Monthly Archives: March 2015

Camp Nanowrimo, anyone? For writers in April

I meant to say, “Nano Camp: Coming in TWO DAYS!”

Walking After Midnight:

Many of you are familiar with Nanowrimo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place in November, and has often motivated me to work seriously on novel writing.

Well, in April and July they have what they call Nano Camp. You sign up to join a cabin, cook marshmallows, and, oh yeah, work on your novel.

The thing that is different about Nano Camp, as opposed to Nanowrimo in November, is that you can set your own word count, or, if you prefer, you can work on editing an existing novel (one hour is equivalent to 1000 words). You can also choose to work on a different kind of work, for example, a screenplay, short stories, or what have you. Again, you set your own goal, set the stop watch, and have at it.

So, anyone interested in joining me for April’s camp? My goal is…

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Because God Said So

This read was so powerful and made me cry. It is based on Genesis 1:26-31. I never saw those scriptures in this “light.” Good to know!

Kingdom Living Magazine

Adam1

According to the Bible, we were created in the image of God after His likeness (Gen. 1:26,27). This is stating the obvious assuming this is something we have always been raised to believe. For those of us who were not taught this basic Biblical truth as children or in our adolescent stage, this means that our lives are worth something for two reasons:

1) God created us in His own image after His likeness (Gen. 1:26,27).

This means that when God decided to create humanity, He also decided to place a little of Himself within each of us. This is why we are able to have intimate relationships with Him. The part of Him within us is able to communicate with Him. This is why we have a longing for something greater in our lives, even when we have not exercised our free will in accepting Him into our lives…

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Ok, to those of you who are holding out…

Yes, you people who think we don’t notice …

You think you have nothing to say. You have had a few bad days. You want to have the time for it to all come out nice, or brilliant maybe, or thoughtful.

Yeah, you people.

You people who collect makeup, or maybe you are angry and afraid you will offend. Or maybe you think you always talk about the saaaame thing. It’s okay. Say it anyway. Say it if it won’t come out right. Say it if you don’t know what will come out. We miss you, and we care.

Link back to me, so I know you took this to heart! 🙂 You’re important to me!

Seriously Excuse Eddie’s Stinky Socks: A Mental Health Order of Operations

Seriously Excuse Eddie’s Stinky Socks
Stands for this:
Sleep
Eating well
Exercise
Stress management
Support

So if I remember that
I’ll have this: 😀
Well, maybe lol

I so relate to where she says: “when I can’t stop adding up the ages of all my ancestors to see how soon I get to die.” YEAH that’s depression!

Therese J. Borchard

Feet_in_socksLast night, I helped my daughter with a math problem:

6 + 8 x 4 % (4 + 3 – 7) – 3 x 4

Her lesson was on the Order of Operations. You know, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.” First you tackle the parentheses, then the exponents. Then you do multiplication and division. Finally, you solve the addition and subtraction. All of it is done left to right, keeping the right order of those operations.

I knew there had to be a rule, because there were too many possible answers to that problem. Tackling it without any instruction required too many brain cells. I couldn’t remember back to my math days for the life of me, and apparently my daughter wasn’t paying attention in class, so we did what we always do when we’re confused:…

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Did you forget already?

Yes, you. You are loved, no matter what. And you matter! Things that I heard over and over this week as I attended my partial hospital treatment program for mental illness.

I had determined that I was going to write you this brilliant summary of things I had learned that you might also find useful, but dang! I had too much fun today, and tomorrow will be very busy. So, I will just say that the program is helping, I’m learning a lot, and, I matter.

I did write a post on Facebook for my Christian brothers and sisters:

Many Christians who have depression, anxiety, OCD, or other mental health issues are silent about it. We may feel embarrassed or stigmatized, but these issues are real, medical problems, with emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual effects. It doesn’t mean “Boo hoo I broke a fingernail,” or “I don’t have enough chairs for Christmas dinner.” It doesn’t refer to the natural sadness we feel when we lose a loved one, or experience other life situations, although mental illness may also be involved. These diagnoses can be prolonged and even deadly when left untreated (For an example, see http://www.actlocallywaco.org/2015/03/24/hope-and-healing-regaining-life-from-major-depression/).

One thing that helps me with all of my struggles, including mental health issues, is the Word of God. In Psalm 23, the Bible speaks of the valley of the shadow of death. Those of us with mental illness walk that fine line all the time, between life and hope, and discouragement and even suicide. But God walks with us. We may not be aware, but He is there all the time, and ready to help and guide us.

There are also many people who can help us return to good health and a closer walk with God. It may be our pastor or a counselor, and sometimes a doctor is needed when we need medication and other treatment modalities. I believe that God has provided these resources, and we need not be ashamed if they are needed. This doesn’t mean we just go off on our own; we are still guided by the Word of God in our daily lives.

Psalm 23, as referred to above, is a great scripture to meditate upon:
1 The LORD is my shepherd ; I shall not want .
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies : thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

****

It seemed like what I wrote was going to promote a firestorm, and the first commenter did start out that way. It seemed she was saying that you don’t need medications, and said the whole usual blah blah … but in a later comment she started talking about oils and what not, and I’m like, wait a minute, that doesn’t jive with what you said initially. But I didn’t want to argue, so I just let it go. There were several other comments that were supportive and echoed what I had written.

So, kids, this is all you are going to get out of me this weekend, lol. Unless I can’t sleep later…

xo

Deuteronomy 6:5 (With All Of Me)

Beautiful song, great thoughts … thank you Beejai. My love for Jesus has waxed a little cold due to my depression, everything is blunted even this which is my lifeline . As much as “Teach me to love You more,” maybe even more so, I pray the scripture that says, “Lord I believe, help Thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

“The Spoon Theory”

Have you read about “The Spoon Theory,” which helps us to answer a very difficult question: How is it to be chronically ill, how do we cope, how can we?

How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try. — Christina Miserandino

Please click on the link for her explanation.

http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

So Rich Full and Free

Yesterday in my partial hospital program we saw a video that accompanied a workshop done by Mary Ellen Copeland (author of The Depression Workbook: a Guide for living with Depression and Manic Depression).

One of the things I responded to was that she said her program was geared to people “whose lives are not as rich and full as they want it to be.” I cried.

That would be me. That is what I am looking for and what depression/bipolar steals from me. I know some believe that the Lord, the Bible, and church ought to provide that all on their own, but I believe God has also trained up ad provided people who know mental illness and have compassion for them.

It is my dream that the church will seek to provide more of that compassion and understanding.

One organization that admittedly I don’t know much about is helping toward that.  It is called the Mental Health Grace Alliance and is training people in the church to help those with a mental illness. 🙂 I’m interested to see what they are able to accomplish. They are not in my area and if I was well enough I would work toward that. That’s the problem with these kinds of issues – can we be strong and capable for long enough to fight for ourselves and one another! I am grateful to those who can, and do!

Ok, enough for this morning, I can’t believe I am functioning enough to write this early in the day, lol…

Will Attend …

Well I respectfully decline, once again, to live half a life/existence and wait until the hour of my death amen.

I want my life back! Well, I want that part of my life that is filled with joy, with ability for my body to obey my will to want and to do.

I just started an outpatient program yesterday to help me with my depression. It’s from 9-3 daily and consists of group therapy, education, occupational therapy, and just in general hanging out with someone other than my own fine depressed self. Means up and bathed and dressed and there by 9 which is a huge stretch all by itself, lol… but it’s good for me.

I’ve been through it before when I was really depressed, and a few times when I was manic too. The staff is really great and many of them have worked there for years, so it is almost comforting to need help (lol)

I enjoyed reading your blogs tonight. 🙂 Keep going!

I will be back at it when I can

Oh Brrrrother!

I’ve had my brother on my mind a lot the last few days. I don’t know what triggered the thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, I often think about him, but it’s been more frequently of late.

My brother Jeff was 2 years younger than I. Yes, was. He was 51 when he passed away, in November of 2012, so that makes it almost 3 years.

What do I remember about him the most? It is hard to say. So many memories. One of my first memories of him, skiing at Sugarloaf. He was a real hot dog on skis; way more daring than I was. We hardly ever skiied together; only when he felt sufficiently sorry for me if I had to ski alone.

I remember standing at the top of a section of a more difficult trail, almost trembling in fear. Ok, I was trembling. He stood at the bottom of the “hill,” ahem (not a hill), looking up at me and trying to talk me down. “Go back and forth,” he hollered. “You don’t have to come straight down.”

Well, of course my skis had other ideas. Straight down they went, and I ended up skiing with my back almost parallel to the slope, until indeed I fell, as I had known I would. Hence, the trembling.

He kindly walked up to where I had fallen, picking up gloves and ski poles and one boot, oh, by the way, still attached to a ski, and he didn’t even laugh.

I think that’s probably the last time he skiied with me.

We were BFFs before BFFs were cool, especially when they’re your younger brother. One time I took a photo of him when he was fooling around. He had cut out a great big eye from a magazine page, and taped it to the back of one of his eyeglass lenses, so that one eye appeared much bigger than the other. He was always a goof like that; he loved making people laugh! Later, in a book of memories I had written and illustrated, I recreated that photo; it is often in the back of my mind.

Another memory: Hanging out together in the observatory of our home here in Maine. We lived in a converted cottage situated on a suburban hill. “Observatory,” we’d say, with an English accent and an aristocratic air. Most likely, the room had originally looked out over the ocean, but as the area grew more populated, the view became more and more obscured.

Here is where I start wanting to censor myself. For one thing, “don’t air your dirty laundry” is second only to “don’t air your family’s laundry.” In fact, I’ve said too much already. Ok, delete, delete, delete. Guess I need to write more fiction, lol.

Jeff was very sensitive to my divulging personal issues. Several years ago I was writing a short series of guest columns for the local paper, and he gave me the dickens for “disclosing a family secret” that I had thought was merely an amusing anecdote. Even toward the end of his life Jeff continued to insist that that had been a major faux pas.

And so if I tell you much more, I can see that Frank Zappa-fied finger (he loved the Frank) pointing down at me from Heaven saying “you’d better not!”

Sigh.

Well, I will stop there and say that my brother died as the result of a couple of brain injuries that he had sustained a few years previously. Which is the short version.

I don’t think of him often. Only in the winter. Only when I hear about others’ grief and loss.

Only on days which end in “y.”

Miss you, Buddy. 🙂

Camp Nanowrimo, anyone? For writers in April

Many of you are familiar with Nanowrimo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place in November, and has often motivated me to work seriously on novel writing.

Well, in April and July they have what they call Nano Camp. You sign up to join a cabin, cook marshmallows, and, oh yeah, work on your novel.

The thing that is different about Nano Camp, as opposed to Nanowrimo in November, is that you can set your own word count, or, if you prefer, you can work on editing an existing novel (one hour is equivalent to 1000 words). You can also choose to work on a different kind of work, for example, a screenplay, short stories, or what have you. Again, you set your own goal, set the stop watch, and have at it.

So, anyone interested in joining me for April’s camp? My goal is to write 25,000 words. Not necessarily brand new words, because I have 17 k from my existing Nano novel from November that need to go somewhere. I am hopeful though that I will produce mostly new material.

I will be doing a major rewrite to the existing novel as well, because I have added a major character. This character is based upon a real-life friend of mine who barely refrains from pushing me, lol. This can be a motivating force, or can cause me to dig in my heels and refuse to work, lol. So far it has been the latter.

So, get with it, writers! Step up and be brave!

in sympathy 

Recently there was a “blog discussion” started by Blahpolar (https://bipolardyke.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/why-i-talk-to-those-left-behind-by-suicide/?c=5403#comment-5403 ) about this very thing. I love this response! Thank you bipolarsojourner!

facing off with the big d

after much struggle, thought and deliberation, I have crafted my answer to my relative’s suicide. (I hate that word) without further ado:

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New Plan (“… If you want to make God laugh…”)

Stupid depression.

Stupid laryngitis.

Have y’all ever had laryngitis? I don’t know about you but it makes me so mad! I want to communicate to my therapist, for example, and I say, “I’m so mad that I can’t talk and tell you how I feel!” He says, “What?”

I know. Funny. HAHA – except it’s not. I am not a big talker, mind you. I am happy sitting in a room full of people for 2 hours not saying a word, trust me. But when I can’t? GRRR! I want to throw things. It has been about 5 weeks now. I’ll get to that.

So anyway back to the depression. It had gotten increasingly worse (continued suicidality, hopelessness, anhedonia, lack of motivation, irritability, insomnia, isolation, etc etc), so finally a little more than a month ago my shrink increased my Abilify. Currently on Lamictal 200 mg, Trileptal 400 mg, Abilify 2.5 mg, among other non- psych drugs.

The med change still has not helped, so she has increased it again, to 3 mg. We are leery because I have gotten manic on it before; but other med adjustments/changes have either not helped or have had bad side effects. I wish I had a list of all the stupid meds I have been on.

I am also on the wait list to start outpatient hospitalization or intensive outpatient or however you want to call it. It has often helped before. I hate to have to do it but … (shrug) it is what it is.

Now the laryngitis. I’ve had it going on five weeks now. From the get-go the only symptoms have been the laryngitis and a dry cough. Barely productive of sputum (if you are a nurse and taking notes). I have also had an increase in my reflux (food and liquid backing up into my throat). My doctor and I discussed it and decided I should have an EGD (tube that goes down the throat and looks at the esophagus and stomach and etc – they can take pictures, take biopsies, etc). Still waiting on that appointment.

Oh, and the maintenance guy helped me to elevate the head of my bed on blocks, and my Nexium (medication for reflux) has been increased.

 

I think that’s about it.

Oh and just in case anyone wanted an explanation:

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” – Woody Allen

Share the Love :D

I was nominated by my friend jillypopmusic to take part in the Spread the Love event. Thank you so much!!!

Here are the rules:

1. Write 10 four-word sentences about what love means to you.
2. Share your favorite quote on love.
3. Nominate 10 other bloggers to join in.

Love is…

  1. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13. Christ died for all of us!
  2. Having to say you’re sorry, when you’re wrong
  3. Appreciating the person as they are, and supporting their need to grow
  4. Listening to the other person, trying to meet the need they are trying to express.
  5. Listening and saying nothing, if that’s what they need.
  6. Pointing out the beauty around us.
  7. A gentle touch, or, giving space.
  8. Surprising someone with a meal, whether fancy or not!
  9. Knowing what not to say
  10. Yes, a bunch of roses  😀

My favorite quote. I can’t think of one, so I’ll use the one I used in my High School yearbook:

Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.”

– Voltaire

Ten blogs I am nominating, although, if you are interested in participating, by all means, jump on board! Also, if you don’t want to participate in the nominations, feel free to just answer the questions, ie Blahpolar, perhaps?

Amanuensis Sobriquet-Reverie

Stephieopolis

mosesface.

Kindness Blog

bearspawprint

Lars from Mars and Beyond

EDS Info (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)

London, Paris, Milan, blah…

lily pups life

Life Lessons, Cats and Clothes

There’s no place like home …

Two [are] better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him [that is] alone when he falleth; for [he hath] not another to help him up.  Ecclesiastes 2:9-12 

Many of us with mental illness are good at isolating. We tell ourselves that we are better off alone, that no one understands us anyway, that we don’t need people, and any number of things that shame us into believing we are defective

The Bible has a lot to say about friendship. There’s a reason for this. You’ve heard the expression, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” Well, I think God meant for us to handle what He gives us. but not to handle it alone!

Why am I talking about this? Well, today I am going to meet a friend for lunch. I woke up at 6:30 a.m, and at 6:35 the negative voices started:

  • Everyone else in the world is getting ready for work, and here you are going to lunch? Well aren’t we special!
  • She doesn’t get you anyways. Why don’t you stay home?
  • You know you are too tired. You could take a nap.
  • Friends have hurt you in the past.
  • It’s supposed to snow.

So how do I counteract these voices?

  • You have a mental illness. Going to lunch with a friend is therapeutic.
  • She does get you. Anything she doesn’t get, you haven’t told her. She loves you, and even on Sunday she said she wants to be a good friend to you.
  • So what if you’re tired. You’d sleep all day if I let you! Staying up will help you to sleep better at night!
  • You live in New England. It snows! Remember that blizzard you braved when you used to drink?

Etc.

Why am I writing this post?

  • To counteract the thought that I have nothing to say
  • Because I am ashamed of having a mental illness.
  • I love bullet posts

Hope you guys have a lovely day, and if there is a friend or two that you could call, why don’t you? Maybe you could blog about it. I don’t know if you’ve heard it as often as I have, but having support is one of the most important principles when we talk about recovery from mental illness and substance abuse.

If all else fails, you could write a comment here, and let go of the negative voices that are running through your mind even now. It helps to write it down!

Good morning!*

*Phew, it’s 11:59 and I made it in time to say “good morning,” lol…

Ah the little things that give us joy, or at least, a little frisson of delight. Ok, a mere sigh of relief, then; whattaya want for nothing? lol

Anyway I wanted to apologize for the lack of comments and “likes” on your blog posts lately. I do care! It’s just been a busy week that has challenged my level of depression a little more than it would normally. This week was our annual missions conference which I usually adore! This year it was more like I had to force myself to go and to be around people; although it did lift me up some and renew my faith and my spirits: PHEW!

Well anyway, enjoy your week. If you are of the prayerful persuasion, pray that I will get motivated to work on my novel this week. It is not like I don’t have time!!

xo

*Rats. It’s 12:01 and I am just now finishing. Oh well, c’est la vie…

NYTimes: It’s Not Always Depression

These were my comments after reading the article. What do you think?

“I don’t know, I get the impression that shame and guilt partly manifest themselves AS depression. And in PTSD which it sounds like is an aspect of this person’s illness – one of the symptoms of that being depression. It IS complicated. I don’t know that shame/guilt should be separated out. I do think of course that part of this person’s treatment plan would be as described in the article.

I have a HUGE component of shame and guilt as part of my depression. Most of that shame and guilt due to having a mental illness (I am bipolar and have general anxiety disorder as well) My depression HAS been intractable 😦 Of course, some of it incurred as a child; I related so much to the client’s issues with that, part of the fallout of being one of 8 kids. My therapist sadly says that, were it not for my lack of acceptance and guilt for having my illnesses, I would not struggle so much, and I think he’s right.”

After much careful research …

 … and because life is just to darn serious…

(speakin o’ Van Gogh)

it has been discovered that the artist Vincent Van Gogh had many relatives.

Among them were:

His obnoxious brother, Please Gogh

His dizzy aunt,Verti Gogh

The brother who ate prunes, Gotta Gogh

The brother who worked at a convenience store, Stop’n Gogh

The grandfather from Yugoslavia, U. Gogh

The brother who bleached his clothes white, Hue Gogh

The cousin from Illinois, Chica Gogh

His magician uncle, Wherediddy Gogh

His Mexican cousin, Amee Gogh

The Mexican cousin’s American half-brother, Grin Gogh

The nephew who drove a stagecoach, Wellsfar Gogh

The constipated uncle, Cant Gogh

The ballroom dancing aunt, Tan Gogh

The bird lover uncle, Flamin Gogh

His nephew, psychoanalyst E. Gogh

The fruit loving cousin, Man Gogh

An aunt who taught positive thinking, Wayto Gogh

The little bouncy nephew, Poe Gogh

A sister who loved disco, Go Gogh

His Italian uncle, Day Gogh

And his niece who travels the country in a van, Winnie Bay Gogh.

(courtesy of http://www.corsinet.com/braincandy/hvangogh.html)

***********

And another thin’ in case the other one did not make you Gogh “ARGHHH!”

An art thief pulls off an incredible heist at the Louvre. He loads a bunch of priceless paintings in the back of his van and drives off.

He is about to make the perfect getaway when his van suddenly stops. The authorities nab him, and one of them asks “what happened to the van?”

The thief replies:

“I did not have the Monet

to buy Degas

to make the Van Gogh”

(from: http://www.reddit.com/r/Jokes/comments/1mbwkm/art_thief/)

Thanks to Blahpolar for the inspire-ation

(see the cat’s arm? He’s doing a selfie!)

a linked quote-dump

Hear my prayer …

Our church participates in hosting a Baptist youth camp at Camp Wilmot, in New Hampshire, each summer. There is nothing like the mountains and greenery of this part of New England to satisfy your soul. The clouds are closer, the wind is sweeter, and the voice of God is in your ear.
One morning I took the photo above, and once I downloaded it, I realized something. The cloud almost took the shape of a heart held out by someone’s hand. I have since used the photo quite often on my blog, when speaking of God’s love, of hope, and of happiness. 
As a person with bipolar illness, well, even as a human being, I have a special need to be in touch with God as much as possible. Whether that means seeing God in the clouds, or elsewhere in nature, it doesn’t matter. Or maybe God speaks through a friend, or through something I’ve read somewhere. There are other, more obvious ways, of course. There is direct prayer (speaking with God), and reading the Bible (listening to God).
These are all ways I can grow in my relationship to the Lord. I have not always found this to be easy. I look at the people around me who seem to find their relationship with Jesus to be so matter-of-fact, so natural, and I have to admit that I’m jealous. I think some have this easy friendship by virtue of the length of time they have been saved, but I also think that my bipolar illness makes it difficult for me to maintain that consistent prayer life and walk with God.
I have known God since I was a little girl growing up in the Catholic church. I remember back when I had my first communion, kneeling at the altar, praying earnestly to a God who seemed so real. I almost remember being bathed in a soft, heavenly light, and love. Of course, I am pretty creative, so I may not be remembering that “just so.” But what I do know is that there was and is a God Who loves me.
Life after that childhood memory, of course, happened, along with its stormy seas. I was in and out of relationship with God as I grew older, perhaps more jaded, and by the time my parents divorced, it was more of a habit and duty to go to church. It did not seem to do a whole lot for me, and I was not all that interested in what I could give back. I was quite relieved when my mother stopped making us go to church. There had been no point to it anyway, in my mind.
Having balked at God being the ultimate authority, I continued to resist other rules; mainly, those of my parents. I pushed aside the values and expectations I had learned growing up. If I had ever feared God, I no longer did. I lived my life for me, myself, and I. Alcohol, boys, money – all of that seemed the chief end and aim of life.
Unfortunately, that life started getting more and more difficult, and I soon wound up in AA, wondering what on earth had happened.
But still, even though I’d gotten sober, I had no peace. I had tried to go back to church several times after my parents split up, and again when I stopped drinking, but there was a wall there. It seemed like God was no longer there. I had a brief experience with Him, so I thought, during my first manic episode in 1985, but that did not cause a lasting change. Most likely that was just the chemicals in my brain, messing with me.
And so, fifteen years later, I was no further along than I had been. Sober, but miserable. It was then that I met Christ and got saved, and found out that He wasn’t a church, He wasn’t tradition. I’d been right the first time. He was Someone who cared about me. I was 40 years old, and I had a lot yet to learn. I began to build this relationship, or, more accurately, God began to change my heart.
As a person with bipolar, however, I do not always find this relationship to be very smooth, or even, at times, satisfying. When I’m depressed it’s hard to read my Bible or to want to serve the Lord. When I’m hypomanic, I feel like I have a straight line to God and don’t need the Bible or preaching. I really envy those who can be consistent. I am not one of them. I do know deep down, however, that the basis of my relationship with God has got to be reading the Bible and prayer His love. No matter what I do or don’t do, by virtue of my relationship with Him, He loves me. And He wants to have a relationship with me!
One of the things that will prompt me to turn to my Bible is when a friend will post a scripture verse on Facebook, as one man did this morning. He wrote:
Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust : cause me to know the way wherein I should walk ; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
That verse alone was very comforting to me. It was as if I could read it and have it be my prayer to God. The words of that scripture are similar to words I have used many times in speaking to God of my troubles. The rich detail spoke straight to my heart; God, speaking to me personally, through His word. Oh, He doesn’t literally speak, deep voice and all. But the written word and the response of my soul told me that it was meant for me at that particular time.
I went further. I looked up the verse in my Bible and read the whole chapter. “Wow,” I said, “is that my depression or what??” And within the text, God’s answer: Read me, hear me, follow me.
Here is the psalm. If you would like, you can also take a listen (Click here, then hit the speaker button). Romans 10:17 says that “… faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” so listening is a good practice.
1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified .
3 For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead .
4Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate .
5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
6 I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
7 Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit failethhide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust : cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
9 Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies : I flee unto thee to hide me.
10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
11 Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
12 And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies , and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

Oh come on. COOPERATE!

I don’t know about you but there aren’t many things that drive me to grit my teeth and cuss and slam things around and … well you get the idea. But one of the things that does drive me to grit my teeth and cuss and slam things around and … is technology! Now why is it, you know what you want it to do, and conceivably how to make it do what you want it to do, but it still won’t do it! Arghhh!

Spoil my wonderful day why don’t cha! Mutter mutter …

But – am I going to let it ruin my whole day? as I give my iphone a sidelong glance and type on my old fashioned PC, no I am not. But I am still going to give my dentist something to complain about (still grittin them teeth are ya K?)

It was a lovely day. 45-50 degrees (yes, Fahrenheit). Driving with the winders down, thinking of all the lovely things I wanted to do on those “other” days, when I could not set foot out of the house. Now I can do them. I know, let’s make a list! So, I made me a list. And as the pedal hit the metal, the list flew out the winder.

Ok, not literally.

But anyway, halfway through doing the new and improved list, I wound up at Panera Bread for a lovely home baked warmmmm chocolate chip cookie (free because I had had a birthday!). And a coffee; I did buy the coffee.

And then I started thinking about all the ways I wanted to spend money.

What?

I know, I was doing fine. So where the heck did that come from?

Well, it’s because I had to think about that new and improved list. Most of it had to do with spending my money. And let me esplain, Lucy, it’s not really my money. Number one, I don’t have it yet. B, if it’s on credit, it’s still not my money. And three, since I owe elsewhere and can’t afford to spend more, it’s still not my money.

And in my mind I see that “It’s my money and I need it now!” commercial. Although, if it was my commercial, it would merely say, “I want it now!” And I’d be wearing baby bloomers with a pacifier hanging off of my shirt.

Ok, so speaking of digression, haha.

So here it is a nice day, winders rolled down (even though they don’t literally roll), fresh breeze coming through, take a picture here, take a picture there, keeping my Photo101 assignment (“Big”) in mind … and for some reason the whole issue of money is starting to drive me crazy (what money?) Oh ya can’t be happy for one second and you want more? That’s what I’m saying to myself.

So I talk myself out of going to Kohl’s and perusing the clothes I’d like to buy, even though the ones on sale are never the ones I can wear …

And I talk myself out of going to Staples and looking at laptops; it will only make me crazy with the “I wanters.”

I talk myself out of going to the car wash because it will be $20. I will wish I had at the end of the month.

I talk myself out of going to the Salvation Army store because I already have a bag full of liber-rary books and I don’t need to buy any…

Well I was feeling pretty virtuous by then. “See God? I didn’t spend any money (except for a cup of coffee), even though I really really wanted to.”

“Ok, I still really really want to. But I didn’t! Aren’t you pwoud of me?”

What’s all this got to do with technology?

Well, it means that by the time I got around to downloading those stupid pictures I took …

I couldn’t do it …

And I gritted my teeth …

And cussed …

And just refrained from slamming things around…

Because as much as I enjoyed the good day, I still didn’t really do what I wanted to do annnd my house didn’t clean itself annnnd the laundry is still waiting to be done annnnd then I feel bad and ungrateful, and I shouldn’t, because

It’s a beautiful day and I do really have a lot that other people don’t so

just because the iphone won’t cooperate,

I don’t have to let it ruin my whole day …

Somebody hand me my pacifier?

(haha and I just remembered, I am going to hook up my cable TV tonite. If you hear sobs coming from under my door you will know why)

Now that I’m no longer depressed …

I was “this close” to posting a picture of myself (I’m too shy!) from back in Autumn, when I was actually doing pretty good. In fact, I was kind of bragging about it, that my meds were pretty stable and, yeah right. Well, anyway, if you took a picture of me this morning, I would be wearing the same clothes as yesterday, sort of, and I would be jonesing to go back to bed.

But still, yesterday I woke up in a fairly good mood, and I am cautiously optimistically looking forward to a few things. SPRING (pic from 5 years ago), in case you did not get the memo in the last few posts I’ve written. Lunch with a friend today. Saturday I got through Dad’s birthday (he’s been gone 7 years. 7 YEARS??). And I am pretty sure I will get through the anniversary of Mom’s death (March 12, will be 2 years). Oh sure no sweat  😦

Today I already chalked off something I wanted to accomplish (it’s only 8 a.m!). And I found a phone number I’ve been looking for for two weeks! Kyule!

So what else is going on this fine cloudy Maine morning? I don’t know but I do know that I was happy to be happy yesterday even for a few moments.

I don’t want to kid myself that being happy yesterday means that I am cured. I’m pretty much sure I am not, lol. I don’t want to kid myself that this uptick in mood necessarily won’t change to hypomania, sigh.

Oh I had so much to say when I clicked on the “+” sign for a new post.

I do want to thank you guys for posting your posts and for commenting your comments! Sa-WEET!

Ok, now that I’ve had my coffee (one of my favorite things) I think I’ll go back to bed for a while … oh what’s that on my Facebook?

Bipolar Happens, by Julie Fast

Have you heard of Bipolar Happens?

I have been familiar with Julie Fast for a long time. She has bipolar and had difficulty with medication. She grew frustrated with the symptoms. She developed a system of Health Cards to help her and her family deal with symptoms. The Health Cards help you to recognize symptoms and intervene, and also help you share these methods with family and friends.

Anyone familiar with this? Thoughts?

Here is her website

http://www.bipolarhappens.com/

You can order her Health Cards and books. Her belief is that we should focus on self-care almost more than medication, if not more so.

And here is a video with an overview.

Spekin da which …

Have any of you noticed that with age and or bipolar and or meds that your faculties are not werkin’ like they used to? Spelling, grammar, math?

It’s frustrating to me. I used to have no trouble with spelling and grammar; it was second nature. Now forget about it, I have to work at it, or, God forbid, look something up!

Math never came easy so it’s even tougher.

The funny thing is, if I mention to someone that they have made an error in any of those areas (erreas? errorers?) inevitably I will make one within the next 5 minutes… So I don’t correct nobody no more.

Ok, talk amongst yourselves…

Photo101: Solitude, and the Rule of Thirds

This is Day 5 of the Photography 101 Course through WordPress.

First, we were to show a photo representing solitude. I chose two photos.

The first example of solitude could be up to debate. Is the tree the solitary item? or is it the tiny human beside it?

In the next photo, these were our instructions per the Photo101 course:

As you frame your shot, consider the tried-and-true Rule of Thirds, which is a great introductory lesson in composition. Divide your shot into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you get nine parts. Your camera probably has the option to display this grid in your viewfinder or LCD screen. But if not, envision this atop your frame:

rule_of_thirds_grid1

Place your subject at the intersections of these lines, or along them.

In the following shot, continuing from the instructions, “the placement of the girl, toward the bottom-right, creates a more interesting composition — her aloneness is amplified by all of the open space to the left. This off-center placement also aligns with how our eyes naturally interact with images.”

“Rules are meant to be broken, of course, especially since each image is different! Today, experiment with this grid as you frame your solitary subject.”

Here, the rule of thirds is applied. The woman is relaxing in front of a million dollar view. But can she see it beyond the hedge? Is there anything else that might be interfering with what she sees? Is she worried about something? Is she enjoying her solitude, or trying to conquer it?

The photo was cropped from this larger photo, below. Which one do you think is more interesting, and why?

 

 

4 Takes, Photo101 Course

Today I am playing catch-up on assignments through WordPress’ Photo101 Course. I wanted to see if I could learn more about photography and how to incorporate it into my blog.

This first image represents Home 

When my family first moved to Maine from New York, the first thing I remember seeing was the skyline of the City of Portland. This building, seen framed by the trees, is fondly known as the Time and Temperature Building. That black square announces, of course, time and temperature, as well as parking bans in the winter, and occasionally will be used for other purposes. Seems to me I have seen “Happy Easter,” and “Call Joe” (referring to a local law office). My father worked in that building for several years as a hair stylist. I still get a sense of calm when I see it from a distance. It just means “home.”

In the foreground of the photo is Back Cove, also called “Back Bay.” There is a walking trail surrounding the cove that is used by joggers, bicyclists, dog-walkers, skateboarders, roller bladers, and just plain old ladies walking, like myself. (Ok, not officially “old,” but getting there). There are often walk-a-thons held for different charities from Payson Park nearby. This park is home to several Little League games, tennis, soccer, you name it. This is another great place for dogs and their owners, picnics, sunning, reading … you get the idea.

The next assignment was to take a picture of a street. Since I don’t have the oomph to go running around the streets in subzero temps and mile-high snowbanks at this time, this old photo will have to do. Besides, I like this kind of street better anyway.

The photo was taken at the Eastern Promenade in Portland, Maine. Eastern Prom is also used for walking, biking, skateboarding, sight seeing, picnicking, and the like. There is a public beach from which boats may be launched, swimmers may swim, and dogs may dog. There are great views of Casco Bay, walking paths, a gazebo, and a hundred photo ops. Ok, if you insist, I will provide you with a sneak peak of the view (Fort Gorges seen on the right; no extra charge).

The next assignment: Water.

I chose this picture for obvious reasons. I love the mirrored surface of the water and the birds flying just above the surface. I also love trees, and their silhouettes against the sky and over the water. (Photo taken again at Back Cove, seen from Baxter Boulevard, Portland, ME),

Lastly, here is a picture that represents Bliss. I don’t know if you are getting a sense of theme here, but apparently I love the ocean. In fact, the ocean was the factor that sold me, when my dad broke it to us that we were moving to Maine from upstate New York. The ocean is what keeps me. When I moved a couple of hours North, and could not get to the ocean, I was miserable and couldn’t wait to get back Home. That’s not to say I have no wanderlust; I do! Just make sure that somewhere along the line I can get to the ocean.

This photo was taken at The Lobster Shack At Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

(Subjects in photo are anonymous. No animals were harmed in the taking of this picture).