Exit, Pursued By A Bear

An Unreliable Narrator

to handle roughly
Reptile House

Dear Internet,

I'm on a spree to clean up half-dead posts in my drafts folder, so if my posts seem a bit lackluster from their usual intense energy, that's part of the reason.

Today is leaving the house for the second time in a week day. Laundry, grocery shopping, other needed errands capped off with seeing The Martian is the agenda. I'll report back tomorrow how well that went over. Hopefully I don't have an allergic attack to leaving the house and wearing pants longer than 15 minutes.

For most of the northern hemisphere, October signals decorative gourd, pumpkin anything, donut, cider, and cord month. But for me it always the start of big life changes. October 1999 I started at UUNet/WorldCom and moved in with TheExFiancee2. He and I lasted until October 2001, same month I found out I was accepted to Aquinas College to finish my undergrad. My job at Barnes and Noble began in October 2005. I met TheEx in October 2006. I moved to the east coast October 2014. And I'm moving again this month.

Lots of other little stuff always happens in October. When the 1st rolls around, I am giddy with excitement knowing that thing that will happen this month, whether minute or on a grand scale, is going to somehow change my life.


jeep diedWe made it through laundry and TEH reported he wasn't feel all that great as ThePlague was doing him in. We opted to skip the movie and do the grocery shopping before heading home. So there we are in TEH's jeep, Jasper, when it started making a loud racketing noise. TEH keeps driving and as we were about to turn onto M72, sputter and dead. Smoke discharging from the engine.

Jasper is deader than Bill Cosby's career.

Five separate cars, including the local sheriff, stopped to help us. After the first car, who helped us push the jeep to the side of the road, we waved the rest away. I was floored by how many people were just so kind to us while we were hanging out waiting for AAA to show up.

I'm flabbergasted, really, to think in 2015 someone being kind is so shocking. Dontcha think?


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2008, 1999, 1998
This was first published at Exit, Pursued by a Bear

aquatic monster
Reptile House

Dear Internet,

ThePlague is still here and it’s making my life miserable in numerous ways. i.e. My new sleeping schedule is now bed between 04:00 – 05:00 and waking up between 12:00 – 13:00. If I’m lucky. Today I rolled out of bed at nearly 14:00.

With my sleep disjointed, my daily To-Dos are a fucking mess. I have a long list of things I need to get done for various things to keep myself up to date on a variety of projects but it ends with me just working on one or two. Count in things like eating, showering, and other human things, my working day is shot by 19:00. I’ve tried working while watching telly with TheExHusband (we’ve plowed through Key & Peele, Fresh Meat, and are now working our way through RuPaul’s Drag Race), which lends us to staying up late. He’s able to get up at a reasonable time and then there’s me, sleeping fucking beauty.

I’ve been inhaling short stories, swapping between Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, Cat Valente’s The Bread We Eat in Dreams, Chekhov’s The Witch and Other Stories, and LampLight magazine. I’ve had Lahiri on the back burner since my days working at the bookstore; Valente I recently finished one of her new novels and I wanted to re-read her shorts; Chekhov as he’s the master of shorts, and LampLight magazine as I’ve recently submitted some work to them.

I’m most surprised, given my ADHD, I’ve not dipped into shorts before and it’s been fascinating to where my reading tastes are taking me. Some stories were like eating the most luscious of chocolate cakes (and I love some chocolate cake!) and others were burnt custard. The dropping in and out of various collections rather than reading them straight has kept my palette clean rather than getting getting overwrought over one particular author or theme.

But I’m learning a lot. Where I’ve been clutching to things that are secondary or even tertiary, so reading across a variety of authors has helped considerably.

Even complaining about ThePlague, I was finally able to leave the house for the first time in almost a week without feeling I was going to leave a lung somewhere along the road. I wore pants for a total 1.5 hours and that was 1.25 hours too long.


                                                   This Day in Lisa-Universe: 1998

This was first published at Exit, Pursued by a Bear

eyes big love-crumbs
Reptile House

Dear Internet,

The crisis is over and I’m feeling better. Yes, I’ve been taking my drugs (because that is the first question people ask). Yes, I’ve been in touch with a local to Throbbing Cabin therapist whom I’m seeing next week. My therapist in CT has been notified (by me) on what’s going on. I have enough drugs to keep me going for some time.

I am fine.

After the small mental hoopla, I caught a massive cold that was borderline strep. The plague1 showed up on Friday as well as did redness in my right eye that didn’t look quite right. Sunday saw me in the urgent care because I was feeling so awful, bodily, I could barely sleep and the red-eye was getting worse. Turned out I had a massive cold in not only in my head but also my eye. Yes, your eye can catch colds.

Since this is all viral, of course I passed it on to TheExHusband. Now we’re two sick peas in a pod.

(The question I keep posing on social media is: How much mucous can a body have? I was informed, biologically, the more hydrated you stay the more mucous the body produces. Of course.)

I’ve been thinking about doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Always a tryer, never a winner should be on my tombstone.

But who wants to wait until November? Why not attempt two novels? Sure, I said to self. Why not?

Why not indeed. Inspired by the framing of a piece I wrote 19 years ago, I started writing. Then I thought of another idea on how to structure it. Then another. Then another.

I’m a big fan of using sketch books for mind mapping. If you flip through mine, you’ll see loads of notes, dialogue, and minutia written down in a variety of colors (thanks gel pens!), which includes the beginnings of several projects. The digital notes are for research I canvas from the internets but the nitty-gritty of stuff is in this sketch book.

While mulling over how to best approach writing a novel without writing a novel, I came up with a couple of ideas that could work. As I was working these out last night, I found I changed the structure of the book at least three times. What I originally wanted versus what came out was fascinating process. But it was encouraging and the current set up is something I can totally do without putting too much stress on my brain. At least, at the moment.

It’s a long slow, hard road to get to anywhere, that’s for damned sure.

In other news, I’m now a contributing writer at nerd underground.


1. I have a tag for The Plague? Who knew.

P.S. Don’t want near daily emails or can’t make it here everyday but want to keep up with what’s going in my world? Subscribe to A Most Unreliable Narrator, a monthly-ish newsletter roundup of what’s happening. Bonus! Comes with GIFs!

Today in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2013, 2003, 1998

originally published at exit, pursued by a bear

time: 1:06
Reptile House

Pure Michigan

Sunset, Good Harbor Beach

Dear Internet,

When you start wiping tears off of your phone, while playing solitaire, you know shit just got real.

I don't feel good.

Well, what does that mean exactly?

It means the following conversation with TEH, TheBassist, and Kristin (roughly the same conversation, individual times.).

"Having a hard time getting out bed, sleeping 10-12 hours a night, and barely eating.

"(Anything else going on?)  The only things that have been going on is increased stress about being homeless, jobless, moneyless.

"I thought it was related to my period but it's not - that tends to be mania and BPD. I am just incredibly paralyzed right now and often feel sick to my stomach.

"And this isn't throwing up sick, it's the pit of my stomach feeling.

"This feels differently.

"I told TEH I really dont have much left in the tank. He argued I must have something since I am hustling on the (writing) job front. So I conceded I have 1/8th if a tank left. I just don't feel emotionally any more. I just dont. I cry all the time because I need to protect myself.

"(From what?) The world.

"I cry, it gets rid of whatever feeling I have left; then I can crawl back into myself.

"(Why?) Stay safe. I protect me and me alone.

"I don't know. I am often too tired to check. I keep my bear close. I read. Sometimes i shower and get dressed.

"All I know is I am really scared. And tired and emotionally exhausted and drained. Something has to give and I think it's me."

(Meds changed? No. Dietary habits, etc changed? No. Are you smoking? No (mostly). Are you drinking? No. Are you doing drugs? No.)

This has been going on for months.

I am not suicidal.

I can trace back to January, of this year, when I was hysterical on the phone with TheBassist. He calmed me down, we made plans for me to come out to the East coast, things in my brain cooled to a smolder. In February, much was the same. March was the epic road trip of 2771.7 miles in less than two weeks. Same month the #teamharpy dismissal came. I survived that; it would reckon I could survive everything.


April, May, June, July, August, and now I flipped between the East coast and the south. Four weeks here. Six weeks there. When I was in Michigan, I couldn't bear to be in my apartment alone. I couldn't bear being apart from anyone, seemingly specifically TheBassist. I was chainsmoking (when I could) and when I was home, it was jimjam and no shower time.

I put up a pretty good facade.

I have a friend or two who live near the cabin, whom I get in touch with immediately when I get into the area. The other day we went malling and lunch, which turned out not be that great of an idea -- at least for me. As we walked around the mall being basic bitches, I watched my reflection in the mirrors as we passed. My friend looked great, hair perfect, make up on point, outfit cute. I on the other hand looked frumpy, my hair was out of control (It's not been cut or colored for months). No makeup on, even mascara. I was slumped like a semi-colon.

I felt horrible and looked even worse.

Earlier this week someone inferred I was a hack. Boy howdy, it didn't take much. Tonight I rocked in my bed, in my head calling myself every terrible thing even remotely possible in the English language. "Hack." "Untalented." "Lazy." "Worthless." I could go on, but I think you see the point.

When will this ever end?

Malling friend said I put so much shit up on the Internet, I am asking for comment. I could see her point and I think I even agreed with her. But now? No. I create this space to navel gaze, operate, and exorcise my life. I make it public because I'm not ashamed of who I am and I've never been one for keeping things bottled up. So what if I keep regurgitating the same #content. When was the last time your life was picked neat and clean? Yeah, I thought so.

I climbed into bed about midnight and it's going on six. I spent most of the night/morning playing solitaire with the requisite tears and staring at the slant of the A-frames ceiling. I cried some and sniffled, then cried some more.

These are not big fat ugly tears, this are small baby tears that just keep leaking from my eyes. Talking to TheExHusband was painful because my eyes immediately welled up as soon as I opened my mouth. He said it was good I was doing that, I was letting my emotions open up and be honest. I felt like a fraud standing there because nothing seems to be real anymore.

I've meditate for 79 straight days. When I could be arsed to put clothes on and go outside, I walk. I am happy for a few months and it all comes crashing down. Again.

Will this ever end? I hope so. But honestly? I have no idea. All I do know is that I'm having an attack of The Sads.

And I want my teddy bear.


Originally published at Exit, Pursued by a Bear

in the woods, late at night
Reptile House

Dear Internet,

Everything is delightful at the cabin.

The tree guy came out and 10 trees need to be removed either for some tree disease, growth problems, or were hit by the storm. TheExHusband (TEH) is here to chainsaw and chip away at the pieces that are easily chippable and chainsawed. He brought up a TV, the argument being if he wants to rent this place, there are things that renters are going to expect: Like a TV with some kind of DVD appliance and a working upstairs bathroom. I think TEH's goal is to get most of the reno and repair work completed by the end of 2016 with renting beginning 2017. So if anyone wants to rent a cabin in Leelanau Peninsula, mere minutes from Lake Michigan and cute as balls towns, just let me know.

I've been doing all kinds of writing while I'm up here. I woke up the other night with two lines stuck in my head, ending with writing 1K words on paper before falling back to sleep. When I transcribed it the following day, it wasn't half-bad. Not awesome, but not too shabby for half-asleep notes.

One of my problems is organizing the ideas. I get it, I'm a librarian. I've been known to organize my underwear. But this is a hot mess. Here is what I've been doing AND is working for me: I've created a project in Scrivener that tracks stories in progress, stories completed, pieces I've sold, and so forth. I use a Google spreadsheet to track markets/submissions/payments. But ideas themselves, fiction and non, live everywhere. I originally bought my Filofax as a proper planner, finding I could not keep track of things digital (strange, no?). But the calendaring was insane (putting the same event on paper and digital), so I ripped out the calendaring pages and turned it into a one stop project/writing book.1 Once I organized the beast, trascribed the ideas and notes from all the other places into the appropriate sections, my writing life is much more manageable and easier to transport.

My non-fiction work has been selling, which has been awesome, but to non-paying/token markets, which has been frustrating. I am keeping to my guns and not submitting to markets I would not personally read. It's a weird balancing act: One group proclaims: "Get your name out there, submit everywhere and everything" and there is my side which is to submit to only places you would read or want to read. I've been told it's about building a  personal "brand," which makes me squeamish. Dude, all I ever wanted to do was write not worry about this "branding" bullshit. I am tenacious but also stubborn as hell about such matters.

My fiction has been a struggle. A big struggle. It's not for lack of ideas or writing the beginning but for getting past the beginning and finishing the damned thing. My novel is so stalled right now, I can't even joke about it anymore.

I can create pretty great flash fiction, but anything beyond 2K words is eluding me and it, unsurprisingly, frustrates me.  Because I'm broke as fuck, I've signed up for the free MOOC from U of Iowa, How Writers Write Fiction. The two big writing cabals to hone your chops are the U of Iowa's MFA program for fiction and Clarion SFF, both of which I cannot afford, so this MOOC has been a benediction from the gods. (There is a whole argument on whether to get a MFA. Or not. I wobble back and forth on what to do but for now the idea is just shelved.)

Other MOOCs of similar ilk are more generated, I found, on teaching people the inner workings of writing, such as how to construct a sentence and so forth. Stuff you find in high school composition class. I was/am not opposed to heading to a community college (cheap, local) but I'm not in a place long enough to actually attend the classes. Internets for the win.

I'm traveling again at the end of the month and as I said to TEH this morning, what I am taking with me keeps getting smaller and smaller. When this whole journey began, Jeeves was so jammed there was barely room for TheBassist: And he was driving. Now the amount of shit I'm carting around is 1/3rd of that. In fact, for the last two weeksish, I've been living out of two, medium-sized, bags for clothes, two baskets carrying my books to read and other writing miscellany and lastly messenger bag which holds my laptop, cords, and Filofax (see above). Teddy is always in the house with me; what more do I need?

I can easily answer this question: A home, a place for my books, and a world to call my own.

I am exhausted.


1. How I organize my writing/projects: Front matter is that week's-ish TODO list, the tabs (stories, books/freelance, jobs/classes, misc) bought from Etsy, extra paper also from Etsy, and last but not least, my beloved erasable gel pens.

P.S. Don’t want near daily emails or can’t make it here everyday but want to keep up with what’s going in my world? Subscribe to A Most Unreliable Narrator, a monthly-ish newsletter roundup of what’s happening. Bonus! Comes with GIFs!

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2000

I've Had Bipolar Disorder For 20 Years / Divorcing Your Mother in 3 Easy Steps
Reptile House
I've started getting published, mostly in the non-fiction arena, across the Internet and I have to say, these two are my favorite.




gather your bones
Reptile House

Dear Internet,

I’m currently sequestered up at the cabin in Northern Michigan, closing it down for the winter for TheExHusband. It’s beautiful up here, as it is always beautiful up here, at times it makes my heart ache. I came up too late, missing the last summer hurrah at the beach; my fat girl bikini remains unworn. The weather has dropped considerably since I’ve been here, which means apple cider, cake doughnuts, and decorative gourds will be all the rage for tourist traps, those damn trunk slammers.

Coming up to Throbbing Cabin, I knew there was lack of Internet, which was fine. Lots of the cute as balls villages around here have libraries with said resource. I checked and double checked I could access many of the programs I use “in the cloud” (quoted because that makes me giggle), such as Dropbox and Evernote offline. Many of these programs keep local copies on the hard drive, thus making it easily accessible for me to get to without Internet access. Easy peasy right? Slowly close down the cabin AND have plenty of time to work on my masterpieces.

No. No 1000%. Just checking email (chock full of images these days) and websites ate into my data like mad. I begged and cajoled with TEH and he agreed, if he wanted to rent this place out, WIFI would be needed. So tada! I am on the internets.

Yesterday marked the end of National Suicide Prevention Week. To “celebrate,” as it were, semi-colon tattoo is now living on my right wrist.

Tattoo #17. Go big or go home.

Tattoo #17. Go big or go home.

To also mark the occasion, I passed around my suicide attempt essay and not my mother’s attempt. Not intentionally, surprisingly, but because of my divorce of her, I haven’t given her a thought in months. So why would I remember to mention what we have in common?

Strikingly, no one wanted to talk about the pieces other than my mother’s reception towards me after I attempted. Top pieces read in a very long time but nothing about my attempt. Not a, “glad you didn’t go through with it” or “how are you feeling these days?”

Wasn’t one of the main points of suicide prevention week is to stop the stigma? Weren’t we supposed to open up and talk about suicide, how to prevent, how to better equip ourselves when having a dialog on mental health?

And yet, nothing really changed, has it?


P.S. Don’t want near daily emails or can’t make it here everyday but want to keep up with what’s going in my world? Subscribe to A Most Unreliable Narrator, a monthly-ish newsletter roundup of what’s happening. Bonus! Comes with GIFs!

Reptile House

Dear Internet,

There is a before before to this story.

I’m currently wrapped up like a mummy at the cabin where it is currently 60F outside, prepping it for winterizing for TheExHusband. I stopped by a local village to have dinner one night when I saw TheEx. Remember TheEx? Oh, I sure as hell do. My rage against him may have subsided but the idea of cutting off his member and dissecting his testes still tastes warm and fresh in my mouth.

So there I was, having dinner, and I see him with a woman and some kid. Maybe his wife? Why else would he be up in this area? His parents have a condo in a large ski/golfing resort that is so full of white privilege, you may contract hives. Why else would he be up here if not with his (current) woman? Why do I care so much?

Because I’m nosy as hell and all of my questions must be answered.

He saw me; of course he saw me. How could you miss me and my overly obnoxious laugh? We played peek a boo through stranger’s shoulders. I forced dessert down my throat to prevent leaving before him. I won the fake war of insolence.

And of course we didn’t say a word to the other! What kind of heathen do you think I am?

Once when we were together, actually many times, his road rage almost killed us. As I said in the above piece, he would beg, cajole, and plead his apologies; me forgiving him as a woman (then) rightly should. I was blinded by everything — he was the (then) closest substitute to TheBassist and I was hungry for that connection. TheBassist and I had been broken up for 1 1/2 years – the thought that I found someone so much like him (but not him) was too much to ignore. I was blinded by the probability. Lusted after the possibility of a TheBassist lesser.

Boy, was I glamorized.

Seven years later, TheEx and I are side-eying each other in a restaurant.

TheEx left me a gift all those years ago, not that you swine, but a new anxiety that causes a fear of driving. Specifically on highways.

It’s called catastrophic thinking, and I had no idea it had a name until a clinician recently asked me a few questions as I spoke, giving a name to the demon.

I run scenarios in my head, while driving, from getting decapitated by a semi getting out of control to careening into cement barriers to having my car going dead in the middle of a major construction area. This despite all of the assurances I give myself such as if Jeeves broke down every 1000 miles, you have bigger problems to there are others who are sharing this anxiety with you right this very second (thanks meditation!). No matter what I do, short of taking drugs, I can’t shake the thoughts of something happening while I’m driving.

To illustrate the point of the ridiculousness of this thinking, last week I drove a thousand miles from the east coast to ThrobbingCabin to help TheExHusband out. I wasn’t getting any job offers, or even interviews, I was going stir crazy, so I left. Again. I figured the sojourn to the cabin would do me good (true), help me think clearly (true), save on finances (also true).

I drove alone.

The only hiccup was getting lost because fuck a Ohio turnpike and their terrible directions!

So I drove a thousand miles, nothing happened, and I’m more or less (more) driving a thousand miles back at the end of the month.

Rationally, RATIONALLY, I know what I’m thinking is irrational. I know that the likelihood of a fatal car accident is .0103% or 1 in 10,000 for every 100,000 people. The likelihood of getting into a car accident at all is 1.76%.  I KNOW THIS. I know this, but I cannot stop thinking about what that less than 1% means to me.

(This thought process exploded last night as I came back from the city to cabin; 20 miles of unlit highway. Me with my Xenon beams and assholes with their brights, in front and behind. My eyes ached and I had a headache for most of the night after my driving escapade. Tonight I’m heading back to the city and I’m nervous, ALREADY THOUGH IT’S HOURS AND HOURS AWAY, of coming back here. Fuck a duck.)

I talk myself down. I remind myself I have driven across these United States with nary a thought, TWICE. I’ve driven from Michigan to the east coast at least six times in the last year. Some of it alone. I’ve driven to lots of long places, by myself, and I come out fine. So why the freak out?

With me, anxiety can be drilled down to a singular incident which builds upon itself into this catastrophic thinking. TheEx’s road rage has finally manifested itself all these years later, which causes me even more irritation than anger because I just want to be done with him. This hold over me is paper thin but it ill not rip. It’s annoying and in some ways, it’s fucking with my life.

Because it’s paralyzes me. It paralyzes me to the point I often cannot leave the house, enjoy my time socially with other people, or even enjoy a nice car ride.

My therapist says most anxieties can be worked through, controlled, and often cured. I am too impatient to get rid of the driving one, I want it to begone! But it’s something I have to control and work on, slowly and methodically.

Something that only I can deliver myself from. And lots of Klonopin.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2008, 2000, 1999

The End of the Affair
Reptile House
Dear Internet,

I wrote the below on September 9, 2014, a week after TSTBEH and I had split up. What I was so sure then has changed dramatically over the months that what I'm so sure of now doesn't look like below.

But if you're curious as to the demise of a marriage and why, here is where you begin.

I'm sleeping on the couch we bought for $3K and imported from Italy, which is doing a fine job of jacking up my back and hips. I thought after decades of being poor and making less than $12K a year, the trappings of having a big girl job and disposable income would cure most of my ills. Because that is how it works. You get your degrees and your post-new-American Dream life, and your world comes easy. Because NOW you have money.

Except, they forget to tell you your friends find it awkward to hang out with you in your fancy house (or you lose friends because now that you're "successful" you apparently wipe your ass with $100 bills). The same friends who were with you when you were poor, ditched you when you're rich. The same friends whom after you announce your seperation, with the exception of 2, did not offer you any kind of help.

That your soon to be ex-husband wouldn't take a vacation or go on vacation with you since your honeymoon 4.5 years prior because it would eat into his aggressive plan for retirement savings. And if you can only hold out 15 more years! We can live in Europe -- that's what is really important. We do not live for today, but for 15 years hence.

The same person who stopped having sex with you two years after you got together because they had already been down that road before, so why bother? Then claimed to be asexual, then told you you could have lovers on the side but knew you wouldn't because you wanted the big love, not the casual fling. (But through all of this, still found it appropriate to touch you in a sexual manner and was, teehee, just joking and really Lisa, we're both just too fat to have sex.)

But on paper, everything was grand! You were walking around with 0 balance $30K in credit in your purse, driving a $40K car, and owned two properties in beyond desirable locations. And so what if your husband wouldn't fuck you, or go out with you, or meet your friends, or who told you after you tell them you are getting sued for standing for what you believe in, "Oh fuck, we're going to lose the house!" OR a myriad of other things -- life could be a lot worse.

I had big love 9 years ago and it went away. I swore to myself I would never go without again or settle. But I compromised and settled. Because we're adults and that's what you do. Big love is for Romeo and Juliet, not aging alternative hipsters. Then big love came back, with book in hand, and quietly tells you it's only been you all this time.

There was never anyone else but you. And you know this is true because you've found big love's notes, piling up for years, across the internet. Searching for you. Waiting for you, for when you're ready. Figure your life out, big love says, and come to me when you're ready.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2003, 1999

vine/shuffle/jumping jack/hook
Reptile House
Dear Internet,

When I came up with ThePlan, part of the mind/body connection was to get in shape. I've been in shape on and off for years, but after being laid up for nearly 18 months from my surgery a few years ago, the in shape part has thrown me ever so far for a loop.

Doing ThePlan has been a massive struggle. I've started out strong, fall back, start out strong again, and fallen back again. I've made huge mistakes and have claimed some small victories, but it's been hard to really gauge how I'm doing. I know the bipolar is a mess, even with the drugs it's been so sporadic, I've often wondered if my best bet is to put myself into a psychiatric hospital. But then I'm not really sure what it will do for me outside of what I'm doing now, which is drugs and talk therapy. I am so desperate to have some kind of stability to get me moving forward that I'm willing to do just about anything to grab at it.

I do not want to be at the head space I was late in 2014. Never ever.

So many people are upset/angry/disappointed in me right now, that normally I would find myself begging for forgiveness. With some of them, I have. But the most important thing is to get my head and body into some semblance of stability so I don't keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Which is why I was at a 6AM kickboxing class this morning.

I have been walking the track at the local Y every morning this week, and meditating, even on the days when I felt like I could barely get out of bed. Yesterday morning was particularly bad as I felt like even doing my 8 laps around the inside track was going to do me in. Even having heart raising pop music to make it fun, wasn't doing it for me. When I got home, my brain was on such fire, I planted my hands on the kitchen sink, huffing cold air via the open window to calm me down.

And like a switch, it's off again and I start to feel better. I'm sure the Klonopin helped.

The issue with me is that for most of the time, I present as high functioning (as well as a medical curiosity). I've been able to accomplish a lot in my life that most bipolars cannot: I've finished school, not once but thrice. I've had long term relationships. I've held down jobs. I'm not on drugs and I'm not promiscuous (two massive bipolar traits).

But it's a struggle. It's all a struggle to do these things and stay on the golden path. I'm not sure where I get the strength to push myself forward, but it's there and it's real. I've grown up with having little or no support for this disease and the only person I could count on is myself. Even those who are close to me, who have given me support and understanding, can only do so much.

I have to continue to save myself. No one else can do this for me. At times, I've been wholly naive to think they could, but they can't. I'm going to go forward and I'm going to fuck up again. But I have to recognize, really recognize, that I am human and I'm bound to make mistakes. The goal, then, is to catch myself during these mistakes and right them before they get out of hand.

Throw in my other conditions (borderline personality disorder, anxiety, ADHD), and I've got a delightful cocktail of fire happening in my brain.

TSTBEH recently finished my book and found it weird and insightful. Weird because he was there during that year in San Francisco, my love, and insightful because he was able to judge me then versus me now. Then I was careless, an asshole, out of control, and financially unstable. I've made extraordinary strides not to be that person and he did comment on that. I'm much more able discern when the crazy is coming and how to do some kind of self-care, even when it feels like I've fallen off the wagon. But there are a lot of patterns still being repeated, that I'm continually self-sabotaging my own happiness by believing that external things will make me happy (which, to be fair, I've discovered they actually do not). That I don't allow myself to take pleasure in the small things or accomplishments (woo! I have three degrees! Who'd see that coming?).

I can do a lot of things.

Some have called this site nothing but navel gazing, which to be honest, it is. This site is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it is my own form of talk therapy and a curse because it has all of memories from it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Most of all, it's a crucial reminder of my own humanity.

I'm not asking anyone for forgiveness. I'm not asking anyone to stand by me, but what I am asking is that you understand. You understand that for me, daily existence is a struggle. That for what some of you seem like simple tasks, for me are sometimes monumental journeys.

But I can taste the joy. I've seen it and I've felt it, the closest I've come in a very long time, if ever. Working towards that joy, no matter what methods I use, is my new drug.

I hope to be addicted for a very long time.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2003, 2001, 1999


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