Category Archives: Changes

Bipolar Disorder, Be Patient, Dears

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Ever feel like you have a Jekyl and Hyde thing going on? I did but didn’t notice it as a problem until years after it began, and then finding the correct meds and behavioral therapy was like pulling teeth.

I’ve finally found the “cocktail” that works for me. Guess how long it took? TEN YEARS! No kidding. I was first diagnosed with depression, then Major Depressive Disorder, then Bipolar, then back to depression with ADHD. Finally, my new doctor said she wanted to treat me for Bipolar 2. I began Abilify (generic) and have been smooth sailing from that point on. Thanks goodness for perserverence. I just KNEW something had to work at some point.

These days, I am happy (but not too much) LOL. I’m not thinking that suicide is the best answer for me as I did for many years. I’ve also got energy again! Blessed be! It’s been gone for so long. Feels good to want to “do” things again.

The Take Away from this blog post is this: NEVER ever give up on finding what might make you feel like yourself again. It’s trial and error. It’s changing doctors multiple times. It’s being patient enough to keep your head up and your courage up even more.

If you or a loved one might have the following symptoms, please see your doctor and start feeling better! ((hugs to you)). See the Mayo Clinic’s information on Bipolar Disorder here:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/dxc-20307970

The “Highs” (mania). Symptoms of a manic episode may include –

  • Feelings of euphoria, abnormal excitement, or elevated mood

  • Talking very rapidly or excessively

  • Needing less sleep than normal, yet still having plenty of energy

  • Feeling agitated, irritable, hyper, anxious, or easily distracted

  • Engaging in risky behavior such as lavish spending, impulsive sexual encounters, or ill-advised business decisions

The “Lows” (depression). Symptoms of a depressive episode (bipolar depression) may include –

  • No interest in activities you once enjoyed

  • Loss of energy and feeling apathetic

  • Difficulty sleeping—either sleeping too much or not at all

  • Thoughts of suicide, if depression is severe enough

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Vacations are Approaching!

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Hello, blog friends! It’s about time to hit Hawaii for a month. September will find Dave and I in Maui for the month. Thanks, T, for house sitting, and eat all of the chips/cola/popcorn/and ice cream you like. 😉

I’ve got my earbuds in and am listening to a live webcam of the ocean rolling in on a Maui beach. It is sublime! I cannot wait to get there and LIVE there for 32 days. We found lesser expensive lodging, so we can stay for about the same price as our 5-day trip there last October. Yay for a month of eating tropical fruit, fresh fish, snorkeling, boating, hiking, ATV-ing, zip-lining, and writing on my laptop from quaint Hawaiian coffee shops nearby. Don’t miss my blogs coming up. I’ll blog or vlog on YouTube daily while there AND while traveling there. You’ll go along with us!

I saw two large green turtles from the webcam a bit ago. Made me miss that place so much. Just the sounds of the Pacific waves rolling in and crashing lightly on the shore make me long to sit beside it all. We will take our Go-pro video camera, my Sony video camera, my fancy Canon camera with macro lens, our iPads, and my laptop. Think that’ll be enough to capture some of Hawaii for you guys? Leave me specifics of what you’d like to see, and I’ll try to accommodate. Example, coffee plantation. 🙂

First things first, though. We’re headed to Vegas July 9-12. I’ll also document that trip via blog and vlog on YouTube. Looks pretty, doesn’t it? We’ll be arriving at night, so I should capture some great shots from the plane.

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Hope you guys will give me ideas on where to visit and what to do while in Vegas, on this, my first time to visit! Love y’all!

Las Vegas in a Few Weeks!

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It seems appropriate to blog in MONEY GREEN today, as I’ll soon be heading to a mini-vacay in Vegas. However, this green is also a pukey color.

Ahhh, much brighter. SO, Dave and I are heading to Vegas for a 4 day and 3 night mini vacation next month. After the exciting news of agreeing to the initial deal that Hilton offered us, the first thing I think of is ‘Thank god for our house sitter. He’s always willing to stay over and babysit the pets and care for the house.’ (Thank you, T).

Moving on . . . I’ve never been to Las Vegas or anywhere else in Nevada. I was a Southern girl for many years. If the residents of a state didn’t realize that iced tea was supposed to be served with lots of ice and plenty of sweetener, I hadn’t visited their state. That’s all changed!

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The sights and activities in Vegas sound big, bold, and in-my-face. Yep, my kind of fun . . . over done! LOL. The older I get, the more bling I wear. I like it on my sandals, in my jewelry, and even in my toenail polish! Now, I’m not a gambler, so that shouldn’t be a huge waste of our money while in Las Vegas. I’ve tried slot machines but have only ever won $75 (which I played again until I lost it).

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Gambling makes me mad, really. I don’t like watching my dollars disappear each time I push the big lighted button in front of me. Know what I have at the end of the night? I have an empty wallet, a pissy attitude, and a voice in my head that says, “You knew you’d lose, idiot.”

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Ugh, onto a happy color now. I look forward to seeing new things and meeting interesting people. I love to fly and am an adventurer when it comes to exploring new towns’ music, theater, and plain old fun spots. After we return from Vegas, we’ll stay home for a couple of months before heading out on American Airlines on a 9 hour flight to Maui, Hawaii.

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I’ll definitely blog here and vlog on my YouTube channel about the Hawaii preparations and then the entire stay on the islands. You may see my YouTube videos HERE.

Right now, as of June 12, 2017, I only have half a dozen videos that include our last trip to Hawaii and the underwater life there. Soon MANY more to come! Please subscribe and keep up with my vlogs now. There will soon be many, and they will be interesting and most will be humorous. 

Love you guys! Thanks for reading! I’m getting new readers each week. XO!

And, uh, this green below may be the only green I get back home with from Vegas OR Maui. 😉

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When PMS & ADHD Pair Up!

When PMS & ADHD pair up, people nearby had better make themselves scarce. Go run errands, work on an outdoor project, visit the library . . . just get away from the woman with the fiery mood!

I say this because I am that woman some months. Right now, in fact, I’m dealing with this pair of clashing hormonal and mental hurricanes. I’ve told my husband some terribly awful things. I’ve alienated my step child. I’ve thrown a glass and have angrily folded/put away three large loads of laundry. That was all in the last hour. Lord help me. Lord help them.

I’m not saying there weren’t reasons why I responded negatively but it shouldn’t have been to the degree I reacted. I know these things intellectually but can’t physically stop the feelings – and have been trying to stay away from loved ones so I don’t hurt them further.

I’ve only known I had ADHD for a few months, and this is the first month the disorder has clashed with a bout of PMS. It feels awful. Like I have no control of my emotions or actions.

I’ll spend the day in my room with a book and ipad. And probably some cookies. Hopefully the cats don’t make me mad . . . Only Kidding!

Lord help us all ~

New Relationship Advice

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Ever feel like you are living in a life that you didn’t plan?

Ever wonder how a spouse could hide negative traits so well for so long?

Ever wonder if you did the same type of hiding?

Women often are caught in a nasty web. They need personal fulfillment, want children, a career, and a doting husband. Guess what? Having it ALL is just not possible. That would mean perfection . . . which doesn’t exist.

Instead, we flail around – especially in our love relationships.  We hope for best, and then stick a toe in the water to test the chill factor. If the water’s warm, we go for it. If it’s tepid, we wait to see whether to step away or wade in.

If you got the warm water, and then jumped in face first, you might be regretting it before even a year’s anniversary arrives.

Please, ladies and young ladies, get to know Mr. Right before moving your pets in with him . . . before leaving your toothbrush next to his, and for god’s sake, live together long enough to realize his shortcomings!!! If I had it to do over (raising my kids), I’d not teach my kids to wait to have sex or to live with someone they loved before marriage. I would encourage it! Marriage is a huge step, and it’s expensive to reverse! So, do more than get your toe wet. Let your feet dangle in that water for the day while you chomp an apple and consider your future. There really is no rush – and if there is, get your life straight first before introducing a partner into it.

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(Welcome new subscribers! I see I’ve added about ten over the past week. Thank you for your interest. I’ll soon have a video blog on a YouTube station. I’ll print here when and where it will be).

 

Midlife Shift. Age 52. 


My mind and body are shifting tremendously during the heights of premenopause. Below are random thoughts about my experience. Some of it is exciting. Other parts are frightening. Feels like my core or my “home base” inside is not quite stable. It’s an unsettling situation. I ride the waves daily, sometimes buried by large waves. On good days, though, interesting new personality changes. Curious new abilities. A song will send me instantly to grief and tears after losing a love. He liked the song but said radios ran it every 10 minutes.  We laughed each time it played. Good but very bittersweet memories. I keep many secrets inside. Ones I’ve shared with no one. They get heavy sometimes. Yet, I don’t share my most personal and treasured memories. Nobody would “get it” anyway. Im an only child and am used to being alone with myself. I enjoy quiet rooms with no TV. Music is important to my mood. I am glad I have a kind and thoughtful partner to grow old with. If PMS is a toddler’s puzzle. Peri menopausal symptoms are a college calculus textbook. Much more intense & advanced material. Upon awakening every morning, I make a cup of strong Community coffee add Splenda and flavored Coffee Mate. I sip, watch the news, and pet the cats. I enjoy that routine. Small joys make life better. It’s bedtime, and I am very drowsy as I write. Earbuds channel favorite songs. I think I’ll come out on the other end of this time of life – in one piece 

How it Feels to be Suicidal

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I have come back from the brink of suicide. I have visited that place several times. During the depression years, before I changed my life circumstances and also found a med that helped, I felt mostly heaviness in my chest and was hopeless, tired, and apathetic. During those 6 years, I “knew” I had no future. I couldn’t hold down a job for longer than 12 months, so I’d be on government aid and not enough of it to actually live a semi-comfortable existence. Severe depression is crippling and scary. I was often afraid I would never find my real self again. Was she in there somewhere or had this helpless slug of a woman taken over completely?

“When I was suicidal, it was because every single day was literally the worst day of my life.”                                                                                                                                Thoughtcatalog.com (13 Heart-Ripping Testimonies of How it Feels to be Suicidal)

I married at 19, and it lasted 25 years. We had two fantastic children who are now successes in their careers and family lives. For reasons that are saved for another blog, I ran away from home and husband at age 44. I ran wild for almost a year before my mind slowed and reality appeared. I was without a degree, training for an occupation, and had no previous work (to speak of) to complete a decent resume. Employers want to hire 20-somethings or 30-somethings. I was past prime, and it showed by the employment rejections. Depression became worse over each year until I came very, very close to speeding my car off of a high , multi-level interstate system. I drove, cried, and considered my options for type of demise. However, there was a tiny flicker of light still within me because before I chose the moment I could jump in front of an 18-wheel truck traveling 70 mph, I turned the steering wheel and exited the freeway. It was my gynecologist’s office exit. I knew Sally would try to help me. She was always empathetic and helpful. It worked, and the emergency feeling lowered to  just plain depression masked with humor. Always crack a joke and no one will know you hurt inside, right?

(In same article on Thoughtblog.com, the following testimonial was given)                                “I understand that feeling of utter hopelessness that can so easily consume a life. I’ve suffered from depression on and off for most of my life. My mother suffers from bipolar disorder. As a result, both of us have struggled with suicidal tendencies. It’s hard to go through life when your own brain has turned against you. Getting out of bed is a struggle. Taking a shower is a struggle. Looking in the mirror is a struggle. Ah, I wish I didn’t understand. Honestly, for a long time I thought that suicide was the nicest thing I could do for myself. I knew it was selfish to put my loved ones through, but at the same time it was so goddamn difficult to stay alive just for the well-being of others. I could easily rationalize it and say that they were better off without me. God, depression is a bitch. It has taken so much intense therapy and self-reflection and, yes, even medication for me to realize that giving myself a chance to heal was the kindest thing I could do for myself. So I guess I’m trying to say that I empathize with suicide victims. When your own mind betrays you it’s hard to get back up again.”

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Today, 8 1/2 years from the time I ran away from home for a different life, I’m on an antidepressant, remarried to a kind man, keep 4 precious kitties, and enjoy my family and friends again. I live in a house again and not a tiny apartment or noisy duplex. I get to decorate this home and even have the desire to do so. I now drive a 2 year old car instead of a 15 years old one with no sun visors or key fob. We’re going to Hawaii next month and to New York in December. Life did a 180 for me, and it happened quickly! Before meeting my current husband, I had zero hope of gaining the strength to break up with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, moving out of an undesirable location, or having a regular income. Then, a new friend helped me leave the codependent relationship I was in, and I soon (and unexpectedly) found love. Life is settled. The depression isn’t crippling and no more suicidal thoughts. But guess who has moved into my home?! Perimenopause! Ugh. I’m dealing with up and down mood swings – like way down. I still take an antidepressant and keep Xanax on hand for anxiety or insomnia. I’m very thankful that summer is at its end. Not so many hot flashes!

If you find yourself in a depressed state that doesn’t fully leave and that often (or always) confines you to your house or bed, have hope. I’ve been there and stayed there for years. However, you can find the strength to change your life situation – even if you were like me and saw NO way to do that. It just took someone who took charge and helped me jump a few hurdles to make changes for the better. My one take-away from this blog is this: don’t try to kill yourself. It turns out that “they” are correct . . . nothing lasts forever, and you will be happy again. Yes, it’s an every day climb but it’s very worth it. It’s your very existence we’re talking about, right?

I’m here if you need to talk or have questions. Leave a comment, as well. Love to you!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-8255

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What I Know is Nothing

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When I look up and into the sky blue sky

full of fluffy white fluffy clouds

Space is full of stuff – stuffed stuff or unstuffed

Beyond the blue and white above me are other planets, other skies, other guys

Naked, I shiver in the hot summer afternoon – but it’s a dry heat

In a coat, I shiver among snow drifts – but it’s a moist cool

Above my head are twinkling stars that twinkle like a star

Vastness of universe and limitations of my body and mind – not parallel like a parallel universe

What I know for sure is that I know nothing – like I know what I know, and it’s nothing

A Climate Tax on Red Meat? One Country is Trying To Do It!

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http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/a-climate-tax-on-red-meat-one-country-is-trying-to-do-it/

This is a re-blog of a very information-filled article on http://www.onegreenplanet.org. Please take a read. Link above is to the original article. 

While countries around the world have started setting up regulations for major companies contributing to greenhouse emissions and in turn, climate change, this week, the Danish government voted to take a different approach. Instead of trying to tackle the monumental climate change crisis solely by collaborating with major industry players, the Danish Council of Ethics, an independent body that advises parliament, ministers and other public authorities on ethical issues, has proposed a “climate tax” on products with the greatest negative impact on the environment, namely meat.

As we saw last month when the Netherlands recommended a lower meat intake, the Danish Agriculture and Food Council is not happy about this proposal. More surprisingly, not every politician in Parliament is gung-ho about the idea either, with one going as far as to say, ”Maybe [the tax] would get beef consumption to fall in Denmark, but it wouldn’t do much of anything for the world’s CO2 emissions.”

We, respectfully, disagree. And considering 14 of the 16 members of the council support the tax, we’d say we are not alone. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of allgreenhouse gas emissions, more than the total exhaust from all forms of transportation worldwide. So, to remark that the world’s CO2 emissions would not be changed at all from less meat consumption is not only ridiculous, it’s downright irresponsible.

As proponents of the tax stated, the Danish people are, of course, responsible for making climate-friendly choices on their own. However, after six months of deliberation the Council felt it was imperative to push people in the right direction. They hope to extend this tax on other products with a negative impact, but felt that starting with meat would be the smartest move considering its immensely destructive environmental impact.

When we look at how the meat industry and government have worked together in the past, this Danish approach makes total sense, in fact the US could learn a thing or two from Denmark. After all, the animal agriculture industry and the US government have been in cahoots for years now, we can’t expect them to lead the change. Look at government subsidies for example. Despite the fact that meat consumption has come down by a thirdsince the 1970s,  the US government hands out $38.4 billion a year to ensure that people have an easy time entering the industry, and that production continues to grow. Nice work,lobbyists. The worse part about this system is that these hand-outs aren’t coming from the pockets of government officials. If only! The government actually takes tax dollars from its citizens to pay off the very industry that is destroying the planet. If you’re trying to figure out how that makes sense, we’ll save you the time, it doesn’t.

While we can’t deny that the US government has begun to make strides in addressing climate change, the destruction will become unmanageable if we continue at this snail’s pace. Although this new Danish tax hasn’t been set into motion yet, the US government should definitely consider implementing a similar law. After all, the first way we should be fighting climate change is with our forks, a connection our government needs to make, and soon.

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Women in Midlife Crisis – Suicide

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I read an interesting and disturbing article today. It seems women in midlife (ages 45-64) are taking their own lives 24% more often than in 1999. That is a very large jump – in the wrong direction. 

I was also unaware that suicide is among the top ten leading causes of death for women.

Reasons? A few were suggested. Aging Baby Boomers are a large portion of these women – even from adolescence. Possibly, it is cultural with youth being celebrated and aging “getting a bad rap.” Social isolation is another explanation for possible midlife female suicides. Spouses die or divorce. Kids are grown with families of their own . . . busy and often living in other cities. A study showed that women who had strong social supports were less likely to have a premature death – by threefold. Another reason given was finances. With a lagging economy came more deaths. Finally, easy access to medications in the home didn’t help depressed situations. Pain killers can kill more than muscle or joint pain.

I’ve personally experienced seven years of Major Depressive Disorder and have medicated, changed my life (gotten rid of most stress), and introduced new friendships and activities to my days. I now have come through times of suicidal ideation and have a firmer grip on my emotions and behavior. Perimenopause isn’t helping much, though. Erratic hormones have turned me into a Jekyll and Hyde but I don’t give up, and I don’t give in.

We women of middle age are strong. We’re resourceful and wise enough to know how to change our circumstances. Fear will get in the way, though, if we aren’t constantly aware of our goals, and it will stall or even stop our progress toward mental and general health.

Remember Rosie the Riveter from the 1940s? We can do it!

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