Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder (Conversion Disorder)

I can’t remember when I started to have problems with my memory, pain in my muscles and joints, vision changes and muscle weakness. I’ve had these issues for so long that I just got used to them.

When my hands first started to tremor I didn’t think much of it. It only happened when I buttoned a shirt or counted money. When I began having trouble keeping food on my spoon or fork and spilling whatever I was drinking because my hands were shaking I knew something was going on.

I went to my GP who sent me to a Neurologist. My GP had mentioned Parkinson’s and MS. I admit I was worried. The Neurologist diagnosed me with Essential Tremors. He had found other brain abnormalities that I found scary but he didn’t. Essential Tremors are hereditary and no one in my family has ever had them.

About a year went by when I started to stutter.

A person with Conversion Disorder (CD) or Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder (FND) experiences physical symptoms without an underlying physical cause. Symptoms are usually connected to emotional or psychological stress or trauma. The person has no control over the symptoms and are not deliberately producing them.

The typical signs and symptoms of FND are:

  • Deafness or hearing difficulties
  • Difficulty concentrating *
  • Difficulty swallowing *
  • Fatigue *
  • Impaired movement *
  • Lack of responsiveness *
  • Loss of balance *
  • Loss of senses
  • Numbness *
  • Pain in muscles, skin, or joints *
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Speech problems *
  • Tremors *
  • Vision Problems *
  • Weakness *
  • Twitches

Symptoms may come and go or they may persist. They also vary in severity and location. In some people they can last for years and make everyday life difficult. In other people the symptoms are short term.

The exact cause is still not known. Researches used to believe FND happened mostly to low income women with little to no education. This has been proved to be false.

The other false belief is that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the way to cure FND but CBT has only a 13% success rate.

When my stuttering got to the point I couldn’t talk my Psychiatrist sent me to a Doctor who specialized in Movement Disorders. He was more than happy to tell me that the reason I was stuttering and my hands had tremors and I was losing my balance was that I had Conversion Disorder.

I knew nothing about it at the time and I was shocked. All I could think was “My brain is doing this?” “If my brain is doing this why can’t I make it stop?”. In fact the harder I tried to control the stuttering the worse it would get. The more frustrated and embarrassed I became the worse everything would get. I didn’t understand that yes it’s my brain but I still have no control over it.

I understand it now but many other people don’t. My family certainly doesn’t. Of course I am one of the lucky ones who most likely will not get better because I have an underlying mental illness, addiction, and traumas.

There’s also another issue. I do have actual physical problems. When my GP or any Doctor checks my reflexes, I don’t have any. They keep boppin’ my knees and nothing happens. I keep telling them they are wasting their time but some are determined. Same thing with my blood pressure. Some nurses will get 3 different machines even when I tell them I have LOW blood pressure. They just won’t accept what they’re seeing. Which kind of worries me but no one else. I’ve stopped asking questions.

Again, I do what I can depending on the day.

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HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’RE DONE?

I’ve been losing weight again, I don’t feel like eating or drinking, and I don’t care. I can’t remember when I had my stents changed for my kidney but I think I’m a few months past due. I don’t feel like making an appointment, getting the blood work done, going back for the surgery, I don’t really care.

I haven’t colored my hair in months, I don’t put make up on anymore even if I actually leave the house. I do not look at anyone, I keep my head down. I’m getting worse, it used to bother me but now I don’t care.

I’ve been trying so hard to force the people around me to understand how I feel or what are real illnesses that I sometimes can’t control. I keep doing things for people hoping they will love me and instead it backfires. I never should’ve bought a Smart TV thinking my Dad would learn how to use it. I couldn’t keep paying a $220 cable bill for TV he couldn’t hear and kept complaining about. He refuses to learn and yells at me daily about the TV.

My sister shut her phone off so I can’t talk to her.

I’ve been stuttering more and more. I also keep falling down. I see red spots, then black, then the floor. I think it’s because I have chronic low blood pressure but it’s not fun when you’re at the store and go to get something from the bottom shelf. I also noticed when I’m writing sometimes I write a word 3 times. The same word 3 times in row and I don’t realize it until I proof read.

My Dad scares me a lot. I wish he didn’t. I can’t take the stomping, slamming, muttering, throwing things, then a booming GODDAMN! I feel like I’m going to throw up constantly and there’s a lump in my throat. I can’t finish a necklace because he starts a tantrum and I have to stop what I’m doing.

I don’t know what to do. I’m just feeling a little lost lately.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY: THE TRUTH ABOUT MY ALCOHOLISM

When I drank I was able to talk to people and do things I would never do. But I have to remember most of the things I did were most likely done during a Manic Episode or even Psychosis. I hurt myself, my family, my friends, and strangers. I didn’t care who got hurt when I was drinking. I believed I was only hurting myself. This is a lie.

Every time I tried to kill myself I was drunk and it hurt or scared the people around me. Again I thought I was only doing it to myself. I didn’t think my death would matter to anyone else. I didn’t think my drinking which was slowly killing me mattered to anyone.

After my 5th attempt I stopped for some reason. I kept drinking but I binged instead of drinking daily. Somehow I thought this was better. It was worse. I would try to complete 7 days of drinking in one night. I did this for years. It took a toll on my body and brain.

I was forced to stop drinking for period of time and go to an alcohol treatment center where they examined me physically and cognitively. I didn’t pass either exams.

My liver was enlarged and I had severe issues with my memory. I also had diabetes and didn’t know it. My IQ was a 95. For anyone who doesn’t know, that’s not good. A 90 means you’re mentally challenged. To be fair I was given the IQ test while detoxing. I’m not sure why. When all was said done I went back to drinking. They told me all of these things that were wrong with me but offered no solutions. They didn’t do a Mental Health Assessment which I would have failed with flying colors. Telling me I have “The brain of an 82 year old alcoholic man” did nothing to help me.

What finally did it was watching my mom die. I knew I had to be there for my dad. Then I kind of fell apart. I couldn’t stop crying, shaking, falling down, and my speech changed. My dad was worried so I went to the Doctor who finally sent me to someone who asked about my family history, my feelings, my fears, how I felt on a daily basis, all the right questions. I finally received a diagnosis and understood why it was I felt the need to drink and I stopped.

It hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been fun, it isn’t supposed to be. You do have to work at it. When you mental illness and addiction you are harder to treat. There are so many Doctors that just don’t want to handle both or don’t know how. Now throw in Kidney Failure and your chances of finding a Doctor willing to help you goes down even more. I do what I can. I’m not always positive and I know this. I’m working on it. I’m trying not to compare myself to others. I have the hardest time with not blaming myself for everything. This is my biggest issue and it will be the toughest to deal with but if I want to actually live my life than I have to find a way.e8000a56cf151c641cb649d32dab7b0d

When I see Steven Tyler perform “Amazing” in this video on YouTube it makes me cry. He shows so much emotion ranging from deep sadness to great joy at being alive.


BIRTHDAYS AND OTHER STUFF

When you are a twin, Birthday Parties are not really that fun. When you have problems with Anxiety at a young age they are worse. When you don’t understand why you feel the way you do or why can’t “act normal” they’re a nightmare.

I’ve described previous Birthday Parties where I would watch my twin sister from a hiding place trying to understand how she could talk to people, laugh, or even smile. I felt sick and wanted to go home. I’ve always had a hard time making friends. My voice is not loud and I’ve always had a hard time being heard. I was also afraid of saying the wrong thing or saying something that would make other people laugh at me. They already laughed at me because of my thick glasses, my weight, and my skin. I had won the lottery for being bullied.

It wasn’t until I started drinking that I actually had some great Birthday Parties. Sober people with self-esteem and self-respect wouldn’t have thought they were great but I did.

I think it was my 18th year when J. did a surprise party for me. There was HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner, a keg, cupcakes, an entire football team (invited just for me), a raffle (I won a bottle of Fire Water which I drank), and about 100 people in and out of his small apartment wishing me a Happy Birthday. Things did take a little turn for the worse after I drank the bottle of Fire Water but it was still good. (Fire Water at the time was as close to 100 proof as you could get Cinnamon Schnapps that we would put in the freezer).

Most of my Birthdays while I was drinking were actually fun. I think.

I have not celebrated my Birthday in the 9 and half years or so I’ve been sober. I am down to 1 friend who works a lot and has a boyfriend. My twin celebrates our Birthday with her husband and children. My Dad usually forgets or just says Happy Birthday.

January 11th I will be 45. I’m kind of feeling this one. I’ve been depressed for a long time now and can’t seem to climb out of it. My Dad and I are fighting constantly. Mostly because I keep trying too hard. He refuses to learn new things like how to use the new TV I bought him or the right foods to eat so he doesn’t die while on Dialysis. He also insists on shoveling the driveway when he doesn’t have to. My anxiety is at an all time high.

Lately he likes to make little comments or digs. I remember he used to do this with my Mom sometimes. My Mom would give it back to him. I have a hard time doing that because he scares me at times and I have no where else to live.

I’ve been doing DBT for the last few weeks and it sucks just as much as I remember. “Don’t judge your judging”. Ok. That’s a brilliant idea. I wish I had thought of that. “Take a walk outside when you’re triggered”. Ok. It’s 9 degrees out and there’s snow so that isn’t happening. And my favorite “Try doing some exercise or yoga”. If I had the energy or will to wash my hair, get dressed, shovel out my car, rob someone to pay for yoga lessons, maybe I would. “Make someone you love cookies”. Why? So they can yell at me for using the stove? Complain about what kind I made? Because this is what I live with.

It’s almost my Birthday and I’ll cry if I want to.5e507ed572b2cde6eba0358f3836f8ff


A VISIT TO MY PSYCHIATRIST

Today is the first time I’ve left my house in 3 weeks. I had to go see my psychiatrist and get ready for the big snow storm coming tomorrow. I hate snow and I hate the cold. I hate a lot of things lately.

As usual I was called into his office late. His first question was “How is your Crohn’s?”. First I don’t have Crohn’s Disease I have Celiac Disease so that was strike was one. I hate correcting people. I decided this visit I was going to write everything down that has been going on. I also wrote down observations from my Dad and my twin sister just in case. I was going to correct him when he said the wrong diagnosis or medication too.

I told him that I’ve been having trouble concentrating, leaving the house, issues with controlling anger and irritability, and going over past events. My family thinks I have gotten worse in the last year. I also told him that spoke to a few of the companies making my medications and they said that they needed to be adjusted because of my kidney failure. The Klonopin manufacturer said it’s most likely only staying in my system about 2-3 hours. The maximum dose for people like me is 4mg and I’m on 2mg. I only take it at night. He disagreed and said I had probably built up a tolerance to it and it’s only a band aid and not meant to be used as a cure.

I told him I refuse to live like I used to, dry heaving all day with a lump in my throat for no reason. That’s one of the biggest reasons I drank.

He said we could try an antidepressant. I think when I started laughing he got nervous. I have a list of all the antidepressants I’ve been on. It’s 2 pages long. I asked him if there were any new ones not related to the ones I’ve already tried.

His answer? “Trintellix” I said “You mean the one that’s just like Brintellix?”. He said “Yes”. I said “The one I was on when I almost got arrested for assaulting a police officer?”. He said “Oh! You’ve tried that one?”. Yes moron I have. If you looked down at your screen it would probably be listed there. Or maybe not because he gave me a bag filled with samples that the sales rep had just dropped off and must have thought I would be a good guinea pig.

He then suggested another medication for PTSD but he didn’t say the name of it. He asked if maybe I had been eating Gluten and that was why there was change. I told him I eat 1 big bowl of Rice Chex a day and that’s pretty much it.

Then he asks me “How are you managing your Eating Disorder then?”. WTF? I said “WHAT Eating Disorder?” “I’ve never been diagnosed with an eating disorder. My appetite is poor because I have Chronic Kidney Disease”. His response was “You do?”.

He did mention the hospital where he works is doing Ketamine trials because he thinks it’s the same as mushrooms or organic psychedelics. I couldn’t help it at this point. I said “There a little late. There are already a lot of studies showing the negative effects of Ketamine specifically with people who have PTSD or Conversion Disorder.” He didn’t respond to that one.

He repeatedly mentioned Therapy and I repeatedly mentioned that I already tried every kind of Therapy there is including Shock Therapy.

My family doesn’t want to talk to me, I cry all the time, and I don’t want to leave the house.

The only person that has offered any kind of help or support is my Auntie Lee. She called me yesterday to tell me she loves me and that I should come to Florida and be with her. If I had the money I would in a second. She’s my Mom’s sister and I love her. She’s positive 99% of the time. We’re like best friends when we get together.

I think I’ll start saving my money. It’s time to make a change. the-mind-of-freud


ROCK BOTTOM

I had many “rock bottoms” but they never really stopped me from drinking for too long. Only one thing eventually stopped me. Learning the reason why I was drinking.

It took too many years to figure it out but when I did it made everything clearer for me.

Drinking took away that empty ache I always had. It took away the anxiety I felt 24 hours a day. Yes, I know alcohol causes more anxiety as the alcohol leaves your system, but it was so bad I didn’t care. I just needed some time without it. Feeling like you’re on a roller coaster all the time is exhausting. Without alcohol I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. I never would’ve left my bedroom. Some would say that would’ve been a good thing. But they were not inside my head. If you have General Anxiety and Social Anxiety, which used to be called “Social Phobia” than you understand.

Alcohol took as much as it gave. It took my money, friends, family, health, dignity, and what little self-esteem I had.

I tried to stop drinking many times over 20 plus years. Some of these times were court ordered and some I decided on my own. I attended AA for two years and disliked it immensely. I also went to an outpatient rehab 3 times a week for a year. That wasn’t bad but I still went back to drinking. The reason? I never asked myself why and neither did anyone else. Self-medicating was never brought up anywhere I went. Not at any of the Psychiatrists, Therapists, AA meetings, or rehab.

It wasn’t until I was 36 that a Doctor asked why? I answered honestly. So I wouldn’t feel anything that I was feeling. He dug deeper. He asked about my family history and if anyone had addiction issues or mental health problems. When I told him my family history I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head. I didn’t understand why.

He said “No one has ever diagnosed you with a mental illness?” I told him one Psychiatrist diagnosed me with “Social Phobia”. He asked if she had given me medication for it. I told him she prescribed me Paxil then Prozac. At this point he was shaking his “NO” so hard I was worried.

We talked more and he made an appointment for me to come back the following week when he had my test results.

I was diagnosed as Bipolar with Social Anxiety. The Conversion Disorder came a little later. My hands shook but I didn’t think to tell him. I thought it was caffeine. It wasn’t until food started falling off every utensil that I knew it was something else. When I started to stutter and my head started to shake a little I was terrified. My Doctor had an idea what it was but sent me to a specialist to be sure.

I stopped drinking the day I was diagnosed. It’s been about 9 and half years. I do not know the exact date and time because I forget a lot of things. I’ve forgotten more since I had a round of ECT (Shock Therapy) that didn’t go as planned. Also I didn’t plan on dying for a few seconds or being under anesthesia for so long or so many times. But that’s what happens when you go into Kidney Failure and don’t know it.

I also don’t believe that if you “fall off the wagon” one time  that should you should go back to zero. I know too many people who had years of sobriety slip up once and because of the shame kept drinking. I believe if the stigma and shame were taken away this wouldn’t happen. I’m living proof.

Five years ago I drank one night. One night. Since then I have not had another drink. I was honest with my family about it and they understood but were not happy. They didn’t shun me or make me start over either.

I recently read a Tweet where someone had a drunk dream and their biggest worry was that they would’ve wasted their 5 years of sobriety. It shouldn’t be like that. What if you’r at a wedding and accidentally grab the wrong soda and it has rum in it? Do you start over? I know it’s different because it isn’t intentional but it was the first concert I had ever been to sober, I was alone, in another state, I was manic and I had just died a few weeks before. When I showed up alone I felt like everyone was looking at me (not in a good way because why would they do that?) Then when I realized it was in a good way I didn’t know how to react. I had always been over 200 pounds at concerts and now I was 125 (because I was sick) so I panicked.

The next morning I booked a flight home and talked to my family. It’s been 4 and half years since then. So 9 and half years. If you don’t like it you don’t have to do it.086a8d692cb6d849fed48f86d0d04959


WATCHING PEOPLE GET BETTER

I feel like I’m stuck at “Hate Me” while others have been able to move on to “Fear” and make progress.

I’m still on that same floor I was on at 19, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 34, 36 years old begging for someone to make it all stop.

I stayed a little girl. There’s no emotional growth when you’re drinking at 16 to hide from something that scares you but you have NO IDEA what it is or how to explain it. It’s hard enough being a teenager who isn’t considered popular, pretty, or smart. What you become is target practice.

You were born into a family of “large boned” people or in some cases “morbidly obese”. There were a few stunning women and men but they were not without problems. If you do not believe Mental Illness or Addiction is hereditary I personally invite you to study my family.

I don’t remember what it feels like not to be anxious 24 hours a day. I didn’t stop bouncing my legs or shaking a foot while sitting until recently. I still do it just not as much.

When you start your life afraid of everything it’s paralyzing. My poor parents didn’t know what to do.

As I watched them argue with one another, knowing it was my fault, I tried my best to make them hate me and give up on me. My Mom understood more than my Dad because she had been hospitalized for Depression and 3 of siblings are mentally ill. Two of them are Paranoid Schizophrenics, so she was scared and didn’t want to lose me.

There came a point where I pushed her too far and it was my Dad who stopped her from kicking me out of the house and giving up. At that point I had no feelings, no self respect or dignity left. I felt like I would never be good enough and I didn’t deserve anything good in my life. I sabotaged myself.

As my drinking became worse so did my behavior. I didn’t care who I slept with and would start fights over the smallest things. Years of saying and doing nothing while being spit on and having elephant noises made at me had taken a toll. It started to boil and come spewing out at everyone.

The older alcoholic men I drank with took bets on how much longer I’d be alive. I came close more times than I like to remember.

When I watch someone like Justin Furstenfeld who I could relate to on many levels, change his entire life, behaviors, and outlook, it makes me feel frustrated and confused.

Am I afraid to be happy? Am I not trying hard enough? Do I have to believe in God? Are medications the wrong answer?

I want to leave the house, I want to do things, I want to be happy and at peace.

I don’t know how people do it. My brain keeps screaming NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

And then of course I get bitchy because Mr. Furstenfeld has mentioned “God” and “Heaven” many times when it comes to his happiness. I have such a hard time with religion. I also suspect he might not be taking medications anymore. He doesn’t talk as much about his mental health as he does his addiction.

There is a documentary coming out where he mentions having “Extreme highs and lows” and being in a mental health facility. He was put on medication at the age of 14. I believe he’s Bipolar but I’m not sure it was confirmed and that’s his personal business. EXCEPT when you do Public Service Announcements about Depression and Suicide and you’re not being honest. If you have fans that are mentally ill and they think they can just pray away their illness we have a problem. I’m probably exaggerating.

I’m down lately and yesterday my Dad tried to hit me. Not what you want to do to someone who is now afraid of aggressive men even if it is my Dad. It didn’t go well at all.

Instead of crying and shaking something else took over.

RAGE

All I could think was “I’ll be damned if I ever let anyone physically hurt me again.” I calmly said “If you come near me I will leave for good. You will never see me again and I won’t tell you where I am.” It must have been the way I said it because he stopped and left the room.

When I mentioned it to him later in the day he denied ever doing such a thing. He then called me a liar and said I was making it up. I think I’m going to get Nanny cams to prove to him how angry and violent he’s been the last year.


DAVE NAVARRO’S JEWELRY LEADS TO FANFICTION & NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

After watching a video of Dave Navarro on YouTube recently I was curious about the necklace he was wearing. I found the information once then couldn’t find it again. What I did find was an odd piece of FanFiction written about him. At least I hope it was Fiction.

The story was about an Ink Master contestant who starts dating Mr. Navarro while filming. They fall in love, the romance is detailed from her point of view and supposedly his. She also becomes pregnant with twins. It was over romanticized and I have to say I felt uncomfortable reading it. The kind of uncomfortable where you know something is wrong in the pit of your stomach but you’re not sure what it is.

If it was Fiction or not if I was Dave Navarro I would’ve been uncomfortable reading it and wouldn’t want it out there for everyone to read. The way it’s written does make you question if it’s real or not. I’m pretty sure it isn’t real but like I said uncomfortable.

Anyway Mr. Navarro has inspired me to start making jewelry again but in a different direction. I want to try some new things and work with different gemstones and techniques.

This brings me to my New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know what the new year will bring for me health wise. Right now I’m not doing so great. Having 1 kidney is a bitch. Having various mental health issues isn’t fun either.

I want to try to be positive for a change. I know I’m not a positive person. I also know that I need to find a way to deal with my grief and anger. I’ve lived with both for far too long and it’s consuming me. Fear is also a big challenge. It’s going to be hard and I’m not sure if I can do it but I refuse to die alone in this house.

I want to have a jewelry booth this year. There are always a ton of Art Fairs where I live or other venues for people to showcase what they have made. I say I’m going to do this every year and I chicken out every year. This year I’m going to make myself do it. I hope.

I also need to repair my relationship with my twin sister. I don’t care what I have to do she’s my twin. She is right about many things. She’s also wrong about many things and I’ll have to get over that.

I’d like to get a passport this year just in case I can travel. I would like to see my Auntie Lee one more time in Florida too. She’s getting older and I’m getting sicker so I feel the need to see her.

I have to take better care of Dutchie. He’s gained weight and he panics too much when you try to touch his feet. I need spend more time training him.

I really want to volunteer at an animal shelter. I’d love to help out with exotics and wildlife because I know a lot about them but I’ll go where I’m needed most or where they will take me. Some places are very picky and do background checks even to volunteer.

I’m not a fan of background checks. I’m not a hardened criminal but my record isn’t clean either. I was told the incidences on there would be expunged but they were not. So there’s a DUI that shows up that I was never charged with, a drunk and disorderly, and a domestic dispute with a drunk and disorderly and resisting arrest. These were all from my twenties I’ll be 45 in January. Do restraining orders show up? Because that’s there from my twenties it goes with the domestic. I’m not making excuses I’m explaining that after a man beat me unconscious I went back a year later and took out his windshield, windows and headlights with a hard object. He pressed charges and got the restraining order even though he admitted to “beating me like Mike Tyson” to a room full of people and laughing about it.

Sorry, I got off track. It does tie into the anger and fear. I’m also unable to be around men very much without feeling immense fear. It’s worse if they have deep voices or seem aggressive. Then I start to shake and stutter. One of the many reasons I stay home.

So things have to change. This is the year to do it. I’m not getting any younger or healthier. It’s time to get out there.


OVERTHINKING CHRISTMAS

beautiful-christmas-gift-wrapping-idea

When I was little I enjoyed Christmas I think. There were only a few occasions where I received gifts where I was excited or surprised that the person actually knew me enough to know what I would enjoy.

What’s odd is that these gifts came from my brother. The only thing is he kind of ruined his gifts by including himself.

One year it was tickets to see John Mellencamp. I was probably 15 at the time. It would’ve been one of best shows ever if my brother hadn’t been drunk and trying to take other people’s seats the entire time. I spent most of my time worrying about him getting thrown out.

Another gift was a limo for the night, tickets to see Blue Man Group, reservations and an all paid for meal at a 5 star Restaurant in Boston and a Dual Piano Bar. Again all of this would’ve been wonderful if my brother wasn’t part of the deal. If he didn’t smoke in the limo, get drunk at the restaurant, and start a fight at the Piano Bar.

I enjoy giving gifts more than receiving them. I love seeing someone’s face light up. I remember when my Dad bought my Mom the first diamonds she ever owned. He wrapped them up so she had to open 7 different boxes to get to them but the look on her face had me crying for an hour. She was so shocked that he did it on his own. He did it because he loved her. It was outside his comfort zone and I can’t picture him going to a Jewelers by himself but he did. It was worth it to see her face.

Every year at Blockbuster we had Secret Santa with the Managers, HR, and the owner. We had a minimum of $50 which is kind of high for most places and I usually went over it.

One Manager was huge wrestling fan. I mean he went to every event and did some photography for them. He went to conventions all over the U.S. too. I got his name one year. What no one knew is that I was a wrestling fan, my brother was also. I had several autographed pictures of wrestlers in the Hall of Fame, Chief Jay Strongbow, Gorilla Monsoon, and Pedro Morales. I put them in nice frames and also got him his favorite candy and Gift Certificate for his wife’s favorite restaurant. When he opened it he said “Hey, thanks”.

I got the owner and knew a lot about her already but worked with one of her kids so I did some more research. She loved this one jewelry designer from Newport. I got her a charm necklace from the designer with a charms from her life. One charm was a beautiful palm tree with a stone it and the other a tennis racket. Both gold. Then they had a matching bracelet that I got with charms to represent the kids. I also made her Peanut Butter Balls Gluten Free because she also has Celiac. Her response was “Thanks”.

I gave my sister a necklace one year that had two Ds entwined (both our first names begin with D) there was also a garnet in it. I had the back engraved with a personal note. It was Platinum, her favorite. She responded like everyone else and never wore it. Never talked about it. It wasn’t the cost. It was the fact that I took time, thought and love to do that and it didn’t matter. I know she has no idea where it is.

SOME GOOD NEWS

My Dad has talked about wanting to read John McCain’s family memoirs “Faith of My Father’s” for years. With Mr. McCain’s health in the news lately I decided to order the book for my Dad. I even had it gift wrapped. It came yesterday in a gorgeous forest green gauze gift bag. My Dad looked so confused. He had no idea what it was. I left the room while he opened it. I heard him while he opened it. “I’ll be Goddamned!” then I heard his voice break. I started to cry in the kitchen because I did it, I gave him something that mattered. He came and hugged me for the longest time and I was happy in that moment.


ELVIS AND ME

elvis-presley

 

Every Saturday morning as a child I watched Elvis movies. My Mom loved Elvis. She played his music often. My mom didn’t hold anything back from us. She told me that my sister and I were conceived to an Elvis song. I’ll spare you the rest of story like I wish she had spared me! That’s how she was. Honest about everything and usually laughing.

I know the words to almost all of Elvis’s songs but I have a hard time listening to them since my mom passed away. It will be 10 years in February. It’s the one date I don’t forget. I can’t remember my sober date or when I was diagnosed Bipolar and everything else but I remember the day she died.

I wish I could’ve told her about the time W and I met an Elvis impersonator at the Casino. He was so handsome, better looking than the original Elvis. We were there to see Motley Crue but somehow ended up at the Clamshack drinking beer, eating fries and clam chowder.

When I spotted him I thought he was Nikki Sixx for a second. He had jet black hair and the bluest eyes. His manager was with him. He sat down next to us and ordered chowder. We didn’t oyster crackers but he did and they were gigantic for some reason. Of course me being drunk I commented on his overly large crackers and he laughed. We spent the next 5 hours hanging out with Elvis.

Turns out he had just come from the dressing rooms and had met Nikki Sixx, he was also a fan. We had already seen them in concert several times so we didn’t mind missing out to hear Elvis’s stories.

My mom would’ve loved it. She would’ve hated that I was drunk but I would’ve left that part out. It was a rare night where W and I just laughed and had fun. No one got hurt, no one cried, no one was arrested. When I say “No one” I mean me.

I miss my mom and I miss the times with W that were fun. But I guess we were supposed to grow up. One of us did. The other never had the tools to do so. She still doesn’t.


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