Bipolar Beat The Odds

Well it looks like I am going to start a job as a Security Operations Center Analyst the day after Labor Day!!  What a long road this has been since I left my job in IT Support in December 2013, thinking I was going on FMLA for six weeks to have a little ECT, and ending up taking three years of private disability pay.  Being so depressed for so many years, and yes, disabled by it, I never thought I’d work again, let alone gain a new career.  That wasn’t even an option that I thought of.  I didn’t even think I’d ever have my own home again!  But this last year has provided some major growing experiences, and life sort of said “Ready or not, GROW!”

It started when I was living in my sister’s basement, which wasn’t ideal, but I couldn’t think my way out of the situation.  By April of last year, the disability payments stopped, and I was working a part-time job and living off savings.  Then last Fall, my sister rocked my world by asking me to move out.  I was completely blown away!!  I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me!  What was I going to do??  I didn’t feel like I could work a full-time job, but I started looking for one, half-heartedly.  And I started looking for a place to live.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, I got a phone call.  Why I answered the phone, I’ll never know, because I never answer the phone.  But you know, it was one of those God things, I think…and this guy starts talking to me about training that I might qualify for because I might possibly be underemployed, and there’s grant money available, might I be interested in IT Security?  In my mind I was seeing a way out of the horrible dead-end that is Desktop Support, my previous profession.  It was all I could do not to cry on the phone, it seemed like a miracle!  A grant to take training and get certified?!?!  It seemed too good to be true!!!  Yet it was true, I did get the grant, and I was able to take two IT Security training classes and certification tests.

So I had a plan!  And now I just needed to find a place to live!  How do you do that with non-verifiable income?  One thing I did when my sister asked me to move out is I started to pack.  It was something to fill my time, and it was something I could do to show my faith that things were going to work out.  People would ask me why in the hell I was packing, when I didn’t know where I was going?  Well, I knew I was going somewhere, and I needed to pack.  So that little act of faith, and seeing the boxes, helped me.  I kept looking at places in Boulder that were like little dumpster fires, they were so bad!  Everything in my price range was just horrific!  And really, I wanted a one-bedroom apartment, not a studio apartment.  So I expanded my search to the next town over, Longmont.  I looked at one place that was like a flophouse, and my gut gave me a hard “NO!”  But then I came across a place that was…ok, and the landlord was trying awful hard to sell it to me, offering a discount, and flexible lease terms, so I decided to go for it.  Of course, he wanted to do a credit and a background check, and with a bankruptcy in my history, and no real effort to rebuild my credit, I had to talk to this guy.  I just gave it to him straight.  “Look, I’m working part-time and bringing in x amount.  I have x amount in savings.  I’m going to be studying for these IT Certifications and I just need a place to live where I can study.”  He said “OK, let’s go for it.”  And I got the place!

All of a sudden I had my own home again!!!  After I had agonized for years about whether I’d ever have a home again, and whether I was just being a fool for storing all of my home goods, like my kitchen stuff, I had a home!!!  It felt great (and still does).  I moved in and unpacked in record time.  I had to be ready for my Security + class, which started in January.

Security + started and I became a student again, studying for hours every day.  There was a lot to understand and a lot to memorize and I was very concerned that the knowledge wasn’t “sticking” like I thought it should.  I talked it over with Dr. Drugs and we decided to add Aricept to my drug regimen, a drug that helps you form new memories.  I do believe it has helped me immensely.  I don’t know what the ECT (40+ treatments) has done to my brain and maybe it’s just that I’m in my 50’s now, but I needed help.  In addition to the crappy book that the class provided, I bought my own book on Security + (much better at defining the concepts) and I also bought access to that author’s website to help me with study questions.  Taking practice tests over and over until I mastered the material proved to be crucial, and two months after taking the class, I passed the certification on the first try (much to my surprise and relief).

Next up, and much harder, was the Certified Ethical Hacker class.  I started this class in April, a month later than planned, but Security + took some study to pass.  Again, the book provided with the class was a piece of shit, and again I bought my own and just began studying that, not bothering with the other book.  I was a bit burned out and had a really hard time concentrating in class, but I made it through the 40 hours of class time.  Then the real work began.  I studied for a solid two months, but even after two months of studying, I still felt like the material was somewhat over my head.  By the end of June, though, my funds were running low and it was time to start the job hunt.  (It was also time to stop my daily marijuana habit, so that I could eventually pass a drug test).  I had to take the certification test, ready or not.  I scheduled the test and poured on the study for one more week.  I fully prepared my family (and myself) for my failure – I just wasn’t “there”.  I went and took the test and at the end it said “Congratulations – you passed!”  —  I nearly fell out of my chair.  How I passed that test, I’ll never know.

So began a job hunt for a Security job, mostly a futile job hunt, posting my resume with my brand-new certifications on all of the web sites, getting NO calls for Security jobs, and endless calls for Desktop Support jobs.  Can you say discouraged?  How could I come so far, only to go back to a Desktop Support job?  Well, hell, I was desperate for a job, so I started taking interviews for Desktop Support jobs, even an interview at Hustler!  You may have read about that J.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any darker, I got a call about a Security job!  Great!  Yay!  Yes!  I’ll interview!!  I got up ultra-early and studied my brains out for the interview, only to go to it and freeze up like a damn popsicle.  Mid-sentence!  Uh…wha…I mean…It was so humiliating!!!  I totally BLEW the interview!!!  It was painful, let me tell you.  I went home and wrote a heartfelt thank you note, trying to re-sell myself to the interviewers.  And then I tried to let it go.

Four days later, I heard that they wanted to hire me.  All I can say is, another miracle.  Because based on that interview, I should have been banned from the building.  So, one background check (how do I pass these background checks??) and one drug test later (60 days without pot now), I have a start date for my new job:  the day after Labor Day.  And I have to say, I’m scared shitless!!  But all I can do is what I’ve done for the past year, and that’s walk through the fear, one day at a time, one moment at a time, and trust that life has a plan.  Just the fact that I’m going back to work means that I’m beating the odds.  All of my doctors recommended that I be on Social Security Disability (denied three times) and that I never work again.  I guess life has other plans for me.  For those of you with Bipolar who feel beaten by it, all I can say is, be open to life.  It can change.  It can get better, so much better.  And I am soooo grateful for that.

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.

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 🙂

CERTIFIED!!!

Well folks I felt the fear and I did it anyway – I GOT CERTIFIED!!!!!  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  (For those of you wondering, the certification is COMPTIA Security +).  Somehow I didn’t think I could actually pull it off, but I did!!!  All those months of studying and test-taking (over & over & over) have paid off.  I took the test yesterday and passed with a 787, about 87.4%.  Do I need to say how happy I am?!?!  I can’t remember the last time I had such a big goal, and I achieved it.  This has challenged me like nothing since college, which is many years in the past.  After 40+ ECT treatments, I really didn’t know if my brain could absorb and learn like I would need to.  Also, this is a 50-year-old brain!  But, I did it!  I’m so excited and encouraged!  You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!  I’m living proof!  And, Bipolar Disorder doesn’t get to win here.  I am not defeated by my illness.  Oh my I am just filled with happiness and hope.  Now on to Certified Ethical Hacker with some confidence that I can do it!  YEAH!

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.

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

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!

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? ❤

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 🙂

The Growth Opportunities Continue!

My growing experience is continuing. Yay! I love it when things don’t go as planned. I drove to hell and back to get a physical a few days ago to clear me for ECT, (I am overdue for a treatment), and the place ended up being a scuzzy Urgent Care center but they said they take primary care appointments too. Filled out the piles of paperwork, including my social security number (so they can steal my identity), waited a half hour to see the doctor. She walks in, says “What are you looking for?” and I tell her what I told them when I made the appointment, I need a physical to clear me for ECT. Her response? “Nope. Can’t do it. I don’t approve of ECT. I don’t do ECT, I don’t do abortions, and I don’t do heart surgery.” What the FUCK? I wasn’t asking for her approval, I wasn’t asking for an abortion, and exactly who is she to play God with my life-saving treatment? So, half a day wasted. Ohhh it pissed me off!! I went to my insurance company site and wrote that fucking doctor her first review and it was glowing like nuclear waste.

So, back to the drawing board. A new physical scheduled for this coming Tuesday. Again I made it clear that I need the clearance for ECT. At this point, after going almost seven weeks without a treatment, I’m wondering, do I need to continue with ECT? I mean, I feel ok. My mind feels like it has sharpened up. My memory is better, the steel trap mechanism is coming back into place. Part of me thinks that ECT is just a grand money-making scheme for mental health providers, and it’s in THEIR best interests to keep me coming back. So, I don’t know. I really don’t. I will go ahead with the physical and try to get everything in place, so that if I have a sinking spell, I will have ECT as an option. It sure beats being hospitalized.

I’m still looking for a place to live. I have an appointment to look at a furnished studio today for a fucking shitload of money. But, I am keeping an open mind and hoping to negotiate if it’s something I want. I also placed an ad on Craigslist looking for a room to rent, but so far the responses have all been from men. This one pretty much sums it up: “I’m  5’10” white male i have my teeth, a job and a pickup truck  I’m a housebroken pet lover w a indoor/ semi outdoor cat, nonsmoker, like to grill, boat , the rays, packers, gardening, fishing, fires, a good woman and more and not necessarily in that  order.” Yeah. Let me say that in no way does my ad say that I am looking for a boyfriend or anything of the sort! What a caveman. Florida seems to have an abundance of them.

Last week I actually went and got my Florida driver’s license, because the fucking pharmacy (I know the word “fuck” is featured front and center in this post but dammit I love the word, work with me people) won’t give me my controlled substances without a Florida ID. There was a pond outside the driver’s license office and when leaving I saw a group of people looking into the water. I walked up to see what they were looking at and it was an ALLIGATOR!! One toothless guy (ok he was missing his front teeth) was smoking a cigarette and walking close to the edge of the water. “Damn it I want that ‘gator so fuckin’ bad!” (say it in a redneck accent). I don’t know what he’d do with that fuckin’ gator but it was another Florida novelty to enjoy.

Well all my WordPress friends, I hope you enjoy a stellar weekend. Have a drink. Smoke a joint. Have some sex! Eat a chocolate Santa. I will be doing none of the above, but I can fantasize can’t I? Peach out homies!!!

Sinking

UPDATE:  I got through the Meals on Wheels delivery relatively painlessly.  I only really got lost once.  Picked up my prescriptions from Walgreens, first time I didn’t have to wait!!!  I took a long walk on the beach which helped my mood immensely.  By the end of the walk I was feeling the gratitude.  Holy crap is exercise my Lord and Savior lately!!  Peace!

 

ORIGINAL POST:

I’m sinking. I should be having an ECT treatment today. It’s been four weeks. I have an appointment for an ECT consult on December 8th. That’s kind of a long way away, because that’s not even the ECT appointment. Just the consult. I’ve called the provider and asked if they could get me in sooner. I was told I’d get a call back, but I never did. Sadface. You know, when someone is fighting depression, it’s very hard for them to advocate for themselves. Why are these fuckers making it so hard?
Also, this fucking Walgreens. I have four prescriptions to pick up. I went to the drive through yesterday and sat there for five minutes with no movement. So I said “Fuck it” and took off. I don’t want to go sit there and wait! And wait! And wait! And I don’t even know if they’ll give me the damn scripts because I haven’t gotten a Florida ID yet. Oh fuck my life.
Yesterday’s sermon at Unity Church was on Radical Gratitude. I know I have a lot to be grateful for. A wonderfully supportive family, getting this hefty private disability check every month, living at the beach . . . yeah. It’s just so hard to feel it. I don’t do well when I have so much insecurity in my life. Part of me just wants to hop in the car and head back to Colorado, where I know I can get the care and medicine I need, without any obstacles. It’s just so hard to fight. I don’t have a lot of fight in me.
Today I’m delivering for Meals on Wheels and I started worrying about it at 4 am. Dreaming about it, wondering if I’d be able to find people’s houses. Part of the reason I decided to do it was that I thought it would help familiarize me with the area. And I think it will! It’s just so hard, being outside of my comfort zone. Practically everything I do here is outside of my comfort zone. Driving, trying to find my way. Going to Meetups, where I know no one. Well, I have met some people at one of the Meetups. I’m just feeling so vulnerable!!!
Ok I just called the ECT provider and they’re going to send me the orders for labs and a release form to fill out and send to Colorado so they can get my records. Hopefully this speeds up the process. Hold a good thought for me, blogosphere!! I’m off to deliver meals!

Hello, Florida!

Three long days of driving have brought me to my destination: St. Petersburg, Florida. My winter home. My attempt at staying out of the mental hospital this winter. I had a wonderful drive with my sister and then a day at the beach with her yesterday before putting her on a plane (sob). I am now here with my friend and her boyfriend, I have no idea how this is going to go. It’s time to start a new life, oh boy. It’s a tad bit overwhelming so I’m going to make a list of things to do today, including making an ECT appointment for a month out, finding a lab for my Clozaril bloodwork, finding a pharmacy, and following up with my goddamned insurance company, which is trying to pull a fast one on me and all of a sudden saying that treatment for ECT at the last hospital is Out Of Network, after it’s been considered In-Network since last February. I HATE that shit!!

It is very beautiful here and I can ride a bike to the beach. We rode bikes yesterday, just about blowing out our lungs riding them (cruiser bikes, no gears) over the causeway which is a very high hill. It was good exercise I suppose. The beach is beautiful, covered in shells, sea birds walking around close to us, pelicans diving in the water, and not a scrap of trash anywhere. I believe I will go exploring today and try out another beach, and have a nice walk with my feet in the water J.

Hope everyone is faring well as Winter begins for many of you, if it gets too bad then come on out to Florida to escape! Peaches!

Shit . . .

This has been a down week. Fuck! I don’t really know why. I had a treatment (ECT) last Friday and ever since I’ve felt like shit. I don’t know if it’s the treatment or if I am just mad at myself for not doing the “No Sugar” thing perfectly (yes I’ve fallen off the wagon and had some binges). I am still pursuing clean eating, but GODDAMN it’s hard!! I’m still thinking in terms of a new life plan for eating, this is not a diet!! But oh how it’s hard.

The days here in Colorado have become markedly shorter and that certainly fucks with my brain. The sun is also lower in the sky, even that bothers me. I feel like a fucking whiner. I think I AM! Is whining a symptom of Depression? I think I’ll google it. Google asks me “Did you mean to ask if yawning is a symptom of Depression?” No motherfucker I didn’t!! So I found an article, more like a Q&A, Ask A Therapist, where someone says they tried to cut off their arms because they thought they were plastic, and they’re asking if there’s anything wrong with them? Oh my.

Ohhhh YEAH my ECT psychiatrist told me to get a new therapy light. Maybe I should actually do that. Is anyone else feeling the effects of less light? It’d be a comfort to know I’m not the only one. Don’t make me cut my arms off, people . . .

The Pot Pain Patch is Purdy Nice

In my last post I mentioned my awesome bingeing capacity thanks to the Clozaril I take every night.  So I got a CBN Pain Patch from the dispensary to try to force myself to fall asleep faster and miss the food cravings that Clozaril induces.  So far, after three nights, I think the pain patch is doing its job, as far as helping with pain and helping me to fall asleep quickly.

I tried an Indica lozenge last night as well, and I woke up in the middle of the night hungry as hell.  So I think that’s a “No” on the Indica lozenges.

I had ECT yesterday, feeling kind of flat today.  Hope all is well in your world!

I Choose Love

My favorite meditation on my Deepak Chopra Living in Love app on my iphone is called “I Choose Love.” That is the mantra that is repeated throughout the meditation. Most of the time when I’m meditating, my mind is just wandering around the universe, wondering if I have any yogurt in the refrigerator? Did I forget to pick up a prescription at Walgreens? Is it time to get a new pedicure? If so, what color?

For the first time today when I was meditating, I was actually able to focus on and experience the mantra “I Choose Love.” A chill went through my body as I realized that when it comes to Love, my cup runneth over. I am so incredibly blessed with this huge, and hugely supportive family of parents, brothers, sisters, brother and sister-in-laws, and dearly precious nieces and nephews, not to mention cousins, aunts, uncles, and some very rockin’ friends. I am blessed and I am grateful.

In my last post I mentioned that my ECT doc suggested that I may need to do ECT once a week for life. In talking to my therapist about it, she thought that notion was completely ridiculous (thank you therapist!!) and she also pointed out that there is a BOATLOAD of evidence showing that meditation, yoga and exercise help create new neural pathways in the brain, and they all strongly aid in the reduction of depressive symptoms. So, I’ve decided to keep up with the daily meditation, yoga, exercise, and supplement taking (as well as psychiatric meds) and I called and cancelled Friday’s ECT appointment.

I choose LOVE, including self-love (no I’m not talking about masturbating) as my primary treatment for depression. I believe!! Click here for my favorite most uplifting song regarding believing. I’m no bible thumper (you may have noticed my fantastically foul mouth) but one thing I really DO love is gospel music. I love to sing it too!! It can really spank my mood into submission.

On a totally unrelated note (hold on, I’m hitting the brakes so I can flip a bitch!) I am going to the Broncos game tomorrow!!! I am SO EXCITED and I pray that we smash Seattle into the ground!! GO BRONCOS!!!!! I’ll see ya on the flipside. PEACHES!!