untangle

Dear Internet,

You may have noticed a drastic change in the design and layout of the site. I’ve been using the same theme for years and with so many changes and the cluttering, EPbaB is/was a hot mess. Like a child dressing up in their mother’s clothes.

I knew I had to re-do the design and layout, and while I was learning how to do backend from scratch  I was far far behind where I needed to be to make this site what I really wanted. Perusing through the WordPress Codex is often a disappointment as I ended up downloading and testing themes that are broken or far too complicated to use. (You know, like the ones who talk about how easy it is to drop and drag modules and you need a Phd to get it to work.) I stumbled upon Seasonal, which didn’t look like the other “personal” blog themes and was geared more towards my type of writing rather than those personal bloggers about their “brand.” Despite its attractiveness, I was weary. Very weary. But woah, all I did was just download the theme, configure it, and some small CSS changes. BOOM. It’s done (and under an hour to configure and launch I must add).

So hopefully you’ll like the site as much as I do and find it not only aesthetically pleasing but also easy to use.


If yesterday was spa day, Thursday was cleaning out my jewelry box that I’ve been lugging around for the last year day. I cannot even tell you what jewelry I DO own that is not with me. Last I knew, it was a lot of bullshit.

If you need a way to procrastinate, untangle your necklaces.

Pro Tip: If you slide the chains through straws, they won’t tangle up when you’re traveling.


Tuesday afternoon, after reading something or another on the interent, the world began to spin. There were two of everything as I struggled to right myself in my chair, calling out to TheExHusband to come help me. The few seconds it took to get from his office to me was enough for the moment to pass. A terrible low throbbing headache took hold and kept banging on for hours. I laid on the chaise, not doing much of anything as I waited for the headache to subside. It’s not that far-fetched to state I did nothing that evening.

Wednesday I had several appointments in the city that I did not want to miss but the thought of driving 10 miles of two lane country road and another 10 miles on a moderately busy two lane country road made me super anxious. I couldn’t get it out of my head I was going to have an attack while driving and thoughts of, “What would I do? How do I react?” flashing like a movie reel in my brain. I couldn’t shake the IMPENDING DOOM.

Half a Klonopin swallowed.

I did deep breathing and eyes open meditation as I drove, a very light sheen of sweat on my person when I pulled into my parking spot at the salon. The facial included a message of my face, arms/hands, and upper shoulders and i could feel the tension in my body actually getting worse rather than better since I was grinding my teeth every time she was touching me.

Full dose of Klonopin swallowed.

I weaved in and out of anxiety as I went about my day, dreading the thought of driving that 20 miles back to the cabin. Even stopping at Gallegher’s for donuts and cider didn’t really shake the impending doom.

Of course the Klonopin kicked in when I got home and everything was rosy.

Somedays it takes every once out of my being to pretend my heart is not palpitating a million miles a minute, impending doom is in my brain, and I am so scared to exist in this world. Every ounce of my being.

xoxo,
Lisa

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

vine/shuffle/jumping jack/hook

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.

xoxo,
Lisa

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

sunshine / eye cancer

Dear Internet,

The weather in the greater Toronto area on my way to the airport this morning matched my mood: cold, grey, and snowy. There is no party like a lisa-pity party, and I am the queen of the revelling.

Back in the winter of 2010, when TSTBEH and I were living in a hotel for a few weeks while waiting to hear about whether or not we had Throbbing Manor, a piece of fluff landed in my eye. I could feel its prickliness in my eye socket and I could not, for the life of me, get it out. I took out my contacts, drowned my eyes in saline solution, and I still could not dislodge the fluff.

By this point, I started to become hysterical and nothing could calm me down. The fluff went from being fluff to my own convincing I had eye cancer. TSTBEH could not calm me down, even after several great examinations revealed nothing, I was convinced I was dying, or at the best, would lose an eye. TSTBEH forced me to take a Klonopin and within 20 minutes I was snoozing on the bed, calm for all the world to see.

I tell this story with great relish, and TSTBEH and I laugh at my own monstrosity of thinking I was dying. That’s how panic attacks work, in a nutshell, where something as innocuous as a piece of fluff in my eye speeds up within nanoseconds to be a death threat.

My world is always ending.

Last night was a night that rivaled eye cancer to the point where I called TSTBEH from Toronto hysterically crying. My world had crashed, again, and I had no one to hold me. No one to pet me. No one to make the pain go away. TSTBEH, not one to miss a beat, had me sing the 12 days of pugmas, to the tune of 12 days of Christmas, inserting the word pug for the items. E.g. On the first day of pugmas, my true love gave me to me, a pug in a pear tree. From one to twelve, I sang the entire song between hiccups and the odd crying, which finally calmed me  down. I was hung over from all the Klonopin I had taken that week, so that was out of the question.

I was sitting in my seat, head pressed against the inside hull of plane, thinking about all of these things and lots more. The last week had been beyond emotional draining. I couldn’t cry anymore, couldn’t think anymore, and I had no idea where my life was going to go.

The plane speeds up and I love the feel of gravity pushing me back into my seat. This is how emotional flight feels; the pull of my stomach back that feels like I’m being manipulated by a puppeteer. I have no control over the emotional flight just as I have no control over the real one. I just let it go.

As we climb through the clouds, beyond the snow, my face began to feel hot. I cracked an eye open and saw the sun, shining so bright and clear, I had forgotten the feel of warmth against my skin.

I realised then, something that I’ve always known but had misplaced, that even when the sky is cloudy, that above the clouds the sun is always shining.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2004, 2002, 1999