Category Archives: la loca

This is a whine of self-pity.

In the past year I’ve lost both my therapist and psychiatrist.  Nothing bad happened to them. My psychiatrist decided to take a year off after the birth of her child. And my therapist moved on to a different practice in Pasadena. It made her both out of network and would have made going to see her, given LA traffic, an hour trip each way.  The year before I had another therapist leave.

This is the trouble with going to a faculty practice. There are good things, the care I’ve gotten has always been very good, frequently even great. They don’t take any money or perks (not even pens) from pharmaceutical companies, so usually the drugs they prescribe are available as generics. But faculty members tend to move on. Especially younger ones.

So last month I saw a new psychiatrist. The good thing is he’s chair of the department so likely to stay. He also seemed nice, but I didn’t feel the vibe of connection I’d always felt with my previous one.

The one who saved me.

On my new psychiatrist’s advice, because I want to work on my anxiety, the residual habits from having been depressed for so long, and the stress of the job market, I’m seeing a therapist today with the goal of setting up regular meetings if we both feel okay about it.  As those of you who’ve read me for a while know, there’s nothing I hate more than first meetings with therapists. I’m hoping the new doctor will have at least scanned my 4+ years of records and case notes. I don’t want to have my history taken.  But needs must.

So I’m whining. Sometimes it’s the only thing left to do.

Mija and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: Advent Day 2

bad-day

[Many thanks to @J_M_A for this most excellent blog title]

5:45 AM Alarm goes off.  Meant for it to go off at 6 — apparently the clock thought I needed an extra 15 minutes to get ready this morning. Perhaps needing to look extra nice for today’s CT scan? Perhaps it’s a warning?

6:45 AM Dressed, coffee’d and ready to face the day. It’s cold outside so I put on a warm jacket, picked up my purse and computer bag and headed out to the car with Dad. On the drive in we chat about incidental things, planning to meet back at his office at 4:30 to head to my great-aunt’s where I am to help her decide between an iPad and Macbook.  All seems well.

7:15 AM On the way into work Dad realizes (because I tell him) that I have had coffee but no breakfast (who can eat at 6:30??). He suggests I go up to his suite and have breakfast with him.  I’m mystified (is there a cafe up there?) only to discover he has yogurt, granola and tea.  There is much yumminess and I feel happy despite the hour.  Everything still seems well. 

7:30 AM Go to use the restroom (or loo depending on where you are).  Things start going badly. After being used, the ladies executive toilet refuses to flush properly.  It’s not backed up, not overflowing (thank goodness) but stuff isn’t going down properly either.  I flush about 10 times before the situation clears up.  Now, Paul will tell you (with great amusement) that I have issues about using public toilets, partly for just this sort of reason.  This helps confirm my grandmother’s teaching — which was that if at all possible, one should only go at home.  Deep calming breaths.  It turned out okay.  Don’t freak.

7:35 AM Leave for the metro redline station across the street from my Dad’s office. Buy a ticket (machine works fine) take the stairs down down under the ground. Check the board and see that metro red line is delayed 10 minutes.  No biggie, not worried about it.  I’ve got plenty of time before CT appointment.

7:45 AM: Didn’t take the wrong train and get lost myself lost. Worse. I sat quietly in my seat, watching two young ‘uns arguing about a third who wasn’t there. The train reached Union Station and I got off, taking with me my jacket and computer bag.  The train refilled with people and headed off as I headed up toward the bus stop.  As I got toward the top, I realized my mistake, why the day was going to be crap. Have you noticed yet? Jacket, computer bag and…. and…. Right. Pardon me for shouting but I LEFT MY PURSE ON THE METRO.  Oh my God.  Breath, breath, OH MY GOD, breath, PANIC!

8:00 AM: Find MTA security guards and beg for help.  They shrug off my “lost item” (It’s not an item — it’s MY PURSE — for UK people that means handbag + wallet).  They tell me to call the MTA lost and found office.  I can, apparently find the number online.  Visions of them somehow calling the train evaporate.  This is bad. Very bad. Ever so bad. 

8:30 AM Take the shuttle (fortunately free) to the hospital.  Connect to wifi and find the number of MTA lost and found.  Listen to recording enough to hear that they aren’t open until 9.  Begin calling credit cards. Realize I’ve lost the debit card to Paul’s account as well as my own.  Oh God! Panic. Xanax is in my pill box in my purse.  Panic hurts.

8:35 AM Send Paul a message to let him know what I’ve done.  Want to be rescued. Call Chase (Paul’s bank).  Try to make the computer that answers understand that I’ve lost my debit card and don’t know its number.  Nor do I know the account number. Beg it to give me to a human being of any sort. Am repeatedly told to enter debit card number.  Anger mixes in with panic.

8:45 AM Begin to rant at Chase computer and randomly push buttons on my phone.  Computer becomes offended and hangs up on me.  Call back. This time just keep hitting “0” until the system surrenders and gives me to a person.  Person is helpful. Claim purse was “stolen” rather than “lost.” Card is cancelled. Embarrassment mixes with anger mixes with panic.

9:03 AM Call MTA lost and found.  Again get recording which this time I listen to all the way through. Recorded message tells me their office hours (9-5, closed for lunch between 1 and 2), location and a warning that I must wait at least three working days after losing an article before coming in, in person, to ask them if they have it.  No, there’s no way to call the office and check before you come.  Thank you. Heart drops into stomach. Feel as lost as purse. 

9:15 AM Realize I’m running out of power and go to bagel place that has outlets. Continue calling credit card companies with lie about stolen purse. Will not cry. Will not cry.

10:00 AM Go to radiology department to check in. Realize I don’t have my insurance card anymore.  Tell the very nice receptionist about distress.  He is horrified for me in the way only a very gay man can be, bless him. At the sympathy I start to cry. It’s stupid to be so upset. This is all my fault.

10:05 AM Sit and fill out generic hospital paperwork about allergies and past illnesses.  Get to section on mental health and cop to mental illness.  Section on drugs makes me realize that I don’t have my morning dose of mood stabilizer to take at the given time (it’s actually supposed to be taken at 1PM but is still deemed to be “morning”). Wonder how adding withdrawal to the mix is going to go.  Starting to calm down. Maybe everything will be okay. 

10:20 AM Nurse comes over and says my name. I look up to see her standing with two paper tumblers (they’re huge) full of what looks like punch.  It’s apparently “contrast fluid.”  I have to drink it all, wait a hour and then she’ll come back to put in my I.V.  Suddenly realize I should have researched what a CT scan entails. Had thought it would be more like a sonogram.  Look at the contrast with disfavor.  Take a picture of the two cups for Twitter. Wonder what’s in this stuff? Will it kill me? Who cares? 

10:30 AM The first sip wasn’t bad but the taste gets worse as I try and drink to the middle of the first cup. It’s like koolaid made with bad pool water.  I try and use the straw so the contrast misses my tongue and make myself gag.  Oh my god there’s a whole other cup of this stuff. Feel queasy.

10:45 AM Finish the second tumbler of contrast.  Feel sick but determined not to throw up for fear of them giving me two more glasses of the stuff.  Try and think of happy things but fail. Go back to calling credit card companies.  Remember I have therapy this afternoon and feel glad.  Getting messages from Paul who reminds me that I still have my phone, promises to meet me for lunch.  Thankful he can see the bright side. Tries to join him. Fails.

11:30 AM Nurse comes to get me and pass me to the radiologist. He tells me I’ll change into gowns and then he’ll set up my IV.  I ask what the IV is for. My mind blanks when he says “radioactive something”.  He gives me forms and I sign my life away. He takes me to a little room to change and points to the locker where I’m to put all my belongings, including my iPhone which I’ve been holding like a lifeline.  Wonder where my fear of the radiation is. Embracing the idea of going nuclear.

11:45 AM CT scan is fine, though I was made nervous by them pumping radioactive iodine through me, but have been assured it’s harmless despite it burning throughout my body (that’s normal).  I’m out with nothing to show for it except a bandage from the IV prick and a slightly woozy feeling.  The sun is shining. Maybe everything will be okay. 

12:30 PM Return to bagel place. Search through computer bag for a stray dollar to buy a cup of tea to give me a reason for taking a table. Discover two pennies in the bottom of my computer bag. Shamelessly stay at table. Realize I no longer have a credit card I can use to charge my medications on today — call parents and ask them if they’ll charge them for me and I can pay them back in January. They’re sweet and agree. Paul promises to come and claim me for lunch.  Feelng a bit better.

12:45 PM Lunch with Paul. Refuse his debit card as I don’t trust myself but let him give me $20. Realize I don’t have a wallet to put it in. Paul points out that I have pockets and that I’ve only lost things, nothing important.  Comes up with way my having lost my purse could cure cancer. Am shallow enough to want my things and purse back anyway.  Tell Paul I’m going to talk to my therapist about my forgetting and losing things when I’m stressed out, see if she can help me become more mindful.  Get a sugar-free hazelnut latte at Starbucks and am comforted by the warm beverage. Feeling a big bit better.

1:45 PM arrive at therapist’s for 2:00 PM appointment. Discover therapist has had an emergency and can’t see me today. Am understanding — at least as far as anyone can see.  Feel that I should count as an emergency today too.

2:00 PM Have returned to bagel cafe and decide to blog about today. Dad arranges to meet me at the hospital at 4:30 PM, collect me, pay for my meds and take me with him to have dinner with my great-aunt who wants my advice on buying an iPad (no I don’t have one, I’m bringing my mom’s). Consider that if I sit very still nothing else bad can happen to me.  Begin to write this epic. Numb.

2:30 PM Realize I can now afford a tea as table rent and pick out an English Breakfast blend. As cashier rings me up I consider how I’m feeling and get a camomile and lemon. Realize the day still has 9.5 hours left in it. Gulp, afraid.

3:15 PM Have written 1200 words and am still writing about the morning.  Wonder if anyone will read this post. Keep typing.  Seeing the humor in it all but hoping, even for the sake of narrative that things turn around.

3:30 PM Discover that cozy bagal cafe with outlet and wifi is closing for the weekend.  Am the last one to leave. Start to search for warmish place to spend the next hour until my dad comes. Find a waiting room near the pharmacy. Become aware I’m going through early withdrawal (head and jaw ache) from not having my dose of geodon (mood stablizer). Thankful my dad will be able to get me my medications. 

4:40 PM Dad calls and I meet him outside the pharmacy building. We decide that I should wait in the car while he goes in to pay for the drugs (that way we don’t have to find parking).  While he’s gone I idly wonder what the odds are the car will be ticketed for waiting in a loading zone while he’s in there. It isn’t. Am safe in the car and determine that the day is going to improve from here.

4:50 PM No ticket and Dad is back with drugs. He suggests I take missed meds (guess even he could tell I needed them). Head over to great aunt’s discussing where to pick up dinner on the way.  While we’re talking, my phone rings. It’s my doctor who’s reviewed the CT scan and determined I have a hernia under the cyst and need surgery.  Tell dad and together we consider whether it will be possible to do surgery before I head to Portland for Christmas. Try not to feel bitter. Wait in the car while Dad picks up El Pollo Loco. Unsurprised that news is the worst of the three posibilities, seems par for the course. 

5:15 PM Ask Dad not to tell great aunt about lost purse. He seems surprised I’d think he might. To make me feel better Dad stops and buys an sugar free apple pie. I assure him the day is looking up.  Sure pie makes everything better.

5:30 PM Arrive at great aunt’s and admire Christmas decorations. Chat a bit and then serve and eat dinner. Let Dad handle everything related to the stove with the thought that I might cause my sleeve or the house to catch fire. Feeling oddly better. Surgery news puts the lost purse out of my mind for now.

6:30 PM Demonstrate to great aunt how my Macbook works (not so different from her old iMac except for the touch pad) and then what my mom’s iPad does.  iPad does some wonky re-size thing it’s never done before and it takes me 10 minutes to get it back to where it should be.  Encourage great aunt to do stuff on both machines. Hit by a flood of despair that even Apple products aren’t working for me. Wonder if my iPhone is going to die too. 🙁

7:15 PM Dad asks great aunt whether she wants an iMac, a Macbook or an iPad. She mulls it over, looks at me and wonders if she needs any of them, wants me to come back and show her them again.  I smile and say “of course.”  Dad agrees to leave iPad with great aunt for a week so she can play with it.  I can see her fear and wonder how much tech support even an iPad will require.  Feel affection for her. Fear I can and do understand.

7:45 PM After some chit chat, great aunt begins to talk about her mother (my great grandmother – Lita) and how I was her first great grandchild.  Reminds me that like Lita, I was born in July.  Says she wants to do something tonight that she knows Lita would want and that she’s in heaven smiling at us all.  What the hell? Mystified, embarrassed and excited.

7:50 PM After what felt like a drum roll, great aunt pulls a ring box from her pocket. She tells me it was Lita’s and that she would want me to have it. And that she wants me to have it too.  Inside the box is a beautiful ruby ring. Oh. My. God. 

[For sense of ring, see bad iPhone picture below. ]

ruby-ring

7:51 PM Am overwhelmed, suddenly remembering my great grandmother and what a brave and amazing woman she was. Given what she did, what she experienced in her life, how could I think of today as a bad day? Stammer as I thank my great aunt and promise to wear the ring on my first day teaching as a Ph.D.  Ashamed. I am so fortunate in so many ways.

8:10 PM We say goodbye, taking away the old (and broken) iMac, leaving behind the sexy iPad. I call Mom to tell her about the ring and share a picture of it on Twitter. Purse suddenly seems unimportant and I tell Dad that. He says he’s sure it will be turned in and I’ll get it back next week.  I may be broke and unemployed but I have a beautiful ring that belonged to my beloved great grandmother. Find out from Mom and Dad that this ring was one of the first things my great aunt bought when she started working for the teamster’s union, using her first three months pay. A gift for her mother. Humbled, honored and deeply responsible to care for this ring. Must never ever ever ever lose it.

9:00 PM Arrive home to tell Paul about the ring (though he saw it on Twitter). He says it’s so big I’ll rarely wear it. I tell him I’ll wear it often. He suggests my finger will get removed by someone after the ring. I argue that it won’t because no one could imagine this ring is real. Am slightly giddy.

9:15 PM Sort though medications only to discover that my anti-anxiety drug, buspar was apparently low and that they owe me 87 of 90 pills (they left a note). Refuse to allow that this is in anyway a bad thing.  Paul promises to pick up the rest on Monday.  Determined not to have the day end badly. I am fortunate damn it!

9:30 PM Make cup of peppermint tea and settle down to finish writing about the day. Everything is going to be okay.

11:00 PM Finished writing indulgent and extremely long blog post. Wonder if this can count for 3 days of Advent blogging. Bed. Bed is safe and cozy. Bed. Tomorrow is another day.

-0-0=0=0-0-

Advent bloggers so far (they made today better):

padme & Anakin – Journey to the Darkside

Marie – Life, Lemons & Spanking

EmmaEnchanted – This Kinky Life

Quai  –  Spanking Discussion

Poppy St. Vincent – Poppy’s Submissions

Sharon – The Evolution of a Pin-Up Model

Tiger – Innermost Me

You can join anytime — think of it as getting your calendar a bit late so opening a couple days all at once. This is fun, not a holiday stress!

Whelm Level: High

stress
I’m not overwhelmed. Not quite, not yet. But life is causing my whelm meter to creep up

As those of you have been reading here for a while know, I’ve got some mental health issues (manic depression and anxiety disorder for those of you who are catching up).  The medications help, but not surprisingly they don’t make me feel perfect. I still get anxious and depressed (manic, not so much).  Meanwhile my old therapist can’t see me anymore and I’m having to get used to a new one. (Stress)

Someone I had a disagreement on Twitter with decided to no longer count me among his friends. (Stress)

My parents are both staying with Paul and me, engaging in their loving but crazy-making behaviors (Stress)

I’m not working so not earning money and am leeching off Paul. (Stress)

I’m not living up to my promise / challenge to myself to go to the gym three nights a week. (Stress)

But the biggest source of stress (or WHELM) is that I’m on the academic job market in literature this year. That means preparing a lot of job materials about myself: CV, research proposal, teaching philosophy, sample syllabi, writing samples of varying lengths (so far they’re 20 – 40 pages —  more than I can do with margins), and a cover letter tweaked and tailored to each university post and post-doc fellowship I’m applying to. I have help — my Ph.D. department offers a job workshop that meets weekly. We share materials among ourselves and talk about how we can make the documents better.  It’s helpful but also stressful in that I find it hard to share my writing in a group setting, however much I need their help. I don’t write much about my academic work here, but I care about it a lot. I’d like to find a job as a university professor, ideally in the UK as Paul wants to return there. But to get there I have to jump through a lot of hoops, submit myself to a lot of judgment and, hardest still, be lucky.

I’m not overwhelmed yet, but I’m getting there.

Tomorrow

I've tried for most of the evening to decide what to write about tonight. I nearly decided to just post my recipe for chile verde, but (though I will post it eventually) that's not really where my head is at. As those of you who follow me closely on Twitter know, I've recently lost my therapist to reorganization and budget cuts at the university clinic where I get treatment. Tomorrow I have a first meeting with one who might end up being my new one.

I have a complicated relationship with therapy. I don't like going and find the fifty minutes goes by slowly as my former therapist (let's call her Dr. S.) and I try and piece together an idea of how my week went, how my anxiety is doing, whether my meds are doing their thing and how to manage the coming week. I usually leave feeling wrung out and ready take a nap. At best I feel relief that I won't have to go back for another week. Yet therapy is important. Bipolar disorder, especially mania, has left holes in my memory. Depression has left me with emotional bruises and scars. Anxiety disorder gives me terrifying panic attacks that medication barely controls. Therapy is a place where I can't hide from these things, where I can face them in safety and without judgement. However much I dreaded sessions, Dr. S. always made me feel safe. Under her treatment I finished my dissertation, got my driver's licence and dealt with the stress of applying for jobs. She's good at what she does and we did work together. It's been little more than a week since our last session but I already miss her.

Those of you who've had psychotherapy before know that finding a new therapist, getting to know them and having them get to know you is a painful process.  It's one I dread. Normally I would have considered that maybe I don't need a therapist.  After all, I'm better now than I've been in years.   I hate having to travel across town to the doctor (though it does mean I get to have lunch tomorrow with Paul).  But last month, due to a gap in our insurance coverage, I went 4 weeks without a therapy session. And I noticed the absence. My anxiety level was higher, my productivity lower. Life slowly became more chaotic. I didn't stop taking my medications, but I started missing my hypomania more than I had in a long while.

So I know I need a new therapist. I need to do the work to establish a relationship with her (I know my therapist will be a woman — they work better for me). But I don't have to like it.

So what’s up lately?

Lately?  Lately hasn't been very kinky, but not in a bad way.  I've been caught up in getting ready to graduate — planning a huge party for next month.  It's not that I have that many friends, but my extended family, once I get beyond the nuclear, is very very big. Guess that's what happens when Irish and Mexicans marry and both stay in California forever. 

I've also been doing some professional stuff, trying to get myself ready to go on the job market next fall. Fall seems forever away as it isn't even summer yet, but I know from last year how fast it all sneaks up. And then there's looking for a job to tide me over next academic year as my current job runs out in August. As my therapist remarks, who wouldn't be stressed out under the circumstances?  Therapy is going well too, though my therapist keeps remarking on my tendency to beat myself up, or "use a stick" which I always find a bit disconcerting given that she does know about my masochistic tendencies. 

In other news, my dad is still living with us. I'm not sure about Paul but I've made peace with this.  The truth is, as much as I miss our privacy, I love seeing him every day and will miss him when he finally is able to move out. He reminds me how much my family has always loved me, even when, at times, it's felt otherwise. 

So even without regular spankings, life is good.  And see, because of Paul, I live in a world where spankings are always possible even when they aren't actually happening.

This, in fact, suits me fine.  

Life is good. 

Holiday Meme: Question 2

Do you hang mistletoe?

I have in the past, but like so many things, I have mixed feelings about it.  I love the way it looks, very festive bit of green with a little red ribbon.  However, I've got some negative memories of being embarrassed as a teen by being caught standing (trying not to catch anyone's attention) only to have it pointed out publicly I was "under the mistletoe" and clearly wanted to be kissed.  Since everyone in the room was either related to me (ugh!) or the son of parents' friends (who was now clearly embarrassed too and maybe even thought I'd set this up (cringe and double ugh!), this was not a happy experience.

So much as I love the way mistletoe looks, I've generally refrained from hanging any.

Maid Uniform

maid-uniform
[I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while — months really. It deserves me to say a lot more than I am, but I’ve found it hard to put my thoughts about this down.  This is brief but even writing this has left me feeling ashamed.]

This story begins with online shopping.  I have an old fashioned maid uniform. I bought it off eBay in a burst of desire. The idea of cleaning the apartment dressed in my uniform filled me with anticipation — even though it’s not Paul’s kink at all, I thought it would be fun just for me.  After all, I often pretend to be a housemaid when I’m cleaning and polishing. It’s all fun headspace

My uniform came and was everything I could have hoped for — modest, proper and old fashioned, but sexy in its black and white tradition.  It looks like something a housemaid in the 1950s would wear.

Excited to the core, I put it on, snapped a picture and broadcast it to Twitter.

And then I looked at myself.  What I saw was a Chicana woman dressed as a maid.  I’m from California and that carries with it a lot of baggage. Overwhelmed with feelings of embarrassment, almost a sort of racial memory, I took my uniform off.

It hangs in the closet, speaking to me of things I barely can understand.

I know I shouldn’t feel shame, but I do.  I can’t just embrace the desire and go with it.  Sometimes kink just doesn’t go deep enough.

Anxiety disorder or just my life?

I don't really have a question about this.  I know I suffer from anxiety disorder, complete with panic attacks that wake me up from a sound sleep feeling like I'm having a heart attack.  I also have manic depression (or bipolar disorder 1).  I know I get depressed at this time of year, every year and have for as long as I can remember.  I know all this, really.  I take medications daily (geodon and lexapro daily, ambien and xanax when the anxiety or insomnia get to be too much).  

But like everyone else I know, I also have a stressful life. I'm trying to finish final revisions to my dissertation.  Trying to go on the job market in English despite their being almost no jobs.  Trying not to think too much about the fact my job ends in a month (when I stop being a student) while also trying to find another job. Trying to be a good daughter when my dad is living with us.  Trying to be a good partner to the one I love best while knowing my dad may be slowly driving him crazy.  Trying to keep a handle on everything.

Part of me thinks anyone would feel stressed, anxious and depressed in the same circumstances, that it isn't a matter of what my mental health is like.  This part of me wants to go off medication, whispers that if I just exercised every day, kept a decent sleep schedule and ate more healthy foods, I could do everything that needs to be done.  This part of me thinks I don't need any more doctors, what I need is self discipline (or maybe external discipline too, though that has its own guilt attached).   This part believes if the doctors and drugs don't make me perfect, maybe I can be perfect without them.

This part of me doesn't want to go to an intake appointment with a new therapist tomorrow morning.  Doesn't want to bare my soul to another stranger.  I've talked about this before

Fortunately I don't trust this part of me anymore. I know better.  So much as I hate it, I'll be at the appointment.  Hope I like her. 

The scene viewed from two poles

masks
Blogging the other day, I mentioned that for me, there’s a link between kink and being bipolar. Casey mentioned on Twitter that she’d like to hear more about the connection.  So here goes.

The easy answer is that both the spanking fetish and bipolar disorder are parts of who I am so naturally they’re connected for me.  But that answer’s easy and not either complete or useful.  The sort of thing one says to avoid anything too personal.  The honest answer is more involved.

One of the symptoms of the manic side of me is hypersexuality.  Not everyone who’s bipolar has this one but I do.  My desire for play is highest at these times, as is the depth and breadth of my desires — at a certain point pretty much everything sounds hot as all get out.  Over the years I’ve made some poor choices at these times, been careless with both my body and safety.

Example: One time I was craving contact and play so much I picked someone up on AOL. I met with them to play at my place an hour later.  This was without any negotiation or even knowing their real name (never did learn it). They weren’t a bad person, but we had very different limits. I ended up getting physically hurt, realizing after they’d left I needed medical care.

There’s nothing wrong with being sexual or playing with a lot of people.  I firmly believe my inner slut is to be loved, accepted and embraced.  But there are right and safe ways of doing it.  The above was neither and I was lucky it didn’t turn out worse. Yet my manic side has real advantages to my scene self sometimes.

You see, generally speaking I’m both shy and introverted. I don’t socialize well and spend a lot of time inside my own head.  When I’m mildly or hypo manic, I’ve got a lot of energy for scene social life, am able to manage friends (on and offline), blogging and play effortlessly.  Mania is, for me, partly characterized by insomnia, which means I have a lot more time to get things done, a lot more time for play, a lot more time for people and new projects.  I love the me I am during these times.  If I could live my whole life in a state of mild mania I would, even with the occasional lapse in judgement.  Manic Mija is a lot of fun at a party, though probably less fun to live with full-time.

But the thing is, whatever I might want, I don’t get to stay like that.  And the higher or more manic I am, the harder and farther I have to fall. People who are used to me being in touch wonder what happened, sometimes worry they’ve done something that caused me to break off contact.  Knowing this will happen (it’s only a question of when, not if) sometimes makes the highs harder to enjoy.  I feel that how ever happy I can make people in the now, they’re going to inevitably be disappointed when the “real” me swings back again.  There’s also nothing quite as awful as suffering from a bout of depression after having made a series of terrible manic choices and commitments.

Yet my depressed side doesn’t feel like the “real” me at all.  I’m fortunate as bipolar people go in that I don’t experience severe depressions as often as I experience mania. Those times are connected with my scene self only in that depression makes everything, everything, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g feel like a huge effort. While there’s never really a time when I don’t feel some sort of desire for play, depression leaves me feeling play impossible with anyone other than Paul.  Even then, he has to lead completely.  The only emotions I feel like I can show are hurt and pain.

There’s probably more to it, but that’s as far as I can go with thoughts on the scene and being bipolar.

I like this one…

side-effects
As I wrote a while ago, I’m bipolar 1.  For eighteen months I was a good girl and took lithium twice a day — had bloodwork for it on schedule once a month.  The drug worked, in so far as my mind and body were quieted by it. And goodness I slept well.  But maybe it worked too well.   My body gained 40 (yes, FORTY) pounds, something I was not happy about.  But worse still was what it did to my mind.  I lost the ability to think in a complex theoretical manner.  My then doctor, a very nice older man, seemed to think this was a valid trade-off for sanity.  I didn’t and stopped taking my medications.

My body, my science experiment, right?  Okay, yes but maybe not a great idea.  Without a mood stabilizer, which is what lithium is, my moods were, well unstable again.  The anxiety and fear began to creep back.  My sleep was disrupted.  And the feeling that the inside of my bones were buzzing came back too.  Even though no one around me complained (Paul is good that way), I could also feel the rise of mania.  It comes with the warm weather for me.

After 6 months I realized I couldn’t keep living like this and went back to talk to my doctor only to find he had retired.   I was given a new doctor.  At that point, before my first appointment with her, I almost gave up.  I’m so glad I didn’t.

My new doctor is great. I love her.

She’s younger than my first doctor, about the same age as me actually.  No judgement about kink stuff, just wanted to know how it made me feel and how I see bipolar disorder in connection with kink.  They do connect for me, and that’s fine.  Even more importantly, she understood that my academic work matters a lot to me, that not being able to think in a theoretical manner or read philosophy wasn’t a trade off I wanted to make for sanity’s sake.  So we’re trying a new drug called geodon.  Three months in and it’s looking good.  It’s not ideal — I feel achingly drowsy on it sometimes and it costs a lot, even with my insurance — but I can take it and still write, still focus, still feel like myself.

These are good things.

Now to try and do something about these forty extra pounds of me.