Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Why did I confess?

What it feels like in the middle of a mood episode
Photo by Sonia Remizua on Unsplash

 I had a few people ask me why I posted my confession yesterday.

"Aren't you scared that someone will use that information against you?"

"You'll never find a job if people know [the truth]."

Here's the thing. In America, truthful information about mental health is difficult to find. A lot of stigmas exists around both mental health problems and people who have them. But not talking about mental health will not get rid of the stigmas.

We need to normalize mental health discussions. If a person has ADHD or autism or bipolar disorder, they need to be able to discuss their diagnosis without running into prejudice and bias from society.

Today, that is not the case for the majority of Americans.

I announced my new diagnosis to do my part in helping to normalize bipolar disease. I am not a celebrity; I am a normal person with normal wants and needs. Furthermore, I have a family I love, amazing friends, and a dog who is honestly the goodest boy ever. Having a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is not mutually exclusive to having a life.

So if you have any questions, I will answer them to the best of my ability. If you know someone with bipolar disorder and want more information, I can point you to some great online resources. If you are just curious, awesome!

Only if we work together, can we overcome societal stigma about mental health. Only if we work together, can we make society a safer place for everyone.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Confession Time: I just learned that I have Bipolar Disorder

And yes, it still hasn't sunk in. I mean, I'm bipolar?!?!???

Why is this so hard to acknowledge? Because I am human, and whatever I feel, feels normal.

Only needing 4-5 hours of sleep sometimes? Normal.

So tired I can't get out of bed until noon, other times? Normal.

Speaking too fast? Thoughts racing between ideas? Unable to fall asleep or wake up at the same time? 

Normal. Normal. Normal.

To have a psychiatrist tell me, well, your normal is actually a series of bipolar mood episodes. That blows my mind.

Image by Freepik

I started an antipsychotic medication - Seroquel - which turned me into a sleep zombie for a few days. Luckily, I'm adjusting to the side effect and staying awake for more than 30 minutes at a time. But the new changes in my sleep needs is only the most obvious effect to other people.

Internally, I can focus now on one thing at a time. I don't have to corral my thoughts every few minutes, as I also feel calm inside (though to be honest, "calm" isn't the correct word, just the closet to how I feel). I have a clarity to my thoughts that I did not have before. To be honest, I did not realize I needed the clarity until I had it.

I guess the strangest thing is that I now feel more like "me" than I have before. It's wonderful and scary to feel as though I am more a whole person now than I was last week. In turn, I wonder what I will feel next week, next month, even next year? 


Monday, October 10, 2022

Music Monday: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn

 

I am not a huge country music fan. I have no idea who is on the charts and I don't even know how to find the local country radio stations. But I grew up listening to Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and John Denver (along with classical, disco, and rock music). These people define "country" for me. 

And now Loretta Lynn is dead.

It's hard to describe what I'm feeling. I'm numb because the news feels fictitious. I'm sad because she was such a lovely person. I grieve for her family, because I know that they are reeling. I'm happy when I remember singing along to her on car rides. 

I never knew that Loretta wrote and songs that were banned from radio stations. I listened to "The Pill" last week, and nearly laughed myself out of my chair. The woman had so many children, I completely get why she would be so happy at the advent of the pill. "Fist City" is violent, but in a way I understand and even approve of. Honestly, I would be introducing any woman hitting on my husband to my fist.

I guess it's time to say goodbye to Loretta Lynn, the woman.  Luck for us, her music will stay with us forever.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Today is National Taco Day? Sort of...

001 Tacos de carnitas, carne asada y al pastor
Larry Miller, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Tacos - a wonderful handheld food that Americans eat by the dozens

As the American melting pot grew in the early 1900s, tacos became a staple of American diets in the Southwest. During the last century, this food moved across the country until nearly everyone in the country has eaten at least one taco during their lives and many restaurants even advertise Taco Tuesday every week.

In 1968, Congress officially recognized the importance of tacos, saying:

On May 3rd of every year National Taco Day will be observed, in honor of the birth date of the great Texan and American, the Honorable Henry B. Gonzalez, Congressman of Bexar County and San Antonio. The highlight of National Taco Day will come on the night of May 3rd, at which time a celebration will honor the birth of a new era for the Taco and the Mexican Food Industry.

[From the Congressional Records of 1968, pg. 11132]


So why are we seeing images for National Taco Day now, on October 4th?


Because in 2009, Del Taco set up a marketing campaign the celebrate a "National Taco Day" on October 4th.  I have absolutely no idea why they decided to create this campaign, but it both worked and didn't work.  You see, I have heard of National Taco Day in October, but I had no idea where this idea came from until I did some research.

From Chef Lola's Kitchen


So which National Taco Day is the "real" one?


Taco Trivia

Back in 1989, Taco John trademarked the name Taco Tuesday. For decades, the business defended their trademark against others, though in the end it was all for naught.  Nowadays, plenty of restaurants advertise their own Taco Tuesday since the term is now considered  "a commonplace term, message or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment." by the United States Patent and Trademark Office [citation].




Music Monday: Chris Barron & The Spin Doctors

 




I don't know how many of you remember when the Spin Doctors first hit the scene, but I do. I remember gong out to clubs or bars and dancing to these high-energy songs while singing along.

Like a lot of bands, Spin Doctors released a hugely successful first album and then never managed to match that success with their following albums.  Mind you, the music is still exceptional. It just never became as commercially popular as A Pocket Full of Kryptonite.

Chris Barron, singer and songwriter, still sings with the band. But he also does some solo work. I re-discovered Chris Barron in the 2010s, when I bought the album Songs from the Summer of Sangria off of his BandCamp website. The music is more chill but just as thoughtful as his Spin Doctors music. And I recommend listening to it when you want to just kick back and let life flow.

Why did I confess?

What it feels like in the middle of a mood episode Photo by Sonia Remizua on Unsplash  I had a few people ask me why I posted my confession...