Support Group, Step One

Before I got my last job I went a few times a week to support groups held by NAMI. I’ve been thinking about going again now that I don’t have an interfering work schedule, but I have a problem. They moved locations so now I’m super anxious going to a new place. Not to mention it’s on the fourth floor of this huge building in the middle of a hospital campus.  It used to be its own free standing building by like a shoe store. And I felt comfortable there. 

So today I took a step toward going.  I went and found The Building (it’s intimidating) and sat in my car in the parking lot for about ten minutes.  Maybe next time I’ll be able to walk inside at least to the lobby or something. 

I know all I have to do is go once and I’ll be (mostly) fine for later visits, but today wasn’t the right day. I’ll get there. 

 

Cooking Again, A Journal

So I’ve had a hiatus from writing this month because I fell into a pretty bad place at the beginning of the month.  Then Nicole had a week of vacation which coincided with my starting my teaching job at the university for this semester (stressful) and my getting back on my medicine (hurray!).  For Nicole’s week of vacation I felt a little bit better, and was not confined to my bed but instead out and about with her.  And now, back on my meds, home alone but with a little bit more purpose found in my days because I am teaching, I’m finding even more purpose in something I used to love to do but gave up on: cooking!

Despite not having a lot of money, and because eating food at restaurants gives me a great sense of comfort, we spent about three weeks eating absolutely nothing at home (One week we got chinese buffet four times.  It’s my fav.)  When Nicole cleaned out the fridge over her vacation we were left with condiments, bacon, eggs and an apple.  No joke.  But the bare fridge felt like a lovely new beginning to get back to cooking and start making Nicole dinner in the evenings like I’ve promised her I would a million times. And I have been successful!

So a couple things that have helped:

  1. Meal planning.  To me, it’s a wonderful puzzle to solve, trying to figure out how to put to use everything I will have to buy so I’m not getting a whole bag of spinach for one handful in one dish on one night.
  2. Pinterest.  Nicole and I have a shared dinner board so she can post things she may want me to make and she can see things I’m considering.  This is perfect for us since we don’t always see eye to eye on our culinary choices.
  3. Cost: I used my grocery receipt, did some math (yay math skills in the real world!) and calculated how much each dish cost per person.  And wouldn’t you know, they all ended up being less than $2 per person.  Frugal living makes my heart soar.
  4. Zero decision making.  I think this is my favorite.  There is no more last minute text message at six o’clock, ‘Hey, does spaghetti or stir fry sound better or do you want to go out?’ and then me sweating it for an hour waiting for Nicole to either make a decision or say she doesn’t care.  I know I’m cooking, I know what I’ll be cooking, and I know Nicole is already okay with it.
  5. The Journal.  The journal is what is holding this wonderful cooking adventure together.  I have my plans there, my recipes there, and places for me to note what worked or what didn’t.  And cutting and pasting recipes is just fun.

All in all, this has given me something fun to make my days feel like they aren’t a total waste.  Every day I create something delicious, and creating anything to me is a big win.

Housework, Coping Skills and Guilt

I’m not feeling well today and I didn’t feel well yesterday. I don’t want to do anything. Yesterday I told Nicole how I felt. I always feel so guilty for feeling down and not being able to, at the very least, get the housework done. I know having a clean house is very important to her and I’ve promised her so many times that I can do it, that I can try hard and work hard and do it. But my body doesn’t even want to move. Yesterday I stayed in bed all afternoon. I didn’t even get up to smoke. I didn’t have the energy. And today is no different. I don’t want to be awake but I don’t want to go to sleep. I don’t want to read or watch tv.  I feel too guilty to try to do coping skills because if I can do some sort of coping skill why can’t I clean the house and do what I need to do?  I hate feeling this way. Just so lackluster and useless. Yesterday I was trying to just take a nap and the thought of sleeping and not waking up sounded nice. I hate feeling that way and it makes me feel even more guilty on top of it all.  I just feel like this is all my fault, that I should be able to pull myself out of it somehow, to just shake it off but I can’t.  

A New Intro

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My name is Carly.  That is my real name, and I post it with real pictures of myself because I don’t care to be anonymous.  I have Bipolar II Disorder and that is the main focus of this blog.  It mostly manifests as angry bipolar depression.  I am very rarely hypomanic, but I do think I have mixed episodes at times.  My biggest struggle is with doing things, doing anything. Also criticizing myself.

I am married to my awesome wife Nicole, who supports me in everything except my disdain of housework.  I think she thinks that is my worst quality, which all things considered, is a very good thing.  We live in Missouri.

DSC_8774I recently quit my ‘normal’ job to work from home as a reseller.  I sell online on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay.  It is simultaneously easier and much harder than my call center job was.  It can be more stressful, but easier to manage because I have a lot more control over that stress.  I also teach at the university as per course faculty, which starts back up in a few weeks.  I’ll be teaching a course on Electronic Music, which I’ve taught once in the past and I’m pretty excited but also anxious to do it again.

I have a ton of hobbies that I start and stop and start again, maybe some of you can relate.  When I am on the wagon, so to speak, I like crocheting amigurumi, drawing people with cartoon animal heads, reading young adult fiction, photography, crossword puzzles and folding paper cranes.  Lately though my only hobby has been watching a lot of Netflix.  We don’t have cable at my house and I don’t miss it at all.  We do have a garden that I don’t tend properly.

IMG_0668I have always blogged for as long as I can remember.  Anyone remember Xanga?  Does that even exist anymore?  When I was in college, all of my friends and I were on there, posting away about our lives and our feelings.  Then Facebook became popular and all the blogging stopped.  I guess I have always liked the idea of sharing what’s in my head with other people, even as a kid.  And now that I’ve been blogging more regularly and reading other people’s blogs who also have bipolar or depression, it really helps me.  I don’t feel so broken and alone.  So that’s the reason I do this I suppose.  The community that other people have built gives me hope and I want to be a part of it.