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.

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 🙂

I May Have Created A Monster

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

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

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

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

Happy Father’s Day

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

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

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

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

 

Peaches Laid An Egg! And Studying Sucks.

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you all had a great week!

My Meetup!

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

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

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

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

Introducing Peaches & Herb!

Peaches & Herb are in da house!!!  Oh. My. God!!!  I love these little creatures!!!  You wouldn’t believe how much joy these little dolls bring to my days!!!  What a great life-enhancer!!!  Low maintenance, high-impact!!  My emotional support animals are a plus!!!  I am having a hard time doing ANYTHING because I just want to watch my birds!!!  I’m not going to talk about the status of my studies…. just please enjoy the video and have a fabulous day!!!

No, YOU Started A Meet-Up Group!

WHO is this person and WHO started a Meetup Group for persons 50 and over?  She sounds like a fucking centenarian!  My God!  The scandal!  Trying to meet people her own age!  And in her own town!  And an Introvert, mind you!  It seems I’ve drunk the kool-aid about it not being good to be isolated all the time, I guess.  Maybe I miss having more friends / social contact than I have now.  Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and think what a bad fucking idea this was and ask for my money back.  And maybe I’ll grow a tail 🙂  Well what the hell.  I started a Meetup group.  Forgive me for cutting this short.  I’m compulsively monitoring Meetup to see if anyone has joined my group yet.  I’ll keep ya posted 😉

Happy Mother’s Day!

A day early, I know.  I just finished making not one, not two but three quiches for tomorrow’s Mother’s Day celebration because we’re going to have FIFTEEN PEOPLE at my sister’s house!  Oh lawdy help me please!!  How am I going to people with all the people???  This is the hazard of belonging to a big family.  I know I shouldn’t bitch.  It’s a privilege, blah blah blah.  Well I’m all out of spoons from all this cooking, I deserve a cookie!  Oh wait!  Dammit I quit sugar!  Bipolar On Fire getting tooooo fat!  I’ve been eating like it’s a hobby and like sugar is good for me.  Now my clothes are not fitting and I’m very uncomfortable.  And I HATE dieting!!!  I don’t know what to tell myself…I’m not going to buy bigger clothes!!  And I’m trying not to die before my parents!  Ah well.

So I got my third and final “fuck you” from Social Security Disability yesterday…no big surprise there but it still threw me into a bit of a panic.  Somehow I thought there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but it turns out that I’m just like everybody else and I have to work for a living.  Damn it all!!  I don’t know how I’m going to do it with this cantankerous personality and labile mood.  But if Social Security says I can work, then I have to work!  Just one more test to pass, it will be a miracle if I get this Certified Ethical Hacker certification.  Then it’s off to the job hunt.  I’m giving myself until the end of the month.

Well that’s all from Bipolar On Fire Land, how are things in your world?  Peace!  And peach out!

How Hard Is It To Stand Up For Yourself?

People, apartment living ain’t for wimps.  ESPECIALLY sketchy apartment living!  I jumped into this place because it was a one bedroom as opposed to a studio that was in my price range and I didn’t really take a good look around first and honey, have I lived to regret that.  There is every kind of noise here, from trashy car-revving noise to babies crying to kids screaming to neighbors screaming at each other to bongos being played to LOUD SEX, oh how I cringe at hearing other people’s sex!  The neighbor above me is particularly inconsiderate and seems to think he lives on an island and can do any-damn-thing he wants at any-damn-time he wants, and let me tell you, my hostility level is through the roof!  Up to now, I have taken the path of least resistance, for the most part.  Granted, I did knock on his door four times when he was playing music that sounded like hammers coming through the ceiling, and he didn’t answer the door, and I did call the cops on him.  But since then, I’ve tried to bury my head in the sand, afraid to say anything to the landlord, afraid he’d offer to let me out of my lease, treat ME like the problem.

Cut to the now, where I’m at my wits end, having been woken up in the middle of the night too many times to count by the loser upstairs.  You and I both know that a Bipolar person needs their damn sleep!  Last night was the last straw.  So today I put on my big-girl panties, and sent the landlord a longgg text outlining my grievances with the guy upstairs (no, not God, literally the guy upstairs).  After all this time and all this agonizing, the landlord got right back to me and said “This is not ok.  I was not aware.  I will intervene for you.”  Just like that!

Soooo what’s the lesson?  Sometimes ya just gotta stand up for yourself.  ESPECIALLY when you’re feeling victimized.  And being woken up out of a sound sleep was making me feel bad, let me tell you.  Will it happen again?  Probably.  Will I take it lying down.  HELL NAH!!  I’m on the self-care train now.  Git yer buns on it with me!  Fire!  That’s why they call me Bipolar on FIRE!!

Working For Dr. HasHerShitTogether Today

sunrise

I am working (YAY!) for Dr. HasHerShitTogether, the gynecologist, today.  This is NOT Dr. Flaky, the psychiatrist, who I usually work for.  Dr. HasHerShitTogether truly has her shit TOGETHER and I helped her start up her business (very orderly because she had her shit together) and then I haven’t had much work because she got her business running like a well-oiled machine.  However, once in awhile her medical assistant can’t make it in, and then she calls me to sub.  YAY!  It’s a nice chunk of money and I am living in financial fear right now so this is great.

Dr. HasHerShitTogether is a functional medicine doctor which means she a) doesn’t take insurance and b) has these nice long appointments with her patients for c) piles of money and d) she also sells supplements for e) shit-piles of money.  (This is probably a shitty use of a,b,c, etc., but sometimes I enjoy listing things out with letters so SUCK IT!)  She also does aesthetic appointments (shooting women’s faces full of Botox and Juvederm) for the big bucks and the women are my age or even much younger, in their thirties even, and I’m like, damn!  Should I shoot my face full of shit?  But then I think of Lara Flynn Boyle when her face blew up like a balloon and I say AH HELL NAH!!

Due to having to be here at the rude hour of 8:00 am, I was up at the crack of dawn and I got to see the sun come up!  It was beautiful (this shitty iPhone pic doesn’t do it justice) and the birds were SCREAMING their joyful song and it was lovely.  So yeah.  Hope your day is equally lovely!

I Feel So Much Better!!!

It’s amazing to me how just putting myself out there and saying how I feel can make me feel better!  I don’t want to do it, especially when the feelings aren’t super-delicious, and yesterday was one of those days.  I’m just…scared, like, will people think I’m a big asshole?  And, sometimes I am an asshole!  But feeling bad doesn’t make me an asshole.  Acting like I’m always o.k. does.

Anyhoo, I just really appreciate all the love and support from BlogLand!!  It has made me feel not-lonely and like I can keep going with this studying thing.  I also did some fancy things today that made me feel good, like dyeing my hair (not going to give in to the grays FUCK YOU GRAY HAIR!) and taking a shower (didn’t happen to do that since Monday!), and putting on clean clothes.  SO FANCY.  So I feel shiny and new and gosh, someone should take me out for enchiladas or somethin’!  Life is good.  Thank you, BlogLand!

Happy Easter, Fuckers!

Yeah!  Easter!  Sorry to be so reverent, but, I’m not.  Sorry, not sorry.  It IS a beautiful day out there, and it’s SPRING (ahhhhhh Angels singing), so what’s not to like about Easter Sunday?  Ah hell I’m probably gonna lose all my followers for that title.  Not to worry.  I’ll do me.  You do you.

Speaking of the resurrection, my studies have been resurrected!  I’m back in class, (Certified Ethical Hacker) four hours per day, cramming in labs in between time, and a little bit of work for Dr. Flaky, as well as being my parent’s maid two days a week.  I’m busy!  Where are the spoons!  Can anyone send me some?  I am running on pure caffeine and a low dose of Adderall that is just not cutting it.  How I say how in the HELL do people do full-time jobs and LIFE?!  I will soon be attempting this feat again, as soon as I pass this certification.  I’m SCARED!!!

In other news, one of my good friends has gone to inpatient treatment.  He got a wild hair at the age of 45 and decided to try micro-dosing acid.  What led him to believe this was a good idea, I don’t know.  From there, he went a little wild and bought mushrooms, ketamine and METH (all off the Dark Web).  Which he proceeded to do from his desk at work.  Well, micro-doses led to mega-doses, and he quickly developed a meth habit that took over (despite the fact that he insisted it wasn’t “making him high”) and he blew up his life!  Which is all to say, don’t do drugs, people.  And stay away from the Dark Web!  It doesn’t offer anything good!  I have spent many an hour worrying about this good friend.  We have a psychiatrist in common, and he came clean and the psychiatrist calmly took it all in stride.  Oh, these psychiatrists and their poker faces!  How he didn’t call in the National Guard on him, I’ll never know.   Dr. Drugs just took away his Adderall and sent him on his way.  Cruel Dr. Drugs, cruel.

Today we have yet another family gathering.  I am plagued by family gatherings.  We have them just about every few damn weeks.  It’s either someone’s birthday, or it’s a damn holiday like Easter, and we have to have a big meal, and everybody has to bring shit, and we all gather at someone’s house, and hopefully my cantankerous old curmudgeon of a Dad behaves … lately Mom hasn’t been doing too well.  She is exhausted from taking care of Dad who is like a baby and Mom already had a heart attack and a stroke in December…a mild one of each but she’s working her way up to another.  So one sister and I are going to take Mom on a walk today and my oldest sister is going to lay the verbal smackdown on Dad.  Should make for fun times and a tension-filled meal.  Oh, how I love family dynamics!  It’s never as fun as tv shows.  More like slow torture.

Finally, guess what?  I joined Weight Watchers!  Woo!  There’s nothing like not being able to fit into your clothes to motivate a person.  On my first day, I had yogurt and granola for breakfast, a fruit smoothie for lunch, and then I crashed and burned on dinner and had pizza.  So, that’s how Weight Watchers is going.  Fabulous!  I guess the mere act of joining doesn’t get you much.  Oh dear…I may have to change some behaviors here…

Well I have to go bake a pie for this damn Easter celebration.  Hope you’re feeling as festive as I am!  Glory to God in the Highest and all that shit!  Peace out!

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!