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Washington Park Commons

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About Washington Park Commons

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    Dressing in black when I'm happy, crochet, cooking. The usual stuff. Currently reading about highly deadly viral epidemics for fun.

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  1. Olga's advice is very good. I've been there. But even though I still have those awful moments of self-hatred, I don't find myself giving in anywhere near as much as I used to. You need a new therapist, and you might also want to write down how you feel and what you want to say to people. Then you can just hand them a note and let that speak for you. Also, try to visualize conversations with people, in which it ends with your saying 'no.' You have a right to say no.
  2. I don't think Indie was saying it was easy to stop. I think he/she was saying that one can stop, but that one has to be willing to put in the work, even though stopping is incredibly painful. I'm not an addict, but I am bipolar. And while I think that telling depressives to just lighten up and be happy would be insensitive, I can honestly say that after wallowing to some extent in my depression, I have been able, very painfully, to start climbing out of it. I had and have to make myself climb out of bed, remind myself that I have things to do, remember that my illness tells me lies and that I'm actually capable of a lot, and yeah, pull on my big girl panties and stop whining so much. Some days it feels like I'm climbing a mountain the size of Everest, and some days I'm skipping over a barely-noticeable molehill, but if I didn't do it I would be homeless. I thank goodness that my illness doesn't make me psychotic very often, or give me debilitating hallucinations, or make me want to scar myself in a heinous manner. But I also feel that since it doesn't, I need to give it the old college try, if only for the sakes of those who are much sicker than I, so that one day I can make enough money to help them. Many days I pretend to be happy, and guess what? I'm actually beginning to be happier. Scientists already believe that we can heal parts of the brain by not allowing our minds to keep repeating negative thought patterns and remembering what happened when we did negative things to ourselves.So no, I don't think Indie is completely wrong, even though I don't think that his/her method of going it alone would work for everyone.
  3. During the fall I start stocking my freezer. I buy cheap veggies (farmer's markets, the clearance rack) and some freezer bags, and start freezing everything. Soups? I'm one person, so it's easy to make soup in bulk (6 servings is 'bulk' for me) and freeze whatever I don't eat. I use tupperware too, so that my much of my freezer packaging is reusable. And I try to buy staples that I know I'll need (butter is one) in bulk, and freeze the rest. I sat ill have wastage, but not as much as I used to. This way I pretty much always have something that can be taken down from the freezer when I'm bored with my current menu.
  4. I think this thread is a great idea. For ease of use, we should probably tag posts with useful info. Here's a recipe for congee, with is the Chinese version of rice porridge (known as 'jook' in Korea). You can add whatever you want to it, including leftovers. If you're vegetarian, i would suggest using a vegetable stock for the base. If you have hypertension like i do, you can cut back on the salt by using a low sodium stocker only one bullion cube, or just water (but if you use plain water, I would definitely add some veggies for flavor). Congee, or Chinese peasant (poor people's) soup Cooking time 1.25 hours (¼ hour for prep, 1 hour for stovetop) Skill level: Easy - non-cooks can handle this. Stress level: low Can you freeze it: yes Can you reheat it for lunch?: yes 1.5 pounds of chicken (or beef, or pork, or veggies; if these ingredients are leftovers, add them halfway through; if it's chicken, remove the skin. You will want the bones of whatever meat you are cooking to stay in the meat right now) 1 cup long grain rice (yes, you can use brown rice or basmati rice, but your cooking time will vary; add about 15 minutes for brown rice) 6 cups water 4 cups chicken stock, or 4 cups water and two chicken bouillon cubes 1 medium sized hand of ginger, cut into 1" pieces (a hand is what you call that solid pice of ginger that looks like it has fingers on it- cool, right?) 2 tsps of salt (ONLY if you use only water or no-sodium stock; otherwise taste the soup half way through and add salt to taste) ½ tsp of pepper (white if you have it, for attractiveness' sake; I didn't add any, and my soups was great) Combine all of the ingredients in a large heavy-bottommed pot and bring to a boil over a medium-high flame (if your dial has numbers, turn it to 5). . When it gets to the point where it bubbles vigorously (that's called 'simmering'), turn the flame down to low- medium (about 2). Cover it, and stir it occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. The rice will cook and eventually become soft and a bit velvety. It's ok if the soup looks a little watery. . Turn off the heat after about an hour, and remove the chicken. when it cools a bit, use a fork to remove the meat from the bones, and to shred the meat. Then add the meat back to the soup, give it a stir, and serve. 6-10 servings You can add veggies like spinach, bok choi, carrots, corn, and so on. You can also break an egg over your hot bowl of soup and let it poach. Feel free to add cilantro, sriracha sauce, crushed peanuts, soy sauce, or pretty much anything you like as garnish, and to mix in. You can make this with a fish stock too, and add cooked fish at the end.
  5. I can believe it, because for a while I was one of those people. I was on Prozac for a while and it worked. And then it stopped working. I made me feel dead inside. There were no highs or lows. It was like living in a fog, and I didn't care about anything. I was on 'only' 5mgs a day, and pretty much non-functional, at a time when I had no one in my life except myself to earn an income. Falling asleep while standing up, not caring about anything, feeling completely flat... it wasn't working for me. So I quit. I didn't have money to go back to my doctor when I crashed. I suffered from paranoia on and off for years before I was medicated again. I became convinced that if I started regularly scheduled therapy, that I would be stuck in a mental hospital because I had ittle money, and it would be easier for the state to keep me locked up than to keep me supplied with meds and a doctor. After a while, even this was untenable. By that time I had moved to a state here it is almost to get health care as a working person unless you pay for it. I felt like I was being punished for not being indigent, or a drug addict or an unwed mother. My father had worked in Veteran's Hospitals when he was younger, on the psych ward. When I first tried to kill myself, he told me I might end up in a hell hole like that. At one point, he basically threatened me with it if I tried to hurt myself again; he made it clear that he and my mother were not going to take me to a therapist, because the one time they did that I 'talked too much' about family problems and 'embarrassed' them. I felt like my working poverty status was givinhg me a horrifying choice. I could either remain sick and unmedicated and end up homeless of insane on the streets, or I could end up locked up, possibly for life, with no froends ofr family to be supportive. I decided to take my chances with keeping my head down and staying crazy. I kept inquiring about health care though, and finally learned I could get charity care. A neighbor told me about it, 4 years into asking people who worked for Medicaid for help. Going through charity care in my state is humiliating in so many ways. Even the name is disturbing enough. Unlike in NYC, where I was eligible for some health care and would run into everyone from young white starving artists to sweet Chinese grandmothers, here i run into people who are obviously poor and undereducated, have a lot of drug and alcohol issues, are suffering from an inability to contain their anger, and who have a limited ability to advocate for themselves. The doctors treat me like I'm brain damaged, or like I did something horribly wrong to be poor. I hate my doctors. I hate the hospital program. I feel lukewarm about my fellow patients; some of them are incredibly nice, but few of them have anything to share, even about navigating the system. But I hate being sick more. I did beg my family for help with my health care for a while, but I wasn't worth enough to them. The good thing is that I am slowly moving towards having a life again. As soon as I can, I intend to spend my time advocating for the mentally ill who fall between the cracks, because I don't anyone to ever have to face the humiliation and social rejection that I feel every day ever again. The only thing that makes me angrier than the toll my disease has taken on my life is the way we who are ill are treated by society, when in many cases it would only take less than $3 a day to keep us capable of functioning as a healthy part of society.
  6. You said this so beautifully. And you're right- using the tortured artist excuse is bullshit. A good actor can act no matter what, and part of being bipolar is you can think that you are fantastic off meds when you are merely delusional. Oh, and by the way, take it from one who knows. being bipolar and not wanting to take certain meds because with them you can't 'feel' deeply enough doesn't give you the right to be a douche. Stop being a stalker.
  7. One other thing. I sincerely doubt that most people with BPD are evil bastards. That's just silly. And I think all mild - intermediate on the spectrum mental illnesses will eventually be curable, whatever that means. But it does take a lot of work, and a lot of workarounds. While I think personality disorders can be especially tenacious, that doesn't mean there's no hope or that people with them should be written off. But I'm also reminded of a friend in college who was blind, and who frequently took advantage of sighted people's patronizing naiveté regarding her supposed helplessness. It's easy to want to get away with abominable behavior when people expect you to behave abominably, and I think that's why there are people with diagnosed personality disorders who act certain ways (ditto for mood disorders such as my own).
  8. Every natural drive you have is to live. Over-riding nearly all of your physiology is exceedingly difficult. Failure in this does not make you a fuckup. Not succeeding isn't just a good thing, it is a human thing. For sure, for sure. It often feel like my illness is located in my brain, which wants to do this horrible thing. But it's not all of my brain or any of my body. The body and the sane part of my brain don't like suffering either, but know death isn't the answer. Makes me think I have enough good going on (both within my core being and outside of myself) that I can't override my survival instincts.
  9. I sometimes feel like a fuckup because I can't seem to kill myself. I mean, it's simple,right? And yet I can't. but think of it this way. you are a success at not completely destroying your arms and thighs. and that's good.
  10. This is what I experience too. More irritability that things are slow or stupid. And the higher I go, the higher I go! I think I've been in a mixed state though. But it may have been an agitated depression. Who knows! I get agitated depressions also. I get irritable and even the smallest noises can grate on my nerves, and when I get really tired my brain feels like sludge and nothing makes sense. I call it 'sleepy angry cat brain', or 'catbrain' for short. Or, I get that "Ican'tsleepIfeelsowonderfulisthatasquirrelyesit'sasquirrelIlovesquirrelswhyareyoustaringatmesquirrelsareniceanywaywhatwerewesaying-IwishIcouldfallasleepthatsquirrelissocuteIwanttocryIcan'thelpitI'mcryingbutweweretalkingabouttravelyesIloveplaneslookthere'saduck' mania. I call it 'the hamster wheel'. So, when i'm unmedicated I can be normal and functioning, angry, irritable and stupid, or zinging through outer space and wondering why almost nobody can understand my streams of thought (by the way, the people who can follow them say it's mighty fun. The one's who can't think I'm nuts. Both of them are right.). What they all have in common is that I go through horrifying periods of insomnia mixed irregularly with near-narcolepsy, and occasional bouts of normal sleep. When I'm medicated, I get very muted versions of all this, except I seem to be fairly normal (for me) right now, and I actually do get some real rest once in a while.
  11. I was a teacher for many years, so for me, fall is the mental beginning of the year. It makes me feel happy! I do realize that it gets more gloomy, though. However, while I don't believe in anything as ridiculous as 'turn your frown upside down' (who comes up with these vacuous ideas?) I do try to make this a happy season by mulling cider, making macaroni and cheese, and thinking about tea and hot cocoa. And soups. I love soups. In other words, I mentally try to pull together all the things I love about fall, and remember that seasonal changes are part i=of Nature's Wheel. However, September is tainted by 9/11 for me, since a goodly amount of my PTSD came on because of it. This year I allowed myself to stay indoors doing fun and distracting things and it didn't bother me much. as for winter, I have a bright light that I need to use more often, when my energy begins to flag.
  12. Melvin and Howard. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. The Man with the Golden Arm A Streetcar Named Desire The Lost Weekend Trainspotting Dr. Strangelove Girl, Interrupted The Bell Jar The Snake Pit
  13. The horrible part of bipolar for me is that I am completely aware of how crazy I am and I can't make it stop. I know when I'm delusional. I know that pain ends and suicide is a mistake. I know there are ways to deal with my PTSD. And you know what? Done of that helps. I can be in the middle of a delusion and see the edges of it but I can't climb out of it, I can feel suicidal and even as I know the pain isn't forever I can't stop looking at tidal tables and planning to drown myself, I can meditate until I turn into a Buddhist monk and I still get random moments of expecting to have planes fall out of the sky, to have someone molest or rape me, to be treated like shit, to be locked away in the world's most frightening mental hospital. And yet I still keep soldiering on. I don't know why. I keep doing all the right stuff even though a part of me doesn't give a shit, and just wants to lie down and sleep until the pain of life stops. I'm getting better, but a part of me doesn't care about that either, because I know how easy it is to start sliding back into that hole.
  14. I've had happy manias, but usually it manifests as a strong desire to punch people for the smallest things, like breathing in a certain way, making odd noises, letting music leak out of their headphones. I will become positive that people can just look at me and tell that I'm crazy, and that they are all talking about me and staring at me when my back is turned. I'll get enraged by idiotic comments on websites and write incredibly long and detailed rants, and then call my boyfriend and monologue about this stuff for literally hours. And it will seem that everyone except me is too stupid and slow-witted to understand how important and awful all of this is, which means I started feeling compelled to let everyone know why all of this is so wrong, over and over and over again. When I'm like that, living inside my head is a terrible thing. It's like being forced to live inside the 'It's a Small World' ride at Disneyland forever, with no down-time. But I had the same issue you had, where I didn't realize that I was suffering from hypomanic and even manic/psychotic episodes because I wasn't happy and I thought hypomania and mania meant feeling carefree, not turning into a troll under a bridge.
  15. It's very typical to feel at both ends of the scale at once. There's even a name for that. It's called a 'mixed episode'. This is another reason to find a therapist. Understanding how bipolar works is the first step in feeling better and being able to live a stable life.
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