Bear Bearns

Am I the only one who checks their mental health with Solitaire?

I’ve had a bit of stress lately, barreling down on deadlines, clicking away, getting things down between visits with ornery children who like to sneak out of the yard and “prank grandma” with fake serious injuries. I also slid my little Queen across the board to put that old King in check… but, that’s real life chess and solitaire is cards.

Virtual cards. I play Microsoft’s Solitaire Collection on the computer. The”Daily Challenge” is fun. It’s one each of five different types of Solitaire games: Klondike, Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid, and TriPeaks. Every day is different as you never know if the objective for a game will be a card, board, stack, score, or solve challenge. It is good practice for Events.

That is a screenshot from Today’s Easy Street Event. Guess I got lucky, landed in a group of slow pokes. If you want to put my time in perspective, just take a glance at the global board. Some players are so scary good and wicked fast that they can finish under 15 minutes.

Odds are, I won’t keep that #1 spot, be lucky to stay in the top 10, as not everyone in my group of 100 players was done yet. I have no idea who those other players are… upwards of 300,000 people sometimes play in an Event and I think they just divvy players up into groups of 100 by their start times, but sometimes I think there’s some algorithm grouping by skills, too.

It doesn’t matter.

The thing is, playing solitaire is way to check my mental health, my concentration levels, and all that. When the fog rolls in, I can’t play. I can’t even do basic math when depression sets in, which is bizarre, as I was an engineering student who tutored math as a side job in college and then did trig almost daily after I became a tool & die maker. I don’t understand it, it’s just a strange phenomenon, suspect it’s got something to do with brain chemistry.

My mind kept wandering today. I found myself puttering around playing for a solve, wasting time when I should have been focused on that particular game’s objective. Maybe I just need some sleep. Yeah, that’s it… a good night’s sleep without a care in the frikkin world.

Thanks for reading!

PS: no one I personally know plays Microsoft Solitaire events so I have no friends on there… if you play and want to friend me, look me up, I’m Bear Bearns.


Epiphany #5

This “I’ll work on me, you work on you babe” while taking a break instead of just breaking up seems beneficial to our relationship.  We are actually talking to each other now and, in some ways, we are in a better place then we had been there for awhile. It is nice to remember what we like about each other, what attracted us to each other in the first place, and how much we actually do love each other.

I’ve been sharing my little epiphanies… from “I am here, I’m still me” to the “I don’t really know you” with a list of stupid questions like, “Do you own a cast iron skillet?” Yeah, there are a LOT of little things that I do not know about this man.

He got the point:  I need him to be a little more open and honest with me and he needs me to stop hiding aspects of myself that, for reasons real or imagined, I felt like he might not be able to handle it.

Where do we go from here? Who knows? Right now, it is just one day at a time.


LATER:  I was thinking about how to tell the new student doc assigned to me at the family clinic that when I ask for an antidepressant, I want a low dose SSRI, preferably Lexapro, NOT 300mg of Wellbutrin (way too much, that’s enough to send me over the edge so I’m NOT taking it) and suddenly, I got hit with Epiphany #5.

How do I tell him? He thinks I lost my me… oh my gosh!

That “strong vibrant woman” he met and fell in love with ye 3 to 4 years ago (I didn’t jot notes on a calendar or keep a diary) was riding a prolonged cusp on the edge of mania, self-medicating with 100 proof peppermint schnapps straight up (hey, alcohol is a depressant) plus Jacks & Coke and a few other things when we first got together.

I ended up back in therapy, bailed out and eventually crashed, series of harsh things took me down into depression… that’s easier to hide. I have a lot more experience going down. I blogged about some of it, from Wired in August 2015 on up past the new year, mixed in with other stuff.

So, basically, he has seen me up and seen me down, both ends of my mental health spectrum, but might not have realized it… stable is the middle ground. So he thinks I lost part of my me… that my stable me is missing something?

Epiphany #5 just opened a frikkin can of mental worms.

Stable me is NOT so vibrant. Stable me doesn’t drink, mainly because I know alcohol is a depressant and I tend to cycle down a lot more than I cycle up. Stable me is a responsible human being. Stable me doesn’t make as much art, doesn’t read poetry on street corners, doesn’t do wacky things.

Humm… I’m going to have to think about this for awhile before I venture to bring it up in conversation.

Thanks for reading!


Art of B.D. Fiant


B.D. Fiant is an ultra ego created while working under duress in 2006. It was not a good year. The last six months were hell. My stress level was so jacked that I felt like I was shaking uncontrollably when sliding my card to enter the door, but a glance at my steady hands told me that I was only shaking on the inside.

The delusional ropes in poem Ropes  were in that place.

The art attributed to B.D. Fiant are computer generated modifications of my own photographs and paintings. They speak of a world spinning out of control, of being caught in the bull, with life as I knew it going down the drain, and my utter inability to stop it. I pulled the meme and photos off my old laptop. There are more, but I’m only sharing my favorites.

It has taken years to recover. In some ways, I am permanently scathed, to use an Old English word. I’ve been heat treated, hardened… the dear sweet little girl raised to be a gentle lady has a core of defiance, an inability to put up with much of anything. I am B.D. Fiant.

Thanks for reading!