Perils of Momhood

So yesterday I was gone all day at a field trip to Desoto Caverns in Alabama and this morning I was at a dance competition being a dance mom, both on behalf of to my youngest daughter.

On the field trip I had total sensory overwhelm with four classes of fourth graders all in the park at one time.  They circulated us around in four groups to keep the chaos at a minimum, but it was still a bit much for me and I went to bed practically as soon as we got home at 9 p.m.  Knowing I was going to get up this morning and go to dance competition with costume changes and dance bun issues made me feel even worse.  We get up this morning and finally get ready and I miss the exit on the interstate on the way to the competition.  Had to go to the next one and turn around.  A very frustrating morning.

I like to feel like I’m in control of my surroundings and get very twitchy if I’m not.  The bus yesterday played kids’ movies, which I usually like, but this selection included Despicable Me, Alexander and the Horrible No Good Rotten Very Bad Day, and Camp Rock, none of which I could call my favorites.  I did enjoy Big Hero Six since I hadn’t seen it before and didn’t get to finish Horton Hears a Who, thank goodness.  I had brought a book but couldn’t concentrate through the movies and the kids’ chatter to read it.

I guess I’m whining.  And I hate doing that.  Hopefully this afternoon my youngest and her friend coming over can entertain themselves while my middle one and her friends are playing games.  I need to catch up on writing as well as resting.  And tomorrow should be somewhat normal with only church, dance practice, and grocery shopping to do.  So we will see.  Being an involved mom is not for the faint  of heart,.


34 Degrees

So we’re holding steady at 34 degree–no ice or snow down here.  North of us is covered up with the stuff, but we’re clear.  So the kids go back to school and I get to go to therapy this morning.

It hasn’t been a bad couple of days with the kids,.  They’re watched movies, played Muppet Monopoly, Scattergories, and Wheel of Fortune, cleaned up their rooms, done art projects, and generally had a peaceful time. It was restful to not have to run around like crazy for after-school activities, too. Going to be hard to catch up the lost days–they’ll tack them in at some point.

A Note About Love

I guess this post should have been a Valentine’s Day one, but I’ve been reading Alexandra Stoddard lately, her books about loving those you are close to and how to be at home with them.  I’m partway through “Happiness for Two” and I’m moved to write about Bob, my husband

He has been such a rock for me for almost 25 years now.  We dated four years before we were married and even then, he had a wonderful tolerance for my moods, enthusiasms, and ups and downs. He was the first man I ever really opened my heart to–he was my first boyfriend, and even when we went through a short period when we dated other people, he was still one of my best friends.

The day we came back from the honeymoon, the knowledge was finally setting in that I was moving in with him and would be with him the rest of my life, God willing. I still had a rocky relationship with my parents and knew I would never live with them again, but it broke through to me that I had just made a lifetime commitment, especially since we went through the day changing checking accounts, getting my new driver’s license, and getting a new Social Security card.  I was uncharacteristically quiet all day, almost scared.  And he noticed.  All he  said was that he hoped I found a job where the boss would be accepting of my moods and didn’t press me for details.  I don’t know what I would have said to him if he did.

We’ve been through several deaths, the birth of three children, moves from one house to another, a child’s rebellious stage, several job changes for me and him, the flu, chickenpox, rotavirus, pneumonia, and everything in between.  Even when my moods oscillated wildly, he never got mad or upset with me about them.  The only one he couldn’t stand was what he called “whining”–fussing about something that wasn’t going to change.  When we were going through rough times, often he would write me a letter talking about how proud he was of me handling everything that was going on.

When he found out I had tried to act on my obsession with his co-worker, he was so, so hurt. I knew he would be if he ever found out,.  And for a while I didn’t know if we were  going to make it through that.  But he was still kind to me and never let on to the children the kind of trouble we were having.  He didn’t walk out on me or kick me out; he didn’t abdicate his role as a dad, he supported me when I needed ti with the kids and has never, ever thrown the situation back in my face at any point.

So many marriages don’t make it through bipolar episodes,.  I am blessed to be in one that has.  Thank you, Bob for loving me more than I thought anyone ever could.

Iced In

Well, we have ice this morning on bridges and roads throughout where I live in Mississippi.  My kids are out of school today; since we are a rural area, it’s not looking to thaw out as easily as a more urban area might with salt, sand, and other emergency equipment. Reports of wrecks and road closures are coming out minute by minute. So we are in for a wild ride until it thaws out later today.

Mississippi rarely gets snow, which you can get out and play in and have fun. We get ice because it simply doesn’t get cold enough for snow around here.  It looks pretty with trees coated with glass-like clear ice.  But it coats power lines, too, and that makes everyone unhappy when the power goes out.  We don’t have the emergency resources for that kind of weather and often have to get crews from other states to pitch in to repair everything when it breaks.

So we will see how today goes.  I don’t have any plans to leave the house until the sun has been out for a while, if it ever comes out from behind the clouds.  I’m listening to the local county music station for news and just heard from my husband that he got in to work okay.  He works for a heavy equipment company, and I imagine they’ll be processing a few orders for generators as people prepare for even colder temps tomorrow.

Slipping Away

Well, it’s freezing cold outside, but it’s not iced over or snowing.  So we are better off than so many other people.  But that doesn’t seem to help my mood any.  Last night I felt myself slipping downhill.  I wanted to just sleep all day, and last night I realized the depression is well on it’s way in.  I’m trying to read some uplifting books that have helped me in the past, so hopefully I can put some of that positive thinking into action.

I’m mostly frustrated is how I mostly feel.  That I can’t seem to get anything done.  That I’m so sleepy and tired all the time from the meds.  That even when I do go to sleep, I don’t seem to sleep well.  That I’m not really motivated to do anything.  I’m not sure how long this post is going to be because I can’t really think of much to say about it that doesn’t degenerate into whining.  And I hate whining.

At least I don’t lecture  today and Wednesday.  They are  doing in-class writing on their poetry themes.  I do wish more of them would ask questions so they wouldn’t make such bad mistakes in their papers.  But I do all I can do to get everything across to them.  We will see how this goes.

Sorry to not be more upbeat.  I do hope to keep posting everyday and hope to start a new series on support groups soon after I do research into the different ones.  So I’m trying to just hang in there and keep from slipping any further,.

Shopping for Free!

My youngest learned the fun of shopping with gift cards today–she had a birthday and got gift cards from Justice, Target, and Walmart.  She already had two gift cards from Walmart that we found out she had not spent anything on yet, so needless to say, we had a blast in the crafts section there buying crayons, markers, and giant color books.  At Justice, she got a diary and a notebook with her initial on it, and at Target she got the cutest navy hi-lo dress to wear to school once it finally warms up.  So we had a mother-daughter blast shopping for pure fun stuff.

We got a couple of practical things that I paid for–she wanted a larger laundry hamper so we bought a giant-sized one of those, and I finally found a spring purse I likes–a Dooney and Burke for 25% off with a white background and a brightly colored village scene.  I can wear it with my white capris and solid tops and use my tan one for patterned outfits.  So I was happy shopping,. too 🙂

I had to really keep a watch on myself shopping in the purse section–before I found the discount table I was looking at a pale pink Kate Spade purse that would exactly match one dressy outfit I own.  I was really, really tempted, but let it go and will hope it makes it to the discount rack by the fall. Good thing I’m so cheap-minded because it really was the perfect bag.  I’ll just have to wait.

Rooted in Anger

Many therapists feel that depression is anger turned inward.  Here’s an example of when I acknowledged my anger after Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi, for all the good that did me at the time .  It’s called “The Past Remembered”

The Past Remembered


I hate you, Katrina.

You drove me from my home

To live with strangers

You made me jump at every sound

Freeze at every turn.

I hate you, Katrina


I hate you, Katrina

You stole my life away

Everything I had

Is gone with nothing

Left behind to replace it

I hate you, Katrina


I hate you, Katrina

So many others

Who suffered worse

Than me but seem

To be making it all right

But I still hate you, Katrina


You owe me my world

I’ve mentioned before that we were not as impacted by Katrina as many were; we didn’t lose our home or livelihoods as so many people did.  But it did kick off my major depressive episode that led to my psychotic break,  So the feelings of anger at the storm were still there.  Just a note to explain.

More Poetry

I think this particular poem speaks for itself

Soul Chilling

A wet blanket

Covering my shoulders.

Cold water drips down my arms

And seeps into my clothes

Making me wonder if

I’ll ever be warm again.

The wind blows against me

Making me wrap myself tighter

So that even if I wanted

to throw it off, I couldn’t

The ends tangle in my feet

And drip icicles onto my shoes

Sticking them to the ground

In a grotesque game of freeze tag

And you wonder if the sun will ever come out again.


well, I went to my first National Alliance for the Mentally Ill event yesterday.  It was a press conference recognizing February as “Crisis Intervention Team Month” as proclaimed by the Governor, Phil Bryant (R). We had all sorts of stakeholders there–Department of Mental Health, various sheriffs and area police forces, NAMI board members, and Miss Teen Mississippi USA, whose platform is mental health awareness.  I was the only one there not there is some official capacity; I was simply a person who suffers from mental illness.  I mainly wanted to talk to the press about my experience if they were interested. (They were mostly interested in pictures of Miss Teen Mississippi 🙂  )

But I did speak to a young man there representing Mississippi Public Broadcasting who said his network was looking to do a two-hour documentary on mental health issues in Mississippi, so I told him I suffered from bipolar disorder and he took down my contact information to call me later in the year when they get ready to do the documentary.  So I am excited about participating in that.  And the NAMI director told me they were setting up training in March for the speaking I want to be doing for them, so that was exciting to hear, too.

So we will see what happens on those two fronts.  It was exciting to see people interested in the organization and involved in issues of mental health.  ITs a very thorny issue in Mississippi because as a poor state, we don’t have the money to give to indigent care or to invest in Medicaid. SO much of it comes down to money.  I’m glad I have good insurance.


I was paging through my laptop last night and found a file marked “Poems”.  I opened up the file and discovered a group of poems I didn’t even remember writing. They all date from AFTER I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, probably written between 2006 and 2010, when my laptop battery died.  I paged through them and was very surprised at what I had managed to produce.  Again, there was manic poetry, depressed poetry, and poetry from somewhere in the middle. The first installment this morning is titled “Crazy Days”

Crazy Days

Singing Lou Bega’s Mambo no. 5

With a drink in my hand

And not a care on my mind

Surrounded by people

Laughing and having a good time

Margaritaville at its best

The sun rises through the sky

And soon bakes the shore

With noonday heat

That drives everyone inside

To the coolness of the siesta

In shadows and shady trees

But not me.

I continue to sing

As the sun beats down

The hell with the sunscreen

The burn of the sand

Or the glare on my eyes

And I party on

Through the night until

I’ve drunk everyone under

The tables and bongoed

The conga lines for every

Party in the place

Until I limbo my last

Under the lowest stick

I can find .

I feel my spine snap

I  lay on my back

As the sky spins above me.

(I don’t know why I associate drinking and dancing with mania.  Maybe my Southern Baptist upbringing coming out in me.)