BIPOLAR LOVE, IT’S A BITCH

When you find out you are Bipolar and it truly starts to sink in, you look back on your life. If you were diagnosed later in your illness there’s a lot of looking back to do. I could see so much behavior that now made sense. It didn’t make me feel better it made me feel kind of empty. For a long time I thought staying alone was the way to go. I go to the extreme in all that I do. When I think of men that I thought I loved it makes me cringe. The things I did so they would love me back or give me scraps of attention. And someone help them if they didn’t and I was drinking. If I was drunk and thought I saw one of them looking at another girl or if I didn’t think I was being paid attention to there was trouble.

It was unusual for me to start fights with women. I didn’t think it was fair because I was bigger than most of them. I also thought it was the guy’s fault. 99% of the time I have to tell you that I was not officially “dating” or “with” these men. Sleeping with them? Yes. But that’s all you could call it. My brain didn’t know the difference. My mother had always told stories about how she literally had to chase my father from bar to bar until she finally caught him. This stayed with me for some reason. I thought it was how you started a relationship. Not a few dates first with dinner and a movie, meet the parents eventually, get engaged for a year or so, marriage, save for a house, then children, etc. Nope, not me.

Sex came first, maybe their name if I was lucky, and I would see them around later. There were 3 I thought I loved and I thought had feelings for me. When you’re all drinking no one is capable of telling the truth or capable of love. They are capable of incredible pain and humiliation to prove they don’t love you.

Even sober I fell in the trap again. I can’t keep doing it. Rage bubbles just under the surface sometimes but with it is this constant need to know what’s wrong with me. To ask specifically these people why did you do what you did? What makes you think it’s ok to hurt someone that’s already been hurt more than you could ever imagine?

Instead I sit alone and I give up on that part of me, the one that wanted love.

WARNING: Do Not Leave Alone Or Feed After Midnight

13626476_10210547133301435_6524932080955258860_nHello! For those of you that have not read my blog before I am a 43 year old woman, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at 36/37, diagnosed with Conversion Disorder, and an alcoholic in remission for over 7 years. I also have Chronic Kidney Disease which has left me with one functioning kidney and Celiac Disease. I have always lived at home with my parents and my mom passed away 8 and 1/2 years ago. I took care of her while she was ill. My father is on dialysis and I now take care of him.

When I stopped drinking for the first year I didn’t go many places. I was trying to deal with why I felt the way I did and going to various Doctors. Years later when I found myself in a stable place I realized how many people no longer wanted to BE in my life. They didn’t want to put in the effort they thought it would take to deal with a “crazy” person. Some of them still drank and didn’t want to put me in an awkward situation. Maybe my erratic behavior was just too much. It wasn’t just friends but family too. It didn’t bother me so much when it was cousins or relatives I hadn’t talked to in long time. What did hurt was when it was a relative I was very close to and loved like my mom. In fact, my mother’s sister. My own twin sister slowly started backing away from me. I have not seen my nephews in a long time when I used to see them at least twice a week.

The isolation can get to me. When you combine that with my medication it can be embarrassing. When I do leave the house I find myself talking too much and too fast to strangers in stores or employees. When I leave the store I sit in my car and cry. I feel humiliated because I was so excited to be talking to another human that I babbled their ear off.

I did this two times already today. A woman called to ask about my dad’s pigeons. I talked to her for 45 minutes. A politician came to the door and I talked to her about everything that’s wrong with our state for a half hour.

I remember when I worked in retail and we had customers that we knew were “talkers”. We all tried to avoid them even me. We would roll our eyes when we would see them coming because we knew it would be a big chunk out of our day. I didn’t mind some of them and actually looked forward to a few of them. Then there were a few with problems that no matter what you said or did wouldn’t understand that they were crossing a boundary. They would stand too close, follow you around the store, try to come behind the counter, or expect special favors. These were the only people that bothered me.

I’ll never forget the day I went to my local drug store. As I approached the counter I saw all three pharmacists roll their eyes. There was no one else around. I left immediately to cry in my car. I know I talk too much sometimes. It’s ironic really.

For most of my life I didn’t talk at all. I looked at the ground while walking, never made eye contact, and tried to hide behind my hair. I only talked when I drank. That was it. Sober I never really did. In school I always tried to sit in the back of the class and go unnoticed. I wore clothes that were too big for me and dark colors. I didn’t even use the bathrooms. Maybe that contributed to my kidney problems. The girl’s bathroom is the last place an awkward obese girl wants to be caught alone. So I never went.

Now I can’t shut up and there isn’t anyone to talk to. I can’t win. I thought I was making progress with my sister. I’ve been trying to be cheery on the phone with her. The second day of this she sounded weird. I found out it was because we were not discussing her. As long as we talk about her problems she’s happy. She also took off on another vacation and said she told me about it but she didn’t. She won’t have phone service so if anything happens to my dad I can’t reach her. This from someone who just gave me shit about taking some time for myself at the end of August. My Doctors suggested it. My kidney function has gotten worse and the stress I’m under is taking a huge toll on my health.

I’m going to book my vacation and let the cards fall where they may. You never know what’s around the corner so I’ve learned not to put things off.

If you feed me after midnight I’ll have a gallbladder attack and I wanted it to sound like Gremlins. lol

Did The Dog Eat Your Homework?

When I do a post that deals with facts or statistics, I make sure to check and double check that I’m accurate. It’s too bad not everyone does the same. In today’s society we are all too eager to accept what we hear on the news as fact. We can no longer do this. News stations have become biased and sometimes do not even fact check their own reporter’s stories. What seems like a small detail to most people, for some reason is a big deal to me.

I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. I only go on Facebook to contact relatives that are out of state. I like posting pictures on Instagram and looking at art on there also. Twitter I’ve had issues with many times so I try to stay off of it. Tumblr I don’t really understand. I’ll have to take the time to figure it out.

Facebook can be a problem for me at times. I have received “anonymous” posts about how the “Mentally Ill” are using up the public’s tax dollars. One suggested we should be sterilized and put on an island so no one would have to pay for our “retarded” offspring. There was a drawing that came with it. All the people wore animal skins like cavemen and were wide eyed with wild hair. It was such a treat to receive that one.

Every time I see these offensive posts I want to retaliate. I wanted people to know that I worked hard from the age of 12 to 37. I worked 50 to 60 hour weeks for years. My cousin’s husband asked how much I received from Disability. I thought it was rude of him to ask and I wasn’t going to tell him. He kept running his mouth about how it couldn’t be enough to live on and I should find a “rich guy” while I still had my looks. I said nothing.

The day I chose sobriety was the day I started to bottle my feelings up. I never could handle confrontation or someone criticizing me. Even as I type this my cheeks feel warm with embarrassment at the thought. So I stopped having opinions and started agreeing with everyone. What I got from this behavior is a nice ulcer, migraines, and inappropriate outbursts of anger when everything had built up and my brain couldn’t take it anymore.

Now it’s Election time. For the first time in 43 years I find myself frustrated by the ignorance of those younger than me. I’m frustrated with anyone who shares quotes from FOX NEWS or a celebrity without doing their homework regarding the situation or that person.

One example I have is a girl I went to Hair School with. She supports Trump. She’s in her mid to late twenties. She shared a quote from Ted Nugent a Trump supporter. She wasn’t born when Mr. Nugent’s music was popular. One of his more popular songs is “Jailbait”. He has admitted on camera a fondness for “young girls”. In 1978 when he was 30 years old he convinced a girl’s parents to make him her legal guardian so he could have sex with her. She was 17. The song “Jailbait” discusses a sexual relationship with a 13 year old. Supposedly this is fantasy. I’m a 43 year old woman and have never fantasized about being with a teenage boy. Ever. And yes I do know that Mr. Nugent isn’t the only Musician that has done this. He is someone who has publicly admitted it, shown no remorse, sits on the board of the NRA, and speaks at Political Rallies.

In 1977 Ted Nugent told High Times how he dodged the draft. Supposedly Mr. Nugent is a staunch supporter of our Troops. Even though he himself went to great lengths not to serve his country. He purposefully made himself ill so he was pissing and defecating in his pants. He is now a Board Member of the NRA.

Mr. Nugent also sees Addiction and Mental Illness as character flaws not illnesses. He believes that a person is just “weak”. I just read a blog someone else had written about Mr. Nugent. The person was suggesting that he was mentally ill or had a drug/alcohol problem. Neither is the case. Mr. Nugent was never one to over indulge and lose control. A Narcissist maybe, but there’s no mental illness here. He knows exactly what he is doing at all times. Is anyone actually listening to him? We can only hope not.

Last example I’ll leave you with is a touchy one. People were complaining about a Navy Seal’s widow that was interviewed on the Today show because when Matt Lauer asked what she would say to her children about their dad and how she would want them to remember him, her response was “His love for Christ”. As the interview was replayed on various networks throughout the day the “His love for Christ” part was edited out. I don’t know the reasoning behind it. The person causing the largest stir is quoted as saying “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under GOD, then we will be a nation gone under”

I believe Navy Seals work for the Government which is “The State” and there must be a separation of Church and State. You can believe in any faith you want to and serve your country that is what makes the U.S. the U.S. but when you cross that slippery slope into religion it opens a can of worms. People start asking ridiculous questions or make statements that can be misconstrued. You can’t win.

I do know I’ve grown tired and too old to swallow it down anymore.

STILL LEARNING

I think at a certain point in your life you come to realize that the things you always thought were true were really just your perception of the truth. You realize that those you once put on a pedestal are actually humans who have made big mistakes and wrong decisions just like you.

As my father grows older this has become increasingly clear. I’m not ignorant about my dad. I know he’s an alcoholic. He stopped drinking when I was about 10 or so. My memory isn’t very clear. I do remember him losing his car somewhere and standing in the doorway looking like death. I also remember him slapping my mom one night. It was the first and last time that ever happened. My mother drank with him and stopped when he stopped. She had given him an ultimatum. He either quit drinking or he wouldn’t have a family. He quit that day and never even had a sip of alcohol since.

Unfortunately my dad never talked to anyone about why he drank. He never understood why he drank. I never thought about it because I was busy drinking myself.

My dad has extreme anxiety and social phobia. He has an extremely hard time in crowded places. When people first meet him they think he’s mean or uneducated. People who really know him know that he’s quite the opposite. He has a crazy way with children. They are drawn to him for some reason. He’s so good with them it breaks my heart that he doesn’t see his grandchildren because he has survivor’s guilt.

My father and I are a lot alike. We both suffer from extreme anxiety, social phobia, self-medicating with alcohol, isolating ourselves, and lashing out at those closest to us.

I attended a wedding in Naples, Florida when I was 18. A man was there who knew my father when they were young. He said to me “I really thought your father would’ve pursued his art he’s got so much talent. Hell he could’ve even made a ton of money doing tattoos if he wanted.” I didn’t know what the hell the guy was talking about. When we returned home I asked my dad about it. He called the guy a few colorful names and then said that he did sketch and paint. He then showed me some of his work. Some of his work is missing which makes me mad but I can’t do anything about it. The Jungle Cat he did for me after I asked him about his painting.

ATTACK OF THE KILLER GALLBLADDER!

For at least the last 15 years I have had trouble with my Gallbladder. My Primary Care Doctor continuously said that it didn’t need to come out.

There were times where my Gallbladder caused me serious problems. The one I remember most is the Rehearsal Dinner for my sister’s Wedding. It was held at an Irish Bar but for some reason had a Pirate theme. I have no clue why. I believe it was the Irish stew that did me in. Although I wasn’t practicing sobriety at the time I never, ever, drank around my parents. I knew it wasn’t from drinking, there was a lot of garlic in that stew though!

So that night I stayed with her in a fancy mansion where the wedding was to be held. At 2:00 a.m. it started. The sweat was pouring off of me, I woke up nauseous and ran for the bathroom. When this happens I usually have some Ginger Ale or Coke to settle my stomach and after an hour I’m fine.

I woke my sister up. She wasn’t happy. Her words to me were “This isn’t about you, tomorrow is my day. Go back to sleep!”. I couldn’t find any soda so I spent the night on the bathroom floor.

Over the years I’ve had many Gallbladder attacks. I learned what to avoid and when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease the attacks became less frequent. I don’t know what happened 3 days ago but I must have pissed someone off somewhere.

I have never been in so much pain in my entire life. From the middle of my breastbone going down under my right ribcage was a pain I can’t even describe. I tried everything that usually works. It got to a point I couldn’t breathe. Then the electricity went out. It was 90 degrees. I’m also on antibiotics for a bladder infection from my kidney stents and wasn’t feeling great to begin with. I went 2 days like this. Finally I went to the E.R. around midnight last night.

I might as well have gone to the 24/hour Emergency Veterinarians up the street. They took blood (everything was normal), took x-rays (you can’t see gallstones/gallbladder on an x-ray), they brought in a portable Ultrasound. I though finally! Two Doctors and an Ultrasound technician couldn’t find my friggin’ Gallbladder!!!! They ran that wand everywhere. At one point I think I said “Seriously?”. Even I knew where they should’ve been. So they abandoned ship and told me I would have to have a CAT scan. FOUR HOURS go by and another person comes to take more blood when they already said my bloodwork was fine. I hadn’t seen a nurse or doctor in that four hours. I refused her taking more blood and said I was leaving. I started taking off all the tape and sticky round things, I took off the blood pressure cuff and the thing they put on your finger. Usually when this even falls off by accident someone comes to check. Not one single person came and my machine was going off like crazy. I knew the Phlebotomist hadn’t told them yet because I was watching her.

Ten minutes later as I started to remove my IV she told them and a nurse came in. The nurse got the Doctor and I told him I wanted to leave.

I was still in some pain but not as bad. When I arrived home I looked up “How to ease Gallbladder pain”. Every site said the same. Apple Cider Vinegar. You can mix some in with Apple Juice. The acid in the vinegar stops the Liver from making cholesterol that forms most gallstones and dissolves the ones already there.

I didn’t have Apple Cider Vinegar, I only had distilled white vinegar, but I was desperate and drank 2 tablespoons of it. I immediately starting to burp/belch which I hadn’t been able to do, not even with a bottle of TUMS. It’s been about 5 1/2 hours with no pain so far. I could cry with relief. I hope it lasts.

Normally I wouldn’t disrespect someone’s profession like that. I was in serious agony and I didn’t even get a blanket or a kind word. I know it was a Saturday night but they were not that busy. For 2 Doctor’s and a Technician to fail at finding my Gallbladder and continuously ask me if I was sure I still had one was just ludicrous. They have ALL MY RECORDS THERE. I might forget some things but I think I would remember having something removed.

The degree of medical care in this country continues to get worse. I can’t blame the Doctor’s 100%. There have been cutbacks to a dangerous fault. There simply are not enough good people working and the people working are there for too many hours and have lost their compassion. When you lose that why bother showing up at all?

 

DUTCH BECOMES RESPONSIBLE

13775623_10210514849894370_8138195000925762639_nIt’s extremely important to spay or neuter your pet. There are far too many unwanted animals in the world. The Shelters and Pounds unfortunately do not make it any easier. They do ask exorbitant fees to adopt an animal. I understand the costs of feeding, medicating, housing, transporting and Vet fees. I also know that a large percentage of Vets volunteer their services, food and blankets are also donated, and some states like mine have even received money from the government.

I applied for a voucher to help with Dutch’s neuter costs. Even with the voucher from the State it cost $256 to have him neutered. He looks like he’s sleeping but he’s actually proof reading my blog. He does have an odd habit of licking the couch repeatedly until it’s one big wet spot that I of course lean into. It must be the material.

Either way I’m glad I have him. Yes, he’s a pain in the ass. But the love I get in return is worth every time he jumps on my bladder or pees on my flip flops.

So, What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

When I was little and a grown up asked me this question the answer was always “a veterinarian”. I always loved animals and so did my father. This has never changed. What did change was my ability to watch an animal suffer. If it was by a human’s hand I couldn’t trust myself to leave it to the proper authorities to handle. Seeing an animal in pain brought me immense pain. So I knew I couldn’t do it. I also knew I wouldn’t be able to handle school for that long.

I would score high on tests but physically being in school was pure agony. I would become bored easily and bring a book from home to read hoping no one would notice me or talk to me. As I got older this didn’t change much.

I have had many jobs. I can’t say I’ve really enjoyed any of them. There are parts of some that I loved. As we all know you can’t just do the parts you like.

My first job was assembling jewelry in a factory at the age of 12. I did this for a very long time over the years. Unlike my mom, I never developed a dislike for jewelry. I would see a piece and picture it a new way, a better way. Sometimes we could take home leftover pieces and I would design something of my own. I didn’t like the hours, the pay, working with all women, the fumes, not having summers, and hearing the women talk about their boss. Their boss was my mom. They would forget I was there. I kept my head down and did my work so it was easy to do. One day I had enough. I got up from my workbench, looked at each and every one of them, said “That woman is my mother, are you that stupid? Or doing it on purpose?”. I punched out and started walking home. The owner always liked me. He was an older man with strawberry blond hair, about 5’6″ and in his 50’s at the time. He had never been married. He was always kind and always called me “kiddo”. He pulled up next to me on the road and explained factory life. He also explained how tough my mom was and that’s one of the reasons she had the job she did. I miss him sometimes.

I also worked nights managing a Hallmark Store my Junior and Senior years in High School. There wasn’t much to like about it except having an excellent teacher when it came to counting down drawers, filling out bank slips, inventory, marketing, and another teacher of what not to do.

I then spent about 13 years Managing 2 Blockbusters. I loved movies. That’s it. I watched everything. I knew every foreign film, Indie film, Horror film, you name it. Now not so much. I can still tell when a film is good or just smoke and mirrors.

I then became a Hairdresser. I would’ve loved this if I had the confidence. I know the look I’m going for and how to achieve it. The problem is the client usually wants a perm at this point. I do not do perms. I can’t. My wrists tremor as soon as I start to roll the first roller. If you want a Keratin Treatment I can do 30 a day and have. If you want a dry precision hair cut like SAHAG in Manhattan I can. But a perm? Nope.

But what I’ve always wanted to do was just be a roadie or work for a band. People laugh. But even if I just did the laundry, hair, cleaned the bus, for a band I admired, I would be happy. I can’t lift heavy stuff but still. They wouldn’t even have to pay me. I really don’t want to clean toilets. Make up, hair, wardrobe, laundry, gopher, that stuff is fine. The toilets depend on what they look like.

In case you didn’t know, I might be a little manic. I’m also stalling on booking my relaxing trip because I’m afraid to leave the house. Maybe a Tour With Aerosmith, Steven Tyler, Cory Taylor, Colin Farrell, oops he doesn’t have a band but that’s ok.

I wanted to add that somehow I drank during almost the entire span of working years. It was only the years of 12 to 16 and 1/2 that I didn’t. How I managed to keep my jobs and work the hours that I did I don’t know. There were years where I never worked less than 50 hours a week. I know I could never do it now. I wouldn’t want to.