Trauma from years of severe bipolar disorder episodes

Sunset

This morning, I just read a bphope.com blog post by Melody Moezzi entitled “Bipolar & Hospitalization – When Treatment Is Traumatic“. I found it addressed a significant topic that I’ve heard/read others discuss in the past. However, when hearing/reading such stories, I think back to some of my many hospitalizations. I, too, was literally dragged into isolation rooms and given injections. I was, at times, so sick that a hospital security staff member had to follow me around the ward for a couple days and watch me shower. However, unlike Melody’s (and some others’) experiences, when looking back, I found that it was even more my actual bipolar illness that left me with trauma. I don’t deny the trauma Melody writes about, or even that trauma can’t trigger bipolar disorder (I definitely know that), but feel that trauma, from the illness, is too inadequately discussed. Continue reading

Fewer bipolar-related posts on my blog – Why?

empty pageSome of my blog followers used to consider this a bipolar disorder blog. Yes, I always posted other stuff, too. From the beginning, I stated that not hyperfocusing on mental illness was part of my recovery. It was, and still is, however, I’ve stopped posting much of anything for over a year. Just some recipes or Czech resource articles. There are many reasons for this change. Some are predicable. Others, perhaps not so much. Continue reading

Malakov Trifle (Malakoff Trifle)

Malakov closeup profile view
“Mňam!” as Czechs say.

My Czech mother-in-law frequently made this trifle version of a Malakov (sometimes spelled “Malakoff”). Treasures of yumminess, like slivered almonds, banana slices, orange segments, and raspberry preserves filled vanilla wafer cookie sandwiches, reside in an intensely delicious thick chocolate mousse, which she called “Paris Cream”. It is best left to chill for at least 24 hours before final decorating and serving. Everyone I know that has tasted this has been overwhelmed with pleasure. For that reason, I sometimes call it “Chocolate Paris Cream Delight”. Continue reading

Czech and Slovak Flours in the US and UK (and substitutions)

Czech-Slovak flours
Hladká (smooth), polohrubá (semi-coarse), and hrubá (coarse) mouka

In the past, I have posted several Czech recipes on my blog. As an enthusiastic home cook and baker in the US, it is natural that I would make my native Czech husband foods that he grew up eating in Prague. My mother-in-law was an excellent home cook, and I’m lucky that she shared several recipes.

My husband and I have been together for almost 25 years now. Early in our marriage, I struggled to get some Czech dishes right, but have since mostly mastered them. In the early years, the flours I had access to in the US (or rather didn’t) were issues. In this post, I describe some of the most commonly used flours in Czech Republic – particularly wheat-based flours – and possible substitutions. The main wheat flours in Czech Republic are described according to coarseness, from smooth all the way to very coarse. Continue reading

Mazanec (Czech Easter Bread)

As a follow-up to my Christmas cookies of Czech Republic post, I decided to share my mother-in-law’s Easter bread recipe (“Mazanec”, in Czech). Mazanec is a slightly sweet bread with some fruit and nuts, and subtle vanilla and lemon flavor. My Czech husband has always preferred Mazanec over the similar, but differently shaped, Christmas bread, called “Vánočka”. Continue reading

Many forms of communication can give psychological relief

bird speaking
The bird speaks, sings, dances, writes, and flies.

I talk out loud to myself all of the time. I even do so in public, sometimes. What I say seems interesting to me, but maybe it wouldn’t to others. Often I just say odd-ball random things, or repeat phrases or make odd noises. Just yesterday, my hubby came into the bedroom from his office asking who I was talking to. I just told him not to worry and that I was talking to myself and to “Go back into your office and leave me be!” And only 20 minutes ago, I was in his office with him and started to talk to myself again. He became annoyed and told me to be quiet (he was working), so I just went to my bedroom and shut the door, and began talking to myself again, happily.

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Why I accept and value treatment for my bipolar disorder

Mental Health Treatment

Without proper treatment and efforts for wellness…

My bipolar manic behavior can become ‘out of control” and “scary”. It has led to the end of numerous relationships, prevented relationships, got me fired or threatened to be fired, made me quit jobs, affected my job performance, made me lose money, made me put my well-being at risk (in many ways), led to cops being called (or almost called), caused me extreme embarrassment and guilt after-the-fact, hurt and/or scared people I love/like, put my life and others’ in jeopardy, caused me some trauma…
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10 Varieties of Czech Christmas Cookies (České Vánoční Cukroví) and more

Christmas cookie platter 2018 metal (2)
My 2018 Christmas cookie platter. Not all Czech cookies in this post are shown above.

This post marks the end of my Czech Christmas cookie countdown. Phew! On November 11th, I posted my first of 10 Czech Christmas cookie/confection recipes, with my last posted yesterday, along with a bonus Czech sweet bread. According to my husband, my mother-in-law would make as many as 13 different varieties for their platter. Frankly, I can’t manage all of that baking! Continue reading

Bee Hive or Wasp Nests Cookies (Vosí Hnízda)

Vosi Hnizda final group finished photo
The Vosni Hnizda in the back are not coated with chocolate.

Vosi Hnizda are cute no-bake rum eggnog or custard filled 3-dimensional cookies. They generally require a special mold to make that’s available throughout Czech Republic, or can be found online, in the US. The traditional version includes a nut-based dough for the “nest” or “hive” part, though people with nut allergies can find no-nut versions online, elsewhere. My mother-in-law made them without cocoa, but those who like cocoa, can add it. They are traditionally filled with a rum-flavored eggnog or custard, but other flavors can be used. Continue reading