This blurry picture was taken with my ancient cell phone minutes before The Stinging occurred this afternoon


I’m tired.

Being around grief is draining. My husband’s only brother has been gone for less than two weeks, so his death is still very recent and shocking. I’m profoundly thankful that I’m not the one in deep grief, but it’s still challenging being around it. It’s not just tough on me; it’s hard on our two young girls, but the cliche “children are resilient” seems to ring true with them. They’ve been through far worse during the many times I was incapacitated with bipolar depression and when I was away in the hospital seven times for bipolar disorder. They’re keeping busy with school, ballet, The SpongeBob Lama and lest we forget, My Little Pony. (They’ll deny watching that, but they can’t resist watching those freaky, perky ponies prance about.)

Apart from the sadness, the fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love autumn, and I love Halloween! (It’s my favorite holiday.) October is a powerful, weird, symbolic time as I was married in October of 2001 and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in October, 2007. I just read on Therese Borchard’s blog Beyond Blue that fall can create excessive anxiety for people and that made me pause…it seems to be a very activating time in many kinds of ways, both good and yuck.

Speaking of anxiety, I experienced some of it this afternoon while relaxing on the deck with Lucy. This wacky collie (who has the one of the thickest coats you can imagine – it’s layer-upon-layer of softness) loves sitting in the sun whether it’s a mild 65 degrees or last week’s heat wave of 101+!  

I saw a bee flying around her and I gently waved it away, thinking nothing of it. We don’t have that many bees around here and I thought the bee flew off on its merry way. I proceeded to pet Lucy’s fluffy side and BOOYA!

Unbeknownst to me, the bee returned to burrow in Lucy’s honey-colored coat and it stung the side of my right hand. I thought I had a fairly high toleration for pain, but damn, it hurt! This was one big bee. I hadn’t been stung since I was a kid. Luckily I’m not allergic to bee stings or else it could have been a very scary situation. One of the first books I ever read was about a child who dies from a bee sting – talk about giving one a bee phobia, which is technically called melissophobia. I put ice on the swollen spot, which helped a lot, and then I followed up with calamine lotion. 

That was my excitement for the day!

Unfortunately this post isn’t too exciting, but I like to check in once a week on Thursdays or Fridays. I feel really off if I don’t post 1X/week. I even get a bit paranoid that if I start skipping my habit I’ll get lax about blogging and give it up. Ye olde black and white thinking! Perish that thought!

It’s okay if posts aren’t always Fresh Pressed-caliber, right? 😉 (By the way, I’m losing respect for F.P. – I can write about that another time, but for now let me just state for there record that I was shocked and disappointed that WordPress editors didn’t publish anything about World Suicide Prevention Day/suicide-related! Like we really need another post about paleo nutrition instead. Shameful!)

On a separate note, I want to apologize to some of you who commented on my last post about skipping my brother-in-law’s memorial and feeling hugely guilty about that. I wasn’t able to reply to everyone, and I took down the post to honor Craig’s wishes – he never read it because he never reads this blog, but a few nights ago he asked me if I wrote about his brother’s death. Before he could even finish his sentence I blurted out “I did write about it and I’ll take it down.” I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable, and I could tell he wanted me to refrain from posting lots of Don-related stuff. I had absolutely no problem taking it down, but I didn’t get a chance to reply to Just Plain ‘Ol Vic, Kitt O’Malley, Blahpolar and Socialworker Angela

Thanks again for your wonderful comments – they really, really helped me because, as you know, I felt like shit about the whole thing. It was a wonderful case of the blogosphere coming to me at my time of need. I only had that post up for less than a day and I got immediate, high-quality support. That, my friends, is what I love about blogging. To have bloggers who take the time to share their insights and encouragement makes me want to stay connected with the blogosphere forever. 

I’m going to go drag my sorry butt to my elliptical machine because it really does help keep my evil bipolar depression at bay. I still have the Seroquel spider belly, but as soon as I stop inhaling a pint of gelato every day and drink more water, it’ll start to shrink.  I’ll keep you posted on that. 🙂

I wish you a wonderful week ahead!



Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of the acclaimed Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press next year.

32 thoughts on “Tired

  1. If my daughter had communicated with me on an old fashioned instrument called the telephone she may have learned that indeed she was allergic to bee and wasp bites. I kept a bottle of Adolph’s meat tenderizer in my glove compartment which someone had told me was good to have. I would mix it with water after removing the stinger and make a paste and run it on the area. Seemed to soothe the bite area. Just an old fashion theory but it seemed to work. Dyane…. Don’t be fearful of communicating to this old gal called Mom.

      • Hey Kitt, can you believe my excitement du jour yesterday? Getting stung while petting Lucy when I’m at my most relaxed and vulnerable! Ugh!

        Speaking of bees (I can’t resist writing this – it’s making me giggle) my Mom really thinks you’re the BEES KNEES!!!!! You have a fan in Phyliis!!!! She has told me several times how much she admires your good sense and your comments in general. If you’re in the Palisades or nearby, give her a call and she’ll take you out somewhere yummy; she loves sushi….

    • Hi Mom, of course we’ve talked on the phone a bunch of times since you posted your comment, but I don’t think I’m allergic to bee stings – can one outgrow an allergy? I think I did! It just hurt and got swollen but it’s much better today. Ice and calamine lotion helped a lot right after it happened. But it would have been better to have that Adolph’s meat tenderizer too – I remember your always having that around. You’ve always been a great mom, especially when I’ve been sick. Love you!!!!!!!

  2. I love your post, but what I love the most is that your mom commented! How wonderful is that! And now that I am taking 100 mg of Seroquel instead of 50, I’ll post pictures of my jelly belly when it comes back haha. Let’s hope it doesn’t. Hope you’re feeling better. I’ll send you pictures from Namtucket which is where I’ll be tomorrow till the 22nd. Lots of love and hugs for you.

    • Thanks, beautiful Samina (I can’t separate one word without the other as you know, because…you’re super-beautiful!!!!) – it is fun to see my Mom’s comments – I never know what to expect! :))))) She does tend to worry a lot about me. I’ll blog about something a bit, um alarming, and I make the mistake of forgetting to mention it to her beforehand, and that has backfired, but I think she really likes reading about what’s going on in her daughter’s life, sordid details and all.

      I hope the inc. Seroquel is continuing to help you feel better! You know I took 100mg of Seroquel for quite some time. It helped me so much, despite the daytime grogginess – that was very hard, I must admit, and the main reason I lowered it. I don’t know if I shared this with you already (I probably did) but at one point I think it actually caused hypomania/mild hypergraphia – compulsive writing!!!!! I wrote up a storm for the months I took the higher dose! I blogged every day and wrote for hours every morning.

      Anywa, I hope you have a great time in Nantucket and I’ll catch up on your blog, I promise. I’ve been behind on all my faves for far too long and that really bugs me! XOXOOXOXOXOX thanks so much for your loyalty & wonderful comments!

  3. Very thoughtful of you to respond to Craig’s need for some private grieving. Grief is tough. My second cousin died of a bee sting with tragic results for his family, as you read. Whenever we got stung by a bee, my mom would immediately dose us with Benadryl.

    The article on fall & anxiety is great. I can relate to the need to rein in my inner Marsha.

    Good luck on cutting back on your gelato intake. Our poodle Coco has the WORST gas right now, and he’s sleeping on the floor next to me. Tonight will be tough. It’s REALLY BAD. Maybe I shouldn’t have given him a pigskin treat tonight.

    • Thanks for this comment, Kitt – again, I’m so sorry about your second cousin dying from a bee sting – that’s horrifying.

      On her first day of 2nd grade Avonlea got stung on the crown of her head by a bee for the 1st time -ever thank God I was with her – it just about killed me to worry about how bad her reaction would be – and of course see her in pain. I didn’t have an epi pen or anything because parents aren’t told to do that – she was fine, but then again, how would I know how she’d react, exactly – you know what I mean??? Marilla hasn’t been stung yet, so I should ask her doctor what the deal is….I have to haul her in for a skin rash as it is. Fun.

      I’m very pleased you liked Therese Borchard’s article. I read her book when it first came out and I enjoyed her writing. (I’m blanking on the book’s title!! I think it was the same name as her blog: Beyond Blue!)

      I don’t think I can cut down on the gelato until I have my rock bottom moment on the scale or with someone else – I’ll explain that in a sec. I kind of almost had my rock bottom moment happen today as I had to weigh Lucy (for her Trifexis pill she gets every month – the vet gives her a different pill if she’s over 60 pounds and I wasn’t sure if she was still under 60) and that meant first I was forced to weigh myself….YUCK – and I didn’t like what # I saw on my scale. But I’m not quite at rock bottom yet….what did it for me last time was having a five-year-old boy tell me I was fat to my face…..three times! :000000 I went on a diet that night. (How I hate that word – didn’t Richard Simmons or someone like him call it a “live-it”???)

      Sorry about Coco’s gas! Although I must admit I’m laughing a little about that – although I hope with all my heart he didn’t/doesn’t have a tummy ache. I’ve given Lucy pig ears to nibble on with no problems. I also got her the hot new dog chew toy: natural tracheas from Australia. Gross!!! She loves them!

      • As I prepared the BBQ for cedar-planked salmon tonight, I realized that Coco had removed the can that trapped grease & cleaned it out. THAT, no doubt, did a number on his GI system.

  4. The death of a loved one is so hard and the reactions are unpredictable, but you did a very kind thing taking down your post.

    Seroquel is so hard for me. It does help my mood. But it also makes me binge eat. After it kicks in at night I basically lock myself in my room because I will eat every piece of junk food I come across. The pdoc has got to get my insomnia sorted out so that I stay asleep all night and don’t get up to eat.

    • Hi Leslie – thanks for your kind comment – you’re always full of compassion and it really makes me feel good. Yep, I get the Seroquel munchies/bingies at night. I’m a binge eater anyway; I have been since I was a teenager, so it has been extra-difficult. Still, it has been worth it. I’m really glad ihe Seroquel helps your mood!!! Once you get the insomnia figured out that will be so awesome – I actually use Seroquel *for* insomina but at a very low dose (around 15mg) so I usually wake up around midnight or 2AM, eat (Chobani yogurt and pretzels!!!!) read and go back to sleep…that cycle has gotten better lately, but it’s still totally out of wack. I need to work on it but I’m lazy. :0

  5. Regarding the time of year: September/October have always been tough for me, mood-wise. I think there must be something about the seasonal changes that triggers anxiety and general instability for me, and, obviously, for a lot of other people!

    On a happier note, my older daughter’s school had spirit week and for character day, she got to dress up as a minion! I found a cute (and easy) photo on Pinterest, along with about a million other creative Halloween costume ideas. Of course I pinned them all, even though I have never been a costume party sort of gal.

    Hang in there!

    • Kitt liked that Therese Borchard article – I skimmed it, but it looked good. I didn’t want to read it closely because (and this is going to sound ridiculous) I was feeling anxious at the time and I thought reading about anxiety would make me feel more anxious! Silly, I know – but I can always go back to it!

      I’m so glad your daughter dressed up like a Minion for spirit week’s character day!!!!!! That’s hilarious! Marilla has a Minon (minion?) dress she got at Target and it’s fancy looking except for the rather garish minion picture on the blouse section!!!! Good for you for finding the simple Pinterest photo – I’m very impressed with you! I hope to hear what the rest of you all plan to wear for Halloween! 😉

  6. hahaha. Your mom commented. That’s like having my mom on Facebook. She’s got a great sense of humor, re: telephone joke.

    Thanks for touching in with us.

    • Okay, I’m finally writing back, sweet Yve – yes, my Mom reads this blog and I have mixed feelings about it, but they’re mostly good. I’ve had to hold back on publishing a few posts where I go off on my evil sister-in-laws because she disapproved, but other than that is has worked out! And yes, her humor is still intact at almost 80 & I love that about her. By the way, you wrote an amazing post today – you are one of the best bloggers out there and I can’t WAIT to read your memoir when the time comes!:) XOXO

  7. Ah *that’s* what happened to your last post. I was worried that I’d lost it because it came up in my feedly but then wordpress said it didn’t exist.
    I hope everything settles down again soon, and what a shame about the bee. I’ve never been stung but I’ve heard from other people that they can be really nasty sometimes.

    • I’m so sorry to be confusing – like you need that!!!! Please forgive me! I thought I replied to you in time but I’ve been out of it, oh, since 2007! 😉 Things are settling down right now. The spot on my hand is still a bit sore, but it could have been FAR worse, like R.I.P. worse! I’d HATE to go out that way! Hope you’re doing well – you’re awesome and I hope someday I meet you in person. Did I mention to you that my Mom (“mum”) *gave* me her British Airways frequent flier miles to your neck of the woods? It’s a tremendous dream of mine to visit England – I was an English literature major at uni, for Pete’s sake! Plus I love the Beatles and Squeeze. I think I deserve to go there more than Gywneth Paltrow does!!!!!

      • Wow yes you should come to England (although I’m slightly biased… I like Scotland best even though I was born in London and I live in England) and you must visit and have a cup of tea with me (do you like tea? I love tea).

      • I love good tea!!!! It’s not easy to find here! And heck, I’d love to go to Scotland too! :)))) And Ireland….what do you think of the Emerald Isle? Craig has ancestors from there! :: X)X)

      • Newgrange and Dublin are both awesomesauce (I went for the first time earlier this year and promptly lost the photos but then I found them and I’m writing about Newgrange for Tuesday). Flights from Leeds Bradford airport to Dublin airport can be had for £7.99. Yep, you read that right, seven pounds ninety-nine pence. I got a £7.99 flight and I only booked it one week in advance (the return flight was £30, but still not expensive).

  8. Irony! I have been up all night after having my flu shot this AM. Have had them for years and never a reaction like this . Still advocate taking them but wow! Maybe cause I am so much older. 😪

  9. Hi Dyane,

    First off, I came across your site and wanted to say thanks for providing a great resource to the mental health community.

    I thought you might find this bipolar disorder fact sheet helpful for your readers, as it shows symptoms, treatment and stats about the disorder: http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/fact-sheet

    Naturally, I’d be delighted if you share this embeddable graphic on https://proudlybipolar.wordpress.com/ , and/or share it with your followers on social. Either way, keep up the great work Dyane!

    All the best,

    Nicole Lascurain • Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3130 | e: nicole.lascurain@healthline.com

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
    http://www.healthline.com | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

    Healthline.com is a trusted health information resource for over 30 million people. All content undergoes a rigorous editorial process. Learn more about Healthline at: http://www.healthline.com/health/about-healthline

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