bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Posts tagged ‘loony bin’

There’s a Reason for Limits

Don’t worry.  The tote board is still moving along.  Day 5.  Woo hoo!

However, (and as one of my favorite comedians says, “Nothing good comes after ‘however.'”) this weekend I pushed it to the limit.  And, now I know why I have put these limits on myself. 

I was Sunday School Superintendent before the Loony Bin.  I, obviously, had to give that up afterward.  I spent the first five months of the year attending the adult classes and having no responsibility.  I enjoyed that quite a bit, but I missed the kids.  I missed teaching.  Before motherhood, I was a 2nd grade teacher, and I just loved it.  I’m glad I quit to stay home and raise my own kids, but I love interacting with other children and teaching them.  So, Sunday School filled that need/desire in my life.  Then, this summer, I told the current superintendent that I would be glad to help plan VBS, and take a turn teaching Sunday School this summer.  That worked out great.  I really enjoyed it.  I then helped plan the fall classes and have been able to teach with one of my best friends.  Even more fun than the summer! 

Then, this Sunday, the superintendent was going to be gone, and asked me if I thought I could handle being in charge.  I thought, “Sure.  Why not?  We already know what we are going to do, and even though we will have all the classes together, it surely isn’t a big deal.”  BUZZZZZZZ.  Unfortunately, one of the games we were going to play was a much bigger deal than I expected.  My mindcould NOT figure out how to make it work.  (It was kind of like a cross between Pictionary and Telephone.)  My parents tried to help me, and we came up with a plan.  Then, last night I worked until midnight cutting paper, trying to come up with ideas for drawing, etc. 

My daughter and I got to church in plenty of time for me to explain to the assistants what we would be doing and how they could help.  I started the class by conducting a review of the past lessons.  That went pretty well.  Then, I passed off the class to another teacher who summarized her lessons as well.  So far so good.  Next, came “THE GAME.”  It became a MUCH bigger deal than I even expected.  Kids not listening.  Adults becoming confused, even though I thought I had explained it to them.  Wow.  The part that my parents and I had figured out, totally went haywire.  Completely failed.  Mayhem ensued.  My brain was going nuts!  We had ten minutes left of class and absolute chaos. 

Finally, the adults helped and we got it all figured out.  The game ended as it was supposed to.  (Thank you, Lord Jesus!)  The kids thought it was fantastic, and one boy even understood why we played it in the first place.  HALLELUJAH!!!!  Anyone who doesn’t believe God exists, wasn’t in this class to see the miracle take place. 

That kind of thing could have happened to anyone, and I realize that.  The way I could tell I had taken it too far was at church, following Sunday School.  I play the drums for our service.  It is truly one of the highlights of my week.  I feel uplifted and that lasts well into the middle of the week.  Today, I just wasn’t feeling it.  I played just fine.  My heart and body just weren’t into it.    A couple of songs lifted me up, but then, I felt my insides just droop.  I started singing along (which I don’t normally do.  I am not miked, so it really doesn’t matter whether I do or not) and that helped a little.  I tried to focus, but I just couldn’t.  I was completely exhausted.  Inside and out.

Karen and I were driving home, and she, of course, asked about eating out, and suggested McDonald’s drive-thru.  I told her I was hungrier than that and would prefer a place that served breakfast.  She’s not a big fan of breakfasts (gets that from her dad), so she was out of ideas.  I just didn’t feel like trying to come up with a place, so I told her we’d just drive through McDonald’s andI didn’t get anything.  Just too tired.  (Don’t worry.  I ate when I got home.  I know that eating is only second to sleeping as far as triggers go.)

I’m not down or anything now.  And, I was never down today.  Just tired.  Very tired.  I am really looking forward to tomorrow when I get my day off.  And, actually, I don’t have any real responsibilities this week, so I am looking forward to that as well.

I think it is time to go and order a pizza.  Delivered.

Whatchamacallit

Before I even start the real subject of this post, I have to say that I absolutely LOVED this candy bar.  I don’t even know if they make it anymore, but it was soooo tasty.

Okay, now on to the real reason for this post.

I have been struggling with what term to use when mentioning my stay at the “loony bin” when I was being treated with bipolar disorder.  I was using “loony bin” because I thought it was kind of a funny term and would make people realize that I was fine talking about it, it wasn’t a taboo subject, and hopefully put them at ease.

I am realizing that it may not be doing that.  In fact, it may be doing the exact opposite.  Is it making them uncomfortable?

I remember when talking with my therapist and mentioning my stay at the loony bin that I didn’t know what to call it and that was the one I actually preferred.  He said that we don’t really have a good term for the place I spent my days, and then we moved on to another subject.

So, I’m going to ask my readers (both of you) what you would prefer someone in my situation would use, or if you have been in such a place, what term you use.

Here are your choices:

  • loony bin
  • booby hatch
  • cuckoo’s nest
  • nut house
  • insane asylum
  • funny farm
  • asylum
  • mental institution
  • crazy house
  • psychiatric hospital
  • madhouse

Wow.  Put all of those together and you are ready to commit yourself, just by reading them all.  Am I right?

Any time I am mentioning my stay (and it is not always about my stay.  It is often to put something into the proper time period…as in “right before I went into the loony bin” ), I am reminded of Anthony in “Designing Women” who would always refer to his time in prison as “during my unfortunate incarceration.”  I loved that.  I wish I could come up with something that clever.  I’ve even thought of using it to describe my stay, but then people would think I had been in prison. 

And that would be crazy.

Oscar the Grouch Welcome Here!

Oh my gosh.  I just spent an hour in the basement cleaning up my daughter’s side.  It was supposed to be a classroom for her to pretend to be a teacher.  But, trust me, this property would be condemned, if it were. 

I lugged out: 2 trash bags of trash, 1 bag of stuff for charity, and a large box of recycling items. 

The problem is…you can hardly tell I did anything!

Now, if I had asked her to do it, it would have been a disaster because she would have cleaned about 15 minutes and then start playing, thinking it was done.  Plus, she would have saved a lot that I threw away.  Papers, awards, papers, notebooks, papers, glue sticks, and more paper.  Geez!  I thought I had a paper problem!

My son’s side of the basement is entirely Legos.  He and his friend build towns and then shoot movies with the them.  Pretty cool.  But, he doesn’t want to put them in boxes or sort them or anything like that.  He just spreads them out on the floor so that he can see what he has.  I’m fine with that.  If I asked him to clean it up, he could just scoop up all the Legos and put them in bins until the next time he wanted to use them.

Of course, my husband’s section of the basement is very tidy.  Well, for a workshop, anyway.  He’s got stuff where he wants it.  And, can probably find it when needed.

My section is somewhat organized.  Right after my stay in the loony bin I got a bee in my bonnet (what’s that phrase about?) to start cleaning stuff up and out.  So I had these shelves that we just jam-packed with stuff and I had no idea where to find anything other than Christmas stuff.  That holiday has it’s own shelf.  Now, that is all pretty organized.  I have had some stuff spill out of there into the adjoining section that is considered “common ground” and I really should get around to picking through it or finda place for it all.  But, until then, I’m good with it.

So, now I’m sitting here, taking a break, in front of the box fan, just waiting to cool off enough to take a shower.

But, let this serve as a warning.  If ANYONE reading this blog buys my daughter any more “School Stuff,” prepare for the Wrath of ZUZU!!!!  Unless, of course, it is an industrial strength vacuum cleaner.

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