I Miss My Old Blogging Friends

I Miss My Old Blogging Friends

I wrote the following post last year. Still applies. Now I’m busy with caregiving. My responsibilities have grown. My focus has changed. Now I blog less about living with bipolar and more about caregiving. Still, I do not have enough time to read and comment on all the wonderful blogs out there. On top of caregiving, I’m preparing for BlogHer16. After BlogHer, I’m attending NAMI’s California conference in late August and a writers’ conference in September.


Have I Lost My Blogging Friends?

Published August 12, 2015

So I’ve been busy, much busier than usual, in my real life, interacting with people in the flesh, which overstimulates me, so I haven’t been reading and commenting on other blog posts like I usually do, like I used to do.

The posts I published Wednesday received few comments. I wonder, is it because I have let down my online community of mutually supportive readers by not reading and commenting on their posts? Or, is it because my posts were not personal or particularly original in nature — just a rehash of a conference I attended Friday and Saturday and a repost of a TIME, Inc. infographic about why we still need Women’s Equality Day ? Perhaps my last post was simply too long (and boring, I now realize in going back and reading it).

I’ve been feeling guilty for not reading and commenting as much on other blogs, but I can only do so much, and taking care of myself comes first. I respond to comments on my blog. But, there are simply too many other blogs to read them all. I’m not even reading those with whom I’ve developed close online friendships.

Writing helps me. Consuming seemingly endless numbers of mental health posts, commenting on them and sharing them, unfortunately, does not. Perhaps doing so helps others, just not me. Not when I’m too overwhelmed. Not when I’m doing my best to slow down.

By the way, did some more in person volunteering. Once again trying to figure this one out. How much in-person social interaction and volunteering I can take on without spinning like a hypomanic top.

Titrating Stimulation

imageAs BlogHer16 approaches, my anxiety increases. I know the conference will overstimulate me. To not be overwhelmed, I must revisit a topic I touched on briefly when I starred blogging in September 2016 – my need to titrate stimulation, carefully balancing just the right amount of social interaction with breaks for solitude and relaxation.

Find I must titrate exposure to stimulation. Need enough to prevent depression, but not so much as to trigger hypomania. Enough, but not too much sun. Have to be very careful with social stimulation. Easily get on edge when spend too much time with too many people. And, not able to limit myself, to set boundaries, to keep myself on an even keel. Fear losing myself, jumping in too deep too soon, taking on more than I can handle. All a very careful balancing act.

Source: Titrating Stimulation

Kitt’s New Media Kit

Getting ready for BlogHer16 I set up a new Media kit page. Noticed that my statistics have fallen this year. Yes, 2016 is not over. Still, it is more than half over, and I’m at lower than half the views I had last year. I know I’ve been busy with caregiving. I’m blogging more about it and less about bipolar disorder. I’m not able to read and comment on as many blogs as I did before. Oh, well. Honestly, I’m not quite sure why I’m even setting up a media kit, for I’m not strongly motivated to monetize my blog.

2015-views1

Media kit for kittomalley.com. Overview. Analytics. Monthly visits. Social media followings.

Source: Media

Flight Back Home

Friday, July 15th

Last Saturday, the day after we returned from Oregon, my mother was psychiatrically hospitalized for the third time since her stroke last November. Yesterday morning, I met with the treatment team at her psychiatric hospital. They do not think she needs long-term psychiatric placement. They believe her memory care community is the best placement for her and that she’ll just likely need regular “tune-ups,” returning to the psychiatric hospital when she refuses to take medication and her mental health deteriorates.

Luckily my parents’ house sold, with escrow closing yesterday. This morning I met with a financial planner to invest the proceeds from the sale on behalf of my parents and schedule regular withdrawals to pay for their care. Long-term memory memory care is expensive.

OR Trip
Oregon was beautiful and offered a relaxing break.

Flight Back from PDX to SNA – July 8, 2016

Before returning our rental car at PDX, we stopped for gas. While making a pit-stop, I received a call from my mother’s memory care community which I let go to voicemail. Inopportune time to take the call, as my purse hung on the restroom door handle out of my reach, and I didn’t want to dribble, squat and waddle over to answer my phone. Instead, I’m sharing the impolite (and perhaps amusing) imagery that came to my mind as the phone rang (to temper the vulgarity of the scene, my ring tone is Take Five by Dave Brubeck – yes, I love jazz).

The voicemail confirmed that once again my mother refused to take her medication and threatened violence against the nursing staff at her memory care facility. Once again, time for psychiatric hospitalization. This is getting old. Really old.

I fear my mom may need long-term psychiatric placement. Locked psychiatric care 24/7. Do not know what is available. Time to reach out for help. Time to research geriatric psychiatric residential placement for mom. Fuck.

That’s all I have to say on the matter. I do feel myself coming to tears. I fear, too, ending up like mom. Crap.

Shit.


Now I’m just spent. I did have a good time this week in Oregon. It was a nice break from my life, from my responsibilities, from the mess and clutter that is our house, from the mess and clutter that is my life.

We went to the wedding of one of our many nieces last night. They wed under Cathedral Bridge (St. John’s Bridge). The bridge is built with stunning Gothic arches and a backdrop of trees along the river. Then we had an incredible dinner at Plaza Del Toro. Very upscale and gourmet. So delicious. Loved it. Wish we had that kind of food in our neighborhood.

I look forward to getting away again and again and again. I need these breaks, these respites.

 

Bad Mom – Spoken Word for Tha.Speakeasy

Old post, but always relevant for those of us who parent while human.

Kitt O'Malley

Prompted by an invite to Tha.Speakeasy Facebook event on April 17th & 18th, I read my poem, Bad Mom, which I’m posting here.

Bad Mom

Bad mom
Selfish mom
Ineffective mom
Permissive mom
Bipolar mom
At times, abusive mom
At times, out of control mom
At times, rageful mom
She’s even hit her kid
She’s even slapped her kid
No excuse
No excuse to hit a child
No excuse to slap a child

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