Why I’m (Sort of) Thankful for Bipolar Disorder

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This morning I came across a post on bphope.com titled “I Am Thankful for Bipolar” (You can read it HERE). My thought before reading the article was, “Uhhhh…no. You, my blogger friend on bp hope, are clearly even more nuts than me.” But as I started reading, I realized that maybe there are pieces to be thankful for. And, on this national day of thanks, I thought maybe I’d try it. Can I really be thankful for what seems like the worst thing that’s ever happened to me? Well….maybe yes. I’m going to give it a shot, anyway. And it’s like coping with bipolar itself – you don’t go from “my life is over” to “total acceptance” in one day. I haven’t even gotten there in two years. But maybe I can baby step my way to this thankfulness thing. So, here we go:


1. I learned what true love is. My husband has always been a great man, but now I am truly humbled and blown away by how much he has been there for me. The lesson I’ve learned is this: true love isn’t roses and diamonds. True love is when I was hiding in my closet because I was scared during a panic attack, and he found me, wedged himself into my tiny closet even though he totally doesn’t fit, and said, “I’ll just hang out here because it’s hard to be scared alone.” Umm…HEART-EYED EMOJI. That’s what love looks like, my friends.

2. I learned who my real friends are. Turns out I had a lot of fake friends, and I didn’t even know it. You would be shocked at how many people drop off the map as soon as they learn you’re bipolar (no, you probably wouldn’t be shocked. Most of the people reading this are my mentally ill friends, so YOU KNOW). But I’ve had friends who have been there for me in huge ways. It’s like I threw all my friends into a colander and saw who came out on the other side still with me. Now I know who to count on when things get rough.

3. It humbled me. Looking at the first two items on my list, you can see that I’ve needed a lot of help and support. Everyone does. I used to live under this delusion that I was fine by myself. Literally my first sentence as a toddler was, “I can do it” because I was mad that someone was trying to help me into my high chair. Well, newsflash, baby me: you need help. We all need help. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we’ll stop running ourselves into the ground trying to do the impossible.

4. It taught me about hope. If you’ve ever felt depression, you know the crushing darkness of the word “hopeless.” But that also means that hope, when you find it, is the most glorious treasure imaginable. It’s like people not appreciating the sun unless they’ve seen the rain. Friends, I HAVE SEEN THE RAIN. But then I have also seen the sun peek out from behind the clouds, and I’m able to see that with a joy that people who have always been stable would never be able to experience.

5. It helps me see life as a second chance. A suicide attempt is never good. Ever. But the fact that I tried to take my life two years ago means that every day I live now is part of a second chance. I really see it that way – I am thankful for every good experience because I occasionally realize, “I almost missed this.” Also, I see life as fragile, and I am determined to make the most of the second chance I have. I don’t waste experiences like I may have if I took it for granted that I’d live to be old.

6. It changed my view on mental illness. When I was on SSRIs for depression and they never worked, I started thinking that maybe most mental illnesses were just people not handling life well and looking for a scapegoat. HA. I was wrong. I don’t need to explain this to you, but mental illness is very real. You know that, now I know that, and some of my family members and friends know that now too. I’ve raised awareness for these issues with my life. Maybe people know a little more now, and it can make other people with mental illness experience 1% less stigma than they would have otherwise. That’s a definite win.

7. It gave me a book to write. I’ve always loved writing, but since being diagnosed, I’ve written my best book yet. It’s about a high school girl with bp. I just finished revising it about a month ago, and I’ve had eight agents request the full manuscript. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it sells – I could be raising awareness on a larger scale if this book were to be published.

8. It gave me YOU! You blog people are some of the finest people I’ve known. You’re supportive, you’re not judgy, you’ll laugh with me, you’ll cry with me, and I can feel infinitely less alone in this struggle. Thanks for being there. I’m thankful for literally each person reading this post. For many of you, I read your stuff too, and I love it. Thank you for writing. If not for my bp, I never would have met you.

9. It made me who I am. In a book I once read, a girl with Asperger’s said that her disorder saved her from “the banality of normalcy.” I like that quote. Even though sometimes I wish for “normal” more than I want anything else, I do have to admit that normal can be boring. Whatever this illness is, it is NOT boring. I’m wild, I’m goofy, I’m a creative writer…who knows how much of that is tied to the way my brain works? I wouldn’t want to lose any of those things, so if any of them are connected to my freaky brain chemistry, then I’m thankful for that.

There you have it. The reasons why I’m sort-of thankful for bipolar disorder. Here’s your challenge for the day: take that thing that’s making your life difficult (you know – that one thing – we all have them), and find a way to be thankful. If you can’t be thankful, find a way to be sort-of thankful. Today of all days is a good day to give it a try. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

thankful brain

Now my kitchen smells like smoke, which means I probably forgot about something cooking – eeeep!

Worth it. 🙂

I Didn’t Technically Lie to the Pastor’s Wife

Here’s the thing: I might be a little depressed. A little.


I hate admitting I’m depressed, because then everyone freaks out and goes on high alert and treats me like some infant invalid. But I think I might be a little depressed. I finally admitted it to myself a few days ago when my husband suggested we rake leaves together. He definitely didn’t need the help raking leaves…he just knew he wasn’t going to get me to go for a walk, and he said some fresh air would be good for me.

Then I said, “Ugh. I don’t want to rake leaves. There are so many STEPS to raking leaves!”

“Steps?” He gave a confused glance to my FitBit.

I sighed. “Not those kind of steps. Think about it. In order to rake leaves, I would have to…step 1: get out of bed. Step 2: walk over to my closet and pick a sweater, because it’s cold. Step 3: Find some gloves. Who on earth knows where I might find gloves? Step 4: Walk downstairs. Step 5: Put on shoes. Step 6: Go outside and actually do raking of said leaves. There are so many steps.”

He smiled a strained smile and said, “Okay, yes, that’s a lot of steps. But I’ll be there with you for all of them! So….step one. How about you get out of bed?”

So I did. And I did all of the steps. And we raked leaves. But it shouldn’t have felt as monumental as our (ginormous) pile of leaves to be able to do those things.

I was supposed to lead a Bible study on Saturday, but I texted the pastor’s wife and asked if she could cover me because I “haven’t been feeling well.” WHICH WAS TOTALLY TRUE. Except I wasn’t puking or anything, so I felt really shady about bailing. I told my husband as much, and he said, “Aren’t we always saying that people need to regard mental illnesses as real illnesses? Then you need to regard it as a real illness too. If you’re not feeling well mentally, you’re not feeling well. It wasn’t lying.”

So I think it wasn’t lying.


But then I realized maybe I haven’t been doing so well, because one of the ladies in the church group was a little concerned about me. I didn’t show up to church last week, or our committee meeting on Tuesday, and then I bailed on the Bible study. She asked if I was okay.

Sure. Of course. I’m fine. Even though I missed all of those because I was in bed…

As I said, I think I might be a little depressed.

My focus is super off… I’m still showing up to work, but I’m making DUMB mistakes like forgetting about quizzes or completely blanking on things I should know. The other day I was reading answers to something and I read the answers to numbers 16…17…18… and then started back at 13. My students were all confused and asked why I just skipped back five problems. Oh, did I? I had no idea.


So…..what do I do now? Wait for this to be over? It’s been about two weeks. It’s a lot of crying and sleeping. If I call my doctor she’ll make me take more or different meds. I HATE MEDS. And this will probably go away soon. As a matter of fact, I feel better today. Maybe I won’t take a nap when I get home.


People who have been here before – holla at me. What do I do?

cat help

I’m in the Wrong Coffee Shop

I’m working on a craaaaaazy stressful revision project right now (Pitch Wars, for those of you familiar with the publishing Twittersphere). I always work at a coffee shop near my house – we’ll call it Fifth Shore. I love the coffee shop. It’s a hipster, let’s-compare-our-tattoos, the barista has purple hair and goes by the name “Mojo” kind of coffee shop. I’m pretty sure I could get a whole stack of Coexist stickers simply by raiding people’s backpacks. Also maybe drugs. Whichever.

Not that I want drugs. Also I have no tattoos (YET). Don’t ask me why I love the place so much. I think it’s a combination of the fact that I never run into anyone I know there, and seriously the people are so cool. I love talking to them. They’re totally different than me, and they’re mostly awesomer. I know awesomer isn’t a word, but I bet I could use it at Fifth Shore because anything goes.

The problem is that people are starting to discover Fifth Shore. It’s a little hole in the wall place, but now it’s getting popular. When I went in today, I literally couldn’t find a place to sit. I wanted to yell, “Excuse me, I was here before this was cool. All you bandwagon fans can leave now. No, not you, Man Bun. You can stay. You fit in. And you, with the leopard tail coming off the back of  your pants, you can stay too. But the rest of you – out!”

(Side note: there was really a guy with a leopard tail coming off the back of his pants. See why this place is so awesomer than other places??)

So now I’m across town at a different coffee shop. I almost went to – gasp – Starbucks, but I just couldn’t. It would have been the opposite vibe from my beloved Fifth Shore. I don’t want to listen to well-dressed baristas loudly mispronounce names to let the local richie riches know that their tall-double-lattee-no-whip-extra-pretentious is ready. No one there would have a leopard tail. How could I possibly get writing done in a place that reeks of financially and culturally successful humans?

(This is the part where my husband would say, “Hazel. You’ve got issues.”)

So now I’m at this new place, we’ll call it Coffee Avenue, and it’s okay. It’s a lot of hippie Millenials on their MacBookPros. The place markets itself as being all local, fresh, and organic. I have nothing against organic food, but this seems like overkill. The Wifi password is “Freshcrops.” Not joking. Someone just called from the counter, “Who ordered the tofu burrito?”

Tofu. Burrito.

They also charge a dollar more for tea, but I guess that’s because it’s so very local and fresh and organic. Unfortunately, they don’t have my right flavor (Mango Ceylon), so that threw me off too. I had to try a whole new tea. I got peach – what is this madness?

If you can’t tell, I get a little crazy about my routines. Now my groove is all off. I’m probably going to write junk. Don’t hit up my comments section with, “How dare you impune the hallowed name of Starbucks!?” or “Tofu burritos are the best thing ever!” I get it, okay? Everyone has their thing. There’s a coffee shop for all of us. If this post is offensive or otherwise crappy, it’s because MY COFFEE SHOP IS FULL AND HOW ON EARTH AM I SUPPOSED TO WRITE WITHOUT IT?!?!?!

I should forget the whole thing and go buy a leopard tail.



There’s a Surprise Piano in My Living Room

No joke.

That’s not some click-bait title where I want you to THINK there’s an unexpected piano in my living room, but then you click the link and realize I really meant this as a deeper metaphor for life or something. Oh no, my friends. Nay. There is a literal, honest-to-goodness, full-sized piano in my living room, and I had no idea it was going to be here.

This is one of those moments where I stand back and think, “Damn my life is weird sometimes.”

Here’s how this went down:

I mentioned to my husband a few months ago that I’d like to start taking piano lessons. Why did I say that? I don’t know! It’s just something I said! I haven’t taken piano lessons since I was nine years old, but I have a bunch of students who can totally jam on my classroom piano. I don’t know…it sounded fun, okay?

So two nights ago, I got home from my relaxing bike ride, and guess what was in my driveway? JUST GUESS.

If you guessed a piano, you’re half right. The other half is that my parents-in-law, brother-in-law, and his awful girlfriend were also in my driveway. And my mother-in-law was taking video of me because isn’t it the best surprise ever that I am now the proud owner of a piano?

I just about died. Or killed my husband. I couldn’t pick which. Instead, I smiled for the camera and tried to act excited about the piano in my driveway.

Here’s the thing: he was honestly trying to be nice. Early in the summer, we had talked about me using my classroom piano to practice if I took piano lessons (which was HIGHLY theoretical, let me remind you). But apparently he decided, “You know what’s more fun than practicing in your classroom? Practicing in your living room.” So he went out and GOT ME A PIANO.

Which is sweet and romantic in one sense, but a total disaster in another.

See, the thing is, we have no room in our house for a piano. Our place is tiny. My in-laws hauled the monstrosity into our house, and literally the only place it can go is in the living room. Our dining room only has enough room for the table, the kitchen is where I cook, and the living room is the only other room on our ground floor. We’re not one of those fancy-schmancy families that has a living room, a family room, a den, and a playroom. Oh no – this is it. One room.

Within that one room, the piano had to be on the only interior wall. It can’t go on an exterior wall because it will spontaneously combust or something. I don’t know. The whole family was like, “IT HAS TO BE ON AN INTERIOR WALL!” At this point I was mostly in a daze, so I think I said something really intelligent like, “Ummmmmm…okay.”

So they rearranged the furniture for me in the living room, and now the furniture is all higgeldy-piggeldy in random places in the middle of the room. Don’t forget that I already have the ugly chair from this post, and our couches are green, and the decor is black and gold…it honestly looks like a broke and blind college student decorated the place. We’re the “before” picture on one of those home makeover shows.

After his family finally left, I said I had to go work on my novel. Then I went to my local coffee shop, sat at the cafe bar, and made new friends by saying, “You GUYS. My husband just brought home a PIANO. What am I going to do?! He’s the best guy ever, and he was trying to be so nice, but I don’t want a piano!”

I tried to use that night to calm down, but in the morning my living room still looked ridiculous. Then my husband and I got in a fight, which is rare for us. But come on… A PIANO?! First the ugly chair, and now this? And he had his whole family over while the house was a total mess, which I’ve told him a million times makes me feel like scum. His brother already thinks I’m the worst wife ever because I’m so bad at “keeping house.” And his parents…

Okay, you know what? Enough about my in-laws. You get the point. I was embarrassed they were here when the house was a mess, I was embarrassed that I had to pretend to like the piano, and – if you’ve been following along closely – I DON’T WANT A PIANO IN MY LIVING ROOM.

The fight ended with Andy agreeing to get the piano out of the house. His parents agreed to take it (on an INTERIOR WALL I’m sure). I was still mad, but also I felt ridiculously guilty for not liking his surprise. I know he was coming at this from the purest motives, but the whole thing was so upsetting at a time when, for unrelated reasons, I am already so freaking stressed it’s ridiculous.

Sunday night at church I stole a hymnal (yes, I realize the irony in that). I’m going to give it back eventually. Calm down. Anyway, I figured that as long as I had this beautiful, flawless piano in my house, I might as well plunk around with it and see if I remember anything about how to play.

That was a mistake.

Here’s the problem: I really liked playing it. The wood is so gorgeous, the keys are shiny, and playing old hymns was so calming and fun. Andy sat next to me in the ugly chair and worked on things while I played, and he would request songs for me to try next. I remembered more about playing than I thought I would.

This morning I said, “Hey, before your parents take the piano…can I have another day or two to play on it?” He (understandably) looked at me like I was completely insane. That’s not an inaccurate assessment, really. Sure, I had just spent all of Sunday talking about how the piano needs to be out of this house immediately, and he called his parents and said that he needed to get it out ASAP. His literal word was “urgent.” He told his parents that it was “urgent” to get it out of here.

But today I went to school and printed out some sheet music…and I may or may not have contacted the lady who will hopefully be giving me piano lessons…and oh my gosh WHAT IF I KEEP THE PIANO?

I came home and played on it some more, and I enjoyed it more than I’d care to admit. I told my husband, “I really wish I could keep it…but our living room is in such an embarrassing state that I feel like I have to choose between the piano and ever having company over ever again.”

I mean, I can’t keep this piano. I CANNOT. My living room is a complete mess, and there is literally no other way to cram the furniture into this tiny room. Believe me, I’ve tried.

But the piano is so pretty.

I can’t keep the piano when I threw a veritable tantrum about how it needed to be gone and how I was so mad at him for buying and transporting a piano without talking to me first. Is it possible to humble myself and say, “I was being crazy. The piano is beautiful, and now I want it?” Would he even accept that? At this point, I don’t deserve the piano.

Which I’m not even sure I want.

BLOG PEOPLE: What do I do?! Do I keep the piano and let my living room look like a garage sale exploded? Or do I ditch the piano and have a quasi-normal living room but no fun or relaxation of playing my favorite hymns?



Why I Would Make a Bad Scientist

Based on my current life circumstances, I have concluded that I would be a bad scientist. This would be me:

Real scientist: Hmmm…I believe the gas bubbles in this beaker are because I just mixed baking soda with vinegar.

Hazel: Are you sure?

RS: Excuse me?

H: I’m just saying…it could be that, but it could be any number of things. I think I saw some dust falling from the ceiling when you put that baking soda in. Maybe it was asbestos. Does asbestos cause a reaction with vinegar?

RS: I don’t think so…

H: Ah HA! You don’t think so. So there’s a chance.

RS: No, I’m pretty sure it was because I put baking soda in with the vinegar.

H: Do you know if that beaker was clean? Maybe there was residue in there from the last guy. Was Frank working in the lab earlier? Everyone knows Frank is a slob. He probably left something in there, and it had a delayed reaction with the vinegar. Aw, Frank. At it again. Someone’s really got to talk to him.

RS: I cleaned this beaker myself.

H: Have you been hanging out with Frank? Maybe his slobby ways have rubbed off on you. You have to be careful who you hang out with – you are who your friends are, you know. And here you are, saying that the bubbles are from adding baking soda to vinegar, when really the facts that you’ve been hanging out with Frank and that this building might have asbestos could be causing the whole thing. Then you’re going to have faulty results. Such a shame.

RS: But it’s been proven-

H: *shakes head* Such a shame…

Today I’m having one of those days – an “I probably don’t have bipolar” day. I’m stable right now, you see, and probably all of my past symptoms could be explained by other things. The decisions I made while manic were because really I’m just very stupid sometimes. I could function with no sleep for days on end because, well, who doesn’t do that once in a while? Talk to college students in finals week.

Sometimes I get depressed because, umm…because life sucks sometimes.  I just handle it a little worse than other people. That doesn’t make me bipolar, it makes me…I don’t know. Something else. Bad at handling life.

As for the delusional panic attacks…uhhhh…I’m simply very creative. I think impossible things are happening because my creative mind is not constrained by the dimensions of reality. See? Now, that doesn’t sound so bad. I’m not bipolar, I’m very creative.

Or maybe it’s really the baking soda in vinegar that caused those bubbles.

No matter how much evidence I see pointing to the fact that I prooooobably have bipolar, I still have days where I think maybe I don’t. My husband, in the kindest way possible, will say, “Hazel. I’m 100% sure you have bipolar. You need to come to terms with that.”

And then I’m inevitably all, “Well, that’s awful certain. 100% seems a bit presumptuous. I don’t think we can ever be 100% certain of anything. Are you even 100% sure we exist? Maybe we’re holograms projected by an alien race to test certain sociological and cultural patterns.”

Then he’ll raise his eyebrows and say, “Uh…now I’m 101% certain.”

Haha…that part didn’t actually happen. He does say he’s 100% certain, though. I’ll accuse him of having no evidence, and he’ll give me the following:

  1. I’ve been diagnosed with it by a psychiatrist who’s been practicing for thirty years.
  2. I have experienced every symptom of it.
  3. The medications to target the symptoms have effectively eliminated the majority of the symptoms.
  4. He (my husband) has a doctorate and has taken multiple classes in neuroscience and abnormal psych. My diagnosis matches what he’s learned in school.

To which I inevitably come back with, “Okay yes but what if…” and then come up with some alternate reasoning about as logical as Frank and asbestos.

Does anyone else do this? I think I so badly want to be rid of this disease (what a gross word) that the only choice is to not have it in the first place. If I have it, it’s a lifelong battle. I can’t be “cured.” My only choice is to live with it – forever – or find another explanation for my eight years of symptoms.

Isn’t Occam’s razor the one that says, “The simplest explanation is probably the correct one”? Occam’s probably right, since he’s all philosopher-y and whatever.




Oh boy. Help me out, blog friends. How do you get over days like this?

Quick Question…

To my bipolar amigos: does anyone have tips for going through time zones? I’m going to be zipping through quite a few myself in a couple days, and last time I ended up in a manic episode that…wasn’t so great. I mean, it was great, obviously, but then it gets all “wreck your life”ish (as those things tend to do). Trying to avoid it this time.

I tried to spend the last week getting on the time schedule of my destination’s time zone, but…well… #fail.

Any advice?

The Roadkill and Gender Differences

My husband and I were driving down the road, and there was a roadkill opossum off to the side. This conversation happened:

Me: Wow, a dead opossum. It really makes you think, doesn’t it?

Andy: Yes, definitely.

Me: It’s like, one day you’re just walking along, going about your business, and then suddenly – SPLAT! – it’s all over. It shows how fragile life really is, you know? We need to live each day to the fullest, make the most of every moment, because you never know when it could all be over. This really puts things into perspective. We need to stress less and live better. Have fun. Enjoy the day while we still have time left on earth.

Andy: *looks at me like I’m an alien*

Me: Uh…was that not what you were thinking?

Andy: No. When you said, “it makes you think,” it made me think, “Huh, there must be a lot of opossums that live around here.”

THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a perfect example of how my husband and I are different. I was going to write some further commentary, but I don’t even think it’s necessary. The conversation speaks for itself.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

The Mystery in the Bedroom

*SPOILER ALERT* There are no sexual encounters for the duration of the post. Not with me, not with a skanky mistress, none at all. You were going to be thinking that once I explained the setup, so it’s better to get it out of the way up front.

Let’s proceed.

As I was walking up the stairs to get ready for bed, I heard classical music coming from our bedroom. Now, you don’t know my husband, but he’s a bluegrass, country, there-should-be-a-dog-or-truck-in-every-song kind of guy. I’ve never heard him listen to classical.

I stopped midway up the stairs and furrowed my eyebrows. What was going on? It was a triumphant, battle sort of classical music, like the William Tell overture. Why was my husband listening to battle-type classical music? I didn’t have the handy spoiler alert that I just gave you, so I wondered if this was some kind of sexual thing. Like, was he going to be in there with a ripped shirt and acting all Braveheart-ish? Was he going to use a Scottish accent? Because I can’t do Braveheart. I just can’t.

Then I realized that my husband would simply never do a thing like that – ever – and so there had to be a more logical explanation. Also, my husband tried a Scottish accent once (in a completely nonsexual setting), and he sounded exactly like the Crocodile Hunter. He even said, “Crikey” if I remember correctly. So. That wasn’t it.

I took another few seconds to try to guess what was going on, and I came up totally empty. I decided to open the door and figure it out.

Turns out it’s a good thing that I didn’t waste any more time guessing, because I never would have guessed this. You won’t either. I bet you five dollars that you can’t guess what was going on in my bedroom.

……have your guess?……..

…….are you sure?…………

……..no changing your guess when you read the next line……

Okay. Here’s what was happening: the dog was on the bed, and my husband was next to her with a CD player that was playing triumphant battle music. I asked what he was doing, and he said, “I’m doing music therapy with Ruby because she needs it.”


Honest to blog, my first thought in that situation was, “I cannot believe I’m the crazy one in this relationship.”

Apparently – I can’t believe I’m even typing this – our dog needs music therapy so that she will be comfortable around guns and shooting. She’s a hunting dog, so I kind of thought that came with the territory, but alas. This is something she needs in order to work at maximum effectiveness (says my husband).

Here’s how it works: there’s classical music for the first couple of tracks, and then when the dog is totally calmed, the music starts putting quiet gun pops in the background. As the tracks progress, the gunshots get louder and louder until the last track, where it’s just gunshots and no music.

THIS IS A REAL CD. Google it if you don’t believe me. We live in a weird world.

I was so shocked that this is even a product, let alone one that my husband paid for, that I didn’t know what to do. I think I laughed and awkwardly left to go brush my teeth. Or maybe I said, “Wow, cool jams” or something like that. I mean, what was I supposed to say?!

Bet you didn’t guess that’s what was in the bedroom, did you? I’ll keep my five dollars, thank you very much. I’m going to need it to pay for our dog’s therapy.


The Bathroom Fiasco

I was locked in a bathroom stall, popping pills, and I thought, “Oh great. My life is such a cliche: the teacher who can’t get through the day without hiding away and doing drugs. YAWNFEST.”

Granted, the pills were prescription, and also I was on a stressy field trip with a bunch of preteens running around in downtown Detroit…but it was a low moment. I was disappointed in myself for needing the anti-anxiety meds, as I hadn’t taken them in a long time. I was disappointed for needing a “bathroom break” from my kiddos even though I didn’t have to use the toilet I was sitting on.

But really: YOU try spending a whole day with twelve-year-olds squawking at you from every angle, and tell me you don’t need a break. I’m just saying.

This would be a short post if it ended here – a “junior high kids driving me to psych drugs” type of post, but OH. It does NOT end here.

Remember the part where I was sitting on the toilet fully clothed? Well, once I took my pills and spent a minute or two breathing without anyone screaming at me, I decided it was time to go face the yahoos once again. I stood up, straightened my teacher-chic cardigan, and prepared to leave.

That’s when I felt drops of water on my legs.

I paused a moment, thinking something like, “Hmmm…I should look down now, but I can’t imagine seeing anything pleasant that’s dripping on my legs in a bathroom stall. Perhaps I shall ignore it.” Obviously, I couldn’t ignore it.

In my haste to pull out the drugs when I first closed the stall door, I inadvertently let my skirt fall in the toilet. I’d been sitting there with my skirt hanging in the toilet THE ENTIRE TIME. The water had been creeping up the fabric, and now the whole back of my skirt was sopping wet.

You can tell I’m clearly one of those cool teachers. *facepalm*

I rolled my eyes at this point. What a day. At least I calmed myself with the reassurance that this is the year 2017, and nowadays everyone’s about being green and recycling. We were at a science center for the field trip, so surely they would have electric blow dryers instead of paper towels. I could use the dryer to dry my skirt.


Of course not. That would be far too convenient at a moment like this.

So then the next logical question: what do I say to the kids?

“Yeah, um, I didn’t have to use the toilet. I just sat there and dipped my skirt in it for kicks.”

“I had to pee so badly that, um, I didn’t quite make it.”

“The toilets in there have a very aggressive flush. I didn’t stand back in time.”

“This is how I save money on laundry expenses.”

Clearly I went with the only logical answer: wring the skirt out the best I can, and then stand against a wall for the next half hour until it dries.

You’re probably over there on your computer/phone, thinking, “Ha ha, Hazel, obviously that didn’t work! What happened next?” But you underestimate my stealth skills, my friend. It worked like a charm. It was a very stressful time (good thing I took those drugs, lol), but it became like a game. You know the game  “The Floor is Lava,” where people have to jump from thing to thing and can’t let their feet touch the floor? Well it was kind of like that, except it was “The Wall is a Magnet.” My butt always had to face a wall. Some students looked at me a little weird when I would jump from wall to wall to help them, but my skirt fiasco went UNDISCOVERED!


And noowww it’s time for summer break.

This is My Brain on Drugs (and Other Useless Things)

My mom is cleaning out her basement, so she’s giving me all kinds of crap I don’t want. Today she gave me the following “gifts:”

  • A reeeeeally ugly square lamp. It’s a clear square with a brass rod through the middle of it, and its shade might have been white in a former lifetime. Now that I think of it, it’s so ugly that it probably goes great with the ugly chair from this post. Then again, how much ugliness can one room handle? I think this would put us over the top from “quirky” to “tasteless”…if we haven’t already migrated into “tasteless.” Tough to tell sometimes.
  • A teddy bear that says “I ❤ Jesus” on the foot (there’s actually a heart, not the symbols for less than three, but I’m not technologically intelligent enough to put that in a post). I read the tag on the bear’s ear, and it was a prayer for salvation. I told my husband, “How many people have read this out loud and then been like, ‘Crap! Did I just accidentally get saved?!'” Ha ha. Sneaky bear.
  • A glass dog. Um…..whyyyy do I need a glass dog? It’s kind of big, too. Probably as big as my open hand. Is it a paperweight? While I’m working, it can stare at me with its creepy clear eyes. Is it a….doorstop? A talisman of some sort? It sounds like a curse…THE CURSE OF THE GLASS DOG. I’d read that. Sounds like a Nancy Drew.


  • Old MRI scans from 2008

Now this one was kind of cool. 2008 is when my brain tumor was first discovered, and these were the scans that discovered it. The scans are big and bulky. I held them up to a window and said, “Hey Andy! Check this out! Look how creepy my eyeballs look!”

For the record, the glass dog’s eyeballs are still creepier.

After these scans were taken, I started on a long trail of drugs and doctors and medical nonsense. 2008 was the last time I was not on any medications. I was getting a little sad about this, but then Andy said, “We have your current scans, and now we have your first scans. You’re one of the very few people who can actually hold up pictures and say, ‘This is my brain, and this is my brain on drugs.” Ha! It’s like the old D.A.R.E. ads, except the pictures aren’t much different from each other and I have to be on drugs, not off them. Life gets weird sometimes.

Anyway, Jesus bear and the glass dog are still looking for placements in my house. I hope the ugly lamp isn’t getting too bonded with the ugly chair. I sense a garage sale in their future…don’t tell my mom.