Dear Internet,
How do you learn? How do you change your patterns to not make the same mistakes twice (or thrice, etc)?
If you’re self-aware, how do you change your life from being a pain in the ass and how do you stop sabotaging yourself?
I’ve talked on and on about ThePlan for years; there is a similar version, from 10 years ago (!), that is nearly identical to the one I’m plotting now.

I always planned on conquering the world tomorrow and my past was filled with nothing but those empty tomorrows where I just existed and did not really live.
And I felt that sense of panic, that I would end up dead and alone, eaten by ThePugKids, all three of them fighting to eat my hands and feet. I can almost see them burping with a self-satisfied look on their faces. If pugs could smirk, mine surely would in utter defiance of not being spoilt rotten.

Change “ThePugKids” to “Thursday” and it is still absolutely true.
(And it’s pretty freaking clear I just finished watching Bridget Jones’ Diary before I wrote the above.)
Ten years on and many things have changed: I went on to get a second masters, I got married, I got divorced, I got … well you know how my life has gone. And some things have changed for the better (being on better mood stabilizing drugs, seeing a therapist on the regular, exercising on the regular), and others — not so much.
This got me thinking on how I roughly learn things. During my ill spent youth, I’ve always tested higher than I assumed I would in all subjects. Meaning, I was put into advanced classes where I didn’t think I belonged. I remember the day in 8th grade math when I found out they were bumping me up to honors math in high school. How in thee hell did that happen? I believe I am terrible at math. (low self-esteem)
Everything came tumbling down in high school. I dropped out in 11th grade. Repeated it and dropped out again. I got my GED. My first foray into college was a hot mess – I scrapped by on an 1.7 GPA. I was too busy interviewing rock stars, working on the student newspaper, and trying to start up a college radio station to study.
<a decade passes>
Now I’m 30 and I’m going back to college for the second time. I am desperate to get my BA so I cut out extracurricular activities (see how that did me in first time around) and study, study, study. I pull my overall GPA up from a 1.7 to a 3.4ish and a 4.0 in my second bachelors, letting me graduate with distinction.
I’ve done it.
I apply the same methods to my first and second masters, graduating each with high marks.
So how was I able to change my studying habits, and thusly my life, around 180 degrees? It was not just about passion or wanting something badly, it was more than likely due to wanting to feel the accomplishment of having a goal and completing that goal. (With that only goal the thing in my mind’s eye, I’m less likely to wade off the path.)
This is fine and good in theory but how in the hell did I do it?
Knowing my learning style, how my brain operates, and carding1.
Not in a “I am too young to buy alcohol I hope they don’t card me” way or “I’m playing poker and i hope they don’t see my tells” way either.
Carding, for me, is where I write something down on an index card, and shuffle through them as if I am dealing hands in poker. My French class cards? Word on the front, permutations on the back. Those cards towered in the inches thick category. Art History cards? Names, periods, movements, paintings — all carded. Name of thing on the front, every little bit of info I could cram on the back.
This went on for all my classes.
Where did I learn how to card? When I started college again, I volunteered to be a literacy tutor through the public library. In the training we were taught about the different methods of how people learned. I never thought about learning styles before or hell, even knew it existed. That’s when it all clicked.
For me to grasp a concept, the following has to happen:

  • An instructor lecturs (auditory) while I take notes (read-write)
  • I need to ask questions and discuss it to understand (kinesthetic)
  • Later, I card my notes (read-write)
  • I continue to go over my cards to cement the ideas (read-write)
  • By continually going over the cards, and going through the lecture in my head, I can break down and piece together the thing I am learning into something tangible

One thing I’m often saying is, “I need to figure it out on my own before I can get it.” (kinesthetic). I cannot learn a behaviour/thing with someone telling me how it works; it means nothing to me. For me to learn something, I need to experience it myself. If I want to learn how to fix a computer, I need to take it apart and put it together again. Now I’ve done X (taking apart a computer) and learned it leads to Y (fixing broken thing on a computer).
People have told me how this would work, but I didn’t believe them until I did it myself.
(The whole “don’t tell me, let me figure it out myself” can get a bit messy during emotional entanglements and I’ll just leave it at that.)
Most importantly, what works with learning styles, is my need for structure.
If I don’t have structure in my life, in any form, I flounder. Working a full time gig helps significantly with structuring where as being a freelance writer makes it super messy for me to keep in control. I’ve tried setting up my day to the minute before and that’s too much, I need something between ultra regiment and chaos.This is why it was agreed I needed a co-working space.
Now with all of that laid out, add in my mental disorders: borderline (attention seeking), bipolar (mania, disorganized behaviour, racing thoughts), adhd (fidgeting, boredom, forgetfulness), and our favorite pal anxiety and you see it gets a bit chaotic.
Knowing how these three things (structure, learning style, knowing how my mind works) worked is how I aced my education and kept my life together for many years.
(I am so burying the lede.)
I started the lede in the third paragraph: ThePlan2.
I’ve done variation after variation of ThePlan over the years and it’s always starts strong, starts to wane, and eventually fizzles out. How can I change this behaviour and make it last?
That is the ultimate question.
Carding will be my answer.
DBT’s main purpose is to change how your brain works. This idea is also the foundation for most of the self-help books out there. However, DBT is backed by scientists, papers, shrinks, and research3.
The four critical skills of DBT are:

  • Distress Tolerance Coping better with painful events
  • Mindfulness Experience living in the moment
  • Emotion Regulation Being able to recognize what you feel and then observe what’s happening so you don’t feel overwhelmed
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness Tools to express beliefs and needs; to set limits and work on negative problems

In order for DBT to work, you have to do it every single day. You have to practice some of the techniques to continue to rewire your brain. You can’t do what I did, start reading the book, highlight things, and then forget about it. This serves no one.
This is where carding comes in.
I had clear photo case box with 5×7 and 3×5 cards, purchased for a writing project that never got off the ground. I created the following dividers:

  • Things accomplished A listing of things I’ve done for that so I keep track of things I would normally forget, like how many times that week I’ve worked out. Each day has it’s own card
  • Negativity Disputation Techniques Techniques when I’m feeling feelings about something. An example of the ABCDE disputation technique:
    • Adversity  I can’t write
    • Beliefs Everything has been written
    • Consequence I have not written a story/article
    • Disputation I’m not scheduling time to write
    • Energize How can I change this behaviour
  • Gratitudes and Happy Things Weekly cards of things I’m happy or grateful or both of things from I really love the smell of pineapple juice to I have a large support network
  • Pithy Statements Those memes we see around the interwebs with such sayings as Dream big. Dream bigger. I have a love hate relationship with these things — hence they “pithy statement” card, but sometimes a girl needs a reminder of such things.
  • Mind / Body / Soul Cards that I need to fulfill that desire. Meditation and reading everyday (Mind); drink more water (Body); find good in people (Soul). Mind / body / soul each have their own dividers but I’ll probably itnergrate these things into the Happy Things list.
  • DBT Reminders Distraction plans (do yoga, smell someone else (YES. I will presume I’m weird. I associate people with smells, you smell good – you are a good person. You smell bad to me – you’re probably not such a good person. TheBassist has a specific scent of his deodorant mixed with pheromones mixed with normal body scent. (I’ve been known to sniff his deodorant when I was not feeling so great. Don’t judge me. (He knows.)) Steph smells like patchouli and vanilla. Mini-me smells of hot cocoa and clean shampoo.)), things to put into action (move your body)

My day to day:

  • I use my Bullet Journal to create my todo lists for the day
  • I do my todo list
  • I work on DBT stuff (do my homework, read, go over the cards)
  • I meditate
  • I do things that need to be done but are not on the todo list (walk the dog, load and unload the dishwasher)
  • I write down my accomplishments and my gratitudes
  • Move my body somehow
  • Write something

Some days there is more but the above is always the same.
Remember the breakdown I gave on how I learn? Let’s apply that to how to train my brain with DBT:

  • Someone lectures / talks to me about things: therapist / friends (auditory)
  • I need to ask questions and discuss it to understand (kinesthetic)
  • Later, I card my notes from therapy / add to DBT pile (read-write)
  • I continue to go over my cards to cement the ideas (read-write)
  • By continually going over the cards, and going through the discussions in my head, I can break down and piece together the thing I am learning/knowing into something tangible

You may think I’m crazy for putting this together. You may think this is a lot of work. You may think this is a load of bullshit. You don’t have to like it, agree with it, or even do what I’m doing. That is all fine. What I can tell you is while I’m just slowly making my way towards the good parts of life, this has been helping. It’s been a week, I know, but having this kind of structure (see above) helps me shape my life.
It looks like a  lot of work – it isn’t. Outside of my reading (about a half an hour a day), I spend another 10-15 carding. It looks complicated (it isn’t).
But it doesn’t matter. It’s for me and not for you. The end.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2015, 2015

1. Carding is my fancy way of saying, “flash cards.”
2. Literally the number one reason why the TheBassist left was/is because I am a flight risk (borderline). The plan, as he says, always kept changing. I didn’t think so as I updated him as soon as I knew things, but, I’ll have to concede he has a point as I was so wishy washy. On more than one occasion he compared me to my being Lucy and his being Charlie Brown and the plan was the football.
3. I recommend Dialectal Skills Workbook and DBT Skills Training. While it is recommended you see a DBT specialist, you can certainly work on this solo.

antikythera mechanism

Dear Internet,
I scored an in person (second) interview with the Connecticut institution and it’s happening this upcoming week. The length of the scheduled time turns out to be shorter than I was told/planning on, which is leaving me some hours to hang out in and see what’s what in the area. One thing I am not looking forward to is Connecticut drivers as they drive like assholes. Turn signals are not accessories, fuck twats!
The Louisville institution second job interview went well and you can find my presentation here (which seemed to get a lot of positive commentary from the internet). The job is really quite spectacular as it’s a new position in which the person who gets the job can write their own job description and responsibilities, much like the Connecticut position. Both of the positions are super flexible and if there is one thing pulling Connecticut ahead of the job game is the ability to wear jeans to work. As we all know, I’m not a business casual kind of person and oh I can DO business casual but if I don’t HAVE to, awesome. Thanks!
I’m now two for two vis-à-vis second person interviews thus making my chances of a job offer higher than previously thought possible (at least in my mind). I’ve been going over and over mentally how to figure out what to do here if by some miracle both institutions extend offers. If only one extends the offer then it’s a easy choice – I go where the money is but if two? I keep meaning to write down the pros and cons for both so I’m better prepared to make this (if needed) choice.
The backup plan if there are no job offers is to start looking for academic librarian positions, nationally, in January and junior developer courses here in Louisville. I’ve been working with Code Louisville by fast tracking coding courses via Treehouse. This week I’ve spent nearly forty hours spread out over three days on said fast tracking. Code Louisville’s goal is to put people into the work force by giving them marketable skills and if there is ever an up and coming tech sector, it’s Louisville.
Overall, I am excited to be in this position. It’s a long time coming but if there is a chance I can make the choice, that would be wonderful.
I have been evading FEELINGS on a manner of all things these last few weeks. Feeling are vulnerabilities and trying to get some semblance of a life together when having FEELINGS is fucking terrible. FEELINGS trigger anxiety, I take the anti-anxiety drugs to quell the panic, feelings are suppressed. Take anti-anxiety drugs to prevent the attacks, suppress the FEELINGS.
It’s a no fucking win situation over here. (And why I sleep 10+ hours a night on all of the anti-anxiety drugs I’m on.)
I could blame it on a number of things such as not addressing them properly this year, new med adjustments, the weather, time of year — a whole host of things normally attributed to this place I seriously don’t want to be. My paper journal is filled with page after page of how much I hate feeling like this, how I am so desperate to change this emotional space, how I just want to stop treading water and learn how to swim again.
I can’t remember a time when I was feeling this emotionally bare. (I lied. Spring of 2013.) Even with not renewing the contract on my last position, the law suit, the divorce, the constant moving, breaking up with TheBassist — all within the last 18 months — somehow I’ve handled those more or less with aplomb (I thought) and was better managing emotional hiccups. But it’s pretty clear every goddamned thing that has happened in the last 18 months has, finally, taken its emotional toll and it takes every ounce of my being to wake up, work out, plan a day of doing stuff, go to bed at a reasonable hour. I’m trying so hard to put one foot in front of the other, to just keep moving forward.
I’ve got shit to do! People to see! Places to go!
The hardest part is knowing this is all a temporary glitch. There have been worse emotional spaces and I can dig myself back out again just as I had before. I’ve done this dance and I can take it to end coming out smelling like roses. I akin it to growing pains: You know it happens and you have to remind yourself that at some point this too will pass. (Or you get better drugs.)
As I wrote this, I mentally went back through the last five or so years and realized I HAVE been here before and it had everything to do with change in medication (primarily). Circumstances, sure I’ll buy it. Swallowing 18 months worth of feelings and having it resurrect its ugly head? Absolutely. Scrapping down the emotional bone into the marrow?
Drugs. 95% of the time it is always the goddamned drugs having gone awry.
Fuck it all to hell.
Even though I am bipolar-1 (manic), I get bouts of depression here and there, most of the time ranging for a few days and passing just as quickly. In the early spring of 2013 when I went through a med change with my then medicating doctor, I felt a whole lot worse than this. How I was able to function in the capacity that I did is amazing. What we had to do was get me off the drugs by slowly weaning me off the anti-depressants / bipolar  as well as the ADHD  drugs and get me acclimated to just using Lithium, which then stopped working.
My brain chemistry metabolizes medicating drugs too quickly. What should happen to most people in weeks, happens to me in days. Ritalin last a few days before I had to go off of it. Same with Lithium. SSRIs made me suicidal. Bedrock between desperately wanting some normalcy and a brain that won’t let you have it.
Since that last bought in 2013, I’ve been ever so careful with how I take and manage my drugs. Now I’m furious with myself for not having recognize these signs sooner.
I saw my medicating therapist last week and per his edict, if I wasn’t feeling some relief by the weekend (which is now), I’m to double up on my anti-depressants, which I’ve done. I’m to call tomorrow and leave a message to have him call in more of the anti-depressant. I need to be razor sharp and on point this week and for a long time coming. Fucking around with my brain chemistry is a delicate balance.
TheExHusband agreed this is slightly reminiscent of that time in 2013 but then I wouldn’t leave the house for days on end, I curled up in a ball and cried. A lot. I barely showered or took care of myself compared to this morning where I walked nearly three miles with him and the pug, did six loads of laundry, gave the pug a bath, about to put the laundry away, and chill for the evening. My brain may be fuzzled but goddamned wasn’t I productive.
He also remarked in comparison to this time last year, hell even six months ago, how I handle things, coping with things, just doing LIFE is a 180 degree turn around. And I reject the idea of stabilization — who is ever perfectly stabilized? Life is a hot mess — but being able to handle life with grace and dignity, which despite my whinging on and off here, is what I aim for and what I’m doing.
And I take pride in that.
I stumbled across a post this morning on rejection, the psychological break-down of why it hurts so much (it’s wired to the same place in the brain as physical pain), why it’s prolonged (we take too critical look at ourselves. Rejection is not personal – it’s about “fit” and circumstance), and how to fix it (re-affirming our self-worth by the good things we have to offer in whatever circumstance the rejection comes from). It makes for an interesting read.
This time of year it’s especially poignant to remember not everyone is in a safe space, mentally, emotionally, or physically. I’m lucky, and if you want to call it blessed then so be it, despite all my faults, I’m physically in a safe space, I have mental and emotional support. Not many can say that, especially now.

liège waffle

Dear Internet,
Right. New plan.
It began when I was muttering to myself in the ladies at the TA in Youngstown, OH. This was pre-coffee, post-medication. Mid-late afternoon last week.
I was muttering that if only Throbbing Cabin (which TheSoonToBeExHusband is keeping) was open and available for me to go live at during the winter (TSTBEH is a generous soul) while I did my individual thing. But we closed it for winter back in September; Leelanau County received 241″ of snow last year; heating would run millions since the heating infrastructure is absolute shit and lastly, I would be miles and miles away from the nearest town. I wanted to be alone, not Jack Torrance.
(It was a very long pee.)
Then the near perfection dawned on me: Get a studio in Grand Rapids! It’s cheaper than the east coast. TheBassist would be doing his thing on the east coast, TSTBEH would start his new life in Louisville. I get my payout from the selling of the house, pay off the cards, pay off Jeeves, pay rent for a year, pay car insurance for a year and I’d only have to worry about food, phone, and interwebs and write that blasted book I’ve been banging on about forever, plus a few other writing projects.
Fucking genius.
It’s all coming together.
As soon as I got into GR that early evening, after spending a cumulative 16 hours driving, I immediately launched into my plan with TSTBEH. He had told me, and I had forgotten apparently in the Asian land war of my brain, that I was only to show up on his door if I was serious about getting back together and yet here I was standing on his front door step telling him we were most definitely not getting back together.
He accepted my decision gracefully and I think, along with TheBassist, that something about my demeanor (or the drugs were stabilizing me) was different than before as both of them seemed more receptive to this plan over any other cockamamie schemes I had come up with in recent weeks. TheBassist requested, and I provided, a PLAN as a guide of what I’ll be doing in money/job, mental health, physical health, living, and relationships. I also gave a copy of the plan to the cabal that is CMMRB and they too, whom other than the two men in my life have been holding me up every step of the way, approved of the plan.
ThePlan, is more or less a check list of things to do in the upcoming year with a review at six months. I also added in a three year and five year addendum for shits and giggles. Each topic has a list of things that must continue (for example, under Mental I have a listing of continuing to see my talking therapist, Dr. P) and need to be done (get a referral for a local medicating therapist to monitor my drugs and seem them on a regular basis). Some of it is reminders (stop eating dairy) while others are nudges (walk more).
After that I said on Facebook,
It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve been on the Lamictal/Abilify drug mix and I will say this:

  • When I get a million “to do” items in my head, I immediately create a ToDo list and work on it. Follow through on said items has been great.
  • I am prioritizing the ToDo list better.
  • Appetite is down and I’m not over eating at meals.
  • Daily tasks, like meditation, I have been diligent on.
  • I feel pretty good when I commit to a thing, I’m sticking with it.
  • The need to smoke is decreasing. Yay!


  • Sleep is broken. I went to bed at 10:30 last night and woke up at 2, 4:30, 5:45, and finally at 7:48.
  • I cannot take SSRIs because I am one of the rare cases I’ll get suicidal thoughts though when on SSRIs, I obviously did not follow through. Now, I am getting destructive behaviour thoughts like when driving across the bridges in Pennsylvania, I wondered what would happen when I swerved into the medians. Using mediation techniques, I accept them as thoughts and let them come and then go and do not fight them. But it’s still slightly scary.
  • I am getting some relief and I don’t feel as yo-yoing as before. I have a long way to go, but I do feel like this is small steps in the right direction.

The big thing to note here is the ability to prioritize and accomplish tasks which, as someone with adhd along with the other delightful gifts, is damned near difficult to follow through. But so far, not really a problem.
That Friday I made phone calls/emails to six property management companies and referrals I found on Craig’s List. As of a week later, none of the property management companies returned my calls, but the referrals via Craig’s List did. I set up appointments, starting on Saturday, and took the first place I visited because it was absolutely perfect. Not a studio, but a 600 sqft one bedroom located in a 145 year old house that used to be a hospital after the Civil War. There are five apartments in the building, mine is a second floor walk up, and the amenities are out of the world.

  • Heat (gas) and water included. This is gold in Michigan since my last apartment I rented in an old house ran me $400-500 for heat a month during the winter, which combined with my reasonable rent, made it crazy expensive
  • Trash/recycle / snow plowing / lawn maintenance
  • Off street parking
  • Locked front door entrance
  • Pets allowed
  • All original wood floors, paneling, and molding throughout the apartments and building
  • 10′ ceilings
  • Same area as Throbbing Manor, so damned near perfect location
  • Big windows
  • Bedroom oversees the city landscape since I’m on mid-hill
  • Owner is allowing me to pay a year in advance, with 5% discount, and option that if I end up leaving before the year, monies will be returned once the apartment is re-rented (which shouldn’t be an issue)
  • Coin operated laundry in the basement

I signed the lease and gave my deposit three days later. So now I have a place, a budget, and a plan.
Right, to make sure we’re all on the same page:

  • TSTBEH and I are divorcing, finalizing probably in February
  • The house closes on 12/16
  • He’s moving to Louisville
  • I’m staying in GR to live the bachelorette life in my own pad and get my writing done
  • I have a talking therapist here (Dr. P.) and soon, a medicating therapist. My GP will be regulating my drugs until then

Three or six months or a year later, who knows. But at least now I have ThePlan to follow.

This Day In Lisa-Universe: 2013

A coil of rope worn over the shoulder by smugglers

Dear Internet,
Mania works like this, with ADHD added for extra charisma (+4):
Your mind is not in any one place. It is HERE. It is THERE. It grabs things in between and forces it into an imaginary motorboat that leaves your mind wet.
Things are started and not finished. You tell people you are forgetful not because you actually forget but because you have too much to remember.
Onlythebravewillaskyoutoslowdownwhenyoustartspeakingsofastthatthewordsjusttumbleoutofyourmouth. Mostwillpickupontheeveryoddwordtomakesenseofwhatyou’resaying.
Everything is shiny, but there is often long periods of boredom which is underpinned by how overwhelmed you are. So projects are started, dropped, picked up, dropped, started over. Add. Rinse. Repeat. You used to liken it as learning to play chopsticks and thinking you could then produce Beethoven in a fortnight.
You still think you can play Beethoven in a fortnight.
During mania, your confidence will teether on being megalomaniac. No, not teether – is megalomaniac. You are invincible. You are infallible. The world is your oyster. You can get, and have received, nearly everything you’ve wanted. You will take it by any means necessary. You are the BEST. You are the ONE.
You will do it your way or tell people who disagree with you to fuck off. You think those who are not like you are weak, and especially those who display low self-esteem. You laugh at stereotypes often applied to you, because your megalomania trumps normalcy. You do not fit into a perceived idea of what you should be, so you think you are a special snowflake.
You might be right.
Your mind does not rest. It is a painful  slow curve of a headache that stretches low across the forehead. Throbbing. Continuous. You’ve gotten so used to that feeling that not having it seems abnormal. Drugs can sharpen your mind from the fuzzy waters it treads on, but there is always a price to pay for the drugs.
Sometimes you rationalize you just cannot care.
You’ll shoot from the hip, your mouth smoking from the rapid fire comebacks, but that is just your way. You’re brusqueness, because you are economizing on time and emotion, most often repels people but you disagree with their assessment (of course you do) because if they can’t deal, then you think they are not worthy of your time. People will either love you or hate you.
(Truthfully, most humans are pretty useless.)
When you’re maniac, you can create a wondrous world around you and invite everyone to see, and all that do see seem to be entranced. You are EXCITING. You cannot decide if they are enraptured with you or think you’re a hot mess, but the truth doesn’t really matter. The dichotomy of your brassiness  is tempered with charm, so you at least recognize you’re an acquired taste but you hypothesize you’re worth the wait.
(Many do seem to agree, to the chagrin of a few.)
You’ve done a pretty good job of starving off most personal friendships. You cling to a few, but you are often too exhausted to expand your circle. Keeping your mask on to function does take its toil. If not emotionally, physically. But you pine for the groups and friendships that always seem to elude you.
You crave that normalcy, the days when your mind is not whizzing along at the speed of sound, when you don’t create tick off a list to keep your personality in check before you leave the house.
You do understand that day may never, ever come.
We have not touched upon bad life choices, indiscretions, and other vague regrets when one is manic, but that is okay. Those stories are better in one off settings when you’re preparing to entrance a new groups of people, to woo them to your lair.
You have become a modern day Schenzernade and it suites you.
There is also the lack of sleep, the existing on 2-3 hours a night that will happen if something is not put in check, whether by drugs or other. You think with that much open space, you would get work done, BE CREATIVE, SOLVE CANCER, but mostly it just turns into you wandering the internet late at night, wondering why you feel so alone.
You’re okay with everything because you’ve finally learned to live with your gifts and recognize when the crazy hits and how to react when it does. While you can balance the mania, and create a structure to keep it contained, what you most fear is the day when you will crash.
Because one day it will and then everything begins anew.
Stay thirsty my friends.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2011, 1999

Queen of the Pussy Posse

Dear Internet,
I came home from the work ‘do today to find my blog has been quietly exploding across the library-sphere due to a mention and a link back from a professional online publication to my ALA code of conduct round up post. Again. Coupled with popularity of the ripped open belly of my psyche posts, this instant love feels a bit strange.
It’s hard because when people praise, compliment, or are effusive towards me for I get WEIRD. I want you to recognize my brilliance, but please, let us not speak about it publicly. Think of the children.
Don’t you worry though, I do plan on owning the title of Queen of the Pussy Posse but right now I’m just kind of warming up to the title.
The work ‘do was rather good! I tweeted from my professional Twitter account to be engaging with my colleagues. Our poster session went over pretty well and lots of snaps were taken while I was demoing some of our goods and services. It was after the poster session was over my color combination was not particularly a good choice for photography — I was wearing a purple skirt with dark purple polka dots, dark green tights, and a similar color to the tights shirt and a light grey cardigan. Plus I’m currently a redhead, which always throws off my make-up and color choices when I quickly switch back and forth between dark, dark hair and red, red hair.
It has been nearly two weeks without caffeine and the weirdest thing is how balanced I am beginning to feel. I keep telling TheHusband I went off of caffeine, and soon I’ll be limiting refined sugar, to help with the bipolar. The strange effect is going off of caffeine has helped my ADHD. A lot. Like noticeably a lot. Which is downright strange since all almost all ADHD drugs are stimulants.
I’m able to put together tasks and complete them in a reasonable amount of time that I had not seen since the early days of when I was taking the drugs. A week after being caffeine free, I would wake up on my own accord, create a list of things I must do for the day and do them in order. The tasks were completed. I did not leave things unfinished or undone. Physical tasks are one thing, but digital tasks I’m still kind of all over the place on. This post was started five hours before it was finished because I kept skipping around reading my RSS feeds, stalking social media, checking email, talking to friends on gChat, and so forth. Even though I’m still digitally all over the place, in comparison to where I was before, I’m loads better.
Additionally, I’m not only sleeping really well, but when I get up, I get up on the first ring of the alarm. No more 45 minute snoozes or feeling fuzzy brained or dragging my ass around in the morning. I realize my medicating doctor refers to me as a peculiar case, but I had not thought the reverse prescription for my ailments would possibly end up to be true: take me off all stimulants, the number one antidote for ADHD, and my ADHD becomes asymptomatic.
First day back to work is a perfect example. I set the alarm at 6 for I knew I had to wash my hair and shave my legs, which can take me longer than usual for I often like to dawdle in the shower. I gave myself a soft time to get in the car at 7:15 to start warming it up to leave at 7:30 to make the 5 mile drive to the event space to be there by 8. The event actually started at 830, but we had 30 minutes for socializing and breakfast before hand. I wanted to give myself a wide berth of time due to weather and roads and Lisa.
The alarm went off at 6. I was out of bed at 6:04. By the time I ate a banana, drank some coffee, checked work email (wanted to make sure the event was still happening due to recent weather trials), showered (I always set an egg timer for 10 minutes on work days when I shower or else I will never get the fuck out), shaved, dressed, blew dry and did my hair, make-up and etc, I actually did not get into my car until 7:34. I gave it 10 minutes to warm it up and even by running late, I made it to the event space at 8:05. Roads were much cleaner than anticipated and traffic was still fairly light. Having a soft and hard leave time helped me control my time management and I pulled it off fairly well.
My impulses are getting better. After the work ‘do was over, I was out running errands with the last errand dropping off a script at the pharmacy. While there, I trolled the make-up aisle, as you do, for I wanted to get some lipsticks or nail polishes in Pantone’s color of the year. Before I would have bought up everything that I could find remotely related to the color on the spot, but this time after a few crawls up and down the aisle I realized that since I was coming back the following day, I didn’t need to buy anything this second, which would give me time to go home and search for reviews online. I paid for what I did have in hand and left.
P.S. Let it be said that by me now that public confessions of the soul tend to warrant others to confess privately to me. I am totally okay with that. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that any confidences given to me remain confidential. Additionally, please understand that sometimes pulling at the scabs can take a few days to reorder myself to be human again. If I don’t respond right away, I will get to you. I promise.

This day in Lisa-Universe:


Thomas of Cantimpré, Liber de natura rerum, France ca. 1290. Via Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 320, fol. 72r
Thomas of Cantimpré, Liber de natura rerum, France ca. 1290.
Via Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 320, fol. 72r

Dear Internet,
The other day I received two unexpected gifts from the same person. The first was the admission that thanks to my writing, this person went on to seek mental health assistance and now treatment on their own. Secondly, in thanks for simply being me and giving them the courage to seek help, this person went to my Amazon wishlist1 and bought me the bundled ebook version of the first four books of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series, or as the rest of the world refers to it by its rightful name, Game of Thrones.
Floored by this person’s generosity, I thanked them profusely for being so kind. This person’s gentle heart and reasons for sharing with me paralleled into the increasing visibility of my journal. Daily keyword tracking shows I’m getting a lot of traffic from organic searches by those looking for answers on drug interactions, bipolarism, ADHD, and everything else related to the crazy.
This seems like a perfect time then to write a preface to the blog for if my writing my experiences can help someone else seek professional help, then I need to make sure they are clear on a few things in regards to my own experiences. This post will be in the main nav bar for easy access.
I am Bipolar I/II (depending on which doctor), with ADHD, moderate anxiety, and a side of Borderline Personality Disorder for extra flavor. While I have been diagnosed since my late teens, my most recent professional confirmation came in 2005 and 2012.
I am what is commonly referred to as high functioning, which means that while I exhibit many of the extreme symptoms of my afflictions, I have coping skills that allows me to function, more or less, with little interruption.
In December of 2012, I decided after nearly a decade of being off any kind of medicating drugs, to start the drug treatment again for bipolar and ADHD. If you are a fairly new reader, and you want to see what someone is like within the throes of bipolar, start here and go forward for a play by play look of my last year as I live blogged it all. If you want to hop around, the subjects in the right sidebar gives you the breadth of the crazy as well as my other non-crazy interests.
This journal is not a journal of bipolarism, but I do write a lot about my gifts. Please keep that in mind.
In March of 2013, I decided to stop hiding behind the journal as the only outlet on the discussion and made the conscious effort to being open about my disease.
I am drug free not because I choose to, but it is because I cannot tolerate drugs. I have been on a wide breadth of various bipolar and ADHD drugs on and off for years, all well documented on this site, and none of them work for me. I am what my medicating therapist calls, “a peculiar case.” Simply put, my brain chemistry does not allow for metabolizing of most commercial drugs for anything. For example, most SSRIs take 2-3 weeks to metabolize and for the effects to show up. In me, I metabolize the drugs within days of ingestion. This becomes problematic when addressing doses for stabilization. I also have the unfortunate luck to get all the rare side effects associated with that particular drug.
Drug interactions are typically listed on the drug’s bottle. If not, use a reliable health site such as the Mayo Clinic for more information.
If you are taking medication, take the medication as directed and do not skip a dose. Do not self-medicate unless it’s for an extremely good reason such as when Adderall makes you psychotic like it did for me.
I do not dispense individual advice nor do I recommend you seek your medical treatment from the Internets. Mental health, in particular with afflictions that have cross symptoms, can be triggered by reading others experiences. I also do not frequent forums, while some find them useful and supportive, I find they tend to trigger my anxiety.
Websites that I link in regards to mental health advocacy or support are ones either I have used or have vetted as being legit. There are a lot of schemey sites out there looking to exploit the mentally ill. Using common sense and asking yourself the usual “Who/What/Where/Why” should give you the foundation of whether or not a site is legit. Remember, if you cannot find an about page or if the person is not willing to share credentials about their expertise, keep the fuck away.
Part of managing this disease is creating a supportive network and self-soothing routine for when you go into crisis, whether that crisis is manic or depressive. Make sure your partner, parents, siblings, and close friends know that you are doing this for yourself.
Those who are bipolar tend to also be heavily anxious, so it is even more important you create an on demand self-soothing items / routines in your skill set. This can be anything from having a favorite sweater around, to reading a particular passage from a book, eating a piece of chocolate, and the list can go on. In short: Anything that gives you comfort, bring you down, and give you peace is what you’re looking for AND can be easily accessible. Additionally, when you go into overly anxious mode, also have tools to cope such as TheHusband and I sing the 12 days of Christmas – backwards. Usually I do this when I cannot take Klonopin (the one drug that does work for me) immediately for some reason or the drug is taking too long to kick in. Another routine is five things taste, touch, sense, hear, see. You do a round of each item, finding five that fit the description, and keep going until your calm down.
Almost every encyclopedic entry on bipolar will mention a mind/body connection, that one way to help alleviate the pain of the disease is to eat right, cut out caffeine, and exercise. Even mediating can be boon.
If you think you are bipolar, hie thee to your general practitioner to get a recommendation for a medicating therapist. Bipolar is nuanced enough chemically that almost all those who are gifted with disease will have varying symptoms and medication needs. This should not be treated by your GP.
In addition to a medicating shrink, make sure you have a talking shrink as well — sometimes it can be the same person. You will need someone to monitor your drugs as well as be your touchstone that this is a chemical fuck up in your brain and you’re not a terrible person.
There is no known national bipolar foundation, though some exist in on a state level. If you are unable to get to your GP and are in crisis mode, call the national suicide prevention line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). I have used similar services in my past which have gotten me to the next day.
Keep a journal of your moods, to track when you’re up, UP, UP UP and down, down, down. Also figure out your triggers and prepare for them. Like, when I get manic, I compulsively shop. Case in point: I own 250+ tshirts.  Putting together a systems of checks and balances in place has helped me from spending thousands. I also know that any caffeine after 12PM means I could be up until 4AM. Keep a list. You will find some friends are toxic, some music sets off your mania, and watching a film about old people will send you into depression for days. Know your triggers and avoid them as much as possible.
And it’s okay to have a terrible day or several terrible days. You know these days will pass and in the great words of Stephen Fry, it will be sunny one day. If you can make it through one day, and then the next, it will get easier.
It does get easier.
I believe in you.

1. Yes, I do indeed have nearly 20 wishlists under the main wishlist title, neatly sorted out by categories. TheHusband thinks I’m insane and Beth thinks I’m adorable, but I did this because I needed to separate out various works based on topic. So this organizing is for my own edification, not for people to peruse at except for TheHusband who shops from the Holidays and Lisa-mas Gift Ideas Wish List to get ideas on what to get me for gifts.

This day in Lisa-Universe:

May The Lemon Be With You

Lemon pendant that arrived today courtesy of my good pal, Val.
Lemon pendant that arrived today courtesy of my good pal, Val.

Dear Internet,
Yesterday, my irritableness got worse as the day and evening progressed. TheHusband helicoptered all day, “Are you okay? Is something going on or is it just the crazy? I love you – here, let me hump your shoulder.” I wavered between telling him to fuck the right off and then shortly after, clinging to him like a wet blanket and then pounding my fists weakly into his chest.
“Why are you doing that?”
“Because isn’t that what all maidens in distress do?”
“It’s definitely the crazy.”
Before it got terribly late, and the dog had been taken care of for the evening, I popped a full Klonopin, snuggled under my warming blanket, and started main lining the second season of Miss Fisher before falling asleep. I have to be careful when I take a full dose, for it knocks me out cold and depending on how exhausted I am, I have been known to dead sleep 10-14 hours before even beginning to stir.
Whatever I was expecting the drug to do, it did it for a little while but this morning when I woke, my teeth were grinding and I was on edge. This is fairly unusual since Klonopin tends to reset me, which of course sets the pace for the rest of the day chock full of anxiety. It is a good thing I am heading to my shrink, Dr. P., this afternoon.
It was a year ago this month I went back on my bipolar meds and then started up on the ADHD drugs, while live blogging it all. For nearly a year, until I went off the Lithium again 2.5 months ago, my emotional life was in a constant state of flux. In addition to the flux, I felt so fucking defeated when the ADHD drugs would not work as promised. But I was not surprised. I had been down this road before a decade ago and I remember swearing I would never do drugs again and yet, here I went and here they were.
And here I am still struggling.
Today marks the fifth day since I’ve left the house, which is not as depressing as it sounds. We have been bombarded with snow for nearly two weeks, the accumulation probably between 2′-3′ and more is coming this weekend. TheHusband and I, neither of us keen to be out in this near blizzard like conditions, were dutiful enough to get two weeks worth of groceries together to keep us going during the time. I promised food posts and images, but i kept forgetting to take my camera with me as we cooked. But let me assure you, everything has been delicious.
Presents have been trickling in from friends and family, which has been cheering me up. The winner of Christmas this year may be my friend Val who sent me a traveling lemon, which I can wear on a chain and is a reference to one of my favorite radio shows, Cabin Pressure. My Mother-in-Law sent us books, a new crock pot, and this Hark! A Vagrant viking tshirt. You can never go wrong with buying me a t-shirt.
I have not worked on my book project in several days, of which I am not trying to get too stressed about. I keep reminding myself that while it is a lofty goal to cram a novel in 3.5 weeks, even just by the amount of work i’ve done already is far ahead anything I’ve done before.
Now it is time to leave the house for the day. Wish me godspeed!
P.S. My guesstimates were not too far off on snow accumulation – since December 8, our area has gotten 22″ of snow.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 1998

chocolate, chicago, train

Dear Internet,
Rude. Shit stirrer. Abrasive. Confrontational. Asshole. Mean. Purposeful troublemaker. Troll. Judgmental. Hater.
I’m sure I’m missing a few adjectives, but that’s a handful of the ones I’ve been called, at least to my face and that I know about, in the last few years.
I have an opinion. I always have an opinion. If I don’t have an opinion it is more than likely I don’t understand or am aware of something so the next step for me is to ask you, the explainer, to explain what it is you’re going on about so I can go and form an opinion of my own. If you don’t like the fact I’m asking for an explanation or to question your reasoning or you don’t like my tone (which apparently can be magically conveyed and nuanced over text because you are just that good), then I’m the condescending asshole who dared question your benevolent, everlasting wisdom. Or a jealous individual who is simply hating on your good fortune.
For quite sometime I’ve been watching from my digital grass, binoculars in hand, how people react to me and also to each other when the aforementioned scenarios show up. I found the following to be true: If you ask for someone to explain themselves when they state something as absolute, most often times they can’t offer up that explanation. Not always, not everyone, but enough that I’ve begun to wonder if anyone actually knows what the hell they are saying anymore.
If I disagree with an opinion, or ask you to further explain, it’s not with malevolent intent. I promise. I double pinky swear I’m not out to take you down like a deer to a rabbit. It is not to make you feel stupid, it is not to make you treat you with less respect, it is not to be harmful, or to troll you. But if I cannot formulate a response to your statements it is more than likely I don’t understand your point, angle, reasoning, or any other related synonym. If one person doesn’t understand your point of view, what is the likelihood others will?
I’m not quite sure what has been dropped into the water as of late, but I grow weary of constantly seeing others, not just me, treated like we’re the anathemas of society. I’m not a troll apologist, and there are some truly pretty shitty people who are out there, but there is a large swathe of land between being an actual troll and those looking for our questions to be answered. The problem, and one that is increasing, is that we become so wrapped up on protecting ourselves in a public space that ANYONE who so much as throws us perceived digital shade is a flaming asshole.
Even professing an opposite opinion on popular somethings can also carry its own burden. I’ve been called an uncultured moron for not liking Arrested Development and the person was dead serious.
The brassiness of my tactics are not for the fainthearted and that stems from living with my husband for so many years. TheHusband is not a sedate man by any stretch of the imagination and he is adamant, especially when my ADHD is running at full speed, that I compose, clarify, and make succinct when I speak. “I went chocolate, Chicago, train” may sound like gibberish to you, but in my head I hear, “I went to Chicago, on a train, and while in Chicago bought some great chocolate.” My own self-awareness of my problematic word retrieval which can spill into my thought process puts me on high alert for this sort of thing. I also know I am not perfect and I’m just as guilty of braying, OH MY GOD THIS PERSON IS ATTACKING ME WITH THEIR QUESTIONS, for no good reason. But if it not unreasonable to expect my husband or anyone to question me if something I say is not clear, why is it totally unreasonable to question others with the same respect?
What I ask from now on, of myself and of you, is that if someone asks or responds to your statements with a question to probe or rebuttal, before going into defense mode – stop. Listen to what they have to say and think about the question or statement made to you. It is TOTALLY okay, as much as I or I’m sure anyone would like to not to admit, to be wrong. It is totally okay to hear a totally different point of view and meld it with your own or be swayed by someone else’s point. It is totally okay to reject what is being said to you if you disagree.  It is also totally okay, as much as I hate to admit it, to ignore that person altogether if you don’t wish to engage.
But it’s never not been okay is to demean or treat anyone who disagrees with you like they are the problem, verbally or otherwise. It is not okay to be a coward or use passive aggressive tactics to undermine someone. It is never okay to use ad hominem attacks or any variation thereof. It’s never okay to be a narrow minded jerk when you profess to be an open minded individual. And especially never okay to start spreading rumors and gossip about someone because they do not align with your ideologies and called you out on it.
We’re all dying to be heard, to be understood, and to be listened.  But if you aren’t willing to engage in methods that will get you heard, listened to, and understood then why are you here?

This day in Lisa-universe: 1998

la princesa de los Ingenios

Dear Internet,
It’s the 272nd day of the year or the end of September, whichever is easier to remember. As I quipped to TheHusband today, my favorite time of year for it’s one of the few months we’re not running our boiler or the central air, ergo the electric and gas bills are down.
And here I bet you thought I was all seriousness and no fun.
I’ve been purposely withdrawing from a semblance of social life as I meter down on the Lithium. I’m currently taking 900mg a day (I started out at 1500mg), and have found that this particular dose is working well for me. At the advice of Dr. H., who suggested if I found a level that worked for me to stay there so I’m heeding his request.
Most of the problematic side-effects from the higher doses have gone, which has been a tremendous amount of relief. As I don’t know how I am going to respond on the lower doses, I thought it best to curtail anything I don’t need to be actively involved in. This includes but was not limited to withdrawing my volunteer work with a few local comic cons happening this fall, my application for a part-time job at a new local comic book store, a few classes I was going to take, sponsored by Grand Rapids recreational department, and a few more things.
If my absence around town before was due to mobility, before that to some sort of depression, this time for a fairly sensible reason: my mental health. Some of the scariest moments this year was going on a new ADHD drug and having it take over my life. When I sampled Adderall and Focalin, I was living in emotional hell and the strain of being “normal” for everyday things took its toll.
I became a sketch of a person who only seemed to exist in novels or on a television show.
This is always the part that never seems to get discussed: the ramifications of going on/off controlled substances and how if done wrong, can fuck with your life in many serious ways. This is the reason why I write about because I want others to know they are not the only ones going through this particular hell. I also noted to my small support circle of those who also were gifted with being Bipolar my tactics and plan and they also agreed what I was doing was sensible.
This entire year has been exhausting. And I feel incredibly vulnerable, tender, and weary of the world at large.
My session with my talking therapist, Dr. P., have been ramping up pretty well. A year into our therapy and I’m finally revealing more about the inner core of me than before. I’m realising more so than ever talk therapy may be one of the few drugs I have left in my arsenal and I don’t want to waste it on discussing stupid things. I need to get rid of the burned husks and lay it bare.
I’m still solidly working on my archives, bouncing through different back-ups to add back in here at EPbaB. TheHusband often reminds me the back-ups I pulled from former SQL tables, still chock full of injected code, can easily be cleaned up by him. I then explained there is something Zen in the grabbing the data I need and cleaning it up myself. It can be so automatic but at the same time, soothing. There is sense of accomplishment to the act his fancy scripts cannot give me.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in 2003, mainly working through the entries where I found my high school sweetheart when I moved back to GR and what happened after. In 2008, he would track me down to my place of work to try to rekindle something, and follow up with the same move in 2011.
Reliving that extremely short period of 2003 has been much more painful than I would have imagined even a decade removed. I was so absolute and sure about our relationship even though he failed me over and over again. I was smart enough in 2008 and again in 2011 to recognize the bridge he was trying to sell me was never, ever going to materialize. It also didn’t help matters after 2011 connection, I found out he was still living with his girlfriend of many years and has a long rap sheet for various offenses. Politically, we’re so far apart it’s laughable and his various social media streams indicate he’s one step away from writing a manifesto while solitary living on the mountain.
In 1989 we were not an ocean apart. By 2003, no matter how much our hearts begged to be joined, our differences outweighed us. By 2008, I had no idea who this man calling on me was for he was not the man I had fallen in love with 20 years prior. By 2011, I was just tired of the ping ponging and the lies.
It is like a bullet has been dodged multiple times. The 17 year old me weeps for the death of someone she had loved, who had died many, many years ago and instead now sees just the shell of a person she used to know.
But it is finding those lost moments of time, which are ripe in their honesty and candor, so appealing as I go through my archives. They remind me I would not be here today without these events happening, the decisions and sometimes the regrets I have chosen. My personal history may not have world changing moments, but there is a richness to the layers of my struggles, pain, and happiness that helped define me as a person and charted the course of my life.
And it helps to remind me, as I come off the drugs, all of that is inside of me. That life, no matter how monochrome it may feel, can always randomly burst into technicolor.

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

frequency ranges and spatial distributions

Electrode locations of International 10-20 system for EEG (electroencephalography) recording. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Electrode locations of International 10-20 system for EEG (electroencephalography) recording. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Dear Internet,
I learned today that one cannot tweet when one is having electrodes placed on their skull. But then, you’re so tired from the sleep deprivation, the last thing you want to do is lean over and grab your phone to tell the world you’re beginning to look like the Bride of Frankenstein.
The EEG test required me to be sleep deprived, so I fell asleep at midnight and woke up at 4AM. No caffeine. At 7:15, I woke TheHusband up for us to head to the hospital where the procedure was going to take place.  I was feared I was going to end up getting amped up on adrenalin that would prevent me from falling asleep during the procedure.  I also feared of falling asleep while driving. There are times when having a husband is useful.
The EEG testing unit is buried in the bowels of the hospital, a set of complicated instructions arrived  in the mail, but we got there will little delay. After I checked in, I was called back by one of the techs who was admonished that “Donna has to learn patience. I have to finish checking her (meaning me) in before Donna can have her.” More conversation. I’m told to sit back down. Then stand back up to follow the not Donna to the actual testing area. The not Donna kept apologizing along the way for what has just transpired. There seems to be some drama fraught at workplace.
I meet the Donna when I’m led into the room where the testing is going to take place. Donna goes through my paperwork and seems perplexed  as to why I am here after I answer her questions. I document my seizure history, starting when I was 3. She then wants to talk about “my other issues,” which she means my mental disorders. These I had already mentioned to her earlier questions and I notice she has a hard time saying their names, her mouth seems crippled. I say them clearly, for her to make sure we’re clear: Bipolar I, Borderline Personality Disorder. ADHD. General anxiety. I explain, again to her since she seems confused, some of the symptoms associated with one disease is duplicated across other diseases. For example, the tremor in my right hand and leg, which happens rarely, is from the Bipolar, not neurological.
Donna’s seemingly reluctance at my answers is making me anxious. I find that slightly hilarious so I giggle while she finishes up my paperwork.
Prior to the placing the electrodes, the not Donna measured my skull and gave Donna seemingly random numbers that sounded like some sort of key, “6. 5.8, 6, 6, 5.8” and would act slightly intrigued when something came up as a “7.” “Are you sure?” the elder would ask. “I’m sure. It’s a 7.”, the junior responded.
I still have no idea what they were talking about.
After my head was measured thoroughly, and marked all over with red grease pencil, they began placing the electrodes on my head, using a heavy glue for the attachments. I’m assured the glue, another sticky product, and the grease pencil are all water soluble.
Donna and not Donna start working on placing the electrodes me, one obviously more confident or has been at her job far longer than the other. Donna’s confidence in what she was doing overshadowed the other tech, who while as agile with her fingers, often seemed to pause or was hesitant about what and where she should mark. I was getting annoyed with the confident one as she marked and place the electrodes on my skull, she had a habit of pulling my hair just enough to make me cringe for a nanosecond, but not so much that it actually hurt. Since her counterpart managed to not do this, I took it as some passive aggressive act about her job. This was cemented when one of the electrodes seemed to apparently not be working correctly, as she worked on fixing it, she had no problems being rough with moving and cleaning the electrode around my head, pulling my hair roughly a few times about with the shift.
After I was wired up, my head was wrapped with several rolls of gauze and I was told to lay down.
The room was sterile and devoid of any comfort. I was wearing a cardigan, sports bra, tshirt, and yoga shorts and I was shivering. The not Donna asked if I wanted a blanket, which I gladly took. I couldn’t get warm and I tried not to be scared.
There were several tests that were performed, the first of which with my eyes closed, various patterns of flashing lights were pulsed in front of me.  Some flashings did nothing to me, others caused my eyes to rapidly move. Was that normal or was I having some sort of non-epileptic seizure? Another test was a breathing test where I breathed out, from low in my diaphragm, for three minutes. Harder than it sounds. The final test was the sleeping test, in which my brain waves were measured as I slept for 20-30 minutes.
Apparently I conked right out, because one minute the Donnas are talking to me and the next, I’m being woken and informed we are done. I was uncomfortable in the room, cold still. I’m a side sleeper, something I couldn’t do for the test with my head wrapped in electrodes, thus the fact I slept was surprising.
The Donnas spent a few minutes unwrapping me, taking the electrodes out. The not Donna hands me a comb similar to the one we used to receive in grade school on picture taking day to run through my mop to get the electrode gel out and I laugh because my hair would break such a comb. I run it through anyway and it pulls and tugs but does not yet break, that it is easier to use my fingers to hunt of gel bits. Once I’m made somewhat presentable, I’m let free and taken back to the waiting room where TheHusband waits.
I’m told I will hear in 7-10 days from my neurologist.
Me, personally? I’m betting it’s what the doc said: I was epileptic when I was a kid and now the symptoms I’m thinking are epileptic are actually non-typical migraines.
We went to breakfast and came home by 11A where I slept for a few hours and TheHusband went right to work. I spent the rest of the day lounging, keeping up with my RSS reading and TV watching.
In other news, my appointment on Monday with Dr. H., the medicating doctor, went as I had hoped. He agrees to take me off of lithium, which will be much more involved process than I had hoped. I had already taken myself down from 1500mg to 1200mg, so I’ll remain at 1200mg for the rest of the week. Then I’ll go down to 900mg for a week, then 600mg for a week, then nothing. Dr. H. also cautioned that if I felt good on a particular dosage, to stay on that dosage and call and let him know. So if the crazy is tempered by 600mg as opposed to my 1500mg, then bully for me. I’m willing to do this, but if things don’t work, I’m not staying on it. Period.
I can almost taste the mental freedom and it will taste delicious.

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2010