Copycat attack

I’ve been on Pinterest a little too much lately, I think. After spending a few days cranking out baby shower gifts on the sewing machine, I now have the crazy notion in my head that I can look at a thing and determine how it was constructed and make it on my own. And who knows? Maybe I can…for some simpler things, I mean. It might take some brainstorming and visualizing, but I’ve already got a few things in mind to make for myself, and I’m thinking of making gifts for some of my friends and family this year.

On one hand, it’s a good thing; I can utilize fabric scraps (that I don’t quite know what to do with) in a useful way. On the other hand, this could potentially be the early stages of a manic episode, so I had better be aware of my emotions and keep my impulses in check.

Sometimes I wonder if I can harness this manic energy that comes to me and use it to be productive…but then I remember how out of control I can get if I’m not careful, and it’s very, very hard to be careful when you’re in a manic state. Part of that mania involves a lack of…how can I put this? A lack of concern over consequences. I know that impulsive action A can potentially cause bad consequence B, but I really don’t give a rat’s ass whether B happens or not.

Then again, I might not be manic. Not every burst of creative energy is caused by an episode. It could just be that I’m in the mood to make stuff. But going off of past experiences and probability factors and all that science-y stuff, the scales are tipping heavily in the manic direction.

It’s frustrating as hell, that’s for sure. Not knowing if you’re slowly losing control or just in an unusually good mood. It sucks.

I’m probably still going to make the stuff though, if I can find the time. Whether it’s an episode or not, I’ve gotten it in my head that I can do this thing, and now I have to take on my own challenge.

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Let Sleeping Demons Lie

It’s World Mental Health Day, and I thought I’d take a little bit of time to discuss mental health–largely because it is most definitely directly relevant to my life. Sometimes I joke about it, because the humor helps relieve the pressure. Other times, though, like right now, I want to be more serious about the subject of mental health. It’s a very serious thing, and one that needs more awareness.

It has been a while since I’ve mentioned this here (because, well, it shouldn’t be something worth mentioning): I’m bipolar. I don’t have it as bad as some people, and the medications keep my emotional state mostly under control, but it’s there all the same. I don’t get to take a vacation from it. I don’t get to say, “Y’know, I think I’m not going to be bipolar today.” It’s there. It’s a daily thing, regardless of whether or not it’s at the forefront of my mind.

The fates have been kind to me lately in that I have been able to almost forget that I’m bipolar–almost. My moods have been running fairly stable, and aside from the daily pill regimen to keep those moods in check I really don’t have any constant reminders these days of the horror that I used to endure. I can’t really describe it adequately in prose; poetry sometimes better conveys the roller coaster of bipolar life. I’m going to add a poem here that the narcissist in me is quite proud of: “Hostage in My Head,” a poem written during a more difficult mental state.

 

“Hostage in My Head” (from Kamikaze Butterflies by AJ Mullican)

Trapped alone

Awash in a sea of terror

No escape from my own deranged thoughts

Impossible futures scroll through my mind

Over and over on a continuous loop

My mental movie screen glows

As the macabre fantasy plays unbidden

Death and disaster overtake reality

Can’t focus on the here and now

When the “might be” looms on the horizon

Against my will my death plays out again

For the hundredth time this hour

I watch my lifeless form slide to the ground

Shot in the convenience store

Pulled from the mangled wreck

Coded mysteriously at work

At the sight of my imagined death

My heart rate soars and pounds

There’s nothing beautiful and delicate

About the kamikaze butterflies in my chest

Every single nerve

Teeters on the edge of a precipitous drop

With a nightmare at the bottom

Just one nudge

One little push

And everything will come crashing down

I tiptoe on the inside

Walking the fine line between sanity and oblivion

Pacing the padded room within my skull

Inside I scream for a reprieve, for escape

Even for sweet, sweet nothingness

But my calls go unheeded

The nightmare begins anew

I am my own personal terrorist

And I am the hostage

 

So yeah. Sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes it’s easy going. Sometimes it scares the fuck out of me. You can never tell what the next day–or minute, or second–will bring. And you know what else you sometimes can’t tell? If someone even has mental illness. That’s right, it’s sneaky shit. The stereotype is always the scruffy guy standing in the corner at the bus station, muttering to himself. That. Is. NOT. Typical of mental illness. Yes, it happens, but mental illness could be as innocuous as a slight slump to the shoulders, an unusual amount of energy, a sigh. There are infinite signs, and they can be infinitesimal.

To anyone reading this who suffers from mental illness, no matter what that illness is, I’m here. I may not be able to fully understand your personal illness, or even your own form of bipolar disorder, but I can talk. I can listen. To anyone reading this who is fortunate enough to be fairly mentally “sound,” if you know someone who is mentally ill, be that person who talks. Who listens. Sometimes just a little show of support and understanding is enough to keep the demons at bay.

For now the demons are quiet, and I think I’ll let them sleep a little longer.

Must be nice to live that life

I wonder what it’s like to have such a comfortable living situation that working is apparently optional.

almost called out today. My knees and wrist were in so much pain that I almost stayed home, took some tramadol, and curled up into a ball. Did I, though? No. I fucking went in to work. I did my job. 

So what prompted this? I’ll tell you: some of my coworkers seem to be conveniently “sick” quite often– either themselves or their kid(s). Many times on Mondays or Fridays. Or days where the schedule is pretty busy. I don’t know whether to take pity on them for their misfortune or ask them how they get away with it. Because damn. That’s either some rotten luck or some kind of badass mojo that makes you “sick” on tough work days.

I was legitimately in pain today. I should probably have stayed home because to be honest, just picking up a chart or putting on a glove hurt. Standing up and sitting down hurt. Steering the car hurt. But no. I need to work, so I worked.

Maybe one day. One day this series I’m writing will be published, and I’ll be free to “quit working” and just write. Then I can be “sick” whenever the fuck I want.

Not that I’m bitter or anything.

But fuck all, why can’t I get a day off whenever the fuck I please?

War paint

More war prep was done today, and I’m starting to get pretty excited about it.

First off, my husband and I taped and painted our dancing masks with Viking runes for warrior. That was a fun and interesting adventure (in which we learned that one of the smallest pieces of the airbrush is one of the most crucial in dispensing the paint), and it got me a little more revved up for the event. I did some fabric painting as well, adding symbols to represent both Kingdom and Barony on two of our tunics:

Are they perfect? No, but what is? I still think they look pretty snazzy considering the time constraints I’ve had (and the fact that I mostly eyeballed almost every measurement on these).

I feel much better about the war now that things are falling into place. We’re getting to the point where we can start packing early, which is leaps and bounds better than we usually do. I mean, most trips we take I end up packing for the morning of. We’re not leaving for another three days and I already plan on stuffing my bag as soon as we get home from visiting with friends.
I am still a little nervous, but that’s the socially-awkward introvert in me. There will be lots and lots of people there, 90+% of whom I won’t know. It’ll be a challenge for sure, but at least for now I have the prep work and my real job to distract me from that.

All that’s left is to get my creaky old joints to man up and quit whining. The past few days have had me in varying degrees of pain, which is not going to be conducive to a fun fake war experience. I’m hoping that the kinks work themselves out soon because I want to be able to take the field in top form (for me, that is).
Three days until we’re officially on the road to California!

Annual avoidance

It’s that time of year again…and again, and again, and again. I’ve overdue for a basic physical (by oh, say, 5-10 years or so…maybe 20…when did I last do it?). It’s not that I’m averse to going to the doctor necessarily; I just don’t see the point in going when I’m not sick. Or when I have a minor cold. Who goes to the doctor for a cold for crying out loud? Well, I guess me–when that cold turns into bronchitis.

About a year ago a little nagging cough rocketed into bronchitis within about a day. Thanks to whoever at Dragon Con 2016 it was that decided to come to the con sick. I appreciate it. Jerk.

I’m getting to that age when I can’t really keep putting these kinds of appointments off. I should’ve started getting my boobies squished every year or two about three years ago, but I just hate scheduling that kind of thing. I’ve got to arrange to be off work, because of course most places are only open during “office hours,” which means they’re usually closed until after I start work and close before I leave.

Speaking of being sick, I’m kind of sick of the people at work who are constantly calling out. They need to get to the doctor. Get some preventative medicine going. Or get their kids in to the doctor more often. Or see an exorcist. I’m just saying.

You can tell the ones who are truly sick, the ones who, like me, only call out when they just absolutely can’t make it. There’s a level of respect there when you see someone pushing through the work day when they feel like shit, or when they know their kid feels like shit. Those people are the dedicated ones. They understand the strain put on the company and their coworkers when they skip out on work.

Me? Yeah, remember that bronchitis I mentioned? I kinda came in to work anyway, despite knowing I was sick as shit. I got sent home within an hour or two. Hell, I was walking on a broken foot for two weeks before I even went to a doctor about the pain. Granted, I didn’t know it was broken–I thought it was just a strain or sprain of some sort–but the point is, I didn’t wuss out and take a day off until I almost literally could not walk anymore…and even then I waited for a day when I was scheduled as a trainee. Basically, I was nonessential personnel, so I knew they wouldn’t be scrambling to find a replacement.

Let’s see, I had a point somewhere in here…Oh yeah…Annual physicals and routine testing. Get it done. It may seem like some random insurance shtick aimed at squeezing more money out of you, but it’s actually kind of important. Like, catch-it-before-it-becomes-cancer-or-something important. Don’t let your work schedule stop you, either. If you need to take a day or half day or couple of hours off, get that checkup in. Get your boobies squished, have that embarrassing pelvic exam (guys, you need routine shit too–don’t think you’re getting out of this one). Just get it done.

And don’t let a minor cold turn into bronchitis just because you’re stubborn. You’ll just make shit worse and end up missing even more work because of it.

Wandering blind

Wandering blind

I’m not quite sure where I’m going

I barely know where I’ve been

I want to do more than I’m doing

But I don’t know how, why, or when

I’m not quite sure what I’m doing

I don’t know quite where to begin

To do things is not really helping

To do not seems more of a sin

I’m not quite much help as a listener

And speaking always comes out wrong

I don’t quite know what I can do

I don’t quite know how to be strong

My body’s in rebellion (and my mind has taken up the cause)

It’s mutiny–mutiny, I tell you.

I don’t get it; I’ve been exercising and eating better. I’ve been trying to take care of myself. I’ve been doing all the right things, right? So why do my joints feel like a combination of arthritis pain, morning joint stiffness, and bruising?

At first I thought that the exercise was a large factor in it, but now I’m not so sure. I’ve been exercising on a fairly regular basis for months now, so theoretically my body should be like, “Yeah, man, I got this.” Instead, my body’s saying, “Fuck you. Fuck you nine ways to Sunday.” I hurt–a lot–and I have a hard time moving around. Standing sucks, sitting sucks, walking sucks, lying down sucks, and stairs? Yeah, my body really says “fuck you” when it comes to stairs.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just my body that was on strike. Unfortunately, my mind has decided to join right on in and picket alongside. I am sleeping less and less since the exercise started, and I find myself almost afraid to sleep–and I have no idea why. What the hell would cause my mind to not want to sleep? It’s not like I’m weak and sickly to the point of needing to be afraid of falling asleep–on the contrary, I’d like to think that, despite the aching, I’m in better shape than I’ve been in years. I should be sleeping like a champ, yet here I am, lying in bed with my laptop, hoping I don’t doze off. What the hell?

Maybe my old friend Mania has decided to pay a visit. It could explain why I’m able to keep up with the exercise despite the exhaustion, and it could explain why my switch is stuck in the “on” position. If so, that sucks. I don’t really want to think that all this progress is just due to my mood being out of whack,

Aaaand exhaustion won. Before I even could finish the above sentence (and don’t ask me what I was going to say), I woke up with the laptop still in my lap and a groggy feeling comparable to being a tad drunk. I put the computer away and lay back down and managed to get some more sleep before it was time to feed the Rory monster. Still sore as hell though, and it wasn’t nearly enough sleep to “catch up.”

One of these days my stupid body will sort itself out. One of these days…