abstract, abstractexpressiomism, acrylics, anxiety, art, art therapy, artist, bipolar, chronic illness, colorful, contemporary art, depression, fibromyalgia, fine art, health, mental illness, modern art, painting, spinal stenosis, traditional art

Mental health and an abstract painting

 I found out this morning that because of insurance issues I can’t see my psychiatrist of 15 years anymore. The same is true for my therapist. They have covered these things for all this time. 

All of the mental health help I was considered out of network. They changed the the policy to be that out of network mental health coverage is no longer covered at all. Each of the various appointments are at least $400.

Obviously that’s not an option. I don’t know what to do. I guess I’ll ask my Dr and therapist for recommendations of Drs that are in network.

I can’t believe it. Anyone that who is treated for mental illness will understand why I am so upset.

I am overwhelmed. I say this as the caption of this painting because I was pretty happy when I was painting. It was art therapy . I get help for my bipolar and my fibromyalgia and spinal stenosis from that.

Now that’s all the therapy I have.

Acrylics on canvas. 16″x20″




anxiety, bipolar, chronic illness, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, driving, drugs, fatigue, fibromyalgia, health, mental illness, oakland california, spinal stenosis, stress relief

Last night I didn’t sleep at all. My knee and leg pain are coming back strong. I don’t know why Monday and Tuesday weren’t too bad, but yesterday and today, my-oh-my! The pain and painsomnia spurred me to go back to the dispensary for more edibles. Ahhh…

It rained here this morning! Rain in  California virtually unheard of between April and October. Crazy! The drive up to Oakland was pretty rainy. I felt more novelty than the fear I usually get when I drive on the Freeway. I’m so used to that drive that nothing about it freaks me out. there are​ parts with 8 narrow lanes, no shoulder and a line of merging trucks.

I got capsules full of ground up cannabis which is toasted sesame oil. They work like edibles but aren’t high sugar/ high calorie. That keeps me from eating the edibles just cause they taste good! I’ve been known to do that!

The pain is already improving!I’m tired! Maybe I’ll watch TV or draw. Damn, my eyes hurt!

How is your afternoon?

anxiety, bipolar, child abuse, depression, drugs, mania, mental illness, substance abuse

no more wire hangers 3

is anyone getting the titles of the posts in this series?

my mother knew she had mental illness issues, but she refused to see a psychiatrist or a therapist. we convinced her to go to a couple therapists to find one she felt she could talk with. she went to meet two and her excuses for not going was that she was sure one had ulterior motives and the other had an office that made her anxious.

when i had panic attacks growing up (we didn’t know that’s what they were at the time) she got angry at me. in retrospect i think it was it was because she was scared when she saw me going through that. i’ve seen her have panic attacks and oh boy have i seen her anxious.she was afraid that somewhere inside her was me. she didn’t want to  go through what i went through with my depression and mania. two psychiatrists told me, after long talks about my mother, that she was bipolar, too. i’m not surprised, but having a doctor say it shed light on things and made me feel validated

she even self medicated, like i did. she was obsessed with this shitty white wine. she drank glass after glass all evening while she watched courtroom dramas and true crime shows. after i went to university she bought a new house that she has since defaulted on. the house was a gorgeous Victorian in downtown St. Louis. it was in a neighborhood that was transitioning from a gutted ghetto into lovely restored houses. good old gentrification. her house was already transformed when she bought it.  it was gorgeous but it had three stories. she usually watched tv and drank in a family room on the second floor and also in her bedroom on the third floor. guess who had to fetch the wine?

drinking was her second drug of choice, the first  was nicotine.  by now, she will have smoked almost 60 years, two or more packs a day. she was a professional smoker. she chain smoked 24/7. she drowned her sorrows in wine, cigarettes, and taking it all out on me.

i’ve already said i’m a recovering alcoholic, i’ve been clean for 15 years. when i went home to visit (my dad lived in St. Louis and i was tied to my mother by a mental bond i had to fight to break, so i still kept coming back. she encouraged me to drink. she prepared by laying in a supply of beer, gin (she had cocktails after work, too; gin and tonics…one or two) champagne and vodka plus a few bottles of decent wine for dinners. she encouraged me to drink. pushed me to drink. i  jumped back into the hole of drunkenness to avoid having to deal with her. i can’t  put it all off on my. i was thrilled to have time away from my husband so i could drink my fill. i had to be very honest with him to keep our relationship working well and i wanted both he and I to be happy. i made the decisions to drink the alcohol she bought, but it was damned hard, too hard. i embraced it.

hangovers were hell so my mother gave me a bottle of codeine to use to take them away. i took a few in the morning. went back to sleep, woke and puked, went back to sleep and got up feeling pretty good.

we went out drinking too. she liked to show off my tattoos and piercings when we were bar hopping, hoping to look cool. at home she hated the tattoos.

Mommy Dearest.

art, artist, bipolar, chronic pain, depression, disabled, dorgi, feelings, fine art, Life, mania, Uncategorized

Some writing and a silly painting

I got stuck in a rut, so I decided to paint something silly. The painting is called “Birdie”

Does anyone know what it’s named or what sex it is? Any suggestions?

I spent the last 5 days in bed. I hurt too much to be anywhere else. Yesterday my right leg was numb. It was dead weight. It’s still sort of like that.

My husband went to find lunch a little while ago.

This is boring! I’m going to pretend that I got tagged and tell ten things about myself.

1. Love dogs and am a strong advocate of adopting rescue animals instead of getting them from breeders.

2.i love to eat! Carbs are my favorite. I like veggies and fruit a lot,too. Dairy is right out, except for ice cream. Who doesn’t love ice cream, or even better, gelato!

3.i am bipolar

4.i have been married for 22 years. Of course there are ups and downs, but husband is my soulmate; we’ll be together til death do us part.

5. I am chronically ill. That causes chronic pain.

6. I am an artist.

7.i love the internet.

8.i have a B.A. in history.

9. I live in the San Francisco. Bay Area

10. I keep a journal, in a Moleskine notebook, that I write and every day. I fill several notebooks a year.

……now for the silly painting……..



anxiety, artist, bipolar, chronic pain, corgi, depression, feelings, Life, Uncategorized

Bipolar steps to the front of my mental line of thoughts…

we ate dinner…pasta with broccoli and cut up pieces of grilled chicken breast, left over from yesterday’s BBQ. nom

after the table was cleared off, I was left, almost panicking, sitting there, freaking out. what the hell was I going to do with my evening???????

I thought of so many things but they all seemed empty and annoying. I felt like crying. It seemed so bleak.

I told my husband about my feelings. he said, what difference does it make? he was right, I was making such a big deal about it in my mind. he told me I didn’t have to commit to do anything. and whatever I do, it doesn’t matter.

my bipolar has taken a back seat to my chronic pain and ongoing attempts to sort out a real diagnosis. I have another procedure coming up; it is on the upcoming friday. I’m getting an epidural steroid injection. this one is going to be further down my spine than the last 3. grrr…

today bipolar feelings have been at the front of my mind. everything makes me feel panicky, worried, weary and depressed.

I’m going to see if I can distract myself. I’m not going to sit here and cry, I’m not going to have a panic attack and I am not going to give up and just go to sleep (that sounds so tempting!).

maybe I’ll paint or doodle or write in my journal, watch something on my tablet, I could start a new comic, go to Starbucks, shop online, read blogs, surf YouTube, get stoned and listen to music, etc!

It really doesn’t matter.😎


spending my time wisely?


i have no idea  where to begin, middle, or end. i guess i’ll just be.

i’ve been cycling through a zillion negative emotions. as soon as i start to write i start to feel fatigue. i’m going to push through it, i think, or at least try.

i haven’t been painting or writing nearly as often as i am used to. i’m not even keeping up the semblance of a journal. i start to write and all i can write about is what i haven’t been doing and that feels like criticism. i’m not nice to myself. self care is something that would help a lot in so many ways, but it doesn’t happen a lot of the time.

what i have been doing is hanging out on twitter, sitting on my couch in my living room, using my tablet, trying to keep myself from sitting around doing absolutely nothing. i’m in an awful lot of pain. it’s especially bad today, but it’s bad everyday. i take my meds and use my heating pad & ice packs. i throw mackie’s toys around for him to chase. he keeps me company, and i try  to keep him amused. he likes to sit on the couch with me, and i love to have him there.

i see my doctor tomorrow. i want to push for other options for treatment. nothing is happening but me carrying on taking pain meds waiting for something to happen.

there are a couple of other procedures i’ve read about that i’m going to see if he thinks might help. i am really going to try to push him to get a little more aggressive about treating me. maybe i said that months ago.

back to what i haven’t been doing.  crying. i think that’s a good thing, i’m not entirely sure. i’m worried that i’m repressing a lot of stuff. OR maybe i’m being strong? i’m trying not to fall apart all the time. i’m trying to feel like i’m trying. i bite back complaints to my husband. i try hard not to keep stepping back and getting dramatically philosophical. 😀

i have made some wonderful new friends on twitter. yay!

my father is moving to the UK permanently. they’re selling their house in wretched St.Louis and are going to live in brighton all the time. i think it’s high time!  i can’t imagine what was in st.louis for them. they were hanging on to friendships i guess, and familiarity. the flat in brighton is a lot more their size than their big house in the states.

it feels so strange to spend most of my time parked downstairs on the couch that peter bought me for our 20th anniversary, just about a year ago.  at that time, and for a couple of years before, i spent all my time in the “red room,” my computer/art room that i share with him. i used my pc all the time, didn’t even want a tablet. i painted a couple times a day. i hardly ever left this room. i’m up here because the cleaning people were here and Sophia made it soooo much nicer. i’m starting to get some twinges i can’t ignore, so i’m going to go back to my couch.

hopefully now that it’s so nice, i can come up, mabye…once a day? to paint or blog, or just enjoy using the pc.

hope you’re all doing well.



chronic pain spreads

welcome  to chronic pain central!

i’ve been dealing with chronic pain for 20 years. lately when i get out of bed in the morning i can barely walk, i ache all the time. i thought it was because my blood sugar isn’t so great (though it’s much much better than before) or anxiety. it finally got bad enough that i made an appointment with my PCP and saw her today. she had me lay on the exam table and moved my body around. she pushed my hip back a bit and omg i yelled! pain went shooting, like a blast of lightening, from my hip to my ankle.

she says i have bursitis in my hip. she gave me A LOT of painkillers, good ones, too. you know you’re not doing well when they shove narcotic pain medicine  at you. i’m supposed to take  4 a day now.

she prescribed some topical gel that acts as an anti-inflammatory since i’m already taking tylenol and even ibuprofen if my stomach is feeling strong.

i had a feeling that the pain was too bad to be something unimportant. i started to get scared, wondering if i had rheumatoid arthritis.

the treatment options are pretty much the same as for my knees…stretch, perform certain exercises, ice it, try not to move it too much, take the pain meds. sometimes surgery is recommended.

i don’t think it’s really hit me yet, but it will seem so awful that i have a new pain that won’t go away.

i want to ask the stupidest question there is is…why me? why do i keep getting new things wrong with me?  it’s hard not to wallow in it.


have a splendid day!

i scribbled this down in my journal when i was thinking about it…

i was thinking of going back to bed and crying myself to sleep. i was going to decide the day was horrible and write the whole thing off.

then i remembered my husband saying “have a splendid day!” as he was leaving for work. he always does that. he tells me to have some sort of incredibly over the top way to tell me to have a good day. he says, have an epic day! or have the best day you’ve ever had! or have a really fun day!

i usually grumble because i know i’m going to have a shitty day and he ought to know that and should comfort me.

just now i started thinking about it the way he says those and how special it was that he did that. he was trying to make me feel better, to make me laugh, to give me a boost, to tell me he loves me. no matter how bitchy i am he keeps doing it.

so today i’m going to have a splendid day!



one of the things that i feel proud of myself about is my education. i loved school,and spent all my time on it. i suppose it’s really not surprising, since my father was a university professor and my mother was a high school teacher. he specialized in american military history and she taught geography and social studies.

i  wanted to be just like my dad. i got an early start because our house was full of history books. we  even had a little shelf for the books he wrote. i soaked up as much as i could, from reading the books and talking with him.

i went to high school in St. Louis (USA), at a catholic girls school. it sounds worse than it was!! the education was excellent and the school was more diverse than any other in the area. after that i moved as far away from home as i could. i chose a university in the San Francisco bay area, i was so excited to be in california, it is such a wonderful place. the school i went to met all my expectations. sometimes i feel like life started when i got there.

my first class was astronomy; it was amazing. the professor knew so much and the class was brilliant, i busted my ass and working as hard as i could, in every (almost lol) class. it was all extremely stressful, sometimes i was overwhelmed by the work load but i got used to it and was successful. i wasn’t  diagnosed with bipolar disorder yet; i look back and wonder about how amazing high functioning i was. it makes me wonder if my meds have have been more of a curse than a blessing. but, i don’t want to dwell on it.

the first history course i took was chinese history, a subject i knew next to nothing about. it was so much fun! i studied irish history, european history, oral history, english, women’s, military,roman and latin american history.i even took a course in sports history!

when graduation approached i was sad because  i wanted to stay forever. i got accepted into a phd program but then i met andrew. i wasn’t willing to walk away from my true love. so i didn’t go to graduate school. shortly after that i was diagnosed with a variety of mental illnesses. that pretty much ended my chance to have a career.

the story isn’t that sad though, i have andrew. and that’s plenty. .