a slice of bipolar 2 cake

cake slice 2The cake boss I am not. I’ve been trying to create a visual image of bipolar 2. So, I “baked” a virtual cake. Here goes, I’m not the best baker in the cyberverse!

Take 2 cakes; one baked in a pan that was too small; the other in too big of a pan. The cakes are both lopsided, burnt on one side, not cooked on another. Rising was random. In other words, you have a kitchen disaster. These layers, “uniquely” represent the anger/frustration/binges/urges of hypomanic episode. (Variety of cake up to you: chocolate; vanilla; red velvet; cheese.)

Filling is needed to hold the two halves together so a two layer cake can be constructed; raspberry jam; chocolate chunks, gauche, toasted coconut any filling that will hold the two layers together. The filling represents those stable times when feeling a balance between anger and sorrow; it holds the cake and sometimes me together.

After you have balanced the two layers with filling and a few swift moves by a knife, it’s time to wrap the confection with icing (pick your favo(u)rite flavo(u)r)

I’m not a great icer; somehow the cake crumbs always get into it; I can’t put it on evenly – there are mountains and valleys of icing and a dilapidated “fence” around the sides (even when using the cake icing turntable). Icing is the depression that wraps me (and other bipolar 2 folks) in the shadows and is a constant companion.

I step back and look at my creation. A slice of the cake would give you a bipolar 2 dessert, consuming the three layers that lay bare the emotional turmoil, pain, binging, sadness, balance, and stability. Did you bring a fork?

cake slice4

Painting bipolar disorder 2

staring at my feet; will I dance or no?

The bipolar 2 colo(u)rs are virtual paints to scatter on a canvas primed with shades of grey. From light dove grey to the colo(u)r of a leaden sky; my continuous depression is the base coat of my virtual art studio. Sometimes my virtual paints are water colo(u)rs or oils, other times pastels or charcoal. The thickness of the layers of paint is part of my therapy; to help deal with the ramifications of mental illness.

Just as my feelings of guilt, my fear of rejection, my inability to move forward continuously press down on me, the urges are overwhelming; every pore, every cell, every atom is screaming at me to indulge in all my addictions. And, when I “paint” my mental illness, the colo(u)rs are layered; each represents an addiction; the return of dragons I thought I’d already dispatched.

Never completely banished, sugar still is the seductive siren that calls to me in gentle tones. I swear an oath to myself that I’ll only eat X or overindulge in Y today; tomorrow, I’ll get back on track of weight loss and elimination diets. Ah, but like the 2 year inertia, “Let’s forget about tomorrow, for tomorrow never comes!”

So far, the “demon rum” is on the shelf at the liquor store, not in my glass. (Actually, I don’t drink rum; prefer hard cider, good wines and beer). I’ve fought that demon before. But now it’s time again for me to put on my suit of armor, take up my shield and sword, and with a battle cry, begin the fight again.

mapping the mental health care system: is there anybody out there?*

Life is a series of puzzles and paradoxes; lunacy and logic; serendipity and synchronicity; ironies and incongruities. Today begins another wearying round of attempts to find professional, or community-based, or government-sponsored accessible, affordable, and appropriate mental health support. No wonder I’m talking in alterations, and musing “profoundly.”

I dread this exercise in futility. My particular situation may not “fit” into their private or public practice, organization, facility, focus; accepted insurance plans, or whatever. I’m contacting them because I was given their name and number by my health care insurance provider, or a physician (non-mental care), or found them through research on my part.

It was bad enough that only 2% of the health care professionals I left messages for returned my phone call. I assumed that since the people I was contacting worked, in some capacity, within the mental health care system, the response would be handled carefully, with compassion and respect. This was most often NOT the case; the reaction would be unacceptable whatever the context of the conversation. These “conversations” were less than professional. thCAC8OIM4I was yelled at, treated with distain and condescendence, told I was wasting their time, or to call a crisis help-line if I became a danger to others or myself. Already bruised and battered, these reactions were the last thing I needed. A simple “no – I/we can’t help you,” would have been more appropriate. None offered an alternative source/resource.

Wish me luck. So far the mapping (getting to) hasn’t been very promising. Sigh.

* borrowing from Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Another great line: “I have become, comfortably numb.”

I need an app for that

"Get fat on Lorings Fat-ten-u and corpula...
“Get fat on Lorings Fat-ten-u and corpula foods”; “Advertisement showing young woman with package of Loring’s Fat-Ten-U food tablets and package of Loring’s Corpula, a fat-producting food.” Color lithograph (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I ever get a smart phone, there are certain apps I’ll probably not buy: the probability and surety that a piano will fall on my head; the chance that a comet is headed straight for earth, it’s a bad hair day or how not to get to a greasy spoon diner. But there is one app I definitely need and it would start with the robot from “Lost in Space” shouting “warning, warning, danger, danger” as I’m about the explode with rage from a bipolar 2 hypo/manic episode.

It sure would have come in handy the last few weeks. I’ve been rapidly cycling through binging and destroying the contains of our little house. Brought on by stress and rapid, no reason for it weight gain and protruding abdomen (echoes of last year). The binging was mostly food (a bit of shopping and hiding purchases by using a credit card not tied to an account hubby has access to) and what a binge it’s been. My waist is now usually 40 inches and unbearable to have clothes touching and I’ve regained all the weight I tried so hard to lose since December and I suspect when I get weighed tomorrow at the doctor’s office, I will be at least 30 pounds over my ideal weight. This will send me spiraling downward as my bipolar 2 can do.

I destroyed the house twice, and the 2nd time was so upset and tired from my rampage, I couldn’t finish the job of putting things back together – hubby had to. I had to increase both of my meds (I had to reduce one due to dangerously low sodium levels in my blood) to try to lift my mood and stabilize my emotions. The binging has to stop (for years I had it under control) and the rage has to find another outlet than throwing stuff including medication with the lid off!

I should have gone to the ER yesterday, or called my shrink or doctor, but it would have gone nowhere. Hubby couldn’t come home. He was in a bad way himself as he found out through unofficial channels that in October, contract employees will be given the choice of taking a reduction in pay (in hubby’s case ½ of what he is making per hour now) with no more access to buying health care insurance.

We’re screwed as we can barely make it on his salary now, and without health care no more meds and no more doctors. I can stockpile some drugs til we lose our health care, but Lyrica is a controlled substance and I can only get a 6 month supply at a time. I would be due to get a new script in October, so there goes my pain meds. When I think of how much pain I will be in, I start to cry. It is unbearable and will completely disable me.

I don’t qualify for disability, and even if I did, I would have to wait at least a year before Medicaid would take effect. I’m afraid of what life will be like. I suspect I won’t be able to get out of bed. Eve writing this brings on the tears, so I have to leave go.