This Bipolar Chick Is A Certified Ethical Hacker!

Whelp, I didn’t think I could do it.  Seriously.  I didn’t think it was going to happen.  I cried.  I prayed.  I studied my ass off.  But I didn’t think it was enough.  Well guess what?  Sometimes the Universe hands you a little miracle in the form of a PASS!  And I PASSED the Certified Ethical Hacker exam today!!!  Believe me, no one is more surprised than me!!  Sure, I studied.  But I didn’t own the material.  It was just SO MUCH TO KNOW.  I can’t even convey to you all the different tools they were testing on, things I’d never even heard of, would crop up on questions, and I’d be like, WTF?  I need to know this?  Or WHY do I need to know THIS?  It just went on and on.  I was feeling quite a bit of despair there at the end.  I prayed for a miracle.  And I believe I got one!

First of all, it’s a miracle that this training was even offered to me.  Second of all, it’s a miracle that I decided to try, because I didn’t really believe that I could learn this stuff.  After three + years off work and 40+ ECT treatments, I just thought my brain was fried, end of story.  But something in me said, “Try.”  And I can’t believe I did.  And I can’t believe that this is the outcome!!  To me, this just goes to show, you don’t know the end of the story.  You might think, this is it, this is my life, Bipolar has me beaten (which is what I thought), but Life might have another message for you.  And it might be really, really good.

So I am so encouraged.  I still have a dwindling bank account, and a car for sale, but I have HOPE.  And I have two high-value IT certifications that say that I can learn, that I’m a technical person, that I have abilities.  And I have six baby bird eggs about to hatch!  Life is good.  I think, I actually believe, that I’m going to be o.k.  And for that, I am extremely grateful.

The Struggle is REAL!

I feel like I hit rock bottom this weekend.  I hit my threshold of “when I get down to this amount of money, I panic” and I began to panic.  I worked on my studying and took a practice test upon which I did not do well.  Then I freaked out majorly and got suicidal for awhile because I was so scared about failing this test and how am I gonna get a job no one wants to interview me and what am I gonna do if I run out of money and how am I gonna take care of these birds and how will I pay the rent?  I know, breathe!  I got so sad thinking of my family getting the news I was dead, and to YOU guys, I would be another dead blogger, another Bipolar fatality, GOD I got to feeling guilty about all the people I would hurt and let down!  And then I thought….you could sell your car instead of killing yourself couldn’t you?  I mean, the baby birds haven’t even been born!  And I thought yeah, my life is worth more than my car.  I could sell my car and buy myself a little time and sanity and just buy a beater car that gets me from Point A to Point B, I mean, I’d be sad to sell my car, but I’d rather LIVE and not be destitute, I think….So I went and washed my car and vacuumed it and took pictures of it and listed it on Craigslist.  Done.  We’ll see what the Gods have in store for me.  So, that’s how my Sunday went, a little Bipolar rollercoaster for ya!  How has yours been?

CEH Test Scheduled!

You may or may not know that I have been studying for my Certified Ethical Hacker certification.  I previously studied for and passed the Comptia Security + certification, despite some serious doubts on my part.  Well, now I have some serious SERIOUS doubts about my ability to get the CEH certification.  I am passing the practice tests, because I studied the answers to the questions I got wrong until I could get them right, but that doesn’t mean I have a true handle on the information.  I’ve studied just about as much as I can, though, and I just have to hope that the questions on the actual exam are similar enough to the practice exams that I’ll be able to muddle through and get a 70%.  It’s a four hour test – WHAT THE HELL?!  I can’t imagine what could take four hours.  The practice test takes about an hour.  It is 125 questions.  The fact that the REAL exam takes four hours makes me worried that I am wildly unready for it.  What the hell do you have to do?  Hack a system?  Fuckkkkkkkkk.  It is scheduled for Thursday, June 29th.  Right now I am feeling too overwhelmed to study but I have to overcome that.  Sometimes I have to literally force myself to study.  When I am overwhelmed I just want to sit around and obsess.  That doesn’t really get me anything good.

Ok, off to take some more practice tests!  The next one is from the study guide I read, it’ll be new questions so it’ll test my knowledge instead of my ability to remember the answers to questions.  Wish me luck!

Just to give some background on me, I have Bipolar Disorder, some say Bipolar II and some say Bipolar I.  I tend to be more depressed than manic, in fact the manic episodes are few and far between.  The depressed episodes are entirely too frequent.  I left my last full-time job about 3 1/2 years ago due to depression.  I actually went on FMLA to have ECT, and I never went back.  I was in a suicidal depression and I was hospitalized twice.  I had over forty ECT treatments.  I still don’t know if they helped.  I tend to think that the Ketamine they used to sedate me helped more than the ECT.  The reason I say this is because I had ECT in Florida too, and they didn’t use Ketamine for sedation, and I felt like shit after those treatments.  I was on Clozaril for about a year and a half and it turned me into a zombie.  I think what finally brought me out of being a depressed zombie was switching from Clozaril to Abilify.  I don’t remember why we did this, but I am totally grateful.  I have been able to function better than I have in a long time, moved back into my own apartment, started working part-time a little more than a year ago, and then got the opportunity to start classes for these IT Security certifications in January.  The fact that I can study and learn is something that I would not have even dreamed of a year ago.  So that brings us up to date.  I am taking my last certification test next week and I have started looking for an IT Security job.  That is my next hurdle.  Full-time jobs are kind of like Kryptonite to me and my mental health.  If I can find a part-time job, I will know there is a God 🙂

Stoner Mac ‘N’ Cheese aka Heart Attack Mac

I am going to share with you the most wonderful recipe I seem to have invented last night, stoned, in the middle of some serious munchies.  Since I didn’t have much on hand, I seized upon Pasta!  And Cheese!  And said I Can Make Something!!  These are the precise instructions on how to make Stoner Mac ‘N’ Cheese aka Heart Attack Mac.

Throw half a stick of butter in a pot and turn on the burner.  Once it melts, pour directly from the flour sack until you have a small mountain of flour in the butter.  Begin to stir, realize there’s too much flour, and add a little more butter.  Once you have a nice paste, introduce the Half N Half.  Just pour it on in, one glop at a time, stir, and start to form a slurry.  What you’re looking for here is something resembling pancake batter.  You may at this point be saying AH HELL NAH I AIN’T MAKING NO PANCAKE-BATTER CHEESE SAUCE to which I say STAY WITH ME BITCH IT’S HEART ATTACK MAC AND IT’LL BE THE BEST YOU EVER HAD!!  Ok back to the “sauce”.  You have a nice hot slurry.  Now we’re gonna throw in any available cheese into it.  For me this was about ¾ of a cup of shredded cheddar, and ½ a cup of shredded parmesan.  Stir, stir, stir.  Now ya got pancake cheese sauce slurry.  Keep that sucker warm and in the meantime cook up ½ a bag of seashell pasta for 10 minutes or so.  Drain, and pour your slurry over the drained pasta.  Mix!  Toss into a glass casserole (I didn’t even grease the damn thing) and hand-sprinkle some Italian Bread Crumbs on top (again it’s what’s on hand) and throw that sucker in a 350-degree oven for fifteen minutes.  Voila!  Heart Attack Mac and I SWEAR THE SHIT IS GOOD!!!

I May Have Created A Monster

Peaches has now laid FIVE EGGS!!!  What the hell am I gonna do with five more birds????  Oh Holy God I may have a crisis on my hands when these little critters are born!!  Granted, all the eggs may not hatch.  Then again, Peaches might not be done laying her eggs!  I thought it would be fun to have two babies.  TWO!  At this rate, I’m gonna be starting an aviary in my little micro-apartment!!  Time will tell what becomes of this Crazy Bird Lady . . .

Today I am going to Mom and Dad’s to be the maid.  That’s what I do on Mondays and Fridays.  And I don’t.  Want.  To.  Go.  I am SO LAZY!!  And I have to work HARD there!!  Being a maid is fucking hard work.  It’s getting later and later . . . I should be in the shower by now . . . the resistance is strong in this one . . . dammit fuck.  I guess I better force myself . . . get used to what it will be like to have a regular JOB!

Speaking of which I have gotten some calls regarding jobs I’ve applied for . . . jobs I am wildly unqualified for, but dammit I got these certifications and I want to work in the Security field!  SOMEONE has to be willing to train me!  One job sounds perfect . . . it’s right here in Longmont and it’s only 25-30 hours per week at $40/hour, hell I could live on that and part-time is right up my ally.  I get SO BURNED OUT working a full-time job, I’d KILL for a part-time job!!!  They are sending the company, Crocs of the ugly shoes, my resume.  We shall see.

Well I better get my ample ass in the shower.  Those red beans & rice aren’t gonna cook themselves, neither is the wall gonna paint itself.  Fuckers.  Have a great Monday!

Happy Father’s Day

Today I am celebrating still having a Dad.  The past year has been full of turmoil, with Dad visiting the brink of death multiple times.  He was so sick with C-Diff and Pneumonia and Sepsis, and I spent multiple nights at the hospital, wanting to be there with him if he died.  It’s kind of incredible to me that he didn’t die.  The whole family was prepared.  Lots of tears were shed, believe me.  But, Dad is a fighter and he loves his family like crazy and he doesn’t want to leave us!  So, amazingly enough, we have made it to another Father’s Day.  Each holiday and birthday is bittersweet, because I wonder if it’s Dad’s last.  Maybe I don’t need to think that way, but I do.

Because I’m such a good daughter, I bought Dad a flashlight for Father’s Day.  Wooooo!!!  He should be overwhelmed.  I’m so tired of trying to figure out what to buy him!  He doesn’t need anything!  He has enough shirts.  But his flashlight is broken so boom!  I saw something I could get him.  I broke the bank at $6.97.  I got cards for Dad and my brother at the dollar store, spent $1.14.  The cards aren’t as good for sure but dammit I can’t spend six bucks on a card any more.  My money is tight!!  I’ll try to write something sweet to make up for the so-so card.

Because I am now a Crazy Bird Lady, I just have to include a tidbit about Peaches and Herb!  Peaches laid a fourth egg today.  She is staggering them in a weird way!  She’s supposed to lay one egg per day and then start incubating them when the whole clutch is laid.  Well, she started incubating two days ago.  So I guess she is gonna have a train of babies born over the course of a week or some strange shit.  Herb is super-excited to be a father.  (Ya see how I tied that in to the post?  Snazzy huh).

To all you fathers out there:  Happy Father’s Day.  I hope you can enjoy the day with loved ones and feel appreciated and cared for.

 

The Time Is Now!

Well this is it!  The shit is hitting the fan, peeps!  Funds are running low, time is running out.  I have to find a job.  And I have to take this *&%$^&* test!  I am passing the practice test with high scores, but that’s only because I have studied my wrong answers.  It doesn’t mean I get the concepts.  However, I’m hoping that I have enough basic knowledge to pass the test.  I doubt it, but I have to try.

I have begun to apply for jobs in IT Security, stating in my cover letter that I recently received my Security + certification and that I am studying for my Certified Ethical Hacker certification.  I feel like a fraud.  I mean, I have learned stuff, but I am by no means a Security Professional.  However, I have to try!  Maybe someone will give me a chance and I’ll get a job where I can learn on the job.  I’m good at that.  I don’t know what else to do!  I can’t go back to my old work, the thought makes me want to chop my own head off.  So, to sum up, I’m scared, I’m overwhelmed, I feel like a fraud, trying anyway.

In happy bird news, Peaches has now laid three eggs.  In sad bird news, Peaches and Herb seem to have no inclination to incubate the eggs.  😦  Maybe I’ll take them out and keep them in my bra.  HA!  That would be something, walking around with tiny bird’s eggs in my bra.  I am trying to let go of the outcome and just enjoy my little cheepers.  They are incredibly cute and brighten my days.  Lots of time is spent watching the birds.

In Meetup news, I have a hike this weekend.  Don’t know if my fat ass can even accomplish this hike, I’m thinking I need to go for a dry run today.  We’ll see if I actually do it.  I have oodles of good intentions, but you know what they say about good intentions . . .

I had a real bad day of depression earlier in the week, but now I’m kind of back to the status quo.  Except for this undercurrent of fear about life.  That’s kind of a downer.  I think the only cure is to take more action for the future.  Sitting curled up in fear is guaranteed to get me more shitty feelings.  Oh God life is hard some times… I hope I don’t sound like a great big whiner.

Well that’s all for now, thanks for reading!  Next time I hope to have something exciting or exotic to say.  Peach out homies!!

Peaches Laid An Egg! And Studying Sucks.

In Proud Bird Mom News, Peaches has laid an egg!!!  I’m going to be a GRANDMA!!!  Well, maybe, anyway.  This is so exciting!!!  These birds have made so much progress since being in my home such a short time, and they have been such a joy to me!!  I think I might have a full-blown manic episode if babies come.

In studying news, I am steadily going down the toilet.  Last week, I got a 68% on a practice test.  Passing for this test is a 70%, so I thought, hey, I’m on the right track!  Maybe I know more than I thought!  Well it must have been an easy test because I took a test this week and got a 58%, cussing all the way through.  To say that I’m discouraged would be an understatement.  But dammit!  I don’t think I got this opportunity and this grant for these classes by accident!!  I think I am somehow meant to overcome this adversity and pass this test.  I can’t just accept defeat, even though I feel defeated.  It seems like I may have felt discouraged and defeated on the last round, too, but somehow I passed that damn test.  So maybe I can pass this one too.  The question is, can I do it before I run out of money?  Just a little bit of stress and pressure . . .

I had Meetup #2 this week, we went to see Wonder Woman in 3D.  The alien inside me who started this group went to the movies and enjoyed it.  The people I am meeting are very nice.  This is actually really nice to have at least one thing to do per week.  This week, I did three things with people on three different nights.  I better watch out that my Introvert card doesn’t get revoked.

Well, Summer has finally come to Colorado.  I believe the snowstorms are gone for the season.  It is in the high 90’s and I’m running the air conditioner.  I am grateful for air conditioner and ceiling fans and that I just have this teensy little apartment that is very easy to keep cool.  Noisy Neighbor Upstairs has not woken me up for some time now and he hasn’t even played his damn drums, YAYUH!!  Maybe he hocked them.  Maybe he broke a hand.  Maybe he’s depressed.  I don’t care.  I’m just glad for the quiet.

I saw Dr. Drugs this week.  He pulled some major shit with cutting my Wellbutrin dose, I will write about it later because my hands are tired.  Suffice to say I am not on board.  Dr. Drugs does some stupid shit that does not serve me.  I often defy him and do what I think is right.  Rebel Bipolar In Effect!

Hope you all had a great week!

My Meetup!

Well folks I didn’t chicken out, as much as I wanted to.  I went to the Meetup I started!  This is a big deal for this Introvert.  It’s weird, being an Introvert, yet wanting and needing more social contact.  I want it, but I don’t want to leave the house.  Quite a conundrum.  Anyhoo, I went to the Meetup.  Nineteen people were signed up for it (there are 109 members!!) and I had a big table reserved and I was so scared that I’d be sitting at this big table with my little Meetup sign and no one would show up.  However!  Thirteen people showed up and they were all very nice and it was lively and fun and not too scary at all!  We came up with a nice long list of proposed activities which I came home and promptly scheduled (some of them, at least – about six weeks’ worth).  So, I am proud of myself.  I think this is a big part of my recovery, socializing.  It might not seem like a big deal to most people, but to this Bipolar Introverted Introvert, it’s a big deal.

On the studying front, I have somewhat gotten over the overwhelmed and defeated feeling and worked on my studying.  I took a practice test this week and got a 68% (last test was a 50%, passing is 70%).  So I feel a lot better about my studies!   I also applied for about five jobs, as I see my savings dwindle, I feel like I need to get proactive about looking for a job, even though I haven’t passed the Certified Ethical Hacker certification yet.  I just put in my cover letter that I am studying for it.  What the hell?  I have to try.

Peaches and Herb have made lots of progress in the one little week that I’ve had them.  They figured out how to build their nest, and they’re mating!  Yeah!  On with the babies!!  No eggs yet.

Well that’s about all that’s happening in my world, how’re things in yours?  Peaches (& Herb) say peach out!  BPOF.