Happy Freaky Friday everyone!
Did you watch Black Box last night? I recorded it and plan to watch it over the weekend. Stay tuned for my humble opinion. Today I planned to be the day that I don’t write a meandering, 1200+ word blog post. I thought I’d l write 100-200 words and let my readers’ eyeballs and cerebellums relax a bit! Unfortunately I didn’t meet that goal just yet. Please bear with me.
Yesterday, when I started writing this, I was under the weather – at least not mentally, but physically. I woke up at 3:00 a.m. due to my six-year-old daughter screaming at the top of her lungs from a nightmare. Poor thing – she crawled into bed with us, shaking like a leaf. I couldn’t get back to sleep afterwards, which is always frightening and frustrating since if when I experience sleep deprivation that can trigger bipolar mania.
When I crawled out of bed at 6:00 a.m., I suspected I had a urinary tract infection. I won’t go into detail. If you’ve experienced the pain of a U.T.I. you will know exactly how I felt. My husband left for work at a job site two hours away. I worried that I’d have to bow out of my obligations for the day and make my girls miss yet more school. This was one of those times I wish I had a family member living close by who could rescue me.
Then, a miracle happened. My pain and fear completely lifted and I was able to function once more. I got the girls ready for school, I drove them in bumper-to-bumper traffic to their classes, and then I headed for the closest CVS to buy a U.T.I. pain medication and some cranberry juice.
I’ve rhapsodized throughout this blog about how much I love my M.A.O.I. bipolar medication Parnate (tranylcypromine), which lifted my severe depression last fall. As wonderful as this medication is, Parnate does have its drawbacks such as food and alcohol restrictions and some medication contraindications.
Before I purchased the U.T.I. pain reliever AZO, I had to make absolutely sure that it would be okay to combine it with Parnate. Again, angels were smiling down upon me because the pharmacist told me it would be fine to take AZO. I also bought a U.T.I. home testing kit, which was very convenient as it will indicate if I do indeed have the infection. (I didn’t even know these test kits were now available – it’s cool to see new items like this on the market.)
I didn’t plan on writing about my U.T.I. because I know it doesn’t make for exciting reading. But in contrast to that snoozy topic I discovered something I want to share with you that is exciting and I hope you’ll agree.
It’s a website called http://www.7cupsoftea.com/
Here’s the nutshell description:
7 Cups of Tea is an on-demand emotional health and well-being service. Our bridging technology anonymously & securely connects real people to real listeners in one-on-one chat sessions or phone calls.
Anyone who wants to talk about whatever is on their mind can quickly reach out to a trained, compassionate listener through our network. We have hundreds of listeners who come from all walks of life and have diverse experiences.
People connect with listeners on 7 Cups of Tea for all kinds of reasons, from big existential thoughts to small, day-to-day things that we all experience. Unlike talking to family or friends, a 7 Cups of Tea listener doesn’t judge or try to solve problems and say what to do. Our listeners just listen. They understand. They give you the space you need to help you clear your head.
The 7 Cups of Tea website has much more relevant, fascinating information and I strongly encourage you to visit it and read the FAQ page. I had no idea this free internet service existed until last night. I was on Twitter participating in a “BraveChat” evening chat group. BraveChat is connected with the “This Is My Brave” project. One of the other participants, “Manic Medic” (an EMT and mental health blogger) mentioned 7 Cups of Tea as a helpful resource.
The categories that the listeners specialize in include anxiety, depression, bullying, eating disorders, managing emotions, panic attacks, surviving breakups, traumatic experiences and workplace stress. The listeners are available to talk to teens or adults. I emailed the founder of 7 Cups, Glen Moriarty, to see if any of the listeners have a background in bipolar, because when I did a general search on his site, nothing came up. He replied to me that their search function is really slow and it’s not working the way it should; they do have some listeners with a background in bipolar, but he’d have to get back to me with the specifics, which I’ll share here in a later post.
I love love love my therapist, but she doesn’t have severe anxiety like I do. (Thank God!) It might be helpful to talk to a “trained listener” who can discuss the anxiety from a different perspective. In any case, I think this is a wonderful-sounding resource, and I love simply knowing it exists. If you decide to try it out, please let me know what your experience is like. And on that note, I wish you all a wonderful weekend!!!
The founder of 7 Cups of Tea “Glen” explains where the site name comes from:
“7 Cups of Tea is actually the name of a famous Chinese poem. The suggestion is that each cup provides a different level of healing. It’s important that our community feels that 7 Cups of Tea is a place where you can sit down and have several cups of tea with a friend. It isn’t just a one-time meeting. You can touch base as much as you like.”
7 Cups of Tea, by Lu Tong (795 – 835 CE)
The first cup kisses away my thirst,
and my loneliness is quelled by the second.
The third gives insight worthy of ancient scrolls,
and the fourth exiles my troubles.
My body becomes lighter with the fifth,
and the sixth sends word from immortals.
But the seventh—oh the seventh cup—
if I drink you, a wind will hurry my wings
toward the sacred island.
Translated by Christopher Nelson