I’m not such a bad person

I got to thinking today that I’m not such a bad person.  I donate to charity when I can (Salvation Army today) and I try to be nice to people in general.  I say please and thank you. I wish people a good weekend or a happy holiday.  I’ve got a lot more patience than I give myself credit for and I try to do good.  Sometimes I don’t succeed at that because I am afraid. 

Although I can be negative, cynical and a pessimist, I’m generally not mean.  I try to be a supportive wife, friend, daughter and aunt, although my siblings and I are at odds.  I like to help people; I especially like to help people understand things like math or science.

My self-esteem is low, but I still think I’m not a bad person. (Ask me a different day and I may give you a different answer.) Sometimes I think about what it would be like to have a healthy self-esteem.  I’ve always worried that by working on my self-esteem I would become over-confident and perhaps narcissistic.  Supposedly, that’s not the case, but since we are going to be working on my self-esteem in therapy, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that for today, at least, I don’t think I’m a bad person. 🙂

The Cost of Mental Health

I’ve written a post on the costs of mental health on A Canvas of the Minds WordPress blog, which is a multi-author blog about mental illness. I can’t figure out how to reblog the post here, so you’ll just have to go over there to read it. Sorry about that, but there are lots of other really cool posts for you to check out while you are there. 🙂

The Cost of Mental Health.

Enjoy!

-MM

30 Days of Thanks: Day 5

Today I would like to extend my thanks to my friends M & J.  They are graciously allowing me to spend an extra couple of days with them on my trip out to a conference in August.  They even offered to throw me a barbeque!  These are friends I haven’t seen in years.  Not my closest of friends, but friends I would like to know better.

My closest of friends from that area don’t seem to want to be friends anymore – I hardly even see them on facebook.  It makes me sad.  We used to live out there.  If we moved back to the area, would we still have friends?  I have closer friends here.  My BFF is here.  But we can’t live here indefinitely – there’s no work. 😦

I need to focus on the great friends I do have out there, generous people like M & J, who are willing to open their home to me just to see me and spend time with me.  I would love to go out another day early and go shooting with J.  He is really a gun fanatic – well, both of them are to some extent.  I can’t own a gun because of my mental illness, but J did take me to a shooting range once.  It was so much fun!

I’m really excited about my trip now.  It won’t be all business.  Sure it means spending a little more on kenneling and parking fees, but it also means spending time with friends I haven’t seen since 2009.  I can’t believe they are willing to put me up for the weekend.  I am very blessed to have good friends 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.

24 hours

It’s amazing what 24 hours can bring: happiness or despair or complete apathy or sheer boredom.  Sometimes all of the above and then some.  Twenty-four hours can crawl by at a snail’s pace or it can fly past quicker than you can blink.  For those of us with mood disorders, we can feel everything and nothing in that amount of time.

Let me tell you about the last day or so…  yesterday I was so depressed that I couldn’t even finish an email to a friend of mine.  I had to drag myself into the shower because I was meeting another friend after dinner for crafting and ‘catch-up’ time.  We had a great time, and I felt my depression ebbing.  I even revealed to her my bipolar disorder.  She took it in with a simple nod and then acknowledged how difficult it must be to have BP and do all the things that we have to do as scientists. Especially working with the crowd I had to work with – who would drive a sane person crazy any day.  We talked about my illness, my medicines, and other things completely unrelated to mental health.  As we were wrapping things up, her husband came in.  He is basically a nice guy with no social skills.  We discussed how things were going and he was trying to cheer me up with compliments that also included potential insults, but knowing him I didn’t take the insult aspects because it was in reference to my job not my person.  But what bugged me was that he started asking about a job that’s posted in my former department.  I know the job, I know the hiring manager, and so he asked about all of that.  We even went through his stack of business cards from his last interview there four years ago so I could tell him who was still there and who wasn’t.  I think in part he wanted to make sure I wasn’t applying for the same job, but I can’t imagine why that would make a difference. Even though he apologized, I was angry that he brought it up.  I felt used.  Two hours of fun, followed by 30min of grilling about my former employer and group.  I came home nearly as miserable as when I left.

This morning, we went to see DH’s doctor who (at long last) is doing some blood work to see if we can narrow down what is wrong with him.  But both of us were so tired that we fell back asleep after we returned home and slept for another 4 hours.  I’d been dealing with anxiety and depression all day, then I got an email in the afternoon asking if I would like to come in next week for an interview.  I have to teach a class (it’s for an instructor position) and meet with the rest of the faculty.  I was a little bit floored to get the email, and once I picked up my jaw, I was excited.  But then I started thinking about it, and now I’m nervous.  Sure, I can go through the motions of teaching but am I really any good at it?  A friend of mine tried to cheer me up on that point saying that there were students who loved me, so I must have been good, and there were students who hated me, which also means I must have been good.  However, it all boils down to I still had crappy evaluations. 😦

Well, this conversation turned because this same friend just got a job with my former company, and she started ‘picking my brain’ about benefits until I told her I didn’t want to talk about it anymore.  I begin to feel like I am nothing more than a source of information for a company that threw me out in the garbage.  Will people please stop talking about the company before I start screaming?!?!

Now I am in some sort of mixed state of anxiety, depression, and self-worthlessness.  How can I wow them next week when all I can think of is: will they see how stupid I am?

Anyway, that’s how the last day went for me. From utter despair and depression to fun and a lightened load, quickly back to anger, frustration and depression, then excitement, fear and worthlessness, back to frustration at my other friend who won’t shut up about her new job.  And now I’m just tired.

Too many emotions in too short of a time.  I want to get off this ride.

 
© 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.

100th post

It’s been nine months from my first post until now. Long enough to have a baby. And this blog is my baby. A special place where I can vent, I can laugh, I can cry, and I can know that some of you are listening, laughing and crying with me. From 1 follower to 37 followers. And I cherish every single one of you.

My first few posts were often ones of anger. I don’t regret them, but it shows where I was emotionally at that time. Since then, I have dipped into depression, and it was only through this blog that I was able to watch my emotional spiral. I discovered that my darkest hell had a name: dysphoric mania.

I found a doctor I can rely on and a useful therapist. And I found you. This amazingly supportive community. Where you more about me than most of my real life friends. They may know my name, but you know my struggles, my triumphs, my innermost thoughts and feelings.

Thank you for reading my blog. I wouldn’t keep writing it if you weren’t. And I wouldn’t have seen so much of myself if not through your eyes.

 

© 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.

Christmas: Happy and Sad

Depression has been creeping back into my life.  It was at dysthymia for a while and I thought I could ride it out, but that is apparently not to be.  Even my OCD is coming back.  I snapped off my husband’s head one night because he wanted to go into The Room.  The problem is that The Room contains all of our Christmas wrapping stuff.  Argh.

Back to the topic at hand…

Christmas is a time of year that I normally enjoy, albeit sometimes with a little melancholy.  We are never surrounded by family.  My family is a scattered mess of psychological disorders and most of the individuals are toxic people.  The exception is my youngest niece.  She is a sweet young woman who is so much like me that we could be mother & daughter. Right down to the bipolar, but with a little schizophrenia thrown in for good measure.  Despite that, she is still highly functioning, graduating with an A.S. and a near 4.0 GPA.  She is looking at 4-year schools right now.  Anyway, the happy part is that my niece is coming to visit and I am really looking forward to her trip.  We have lots of exciting things to planned for her trip. (Art museums, the Zoo, etc.)

As to the sad part… DH will be with his family and not with us for Christmas. We had already committed to my niece’s visit when his mom invited us.  She is disappointed that I’m not coming too.  It’s the last Christmas in the house that DH grew up in because his mom is selling it.  This will be the first time in 15 years that DH and I will be separate at Christmas.  It hardly feels like we’ve been together that long but yet he’s a stead-fast piece of my life.  I would be lost without him.  I can’t imagine what Christmas will be like without him.  Basically, we will just try to keep ourselves occupied with fun stuff.  We’ll probably go to the zoo without him and we will spend Christmas day with a close friend of mine.  Usually DH & I spend Christmas with this friend and her husband, but my niece is welcome too, so that should be fun – at least it will be a busy day.

I still have mixed feelings about it all.  I understand why he is going (Christmas Conundrum) and that he feels it is a family obligation.  I know I’m not being shunned by his family because my mother-in-law is sad I can’t make it.  DH’s brother and his girlfriend are disappointed too.  But I’m still sad that he will be there and we will be here.  Heck, it would have great if we all could be there!  (We are giving our nephew the coolest thing for Christmas.)  But this is just another wave to ride, I guess.  A test of my endurance.  There will be other Christmases… the important thing is to enjoy what we have now.

Speaking of which – I’ve got to go to the airport!

Things I’m Thankful For

This is my no means a comprehensive list, but I thought of a few things over the holiday. So here’s starter list of things I’m thankful for:

1. My husband. My soulmate.
2. My Dad is alive and well.
3. My “bro”
4. My childhood friend, J. She is always there for me when things go wrong back East.
My “fur children”:
5. Princess
6. Goldie
7. Indy
8. Lucky
9. LunaKitty, my fur angel who had to leave me two years ago. She was a wonderful part of my life and I still miss her. I’m thankful she shared most of her short life with me.
10. Saxon for easing the pain of losing Luna.
11. My niece
12. Good doctors: PCP, psych, GYN, surgeons
13. The hairdresser who washed my hair for me when I could not
14. The friends who sat with me after my surgery
15. All my friends, near and far
16. My friend, L, who invited us forThanksgiving dinner
17. My massage therapist
18. My vacations. Not everyone gets to go to Scotland, France, or the Netherlands.
19. Meeting nice people
20. My left wrist seems to be getting better
21. I can make a fist with my right hand
22. I can walk. I wasn’t expected to after the accident but today I do and without a cane.
23. My house
24. A savings account with a positive balance
25. I’m still collecting a paycheck while on sick leave

All of you for reading my blog and giving support in a way that no one else can. 🙂

One Week After Surgery

It’s been one week since my surgery it’s been an eventful and yet very very slow week. okay it’s just been a slow week. Healing is an extremely boring process. First there’s the sleeping. Sleeping is good. But when you aren’t sleeping, then what? There are limited number of things you can do with only one hand. And you would be surprised how many things that you both can and cannot do with just one hand.

For example, I am quite impressed with anyone who breaks their arm and then is able to wear jeans or some other zippered pair of pants. At all. Trust me, even wearing pants that are a size too big is a challenge. Working a zipper with one hand is harder than you think.

Second, when your “working” hand is most disagreeable, you’re limited even further. This means I end up watching a lot of TV. And lots and lots of TV is very boring. I can stream stuff, but again, that’s TV. I’m only talking to you now through Dragon dictation and my iPad. My iPhone lets me read your blog, but the WordPress app for the iPad doesn’t allow for reading. (Unless this function is hidden where I cannot find it.) Otherwise you would not be hearing from for a long time.

Okay, now you know the sad state of my recovery, that is my boredom, let’s talk about the surgery. The surgery – well I don’t really know yet because I don’t see the doctor till Monday when have my first follow up appointment from surgery. The doctor told DH that there was a lot of scar tissue that had to be cleaned up, and they reattached the tendon. The doctor told him the surgery went as planned so there were no complications unforeseen circumstances which is good.

I am very fortunate that I have friends who were willing to come sit with me last Friday night and Saturday. (My cover may be blown, but that’s another post.) My hairdresser washed & styled my hair today for nothing. She said that she wouldn’t charge me for doing something that I cannot do for myself.

My husband has been very supportive helping me to take care of myself: food, medications, personal grooming, and other stuff. Today was a real day on the town. After I had my bath and got my hair done then we went to lunch and did some other errands and stopped at Starbucks and talked. So I bought him lunch and coffee for all the wonderful things he’s done for me this week. It’s not about paying him back, it’s about love & helping someone who has been an integral part of your life for 15 years.

It’s almost Thanksgiving and I am thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life. I can’t pay any of them back, but I will do what I can to Pay It Forward.
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Lost friends

I’m having a rough time of it lately.  (Okay, we’ve already established that with the last post, but life hasn’t gotten any better since then.)  I found out yesterday that a friend of mine from high school passed away.  Until I found him on facebook, we hadn’t seen each other in 20 years.  My husband and I saw him two years ago, just before he had gastric bypass.  The surgery went great, he lost a lot of weight and was doing well.  Yesterday, he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 41.

For some reason, I feel the need to eulogize him.  He and I weren’t really close – he didn’t know my deepest, darkest secrets – he didn’t even know that I am bipolar.  But he wouldn’t have cared.  Jeff had a way of making you feel comfortable no matter who you are.  Jeff was so proud to be gay.  Jeff even hit on my husband, whom he had never met until then, telling my husband that should he ever decide to switch sides, just let him know.  Jeff was always laughing; I think his favorite facebook comment was: ROFLMAO.  He had been through so much – lost his entire family over the past 20 years and still he was a happy person – he didn’t let life get him down.  If it ever did, he never let it show.

I have facebook to thank, once again, for being the bearer of sorrowful news.  First there was Tori, a sweet young lady of 26, who we hadn’t seen in six years.  My greatest regret is that I didn’t talk to her more since we reconnected.  I had no idea what was going on in her life.  I knew she had gotten married, but I didn’t know her husband or what she was doing these days, or anything.  At least a mutual friend of ours contacted us and asked us to call her quickly, I guess before we saw it on the facebook grapevine, so we were spared that.  Tori has been gone over a year now, but it still makes me sad.

Next, there was our friend Jason.  He passed away a few months ago.  Jason’s death struck me pretty hard as well.  He lived neared to us than either Tori or Jeff, and we saw him semi-regularly.  He wasn’t a really close friend, but a good buddy.  Jason was only 31.  I found out about his passing while I was chatting with a mutual friend on facebook when he said, “Did you hear about Jason?” No, I hadn’t heard about Jason.  I knew he had been quiet on facebook but I assumed he was on another trip.  Jason loved to travel.  He was always taking cruises – Italy, Greece, the Caribbean.

The odd thing about losing a friend that you interacted with on facebook is that it feels like a life on pause: full of half-finished conversations, one-sided games, missing pieces.  The last thing I heard from Jeff was a message: “Hay sweetie, I’m well and you?? Sorry I didn’t get back to ya before you signed off.”  Jeff was a vibrant person, who loved people, and they loved him.  He had hundreds of friends on facebook, I simply followed the trail of status updates to his facebook page filled with notes of remembrance and rest in peace.

Jason’s death was quieter.  Shortly before he died, he had decided to start using the facebook “poke” function.  I remember his status saying: Jason wonders if a FaceBook “poke” is the equivalent of a “quickie”. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has pondered this.  He started poking me daily (facebook style).  I took it as a compliment.  But I noticed his pokes stopped and his Bejeweled Blitz high scores kept coming up listed as zero.  And still, it didn’t occur to me to think oddly on it – he’s just traveling, I told myself.  Until I learned otherwise.

I confess, I have no conversations from Tori.  A couple of wall messages buried back in 2009.  I’m sorry, Tori.  I wish we had talked more.  Now we never will.  Or maybe I’ll see you on the flip side and we can catch up then.

I miss you: Tori, Jason & Jeff.  I haven’t forgotten you and I never will.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). 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.