A Slippery Slope

I have written about this in comments to a friend’s post but thought I would post it here. I believe the overturn of Roe v. Wade is a slippery slope for Americans.

What’s next? Banning birth control? Gay marriage? A woman’s right to vote? A woman’s right to inherit property?

Clearly we are on our way down the rabbit hole without any way back out so it seems.

To me, a man, any man, even a Supreme Court Justice is not emotionally or morally qualified to decide what happens to a woman’s body. He has not lived through a monthly period since the age of 12 reminding him of the god given right of childbirth. He has not worried about a potential pregnancy when his period is late several days. He has not suffered the extensive trauma of a terminated pregnancy either planned or unplanned. A man seeking to tell a woman what to do with a pregnancy is not an empathetic being and is only set on controlling the outcome. What happened to “liberty” and the protection of certain rights? Lose one and perhaps lose them all….

God did not ordain the Supreme Court Justices. Man did. The Supreme Court members are thereby not entitled to act as God in this respect which is what they are doing.

The Joy of Saying Thank You

My husband and I have just passed the mark of our twentieth wedding anniversary. I would like to share one thing that I think is essential in our relationship – saying thank you to each other.

Many people talk about having a gratitude journal and remembering to give thanks to God. I have started a gratitude journal but don’t always keep it up to date. What I do do however on a daily basis is to remember to thank my husband for all that he does for me and for my daughter and for the household.

It is a fairly simple thing to remember to say thank you. Thank you for taking the dog out. Thank you for doing the dishes. Thank you for driving to this location or that. Thank you for handling the bills.

A simple thank you can go a very long way. Saying thank you means you are aware of the contribution of another person to making the day go smoothly. It is an easy thing to do and has so many benefits. It means you are noticing when your husband or your wife or your partner is doing something that affects you. You are for a moment recognizing him or her and the behavior they display toward your relationship. You are for lack of a better term in the moment.

There is no action or reaction that is too small for a simple thank you. Thank you for starting the laundry. Thank you for changing the laundry to the dryer. Thank you for feeding the dog.

The benefit of saying thank you is that the other person feels noticed and appreciated. It is so easy to feel unappreciated at times. Extending a simple but heart-filled thank you can make or break the moment. And all those moments add up to hours, days, months and years of being thankful for your mate and thankful in general.

If you don’t have a mate right now in your life, you can practice giving thanks to the people who are in your life. I even try to say thank you for your time when I am contacting customer service for this or for that. Saying thank you for your time is something most people don’t hear on a regular basis. And they typically appreciate it.

Go on! I encourage you to try it if you don’t already- saying thanks to the people around you on a daily basis.

Getting Older?

I woke up on Saturday of this past week with something called “floaters.” Theses are shadows that come across your field of vision due to regular aging of the eye ball. I just had the floaters in my left eye. They appeared as floating lines and then shortly after as floating cobwebs.

Floaters can be the sign of something more serious so I went to the eye doctor and she told me my vision was unaffected and therefore to ignore them as much as possible.

Given my propensity for anxiety, this has been a difficult four or so days. The floaters are less noticeable than they were but still in my field of vision. The internet says that in one to six months, floaters should disappear and/or your vision will accommodate as the floaters sink to the bottom of your field of vision.

This still freaks me out as I have always been afraid of something happening with my vision.

Anybody else want to share some health issue that is occurring due to aging?

When Does Life Begin and When Does Life End?

I find myself to be very preoccupied about mass shootings in the US in recent weeks. I am fixated on the fact that we continue to have mass shootings in the US but there is very little movement to curtail access to guns because of the Second Amendment. While the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over overturning Roe v. Wade, it does not appear to claim any responsibility or jurisdiction over mass gun violence, purportedly because those rights are protected by the Second Amendment.

The question to me is a matter of what you propose to stand up for and where does the buck stop. Are you able and willing to stand up and protect the beginning of “life” as seen in a heartbeat of an unborn child or fetus? But you are not willing to stand up and protect the definitive lives of those lost (past, present and future) to senseless mass shootings across America?

I find it hypocritical that the people who would like to get rid of Roe v. Wade are the same crowd that say interventions about access to guns don’t work to curtail mass shootings and violence. How do they know that if these measures have not been tried? Why do you propose to save the rights of a few people (those with guns) when the rights of the rest of us to live in a violence-free society are ignored? Could that not be considered what “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is all about? Certainly gun lovers are threatening the right of others to pursue happiness on a daily basis when the gun sellers and the gun owners cannot contain their own right to bear arms without inflicting mass casualties for the rest of us to witness and to bear and to make sense of.

I would say that the Founding Fathers might stand today for “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” when that Happiness avoids victimization of some other segment of society. Certainly, we cannot give carte blanche to gun owners at the expense of the Lives of those lost to mass violence, the Liberty associated with the right to breathe in an atmosphere free from violence and the Happiness that makes our society thrive at its very core.

If the Supreme Court is so set on protecting the rights of Americans to bear arms, why are they not equally set on preserving individual members of society’s rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness? In my book these rights need to be extended to all Americans. When all Americans are protected by the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the Second Amendment is put into perspective. If you cannot own guns and cannot avoid obliteration of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness in society at large, then you do not have any claim to the Second Amendment.

Cannot the Supreme Court stand up for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Surely massive lives lost to gun violence does not constitute Happiness in any one’s reality.

One more thought on the subject – if people can be sued for assisting a woman in getting an abortion, should we not be able to sue all those who allow gun ownership and gun violence by people who pose a threat to self and others. I realize that gun manufacturers cannot be sued due to some sort of federal protection. But it seems to me that if there is a precedent for suing the taxi driver who drives the woman to the abortion clinic, we should be likewise able to sue all those who participate (actively or passively) in the development of a mass shooting situation including all those in office who refuse to put proper gun ownership and access safeguards in place. Let them be accountable!

Will I Pass on Bipolar Illness?

Please be advised that this post contains information that may trigger some persons’ reactions to nature versus nurture and bipolar illness or other psychiatric disorders.

” The available body of evidence suggests that environmental factors may either trigger or prevent the development of a psychiatric disorder. Moreover, there is some circumstantial evidence of an association between environmental factors and the clinical course of bipolar disorder.

Environmental factors, life events, and trauma in the course of …

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › articles › PMC7167807

The data about the nature versus nurture of bipolar illness is mixed. I have seen data that suggests a 10% likelihood of bipolar illness in offspring of people with bipolar condition. But I have also seen more promising statistics that show environmental factors are extremely important in the prevalence and/or the prevention of bipolar illness diagnosis for second generation folks.

My therapist is one of those people who believes more on the nurture side of things rather than the nature side of things.

I grew up in a household where my infant brother had died before I was born. My parents also divorced in large part because of this when I was about ten years old. I felt like the replacement child that could not prevent her parents’ break-up. It is also extremely likely that I had some sort of traumatic event in my childhood like sexual abuse from a neighbor. (There also was no clear history in my family of bipolar or mental illness.)

All in all, my therapist believes I have sheltered my child from any of these occurrences and the likelihood of her developing bipolar is very low. This is incredibly reassuring to me for all the obvious reasons.

I imagine there are folks out there who believe in the nature side of things. For me the nature theory is real in that it heightens the probability of the illness occurring but does not guarantee it.

Anyone care to comment on nature versus nurture and psychiatric diagnoses?

Brain Fog

I have been experiencing brain fog for the past few days. This includes memory issues, trouble holding a thought and trouble with concentration.

I have been googling about it and it sounds like brain fog can accompany bipolar which I have.

The brain fog started when I decided with my doctor to go down 25mg on my Clozapine – from 400mg to 375mg. I have since decided this can wait until stress surrounding my daughter’s finals and graduation dissipates.

Brain fog for me is very different from racing thoughts. Brain fog is difficulty finding a thought and hanging onto it, while racing thoughts are usually elevated and rapidly firing and usually occur with an elevated mood.

Have you ever experienced brain fog or racing thoughts? Do you find brain fog different from racing thoughts?

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month in the US

May is Mental Health Awareness month at least in the US. What would you most like to see addressed with respect to mental illness in the next 5 years? Here’s my list:

  1. Find a way to describe people who are dangerous with an underlying mental condition as different from the bulk of people with mental illness who are generally not dangerous or are dangerous to ourselves. In other words, find a way to differentiate mass shooters from people in mental anguish who often suffer at their own expense rather than at others’. Find new and working vocabulary words to mark this distinction.
  2. Address mental illness stigma to where viable support may be readily given in the workplace, the place of worship, the neighborhood or within other community settings.
  3. Develop meds that don’t cause weight gain or other side effects like Type II Diabetes.
  4. Oh I am adding one – be sure first responders are trained to deal with mental illness particularly campus police as college is a time when many mental illnesses present. What’s your list?

OOOHHHH Final Exams!

My daughter is finishing up high school this month. You may have heard of the program — the International Baccalaureate or IB Diploma Program.

The program is insane – at least in my mind right now. It is testing kids on two sometimes three years of content. Most of these kids were out all of Sophomore and a good part of Junior Year due to COVID and still exams are marching on.

I find myself in a particularly strange spot. I should be providing undying support to my 18-year-old rather than getting her enmeshed in my anxiety. This is really hard for me as college years were the years I first experienced early signs of bipolar. So I worry about the same for her.

All in all, we have less than two weeks to go. So that is great! But it sure would be nice if the IB Diploma Program made some real concessions for studying and mastering content during a world-wide pandemic. I have reached out to the college counselor and he agrees it is an issue globally. So maybe they will give the kids a break?

Happy Mother’s Day to You!

This is a wish that you will have a wonderful Mother’s Day whether you are a mother or have a mother, either way.

Being a Mom is the the most difficult thing I have ever done and the most rewarding! I am soon to be an empty nester so will be experiencing all sorts of “letting go’s” from now until the fall and beyond.

If you are a Mom, I hope you can stop and give yourself credit for all the good you do in the world for your kids even when you’ve been dealt a rough hand and don’t always negotiate everything to a T. So self forgiveness is key.

And if you have a Mom, I hope you are in a position to express gratitude knowing that your Mom (like mine and like me) is far, far from perfect. Again, forgiveness is key.

Let’s just be grateful for motherhood in all its best possible selves. Without it, the world would be an even crazier place to be.