Costumes and Cammie

Speaking of creativity… My mom hosted her 70th birthday party last month at the Hilton. It was a costume party with a Bollywood theme. She put it all together, the centerpieces, giveaways, and party gifts. She even did a Bollywood dance with her friends. The costumes were all very colorful. It was festive like all my mom’s parties. It seemed like everyone was having a good time dancing (ballroom and line dancing), taking goofy photos at the photo booth, and getting henna tattoos. I didn’t stay the whole night because of my back problems and arthritis, but I was there for awhile. It was a long day and I even got my hair done at the salon with my mom. The costume was all my mom’s idea, but I didn’t mind because the day was all about her. Anyway, here’s a picture of me, my parents, my sister-in-law Elsa, and my brother Eric.

 

Eric and Elsa also brought over their six-month-old puppy when they were in town for the party. Cammie is a Cavapoo, which is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. She’s so cute and funny, and she knows a few tricks like sit, down, and shake hands. Shake hands was the best and made me laugh and feel happy. There she is walking all over my brother’s workstation in order to get his attention.

 

Things are somewhat back to normal with me and my parents. I am not angry anymore. I have been directing my thoughts toward writing, and am not going to worry about the disability review for now.

Creativity

Creativity comes and goes. I’m not sure if it’s related to my mood or my medications. Probably a little of both. Many people with bipolar disorder think that their bipolar meds–mood stabilizers like Lamictal or Lithium–stunts their creativity. I have been taking Lamictal for ten years, and for a few years also had been taking Lithium, which made me fat. Anyway, I was rather unstable at the time, and also taking an antidepressant. My moods were all up and down, but I managed to do some writing. It wasn’t very good writing, but I was writing anyway and almost finish a book. I gave up on it because I just couldn’t figure out the ending, and though I believed in my characters I didn’t believe in the plot.

So, now, my disability is up for review, and I am anxious and worried that I might lose my benefits–disability income and Medicare. When I had first applied for disability in 2009, I had been having trouble working. I had quit my lost job in 2008 on the spot, after frequently calling in sick and showing up late, and going on temporary disability twice in 2007. I had been hospitalized in 2007 for ten days for a mixed manic episode and had difficulty returning to work. After I quit my job, I received either unemployment compensation or State disability benefits for about year. It was awhile ago, and I can’t remember. But it must have been State disability, because I was immediately approved for SSDI in 2009 and and received a retroactive lump sum going back to the date SSA determined I was first disabled.

I don’t think I am ready to go back to work, and I don’t know when I will be. I think I have a serious mental illness, and now I have arthritis which limits my activities. Now, I am feeling depressed and angry with my parents because they think I should just get up and get a job and go to work. Just because I look fine on the outside doesn’t mean I am okay. My parents really don’t get it. When I was a kid, I used to wish I hadn’t been born. Like if I had a choice, if anyone had asked me if I wanted be a sentient human being, I would have preferred not to exist. I realize I must sound very negative, but I feel like there is nothing special about me, nothing special about my life, and no special love. I have many interests but not much passion for anything in particular. I really wanted to write a book, but I haven’t been writing anything. When I was growing up, my primary ambition–my quest–was to write a book and get published. That was it. I didn’t think about getting married and having kids. But I have noticed over the years that I am usually happier with my life when I am in a good, stable relationship.

Anyway, I am thinking maybe I need to go back on Abilify, because I seemed more active and motivated then, when I was taking it. And I want to talk to my therapist again, because I stopped seeing her when I was doing physical therapy for the arthritis, and I am feeling angry and depressed and anxious again and as I mentioned above thinking that I shouldn’t have been born because lately I haven’t been feeling motivated to do anything except the most basic things in life. Of course, I still enjoy my TV shows and audiobooks, and I started playing WoW again, just an hour a day or so because of the arthritis and my neck and shoulder pains. Of the TV shows I have binge-watched these past few months: Supergirl, Shadowhunters, The Crown, Poldark, and Harlots. I watched Poldark twice in fact. I can’t wait for season 3, and I hope Harlots will get a season 2, because I really want to know what is gonna happen next. Other than that, most of the time I just wanna stay in bed. Oh and watch prime-time MSNBC, especially The Rachel Maddow Show.

That’s it for now. I probably won’t blog again until I receive news about my disability review. I hope my creativity will come back. I just wish that I could have had a normal and happy life when I was growing up. Maybe I would have been stronger and well-adjusted. Maybe I would have written half a dozen books by now. Maybe I would have a passion for life and feel like a have a reason for living and maybe I would want to go out and be around people and do purposeful things. But whatever. I haven’t talked to my mom since yesterday. I am still feeling resentful and angry about what she and my dad said. Oh, I’m sure they mean well, but they just have no clue what it means to have a disabling mental illness.

This April

Well, the news is that we returned Harley to the breeder. I was just stressing out too much and the pain from arthritis was not improving, especially in my hip area. I think I really tried with Harley, even took her to puppy class. My parents were helping me out as well, but it was all just too much for us. I felt that Harley needed more time and attention, but I was constantly in pain. After we returned Harley, I saw my doctor again, and she referred me to physical therapy. I really want to get better, especially because my mom’s 70th birthday party is coming up in June. I am improving a little and feeling less pain, but I am still spending a lot of time in bed resting. My mental health is a bit more stable though. I haven’t been doing any of the things I used to do before I was diagnosed with arthritis. Haven’t been playing WoW, haven’t been writing, haven’t been reading that much, though I have been listening to more audiobooks and I continue to update my romance book blog. As a consequence of my current quality of life, I have been watching a lot more TV. LOL. I watched Supergirl Season 1 on Netflix and used my 7-day free trial of Showtime on Amazon to watch Homeland Season 6. I also wake up every morning wondering if Trump got us into war while I was asleep. So, 2017 is way more awful than 2016, and the Trump administration is truly scary. I’m just glad I have my family and few friends on/by my side.

Harley

harley2Here’s a photo of my puppy Harley. She’s a smart girl, affectionate, and very lively. She likes to play A LOT. Taking care of her is not easy. I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep, I am tired a lot, and by the end of the day my back hurts. I stay in my room most of the time, so I am not used to being this active. I can’t wait until she’s older and big enough to take her out on walks. I let her out in the yard to potty and play some. She is so fast! And she knows how to use the training pad, but I worry I won’t be able to potty train her properly. I think when she knows that she has to potty outside, I will be really relieved. But she is still very small, about 3 lbs., and I haven’t had her for a week yet. I have to be patient and try to relax. I have to admit I am stressing out some, and definitely will need my massage tomorrow. It’s not good for my mental health if I can’t sleep. But taking care of her should get easier over time as she learns. I do hope I get this right. And I hope I can get more sleep! I took her to the vet on Friday and they told me she has a slight heart murmur, which they will monitor for sixteen weeks. If everything checks out by then, she should be fine. I don’t think it’s anything serious. She is so full of energy I have trouble keeping up with her. But after she’s done eating and playing, she sleeps for a couple hours. Then, I get a break. She is also very loud! She whines when I leave her or when she wants something, and she barks a little when she wants someone to play with her. My parents help me out and watch her from time to time. But it seems like they don’t know what to do with her either LOL. They like to play with her though. Anyway, I really need to take it easy and relax more. I think I will be very happy when she is completely potty trained. I am gonna take her to puppy class as well.

Back Pain Update

I’m still having trouble sleeping. I think a lot of it has to do with my back pain, because I feel so uncomfortable and have trouble relaxing when I’m trying to sleep. All of which causes anxiety and is not very helpful for my mood. So, I went on a mission to find out why my back has been hurting so much recently and how I can relieve the pain. I saw a chiropractor a couple weeks ago who told me that my back pain was caused by hip degeneration from sitting too much. My primary care physician then ordered X-rays to confirm that I have arthritis. The treatment is 600mg ibuprofen every six hours as needed and a muscle relaxant up to three times a day as needed. My doctor advised me to call her if I needed stronger pain medication.

Aside from medication, I should moderate my time at the computer, take more walks, and keep my weight down. I also should avoid foods that cause inflammation like milk products and wheat. The arthritis generally hurts less in the morning and gets worse as the day goes by. This does not make me happy because who wants to be in pain for the rest of their life? But arthritis is a common ailment some people get as they age. Some days will be better than others, some days I will have flareups. It’s unfortunate and a little depressing that I have so many health problems that prevent me from doing what I want in life. Because of my back pain, I only went raiding once last week in WoW. I haven’t been playing WoW much at all or socializing irl. But the upside is that I’ve been doing a lot more writing. I guess I don’t have any choice but to try to be strong. I’m not the only person in the world who struggles with chronic pain and mental illness. My problem is that I don’t have very good coping skills. I hope I can manage and cope with my back pain well.

The good news is I’m getting my puppy on Thursday! I’ve bought all kinds of doggy stuff for her 🙂 I can’t wait to bring her home and post pictures on my blog to share with my dear readers.

A quick update on sleep, writing, and volunteering

So, I’m not getting much sleep again. Anywhere from 3-5 hours. A lot of mentally ill people have trouble sleeping. But this not sleeping streak has been going on for over a month now, and I’m pretty sure it’s not healthy. For people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, not sleeping isn’t good and could trigger a manic episode. Idk if I’m manic or just being super creative. I don’t feel manic. I’m not exhibiting rapid, pressured speech, and an exceptionally high mood. But I’ve been more active than usual, thinking too much, and being real project-oriented. It could be because Election 2016 has fired me up. Or it could be because I started taking an antidepressant, Abilify, which has an activating effect. Or it could just be that I needed some changes in my life. Whatever the case, I’m writing, playing WoW, being less irritated with my parents, socializing irl, updating my book blog, and blogging here. I even started to revise my MFA thesis into something publishable. I haven’t worked on it in about ten years! I hope with this attempt I finally finish revising it.

One of my activities this month include the women’s volunteer group meeting I attended. My friend had asked me to do the Inspiration, which could be a quote, a prayer, an inspiring anecdote, anything that inspired you to volunteer. So, I read a couple paragraphs from Kay Redfield Jamison’s memoir of “moods and madness,” An Unquiet Mind. I talked about how Jamison realized when writing her book that love, not only Lithium, saved her, and how volunteering is a way I can save myself. Because volunteering, giving, is a form of love. And it also shows that I’m capable of self-love, which is pretty much essential if you want to survive your mental illness. By wanting to save myself it shows that I like and value myself enough to believe that my life is worth living. For my volunteer service this month I did a couple hours repainting a room at a transitional housing center for the homeless.

Prime VS. Skorpyron Heroic

So, this is gonna be a really nerdy post.

This is my guild’s kill video of the first boss in Heroic Nighthold. We one-shot him, as you can see! We’re up 3/10 in Tier 19 on the first night of raiding. My dps was pretty good in this fight. It took a bit for me to figure out this fight having only seen it once in normal before we ran the encounter on heroic. (Also, I did not watch any of the videos, but don’t tell our raid leader!) After I figured it out, if you look at the meters during the fight, you’ll see that Batsheba’s dps was more consistent. The recent class tuning was also a wonderful boost to my Beast Mastery Hunter dps, increasing my Cobra Shot damage by 46% and Kill Command damage by 10%.

Btw, Prime on US-Lightbringer is currently recruiting dps for Mythic raiding. Contact me on Bnet at Bats#1598. Or visit our guild website. Thanks!