Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday's Wish

I decided that I'm taking the plunge again... and then again I'm not.

That's right, I'm going to take part in NaNoWriMo this year and see how I do with work, school, and book.

I'm making a huge wish that this will work.



I'm going to try out the first week to see how I do. From there, if it works out ok, I'm going to take time to write each day - that is all. I'm taking time to write for the month of November in hopes of getting 50,000 words, but really just trying to get any.

I even updated my NaNo profile with info on the book, a cover (that'll do for now... see above) and everything!

As I was updating my profile and fiddling with the synopsis and excerpt, I got tingly... the kind of tingly I get when I'm writing and really into it. It made me want to write more right here... in the middle of the day... at work! I even tightened up the opening/excerpt as I added it and had to stop myself from doing more.

Want to know what it's about? Go here to check out my NaNoWriMo info.

Monday, October 20, 2014

On politeness


I read this in another blog, World of Wanderlust (not Warcraft... heh), and I thought it was handy dandy, because it's always good to know how to say thank you wherever you may be. Below is a list of how to say thank you in 50 languages. Use them wisely and often!


AFRIKAANS – dankie
ALBANIAN – faleminderit
ARABIC – shukran
ARMENIAN – Շնորհակալություն / chnorakaloutioun
BOSNIAN – hvala (HVAH-lah)
BULGARIAN – благодаря / blagodaria
CATALAN – gràcies (GRAH-syuhs)
CANTONESE – M̀h’gōi
CROATIAN – hvala (HVAH-lah)
CZECH – děkuji (Dyekooyih)
DANISH – tak (tahg)
DUTCH – dank u
ESTONIAN – tänan (TA-nahn)
FINNISH – kiitos (KEE-tohss)
FRENCH – merci
GERMAN – danke
GREEK – ευχαριστώ (ef-hah-rees-TOH)
HAWAIIAN – mahalo (ma-HA-lo)
HEBREW – .תודה  / todah (toh-DAH)
HINDI – dhanyavād / shukriya
HUNGARIAN – köszönöm (KØ-sø-nøm)
ICELANDIC – takk (tahk)
INDONESIAN – terima kasih. (tuh-REE-mah KAH-see)
ITALIAN – grazie (GRAHT-tsyeh)
JAPANESE – arigatô (ah-ree-GAH-toh)
KOREAN – 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida)
LATVIAN – paldies (PUHL-dyehs)
LEBANESE – choukrane
LITHUANIAN – ačiū (AH-choo)
MACEDONIAN – Благодарам / blagodaram (blah-GOH-dah-rahm)
MALAY – terima kasih (TREE-muh KAH-seh)
MALTESE – grazzi (GRUTS-ee)
MANDARIN – Xièxiè
MONGOLIAN – Баярлалаа (bayarlalaa)
NORWEGIAN – takk
POLISH – dziękuję (Jenkoo-yen)
PORTUGUESE – obrigado [masculine]  / obrigada [feminine] (oh-bree-GAH-doo / oh-bree-GAH-dah)
ROMANIAN – mulţumesc (mool-tzoo-MESK)
RUSSIAN – спасибо (spuh-SEE-buh)
SERBIAN – xвала / hvala (HVAH-lah)
SLOVAK – Ďakujem (JAH-koo-yehm)
SLOVENIAN – hvala (HVAA-lah)
SPANISH – gracias (GRAH-syahs)
SWEDISH – tack
TAMIL – nandri
THAI – kop khun
TURKISH – teşekkür ederim (teh shek uer eh der eem)
UKRAINIAN – Дякую (DYAH-koo-yoo)
WELSH – diolch (DEE-ol’ch)
YIDDISH – a dank
ZULU – ngiyabonga

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CNN

My Instagram picture and a blurb on my comfy sweater made it on the CNN page. 

HA!

30 Years of "Cosby" Sweaters


Just a Spoonful of Sugar


It's back on meds day! 

Kinda like Rex Manning day, but not really. 

I needed help with my focus. Juggling everything was starting to get to too much and I found I had to slow down more... which can be good, but isn't so good when you have a lot to juggle and barely keeping all the balls in the air. As I learned from Dr. R, meds can help focus, so I'm getting back on them STAT! Midterms are coming up, you know. 

I think my time away from them for a mental health check accomplished what I needed to - my skills are back up and I'm a lot more aware of my triggers and what to do about them. Also, I've learned that I very much need a super mega high dose of exercise... like... really pushing myself to the limit to get those endorphins to kick into high gear. I've learned a lot about myself and what I'm capable of... and that makes me happy. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Found Objects

I fell into some websites by way of voting for a site I like. It wasn't supposed to take very long, this voting, but what started as taking a few minutes to clear my personal inbox turned into a couple of hours of digging through nominated sites. Why?!

Why?! 

Because they were all damn impressive! 


"Being able to say I remember, is a blessing most of us take for granted.In France, 850,000 people suffer from Alzheimer's disease and 225,000 new cases are diagnosed each year."



DUTCH INSTITUTE FOR WAR REMBRANCE 
The website tweedewereldoorlog.nl (second world war online) functions as a portal but also features online exhibitions on the topic. The current exhibition tells the story of the Second World War in 100 diverse objects, brought together from the combined collections of 25 Dutch war museums. Ranging from a wool sweater that, because of the textile scarcity, was made entirely out of dog hair to a pair of round spectacles that famous Dutch resistance fighter Hannie Schaft used as a disguise during her missions. The objects, each one with its own special story, showcase the many different sides of WW II. Next to the online exhibition (to be viewed on computer, tablet and smart phone), the objects will also be on display in the internationally renowned Kunsthal Rotterdam.

You can see a short video for it here.



The Dutch Alzheimer’s Foundation wants to mobilize more and younger people in the fight against dementia, people for whom the disease is more remote. To do so we created a Facebook campaign that used friend’s photos to allow people to experience what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s disease. During the campaign, people were tagged in photos of events that never took place. A photo would appear on their timeline, in which they could see themselves at an event that they knew they had never attended. This personal confusing experience brought the problem very close by.



One of the ballets that the National Dutch Ballet will be performing  this season is Swan Lake and one of the operas that the National Dutch Opera will perform is Mozart's The Magic Flute. It makes me want to go and see these, even though it'll take quite a bit more money and time than just an evening at the theater.


I had to stop there because there are things I actually have to do at work. 
:/ 










Wednesday, October 8, 2014


A friend of mine recently sent me a link to this article about Ellen Forney's book, Marbles. I love it! 
It really, really, really makes me want to work on my book and only my book so help me god amen. Today's wish is not so much about time in a broad sense, but very specifically about hoping to find time to carve out to write. 

Everything about these are just... YES





It makes me happy to see this out there alive in the world.

Friday, October 3, 2014

So! I know you've heard me mention my friends Tim and Ant before. You remember these guys, right?



Well, Epic Aerials is a new series that Tim and Anthony are making for EpicTV. The email I got from Mai lovely friend (hello, luvie!) said that the twins are
"... filming extreme sports and athletes from their unique vantage point, a paramotor. They're soaring in high winds and zipping through tight spaces to get in close when they're make their rounds, visiting old friends and making new ones - always exploring (and pushing) the limits of adventure! 
This is a Climbing episode they just finished filming in the French Riviera where they took an ordinary weekend and turned it into a cannonball weekend of sailing, climbing and paramotoring! (Tim and Anthony are filming this one but will be featured in future episodes)."

Check it out on Epic TV!




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wishes on a Wednesday

I hit save instead of publish on this sucker, so it's a day late.


Today, I wish for time.



Time to get myself together since I fell behind, what with being sick for a couple of weeks.

Time to catch up on my rest... at least a bare minimum.
Time to do all the things around the house that I need/want to do.

Time for writing.
Time to figure out what my next steps should be.
Time to talk to my professors.

Time to write my psychiatrist.

Time to have a drink or share a meal with friends.
Time with my nieces and the new nephew.


Time to breathe.





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wish for Wednesday

That one day someone will say, "You know, me too."


Monday, September 22, 2014

The other day I had an epiphany. It had something to do with meds… and feeling out of it… it had something to do with wondering if I made the right decision to have a go without meds and if I need to go back on them… and how that thought was a crutch... could be a crutch… and that proves it was a crutch. I get scared, so I want my meds… because I don’t let myself deal with this myself. I need to do this OFF of meds so that I know that I can do this on meds.

I need to be off meds so that I can find out that I can do most of this off of meds so that I can do this with them, too. I need to develop the skills concurrent with the meds… so that I know I’m ok… so that I’m not a time bomb - won't feel like a timebomb - because I know how I’ll handle it… and that I can handle it… and it won’t stop the crazy. Nothing can stop the little things that will always bother me or the how of how I see things.

Let me back up a bit.

After some discussion with some close friends and my boyfriend, I went off meds once school ended in early May to try something out. I let people around me in on it so that they could help monitor me and my behavior, letting me know if I got too bad, or even calling me out if I slide too far one way or the other.

First of all, I wanted to get back in touch with what's wrong - try to feel it and figure it out... likely see if I can figure out triggers, and how it progresses, to how to stem the flow of the thoughts that might send me into depression or a tailspin. Some is for the sake of my writing (that sounds kind of hokey to me) since I feel I have to get back to the true feeling and experience of it, not make it just something remembered and botching the truth of it.

On TV or movies, one only ever sees the worst of it... and it's not always that way - usually it's subtle. I feel that it's much like the issue I had with telling my mom about being sexually molested when I was 7 (I told her when I was 9). What is shown is soo much bigger than what I experienced that I had a hard time recognizing what they showed on TV in me. The after school specials and "very special episode of..."s usually showed kids who were truly traumatized from their sexual abuse and I always thought about how awful that must be for them. What had happened with my mom's best friend's son (he was 16 or so at the time I was 7) was definitely less than that. He got grabby and did some exploring, but I wouldn't say it was traumatizing. I mean, I'm sure there are issues from it, and I've certainly talked about it with therapists, but I was not having behavioral issues, or wetting the bed, or anything like that.

I've gone off track a bit here...

Back to what this has to do with the bipolar. I want to write about an experience that's subtle, at least for the most part... and I have to remember how these things start... and that they usually come from nowhere and build. It's tough!

There's also the part of my... experiment... that has to do with making sure that I have my skills and that I can also learn to pinpoint what's coming on - be it triggers or how to tell if I'm a little off. I had a year off of meds when I first moved to KY because of lack of insurance and I feel like I was very good about using everything I had to make sure I was ok, especially since it was a tough year. My support group was not with me, for the most part. I had 2 people here that I could trust, so it was...scary. I was also newly officially separated from my ex of 10 years... with a pending divorce, at that! I mean, it was perfect for a meltdown and I had only been officially diagnosed for a little over a year! Still, I got through the year gloriously! I used all of my skills and the people around me for help.

However, I found that once I went on meds again and was with a therapist... I got worse. Well, not bad, but I wasn't as good as coping with things on my own, or paying attention to triggers and what went on in my head. It's like I got lazy and expected to let the meds do more. Well, that's my theory anyway. Also, I've been questioning adding medication since the psychiatrist I saw here was pushing to put me on lithium, which seemed excessive. Plus, she always wanted to add something if I had a bad day or if things were just a bit off and I didn't feel like anyone was really working with me to work out what was going on, like my therapists in Portland and California used to. It didn't and doesn't feel right to me.

So I wanted to focus on skills... and in order to do so I wanted to do it while I was in control of things and with a great network of people that can call me out and have learned what to watch for. I want to make sure I get this... and understand it, and with that learn about what happens to me and how to help it.


Woman on a park bench in Central Park, New York, 1957. Photo by Yale Joel 
It scares me, not being on medication. Not because I feel out of control and not because I know that I'll go out of control. I don't. I don't know that. What if I can control it mostly, or maybe even keep it to minimum medication with the help of understanding my problem? I feel like I've become afraid of myself because I was told that I have to have medication, if not it would all go very badly. It's like... being the incredible hulk. It's not that I hate medication, and I do believe that it's very handy and necessary... I just... don't know that it's the only answer. I want more insight, not just medication. However, because I've had it drilled into me that medication is and always will be necessary, it's really scary to be without it... but in that scared-of-the-monster-under-the-bed kind of way. When you're a kid you're convinced it's there and you keep waiting for it to pop out.

Not that I'm saying that medication is imaginary/all in my head... just that... I want more than that, I guess. I want more than a blind belief that meds are the answer. I've a sneaking suspicion that it's both meds and skills, but really, I just wanted to know, you know? I also want to know how they work... what they do, and I feel like people are never really told. I'm ok with accepting the meds on faith when first diagnosed to get things right again - that is the time to simply act and get things back to normal. Shouldn't we - I - learn more about my condition and how to live with it now that it's a done diagnosis?

So... that's where I'm coming from on this meds business. When I will go back on them, I'm not sure.

Why I haven't told you has to do with being told that I always have to be on meds; I feel like a five-year-old that's snuck out of bed to sneak a twinkie. Would I have gotten the twinkie if I had asked for it... maybe... but no one was around to ask, so... there's that, too. Also, I constantly question when I should start up again and how. At this point, I think it's something that I would like to discuss further with Dr. R at the University of Cincinnati's division of bipolar research, whom I started talking to a month ago, and Dr. B, my general doctor.

It's something I felt I had to do in order to know more. I know it's risky, and many will frown upon it, but I felt I had to explore this, and I feel I'm going about it pretty safely.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Graphic Perspective


I saw this on my Twitter feed. 



"Look closely," was all the tweet said.

I found its subtlety, impactful - its way of getting the message across, lovely.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Let me tell you what I know about having an episode or how a breakdown begins... at least from my experience.

You see, it's not how you'd think, and it's not like what you see on TV.


They start small, for one... a lot smaller than you could imagine. It's like the smallest of bad moods just sticks... like cobwebs. You could be having a fine day, maybe even what looks like it could be a great day, and then! Something happens. Or someone says something. Instantly you take offence, or it makes you sad, or just.. meh!... and you start to question everything. 

You wonder, did someone just trip me... or merely take off the rose colored glasses??? Was I the fool or the fooled??

Then you wonder who you were kidding anyway, and you look around and see - or think you see - everyone looking at you as if in pity, or jeering at you... or looking disgusted. And it builds - all the negative thoughts, all the sadness - it just grows... unless you stop it, and you can. It's not easy, might take a herculean effort, but you can. not easy, might take a herculean effort, but you can.

If I could put it to music, it would start small. Subito piano... A small questioning melody... a piccolo asking, "Why???" Then, new sounds would add on, perhaps a blaring horn, something mean and rattle-y, or a wailing violin somewhere in the background. All slightly discordant, just ever so slightly... off. But always building. 

The kettle drums only ever come in after the crescendo, if it actually gets to that point and the music is allowed to build up that much. It just doesn't always get there and the kettle drums are such a nuisance to bring along, anyway. I mean, they're kind of cumbersome. 

The first time I heard Arvo Pärt's Tabula Rasa, I thought, here is a man who gets it! He knows. That the ballet company was using it for a dance piece was really quite great for me, making dance class even more therapeutic. Here, I could channel allllll of that... and just release it; music come to life, a manifestation of my emotions and moods. Then you just... let it all go

The music builds and diminishes, whimpers then wails, slows down... to speed up - all at its own pace.

The ongoing cycle makes it often feel like it's going to continue forever, makes it difficult for one to see anything outside of that loop. Oh, it might get better... but that turn will come 'round again, and then!... it's all falling down.

The thought makes it difficult to get out of the loop, makes it difficult to stop the spiral down towards the depths of despair. It hurts! ... and it hurts oh-so-much. It hurts because you've been here before, and you know it'll come again... and you really, really, really hate it here.

Which is the reality?, you wonder. Am I delusional in thinking that it could ever be any better - is actually better at times? Or is this actually it?

So you try to reach out, and maybe you do... but somehow it's wrong and they don't understand, or you say it sharply, or... really you didn't mean it - you're just wanting some help... and... you've failed. And you don't know how to say you're sorry and you don't know how to take it all back because really all that you needed was some understanding, the human touch and you kinda botched it.
All you'd really like to say now is, help me, but you don't seem to know how.

You wonder, What do I do now?

All of this has been going on in your head this whole time... and nothing much has really happened, not that anyone can see. If you tried to explain it to anyone, they wouldn't exactly know - or get - how you went from 0 to 100 in 1 second flat. It's miniscule, but it's there... and it's big... HUGE!

And that's where you are.

You can't do that on television, you can't show how it all builds up from nothing...

but I know.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Dear blog,

I'm sorry I've been too wrapped up in things to update. August was ridiculous and busy... and September has jumped in with school and its own craziness! I promise I will remedy this soon, especially seeing as I have a few posts already waiting in the wings.

In the meantime, I leave you with this pic that a friend sent me as something to think about.


Yours... truly,
_c_



*also I'd like to leave you with this song that's been in my head and is kind of tied to the title of this post. It's a pretty good song, maybe you know the rest... 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fairy Tale Marriage

When I was 9, I was going to marry Jack.
... or John Taylor from Duran Duran, but mostly, Jack.

You know, Jack from the movie Legend.




Mind you, Jack is not Tom Cruise. Yes, Tom Cruise played Jack. Tom Cruise as anyone else was Tom Cruise, but Jack was Jack.

Now that we've cleared that up...

So, at the age of 9, marriage was something you did when you were older and you found the love of your life. Okay, if you found the love of your life... OR you married the person that you thought you could deal with. That notion, I got from my parents because it's basically what they did. I didn't buy it, though. I didn't think you should spend your life married to someone that you weren't absolutely in love with. Like... can't-live-without kind of love.

Oh, 9-year-old Ceci, that's so cute! *pat pat*

Maybe I'm jaded. I mean... that could be it, right? Married and divorced twice... there's an excellent chance that I'm jaded.

Right now, I run the gamut of wanting to believe in that fairy tale kind of love... and knowing that the best you can hope for is someone that is very in love with you to begin with, who will settle into that been-through-the-shit-and-grown-with-you kind of love that old married couples seem to have.
...

I'm not really sure what my point is, here, except maybe to post a picture of Jack for me to stare at (Hi, Jack!) and to spread a little of the jaded around.

Kidding.
I'm tired.

I think... I think maybe this topic has come up what with Stephen finally meeting my family after being with me for about 4 years now, having gone through our own shit, and with my parents being so big on marriage.

Does everyone else expect it, too? Is that the way it always goes? Does "long relationship" always equal marriage and if so, is it doomed because the stakes are higher, because there is less of that new love by the time you get married to make you really battle for what's on the line? What do you do when there are two divorcees in the relationship, both bringing with them that fear that this could end in divorce like the last one?

I hate that I feel foolish for believing in love and thinking that marriage still might work. I hate that I feel jaded for thinking that it never works out and it would be foolish to even attempt marriage a third time. 

Maybe the problem with my view then versus my view now is that I didn't know what love truly was, maybe I didn't understand it - and couldn't - until now, and therefore it's my old view that's flawed.

I used to think that love looked like a fairy tale, like Jack and Lily

Now I think it's something more along the lines of Nicolas Cage's little speech in Moonstruck:


"I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn't know this either, but love don't make things nice -- it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. The storybooks are bullshit."

Why is it that I'm having a hard time finding any room for anything romantic, anything like that fairy-tale-type love that, for me - right now- seems the only reason to do anything as binding as marriage? I see it like I see fairy tales.... it's nice and all, but there's not much hope in that being real.

Oh, divorce! What have you turned me into?!

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Sighing Game

hate it when people sigh OH SO LOUDLY in a "woe is me!" sorter way. You know, the kind that begs you to ask what's wrong... really, desperately begs you!

especially hate it when I'm the one sighing!

I can't help it, though! I'm hoping that my coworkers can't hear me. And if they have heard me, that they don't think I'm doing it for attention.

There have been a handful of sighs escaping from me intermittently today that carry with them the air of one that is depressed and tired. Perhaps just Depressed, with a capital D - the kind where you don't have to add the and tired because it is implied with that kind of depression.

I'm not exactly sure where these are coming from, I just know that they're here, and they are making sure that I know it! I wouldn't say that I'm Depressed with a capital D so much, but I can feel it around the edges somewhere. It's hanging out, and it's threatening to swoop in.

So I'm taking this time to figure out why because, really, things aren't bad. In fact, it could be said that things are actually pretty good. This is a little trick of mine, this "talking back" (as my therapist liked to call it) when the Bipolar Door is swinging in the negative direction. The talking back can help stop it, or at least lessen it a fair amount.

For some reason... and I'm sure it's something in how it's being translated in my head... for some reason I suspect that people think I'm annoying. Well... thankfully not everyone! Friends are currently excluded from this, surprisingly, but that might be just because it's only slightly on the periphery of everything. I see it is as The Negative monster that's hanging out right outside the circle of light that my little candle is illuminating, so it hasn't been able to touch the real things within.

Perhaps it's had to do with delving back into 16-year-old me for the book, but I've this overwhelming feeling of being disliked and wondering if I really am annoying! Why? Well, I wonder if maybe I get just a bit too excited about things, gushing and posting about it like I'm 12. I could see that this might be annoying, especially if you're in a surly mood. OR!  Maybe I'm a bit too emotional about things. Sometimes, sad things make me really sad, bad things make me really mad... steaming even! These tend to come out ALLLL over the page, and can get ridiculous. So then it's ridiculous... and just stop it, really, she's just embarrassing herself!
But I don't stop it.

The Negativity monster that's pacing on the periphery is saying that the denizens of the internet are judging me, and no one has a damn thing to say to me about my silly little words and silly little projects. In fact, it's been concluded that I'm quite a dork, and mainly a nuisance, so I should just shut up and go away!

Well, when you do this for yourself and your friends mostly anyway, it really shouldn't matter, so I keep on keepin' on. Still, sometimes... sometimes, the little Negativity monster (he's actually quite little), likes to stick a toe in to test the boundaries and I find myself wondering if it is true... and if I should just stop.

But it's not really based on anything substantial, and I'm not doing this for you.
No. I'm doing this for you, and me, and my friends. That's really quite good enough. I just have to remember that.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The current plan is, throw ALL THE THINGS at the wall and see what sticks.

Well, currently the wall is a MESS! And ain’t nothing sticking!

I feel like I’ve been going along and asking too many questions. As a grad student that wasn’t in the program yet, I had no advisor and no one was really answering my questions as to what’s what so I came up with the plan of attack of do all of it, email everyone, ask all the questions. Eventually, I got the answers that I needed to, likely not without annoying a few people, and now I’m where I should be in this process… I think.

Moving forward, there’s no new plan, per se, because I don’t know that I have enough answers. I’m not sure if I’m having issues understanding things, exactly, or if it’s just that I don’t have enough information.

The problem I have with my bipolar disorder sometimes is that messages get scrambled, either due to lack of focus or negative thinking. This means that, even when I get the proper information, my mind doesn’t always get the memo and I keep on responding as though there were no new information or that the new information is not so different from the old.

I’ve seen this at work as of late. There were 3 or so conversations online that, upon rereading the exchange, I realized that what the other person was saying wasn’t what I had taken it to mean. In other words, I heard their views or opinions with a negative slant towards me or in a way that was negative in meaning. I’m not sure that I’m explaining it properly, but know that it would have become an argument had I not stepped back.

Thankfully, I have learned to step away from the conversation (more often than not) when I’m feeling misunderstood or attacked by friends. It has become something that I know to evaluate than to take as real. If the misunderstanding is indeed real, though, it has helped me to take a look at their side and consider what is being said or argued. I see it as beneficial all around, really. However, the trick is that I have to be able to stop myself and catch it, which is not always possible.

Outside of conversations with friends, I’ve seen a cognitive distortion in how I’ve read instructions for assignments and in how I take in the information handed to me. The problem with the first is that I will interpret something a certain way and go about the assignment based on how I read it, which inevitably gets points deducted from my grade for “not following instructions.” You see the problem here.

The problem can also manifest itself in repetitive questions, usually causing the other person to lose patience. This was something that I found came into play during a recent interview for a graduate assistant position. Not wanting to ask the person the same question over and over (which I believe had already happened twice) in case it was my fault in the interpretation, I did what I always do and I threw general answers of all the things at them. I found that I rambled when I did this, resulting in confusion and frustration on my part to get to the pertinent answers… or at least the more pertinent answers in my understanding. No one wants to hear about my grocery experience when my software skills or tech skills are clearly what the job calls for.

How do I fix this? I’m not sure. The best I can think of doing is taking a step back to re-evaluate. It also might be that perhaps I am getting ahead of myself and I’m trying to answer questions that I don’t have to yet. Maybe I don’t have to rush into an internship yet, maybe I shouldn’t be looking into attending conferences either, and maybe it wouldn’t be clear to me which track to focus on in school even on a good day.


It’s a little dizzying, and slightly off-putting, too, but I feel like I need to step back and refocus. I hope that one day I’ll figure out a better way to work around this problem, especially in solving how it affects my work and opportunities. Living with bipolar disorder can be a bit of a handicap, and I don't know that this is something that they generally tell you about when working on skills to handle a mental condition. All I can go by is what I've experienced and been through. 

From the New Yorker © 2014


So, of course, I have to wonder... is this real?

Monday, July 14, 2014

I'm inspired almost every day by things that friends are doing. It seems I know a lot of people that are starting to do more of their creative thing or push for the next level of what they're doing creatively. They're putting themselves and their art out there, and that's very impressive because it takes courage, belief, and determination.

However, it also takes money. I try to support them as much as I can when and where possible because I believe in them. I know belief helps, but I know that sometimes money (when possible) helps more.

So my friend, Gren has a chance to be in this really neat Kickstarter project for an anthology of comic book stories inspired by Nine Inch Nails songs. I'm of fan of comic books and I'm a fan of Nine Inch Nails, so I'm completely on board. In order for Gren's story to get into the anthology, however, the project - which is currently funded to print the first few stories - needs to hit the $35,000 milestone before the group of stories that his is part of can be added.

I'd like to ask that you, dear reader, please help by contributing whatever possible and by spreading the word and link to the Kickstarter for this project (found here).

So... pretty please, with sugar on top.

The video for the Kickstarter project.



Gren's plea and video on the benchmarks to be reached.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Imagine you're walking down the street where you live. It's just any old night and nothing seems particularly fabulous. You might even be feeling a little low because life isn't very magical and everything is too real, too... stark.

Then, you see a faint, blue light coming from the garage of a boarded up old building across the street.
Copyright 2014 - Walter Hugo & Zionel

So you stop and stare, wondering... what are those little lights in a blue... room? What is that? 

You look around because the street seems a little different now, and you're not quite sure you're really here. The street is deserted. Is that right? Should it be? Or... 

So you cross the street to have a better view.
Copyright 2014 - Walter Hugo & Zionel

Suddenly, you're not you anymore and the world isn't real. There is a tank of jellyfish in this garage! What is it doing here? Who put it in the garage of this abandoned building? Why?

However, it doesn't really matter now. The world is all the more magical for it... and that's all that counts.

You can see the installation, The Physical Possibility of Inspiring Imagination in the Mind of Somebody Living, and the livestream at London's Gazelli Art House.

Monday, July 7, 2014

I have been having a hard time putting into words how I have been feeling. Hell, I have been having a hard time feeling about how I have been feeling!

This past weekend was the anniversary of a couple of significant things:
1) A year ago today/last night Stephen broke his back - a complete fracture of the T12 vertebra
2) A year ago this past Saturday, I almost moved out.

After dealing too long with his self-destructive downward spiral, I was setting up a plan to move out of our house. I felt I was getting better while Stephen was still reeling from various things - most significantly his divorce... and most astonishingly (to me) his alcoholism. We were aware of the former, but I (and maybe he??) was in denial of the latter. That is, until July 5th when, especially with the 4th of July holiday, it all just came to a head for me.

I can't say exactly what was different this time, just that there was finally something in me that said, yes, he is an alcoholic, yes you are enabling him, and yes you have to do something about it for you. 

So I prepared myself to move out, knowing that I needed my own space for my sanity, especially because I still loved him and didn't want to leave him... just the situation. I also knew that this could very well mean the end of everything. He could easily take it as an act of aggression - an all-out act of war - and continue to do things that would make it so that I had no choice, but to walk away completely. Still, I had finally come to the point that I accepted the possible outcome of my move. So it was with wobbly steps that I went forward, trying to procure a place to stay as part of my first.

That Saturday the 6th he took me to dinner after he finished work, the conversation laying a good foundation for what I thought could make for a reasonable talk the next day. I hoped I could explain that I was moving out and why, without him calling an end to it all together. After dinner, he suggested we stop to see a friend's band play... which is where all the rest happened. Once at the bar, a bike and the boyo down later, we were on the way to the hospital maybe 30 minutes after we had left dinner.

I remember being so angry. I was angry because I didn't know what had happened, didn't know how badly he was hurt, and I was especially angry because, at the moment I was resolved to take action, something like this comes along and happens. What was I supposed to do now?

When I found out that he had completely fractured the T12 vertebra and that he could have been completely paralyzed with one wrong move, I was both horrified with how badly he was injured and thankful that he was still fine. We weren't all clear yet, though - surgery would tell the tale. He needed to get his spine fused, having surgery done where they used rods to fuse the T11 and L1 vertebrae to secure the spine. Depending on how surgery went, would depend on what the future held for him.

I was angry for a week after that, knowing I had to make a decision on whether or not to leave, whether or not I wanted to see if and how things would change, and whether or not I wanted to stick this out with him.

I decided to stay.

It's now a year later and I can tell you that I have been dealing with a bit of the fuzziness of how the accident and decision worked out. There are still reactions in me that come from long-gone actions and ways of being. So much has changed, but a little has stayed the same. Those little things still bring about knee-jerk reactions, so I spent this weekend mostly at home - thinking things out, weighing differences, checking my feelings, and mostly trying to avoid any triggers. It's not always possible, but usually the less I have to deal with, the easier it is for me to work with the triggers instead of reacting to them.

I survived the weekend with little mental discomfort, anxiety, or anguish. In fact, I made it through this weekend feeling like I've learned more about my relationship, especially how much we've both put into it and ourselves to make us work better. It's amazing how sometimes one walks away from something life changing a whole lot stronger, when the outcome could have been so devastating.





Tuesday, July 1, 2014

On Mentors and Writing


Last night I had a meeting with my career advisor... who is also kind of acting as a Life mentor for me. I nearly forgot that I had made my appointment over a month ago! Thinking back, I made it when I first got that feeling of "have to write this book NOW!" Wow, that was over 2 months ago. Meeting with her last night helped reanimate me and helped me find the focus that I've been looking for lately.

So for those that don't know/didn't get the speech, my friend Sean posted this article back in April. It's an article about the stigma of mental health issues and I highly recommend it. What it did for me was help me realize that now is the time to jump in on this conversation, and I want in! I have a lot to add to it and I want to do my part in helping kids especially. They should know they're okay and that there are more of us that feel the same way out there.

I'd say that it's been since declaring my major as creative writing in college that I've wanted to write and publish this book. That was sort of my acceptance that I wanted to write professionally. I had my second round of counseling my sophomore year and I knew that I wanted to help anyone who felt like I did. I hadn't been diagnosed yet, but I knew there was something I was battling, and writing, books, and music went a long way in helping me through things. I figured if creativity & art could help me, maybe what I could do when I am good enough is write a book that others can go to that will help them not feel alone in this.

Notice I said when I am good enough. This book (that doesn't exist yet... well, it's a rough sketch at the moment) was and is important to me. It's the book I wish I had when I was in high school - one about a girl that is bipolar - just like me (so it turned out)! Who is going through the same emotions and changes - just like me! Oh, what I would have given for that character when I was 16! As it's so important, I want it to be perfect - or as perfect as it can be. So I never felt ready because I saw writing as this super important business that I didn't have the keys to yet.

When I first met with my counselor over a year ago, it was about another book. In getting to know me, though, she heard a lot about The Book - this one I have to write. So she wanted to know, why am I not writing this book? Which made me wonder, yeah... why am I not writing this book? Because I'm not a published author with answers as to how to write this?? One thing I have learned is... well, you never have the answers... you just learn some tricks. So, what was I waiting for?

It's taken some prodding, some thinking, and Mark Joyella's article on Medium to get me to where I am now. I'm writing this book. I'm writing it to join the conversation on mental health, I'm writing it to let kids know that it's ok - I feel that way, too, and I'm writing it for me... because I survived. If I can help just one kid survive it, too, then my book will have made all the difference.

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