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When I was first diagnosed, back when I was 29, the doc I was seeing put me on high doses of Seroquel to slow my racing mind.  It worked, too well.  I lost all ambition to do anything and I completely lost my facial affect.  I couldn’t smile or make any kind of facial expressions unless I was in pain.  It was terrible.  After about 2 years I figured this was a permanent thing and that it wouldn’t ever get better.  Then I switched docs and she switched my meds.  My smile kind of returned.

I don’t take Seroquel regularly anymore and I’m very thankful for that.  It’s great when I’m manic and need to slow down, but anymore just a tiny dose knocks me flat on my ass for a few days.  Currently I’m taking only 2 meds to control the bipolar – Lithium and Geodon.  Most of the time this works really well.  But I still don’t smile right.

The really frustrating part is that to me, it feels like I am smiling.  And the harder I try the worse it looks.  I’ve got the Mona Lisa smile thing down pretty good, but a big full face smile – out of the question.  I hate having my picture taken because of this.  My face just never looks right to me.  It’s like when I try to smile I look like I’m in pain.

Josh has a great smile.  His whole face lights up and it’s just awesome.  I wish I could do that.  He’s told me that he thinks I’m prettiest when I smile.  I just don’t feel like I can ever do it justice.

The weekend was an interesting adventure.  I tried probably a dozen times on Saturday to get a project – any project – to turn out right.  It seemed like everything I touched turned to shit within just a few minutes.  The yarn wasn’t heavy enough, the colors changed too close together so the stitch pattern didn’t show, there wasn’t going to be enough yarn…  On and on and on.  Nothing turned out right.  I finally gave up and went to bed early.  Josh entertained the kid and I just kept stewing over what to do.  I just knew that I needed to have something turn out proper or I was going to lose it.

Sunday morning I got up and tried one last thing.  I had this huge beautiful skein of worsted weight wool in shades of pinks and purples.  The color changes every few stitches so I knew it wasn’t suited to anything fancy.  I also only have the one skein and I wanted something to make the most of every inch of it.  So I split it into two equal balls and started a knit shrug, worked from the middle out.  Finally, something was working.  I got almost done with the first half yesterday in between cooking and taking care of everyone.  I actually brought it to work with me today so I can keep working on it at lunch.  My goal is to have it finished so I can wear it to work on Friday.

Here’s the recipe so far…

One Skein Shrug

560 yards of worsted weight yarn

16″ size 13 circular needle

stitch marker

tape measure

yarn needle

co 60 stitches and begin working stockinette stitch flat

I worked even like this for 10″ (my back measures about 19″ across and I wanted to allow a little give)

join and begin working in the round, place marker to indicate start of round

work even until almost out of yarn

to bind off – k next 2 sts together, place new st back on left needle, repeat around – this should give a stretchy bind off edge

work other half

pick up 60 sts along co edge and continue as above


One of these days I’m going to try to get some pics of some of this stuff up.  I know it’s frustrating to see a pattern without a picture to know if you’re getting close.