How I’ve Been Grieving Lately

Sisters Kayaking
My sister and me kayaking at Suttle Lake, OR

Before my father passed away, I planned to attend the Sunriver Writers’ Summit. Unfortunately, the summit followed only a month after his death, and I felt too raw to attend.

Social gatherings overwhelm and exhaust me and can trigger mood cycling, first hypomania as I get overstimulated and later a need to recover which looks like depression.

Now’s not the time. Now’s the time to spend with family. Visiting my mother and taking her out to lunch, which she enjoys. Seeing my sister, for we both deeply miss our father. So, instead of attending the writers’ summit, I visited Oregon with my husband and spent time with my sister and extended family.

We left our almost 18-year old son home alone, forcing him to forage a well-stocked refrigerator and freezer by himself. He managed to stay alive. Step in the right direction. (Got to encourage independent living skills before he goes out on his own.)

What If I Don’t Blog About Bipolar?


Recently I’ve been blogging about caregiving and about exhaustion more than about living with bipolar disorder. That said, obviously coping with major life events, such as taking on the role of caregiver of two parents struggling with dementia, is a HUGE stressor and potential trigger for mood cycling.

Cocooning in bed right now. Treated myself to two luxurious nights on two separate weekends as payment for all the work I’ve done. I coordinate my parents’ care, pay their bills, cleared out their house of their personal belongings with the help of an estate sales company, took multiple construction bids while we considered remodeling and leasing it, and now I’m our sales agent’s main contact. Luckily my parents made an excellent decision when they bought their beach house in the 70’s. The proceeds from its sale will enable my sister and I to take care of our parents.

I am Ashamed

Dusty Lamp

I’m ashamed. Ashamed of the dust. Ashamed of the clutter. Ashamed that I do not, that somehow I cannot, bring myself to keep my house clean.

This afternoon, as I sat working at our dining room table, my husband just touched the dusty lamp above me, and I started coughing, choking, asthmatic that I am.

My son suffers with eczema, with asthma, as do I. Still I leave the dust undisturbed, afraid of another asthma attack.

Too ashamed to ask for help. Too ashamed to hire help. Too ashamed to let anyone in. Too overwhelmed to attack the job myself.

Now my husband Nick chokes and coughs himself, as he cleans the lamp of its dust. Thank you, Nick, for all that you do.

Fried – Just Fried

Fried Egg with crispy edges in an iron skillet on a wood countertop

Today I went to a writers’ meetup, and now I am just wiped out. Social stimulation exhausts me. I had a great time, but I’m just not up for it. Just not up for two hours of conversation. Damn fucking brain disorder. I HATE bipolar disorder. My brain is FRIED.