UPDATE October 2020: I’m just putting a little update here as people keep finding this post, I conclusively found out I have ADHD and PMDD, not rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, and since starting treatment for PMDD, my moods have been completely stable, after years of misdiagnosis and taking mood stabilizers. Don’t give up looking for your answers and if the meds don’t work, question your diagnosis.
So this question of bipolar disorder has reared it’s head again and I *still* don’t know if I actually have it or not. It’s very frustrating to not know what’s wrong with you except that you know you don’t function properly. I had post-natal depression 100% but when I look at the mood scale from Bipolar UK I literally only fluctuate between a 7 and a 3 most of the time.
Which I don’t think is necessarily clinically significant to necessitate a BD diagnosis. I also don’t have underlying “phases” (usually… that PND really brought this home to me). There’s some evidence that ADHD’s hyperactive side can look a lot like hypomania and there’s little to separate them.
As a side-note, I feel like that mood scale linked above ought to be mandatory for everyone who is trying to mood chart because without it you’re trying to draw a map without a key. I now know why I failed at mood charting back in 2015.
While I’m waiting to get hold of a psychiatrist (again… RIP salary), I looked online and basically all the “test yourself for bipolar” quizzes go like this:
Have you had mania? (well, duh, if I knew the answer to this I’d surely know if I had bipolar)
Have you had hypomania? (gosh golly, if I knew the answer to this surely I’d already have a diagnosis… the nuances of hypomania and the difference between hypomanic symptoms and a hypomanic episode are utterly lost on some people)
Have you had depression? (again, what counts as clinical depression and if it’s very obviously Post Natal Depression or Complex Grief, do those count or not?)
Insert a bunch more questions to make it look like we didn’t half-ass this quiz
Give us your email address so we can harass you forevermore send you your results.
The cyclothymia tests are actually nonexistent. Indeed, it seems no two clinicians can agree upon what cyclothymia actually is. I did read a really good chapter on it in “The treatment of bipolar disorder” published by Oxford University Press. That chapter is basically the only thing I’ve seen that actually makes sense of cyclothymia as a clinical entity.
The best part is, cyclothymia is milder than bipolar disorder (but still comes with suicide impulsivity) yet despite the fact that it’s generally agreed these days that people with bipolar don’t always need lifelong meds, the NHS guidelines say people with cyclothymia need to be on meds (that aren’t even approved for use for cyclothymia because literally nothing is) for the rest of their life.
“In case it develops into full-blown bipolar.”
So they’re proposing I take very serious meds that will take years off my life when I don’t actually need them, despite the fact that the latest research says people with cyclothymia have a distinctly different set of debilitating symptoms than people with bipolar, it’s not just “soft bipolar” as some idiot clinicians call it, and never mind that people with cyclothymia are very sensitive to meds in general.
Frustratingly, the NHS can say whatever they want about cyclothymia because there are no NICE guidelines for it. That’s right. NICE recognizes cyclothymia but couldn’t be bothered to actually write any guidelines for how to define, diagnose or treat it, and they clearly state multiple times in their bipolar guidelines that they are not dealing with cyclothymia.
My current therapist is adamant I have bipolar, she doesn’t seem to know what cyclothymia is, she has dismissed ADHD as “not relevant” to my problems, and she seems to think I have no insight which makes no sense because everyone else I’ve ever seen always tells me I have lots of insight into my condition.
This whole thing is such a mess. And my husband, the biggest voice of doubt, keeps saying “I don’t think you have bipolar” like, do I need to borrow an elephant with “she has bipolar” written on the side of… of… those rug things elephants wear?! And does anyone know what those rug things are called?
Arrrgh how did I end up here again with the bipolar stuff? Should I be on meds? Who knows! I wish Blahpolar was still here because I know she would have talked this through with me and helped me work out where to go from here.
Or maybe she would have just made an appropriately-timed bipolar vegetable joke.
That would also help.
To be fair, I wish she was still here even if she never liked or commented on anything I ever wrote again.
First, the Seroquel saga continues as I await a pharmacy that actually stocks the dosage. Apparently they should have specified time release on the Rx then I could have got it fulfilled at 5 different pharmacies. That was my day wasted. All else I did today was the school run (I would have sent him in with an apple for the teacher, but he IS the teacher and he detests apples. I did consider putting ribbons in his little ringlets but he went with the Health and Safety ponytail which is fair when you’re in a room where you get to burn things). And I had two different hours of therapy. There’s the psychotherapy in the morning and the EMDR for PTSD in the afternoon. Tuesday was a busy day. And an expensive one. But both approaches have their advantages and I’ll discuss them once I’ve spent more time doing them both.
Then, there’s the trip to London which I got back from yesterday evening.
Friday I bought myself two new camera lenses, an 18-250mm one for close and far stuff (the zoom is IMMENSE and the wide angle is BEAUT), and a 40mm lens for lightweight snaps, and for times I need a sharper image. Such as when I’m making youtube vids. The best things about the 40mm are a) it sounds like a James Bond gun. b) it doesn’t have an official Ultra Silent Motor, but it’s motor is the QUIETEST EVER and c) It’s the smallest lens that canon make. oh and d) its aperture is the best I could afford and better than the other two lenses.
I’m so glad I tried the lenses out as I would have bought the 50mm on Amazon and it was WAY less good than the 40mm (and 50mm doesn’t sound like a James Bond gun, it sounds like a Duke Nukem gun: Hail to the KING baby). I bought them from Park Cameras off Oxford Street in London (Tottenham Ct Rd end of Ox St), and they had a selection of new and quality second hands, and if you take your camera they let you try out lenses on your camera so you can see what you like. I saved a LOT of money compared to buying these lenses online (like, I saved £300-ish). The staff are all knowledgable about cameras too – so I also found out why my original lens was so crap – it wasn’t original to the camera, it was older, so whenever the previous owner sold my camera to Cash Converters, they kept the original lens to my camera and bunged their older, more crap one on it instead. Bastard. I wouldn’t have minded but it arrived WITHOUT A GODDAMN LENS CAP. Who treats an expensive DSLR like that???? I’ll put sample pics up when my computer isn’t infested with some weird spyware or AIDS or something.
I also bought myself a camera microphone. I treated myself to a RODE branded one from an audio shop off Tottenham Court Road and early indications are that it is going to be perfect.
My workshop was great on Saturday and I was really psyched to find out that the originator for this whole theory/technique came up with it as a way for traumatized musicians to re-find their voices after surviving WWI as conscripted soldiers in Germany (he moved immediately to France and later turned his efforts to helping traumatised Jews escaping the Nazi regime).
However, something must have hit a nerve or something because on Sunday I really didn’t feel well at all and I couldn’t go to the second day which was a shame because I was looking forward to taking it all further. It took 4 hours, but I felt a bit better by the afternoon and went into the City and took some pics (which are travelly so I’ll devote a whole article to them. I might do a whole nother article on the shops you can find in Mayfair because it’s an impressive collection. There were TWO Maseratis illegally parked).
I then went to have an unplanned and therefore VERY detailed consultation at Victoria’s Secret in Mayfair, which is on New Bond Street, at the other end to Tiffany’s (which is where New BS becomes Old BS; and which I did NOT let myself near until I was certain it had closed for the day, and even then I only took photos from the other side of the road just in case I got tempted to go online on my phone and make a purchase. Hells to the NO I didn’t set foot in there, because I has ALL OF THE WILLPOWER).
I did however go to Vic’s S. as mentioned above, and I did get a thorough and informative and friendly consultation whilst dressed top to toe in mens clothing (excepting underwear) and wearing men’s shoes (not intentional, just happened to throw it all on that a.m.). So full points for professionalism.
At Vic’s S. they don’t just wrap a tape measure round your squishies then truss you up in elastic, they start by taking your name, and introducing themselves (I know it’s like they buy you dinner first), then they ask what type of bras you like, then they measure you, give you some samples to try (that are kept for the express purpose of ascertaining which type of bra you like) then they tick on your personalized consult card to tell you what bras you liked, they write your size on the card, and tell you where (in the 4 floor store) to find the bras you’ve been matched with, where you find them in a range of colors, accents and lace options. I chose to ignore all the advice from my consult and bought myself a nice front zipping underwired sports bra in black. Because I almost exclusively wear sports bras (TMI, I know). I also bought the AMAZINGLY SCENTED body lotions I’d been craving ever since someone brought me back a sample set from Florida about 5 years ago, and I’m so glad I did because now I can smell like that again EVERY DAY. I haven’t used any of them yet, but occasionally I’ve popped the lids of one or other and just inhaled the delightful scent.
Love Spell and Pure Seduction you both smell sooooo good!
*does that Homer Simpson drooling thing*
Must not eat them.
Anyway, my laptop was doing a strange thing when I got back so I’m not sure what’s wrong with it but both Hijack This and Malwarebytes are embroiled in fisticuffs trying to detangle why my security log and internet history have been edited while I was away. HMMMM…
Also Banacek was apparently too lazy to get up to eat today, so he did it lying down:
And speaking of Honey, as y’all probably know, it’s my middle name. Jasmine Honeysuckle is actually the name my mother gave me when I was born, she was told by the Catholic priest at my Christening that this name was no good and that there had never been any Saint Jasmine or Saint Honeysuckle (he cancelled my Christening over this) so she changed it to something more traditional. I am NOT having the word “suckle” anywhere in my name, so when I recently experienced name dysphoria (before I knew it was gender-related), I changed it (unofficially) to Jasmine Honey about a month before my mum died, then she died and I never got a chance to finish connecting with my new name and make it legal etc. Honey Jasmine had been my preferred configuration but I wanted to eliminate Jasmine first since that was the way I was originally named. And it’s all gone down the krapper and stuck. My acquaintances (all except my ex-best-friend/unrequieted-whatnot) have all been very good with this, although when I started pinpointing major genderqueer-ies (gender queries?) I felt Jasmine wasn’t my best fit first name. So for the past few months I’ve not really thought of myself in terms of actually HAVING a name. Which I’ve been happy with, I don’t need a label, I know who I am. But society insists on calling me words and medical types insists on repeating my full legal ‘name’ several times per sentence to show they know who I am (when they do this it really alienates me from them further). So I’m thinking of swapping it around to Honey Jasmine (etc). The only issues are, a) I’d have the same initial and part-last-name as my mum (and that’s a bit weird given all the medically-diagnosed-PTSD she caused me) and b) I feel a bit bad because my dad chose my legal, re-registered names but they’re terrible I hate them and don’t recognize them to respond to because all my life nobody ever called me my registered names. Apparently it’s been so long since anyone last called me Jasmine, and I see people so infrequently that no-one uses my name to my face, that I don’t seem to be able to associate with it any more either. That’s very sad.
People call me Honey a lot. And it’s simultaneously stupidly gendered and still non-gendered. Which kinda makes it more androgynous. Like me. And while it sounds like a porn name, go and google Jasmine Honey and see what comes up. Or search it on Twitter. There is a real porn star with my actual name. Just saying. It’s hard to rise to prominence on the internet when you keep wondering whether your followers are waiting for you to get your double G’s out, then they see your itty bitty C’s half hidden by a fake moustache and they send you hate mail (which, having received both, is very slightly better than wank-mail but still).
I know there are a few better names out there than Honey, but I’m saving them for when I have kids. Plus Honey is familiar and comfortable. Icons with the name being Honey Rider and Miss Honey from Matilda. Or maybe I should keep Jasmine and stop over thinking this. I’m considering something else as well, but I just don’t know right now. Imma think about this s’more before I do anything irreversible like change my Twitter name m’kay…
And I got my manuscript completely edited (and somehow added about 5000 words to it in the process) and sent back to the editors to double check. Now I’m waiting to find out if it’s getting the go ahead or needs editing further. I canNOT edit without a list written by a responsible person.
And here’s the video that the title is a reference to:
So let me tell you once again – Who’s Back!
So that’s been my whirlwind of a past few days, how’ve you been? Let me know in the comments!
This post contains affiliate links. This does not affect your browsing experience, cost, etc of things at the other end of said links in any way. I’ve been getting really annoyed lately at the amount of people who don’t disclose this, so now if I see a link in someone’s blog to a shopping site, I have to assume it’s an affiliate link unless they’re upfront about it in their linked posts and about page.
The dress was one of the first and last things I found. It was the first, I bought it for £12.99 and it arrived 18 months before our wedding – before we even had a date. It was beautiful, and everything about it seemed perfect except… it was too short in the body. It was a jumpsuit comprising of 2 parts, an opaque figure hugging inside in white sequin and a see-through outer part in floaty white. It was beautiful. But the opaque inner was too short on the body meaning either my booty could fit in or my boobs could, but not both at the same time. This was super unfortunate and I thought I could fix it with some straps and some extra trim around the bottom but I made about 10 modifications to it and it still didn’t fit my height, so I gave up with three months to go before the wedding. I will do something with it at some point I’m just still deciding.
I then had a series of dresses that didn’t turn up, didn’t look remotely like the picture, weren’t designed to fit actual people; one even got cancelled on Ebay after bidding had ended because it hadn’t sold for enough (they hadn’t put a reserve on, they just cancelled the bid and refunded my payment that I sent straight after the listing ended. They even emailed and told me they’d sold it elsewhere. Disgraceful)… In the end, the dress was the last thing I bought; with two weeks to go, I bought a £10 white satin dress on Ebay that was completely perfect, and it arrived a week before the big day. It was an ex-Debenhams either overstock or factory second, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with it and it fitted perfectly. It was satiny fabric but it was actually 100% polyester, and the satiny layer was overlaid with that fine meshed plain lace that the veil is also made of, all made of polyester which is made from three chemicals which are petroleum byproducts (as is plastic, because as I’ve discussed somewhere before, chemicals aren’t made from nothing they’re all made from the natural resources on our planet):
My veil cost £2.50 and came from China. I advise you to read listings carefully to check exactly what you’re getting – some veils don’t come with a comb, for example, so are just a big square of filmy fabric. Mine came with a comb and it said freshwater pearls but I knew they would be at the very best made of glass, and were actually made of plastic, which was perfect because pearls are an animal slaughter byproduct.
My shoes were a story in and of themselves that I’ll come to on the actual day. These were the ones I bought for the wedding:
I made my own jewellery using crackle Glass Beads and plastic glow in the darkpony beads and semi-precious beads and elastic and nylon wire from Amazon. I started making the jewellery about 4 months before the wedding and found that it was a good de-stress project during the planning stages.
I accessorized with a unicorn bag that I’ve had for ever and a broccoli bouquet because I don’t like the idea of wasteful flower bouquets and broccoli could be eaten by the rabbits later in the day. Broccoli was 49p at Morrissons, we took our time to choose a really nice symmetrical one the day before the wedding. It made for some damn good photos, and we spent absolutely nothing on flowers which was amazeballs because I felt like the cost of floristry was going to be mandatory wedding robbery when I don’t like large quantities of flowers that aren’t growing somewhere.
One thing I hated about dress shopping was that there’s this expectation that you are an inadequate human being if you don’t spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on a dress. In all the wedding planning sites I looked at, I was shocked that there was an assumption that the dress would be up to 1/3 of the budget (excluding honeymoon). Unless your wedding only contains three items – your dress, his suit and a priest (no rings, no indoor space to get married in, no food, no invites etc) – it’s a little disproportionate.
You don’t even need to spend £50 to get a decent dress that will look really nice on the day and in the pictures afterwards. It doesn’t need special stitching or whatever because probably you won’t wear it again (even if you think you will), it doesn’t need preserving because it’s only special to you, and it doesn’t need saving for children because they want to choose their own dress. Just like you did. Think about those articles that say things like “you can use your mother’s wedding dress by cutting it into pieces and wrapping the bouquet with it” then think whether that’s worth £250 or £2500 to you, for your child to take a pair of scissors to it at some point in the future and use it as a tablecloth or bouquet wrap for their own wedding. Bear in mind they’re probably only doing it so you don’t feel bad that they don’t want to wear your dress. Was that worth the effort? I decided in my case that it was all insane levels of excessive money and object gluttony, and I wanted to start the marriage as I meant to go on.
In the words of Francine Smith’s Chinese Parents: Wastefulllll.
As I kept reading this crap I felt myself straining against it as it tried to suck me in.
Keep yourself safe from being brainwashed by the Wedding Industry, friends. A minimalist wedding is possible and the bride’s (or brides’ – YAY GAY MARRIAGE) outfit is one of the hardest stages to keep your resolve, particularly if you get hypomanic spending like I do.
Total cost of bride’s outfit including “bouquet”: About £30. £43 if we’re counting the first one.