30 Days of Thanks: Day 3

Today’s thanks go out to a very dear friend of mine, who I will call Simon. Simon is like a brother to me. We have known each other since we started graduate school together, and been good friends since I joined his research group a couple of years later. (I switched advisers and fields.) Simon was there to support me after I left a 7-year long abusive relationship. He was the first man to make me realize you could be friends with a member of the opposite sex without any sexual interest. He’s always acted like a big brother, helping me through some rough times and enjoying good times. For several years, our communication was sparse because until he met his second wife, he wasn’t much of a communicator. But we’ve gotten close again over the past 7 years. We communicate a lot on Facebook, and are starting to communicate more via phone. I once asked DH, “Why do I only call Simon when I am in (usually job) distress?” DH replied, “Because he’s your brother.” It stuck. Now I call him “bro” and he calls me “sis”. Simon is closer to me than I ever have or will be with my blood brother.

He’s seen me manic; he’s seen me depressed. He’s never judged me and he’s always supported me, even when I made some really stupid decisions. He’s done more for me than I could ever do for him. He’s always ready to boost my self-esteem and has written glowing things about me (on FB and in letters of recommendation) and it’s the latter that has brought me to dedicating this day of thanks to him. He is writing a letter of recommendation for me for the job that I just had a phone interview for and he sent me a draft to proofread. It is so supportive that I got choked up reading it. I told him that I hope that someday my self-esteem can match his opinion of me.

So I want to dedicate this day of thanks to my very good friend, my “bro”, Simon. I am very lucky to have him 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.

Neurology Now

(Note: This blog post is also posted on A Canvas of the Minds.)

I want to share with you information on a free magazine called Neurology Now.  While its main focus is on neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, epilepsy, stroke, brain trauma and Multiple Sclerosis, it also has featured articles on migraines, pain disorders and depression. Other topics include ADHD, Autism/Asperger’s, and Restless Legs Syndrome. This is a magazine that is free to patients and caregivers/friends/family members of patients.

I always find the articles interesting, even if they don’t directly apply to me.  My mother had Alzheimer’s disease, and I found the articles both supportive and helpful. It’s interesting to read the struggles and successes of others who are in different situations.  Their coping mechanisms for dealing with chronic diseases can become our coping mechanism for dealing with a chronic disease, even though theirs may be physical and ours may be mental. The magazine is designed for patients, so it is written with down-to-earth terms and explanations, and many of the articles involve real-life stories as inspiration.  There are even little cognitive puzzles in each magazine.

I urge you to check out their website and decide for yourself if this is something you would like to subscribe to.  I have been subscribing for years and always find something of interest in every publication.  It is released every other month, so it doesn’t fill up your mailbox.

I thought I would share this interesting resource with all of you.

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.

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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Pay it Forward

I’ve been blessed in my life with some very wonderful friends.  Most of them don’t know about my illness, or if they do, I don’t trouble them with my ups & downs because I don’t wish to invade their lives.  Perhaps it’s not fair of me to rob them of the chance to support me, but it’s how I feel about my bipolar.  (I can be quite stubborn about suffering alone.)  I do allow my friends to support me on other medical issues or when I have a family emergency.

I have one friend who is wonderfully supportive.  When my mom had a heart attack and bypass surgery, she picked my husband and I up at the airport and let us stay at her place.  She was single at the time and living in a small apartment, so she gave her bedroom to my husband and I, while she slept on the couch.  Another time, during a family emergency, she gave me the keys to a spare car in addition to the keys to her house and said, “I’ll see when I see you.  Good Luck.”  When my mother died, she did the same, except she didn’t have a spare car at that point.  She apologized that she couldn’t go to the funeral because she was already committed to a different funeral that day. (Bad time of the year, I guess.)  I love this woman more than she will ever know and there is no way I could ever pay her back for her kindness and support.

Another friend texted me the other day and asked if I had some time to talk to her.  She was scared because she was being tested for a medical problem that was similar to something I had gone through.  We spent two hours on the phone and by the end of it she felt much better, less worried, and we’d even worked out a game plan for how to approach her doctor.

A couple of months ago I spent two hours on the phone listening to a friend who was going through a divorce.  I also listened (read?) via IM.  He was very grateful and listed my name (along with all the others who supported him) on his Facebook page in a big thank you note.

There have been many times when I’ve listened when someone needed to talk.  Friends or even just acquaintances, and of course, there are times when I can’t.  Times when I am in a “bad headspace” and need the support myself.  I’ve looked for support, but only for more typical things – work relationships, personal relationships, medical issues, etc.  But when it comes to my bipolar, I only look for a handful of people: my husband, occasionally a friend, but mostly my therapist, pdoc, and you, dear readers.

I have sort of gotten off track with the last piece, but what I am trying to tell you is this:  you can’t always pay it back, but you can always pay it forward.


© 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.