Sunday, July 27, 2008

You Can Knock Me Down, But You Can't Keep Me Down

One of the most difficult things about dealing with mental illness is feeling better. When you've become so used to chaos reigning in your mind, having a quiet in the storm is disconcerting to say the least. I've been lucky enough to have found a medication cocktail that has made my borderline personality disorder and bipolar II (different from bipolar I in that I don't get manic episodes or completely lose touch with reality - it's also known as "the good kind") much, much easier to deal with. It's taken an incredibly long time, but I'm finally feeling like I'm going to be able to not only live with this, but thrive and actually, shockingly, be happy. It's an amazing feeling.

It's also scary as hell.

A major issue that I have had throughout my life is an inability to allow myself to hope. I haven't ever let it in because of a terrible, all consuming fear that hope is an invitation for pain. As if the universe would look at my optimism, laugh its balls off, and drop an anvil on my head, Acme style, for having the audacity to look for a brighter future. It's a survival technique that I have held onto my whole life. Of course, it's also a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I don't allow myself to hope without being convinced it will lead to pain, I'm going to find pain anyway, even if it is just to prove myself right. I know this, logically. Hell, I have an extremely expensive graduate degree in helping other people with problems just like these. Ones who cannot help themselves help everyone else, etc. etc. etc.

So in the past four weeks or so, I have been able to allow myself the tiniest amount of hope. I came to the realization that I'm here for some sort of reason (I got out of the hospital when no one thought I would, so there has to be SOME reason, I concluded) and even though I'm still not sure what the hell that reason is, I'm sticking around to find out. I love a good mystery. I'm working my ass off trying to get my brain in order, and it's really been paying off.

This weekend, the bubble burst. It was bound to, as emotion is an ebb and flow, and the high of coming out of the fog was going to taper off. I've been in a fairly wretched mood, with lows that come fast and hard. I'm riding the rapids right now, but this time, unlike all the other times this has happened, is different. I still have hope.

I'm not blowing sunshine and glitter up anyone's ass here. I'm just saying that the universe and the misfired synapses in my brain are giving me a hell of a ride right now, but I know I'm going to get through it. I can flip off the darkness and yell into the storm that I've beaten a hell of a lot worse than this, that circumstance and my own betraying mind have tried to break me again and again, and they haven't gotten the job done. I've made it this far, and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. So I give a hearty "fuck you" to the maelstrom in my mind today. You can kick me all you want, but you can't keep me down. I'm stronger than that. I always have been. I'm just grateful that I finally know it now. And that I will continue to hope, despite it all.

Strong in the broken places. That's damn right.

Unbreakable With Armor

And Unbreakable Without.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Shame! The Shaaaaaaaame!!!!

Hello, my precious little squirrels! Why don't you skipper on over to MamaPop to read my article about cultural shame? And leave your own cultural shame confessions in the comments? You know, confession does the heart good, and it will also be your good deed for the day. And no, I still haven't read King Lear. Cordelia can suck it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quick Sock Monster Note!

If you really, truly for serious want a sock monster, email me at missbanshee at gmail dot com for details, my precious little squirrels.


UPDATED!!!! Go to the Monster Photo Set on Flickr to see monsters up for adoption!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Will Never Learn.

Supercuts: For When You Should Have Done It Your Damn Self.

Wow, Supercuts. That's really...Super?

Much better. Done my damn self.

Ah, much better. Let this be a lesson to you, kids. You pay $14 for a haircut, you get...a $14 haircut. Wah.

Okay, had a good cry and decided something:
Stop being sad and be awesome instead.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


It all started so innocently. A birthday present! From my dear friends Steve and Meaghan! How lovely! And this is what it looked like, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Innocuous, right? Innocent. Adorable, even. So I get this book, and come up with the idea to make one, as a super seekrit special project for a specific super person. And I did, and it was awesome.

But, you see, I don't have a job right now. I'm on a "sabbatical." Or a "medical leave." Or, "batshit crazy timez." So I have a lot of free time. A LOT of free time. So I thought well, I'll try another one of the patterns. I have plenty of socks, as they are only a dollar at Walmart, so...Why not? And I did, and it was good.

So what's the problem that is now destroying my life? I'll tell you. Behold!

The first step is admitting you have a problem, and that you are powerless over your addiction. So...Hi. My name is Miss Banshee, and I am addicted to making sock monsters. My house is full of 'em. My couch is covered in sock bits and thread. The cats scurry off with mouthfuls of yarn and stuffing. It's an arts and crafts crack house. And I can't stop. Is there a 12 step program for this? A Big Book for sewing addiction? Because I clearly need help.

So...anyone want a sock monster? They're looking for good homes, and if I don't get them out of my house, they're just going to keep harassing me to make them new friends. Halp.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

No Sleep Till...

I have insomnia. It's been two weeks. It's really starting to take a toll. I vacillate between this:

Aaaaaaaaand this.

Give us kisses!!!! Everything is funny!!!! Let's paint the apartment!

When all I want to do is this:


It's almost definitely due to a new medication I'm on, but not taking it is not an option, for I'd really prefer being tired to being batshit insane, which is what the med prevents me from being. It's a sucky tradeoff, but a sacrifice I'm willing to make. So, Mr. Sandman, please send me a dream. It can be about arranging matchsticks for all I care. Just let me sleep. Because everyone I know is sick of me talking about it, and so am I.

Hey! Are you following A Year in the Mirror? Because there are some RILLY attractive pictures of sleep deprivation there, boy. Like this one!:

Can I carry your groceries? I've got two eye bags that would do nicely.

Kisses, my little monkeys. Please send very very sleepy thoughts. Or narcotics. That would work too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Today's Actual Conversation: Insane and In Motion!

My poor common sense, guys. She is SO patient and SO abused. Like, Valerie Bertanelli in a Lifetime movie abused. Here's a conversation I had with Common Sense today. Tragic.

Scene: Driving home. Music blaring, windows open, our heroine is bopping along to Boston punk rawk and waving a cigarette around in time with the music, swigging her eleventieth cup of coffee, and careening through lunchtime traffic. Common Sense rides shotgun, seatbelt securely fastened, helmet with mouth guard in place, wearing hockey pads, with rosary beads clutched in one hand, her last will and testament in the other.

Me: *slamming steering wheel repeatedly* The goddamn horn is broken! *slam slam slam* How am I to express my displeasure at these knobs' driving skills without the *slam* horn? *slam*

Common Sense: Okay, I understand you've only had this car for a year and a half...

Me: *SLAM SLAM WHACK* What? Can you believe this idiot? Green means GO, jackass! Put up a Post-It or something!

CS: Like I said, I realize you've only had the Kia for less than two years, but-

Me: Her name is BLOODREIGNE. We've talked about this before. She's a 2002 Kia for chrissakes. I have to emphasize her badassery if I'm ever going to hear the end of The Mocking.

CS: Well, it does-

Me: She.

CS: *sigh* She does get very good gas mileage. Your friends certainly can't mock that, with fuel prices being what they are in these trying times.

Me: Bloodreigne is to be FEARED. Mere humans should gaze upon her in AWE. She doesn't NEED expensive gas! She runs on the souls of the non-believers! Muahahahahaa! OH. Really? We're gonna go 7 miles under the speed limit, dude-in-a-Mercedes? Really?! *whacks steering wheel again* See?? It's BROKEN! I hear NO BEEPING!

CS: What I was trying to say is that I know change is hard for you, and that's something we're working on, and getting a new car after having the Chevy for so long-

Me: BLUE LIGHTNING!!! *begins weeping*

CS: Oh dear. I'm sorry. You have to remember that Blue was very very old, and she never could have made it all the way to Georgia back when we moved there. She went to a good home! A farm in the country! Where she could play with all the other Chevys!

Me: *sniffles* I loved Blue, you know. She was my constant companion. My bosom friend. HER horn worked, sorta! *weeps noisily*

CS: Now I really must insist that you stop crying and pay attention to - Please stop fiddling with the iPod and drive properly!

Me: You got me upset. I don't like talking about Blue Lightning. The wound is too fresh. I need to find a song that accurately expresses my pain at the loss. What the hell were you babbling about again? OH. JUST PULL OUT IN FRONT OF ME. LOVELY. I HOPE YOU GET EBOLA. *slam slam slam* DAMMIT! Why isn't this horn working?

CS: *takes deep breath* Do you see the two small buttons on either side of the steering wheel?

Me: Oh, yeah, they're right here. Hey, they've got little horns on them-


Me: Well, you told me to look!

CS: Yes. Two buttons with little horns on them. Coincidentally enough, they represent the horn, which will sound if you press the horn-labeled buttons. Which you could easily reach if your hands were at 10 and 2 where the driver's manual says they should be, instead of holding a filthy cigarette in one and the iPod in the other, and you were not actually driving with your knee.

Me: Oh. So what have I been doing all this time when I was trying to beep the horn?

CS: You've been repeatedly and viciously punching the air bag.

Me: Ahhhhh. Probably shouldn't do that, huh?

CS: *adjusts chin-strap on helmet, tightens seat belt.* Well, dear, we take things one step at a time. At least now you know.

Me: And knowing is half the battle!

CS: And tomorrow you're on your own. I'm taking the bus.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Am Officially Special.

Hot diggitty! I am now writing for MamaPop, your one-stop snarkfest on pop culture! All the ladies who write there are fabbity fab, and now you can catch my articles on Wednesdays and Thursdays, as well as on the Project Runway open thread on Wednesday night over at MamaPopTalk. I'm one of the moderators on the chat, so you know you best ackrite! If ragging on celebs and dissecting pop culture is your bag, come visit us - you know you want to, betches.

PS: To all mah betches who are lucky enough to go to BlogHer this year, have a fantastic time, and remember I am there in spirit - A spirit in a really fierce dress!

Monday, July 14, 2008

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Silliness

To talk about a serious subject. In honor of the return of "Project Runway" this Wednesday, we need to discuss my pants. More specifically, my addiction to buying new pants. And you know what that means! Another poll! Y'all helped so much with the haircut decision (I'm keeping it shaggy for now, but if the humidity gets above eleventy billion, no promises) so tell me which pants were the best purchase. I'll take your answers to heart, reflect, and...probably buy more pants. So sad. I need a meeting.

And forgive me, please, for the quality of these pics. I'm still learning the camera thing.

Exhibit A:

The black skinny jeans. "Slave to trends!" you howl. You are right. These will probably be out of fashion by the time I post this blog. But I love them! So comfy!

Exhibit B: The standard issue blue jeans. Flared bottom. Too long, but if I wear a heel, they don't drag on the ground. I like these plenty, but the whole trend of the faded starburst-like crease pattern right over the crotch? I do not need extra attention pointed towards my ladyflower, thanks.

Exhibit C: Capris! I love capris. I especially love wearing these capris with huge heels so as to be the obnoxious woman who wears the shoes that make her 6 feet tall.

SO! Were these good purchases? Which should be the go-to pair? Do I need to go buy MORE pants? What kind? What cut? What color? Speak, oracles! Clicky on the poll!

Sigh. I love pants.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yes, We Have No Belly Dancing

Because there is no end to the lengths I will go to in order to humiliate myself, here is my first real attempt at a video blog, in which I explain why I will not ever post video of my attempts to belly dance. Woo! Science and technology! (I won't tell you how long it took me to put this together. Let's just say I have no editing programs, so it had to be a one-shot deal.)

Be kind, please.

If you have trouble seeing the video, CLICKY CLICKY.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Year In The Mirror

When my drinking started getting completely out of control, my body changed drastically. My arms and legs were twigs, and my stomach and face swelled. I looked horrific. Sick. Dying. Because I was. Now that I'm five months sober, I look, well, like me again. I've started a Flickr set to document the beginning of the year I started looking at myself again, starting on my birthday, June 30th. It's work for me. It's still very hard for me to look at myself, to look at the person who almost died due to my own emotions and resulting actions, who medical professionals were convinced was not going to make it. But I'm doing this as a project of survival, and the beginnings of accepting and loving myself - maybe for the first time.

A Year In The Mirror.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Something must be done.

People, I have a thatch upon my head. Something must be done. It's freshly dyed and ready for a mowing. Whatever shall I do? Go to the sidebar and make decisions for me! If you have other suggestions or details on your vote, leave em in the comments.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"Filled With Shame" Doesn't Begin To Cut It.

The dvd player is fixed. I am so embarrassed I cannot even form words. I cannot even share what the problem was, people. It's THAT humiliating. Let's just say this brief exchange occurred.

Me: Still broken! Wah! Window! Out it! *click click click* The remote does nothing!

BrotherBanshee: That's because THAT remote is for the TV you had in HIGH SCHOOL.

Me: Nooooooooooooo.

BrotherBanshee: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees. Idiot.

Me: Oh. You know, this situation is not entirely unexpected.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Things That Have Not Improved With Sobriety

And I had such high hopes...

1. Ability to spill or drop everything I pick up
2. Ability to walk into every door frame I attempt to pass through
3. Forgetfulness, including but not exclusive to forgetting to A) put coffee in the filter, B) Turn on coffeepot, and C) Plug in coffeepot.
4. Falling, falling, falling all the time, all over the land, even when standing still.
5. Tripping over cats, coffee table, own feet, air.
6. Breaking/forgetting how to operate every electronic device I own.
7. Forgetting things like my own phone number, address, and spelling of own name.
8. Where the hell is my cellphone? What did I do with my coffee cup? What was I talking about again?
9. Stabbing of self in eye when attempting to apply eyeliner.
10. Bruises of unknown origin.
11. A bunch of other stuff that I can't think of right now, because my attention span is also shot, and I'm now thinking about monkeys. I love monkeys.

Basically, I still appear to be intoxicated mostly all the time, even at almost 5 months sober. I really need to be in a padded room with protective headgear so as not to be a menace to myself and others. I'm really just thinking of the greater good. And monkeys.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Today's Actual Conversation: At least I didn't electrocute myself. Yet.

Happy birthday to me! I am now 31 years of age as of June 30th, and still utter kryptonite to electronics. Behold!

mcclainx: You need to watch this movie "Once." Go rent it. Rent it today.

missbanshee: I will do that! Wait a minute, let me make sure the dvd player is working, for, as you know, technology hates me.

*insert dvd. Whir whir whir. No picture whatsoever.*

DVD Player: Haha. No movies for you, jerky. Lookit me! I work! See the numbers? I'm playing the dvd; you're just not allowed to watch it. Neener!

Me: Hmm. This cannot be right. *presses various buttons on various remotes. Absolutely nothing happens.* Well, that was worth a shot.

missbanshee: Nothing is happening. The dvd player is broken. I will now chuck it out the window.

mcclainx: You will not. Is it plugged in?

missbanshee: YES, it is plugged in. My darling Amir showed me the error of my ways regarding that. It's plugged in. Oh wait. There's a pluggy thing that's missing. It should be a color. A yellow pluggy thing is missing. Broken! Out the windee!

mcclainx: Go to Radio Shack, foolio.

missbanshee: Okay! I shall do just that! Radio Shack is right across the street from Blockfucker. So...Convenient!

*several weeks pass*

mcclainx: Did you watch that movie yet?

missbanshee: Nope. The dvd player is broken, remember? And you wouldn't let me throw it out the window?

mcclainx: Oh my god, go to Radio Shack. For serious.

*Another week passes. I want to get a bellydancing dvd. (Did I mention I'm learning how to belly dance? I am. The things I do for blog fodder.) I try the dvd player again, hoping the technology fairy has visited during the night.*

DVD Player: You've got to be kidding me.

The Entire World: GO TO RADIO SHACK. My GOD, woman, it's a miracle you can leave the house without a HELMET.

Me: I think I shall go to Radio Shack.

*At Radio Shack. An adorable dude with a complicated haircut assists me.*

Me: A yellow pluggy thing. So I can belly dance!

Adorable Dude: Forgot your helmet today, huh?

*I procure the pluggy thing (yellow!) and the dvds. I skipper home.*

Me: Oh, I am so smart. I will now plug in the yellow pluggy thing and everything will be rainbows and unicorn glitter.

*plug in pluggy thing. As everyone, including my dead grandmother can guess, absolutely nothing happens. Immediately hop on internet, with no regard to the fact that my friends are at work and not technical support.*

missbanshee: Nothing is happening! The pluggy thing! It does nothing!

mcclainx: *sigh*

*I frantically take pictures of the back of my TV and DVD player, and email them to my long-suffering friend.*

mcclainx: Still figuring out the focus on that camera, huh?

missbanshee: We need to FOCUS on the dvd player!

mcclainx: Ok, you need a router, so blah blah technical stuff blah blah blah.

missbanshee: Sorry, I was thinking about cute bellydancing outfits. And unicorns.

mcclainx: I will travel the 3000 miles it will take to throw you out a window.

DVD Player: Whir! Whir! Still perfectly fine! I just hate you! Because I am made of shin-kicks and paper cuts!

Me: Wah.

So I'll ask my brother, the Dumbledore of electronics, to look at the damn thing. Because I know I will have to have a very firm conversation with the belly dancing dvd. If I don't break my neck first.