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.

Ye Done

I think I am done with therapy.  The big debate question now is:  should I go to my next appointment and tell this psychologist that I’m not coming back OR simply call to cancel the appointment?

The real question is:  do I care what this intellectual type, with whom I have had serious communication problems, writes on my permanent electronic file? 

If I call to cancel, he will assume that I quit my recovery, that I am too defiant to accept help, there’s no hope for me, and all sorts of nonsense. Good psychologist, bad client.  Fact being as they are, therapy right now is a waste of time and money. 

I signed up for five sessions of cognitive behavior therapy last fall, first appointment on Halloween.  He told me on day one to look it up so I would know what to expect.  I think HE needs to look it up, as this is “talk therapy” without any clear purpose or direction. 

Okay, so my last visit was on the same day that my daughter opened a keg of worms.  I walked in baffled and confused, so I wasted my visit talking about it.  Walked out just as baffled and confused.  Then I spent a couple weeks mulling it over in my head and on virtual paper, writing endlessly only to delete. 

There was a lot of other stuff going on, July was a busy month.  I had art on display in three places, events to attend, things that had to get done, a shoulder that bailed out for a couple weeks requiring doc visits and X-rays to see if an injury had caused losing ye 70% use of that arm (it is fine now, so it was either an unknown muscle sprain or wacko nerve games, who knows? Ten days of pain and loss of use, wha la all better?  I keep telling these docs that there has got to be something else going on, the jab points and odd things that come and go.  Oh, it could be arthritis?  It is above the bad discs in my spine, which gets blamed for everything south.)  Anyway… July was a busy month for me.  By other people’s standards, maybe not… but my life goes in slo-mo because of the spinal crap.  July ended with going out of town for a wedding, doing the old auntie thing by baking a zillion cookies, then coming home to leftover cookie ingredients and nearby convienience store, a momentary lapse on the “not an option” as that is the problem, so when I went back to the doc for follow-up on the arm thing, my weight was up.  Down 75 on the day I went to the shrink, up 9 at docs on Monday, and today down 11 by my scales.  So, yeah, I screwed up but its okay.  Life goes on.

The only way to kick this binge eating disorder is to  convince myself, and maintain that conviction, that bingeing is simply NOT an option.  But it is… it always is, and that is the problem.  Like any drug or addiction, it is there.  It is my choice to make it an option.  It is me who has to say to myself: not an option, don’t do it.

Therapy did NOT help me… yes, I talked to him about what went down with my child.  I talked to everyone else, too.  Sisters, friends, my dad… so baffled and confussed to discover that my adult child was embarrassed of me.  Yes, the wild child who loved drama so much that she had huge comedy and tragedy masks tattooed on her arm has morphed into my mother, an all prim and proper lady caring about how things look as she nears the age of 30.  She was embarrassed of me.

I’m not going to get into the details of my “behaving badly in public” as that would only serve to embarrass her more. 

What baffles me is how easily she was embarrassed over something that did NOT embarrass me at all and then how mad she was, expressed later via text and phone calls over several days, and her coldness towards me on my birthday.  Oh, she sent a “happy bday” text wee early in the morning and she did say “happy birthday” when I called her late that night asking where’s my cake, I don’t get a card or nothing?  Oh yes, she was and maybe still is, really mad at me.

Maybe I should move, go live someplace else. 

Odds are that I will, repeatedly and unintentionally,  accidentally embarrass her again just by being my own damn self.  

OH WELL…  I am her mother and parents come “as is” so she best accept me “as is” and go on.   I am NOT going to play pretend by slipping on a public persona every time I step out the door, taking precious care to guard everything I do or say or simply BE or AM in a misguided attempt to avoid embarrassing my adult child.

I ain’t got it in me to do it again. 

Again?  Oh yeah…  that’s in my keg of worms, the why I can’t do it, not even for my own child. 

I’m not ready to write about it yet, partly because I became intensely aware that not all people who read things on the internet are, in a word, SANE.  Stir in anything about religion and the nutcases go off in an uproar. 

Besides, I have rambled on long enough today. 

Shopping Shrinks & Bowls

I wanted to take some time to absorb things, so I hopped a bus to Boardman after I left the shrink’s office yesterday. So much for a mad shopping spree. I spent a whole $1.07 at the card shop in the mall and only $6 and change down at “Pipe Dreamz” on Market Street.

So, how did the shrink appointment go?

We talked. I think we reached a greater understanding or at least now we can talk to clarify what is said with what is heard, if that makes sense. Like, I told him that he pissed me off and he hears that I was angry so I must have projected anger felt towards someone else on him as that happens sometimes… but no, it was not misdirected. Talking about what exactly pissed me off lead to talking about other things and I feel much better about our ability to communicate more effectively now.

Oh, want to see what I got up at the Re-Hab store?

That brown wok shaped bowl resting on a chafing dish base will become a little bird bath for a flower bed, with a bit of clear caulk and a purple birdie. The ceramic cat will go outside, too. I also got candle glass, picture frames, and a few other things, but didn’t find what I went there looking for (small baking dishes) so maybe better luck next time.

As for the yellow bowl? It is old with crazed glaze, inside and out, and feels way too heavy for a bowl of that size. I don’t know why I bought it as I don’t think it is suitable for food use, not sure what I am going to do with it. I feel like there is something special about this bowl, so if you know anything about old bowls, please share. This one was made by the “GEM CLAY FORMING CO” in Sebring, Ohio.

Thanks for reading today!