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!
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:
- 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….
- 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:
- 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:
- 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.
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
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!
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? ❤
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 🙂
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!!!
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!
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!
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!
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 . . .
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!
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!!
I had an unfortunate meeting with Dr. BigHeart last week. So much so that I am rethinking his name, thinking that maybe “Dr. Ka-ching!” may be more appropriate. Whereas I used to believe he had my best interests in mind, I am now questioning if it’s all about keeping me coming back for more and more ECT. He actually said that it was a feasible and rational idea that I might have to do ECT every week for the rest of my life!!!!!! This about made me fall out of the bed, then he continued to tell me that I will NEVER go back to my “Professional” life and that this is as good as it gets. If I accepted what he said, I would have been devastated. However, I believe that he is one hundred percent full of shit, and I don’t believe I want to be receiving care from someone who holds out so little hope for me. It HAS to get better than this!!! The depression HAS to lift!!! I MUST have hope of going back to work some day!!! Granted, I do not want to go back to work in the IT field, I am totally burned out on it. But there has to be SOMETHING I can do!! I have a fucking college degree! I’m trainable!! I’m not ready for lifetime disability!!! That just sounds too much like giving up. And I REFUSE to give up! I am going to keep doing this fucking meditation and keep doing this goddamn yoga and keep doing this daily exercise and I’M GOING TO GET BETTER!!!!!! Just watch me.
Today is my 48th birthday. I know that many, including myself, thought that I wouldn’t make it to this day. It has been a long and hard year marked by deep depression, two hospitalizations, and countless ECT treatments. At this point I still don’t know what I’m living for, other than the fact that I can’t allow myself to hurt the ones that I love by killing myself. I have started a Novena (Catholic Voodoo), I’ve been meditating, and doing yoga daily, and I’ve been tapping. All in the hopes of lifting the depression. I do believe that all of it is helping. I believe that acting in Faith, believing in something, trying to change, gives me hope. I have to have hope that I can do better, that I can be better, that I can function as a human being in this world. The key word there being function.
It’s a beautiful day for a birthday and my oldest sister will be hosting a party for me this afternoon. I’m looking forward to being with my family and having delicious burgers cooked on the grill – my sister makes kickass burgers! I don’t know what she puts in them but they’re damn good :). Maybe heroin. I know this is kind of assholian, but I asked my family for Amazon.com gift cards as presents for my birthday. Where do I get off asking for anything? I know. Asshole. But I’m really watching my pennies since I’m on Disability and I’d really like to buy myself some shit off of Amazon! I hope my diabolical scheme nets me some Amazon coin.
It’s hard to believe that July is pretty much half over. I just want to slowwww this summer down. Summer is my season! I’m alive! Sun, blue sky, minimal clothing….that’s the shit! I think I’ll go sit outside and smoke. One of my last vices. Yeah yeah I know. Fuck me. Oh well it’s my birthday! Taking a day off from beating up on myself. I think I’ll go get a Slurpee. Doesn’t that sound good? Hope your Sunday is outstanding. Peach out, WordPress homies!
Happy 4th of July, my fellow American fuckers! These are just a few of the pics that I took last night, yes, one night early, at my Mom & Dad’s house. They live next to a golf course and they have a HUGE to-do for the Fourth.
I had ECT yesterday and spent the day sleeping off the anesthetic. BUT! I was awake for this! Pretty gorge, huh?
Hope you’re enjoying an outstanding holiday weekend. I am chasing after my bloodwork I had done on Wednesday so that I could get my damned Clozaril. If the lab doesn’t fax it to the pharmacy, I am shit outta luck and no doubt looking at a relapse if I have to go three days without. Crossing my fingers that it gets faxed. Have I mentioned what a ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS it is to be on Clozaril???
Best wishes, BPOF