Quest for Serenity: Convictions of a Bipolar Mind











{October 1, 2015}   In need of a lil help

I have begun a Go Fund Me account for something and am spreading the word in hopes that I can get a little pick me up.  I have been doing well mentally, although I did go through a period of mania this fall, but it is under control and mostly affected me creatively so I will not complain.  Please take just a sec to click the link and read what it is I am asking for an why.  Thank you for you time.  Be well everyone!!

//funds.gofundme.com/Widgetflex.swf

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I always want to start out my posts with “It’s been a while…” and truly, it has, but there has to be a better way to pop up and let my followers know that I am still alive.  That and I would really like to see myself writing more often.

I have been going through something that I cannot quite seem to put my finger on.  I have been experiencing depression on and off.  It is nothing that has stuck around for more than a couple weeks at a time, yet, it has not been circumstantial depression, it’s much deeper. I haven’t experienced a Bipolar depression in a couple of years.  It’s grip on me has been tight too.  Then one morning, I wake and I am fine.  I do not understand it.  These episodes have certainly affected me.  I am not cleaning my house, I am grumpy the entire time I am off the hill and running errands in town, and I snappy with my girls (sometimes), and let’s not even begin to wonder what it has done to my creativity.  My writing is well HA! What writing?  It is lifeless.  As a result of this depression, I have not been keeping up on my blog either.

I am doing my best to cope and with each day that passes, I grow more and more animosity toward my ex-husband for not being stronger or more of a man to stick around.  He is not meant to be in a relationship, he doesn’t know what his role should be and thus I am alone.  Why bother mentioning something that was over almost two years ago?  I desire companionship greatly these past few weeks and I find myself tempted to physically meet a man that I have been talking to online for months now.  But I know that if I do, my motives will be wrong and I do not want to get myself into a situation that is not healthy.

This happens to be a time when I am not feeling down.  In fact, I am jamming out to Cat Stevens right now and rather enjoying my silly singing voice.  Last night I started painting!  I only laid the first layer down but I am contemplating the rest of it.  I want to put some Beatles lyrics on the canvas and hang it in my living room, though I am tempted to give the finished product to my best-friend…so it looks as though I will have to paint two!  The point is, my creativity is coming back.  I am writing this, I created a few pages in my art journal and I am enthusiastically reading a book that I am really enjoying.  I am actually able to focus on it long enough to comprehend what I have read.  I feel “normal.”  Or rather, I should say – STABLE.

I hate the word “Normal” as there is no true normal these days, anyone that spends five minutes at the mall “people-watching” knows better.  Hell, you don’t even have to go that far… simply go out into your community and have an interaction with someone.

Anyway, meds have not changed.  Still taking everything, but have added the supplement Turmeric to my daily gulp.  It is all around a good supplement to have in your system and I even cook with it (caution, it will turn all your food orange, haha) and is believed to ward off depression.  It may be working.

As many a Bipolar thinks, I would love to be off meds and just take supplements.  Shoot, they are not covered under insurance and I am on a fixed income…hmm.  It is expensive to keep yourself healthy these days and oh gosh, am I glad I have a prescription plan.

The weather is beginning to turn.  It is supposed to be in the 40’s all week with no snow in sight and I can hear my house dripping with melting ice.  I even heard some birds singing their returning song outside of the library the other day.  It excited me.

I imagine, hope, that with the changing of the season, I am clear of this depression cycle.  I look forward to being able to open my back door and watch the cat and dog vie for the sunlight streaming in.  And flip flops, oh flip flops… c’mon warmer weather!



{December 2, 2014}   I want to try Cannabis capsules

I haven’t written in a while, to my followers, I am sorry. I am well, kids are well, made it through another month with food in our bellies and a roof over our heads. My washer broke mid-wash about two weeks ago so now we have the added expense of driving to a washer be it at a friend’s house or the laundry mat (another added expense). Thanksgiving was good. We spent it up at my mother’s house and had a great day, the roads were clear to travel on too, of which I was grateful.

The depression that I had been feeling is gone, I am back to feeling awake and alert. I feel grateful every day for what I have and for my stability. I declined the Latuda and began taking a Turmeric supplement instead for the depression and by all accounts it seems to be doing the trick. I would much prefer a supplement over a pharmaceutical any day…if I HAVE to take something at all.

To be honest, I am waiting for my state to become medicinal, as I would love to try the cannabis capsules to replace the Lithium, Lamictal, Buspar, Klonapin, and pain pill. I think that there are so many benefits. Personally, I don’t think Marijuana should have ever been made illegal. Cancer, glaucoma, Depression, HIV, I could go on and on.

I would not smoke it. I don’t like how it makes me feel when I do that but cooking with it would be interesting too. I would have to make SURE that the kiddos don’t eat mama’s brownies!

I know that this a controversial issue for some and I would love to hear comments on how you feel about it.



Here I am – at 10:45 at night – and I am sitting in a laundry mat with my two children. One is asleep in a plastic deck chair, the other sits tolerably watching YouTube videos from a Nintendo 3DS.

We are here because my washer just broke. It sits half filled with towels, clothes and water. Water that I have no idea how I am going to get out of there.
I sit here because I am poor. I cannot afford to buy new. I can’t even afford the extended warrantee that is offered with a new unit. I am poor and I have been for a while and I am down right son of a bitchin mutha truckin sick of it! I am on disability for a reason and with the season setting in, I am brutally reminded of that fact.

I volunteered once at my local library. I was on my feet shelving books for about an hour and by the time I was finished and got home, I was laid up on the couch for hours, feet and legs burning. Today, I did my best at sitting for three hours at a write-in, but had to get up every half hour and walk. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t sit…how in the world can I get a J-O-B??

This is the point in my thought process where I determine that I need a man. I need a man with a good job and one that is willing to put up with irritability on occasion. I had a man once- then he abandoned me and eventually married another. Then I went out and found a new man, hell, I even married that one, but he abandoned me too. (He wasn’t much help during the marriage anyway. He actually waited until one week before moving out to finally get a job!) Way to go! I know how to pick em good huh?

I know it’s not PC to say that I NEED a man thanks to my fellow womyn of the 70’s, my predecessors to a new dawn, but fuck it! Things are just easier with a man around. The sex is ‘funner’ rather than flying solo, the meals are better when he brings home a fresh kill. The mudroom might be a little stinkier with the man boots takin up residence, but the conversation is sweeter and the bed is warmer…oh and did I mention that the car is always fixed and everything in the house is in good working order? And at some point…my heart…the pieces come back together…the stitch marks fade – and it begins to beat again. And I think maybe, just maybe, this one won’t abandon.

Now ladies don’t think for a moment that I have forgotten that it take 5 times of asking before the garbage is taken out, 3 times before the dirty clothes are picked up off the floor, 4 times before the wet towel is removed from the bed, and 6 times before that “Honey-do list” has been glanced at. All I am saying is that when you have a man, you appreciate him and all that he does for you, the children, the harmonious operation of the household (oh wait, that’s our doing as well)…but you get my drift.
Life is better with a companion to share it with.
…………….
I am home now and attempting to relax but I know that I have got some articles in the washer than need tending to. I suppose I can just hang then out to “dry” on the deck, long as that may take. Then there is the matter of the water and I haven’t quite figured that one out yet. I don’t even think that putting it on a dolly and moving it outside would work, I fear that the water would begin to spill before then.
I put an add on one of the Facebook garage sale something or other websites looking for someone that knows how to fix washers, but guess what….oh you did guess, well you were right – no money to pay them for their services. I will have to barter and trade but I don’t have much.

I wonder if I post one of those “Go Fund Me” websites if someone would donate to my sanity. How bout it my dear followers – would you let go of a buck? Haha, just imagine.
On a medical note…I have successfully switched to Extended Release Lithium, no fatigue, doing well. I went down from 37.5 mg to 25 mg on Lamictal. I am slightly more irritable but it all tends to be situational and fades quickly. My doc wants to put me on Latuda but one of the side effects can be irritability and I am not sure I am willing to risk my teen’s sanity and tolerance on that.

HAS ANYONE HAD ANY EXPERIENCE WITH LATUDA…what exactly can I expect?

Well, now that I have taken up your precious time, I will proceed to go retrieve the towels and things from the washer (I hope the cat doesn’t get out). As always, comments are welcome and please, let me know if you have any words of wisdom/caution/humor/etc about LATUDA.

I hope everyone is well, sane, and enjoying the company of another (at least occasionally). Be well.



I went through a period of mania and spent money I couldn’t spend and have been bouncing around town running errands, going to the library, etc. every day. Positively speaking, I am taking a creativity class and I still attend my weekly writer’s group.

Now however, I am going through a period of depression. I can feel it creeping in and this time, I am having a hard time differentiating between circumstantial depression or bipolar depression. It hit me kind of hard this time and is sticking around. Circumstances what they are… I haven’t been able to pay any of my bills this month and still have another one coming. I have a quarter tank of gas and have to go out of town in a few days THREE times AND I have no working toilets or showers in the house and have not for about two weeks…right about the time that I noticed that I was feeling slightly depressed. NO ONE can seem to find my septic tank so that we can pump it. Bless my sweet neighbor though. He was over here for two and a half hours digging and doing the job of a back hoe single handedly and yet we still came up empty handed. I feel so incredibly bad that he worked so hard and I have nothing to give him and a thank you, no money for his labor, a hot meal, nothing. He is the type that wouldn’t accept it anyway, but I can’t keep letting him do work on my house when he has work on his own house that he is putting off, it’s not right.

The problem is, I am in a situation where I need the help. I either do not know how and am physically unable to do the work myself and my freakin husband left me…yes, yes, I will let that one go when I feel like it…. And so therefore I have no one that I can turn to.

So all this leads me to believe that my depression is circumstantial. Yet, the way that it hit and is sticking around makes me think it could be something more. I did some poking around and was looking at Sam-e and fish oil. I know that fish oil can raise one’s mood. There are different oils on the market, there is general fish oil, krill oil, etc. It can be hard to choose which one. But Sam-e is something new to me and I read about it today. It increases the serotonin levels in which I am not sure that that is what I want because they have the ability to act in place of anti-depressants and I cannot take them because they turn me extremely hostile and no one needs that. So I am leary.

Here is the information that I found. Concise but good: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/786.html

The good things is that I see my therapist tomorrow and we can discuss these issues at length. I think I will see her again in four weeks not eight because of what I am going through and I think she will recommend that anyway. I am just not sure that we will be increasing or starting any new medication. I am on enough!
I struggled through this post, so I will do my best to get on here shortly after tomorrow’s meeting and let you know what my therapist has recommended for this depression. Hopefully it helps answer someone’s question(s). Take care and be well.



So, the increase in Lithium has helped my mania, as I knew that it would. I have been struggling financially this month more so than any other month. I have $1.28 in the bank…eeek!! I’m not really in the mood to blog tonight but then, I am. I am indecisive at the moment. Truthfully, I am quite thrown off and as Bipolars do not deal with change very well, I am all out of sorts.
I am taking a course at the library and this week’s assignment is READING DEPRIVATION. I cannot read anything, save for the necessary like street signs and instructions. But no books, Facebook, magazines, blogs, etc etc. Today is only day two and already I have cheated a little bit and gotten on Facebook today. But I have a routine, one that works well for me, makes me feel comfortable and starts off my day well. I have a light breakfast so that I can have something in my stomach to take my morning meds with and then it is coffee and the newsfeed. I interact with my friends on Facebook as I would interact with them in person. Note: Every single person on my Facebook friends list is someone that I know in person, I do not have 528 friends.
So, I say good morning to my world and then it usually puts me in too mood to write and I generally do just that. These last two mornings I have gone straight to the writing and I produce nothing. I DO have an addiction to Facebook but the way I see it, as a former Agoraphobic and someone who struggles with anxiety, Facebook literally IS my social life. I can’t always make it half an hour away to see some of my friends, others are working 60 work weeks, and others do not have a vehicle of their own and do not live in the immediate area, so sometimes Facebook is all we have.
Now it may sound as though I am justifying begin able to get on Facebook during this week long challenge, but in reality, I am attempting to prove a point that you really can’t mess with a Bipolar’s routine or it throws them alllll off.
I think what I may do is get on in the morning, say my good morning to the world then when I transition over to writing I will close it and not touch it the remainder of the day. That is my one cheat. Other than that I will not be reading.
As for tonight, I will simply go to bed without reading my book.



My mania is calming down (a little). I saw my therapist this week and she decided that I needed to go up 125 mg on my Lithium, so now I am back to 1200 mg total. No surprise there. It should help, I am already feeling more fatigue in the mornings but that will soon wear off. I give it til the weekend, no worries. My spending is under control, despite the fact that I had to make a Walmart run today, but I stayed within my list of things needed. Okay, okay………I bought TWO black light bulbs, not one, but they were less than $2 a piece, so I just made my daughter’s upcoming birthday party that much better for $1.97. That being said, let’s get into the mixed state aspect of my night…

I submitted an application for government subsidized housing today IN TOWN and found out that they do not allow pets (most do not) but I inquired as to whether I could have a service dog. I was going to register my dog of four years (my family member, my baby) as an Emotional Support service dog as being Bipolar and having an anxiety disorder, I qualify for such a thing. But they said that it was only acceptable for deaf and blind tenants. My daughter…the one that bitches DAILY about not living in town…is crushed and says that she doesn’t want to move now. (We also have 2 cats). I personally do not want to have to get rid of ANY of my beloved animals, but I have to think of my future and that of my girls. I have to consider what I can afford, and frankly, calling mommy and daddy at the age of 33 for money to pump my septic tank, or gas money, or vehicle repair (all this week) just should not be happening. I should be self-sufficient as much as possible…this is of course impossible while sitting on disability so I am somewhat stuck. Hence, the reason for the application to the gov’t housing.

That being said, I am upset, DEPRESSED, and now fighting with my ex-husband who insists upon my dog going to him. But all he does is go to work and then sit in front of a computer in a SMALL upper apartment. There are no 2.5 acres for her to run on, I don’t know if he would take her for long walks, especially in the winter, to get her necessary exercise and she gets played with every day here. Would he step away from his games on his computer long enough to wrestle with her? I don’t care if this upsets him, these are legit concerns. She is a family member and I was going to be with her til her last breath and now, it looks like I may have to send her to a farm with a bunch of kids or something.

I know that they SAY that the waiting list is one year, but I have lived in subsidized housing before…it NEVER takes that long. I requested a town home due to my physical limitations with using stairs easily and what not, so that may take a little longer, but I happen to know that one just opened up and they do all the time, so who knows.
I’m scared and this is natural I would guess. Making a move like this – back into town, making changes… Bipolar people do not handle change very well. Now that it has become a possible reality I imagine that I will have many thoughts over the next couple months. I need to pray about it the whole way and listen to what the Universe has in store for me. I trust that I will be guided to whether I should move into town or not. I think that I am having doubts because of having to get rid of my animals but I know that I have wanted to move into town for a long time and I need to keep that my central focus.
For tonight, I am going to try to relax and Be Here Now.



{September 18, 2014}   Checking in good things to report

My library hosted an open mic poetry night tonight in place of my writer’s group meeting. There are people in my group that don’t generally share poetry so, tonight when they did, I was pleasantly surprised. There was some really good stuff and it was inspiring to me to get back into poetry. I may dabble this weekend while my teen is at her band competition. I am supposed to have a friend up for a writing date and I am looking forward to that very much.

I began taking a class two weeks ago. (I cannot recall at this time, if I have mentioned it prior to now.) The name of the class is “Creativity Unleashed” based on the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. One of the main elements is that it requires that you write three pages every morning. Write whatever comes to mind, a “mind dump” if you will. I am having difficulty getting to them first thing in the morning. After all, my bladder governs when and how quickly I get out of bed, ha-ha. But I do my best to get to my writing as quickly as possible in the mornings AND I am even doing so BEFORE my morning cup o’ Joe!
Now for the good stuff…….

I have not had a twinge, a chill, a single sensation of panic in weeks. I cannot remember the last time that I actually had a panic attack. I am taking this class, I was in a cafeteria and an auditorium FULL of people and noise (open house at the high school earlier this week) and I was GREAT! Not once did I have to catch my breath or self-talk, it simply wasn’t there. Those that know me and those that have been following my blog know that THIS IS HUGE FOR ME. I have even been to the grocery store by myself as well as run many other errands and not once did I have to second guess my actions or alter my thinking.

Admittedly, I am manic right now. Normally with my mania, my anxiety levels are heightened. This time however, I am feeling (mostly) calm and relaxed. I have my bursts of energy, I have been to the Farmer’s market, canned veggies and made things in the crock pot over the last two days and I have organized my room like crazy, cleaned, etc. But these are all positive, productive things so my mania is more or less …under control. It is after eleven and I feel like I could stay up for a few more hours, but I will counter that with some hot tea and reading The Artist’s Way. Then I will proceed to lay in bed and pick up a memoir that I am reading until I tire enough to fall into a comfortable slumber.

Meds are good. I think…yes I am going to say it…I think I am going to talk to my therapist about reducing a medication. I do not want to do so at this time, I am thinking more toward the middle of winter. I do not get a winter depression anymore and by the time Spring rolls around I am ready to spring into all that is warm, sunny, and clear roads. If I do have a reaction (mania, anxiety, etc.) it will be at a stable time and I should be able to get things under control rather quickly if I need to. I see my wonderful therapist next week and plan to raise the topic.

With regard to my love life, or of course, lack whereof I am feeling okay at night. Loneliness is not creeping its way into my evenings anymore which tells me that I am or have become okay with being alone. My kids are back in school so I am alone during the days but I am busy. My teen refuses to go to bed before 10pm or even to her room before 9:30pm which I think would serve her “sleeping through my alarm and almost miss the bus” self well, but she is a stubborn one..or well..she is a teen so yyeah. That being said, I do not have the opportunity to feel alone. But when I am – I am alright and it feels good.

I will say that I am crushing on someone, and have since the first time I met him, but he is in a relationship so I have kept respectful and silent about it. But it shows me that I may possibly be ready to move on from my ex-husband, whom I still see (we just went to the Farmer’s market together yesterday). I enjoy his company and I like talking to him, but we do not have the type of friendship where he comes over for an evening and we sit and watch a movie or play cards and then he goes home. One, he doesn’t have a car, two, he would rather sit in his chair and play computer games all night in place of being here (half the reason why our marriage failed). But with my anxiety what it is or truly what is NOT right now and the fact that I WOULD like to have someone to watch movies with —- I think I am ready to start looking for a companion. I can say that I do not want a serious relationship right now nor do I want a purely sexual relationship, but somewhere in between… somewhere where he can come over and watch movies, or GO to the movies, support my writing ventures, accept my children, someone to hold hands with while we walk, and spend time with me but go home at the end of the night.
All-in-all I am happy to report that I am doing well and making great strides. I shall proceed to make my tea now. Good night!



Oh boy. I now have a teenager on my hands and all that that entails. I am grateful however, that she is not a label driven, money hungry teen. She is very level headed but there are times when I try to teach her things about the world, and she is determined that SHE knows the answer and anything that I say is incorrect. (Another symptom of being a teenager.)
Tonight, we went to the Salvation Army thrift store to buy some badly needed clothes for my ten-year-old and to look for another shirt or two for my teen. We got eleven articles of clothing for $20. We did this by going on half price day and shopping the correct color price tags. She was grateful that we found so much.
There are other things that we do to cut costs. I do these things because having two children is expensive and I do not receive any child support and have not for years. One sacrifice that I have made to “save money” is – I sent my 10-year-old to live with her father when she was two. I pay child support but at the state minimum. I still have to provide clothing for her for my home but everything else, school lunches, haircuts, etc. is paid for by her father. Additionally, he receives $154.00 a month in a check from Social Security on her behalf because I am disabled.
I receive the same amount for my teenager as well as my regular disability amount which is under $1000 a month and THIS is what I live off of and raise two girls with.
I shop with coupons on food stamps to try and stretch them further. I occasionally will go to a food pantry at the end of the month when our food stores are uber low. I throw my clothes in with my daughter’s to make a full wash load if I don’t have one myself, and hang dry many of our clothing on the railing of the deck or on the collapsible drying rack that I have. I wear my jeans and hoodies one or two times more than I should just to save money on having to wash them. I eat Ramen so that my daughters can have the meat, thus aiding in my being over-weight and unable to lose. I cut my hair short and shower only twice a week so that I can save hot water and shampoo as my daughter’s thick hair is almost down to her waist and I want her to feel beautiful at school and with friends. I would love nothing more than to have my long flowing hippie hair back, but in due time. I recently dyed my hair, but it was from a box of color that was left here over a year and a half ago by a friend. Today, I parked at the library, dropped off my materials and walked the four blocks to the pharmacy to save gas and turning the vehicle on and off. And, I got some needed exercise so win-win.
I grow vegetables, shop at Aldi and was able to obtain some Farmer’s market food vouchers from a good friend so that I can actually have fresh foods for once. When I shop at the farmer’s market, I buy a lot of one thing, cook and freeze it, such as making Butternut Squash soup so that I can have food throughout the winter. I make my own chicken stock when a casserole calls for chicken- I just boil the chicken first and keep the broth. I read a thrifty mom blog and get ideas from a woman that raises a family of five on $14,000 a year. Next month, if I can get some extra cash, I will be making my own laundry soap as well because let’s be honest…ERA doesn’t clean shit and GAIN is terribly expensive. I am excited about this.
(Hint hint mom and dad, haha) I REALLY REALLY need a chest freezer so that I can have more room for food as I can’t make what I need due to no space in my freezer attached to the fridge. I have seen chest freezers at Walmart for $94 but I know not how to come up with that kind of money at this time. As it is, my taxes on my house will be due in January and I need to start saving for them now, which means, no birthday presents for my daughters just throwing them a party will have to be enough.
I realize that, to this point, I have been complaining about money, or lack where of. But the intention is to convey that I make sacrifices for my children, as of course, any parent does. When my daughter and I got into it about money tonight we discussed her getting her working papers next month and finding a job. She intends to give half her paycheck to me for gas in the SUV so that I can take her to and from her job. I am not telling her no. I am in a position where I need that so that I can do just that. I realize that it won’t be much but every little bit helps. As it is, she has band practices and competitions that I have to provide transportation to and from the school for. This is on top of taking her to and from the library for her volunteering, meeting my grandmother so that she can usher, and whatever job she may get.
I still have to make sure that I have money to put into my tank 1 ½ times in a single weekend so that I can go get my other daughter for visitation. That, of course will take seniority over anything else. Last month I had to tell my poor daughter that I could not come and get her, at the end of the month, because I had no money for gas. And then…………my truck broke down…….so there goes more money.
I need more money and I cannot get a job right now, so now I have to figure out how I can make money. I used to make jewelry, but there is not a large market for that right now. I can use my skills as a photographer but I lack in clients. I used to do home health care and LOVED it, but no one can afford a private care aide. They all go through agencies, of which I cannot do at the moment. Please, if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I need gas cards, Aldi and Walmart cards to just show up in my mailbox HAHA. That would help!!
Oye vey, I shall figure this out.



{September 8, 2014}   When life gets you down, smile

There is a force that has turned on me. First, my Jeep breaks down and I am stuck for a week, then I get into a fight with a friend over wedding photos that I took and he left me feeling unvalued and disrespected. Then, I bite into my dinner tonight and I chip a tooth so bad, the remainder will have to be extracted. My sister is REALLY going through it right now. For every step she makes in the right direction, the devil sticks his hands into her panties and fists her in the ass. It is truly that bad. She surpassed the “one step forward, two steps back” phase a long time ago.

After getting off the phone with her this morning, I dropped to my knees in tears and balled for ten minutes. I hurt so deeply for her and feel myself quick to anger over the fact that I am powerless to help her.
I have always told my daughters that if Mommy ever wins the lottery jackpot, I will end up giving half of it away to family. And that’s just what I would do. Bless my mother and let her retire tomorrow!

I have been praying to God/the Universe for almost a year now and things that could have gone terribly wrong have merely been a mild hiccup. I have walked in Gratitude and I have worked very hard at being a better person for me and for my girls. I have accomplished much and am very proud of the work that I have done.

However, it seems, I am being tested at the moment. I can feel it pushing down upon me, I am aware. I intend to power through this with courage, integrity, and tolerance. I will face what challenges me, smile and taunt…”You can’t get me down…you can’t hang me up!”

I know who I am inside and I know what I have overcome in the past. I can beat this!



et cetera