Five Years of Surviving

Today is a special day for me. Five years ago I attempted suicide and I am celebrating that I wasn’t successful. I suffer from Bipolar Disorder, a disease that is characterized by extreme lows and extreme highs. The risk of suicide is high among those with manic-depressive illness; approximately 10-15% of people with a bipolar diagnosis complete suicide while many more attempt suicide unsuccessfully.

A lot of factors went into my suicide attempt. In 2011 I was on an antidepressant that my doctor was giving me free samples of because of the high cost of the drug. This went on for over a year and I was feeling well. Then the doctor ran out of samples. The co-pay for the drug was hundreds of dollars and I had no choice to go off of it. From there my mental health went downhill.

In December of 2011 I found out I was denied Disability (SSDI) and would have to go through an appeal process that would take over a year. I felt a sense of uselessness. I wasn’t bringing in any money to help support my family.

In 2012 my pain levels really kicked into high gear. I would go to the emergency room and was told that the best pain medicine I had was at home. I began experiencing sleepless nights because of the pain.

Throughout it all was the feeling that I couldn’t be the mother Tyler needed. I couldn’t support him, cook for him…play with him. I felt that Tyler would be better with another mother. He was five at the time and I thought he would barely remember me if I killed myself.

Luckily I was unsuccessful in my suicide attempt. I spent two weeks in the hospital but I wasn’t better. I was experiencing suicidal ideation, fantasizing about trying again and how I would do it. I realized that it was difficult to kill oneself but that didn’t stop me from wanting to.

In August, through a miracle, my depression and suicidal thoughts went away. I started seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist who put me back on medicine. I began to get my life back.

If I could tell someone who is as low as I was anything, it would be that depression lies to you! I would have ruined Tyler’s and my husband’s life as well as my friends and other family. Depression tells you that everyone is better off without you but that isn’t true.

Today, five years later, is a day of mixed emotion for me. I am so thankful I survived my attempt but I am currently experiencing depression. However, I am not as low as I was and I hope never to be again. I see a therapist and a doctor. Tyler is the light of my life and helps me get through my days.

If you feel like striking up a conversation with me because you are having suicidal thoughts please feel free.

If you need someone more anonymous you can call The Suicide Prevention Hotline in the U.S. at 1-800-273-8255 or if you are in the UK, there are many numbers so you can go here. All of the hotlines are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But don’t hide your thoughts. I have been where you are. Get help, speak up and speak out for suicide prevention.

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Rhymes With Nice

Late last year my psychiatrist recommended that I up my dosage of one of my medicines. Pretty soon after I did this my scalp started to itch. I looked up the drug’s side effects and sure enough scratchy scalp was one of the side effects. I called my psychiatrist and told her what was going on. She was mystified because she had only increased my med, it wasn’t a new one, but she lowered my dosage anyway.

The scalp issues continued. The itching was driving me crazy! My doctor lowered my dosage even more.

Then I went to the salon to get a color and cut. The stylist said, “Ummm, you have bugs in your hair.” I was horrified and mortified! She gave me a number and directions to the local lice center which was conveniently located in my very own town.

I got on the chair and the owner started to check me out. He said, “Wow! You have the worst case of lice I’ve seen this season!” He said I had to have gotten it from Tyler. Grant brought Tyler in and sure enough he had it too although I was much worse.

They then recommended I have my house sprayed. $210 later and the both of us and the house were treated. The owner said we had to come back three to four times to get the lice completely out but I might need more treatments!

I learned that lice hits people of all economic backgrounds. There were some lovely little girls getting treatments.

I called Tyler’s friend’s dad to let him know that Tyler had lice and she had it too.

So it was just a coincidence that my scratchy scalp started at the same time I increased the dosage on my medicine.

Tyler and I are both lice free now and I hope we never have to deal with it again!

One of my many treatments!

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Christmas Whine

How was your Christmas? Mine was a mix of good and bad. Besides my chronic challenges I had a miserable cold and had somehow managed to strain my back. I was in a lot of pain, and walking, even sitting, was absolute agony.

If it wasn’t for Jacques, I think Christmas would have been quite bleak. He did absolutely everything; cooked, shopped, wrapped gifts, all while I just laid in bed or managed to make it over to the couch.

We got the tree up on the 23rd, the latest I have ever put up a tree and that day Jacques was still buying lights of which were slim to none. He first came home with lights with white wiring that would not do for a green Christmas tree. He was able to return them and got white lights the color that makes me think I am living in an office they are so bright white.

I need sunglasses for this tree!

I did add five new ornaments this year to my all cat-themed Christmas tree, one of which was this Caribbean pink kitty:




And there’s always my all cat Nativity scene:



I don’t know what was wrong with the mail this year but three of Tyler’s gifts didn’t come and he told us it was a great Christmas anyway. I’m so proud of him!

I’ll end with a picture of him putting the cat angel on the tree. No pictures of myself to put up here as I wasn’t wearing a bra on Christmas morning and it showed.

Hope your Christmas was a Merry one!

It’s never too early to start thinking about the kids for next Christmas! Check out this gift guide by My Kid Needs That.

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No Grant in 2017

For the past two years I’ve had my co-pay for my hypersomnia medication paid by a non-profit agency. Even the generic of the medication is expensive, with my co-pay being over $300 a month.

In October I got a letter from the agency saying that I would have to apply for a grant for 2017. This
was new because I have automatically had my grant renewed every year. The start date to apply was December 5th, so I put it on my calendar.

On the afternoon of the 5th I said “Shit!” because I hadn’t applied for the grant yet. I went to the site and found that the money for Narcolepsy had already been allocated. There would be no help for me. I called the agency and they said I should keep checking the site because more funding could come through. I check it everyday.

There is absolutely no way I can afford the medication by myself. I have been rationing my pills, saving them for days I need to stay up through the day. But after they run out I will go back to sleeping a good part of the day.

I hate when Tyler is home and I have to take a nap. That he has to be on video games as I sleep the day away.

Meanwhile, somehow I managed to sprain my lower back. I finally went to the doctor last week and she prescribed muscle relaxers, heat, massage, etc. I am reading this book that says back pain is the result of tension, a problem you can’t face, so your brain manufactures the pain. It comes highly recommended by Howard Stern of whom I am a big fan. If I get anything out of it I’ll be sure to let you know!

My Christmas shopping for Tyler is done except for his stocking but I haven’t gotten a tree yet or sent Christmas cards out. Pressure!

How are your holidays going?

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Organic Aromas: Pure and Simple

(This is a sponsored product that I was given without cost. The opinions expressed are all my own.)

The Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser by Organic Aromas offers the most effective dispersal and the most complete rendering of both the natural scent and the therapeutic properties of 100% pure, organic essential oils on the market. This unique device is entirely safe, extremely quiet, makes no mess, requires no heat and does not use any water.

Using nothing but pressurized air and a combination of delicately hand-blown pyrex glass, this nebulizing diffuser works without the need to heat up the oils and without the need to add water to the diffuser.

When unboxing the Organic Aromas diffuser, I was met with a pleasant scent and a discount code for one of your friends or family for 15% off their next purchase. You can also receive discounts when you sign up on their website.


The diffuser comes with only a few parts; the base, the glass reservoir with micro-tubes, a glass cap, droppers for cleaning and a power socket.

Assembly is so easy (if I could do it anyone can)!

Insert the narrow end of the glass reservoir into the rubber grommet stopper on the wood base.

Add the pure essential oil into the bottom of the reservoir, only about 15 drops is needed. You will get lots of uses from the bottle they give you.

Put the glass cap onto the glass bottle.


Connect the power supply to the base and plug the power supply into a wall socket.

Turn on the switch at the bottom of the base in a clockwise direction. The switch can be adjusted from a lower output to a higher output.

As soon as I turned the diffuser on it began misting and then turning a variety of beautiful colors.



So not only do you get a nice scent you also get something that is beautiful and relaxing to look at! I liked how I was able to control the power of the scent. The scent smells great and depending on the setting can be used to scent a small room or a portion of a house.

The diffuser runs for two minutes and stops for one minute. After two hours the diffuser will turn off automatically. That’s good for me because I tend to have brain fog and forget about such things! I felt really safe using the Organic Aromas diffuser.

Cleaning is simple. It is recommended that you clean the diffuser reservoir once a week if you use it for two hours a day.

Remove the glass cap.

Use the dropper to add plain rubbing alcohol for cleaning the micro-tubes.

Turn on the power for five to ten minutes in order to clean up the micro-tubes.

When the diffuser is dry the cleanup is done.


There are more instructions for deep cleaning but they are equally as simple.

A variety of diffusers can be purchased here. More essential oils which include rosemary, lavender and ylang yang can be purchased here.

I really enjoyed this unique way to use essential oils to ease anxiety, improve depression, stress and even provide relaxing visual stimulation.

Organic Aromas is a definite winner with me!

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After over a year of chronic nausea I am very happy to say I have finally been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

Celiac is an autoimmune disease. When wheat, barley and rye are eaten a person’s body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.


Celiac disease is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications that include Central and Peripheral nervous system disorders, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and even some types of cancer. It can take years to diagnose a person with Celiac so I guess I am lucky I found out relatively quickly.

There were a few times throughout my illness that I looked at Celiac Disease but I only had one of the symptom, which include vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss. My doctor says people may sometimes not have any symptoms.

Currently the only treatment is a gluten-free lifestyle. That means no baked goods, pasta or pizza with gluten – forever. When I got my diagnosis I ate my last piece of pie, pumpkin, and on my birthday I went to my favorite pizza place to have my last real pizza.

I’ve been gluten-free ever since and it hasn’t been so bad. Jacques has been great in researching and making gluten-free recipes for me. Pretty much anything that is made with gluten can be made without it and taste pretty good. I’ve already found a bread and spaghetti that I like.

It’s no fun to have Celiac but I will gladly go on a gluten-free diet if it means an end to this nausea. I’m still getting nauseated sometimes but it can take weeks to feel good again.

I am angry with my former G.I. doctor who tossed me aside after I came out negative for one test she ran. I’m also angry at my (former) therapist who suggested that my nausea was a symptom of my depression.

I feel my story is a lesson that you should never give up and believe in yourself. Don’t accept an “It’s all in your head” diagnosis.

Do you have a story of a journey towards your diagnosis?

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Uncommonly Good!

Although this is a Sponsored Post the opinions here are all my own.

When I was first approached by Uncommon Goods to do a sponsored post for them my answer was a resounding yes! I have known and shopped with them for years and their catalog was the only one I didn’t toss out. Now Uncommon Goods is trying to minimize their impact to the
environment by shifting more business online, limiting how many catalogs they mail, and printing their catalogs on either recycled paper (virtually all of which is from 30% post-consumer waste) or paper sourced from FSC certified forests (which are harvested in a sustainable manner).

I always knew Uncommon Goods was a unique site but I didn’t know they feature products that contain recycled components and do not sell products containing leather, feathers or fur – they’re committed to selling products that do no harm to people or animals.

Now it’s on to their unique goodies!

Uncommon Goods is a site that you literally can do all your holiday shopping on, along with the other special moments of your life. The site has lots of anniversary gifts for women, many $50 and under.25460_1_360px


I love this “You are always loved” spiral necklace, hand-stamped pendant. From an East Indian artist, the silver is upcycled and is a reminder that the woman in your life will always be loved, cherished and appreciate

I also love this up cycled Cotton Sari Robe which is made from rich remnants of reclaimed saris. It features a patchwork of reclaimed saris by a cooperative of artisans in a village outside of Rajasthan, India.


Uncommon Goods also has great gifts for kids and men and your kitchen and some just for fun for special occasions and holiday shopping. I hope you’ll take a look and find something you won’t see anywhere else!







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I’m Out

This blogger is asking for your help. She is not asking for money, she is only asking that you take a look at her book, and if you find it interesting, to please buy it. Her story really got to me. I’m “out” too until my next disability check but luckily I have a boyfriend and even an ex-husband whom I can turn to. Her story shows me that someone always has it worse than I do.

I’m out. Of money, that is. It’s official. I went to the grocery store today to pick up some essentials and I got the dreaded “Insufficient Funds” screen on the debit machine. Though it’s killing me to do so, I’d like to ask a favor.

If you haven’t already, please buy my book. If you have, or if you have a friend who might like it, please direct them to it. Reblog, share on social media, have a parade down the main street of your town or city, whatever it is you normally do to get attention. If I can get to $100 in royalties, Amazon will pay me next month – they hold smaller amounts.

Blog continues here.

Book Cover For Linda G HIll

Book Cover For Linda G HIll

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More Ways to Help The Spoon Lady!

Christine Miserandino, creator of the Spoon Theory, is at the halfway mark towards her Go Fund Me Goal. Years of steroid use for controlling her Lupus have caused most of her teeth to fall out. Her dental and her medical bills are enormous and she still needs more dental surgery.

Christine’s Go Fund Me Goal is $50,000. If you haven’t donated yet, even five dollars would be helpful. And if you really can’t help, please share this post or her Go Fund Me link on social media.

But there are even more ways to help! How many chronically ill bloggers have been touched by Christine? How many of us consider ourselves “Spoonies” or even have “Spoons” in our blog title? You can help get the word out by putting a badge publicizing her fund, like I have done in my blog! You can get the code here.

And finally, the website Conscious Crafties, which sells items made by chronically ill people, has made a special shop for Christine where all the money sold from the items goes directly into Christine’s Go Fund Me account. You can take a look at Christine’s Shop and the Conscious Crafties website here.

Christine’s fundraising goal may seem like a lot of money but I have no doubt that she can achieve it!

As I said, if it’s difficult for you to donate money, I hope you will consider some of these other options!

Thank you.


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The Best Book I’ve Read This Year (So Far)

This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

Prompt 3. October is National Book Month, tell us about the best book you’ve read so far this year.


The best book I’ve read so far this year has got to be a book I recently read. Author Megan Miranda is a Young Adult writer and this is her first novel for adults.

Nicolette has the summer off from her job in Philadelphia to help her senile father sell his house in her small town in North Carolina. Going back home brings back memories of her friend Corinne going missing without a trace. Now, ten years later, another young woman has also gone missing and Nic has to find out if her family has anything to do with the disappearances.

The book is told backwards, from Day 15 to Day 1. It is confusing at first but then you realize how actually ingenious this story is and it makes you want to read the book all over again.

In my opinion, this book is better than Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I’m not sure why it hasn’t hit big yet but I think it is a real gem!

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