This post won’t be popular. I would like to say that this bothers me but right now I’m too hurt about so many other things. First topic is easy ALCOHOLISM.
I hated AA. I tried it on many occasions either by choice or court ordered. So we are clear here there are female alcoholics that drink just as much as men. I’ve had people say to me “You’re not an alcoholic. What? Did you have a few too many glasses of wine?”. That is still the perception of a female alcoholic. Wine does count just as much it just wasn’t my choice. I even had the same mistaken thoughts about it.
I drank beer and hard liquor. When I recently visited relatives in Florida and mentioned to my Aunt what and how much I used to drink she was shocked. I thought she knew. They sell alcohol in almost every store in Florida. My Aunt had worked at a Market and knew the brands of liquor. When I told her I was up to about a case of beer and a pint of Ginger flavored brandy, Firewater, Jager, or many shots of Patron, it put it in perspective for her. She asked “Not wine then?”. No never wine. In my mind wine was for those people who were “weak”. I know I’m an idiot. Wine is still alcohol and can get you drunk just the same.
AA wasn’t for me because other people’s stories didn’t have an effect on me. The strong religious factor that they insisted wasn’t there but was, really bothered me. Sponsors telling me to get on my knees before bed and pray to God for my sobriety bothered me. When I left for the last time and my sponsor told me I would fail and have to beg God for forgiveness I had enough. It was a bad day at work, my mother was ill again and I was barely hanging on. I told her “It’s a good thing I’m an Atheist then huh?” and never looked back.
I was diagnosed as Bipolar and it shined a light on why I was drinking and doing the things I did. A lot of stuff made sense to me. So much so that the smell of alcohol turned my stomach. Will I never drink again? I’m not stupid enough to make that promise. I can say that right here, right now, today, I will not be drinking. That has worked for 8 years.
FAMILY AND MENTAL ILLNESS is an entire different story. Most of my family thinks I should be “better” or “cured” by now. It doesn’t work that way. There are a million and one factors that go into a diagnosis and most of them are wrong. There’s Genetics, your environmental surroundings when younger, trauma, when you first presented with symptoms, when you were diagnosed, what meds were you on before being correctly diagnosed, how long did it take for a correct diagnosis, did you have other disorders or illnesses coinciding with the mental illness like a drug or alcohol problem, or anxiety, or PTSD.
All of these things make a difference. A few years ago my twin sister was diagnosed with Conversion Disorder. She said she couldn’t remember little things. Two of her fingers would tremor, her eyelids would flutter or she would stare into space. She would come out of it and be tired not remembering it. She had a machine attached to her at home for 48 hours to detect any abnormal brain waves or seizure like activity. It came back negative. She had a sleep study done at the hospital hooked up to monitors that came back negative. Many tests were run until finally the Doctors told her she had Conversion Disorder due to stress which was causing these incidents that no one could find evidence of.
I was with her for 2 of them. She is my twin. I know her like the back of my hand. I know that when we were little and even as we grew older she was referred to as the “Drama Queen”. I watched the 2 fingers and her eyelids. I watched her breathing and how she acted when she came out of it. I admit that I tested her one time in the middle of an episode and she snapped right out of it because she thought her son was in trouble. There was no confusion, no “I have to take a nap, I feel so weak”, she was her usual self.
She received Disability faster than I did. She had no Hospitalizations, suicide attempts, lost jobs, etc. I had it all plus Shock Therapy. My judge made fun of me while she sailed right through. I bring it up because recently as she told me to “Put my big girl pants on and deal with things” she also said she had Conversion Disorder also but she was fine and was able to “overcome” her illness. Then why isn’t she working I wonder? I was given another ultimatum to either put myself in the Hospital or go to Therapy (I have to show proof) or she won’t be in my life. What gives her or anyone the right to threaten or give me ultimatums? The reason I cry so much is when I talk to her I can hear the disdain in her voice. I can hear how annoyed she is. There is no sympathy. There is no affection. There is no love. That is why I cry.
I have been to more Therapists that I can count. I have been to more Doctors than I can count. I have been told by at least 2 that some people are just resistant to Therapy and Medications depending on when they were diagnosed, how long they had symptoms of being Bipolar before getting a correct diagnosis, if they had other illnesses like Alcoholism or Conversion Disorder alongside the Bipolar Disorder, and there is also the fact that having Celiac Disease doesn’t help and neither does Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease.
So I want a new drug. One that won’t make me think. One that won’t me feel or remember. One that doesn’t cost too much. One that takes the pain away. And one that preferably won’t make me drool on myself. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of apologizing for existing. I’m tire of seeing the look of pain and blame in my dad’s eyes. Most of all I’m just tired.