Thombucha

It has begun. Okay, so I know it’s Kombucha, but my Thommunism will not be impeded.

This is my culture in a gallon and a half (or so) spouted jar that a wonderful theatre friend gave me.

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I have chosen to name this culture Ardhanari. Look it up if you like. This brew is about a week in so about halfway through the first fermentation. Then I bottle it, flavor it and let it carbonate for a couple days before I stick it in the fridge and enjoy. Flavoring is open territory. I used to do my brew with green tea but I’ve switched to black tea as I hear it’s better for the life of the culture. I heavily favor flavoring with ginger and/or lemon juice.

I hope you have enjoyed this little portal into what I do with myself.

Your humble narrator-

Thom

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Contradictions….

So many things which seem to be the purest form thereof….are not. Whether one is talking about chemistry of the romantic and neurological varieties, or a really stunning recipe, or a crossover album or WHATEVER- Some things which seem like a bad idea on paper or in theory turn out to be stunning testaments to human ingenuity. It all depends on how you approach it.

Some of the Metal music I adore is honestly pure schlock and cheese. But it works despite how cartoony it may appear on the surface. A great deal of my friends are people I never thought I would ever have any common ground with. Variety is truly the spice of life.

So it goes with many things. My current boyfriend and I actually have some things in common, which is highly unusual for me. I usually find myself awkwardly mismatched and grasping for the words at any moment. When I saw him recently we listened to some Brian Eno, some Lycia, some Jess and The Ancient Ones and I even managed (being a devious bastard) to slip some Mortuary Drape in there. He isn’t an obsessive listener and just told me to surprise him. Still,  he was pretty receptive to everything I played. Important plot point this is. He and I are very different people but we seem to be a good fit.

Back to contradictions, let’s talk about the chemical management of the bipolar one/adhd stuff. Risperdal and Adderall. The most potent dopamine blocker on the market combined with the most powerful stimulant. You would figure this would be a clear case of canceling one another out, ja? Not the case. The risperdal generally keeps me calm as a hindu cow while the adderall makes me think more.. I guess you could call it linearly and logically. I can plan ahead as I go and not get sidetracked by every stupid little thing. I’m hoping I can use this to help me conquer some sort of schooling soon. I went to trade school for HVAC but my back and shoulders are in no shape for that sort of work anymore.

I’ve started this blog for a few primary reasons.

1. To have a place where I can speak relatively freely and release pressure.

2. To get myself back in the habit of writing.

3. To offer what perspective, insight and support I can to the community of mental health bloggers on wordpress.

Blogging here has been an immensely valuable resource for me in the past. Whether it’s for just blowing off steam. sharing strategies for coping or just having a place to share/be oneself this is a wonderful community. I’ve had to narrow my audience a bit as I’m not really ‘out’ with about half my family. So there goes publicizing on facebook. Still, I’m doing it more for peace of mind than the gathering of followers.

So that’s about where I’m at. Enjoying my mental health sabbatical and getting my affairs in order. Medicare dragged their feet on striking me from the rolls so I nearly lost my tax credit for my current insurance. Got it sorted out though. As it stands though I’m kind of in the weeds. I was on Social Security Disability for five years. My case was flagged for termination while I was still barely functional because I started working part time. I was still a mess though.

I filed for an extension of benefits while my appeal was being reviewed. However, something changed. After about nine months after I filed I got taken off of Lithium and put on Risperdal. I was a  literally like a new man after about a month on Risperdal. I abandoned my appeal indicating to them that my condition had drastically improved and I was no longer interested in pursuing the hearing. So I got stuck with the bill because I signed an agreement stating that I understood I may have to pay the appeal payments back.

So I owe about a year of SSDI back. Eleven Thousand dollars. Ouch. I’m a person of modest income so this will take a long time to pay off. However, I have made arrangements for monthly payments. It’s a bitter pill to swallow as I feel I’m being punished for getting better. My condition was well established as causing impairment and the change for the better was abrupt. Still- what can I do?

In spite of this all, I feel good. I know I’ve changed for the better because the old me would be going completely to pieces over this kind of stuff. Experience really is the best teacher.

That’s about all I have for now. Be well.

-Thom

 

P.S.- One final thing- regarding the title ‘Planet Berserk’: My nickname among friends has been Berserker since I was seventeen years old (32 now). It is what it is 😉

Muh mental state….

I’ve been better now that I’ve been just going to work for the last ten days and been in a lower gear. I see the Psychiatrist tomorrow.  I was a mess when my last show closed. I made it through but I was so exhausted I was getting spacey and clumsy. Sleep wasn’t refreshing me and I kind of felt like I was trapped in a dream. Long story short, I bit off more than I could chew trying to do two shows at once. That plus my day job was just too much. I bailed on the second show because I knew I was deteriorating and had to slow down immediately. It was a hard decision to make and I still feel bad about it but I maintain that it had to be done. I was sure I would start going severely loopy if I tried to continue. I’ve had enough experience with psychosis to know when I’m on thin ice. Still, it was lousy timing and I feel bad about it. My director expressed his disappointment but said ‘Your health comes first’. My therapist said I made the right call.

On a bright note the President of the theatre (who I’m sure heard I bailed) came up to me the last day of ‘A Flea in Her Ear’ and told me I did a great job and that he hopes I keep doing shows there. That really touched me.

My show-mance kind of kept me hanging on. We weren’t obvious about it or anything. We knew we were both there to work. Still, the spark he and I had lightened my heart quite a bit and made things more bearable. Without going into too many details, this run took a lot out of me. It was really intense Stage Managing a show I was in. Still, I’m going to be a one show at a time kind of guy from here on out. There was so much stuff I wanted to do that I couldn’t because my attention was split.

But yeah, I’ve got to be more careful. The potential for disaster was there.

Live and Learn. I keep telling my bipolar self:

I AM NOT INDESTRUCTIBLE.

I do, however have a high pain threshold and activity potential. I have to remain conscious of how much I can harm myself in this way. I’m no good to anyone if I’m a broken down batshit mess. I want to keep doing theatre for many years, not burn out in my youth.

Noted. Assimilated. Moving on.

-Thom

Also, some shameless self promotion:

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The purpose….

At the risk of sounding like a tumblrista or something equally absurd, I needed a place I could sort of control access to. A corner where I could be mostly alone and/or limited to interacting with myself and my elite group of shock troops who actually mostly understand me. Facebook has lots of family and people I don’t know particularly well. Both are potential sources of conversational black holes and significant aggravation.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m ripping on my family. I love them dearly. But I can only answer the same questions so many times before it becomes apparent I’m not being listened to. Oh so many examples.

I don’t mean for this blog to be some sort of idiotic hugbox, really. I just want somewhere where I can spill my guts or heaven forbid share the things that make me happy.  I just want a place where I can mostly let my guard down without a barrage of asinine/idiotic interrogations.

If you’re reading this, consider yourself part of my inner circle.

Anyhow, Life goes relatively well. I had to drop from a show I was going to be in because bipolar issues began surfacing and I had to get myself the fuck under control. I’m happy I successfully completed the first show and made a relatively graceful exit before I seriously lost my shit mentally.

In spite of stressful times, something wonderful happened. I met a guy. A really lovely and wonderful guy. I had to keep things low key for a time as we were in a show together, but now that’s over with and we’ve been enjoying one another. He’s really sweet and has kind of a quiet intensity going on.

That’s all. I have a boyfriend who I really like. I’m not into starting drama with my clueless family so I generally keep this stuff to myself even when it wants to burst forth from my noise-hole.

I suppose I should just be totally outspoken about everything but it just isn’t how I was brought up. I love my family, I know they aren’t bad people, just old-school I guess. So I just live my life and try to not let it bother me. It just gets frustrating sometimes. My mom and I have had ‘the talk’ about my romantic attractions like a kajillion squillion times. I’ve told her, ‘I’m not confused, just bisexual’ more times than I can remember. Yet every time I’m with a girl it’s “Are you straight now?” and if it’s a guy it’s “so you’re gay now?”. Ye Gods. Bless her heart, she tries.

Bah, whatevs. I’m still in a pretty awesome mood in spite of all this. This guy absolutely melts my consciousness. He’s gentle yet strong, playful but serious, and as romantic as all get out. I feel like I can really be myself around him and I JUST WANT TO SCREAM IT FROM THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN!!!!

However, it IS early. Best keep a level head. This journal should help.

More as it develops.

-Thom