the reality is

So I spent yet another morning at a clinic, this time the right one though. They don’t stock my prescription so I’ll have to go get it privately again this month and then I need a referral/justification letter from my psych as well but at least I have an appointment booked for early January. Might have to change my prescription though which means a few months of adjusting/trial and error (which is NEVER fun) but at least I won’t have to pay the 3k a month anymore.

I’ve been chirpier today. But it’s been forced. Because I need to get out of this slump and I’m hoping that whole “fake it till you make it” thing will work in this case. Just remember though that sometimes the reality of things is that no matter how happy or animated someone might seem there’s always the chance that they aren’t feeling all that safe in their own corner. Sometimes their mind just isn’t playing along with what they’re portraying. Yeah… I think I missed my calling as an actress.


braving government clinics

I’m currently still a mess so if some of what I write doesn’t make sense please give me a pass today. I think I deserve it. You might as well by the end of this ramble if you even get to the end anyway. I just need to get it out, might help.

You know I’m on medication for my manic depression. This whole blog is about it, about my struggles managing it, the effects it’s had on friendships and love life and even bonding with my minion in the beginning. I’ve been on and off them (the meds that is), I’ve tried the holistic thing, the dietary thing and the exercise thing, even tried them all together to no avail only to be confirmed by a homeopathic practitioner that bipolar is unfortunately one of those things that are really hard to treat/manage without medication.

I’ve realised I need to be on them. It’s just the reality of it. Some people take them for a while and their body starts to produce the chemicals, other like me have to be on them for always. It sucks that I have to depend on medication to stabilize me, I hate it actually but I know it doesn’t make me a weaker person or a bad mom. Being able to admit I need them is pretty big I think. I also know it’s genetic so if Fysh has inherited the gene at least I know I’ll be able to support him and explain things so he understands it’s not his fault.

Well my medication costs me roughly R3000 a month and will probably go up as I stabilize and my body starts building up a tolerance/immunity or whatever it’s called against it. Yeah… so as an only parent with one income and NO maintenance (or any sign of it in the future) with debt coming out of her effing ears as well as the usual living expenses you can imagine that paying that every month is one of the contributing factors as to why I tried the whole “sans meds” thing…

Dr wrote me a letter to take to the government clinic to try get my medication from them so that I can spare myself the cash. I know a few friends who get theirs like that and they say they pay maybe R100 or R200 a month which is a whole lot more manageable so I decided it was worth the shot.

I dropped Fysh off at school and then headed to our local clinic, sat there from 06:30 till they opened at 07:30 which put me first in line. Only to be told they don’t deal with adults only babies (be nice if they had signage saying this) and they sent me to the Dunoon clinic. I stood in the queue from 07:45 till just after 8 then had to wait till 9ish to get my file made up and filled out. I put my folder thing in the box that I was told to and took a seat on the floor (cause the first hour I waited I was glared at constantly as I was the only white person there) and got my book out.

I waited. And waited. And waited.

Eventually, 3 hours later one of the sisters came out and asked if I’d been helped when I said no she told the other sister she’s seen me sitting here for hours so she’s going to grab my file and help me. Yeah… this is when shit really went wrong. Turns out I was (yet again) at the wrong clinic. I was supposed to go to the psychiatric clinic in Rugby. But she got the Dr to sign off for 2 weeks worth of prescription then put it on top of the pharmacy pile. I finally thought *yay* until the pharmacist told me he can’t help me at all cause they aren’t allowed to give out the medication I’m on and don’t even stock it. I took my papers and left.

Aaaaaaaand commence breakdown.

It might sound stupid to some but after sitting through this from 06:30 in the morning already to spending 5 hours in a closed area, not able to eat anything, taking my meds late and being surrounded by a hundred people glaring at me, so many screaming babies and a mountain of smells that ranged from alcohol and cigarettes to dirty diapers, sweat and too much perfume I simply couldn’t anymore. My hands wouldn’t stop shaking and I couldn’t breath. Anxiety and sensory overload hit hard. I sat in the car crying.

My boss is amazing and more understanding than any other I’m sure. I messaged him after I’d calmed down and let him know what was going on. He told me to come to the office so I did then he sat me down and let me vent, afterwards he gave me a packet of soup and told me to go have some coffee and just sit still for a while. Then he also told me that he’ll give me tomorrow morning off as well so that I can go to the *right* clinic and make an appointment.

This morning sucked.

I’ll get to illustrating this soon as I’m home tonight. Right now my hands are still shaking too much to actually draw anything half decent.

bat cave? man cave? blanket fort?

Do you have a space where you can hide out? As a kid I used to take as many blankets as I could outside and hide between the bougainvillea fencing (that the plant creeps up) and the actual wall or I’d climb up onto the roof. Every house had somewhere for me to “hide out” that was smallish and where people couldn’t easily find me. The house I’m in now is a little difficult to hide out in mainly cause I have a toddler and my housemate who is occasionally home so I’ve taken to closing the curtains and door and putting my heavy blanket over my head and blocking the world out that way. Sometimes I climb up to the chimney but I haven’t braved the roof yet for fear it won’t hold my weight.

I also have a strange tendency to take said blanket into the bathroom and sleep in the bath when I’m really struggling. Something about the closed sides probably, same as I fall asleep easier when someone is around. Used to have a friend who lived around the corner and on nights where my paranoia was particularly bad he’d come over just so I could lay next to him and fall asleep then he’d mission off back to his place. I know some people might think it’s weird but it was always much appreciated.

Yesterday was an extremely low day and I had so many people sending me virtual hugs and love. I really wish they’d invent a technology where those could be real and not just in thought. I was really prepared to kidnap someone and hold them hostage forcing them to just sit and hug me until I felt better. Sadly that plan failed though. But hiding out in my “bat cave” helped a little and soon as I had the world blocked out and my pencils in my hand I felt like there might be an upside to things.

I’m still not there today but I think I might see a little light in the yonder.
Let’s just hope it’s not a train I’m seeing…

content fairy

downhill rollercoaster

This weekend was a good one, one of the best I’ve had in a very long time.
From having a child-free night on Friday to meeting a somewhat like-minded person on Saturday to knitting with a bunch of lovely ladies on Sunday morning.

But from late yesterday afternoon I felt the coaster going from up there to a downward decent, I almost had a nap. I never nap.
Couldn’t get myself out of bed, I tried making some steamed veg for dinner but not even that helped and today I’ve gone lower.

Everything that goes up comes down and vice versa and I think this weekend was just a little too much, it was great but I think the socializing really drained me. Two good days in a row was clearly a little too much for me, not something I’m accustomed to and a little overwhelming. I need a hug.

I’m so down right now I even forgot my art book and pencils at home. So today I’ll just use a song.

Also a really big thank you to an amazing friend who went and made me a special playlist when he found out I wasn’t cheery today.
My “support group” is amazing x

a good day

There are up’s and downs, today was luckily an up. I say luckily as I missioned out to Stellenbosch to meet someone new which is always a tough one for me, I’m no good with people in real life.

But today was one of the nicest I’ve had for some time. It was unpretentious and I didn’t feel like I constantly needed to keep up like with most people. Usually unplanned days tend to send me into slight anxiety attacks, change gets to me unless I instigated the change but I think combined with someone I felt I didn’t feel drained by it was okay.

It was also the first time I’ve been around someone who instead of telling me to get up or hurry up when I randomly sit down in the middle of the little forest hiking path actually sat down with me instead to just listen to the wind blowing through the trees and leaves. And who was willing to climb through a barbed wire fence so we could walk in the river.

It was a good day.

random shit in my head

You’re not supposed to mix meds and alcohol, or at least you shouldn’t anyway. I have one of two effects when I drink while medicated: it makes me drowsy and gives me nightmare free sleep or I get manically happy and really, um, sexually frustrated. Usually both.

Nervous about tomorrow, meeting someone new and that’s a really big thing for me so I decided that nightmare free sleep would be a good plot. Vodka combined with some hippy trance music has a strange effect on my drawing. The most random shit is in my head…

Don’t ask cause I really couldn’t explain it even if I wanted to:

when things are dark

I know I’ve been a bit absent the past week even though I swore when I started this I’d make sure I posted at least something daily as not only am I trying to help others understand what it’s like living with bipolar/depression or getting them to realise they aren’t alone it’s also about not keeping things bottled inside like I tend to and drawing it helps a lot when I often don’t know how to express in words how I’m feeling.

I’ve had a few rather big illustration projects to finish though so I didn’t really have time to do anything for myself and that was hard ‘cause the projects were cheery and I’ve been a bit out of sorts.

I haven’t cut in a while, probably because I’m having a rather large piece of ink done on my back and that’s been curbing/satisfying my craving/need for release. Constructive pain as I like to think of it. But a dear friend of mine is in a very dark place at the moment and has started to cut again. I don’t think anyone who is not or has not ever been a cutter will truly understand why others do it, I don’t think it’s something a lot of people can really comprehend. And that’s okay I think, there are a lot of things they might do that we will never understand.

I just want her to know that I am here for her, that she’s not alone and that she has my love and thoughts during this time x




I don’t really have anything to portray today.
It’s been a rather uneventful two days and other than the bad insomnia, nausea and shakes the side effects of my meds adjustment have been minimal.

In March I impulsively shaved my head. I had long blue locks that curled down to about mid back and walking around the waterfront I noticed the CANSA shaveathon taking place. I paid my R50 donation and sat down to have my hair shaved and donated. (They assured me that even though it was blue they could use it)
Friends were shocked, family was wide eyed. I hadn’t told anyone I was going to do it, I didn’t even know I was going to do it. But I did.

It’s grown back, almost reaches my shoulders again and is a big mop of curly blonde/pink . Point is that this month is Movember and I can’t grow a stache to support the guys so here’s my contribution… Don’t judge too harshly. Still new to this drawing on my tablet thing.


{ Guest Post } a letter to the sads

Written and Illustrated by Cath Jenkin

give it to  me.
give me the best. give me the worst. give me the inbetween.
give me whatever you have.
it’s not like i’ll back down.
it’s not like you’d be able to catapult me into the ether.
it’s not like you’d be powerful enough to overwhelm me.
give me the bright, the sunny.
give me the shit and the scummy.
you see, you forget. you forgot, again…
i’m here. i have this life i got blessed with.
and you can be fucked if you think i’m going to let you fuck with it.
you can go jump into a muddy lake if you think i’ll let you, yes YOU, get me down.
and, you forgot, again, that i have someone who squeezes my hand and dances with me.
you forgot, again, that i have a little person, who puts her head on my shoulder and says
“mom, i love you more than the whole wide world”.
you forgot, i have this giant trampoline of love.
it’s held up by people who love me, who love Cam. Who love the bits in between just as much as they love the moments of shine.
you forgot my compassion.
you forgot my ability to kick.
you forgot my ability to not kick.
you forgot my ability to write.
you forgot my ability to love.

you, the little voice that says “no”.
me, the big voice that says “fuck yes”.

 guess who wins. guess.who.wins.
i’ve beaten you before.
and i will do it again.

watch me.

love me

being thankful

The Americas are celebrating Thanksgiving today and even though I’m not American and the holiday has nothing to do with me it’s definitely my favourite holiday. Usually along with xmas even though I’m not really feeling it this year.

So today I’d like to say that I am thankful for the amazing support group I have in place where so many aren’t as lucky. I have lost a few friends to the illness, 4 of which I lost in the space of 4 and a bit months. My friends and family will never truly understand just how much they have done for me.

Today I am thankful.
Today I think of those who can’t be.