GRIEF ISN’T SOMETHING I’M ABLE DO

I went to the grocery store yesterday because I was forced to. I went to one I don’t usually go to but my Dad likes. I walked in and saw a very thin, frail looking man, hunched over his carriage. I knew he looked familiar but he looked so old and sick I thought it couldn’t be him, it couldn’t be my Dad.

It was. I couldn’t move, I felt the numbing heat that starts in my legs and travels to my head. I knew the shaking/tremors were going to start, I didn’t know I already had tears on my face. I was stuck where I was standing and staring at him. I felt such fear and anger. Anger because he doesn’t listen to his Doctors or anyone else, anger because my twin sister has once again left me to watch our remaining parent die or kill themselves slowly because they’ve given up.

I’ve left her so many texts it’s like I’m a stalker. She hasn’t responded. I left a voicemail and she hasn’t responded. She thinks I’m too dramatic. I’m getting upset over nothing. My Dad’s Nephrologist told him he has less than 4 years and he’s being very optimistic with that estimate.

I told my Dad last night that I don’t want my name on the house or anything. I refuse to be here when my sister and her husband show up and start criticizing the house and yard. I know exactly how it will go. “How could you let it get this bad? How could you let him keep all these birds? How could you let him keep all the clocks? Why wasn’t the floor redone? How could you let him plant more flowers? Why didn’t you have those trees removed?”. I’m not going to listen to it when they weren’t here for any of it.

The didn’t offer to help with anything or come to visit. If my Dad wants to see his grandchildren he has to try to contact my sister and arrange a meeting. Meanwhile I’m a prisoner in this house of antiques and dirt. A prisoner of my own guilt and shame for the things I’ve done in the past that hurt my parents. There’s no way I can ever make up for the things that I’ve done or said.

Is there a time where I say enough is enough? Where I do something I want to do like an adult? Make a decision like an adult? If I turn out to be wrong I take responsibility and try to correct the wrong. Simple things like driving a long distance should not make my Dad angry or worry so much that he’s dry heaving. I might only have a few more years left than he does I think it’s okay to take a road trip or stay out past dark.

I know most of this is my fault because I never really moved out on my own. I knew in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t make it living on my own years ago. I’m a different person now. I still need to do a lot of work and I’m not 100% sure about being on my own but I would like to have the choice. I won’t abandon my Dad. This isn’t in my nature to do.

When I think of the man who taught me to swim, who could swim like a fish himself, who loved the water and looked like he was born from the sea, I smile.

When I think of the man who taught me drive with patience and enough trust to let me drive him over a large bridge in the pouring rain, I smile.

When I think of the man who saved every little animal I brought to him without hesitation, I smile.

When I think of the man who sat by my side night after night watching movies and TV he wasn’t interested in just to keep me company so I wouldn’t feel alone, I smile.

When I think of the man who saved me dying, I shut down and cry.

My mom passed away nine years ago and I still have not come to terms with it. Her death haunts me almost daily. Maybe it was because I watched her die I don’t know.

There are still some of my pets that have died that I have a hard time with when I think about them or something triggers a memory. I know people who are diagnosed Bipolar have a harder time with grief but I also know this is something more.

HOW DO YOU TRUST YOUR OWN MIND?

I have many regrets and I have hurt many people over the years. I won’t use alcohol or not knowing I was dealing with a mental illness from an early age as excuses. These are only insights to my behavior. Bipolar started at an early age for me so I didn’t know life without it. People that hear or read this always have doubts. I had doubts because I am skeptical by nature and question everything. If you know me than you know I also research everything.

There was too much evidence proving that it started early, scientific, physical evidence that I couldn’t ignore. The research team at Harvard University couldn’t ignore it either nor could the team at Brown. At the time I was so overwhelmed with this new information I panicked and shut down. Someone else had to speak for me and tell them I couldn’t do what they were asking. I couldn’t be their freak in a lab, locked in a room with no access to my family. They should’ve known how damaging this would be. Even the suggestion of it was terrifying.

There’s a problem with letting your family see you at your weakest. They never forget it. They also never forget all the times you broke their trust while drinking. How could they? Letting my twin sister see me when I thought I was 5 years old and our Mom was coming to pick me up was a huge mistake. Allowing her husband to trigger a Conversion Disorder/PTSD episode like I’ve never had before was another mistake. Her seeing me so out of control and confused about where I was and blacking out gave her ammunition. More to put in her memory bank to bring up later.

She hasn’t been answering my texts about driving from New England to California but has answered other texts.

Today I finally talked to her, as in I actually spoke to her on the phone, it didn’t make me feel better.

She said she honestly didn’t think it was a good idea for me to try to make that kind of trip. She said she didn’t think I could handle it. It’s too far away if something happens and I panic or lose control.

I have been doing pretty well with control lately. I either write out my issues on paper or here. I also use other tools to calm myself down until I can think about a situation rationally.

I know I probably wouldn’t make it all the way but I wanted to try. Now I have butterflies in my stomach and I feel like I can’t swallow. I also feel trapped, like time is passing me by and it’s all too fast. I lost so much time already. I don’t have that much time left. This is something both my dad and sister refuse to listen to me about and they won’t listen to my Doctors. They won’t look at the statistics or my medical records. They refuse to talk about my alcoholism and the amount I drank. How much damage it did permanently both physically and mentally.

I’m not sure if I am thinking clearly or not because I’ve never thought like other people do. I’ve always loved the dark beautiful side of things, understanding human nature, nature vs nurture, survival of the fittest, basic instinct. I would read books and want to be a vampire queen, a Goddess of Rock, The Morrigan, a warrior in a magical land, anything but myself. But I woke up the same every morning. I lived in a fantasy world for a very long time. It was safe there in my books, in my bedroom, hiding from the outside.

My best friend W called yesterday to catch up on things. She asked a question. “Would you get better if the person who hurt you the most apologized? Or if you talked to him and got closure?” I knew where she was going with this. I knew that she had seen and been around him in the last year or so. I told her the truth.

It isn’t about him anymore, it’s about me. I’m not the same person who thought they deserved to be treated like garbage. I have self worth now. I actually pity him because he’s incapable of changing. I will be honest and say that if I saw him do that grin he does I can’t promise that I’ll remain calm. It’s hard to know so I think I’m better off leaving it alone. Do I want him to see me now? Yes, I do. I want to stand in front of him and rub it in his face that I am now a beautiful woman who has more than he ever will. But people like him will never get it. He’s manipulative to the point of being a sociopath.

Her response was “Jesus, you just said everything I was thinking about him and you’re right he hasn’t changed. I was around him 2 times for E’s sake and I couldn’t take it I had to leave early both times. I hate him, I hate his face. I’m kind of glad you said what you did. He had a rule where no one could say “Jesus Christ or for Christ’s sake” in front of him and when I heard that I wanted to puke. That was what did it for me, all I could think about was you and I left.” W understands me better than anyone.

W’s advice about the road trip? DO IT! If you get homesick turn around and head home. you know yourself and how you are going to feel, you’re pretty good at judging when your mood is changing or when you’re going into crisis mode I’ve seen it. Don’t listen to anyone but yourself, don’t tell anyone until your ready and in your car on the highway.

So I’m still confused because I listen to too many people and not to myself. I’ve learned not to trust myself because other people don’t trust my decisions.

Still confused.

I TRIED TO OWN WHAT I DID IT DIDN’T GO WELL

I tried to own my actions with my brother in law when I talked to my sister last night. It backfired. My sister started yelling a lot and some of it I blocked out. She did say “Every time we talk it’s about death or health when I just want to have a normal conversation! If you wanted to die that bad you should’ve done a better job all those times you tried! I’m sick of hearing all this bullshit!” I hung up. I was trying to take responsibility and show that I’m aware that what happened was partly my fault when I had been blaming my brother in law for the entire thing.

My brother in law was the smallest in his class and went to a school where he was one of the few white kids. He was made fun of or beaten daily. He was also sexually abused at a young age. As he got older he had problems with how he saw his body and an eating disorder followed. The only time he felt comfortable was when he played guitar and drank with his friends.

Music became his life and so did alcohol. He became best friends with a group before they became famous and they treated him like family. They all drank together. They all had their problems. He started to spiral when it looked like his music career wasn’t going to be what he thought it would be. To him music was everything, it was validation that he wasn’t nothing. I understand that now. I understand so much of it now and all I want to do is cry.

Instead I’m scolded again and another person in 48 hours says something similar to how maybe I should’ve done a better job years ago so I wouldn’t still be here. What do you say to that? How am I supposed to feel? I can’t stop stuttering or shaking. I have to hide my tears so I’m not yelled at. I want to go home. I am home.

Alcoholic Reminiscing

It’s difficult relating to other women about relationships and men because I’ve it’s always been complicated with me. I always had crushes that were never returned or revealed. When I started drinking it was 1990 and we all hung out in groups. I’ve said before the group I hung out with was not filled with your boy next door types. They were all older and the majority had done some kind of prison/jail time but not all of them. There were not many women around on a day to day basis except me.

Everyone gathered at J’s apartment. People were in and out constantly and the music was always loud. So loud that he had his phone rigged to flashing lights so he would know someone was calling. I was there so often that J would tell me to answer the phone and the door after giving me a list of who he didn’t want to see or talk to. He usually had a revolving door of roommates I answered for too.

One was John. I loved John. He was 6′ tall and thin with blond hair that went down almost to his waist. I remember walking to the store with him one day, I fell behind and a group of guys drove by and started whistling at him. They couldn’t tell it was a guy. lol He was warm, funny, and when he hugged me it was always like he would never see me again. He would pick me up too which I thought was impressive considering my size. He didn’t like it when the other guys said stuff about me in front me. He was one of the few that would tell them to stop. We were good friends for years until I messed it up.

He always had girls around him. He was in a band, taught guitar, and sold guitars so he was popular. He also drank too much, liked coke and crack too much too. At first he had a crush on my best friend but I thought of him as a friend so it didn’t matter. A few years later my feelings had changed. Unlike most men I’ve met he actually sat me down in a room and said “You know I love you. I love you so much but not in the way you want me to”. If more people were just honest my life might’ve been a little easier.

Two alcoholics who have been drinking together for years are eventually going to do something stupid. I initiated it and felt incredibly guilty when I remembered the next day. I stayed away from J’s for a little while. There were consequences to our actions that I felt were mostly my fault so I didn’t tell him. J with the big mouth decided to tell him. John was pissed. I didn’t know this and went to the apartment and started drinking with J like I usually did. When John arrived I was already drunk. He wouldn’t talk to me or look at me. The song “Black” by Pearl Jam came on and when I heard “I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life I know you’ll be a star in somebody else’s life” I pretty much lost it. I tried not to show emotion in front of them for years. I learned early on they smell weakness and prey on it. This time John lifted me from the table and took me to an empty room where he just held me and rocked me back and forth.

He said he wasn’t really angry he was sad. It wan’t the decision he wanted me to have to make alone. He’s also the only man that has ever told me the only reason he regretted being with me was because we were drunk and I didn’t deserve that I deserved to be treated special because he loved me.

We continued to be friends. A few weeks later he hooked up with a stripper. I had a hard time being around them and drank more. She had me beat. She drank so much she would wet the bed every time she stayed over. But there was always another to take her place. There were a lot of strippers that came and went and I didn’t like any of them. I tried at first but they never looked past the fat girl hanging out with the guys. Some of them didn’t like that I was always around. I was rude to 1 or 2 by saying “you’re not that great I’ve slept with your boyfriend too he’s not that picky”. I know not a great thing to say. Whenever I felt bad about myself or backed into a corner I lashed out and if cheap hard liquor was involved forget it. The cheaper the vodka the meaner I would be.

My story took a turn for the worse didn’t it? John has been with the same woman for years now and doesn’t drink as much. I haven’t seen him in about 17 years. I’ll always remember the good things about him. Even though I was drunk I can still have those memories of things I’ve never had sober.

THE TRUTH ABOUT SEX

I apologize if you thought you were going to read some Erotica or learn something new about sex. You might learn something new but it will have more to do with a darker side of the subject. What happens when you have a Mental Illness that isn’t diagnosed and you self medicate with drugs or alcohol. You are probably wondering what any of this has to do with sex, actually a lot more than you think.

I started drinking at 16/17 and also started having sex. I was probably a late bloomer for that time period, it was around 1991. The first time I had sex I was drunk and sex was like that for me for the next 20 years.

I drank because something was missing inside of me. I had a hard time talking to people and never felt like I belonged anywhere, not even with my own family. I had a constant ache in my chest like a hole was there. I always had butterflies in my stomach and felt like I was going to throw up whenever I had to be around people. School was torture. I hid as best as I could but that was hard to do considering I was taller and heavier than the rest of the girls in my school. I always felt that I was the ugliest, less intelligent, and shouldn’t be there.

When I discovered alcohol all of those feelings went away. I did have times before I started drinking where at home I would talk too much, too fast. I would also stay up for days reading in my room or watching movies. This was hard to control at school. Somehow I did. I know that I smoked pot at school sometimes and I think I did other drugs too.

While manic there was nothing more exciting than getting ready to go out. I could also drink more while manic. I was always trying to prove points. I would pick up the best looking guy and sleep with him as if this proved I was worth something. Sometimes it was just part of the chase. The people I hung out with then compared me to a guy in the way I acted with men. I chose to act that way after being hurt too many times. If I leave first than you can’t hurt me. This didn’t always work.

Promiscuity is a well known symptom of Bipolar Disorder. Not many people talk about it. I do because it was a big part of some of the things I can’t forget or remember.

When you are an alcoholic and Bipolar (but don’t know it) it can be a recipe for some scary situations. I would wake up and not know if I had sex or not. I wouldn’t know if I had said yes or not or who the person was. This happened more times than I would like to admit.

When I stopped drinking I also stopped having sex. That’s correct. It has been quite a few years. When people see this they assume that I am a troll or hideous. Today I wanted to plaster Twitter with pictures of myself to show that I’m not. But that would be proving points again that I don’t need to do anymore.

The fact is part of me is scared. The other problem is I don’t socialize very much and I hate to admit it but I’m picky! I like a sense of humor, kind eyes with something behind them, usually dark hair, the person doesn’t have to be a male model but I have to be attracted to them in some way. We have to share some common interests. It’s a lot to ask for. I don’t like dating sites. I still have it in my head that I’m going to meet this person at a bar (not drinking) or a concert.

The reason for this is that your maturity level kind of stops when you start drinking. I still have the thoughts of a 16/17 year old girl. Which if you think about it makes sense.

So it’s okay to be celibate. It doesn’t mean no one wants you. It’s a choice for a period of time until you feel ready. 14191969_10210844810143170_6249931150507043504_n

ALCOHOLISM IS GREAT!

I took my first drink because I was afraid to talk to people. I wanted to be sociable. I wanted people to like me. I soon became argumentative and obnoxious. Slurring my speech didn’t help either.

I drank because it made me feel happy and numb. Until it didn’t anymore and I found myself on top of someone’s roof, bleeding from my arms, taking bottles of pills.

I drank to keep the friends I had. They wound up as enemies and one almost killed me.

I drank to make the butterflies in my stomach go away and would end up with the shakes by 5:00 p.m. the next day.

I drank for liquid courage and was scared when I started to vomit blood and couldn’t remember large portions of the night before.

I drank and I drank because drinking is great.

You lose your money, dignity, self worth, job, friends, family, health, but who needs those things?

Turns out I did. More than I could ever know.

If stopping were easy we wouldn’t have movies and books about it. You might mess up a few times along the way. It’s a journey not a destination. It’s also a disease that can come back at anytime. It’s why I think of myself as in Remission so IF I HAPPEN TO FALL I CAN GET BACK UP.

There’s no place for GUILT or SHAME. These feelings that other’s will put on you will be your downfall. They are not the ones going through this, you are. Do what’s best for you!

If you’re being forced into not drinking it will never work. Ask the 3 Judges that forced me. I did my time and went right back to drinking. Never gave it a second thought.

Until you’re ready, you won’t. alcoholism_quote_2

 

THE STRUGGLE OVER TREATING ALCOHOLISM (We’re Failing)

My feelings on Alcoholism and the treatment of Alcoholism is very different from most people. I realize that everyone has to do what works for them. I don’t pass judgement on anyone for their choice in how they maintain sobriety.

Recently I read a quick article about a 35 year old woman who died from liver failure due to alcohol related issues. She had made herself into somewhat of a Celebrity by gaining the most followers on Myspace when it was popular. Vanity Fair did an article on her, she started her own clothing line, rock stars followed her account, and she was the first Kim Kardashian.

I couldn’t find anything about her past or family. I do think it says something that a person would post such a large amount of selfies to draw followers and attention. I think even though she had 800,000 followers she was probably still lonely.

No one wakes up one day and says “I think I’ll start drinking and continue until I ruin everyone and everything around me”. I know I didn’t. I just wanted the overload of pain and feeling like I never belonged to go away even if it was only for a short time.

When some people do realize they have a problem and want to get help many programs are focused on the wrong things. I get it, I made mistakes, I hurt people, I should make amends and take responsibility. But I should also think back to that first drink and what was going on at the time that I felt like I needed to keep drinking. What feeling did alcohol provide that I couldn’t provide myself?

That was the biggest issue. Yes, it’s great to know that you’re not the only one who’s done stupid things and hearing other people’s stories works for a short time. You can only share your stories so many times. If I had to hear “I was a piss your pants barroom broad” one more time I was going to piss my pants out of boredom. Every time I achieved some sobriety with a program I would slip, feel ashamed, and give up.

This last time was different. I had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and given some insight about self-medicating.

I took that first drink to “fit in”. I continued to drink to make everything I didn’t want to feel or experience go away. It worked for years but created more things I wanted to forget, traumatic experiences and affected my health.

Several years before I stopped drinking I was told that my Liver was enlarged. I ignored it and kept drinking. I also lost a significant amount white and grey matter. No one knows for sure how much is due to alcohol abuse. Some of the alcohol I consumed daily was rotgut. I wouldn’t be surprised. I also have some issues with my Pancreas. I think Alcoholism needs to be looked at differently when being treated. I believe you’re not just treating an Alcohol Addiction you’re also treating other underlying issues.

STATISTICS

  • Alcohol is the 4th leading preventable cause of death
  • An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol related causes a year
  • Around 5.1 million Adults 18+ have a problem with alcohol
  • Around 623,000 adolescents 12-17 have a problem with alcohol
  • 45.8% of Liver Disease deaths involve alcohol