Monthly Archives: October 2016

FUNCTION JUNCTION, ADDICTION AND ALCOHOLISM, STATE OF MIND

There seems to be an odd trait I’ve noticed lately. I could be reading a research paper, a Psychiatric magazine or another Blog and there is a separation between Addiction and Alcoholism.

I started to think about it myself. When people used to speak to me and would say “So and so is an addict they’re in rehab.” I immediately thought drugs not alcohol. When someone says they have “addiction” problems I first think of drugs. When did the word “addict” become the symbol for drug user?

An addict is “one who has become dependent on something”, whether it’s drugs, food, alcohol, sex, gambling, or TV. The word “addict” is now spit out like some foul tasting seafood when it’s uttered. That needs to change.

That was the first part of my writing the second part is about my functioning level. I have to say it has gone down. Way down. It isn’t just the Bipolar Disorder, the Conversion Disorder is becoming worse also. I have no idea how to drag myself out of it. I was told it would get worse over time but I thought they meant in 15 to 20 years. My Psychiatrist is pushing for ECT again and I’m not sure I can handle it.

My state of mind as it is right now would be unable to handle ECT. I have been under so much anesthesia in the last year and a half to then put me under and try to Reboot my brain I’m petrified of the outcome. I don’t want to sit there drooling, staring at the wall for hours and hours while someone changes my diaper. But what if all of my pain, all of my anger, all of my guilt, went away while I sat there? I could still hear my dad’s voice and my sister’s but I wouldn’t have to feel.

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t want any of this.

The memory of some human beings is short when it comes to negative experiences. Mine is never ending.

My father doesn’t remember my going to Therapy when I was younger. I had to remind him. It wasn’t pleasant, I didn’t want to. He was starting to think like my sister and I wasn’t having it.

I said “The end of my being 17 I took pills and had to have my stomach pumped, I was also drunk. I was ordered to therapy in Wakefield.” “About 2 years later I took pills again and had to swallow the charcoal. I was ordered to therapy in South Kingstown.” “A year later I cut my wrists and had stitches. I was held in their Psychiatric Ward for a week and ordered to go to therapy in Wakefield again but at a different place.” “A few years after that I took a bat to J’s car and was arrested. I was ordered to one and half years of therapy, 2 years probation, a restraining order, I had to pay for damages, and a partridge in a pear tree.” I knew by this time he had tuned me out because he didn’t want to remember. I remember. I remember his face when he first saw me at the Psychiatric Ward. It killed me as much as it killed him. But I couldn’t stop. The pain inside was always greater than the pain outside.

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13th~ It’s Not Always That Clear Cut (Changing The Way We Think About Our Prison System)

I may take some heat for opening this can of worms. That being said, I will anyway. Why do I feel the right to? I have been arrested and through the court system. I have spent more evenings than I would like to admit in a local jail cell. But most of all I spent a large portion of my youth surrounded by white male ex cons. Men who had spent up to anywhere from 2 years to 10 years in prison. Some of these men spent their incarceration in different states from where they lived. I heard their stories from everywhere. I also heard what they never wanted anyone else to know.

13th is a documentary on Netflix. It takes an in depth look at the prison system in the U.S. and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. (I took this mostly from IMDB)

The problem is we have to stop looking at the appalling shape of our prison system and seeing it as a race matter or an us against them matter. Everyone loses.

Let’s start with an explanation of the difference between jail and prison. You might be surprised at what you don’t know.

JAIL

Jails are local, used for people recently arrested or awaiting trial. There are over 3,000 local jails across the U.S. and together can hold around 500,000 awaiting trial.

PRISON

Prisons are state and Federal run institutions. They are for people who have already been convicted.

SHOW ME THE MONEY

Each day there are about 500,000 people in jails who are still presumed innocent and awaiting trial just because they can’t afford bail.

Over 60% of people arrested are forced to post a financial bond to be released pending trial.

A recent study showed that in New York courts over 50% of people held in jail awaiting trial for misdemeanors or felony charges were unable to pay bail amounts of $2,500 or less.

The poorest people, those who had to remain in jail since their arrest were 4 times more likely to receive a prison sentence.

Over 95% of criminal cases are finished by plea bargains due to poor legal counsel or money.

Privately owned prisons are a $5 Billion a year industry and are paid a per diem or a monthly rate for each prisoner in it’s facility. A researcher from The University of California Berkeley accused the #1 Company with privatized prisons of insisting on provisions in it’s contracts with governments. This would insure that they only received the youngest, healthiest, and cheapest prisoners.

Mississippi has one of the highest incarceration rates. Their private prisons handed out twice as many strikes against inmates lengthening their sentences by an average of 3 months. This adds up to an increase of  $3,000 per inmate.

MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION

Nationwide, people with Mental Health conditions constitute 64% of the jail population. This is according to the Federal Bureau of Prison Statistics.

40% of Riker’s Island inmates were found to be suffering from a mental illness in a recent study yet there is no treatment to be found.

70% of inmates need medical treatment for Addiction only 17% receive it.

Those who are too poor, too mentally ill, or too chemically dependent, even though presumed innocent until proven guilty, are kept in cages until their trial dates.

CONSEQUENCES

There are tens of thousands of rapes inside jails and prisons each year. Those are the ones that are reported. There are over 4,000 inmates murdered while incarcerated each year.

I’m going to hypothesize a little here. There may or may not be some truthful elements.

An Alcoholic, undiagnosed Bipolar person is stopped for driving under the influence. They are brought to their local jail. Mug shots taken, fingerprints taken, the whole nine yards. They can’t afford a lawyer or bail and are forced to stay in jail. The people they are surrounded by probably have been there before, they know the ropes. The Alcoholic with the undiagnosed Mental Illness is detoxing and having symptoms of a Depressive Episode. No one notices, no one cares. This person feels isolated and ostracized. They become a victim of violence by other inmates. The longer they have to wait for their trial the worse it gets. Day after day until the moment their fragile brain can’t take it anymore. They either commit suicide or take action against the person tormenting them. If that doesn’t happen and they actually make it back out to the “real” world things are different. The environment they had to adapt to in jail stays with them on the outside. Most likely they will be incarcerated again in the future.

WHAT I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE

I have personally spent time in some jail cells. I’m not proud of it. It opened my eyes to a lot of things I wasn’t aware of before. I am a Caucasian Female with blond hair and blue eyes at the time. (I have red hair now)  Depending on the area you were arrested in it could be scary. Some of them were known for how they treated any females that were brought in. I witnessed this done to others and there were things I would question when it came to me. I don’t know if they had to take my Blazer and shirt leaving me with only a see through camisole for the entire night. I don’t know why they had to take the little pillow, toilet paper, or my shoes and socks out of the cell. I’m pretty sure it didn’t take 5 officers to make sure I urinated without hurting myself or passing any drugs. The toilet was in the cell. I was young, scared, and I had acted irrationally. I just wanted to go home.

I watched some of the guys I knew as they went in and out of jail. I watched as they became meaner or shells of their old selves. I heard things I never wanted to hear.

Ricky was a sweet, charming, attractive, con artist. If given the chance I believe life could’ve been different for him. He had a lot of grief in his life that he hid with charm and humor. He came from a large family with little money. I know it was only the mother raising them. He had 1 brother who had overdosed, 1 brother who committed suicide, and another who died in a motorcycle accident. He not only hid behind his looks and humor he also numbed it with alcohol and drugs. It didn’t stop when he went to prison. Alcohol and drugs were easy to obtain where he was. Almost easier than on the outside. Every time he went in he came out worse. There were no addiction programs for him. He went from a muscular attractive guy to a skeleton.

He wasn’t the only one. There were several more. None came out better than when they went in. It was always worse. The stories always progressed, the violence done inside escalated until it stuck to them when they were released.

None of them had money for bail or lawyers. You know who did? Me. I was lucky. I personally witnessed how incarceration changes you. It’s never for the better.

This isn’t about anything other than changing the system so it recognizes they have a problem with the poor, the mentally ill, and addicted.

Poverty, Mental Illness, and Addiction have no color. bound-with-chains-of-the-spirit-and-of-men11

 

 


How To Be Friends With Someone Who Is Bipolar. Or Not.

My best friend of over 30 years had her 43rd Birthday toward the end of September. I didn’t call her, send a gift or a card. This is the first year that I’ve done nothing for her Birthday.

Our last conversation ended with her yelling at me. She told me I was always negative when I called and had nothing good to say. She never did either. I always tried to bring up subjects that she might want to talk about but they were limited.

She works 12 hour days and spends most of that time walking. She cleans her house before leaving for work and cleans it again when she arrives home. She then feeds her animals, herself and boyfriend, takes a shower and goes to bed. On the days she doesn’t work she is doing a project in her yard or rearranging her shed for 500th time. She also likes to wash her car. Even in the winter in New England.

She doesn’t watch TV or movies. She doesn’t read. She doesn’t go anywhere. She isn’t knowledgeable about current events and could care less who is President. She believes none of this touches her life. Considering she works for the Government in a way you would think she pay a little bit of attention.

I can’t continuously go down memory lane. It’s fun for the first few minutes. She’s always annoyed at some point in the conversation. She was never like this before.

Like me, due to a health issue she can’t have children now. She’s ok with it because she never really wanted children. I kind of did but knew I wouldn’t. Somewhere inside of her I know she’s hurt. Like me the choice was taken away for her. The problem is she never shows emotion unless you count annoyed. I would describe her as annoyed most of the time.

Trying to find a common ground is hard. She’s lived through all my shit with me. She doesn’t want to hear about fights with my sister, my Kidney Failure, or my dad. I’m not sure what she does want to hear. I’ll ask about her boyfriend. She’ll say “He’s fine”. I’ll ask about the animals (6 cats and 2 rabbits) she’ll say “They are all fine”. I’ll ask about the yard. She’ll say “It’s fine”. What the f*ck isn’t fine then? Talk to me like normal friends do. We used to spend 3 hours on the phone laughing. Now it’s 5 minutes of “fines” and she has to go to the store. I know she loves me, I know she cares. If it’s too much to be friends with me just say it. It hurts more sitting here knowing that she’s at her house on a Saturday night, sitting outside around a fire with other people having a few beers.

Why am I not there you might ask? She thinks I will feel uncomfortable because it is mostly couples. One of the couples that might (slim chance) stop by happens to be the guy I drank with for years and it ended with me covered in my own blood. She doesn’t want to take that chance. She also doesn’t want to be responsible if I feel bad and start chugging booze after 8 years or hurt myself. I would rather hurt the other person. (Joking. Kind of.)

Instead of giving me a chance to interact with people she pretends that her and her boyfriend just sit there alone and do nothing every weekend. This might be true but I don’t think so. W has a habit of getting bored with men around year 5 or 6. This one is past his expiration date and her own mother admitted that one to me.

So I am without any humans except my dad and I threw a jar of peanut butter at him today. I woke up late, hurried to the market and in the mean time didn’t take my medications. I started stuttering while talking to him and he turned his back on me and walked away like I didn’t exist. Just because you have a hard time understanding me doesn’t mean I do not exist or I am invisible. It is the most insulting thing to have someone just walk away while you fight to get words out.

Was throwing the peanut butter one of my better ideas? No. I apologized and told him how frustrating it is when he walks away. Did he really understand what I said? Probably not.

I wish I was Tarzan living in a remote jungle. Animals are easier to understand even their pain and suffering is easier for me to relate to. What does that say about me?


COMPULSION AND GRIEF (Addiction and Mental Illness)

I watched Mourning Son last night. It wasn’t just a True Crime story about a woman’s death at the hands of a charming but controlling man. It was also the story of the aftermath. How loved ones are left to deal or not deal with that emptiness that is now part of their lives. Her son was 15 when she was murdered. The way he handled it may have benefited some but was at a great cost to him. He appeared to go out of his way to push the limits of his body and mind. He had a ravenous appetite for drugs, sex, and anything that put his own life in jeopardy. (This is my take on it and not a professionals) It may have started as a small itch you can’t quite reach or a weird feeling in your stomach that won’t go away. But it grows. I know this feeling well. Maybe in a different way or from different circumstances but pain is pain, grief is grief, and self loathing is self loathing.

I had my own experiences with violence and loss.

I recall my own dirty Hotel rooms watching people smoke crack or shoot up while my eyes were half closed, seeing everything from a haze of alcohol. I would wake up and often wonder where I was and what exactly had happened. Did I have to worry about an STD, pregnancy, or anything else? Where did the bruises come from and did I consent to it? And yes, one time waking up with 2 lovely tattoos I didn’t quite remember getting. It was possible because from 18 to 27 I really didn’t care either way what happened to me.

If I was still fairly sober I would let anger show through. There always came a point in the evening where I gave up and realized it’s pointless. I didn’t deserve better out of life. I still don’t think that most days. I do think I deserve to be treated as a human being. I’m not invisible and hate being treated as such. This happens often and sets off triggers I can’t control.

I become overwhelmed with the surge of feelings. This happens to the point where my head hurts. I will start stuttering and my hand tremors will become worse. I feel like throwing everything that’s in my path and destroying it. I want to self destruct. Anything to get rid of feeling this way.

I never learned to interact with people past the age of 16. My maturity level is that of a 16 year old. My sense of humor also that of a teenager. Everyone around me grew up, met their significant others, got married, had children, bought houses, and are now probably getting married for the second time.

I on the other hand have never really had a boyfriend, husband, children, lived on my own, owned or rented my own house, been on an actual date, or anything close to normal.

I have traveled some. I’ve hung out with various musicians that would be known if listed here. I’ve learned a lot about prison life in case anything happens to me. I got to visit L.A. with my bestfriend of over 30 years and hang out at The Rainbow. We actually had one of the best times ever. I wish I could convince her to go again. Maybe in a manic phase I’ll say f*ck it and book the trip myself. It might not be the same sober and older but it’s better than sitting here waiting to die.

I want to say to people who have not experienced it, a mother’s death is the most excruciating thing one can go through. When it isn’t expected or when you are lied to about it it’s even worse.

Even though my mom was 62 when she passed it was when I needed her the most. It was during this time that my Bipolar Disorder decided to really show itself. My mom had always known I was different. She would always hold me, rocking me back and forth while she sang an oldies song. She also held my face in her hands many times. She would take this time to say how much she loved me and that she thought I was beautiful. I miss her more with each day.

Everyone deals with trauma and loss in their own way. Some eat in excess, drink too much, do drugs, have sex with strangers, whatever will take the memories and pain away. I think I did everything I just listed. The important thing is to come back from it. Some of us may never come back for some reason unknown even to us. To those who do get to come back honor the people you’ve lost, show the vile assholes that have crossed our paths that our families are stronger than they will ever be. I don’t believe in forgiveness, it’s too easy. It has to be earned. Too many people want me to let things go. It’s difficult when you know the person who left you drowning in your own blood is a 7 minute car ride away enjoying a cold beer. It’s a slow process.mv5bmtaznji3ndiwmtleqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mdqymzkzmtcx-_v1_sy1000_cr007071000_al_


FROM THE BEGINNING ( ALCOHOL AND MENTAL ILLNESS~ From Junior High to

JUNIOR HIGH

My time in Junior High has gaps. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t want to remember or if I can’t. It is possible it’s both. I wasn’t the tallest in my class but close to it. I did have the biggest breasts and was the 2nd or 3rd largest concerning weight.

I met my soon to be bestfriend W in the 6th grade but we never had classes together. It wasn’t that I was unintelligent. I didn’t have patience to study anything I wasn’t personally interested in. W did what they told her. She scored higher on tests and was placed in classes for students that were headed in a “College” direction. I wasn’t. They didn’t put me in a class where students ate paste either. By the time I had arrived at 6th grade I had already read and understood books like Lord of The Flies, The Call of The Wild and various Edgar Allen Poe tales. My brother left his books for High School around the house and I read them if I was bored.

They didn’t know what to do with me. I scored off the charts for reading and comprehension but not so well in Geography, Math, or History. Go figure.

If anyone was to give me a map of the United States but left it blank and I had to fill in where all the states were, I promise you it would be a disaster.

I’m not very good with directions either. I have to turn down the radio to see where I’m going. It’s sad.

Young Adults are cruel little animals. I’m not sure if it’s the pre-pubescent hormones, home situations, social class, clicks, or if even the teachers should be held accountable. I do know that what was said and done to me and countless others should never have been allowed to go on for so long. The human mind can only take so much before breaking or shutting down completely.

Bus rides were particularly unpleasant. There was a boy with orange/red hair on our bus.  He threw rocks at my sister and I. My brother was good for a few things. Scaring the shit out of people was one of them. My sister never bonded with my brother. Right from the start they butted heads. Rocks were being thrown in her direction but the hateful words were meant for me. I told my brother and he came out to the bus stop the next morning. Problem solved. Of course my sister wasn’t happy. She didn’t want to involve the person who had now become the “bully” and was feared by most people. The person she spoke about talked to me for hours and let me talk about how I felt hours. He didn’t think I was being a stupid kid. He knew my fears and pain were real because he felt them. In a year or two he would choose to numb his feelings with drugs and alcohol ripping our family apart. Until then he was my protector.

The boy with the red hair had moved. Unfortunately he moved where there was a girl with a bigger target on her back. I was lucky enough to have straight white teeth, eyes the color of the ocean that sometimes became lighter, and for someone as overweight as I was it didn’t show as much in my face. This poor girl came from a family that had given up on everything a long time ago. She was probably 275-300 pounds, her hair never looked or smelled clean, her clothes didn’t either. The boy had no compassion or mercy. I have no idea how or why there was a broom on the school bus. One day she had enough. She picked up the broom and wacked him over the head with it. At first everyone was quiet. Then blood started to pour down the middle of his forehead. He just looked confused. The medics and police came. No one asked us what happened. I wish they had. While I don’t condone violence everyone has a breaking point.

You ignore things so much it becomes a natural response. You grow a callus where your feelings should be. What you don’t know is that it’s all being put in storage for later. You might not feel it at the time, but you will later, when you least expect it.

I loathed all dances but went with W, my sister and her friends, anyway. I would stand as far from the light as possible. I had a habit of constantly pulling at my clothes as if they didn’t fit. The reality was I wore everything 2 sizes bigger than I was. I thought it would hide everything. I kept pulling my shirts down to hide my ass and front even though the shirt was already to my knees. I never wore anything that came higher than mid thigh. My brother jokingly said one time ” Do you even have an ass? Just saying sis cause those shirts are bigger than mine.”. He was trying to help in his way and I wasn’t mad. He was the only one who noticed what I was doing.

I stayed in the shadows for as long as I could. Then High School came.

Scientists believe when an inmate is sent to prison for any long period of time, that person stops maturing and stays at the intellectual and maturity level they were at when incarcerated.

They now believe the same is true for Alcoholics and Drug Addicts. As soon as you start to habitually use/abuse a substance you’re stunted intellectually and socially. 10131616112.jpg.jpg

I believe them.


FROM THE BEGINNING (Alcohol to Mental Illness. From The Cradle to Junior High)

I have decided to start my story from when it all began. I need everything to make sense to me. None of it is lately. I’ve had a lot of confusion and memory gaps. I have to keep a dictionary and thesaurus next to me at all times. I have trouble remembering peoples names that at one time I had no problem spitting out. I don’t like it.

THE CRADLE

My parents had known each other in grade school. My mother had a crush on my dad. Sadly they both had to quit school and wouldn’t see each other until years later in a bar. Both of my parents are alcoholics. My father has been sober 35 years. My mom passed away several years ago but had been sober 28 years at the time of her death.

Mental Illness and Alcoholism is prominent on my mom’s side of the family. 2 Alcoholic Uncles, 1 Schizophrenic, IV Drug addicted Uncle. 1 Alcoholic Aunt, My mom and 1 other sister suffered from Depression, my mom an Alcoholic, 1 more Aunt an Alcoholic and the last Aunt Schizophrenic. My Grandmother was something but the words I would use wouldn’t be polite. She did drink and personally I thought she was more than Mentally Ill. How my mom survived that woman I’ll never know. Almost all of her siblings fled at an early age. My mom was the oldest and stayed in the State. As years went by she felt responsible for her mother. If I could go back in time, grow a spine and speak up for my mom maybe things would’ve been different. But I know my dad didn’t sit back and watch so it must have fell on deaf ears. My mom could be stubborn when it came to family. I was lucky she was.

So my parents met again in a bar. It wasn’t love at first sight it more like Fatal Attraction. My mom chased my dad until he gave up. He says it was the best decision of his life. He was petrified when he learned she was pregnant and went away for awhile. He came back just in time for our delivery. My mother didn’t know she was having twins. It was January 1973. We were one right behind the other so the Doctor was only hearing one heartbeat. It was actually 2 that were in sync with one another. I wish my sister thought about that now.

When I was a baby/toddler I moved around a lot in my crib. I also had bloody noses frequently. My crib was one of those extra safe ones with wheels that didn’t quite lock in place. At some point I had begun to bang my head on the mattress of the crib as a soothing mechanism. When my parents would wake up in the morning they would come in to find my crib across the room.

They went out on a much needed date one night leaving me, my twin sister, and my seven year old brother with a babysitter. They forgot to tell the babysitter about my bloody noses or head banging crib moving. The babysitter walked into what looked like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. My crib across the room, blood all over the walls, and blood all over me. She did the logical thing and called the police. My poor parents came home to a swarm of police cars thinking the worse had happened. Nope. Just me and my “quirky” behavior.

I continued to bang or bounce my head for years. I also continued to get nose bleeds. I had my nose cauterized 3 or 4 times. If you don’t know what that is it’s like in movies when they would amputate then use fire to stop the bleeding. In my circumstance it was a chemical equivalent that burned the vessels in my sinus cavity to stop the bleeding. I would say it was uncomfortable. They took out my Adenoids and Tonsils thinking it would help. I was the oldest one having their tonsils out and of course something went wrong. I spiked a fever and started vomiting. This caused my stitches to tear so I had to stay longer.

My twin always looked at me with contempt or disgust when I had a nosebleed. I had no control over them. Sometimes all it took was the hot water hitting my head in the shower. I never knew when it was going to happen. The bouncing I could understand. I also would rock side to side while standing. I never felt comfortable no matter where I was. I had many soothing mechanisms. While sitting one leg was going up and down like a jackhammer. Hardly anyone noticed through the years what a big bundle of crazy nerves and self hate I was.

I really don’t know how so many people could’ve missed it. Teachers, Guidance Counselors, Parents, Relatives and even my own twin never could see me slowly dying day by day. A six hour school day was like thirteen hours to me. There was no place where I found joy or relief. I couldn’t even look to my sister for help. She had made it clear by the time we were in Junior High that I was on my own.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, and my own Birthday I would sneak away to my room to read. If I was reading I was in another world and not in mine. If anyone asked why I wasn’t joining in I said I “didn’t feel well”. I was the sickest kid in family history. As I became a little older things started to change. Around 12/13 I became irritable, spiteful, I would talk too much and read all night not sleeping. My parents always let us drink soda. But they started to ask me how much of it I had been drinking and if I was drinking coffee too. Someone suggested to my mom that it was “hormones”. Nope. I was an early bloomer making things more difficult. I had my period by age 10. I was a size 36 C by age 11. ( I apologize to the men reading. ) So in my expert opinion hormones were not it.

Someone recently asked if I felt resentful because I hadn’t been diagnosed earlier. What’s the point? It doesn’t change anything. Would I like to speak to some of the so called experts and tell them what it’s cost me? Sometimes. There isn’t a Psychiatrist, Doctor, Nurse, Therapist, who knows what I’ve been through unless they have been through the exact same thing. It’s impossible. I don’t understand what War is like and would never presume to. I don’t understand Religious Belief and wouldn’t pretend to because I’ve studied Religion. It doesn’t work that way.

Regrettably even other people with Bipolar Disorder and Addiction think they have or know the answers. They don’t. We can only take educated guesses at the similarities in certain groups. Human brains are like snow flakes. There are no two alike.tumblr_mmzqwg1lc71s7j5pho1_500

 


PURGE YOUR SOUL

I had my appointment with my Psychiatrist yesterday. He spent more time with me than usual because another patient had cancelled. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great. He really thinks doing this blog helps and that my family does not help. He appeared genuinely shocked that my twin sister isn’t more involved. He thought she lived in another state these past few years. I laughed a little too loudly at that one.

I’m still in a memory purge zone so that’s what I’m going to do.

My bestfriend W who has been my only close friend now for 30 years never judged me, or said anything about my drinking. It may have been because she was usually drinking too. She could have 4 or 5 beers and stop where I wouldn’t. I had to have 15 to 20. I did everything in excess. Shopping, drinking, and eating. The Queen of Excess. It would blow her mind the amount of alcohol I would put away in a few hours. Sometimes it frightened her. I didn’t think anything of it until a guy Sean who was an alcoholic said “You know that you crack a beer, light a cigarette, crack a beer, light a cigarette, look down at the ashtray and your empties man.” I looked down. There were 7 empties and 7 smoked cigarettes. We had been there 50 minutes. I was guzzling like I was in a contest. I chose to place this thought in the back of my mind.

W started to date a guy Will. I wasn’t fond of Will. She had met him at J’s apartment. I personally thought she could do better. She was in a 4 year college, she was beautiful, smart and funny. But she thought he was cute and she loved a guy who could make her 1338828079261974laugh. He did have a good job. I wasn’t crazy about how controlling he was with her. We started to see less and less of them at J’s. I still talked to her on the phone all the time. I started to hear rumors at J’s that Will had hit W once or twice. I cut back on going to J’s and started going to Will’s apartment so I could see W.

At first things were ok. Will was actually funny. Half the time I was laughing at him. He reminded me of a shorter version of Jerry Seinfeld with a mullet. One night he drank too much and was smoking pot. He fell asleep on the couch while W and I watched a movie. He dropped the lit joint down the leg of his shorts so it went into the crotch. He started jumping up and down screaming. To me it was hysterical. I didn’t laugh in front of him. W and I waited until later. I also went out with them a few times. I noticed every time W left me alone with Will he started whining about her or saying stuff about her that I wasn’t going to listen to for long without punching him. She knew he did this when drinking and just wrote it off. I wasn’t as quick to let it go.

There were 2 incidences that played a hand in my decision to stay away from them until W decided to leave.

The first incident was at a Fight concert. Fight was Rob Halford’s  band when he left Judas Priest. It was an extremely small venue. W and Will were going and I was to meet them there. When I saw W she looked horrible. She was pale and the thinnest I’ve ever seen her. She immediately pulled me into the ladies room. “Daner I have to leave him but I don’t know how. The other night I ran from the house in my nightgown and jumped in his brother’s car. He shot out the back window. I drove to the police station. I didn’t want him arrested, I was confused and we had been drinking. When I got home all of my stuff was on fire on the front lawn.”. I was more than angry. You can say and do what you want to me but NEVER TO MY FAMILY. W was closer to me than my sister. I asked her to tell me the truth if he had ever hit her. She was looking at the floor and said “Yes” quietly while she cried. W was normally someone who didn’t show emotion, who never let a guy get to her. I told her she wasn’t leaving with him that she was coming home with me. She looked frightened. I told her I would handle Will and to stay in the bathroom. Yes I was drunk. I found Will doing his usual holding up the wall eyes rolling to the back of his head drunkenness. I always found this level of inebriation revolting. I know it’s the pot calling the kettle black. I know for a fact that no matter how much I’ve ever drank in the past I have never been like that. Loud-definitely, Annoying- definitely, Repeater- definitely but not eyes rolling , falling down, spilling my drink on everyone, drunk.

When I stood in front of Will and he finally recognized who I was he immediately started to blame W. He said stuff about her that was so crude and out of line and in a public place that I was stunned. Other people could hear him because it was intermission. He was yelling that it was like “F*cking a dead fish with her, she doesn’t love me, she doesn’t love anyone, she’s a whore, she was f*cking everyone when I first met her at J’s” after 2 minutes of this I accidentally punched him in the face. He slid down the wall and was passed out either from alcohol or something.

The problem was when I went to get W and told her what had happened she was upset. She went to see how he was. You can probably guess what happened. She went back home with him.

I never understood why she stayed with him. A few months went by and everything had blown over. We had been invited to my sister’s house she shared with her college friends for a party. (Big shocker here!!!! It would be the first and last time) W was good friends with one of my sister’s roommates so she really wanted to go. We were both a little worried about Will.

Everyone was having fun. It actually lasted for half the night which was a lot longer than I had ever thought it would. Then I heard my sister yelling. You never want to make my sister angry. If people thought I was bad when I was drinking my sister was bad sober or drinking.

When I went to see what was going on she was yelling at Will and W was begging her to let “it” go. I yelled at my sister “What the hell is going on?” she said that Will had slapped W and bent her arm behind her back. She wanted him out of her house. He was refusing to leave. Will could be nasty when he was just the right amount of drunk. I told my sister I would handle it. She then turned her anger on me. “This is what happens when you bring your scumbag friends around” so then I started arguing with her. I then turned around to tell Will to shut the f*ck up. Will replied “I’m not going to listen to some fat baby killing whore” this may have been when the red veil came over my eyes. The next thing I know we’re both outside and I have him by the throat against a car. W wasn’t happy about any of it. I told her “This is it W. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t listen to him talk about you and now he brings up personal stuff about me in public? Until you leave him I can’t do this”.

It was a few more years before we spoke again. She was with Will for 7 years. The last 2 years she made him the victim and treated him almost as bad as he had treated her. None of it makes it right. As soon as I heard her voice I felt something inside me break open. We talked for 3 hours and promised ourselves that nothing like this would happen again.

Those 7 years with Will were really W’s first relationship. It left her a cold person when it came to men. She never was one for “feelings” to begin with. I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve seen her cry. Almost all of those times had to do with me. None had to do with a relationship. I’m not the only one who has some issues I’ve realized. She’s extremely moody, obsessive compulsive about odd things like her lawn and certain areas of her house, and the way she is with men. Her brother has Mental Health issues but refuses to see anyone and their parents refuse to acknowledge it. W does see it. It wouldn’t be so far fetched that she would have something going on.

I do realize that as an alcoholic in remission I see alcoholism in everyone. I do realize as a Bipolar person that I see Mental Health issues in everyone. This doesn’t necessarily make me wrong. Does it?


Rough Patch

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small. And the ones that Mother gives you, don’t do anything at all.

I’m in the middle of a rough patch. I’m not sure what to do. If I go in to a Hospital it won’t help and I’ll have a big bill. I will sit there for 72 hours while several different people ask me how I’m feeling, give me my medications, and give me Benadryl to sleep. I will see a Doctor maybe 1 time. He’ll repeat the question of how I’m feeling and never be seen again. They will tell me to follow up with my usual Doctor. 55cb1709e5e84e324ac12388cd821b8f

I really just want to move to Florida. At least when I was down there my Aunt called me on her lunch break and when she got out of work. She made sure I was ok and didn’t feel lonely. When I had to stay with her for a few days she seemed happier with me there. She’s like my mom. My mom was happiest when she felt useful. When her children were grown and my dad was obsessed with his hobbies is when she started to deteriorate. My Aunt’s children hadn’t called her the entire time I was there. When her daughter stopped by the day before I was to leave my Aunt asked why she hadn’t heard from her. My cousin said she figured because I was there they didn’t need to call her.

I have to say I was a little pissed at that. My Aunt’s children and my Aunt’s siblings that live in Florida have no problem calling her when they when want something. She isn’t a young woman. She’s 69 years old and has had Gastric Bypass. There were complications with Gastric Bypass and over the years she’s had to have a few surgeries and has gained some of the weight back. She’s still one of the most active people I know. She shouldn’t be doing most of the things they ask of her.

She has cleaned out entire apartments, painted the walls, decorated, put up wallpaper, and shelving. She has pulled out old mildewed carpeting and ripped up floors. Some of these things are just outrageous. I personally don’t think any 69 year old person who has been working all of their lives should have to continue working a full time job just to make ends meet. She has raised a family, made sure she kept a perfect home for a husband that didn’t appreciate her, and took care of his ill mother. On top of that working herself.

I watch my father struggle to pay property taxes and other bills. I pay the cable, phone, Internet, and Electric. I also put money in towards the water bill. It’s high because of the 300 birds outside. They have their own water system and have to be watered at least twice a day in the winter and three times a day in the summer. They also have their own electricity which includes heat lamps so I’m paying for that. My siblings think I have it easy living at home. If they knew what my father would be spending on the birds outside if I wasn’t paying they would have a fit. I also buy toilet paper, paper towels, and all cleaning products. It isn’t easy. I haven’t kept receipts because it’s my dad and I live there too. I just have a feeling that all of this might be questioned in the future.

These are also some of the reasons I have not taken the steps to move out. Besides the fact that I’m chickenshit and I don’t want to be alone. I’m kind of alone now anyway. I’m also being startled and yelled at when he does realize I’m here. I can’t win. It’s all so confusing. I have no one to talk to that won’t immediately ask about my medications or tell me I need a better Therapist or a different kind of Therapy. I don’t want to bother my Aunt.

Sometimes I talk myself into believing I’ve misread an entire situation or conversation. That I was never right to begin with. I’m starting to do that with my Florida vacation and my Aunt. I start to think that I probably did annoy her and I was a nuisance. I start to think she was only being polite and doing it for my mom. I start to think she couldn’t wait to get rid of me. I tried to talk less this trip. There were “jokes” made about the amount of talking I did the last time I was there. It was a few months after I had ECT and they had overshot their mark sending me into a manic phase that lasted quite a long time.

This trip I made sure if I was going to be in a group of the same people as the last time I would take half a Klonopin so I wouldn’t talk as much. I thought it kind of worked. But what do I know? I doubt everything these days. Love, trust, hope, existence. I wish I felt like I did after the one round of ECT. As bad as it was I felt confident, invincible and almost happy. It lasted almost 8 months. That is the longest I’ve ever felt anything close to happy in my entire life.

I even drove to a zoo that was 3 hours from my house. I had to go over a huge bridge which I’m not fond of at all. I was going because this zoo had a special breeding program for endangered wolves. They had built a special environment that mimicked the wolf’s in it’s natural habitat. It was beautiful. When I first got to the zoo it was a little crowded but for once I didn’t feel nervous. I was there for a purpose. I was a little disappointed when I arrived at the Wolf exhibit. There was a loud family of five there and the wolves were up on the rocks. There was no way they were coming down with all the noise and loud colors. Not to mention the strong perfume of the mom. I waited and waited. An hour went by before they left. I was so happy when they did I though my heart would burst.

I walked up to the fence as close as I could get but as far from where the family had stood. I stood with my shoulders slumped, eyes looking at the ground, head bowed. I was quiet as I could be. One by one they came off the rock. The Black one who was the Pack leader’s right hand man came up to the fence first. The rest followed on his signal. They all circled in front of me then sat down in the leaves. I cried tears of happiness, grief, and tears of everything I had lost and everything I would never have. In the end it was still one of the happiest moments of my life.

 


MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS *(may contain triggers)

I told him how I would find a Hotel. Rent a room. I would put plastic down on the floor so there wouldn’t be too much of a mess. I would drink as much as I could prior to doing anything. I wouldn’t leave any identification to be found. I would find a way to get a gun. I told  him I’m tired of being a living ghost and invisible.

I looked over at him. He was stabbing his tablet with the stylus saying “Goddamn, Goddamn!”. He had not heard a word I had said. I may think about what would happen if I did kill myself but I wouldn’t do it. I’m too afraid to find out there’s nothing but darkness when you do. That’s what scares me about death. Right now I fool myself into thinking that there’s a happy place everyone goes where I would see my mom, other relatives, and my animals. Not Heaven, just a beautiful place where everyone, no matter what finds peace. Suicides are not allowed in Heaven as far as I know but they would be allowed here and they would find what ever it is they’re looking for.

I had a brilliant idea to start a company where you can hire a friend for a day. Someone who sits and listens to you, has lunch with you or a movie. You could watch TV and joke about the absurdity of it all. This is how pathetic I’ve become. I would legally change my name to Ghost if it wasn’t also a drug dealers name on TV.

It doesn’t feel like anyone is becoming aware of the Mental Health situation at all. We are treated like experiments. For once I would like to go in and have a Doctor say I’m going to give 1 pill and it will make everything better. That will never happen.

What my family and the rest of society will never understand is this is as good as it’s going to get for me personally. I’ve been told by numerous Doctors. At this stage of the game with other illnesses going on I WILL CONTINUE TO GET WORSE.

Instead putting restrictions on our relationships and ultimatums why don’t they just spend as much quality time with me as they can? I am alone and all I hear is “You’re not seeing the right Doctor, You need more therapy, Maybe acupuncture”. NO, NO, NO! LISTEN! I don’t need anything but a hug and some support. I will continue with the medications I’m on for now. There is nothing else to be done. I am so tired of explaining myself and apologizing.


PSYCHIATRIST TOMORROW & ANGER

I feel somewhat angry today. It could be the fact that I have to see my Psychiatrist tomorrow. The man that does nothing for me but try to push whatever the latest Pharmaceutical Rep has pushed on him, on me. He practically reads from the pamphlet. As soon as I see it’s almost exactly like Brintellix, Pristiq, Abilify, Seroquel, or something else I’ve already been on I start to get anxious and annoyed. Then the game of “Have you ever been on?” starts. You’re the Doctor, I’m the patient. I have cognitive issues and write everything down, you have a computer and a secretary. You also make a shitload of money and your telling me that you can’t pull up my file on your screen to see what you’ve prescribed me before? You want me to do your job for you? Which by the way I have been. I’ve been adjusting my mood stabilizer so I don’t rip anyone’s head off or cry until I’m so dehydrated I look like chicken jerky. You’re welcome.

I’m also tired of the Political goop on television. The sensationalism of it all. When did a race for President turn into fodder for Entertainment Tonight or TMZ’s hottest story besides Brangelina’s divorce? (Her fault. Turn your hands into 2 scales. Pretend you are weighing dysfunction with Angelina on one side and Brad on the other. Now tell me between French kissing your brother while looking like the mother from The Munsters and Billy Bob who’s side is weighed down more? Thank you.) ANYONE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT SHOULD NOT HAVE ANY TAPE RECORDINGS OF SAID PERSON OJECTIFYING OR DISRESPECTING WOMEN. I don’t care how many E-mails your opponent has you f*cking idiot. You should be ashamed of yourself. The only reason any woman sleeps with you is because you are GREEN $$$! Now you insult them? Good luck after this. Although even O.J. still managed to find a girl or two so what does that say about us?

No one wants to talk about one of the biggest issues. The Suicide rate and the Mental Health system. You really are not hearing it discussed much. I really do wonder what other countries think of us when they see our suicide rate is higher than our murder rate. That we would rather kill ourselves than live here? That the U.S. isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

I’m in my runaway mode again. I want to go somewhere warm. I want there to be a pool, no flies, no one to yell at me but people that will talk about movies and TV with me. They won’t mind if I babble. I won’t have to take extra Klonopin to make myself quiet so they won’t send me home. My mom would’ve listened. She didn’t care if I talked too much. My brother in law before I was diagnosed, thought I had always had too much caffeine and found it hysterical. He doesn’t now. Now everyone finds it to be a “problem” or I must be “off my meds” or not taking them correctly. Odd how they all thought it was funny before. No one finds me very funny now. My dad has started to roll his eyes.

One thing that hurts me deeply is seeing someone eye roll me. I have no spine, no way to stand up for myself. I really want to slap them upside their head until their eyes roll back into position. But I can’t. I’m not capable of it sober. 8 years of thank yous, yes please, no thanks, can I help you with that? Have taken it’s toll. My parents brought us up to be polite. It only stuck to one of us. Unfortunately the other two’s politeness stuck too. I can’t shake it.

I think I’m winding down and I am now having a hot flash. The joys!


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