I’m doing better

Ha ha anyway so after my shitty day and distressed post the other day, I feel like I should return here and let you know I’m doing better and thank you for the support.

I feel like a bunch of things have happened, but not really. I got paid so I paid most of my outstanding bills today, which was a relief. I just owe some on my phone bill now. I went to a screening of work by Wrik Mead last night at OCAD with my friend Riki, which was fun. He does experimental queer film so it was great seeing that. Some of the bloody stuff, in particular sewing a patch onto someone’s arm, is hard to watch though. I have such a weird relationship to bloodplay and play piercing. Like when I have done the piercing stuff it’s kind of fun, but I HATE watching it! Like at sexy lesbian shows in Vancouver I would always cringe when some leatherdykes would start doing a play piercing performance. And so seeing it done with a sewing needle WAS EVEN WORSE! In my mind I’m like “OMFG that is such a blunt needle relatively speaking!” Ha ha even tho it was a good film.

I wonder what that is about, that I could do something (not with a sewing needle tho) but still have a hard time watching it?

Anyway! The dogs are doing good. I wasn’t able to take them on our usual walk yesterday because I had a really bad day in terms of energy. My sleep the night before was shitty because I had a lot on my mind. I was worried I was starting to get Vyvanse related insomnia, but then last night I had a great sleep. So I think the Vyvanse thing is still ok! But today is a good energy day so I walked the pups and they had fun, Posey sniffed a lot of things. Little Mister just likes to march along and not pause on his walks except to pee and poo, but Posey wants to know everything that is going on and investigate things with her nose. I think it’s because Little Mister had a strict puppyhood as a show dog, and Posey has had shitty training so far so she still does what she wants. Although I do like that she wants to explore, I think it’s important for her.

Anyway, back to the Vyvanse. This coming Tuesday will be two weeks on it. It’s been pretty awesome, I do notice I am more sensitive to coffee though, so I might cut back. And on caffeine in general. :/ But I love the beverages that are usually caffeinated. I’m still appreciating the benefits of better focus and reading and stuff. I haven’t read a book in a while (I feel shameful about this!) but I have a bunch that I’ve been meaning to get to so I think I might try again. My focus always used to wander away, or I would prioritize short form blogging like Facebook posts over actually sustaining reading for a novel. I think most of my recent reading has been friends books because they have been shorter and/or also because they are my friends so of course I am interested in what they’ve worked on.

My strict rules about Facebook usage fell out the window when my daily work tasks temporarily dried up. So I’ve been wasting time on there again during work hours. I think I’m going to try going back to it, the rules I mean. It’s hard. What a terrible addiction. The part that frustrates me is knowing how tenuous and ephemeral Facebooking is. Eventually that site is gonna die, or someone will get mad at me and get my account deleted, or something like all their servers will get taken out. And all those years will be for naught. I can’t keep my Facebook posts. I can’t download and import them to a different platform. I know Zuckerberg wants to make Facebook the internet, but shit, I don’t think it’s going to be a forever thing. And maybe that is a good thing.

Internet.

Ha ha anyway. I had a cute date, that was nice! Ha ha but I’m not talking about it here so never you mind.

Ahh and you know, there’s background stuff going on I can’t mention here. But that’s ok. It’s fine. I only won a donut this year so far on Roll Up The Rim. My goal is a coffee. I know there’s fancy prizes too, but I also know the odds! I haven’t bought a lottery ticket in a while. I’m not as excited by them. And anyway, I have to work on another grant soon.

Everyone Hates My Art

Arg. Argle Bargle. I had the shittiest day yesterday which involved two people saying I have a terrible blog and say too much about everyone and it’s ruining everybody’s lives and it’s probably the reason I am single. Which is SO FUCKING FRUSTRATING because from day 1 this blog has been just about my life and what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder. Like, there are people I have interactions with, and sometimes I mention those interactions because that’s what being a fucking human being is about. Like it’s mostly “I had fun doing this thing with these people.” It’s not like I’m all “So and so has a communicable disease” or “Blah Blah person embezzled 30,000 from their work and took me out to dinner with it!”

Anyway. I don’t know why everyone hates this blog. It’s not like they have to read it. It’s not like it’s widely read. Most of the hits I get on this site are from people reading one entry I wrote with Labia in the title. Most other recent readers are just friends from my Facebook page who would read this anyway in some smaller format on my Facebook. And the rest are hackers from the Ukraine who are trying to hack this to get practice for their next big hack. OH and some bot in Portugal.

The funny thing is even before I made this blog, people were still paranoid of me because I make really personal films.

Fuck me for making such personal work. But think about it, what artists DON’T make personal work? Why do relatives and such keep trying to censor me by making me feel awful for having a long running ongoing arty writing project? Shit happens. Sometimes shit happens to me and I write about it. Sometimes good things happen and I write about it. And fuck, I have been trying so hard to make this blog just about me and sometimes I worry I come across as being so selfish and myopic and it’s because EVERYONE HATES THIS BLOG~! And I have to keep it to being just about myself. And that’s what it is. And I have an actual diary I write in, and that’s where all the dirt is, but I don’t publish it because it’s mostly about crushes or specific people who did something untoward or some aspiration I would rather keep to myself, or things I am emotionally working through that I don’t want people to shit on.

Anyway, fine I will be single forever because of a huge long blog that’s going to be a book at some point. I guess that’s my lot in life. It’s too late to stop doing this. I’ve been writing for 13 years and I don’t want to stop. That’s practically a third of my life. I’ve been making personal videos for 22 years too and it’s too late to stop that. I would rather be a single artist than a muzzled married person.

Day 5: Thoughts

So I have now been on Vyvanse for five days. I hate being crabby. In a general sense, it’s not a good feeling, it’s not productive, it makes me short with friends and relatives and I’m sure hurts their feelings because normally I am an easy going person. But I have noticed when it’s later in the evening my irritability goes up. At the same time that my Vyvanse is beginning to wear off. It’s not SUPER horrible, but it’s enough of a bother that I think I need to come up with some coping skills for impulsive irritability. Also I think I need to eat better, I’ve been poor the last week so my eating has been terrible, and that lowers my blood sugar and contributes to the irritability. Because when I have food in the house I usually eat a piece of cheese in the evening and it helps a lot.

Anyway, that’s really the only downside to this med so far. The good things really outweigh it. I’m working on a script rewrite and I needed to reread it and make notes, and sometimes that has been a struggle for me because my attention will wane or I will get distracted. But that day I was able to focus, concentrate, get done in three hours what would have taken many more. I also worked on redoing my CV yesterday. It’s such a boring task, and there were a couple times I was like “BLECH I don’t want to do this!” but it didn’t stop me from finishing my task! Like I just thought about doing something else, but I still completed this job. It was kind of amazing. I didn’t drag my heels.

It’s especially important because as a filmmaker I can hyperfocus on the creative parts that I find really fun, in particular writing and editing. But the administrative aspects of filmmaking, like fixing my cv and doing forms and paperwork, oh I really could do without that. But I have to do it, and Vyvanse makes it easier. So that is really interesting.

I can also have conversations with people and not get lost or think about something else. It’s really cool.

On this med I can take days off, but I’m gonna take it everyday for the first two weeks then maybe have Sundays off or something. I almost want to be on it every day though because it makes such a difference.

Aside from all of that, life’s been pretty good. I did a talk in a class on Friday, worked on script and cv stuff like I mentioned, I think I’m going to try and get into better work habits now that it’s easier to work.

My friend who helped me figure out all this ADHD stuff has been too busy with other things to chat, but I am stoked about our next phone call when we can compare notes!

Day 1: A New Hope

Today I saw my G.P. and got a prescription for 20mg of Vyvanse. She also sent me for an ecg just in case my heart has troubles with this med, so they know what it is like when I haven’t got stimulants in my body. So I did that, dropped off a form, got some cinnamon hearts, and filled my prescription. It’s been an interesting day.

I didn’t want to have a busy day trying to do important things when I’m just starting this med. So I had a laid back day of reading about ADHD and Vyvanse, Facebooking, walking pups, and repeatedly calling my Mom (which to be honest is something I do everyday, I like talking to Mom). And I’ve been evaluating myself all day. Am I speedy? Am I “high”? Apparently I am technically high, but I actually don’t feel like, wildly euphoric or anything. I wasn’t super hungry (but I did get hungry enough to eat something), no headaches (but a couple times there was a shadow of a headache for seconds that passed), and things actually feel slower. Like in kind of a good way though. I also noticed that I don’t drift away on this. Like, I can read a page and remember what was written, I don’t have to go back and re-read a paragraph or sentence. And when having a conversation with someone I can focus on what they are saying and not forget it or start day dreaming.

It’s kind of amazing. I honestly did not realize how normally impaired I am by my ADHD until now. How did I do school? How did I do GRAD SCHOOL???? Does this mean I can finally actually go to a conference and pay attention to more than one panel? I used to HATE conferences because my attention span was so fucked. But I didn’t realize it was my ADHD. I’m just on a starting dose for the next month, but they are going to increase it after that. My doctor made me sign a contract about not sharing or selling my meds, not photocopying my prescription and filling it at different pharmacies (I can only fill it at my regular pharmacy), and if I lose my prescription my doctor and I have to file a police report. SERIOUS STUFF!

So this is a long acting stimulant, and it’s late in the evening and I can feel it not working as well now, which is fine because it’s almost bedtime. But it’s been really interesting to see the difference. I think I will have an alright time getting to sleep tonight. Mostly I’m worried about three side effects: Insomnia, loss of appetite, and mood changes. My pharmacist said if I start behaving differently I should go back to my doctor. So I’m gonna keep checking in. The trouble with going mad is it all seems reasonable when it’s happening. Like yeah it’s epic and crazy, but it makes sense to ME but not anyone else.

I actually didn’t clean today, and I meant to. It’s fine, the floor was washed just the other day and I did laundry yesterday and there’s only a few dirty dishes. But maybe tomorrow I will clean more. I mean at all.

So this is day one, what’s going to happen in a week? In a month? Or even just tomorrow?

Dates

I made one of my resolutions to date more this year than last year(s). So on the urging of a friend, I rehydrated my OKCupid profile and used a silly profile picture, and actually I met a couple of people who didn’t seem horrible (actually they both seem really nice). So I went on one date (achieving my goal!) and it was actually a pretty cute date and I think we are going on a second. Before that date I ended up making another coffee date with another woman. So it’s pretty interesting. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Anything!

I haven’t dated in a long time. Like, super long. I’ve had these awkward “hang outs” with friends/interesting women where it just ended up being really one sided on my part and only friendly on theirs. So this time I am actually intentionally dating. It’s making a difference I think, for sure, instead of the friendly ambiguous queer hang outs. I’m nervous though because stuff like commitment and exclusivity is a ways off (if it happens) and I have rarely actually dated more than one person at a time (although once I managed!). Actually my previous relationship patterns really sucked. I always moved too fast, had sex before getting to know my partners, ended up feeling emotionally invested in women I really needed to see honestly before all that sex related oxytocin coloured my vision. So I am trying NOT to do that this time. Even the last woman I had sex with I was like, immediately puppy dog eyeing and I think it totally annoyed her because she just was not into that. Also she was far away.

So if I move slower and get to know someone without just thinking about how fast I can get naked, I think I might have a better go of it.

Plus I am almost 40, it’s time to start breaking bad patterns.

I don’t want to be rude or fuck anything up though so I probably won’t go into much more detail about my dating situation. If things get more serious I will probably mention that here. Because I think romance is cute.

Anyway, in other news, tomorrow I go to the doctor to get my ADHD medication prescription. I am hoping it’s decent stuff. I think I am going to try and take it tomorrow morning (my dr. appointment is 9:15am) and start getting used to it. People say I’m gonna feel high the first couple days until my body adjusts. So that will be . . . interesting. I’m not really looking forward to feeling speedy. Although I imagine I might be able to get some deep cleaning done. I’m glad I don’t have a valentines day date, because I’m probably going to be really annoying tomorrow. I’m already anticipating how much blabbing I am gonna do on social media about trivial stuff. I already mention a lot of trivial things on facebook (ie. I talked about the new chicken place today), but I imagine the volume of trivial things will be more. Much more about the chicken place and the gyro I got today.

Anyway. I’ve been alright. Money is tight. I didn’t get a grant I wanted, which is sad but also maybe a good thing because there is something else I have to concentrate on the next few months. I am anticipating money, but not having it right now bites. I know it’s eventually coming though, which makes me less anxious.

The dogs are fine and fun. We’ve been walking everyday (except during blizzards) and Posey’s socialization is getting better. She still sucks with other dogs, but she has been passing adults without freaking out, and now she is even walking past children without being grumpy. Once a child chased us to pet her and she had a cow, but that’s kind of understandable. And she’s still so small I can lift her up and out of the way.

Posey’s gotcha day is tomorrow! 🙂 3 years with me! My little red Valentine Girl! 😀 I remember she was so tiny and scared in her crate, and she pooped and barfed on the way home. And she was so adorable, and sweet, and funny. I tried to get my mom’s friend Norlane to hold her when I first got her and she CRIED so hard like she was injured and we didn’t know what was going on. But now I think she just really got attached to me already and wanted to be my dog, and was worried I was gonna give her to someone else. She and I bonded really fast. When I got Little Mister he was already a year old and had been bonded to his breeder’s family, so he was shyer and didn’t feel bonded to me right away. But it worked out. But Posey bonded within a day really. And she was very snuggly, cause she’s a short haired dachshund so she liked being warm with me. Best baby! And I called her baby. I still call her baby. She’s probably always going to be my baby.

ADHD Confirmed

HEY! So I saw the psychiatrist on Thursday and we went over my symptoms and how long they have been present (as long as I can remember, so long that it seems normal), and then he agreed that I likely have ADHD and that it would be good to treat it.

So he suggested Vyvanse, or I could take Concerta or Adderall. I read a bit on Vyvanse though and it’s appealing to me because it’s extended release dexedrine so I can feel the effects over the course of the day instead of just for half the day. Of course I might really hate that, we’ll see.

He says as long as I continue to take my other medications there shouldn’t be an issue with my mood disorder acting all fucky. And he is the Mood Disorders psychiatrist, so I feel like he should know. I’m still gonna try doing regular check ins with myself to see if things are feeling grandiose or magical or speedy.

I have to go back to my GP for the prescription, which won’t happen for at least another week. So I don’t know how it will feel yet. I’m excited for things to change, I’ve been reading about how people feel when they finally get medicated and it looks good. There’s still going to be things I have to do on my own to make accommodations, but it will definitely help.

Ahh geez I wanted to make this post a big fancy blab, but it looks like this is going to be a short snappy post instead!

Broken Bones

So I always prided myself (I don’t know why!) on not ever having broken a bone. I never had a cast, never had a fracture, never held a bent arm crying to my mom in the car on the way to emerg. It seemed impossible, so many people around me have had casts or splints or such at some point or another. I fell, got scrapes and stuff, but no broken bones.
But then today I went to the dentist for a full exam and he got a full X ray of my jaw. Then he asked if I had ever had trauma to my face. And I have, cause I got punched repeatedly by this pissed off girl when I was 17. I didn’t know her, her and her two friends jumped me and my friend on the street. The irony was that they were Native too and we were on our way to a show called Native love. ANYWAY yeah I got punched several times in the face and didn’t go down, just kept trying to talk my way out of it until some women jumped out of their car and chased them off.
Anyway, as it happens I have some broken bone in my jaw. 17, 18 19 20 . . . I have had this broken bone in my jaw for 21 years. And yeah, my jaw HAS had some pain now that you mention it. But I assumed that was TMJ. Which my dentist says it may very well be. But still, there is literal BONE floating around at my jaw joint. And I saw the X-ray, they are tiny pieces, but noticeable, on the left side. Little round pieces. So the dentist isn’t going to do anything about it right now, it’s not really being a big issue, but he wants me to limit snacking and not chew gum and wear my mouth guard every night. Also one of my teeth is getting a crack in it, from pressure, so the mouth guard thing is super important.
The mouth guard recently got a crack in it. But better that than my teeth.
It makes me wonder what other damage has happened to me that I am completely unaware of. I always felt trauma was more of a mental thing, I remember after I got beat up that one time I was so jumpy and afraid of going out in public for a while, and Saskatoon IS a rough town sometimes. But that took a while to get over. That’s what was affecting me. But meanwhile I also had these bone fragments in my jaw and a developing cataract in my eye. And I didn’t know that until way later.
I don’t know how professional boxers do it.
Tomorrow I am going to my psychiatrist to talk about potential ADHD. So that should be interesting. I heard the gold standard diagnosis costs 1000! Which seems ridiculous, why do you have to pay for a diagnosis in a country with supposedly free health care? I guess I will find out tomorrow. Of course, he might be one of those terrible doctors who treats me like a baby. I don’t think so though. He assessed me before to see if I needed a med change, then recommended stuff that I had a reaction to. Which would have been okay if he had done follow up instead of leaving me with my GP who doesn’t know anything about psychiatric medications.
Sigh.
Anyway, I should sleep, so I can be bright eyed for my psych appointment.

Wow, Nazi Defenders

So the last week in politics has been a shit show. I think all the executive orders Trump has signed are too numerous to count. I don’t even know what to say about all of that anymore, except it’s fucking scary and I hope we can all help each other.

One brief fun meme that popped out of the shit was a certain Nazi “leader” getting punched. My friends have been posting so many Nazi punching memes and videos, which was the bright spot in an otherwise dark week.

But HOLY SHIT! I posted one of the videos which used Burn Your Village To The Ground by A Tribe Called Red and one of my “friends” watched it and wrote a long comment about how violence was bad blah blah blah. So then I just wrote a one sentence comment about how the person being punched was advocating for genocide.

And then I went to the movies because I have a life outside of fucking Facebook!

And when I got back there was a huge “pacifist” shit show on that post all about how violence is terrible even towards Nazis. And I had to respond because it was my post so I basically said I agree with punching Nazis and that if someone was gloating to me about “ethnically cleansing” my country I would punch them too. But holee shit! These two white girls got SO FUCKING MAD AT ME and were sending me these bullshit articles about how people of colour have a duty to befriend Nazi’s and the KKK so they will stop being racist and how if you punch Nazis what’s next? Throwing Nazi’s in gas chambers? So holy fuck! It was really disheartening and I had to unfriend both of them because they were really incessant and I think neutrality in the face of Fascism is really a BAD WAY of dealing with it. Like honestly, white ideas like that are why people step aside and look the other way when their neighbours are being loaded into cattle cars.

And then of course today is the Holocaust Remembrance Day, so we know where ideas like that go, but there are still whiny white people who want us to try and reason with these monsters. Gross.

PLUS, come on, my ancestors took up arms against the Canadian government. Do you really think their descendants would look the other way in the face of violent genocidal oppression?

So last night (they were from Saskatchewan of course so the time difference meant it went on really late in the night) I had a shitty sleep, and I was having nightmares about these white chicks yelling at me, and I think I woke up about four times in the night. UGH!

Plus I forgot to pick up my prescription last night, so I went to sleep missing .5 mg of Risperidone and that probably ALSO made a big change to my shitty shitty sleep.

The funny thing is, I was doing really good restricting my access to facebook last week, but this past week I kind of started slipping back into old patterns of checking it frequently. Which I think I should try nipping in the bud again.

BUT I still don’t have the app on my phone, and that was really awesome because everytime I’ve been out having a life or sleeping or doing necessary things away from my dumb laptop, I am not getting like, 14 notifications from someone who wants me to go meet a Nazi for coffee and make them like me.

Like fuuuuuuuuuck I can’t even get a queer woman to go on a date with me, how the fuck am I supposed to get someone to like me who honestly believes I should be eliminated? AND more than that, why would I? Why is it my responsibility? Why aren’t these pacifist white girls seeking out Nazis and skinheads to convert to being decent human beings? Could it be because they know those fuckers are violent and dangerous?

I am so tired of that tall Oompa Loompa

I boycotted watching the inauguration today. Of course now I am watching CBC News Network and they are showing all the highlights interspersed with the violent portions of demonstrations. Which is ALSO tiresome. Like what was the point of boycotting it if I keep seeing highlights?

I’m not sure how I feel about the oncoming few years. I’m not American, but being Canadian means I’m right next to this shit show.

And I remember how awful the Bush years were, and how I went manic TWICE during the last time Republicans were in power. And that was a drag. I mean it was a really tumultuous time with the start of the SECOND Iraq war and all the global paranoia after 9/11. It kind of makes sense that I would have gone manic during all that.

And here we are, ten years after I started going manic the last time. And a Republican is taking office again. And this one is so unqualified, so unstable. I’m sure shit is gonna go down in the next few days. And I’m also curious if the POTUS twitter is gonna be really unprofessional and whiney on Sunday after the first SNL since he takes office. Is he gonna keep picking twitter fights, just with a bigger twitter audience?

But that’s not even the really concerning thing, it’s more what he’s going to do to his country and the world. And I am not psychic enough to see the full ramifications, but I know enough to know it’s bad.

Being sane for the next four to eight years is going to be a struggle. I can tell!

So I have to keep a little bit of a distance from things. The Canadian part makes it slightly easier. But there’s always fallout over here too. I can’t do protests involving lots of crowds, because I get panic attacks in large groups of people. I’m not exactly sure my abilities to resist this stuff. I guess I can just support people. But I don’t want to start writing long rants all the time about the orange dude and get freaked out and watch my mental health go downhill. I don’t want to get depressed either, just get apathetic and feel hopeless about the world.

I still think there are good things that are coming, not from Trump obviously, but from communities. I think there are surprises we don’t know about. I think people can still be loving and resist. I think there are legitimate reasons he could conceivably be impeached very soon.

But right now I’m just tired of Mr. Cheeto being on TV. I think I might have to go watch some Netflix for the rest of the day.

I have been productive all week! I’m pretty happy about that. I really want to work hard this year, no matter what is going on in the world.

Benign!

It turned out my cyst was benign, no precancerous or abnormal cells. Nothing to worry about, and I don’t have to be so anxious about my future. So that was a relief, I celebrated with a Cinnabon.

My GP wanted to see me because ODSP got in touch with her because they said I said I was suicidal, and then I had to explain I meant in the past because yeah, anyone with Bipolar is going to have dealt with suicidal thoughts. It’s just part of a mood disorder. And then I talked to her about ADHD and she thought it was my Bipolar except the issues I brought up were continuous and Bipolar is really a cyclical thing. BUT she agreed to refer me back to my psychiatrist to get assessed, so in February I am heading back to him to see what he has to say about it. I’m nervous because I know if I don’t get medicated for it properly I could go manic, and if I don’t get medicated AT ALL I will not quite meet my potential because of executive functioning deficits.

I’m waiting to hear from Canada Council about my grant for my video game. It would carry me through 7 months of living, more if I am super careful with my funds. PLUS it would help me realize my vision for this game. And I would like to release it as a full cool experience that hopefully sheds light on bipolar.

The dogs are fine, but I am looking forward to when I have some money again and can take them to the vet for their shots and check ups. Posey is overdue. Well, they both are. And Little Mister is getting shaggy again and needs a trim.

I am generally excited about life right now. Which is funny, because this last Monday was BRUTAL in terms of my emotions. I was SO SAD. Which wasn’t totally a shocker, cause it was Blue Monday. OH YEAH and also ODSP turned me down again. So now I have to go to a tribunal. But I don’t know if I should because if some funding works out I might not have to worry for a long while. It’s a pickle! Like, can I apply again in the future? I dunno, I am confused. I guess I should call my case worker.

I’ve been working on stuff a lot these days, which is making me feel productive. I have a few secrets at the moment, which is kind of fun. Good secrets not tragic ones. I didn’t stay off Facebook between 9-5 this week yet, BUT I have been a lot more careful about when I go on, like only for five minute breaks at a time, or leaving again when something pisses me off or stresses me out. It’s really hard to leave it completely. But I’m breaking it’s hold on me I think. I do think the abstaining during work hours is a good habit to get into though, so I’m going to try and stick to it a bit more. Maybe tomorrow I will wait until 5pm to get online again.

I’m trying to figure out what to do about my weird non-existent love life, and I think maybe I should just NOT go looking for crushes OR recycling old crushes because I am lonely. I am just wondering if I should concentrate on doing my work and just let whatever happens happen. I mean I do have a lot of stuff to do and my career is really fun and interesting to me. And if I can get paid for it for a while that would be really sweet. I think I’m lucky (except for the bouts of poverty) to be doing something I love for a quasi living. Not everyone has a passion to focus on.

So less Facebooking and Crushing and more Doing and Making.