I work for you and you won’t give me a job recommendation? Seriously??? Seriously?

I’m nurturing a fantasy of returning to the work force in my early sixties, and come off of disability insurance for bipolar disorder. I recently took a look at my book of letters of recommendation, because an alternative radio station down here, “The Shark” is interested in me for part -time work as a disc jockey. Today this is called voice tracking. You can do it from your frickin’ car if you have the right technology. So I’ve asked some people for letters of recommendation. There are two other parties who asked me for letters of recommendation. So yeah, I’ve been asking the people I do little speeches for or write for. My work as a ‘professional patient.’

Apparently, certain sorts of work in the drug world, the pharma world, they won’t give you a letter of recommendation, for reasons I can only begin to imagine. This bothers me at a gut level, because I’ve been gamely serving up my soul for the past year. This ‘work’ is well-paid, it’s called Patient Ambassador work. Did it happily, but when I was told I can’t get a simple ‘vouch’ or letter of recommendation for similar, part-time work, I freaked. I wonder, when physicians consult or do research for drug companies, becoming “Key Opinion Leaders,” if they, too, are told “I’m sorry, we can’t recommend you or vouch for your character.” What is wrong with this picture?

Would you feel the same way I do?

It just goes to show, I need to work for myself. I’m the best judge of my own character and work ethic, and if you hire me, I’ll do a bang-up job for you.

Minicycles within Bipolar Cycling

 

allicat

I’ve been a rapid cycler for a long long time. I’m on a combination of stuff that’s perfectly calibrated. Havn’t been depressed since July. As you might expect, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. The day before yesterday I went to the gym and I couldn’t concentrate on the Newspaper, had to push really hard to get through routine and never got the ‘runner’s high’

I’m in small cycles. But it scared me. I started looking at the calendar and evaluating my current state of mind and thought, ‘live each day appreciative of it.’

 

The lengths we’ll go in order to feel good

AllisonBlackandWhite

 

Lately I’ve been taking an antidepressant I regard as a miracle drug. They don’t know exactly how it works but it works on some four different neurtransmitters as compared to Wellbutrin’s dopamine and Prozac or Zoloft’s Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitor. Those just work on one. This medicine has a side effect of violent nausea, and I’m not the only one. It’s listed as the third most common side effect.

There was a period of two weeks where I could not keep it down. This is three weeks ago. Mike had a trashcan next to the couch where I was laying while I tried every which way to keep this medicine in my system to retain my fine mood. I went through bipolar depression relapse in April-Mid July of this year and though I’ve gotten past ‘worrying’ about its’ inevitable return, I don’t want it to. This antidepressant is a huge boon. Nothing works quite as well. We’ve tried. In fact, it works so well I only need to take it twice a week. Why should I take more?

I ground it up and put it in my protein drink and attempted to work out at the Y. Bad idea. I ate full, balanced meals and still…..I was sick. I dropped 12 lbs in ten days by pure happenstance. When people tell me that certain drugs make them nauseated I don’t even want to hear it. I am desperate to claim the therapeutic benefits of this drug, Brintellix, no matter the cost. Depression is feeling like dying 24/7, or in my case, my waking hours. My whole world goes dark. I’m putting it off as long as I can. Of course it would be nice if a new antidepressant were to come along but there hasn’t been a new FDA approved medication for depression since 2013.  I think we’re due.

I luv Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci &Tarantino

kevin

 

 

Can’t wait for Quentin Tarantino’s “Famous 8” also his 8th film. He often is nostalgia driven in his choice of song, camerawork, choice of actors who haven’t worked in years. (he revived Uma Thurman and John Travolta in 1993’s “Pulp Fiction,”  Michael Keaton in 1999’s “Jackie Brown” and also the career of black actress Pam Grier from blacksplotation films like “Foxy Brown.” He also works with Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russel, Germany’s Christopher Waltz (a two time academy award winner for best supporting actor) and Brad PItt.

 

Just for kicks yesterday I watched a movie about a financial crisis at an investment company. Their risk-benefit equation was off, and their stock was worthless. It featured Demi Moore, Paul Bettany, Kevin Spacey (for comic relief of the tension) Stanly Tucci, Jeremy Irons and Simon Baker. There was a priceless scene after 80% of workforce on the floor was fired summarily, security guards, instant disconnection of cell phone and internet access etc. It’s grave and tense. Paul Bettany walks into Kevin Spacey’s office. Spacey had worked their thirty years. His head was laying on his desk and you’d think it was work related anguish. Bettany says “What’s wrong?” Spacey looks up tearfully and says, “My Dog’s Dying, She’s at the vet, bla bla I’m spending a thousand a day to keep her alive” and I just burst out in hysterical laughter for five minutes.

 

Then at the end, when Jeremy Irons has told them to sell all of their worthless shares supposed to be worth trillions of dollars and bankrupt all the other people on wall street and their investors, there is this scene where he is fine dining with a white tablecloth in an exclusive restaurant in the building. He is hunched over his table, drinking his wine like a vulture. He is doing a very dishonorable thing, saving his ass and bankrupting others. He’s like a lion dining on the carcass of the investment world. It’s great work.

Rejections are Regular in Life of A Mental Health Writer

Part of this is an email I sent my best friend. I’ve submitted stories more places than I remember. International Bipolar Foundation welcomed me with open arms.

Here are two of the places that said ‘No’ more than once.

Marie Claire Magazine regarding two Eating Disorder pieces. I had them on the phone and received four emails expressing interest, only to  be told they had ‘overplayed’ the eating disorder topic, which they felt was only of interest to ten percent of their readership.

The Mighty. I find them to be too self congratulatory for me. “Haaa Haaa, this saying is cool, I won the war!” life isn’t that simple and I think they s**k. I don’t even read their posts.

 

This one really stung:

“Stigma Fighters” They rejected me twice but when I read their 1000 word rambles, I think it’s a whiny freak show and they are furthering stigma, not fighting it. By the way, they invited me to submit a third time and when I didn’t they blocked my from receiving their posts. I wrote Sara Fader and Allie Burke asking why I don’t get their posts anymore and neither of them replied.. But they sent me a t-shirt.

Did they have an email tracking system showing them that I only read half of their posts?Back then they were sending three a day and I couldn’t read them all, I saved them in a ‘stigma fighters’ folder. I was going to read them……just to be supportive. Maybe it was my comments on the posts themselves, which I did to let the suffering writers know that I had ‘heard’ them, that someone was listening.

******

HERES THE GOOD STUFF

The best part of the story is this: I invited myself to write for bphope.com (Part of Bipolar Magazine). I sent two stories and was gently told it wasn’t what they were looking for. I was given the line about ‘we’ll keep your materials and next year..bla bla’ Well, I asked if I could submit again and this time it went well. I’m on a three month trial period of once a month and so far the editor is really nice and supportive.

MORE GOOD STUFF

I applied to another publication two months ago. I heard back a month ago from their content integrator and was given a thirty day deadline to write a story. I gave them two topic choices and they choose “Mindfulness.” I asked for their style manual and it had all this stuff about prepositions, non essential clauses and tautology, which is like saying the same thing twice in a sentence in different ways.

Examples of Tautology: “My first priority is” (it we say ‘first’ we know it’s a priority, right?)

“Depression casts a dark shadow over our perception.” (Well if it’s a shadow, we can presume it’s dark, right?)

The style manual was so above my paygrade that I googled ten English terms, reread Strunk and White and worked for three hours with my mom, going over every paragraph with a fine toothed comb.

We don’t know yet if they like it, and it was really hard upholding their style and grammatical standards and coming up with subheadings so that my topic could veer off course slightly, for example, going back in Mindfulness’s history all the way back to the first Buddists in 300 BC China.

It took at least thirty hours to write this story and it’s a paid position. I don’t yet know what the money is. I’ll let you know on that. It’s probably variable, depending on how you negotiate it and how much they value your work!

 

“Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.” (Morrissey and The Smiths)

The inspiration for the Song “heaven Knows I’m miserable Now” by the Smiths died last week. As a bipolar Moper and former alternative radio disc jockey and music person, The Smiths, and their frank display of depression and even hopeless suicidality gave me hope that you could express your sadness to the page and not have it eat you up inside.

About the Late Vivian Nicholson, she and her husband won the british equiv of lottery, full payout of 4.5 million. Within two years she was widowed and married to another rich guy. Notorious for being notorious…where have we been seeing a lot of that lately??? KKK? Anyway, she was tabloid, she was the subject of a West End Musical and her motto was spend, spend spend  I just hope she had a damn fine time. Because she died destitute.

between the spending, all the marriages, affairs, alcoholism (was mentioned in the obituary) for all I know, she might have had bipolar 1 or Bipolar 2, which often goes undetected.

Write On: The WordPress Rule

Write On
I just found out from Opinionated Man on Harsh Reality about the WordPress limit on the combined number of tags and categories. If more than fifteen, they go out into the blogsphere version of the garbage can!!! That’s ok cause they needed work anyway!!!

I am back to writing my book. I was lost for a while and then reread “Haldol and Hyacinths,” because I wanted to see and hear the author’s voice. My book is not a memoir, it’s a trilogy of fiction with a manic depressive character who is still in the workplace. I am feeling like I am hitting my stride. Finding my own voice. It’s actually in rewrite.  I have bipolar disorder and have had it for twenty five years. The first med regime in ’89 worked really well for ten years. I was a total career woman as a disc jockey and rising journalist/music director. No time for psychiatrists, Work was my universe!!!

I was actually seeing my GP for my meds. When the meds stopped working, I was lost, thought I was out of luck and for another three years self medicated, got divorced, got blacklisted and then moved here and finally got back on track and returned to work.  I had been LOST for three years.

Earlier last week, I went to Lexington to see my father, who is a little up and down himself.  So I didn’t write for five days. I am spending about four hours a day on my book which is making it so that I don’t blog as often. But I did turn in a part one and part two eating disorder exercise bulimia blog to International bipolar foundation. It turns out that as many as 14-20% of patients with bipolar disorder actually have a co-occurring eating disorder. I’d been working on that piece, #no longer a number# for quite some time. I’m cooking dinner right now, taking a few minutes away from the stove and hoping I don’t get burned. (my food, I mean.)