The American food industry thinks we are stupid, inattentive, or complacent

Yogurts cropped
The gradually decreasing size of yogurt containers

After a rather stressful appointment today, I decided to pick up a few things from the grocery store. The main items on my list were granulated sugar and pure almond extract. Both items happen to almost always be in the same aisle, the baking aisle, so I went there first before getting side tracked and buying more than I wanted to. The store had zero pure almond extract. They only had the imitation crap. That pissed me off! I refused to buy that. Then what was worse, when I went to pick up a bag (meaning one, 5-lb bag) of granulated sugar, I almost had a fit. I could tell in a millisecond that they were smaller. All of the bags (all brands) were suddenly 4-lb bags! Continue reading

Distractability and spaciness of a person with bipolar disorder

Crocus in snow
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been very slowly coming out of a depression. This past weekend I felt fairly good, though. I had energy, motivation, and was enjoying activities both with my husband, and alone. And yet on Saturday, my husband said something that initially irritated me, but now kind of worries me. We were at the dining room table and I was playing a beautiful piece of music by Leos Janacek. I had lit a candle and a lovely dinner was on the table. Hubby said something to me, but I was concentrating on the beauty of the music and general situation. It felt wonderful! I heard him, but wasn’t really paying full attention to him.

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My very first love (Part 1 of 3)

Love in chinese
This is a first draft of a section of a possible memoir chapter

Falling in love has never been as easy as making scrambled eggs for me. Not to say I didn’t have my fair share of crushes over my earliest years, but somehow I knew the difference between the two. Continue reading

Long-term uniform mild mood disruption is not good enough. Or is it?

moodchart

People who experience mood disorders, like unipolar depression and bipolar disorder, are most intensely monitored when severe mood disruptions are occurring, such as moderate-severe depression, moderate to severe mania, or episodes with mixed features. Also of deep concern are labile moods where the afflicted quickly cycle between various mood states. In the case of bipolar disorder, this would mean mood fluctuations between depression, hypomania/mania or mixed states within short periods of time (i.e. hours, days or weeks). But what happens in many of these peoples’ treatments when the mood state is uniform/level, but not severe, and yet not completely considered stable either, like in dysthymia or mild hypomania. Continue reading

Pursuit of pleasure to lonely walk down a pictureless hallway

heartbeat-163709__340

A story about minor mood lability. Many of us have it on occasion. People with bipolar disorder even more often, usually.

I remember one day maybe five years ago sitting in my therapist’s office feeling like I was on the edge of my seat. I had been feeling a bit depressed for a while prior to that day, but my mood was improving very rapidly. I told her, “Renee, I’m going to set out on a pursuit of pleasure. I’m ready.” To that I believe she asked me what exactly I meant. In response, I told her I was going to trip the light fantastic and paint the town blue. She grimaced, but said nothing. Continue reading

Beethoven’s musical flight of ideas

Beethoven collage

Several months ago my husband and I received the annual music program from the local university in my town. We are very lucky that we live in a town with a university that attracts some of the best classical musicians and other artists in the world. This year the main focus was on Beethoven String Quartets, played by the Takács Quartet. The last of the performances focused on his later string quartets including the well-known Grosse Fuge Op. 133. Just imagine Beethoven at this time in 1825, already deaf, but music playing on and on in his genius head. Imagine him walking down the streets of Vienna talking to himself and humming the music, even conducting as he went along. Continue reading