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Oh My! I did THAT when I was manic!

 

 

Being bipolar can be the pitts sometimes, especially when you charge right into mania and most times you are unaware that it is happening.  For our folks who are not aware what mania is, the best way that I describe it is your brain working over time-big time over time.  One of the most pronounced symptoms is you lose the ability to sleep.  When I was in deep mania heading into a major psychosis (a break with reality) I lost my sleeping pattern and it began with staying up super late, like 5am, and it bordered on dangerous when I did not sleep for 3 days.  I also gained a keen ability to type really quickly and my ability to rhyme and write became astonishingly amazing!  I also wrote a 33 page document, single spaced, on how to win the next federal election.  It was brilliant or so I thought that being the next Prime Minister was the next best thing to winning a trip to the Caribbean.  You do silly things when you are in mania and don't even realize that they are strange.  A friend once told me that "crazy people love to take their clothes off."  Well she is right, I have heard of so many incidences where people in mania just want to have their butt to the breeze and I am one of them!  I recall believing I was Eve from the garden of Eden and as I walked around my apartment mesmerized by my epiphany I could hear God telling me that my Adam was next door, so naturally I would knock on the door and say hello.  I had only met my neighbour once and as he stood there perplexed upon seeing me I let myself in and explained my dilemma that he was Adam and I had to speak with him.  As I sat on the edge of his couch he said " Wow, you are just as comfortable naked as if you had your clothes on!"  This incident was one of many that lead me to the Ottawa hospital where I was admitted for a month for my first experience of having mania and psychosis.  As I walked the hallways in the hospital for what felt like days, the amazing feeling of being in mania subsided and I was forced to be in the real world once again, it was quite the crash.   Sometimes people go off their medications because the feeling of being in mania is intoxicating as it is like taking ecstasy times a million or so I am told.  😉  I understand why people go off their medications and I do not scorn them, besides the horrible side-effects they experience, the feeling of mania is so overwhelmingly beautiful, feeling like nothing else one would experience in this world.  However, I do recommend staying on your meds because mania is too intense and is an experience that this world cannot handle coping with or ourselves for that matter.  You can't be insane in a sane world, but many would argue that statement as our world seems pretty insane at times.  If we were all in mania, all the time, this world would be a pretty cool place to live, but till then stay safe and remember with a high is always a crashing low, so plunging deep into mania is not worth it if you can help it.  This Eve must go to sleep now in her garden of Eden…or bed…I realize sleeping has become massively important next to breathing as it is vital for a life full of meaning, positive productivity and taking care of your delicate self.  Much Love, Babe  🙂

Restless

Wow!  Talk about drawing a blank and my motivation is about as active as a…I don't even know how to describe it!  I feel like there is this empty hole inside of me and a certain kind of restlessness that haunts me and nothing I do feels like I am being satisfied.  I have been doing some research and I found out that this can actually be a side effect of this new medication that I am on.  Restlessness is one of the common side effects of Abilify. What restlessness means is that you can't sit down, can't settle down to do anything, but you have an inner urge to keep moving, in my case to sit for some time at the computer, then move to the TV, then have a bike ride, then have something to eat in a manner that I never feel satisfied!  Then there are days where I feel so tired, bored and in a serious withdrawing rut, to the point where nothing is satisfying and everything feels like falling into one dark hole after another.  I applaude myself for the two bike rides I have taken though…this is a rarity.  As you can tell my writing abilities have subsided slightly and sleep is a curse as I am unable to have any real deep sleep without induced medication.  I just want my normal life back when I was working and I am starting to feel resentful about not being able to partake in the work force.  I still have those 'acid' type feelings that I described in my previous blog and if an episode were to happen at work that would be devastating.  I just don't feel sure of myself and the anxiety is daunting that I can barely sit still at a dinner party or lunch with a friend without catching myself holding my breath waiting for the next spell.  I hate writing down what is going on with me as I often feel like I am complaining…my friends calling it sharing.

Feature Bipolar Babe Story: Introducing Becky Kingsley

Greetings babe community, A new idea has swirled into babe land this week and our first feature story has arrived here on Babe's Blog today.  From time to time I will feature a story from a 'babe' or 'beau' living with bipolar disorder.  Please submit your stories to babe@bipolarbabe.com and shine like the star that you are!  I am introducing a fabulous lady who has an intriguing and most interesting story about her experiences of living with bipolar disorder.  She asserts she is a little nervous about sharing in such detail and length.  I admire her courage and her very entertaining work is showcased at www.manicdepressivetalk.com.   This is her personal venue where she share her thoughts on many of the issues surrounding bipolar disorder and includes funny posts such as: A Confession of Sorts: Some of the Most Embarassing Things I have Thought About While in a State of Utter Mania!  Becky also has a chat forum so everyone can participate in stigma free conversations. 

She is witty, charming and I adore her passion for creating open spaces to talk about mental illness, which speaks to her bravery and just plain awesomness.  She is a true bipolar babe! 

Becky Kingsley's Story

"I was 23 when I first was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  My uncle has it, so I pretty much knew what to expect and I was relieved to have an explanation for all of the crazy stuff that I had been going through.  In Jr. High, right after puberty and the onset of a more than a couple of pimples, I started to get paranoid about losing my friends. This was before cell phones, so I sent them neatly folded messages in class shaped like arrows and hearts and whatever else I could make, which asked them “Are you still my friend?"  I didn’t realize it at the time, but that’s when my depression started and it lasted on and off for a few years.  My grades went up and down with my mood swings.   One year I was an “A” student and the next year, I was barely passing school and I had decided to “stop taking” two classes.  Somehow, I managed to make it to graduation despite an extremely close call when I ran into a teacher on my way out the door to skip school.  I was fortunately given Saturday School, just like the Breakfast Club, and I didn’t get suspended. College was much easier than high school. The truth is that if you are a little different in high school, sometimes it’s hard to find your niche; after high school, in college or the real world, more people are likely to appreciate you for who you are.  The "real world"?  I transitioned to the real world and I complained to my friends constantly and felt a little depressed, so I decided to get career counseling.  I went in to see my doctor to get a referral to request a counselor or therapist.   Instead of giving me a referral, the doctor suggested Prozac and I decided to take his advice. I had broken the cardinal rule – never go to a GP for psychiatric advice.   Listening to him turned out to be a bad mistake although that may not be the case for everyone. Mania hit within a month, I went from a highly functional hypo-maniac individual to a literal “lunatic” unfit for society.  I felt as if I had a special mission from a higher force, which is strange because I wasn’t religious at all, and I went severely off the deep end.  I quit my job, told my boss I was going to write a book about how to be happy, and believed that I was communicating with people from beyond the grave.  I was involuntarily committed to a treatment facility, which is also known as a psych ward.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but that place was unique.  It was small and the staff really cared about the patients, which should be the norm, but it isn’t.  I stayed about a week and plotted my escape.  To get out, I needed someone to accompany me on an outing, but no one I called was available, so I took my friend’s mom to the movies.  I got kicked out and the doctor gave me my walking papers and I was back working in a week. Fast forward to a few years later on a tropical beach…feeling a little festive one night, I thought it would be a great idea to “christen” the other partiers on the beach with a nice mixture of sand and mud, but they thought otherwise, and tookthe steps necessary to get me help and to get me home.  Going crazy was actually fun the first time.  I was beyond wacky, had fun decorating with lipstick, saw an aura surrounding a nurse who delivered newborns and thought I was the next great Messiah to hit the planet.  After my first episode, I had people so impressed by my stories that they wished they had bipolar too, which was nice.  The next episode was not so much fun.  I had body aches and pains in weird places, I had anxiety and fear (something I had been totally without the first time) and couldn’t get my groove back for a long while.  Afterwards, I went right back to teaching and I went through a doctor who didn’t know as much as he should have about medication so I had NO ENERGY whatsoever. Depression.  I couldn’t work.  I got suicidal and had nobody to talk to about it but my doctor, whom I called every day begging for medication that would help me.  I was staying with family and felt useless and empty.  I slowly started to return to the land of the living.  I volunteered and took classes and tried to stay positive when all I could think about were dark thoughts.  I never attempted suicide, but I thought about it.  Somehow, I survived.  I went back to the 'place' where I had last gone what society calls ‘crazy’ and it took all of my courage just to face everyone after my humiliation subsequent to the manic episode and all of the terrible things I had done and said.  I wasn’t suicidal at this point, but my self-esteem had definitely taken a blow.  I faced and dealt with some of the people that I had problems with and traveled alone a bit.  While I take responsibility for my actions during my mania, truthfully I believe I blew many of my actions totally out of proportion.  I needed money, so got back in the classroom, but I started to get anxious while teaching and felt sucked absolutely dry by my ESL students.  I came home to the USA and started all over again.  This time from scratch.  Since I’ve been back, I’ve worked a number of jobs.  I believe I still feel weirder than most people , but I like it because it’s what makes me 'me'.  I’m proud to be different.  I’m more creative as a result and have more than a few interesting stories to tell. Bipolar Babe asked what advice, if any, I would give a younger person with similar problems. 'Believe in yourself and follow your passions. You might feel that your diagnosis hinders you, but it opens more doors by giving you a reason to search inside yourself more deeply to find the real you. Talk to people.  If you are suffering from suicidal thoughts or you want to harm yourself, you have to 'tell' people. It’s the only way that they can help you. It’s hard to believe, but there are a ton of people who have been in the same situation and who have only grown stronger from their experiences.  Read about Bipolar Disorder- understanding your illness helps you. Educating yourself about medication, stress-releases, symptoms and possible triggers are all great ways to help yourself.' I may have lost out on a lot because of my bipolar disorder and it’s taken a lot of my time and made my relationships more difficult, but I’ve learned about myself and others.  I don’t always feel ok, but that’s a part of life and I have definitely learned to accept myself the way I am, but to also accept my limitations.  Currently, I am writing about bipolar disorder, living back in the United States, enjoying my friends and family, and I feel that I am on the right path."

The stars below…

Having bipolar disorder I have floated so high as to literally see the stars below me in a breath taking gaze above the earth, and in the next heart beat seeing the devil dancing and laughing at me during a torrid and insane psychosis. It was as real as breathing air into my lungs and as natural as opening my eyes to wake in the morning. Bipolar has brought me to my knees losing all ability to prepare a meal for myself becoming disabled and confined to my bed for days at a time. Taking a shower has felt like an attempt to build a house on my own and I recall not being able to taste my food as ALL things were stale and bland. However, I feel that due to bipolar I laugh harder, feel deeper and at times my thoughts flow in perfect harmony allowing my creative juices to boil for poetry, art and writing. Although my hands shake and I depend on medication to function, I see bipolar as my cursed gift as it has brought me to become a relatable figure opening a space for others to heal and share their story. We hear the arguments that have almost become trite about mental illness being compared to diabetes or heart disease, but if we were to truly reflect, consider and accept this point of view, then our attitudes toward the mentally ill would certainly alter. Our brains are organic entities and our doctors operate in a biomedical model who tell us that it is merely a chemical dysfunction in the brain, hence the recommendation for prescription drugs. Just as a person with diabetes requires insulin, so do I require a mood stabilizer mixed with an anti-psychotic, but surely my prescription would be the only one that would raise questions and doubts. Babe Thoughts, Andrea 🙂

June Swadron is a Beautiful Soul Surviving Bipolar Disorder

June is a friend and a beautiful survivor of bipolar disorder and an author of 'Re-Write Your Life'.  Her book and workshops bring a lot of healing for everyone, and I have experienced it first hand.
 
Imagine a Magical Evening of Creativity with June Swadron…
 Calling All local Inspired Writers! Monday, February 1st, 2010 Church of Truth, 111 Superior Street, Victoria, BC
6:30 – 9:30 p.m ony $49.00

Join a group of budding and seasoned writers for a Delicious Writer’s Feast! A free-flowing writing experience that stimulates the imagination and offers a fun and easy approach to creative writing.  It has brought me to be moved, touched and inspired and has assisted me in writing my own book. 

I have found her book to invoke a unique and powerful muse in having me break down barriers that have held me back from healing certain parts of my life.  If you don’t think you can write, I guarantee by evening’s end you’ll have changed your mind!  Bring your pen, journal, and your beautiful smile.
For full information and to get more information about June's book… 

Re-Write Your Life: A Transformational Guide to Writing and Healing the Stories of Our Lives

“June Swadron is both a guide and a muse. Her book is a bright lantern, illuminating the often dark and tricky terrain of the soul. Grounded in personal experience, her techniquescatalyze the deep authenticity possible to us all.” 

Julia Cameron, author of  The Artist’s Way

This book is a gift. ~Bipolar Babe

 

A Bipolar Surf

That is exactly how I have been feeling as I try to coast by way through this medication adjustment period, but taking naps in my car in between errands is the last of my worries.  It feels more like I am life's surfer crashing, falling and being tossed among the waves of a bipolar storm.  I recently had a medication tweak and I am realizing quite a significant one as I am transitioning from one anti-psychotic to another with a few other tweaks along the way.  🙁  I have been experiencing some very strange symptoms and/or side-effects as of late, but I am beginning to wonder if they are all that unique.  I have only heard of one person who has experienced something similar, so here it goes…I will try my best to paint you a picture of the world of babe having an 'episode' being affected with bipolar disorder.  I decided it was going to be a fabulous day and took a stroll with my boyfriend down to Oak Bay Avenue and it was gloriously charming.  The oak trees hung above our heads as we walked holding hands, the air was crisp, and we shared stories about the past and future all the while seal watching on the dock.  As we we returning to the car, it hit me like a wave…whoosh!!!  I was in the surf and tumbling deep into the water…what did this 'episode' feel like?  As I stared at the ground, the rocks on the sidewalk started to appear as if they were raised up, like they were a top layer above the laid ashpalt and every tiny speck (mark, dirt, twig, berry, piece of garbage, etc.) became as visible as the cars on the road in front of me.   As I looked over at my boyfriend I told him that the 'feeling' I had told him about that I had experienced a long time ago seemed to be creeping over me.  Then my experience became familiar and I was angry…'how could this be happening again?'  The tears began to well…being around people felt uncomfortable and the lights began to beam brightly.  As I sat in the passenger seat I explained that as I tried to focus on letters, whether on a street sign or the back of a car, it was blurry and all lines became fuzzy or doubled.  All of my senses were heightened but in a squirmy and uncomfortable way.  Even depth perception was a blur.  I felt paranoid and uncomfortable in my own skin and it was an overwhelming debilitating feeling that washed over me. I came home feeling panic stricken and nervous but I began to feel somewhat comforted by the familiar surroundings of my home and my very empathetic boyfriend; I just held my cat while laying on the couch and things eased.  It felt safe to be indoors where all the stimuli did not feel like it was attacking me.  Later on today, I still feel the shell shock effects from the bipolar 'episode' but at least I can focus enough to write this blog, which is sure sign that this adjustment will simply be a readjustment into a new balanced and healthy place.  We all surf the waves of life and at some point we crash, get caught up in the waves, maybe even get tossed, but the most important thing is to grab your surf board and keep swimming because eventually you will catch the dream wave and stand long enough to enjoy it.  As I lay here on the shore, I am happy to have had this experience today because it allowed me to share it with you and hopefully encourage you to KEEP ON surfing babe!!

Rich…

As I stepped off the plane yesterday in Kamloops, I was thrilled to see my mother and Daddio2.  Her body`s frame had changed and her smile beamed in a way that I had not seen in such a long time.  She had lost a significant amount of weight and she was so tiny to hold.  Having been in the psych hospital for over half a year may have actually done her a lot of good.  Having shed so much weight it will cause her diabetes to be more easily controlled, her risk to heart attack and stroke has gone down drastically, her arthritis has eased and her mental health has improved drastically due to the Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as electroshock therapy in older days.  There is a lot of stigma around this method of treatment and I held a lot of reservations myself as visions flew through my mind of 'One Flew over the Coo Coo's Nest,' it is a must rent.   My mother was truly impossible to treat with medication, even catatonic for long periods of time, and now she is able to have a meal in a restaurant with us and take part laughing in our silly conversations!  It feels like a miracle!  One of the most controversial treatments in mental health gave my mother back her sanity and is helping her to get better treatment by treatment and for this I feel richly blessed. As I sit here I observe that my parents' apartment is very small, almost to the point that the Christmas Tree takes up one quarter of the living room and my father's heart is rich with gratitude as he was able to put up the tree with my mom this year and we thought it would only be the two of us.  I had tears in my eyes as we cheered our sparkling rasperberry juice and my father expressed how the rich meal he had prepared was worth every second!  He was glowing!  Gratitude is a theme that echoes this Christmas, especially this year!  I am grateful that I have so many people that love me and are part of my security net that is weaved together which includes many that I love, they are always sure I will never fall, and I offer the same for them, especially my mother.  I am so rich.

Mental Health Leave From Work

Even Bipolar Babe's sunshine dims from time and time and I have found myself in a place that I have not been since 2005, which is needing some healing time away from work.  I noticed that I begun struggling  a couple of months ago to get to work and requested a later start time as my sleep was ranging from 3 hours then to a longer night's slumber on the weekends of 14 hours!  My ability to keep a 9-5 schedule became impossible and to wake in the morning felt as if a ball and chain was wrapped around my body.  I barely had the energy to shower and would show up for work with wet hair and no make-up, not having had breakfast which is something I always do.  I began having an extremely difficult time making my lunch for the next day and my organizational abilities began to falter.  I worked in an office setting and although I had always disliked cubicle life, I began to feel overwhelmed by its staleness, lack of sunshine and by the type of environment that it brought.  It felt as if every ounce of energy was soon gone and this became my every day reality.  I began to cry quietly in my cubicle often and the anxiety and fear of an attendance review due to my sporadic absences lunged anxiety into my gut daily.  Luckily, the people I worked with were amazing and I was able to temporarily focus on the task at hand with short blasts of energy, but always falling into a deep depression as the sun went down and it remained when it came to beckon me for another day.  I struggled and suggested working from home but with long-time set rules in a work place, even the most accommodating manager has their hands tied.  I am now inspired to explore the topic of workplace accommodation for people with a mental illness and I am sure that several employers would embrace this opportunity. People often think that if you alter your work setting, the amount of work you do (which is not a solution as you lose your income), or your work hours that the problem may be resolved.  It may prove to aid in recovery somewhat but with all these considerations the fact remains I have an illness.  I automatically feel defensive when people say 'you have so much going on, maybe you just need a break' and with this it seems that the impact of the illness as the leading factor in a 'breakdown' or a 'relapse' is lost.  I prefer to call it mental health time and I am slowly learning that it is necessary for my health at this time.  I remind myself that I am not deficient, behind the game or weak for having to take this time to recoup.  I recently headed up a very successful and amazing event called the 'Bipolar Babe Benefit' which may have contributed to my need to seek refuge but then again having once run for the nomination for member of parliament did not cause me to falter.  I believe it all depends on where my illness is playing out in in my life at the time, how the chemicals are flowing in that busy brain of mine and how stable Ifeel overall.  I have no control of these particular things.  I don't ever want to sound like a victim because I left those sentiments behind awhile ago but I feel it is important to stress that it is not the fault of the person who has the breakdown just as it is not for the person who has a heart attack.  If an employer were not to hire you due to the fact that you have a mental illness, then it may not be one that you would want to consider anyway.  I disclose in my interviews and express how important it is to work with an employer in an accommodating workplace.  There may be benefit that your personal experience can be used on the job, just as one of my manager's most kindly commented that I was a change agent in the workplace and having been honest with my co-workers I allowed a freedom to be understood and it personally brought me peace. I have only recently been living a rich, plentiful and busy life balancing school, work and the babe project and God has afforded me all of these wonderful opportunities, but there are several things that I have learned through this experience.  I will balance my life in a way that will be the most accomodating for me and I will explore this during my mental health leave and once I am well enough I will work with my employer to find a position that does not exasperate my medical condition.  I will remember and do the things that I love to do, such as taking walks by the ocean with my boyfriend and spend more time cuddling my cat.  I will remind myself and take action knowing that my nutrition is of utmost importance and my water intake is key to flushing the lithium through my body.  I will resume counseling sessions and ensure to partake in long conversations with close friends over tea.  I will go to the Pandora Arts Collective (PAC) and share in art therapy and I may even feel like speaking to a group of teens about self empowerment while having a mental illness for this is one of the most healing acts that I can do.  Do not think that sick leave consists of never leaving your home and sleeping all day but it is time to rejuvenate and to take comfort in that everything will work itself out in time.  Take a deep breath, download a CD with beautiful sounds of the ocean, put on your headphones and cry.  I am so blessed I still feel inspired to write as this is one avenue to easing the way out of the darkness.  Let the healing begin.

Where do 'I' Begin?

Well here I am feeling inspired, creative and so grateful to be here writing a wonderful post to you folks. It is late and we all know how important it is for us 'bipolars' to get our sleep.  We can lose our heads if we are not careful!!   I have no trouble sleeping in but the dance to the bed is generally done at a not so decent sane folk's hour.  I would rather write instead and enjoy the pleasure I get from any form of positive interaction, especially when everything connects so perfectly in that interaction taking place in my brain.  It seems to really 'ping and pong' when I am up creating prose or poetry late at night. I mentioned to a friend how I often feel it is confusing for me to make sense of my diagnosis.  When someone accuses me of being a certain way because of my bipolar-ness, it really makes me roar.  I often think 'Who are you to tell me what I do, and don't do because 'they' gave me this label called bipolar?"  I am who I am because I am who I am!  It is difficult at times as I often wonder "where does my personality begin, and where does the illness end and so on…"  Where do 'I' begin?  I have come to the conclusion that we don't know all that much about the inner-workings of the brain and fail to agree on definitions of the mind.  The language we conjure up to attempt to explain the 'something' wrong with someone who has a 'mental disorder' fails to deliver coherence.  Even in this sentence it makes me dizzy!  We are unaware of how to make distinctions and when we point to the brain to indicate an illness, it sparks an array of discussions. Is personality affected by what we deem mental illness?  If we –subtract– what we call an' illness', would we then be the way we were 'supposed' to be in the first place?  If we –subtract– this illness then am I whole?   Should I be feeling less than what I do now?  Am I feeling too much?  How much do you want me to feel?  They say she is sick, then tell her she is a creative genius.   They say she can accomplish anything she wants, 'of course, she is after all bipolar!'  They say she won't be all that successful because she  has bipolar, and she will not be able to do things like travel or hold down a full time job.  If she has sporadic absences due to her illness, they tell her to work less.  She has to simply keep up!  Now she accomplishes a lot and they say 'she can do it because she is bipolar and she has the energy to do anything!'  They say 'be careful now!'  She has bipolar and could crash and actually probably  will because she is bipolar.  You say 'Hello, are you bipolar?"  I say "No, I'm Andrea and I have bipolar.  What is your name?  Oh…great to meet you ADHD!" They say "you should be in bed young lady!"  I say "You're right!" Bipolar Babe   

The Green Mask Mystery

 Well, get this!  As I was feeling pretty darn blue last night as you already knew, I was waiting for my beloved kitty 'Mango' to come home for a very long time!  She is usually home by 9pm, then 10, 11, 12…came along.  I surely thought she was dead.  I kept telling myself not to worry but I had this sinking and most horrible knowing that she was in harm's way.  I sat on the couch and attempted to nap and stared at the kitchen window as the cold air came rushing in.  I was not closing that window for a second.  1am, 2 , 3 and caught a couple of shut eyes but opened wide at 6AM.  Still thinking my beloved Mango was some dog's breakfast, I glanced around the bedroom and she was there under the desk!!  She must have somehow got passed me during 4-6AM and instantly I knew something was wrong.  She was under the lower part of the desk and was 'hiding'.  When cats go to die or they are sick, they cuddle into small places and want to be alone.  This was strange for Mango, always sitting on my bed and walking on my hair in the morning.  I pet and examined her and she had what appeared to be a green mask on her face.  "Anti freeze!!!!" I assumed!  Thank goodness for that emergency vet magnet I grabbed awhile ago at the Vet so I called them immediately!  I called a cab, put her in her carrier and soothed her meows all the way to the hospital.  I was nearly in tears as I handed her off to the pet doc. and was overwhelmed by my sudden emotion. 🙁 We examined the sweet manx and it appeared that all her claws were either pulled right out or scraped down to the core.  No, people did not do this.  Anti freeze was ruled out instantly and looked like my kitty may have run into some 'trauma'. It was quite possibly a grass stain causing her to pose as the green raccoon!  Boom!  X-rays 4 of them.  Her ribs are intact, she looks good…nothing here to worry about.  He tells me to leave her at the hospital for the day, some antibiotics, pain killers, IV solution and supervision for the day.  I love the idea of all of this care…I ask the inevitable question$ and he tells me, I choke then I head home.  A tree, animal attack or barely escaping a vehicle accident?  If only she could talk! I actually get home at 7AM and I surprisingly don't flop back to bed, I jump in the shower and sing "My babe is alive and in good hands!  Whoo hoo!"  I dress in some really nice hand me downs from a kind lady from work and I feel somewhat anew.  I think 'How nice of Anne to give me these clothes!' I do my homework on my lunch break and find time to buy a dress-the dress for the Evening to Inspire night at the Empress tomorrow.  I feel excited and buy an awesome pair of shoes, both second hand and both fabulous!  I am productive and dedicated to getting the task done and time just flies with my good mood and extending smile to all.  I repeat the story all day.  A friend drives me to get my baby from the vet but I have to wait 2 hours, my ride has to go and another two friends show up to finish the deal with me.  Mango is finally ready to go with loads of instructions, pain killers and antibiotics.  I see the bill, I see the bill, I see the bill, I ask for an itemized list of costs…it begins 1, 2, 3…21.  :O I suddenly regretted having purchased the dress today, I am comforted by the fact that it cost me half of what a new dress would go for.  Most of all I was super grateful that I had enough in my entire savings to cover the cost.  I do have to say though, it is highway robbery!  She probably would have licked her wounds clean under the desk  and we could have called it a day.  Still, we are marked as cruel or inhumane by others, but mostly by ourselves for not paying for a service that =love.  I realized I am very grateful to have Mango and will never ever ever let her leave the house ever again!  I heard there is a site on how to make the indoor cats life more enriched, we will be doing that together and I will be spending less time on the computer. Strange.  Most would expect me to lose it and fall apart today-I mean I would have thought this.  I think my flat lined state somehow eased my emotions during the entire ordeal.  Last night as I lay on the couch waiting for her to come home I could feel my body trying to surge the ol stomach flip, but flat line would not have it.  The only ounce of emotion was when I dropped a tear in the vet's office at 6am.  Not bad! Two hours of sleep and here I am writing this BLOG.  Amazing, could it be this horrid and scary event has lurched me out of my flat line?  As Mango nearly flattened her own line, it somehow brought me back to life. Go figure.  Love you Mangs!  To 21 and onward!  8.5 lives will get you there safely!  🙂