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.

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Hello 2017!

And good riddance 2016!

I spent New Year’s Day setting up my new computer gaming system. I bought it online one-stop shopping at Fry’s, and it was delivered within an hour of my purchase. Faster than Amazon! This is an ASUS G11CD, with Intel i7, Nvidia GTX 1080, and 512 SSD drive. I also bought a Razer Black Widow mechanical keyboard, which is super neat and makes me type faster! I definitely don’t feel like I’m mashing keys in WoW anymore.

This New Year, more than ever, I am thankful for all the good things in my life, old friends and new, and my family who cares about me so much. Life is too short and I’m feeling blessed.

happynewyear2017

This Christmas, Somebody to Love

oyster_wine-3This Christmas George Michael passed away. As if 2016 couldn’t get any worse. I was having dinner at Larsen’s Grill with my parents, brother and his wife, three aunties, and one uncle. We had just finished our appetizers. I had an oyster with a glass of Cabernet. Then, I hopped onto Facebook to see what was up. That’s how I found out. My brother couldn’t believe it either. He asked me if it was fake news. But it was all over Twitter, and I was able to find solid reporting on it. How tremendously sad. I grew up listening to George Michael.

What a crazy year this has been. There’s been good times with family and friends, positives in my life, which have balanced my depression. AND my parents are getting me a puppy, which I’ll get to take home in February. But even with all my blessings in life it hasn’t been enough lately. I’ve been having trouble sleeping and crying a lot since the election, so my psychiatrist started me on a new antidepressant, Abilify, which is actually classified as an anti-psychotic but is FDA-approved to treat bipolar depression. He thinks that I’m feeling more depressed now because I’m realizing that I need more in life. He said that I’m too smart to be as isolated as I am now. That what I have now is not enough for me anymore. I think he’s right. I am missing human connection. I feel like I deserve so much more and so much better. I want to be in love, to love and be loved.

I want somebody to love.

Celebrate George Michael with me.

The Past Five Days

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my psychiatrist (who recently came back from visiting the Philippines, we talked about Duterte a little but mostly he complained about the smog and pollution). Anyway, he asked me if I knew about the website fivethirtyeight.com, which of course I have and which I refresh throughout the day. (I also compare 538 averages with Real Clear Politics.) My psychiatrist’s conclusion: Trump is toast. Meanwhile, no med changes for me, is good.

Personally, I think my main problem is my chronic neck and shoulder pain. It never goes away. Even if I take a break from the computer, it’s still there. It’s a constant companion and it bothers me. I wish I didn’t have all these problems in life. Things could be worse, right?

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Saturday Picture-Taking

My therapist has been encouraging me to do something different from my routine at least once a week. My routine consists of staying in my room all day, reading, working on my book review blog (which I will be discontinuing in October), watching TV (can’t wait for the new season of The Voice), and only going out to the drugstore, doctor appointments, massage therapy, and psychotherapy, and leaving my room to eat, etc. Sometimes, I go out to the garden for some sun and fresh air. Infrequently, I take 15-20 minute walks around the neighborhood.

Well, this weekend I did something totally outside my routine. My brother Eric and his fiance Elsa came to town for wedding preparations. They are getting married in October. On Friday, they went to meet the pastor, who is officiating their wedding, and the caterer. Though Eric and Elsa live in the SF Bay Area, they decided to have the wedding and reception at the Embassy Suites here in town, because we have a lot of family coming from the LA San Fernando Valley area, which is about a 45-50 minute drive versus a 6-hour drive to the Bay Area. Elsa’s immediate family, a few relatives and friends, however, we will driving down and staying in town for the wedding.
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