50 shades of “better”

There really isn’t such a thing as “better” when discussing mental illness unless you’re talking about degrees of illness. I will never be “better” like someone who has had a broken arm can be considered “better” because the bone has mended. I will never be “better” like someone who had pneumonia is “better” because the pneumonia is gone.

But –

I am a million times “better” than I was ten years ago.

I have struggled, I have hit rock bottom and kept digging, I hurt the people I loved, I did horrible things to hurt myself.

But –

I am a million times “better” because I have learned strategies and I’m more in touch with my body and the way it talks to me. I listen to my doctors and my mother and Lancelot when they tell me I’m not acting like myself. I take care of myself. I take my medicine. I sleep.

But –

I won’t ever be cured, or healed, or however else you want to describe it. There will always be times of struggle. There will always be tweaks to meds. There will always be a need for therapy. There will always be constant care and feeding of the demon Bipolar, and that will always be my full time responsibility.

But –

That’s how I am “better” than I was ten years ago.

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so much to do, so little time to do it

That’s the finished lantern. Mom likes it so much that she’s trying to get me to make another.

My psych doc has added another med. It’s that tiny little coral colored one on the far left. It starts with a “p” but I can’t remember the exact name. The purpose is to help with the tremors. So far so good, though I haven’t hit a large enough dose to completely get rid of them. I am at a point where I can read my own writing more easily. That is EIGHTEEN pills and that’s just what I take at night. Oy.

Me and the most handsome man in the world had dinner with Mom on Friday night at my new favorite Tex-Mex restaurant. Good food and great company, how could you go wrong?

On Saturday we went to the summer art festival and I got some great new jewelry and some wearable art pieces. I can’t wait to wear them this week. We managed to get through it before the heat got too bad.

I do have a ton to do yet. Busy weekends don’t usually leave much time for getting productive things done. And I’m taking a class for work which also doesn’t help. But so far today at work I’ve been kicking ass and taking names, and that’s always good.

 

my body sounds like a bowl of rice krispies cereal, is that a good thing?

It’s no secret that getting older comes with some icky shit, like your body popping and sputtering at odd moments. Right now my back is reminding me that being on my feet, like I was last night at the glass studio, is going to result in being punished. I tried to mitigate it by wearing sandals that had a lot of cushion and support but evidently it wasn’t good enough.

Oh well, that’s why Ceiling Cat gave us Tylenol.

But hey, I am going to be rewarded for my pain. May I present to you the first phase of the Beautiful Purple Flower Lantern that also includes the Biggest Pain in the ASS Blue Butterfly…

The sample piece at the studio was more elaborate but it wasn’t really my style. I was going for a very clean, almost Japanese, kind of aesthetic. And then my dumbass decided I wanted to do a butterfly. Not sure what the fuck I was thinking.

I had wanted to share a picture of the new blue shawl I started but I left it in the car, so that ain’t gonna happen today. Let me, instead, show you the new hair…

The front bit is kind of coral and blonde and the rest is my standard dark purple. It feels much more “me” if that makes sense. And I’m totally grooving on the super short cut still. This takes zero maintenance, and for whatever reason that front bit insists on having the wave. But that’s perfectly fine. My dad’s hair had natural wave to it, so I’m wearing it proudly.

keeping the dream alive

You probably wouldn’t have guessed this about me, but I’m not necessarily excited about traveling for work. I should say that I’m not excited about traveling by myself for work, such as to a conference where I’m the only person going. And really, I just don’t find conferences all that enjoyable. I don’t usually feel that I learn a lot and for all the money someone had to pay for me to go it just isn’t worth it.

But I need to do the whole “professional development” thing. So what’s a girl to do?

Online workshops offered by another university that result in a certificate and Continuing Education credits. Aw yeah!

This morning I got signed up to start a six-week course that covers the fundamentals of online teaching, something I am totally passionate about. I’ve done another course with these folks and absolutely loved it. It’s kind of like the best possible combination of going to school and going to a conference. So yay!!!

Tonight I’m going back to another part of the Randomly Erin dream – I’m taking a class at the glass studio. It was damn near a year ago exactly that I did my last glass project, the lace vase.

glass vase project

This time I’ll be making a lantern. I’m super excited! I’m trying to get back to doing the creative bits that keep my soul happy.

The issues going on in my universe right now have reminded me that life is too short to be unhappy and taking care of myself by making time for my creative pursuits is part of staying happy.

randomly me

I feel fried, and I’m not even sure why. I’ve been getting quite a bit done lately, maybe that’s why? Who knows. At any rate I don’t have a ton to say right now but I did want to show a few pictures.

This is one of the shawls I’m working on. The pattern is called Garden Shawlette. I thought it would be prettier in a multi-color yarn that just a solid color. It’s a little more than half done at this point. It’s going to need a stern blocking.

That is little Garth sitting in the basement window sill, under a blue glass flower I made. He was just too silly.

taking out the trash

I’ve mentioned several times recently that I’ve been on this “clean out all the bullshit” kick. I’m loving it. Clothes that didn’t fit or don’t make me happy, jewelry I never wore, some shoes, a few books, candles… I realized just now that there’s another stash of clothes that need to go, hidden under the stairs.

But there are other things that need to be removed. Yesterday I ended up cleaning out my closet at work, the one that primarily houses snacks and stuff. That was a disaster. Today I’m going to spend a little time on my desk. Too much clutter, too much nonsense in the drawers.

I can’t really say what it is that gets me into these moods, but it’s a cyclical thing with me. Kind of like Spring Cleaning on steroids I guess. All I know is that I feel better once it’s all done.

This afternoon I’m meeting with one of the program coordinators for the writing program I just left. I feel good that I was able to finish the semester successfully, but I know that I just can’t take on that kind of workload and stress again right now. I want to finish the memoir one of these days but I already know that my Fall semester is going to be too busy. There’s at least one international trip planned so that right there is enough to make me not interested in school.

I’m going to try to add back in a hobby/creative outlet that I haven’t done in ages. I’ve signed up to take a fused glass class at a local studio where I’ve taken classes before. I’m excited, it should be great. The last project I made, I think, was last summer. Not that the knitting and jewelry making aren’t good enough, but a girl shouldn’t box herself in too much when it comes to being creative.

one of those

Do you ever have those days when you have a little energy but not mental energy? Like, you’ve got the batteries to do something but not do Discrete Mathematics? Not like I could ever do fancy math like that, but you get my drift.

Anyway, welcome to That Day.

I am proud to say that I got up and got my happy little ass right on the treadmill. I did 20 minutes today and then sat down to knit for a bit. I found the very last of the Ultimate Washcloth Finishing Project the other day. It’s nowhere near as exciting as it sounds, trust me. I have this thing for knit washcloths, always the same pattern. I use cotton yarn and they last forever. I probably have 30 of the damn things, not even kidding.

So I had this gallon size zipper bag full of partial balls of yarn leftover and I made it my mission to use every last inch. Some of these washcloths are seriously fucking ugly because I didn’t pay any attention to coordinating colors. They’re functional, they don’t have to be pretty.

I found the last little bit in the nightstand and I am now hell bent on getting The Last One finished. It will be done before the weekend, I swear it.

Back to not being able to do math…

The morning wasn’t too bad. I was plugging along, getting stuff done, feeling decent. I talked to Lancelot at lunch, ate my little healthy bits, and them WHAM! I got hit with a raging case of the DUMBS.

The problem is that I really need to keep moving forward, there’s just too much to do. So I’m doing digital housekeeping. I’m cleaning out my cloud storage folders, my email folders, moving things to more appropriate locations, shit like that. It’s still productive, so I don’t feel too bad about it.