ingratitude list (day two)

I’m utterly grouchy, check this out instead.

I take a word, a simple concept and I stare hard at it until I see every molecule, but the molecules vibrate (as molecules must) and I have no fucking idea what shape they ought to be. Gratitude. Gra-ti-fucking-tude. Wtf, tribe, wtf.

noun: gratitude
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
“she expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support”
synonyms: gratefulness, thankfulness, thanks, appreciation, recognition, acknowledgement, hat tip, credit, regard, respect.
Origin: late Middle English: from Old French, or from medieval Latin gratitudo, from Latin gratus ‘pleasing, thankful’.

Out of all that, i think I can cope pretty well with the word recognition in its most basic form – acknowledgement. I acknowledge my good fortune, even when every fibre of me is screaming like uprooted trees.

Well it didn’t take long for me to get thoroughly irate at and about the whole notion of grrratitude lists. Emphasis on grrr. I’m obsessive, I’ve finally learned the art of distraction, of quietening the beast, but now I’m supposed to be fucking mindful. I do mindful in a whole lot of decent ways, I just call it awareness. Frankly, if I’m supposed to be mindful 24/7 my head will explode. This paragraph and everything that caused it, were a complete waste of time.

A beautiful sunrise, happy dogs, an interesting walk, two cups of coffee.

Ingratitude list:
I was up early thanks to menopausal night sweats, friend’s dog leaves in two weeks and my heart is damn sore, my vision blurred a lot on the walk. Nothing wrong with the coffee though. I went into hypo mode after the walk, which was great until it very definitely wasn’t. You know what I’m talking about. Six hours later and the jitters hit hard and then the depression got itself back on track and so the afternoon was sad and the evening sadder. #middleclassproblems


Morgue was spot on when she said that mental illness has its own fucked up logic. There are so many days when even my usual solid gratitude list just makes me feel ungrateful and churlish. And I’m not going to escape the whole mess with logic because I’m fucking well bipolar. My baseline is depression, wtf do I know about any good mood that doesn’t end in disaster? I am suspicious of happy. In fact I don’t trust happy at all, I’m a sick fuck who knows that sadness is a hell of a lot safer. As for anxiety, I feel as though there’s battery acid galloping angrily up and down my aorta. And I’m freaking out at some mountains I’ve made from molehills, that I can’t bring myself to look at clearly, never mind talking or writing about them. The solutions are well within my grasp, but do you think I can marry the two together? Not. A. Fuck.

I blame this whole exercise for facilitating hypomania followed by depression and if I cycle one more fucking time anyfuckingtime soon, I’m going to declare it a mixed episode and then sue the pants off gratitude. The list that stays constant (dog, house, friends, tribe) feels real and I can acknowledge it no matter what. Having to process every genuinely good but transient thing just makes me feel helpless and hopeless, because they mean fuckall to me. Being in the now is fraught with all of the intensity of bad as well as good. Actually I don’t know what the fuck I think about all this yet, I’m trying to write my way towards some clarity.


Did I mention that I overcomplicate things? Well, you’re bipolar, I guess you do too. I fell asleep before I finished this, so I’m posting day 2 on day 3. I’m just glad I have the health and strength to do so. #sarcasmathanks

When I’m in this fucked up hyposadgitated™ space, poetry works well for me. Unfortunately I frequently forget the fact most days. Apologies to the two of you who visit life & death in the intertidal zone too (sorrynotsorry), but I’m posting the same poem on today’s entries, here and there. I have a feeling that most of you will identify with it as strongly as I do. 

From “Me Again” (Pablo Neruda)

The more bored I became
with my unacceptable person,
the more I returned to the theme of my person;
worst of all,
I kept painting myself to myself
in the midst of a happening.
What an idiot (I said to myself
a thousand times over) to perfect all that craft
of description and describe only myself,
as though I had nothing to show but my head,
nothing better to tell than the mistakes of a lifetime
Tell me, good brothers,
I said at the Fisherman’s Union,
do you love yourselves as I do?
The plain truth of it is:
we fishermen stick to our fishing,
while you fish for yourself (said
the fishermen): you fish over and over again
for yourself, then throw yourself back in the sea.

It’s 3am. I feel desolate. How much pain is too much?

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battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

53 thoughts on “ingratitude list (day two)”

  1. I think that much pain should have a quota in which you have filled all the buckets full and should be allotted a certain amount of time to not have said pain-or mixed or hyposaditude (sp) I think we need a tribe-cation from all this shit. No I will NOT do a cruise-because I can’t stand noise and a bunch of fucktard assfucks in my space. I’ve always wanted to go to the Mediterranean. Fancy a go? (Yeah, I’m all over the place and idgaf either. Meh, Fuckall)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am in bad shape today. Fell into deep depression and went deeper until suicide was ringing in my ears. God I hate this life. I was fine for a few months and the pouf, this shit happens. Hope it doesn’t stay, but don’t know, worst it has been for awhile.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am sorry you are suffering Tessa. Life can really suck sometimes. Do you think that all the posts about suicide this past week have been a trigger for you? It was a nice idea to create awareness I guess but I have wondered if anyone would be triggered and depressed by having the suicide reminders all the time.
      I hope you feel better soon.
      Annie <3

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you! I am currently shrinkless for medications as they have to replace the one they had and they are only there once a month with email communication in between. Not sure who is replacing her and how contact will be made once they get someone in. And that person isn’t going to know me. My therapy session is Thursday.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. *grumbles at your shrinks, past and present* hope it’s a good therapy session and not a case of you purely needing a meds tweak. Anyway, you got your tribe here, you’re never entirely alone.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. Shit… So sorry to hear it. Bastarding asshole bipolar. Wouldn’t it be great if the stupid thing had enough shape and substance to get mobbed and battered by us? It’d be good to rip its head off and then puke down its neck. Have you phoned your shrink yet?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Fuck, yeah. It would also be great if people got it and let us just be, once in a while, without having to beg to be left alone under the blankets and brought hot tea and apricot scones for pre-breakfast and take the day off. Yeah, I crave very vivid, specific things.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. You know Annie, I hadn’t thought about that. I skipped as many of the suicide posts as I could, but I was reminded of it and I still remember my first and second try. You might be right.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Sadness seems to be the order of the day. At least you have company.

    I can’t quite pinpoint where I fall these days. Good things make me sad, bad things make me sadder and in between I am simply distracted. Like a hypomania without the fun, energy or positive feelings. It is my own internal signpost. Lack of focus.

    I will finally see a psychologist through the bipolar clinic this week (he better not CBT me). I am, they tell me, such a fascinating case. Doubly queer. Still not stable after last year’s manic explosion. Excitement of a trip to South Africa. Unexpected blood clot, heart attack I should not have survived. New life on rat poison balanced between clotting and bleeding. A rib cage that still aches. Interesting, yes? I can see the psych salivating now.

    Tell me now where does it hurt?

    Hmm… where do I start? Die wond is diep.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You must be incredibly fed up with being fascinating; I should’ve made a documentary about you while you were here. “hello mister ghosts, tell me about yourself” “just hold the questions and watch the doccie, mofo” Tell the bastards that your mind is even more fascinating than your body.

      I was VERY relieved and am just as pleased that you survived.

      Jou wond is fokken diep, maar jou hart is sterk. Which is a very odd and ironic thing to say to you, considering, but you know what I mean. I’m here ne, always.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. *Sir David Attenborough voice from behind a tree* and here…. we can just make out the shadowy, sandpapery form of homo-sapiosexual spiritus maple syrupius, otherwise known as rg…..


  4. I think that maybe therapists should force you to have to do mindfulness and write gratitude lists. They are good things to do but not if you are not in the right state of mind to do them.

    Sometimes it is better to feel the feelings and whatever emotions are coming up and not try to force your focus away from them if you are not ready to.

    Some days maybe we don’t have to be grateful for everything. It has a ring of shame and guilt to it that if we are not grateful then we are “ungrateful” which has always been a triggering word to me.

    There are different ways to approach mindfulness. The “middle way” says not to force anything and not to even force yourself to be happy or grateful if your emotions and your brain do not want to just then, Some therapists are trying to incorporate Buddhist principles into their practice because they have heard that they work but they are not really knowledgeable about Buddhism or the Middle Path (Middle Way) practice,

    I am sure I have mentioned before but i love to listen to the talks by Ajahn Brahm on YouTube. He is the funniest Buddhist monk :) I always feel accepted when I listen to him and never judged. In fact he has one talk about the right to be grumpy if you want to, which is a great talk. I think you can find it by typing in Ajahn Brahm and Be Grumpy on YouTube.

    Much love,
    Annie <3

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exfuckingzackly re the Buddhism. I’m not a Buddhist, but in the process towards not being one, I’ve read a fuckload and if I was going to dip my toes into the mindfulness pool, I’d head for the nearest sangha asap. But Shrink Two is cool and helpful in so many other ways, that despite my bitching and venting here, I’m glad to help her out. Maybe it’ll even help me, in some sideways kind of way.

      Annie. This is a special day. Your entire comment was wise, there was no lunacy whatsoever. And btw I missed you lately.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I miss you too. And there can be wisduum in du luunacy twoooo!
        At least it feels that way when the wisdom is telling me it tis wise :)
        No….I know what you mean…yesss Ii Duuuu
        I love Ajahn Brahm. You can listen to him on youtube.

        I will try to look through them and see if one jumps out at me but if you look through the titles of his talks something might speak to you at the time.

        Sometimes I start one and realize I have already listened to it three times so I just pick another one.

        There are also talks by all kinds of people on Audio Dharma but I love Ajahn Brahm the best. He always makes me laugh.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh the reason you have missed me is that I was in the hospital with a kidney infection. I was sent home with antibiotocs but still not strong so I have been slow to be able to write a lot.

        I was so sick at one point that I started thinking that I have left no money for my kids if I die. I have to be able to fix that. I hate for them to be at the mercy of their grandparents….although I guess they would be anyway……damn….I guess I better find a way to stick aroundva few more years but the drs are gonna have to keep me from keeping to end up in that hospital…..I swear I always get traumatized by some heartless person in there….even if many of the nuses were very nice to me.

        I end up feeling suicidal at some point in there. So I really need to stay out of there.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh noooooo, I’m really sorry to hear that. Good idea to stick around, or you’ll leave your kids with big therapy bills. And more importantly, I will miss you. All in all, as Wham said, choose life. On a serious note, I’m so sorry about your health and the trauma too :( Hope you feel better soon.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you. I was actually trying to remember that I matter to you and people here.
            But I felt so disconnected and far away…and the percocet was disorienting me plus they kept giving me all of these other meds that were too many…I tried to tell them but they would not listen. Finally I refused them and made her throw them out even though she fussed about having already opened them.
            Since I had already told them I did not want tizanidine in the morning they should not have opened it anyway and just assumed I would keep taking it after I had told them that was too many a day.

            I only take tizanidine at night. And I take neurontine as needed. These are for back pain

            With the percocet I did not need my regular pain meds which I told the nurses. I told them the dr put them on there as needed because they are my regular meds but they are pain they should not be forced on me.

            And my usual amount of tizanidine is one at bed time. They were giving me four a day….quadrupling my usual dosage per day…..on top of the percocet.

            So it is likely that was adding to the suicidal thoughts. So finally I just refused it rather than trying to explain again that the dr probably wrote 4 by mistake and that it was all overkill on top of the percocet.


  5. I checked on the Ajann Brahm talk . It is called “Don’t Worry Be Grumpy” I think it would be funny for you to tell your therapist that the Buddhist Monk Ajahn Brahm told you that you can be grumpy if you want to and you can prove it LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ack lol nononononoooooo I can’t post it, because believe it or not I’m a totally repressed English prude about people looking into the toilet and….. Noooooo :D


  6. Hyposadgitated for the win! “It’s 3am. I feel desolate.” To borrow a phrase from your compatriot Martin Amis, 3am is when the sob probe really burrows deep, the fucker. My only solution has been sleeping pills, which still blessedly work. Love ya much Blah. And btw I always found the whole gratitude list thing stressful and would just end up despising myself for my orneriness and massive, bitter ingratitude. Personally I’d rather just feel spontaneously grateful now and then, and wave goodbye as the warm inner gooey passes. But that’s just cantankerous me, the precocious old crank.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Whoever fucking writes another article praising bipolar as some awesome thing will be slapped with a barbed wire dildo, repeatedly. I hate this damn thing to infinity and beyond.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Oh, piss on that fucking list! If you’ve really gotta do it, do another on the side for your own peace of mind: an ungrateful list. Go on; make them both, side by side. There’s nothing worse than struggling to be grateful when you’re not there. You can list items up to the fucking moon and just feel all the worse for it. So get it out! Be petty and whiny and all the shit you don’t want to be. I think that crap has to be leeched out. You can’t cover up a pile of shit with a piece of lace and then proclaim it to be pretty and ‘nice’. You’ve just got to clean that shit up.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I would normally say be grateful to yourself for your sense of humour, but I can see this exercise is grinding it down. What was the purpose of this experiment, did she tell you?

    I have a theory about gratitude, and that is that the word is way overused and misunderstood.

    I am grateful for nothing that is not an active action by someone else for MY benefit (or my children’s, or my friends’, or someone I care about). That is usually quite rare. I have many opportunities to be grateful, but every day? Not so sure.
    So, having you compile a list every day, I wonder, is she trying to wind you up, make you rage?
    It makes me rage a little on your behalf, I hope you don’t mind:

    The way I see your list:

    A beautiful sunrise: nobody GAVE that to you, in fact you gave that to yourself by being up to see it. That should really go on a “pat myself on the back” list.

    Happy dogs:
    Of course the dog is happy, out for walks with you. He/she is not happy for your sake, he just is, because he loves you and loves walking with you. You could say you’re grateful that your friend chose you to look after her dog, perhaps. On the other hand you are doing her a favour too. Also, she is taking the dog back and you will be missing him/her (sorry, I forget). That might be causing a lot of sneaky pain in there. So perhaps the dog is a source of sneaky pain in the making rather than a cause for joy. In which case you can’t be grateful about that. You ought to be cautious and perhaps start preparing/make arrangements/get a dog all for yourself? (will you, by the way?)

    An interesting walk:
    Nobody gave you that. You gave yourself that. Pat on the back list for this one too.

    Two cups of coffee.
    You could be grateful at the coffee company for making good coffee. Depending on the brand they are making tons of money at other people’s expense at which case you really don’t need to be grateful for it, and they didn’t make it for you anyway. YOU made the coffee for yourself. Another for the “pat on the back list.”

    So, it seems to me unless something else has happened that you have not mentioned, there is nothing to put on that gratitude list for that day. And it’s ok! It is quite normal that there are only a few opportunities in life when one is appropriately grateful to someone! If you’re isolated, of course, there will be less opportunities to be grateful to someone else. But plenty, infinite for patting yourself on the back.

    I will give you a gift, because I want to shout at the end of this: “Words are important!!!”, but I couldn’t because it’s a clip from a movie by an Italian director, so I will see if I find the translation otherwise I’ll translate it myself. Then you can be grateful to ME, for going through the trouble (no trouble at all, by the way) of sharing this clip with you. And you can be grateful for the kind words your fellow bloggers have said to you (which I know you already are). I hope it cracks you up like it cracks half the Italian population up (the other half is made up by the sort of people he is raging about). I’m sorry if you hate it.

    Some context: this clip is from a 1989 film by Nanni Moretti, an Italian director.
    The film is called Palombella Rossa and I have yet to see the whole thing, but it is a great source of amusement and great clips (the film is made up of different short scenes, various characters played by Nanni Moretti himself). In this one he was being interviewed in a swimming pool, and he was talking about some stuff he did in Peru which was also very funny and a great play on words. Moretti is very concerned by words in general, not just words borrowed from English language but also words being raped and abused in everyday Italian politics and newspapers.

    The clip:

    The translation:

    Reporter: I’d like to know something about ‘today’, because you have been telling me about that period, which in the end was the period of feminism and stuff like that”
    Michele: “‘Stuff like that?’ ‘Stuff like that’. No, feminism arrived later because back then young women used to say that girls in Italy were not as oppressed as they were in America…”
    Reporter giggles
    Michele:”… so that in Italy it wasn’t…”
    Reporter: “That is such a good joke”
    Michele: “It’s not a joke. It wasn’t a joke.”
    Reporter: “Well, no, I don’t know. I don’t know but for sure, you have a broken marriage behind you.”
    Michele: “No… what are you saying?”
    Reporter: “Perhaps… did I touch on a subject that you don’t…”
    Michele: “No, no, it’s the expression, it’s not the subject… it’s not the subject… it’s not the subject…”
    Reporter: “Do you prefer?… would you prefer…?”
    Michele: “It’s the expression: ‘Broken marriage’. What way is that to talk!”
    Reporter: “Do you prefer ‘Relationship in crisis’? But it’s so ‘kitsch’…
    Michele: ‘Kitsch’! Where do you get these expressions, where do you get these expressions…??!??!(feeling his heart).
    Reporter: I am not a novice….
    Michele: A ‘novice’… what way is that to talk?!
    Reporter: …even though my environment is very ‘cheap’…
    Michele: Your environment is very…?
    Reporter: It’s very ‘cheap’. [audible slap]
    Michele: What way is that to talk?!
    Reporter: Listen, you’re out of your mind! [audible slap]
    Michele: Again. What way is that to talk!! What way is that to talk!!!! Words are important!!!!! What way is that to taaaaaaaaaalk!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The aim is to get me thinking in a more mindful way, so that I can begin to define the thoughts around my whole “I don’t want to be alive” thing. THANK you for your rage and your perspectives. I fucking love the way you analysed and deconstructed the fuck out of my list. You should be a mindlessness therapist, I’d definitely sign up. I was ready to airpunch and then invade a small country while reading your comment. You should write battle speeches (I’m thinking of Thèoden’s now). The translation did indeed crack me up, and then I watched the clip purely for the audible slap. If I were in Derbyshire now duck, I’d stand thee an oatcake or two. With jam!! I am grateful for your comment, I truly am. Unless I win the lottery, it’ll probably be the entire gratitude list for the day. I really would be grateful for a lottery win, because beyond the obvious reasons, I haven’t actually bought a ticket. You made me grin, I can’t thank you enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I just wanna run away & hope I don’t follow myself, I just can’t get rid of me. Like a pesky little sister that has to follow me around. I often hate her,,, leave me ALONE! JUST GO AWAY!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right about one drop being too much, but I meant it more in a last straw sort of way. And I’m so glad someone mentioned Neruda, I love that poem (and the rest of them) with all my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah, never experiencing full joy of feeling well because you think it’s so unnatural that it has to be a byproduct of something. Been there. But I think I’ve been letting go of that mechanism lately. Dunno, maybe it’s the workouts. But I do feel much more… ugghh, hate that overused phrase…. in the moment >.<

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good though, my beach walks do it, but don’t always have enough of a lasting effect. Then again, bipolar really is a peculiar thing and obeys no rules at all.


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