23 Days Until SPRING!

crocuses in snow

The weather has not been a joy around here.  It’s been cold and snowy, with no way to get out and walk, which is my preferred way of exercising.  I push myself to go to the gym, but I haven’t gone every day like I’d like to.  So I was SO EXCITED to see a Facebook Memory post I had made that said that it’s only 23 days until Spring!  Granted, a certain date won’t mean that we won’t have any more snow, but we will see signs of Spring, such as these beautiful crocuses, trees budding, and warmer days.  And I will be able to get out more and walk.  The days will get longer, the clocks will spring forward, and my mood will slowly rise.  I will wake up to birdsong in the morning.  These are simple joys that I truly miss in the Winter.

For this Bipolar gal, my optimal seasons are Spring and Summer, so I am looking forward to days where everything isn’t such a damn struggle, where I spring out of bed, where I can go outside on my porch in my pj’s with my coffee and experience the morning in all its glory.  I can’t wait!

The Week In Review

Well I got through what felt like a marathon of a week.  It’s funny what feels like a marathon now, which was just having something to do every day.  When I was working, that was the real marathon.  Now that I am spoiled with all the time in the world to myself, having to show up somewhere every day is somewhat taxing.  Having an interview looming on Friday sort of stressed me out all week.

I signed up for a four-day Interview Workshop at the local Workforce Center, which was Monday through Thursday from 9am to 12:30 pm.  I had to get myself up quite early, as I committed myself to walking to the Workforce Center every day, which meant I had to leave the apartment at 8:15 am.  Round-trip, this was a 3.5 mile walk, which is really good for me.  The workshop was a learning and growing experience.  I wanted to learn how to sell myself better, and I wanted to stop freezing up during interviews.  The tools and skills I learned in preparing for an interview really helped a lot, and I feel like I did better in my actual interview that I had on Friday than I have done in a long time.  I also feel like over time I will get better and better as I work on the skills I learned.

There was a really nice payoff for using the Lose It! App and exercising so much last week, when I got on the scale yesterday morning I found I had lost four pounds!  It’s typical for me to sit at the same weight for quite awhile after I start making an effort, and then a chunk falls off.  It was very gratifying to see a chunk fall off and I’m encouraged to keep going.

I have mixed feelings about this job I interviewed for on Friday.  I’m not sure if it’s the right fit for me, but on the other hand I’m getting desperate for a job as my bank balance sinks lower and lower.  So, if I get it, I think I will be relieved, yet panicked.  And if I don’t get it, I will be straight up panicked.  I should hear either way by the middle of this week.  Stay tuned!

I feel like my depression has lifted somewhat, between the bump in Wellbutrin, sitting in front of my therapy light for hours and hours, and lots of exercise.  However, my unstable life keeps me feeling unbalanced and it’s hard not to be afraid.  I really crave stability – in my finances, a stable home (not this chaotic shithole of an apartment house I live in now), and stable emotions.  My goal for 2018 is stability.  I really really hope I can achieve this.

Thanks for reading, and please let me know how you are in the Comments!  Peach out!  BPOF.

Saturday Again?!

How did it get to be Saturday again?  Where does the time go??  Well I am feeling a little perkier today, albeit still depressed, but I am happy with what I accomplished this week.  As I said in a previous post, advocating for yourself can feel like shit, but I think I am getting to be kind of a ninja at it.  I guess if you do it enough, you can get comfortable with it.  This week, I decided to take a fresh look at my resume, so I took a workshop at my local Workforce Center called Rezoom Your Resume.  It was a pretty positive workshop and I took what I learned and re-worked my current resume, and also created a new resume in a new format.  I am going to go this week to have my newly-formatted resume, as well as my new resume, critiqued on Monday morning at a walk-in Resume Critique session.

I also walked my buns in to Human Services to finish the Food Stamps application process.  Fortunately, I brought in all of the documentation they needed, except for one thing I didn’t know they needed – proof of the end of my job.  So I still don’t have Food Stamps.  I had to grit my teeth and very nicely and politely email the former employer – twice – asking for the documentation, which they eventually provided, and I emailed it back to Human Services.  Hopefully Food Assistance will be forthcoming.  I have been buying the bare minimum at the grocery store, as I am pinching the pennies in a serious way.

I have been walking every day, whether I want to or not.  It’s my Walking Medicine.  I even walked to Mental Health on Thursday for group therapy – there and back was three miles, which is really good for me.  Between walking and light therapy (and of course, medication), my head is just above water as far as the depression goes.  I will see the psychiatrist on Friday and hopefully get an increase in my Wellbutrin.

Nothing came of my interview I had last week, even though I was told I’d get a second interview.  DAMMIT!!  I do have an interview this week with the City of Longmont, it is a super-good job as a Security Analyst and pays $80k/year.  I don’t think I’m qualified but I’ll still go in there and give it my best shot.  I’m hoping for a miracle 🙂

Well I hope you all had a great week.  Let me know how you are in the Comments section and remember, no comments means you don’t care!!  Haha just kidding that is very manipulative.  Have a great weekend!!  Peach out!

Depression Ain’t For Sissies

I’ll tell you what, each one of us who fights Depression and gets through their days deserves a fucking gold medal.  This is a hell of an illness!  It literally makes you want to stop living, and you have to fight back and live!  What the hell kind of illness is that?  At least with other illnesses, you can count on the will to live!!  I’m not actively wanting to die, but I am feeling very Eeyore-ish, very slowed down and lifeless.  I have a phone interview at 11am and I’m having a hard time working up the energy to do anything to prepare.  I know if I don’t, or if I skip the interview, deep despair is sure to follow.  I have to try.  But my God, sometimes it’s hard to try!!!  So I am writing this quick post, then I am giving myself and all of you a gold medal for getting through another day of depression, then I will try to study my Security notes and research this boring-as-fuck scientific company.  Sorry for my enthusiasm, this is not my day.  Hope you are doing much better than me.  Peach to the out!

Quick Update Two Hours Later:  I had the phone interview and it went well, they want to bring me in for an in-person interview, YAYUH!!!  Shocker!!!  I love it when life surprises me!!!

Blizzard!

blizzard

It’s snowing like gangbusters here today and I’m on Hour 3 in front of my therapy light.  I may sit in front of it all day!!  I knew it was going to snow today and I planned to go to the rec center, but there is a layer of ice under the snow and apparently the roads are like a Demolition Derby.  Since I don’t have a helmet handy I think I will refrain from getting out.

The dust bunnies in my apartment are getting so advanced, they are developing personalities and daring me to try to vanquish them.  Today is kind of a perfect day to soapsud them to death, if only the angel on my shoulder would wake up and whisper some encouragement in my ear, I might get to work.  The devil on my other shoulder is alive and well and says it is all to overwhelming.  Ohhhh I get tired of being overwhelmed and I’m sick and tired of the dust!!  Sooner or later being sick and tired of being sick and tired will take over and I’ll get my shit together and clean up this joint.

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  “If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means, keep moving.”

SAD Doesn’t Get To Win!

You may have guessed from the title of this blog that I have Bipolar Disorder, but I also have been blessed (ha) with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  I get the Winter Blues, like, BAD!  One thing I think that characterizes depression, whether it’s seasonal or otherwise, is resistance.  I am so goddamn resistant to doing anything!  Make a plan.  I don’t want to go.  Make an appointment.  I don’t want to go.  Time to take a shower.  I don’t want to.  Do you see the pattern here?  Frankly, I exhaust myself.  When I start dealing with the “I don’t want to’s”, I have to employ the “Don’t think, just act” strategy.  I’m not sure where I got it, but it’s quite effective.  It takes the whole brain funk out of the equation.  Because really I have things I just have to do!  If I listened to the voice saying “I don’t want to”, I’d never get out of bed, shower, get dressed, or leave the house.  This is not a good survival strategy.  “I don’t want to” basically wants to kill me with inertia.

So despite not wanting to, I managed to get into the Medicaid mental health system this week, with a phone intake, then the next day a 2 1/2 hour assessment appointment, and then that same day I started a 90-minute group that lasts three weeks and is kind of an initial evaluation group.  I also walked every. Damn. Day. Which is sort of miraculous because there were some damned gloomy days last week.  I made it to Mom & Dad’s and did all sorts of work that I didn’t want to do (and that my poor back didn’t want to do) and then I went out to dinner with my sisters and sister-in-law.  All in all, I did a lot more than this depressed brain thought it was capable of.  I feel better than I did last week, although I’m definitely still depressed and I still think I need a Wellbutrin increase, but somehow I’m coping.

I have dinner plans tonight with a friend, and football plans tomorrow with family, so I consider my weekend to be full!  Somewhere in there I may make it to the grocery store even though I abhor spending money right now.  I am spending quality time with my therapy light every morning and that is helping too.  All in all, I feel cautiously optimistic.  I feel like I’m on the right track.  I hope you are all doing well, please let me know what how you are, and what works for you when you are depressed and stuck in the mud?  As always PEACH OUT!!

Trust The Process

I am sitting in front of my therapy light, looking out the window at the somewhat gloomy day and wondering how I’m going to get through this winter, this jobless spell, this life in general.  This may be the depression talking, but I seem to have the same struggles over & over.  Maybe that’s the human condition.  Dammit I would like to rise above certain things for once and for all.  Maybe that’s just not possible with Bipolar Disorder.  Maybe I have to be patient with myself and not judge my struggles.

I called this post “Trust The Process” because I know there are things I need to do when I am depressed.  Sitting in front of this therapy light is one of them.  Getting exercise is another.  Making connections with people who care about me is essential, no matter how bad I want to isolate myself.  Making appointments with my doctor and my therapist are an absolute requirement.  Staying off drugs (pot) and alcohol is essential.  This is the process.  I don’t have to love it.  I just have to do it.

Now that I’ve written it down for all to see, I’m accountable to more than just me.  I’m accountable to you.  Expect to see more posts from me with reports of positive action.

Please share with me your thoughts, coping skills, and news of your life.  Thank you for being a part of my life!!!  Peaches!

Back To Being The Maid

Well today I’m back to being Mom and Dad’s maid.  It’s a way to put some money in my pocket while I look for another job and I’m grateful for that.

I hate to say it but I think I am depressed.  I am crying at the drop of a hat.  I watched the movie The Big Sick yesterday and I cried like a baby.  If I see any sad news on Facebook I cry.  Yeah, I’m depressed.  Damn it.  It’s so hard to admit it.  Part of me thinks if I don’t admit it, it’s not true.  I need to start using my therapy light, and I need to get religious about exercise.  I also need to get in to Dr. Drugs, but my goddamn Obamacare hasn’t come through for the new year yet.  What the fuck is the holdup in billing me, Cigna???

This Bipolar Disorder stuff is a bitch.  I don’t tend to get manic, I tend to get depressed.  It makes everything hard.  Like, I don’t want to do shit when I’m depressed.  It’s like slogging through pea soup.  In the fog.

Well I have to go force myself to eat breakfast so I can force myself to take a shower so I can force myself to go to Mom and Dad’s.  I pray that I don’t cry at their house.  I don’t want them getting all worried about me.  I’m sure they’re already worried because I am looking for a job and I don’t want to take on their fear.  Ok I need to breathe.  Say a prayer for me or send me good juju if you can.  Thanks and peach out homies!

It’s About Damn Time

It’s time.  IT’S TIME!  Mama, it’s time!  (Stealing a little bit from Steel Magnolias).  Yes it’s time.  It’s about DAMN TIME I update this blog.  Jesus Christ does the time fly!  Here it is MARCH already!  YAYYYY and only eleven days until we Spring Forward into Daylight Savings Time!  Mama Mia I have sailed through this winter without any of the usual Winter Blues!  THANK YOU, DR. DRUGS!!!  He added just a baby dose of Zoloft to my regimen, and it’s made all the difference!!

Well I have become a goddamn SLUG at updating this blog, and I’m sorry.  It’s a reflection of the fact that I now have a life, plain & simple.  I had a good three years of not much to do, and now I have wayyyy so much to do.  I am still working for Dr. Flaky, which is going fine, I might even have to change her name to Not-As-Flaky, but I dunno, I’ll think about it.  I go to my Mom & Dad’s two days a week and act like a maid (tired of that but they pay me and last I checked I still need the money).  AND AND AND I have taken my first class in Computer Security and I am studying like MAD for the certification test!

I have to say, at the grand old age of 50, I was damn scared that I wouldn’t be able to learn the material, and scared that it would be beyond my comprehension, and I’m happy to report that neither of these fears have been realized!  I CAN learn, and I CAN understand!!!  What a revelation!  AND, I can apply myself!  Rather diligently!  In fact, the answer to my rampant pot use (and subsequent eating everything in the apartment) it turns out was just that I needed something to occupy my time, and now I have it.  And, this is so nerdy, y’all, but I have to say, I much prefer having all this studying to do to all the free time spent getting stoned & watching tv.  There!  I said it!  I am actually ENJOYING studying my ass off and learning this shit.  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?  It’s hard for even me to grasp.  But it’s a gigantor blessing, and I’m embracing it and studying the fuck out of it.  I hope to take the certification test in about a month.  My next class is April 10.  Now if I can just keep from running out of money before I finish all this shit, I’ll be happy.

After working in IT Support for over twenty-five years, and getting colossally burnt out on it, and then spending three years in Disability-limbo, and feeling disabled by my Bipolar, this has been a very exciting and empowering process.  I thought my story was ended, basically, but here, we have a new chapter.  And to me, that’s exciting, and I’m very grateful for that.  So, there’s hope!  I guess it ain’t over until you’re in the ground!  Good for me to remember.  Because I had stuck a fork in myself and said “Done”.

Hope you’re all doing well out there in the blogosphere, I will try to catch up on you too.  I have been surreptitiously reading some of your blogs, but haven’t commented lately.  I am reading though!  Take care, friends, and holla if you want below . . .

The Temperature Is Falling, And So Is My Mood

Well, goddamn.  Didja think it wouldn’t happen this year?  Well, yeah, I kinda forgot.  Here came the shorter days, the light changed and *BAM*, Superman, my mood took a dump.  GOD DAMN IT!!!  Why Lord WHY???  It’s like fucking magic!!!  The days get shorter, and I get fatter.  It’s just amazing.  Yet, it’s not.  It sucks.  And I had totally forgotten about THIS thought process while driving, and you see a stupid oncoming car, and you think “What if it hits me?” and then your next thought is “I don’t care, let me die.”  It’s such a bitter disappointment to be back to that.  SHIT!  It’s like all Spring and Summer, I didn’t even have to try.  And now, just as the light leaves, my mood dips, I get fat and lazy, and it’s time to go into overdrive with trying.  Trying to live.  Trying to be healthy.  Trying to exercise.  Trying to eat something besides sugar.  Trying to regulate my mood.  TRYING!!!  Oh fuck me I don’t know if I have the energy for all this trying.  And yet.  The looming threat of hospitalization can motivate even the laziest person, like me.  Thinking about being in the hospital, and having my phone taken away, and having these bitchy bitches waking me up at 5am for bloodwork, and having to go to Group Therapy to earn the right to go outside and smoke (I’m still not smoking but if I got hospitalized I would have to smoke)….well all these thoughts make me a little less lazy.  So!  I think I’ll drink a little more caffeine, and I’ll force myself to do a little work, before I force myself to take a shower, and then force myself to go to a meeting with Dr. Flaky, and then after that I’ll force myself to go to Costco.  And somewhere along the line I’ll forget that I’m forcing myself, and it’ll just feel like life again.  At least, that’s what I hope.