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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/01/2021 in all areas

  1. I keep wanting to do a really long post with all the things but I just can't get to it. I used to be so active here and a lot of people have reached out or responded to a comment they wish they had known what was going on, so I'm going to try to get it all in here. My last pregnancy was awful, littered with seizures and heart and lung issues. About halfway through they started sending me to the ER after every appointment for low oxygen levels and it was really scary. Anyone who knows me knows I've head health problems my entire life and it was finally bad enough that I was diagnosed with Lupus. This is huge because I can finally treat for it. One of the major things I'm supposed to do is stay out of the sun and I just never did, constantly hurting myself in ignorance, and knowing to stop has been life changing. I used to do something like go for a 20 minute walk, not wear sunblock because it was only 20 minutes, and then be in bed for 3 days, sleeping 20 hours out of 24 and not knowing why. I'm also on the right supplements now and that's huge. All good things. I have no idea if the epilepsy diagnosis you guys were here for still stands. I don't care because my tubes are gone and pregnancy was the major inducer. Husband is in school for home inspection and should be working in the next 2 months. He's back to Uber and Lyft because we need the income after over a year off from the pandemic, but he should be transitioning to inspections full time soon. This means less hours (he does about 60 now) and more income. The income is going to be good enough to buy a house and increase our grocery budget which I really need with the Lupus diagnosis. We have gone no contact with MIL. I don't know how long that will last. It's been the best thing we've done for our marriage but since he told her he needed the time away from her she's done several horrible things including banning the entire family from speaking to him which has been really hard. He says he can feel the stress in his heart. My child I thought might be struggling with a cluster b personality disorder has autism. I feel pretty awful for not figuring that out. My pediatrician says this but without insurance they have not been evaluated. We plan to do that as soon as we can. All of baby's preemie issues are sorted. If you didn't know he was a month early and there were a lot of difficulties but now he's fat and in no apparent pain. Things (family, health, spiritual condition, finances) were just so bad for so long I didn't want to share. I got so tired of telling everyone everywhere that everything was awful. But things have really turned around and we're all really excited. All good things. Is that everything? I think that's everything. The kitten is a fiasco. I blame y'all for this.
    52 points
  2. For those curious or in case anyone ever has to... We remodeled our tiny 3/4 master bathroom into this: We did a lot of research and counted heavily on friends/contractors of ours. They knew what could and couldn’t be done with the space. 1. Toilevator 2. Bidet with remote 3. Drop down bars by the toilet instead of standard grab - these move out of the way for a shower chair of or when needed 4. Linear drain to decrease the angles 5. Sloped floor and zero entry 6. All tile 7. Bertch custom made the sink cabinetry to fit the space. Apparently this wasn’t difficult? Or maybe I was just lucky with the width of the space? 8. Flip up seat for shower chair accessibility 9. A second shower head on a vertical bar for hands free and easy adjustment 10. Touchless soap/shampoo dispensers (who knew it was HARD to pump shampoo?! Surprised me too! 11. We still have to add a vertical bar that doubles as a toilet paper holder I’m so tickled with the outcome!! Ignore the lights... it was what we had on hand yesterday. 😉
    37 points
  3. Once they get him actually into an ICU bed, dh and I will leave. We’re still in an ER bed because hospital is packed. Ds is feeling better, thank god. Doctor says he thinks it will take him only about 12 hours to get out of DKA, so we’re praying he may go home tomorrow afternoon or Friday. This has been the week from hell for him.
    26 points
  4. Thank you all for your wonderful responses! You have really given me some things to think about! This time to live in the camper on her property was also for us to determine if we may want to build there. It’s something we have always talked about, and I think it’s something we would have always wondered about had we not given it a try. As many of you stated, clearly my body is responding to the red flags I’ve had in the back of my mind this whole time. I love my mom, and I am praying hard for her. I talked to her this evening about halting the plans to do any further clearing or anything to prepare the land, and she was so supportive and understanding. I did not discuss the drinking, but I do plan to gently talk to her about my concerns for her well being at some point. Thank you all so much! I’m really glad I posted about this.
    16 points
  5. I'm a little surprised by Phylicia Rashad's tweet. Not that she supports him - lots of people continue to not understand that someone who was never abusive around them were abusive to others. I'm really surprised that she thought it was a good idea to so publicly and loudly and unequivocally shout it so quickly. Like, could she have made a dumber professional decision?
    12 points
  6. I saw an interview with a friend of the woman who lived in the apartment with the white bunkbeds, and she said that the apartment came fully furnished but her friend lived alone. Sadly the friend has not been found, but I thought people who, like me, have been haunted by that photo, might find some comfort in knowing that no children were sleeping there.
    12 points
  7. My husband recently purchased and then installed a new shower head labeled Aqua Dance. In posting about it on Facebook (as one does), he said that he declined to dance for safety's sake, which led to a bunch of people posting gifs from "Safety Dance." Oh my goodness. That is odd.
    10 points
  8. Tiger stared at me like this for 20 minutes.
    9 points
  9. Not at all. MIL told me she would destroy my marriage and did everything in her power to do so. FIL is so far on the spectrum he rocks when he's stressed, and he's why I suspected it with oldest early on, but MIL is a horrible person. Thanks! They're both doing great, but going into 5th and 3rd and I want evaluations just to make sure I'm not missing anything.
    9 points
  10. I am almost finished with this book - and I agree, this thread was ON it right from the start! I've had multiple people ask me how I knew so much in the beginning of the pandemic and they gave me confused looks when I said I learned if from my homeschool forums. 😂
    9 points
  11. It looks to me like if you have him raise it so that it "hugs" the ceiling, the size of the fan will visually balance the massive stone work around the fireplace AND the huge recesses in the ceiling. Both the fireplace and the fan look great together, and with your light green walls, BTW! (But just WAY too low for the fan placement 😉 .)
    8 points
  12. In addition to all the other issues being discussed, I just wanted to add that sinking all your money into a house that you literally cannot sell as long as your mother is alive would be a terrible financial decision. The fact that it may be your cheapest option doesn't mean it's the best option. Your equity could be tied up for another 20 or 30 years, with no way to move unless you were willing to just walk away from the house with nothing — and in that case you'd have been better off just renting in town, so at least you and your husband (and future teens) wouldn't be spending hours in the car every day. I think you should just cross that option off your list entirely, because it really doesn't make sense on any level, including financially. Stick with the camper for as long as you can stand it, save as much money as possible, and then look at your options closer to town.
    8 points
  13. It remains a false equivalency to say or insinuate that males and females navigate life with even somewhat similar risk factors for sexual violence, plain and simple. The pattern of meeting female concerns with “but what about males” is common enough but it’s tiresome. ETA- I’ve deleted a lot of this post because there’s no real point.
    8 points
  14. A little editing and it sounds like a Sunday morning at my house: Breakfast consisted of chocolate cake, sauerkraut, and beer.
    7 points
  15. Sorry coming late to this, maybe this has already been suggested. Can you sleep when you have had a good amount of physical exertion? I don't mean an hour walking around the block. I mean several hours of hard physical activity outside (sun is great to help with circadian rhythm and mental health). I found that for optimal functioning, I need a great deal more physical exertion than our civilized western lives deem normal. I would suggest you experiment with this (even though it might not be sustainable for your routine once you go back to work), just to figure out if it may help. I never feel as good as when I am working on my friend's farm for a few hours, even in the heat, or hike/kayak to the point of actual exhaustion on a regular basis. Physical exhaustion, at least for me, is a good help for mental/emotional exhaustion.
    7 points
  16. Seems like a metaphor for just about everything these days in the US. Ignore problems for as long as possible. Patch the cracks, so we can pretend the problems don't exist. Point fingers after the inevitable tragedy occurs instead of making a systemic overhaul that would prevent future tragedies. Rinse and repeat. NZ seems to actually address their problems. Here, it will be a miracle if the infrastructure bill passes (even though basically everyone agrees that our infrastructure is in shambles) because we love to cut off our nose to spite our face.
    7 points
  17. I would try having him raise it first.
    6 points
  18. Pretty sure that's an urban myth: The writer/lead singer, Ivan Doroschuk, has explained that "The Safety Dance" is a protest against bouncers prohibiting dancers from pogoing to 1980s new wave music in clubs when disco was declining and new wave was coming in. Unlike disco dancing, which is done with partners, new wave dancing is done individually and involves holding the torso rigid while thrashing about; pogoing involves jumping up and down (the more deliberately violent evolution of pogoing is slamdancing). Clubgoers doing the newer pogo dance were perceived as posing a danger to disco dancers on the dance floor, and so club bouncers would tell pogoers to stop or be kicked out of the club. Thus, the song is a protest and a call for freedom of expression.[6] In 2003, on an episode of VH1's True Spin, Doroschuk responded to two common interpretations of the song. Firstly, he explained "The Safety Dance" is not a call for safe sex, and that this interpretation is "people reading into it a bit too much". Secondly, he explained that it is not an anti-nuclear protest song per se despite the nuclear imagery at the end of the video. Doroschuk stated that "it wasn't a question of just being anti-nuclear, it was a question of being anti-establishment."[7] [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Safety_Dance#cite_note-7] And from an interview with the lead singer: Ivan: Well pogoing was the first sort of punk dance, which was basically jumping up and down. Slam dancing and the mosh pit all kind of grew out of pogoing. So that’s where The Safety Dance kind of grew out of. The inspiration for the song was from back in the days when Punk and “New Wave” were starting off and the discotheques were still playing disco music. But every now and then they’d slip in Blondie’s Heart of Glass or Rock Lobster by The B-52’s. Well, obviously, anybody who was into that kind of music would rush on the dance floor and start jumping up and down and would bang into the guys trying to do their disco two steps. I got thrown out of a lot of clubs because of that. So that’s basically the origin. I was kind of mad that they wouldn’t let me dance if I wanted to, so I took matters in my own hands and wrote an anthem for it. Sam: Now thirty years later The Safety Dance has become a modern standard. The song is as popular as ever. Kids are still listening to it, but they don’t really understand the lyrics. It’s sort of morphed into something else. Ivan: Well that’s why I think it still connects with people. Ultimately I think people need to hear the message that you can dance if you want to. You can be who you want. Just do your own thing. Don’t succumb to peer pressure. Just dance if you want to. I think that message isn’t just universal, but it’s timeless. People will always need to hear that. People will always need to hear that message of self empowerment. [https://web.archive.org/web/20170324015706/http://popcultureaddict.com/menwithouthat/]
    6 points
  19. Brondell Swash 1000 - checked Consumer Reports. Costco had it on major sale - love it! Even adjustable temperature (air and water) width of spray, angle of spray!
    6 points
  20. I agree. All of our fans 'hug' our ceilings. WTH hanging it so low... looks like it's liable to decapitate someone!
    5 points
  21. He is coming tonight. Today's stay will just be a few items brought over, we will move the rest over the weekend. Today is our 26th anniversary, but we will have to celebrate tomorrow, too much going on today.
    5 points
  22. Reminds me of this meme: And if you're interested in other modern veggie-based dessert: https://www.amazon.com/Vegetable-Cakes-Scrumptious-Sweets-Veggie/dp/0754833240
    5 points
  23. That’s what I would do, too. Maybe you could buy a backup fan to have him install right away in case he lowers the current one and you still don’t like it. That way, he wouldn’t have to come back twice.
    5 points
  24. This is the impression I got when I saw the video of the North tower and listened to the board members talk about proactive maintenance in that building. They took all the tiles down from all the balconies years ago, they corrected the waterproofing issues with the pool deck, they have made sure there is no water in the garage, they were proactive with waterproofing on the roof. It sounds/looks like night and day when you look at what they have done with what is essentially the same building.
    5 points
  25. I'm running and ellipticalling every day. I was doing squats I need to get back to as well as crunches. My husband is bugging me to join him in some workout videos. Now that school is over I think I shall. Wish me luck!
    5 points
  26. I remember being told when I was young that swimming can slow your period, and when I saw this question i looked and found several websites talking about it. Anecdotally I've noticed it - I usually wear tampons, but the flow doesn't follow the usual expected pattern if I spend a lot of time in water. So, I'd go with it being the swimming rather than the tampon use.
    5 points
  27. Good Morning!!! No COFFEE,!!~D yet. I am still in bed. We are all pretty beat. Disney World is amazing. We are having a great time, but Florida’s got quite a bit of weather, we Californians are used to just one thing in the summer. Sunshine. That is all. None of this torrential down pours, thunder, lightning, light rain, no rain, sun, humidity, clouds….. We are going to Epcot and Hollywood Studios today. We are doing Disney 3 days and we haven’t nearly seen everything. But, that’s fine. I’m not sure we’d have the stamina to see everything in one trip, even if we were here a few more days. I logged over 21,000 steps yesterday. I think what truly amazes me about this place is the organization. There are so many people here and yet the amount of time standing in most rides wasn’t horrible. I think we stood in line for Splash mountain yesterday for 45 minutes and that was the longest wait. This place employs a ton of people, too. I guess you have to to keep it so clean and keep everything moving so well.
    5 points
  28. I totally remember that one. Not just from back in the day, but from Pop Up Video! Remember Pop Up Video? Because reasons, I recently ended up seeing a bunch of Cyndi Lauper videos that I definitely didn't remember and I was floored that I'd apparently never seen them. Like, I was obsessed with She's So Unusual in high school (and, gosh darn it, since I played the whole album on YouTube, I've had "All Through the Night" stuck in my head for a week). Anyway, the video for "Good Enough" features an extremely young Steven Spielberg. But the video for "She Bop" is truly amazing. Best song about self abuse ever written.
    5 points
  29. The stopping and starting again a day or two later happened to me for a few years when I was late 30s/early 40s. Pretty sure it was a perimenopause thing, because it was also happening to a friend of mine who is about the same age. No idea if tampons would affect it - I wasn't using them at the time.
    5 points
  30. Same. Endless hours were spent lying on the bed with my BFF watching MTV. DS often wonders what we did before YouTube, I tell him MTV and you know, just sitting in our room listening to the radio waiting for a favorite song to come on, or rewinding cassette tapes to figure out all the words. Wholesome times, lol. I often wonder why I can remember every word to songs that were popular 40 years ago, but I can’t remember what we had for dinner last night. It’s wild.
    5 points
  31. She’s not of a generation that is particularly savvy online. It’s also clear that she must be authoring her own tweets because no PR firm would post anything like that.
    5 points
  32. For my age — apparently you never watched VH1 in high school 😉. Check out Flock of Seagulls 😉
    5 points
  33. Don’t worry about it at all — you’re not wasting our time!
    5 points
  34. Yesterday I was on a website of a homeschool mom led store. One of the pop up adds was selling confederate stuff with the words NO apologies. I emailed her and let her know and she was very quick to respond that she would make sure that ad never popped up on her page again. I was thankful for her quick action as she had not seen it
    5 points
  35. EMDR is the gold standard for PTSD, I understand.
    5 points
  36. I don't know anything about how much drinking constitutes a problem or alcoholism, so I'll leave that to others to address. But aside from that it seems to me that you're borrowing a whole lot of trouble. Your mom is only 57. For reference, I'm 58. I have a DH who has stage IV cancer. I understand some of what your mom may be going through. Why would or should she be expected to feel much hope right now? Dealing with a spouse's terminal illness is by no means an easy thing to do. Emotions are all over the place. She's very likely dealing with anticipatory grief. Please don't impose some sort of misguided toxic positivity expectation on her. (And for full disclosure I'm also not a church goer, although I don't see how religion or lack thereof really plays into any of this.) But other than the questionable amount of drinking it sounds as if she's fully functioning, fully capable. Sure she'll likely need you in the future. But that very well may be 15 or more years down the road. Could be 30 or more. It may sound harsh to say this, but at 57 and barring major health issues of her own--she likely doesn't need you for anything other than (perhaps) some moral support. And gently, it also sounds like your hypochondria is type of borrowing trouble. I've had my own brush with health anxiety (but no one around me was anywhere close to sick at the time), and it's a horrible thing to deal with. I do think you would benefit from some counseling. Good for you for getting that set up. I also believe you would benefit from some medication. When I was dealing with the worst of my health anxiety I did a short course (a year or so) of an anti-depressant and it helped me tremendously. The mental peace it brought to me was wonderfully welcome. Best of luck getting it sorted out. Messy seasons of life are hard.
    5 points
  37. Your mom is a functional alcoholic if she can't choose to stop drinking that much. And yes, functional alcoholics can hold down jobs, take care of family etc. Until they can't. Count me in as another 57 year old. I am not elderly and would not want my grown children to make their living choices revolve around me. It sounds like you are getting regular medical care. Besides agreeing with the advice to move twenty minutes away where you will have the community you need, I think that it might help to talk to your doctor about taking something for your anxiety at least on a temporary basis.
    5 points
  38. Did anyone read the account of a woman named Iliana Monteagudo? She is my hero. She is 64 years old and woke up to weird noises and then saw a crack snaking down her wall. She ran, barefoot from her 6th floor condo and escaped with, according to her, 3 seconds to spare. Wow. Just wow.
    5 points
  39. Why do I need to disclose a trauma before I'm allowed boundaries? Who decides if my story is bad enough for me to be 'allowed' to have a boundary? I don't care if 99% of females are super cool with it, female spaces that include males will exclude some women, which means those women have no options and males have all the options. This is fair and progressive? Make a 3rd neutral option, make the men's open, there are many solutions if one genuinely wants to find one. Women's spaces and boundaries are not up for grabs, they are hard won, I will not be silent or 'kind' while a male appropriates them.
    5 points
  40. Not everyone handles trauma the same way. Different people are different. FWIW: I have in no way “given up”. Call it fear, call it caution, call it realism, call it a healthy sense of self protection. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a valid part of why I am safe, functional and alive. I’ve had amazing therapy services as an adult but after being taken from my bed by a sex offender at 9 and later raped multiple times at age 11, I know that I have scabs and scars that will never quite go away. I had amazing male role models. I have also had dozens of experiences where men leered, harassed or behaved in a way that made it clear I was vulnerable. I learned to steel myself and I learned how to punch people, earning myself the nickname “the fist” in college. I learned that I don’t need a reason to prefer female HCPs or to be very aware of my surroundings or not trust new to me people. One time my brother and my now husband saw me on the street and decided, innocently enough, to startle me. Like a jump out and say boo thing. I came very close to punching my brother before I realized who he was. I was into my 30s before I recognized that my husband of a decade wasn’t an threat to me in my earliest moments of semi-wakefulness. I shouted “who the f are you?” at him more than once first thing in the morning. This doesn’t mean I am less strong or less resilient than a survivor who does feel safe in more circumstances. I’m happy for people who do feel safer in a broader set of circumstances. I am not ashamed of my very different reality or going to deny it to be nice to anyone at all. I owe no one any explanation for how I live my life with my trauma. Women who do feel a need to defend some single sex spaces are not often being asked to “compromise”- they are being told they are hateful bigots for not disregarding their own lived reality. I’ve seen that on these boards, and I’ve encountered it in my life. No amount of close experience with the topic or actual support for trans people seems enough to protect women or transpeople with unpopular opinions from being called transphobic. Even my trans brother gets called transphobic for his opinions. It’s kinda become absurd.
    5 points
  41. It sounds like a concoction you might see on Chopped.
    4 points
  42. Unfortunately that article doesn't include any info about the actual rate of breakthrough infections, nor what the percentages of mild/moderate/severe cases are in the unvaccinated. E.g., if 6% of breakthrough cases are moderate to severe, compared to 30% of unvaxxed cases, that is a much greater benefit than if only 9% of unvaxxed cases are moderate to severe. It's also critical to know what percentage of vaxxed people are having breakthrough cases to begin with — if the percentage of vaxxed people with breakthrough infections is very low, then the moderate to severe cases are 6% of 15% (or whatever) vs something like 6% of 50%. Without those numbers, it's impossible to put the 94/4/2 rates in context.
    4 points
  43. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-ne-images-condominiums-structures-unsafe-20210701-gispymi7ofeo5mwm6kttpq7t74-story.html 72 units in a Kissimmee condo complex deemed unsafe after inspection; residents must relocate and if they enter the building it will be "at their own risk." I think there is going to be a sudden spate of inspections ordered by condo boards and management companies wanting to cover their butts and avoid liability.
    4 points
  44. Good morning! I remember being so impressed with how clean Disney was - they have to work so hard to keep it all so tidy. We were there 18 years ago with our 3 oldest (dd18 was about 9 months old), so it's been a while. I'm taking two kids to the Super Duper Fish Store. I might have time for grocery shopping but it can wait until tomorrow. Coffee!
    4 points
  45. I'm wondering how much is related to her (and everyone else who worked on the cosby show) losing money when it was pulled from syndication when he was arrested/tried/convicted. She sounds like she doesn't think he was guilty. But abusers don't want non-victims to know they're abusive. . . . . .
    4 points
  46. This is probably a stupid idea, but have you tried falling asleep on the couch or on a recliner? Maybe a change of location might help.
    4 points
  47. Heavy drinking is defined as having more than 8 alcoholics drinks a WEEK. She has five a night. Recognizing that she has a problem with alcohol is not judging. It’s reality. And it’s necessary to see this for what it is. OP- AA has good programs for family members too even if the person with an alcohol problem won’t go.
    4 points
  48. My dh works for a structural engineering company and he said so many of these buildings just need to come down instead of expensive patch jobs.
    4 points
  49. Screw it. I am tired of being a slave to the stigma. I will post some thoughts, but this is really hard. I may delete, so please don't quote. As some of you know (because I have been open about it on this board), I have bipolar type I. I haven't gone into all of the details about my experience with it because it obviously wasn't relevant to homeschooling and has been a painful part of my life. Like many people with bipolar (especially a few decades ago) I was misdiagnosed with generalized depression. I had intense mood swings as an adolescent, but who doesn't I thought. I was always a good writer and my mom became concerned by some of my darker poetry. But again, no big deal. During college, I had a massive panic attack during a comprehensive exam, but I ignored it. It was during law school that I could no longer ignore that something was terribly wrong. I first went to a GP, thinking that I had chronic fatigue syndrome because I couldn't get out of bed. He diagnosed me with depression. I told him that that was impossible. I was a Stanford Law student, working for one of the premier firms in LA. I was in complete denial. He broke out the DSM and after reading it, I couldn't deny that I was clinically depressed. I started taking antidepressants and they worked immediately. I was euphoric. It was amazing! The dark clouds were gone and I felt amazing. I was preparing for a trial at work and sleeping very little, so I was very productive. But, I was also starting to do really dangerous things sexually (which are too embarrassing and horrific for me to detail) and spending exorbitant amounts of money on luxury goods, restaurants, wine, etc. I was also drinking a lot to numb the pain and hide my shame. Eventually, I would crash into these horrific pits of depression and the antidepressants would just seem to poop out on me. I wanted to die. Often. I hid it all because I was so ashamed. My grades in law school suffered. I could barely go to class. My long-distance marriage was on the brink of divorce. I kept spending money to try make myself feel better. I went to New York for a job in investment banking. I worked 80-100 hours per week. I never slept. I used drugs to stay awake. I did more dangerous things. I wanted to die. I felt so alone. I stupidly confided in another woman at work about what was going on, thinking that we were friends and that I could trust her. My suicidal ideation got so bad that I knew that I had to leave, but how without ruining my entire chance for an offer after law school and being blacklisted by other firms? So, I told them that I had to leave because I had a “family medical emergency.” I tried to intentionally keep it vague, but they kept pushing me for more details. They asked if it was my mother and I felt like I had to say something, so I agreed just to get them off my back. So, I left with them basically thinking that my mother was sick because I was too ashamed to tell them the truth (even though they weren’t entitled to know any details at all). Then, September 11th happened. The office was across the street from the Twin Towers and Wall Street was decimated. I knew that offers were going to be rescinded, no matter my personal issues. But, when I called the company a few months after 9.11, to find out the status, I learned that the woman that I thought had been my friend had betrayed me to ingratiate herself and try to save her offer. She told the company that I had lied and that my mother was not sick. She conveniently left out the fact that there was indeed a real medical emergency. Once I came home and got some sleep, I began to feel better. For awhile. I continued with those recurring cycles—not knowing that they had a name—for a decade, after my initial diagnosis of depression. It wasn’t until Memorial Day of 2006 that my friends started to notice that something was really off with me. I had recently started working for a new firm as an attorney and was having to put in insane hours. I wasn’t sleeping again and my friends were worried that I wasn’t well. One of my friends recommended that I go see her therapist. My friend was also an attorney, and she had struggled mightily with depression from her job, so I agreed to go to her therapist. During our first session, my friend’s therapist recommended that I see a psychiatrist with whom the therapist regularly collaborated. I went to see him during lunch one day. That day changed the entire course of my life. When I talked with him, he asked me questions that no one had ever asked me before. He asked about my spending habits, about my sleep, about my sexual habits, about my moods, etc. Eventually, he told me that I had bipolar disorder. I had no idea what that was. He also wanted me to go inpatient in the hospital. I can read a medical resume. This guy had checked every box. So, I had no reason to distrust his expertise, but I “knew” that if I went inpatient, my career was over. I left his office and went back to work and immediately started Googling. I read that people with bipolar have a 25% of chance of killing themselves. I knew then that I was in serious shit. I walked out of my office and didn’t come back. I was in some sort of fugue state, a kind of shock, I think. I ended up taking a medical leave of absence because the psychiatrist and I came to an agreement: I would check myself into an Intensive Outpatient Program at Cedars Sinai Hospital in LA vs him admitting me as an inpatient involuntarily. My mom came to stay with me so that I was safe when I was home at night. During the day, I went to the hospital program all day. I thought I was going to be there for a week. I ended up staying six months. The longer I was there, the sicker I realized that I was because I finally began to understand that I was dealing with a chronic mental illness. This was an illness that I had been hiding from myself and the world for over a decade, and I was finally coming to terms with the fact that I couldn’t hide from it anymore. I had to learn to manage the illness, or it would kill me. My life as a securities litigator in a major international law firm was not at all conducive to successfully managing bipolar disorder, so I didn’t know what to do. I spent months, working with therapists and physicians at Cedars, to try to plan for how to move forward with my life. They urged me to speak with the partners about my illness and to ask for accommodations. I tried to go back to the firm part-time and to do as my medical team counseled me to do, but I knew it would never work. It wasn’t long before the partners had me working as I was before, and shortly thereafter, I was ready to jump off the roof of my high-rise, doorman building in Marina Del Rey. At that point, my psychiatrist pulled the plug and said that I had to leave the firm and file for disability, or he would put me in the hospital involuntarily. I left the practice of law in 2007, after being royally berated by the partners when I gave my notice – so much so that I think I have PTSD from the experience (I still have frequent nightmares that I am at the firm and used to think that people from the firm were following me because I felt so guilty for leaving). In the years since, I’ve had horrific post-partum depression (bordering on post-partum psychosis from sleep deprivation) with both boys' pregnancies, which included an overdose, and I've had some bad flares on occasion, where I have checked myself into the hospital for brief stays, but nothing like the old days for quite awhile. I have been stable enough for long enough that I felt ready to consider going back to work, even though both my husband and my medical team were initially opposed to my idea. But, I made it through nursing school and now I am embarking on working FT again for the first time since 2007. To say that I am nervous about whether I can handle it would be an understatement, especially since new nurses usually start on night shift. I would love to ask for day shift as a reasonable accommodation, but the stigma of bipolar disorder is simply too great. I have learned my lesson about disclosing that kind of information in the workplace. No good ever comes of it. I have been working at our county psych hospital since August of last year, and one of the issues I thought about was whether working in psych would be triggering for me. I haven’t been a patient in our hospital, but I have been a patient in some of the other hospitals in my area. Could I work in a unit where I was once a patient? Honestly, it hasn’t been a problem. If anything, as long as I maintain good boundaries, my lived experience has been an asset. It makes me a more empathic care provider. And ironically, working in the ICU, where I am so close to death, has actually been good for my depression. It makes me appreciate life more and not focus so much on all of my usual anxieties. There is so much more that I could say about all of this. It would easily fill the pages of a novel. But, I can honestly say that, even though many mistakes were made, without my friends, my family, and the numerous caring medical professionals who have helped me over the past 20+ years with diagnosis and treatment, I would not be alive today. I can also honestly say that it is entirely possible to live a full life with a severe mental illness and I hope to be able to live in a world, free of stigma, where more people are able to see that possibility for themselves, for their loved ones, and for others.
    4 points
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