…None of it will have to do with you.

It always seems that when I have something to look forward to, something comes up medically or otherwise and I can not inevitably handle the fact that I can’t handle it.  Today, for example, I was supposed to sing a cappella for #SingForMentalHealthAwareness so there’s some stress right there and then have coffee with a friend who has been a friend of mine since the 5th grade but I haven’t seen her since her marriage about 5 years ago.  I, however, following doctor’s instructions had to up 3 medications last night.  I figured that since I’ve done the upping before, I’d be fine.  However, my anxiety flew threw the roof because of my increasing anxiety in general and because of the medications that I was honestly nervous about ruining my day with my friend.  Those medications, which are sedative had their full effect (which I did not expect…maybe, I kind of did).  I felt like a horrible friend having to let her know and a more horrible cat mom in the morning when I realized that Toby had been walking on me for at least two hours trying to get me to wake up to feed him.  Bad.Cat.Mom.  I spent my day sleeping, setting my alarm to feed my cat and take more medications, sleep some more, and trying to eat random little things even though I didn’t feel like eating a thing.  Nausea.

**TRIGGER** Bipolar is weird.  I spend most of my time in really dark depressions where nearly every thought is of suicide: all day, every day.  A lot of people don’t understand this because I put up such a good front because I’ve been acting my whole life.  But then you’re out of it flying high and being reckless still thinking of suicide too.  Driving recklessly, for me, I still think of others and will not be careless with others around.  Doesn’t make sense does it?  My anxiety and depression has been getting worse as of late as I’ve developed a sort of agoraphobia to go along with them.  My PTSD has been kicking in more and I seem to be getting more panic attacks, so I guess that’s something new to talk about as well as the migraines. 

It was nice to have a catharsis in music and opera, but when I developed GERD and lost the ability that I did have, it really damaged me.  It’s so strange thought because any time I go on a stage, there is no anxiety at all – none.  I wonder if that’s how it is with performers sometimes?  So many people tell me that I need to get out back on stage but I don’t think I’m very good at Improv which I’ve been trying (I’m too much of a perfectionist), I never seem to fit the molds of the characters directors have in mind (I also already think no one likes me which is my own character flaw but I WILL audition for the Christmas show), and I don’t know how to do much behind stage because I like to be on the on-stage action and get a tad bit jealous.  LoL! 

I do write poetry.  Maybe I should look for poetry nights around town.  I just don’t have many friends anymore.  I’ve shut pretty much all of them out or they’ve moved away and that makes me feel worse about myself.  I’m just looking for “my people”…  I need to get out and I don’t feel like I should be holding back all that I have been for so, so very long.

Eh, enough of that.  Here’s something to leave with you:

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Thoughts…

My response to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:

Facts You Should KnowALS is not contagious.

It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.

Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.

Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more. More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.

About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.

ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.

ALS can strike anyone.

HERE’S WHAT I THINK:

Where’s the Mental Illness Ice Bucket Challenge?

Facts You Should Know

Mental Illness is not contagious.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. (more common than homicide) and the third leading cause of death for ages 15 to 24 years. More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide had one or more mental disorders.

One in four adults−approximately 61.5 million Americans−experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17−about 13.6 million−live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. Approximately 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 experience severe mental disorders in a given year. For ages 8 to 15, the estimate is 13 percent.

Mood disorders such as depression are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults ages 18 to 44. Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions. Adults living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than other Americans, largely due to treatable medical conditions.

Mental Illness occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.

Mental Illness can strike anyone.

Sources:
http://www.alsa.org/about-als/facts-you-should-know.html
http://www.nami.org/factsheets/mentalillness_factsheet.pdf

NAMI Official Website

Yesterday was shitty so today we’re doing cat pictures. Go fuck yourself, yesterday.

Absolutely needed this today. And the link to the song “Secrets” …Is she talking about me or herself? I already know the REAL answer but, again, this was needed today.

The Bloggess

Question:  What’s the difference between kids during summer vacation and kittens at any time?

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It’s not a riddle.  I just really want to know.

PS.  Yes, that is Hunter S. Thomcat when he was still Hunter S. Thomkitten.  He was very demanding.  He still is, but now when he flops down on my neck in the middle of the night it’s less of a sweet nuzzle and more like a ninja has karate-chopped my jugular.  And the ninja wants food.  And some snugglin’.  And he’s confused about why I won’t wake up because he doesn’t understand that cats and people are always in different time zones.

PPS.  Cat pictures and happy songs.  This is what I need today.  Maybe you do too.  So here are two that I’m listening too today.  You might hate them and that’s okay.  Feel free to share your favorite happy song or cat picture or whatever makes you smile in…

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Jokes and the Truth

My mother just sent me the following “joke”:

A Russian arrives in New York City as a new immigrant to the United States . It’s11:00 AM on a Wednesday.

He stops the first person he sees walking down the street and says, “Thank you Mr. American for letting me come into this country, giving me housing, food stamps, free medical care, and a free education!”

The passerby says, “You are mistaken, I am a Mexican.”

The man goes on and encounters another passerby. “Thank you for having such a beautiful country here in America .”

The person says, “I not American, I Vietnamese.”

The new arrival walks farther, and the next person he sees he stops, shakes his hand, and says, “Thank you for wonderful America !

That person puts up his hand and says,
“I am from Middle East. I am not American.”

He finally sees a nice lady and asks, “Are you an American?”
She says, “No, I am from Africa.”

Puzzled, he asks her, “Where are all the Americans?”

The African lady checks her watch and says:

“Probably at work.”

I can’t even express just how insulting this “joke” is. It’s not funny in any remote sense of the word. Mexican people work. Vietnamese people work. Middle Eastern people work. African people work. Russian people work. Immigrants work very hard for what they have. How awful can we be as humans to put such stereotypes onto others? They are NOT a drain on society.

I started working when I was 15 years old working two jobs plus baby-sitting for a total of 30 hours a week (sometimes more) as well as going to school. This continued throughout college. When I started working full-time I also had a second job and worked a total of 50+ hours a week. Now, I do not have a job. I am on food stamps. I am on Social Security and have Medicare because of my mental illnesses that are a bitch to live with. (Being hospitalized multiple times or for over a month multiple times a year is not fun and not easy but I’d be dead otherwise.) I AM A DRAIN ON SOCIETY AND I FEEL HORRIBLE ABOUT IT.

America is made up of a variety of nationalities, a melting pot, and to point out that one nationality or person is better than another is extremely reprehensible. I am extremely disappointed that my own mother feels this way. Because of the fact that I am on some of those things listed above, I am less than. I feel less than. To have that confirmed as such by someone who has told me that I’m not but has now shown through this action and the resulting conversation…is very upsetting. I don’t even know what to do with myself right now and I feel even worse about myself and my situation as a result.

 

UPDATE: To be sure everyone understands, I am not trying to call-out my mom or shame her because I know multiple people that have said something like this out-right. This was solely to express my response and feelings and that’s all this is meant to do.

It’s Been A While…

I could tell you a really boring story about all the nothing that I did while I was away from here but it’s totally not worth it.  What I DO want to do, however, is just jump in to some of my thoughts.  Maybe typing them will help with the thinking them out.  Hopefully you guys find some stimulation or have something to add, so why not just jump right in…here we go!

There are a lot of things that I admittedly don’t understand.  Lately, for example, I’ve seen a lot of particularly disturbing things while cruising around the interwebs and what I’ve seen has really bothered me!  My main beef is with blatant hate-filled speech directed from person to person.  I understand that not everyone is going to get along.  I don’t get along with everyone that I know, but directly targeting another person with what most would consider clear abuse, bullying, and threats of physical violence?  No, not okay and I just don’t get it…  I don’t see how differences of opinion, race, religion, orientation, gender, etc. can bring a person to that point where it’s honestly pretty scary and twisted to see what’s being typed out for not only one person to see and read, but the many who are connected.  I don’t know how to excuse that behavior, nor do I think that it should be excused…but…what are we supposed to do?  The threat may not be directed at us and maybe there are others adding fuel to the fire but is it our responsibility to do or say something?  And, if so, what?  It’s so confusing.

I think the basic problem now is that these online bullies feel, in a way, protected by their computer screen and their distance that they somehow lose their filter.

I could never tell someone that they are worthless, that they should kill themselves, that they deserved to get abused or raped because of the way they acted.  How heartless?  How removed?  Maybe that’s the point…it’s a removal…from self, from a semblance of societal propriety.  I really hope we can find our way back.  I know we’re not perfect and I know we’ll still have people who are bullies and blatantly abusive, but I really want good to win out here.  I want to feel better about the place in which we live because I think we can do better than we’re doing now.  Shouldn’t we all want to do better?

 

“Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.”

Toby’s Adventure Into Antibiotic Land and Hilarious Singing Vocal Impersonator, Christina Bianco

I only have a short post today since I’m keeping a close eye on my sleepy kitty.  This new antibiotic seems to be doing it’s job for his Upper Respiratory Infection, but it makes him so sleepy and he just passes out (or it seems like it).  He’s currently sleeping spread-eagle and it’s SOOOOOOOOOOO hilarious looking but if I move to get my phone, which is right next to him, to take a picture I’m afraid he’ll wake up and move.  Just take my word for it – it looks hilarious!

On a side-note, I’m getting nervous about the improv class that’s happening tomorrow since I’ve found out that no one that I know will be going to it.  Guess we’ll have to see how my anxiety is tomorrow before I decide to go or not.  If I don’t, it’s not the end of the world since I do have a ton of errands to run anyway.

Well, this was a boring post.  Sorry about that!  I promise to make up for it very soon and, in the meantime, here is a video of a very hilarious vocal (as in singing) impersonator, Christina Bianco:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3DlDPeurRw

Oh, Youth…

Some days I just FEEL old.  I know, I know.  Riddikulus!  (Harry Potter nerd joke inserted there.)  😀  As I’ve already told you, I’m 28 and most days that feels like I’m some where in my late 30s.  Most of my friends are married and a lot have started having babies and I’m just hanging out here having a cat…maybe I need twelve more to become a bonafide cat-lady…(or definitely maybe not).

Besides feeling old, I’m finally starting to feel like I’m coming out of my 8 month depressive episode so that’s positive!  Maybe I won’t feel so old once I’m all the way out and to help push myself a little bit, since I have anxiety and some agoraphobia going on, I was thinking of going to an open workshop to work on some improv theater.  I’ve always loved theater (and music…mostly music) and all of the great people you get to meet so I thought it might be something fun to do.  I am, however, already showing signs of my high anxiety…(I’m totally fine with acting silly, stupid, and funny around people that I already know but I don’t know most of the people that are in the group…eeeek) so I’m a little scared!  Usually, that’s when my false bravada kicks in and saves me from untimely humiliation or timely humiliation…whichever.  I have no idea when all this crazy anxiety started as I never used to have any problems when I was younger; I was the belle of the carport ball and Toby loves my improv’d singing!

When I say, “Belle of the carport ball,” I mean that I performed in my grandparent’s carport for all of their friends on the weekends when they’d have their friends over sipping beverages and laughing and having a good time.  I loved to be the center of attention and when I got up to perform my musical numbers, I was.  I’ve always loved to sing.  I loved it so much that I went on to college to pursue opera but…dun,dun,dunnnnn: GERD happened (I hate GERD) and that stopped me from my grand performance destiny.  Truthfully, that’s okay with me (now) because performing wasn’t fun anymore and something that I had loved for so long and had wanted to be a part of for so long should have remained fun – otherwise, it wouldn’t have been worth doing.  So, now, it’s a past-time that I haven’t had much energy or push to do because of my most recent depressive episode.  Wah-wah…  Now, that can change since there’s finally an opportunity out there for me to change it myself!

Jumbled story short (can you tell that I haven’t had my ADD medicine for the past couple of days?), I’m going to have to take my anxiety-ridden butt out this Saturday to the open improv group where I’ll know either no one or only a couple people and let my freak-flag fly.  The only way I can get out there again is TO get out there again.  I don’t need marriage or babies (HEAVEN FORBID!) and I don’t need to feel old.  I’m still young and I have a lot of time to do a lot of things and there are a lot of things that I still want to do (AND I’m particularly stubborn so I know that I won’t just let opportunities pass me by – that’s one of my good qualities).  I’m weird.  I like being weird.  I like being funny.  I like making other people laugh.  I like being musically talented and I like sharing that talent…even if it’s just with my cat (because he really does love it because I’m so amazing…seriously).

Hopefully, you guys can take some time to think of some ways  to get yourselves out there – to be more present in your own lives.  Don’t let them just float on by…I’ve already let that happen for too long and it doesn’t do anything for anyone.  Do something for you today, even if it’s something little.  You deserve it!  Be your own carport belle of the ball!

Bri

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Enter Toby

This is my cat:

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His name is Toby and he is ridiculously cute and provides me with a bagillion hours of entertainment and endless love.  He’s kind of a “special needs” cat because he has something call Calicivirus which basically means he will pretty much always have an Upper Respiratory Infection (sneezing, snotty, basically looking miserable, and making me feel so sad when he has one).  He ALSO gets constant UTIs and we’ve had some pretty bad scares with crystals forming (those could kill him, so I hope that that NEVER happens).  Oh, and he happens to weigh 20lbs.  He’s a big cat though, so I don’t think the weight thing is soooooo bad… (right?)  Anyway, right now he’s having to take a lot of medications to keep everything under control (we’re kind of twinsies because of that).  All in all, none of that really matters anyway because I love him because he is who he is and happens to be the nicest, sweetest, most loving cat I have ever met.  I’m very lucky to have my Tubbyfluffybutt as my baby.

We’ve been playing all morning and by playing, I mean that we woke up at about 8:00am (because a cat snuggling with your face will do that to you).  So, I got up…BUT…I didn’t feed him right away.  I decided to change out his litterbox, take a shower, take out the trash (in Wisconsin…in flip-flops…with wet hair…in a tank-top…and struggling to get the bag in the can – I was a mess), and then I started laundry ALL BEFORE FEEDING MY STARVING, MISERABLE, POOR, UNLOVED BABY KITTY! Because of this, Toby was being all dramatic and by the time I got to feeding him, he was the most pathetic meowing cat in the history of his kingdom (which is my entire apartment and some of the outside when he’s on his leash or in his stroller – yes, leash and stroller…don’t judge me).  I fed him, but – HA! – the joke’s on him because there was medicine in that delicious wet special food.

A bit later since I was doing laundry, it was the best time of the day – SHEET CHANGING TIME!  Toby loves to play with the sheets while I’m making the bed.  It definitely doesn’t help or save time, but he loves it so much so I always let him play and he always makes me laugh.  We finally got the bed made after about half an hour and then we got on to some more playing, some brushing, some relaxing (well, I folded the clean laundry so I didn’t get to relax), and it was lunchtime!  I had to sneak some more medicine into his food because my dude does NOT like to take liquid medicine and I can’t find a way to give it to him while I’m alone…ergo…sneaky.

I really can’t believe how fun and funny my days are just because of him and I love knowing that he really knows how much I love him.  I don’t know what I’d do without my man!  Right now, we’re watching ‘Identity Thief’ and playing with tissue paper and a catnip filled fuzzy bunny.  Who knows where the rest of the day will take us but I know it will be awesome because two awesomes make one GIGANTIC awesome (so that’s us).

Tobias Charles (aka: Toby, Tubbyfluffybutt, Fluffers, Butthead) is the best thing that has ever come into my life and I could not be more grateful for all of the love he has brought to me and for all the love that he has allowed me to give to him.  He’s my fluffy hero that taught me how truly love fully.  Thanks, buddy!

Bri & Toby (Who is still playing with tissue paper and a catnip filled fuzzy bunny!)

Okie Doke

Well, since everything looks alright on my “test” post I guess I can start by letting you know a little bit more about me! 

I already told you that I’m awesome and more people should know that but, also, most days I should remember how awesome I am because I’m bipolar.  So, I have days when I can rule the world and days that are just hell.  I’ve been dealing with it for a long time now (13 years) even though I’m only 28 myself.

Everything just kind of came to a head when I was 15 and I had my first major depressive episode that landed me in the hospital.  Everyone thought that I was dealing with unipolar depression so I was treated with an anti-depressant BUT that sent me into hypo-mania/mania (super high energy, can do anything and everything, huge plans, irritable, and a few other things) for the rest of my high school career and into the start of my college career.  So, for that time, things were great!  And then I stopped taking my medication at the beginning of my second year of college. 

This was when the roller-coaster started.  Up, down, upside-down, around, backward.  It was a weird time…and then it became the second time I ended up in the hospital.  I had such huge ideas and dreams and then I lost all meaning to everything.  It’s really hard to explain but if you have read anything by Jenny Lawson or Allie Brosh (I hope they don’t mind that I just plugged them…) about the depression part; you know what I’m talking about since they nailed it. 

So, again, the bipolar thing was missed and I went on and off of my medications for the next couple of years with a few more hospitalizations thrown in there too…  Then, FINALLY, about three years ago I was properly diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I (along with Panic/Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, BPD, OCPD, and ADD…yeah, I think I got them all – I’m a mess, I tell ya [but an awesome one]). 

I guess I decided to throw all of this in right away so that you could take it or leave it.  I’m on medication and seemingly doing well thus far.  I’m super quirky and obsessed with my cat so I’m sure that those will show themselves eventually but I just wanted to get a bit of myself out there too.  I just wrote a long FaceBook post (that probably confused my friends or had them saying “Yeah, girlfriend!”) about what a “hero” is and why I hate that I’m never considered one so I decided that I was one, in fact, and that anyone EVER was one as well.  To quote myself, “We’re all heroes in our own right and it’s time that we take a hold of that and make it ring true to and for ourselves.” 

Well, those are my awesome words for now.  I’m still learning about all this blogging stuff and PROMISE I will have super hilarity on here, cross my heart!  For now, you know a bit about me and what I stand for (aka: you- standing proud and strong) and hopefully I don’t get in trouble with Jenny or Allie (I love them so that would be crushing)!  AH!  Anyway, until tomorrow…when I’ll introduce you to my cat.  Be prepared.  He’s adorable and I’m obsessed.

Bri

Testing Testing

Howdy, all!  I’m just testing this first post out to see what it looks like.  I promise I’ll get on to lots more fun and interesting stuff soon!  First the introduction:  My name is Bri and I’m totally awesome (or I think so and more people should too).  I have a cat that I’m obsessed with whose name is Toby and we’re entangled in a battle of wits currently due to the fact that he’s always sick and always having to take medicine (he’s smarter than me and outlasts me in our stand-offs).  It’s okay now…I just tricked him into taking some medicine.  Hopefully this looks alright.  We’ll see!  Anyway, hopeful I’ll chat with you soon!

Bri (&Toby)

 

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