ON THE ROAD AGAIN … (Sort of)
Hello my friends. I apologize for my long absence between posts. I have responded to everyone who has contacted me as of today. I got caught up in the numerous instances of discrimination and legal issues surrounding wrongful discharge of those who live (suffer) with bipolar disorder (BPD). I really am not interested in becoming an advocate at this time. I have my hands full keeping up with my current commitments with NAMI and BPD support groups. But I sincerely thank everyone for their interest and comments.
Now, where am I? Let’s see. I was terminated in June at which time I severely crashed and burned. Once I was able to get my meds regulated and complete intensive outpatient therapy it was September. Now I am enjoying that wonderful phase where I’m topped out in a hypomanic state due to the drastic increase in my antidepressants. Of course I don’t want to tell my P-doc or therapist this. I love this feeling of being high and invincible. Since I have won 12 months of security from my law suit I have decided that I’m not going to worry about looking for work until there has been a determination in my Social Security Disability application. It was a real challenge putting together 25 years worth of treatment. All the doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, ER visits, hospitalizations, ECT treatments, medications, etc. My saving grace has been my logs, journals, and mood charts. Someday I would love to get all this information compiled into one place and in chronological order. I think if I could do that my book would write itself. Pretty impressive stuff, just all over the place. I have discovered that some of my more inspirational and emotional writings are in pen and ink. Even though I can type super fast (former medical transcriptionist) it would be a major project to create these documents electronically. There is something to be said about putting a physical pen to paper that brings out my words differently than when I have a keyboard in front of me. I found out the same thing was true when my husband bought me my Kindle for reading. I love the feel of a book in my hands and turning the pages. I just didn’t get that with the electronic version of books. Besides, there isn’t a battery made that can last as long as one of my reading marathons. Last week I was awake for over 60 hours without sleep. All I did through the nights was read and/or write, but mostly read.
Many famous persons, writers, artists, leaders, actors, etc. that live with BPD know that our greatest achievements occur during manic phases of our lives. I am so excited to say that I have FINALLY picked up my paint brushes again after a 15 year hiatus. It wasn’t a planned hiatus, life just worked out that way. Once the girls were born and my husband’s construction business took off there just wasn’t time. Then I spent 20 years dedicated to my career and traveling. Now that Buck is semi-retired and I am unemployed I have spent the last three months trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life. I still suffer from, “I don’t know what I wanna be when I grow up.” Everything I have ever wanted to have, be or do – I have done. But that was mostly out of necessity and the need for financial security. The idea that I can now spend several months just painting, drawing, reading, crocheting, knitting, quilting without the stress of financial concerns, is totally foreign to me. The turning point with painting actually was Buck’s doing. When I got out of the hospital, Buck surprised me with converting half of my office space into an art studio. He paid special attention to my tables and easels and lighting. He hauled out ALL of my brushes and paints; purchased canvases, everything. I was so impressed and grateful. Then I was actually scared. I thought, what if I no longer possess the ability and imagination to create like I used to? I remember being so burned out on painting the year we had moved and I decided to do a painting for each of my family members. It was an ambitious undertaking and I did succeed at it. But with everything else that was going on in my life at the time, I totally burned myself out. I packed everything up and said, “I’m taking a break.” What a mistake. Little did I know that the “break” would last for 15 years. I still continued to create through wonderful, original creations with my crocheting, stitching and quilting. I found I love to crochet christening gowns with pearls and lace. That lead me to design and create a wedding dress for my girlfriend. I have always had three or four projects going at a time. Just like my reading. I am usually reading at least three books at a time, one spiritual, one medical and one for fun (thrillers mostly or templar novels from the middle ages with knights and castles). So I had enough creativity in my life and self-satisfaction that I didn’t realize that I was missing my paints. But my very first love and best talent for oils remained untouched. I have now completed several landscapes, seascapes and floral arrangements. My confidence is returning. I have been collecting photographs of things I want to paint. I have found several photographers that have this amazing ability to capture on film what I want to capture in oils. With today’s open internet and sharing of art, I’m not sure what the legalities might be if I paint someone’s photograph. I feel strongly that if I use a photograph created by someone else that I should obtain their permission before I recreate the same in oils. I’m not sure if there is a precedence for this? I know about copy right laws with regard to electronic media, but does that same principle hold true for illusions? My inclination is to say, “yes.” Buck thinks I’m crazy for even thinking about it in the first place. Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until she was in her 50’s and she still became famous.
Anyway, that’s my post for today. I’m painting again. I have some ideas about teaching painting classes in the future. I also have ideas about expounding on my computer expertise and doing training there through Buck’s computer store. Since I have found all the cool social media networks and online businesses one can do, I have played with the idea of becoming a “virtual assistant” in lieu of going back to work for someone else as an executive administrative assistant or contract administrator. The VA sounds like the wave of the future in this field. I still have to test for my MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) certification for expert in Word and Excel. At the very least I want to get the expert certifications under my belt. I have a feeling these MOS certifications will be the way employers qualify MS Office users in the future since the certification comes directly from Microsoft. I’m still designing (Cough, LEARNING) website design and all the wonderful SEO “stuff” etc. I have written four different business plans in the last month for these various new business enterprises I want to examine for the future. Everything is really predicated on which way the wind blows with regard to my SSD benefits. I have always worked outside the home for the health insurance benefits since Buck always owned his own businesses and I always carried the coverage. And anyone who has BPD and PTSD knows we cant live without health insurance. My mediations would cost over $3,400 a month if I had to purchase them outright. Sigh. I’m getting way off track here. I’m not sure what track I even started this post on. Welcome to my manic mind.