Baby Pierre Leaves The Nest!

Pierre

Sweet Baby Pierre was the first baby to leave the nest.  In typical Bipolar On Fire fashion, I missed it because I was perusing my phone 😉  All of a sudden, I looked up, and there was a lovely white bird in the cage!!  PIERRE!!  He stayed in the cage for about ten minutes, but Peaches and Herb’s constant bickering (what the HELL, P&H??) must have scared him because he returned to the nest and there he stays.  Peaches and Herb need to work on their relationship, there has been a lot of squawking and chasing each other around the cage.  It doesn’t make for a very restful home environment.  I would separate them, but I need both of those fuckers to feed the babies.

Today I have a written assessment for a goddamn temporary desktop support job.  I guess there are so many qualified candidates, they need to weed them out with a written test before they decide who to interview.  Needless to say, the job search is going shitty.  I have not gotten one bite on a security job that I’ve applied for.  My attitude is shit.  I woke up this morning worrying about jobs.  What a terrible way to wake up.  Today is day 22 without my friend Mary Jane and man do I miss it!!!  It really cuts the stress.  Life without substances is quite the bitchass bitch, I say!

Yesterday as Mom & Dad’s maid I made Swedish Meatballs over mashed potatoes and it was so good, I am including a link to the recipe here!  Holy hell is it good.  Quite a lot of work but soooooo worth it.  Mom & Dad are really going to suffer without their maid once I get a full-time job, I’m worried about that.  I don’t mean to be Negative Nellie and go on and on, but sorry I guess that’s where I’m at.

Hope you all are having a good week, if you’re not join the club and tell me about it!  I will support you!!!  I’m sure my shit ain’t the stinkiest.  Peaches, BPOF!

FEAR

Does FEAR stand for Fuck Everything And Run, or False Evidence Appearing Real?  Right now I want to Fuck Everything And Run.  I am in fear because of this damn job search and the state of my finances.  I am afraid that I am burning out my family because of my constant NEED.  I am afraid that I won’t be able to work a full-time job.  I am just a ball of FEAR.  I got quite suicidal a couple of hours ago, but imagining my family getting the news was enough to bring me back from the edge and set my ass over to the computer to apply for some jobs.  Then I became fearful again.  Jesus!  What is going to become of me??  I know I was in this horrible place before I took the CEH test, and then I passed it.  Sometimes it’s darkest right before dawn.  I know.  Well, it’s dark right now.  I hate that my mood can plummet to the depths of despair and I want to kill myself.  I wish I had more faith in life.  It’s just this damn fear taking over.  I don’t know what to tell myself.

If this were someone else’s blog I’m sure I’d comment and ask if they contacted their therapist or their doctor.  And the answer to that is No.  Because I don’t want to go into the hospital.  I think that would be a giant step backwards and would just stress me out more.  I think I need to ride this out and work through it and keep applying for jobs.  Hope that doesn’t sound like bullshit but that’s what I truly believe.

Please Provide Me With A Lecture On The Benefits of Exercise

Well, I still have the job search blues.  All signs point to doing the shit I used to do before I got these fucking certifications.  All of the IT Security jobs want experience, how do you get the experience???  I know, I sound like a whiner.

Allow me to serve some cheese with the whine.  I had a lovely sermon from my Dad today on the benefits of exercise.  Of course, I know nothing, Nothing! About the health benefits of exercise.  I choose to be fat.  It’s just one of those lifestyle things, Dad.  You wouldn’t get it.  So Dad went on & on about exercise, how it’s so good, it feeds you socially, (who GIVES A FUCK about social shit?), etc., and I took it, like a good daughter, don’t ask me WHY I TOLERATE THIS SHIT, but I do, and then on the way home from my Mom & Dad’s, THANK GODDESS I had my phone on Do Not Disturb This Bitch, Dad left not one but TWO voicemail messages on how I should look for a job, I’m 51 years old, I have no idea how to look for a job!!!  THANK G0D FOR MY DAD TO TELL ME HOW TO DO SHIT.  Well I nearly shit two tons when I heard the messages.  AS IF I haven’t been doing everything I can to get a job in the IT Security field!!!!!!!!!!!  But he has some advice on how to do it.  Because he knows best.  Fucking holy hell.

So now!  I am drinking some strawberry lemonade (10 calories) with vodka (many more calories) to drown my feelings because I can’t get stoned because of fucking drug tests!!!  Hypocritical Colorado where the weed is legal but they still drug test for it!!!!  Bullshit..in my not very humble opinion.  But I am 16 days off weed which is some kind of record for Guiness and I’m going for 30 to pass the fucking drug tests!!!  Bullshit…

I am so glad to have uplifted you all with this post, hope you are all equally great in your outlooks and dispositions….let me know… BPoF!!

Job Search Blues

Great news!  I didn’t die on my hike!  It was so…fucking….hard…and so…fucking….steep!!!  I didn’t make it all the way up the mountain and that is ok with me.  My niece and I made it about a quarter of the way and went back down, thoroughly exhausted.  It was hot as hell, too.  We waited at the bottom for my sister and her two kids, who did the whole hike up to the hidden lakes.  I feel good for what I did and glad I didn’t push myself beyond what I could do, because coming down was just as hard as going up.  Did I tell you how hard it was???  It was a BEAR!!

So now I am home and back to reality and my reality BITES.  I am looking for a job hot & heavy and I’m finding that many prospective employers want two supervisory references and guess what??  I can’t provide two!!  WOW just as I am writing this I had a brainstorm that I can provide Dr. Flaky and Dr. HasHerShitTogether BAM two supervisory references!!!  Other than those two I have not gotten along with my supervisors.  I tell you, Authority Issues should be my middle name!!!  (Thank you, Dad).  Whoa I feel better now that I thought of Dr. HasHerShitTogether!!!  I think that problem is solved!!!

I still am having a problem with WILLINGNESS to get a job, i.e. I don’t have it.  I know I NEED a job and I NEED money but I sure don’t WANT to get a full-time job.  I honestly don’t know how I am going to do it!!!  I don’t feel like I have the strength or stamina to work a full-time job, yet I don’t feel like I have a choice, either.

I came home to find the baby birds had GROWN in two and a half days and they have a lot more feathers and they seem more alert.  I am talking to them a lot, they better get used to me talking to them!!  They are cuter than shit and I promise to get out the good camera and try to get a pic!

My birthday is tomorrow, I’ll be 51 years OLD!!!  I can’t believe it.  I wish I could roll the years backward.  I’m going to my parents to work.  BOO!!!  But I need the money.

Hope you are all well and happy.  Peaches….BPOF!

Four Baby Birds and Dr. Flaky Earns Her Name

Wow, lots going on.  Well I have four baby birdies, they are between and week and five days old.  They were born over the span of a few days obviously.  Two of the eggs did not hatch and that is fine with me!  Four babies is enough!  They are precious and I’m so sorry I don’t have a picture for you, it’s impossible to get a good picture into the nest!!  I need to haul the “good” camera out and try with that, so far I am too lazy.  The youngest one has “arms” but the older ones have beautiful little wings.  They make demanding little cheeping noises when they want to be fed.  Peaches and Herb spend a lot of time eating so they can feed them.  I am going out of town tomorrow for a couple of days and it’s going to KILL ME to leave the babies!!!  I’m sure I will be obsessing over them the whole time.  I am amazed at how bonded I have become to my little birds.

This was a stressful week on the job front.  First of all, I am looking for a job, and that is stressful.  Secondly, Dr. Flaky (my current employer, you may have heard of her in the past) kept getting voicemails from pharmacies where she had prescribed drugs for her patients saying they showed that her license to practice medicine had expired, and she was having me call them to say it had not.  Finally Dr. Flaky got a little freaked out and sent me to her office (she is on vacation) to find her current license and lo and behold, there was NOT one because SHE DIDN’T RENEW HER LICENSE!!!!  This is a crisis of epic proportions because she can not practice medicine or prescribe drugs without a license!!!  SO!  She has to re-apply for her license and go before the Medical Board of the state, and in the meantime she has to find someone to cover her practice.  It’s all kinds of fucked up.  I should know when I get back on Wednesday exactly what is happening, like, who is covering her practice, and who (she or I) is calling patients to cancel ten weeks’ worth of appointments (it will take ten weeks to get her license back).  Holy moly this was stressful.  I wanted to drink and get high but I am trying not to drink because it’s not good for me and I am not getting high because I have to get ready to pass a drug test (DAMN THE  DRUG TESTS!!!) for a new job.  So I am COPING without substances.  What a novel idea!!!

So today is Day 10 of not getting high.  I had developed quite the daily habit, which makes it all the more amazing that I was able to pass the CEH certification.  They say that marijuana is not habit-forming, or addictive, but I sure formed the habit.  The first few days off marijuana, I was very achy and had stiff joints.  I was miserable.  I know I am better off without the marijuana, even though I love being high, it triggers binge eating in me and I am super-fat right now and very uncomfortable in my body.  It’s definitely not a healthy habit for me and I hope I can stay off it.  I may sound like a broken record here because I’m sure I’ve said this before.

Well I’m off to Glenwood Springs tomorrow.  We are going on a hike on our way into Glenwood Springs to see the Hanging Lakes and I hope and pray that I don’t have a heart attack on the hike.  It would sure disappoint my nieces and nephews to see their Aunt fall down and die.  My sister wouldn’t like it either.  I’m not too jazzed about soaking in the hot springs in Glenwood when it’s so hot already but I am excited just to get away.  I haven’t had anything resembling a vacation in a couple of years so I hope that a) I don’t die and b) I get some enjoyment out of it.

Well that’s all the exciting news from Bipolar On Fire-Ville!  Other than stress, my mood is pretty good and steady, yay drugs!  Hope you all are doing well!  Peach out!

Holy Shit July Already?!

I can’t believe it’s July already!!  My GOD life moves fast!!!  I am really trying to enjoy this summer, my favorite time of year.  Well, Spring and Summer.

This weekend I am housesitting which is total torture because BABY BIRDS ARE BEING BORN at home!!  I want to be home to monitor every twist & turn in the situation!  I want to be the birdie midwife!  PUSH!  CRACK THAT EGG!!!  I will go home and check on the birdies every day and feed them but I just wish I could be there.  But I am housesitting for my BEST sister who is so damn supportive of me (she is paying me a shitload to be here) and I need to give her my best.

I am still on an emotional high from passing my test.  Soooooooo grateful and happy!!  I really didn’t think I would pass.  I don’t think I mentioned in my last post that on the morning of the test, I made a gratitude list, and I filled the little notebook page with 18 or 19 things I was grateful for.  It was so comforting to me to think that, whether I passed the test or not, I would still have those things to be grateful for.  So I am continuing my gratitude practice every morning.  I think it is a great attitude to cultivate.

This week I will get hot & heavy on the job search.  The pressure is on.  I have such mixed feelings about getting a full-time job, mostly fearful & negative feelings because I feel like it burns me out but I do not have a choice.  It would be a happy miracle to find a part-time job in the IT Security field.

Hope you all enjoy a wonderful long weekend, don’t blow off any body parts please!  Love, BPOF!

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!

NEWS! SO MUCH NEWS!!!

thank-you

Well I went from absolutely nothin’ going on last week to EVERYTHING going on this week!  I have to preface this by saying, I did one of those moronic new-agey affirmational asshole thingeys this weekend, I took a piece of art paper and my metallic gel pens and I wrote over and over in different colors across the page “Thank You” and I told myself “When you get your own apartment, you will hang this on the wall.”  Well, fuck me.

There are Thank-You-Gasms going on right now.  First, you may know that I applied for a $5000 grant from the local Workforce Center for some IT Training to get me out of godforsaken IT Support and into something more stimulating and might I say lucrative?  Yes, I might.  I walked into the Workforce Center last week and applied for the grant after two weeks of unanswered phone calls and emails.  I filled out the application right there on the spot.  The next day, I got another application, which I immediately filled out and returned. (I swear, sometimes I act like I have my shit together!).  Now, I was told that this grant approval process would take around a month.  So I hunkered down to wait for a response.  Well shoot me in the finger was I full of shock and awe to receive my determination yesterday:  I got approved for the funding!!!!  So excited I don’t know what to do with myself.

And now ladies and gentlemen we pivot onto Axis B, whereupon I continued my obsessive apartment-hunting on Craigslist, while simultaneously acknowledging its futility.  But then HELL-O!  Here’s a one bedroom apartment under a thousand dollars a month and it doesn’t even look like the Roach Motel!  It actually looks…kind of nice!  Trying not to overthink it, I emailed the landlord.  He replied with a Kiss of Death show time:  Monday at 5pm.  Now who in their right minds wants to drive to the next town at during rush hour?  But somehow my higher self prevailed and I accepted.

I saw the place and I have to admit I “got the feeling” which is exciting because I haven’t had intuitive certainty for a long time.  But I got the “this is it” feeling and the landlord kept sweetening the deal by dropping prices and offering flexible lease terms and I’m thinking, yeah, he has a hardon for me, this is good!  So me, even with my credit score of zero, literally, zero, no credit at all, decided to accept his TransUnion request and fill it out, and I sent him an email and said look, I have this much income and this much savings, and I have a $5k grant and will be studying, and I’d really like the apartment.  To my shock, (really I should have been spurting diarrhea), he responded and said yes, let’s go forward with the lease!  And THAT, my friends, is how you get an apartment with a zero credit score and sketchy income!  You get a MIRACLE!

So I went to see Dr. Drugs today and I told him “this is literally the best report I have ever brought to you” and goddamn it felt GOOD!!  Like, here I’ve been feeling so stuck and what the fuck else can I do besides IT Support, and wondering for literally years if I will ever have my own home again, and then ker-SLAM in two days everything is *poof* solved.  It’s a bit to drink in.  So yeah, I am grateful!  I am going to hang up my Thank You sign!  I’m going to keep being grateful!  Because the road from there to here has been a long one.  And I couldn’t see my way out of it.  But somehow the Universe has taken me by the hand and said here, I’ll help you get off your ass!  You’re welcome!  And so it is.

 

The Changing Face of Bipolar

I woke up in the middle of the night for some reason and what was on my mind was how manic I was in my 20’s. Sometimes I question why I don’t seem to have mania any more, and I’m thinking maybe I used it all up in my 20’s.  In my 20’s, the world was full of magic and potential.  The air was crackling with the possibilities of life.  I was full of impulsivity – financially, sexually, and then finally geographically.  At about 23 years of age, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t like my life, and it was because I had always wanted to go to Paris, and the solution was to move to Paris.  So I set about selling everything I owned and bought a plane ticket.  I had very little money and even less of a plan.  Fortunately, I had a cousin living in Paris so I could stay with her initially.  When my cousin Mimi asked me what I wanted to do in Paris, I replied “I don’t know where this is coming from, but I feel like I want to sing!”  I was full of intuitive hunches and my faith in them.  I just knew everything would work out.

At the time, I was sober and very involved in AA, so when I got to Paris I found the American churches and the AA meetings full of ex-pats and made loads of new friends. I was gregarious and full of life – I was a beautiful 23 year old girl – who wouldn’t want to know me!  I walked everywhere in Paris – everywhere I looked was beauty.  Things I had only seen in pictures were regularly showing up in my field of vision.  I felt like I could do anything!

In talking to one of the ladies from one of my AA meetings about needing a job, she said “Well, can you sing? Because there’s this place called the Hollywood Savoy that takes English-speaking girls and you wait tables and then sing in between.”  A light went on in my head.  Hadn’t I said I wanted to sing?  I went right over with her and met the management, and just like that, I had a job.  They let me start without the proper paperwork (I didn’t have permission to work), so the job was very short-lived.  Also, even though I could sing, I wasn’t used to singing with a band and didn’t know how to come in with the intro, and I couldn’t find my key.  I must have looked like an idiot.  Some of the other girls made fun of me.  Oh, the dream and the reality were not matching.  Oh dear.

At this point, I was missing my group of friends and my family very much, and wondering why in the hell I’d come to Paris. I was suffering from culture shock and realizing that I didn’t speak French as well as I thought I did.  Specifically, I couldn’t understand the French that was being spoken.  I was beginning to panic.  Even so, I tried to salvage the situation by looking for a job as a nanny.

One thing in Paris that I had never seen or heard of was “Turkish Toilets” – that’s what they called them. They weren’t toilets at all, but just a hole in the ground that you squatted over to go to the bathroom.  Any time I encountered one, I resolutely refused to use it.  It disgusted me!  I was offered one nanny job in Paris that offered upstairs servant’s quarters for the nanny, but the bathroom was a Turkish Toilet.  Based on that one fact, I turned down the job.

The second nanny job I was offered, I took. It was just watching a baby, and I was expected to do everything to take care of the baby, including getting up with him in the middle of the night.  At one point I was sitting on the floor with the baby, and I was so sad and missing my family and friends, and I started to cry uncontrollably.  Then the baby started to cry.  Then the mother walked in.  Somehow I composed myself and tried to make light of the fact that I was an emotional basket case.

All in all, my Paris fantasy lasted all of six weeks before I called it quits and ran home with my tail tucked between my legs. I was so relieved to be back in my hometown, but also embarrassed because I had told people that I would be gone for a year.  I suffered a deep depression upon my return.  The magic of life had died.  I didn’t know where I had gone wrong, or where to go from where I was.  It may have been the first time that I felt really betrayed by myself, the first of many, many, many times to come.  I would not be diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder for another ten years, many heartaches, many financial disasters, many failed relationships later.  For now, I would fumble along in life, looking for the magic, believing that something great was just around the corner, thinking that I was destined for great things.

The mania showed a person so zestful, so happy, so smart, so full of potential, that people reflected that back to me. People believed in me and in what I might do.  But the inevitable crashes that mania produced (as well as crashes caused by impulsive behavior, my kryptonite), caused me to be a shadow of that person.  I confused myself, and the outside world, with my two sides.  I thought I just had depression.  Why my therapist couldn’t link my severe impulse control issues with my mood disorder, I’ll never know.  However, it’s all clear to me now.  Although I miss the highs of life, and the belief in magic, I am grateful for the impulse control that keeps me from running my bank account down to zero, the impulse control that keeps me from shoplifting and the fear of being caught and exposed, the impulse control that keeps me from having sex with random strangers and thinking I’m a porn star.  I don’t have as many secrets to hide, and that’s a relief.  In AA, they say you’re only as sick as your secrets, and I believe that to be true.  I’m not too sick.  I am a secret smoker.  Sometimes I use pot, although I try to avoid it.  But that’s about it, for secrets.  You guys know it all.  And you’re still reading!!  Thank you.  And for now, I’ll close with saying take a chance.  Share your secret.  Even if it’s here in the comments.  You’ll feel better.  I know I do.

Disability Denied!

Today I got notified that my Social Security Disability appeal was denied. To say that I’m in a panic would be an understatement.  To say that I’m baffled, completely unsettled, terrified, and feeling a quite desperate would be equal understatements.  Having been unable to work for two-plus years, multiple hospitalizations, forty-plus ECT treatments, leaves me just wondering what the fuck!!!! It takes to qualify for Disability.  Certainly, in my eyes, I am disabled and cannot work.  The written decision states that I am “able” to work part-time at an unskilled job.  Um, really?  What exactly is that?  Holding a Slow Down sign in traffic?  I just. Don’t. Get.  It.  Part of me thinks maybe I should have continued with the ECT, or been hospitalized MORE, as hard as I’ve tried not to be, just to display how disabling my Bipolar is.  There are no prizes for trying to function, no matter how little.

Since it’s clear that I have to figure out a way to go back to work, here are some of my ideas for what I can do:

  1. Circus clown. This is a kinda “why the fuck not?” choice. I like makeup and I like loose-fitting clothes. I guess I can tolerate the big shoes and the honking nose. I have no problem piling into a car with a bunch of other dumb motherfuckers. I can ride a bike, blow up balloons, and fart on command. This one seems like a no-brainer. However, if that doesn’t work out for some reason, there’s always….
  2. Lawyer. For someone who has trouble getting along with people and could argue with a fire hydrant, this is a natural. Most of this job is just arguing and presenting an opposing point of view. Glaring obstacles: No law degree, “fuck you” is not a valid defense or argument, and judges don’t generally consider pajamas as appropriate apparel for counsel. Dammit! I thought I had that one nailed down. Ok I need to refine it but it’s still a possibility. Let’s be optimistic and look at other options:
  3. Judge. I am naturally judgmental which one would assume a judge is. I also would not mind wearing a black robe, as I could wear anything I wanted under it, i.e. the aforementioned pajamas, or the same outfit every day for a week (yes I DO do that, what the fuck? I never get dirty). I don’t mind sitting high up and surveying my surroundings, like sitting on a small mountain. I enjoy blurting out “Order in the court!” or “You are out of order, sir!” in my daily dealings with people. I would like to have my utterances respected, or even better, to cause people to pee their pants just a little when I speak. On the off-chance that this occupation doesn’t work out, I present my fourth and final option:
  4. Therapist. As I often say, I have an honorary PhD from all of the therapy I’ve done over the years. I know how it works. I can sit there silently gazing at someone with the best of them. I’ve mastered the phrases “How does that make you feel?” , “That must be tough”, and “Oh my God! My Dad is a total dick too!”. Some of my less orthodox methods that might be questionable are the phrases “What in the FUCK is WRONG with you???” or my sometimes lack of a poker face, resulting on an open-mouthed look of horror on my face. Horrifying your therapist (or knowing that you did so) might interrupt the therapeutic process. I don’t know, but over the years I have been amazed that I have never been able to elicit the horror-face. Maybe it’s a class they take, The Poker Face. I haven’t mastered it.

Friends, if you have any ideas as to how I might support myself, please, let me know. There may come a time when I have to write this fantastical blog from the homeless shelter, but I’d like to avoid that.  I’ve heard that homeless shelter wifi sucks.

Sometimes Life Hands You A Bowl Of Shit

Chalk one up for random acts of “what the fuck?”, y’all.  On Thursday I was taking a lovely walk with my dear mother and we came upon a wet spot on the sidewalk.  Just as I was saying “Oh Mom don’t walk there it’s ice” she took a step and her legs flew out from under her.  She was flat on her back.  This turned into a whopping concussion, a brain bleed, and admission to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.  All from TAKING A WALK.

I stayed with my Dad and took care of him (like taking care of a baby) for a few days:  hospital visits, meals, cleanup, laundry, repeat.  Shit, I don’t know how my Mom does this day in and day out!  I know she shouldn’t!

Fortunately, Mom was released early yesterday afternoon.  A miraculous recovery, I’d say.  She’s still pretty unclear on what happened, but it’s not like the ride to the hospital and the first few hours there, when she’d repeat the same questions over and over “What happened?”, “How did I get this bump on my head?”, “I took a walk?  Where?  Was I alone?”  and then it started all over again.  It was real-life Groundhog Day.  I must have answered her questions 150 times.  No joke.

This is my first day to myself and after sleeping in until 1pm I have been taking it pretty easy.  My siblings and I will trade off spending days with Mom and Dad for probably the next three weeks.  Self-care and balance have become focus words and not just abstracts that I hear popped off by therapists and doctors.  I will do my best to take care of me, while caring for them.  Not what I expected for Thanksgiving week but I am going to show myself how adaptable I am.  And I’m going to be GRATEFUL that my Mom is ok and recovering!!!  Peaches to yer homies!!