Apologies for the absence

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This is a picture of the river behind the house from our deck. This was taken last year by me.

So you may have noticed that I’ve been gone for the last two weeks. This happens. I can’t think of something to post and instead of looking for something I just ignore my blog. I need to quit doing that, and I’ll do my best to continue to post something. You may end up with random memes or gifs from time to time with a brief hello from me, but I’ll get something up.

There have been some things going on. I finished my four required therapy appointments to get on the list for med management. Still no idea when that’s going to happen, but we’ll see what happens. Right now they have one med manager, but they’re supposed to get another one by the end of this month and a second at the end of August. The second one is iffy, but it’s confirmed they’re getting the one at the end of this month.

Also, my diagnosis changed. My therapist and I got to talking and she felt the Bipolar II diagnosis wasn’t quite right. So she went over the symptoms in the DSM-5 (I think that’s what it is…the book that discusses all the psychiatric illnesses) and it turns out I’m being reclassified as Bipolar I. She also disagreed with my anxiety diagnosis. Not that I don’t have it – she’s seen the near panic attacks – but that it was misclassified by my intake counselor. We’re going over it today. My appointment is at 8:30 this morning, so we’ll see what happens.

I’ve started walking again. Yesterday I went on a walk with my husband and one of our roommates. They walk faster than I do and I was in pain before we got past the mailboxes at the end of our street. (That’s a fair distance, but not all that far.) I ignored the pain and kept walking. I’m not sure exactly how far I walked, but I made it farther than I ever have before the pain was just too bad and I couldn’t go on. At that point our roommate wanted to turn back too so we turned around and went home. I had to stop at the bridge for a few minutes that you have to cross to get to our street and stared down into the river. It was a beautiful sunny day and you could see the bottom of the river. I intend to walk every day the weather permits. I’m going to lose the weight that’s been the bane of my existence for a while and walking every day will help with that.

I started weeding the garden boxes, to lend more of a hand around the farm. I have a pair of work gloves now and believe me, I need them. The roots on some of these weeds go down four or five inches and they’re a pain in the ass to pull. So when I dig down deep, I need the work gloves to keep me from killing my hands.

I’ve been experimenting a little with my cooking this month. I did a cabbage roll casserole twice that everyone absolutely loved. Then I did a pork roast and roasted potatoes. I did the pork roast in the slow cooker, which has become my best friend. It cuts down on the heat in the kitchen. The recipe for the pork roast just didn’t come out good. We ate it, but it definitely didn’t have the flavor I was hoping for. The roasted potatoes on the other hand, those were the star of that dinner. I’d never made them before so I read up on a few recipes. I set the oven to 450 F and chunked up some Yukon Gold potatoes. I minced six or seven garlic cloves. I poured olive oil into the bowl along with the garlic and mixed them together. I added a little seasoned salt as well. I baked them for 20 minutes. They were so good. I’m definitely making them again, though it’s been requested I make more since we had no leftovers of those and people wanted more.

My friend Deborah came to visit me a couple weeks ago. We’ve known each other for a few years on Facebook but never met in person. She lives a little under two hours away from me and we decided to meet. I invited her and her husband to our farm. We spent the whole day talking about writing, the animals on the farm, and various other things. I thought I’d be anxious about seeing her, with my social anxiety and all. It wasn’t too bad, though by the end of the day I was ready for a rest. Being introverted, I’d had enough socializing for the entire day. She was ready to go too so we parted with much joy in our visit. I’m hoping to make a visit to her soon.

That has been my life over the last couple weeks. I’ll try to update this more often. I hope you all have a wonderful week.

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My blog, my rules

Head in Hands

Okay, so I got a rather nasty comment on “Mama’s Angels” about how I shouldn’t be posting stories and other things not pertaining to my “activism on behalf of all those who don’t have a voice that are suffering from mental illness.” I was told I was doing myself a disservice and no one would read my blog anymore if I didn’t do what they said I should.

I was very angry when I first read that. Then I was hurt. And confused. How is posting what I enjoy on my blog wrong? Yes, I do post a lot about bipolar and mental health, and I am a firm believer in the fact that we need the reform. But I am also an author, a farmer, a knitter/crocheter, a wife, and a person owned by a cat. All of these things form who I am, so you’ll see bits and pieces of all of these showing up on my blog.

I deleted the comment because I didn’t feel the need to keep it up. It served no purpose other than to upset me. I know I shouldn’t have, and as an author I need a thick skin (between rejection letters, critics, and readers who don’t like what I write). But there are certain things that piss me off.

One thing is certain…I’ll be DAMNED if I let some asshole tell me what belongs on my blog. I am not my mental illness. I am a complex human being with many talents, many interests. I will showcase them all here if I feel like it. This is my blog, and it is my rules that will be followed.

Those of you who are still reading my blog are completely awesome, and I thank you. Sorry for the rant today, but things like that irritate me. Don’t think I’m calling any of you out. You’re all wonderful and I usually enjoy reading the comments I get. It’s just that one that affected me.

I love you all. I hope you continue reading and enjoy those posts that aren’t about mental illness as well as the ones that are.

Invisible disabilities

You may have noticed that I didn’t post last week. I was having writer’s block big time for my blog. Today I’m resurrecting an old post of mine from my original blog. I think it’s important to remind people that mental illness is an invisible disability.

I am permanently disabled. I am not on crutches or in a wheel chair. I am not blind nor am I deaf. I have no outward physical signs of a disability. Yet I have seizures, I’m bipolar, and I suffer from anxiety. These things prevent me from leading a normal life, though I try to live as normally as possible. I am a woman with invisible disabilities.

My friend has Degenerative Disc Disorder. Walking for her is painful yet she walks without any additional help. No cane, no walker, no wheelchair. She also has severe depression and anxiety. These things prevent her from leading a normal life, though she tries to live as normally as possible. She is a woman with invisible disabilities.

We are the silent ones. The ones that take the ridicule, the scornful comments, the sneers. We are expected to silently ignore the comments of “You’re not disabled.” Or “You’re just faking. There’s nothing wrong with you.” Except…we  aren’t silent.

Too many people like us are silent because they’re ashamed of being disabled. They’re afraid of further ridicule if they talk about their disabilities. Yet just because we are not visibly disabled, that doesn’t mean our problems are any less severe than those with visible disabilities. Those with visible disabilities are just more noticeable.

We are not faking it. We are not trying to garner sympathy. We don’t want your sympathy. We want to be respected as human beings, even though we are not as able as you are. We want to be able to live our lives as best as we can without feeling like we’re being judged every time we step outside our doors because people can’t see what’s wrong with us.

My friend and I, indeed many of us with invisible disabilities, we don’t define ourselves by our disabilities. We define ourselves by our thoughts and actions. We just have to accommodate our disabilities in our daily lives so we can minimize their impact on us.

We are human beings. We aren’t asking for you to treat us as fragile creatures. We’re asking for you to accept we are less than perfect, make allowances for us when it’s obvious our disabilities are making our lives difficult, and to deal with us like we are real people and not pariahs from the society of the “normal”.

Even if someone is visibly disabled, I would hope that you would afford them the same respect. Accept they are less than perfect, make allowances for them when it’s obvious their disabilities are making their lives difficult, and deal with them like they are real people and not the scum of the earth. They are as human as the rest of us, and they know when they are being treated differently.