The appearance of being true or real. At times I lack verisimilitude. Now may or may not be one of those times. I will try to get back to daily posts. I think I've been a little tippy lately. Not Down and not Up, just floaty in between.
I have written 42,000 words on my second steamy romance novel. I am excited to see what happens. No, I know what happens. I am excited to see how it happens-- how things unfold on their way to The End. Because how things end up is never a secret with romances. Here is plot: one person loves another person and there are some things getting in the way of that but eventually they figure things out the end.
Today in class when we asked students, "what can teachers do to make it hard to learn?" one of the answers was: mood swings. Which kinda made me freak out a little bit. A moment of-- Oh crap, I am going to be a terrible teacher because while my bipolar is minor and fairly well controlled at the moment, mood swings are de riguer.
But I realized that what she actually meant was PERSONALITY CHANGES. You know, where one day the teacher is really nice and laid back and the next day they bite your head off for asking a question. And I also realized that everyone has mood swings and I should just get over myself.
I have been very irresponsible with my sleep. '
I have been in thrall to my beading projects (not so much as I was when in full on manic/anxiety mode) and conveniently "not noticed the time." This is a lie. I know full well that I am staying up too late, but I am enjoying myself so much that I won't be an adult and put my toys away for the night and go to bed.
I am paying the price for this.
I gotta go look back and see (using the spare posts that I have) if there is a general trend toward Down or Up lately. Not sure. I know there was a period of Down. When I was tired tired tired. Now I am just... shifted. Left to my own devices I would go to sleep at 1:30 or 2:00 am and wake at 9 or 10. I have indulged myself in this behavior several times in the last week. Now it will no longer be possible because I will have to get the children to school every morning.
Our old cat has made it clear that he is done. Rather than watch his suddenly rapid decline, we are taking him to the Humane Society tomorrow. Because it is more humane. And it is. But I am having a hard time... we have had this cat almost since the time Spouse and I were married twenty years ago. Which is how he got to be old. Which is why he is done. Another v word: verklempt.
I am feeling very isolationist at the moment, which is terribly inconvenient for the following reasons:
STILL have not called to make stupid frickin frackin appointments to see the my psych NP or the OFP or the person who is supposed to test me for ADD.
(I like to do my writing in the kitchen when the dishwasher is on. The noise helps me focus.)
Here is what I am worried about, I think: small talk. So what is there to worry about, really. I can do small talk. I don't need to enjoy it. I just need to participate. Which is where the verisimilitude comes in. So long as I appear to be sincere-- that is what smalltalk is, after all. And too many of this week's events call for the talk to be small.
Note: Spouse bought black tea which we both thought had caffeine and I have been trying to figure out why I have such a withdrawal headache when I've had several cups of tea.... oops.
4yo: I know a lot about pacing. My brothers pace. I learned it from them.
Put a sleep app on my phone (to track quality of sleep. I'll let you know how it works)
took meds everyday everyday
NOT enough exercise.
I am waiting for the school year to begin. It begins in fits and starts. I have already begun to teach at the college. On Monday the daughter begins at preschool. Several days later, the sons begin their school year. The week following, I begin teaching at the public schools Adult Basic Ed program.
I am waiting to receive the updated copy of my first not-too-trashy (let's call it semi-steamy) romance novel in the mail. Then I can wait for the final edits to be done. Then I can wait to hear back from the potential publisher. (I am told that this waiting can take up to three months.)
I am waiting to heal completely from my semi-elective surgery*. I am waiting to get my act together and call to make a bunch of appointments. I am waiting for it to be Friday. On the general principal of Fridayness.
So far I have written 41,000 words on the sequel to the first romance novel. More than halfway done, probably. That isn't so much of a waiting as a doing. I am enjoying the doing.
I am waiting for it to be time to sleep. Waiting to hear back from the NAMI people on the final stage of training to be a guest speaker. Then waiting to train. Then waiting to have my first speaking engagement.
I do not feel like I am waiting for an anvil to fall on my head. Which is a good feeling. Or the absence of a bad feeling.
I am EXHAUSTED. Slept from sleep time until get-up time last night. The sleep of the dead. The sleep of logs. The sleep of the righteous. The sleep of righteously dead logs. The sleep of deadly righteous logs. The sleep of loggy dead righteousness.
Beginnings of some things and the ends of some other things. And vice versa.
slept at night
*acquisition of a less copious bosom
Naturally I am feeling the opposite of xenial. Which apparently means hospitable. Unless I am hospitable to anxiety and self-doubt and recriminations. Then I am plenty xenial.
There was a day recently where I was super tired for no reason and everything really irritated me. I struggled the entire day not to take a nap so that i would be able to sleep well at night.
Last night I was up until 4:00 am. I think. Something crazy like that. And today I am not tired. I'm only mildly concerned by this. I am not tired, but I do feel like crap, so I have that going for me.
Here is the litany of things that I am worrying about today:
Woke up and decided to try repairing the pocket door that leads to the children's bedroom. Before I did anything else. And it didn't work. Which meant that I became increasingly frustrated with the world in general and with the door in specific. Now I despair that the door will ever be repaired and my children will either be trapped in their room forever, or be forced to deal with an open doorway at all times.
Went to counselor person for younger son (anxiety) in which he became super anxious at the thought of doing relaxation exercise. So the counselor volunteered me to do the relaxation exercise. With a biofeedback thing measuring the temperature to my extremities. If I relaxed more, the temperature to my fingertips should theoretically go up. Naturally I was mildly relaxed at the beginning, I managed to get the temperature up a little bit... and then I STARTED WORRYING THAT I WOULD ACTUALLY BE MORE STRESSED AFTER THE RELAXATION EXERCISE THAN I WAS BEFORE. And the temperature went right back down. Ha. More proof of the ways in which my temperament and genetic contributions have doomed my children.
Failed to take my meds this morning-- instead taking them in the afternoon. Which I cannot blame for my tanking mood. Because I have taken them every day. Every day, every day, every day.
Have been super sensitive to smells and my allergies have been bothering me. So I went shopping and purchased all of the products that are designed to prevent pets from smelling up the house as well as all of the products designed to reduce allergens in the home.
My old cat is going to die. And as much as I keep saying and thinking horrible things about just waiting for the cat to die, I really am not looking forward to the actual occurrence. Bathed the cat today (see above smells comment) and determined that he is doing poorly. And now I have a really hard time not flinching when I look at him. Or making faces when I smell him. Which makes me a terrible pet owner. And a terrible person.
School schedule is screwed up-- this happens when collaborating between two or more different agencies. So now there will be some acrobatics involved in creating a working schedule. But it will be fine. It just proves my failure to plan. Or thinking that I had planned without confirming plans with all powers involved. But I thought we had things planned. So never mind.
Gave the entire family haircuts. And all of them have little bits of hair sticking up that I need to fix. Just a few. But they are the kinds of sticking-up hairs that make people say things like, "I'm sure glad we're not having family pictures taken this week." or perhaps, "You know, you could take them to get a real haircut."
Which shouldn't make me feel bad, because I am not, after all, a professional haircutter. Any more than I am a professional pocket door fixer. Or a professional cat geriatrician. I am a professional teacher, but not a professional administrator or scheduler. And it is a good thing i am not a professional parent, because I am pretty sure my pay would be docked.
Because I didn't take them to get their hairs cut earlier in the summer. And I didn't do anything fun with them because of my teaching schedule and other exigent circumstances. And I haven't done a good job of making sure that they help out with the daily clean. Or do their summer homework. Or do any piano or violin or play outside or solve the problem of conflict in the middle east. (They are very advanced.)
Found out that one of my uncles died.
I am a professional pugilist and spend a fair amount of time beating myself up. But don't worry. I am never down for the count.
started teaching again
my kids are really awesome (even if one is become a teena-jerk)
schedule will be sorted
ordered copy of not-too-trashy romance novel (final proof before submitting)
new boobies (or noobies) are healing nicely (semi-elective breast reduction)
blogged today. Need to blog more. Avoiding it as an excuse to avoid self-reflection. Because not so much liking the reflection of self at the minute. Once again, just wallowing for a time. No gigantic worriness necessary.
took my meds all the frickin' time
started walking up and down the 4 flights of stairs. Even kinda ran down them on Monday
Note: I have been out and about without a beaded cuff on and ALMOST didn't feel naked. But it wasn't on purpose and I still far prefer the weight of the deerskin beaded with seed beads snapped around my wrist. It is a visual reminder of my awesomeness.
Or maybe Y is for yesterdays. Many many many of them.
So I am totally off the hook for the last few ten days or however long it has been. Ten? I had several profound realizations and then promptly forgot them.
Here are a few choice ones:
I screwed up. And I felt bad about it. And then I got over it. (This, by the way, is a revelation.)
I am (as always) MUCH more lenient with other people's failings than I am with my own. Well, that is unless they are mean. Then I am not so lenient. Because I try really hard not to be mean. It's a core value.
Trying to accomplish work-related tasks while on Percoset (even though you are pretty sure it has no effect on you whatsoever) is a really bad idea. (See above "screw up.")
In the past month I have
And here is my fantastic excuse for not posting: I had surgery on August 11. What kind? A good kind. Semi-elective. At the advice of my doctor I got myself some teenier ta-tas. So now I am two pounds lighter, my back doesn't hurt for the first time in... forever, and I can purchase undergarments from regular department stores. Without taking out a second mortgage on the house.
I was really not very good about sharing this information with anyone. So if you are surprised, you are not alone. Most of my relatives were unaware. For some reason it is much easier to tell people that I have bipolar disorder than to tell people that I am going to have "bilateral reduction mammoplasty." But, there you have it.
Trying to get back into posting. But I got kinda knocked out of whack. Who knew that surgery could do that to ya. I think I overestimated my recovery process based on the fact that this was an outpatient procedure. Glad that I gave myself two weeks to get back on my feet before the beginning of my fall teaching.
Much as I hate to admit it, I think that the psychiatrist was right: I am used to being just a little bit hypomanic. Zippy. Containing a tad too much energy and excitement. Full of ideas that are bouncing around, but not bouncing so fast that I can't keep them under control.
I have been feeling Down for a bit over a week. Not so much this weekend or today. So that's good. I wonder sometimes if Down is just what I feel like when I am not a little bit hypomanic. Not Depressed. Just... not very much of anything.
I also wonder if it matters. I mean whether it even makes sense to tease out whether things are as a result of temperament or illness/disability.
How curious to make a distinction between these two. Do we call things illnesses if there is a possibility of recovery and disability is saved for permanent conditions? Cancer is not considered a disability-- perhaps because however elusive their may be. Is this why Depression is considered an illness an Bipolar is considered a disability?
The label certainly has nothing to do with the level of impairment. Both illness and disability fall on a continuum. A little bit sick through EXTREMELY SICK. Also mildly disabled to majorly disabled. (Insert whatever politically correct phrase you would like to here about differently abled or whatnot.)
I am done teaching for the summer. I have people subbing for me through the end of summer session. Partly because I feel the need for more than 5 days of summer break before I start teaching in the fall. And partly because I need time just to get things DONE before the school year starts. Giddy-up here it comes! (Relieved. I do better with routine. And I do even better with routine that I like.)
This is very scattered because I failed to blog for a long time. I don't know a week or more. Was not really into the whole opening my computer while at home sort of thing. Except to write.
And I have been writing, which is good. I am up to 38,000 words on the second book in my not-too-trashy romance novel series. Thoroughly enjoying the writing process. So that is good.
I have been beading, but in a responsible fashion. I have started making smaller pieces instead of just the beaded cuffs since wide bracelets are not for everyone and they are gonna be kind a pricey. So pins, barrettes, little framed doodads, (gotta love the doodads) and a few whatnots (gotta be my favorite--the whatnots).
OH - super excited that not only did my beading get accepted into the women's art expo BUT my work is featured on the promotional post cards for the show! They still have last year's stuff on their website, but I'll let you know when it changes...
I have my stuff on a website now that I haven't shared with anyone really, but I'm going to change it into more of a gallery (without option to purchase-- since I am really not set up to handle that and I need all the inventory I can put together for the expo).
I really kicked butt today:
This is true. Y is Mondays. Why are Mondays? Mondays are the longest day of the year. Of the century, millennia, era, epoch...
Can you tell I did not experience pure satisfaction in the execution of the day's events?
There is still some lingering Down. Day 2 of Down. I Down-loaded the optimism app to put on my phone again. I will go back and look at my spotty blog entries to back-date some date-uh. Spelling will NOT confine me today. English sucks. Just what you want to hear an ESL teacher say.
Went in to work with a Bad Attitude. An attitude of Sinking Blah. A fear or certitude that I have let my students down by being me. Which is really not a good feeling to have.
I know this is not the case, by the way. I know that being me is not a detractor from my teaching. In fact it is typically a bonus. But in the world of the irrational, where my subconscious lives, all kinds of crappy stories are true.
This Down feeling was followed by some lively discussion about the value of standardized test scores and their applicability to real life (they are not applicable, btw).
I allowed the furthering of Down by Taking Things Personally when a student approached me after class to:
Looking back, this seems quite funny. At the time it did not feel quite funny. I am hyper-sensitive to criticism anyway (personality or illness, it kinda does' t matter). And when the Downs hit, I am raw and ready to fall apart at the least provocation.
Bonus: I did not fall apart. Not visibly. Not so anyone would notice. I just sank a bit more comfortably into the Downs.
Tomorrow I will catch up on all the e-mail that has somehow gotten away from me again.
Tomorrow I will fold laundry.
Tomorrow I will tap dance. (My feet are no longer in constant pain from misuse-disuse of my custom orthotics. It is hard to dance with plantar facieitis. It has no rhythm, it is a terrible partner and it always wants to lead.
Was this a sudden Down or a long gradual slide into the Downs? I don't know. I will have to go back and read. I remember thinking as recently as last week that I probably didn't even need the bupropion anymore. I think I am wrong. I have missed no days of the meds. I was late with them on a single day in the past many weeks.
I just want the next three days to be DONE. I have these last few days of summer school in which I feel like I am a crappy/boring/lackluster/ineffectual teacher. Blah.
The confessions that I would rather not make: felt like a kinda crappy day felt like when I was in the middle of my eating disorder. Which makes sense, I suppose, because that's when my Depression started. Now I get this unpleasant nostalgia.
Do not read this post as a pick-me-up.
napped with the daughter
took my meds
went to see dr. for routine physical
remembered to wear my cuff (the original one, actually)
didn't lie in my blog
even though it was really tempting
Tomorrow is Z. Then I think I will go backwards.
Okay, technically x is not really for xeric. But I hate it when people use X marks the spot or X-tremely nice. So
My garden is currently a xeric environment. Which is great for the little box of cacti. But not so great for the wandering tomatoes and the chest-high potato plants and the ankle-high corn plants.
I feel downish today for the first time in a while. Not sad-- because sad comes and goes and is a normal human emotion. I guess "down" is also a normal human emotion but I'm not sure how to separate Down from sad.
Low energy-- kind of. Low energy for doing anything fun. Went to the park with the daughter this morning. She just started riding a big-kid bike with training wheels and was practicing her stops and starts. When I was there I had no gumption. Just wanted to be at home. Forced myself to play hide and seek, to sit on a giant swing, to roll around in a spherical chair, to build stick sculptures.
Reading this it looks like I was a great parent and all gung-ho. That is not true. I was a slug. The daughter had to negotiate and bribe me into every interaction. I was overheating. I didn't bring water with me. I was internally whiny.
Returning home I planned to Do Something Useful. In the past week of conference-going everything went out the window in terms of the family 15-minute clean. The place is not a DISASTER. But it is quite untidy.
In the process of deciding what to focus on, I discovered that our ancient cat had used our kitchen bench as a urinal. For some time. So there went the rest of my day. And it really tanked my mood, too.
I have some nameless creeping dead going on. Not looking forward to the last week of teaching. Or the rest of the summer. Or starting up in the fall. I can feel the expectations I have for myself starting to go through the roof while faith in my ability to do anything sinks through the floor. Does this make sense? The widening gap causes some deal of stress.
Now I have to go read Garfield and Pokemon. I cannot say that it is likely to improve my bad attitude. I have begun to catalog all of the things that I have meant to get around to but have not done so. This is never a useful endeavor.
talked to people
went to acupuncturist
did not euthanize family pet
The ability to worry is not confined to those with mental illness. We are just better at it. More persistent. Less constrained by the reality of any situation. Mostly for me, there is just a general underlying nameless creeping dread. About what? Nope. Not about.
This week I attended a professional conference. I kept intended to post, but found that my brain was full and I had spent too much time on my computer to think of opening it once I returned home. I came away with a bunch of stuff I can use in the classroom, which is great. [insert worry over the fact that I have not already incorporated all these things]
Started excavating a space in my back yard for the installation of an egress window. Which means the boys will be able to move into their room in the basement beds and all (now it is just all their toys and stuff). [insert guilt-- worry's kissing cousin-- over the fact that I am only just now getting around to this after years of talking about it]
One day going to the conference I forgot to take my meds. [worry]
One day going to the conference I forgot to wear my beaded bracelet/cuff. [worry]
It was the second forgetting that caused me the most strife. With the meds (bupropion, my anti-depressant) I just shrugged and told myself that I could take them when I came home. With the cuff I contemplated returning home to fetch it and being late to the conference.
Instead I stopped at a store on the way and purchased an inexpensive bead bracelet of the appropriate size and width. I have become VERY accustomed to having a wide cuff of beaded deerskin on my left wrist. Apparently I need to throw a spare in my purse. Typically I drive and do plan to throw a spare in the glove compartment.
Because in the absence of said cuff, I can focus ALL OF MY WORRY on that particular item. When it is there I don't notice it. And my worry can be nebulous, or perhaps even directed at a worthy target. But without it, I am apparently free to be as irrational as I like and imbue the cuff with mystical properties.
On a happy note, I received the promotional postcards for the Minnesota Women's Art Festival and my Sunflower Blue beaded cuff is featured!
Quaker, teacher, parent,