This Week in Mentalists – A Cat Shares Her Thoughts on the Holidays…

…and some outstanding blogs and hopes people won’t be depressed this time of year.

[Ed's Note: This is a guest post from Holly, the intrepid and endlessly entertaining kitty that owns Susan from the consistently excellent If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going. Being a cat, Holly was unable to get her own WordPress username, so asked me to post this on her behalf, so when you see the 'Posted by Pandora' clause at the bottom, ignore it. Holly is your master now].

Meow! Welcome to today’s TWIM blog, hosted by me: Holly, the fabulous feline. I am honored that Pandora, a cat lover, tweeted me that she needed a writer for today, and I was amused. (If anyone wants to know, I am mad at Twitter – no birds anywhere on it). I’ve been having a good time lying next to my human and reading all the blogs on the blogroll while my tail goes thumpty thump thump on the mousepad. I couldn’t get to all of the blogs, but by the end of the weekend I will have read everyone’s. My human is very very impressed how brilliant these blogs are.

Anyway, I am a 13 year old tan tabby living in the United States- New Jersey to be exact. My human says I am her therapy cat. I keep her alive because even though she is Bipolar 1, she is finding that the older she gets, the depressive episodes get worse and she has more, the mania is less, but more intense as well.

Holly at Christmas!

This is me, Holly, enjoying the festive spirit!

Cats are lucky. We don’t get depressed or manic – well, our episodes last about two seconds and then we fall asleep. It’s slightly longer duration for kittens, because they are full of energy.

I hope you enjoy my little piece as a prelude for the holidays. Life is chaotic this time of year, but it’s my favorite time of year. Swiping Christmas tree ornaments and waiting for the fat man to come down the chimney and bring me tuna and catnip mousies.

Oh before we go on, today’s blog will have no triggers – other than the holidays and families themselves. And if you suffer from Santaphobia. (Yes, Virginia, Santaphobia does exist).

Bitter Animator came back to the blogosphere this week after an eight month leave. Bitter has been struggling really hard with depression, and was thinking about leaving his blog, when he noticed a recent spike and decided he needs to continue with his blogging and drawing. If you have never checked out Bitter’s blog, you are in for a treat. The animation is fun, quirky and highly relatable. It makes me wish I had opposable thumbs so I could draw.

Bitter writes about why he’s back:

Depression is still all around us. Probably more now than ever. It’s a tough time of year for many. But you know what? This is why I appreciate all those who blog about depression and tell their stories. So that people who realise they or a loved one may be facing depression have somewhere to go. Real survival stories to read. And even the stories that did not have happy endings, to serve as a reminder that, sometimes, people need help and it’s not always obvious. Every one of you who have written about depression help.

While Bitter came back to the blogosphere, one of our favorites decided to leave it. Vomit and Common Sense had this to say:

After nearly 3 years of writing, I’ve decided to retire this blog. I exported it and converted it into a pdf file, where it will join the other years of my diaries as a single file on a lone PC. This was a nice way to write, to get the feelings out into the open and have them be read by others was very therapeutic. However, I now think that this blog has served it’s purpose. Many thanks to people who have read from the start. Best wishes go to Ellen, Running Circles, Sairs, Pixie, Ygraine and anyone else who left comments at one time or another. Please check out their blogs – if you want to see honesty and strength you can find it in spades in this little corner of the blogosphere. I will leave the corpse of the blog online, although all posts have been deleted. I will leave all links up in the usual spots. Take care, bb.

You are really going to be missed. I hope you decide to come back in the future.

One of the issues that constantly comes up is meds or no meds. As a cat, the only thing I take is catnip, but my vet has told my mother that there is Kitty Prozac.

Prozac Withdrawal blogger SMH wrote this week about the frustrations of weaning off Prozac:

I’m at a stage now where my dose is so low it would be really tempting to just drop it totally, go straight from 1.40ml to 0 but I don’t want to risk throwing away all my hard work and ending up back at square one because I know I am sensitive to withdrawal.

One way to get rid of stress is Yoga. Gianna Kali, from Beyond Meds, has a piece on doing Yoga with your cat:

The purring and the cat become the object of meditation and it allows for a bit of distance from the pain in my body. My kitty is old and more than happy to spend hours with me in this manner. I’m blessed with a super medicine cat. My shaman cat I call her too, as well as my Zen Master Jezebel. Yes, I’m grateful to my cat.

Facebook has launched a huge, worldwide campaign to stop suicide. Liz Spikol, the former editor of Philadelphia Weekly magazine has returned to the blogosphere after a 15 month absence. She covers this here so if anyone sees something they can help:

If a Facebook friend spots a suicidal thought on someone’s profile, that person can report it to Facebook by clicking a link next to the comment. Facebook will then send an e-mail to the person who posted the suicidal comment. Previously, Facebook only told troubled individuals to call a hotline or encouraged friends to call law enforcement if they perceived someone was about to do harm. Now, the social networking giant is also offering a link to a confidential Facebook Chat session with a professional.

I apologize that this seems to be something only for the US right now, but I am sure if it is a success the Samaritians will adopt it.

The one thing I have noticed as my human and I read all these blogs, is how similar things are across the globe. We may be over 2,000 miles plus away [from the UK, where the TWIM Ed lurks] but our illness, and our shared experiences bind us together, sort of like a family. It’s been so much fun reading and meeting you all.

Holly is on Twitter: @hollymycat. Her human, Susan, can be found at If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going. Meow!

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About Pandora

Award-winning ex-blogger. Complex PTSD, (predominantly depressive) bipolar disorder with psychotic features, and a side order of severe anxiety. So basically mental.

4 Responses to “This Week in Mentalists – A Cat Shares Her Thoughts on the Holidays…”

  1. nice one and a happy Christmas to you and Holly :)

  2. Oh my Goodness I am so honoured (did I spell that right?) thanks so much for mentioning me on here!! By the way, down to 1.30ml Prozac tomorrow!
    I agree with your sentiments at the end as well, I do feel like I have a family of kindred spirits through my blog and Facebook.
    Happy Christmas to you Holly and your owner Susan from Sheila in the UK.

  3. frankie&acupoftea 17 December 2011 at 9:51pm

    Meow from my kitty Milo, and thanks for the round-up!

  4. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and meows and purrs. I really enjoyed writing this and meeting you all. I think I may start my OWN blog! ;)

    It’s amazing what we animals can do for our humans to help them, and they help us by giving us back the love, plus a nice warm furever home and food.

    btw, I do like doggies.

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