In re: Triggers

 I don’t feel like I’m particularly well suited to discuss this topic.  I’m not a doctor or a therapist, and I haven’t done an inordinate amount of research on the topic, but I have to get it out. My soul can’t contain this. 

Very recently, someone that I love very much was kidnapped. By that I mean they were legitimately taken against their will to another location.  One minute they were walking down the street with friends, and the next thye’re in a hotel room with  someone who is trying to have sex with them.  Fortunately they were able to get away, but they’re still highly traumatized, and rightfully so.  What’s worse is that they were ashamed of the actions they took afterward, trying to reassert control over their own body. It’s not unusual for someone who has gone through a trauma like that to look to regain authority over their body through sex. I know it’s not, because I went through the exact same thing.

So it turns out that this isn’t about them, not really.  It’s about how I can’t concentrate, how I keep thinking about what could have happened.  Wondering if they’re ok.  How I have to stop myself from texting them every five minutes to make sure that they’re ok.  I can’t concentrate on my work. I can barely concentrate on writing this blog post.

I think, in part, I can’t get it out of my head because – on some level, possibly multiple deep levels – this was a big trigger for me.  Not only am I contending with the normal worry for my friend, but it reminds me of portions of my own life that I’d rather not re-live. I’m telling myself that I’m safe, they’re safe, everyone is safe.  I’m telling myself it wasn’t me that happened to, and that I have no reason to be reacting this way.  I even tried calling my therapist.

That helped a little.

When I called my therapist, she said what I had already figured out – that this is a trigger for me.  Some of the things my friend said and did reminded me – painfully – of things that I said and did during my marriage and it’s aftermath. The truth of the matter is that I don’t really thing that I deserve to have the same thoughts and feelings as I am having right now.  It’s been many years since these things happened to me – now I have a loving husband and stepsons and who am I to get triggered by something that didn’t even happen to me? 

But healing isn’t linear, is it? 

I don’t really know what that means for me. Maybe it means that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Maybe it means I never dealt with things in a timely manner and this is my comeuppance.

Maybe it just is what it is.

Episode 42 – Mike and Ryan from Pop Psych 101

Hi, thanks for downloading!

I’ve been doing fairly well this week. A couple issues with anxiety, but that’s nothing new. It is the first time it’s happened in a little while, though. I’m not sure what that means – I’ve been taking my medication just as I have been, I don’t think any more stress is in my life over the past couple of weeks. So far, though, it’s at a dealable level.

I DID, however, screw up. I didn’t refill a prescription. I ran out, but thankfully I was able to get a sample from my doctor’s office to get me through. Whoops.

This week I talk about the Cost of Mental Health Care  and 10 Habits of Successful People with Bipolar Disorder.

My interview for the week is with Mike and Ryan from the Pop Psych 101 podcast – you should definitely check them out! We talk about the representation of mental health in the media.

I’d love it if you would contact me!

twitter: thatbword1

facebook: thatbwordpod

Phone: 330-353-9633. – leave me a voicemail!

Episode 41 – Damian K

What? Another episode?

Indeed it is, and this week we’re talking about your gut bacteria, lying about brain cancer, and how clinicians tell the difference between bipolar disorder and BPD.

My guest this week is Damian K of the Mindful Bipolar Podcast (and accompanying blog)!

Thanks again for downloading! Hit me up on twitter @thatbword1!

The Semi-Triumphant Return

Well, that was quite the hiatus, but I’m back now! I talk a little (a very little) about what prompted my hiatus. A big part of it was losing my support dog, Ishka. He was (and still is, really) my whole heart. I miss him something fierce.

In this episode I talk with Jessica of Bipolar Style about her new role on the podcast, medication, and whatever we feel like, really. It’s a fun conversation with a fun person!

Finally, thanks for sticking around. I really, really appreciate it.

Episode 38 – Holly

In this week’s episode:

I talk a little bit about my decision to look for another job.

In news and reviews, I examine an article from the Washington Post about algorithms designed to – without our knowledge – assess our mental health.  Please, let me know what you think about this issue at

My guest this week is Holly.  We discuss a range of topics including the concept of a “favorite person” in the context of BPD.

Thanks, Guys!  See you next week!

Episode 37 – Discussing Dissociation with Kathy

In this week’s episode:

I’m sorry I’ve been away so long! But I promise this episode will be worth the wait.

It turns out that team sports and cycling are the best exercises for your mental health:

Yet another “psychedelics will save the world” article:

Bipolar disorder in older adults:

The Interview this week is with Kathy from Discussing Dissociation (  

She is a DID specialist with tons of insight into the disorder, and our conversation was very enlightening.

Thanks for listening, See you next week (promise)!


Episode 36 – Samantha’s Story

Samantha's Story

In this week’s episode:

It’s an interview – only episode, but what an interview! I talk to Samantha about that often left-out B Word – bisexuality – and eating disorders.

Thanks for downloading!

Down Time

I just spent two hours alternately staring blankly at my computer screen and checking my phone. I walked around the office once, twice, three times.  I asked all of my co-workers if they had anything they needed help with.

I guess you could say I have some down time.

There’s something about trying to look busy when you are not that really hurts my mood.  It’s not just starting at a computer screen blankly, clicking random buttons in an attempt to look busy.  It’s about what my brain is doing while it is not otherwise occupied with work related tasks – and what it does it think, think, think.  Case in point: I’m going to Washington DC soon to record for another podcast (the Grey Council – check it out) during a neo-nazi rally.  Will it be safe?  Do we really have the money to do something like that?  Obviously not, there are so many other things to do to fix up the house, fix my care – oh, my car.  I need a new tire and an oil change stat, but I couldn’t pull it off this week because we had some major plumbing problems that needed fixed immediately. That on top of the car payment which I KNOW I shouldn’t have agreed to such a high payment.  What was I thinking?

On and on, my brain goes. Finances. (going to end up living in a box).  Health (that spot on the back of my hand – is it melanoma?). Responsibilities (there’s so much to do at home and I’m stuck here). It’s on days like this that my mood will inevitably start to flag. It’s only a matter of time before I start thinking of things that I don’t want to be thinking about – the really scary, disturbing things – start to take over. Perhaps that’s what was meant by the “low tolerance for boredom” article I found when I googled bipolar and boredom.

Honestly, I don’t really even know if that’s the fault of my Bipolar Disorder (well, the too-expensive car probably is) or if everyone’s mood is affected by severe boredom.  I figure that almost everyone is.  The difference, as with everything, is a matter of degree.  Could it put me into a tailspin?  The past few days have been very stable, and I hardly want to break that streak.  Then again, I am allowed to have feelings, right?  Not every thougth that passes through my head is a symptomatic thought.

Three hours, now.

I suppose this blog is a way of keeping my thoughts from entering that dreaded spiral.  It forces me into coherent thought.  Well, I’d like to think that it is coherent thought, anyway.

Why is it that boredom can make you turn on a dime?  I think part of it has to be the unrestrained/untamed mind set loose, while the body is assigned to a seat in which it must sit.  If the body, like the mind, was allowed freedom of place and of movement, then a balance could be achieved.  Boredom is, essentially, imbalance. It forces the mind to turn on itself for distraction, and ultimately the mind is going to fall back into those patterns which have already been well entrenched.  Unfortunately for me, those patterns have more to do with trauma than anything else.

I think part of it is also the useless feeling that comes up when I can’t be completing a task or accomplishing something, even if it’s just the hum drum workaday stuff that I do every day.

32 minutes until lunch.  I don’t know if I can take this much longer.  How do I have NOTHING to do?  How is it possible?

Episode 35 – Jason Miller

Hi guys, I’m excited to tell you about That B Word’s first sponsor, My Dialectical Life. Every day, you will recieve a new email focusing on one
aspect of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT. I’ve been recieving these emails and they give you something to practice every day. If you’re interested in DBT it’s definitely worth a look. Go to for more information or to sign up.

In this week’s episode:

Plumbing issues?  Ugh.  But let’s not dwell.

It’s Minority Mental Health month, so I’ve chosen and article written for minorities.  I hope this white girl did ok with it.

My guest this week is former  guest blogger Jason Miller.

I highly suggest reading his blog before listening!

You can find Jason on the interwebs at
or at inspirational and emotional courage on Facebook.

Thank you for listening!

@thatbword1 on twitter

Episode 34 – Aubrey Good

In this week’s episode:

Guess what?  I’m still sick.  Luckily I recorded a great interview with Aubrey before this foul disease laid me low.

We have our first ever sponsor!  Not only that, but it’s topical.  Go to to sign up for a daily email with a dbt skill to practice.  I’ve been getting these emails for a few days and they have some really good insights.  If you check it out, be sure to let me know what you think!

My interview this week is with Aubrey from the International Bipolar Foundation.  I hope you enjoy!

As always, email me at or find me on twitter @thatbword1