I’m Not Dead

Usually when someone stops writing, particularly someone in this genre (mental illness), I start to wonder if they’re dead.  So, just so you know, I’m not dead.  Here’s what’s on my mind at the moment . . .

I’m already completely sick of Caitlyn Jenner. SICK!! Does she think that being everywhere (and I DO mean everywhere, this morning when I took a shit there she was in my toilet!) is going to make her new series a success? Well guess what, Caitlyn Jenner! I am already so sick of you, there’s no way in the fucking world that I’ll watch the series chronicling your totally rich-as-fuck life as you transition or whatever. You know what? Being so rich that you can live at the beach in a mansion and buy $500,000 cars takes the sting out of a lot. So don’t expect me to have oodles of compassion for you. You’ll be ok. You can buy whatever you need. Including a compassionate therapist. Or twenty of them.

Colorado is experiencing climate change. I know people think it’s up for debate, but this is the wettest spring and summer I have ever experienced in this state. We have had so much snow (Snow in Spring, including the day I returned to Colorado from Florida, which was a total insult) and so much rain (this Summer, it’s still going on!!) that this joint they call Colorado is totally and atypically GREEN as fuck!!! It’s also buggy. Not buggy like the South but still! The mosquitoes have West Nile Virus and every time I turn around it seems like I have another mosquito bite. I swear to GOD I better not get West Nile Virus!!

I haven’t had ECT since I left Florida, so I haven’t had ECT since March. This is the longest I’ve gone since I started in December of 2013. I’ve been glad to get away from it. My mood has been all over the place, including but not limited to passive and active suicidal ideation, blandness, hopefulness, grief over a life not well-lived, and dogged determination to do better and get better. I’d say that right now I’m in the very last stage mentioned. So, I hope that taking too much Advil for chronic pain doesn’t kill me, now that I kind of want to live. Have you heard all the recent shit-talking regarding Ibuprofen and how it can cause heart attacks, strokes, and general death? It’s a bit alarming. And I’ll take an A+ for the most excellent jump from one subject to another unrelated one in a paragraph! YEAH! Such writing!!

Well now that I’ve broken my writing fast, I will try to write more regularly again. See you in a week! BPOF

Gratitude In The Now

beach sunsetThere’s nothing like knowing something is coming to an end to make you grateful and mindful of what you have.  I have a little less than two weeks left here in Florida and I am focusing on getting that time in at the beach and the sun.  It is absolutely gorgeous here, deliciously hot, and I pack my backpack, grab my chair and walk the ten minutes to the beach nearly every day.  Once there, I sit in my chair, often working on my What Color Is Your Parachute exercises, until I’m just boiling hot.  Then I get into the water and swim out to the buoys (about 100 yards each way).  It’s great exercise that leaves me somewhat exhausted.

Although it’s been a tough road being in Florida, it’s also been positive in so many ways.  I’ve overcome more than I thought I ever could, and actually in some ways flourished.  I will sorely miss that beautiful beach, the palm trees, springlike flowers, and wonderful heat.  I’m sure I’ll be happy to be home with family in Colorado again, though.  Counting the days . . .

DOLPHINS!!!

dolphin1 dolphin2This weekend, I saw dolphins for the first time since I’ve been in Florida.  What a thrill!!  I love those suckers.  This was at Ft. DeSoto Beach, in case you’re wondering.  I’ve been getting in as much beach time and sun time as possible, trying to enjoy the water and heat as it’s my last month here.  Also, I want to return to Colorado with a tan.  :D   I’ve also been swimming quite a lot, both in the ocean and in the pool where I live.  The ocean swimming has been quite good for my spiritual life, as I swim out to the buoys and back (300-400 feet offshore) I continually pray “God protect me” as there are no lifeguards where I swim.  I’m a strong swimmer and there’s pretty much no record of shark attacks, but I still get a little paranoid.

My mood is pretty good, I think because I know I’m going home soon.  How are you???

Haunted By Jihadi John

Last night, I had a very troubling dream.  I was awakened by the touch of cold steel on the back of my neck – it was Jihadi John with an ax!  I was terrified, and flailed about, but was immediately overpowered.  And then it dawned on me – I was about to die!  In my mind, I told myself that this life was over, and I needed to prepare myself for the next realm.  As Jihadi John swung his ax, I woke up.

All day, I’ve been haunted.  Not just by the terror that I felt, but at the almost immediate acceptance that it was my time to die.  I was ready!

On further reflection, I see that my close family ties keep me bound to this earth, even when I don’t want to keep going, which is often.  My love for my family, and their love for me, inspires me to try harder to do the things that I know are good for me, even when I don’t want to do anything.  Although it’s been good in many ways to be in Florida for the winter, I am really looking forward to returning to Colorado in a month to be with my family again.  I am very, very grateful to have such a loving and supportive family.

How are you?  I hope you are all well.  <3

Get The Fuck Out!!!

STARFISH

Right now I am kind of in the shits, and it’s a struggle to do ANYTHING.  I actually got out to Fort DeSoto Beach today.  I was ready to spend another day on the couch, in front of the fucking idiot box, but somehow lord jesus I got my ass in gear and got going.  This is the first starfish I’ve seen on a Florida beach.  It was a little sucker, probably 4″ across.  I didn’t disturb it, just photo’d it.  I’m glad I got out and walked the beach.

I’m home now, a little sad because I know my family in Colorado is having a birthday celebration for one of my sisters and one of my brothers.  I am sad to miss the celebration.  I’m a big fucking baby.  I’m trying to focus on enjoying everything Florida has to offer for this last month.  Hope you all have a rockin’ weekend.  <3

 

A Sore Jaw. And Not Even A Fun Reason For It!

I’ve been eating on the left side of my mouth since last Wednesday, when the great dental bankruptcy experience began.  Off came a bridge, out came a tooth, in went a silicone plug to aid healing, and then stitches.  The instructions were, eat soft foods, only on the left side.  Almost a week later, my jaw is sore.  I guess from only eating on one side?  Fuck if I know.  I can think of much funner ways to get a sore jaw. (Cue Barbara Streisand singing Memorieeeessssssssss).  DAMN I miss the perverted life I lived when I was manic!

Now I eat oatmeal, pudding and yogurt.  I drink smoothies.  I don’t even drink alcohol, since my epic New Year’s Day hangover.  Yeah.  I thought that Grey Goose didn’t give me hangovers.  I guess half a bottle does.  So the other half sits in my freezer, waiting for a lapse in judgment.  I’ve got one marijuana lozenge left, then I’ll be back to total Straightsville.  Sometimes it hits me:  I really need a life!

I have a little more than a month left in Florida, then it’s back to Colorado.  Back to family.  Friends.  Marijuana stores.  And what else?  I need to come up with a plan.  I’m seeing the “Couldn’t Give Less Of A Shit” psychiatrist today, can’t wait!  In the meantime I need to get to the beach and get a walk in.   <———— Since this was written, the rain stole my hopes for a walk.

I don’t usually do this, but I’ve taken all day to write this shitty little post.  And I have to say, I may have to re-think the part about the psychiatrist not giving a shit.  When he was going over my bloodwork (required for the Clozaril) he noticed that my white blood cell count had gone up.  This is just based on his remembering my count from a month ago.  This is a guy who sees probably four clients per hour.  Thirty-two clients per day.  Six hundred and forty clients in a month. I have to say, I was floored!!  He just remembered??  Even I had no idea…

I talked to the doc about doing TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) instead of ECT.  He said he could do it, but the initial treatment is five days per week for six weeks.  That is not feasible since I’m only here for another month.  So I guess I’ll just keep up the ECT maintenance treatments for now, and then look into TMS when I get back to Colorado.  The big benefit of TMS is that no anesthesia is required.

I am going back to the dentist tomorrow, not sure what he’s going to do but I’m a very nervous dental patient.  I’m going to try to get some exercise in before the appointment tomorrow.  That, and meditation.  We’ll see how it goes!  Hope you’re all having a delicious week!  Peaches!

Happy Belated VD

Oh my lovers, hope you had a great Valentines Day!  Even if you’re like me and spent it alone, on a beach, reading a book.  There’s a lot to love about that!  I did get two lovin’ phone calls, one from my oldest sister and one from my parents.  Talking with my parents was a special time, they were reliving their visit to Florida, and in particular Tarpon Springs, which my Mom referred to as Tampon Springs.  Oh, Mommy!  You are so accidentally funny.  Tarpon Springs will forever be Tampon Springs to me.  Oh the pictures my mind conjures up!!

So I started reading a new book, actually two.  One for enjoyment, which I got from this little library box across from my house.  It’s a place where you go put in a book, and take another out.  I lucked out and got a good one.  The other book I am reading, I bought probably six months ago.  It’s more of a “homework” book.  It’s called What Color Is Your Parachute and it’s both a job search guide and an aide in career-switching.  Since I absolutely HATE my old IT career, I am trying to come up with a new idea that I can really, realistically do.  There’s a lot of work involved, writing, and thinking.  I am really committed to doing this work, and coming up with a better idea for my next career move.  I think, no I KNOW, that this well help me to have more hope for the future. :)

I am going to Fort De Soto Beach with two girlfriends today.  It’s a beautiful, clear day and hopefully we’ll see some dolphins, that’s what that area is known for.  Have a delicious Sunday!

What’s New?

Hello!  What’s new in your world?  Not much new for me, I am on terminal hold with my health insurance company, I’m sure you’ve heard me bitch about them before, but my calls are never under thirty minutes and usually forty-five to an hour.  All to get those fuckers to pay for what they’re supposed to pay for.  Oh, it’s painful.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, I’m not afraid to say publicly that YOU SUCK!!!  Just pay the damn claims already!  Ok.  Rant done.

I had therapy today, I am still seeing my therapist from Colorado via Skype.  It is just so damn comforting to see her!  And guess what?  I didn’t even cry once!  :D :D :D   That must be a record.  She is so good at helping me focus on the positive, and on the desired behavior.  I can get quite stuck in the mud, she helps me and encourages me to get moving.

Today I did something different at the start of my day.  I usually have this very rigid morning routine involving drinking coffee, catching up on email, Facebook, trashy celebrity gossip sites, and then of course WordPress, and if I don’t get to do all of that I get VERY grouchy!  Well, knowing how good the morning light is for a depressed person, I got up, got dressed and went for a walk across the street in the nature park.  I put on my headphones and turned on a Deepak Chopra meditation.  It’s a pretty snazzy app, there are a bunch of different soundtracks you can choose, as well as a bunch of different guided meditations.  Then you set the timer for how long you want.  I set it for twenty five minutes and off I went.  Well!!  All was going well until I encountered a part of the path that was under water, so I’m like, hey!  I’ll just walk around the water on the grass.  Well, the grass turned out to be a muddy bog that sucked my shoes off and I stepped right into the shit with my socks!  Delight!  So fuck it I retrieved my shoes and kept walking with a squish in my step.  I ran into several more watery areas of the path, and I just held up the bottom of my sweatpants and walked right through them.  Wet, wet, wet!  What the fuck!  I just kept repeating the mantra of the meditation, and the beautiful nature all around was a worthy consolation.

So while I was on with my therapist I made a list of things I’d like to try to do every day (I know I’m all over the place here, please roll with it).  Here’s the list:

1) Meditate

2) Read “What Color Is Your Parachute” (to try to figure out what the fuck I want to do as my next career)

3) Exercise (the magic formula that makes life better)

4) See something new

I will try doing all this shit for the next week and let you know how it goes.  Please feel free to join me in my new regimen!  Toodles, BPOF!

 

UPDATE:  After ONE HOUR AND FORTY MINUTES on the phone with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, I have some hopes that they will adjust the claim correctly, i.e. In-Network as opposed to Out-Of-Network, which equals me paying $0 vs $654.  I really hope they do the right thing this time.  It is RIDICULOUS how much time I have to spend fighting them to cover what they’re supposed to cover.

What goes up . . .

Well I am finally done having visitors.  First, my parents were here for two and a half weeks.  I honestly didn’t know how I would handle so much time with others since I’m used to being alone, alone, alone but it was really good to have the ‘rents here.  Then, just as they were leaving, my sister M came for a long weekend to celebrate her fiftieth birthday.  We are so close and we had just a wonderful time.  Talking about everything in the world, going to the beach, walking here there and everywhere, laughing, and, my gift to her, swimming with the manatees.  Yes.  It was incredible and I highly recommend it, if you ever have the chance!!  We spent two and a half glorious hours in the waters of Homosassa Springs, snorkeling about with these gentle giants.  It was spectacular!!  I just tooled around in the water, saying “Thank you, God!  Thank you God!”

I was so sad to drop my sister off at the airport on Monday afternoon.  What a downer to be alone again.  I had an ECT treatment yesterday, and they made me take a drug test!  Why?  I don’t know.  I really don’t like this ECT provider at all.  And I don’t know if the ECT is helping.  At first, I thought yes.  Then today, when I just plain didn’t want to wake up, I said, why do I bother?

Well, time to find some other meaning in my life.  I can’t just live from one visit to the other.  I think I might go to the botanical gardens today.  I think getting out of my comfort zone and doing new things is good for me.  I did a lot of it while my parents were here and I need to keep it up.

So, how is life in your world? <3

Off To The Races!!

RACE1

My parents have been visiting for about a week and a half and I have to say, it’s been doing me good.  Having them here forces me to get off my ass and go do things every day.  They didn’t rent a car because they’re old and they tend to get lost, so I am basically their chauffeur which is fine with me.  We have been getting out and seeing things that I have never seen here.  It’s hard for me to get up and go, and it’s really stretching me to get out of my comfort zone and go experience all these new things.  I mean, for most people this would just be fun.  But for me, in the state I’m in, there’s a certain amount of stress in trying new things and going to new places.  But I KNOW that it’s good for me and I’m hoping that I can keep it up once they’re gone.

Today we are going to the horse races!!!  My mom has always wanted to go and I have always loved horses, in fact, I had one when I was growing up.  I will be taking my “big camera” (Digital SLR) to try to get some cool pics.  I haven’t taken many pictures lately but since my ‘rents have been here I’ve used the camera quite a few times.  Progress, progress.  I’ll take it where I can get it!!

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!  BIG HUGS!!!  <3 <3 <3    <———– I wish I could insert purple hearts but that is beyond my capabilities.  Peach out!

Health Insurance: Friend or Foe?

Many of you in the US (and perhaps other countries as well) may face this same dilemma:  Your health insurance company is providing more barriers to care than it is providing the care that you pay for.  In my case, I have Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.  I have had an unbelievable number of claims be adjusted as “Out of Network” when the provider is in fact “In Network”.  Each explanation of benefits that I receive with the Out of Network judgement causes me to have to call them, and it’s usually a 45 minute to one hour conversation, with many transfers from one person to another.  Of course, if the care is judged to be Out of Network, this would leave me on the hook financially for most of the cost.

I am paying around $700 per month for this health insurance, and I can’t tell you how stressful it is to have to constantly be fighting Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to pay for what they are supposed to pay.  This is incredibly triggering, and without a doubt it makes my depression much worse.  I am getting to the point that I am afraid to seek the care that I need, because I am anticipating the ensuing fight with the insurance company to cover my care.

The latest issue is lab work.  I went to a lab that was on BSBCNC’s website as “In Network”, and I am now being billed for the lab work.  On a 45 minute call to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the person I spoke to tried to tell me that the problem was with my doctor who wrote the orders, and that I needed to contact him.  THIS MAKES NO SENSE.  If the lab work at that lab is In Network, it’s In Network!  I am to the point now that I want to hire an attorney to slap a suit on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina for all the emotional distress they are causing me.  What does it take to get the health care that the policy promises???

Back to ECT

DSC_0081

Well I am back to having ECT after a longggggg fucking delay.  My last treatment was October 27 and I should have had a maintenance treatment a month later, but it took this long to get all my ducks in a row.  What a cluster!!

They wanted me to come back this Thursday (two days later!) for another treatment but I said FUCK NO!!  My parents are here visiting and I miss a whole day when I have a treatment.  I’m down for the count after having a treatment, having to stay in bed and rest afterwards.  I will think about having another treatment next week.

I do feel better, less dark-mooded, so I think the zap did me good.  I’m taking my Mom & Dad to Tarpon Springs today, it’s supposed to be pretty cool, they harvest sponges from the ocean there.  I think that will be cool to see.

I’m trying to just repeat positive affirmations and say the Unity prayer (The light of God surrounds us, the love of God enfolds us, the power of God protects us, the presence of God washes over us, wherever we are, God is, and all is well).  It feels like a powerful affirmation to me.

Let’s hear it for getting back to functioning!  Yeah!!!

 

P.S. – Here is a pic from the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, it was a dreamland for bird lovers like me :)

A Little Ray Of Hope

Man, my last post was a big ray of a turd and I’m sorry about that.  I got bad news about needing some super-expensive dental work that I can’t afford and I was envisioning myself being a toothless hillbilly granny.  Then I got so down, I wrote another post which I did NOT post where I was basically making my case for suicide.  I know.  Overwhelmed doesn’t look good on me at all.  So my parents came to visit yesterday, and all the grand suicide plans came crashing down.  These people who are my parents are SUCH GOOD PEOPLE!!!  I can’t hurt them like this!!  I just can’t do this to them!!  It would really hurt them and I don’t even know if they would get over it.

So.  I had to come up with a Plan B.  I started wondering how some kick-ass bitch who really advocates for herself would deal with this situation.  And my inner Kick Ass Bitch said, you call your old dentist in Boulder and get a reality check.  SO!  That’s what I did, and man oh man, that reality check was so good, it was almost like an ORGASM!!  I SWEAR!!!  They quoted me THOUSANDS less, AND said that my insurance would kick in $1500.  So basically I would be on the hook for $2300, rather than $5200!!  Um, hello!!  Gas is $1.99 a gallon right now and I have all the time in the world to drive back to Colorado for this fucking treatment!!  Hell yeah!!

It’s not totally a done deal, I faxed them the quote from Florida Dentist, and they will call me back to confirm, but GODDAMN things are looking a LOT better than they were!  I mean, A LOT!!!  And I am fucking.  GRATEFUL!!  Oh.  I NEEDED something like this!!  Now I can sit back and enjoy my visit with my parents without this black thundercloud hanging over me.  Holy Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and Mary, thank you!!  A little relief from the pain.  Ah.  God……..

TWO Count Them TWO Sets Of Plans For Tonight!!!

WOW well this hasn’t been the best week.  I have had a hard time getting going every day, and I haven’t managed to exercise each day which is my goal (and my saving grace).  I don’t know what my major malfunction is, other than the fact that is hasn’t been very warm here, although it has still been beautiful, for the most part.  I think I am lonely.  No, I know I am.  However, I am excited to have TWO sets of plans for tonight!!  First, I am meeting my friend S and her boyfriend for a drink and I think dinner (S is who I stayed with when I first got to Florida).  I have only seen her once since I moved out of her house, so it will be great to see them.  Then at about 7pm I am meeting friends from my former Meetup group for a poker game!  Yeah!  I am not a great poker player but I am a GREAT bluffer.  So I’m going to work on my poker game as well as my bluff.

Right now I’m off to see the psychiatrist at the Cattle-Call Mental Health Practice, they just process us through like we’re cattle.  The psychiatrist couldn’t be less caring.  But hey! Fuck!  It gets me that fucking Clozaril.  Whatever.

Sunday, the BRONCOS are in the playoffs.  GO BRONCOS!!!!!  Hope you all have a slammin’ weekend.  Peaches!!

Merry Christmas And A Crashed Hard Drive To You!

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been around for awhile (has anybody noticed?  Maybe I flatter myself).  Welllll I had the coolest thing happen to me on Christmas Day!  My fucking hard drive crashed!!  Awesome huh!  Sooo I have been limping along with my iPhone, waiting for a new hard drive to come in the mail.  It finally came yesterday.  I guess you could say that it was a “lucky” thing that it happened while I was in Colorado, because I was able to go to my storage unit and I actually FOUND MY BACKUP HARD DRIVE and on said backup hard drive there was a RESTORABLE IMAGE!!!!  Not only that, but I had backed up my files in August before I moved!!  I love it when Anal-Me does something so shockingly efficient and helpful!!!  Oh I was a happy girl today when I realized that I wouldn’t have to go out and buy Windows 7 for a shitload of money (more than the cost of the hard drive).  That just makes my day . . . . YESSSS!!

So I’ve already gone to Colorado and come back to Florida, wow, that was quick!  I must admit to quite the little mood crash when I returned from Colorado, coming from the loving bosom of my large family and being engaged with people practically 24/7 to . . . nothing.  One of my “kind-of” friends here invited me over for drinks on the first night I was back but I just couldn’t do it – too tired.  Then I didn’t hear from him again, even on New Year’s!  I did smuggle home some marijuana lozenges and on New Year’s Eve I got completely smashed on said lozenges and Grey Goose vodka.  All by myself.  That’s very alcoholic-sounding, isn’t it?  Well I paid through the nose…literally, puking, even through the nose, late that night and most of the next day.  Why oh why does it EVER seem like a good idea to get drunk?  I really don’t know.  I see that vodka bottle in my freezer now and I just say “FUCK YOU” to it every time I see it.  Sooner or later it will sneak up on me again and say “Heyyyy babyyyyy here’s a good time, just have a little . . .” and off I will go.  I know!  Not.  Good.

Well I am getting together with my Meetup group that used to meet up on Thursdays, tonight (minus the founder of the Meetup, who was a dick, who stepped down from running the Meetup and it died because no one took it over).  It will be nice to see the other people, chat, have A (one) drink, eat some Mexican food, blah blah blah.  It will be good to have some company.  The Florida weather has bounced back to sunny and warm after being dismal, rainy and grey earlier in the week.  I need to wrap this up and head over to the beach for my daily constitutional.  Hope you are all well in this new year, good luck with those resolutions!  So far I have resolved to stay alive.  That has to be enough for now.  Peach out homies!!