I made the decision to end a friendship last night. I had a friend, whom I’ve known for about 4 years. In this time, this person has constantly overreacted, accused literally everyone who they interact with of constantly attacking them if they don’t tell them what they want to hear, and doing their damnedest to remain a victim in relation to virtually everything. People have offered to help them, and there’s always an excuse why they can’t do it.
The dumb memes saying you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life? That’s what it came down to. This person is addicted to drama, trauma, and negativity and while I wish them the best, I just can’t keep walking around on eggshells afraid they’re going to bite my face off over any comment I make.
It’s been getting more and more stressful to interact with them and it’s taking a toll on my mental health to continue trying to safeguard theirs when all I get back is being told I’m unhelpful, triggering, telling them what to do, and apparently recently I’ve started making fun of their disabilities. I can’t even begin to make sense or if the way they think. As a person with my own disability, I would never belittle or laugh at someone because of theirs.
Anyway… My evenings will be quieter now and I’ll find something else to fill them. Maybe I’ll actually get some crafting done now instead of trying to babysit them while they blame everyone else for all their problems.
I don’t really talk about the details of my mental illness here a lot. When I do mention it, it’s kind of in an oblique way. But tonight I’m going to talk about some really personal things.
I have bipolar disorder, which while I’m on a great couple of meds that keep me feeling pretty good most days, I do occasionally experience what’s called hypomania. Literally, “below mania.” It’s like being able to have super focus, really get into tasks, get all the things done. It’s sleeping a little less, but because you’re not really manic, and that string of depression is still there, you’re still in control and able to steer the boat. You’re still taking care of yourself, eating meals, getting enough sleep, bathing. You’re driven to succeed, and the more you get done, the more you need to do more.
And after a few days, maybe a week, it stops. Now you’ve got the motivation of a sleepy sloth and maybe you will sleep for 12 hours because there’s no real reason to get out of bed.
This is a real thing for me. I just spent 4 days hypomanic and after coming home tonight, I crashed into the don’t cares. But before I crashed, let me tell you what I did.
- I went to a special sale at my moms work, which was kind of like a mini Black Friday. Between my mom and I, we came home with a lot of stuff.
- I went through all the stuff and divided it into 5 categories. For Tracy, for Jami, for Jessica, for myself, and to be stashed for future giving.
- I put everything away that I was going to keep. Not only did I put things away, I reorganized half of my craft room because once I started moving things around, a light went on showing me how I could make everything better.
- As I worked to reorganize, I started pulling stuff aside to be donated to thrift. As it stands right now, the entire backseat of my car is filled with donations. I didn’t stop at just my craft room. I went through all my clothing, my entire closet, things on shelves in my room. I also selected some things to offer up for free to my online friends.
- I did 5 or 6 loads of dishes, several loads of laundry, collected the recycling from around the kitchen, and bagged up several kitchen trash bags full of trash. I put the old lemons down the disposal and I cooked a couple meals.
- I visited with our neighbors. They’re great people, but I tend to keep to myself, so being social like that is also tied into hypomania for me.
- I worked for several hours on projects. I framed a big project I finished a while ago. I removed some listings from my shop and added others.
And it all came to an end today after taking a big exam in class. I was suddenly exhausted, and had to make myself gas up the car and head home. Once I got home, I heated some leftovers and crawled into bed to watch Netflix. Hypomania over. I don’t even want to get up to pee.
So why am I telling you all this? Because this is how I work. I can’t do anything for weeks and then, if I’m “lucky,” an episode comes on and I get everything done. I make new art. I make jewelry. I stitch some stuff up.
Right now I’m currently taking one single course at a community college. Next semester I’ll be taking two. And two the next semester. And then I’ll be going full time to learn the skills needed to become an MLT. I’m excited but I know it’s going to be hard. I’m going to have days where I just can’t do it. But I want this and I want to put myself in a better place financially. I want to be a functional member of society who is self sufficient.
But I’m taking it one day at a time. Baby steps.
I think my brain is working towards hypomania… I’ve been busting my ass organizing and culling stuff to be donated or just thrown away.
Last night I went through all my clothes and everything that is nowhere near able to fit or just not my style anymore was washed and loaded into the car to be donated. There was an entire kitchen trash bag full and then a bit more. I also added a pair of almost brand new heels that while super cute, I just don’t wear heels anymore. So cute though. Wish I could justify keeping them.
I went through the end of my closet where all my kitchen stuff plus some random other stuff is and added a ton of computer paper to the donation pile. I also decided to donate some of my stuffed animals. Someone is going to get some super cute giraffe stuffies!
I still have a stack of papers to go through and figure out where to put my drop spindle and fiber, but that shouldn’t be too hard. I’m thinking about posting photos of my pvc ukulele stand to offer it up for sale. I don’t need it and can’t use it unless by some miracle we get rid of the mice in this house.
I still need to study for my exam that’s this evening. Hopefully I can at least get a C this time.
Two nights in a row, I’ve woken up from the same dream with a panic attack.
Basically, I was living on the streets, well, on an abandoned barge, and everyone was turning against me. I started plotting to get back at some of the people hurting me, and this sea captain helped me start a chain of catastrophic events, then rescued me. I had the clothes on my back. I was dirty and messy.
Turns out his ship could fucking fly and then we rode it across these roller coaster rails to a fantastic land where other humans didn’t exist. He was king of this land, and the people were a little different. Slightly feline looking, and covered in short fur but basically human in form.
The king adopted me as one of his daughters and sent me to have dresses made and get cleaned up and be made presentable.
I had an immediate attraction to the tailor who would be making my gowns and he stepped in to help me with my transition into their society. We spent all our time together. We fell in love. But elements of my real waking life were there too.
I was still the same weight. And when it came up that while a pregnancy could occur between our two species, it would be detrimental to the female, I said it was okay because I had already been spayed.
We traveled together between their planet and mine, visiting different cities around the world, doing silly things, learning about each other’s culture. We had fun.
But I was worried about really fitting in here. I didn’t fit in on my old life and people abused and hurt me. I wondered if that would just happen here in my new home too.
I’m not sure why this dream, which continued over two nights, was so triggering for me to cause panic attacks. I haven’t had one in a long time. It’s not a fun thing to wake up from. Heat racing, can’t breathe, your body feels out of control.
Thankfully I’ve had enough of them that I go through a mental checklist automatically. Can I breathe normally? Am I actually trying? Am I in physical danger? Am I in a safe place? Is there anything I can realistically do for myself to help this pass quickly?
By the time I get halfway through that I’m usually good. Last night I was barely awake and shaking so hard I almost started crying. But I rolled over, took a klonopin, adjusted my blankets, and breathed slowly and deliberately until I fell back asleep.
Tonight I was awakened too far for that to help so I got up and peed and watched an episode of South Park.
I don’t know if this anxiety is tied in to the date or something else. The 21st is the 9th anniversary of my Daddy’s death.
Yesterday I met with the nice lady at the Department of Rehabilitation and we got things moving. She put in a referral for me with Foster’s, who will put me through the ringer in a few weeks to help find out just what I would be good at. It’s 5 full days of testing, interviews, questions… To check out every aspect of my work ethic, abilities, stamina, and beyond. I’m excited, but I also terrified because Omg what if I curl up and die midway through the testing?
But I’m trying not to dwell on that. In a couple weeks, it’ll happen, and it’s going to hopefully go smoothly.
She also gave me a few leads to follow up on on my own. One is the aerospace program at AVC and I also going to look into what it takes to become a professional piercer.
After that, I went by my therapist’s office to sign some papers, and I agreed to become a member of the advisory committee for the Department of Mental Health. Eek! If it’s too much for me or I hate it, I can always drop out, and it’s only once a month.
I’ve tried a few mood tracking apps but never stuck with any of them, or really loved them. A few days ago I found Daylio. I love it. It’s freaking genius and you can record so much information in a few seconds with just a couple taps of your screen.
Here’s a few screen grabs from the app. I did pay for the upgraded version to get all the features so the free version doesn’t do all of this, but it’s a couple bucks well-spent I think.
This is the overview screen. You can see what your day’s mood was and what activities you marked off. You can also see any notes you made on that day.
This is from the settings menu. You can add new moods, activities, and change the time of day the app reminds you to record your day. I have it set for 8pm but you can easily edit entries later if you’d like, or even make multiple entries on one day.
In the upgraded version, you can add new moods. I’ve added a few beyond the basic 5 it comes set up with.
You can also add activities to the app. These could be anything and there are tons of icons to choose from.
In the paid version, there’s also an option to export your moods and activities into a file so you could easily share how you’ve been doing with a health care professional.
Basically, I love this app. It’s easy to use, even easier to change to suit your needs, and so quick to input your day. And it’s a great way to keep track of how you’re actually spending your time each day!
I’ve collected a few tweets that highlight things I find myself thinking about – mainly what the hell is wrong with us as a people that these are the things we have to be worried about?
I just asked “Wait, which one?” about a school shooting, so that’s where we are as a species.
— Elizabeth Hackett (@LizHackett) May 22, 2018
Stop thanking men for not being creepy jerks. This is expected & required behaviour, not something to be lauded as exceptional.
— Kung Fu Kanga (@_little_old_me) May 21, 2018
It is sickening that more kids have lost their lives in schools this year than servicemembers who willingly risk theirs in combat zones https://t.co/qetCduPqwE
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) May 22, 2018
Raise your hand if you were bullied as a kid (hell, as a teenager, as an adult) and never massacred a group of people because of it.
— Krista (@krittabug) May 22, 2018
I don't know what an incel is. I don't know what the concept of "redistribution of sex" is all about. I don't know where the whole idea of "let's kill people because women won't fuck us" came from all of a sudden. I just know I'm super disgusted.
— Baconator Supreme Matt (@aceofknaves88) May 22, 2018
In the past I have behaved in ways when rejected by women that will always and forever make me deeply ashamed when I think of them, but I have never assaulted or killed anyone.
— Baconator Supreme Matt (@aceofknaves88) May 21, 2018
Stop saying that the Sante Fe victim "rejected" the shooter's "advances" – he wasn't "making advances". He was harassing her. She told him to stop and he killed her and a bunch of others. Stop making it sound like he awkwardly passed her a note asking if she liked anyone.
— Geraldine (@everywhereist) May 22, 2018
My therapist asked me to write about my own success story as a kind of graduation out of one on one therapy. To start with how I felt when I started with her a year ago, and end with how I feel about myself today. This is what I wrote.
A year ago I started therapy. I was anxious, even scared, about what it would be like. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wasn’t bathing, or sleeping well, or putting on clean clothes. I worried about everything. I had just broken up with my now ex-boyfriend and my entire world was upside down. I had to move back in with my mom and I didn’t want to. I was worried about living with her because we didn’t have the best relationship when I was a child.
I learned pretty quickly that my therapist was non-judgemental, and open to discussing whatever I needed to talk about that week. She gave me a safe space to not worry about what might be thought of me, and to reflect on myself with her gentle guidance. At the same time, I started doing things that let me feel in control of my body, since I couldn’t control anything else in my life right then. This took the form of several piercings, some easily visible, some more intimate. I changed my hair. I started wearing make-up more often. I showered. I put on clean clothes.
I got a puppy, and I started cleaning the house. I slowly stopped worrying about the things that had bothered me- if my pup was safe, if I was safe, if I would have a place to live. My piercings became less frequent, though I still got a few new ones, as well as a tattoo. The word WORTHY on my foot. Because I am.
I learned to look at things that had happened to me in a different way. My mom did the best she could for me. Not all the bad things that happened to me as a child were her fault. She loves me and thinks I’m just fine the way I am. Realizing that made a big difference in how I felt living with her and her boyfriend, and things got better.
I realized my ex was even more of a self-centered, bullying, and verbally and emotionally abusive asshole than I had let myself see before we broke up. Good riddance to bad garbage. I stopped talking to him completely and blocked him on social media. There was nothing good he brought into my life. I felt good about that.
All of these changes, and talking about these things while my therapist reframed them for me to consider made me see I am worthy of my own love and affection. I am worthy of others’ love and affection. I am worth working on to become a better, strong, more emotionally secure person. I’m worth taking care of. I am, all of me, worth it. I’m smart. I’m capable. I’m a good craft artist and a great dog mom. I can and do learn new things all the time. I can take care of myself and I can be my own success story. I am not a failure.
I AM WORTHY.