Monthly Archives: February 2017

HACKSAW RIDGE

Hacksaw Ridge stars Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn. It’s directed by Mel Gibson. This is Mel Gibson’s first directing project in 10 years. He won Best Director for Braveheart in 1996. Hacksaw Ridge is up for Best Picture and Best Director this year at The Academy Awards.

I would like to see Mel Gibson win for Best Director, he deserves it. Unfortunately, it’s Hollywood and they can hold a grudge. After winning Best Director in 1996 it wasn’t long before things started to go downhill for Mr. Gibson. He was arrested for a DUI where he made some irrational statements to the arresting officer. This severely hurt his career. He was also accused of domestic violence by an ex-girlfriend.

*This is a side note/opinion. While reading the autobiography of a famous hard rock band the lead singer told a story where Mel Gibson showed up at his house late at night. He was already drunk and they continued drinking. Eventually the singer had to kick him out. This musician is a known alcoholic and to be kicked out of his house really says something to me. When you add in the irrational behavior and choices I can’t help but think there is something more going on. But I have a habit of seeing illness in a lot of people.*

Mr. Gibson has talked about his past problems and has said that he has done a great deal of work on himself over the years and has apologized many times. But is Hollywood willing to overlook his past?

If they don’t it would be an injustice not only to Mr. Gibson but to everyone who has struggled to keep going even though they battle the same issues he does. His work is his work. Hacksaw Ridge is as close to perfect as you can get for a film of this genre. Watching it you feel like time has flown bye.

Another aspect of the film I loved was that nothing was shoved down your throat. A true story was told. I thought the insight (shown in flashbacks) into why Doss refuses to kill or carry a gun was poignant and crucial to the film. Showing interview clips from the real people portrayed in the film at the end was emotional and really brought it all together.doss_hacksaw_ridge_movie_screen_shot

I’m not sure if it’s the Best Picture but I’m definitely sure it should win Best Director.

 

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HOW I SURVIVED NOT KNOWING I WAS MENTALLY ILL (I Know People Don’t Like The Term But It’s What I Know)

I see many blogs and websites that talk about “Recovery” when it comes to Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, or Schizophrenia. I would really like to know how they have accomplished this. Did they really recover or do they just think they did? I’m not certain. I can only go by my own experiences.

I always knew I was different. When you are born a twin you always have someone to compare yourself to. I spent most of my time watching her as if I was on the other side of window. I never participated in group activities, I hated sleep overs and birthday parties, I could only go if my twin was going too. She hated me clinging to her so much but I felt like she was my life jacket.

I remember all of the little things from when we were little. She doesn’t. Memories would and still do pop in to my head and stay there circling round and round. They are never good memories.

Socially I was incredibly shy and awkward. School was damaging. I was overweight and picked on often. My twin was not. I didn’t hold it against her I just wanted her to defend me or tell me it would be okay. She didn’t. It was my mom who always did. My mom knew I was different from an early age too. She had discussed it with my dad but they decided not to take me to a Doctor. It was the early 80’s and most people didn’t do that then.

When I was 16/17 I found that alcohol made life tolerable. I could be whoever I wanted to be when I drank. There was just one problem, when you drank as much as I did you couldn’t do it around everyday people or they would think you had problem. So I drank with people I would not normally be around. My behavior became more unstable as I had more manic episodes. I would think it was a good idea to do things that were not a good idea. I was also promiscuous and didn’t care. During depressive episodes and drinking I didn’t even hesitate to swallow a bottle of pills, slit my wrists or jump from the roof of a building. (The building was a lot closer to the ground than I thought so I only got a sprained ankle and chipped bone in my foot). I continued to drink for 20 years or more. In between I was court ordered to see several Psychiatrists and Therapists who never diagnosed me with anything except that I abused alcohol and I might be depressed. There was one who said I had Social Phobia. If I totaled all of the Therapy hours together it would be 4,375 hours of no diagnosis, no CBT that helped or DBT that helped. I think that’s a lot of hours over at least 10 years of my drinking to not receive help that actually worked or a diagnosis.

So it wasn’t until after my mom died and I was arrested for a DUI that I finally quit drinking and my Primary Care Doctor said “I think you might be Bipolar, does it run in your family?”. I told her what I told all of the other Doctors “YES”. But this time she sent me to someone who actually knew a little more.

I wish I could say I’m better but I’m not. The best I ever felt was after a round of ECT. Unfortunately the experience of it was so unpleasant I couldn’t go back. Now, being in Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease with only one kidney, doctors are concerned about doing it again. I also am having too much anesthesia. I have to go under every 4 to 5 months to have the stents changed that are keeping my kidney working. That’s for the rest of my life. It appears I like anesthesia because they have a hard time bringing me out of it. It’s becoming an issue. I know because they contacted my Psychiatrist who told them it’s possible my brain could choose to not wake up because of the Conversion Disorder.

So what’s recovery like? What is it like to have a support system? What’s it like to have someone who loves you, hold you and tell it’s going to be okay and you’re fine the way you are? The only way I would ever get that again is to see my mom. When I’m under anesthesia she’s there and it’s sunny and some of my past dogs are there too running around. She hugs me so much it’s why I don’t want to leave.

 


YOU TOLD ME ALREADY!

I forget what I’ve already said to people. I shouldn’t considering I only talk to my twin sister and my Dad. The problem is the conversations with my sister are usually texts and when I actually get her on the phone it’s been awhile. I become over excited and rush to say everything I can before she tells me she has to go. She then gets angry and says that I only talk about myself and never listen to her problems. I’ve told her a million times that she has to stop me and just politely say “Can I tell you what happened to me?”. I’ll understand. But she would rather yell at me.

This happened this morning. I knew I called her too early. I can’t really talk to anyone until after 9:30 for some reason. Maybe it’s my medication but I’m pretty bad when I first wake up and I don’t improve until after 9:30. Of course the subject of Doctors came up and she asked if I found a new Psychiatrist or considered Therapy again so I can gain better “coping” skills. The conversation went downhill from there. She said that she doesn’t believe I have no control over what I say and think. She believes that I can control the loop of thoughts and memories in my head if I really wanted to. She doesn’t believe that I am “medication resistant” or that my Bipolar is harder to treat than anyone else’s.

I was crying and stuttering. The more I tried not to the worse it became. I was angry and sad. I told her I didn’t want to lose her. She told me I was stupid but if I continued the way I was she didn’t know what would happen. Supposedly I “upset” her every time we talk and our conversations leave her nauseous.

I can’t say that I felt too great after speaking with her either. As a matter of fact I was looking for the closest sharp object. Then I was filled with anger.

She has never really listened to what I’ve been through. She doesn’t want to know. Maybe I keep repeating past events hoping one day she’ll hear what I’ve been through. But she won’t. I have to accept that. She’s been the same person for 44 years she isn’t going to change. When my dad found out he was in Kidney Failure and headed towards dialysis I immediately offered one of my kidneys. My Dad has too much pride and refused at first but said he would think about it. My sister never offered. He deteriorated too fast and had to go on Dialysis, then in a weird twist of fate I went into Kidney Failure and lost my right kidney. (My sister never offered me a kidney either. I didn’t need one but she didn’t know that. My best friend offered though.) My dad has brought up the idea of a kidney transplant recently but he’s 73 so I’m not sure how that works. There isn’t anyone else in the family able to do it except for my sister who doesn’t work and is healthy enough to do it but won’t. Sorry, but this pisses me off. It also reminds me that she’s selfish and doesn’t appreciate anything.

My Dad gets upset when I try to talk to him about my sister. I’m not sure too many people know what it feels like to have your twin sister act embarrassed by you. This started at an early age. I know she said that she wanted us to have separate friends and be are own “person”. She went out of her way with this idea. Banning me from parties and going to the same places that she went with her friends is a little much. She also was ashamed of our parents and our house. My parents didn’t know this but she was very vocal about it when they were not around.

We weren’t exactly poor but my parents worked hard to own their house and were not able to really save much money. I would say we were lower middle class. I had money for things I wanted because I started working at 14.

When it came time for my sister’s wedding she was pissed that they could only afford to give her $10,000 and pay for her dress which was $1,500. I wanted to slap her. They wanted my parents to pay for an open bar and for private security for a few of the guests that needed it. WTF??!! Both of my parents were alcoholics who had been sober for 30 years, there was no way they were paying for an open bar. Private security for people who have more money than my entire family combined? Don’t think so. Then my sister told my mom she didn’t want any of my mom’s side of the family invited to the wedding. My mom loves to show off her kids and she loves her brothers and sisters. It hurt her immensely to hear this. I think my Dad actually talked to my sister because she changed her mind fast.

Then the last insult. My dad spent months building a Treasure Chest made of Oak and was Gold Plated. He did all of the carving by hand, there were sail boats and the ocean, he did the welding and the gold plating. The chest was where the guests would put their envelopes and then was meant to be kept as memento. It was beautiful. Until they ran through their Honeymoon money too fast, couldn’t find the key to the Chest and decided to smash it to pieces.

When said to her “I don’t want to lose you” and her reply was “I don’t know, it’s too much talking to you, I’m anxious and sick to my stomach for the rest of the day after. You have to get more help and Therapy or this isn’t going to work.”.

I don’t respond well to ultimatums. Do I think my Doctors are doing their best? No, I don’t. But it would be nice to have support for a change.


I THINK WHAT YOU NEED TO DO….

If there is one thing that bothers me more than anything, it’s when someone tells me what they think I need to do to “get better”. What I hear is “you’re not trying hard enough”. I then start to think that people around me are thinking that I don’t want to get better. That doesn’t bother me it breaks me.

I remember a time when my Dad would come home from work and give us “foot rides”. He had to wear steel toed boots to work and he was on his feet for 10 hours a day. He didn’t care how tired he was when he got home, I would wrap myself around one leg and my sister around the other. My Dad would then drag us around the house. After he would give us Rollo’s that he bought from work everyday just for us.

I remember the tire swing he made us in the backyard. I spent a lot of time by myself watching squirrels, chipmunks, butterflies and every other kind of creature while my Dad did yard work. I remember watching my Mom cook and feeling so calm as I watched her hands move.

If anyone thinks that I wouldn’t want those feelings back than they have bigger problems than I do.

Everyone pushes me to go to Group Therapy. What people who have never been to Group Therapy don’t understand is that where I live everyone is put together. Your group could have someone similar to you or a group largely made up of people that can’t function as well. I’ve been to many different Group Meetings in my area. Something scary always happened. Maybe I bring bad luck. The last straw was the man who pulled out a butcher knife and held it to a staff member’s throat. I was standing next to him and was told not to move. It was fun when the S.W.A.T. team showed up pointing their guns at him and me!

Good thing I’ve been peppered sprayed before because that also happened at another Group Therapy session. I wasn’t sprayed I just got the residual effects. So much fun! I think after about Group number 30 I quit. It’s worse when you’re hospitalized. Not only is there mentally ill but they also put you with people who are detoxing. This has happened twice.

Stop telling me what you think I need to do to “get better” and try listening to me or, now I know this idea is out there but how about spending some time with me? Or you could stop ignoring me and judging everything I do and say.

Just a suggestion that will never be seen or heard.

 


WHY I’M STILL HERE (* May Contain Triggers and Spoilers*)

I wonder why I’m still here. I’ve been in the hospital after more than 5 suicide attempts so I wonder why I’m still here. But I think I know. After watching a movie the other night, the film stayed with me. It still lingers. It’s familiar.

In the movie a young couple from a small town in New England are married and have three children. The husband still likes to drink with his buddies and go fishing on his brother’s boat with his nephew.

One night his friends are at his house until 2 a.m. drinking and playing games downstairs. The wife makes them leave, she was mad at first but then laughed at them for being idiots. Later on the husband is drunk and finds the house cold so he places another log in the fire place and decides to walk to the store up the street.

By the time he returns the house is in flames. The only one that survived was his wife. The police refuse to charge him because he forgot to put the screen on the fireplace. The look in his eyes when they tell him he won’t be held responsible is important. You don’t see relief. As he is walking out of their office he grabs an officer’s gun and tries to kill himself.

He moves away to another city and cuts himself off from his entire family and all of his friends. The people in the town blamed him for the fire but his friends and family didn’t.

He takes a janitorial job and lives in the basement of a building that resembles a cell. He follows the same routine everyday. He doesn’t interact with people. His self imposed isolation is painful to watch mostly because I see too much of myself. He carries all of the people he’s hurt around with him. When given a chance of forgiveness and a glimpse at happiness he’s unable to let go of his guilt and grief. He takes one more look at the sea before returning to his cell.


HOW DID YOU KNOW?

I know I’ve mentioned the importance of music to me in previous posts. At times music can lift my mood at least a little bit. Other times music can speak for me when I physically can’t. I use music for road rage and when I’m sad or overwhelmed. I have also tried to use it to explain Bipolar and Addiction to family members who have trouble understanding. So many people think that it’s just their loved one who thinks and acts the way they do.

This is one of the biggest problems. The other problem is when you think you are the only one who thinks and acts the way you do. This feeling leaves you isolated and confused.

I’ve mentioned a few songs that have helped me understand having Bipolar Disorder. There is only one that after I watched it and really listened to the words that I felt I might break.

I couldn’t comprehend how anyone could’ve put into words exactly what was in my head. How could this person seem to know conversations I had with my mother? How did they know the exact words she had said to me? How I felt, what I said in my head. How was this possible?

I had been recently diagnosed when I heard the song “Hate Me”. I knew about Bipolar Disorder because I had family members with Bipolar Disorder and other Mental Illness. Realizing the connection between Addiction and a missed diagnosis really messed with me. I was angry and sad doesn’t begin to cover it. The many, many, Doctors that I talked to along with Therapists, didn’t understand. All of them believed if I tried hard enough and took the right medications I would be fine. That just isn’t true. It isn’t true for a large percentage of Bipolar patients.

I don’t think I would be here if I hadn’t stumbled upon that song. As soon as I heard “Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I am all alone” I was frozen. “Playing movies in my head”. “In my sick way I want to thank you for holding my head up late at night, while I was busy waging wars on myself you were trying to stop the fight.” “You made me compliment myself when it was way too hard to take”. “And then I fell down yelling MAKE IT GO AWAY! Just make a smile come back and shine just like it used to be. And then she whispered “How can you do this to me?”.

I have reels of tape or movies that play over and over. I would come home so drunk I could barely stand up, sometimes bleeding from a fight or myself. My mom would stay with me the entire night. She would listen while I told her to leave me alone, I wasn’t worth it. I would beg her to let me go. She never did. I did push it too far at last and that’s when she said “How could you do this to me?”.

There is a part in the song that I wish she could’ve seen “I’m sober now for 3 whole months it’s one accomplishment that you helped me with. The one thing that always tore us apart is the one thing I won’t touch again”.

She never saw me attain sobriety, certainly not for 9 years. I hope wherever she is that she knows how important she is. Not many parents would’ve put up with what mine did. I’m lucky to have had my mom and to have my dad now.

Thank you Blue October, not only for “Hate Me” but for the hope you give with your other music. “Fear” is another song that has made an impact. I don’t know how you reach that point of peace but it makes me feel better for a brief time just watching the progression and video.98d9b34114cb1f3bfa8eddb1ae41a4aa

 

 


One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Yesterday and the day before I had actually started to feel a little better. I changed my meds on my own. (I am not endorsing this for anyone else to do) My Doctor is unfortunately an idiot who only recites what the Pharmaceutical Representative tells him or he reads from the box. He doesn’t even know his own Hospital’s Research Studies or New Programs.

I’m almost through the Anniversary of my mom’s death except for the fact that I now can’t remember the exact date or time it happened. I’ve been trying for 2 days. I think it was at 9:12 p.m. or 10:12 p.m. but I can’t ask anyone what the exact date was because they’ll get mad at me. I’ve already had that happen today.

I was in a good mood this morning (a rare event) so I called my sister. I guess I was rambling on about myself and possibly Mel Gibson when I noticed I was getting mostly silence on the other end. I knew this meant she was done with me. I made the Holy Grail of mistakes.

I didn’t ask my sister how she was doing first and listen to her problems first. A big no no.

When I had been on the phone with her for a few minutes she interrupted me so she take a call from her neighbor. Her neighbor is the same age as her and has kids also. It’s a snow day so the kids are home. My sister came back on the phone and said “I feel so bad for her right now, her husband’s been out of town for the last 2 weeks and she’s been stuck with the kids by herself. Plus 2 snow days she’s going crazy over there! The poor thing. I told her I would watch the kids so she could relax so we’re getting together later”.

This she feels for??!!  Her sister could be dangling off a bridge (I wouldn’t it’s too cold) and she wouldn’t even take the f*cking call but a stressed out stay at home mom with money she feels bad for. (No offense to stay at moms with money)

So when I abruptly stopped talking and told her I was going to let her go because I knew she was busy she got mad at me! Her words were “Why do you always do this?” I told her that I know her tone of voice. She said it was because I was doing all the talking.

BRAIN OVERLOAD

It’s extremely baffling to me how most of my life everyone around me (including strangers) commented on how I didn’t talk. I would be forced to go to a Wedding in the family where I didn’t know more than half the people and they would comment on how quiet I was. Compared to my mom I suppose a foghorn would seem quiet. (Sorry mom but you know you were loud and loved to talk)

One of the reasons I think I was so quiet is because of my environment growing up. It was always loud. I understand why my Dad spent a large amount of time outside and never went to family events. I was too young to have a choice. lol

When I did choose to speak it actually shocked people to the point they couldn’t pay attention to what I actually said. They could only focus on the fact that I was actually speaking.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t win. I talk too much or I talk too little. Story of my life. I’m like my dad. When I say something I usually like to think about it first. The only time I don’t do this is when I’m with people that are close to me that I love. I become excited because they’re spending time with me and I feel pressure to get everything out at once. I feel like I won’t see them again or talk to them again so I better make use of my time.

This is something I’m trying to deal with. I have told my best friend to let me know when I’m rambling too much and to dial it back, I’ve told my dad and sister too. The only one who has listened is my best friend. My dad just ignores me and my sister becomes irritated.

Isn’t this fun? But the good news is I HAVE NOT CRIED TODAY!

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I’m Sorry Some Of My Breakdown Landed On You

I had to leave the house today because snow is coming and I didn’t have food I could eat or bottled water and Ginger Ale. I’m picky about both. I only started drinking water when I went into emergency Kidney Failure. I wish I could tell you when that was but I can’t remember. I can’t drink regular soda anymore because of the color. That is one thing I remember the “Team” being extremely specific about. NO DARK TEAS OR COLAS!! I happen to like Ginger Ale because I have a lot of problems with my Gallbladder and stomach. The ginger actually works to settle some of these problems but only if you buy the correct product. Only 1 of the 2 biggest sellers actually has ginger in it. I had to find that out on my own. In order to drink the massive amounts of water I’m supposed to drink it has to be in the freezer for a little bit and can’t be tap water from my State. (Unless I want to damage the one kidney I have left)

I’ve become one of those picky people. I never used to be. Any brand of beer was fine and a shot of anything to go please. But your physical health is connected to your mental health. There’s no getting around it. I have to deal with the malabsorption and malnutrition going on or I won’t be lasting much longer. I am getting very tired and a little out of breath just doing the smallest of the things. That shouldn’t happen at 5’7″ and 137 pounds. (My weight has dropped from 150 since I returned from Florida)

I have this habit of not asking anyone for help. Because of this I get hurt. I try to bring all the grocery bags in at once. In the last couple of months I have fallen 3 times. My father watched me fall all 3 times. It wasn’t until this last time when I face planted and landed on a container of sour cream that then exploded everywhere that he got out of his chair and came to help me. I wasn’t quite awake at the time but woke up when the dog started licking sour cream off of me. My dad could see that I was really hurt this time because the elbows of my shirt stuck to me with blood and so did the knees of my jeans.

Today felt worse than ever for some reason. I couldn’t decide on items I needed. I had a list but none of it made sense. All I really wanted was a cake but there’s never a Gluten Free Cake. I hung on to my carriage while I sank to my knees in the baking aisle and cried. It’s a good thing my hair is so long and hid my face. I’m sure I still looked odd. When I got home I felt nothing but anger. I kicked the door in and broke the hinge. I said the F word in front of my dad. Actually I yelled it for no reason. I was muttering to myself and then crying on the floor. My dad picked me up from the floor and hugged me for a long time.

When I calmed down I made myself some soup and sat next to my dad to watch TV. I felt so much better just being next to him. Then the Chihuahua flung his bone into my bowl of soup and sent it flying everywhere. I don’t think anyone will be surprised if I tell you that I lost it again. (Funny part is there was a dollop of sour cream on top of the soup) I spent an hour cleaning it off of the nice couch. Then I decided I had enough for one day and came upstairs to smoke cigarettes and reflect. I don’t care how bad they are I have bigger issues.  So, anyone watch Hacksaw Ridge? I hope they forgive Mel Gibson in Hollywood. Like none of them have ever done anything a little off? Anyway the movie was brilliant in the way it was shot and didn’t try to force anything on the person watching. I love Vince Vaughn. He can have some mean eyes though. I think him and Jimmy Fallon should do a movie together.

That’s it for me. Goodnight.


“Maybe You Should Go Off Your Meds To See What Happens”

This is what my Psychiatrist suggested today. I think telling a patient with suicidal thoughts (maybe not suicidal but definitely wouldn’t care if I stayed under anesthesia after my next surgery next month) is an awesome idea. Maybe I’m not being honest. It’s not that I want to die, I just don’t want to live. Does that make sense?

When you feel like you have never belonged somewhere you get to a point where you start to think “Why do I bother?” I’ve given up on almost everything I used to do including my appearance. I just don’t care. I don’t fit in. I never have. A magic pill isn’t going to fix that. I’m to tired to try and change myself or pretend anymore.

I have decided that my physical problems probably play a large part in how I am feeling. If my kidney disease has gotten worse this could explain a lot. I also need to be tested for Mono because I was around my sister when she was contagious and shared an ice coffee with her. My immune system is non existent so my chances are good that I could’ve gotten it from her. I haven’t done anything about being in menopause which screws with your hormone levels and can make you feel worse specifically if you are Bipolar.

These are all things I have to do but don’t feel like doing. The anniversary of my mom’s death is the 9th and I have a hard time every year around the anniversary. It wasn’t me who noticed this. Of course it was my family. Sorry for having a hard time because the one person that understood how I felt, the one person who hugged me and told she me she loved me no matter what every single day, the one person who touched my face and told me I was beautiful, is gone forever. I now have no one that does any of these things. Human touch is foreign to me now.


The Sound Of Silence And Reaching Out

One of the first songs I ever heard that for some reason I found myself relating to was Metallica’s “The Unforgiven”. The lyrics touched something in me that at the time I couldn’t describe. I was drinking daily at that time in my life to make myself feel numb to the pain inside and to act normal on the outside. The chorus itself struck me pretty hard.

“What I’ve felt, what I’ve known, never shined through in what I’ve shown. Never Be. Never See. Won’t see what might have been”

Other parts of the song resonated with me also. This will just be random lines from the song that have meaning to me.

“Through constant pained disgrace, the young boy learns their rules. With time the child draws in. Deprived of all his thoughts, the young man struggles on and on he’s known.”

“He tries to please them all. This bitter man he is. Throughout his life the same. He’s battled constantly, this fight he cannot win, a tired man they see no longer cares”

When I was younger I never showed anyone who I was. I tried to never stand out in any way. I was a mediocre student who hid in the back of every class. While drinking I wasn’t the “real” me either. I could’ve done more with my life if it had been possible.

Today I left a message for myempathyblindness best friend telling her I loved her and not to worry, I also said she didn’t have to call me back. I also left a message for my sister saying the same.

My best friend called me back and her first words were “I’m worried. I don’t like how you sounded in your message. What’s going on?”. I didn’t lie this time. I told her that mentally and physically I am not doing well and I’m afraid. She’s known me for 30 years and has seen me after I have tried to hurt myself several times. So even though we don’t talk all the time she has seen first hand more than anyone what I’ve been through. She has been the only one at times to show any empathy or compassion at all. Sometimes I don’t know how she managed to stay with me for so long. I know we had a lot of fun times but the bad times where I scared her would have been enough to drive anyone away.

My sister didn’t respond at all.

 

 


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