TO EXPERIENCE

I can only relay what I have experienced with my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism. I can also tell you what I HAVE NOT experienced because of Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism.

My health is a little up in the air right now. It’s reached the point where I think of the things I’ve never done. Things that I would like to before I can’t.

To be touched by a man that loves me without violence or alcohol.

I’ve never had that.

To be kissed by a sober man or even hold hands with one while I am also sober.

I’ve never done that.

To  travel by myself somewhere warm and just breathe.

To have happiness for longer than a week.

For people to see me as I really am. Or to be seen at all.

To be able to make friends easily to ease the loneliness.

These are not huge things but to me they are. I still work on them but feel time is running out. Some things I’ll have to accept won’t happen. That’s ok. As long as I am me and not pretending to be someone else.

 

As Long As I Have Me

 

 

Hello! I have a much different perspective today. Thoughts and feelings have evolved in a way. I see the mistakes that I made and how out of control I was. I need help. I see that now. I’ve never tried hard enough with therapy and when I get my health back I’ll try again. While I’m in Boston I’ll look into Doctors and Therapists specializing in Bipolar Disorder and Conversion Disorder. There are some cutting edge research programs there and already existing programs and centers. I have to be open and willing to do the work.

I have been used to being unhappy for so long that I have become afraid to BE HAPPY. I don’t know what that world looks like and it scares the crap out of me.

There are still things I want to do in this life. I would like to see Steven Tyler in concert one more time. There are a few others as well. I would like to travel a little. New Orleans is still on my list too. There are some good movies coming out I’d like to see. These may seem like frivolous reasons but it’s what keeps me going. These small things. A song that expresses what I feel or can’t say. Or a song that makes me feel some kind of happiness. Movies that help me escape the pain my brain perceives in this world. I used to enjoy travel until I became afraid to leave the house. I would like to take things further with my jewelry. I’m tired of being so hard on myself and thinking I suck. I don’t think strangers would stop me in stores to ask about the jewelry I’m wearing that I’ve made if it was awful.

I also need  to try to let everything go with my sister and brother in law. It isn’t going to do anyone any good. I’m not going to let things be the way they were. I was calling her too much. She never picked up, but I did call a lot. I’m trying not to do this. I need to do this for my nephews. I can’t see my brother in law right now. My father spoke to my sister this morning. Her side of the story was told. I of course was made to look like an out of control crazy person who damaged the relationship of all of us. I’m not so sure she’s wrong.

The suicidal thoughts are gone. It wouldn’t achieve anything and it would ruin all the hard work I HAVE DONE. I have survived 20 years of Alcoholism and an undiagnosed mental illness. I have survived physical abuse, verbal abuse, and some of the worse mind games I’ve ever experienced. I SURVIVED ALL OF IT.

I would rather experience physical and verbal abuse than the mind games. At least I knew where I stood with the other two. When someone tells you they love you and you’re one of the most important people in their life and they say and do all the right things, then you slowly find out everything is a lie, it’s devastating. I spent over 7 years with someone who was suppose to care about me. When the entire time he did everything in his power to make sure I sunk deeper and deeper into an abyss. I can’t blame him for everything, I chose to drink and I chose to hang out with him. When you hear something repeatedly you start to believe it. I was told no one would ever care about me like he did. No one would ever understand me like he did. So I ignored things. When he twisted my arm behind my back and pushed my face into the carpet I ignored it.

The biggest warning sign I ignored was when I got a phone call one Christmas from someone I hooked up with frequently. He was my first and I thought I loved him. I was stupid. I had not heard from him in a long time. He called to say he was sorry for the way he had treated me. He told me I didn’t belong hanging out with the person I was hanging out with. He said no matter how bad I thought he was this other person was worse. He told me that he would hurt me and he wasn’t who I thought he was. He wished me a Merry Christmas and hoped I would be happy. I should have listened.

Every time I would try to quit drinking and this guy was still in my life something would happen to trigger a relapse. There was even a time when I was drinking plain Coke. I went to the bathroom and when I came back and took a drink of my soda it wasn’t just soda. It was a Rum and Coke. It was too late. The warmth spread through me and I said to myself “Oh well too late, I might as well drink”. There were things he did that I won’t get into because it’s too personal and too horrific. The final straw was when he beat me until I was drowning in my own blood. I still have nightmares. He had a skull ring on that left a small scar on the underside of my nose. He broke a chair over my head and threw me down a flight of stairs. People wonder why I panic and get scared when a man is loud or aggressive around me.

The sad part is he wasn’t the first to hit me he just did the most damage. I’ve been thrown in a dumpster, slapped more times than I can count, spit on at least 4 times, had darts thrown at me, someone tried to sell me at a bar for $30, and I’ve blocked out some stuff that I need to deal with.

At least I’ve come to accept that I need more help than I’ve been getting. I’ve also been stubborn because I’m so used to wallowing in my own misery I’m afraid of anything else. Fear will keep you down. I need to conquer some of it soon.

I Wish You Were A Beer

 

I  don’t really wish anyone was a beer. I have Celiac and can’t drink it anyway. Today is one of the few days I’ve thought of drinking again. I won’t because I can’t even handle a cup of coffee and eating Gluten Free Caramels without feeling sick. I do want the pain and guilt to go away.

My  sister thinks her easy solution of my moving out is the answer. It isn’t. I’ve never lived anywhere but the house I grew up in. Your problems move with you.

When the Doctor said at my last appointment in FRONT of my father that my Bipolar meds probably had not been working correctly for some time I thought “well duh!”. My father and sister seem to be clueless when it comes to this and it’s pissing me off.

When your kidneys aren’t working and your Bipolar meds aren’t working and you feel tired, have no appetite, are nauseous all the time, and confused it sucks. It sucks more when no one really notices or are so used to you being sick they don’t know when it’s worse. I never want to bother them because I’M ALWAYS SICK. So it get’s to the point where you are near death before anything get’s done.

My father and I are fighting all the time. He wants to give up on life. I’m trying not to. I don’t want him to. I thought when he got older he would travel a little and enjoy life more. Instead he has dialysis 3 times a week and only cares about his pigeons and selling his clocks. I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t save him. I can’t change him just like he can’t change me. He can’t be mean and intimidating anymore either. I won’t take it. I took it from men when I was younger I won’t do it now.

Neither my sister or father understand how sick I am. I’m a Struggling to Stay Sober Bipolar with Acute Kidney Failure and I’ve stumped some very good Doctors with why my Kidneys keep failing. I also have some rare other conditions. They don’t care. One test said Amyloidosis then another said no, one test said I had Monoclonal Gammopathy a protein in your blood that goes along with Celiac that can cause Kidneys to shut down. The Doctors said even though I test positive for this it isn’t why my kidneys failed. There is also a Neuromuscular dysfunction of my bladder but don’t think that is why either. I have abnormal urination. LOL Is there anything normal about me?

Don’t forget I also have Conversion Disorder. Even though it’s diagnosed more frequently a true case is rare. I happen to be one of those rare true specimens that researchers would like to study and film in the name of science. Of course they would have to set off my Conversion Disorder and make it worse to do this. This would involve aggressive loud men, loud metal, dark corners, loud noises, people arguing, death, etc. Sounds fun right? Then I would stutter to the point of being unable to speak at all. Sometimes I have trouble swallowing. Then my hands tremor and eventually it goes to my legs. The stuttering happens daily.

I don’t want sympathy. I want to be left alone. I want my sister to stop saying she “wants her sister back the way she used to be” because I don’t remember what that is anymore.

I want my father to stop threatening me. I’m all he has and he knows it.

I want everyone to pay attention. Do I look healthy to you??? Then stop thinking or saying I’m lazy. I fell on the kitchen floor this morning from standing too fast. I couldn’t lift myself up. The muscle wasting in my arms is so bad I couldn’t lift any part of me. I was there for 2 hours. Is that something anyone would enjoy? By the way my floors are yellow linoleum in the kitchen, old, probably dirty and hard.

Anyone knows a good Urologist/Nephrologist in Boston let me know. My Doctor’s pride is getting in his way. On one hand he says it’s urgent he find me a Doctor in Boston but then hasn’t contacted me in over a week.

About the Holidays. Most people fight with their families. Some people drink too much and fight with their families. Some people fall off the wagon. If you fall off the wagon don’t let shame or what other people say  keep you from trying again. Family? Well, I’ve always believed in family. Lately I’ve come to realize that sometimes they will do you more harm than good. You can still love them but I may have to keep a distance and try to be around more positive environments. If my dad needs me I’ll be there. If my sister needs me it will have to depend on a few things. My brother? Wait, did you know I have an older brother? lol That kind of answers the question.

I watched my mom give away pieces of herself until there was nothing left. Then when she needed support from her family they were nowhere to be found until her funeral. Six brothers and sisters she raised and received nothing in return but heartache. I won’t be like that. She gave the shirt off her back to anyone who needed it. She fed the world. In the end she had nothing left. It sounds selfish but I wish she hadn’t been so giving, she thought by giving she would get love in return. I learned faster it doesn’t work that way.

I have so much to figure out. It’s hard to do when your brain isn’t working right. I’ll give myself until my 43rd birthday on January 11th. No point in doing it now but I do have to make some changes. The one thing standing in my way is fear.

Crazy Sane Days

 

The last week has been a weird one. I know I tend to attract certain people. Babies love me. When a baby sees me, for some reason it can’t stop staring at me and is usually smiling. I think it has something to do with the jewelry I’m wearing. I’m usually wearing large, long, sparkling earrings that I’ve made. Also I have a unique voice. It’s quiet and child like. Most people don’t hear me. When I speak at a level where adults can hear me they (adults) find the pitch of my voice annoying. How do I know this? Because humans are rude and have no problem telling you that you should do “cartoons because your voice is so annoying”. I’ve had it put other ways but we’ll leave it at that.

Another group of people that I always find myself talking too are other alcoholics. I’m talking about in the grocery store, hair salon, drug store, etc. The day before yesterday I had to find a fitted sheet for my dad’s bed. His fistula had opened up somehow and he bled through his bottom sheet, the memory foam, and mattress. I wasn’t happy. Not because of him but because of the staff at the dialysis center.

I could smell booze coming from somewhere. The smell was so strong I thought they were having their Christmas Party in the Break Room of the store. I was wrong. I had also smelled it previously when I had been in a few weeks ago but I was in a hurry so didn’t think much of it. It was coming from one woman who worked there. I don’t know how her co-workers couldn’t smell it. I believe they all did and let it go. I heard customers commenting on it. She asked if I needed help and I told her what I was looking for. My dad called my cell right then too.

I was aggravated and just out of the Hospital. She was joking with me. I decided to try something. I said “Sometimes I wish I never quit drinking!”. The look on her face told me everything. She whispered “You have a problem with alcohol?”. I told her I do but I have been in “remission” for almost 7 years. She told me she had a problem and her husband was ready to leave her over it. She told me she kept trying but couldn’t go for long. The alcohol was coming out of every pore in her body. I personally felt that she would have to be in a hospital to detox in the safest way. I didn’t tell her that she looked like she was at a breaking point already.

I asked her how her job was. She said great and asked me not to say anything to her bosses. I touched her arm and told her they knew already. She looked confused. I asked her if she had drank before work, it wasn’t really a question. She looked surprised. I told her I could smell it and I’m sure they could too but because she’s good at her job and they like her they haven’t said anything yet. She had tears in her eyes and said how ashamed she was.

I told her first and foremost to take the shame out of the equation. She has a disease. Did I mention she’s also Bipolar and has not found the correct medications? This was a flashback to the woman I shared my Hospital Room with all over again. All I could think is what the Hell is going on??!! Is everyone a Bipolar Alcoholic in my State? It’s getting a little strange. Even someone who was in our State Government is. Is it the water? I’m not usually a Conspiracy Theorist although I am a fan of Oliver Stone movies. Platoon is my favorite. But seriously? 2 Bipolar Alcoholic women within days of each other meet a 3rd? What are the odds?

Anyway, like with my Hospital room mate I gave her some resources for both of her issues (I only do this if they ask how I manage) and wished her luck. I told her I hoped I would see her soon. The rate she’s going that might not happen.

Is that my calling? Walk around malls and department stores looking for people in crisis and try to help if they want it? I doubt it. I try to tell my sister or dad about these incidences but the looks I get stop me. It makes me feel positive if I’ve helped for even a minute by listening to them and acknowledging them. If it inspires anyone to go further that’s great too. I know I’m not a professional so I’m careful in what I say. My sister and dad think I’m not and someone will kill themselves and I’ll be held responsible. I’ll take my chances. If someone had seen inside of me years ago, seen the pain and damage I was hiding, and spoke up maybe it would have helped a little. Who knows?

The Meaning of Shame

I came home from the Hospital late Sunday afternoon. I didn’t get a chance to speak to my dad until today about an hour ago. I kind of wish I hadn’t.

The dictionary lists the meaning of the word “shame” as a feeling of  “embarrassment” and “humiliation”. I feel this way about my room. I have never eaten in my room that is the good part. I have never had a “tidy” room. My appearance will always be impeccable unless I’m sick. My hair will be clean and styled, my make-up will be applied with the utmost of care and I’ll have a nice outfit on. Most likely I will smell like expensive perfume.

My bedroom on the other hand will be a mess. I don’t mean a normal mess. I mean like a hoarder mess. There are piles and piles of clothes I no longer wear. There are empty CD cases mixed in along with hair clips and I don’t know what else. There are also gigantic piles of shopping bags filled with empty soda cans and cigarette butts. These bags take up most of my room and bathroom. I didn’t want my dad to know I was smoking in my bathroom so I would throw the butts in these bags with the empty Ginger Ale and Orange Soda cans and when he wasn’t home try to find a place to dump the bags. My dad is a fanatic about smoking. He used to smoke and my mother had lung cancer. My doctors have all said that my 5 cigarette a day habit is the least of my worries at this point. If I had a $1 for every time I was laughed at when I give this history on a new Doctor’s visit I would be rich. But still out of respect for my Dad I hide it.

I don’t think I was really fooling anyone. While I was in the Hospital I guess he went in my room. To say he was angry would be an understatement. I think I was told I would have to leave if I didn’t straighten out. I knew something was up when I heard him muttering under his breath “it would be a shock if you did anything”. While he was at dialysis this morning I swept all the hardwood floors, disinfected all countertops, cut the Pomeranian’s nails, I may have passed out for just a little bit I’m not sure, and picked up the pee pads that he had let sit there for a couple of days and washed the floor.

I’m not suppose to be doing any of this. I just had surgery. I feel sick to my stomach, I can’t eat, I have a low grade fever, my stents hurt, I can’t take pain medicine, my vision is blurry, my sister is back to not taking calls, no one on Facebook cares I almost died again, I’m talking Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc. and I’m tired but can’t sleep.

So bring it on, this shame of mine. Put it on the pile with the other shit I’m dealing with. I just don’t care. I’m more worried about vomiting. I hate it. That and if I told some people I loved them lately. The kidneys really mess up your brain function. I’m so confused and can’t remember things. I do know I still have to do a Living Directive or Living Will. I keep getting asked about one. The transporter bringing me ONE FLOOR DOWN to get a test done asked about it and if I wanted life saving measures taken if something happened. I was like “Buddy we’re going ONE FLOOR DOWN if I can’t make it that far I belong in the ICU”.  He just laughed. I thought it was weird. I couldn’t make up my mind. I didn’t know. How do you make that decision when you’ve spent most of your life not wanting to be on this planet but not wanting to necessarily be dead either. It’s a tough one. Any input would be good on that one.

 

Guilt And Fireworks

I have not celebrated a 4th of July in over 6 years. Once I quit drinking I didn’t see the point and I wasn’t receiving any invitations either. The other big problem was trust. My family no longer trusted me or believed me. Specifically my father. If I am not home before dark my father starts to worry until he’s close to vomiting and has chest pains. It has been 6 years since I have had any alcohol at all. I don’t have the want, need, or desire. The other thing is I would probably die. My kidneys are shot, alcohol is not the best idea. I also find myself uncomfortable around people who have had too much to drink. It brings back bad feelings and memories.

I was giving my sister a make over on the 4th and after I went to Walmart. I have a problem with time lately, my watch broke and I never know what time it is. Plus I’m just easily distracted. When I left the store it was dark and when I got into my car and saw that it was 9:30 p.m. I felt sick. I called my dad right away. He wasn’t happy. Even though I did nothing wrong I felt tremendous guilt. When I hung up with him I started to feel angry. I’m 42 years old. I almost died and they still don’t know what’s wrong with me. My best friend has people at her beach house every year and I have not been in over 6 years. She misses me and loves but doesn’t ask because she know how my dad is. I decided “screw it” I don’t know how many more 4th of July celebrations I have left. I decided to drop by on my way home.

When I showed up it was just her at first. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing and started crying. This is a person that DOES NOT CRY. The few times I have seen her cry it had to do with me. She was so happy to see me. I started crying which for me is nothing new. She told me not to say anything when everyone else came back up from the beach. I knew they wouldn’t recognize me and we were right. It was fun. I didn’t stay long only about 30 minutes and when people asked why I was leaving I actually said “I don’t want to get in trouble” that’s when I realized that things had to change. I didn’t drink, I didn’t hurt myself or anyone else, I laughed and had fun for the short time I was there. There was one awkward situation.

A guy that I had crush on years ago was there with his fiancé. I know her too and she’s very nice. When I first met him he was nice to me but thought of me as one of the guys or sometimes invisible. There was a Halloween where he was with his fiance, my best friend, her boyfriend and me. He wanted to take a picture and said ” Ok let’s get the 2 hot girls together for a pic”. My feelings were hurt, I felt like dirt, a blob, unattractive. So to prove a point I got wasted and tried to show how sexy and hot I was. You can imagine how that went at 250 pounds, bleach blond hair, swaying, and slurring my words. That was me, it’s what I did.

When he saw me on the 4th he didn’t know who I was until his fiance told him. He was in shock and kept saying “No way”. Then he said “My god you’re hot!”. With the fiance standing there. She walked away to talk to someone and he kept talking to himself about how I looked. It was weird. Then he wouldn’t stop staring. Finally my friend’s boyfriend made him take a ride with him because he noticed and didn’t want a scene. I was kind of flattered and kind of creeped out. I’m the same person I just lost weight and changed my hair color. Why can’t people like you for who you are?

Taking Care of Business and Finding Your Version of Happy

After speaking to my alcoholic brother last night and letting it bother me to the point of feeling sick I decided some changes had to be made. They’re going to be big ones and the people in my life are not going to like them. But they have to be done. I will no longer speak to my brother until he understands that I am an Alcoholic. He made comments about my road trip and maybe the band would buy me shots. It was pointless to argue with him because he was drunk but I did anyway. I told him I have been sober for almost 6 years and I would never disrespect the person I was going to see who is also sober by drinking. Besides I don’t want to. He said I didn’t have a problem I reminded him of how I drank him under the table and stuck him with a huge tab right before I quit drinking. He’s 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighs about 275. Plus he’s been drinking longer than me because he’s 7 years older. He was quiet for a few minutes then said “yeah but you hooked me up with that girl haha” so pointless. I’m not doing it anymore. I have always been in his corner because no one else was except my mom. With her gone he had no one. And when we were little he didn’t have it easy and was always there for me when our parents were drinking. But we are adults now and my father has been sober since I was 9. Being Bipolar I am greatly affected by other people’s energy and what they say and do. If you hurt me that hurt will stay in my head for a very long time. I am not like other Bipolar people, actually we are all a little different. I just happen to have extenuating circumstances that go with my diagnosis. The Social Phobia, Conversion Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, PTSD (from what I don’t know), Celiac Disease, Neutropenia, Leukopenia, Loss of White Matter (Significant in brain), Tremors, Stuttering, Hyperpigmentation, Loss of pigmentation, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Spinal Stenosis, it goes on and on. So I can’t take on the additional crap from other people.

My sister never deals with any of it. I helped her pay for groceries the other day and the found out she went out to dinner with a bunch of friends that included a bottle of wine that she bought the table. Not happening. Her husband said he wasn’t helping my father because my father didn’t help them and didn’t come over to see the kids. He’s lucky I quit drinking or I would have drop kicked him in the nuts. Grow up put your big boy pants on get a full time job and shut the f**k up. My father has done a lot for them that went unappreciated. Sorry you didn’t make it as a rock star but no one talks bad about my father except me. So unless my boys need something they will get no money from me.

That brings me to my dad. He does not want me to do this road trip. Too bad. I have spent over 5 and a half years at home so he wouldn’t worry and get upset when I left the house. This isn’t living. He is 72 and has had his life I am 42 and spent most of mine drunk. It’s time for me to try to do things that make me happy while I can. I will have to try hard not to listen and worry about what he’s going to say and do. Life is short and right now I don’t have much of One. It isn’t normal to go days sometimes a week with no social interaction. I will eventually start to decompensate. Or decompose that is what the computer keeps trying to put in for me. Lol