My New Mental Health Tattoo

Once again I have gotten a tattoo, supporting the cause of mental health.A few months ago, I became a part of what's called the semicolon project and wrote about it in this post: For those of you who aren't up on the terminology, a semicolon tattoo represents mental health awareness, especially erasing the stigma, and suicide prevention....more

The Fragility of Hypomania

I was in Ireland, on a bus full of journalists and two monsignors. The sun was shining, though the day was cool. We were on our way to some scenic inn where there would be a fragrant peat fire and servings of Irish coffee.The guide was playing a mixtape through the bus's sound system. The song playing was "All God's Critters," by Bill Staines, a folk song I knew quite well. Here's the chorus:...more

Social But Spoonless

In the past week I have been out of the house more and seen more people than I have in years. It’s almost like having a social life.In the past week I have also slept more than I usually do in my sloth-like, torpid existence.I think the two are not unrelated.If you follow Spoon Theory ( you know that each spoon represents an amount of coping that you can do....more

The Quest for a Psychiatrist

I have been seeing Dr. R. for eight years. He helped me through my major meltdown and skillfully, gradually mixed the cocktail of medications that would get me and keep me functioning at an acceptable, livable level. He got me through my near-brush with ECT.Dr. R. is moving to another state. He sent all his clients a letter listing half a dozen or so local psychiatrists he could recommend, though he didn't know if they were accepting new patients or what insurance plans they took. This week was my last appointment with him....more
I apologize for the typo in the title and the double post.more

When Anxiety Attacks

I was grocery shopping and when I came to the cereal aisle, I found myself light-headed and breathing raggedly.My husband dropped a knife in the kitchen; I jumped and all my muscles tightened up.We were driving down the highway, when suddenly I flung my arms out to the side and gasped loudly.In none of these cases was anything actually wrong. (Although the incident in the car nearly caused an accident when my husband turned and yelled, "What? What?")...more

I Want to Go Home to Bed With My Kitties

Kittens.Jumping.I want to go home to bed with my kitties.These are my mantras. Or something.I repeat these phrases, under my breath if anyone is around who doesn't know I do this. At least I think it's under my breath. I have at times walked out of a restroom stall to see people looking at me strangely.My husband says they are "grounding statements," though I understand proper grounding statements are usually more like affirmations – "I am safe." "I can handle this." "I am a good person." How I ended up with mine I don't quite know....more

"It's Only a TV Show": Why I Can't Watch #Scandal

I jumped on the #Scandal bandwagon pretty late.  Halfway through season two, I started buying season one episodes on Amazon Prime, and my husband and I binged watched. I was particularly fond of the messes Olivia and the Gladiators tackled each week; they were both believable and outrageous, and made for great TV. The back-stories of the Gladiators were fascinating as well....more

Crazy Things I Believed When I Was Manic or Depressed Which Were Later Proved Untrue

Crazy Things I Believed When I Was Manic or Depressed Which Were Later Proved Untrue Crazy stuff. Commonly crazy stuff that I don’t even begin to understand. At different points in my life I’ve believed these things. I’m not making them up. The message of this is if you have bipolar disorder or serious depression, hang in there. Crazy Stuff I Believed When I was Manic Which Later Proved to be Untrue 1.  I thought I was some kind of Messiah. Since I’m not a Christian, I’m not certain which kind of Messiah I was supposed to be. Maybe the Richard Bach of Illusions fame type? But in reality, I’m not a Messiah. Just a girl with bipolar disorder.2. I thought I was a Vampire even though I didn’t even have any hickeys on me at the time. And I’m doubtful that any of my high school hickeys that I had was from a Vampire. Just a hickey from a Loser because only Losers give hickeys, right?3. I was obsessed about two different individuals who knew it and know it. This is scary. This finished right after the episodes because I was depressed and felt so incredibly low to the ground. It wasn’t like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It was more creepy like: “You are the one for me.” Icky and embarrassing. I’m happy to say that I’m on speaking terms with both of the guys years later. 4. I thought my life was in danger and that I could protect myself with a sarong and a motorcycle jacket. It must have worked because I’m still alive, right? 5.  I thought that the deoderant Secret was meant especially for me because I had all of these secrets.  ...more

Living with Bipolar Disorder - Part 1

I was having a conversation with a co-worker about the season finale of Empire.  If you watched season 1 you know that the character Andre has a severe form of bipolar disorder.  During the season finale his wife told him that she's pregnant. ...more

What it's like for her