Thursday, September 27, 2007

I want love

This song just popped into my head. I'm not a huge Elton John fan by any means, but I loved this one the first time I heard it (to be fair, it may have had more to do with Robert Downey Jr. "singing" it in the video).

Anyhow, here are the lyrics. Sing along with me, won't you?

Elton John - I Want Love

I want love, but it's impossible
A man like me, so irresponsible
A man like me is dead in places
Other men feel liberated

I can't love, shot full of holes
Don't feel nothing, I just feel cold
Don't feel nothing, just old scars
Toughening up around my heart

But I want love, just a different kind
I want love, won't break me down
Won't brick me up, won't fence me in
I want a love, that don't mean a thing
That's the love I want, I want love

I want love on my own terms
After everything I've ever learned
Me, I carry too much baggage
Oh man I've seen so much traffic

So bring it on, I've been bruised
Don't give me love that's clean and smooth
I'm ready for the rougher stuff
No sweet romance, I've had enough

I just got a new lamp

Which just stopped working.

Luckily, it did not explode.

I'm a little freaked out though.

I think there is an electrical problem with the cord.

In other news, I finished my essays (well, first and second pass throughs, I still need to print out and edit).

Now I've got to go over Anthro vocab. I think I'll wait for the coffee to kick in.

Lastly, I've been up since 2:30. My body will not sleep more than 5 and half hours (except when I'm over at Bf's place, apparently).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's better to talk about it

This is an amazing article (admittedly an angry article as referenced here) about the suicide of a part time public radio host in Seattle.

The author is a guy who lives with suicidal ideation and sees, as I do, society's silence on the matter of suicide as being harmful.

It's been terribly difficult to get people I love to talk to me about my suicidal feelings and impulses. It's terribly difficult to live with them, and then feel as though talking about them is as bad as acting on them.

Obviously, it's better to talk about it than to do it.

Right now I am NOT feeling suicidal (after two hellish and frightening weeks in which I actively planned my demise - but I'm a slacker and know I'm not that committed to actually dying anyhow, I just want the pain and fear to end), and the breathing room that affords me is definitely appreciated.

For a long time I saw my suicidality as a laziness or a habit, but now I am seeing it as something I may never have complete control over, necessitating a lifetime of vigilance over those impulses. It boggles the mind to imagine that many people have NEVER seriously thought about killing themselves, when I've thought about it on and off for 20 years.

That said, does my tendency toward this darkness and these self-destructive thoughts make me irredeemably mad? Obviously not. If I just kept my silence about all of the 'symptoms' of my mental and philosophical states, I'd seem like a quirky but relatively normal person.

But being shunned when I AM in these states only leads to darker more self-destructive places, and I refuse it. I really don't know where or how, but I feel drawn to sharing my experiences (although usually you don't get to talk about your mental problems until you have conquered them, so that might be tough).

update: I went away then came back and read this and realized it could be taken the wrong way - I'm just saying: this is not a subject which will go away for me and I am going to talk about it when I need to. I'm not airing dirty laundry or making accusations, just talking about my experiences and feelings.

Leave it all behind

On the theme of a fresh start, I've been really feeling as though I'm back tracking in my life. Not that I'm sliding back but that I'm going back to who I was 15 or so years ago (before I was in the relationship which lead to my first child).

My life was in flux, my best friends were in another state, I was going to school part time and working, and didn't make friends in school, and spent most of my time alone, dated a little (which honestly was more like "hooked up a little", because I hate 'dating' unless I'm really into someone). I was just being in my 20s, dealing with anxiety and depression and work and school and men...

But I realized this week that I was feeling a lot like I feel now, only I was more secure in who I was and what life was about, and I wasn't ragingly bi-polar and mood cycling, so things were easier.

Still don't know what this all means, my feeling like this*, but I'm hoping it is a connection to my essential self. The one person in the world who I really need to understand before I can understand everyone (anyone) else.

Also, even though I have identified that I am very much at the mercy of biology with my mental health, I don't really want to take meds. Anti-depressants are contraindicated for bi-polar disorder, and the two mood stabilizers I took made me feel so dulled, I'm not interested in that. So I'm at an impasse with that.

Anyhow, this ramble will stop now. I think I need more oj and a nap.

*Perhaps it's a sign that I'm going through a major life phase - the idea that I was moving from child to autonomous adult then and that I'm making a similar move now - that makes sense...

Monday, September 24, 2007

A clean slate

It's pretty obvious: I need a fresh start.

Spent some time this weekend reading old blogs and looking at pictures from the past few years and made myself a bit melancholy. I miss the old me, the one who felt as though she had a life (whether or not she liked it all of the time).

Me right now is a very confused proposition. I have things I wanted for a long time (a smart funny man in my life, the pursuit of higher education, lots of free time), but I am not very happy.

My therapy, which I do credit for saving my hide at least once in the past year and a half, has become stressful, instead of the haven it once was. I don't want to go and see my therapist at all, so I'm taking a break from that. Because I can't leave town right now, I need to find a way to get some respite.

My ideas right now are centering around spending more time alone, which is kind of crazy, considering how much time I spend alone already (14-24 a day depending on the day, and when I'm on an insomnia streak, those hours really stand out). But I don't know what else to do. The things I'm thinking of doing are: working out at the Y (daily?), fixing up the apartment by going through the stuff I haven't unpacked and either throwing it away or putting it away, getting art up on the walls, and planning out some beading projects, maybe even Christmas gifts.

I've got to get some things decided, make some phone calls and get my week planned out. When I can get my head around it, I need to get my car looked at and my hair cut. But this week I have two exams and so I will be writing and studying a lot.

Hmmm. This is rambling now. I am gonna say one more thing: excessive anxiety is really difficult to deal with, and leads to all kinds of things. Some are good, like ingenuity - when I'm too freaked out to go shopping for food, I have to be creative to make a good meal from what I've got. The bad ones are maybe self-evident, like not getting things done on time, being too freaked out to take my car in or get a hair cut leads to my car dying in traffic whenever I drive and my hair getting scraggly.
I wish I could just be rid of it.

Anyway, here's to starting over.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Bf is sick today (and he hardly ever gets sick, so it's totally cute), he was sick yesterday too, and both last night and this morning we have been watching The Lost Room. It's a great hanging-around-the-house-drinking-tea-on-a-sick-weekend watch, but I think it would hold up on a regular exciting evening as well.

I'm getting the bf's cold too, and seeing as I have two exams this coming Thursday, I hope it doesn't hit me very hard. Just to make sure I'm gonna drunk plenty of Emergen-C and have a bit more relaxation with tea and toast and the comfy couch.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Will I know it when it comes?

Sometimes, I think I feel like I'm dying. But thinking about it now, I'm kind of embarrassed by that, because what the hell does dying feel like? I don't know.

As ever, my mood has lifted a bit after being so low. I think today went well.

My goal is to find distractions, find distractions and take care of things. Be a better mom to the boys, make more of a safe place of my home. Maybe decorate.

Tonight we made jello and put fruit in it. I've been craving jello for a couple of days (and soup, and saltines). It was the oddest thing, how comforting it was to make something simple, how much the 8 year old enjoyed the process. Being able to wait the 95 minutes it took for the jelly to set up enough to add the pineapple, and then an hour longer until we ate it.

I've been watching a lot of TV (mostly British, mostly hilarious) on my computer, and that's been a comfort. I'm really enjoying it, actually. Plus, I've got amazing taste, so I'm pleased on that point.

Tomorrow it's bowling league first thing. I'm going to bring along my Spanish homework and study, or maybe write a little of the essays due for my Anthro exam next week. You might be surprised to learn, however, that studying in a 38 lane bowling alley full of people bowling is rather difficult.

Maybe I'll make homemade cream of tomato soup tomorrow. I've no saltines, but I've got some crackers - or I could make croutons! That sounds lovely.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Black Dog/Necessary illusions

People who want to end it all have lost the necessary illusions that make life bearable; the sources of their pain are impossible to pinpoint but all the same infect the air they breathe.

Read this article about depression (sort of focusing on Owen Wilson, but not really).
Just go, then come back here and we can talk.
It's a great piece because it points out some little things I want to say but find difficult to articulate.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm not pregnant

Today I took a nap and had a dream.

In the dream I found out I was pregnant! Not like "oh, I've just become pregnant" finding out, but rather, "Oh, I'm six months pregnant!" And OTHER PEOPLE KNEW, BUT I DIDN'T.

Freaky, huh?

You know what is even weirder? On the drive to the grocery store this evening, the 8 Year Old told me his dad is engaged, and even though his father told him not to tell me, I also found out that she is pregnant. Very pregnant, apparently.

That guy is redonkulous, not telling me this stuff, and worse to make his 8 year old promise to not tell his own mother.

But sing it high unto the heavens, I am NOT pregnant.

(I have to admit that I loved being pregnant with both of the boys and in a perfect world would have another kid and have a big happy family, but we all know this isn't a perfect world, and I'm not destined to have a big happy family.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

One bin, extra loony

It was 22 months ago, give or take, that I checked myself into the psych ward at a local hospital.

Sadly, that stay was very disappointing (terrible food, horrible head doctor, condescending resident with sad, caterpillary I-want-to-look-like-I'm-in-charge mustache, annoying hypocritical liberal social worker, and filled with crazy people), and not at all therapeutic.

During the intervening time I've done a lot of therapy with a great psychologist and tried a couple of medications (unsuccessfully). And now I find myself very nearly at the same place I was two years ago: in the midst of a depression which seems to be growing exponentially, feeling quite isolated and hopeless, wondering what to do next.

It's not as if I haven't made lots of progress toward 'recovery', it's just that I am no longer sure what that means or who I am. And for those of you who have not experienced this existential sort of vacuum, it's no. fun. at. all.

A friend has offered her extra room 1500 miles from here as respite should I choose to take it. And I can tell you I'd love to take it, but I've got more than an inkling that my ex would take my absence and use it to leverage against me, moving the 8 year old back to his old school district as soon as I turned my back. So, along with my own school work to consider, I've obviously got a big reason to not take that trip at the moment.

My tack at the moment is to accept that I feel absolutely awful and try my best to pretend otherwise. That tack on a grand scale isn't very good for a person (I dressed for and nearly drove to work the day I checked myself into the hospital). It's maddening to pretend, and pretending isn't healthy. But being really like this (depressed, dissatisfied, humourless, bitter) is alienating for the rest of the world. So for now, while I work out my next steps, I'm going to do it wearing a layer of armour make-up and wearing at the least a mona lisa half-smile.

I really don't want to go back to the bin.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm watching the Emmy's!?!?

Wow, who would have though I would be sitting here watching the Emmy's tonight?
It's because of my new obsession with The Office (up for 9 awards). The two actors up for Best Female and Male Supporting (Comedy) from the show didn't win.

There was a nice little bit about Roots which Queen Latifah introduced. I've got two things to say about the bit:
  1. I LOVE Queen Latifah. You know how people are always saying (lately) that they love someone but 'not in a gay way'? I love Queen Latifah in the gayest way possible. I remember once talking to someone about how I loved her, and I BLUSHED. Yep, it's serious. Tonight she was wearing a red dress (which she ROCKED) and I was looking at her breasts half of the time. She is beautiful, and strong, and I just love her.
  2. It's been 30 years, maybe I'm ready to watch ROOTS? That show scared the stuffing out of me when it originally aired, and I couldn't watch it. When I was watching the scenes they were showing this evening, I was struck by all of the wonderful actors they had in the show - it's hard to imagine such a great cast of black actors being put together for a similar show these days. Also, I remember John Amos from Good Times and he must have been REALLY young then, because he looks damn good now.
I am not very motivated to watch the rest of the show, but inertia is a factor.

And the beat goes on

Hey, I survived last night.

That's good, right?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dead Again

Really hating my depression, which translates quite literally into really hating myself and my life at the moment.

I've picked up the phone and put it down again ten times in the past hour.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hey, I'm in the top million

Sleepless nights can be fun.
Look what I found:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"I wanna be more than that"

Okay, this is corny, but I've been watching the american version* of The Office the past few weeks and I just got to the big relationship denouement between Jim and Pam and I burst into tears! Hell, I am a crazy romantic at heart, but I thought I was stronger than a sitcom.

If pressed, I'll put it to the fact that I've been up nearly 24 hours (yay insomnia the night before an exam!).

*wow, I just found out there are MORE versions: A French, German and French Canadian!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I was not as moved by the events of September 11, 2001 as it seemed I should have been. When the days events unfolded, I was starting a new temp job and along with everyone else in the building, trying to read about what was happening. It was incredibly shocking, and while I felt sadness for those who died, I just didn't feel it...personally, I guess. Afterward, my inherent fear and distrust of group think made me shy away from the patriotism stuff, and I wasn't willing to buy in to all the jingoism and hate-mongering (hatred for Arabs, Muslims, etc).

What has been far more moving than the actual events of that day (which were of course horrifying, I'm not heartless), is seeing the widespread aftermath. It's incredibly sad to see stories of the first responders and volunteers who are dying because of their exposure to the toxic materials resulting from the attacks. I've heard reports on Democracy Now! about the illnesses and deaths, about the difficulty of these secondary victims in getting health care and prescription coverage through their jobs or government agencies. In Sicko, a group of these first responders is introduced, and it's shocking how sick they are (and they are relatively healthy in comparison to some of their colleagues).

This morning I can't sleep and was reading lots of websites and I came across this picture:

EMT Marvin Bethea (photo by Allan Tennenbaum)

Allan Tennenbaum has a website with pictures of many first responders and interviewers with them (or their families). It's a must read. The page also links to a Time Magazine piece with audio of interviews from the series.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I have to go!

But instead I am sitting here watching The Office.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The hiccup

So, I had something funny to post and its gone from my head now.

Wonder what it could have been?

In lieu of what would have been a BRILLIANT post, surely, is a picture of me looking confused.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mood alert

Noticing my mood ratcheting up this week, from the abject depression I was mired in last week. Unfortunately the good mood of the weekend has been replaced by lots of nervous energy and anxiety.

Oatmeal Gingerbread

I've been eating oatmeal nearly everyday for the past few weeks. When I make too much, I put the leftovers in the fridge, and yesterday I found a couple of cups of oatmeal (one scottish, one old-fashioned rolled), and decided to bake something this morning. Although summer isn't over yet (it's supposed to be in the 90s today). I made this recipe up thinking of fall...

Oatmeal Gingerbread

2 Cups prepared oatmeal
1/2-3/4 C milk
2 eggs
2 Tbs Molasses
2 Tbs Oil
2 Cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 Cup white sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. kosher salt
Powdered ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, to taste

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F, grease a large loaf or small baking pan.

Mix the oatmeal and 1/2 C of milk in a mixing bowl, getting out any lumps.
Beat eggs into the oatmeal.
Add and molasses and oil , mixing well.

In separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add spices to taste (I added a little bit of ancho chili powder to provide a kick).

Mix dry ingredients well and then add to wet ingredients and mix only until incorporated. If the batter is too stiff, add the additional 1/4 C milk.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, cool on rack.

This was really tasty! The molasses flavour isn't overwhelming, and the cake itself is very moist. Yum.

Note: my oatmeal had raisins in it, which added some texture, flavour and sweetness. You could add 1/3-1/2 Cup raisins if you like.

[EDIT: I had a piece with still-hot homemade apple sauce and a bit of cream drizzled over the top. Heaven.]

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

First Day Jitters

Last night the little one came into my room and said: "I'm depressed and I feel like I'm going to throw up." Understandable that he'd identify feelings of anxiety and worry over his first day in a new school and a new school district.

We had a nice talk about feelings and stuff, and he responded very well to that, which was really good. He especially liked when I said, "Your name is ______, and people want to be your friend." I hope he remembers that one.

I sent a hot lunch with him to school (our first attempt at using the new thermos) and spent the first 10 minutes in the classroom listening to the teacher introduce herself and third grade.

I love the way they say the state-mandated pledge of allegiance in this district: they tell you you don't have to say it, or stand. Which, btw, none of the kids did. I'd been standing with my hand over my heart up until the pledge started, when I quickly snatched it down. I'm not much for that pledge, especially with the god part in it. So I had a nice smile. This district is so much more ME than the last one.

Saw three people I knew and had fallen out of touch with in the past few years. That was cool. Still a pretty white school, but way more brown than the last one. I'd guess there are more brown kids in this combo elementary/middle school than there are in the entire district in Monona. Which wouldn't be difficult as far as I can tell.

I think I'll be missing my late class today because they let out of school 1/2 hour before the dang thing starts and I don't think we'll be able to negotiate that and get to class anywhere on time. But I shouldn't think it absolves me of doing my homework, should I?

Better get to it.

Ground Control to Major Tom (secret message)

A blast from my past, perhaps? Was that you I saw in my Stats list?
If so, please write.
It'd be nice to catch up.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Facing myself

Man, I'm just a bit too spacey lately to make the promised "this is who I'm reading" posts (I'm gonna have to grab myself a blogroll account and get to linking!). The cognitive effects of bipolar disorder are not always bad, but I've begun to realize that there *are* effects (not positive, unfortunately).

Starting up with school again has made these cognitive effects painfully obvious. Long story short, my algebra class is out and an Anthro class (yes, with my favourite professor) is in. Sitting in class with him on Thursday I realized that although many of his introductory comments were familiar, I'd forgotten who was who - and that my habit of copious note taking was going to have to be put into action from day one. It's definitely a help to read those full paragraph notes when I'm writing up an essay!

Right now it seems my struggle is to accept the facts. Not accept that I'll be like this FOREVER, but that my brain isn't working the same way it used to. Accept that I get stressed out faster than the average person, accept that I have a choice about what I do, even if making that choice makes me 'different'.

Came to the realization this week that it might come down to 4 years of part time school to finish up my B.A. - because I don't want to quit school but I also am unsure that a full time schedule will work for me. My dreams of being done with school by my 40th birthday may not come to pass.

But maybe I should look at it this way: I'm fighting back from a 20 year plus history with this mood disorder. I'm making up for lost time, and for that, I can take time.