Iron in the Fire

phone doodle

Hey, Mr. B.D. Fiant,
Will you write a note for me?
Just one word, two words, maybe three?
They want me in therapy.

That is how one of the poems that I read out on Phelps Street last month begins… I don’t feel like writing the whole thing right now. The “art” is a phone doodle on the back of unopened mail addressed to me. Pencils were on the table and I was too lazy to go fetch some paper, just doodling anyway, something to keep my fingers busy while I was on the phone.

So, who is Mr. B.D. Fiant?

You have seen his art here on this blog, last one in Wired, just two posts back. Does he exist? No. He is a play on words, a figment of my imagination created when I worked at Delphi Packard, an ultra ego to credit for minor words of defiance. Yes, B.D. Fiant IS be defiant. Sometimes, I am defiant.

I am still resisting medication as I don’t think I really need “mood stabilizer” pills. I want techniques, handy dandy little tricks, means and methods to unwire myself when I feel too wired. I don’t fly too high anyway, it’s not usually a problem. Lack of sleep is, at times. I need the energy to get things done, got a lot of irons in the fire, a lot of projects going on. I don’t like feeling scattered. I already know how to recognize symptoms and how to ward off downward spirals into “deep dark depressions and excessive misery” (to quote or misquote an old “Hee-Haw” song) and I know there has to be similar things to calm my mind when it gets too frazzled, it’s like trying to think clearly while your brain is out to lunch.

I’m not exactly sure what is going on…  I have a shrink talking about brain chemistry, denial, and the dangers of self-medicating so I’m thinking I should document sleep and mood patterns, color coded and shaded for intensity.  Add one word here and there if something is going on, say up till 4am writing.

A chart keeps it simple, quick see at a glance if any patterns exist.

I did not have any graph paper, so I drew a chart in OpenOffice Draw. Time span is ye 3 weeks. I have no intention of getting all chart happy, just need to color in squares for hours slept and note moods when obviously up or down… neutral ye normal no problem need not be colored.

Here is a pdf of my printable chart, if you want to see:  SleepMoodChart

I might continue to chart between sessions as it will document sleep patterns, &c., and easy see if this therapy and/or trying whatever works or not. Maybe it is too scientific? IDK…  I can’t go by assumptions and opinions, vague answers to vague questions… I need evidence, test results, documentation.

Mental health has to be one of the only fields that prescribes medication without proof it is really needed. Try this pill? Try that one? How do you feel? Normal? What’s normal?

Hey… I’m an artist… normal does not apply to creative types. So what if I stayed up all night working on a project, run days on little sleep, crashing only when sheer exhaustion takes over?

Have you ever READ A BOOK you couldn’t put down, had the hours fly by and the next thing you know, it is morning? If just reading a book can do that, imagine the writer being so zoned in that time does not matter. It’s the same thing, maybe a little more intense, but it does not make the author mentally ill.

Pumpernickel

I woke up at 4:20 a.m. The alarm on my cell is set for 8. Breakfast was an onion bagel and coffee leftover from Saturday. Yes, I saved it because I’m out of beans. Made my last pot yesterday. It is Monday.

This post is titled “Pumpernickel” because the lines of a poem run through my head:

“I can’t take care of you
 because I can’t take care of me,
so tonight I’ll just have toast
and enjoy your company.”

Old words, different day, same tune. I’m not good at being anyone’s girlfriend, and certainly not of the marrying kind. I tend to treat men like men treat women… don’t call all the time, don’t text too often, and I don’t want to hang out 24/7. This doesn’t mean I don’t care… just means that I have other stuff going on.

Thing is… I don’t know how to do coupledom. I don’t know how to be half a couple. I’m a whole person in my own right, be it a slightly messed up person, but still a whole person.

I expect a man to be a whole person, with his own stuff going on, too.

Half a couple men get on my nerves… they tend to be clingy, insecure, constantly in need validation or reassurance, and can’t do much of anything without consulting their “better” half – as if every minute decision must be approved by another human being. Problems occur when they expect ME to consult them over every little stupid thing, as if I need their permission or want their approval before I do anything.

So basically, I treat men the way I want to be treated. Two people CAN remain individuals, each a whole person in their own right, pursue their own interests, and still enjoy each other’s company now and then.

Sometimes, I do try to be more… oh, IDK… caring?

It doesn’t come naturally… hits me like an after thought. Like oh, maybe I should stock his favorite flavor of coffee creamer or cook something that he likes to eat.

I also believe that a man tend to be where they want to be, so I am not insecure in my own relationships. This also means that I don’t know how to chase off women who hit on a man I’m seeing. Am I supposed to go all possessive and catty? That makes no sense to me. If a woman hits on “your man” and he goes for it, was he “your man” to begin with? We do not own each other… there is no obligation here. We spend time together because that is something we both want to do. Yes, it would deeply sadden me if he chooses to be with someone else, but he’s not under lock and key. There is nothing I can do to stop him. My only choice in the matter would be to decide what I do next, to what is best for me. Odds are that I would have to say good-bye if he hasn’t already said good-bye, as I’m selfish… I don’t like to share.

LATER:

It’s been ye 21 hours since I woke up this morning (or yesterday, if your days go by clocks). I got a little bit of a few things done today… didn’t work on my button shop (supposedly a main priority) but did design and upload a couple new graphics at CafePress.

I bailed, saved this as a draft earlier as I had a shrink appointment.

I don’t know what’s with that girl in the office as this was my second session there and we agreed to a 3 week schedule. That’s 3 as in THREE, or ye 21 days between sessions. This time, I know for sure that he told her to make my next appointment in 3 weeks. She says, “how’s September 3rd (or was it 4th?) and rattles off times like I’m to pick one. I said, “that’s not 3 weeks” and she looked at me like I was stupid. So I flipped through the little well worn calendar (obviously flipped often by other clients, patients, or whatever they call us there) and counter-suggested a date 3 weeks out. Last time, I did not pay that much attention. She gave me an appointment 2 weeks out, so when I realized it an hour later, I called to reschedule for the following week. Does she have a problem with calendars? Does the entire concept of “three weeks” blow totally over her head? There are REASONS for scheduling my sessions 3 weeks apart. Part of it is money, as I have to lay down a $35 co-pay every time I go. I can afford $35 every 3 weeks, but not every two. I also need time to process the session, to think about what I am doing, plus think about anything the shrink wants me to think about. This is not my first psych rodeo… I know that I’m the one who has to do the work on me, a shrink is just a mentor or guide to help you do it.

I do have things to think about. I’m not ready to write about it yet… thank goodness, eh? This is long enough… a tad too long, but odds are no one will read it anyway. People like short and sweet. I’m not there yet. If you actually read it all… thank you!

Wired

Ten signs that you might be just a little tad manic, in no particular order:

1. Your hand writing is barely legible to your own self. It takes considerable effort to write almost legible so other people can read it. However, your keyboarding skills are excellent and you are writing up a storm.

2. You cannot find “it” whatever “it” is, but definitely need to find “it” before an unknown deadline.

3. You find “real” mail (cards or letters from real people) postmarked weeks ago that you forgot to open.

4. You feel jacked up wired, trembling uncontrollably with excess energy but a glance at your steady hands tells you that you are only shaking on the inside.

5. You have a techie degree in electrical/electronics but cannot recall which color is the ground wire.

6. You have no idea how much money you have in the bank or your wallet, so you click into miser mode and/or use credit cards so you won’t accidentally overdraw an account.

7. You did not realize that you had purchased over $5,000 worth of beads until a beading supply company rewards you with extra discounts for being one of their best customers. Oh wait a minute, that was last time… but you caught yourself feeling the need to “stock up” on something.

8. You live on coffee and cigarettes and something quick late at night as you forgot to eat all day.

9. You run on minimal sleep, often 20 hour days, and only lay down when your body threatens to fall down.

10. Your mind is scattered, so you are doing several things all at once and/or skipping from one topic to the next so much that someone says something about it.

11.

 

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WEEKS LATER (when not so wired): Find this post in your “drafts” and upload an image to go with it, click to publish.