Category Archives: weirdness

In order to recognize an imposter cat …

it is important to understand what a real cat does.

Real cats chase mice, keep spiders away, keep all rodents from invading the home front and bask in the sun when they have the chance.

They climb trees, chase butterflies and practice pouncing on anything that looks pouncable.  (disclaimer:  pouncable is not a real word, but worked in this post so I made it up and used it).

It is also good to know the difference between inside and outdoor cats, real ones, not the imposters.

When dealing with imposter cats, cat rules and regulations apparently do not apply.

I have learned this the hard way.

Inside cats shed their downy fur onto everything … furniture, inside the refrigerator, the sink, underwear drawer and everywhere else that isn’t covered in plastic and securely duct-taped.

Outside cats are different, but not in a big way.

Real outside cats rub on the porch, scratch the railing making it look mauled and walk up and down across both the front and back window of your car leaving muddy paw-prints as evidence.

And they don’t care that they leave evidence because they are cats and cats are immune to human fallacies.

They will urinate on your vegetation and cause it to either stop growing or grow into something that isn’t of this world.  It is quite the phenomenon … the results of cat urine.

They will become accustomed to being fed at certain times and if not accommodated, will scratch at the door like dogs.  (don’t tell them they act like dogs though or you could easily lose an eye).

They will chase other cats away if any should show up at your door by hissing and chasing, thus making them look like real cats who do cat things like chase mice.

When you see the first sign of mouse droppings inside your house, you will know that your outside cats are not on the job.  For further proof, watch the food bowl.

Imposter cats will sit and watch birds eat their food.

Birds.

Cats.

Cats watching birds as they eat the food they scratched on the door for.

What Brigadoon have I fallen into where this kind of thing happens?

I didn’t ask for these cats, they just appeared.

I don’t have the heart to see them  hungry, so I fed them.

My mistake.

Now I have a horde of furry creatures that look like cats but don’t chase mice, let birds eat their food and put their paw-prints all over my car.

Imposters, one and all.

I would call the dogs, but the cats are laying against them to keep warm.

What, I ask, is the world coming to?.

What, indeed?

Hello.  I’m Yellow Tom.   What’s your name?maternity_crystal-132

Friendship comes in many forms.friendship

Birds fighting over cat food.thebirds

And then there was light …

beautiful, blinding, mind-boggling, life-altering light.

That is the nature of bi-polar disorder, or in the more politically correct lingo, manic-depressive disorder.

The verbiage doesn’t change the nature of it, it simply makes those who have no clue about what it is, entails or emulates, feel better about saying it out loud.

Sometimes there is darkness, but when the darkness lifts, there is light.

And light in the aftermath of darkness is profound.

I would love to be able to explain this phenomenon, but I can’t.

I couldn’t even begin to explain it.

You either understand it because you live it or because you know someone who suffers from it or you are completely clueless.

If you are clueless, then there is nothing I can offer that will make the light bulb flick on above your head.  You will never know the depths or the incredible  highs of a brain that is well beyond your understanding.

I’m sorry for you, but can’t help your indifference.

Cluelessness  (not a real word, I don’t think) isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but without some understanding of what goes on in the mind of a bipolarist (also not a real word), there is no way anyone can possibly understand how incredibly wonderful the moments of clarity, without racing thoughts, without disorientation, without doubt and insecurities can be.

Without the chaos, the clarity doesn’t mean anything and if one never has clarity, then their accomplishments will be mediocre at best.

It is like walking into a green, summer field and seeing a triple rainbow arch over the green field that is covered by white daisies with yellow centers.

That is what the light is like.

A moment of pure bliss that allows dreamless sleep and pure and beautiful clarity.

It allows me to understand what I have been misinterpreting, to find the truth within the lies.

It really is impossible to explain to someone who hasn’t lost, at some point, control of their conscious thought and then when hollowed out, to crash and burn.

Crashing is not the best feeling in the world, but it is necessary.  It is like the control-alt-delete of the psyche and sometimes, it is at this point that people who pledge their friendship and loyalty jump ship.

How … well, convenient.

When I am depressed, well, I keep that to myself.  No reason to add fuel to the fire of the witch-hunters.

I am who I am and will be who I’ll be.

I don’t need validation from people who pretend to support me when they have no interest in who I am at the core, in the depths of my heart, in the center of my soul.

I am me.  I am not ashamed to be such although there are times when I am made to believe that I should be.

We bipolarists are not an anomaly.  We are a force to be reckoned with because not only do we have brains that see, feel and hear everything, we are able to function during these times of chaos.

That makes us talented and creative and imaginative;  and above all, it makes us survivors.

Those who take us for granted or think they can use us for their exclusive pleasure are the losers.

They didn’t get it.

They will never get it.

They lost the race when they rolled their eyes at our idiosyncrasies.

Our idiosyncrasies and oddities are what set us apart from everyone else and it is something to be cherished and embraced.

We are different, yes, and in being so, we are not cast in the same mold as the rest of humanity.

In my book, that makes us someone special and special is a pretty awesome thing to be.

I embrace it, even when I want to be rid of it, because it calls me to understand more than I should have to, endure greater disappointments than I should have to and to know more than I would have were my brain like everyone else’s.

It is at this point that I ask, who is normal?  Who can maneuver through a mindfield (not a mine field, a mind one) and end up standing, head held high, solutions in hand?

Kind of puts it in perspective.

I have been mocked by ones that I truly thought I could trust.

I have been shunned by ones who have know me for years.

I have been abandoned by ones that I would have bet my life I could rely on.

These things, these events, these setbacks have not broken me yet made me more determined to be who I am.

I am content with myself even when I am discontent with myself.

I am special and the people who are like me will understand completely and hopefully feel special, too.

I am misunderstood and  I am ok with that.

It means that I am a mystery and, let’s be honest here … how cool is that?

We are a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a riddle.

That makes us cool in the “you wish you could see what my brain sees” kind of way.

Yes.  I am bipolar and I take each moment, each second, each event as it comes.

It is amazing what you can see when you take one moment at a time.

I love my life and though there are times when I forget who I am and can’t string words together to make coherent sentence, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Not  a single thing.

I. Am. Me … and I’m good with that.

only one of hundreds of my favorite things about West Side  Market in Cleveland, OH and bipolarist comfort food :)

only one of hundreds of my favorite things about West Side Market in Cleveland, OH and a favorite of this bipolarist’s comfort foods 🙂

When God gives one a heart of compassion …

it is understood that it will get broken.

There is no way around it.

I am still learning this.

I find that is is both  an honor and a privilege to watch the end of life come to pass.

It isn’t easy nor can it be considered pleasant, but it is a part of life that not everyone gets to see.

The living years is what most of us look for, find pleasure in and hope to be a part of.

But to be present when a spirit leaves this world is nothing short of amazing.

The last breath.

The last heartbeat.

The last moment.

I cannot help but cry for it is, in it’s way, very sad … and yet, when there was suffering, it is also a comfort.

I try, in my weak way, to console the ones left behind, but at that particular moment, there really are no words to say.

I can only be there, in the background, in the edges of the moment, to hold a hand or wrap my arm around those who need the contact.

I’m not, by nature, a hugger or toucher.

It doesn’t really come naturally to me as it does to true nurturers … and yet, I find myself being pulled into the emotion.

It is difficult, but I cannot turn them away.

Not in their moment of need.

Maybe I am weak. But if I can offer some bit of strength in their moment of weakness, then my strength has been made manifest.

I can do, for this moment, what I have learned through experience to do.  Not book experience, or clinical experience, but life experience.

I understand loss, especially unexpected loss that blindsides you and leaves you reeling from words left unsaid.

It is what it is and there are no do-overs.

It is enough to know that you loved someone while they lived in a way that they knew, unconditionally, that they were loved.

It is enough.

Move forward as you can, but whatever the cost, move forward.

To remain where you are, in grief and sorrow is the last thing in the world the one you lost would want.

Don”t be afraid to live.

If you aren’t afraid to live, then when your time comes, you won’t be afraid to die.

It is a circle.

Don’t break it.

It has been so long since I have watched TV …

that I have no earthly idea where the remote to the blasted thing is.  I wouldn’t be looking for it now if it weren’t required to set the menu up for a favored DVD that I was wanting to watch.

I don’t watch the news and have no clue, unless it is on facebook or twitter, what is going on in the world.  My journalist peeps keep me informed on the pressing stuff and the “Oprah, Fox, MSNBC and just happened to be surfing the web  crowd” keeps me informed (and entertained) on the rest of the goings on.

I am perfectly happy with that knowledge (or lack of as the case may be) in my isolated, yet mostly serene, little world.

On the occasions that people I know feel the need to fill me in on the seedier things that are happening, I find myself cringing and saying things like “ewww” … “stop … don’t tell me anything else” … “OMG, you’re not serious?”

It is true.  I am so close to hermit status that if I didn’t have to work for a living, I would be completely and happily oblivious with a backpack in tow and some flint in my pocket …

Thank you Dr. Blackwelder, for teaching me to make a fire with flint and a few dry twigs.

I could, I am relatively certain, live off the land, and thrive on apples, peaches and blackberries … and if that didn’t work out perfectly, I could, irregardless of hunger and thirst, photograph it and then write about it.

I might go hungry, but I would be happy while my belly growled.

I have learned a great deal from my dad, who is like the mountain man extraordinaire, who knows something about everything that has to do with nature and he, kindly, passed it along to me.

I paid attention and took notes.

It isn’t that I don’t care about people and things that are happening.  I do.  But most, in my experience, of what is considered “news” is the misfortune of others exploited well beyond what is necessary.

When my husband was living, I was current on all the happenings.  He was a news junkie and found it oh-so-satisfying to fill me in whether I wanted to know or not.

I see, in the day to day happenings in my life, family and job, plenty of drama.  I don’t need to know who has been in rehab, who is having somebody who isn’t their husband’s baby or what the name of the new Prince will be.

In all honesty, I could care less about that.

If there is a wildfire or other disaster, I find out from my journalist friends on facebook and then, can pray or curse, accordingly, as the event warrants.

There was a time when I was much geekier than was good for me.  Of this, I am certain.  I was a facebook, twitter and google plus junkie.

I have weaned myself, however, to be only a part-time junkie and rely mostly on my friends and family to keep me informed of current events.

I am grateful that my Jim cannot see this transformation from Heaven as he would simply shake his head and say, in that deep, sexy voice of his “Gina … you need to know what is going on in the world in order to live in the world”.

Well, I have little clue about what is going on and I live a relatively normal life.

Yes, there are goats that randomly come onto my porch.

Yes, a possum, nearly nightly, filches cat food from my feed pans.

Yes, my brother-in-law brings me, fresh from the chicken, eggs that I will never eat.

I may have eaten them if he hadn’t said to me “be sure to wash them first”.  Ick.  I took them, washed them with Dawn and placed them in my refrigerator where they will remain until I either give them to some unsuspecting person or throw them away but I know, without a doubt, that I will not be eating them.

Not ever.

But all of this has little to do with the fact that I really want to watch Lord of the Dance and cannot find my TV remote so that I can do so.

Maybe tomorrow … or the next day.

Eventually, it will turn up and when it does, I will have forgotten why I was looking for it in the first place.

Such is the nature of my life.

But it is all good, or mostly so, and it is all part of the whole.  I am who I am and will be who I’ll be.

When every day is like opening Pandora’s box, who, might I ask, needs TV?

Until next time, be well, my friends, be well.

My sweet ride for a couple of hours ... even without the horses, the Jeep was magnificent

My sweet ride for a couple of hours … even without the horses, driving the Jeep on the beach and over the dunes was magnificent

He played like a demon angel ... talent in spades

He played like a demon angel … talent in spades

He looked right at me and I felt his power through the lens of my camera.  I was awestruck.

He looked right at me. I felt his power through the lens of my camera. I was awestruck.

what is it about dreams …

that seem to plot the course of the day ahead.

I have always, nearly without fail, remembered in detail and almost painful clarity, my dreams.

Sometimes they are of strangers and other times, erotic and provocative images and happenings of and including  people I am acquainted with.

Images that have no business being in my head are there and they tempt me to try to relive them in reality as well as in the dreams, of which I have no control, in which they were born.

I don’t make a secret of them.  I share them with the cohabitants of my dreams, often to my regret afterward, but nonetheless, I find that the ability to lie escapes me.

It doesn’t help matters that I, on occasion, am a blabbermouth and just blurt things out at random.  A curse and one of the things that, were I able, would immediately change about myself.

Those, I think, are more disturbing than the bloody, murderous ones for they are more realistic and leave me feeling vulnerable and exposed.

And then there are the non-dreams that are climatic in their own weird and distorted way.

I am certain, given facts that I am sure of, that I sleepwalked last night.

Things that were present when I went to bed were missing and no evidence, anywhere, of their disappearance, could be found.

I looked.

In the trash.

Under the couch cushions.

Under my mattress.

I know what was there and what is now missing so either I walked (and ate chocolate Nekot cookies) in my sleep, or there was an intruder who only wanted my cookies.

And who, pray tell,  breaks into a house leaving a priceless collection of vintage vinyl and takes only chocolate-peanut butter cookies.

Especially if they know me and know that I sleep with a very large cast-iron skillet capable of causing a serious brain hemorrhage or, if aimed just right, instant death

Nobody, that’s who.

So since the latter is improbable, I have only left to assume that I am, once again, up to my old tricks.

Walking and performing tasks, like eating, cooking and cleaning, in my sleep.

It disturbs me on some level that I do things in the night that I don’t remember.  It should disturb me.  It should disturb anyone.

But I know the cause, or at least I think I do.

For several weeks, as anyone who knows anything about me knows, I was manic to the point of being carted off by the men in white coats.

I thought it would never end and once it did, I missed it immediately.  That rush of feeling, the power of confidence that, in a normal state, I lack.

But one phase which lasts so long does not go without the alter-ego phase coming in to claim their share of the  psychosis.

I call it psychosis because what else is one going to call it … hyper to the point of explosion one moment and despondent to the point of mediocrity the next.

I live this every day, every week, every month.  One would think that by now, I would know what was coming next.

I don’t.  And people who try to pinhole me into their idea of normalcy don’t either and end up doing nothing more than pissing me off.

As do those who lie to me. Or make excuses instead of just being up front.

An omission or generated excuse is no better or worse than a lie and I put them all in the same bag.

I expect people to be straight with me no matter what and if they aren’t then they immediately lose their credibility and, as far as I am concerned are no longer relevant in my life.

I no longer listen to their words for they are, from that moment, nothing more than blather.  Filler because they can’t think of anything useful to say and therefore are useless to me on any conceivable level.

It is disappointing to me to think that I have friends who pretend to understand me only to find out that not only do they not understand me, they have no intention to.

Valuable time wasted if you ask me.

I try to conserve the space in my mind for those who actively want to be a part of my life.  I realize that I try too hard to make friendships sometimes.  I find people who pretend to understand me but have no real inkling as to who I am or what makes me tick.

It is a disappointment to realize that I have been, for lack of a better term, led on by their pretense.

But in time, all is revealed and life goes on.

I don’t hold it against the pretenders because in all essence, I have better things to do than hold a grudge.

But I will be more cautious in the future.  Once a manipulator, always one.

Funny, isn’t it, how they don’t see themselves that way.

Life. Goes. On.  and that is just the way of it.

I may be hanging, at times, by a thread, but in my mind, I am happy simply to be hanging.

Until next time, be well, be yourself and know that whatever you learn today will be most useful at some point (unless is is geometry and the jury is still out on that one)

in reality, what dreams are made of ...

in reality, what dreams are made of …

Yesterday, a particularly difficult patient said …

you are acting odd; what is wrong with you?

I, with considerable effort, put my overloaded, hyper-extended, full-to-overflowing brain pan into “be nice” mode, rolled my eyes (of this I am certain) and said “I’m sorry, I was momentarily distracted by a conversation I had with your doctor about your condition”.

An over-the-top, bar none, bald-faced lie.

I was stalling until I could catch up to their hatefulness with a smile I didn’t feel and control of a finger I was having trouble restraining.

I was, instead, desperately trying to listen to what they said, their concerns, fears and complaints.

It was a strenuous effort to hold on to their words, to hear their voice.  I was elsewhere, anywhere, everywhere.

It is where I have been for the past few weeks and quite frankly, I was exhausted by trying to be here when I am there and there when I am here and somewhere when I am everywhere.

It is not polite to tell patients to shut the hell up … that all they do is moan and complain about things that are mundane on any ordinary day.

Never mind that, in this establishment, such activity is frowned upon.

Severely frowned upon.

I want to tell them this; listen … I got up this morning with a thousand random thoughts running through my head, barely remembered to wash my hair while I was in the shower (my legs remain unshaven because, dammit, I forgot while I was thinking about the sunrise over the desert west of Las Vegas, a sight I have never seen but hope to and the thought of shaving my legs never entered my mind during the sunrise scene.)

I washed my body simply because there was an escape clause somewhere in my brain that says you must take a shower daily, wash your hair and wash your body (with soap, not just water), but there is nothing that says “you know, you really should shave your legs”.

I suppose I realize that is a necessity once the hair starts being evident through my clothes.  Do people notice?  Probably.  Do I?  Not until I cause myself hair-inflicted injury during a nightmare (or on a good, though extremely rare night), an erotic,  racy dream of some sort.

Talk about a downer, when in the midst of a truly wonderful dream full of potential, my unshaven legs decide to speak up and thus take precedence over more pleasurable endeavors.

Even then, there is no guarantee that it will be done because my brain is on overdrive and going a thousand places at once.

I would love to be able to write a manual on how to talk and deal with a person when I (or a billion other people) are in the throes of a manic episode.

It would be short and to the point.

Shut the hell up unless the building is on fire and then, only tell me if I, personally, am on fire.

Otherwise, it likely won’t register.

In my head, I told that patient, a rude and hateful individual (and would be so even if I weren’t in my current state of mind) in the most placating, compassionate  tone I could muster that I was doing my best and was hoping to meet their needs.

It didn’t go down exactly like that and it is possible that somebody will be getting a phone call.  So be it.

It is what it is.

A typical day for me where I was up until this morning consists of waking up and immediately starting the internal argument of whether to shower first or brush my teeth; is the towel warmer on and did I take off my paper bracelet.  Oh no, is  there a clean towel to dry off with and is it in the towel warmer that I may have forgotten to turn on; damn this water is hot.  Damn, this water is cold.  I have soap in my eyes and while rinsing it out, don’t want to aspirate.  Lord this water is going to burn my eyes out of my head.  It just blasted in my ear.  How much do I need my eardrums.  Did I rinse the shampoo out of my hair.  What is that sound?  Oh, I remember, I started Mahler’s First on my Jawbone speaker but now wish I had put Chopin on because he does piano so well, but then Brian Crain is my now favorite, aside from my friend who plays my favorite song, one he wrote and played at my late husband’s funeral, on piano or my other friend, who plays piano and guitar, or at least, though little proof has been provided, I have heard tales.  He played for me once, at least I think he did, but that was a hundred years ago  and I may have imagined it… well not a hundred, but, at any rate, a long time; anyway,  maybe Brian would be best because he is predictable and while that can become tedious, it is, at times, soothing to know that what I hear will be similar and nearly indistinguishable from the last thirty things I  heard him play.

I love Brian, but  he has a one track mind and little imagination.  That is, of course, only my opinion and even though I am only now learning to play piano, I know what it should sound like.

If anyone sees a run-on sentence, feel free to comment to yourself because if you tell me, that restrained finger may very well break free.  Take no offense, however, because you have been warned.

I proclaim the fifth and refuse to incriminate myself even as I am incriminating myself.

Thank God I have some Barry and Sir Elton mixed in with it, otherwise, I would be imagining my myself in a mysterious musical Brigadoon where everything sounded the same and I would relive the same moment over and over.

God forbid.

I need to get dressed but the clothes I washed three days ago are in the dryer; if, however, I turn the dryer on refresh, they will be as good as new unless I left lipstick (which I rarely wear but for some stupid reason carry in my pocket) or one of my much beloved, blue ink, sharpie retractable pens.  They can make a mess on a uniform top that even a Tide Pen can’t fix and ruin a perfectly good pen at the same time.

My notes are extensive and must, without fail, be written in blue ink in the form of a retractable sharpie pen.  Anything else leaves me bewildered because, for no other reason, it just isn’t right.  Not now.  Now while my brain is on a vacation to Uranus, which has recently been deemed as nothing in particular which means, in essence, that my brain is just hanging out on the outskirts of the universe with the outcasts.

Perfect.

And now back to the patient who wants to know what is wrong with me … In the end, I think I will introduce him to the finger after all.  I think he could use it and since I have a stellar record as a nurse, I feel it is time to shake things up a bit.

So, in my mind, I give the patient the finger, tell hem to go jump in a lake and walk out of the room whistling.

I will know Monday if I actually did that or simply fantasized about it.

Secretly?  I’m hoping I did it.  I am feeling reckless and rebellious and find that my “give a damn” has a dead battery.

It is what it is and life, be it good, bad or indifferent, goes on.

As mamaw Daphne said, this too shall pass but when it does, it will leave a mark.

Thankfully, when this morning dawned, I found myself to be on the north side of sanity.

It’s all going to be ok.

So I am back to me until I find myself not myself the next time.

I am always thankful that Jesus loves me even when I am in a most unlovable state.  He is my rock and I have complete faith in Him that He will keep me no matter where my mind has gone.  He blesses me most often, it seems, when I am least deserving.

My life … it is always an adventure and (for the most part, except when it isn’t) a fun one.

Frenetic in China Town, NY … I can relate to thatNYCchinatown

It is official …

I am out there swinging.   For those who suffer from manic episodes, no explanation is necessary, for the rest of you, all I can offer is a pathetic, well meant yet mostly misunderstood, “I’m sorry”.

What am I sorry for?  Ummm, where should I start?

I can’t explain it.  I don’t even try anymore.  It makes less sense to me when I try to make it make sense to someone else.

So I don’t because that in itself is an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a riddle.

I’ll be back, though, at some point, as my old “weirdly abnormal” self.

Lucid and in total (okay, yes, a stretch even on a good day) control.

Until then … well, just go with it because ultimately, it is what it is.

And I take it as it comes, deal with it however I can and sometimes ignore those who are most important to me.  I, most times, inadvertently, end up hurting somebody’s feelings.

It isn’t always pretty but neither is reality; that’s just the way I roll if I want to survive the storm.

And I do.  Want to survive, that is.

Words of wisdom … BodieIslandLight

Really?  Get a grip already. madmaggie