attention was turned elsewhere. It waited until I had logged off the banking site and logged back into my job search sites.

Wham! Trembling anxiety or is it panic? Thoughts raced through my head: we have to sell the house, we have no where to go, healthcare, food, shelter, how will we live? What about my pets – my children of fur? What will we do? What will we do? How will we live? How? How? How?

Every backup plan we had failed. We set new backup plans. Are those failing too? Something is failing… is it me? What’s next? What do I do now? COBRA is silently sucking away at my savings. This house needs repairs. Some minor, others less minor. Our mortgage is disproportionately higher than it should be… we can’t change it now because I have no job. Ironic, isn’t it? When you most need to readjust your finances, you can’t.

One car is paid for and we owe less than a thousand on the other.  I suppose we could live out of our cars, but it would be a cramped fit with the animals.  Sleep in the Walmart parking lot.  Can you do that?  I don’t know.

DH & I talked about today’s double hit.  We have enough savings for a few months but we will probably have to put the house on the market by the first of the year.  I hate owning houses, I hate switching jobs, I just want things in my life to be settled.  I want my emotional rollercoaster to settle and stop derailing me when I am doing well.  I was doing well until my mind side-swiped me.

Maybe try again tomorrow.


© 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.

First Blog-o-versary!


Yes, I stole the term from Lulu, who recently celebrated her blog-o-versary. Thanks Lulu!

It’s both difficult and easy to believe that it’s been one year since my first blog.  I’ve talked about moods, work, photography, my family, my pets, my mental health, my physical health, and I’ve started working on the 30 Days of Creativity and 30 Days of Thanks projects.  I started out coming down from a mania, and plunged into depression, with glimpses of stability.  It’s been quite a ride.

I’ve gone from 1 reader to over 50 readers.  My world has expanded, my writing has expanded, and I’ve made new friends.  Thank you, readers, for sticking with me through out this journey of self-discovery.  This blog has become a large part of my world, it’s a support network, a place to vent or cry or whatever I need to do at the time.  A place to speak freely about whatever I want to talk about, whenever I want to talk about it.

I enjoy blogging, even though some days I am not up to it, but I do the best I can when I can.  That’s anyone can ask for.  Thanks for coming back after the silences.

Now I’m ready for ice cream.  Anyone want to join me? 🙂

Security Clearance

Security Clearance. A death knell for any mentally ill person seeking a job requiring one.

How many good jobs have I had to pass over because I can’t obtain and maintain a security clearance? Several. I just passed another one today. It eliminates any job related to the Department of Defense (DoD) and many Department of Energy (DOE) jobs which are places I could find work. Eliminate Boeing, Lockheed Martin, or any of the other companies with big DoD research projects. Reject some of the government labs, like Sandia or Los Alamos National Lab. I can’t even work in a simple position if it has anything to do with defense.

The mentally ill do have stability issues and are a security risk for projects requiring high level security clearances. I understand that. I’m just frustrated is all. Frustrated that I was born with this genetic pre-disposition that blossomed into something that taxes me daily.  Frustrated that on top of all that it limits my employability.  Even if I had never been diagnosed, it would probably come out in the mental health exams.  It’s a necessary discrimination.

But what would happen if companies found a loophole such that they could discriminate against you legally?  Disability discrimination cases are rarely won.  If I had told my last employer about my bipolar, I probably would have been out of a job sooner than now.  As it is, given that my FMLA ran out and they couldn’t find a place for me that I was qualified for when I returned, it’s nearly disability discrimination. I was discriminated against by my co-workers while my arm was injured, but I didn’t know that there was a statue of limitations on disability claims.  At this point, I have no legal recourse; I was told as much by a lawyer.  I was laid off from a previous job because of health reasons (I was recovering from a severe mania) and sued them unsuccessfully.  Oh yes, companies are tricky, and if they can get away with it, they will.  It’s why they employ such expensive lawyers.

But I digress.  My point was simply to express my frustration in the job hunt.  A job hunt that is already difficult enough with my background and education level, soon to be made more difficult by my age. It’s discouraging to be disqualified for jobs because of my mental health.

 

© 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.