Thursday, December 30, 2010
I have very little money, no connections, and zero experience. But...I can blog. I can tell. I can pray. I can also donate the little money I have. Reece's Rainbow has a very real need. I will not turn my back.
At the moment, Reece's Rainbow needs donations to their Voice of Hope fund to help cover merchandise for their Buddy Walks (major awareness events), and of course the waiting children need money in their grant funds as well. Please consider donating or at least praying. Thank you.
Also, I am considering participating in the Reece's Rainbow prayer warrior program again. On the one hand, I feel that this is a great way to help as many children as possible; on the other, I feel attached to Andrei and feel that I must keep praying for all of his needs, and that I want to focus my energy on him. Please (politely) let me know your opinions on this very important issue, and please consider lookng into the prayer warrior program yourself!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I wanted a Hannukah gift.
I want a birthday gift.
I will not deny myself those things because it's been a hard year and quite frankly I emotionally need them.
Extra money will go to Reece's Rainbow:
Left over birthday money from parents.
Birthday money from relatives.
Money from doing chores around the house and hopefully from my first job this Summer (assuming I can get one).
Because I know that I am important, I take care of myself first.
Monday, December 27, 2010
2. Do I want to have biological children? Statistically, bipolar disorder gets worse with each generation. Before last week, I would have said that I was mostly stable, that I wanted kids, and that they could handle it. I was so sick last week that I do not want to subject a child to that or worse. Besides, there is always preschool onset bipolatr disorder, a possibility about which I would need to worry. I believe right now that having biological children would be nothing short of selfish. It would be heart-breaking not to, but I can always adopt, and I really don't want anyone to experience worse bipolar disorder than mine.
I never thought I'd be sick enough to have either of those conversations.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Also, PLEASE PRAY. While we in America are asleep tonight, a bill will be passed which, with its current wording, will stop all foreign adoptions from a country in Eastern Europe, including the ones already in progress. I'm not sure exactly which country, but I'm pretty sure all of Eastern Europe has those awful mental institutions. So please, for the sake of the children: PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.
Monday, December 20, 2010
I am starting again. Grady is about to be adopted; it is too late--thank God--to raise money for him. My new goal is to rais money to donate to one of the "older girls" pages on the Reece's Rainbow site. I will let you know how it goes.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
2. The most exciting thing about your upcoming eighteenth birthday is that you will get to sign your own medical forms.
3. Having only one sick person to pray for feels amazing.
(I will be updating this list periodically.)
Thursday, December 16, 2010
But the real deal is that it is very hard to think straight during a bipolar episode. The real deal is that I had to give in (although really adults in my life made the decision for me) because sometimes life is just too much. I will be working with my therapist to develop coping skills so my next episode does not get this bad. Nevertheless, the real deal is that this one did.
Just keeping it real.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I am depressed, the worst I've felt this episode. I actually had to regularly stop studying tonight to curl up in fetal position and try to get rid of some of the pain. Depression is disabling. In an hour and half, I only took flashcards on six pages of notes. This is unbelievably slow for me.
I have tests next week, and I can still muster up the strength and presence of mind to be a little bit worried about my grades. It's lucky this didn't happen during finals week. It's lucky break is coming soon.
I feel awful, torn apart at the seams.
That is all.
Monday, December 6, 2010
I had a great weekend (healthwise and otherwise) and thought I was stable. Then I went to school today. I aborted the beginning of a manic episode using Xanax, but I shouldn't have to do that. I am in the stage now of "GET. HOMEWORK. DONE." just in case I can't do it the next day. I cannot trust my brain or relax into its abilities for more than a few hours at most before I am checking symptoms. I am sick. I am chronically ill, and for the first time in a long time I am feeling what that means.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Why? Why now?
I missed some sleep.
Yes, you read that correctly. For ONE night, I got slightly less than enough sleep. ONCE.
And now I'm entering a mild episode, requring a temporary medication change to fix.
Why am I so emotionally strong but mentally fragile?
Friday, November 26, 2010
I think most of all I am thankful for my friends. I have a dozen friends--I counted--half of whom go to school with me. For someone who as a little girl had at most two friends at a time, this is no small thing. I don't use real names (except for mine) on my blogs to protect people's identities, and I cannot possibly come up with twelve nicknames (the individuals so nicknamed would not recognize themselves anyway), but I love. my. friends.
Thank you, God.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Hebrew: Presented my project early this afternoon.
Biology: Tomorrow morning. I only got three hours of studying done; if I prayed for frivolous things, I would be praying now!
English: Tomorrow afternoon. I studied for about an hour to an hour and a half; I think I'll manage.
Psychology: Wednesday afternoon. I'll have lots of time to study for that one.
Death, Dying, and the Afterlife: Thursday morning. Open notes.
Will keep you posted!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
- Hebrew project well underway.
- Began processing awful memory today. Feeling ripped open and vulnerable.
- Don't know how well I'll sleep tonight.
- Nine days until Thanksgiving break.
- Have four final exams, one open note exam, and a project coming up.
- Got two new pencils today.
- Going to bed early tonight.
- Got Senior pictures taken this week.
- Did not do any studying for finals today.
- My favorite color is purple.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I know what will happen with that memory. It will be present and a little bit painful until I can find time and space to begin processing it, at which point it will be very present and very painful for a while, until it fades into the background. I'm trying to decide whether to start processing it now so it will go away sooner, or wait until after break so it won't interrupt finals.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Homeroom: Each student receives a rainbow "celebrate diversity" bracelet (similar to a livestrong bracelet) and fills out a survey about bullying at our school. The surveys are collected and returned to one of the faculty members of the Gay Straight Alliance.
Lunchtime: People sign cards pledging to be an ally (support others, intervene when necessary and safe, refrain from using anti-gay slurs) and stick stickers on a banner proclaiming "That's So Gay" in an attempt to cover up the message.
Dinner: People sign preprinted postcards advocating for gay marriage, the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and safer schools in our county.
Evening: big assembly using video clips and the morning's survey data to drive home the necessity of taking a stand.
It was a big success. So why am I upset? I still believe that, if there were a choice, no one would choose to be gay. Ever. It's simply too hard.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I am proud to be part of such an awesome, difference-making group, and I am excited to put my plans into action.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
For those interested in the medical/clinical side of this, I am now taking one milligram of Risperdal (up from one half), 800 mg Seroquel, 15 mg Abilify, 900 mg Lithium, 200 g Lamictal, one B vitamin, half a No-Doz (to counteract the side effects of the Seroquel), and one half milligram of Xanax as needed.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
(And, as my therapist suggested I say: This feels awful, but it will pass, and I will get through it.)
Wish me luck! If you are the praying sort, I would appreciate some prayers too.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
1. Keep experimenting with the Xanax, including dosages and timing.
Pros: No side effects, no addition of yet another new chemical.
Cons: This is not an "official" treatment for bipolar disorder.
Pros: This has worked for me in the past.
Cons: At a dose large enough to work, I have experienced prolactin side effects.
Pros: Triple mood stabilizers are supposed to be very effective, would automatically raise my Lamictal levels.
Cons: Potential for polycystic ovarian syndrome, not usually used in young women of childbearing age.
That's where I am now!
Friday, September 3, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Truly, everything feels wonderful, as the conversation below will show:
Me: Hello, "John"; isn't the world beautiful?
"John": It is. It's also hot out.
Me: Who the he*ll cares? Life is beautiful!
(And yes, admittedly, it was actually hot out.)
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
But my mother is fighting this battle for me, so I will just sit back and survive.
Tell me how I can be this sick (real mania, real depression) despite two mood stabilizers and two antipsychotics! This should not be happening.
Monday, August 30, 2010
He doesn't know what to do, and wants to find me a specialist.
Now I'm scared.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
My heart hurts.
I am saving money to donate to help Grady, while hundreds of other children languish without hope.
And Haiti and Chile need help.
And Soles 4 Souls could always use more shoes.
I feel so limited.
Perhaps you could help too?
Sunday, August 15, 2010
3 New Notebooks
1 New Pack Pens
5 New Pairs Socks
1 Water Bottle
1 Pack Detergent Sheets
1 NEW CAMERA.
I suppose the camera was not, strictly speaking, necessary, but this is my senior year after all.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Each child on Reece's Rainbow has an adoption grant fund to help prospective families afford the adoption. At the top of each page is a Donations button; click on it to make a paypal donation and then send an email specifying the child for whom you are donating. My current project is to raise, save, or receive via birthday and Hannukah gifts, money to donate to Grady's grant fund.
To see a picture of Grady go to reecesrainbow.com. Click on Waiting Children, Other Angels, Boys, and scroll down about five boys. Grady is the one who currently has about 670 dollars in his account.
Let's bring Grady home together!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Also, please, take responsibility for your actions and words and leave a name with your comment next time.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
My parents pay us two dollars a load for doing dishes, and from that I have saved up the money to buy an Equality Ring, symbol of the National Marriage Boycott (marriageboycott.ning.com). I want two more cheap items (dolls for my dollhouse), and then everything else I earn will go to charity again. I shouldn't be buying the dollhouse dolls, but every now and then one needs to spend some money on oneself, you know?
Sunday, June 20, 2010
She helpfully reminded me that it's only been eigh months or so since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Eight months...it sounds so short when you put it like that. Eight months of trying this and that medication, dealing with this or that side effect. Eight months of blessed stable periods alternating with places no brain should ever have to go. In the past eight months (especially at the beginning), I have been to the depths of depression, soaring in the air of mania, and everywhere in between. These episodes form an emotional rollercoaster I cannot forget.
Yet I also had and have great reason to hope. Mood stabilizers have worked wonders, giving me back my life: granting me, for the first time, the potential to control my emotional reactions. (Developing the ability is another story entirely and one of my major tasks this summer, but the potential is there.)
Some things have changed forever. My noise thresholds are permanently lower; I'm glad I worked with Habitat for Humanity while I could still stand the sound of a hammer. I will forever be cautious in the summer sun to avoid mania, forever need eight hours of sleep a night, forever have to monitor myy fluid intake to prevent dehydration. (Thank you, Lithium.) But mine is a story of courage and rainbows. Mine is a story of hope.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I stopped wearing sunglasses a couple weeks ago. BAD PLAN.
It is the night before my history final, and two nights before my math final. I have done a half-way job studying for history, and I am studying math as I am able. BAD TIMING for hypomania. VERY VERY BAD.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Sign up at marraigeboycott.ning.com
Click on groups.
Most are region/school specific, but two, Pride and Rainbow Pride, are not.
Find one or both of these groups.
Join one or both of these groups.
Monday, May 31, 2010
The soldiers who bravely gave their lives for our country.
That we are currently fighting at least one war in the Middle East.
The courageous, selfless men and women who serve our country every day.
And I bear witness...
To all those who are hiding a part of who they are in order to serve.
To the boyfriends and girlfriends left behind, their love never acknowledged.
To the 14,000 military careers claimed by "Don't Ask Don't Tell".
In closing, "When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one." ~Epitaph of Leonard P. Matlovich, 1988
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Yes, you heard me: I am proud of being lesbian.
I am PROUD to be crushing on girls, with all the heartache it brings.
I am PROUD to keep up with news in my world via gayrights.change.org.
I am PROUD of the courage of my people, standing up for our right to life in Africa and our right to marriage in America.
I am PROUD to be different. I am PROUD to be "out". I am PROUD to be a color of the rainbow.
I am lesbian and I am PROUD, and I will shout it from the rooftops!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Apalling...makes me glad to live in America. I cannot say that I am yet proud to be an American, but I am glad to live in America.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I am lesbian. I know that.
Yet three weeks ago I was battling random waves of rage as I struggled to remain socially acceptable.
I am bipolar. I know that.
I am a bipolar, lesbian Jew.
Or a lesbian, bipolar, Jew.
Or a Jewish, bipolar lesbian.
Or a Jewish lesbian with Bipolar Disorder.
It's a lot to wear all at once.
Monday, May 24, 2010
"John": Sarah, we are the dearest of friends.
Me: You kow you're one of two friends I count as family, right?
"John": You know you're one of two friends I count as friends?
"John": That didn't make any sense, did it?
"John": That's OK. It didn't need to.
[I love conversations like that!]
Sunday, May 9, 2010
1. My best friend "John": He has been there for me through everything--good and bad, usual and not-so-much--from day one. He has seen me through chronic pain, great test scores, Bipolar Disorder, my amazing religious experiences, etc. He's been there to wish me luck for plays and interviews and tell me he knew I could do it, no matter what "it" was.
2. Music by Steven Curtis Chapman: I have had to be a bit careful with this one because he is a Christian music artist and I don't want to be blasting Christian music at this school, but his songs are all amazing and I've managed to find a sizeable playlist. My favorites are "God is God" and "Fingerprints of God".
3. "Battle Hymn of the Republic": My favorite song ever. It is such a powerful poem!
4. Jewish philosophy: There is more to being spiritual than simply praying. I like to read about God (or rather other people's metaphors for God) too.
5. A good rain storm: I love to watch rain, feel rain, play in the rain.
6. Clean, cold water: There is nothing so refreshing in the world, and I know how lucky I am to have it.
7. Sewing: I love to sew, especially when I am doing something practical, such as repairing clothes. That just makes me feel so productive!
8. Sculpey III modeling clay: I got my first pack for my sixth birthday...let's just say I've been hooked ever since!
9. My favorite nightshirt: It's from a klezmer (Jewish folk) music concert in 1997. It is a mens' extra large and I will never outgrow it! It's actually been my favorite nightshirt for thirteen years.
10. Reece's Rainbow: I just love the work of this organization! What a worthwhile cause! And of course, I feel very attached to the little boy, Grady, for whom I am praying.
*Just one more: Meir Panim: A charity that works in Israel to provie hot meals and more to Israeli children living below the poverty line.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I am studying for the AP Language exam, twenty pages of study guide per night.
I am making a scarf as a surprise present for a special someone. (No, just in case you're reading this, not the someone who already has one.)
I am rereading a biography of Mother Teresa; this is the book that inspired my Challenge, my shoe drive, etc.
I plan to start studying for finals the day after prom.
Hmm...this still has not generated a real blog post. Oh, well. We can all deal with it.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Also, life just tastes sweeter with less. Everything is appreciated more.
1. Cut the hole into a square or some other basic shape. This makes it easier to work with.
2. The edges of the patch should far exceed the edges of the hole. You'll need more than you think, and you can always trim the edges later.
3. All fabrics are not created equal. Think about where you are patching. A hole in the knee of your jeans needs a nice, stretchy patch. A hole in a skirt just needs newish material without too much stretch.
4. Sew twice around the patch for extra durability.
5. Fabric: You may attempt to match the clothing fabric or go for something obvious and wild. I like to have fun with material; my blue skirt now has a purple, flowered patch.
6. Wear your patched clothes with pride! It's a great way to show off sewing skills.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Also, please all pray for Grady. His third birthday is in less than two weeks, and after that he will have only one year before being sent to a mental institution, possibly for life. How awesome would it be if he could get a family before that?!
(See earlier post titled Introducing Grady for further information.)
Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
It is a place where there are no tears, but also no laughter.
It is not raining but there is no light.
I do not feel hopeless but I cannot feel hope.
I cannot tell you how awful it feels.
And I'm stuck.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I am restarting that one medication again tonight so I should be feeling OK by the morning...I hope.
Prayers, please? I have two tests, SAT IIs, and two papers this week...
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The country with the greatest number of Ph.D.s per capita,
Leading the world in medical research.
The number one immigrant absorbing nation in the world,
The only Jewish State,
Israel is 62 Years Old!
May she live for another 1200! (Usual blessing is 120, but that seems young for a country.)
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Reasons to Love Short Hair:
1. Your shirt or nightshirt does not get soaked after you shower.
2. Three minutes to wash + two minutes to style = five minute hair.
3. More body because there is less weight.
4. Better accentuates face.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
I also got a study guide for the AP English Language exam, for which I used my five dollar gift card to help offset the cost.
Friday, April 2, 2010
You Will Need
One or Two Catalogues with Lots of Pictures
White or Pastel Colored Paper
1. Cut a picture out of the magazine.
2. Place the picture on the paper and cut a long strip the same height as the picture.
3. Fold the paper in a zig-zag; try to keep the edges even.
4. Staple the picture on top of the paper, making sure the staples go all the way through the zig-zag.
5. Trim any visible edges.
These magazines look great on a dollhouse coffee table!
Also, today's found object tip: an old film canister with some bits of paper, plastic, and/or clay inside makes a great dollhouse trash can!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
You will need:
Step 1: Cut a small square, at most two inches long and wide, from the paper.
Step 2: Fold square in half and unfold.
Step 3: Fold square in half the other way, unfold, and fold along first fold line.
Step 4: Cut from the folded edge halfway along the middle crease.
Step 5: Press in on the ends and fold to make pages.
Step 6: Color the covers.
2. Dishes, Vases, Toys, etc.
You will need:
Modeling clay or playdough (I like Sculpey III.)
Step 1: Shape the clay the way you want.
Step 2: Bake or let dry.
Step 3: Paint if desired.
3. Board Games
You will need:
Step 1: Cut a rectangle out of the cardboard.
Step 2: Color it with a light colored marker.
Step 3: Write the name of the board game on the cardboard in a darker color.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
How true that is. And I am officially announcing the expansion of this challenge. I will not stop with the money for Haiti at the end of the school year. I will continue this challenge, spending money only for basic needs (except for small Hannukah and birthday gifts, and donating all spare money) indefinitely. This Summer my cause will be Haiti; for Hannukah, perhaps Grady's adoption fund; for my birthday, maybe Meir Panim, a charity that feeds Israeli children living below the poverty line. I don't know. There are so many charities out there. But we always have something to give.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Today my family is cleaning for Pesach. We must get rid of all leavened food. This morning I vacuumed the basement.
Friday, March 26, 2010
I wish she didn't think it was so amazing. If she thinks it's so amazing, it means it's uncommon. More people should be doing things like this.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
PS When one loves a doll, yes it IS harder than you think it is not to give them Hannukah presents.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Will write again when I have something more to say.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
No question about it, I will need more money from my parents after break. Right now I have just the amount I need in order to get home. Oh, and I plan on cutting my hair for Locks of Love over break, which will cost for the haircut and the shipping. My parents will pay, but still...why is it so hard to save money?!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Now that we have that settled...
Today in Shabbat services, I suddenly realized, "Oh, my God, I'll be wearing the same two skirts every week." The only way I could overcome this sudden horror was to remind myself that I got along fine with one skirt on my program last summer. This incident demonstrates the necessity of inner conviction when changing lifestyles.
Also, tonight at a school thing I tie-dyed a t-shirt. I will be giving up a plain red t-shirt to make room for it.
Friday, March 19, 2010
The hardest part of The Challenge to save money for Haiti relief right now is...I want to give now! There are so many worthy causes out there...I just want to give...I don't know if I can hold out on not donating until the end of the year.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I am knitting myself a scarf. It is a lot of work, and I have no doubt that I will not be able to wait patiently to wear it once it's done.
So I will hide it, in a gift bag, until my birthday in February.
Happy birthday to me!
I do find it interesting how well adjusted I am to this Challenge compared to how well adjusted I am to giving away my things. I barely notice The Challenge anymore--really!--while I really want my stuff back. It's not that I really want anything in particular (well, except for one sweater, and that's a long story) back, I'm just stuck in the consumer mindset of wanting STUFF.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I also packed up the books I never read. Next project is the rest of my desk.
I really do believe in living with few enough things to be almost uncomfortable for our society.
My two big English quotes in this vein: "I saw wnat I saw and I can't forget it." (Sara Groves)
"Give until it hurts." (Mother Teresa)
Also, my shoe drive is happening! Yay!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I discovered an organization called Soles 4 Souls. They accept used shoes of all types, and bring them to impoverished communities around the world. I have now started the easiest "shoe drive" ever: I sent out a couple emails to my school and now I will just wait for people to bring their shoes to my room. After Spring break, I will get transportation and possible help carrying and go donate the shoes to the nearest Soles 4 Souls location. (UPDATE: The school community service committee is now running the shoe drive. This makes sense, but I hate beaurocracy.)
I am trying to train myself to live with what I have and only spend money on necessities. It sounds hard until you realize the average American's list of necessities:
- A Warm Bed
- A Roof over One's Head
- Medical Care
So many people in the world don't even have the first two. Obviously I slip up now and again, because I collect kippot, need laundry detergent, etc. My current motto (taken from a mother who used it to teach her taumatized adopted child to calm down [http://www.onethankfulmom.com/]) is "I have enough." "This is enough." or (this one is mine) "I am blessed with what I have."
And you know what? It's true.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Don't you love it when things work themselves out like that?
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I genuinely collect kippot, and I would love another something by Yair Emanuel. At the same time, I already have 11 different kippot, and that's more than enough for anybody. Maybe after The Challenge I will let myself get an Emanuel kippah.
Semi off topic: There is a Jewish concept of Hiddur Mitzvah, beautifying the commandment. At the same time, we are not supposed to get so caught up in material things that we forget God and religion. Where is the line?
Monday, March 8, 2010
UPDATE: Tonight I donated five dollars to Grady's adoption grant fund. Anybody can afford to give five dollars, and I just couldn't stand praying and praying and not doing anything.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I found my old ID, so I don't have to pay IT for the new one anymore.
I have rides to and from the airport arranged with the faculty, so I don't have to pay for taxis.
Now I have more money to save to give to Haiti. God is good.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Tonight I am going to Target to pick up a few "necessities" by American standards: hair ties, pantyhose, AAA batteries, and 3-oz bottles for shampoo etc. when flying. I will try my hardest not to buy anything else; I will, of course, be honest if I fail. We will see how things go.
UPDATE: It turned out that I also needed Conditioner, which I bought; I also bought a big jar of dried fruit because I am trying to lose weight and will be less tempted to eat dessert with that available. I also withdrew some money from my bank account: either I'll use it for a taxi to the airport or I'll use it over time as needed.
Friday, March 5, 2010
The hardest thing to give up for The Challenge has been trips to the theater. My school's Theatrical Society organizes trips to see plays--good plays--every so often, but tickets cost five to ten dollars apiece. If I cannot afford to donate to Grady's grant fund because I am saving for Haiti, I certainly cannot afford to buy theater tickets while I am savinf to donate to Haiti. Still, I miss the theater.
13 is a lucky Jewish number. I wonder if anything good related to The Challenge will happen today.
Also, speaking of Grady, perhaps you could consider signing up to be a prayer warrior for another child.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
In other news, I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and he upped the dose of the medication that makes me sleepy and fat. As far as I can tell, it hasn't done anything yet other than severely drugging me, but I know I have to wait and see.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
On the other hand, I really need to see him. I am sooo depressed right now. I am literally living moment to moment because life is so excruciating. I was depressed in my sleep last night, and I could tell. This morning, my Biblical Archeology class worked wonders to raise my spirits, but now I can feel myself sinking back into that horrible depression. I need help; I want out now!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Please consider helping this boy any way you can. It would be wonderful to get people together and form a network to "pray him home"!
No real update on the challenge, except that saving money for Haiti means I cannot presently donate to Grady's grant fund. There is so much need in the world; I don't mind the fact that my donations are small but it's so hard to know where to donate.
Monday, March 1, 2010
I hardly know how to respond to that. I do have a journal for the really private stuff. Obviously, if I post something on this blog I don't mind the public knowing. That should be the only criterion for what gets posted and what does not, because guess what? This is my blog.
My entire purpose for blogging is to be honest about my life and thorough in my story telling in order to give the world an accurate picture of me. What is the point of providing that picture if it is only a partial picture?
I will continue to be honest, open, and up front on my blog. It is my blog and I choose what gets posted. To all those who know me in real life: if you feel my blog is too personal and none of your business, I propose a very simple solution: stop reading.
In other news, my school is taking a group on a great community service trip and I can't wait to go. Near our school is a battered women's shelter and my school takes groups every so often to play with the children and give their mothers a chance to relax. Always before, the school has volunteered there on Shabbat; as an observant Jew, I missed out on the opportunity. Today, however, is Monday. I am going and I am excited.
I was clicking around the Reece's Rainbow site yesterday (yes, I am slightly obsessed) and discovered the concept of prayer warriors. When one signs up to be a Reece's Rainbow Prayer Warrior, one is matched with a specific child to "pray home". A photo and brief medical history are provided and updates are sent periodically. Prayer Warriors are asked to pray daily for their children at least until they make it home. What an easy way to help! (The Reece's Rainbow website is www.reecesrainbow.com)
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Reece's Rainbow is an organization that matches orphans with Downs' Syndrome and other special needs to waiting families all over the world. Especially in Eastern Europe, special needs children without families are sent to mental institutions when they are still quite young, most often when they hit the age of four. In these institutions, children often remain in bed all day, literally wasting away sometimes to the point of death.
Sadly, I can never adopt from Reece's Rainbow unless something big changes because there are currently no countries outside the US allowing same-sex couples to adopt. Still, please take a look at these sweet children and pray for them if you wish. Perhaps you can even afford to sponsor one, bringing his/her adoption ever closer.
Please grab the button and put it on your blog to continue raising awareness.
In other news, my schedule for the 11th through the 14th (Thursday to Sunday) looks absolutely crazy. Here it is:
Thursday the 11th: school, pack up, fly to NYC, stay overnight with my dad at my grandparents' house
Friday the 12th: interview, fly back to Greensboro, shower, start Shabbat
Saturday the 13th: Shabbat (thank God for the day of rest!)
Sunday the 14th: SATs
Hectic, chaotic, exciting. My life is never boring. :)
Saturday, February 27, 2010
In other news, I am missing my school ID, which will not be cheap to replace but definitely counts as a necessary purchase.
I have also decided to allow myself to splurge on a pair of pantyhose for an interview later this month. I am trying to win a scholarship for a summer program and I'd like to look professional (well, not professional, but teenage sophisticated).
Friday, February 26, 2010
Today is a Friday with no opportunities to spend money or not. I did read an email yesterday that said that groggers (noisemakers to be used during the megillah reading) would cost a dollar apiece this year, so I got ot work and made my own. It is taco shaped.
I am feeling totally mentally well today. I am not naive enough to think this means I am stable--I only started my new med two days ago and nothing works that fast (also this same thing happened last weekend)--but it is nice to be feeling well in time for Purim. It is so nice to be comfortable inside my own head, and have a normal noise threshold, and be able to think...
I observe that this challenge really helped me when I was feeling so sick. It gave me something other than Bipolar Disorder on which to focus and about which to write. Also, when one is living for others, one has a greater purpose than oneself, and is less likely to give in to "life is pointless" sentiments.
Today's Appreciated Luxury is my nice soft bed, with as many covers as I like, into which I can burrow and fall asleep feeling all comfy-cozy.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I couldn't sleep last night because I was manic, and today I felt really tired. Honestly, today reminded me eerily of the last few months before mood stabilizers: I felt slightly irritable all the time and could not control my temper or my comments. After school, I came back and went right to bed for approximately two hours and woke up feleing absolutely fine. I am now feeling incredibly happy and a little bit hyper for no good reason. This either means I am leveling off (please God) and randomly hitting normal me (I'm not sure I remember who that is), or it means I am heading for mania again.
In any case, we now have a four day between-trimesters weekend, so I should get lots of rest.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
MAKE IT STOP!
It's forcing me to hurt you.
MAKE IT STOP!
No, I cannot stop crying.
MAKE IT STOP!
It's hurting me too much.
MAKE IT STOP!
It's pulling me towards night.
MAKE IT STOP!
I feel so very sick.
I have realized how vital my craft supplies are if I am to succeed at this challenge. Over the years I have built up a collection including one drawer full of fabric and one of yarn, polyfill (stuffing), one pair of knitting needles, several different colors of thread, sewing needles, a pincushion, and pins, beads, safety pins, ziploc bags, craft foam, scrapbook paper, cardboard, two sizes of scissors, scotch tape in two sizes, a good quality ruler, a gluestick, pipe cleaners, a hole punch, and stencils. Although these materials were not necessarily cheap (the most expensive stuff was my birthday gift the year I turned sixteen), I can now mend my pants, make birthday gifts for my friends, entertain myself, etc. etc. The savings are amazing.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Today I am most thankful for my laptop. I came back from school today suffering too much anguish for life to seem worth the trouble (depression). I have been playing on my laptop for roughly half an hour and already feel much better.
And here is a poem I wrote about an hour ago:
Oh, Hello there.
Have you come to visit me?
I live in Invisible Hell.
Welcome, sit down.
Let me show you around.
These are my pills;
Aren’t they big? Aren’t they pretty?
I get to take them every day.
How lucky am I!
Over here is Depression.
It courses like waves, and
Makes my life…not-life.
I try to surf through it; have you seen my surfboard!?
But sometimes the waves are too big.
Come here and see Mania.
Can you feel the tornado?
It wraps itself round me, stealing my breath.
It takes my thoughts.
They jump out of my head.
And then I cannot stop spinning.
When they come together is the worst time of all.
I bob up and down.
My surfboard is lost.
The waves wash over me, tumble me with them.
My thoughts and my breath disappear on the wind.
I am thrown up and down and spun in fast circles.
Did you like my Invisible Hell?
Come back soon!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I am heading out soon to buy materials for my Purim costume. I need a cardboard box, packing tape, and scissors. This is one of my allotted luxury purchases for the remainder of the year.
Today's appreciated luxury: SHOES. Everybody at my school owns at least one pair of shoes. I own fourteen pairs, fifteen if you count the rollerblades. So many people in the world do not own even one pair. Today I am thankful for shoes.
I just got back from buying my supplies. Cardboard boxes are ridiculously expensive. I am 98 percent sure I kept the rest of my expenses together below ten dollars, yet my total was twenty dollars. UGH. This was not a particularly big box.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I have divided my money use into three categories: things for which my parents pay directly, necessities for which I pay with money they give me, and luxuries. Here they are:
Parents pay for:
Cell Phone Bill
I use money from them for:
For the rest of this school year, I will attempt to limit myself to buying only necessities and two luxuries: Purim costume (about ten dollars) and Prom ticket (about twenty dollars). The money I save will be donated to Haiti.
I am not planning to humiliate myself in any way, shape, or form. I know basic sewing: neatly patched clothes can look qutie presentable. Also, despite the "rules" of prom dresses, my dress from last year is very pretty and perfectly capable of being worn again, thank-you-very-much. The world still isn't fair--I still have fresh water, good food, adequate clothing, a roof over my head and an excellent education--but I'm giving all that I can.
To make this more interesting, I will attempt to post every day with an update on my thoughts, feelings, and related events of that day. In preparation for tomorrow, Day 1, I have patched all clothes with holes and feel quite proud of myself.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I am so loved by friends and family, and I have so much...so much.
I am so lucky.
I want to share with the world too.
And so I donated a large portion of my birthday money to Heifer International.
I am not posting this to be congratulated.
I'm not even sure where this post is going.
I just want to point out that as our children eat pink-frosted birthday cakes someone else's child is starving for protein.
We can help. We can work to end world hunger (and slavery and etc. but let's focus on one at a time).
Jewish tradition teaches: "Save a life and you have saved the world. Destroy a life and you have destroyed the world."
Jewish tradition also teaches that if you "stand idly by the blood of your neighbor" you have in essence killed him/her.
Let's not destroy the world by inaction. Let's join together to save it.
Friday, February 5, 2010
What? real slaves. People held against their will and forced to work for no pay, or for just barely the necessities of life.
How Many? Free the Slaves estimates 27 million all over the world
Is It Legal? No, but the majority of governments look the other way.
How Much Does an Average Slave Cost? Roughly 90 dollars. By contrast, a slave in the 1850s cost roughly 40,000 of today's dollars.
How Many Slaves in the US? There are approximately 14,500 to 17,500 slaves trafficked into the US every year. At least 10,000 forced laborers are working at any given time.
Where do slaves work? Will I see them on the streets? Most of today's slaves never walk the streets or appear anywhere visible. They work in brothels, sweatshops, private homes, and on farms.
Do slaves in America come from foreign countries? Most do, but some are US citizens.
Where in the US is slavery? Forced labor operations have been found in as many as ninety US cities. Most appear to be concentrated in California, Florida, New York, and Texas.
Where in the world is slavery? The top ten countries based on number of reported cases are Mexico, United States, China, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Russia, Vietnam, Honduras, and the Philippines.
What do most slaves end up doing? The vast majority of slaves are women and girls forced into prostitution. The other areas of work, in order by number of cases, are domestic service, agriculture, sweatshop/factory, service/food/care, sexual exploitation of children, entertainment, and mail order bride. Note that two "non prostitution" categories on that list could also be defined as sex slavery.
To find out more and learn what you can do to help, visit http://www.freetheslaves.net/ (also the source of all information above)
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword.
His truth is marching on!
Glory, glory, Halleluyah!
Glory, glory, Halleluyah!
Glory, glory, Halleluyah!
His truth is marching on!
I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an alter in the evening dews and damps.
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps.
His day is marching on!
I have read a fiery gosepl writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with My contemner so with you My grace shall deal.
Let the hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on!"
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat.
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat.
Oh, be swift my soul to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on!
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free
While God is marching on!
He is coming like the glory of the morning on a wave.
He is Wisdom to the mighty; He is Succour to the brave.
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of time His slave;
Our God is marching on!
Now, whether you believe in God--any God--or not, that's some pretty powerfully inspirational poetry.
Monday, February 1, 2010
EDITED: The song is "Ordinary Miracle" by Sarah McLachlan
Wednesday of last week I started cycling up into mania. I watched it until Thursday, when I quickly got going with contacting my mental health professionals to prevent actual mania (as opposed ot manic symptoms). Long story short, emails flew back and forth between me and my psychologist, phone calls flew back and forth between my psychiatrist and my psychologist, and we doubled my Seroquel, making the dose 800 milligrams.
Now. I *could* be feeling sorry for myself and complaining right now. My GPA dropped; my physical pain is worse because I haven't been consistently working out for a while; I am reminded that I am not well; etc. etc. But seriously, I am alive and stable and I am I; how can I complain about that? I wouldn't even have these problems on my radar if I were not stable.
Honestly, I'm really glad Thursday happened. I'm exceedingly greatful that it was that easy to shut off, of course; but without that scare, I would not remember how lucky I am.
Life is good.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Humor me for just a moment and follow me to a world that will never exist.
If you are currently a high school student, this will be easier, but if you are not, imagine yourself back in high school. This upside-down story works best for a boarding school, but could probably work for pulic/day schools too.
Imagine that you are the only openly straight student in your high school. You have a few straight teachers, but none to whom you feel particularly close. To the best of your knowledge, everyone around you is lesbian/gay. The girls are all hooking up with girls; the guys are all hooking up with guys. Because teen culture is still the same, the blushing confessions and cheering friends that mark a new relationship still happen all the time, but each new relationship is with a girl/guy. If you are a girl, the movie star posters in your friends' rooms all show Megan Foxx; if you are a guy, all the movie star posters show Zac Efron.
You never get asked to a dance because the girls/guys all want a romantic night out with their girlfriends/boyfriends and the boys/girls aren't attracted to you. Some boys/girls are uncomfortable dancing with you (even fast, group dances) because they aren't quite sure what you mean by it. Most people are aware of the fact that you are straight but many are uncomfortable with it; certainly you cannot discuss the ins and outs of your sexuality with just anyone and usually confine these kinds of topics to conversations with your closest friends. Some people think this is just a phase, and you'll grow out of it. Others say you'll come around in time and marry a woman/man, because after all that is God's wish as conveyed in scripture.
Get the picture? Here's the best part: keep your feelings for your current crush, boyfriend/girlfriend, or significant other the same, and imagine that he/she is dating his/her best friend of the same gender and has no romantic interest in you.
Sounds ridiculous when it's reversed like this, doesn't it?