Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Tuesday Tidbits


Trying to tiptoe back to this space. Twenty minutes of babysitter time left today, and I’ve about given up on getting caught up with grading, anyway.

Item: I am all over the SCOTUS blog scene today, as you might imagine.

Item: But I am spend a lot more of my mental energy on Baltimore and related topics. Here’s some of what I’m reading:

Ta-Nehisi Coates “Nonviolence As Compliance”

The Baltimore Sun on the pattern of grotesque police violence in Baltimore

Adam Serwer’s rebuttal of the nice story I was taught about the nonviolence of the Civil Rights Movement, as if it succeeded in a vacuum.

The always thoughtful Bread And Roses

This perfect poem from Ross Gay (with whom I taught once, and yeah, he’s that cool).

Item: The panic attack situation is getting a bit dire over here. Thought I was dying of a brand new cinnamon allergy the other day, in the understandably terrifying setting of a local bakery. (NB: I do not have any significant allergies.) Figured out what was actually happening in record time, but still, this sucks. Something in the wiring of my brain has clearly gone all to hell. Have grave reservations about SSRIs. Going to first look for a CBT therapist, even though I feel exhausted at just the thought of looking for a therapist. Other ideas welcome, so long as you are gentle.

Item: invented new, indoor, gross motor activity for the Bean, which I recommend: bought him a three-inch paint roller, a real one. Mixed liquid soap, food coloring, corn starch, and a bit of water, stripped him naked, and put him in the tub with permission to paint the walls.

Item: Jackalope sort of walking, definitely dancing. Janelle Monae’s “Dance Apocalyptic” remains the house favorite. (Her whole oeuvre is popular. Despite his Brooklyn roots, when the Bean refers to “the baby yoga thing,” he means her new single, “Yoga,” probably because I told him the lyrics to the chorus are “babies do yoga.”

Item: they are, in fact, “baby, bend over.”

Final item, gleaned from email with Starrhillgirl, because time is short:
Why does autocorrect think it’ is a word??? And every time I bitch about it, it just reinforces the error. Why is dealing with autocorrect so much like parenting? Is consequence-free complaining so much to ask?

9 thoughts on “Tuesday Tidbits

  1. Whatcha got against SSRIs? Besides the dose dependent side effects and insomnia, which you surely must need more of just now.

    May I suggest a psychiatrist who also does CBT and preferably is experienced with persons experiencing grief and anxiety? One stop shopping! (And remaining parents who have taken a hard right off Sanity Lane, too.). If only HMO websites worked as well as Amazon’s suggestion algorithm.

    At least, unlike Mountain Town, you have more than ONE psychiatrist in independent practice (there is also a CSB but they, for real, mostly see court-ordered clients).

    • Ah, but do we have more than one psychiatrist who takes insurance? Possibly not. This town is weird: therapy is essentially the town sport but no one takes insurance. Wheeeee.

      (SSRI concerns coming your way privately.)

      On Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 2:13 PM, Bionic Mamas wrote:


  2. Ross Gay. Yes! Just heard him read a few weeks ago. What an experience.

    • When I worked with him at a summer program for high schoolers, he read at the faculty introduction session a poem about someone who had, intending to die, shot himself in the head (via mouth) with a crossbow, found himself still alive, and had to decide to go to the hospital with an arrow in his skull. (Obviously he upstaged the rest of us.) I asked if it was fun, being a poet and writing about things he would have been talking about as a 13-year-old. A wicked grin was the reply.

      On Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 2:31 PM, Bionic Mamas wrote:


  3. I say this gently and with personal experience. Panic attacks are horrible, horrible things to endure. Are you opposed to any pysch medications? Because there are a number of useful non-SSRIs that could help in the short and/or medium term.
    I’m sorry you are suffering. Hugs to you. Feel free to PM if you want to discuss more. I know from my meds.

  4. I wish I had advice, and I wish you didn’t need it. After losing the twins I went to acupuncture to help with panic attacks, and while I liked going and it made me feel better overall, I’m not sure it helped against the panicking specifically. If I can find time I’ll try again, because, despite hopes for the contrary, having a living healthy baby hasn’t really made them go away.
    Your tub painting activity sounds awesome – will file it for later!

  5. Everytime you write something, I want to hug you. As strange as that must be for you to hear from a stranger, it’s even weirder for me to feel because I’m not a hugger.

    I can’t take the SSRIs — they make me crazy. I’m think it’s because my problem is not too little serotonin, it’s too little dopamine. I’ve been able to tolerate Effexor for the last few years (it’s an SNRI).

    But then I started having anger attacks. Not panic, but like hulking out over little things or no things or everythings. Very unsettling, and I (a nice girl, I swear) almost got banned from a local WalMart.

    My neurologist PA suggested adding Buspar. In order to look like a compliant patient, I agree to try almost anything for up to a month. Such was the case with Buspar, which I assumed was basically a placebo they could offer while I continued the months-long search for a counselor who takes insurance.

    Within 3 days, it felt like the ground came up under me and my feet could touch. This was shocking, because I hadn’t realized I’d been so unmoored. It really has helped even out my moods WITHOUT FLATTENING THEM. No side effects.

    As others mentioned, there are a number of non-SSRI options that might add a layer of help. (Like hugs, and some sweet tea.)

  6. I recently refused to go to a psychiatrist because of my weariness of having SSRIs pushed on me for depression. It’s part of why I lean towards CBT. But panic attacks sound pretty fucking serious. As does the fact that at least some of the surface sources (overwork, sleep deprivation) are not so fixable.

    So…I am super not WOO WOO NEW AGEY BLAH BLAH, so hear me out. Mindfulness meditation training (which really just boils down to being aware and non-judgmental, no chanting or breathing or wearing weird garments–it’s mostly about redirecting your attention system) has been showing some really promising effects in anxiety and mood disorder treatment. Often the intervention/ training is relatively brief and the effects are fairly long lasting, some studies showing effects comparable to pharmaceuticals. I can send you some evidence, and perhaps even track down something reliable you could put into practice while you look for a therapist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s