Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When Guilt Breaks Through the Calm

Stormy Coast
Originally uploaded by orvaratli

Reminders are good. Reminders in writing by experts are sometimes especially good. I try to live life as simply and as stress-free as possible, but unwarranted guilt repeatedly disturbs my calm. ("You are selfish. You are spoiled. You are not doing your share.")

I'm thankful for this passage from Matters of the Mind: Latter-day Saint Helps for Mental Health, page 164, under suggestions for helping others cope with bipolar illness:

"Create a low-stress, comfortable environment. Keep sensory stimulation, such as noise, at a low level. Keep life predictable."

These are exactly the conditions I feel are critical for me to maintain. I am thankful to have this additional witness that my impressions are correct, and my desires valid.

It is not only okay; it is right and good and proper to take care of myself.

A thank you to orvaratli for sharing this photograph on flickr.

Friday, January 23, 2009


imperfect 殘念
Originally uploaded by Shenghung Lin

". . . although sin is an imperfection, not all imperfection is sin."

Quote taken from this article in this month's Ensign magazine.

A thank you to Shenghung Lin for sharing this photograph on flickr.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Originally uploaded by tommy martin

Monday, January 19, 2009

She Shines

Knights! In Shining Armour.
Originally uploaded by Isthmene

My very own Princess in Shining Armour rode in and helped me save my head today.

And my hair, too.

Thank you, Kate.

And thank you to Isthmene for sharing this photo on flickr.

A Mess

personal responsiblity packets
Originally uploaded by _aeb

I'm a mess today. I hacked and coughed all night. Slept late. Am low in energy and depressed.

Last night I chopped at my hair. It looks awful.

In short, I am feeling crazy.


A thank you to _aeb for generously sharing this work of art on flickr.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

False Alarm

false alarm....
Originally uploaded by JustUptown

The rash is fading.

A thank you to JustUptown for sharing this photo on flickr.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Leaves broke out with "fall rash"
Originally uploaded by Ctd 2005

I have a rash. I also have that virus which is going around. Viruses can bring on rashes. Lamictal, which is the medication I take to stabilize my mood swings, can bring on a rash as well. I did not know before taking Lamictal that any rash could be life-threatening, but the Lamictal rash, which is Stevens-Johnson syndrome, is such a rash. The standard advisement is to contact one's doctor immediately if a rash appears.

I called my psychiatrist's office when I got up this morning. I could hardly speak because of the phlegm in my throat, from the flu, but I asked for an appointment as soon as possible. I was connected to another receptionist, with whom--between fits of coughing and considerable clearing of my throat-- I left a message on a machine.

Now, after several hours, I have yet to hear back. Left hanging, I feel foolish, realizing that this may all be a false alarm. On the other hand, my vision has gotten increasingly blurred over the past months, which is also a Lamictal side-effect. It would be nice to be able to see what I am writing again. I think that I don't want to be on Lamictal any more.

I feel like all of this is too much for me to handle. I am depressed and crying again, and just when I was beginning to feel some normalcy coming back into my life.

(For those who are searching for information on the Lamictal rash, there are pictures on Google Images, which are like the rash I am experiencing. My daughter, however, was on Lamictal and developed a different sort of rash, which manifested as purple blotches on the underside of her chin. It appeared shortly after she began taking the Lamictal, and disappeared as soon as she stopped taking it with a switch to Depakote. Our psychiatrist says that the rash can appear at any time and in a variety of forms.)

Update: Having just re-read this post, I can see why my mom panicked and counseled me via email to go immediately to the ER. What I did not make clear was that what I was experiencing was just the faint beginnings of what looked like it could be the Lamictal rash. The photographs online are quite graphic and definitely scary looking. I just have a few-- 12 or 15-- pink and red spots.

It is now nine p.m. I never did hear back from the psychiatrist's office. I suspect that, despite my efforts to speak clearly on the message I left, the words came out garbled on the other end and no one could tell who called. Anyway, after taking an Ativan for my mounting anxiety, and spending the afternoon hacking and sneezing, but not dying, I'm not worried much about the rash at this point. I will just keep an eye on it. It will probably leave with the flu virus.

(Sorry, Mom.)

A thank you to Ctd 2005 for sharing this photograph on flickr.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Experience of Grief

Today is the anniversary of the birth, and of the death, of Kristy Palizzi Ragsdale. As the most understanding of friends, her mother, Ann, has helped me through the many bouts of depression which I have endured over the years. She continues to be an example of wisdom and strength to me and to so many others. Here is her latest entry from Kristy's memorial blog. Perhaps you will be blessed today by her strength and wisdom as I have so often been.

The photograph is from www.heraldextra.com, where you can read more about Kristy's story.

The Truth About Perfection

Ready to fly (II)
Originally uploaded by marcelgermain

"Perfection is pending.
It can come in full only
after the Resurrection
and only through the Lord."

Elder Russell M. Nelson
General Conference
September -October 1995

(Italics added.)

A thank you to marcelgermain for sharing this photo on flickr.

Repost: A Reminder

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"Painful Things Happen Even to the Pure"

"To those who stagger or stumble, He is there to steady and strengthen us. In the end He is there to save us, and for all this He gave His life. However dim our days . . . may seem, they have been a lot darker for the Savior of the world. As a reminder of those days, Jesus has chosen . . . to retain for the benefit of His disciples the wounds in His hands and in His feet and in His side--signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and perfect; signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn't love you; signs, if you will, that problems pass and happiness can be ours . . . It is the wounded Christ who is captain of our souls, He who yet bears the scars of our forgiveness, the lesions of His love and humility, the torn flesh of obedience and sacrifice.

These wounds are the principal way we are to recognize Him when He comes."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
CES Conference at BYU
8 August 2000

A thank you to midiman for sharing this photograph on flickr.