Photo by Joshua Jordan on Unsplash

Something I really struggle with is forgiving myself. I’m so used to beating myself up for anything and everything that I might as well be bruised all over. I think of myself as a loser.

I know better, and I’m improving as far as not beating myself up goes. For example, I began working out recently. If I miss a day, I’m not going to feel guilty about it like I normally would. I’d just say, “Oh, well” and know that I can try again tomorrow.

Or maybe I’ll decide to eat something that’s calorie dense like chocolate-covered coconut creams. Oh, well. It might make me gain a few ounces, but certainly not several pounds. Of course it’s possible to overdo the “oh, well’s” so you have to be careful. Otherwise, how would you ever get anything done?

Same, But Different

Photo by Michael Walter on Unsplash

DEAR READERS: You’ve probably noticed that my recent posts have been all over the place, as far as the topics go. This is because I kind of don’t know what to write about. I’m well. I still can’t believe it, but I am doing well. During this last depression I never saw a light at the end of the tunnel and didn’t think one existed, but there is a light, and there is an ending.

There’s also a sequel, and that’s my current “non-depressed” life. And because of that, I don’t feel that I have much to offer regarding mental illness right now. At the same time, I love the freedom of choosing from many topics rather than just mental health/bipolar.

I’ve posted some “off-topic” posts in the past that were received well. So maybe I shouldn’t worry so much? I still want my blog to be about mental health first and foremost. Maybe that includes blogging about what it’s like to not be depressed, what it’s like to simply live with (treated) bipolar?

I don’t know. I guess I’ll figure it out as I go along. Thank you all for your patience and for sticking with me.

Best, Barb

Have you ever wanted to change the direction of your blog? Or has it evolved as it gets older?


Photo credit: joeduty on / CC BY-NC-SA

I’d love to do this. I would totally volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter, which I’ve done in the past. There are many rescues where I live. I don’t know which area I’d want to work in, though. Caring for cats? Caring for dogs? Dealing with the public? Haha, no thanks to that last one!

The reason I want to  volunteer is because I miss working with animals (I had volunteered in the past). It’s fulfilling to care for a homeless dog or cat. They don’t have anybody.

It’s been 16 years since I last worked. I loved my job–I taught composition and research paper writing. I loved my students.

I didn’t love some of the hours and the long-a$$ commutes. I didn’t like having to teach at 3 or 4 different schools each term, instead of teaching at just one school. My paychecks were less than my disability checks. I’m totally serious.

Many of you know that it was due to mental illness that I had to stop working. Now, I can’t imagine what it would be like to get up every day and go to work. I’m not sure I could handle it. I could barely handle the partial hospitalization program I was in last year. Plus there’s the fact that I’m afraid to leave my house without my husband.

I do hope that I can work with animals again one day. I love working with them. Plus, volunteering is a step towards employment.

Would you consider volunteering? For what type of organization?

Done List

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

The weight-loss program that I joined suggests instead of stressing out about your To Do list, write out a Done list. This would consist of all of the things that you did that day. You could write one in the morning or at the end of the day. Then place it somewhere prominent where you’ll be sure to see all that you’ve done. Here’s my Done list for Friday, 5/3:

  • fed the dog/cat
  • took my meds
  • ate breakfast/had coffee
  • checked e-mail/social media
  • posted to my dog, Rudy’s Instagram account. You can see/follow him here: @rudy_thegoodboy. He would love it if you stopped by!
  • read/wrote blogs
  • ate lunch
  • read more blogs
  • fed the dog/cat again
  • ate dinner
  • watched Beat Bobby Flay
  • took my medicines
  • started reading Educated by Tara Westover
  • went to bed

Seeing this list, no matter how mundane, leaves me with a sense of accomplishment. It emphasizes what I can do instead of what I can’t, what I did do instead of didn’t.

What’s on your Done list?

“My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward” by Mark Lukach

Photo from HarperCollins

NOTE: This is not a book review; these are just my thoughts–which may wander.

This book’s rating is 4.08 of 5 stars on Goodreads, so I guess people really liked it. I gave it a 3. It was just okay.

While the author is a great storyteller/narrator, what really killed it for me is that so much of the story is unbelievable. Anyone who’s ever been in a psych ward would know that.

At one point Lukach describes how he and other family visitors were allowed to hang out in the wife’s hospital room during a holiday. Are you kidding me? That would never be allowed in real life.

In a real psych ward, visitors are welcome to hang out in the visiting room with the patient; nowhere else. They enforce that rule. But in all the time I’ve spent in psych wards, I’ve never seen anyone try to break it.

Who’s “they,” you might be wondering. “They” are nurses and mental health workers. The latter are, in my experience, mostly male, strong, and probably worked security in the past. But that’s just a guess.

Anyway, there were many other unbelievable scenes in the book, none of which I remember of course, thanks to ECT. Well, and it’s been a few months since I read it; I’m only now writing down my thoughts.

Have you read My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward? What are your thoughts?