Memorial Day Weekend 2018

This Memorial Day Weekend, Cammie, my brother and sister-in-law’s dog came to visit. Cammie is almost two-years-old now, and she has more lighter colors on her face and paws, so now you can see her eyes better 🙂 She was a lot of fun to have around this weekend. We played ball in my parents’ garden. She did get a stomach the first night here though 😦 My brother and sister-in-law thinks it was from the macadamia nuts she eat from the tree in our garden. But she was feeling much better on Sunday, happy and wagging her tail again.

Saturday, we watched the NBA Western Conf Finals on TNT because my brother and I are Warriors fans. I am pretty sure Game 7 tonight at Houston is gonna be stressful especially for my brother. On Sunday, we all went to the harbor for lunch. My brother and I had the salmon fillet, Mom had the mahi-mahi, Pop had the original fish n chips, and my sister-in-law had sharkfish n chips. The meal was alright but a bit overpriced. There were a lot of people at the harbor, and when we left the line long all the way to the parking log.

My brother has been on the paleo diet; he is taller and even skinnier than me, and he has to eat rice so he won’t lose too much weight. I need to try this diet, because I have been gaining weight since 2016. But it is so hard especially with the bipolar; it gives me a headache just thinking about cooking, but maybe I can find easier ways to prepare those gluten-free foods. My parents do all the cooking, which is mostly Filipino food and rice. So, maybe, just try not to eat rice for awhile and stick to the meat and veggies? LOL.

As far as the rest of my health issues… I started a low dose of Cymbalta, which is an antidepressant that is also used for chronic pain, but my anxiety got worse when I was on it. So, I stopped taking it. I guess I will just take Tylenol and muscle relaxant as usual PRN–when the pain is really bad and I have more trouble sleeping than usual. The pain makes me so tired sometimes.

I have been cutting back on WoW, for one thing there’s nothing to do until the new expac is released on Aug 14th. If I need to something to do other than reading and listening to audiobooks and watching TV, I work on leveling my Lightforged Draenei Paladin for the heritage armor. Let me just say, Prot/Ret Pally is the most boring tank/melee class I’ve played ever. But it’s just an alt, so NBD.

Other than that, I still think about my writing everyday, though I haven’t done much, just been noting down all my ideas.

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Beta Test

I got an invite from Blizzard for the Battle For Azeroth Beta test, so I’ve been checking it out. It feels like kind of a mess honestly. Cutscenes, artwork, voice acting, design, so much unfinished, and it’s supposed to be released in 3 months! The last time I was invited to a beta test was for Cataclysm, and it didn’t feel as incomplete as this. It is very much still in the works.

In other WoW related news, I quit tanking for my women’s guild raid. I was feeling very frustrated because we have not been progressing because some players would bring different toons every week. For the past four weeks we have been getting to the 7th boss in the instance, but a couple weekends ago, the guild leader and raid leader and other players all brought alts. I was rather upset because the week before, the raid leader said we would start on the harder bosses for progression, but instead of a clean run we wiped on every boss and only killed 5. I thought we were going to continue our progression. That was the third week in a row that the raid leader had brought an alt because she wanted to gear it up. She has brought a demon hunter, hunter, and death knight. And last week she brought a Druid!

We only raid once a week, but this time because most everyone brought their mains we killed the first 6 with no wipes. But when we got to our progression boss we only had about 40 mins to work on him, which is not a lot of time at all. By then, I was feeling very tired and stressed because I could not get in a good rhythm with the off-tank and I was not getting the taunt timing right. It was very frustrating for me. Not to mention I was in pain in my neck and shoulders and my lower back to the point that my legs and feet were feeling cold. I was stressing out all week from the pain and taking Tylenol and muscle relaxants and having trouble sleeping. Now, I was starting to feel obligated, and when that happens, it is a sign that I am not having fun in raid anymore 😦

I am gonna miss tanking though because I like the challenge. I am also disappointed because I never really felt like I fit in. I’m the kind of raider that comes prepared and doesn’t expect to be carried. And I always want to do my best. So, it was just not fun to me because I felt disappointed in people. I felt disappointed in myself. But I just couldn’t take it anymore. I am tired and hurting and need to do what’s best for me and take care of my health.

Besides, in 3 months my guildies in Prime will be back. A couple of us are still playing and I had tried to get an alts raid going but we could never get a full team or at least 8 to sign up. I am a little sad I won’t be doing any raiding at all because it was like the only social activity I did on a regular weekly schedule.

Since I got nothing else, I think I will probably be going to therapy more often now. LOL. Idk why I still cry when I talk about my past sometimes. I thought I had put it behind me, I don’t actively think about my stuff everyday, but maybe it’s all there in the back of my head or something and it all comes out when I have to talk about it. Well, not all of it, because my therapist wants to me to come in next week again so we can talk more about my relationships. Sigh. Idk what I’m supposed to learn from all this.

Poem: Horror Stories

I’ve lived a thousand lives in one

More than enough

I’ve been through so many horrors

That each one could fill

A thousand books

Or at the very least a dozen

 

But no one lives forever

At some point

Each of these lives will be snuffed out

Like candles

Or books set on fire

Fragile pages exploding into ash

 

Ashes drifting in the cosmos

 

Each horror story extinguished

To my greatest relief

Because Blue Flowers

I am in a bit of a good mood, which I don’t expect to last long. I got a massage yesterday, and it felt so good because my shoulders are so tight and knotted. I am going back next week for more. It’s just something I need right.

I am still having trouble sleeping. Partly because my shoulders hurt, but also because I have so many worries and anxieties and think too much. My therapist thinks that if I work through all the things I carry inside, if I process my stuff, I can get closure and heal. I don’t even know what healing feels like. I seem to equate it with weakness or something foreign to me because I don’t believe I’m innately a real good person, I’m not spiritual or anything, and I have this weird ego. I feel so fake just saying that word, healing. How can that be me? Healing sounds like something only positive people and like really kind and spiritual people do. But I am just sick of having all these secrets and not feeling strong inside. Of not owning my story and taking in pride in it.

I talk about my parents and my deep resentments in therapy a lot. I feel unhappy because my parents never change. Even though I know they love me and mean well, I don’t like the way they show it. They worry about me so much it irritates me and makes me feel guilty. And they’re so pushy that sometimes their advice feels like criticism. They tell me when I’m gaining weight and what they think I should eat and what I should to to lose weight. Now, they want me to drink a tea from Thailand made from blue flowers because they saw a Filipino guy on TV who said eating the flowers got rid of his bipolar. I know they want to help me, but sigh… no blue flowers are gonna magically cute my illness. Plus, it doesn’t taste like anything or make me feel warm and good inside like the strawberry white tea I normally drink. It’s actually a green tea which I love. Tastes so good.

Anyway so I’ve decided that since I can’t change my parents, I could try changing my emotions and behavior when they irritate me. Lately whenever I feel bad or guilty about being grumpy toward them I end up feeling I have to do something nice for them or make it up somehow. Like I try really hard to be patient when my dad starts talking even though I really don’t want to talk or care about the conversation. Idk why but I get so easily triggered when my parents communicate because I don’t feel invested in 90% of their conversations. Especially my dad who goes on and on with trivial things I couldn’t care less about. Plus, he’s always buying stuff just because it’s on sale and showing it to me like it’s some kind of treasure when all I see is clutter and not only that but it pisses my mom off because she thinks he’s wasting money and just takes up space in the house and my dad leaves all his mess around. Lol. Family.

So, now, my thing is to try to just accept it and try not to get irritated or snap at my parents and be nice. Then I won’t feel so guilty and bad about myself. Lol. Because they never hear me anyway. And I have never felt comfortable talking to them about my feelings. I especially can’t talk to them about my secrets.

Continue Disability

My disability review was completed in October and concluded that my disability is continuing. I felt very much relieved when I received the notice. Though I am no longer stressing about the review, I am still distressed that I cannot seem to make progress on or complete any of my writing projects. It is very depressing. Though I don’t think I am very depressed or depressed enough to take an antidressant though my psychiatrist might think otherwise. He wanted me to give Cymbalta another try, but I experienced nausea, a fast heartbeat that lasted for at least four hours, and I kept drifting in and out of sleep for a day and a half after I took the first dose. Since I still felt nauseous and sleepy the next day, I stopped taking it. Idk what my psychiatrist will say when I see him next. I am okay but unhappy. I have chronic pain which is mostly okay and when it is not okay I take some meds. My anxiety is also continuing. I just wish I could write. I want to get lost in my writing.

Instead, I get lost in other worlds by other writers. For the past couple months I have been reading mostly teen/ya fantasy/dystopia. I discovered the Selection series by Keira Cass, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, and the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. Now, I am reading “A Torch in the Night” by Sabaa Tahir, and will be reading Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha series next. I also escape to WoW, raiding twice a week since my guild has the current tier on farm now and leveling my alts when I feel like playing on off days. I have now gotten the class mounts for 4 alts, my feral druid, enhancement shaman, havoc demon hunter, and windwalker monk. I have started to play my frost death knight again. She was at leavel 106 when I last played her, and since she has so much rested xp I will get to her to 110 pretty fast. Then I can work on getting her class mount, which won’t take very long either. I have not been watching much TV, though I never miss an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and The Voice. I also watch All In With Chris Hayes and The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC 2-3 times a week.

Most of the time, I don’t feel like talking to people. It seems to take too much effort. I hardly go out, and idk if I should care about whether or not it’s healthy. Well, I know it is not healthy, but I don’t seem to care. I mostly just want to read or listen to an audiobook in bed. I have been eating a lot of sweets lately and have gained some weight, but I am resolved to cut back on the sweets, which shouldn’t be too hard, eating is such a chore sometimes too. All I really want is to start and finish my writing projects. I just want to be writing again, a good story, and see the story to THE END. That’s all I ever really wanted. To write a book. A good book. Something that matters.

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.