Monday, October 30, 2017

The Cheese Grates It: Drawing Parallels

I couldn't find an appropriate picture, so here's a picture of a Babirusa

I know that I'm pretty much the most defensive person in the world and that I likely overreacted to certain things that people said recently. I have a tendency to do that. As a friend pointed out, certain things which got my hackles up were well-intentioned. All I can do is to apologize and to hopefully explain why sometimes well-intentioned statements about developing a brighter outlook can rub a person who lives with a mood disorder the wrong way.
I think the best way to explain it is to draw a parallel to certain other conditions I live with which are strictly physical conditions, but which can also affect my moods.
I have diabetes.
I would like to draw a parallel between my use of insulin to control my blood sugar and my use of dark, sometimes hyperbolic poetry as an outlet for the bleakness that often inundates my mind.
My body produces little if any of its own insulin at this point. Insulin helps the body process sugar in the blood. Without it, the high sugar levels begin to cause damage to the vascular system. 
Now, let's say someone were to say to me "if you'd just act like people who have a normal pancreas, you'd learn to be like people with a normal pancreas."
To which my reply would be "I will literally never be like people with a normal pancreas because my pancreas doesn't work normally."
"Yes, but if you behave like people with a normal pancreas, your pancreas will start to behave normally."
"No. It literally will not. If I try to behave like people with a normal pancreas, my elevated blood sugar will start to damage my body fairly quickly."
"Really, though, Positive Pancreatic Thinking will heal your faulty pancreas!"
At this point, somebody might be getting stabbed with an insulin needle, and it isn't going to be me.
Most people can see that the above scenario is a bit ridiculous (although anyone with diabetes can tell you that we've heard a million and one tales of "miracle cures" for our condition.) However, a lot of people can't see that they're doing a very similar thing when telling someone who lives with a mood disorder that if they just practice positive thinking they'll become a normal, happy person. It literally doesn't work that way.
I'll be 53 years old in February. 
I had my first mixed episode when I was ten. I didn't know that's what it was then, but with the knowledge I've gained, I now know that's exactly what it was.
I had my first severe depressive episode when I was twelve. I also became bulimic and made my first half-assed suicide attempt by swallowing a bunch of aspirin, which made me sick. 
I was labeled as overly dramatic and attention seeking and told countless times to just stop thinking and acting as I did.
I've learned a lot of coping techniques over the years. One of the ways I channel the darkness rather than cutting myself or self-medicating is by writing.
I've been through a lot of undesired changes this year.
I live with chronic pain and am not sure how long I'll be able to keep working. My situation is precarious. 
I would never tell someone who tends to have a positive outlook on things that they need to create things that are dark and gloomy. However, people don't think twice about telling me that I need to write things that are more cheerful and that I need to have a brighter outlook.
It also minimizes and belittles my struggles when people say things which imply that what I'm going through is some sort of a phase. If it's a phase, it's a damn long one. It's lasted most of my life.
Sometimes I write funny stuff. I actually do have a sense of humor, which most people don't get.
Perhaps people like me do serve a purpose. We often have high levels of empathy. Perhaps by pointing out the hurtful things in the world we can teach others to be kinder.
Hell, I don't know. I haven't figured it out yet and I rather doubt I'm going to.
I do know that I like German chocolate cake. That much I've figured out for certain. I wish I had some right now.
My mind doesn't work like yours. I know most of you can't understand a mind like mine, but I ask you to please try to respect that maybe people like me do know our own minds and maybe it would be nice to be treated not as broken half-people who need to be fixed, but as whole and worthy of consideration exactly as we are.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

This is my Always Keep Fighting tattoo.
It's a real, permanent tattoo.
Some days its easier to keep fighting than others.
This is a reminder for me to keep fighting on those days too.
It's also a tribute to me and those like me.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

OctPoWriMo 2017: Day 28: LONE

Lonely me

I feel unwanted
I feel undeserving
I fear I'm fatally flawed

LONE, lonely me, fatally flawed

~Cie and Pepper~

Here is another work which is autobiographical to the author and also descriptive of Fetch's female protagonist, Pepper Baiij.
I desperately want to get back to working on stories again. I am lost without them.
At least I met Gem on the astral plane while in a troubled sleep that I hoped never to wake from.
In a world that wants sunshine, flowers, chirping birds, and unicorn farts, I bring you depressing poetry. Hence, I walk alone through this life.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

OctPoWriMo 2017: Day 18: Everyone Went On Eating

My life is a mess
She said, grieving her lost dreams
Feeling dead inside

At the family table
Everyone went on eating


This is autobiographical.
I didn't feel up to trying the Palindrome poem today and thought it would be most effective to keep my work brief.

Monday, September 18, 2017

30 Days of Haiga 2017: Day 11: End of Story

Background Image Copyright: tomertu / 123RF Stock Photo
Text manipulation by The Real Cie

Without going into too much detail, which would detract from the viewing of the image, I have had a difficult year. I have changed jobs six times and eventually ended up changing careers entirely. 
There are aspects of my current job which I really appreciate, but it is not an easy job and I do not make as much money as I did in my previous profession, which there are several reasons I can't go back to, the biggest one being changes in my diabetes which lead to fatigue and weakness if I don't pace myself.
I feel like I have lost the things that made me who I am: my imagination and my ability to enter other worlds astrally and psychically. My heart is heavy and I feel broken. I feel that I am constantly being punished and that there is no need for external hells when all the hell I need is here in the loss of that which made me who I am.

Cross-posted to:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fiendly Fill-Ins

Week 62: July 14, 2017
1. My inner child really and truly hates me. This part of my psyche does not understand the concept of doing what you have to do to survive, and most of the time that doesn't involve creativity.

2. My favorite month is probably October.

3. My favourite commercial is I avoid commercials.

4. Personally, I don't care for the way this life has turned out. I want a do-over. Or maybe I don't. Perhaps I just want to fade.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Cheese Grates It: Sticks and Stones

I recently signed up to become a participant at a site which encourages people to write a certain number of words every day. I am not going to "name and shame" the site, as they were not being intentionally mean-spirited. They did, however, use the old "shame as a motivator" principle, and this is an approach which I cannot abide.
I have been working hard at becoming my own boss during the past six weeks. The situation was forced on me by a lack of hours in the home care nursing field. However, during this unplanned hiatus, I realized that I no longer wish to work for other people, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to make that goal a reality.
I have been dividing my time between delivering food as an independent courier for Uber Eats, taking the necessary steps to become a rideshare driver with Uber and Lyft, and attempting to build my independent recruiting business. I would need a Venus-length day to accomplish all of my daily goals. A day on Venus is equivalent to 117 Earth days.
I do not want to let my craft fall by the wayside while I pursue my chosen trade. Thus, I need tools to help me hone in when it's time to write, as my mind can be a bit of a jumble. A word count goal or a story spark, generally both together, can help me shift from business mind to creative mind.
I don't enjoy the NaNoWriMo model of writing. When I am forced to produce a large number of words (1667 daily for a month) to meet my goal, the result tends to be garbage, and I never want to see it again. However, I fully approve of the Office of Letters and Light's encouragement of participants. There are clear winners with NaNoWriMo--a participant has to write 150,000 words during the month of November to claim prizes. However, while there are clear winners, there are no losers. If you participated, go you! Pats on the back all around.
Hence, I joined a site which features a challenge to meet a certain word goal daily over the course of a month. I felt that having such a goal in mind would motivate me to carve out time to write regardless of everything else currently demanding my time.
I ended up very quickly withdrawing my membership from the site when I saw that they have not only a wall of winners but a wall of shame.
Seeing the word "shame" literally made me sick to my stomach.
This is an extremely loaded word. Many people who have a history of abuse in their backgrounds feel ashamed constantly. Shame should never be used as a motivating factor, particularly, I feel, with creative pursuits. Creativity should be healing. It should not be yet another damaging element in a difficult life.
I wrote a letter to the site owners explaining my very strong feelings in regards to this matter. I will share this letter with you here.

Dear Site Owner,
There should be no "failures" with writing or other creative pursuits. Nobody should be "shamed" for not meeting a certain goal. 
I would very strongly encourage you to change the name of the "wall of shame" to something like "Runners Up" or "Other Participants". Change it to something encouraging rather than discouraging, in other words.
During my entire life, I've felt ashamed for not being some sort of Grand Prize Winner Superstar. Most people are not Grand Prize Winner Superstars. We are simply trying to do our best. 
Shame and browbeating, even done in a "humorous" fashion, can be extremely daunting to some people, particularly those with a background of psychological abuse. I learned early on from my family that I seemed to be incapable of doing anything right, and, even at 52 years old, I continue to impart this message to myself.
The word "shame" is so upsetting to me that I cannot possibly participate in a challenge which places me on a "wall of shame" for not completing it, particularly when I am unlikely to be able to. I am working massive numbers of hours a week. Being able to engage in creative pursuits should be a gift, not a punishment.
Of course, those who complete the challenge should be awarded a prize for doing so. But those who do not should not be "shamed" or called failures.
I like to support anything that encourages people to engage in creative pursuits. However, my money is limited, and I cannot support anything which shames those who do not "measure up" to an exacting standard.
I know it's only a word. But some words hurt--a lot.
I will be glad to become a member of the site again if the Wall of Shame becomes a Wall of Participation of some sort. Until then, my money is very limited right now, and, sadly, since I literally cannot participate in something where the cost of "failure" is being "shamed", I must cancel my subscription.
I wish you well.


We all sometimes need a little "kick in the pants" to get ourselves going.
However, that kick should not come from a steel-toed, hobnailed boot, and with creative pursuits, shame and degradation should never be used as motivators.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Image by Dora Wednesday

If it gives me a charge
To escape this miserable world with its forced marches to an early grave 
And run away to a realm extraterrestrial, extradimensional
To find a small portion of imaginary happiness
I care not if you believe
For I need to retreat to this realm which is often more real than the real to survive


Prompts Used:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Friendly Fill-Ins Week 55

Week 55: May 26, 2017
1. My idea of roughing it is what I'm doing right now. I'm rationing my food and trying to take my mind off the fact that I'm hungry. It sucks.

2. I never get sick of talking about something I'm not going to talk about because nobody understands.
3. My youth was wasted on a young, delusional idiot.

4. My "golden years" can kiss my ass, and so can my zombie pancreas. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Cheese Grates It: Is it PTSD with a side order of depression, or Depression with a side order of PTSD?

Whether you believe in the metaphysical or not doesn't matter here.
A Tarot reading helped me realize what's been going on with me the past month.
That reading can be found here.
I always felt that the Tarot could be used as a tool to help others, regardless of a belief in the esoteric. I once had the idea to get a degree in psychology and become a counselor using the Tarot as an instrument of discovery. That is highly unlikely to happen in this lifetime. However, that isn't what I came here to talk about.
I came here to talk about PTSD and depression.
I don't adjust well to change, especially unexpected negative change.
When I got fired from my job with the agency I'd worked with as a homecare nurse for close to two years, it really took a toll on me. On the surface, I accepted it well. I didn't cry. However, stoicism is not the same thing as actual acceptance. Internally, I was filled with self-loathing. My suicide ideation was extremely high.
Fortunately, I wasn't out of work for long. The agency I'd been picking up PRN cases with put me on full-time.
Things went okay for about six weeks. Then the patient I was caring for went to the hospital.
I didn't get a new case. I was without work for nearly a month. Then, to add insult to injury, the nice car (one of only four nice cars I've owned in my entire lifetime) was damaged in the hail storm that hit the Denver area on May 8. 
I felt done. I felt worthless. I felt like I was shit in the eyes of the Universe.
I wanted to stop taking all my medications and just allow myself to die. The fact that I'm an insulin dependent diabetic makes this a pretty realistic way to commit suicide.
I've found that I can bolster myself with my writing if I'm strictly experiencing a depressive episode. When PTSD comes into play, something else happens. 
I have trouble writing.
I don't feel like I deserve to write.
I find myself asking "what the hell difference does this fluff I'm creating make?"
This happened to me back in 2013 when the flooding hit Boulder. I was working at a retirement community there. While driving to work, a wall of water struck the side of my car. I was able to stay on the road, but by the time I got to the facility, I was shaking badly. I went and took a shower before reporting in. I don't know how long I was in there, but I stood in there until the storm knocked the transformers out.
I had trouble writing for around a month after that. Part of me was saying "you nearly lost your life, you moron! What the hell is this wittering you do worth?"
Another part of me felt survivor guilt. A lot of people lost their property during that flood. Some lost their lives. In the area where I live, it was only a heavy rain that hit. I evidently survived that damn wave hitting my car.
Losing my job earlier this year socked it to me. Not working for a month has taken a toll. Having my car damaged the way it was by the hail is not irreparable damage, but it may have brought back emotions from what I experienced in the flood.
In any case, doing the Tarot reading helped me examine what's going on with me. 
PTSD and depression are socking it to me. I'm not entirely sure what to do, but at least now I know, and you know what they say--knowing is half the battle.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Cheese Grates It: Psychiatry and the Push for Normal

This is a response to a post by Russell Duffy about a journey which included dealing with depression and therapy.

Many a person, both licensed and unlicensed, has told me that my mental health issues require me to be medicated and that I am a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad crazy person for refusing to be so.
I'm not saying that medications never help anybody. However, for many people, the cure is worse than the problem.
I can't, for instance, take SSRIs, which are the darlings of modern psychiatry. They fuck with my perception, big time. I normally am not psychotic. I have rapid cycling type 2 bipolar disorder, and my biggest issues are depression alternating with an elevated mood although not full mania, where before being properly diagnosed I would often do things such as take on a second job and/or party a lot. There can also be mixed states, which feature irritability and paranoia, but not psychosis.
If I take SSRIs, I become psychotic. Not like axe-murdering psychotic, which is what most people think of when they hear the word. I'm far more likely to hurt myself than anyone else, however, my thoughts are not grounded in Earthly reality. For instance, Zoloft gave me the perception that my brain had grown tiny hands and was trying to pick its way out of my skull. With Effexor, I jumped up on a counter and was preaching. Prozac made me flat and had me staring at my arm, contemplating cutting it, not for the usual self-harm reasons but because I wondered if I could still feel.
The only thing I take is a form of Lithium which is available without prescription. I take a much lower dose than I would have to if I were to take Lithium Carbonate, because Lithium Orotate is far more bioavailable. 
The therapeutic dose of Lithium, as it happens, is just slightly below toxic levels. Since much lower doses of Lithium Orotate have the desired effect of minimizing the irritability, paranoia and impulsiveness of my disorder, why the hell would I want to ingest nearly toxic amounts of Lithium?
Although psychiatry has come a long way since the early days when those deemed "insane" were locked away in torture chambers, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. I think there is still a tendency to try to make everybody fit the definition of textbook "normal," and that is not realistic or compassionate.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

Cross-posted to:

Sunday, April 30, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017: Day 30: Zero Chance of Escape

Without fail
The black dog
Comes around again
There is no escape
Bipolar 2 is 4 Ever

Without fail, someone tells me
To just cheer up
To just stop feeling that way
To just thank their god
That I get to live another day

Bipolar 2
Is 4 Ever
There is zero
Chance of escape


Cross-Posted to:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Proud Diabetic: How to prevent insulin injections from hurting

Proud Diabetic: How to prevent insulin injections from hurting: The other day I wrote about an article in USA Today , dispelling some of the myths surrounding diabetes.  In addition to the 5 myths debunke...

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Hi Sisters and Misters! I was looking for character inspiration to write a new story, and I thought these girls were great! Look for the intro today!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

What You Need To Know Before You Leave Design School

I ended up dropping out of graphic design school.
I tried to post this video directly from You Tube twice. I don't know where it ended up!

~Lady Eddie~

Monday, March 20, 2017

Let The Wrong One In

I generally don’t participate in writing challenges. Writing challenges are for nice, normal people whose thoughts work in a linear direction and resemble the web of a proper spider, not one of those messed-up spiders who has been given, say, LSD.
My thoughts resemble the web of a spider on LSD.
At first glance, I pass for normal. I’m astoundingly plain. I’m a gray-haired, middle-aged woman with a body far rounder than those bodies which are deemed beautiful. I’m someone that nobody looks at twice. This is fine. I wouldn’t want to be one of those people who is celebrated solely for their physical appearance.
Realizing from a young age that I had a great face for radio, I believed that I might be able to make a living with my writing. I have always been highly imaginative, my head filled with unique and sometimes controversial ideas. I am open-minded and empathic. I thought I could combine these traits of imagination, empathy, and open-mindedness, I could reach those who, like me, were different and misunderstood.
I learned that nobody is interested in the works of a person who can’t tie their ideas up in a neat little package. I have tried, but outside of short stories, I can’t do it. My novels will always have a myriad of subplots. When I try to constrain my thoughts into a tidy parcel, the end result doesn’t feel authentic.
This is the result of my anomalistic mind refusing to conform to the rules of proper writing.
I did not do well with writing in the sixth grade, where I had a teacher who insisted we make an outline first and then follow that outline exactly, but not too exactly, or he’d know we wrote the story first and then made the outline. This teacher quite literally gave me PTSD regarding the use of outlines.

A scan of the weird world inside my skull would reveal that my brain looks something like a bowl full of radioactive cherry Jello with a few amusing blobs of lime Jello thrown in for fun. Another type of scan would reveal that my synapses always think it’s the Fourth of July and they are fireworks.  Even in a balanced state of mind, known as euthymia, and performing mundane, non-stressful tasks, my synapses would be firing off with inappropriate levels of excitement. The way my brain works is similar to having a person begin dancing around in brightly colored clothes at a staid and formal affair.
This world dislikes people like me. I have come to understand that those things which interest me do not interest anybody else. I am strange, I am eccentric. At first glance I pass for normal, but I am not.
When writing a novel, I could try to do it the way everybody else does. I could try to kill all the subplots that dance into my mind. I could try to write a nice, ordinary book which might sell, but it probably wouldn’t because it would be awful. A book written without spirit is a dead world.
I cannot weave my thoughts in the manner of a normal spider weaving its web.
My thoughts will always weave in the manner of a spider on LSD.
It is exhausting to be me.
Yet me is the only thing I know how to be.
I have had people ask me why I don’t ask a doctor to medicate away the overstimulated state inside my head.
I tried this once. The cure was worse than the problem.
Most antidepressants don’t make me less depressed, they make me manic and psychotic. The exception is Prozac, which makes me flat and turns my thoughts to self-harm, not for the usual reasons, but because I start wondering if I can still feel.
I am normally neither manic nor psychotic, and usually I can feel, perhaps too much.
I have type 2 bipolar disorder, which manifests hypomania rather than full mania.
Hypomania can be equally destructive, but its presentation isn’t as extreme as full mania. This is why bipolar 2 tends to be misdiagnosed.
I am not psychotic. I have an esoteric belief system, but I know the difference between the metaphysical and physical world. I am grounded in reality. I am all too aware that there are a myriad of horrific things happening in the world at any given time. I wish that I could stop these things from happening. I know that I can’t.
I take a low dose of Lithium to help manage the hypomania and the paranoia that are part and parcel of my particular and peculiar mind. Lithium doesn’t make me flat the way Prozac did. It’s more akin to turning the dimmer switch on a light to a lower setting than to turning off the light.
LIthium allows me to be less extreme. It allows me to think things through, to not be enticed into unhealthy relationships, to spend my money a bit more wisely. It hasn’t yet stopped me from overworking myself, and it doesn’t stop myriads of subplots from appearing out of left field, right field, center field, or dropping in from the Heavens above and popping up from the Hells below.
I don’t want my stories to be without multiple subplots. I like the LSD spiderweb that my mind weaves. I’m not even especially bothered by the fact that other people generally don’t care for the way my writing jumps this way and that.
What bothers me is the fact that most people believe that stories can only take a linear form, that there is only one right way to tell a tale, and if the author fails to adhere to said conventions, they are to be shamed and pushed away from writing as they enjoy.
Some minds don’t weave their tales in the manner of a normal spider.
Some of us are LSD spiders.
It’s wrong to demand that minds which are not neurologically typical work like minds that are.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

TV Show Meme

The TV Shows Questions

1. Name a TV show series in which you have seen every episode at least twice:
Star Trek TOS and the original Twilight Zone
2. Name a show you can't miss:
I watch everything on Netflix, so I really don't pay any attention to TV schedules any more.
3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to watch a show:
There are a few of these, although the number is decreasing as they grow old and their bodies fail them.
4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to watch a show:
Pretty much everybody who is Young and Hot (tm)
5. Name a show you can, and do, quote from:
Star Trek, Supernatural, Futurama. Bite my shiny metal ass!
6. Name a show you like that no one else enjoys:
I've liked a few shows that never quite took off.
7. Name a TV show which you've been known to sing the theme song:
I hum the theme song to M.A.S.H. sometimes. Every now and then the theme for Gilligan's Island will play in my mind.
8. Name a show you would recommend everyone to watch:
Eh, whatever floats your boat.
9. Name a TV series you own:
The first season of True Blood. The entire Real Ghostbusters cartoons.
10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium, but has surprised you with his/her acting chops in television:
I absolutely adored the Chris Isaak show. It's a shame it never went to DVD.
11. What is your favorite episode of your favorite series?
I based a big part of the past life subplot of Team Netherworld's WIP novel, Fetch ( on The Lights of Zetar, a much-panned episode of Star Trek TOS that I really loved overall in spite of the fact that there are parts of it that I could certainly nit-pick about. 
12. Name a show you keep meaning to watch, but you just haven't gotten around to yet:
I have a whole long list of these on Netflix.
13. Ever quit watching a show because it was so bad?
Sadly, quite a few of the shows I enjoyed along the way fell into this category. Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, Three's Company, the list goes on.
14. Name a show that's made you cry multiple times:
Torchwood made me cry when Captain Jack sacrificed his grandson to save the Earth. NYPD Blue when Jimmy Smits' character died. I can think of more movies than TV shows at this point.
15. What do you eat when you watch TV?
Nuts, cheese, dark chocolate.
16. How often do you watch TV?
A little bit every day
17. What's the last TV show you watched?
Currently watching Futurama
18. What's your favorite/preferred genre of TV?
I tend to watch sci-fi, but also nature shows, cop shows, crime drama, I'm pretty eclectic.
19. What was the first TV show you were obsessed with?
Star Trek TOS
20. What TV show do you wish you never watched?
Eh, I don't know. In some ways Bones was pretty good, but they had a habit of size shaming larger people, which I really didn't like.
21. What's the weirdest show you enjoyed?
I don't know. I'm kind of a weird person overall, so maybe all of them.
22. What TV show scared you the most?
I write horror, so most horror stuff doesn't scare me. The Lights of Zetar scared the hell out of me and still does. I will not watch it in the dark.
23. What is the funniest TV show you have ever watched?
Futurama is pretty funny. Monty Python is a longtime favorite. The first couple seasons of Mork and Mindy were hilarious.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Down By the River Skai

A peaceful spot along the River Skai

I've had a lot of personal trouble lately, and it translates into trouble writing. When I was younger, I often wrote more when times were troubled as a form of escape. These days, when times are troubled, I feel like I don't deserve anything positive and that includes feeling like I don't deserve to write.
I know I'm not one of those well-liked bloggers who gets lots of lurrrrve and encouragement from their followers. Comes with the territory of being a depressive, defensive porcupine. I don't even particularly like the idea of being a super popular blogger, because too many people really don't get what I'm writing  or what it's like to live with severe mental illness, and have a tendency to say things that come off as belittling.
Anyway, if you really want to know what's going on with me, complete with a Tarot reading, you can follow this link to my esoteric stuff and bitching about social inequalities blog. If you're one of those super duper uber materialist people who think that we're born, we live, we die, the end and that tarot readings are for unevolved morons with their heads in the clouds, please don't follow that link just to start an argument. I'll just call you an asshole and tell you to fuck off. Now that I've predicted the future, you don't need to bother yourself.
I'm very upset over the situation I describe in the linked post. I'm diabetic, but I haven't been able to make myself eat anything but cheese and nuts since yesterday. This also means I haven't been able to take my medication. With all my health problems, I probably shouldn't be working anyway. However, it is impossible to live on disability payments, so I continue working long hours in spite of the fact that I shouldn't.
Like me, my character Pepper has a lot of problems, including mental health issues. When I saw this picture, I thought that perhaps Pepper was feeling very depressed, so she retreated to the Dreamlands. She went to a peaceful area along the River Skai. Gerry found Pepper there, and he sat beside her, put his arms around her, and just held her, not even having to say anything at all.
I think Pepper is very lucky.
This isn't the end, not that anyone cares. I'll be back with more, even if nobody reads it at all.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Crazy Creatives A to Z 2017

Team Netherworld has multiple blogs, and in the past we have participated in the A to Z challenge both officially and unofficially. We used it to try and share our fiction writing in the past, but this wasn't well received. So instead I thought that this year we would try to spread awareness via the challenge.
Most blog hops feel intimidating to unwelcoming when one lives with a psychiatric illness. People like me tend to fear that we will be shot down or shut out, and this happens with fair frequency. This is why I created Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp. I imagined it as a haven for those who are living with a psychiatric condition and who identify as creative. It hasn't exactly taken off like a wildfire, but I hope that it may one day make a difference somehow.
This year I plan to utilize the month of April to draw attention to various psychiatric conditions that people may be dealing with. In a world where people deem it acceptable to use phrases like "off their meds" to insult and belittle people they don't agree with, it is necessary to remove the stigma from mental illness.
One would not (I would hope) refer to a diabetic who hadn't injected their insulin and was therefore behaving strangely as being "off their meds" in a derogatory way. Why should we think it's okay to refer to a person that we deem as behaving strangely due to not having taken their psych meds in a derogatory way?
I hope to use the month of April to shed a bit of light on psychiatric ailments and, most importantly, to encourage seeing people with psychiatric ailments as people--not as lesser or defective people, just as people.

~The Real Cie~
For Team Netherworld

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Cheese Grates It: How To Shut Out Your Patient

I'm thinking about talking to the doctor about the lovely conversation I had with the nurse. He's better than a lot of doctors I've had as far as not telling me I need to lose weight, but things like this let me know that he still has that old mindset that big person = lazy person.
All of my life I've worked very hard to counter the belief that I'm lazy. Once I got into my teens, I was constantly tired. I was always more alert and awake later in the day. Hence why I work nights. I was always being told by family members that I needed to get outside and do something. Then at night, I couldn't sleep. I'm a bit discouraged that things have changed so little where doctors don't bother to try and tie factors together, they just tell the patient that healthy patients do X, y, and Z, and therefore, all patients need to do X, Y and Z, or they are not compliant and are bad patients (and bad people.)
I realized many years later that during my teens, my thyroid gland was dying, and that was sapping my energy. My bipolar disorder onset when I hit puberty, but I didn't know it until I was close to 40, because I have type 2 bipolar, which isn't as obvious. I also developed fibromyalgia, but that wouldn't be diagnosed until after I had my son.
At this point, hardcore exercise is out of the question for me. My knees, ankles and back are shot from all the years of doing physical work. This is why I liked working out in the therapy pool. There is a rec center near my son's place with a therapy pool, but there are weeks (like this one) when I have so little time that I'd probably never get there. Maybe now that the temperatures are warmer I could try to walk around the damn mobile home park a lap or two. I don't know.
Trouble is, doctors want to turn every patient into the Perfect Patient. Well, the Perfect Patient probably doesn't go to the doctor very often, because everything's perfect. I know I wouldn't go to the doctor very often if I didn't have to take these damn medications and have my damn blood levels monitored for my damn stupid thyroid and worthless ass pancreas.
A good doctor doesn't assume, they ask, and then they listen, and they don't lecture. Lecturing pushes the patient away. The likelihood is, the patient knows they aren't being entirely compliant. Maybe they can't, maybe they won't. You have to treat each person like an individual, not like a number.
When working 50 and 60 hours a week, I'm not going to be counting every single carbohydrate gram that goes in my mouth. I'm going to eat something to stop me from being hungry. I'm compliant about taking the Metformin. I'm not compliant about getting X amount of exercise every day outside of work, and I would wager a guess that Bitch, if you were working four, five, and sometimes six twelve hours a week, plus having to drive 40 miles one way at least one of those days, plus having to help out a key person in your life who really needs the help at this point, and most of the time getting less than 5 hours of sleep (often more like 3), yo ass would not be that great about getting extra exercise either.
I know I could do better about watching the amount of carbohydrates I ingest. I've also been drinking a lot more caffeine during the last couple of years, which also has a tendency to raise blood sugar. Under optimal circumstances, I would be doing "better" with this. Maybe if I were a better, stronger, happier person I would also be doing better.
However, when the so called treatment leaves you feeling bad about yourself, like nothing you do is any good, then the medical personnel are doing something wrong.
Say to me "hey, Cie, do you know of a reason why your A1C levels might be higher than last year?"
I would say to you "Yeah, Doc, there's this," and I would tell you what I just said above. I would also say that I'm trying to be more mindful about it again, because I am.
Then the doctor would say "we'll increase your metformin levels. Let's recheck your blood in six months. By the way, how much do you exercise?" (Rather than assuming that I don't based on my body type.)
I would tell the doctor what I said above. Then maybe the doctor would say "well, try to increase your activity level where you can. I can see that you're extremely busy."
See how much better that conversation would be?
I still haven't 100% decided whether I'm going to say something. I go back and forth about changing doctors, because this doctor is far from the worst I've encountered. Finding a doctor that treats a patient rather than a chart, particularly when you are a horrible, horrible fatty like me, is difficult to impossible.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~