Manic Depression Is A Frustrating Mess

There is a reason why my posts have been very limited over the last few weeks. As you can see from the title of this post the name of the monster I’ve been living with… not a nice house guest.

Many people know that manic-depression is the name people used to use for the “mental Illness” now called bi-polar disorder. The reason for the quote marks is because my experience with bi-polar disorder has me often referring to this as “a physical illness with a very strong mental component.”

There is a wide spectrum of experiences people have when dealing with this genetic disorder. Some people have stronger manias, or mood up-swings, some have stronger depressions, some people have moods that cycle rapidly, and some that live through long stretches of a particular end of the spectrum before swinging widely the other direction.

It’s a confusing, messy and very disrupting illness. It is also a chronic illness that kills a significant number of sufferers every year. Up till now the standard approach has been to find medications that suppress everything mood-wise, and that way eliminate the extreme highs and lows of the illness.

This approach can be useful when dealing with individuals that are going through the extremes of the illness and are a danger to themselves and others.

But when you’re a person who is very aware of his situation, works with all care to minimize the effects of this situation when it comes to other people, and is trying to have a healthy, creative life – the drugs become a real drag…

But I keep taking them – new and different cocktails of anti-depressants and mood stabilizers, pills to wake up and pills to sleep… because I keep holding out the hope that one of these combinations will help… one day. (read more go to the  music play list…)

About the playlist:

It would be nice and easy if I could just tell people that depression is just being sad. I wish I could just put a smile on my face, pull myself up by bootstraps, just pull myself together…

But that’s not the reality of living with bi-polar disorder. This is a very physical illness that kicks your ass in so many different ways…

 

As I rode out a very bad depression this last week as I started putting this playlist together – not for entertainment, but to help illustrate what it’s like to live through a severe depression – to help anyone who would like to develop a greater understanding of this experience.

As my wife commented – she’s thankful she can skip forward through the list when she’s tired of a song – I don’t get to…

I’ll probably add more to this later (or not), but I thought I better get this posted before another four or five days slip by…

Some Things Are True, Whether You Believe Them Or Not.

This was my desktop for quite a long time… I took the quote from something I wrote a long time ago.

I like to remember how limited my knowledge and wisdom is, that there is a huge universe out there that I know nothing about… and there are just some things that are true, whether I believe it or not.

If you would like to have this image for your computer desktop, here you go… click the image below, then just right click the image and save it to your computer.

please note: this image is copyrighted by onehumanbeing.com and Jon, onehumanbeing

Palinode – or – What I really meant was…

I was looking up the word “Palindrome” today and found this interesting word “Palinode: a poem in which a poet retracts something said in an earlier poem, a recantation.”

I don’t consider Sarah Palin a poet, but some might consider her a “salt-of-the-earth, bless-her-heart” type of plain-speaking poet… whatever. To me she sound’s like the head cheerleader in high school that mocked the smart people and had all her crowd backing her up on whatever mean thing came out of her mouth – but that’s a whole other subject. Back to Palinodes…

Here’s a bit I read online today that perfectly illustrates a “Palinode”:

Mrs. Palin’s campaign rhetoric is all about who’s more American than others –  that Barack Obama is different and not like the rest of us Americans… over and over again she sings the same campaign poem…

CNN: You’ve talked about America. And certain parts of America, that are maybe more American than other parts of American, Are there?

Palin: Ehhh, I don’t want that misunderstood. No, I do not want that misunderstood. You know, when I go to these rallies and we see the patriotism just shining through these people’s faces and the Vietnam veterans wearing their hats so proudly and they have tears in their eyes as we sing our national anthem and it is so inspiring and I say that this is true America, you get it, you understand how important it is that in the next four years we have a leader who will fight for you. I certainly don’t want that interpreted as one area being more patriotic or more American than another. If that’s the way it’s come across, I apologize.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/21/palin.sitroom.transcript/index.html

I like John McCain’s palinode about the American economy when he first said “The fundamentals of the American economy are strong” – and then the economy tanked and his new poem was that he meant that the American workers were strong, the best workers in the world. [Read here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/09/15/mccain_fundamentals_of_economy.html]

And this brings me to why Palindrome (a word or phrase that reads the same forwards and backwards, like “otto”) is such an interesting word when it comes to the McCain campaign.

First they go one direction, and then they go the other, and they hope everyone will read whatever they want- whichever way they read it… as in: We’ll reduce the size of government and create greater federal oversight on the financial markets…

It’s not a big stretch to go from Palindrome to Palindrones – the strange people that have come out of the woodwork to flock to Sarah Palin’s rallies… more later on the Palindrones (Are Americans really that racist and stupid? I sure hope not…)

Again, back to Palinode – I’m sure you have your own favorite Palinode – Post your favorite Palinode in the comment section below…

Bonus Points: If you can find a Palindrome, and a Palinode and also the Palindrones in one news article I’ll come up with some special prize…

And now, from the UFO and Conspiracy Department:

Another way to read this could be the way some people read Nostradamus or the Bible codes, and say that Webster’s Dictionary (Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary. 1994 p. 1039) prophesied Sarah Palin’s rise to power – think it’s funny? Go look up the word “Palingenesis” and and think about it… What other mysteries lay inside that great book of wisdom? Inquiring Palindrones want to know…

What a strange world…

Note: Yes, I’m in a really bad mood and should be nicer and more loving…

Bupropion HCL Tab – Generic for Wellbutrin

If you’re familiar with my photos for The MMJ Project that I use on WeedTracker.com, the photo above should look familiar…

… and a related item – here’s part of my menu posting on WeedTracker.com today:

 

CCLB Menu October 22th, 2008 | Wednesday
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am to 8pm | Sunday noon to 6pm
Note:The new menu schedule is now Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and a Weekend Herb Report.

An unseasonably hot day here in the LBC…

Here’s your herb report for today

If any of you have to deal with prescription meds for your conditions, especially for bi-polar disorder, you know what a pain it can be going through the changes.

Since this last summer I’ve been going through another change, another in a long line over the last 10 years… not looking for sympathy, just letting you know where I’m coming from.

This last batch – Seroquel (mood-stabilizer) and Wellbutrin (anti-depressant) have been nothing but drug fog, loss of my hours and days to sleep, and even worse, a decrease in effectiveness of the herb… Oh, and I’ve been in the midst of a crushing depression since last week… I was wondering if anyone else has experienced a prescription med/herb trade-off?

It’s been taking me so long to get anything done, so for a short little while my menu updates will probably suffer… I took photos last night (after trying to get over to CCLB since Saturday) of the Barry White and Danny Boy, and I’m just getting around to working on them now.

Needless to say, we’re decreasing the medication so we can try something else…

I am working on getting back to regular posting…

[update 10-22-2008 | 9:45pm – still haven’t got the photos done…]

Our Wedding Photo

Today is our 264th month anniversary! (that’s 16 years married and 6 years before that)

This picture was taken on our wedding day – October 12th, 1992. Sixteen years ago today.

For us, we’re celebrating our 22nd anniversary because we’ve been together since October 12th, 1986, and got married on our 6th year anniversary.

We started counting from day one because for a long time we were NOT going to get married, and for years celebrated every month – “yeah, it’s our 79th month!!!”

We decided to get married because we found the most beautiful place to have our wedding… at Limekiln Creek Campground in Big Sur.

Quail’s Nest

We’re on the road today…

Heading up the 101 to Salinas, and then across the 68 into Carmel-By-The-Sea.

Tania and I have driven the 101 so many times in our lives together, from our first big road trip in 1989 to Reggae on the River in Northern California, many road trips to Big Sur, including our wedding there, road trips to San Francisco. And today we’re on it again.

Our destination today – Quail’s Nest.

Carmel By The Sea

Time to take a break from the politics and get out of town…

This Sunday, October 12th is our 22nd year anniversary and our friend Erik Bueno (thank you Erik) has invited us to stay for the weekend at his cottage in Carmel-By-The-Sea called Quail’s Nest (the cottages in Carmel have names…)

This is the third time we’ve been to the Nest, but the first time for our anniversary, and our first time with our dogs, Moseley and Suki.

Over the weekend I’ll be posting photos from past Nest adventure. Actually, the blog program will post them – I’m setting them up tonight before we go… Enjoy, and I’ll reply to all emails when we return on Wednesday.

The photo for today was taken on the short walk to the ecological preserve and ocean back in July of 2005, when we made our first trip to the Nest.

Also – Thanks Derek for watching our place while we’re gone.

Playlist | Music Response To Politics and Bail Outs

Wow, what a week we’ve been through. I’ve been listening to a lot of Gang of Four this last month, and have been endlessly playing Animals by Pink Floyd. Why? Because the lyrics of the songs like Capital and Poverty by Gang of Four give me a sense of response to what’s going on, listening to Animals makes me remember that there is intelligence in the world, and people who see bigger then the emotional con game being played by the McCain campaign.

I’ve also been spending the week battling the depression monster lurking around my brain cells. A steady diet of political news stories and watching news clips online hasn’t help either. To quote Gang of Four – “Only yesterday I said to myself, the things I’m doing are not good for my health” – from Anthrax by Gang of Four.

Playlist:

1. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye | I bookended this playlist with songs by Marvin Gaye from his outstanding album/social critique called What’s Going On. I try to soften the anger in the middle of the set with Marvin’s graceful voice.

2. Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who | dedicated to John McCain and the Republican party.

3. Capital (It Fails Us Now) – Gang of Four | music to watch Wall Street collapse by…

4. To Hell With Poverty – Gang of Four | “In this land, right now, some are insane, and they’re in charge”

5. Inner City Blue – Marvin Gaye | Makes me wanna holler…

Enjoy…

[MYPLAYLIST=3]

and if you want to buy any of this music, here’s the handy links…

Gang of Four: 2 crucial albums from the early years

Entertainment

Solid Gold

and for extra credit… Return The Gift

Pink Floyd – Animals

In recognition of the current state of politics, the Republican party, the Wall Street bailout, Sarah Palin, and the whole last 8 years – Animals by Pink Floyd. Still vital and amazingly accurate commentary on today’s situation…

[media id=15 width=500 height=20]

Animals

Produced by Pink Floyd
Released January 23, 1977
Recorded at Britannia Row Studios April through November 1976 Sleeve Design by Roger Waters Photography by Aubrey Powell, Peter Christopherson, Howard Bartrop, Nic Tucker, Bob Ellis, Rob Brimson, Colin Jones Inflatable Pig designed by E.R.G. Amsterdam

Click on the links below for lyrics.

Pigs on the Wing (Part One)

Dogs

Pigs (Three Different Ones)

Sheep

Pigs on the Wing (Part Two)

Lyrics going around in my head

Pigs (Three Different Ones)

Big man, pig man, ha ha charade you are.
You well heeled big wheel, ha ha charade you are.
And when your hand is on your heart,
You’re nearly a good laugh,
Almost a joker,
With your head down in the pig bin,
Saying “Keep on digging.” (my note – or should that be “Keep on Drilling” or “Drill Baby Drill”)
Pig stain on your fat chin.
What do you hope to find.
When you’re down in the pig mine.
You’re nearly a laugh,
You’re nearly a laugh
But you’re really a cry.

——

Here’s a Wiki on Animals by Pink Floyd – very interesting.

laugh or cry… much to think about…

Vice Presidential Debate – John McCain, I’m insulted…

People, I Just Got To Speak About Something

I am offended by John McCain and what he has done in his craven, last-gasp attempt at the presidency  – Injecting a not-ready-for-prime-time-way-right-wing governor of Alaska into this race in an attempt to use celebrity to make people look past the reality of what’s going on, and get himself elected. I used to like John McCain, and this, my friend, is no John McCain.

Flash Back A Couple of Months…

Anyone remember a couple of weeks before the Democrat convention when the McCain campaign was making a big issue about Barack Obama just being a “Celebrity” – while Barack was out on the campaign trail everyday, talking to people, talking to reporters, discussing issues and his plans… of course Barack is no “celebrity” (a large cultural insult from the Right against the celebrity culture they hate – and crave) – and now being a celebrity is wrong? I thought our nation was crazy about celebrities… but that all aside – it was a stupid campaign trick, but here’s the follow-up…

What Has Happened Since Then…

Barack Obama has a great convention, adds Joe Biden to his ticket and beefs up his foreign policy stand, heck, I even decided to vote for Obama instead of the usual Libertarian candidate (in case you don’t know, I come from a right-wing, Christian, libertarian background – I feel especially betrayed this year).

Then John McCain has his anointing party/right-wing freak show (Drill baby, drill???) and selects who(???) as his running mate. Sarah Palin. She’s so unknown you have to wonder why ol’ John choose her. I mean, if he wanted to “out-Hillary” Obama he could have choose a number of smart, experienced, Republican women for the ticket. But he didn’t. He choose someone only the small population of Alaska knew anything about so this campaign could write the script for her, this is the McCain movie – here’s your lines.

And then they (the McCain campaign) kept her away from everyone – like some celebrity – and only allowed her to appear at carefully controlled events and interviews – like a celebrity… and then I had to watch this debate tonight.

Beauty queen recites carefully-coached lines – not answering questions (is that a celebrity or just an old-school politician?), but instead – again – spouting carefully-coached line. It’s the Stepford-Vice-President. And then when she endorsed Dick Cheney’s view of the VP job and the expansion of executive power I think I heard all I need to know about her worldview… SCARY!

Meanwhile ol’ Joe is being Joe Biden, trying to explain very complex issues in the two minutes he has while trying not to make a big gaff, not look like a mean man beating up on the delicate flower, I mean, celebrity VP candidate. I sat there watching Sen. Biden, who I have often disagreed with, and thought, this man knows what he’s talking about. Nice choice Obama.

Bottom Line

Heart beat away: Just think it through… Joe Biden or Sarah “Oh golly” Palin. Folksy may work in Alaska, but I don’t want my VP talking folksy to world leaders in times of crisis – “Well golly Putin…”. She may be a great hockey mom or whatever, but there are a ton of those, and does that make them just as qualified to be VP? I’m not sold on Palin’s credentials, but Sen. Biden – we know he has the experience.

Right-Wing Idiots: Why do the Republicans keep giving us the useful idiots? Dan Quayle, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin. I mean the Democrats don’t do so hot either (what were they thinking with John Kerry, George Dukakis…), but this year they have it nailed. But these Republicans… (sorry, I just had to go off there.)

Killing Christianity in America: As a Christian this is the hardest part for me. We are watching some of the final nails in the coffin of Christianity as we know it in America. The evangelicals have sold out the Kingdom of God for a cheap bowl of political soup. Tax rules will be changed, this power grab will be slapped down by those that are much better at this game. And the cause of Christ? Yet another betrayal by those that should know better… Churches fighting the IRS by preaching politics from the pulpit, come on. That’s just like Jesus would have done, right? (render unto Cesar what belongs to Cesar) – not at all!

Please – do everything possible to help Barack get elected, because if I’ve seen our future leader debate Joe Biden tonight, people like me (you know, those artist types) will be be enjoying the pleasure of extraordinary rendition in the very near future. I wish I was just kidding.

Rant over.