Tag Archives: bipolar

*tap tap* Oh hey! You’re still here! Spoiler: So am I.

It’s been a couple minutes, right? I left you on a fairly grim note, and I’d love to tell you that my two month absence since then is because I’ve been frolicking on a cloud made of rainbows and gin cocktails and unicorns and nachos.

That, however, would be a lie.

June and July were so fucking hard, y’all. I don’t know what I did to deserve the child I got, but it must be so karmically confusing to everyone who knows about it. She’s simultaneously the best and hardest thing that’s ever happened to me.

BUT BUT BUT! It’s August now, and things are good! Looking up! So much excite! You’ll have to excuse me for pouring out all my happies and announcements all in one post.

First, the personal news.

  1. I am engaged. Like for realsies. The beer guy is going to marry me, even after everything. He knows my crazy and not only isn’t running away screaming, but actually put a ring on the insanity. It’s really hard to convince myself that he just feels sorry for me when there are wedding plans afoot.

    I should be both the hand model and the hand photographer, right?

  2. I got a new job! I’ve been at my current one only about 16 months. It was there when I needed it, and I’ve honestly loved working with the departments I was assigned to. My issues were elsewhere. After spending the last 15+ years in jobs that treated me like a professional adult, it was hard to go back to an environment where that wasn’t the case. Once they denied my ADA accommodation because it’s more important for me to have a physical presence in the office (where I see almost no one and talk to even fewer people) than for me to be productive, happy, and healthy, I knew there was no way to win. The number of times I was either misled or flat out lied to just compounded the issues. I’d been hoping to stay at least four more years for a number of reasons, but my mental health and happiness (and that of the people I’m close to) weren’t worth it. Once I’ve started for real, I’ll share more of my new job information – and do another little celebration as I leave academia – forever!
  3. Professional Excite time!
    My next book, the first in the Oracle Bay series not only has a cover, but it has a presale sale! From now until release day (10/25/18), Not in the Cards is on sale for 99¢ at just about every online outlet you can think of. Paperbacks will be available a little closer to the release date. (And, if you’re in Portland, you can come to my release day party! There will be books, and tarot cards, and definitely some bubbles.)
  4. Professional Excite #2!
    The Eleanor Morgan series is getting a new look. While I get my ducks in a row to replace the series (and go with a re-edited version of The Cardinal Gate), you can pick up my remaining inventory of old covers for the low, low price of $10/ea (autographed) + shipping ($8 for Cardinal Gate), or grab all four for $30 + shipping. Just head on over to my store! (There is a separate entry to grab all four at once – you won’t get the discount if you pick them up separately.)

    In the meantime, check out the newly imagined The Cardinal Gate (the rest of the covers will be revealed in my next newsletter, which will also have a Raj chapter in it…you may wanna subscribe over there on the right…)

That should cover all the big stuff that’s been going on over the last couple months – at least the stuff that’s any of your business! 😀

We have a family trip to the coast this weekend (the Bean, the beer guy, his parents, and me), then school/new job starts, my spontaneous trip to Canada in October (I just decided yesterday to go spend the night in Vancouver one weekend), and then a busy fall/winter/spring schedule.

I’m a little behind on my writing schedule, but I’m still hoping to get everything out more or less as planned.

  • Not in the Cards – 10/25
  • First Hand Knowledge (I’m about 60% done with this and will finish this month) – end of November
  • Belle of the Ball – December (ideally 12/15)
  • Wing & a Prayer – January 8 (set in stone!)
  • The Lost Child (Eleanor #5) – end of February

After that, my schedule is an unknown. It will depend a bit on the demands of my day job, how busy my editing schedule is next year, and book sales. I am fairly committed to releasing Eleanor #6 in 2019 and likely the next Oracle Bay. That’ll be 3 novels & 1 novella next year and that might have to be my max.

Time to break out the nursing bra

So – you all know I’m one claw away from being a cray-fish, right?

one clawed crayfish

I’ve talked (incessantly, I know!) about my anxiety. I over-processed (no; no such thing) in this space my horrible, no good, very bad postpartum depression and anxiety.

I’m currently (and I’m sure you’re MORE than aware) in a state of anxiety that I cannot claw my way out of, even with the help of DRUGS!

Fortunately, now that I am 38, I’m more self-aware and have made sure that I saw my shrink (I think I might like this one, actually) in early September, because September is the month that shit goes down.

I have gotten over the conceit that I can manage my mental illness without medication. I cannot. Going on drugs every other fall and stopping them in early spring is not really a recipe for long-term mental health, and dammit! I want my kid to grow up with a mentally healthy mother.

So today, big things. BIG THINGS.

I am starting two new drugs, including one that has terrified me for years – ever since my initial diagnosis of Bipolar 2: Lithium.

Lithium actually has a fascinating history and has apparently been used as a mood stabilizer for 5,000 YEARS! My suggestion that I skip the pills and move to Bath to take the waters was ignored.

bath

I’m also on another drug which isn’t nearly as fascinating, except for the note I received later from said shrink warning me about a side effect he’d forgotten to mention:

In finishing your chart note, I was reminded that one additional side effect of risperidone (Risperdal®) that I should have mentioned the raising of prolactin levels, which can in women of your age group, result in breast engorgement and in a small percentage of cases, actual milk production. Although rare, it is occasionally seen, and I did not want you to be alarmed if such should happen.

You guys, I might start lactating! I could barely do it when I’d just had a baby. If my boobs start leaking, I am going to cut a bitch.

IMG_1144

Anyway – light box, scary drug, lactation drug, and anti-anxiety drug = druggie Amy.

dont-do-drugs-kids_o_1833693

Better, though, than this Amy:

The risperidone is temporary (hopefully). The Lithium might be my forever friend.

pill

So – here’s to a new, hopefully happier chapter in my life. I’d like to stop having Alvie say, “Mommy, why are you crying? Are you sad? Can I get you a cookie?” (Kid knows already that food makes me happy.)

cookie monster

Cross your fingers for me that this all works out. And laugh up your sleeves that I have to go have my liver function, creatinine, and electrolytes tested at least every four weeks forever. I will be besties with the phlebotomists soon.

phleb

I am very much looking forward to being here again

1d6d0988-85cb-4d7f-8de6-cb0c91500735

In the meantime, I might need to invest in a set of these:

dontpanic_towel

If crazy is a state of mind, then sanity is a body in state

I do this a lot, don’t I? Write a rather revealing and/or depressing post and then go off to let you all stew on that for awhile.

I am still doing well. Things are holding up. Today, I was walking through the halls as I was leaving work, and I looked outside – into the gray and the gloom and the wind. I looked back and a woman scowled at me. My first thought was, “hey! what’s her problem?” And then – I smiled. Because no November storm or scowly doctor can get me down.

I am happy. Not perfectly, and not always. But enough for now.

And now that I’ve gotten to “happy-ish,” I can work on a few other things. Things like “taking care of myself.”

Because internets – I have not been doing so well. My diet has been crap. My activity level has been less than crap. And I know that two of the key ingredients for getting me off the meds 10 years ago was switching to a wicked healthy diet and becoming a person who exercises. On purpose. For fun.

And so – that is where I need to go next. I signed up for the 2012 Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge that Amanda from Run to the Finish hosts every year. (This year it’s super fancy! I didn’t do it last year because I was pregnant. I didn’t do it the year before because of foot surgery. She’s gotten so fancified since 2009!)

This means I need to start having training goals again – and to hold myself accountable for those goals.

I am going to document every workout for the challenge, and my plan is to slowly up my workouts until I’m hitting 5-6 days/week by the end of the year.

I’ll be working more after Thanksgiving, so it will be a job of work to keep myself on task.

However – the bigger challenge will be food.

More fruits. More veg. More water. Less frozen pizza.

Healthy gazelles = happy mommies. And I think we can all agree a healthy, happy mama is a good thing.

I want Alvie to remember that, and not a sadsack mama eating pizza and ice cream (I don’t eat much ice cream, sadly I’m lactose intolerant), because man, they grow up fast.