Thursday Night Smackdown: I'm sorry, I just can't tonight.

I know this blog is supposed to be about food, but I really don’t think I can do it tonight. And I thought it might help to tell you why. I’m a little worried about myself. Maybe a lot worried.

I’ve struggled with mental health issues ever since I was a little kid. About 6 or 7 years ago, they got severe enough that I finally realized that they were mental health issues, and I had to get some help. And even though I have help, sometimes it still feels like a constant struggle. I’m incredibly, unbelievably jealous of the people who go to a psychiatrist, get a diagnosis, and find relief in the first med they try. That is not me, oh, how it is not me.

It’s been a rough week here at the TNS house; we discovered that we’re in a financial hole neither one of us was prepared for, and that means no trip to Italy and at least another year, if not more, before I can see my family again (and it’s already been three), in addition to having to dig out of the financial hole. I’ve been trying to keep a stiff upper lip, but I just can’t do it. I’m anxious pretty much all day. I cry off and on. I haven’t really eaten anything in two days

Maybe there’s nothing to be scared about, maybe this is a natural reaction to the week’s whirlwind of shit. But when you’ve been struggling with mental illness, you lose perspective and a basis for comparison. It’s hard to tell genuine tears from depression, or normal worry from anxiety. I’m bipolar, and it’s been years since I’ve had stable moods. Right now, I can’t tell what I’m dealing with, and the idea that I might have to fight through yet another relapse is, frankly, terrifying and overwhelming.

So I’m scared. I’m scared that this is a relapse. I’m scared that I will never be able to find a med(s) that will work for me. I’m scared that with this new financial situation I won’t be able to afford my psychiatrist. I’m scared that I can’t make myself cook tonight, that I’m not excited to do something I love to do. I’m scared and tired of the constant struggle, and I’m scared of how it will end. I’m scared of never having a normal life. I mean, I’m not excited about making the blintz casserole that was supposed to be tonight’s comforting smackdown meal. A BLINTZ CASSEROLE, PEOPLE. WHY AM I NOT EXCITED?

I could really use my mom and dad right now, but I can’t have that. But I have Brian, and I have you guys, so there you go. Both of you are forced to listen to me.

Hopefully, this is just me being really, really sad about what happened this week, with a hefty dash of hormones thrown in for good measure. But I just felt like you should know what’s going on. I’m worried.

ETA: The lovely dinner my husband just made me. Ridiculously amazing husband + valium = actual food intake, hooray!

Also, thank you so, so much for all your comments and emails.  It’s overwhelming in a good way.  I can’t respond to all of them right now, but I’m reading (and re-reading) every single one.

0 thoughts on “Thursday Night Smackdown: I'm sorry, I just can't tonight.

  1. Oh Michelle. :( My heart aches for you. Only time will tell, I suppose, which way your mental state is headed. And you’ll face whatever you need to with whatever help you can find. What’s normal anyway? You’ll live the life you were meant to live, because you’re strong and awesome. I don’t know why the universe gave you this struggle, but I have all the confidence in the world that you can take it. Even though you have days where it feels like you want to die or crawl into a hole.

    I wish there was some amazing thing I could say or do to make this heavy cloud vanish. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry you’re feeling this way and I’m sorry you can’t have your dad. I know how much of an emptiness that absence creates and it’s a helpless feeling.

    Hugging you crazy tight in my mind and soul. And I’ll be thinking about you a lot.

  2. Oh, I’m so sorry you are going through all this. Hopefully this is more of a reaction to your situation. Finding out your in a financial bind and that you can’t see your family or go on a trip that you wanted to, would be hard for anyone. It’s especially hard for someone who is emotionally fragile. I know money is tight, but you need to make sure that your doctor is aware of how you are feeling right now.

  3. Chica, first off – don’t be apologizin’ to anyone about your health issues. Folks come here for the pleasure of your wit and charm as much as the food, if not more. We care about you. Secondly, your priority needs to be you and I’ll kick in the teeth of the first person who dares to whine about a missing smackdown (they will learn the true meaning of the word smackdown, no?)

    The situation sucks and I’m really sorry to hear that you are going through it along with other crappy circumstances that you don’t need to deal with either. But babe, you need to be looking after your physical health (eat, sleep, etc.) How can you possibly do that while you spiral into freak-out mode? Get B to help you there. Poor fellow, I am sure he is carrying a good bit of the burden himself and I wish I could be there for the both of you. But you need to at least eat or else it will just compound the problems. So while your mental health may be in the shitter, make some sort of arrangement to look after your physical well-being. Don’t even think about the blog. We’re fine. We’re here for you. The blog can wait. You need to focus on you. And it’s okay to ask for help. xxoo

  4. I can hear the fear in your “voice” and I’m sending you cyber hugs. Depression may be the most common mental illness, but it is really hard to treat well. I agree that you need to talk with you doctor about how you are feeling. He/she might even be willing to work out a payment schedule so that you don’t have to pay everything up front.

    Your in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. One of my family members suffers from mental illness, so to some degree I can empathise with you. Fingers crossed you’re feeling better soon.

    Let me tell you, I’ll still be here when you’re ready! x

  6. michelle, i have been through depression too… if you ever need to talk you know my e-mail. a blog is no big deal compared to your mental and physical well being. take your time and tell your black cloud to go fuck off, boss it around, give it a little of your special smackdown… we’ll wait for you.

  7. Its gonna be ok. Bad day. Bad week. Take a moment and think of the thing that makes you happiest in the world. And imagine how lucky you are to have that thing. That thing that no one else has. You are so very lucky. Bad times will pass. And you will be stronger and smarter for it. And in the meantime, think of all the people out there making your Spaghetti pie… even us Irish ones.

  8. I wish I had some great words of wisdom for you, but I don’t. I can’t understand what you might be going through and can’t make it all better, but I’m sending some positive vibes your way. Here’s hoping you’ll be cooking with joy again soon.

  9. Really, really sorry to hear you’re having such a rough time, and that the Italy trip fell through. Take care of yourself, which is easy to say but not always to do… There’s a lot of people out there thinking good thoughts for you, me included!

  10. I fight the eternal battle with depression, too. I know everyone in America has read Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, but when she came to Tulsa, someone asked her how she was so humorous even while she was so sad and angry at herself. She said, “Nothing’s funnier than depression.” I’m only writing this because even when everything has gone to shit (or you are thinking it has), you still get to have your wit about you. Like you did in this post. And that’s why we love and read you.

    I’ll be thinking about you and sending happy and healthy (with some cuss words sprinkled in) your way this week.

  11. You’re in my thoughts and sending you cyber hugs. You have a great support system here and hopefully things will look up, your fears will subside and things will turn around. *hugs*

  12. Hugs. Depression bites the big one. I’ve been there, and (although everyone who knows me knows I’m no optimist) it’ll get better. One day at a time until you’re ready for more.

  13. Big hug and take care of yourself. I know the finacial crises can be overwhelming, but that will settle itself out(It wont be overnight , but it will).In the meantime you need to focus on you and don’t hestitate to reach out. I know how it feels not being able to pick up that phone and call your parents, but reach out to the loved ones here with you now. You will come out of this because you are tough.

  14. I’m new to your blog, but have loved it since the first time I logged on a couple months ago.
    I have a wonderful, dear, friend who is, like you struggling with her mental wellness. It’s a process and one that takes her through many peaks and valleys. Hang in there, you are not alone, and there is always a way to find the light at the end of the tunnel.
    I’ll be looking forward to your next post.
    Be well.

  15. Empathetic hugs from my end, Michelle. Never been diagnosed, but I know intimately how you feel. The blog will wait, and we’ll all be here waiting when (or if) you need us. You just take care of yourself, physically and mentally, and make sure you don’t let the worrying drive you into the abyss. Everything will work out in the end; if it ain’t okay, it ain’t the end. ?

  16. I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I wish there was something magical I could write here to make it all better for you. I know it’s easy for me to say, but just hang in there. Take it a day at a time, a minute at a time if you have to. Eventually, the clouds will clear and the sun will shine again.

  17. I’m new to your blog and I think you’re great. I too have struggled for many years with my anxiety and OCD…just from reading you a little bit, I know you have a great sense of humor and that is going to see you through. Sounds like a cliche (and it is). But life can really, really suck sometimes, and you just have to hang on, get help, find the right medication, get a pet, do martial arts, play the tuba, anything, please hang in there!

  18. Im a lurker, but we have a lot of mental illness in my family, so I thought I would come out of lurkdom to at least give my support. For me, I feel like I was dealt my life and I deal with it the best I can. We all break down. Sometimes its the nature of the beast. Do the best you can to find balance, things will work themselves out. Thinking about you!

    Sending great big huge hugs your way. :)

  19. Baby steps. Take baby steps. Hold onto Brian and ya’ll take a deep breath. My sweet daddy had a great saying when things would spin out of control.
    Stay loose.
    It works.
    I promise.

  20. Hey, I’ve been there (with the finances and wondering if you’ll ever find a med that works). It gets better.

    Sometimes the world seems to be conspiring against you but you just have to take things one day at a time and survive the bad parts to get to the good parts.

  21. empathies and sympathies.

    dealing with depression is probably one of the least fun things on my to-do list. although my medication works fairly well, there are times when it’s not enough, when the dip is too far. i hate those times.

    maybe there’s some kind of self-help group you can access or something? i know that talking with someone, having someone be able to counter the negative self-talk really helps a log. also, remember to breath. i know it’s hard to do that, but if you find yourself holding your breath take 5 deep cleansing breaths and breath out longer than you breath in. that’ll help flush some of the carbon dioxide out and help slow your heart down.

    i’m sorry you’re going through this right now.

    you know, you might not be able to afford a psychiatrist, but maybe a massage, a nice, long, deep massage might help some. that way your body will be able to relax some, you’ll be taking care of yourself and most practitioners are reasonably priced.

    in the nonce, i’ll send some reiki energy your way.

  22. Michelle, I’m so sorry.

    I have people close to me also having financial troubles right now — and I’ve pretty much emptied my checking account helping them out. It seems to be effecting everyone to some degree. It’s very scary. And to have health issues on top of that, it certainly doesn’t help, does it. :( When it rains it pours.

    As they say, and I’ve found it to be 100% true — This too shall pass. Hang in there.

  23. Feel better, Michelle. I know money is tight for everyone these days, but if you’re anywhere near Manhattan, they have pretty good therapists that work on most health insurance plans…I know, I know, it’s hard to leave your current one, but in the end, you’ll feel less anxious about money (which leaves room for the other stresses that are more important)

    And as for the meds: you might want to look into a homeopathist with an MD. That way your health care provider will accept them. I know they worked wonders for me, since meds were just way too abrasive.

    Just some thoughts!! I’m so sorry you are going through such a crap time, but I know saying sorry doesn’t really help much, does it? Hopefully you’ll look into the above, or find a better option. Good luck, and a huge hug.

  24. I’m also quite new here, but just wanted to say: hang in there Michelle and the best of luck. Financial troubles can be utterly wretched even in the best of emotionally stable times.
    Take care of yourself and pamper yourself however and whichever way possible. One day at a time is more than enough in times like these, no?

  25. Aw, Michelle. ((HUGS)) I wish there were some magic words to say to make you feel better. It’s so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when everything seems to be piling up on top of your shoulders. But, it *is* there. Things *will* get better. There’s no need to distinguish between your tears…each and every one of them is real. Letting them out is important to help work through the worry. You’ll be in my thoughts, sweet girl. Things *will* get better. I promise.

  26. *hugs* *and more hugs*

    Things WILL get better don’t worry – and you’ll pull through! As others have said – focus on the good things you have in your life, Brian, food, your family (even though they are far away) etc. :-D

    Chill !!! ;-)

    *more and more hugs*

  27. We had our HVAC system go out this spring, and it put us in a financial hole *again*. That week it felt like no matter what you do, something always comes along to smack you when you’re getting up.

    Neither of us requires meds for mental health issues — I say this because I felt *exactly* like what you’re describing above, slept poorly, ate poorly, and had fits of anxiety. I was scared, yet again.

    Regardless of whatever other issues you face, having this reaction in the face of adversity, having to cope with the severe disappointment of having to postpone seeing one’s family, (not to mention a hefty dash of hormones) is a recipe for this kind of reaction.

    I just thought you might like to hear it from someone else…nothing else quite alleviates the fear that we all experience like having someone else admit the vulnerability.

    (oh, and because I have a wonderful spouse who is oh so financially organized we worked it out *well enough*.)

  28. Michelle, I can’t say how much I feel for you right now.

    Take care of yourself, and don’t be bothering with any of those apologies :)

    Try to eat if you can, and try not to worry. It’s not a relapse – anyone would be knocked back by that kind of news. Your reaction is normal – though obviously magnified by your condition – please don’t worry.

    Thinking of you

  29. Michelle – You are in my thoughts and prayers – if I was a pray-er.

    Take your time. Most of us have been where you are and know that it is no party.

    Feel confident that you’ll pull through and you will.

    I hope you feel better really soon!

  30. You are in my thoughts and prayers. NO apologies about the blog-YOU are more important, YOU need to some first. Take some time to simply breathe and focus on the things that are real; deal with those things you can at this very moment so you don’t get overwhelmed….and let the rest get in line for another day, including the blog. We’ll still be here waiting for you when YOU’RE ready.
    Isn’t a good spouse a treasure? Notice I didn’t say perfect? Loves us unconditionally, always? Plus feeds us…wow, we are blessed indeed and that makes it all one step easier :)

  31. Adding my hugs, prayers, and hope to the long list of those above me. All who told you to take care of yourself – and we’ll be here for you, when you are ready for us are right. We’ll be here. And if writing about this – and not writing about cooking is therapeutic, then I say temporarily rename this Thursday Night Therapy Smackdown – and we’ll try and combat the evil voices in your head that make you sad and unsure.

    Many of us have/do go through these valleys all too often. It sucks. It sucks doubly to see someone you care struggle knowing you can do little to alter the outcome. We’ll just wait.

    sia tesoro buono

  32. I’m a new lurker on your blog, which I really enjoy. Take it easy and take care of yourself; we’ll still be here when you get back.

  33. Michelle, I feel your pain. I’ve been struggling with depression and panic attacks my whole life, and even though I’m on meds now, they only do so much, and I still can be knocked on my ass by stuff like the bad financial news you just experienced. When you described your fears about relapsing and difficulties telling real tears from depression’s constant despair, I felt like you were writing for me and everyone else that’s fighting their way through mental illness.

    I’m so sorry that you’re so far away from your family, but I’m really glad that you have someone like Brian to cook you awesome meals and spoil you when you’re feeling like this. I’m thinking of you and cheering for you to get through this rough patch.

  34. Oh, Michelle — huge, huge hugs from your old college friend. I didn’t know any of this. Kind of speechless right now, wanting to say so much and knowing that it would probably be so ineffective and stupid given my lack of experience with real depression and just the way we’ve fallen out of touch the past, oh, 10 years or so. I just want you to know that I’m here for you if you need a friend to talk to. And… huge, huge hugs.

    XO
    Kat

  35. W.. What they said! (no, seriously, your friends are awesome, I can’t possibly add much more.) Thank you for confiding in us– I hope and pray that this storm shall pass without a scratch on you.

  36. I’m sorry to hear what you are going through. It must be very tough with the US healthcare system as you have the extra anxiety that you may not be able to afford your psychiatrist. If you are seeing your psychiatrist at present, are you able to discuss this problem with him/her and what you can do about it? I do not pretend to know what you are going through but perhaps there is some way somethng can be done about this? The last thing you need is the extra financial worry that you won’t be able to get the right care when you have so much on your plate already. I hope that you have a good support network of friends and family and I wish you well.

  37. Oh dear! I’m so sorry about your money issues (we’ve got some of those hitting us up side the head right now too!) That is never fun and it does lead to uncertainty and angst and ranging emotions. Hang in there, which I know is easier said than done. I’m sending you positive energy your way.

  38. I feel for you in a way that I sometimes wish I didn’t.

    I have my first therapy appointment next week.

    I wish you well, it’s always so wonderful to come here and see what you have to say. I’ll be waiting paitently, and hoping that you feel better soon.

  39. /hugs!

    You are fantastic – I can’t think of many people that would be so open and sharing of your life’s details as you are. We totally have your back and personally think the world of you. Whatever your circumstances, try to remember that it isn’t permanent. You will win.

  40. Financial issues strike right at the heart of our survival instinct, I think. It is natural to feel overwhelmed by this, especially when coupled with being cut off from your family by it.

    I’m sending good thoughts your way and I’ll be here when you get back.

  41. Just remember, it’s medicine – not magic. I know very few people who have the instant cure you write about. Your chemical makeup is different from everyone else’s and it’s going to take time to get the balance just right. The most important things for you right now are:
    1) Support – Brian, us, family, friends – use whatever resources can be provided to you and which your support group is more than happy to give. They are the ears to listen, the shoulder to cry on, the arm to hold you up.

    2) Self talk – Make sure you’re not beating yourself up over things you can’t control. Allow yourself to feel, just don’t allow yourself to drown in those feelings.

  42. I too am a lurker, and I love to read your blog not only for your amazing culinary creations, but also for your awesome personality that shines through the confines of the interweb. I’ve been to places in my own mind that are very hard to find the way out of…and I know exactly what you mean when you say you can lose perspective. You see things through the lens of your depression and that’s when the feelings of hopelessness start. I love the quote: “This too shall pass.” I admire your ability to express yourself so well, though, given the place you’re in…I sometimes feel like I just can’t express what’s going on with me, part of it being a fear of what others will think or say, maybe..or maybe just a general kind of paralysis that I feel…
    You will get past this. I send you my stranger’s love and prayers. Move with unwavering faith.

  43. hang in there, lassie. i realize it’s scary, and you feel you have no control whatsoever, but you do what you can do and accept the help that is out there. you talk/write about it, you deal with it, you fight back, you hold onto who you are, and the world is richer for it. thanks for everything and, when you’re ready, we’ll be here to devour your next post!

  44. Sending many good, happy thoughts your way. I can’t believe (but I admire) how eloquently you’ve written about all this especially in the midst of it all – thank you for sharing. Wishing you the very best!

  45. We’re rarely *not* in a financial hole, so I can feel you there. I’ve struggled with mental illness all of my life also. Is there a med that works? I still can’t drag my ass to work, all I want to do is lay in bed and I’m on the max doseages of both lexapro and wellbutrin with a klonopin kicker!

    Hang in there. I can’t see a psychiatrist with whom you’ve built a relationship with throwing you out the door, either. Here’s to hoping it’s just hormonal and/or situational!

  46. hey lady –

    don’t really know you, but i can say that i know the feeling. from the financial issues to the family thing; i had a passover where i drove down the east coast with a borrowed car, $10 and a hospital bracelet on my wrist… so not the exact feeling, because only you know your own situation, but pretty damn close. and WOW you described the scary confusion super accurately. it sucks, it seems vicious, but truly truly truly — you ARE strong enough. and even though it seems like an exhausting prospect to have to fight your mind and yourself one more time (and believe me, i know too the panic that sits in the pit of your stomach when thinking: ‘what if i’m NOT in control? what if tomorrow i DON’T feel better? what if i can’t ever get happy again? and what if i have to keep fighting this battle over and over?) its pretty clear that when you’re working on taking it an hour at a time just to make it though a day, that there will be someone there to look you in the eyes and carry you through the seconds. thats something.

    feel better. if i knew you in person, i’d bring cake. cause lets be real. eating your feelings’ weight in pure butter and sugar is always a classy/good idea. ;)

  47. I just found your site today. You have my deepest sypmathies for the perfect shitstorm that’s assailing you now. But I had to tell you I think your blog is the awesome. Every post is full of win, even this one, you aren’t forcing anyone to listen to you because everybody here wants to. I will grill a pizza in your honor and hope it gets beter for you

  48. One day at a time, hon. One day at a time. Let others be nice to you, esp. Brian!

    Can you get some help or advice with the financial stuff? Anything that will help you ‘manage’ it, so it doesn’t become some huge, dark cloud over everything?

  49. My heart goes out to you – my son goes through this so I know that trying to cheer you up isnt going to help. Think of all the people who you love and who love you.
    Do what every you can to relieve the symptoms – take walks – talk to friends – get some peace and quiet.
    lizzie

  50. When people share their thoughts and feelings as you have, all of us become stronger. Life is freakin’ hard… Thanks for helping us all through it. You are very courageous. xoxoxo

  51. I am so sorry for you that you feel this way. It is such a hard way to live your life. I so wish you could find some meds that work. My heart truly goes out to you at this time. Seek some professional help on the financial stuff too. That may help you feel that at least you are accomplishing something! Get better soon!

  52. No need to respond…I just hope you’re able to get through this very soon. Emotional holes, financial holes…they’re all tough, but you can take small, deliberate steps to climb out when you’re ready. And you’ll get there.

  53. Michelle, so sorry you are going through this. I’m sure it’s tough enough without adding financial crap to the mix. Been there with the money thing–it sucks, but it usually works itself out.

    As for the rest, I don’t have any wise words, but I can offer you my support, and an ear to listen. Please take care and know that you have a lot of people that do care what happens to you, and will be here when you need them.

  54. I really can’t say it better then anyone else already has, but if you’re at the bottom, the only way to go is up. Just wanted you to know that I’m sending good mojo your way. Make sure to love and take care of yourself.

  55. Oh, Michelle, I am so sorry. Am there too myself so I do understand. I know there is nothing I can say or do for you but offer you one more friendly voice in the dark.

    The journey is hell, but girl, my money is on you.

    Cooking or not, please keep writing. I’ll keep reading.

  56. I hope it’s ok that I just prayed for you and probably will again. Things sound really really hard for you. I wish they could be better NOW.

    Take all the time you need before another smack down. I’m so behind on trying your recipes, it’s ridiculous. The spaghetti pie and grilled pizzas look like definite tries for the menu this week, I’ve never made pesto before, hmm. In any case, I love reading anything you write. Thanks for sharing it all, and hang in there!

  57. I’ve been reading for a while, but never posted. I find you incredibly amusing, insightful and witty.
    But now I find you relatable. At least from an outsider. My mom suffers from bi-polar (as well as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s Disease and currently having her knees replaced) as well. She fights every day for a reason to live and it breaks my heart to see her like this.i do my best to cheer her up and get her out of her apartmentm but I feel helpless to do anything that will actually fix the situation. But I have found that what gets her through is God, family and the fact that somebody wants to see her live (her granddaughter is key :) ).
    I don’t know how you feel about the subject, but I will be praying for you.

  58. Michelle,
    I just found your blog today. I am going through the same thing. It’s tough when life throws a curveball, and when you have a mental illness, it’s even harder to handle. Go get the help you need, regardless of the cost. You and your health are worth more than anything right now. Brian will support you. As for the money issues, yeah your credit may suffer, but it’s not the end of the world. Believe me, I know. I thought I was the world’s biggest loser when we declared bankruptcy. That was 2 years ago, and we made it through, now worse for wear. Remember the only way to go from the bottom is up. Hang in there, I’ll be checking back often. You’ve got a friend in me!

  59. Hey baby girl, don’t fret. There really is something in the air that’s fucking things up for good people right now. It’s not just you. I’ve been stressing out too, getting all stabby (actually having visions of repeatedly stabbing myself in the guts to make the anxious feelings stop), but I’m finding that just burying my head in the sand for a day or two to let things blow over actually kinda helps. I know that sounds counter-productive, but it works for me.

    Also, you got more comments than a Daring fucking Baker.

  60. you are the purveyor of awesomeness, and if nothing else you will prove that hardship can be survived with sharp wit intact

  61. I’ve never had real mental problems (that I know of) but have had real money problems. My best piece of advice is to talk to the people that you need to. I know it sounds like the very last thin you want to do right now, but seriously, it’s the best thing you can do. Perhaps you’ve already done that and I’m telling you something you’ve already done, if so, sorrrrrrries! I’ll just step back and send you a bubble of bunnies and rainbows.

  62. *HUG HUG HUB* Hang in there. I have been reading your blog for a while now and I know you are an incredibly strong woman. You will smack down anything that comes your way. If you can tackle weird fish noodle recipes, you can handle financial difficulties and mental ones too. I know you can do it! Never give up.

    I can so totally relate to the Italy thing. I’ve put off my dream trip indefinitely. Kevin and I were going to go three years ago and he said it was too expensive. I’ve been trying to save up money to go next year, but the dollar gets weaker and the cost keeps going up and I’m afraid I have to give up on the dream. I just keep thinking that I’ve had an incredibly rich and fulfilling life with a loving husband and I don’t need to go to other countries to make my life complete. Everything I really need is in my home and within me.

    It’s all within you too.

  63. Thank you for writing so honestly about this. My husband is just now coming to grips with the depression he has struggled with his entire life, and it helps me SOOO much to hear it from the other perspective, as he is not anywhere near as eloquent as you.

    I hope this period passes quickly for you and all who suffer from this. I hope you will be back in fine cussing form soon. Take care, good care.

  64. My mother struggled with being bi-polar for the last twenty years of her life. It was really hard watching her go through that, and it affected the whole family.

    It’s a medical condition, you don’t have to apologize. I wish you all the best, and keep on cooking!

  65. Michelle, you can do anything you put your mind to and you do it perfectly! Maybe right now you should just relax and focus on you and what you need. Money sucks, I hate it! I can see how that can add to your situation but you can do it! Just know that whenever things are rough you have the support from an amazing husband and a wonderful family too. Taking a break from the TNS might be what you need or maybe something else has to give. Just know that we are always here to listen.

  66. How shitty. How sucky. Really, it’s goddamn awful to be in the POD. (Pit of Despair) I’ve been there and it’s hopeless. All I can say is nothing is forever and these problems? They’ll be a blip before you know it. Money can be earned. Meds can be discovered. Trips to Italy can be thrown on a credit card with a huge FUCK IT WE’LL JUST RETIRE WHEN WE’RE 90.

    Your blog is exceptionally good. You could probably take a whole year off and still get like, 200 comments on a casserole. So don’t sweat it. We’ll keep coming back until you feel better.

  67. I’ve been lurking for months now……even got some close friends “hooked” on your amazing way with words, food and photos. As with all your other friends, you are in my thoughts and prayers…….

    I had to laugh at Heather who made the comment about the number of comments. (she’s on my regular reading thanks to YOU!) Be well.

  68. …ppsstt…funny smart girl…
    it’s gonna be ok…everything works out in the end.
    Remember to breath…respiration is essential.
    Italy will still be there next year or the year after…I promise. I know these things.
    You’re ok girl.
    Good thoughts sent your way.

  69. Just wanted to offer my best wishes, rock bottom sucks..
    Only way to go now is back up.. Think ice cream and cookies.
    I really hope to hear things get better.. try not to sweat the small shit. Be well :)

  70. adding another “that sucks Michelle! hope things get better soon!” to the pile… can you feel the internet hugging you??

    my mum says “wherever you find yourself, that’s where you are” – I like it, it’s a reminder to try not to stress, struggle and fight against the situation too hard, which can make things worse/harder/more uncomfortable.. I imagine floating in a river, just being. so here’s hoping the current takes you somewhere good!

  71. I have been lurking here for months and love TNS. I look forward to Tuesday and Friday mornings at work simply because I know your new posts for that week will be up.

    I hope things start to look up very, very soon. Take the time you need. I’m sure I speak for everyone who enjoys you, we will wait, however long it takes and will still be here when you feel up to it.

  72. I have been lurking for awhile and have really enjoyed your posts. I think it shows true courage to open up about how you are feeling. It seems like a positive first step in pulling things together.

    Your reaction to your financial situation seems pretty “normal” as discovering a hole, loosing a vacation and being far from family can turn anyone’s world inside out no matter how stable they think they are. I would encourage you to keep talking to friends, family and your doctor about how you are feeling. There is a lot of support out there. Take care and good thoughts.

  73. Just another well wish from someone you don’t know. Sending thoughts of cooking and dicing and slicing you way!

    Hang in there. You just never know what great thing is just around the corner!

  74. I too hope you find peace. I can’t imagine how many people you help with such honesty. Good for you.
    This is the bravest thing I have seen.

  75. Michelle, I’m so sorry to hear this and please know we are all out here pulling for you and supporting you. This is never easy – I have a mental illness of my own, that I’ve struggled with for the last 10 years, and for so long I was always waiting for it to come and land on me like a ton of bricks (still do, sometimes). And my parents have never seen me when I’ve had to go through with it either, so while I could talk to them on the phone, they couldn’t really understand. I actually started blogging when I was at the tail end of my last bout with mine, and it was one of the things that helped me claw my way back into reality and my life. And it does get better…you really can get back to where you were before, and even to a better place. Just take care of yourself the best you can – do what you need to do (even if it’s sleep! or cry.), lean on your amazing husband and your friends (and us!) and take every little baby step you can muster…when you’re ready. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can’t see it now. Even with all the roadblocks you’re up against. Time really is the best healer. I wish I could help you in some way. BIG HUG for you! We’ll be here, waiting, when you’re ready to come back.

  76. Through every sunshine, a bit of rain must fall. This, although it sounds like a bit of a storm, shall pass.

    It’s just money, sweetie.

    Keep yourself well. I’ll be in touch.

  77. Sending good thoughts and virtual hugs your way. My son has mental health issues and I know that the whole meds thing can be a lot of frustrating trial and error before you find the right one — or more usually, the right combination. Keep at it. It’s out there.

    As far as the financial stuff, getting stressed and anxious about it is pretty understandable. I hope it works out (as I know it will.)

  78. I’ve been a lurker up until now, but wanted to add my two cents worth. I’m not bipolar, but when my hubby told me he’d lost everything we had (except our house) on the stock market, I went into the deepest depression of my life. It came at a time when we were close to retiring and the kids were going to college. It was a time in my life when I thought I should be on a beach somewhere sipping Margaritas.

    I cried and cried for weeks. Everything we’d spent 30 years working for was gone in a flash. It took me a while (Is a year considered *a while*?), but I finally pulled myself out of it. Still, every time I even thought about no retirement, no nothing, I would start crying again. Our house had been totally paid off for years and for the first time, we had to take out a mortgage on the house to pay our credit card debt.

    So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that even people without mental health issues have difficulty dealing with financial devastation. So, I feel that your reaction is perfectly normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Y’all will eventually recover and things will someday be good again. Just don’t blame each other. It happens.

    It’s hard not having family around. I know. But, you have a wonderful following here in the blogosphere and we want you back! I’ve found that blogging has helped my mental health tremendously. Talk about a great place to vent with feedback!

    Anyway, get your meds on and get back to us soon!

  79. Just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you. Someone in my family is bipolar, and struggles with depression. It’s a tough disease to deal with. We’ll miss you, but we’ll be waiting for you when you feel better. You were one of the first bloggers to welcome me and comment on my early posts, and I will always appreciate the support you showed. I know I wasn’t the only one you helped feel welcome and supported. {I’m guessing you commented on every one’s post on Tastespotting, but I could be wrong!} Your Thursday Night Smackdowns are brilliant, funny, and entertaining. Take all the time you need, but know we’re thinking of you and looking forward to your next post. Take special care.

  80. I’ve lurked for several months now and love your site/pics/recipes/humor. Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of encouragement and good wishes. :D

  81. Get better Aunt Michelle, we are here for you! :)

    Can’t wait to see you and Brian again

    Love your favorite nephew,
    Jamie

  82. Pingback: thursday night smackdown » Thursday Night Crapdown: Now with 83% more crazy!

  83. take heart… there are supplement, food, and lifestyle choices that will support your recovery and stabilization of bipolar disorder, but the medical industry doesn’t make as much money so you don’t hear about them as often. find a doctor who understands this ASAP.

    as with every medical condition, be an aggravating best advocate for yourself, and please think about combining complementary treatments WITH the meds. and as with all meds, some work for a time, and then change. this is a fact, accept it now and keep moving forward.

    i’ve had several good friends with bipolar disorder as well as schizophrenia, and it always seems to strike the cleverest folks with so much life in them!

    at least they have pills for your kind of crazy, they don’t for mine, they just throw stuff at me and dream that it will work! (no shit.)

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