Friday, March 28, 2008

Dream Date March 28, 2008

I read somewhere on the Internet today that posting one's dreams on their blog is like a death wish for that blog. It said, basically, that it would be a surefire way to keep readers from coming back. I don't know if that's true, and the thought of losing readers - who I think of as friends - bothers me. I think the idea pushes my rejection button. I don't like to be rejected. However, this blog is my diary, regardless of whether or not it is public, and I want to record my dreams because they are part of my life. One of the things I enjoy doing on rare occasions is rereading my old dreams and seeing if I can conjure the images in my mind again almost exactly as I had when I dreamed them.

Before I go on to the dream, I'd like to say that I'd be interested in reading about a dream that you've recently had, if you wouldn't mind sharing. I have no skill at interpreting dreams - I can't even interpret my own - but reading them entertains me as well as offers insight into the mind(s) of my reader(s).

The dream:

I'm at work, only we're now working in a small room and we have our own bathroom. I am sitting next to my coworker J. She keeps ending up with my pencil, and I keep taking it back from her. I guess she is a kleptomaniac. I get up to use the restroom. I walk into the little bathroom, and before I close the door, I say, "I'm so glad we have our own bathroom now." After using the restroom, I wash my hands. The sink must be clogged because it is filling up, but I still need to wash my face. I look down into the full sink and say to myself that it would be gross to use the dirty water to wash my face with. The water spills out onto the floor, and the puddle starts to make its way to the door. If it were to go under the door and out into the hall where everyone could see it, I'd be devastatingly embarrassed! So I put on a latex glove and grab some dirty washcloths that are hanging on a rack on the wall. Of course I don't want to touch them because they are not clean, but the glove serves as protection. I wipe up the floor, letting the washcloths soak up the water.

My First Experience with a Therapist

I was 16 years old. I was in the habit of listening to this radio show that came on at night. On the show, a well-known local psychologist - let's call him S.F. - would take phone calls from callers seeking his advice.

One night, I worked-up enough nerve to call him myself. I had been struggling with an issue for a while and I wanted his opinion. The issue was that I had been attracted to older men for a long time, and I didn't know how to deal with it. It was a problem for me because I was afraid of telling my parents. Even though I tried dating guys my own age, I found that I was only interested in men many many years older than myself. I really did try dating younger men, but every time I would go on a date with them, I'd find myself disgusted by them, or annoyed. The entire date, I'd have to feign interest, and when they'd drive me back home, they'd sit in the car in the driveway and try to steal a kiss from me, in their own clever ways. I always knew when it was coming, that kiss. They'd stare me in the eyes and start to slowly lean closer. I could feel the disgust building up inside of me. Sometimes I'd escape the kiss by pretending to notice something outside my passenger's side window, and then I'd pretend that I had to hurry inside. Other times I wasn't so lucky, and when they'd kiss me, I'd feel my stomach turn. I could only dream about being kissed by an older, more experienced and more mature man.

This greatly bothered me, that I couldn't find within me an attraction to guys my own age. Really what caused me the most anxiety was knowing that it might upset my parents. So, I snuck around with older men. When I was 16, the oldest man I had a relationship with was 58. There were others. One was a professor at the college I ended up going to. Another was a retired police chief.

Anyway, I wanted to talk to this popular psychologist so that he could help me with my "problem". I was on the radio that night. I can't remember everything he said, but he recommended that I come see him in his office, and that my first visit would be free. So I did exactly that. That week I went to the city and went in for my session. He asked me to give him more details, so I spent about 30 minutes describing my dilemma. His response was to invite me to go on a dinner date with him. He was in his 50s, maybe early 60s, but I was not attracted to him in the least. In fact, he made me feel as if he was sleazy, and I wanted to get out of his office but I didn't know how to tell him. I was very uncomfortable. I went along with it for a while and told him that I'd call him to let him know when I could go with him. Then I got up to leave. He told me to wait a minute, and he disappeared for a few minutes. He came back into the office and handed me a rose. I took it, thanked him and then left. Of course I never called him back, and I never went back for another appointment.

This may have been what caused me problems with my first real therapist a couple years ago, a male who my psychiatrist had set me up with. I don't know if it was a conscious thing on my part, but I kept skipping some of my appointments with him. I would just not show up, and I didn't call him to tell him, either. He never complained about it, but I'm sure it annoyed him; I probably took advantage of his patience. Also, I just quit going to see him without giving him a warning. A few months later, I told my psychiatrist that I'd feel better with a female, although I did tell her that the male psychologist was not at fault. And so, I've been with the same female therapist for a year and four months now, and I haven't skipped any appointments without telling her first.

I was reminded of this bit of my own history as I was watching "In Treatment", tonight. By the way, I've watched all 15 free episodes from Amazon and have already felt withdrawal. They're on episode 41 now, I think. I have no idea when or how I'll get to see the rest of the episodes. I'm hopelessly addicted.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nap Dreams

I took a nap from about 6:30pm until 9:00pm. I woke up from a dream, covered in sweat. The dream isn't appropriate for this blog, but I've posted it on my dream blog.

What did you dream about?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Usual Day?

Today is another good day. I think this makes five days in a row. I was up at 11:30am. I did a little bit of housework, then watched some more episodes of "In Treatment".

I am a "thinking" person. I like intellectual stimulation, learning new things, working out problems and basically just always having something to play with in my mind. That's why I majored in mathematics in college, so I could figure things out, work problems and solve things. When I'm feeling well - like I have been the past few days - I do a little bit of housework here and there, as if I were a homemaker or housewife, and the housework is so simple, yet it seems to bring on a feeling of satisfaction, or coziness. There is something about housework that is gratifying.

Now, ask me how I feel about housework when I'm depressed. ;)

I've now watched five episodes of "In Treatment", and like I said earlier, it tends to satisfy some voyeuristic tendencies. It's like being a fly on the wall in this therapist's office. I will say that the patients' sessions are a lot more dramatic than mine normally are. The difference is, I go into my sessions and speak directly about my depression or anxiety, while these patients talk about problems they're having in life, or about life's dramas that they're involved in. Also, the patients are a lot more combative with the therapist at times, and I've not once been combative in all my years of therapy. Maybe it's because I just want to get along with everyone, or because confrontation makes me uncomfortable. I wonder if, in a normal world, therapy sessions are as dramatic as this show makes them out to be, or if patients get visibly annoyed with their therapist's questions or advice.

I don't know what I'm going to do when I've watched all 15 of the free episodes that Amazon offers. The show is currently on HBO but I know the show is at a more advanced episode, perhaps episode 30-something. There will be a total of 43 episodes, if what I read online is true. I don't want to just jump into the middle of the second season, because I'll end-up missing so much of the story line. I know it's an OCD habit, but I've always had to do everything in chronological order, and in completeness; I can't watch a movie sequel without having seen the first movie. This habit of mine drives some people nuts, but it's just the way it has to be. So, somehow I have to find these episodes online so that I can get caught-up with the show enough to continue watching them on HBO.

One of the reasons I don't watch television much is because it doesn't stimulate my mind enough. But after religiously watching the entire series of "Rome" a while ago, and now "In Treatment", I can see how easy it is to get all wrapped up in a television series.

Into Great Silence

I just finished watching a very peaceful, mesmerizing film about a cloister of ascetic monks in the French Alps. The monastery is known as the Grand Chartreuse, which houses the Carthusian Order of monks. This film - "Into Great Silence" - is just that, a film of beautiful and meditative silence. The only sounds are the natural sounds of footsteps, creaking wood, nature, chants and prayer. The filming alternates between an artistic graininess and crystal clearness.

At the very beginning, it seems like the movie will be a boring document about some Catholic monks, but the movie quickly draws the viewer into a world of ritual, simplicity and devotion. There is no hurry, no rush, only serenity as the monks go about their day eating, praying, shaving, cleaning, gardening, cooking, taking care of animals and much more. Normally, such rituals would have no entertainment value for movie viewers, but somehow the film enchants the viewer. In fact, it begins to feel as if the viewer is right there with the monks.

I was hypnotized, and quite often I found myself not in the past, not in the future, but right smack dad in the middle of present. The mind was quiet, the body relaxed. It was a visual and auditory meditational experience.

I had never heard of the film until it was recommended to me by Netflix. It is definitely a film that I'd recommend to my readers. It was a winner of the Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, and it has received five other awards and three nominations from other associations, festivals and awards programs.

If you watch it, let me know what you thought about it! You can watch the trailer HERE.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In Treatment

I don't normally watch television, but twice now I've seen short segments of a show that is on HBO while my husband was flipping through the channels. The show is called "In Treatment", and features Gabriel Byrne as a therapist named "Paul". The fact that Gabriel Byrne is the star of the show is what first caught my attention. I've always been somewhat fascinated by him, by his good looks and his demeanor. He's mysterious! I believe my infatuation with him began when I first watched the movie "Stigmata", in which he plays a priest/scientist.

Then flames were added to the fire when he had a leading role in the movie "End of Days", in which he played... well... the devil. Gabriel Byrne has what it takes to make priests and devils equally attractive. In both roles, he is mysterious, dark, handsome, and just plain sexy.

Anyway, sorry for all that. I had to give a little background information before getting to the point. HBO is airing this series of episodes about a therapist and his patients. I've only watched two episodes so far and it seriously satisfies some weird voyeuristic needs. Amazon is currently offering the first 15 episodes for free. I recommend watching them through Amazon as opposed to other sites and products like iTunes, because Amazon brings excellent video quality to an almost full screen. I tried to watch it through iTunes and was disappointed by the quality. If you're interested in watching the show, just click HERE and download the episodes. If you watch them, let me know what you think.

No doubt in therapy the possibility of transference arises. I don't know to what degree I've experienced it with my own therapist, as usually transference is experienced subconsciously. I mean, most patients probably aren't aware that this is what is going on. I have been seeing my therapist (not the psychiatrist), for a year and four months now. I've noticed lately that I've felt this need to tell her that I'd like to be friends with her. I've imagined myself actually hanging out with her. I haven't told her, and I'm not sure how she'd react to this if I were to tell her. I know there are some rules in place in the field of psychology, some ethics, about dual-relationships, that says therapists are not to have personal relationships with their patients. I don't know if this means forever or just during the duration of time that the patient is seeing the therapist for psychotherapy. I'm probably lucky that I didn't choose a male therapist. If I did, and he looked and acted like Gabriel Byrne, I'd be in trouble. There would no doubt be some transference issues!
Here's a switch of topic.... There is another show that I'm going to try to watch online called "The Tudors", which is put out by Showtime. They've been airing these episodes for free online. I haven't started watching them yet, but HERE'S the link in case you're interested.
I'm slowly but surely finding things to do to keep me out of the bed. I hope this interest lasts. I've been up and active for two days in a row now. My main goal at this time is to try to find interest in old hobbies so that I can participate in them again. I also hope that sometime soon I find a renewed interest in music. I haven't listened to music for months.
This is a short list of some of the things I hope to start getting back into soon: playing the piano, entering sweepstakes, reading, creating fractal art, brain teasers, sudoku and logic puzzles, walking
That's a start. My psychiatrist is trying to influence me to participate in activities. She says that having plans will keep me out of the bed. I think she may be right. I only worry about this: I have this interest in returning to these hobbies while I'm feeling well, like today for instance. But when I'm really down, will I be able to find that interest again or will it disappear into the void as I become apathetic towards everything? I know I'll find out; since I'm up today there will come a time in the near future that I'll go back down. Ah... the predictability of Bipolar Disorder.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Slinky Spring (Up Down in Spring)

Spring is here!

In case any of you wondered, I wasn't missing for seven days because I was put in a mental asylum or anything, though I probably should have been. Although there was a time, in December of 2004, when I went missing from the blogosphere for a week because I was in a psychiatric hospital. This past week, from late Sunday night until Wednesday evening I was involved in a depressive's sleep marathon. Friday was much the same. Saturday I miraculously found enough energy to get out of bed to apply the wax to the "new" used Jeep Cherokee that we bought for my husband to drive to work. Late last night I suffered a little bit in the name of love by sitting and watching basketball and boxing with my husband. Today I actually got up at noon to do my and my husband's federal and state taxes. I can't really remember what I did the rest of the day, but I do know I've been up since noon, and here it is 10:10pm at night, so I've done well today, I think. Speaking of taxes, I anxiously await the arrival of our $1200 in tax rebates from the "Economic Stimulus Plan". Unfortunately we have to spend all of that on repairing the wood fencing in the back yard so Peabody can't escape, as beagles are wont to do. In addition to that, we'll be getting a total of about $600 back after we pay and receive state and federal taxes between us. So, this tax season yields a total of $1800, which again, will sadly be mostly spent on fencing material and labor. :(

There was a night this week that I read a very short book called _The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment_, by Thaddeus Golas. I was going to offer to send the book to anyone who might be interested in it, but tonight I found that you can access the book online for free, so there really is no need to go through the mail process. (If you are interested in reading it, just click on the book title above.) I don't really have a whole lot to say about it, mostly because it seemed to me as if the author was tripping on LSD when he wrote it. It is, according to the web page about the deceased author, "a metaphysical string theory - a theory of everything for the spiritually minded". Mostly it speaks about the vibrational levels that everything is made of, from space to energy to matter, and how we as spiritual beings expand and contract into and out of these levels. Oh, I just now find that the audio book - read by the author himself - is available for free from this website: Knock yourself out. Perhaps you will determine if this book is or is not useful to someone seeking spiritual enlightenment. If you do determine something either way, please enlighten me; I'd be interested in hearing what you've gathered from the book. It might require that I read it a second time to learn anything useful from it, as I could not focus very well on the book for one reason or another.

Speaking of reading, I seem to have a renewed interest in reading, in spite of the outrageously slow reading speed I have because of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I may have mentioned it before - and this may be quite pointless to mention again - but up until my early twenties I read quite quicky and with amazing focus and concentration. The OCD causes me to reread sentences over and over again, in a form of internal echolalia. "Echolalia" is repetition - either internally or vocally - of a word or phrase. Where it might take someone a few days to read a book, it can take me a month or longer, depending on how much time I put into reading. And, I don't really put a lot of time into reading because I am rather discouraged. I find that while I enjoy the material I'm reading, I'll delay or procrastinate reading because the OCD bothers me so much. So, a book can sit on my nightstand literally for months.

All complaining aside, I'm currently reading a novella by Henry James entitled, _The Turn of the Screw_, published in 1898. (I am more inspired to read short books!) I went to see the opera in the early 1990s with my mother. I do not recall from the opera what the tale is about, but so far it appears to be a ghost story. I do not want to give much away in case any of my readers are interested in reading along with me. The book is in the other room, but I believe I'm on page 45 or so. If you do wish to read it with me, please do take your time, because, as you know, I read at a snail's pace. You can read it online by clicking on the book's title above. Or, you can listen to the audio book version at LibriVox by clicking here.

Oh, and before I forget, Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate. I had the pleasure of listening to my grandmother - who had just complained of diarrhea - sing a hymn over the telephone, as well as try to prod me into either going to church or watching church on the television. I think I'm developing a higher tolerance for all things grandmother-related. I can't complain, though, no matter how often I disagree with her, because at least she's a part of my life, unlike my other grandparents. I mean, I see her on Christmas and Thanksgiving and birthdays, while my other grandparents probably don't even know when my birthday is.

My main wish this weekend is for people to quit asking me, "How are you enjoying being off work?" What am I supposed to tell them, that I'm just having a ball? Yes, I'm enjoying being depressed in bed 60+ hours at a time and not having much interest in the hobbies I used to enjoy when I was energetic, vibrant and sexy! I'm not sitting around the television eating bon-bons like most people imagine when they think of someone on disability. When will my mother say something kind about my depression, like, "Sophia, I'm really sorry you're having a hard time. I'm here for you." When will she say that instead of, "What are you depressed about? How are you enjoying being off work?" I know she's completely and utterly disappointed in me, just like my father, after I had spent years spoiling them with my awards, high grades, nominations, society memberships, homecoming court involvement, high I.Q., etc., when now I am just a mentally disabled reject. I just want one or both of my parents to tell me that they love me just as much as they used to love me, and that while they're sad that I'm suffering, they're not disappointed in me. I don't expect them to completely understand depression or bipolar disorder - because outsiders will never fully understand. I just want them to accept me as I am without showing any outward signs of disappointment. And it would be an added bonus if they would at least pretend like they were trying to understand.

The unsung hero on this blog is my husband, who completely supports and understands me, even though occasionally he'll get miffed that I'm stuck in a rut in the bed. He's listened to me pour my heart out and he's wiped my tears for me. I know that as long as I have him in this world with me, I'll always have a best friend who is willing to love me unconditionally. As he is 32 years older than me, I know there will come a time when he will pass from this world and leave me, and as grim as this sounds, I hope my time here without him is short lived.

Thanks for listening. It was an emotional roller-coaster ride, but, as usual, I just wanted to get some things off my chest. Thank God for blogs. Sophia is signing off for tonight. (I know there are some comments I haven't responded to, yet. I have read them and I'm going to try to respond to them very soon!)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Auditory Hallucinations, or Ghosts?

I just heard a baby crying... IN MY HOUSE, at 11:15pm. Funny thing is, there are no televisions on, nor are there any radios on or any type of activity out in the quiet neighborhood, nor do I have any children! I checked to make sure the speakers to my computer were turned off.

I am reminded of an incident that happened about three months ago. Someone whispered my name. Only, when I turned around to see who was talking to me, there was no one there.

Has anything like this ever happened to you?

I have depression, but I'm not insane. If I was insane, I wouldn't be questioning my sanity to begin with. Right?

Just for the record, my mood tonight is good.

Update, 11:38pm: I just read an article that relieves me and worries me at the same time. For the time being I am just assuming that my brain accepted auditory input from white noises around the house and mistakenly recoded them as whispers and a crying baby.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dessert After a Bad Meal

I can't leave you with a bad taste, so I'm going to give you a tasty dessert. After all that complaining I just want to say that my readers have been so supportive of me! Please don't allow my complaints to cause you worry. I just like to come here and scream and shout to relieve myself when I'm foaming at the mouth. It's like punching on a virtual feather pillow, hitting so hard to find release, and watching all the feathers flutter to and fro all over the place.

I feel so safe here on this blog, and I trust all of you. Even if you disagree with me or have constructive criticism, I trust you and I love you.

I just wanted to turn down the volume after releasing all my frustration. Leave you with a soft classical melody instead of blaring trash music, and maybe a friendly hug or two. I hope you don't mind hugs.

Last Night

My mother, sister and I stayed up late last night playing the Scooby Doo edition of Monopoly. It was when my sister went outside for a cigarette break that she decided to open her mouth. She had asked me to come outside with her so she could have someone to talk to while she puffed away in the cold. Had I known her intention was to lecture me about how stupid I was to give up my job, I never would have agreed to join her.

Anyway, I had about three-fourths of a bottle of mead so I was slightly drunk when I posted the blog posting last night. But it doesn't change much, because tonight, sober, I feel mostly the same way. Please don't resort to telling me that my problems are the result of drinking. I very rarely drink. I indulge in wine or margaritas once every two months or so.

I wasn't blackmailing anyone by saying that someday I might choose to take a graceful exit out of life. There is no one for me to blackmail - I've only spoken about this on my blog. No one that knows me personally reads this blog - no family. (Well, I take that back. I have recently met someone that reads my blog, but I have no reason to blackmail her!) I don't even use my real name here, so no one can do a Google search for my name to find out that I've spoken about this on my blog. So, I was not blackmailing anyone and I don't want you to think that I was either. When I said that, I was expressing myself during an emotional uproar. I can't promise that someday I won't decide to do that, but I wanted you to know that I said it because I was upset. I'm just saying that if things get so bad that I have to become homeless or live a life of poverty, I'll refuse to suffer like that. You must understand that my future is completely uncertain at this moment, so of course I'm going to be very insecure. I'll strangle anyone who tells me right now that all I have to do is snap out of it and return to work and things will be fine. If I could find stability and function longer than a week or two without going back down, it would be easy. Last year, I thought I had completely escaped the disease. Months went by without it rearing its ugly head and I was celebrating my escape from it, when before I knew it, the beast had returned and I was dumbfounded, asking my shrink, "Why?"

I had a close friend that chose to leave this world a few years ago. While it upset me greatly and left me feeling partially at fault - because I didn't know he was hurting - now I can understand why he left. And the reason he didn't tell anyone around him about his pain is because he didn't want this to happen to him. He didn't want to face the labeling or the ignorance of family or friends. He knew that outsiders would never even begin to fathom the anguish and torment he was feeling. He knew that outsiders would blame him, call him lazy and tell him he could just snap out of it. "Why don't you get out of the bed? Everybody gets depressed sometimes. You seem normal to me. You seem fine. There's nothing wrong with you." He must have known that this would be the reaction he'd receive from outsiders. This is a good one: "It's all in your head." Well, DUH! Of course it's all in our heads. That's the problem!! His own parents and brother didn't know he was hurting, and if they had been like mine, I can understand why he chose never to disclose to them his pain. He was all alone. I don't know what caused his depression, or if anything did cause it. I know from my own experiences that it's possible the physical abuse (severe and frequent belt whippings) I suffered from my father and the sexual abuse I experienced from my neighbor might be contributing factors, but I don't know that for sure. Not even the best of doctors can come to that conclusion. I don't even know that I can blame genetics. As you know, my grandmother - after the birth of my father - spent the rest of her life in a mental institution. Could she have passed down bad genes to me? Possibly. But again, it's not certain.

Damn it, I didn't want to bore you again. I was just going to come here and post two sentences tonight, those being, "I was slightly drunk last night when I posted to my blog. While my feelings haven't changed, the way I chose to express myself might have been different."


I'm at my mother's house right now. It's 12:15am and my sister is here, too. I felt well enough today to keep my plans to visit. Right now I'm angry and frustrated. I love my younger sister but I just spent 15 minutes listening to her lecture me about why I'm crazy to give up my job. She'd say, "I never would have done something like that. I get depressed about things sometimes, too." A couple times I interjected that she needs to do a little bit of research about what depression is as an illness, but it went in one ear and out the other. I'm angered by all the people who don't understand, but I'm even more angered tonight that I had to listen to my sister carry on in her ignorance. I can't make people understand. I was feeling well today, but now I feel rotten. All humans go through depression, like when their moms die or they lose a loved one or their job or pet, but these are all depressions caused by a factor. In a true depressive, one does not need a reason to be depressed. It's the make-up of the brain and its chemistry that causes the chaos. When neurotransmitters aren't working right with serotonin or whatever, we have a meltdown. It's a mental yet physiological condition. Learn this, people!

You would think the people closest to you would understand, and would actually spend the time doing research about what depression and Bipolar disorder is as a real disease, would actually check a book out of a library or peruse the articles on the Internet. But they don't have time for that. Instead of taking time out of her life to understand her sister a little bit better, she makes me feel afraid, indeed very frightened, by giving me examples of people she knew who took five or six years to get disability. I've got medical records dating back to 2002, with increasing severity and more and more inpatient stays in the mental hospital due to my plans to kill myself by sitting in the front seat of a car with the engine running in the closed garage. The first time I was hospitalized, my husband caught me making a list of things I needed to buy to bring about my own destruction. He saw that I had been posting on a newsgroup that was all about suicide. That was the final draw for him so into the hospital I went. The other visits to the hospital were pretty much just a repeat of that, because again I came close to ending my life. I was not acting out against anything or anyone. I had just suffered enough mental pain that I could not suffer any longer. There was only one escape. This was the thinking that had me hospitalized a few times and also put in intensive outpatient therapy. Everyone knows I've gone through this. But apparently to them it must be just a show. Oh, she's just wanting attention, or she's just lazy and trying to get out of work. These words that I hear coming at me from all directions are drowning me and I can't take it anymore. What's happened tonight is that I have been given very discouraging news about the Social Security process, and in addition to that I've been made out to be a loser. I'm just someone who gives up in their eyes. They'll always see me in that light. These people that are supposed to love, are only disappointed in me and think I'm just lazy and want to quit working. I can't even begin to think about how I'm going to deliver to them an understanding of what mental illness is. If they were in my house for a couple weeks, they'd get many chances to see how I, in a complete state of numbness, apathy and near catatonia stay in the bed for days at a time.

I'm so angry. I want to cry. I'm frightened. The choice that I made was the only choice I had left to make. I can't carry on in a job where I've used up all my sick leave and vacation leave, as well as borrowed more sick leave and then I started using leave without pay. I got my numbers today from the secretary, and the amount of time I've had to take off work because of excused absenses based on my mental incapacitation were so ridiculous. One glance at the numbers and you saw that there were a lot of days, in between some good days, that I couldn't function enough to go to work.

Whatever. Please do me a favor. For all of you who come to read this blog, if you think that people with depression or Bipolar Disorder are lazy and are whiners, do yourself and the world a favor by going to the library or bookstore and pick-up a book about depression. Or read about depression and Bipolar Disorder on the Internet. Just a little bit of time out of your day and you might educate yourself enough to know that all those labels you've placed on us were really mistakes.

If you don't understand depression or Bipolar disorder, don't talk to me. I will not surround myself with that kind of company.

Now I'm ill thinking that it might take me five or six years to get the help I'm after. With our finances, we couldn't live that long without losing everything. If it comes down to that, if no one at the SS helps. and no one believes in me or understands me, then I'm going to have to make a graceful exit out of this life. Because then I'll have no reason to be alive.

I'm pissed. I'm scared. I'm insecure. I'm alone. Don't call me a whiner because it will go in one ear and out the other. Don't say I'm lazy or I'll give you some homework to do. I'll tell you to go to your library and check out five or six books on depression or other mental illnesses. Then I'll tell you to read about it on the Internet. And when you've completed your task, if you still have no understanding, then all I can do is feel sorry for you as you languish in your ignorance.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day

This is a day I've "celebrated" since college. Or more like acknowledged because I never really had a celebration on this day. Last year I teased on my blog that the real Pi Day happened in 1592 since Pi is 3.141592... But we don't have to be so technical. We'll just cut to the point that most people think of pi as mostly 3.14.

And while I'm at it, let me say Happy Birthday to Albert Einstein. - This is something I'll be watching in the next few days, probably after this weekend. I've already watched hour 3 chapter 4. I'm going to my sister's new apartment that's two hours away to install a Wireless router and card in her computer on Sunday, and tonight my mother, sister and I are going to play Scrabble or other games so I'll be spending the night at Mom's. I figure I might as well enjoy myself while I'm temporarily up out of the well. Saturday my husband and I are going about an hour away to look at an MG Midget that we have been thinking about buying. On the way there he's taking me to a restaurant that I've been wanting to eat at for a long time. I have a buy-one-meal-get-one-free coupon that I want to use. :) I need a car at the house while my husband is at work, just in case I need to go to doctors' appointments or make a trip to the store. It's a 34-year old car with only 36,000 miles on the engine. I find that hard to believe but my husband believes it. It's going for $3100. I hate risking money on a used car, because you never know when it's going to break down and waste your money. I've never owned a new car. When I was growing up, all the used cars I bought always had severe problems. But the past couple of years, with my husband's help, we've managed to drive fairly reliable used cars. We could go for a brand new Kia, which are fairly cheap cars, but we don't want to pay $111 a month for six years with me not having a job.
So I've got a lot going on this weekend that will help keep my head out of the darkness. I have wanted to deny the "Bipolar" label for a number of years now, because I associated it with psychopaths. An association that was completely inspired by two or more people that I've known who are Bipolar. But more and more I've come to accept it, but only because it means I have up days in between the down days. I love up days. :) I think today is an up day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I've mostly been sleeping. Although there have been a few exciting moments in between shut-eye. My excessive sleeping has been driving my husband absolutely bonkers. He knows it is caused by depression but still he doesn't like it. I can't say that I blame him, honestly. I know how I feel when I'm wide awake, needing company, and he decides he wants to take a nap.

I'm still not used to not having a job to go to anymore. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable to imagine that when people ask me what my profession is, I won't have an answer to give them. I was so proud to tell everyone that I was a statistician. And now I'm nothing. Just a depressive who isn't able to function normally on a daily basis. I feel ashamed that I let this illness defeat me in this way, but I am consoled by the fact that at least now I'll be able to focus on achieving better mental health. I hope my bosses forgive me. Please let them forgive me, even though I don't have the courage to ask them personally. Let them not think of me as a failure, when they had once had so much faith and pride in me.

I've had so much paperwork to fill out, and it has caused me a lot of stress. I don't want to come out and say the words.... the word "disability" really bothers me. I have an I.Q. of 145. As a child I was involved in accelerated learning courses after going through a certain amount of testing. In high school I was in the Honors' Society, and in college I was in Alpha Chi. I've received numerous awards in high school and college. I am intelligent, even though I'm not necessarily knowledgable. I don't keep up with world affairs. I don't keep up with the presidential candidates. I don't keep up with current events or politics. I stay in here... in my head, with my thoughts. Yes, it bothers me that I will have to use the word "disabled" to describe myself. My husband joked earlier today, "Great. Just what the world needs: Another disabled genius." Sitting in the Social Security office I felt dirty, because I was surrounded by extremely poor, disabled, dirty people. I felt sorry for them but at the same time I felt a certain sense of disgust, as though I didn't want to touch them or smell them. Let alone be one of them.

OK, I'll come right out and say it. I'm feeling vulnerable right now but strangely I feel like being deeply honest. I'm terribly frightened. I don't know what the future holds. Not only am I afraid of going broke, I'm scared that I'll never get better. I've been fighting mental illness since 2002, when I was first diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The truth is, I suffered from it since high school, but I never knew what it was I was suffering from until I got help from a family doctor, a very kind man who explained to me that he understood me. After all, he himself had suffered from it. He pat me on the back and sent me to a well-known local psychiatrist. But after all the medications, after all the counseling, I feel like I'm falling deeper and deeper into a dark well, as if the severity of my condition is getting worse. At the same time, however, I feel a certain sense of comfort in knowing that I do have good days. So I do have more hope than I used to have, hope that for every down I go through, there will always be an up. I just wish I could stay up and be like everyone else. People think less of people like me. I can even feel that my own father is disappointed in me, because he can't quite seem to grasp what depression is. I can hear the disappointment in his voice when we speak on the phone, and I can see it in his eyes when we get together on rare occasions. That pride and glee he used to have when he looked at me seems to be gone. So I find it difficult to talk about with most people, with the exception of my doctor, therapist and husband. I even feel ashamed that I'm talking about this with my blog readers. I don't want to talk about it too much, because it might drive you away, yet I feel some relief in expressing myself in this way. So please PLEASE forgive me if it gets to be too much. I'll try my best not to come into this negative space too often.

Last Friday night my sister came over and we played Scrabble. I haven't played a board game in so long. Mostly it's difficult for me to find the interest in doing much of anything besides sleeping, but once we got into the game, surprisingly I enjoyed myself. I was laughing. A few times I laughed so hard I could feel my face burning red. My silly sister would try to get away with calling something a word, and I would protest. Then I'd resort to the dictionaries on the Internet to prove to her my points. I could tell she was devastated, because I was beating her. My final score was 320 and I won, much to her dismay. Here is a photo of the final product:

I surprised myself on Sunday. I actually made and kept a social appointment with a friend I have been talking to on the Internet for about a year. I put it off for so long because I have really been quite antisocial for a while. But once we got together, it was as if we'd known each other for a long time. I think we were really like two peas in a pod. Not once did I experience the anxiety I normally experience in social situations. In fact, I think I remember talking my head off. :) She was everything I had imagined her to be - cheerful, friendly, outgoing, warm, kind and so much more. People, I think I met a kindred spirit. I look forward to spending more time with her soon, whenever I can manage to drag my recluse self out of the house.

In other news - and thankfully quite good news - my artwork is receiving more attention. I received an email from a freelance writer who found my online art gallery. He's interested in writing an article about my work. I checked out his past articles, and he's interviewed and written about quite a lot of famous people, for example Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner and others. I felt quite honored that he'd want to include me in that company. The same week, a music band contacted me and wanted to know if they could use my art in their CD booklets and web page. In fact, they'd like for me to create some animations of my work for them to use. I hope it all works out! I attribute all this attention I've been getting to Dr. Cliff Pickover, an absolute genius, creative, intelligent, fun, pleasantly unusual man who has written loads of books. Please visit his site by clicking on his name. So many of his interests are congruous with mine. Anyway, what I was saying is that thanks to him I've received a lot of attention. He posted a link to my art gallery on his web site a year or so ago. Ever since then, I've watched my name spread to various places on the Internet. I don't sell any of my works, simply because I haven't really felt confident enough to work up to such an enterprise. But maybe someday I can make a few bucks to buy a cup of Mocha with or something.

One of the symptoms of depression is a general lack of interest in hobbies and otherwise enjoyable activities. So, it is quite natural that I haven't created art since April of 2007. And even back then I was only creating it sporadically. My goal is to regain the love of creating that I once had. Today I felt a hint of inspiration. I'm hoping it will grow from a spark to a flame.

That's all for tonight. I wasn't feeling this talkative in the beginning, but as you can see I managed to work my way into quite a long chat. At first I didn't know what I wanted to say, but I wanted to say something since it's been almost four days since my last post. It seems I was quite capable of coming up with material. I don't really have anything to say about my spiritual journey, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this entire spiel was completely about the spiritual journey.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Re: the Forum

OK, I think I have figured out the problem my friend was having with the forum, thanks to all of you who made attempts, both successful and unsuccessful.

The problem appears to be that some of you are trying to sign in to the forum using your Blogger email address and password. The forum is actually not a part of Blogger. It is a completely separate entity. I just linked to it from my blog to make access simpler. To use the forum, you'll have to register there.

If you don't want to use the forum, that's fine. Please continue to comment on my blog as you have been. I think someone thought I created the forum in order to stop you guys from leaving comments on the blog. That is not true! I love your comments! I simply created the forum so that everyone could talk to each other if they liked, and to start new topics that I haven't brought up here. Also, the Spiritual Friends Locator board doesn't permit ongoing conversations so I created the forum for them as well, so that they'd have a place to have conversations.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Will You Do Me a Favor?

Will any or some of you please go to the new forum I created and try to post a message? A fellow blogging friend has tried and wasn't successful, so I'd like to see if there is something going on with the forum.

No, I promise this is not a ploy or some sort of backwards psychology to try to get you to use the forum I created. I'm honestly trying to do some problem-solving.

Thanks! Please visit the link below to go to the forum. I believe you have to register first before you can post, but I could be wrong. It's still new to me, too.


I crave losing myself within You
To dissolve into you
To be at a loss of all sense of me or I
I don't demand this from You
For to demand of you would reveal my pride
And I am nothing to make demands on You
You, the force behind my bloodflow
That makes my heart beat and my lungs breathe
I know it is You that has placed within me
This yearning, this desire, this need
To be wholly with you
To lose this illusory separation
As a drop of water is no longer a drop
When it makes union with the sea

I am open to You as a gate is to a garden
Whose fragrant flowers unfold within
Please enter and scatter your seed
So that I might soon take root
Allow me to fully blossom
To become your prize rose
Then you will wish to pluck me from the dirt
And my perfume will finally join your breath

Saturday, March 8, 2008


I walk up to you, touch you
But like a child, I turn away
And I run back to safety
Afraid of you

Update: In case anyone wonders what this is about... it's actually a mystical poem that is inspired by my procrastination in getting to know the divine.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Unconditional Love

I was inspired by someone on the Spiritual Friends Locator board to write a few words down about unconditional love.

Love of the most high, unconditional love
Makes a heart flutter and a soul vibrate
This love is not earned or defined
This love makes no judgments
This love makes no demands
It is unlimited, endless and infinite
It selects based on fact of existence
It does not choose from those that exist
It wants and desires us as us
There is no perfection
There is only patience
There is no fear of rejection
There is no failure or mistake
There is no disapproval
All strings have been cut

All who are worthy to live and die are worthy to love and be loved with unconditional love.

May each one of us experience a form of this love in our lifetimes many times over!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Dream Date March 3, 2008

I had two dreams yesterday that I remember. The first is too sexually explicit to write about on this blog, I think, so you'll have to visit my dream journal blog to read about it. Otherwise, here is the second dream I had:

(In real life, I find it difficult to speak about my depression with my father. I can't shake the feeling that he finds me to be a disappointment because of my mental health status. It could be leftover feelings I had from when I was a kid, always trying to please him, always nervous that I was doing something wrong.)

I am riding in a car with my dad, who is driving. Roy Orbison is singing on the radio. I think the song that was playing was "Crying". My dad says to me, "This song is about depression." I say to my dad, "Turn it off. I don't want to talk about it."

If - for whatever perverted reason you have - you wish to read the first dream, click here:

I was only kidding about calling you a pervert.

Monday, March 3, 2008


What The?!

Remember the dream I had a couple days ago about the guy that threatened to spank my cat?

An odd bit of synchronicity for you!

Tonight I was looking for a short film I used to like to watch about a cat with human hands when I ran into this video on YouTube of a cat being spanked. I was not looking for it; it found me. I don't know whether to be absolutely horrified and angered or if I should just laugh. The cat really seems to like it????

Does something seem wrong here?

P.S. The video about the cat with human hands can be found in my VodPod on the right side of my blog, but I must warn you that it's kind of creepy to some people.

I just watched some more videos by this guy that was "massaging" the cat, and it appears he is a veterinarian because he has some rather nice videos of other animals that seem to imply he is helping them.

Tick Tock Around the Clock

Very clever, cat. Very clever. Hunting for mice while being chased by dogs.

What did Mother Goose tell you about this?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pangea Day

On May 10th, 2008 the world is coming together! Fifteen-hundred films made by people around the world have been submitted and a panel is judging and selecting the best. These videos and inspiring music will be aired online on this special day. We will get to see the world from the eyes of people all around the globe. We will get to see the perspectives and viewpoints from afar. We will get to know the world.

I just discovered this online today and in case you can't tell, I'm excited about it!

I Am.

I am raven, black as midnight
I am dove, white as snow
I am sunshine on a summer's day
I am moonlight in the foggy twilight
I am dark and I am bright
I am blessed and I am cursed
I am joy and I am sadness
I am noise and I am silence
I am awake and I am asleep
I am near and I am far
I am everything and I am nothing
I am pleasure and I am pain
I am slave and I am free

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Dream Date February 28, 29 and Thoughts

Dreams from February 28th:

Dream 1:

A. wrote me an email saying, "Sometimes it's really hard to love people." I was typing out my response, saying that I know how hard it is, and that I've been trying to find someone on the Internet to love but I can't seem to find them.

It's uncanny how real this dream seemed. I woke-up and had to force myself to try to remember if he'd really sent that email or if it was just a dream. In the dream, I had the same rainbow-colored background that I use on the real email service that I use to talk to him with.

I don't know what the meaning of my response is. I'm guessing it has something to do with my fruitless search to find a spiritual teacher. I know that there is (or I would hope) a loving bond between teacher and student.

Dream 2:

Before I get into the dream, let me give you a little bit of background information. A couple weeks ago, as you'll probably remember, I was suffering from the flu. My husband was ill with the flu, too, so neither of us were well enough to go to the grocery store to buy some more orange juice. I called my dad and asked if he'd mind getting us some. The next morning, he arrived with two gallons of orange juice which he placed on our front porch. I had him place the juice there instead of handing it to us because I didn't want him to get our sickness.

In the dream, my dad called to say that he and my stepmother were ill with the flu. He wanted to know if we could bring them some orange juice. In the dream, my dad lived across the street from us, in the house that was across the street from the house I grew-up in during my teenage years. I asked my husband if he'd mind getting my dad's garbage cans for him, and could he please put them on the curbside. Later, my dad showed-up with a package and told me that I couldn't open it yet. He said to "open it when you get to xxxxxxx-town", the town being where I grew-up my teenage years. When I went back inside the house, I went into the kitchen. Orange juice was spilled all over the white linoleum floor.

Dreams from February 29th:

Dream 1:

I don't remember many details of this dream, but there was a very old book laying on a side table by someone's couch. Inside of it in the back of the book were medals and pins from a soldier. The pages were yellowed so I know the book was pretty old. I was going to buy the book. But it turned out that I couldn't buy it because in the front of the book was the name "Edith", meaning that the book belonged to the man's wife, whose name was Edith.

Dream 2:

I am sitting in the backseat of a moving car. There is a Muslim boy wearing a kufi cap hanging on to the outside of the back car door, riding along. I ask him to come inside with us, and he says that he's "not allowed to". He's playing on some sort of drum. I beat on a basketball along with his rhythm. We are drumming together. Eventually he comes into the car and sits in the backseat. So he won't get into trouble, I take a blanket and wrap it around my face so that only my eyes are showing. (The blanket is a quilt my grandmother made for me in 1984. I still have it.) The boy is carrying some sort of pamphlet in an Arabic language. There are signatures all over the front of it. We want to become friends, and I ask him for his address so that I can write to him. He wants to give it to me written in pencil on the pamphlet, but a Muslim man that is riding in the passenger seat in the front of the car tells him that he can't give the pamphlet to me because it talks about secret locations. We are driving in the city somewhere, and we pass by a tall post with an electronic megaphone on it that is blaring Muslim prayer from it. There is a sign below it in an Arabic language. We drive-up to a landing beside a river. There are hundreds of giant salmon that have beached on the road, and some of them are rotting. People are walking on top of them, and driving over them in their cars.

The funny thing about this dream, is that it seemed to go on forever. Many dreams are short, but this one went on and on, and at one point I think I even became semi-lucid because it seemed as if I knew I was dreaming and that I forced myself to stay asleep so that I could finish the dream.

OK, that's enough of the dreams. Now I'm going to just chat for a little bit since I haven't posted in five days. I was down and out again and feeling quite apathetic towards everything, having no interest in anything, not even my own spiritual development or maintaining my Internet contacts. During this time I thought to myself that no spiritual teacher is going to want to work with someone who falls into depression so regularly. My absenses would be too frequent and sometimes quite unannounced. The reason I am here tonight, speaking on this blog, is because I seem to be momentarily coming out of the fog. I am used to this constant up and down behavior, so I know only too well not to expect tonight's contentedness to last. It might be here for a few days, a week, who knows, before the depression hits again. I've tried all sorts of medications, as everyone who reads my blog knows. I seem to be what is known as "treatment resistant". For almost two months I've been weaning onto Lamictal, so we'll see how that goes. Because a life-threatening rash can develop if one weans too quickly onto it, I'm having to go very slowly, so it could take months before I'm on a therapeutic dose.

If my complaints haven't managed to lose your attention thus far, I'll continue to go on, and announce that this week I made the decision to put a pause to my career, meaning that I'll not be at work anymore. I made this decision because I am unable to maintain my reliability nor my dependability at work due to my horrible attendance record. I really hate to say that I've allowed this mental illness to ruin my life, but it's something I'm going to have to accept for the time being. I'll go from living a comfortable middle-class life to living poorly, as I did when I was going to college. I absolutely dread this, but there are no other options unless I happen to meet a millionaire who sympathizes with my sob story and gives me a windfall. In the meantime, I can only hope to muster-up enough motivation and interest to enter sweepstakes on the Internet when I'm feeling lucid enough to do so.

Thanks for the comments you left while I was away. I am going to try to respond to them tonight, but if I don't get to them, I want to get to them this weekend. I like to keep-up with my responses because it's something I enjoy doing. I certainly enjoyed reading them.

Now on to some odd thoughts that I've had the past couple days:

Do people born on February 29th celebrate their birthdays on February 28th or March 1st during non-leap years?

Why are there piggy banks? I mean, why piggies and not horsies or doggies?

I looked at my hand this morning. I thought it a marvel that I was able to observe my hand, to be aware that I was observing it, and to be aware that I was aware. How on earth did that happen?!