Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out with the old...

I don't know about you, but I am happy that it's going to be a new year because I didn't like this one a heck of a lot. It was way too exciting for me and I don't always like all that much excitement in my life. Having had my share of it this year, I have come to the conclusion that I like a quiet and serene life without all the ups and downs that this one brought. I suppose, if there is anything that I wish for, it is serenity, but that is possibly not my main wish, although it is related to it. If and when it comes true, I will tell you about it. In the meantime, I will be quietly working on it.
I am not going to ask for happiness, because despite everything, I did have my share of that. Sometimes, well regularly, I had overdoses of it and that was no fun either, so be careful what you wish for. See? I may have wished for the wrong thing last year. You have to carefully word these things because the Goddess of Fate takes them very literally. Maybe it is better to not wish for anything, but to assume that through your own power, you are going to bring something about. Simply because you made up your mind to. Maybe all it takes is the right attitude.
I do symbolically wash my hands of this old year and quietly state to myself, "Good riddance!" I would not want to do this year over again for all the money in the world, that's how much I disliked it. I did learn some lessons along the way, but I am sure I could have learned them a lot easier if I had not been so taken in by my own failing psyche and my shortage of understanding of it. God, the time we waste learning the most simple things. I must be a special hardheaded case with a very thick skull.
I wish you all a happy new year and all the best things that life can bring you and the fortitude to bear the less happy ones. See you on the flip side.

Yes, that is also something I do.

I had the oddest going to bed ritual last night. I took a tall glass of cold beer and a bag of salted peanuts to bed with me and believe me, I never do anything like that, so I too never cease to surprise myself. I was very thirsty and thought the beer would take care off that and also help me sleep, but I woke up in the middle of the night with the bag of peanuts beside me in the bed and half the glass of beer on the nightstand. I will never be any fun as a drunk in an American cocktail bar. I just don't know how to party.  I'm a failure when I'm up to no good.
Of course, what was left of that beer didn't look in the least appealing, so I made some coffee instead, not that it quenches the thirst that I now have because of the salted peanuts. Ha, you win some, you lose some and somewhere in the middle lies the truth. Beer and I never did get along that well. I drank it when I was in my late teens for a while and I gained ten pounds just from doing that. It may have been nutritional, but it was fattening also. Oh yes, I do remember regularly eating pizza and spaghetti at that time too. I was in my formative years.
I had no business being in a strange country already married to someone who was 11 years older than me at that age, and I still don't know how that came about because I certainly put no effort into bringing it about. It was almost like an arranged marriage that my spouse and my mother had agreed on. Would you trust your 17 year old to make such a big decision? I was as naïve as they come.
All my life I have wanted to be a wise adult and it seems that I have finally become one, but it certainly took me long enough because my time was taken up with so many other things. I got my chronology a bit screwed up, but I am glad that I have a few decades left to take advantage of what I know now and I try not to look back with regrets. I did so many important things when I absolutely had no idea what I was doing and I do think that's a damn shame. I do take advantage of the fact that I am now an autonomous woman and I would be very hard pressed to give it up or to ever again take the responsibility over another person's life. I do see how incredibly precarious that is.

Monday, December 30, 2013

A little more enthusiasm than that, please.

Having gotten through a not so easy weekend, when half of the time I thought my medication was not working, I wrote my psychiatrist an email early this morning and explained the situation to him and asked for help. I always assume that he is more knowledgeable than I am and that whatever suggestions I make will be considered, but that he will come up with better ones. He called me a while ago with a good plan of reducing one medication and increasing another as necessary and that sounded sensible to me. We also had a bit of a therapeutic chat and he is going to call me tomorrow and urges me to send him whatever cohesive thoughts come up in me by email. I must say that I am very fortunate to have the psychiatrist that I do. I always have faith because of him that everything will turn out okay.
I feel hypomanic a lot, although it is interrupted by short periods of relative calm. The reason why this is happening so much lately, is what my psychiatrist is trying to uncover and he wants me to analyze my life and things that are happening in it to find the possible cause. It could also be that I am taking too much of my anti-depressive medication and that one is being reduced, but that does not mean, of course, that my life does not have to be looked at really well. One thing does not exclude the other. There is always an interaction between the two.
It s very possible that the fact that my daughter has broken off contact with me, is bothering me more than I am aware of. I understand her action and her reason for doing so, and don't even disagree with her, because I think I would have done the same thing if I had been in her shoes. But maybe I am terribly hurt and I am not allowing myself to feel this, although what I really feel is relief at the end of a terrible episode. There was an awful lot of madness going on at the time and I want to leave that behind me and become healthy. I can only do that on my own and with the help of a few selected people.
I do not despair, but don't ask me why not. I guess hypomania is good for something in that you always feel optimistic even when maybe you ought not to. But why not see the sunny side of everything. Does it make any difference if I do not?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I can always do better than that

It is with the usual contempt for what time in the morning it is that I sit here with my cup of coffee in the almost dark living room. My mind told me it was time to get up, so I obeyed and now I just hope that I don't become hypomanic like I did yesterday morning for the first half of it. That makes it sound like I was totally passive in this process, but I have to tell you, that's how it felt, although I did put up a good fight. Whatever chemical imbalance was taking place, was not restored quickly enough by my medication, and it wasn't until hours later that I stopped being a 'danger' to myself. I could have singlehandedly rearranged the whole apartment, had it not been for my bum knee, and ordered new accessories on line. Something deep inside of me prevented me from doing that. Thank goodness for that, because my bank account would not have survived the onslaught.
It is too early to take my medicines because I don't want to upset the schedule. I feel alright now and not so good that I am in a hallelujah mood. My whole state of mind is an unpredictable thing and not something that I can count on, no matter how many plans I make and how many good intentions I have. I am always prepared for one condition, and then it turns out that I am presented with another one that I had not counted on. Each day is a surprise and if anyone has to learn to live in the moment, it is certainly me. That is one lesson that I thought I had learned, but that turns out I have to apply quite differently than I understood I ought to. Experience teaches you the things that you must learn. There is no instant knowledge and there are no short cuts.
It is very interesting how I used to write about nothing at all on this blog and thought that that was the best thing to do. I thought if I didn't tell you any of the more gory details about my life, I could also pretend that they did not exist and go on acting like I was just an ordinary, average, non descript person who had a very ordinary life. Did I fool you? Did I keep it up long enough? I thought if I did, you would all fall for it and I would pass the test. I wanted more than anything to be accepted and thought I had to fit in some sort of mold, the shape of which I had made up myself. It was a ridiculous thing to do, of course, and I am glad that I have stopped doing that. It was very dishonest and I even almost pulled the wool over my own eyes. I don't know if I did over yours.
I think I am more of a blessing to a lot of people if I am honest and have a full disclosure policy. And, let's face it, it helps me a lot to write down my thoughts, because it is as good as talking to a therapist and I don't get interrupted.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

With the usual excitement

One thing I ought not to do again, and that is run out of tranquilizers like I did yesterday. By the time I got the emergency supply from my GP, I was just about bouncing off the walls. If that is not a good description, let's just say that I was highly agitated and it took more than one pill to settle me down again, but at least I did in the end. I think my mind wants to be hypomanic, but it is the pills that prevent it from being so. On unguarded moments, the hypomania does rear its ugly head. It is that I am so much aware of it, otherwise it would have just taken over and I would be far from home by now.
Yesterday was a very stormy day, but then it had been the night before also. Outside, the wind whipped at me from every possible direction and it was a challenge to take Tyke out for a walk,. But I have to be honest with you and tell you that I really like the violence of the wind like a true Dutch woman and like to be outside in it. Tyke must be a true Dutch dog , because he likes it stormy also, although it nearly blows him off his feet. It's at times like this, when the wind nearly blows me over, that I remember being at the seaside and having it come at me at full gale force. If anything totally and completely blows the cobwebs from your mind, it is a storm like this. It cleanses you down to your very bones.
I suppose that I am glad that it is just an ordinary weekend now and not some sort of holiday. At least we get a bit of a respite until New Year's eve when all the fireworks will be set off. I am more than ready for an ordinary weekend with ordinary television  programs, because I feel deprived of culture and I will get that starting this morning. I can't believe that I was temporarily under the illusion that I could do without a television because it is the cultural programs that I enjoy watching the most. There must be a god in heaven after all when I can get so much of it on my plate in two days worth of time. And I can do so sitting very comfortable in my big leather chair where there is room for all the paraphernalia I need to keep at hand and room for Tyke and Gandhi to sit on my lap also. What more could a woman ask for?
It is time again to appreciate the small things in life now that all the hullaballoo of Christmas is over. After all that glitz and glitter I can pay attention to what matters most in my everyday life and they are just the ordinary little things. I think that is what is so distracting about a major holiday, that you lose sight of that. I do like things a bit low key and less noisy. I don't need for things to be in an uproar for weeks on end. I have that tendency of my own enough.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Tomorrow's shopping list has been made and, by carefully picking and choosing, I've made it come in under the budget with pennies to spare. It's a good thing I know what the total will be at the check out stand, and that I know I will have to stick to the list. There will be no impromptu purchases tomorrow. It is not allowed by order of law. It's also a good thing that my cravings were satisfied yesterday at my sister's house so I won't have to buy something like chocolate or ice cream. I think a Christmas dinner is supposed to take care of all of that sort of nonsense so you get it out of your system for the next 6 months or until the 4th of July.
One thing I will be glad of and that is when normal television programming resumes. There has been such drivel on TV theses last few days that I have hardly watched it. We did once again assure everyone of the fact that we are a Christian nation, because that must not have escaped anyone's attention and I thought Christmas was a secular enough holiday by now. We have enough people living here of other ethnicity that I thought we didn't have to lay it  on so thick, but I was mistaken. People who never saw Jesus as their personal savior, suddenly sang how much they adored him on national television.
Because I wanted Tyke to have a holiday feast also, he had fried ground pork for breakfast and dinner and green beans for lunch and he has never been as happy and satisfied. I am seriously contemplating always feeing him like this, because it may be better for him and cause him to lose weight. The pork was very lean and I didn't season it. I will have to go to the supermarket's website and price the large packs of ground pork and see if they are as expensive as buying dog food. I may have to adjust my shopping list yet.
Tomorrow morning I have to call the GP's office to ask about the test result for the vitamin D deficiency, which I forgot to do before the holidays. I also have to ask her to write a prescription for tranquilizers because I just took the last one. My psychiatrist is not going to be back in his office until Monday so my GP will have to do the honors. I can't do without the tranquilizers because I get way too stressed. I can't believe the difference between me on them and off. I had not really realized how much stress I always walked around with until I stopped feeling it. Now I don't want to feel it again at all.

Just roll me out the door.

Instead of going to bed where I belong at this time of night, I am making this Christmas day last longer by staying up later because I had a good evening and now I am not in the mood to go to sleep. My stomach is full also and I would have to roll myself into the bedroom, so I better stay up for a bit and let everything settle first.
My sister fixed a great vegetarian Christmas dinner and I was not shy about piling the food on my plate. One of the dishes she made was lasagna with eggplant and fennel and I had two helpings of it. I will have to get the recipe because it's been a long time since I tasted anything so good. She also made an indescribable dessert that was like an angel peeing on your tongue, as we say here in the Netherlands, and I had a helping and a half of that. I think I made up for all the food I could not eat at one time.

We started the evening off with a bubbly wine and even I had two glasses of it and very much appreciated how sparkly and fresh it tasted. I then, to my own astonishment, had a glass of white wine with dinner. Really! This happens only ones a year and I have to say that whatever inhibitions I may have had about that disappeared as snow for the sun. I did have a strong cup of coffee with my dessert, so no harm was done. I need not have worried about getting tipsy. After all, wine is such a benign alcoholic beverage.
Actually, I ate just enough food and was not really uncomfortably full. The best part was that my stomach did not protest at any point and that can be called a true miracle. I think it may have had to do with the fact that the food was so wholesome and prepared well. Even now, some hours later, I am not feeling any pain and that is saying a lot for my delicate system. All kudos go to my sister.
Now that I am cozily ensconced here, it is hard to make up my mind to go to bed. I have the excuse that I can sleep late in the morning, but it may be that Tyke will be of a different opinion. It is another holiday here on Thursday, so I can be as lazy as I want to be. I have no idea if any store is going to be open, although a supermarket may be for a few hours.
I was disguised like a lady today and hardly recognized myself.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Here we are...

I can't get around acknowledging that it's Christmas today, although, so far, I notice very little of it. If I turn on the television, I can watch some very schmaltzy shows, but I certainly don't want to do that because I am allergic to them. Imagine Andre Rieu addressing an adoring audience in German in fake snow and his orchestra members with Santa hats on. Blegh. How low can a man fall? No, give me a cathedral with a good choir or two under the able hands of a good choir master and let them sing the roof down. That's what I want to hear at Christmas.
I am not at all the 'bah humbug' kind of person, and at one time I was also a major consumer at Christmastime. I also fell for the commercialism of it hook, line and sinker when I still lived a middle class life in the States, with my 2.4 children and two cars and house in the suburbs. It is amazing how your environment shapes you and how you start to act like the people you most associate with. Especially when you are relatively young and still somewhat malleable in your opinions. You've got to have an enormous sense of self not to get caught up in the general turmoil of whatever national holiday is celebrated.
I have to say that I enjoyed one thing a lot, and that was decorating the tree, a deed which I exercised as if it was a lost art. I bought new ornaments for it every year and they had to be the imported, authentic kind from Scandinavia and Germany and I was in cohorts for this search with a good friend. We started getting that crazed look in our eyes late October and no store that sold ornaments was safe for us. One store in particular, Pier 1 Imports, was a favorite hunting ground. I think we went there at least once a week to see if there was anything new and we were often rewarded.
I don't have room for a tree in my apartment now, but  I did not feel like decorating for Christmas at all. I didn't want to put too much emphasis on the holiday to make me that aware of the fact that I was alone for it. I had hoped to celebrate it with my daughter and grandson in Houston, but that turned out to be a pipedream, and now it looks like that will never happen again. I think it was a bit naïve of me to assume that a tradition like that would be started and maintained. It was too much to wish for. I better get used to the fact that I entertain myself at the holidays and make sure that I always have my own plans. I am sure I will be quite capable of this.
One thing that is very nice, and that is that my medicines are working well today and I am feeling amazingly calm and serene. I am so very appreciative of this that nothing else matters. This is true 'peace on earth' for me. If I never got another gift, than this would be enough.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A life worth living.

I may have given the impression that I was doing well the other day, but that was not at all the case. The blog post I wrote then was just a recording of a short upbeat period of an otherwise complicated day. Emotionally, I bounced around all over the place and hit highs and lows on both extremes. During the lows, I thought I was losing my mind and probably came close on at least one occasion. I was paranoid and psychotic, and only after a long time, when I had a clear moment, did I realize I should take an extra antipsychotic, which I did of a double dose.
The Exfactor was here this morning and I talked to him about this. Because I did, I was able to formulate my thoughts about what had happened and, because he acted as more than a sounding board, I found the language to explain events to him and to myself. After that, I could call my psychiatrist and discuss the problem with him so that we could come up with a solution, and now my dose of antipsychotics has been officially increased again and I can take a tranquilizer if I feel the need. 
My psychiatrist thinks that it's the Jolly Christmas Season that is doing me in, and I have a tendency to agree with him, although I was very stoically denying it up to that point. The fact that my daughter has recently broken off all contact with me no doubt plays an important role in that as well.
The tranquilizer I took this afternoon made me sleep for two hours, although I was not supposed to do that in case it upsets my night and day rhythm. When I woke up, I did feel very good, but not in a manic sort of way.
I have to keep the triggers down to a minimum and have as much of a normal schedule as possible. Eat, walk Tyke, sleep, be active, rest, do all these things at the right time and sensibly. And not too much of anything. I have to be my own best guardian. The medicine should help a lot, though.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

On a good day...

Although it is a Sunday, and officially a day of rest, I am doing the chores because I had been lying down on the job these last few days and had not got around to them. I very cheerfully started off with three days worth of dishes and they looked a bit daunting to start with, but when I was halfway through them, I had gotten up to the proper speed and I was ready to tackle whatever came next. The washing machine is churning away now after I collected as much laundry as I could and I have folded and put away what was on the clothing rack.
It seems impossible that I am having fun doing these boring chores, but I am actually enjoying myself. I am going to strip my bed next so I will have the pleasure of sleeping under clean covers tonight. I am doing whatever I can to make my surroundings as pleasant as possible and my living experience the optimal I can make it. With a bit of imagination, I will think of other things to do that will bring that about.
Of course, I am not going to create so much work for myself that it stops being fun. The whole point is to enjoy myself and that does not mean a day of drudgery. And I also have to remember to very much live in the moment and to not plan my day too much ahead of time. It would spoil all the fun if I tried to live it according to some sort of tight schedule.
The less nice thing is that it is a wet gray day outside and not one that makes me want to go for long walks with Tyke.That would definitely not be an enjoyable thing to do, though getting a bit wet is not the worst part. It is the cold wind that blows that is the worst. I am grateful for hot cups of coffee on a day like this. Cold lemonade just does not cut it.


To give you an impression of how my mind is working now that it seems to be under the influence of an incoming hypomanic episode, I, for an hour or so, seriously entertained the theory that I only rapid cycle in the months that have an 'R' in them. I was convinced of this until I ate some cookies and became sure that they were the ones that would push me further into hypomania. This idea suddenly seemed so ridiculous, that I started to question some of the other things I had been contemplating.
So you see, I am coming close to being a mad woman and irrational, and it is only these short little glimpses into sanity that show me the truth of my behavior. I have to take advantage of these glimpses into the truth and write them down immediately, so that I will remember them at a later time when I can reread these posts for further reference.
At the danger of becoming paranoid, I will question whatever other bright psychological 'insights' I get into myself from now on. Whenever I start to look for a cause and effect and start to build a theory around them, I hope I will remember the 'cookie moment' and stop what I am doing. There is sheer madness in the twists and turns of logic my mind will take to reach the answer that fits my problem. Even more so in the complete conviction of me thinking I am totally right in my conclusions and in how I try to convince other people of that too.
Of course, now I have to question if I am still becoming hypomanic or if I am regaining peace and sanity again. It is a learning curve that I am on and I may have just had a big test that I passed with flying colors, although stating that is already too much of a pompous thing. I do have to keep my ego in check, because if there is one thing that grows beyond proportion when I am hypomanic, it is my ego. I very easily get a lofty attitude and a sense of entitlement. I very quickly believe that I am more deserving than anyone else.
Full disclosure is the best thing I can do for my own sake and to inform you at the same rime. It is good to uncover hidden thoughts, and to even acknowledge their existence, and to not have them slumber as dirty little secrets in the recesses of my mind. As it is, I get to answer my own questions in the process and come clean as if I am making a confession.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Something to do with my time...

It is around dinnertime and I have already eaten. Now I have to wait until it is time to go to bed and because I have nothing better to do, or rather, because I am antsy, I will write a blog post to keep me out of trouble.
I have been denying it for a few days, but I am afraid that I am on the road to becoming hypomanic again and I think being up for a long time in the middle of last night was not such a good idea. I have been unsettled all day and the peaceful, quiet feeling I had all week is gone.
Because my psychiatrist and I recently made a list of symptoms to be aware of, I am extra alert and know what to watch for. One thing that is not on the list, and that I have never mentioned to anyone, is that electronic sounding tune that plays in my head all the time when I am hypomanic and that has started up again this morning. I guess that is some sort of an obsession, or maybe a neurosis. I am afraid I am not well versed enough in psychiatry to know the difference, not even with my experience.
I intensely dislike feeling this way, but I think that is because I am not giving in to it. I could have fallen face first into the feeling and gone along with whatever behavior I had the urge to act out. Instead, I am fighting it and willing myself to stay calm and subdued, although that does take some effort because that is boring. Any trigger will set me off, even just a simple phone call, but at least I am aware of that and I don't know if I could have said as much two weeks ago.
I always forget all the things I know, because I am sure that this is something I learned a long time ago. That is why I am sure there is something wrong with my memory. I don't know if that is because of the medications or because of me. Whatever connections need to be made in my brain, work slowly or not at all.
I want to go to bed because there are no triggers there and sleep will reset my brain. I always wake up in a different state of mind than the one I went to bed with, but of course, it is influenced by my sleep medication too.

A heck of a lot of a little.

When I feel good, like I do now, I always want to check and make sure that I am not becoming hypomanic, because the danger of it lurks in a small corner. I will assume that I have some sort of handle on it now by being aware of it, and I will proceed to write with the enthusiasm that I feel and not let myself be distracted too much by my inhibitions. Besides, I do still feel a certain amount of inner peace and calm, and I have to assume that they carry some weight too in my decision making on what to write about. I am not a fallen leaf completely at the mercy of the wind that blows it in whatever direction.
Having established that, I can now tell you that I had a pretty decent day yesterday, but that it is not a good idea for me to be alone in the apartment with a big box full of all sorts of delicious food items. There is too much temptation in wanting to try them all out and then not being able to stop myself from having more of them. I have no self control to when something tastes good and I normally am not in possession of it. That is why I shop with a grocery list on purpose: so I will not do any spur of the moment buying or go down aisles I have no business being in. I am like a kid that can't be left alone with the cookie jar.
Even as I write this, I still have a sore stomach because my eyes were bigger than it at dinnertime and then I ended up eating applesauce for dessert too because I thought it would soothe the sore spots. Of course, that kind of reasoning will get me into trouble, but it was a nice try. I could now claim that I will never do that again, but I am not so sure about that. As long as there is abundance, I will indulge. It is a good thing that I am not independently wealthy, because I would probably spend the money on too much food and become a big round woman. No, that is not true. When I was well off, I was skinny and ate healthy things.
I had my hair cut yesterday and I am glad because this is also a small indulgence that I allow myself every 6 weeks. Luckily, because of a Christmas gift from a kind person in my life, I had the cash to pay for it and it didn't hurt my wallet so much. When you are of slender means, there is nothing better than looking well cared for and having a good haircut is at the top of my list. That, and having decent shoes to wear. I now again have hair that stays in place no matter what, and that I can wake up with and run my fingers through and look good with. When I can't do that, it is time to go get it cut.
I ordered a new diary for 2014, but I got one that will fit even in my smallest purse so that I can always bring it with me. I often did not this year and then could not plan my appointments well. I didn't get a diary with a special theme this time like I always did before. I went for the right size and price and I like how practical I was and not at all concerned with looks. I guess the theatrical details are less important now. I don't need to make the dramatic gestures.
I just realized that I forgot to take the medication for the fibromyalgia last night and that is why I am getting achy now. That was not such a smart move. It must have been the shock of my full stomach that made me forget. I'll take care of that right now.   

Friday, December 20, 2013

Nighttime tales...

I am up in the middle of the night , but I don't think that it is because I am hypomanic, although if I were, I would vehemently deny it and you would still not be any wiser. Tyke woke me up because he had to do a piddle out back and I could have gone back to bed, but was more than willing to stay up and make some coffee to hang out behind the computer with. I like that little bit of half drunk feeling I have at first, that is then dissipated by the caffeine that gives me a kick and makes me feel a bit high.

Oh yes, I do like playing with my states of mind and there is nothing quite like giving myself a bit of a thrill, although lately I have appreciated the feeling of peacefulness that has come over me. Maybe that is why I am going for a bit of excitement now to regain some of that old feeling, but I know I do have to watch out and not get stuck on the wrong frequency. There is playing around and there is being foolish and I don't want to be the latter, although at times I come close.

I have just eaten all the bite sized chocolate candy bars that were in the care package. It didn't take very long because it was just a small box full of them. There were three of each flavor and I ate the ones I liked best first. It was an absolute gob smacking and mind and body fulfilling experience and I feel very good and satisfied. I do think it is a sign of how bad a shape my willpower is in right now because I had stated earlier that I was going to save them for my niece and nephew. Luckily, I had not said that to them yet.  

I am so sleepy now, despite the cups of coffee, that I am going to have to go back to bed. No doubt the chocolate is the cause of that.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Such peace...

Today I got my Christmas care package and a big heavy box it was too. There turned out to be all sorts of good things to eat in it and I am going to have to share some of them because I will not be able to eat them all by myself. I am sure Tyke and the Exfactor will not have any problem with that and, as a matter of fact, the Exfactor is coming to help drink the bottle of red wine tomorrow evening. There was a box of chocolates in there too, but I am managing not to be greedy and eat those just now. I think I will save them for my niece and nephew because that much sugar is not good for me. Just because you have something, doesn't mean you have to eat it.
There was liquid coffee creamer in the care package and I must say that I was happy with that and I have been putting it in my coffee. It is something that I normally do not allow myself and I only have a jar of the powdered kind in the kitchen. I am not that fond of it, so this creamer is a real treat and has me drink coffee a little later this evening. This afternoon I tried to drink coffee that was all decaf, but I turned into an inanimate object from it, so that was no success and I quickly made some half and half. I was restored to a living, breathing human being quickly, although I must say, a very peaceful one. I've got the increased dose of medicine to thank for that.
The hormone injection that Tyke had over a year ago, and that worked the same as if he had been castrated, has finally stopped working and he has started lording it over Gandhi again. He is constantly asserting his place in the hierarchy here in the household. I am at the top and he wants Gandhi to be at the bottom. Outside he is also much more busy setting out his territory, so I am going to have to scrape some money together to take him to the vet for another injection. It will be a high priority for the sake of Gandhi.
Tomorrow morning I have to donate some blood at the GP's office to see if I still have a vitamin D deficiency, although it would surprise me if I did because I have been taking all sorts of supplements. Even if it turns out that I do not, I will still keep taking the supplements, because that sort of deficiency is a common problem with women my age and I think even older men have to be careful of that. At least I don't have to be sober and I can have a cup of coffee before I donate blood for the test.  

Sooner rather than later...

I only lasted without my television for a few days and yesterday I had the Exfactor put it back in the living room in a new spot I had created for it. I had enjoyed listening to the intelligent programs on the public broadcasting radio station, but I missed the opportunity of just vegging out with my dinner plate while watching the news. It is true that I also only watch the public broadcasting television stations, so I am mostly exposed to good quality programs anyway.
I found that I did not watch what I missed on the internet because it was too much of a bother, so I was slowly becoming deprived. There were two very good programs on yesterday evening: one about nature and one about language, and I stayed up late watching them in my comfortable armchair. I feel like I have been fulfilled again.
I saw my original orthopedic surgeon yesterday morning and found out exactly what he did during the first surgery to my knee, and it turned out that my GP had read the report on it wrong and that he really only had operated on my inside meniscus. He was puzzled that my knee still hurt 4 months after I had reinjured it and he had told me that there was nothing seriously wrong with it. He asked me if I still trusted him well enough for him to re-examine my knee and treat it again as necessary. Since his attitude was so good, I decided that I did.
I have probably torn the other meniscus, but a scan needs to be made of it first and that will be done after the holidays. After he had prodded and poked it, my knee was pretty sore for the rest of the day and I was somewhat limited in my movements. Even now, it does not feel all that great. I keep the walks that I make with Tyke on the short side and do not ride my bicycle at all. I was supposed to have gone grocery shopping on it yesterday, but the Exfactor was kind enough to do that for me instead.
I feel that discussing my mental state will put a jinx on it, and that maybe the opposite of what I declare will prove to be true, so I better not do that. Besides, I will be more sure of myself after I have taken my morning medication in a while. That always does make a difference.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

For the winners amongst us.

I case it had escaped your attention, though I wouldn't know how it could have, I do like my cups of coffee and tonight is no exception. I am guzzling down my first cup as if my life depends on it and will have the second one very soon. In reality it's not so much that I am not clear of mind, as well very thirsty, and it is as if I have trudged across the desert and have not had anything to drink for a long while and have stumbled upon an oasis. I may have to resort to drinking several glasses of ice cold water to take care of this great thirst.
I think it must be the spicy fried potatoes I had for dinner that are the cause for it, but I must say that they were a treat and the potatoes were almost the last edible thing I had left in the kitchen. I was supposed to have gone grocery shopping in the afternoon, but decided to live dangerously and postpone that until tomorrow afternoon. I had forgotten how much I like fried potatoes and how well they agreed with me if I fixed them just right. I could have posed for Vincent van Gogh's 'Potato Eaters' except that they were so poor that they ate their potatoes boiled, not fried in olive oil and butter.
I had an appointment with my psychiatrist and he answered all the questions I had about my hypomanic episodes before I could even ask them. He had apparently given the whole thing a lot of thought, especially this last destructive one. Together we made a list of my particular signs of hypomania that people around me would recognize an upcoming episode by. We are also making an emergency plan that I have to involve at least one close family member or friend with who can watch out for the signs and take the necessary measure on, which consists of notifying my psychiatrist. I am also going to take a course in managing bipolarity. We're in to the serious business of it now.
I curse the fact that I have this disorder and wonder very often why I should be so unlucky. Did I do something out of the ordinary to deserve this? I do feel despair at times and there are moments when I want to throw in the towel, and say, "Oh, to hell with it." The battle of finding an equilibrium a hundred times a day does get tired and old. Extreme moods are scary and exhausting and you've got to have the mentality of a pit bull to hang on. Even being extremely optimistic feels desperate and as if you have to guard it with your life. Megalomania is like any delusion and only a pipedream.  
I would very much like to have a quiet mind and not one that is only at rest sometimes. I pray for longer periods of serenity, but they are elusive. If I were not a cynic, I would turn to a religion.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Properly tuned in.

Right now I could eat a horse, although I don't believe in eating them, but that is how much I feel like stuffing my face. It is only a temporary condition brought on by the hour of the night and the fact that I am slightly woozy and not quite in my right mind. I am like someone who smoked a joint and now wants to eat the contents of the refrigerator. You know how those cravings go; I will be over it as soon as I've had another cup of coffee. And maybe I will eat some bread and butter. I could eat a bowl of pea soup with that too.
Oh, let's get my mind off food and talk about something else. I do have a tendency to get stuck on one subject once I am in the mood for it. I really wanted to talk about being peaceful some of the time and especially right now, but I think right now doesn't count because it is how I do during the day that's important.
In the morning, after I got up, it was like my mind was on speed and I thought that it was a sign of how the rest of my day was going to be, which worried me and I predicted chaos. I wanted to step out of my own head and walk away from it, but took Tyke for a walk instead, hoping that would settle me down. When I got home, all my synapses were still firing at full speed and I sat down in a bit of disgust with a cup of coffee and gave myself over to the process.
When I started to despair, it was like a switch was flipped in my mind, and a peaceful feeling settled over me. That meant it had taken my medication a full hour and a half to start working and I always assumed that it did after only a half hour or so, but I had never been that attentive to it. It is a good thing to know for future reference and to never think I completely have my act together before that time. I want to write myself a big reminder on a plasticized 8 by 10 that says: 'Remember to wait for your medication to work!'  
Speaking of food, by the way, I have just lost 4 kilos by not eating any fat or sugar and I intent to lose 6 more. It should be a piece of cake, but I won't be eating it. I am eating a lot of whole grain products and taking my vitamins.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The hypomanic beast.

I think I can safely say that I have laid to rest the hypomanic beast after having been on the increased dose of antipsychotics for almost a week, but that doesn't really mean that I say this with a lot of confidence and without some doubt. I am constantly double checking my own behavior and questioning my thought patterns and what motivates me. None of these things are above suspicion yet and nothing quite comes natural without me having to think about it.
I am like a probation officer keeping track of a prisoner out on good behavior and it is very exhausting having to play both roles. But at least I'll be the first one to know when I am trying to outwit myself, unless a new bout of hypomania hits me in such a way that I am again taken completely unawares. I am, right now, very keen on noticing the least little sign of it, to the point that I suspect probably the most ordinary behavior, which makes me sort of loony.
Hopefully by next week, when I have been on the increased dose long enough, I will be back to more ordinary, less suspicious behavior, and I will be more at ease with myself. These things take time and it is important to remember that you don't take one extra pill and suddenly have the problem disappear. In all things patience is needed and some processes can't be speeded up. I am a bit wobbly still and one moment quite alright and at others insecure and vulnerable.
Almost every time I have had a bout of hypomania, I get smarter about it, although I do have to say that some of the lessons I learn are of very little use. I think this time around was a real doozy and I learned a lot, but then again, I did some damage and that is not easily forgotten and makes an impact. I can hope for no less than that I learn a big lesson from something that makes a big impact otherwise it is completely wasted. The only problem is, that while I am actively hypomanic, any lesson I did learn before is quite forgotten and hidden in oblivion.
I think I am a much more insecure person that I have been willing to admit and that I cover up for that by acting overly optimistic when at times it is completely misplaced. At times I have to be more realistic, and a bit of a cynic also, and stare the bare facts right in the face, even when they scare me and increase my sense of insecurity and vulnerability. I am, after all, only a human, aren't I? I suppose I try to be some sort of ubermensch who is not affected by much of anything.
I have to tell myself that nothing bad is going to happen to me if I feel the less positive emotions, because they are all temporary and know a beginning and an end. Confusion is just one of them. 

The big red leather chair.

The red leather chair was dropped off yesterday morning and it is a very nice one indeed. It looks brand new and like it came just off the showroom floor. I had already made a space ready for it, but I am having a heck of a time getting used to it and am finding myself continually decorating the living room around it. It already had touches of red in it, but I found that I had to add more of them in the form of accessories without overdoing it and that I had to rearrange some of the other furniture several times before it looked right. I had to take one armchair and ottoman out because the room looked to cluttered no matter how stubbornly I arranged it, and that is after already taking out the television. Now I have to do a bit of rearranging in the guest bedroom to make room for the armchair and ottoman.
It's a good thing that the other calling I had, but never became as a professional, is interior designer, so I do have the patience to do this and can walk away from the job when I don't know the answer right away. I can mull things over in my mind and sleep on it one night and continue the next day. I do know enough when things are out of balance and absolutely don't work and when a room does not look welcoming. I also know how to make do with what limited resources I have and how to use my imagination. Another thing I know, is that I am very fond of the color red and have slowly been making it the focal color of the living room. It makes me think of Spain and Mexico.
Yesterday afternoon my sister and I brought back one of the watercolors that I had bought two years ago on a pay off plan, but could no longer afford to pay for. It was the beautiful, intense deeply painted one of the yellow tulips and I hated to let it go, but that's life. We drove to the small village where the artist had her showroom and I, of course, enjoyed myself very much by looking at all the other beautiful work. When I can afford it again, I will buy another watercolor and, as a Christmas gift, the artist gave me a small watercolor that compliments the one I still have at home, so it was my lucky day. I found a spot for it right away when I got back, which is right by my armchair.
As is usual, life is a mixed bag of losses and gains and it is best to concentrate on the gains and let them weigh most. It is the kind gestures of people that are important that I have to value and am most happy with, because they usually come out of the blue when I don't expect them at all. Life is full of hits and misses and completely unpredictable.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Honesty is the best policy.

I fell asleep with my glasses on my nose and my bedside light on, and woke up several hours later in an uncomfortable position because I was still holding on to my book and my neck was a bit sore. It is so much better if I remember the going to sleep rituals and put everything away before I sink under the covers for the night. And then, of course, I felt called upon to get up, because god forbid I should go back to sleep. That would be much too sensible, but I wanted to very much see if there were emails from people I care very much about. I always almost know for sure there are not going to be and I do this exercise in vain, so I am up and have this little bit of nightlife and make the best of it. It does create diversity in my life.
I have to remember to feel good and relaxed because, although not everything in my life comes even close to being perfect, there are enough little details that make me feel happy and that is what it is all about in the end. I have to decide what matters and if I am going to let some imperfect aspects of it ruin my life, especially if I can't do anything to influence them. I do have to sometimes admit defeat in the face of it and not make a drama out of it but acknowledge it as a fact of life. Even if that means that I also have to admit that it is because of some shortcoming of myself. I try to at least learn a lesson from it and chalk it up to experience.
I have been rejected by someone because she thinks I am unhealthy and unsafe to have a close relationship with and, although this initially hurt my feelings, it does give me food for thought and makes me wonder why she came to that conclusion. There must be something in my behavior that makes her feel that way because it can't come out of the blue. People don't just suddenly come up with an idea like that, so I do have to have a good honest look at myself. I know that I am a complex person to be in a close relationship with and that is probably why I don't have that many. The more intimate they get, the more they need an instruction booklet.
It does make me think about the relationships that I do have and how to treasure them and care for them properly. I have to make sure that I take the responsibility for my own behavior in them and appreciate the effort that the other people put into them. It also does make me more and more want to become a self sufficient woman. I do think that the healthiest relationships I have is with my two exes. Isn't that funny?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Clear signs of sanity.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be entertained enough only listening to the radio and not automatically wanting to turn on the television whenever I sat down in my armchair to have a cup of coffee, but I need not have worried because I managed just fine. As a matter of fact, while I listened to the radio, my thoughts would stray and I would start to think about other things that I normally didn't get around to thinking about, busy as I was looking at the images on the television screen. I noticed that I tuned into the sound of the radio whenever what was talked about was very interesting, and then let my mind wander when it was not.
I don't at all turn the radio off during the day and don't actually feel much need to watch any television programs I missed on the internet, because the news and the talk shows are so good on the radio. I am sure that will be different over the weekend when there will be lots of cultural programs on television that I do need to watch. I will need the visual input. The nice thing about listening to the radio is too, that you can do all sorts of other things while doing that and so you are multi-tasking, which is one of those things you ought to be able to do in the 21st century.
I talked to the Exfactor and told him about the changes I was making in my energy and internet providers and he said that it sounded very logical and sensible. When I talked about it over the phone with my niece later, she said the same thing. I think as long as I am checking my behavior with other people, I am still doing okay. I think it is when I start doing things secretly that I am in trouble. For some reason, when I am hypomanic, I have a tendency not to go into the finer details of what I am up to, but only give a vague sort of impression. I suppose that subconsciously I don't want anyone to spoil my fun or want to be caught doing something that I ought not to be doing.
I have a tendency to have exaggerated feelings of guilt and I try to compensate for them by not feeling any at all, but I sometimes bounce between extremes of the two. It is the best road to walk in the middle of the two and I know I am doing well when I can do that and not give it any thought. I very quickly think I am doing something wrong and will tell a white lie to cover up something that is really an innocent action, but when found out, looks suspicious. That's how you get a bad reputation, so don't ever do that.

Feeling good and feeling better.

There is a fine line between feeling good and feeling too good and I am going to always be suspicious of feeling the latter considering my last bouts with that. Yesterday, I took steps to change energy and internet providers and I wonder if it is only saving money that motivates me or the thrill of doing something new. They were two separate actions taken some hours apart and I was not feeling any pain when I made the decisions. It is true that I am getting a faster, wireless internet connection for less money and a free tablet for signing up and that there are no hook up charges, so where's the catch? The internet provider I have now thought it had the monopoly and that it could charge whatever it wanted. Thank goodness for a free market.
But that still does not explain the state of mind that prompted me to make those changes and that is what I have to be careful of.
I have also taken my television out of the living room and I am going to cancel the cable connection for it. It wasn't one of those flat screens, but an older model that I have had for many years. I have put an armchair with a side table in its place and I think I like it better. I have put the radio in a more prominent place and listened to that last night. I can watch whatever television program I missed almost instantly on the internet, but that is me trying to reason my way through this whole decision. I will find a good excuse for anything I do. That doesn't make it logical, although I can make it sound that way.
Someone is giving me a good, red, leather armchair this Saturday and I am making a place for it now. This is actually one of the things that prompted me to get rid of the television because it was taking up too much room, and don't you hate always having to decorate around it? Televisions have always been the bane of my life in that regard. I remember wanting to just toss it out in former lives, but I always had to keep the children and my husband in mind. Well, now I only have to think about my own inconvenience and preferred decorating tastes. We will see how much I suffer for not having one and how stoic I can be.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

So, what's the truth?

I am for the moment not going to make any broad statements about myself, because I don't know what's true about my behavior and attitude at this point. I am sure that I am in a period of transition and that I will get to some sort of destination in the end, whether or not that's the one I want to be at. I assume it will be the one I will be the most comfortable at and the one that will be most unforced and honest. I am trying to let this transition happen naturally without too much interference from me, meaning I will not try to manipulate things to go my way and give them a more exciting outcome than they are meant to have. It all seems so logical and easy written down, but I yet have to make it come true. Have to allow it to come true.
I am not getting the usual thrill from the coffee and I think that because I am taking the extra dose of the antipsychotic, I don't have the capacity for it. It was all very well to induce artificial excitement, but when you have enough of your own, it maybe is not such a good idea. As a matter of fact, I will go back to bed and finish sleeping because that is what I want to do most. This must be some sort of sanity that is taking me over, because it sounds awfully sensible and if it is possible, it is what I would like to become at this age. There will be no thrills a minute and living dangerously on the edge, but there is something to be said for being safe too.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Not quite yet...

I thought I was over my hypomania this morning, but later in the day realized that unless I hid away in a dark, silent room, I would have to take an extra dose of my antipsychotic medicine. Anything at all triggered me and threatened to make me fly off into the wild blue yonder again. I could feel how unstable I was and how very easily I could come undone. I had talked to my psychiatrist over the phone in the meantime, and told him how seriously wrong things had gone. I told him also how concerned I was that nobody seemed to notice that anything was wrong with me, including him, and that we needed to have a serious talk about this. He is not in his office the rest of the week, so my appointment with him is not until Tuesday next week.
It's not quite right when I say nobody noticed, because there were some people who did, but their concern did not make enough of an impact on me to make a difference. When you are hypomanic, there are few people who can get through to you, but I think my psychiatrist could and I think he is the one person who should be very much tuned into to my behavior and not be taken in by it. I seem to always fool him, no matter how odd my behavior gets. I suppose I make it all look reasonable. Next week I will have to give him a lesson on how not to be taken in by me. It will be for both of our benefits. One day I am going to get into serious trouble, but I think I already have in the past and made irreparable mistakes.

For an encore?

Hypomania has really and truly left my body and mind and I can say that I am back to 'normal' now. Let me assure you that in my case, that is the preferable state to be in. I like nothing better than not feeling much one way or the other, but just something in the middle in a neutral place. That way I don't get excited to any extreme and don't have an outspoken opinion on everything. I don't feel that I have to add a deed to every word I say, or act on every impulsive thought. Quiet reins in my head.
Yesterday was a day of transition. I left the hypomania behind me and had come down a bit hard on the other side and I felt rather down for the most part of the day. I was actually grumpy and felt like picking fights with people, so it was best that I spent as much time as I could on my own. I can claim that I have recuperated from that mood, but I have to have a fresh cup of coffee first to be completely sure. When faced with a new day, things are not always that obvious right away.
If you believe in the gods, then fresh cups of coffee are gifts from them and that is what I am appreciating now. What a difference that makes! Caffeine is the friendliest drug I know.
I immediately am having a hot flash and have to take off my bathrobe, but that does feel pleasant. That is just about a thrill a minute and I thought my life was getting boring. I need not have worried and it looks like I am going to have my little share of excitement anyway. And, let's face it. I am hooked on it. I don't do dull very well and, now that I think of it, it may just be that that is what being 'normal' is all about. I take back whatever I said earlier and dismiss it as poppycock.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Yes, once again...

Now that I am over it, I must tell you that I have been hypomanic again and I think I was it since my GP told me that the menisci in my knee were torn and I had to quit Tai Chi and yoga. It reached its highest point Saturday night when I blasted into the sky like fireworks, to subsequently land back on earth after I had slept really well. I woke up late Sunday morning with a newly gained clarity and the knowledge that I no longer had to jump through impossible hoops. As the day wore on, I became more 'sober' like someone does after she had too much to drink at a long lasting party, and I think I am now back to 'normal.'
What's interesting is, that I had on two occasions made it very clear to my psychiatrist that I was not hypomanic and he must have believed me, even when I asked him for a prescription for tranquilizers. Am I really that convincing and does my behavior and wild plans not speak for themselves? I don't know if he is taken in by me or if he is just humoring me and going along with my whims until I come back from the faraway place I have gone to. I will have to discuss this with him. I don't feel safe if the person who is supposed to know most about it does not recognize when I am in trouble. He did remind me the time before this that I am a 'rapid cycler,' meaning that I get hypomanic quickly and very often.
It scares me to know that I am at the whim of the chemistry of my brain and random occurrences in my life, and that I don't have a clue when this process starts up and takes over my life and influences my behavior so much. In not too long a time from now, another episode of hypomania will take place and I will have to go through the whole process again. The ingredients of the story will be different, but I will go through the same motions and god only knows what sort of outcome it will have. I don't  learn a lesson from it, and nobody around me seems to learn a lesson from it either.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

How to get the most enjoyment...

For the pain in my hip, but especially for my knee, I have got capsules that have a bit of morphine in them, and I have to tell you that I enjoy taking them very much, especially the ones that are the higher dose that I take in the evening. Not only do they work for the pain, but they also make me feel very good mentally and I think I like them even better than taking tranquilizers or smoking grass. One capsule takes away whatever stress or anxiety I have and makes me feel that whatever happens, I can survive it.
I would always like to feel the way I do when I have taken the higher dose and wish I could stay on them forever, but I know I am not getting a refill after these are gone, so I am very put out. I have enough left to last the weekend, but on Monday morning I will take the last one and you can be sure I will call the GP's office and try to get a prescription for something similar to them if they will not give me more of the same.
I read that one is not supposed to get addicted to these, but I suspect differently. With my personality and tendency to abuse things, I bet I am already addicted to them and that I can't do without. Well, I should not really say that I abuse things, because so far it has only been coffee and cigarettes and I know well enough to stay away from booze and drugs. Their effects have never been subtle enough for me to really like them. I am clearly someone who gets hooked on prescription medicines and I have already looked to see if I could get this pain medication without a prescription on line. It was not possible.
Not that I have the money to buy medication on line. I hardly have money to buy food and, as it is, several important bills are being left unpaid. I have never had a situation like this and it does worry me, but because of these capsules, I am staying very calm and collected. I know it does not help to get all worked up about and I have done whatever I could to improve the situation. It is a matter of fate now. I should always be this free of stress and anxiety and not go down in flames. It is something I have wished for all my life.

That is one way to do it...

I am basically bullshitting my way through this job application business. I send off my résumé with self assured notes that make the people who receive them think I am exactly the employee they are looking for, totally disregarding the fact that maybe I am not qualified for the job. Of course, I have a high enough opinion of myself that I think I am qualified for many of them and that I can learn any skill I don't have now. As a matter of fact, this weekend I am going to learn how to use Microsoft Word Excel because it is a  requirement for one of the jobs I applied for. Luckily, there is a Belgian website where I can learn this for free and while I am there, I will see what else I can learn that is handy. The requirements for any job are tough because people have such a high level of education here.
It is also my plan to get some extra sleep this weekend because I do realize that I function much better if I have had enough of it. Whenever I hit a point during the day that I start to feel insecure or the least bit down, I know that I need to take a solid nap and that I will feel like a reborn woman afterwards. This works so well, that I have been staying up later in the evenings and have been getting extra things done when I usually would have hit the sack much earlier. As a matter of fact, this whole realization that I have to get a job has made me more alert and engaged and has put a different perspective on all the things I do during the day. It certainly has changed the emphasis on what is important and what isn't. A lot of little things don't seem to matter so much anymore.
My physical health has taken a backseat and, although I still am in pain, I don't pay attention to it so much and figure that in the end it doesn't matter until I have the time to properly take care of the underlying cause. If I get a job, this may not be for some time because I am sure I will not be able to take time off for surgery. I will walk around with a bum knee and accept that. I don't mind not being preoccupied with my body and letting something else be more important now. I am certainly not going to use it as an excuse not to reach my goal because I don't have the luxury to afford that. I don't want to feel helpless now but empowered.
I like having this faith in myself and to think I can succeed. There is much possible in my opinion and I do as yet not have much fear in my heart. I think I did for the first 24 hours, but I got over that. No doubt this will return at the appropriate times. I just have to keep acting like I can pull this off and that I will recuperate from the tough moments.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Maybe doing the impossible...

Yesterday evening, I was exhausted from all the work I had done for joining the corporate rat race and entering my relevant information into all the proper forms. I had no idea ahead of time how much work and energy was involved in getting all my statistics out there to assure that I made a chance on the job market and, of course, to start of with, I went about it ass backwards. I was also in a state of shock finding myself in a position of having to work at least 30 hours a week in order to provide myself with enough income to live on and, although I am forever an optimist, I was boggled by this number of hours.
I talked with my case manager at Social Services over the phone in the morning to let him know that I had signed up at the employment website, and he was very surprised to hear it and voiced quite some concern about my ability to pull this off. I told him how necessary it was that I did this, but he sounded very doubtful that it was a good idea. He did in the end tell me about a  local website that was established especially for people more like me who would have a harder time getting back on the job market and where I could leave my résumé and apply for a job. I did that as soon as I could.
I had an appointment with my psychiatrist in the afternoon, and his reaction was the same, if not more serious, as my case manager. I saw in his eyes that I was completely on the wrong path, but I don't know what else to do. I am so determined to save myself financially from ruin.
Today I have signed up with two temp agencies and completed the very detailed sign up work at the employment website. I also applied for a few jobs. I have to have balls and act like I can take on any sort of work.
Another thing I did, was take a huge nap this afternoon because I was so tired of taking care of all the details, and I wondered how it was going to be when I was actually working. I slept deeper than I have done in a long time and woke up completely refreshed but ready to take on the world. I do have to say that I have renewed courage, but that I do have my doubts about my whole scheme too. I actually feel like I am playing a part in a movie and that it is going to come to an end some time soon and that I can then take a bow and get back to my normal life.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Do it like this...

I just ate the contents of a small bottle of strawberry sauce because I had a craving for something very sweet and that was the only thing I had handy that was. I got a terrific kick out of it and I feel oh so much better now. What I really wanted was a large piece of chocolate, but I had nothing like that here. I think my brain wanted the sweetness so it would function better and now it certainly is. I may have another search through the kitchen before I am done writing this to see if there is anything else that will perk me up that much. I tell you, sugar does have its use on the odd occasion and after that satisfying experience, I am ready for more.
I signed up for a fulltime job on the official employment website of the local and national civil government. You make up your own personal 'work folder' with all your relevant information such as job history and education and the kind of job you are looking for. The website matches you with jobs available that you can apply to, but you can also apply to all the other jobs that are posted there. You get a personal coach and help with your résumé.
Because of the unemployment rate at the moment, and my age and limited education, and the fact that I have a bipolar disorder, my chances are not all that big, and that is why I have applied for a job with a call center for which I think I will make a better chance. The wage is not that great to start with, but improves when you get a steady contract, so I have to do some long term thinking and planning. In the end, I would find myself in a better financial situation than I am now and that is what the purpose is.
The pain medication is working, but not quite as good as I would like it to, so yesterday I called the GP's office to find out if I could increase the dose. I was told to call back this afternoon when the doctor will have made a decision about that. I get the most relief in my hip, but my knee is bothering me a lot and it doesn't make a difference if I sit down to rest it. The most relief I get is when I am lying down in bed, sound asleep, and in the most comfortable position. If I get a job, I will have to postpone the surgery on it, because I will not be able to take the time off for it and the recuperation.
Okay, I am off to go do a search of the kitchen for something sweet to eat. I think I have a jar of honey... 

Monday, December 02, 2013

A low key evening

It is Monday evening and I took a nap earlier because the pain medication I took at dinnertime made me feel very drowsy. It was a pleasure to lie down in bed and get an hour or so of sleep and now I feel totally refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the evening. That sounds like I have an important job to do, when that is not true at all. I can be completely relaxed and only do pleasurable things, because nothing dire is waiting for me to take care of. I think I will take advantage of the best of situations and completely indulge myself and only do uncomplicated things. Writing a blog post can be one of them, because I can keep it as simple as I want.
Of course, I am indulging in my favorite beverage, but I do wish I had some cookies or a piece of apple pie to go with it. However, if there is one thing I should not be indulging in, it is high calorie food, so I will just pretend that I had those. I have to loose a couple of kilos in that endless battle of the middle aged bulge so that my favorite clothes will look flattering on me again and not like they are a size too small. I have already started a new shopping list that reflects my new and improved diet and cuts out most of the fat. In this day and age, we can't claim ignorance about what we put in our bodies and I know very well where I make my mistakes when it comes to preparing my foods.
Gandhi has been eating so well, that she has gained weight too and that was necessary, because she was eating so badly for a while, that she had become scrawny. At first she was being very finicky about which food she would eat and I could only give her one of the most expensive kinds, but now she will accept any food that is of a good quality and she fills her stomach until it is round. It is a real pleasure to see her have a good appetite after watching her do battle with her food so often. I do want her to enjoy her meals now that she is an 'older' lady. Besides, there is nothing like the weight of a hefty cat lying on your lap.
Because of my financial situation, it looks like I am going to have to get a real paying job, even though because of circumstances, that is going to be real difficult. It's a reality I have to face. I hope some employer out there is looking for somebody just like me.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Something totally different...

I feel like I ought to write about something completely different than I usually do, but I don't know if it is within reach of my imagination. Sometimes, when I just wake up and I am still groggy, I feel that I can write very fanciful things that are more interesting than any book you ever read. But that is when I am under the influence of my sleep medication and I still need a cup of coffee to get over the last bit of drowsiness. My mind wanders along all sorts of interesting roads then, with all sorts of tricky twists and turns and unexpected characters in the plot. But to tell you the truth, that story probably wouldn't make much sense when looked upon soberly.
On top of that, I am under the influence of that pain medication, and since it is pretty potent stuff, I can't trust the direction of my imagination at all. The good thing about it, is that it is working and reducing my pain along with making me feel good, so I absolutely have no complaints. I do seem to remember reading that the best novels were written while the authors were under the influence of some substance, so maybe I ought to give it a try now. If I could count on this pain medication being a long term thing, I might be able to write the great Dutch novel.
Somehow, I don't see myself as a great tortured soul giving her life to the fine art of literature, because I am not willing to suffer. I have already suffered without producing anything worthwhile, and I appreciate my hard-won sanity too much to give it up for a product of blood, sweat and tears. Besides, I am too fragilely put together to put it all at risk. If one of the skeletons in my closet would rattle, I would probably run a mile in fear, and wouldn't I want to write about those skeletons? I would disguise them, and give them different names, but they would people the landscape of my novel anyway. I would write like Ibsen and expose their suffering and guilt.
Speaking of substances, I think I am a woman who will always be dependent on one or two of them.  I have that kind of personality and chemical interference in my brain brings out the best in me. I am not the kind of person who can go straight and not have some sort of addiction fed. If I try to do without them, I am a most miserable human being. I may as well own up to that and not try to do something that is impossible and makes me attempt things that are beyond my mental reach. There is a reason for my addictions and being in denial about that is not the way to deal with them.