This ‘n That

Weekly Wrap-up
I promised myself that I’d post around twice a week – not doing too well on that promise. It’s been two months since my last post. My head isn’t in a space to write in my usual manner, so I’ll just list what’s going on in a half hazard way.


I’ve started working for the first time in ten years. It’s just a few hours each week for a friend who does website and graphic design, but it’s a start, though it’s a struggle.

My writer’s group has taken over a big part of my life. Bigger than I should allow. .

I’m in the midst of a three-week vacation from the novel while I take an assessment of the direction its going. I’d outlined it to go one direction, yet my writing took it another. I’m not backing up or starting over again. I’m just working on where to go from here.

I’ve been wallowing in self-pity a lot. Asking myself why I have to live with bipolar. Asking why things that should be easy, like working for a friend a few hours a week, can’t be easy. Other things that have made me sad include:

  • The embarrassment of waiting at a bus stop knowing friends see me as they drive past.
  • Why weight has been, and continues to be, a big problem for me.
  • Living in fear that our current government will succeed in their desire to end Social Security Disability. Their plan is to put everyone back to work, which makes no goddamn sense since the reason I receive disability is because I can’t work.
  • Simple church activities have gotten to be too much and I’m going to have to meet with my minister and cut back on volunteer work I’ve been doing and recently agreed to. This is not the first time I’ve mentioned this here, but it’s reached the point that I can’t ignore it.
  • I continue to grow more disillusioned with my country every day, and I’m frustrated I can’t just leave.
  • I still freak out if I have three or more things scheduled during a week and lately I’ve been regularly having more than three.

My neurosurgeon has determined I do not need surgery to fix the numbness and pain in my arm and hand. There are some disks in my spine that are touching due to calcium build-up, but none are disks that would affect the nerves that are causing trouble. He gave me some basic exercises to help my hand and arm, and says the calcium build-up does not require any treatment.

My neurosurgeon agrees with my previous one that the tumor in my head is benign and does not appear to be growing. Unlike my previous neurosurgeon, he is concerned about the possibility of growth because it is in a dangerous location. I will be scheduled for new MRI’s every 6 – 12 mos. to track any changes.

I had my first public dissociative episode for the first time in a very long while. It was at the supermarket in the produce section. I caught it and Maurice saw it just as it was beginning and I was forced to run out of the store. I stayed outside until it settled enough for me to function and go home.

I had much more to go over, but my memory fails me today. So here’s all that came to mind in a chaotic way. Hopefully I can post something a bit more coherent in a few days.

17 comments on This ‘n That

  1. I am struggling with the same challenge of accepting the limitation created by bipolar. Recently I have finally gotten myself to do one social interaction a week (outside of my therapy) – both of them writing groups. This weekend I am going to try to try the local Unitarian church (this is very progressive community, so my vague spiritually probably won’t be frowned upon) – still the social anxiety is high just thinking about it. Just have to accept that if I keep to my meds, stay sober (3 months tomorrow) and keep to my therapy, I will be able to slowly expand my social engagement with the world.

    I worry about the SSDI cuts. Actually I feel lucky my review is this November so if I get approved for another 3 years that I’ll be relatively safe. But the news out there has enough people pointing out that these cuts breaks his promise not to touch Social Security. This will be my first review, but from what I can tell, what is important is to have the psychiatrist give a report of the extent of the disability. Plus your other medical issues should be further reason for you to stay on (I have an inner ear syndrome that causes vertigo so that will help I think). What they’re looking for I think is more of the person who has a bum knee or the like who got on SSDI.

    Just thought I also say I was formerly known as Elusive Trope. I had to change my blog name because I had someone who got their nose bent out of shape and was commenting inappropriate things on my previous posts. Hope to see more of your posts in the future. And the all the best with your novel writing and writing groups. I’m thinking of doing NaNoWriMo again this year and try to get a novel (or novella) going somewhere.

    1. Thanks for letting me know about the name change. I wondered where you were.

      I’m amazed we have a lot in common. First, I also attend a writing group, as I said above. I attend only one. I would be overwhelmed by more than that. Secondly, I’ve been attending a Unitarian Universalist church for over ten years now. I love it, but have pushed a bit too much and have way too much involvement that I need to cut back. Your “vague spiritually” will be accepted. I’d guess half of our congregants are atheists, so obviously it’s a welcoming religion. Great job on the three months. I’ve been clean and sober for over thirteen years now. You got this.

      Vertigo? Well, I haven’t had an episode in years, but at its worse there were times I’d lay flat on the bed and hold on tight because the room was spinning out of control to the point that I thought I was going to go flying if I didn’t hang on. I do have an excellent therapist who knows exactly what SSDI wants to hear. He got me approved on the first application, which is nearly unheard of.

      Sorry you had to change your blog name. I’ve changed the name of mine twice by choice and lost readers as a result. I hope you haven’t experienced the same. I’m glad you popped in.

      1. One of the writing groups I’m actually facilitating (it’s through I had signed up for another group and that facilitator flaked out and I ended voiuntarily took things over (happened during a hypo-manic phase)…I was kind of hoping it would fizzle out, but it has seemed to be taking off. At least my work career basically consisted of organizing meeting of one kind or another, but the facilitating part is a bit of a stressor. The difference is that it isn’t a workshop but rather primarily a social gathering of writers so that seems to make it less in need of structure.

        My one Unitarian experience was in a small city in the MidWest so it was still leaning heavy toward Christianity, so I lasted about two weeks. I will have to watch myself because I have a tendency to not be able to “just say no” to any volunteer invitation (how I ended up facilitating the writing group). 😉

        1. Yeah, my writing group is through Meetup. A friend of mine was the facilitator and got me to join. Soon after things in her life forced her away and guess who wound up as facilitator? Fortunately I only co-facilitate now, but still more work than I wanted to take on.

          1. at least i know i’m not the only one left holding the bag. 😉 part of me is not looking forward to November since a number of the participants are looking for the group to support their NaNoWriMo efforts (and I’m afraid they’ll get me sucked into that craziness — i did it last year and it frayed my nerves)

  2. While I think that cars are more convenient in many cases, I often wish we had better big-city mass transit here, because I think it’s just smart and I would use it! I don’t think less of anyone at a bus stop, and wish you didn’t feel that way when you’re there.
    I’m sorry you’re going through all the health issues, because that always brings my anxiety to the pinnacle 🙁
    Dissociation is SO FRIGHTENING :/
    I hope an upswing is comin your way 🙂

    1. LA transit is better than people think, but it still sucks overall. I’m fortunate that I live just off one of the major bus lines that gets me to most places, but if I have to transfer it’s a whole different animal.

      I should have known the dissociative episode was coming because I have experienced so much anxiety recently. Because I was in public when it started I was terrified that people could see what was happening and I started tearing up. I’m grateful I was able to get outside before it became too bad.

      I believe I am on an upswing. It’s just going to take a little time is all. Just not as soon as I’d like.

  3. ((((hugs)))) to you my friend. I don’t know how to help, but I do have a comment about your “friends.” The people driving by must not be friends. If they were, they would offer you a ride. I certainly would!! And just remember, you can’t say happiness without saying penis!! I just think that’s funny.

    1. Nah, I can’t be so hard on my friends. This is a busy fast paced city and the odds they’re going the same direction or the same distance is unlikely. In addition, because I was unable to take care of myself for so long, I cherish the independence. I just wish the independence was a car rather than a bus, but living on SSDI makes that unlikely to change anytime soon.

      Thank you for the penis comment. It made me laugh.

  4. I went on a break for 3 weeks and have only just come back after a year, Your readers will wait for you. Our government is also trying to get rid of disability benefits (UK) people who are bedbound are being refused and its only after fighting you might get them back. Mine has just stopped recently, so I am now appealing but its a long road and its exhausting, does nothing for my mental health apart from bringing it down

    1. That’s the killer part. You have to jump through numerous hopes to get the care you need and deserve, but it all happens when you’re at your weakest. Maurice has to call my Medi-Cal caseworker, instead of me, when we need something, because they make me spiral downward super fast.

  5. Good to hear from you. I can understand how it can be hard to work even a few hours each week. I am working a few a month and that is sometimes too much for me. My anxiety has been really high too that I’ve actually flirted on the edge of dissociative episodes while driving! The bus is not even an option for me out here in the suburbs, although it is what I should probably take it if was at times.

    I can understand the weight thing too. I was just complaining to my husband about not being able to get the weight off. It’s really hard when you’re dealing with all the other crud we deal with to add the stress of weight loss plans into the mix, too.

    It’s funny you brought up leaving the country too because I was just telling my husband we should do that too just last night. I said Europe where they close up shop for two hours everyday to eat lunch with their loved ones and have mini fridges instead of the huge ones we have because they walk down to the open market for fresh food to cook for dinner each night and things like that. At least this is what a friend of mine told me who has family in different parts over there says. I’ve never been and probably never will. A girl can dream though. 🙂

    1. My point being that in Europe it is generally a less stressful way of life than here in the US according to my friend.

      1. In case you haven’t read it in previous posts, we’re seriously considering Uruguay. We’ll likely do an exploratory tour next year, but don’t know for sure when we can make the big move.

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