it ain’t the speed that matters, it’s the forward momentum

Everyone who has a mental illness experiences it differently, even if they have the exact same Dx. And each of us responds to the medications and therapies differently, even if we take the exact same treatment. Over the course of the last 15 years I’ve taken more medications than I remember (they’re written down somewhere) and had a handful of therapists who had different ways of helping me to treat my symptoms.

But there’s no cure for this. There is a kind of remission, a place we can get to where things are “as normal as normal gets” for us, but right now there’s no magic pill that just takes it all away. I think that’s ok.

I have a need for regularity and routine to keep me going in a forward direction. Some of the choices I made in the past have resulted in long term memory issues and that makes things a bit more challenging for me sometimes, but I just don’t know how to quit. I am a born fighter and let me tell you, when the time comes I’m going to go down swinging.

In the spirit of sharing what works for me because it might just help you, here’s some random stuff that seems to make my life a little easier. This is in no way meant to be taken as gospel or medical advice or anything like that. Think of it as the random sort of stuff a friend might tell you over a cup of whatever it is you like to drink.

Thing One: SLEEP. This is huge for me because a lack of sleep will bring on hypomania and potentially full on mania and that is just no damn good for someone with bipolar disorder. I have done my best to make the bedroom a very calm and quiet place. There is no TV in there, I have a black-out shade on the window, I keep the ceiling fan running year round, comfortable sheets, I play white noise on an app on my phone, and I use the bed for only sleeping and “quality” time with Lancelot. I allow myself plenty of time in which to get 8 hours of sleep knowing full well that I likely won’t get quite that much every night.

Thing Two: TREATMENT. For me this includes a psychiatrist to prescribe medication and a therapist to help with coping skills. The practice I go to includes both of those providers and they talk to each other about what’s going on with me, because they need to. My illness requires both medication management and therapy and this is something that over the last 15 years I’ve come to realize and I rely on it. I know that there are people who can manage their illnesses without medication; each of us is different. I hope that you all know that if you need help it is 100% fine to ask for it.

Thing Three: GET TO KNOW YOURSELF. Self-awareness is really just huge as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been working on this for awhile now and it’s sometimes really hard. But I know when I start craving certain things or avoiding certain things that it’s a sign from my brain that either something is really wrong, or I need to change up a routine. For example, sometimes all it takes to reboot my mood is to move things around in my office. We affectionately refer to this as “shit shifting” and it is by far my favorite way to redecorate. I also know that when my body tells me I’m too tired, I really am too tired and I need to slow down. This whole glorification of being busy and exhausted and everyone having a “side hustle” is just awful and it needs to stop. Slow down already, relaxing is not only good it’s important.

Thing Four: DO STUFF THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. I need to make sure we all understand what this means, because it does not mean getting drunk or chemically altered or anything that is destructive, unless you’re thinking about destroying the dust bunnies under the bed or something like that. What I mean is that it’s important to have something you like you do that you feel good doing. For some people this is baking, for others it’s wood working, hell it could even be playing video games. For me it’s usually knitting. There’s value, lots of value, in taking time every day to do things that make you feel good about your skills and yourself.

Thing Five: PICK YOUR BATTLES. Not every hill is worth dying on, and sometimes it is entirely essential to surrender so that you can rest and rally the troops (that would be you) so that you’ll be ready to fight again tomorrow. There is no shame at all in calling for a time out if you need one. Take a day off work, ask your partner/spouse/friend to do a chore for you if you can’t, order delivery food, just be gentle with yourself so that tomorrow you can go back to being the amazing badass that you are.

Finally, know that even though we don’t all experience these illnesses and challenges the same way, we’ve all kind of been “there” and I for one am always happy to lend an ear to listen and a shoulder for crying on. Please don’t ever be ashamed about the fight you’re fighting.

And just so I don’t end this on a giant ol’ bummer, here is a very cute critter picture.

I am accustomed to being used as cat furniture

i made a thing, several actually

It’s done! Yay!

Yesterday morning I finished the flower. To recap, this was done primarily as a needle felted piece. When I was scavenging for finishing bits yesterday I did find that “odd” pink petal that had been knit and then felted at some time in the distant past. The color was close enough so I attached it by needle felting in to the piece. I also added the yellow to the center and the vein on the leaf by needle felting on some colored wool yarn. Love that technique. I then finished the piece with Japanese seed beads that I sewed on. I absolutely adore this and I do believe I’ll try making more of this type thing.

I’m too sexy for this hat…

That is the Alpine Meadow hat and I’ve knit three of these so far over the last few years. Two of them were for my mom and this one for me. The pattern is written very nicely and the hat ends up looking way more complicated than it really is. I started this on Friday and finished on Saturday. I was in one of those moods where I needed some instant fiber gratification and, let me tell you, this scratched that itch nicely.


I would love to tell you that the Niji vest is done, but I try very hard not to lie. Fuck. The fussy bits are pretty well done. I got the i-cord braided and sewn on and that did address the issue with the sides. But then the fronts are so narrow that they barely cover my boobs and it just, well, it’s kind of awful. In a last ditch effort to fix this nightmare I have decided to try adding a shawl collar -esque thing around the front. So far it’s working, but then I’m still working on it. We’ll see. Mama didn’t raise a quitter.


I went to visit my friend K yesterday afternoon to get my nails done in anticipation of the trip with Lancelot this coming weekend. She did this ombre holographic glitter sparkle thing that makes my head spin just thinking about it but HOLY FUCKABONKS does it look cool!

brevity and levity

When I decided to call it quits yesterday afternoon I was just plain DONE. It’s been a long year this week and I was in no mood. And that was ok because the plan for dinner was to make soup, one of the easiest and hence my favorites. That was it. I needed to make dinner, nothing else.

But the creative bug had bit me firmly on the ass and so instead of laying around and gathering dust I did this…

It’s not done yet, and I keep changing my mind about what “done” will be, but still

This is a needle felted flower that I think I’m going to add beads to and then attach to a pin-backing. The issue is that I’m not entirely sure yet what else I want to do to the damn thing. But that’s ok because I managed not to make myself bleed while doing this much and that makes me very happy indeed.

The Feather & Fan Scarf, also making me happy

Tonight we are going to go have dinner with some friends. I was going to say that we’re going out for Mexican food, but it’s not really Mexican, at least it’s not at all authentic Mexican. But it was the very first Mexican food I ever experienced and this is the restaurant we always went to with my dad’s family when there was a reason to celebrate and it’s where I had my first taste of margarita. (they do have rather tasty margaritas) So I guess what I’m saying is if you can get past the idea that it’s “Mexican” and just enjoy the bright orange cheese dip then it’s reasonably good food. And the company will be amazing.

Eric just wants more nip and some treats

distracting myself from that bitch, REALITY

Just me, pretending to be an adult or something

The appointment with the eye doctor is this afternoon. Did I mention that they’re talking about laser surgery now? Maybe? Well, whatever. I’m not responding well to the eye drops for my glaucoma anymore and so now they’re telling me they might be able to permanently fix it with some kind of laser stuff.

On the one hand, this is super cool. Like some sort of sci-fi, maybe I’ll have super powers, kind of cool.

On the other hand, why did you motherfuckers not tell me that this was an option way back when we started treating this bullshit?

At any rate, today is the day I finally get to see if I’m a candidate for this and then what happens next. Since the appointment isn’t until later this afternoon, and Lancelot will be sleeping, my mom has offered to go with me. I find it particularly helpful to have another person with me for appointments like this just because there tends to be so much information and my little brain-sponge will only absorb so much at a time.

Plus, after the appointment we’re going to a local nursery and I’m going to get myself a house plant or twenty.

I was thinking this morning about my goals for the year, particularly the one about finishing my existing knitting projects, and that got me to wondering what all have I managed to finish this year…

  • Mom’s blanket
  • a blue hat for R (that was too big)
  • the cabled scarf for N
  • a green stripey shawl
  • Edgar
  • the beaded shrug

Sadly there aren’t photos of all of these, and the last three are in need of finishing. Niji isn’t on the list because it still needs some construction work. But I think that’s pretty good. As of right now I have on the needles:

  • a replacement blue hat for R
  • fingerless mitts for my friend K
  • the Sunset shawl
  • Ilo (a shawl)

I have yarn and patterns for LOTS more projects but for now that’s all. And I think that’s plenty. I’m very excited that this Friday the local knitting/crocheting group is getting together in one of the parks and I’ll get to join them.

Beautiful Eric the Red and his adorable freckled nose

I cannot freakin’ even right now

That is the bracelet I helped to make this weekend

Is that not absolutely stunning? It’s moonstone and sterling silver, and yes, I actually did parts of the construction. It was beyond wonderful to spend time with my friend Saturday morning and see first-hand what goes into making this kind of jewelry. Not only was it informative as hell, but getting to be with another human who I haven’t seen in absolute ages was totally wonderful. So I now know a little bit more about the process of silversmithing, I have an even deeper appreciation for the amount of work that goes into a piece like this, and I have a one of a kind wearable work of art that coordinates with the other beautiful moonstones pieces I have from her.

If you are interested in your own truly beautiful jewelry, and she does custom work too, you should visit her website at

I also got to see my friend N and deliver his holiday gift, only four months late. He didn’t care. (he got that cabled scarf) We also went for lunch which was a lovely little bonus.

I still don’t feel like I’m totally back on track, but I’m trying. I have my clothes for the week organized, I spent time in the kitchen yesterday doing some food prep, I made cookies (healthy ones), and the laundry is essentially caught up. So yay!

The kids have been a little feisty lately

I do have some fun stuff to look forward to this week. I’m going to do a session at the glass studio and try to make a little something for myself, just as another creative outlet. And on Saturday I’m going with Mom for mani/pedi time. My feet are very excited.

Keep doing what you can to help keep yourselves and your loved ones safe. L gets his second shot at the end of the month and we are excited as hell. WOOT!

awkward and paranoid about it since the mid 1980s

I need to start with a total aside here. Why the fuck is the word “awkward” spelled so damn, well, awkward? I mean honestly, am I the only person who has to completely stop typing and force my fingers to punch those letters in that order by using every iota of force I can muster? No? Ok, moving on.

I’m out of it. Still. And I don’t like this. I feel like nothing has been “right” since last weekend and this morning – JUST THIS DAMN MORNING – was able to put my finger on it.

I didn’t feel good because of the shot so I was off work on Monday. On Tuesday there was a chunk taken out of my day to take Lancelot to get his first shot. On Wednesday I went with him for a doc appointment (nothing serious but the kind of thing that I kinda just needed to be there for). Yesterday we had to see our lawyer again to sign papers (again, nothing serious or bad just one of those “adult human” things). Then this morning I got all three of the kids in my office for awhile so we could have a new ceiling fan installed.

At one point Garth had kicked Dog Blossom so many times that he had a big tuft of her fur stuck in his toes

Needless to say, I need a rest. And a drink. But L works overtime again this weekend. So I’ll have to push through a little more before my life goes back to where it normally is. There’s the rub – nothing about this week, not one fucking thing, has been anywhere near normal and my poor little brain cells cannot cope.

As someone who has been living with a mental illness for a LOOOOOONG time, and been in remission for some time, I’ve figured out how to make life work. But a big ol’ piece of that is having routines and being able to rely on those, particularly when life gets wonky.

No routines right now = brains feel yuck = I am a grump = NO DAMN BUENO

On the plus side, tomorrow morning I’m going to visit a friend who does silversmithing and she’s going to show me/help me make a bracelet. That will be super fun. Also, the vest is still coming along nicely. I had a more experience friend confirm that my plan should work. This pleases me. I was also able to acquire a lovely bit of leather hardware stuff to serve as a closure. More on that when it arrives.

For now, I’m going to relax somewhere. Like maybe under my desk. With a cocktail.

things to celebrate

For all that she is a raging pain in the ass sometimes, Dog Blossom is a good pup and pretty damn adorable

Let’s see, where to begin…

  • I’ve had four days in a row of 5000+ steps
  • I’ve tried some new recipes that were mostly successful
  • we’re having a small group of friends over tomorrow night to celebrate a late St. Patrick’s, early birthday, and the start of our vacation
  • I have now lost 24lbs
Spaghetti squash cooked in the instant pot and then mixed with a little butter, olive oil, garlic, grated Parmesan, and low fat ricotta

I’m quite excited about how things are going with the weight loss. I have been trying to make sure that I not only get my steps in but I also pay attention to my calories and eat a good variety of food, including healthy fats, and that I’m getting plenty of water. It’s a process, to be sure, but there are definitely pieces of this that are just second nature now. And that, probably more than anything else, makes me ridiculously happy.

Well, also, my pants are starting to be way too baggy. That makes me pretty fucking happy too.

Tomorrow morning I’m going with Mom to get a manicure, something I haven’t done since right before Lancelot and I got married last August. I certainly don’t feel like having the one shot is going to magically make me bullet-proof, but it gives me hope. I do feel like there are a few more things I can do, still carefully, and that I don’t need to worry quite constantly or quite as much. It will still be many months, if not until next year, before I feel safe to travel anywhere other than by driving our car. I’m just not ready for planes yet.

I am ready for restaurants, and that’s pretty exciting. We’ve done a lot of take out in the last year, generally just once a week but still. There’s just something about actually going in somewhere and enjoying a good meal. I’m even going to get spiffed up. For my outing on Sunday with my folks I have a black dress that I’ve never worn that actually fits very nicely now.

He’s fucking adorable when he’s sleeping. When he’s awake he bites leaves off my plants and then go racing off with them in his mouth. Captain Naughty Pants indeed.

thanksgiving 2020 – finding things to be thankful for in the middle of a bad relationship with that bitch Rona

Things I’m thankful for right now:

  • We both have jobs and we both have health insurance that’s worth having
  • We’re healthy, and my mom and step-dad are healthy
  • We’re lucky enough to have a very nice, comfortable home to live in
  • We have three ridiculous fur-babies in our lives
  • My job allows me to work from home right now which is providing a much needed relief from excess anxiety and helping to keep me safe from contracting COVID-19
  • I have some truly amazing friends that, even though I don’t get to see them in person, will text or do video calls and they’re helping to keep me sane
  • That Lancelot is so stinkin’ patient with my shenanigans
  • And while I don’t know that anyone is ever really prepared to live through such a prolonged and emotionally draining event like a pandemic, I feel as though mentally I’m the strongest I’ve ever been and in the best position possible to come out the other side of this a better human because of it

I know it’s hard right now, and stuff does kinda suck, but I would like to encourage all of you reading this, whenever you read it, to try to think of at least one thing you’re thankful for. If you can think of more, that’s awesome. I try to do this little exercise every day, usually on Facebook, and it helps. There’s something about intentionality and “priming” yourself to be in a more optimistic mindset that seems to help. (your mileage may vary, but come on, it’s worth a try, yes?)

If that doesn’t work you can always try boozy hot cocoa. This is the way.