Self Care

waste

I won’t cry

for this goodbye

tears for him

would be a sin

a disgrace to waste my time

not one minute will I pine

he’s not worth the agony

or the vast insanity

instead I will live like he didn’t exist

because life does go on

despite what he’s done

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Secret’s consequence

what he’s done

has left me numb

needless secrets

heartless meanness

Not a tear shall be shed

‘cos he made his own bed

liar, liar, pants on fire

falsehoods that you did conspire

a trust unstable

from your betrayal

a trust once earned

has now been spurned

a trust once honest

has lost its promise

let liquor be your mistress

while I go ’bout my business

I’m better off without you

a man whose heart is untrue

This old dog learns new tricks

What a triumph! I actually took part in a social activity. The Animal Anti-Cruelty League charity had a 4km fun walk; the fun part being we actually walked the rescued dogs. I joined a lift club/convoy with some ladies from work for the 80km round trip. I’ve never socialized with people from work. I’ve been invited but always say no. So once we got to the venue and I got out the car, one of the ladies exclaimed – Pieces! You’re the last person I expected to see here. She was thrilled I had joined in and kept telling me how happy was to see me there.

I asked for a fat, lazy dog to walk because I didn’t want to pull or strain my back. Well, Pebbles wasn’t fat or lazy… just old and we had a steady stroll along the marked trail winding through the farmlands, with plenty of watering troughs for the dogs. Out in nature, walking a dog, life really doesn’t get any better!

Pebbles wasn’t interested in leading the pack

Pebbles and I enjoy the scenery

 

A new year, a new me

I NEVER do new year resolutions.  But I thought I’d break the mould this year.  I devote this entire year to myself in the name of freedom and self-care.  To practice all I have learned in 2016.

 

 

Explore my value system and work on my self-esteem

Explore my value system and work on my self-esteem

Save money and go away for a weekend Which means.... stick to my budget.... so I can save money and go away for a weekend

Save money and go away for a weekend
Which means…. stick to my budget…. so I can save money and go away for a weekend

Work part time at home to subside my income..... so that I can earn more money.... to save more money and go away for a weekend....

Work part time at home to subside my income….. so that I can earn more money…. to save more money and go away for a weekend….

Learn to love my new home as I settle in. Despite the work it needs and however uncomfortable I feel in it right now, it belongs to me and I want to love it. I want to be content and feel at home.

Learn to love my new home as I settle in. Despite the work it needs and however uncomfortable I feel in it right now, it belongs to me and I want to love it. I want to be content and feel at home.

Develop new friendships and avoid heartbreaking entanglements

Develop new friendships and avoid heartbreaking entanglements

Take my medication as directed – no abuse of meds to escape the pain

Take my medication as directed – no abuse of meds to escape the pain

Stop people-pleasing behaviour. They must love me, not the me they want me to be

Stop people-pleasing behaviour. They must love me, not the me they want me to be

Go on day outings over the weekend

Go on day outings over the weekend

-Be a proactive participant in the newly formed bipolar support group comprised of another 4 ladies from the psych hospital
-Take care of my physical health by cooking healthy meals
-Volunteer somewhere
-Read more
-Go swimming on hot days
-Take walks on the beach
-Less absenteeism at work
-Make friends. Keep them. Don’t push them away
-Develop my interest in photography and painting
-Knit something to completion
-Learn to crochet

I’m getting carried away now, when it’s supposed to be baby steps and I’m getting ahead of myself. But hey, isn’t that what self-sabotage is for – setting ourselves up for failure? Well, we’ll see who the failure is at the end of this year.

Do you like you?

My previous post [here] about how I sometimes feel like a monster, was an attempt to try to change my own perception of myself. Its part of my skill set. Logically I realise what I feel isn’t necessarily true, so I try to look at things from another angle, and in writing that, hopefully I process that logic and transform it into an emotional reality. And in posting it, maybe change someone else’s perception of themselves.

At the time I wrote it, I did feel like a monster. I still do a bit. My plan is a work in progress. Thank you for all your affirming comments. I have read them and re-read them and I want you to know they are making a difference in my outlook during this extended depressed episode.

Painkills2 shared a song which is so amazing I just had to share it. It shows me I try too hard to be what others want to see and reaffirms the original intent with my ‘monster’ post – that I’m no monster, just another extraordinary human being with faults and beautiful attributes. Some things I can’t change. But despite that, I like the me I am growing into. I don’t have to try so hard. All I need is to get up and try to like the best of me.

Wait a second,
Why should you care, what they think of you
When you’re all alone, by yourself
Do you like you? Do you like you?

– Colbie Caillat

 

And maybe being brave and accepting yourself …. can be fun….

 

Blahpolar

My friend has gone and I don’t know what to do, what I should have or could have done.  I know the logic – there was nothing I could do.  But it remains that I am, as we all are, left with survivors guilt and the broken heart of the ones left behind.  I understand, respect and support her decision.  She has fulfilled the ultimate act of self-care, and removed herself from this nightmare of a world where she endurde a daily, torturous struggle against which there is no cure.  Now she has peace and joy and can laugh again.

Her path ran parallel to that of my mother’s – med resistant, ECT, suicide.  So much loss, blame and anger lies at the feet of bipolar and the medical community who prove time and time again to be inept in treating this illness.  Making money off our desperation.

Blahpolar had an immense effect on my life.  I doubt she even realised how much.  She walked beside me on my own journey even as she carried the weight of her own demons.  She said two words that redefined my life – you matter.  Two simple words that changed my life.  And now, I am at a loss for words.  Because she mattered to me, and to you and to us.  Words escape me.  All I have are tears.

I am still waiting for someone to contact me and tell me this was all a big mistake.  That it’s not true.  But it is true and her death has shifted my world slightly off axis. And I know that it will never turn quite the same again.

I won’t be joining you all on the 10 Sept.  It’s not because  I didn’t love her.  Its because I loved her that I can’t participate.  I will be taking my grief into isolation.  To be completely honest, I’m not sure I will return to blogging.  We all make such deep connections here, there is so much support and friendship and advocacy.  But despite the wonders of technology, we are still left alone and helpless in the face of bipolar.  I don’t know if I want to be vulnerable to anymore loss.  I just….. I don’t know what to say.

This was one of her favourite songs….. (PS – can someone please tell me what has happened to her dog?  Please I have to know)

These boots are made for walking

If I could describe my dress sense I would say…. imagine a giraffe standing on three 3 legs. Yes, that’s exactly how awkward I look and feel. Having bipolar and an eating disorder to boot, I’ve never been one to frequent dressing rooms. The lighting and the mirrors and the cramped quarters, uh uh, they have me running for the parking lot.

But since I’m divorced and all like, free and everything *twirls* I thought it was time to invest in a good quality wardrobe that reflects my style and personality, such as it is evolving to be. A big step since I know nothing about fashion. Jeans and t-shirts have been my wardrobe staple. So fashion is a challenge for a fledgling like myself. Jeggings, skinny jeans, the bootleg vs the flare, hobo handbags, a kitten heel, maxi dresses ? It all has me confounded. I mean, if I buy the hobo bag does it come with or without the shopping trolley? Hey, its a valid question.

So I’m going to buy myself a pair of boots. I don’t have any. I wear practical pumps. The last time I wore boots was in the dark ages of the early 90’s when grunge was in, cool was out and everybody who was anybody sported the uniform black outfit, matching black eyeliner and an original pair of Doc Martins. If you had Docs, you were the ‘real deal’.

I'll give you the boot if you walk all over me.

I’ll give you the boot if you walk all over me.

But that was then and this is now. I bought a dress the other day. In a shopping mall. Social anxiety be damned. I ran the gauntlet through several changing rooms and made it through to the other side unscathed. But now I have a hankering for boots. So I scoured the online catalogues to see what took my fancy. I’ve fallen in love with combat boots. I blame the gritty 90’s grunge era. Yet again I asked a question of my colleagues – is camouflage clothing a prerequisite for combat boots? To which my boss replied – no, but you’ll have to leopard crawl into the department everyday.

So, this weekend I’m off to buy some combat boots. I hope to divide and conquer. Return home victorious. And on Monday, I’ll leopard crawl into work.

Slow down

The excitement of buying my home sweet home has worn off and morphed into absolute terror. I’m engulfed by fear – not only the financial side of things, but the logistics of buying a place that needs work. My head is swimming with to-do-this and to-do-that and to-execute-perfectly.

I. AM . FREAKING . OUT !!

And I swear, I am the butt of Life’s jokes. This morning, frazzled and overwhelmed, on my way to work, the first song that pops up on shuffle is Beethoven’s 5th symphony. Right now if I were a piece of music, this would be it……….

But amidst all this panic, I’ve developed a new mantra that is working well for me so far:

SLOW DOWN
slow down
slo-o-o-o-ow…….. do-o-o-o-o-own……..

And I’ve plotted a gameplan. I’ve written out a list of queries I need answers for, people I need to book, items I need to order/buy/make, and I’m systematically going down the list. I move in on Thursday, 1 September and have taken leave for the Friday too. Since I was going to have the extra day off, I have had an intense urgency to wrap up all renovations immediately on that one day. Impossible I know, but tell that to my brain.

So, new strategy…… NO renovations until I’ve been living there for a couple of months. This new plan dramatically reduces my workload building up to the move. Phew! Now I’m down to bite-sized, manageable tasks. And of course let’s not forget the mantra….

SLOW DOWN
slow down
slo-o-o-o-ow…….. do-o-o-o-o-own……..

 

Food, glorious food

I am bipolar and a recovering anorexic made fat by both side effects of bipolar medication, and a damaged thyroid caused by Lithium. Living single and alone, its not only a challenge to cook for one, but it’s a daily battle to eat a nutritious, balanced diet. Or even just to eat at all. I transition between starvation, comfort and binge eating. Everything to extreme, and nothing balanced. This is my weekly journal documenting my eating patterns, moods and thoughts. An attempt to keep account of my successes and failures with food.

 

I have a gluten intolerance. Not the 'fashionable' kind. The kind that makes me really ill. I haven't eaten gluten since about 2003. I managed to get my grubby little hands on a loaf of gluten free bread. Oh what heaven! Egg on toast with a burger pattie on the side

I have a gluten intolerance. Not the ‘fashionable’ kind. The kind that makes me really ill. I haven’t eaten gluten since about 2003. I managed to get my grubby little hands on a loaf of gluten free bread. Oh what heaven! Egg on toast with a burger pattie on the side

 

Another slice of heaven

Another slice of heaven

 

I didn't feel like cooking. What else is new! So I opted to chop 'n mix instead. Salad to the rescue

I didn’t feel like cooking. What else is new! So I opted to chop ‘n mix instead. Salad to the rescue

 

The height of laziness. Open a can, Stan. And since I'm poor and these were on special, baked beans it shall be for the next few days

The height of laziness. Open a can, Stan. And since I’m poor and these were on special, baked beans it shall be for the next few days

 

 

What anorexic worth her salt doesn't exist on a mixture of 'free' foods tossed into a salad. In the name of keeping the tradition going – another salad

What anorexic worth her salt doesn’t exist on a mixture of ‘free’ foods tossed into a salad. In the name of keeping the tradition going – another salad

 

I love leftovers. There're so easy. No cooking, chopping or mixing. Just a scrape onto a new plate. Life couldn't get more simple.

I love leftovers. There’re so easy. No cooking, chopping or mixing. Just a scrape onto a new plate. Life couldn’t get more simple.