Who, What, Where (A Brief Autobiography)


Contrary to popular belief, I am indeed still alive and well. It’s been a rocky road (unfortunately not the ice cream, though I desperately wish it was), and I have absolutely not fulfilled my resolution to continue blogging more often, as it’s been about 4 months since my last post. I’ve said this before (so many times) but this started out as a humor blog exclusively, but as I’ve gotten older and faced adult challenges, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to be constantly hilarious. I’m still hilarious, but am faced with the fact that I am a multi-dimentional, emotional human being. Of course, that’s okay. Less entertaining at times, but okay.

So what have I been up to? Dealing with multiple mental health crises, honestly. I stay pretty private about it for the most part, mentioning it only in passing unless talking to specific people about it, but you’re all part of the internet so I feel a little more anonymous and lately am less concerned about talking about it anyway. I don’t feel any shame about it anymore, but I also believe it is my story to tell when I want to tell it, and only when I want to tell it.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II at the very end of 2016 and began various methods of treatment at the start of 2017. It’s been difficult, to say the least. Everyone has their misconceptions about what bipolar even is and I’ve received a lot of unnecessary and unsolicited advice from both strangers and those close to me. Be warned: the comments section here is not a forum for advice, but is perfectly allowed to be a place of kindness and support if you really feel the need to speak to me on this subject. This is not a dialogue. It is absolutely a monologue, and I feel perfectly fine drawing that boundary.

I will give very brief and basic introduction to what Bipolar II looks like for me. I know a lot of people don’t understand the disorder (or didn’t even know it existed in the first place):

I live my life in one of three states at any given time: hypomanic, stable, or depressed. I also occasionally experience mixed episodes, which cause me to swing from depressed to hypomanic within short periods of time. Hypomania is sometimes defined as “mania lite,” but I find that definition both overly simplistic and invalidating, as it implies that it isn’t distressing or difficult to live with. During hypomanic episodes, my symptoms range, but can include extreme irritability (what I call “road rage whilst walking”), insomnia, restlessness, compulsive speech, persistent risk-taking compulsions, increased focus on projects (I’m talking picking up an activity and not stopping for days — I’ve acquired several lovely hobbies over a short period of time) and lack of appetite. These episodes last for at least 4 days, but typically last longer for me. I also rapid cycle and at one point had 5 or 6 episodes within a two month period, which was super fun except when it totally wasn’t.

Essentially, I don’t sleep, I don’t eat, and I can’t shut up or stop moving. Sometimes this all feels really fun and freeing, because suddenly I’m the life of the party. Often, though, I feel scared and get the sense that I don’t know who I am or what I’ll do. In general, emotional swings that severe are really distressing.

It ain’t easy, folks. It’s taken a lot of dedication and effort to work toward stability and feel like myself, but I’m getting closer every day. I think. My goal is to keep the hypomanic and depressive episodes fewer and farther between so I can remain stable longer. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t. I barely slept for the past three weeks, and started absolutely losing my mind until I finally found the perfect combination of relaxation, essential oils, tart cherry juice, and ocean sounds to get 9 hours of sleep for the past four nights…this is probably the only reason I’ve found the energy to write this post in the first place. That combination may not work forever, though, as I’ve learned in the past, and I’ll have to switch things and work even harder. Extra medication is sometimes involved, sometimes not. It’s hard to know what will help at any given time.

I’m finding plants have helped me heal a lot lately. Doesn’t matter how hypomanic or depressed I am, potting a plant will make me feel sane, if even for just a few hours. Plus, I gain little green friends and purify the air in my house all at once. An unexpected but absolutely appreciated medicine, for sure. Celebrating life and maintaining my creativity has been essential — there’s a lot of art, bass playing, and journaling that goes into my stability. I remain vague about other parts of my treatment because it ain’t nobody’s business but those are also difficult and frustrating at times. Support groups help the most.

I’ve had a lot of revelations over the past 8 months…about life, my will to live, what and who I love, what I deserve in this life and the next, what I want to focus on and what I want to leave behind. I’d 100% prefer to not live with bipolar, but if I have to, at least I’ve done a lot of soul searching and self exploration to learn how to manage it.

Hopefully I’ll write again before another four months have passed, but you never know. Either way, know that I’m here, I’m alive, and I’m more than just this disorder.

xo

If you’re interested in learning more about mood disorders, NAMI is a really great resource. If you happen to be a person living with bipolar, DBSA meetings have benefitted me more than I can ever explain. 

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Let’s Be Logical


I have had a stupid, stupid month. Stupid. Not terrible, not the worst month of my life, just stupid.

My computer charger broke about a month ago. I have a MacBook, and it’s so wonderful and I love it, but it comes with the most useless charger cord ever. PCs always have those thick, black, heavily reinforced charger cords that will never break or become frayed even after you set a pack of ravenous rats upon them. Those are the best, most logical elements of PCs: their cords.

Of course, Apple is known for it’s aesthetically pleasing products, and therefore they produce the most useless, flimsy charging device known to man. It has a little baby cord that snaps into the computer, and any time there’s and “unwanted stress” upon that area where the cord meets the computer, it pops off. Awesome for not breaking the cord, you’d think. But (and this is a big but…like Sidney Crosby or Beyonce big) that cord is so weak that it often, according to the hundreds of reviews I read online, frays on that part of the cord.

Now, I am nothing if I’m not an excellent repair-woman. I took electrical tape and repaired the broken casing around the cord, and it worked for about 3 months before dying the most tragic, dramatic death ever.

So I ordered a crappy replacement on Amazon, because I didn’t want to spend 80 dollars buying one from Apple.
That crappy replacement lasted about 2 weeks before literally snapping in half. It popped off and there were blue sparks and I was terrified and may have had a mini heart attack.
So I ordered one from Apple. I gave in, y’all, because my entire college career centers around having a working computer. Half of my class documents are online, I take quizzes online, and I turn in all of my essays online. So yeah, it’s worth 80 bucks to me at this point to just have my sanity and be able to use my computer. Oh, how I long for the days of the typewriter. Or even scrolls. I would be so down with some scrolls.

I ordered the charger on Wednesday night, paid 17 dollars for next day shipping (to be delivered Friday) and waited.

I’m still waiting, y’all. The package was shipped from California, logically travelled to Memphis (I guess Elvis wanted to bless my package before it was sent to me) and is now sitting in a processing center in a town 2 hours away from mine. But! It won’t be here until Monday, according to some idiot from FedEx, because there’s a storm in another town in another state, and my package must first go there but it can’t because there’s a storm.
We must send the package INTO the storm! Send it into the storm to test its resilience, and then we will know that it is suitable to charge Cappy’s computer.
My favorite muffin and wife/best friend Chloe has 20 bucks on it arriving damaged, hacked apart by some sort of freak Pacific Northwest tornado situation.

I am miffed. I am very, very miffed. Apple has refunded me 20 dollars (thank you very much) and FedEx may or may not be doing the same, depending on how much I (and my mother) complain (a lot).

I swear, though, if it snows tomorrow while I trudge up to campus to do my work in the library, I am suing FedEx for psychological damages. My brain has melted and is pouring out my ears right now.

Seduction So Dangerous


I was flipping through the channels the other day at lunch and came across an ad for Degrassi: The Boiling Point.  Many of you probably know of Degrassi (apparently it was popular in the early 90’s) or, if you’re older than that, The Kids of Degrassi Street which aired in the 80’s. Stay with me here, because there has also been a long running series called Degrassi: The Next Generation, which has been running since the early 2000’s. These shows are all apparently related, each subsequent series following a new generation of Canadians in the fictional world of Degrassi Middle School/High School, etc.

I have no clue why this show is still on the air.

The Next Generation, with a name uncomfortably close to that of the good Star Treks, addressed the teenage issues of homosexuality, eating disorders, dating violence, teen pregnancy, and mental disorders, along with a host of other problems. But it seems so unrealistic to pile it all into one television show, especially since so many of the conflicts occurred in the same episodes. The characters lived through some of the most traumatic ordeals I’ve ever come across, whether they be on television, in books or in real life. The point is, it seems as if the writers of this show have gone through just about every problem a child could face in their entire lifetime, not just in the 4 year span of high school. It’s become an extreme exaggeration of real life, and it’s getting pretty heavy.

The show has recycled the same themes for the past 8 or so years, and it’s time it finally ended. Especially since none of the old characters are still on the show and all the new ones creep me out. And look 12. And still make out and send each other dirty photos. I don’t remember doing that at that age…

The trailer for this new 8 episode series, Degrassi: The Boiling Point, shows exactly how weird it’s gotten when the announcer

Learn from this, Degrassi. But you might want to switch out your cast of small children first.

describes the show as containing “seduction so dangerous” that…well, apparently someone might be shot, there will be a war between the gays and straights of the school, or the chick who got pregnant by the ADD-riddled boy (who is apparently popular but looks tremendously awkward) might have a total meltdown. While these issues could be serious in real life, I am totally unsympathetic toward the characters. And I think a lot of it has to do with the “seduction so dangerous” line. It creeped me out.

When is seduction ever that dangerous? my friend asked.

When it runs around wielding a knife.